Friday, June 6, 2003, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Furniture shop gutted
Bank staff have narrow escape in another fire
Tribune News Service

Fireman douse the flames in the shop
Fireman douse the flames in the shop. — Tribune Photo Pradeep Tewari 

Ludhiana, June 5
Sixty employees of Indian Overseas Bank, Fountain Chowk, had a providential escape in the fire that broke out on the ground floor of the three-storeyed building at about 11:00 a.m. Some employees of the bank were trapped on the upper floors for a few minutes and panic spread in the building. The employees later escaped through an exit door on the first floor.

Divisional Fire Officer Kartar Singh said the fire broke out due to short circuit and was controlled timely by employees and firemen. Three fire tenders reached the spot immediately and extinguished the flames.

Mr Romesh Rana, Bank Manager, said some sparks were seen in the main meter box at the entrance of the building. He said employees acted swiftly and picked up fire extinguisher to douse the flames. He said, meanwhile, the fire brigade also arrived and the fire was brought under control.

Fireman washes his face after dousing fire in a furniture shop
Fireman washes his face after dousing fire in a furniture shop in Ludhiana on Thursday. — Tribune photo

In the second incident, fire broke out at a furniture shop, Arshi Steel and Wooden Furniture in Lakkar Bazaar. Wooden and steel furniture worth about Rs 2 lakh was destroyed. Five fire tenders were used to douse the flames. According to Mr Kartar Singh, preliminary investigation has revealed that the fire broke out when sparks emanated from a generator installed on the top floor of the four-storey building. A diesel can caught fire and soon the entire building was engulfed in flames.

Mr Surjit Singh owner of the shop, said he tried to retrieve some furniture but could not save much.



2 employees held for defrauding firm of Rs 12 lakh 
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

The accused in a bank fraud case, Amrik Singh and Gulshan Kumar, being produced in a court
The accused in a bank fraud case, Amrik Singh and Gulshan Kumar, being produced in a court in Ludhiana on Thursday. — Photo Inderjeet Verma 

Ludhiana, June 5
Sounding a warning to city residents and bankers using the modern carbon receipt books , the Division No. 5 police has detected a unique fraud involving two employees of a private company, who duped it of Rs 12 lakh by tampering with carbon copies.

The employees allegedly tampered with the recently introduced receipt books in which the user get the carbon copy and the main receipt was submitted with the bank. This is the first fraud of its kind and has shocked the bankers.

The two employees, Amrik Singh and Gulshan Kumar allegedly deposited money in their accounts at Centurion Bank, Feroze Gandhi market, instead of in the account of Navrang Electronics in the same bank. They are now cooling their heals in police custody. Both were working as clerks with Navrang Electronics situated opposite the Nehru Sidhant Kendra at the Pakhowal Road.

Mr R. K. Bakshi, DSP, said the fraud was a sensational white-collar crime. The police was alerting other bankers and city residents about such frauds. He said a team of the Division No. 5 police, including SHO Anil Joshi and ASI Darshan Singh, cracked the fraud.

All were bewildered at the fraud as the company possessed the carbon copies of the amount deposited by the accused on behalf of the company, but the bankers had no receipts showing the transaction.

It all started on April 30 when a Chartered Accountant of the company found that about Rs 35,000 was short in the accounts. He enquired from the bank. The bank officials were stunned to find that the original receipts did not show the amount deposited in the name of the company.

An FIR was registered at Division No. 5 police station. During investigation, the police suspected the involvement of Amrik Singh and Gulshan Kumar, who used to deposit the money with the bank. It was found that they also had an account in the bank and had deposited about Rs 12 lakh in the account since November last year.

During interrogation, the accused disclosed their modus operandi. They said they used to fill details of all cash deposits without mentioning the name and account number on the main receipt. The entries automatically appeared on the carbon copy.

Then, they used to fill their names on the main receipt with a pen and at the same time filled the details on the carbon copy using a pencil. The receipts were duly stamped by the bank. Later they erased their names and used to fill the company’s name. The forged carbon copies were then submitted with the company officials.

The company had suspected a fraud of a few thousand rupees only but the police detected the fraud to the tune of Rs 12 lakh. The police said the accused made the mistake of depositing the amount in their account.

The police also suspected the involvement of some bank employees and was investigating their role in the fraud.

Mr S. K. Parbhakar, Manager, Centurion Bank, defended the bank staff saying the bank employees stamped the receipt copies, which were identical. Both were in the name of the accused Amrik Singh.

Mr Parbhakar said the bank was cooperating with the company and the police. He agreed that the fraud had put a question mark on the safety of the carbon receipt books and the banking industry would have to think about it.



Clash over gurdwara land, eight injured
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 5
A controversy over the ownership of a gurdwara land in Haibowal took a bitter turn late last evening when a clash between two parties having different claims on the property left eight persons, including two women, injured.

The clash could have been averted had the district administration kept its date with the residents. An Additional Deputy Commissioner had promised to the residents to inspect the disputed site on May 26 but did not go there despite repeated requests by the area residents.

Tension prevailed in the colony today as well as supporters of both the parties were adamant on their respective stands and said come what may they would stick to it.

The injured persons have been identified as Manjit Singh, Surinder Singh, Bhupinder Singh, Atma Ram, Usha Rani, Bhola Singh, Seema Rani and Rita . Of these Surinder Singh is said to have received serious injuries. An FIR is yet to be registered regarding the incident as the injured were not in a position to give statement to the police.

Amarjit Singh, secretary of the Gurdwara Shri Ravidass Ji, said they were attacked by supporters of Rajinder Singh, who had staked his claim on a part of the gurdwara land. Rajinder Singh could not be contacted. Police sources said his supporters had claimed that they were attacked.

SP-City-II Pritam Singh has marked an inquiry into the case to DSP Gurjit Singh.

The controversy over the issue had been simmering for the past two weeks. Both parties had approached the district administration for solving the dispute. However, the administration did not take a timely preventive action that could have averted the clash.

The controversy centres around the gurdwara, which according to Amarjit Singh, was founded in 1962. He said the gurdwara land was donated by some persons. However, one descendant of a donor was now demanding the land back and had applied for getting a registration of the land. He said the claimant Rajinder Singh wanted to construct a marriage palace on this stretch of land.

The gurdwara management committee was opposing this. Last afternoon, Rajinder Singh and others, who claim to be the legal owners of the land, had constructed a wall over the claimed boundary. This had irked the residents and gurdwara management which led to the clash.



BSNL services now through post offices
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 5
Ludhiana became the first city in the country where the products and services of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) like ITC cards, Excel prepaid cellular cards and recharge and sancharnet coupons will be available through post offices. Initially available at the Head Post Office, the services will soon be extended to all 48 post offices in the city, depending on popular demand.

The sale of these cards was formally inaugurated by Mr G.S. Julka, DGM, BSNL, here today. Although the amount of business could not be ascertained, but the authorities were positive of the outcome on the first day.

Talking to TNS, Senior Superintendent of Post Offices, City Division, Ms Manisha Bansal, said the division had entered into a landmark contract with the BSNL authorities.

The ITC cards, which can be used for making STD/ISD calls from landline phones will be available in denominations of Rs 100, Rs 200 and Rs 500. New connections of Excel prepaid cellular cards will be available for Rs 200, whereas recharge coupons will be available in the denominations of Rs 300 and Rs 500.

She said the scheme had been started keeping in mind the current trends where the customer wanted all services on his doorstep. It was in this scenario that the Department of Posts had stepped in since it had an unmatched reach and large network of post offices all over the country and was in a position to provide this service to customers.

Easy availability of these cards at the post offices would prove beneficial for the public and would surely increase the popularity and demand for these cards, she added. There had been a traditional association between the department and the BSNL and now both departments were trying to discover the means to work hand in hand and provide maximum benefits to their customers. 



Sonia appointed DCC chiefs: Hanspal
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 5
Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president H.S. Hanspal today said the new presidents of the urban and the rural units of the District Congress Committee (DCC) were appointed by Congress President Sonia Gandhi and he had no role in it.

Mr Hanspal, who was here to attend the oath-taking ceremony of the two district presidents, Mr Jagmohan Sharma (urban) and Mr Harmohinder Singh Pradhan (rural), said the previous presidents, Mr K.K. Bawa and Mr Gurdev Singh Lapran, were equally competent. “They were not removed for any shortcoming as they had done quite well”, Mr Hanspal said, adding that it was a part of the statewide reshuffle which was a regular feature in the Congress party.

The PCC president appealed to the rank and file of the party to work unitedly under the leadership of the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, who was trying to provide the best administration to the people of the state. He hoped that the two former presidents of the urban and rural units would extend full cooperation to the new office-bearers. He lauded their contribution saying that they had put in a lot of efforts to ensure victory of the party candidates.

Hundreds of people attended the ceremony. It was a good show by the DCC to begin with.

Expressing their gratitude to the PCC president and the party high command, Mr Sharma and Mr Pradhan assured that they would live up to the expectations of the party leadership.

They said they would ensure that the party acted as a cohesive unit and everyone was taken into confidence for all decisions.

The Minister for Higher Education, Mr Harnam Dass Johar, Transport Minister, Mr Tej Prakash, Minister of State for Printing and Stationery, Mr Rakesh Pandey, the Minister of State for Jails, Mr Milkiat Singh Birmi, Minister for Forests, Mr Harbans Lal, local legislators, Mr Surinder Dawer and Mr Milkiat Singh Dakha also attended the function. 



Conserve water, save earth
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 5
Different functions to lay emphasis on sapling plantation, water conservation and checking environmental pollution marked the World Environment Day in the city and surrounding areas.

At a function organised by the Health Department, in association with the State Bank of India (SBI), at the Government Industrial Training Institute for Girls in Ghumar Mandi here, the speakers emphasised the need for tree plantation and conservation of water besides focussing on the detrimental effect of noise and air pollution caused by vehicles, factories, burning of husk and smoking and the diseases caused by environmental pollution. The students of the institute were administered an oath to continue to educate the people about environment conservation.

The Civil Surgeon, Dr S.N. Tiwari, Dr Hamir Singh, Chief Manager, SBI, Mr B.R. Heera, Branch Manager, SBI, Dugri, and Mr Tejinder Singh, Principal, ITI, among others attended the function.

Activists of the Sri Guru Ravi Das Youth Club and the Nehru Yuva Kendra observed the World Environment Day by planting saplings in Ayali Khurd village. Speaking at the occasion, Mr Balbir Singh of the kendra exhorted the people to plant more and more saplings in the wake of increasing air pollution in the city. The green belts and trees virtually acted as lungs for the city population which were constantly exposed to the worst kind of air pollution.

Prominent among others present at the occasion were Mr Netra Singh Ayali, member, block samiti, Mr Hardev Singh, president of the club, Mr Avtar Singh Grewal, Mr Pargat Singh, Mr Baljit Singh Boparai, Mr Gurmeet Singh, Mr Jagrup Singh, Mr Lakhvir Singh, Mr Navneet Singh.

In the course of a 10-day NSS camp, the students of the local SDP College for Women apprised the rural women of safe drinking water, measures against pollution, importance of women education and mobilised opinion against social evils like female foeticide. According to NSS programme officers, Ms Sudesh Bhalla, Ms Nivedita Arora and Ms Sunita, the NSS volunteers found the village population faced with a severe shortage of power and drinking water.

The Ludhiana Sewa Sangh organised a tree plantation function in Kundanpuri locality here to mark the day. The LSS President, Mr Suresh Gupta, urged the city residents to go for plantation of saplings, which he added, could significantly contribute to bringing down the alarming level of air pollution.



Residents of ‘neglected’ colony flay authorities
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 5
Residents of Maharishi Balmiki Nagar, a residential colony developed by Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT), are sore over indifferent attitude of officials concerned towards their genuine and persistent problems.

The sanitary conditions of the colony in general and C Block in particular, leave much to be desired. Mr M.L. Anand, chairman, Maharishi Balmiki Nagar (C Block) Welfare Association, said heaps of garbage, serving as breeding ground for flies posed a serious health hazard to the residents. Besides, the low water pressure further added to the woes of people.

“About the pathetic condition of the parks, the less said is better. These are a picture of total neglect with abundant growth of weeds and shrubs. The proliferating congress grass all-over the colony and in the parks has created a situation in which the residents have virtually been denied the use of parks.” Mr Anand alleged that gardeners and other staff of the horticulture wing of the LIT, deployed to look after the parks, was, in fact, working at the residences of the senior officers while the parks were being completely ignored.

The condition of residents of MIG flats in Block A of the colony was no better. The LIT had initially planned to construct 180 flats but due to certain litigation over ownership of land, only 69 flats came up. The vacant land around the blocks of three-storeyed flats, rued the residents, was being ‘misused’ by tractor-trailer and truck operators for dumping building material like sand and aggregate, meant for sale. Another vacant piece of government land was put to use to break up stones and bricks into stone metal. These vehicles, besides causing noise pollution, were playing havoc with the environment, thereby exposing the residents to serious health hazards.

In a memorandum submitted to the Administrator of Ludhiana Improvement Trust, members of the Rishi Enclave Welfare Association alleged that ever since allotment of these flats more than five years ago, no development work had been undertaken by the LIT. The residents, who had spent their hard-earned money to buy these flats, were agitated over the utter neglect of the colony and the blind-eyed attitude of the officials.

Mr Mahesh Arora, general secretary of the association, said: “The roads in the colony are in a bad shape, the parks remain undeveloped and the sanitary conditions are pathetic, to say the least.” He called for immediate and effective measures to rid the colony of the nuisance of encroachments by building material transporters, to develop and properly maintain the parks, to resurface the roads and to improve the insanitary conditions prevailing in the area.



Redress public grievances fast, officers told
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 5
Mr Harnam Dass Johar, Higher Education Minister, Punjab, has asked the district-level officers of all departments to give maximum time to redress the grievances of the people, so that the promise of the state government headed by Capt Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister, of providing clean, efficient and transparent governance could be achieved at the earliest.

Mr Johar was addressing a meeting of the officers of different departments, councillors and representatives of the public here today. Mr Anurag Verma, Deputy Commissioner, also attended the meeting.

While welcoming the new Deputy Commissioner, Mr Johar has said that the people have high expectations from the administration from the new DC and exhorted the district administration and officers of the other department so serve the people honestly and earnestly and strive hard to ensure the utilisation of government funds in the stipulated period and also ensure the quality of the projects.

The minister, stressing upon the severe problem of the traffic congestion in the central city, asked the administration to take strict steps in the direction. He asked the DC to expedite the process of plying mini buses on city roads whose route permits had already issued by him, so that the plying of large number of unauthorised auto rickshaws could be checked as these were creating serious problems of traffic and pollution.

Mr Johar reviewing the rising traffic on Ludhiana-Doraha road along canal because of the setting up of toll tax Post near Doraha, which has completely damaged the road, said that he would take up the matter with the higher authorities to shift the barriers from Doraha to the Bridge over Sutlej near Laddowal, so that the fast damage to the side roads could be checked.

Keeping in view the rising floating population in the city. Mr Johar suggested to the DC to arrange for more toilets at the public places in the city. He also asked the Deputy Commissioner to take effective steps to deal with the problems of stray animals, particularly the pigs roaming in all the parks. Mr Johar asked the workers to take up the matters relating to the public with the DC and other officers on regular basis to ensure speedy redressal of public grievances.

Mr Anurag Verma, while addressing the meeting said that during the past few days, he had been regularly studying the various problems in the district and had been meeting freely with people to get more and more information about the different aspects relating to the all parts of the district. 



Call for farmer-arhtiya unity
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, June 5
A district-level conference of arhtiyas and farmers was organised by the Arhtiya Association of Ludhiana under the presidentship of Mr Ram Saroop Sharma, district president of the association, at Aarti Palace here yesterday.

The conference was largely attended by the arhtiyas and farmers from all over the surrounding area. Mr Ajmer Singh Lakhowal and Mr Balbir Singh Rajewal, president and general secretary of the Bharatiya Kisan Union, respectively, spoke on the problems confronting the farming community, their increasing strained relations with the arhtiyas and the necessary reforms to be undertaken in this direction. Mr Ajmer Singh Lakhowal elaborating upon the issue said, “The bond between a farmer and an arhtiya can never be broken. They are totally dependent upon each other as their immediate needs and routine demands are concerned. A healthy relation should be established between the two if the farming sector has to progress.”

Mr Balbir Singh Rajewal said arhtiyas and farmers are two sides of the same coin. If they adopt different paths, the economic health of the already deteriorating farming community would be further affected.

Mr Ram Saroop, president, Arhtiya Association, Ludhiana, said the long pending demands of the farmers and arhtiyas which have not been accepted till date, should be solved only by arriving on a common stage where the interests of both are served.

All speakers jointly stressed upon the need of building up a common platform and with active cooperation between the two fronts arriving at a definite solution to face the challenges being posed by the WTO agreement. They also urged the farmers and the arhtiyas to rise upto the occasion by shunning the internal differences. The speakers also pointed towards various other unions and organisations which want to create rift between the two and satisfy their own selfish motives.



Designer watches reflect luxurious life style
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 5
“No longer people wear watches just to see time. Now that is secondary. What is important they should be designer/ branded watches, expensive and help in power dressing. Our clients feel that watches reflect one’s personality and taste”, says Ms Sarika working in a shop that sells branded watches only.

She continues, “People are willing to spend Rs 15,000 or more for a watch. Most of the branded watches start in this range and go up to a few lakhs like Omega and Rado watches, yet people buy them. Only 2 per cent of our clients go back without buying imported brands like Christian Dior, Omega, Rado, Dunhill, Tag, Tissot and Longiness watches. Christian Dior watches were launched recently by famous model Yana Gupta. Within a few days we had a brisk sale of these watches. Women are going for watches studded with gems and diamonds.”

A fashion-conscious young woman, Ms Maitali says, “In our family, we judge a person by the brand of watch he/she wears. A watch is considered a piece of jewellery and should go with your ensemble. If one is sporting branded shoes and clothes and the watch is very ordinary, then one can know that person is not really very careful in his dressing. That person goes down in our esteem. These days branded watches with big dials are in and silver colour is more popular than gold.”

Ms Sunita, a sales woman at a jewellery shop selling branded watches, says, “People prefer sapphire crystal dials of watches which generally the branded watches come with. They are scratch resistant. Small dial watches are definitely out. Men are going for big dial watches whereas women buy watches with medium dials. Men prefer steel dials whereas women prefer a dial which is a ‘mix’ of gold and silver.”

Mr Ashok Arora, a business man, says, “I have been abroad many times. Now clothes do not attract me, but I have a passion for branded watches and I have became a collector. When I am alone, I take out my Rados, Omegas, Tissot watches and admire them. Some stores offer real exchange bargains. At times I exchange my old watch with a new model of a watch say Omega. I have to bear a loss of Rs 5000. But it does not matter as I have the satisfaction of wearing a Rs 8 lakh Omega watch. A good watch spells class.”

Rasil Nayyar of Titan watches says, “Even in Titan watches, ladies prefer watches studded with precious stones or one that looks more like a jewellery piece. Our clients go for creativity in watches, prices are secondary thing. Pure gold watches are popular specially when people are doing trousseau shopping.”



Pensioners hail Haryana Govt’s decision
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 5
The Punjab State Pensioners’ Confederation has appreciated the recent decision of the Haryana Government, allowing government employees, pensioners and family pensioners complete re-imbursement of expenditure incurred by them on indoor as well as outdoor treatment of complicated chronic diseases on the notified list.

The upper limit of Rs 6000, to be spent by employees, pensioners and family pensioners from their own pockets, has also been done away with.

In a statement here today, Mr B.R. Kaushal, state president of the body, today exhorted the Punjab Government, on account of its better financial position, to follow suit and implement decision on the Haryana pattern for the welfare of its own in-service employees, pensioners and family pensioners.

He said the Punjab Health and Family Welfare department, vide its notification dated September 1, 2000, had laid down that no reimbursement would be allowed if the expenditure on the treatment of any listed complicated chronic disease did not exceed Rs 6000.

However, expenses about the prescribed limit of Rs 6000 would be cent per cent reimbursed. Mr Kaushal observed that the rider, under the fresh instructions, should be removed as had been done by the government of Haryana as a goodwill gesture.



Shine goes out of shoeshine boys’ life
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 5
Summer months are harsh on shoeshine boys. Birju (14) and Parkash (18), who is slightly handicapped, are at the end of their tethers. With mercury shooting up to 45°C, these two start their journey every morning from Ambedkar Nagar in Dugri and walk up to the Feroze Gandhi Market, a popular commercial centre.

Birju says, “In winters men wear shoes. We have a brisk business then polishing shoes of men and at times ladies’ shoes. We make up to Rs 100. Our families at least have two square meals a day. My father plays bugle in a band and gets work daily during winter, but now both of us are having bad times. We walk about 20km daily, but do not find work. We make hardly Rs 50 braving intense heat, dust storm and grime. Summers are cruel on us as the marriage season is off and my father is out of work.”

Parkash says, “Everyday we go out with a hope of making a decent living. We do not get enough business as people in summer start wearing sandals and chappals.”



VB questions MLA’s brother
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 5
Mr Mann Singh Garcha, a well-known liquor contractor and brother of Akali MLA Jagdish Singh Garcha was questioned by the Vigilance Bureau here today in connection with a bribery case registered against him.

His name had also figured in the fake-currency racket case involving two agents of the ISI that were arrested by the Vigilance Bureau yesterday.

Vigilance Bureau officials declined to comment on the content of the questioning.

Meanwhile, the two agents — Surinder Singh, alias Chhinda and Gursharanjit Singh, alias Goga, were remanded in two-day police custody by Chief Judicial Magistrate Arunvir Vashisht.



Hoodwinking the gullible masses

Once again the opportunistic political leaders are all set to hoodwink the gullible and innocent Sikh masses by involving the highest temporal seat of the Sikhs, the Akal Takht, for safeguarding their own vested interests. These leaders, who have been responsible for the erosion of traditions and ethos of Sikhism and have reduced Sikh institutions to their own personal fiefdom thereby inflicting incalculable damage to the glory of Khalsa principals, are now again at the old game of political self-preservation.

I humbly appeal to the Jathedar of Sri Akal Takht not to interfere to bring about this purely political merger and allow them to fight for their survival on ground since the Sikh masses are now more aware of their manipulations and dramas of the past. They have failed the Sikhs and are responsible for narrowing the all-encompassing spirit of the Khalsa, even though they have been vested with powers by the masses on many occasions.

One of them continuously provoked the Sikh soldiers in the Army to leave their barracks in the wake of Operation Bluestar. They were the only bread winners of their families and are still trying to overcome the trauma of being cashiered out of the forces. It will be most unfortunate if the high priests sideline the altrusic values enshrined in Sri Guru Granth Sahib and issue an edict for their merger and hand-over the conscience of the Sikh masses over to these two leaders who have miserably failed to abandon their self-interests for the overall interests of the community, whom they have been ruling for the last three decades. I think most of the masses share these sentiments.

Lt. Col. Chanan Singh Dhillon

Environment education

It is heartening to learn that schools in the city are seriously imparting ‘environment education’ to our children. Many schools celebrated the ‘World Environment Day’ and some have active ‘eco-clubs’ also. Infact, ‘environmental studies is an important subject in the primary school curriculum. In the present-day context, to impart environment education and awareness is a step in the right direction indeed.

Unfortunately, by setting wrong precedents, adults often undo the environment education that children receive at school. I want to point out one such instance.

On my way to work I drive past the Sidhwan canal. Every morning I see families gathered on a bridge (near PAU) making ‘offerings’ and dumping large packets in the water.

When the canal is dry, you can see its bed littered with plastic bags for quite some distance. All this happens when we are well aware of the hazards of polluted water. While it is good to teach our children traditional values, we also need to educate the parents regarding the safekeeping of our planet, even if it means modifying rituals to make them environment friendly.

Dr Seema Bedi

Steps to avert fire

Even as the mishap of Khud Mohalla in Ludhiana is fresh in the mind and memories of Ludhiana citizens, another incident of burning train near Ladowal has shocked the city.

This is the second major railway tragedy in which several human lives were lost. The bodies were charred beyond recognisation and the condition of their families can be well imagined. The following are a few suggestions, may be helpful, to avert such mishaps in future :

Smoking should strictly be prohibited within the compartments. Passengers must prevent others from smoking while travelling. Extra passengers should not be allowed in a compartment against prescribed seating capacity. Overcrowding becomes more dangerous under such circumstances. Fire extinguish devices, sand buckets, water pipes should be arranged in compartments and the public must be educated to use them in case of an emergency. All alarm chains to stop the train in an emergency must be in an operative condition. It has been observed that they often don’t work. Luggage that is dumped in the exit points should not be allowed. Security arrangements to check all these requirements, should be set up in every train. Probe must be conducted in real sense to find out the facts and steps should be taken accordingly to avert the mishappenings in future.

For the affected families: The next of kin of the deceased must be accommodated with jobs to enable them to earn their livelihood. They must be given compensation which should be not less than Rs 5 lakh. Rs 2 lakh for injured or handicapped should also be given.

Free education/food to the children of the deceased be provided till they start earning themselves. NGOs/social workers involved in saving the lives of others by putting themselves in grave must be suitable awarded and honoured.

Kuldip Singh Kreer

Don’t ape the West blindly

I fully endorse the views expressed by Mr Kuldip Singh Kreer regarding the undesirability of opening of casinos in the state (May 16, 2003). Before blindly aping the west, the government under the stewardship of Capt Amarinder Singh should first concentrate in trying go remove illiteracy, poverty and improve the infrastructure in the state in the form of good roads, health environment and good governance.

The state is not only lacking in such things as compared to developed countries like UK USA and the rest of Europe, but fares badly when compared with even Asian states like Malaysia and Singapore etc.

I wonder how the Captain missed these achievements in the USA during his last visit. Personally, I am not against these who can afford to play in the casinos, but what about the teaming millions in the country who go without two meals a day and who have no shelter. Who will think of these unfortunate ones if the well-meaning Chief Minister wastes his time and money on setting up casinos, which have no relevance at all in our present day set up?

Major S.S. Khosla

Pensioners’ woes

The Northern Railway Pensioners Welfare Association, Ludhiana, through its general secretary is highly critical of the state government for hiking the rates of water and sewerage charges, although many a time there were big announcements that free water supply to the urbanites would be arranged.

Again the PSEB has raised the electricity charges by 8 per cent to 13 per cent for all sectors, except agriculture. Thousands of rupees are being spent on surprise raids being arranged to check theft of electricity by using ‘kundis, but its all going down the drain with no results.

The rates may be hiked to any extent but the board will remain in the red. The pensioners were worst affected when rates of interest started decreasing from 13 per cent some 12 years ago to merely 6 per cent now, the only way of augmenting their income. A telephone connection, which was considered a boon sometime back, has become a bane with the increase in rentals and call charges. Ironically, the Telecommunication Department and BSNL are giving competitive rates to mobile phone customers at the cost of the common subscribers.

K.L. Chitkara

Sehajdhari or patit?

It is quite amusing, to say the least, that one misnomer — Sehajdhari Sikh Federation — has alleged that they contemplate irregularities in the enrollment of Sikh voters. It seems essential for this unit to understand the difference between Sehajdhari and patit.

It would have been appropriate had they floated the body with the name Patit Sikh Federation since that would surely represent them in the real sense of the term. As far as it appears, no ordinary member in this federation is a Sehajdhari. By and large, all are patit. And for dealing with patits, the bylaws have already been laid down in the Sikh Rehat Maryada. Some persons with an eye on the (remotely possible) political mileage and more so to please the fascist, demi-political outfits are raising this bogey to achieve their own goals at the cost of further damage to Sikh community. If they feel that nobody knows, let me tell them that they are exposed !

Dr. C. K. Singh



Girl booked in hit-and-run case
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 5
The Civil Lines police has registered a hit-and-run case against an unknown girl, who allegedly crashed her scooter into a motorcyclist near the Pakhowal chowk on Wednesday afternoon and fled the scene leaving behind the victim with a broken leg.

A case under Sections 279 and 337 of the IPC was registered on the statement of Mr Jagmohar Kataria, who stated that as a result of the negligent driving of the girl, one of his legs was broken.

Beaten up: The Haibowal police on Wednesday registered a case under Sections 323,341,506 and 34 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Som Nath, a resident of Joshi Nagar, against Deepa, Baggo and Gurmit, residents of the same locality. The complainant had alleged that while he was passing through the colony on June 1, the accused intercepted him in a street, beat him up and also threatened him.

A case under Sections 374 and 373 of the IPC was registered at the same police station on the statement of Mr Lekh Raj, a resident of Guru Nanak Dev Nagar, against another resident of the same locality. The complainant had alleged that the accused had attacked him with a knife on Wednesday evening and injured him.

The Model Town police has registered a case under Sections 457, 374, 380 and 34 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Bhupinder Singh, a resident of Urban Estate, Dugri, against Gurminder Singh, alias Vicky, a resident of Dugri, Harjinder Singh, and Ajit Singh, a resident of Threekay village. The complainant had alleged that the accused came to his shop on Tuesday, beat him up and also stole his Indica car. The police has arrested one of the accused, Gurminder Singh.

Robbers held: On a tip-off, the Division No. 6 police on Wednesday registered a case under Sections 399 and 402 of the IPC and Section 25 of the Arms Act against Datta Ram, alias Lambu, Mangal Singh, Sanjay Singh, alias Thakur, a resident of Hargobind Nagar, Deep Kumar, a resident of Naresh Da Vehra, Jugiana, Suresh Kumar, another resident of Jugiana village, along with some other persons. The police said the accused, who were armed, were arrested from near the military camp on the GT road on Wednesday evening while they were allegedly planning to commit robbery in the city.

Assault: The Jodhewal police on Wednesday registered a case under Sections 374, 373, 341 and 34 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Rajinder Kumar, a resident of Mohalla Baldev Nagar, against Deepa, Tinku and Sonu, residents of the same locality. The complainant had alleged that the accused intercepted him on the way on Wednesday morning and injured him with sharp-edged weapons. No arrest has been made so far.



Anti-drug Society chief’s house attacked
Our Correspondent

Khanna, June 5
Near about 15 persons attacked the house of Mr Mohan Singh, president of the Anti-drug Society, Punjab, in Salaudi village, about 3 km from here on Wednesday night.

Mr Mohan Singh had lodged a complaint at the Sadar police station, Khanna, in which he alleged that about 15 persons, armed with guns and sharp-edged weapons attacked his house yesterday. They entered his house by breaking the door. They fired at his house when he raised the alarm they ran away.

The police has registered an FIR under section 307 and 452 against Surinder Singh, alias, Nattu, Balwinder Singh and Charnjit Singh, alias, Channi and 10 other unidentified persons here today.

Last year also Mohan Singh’s house was attacked by about 40 persons.



Workshop on risk management
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 5
A workshop on risk management was organised here by the Bajaj Allianz Insurance Company Limited for members of the Knitwear Club. The workshop was arranged by Master Trust Limited.

Mr Anil Verma, zonal head (North), Bajaj Allianz, said that Bajaj Allianz was the part of Allianz a leading insurance company in the world. He said, the company had posted a net profit of Rs 9.6 crore in the first year of operations. Bajaj Allianz had maximum reach among private players and had 38 branches all connected with their HO through Internet.

Mr Harjeet Arora, Managing Director, Master Trust Ltd, told the members that Master Trust had become the corporate agent for Bajaj Allianz. Mr Arora hoped that hosiery units would understand the need for covering their risks, particularly after the tragic incidents of fire which resulted in loss of property and precious lives.

Mr Sumit Sen Gupta, manager technical, Bajaj Allianz, said that the industrial units could reduce the risks. He said that each unit had certain areas of risk which could be easily identified and should take precaution of storing inflammable materials near those points. He explained the reasons of ire, electrical safety in case of fire, fire extinguishing appliances. He also provided information on how to minimise the loss in case a fire.

Local branch head of Bajaj Allianz, Mr Manu Virmani, said the branch had collected Rs 2.69 crore premium in Ludhiana.

Mr Vinod Thapar, president, Knitwear Club, thanked the Bajaj Allianz and Master advisory services. He said that there were lot of instances of short circuit happening in the city and small units were being affected badly as most of these units were under insured. 



Industry assured of TCS relief
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, June 5
The introduction of tax collection at source (TCS) with effect from June 1 was discussed with the commissioner of Income Tax, Patiala, who gave a patient hearing to a deputation of industrialist to remove the hurdles in the way of industrialists.

Among others the general secretary, Steel Chamber, Mr Ram Paul, the president, Bhavnagar Traders Association, Mr Rajiv Dutta, and Chartered Accountant Badhan Bassi, along with members of the Furnace Association, had a detailed discussion with the Commissioner, Mr R.S. Matodha. Mr S.S. Goyal and Mr Varinder Mehta, both Joint Commissioners, Income Tax, were also present.

According to a press note issued by the chamber here today, the deputation pointed out that with the implementation of the TCS, the seller had to deposit the collected amount at the rate of 10 per cent with the government within seven days.

The officers assured the deputation that the 10 per cent collection limit would be reduced upto one-fourth. 



Private telecom companies take subscribers 
for a ride
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 5
Notwithstanding the claims of better services offered by the private sector companies in the telecom sector, many of their subscribers are having harrowing experiences. And when it comes to filing a complaint, it is hardly acknowledged, not to speak of it being redressed.

A random survey by Ludhiana Tribune team revealed that despite the tough competition among the service providers, the customers do not get benefited. Recently a customer of a private mobile telephone company was forced to file a case in the consumer court for poor services. In fact, his connection had been terminated without any due notice while he was away.

This is one of the several examples as such cases come to the notice on a routine basis.

The customers’ complaints are related to the excess billing, congestion for long duration and poor reception. Prasanjit Bakshi, a customer of one of the leading companies, said he had been receiving excess bills. For last three months he has filed a complaint, but there has been no satisfactory response from the company.

Mr Bakshi said whenever he tried to contact some senior official, he was referred back to some junior-level executive who was not in a position to comment or explain the discrepancies. He claimed that he had seen a consistent pattern in the billing system and the company would ensure a minimum average bill, even if the calls made are quite less.

The company officials, who did not want to be quoted, said there might be some discrepancies in some cases, but these were only exceptional.

They said the customers were served detailed bills on demand and there was no scope or intention of charging the customers in excess.

They claimed that everything was computerised with minimum scope of human intervention.



Craze for kids’ bicycles
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, June 5
There is a big craze for the kid bicycles now and the demand for the same has risen by more than 25 per cent thanks to the entry of the Chinese kid bicycles in the Indian markets. The Indian manufacturers of the bicycles have now diversified their production and have launched a number of new brands of kid bicycles.

In the meantime, Chinese kid bicycles have vanished from the market. The demand for the standard bicycle (for the adults) has fallen considerably.

Mr Onkar Singh Pahwa, Managing Director of the Avon Cycles says that the customer profile has changed completely and there is great demand for the children bicycles.

Mr Singh explains that three years ago, Chinese kid bicycles made their entry into the Indian markets and the same were not very costly-priced at about Rs 600 per bicycle. The Chinese bicycles were not branded and were poor in quality compared with the Indian kid bicycles. Seeing a threat to them, the local manufacturers also launched a number of new brands of kid bicycles with attractive colours and designs.

The Indian kid bicycles is now available for Rs 800 to Rs 850 and the standard bicycle which is also known as ‘Kala bicycle’ is sold for Rs 1300 to Rs 1350. Bicycles with gears cost Rs 3000 to Rs 3500 each. Mr Onkar Singh reveals that demand for the kid bicycle has risen by more than 25 per cent in the recent past.

Hero Cycles Ltd. world’s largest manufacturers of the bicycles have launched four economic models in the kid segment for the age group of 8-12 years.

Mr Om Parkash Munjal, Co-chairman and Managing Director of Hero Cycles claims that the new range in kids segment is ‘today’s best at lowest prices’. The Hero Cycles have brought out new range of kid bicycles with additional safety features and quality.


Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
123 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |