Thursday, January 16, 2003, Chandigarh, India

L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Extreme winter due to depleting water table
Cold wave will persist, say experts
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 15
The rapid decline in water table is causing the cold prevailing in the region. Weather experts fear that the cold wave may persist.
The meteorologists of Punjab Agricultural University, who have conducted a preliminary research to find out the cause of the cold weather, attributed the conditions to the lowering of water table and drought-like conditions that prevailed in the region in the summer.

The experts said, with the lowering of water table, the radiation carrying capacity of earth had decreased, which had contributed to the chill. Dr Paramjit Singh Sehra, Associate Professor of the Department of Agrometeorology said, as per the preliminary research of the PAU, the ‘‘heat-holding capacity’’ of earth had reduced due to the dry condition.

Due to these conditions, earth leaked out radiations fast, causing the cold wave. This was the major physical reason being seen by the scientists, but only detailed research can bring out the dynamics of weather deterring from the normal.

The experts blamed farmers for the lowering of water table and said diversification was the need of the hour.

It was more necessary at this critical juncture when the overuse of natural resources was interfering with the ecosystem.

The city continues to shiver as the weather gods have not let up. Sun remained elusive even today, forcing citizens to remain indoors.

While the maximum temperature recorded here rose by 0.8°C compared to yesterday, the minimum temperature remained constant at 3.2°C, 4 degrees below normal. According to the PAU scientists, the university’s meteorological laboratory has never recorded such low temperature since its inception in the 1980s.

The weather experts said, for the past two days, the city is experiencing extreme cold. The maximum temperature in the past two days has recorded a decline of at least 3 degrees from the past 10 days.

According to Dr Sehra, the city has recorded the least temperature of 2.5°C this winter. The coldest days were January 2 and 10, when the minimum temperature was 2.5°C. Though the minimum temperature was 3.2°C today. the day remained cold. Dr Sehra said there would be no change in the weather in the coming 48 hours. The forecast for the next two days is dry, cold and foggy weather.

The cold wave prevailing in the region for the past many days has also hit the normal life here. While government offices, banks and other institutions functioned normally, attendance in the schools that remained open in spite of the closing orders by the District Magistrate was relatively low. Many parents complained that the managements of various schools were not paying heed to the orders, even though it was difficult for children to venture out in such cold.

Past 10 days


Temperature Max

Temperature Min

Jan 15



Jan 14



Jan 13



Jan 12



Jan 11



Jan 10



Jan 9



Jan 8



Jan 7



Jan 6



Jan 5





Missing society secy: police clueless
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 15
Mystery shrouds the disappearance of a secretary of the Dehlon Co-operative Society, who went missing on January 11 early morning with Rs 50,000 of the society.

His father, Mr Malkit Singh, deeply in shock at the disappearance of his son, suffered a heart attack and died yesterday in his native village Sherpur.

Jodhan police post officials told Ludhiana Tribune that the police was investigating the matter and would register a case after the probe was over. Police sources said the case was very complex as no one knew what exactly had happened to the secretary, Mr Lachman Singh.

According to a DDR filed at Jodhan police post by Mr Swaran Singh, a relative of the missing man, Mr Lachman Singh had gone to the Dehlon society dairy early in the morning as per his routine. At the office, he collected Rs 1.20 lakh which he deposited Rs 70,000 in the society locker and took away the remaining sum.

He was on his bicycle but it was found parked outside the dairy office. He was last seen at 5:45 am. No one saw any person robbing him and there was no witness to ensure that the man had gone away on his own.

Family sources revealed to Ludhiana Tribune that they had kept the matter under wraps so far on the advice of police officials. However, as the police was not doing anything they had decided to approach the media.

The family suffered a double blow yesterday when the father of the missing man died of shock. Sources said the villagers were confused over what actually had happened in the case. The man enjoyed an honest reputation and could not be suspected to have run away with the money.

The police said it was working on several theories but no lead could be established. They said if the man had been kidnapped someone should have made a ransom call. The police said it seemed improbable that the man had gone away with the money.



Doctors divided over kidney racket
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, January 15
The exposure of kidney racket in the state has resulted in a sharp divide among the medical fraternity, which has once again brought into focus the issue of medical ethics and the manner in which doctors exploit unsuspecting, illiterate patients.

The alleged involvement of several influential medical practitioners in the multi-crore kidney racket unearthed in Amritsar has divided the medical world, many of whom have justified the arrest of the Principal, Government Medical College, and Chairman of the Authorisation Committee, Dr O.P. Mahajan, and Kidney Transplant Surgeon, Dr P.K.Sarin. On the one hand, the state unit of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) and Faculty Executive Council of Dayanand Medical College and Hospital have condemned the arrest of the two doctors, on the other, the Punjab Civil Medical Services Association (PCMSA) has demanded a stern action against those found guilty. However, most organisations have cautioned the government against witchhunt to lend credibility to the scam.

Dr R.C. Garg, president of the state unit of the IMA, when contacted at Barnala, said the racket did not involve only the two arrested doctors. A number of politicians, magistrates and police officials are also involved in the racket but not even a single arrest except for these doctors, has been made so far. The touts are also roaming scot free. An impartial inquiry, either by the CBI or a sitting High Court Judge, should be conducted to get a clear picture. Only after the probe, the guilty should be punished. The association condemns the arrest of these two senior doctors and biased attitude of the government”, said Dr Garg.

Dr N.S. Khaira, vice-president of the Faculty Executive Council of Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, alleged that the role of government agencies was partial. An impartial probe under the Human Organ Transplant Act, 1994 should be conducted. “We, the doctors are being made the scapegoats”, he said. The council has also decided not to be associated itself with any transplant till a clear picture emerges.

Meanwhile, Dr Hardeep Singh, president PCMSA, said it was unfortunate that a scientific procedure such as renal transplant had been brought into disrepute by greedy elements. The vested interests had made human organs a purchasable commodity. The president has also demanded a High Court Judicial inquiry into the racket. “The government should take strict action against those involved the racket”, he said.

Dr B.L. Malhotra, president of the General Doctors Association, has condemned the IMA, Punjab, and Faculty Executive Council of DMCH for voicing against the arrest of the two doctors instead of asking for a thorough probe into the case. He said: “The doctors involved in such a disgraceful act have tarnished the image of medical profession”.

It is pertinent to mention here that the racket involves crores of rupees. The trade had been thriving unchecked since the enactment of the Transplantation of Humans Organ Act, 1994. According to various reports, out of total 2,384 operations, 1,992 kidneys were transplanted in Amritsar alone. It is alleged that there was a huge difference between the cost incurred on a kidney transplant and the money charged by the doctors. While a patient had to spend Rs 5 lakh on the operation, the actual cost was only Rs 1 lakh. The remaining Rs 4 lakh were allegedly shared by the members of the Authorisation Committee, surgeons, middle-men, advocates and those providing political patronage.



Resentment over pruning of trees
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 15
Resentment prevailed among residents of Guru Nanak Pura area here today where around 20 trees were pruned in a park of the area by the area councillor.
While the councillor concerned maintained that the pruning was the need of the hour as the trees were posing a threat to the residents by growing into the electric wires. The residents said the trees that were maintaining a cool environment in the area. They were pruned so badly that they would never grow again.

Mr Naresh Kumar, a resident of the area, said that the trees that were providing shade to the residents during the sweltering heat were pruned ruthlessly. He added that some pipal trees, known for their medicinal value, were also pruned.

Another resident, Mr Ramesh Kumar, said that they used to worship the trees and the pruning had hurt their sentiments. He said that while the Municipal Corporation was giving the slogan of clean and green Ludhiana, its full grown trees were being damaged like this. He said that instead of growing more trees the already grown trees were being pruned.

He said that they were hurt because they had seen these trees growing with them.

Mr Jaiparkash, the area councillor, said that just the branches of trees were cut as they were interfering with the smooth flow of traffic on the roads along the park, He said that he had received applications from the area residents whose houses were facing threats due to the overgrown trees.

He said that the trees would re-grow within a few months. He alleged that his political rivals were making it an issue even though he had answered the requests of public.

He said that the parks in his area were well maintained and he had always contributed to the good environment in his area.



Villagers succeed where govt fails
Gurminder S Grewal

Khamano, January 15
After a long wait of many years for a government aid to construct animal hospital at Khamano, residents of the town and surrounding villages have come forward to construct the building. Presently, the hospital is working in one room.

The hospital was started in 1951-52 and the site was of Mai Jagdee dharamshala. At that time Mr Albel Singh was posted here as veterinary doctor. There was only a room and no residential quarter for doctors. At that time it was constructed by villagers under the command of Mr Natha Singh Risaldar and Mr Mukand Singh. In 1973-74, two sheds were constructed by the Punjab Government under the Punjab Cattle Development Project where bulls were kept. But this scheme ended after sometime and the sheds were damaged with the passage of time.

In 1985-86, the then sarpanch of Khamano Kalan village constructed a room with the help of villagers. In 1992-93, Fatehgarh Sahib became district and Khamano became tehsil, but the condition of the building remains the same as no government help was provided.

When Dr J.K.M Thapar joined the hospital, he along with Mr Sukhdev Singh, veterinary pharmacist, called a meeting of villagers and a committee was formed. The committee has started the work on a war-footing with the donations collected from the residents.

The construction work started on September 5, 2002, with the blessings of Sant Ajit Singh Hansaliwale. Till today Rs 3 lakh has been spent and Rs 2 lakh is needed to complete the building. The work is going on smoothly with the help of villagers without any government help.



SAD, BJP oppose shopkeepers’ eviction
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 15
The leaders of the Shiromani Akali Dal and the Bharatiya Janata Party today expressed solidarity with shopkeepers of the Luxmi Cinema Market against their possible eviction. The shopkeepers are observing a relay fast against the government’s proposal to evict them, as the land is to be handed over to a private builder.

The shopkeepers have been alleging that the land was clandestinely allotted to the builder, Mr Madan Singh, owner of the Gazeebo Group of Industries. While the builder has been claiming that the land currently occupied by the shopkeepers has been allotted to him, the shopkeepers are denying the claim, saying that it belongs to the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation. They have been paying the rents for the past over four decades.

Today, leaders, of the parties, including a former Deputy Speaker, Mr Satpal Gosain, and the district president of the SAD, Mr Avtar Singh Makkar, told shopkeepers that the BJP and the SAD would never let anybody displace them. The shopkeepers raised slogans against the government.

The leaders used the platform for Congress-bashing, alleging that the government was not sincere towards solving the problems of the masses. They said the matter needed to be probed at the highest level, as rules had been thrown to winds while allotting this land. On the other hand, the Congress has been blaming the previous SAD-BJP government for the controversial allotment of the land to the private builder at a throwaway price.



Poor roads in Khamano subdivision
Our Correspondent

Khamano, January 15
The condition of roads falling under Khamano sub-division is worsening day by day due to lack of repair. The condition of the Khamano-Khanna road is so bad that people of surrounding villages have to pass through nearby villages to reach their destinations. People of around 10 villages — mostly students, farmers and commuters — have to face great difficulty due to the bad condition of the road.

The condition of Khamano-Fatehgarh Sahib from Sanghol up to Luharmajra is no better. Although this road connects the tehsil with the district headquarters and thousands of people take the road to visit Fatehgarh Sahib’s Gurdwara no effort has been made to repair it. The road going from Khamano to Chamkaur Sahib via Mansurpur, Manela, Dhanaula and Maneli also is in very bad condition and big potholes have developed on it. Mr Surinder Singh Maneli of Sarv Hind Akali Dal, Kuldip Singh Luharmajra and Bahadar Singh, have demanded immediate repair of these roads.



Concern over declining sex ratio
Our Correspondent

Amloh, January 15
The practice of female foeticide, has assumed alarming dimensions in the state where the female sex ratio has gone down to 750 per 1,000 male children. This situation can lead to numerous problems in the society and to contain these problems will be an uphill task for the government. These were the views expressed by Mr Sadhu Singh, MLA, who was the chief guest of the Lohri function at Government Girls Senior Secondary School here today.

The function ‘Kanya Lohri’, was organised by Mr Satish Kumar Child Development and Project Officer (CDPO) Amloh, with the participation of ‘anganwari’ workers and the Shri Ram Sharda Manch to highlight the importance of the girl child. The chief guest gave silver bracelets to 31 new born girls.

He stressed the need for the implementation of ban on pre-natal sex-determination tests in private nursing homes. He announced Rs 5 lakh on behalf of Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, MP, for the development of the local school and Rs 3,100 for the 31 new born girls.

Ms Harjeet Arneja, Programme Officer of Fatehgarh Sahib and Patiala, said root cause of the practice was dowry, which should be checked through all means i.e. print and electronic media, seminars and awareness camps in rural and urban areas.

She also gave a brief history of the Kanya Jagrity Jyoti scheme, which was launched on January 26, 1996, through which those families are benefited whose annual income does not exceed Rs 20,000 and have no more than two children. The Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Mr Amarjeet Singh Shahi, lamented that the district had lagged behind in female sex ratio.

Earlier, the function started at 11 a.m. with a ‘shabad’ recital by the students from Bhadal Thua Anganwari Centre. A cultural programme was also presented by the children of ‘anganwari’ centres who had participated from the block centres. The Amloh Council chief Baldev Singh Aulakh, Ms Harvinder Kaur, CDPO, Khamano and Ms Navila Sultana, CDPO, Nabha, also spoke on the occasion.



Phone out of order since 1995

KINDLY accept my thanks for publishing the complaint of Col D.S. Grewal of Sukhdev Nagar, Focal Point, Ludhiana, regarding his phone no. 676423. He is not the only one who had expressed his harassment at the hands of the telephone authorities.

My case regarding phone no. 425570 is of a similar nature. It has been disconnected and I have been pleading my case before the Telephone Adalats from 1995 onwards. But there has been no response to any of my written complaints, and personal submissions before the GM, Ludhiana Telecom District and the PRO.

Getting no redressal here, a complaint to the Secretary, DoT, was served through the GMT, Ludhiana, vide no. 93/18 dt. June 5, 2002, in which it was stated that in case there was no response or an unsatisfactory response, I shall be forced to take the case to the local District Consumer Grievances Redressal Forum. But here too there has been no redressal.

The service tax of 5 per cent on telephone bills is illegal and a punishment to the consumers especially when the phone is out of order. My grievance is that there is no ground for charging the service tax and I seek its withdrawal and refund of whatever has been charged from me.

My children, grandchildren and great grandchildren besides students and my other near and dear ones, who are settled in the Philippines, UK, Ireland, Germany, Norway, Canada and USA are enable to contact me because of the apathy of the department concerned.

I should be advised as to what should be done to get an early redressal to these problems and who will compensate me and to what extent.

Gurdial Singh

Unauthorised constructions

This is with reference to the news item “MC lacks control over building laws” which appeared in Ludhiana Tribune, dated December 28, 2002, regarding regulation and enforcement of building control laws in posh localities of Ludhiana.

It is deplorable to note that Municipal Corporation (MC), and the Improvement Trust (LIT) have been engaged in a game of passing the buck for quite some time now. Not going into the details of the unnecessary wranglings between the two urban bodies regarding various cases of major violations, I would like to comment on one of the well-known cases before the top brass of the MC.

The case in question is that of raising the backyard boundary wall to 26 feet by the owner of 451-B, BRS Nagar in 2000, i.e. well before the trust asserted its right over the illegal building activities.

In the aforementioned case, the building bylaw violation has been made in connivance with the politicians and the MC authorities (Ludhiana Tribune dated Nov 28, 2002, “Cheated villagers” by Maj Khosla). After having served a notice for demolition in early September 2001, the MC has turned a blind eye in taking action to demolish this construction.

The present Municipal Commissioner, while serving as an Additional Commissioner and head of the building branch of MC, has been dealing with the case and knows the facts. And the details of the case also appeared as “Wall of contention refuses to budge” in Ludhiana Tribune, dated January 1, 2002. The Administrator, LIT, has also dealt with the case but had not taken any action during his tenure as Additional Commissioner, MC.

In July 2002, the Ludhiana MC had made an attempt to toss the case unnecessarily from Ludhiana MC to the LIT (“MC mute witness to bylaw violations”) Ludhiana Tribune, dated August 3, 2002, to absolve itself of its responsibility. Shockingly, the MC officials, while corresponding with the LIT, have concealed vital information pertaining to refunding of the compounding fee (Ludhiana Tribune, dated 12th December 2002), and the notice for demolition as indicated above. It is sad to note the response of Ludhiana MC while dealing with the case of unauthorised constructions on the already constructed boundary wall (6 -7 feet).

It is evident that MC has been lax in enforcing the building bylaws. The tossing of the case(s) has started apparently to give advantage to the well-connected persons (wrong- doers/violators or encroachers/offenders). Both the urban bodies should have jointly launched an intensive campaign against unauthorised constructions, which affect the architectural structure of the posh localities.

Keeping the above facts in view, the following points/ actions need to be considered.

The politicians, the MC officials, the other senior officials and people must respect the building bylaws at the time of construction.

The MC officials and even the local government officials at the district level should interact with the offenders to make them aware of the building bylaws and the disadvantages of making illegal structures rather than succumbing to the pressure of politicians.

The MC or LIT officials should be forbidden to connive with the offenders.

The MC authorities concerned need to act firmly in demolishing the illegal constructions.

Dr Gurkirpal Singh

Clock Tower

Next few months will see a sea change in Ludhiana’s topography when the work on overbridges and flyover in the city gets completed. Though, the old order changes to the new, there is always wisdom in preserving the heritage like the old gold. One such ornamental pride of Ludhiana which needs to be preserved is the age old Clock Tower, as it is threatened to be eclipsed by the flyover in the offing. The city’s Clock Tower with clocks on all four sides stood acts as a vigilant watchman who has witnessed the color and culture of Ludhiana change for years. A traditional conservative society has fast changed into a most modern plethora, which has assimilated hues of every caste and creed and vibrates with activity. Till today the Clock Tower has remained an important centre to reckon with and it will certainly be quite painful if it loses its past grace and glory.

Tip of the Clock Tower was painted white by the administration acceding to the suggestion of philosopher and geographer Late Prof. B.S.Grewal of Government College, Ludhiana, who saw the clock tower spread message of peace and harmony in this industrial town. Later, its name was changed as the Bhagwan Mahavira Clock Tower. The Clock Tower every morning appears to be making wake-up calls to Ludhiana as it is surrounded by hundreds of hawkers who gather around its feet to collect and distribute newspapers from the suppliers.

It will be only in fitness of things if the state government allocated special funds and even the people be asked to rope in donations to ensure that the Clock Tower stands amidst the flyover with its pristine glory of the past. An architectural design befiting to this memorabilia may be drawn. Some typical couplet penned by renowned city poets Sahir Ludhianvi and Prof Mohan Singh should be inscribed on its four sides along with the thoughts of Lord Mahavira. Installation of electronic display clocks on four sides and a programmed hourly alarm music will set the pace of harmony and beauty to the city’s days and nights. Let our Clock Tower remain tall and imposing in its glory always.

B.B. Goyal

Civic amenities

For the convenience of public, many facilities are provided by the government and its agencies. But with the passage of time often such agencies become lethargic and careless in maintaining these facilities. Very often, the service providers even forget that they had ever provided a particular facility.

It has been observed that when new colonies/urban estates areas are developed by any government agencies, several facilities like water, sewerage, lights, roads and parks etc are provided for the convenience of the residents. But after sometime the service providers forget about the maintenance of these facilities and as a result, such facilities on which a huge amount has been spent, become useless and unworthy.

One such facility, the lavatories set up by the Municipal Corporation, Ludhiana, at different places within the city on the roadsides for the convenience of the general public are in a state of neglect. This only shows that the corporation has forgotten about them. Today, the condition of these lavatories is such that no one is willing to use the same. Most of them are either lying closed or have become the residences for safai sewkas. Whatever few are functioning are not being maintained and cleaned properly. In nutshell, these lavatories have become a source of dirty smell and headache for the passers-by.

The major eye sores are the urinal spots which are built on the roadsides and are not being maintained. Hence, people are unable to use them. Particular attention is drawn towards a urinal spot built on the Jagraon Bridge which depicts a very ugly and uncivilised picture. The place stinks.

The recent decision of the Municipal Corporation, Ludhiana, has decided to build 20 new lavatories in the city is laudable indeed and urgent requirement.

However, my personal submission is that while making these new lavatories, the authorities must keep in mind the area of Durgri where at least one or two urinal spots are urgently required on the main road. Before making the new ones, old lavatories must also be made functional. The Sanitary Department of the MC should also be made accountable for any kind of negligence.

Kuldip Singh Kreer



‘Implement’ Nanakshahi calendar
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 15
The International Sikh Dharam Prachar Manch has demanded the implementation of the Nanakshahi calendar at the earliest, since “it is a matter of pride for the Panth”, and would also be a ready reckoner for all important occasions of the community.

Mr Ravinder Singh Bedi, district chief of the unit, said several important occasions and auspicious days were celebrated on different dates, which was causing confusion and resentment among the masses.

He said it was a matter of concern that, in 2003, Guru Gobind Singh birthday would be celebrated twice, while it would not be celebrated at all in 2004. This has been brought to the notice of the SGPC, but nothing has been done to rectify the lapse, so far.

He urged all like-minded organisations to take up the issue to get the calendar implemented at the earliest.



Shiv Sena district chief
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 15
Mr Rajiv Tandon has been appointed president of the district unit of the Shiv Sena (Bal Thackrey). This was announced here today by the co-chairman and party spokesman, Mr Ravinder Arora.

Expressing his gratitude to the party, Mr Tandon assured that he would work for the development and growth of the party strictly according to the traditions set by the party chief Balasahib Thackrey.



Report clears driver of murder charge
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 15
The post-mortem examination of the body of a Morinda man, who worked as a cleaner of a truck has ruled out the possibility of murder.
The report of the examination conducted here today afternoon comes as relief to, the truck driver, Amarjit Singh, who had been charged with killing the cleaner. It says that the cleaner died of septicaemia and no serious injury was found on the body. The injuries found on the face of the cleaner were only bruises and could not have caused the man’s death.

The Division Number 6 police had, yesterday, arrested the truck driver on the charge of murdering the cleaner. Amarjit Singh had been pleading innocence.

The police said the truck driver had not told the family of the cleaner about his illness. He allegedly, kept taking him to some quacks, which led to the suspicion that he had killed the cleaner.

Sources said the police was acting on the examination report and the case was likely to be withdrawn.

The truck driver, Amarjit Singh, who lives in Nathmalpur village near Morinda, had brought some consignment to the city a couple of days ago. The cleaner, Bhushan Lal of Morinda, developed stomach pain on arriving here, after which, he was, reportedly, taken to a doctor by the driver. After this, the driver and his cleaner left of Morinda. When Amarjit Singh reached Morinda, he did not give any satisfactory reply to Bhushan’s family about the whereabouts of the cleaner, but telephoned it, later, to say that Bhushan had died.

Early yesterday, when the family came to the city to look for Bhushan, it found the truck parked near Samrala Chowk, with body of the cleaner lying in it.

Eight injured: Eight persons were injured in a truck-tempo collision on the Jalandhar road early yesterday near Hardy’s World. The Tata-407 tempo, carrying eight passengers from Ropar to the city, was hit from behind by the speeding truck, as a result of which, it overturned, injuring the occupants. The injured were taken to Civil Hospital by Mr Darjinder Singh, DSP Vigilance, who had been passing by. The injured were Mr Pawan Kumar, Mr Darshan Lal, Mr Darshan Singh, Mr Hari Singh, Mr Charan Dass, Mr Charanjit, Mr Ravinder and Mr Baldev Raj. All were discharged after having received first-aid.

Cops accused: Ramesh Kumar, a tea vendor of Dhuri Lines, has lodged a report against two PCR personnel, who, allegedly, beat him up after bringing him out of his shop where he had taken shelter after being attacked by some youths of the locality who wanted to fleece him in the name of seeking Lohri ‘bakshish’.

He had given them Rs 20, but the youths wanted Rs 200. They started beating him up, at which, the tea vendor downed the shutter of his shop. The youths, then threw eggs and the other items kept outside the shop at him.

Later, the youths reappeared with a couple of PCR personnel, who made him open the shutter. The injured tea vendor has been admitted to Civil Hospital.

Drug addict held: The Division Number 3 police arrested an alleged drug addict here yesterday, after finding him loitering in a suspicious manner in the CMCH. The man, Ravi Kishen Dua, is said to be a drug addict living in Dr Ambedkar Nagar. According to his statement, he had gone to the blood bank of the hospital to sell his blood, as he needed Rs 400 for satisfying his urge for drugs. After the employees at the blood bank refused to take his blood once, he returned to the blood bank in the afternoon, after wearing a fake beard and tying a turban.

The police, however, said his story was false and he had entered the hospital in disguise to commit some crime.

Eve-teaser in-law: The Division Number 4 police has registered a case of alleged eve-teasing against a person on the complaint of his brother’s wife. Ms Asha Rani, a woman of Mohalla Basant Nagar, had complained to the police that her husband’s brother, who lived in her locality, had teased and abused her.

Threatened on phone: The Model Town police, on the statement of Mr Prabhjit Singh, a man of Dr Ambedkar Nagar, has registered a case under Section 506 of the IPC against a person who threatened him on his mobile telephone, calling from a mobile telephone 98140-00080.

Beaten up: The Model Town police has registered a case of alleged assault on the statement of Mr Kewal Krishan, a man of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar, against Bhola, a man who runs a PCO in Dashmesh Nagar, and five of his accomplices. The complainant had alleged that Bhola had intercepted and attacked him on road.

The Haibowal police has registered a case under Section 341, 427, 323, 148 and 149 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Ravinder Pal Singh, a man of Fagla village, against Avtar Singh, Sarabjit Singh, Gurbhej Singh, Gurmej Singh and Parmider Singh, all of Maya Nagar. The complainant had alleged that these men had intercepted his car on the road and beat him up. He also accused them of breaking the windowpanes of his car.

The Koom Kalan police has registered a case under Sections 341, 509 and 506 of the IPC on the statement of Ms Narinder Kaur, a woman of Mangal Tanda village, against Gurmel Singh of the same village. The woman had alleged that the accused had teased her when she had been returning home from fields.

3 hurt in clash: Ms Vajinder Kumar, a man of Dashmesh Nagar, was, allegedly, injured in an attack on Monday night by some of his opponents due to an old enmity.

The youth, who has been admitted to Civil Hospital, alleged that, while he had been celebrating Lohri outside his house on Monday night, his opponents had attacked the house and injured him, his maternal uncle Roshan Lal and aunt Mahindri Devi. His relatives, too, have been admitted to the CMCH.

Madan Lal and Ramesh Kumar, who allegedly belonged to the attacking group, were also injured in the scuffle which, reportedly, started after a scooter had allegedly hit into a group warming itself around a bonfire.

Woman injured: The Division Number 4 police has registered a case under Sections 452 and 323 of the IPC on the statement of Ms Jaswinder Kaur, a woman of Pink Vihar in Chhawni Mohalla, against some persons of the same locality. The woman had alleged that, on Monday night, the accused had attacked her house and injured her. A minor tiff had taken place earlier in the day between their children over kite-flying.

Undertrial still out: An undertrial, who escaped from Civil Hospital a couple of days ago, continues to elude the police. The Division Number 2 police has registered a case on the complaint of Head Constable Balwant Singh, against Head Constable Malkit Singh and Jaira, the undertrial.

Youth commits suicide: The Railway Police has found the body of a youth Dinesh Kumar of Sahnewal, from the railway tracks near Sahnewal. According to the police, the youth had committed suicide. His body has been sent for an autopsy.

Fraud alleged: On the complaint of Mr Saru, a man of Durga Colony at Dhandari Khurd, the Focal Point police has registered a case of alleged fraud under Section 406 of the IPC against Shiv Sharan. a man of the same locality. The complainant had alleged that he had given his three-wheeler to the accused on hire, but he had run away with the vehicle.

3-year-old kidnapped: Three-year-old Atul, son of Mr Parkash Kumar, a man of Puneet Nagar, has allegedly been kidnapped by a gang that pushes children into begging. According to the father of the kidnapped child, his son went missing while he was playing in the street outside his house late on January 5. It is believed that the child was lifted by members of a begging syndicate, who might have sold him off in a distant state.

Car stolen: The Civil Lines police has registered a case of theft on the statement of Mr Manohar Lal, a yarn dealer, against some persons who took away his car from outside the Gulmohar Hotel on Tuesday. He had gone to attend a marriage function at the hotel, but, on returning, found his car missing.

Liquor seized:
The local police seized 14 cases of desi illicit liquor near Panjkoha village from a Maruti Gypsy (bearing no DL 3CB 5521) and arrested one Paramjit Singh of Lopon (Samrala), Gurdev Singh of Gehlewal village and, Kulbir Singh ‘Samrala’.



Resident booked for bootlegging
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 15
A raiding party of the Excise Department raided a house at Civil Lines in Samrala here and arrested Jawala Singh, owner of the house and recovered 16 bottles of whisky, including 10 bottles of 8 PM and 6 bottles of Mcdowells no. 1 whisky, meant for sale in Chandigarh only, here on Wednesday.

Mr G.S. Bahia, ETO, said that a case under Section 61-1-14 of the Punjab Excise Act has been registered against the accused at the Samrala police station. He said the liquor was being smuggled from Chandigarh due to the cheaper rates there. He added that a few days ago 66 bottles of whisky which were meant for sale in Chandigarh only were also detected from a nearby village Harhian and a case registered.



Cell-WLL row hits consumers hard
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 15
The ongoing war between cellular and WLL companies, which led to the former barring all incoming and outgoing calls to the WLL numbers, has caused harassment to the general public. It is ultimately the people who are being made to suffer, said an angry telephone subscriber after learning that the phone calls from Spice and Airtel to Connect and vice-versa had been barred. However, the issue is likely to be resolved in a day or two since the WLL operators have already approached the Telephone Regulatory Authority (TRAI) for intervention.

Ludhiana, being the largest city in the region, has maximum cellular phone and WLL users. The total number of such users is put at around lakh. Some people were taken unawares today as they failed to make calls to the Connect numbers. While initially, Spice had barred only the outgoing calls to Connect, later in the day, it barred all incoming calls also from Connect. For some time it was absolute chaos as the message, “please check the number you have dialled” kept on repeating. Although the matter had already been reported in the newspapers, there were hundreds of other consumers who were taken unawares. This has put around one lakh consumers of cellular and WLL telephones to great inconvenience.

The company officials were, however, not prepared to tell anything. The local officials of Spice, and Airtel said the decision had been taken at the national level by the Cellphone Operators Association of India and they could do little about it.

The Connect officials on the other hand said they could do nothing since it were the cellular phone companies that had started barring the calls to the Connect phones. They said the matter had already been taken up with the TRAI and some decision was expected very soon.

Hundreds of consumers today made calls to various newspaper offices seeking information on the issue. The consumers belonging to the business class, were the worst hit. The consumers were sore over the attitude of the cellular phone operators and said consumers were being subjected to under inconvenience and harassment. They sought the intervention of the TRAI and said: “The cellphone operators are simply trying to bully the WLL operators as the WLL happens to be the poor man’s mobile phone”.



Bank starts telebanking
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 15
Probably for the first time in the banking history of the state, Punjab National Bank (PNB) today organised a teleconference with Mr U.S. Bhargava, General Manager, Punjab Zone. He interacted with participants of zonal training centre here through video conferencing.

Mr Bhargava said the bank had started video conferencing from January 1, 2003. With this facility, the bank’s head office, zonal offices and some of the training centres across the country have been linked for live conferencing.

Mr Bhargava added that video conferencing among other things would help in faster decision making, interactive learning, better monitoring, improved utilisation of resources and increasing the productivity. It would also obviate the need of zonal managers and other senior executives undertaking frequent tours resulting in time and cost saving. PNB has 460 computerised branches out of 486 in Punjab Zone.

In its endeavour to providing better services to its clients, the PNB had installed 12 ATMs at different locations in Punjab and intended to increase the number to 25 by March 31, 2003. The bank was also providing tele-banking services at 17 branches, which would be increased to 24 by March 31, 2003. Remote Access Facility is being provided in six branches and Swift facility is being provided in eight branches of Punjab Zone, Mr Bhargava added.

Mr Bhargava said the bank had planned an ambitious project of centralised banking solution to interconnect its branches and Punjab Zone had planned to interconnect its 15 branches by the end of the current financial year. The move would facilitate the customers to operate their accounts in any of these branches. As part of the CBS, the bank would extend the facility of Internet banking services to select customers of identified branches. Mr Bhargava said the Feroze Gandhi Market branch would be the first in Punjab Zone to be interconnected under the CBS system on coming Monday.



Bank opens all-women branch
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 15
The much-awaited ‘all-women branch’ of Punjab and Sind Bank was inaugurated at Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle, Model Town Extension, here today. The branch, which started functioning today, was inaugurated by Ms Inderjit Kaur Gill Vashisht, Principal Government College for Women. She landed the efforts of the bank management and Mr N.S. Gujral in taking the lead to start first women branch in North India and hoped that the branch would open new avenues for aspiring women professionals. She said the very concept of all-women branch would facilitate the emancipation and empowerment of women.

Mr Rajinder Singh Chatwal, Zonal Manager, assured that the branch would work as a role model in understanding the needs of womenfolk and providing all range of banking facilities to them. However, men could also open and operate their accounts in the branch, but these would be handled and managed by women only. The women could avail themselves of the credit facilities under the innovative schemes for selling flower, plants, food tiffin, opening of creche, beauty parlour and boutique. The branch aimed at encouraging women to come forward independently for starting their own ventures, he added.

Mr Avtar Singh Makkar, president Gurdwara Singh Sabha, Model Town Extension, also lauded the efforts of bank management in adding new chapter on the industrial map of the city. The branch would be headed by Ms Pushpjit Kaur.

Among others present on the occasion were Ms Harmit Kaur, Principal Ramgarhia College for Women, Dr Amarjit Singh Dua, Ms Manjit Sodhia and Mr Hari Singh.


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 |