Tuesday, September 24, 2002, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Traders protest against parking charges
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 23
Hundreds of traders and transporters today staged a demonstration at the local Dana Mandi (grain market) to protest against the charging of parking fee. They maintained that since they were already paying 4 per cent tax to the Mandi Board for various services, the parking fee was totally unjustified and uncalled for.

On the other hand, the Mandi Board officials have been maintaining that the decision was taken at a higher level by the Punjab Mandi Board and it had been implemented all over the state since September 16. The officials also ruled out any possibility of the waiving of parking charges at the local level.

According to Mr Subash Sarpanch, the president of the Traders Association of the Dana Mandi, the Mandi Board allotted the contract for parking to a local contractor who started charging the parking fees from the traders and transporters since September 16. He said while Rs 10 were being charged for the trucks and other heavy vehicles, Rs 5 were being charged for tempos and Rs 2 from the cycle rickshaws and the hand-driven and horse-driven carts.

He said so far no parking fee was charged from the traders or transporters. He pointed that they were already paying the service charges at the rate of 4 per cent towards the Mandi Board. This, he argued, included the space for parking also. He disclosed that traders have to park their vehicles several times in a day there and in case they have to pay the parking charges everytime, it will cost them a lot of money.

However, the District Mandi Officer, Mr Vipan Kapoor, clarified that the Mandi Board was charging parking fee from the transporters only. He disclosed that the parking contractor had been told in clear terms that he would not charge any parking fees from the local traders of the Grain Market, the farmers who come to sell the produce and also the people living in the adjacent residential colonies. So nobody should have any objection to the parking charges.

He said it was only the transporters who come from outside to deliver goods in the market, who will have to pay the parking fees.

He said the orders to this effect had been taken by the Punjab Mandi Board. Besides the parking, the board has also allotted contracts for the canteen and clearing of the grass from the market. This, he said, was being done in accordance with the bylaws of the Mandi Board.



Poor amenities irk poll staff’s kin
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 23
Families of the employees who had gone on poll duty in Jammu and Kashmir for the second phase of Assembly elections are perturbed at the lack of amenities being provided to them there.

After going through some news reports today regarding the dissatisfaction showed by some employees on duty there, the families of volunteers who had volunteered for the poll duty in the trouble-torn state felt that the employees should not have been treated like this.

They said the employees who had not cared for their life and gone for the duty were forced to stay in the open and the civil administration had not even arranged for toilets for them.

It was reported today that around 200 employees had staged protest in the Valley as they were forced to spend the night with the CRPF jawans in the open. They even reportedly hid themselves in the bushes at the night to protect themselves.

“This is what is being offered in return of my son’s patriotism who had volunteered for the duty. He is having a difficult time there. There is no roof or shelter where he and his colleagues can stay. The officials should have at least arranged for their stay there,” rued a mother on the condition of anonymity. She said the district officials had given them a warm send-off but did not bother about their stay arrangements.

The families who are staying back after sending their near and dear ones to the Valley are gluing to the TV sets throughout the day.

“This is how we are passing our time. Although I am sure the poll will go peacefully, but even then it’s a father’s heart. I am keeping tab on the news from there. His mother, wife and children also keep sticking to the TV set.” said the father of a teacher.

The parents thanked the 24-hour news channels for keeping them abreast of the situation in the Valley.

“The news is often not good. Yesterday, there was the news of a fidayeen attack on Srinagar police colony where two persons died. The news gave us quite a shudder. But then our son called us up. We were quite happy listening to his voice.”



Biomedical waste disposal project begins trial run
Kuldeep Bhatia

Ludhiana, September 23
The Biomedical Waste Management project has commenced trial run here under which biomedical waste from over two dozen hospitals and nursing homes in the city and nearby towns is being disposed of in accordance with norms prescribed under the Biomedical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules 1998 under the aegis of the Environment (Protection) Act 1986.

The common facility set up at the initiative of the Municipal Corporation here for the treatment and disposal of biomedical waste, generated in the hospitals, nursing homes and other institutions like veterinary hospitals and slaughter houses, would cater to the needs of such institution all over the state. The project has been undertaken by a Hyderabad-based firm M/s Medicare Incin Pvt. Ltd. on “build, own and operate” (BOO) basis.

According to the MC Commissioner, Mr S.K. Sharma, the civic body had provided a piece of land measuring 2000 sq yrd located opposite the Central Jail on Tajpur Road to the company against an annual lease money of Rs 1 lakh. Facility for safe disposal of biomedical waste would be provided by the company on the “user pays” basis at Rs 2.70 per bed per day from hospitals and nursing homes within the city limits, Rs 3.20 per bed within a distance of 100 km from the city and Rs 3.70 per bed for those beyond 100 km. A sum of 10 paise per unit out of the recovery against disposal would be payable to the civic body.

According to a local representative of the firm, Mr M.K. Jaggi, all arrangements were in place for transportation of biomedical waste from within the city limits and other major towns and cities in Punjab. The process for entering into agreement with the health institutions had already been taken up. In accordance with the technical bid submitted by the firm, the project was equipped with a mechanical loading incinerator of 200 kg per hour capacity with alkaline scrubber and 30-mtr-high chimney, an autoclave for disinfection of plastic, rubber, latex, metal and glass, a shredder and a landfill for the disposal of residue. The project, set up at a cost of Rs 1.25 crore, has an installed capacity of 5 metric tonne per day for treatment and disposal of biomedical waste.

While the city hospitals and nursing homes had an estimated strength of around 7,000 indoor beds, the common facility being set up in the city would have an initial installed capacity of 20,000 beds, which would be subsequently expanded on need basis. For healthcare institutions other than those having indoor patients, 1 kg of bio medical waste would be taken as a unit equivalent to one bed.

The company would arrange for collection of segregated biomedical waste in closed container vehicles from the identified common waste collection site. The collection containers for segregation of waste in accordance with the biomedical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules 1998 had already been provided to the member institutions. To facilitate proper segregation and easy identification, containers in black, yellow and blue colours were being marked separately for sharp instruments, including needles, infectious waste and plastic and glass, respectively. The healthcare institutions would pack and seal the segregated biomedical waste in plastic bags at their level. The health establishments, generating biomedical waste, would have the added advantage of having their staff concerned trained initially by the company about segregation of waste in colour coded plastic bags and method of collection, the spokesperson added.

Mr Jaggi said having sufficient experience of proper treatment and safe disposal of biomedical waste, the company had a running facility for biomedical waste disposal at Hyderabad, which was handling around 6,000-bed capacity, spread over 300 hospitals in the Southern megapolis and another at Bangalore. Besides in Ludhiana, the firm was setting up similar projects for biomedical waste disposal in Ahmedabad and Mumbai.



BKU workers stage dharna, block traffic
Our Correspondent

Khanna, September 23
Traffic was blocked on the GT Road, near Malerkotla Chowk, on Monday for more than two hours by workers of the Bharti Kisan Union (BKU) in protest against the non-announcement of the minimum support price (MSP) here.

Earlier, workers of the BKU organised a protest rally in Asia’s biggest grain market here under the leadership of Mr Bhupinder Singh Mann and Mr Balbir Singh Rajewal, president and general secretary of the union, respectively. After the rally, they staged a dharna on the GT Road, near Malerkotla Chowk, and blocked traffic.

The union leaders said, while addressing the farmers, the Centre had politicised the issue of the MSP. They said the produce had been lying in mandis but due to the non-announcement of the MSP and policy of purchase. The farmers were forced to sell paddy at a lower price which was 100 to 125 per quintal.

The leaders said the union would not allow BJP President, Mr Venkaiah Naidu, to enter Punjab. If he enters, he would not be allowed to go out of Punjab till the announcement of the MSP.

They also demanded the resignation of the Union Minister, Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa.

The commuters suffered a lot of inconvenience due to the blockade. Even the vehicles of two high-ranking police officials, an ADGP and a DIG Mr Samyal of the CRPC, were also blocked in the jam.

Elaborate security arrangements were made to avoid any untoward incident. Many police and civil officers reached the spot. 



Night-time revelry at EO’s office

Ahmedgarh, September 23
Owing largely to the absence of the Executive Officer (EO) of the local Municipal Council, since he is away to Chandigarh on training, his office assumes the status of a ‘bar-cum-club’ at night.

Since the officer visits the town only now and then to sign important documents, his office remains occupied by various councillors and their president for most of the day. But once the office closes and the staff are at home, the preparations to convert the office into the ‘bar-cum-club’ begin and the members, around half a dozen councillors, start trickling in as early as 7 pm and the session lasts around midnight.

During the tenure of Mr I.A.Khan as Executive Officer here, his office remained locked in his absence, according to his instructions. Even during working hours, councillors did not move around in his office unnecessarily. The president of the council and his colleagues had a separate and spacious office where they held their meetings. The room is still there with the nameplate of the president fixed, but is no longer being used by them. The preference now seems to have shifted to the EO’s office, even if their office is equally comfortable, with carpets, sofas and a telephone.

The office of the EO remains packed with councillors and their colleagues during working hours these days in view of the impending civic poll. A merry picnic with rounds of cold drinks, tea and snacks goes on till evening after which the place becomes a bar.

When news appeared in these columns sometime ago about the impropriety of protocol committed by the president by occupying the chair of the officer in his absence, he had asserted that the officer was his subordinate and as such he was entitled to occupy his chair even in the presence of the officer.

The EO, Mr S.P.Sharma, however, could not be contacted for his comments despite repeated attempts.



Residents’ thirst for safe water
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 23
Threat of gastroenteritis outbreak looms large in street No. 8 of the Shiv Puri area where hundreds of residents are drinking contaminated water for the past one week. Despite repeated complaints by residents to the Municipal Corporation authorities, the cause of the contamination has not been removed.

Mr Rakesh Kumar, a resident of the area, said the contamination might be due to the mixing of sullage with the tap water at some point. He said the water had pungent smell and not fit for drinking.

“It is more dirty when the supply is restored during the morning and evening hours. After it flows continuously, then it becomes cleaner. This shows that the water is getting mixed with sullage,” he said.

“We had registered a complaint with the corporation last week, but nobody came to check it. We have been ringing up the office everyday. Yesterday an employee came and told us that it was his area and he was being transferred, so we would be heard only after a new man joins here. What should we do now?, asked Mr Manjeet Singh.

The residents said that they were drinking boiled water.

Mr Rakesh Kumar said: “We called up at the residence of the Municipal Commissioner today and the attendant there told us he was not available. The attendant said the problem would be solved tomorrow. Now shall we stop drinking water till tomorrow?”

Meanwhile, Mr S.K. Sharma, Commissioner, said he had not received any complaint in this regard. He said the problem would be solved soon.



DCC to take up civic problems with MC
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 23
The District Congress Committee (Urban) will take up the civic problems of different localities of the city with the Mayor and Commissioner of the Municipal Corporation. This assurance was given by the DCC president, Mr Krishan Kumar Bawa, while addressing a meeting of prominent residents and industrialists in Janakpuri Colony here today.

Mr Bawa said the party was committed to providing better amenities and infrastructure and the problems regarding water supply, sewerage, roads and street lights would be taken up with the administration.



Jain Sadhvi’s fast enters 74th day
Our Correspondent

Ahmedgarh, September 23
The local Jain Sthanak, near the Gandhi chowk, has become a hub of hectic activities these days as devotees from far and near are thronging the place to seek the blessings of Jain Sadhvi Shubhji Maharaj, whose indefinite fast entered the 74th day today.

Self-inflicted penance by surviving on as little as possible quantity of boiled water alone has a special significance as a mode of meditation in Jainism and Shubhji Maharaj is a living embodiment of this essence.

As the great Sadhvi, who is losing weight with each passing day, is unable to speak at length. Her guru, Sadhvi Shri Sunitaji Maharaj, explains that the fast is being observed for ‘atam shuddhi’ or self-purification. She partakes a couple of spoonfuls of boiled water to quench her thirst during the daytime only, before sunset.

Born in a Nayyar family at Jalandhar, Shubhji Maharaj was initiated into Jainism when she got the ‘diksha’ from her guru on October 6,1992, at Mukerian. And ever since then, she has been observing fasts every year under the supervision of her guru who invariably decides the breaking of the fast depending on the physical condition of her disciple.

To begin with, Shubhji Maharaj, who has been endowed with the title of ‘Tap Chakareshwri’ fasted for eight days at Jalandhar Cantonment in 1993. Next year, she fasted for 31 days at Kapurthala followed by 62 at Shahkot (1995); 131 at Gidderbaha (1996); 265 at Jagraon (1997);193 at Raikot (1998); 166 at Ropar (1999); 161 at Nabha (2000) and 292 at Jagraon last year.

According to Sunitaji Maharaj, only time will tell how long the fast lasts this time.

A round-the-clock kitchen is being run by the local Jain sabha for the devotees coming from far-off places to have a glimpse of the fasting monk.

Meanwhile, a similar fast by a housewife, Anita Jain, who resides near the Jain Sthanak entered the 26th day today. She has been inspired to undertake the hazardous fast by the monk and another housewife, Shushila Jain, who observed 33 fasts last year.



NZCC Chairman felicitated
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 23
A function was organised by the Baba Farid Foundation International last evening in which the Chairman of the North Zone Cultural Centre (NZCC), Mr R.T. Jindal, was felicitated by the Chairman of the foundation, Mr Pritam Singh, for organising a cultural, craft and food mela for past 10 days in the city. He said the mela manifested in true sense the spirit of national integration. It showcased arts, crafts and food of many states. He said topics related to religion and deeds of our national heroes and lives of pious people should be dwelled upon so that the younger generation was motivated.

Nirmal Jaura, TV artiste, said Ludhianvis had been a privileged lot to see so much varied culture of India through its dances, food and crafts.

The president and vice-president of the foundation, Mr Jaswinder Singh Chappa and Chander Bhanot, also congratulated Mr R.T. Jindal and his entire team for the successful completion of the mela.

Mr Jindal thanked the people of the city for their support and promised to bring the mela next year.



30 kg of poppy husk seized
Our Correspondent

Doraha, September 23
ASI Lekh Raj of Maloud police chowki seized 30 kg of poppy husk from a scooterist at the Siar-Chammat road on Sunday evening.

A case has been registered under Sections 15, 61 and 85 of the NDPS Act. The scooterist has been identified as Jagdish Singh of Koohni Khurd village. He was on his scooter no. PB10-3252 when he was pulled over by Maloud police at a naka at Chammat village. He was arrested along with the sack of poppy husk that he was carrying on his scooter.

Liquor seized: The police seized seven bottles of illicit liquor from Jeet Singh of Jahangir village at Ghudani Kalan village and arrested him under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act on Sunday.



Cycle show disappoints local exporters
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 23
The IFMA Cycle Show which was held from September 12 to 15 at Koln in West Germany seems to have brought only disappointment for exporters of bicycle and bicycle parts from India.

Some of the leading local exporters who participated in the show said the international buyers did not evince any keen interest in them.

This is being attributed to the high costs of Indian products against the relatively low prices quoted by Chinese exporters. This has again raised the issue or price competitiveness of the Indian products despite the fact that they remain qualitatively best in the world.

According to Mr Rajinder Jindal, president, Engineering Exporters Association of Indian about 80 Indian companies participated in the show. About 40 companies displayed their products also at the exhibition. However, all participants were disappointed with the poor response from the international buyers or since they had some better choices as far as the prices were concerned.

He pointed out the Indian exporters had gone with great expectations of getting some good orders from the clients but due to the recessionary conditions prevailing in the international market their expectations were belied. The exporters, he disclosed, were expecting that the prices of products like multispeed freewheel, chainwheel and chains would be increased by 5 to 7 per cent since the prices of steel, which is the major raw material for bicycle components, had already increased by Rs 5000 to Rs 7000 per MT.

Much to their disappointment, it was the Chinese exporters who dominated the show as they maintained their prices at such levels which the Indians exporters could not afford as it was not possible for them to reduce the prices to that level keeping in view their cost of production. As a result the Indian exporters could secure very few orders only.

Mr Jindal apprehended that in case such trend continued, the Indian exporters would continue to lose to the Chinese at the international level.

He pointed out that the ministry of Commerce had announced in- land freight subsidy for north-eastern states for exporters of those states in the last import export policy. He appealed that a similar package should be announced for exporters of Punjab also so that the transportation cost of exports be reduced and the exporters from this region could compete in the international market.


Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
122 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |