Sunday, December 29, 2002, Chandigarh, India

L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Police comes to rescue of shopkeepers
Car bazar dealers told to stop blocking lanes, pavements
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 28
The district police has come to the rescue of shopkeepers of the Feroze Gandhi market, directing car bazar dealers to stop blocking lanes and pavements.

Sarabha Nagar DSP B. S. Bakshi, after visiting the market, found that the shopkeepers had valid points to offer on the issue.

Following this, he reportedly directed the car bazar dealers not to block the lanes, the pavements and the access to ATMs, banks and other establishments.

Stating this here today, Mr S.S. Ghuman, president of the Trader and Property Owners Association, said the shopkeepers were disturbed at the indifferent attitude of MC officials towards their problems. “We took an appointment from a top official of the MC twice, but could not meet him,” said Mr Ghuman.

He said the MC officials had given a cold-shouldered response to their grievances.

Members of the association said after failing to meet the officials, they sought the help of the Mayor, Mr Nahar Singh Gill, who visited the market and gave an assurance of help to the shopkeepers.

Appreciating the police action, the shopkeepers said they were waiting for the day when a change would actually be made at the ground level. So far, however, no progress had been made, said Col Harjap Singh, a shopkeeper in the market.

The market, designed by the local Improvement Trust on the lines of Connaught Place, Delhi, and Sector 17 Piazza in Chandigarh, lost its original plan and design due to the occupation of most of its market space by car bazar dealers.

Both, car dealers and the Traders and Property Owners Association, representing the other shopkeepers, have been at logger heads over the issue for the past several months. The market was not designed for a second-hand car bazar, but had become one of the biggest of its kind in Asia. This has affected the business of the other shopkeepers.

Ludhiana Tribune highlighted the issue recently and subsequently a delegation of shopkeepers met city SSP Harpreet Singh Sidhu, who directed DSP Sarabha Nagar to hold an inquiry into the matter.

The shopkeepers of the market have been up in arms against the car dealers, who, they allege, have encroached upon more than 70 per cent of the open areas of the prestigious market turning it into a car bazar, besides creating severe parking problems and subsequently affecting their businesses.

The shopkeepers allege that though they had spent huge amounts on buying shops in the area, thinking it would develop into an posh market, the occupation of the pavements and other open areas, misuse of parks as washing spaces and discharging dirty water on the roads has sullied its once clean environs.

They allege that second-hand cars, parked by dealers in the market, leave no parking place for visitors, besides causing serious security and fire hazards to high-rise buildings.

The shopkeepers' association has already sent a number of representations to the MC authorities, but nothing had been done so far. Mr Ghuman said the car dealers had made their lives miserable and they were loosing out on business as women shoppers preferred to stay away from the market with car mechanics and workers indulging in eve-teasing and filthy language.

Mr N.K. Monga, another member of the association, said there were around 35 car dealers in the market who had at least 30 to 40 cars parked outside their booths. He said these booths were meant for selling soft drinks, medicines, dairy products and groceries or to be used as studios. But these were allotted to the car dealers who were using the parking places as junk-yards and service stations.

He said on Sundays, women could not visit the market to operate ATMs as many anti-social elements frequented the car bazar.

Mr H.S. Sidhu, General Manager of Ludhiana Stock Exchange located in the market, also lamented the lack of parking space for the people visiting the stock exchange. 



Lockup break: probe begins
Initial findings go against cops
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 28
The district police began a high-level inquiry here today into yesterday’s reported escape of two burglars from the Laddowal police post. Strong action is likely against erring policemen.

Mr Naunihal Singh, Superintendent of Police (City-II) began the investigation and recorded statements of several shopkeepers of the area during this. The police has not admitted, so far, that any such thing has happened.

Sources said the findings of the investigation, so far, point against the personnel of the police post. Mr Naunihal Singh said he was investigating the matter and any action could be taken only after a few days. He said there indeed was a hole in the ceiling of a lockup at the police post, but it was still to be established that some burglars had made it.

There are reports that one of the burglars is the son of a woman Home Guards constable, but the police denies it. Sources in the police said a woman constable could be among his distant relatives, but this, too, was still unconfirmed.

Sources in the police said initial findings showed that the escape had indeed been made. However, it is still not known whether it was with the connivance of some policemen or not. There is also a possibility that the burglars hoodwinked the policemen.

Meanwhile, several shopkeepers of the Laddowal main market gave written statements to the Sadar police in this regard here today. Mr Tejinder Singh, one of them, said their grievance was against the non-registration of the case against the burglars and negligence by the policemen.

The shopkeepers said the police had not taken any action on their complaints of theft and burglary. They had caught the two burglars and handed them over to the police, but were shocked to find that the burglars had escaped from the lockup.

Meanwhile, a delegation of the shopkeepers also met the Ludhiana Deputy Commissioner and apprised him of the situation. The details of the meeting were not available. Laddowal village on the Ludhiana-Jalandhar stretch of the GT Road is in news since yesterday due to a spate in thefts and burglaries, the catching of two burglars by the shopkeepers and their daring escape from the police custody.



PAU experts puzzled at lions’ deaths
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 28
Even as the post-mortem of two more lions, brought dead here from Chhatbir Zoo, yesterday was conducted by PAU veterinary experts, the scientists remained inconclusive on the exact cause of death.

The experts maintained in their opinion the lions were dying due to the dreaded canine distemper disease or because of the pitfalls of massive in-breeding. More than 15 lions have reportedly died at Chhatbir Zoo. PAU experts have visited the zoo a couple of times to ascertain the causes from the symptoms but said they were awaiting some samples of the other sick lions.

Expressing concern at the death of the lions veterinary pathologists of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) said there was an immediate need of taking precautionary measures otherwise the mortality rate would be higher.

While appreciating the efforts of the zoo officials, who were trying their best to contain the disease, Pathologists cautioned that at least 1000 lions had died swiftly in Africa of similar symptoms, identified later as canine distemper, in 1994.

The mysterious death of lions had become a cause of concern for the zoo officials as well as pathologists. The assistance of PAU scientists was taken by the zoo officials after their best efforts could not identify the disease.

Post-mortem remained inconclusive, said PAU sources. Samples of the nervous tissue would be sent to Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI), Bareilly.

Speaking to TNS here today the experts warned that if the disease was not controlled it would assume the form of an epidemic and could even kill all lions.

The scientists said that around 1000 lions were stuck by an out-break of this disease on Serengeti plains in Africa in 1993-94.

The disease was caused by a virus, called canine distemper virus, that was transmitted through the dogs to the lions. The mode of infection in this case could be that the lions were let loose by the authorities in the zoo where they fed on dogs who are the carriers of the virus, the scientists said.

They added that the lions suffered from the staggered movement and tried to climb up on the wall of the enclosure but there was no rise in temperature.

The experts recommend that ring vaccination among the stray dogs within an area of 5 km from the zoo was the only way the disease could be prevented to attack the lions in the zoo.



Where ancestors are worshipped
P.S. Batra

Samrala, December 28
The Saddi community at Otalan village, 2 km from here, is doing something to preseve the sacred memory of its forefathers. In 1984, a modest temple dedicated to Shiv Sati was built here by bringing holy bricks from Tarn Taran. Now, the community has built a platform, a sarover (holy tank) and a memorial at the site with the help of Baba Bhai Dalvari, Mahant Baba Bhupinder Das and Darshan Das and members of the Otal community.

The project is estimated to cost Rs 5 lakh, according to Mr Raj Kumar Saddi, finance secretary of the Saddi Sabha, and Prof Harish Kumar Saddi, general Secretary of the body, and Mr Amar Nath Saddi, body president. The ‘amavasya’ of Bhadon, every year, is observed as Forefathers’ Day by Saddis all over India. Members of the community come from all over the globe to Otalan village to pay obeisance to their ancestors.

The Otal community of the village has helped them by giving them material and monetary support to build the monument. The Baba Bhai Dalvari Temple, dera (‘abode’) of Udasen Sandhus, and Shiv-Sati Mandir in its vicinity have become holy places for thousands of devotees who come here every month.

“The Saddis believe that their ancestors will fulfill their wishes and remove their woes, if they make pilgrimage to these holy places,” says Mr Chhattar Pal Saddi, acting president of the Saddi Sabha. Mr Raj Kumar Saddi, a former sarpanch of Otalan village and chief patron of the sabha, is working hard to see that the project is completed soon. It is, now, only halfway through, he says.



Inspector held on graft charge
Tribune News Service.

Ludhiana, December 28
The Ludhiana Vigilance Bureau today claimed to have caught red-handed an inspector with the Food and Civil Supplies Department while accepting a bribe of Rs 500 in return of a favour from a shopkeeper at Ropar here yesterday.

SP (Vigilance) Kanwarjit Singh told mediapersons here today that continuing with the state government's drive against corruption, a trap was laid for the accused officer, Inspector Gurcharan Singh (grade I) on the complaint of a depot owner, Balbir Singh Sandhu, of Rampur village.

The officer had allegedly demanded a bribe of Rs 1,000 for clearing the stock verification exercise. The shopkeeper informed the Vigilance Department which laid the trap and caught the accused officer red-handed. The Vigilance Officer said the bribe money of Rs 500 has been recovered from the accused. The officer was caught in the presence of two witnesses.



Chill marks economic divide
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, December 28
With the mercury dipping and icy winds blowing, city clubs are busy preparing for big bashes to usher in 2003. There is an atmosphere of gaiety as hotels and restaurants are being dressed up to give a festive look while some people are planning private parties to welcome New Year. Different themes, dress codes, menus, games are being planned.

But that is only one side of the picture. The reality is bitter and for the majority of people, low temperatures means extra efforts to survive. The common man, covering himself with blankets, has to brave the thick fog to go to work. Daily wagers know that no work means no pay. The working conditions are tough and not at all conducive for those not dressed properly.

But it is the womenfolk who have to keep the kitchen fires burning. Those living below the poverty line cannot afford to buy kerosene oil as it is too expensive for them. Wood, too, is also beyond the reach. As a result hundreds of women can be seen cutting dried sticks of trees and grass. After spending an hour or more, they manage to collect a big bundle.

The women, busy with collecting fire wood, are oblivious of swanky cars passing by, and the people sitting in the cars are unaware of the existence of these women.

The women have to carry the burden home as the children are clamouring for food.

Without any rest, they start the fire to make a simple meal for the family. For them the routine never changes, whether it is summers or winters.

Many years have come and gone. So overwhelming are their problems, that the dawn of New Year hardly makes a difference in their lives or offers them any solace. Rather the existence is getting more tough.



Cultural antidote to drug abuse
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 28
The Minister of State for Culture and Tourism, Mr Ashwani Sekhri, has conceptualised an ambitious project to counter the meance of drug abuse in the state. Feeling concerned over a large number of youths falling prey to the drugs, the Minister has decided to counter the drug addiction by way of cultural activities.

Talking to the Tribune, Mr Sekhri said, as a minister of culture he had decided to organise youth and cultural festivals across the state. And the festivals had been planned in such a way that they symbolised the Punjabi culture. The state had been divided into five zones. Five cultural festivals would be organised.

He said, the response to these cultural festivals was quite phenomenal. He pointed out, since these festivals involved a lot of activity thousands of youths would get involved in them. So they would not sit idle. “We want to keep them engaged and channelise their energies in a constructive manner”, Mr Sekhri added.

The cultural festivals would have fabulous prizes also. He said that Rs 2 lakh had been earmarked for the each festival and the prizes would be distributed among the top three performances. The money, he said, had been collected from some non-resident Indians (NRIs) who offered generous help in organising such activities.

The festivals would conclude with a mega event which would be attended among others by the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh. The event would be organised in Patiala. Mr Sekhri said, besides being an attmept to wean away the youth from the drug abuse, it would also help in reviving the Punjabi culture. The focus in these festivals would remain on the traditional Punjabi culture only.

The minister also hinted at the idea of forming the youth and cultural clubs at the village levels. He agreed that there was widespread unemployment in the rural areas. The youths were sitting idle. “We can exploit their creative potential by organising various cultural activities and competitions at the village level so that the real talent come out”, he pointed out, hoping that the project would work well.

Mr Sekhri said that the idea had been accepted by the government and the Chief Minister had also liked it and shown considerable interest in it. He said, the funds would be no problem as there were so many people who were readily coming forward with help. “Because everyone understands that we are embarking on a noble mission aimed as saving our youth for the deadly menace of drug abuse”, he said.



Kisan union flays PSEB move
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 28
The Kirti Kisan Union has condemned the disconnection of tubewell connections in the state and has warned the PSEB authorities that the farmers will be forced to launch an agitation if the board persists with its wrong policy.

According to union vice- president Hardev Singh Sandhu, power connections to all tubewells in Khosa Pando village, near Moga, were disconnected by the authorities. This was resented by the villagers who gathered in large numbers and activated the same on their own. Similar reports have come in from other villages of Badrukhan, Ubhawal (Sangrur), Fatehgarh Sahib and Nawanshahr. In Narayangarh village of Sangrur, PSEB officials went a step further and took down all power cables but were stopped from doing so by activists of the union. The cables were subsequently returned to the farmers, he added.

He said that this was being done since a section of the employees were of the view that if the power bills were not realised then the ongoing privitisation move of the board would get accelerated. He said the union had appealed to all like-minded parties to participate in the mass agitation to be held in Ludhiana on December 31.



Freedom fighters honoured
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 28
The District Congress Committee (Urban) organised a function to mark the ‘foundation day’ of Congress at the party office here today. Mr Lakhwinder Singh, general secretary, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, was the chief guest. A score of freedom fighters and blood donors were honoured at the occasion.

Addressing the party workers, Mr Lakhwinder Singh recalled the glorious history of Congress party, which was founded by Mr A.O. Humes in 1881 and the significant contribution made by the party during the freedom struggle. Stressing the need to further strengthen the party set up to effectively meet the challenge posed by communal and disruptive forces, he said each Congressman should do introspection and overcome his shortcomings so that the party could become a cohesive unit.

The DCC (U) president, Mr K.K. Bawa claimed that it was a relentless fight by Congress against terrorism which had led to restoration of a lasting peace in Punjab after more than a decade of violence and senseless killing of innocent persons. “More than 2500 party functionaries had laid down their lives in the war against terrorism in Punjab.”

The City Mayor, Mr Nahar Singh Gill, outlined a comprehensive programme for acceleration of development process in the city. He said soon the party functionaries, in coordination with the respective area councillors, would convene meetings in each of the 70 wards in the city to assess the area specific development projects.

Among others, Mr Surinder Dawar, MLA, Mr Malkiat Singh Dakha, MLA, Mr Prem Mittal, Senior Deputy Mayor, Mr Pawan Diwan, vice-president, Punjab Youth Congress and Mr Parminder Mehta, president, District Youth Congress, addressed the function.

The Block Congress Committee, Block No 1, also organised a function at Shahi Mohalla to celebrate the foundation day of the party. Mr Surinder Dawar, MLA, who was the chief guest focused on the role of the Congress during the freedom struggle and later in the gigantic task of national reconstruction. He said, being the only secular party in the national political scene, Congress had always been striving hard for the welfare of the weaker sections.

Mr Chander Shekhar Sahota, block president, Mr Varinder Gandhi, general secretary, DCC, and a Valmiki leader, Mr Kala Hans, among others, attended the function.



Grant for pensioners bhavan released
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 28
Construction of a Punjab Pensioners Bhavan in the Mini Secretariat, which was stalled due to paucity of funds, will soon be initiated as a special grant of Rs 6 lakh has been given for the work by Mr Gurcharan Singh Galib, Member, Parliament.

In a press release issued here today, Mr B.R. Kaushal, president, Punjab State Pensioners’ Confederation and Member, Pensioners’ District Advisory Committee, said that at the initiative of Mr Anurag Aggarwal, Deputy Commissioner, Mr Gurcharan Singh Galib, Member, Parliament handed over a cheque of Rs 6 lakh from his local area development funds scheme to Mr B.R. Kaushal, in a public function held yesterday at the Civil Hospital in the presence of a large number of Punjab Government pensioners.

The project of construction of a Pensioners’ bhavan was conceived at an estimated cost of Rs 15.36 lakh in a plot adjoining district treasury office in the Mini-Secretariat. It was designed by the Chief Architect Punjab but its construction was further held up due to financial constraints.

Mr Kaushal said Mr Anurag Aggarwal, while presiding over the Pensioners Day annual celebrations held at Punjabi Bhawan on December 17, had assured that paucity of funds would not stand in the way of completion of the project, rather it would be equipped with a library and other infrastructure to enable the pensions to pass their time in a constructive manner.



Withdrawal of excise duty demanded
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 28
The Federation of Tiny and Small Scale Industries of India has called for the withdrawal of excise duty on bicycles and total exemption on the parts and accessories of the bicycles and cycle rickshaw, as at present these items attracted zero per cent duty.

A deputation of the federation, led by its president, Mr Joginder Kumar, met Mr Gautam Ray, Joint Secretary (Tax Research Unit), Ministry of Finance, at New Delhi to press for the demands of the bicycle and parts industry. A detailed representation was also submitted.

Mr Joginder Kumar explained that bicycle industry was the only industry which paid excise duty on inputs (raw materials), and did not claim MODVAT, as its end product was exempted and paid Rs 121 per bicycle as the excise duty. The government had imposed 4 per cent cenvat on bicycles with the condition that no MODVAT would be allowed.

He further stressed that it had never been the intention of the government in the past to levy excise duty on bicycles, as it was being used by the weaker section of the society, besides being an economical way of transport and livelihood, pollution free and health friendly.

He also emphasised for the withdrawal of the excise duty on the ground of current level of penetration in rural areas, which was 50 per cent, affordability in terms of price for the poor masses and a way of livelihood for the rural poor.

Mr Kumar apprehended that as a result of heavy burden of taxation, the production of bicycles during the current year would come down to 1 crore, as against 1.17 crore in 2001-2002.

Mr Gautam Ray, assured the delegation that their demands would be sympathetically considered.



British Columbia minister to visit DMCH
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 28
The Minister of State for Mental Health in the Government of British Columbia (Canada), Dr Gulzar Sigh Cheema, would be visit Dayanand Medical College & Hospital (DMCH) here on December 30, 2002, from where he passed his MBBS examination in 1977 and also did his internship and house jobs in the Departments of Paediatrics and Psychiatry.

Elected to British Columbia Assembly in 2001 to represent the riding of Surrey-Panorama Ridge, Dr Cheema was appointed a minister of state in June, 2001. Before his election to the legislative assembly, he was a family doctor in Surrey. He had been practicing medicine in rural Manitoba and in Winnipeg and earlier, before migrating to Canada in 1979, was a clinical instructor in Punjab. His special interests included neonatology, psychiatry, psycho-geriatrics and geriatrics.

During his visit to the DMCH, Dr Cheema would be accompanied by his wife Mrs Harinder Cheema.



Lineman’s scooter taken away
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 28
Mr Mehar Chand, a lineman posted at the Chaura Bazar office of the Panjab State Electricity Board, was robbed by a rickshaw-puller and two of his accomplices, also took away his scooter yesterday. They took away two gold rings and Rs 4,500.

According to information, Mr Mehar Chand was on his way home on his scooter when he was intercepted by a man travelling on a rickshaw on the GT Road near the Chand Cinema on the pretext that he was in a hurry to reach the Jalandhar bypass. Mr Mehar Chand offered his help and the man requested him to drop him a bit further as he wanted to go to Bhattian village. Mr Mehar Chand was asked to stop the scooter at a rather deserted spot on the road. Soon after alighting from the scooter, the man assaulted the lineman and fled away with the scooter and other items. The Salem Tabri police has registered a case.

Boy electrocuted

Sixteen-year-old Laxmi , son of Mr Anand Singh, was admitted to the Civil Hospital after he was electrocuted while trying to retrieve a kite from the main electricity line in Salem Tabri yesterday. The boy was working as a painter in one of the houses in the area while the son of the house owner was flying a kite on the roof of the house. When the kite got entangled in electric wires, the boy was asked to retrieve it. He was taken to the CMC Hospital in a ‘burnt’ condition from where he was shifted to the Civil Hospital.

Battery dealer duped

A battery dealer operating near the CMC Hospital was allegedly duped of Rs 1 lakh by a con man who posed as an employee of the hospital and took away the money on the pretext of selling 150 batteries belonging to the hospital at Rs 750 per piece. According to information, the con man approached the dealer with the story that the hospital authorities were auctioning the batteries. The con man even took the dealer to the store to show the stocks to him. When the dealer reached the hospital along with his son , the con man met them at the gate and asked them to give him the money so that he could procure a bill and the necessary gate pass. It was only after the father-son duo started making inquiries about the man that they realised that they had been duped.

Woman succumbs to burns

Ms Kalawati, wife of Mr Amar Singh, a resident of Islam Ganj, who had received burn injuries on Thursday night while heating water on a kerosene stove in her house, succumbed to her burns in the Civil Hospital yesterday.

Eve-teasers booked

On a complaint of Ms Namrata, a resident of Mohalla Bhagat Singh, near the Jalandhar bypass, the Sarabha Nagar police has registered a case of eve teasing, beating and alleged intimidation, against Kuldip Singh and Paari, both residents of Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar. The complainant had alleged that the accused, who were her relatives, teased her physically and tore up her clothes. The accused also beat her up and threatened her, she added.

The Sahnewal police has also registered a similar case on the statement of Ms Kiranjit Kaur, a resident of Tibba village, against Gurdip Singh, Bikkar Singh and two other persons accompanying them. The complainant had alleged that the accused forcibly entered her house, teased and misbehaved with her. When she protested against their behaviour, the accused beat her up and also threatened her, she added.

Beaten up for dowry

The Sarabha Nagar police has registered a case of attempted murder, dowry harassment and beating on the statement of Ms Manjit Kaur, a resident of Model Gram Extension, against her husband Ranjit Singh and others Manmohanjit Singh, Manjit Kaur and Sukhbir Singh, all residents of Sarabha Nagar. The complainant had alleged that the accused used to beat her up mercilessly to fulfil their demands for more dowry. She was subjected to mental harassment by the accused and frequently threatened, she added. No arrest has been made so far.

Beating cases

The Haibowal police has registered a case of alleged beating and intimidation on the statement of Ms Ram Murti, a resident of Durga Puri, against her brother-in-law Vinod. The woman had alleged that the accused beat her up and threatened her.

The division number four police has registered a case of alleged beating on the statement of Mr Prince Malik, a resident of Chhawni Mohalla, against Nikka, Madan, Rohit, Rishi Kumar and Ram Kumar, all residents of Chander Nagar. The complainant had alleged that the accused intercepted him on the way and beat him up as a result of which he was injured.

The Civil Lines police has registered a case on the statement of a Panjab Roadways bus conductor, Mr Surinder Kumar, against Jai Kishan, Baljit Singh, Mohinder Singh, Jagjit Singh and Parminder Singh, all bus drivers. The complainant had alleged that the accused beat him up and also threatened him.

Fraud alleged

The division number four police has registered a case of alleged fraud on the statement of Mr Ramesh, a resident of Wait Ganj, against Vishwa and Raju of New Vishal Transport Company. The complainant had alleged that he had booked two boxes of cloth to be sent to Delhi. But the accused neither delivered the boxes at Delhi nor returned the same to him. When he asked about the fate of the boxes booked with them, the accused resorted to threatening him, he added.

Body found

The Kotwali police yesterday found the body of an unidentified man in his early forties which was lying in the Lottery market near the Clock Tower. According to the police, the man had apparently died due to exposure to cold. The body was sent for an autopsy.

Bus driver booked

The Sarabha Nagar police has registered a case under section 304-B against a bus driver Bawa Singh, a resident of Samrala, in connection with an accident in which the accused had knocked down a scooterist Jaspal Singh on the Ferozepur Road and caused his death on the spot.

Two held with knives

The Sarabha Nagar police has arrested Naresh Kumar, a resident of Janak Puri, and seized a kamanidar knife from his possession. And the division number seven police has arrested Ravinder Singh, a resident of Mundian Khurd village, and seized a kamanidar knife from his possession, Both the accused have been booked under the Arms Act.



Loans worth 1.82 cr disbursed
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 28
State Bank of Patiala, Bharat Nagar Chowk branch, organised a loan mela here today. Mr S.P. Mittal, Deputy General Manager, Jalandhar Zone, presided over and distributed 60 loans amounting to Rs 1.82 crore under bank’s various schemes like housing loans, karamchari suvidha loans, trade and industry loans.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Mittal said that the bank would computerise its last branch in the near future.

Mr Kuldeep Singh Sandhu, Assistant General Manager and head of the branch, assured the customers that all their banking needs would be taken care of by the bank. He asked the people to come out with their suggestions as the bank aimed at becoming more customer friendly. Installation of ATMs and providing other services within a fixed time frame were several steps in this direction.

Mr O.P. Pandhi, Chief Manager of the branch, highlighted the main features of new and innovative schemes of the bank such as ‘SBP Nayay, SBP Shikshak and SBP Rakshak’ schemes specially tailored for judiciary, teachers and police personnel. He informed that besides these schemes, the bank had other schemes in personal segment like car loans and loans for consumer durables. He claimed that cost-wise bank’s schemes for financial assistance were customer friendly with no hidden cost and the rate of interest being 0.25 per cent less than normal rates in certain selected schemes.

Prominent among those present at the function were Mr Manjit Singh, Executive Director, Ludhiana Stock Exchange, Dr Yogesh Markan, Chief Medical Officer, Dr N.C. Bassi and Mrs Kamla Jain, Principal, Saraswati Model School.


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