Wednesday, October 30, 2002, Chandigarh, India

L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


PAU adopts premature retirement policy
Unsatisfactory work, 25-yr service to be criterion
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, October 29
Punjab Agricultural University has adopted a premature retirement policy for its teaching and non-teaching staff on the pattern of the Punjab Civil Services Rules. A decision to this effect was taken by the management board of the university with Dr K.S. Aulakh, Vice-Chancellor, in the chair.

Dr Aulakh said here today that under the premature retirement policy if the work of a teacher or non-teaching employee was not found satisfactory after 25 years of qualifying service and the employee have attained the age of 50 years, he could be retired prematurely.

The board also decided to extend 75 per cent advance for outdoor treatment of the employees and the pensions as per the rules of the Punjab Government.

It further approved one-year diploma in Home Science College in food enterprise management and interior decoration. The admission to these two courses has already been made at the start of the current academic session.

The Vice-Chancellor said the board also decided to reserve three per cent posts for persons with disabilities as suggested by the government.

The university was continuing to face financial crises. The board approved the audited accounts of the university for the year 2000-2001. The university had a deficit of Rs 21 crore on March 31, 2001. The board requested the state government to release this amount at the earliest.

The Vice-Chancellor said the university would fill only the need-based posts of the teachers. The sanctioned strength of the teachers in PAU was 1,693, but as many as 1,264 persons were in actual position at present, said Dr Aulakh.

He said an exercise was made two years ago to check the surplus posts of teaches and non-teachers and it was found that 1,385 teachers were needed. The Vice-Chancellor was authorised by the board to fill the posts as and when required.

The meeting also re-designated the post of Personal Assistant (PA) to the Vice-Chancellor as the Personal Secretary (PS). Mr Tara Singh, PA to the VC was immediately designated as Personal Secretary to the Vice-Chancellor.

The board did not approve the selection of Dr Sinderjit Singh as the Director Students’ Welfare. His case was still pending in the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Dr M.A. Zaheer, Dean, College of Basic Sciences and Humanities, was appointed Professor Emeritus in the Department of Business Management in recognition of his services to the department and the university. Dr Zaheer will retire from his present post on December 31.

The board also approved the appointment of the following as the Heads of Department: Dr S.K. Jandu (Department of Veterinary Microbiology), Dr Jagmohan Singh (Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering), Dr V.K. Saxena, (Department of Plant Breeding) and Dr Kulbir Singh Sandhu (Department of Epidemiology and Veterinary Medicine).


Ex-wife, others beat up man
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 29
A man was allegedly beaten up by his ex-wife, along with her husband and a few friends, in the Sarabha Nagar market late last night.

The man, identified as Akash Bansal, was buying toys for his three-year-old son, Arman, when the incident took place. He suffered serious injuries and was bleeding profusely when some passers-by intervened to save him. A case has been registered at the Sarabha Nagar police station.

According to Akash Bansal, he along with his three-year-old son, was getting into his car after purchasing balloons for him at the Sarabha Nagar market at around 10.30 pm when his ex-wife, Preeti, her husband, Naval Chhabra, and two others pounced on him. One of their accomplices picked up Arman and threatened to throw him on the road.

Taken aback, he tried to resist. However, he was overpowered by the group and beaten up. Akash alleged that they hit him with some sharp-edged weapons following which he started bleeding. “They had probably come with an intention to kill me and my son as they had been threatening me earlier also,” Akash alleged. However, somehow, he managed to escape and get into the car. Meanwhile, a crowd gathered at the place and the assailants fled from the spot.

Bleeding profusely, Akash went to the police station to lodge a complaint. He alleged that the SHO suggested him to enter into a compromise with the assailant and was reluctant to register an FIR. He did not argue with the SHO and left for the hospital. Today, he met the SP (City), Mr Harish Kumar, who directed the SHO to register an FIR.

Akash said his son was a British citizen so he had also informed the British High Commission about the incident and the threat to his life. Akash is presently married to an NRI, a British citizen.

He alleged that after he got divorce and remarried, Naval started threatening his wife. “He even used to tell her that they would kill me and Arman,” he alleged. He used to make blank call to her. Later, these calls were traced to Naval’s number, he said.

Subsequently, Akash lodged a complaint with the Division Number 6 police station. Naval tendered a written apology promising that he would never do it again. “Yesterday they attacked me and my son again, with obvious intentions,” he said.

The police has reportedly detained one of the accused and has started searching for the others.


Traders observe ‘black day’ against govt policies
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 29
Irked over the anti-trade policies, persistently being followed by the Punjab Government, members of trade and industry today observed a ‘black day’ and representatives of more than one dozen trade and industrial bodies, led by Punjab Pradesh Beopar Mandal (PPBM) functionaries presented a memorandum to the Excise and Taxation Department.

Activists of beopar mandal and various other bodies of trade and industry, wearing black badges gathered at Bhai Bala Chowk and marched towards the Mini Secretariat. There were loud protests by the agitating traders when police personnel, deployed at the main gate of the district headquarters tried to stop them from entering but better sense prevailed and the matter was sorted out.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, the PPBM general secretary, Mr Mohinder Aggarwal, condemned the over reaction on the part of district police authorities who had tried to stop the entry of peacefully protesting traders to Mini Secretariat. “Even last evening, some police personnel had stopped the beopar mandal activists from putting black flags at Clock Tower Chowk.” He further said that the senior government officials had adopted, at best, an evasive attitude towards the crucial issues facing the trade and industry. The Financial Commissioner (Taxation), Mr Mukul Joshi, who had agreed in principle to meet the representatives of trade, had put off the meeting thrice so far.

Later a deputation of the PPBM and other associations, including among others, Mr Kasturi Lal Mittal, Baba Ajit Singh, Mr Mohinder Aggarwal, Mr Sunil Mehra, Mr Vaneet Handa, Mr Jaswant Singh Birdi, Mr Rajinder Singh Sodhi, Mr Harish Goyal and Mr H.S. Rana submitted a memorandum to the Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner, Mr Param Pal Singh, demanding immediate settlement of the issues which had jeopardised the trade and industrial activities in the state.

The memorandum pointed out that the sales tax form 36 would not, in any way, increase the revenue but would cause undue harassment to the business community. Similarly, the entry tax, slapped by the government on paper and yarn had proved to be an additional burden on trade and industry. Till the government reviewed the decision and it was withdrawn, the registered dealers should be taken out of its purview, the members of trade and industry demanded.

Coming down heavily upon the government for the ill-conceived decision to impose value added tax (VAT), the beopar mandal observed that the proposed draft of VAT Bill needed a thorough review. It said that in Chapter 9, offenses and penalties under Clause 45 to 64, providing for conviction and imprisonment even for petty mistakes, was not acceptable to the trading community. Further, the officers were granted immunity for their acts of omission and commission while the traders, who contribute over Rs 3000 crore annually to the state Exchequer, would pay heavily in the similar circumstances.

Other demands, raised by the activists of PPBM included abolition of obnoxious system of octroi, grant of relief in rate of sales tax to hosiery industry, withdrawal of power tariff hike and removal of sales tax barriers.

MANDI GOBINDGARH: In response to a call given by the Punjab Pradesh Beopar Mandal, the local unit on Tuesday observed a ‘blackday’ against the policies of the state government which have jeopardised the trade and industrial activities.

The traders also held a meeting at the Gobindgarh Club which was addressed by Mr O.P. Gupta, Mr Subhash Singla, Mr Parkash Chand Garg, president, general secretary, senior vice-president respectively of beopar mandal, Mr Vinod Vashisht general secretary, All India Steel Re-Rollers Association (AISRA), Mr Ramesh Jain, Mr Ravi Jassar and Mr Ved Dewan. The speakers were critical of the government which had backed out its promises to the elaborate pertaining to the abolition of octroi collection and to provide relief to the trade and industry but the government had brought value added tax (VAT) for the traders which will breed corruption.

Later a demand charter was submitted through the Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner (AETC), Fatehgarh Sahib to the government which stated that with the imposition of the sections of VAT, officers had been given immunity under Section 91 for anything done by them and under Section 22 (XIII) intends to exempt the officers for any omission on their part but no such facility had been given t the traders, introduction of entry tax EXIM form (ST-36) proposed power tariff and imposition of octroi should be reviewed.


MC official faces action for negligence
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 29
As per the complaint on poor maintenance of sewerage system in ward No 66 in the city, municipal corporation authorities have ordered a show-cause notice to be served on Mr Subhash Dua, Superintending Engineer (O and M), before the matter was taken up with the Secretary, Local Government, Punjab, for taking appropriate disciplinary action against him.

The area councillor, Mr Sat Pal Puri, had lodged a complaint about non-functional sewer system and accumulation of sewer discharge at several places in the said ward. However, Mr Dua, who was present at the occasion, denied the charges. The MC Zonal Commissioner, Mr Kuldip Singh, visited the area and submitted the report, which corroborated the complaint of Mr Puri that sewerage system was non-functional in his ward and in sewers were overflowing in several localities in the ward.

Meanwhile, the MC authorities have directed the Executive Engineer (O and M) Zone A to get the sewer lines cleared and make them functional within two days.


MCPI workers block traffic
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 29
On the call of seven organisations of farmers, activists of the Marxist Communist Party of India (MCPI) blocked traffic at the main bus stand for almost one hour here today.

The protesters alleged that a contingent of police force manhandled them while they were sitting on peaceful dharna. Some of the key functionaries of the MCPI and other bodies were taken into custody, they added.

Notable among those arrested were Mr Kuldip Singh, secretary, Punjab MCPI, Mr Kartar Singh Bowani, district secretary, CPI, Mr Raghubir Singh Benipal, district secretary, CPM, Mr Sukhdev Singh, Mr Surinder Singh and Mr Santokh Singh of Kirti Kisan Sabha, Mr Om Parkash of Jamhoori Kisan Sabha, Mr Bal Krishan of the MCPI, Mr Kewal Krishan and several others. The police, however, let off arrested persons after the time of the blockade was over at 2.30 pm.

The District Bar Association had also given a call to lawyers to abstain from work in protest against the enhanced power, water rates and other taxes. The work in the District Courts remained suspended.

The MCPI claimed that the bandh was complete in rural areas and small towns, while it was partial elsewhere. In towns like Kila Raipur, Pakhowal, Jodhan, Malaudh, Doraha, Jagraon, Raikot the bandh got a good response.


2-hr power cut in Civil Hospital
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 29
The supply of electricity to the local Civil Hospital was disconnected for almost two hours as the hospital authorities had failed to deposit the bill after June 30.

Dr S.N. Tiwari, Civil Surgeon, while talking to Ludhiana Tribune admitted, “The electricity bill worth Rs 7 lakh could not be deposited due to the paucity of funds. The electricity was temporarily disconnected for two hours. It was later restored. We have already paid some amount, rest will be deposited when we get funds”.

An employee of the hospital said the board had been sending notices to the hospital administration, to clear the pending bills, but it was unable to deposit the amount due to the lack of funds. Work at the operating theatre too, was seriously affected.



RECENTLY some local Congress leaders expressed their reservations over the visit of Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) president, H.S. Hanspal to a function hosted by a local businessman. The aggrieved leaders were alleging that the said trader was of doubtful credentials and the PCC chief should not have visited there. Taken aback by this “insubordination” of the local leaders, Mr Hanspal reprimanded them, asking them not to intervene in his functioning. There seems to be more to it than meets the eye. The local Congress grapevine has it that the local leaders find themselves paling into insignificance with the frequent and regular visits of the PCC chief to the city. Some of them have been maintaining that what should have been their job, like inauguration of showrooms, is being usurped by the PCC president, thus making them jobless. Hence this resentment.

Who cares?

Recently the president of the Officers’ Ladies Club was dissolved by its president. The decision did not seem to go well with the members of the club, who, besides resenting it claimed that the president had no authority to dissolve the club. In order to ensure that the club keeps on functioning, the members of the club have been organising regular meetings and get together to ensure the “sisterhood” amongst themselves. Recently they organised the ‘karva chauth’ function to express solidarity with each other, much to the chagrin and disappointment of the president.

Jagrata with a difference

With the festival season on, the city seems to be abuzz with the religious activities. ‘Matas’ jagratas are a routine and people keep on praying for their welfare for the full nights. This also seems to be the season of fasts. Only four days ago it was ‘karva chauth’. It was followed by the ‘chakri’ fast on Tuesday. Chakri fast is observed on the fourth day of karva chauth. While the women keep karva chauth fast for the long and prosperous life of their husbands, the chakri fast is observed for the long life of their children. Interestingly, on this fast people purchase sugar cane. It is believed that they pray that their children grow like the sugarcane and assume similar heights.

Hosts of honour

Satluj Club Ludhiana, the self-claimed elite club in Ludhiana seems to be setting a new tradition. The club has been organising regular and frequent functions on various occasions. In a novel manner, it does not solicit the ‘chief guests’ or the ‘guests of honour’ from anywhere else but from within only. And it could be none else than the Deputy Commissioner, the ex-officio president of the club for all seasons and all reasons. For all the functions it is the DC who is made the chief guest or the guest of Honour. It is not that the practice goes unnoticed. Some members of the club have been pointing it out to the secretary and other office-bearers. The members have other reservations also that during these functions it is the president and other officers in the administration who get all the attention, while the member, who purchase their participation after buying the cards always get a raw deal. And nobody dares to protest, lest they provoke the wrath of the president and his secretary. Even that does not seem to please the president much. Only on Saturday, during the Karvachauth function, when the DC along with his wife was the guest of honour at the function, he left the function midway, after expressing his displeasure over the quality of the programme. Despite being the guest of honour and supposed to distribute the prizes, much to the embarrassment of the office bearers of the club, he did not stay till the end. Even desperate pleas by his secretary could not persuade him to stay up to the end.

The pulsating city

Come Navratras and the city buzzes with activities. On the cultural scene the Ludhanvis had a chance to listen to one and one only Pandit Jasraj. That was,` like benediction for the lovers of classical music. Anamika of ‘Kahin karta hoga woh mera intzar’ and many other songs and Sukhinder of ‘Chaiyyan Chaiyyan’ fame were in the city to entertain the younger audience. Exhibitions of photographs, paintings and household goods added to the revival of activities which were on a dull note prior to the onset of festival season. The city is pulsating at the moment with countless ‘sales’ New stores are opening to lure the customers with their wares for Divali shopping. The consumers never had it so good with innumerable gift schemes.

Nightmarish Karol Bagh

The festivities have brought out the buyers in droves to Karol Bagh, a part of Ghumar Mandi. But it has caused many a driver miss their heartbeat. As it is the shopkeepers have spilled their wares on to the road and what makes the whole experience nightmarish are the rows of cars haphazardly parked in both the directions without any concern for those using the road.No one tows the cars away. No where are the signs displaying No Parking Zone. The whole road becomes a nightmare to travel. Can something be done to make the lives of people a little more comfortable may be, by deploying more traffic policemen as no one is in sight or making the road one way?



NGOs urged to make coordinated efforts
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 29
Transport Minister Tej Parkash Singh has exhorted the social and voluntary organisations engaged in service to the needy people to make coordinated efforts for the welfare of the weaker sections of the society, earmarking the specific areas of the activities, so that the overlapping of the services could be avoided and maximum number of beneficiaries could be covered.

He was addressing a function organised by the Ek Jot Welfare Society to distribute sewing machines, blankets and sweaters among the poor families at Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar here today.

Appreciating the excellent medical, educational and other services being rendered by the various voluntary organisations for the deprived sections of society, the minister said that the state government would also direct its departments relating to the social welfare to extend all kind of assistance to these societies in implementing their programmes. These organisations should concentrate on some specific field of service rather than to adopt many fields, so that they could improve the quality of the services to be provided.

Mr Tej Parkash Singh regretted that the previous SAD-BJP government had completely abandoned the welfare schemes for the poor people being pursued by the earlier Congress governments and had not spent the required funds for this purpose. He asserted that the weaker sections of the society were the real builders of the nation, who despite facing a large number of hardships, worked hard day and night for the development of the country. He assured that the state government would shortly launch a large number of welfare programmes for the poor people.

On this occasion the minister presented 51 sewing machines, 150 blankets and 100 sweaters to the needy persons.

Mr Malkiat Singh Dakha, MLA, also appreciated the efforts of the society and said that the people working in such voluntary societies for the welfare of poor people were the valuable assets of the society.

Mrs Satwant Kaur, president of the society, highlighted the welfare activities of the society and informed the members of the society had been engaged in the service to the extremely poor families. She said that all members of society persuaded rich people of the city to make liberal contributions for the needy people.

Blind and handicapped students from different institutions presented a colourful cultural programme on this occasion.


Joginder Pal Pandey oration today
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 29
The Dayanand Medical College and Hospital will organise the fifth Joginder Pal Pandey oration in collaboration with the Nehru Sidhant Kendra tomorrow in Dumra Auditorium. Gen V.P. Malik, former Chief of the Indian Army, will deliver the oration on “India’s strategic culture.”

Dr S.C. Ahuja in a press statement today said that born on May 9, 1926, Pandey was an able administrator and crusader for human values of life. He participated in the freedom struggle at a very young age by courting arrest in Faridkot in a morcha led by Jawaharlal Nehru in 1946. A voracious leader and a fiery orator, Joginder Pandey took up cudgels against British rule for injustices meted out to the Indian people. He joined the Congress and became the general secretary of the District Congress Committee of the PPCC in 1966 and was its member till death. By his excellent demeanor and outstanding dedication, he endeared himself to the people of the state and was elected to the Punjab Legislative Assembly thrice. As a minister, he held various portfolios of the PWD, Civil Supplies, Transport, Local Self-Government, Tourism, Public Relations, Jails and Urban Development, Health and Family Welfare and Parliamentary Affairs.


Capt Ravinder’s mother clarifies
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October, 29
Ms Surinder Kaur, mother of Capt Ravinder Singh of the 18th Cavalry, whose statue was unveiled at Latala village recently has clarified that there has been no delay in the unveiling of his son’s statue as has been reported in a news story “Capt Ravinder’s statue unveiled” published in Ludhiana Tribune on October 29. Ms Surinder Kaur said she would not move the court to get her son’s statue unveiled as she got the statue constructed without taking the help of any government or private agency.

She further said since she wanted officers of her son’s regiment to unveil the statue. The Commanding Officer and other ranks of the regiment travelled a long way to participate in the unveiling of the statue.

Ms Surinder Kaur said she had, however, been running from pillar to post to get the 10 acres of land promised by the Punjab Government for her family, but she was still awaiting the allotment letter.


Income tax surveys
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 29
Officials of the Income Tax Department have conducted surveys of the rice shellers, dry fruit and karyana merchants in Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Moga districts to unearth black money.

According to official information available here today, teams of the officials carried surveys of more than 10 rice shellers of Moga, Ludhiana, Khanna, Sham Chaurasi and Sahnewal.

Similarly, surveys of the dry fruit merchants and karyana dealers were also undertaken and the same continued till late night at all these places. The officials of the Income Tax Department have seized a huge quantity of incriminating documents and the same are being examined to find out the concealed income.


CICU opposed to VAT
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 29
The Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings (CICU) has opposed introduction of the value-added tax (VAT) system which is being implemented across the country from April next year. The implementation of the VAT system was being postponed since April, 2001, first till 2002 and now till 2003, as there was no consensus among the Chief Ministers and Finance Ministers of the various states.

According to Mr Inderjeet Singh Pradhan and Mr Avtar Singh, president and general secretary of the CICU, the VAT proposals are “non-friendly for industrial growth in the state”. They said the VAT concept has come from the developed countries and could not be applicable in the developing countries like India.

The CICU leader said VAT was not acceptable to the industry in Punjab. However, if the government continues with its implementation, it needs a thorough review as there were several provisions which would create havoc with the industry and further slow down the industrial growth.

The chamber leaders said the prosecution provision in VAT would prove to be demoralising and intimidating for the industrialists and traders. They said that the trade and industry in the present WTO regime of liberalisation should be given a free hand to make these capable of competing in the global market.


Chinese fancy lights flood market
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 29
Chinese fancy lights have captured the Indian markets. These lights can be used as decorative lights for Divali. These have become dirt cheap and are quite affordable, within reach of the common man.

For the cost of a bottle of mustard oil used to light earthen lamps in a traditional way, a series of 180 bulbs can be lit. A rice light with 100 multi- coloured small bulbs can be bought for Rs 65, whereas a light called China series lamps with 160 or 320 bulbs with double action is very reasonably priced.

Fancy rope of multi-coloured lights is being sold at Rs 35 as against Rs 65 last year.

These lights have a small changer attached to them. They perform eight functions. The bulbs glow alternately or after skipping even more than two or three bulbs. The beauty of this is that fused bulbs are replaceable.

A musical set of 140 bulbs are available this year at much lower rates than last year. Pearl Lights with 140 bulbs which give appearance of running and rotating are very popular too. A row of electric candles and a series of zero watt lamps is also within affordable range.

According to Tejinder Dutta, a dealer in fancy lights, Chinese lights have captured the market in a big way, hence the rates have gone down.

Fancy pipes of lights which were expensive and were used by commercial establishments are very fast selling lights as they look nice and are maintenance free. The prices of lights have crashed by 30 to 40 per cent and people are preferring them to wax candles and earthen lamps.

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