Tuesday, April 15, 2003, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Kirtan, baptism ceremonies mark Baisakhi
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 14
Baptism ceremonies, kirtan and katha, followed by ‘Guru ka langar’ marked Baisakhi celebrations in all gurdwaras here today.
In Gurdwara Dukh Niwaran, at least 300 persons were baptised this morning. After the bhog of akhand path, Bhai Harnam Singh, Bhai Sarabjit Singh and Bhai Par Balbir Singh, ragi jatha from the Golden Temple, and Bhai Balbir Singh, Bhai Harnek Singh and Bhai Surinder Pal Singh, ragi jatha of the gurdwara, recited kirtan. Bhai Gurvinder Singh and Bhai Gurdeep Singh of the Kashmiri jatha enthralled the devotees with the recitation of Gurbani.

Giani Dharamvir Singh, Head Granthi of the gurdwara, talked about Sikh history and Baisakhi day, as he presented katha. Bhai Pritpal Singh, president of the Gurdwara Managing Committee, said the gurdwara would hold a baptism ceremony on every first Sunday of the month.

Prominent ragi jathas, including Bhai Harnam Singh from Srinagar, Bhai Gurcharan Singh from the Golden Temple, Bhai Gurvinder Singh from Kashmir, Bhai Davinder Singh Nirman from Amritsar and Bibi Harvinder Kaur from New Delhi performed kirtan at Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha, Sarabha Nagar. Sixteen persons were baptised at a ceremony held yesterday. Giani Swaran Singh Sudan, Head Granthi, recited a katha on the origin of the Khalsa.

At Gurdwara Shaheedan, Model Town, “Assa di var” was recited by Bhai Jatinder Pal Singh Jagadhri wale. Kirtan was performed by Bhai Davinder Singh Nirman from the Golden Temple, Bhai Balvinder Singh from Kanpur and Bhai Charanjit Singh from Patna. Similarly, at Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha, Model Town, Bhai Manjit Singh from Mumbai recited hymns. Prof Harjinder Singh from Sikh Missionary College spoke on the principles of the Khalsa Panth. Langar was served for the whole day in all gurdwaras.

Baisakhi, on which day in the year 1699 Guru Gobind Singh founded the Khalsa Panth and which is also celebrated as a ‘Khalsa Day’, was celebrated with fervour at Gurdwara Sahib Nanaksar where thousands of devotees paid obeisance and had a dip in the holy sarovar. This day is also celebrated by farmers since most of them start harvesting wheat crop.

The Lodhi Club organised a colourful cultural extravaganza here last evening. The programme started with the classical song Laga chunri pe daag... by Aswani Bawa. Members of Scorpio dance troupe performed on famous Hindi and English numbers, including Kambakht ishq hai... Takila... and Brazil....

Many surprise gifts were given to the members. Ms Sunil Aggarwal, wife of the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Anurag Aggarwal, was the chief guest on the occasion.

At another function, members of Star Card celebrated ‘Dhol Baisakhi Da’. The musical programme was inaugurated by Mr N.S. Nanda, president, Punjab Hotels and Restaurant Association. The celebrations were held in a traditional manner in which many Punjabi songs, tappe and boliyan were presented by the artistes. Amongst those present on the occasion were Mr K.Deep, Mr Harbans Sahota, Mr Manjinder Bawa, Mr Rajinder Malhar, Mr Satish Bhardwaj and Ms Kuldip Kaur.

AHMEDGARH: Baisakhi was celebrated with great fervour at gurdwaras here and surrounding villages. Eminent scholars addressed the gatherings and langar was served.

The local units of the Kalgidhar Federation and the Sukhmani Sahib Seva Society organised dewans at Gurdwara Singh Sabha here.

At Saharanmajra, about a hundred Sikh children below 14 years, were sworn by Bibi Harbans Kaur Sukhna, not to cut their hair. Emphasising on the need of adoption of Sikhism, she said sticking to Sikh norms these youths of tomorrow would abstain themselves from addiction and other evils. Mr Malkiat Singh, general secretary of School Abhyan Committee, honoured the children with mementoes. Mr Raghbir Singh Saharanmajra, Chairman, and Mr Nahar Singh Pandher, President, Gurdwara Committee, also spoke on the occasion.

Mr Jagdish Singh Garcha, former minister, was felicitated at a similar function held at Gurdwara Singh Sabha, Chhapar. The festival was celebrated at other villages, including, Hargobind Pura, Jandali, Dehliz, Maherna, Baurhai and Kanganwal.



Thanks Samaritans, you’ve saved Maya
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 14
The overwhelming response in providing financial assistance by some Good Samaritans for the treatment of 10-year-old Maya suffering from tuberculoma (brain tumour) at Christian Medical College and Hospital has given her a new lease of life. The parents and doctors of the patient have expressed gratitude towards the philanthropists, who extended their timely help in saving the girl.

Dr Yashbir Dewan, a neuro surgeon in CMC, who had made an appeal on the behalf of hospital and parents of the patient said, “We are really thankful. The response of people has been tremendous. Over Rs 40,000 have been spent on the surgery. Maya’s parents did not have even a single rupee in their hands when they came to CMC. She is absolutely fine and has been discharged. The efforts of good people have not been wasted. The child will lead a normal life, but she will remain on medication for the next eight to nine months”.

Maya was suffering from brain tumour. She started complaining of loss of control over her right hand. She also complained of seizures. For the past 20 days or so, she was having fits.

It may be mentioned that Maya’s father Krishan earned money by polishing shoes at Chaura Bazaar. He, his wife Bhaku, Maya and his toddler son had shifted to Ludhiana a few years ago to earn a better living. Their trauma started when they came to know about Maya’s serious condition about two years ago. “I am the only bread winner in the family. I had no other option but to make an appeal for saving the life of my child. Earlier, Maya was given anti-tuberculosis treatment for more than a year, but her condition did not improve. We brought her here at CMC and my child has been saved by the grace of God”, said the cheerful Krishan.

Bhaku, Maya’s mother said, “I had faith in God. I knew He would come to our rescue. We did not have a single penny, but we were able to save our child. Thanks to the kind people of Ludhiana”.

Dr Dewan said they had to appeal the people to stop donating money as the hospital had collected enough money for Maya’s treatment. “She was really serious. She suffered from space-occupying lesion of the brain, which was increasing in size, in spite of treatment. We had to perform timely surgery on the patient”, said Dr Dewan.

The operation was performed by trained a neuro-surgeon, Dr Sarvpreet Grewal.



Development works worth Rs 4 cr undertaken: MLA
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 14
A Congress legislator, Mr Surinder Dawar, who represents the East Assembly segment in the city, has claimed that development works worth Rs 4 crore have either commenced in different localities falling in the constituency or are in the pipeline.

Addressing a felicitation function, organised by the Fateh Youth Club at Neemwala Chowk here to mark his accomplishments during the one year of being elected, Mr Dawar said different works, estimated to cost Rs 2.60 crore had already been approved by the municipal corporation and many of these had already commenced while other projects worth Rs 1.40 crore were in the process of being sanctioned by the civic body.

Major development projects undertaken in the constituency, he added, were a tubewell each in Field Ganj, Hargobind Nagar, Fateh Ganj and Indira Colony, laying of sewerage lines at R.K. Road, Ghora Factory Road and Transport Nagar, covering of open nullahs in the Field Ganj area, laying of storm sewerage lines from the CMC to Issa Nagri, widening of bridges on Budha Nullah near Gaushala Cremation Ground and near Shagun Palace, installation of submersible pumps in various localities to augment water supply, laying of the PCC and widening of the road between CMC Chowk and Lakhsmi Cinema and carpeting of roads in Ganesh Nagar and Hargobind Nagar.

Mr Dawar maintained that under the leadership of the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, the state government had fulfilled its commitment of providing a clean and transparent governance. In furtherance of its poll promise of providing better amenities to the urban people, the Chief Minister had launched an ambitious project to provide safe drinking water to all in the city. The project had been implemented on schedule by the end of last month.

The City Mayor, Mr Nahar Singh Gill, observed that the MC was committed to providing basic civic amenities to all sections of the population and to bring about a qualitative improvement in the delivery of these services. He said the civic body had chalked out a comprehensive plan for ‘area specific’ development works in the city depending upon the actual needs and adequate funds were available to put the plan into effect.

Mr Gurcharan Singh Ghalib, MP, and Mr Rajinder Singh Basant, Chairman, Industry and Trade Cell of the PPCC, also spoke.

Prominent among those present were Mr Rajesh Jain Kala Navkar, Mr Sushil Thapar, Mr Sushil Parashar, Mr Jasbir Singh Chadha, all councillors, Mr Ashok Parashar Pappi, Mr J.B. Singh Jugnu, Mr Ramesh Kumar Rana, Mr Jaswinder Singh Jassi,Mr Duni Chand, Mr Sunil Gandhi, Mr Sanjay Sood, Mr Jagdish Bajaj and Mr Sube Singh.



Pledge to fight against drugs, dowry
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 14
Rich tributes were paid to Dr B.R. Ambedkar, the architect of Indian Constitution, on his 112th birth anniversary at various functions organised by social, religious and political bodies in the city here today. The emphasis during the celebrations was on social and economic uplift of the Dalit community, propagating higher and vocational education and concerted campaign and educational drive against social evils, prevalent in the community.

Veteran Akali Dal leader and working president of Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) Thekedar Surjan Singh and former Deputy Speaker of Punjab Vidhan Sabha Sat Pal Gosain, among others offered floral tributes at the portrait of Dr Ambedkar at an impressive function in Daresi Ground, organised by the Valmiki Sewa Sangathan (VSS).

The speakers called for effective measures at various levels for the emancipation of the weaker sections and motivating the children belonging to depressed classes towards higher education and vocational training so that they could become self-reliant and occupy a place of pride in the society.

Prominent among others present at the function were Mr Parveen Bansal, Mr Gurdip Singh Neetu, Mr Sohan Singh Goga, all councillors, Veer Netaji, chief organiser, Mr Raj Kumar, organiser, Mr Wasakhi Ram, cashier, and Mr Vicky Sahota, joint secretary of VSS).

Activists of the Bharatiya Valmiki Adi Dharm Samaj held a cycle/scooter rally in the city to mark the birth anniversary of Dr Ambedkar. While Sri Ratnakar ji, founder of the body offered his blessings, the chief guest of the function, Mr Surinder Dawar, MLA, flagged off the rally from Prem Nagar in Gumar Mandi area.

Led by district convener, Mr Jasbir Lavan, the rally passed through many city localities, spreading the message of literacy and scientific logic. The volunteers also exhorted the people, particularly those from dalit community, to fight against social evils like dowry and drug addiction. On the conclusion of the rally, tributes were paid at the statue of Dr Ambedkar in fond memory of his invaluable contribution for the betterment of the weaker sections.

The Block Congress Committee (Block No 1) observed the occasion as ‘prerna diwas’. Presiding over the function organised at Valmiki daharmshala at Shahi Mohalla, BCC president Chander Shekhar Sahota observed that the contribution of Dr Ambedkar in the form of the Constitution of the country had played a vital role in giving shape to the Indian democracy. He urged the members of Dalit community to follow the teachings of Dr Ambedkar in letter and spirit so that his dream of a just and equal society could become a reality.

Dr Ambedkar Memorial Youth Services Club observed Ambedkar Jayanti as ‘self-confidence day’. Addressing the function Mr Rajesh Kapoor, secretary of the club, asked the youth to become bold and self-disciplined and take part in creative and constructive activities. As part of the celebrations, the club would set up a library in the name of Dr Ambedkar and launch a mass movement for the welfare of Dalit community.

Punjab Sewak Sangh functionaries while observing the birth anniversary of Dr Ambedkar in Manohar Nagar here urged the government to undertake a thorough review of the policies which had stood in the way of elimination of poverty and illiteracy in the country even after 55 years of independence.



Ambedkar bhavans yet to come up
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 14
Even as glowing tributes were paid to Dr B R Ambedkar on his 112th birth anniversary at several functions here today, two Ambedkar Bhavans promised by successive governments to be erected in his memory in the city are still awaiting to see the light of the day.

While political leaders and followers of the ideas of Dr Ambedkar exhort the public every year on such occasion to follow the path shown by the maker of the country’s Constitution, the schemes of constructing such bhavans to commemorate his services for the nation have gone abegging.

The plan of constructing one such bhavan in an open ground near Salem Tabri could not progress more than the level of laying a foundation stone of the building. The second bhavan was supposed to come up in the mini secretariat. Despite several announcements, even a foundation stone of the project could not be laid.

Member of Parliament Shamsher Singh Dullo had laid the foundation stone of Ambedkar Bhavan in Salem Tabri on February 19, 1995, when he was Excise Minister in the Congress government led by the late Beant Singh. The then Welfare Minister Jagjit Singh was also present on the occasion. The foundation stone can be seen still in the vast grounds boasting of the scheme. Two governments have changed power since then but not a single brick has been added to the edifice.

Inquiries revealed that the project was blocked because of a controversy over the ownership of the land. The Punjab Agro Industries Corporation (PAIC), whose office is situated close-by, questioned the project, saying the land was of the department and no other building can come up here. The matter is pending at this stage only. Almost 8 years have passed but the state government is yet to find an amicable solution of the matter.

The second bhavan was supposed to come up in the mini secretariat complex. In September, 2001, an official release of the district administration quoting the then Deputy Commissioner S.K. Sandhu had announced that an Ambedkar bhavan would be constructed soon. The scheme however, failed to move ahead.

Informed sources said the plan failed to take off as no grant was ever allocated for the purpose.

Irked over the bad state of affairs, Mr Jaswant Kataria, Chairman, Vishav Guru Ravi Dass Commission, said they were fed up with the assurances given by the different governments in the state regarding the construction of the Ambedkar bhavans. He said the organisation of functions every year in memory of the great leader were hollow as long as some thing constructive was not done.

He revealed that in 1992, the Congress government had announced the construction of such bhavans in each major city of the state. While bhavans have come up in most of the other cities in the state, this city is still awaiting it.

The Vishvas Guru Ravi Dass Mission has demanded that Ambedkar bhavan be built where the foundation stone was laid and the policy of having one such bhavan in every district of the state be revived.



Hosiery manufacturers feel let down
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 14
Despite assurances from the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, that their demand for the withdrawal of the Central Excise Duty may be considered, most of the manufacturers appear to be cynical about any positive outcome on the issue. Meanwhile, the indefinite strike by hosiery manufacturers in the state entered its 16th day today, with reports that the strike may be extended till April 25.

However, some units are learnt to have started manufacturing goods clandestinely as they are supposed to meet the deadline for the delivery of orders. And it is in the same context that a number of them have also applied for the Central Excise registration with the department. Without the registration they can not sell their goods. However, there is no bar on production.

Department sources revealed that hundreds of manufacturers had got themselves registered and also declared their stocks for availing themselves of the credit facility on the pending stocks. Earlier, the deadline for declaring the stock position was April 7. It had been subsequently extended to April 14.

The manufacturers seem to be desperately awaiting some signal from the Central Government. Most of them have not applied for registration so far. In case the Central Excise Duty is not withdrawn and the date for filing the declaration is not further extended, the manufacturers will suffer huge losses as they will not be able to claim credit on their pending stocks.

As of now, with no word from the government on the extension of date for filing the stock declaration or the total withdrawal of the Central Excise Duty, all manufacturers will have to pay the full duty without being entitled to claiming any credit on the pending stocks. This factor is mainly worrying the manufacturers the most as they apprehend that ultimately they may have to pay the Central Excise Duty and that too without claiming the credit against the pending stocks.

The manufacturers are themselves finding it difficult to continue with the strike as they have to bear running costs. While most of the labour is employed on contract or on a day-to-day basis, those who have regular employees will have to pay their salaries, besides other costs.



How can VB alone fight corruption?
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 14
Is the Vigilance Bureau fighting the war against corruption in isolation? The answer seems to be in the affirmative if a perusal of action taken by different departments on vigilance reports is taken into account.

Highly placed sources disclosed to TNS here today that of 21 cases registered under the Prevention of Corruption(PC) Act against employees of different government departments, the departments concerned took action in one case only.

In all the other cases neither any departmental proceedings have been initiated nor the accused officials of the employees have been suspended. In some case, the employees were transferred but in some others not even this minor action was taken.

A senior official of the Health Department who was arrested under the PC Act not only escaped suspension but was posted on the plum seat once again. An inquiry by a senior police official was marked into his case. It is still pending. Informed sources disclosed that immense political pressure was exerted in this case.

Another case was of a patwari who was caught red-handed by the local Vigilance Bureau, when he was taking a bribe. The bureau had written to the Deputy Commissioner recommending his suspension from the department. Surprisingly, the patwari concerned continues to discharge his duties from the same post while he is facing trial under the PC Act.

An employee of the Municipal Corporation was also caught red-handed for accepting graft and later the VB had booked him for amassing the property worth Rs 1 crore. But no action has been taken till now.

One of the most glaring cases was of a Home Guards official. He was arrested under the PC Act. But then, owing to certain influences, one inquiry after the another was ordered. Ultimately, the official was reinstated on the post he was working at before his arrest.

Confirming this SSP, Vigilance, Mr Kawarjit Singh Sandhu, said the duty of VB was to recommend departmental action against the accused after registering a case against the person accused. It was upto the departmental officials to initiate action. He said that if such an action was taken it was in favour of the drive initiated to eradicate corruption from society.



PCR squads boon for liquor trade
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, April 14
For once the arch rivals in liquor trade in this district, the liquor baron from Uttar Pradesh, Mr Ponty Chadha, and the Garcha group headed by Mr Man Singh Garcha, brother of former Punjab Minister for Technical Education Mr Jagdish Singh Garcha, came together, albeit for a different reason.

Sinking their fierce business rivalry at least for this occasion, both of them not only placed on record the good work done by the Police Control Room (PCR) motor cycle squads in effectively checking crime in the district but also honoured three police personnel, who had been instrumental in making the seizure of a truck load of smuggled Indian Made Foreign Liquor in the city after a successful chase, the biggest till date in the state during last year.

Addressing a news conference here last evening, Mr Inderpreet Singh Chadha, brother of Mr Ponty Chadha and Mr Rajwant Singh, a close lieutenant of Mr Garcha, also announced the formation of Ludhiana Wine Traders Association, which they said would work for protecting the interests of the trade and sort out the problems through interaction with the government and the excise and taxation department.

Other prominent liquor traders, including Mr Harish Chhabra, Mr Ashok Dhir, Mr Om Parkash Johar and Mr Rakesh Gandhi were also present.

According to Mr Rajwant Singh, ever since the PCR motor cycle squad became functional in the district, the petty crime had dramatically declined and general sense of security was palpable. As a result, the liquor trade, involving large cash transactions and continuing

"That the liquor auction in the district has fetched around 19 percent more in the current year is largely due to the liquor traders feeling secure all with intensive patrolling by mobile squads of PCR."

Mr Chadha observed that during the past one year, not a single untoward incident took place at any of the liquor vends in the district which was a remarkable achievement in itself and spoke volumes about the effective policing.

He asked the police top brass to further strengthen the PCR mobile squad to uproot the crime and went a step further to make an offer to the police department for providing required number of motor cycles if more men were deployed for this job.

Three police personnel, Ajaib Singh, Mangal Singh and Gurnam Singh, all members of the PCR mobile squad, were felicitated at this occasion in appreciation for making the biggest ever haul of smuggled liquor in a single go near south city colony on the outskirts of the city.



City sanitary conditions in tatters
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, April 14
The affairs of the Municipal Corporation seem to be in a mess as sanitary conditions are deteriorating day by day in the city. Huge heaps of garbage can be seen all over the city and civic body appears to be nonexistent.

Similarly, the condition of roads is bad and no concrete steps have been taken to repair these. Municipal parks that had started witnessing some development as a result of formation of park management committees (PMCs) have also lost luster. The park management committees have not yet received arrears of over Rs 70 lakh for the past almost two years now and the PMCs have now become defunct. Interestingly, the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, has taken little interest in the affairs of the Municipal Corporation.

During a round of the town, one can find huge heaps of garbage all along the roads and even posh residential colonies are no exception. Localities like the Civil Hospital, CMC Hospital, Sarabha Nagar, Chauri Sarak, Aggar Nagar, Dugri Road, wear a picture of filth and neglect. Daresi road is the worst hit. Pigs, stray cattle and donkeys can be seen all around the city.

The menace of stray dogs has also increased and there is no anti-rabies campaign in the town.

To quote US-based Dr Harmeet Sachdev, who recently visited Ludhiana: “When I reached near Ludhiana, I found a huge hoarding with the slogan ‘Keep Ludhiana clean and green’ and I was very happy that at least some efforts had gone in to keep the city clean. But as soon as I entered the city, disappointment took over as I found huge garbage dumps all around the city. Dr Sachdev is a specialist in stroke and is settled at San Jose in California (USA).

Inquiries show that the MC has around 2,000 sweepers to keep the city clean. They have been divided into different zones. Besides, there are 45 trucks to remove the garbage from the city and nearly 800 tonnes of garbage is collected daily. As many as 240 containers have been set up in the city by the MC. But the containers are not cleaned daily.

Dr Sukhbir Singh Sandhu who served the MC as its commissioner for three years was able to bring out perceptible change in the outlook of the city. He undertook campaigns to plant trees and set up containers. The establishment of the park management committees was also done by Dr Sandhu. But he was ousted unceremoniously. Dr Sandhu has since gone back to his original state cadre of UP.

The Federation of Park Management Committees consists of as many as 128 PMCs and is headed by the retired Government of India Secretary, Mr S.S. Channa. Mr Channa served in the Union Environment Ministry.

The MC had entered into agreement with the park management committees for the upkeep of the parks, under which the MC was to pay the PMCs Re 1 per sq m. As many as 128 park management committees were formed. But the Punjab Government raised objection to the agreement and it was maintained that the government would not pay more than Rs 1,000 per month.

According to Mr Channa, the PMCs had yet to receive Rs 70 lakh from the MC. Since the MC did not release the payment, the PMCs stopped working and only five such committees were functioning now, according to Mr Channa, covering only 14 parks. Earlier, 128 PMCs covered 400 parks.

Mr Channa regrets that the attitude of the Punjab Government and the authorities of the MC is negative.

The Federation of Park Management Committees is now planning to move the Punjab and Haryana High Court and the Punjab State Human Rights Commission to set the things right and get the arrears.

Mr Channa emphasised that the industrial hub of the city badly needed clean environment, as pollution levels of industrial effluent, air and noise were very high.

The MC has developed a mini-rose garden at a cost of Rs 95 lakh for the old city. Besides, the MC has also developed a leisure valley in the Sarabha Nagar area and spent Rs 70 lakh on it. This valley covers an area of 13.5 acre. Rakh Bagh and Nehru Rose Garden are the other two places that are thronged by Ludhianvis for morning walk.

The MC authorities have been talking of repairing all roads in the interior of the city. However, only patch work has been done and no regular campaign has been launched to keep the roads in order.



Relive historic day at war museum
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

A copy of the Instrument of Surrender between General Aurora and General Niazi at the local war museum
A copy of the Instrument of Surrender between General Aurora and General Niazi at the local war museum in Ludhiana. — Photo Inderjit Verma 

Ludhiana, April 14
For those who want to relive December 16, 1971, the day in the history of India and Bangladesh when Lieut-Gen Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi, former Martial Law Administrator of East Pakistan, had signed the Instrument of Surrender with Lieut-Gen Jagjit Singh Aurora, General Officer, Commanding-In-Chief, Indian and Bangladesh Forces, a visit to the local war museum is enough to go down the memory lane and rediscover the importance of the day.

Maharaja Ranjit Singh War Museum, situated on Jalandhar Road, near here, has set up a special section, Birth of a Nation, which depicts the importance of the day when both General Niazi and General Aurora had signed the Instrument of Surrender, giving birth to Bangladesh.

Those born after December 16, 1971, might not understand the importance of the day, which is recorded in the Indian history as an all-time great victory of Indian forces, but a visit to the section is enough to make you pay rich tributes to the heroes of the war. The old timers still remember the day when the pictures capturing the moments of surrender were published in various newspapers and the Indian victory was celebrated by all.

The life-size statues of both generals, while sitting together to sign the Instrument of Surrender, accompanied by other officials can actually make one realise the importance of the day.

The museum carries an original copy of the Instrument of Surrender signed by them. The work on the section is in progress and will be completed soon. Wg Cdr M.S. Randhawa, Deputy Director District Sainik Welfare Board-cum-in charge War Museum, while talking to Ludhiana Tribune said the museum had recently received a grant of Rs 68 lakh from the state government and the entire money would be utilised in giving the museum a facelift and completing the unfinished work.

He said at a recent high-level meeting held under the leadership of Ms Geetika Kalha, secretary, Sainik Welfare Department, the work on the museum was discussed. He said Ms Kalha had asked Dr S.S. Biswas, chairman of Asia Pacific, to put up diagrammatic representations of the various galleries that were to be upgraded by utilising the grant.

He said the work was to be submitted to the authorities within a few days and the final decision would be taken after that. Wing Commander Randhawa said she had specifically told them to lay emphasis on the gallery that had not been started for the want of funds.



Crossword puzzles are stress-busters
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, April14
“I cannot unwind after a tense day in office till I come home and solve a crossword puzzle. I get so totally lost in finding words ‘across’ and ‘down,’ that by the time the puzzle is finished, I am totally relaxed and ready to face the complexities of life once again,” says Mr Rajesh Kulkarni, working in a bank. The pressures are too much in the office. The crossword puzzles present a challenge and test your knowledge and at the same time act as stress-busters for me.”

Ms Roopkamal says,” We used to solve crossword puzzles in schools and had a fierce competition as to who is going to solve the entire one. It improved our vocabulary. But now I do not get time as a working mother. There is hardly any time left for solving the ‘anagrams’. But I miss them sorely.”

The fact that almost all the national dailies and regional papers bring out new crosswords using valuable space in the news papers daily or weekly, speaks highly of popularity of the puzzle.

Mr Bipin says, “It takes me 45 minutes to reach my office every day. Since I am driven by a chauffeur, I use the time taken to commute by solving crossword puzzles. I do using ‘cryptic clue’ as simple clues I find too easy. There are no prizes, yet the clues deliciously taunt your brains and one is not able to be rest in peace till all the puzzle is solved.”

Did you know that Arthur Wynne had the job of devising the weekly puzzle page for Fun, the eight-page comic section of the New York World? When he devised what he called a Word-cross for the Christmas 1913 edition, published on December 21, he could have no idea that he would be starting a worldwide craze.

The puzzle page had previously featured plenty of word squares, rebuses, hidden words, anagrams and connect-the-dots drawings. For this edition Wynne decided he would have something new. He sketched out a diamond-shaped grid, wrote FUN, the name of the comic section, across the top squares, and started filling in the rest of the grid. He numbered the squares at the start and end of each word, and wrote definition clues for the words he had filled in. The puzzle was printed with the instruction to the solver: “Fill in the small squares with words which agree with the following definitions.” Thus was the crossword born.

The new puzzle became popular immediately, and continued to appear every week. One change was that after a few weeks the name was changed from word-cross to cross-word. After experimenting with different shapes, including a circular puzzle, Wynne eventually settled on a rectangular pattern. It was not until some time later that the hyphen was dropped, and the cross-word became a crossword.

The cross-word has remained the same till date. Certain people are involved in making new crossword puzzles. The people who are hooked to it will solve it on computer which has several web sites devoted to it. The names given are interesting like Black Friday is the name given to a crossword quiz based on Abhraham Lincoln.

Vibhuti an IT professional says, “We like making our own cross-word puzzles. One has to have a wide knowledge of all the subjects plus general knowledge to both devise a puzzle and solve one. The day you are able to solve the entire crossword, it gives you a high otherwise the unsolved clues keep gnawing at you till you have found the solutions. I think people must take to solving puzzles as it really improves your vocabulary and general knowledge.” 



Moderate response to truckers’ stir
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 14
There was a moderate response to a chakka jam call by the All-India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) in the district on its first day today. Although all major transport unions have endorsed the call, many are waiting for the response at the national level before they too follow suit.

The national body has announced an indefinite nationwide stir in protest against “anti-trucker policies being pursued by the Centre and state governments.” Thousands of truck operators affiliated to various state and regional unions stopped operations from 6 a.m today.

Inquiries with the local truckers revealed that most of their demands had been pending for the past many years. Even after several representations to the government, its problems had not been addressed. In such a scenario, the truckers were left with no choice but to fight for their rights from time to time.

The truckers claimed that nearly 10 crore people associated with this industry were at the receiving end due to the government’s “anti-truckers” policies. They said the transporters were not ready to accept the government’s decision to replace 15-year-old vehicles as it would mean a massive financial burden for them, particularly at a time when the cost of operations was rising and recession had hit the market.

Claiming that a truck-owner contributes over Rs 2 lakh as various taxes to the Centre and state governments, they said that if the government was keen on replacing vehicles, it should first come up with a national policy announcing concession in excise duty, sales tax and interest-free loans for purchase of new vehicles. Besides, the replacement should be carried out in a phased manner, they pointed out.

Opposing toll tax on old roads that were now being widened, they said transport operators had been paying cess for the construction of roads besides road tax. We were demanding that the prices of diesel be stabilised and the cess on the fuel be withdrawn. There should be no excise duty on the purchase of chassis and the outdated Carriers Act, 1865, be amended. Deviation in the National permit Scheme should not be allowed and all regional transport offices should be interlinked,” they added.

Recalling that they were with the government when it came to the problem of overloading, they alleged that the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority’s guidelines were not being followed by all insurance companies in respect to “third party insurance cover.” At the local level they were being harassed by District Transport Officers, the said.



US-Iraq war theme dominates fancy dress
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 14
The theme of US-Iraq war dominated the fancy dress competition for the students of primary wing of Kundan Vidya Mandir held here today. Clad in blood-stained gown, Poojan Chibba of Class IV, acted like a wounded Iraqi woman. Arnish Rawal, of the same class, mimicked Saddam Hussain. Yet another student, dressed up on the theme ‘Iraq crisis’, had one hand painted like the flag of Iraq and the other one with US flag. He wore a gown painted with portraits of Saddam Hussain and George W. Bush.

The contest was divided into three sections. In the first section, students from LKG and UKG took part. Sukirat (beggar) was adjudged first, Mahul Jain (chef Sanjeev Kapoor) and Muskan Singh (mother) shared the second prize. Parth Aggarwal (musical lamp) stood third and the consolation prize went to Gayatri Virmani (flower).

In the second section, students from Classes I and II took part. Sarthak Jain (a Jain muni) was adjudged first, Ankita Jain (bartan wali) got the second prize and Shivangi (Aamir Khan) stood third. The consolation prize went to Viran (bus conductor) and Malika Jain (Chanakya). In the third section, students from Classes III to V took part. Poojan Chhiba (Iraq) and Surya Bhatia were adjudged first, Garima Gupta (junk food) won the second prize and Shreya Kapoor (Ruby Bhatia) stood third. The consolation prize went to Chesta (Mayawati) and Tammana (Bharat ki pukar).



MSP of wheat: BKU stir today

Khanna, April 14
The Bharatiya Kisan Union will launch a rail roko agitation at Rajpura tomorrow from 12 noon to 2 PM in protest against the Union Government’s decision to freeze the minimum support price of wheat at Rs 620 per quintal. Mr Balbir Singh Rajewal, national general Secretary of the union, said here today that thousands of farmers from all over Punjab world reach Rajpura tomorrow to join the agitation.

He said despite a big hike in the cost of production of wheat, the yield per acre this year had also come down by at least four quintals per acre. This would badly affect the already debt-ridden farmers of Punjab.

Mr Rajewal said if the Union Government still failed to review the minimum support price of wheat, a new action programme would be announced shortly. OC



PPCC Legal Cell to be reorganised
Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 14
The Chairman of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee Legal Cell, Mr S.K. Pipat, has said the cell would soon be reorganised. He assured members of the local legal cell that important assignments would be given only to sincere, hardworking and loyal partymen in the new committee.

Mr Pipat was addressing the lawyers’ fraternity at a function organised by the District Legal Cell in the honour of his becoming the chairman of the State Legal Cell in the old courts complex, here on Saturday.

Mr Gurcharan Singh Galib, MP, assured the lawyers that all cooperation would be extended. The Mayor, Mr Nahar Singh Gill, also spoke on this occasion. The office-bearers of the legal cell also honoured Mr Kuljit Singh Sidhu, the newly appointed Senior Advocate-General of Punjab, Mr Hemant Kalia.



13 booked after loading dispute
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, April 14
On a complaint of Mr Jarnail Singh and Mr Palwinder Singh, grain merchants and commission agents of JP Traders at Grain Market here, the police booked 13 labourers of local. All-Food and Allied Loading, Unloading Mazdoor Union under Sections 107 and 151 CrPC, yesterday.

The labourers — Ranjeet Singh, Dilbag Singh, Kalwant Singh, Balbir Singh, Karnail Singh, Mohan Singh, Suraajin, Sunil, Umar, Nejam and Satpaul — were produced before the Court of SDM, Amloh, who released them on bail.

Talking to mediapersons, Mr Sakander Singh and Mr Tehal Singh, leaders of the union, said their union was registered and had been engaged in loading and unloading work of Markfed, Punsup, DFC, Warehouse, Punjab Agro and FCI at a fixed rate of Re 1 per bag at the local grain market. They alleged that JP Traders had engaged a private contractor for loading work. When the union raised an objection to it they were beaten up and two shots were fired from a revolver.

The labour union further alleged that the police took no action on their complaint. But on the complaint of JP Traders, 13 workers of the union were arrested. 



Five hurt in road mishap
Our Correspondent

Khanna, April 14
Five persons, including three women, were injured in a road accident near Libra village, 4 km from here, this afternoon.
According to the information, a car en route from Amritsar to Delhi hit a tractor. Three women passengers and the driver of the car suffered injuries. The driver of the tractor was also hurt. The injured were admitted to the Civil Hospital, Khanna.

One of the women alleged that some member of the public stole their purses and earrings etc.

The injured were identified as Kulwant Kaur, Surjit Kaur, Ravinder Kaur, Kulwinder Singh and Bhupinder Singh.


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