Monday, November 18, 2002, Chandigarh, India

L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Mini-buses on city roads soon
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 17
Ludhiana, the second most polluted city of the northern region after Delhi, will soon see mini-buses plying on its roads, replacing the auto-rickshaws that contribute a lion’s share of air-pollution here.

The district administration has chalked out a plan in this regard. According to Deputy Commissioner Anurag Agarwal, all modalities have been worked out and the bus routes have been identified. The 24 bus routes would be duly informed to the public next week. The new plan comes in the wake of levels of air pollution that have crossed all danger marks. Recently the Central Government had also declared that Ludhiana figures among the 27 most polluted cities in the country.

The Deputy Commissioner said that within a week’s time, the entire scheme would be started and the mini-buses would start replacing the auto-rickshaws gradually. He said that the administration had identified six major roads and 24 routes in the city on which the mini-buses would be plied initially.

The district administration has decided to fight pollution tooth and nail and not to buckle under any political or other pressure in carrying out its plans to make Ludhiana cleaner. It has decided to target the autorickshaws, which according to the Deputy Commissioner, are the biggest source of air-pollution in the city.

Data collected by Ludhiana Tribune reveals that there were around 20,000 to 25,000 autorickshaws plying on city roads, out of which only 6,000 had the permit. Rest are plying illegally.

The administration had recently launched a campaign to impound the autorickshaws causing pollution on the city roads. Many autorickshaws had shown the emission in HSU much more than the permissible level.

Hundred buses would be started initially on the city roads. Thirteen terminals have been identified where the buses would stop and the peak hours of rush have also been observed. The routes of buses have been identified in such a way that the system becomes a success and the buses do not get stuck in traffic jams.

Ludhiana is one of the very few major cities where there is no public transport system and the population is more than 25 lakh. The city has developed in such a way that the roads are radial and converge on the old city, causing traffic chaos. There has to be a ring road in the city but these all are long-term plans. Initially, we will cater to around 70 per cent of the population, the Deputy Commissioner added.

As per the plan, the 100 buses would replace 10,000 autorickshaws in the city.



Beware of furnishing fictitious details 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 17
Customers beware of furnishing wrong or fictitious details while submitting the application form for the allotment of the BSNL mobile telephone. If caught on wrong foot, your connection is certain to be terminated. And the BSNL has already deactivated about 200 mobile phones, as the addresses found on their application forms were non-existent.

Stating this here today, the BSNL General Manager, Ludhiana, Mr G.S. Julka. said the Sim cards are provided to the customers instantly after they submit the application form and deposit the specified security. The addresses are verified later.

In the latest exercise, the BSNL officials found to their surprise that of about 2700 mobile phones they had provided, 200 addresses were either non existent or no house existed there, as these were only vacant plots on those locations. Numerous other discrepancies were also found in these 200 application forms.

He pointed out that the services to these 200 numbers have been temporarily de-activated as they would be asked to furnish the correct and exact details. He pointed out that it was very essential to de-activate their services since lot of revenue was involved. The BSNL charges a nominal security. He said, the purpose was not to doubt the integrity of the people but to ensure foolproof mechanism to avoid losses.

Mr Julka said the main problem would come in the very first month as the bills cannot be delivered since there are no proper and correct addresses in the application forms. Moreover, there is always much more interaction between the customer and the BSNL, for which the address is very essential. He said that after the scrutiny, if everything is found proper, the services would be restored to these numbers.

So far 2700 people had been provided the mobile services by the BSNL, while 3400 had already been registered. He said the services were very good and he had got a “very good feedback” from the customers. 



Withdraw support to Mufti, Bitta to Cong 
Tribune News Service

Maninderjit Singh BittaLudhiana, November 17
The All-India Anti-Terrorist Front chief, Mr Maninderjit Singh Bitta, today urged the Congress to withdraw its support to the Mufti Mohammad Sayeed-led government in Jammu and Kashmir. He alleged that the Mufti was working on the agenda of the All-Party Hurriyat Conference and supporting him would mean supporting the Hurriyat.

Addressing a press conference here today, Mr Bitta expressed surprise that how the Congress could support Mufti’s government when everybody knew what he talked during the elections. “And he has already proved himself to be the pro-terrorists by releasing so many terrorists, even the person who abducted his daughter”, Mr Bitta pointed out.

A former IYC President maintained that continued support to the Mufti would only harm the national interest in Kashmir and might demoralise the security forces and the Army who are engaged in a proxy war against the terrorists. He pointed out that some of Mufti’s recent actions had already indicated that he was not keen to maintain the morale of the security forces.

He observed that if the Congress was really concerned about the national interest it should better have support the National Conference. “At least Dr Abdullah is a nationalist who has already supported and stood for India”, Mr Bitta said, while adding, “Dr Abdullah would always have been a better choice than the Mufti”.

Referring to the reported statement of the Shiv Sena chief, Mr Bal Thackeray, about creating an anti-terrorist force, Mr Bitta said, he supported the idea, provided that the Shiv Sena leader did not give it a communal colour. He observed that there was a dire need to train volunteers against terrorism and anyone taking the initiative in this regard should get the due support.

He suggested that Mr Thackeray should not restrict the anti-terrorist force within the Hindus only and it should include all nationalist people. He said he was himself creating a similar force, which would be properly trained by the Army. Mr Bitta announced to stage a demonstration against the actions of the J&K Government on November 23 in front of the J&K Assembly. He said widows of the Kargil war and those fighting the terrorists in Kashmir and other victims would also participate in the demonstration.



Congress activists burn Gosain’s effigy
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 17
Hundreds of Youth Congress activists today burnt the effigy of senior BJP leader and former Deputy Speaker of the Punjab Assembly, Mr Satpal Gosain for his reported derogatory remarks against the Congress President, Ms Sonia Gandhi. The activists burnt the effigies at two different places.

Leading one of the protest demonstrations, senior vice president of the Pradesh Youth Congress, Mr Pawan Dewan demanded an unconditional apology from the BJP leader for his derogatory remarks against Ms Gandhi.

Mr Dewan and his supporters staged a demonstration in front of Mr Gosain’s house and set fire to his effigy.

Mr Dewan said, the BJP leaders should also take note of Mr Gosain’s remarks as he should learn to respect the dignity of the national leaders and more so of the women.

He pointed out, the national leaders commanded respect across the party lines and people like Mr Gosain were only trying to gain cheap publicity by unresponsible utterances.

Besides, Mr Dewan, those who addressed the demonstration included Mr Jarnail Singh Grewal, Mr Ashwani Garg and others.

Another demonstration was led by the District Youth Congress President, Mr Parminder Mehta.

The protesters held out a procession from the local Congress office and reached the Clock Tower, where they burnt an effigy of Mr Gosain.

They were raising slogans against Mr Gosain and demanding action against him.

Addressing the demonstration, Mr Mehta pointed out, the status and stature of Ms Gandhi was no less than that of the Prime Minister of the country.

He pointed out, Ms Gandhi is a respected national leader who should be held in esteem by all the people without viewing her from partisan approach.

Using unparliamentary language against her deserves maximum condemnation only.



Cops honoured for removing encroachments
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 17
The Janakpuri locality and the main market area wears a completely different look these days thanks to a drive undertaken by the officials of the police post of the area to clear it of all encroachments. Gone are the days when the market road had shrunk because of encroachments on both sides. Things were so bad that it was difficult to pass through the area without multiple halts. Now after removing the encroachments, the drive through the market is smooth. It has helped the shopkeepers as well as the residents. The police department has also benefitted from the exercise as earlier the police vehicles had to take a circuitous route.

Acknowledging the efforts put in by the police, residents and shopkeepers of the area cut across party and religious lines and honoured the police officials. Police sources said they were also quite satisfied as the drive was a befitting example of the community policing scheme launched in the state and especially in the city by the senior police officials both at the state and local level.

Police sources disclosed that the best part of the drive was that none of the alleged encroachers had resisted the move. If there was any opposition, it was solved amicably across the table. The success of persuasive skill was evident from the fact that the police did not register any case and the residents removed the encroachments themselves to assist the police team. At a ceremony held in the area yesterday evening, residents and shopkeepers who were at the receiving end of the encroachers honoured the police officials. In a press note issued here today Sufia Mosque president Alm-ud-din, Mr Rakesh Kumar Romi, Chairman Market Association, senior citizens and other residents of the area honoured the police personnel by felicitating them in a ceremony and presenting them with mementoes. 



Versatile & talented princess charming
Asha Ahuja

Arshiya VohraLudhiana, November 17
She is an all-rounder. In examinations, she gets above 99 per cent marks. Her score in extra-curricular activities is par excellence. This slim, talented, lively and highly intelligent girl is all of seven years.

Arshiya Vohra, a Class II student of the local DAV Public School, gave a dance performance on a local TV channel at age 3 and won a consolation prize. Her mother, Ms Sarika, says that Arshiya could recite a dozen poems when she was barely 18 months.

Her dance performance in the programme ‘Lajwawab’, a talent show aired on DD Metro last month, won her accolades. She has won a number of prizes in dance competitions organised by local clubs like the Asian, the Kashish Dancing Academy and the rest. She has taken no formal training in dance; her talent is God-given. Her expressive eyes say it all.

Arshiya has topped in all examinations from the LKG to Class II, always securing 99 per cent and more marks. She has given her parents, the Vohras, so many occasions to be thrilled, as she often gets certificates of excellence from her teachers in school.

Arshiya, dressed as Manthra, bagged the first prize in the Zee Mytho Fancy Dress Competition held in Nehru Sidhant Kendra. She is a regular participant in fancy-dress competitions in school and her Principal is appreciative of her all-round brilliance. In her words, Arshiya is God’s greatest gift to her parents.

This prodigy is a wonderful orator and has won a number of prizes for it. She has given an ample display of her skill in paper-reading contests, story-telling in English and poetry-recitation contests.

Her imagination is vivid and her creative instincts have won her many prizes in several art competitions.

Her entry in a contest organised by Camlin was declared the best at school-level in Group B. In an art competition held yesterday, she won a consolation prize.

She aspires to become an IAS Officer one day. Her general awareness is better than most adults; still, she does not want to become a bookworm, but would rather live life fully.

She appreciates her parents’ efforts in providing her with right opportunities and respects her teachers for encouraging her.

Her father, Mr Sumesh Vohra, a chartered accountant, says that he will continue to provide her with a conducive atmosphere for her growth. Arshiya’s mother, in spite of being a chemistry postgraduate, stays at home, to devote all her time to bringing up Arshiya and her little brother. She says: “When she enters Class III, she will start participating in sport, too. We want her growth to be all-round.”

Her class teacher, Ms Ruby Sehgal; Ms Monika Sharma, who has taught her in the UKG; and Ms Chawla, who has been her teacher in the LKG, say that Arshiya has been a delight to teach — intelligent, alert, appreciative and promising.



All not well with BJP
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 17
The alleged interference of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in the functioning of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) seems to be percolating down to Punjab also with a section of the state leadership blaming the state RSS leadership of influencing most of the BJP decisions, particularly with regard to recent reshuffle.

Things do not seem to be going well for the BJP in Punjab with some senior leaders taking strong exception to the manner in which the recent reshuffle was effected. These leaders said, they were feeling annoyed and upset over the latest reshuffle, which they termed as “totally unconstitutional and unheard of in the BJP” and “having been done at the behest of outsiders (read RSS)”. In a surprise move the state BJP changed two of the four vice-presidents, two of the three general secretaries, two of the four secretaries and also the treasurer, besides some district presidents, allegedly without following the party constitution.

A senior BJP leader told The Tribune here today that no president was authorised to remove any office-bearer without the prior notice. Quoting the BJP constitution, he said, while referring to the Section 4 of the Article XXV (on disciplinary action), “no final decision for breach of discipline shall be taken against any individual or a unit without an opportunity being given to the individual or unit concerned to explain and answer such charges as are made against it or him/her”. Adding further, he said, “a president can remove an office-bearer nominated by him only after a motion to the effect is adopted by his committee (the executive committee)”.

The leader pointed out no such procedure was adopted and the “reshuffle” was announced in the Press and the individual leaders were not intimated in advance. The leader disclosed that several leaders from Punjab had flashed letters to the party president, Mr Venkaia Naidu seeking his intervention for undoing the wrongs in Punjab.

The letter, a copy of which was procured by The Tribune also, said, “many elected district presidents and district units have been suddenly changed and new faces named with a new district committees without serving even a show-cause notice to any one of them.

Interestingly the clash of egos within the party has reached such a stage that one of the general secretaries of the state unit and vice president, announced the bifurcation of Fatehgarh Sahib district into two districts. Fatehgarh Sahib district is the smallest in the state comprising of two Assembly constituencies only. While one constituency has been put under urban district the others has been placed under rural district.

The letter said, some of these actions had been taken up with the state observer, Mr Sangh Priya Gautam but he did not take any note of it. Requesting immediate action from the president, the letter stated, “all these actions either by the state or district presidents, are creating acute factionalism and groupism.’



MC to hold ‘khula manch’ 
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 17
In a bid to streamline its complaints redressal cell and to provide a forum to the city population to directly interact with the civic administration, the Municipal Corporation proposes to launch a ‘khula manch’ where the top brass of the MC would listen to the public complaints at zone level once in every month and ensure time-bound solution to civic problems.

Giving details of the scheme, the MC Commissioner said that the mechanism already existed for booking of complaints at sub-zone and zone level in the city, which were dealt with on a priority basis in a fixed time frame. However, there were several issues which needed to be addressed by senior level officers and it took a lot of time for such complaints to be settled.

“In view of the commitment of the MC administration to become more responsive and to provide better civic amenities to the residents, the need was being felt to provide a forum to the people where they could personally take up the complaints, pertaining to civic matters for speedy disposal. It is with this intention that we have mooted ‘khula manch’ - an open forum for free interaction between the members of public and the civic administration.”

According to the Commissioner, first session of the ‘khula manch’ will be organised on December 2 (Monday) at Zone A office of the MC on Daresi Road. Subsequently, the sessions would be held on December 9 at Zone B near Shingar Cinema, on December 16 at Zone C office on Gill Road and on December 23 at Zone D office at Sarabha Nagar. The sessions of the proposed forum would continue to the held thereafter in the same sequence at all four zones.

Besides the MC Commissioner himself all senior and concerned officials of the zone would be present at the ‘khula manch’ session and issues like civic complaints about water supply, sewerage, sanitation and street lights, assessment of taxes, license fee, composition fee and all such matters would either be disposed of at the spot or directions would be issued to settle the complaints in a time bound manner. The proposed ‘khula manch’ would be an additional forum for the public to lodge their complaints, particularly those which needed policy decisions while the existing complaint cell would continue to function in routine, added the Commissioner.

The MC Commissioner said that after completion of patch work and resurfacing of all major roads in the city, steps for beautification like painting of electric poles and central grills had already been set in motion. The civic body had also floated tenders for different kinds of development works estimated to cost almost Rs 12 crore recently.



Action against Badal sought
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 17
The acting president of the Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal (SHSAD), Mr Surjan Singh Thekedar, and former minister and senior party leader Mr Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal today demanded action against the former Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal for trying to push the state into a fundamentalist situation fraught with dangerous consequences.

In a statement issued here today, Mr Thekedar warned Mr Badal against instigating people on the fundamentalist lines for the ‘Jail Bharo Andolan’ from November 27. Such actions, he said, were fraught with dangerous consequences as these would only encourage the fundamentalist sentiments in Punjab. He suggested that Mr Badal should adopt a constructive approach than raising communal and divisive issues.

In a separate statement, Mr Grewal said that Mr Badal should tender an unconditional apology to the people of the state in general and the Panth in particular for trying to provoke them on an issue he had been guilty himself.



Govt to promote tree plantation
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 17
The Punjab Government is undertaking an ambitious project of preserving the trees planted in the state during the past five years and increasing their number to nearly six crores by planting new saplings along roads and on forest land, according to Mr Harbans Lal, Minister for Forests and Food and Civil Supplies.

The minister said that he had toured the state extensively in the recent past and tried to make aware the farmers about the dangers and pitfalls of recklessly cutting down the trees. He said that he had impressed upon the farmers that in order to maintain the required water level, it was imperative to grow more trees and preserve the same. Other sections of society were also being made aware of the necessity to plant more trees, he added.

Regarding damage to the paddy crop at certain places in the state, the minister said that a compensation ranging from Rs 200 to Rs 400 per acre would be paid to the farmers after the special girdawri under way in this connection was completed.



Lecture on ‘Making work as meditation’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 17
The Ludhiana Management Association (LMA) yesterday organised a lecture on “making work as meditation”. Swami Anand Vairygya, a saint from the Osho Commune International, “Zorba the Buddha” and enlightened the people as to how work can be made as meditation.

In his hour-long discourse, Swami Anand Vairygya said, “when you work for God, not for the self then that is just as good as meditation. The work helps your meditation and meditation helps your work. You need the balance”. “Zorba the Buddha” as conceived by Osho lives forever. Zorba eats, sings, dances, lives, loves and laughs He enjoys all his senses and he relishes every moment of his life.

In Gautama Buddha, the world knows a prince who abandons his luxurious life in search of his true self in the forest until he becomes quiet, calm, still, peaceful, silent and serene. The two opposites seemingly can never meet until Osho declares that not only they should but they must meet if the modern man is to survive, Swami Anand Vairygya said.

Quoting Osho, the Swami said, “Zorba is the roots in the earth, and the Buddha is a longing to fly into ultimate freedom, to reach to the space, which is unbound. I would like you to be Zorba the Greek and Gautama the Buddha together, simultaneously. Whereas Zorba represents the earth with all its flowers and greenery and mountains, rivers and oceans. The Buddha represents the sky with all its stars and clouds and the rainbows. The sky without the earth will be empty. The sky cannot laugh without the earth. The earth without the sky will be dead. Both together and a dance comes into existence. The earth and the sky dancing together and there is laughter, there is joy, there is celebration.”

He went on to describe meditation techniques for creating Zorba, the Buddha, in society for individuals and business corporations, professional groups and specialist organisations so that all can perform to their optimum level without the ill-effects of the stress emanating due to work.

Earlier speaking on the occasion Dr Krishna Anand, Professor and Head, Department of Clinical Psychology, Christian Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana, quoting Osho said “Zorba has to become Buddha and Buddha has to understand and respect its own foundation. Roots may be ugly, but without those roots there are not going to be any flowers. The flowers may be beautiful, fragrant, but all their juice and all their fragrance comes from the roots. You cannot cut the tree in two saying that the roots are ugly; you will destroy the tree. You have destroyed man by cutting him in two, into lower and higher, into material and spiritual.”

Mr V.K. Goyal, general secretary, LMA, while introducing the subject said, “There are people who work only for pay or profit or promotion. These are the people who develop all sorts of problems, physical and otherwise. This sort of attitude towards work takes the joy out of work. It makes us feel pressured; it grinds us down”.

Mr Mahesh Munjal, vice-president, LMA, and Mr M.M. Vyas also spoke on the occasion. More than 300 senior industrialists, entrepreneurs, management professionals, academicians and student members of the association attended the meeting.


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