Sunday, May 25, 2003, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Aanchal Gupta tops CBSE Class X exam in city
54 students get more than 90 per cent
Deepkamal Kaur

Those who got 100 marks in mathematics

1. Jatin Loomba 2. Sidhartha Khanna
3. Jashan Sandhu 4. Ritika Pahwa
5. Abhinav 6. Savreet Kaur
7. Gurson Singh 8. Navditt Sharma

Those who got 100 marks in science

1. Karan Wadhwa 2. Rohit Ronald
3. Aanchal Gupta 4. Gurpreet Singh
5. Yatin Garg 6. Avneet

Those who got 98 marks in social studies
1.Saloni Jindal 2. Navneet Pathania

Ludhiana, May 24
Students from Sacred Heart Convent Senior Secondary School, Sarabha Nagar, maintained their supremacy even in the Class X examination conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), the results of which were declared on the Internet and cell phones here today. While a student from the school had topped from the city in plus two examination declared yesterday, Aanchal Gupta, a student from the same school, has outshined in matric examination by obtaining 94.4 per cent.

(Left to right): Aanchal Gupta, Jashan Sandhu, Amrita Dutta, Tina Gupta, Shiney Gupta, Richi Sood, Ripu Daman, Harshdeep Singh, Aatish Garg, Ravinder Kaur, Udita Bansal and Shireen.

As many as 18 students from the school scored more than 90 per cent marks. The other students who find their names in the list of achievers with 90 per cent and more marks include 11 students from DAV Public School, 10 students from Kundan Vidya Mandir, five from BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School, three each from Guru Nanak Public School and Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School at BRS Nagar, one each from St Thomas Senior Secondary School, GGN Public School, BCM Senior Secondary School on Chandigarh Road and Guru Nanak International Public School.

Following Aanchal by a marginal difference, Sameer Jain from Kundan Vidya Mandir (KVM) has attained second position in the district with 94.2 per cent. Jashan Sandhu from Sacred Heart Convent Senior Secondary School and Amrita Dutta from KVM shared second positions by obtaining 93.6 per cent. Tina Gupta and Shiney Gupta, both students from Sacred Heart Convent School, grabbed the next rank by scoring 93.2 per cent. Following them is Richi Sood from DAV Public School with 93 per cent marks.

Ripu Daman from DAV Public School has got 92.8 per cent. Kavneet Kaur from Guru Nanak Public School attained 92.6 per cent. Saloni Jindal from St Thomas Senior Secondary School and Hemal from DAV Public School got 92.4 per cent while Ravinder Kaur from Guru Nanak International Public School got 92.2 per cent. Six students have attained 92 per cent marks. These are Udita Bansal and Gursimran Kaur, both from Sacred Heart Convent School, Shireen from Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School, BRS Nagar, Avneet from BCM Senior Secondary School on Chandigarh Road, and Anubha from Kundan Vidya Mandir.

Attaining 91.6 per cent, Kanika Bhambri from Sacred Heart Convent School and Roohi from KVM, have stood together. Harpreet Singh from BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School and Misha from DAV Public School have obtained 91.4 per cent. Six students from different schools have scored 91.2 per cent. These include Komal, Ritika Pahwa and Akhilesh Aggarwal from Sacred Heart Convent School, Yuvraj Dhir from BCM Arya Model School, Nupur from DAV Public School and Arshdeep from Guru Nanak Public School.

Sukriti Gupta from Sacred Heart Convent School and Tamanna Dhillon from BCM School have got 91 per cent. Three students from Sacred Heart Convent School, Anantdeep, Neerja Rewal and Lydia Abrahm, have scored 90.8 per cent. Two more who from DAV Public School have attained the same score include Ankita Jain and Roopam. Priyanka Kalra from DAV Public School got 90.6 per cent. Amandeep from Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School, BRS Nagar, and Tanika from Kundan Vidya Mandir together scored 90.4 per cent. Sumeet Kaul from BCM School, Shastri Nagar, and Uday Takyar from DAV Public School attained 90.2 per cent. Kundan Singh and Surbhi Garg, both students from Sacred Heart Convent School, and Harpriya Kaur from Guru Nanak Public School, and Harsimran Kaur from GGN Public School have scored 90 per cent marks.

The topper Aanchal said that she aimed at becoming a computer engineer and was, therefore, opting for non-medical.

She said that she first came to know about her result from a friend who checked it up on the Internet and called her up. She said that since then, she kept trying on the Net for almost four hours but to no avail.

Finally she tried over at R-world, a facility offered by the Reliance Telecom and finally got to know the detailed results.

Amrita Dutta said that she wanted to become a cardiac surgeon and had, therefore, chosen medical stream.

She said that her real inspiration was her father, a service man, who kept her encouraging all through the year.

Ravinder Kaur said that she had taken up medical stream and would like to become a doctor.

Ritika, a daughter of insurance surveyor, said that she wanted to do MBA. She said that she too got her result over the cell phone. 


Shilpa tops in B.Com I
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 24
The result of B.Com II of Panjab University was declared today. The pass percentage has reduced to 58 per cent this year from 67 per cent of last year.

The result of B.Com I of Panjab University was declared yesterday. The pass percentage has dropped from 66 per cent of last year to 64 per cent this year. Khalsa College for Women, Civil Lines, here has achieved 100 per cent result B.Com I this year.

Shilpa Ahuja has bagged the first position in Punjab. Isha Gupta has bagged the third position in Punjab and second position in Ludhiana district and Manisha Singla has got the third position in Ludhiana district.

The first five positions in the Ludhiana district have been bagged by the students of Khalsa College. Dr Varinder Kaur Thind, Principal, Khalsa College, appreciated the hard work of both the staff and students.

Shilpa Ahuja secured 407 out of 500 and Isha Gupta secured 399 of the 500 marks.


Tough going for aspiring docs
Medical colleges hike fees
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, May 24
A steep hike in fee has sealed the future of aspiring medical students. The local Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) has hiked its fee structure manifold, as have some dental and medical institutions in the region. This has led to resentment among students who have scored high marks but are unable to pay the requisite fee.

The fee being charged by some colleges in the South that admit students on the basis of donation, actually turns out to be cheaper than the fee being charged by the DMCH — which otherwise admits students on the basis of merit.

The DMCH management is taking advantage of a recent Supreme Court ruling that permits private colleges to formulate their own rules and policies governing the fee structure. However, a portion of the ruling that directs private institutions to formulate a policy based on the principle that the fee structure should not be for profit-making reasons.

Insiders at the DMCH say that the management is trying to pass on the financial losses incurred by Hero DMCH Heart Institute to students in terms of a fee hike.

As per the recent prospectus, admission will be made under five Pools-A,B,C,D and E. Pool A will have 18 seats for constitutionally reserved categories of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Backward Classes as per merit. Pool B has two seats for the physically handicapped as per merit. While Pool C has 32 seats for the general category candidates. In Pool D, there will be three seats for wards of the bonafide faculty members of the DMCH as per merit and Pool E will have 15 NRI seats for whom an entrance test and interview will be conducted by the DMCH as per the common syllabus of the foreign universities.

The prospectus mentions that the initial fees of Rs 4,00,000 per annum must be deposited at the time of admission to the college. Subsequently, payments of similar amount must be deposited before July 31, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007. Last year the fees of 50 per cent students was equivalent to government institutes and 24 students had to pay Rs 1 lakh each (per year).

Jyotsana Bharti (name changed), a plus two student said, “That means the deserving candidates will not be able to get admission in the institute because everyone’s parents cannot afford to spend such hefty amount on the education of their wards”.

A medical student at the DMCH said, “It is very confusing as I have already passed my first year here. I will not be able to continue with my studies if the authorities demand such huge amounts from its old students.”

Insiders said even NRIs would be reluctant to get their wards admitted here because of the huge amount. The NRI candidates will have to pay $ 75,000 (for the total MBBS course). They will be allowed to deposit fees in three instalments. The first instalment at the time of admission would be $ 40,000, the second in second profession would be $ 17,500 and the third would again be $ 17,500.

The district unit of the All-India Youth Federation has taken a strong view of the rise in tuition fee for the students at the DMCH.

Kuldip Singh Binder, president, and Vijay Kumar, general secretary, of the federation said it was a cruel joke on meritorious students.

Mr Amrit Nagpal, secretary of the DMCH Managing Society, said the Punjab Government had recently issued a notification and negotiations were in process. “All things will be clear once the negotiations are over. There is no point making comments at this stage,” he said.


Three hurt in yet another fire
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 24
In yet another fire, the fourth in less than two weeks, three persons were seriously injured in Guru Nanak Street of Madhopuri area early this morning. The condition of all three is learnt to be serious and they have been admitted to Christian Medical College and Hospital here.

The injured have been identified as Ram Narain (65), his wife Dev Kumari (60) and their granddaughter Shelley (12). According to Rajesh Kumar, a relative of Ram Narain, the three were sleeping in their house when the fire started at around 3 a.m. He said the fire might have been caused by a short-circuit. The three were reportedly in deep sleep and did not wake up even when the room was on fire. It was their relatives and neighbours who rescued them. All three have suffered over 50 per cent burns.


Former minister Garcha’s bail plea dismissed
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 24
The Special Judge Mr Inderjit Kaushik, today dismissed the anticipatory bail applications filed by former Technical Education Minister Jagdish Garcha (MLA) accused of cheating, land grabbing and amassing property disproportionate to known sources of income. His brother Mann Singh Garcha’s pre-arrest bail plea has also been declined.

Declining the bail plea, Mr Kaushik held that keeping in view the allegations levelled by the prosecution, the accused are not entitled for the concession of pre-arrest bail. The court also rejected the anticipatory bail application of co-accused, Ravinder Chopra.

The same court had already dismissed the anticipatory bail applications filed by co-accused, Harjit Kaur and Gurcharan Singh. They were booked by the Vigilance Bureau. None of the accused has been arrested.

During the course of arguments, the Additional District Attorney, Mr Mitter Sain Goel stressed that the custodial interrogation of the former minister is needed because, he by abusing his power, as a minister, indulged in illegal and corrupt practices and grabbed properties, disproportionate to his known sources of income.

However, the defence counsel strongly opposed the contentions raised by prosecution. He submitted that just due to political vendetta, his client has been falsely implicated in the case by Vigilance Bureau. He further submitted that the contents of the FIR itself clearly indicates that even the vigilance bureau is not clear about the details of any properties alleged to have been created by any means, what to say of illegal means.

The only aim of the Vigilance Bureau is to put his client behind bars, just to appease political masters, added the defence counsel.


Parallel’ toll barrier closed
Farmer reprimanded by dist admn
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 24
Taking cognizance of the activities of a farmer who was cashing in on people’s need to avoid the “hefty” toll at the barrier on National Highway No 1 by running a parallel tax barrier in his fields, officials of the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) and the district administration have stopped the farmer from doing so.

The farmer, Surjit Singh, had cleared a path through his fields to allow people a thoroughfare for Rs 10 per vehicle, causing losses to the NHAI which charges Rs 45 per vehicle. He challenged the authorities, stating that they could not stop him as he was allowing commuters to use his land and was charging a meagre sum.

The district administration had asked him to stop the practice or a case would be registered against him. The orders were passed by former Deputy Commissioner Anurag Agarwal.

The alternative route had become a favourite with commuters. He had even built a “chamber” there.

The farmer also runs a PCO near the barrier and now doesn’t allow anybody to pass through his private road anymore. Many people still keep blowing horns at the road but he tells them that he cannot flout the orders. ‘‘I don’t want to be booked in any case. They asked me to close the road, I did it. Otherwise also I was not making much money. It was just that I could buy some liquor for myself in the evening,’’ he said.

The NHAI has put a toll barrier near Doraha. The decision was mired with controversy as the tax was high. Various organisations had protested against the imposition of the tax. The people had started taking other routes to avoid the barrier. The easiest route was through Rajgarh village.


Dawar visits Cong Seva Dal camp
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 24
‘The Congress Seva Dal is a volunteer group of the party which could consolidate the party base by imparting training to cadres through workers training camps.” This was stated by Mr Surinder Dawar, Congress MLA while hoisting the party flag on the fourth day of a week-long workers training camp being held by the dal in the city.

He expressed the confidence that the trained party workers would take up the responsibility of propagating party policies and programmes among the masses and mould public opinion in the favour of the party. Moreover, party workers, fully apprised of the background, constitution and working of the party and sacrifices made by party leaders since its inception could prove to be more effective in the prevailing political scenario.

The PPCC president, Mr H.S. Hanspal, had inaugurated the camp which would continue till May 26. Several other senior party leaders, including Mr Krishan Kumar Bawa, had visited the camp and addressed the party workers.

Mr Nirmal Kaira, acting chief organiser of the Congress Seva Dal, speaking on the occasion, said the camp was being organised on the directions of Ms Sonia Gandhi, president of the, All-India Congress Committee, and Mr Prahlad Yadav, chief organiser, Congress Seva Dal. The state chief organiser, Mr Raj Rasrania, was personally supervising the camp.

Prominent among others present on the occasion were Mr Devinder Sharma, Mr Pratap Kundal, Mr Baldev Kashyap, Mr Balwinder Gill, Mr Maghar Singh Kaira, Mr Gurnam Singh Thekedar, Ms Inderjit Kaur, Mr Darshan Singh Katia, Mr Balwinder Singh Satroha, Mr Mandeep Singh Sapra, Mr Raj Kumar Sahota and Mr Tilak Raj.


PSEB seeks more funds to meet power demand
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 24
The PSEB has sought additional assistance of Rs 50 crore every month from June to purchase power to meet the demand for power supply in the state, particularly for tubewells. With the rise in mercury, the demand for power has been rising and on May 21, it was 960.20 lakh units, the highest this year.

The PSEB has assessed that there is a quantum jump in the power demand and with the eight-hour power supply to the tubewells from June 1, the power requirement will be in the range of 1150 lakh units to 1250 lakh units while the average availability will be 1100 lakh units.

Similarly, in July the demand for power will be 1250 lakh units to 1300 lakh units and the availability will be 1150 lakh units. In August, the requirement will be 1200 lakh units and the availability 1150 lakh units.

Sources said the PSEB would have to purchase power from the Central sector projects surplus state in the eastern region. This would require additional funds to the tune of Rs 50 crore every month. The sources said the Central Government had a discretionary quota of 800 MW 15 per cent of the Central sector power projects and it allocated it according to the seasonal shortage of the state. Accordingly, Punjab would get 100 MW to 120 MW from the quota.

The PSEB had also signed the agreement with the power trading corporation which would buy 20 lakh units of power from Uttaranchal.

The PSEB was facing a financial crunch and needed the government’s help to cope with the situation.

Farmers’ organisations have agreed with the board authorities that the single-phase restrictions on the use of power in the rural areas could be increased to ensure uninterrupted eight hours of power supply to tubewells.

The sources said if the state government did not grant the required funds, there would be difficulty in the meeting the power requirements and more cuts would have to made in the urban areas.

Meanwhile, the state electricity regulatory commission is expected to issue the revised power tariff order any day, allowing the PSEB to hike the tariff for all categories except the tubewells.


Row over PSEB raid continues
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 24
The controversy over a clash between residents of CRPF Colony and a raiding party of the PSEB formed to check power theft in the colony continues even two days after the sordid incident.

Residents have accused PSEB employees of misbehaving with women.

The employees on their part have alleged that the residents were in a habit of making such allegations. They had accused the PSEB of levelling false charges on them in order to hide power pilferage that caused a loss of over Rs 4,000 to the PSEB daily.

The incident took place on Thursday when the PSEB team assisted by four policemen raided 50-odd houses. The raid took an way turn when the residents clashed with the team.

The police had booked several women of the colony on the charge of obstructing the duty of the PSEB employees. The women have complained to Mr Harish Kumar, SP (City-I) that the employees had outraged their modesty. They have demanded registration of a criminal case against the employees and cancellation of the FIR lodged against them.

The PSEB employees have said the charges were false. 


Power tariff hike opposed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 24
The recent hike in electricity tariff by the Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC) has set alarm bells ringing in industrial circles. The industry says that the new hike will hit it hard, as it is already reeling under crisis.

The Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings (CICU) observed, “One more dose of hike of 7 to 13 per cent in power tariff as decided by the PSERC will worsen the condition of the industry in Punjab, which is already under threat from the WTO regime and reeling under recession. The decision has shocked the industrial sector, which is unable to bear the additional burden.”

After criticising the hike in power tariff, the president of the CICU, Mr Inderjit Singh Pradhan, and the general secretary of the body, Mr Avtar Singh, said the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) should rather set its own house in order. They observed that the PSEB was increasing the tariff just to cover up its own inefficiency.

They said the PSEB should curb its own transmission and distribution losses that have risen from 26.5 per cent to 29 per cent. They said even the Union Power Minister, Mr Suresh Prabhu had asked the PSEB to curb its losses and bring these down at least to the international level of 15 per cent. They said there were other overhead expenses like establishment charges, losses in the transit of coal and theft of power.

The Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry said the power tariff used to be revised after two years before the setting up of the PSERC and, now, with the commission in place, tariff had been revised twice in a year. The president of the chamber, Mr P.D. Sharma, said the chairman of the PSERC had even said that the tariff could be reduced also. As per the facts and the commission’s directive to the PSEB during the last revision, there should have been reduction in power tariff and not such a hefty increase.

Mr Sharma said, in the last revision, the effect of revised power tariff had been enforced retrospectively, which had been stayed by the court. The stay orders were still operative and it was gross violation of the court order to make the revised power tariff effective again retrospectively with effect from May 1.

The Ludhiana Motor Parts Manufacturers Association has criticised the hike in power tariff. The association observed that the hike would be another blow to the already suffering industry. In a joint statement, Mr Jagat Singh and Mr Charan Singh Kohli, president and general secretary, respectively, of the association, said such a trend would affect the industrial growth in the state and the step should be withdrawn.


CPI flays hike in power tariff
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 24
The district unit of the CPI has condemned the increase in electricity tariff. It said it would hit all categories of people. The government had already increased the tuition fees of graduate and postgraduate courses.

Mr Kartar Singh Bowani, district secretary, and Dr Arun Mitra, assistant secretary, of the unit, in a press note said the district unit members would participate in a large number in the state-level dharna by the CPI at Chandigarh on May 26.


Sahnewal-Kohara road cries for attention
Lovleen Bains

Sahnewal, May 24
Potholes and bumpy rides have made the Sahnewal-Kohara road a fit case for a hurdle race. Even though the road serves as a main link to the neighbouring town, little attention has been paid to improve it. This road serves as a major link from Kohara and surrounding villages to the Dehlon-Ahmedgarh route. Moreover, people of the adjoining villages like Sahibana, Jhabewal, Kohara, Ramgarh, Jandiali, Sahni, Tibba, Aymaidpur , Majara, Dhandari, Jugiana, Pawa Khagat, Nandpur and numerous others regard the nearby Sahnewal town most convenient to purchase things of their daily use. Infact, it serves as a major shopping centre for the rural folk around. Toll evaders too sometimes make use of this road.

This road is treaded upon by thousands of vehicles ranging from two-wheelers to heavy commercial vehicles. With the passage of time, the road has degenerated to the extent that it has resulted in slip discs, fractures and bone injuries of which the commuters complain almost regularly. A resident, who is a frequent user of the road, says, “We are undergoing double loss: one of our vehicle and another of our physical health. You cross a pothole and another appears with continuous jerks. Old people get down from their vehicles and walk through the distance as a precautionary measure.”

The road has been broken to the extent that hardly any road is visible at the place. The frequent users of the road are found openly abusing the authorities for their “ height of negligency” and ‘callous attitude.’ A shopkeeper on the market road complains,” We pay numerous taxes to the government, but we don’t get smooth roads in return . At night, the journey becomes more difficult as no lights are available alongside the road. Drivers lose control of vehicles at night, as they can’t pick the potholes in the dark.”

Another villager generalising his statement says,” If the Sahnewal market road is in the worst condition, our village link roads are no better. We are observing it for the past many years but the road has never been repaired.

The five minute distance between Sahnewal and Kohara is covered in minimum half-an-hour if one has to save one’s vehicle and his body”.

A social worker of the area contends,” Our repeated pleas and reminders have fallen on deaf ears.

No official has ever visited the place. We are sick of these worn -out roads but now visualise no ray of hope either. Several ministers have been coming to Sahnewal to attend different programmes and every time has the requests being made and due consent arrived at, but the work of repair has never begun.

The false promises of these ministers have failed to materialise. Only we know what daily problems we are facing due to broken road.”

The situation deteriorates all the more with the arrival of paddy in the grain market of Sahnewal, which is located at the very heart of the town. The trucks and tractor-trailers further play havoc on the already ‘miserable’ road.

Not only this these vehicles, filled with sugarcane, cross this road which leads them to Budhewal Sugar Mills. In the monsoon season, which is fast approaching, water collects in every small and big pothole, endangering the life of the commuters all the more.

Above all, the level crossing of Sahnewal which remains closed nearly half of the day adds fuel to the fire.

The four -wheelers make way for their safe standing but it is the two-wheeler drivers in the process of crossing from inside the potholes, fall down thus injuring themselves and the pillion-rider.

Many disputes have arisen on account of this ‘miserable’ road and many accidents have occurred till date. Further the dust and mud on the road falls on the eatables for which the sweet-owners, fruit and vegetable sellers have showed resentment in their own possible ways.

The people are only waiting for the road-construction authorities to wake from their deep slumber and come to their rescue on one fine day.


Ludhiana Aviation Club instructor on Central panel
Our Correspondent

Machhiwara, May 24
Pilot instructor Capt G.S. Mangat of the Ludhiana Aviation Club has been included in the prestigious five-member committee which was formed in a meeting held in New Delhi under the chairmanship of the Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Mr P.V. Naik. The meeting was called to have discussion on the difficulties being faced by flying clubs of the country.

In the committee to be headed by the Joint Secretary in the Civil Aviation Ministry, Mr Raghu Menon, Capt G.S. Mangat is the only pilot instructor. Others who have been included in the committee are Mr Ramlingham, member, Airport Operations Authority of India, Mr Manohar Dev, MPFC, Indore, and Mr S.N. Reddy from Hyderabad.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, Capt Mangat said the representatives of various flying clubs attended the meeting and put forth their problems.

The problems of all flying clubs were almost the same, he added. He said the problems that had not been attended to till then would get attention with the formation of the committee.

Capt Mangat informed that because of the withdrawal of subsidies by the state government and Central Government, training in flying clubs had become very expensive. Till 1997, the Centre and the state governments used to give subsidy of 70 per cent on the cost of flying to the trainee. But after this, the subsidy began to get reduced and finally in 2000, the subsidy was completely withdrawn.

One hour of flying now costs a trainee about Rs 2,750 at the Ludhiana Aviation Club, Sahnewal. To obtain the licence of private pilot, one has to fulfil the minimum requirement of 40-60 hours of flying, for the licence of commercial pilot one needs to complete at least 250 hours of flying. As a result, till a few years ago, the Ludhiana Aviation Club used to have 40 trainees but now there are only six trainees.

Besides, the club has about six aircraft but they are lying non-functional for want of repair which needs funds.

Capt Mangat said because of levying of the excise and sales tax, the aviation turbine fuel had become very costly.

The representatives in the meeting appealed for the withdrawal of the taxes to bring down the cost of flying.

Capt Mangat said apart from advising the Central Government about solving the problems of flying clubs, the committee would also plan the celebrations to commemorate 100 years of civil aviation.


Water scarcity in old city areas
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 24
Persons living in Hargobind Nagar and New Hargobind Nagar localities in old city have threatened to launch an agitation against the civic administration for its failure to provide them with an adequate supply of water. These colonies are facing water shortage and repeated pleas for remedial measures have borne no fruit, so far.

At a meeting of the Janta Welfare Society to focus on the persistent problem of water scarcity, Mr B.L. Bhatia, president of the society, said an old tubewell in front of Hanuman Temple in the colony had become non-functional more than seven months ago, as a result of which, the water supply in the surrounding areas had been affected. Everyone here had to fetch water in buckets from nearby localities.

The functionaries of the society, he said, had met senior MC officials as well as the Mayor and the councillor concerned several times without any positive action till date. They demanded an immediate action to ameliorate the grim situation of water supply in the area.

While admitting that the old tubewell in the colony had failed a few months ago, the Superintending Engineer (O and M), Mr Subhash Dua, said tenders had already been received for sinking a new tubewell, as the old site and work order had been cleared for the job. He said, meanwhile, an additional tubewell had become operational in these colonies and the supply position had improved considerably.

“There was a temporary disruption in water supply in the past two days after a pipe of the functional tubewell had burst, which seems to have provoked the reaction from the public. The repair work has been taken in hand and the water supply will soon be restored,” he said.


No water in colony for 2 days
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 24
Residents of BSNL Colony are up in arms against the authorities for not restoring potable water supply to the area even after 48 hours. In a communique, Mr Balwinder Singh, president of the BSNL Employees Union, stated that tubewells supplying water to the colony had developed a snag yesterday and there was no drinking water.

He said the residents had complained several times but to no avail. He said women residents of the colony held a dharna last night against the “lackadaisical” attitude of the authorities.


Tandoors are hot favourite this summer
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 24
With garden parties picking up in summer, the desibarbecue — tandoor — has become everyone’s favourite in the city. Be it a non-vegetarian dish or a vegetarian one, Ludhianvis are including these in their kitchen equipment. Though ready-made ‘barbecue’ equipment is readily available, but ‘tandoors’ are finding a place in the hearts of barbecue lovers, too. As the demand has risen, tandoor makers are also doing a good business.

Abhishek and Seema, a young couple, who recently returned from Australia, say, “We used to grill chicken, and fish all the time in Australia on electric barbecue. Pre-cooked pieces were available and barbecuing was a convenient way of cooking. Moreover, food cooked in this way is not such in fats. After coming to India, we bought a little tandoor for barbecuing instead of an electric one. We use coal to light up the tandoor, While we marinate fish, chicken and paneer pieces.” “We have got two ‘seekhas’ made and we put the marinated pieces on the iron rods, and within no time, the pieces are cooked.

The lovely aroma sharpens the taste buds. The tasty snacks are so popular with our guests that many have bought small tandoors and barbecue their own snacks. The food barbecued on charcoal tastes much better than the one done on electricity, we discovered.

Tandoor to not only good for barbecuing, but also good for making ‘rotis’, if one has a joint family. Ms Kamlesh Puri says: “We are a joint family of 10. If we start making chapatis in the kitchen, it takes almost an hour. We sweat a lot and, at the end, we do not feel like eating, so, every summer, we buy a tandoor and place it in the backyard.

It takes 15 to 20 minutes to light it up. With practice, we have perfected the of cooking ‘rotis’ in the tandoor. Within no time, ‘rotis’ are ready. Lunch and dinner time has become more like picnic for the family.

After cooking, we place an earthen pot of ‘dal’ on slow coal fire. Dal turns out to be most delicious when cooked in this manner. Sometimes, the family also roasts potatoes.”

Rabbo and her clan are also happy as their ‘tandoors’ are witnessing a brisk sale. She has been flooded with orders. She has a little hutment near Shingar Cinema where she and many others sell ‘tandoors’. They are happy because they can, now, live comfortably in summer.


Encroachments, poor amenities bane of residents
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, May 24
Poor civic amenities, insanitary conditions, stray animals, coupled with brazen encroachments all over, are the hallmark of the Urban Estate colony, adjoining Focal Point, Dhandari Kalan, in the city. The residents, having suffered silently due to inaction and apathy of the civic administration, have decided not to take things lying down any longer and have called for a time-bound action plan for qualitative improvement in infrastructure and civic amenities.

The colony was developed by the Punjab Urban Development and Planning Authority (PUDA) and later transferred to the municipal corporation for maintenance.

According to Mr Avtar Singh, general secretary of the Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings, and a resident of the colony, the authorities have been ignoring encroachments on green belts, vacant sites and even a part of 100-feet double approach road, passing through Phase I, HE and HM colonies in the area to connect Focal Point with Metro Road.

"The fact that the unlawful occupation of government land did not attracted any penal action has encouraged others to the extent that the entire road along both sides of the railway line has been encroached upon and illegal dairy farms have been set up, much to the discomfort and annoyance of the residents," he said.

While the sanitation level in the colony left much to be desired, stray animals, particularly pigs, had made the life of the residents miserable, Mr Avtar Singh added. The animals create unhygienic conditions, scatter the garbage in streets and at times even bite small children, besides causing road accidents. Vacant plots in the colony was another problem which needed effective action. These vacant sites had been turned into garbage dumps and potential health hazard to the people living around.

He demanded that after giving one final opportunity to owners of these plots, the authorities (PUDA) should resume these sites and resell to other people who should be bound to start construction immediately.

Mr Basant Singh, president of the Urban Estate Residents' Association, rued that the choked sewerage system in the colony posed a perennial problem which was further aggravated during rainy season due to lack of storm water drainage facility. The matter was taken up with the Zonal Commissioner of B Zone of the municipal corporation for cleaning of sewer lines but nothing had been done. "The condition of roads and bylanes is no better and they are in need of immediate repair. Some preliminary work of inspection of damaged roads was carried out by the municipal corporation officials but the actual repair work is yet to be taken up."

Meanwhile, Mr Satnam Singh Khera, president, and Mr G.S. Kang, chief adviser, of the Urban Estate, Phase II, Residents Welfare Society, have urged the civic administration to take immediate steps for making the streetlights functional, augment the water supply in the colony by sinking more tubewells, improve condition of parks and to remove encroachments from parks, pavements, road sides and along Jamalpur police check post.


Anti-terrorism day’ to be observed on June 6
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 24
The Shiv Sena (Hindustan) will observe June 6 as “anti-terrorism day”. The party will organise a function in Amritsar to pay homage to soldiers and civilians killed during Operation Bluestar.

Party general secretary Pawan Sharma and district president Krishan Sharma said here today that a havan would be performed in the morning followed by a “shardhanjali samaroh”.

The party functionaries criticised the government policy on providing security to political leaders. Akali leaders, who supported terrorists and attended their bhog ceremonies, were still enjoying “Z” category security while those who had fought terrorism were being deprived of security cover, they said.


Senior citizens want hobby classes
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 24
“You only grow old when you stop learning. We are forced to grow old as there are no avenues for us to learn new things. Once we retire the world forgets us. There are no hobby classes for us anywhere in this city. We just wither away, uncared and unloved by anyone,” said Mr Satpal Juneja, a retired schoolteacher.

His friend, Mr R.Kaushal, another retired college teacher said: “Everyday I read in papers that children at three years’ age or above are attending several types of hobby classes like painting, dancing, elocution, personality grooming, etc. For such small children to relax at home is the best but keeping up with the Joneses, everyone is sending their children for hobby classes. Why cannot anyone think of hobby classes for us? We are discarded by the society. All our useful social and monetary contributions of 35 years are forgotten.

Why cannot someone organise computer classes for us in schools? After all school buildings are vacant in the evenings. The schools have necessary infrastructure. Some NGOs, and the district administration with the help of schools can do something for us.”

“Yes it is true that railway concessions, income tax concessions, etc are given to senior citizens but what about our day-to-day life. Everyone tells us to go to temples or gurdwaras. But we want to like full of action. Why do not swimming pools have special timings for senior citizens,” said Kunj Bihari Lal, a retired railway employee.


Dharna site shifted
Our Correspondent

Amloh, May 24
In compliance with court orders, members of the Class IV Employees Union Irrigation Canals, Amloh, have shifted the venue for their indefinite dharna, 250m away from the SDO’s office.

The union has been staging a dharna in front of the office of the SDO, Irrigation Canals, since May 19. Talking to mediapersons today, Mr Hari Chand president of the Fatehgarh Sahib unit of the union said the union had submitted a memorandum of demands to the SDO, but instead of giving them a patient hearing, union leaders had been transferred.


Havaldar cremated

Ludhiana, May 24
Havaldar Kuldeep Kumar Joshi, (50), who sustained burn injuries while rescuing people in the Khud Mohalla fire on May 10 last and died yesterday at the CMCH, was cremated with full state honours at his native village, Phillaur, near here yesterday. OC


VIP’s car jumps red light, hits boy

Khanna, May 24
A 15-year-old boy had a miraculous escape when a car of a VIP hit him after jumping red light this afternoon. A pilot Gypsy and the Contessa car with a red light coming from Ludhiana jumped red light on the GT Road at the Lalheri road chowk and hit the boy riding a bicycle. OC


NRI’s body found
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 24
A badly mutilated body of an NRI, who was missing since yesterday, was found near a tubewell at Kotala village, 9 km from Samrala, today.

Narinder Pal Singh of Kotala village had returned a few days ago from Muscat. He had been stabbed several times.

The police is suspecting personal enmity behind the murder and is also working on the theory of murder and robbery.


Home loan scheme by ICICI Bank
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 24
ICICI Bank Home Loans yesterday announced the launch of ‘Ghar Se Ghar Tak’, a home loan event to be held in Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Amritsar. As part of this event scheme, customers can walk into venues as advertised through banners, newspapers, and handbills in Ludhiana, Jalandhar, and Amritsar and avail themselves of on the spot sanction between May 23 to 25.

According to a press release issued here, during the scheme period, the bank is offering a reduced interest rate of 8.25 per cent, instead of 8.75 per cent on loans, for a tenure upto 5 years, 8.75 per cent instead 9.25 per cent on loans for 5 to 10 years and 9 per cent instead of 9.75 per cent on loans for 10 to 20 years. Customers would also be able to avail themselves of a special zero per cent processing fee offer.

A free personal accident insurance is also provided with every sanction, whereby, the first applicant is covered upto the principal of the loan amount. This protects the borrower from future loan liabilities in case of death due to accident. Through this unique scheme, the customer can take a spot sanction at the location convenient for him as well as get a lower rate of interest. This will ensure that the customer gets the best deal on home loans from ICICI Bank.


Eicher to launch heavy vehicles
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 24
Eicher Motors Limited (EML), the makers of trucks and buses yesterday announced their plans to launch heavy commercial vehicles (HCV) in Punjab. The company also inaugurated a workshop of HCV to put in place a service infrastructure for its product range.

Addressing a press conference here yesterday, Mr Rakesh Kalra, Chief Executive Officer of the Eicher Motors, said, while Eicher Jumbo was already available in select markets in the country, it would be the first to be launched in the state shortly. This truck was claimed to be fuel efficient with a 20 ft long cargo body. The company would also launch its buses in the state.

Mr Kalra said, Punjab was an important market for the company with its rapid industrial growth and commercial activity. He said, the company had been continuously strengthening its presence in the commercial vehicle market by introducing new products and variants to suit the varied needs of customers.

Eicher Motors is part of the Rs 1200-crore Eicher Group. The company manufactures and markets commercial vehicles through a network of about 120 authorised dealers. The company claims to have invested over Rs 120-crore in its Pithampur (MP) plant to upgrade the manufacturing facilities, thus creating an integrated capacity of about 20,000 vehicles per annum. 


Seminar on ISO
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 24
A seminar on ISO awareness was organised by ICL Certifications Ltd in association with UNIDO for the Association of Indian Sports Goods Industries.

As many as 50 persons participated. The seminar was addressed by Mr Devinder Sharma, GM (training), ICL worldwide, and Mr Maanish Vig, head of the International Business Group. 

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