Saturday, December 14, 2002, Chandigarh, India

L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Induction furnaces, re-rolling industry face crisis
Kuldeep Bhatia

Ludhiana, December 13
The steel induction furnaces in the city and the steel town of Mandi Gobindgarh are facing a major crisis. Three furnace units have already downed their shutters during last one month and many more are about to follow suit. Thanks to the ‘unjustified’ hike in power tariff and the ‘adamant’ attitude of the PSEB management to enforce the hike with retrospective effect that the units, still afloat in the face of heavy odds, are running only for 12 hours a day against their normal working of 21 hours.

According to Mr P.D. Sharma, President, Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry, with the increase in power tariff weighing heavily on the power-intensive industries, the plight of re-rolling mills was no better. The rolling mills were already neck deep in financial crisis and majority of the units were unable to supply rolled products to steel using industry for a variety of reasons.

‘‘The main reason for the steel furnaces getting sick is the low realisation cost. Against availability of steel scrap at about Rs 9,700 per metric ton, the realised cost is only around Rs 3,200 per ton while the actual cost incurred is more than Rs 4,000,’’ he added.

With this simple economics, the steel furnace industry could not afford to sustain continuous loss. The upward revision of power tariff had further added to the pitiable condition of the industry. As a result, almost 50 per cent of the furnace units in Mandi Gobindgarh were also on the verge of closure, added Mr Sharma.

He rued that unmindful of the crisis facing the steel furnace industry, the Central Excise Department was putting all kinds of pressure on it for generating more revenue. The fact that almost all units were running at less than half the installed capacity, was being completely overlooked and the units were being forced to pay Central excise on deemed production.

‘‘The PSEB and the Central Excise Department will do well to see the ground reality and take timely remedial steps lest this vital sector of industry should reach a point of no return and cause irreparable damage to industrial economy of Punjab,’’ Mr Sharma added.



PFA blamed for sambhar’s death
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 13
A sambhar, spotted near Chander Nagar in the morning today, died due to alleged negligence on part of an official of the People For Animals (PFA). Area residents alleged that the authorities concerned could easily have caught the animal, if trained persons had been sent and slight caution was exercised while catching the animal that had strayed into the locality.

Mr Vicky, a shopkeeper in the area and an eyewitness to the incident, said the PFA official was responsible for the death of the sambhar. While talking to Ludhiana Tribune, he said the sambhar was spotted in the morning by residents of the locality who thought it to be some dangerous animal. “I saw the animal and told the people to maintain calm as it was a sambhar. I called up the PFA officials who assured that they would soon be sending their team to catch the animal. But I was shocked to see when the ambulance of the PFA arrived with only one driver. It was impossible for one person to catch the animal”, he added.

When the driver of the van failed to catch the animal, took help of the passers-by, who held the rope (which was around the neck of the animal) tightly to get control over the animal. “I was surprised to learn that the PFA ambulance did not have any first-aid kit. I rushed to the nearby chemist shop to get an injection for sedating the animal, but by the time I came back, the sambhar had already died due to asphyxia. The untrained persons had pulled the rope very tightly. Had some trained PFA team been sent, the animal could have easily been taken away. The slogan of the organisation is ‘Love animals and save environment’ but it is unfortunate that people who care for animals, sometimes neglect them”, he alleged.

Dr Sandeep Jain, president of the local branch of the People For Animals, said, “This was the job of the Forest Department, still we sent the driver to catch the animal. The driver had been thoroughly trained by the department”.

However, he denied that the animal had died due to negligence on part of the PFA. He said if at all there was any negligence, it was on the part of the Forest Department.



Tackling vehicular pollution
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, December 13
The decision of the district administration to rejuvenate the local bus service in the city with the introduction of more buses is a welcome step, but the problem of vehicular pollution is not as simple as is being perceived by the authorities. It is a multi-dimensional problem which ought to be tackled in more than one ways with a strong will, feel the city residents.

Mr Hitendra Jain, general secretary for Resurgence India, has suggested certain measures for proper management and regulation of traffic to reduce vehicular pollution. He said since the vehicular problem has assumed alarming dimensions in the city, it is imperative to fight this monster aggressively.

Mr Jain suggested that the public transport buses proposed by the administration should have zero emission rates, which is unlikely with regular diesel buses. The existing autorickshaws should be fitted with electronic catalytic converters and fare-meters and allowed only on charter basis. These auto-rickshaws should not be allowed to carry more than three passengers, as the engines are over-burdened due to higher load, resulting in more pollution. All existing vehicles, petrol or diesel, should compulsorily be fitted with electronic catalytic converter (instead of exhaust catalytic converter) and should carry a proof of such fitment. New vehicles complying with Euro II or Bharat II emission standards should only be registered.Pollution tax should be imposed on all the vehicles to check the spurt in the population of vehicles and the revenue generated should be utilised for improving public transport system and roads. The provisions of Environment Protection Act, 1986, should be strictly enforced to check adulteration of fuel by the retail outlets of oil companies or the vehicle owners. Adulteration of fuel and lubricants should be made a cognizable and non-bailable offence.

Mr Jain also suggested that proper management and regulation of traffic was also necessary to reduce vehicular pollution. The encroachments on all the roads, footpath, parking areas etc by shopkeepers, commercial complexes, motor mechanics and workshops, rehris, vendors, rickshaws, unauthorised parking should be strictly removed. The area officers of the police and Municipal Corporation should be held personally responsible for any violations detected in their respective jurisdiction. Commercial complexes and public institutions without adequate parking space, should not be sanctioned. Cranes should be positioned on the main roads to remove abandoned or wrongly parked vehicles. Speed limit of the vehicles should also be fixed and religiously enforced, At high speeds, fuel consumption and exhaust pollution increases. Exclusive laning system for cycles, rickshaws and other slow moving vehicles should be implemented wherever feasible.

Religious processions, marriage processions, marches, morchas, political and social gatherings or functions should be banned on public roads. Roads are often encroached by pitching tents and erecting gates by religious and political organisations that causes traffic bottlenecks.

Mr Jain said that a committee should be formed to coordinate road-cutting activities of public utility services like BSNL, Municipal Corporation, PWD, and PSEB etc. It is often seen that roads are dug immediately after their laying or repair in the absence of coordination.



City parts to go without power tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 13
A major part of the city will remain without power, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., on Sunday due to urgent maintenance work. According to sources, the work is being carried out following a directive from PSEB authorities. As a part of the exercise, repair of old transformers, overhead transmission wires and other allied works will be carried out.

The sources said power supply to areas that get supply from the 66 KV station at Inder Park would remain suspended. Supply from 66 KV sub-stations at Dhandari Kalan and Giaspur, 11 KV stations at Vashisht, Razebo, Kular, Rockman, Central Jail, Jagraon Cycle, Seiko, GB Auto would also remain suspended.

Power supply to Miller Ganj, Pearl, Commonwealth, Dholewal, RK, CMC, Kailash Nagar, MTS, West tubewell, Link Road, Textile, Brown Road, Oswal, Raj and Sandeep Feeder would remain suspended from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Supply to T 2 transformer of 66 KV sub-station Dhandari - 2, DC Steel, Sambhav Spinning, Aliance Shreyans, Adinath, Jyoti Steel, CL Engg, Manish Forgings, Surinder Cycles, Mukesh Strips, Hero Cycles, Saru Steel, RK Concast and Avery Cycles would remain suspended from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Supply to Transport Nagar, Shivaji Nagar, Hira Nagar, Hargobind Nagar, Kashmir Nagar, Moti Nagar, Tajpur road, Samrala road and Shingar feeders would also remain suspended from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Power supply to Kanganwal, Sahnewal, Giaspura, Vishkarma Alloys, Oswal Alliance, Anand Mangal, Dapsun, Gobind Rubber, Metro Seiko, Waryam Steel, Amar Udyog, AS Alliance, Hindustan and Gagan Furnance would remain suspended from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Supply to 66 KV sub-station on the Ferozepore road, Sunet, telephone exchange, Bharat Nagar, milk plant, PAU, Gurdev Nagar, Rajguru Nagar, Barrewal, MES 1- 2, Pakhowal road colony, Sarabha Nagar, Model Gram, Agar Nagar, Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, Mall Road, Sant Isher Singh Nagar, Gulmohar, Khalsa College, Feroze Gandhi Market and the ESI Feeder would also remain suspended from 9 am to 4 pm.



Beware of foreclosing your loan account
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 13
Fore closing your loan account may not be a gainful proposition. Not at least with the ICICI Bank. Even if you want to deposit the balance amount of your loan in one go, the bank will charge you the total interest you are supposed to pay along with the installments.

This was learnt in a hard way by the RD Saluja Hosiery. It got a loan for Rs 2.5 lakh from the ICICI Bank, Ludhiana, to be repayed in 24 equal monthly instalments of Rs 11,300 each. When the unit signed an agreement with the bank, it was told that in case of the foreclosure of the account, that means in case the party wants to pay the remaining instalments in a one go at any stage, it would be charged with an interest of 2 per cent on the pending amount.

The unit paid 17 instalments regularly without any default or bouncing of cheques. Recently it decided to repay the pending amount in one go.

Against the earlier agreement of 2 per cent interest, the bank asked for 4 per cent interest. An official of the hosiery unit pointed out that this was totally unfair and unjustified on part of the bank, since it had earlier committed an interest rate of 2 per cent only and it had been given in writing also.

This has raised the question about the benefit of repaying the loan amount together in one go. “This is quite surprising and unheard of. Why should a customer pay the amount together when he is to be penalised for it?” he asked.

When contacted the concerned official, he said only the local in charge could comment on the subject. Even the local head also refused to comment saying it was only the people in Mumbai head office, who were authorised to talk to the Press. He said he had nothing to comment on the particular case even when it was pointed out to him that the customer was being charged 4 per cent interest when he had been committed only for 2 per cent rate of interest.

Some banking sources disclosed that this was a common practice prevailing in most of the private banks. However, they admitted that the 4 per cent interest was too exorbitant and it was totally unfair. 



Tangri not released despite bail orders
A Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 13
Shiv Sena Rashtrawadi’s chief Jagdish Tangri could not be released from jail today despite the grant of bail by the Punjab and Haryana High Court and issuance of release warrants by the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Ludhiana, since the cops had submitted production warrants for him in another case.

The police of police station Division No 3 today got production warrants from the court of Judicial Magistrate Balwinder Kumar. The police officials did not apprise the court that the accused had been granted bail by the High Court. In the application, submitted before the court, they only mentioned that they wanted to arrest Jagdish Tangri in connection with the Godhra’s case. As Mr Jaspal Bhatia, Additional Sessions Judge, Ludhiana had directed the police to serve today’s notice upon the accused, “we served the same on December 12 upon the accused in jail after the permission of the jail authorities, submitted police officials in the court. Thereafter, the court issued the production warrants. When contacted, the jail authorities said they are unable to release Tangri in view of the issuance of production warrants by a city court.

Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel of the Punjab and Haryana High Court had granted him bail on Thursday, in a case registered against him, his son and three others on July 6,2002 under Sections 302/115/148/149 of the IPC at police station Division No 3. He is also facing charges under the Explosives Act and 25 of the Arms Act.

According to prosecution, Jagdish Tangri alongwith his son abetted the others for launching a ‘murderous attack on the police party if they conduct a raid in Gur Mandi’. Sunil Tangri allegedly distributed petrol bombs and other weapons to their workers.

The trial is pending against Tangri and his son, Sai Dass, Harwinder Pal Singh, Yadwinder Singh in the court of Mr J S Bhatia, Additional Sessions Judge, Ludhiana. On the last hearing, the court recorded the statement of accused turned approver- Yadwinder Singh and of one Vipin Thapar. Now that trial is fixed for Jan 14, for recording the evidence of prosecution witnesses.



Food Expo begins today
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 13
Food Expo 2k2 is being organised at Hotel Maharaj Regency from December 14. According to Mr Maninder Singh Sethi, organiser of the expo, “It is a pioneering specialised exposition designed to provide the entire food industry and its associates with lavish platform to showcase their achievements, products and expertise”.

He said the first ever food exhibition was receiving a good response from the industry and was being keenly awaited by the people. He pointed out that this was probably because of the curiosity among the Punjabi about the new things. He said, “this exhibition will be providing the people with an excellent opportunity to enjoy grand display of various sectors of the industry and take home good discounts and bargains as well”.

The mega event, according to Mr Sethi, was expecting to receive at least 1.5 lakh people including institutions and professionals besides the general public. Interactive and promotional seminars by eminent professionals will also be organised.

Mr Vikas Shrivastava, general manager of the hotel said the hotel was also organising a food festival to coincide with the food expo. He said it would be a fusion concept where the best cuisine of the world would be available.

The Food Expo will be inaugurated by the Punjab Minister for Health, Mr R.C. Dogra, while Dr Virgil Miedema, Regional Director (South Asia) of the American Soyabean Association, will be the guest of honour on the occasion.

The main features of the exhibition include health and nutrition, processed food, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian, bakery and confectionary, dairy and poultry, beverages, trade federation and publishers and specialised machinery related to the food industry. The entry to the expo will be free.



Growing disillusionment among Cong workers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 13
There seems to be growing disillusionment among the Congress workers in Ludhiana. While on the one hand there are growing expectations among the workers after the formation of their “own government”, on the other hand they feel that the grassroot workers are yet to be convinced that it is really a Congress government. Most of the workers have been venting their ire at the local MLAs, incidentally all of whom belong to the Congress, and also the local administration, which they say is at best indifferent and at worst hostile.

A number of middle-rung Congress leaders having represented the party in various capacities confided that there was widespread disillusionment among the workers. “Earlier we did not have any grievances with the administration as it was the Akali-BJP government. Now the workers ask us as why did they vote for Congress at all particularly after getting raw deal at the hands of the legislators and the administration”, said a party leader.

Another leader pointed out that the disillusionment among the workers had crossed all limits. And it is duly being reflected in the functioning of the party. He pointed out, “had it not been so, the Congress rally supposed to be addressed by the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) president H.S. Hanspal should not have witnessed an attendance of a handful of workers”. He said it was not deliberate as it was being made out to be nor was it the failure of the District Congress Committee. But it was the genuine sense of disillusionment among the workers who have nowhere to go and nobody to look towards.

Even some of the ministers who keep on visiting Ludhiana from time to time do not interact much with the party workers. “They come unannounced and drive straightway to the Circuit House or some hotel and make a quiet exit”, another leader disclosed. He said even the workers are questioning the purpose of the regular and frequent visits of these ministers and the PCC president, particularly when they do not meet the workers here.

The workers have appealed the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, to take note of the situation. They said Ludhiana is already slipping out of Congress hands and it would be better if the drift is arrested immediately. Otherwise it would be too late for the party and the indications are already there for everybody to see and take note of. The leaders maintained that the Chief Minister should address an open darbar of the workers where everyone would be free to express his feelings independently.



Machhiwara BDPO ‘misusing’ samiti funds
Our Correspondent

Machhiwara, December 13
How far has the anti-corruption drive launched by the state government been successful, can be easily assessed by allegations levelled against the Block Development and Panchayat Officer (BDPO), Machhiwara Mr Rana Partap Singh, for misappropriation of samiti funds.

Though complaints regarding this, have been lodged by the president of Panchayat Secretary Union Block Machhiwara, Mr Devinder Singh, on the basis of documentary proofs sent to the Chief Minister Punjab Department of Vigilance Bureau, the Rural Development and Panchayat Department Punjab and the District Administration, Ludhiana, but no action has been taken so far.

Showing the photocopies of proofs, Mr Devinder Singh told mediapersons that the official had used the diesel provided by the government in his personal vehicle instead of using it in the government Jeep. On November 8 when samiti’s driver, Amarjit Singh, was on leave, he purchased the diesel from the account of the Block Samiti and used it in his car. Moreover, in the log book he entered that on that day he was travelling between Machhiwara and Ludhiana and Punjab and Haryana High Court. As per the official guidelines one can travel outside the District only with the prior approval of the District Panchayat officials. He had shown that he travelled 277 km without the presence of the driver on that day.

Again on November 18, when both the BDPO and the driver were on leave, he (the BDPO) showed in the ‘log book’ that he had visited various villages of this block.

The union has demanded strict action against the guilty official as early as possible as he was trying to temper with the entries already marked in the log book and the attendance register.

When Mr Rana Partap Singh was contacted he refused to comment on the charges levelled against him but alleged that Mr Devinder Singh had been doing these things because he was transferred to another panchayat circle.



Sikh leaders join SAD
Our Correspondent

Amloh, December 13
A new strategy will be evolved and declared at the political conference to be organised on December 16 on Shaheedi Zor Mela at Fatehgarh Sahib, said Capt Kanwaljeet Singh, General Secretary SAD and a former Minister while addressing the activists of the party in Anaj Mandi here yesterday. The Akalis were determined to expose the failures of the Congress government in the state at the conference.

For the success of the conference duties would be assigned to the party workers in a meeting, which has been convened at Fatehgarh Sahib on Saturday, the Captain said.

Mr Tirlok Singh Cheema, Mr Baldev Singh, Kotla-Sullemann, Mr Sukhwinder Singh Jalwheri, Mr Balveer Kaur Cheema, Mr Daljeet Khojemajra, Ms Mukhtiar Kaur Isrhail and Ms Surjeet Kaur declared to join the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) as stated by Mr Swarn Singh Chinarthal, district president of SAD. He further said that all of them had joined the party along with their companions. Capt Kanwaljeet Singh presented siropas to the newcomers.



Ban religious conversions: Shankaracharya
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 13
Puri Peethadheeshwar Jagdaguru Shankaracharya Swami Nishchalanand Saraswati, who arrived here yesterday afternoon, said while addressing a press conference in Aggar Nagar here that the dominance of foreign companies in the domestic market must be checked if the unity and integrity of the country were to be safeguarded.

While favouring more security at religious places in the country, including temples, gurdwaras and mosques, he urged the government to ban religious conversions.

He also called upon all political parties to give accent to the construction of Ram temple at Ayodhya.

Earlier, on his arrival in the city, he was accorded a welcome by Mr Krishan Chand Gupta, president of Puri Parishad, Mr Balbir Gupta, Mr Narayan Dev Goyal, Mr Vineet Nijhawan, Mr Rohit Sharma, Mr Jagan Nath Bansal, Mr Goal Lal, Mr G.L.Sharma, Mr Raj Kumar Jindal, Mr Satish Gupta, Mr Sat Pal Parbhakar, Mr Vinod Mahajan, Mr Ajay Sharma and Mr Subhash Bansal and others. Students of Shri Gita Sanskrit Vidyalaya, Threeke, recited hymns to welcome the Shankaracharya.



Govt employees await release of DA
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 13
Widespread resentment prevails among the government employees over failure of the state government to release installment of dearness allowance (DA) despite assurance by the Punjab Finance Minister, Mr Lal Singh. It was quite irksome for the employees that the Punjab cadre IAS and IPS officers had already got the enhanced DA while others were being denied the same.

In a statement here today Mr Yash Pal Ghai, additional general secretary, Government Pensioners Association, said that more than seven lakh government employees, including those employed in various boards and corporations, were sore at the step motherly treatment in the release of DA installment due from July this year. The Union Government, as well as other states like Haryana, UT administration of Chandigarh and Andhra Pradesh had already released the DA for their employees and pensioners.

He further observed that non releaseing the DA would be a blatant deviation from the Central pattern that was being followed by the Punjab Government for the past 30 years in the matter of granting DA to neutralise the price rise. "The Punjab Government must realise that DA is not a charity but a compensation for price rise."



PIL to rehabilitate ‘fit’ beggars
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 13
In a public interest litigation (PIL) filed before the Punjab and Haryana High Court against the state of Punjab, the Chief Minister and other respondents seeking directions to ensure the implementation of the Punjab Prevention of Beggary Act "in all its aspects with necessary changes, amendments and improvements in consonance with the current situation".

Ludhiana-based organisation, Resurgence India, in its petition, also sought directions for ensuring "social and economic rehabilitation of the physically-fit persons engaged in earning easy livelihood through begging. Taking up the petition, a Division Bench of the High Court, comprising Mr Justice N.K. Sodhi and Mr Justice S.S. Saron, ordered the issuance of notice of motion for February 25. 



Traders donate 100 blankets for war widows
Our Correspondent

The Link Road Traders Association and Ludhiana Scooter Parts Traders Association organised a joint function
The Link Road Traders Association and Ludhiana Scooter Parts Traders Association organised a joint function in which 100 blankets were presented for the war widows in Ludhiana on Friday. — A Tribune photograph

Ludhiana, December 13
Members of the Link Road Traders Welfare Association and the Ludhiana Scooter Parts Traders Association jointly organised a function near Campa Cola Chowk on Gill Road in which 100 blankets were presented to the Army authorities. These blankets would be presented to war widows at a function to be held at Una in Himachal Pradesh on December 14. The Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, and the Chief of the Army Staff designate, Lieut Gen Vij would attend the function.

According to Mr Joginder Singh, a spokesperson of the association, Maj Rajeev Kumar and Capt Jatinder Jaggi of 715 AD Brigade received the blankets. Speakers at the function, including Mr Bhupinder Singh Bagga, Capt V.K. Syal and Mr Sohan Singh assured the members of the armed forces that the trade and industry would not be found lacking as far as the welfare of the Army personnel and their families was concerned.



Police-public meet
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 13
A police-public meeting was organised in the Gur Mandi in which the shopkeepers appraised the cops of the various problems faced by them. The shopkeepers demanded that at least two traffic constables should be posted during the day time to regulate its flow. They also demanded that the entire area should be declared as a one way traffic zone to facilitate the movement of the people. 



Six booked for abducting minor
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 13
The Jodhewal police has registered a case under Sections 363,366 and 506 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Mohinder Pal, a resident of Mangat Colony, against Amarjit Singh, his father Gurdev Singh and four others, all residents of Bal Singh Nagar.

The complainant had alleged that the accused had abducted his minor daughter (17), on November 24 and she has not returned home since then. The accused were also threatening him, he added.

Three booked: Acting on a tip-off that a gang was active in making fake registrations of stolen vehicles before selling the same in the market, the Sarabha Nagar police yesterday registered a case under Sections 420, 467, 468, 471, 379 and 411 of the IPC against Kulbir Singh Chhinna, a resident of Rajguru Nagar, Manjit Singh, a resident of Machhiwara, now living in Delhi, and Harish Kumar, a resident of Ashok Nagar, New Delhi. According to the police, the gang had been active for a long time now. For further investigations, the case has been referred to the CIA wing. Several cases of car thefts were likely to be solved with the arrest of the accused, said the police.

Cases of fraud: The Division No 6 police has registered a case of fraud under Sections 406, 420, 422 and 120-B of the IPC on the statement of Mr Mohinder Singh of Mohinder Dyeing and Finishing, New Madho Puri, against Krishan Kumar and Som Nath of the Vimal Industries, Industrial Area “A”. The complainant had alleged that he had paid Rs 10.50 lakh to the accused for the delivery of two machines to him. But, the accused supplied only one machine which too turned out to be defective. Despite his repeated requests, the accused did not return the money he owed to him, he added.

The Division No 4 police has registered a similar case on the statement of Mr. Ajit Kumar, a resident of Basant Nagar in Shiv Puri, against Gurcharan Singh, Gurdip Singh and Inder Pal Singh, all partners in a mechanical works in Partap Nagar. The complainant had alleged that he had given 22 hosiery machines for repair to the accused who neither repaired the machines nor returned the same .

Another case of fraud was registered at the same police station under Sections 406 and 420 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Gurnam singh, a resident of Model House, against Ashok Kumar and Raj Kumar, who run a jewellery shop in Meena Bazar. The complainant had alleged that he had given 30 gm of gold to the accused for getting some ornaments made from them. But the accused neither made the ornaments as ordered by him nor did they return the gold to him.

The Sahnewal police has registered a case under Sections 406 and 420 of the IPC on the statement of Mr. Harmit Singh, an authorised agent of a firm at Jhabewal village, against three salesmen who allegedly duped the firm of lakhs of rupees. The accused named in the FIR are Jitender Kumar, a resident of Appra village near Phillaur, Sunil Kumar, a resident of Jamalpur and Rajpal, a resident of Rurki village near Phillaur. According to the FIR, Jitender Kumar duped the firm of Rs 20 lakh, Sunil Kumar of Rs. 40,892 while Rajpal misappropriated a sum of Rs 57,649. The accused received the money from the customers of the firm but did not deposit the same with the firm.

The Division No 7 police has registered a case under Sections 406, 420 and 506 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Ram Chander Bhaskar, a resident of EWS Colony, on the Tajpur road, against Abdul Shakur, a resident of street number two of the Muslim Colony. The complainant had alleged that he had paid Rs. 17,000 to the accused as advance money for buying a plot. But the accused neither procured a plot for him nor returned the money to him.

Beaten: On the complaint of Ms Shinder Kaur, a resident of street No 1in Nanak Nagar mohalla, the Shimla Puri police has registered a case under Sections 341, 294, 506 and 34 of the IPC against Paramjit Singh and his brother Gurdev Singh, who live in the same locality. The woman had alleged that the accused intercepted her on the way and teased her. When she objected to their behaviour, the accused beat her up and fled while giving threats, she added.

The Sadar police has registered a case under Sections 341,323,506 and 34 of the IPC on the statement of Ms Davinder Kaur, a resident of Lalton village, against her husband Nirbhai Singh, his brother Kewal Singh and Kewal Singh’s wife Bhajan Kaur. The complainant had alleged that the accused beat her up and also threatened her.

The Koom Kalan police has registered a case of beating under Sections 341, 323 and 506 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Raju Masih, a resident of Koom Kalan, against Davinder Masih of the same village. The complainant had alleged that the accused intercepted him on the way and beat him up.

Dowry case: The Koom Kalan police has registered a case of harassment under Sections 406 and 498-A of the IPC on the statement of Ms Bholi Kaur, a resident of Dholewal, against her husband Gurdip Singh, a resident of Chaunta village. The woman had alleged that the accused subjected her to mental and physical harassment and demanded more dowry.

Shop gutted: The fire broke out at Arora General Store in the light and damaged furniture article. The loss is alleged to be in lakhs. The people of the area rushed to the spot to help extinguish the fire. The fire tenders were called from Moga and Ludhiana which reached after two hours. The cause of the fire is alleged to be the short circuit.

Three injured: More than 15 motorcycle-borne youths armed with sharp-edged weapons injured three persons seriously at the Khalsa School road here late evening on Thursday. The three injured had been rushed to the Civil Hospital. One of them had been sent to Ludhiana hospital due to his critical condition. No arrest any accused has been made till today.

According to information, more than 15 youths riding on Bullet motorcycles attacked on Rajesh Kumar, a tailor, and injured him with sharp-edged weapons. His both hands were injured seriously. Ranjit Singh, a friend of Rajesh, was also injured by the attackers. Another local resident Bhagat Singh, who was reached there to purchase some article, was also injured. Both Bhagat Singh and Ranjit Singh has been admitted at the Civil Hospital, Khanna, while Rajesh had been sent to a Ludhiana hospital. No case has been registered yet.

Woman receives burns: A woman was injured in a fire incident in Guru Teg Bahadar Nagar today evening. According to information, a function was on at the house of Bishambar Dass in connection of a marriage. Ms Seema Rani, daughter-in-law of Bishambar Dass, went to kitchen to prepare some food. As soon as she lighted the gas burner the leaking gas cylinder caught fire. Seema got some burn injuries. A large number of 100 labourers reached the spot after listening the noise and succeeded in taming the fire.



Connect launches services in Mandi Gobindgarh
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, December 13
HFCL Infotel Ltd launched its basic telephony service here under the brand name Connect — experience new worlds’ which is in the continuous process of building wireline and wireless local loop (WLL) access networks in the major towns of the state and 20 towns across the state.

The network in this town would be of world class standards and its subscribers will be able to make and receive calls to and from any part of the world. To begin with the network will be available in Motia Khan, Amloh Road, Sangatpur, Aery Mill Road, Model Town, Dashmesh Colony and left side of the nation highway.

According to a press release issued here, for the Connect subscribers, 95 dialing access was provided PAN Punjab, which meant that any subscriber calling any where in Punjab could do so with having to subscribe to STD facility. Besides Connect recently launched net ready service which allowed free Internet access on all Connect wireline phones and subscriber only pays for the telephone charges, it also offered phone cards, which were prepaid cards that allowed the subscribers to make both local and long distance calls. The USP of the phone card was that the cost of that call was debited to the phone card balance.

It was further stated that the connections would be made available for individual subscribers and public call offices (PCOs) besides other customised telecom solutions for the business in the city. By dialing 1920 the subscribers would have access to Connects 24-hour customer care for any kind of questions. 



PSIEC to reconsider price of industrial plots
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 13
The Punjab Small Industries and Export Corporation (PSIEC) has agreed in principle to reconsider the issues related to allotment of undeveloped land in Industrial Focal Point here in Phase VIII and revision in the rates of industrial plots from Rs 600 to Rs 1033 per sq yd.

This was claimed by Mr Joginder Kumar, president, Ludhiana Electroplaters Association, who led a deputation of the association to meet Mr Mukul Joshi, Principal Secretary, Industry, Commerce, Excise and Taxation at Chandigarh. He said after the meeting, Mr Joshi called up the Managing Director of the PSIEC and directed him to sort out the matter of allotment of eight-acre and six-acre plots in Phase VIII in Focal Point here. The PSIEC was also asked to reconsider the revision of price for industrial plots.

According to Mr Joginder Kumar, Mr Joshi has assured the deputation that no additional tax of 10 per cent would be collected from units enjoying sales tax exemption with retrospective effective from November 6, 2001.

Meanwhile, the Federation of Tiny and Small Industries of India, the Focal Point Association, the Federation of Dyeing Associations, the Ludhiana Electroplaters Association and the trade association have, in a joint statement here today, hailed the announcement by Mr Arun Shourie, Union Minister for Industry and Commerce, that DEP and other export incentives would continue despite the recommendations of the Kelkar Committee. The representatives of industry observed that it was a step in the right direction which would boost the exports.


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