Monday, December 2, 2002, Chandigarh, India

L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Panic among villagers over piece of land
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Villagers discuss the issue concerning a piece of land at Jaspal Bangar village
Villagers discuss the issue concerning a piece of land at Jaspal Bangar village, Ludhiana.

Jaspal Bangar (Ludhiana), December 1
Tension prevailed in Jaspal Bangar village near here today over the resurfacing of an old dispute over the possession of 120 kanals of agricultural land that had been cultivated by two various groups at different times.

Allegations and counter-allegations flowed in the village two days after the incident when a group allegedly tried to plough the piece of land in the presence of 18 persons.

The other group complained to the police, on which the Shimla Puri police registered a case against 18 persons and seized four rifles, two tractors and a car.

While the police maintains that the group led by Sher Jang Singh had tried to occupy the land forcibly despite the fact that it was given on lease to Avtar Singh by Dilbagh Singh Rai, the original owner, the relatives of Sher Jang Singh questioned the role of the police in the entire episode and claimed that the district administration had intervened and cancelled the lease that was in favour of Avtar Singh.

The police also claimed that the group had fired some shots in the air to scare away some workers in the field.

A visit to the village by a Ludhiana Tribune team revealed that panic had gripped the entire village, as the villagers were not ready to divulge details about any such incident.

When asked, the villagers denied that there was any dispute in the village on any piece of land.

Ms Sarabjit Kaur, the sister of Sher Jang Singh, alleged that the police was siding with Dilbagh Singh Rai who was also related to her and there was a dispute over the piece of land and the matter was already in the court.

She said as per the revenue records, the land was in the name of her brothers but Dilbagh Singh Rai had got his name included fraudulently in a recent “girdawari”. She said her brothers had challenged it in a court and the matter was still pending.

She further said the land was given to her family by the “seventh Guru of the Sikhs” years ago as they were looking after a religious place, Langar Sahib. They were taking care of the place even today, so the land automatically belonged to them. She said Dilbagh Singh Rai was her father’s second cousin and he had not lived in the village for years as he was a Canadian citizen.

Mr Malkiat Singh Walia, former sarpanch of the village, said he had not heard any firing of shots in the area on Friday evening as was claimed by the police and other party.

Ms Sarbjit Kaur also alleged that the SHO did not listen to their plea and even threw away some documents that they had shown him to substantiate their stand on the rights of land.

Mr Balraj Singh, SHO, Shimla Puri, said the land had been in the possession of Mr Dilbagh Singh Rai for years and Sher Jang Singh had tried to occupy the land forcibly by bringing at least 17 persons in the fields. He said they were armed with rifles and lathis. The police had nabbed them on the spot.



Helmet-less driving: challaning from today 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 1
Following the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court regarding challaning people riding two-wheelers and pillion and orders for its strict compliance issued to all district police chiefs by ADGP (Security) A.P. Bhatnagar, the Ludhiana police today announced to start the challaning process from tomorrow morning.

Four-wheelers with tinted glasses and supporting black films would also be challaned from tomorrow.

As per the new directions, the vehicle should fulfil the minimum visibility criteria prescribed under the Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989.

The Sikhs who do not wear a turban, and women, who do not support the traditional headgear worn by amritdhari Sikh women, would have to be specifically beware of the challaning process.

Women, whether Sikh or others who cover their heads with dupattas, would also be challaned this time.

Earlier, they were being exempted as Sikh organisations had protested against the challaning move arguing that it amounted to hurting their religious sentiments.

The Sikh men, who wear a parna or safa (small turban) or patka only, would also be challaned under the new directions.

As confirmed by the local Traffic police officials, the implementation of new orders would concentrate mainly on people who enjoyed exemption from challaning earlier.

Mr Gurdial Singh, SP (Traffic), here told TNS that they had decided to start the challaning process from tomorrow.

He said no violator would be spared though the police would also try to educate people about the move.

Earlier the police had been ignoring some violations, but now the orders were specific and direct, he added.

The SP lauded the setting up of a traffic police station in Ludhiana, which was the first of its kind in the state.

The drive was being launched on the orders of ADGP Bhatnagar, who was reportedly directed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court on November 15 to ensure compliance of traffic rules and regulations in the case — Namit Kumar vs Chandigarh Administration.

The orders also stated that permission for using black films on vehicles could be granted only to the ADGP (Security) attached to the Chief Minister, persons protected by the National Security Guards and the DGPs.



Union rivalry delays Barauni Express
Passengers suffer for 2½ hours
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 1
Hundreds of passengers aboard the Mumbai-Amritsar Barauni Express were unduly harassed and stranded for about two-and-a-half hours here today following an unsavoury argument between activists of two rival Railway employees unions over the issue of departure time of the train.

Several other passengers of Malwa Express were also harassed, as the train was forced to wait outside the station for half-an-hour because of the unavailability of space in the station. Barauni Express was held up from 12.30 p.m. to about 3.00 p.m.

However, no case was registered against any person till late evening. The Government Railway Police was preparing its inquiry report on the incident. Sources said it would be given to senior railway officials for necessary action and recommendation of registration of a case, if any.

The trouble started at about 12.30 p.m. in Barauni Express headed towards Amritsar in which several activists of Northern Railway Men’s Union were travelling. The train was scheduled to leave after Shane-e-Punjab and another train. However, feeling that they were getting late, some of the NRMU activists went upto to the TT (cabin) and ‘requested’ him to let their train go first.

The TT (cabin) reportedly belonged to Uttariya Railway Mazdoor Union (URM), and refused to oblige. The argument took a bitter turn when the two other trains were allowed to leave. Soon the difference of opinion developed into a battle of egos fired by the old rivalry between the two unions.

The leaders of the two unions stepped into the melee, which only complicated the matters further. The efforts of the Railway Police, railway station authorities and the Railway Protection Force to solve the crisis proved futile. It was only after two-and-a-half hours that tempers cooled and the train was allowed to move.

All this while, the passengers aboard the train suffered without any fault of their own. Several of them even tried to intervene and solve the crisis but were rudely shaken off on the plea that the matter was between the two unions.

Sources said several passengers also raised slogans against the unionists and criticised them for forgetting their basic duty towards the Railways and the passengers and ‘selfishly’ following their union rivalries.

None of the railway official was also willing to comment on the issue because of the fear of the union leaders. This is the second incident of its kind in the past one week. Few days ago, unions of pantry and carriage staff fought with each other causing injuries to two persons.



Ludhiana to have sky-rail project
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

The project is likely to carry 4.89 lakh passengers daily by the year 2011. The first phase of the project is likely to be commissioned in about seven years. The Local Bodies Department here has moved the proposal to the Punjab Infrastructure Development Board (PIDB), an organisation set up to build mega projects, for taking up the job.

Chandigarh, December 1
Ludhiana, the industrial capital of Punjab, will have a 31.6-km-long light rail transit network on elevated tracks that is popularly called sky-rail network.

The project has been conceived by the Local Bodies Department. Because of heavy concentration of labour force in the city and phenomenal growth in its urban population in recent years, internal roads of the city are choked, especially in morning and evening hours, thus making life hell.

The project is likely to carry 4.89 lakh passengers daily by the year 2011. The first phase of the project is likely to be commissioned in about seven years. The Local Bodies Department here has moved the proposal to the Punjab Infrastructure Development Board (PIDB), an organisation set up to build mega projects, for taking up the job.

According to Mr Sarvesh Kaushal, Secretary, Local Bodies, the department has got a detailed study conducted through Rail India Technical and Economic Service (RITES), a consultancy wing of the Indian Railways, for the project.

The population of the city is likely to increase from 15.38 lakh (floating population included) in 1991 to 24.46 lakh in 2001 and 35.18 lakh in 2021 and travel demand would increase with its demographic and economic growth. According to the study, 24.46 lakh vehicular inter-zonal trips are expected to be generated daily in the city by 2011. The trip assignment for that year on the road network shows that on major traffic corridors, the transport demand is likely to be much more.

The study says the first phase of the project, which has a gestation period of seven years, will comprise a circular corridor and essential arteries of 24.12-km length. The cost of the first phase is estimated at Rs 1192.6 crore at 1999 price level. The operating maintenance cost in the first year of operations after a gestation seven years would be Rs 35 crore. The proposed system would offer an economic internal rate of return of 36 per cent, which is much higher the accepted value.

Mr Kaushal said he had forwarded the project to the PIDB because it had the continuity and perpetual consistency of decision making and implementation, besides specialised facilitators of external funding with the backing of the Finance Department.



Machhiwara-Rahon bridge by June
Our Correspondent

Machhiwara, December 1
Construction work on Machhiwara-Rahon bridge across the Sutlej would be completed till June 30, 2003, said Mr K.R. Lakhanpal, Principal Secretary (Finance ), who came here to inspect the bridge site here yesterday. He was accompanied by Ms Vinny Mahajan, Managing Director, Punjab Infrastructure Development Board, (PIDB) and Kuldeep Singh, Chief Engineer of the board.

Talking to mediapersons, Mr Lakhanpal said all the 26 projects of the PIDB would be completed till June 30, 2003. There was no shortage of funds for these projects, he added. These 26 projects, which cost Rs 550 crore, has been included in the first phase of development. The second phase of development would be started after the completion of said projects. The second phase will include urban infrastructure, transport infrastructure, industrial infrastructure and power infrastructure.

According to Ms Mahajan, these 26 major projects include three bridges — Machhiwara-Rahon, Sidhwan Bet and Mukerian, eight flyovers — Rajpura, Sunam, Khanna, Morinda, Kotkapura, Bathinda, Phagwara, two byepass roads: Morinda and Phagwara and four four-lane roads: Khanna-Nawanshahr, SAS Nagar-Ludhiana, Zirakpur-Patiala and Ropar-Phagwara.

Mr Lakhanpal also added that state government would collect revenue from these projects by toll-tax.



Rati is ‘Ms World Punjaban’ 
Our Correspondent

Aspiring to be the one
Aspiring to be the one: Participants at a preliminary round of the “Dhee Punjaban-2002” contest in Ludhiana on Sunday. — Photo Pardeep Tewari

Ludhiana, December 1
Ms World Punjaban contest came to an end with the final round being held at Punjabi Bhavan here yesterday. The function started early in the evening and went on till midnight.

Rati Brar of Muktsar was crowned “Ms World Punjaban” among the 17 shortlisted contestants. The first runner-up was Bhupinder Jit Siddhu of Sangrur, while the second runner-up was Harsangeetpal of Dabwali. Mandeep Kaur Chaddha of Delhi was given the title of “Ms Beautiful Eyes”. Ekta Rai of Bangalore won the “Gidde ki Rani” title, whereas Amandeep was declared “Ms Beautiful”. Jas Deep Kaur of Patti bagged the “Most Talented” award. “Ms Beautiful Smile” was won by Amandeep Dhillon, while local lass Davinder Kaur was chosen as “Ms Beautiful Hair”.

The traditional attire worn by the contestants comprised “saggi phul”, long danglers, long shirt and 60-yard “ghagra”. The contestants, who came from different parts of the country and abroad were asked to dance on a Punjabi folk song of their choice. After the performance, they were asked questions related to the Punjabi culture. They were also asked to sing “boliyans”. The final round was inaugurated by Mr Tejparkash Singh, Minister for Transport. Mr Malkiat Singh Dhakha, MLA, was the guest of honour. The programme got under way two hours after schedule and the huge crowd that had turned up overwhelmed the organisers.

Dr Harbhajan Gill brought out the aspect of female foeticide through the song “Babul to chori ni ek lori dede”. The contestants danced on Punjabi folk songs like “Jatti ayee”, “Juti kasoori”, “Peri na poori”, “Hai rabba ve sanu turna paya”, “Kala doria”, “Aag paniya vich mein layee raat nu” .

Comedian Bhagwant Mann kept the audience amused with his hilarious anecdotes. The Chairman of the Sabhiacharak Saath Punjab, Mr Jasmer Singh, welcomed the guests. Noted Punjabi singer-turned-actor Harbhajan Mann was presented with “Mahan Punjabi-2002” award.

The judges of the contests were Sukhi Brar, a folk singer, Dr Sunita Dhir, Lecturer in Department of Theatre, Punjabi University, Patiala, Kuldeep Vedi, a senior reporter, and Shamsher Singh Sandhu, a lyricist.



Govt urged to check drug menace
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 1
The people for Common Cause has urged the government to deal firmly with the menace of drugs, which had gripped majority of the youth in the city and elsewhere in Punjab. It wanted a concerted action by the Health Department and police officials against unscrupulous chemists and unregistered practitioners who were indulging in open sale of intoxicating drugs for their monetary gains.

Addressing a rally in Sita Nagar locality here, organised in the course of its campaign against drug abuse, Mr Arun Attri, president, People for Common Cause, emphasised that the police be provided with list of banned drugs and other psychotropic formulations so that a strict vigil could be maintained on sale of harmful and habit-forming drugs and strict action could be taken against the defaulters.

Activists of the People for Common Cause later submitted a memorandum to Mr Rahul Bhandari, Additional Deputy Commissioner, Dr S.N. Tiwari, Civil Surgeon, and Mr Arun Pal Singh, S.P. (headquarters), demanding stern action to check the prolific sale of intoxicating drugs and strict compliance of relevant laws, governing sales thereof. The body had also sent similar memoranda to the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, and the Punjab Minister for Health, Mr Ramesh Dogra, stressing the need for strengthening the enforcement wing of the Health Department.



Servant commits suicide
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 1
A Nepali servant committed ‘suicide’ at his employer’s house in BRS Nagar, here today.

According to sources, Vivek Kumar reported to the police that he left in morning to attend the marriage of a relative and left his 12-year-old servant at home. When he returned at around 4.30 pm no one answered the door bell for a long time.

He informed the landlord and they entered the house through a back window and found the body hanging from the geyser in the bathroom. The police is probing the matter.



1 killed, two hurt in mishap
Our Correspondent

Khanna, December 1
One person was killed and two others were injured in a road accident near Salaudi village on the Samrala-Khanna road last evening.

According to information, Lakhbir Singh (26), resident of GTB, Nagar, Khanna was killed when his scooter collided with a motor cycle while the motorcyclist were injured seriously. The injured, Deepak and Atinder Pal of Samrala, were rushed to Civil Hospital, Khanna from there they were referred to DMC Hospital, Ludhiana.

Elsewhere, The Khanna police has registered a dowry case against in-laws of Sukhwinder Kaur of Goh village.

According to the police, Sukhwinder Kaur was married to Kamaljit Singh of Jargri village five years ago. After two years of the marriage her husband and in-laws allegedly started harassing her for bringing insufficient dowry. They used to demand more dowry and beat her up, fed up with the mistreatment, Sukwinder left her in-laws house but the village panchayat helped the two parties reach a compromise on an assurance that the in-laws would not harass her.

Last week Sukhwinder’s in-laws allegedly beat her up again and tried to kill her. A complaint was lodged with the police and a case under Sections 406 and 498-A was registered against the in-laws. However, no arrest has been made so far as all members of Sukhwinder’s in-laws family are absconding.



Paper industry asked to adopt global technology
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 1
“In the increased competitive scenario, the paper industry needs to adopt international standard of technology and upgrade its manufacturing techniques.” This was stated by Mr D.K. Raina, vice-president (marketing), in his opening remarks at a technical workshop on “Emerging trends in paper machine clothing and chemicals”, organised here yesterday by M/s Wires and Fabriks (SA) Ltd.

The workshop was attended by leading technical executives from paper mills in and around Punjab.

Mr Raina said in the ongoing opening of Indian economy, the paper mills were also modernising their machines and extending their operations. Accordingly, the company had also geared upto measure upto the expectations of the paper industry and provide them with highest standards of quality. “With the upgrade of technology, all paper machine clothing companies have begun to look alike in terms of quality and prices”, he added.

Mr T.G. Sathyanarain, senior vice-president (operations), presented a paper on latest designing in machine clothing's. Mr Stan O. Brian, consultant from Canada, explained the conceptual reference of paper machine operations. Mr A. Sanyal, general manager (chemical division), informed about the product range of the company in the modern generation process chemicals, while Mr P.S. Choudhari, product manager (screens), explained the salient features of their newly launched dry screens.



Knitting contest for workers’ families
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 1
Vardhman General and Spinning Mills Ltd organised a hand knitting contest in its workers colony. The main objective of the contest was to encourage the family members of the workers to come forward and exhibit their skills. Over 60 women participated in the ‘Aao Bune’ knitting contest at Community Centre, Workers Colony.

The contest was organised on the spot and went on for two hours. In the contest, women knitted beautiful patterns, caps, booties and miniature purses and bags with the colourful yarn provided by the company. The judges had a difficult time shortlisting the three best patterns. Apart from the first, second and third prizes, participation prizes were also given to all participants.

Mr Harish Bhatia, product manager, while expressing his views on the knitting contest said, “The knitting contest was organised on the persistent demand of the women. We intend to motivate women and children to revive the art of knitting.”


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 |