Tuesday, November 26, 2002, Chandigarh, India

L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


PUDA, MC lock horns over prime commercial land
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, November 25
The controversy over a piece of prime commercial land, auctioned by Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) almost three years ago, continues with the civic administration expressing strong reservation against attempts by PUDA authorities to hand over some additional land towards the old GT Road side to the buyer, allegedly showing undue haste and keen interest in the process.

The PUDA had sold the land, measuring 7889 sq yard, at the site of Government Knitting Institute near Lakshmi Cinema on the old GT Road for Rs 8.05 crore to a private builder in December 1999. The auction had raised a lot resentment at that time because the price offered by the successful bidder was just a little over the reserve price of Rs 10,000 per sq yard against the market price, ranging between Rs 20,000 to Rs 45,000.

Detailed terms and conditions, stipulated in the document for the auction of government vacant land under the scheme of optimum utilisation of government vacant lands, specifically stated that the site of the Government Knitting Institute was being offered on “as is where is” basis and the tentative measurements of plots were given in a press advertisement as well as a sale letter issued by the PUDA authorities to the buyer.

However, the buyer, who was apparently keen to develop the site as a commercial property, was, ever since the purchase of land, making attempts to encompass a 15-foot-strip of land towards the National Highway side of the plot, which is 282 feet in length. On earlier occasions, the MC administration had foiled efforts to put up a gate on the extended boundary and put up a barbed-wire fencing around it. Similarly, the builder had also sought to create an entry to the site from the Lakshmi Cinema side but had to drop the idea in the wake of stiff resistance by the civic administration.

Last month, PUDA officials had once again carried out the exercise of measuring the entire piece of land in the presence of the buyer and in utter disregard of objections raised by MC officials and other representatives of public, actively assisted the buyer to put up an iron gate on the extended boundary.

They took the plea that at the time of making the sale of the land, it was understood that the actual dimensions of the plot might vary and the buyer would have to make payment of land accordingly. While the PUDA authorities that the 15-foot width of the road was a part of the Government Knitting Institute building, the old revenue records and date, available with the PWD, stated otherwise.

Taking cognizance of the attempts by the PUDA to handover the additional land to the buyer in violation of the rules, the government had directed the Deputy Commissioner to intervene and make sure that no portion of the National Highway was “unlawfully” sold away for a pittance.

In a meeting, convened by the Deputy Commissioner and attended by top brass of the PUDA and the MC, it was decided that the piece of land be accurately measured on the basis of the revenue record and ownership rights of the buyer be confined solely to the land which earlier housed the Government Knitting Institute.

Inquiries made by Ludhiana Tribune revealed that the administration was not even averse to the idea of cancellation of the deal and refunding the consideration amount paid by the builder if it came to that. While the PUDA authorities might cold shoulder the idea, the general feeling among the administration and civic officials was that the said land could fetch many times more than the amount realised by the PUDA in 1999 in a more fair and competitive auction.



Civil Surgeon marks inquiry in vision-loss case
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 25
Dr S.N. Tiwari, Civil Surgeon, Ludhiana, has marked an inquiry into the reported cases of loss of vision in a free eye operation camp, held at Jagraon on October 2 by a charitable trust of Nanaksar Kaleran.

A three-member team of doctors, has been asked to submit its report to the Civil Surgeon. The team comprises Dr J.M. Singh, SMO, Eye Mobile, Dr Inderjit Singh Bagga and Dr Manjit Singh from the Civil Hospital, Ludhiana. “We cannot say anything at this stage. We will come to any conclusion once we get the inquiry report”, said Dr Tiwari, while talking to Ludhiana Tribune here today.

More than 250 patients were registered at the camp and over 100 operations were conducted on the spot by a team of eminent doctors headed by Dr Dhanwant Singh, a renowned eye surgeon from Patiala. The camp was jointly organised by the Baba Nand Singh and Baba Ishar Singh Charitable Hospital, Nanaksar Kaleran and the Lions Club Mid-Town, Jagraon. According to reports, as many as 25 patients had lost their vision after being operated upon at the camp.

Dr Dhanwant Singh, when contacted at Patiala, said it was unfortunate that some patients had lost vision after the operation. “But it is very sad that people are exaggerating the number. There are only four to five patients who had lost vision, but there is definitely no eye loss. I have been into the profession for the past 40 years and nothing like this has happened before. The patients were operated upon and were discharged after a thorough examination. Pollution, lack of post-operative care on part of patients or spurious medicines could have caused damage to the eyes”, maintained Dr Dhanwant Singh.

Mr Gurdarshan Mittal, president, Lions Mid-Town Jagraon, said the club had donated Rs 8,000 for the camp. He said,” the organisers had arranged the best doctors of the region. The doctors, beds, equipment and medicines were arranged by the Baba Ishar Singh Charitable Trust”.

Hundreds of patients hailing from Ludhiana, Jagraon, Moga, Ferozpore, Muktsar, Faridkot and nearby villages, who were unable to bear the cost of their eye treatment, had visited the camp. Sources, said more than 25 patients had lost vision after the operation at the camp. The persons who had lost vision, included Sant Singh (Anarkali Bazar, Jagraon), Naseeb Kaur (Kothe Fatehdin), Malkit Kaur (Lehndi Bhaini Basti), Jasbir Kaur and Bhagwan Dass (Bajwa Colony). Most of these victims alleged that the operations were conducted by junior doctors and no proper post-operative care was given to them.

Sources at the Health Department said a number of other persons, including Tej Kaur, Kishan Lal, Ajaib Singh, Sarain Singh, Nachhattar Singh, Sadan Kaur, Sant Singh, Naib Singh, Sita Rani, Gurmel Kaur, Mukhtiar Kaur, Gurbachan Kaur, Amarjit Kaur and many others, had been complaining of “acute pain and loss of vision” after the operation.

Meanwhile, sources at the Baba Ishar Singh Charitable Trust admitted that there was something wrong at the camp which was definitely not deliberate.

One of the organisers, on condition of anonymity, said the trust was ready to re-conduct operations of the victims.”

We are ready to provide them free treatment. We had organised the camp for the benefit of the poor and the needy, but it was our bad luck that we were not successful”, he added.



Lawyers’ body accuses Dhanda of bungling
Our Correspondent

Members of the Organisation of Young Lawyers show the list of fake votes at a press conference
Members of the Organisation of Young Lawyers show the list of fake votes at a press conference in Ludhiana on Monday.— A Tribune photograph

Ludhiana, November 25
Levelling allegations of ‘bungling’ in the elections of the Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana against a sitting member of the Bar Council and one of the contestants, Mr Harish Rai Dhanda, president of the District Bar Association, the Organisation of Young Lawyers (OYL) has sought the intervention of the Chief Justice of India and the Chairman of the Bar Council of India. The organisation has demanded disciplinary action against the lawyers, who have polled bogus votes. They have also demanded for lodging an FIR against the guilty persons.

Addressing mediapersons, Mr Sandeep Kapoor, convener, and Mr Balwinder Goel, one of the candidates alleged that Dhanda had enrolled more than 50 fake voters from the city. Distributing a list of fake voters, they alleged that names of some Ludhiana-based advocates were found in the voters list of Chandigarh. A number of them had cast votes at both places, they said.

Mr Goel said, “I was stunned to see some of my colleagues casting votes in Chandigarh, although they practise in Ludhiana and their names were entered in the voters’ list for Ludhiana.” Thereafter, he, along with other supporters, checked the entire voters’ list minutely and found that about 50 advocates, mostly staunch supporters of Dhanda, were enlisted as voters in both Chandigarh and Ludhiana lists on the same enrolment number.

In order to conceal the irregularity, three Ludhiana-based lawyers had either suffixed or prefixed surnames or short names to show two different identities in the voters’ lists of Chandigarh and Ludhiana, added Goel.

Mr Goel emphasised that an FIR should be lodged against the lawyers who had got themselves enrolled twice or thrice. He accused Dhanda for the entire episode, as according to him, only he could manage such things, being sitting member of the Bar Council.

Mr Hardasdeep Singh Rana, chairman, and Mr Malwinder Ghumman, president of OYL, said entire episode had brought a bad name to lawyers’ community. That’s why they had made a written representation to the Bar Council of India, the Chief Justice of India and the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court for initiating an inquiry into the large-scale bogus voting.

Mr Harish Rai Dhanda has refuted all allegations levelled against him, terming these as baseless. He said allegations were being levelled due to political reasons by the disgruntled candidates.

“I am a candidate for the post of the president of the District Bar Association in the forthcoming annual elections going to be held on December 20. To defame me, a person, who wishes to contest for the same post, is managing all such things. But I have no problem”, he said.

When asked about the presence of the names of Ludhiana lawyers in the voters’ list of Chandigarh, Mr Dhanda said it appeared to be a typing mistake. One month before the final roll, preliminary roll was published, notified and circulated to all bar associations, seeking objections and corrections to it. Why they had not raised any objections at that time, he said.



SDE (Telecom) held for accepting bribe
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 25
A Sub-Divisional Engineer of the Telecom Department was caught red-handed while accepting a bribe of Rs 1, 000.

The accused, Shashi Bhushan, is posted at Ropar and was nabbed by a team of the Vigilance Bureau, Ludhiana range, while accepting a bribe of Rs 1, 000 as the first instalment of the total settled amount of Rs 2, 000 for releasing a telephone connection.

Giving details, Mr Kanwar Paul Singh Sandhu, SP, said Kuldeep Kumar, a resident of Patiala, had applied for a connection for his stone-crushing unit situated at Bela village. After failing to get the connection, he approached the SDE who demanded money for getting the work done.

Kuldeep Kumar brought the matter to the notice of the Vigilance authorities. A trap was laid by a team of Vigilance sleuths headed by Mr Saroop Singh, DSP, and the SDE was caught red-handed in his office in the presence of Mr Davinder Singh and Mr Narinder Singh, XEN and SDO of the Drainage Department.

Mr Sandhu said an FIR had been registered under Sections 7, 13(2) and 88 of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Mr Sandhu has appealed to the people to come forward to inform the Vigilance Bureau about corrupt officials, so that the guilty could be punished.



BJP seeks dismissal of Mufti govt
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 25
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today came out strongly against the Jammu and Kashmir Government, headed by Mr Mufti Mohammed Sayeed, charging it with soft pedalling the militants and other disruptive forces, which had stepped up their acts of violence in the state. Condemning the terrorists attack at Raghunath Temple in Jammu, in which several persons were killed and many others injured, the party sought dismissal of the Mufti government and placing the state under the President’s rule.

An emergency meeting of the district unit of the party, presided over by Mr Harbans Lal Sethi here today observed that the state government’s stand against POTA and efforts to secure release of detained militant leaders had led to increase in the cross-border terrorism and many precious human lives were lost in the process. The party functionaries observed two minutes silence to pay tributes to the victims of terrorist attack in Jammu.

Among others, the party vice-president, Mr Pran Nath Bhatia, Mr Ramesh Sharma, Mr Rajinder Khatri, Mr Pushpendra Singal, Mr Balwant Rai Mattu, Mr Harish Tandon, Mr Balraj Singh, Dr Subhash Verma, Mr Bhushan Verma, Mr Ruldu Ram Garg, Mr Sat Pal Bhandari attended the meeting.

Meanwhile, in a separate statement, the Punjab Crime Prevention Bureau has termed the attack on the place of worship in Jammu as most unholy, cowardly and inhuman act which deserved to be condemned in strongest words.

Mr Gurinder Sood, president of the bureau, called for immediate and effective steps, both by the Centre and the state government to safeguard the life and property of the people and to curb the activities of militant groups.



Abandoned infant gets new lease of life
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 25
‘From certain death to a bright future’ is the story of an infant girl, who was thrown in a canal near Mandi Ahmedgarh and was given a new lease of life by members of a city-based family who impressed upon their relatives to adopt her. The infant girl was found by a social worker from near the bank of the canal near Jandiali village on Saturday morning. The child was lying in a bush. The social worker heard the screams of the girl and rescued her immediately.

He handed her over to the police. She was taken to a nursing home in Mandi Ahmedgarh where doctors declared that she was only one-day old. Later, she was shifted to a hospital in Malerkotla where an old woman overheard two doctors talking about the girl. She immediately spoke to her relatives who expressed their willingness to adopt the girl.

The girl would be adopted by the relatives of a city-based family who would soon be reaching the city to take her along. The family, however, did not want to be identified.

The old woman told Ludhiana Tribune that the childless couple wanted a male child, but after she impressed upon them, they decided to adopt the girl. She said she made them realise that this girl needed home more than any other child on the earth.

The social worker, who had rescued the girl, said when he spotted her it was quite cold in the morning. He said it looked as if her relatives had deserted her in the canal only to die. But fate had something else in store for her. Instead of meeting a cruel end, she reached the hands of a millionaire family.



‘Accord proper respect to ex-servicemen’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 25
The district administration has provided financial assistance worth more than Rs 62 lakh to the ex-servicemen and their families during the first six months of the current financial year under the different welfare schemes for the ex- servicemen started by the government. This was stated by Mr Rahul Bhandari, ADC(G), while addressing the quarterly meeting of the District Sanik Welfare Board here today.

Mr Bhandari said the state government was committed to accord proper respect to the ex-servicemen and sufficient financial assistance to the families of the martyrs. Giving scheme wise details, the ADC informed that during the past six months, 83 elderly ex-servicemen had been provided with old-age pension amounting to Rs 24 lakh and a financial assistance of Rs 15 lakh was disbursed to 230 gallantry medal awardees by the District Sanik Welfare Board.

To provide medical assistance to 23 serious ex-servicemen patients, an amount of Rs 12 lakh have been spent and travelling allowance amounting to Rs 2.81 lakh have been given to ‘veer naris’ (widows of army martyrs) in the district, he added.

The ADC directed all the officers concerned in the district to accord proper respect to the ex-servicemen and their families, when ever they visit their offices in connection with any work and to dispose of the cases of serving Army men on priority basis keeping in view the circumstances of their service.

Wg Cdr M.S. Randhawa, Deputy Director, Sanik Welfare Board, informed that the Board was extending financial assistance and all kind of help to the ex-servicemen and families and help in the re-employment of ex-servicemen in government and private sectors. He informed that during the current financial year, a grant of Rs 2.85 lakhs have been released for the marriages of daughters of ex-servicemen and a distress grant of Rs 1.5 lakh was given to 122 ex-servicemen and their dependents.

He further said that financial assistance of Rs 1.60 lakh have been disbursed among 16 Army personnel affected during Blue Star Operation and 10 sewing machines have been given through the administration to the needy widows of ex-servicemen. He said that Rs 2 lakh have been released to the dependents of six ex-servicemen as distress grant.

Among others who were present on this occasion include Brig. Jagdev Singh, Vice-President, District Sanik Welfare Board, and SDMs of all the subdivisions.



INA veteran dead
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 25
An Indian National Army (INA) veteran, who was a prominent member of National Volunteers Core for Civil Defence after Independence, Balwant Singh, died in his village, Brij Hari Singh in Raikot, on November 19 here. He was an octogenarian.

He was cremated the same day in his village and his cremation was attended by officers of the Raikot administration.

Balwant Singh had joined Netaji Subhas Chander Bose, INA supremo in 1935 after deserting the British Army, which he had joined the same year. Balwant Singh had participated in the freedom struggle of India in 1942 and had fought in the World War II.

The INA veteran was sentenced to death by the Army court of the British after the war and was lodged in Bahadurgarh Jail at Delhi. In the meantime India was declared Independent — and he served in the National Volunteers Core for civil defence and gave training in civil defence in gram rakshak dal, Punjab.

He was awarded Tamar Patra in 1972 by then Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi for his services in the struggle for freedom. He was a mechanised farmer of the village till his death.

He is survived by his wife and a daughter. His son-in-law, Mr J.S. Grewal, has retired as Chief Engineer from the Punjab State Electricity Board.

Antim ardas for the freedom fighter would be performed in his native village.



Chhatrapati’s death: scribes seek probe
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 25
The Punjab Journalists Association has demanded a CBI enquiry into the death of Sirsa-based journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati who succumbed to injuries after being allegedly shot at by followers of the Dera Sacha Sauda sect.

At a meeting held here today, members of the association expressed their condolences with the bereaved family and demanded a strict action against the perpetrators of the crime. “ It is an attack on the entire media fraternity and arms licenses of the sect management committee members should be immediately cancelled,” they demanded. Association president B S Sidhu appealed to the people to come forward and help them expose and prevent such incidents.



SHO relinquishes charge
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 25
Sub-Inspector Dogar Ram today relinquished the charge of SHO of Kumkalan police station almost four days after the Deputy Commissioner had ordered his ouster for his alleged involvement in the Bhupana landgrabbing case.

The orders had kicked off a controversy. Senior police officers had told him to stay put. Meanwhile, Mr Randhir Singh has been posted as SHO in place of Dogar Ram. It must be mentioned here that when the Chief Minister visited the city for participating in the Bridge championship recently some police and administrative officials had a heated exchange near the heliport over the issue.



Labourer murdered
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, November 25
Ramu (22) of Bihar working as a labourer here was found murdered in his servant quarter in a pool of blood with multiple sword injuries in a hospital at Nanaksar and the local police has registered a case under Sections 302 and 341, IPC, on the statement of Didar Singh, sevadar of Baba Sadhu Singh of Gurdwara Nanaksar.

According to the statement of the complainant, the labourer had been working for the past two years on daily wage and was provided a servant quarter to work as a watchman also. He was found murdered by the said sevadar.

According to information, the police has not been able to establish any cause of the murder.

Liquor seized: Mr Swaran Singh, ASI, CIA staff, while on patrolling from the G.T. Road to Malak arrested Piara Singh of Moti Bagh, Jagraon, near Drainage Malak and seized form his possession 18 bottles of country liquor but could not show any permit to the police. The local police has registered a case under Sections 61/1/14 of the Excise Act against the accused.



Cyber cafe owner booked
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 25
The city police has booked a cyber cafe owner in BRS Nagar for allegedly displaying pornographic material in his cafe here today.

Sandeep Sharma of Spot Cyber cafe was booked under Sections 294 of the Copyright Act for allegedly displaying pornographic material. Further investigations are on.



Food Expo 2K2, a treat for connoisseurs
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 25
Food lovers will have a chance to try varied dishes from different cuisines in a three-day exhibition, beginning from December 14. The Food Expo 2K2 is the first event of its kind to be held in Punjab. The objective is to bring the food and its associated industries under one roof where they all get an opportunity to show their achievements, identify new partners and share their expertise on an equal footing.

Organised by Excelsior, the event has some big players in the food business, along with local food manufacturers. Companies, including Nestle, Cremica, Dawat, Priya Gold, Nutrella, Coca Cola, Hercules and Uttam Ghee, will participate in the event.

This exhibition is specially designed and packaged to help professionals and related companies to know about the latest happenings in the food industry at the global level. It will also serve as an opportunity for upcoming aspirants in the business to join hands with multinationals for better growth.

Seven sectors of the global food market will be showcased with health and nutrition topping the list, followed by processed food, bakery and confectionery, speciality pavilions displaying delicacies of different cuisines, including Mexican and Japanese, dairy and poultry stalls, beverages, trade federation, publishers and associations.

Awards will be given to those giving superlative presentations. Members of five local ladies clubs have been asked to participate in cooking competitions and best recipes will be awarded. Another interesting feature is an on-the-spot cooking competition. Ingredients will be provided and competitors will have to cook on-the-spot. Prizes will be sponsored by well-known names, selling household gadgets. The event will also recognise the importance of consumers by attracting the public and spreading awareness for quality branded food.

The exhibition will provide face-to-face interaction with target consumers with an immediate feedback. Buyer-seller meets are being organised at all levels in the morning sessions from 10 am to 3 pm.

Entry for institutions like hotels, Home Science colleges and catering college is from 10 am to 1 pm, invitation entry for buyer-seller meet is from 1 pm to 3 pm and free entry for the public from 3 pm onwards.

Mr Gurinderjit Singh of Hygiene Poultry Private Limited told mediapersons that many myths would also be cleared in peoples’ minds. Most people like to get a chicken killed in a shop which is an unhygienic practice. Frozen chickens were safer, he said. Besides, working women would get to know a variety of microwavable, curried chickens besides the usual butter or tandoori chicken.

This event is sponsored by American Soya Association, Coca Cola and Hotel Maharaja. The Tribune is the official media sponsor.

It will provide a platform for the food industry to display their latest products and connoisseurs of food will get an opportunity to whet their taste buds by sinking their teeth in some mouth-watering dishes. 


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 |