Thursday, May 15, 2003, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


MC to inspect sewerage board work for quality
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, May 14
The entire work executed by the Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board (PWSSB) on behalf of the Municipal Corporation for expansion of water supply and sewerage network in the city will be minutely scrutinised for quality of the material used and the workmanship. In case even minor deficiencies in the specifications, quality and quantity of work are found, the civic body may be compelled to take up the matter with the state government for withdrawal of all such works from the PWSSB in future.

The decision comes in the wake of recent raids conducted by the Vigilance Bureau on several ongoing sewerage and water supply works of the PWSSB and preliminary reports indicate that sub-standard material and poor workmanship was being used in the execution of these projects in various city localities.

The MC Commissioner, Mr S.K. Sharma, said the work for 150 crore HUDCO-aided sewerage project and the “Water for All” schemes was entrusted to the PWSSB under the provisions of Section 221 of Punjab Municipal Corporation Act, 1976. The very purpose of handing over the work to a government agency was to ensure good quality work with stringent specifications because laying of water mains and sewerage network was a life-long project.

Under the “Water for All” scheme, the PWSSB was to sink 22 tube-wells and lay 144 km of pipeline in different areas at a cost of Rs 5.46 crore. Further, 65 km of main sewer line and 566 km of branch sewer was to be laid under the Hudco project. The PWSSB had already laid 11 km of main line and 183 km of branch sewer against which the MC had released an amount of Rs 22.26 crore. Mr Sharma said both the projects were still under execution and would be handed over to the MC after completion for “operation and maintenance”. “At the time of taking over these projects, we shall get them thoroughly inspected for laid down specifications, quality of material and workmanship with no compromise, whatsoever.” He further said since the vigilance probe was still on, it would be premature to jump to conclusions but if it was established that the PWSSB had failed to carry out the work in strict compliance with the specifications and quality as per the estimate and work order, the MC would have to evolve some other system for execution of such works in future, with the approval of the state government and under the legal framework.



Basement restaurants: virtual death traps
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 14
The recent decision of the district administration ordering the closure of all restaurants operating from the basements of various buildings is a welcome step, particularly in view of the mushrooming of such restaurants across the city. Such places pose a potential fire risk with possibility of a major tragedy, as these places often remain crowded.

On the other hand, restaurant owners are claiming that they have been operating only after getting due permission from the authorities concerned. And, they maintain that the permission is granted only after all the norms, including the fire safety measures, are fully adhered to. “We are as much concerned about the public safety as anyone else as we belong to the same place and the same society,” claimed a restaurant owner.

There are over 100 restaurants in the city with most of them operating from basements. While some of these only serve food from the basements, with kitchens on the ground floor, a number of these have kitchen in the basement itself, thus posing a potential fire risk. It has also been found that not many of these restaurants observe any fire safety norms.

A random survey conducted by Ludhiana Tribune in several restaurants operating from basements revealed interesting details. Most of these have only one entry and exit point. There are no fire extinguishers installed anywhere. Even if there are some, these are expired, rusted and their nozzles blocked. One of the restaurant managers frankly admitted that since the fire extinguishers were hardly being used he did not feel the need or necessity to replace them with fresh ones. However, he agreed, after some recent incidents of fire there was a definite need for replacing these. He also claimed that he had been operating the restaurant from his basement for a long time with all safety measures. But he could not explain as to what safety measures he had taken except for having installed the rusted fire extinguishers.

Most of the restaurant owners are trying to resist the closure with some of them even planning to seek the intervention of the court, giving the plea that no such incident has ever been reported from any such places.

On the other hand, the president of the Punjab Hotel and Restaurant Association, Mr N.S. Nanda, said the recent orders of the administration needed to be clarified. He claimed that there was a provision that restaurants could be run from basements also, with the condition that the kitchen was not in the same basement. He said restaurants being operated from basements had due permission from the authorities and government should check it first before ordering a blanket closure of all the restaurants.

Since places like restaurants are always crowded, these run a greater risk of a tragedy. If a tragedy has not taken place so far, it is a sheer chance. And in case any such tragedy occurs it would be too difficult for the people to escape safe or alive since these basements have only a single, and in most of the cases a very narrow, entry and exit point.



Admn serves ultimatum on encroachers
Naveen S Garewal
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 14
The district administration and the vendors encroaching the main roads leading to Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) from the Jagraon bridge are headed for a confrontation with the administration issuing a stern warning for clearing of the roads for smooth flow of traffic. The administration has slapped a 24-hour notice to clear all obstacles to the traffic in the form of cemented structure stairs, rehiris and display of goods by the shopkeepers outside their shops.

The two roads to CMCH, one via Jail Road and from Lakshmi Cinema and the other via Subhani building, are virtually clogged due to encroachment and delay access to the Civil Hospital in case of an emergency like the recent fire in Khud Mohallah. The district administration has decided to remove all the illegal encroachments clearing the route for the injured to the rushed to the hospital.

Ludhiana Deputy Commissioner Anurag Agarwal has been personally identifying obstacles accompanied by Mr V.K. Gupta, Zonal Commissioner Municipal Corporation, Mr Gurdial Singh, SP Traffic, Mr M.S. Jaggi, Assistant Commissioner and Mrs Bhawna Garg, SDM (East). He has directed Mr Gupta to make an announcement informing the shopkeepers that all encroachments have to go within the next 24 hours failing which licences of the vendors, etc will be cancelled.

A yellow lines would also be marked on both sides of roads and no vehicle would allowed to be parked in a manner that it protrudes outside the marked line. The Deputy Commissioner said for those who failed to comply with the instruction within the next 24 hours, Municipal Corporation officials had been instructed to get all encroachments removed and the expenses would be charged to the concerned shopkeepers. Besides any shopkeeper who allowed the road outside his shop to be encroached would also be fined. He added that the licence of the concerned shopkeeper would also be cancelled.

The Deputy Commissioner said in case of any incident i.e. outbreak of fire or any incident, at present, it was very difficult to take the injured persons to the CMC Hospital because, as more than 50 per cent part of these roads have been encroached upon by the shopkeepers. He said when on May 11 a fire tragedy occurred in Khud Mohalla, these encroachments posed a lot of problems to shift the seriously injured persons to the CMC.

He highlighted that on the road from Lakshmi Cinema to Subhani building, a large number of power poles were identified standing inside the road, which were creating a major hindrance to the smooth flow of traffic. The Municipal Corporation has been asked to remove these poles to remove bottlenecks.

Mr Gurdial Singh, SP (Traffic), has also been asked to take effective steps to regulate the traffic on the two roads and not to allow autorickshaws to park on the roads He also asked him to impose one-way traffic at the triangular chowk near Lakshmi Cinema road, as it was being done earlier.

Meanwhile, the Rehri association president, Mr Bal Krishan Pappi, has said the administration has no right to get the roads cleared without providing alternative sites to the vendors.



Rights panel asked to expedite hearing
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 14
The International Human Rights Organisation (IHRO) has asked the Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC) to expedite hearing in a complaint pending before it. The case pertains to an Executive Engineer of the Drainage Division, Patiala, who was allegedly transferred by the state government to shield certain politicians close to the Punjab CM.

Mr D.S. Gill, chairperson of the body, while making an application on behalf of complainant Devinder Singh Jassar for an early hearing and investigation of the complaint by the Commission’s ADGP, S.K. Verma, pleaded that the complainant had been victimised by the state because the persons, against whom he had got an FIR registered (No 197, dated 07/06/2002) happened to be Congress activists and are reportedly close to the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh.

Mr N.K. Arora, a member of the commission, heard the arguments and advanced the hearing of the case from August 12 to June 3, with a notice to the IGP, Litigation, for compliance before the next date of hearing, since the Patiala police has moved the court for cancellation of the FIR. He said initially, the police did its duty well, but later, allegedly buckling down under political pressure, the culprits, Madan Lal Contractor (now Member, Zila Parishad) and others, against whom a criminal case has been registered, exerted pressure on the powers that be and had the complainant transferred.

"Intriguingly, the commission, instead of probing the matter itself or getting it investigated by its investigation wing, handed over the case to the district police, which, under political pressure, was committed to give relief to the culprits," he argued, adding that ‘they (the police) did the same and the report, which they submitted to the commission, speaks for itself.’

"The IHRO, on behalf of the complainant, rejects the report as a bundle of deceit, trickery, manipulation and contrary to truth, and mainly aimed at pleasing the political bosses," he added.

"Therefore, we urge the commission to hear the complainant, allow him to produce evidence in support of his complaint or hand over its investigation to Commission’s ADGP for investigation so that he may feel that he can get justice from this august commission," Mr Gill said.

Going into the background of the case, he said the Executive Engineer, Mr Jassar, had reported to the police that a local Congress leader, Madam Lal, and his supporters had resorted to hooliganism in his office, on June 7, to stop him from opening tenders for flood protection works. They had allegedly taken away his cellphone and office files and damaged furniture.

The Civil Lines police had registered a case of theft and hooliganism against Madan Lal and others for harassing and stopping Drainage Department Executive Engineer from D.S. Jassar, from discharging his official duties under Sections 379, 506, 353, 186, 148 and 149 of the IPC.



BSNL rollback comes as a relief
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 14
The much sought-after price rollback by the BSNL has come as a major relief to consumers. The BSNL reduced the call prices from landline to cellular phone by 50 per cent yesterday. From now onwards, a three-minute call from a landline to the cell phone will cost Rs 3.60 only against Rs 7.20 according to the earlier tariff revision.

Most people in the city expressed relief over the rollback. They pointed out, although it is still relatively expensive to make a call on a cell phone, but this is definitely a welcome step. Besides the increase in number of free calls per month in the urban areas from 30 to 50 has also been hailed by the people.

A number of people today welcomed the move. As the confusion got cleared today, the number of calls received by people on their cell phones also increased. People, said the one time hike by six times was too exorbitant and unacceptable.

They said the one-minute pulse, which would cost Re 1.20 only, was a better option. Earlier it was the 30 second pulse, which was too small for any conversation. Most people said one minute was a sufficient duration to talk and people will not feel overcharged.

Mr Vipan Kumar a leading businessman of the city, said people would again start calling on cell phones without bothering to pay too much. “Otherwise everybody would call on the landline only and the number of calls on cell phone from a landline had come down by over 80 per cent”, he pointed out.



Braveheart loses battle for life
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 14
Jaspal Singh Pappu was a brave man, who fought against all odds throughout his life and he breathed his last while saving lives of others. This brave man did not give up his fight for life till he had saved two children by bringing them out of the raging fire.

He suffered serious burn injuries in the Saturday’s fire and died on Monday after struggling to survive for two days.

Pappu was a self-made man in his late 30s. He started his life while selling various articles on a rehri.

His hard work paid him dividends as over a period of time he established himself in business and currently he was running a provisional store with a good turnover.

He had also constructed a good house in the Khud Mohalla area.

On the fateful Saturday afternoon, he was sitting in his shop when he heard the cries and screams coming from the houses adjacent to his shop where people had been trapped in the fire.

He jumped into the fire and brought out a child safely. He saw another child crying there and he went in again and brought him out also safely. However, the third time he was not lucky enough to save anyone, not even himself.

When he went inside, the benzene drum burst sending out flames of fire. Pappu was trapped in the fire and he collapsed there, while suffering serious burn injuries. Tragically there was nobody who could bring him out.

It was only after the fire was controlled that he was shifted to the Christian Medical College Hospital where the brave man in him resisted death for two days. But ultimately he gave up the fight.

Pappu is survived by his wife Devinder Kaur, two sons and a daughter.

The family is unable to believe the tragedy that has befallen on them. Everybody praises Pappu’s bravery.

His long-time neighbour, Mr Jaspal Singh, a bank Manager, recalls that Pappu was always like that.

He would rush in where others would not dare to look and he did exactly the same thing by saving the lives of others while paying with his own life.



Satta mafia makes a comeback
D.B. Chopra

Ludhiana, May 14
After the recent trading of charges and counter-charges against each other by Congress and BJP leaders of having close links with some satta sharks, where does the campaign against satta operators in the city stand?

An honest answer to this question, going by the police action taken during the past week, would be that the campaign, which was launched quite vigorously by Mr H.S.Sidhu soon after taking over as the SSP, Ludhiana, has been successfully “sabotaged” by the satta mafia, which cannot afford to lose the highly lucrative business.

In fact, the publication of photographs of some of the well-known satta sharks along with influential politicians of the city, belonging to both the Congress and the BJP, has given them more clout. The general refrain of these politicians after the publication of their photographs was that they were public figures and as such had to attend several functions. And they had no means of knowing that a particular host was a satta shark or involved in some other illegal activity.

An interesting part of the whole episode was that while none of the satta sharks whose pictures were published in the newspapers denied of being what they were, the politicians also did not utter a word against the satta operations.

And when the DCC (I) chief, Mr Bawa, gave a statement to the press against these satta sharks, one of the sharks, who had been contributing to election funds of leaders of both the parties, retaliated by saying: “The lamps lighting the houses of these leaders are burning due to the oil filled by me and my colleagues,” with the result that satta mafia, comprising satta operators, politicians and corrupt policemen, had the last laugh. The big business is going on briskly with no fear of the law.

According to sources, apart from these satta sharks, whose pictures were published in newspapers, there are several other satta kings in the city who are well known to the police. Policemen of various police stations in the city depend heavily on these men to finance petrol for their scooters, cash cards for their mobile phones etc.

One such satta shark, who operates from the Cheema chowk, is said to be doling out as much as Rs 2,000 per day to policemen who want to buy a phone card or petrol for their vehicle.

In the beginning of the campaign against satta operators, this operator was among the sharks who were booked under the Gambling Act. But his business did not suffer much as he was out on bail the very next day. So were the other sharks. A number of bookies grounded only to resurface after a fortnight or so and carry on with renewed vigour to make up for the lost time.

However, sources also pointed out that small-time bookies were being picked up even now by the police. But this is being done not to book them under the relevant Gambling Act but to extract cash from them. Most of such bookies, who pass on their collections to the sharks, are picked up at night time when they are almost through with the day’s business and have some cash on them.



CPI flays casino plan on martyrdom day
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 14
The local unit of the Communist Party of India (CPI) observed the martyrdom day of Comrade Gurmail Singh Hounjan, who was assassinated by terrorists on May 14, 1989, along with his security guard, Comrade Joginder Singh.

Speaking at an impressive rally at his native village Pandher Kheri, near Dehlon, various leaders recalled the selfless work carried on by the deceased.

Those who addressed the meeting included Dr Joginder Dayal, Secretary, CPI, Comrade Bharat Parkash, Comrade Kartar Singh Bowani, district secretary, Dr Arun Mitra, Comrade Gulzar Singh Goorea, Comrade O P Mehta. Transport Minister Tej Prakash Singh and Mr Balwant Singh Ramoowalia of the Lok Bhalai Party were also present on the occasion.

The leaders said he stood steadfast throughout his life against religious fundamentalism and hatred in the name of religion caste or creed.

The speakers warned that the danger of fundamentalism is still not over, but has increased after the NDA came into power.The events in Gujarat are an apt serious pointer to the dangerous path being treaded by the government and its umbrella organisations.

The Sangh Parivar and its various outfits are spreading venom in the name of religion and threatening believers of other religions by distributing trishuls to their followers.

It is ironical that while the BJP talks of fighting terrorism, it chooses to keep quiet about those who killed thousands of innocent men, women and children in Gujarat, they added.

Commenting on the economic policies of the government, the speakers said the government is out to sell the assets of the nation and our natural resources to the multinationals at throw away prices, reducing subsidies to the farmers and poor, making education and health care facilities, which should be right of all citizens, a saleable commodity, and making education exorbitantly expensive and out of reach of the common man.

This is being done under the diktat of World Trade Organisation (WTO), the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF).

This will lead to deprivation of millions of our people and affect our agriculture and affect not only the poor but also even the middle classes. Unemployment has already started increasing, they pointed out.

The speakers also attacked Capt Amarinder Singh’s policies. They were highly critical of the plan to open casinos in the state.

This could plunge the state into a gambling den. Lotteries are already doing a lot of damage to society, the speakers pointed out.

Attacking the US Administration over its dual policy on Pakistan, the leaders pointed out that it is a fact that that terrorism in Punjab was abetted by the ISI of Pakistan at the behest of USA. It is true for terrorism in Kashmir and other parts of the country.



Residents lose sleep as police phones have a (s)nap
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, May 14
“Service to the dialled number has been temporarily withdrawn.” The word “temporarily” seems to be gaining permanence with the passage of time as more than one month has passed since the telephone connection of the Sahnewal police station was snapped for non-payment of bills.

This police station caters to the security needs of 117 villages. Residents of the town and the villagers of the surrounding areas are passing through a phase of insecurity. “In case of emergency, whom should we call for help?,” asks a villager. “We cannot expect police help even in case of dire necessity. At the time of the occurrence of any incident, is it possible to reach the police station personally?” say villagers.

According to Mr Santa Singh Umaidpuri, former chairman of the Sahnewal Market Committee, “People are facing inconvenience due to non-availability of any telephone link with security officials. Making general complaints or providing any information to the police has become difficult.”

Residents are spending sleepless nights as the fear of miscreants, mainly in the peripheral areas, haunts them continuously. Some of them are of the view that the absence of any telephone link with the police station can lead to an increase in untoward incidents, as miscreants can carry out their evil business in a fearless manner. People have demanded immediate restoration of telephone connection of the police station.

Even the police officials do not know how to deal with the situation. A big sum needs to be paid by the government for the restoration of the telephone connection. According to a senior police official, “We have asked for restoration of incoming call facility. People are facing a tough time as they are not able to contact us in time. They first call at number 100, from where we receive wireless messages. Thus the action gets delayed.”

Similar is the case with the Doraha police post and the Payal police station, where after a period of about five months, people have almost given up the hope of restoration of police telephone connections. In the whole process, it is the public which is facing inconvenience.



Mat sellers from Tamil Nadu
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, May 14
To earn their livelihood, about hundred persons have come from Tamil Nadu to the city for selling mats.
Veeru, one such mat seller, says they did not have any source of income in Tamil Nadu and were starving. Then they met a contractor whose job was to purchase mats from local manufacturers and employ people to sell these on commission basis.

They were herded in a train and after a nightmarish journey they reached New Delhi. From there they travelled by bus to Ludhiana where they were asked to live in a crowded room in the old city area. Next morning, they were given mats to sell, Veeru says.

Unfamiliar with the topography of the city they generally have a harrowing time finding their rooms every night, he says. Their biggest problem is language. Neither are they understood by the local people nor can they understand them. For selling a pair of mats, they get a commission of Rs 10. So it is in their interest to sell as many mats as they can.

Every day they walk under the blazing sun 10 to 15 km selling mats and return to their rooms in the evening completely exhausted, he says.



Garcha appears before Vigilance officials
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 14
Senior Akali leader and former Minister Jagdish Singh Garcha appeared before Vigilance Bureau officials here today. He was accompanied by his supporters. He had earlier got court directions that he should be served with seven-day notice before his arrest.

His today’s appearance was in connection with a case registered against him for allegedly amassing wealth disproportionate to known sources of his income. He said he had come to present his case before the Vigilance officials.

The Vigilance officials reportedly told him to make himself available within a week for investigation into the case. Assuring full cooperation to the Vigilance, officials, he said he was ready to give whatever information was asked from him. He stayed there for sometime.

Earlier, while talking to reporters, he alleged that it was political victimisation. He alleged that the case had been registered at the behest of “the owners of a five-star hotel, who were his political opponents and one of whose relatives was an Additional Director General of Police”.

He said he was being booked in view of the coming panchayat elections in the state. He said the case was “absolutely false” as he had inherited the property much before he joined politics. He was released from the prison only a few weeks ago.



Elderly need a better deal

The elderly people are very much a part of the same society and system. They have made their quota of contribution to society. Now society also needs to take due care of them. They do not have any great expectations. But they only want their due. Most of these elderly people live by their savings after having paid all the income tax all through their life. During the last one decade the interest rates on the savings in the banks have drastically fallen. The saving bank interest is the only means of income of most of these people. Against this, the prices of all essential commodities have seen a sharp rise. Even the prices of essential drugs have increased manifold. Under these circumstances the elderly people feel helpless and desperate. It is high time that the government considers their case sympathetically so that the rate of interest on their savings is slightly more.

D V Saharan

Clash in park: charges denied

Through this letter, I want to deny the charges being levelled by Mr M.K. Chhabra in Ludhiana Tribune dated April 24, regarding the boys playing cricket in the MC park in Dugri.

The time of the boys clashes with that of some senior citizens take an evening stroll. I want to emphasise that its a public place meant for everyone, be it old or young. The park is spread over a vast area and the boys play in a small area. Hence, the senior citizens can have a walk in rest of the park.

Also, on the day in question, when it was pointed out by the senior citizens that they wanted to take their walk in the evening, it was amicably agreed by both parties that the boys will play cricket till only 6.30 p.m., leaving the park free for the elders afterwards.

Moreover, the other charges voiced by Mr Chhabra, too, are wrong. The park adjoins the rear of a house which does not have any windowpanes. So the question of window panes being broken does not arise. Also, no senior citizen has ever been hit or hurt, what to talk of hospitalisation.

It is pertinent to mention that an elderly Sikh gentleman living in a nearby house, who does not even take a walk in the park, one day uprooted the wickets and abused the boys. The boys did not utter a single word, but begged him to let them play.

Moreover, these people who talk of rules, are the same who have broken them. The park is actually a green belt which has been fenced in with grills. But many people have broken the grills and encroached upon the place.

Head of batch of boys

Phone connection: boon or bane?

In the ’80s, a telephone connection was considered a luxury, as it was not an easy thing to acquire and a 10-year waiting list existed. Mr Sukh Ram, the then Communications Minister belonging to Himachal Pradesh, promised Himachalis phone connections on demand.

But in Punjab, it was still a dream for the people. For a Tatkal scheme, an amount of Rs 30,000 was required which was a costly proposition.

Now such instances are a thing of the past. Nowadays, in a fast-moving world, a phone connection is a necessity.

But now the Punjab government has imposed a service tax of 8 per cent, while the Telecommunications Department has reduced the free calls besides the pulse rates. Common man, who was using it as a necessity, will think a hundred times before using it.

There is a general feeling that every household is thinking of getting the same disconnected. The Telecommunications Department has reduced the cost for the cell phone holders at the cost of landline subscribers, it has now become a bane.

K.L. Chitkara



Follow Guru Granth Sahib for bliss, says scholar
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 14
Dr Sarup Singh Alag, a renowned Sikh scholar, while delivering his presidential address at Gurdwara Ramgarhia, Khanna, stressed to follow the teachings of Guru Granth Sahib for solace, peace and spiritual bliss.

Dr Alag was the chief guest at the award distribution function organised by the Khanna unit of Sikh Missionary College. Besides the award winners, some social workers were also honoured.

Prominent among them were Mr Padamjit Singh, Chief Engineer, Mr Loknath Sharma, educationist, Mr Tarlochan Singh Dupalpur, member, SGPC, and Dr Partap Singh. Dr Alag was presented a memento by Mr Hardev Singh, chief organiser of the society.



One-day workshop
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 14
The UNODC Regional Precursor Control Project will hold a one-day workshop on May 31 in cooperation with the Delhi police and the Global Jurists Foundation with the objective of raising awareness on precursor control sharing experiences among the Special NDPS courts, prosecutors and drug law enforcement agencies.

Mr Jaswir Singh Bindra, special public prosecutor, will participate in the United Nations Regional Precursor Control Project for SAARC countries.



Fire in shop
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, May 14
A fire broke out in Parkash Iron and Pump Store, Loha Bazar, here yesterday. Fire Brigade personnel had to struggle hard for more than an hour to bring the fire under control.

Mr Devinder Kumar Chaman Lal, a partner in the firm, said the fire had caused a loss of several lakhs. A short-circuit is said to have caused the fire. However, neighbouring shops were saved due to a timely action by the firemen.



Prof Rajinder Singh bereaved
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, May 14
Devinder Kaur, mother of Prof Rajinder Singh, former international cyclist and presently working as Head of the Physical Education Department, GGN Khalsa College, Ludhiana, died at Pehowa, Kurukshetra district in Haryana on Saturday last. She was 81.

Devinder Kaur, wife of Mr Surain Singh, a retired Army personnel, is survived by her husband, six sons and three daughters.



New range of ACs, water coolers launched
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 14
A major player in the railway air conditioning, Sidwal Refrigeration Industries, entered the domestic air conditioner and water cooler segment in a big way with the launch of a new range of window and split air conditioners and water cooler here today.

Mr S.S. Sidhu, Managing Director of the company, while addressing a news conference after launching the new range of products, said the company had aggressive marketing plans in the region for the domestic range of split and window air conditioners, water coolers and versatile walk-in-cold rooms for fast food joints and food processing industries.

The company, he claimed, was a pioneer in railway air conditioning and had almost 70 per cent market share with every second air conditioned railway coach operating on the Sidwal system. “All prestigious trains like Rajdhanis, Shatabdis and the two Palace on Wheels have been air- conditioned by us.” The company had also entered the business of providing air conditioning system to buses and more than 150 AC coaches with Sidwal equipment were already running on the roads all over the country.

According to Mr Sidhu, the company had achieved a turnover of Rs 50 crore during the past financial year which was expected to double in the next two years. With manufacturing facilities in Faridabad, Haryana, and Kala Amb, Himachal Pradesh, the company had a target sale of 10,000 domestic AC units in the northern region this year.


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