Wednesday, June 18, 2003, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


SHO held on graft charge
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 17
The Ludhiana Vigilance Bureau today arrested a Station House Officer (SHO) of the Machhiwara police station on corruption charge. Sub-Inspector Dilbagh Singh, SHO, was caught red-handed by a Vigilance team today while he was accepting bribe from a villager, Mr Rajinder Singh, at the police station only. The SHO had allegedly threatened Mr Rajinder Singh of Miani village to grease his palms lest he would be implicated in some case.

The police has booked him under Section 7-13(2)-88 of the Prevention of Corruption Act. A separate case under relevant sections of the Excise Act have also been registered against the cop. Two cases of Indian made foreign liquor (IMFL) brands including McDowell and Royal Challenge were recovered from his official house in the police station.

Narrating the sequence of events leading to the SHO’s arrest, Mr Kanwarjit Singh Sandhu, SSP, Vigilance Bureau, Ludhiana, said the SHO had on June 13 stopped the complainant, who was travelling in a car with a woman, near Machhiwara. He threatened to charge them for loitering in public place and allegedly took away the his mobile phone, car documents and about Rs 1,000.

Mr Sandhu said the SHO then directed the man to pay him more money within few days otherwise he would implicate him in a case. The complainant approached the Vigilance Bureau that laid a trap.

After the deal was struck at Rs 4,000, the SHO called the complainant at his office today. He was accepting the bribe when a team led by DSP Darshan Singh and Inspector Ranbir Singh swooped on him. Two civil officers ETO J.L. Sharma and Superintendent in the Education Department Jai Gopal Gupta were witness to the incident.



Liquor flows freely in countryside
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Aandloo (Ludhiana), June 17
During daytime they seek votes on development and other promises but as soon as the sun sets, Bacchus rules the roost in villages of the district, courtesy the impending panchayat poll.

Liquor is flowing freely in the countryside to woo voters in the run-up to the panchayat elections in the state on June 29. It is being offered in a clandestine manner as the guidelines of the Election Commission prohibit the distribution of liquor to attract the voters.

The Tribune team conducted a survey of villages in Pakhowal belt last evening to find out that liquor was being served to the ‘‘potential’’ voters by candidates. Around 6 p.m. in Aandloo village came an invitation to all,‘‘Ajj raat nu Gajjan Siaonh ne mooh kaura karvauna hai,’’ ( Gajjan Singh will serve liquor at his place this evening). The message reached every doorstep as certain persons were assigned the task of conveying the invitation to all. At around 7 p.m., the village witnessed a hectic activity.

Boozers started gathering at the house of a candidate and the party started. After gulping down two-three pegs, the information started flowing. ‘‘Mera bapu tan hale vi purane sarpanch val hi hai, je apne magar la sakde hon tan la lavo’’ (My father is still in the favour of former Sarpanch. If you can manage make him join your camp), went the conversation.

As the time passed, the meeting became more and more “useful” as it helped the ‘‘vigilant’’ workers to gather all secret information regarding the inclination of the villagers towards a candidate. At around 10.30 p.m. when every person had consumed at least a bottle, some of them started falling under the effect of liquor. Some persons collapsed there only and were brought home on a tractor-trailor by the workers.

A ‘‘nukkad meeting’’ of residents at the village was also witnessed by the team. The issues confronting the village were being discussed at the meeting. There, too, liquor was flowing freely. But as soon as the they saw strangers they sent a young boy inside with the bottle.

Stinking like a brewery, the shaky ‘‘intelligentsia’’ of the village asked the team about the purpose of the visit. Despite the smell they said, ‘‘Please have water’’ as a young boy carried a bottle of beer containing water. ‘‘This is not liquor but water,’’ said an elderly man. Then a long list of complaints against the other party candidate was narrated. One of them even went to the extent of saying that he was offering liquor to the villagers to influence them. ‘‘You can visit his place right now and he would be seen among tipsy villagers,’’ said one of them.

In some villages, liquor is being smuggled into the district from Chandigarh, where it is cheaper compared to that being sold in the district. Only yesterday, the Jagraon police confiscated 1200 pouches, each measuring 180 ml, being smuggled into the region. The police sources said that it was being smuggled for use in panchayat elections. The sources said a pouch cost Rs 5 in Chandigarh while it was sold for Rs 20 in the district.

To ward off the trouble due to vigorous campaigning and free flow of liquor, the Jagraon police has stepped up ‘‘dusk patrolling’’ in the villages. Mr M.S. Chhina, SSP, Jagraon, said the police was very vigilant these days and was on alert in the evenings. 



400 file papers on second day
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 17
Confusion prevailed at many places in the district on the second day for filing of nominations as more than 400 persons filed their papers for the posts of sarpanch and panch today.

Long queues were witnessed on the second day at the local courts, where people had lined up to get the forms and then get the completed document vetted by their lawyers. While stamp vendors had a field day, steno typists worked overtime to prepare the documents.

In Amloh, only three forms for the post of sarpanch could be filed since the officials refused to accept the completed document on photocopied forms. They were told to file their papers on original forms since typed and photocopies of the forms were not acceptable. The matter was brought to the notice of the authorities and it was referred to the Election Commission. It was only late in the evening that clearance for accepting the same was obtained.

Sources said the rush would pick up tomorrow since the last day for accepting the same was June 19. They said returning officers had been asked to remain present in the field for the convenience of people and ensure that no form was rejected on the abovementioned basis.

Candidates at the Zila Parishad told TNS that while the formalities for the posts of panch were easy to complete, they were elaborate in the case of sarpanch. They not only had to mention their educational details, but also the khasra numbers of land they owned and bank balance.

Getting the khasra number was proving to be a tricky affair because of the non-availability of patwaris. It required lot of time to get the document prepared, lamented a candidate.

The highest number of forms were accepted in Raikot (sarpanch-15, panch-78), Samrala (sarpanch 14, panch-51), Doraha (sarpanch-14, panch- 30), Jagraon (sarpanch-5, panch-32), Sidhwan Bet (sarpanch 1, panch-1), Dehlon (sarpanch-17, panch-45), Machhiwara (sarpanch-10, panch-22) and Khanna (sarpanch 2, panch-5). The figures for the largest zone, Ludhiana — II were not available. 


Bar members may become presiding officers
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 17
There is a good news for those seeking quick disposal of their legal cases. The Punjab and Haryana High Court has decided to appoint judges for Fast Track Courts directly from among the Bar. This will not only take care of the shortage, but also speed up the process of imparting justice. The move has sent a cheer among the legal fraternity that has welcomed the move.

The Chief Justice has invited applications from the members of the Bar for appointment as Presiding Officers in Fast Track Courts in Punjab and Haryana. Initially, the appointment will be for a period of one year only but the high court may extend the term from time to time.

The lawyers having 10 years’ practice on January 1, 2003, will be eligible for applying for the post of Presiding Officer in a Fast Track Court. The minimum age for recruitment has been fixed as 35 years and maximum age shall be 50 years as on January 1, 2003.

Any lawyer, who will be appointed to a Fast Track Court, shall get the same financial benefits and facilities being enjoyed by the Presiding Officers of Fast Track Courts recruited from among the retired members of the Superior Judicial Services of Punjab and Haryana.

The high court has made it clear that applications for the post of Presiding Officer in the Fast Track Court must reach the Registrar not later than July 31. The lawyers practising at the district and sub-division level have been asked to submit their applications through the District and Sessions Judge concerned. No application sent directly to the Registrar of the high court shall be entertained.

The directions have been issued to all District and Sessions Judges in Punjab and Haryana and the Union Territory of Chandigarh to ensure that the applications submitted to them by the lawyers should reach the office of Registrar not later than July 31. The District and Sessions Judges will forward the applications of eligible candidates with their recommendations.

The Additional District and Sessions Judges (ad hoc) Recruitment and Conditions of Services Rules, 2001 of Punjab and Haryana framed for appointment of retired members of the Superior Judicial Service shall apply to the members of the Bar proposed to be appointed to the Fast Track Courts.

The high court has made it clear that canvassing in any form and at any stage by the lawyer interested to be appointed in a Fast Track Court, shall be considered as disqualification.



Traffic rules flouted with impunity
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 17
Traffic conditions in the mega city are chaotic with ever increasing vehicle population, proliferating encroachments, poor traffic planning and management and on the top of it all, slack enforcement of traffic rules.

Creating obstruction in the flow of traffic on city roads, main roads and highways by putting up unauthorised structures on roadsides, blocking slipways, haphazard parking of vehicles and flouting traffic laws has become common in the city. To make matters worse, the traffic police personnel, deployed on all major crossings and roads, focus solely on issuing challans or at times ‘striking deals’ for violations like driving without helmets or seat belts rather than checking the violations that hamper the flow of traffic on roads leading to frequent traffic jams.

On all city roads, including those in congested localities and major commercial centres, vehicles are parked along both sides for the reason that designated parking sites are either not available or people find it convenient to park their vehicles on the roadside and carry out their business with scant consideration towards other road users. Even though the traffic police and the civic administration have got yellow lines painted for parking of vehicles inside the line in most of the commercial centres wherever road width is adequate but in the absence of regulatory mechanism, the move has failed.

Though three-wheelers and mini-buses provide much-needed support to the local transport network but at the same time prove to be major impediment in the smooth flow of traffic. Drivers of three-wheelers and mini-buses stop at will to pick up or drop passengers. The entire stretch of the Old G.T. Road from Chand Cinema to Jagraon Bridge, Brown Road, DMC Road, Domoria Bridge Road, Bhadaur House Market, Clock Tower Chowk, railway station and bus stand are living examples of how traffic rules are thrown to wind by fleet of buses and three-wheelers much to the annoyance and inconvenience of other road users.

Transport officials, district administration, civic authorities and traffic police have occasionally made half-hearted attempts to discipline the three-wheeler and mini-bus operators but due to political interference and other factors, they have failed to have any lasting impact. As a result offenders continue to hold people at ransom and have the last laugh while the sheepish enforcement authorities go on passing the buck to each other.



BVSc students go on strike

Ludhiana, June 17
Protesting against the decision of Punjab Agricultural University for not allowing a BVSc (first year) student to appear in the annual examination, undergraduate students from the College of Veterinary Sciences went on a strike this morning.

They said that even though the student was marginally short of attendance, he was not being allowed to take his examination, while a few other students who too were slightly short of attendance were being excused. The authorities were taking a harsh stand in the case of just one student.

The students had been raising this issue since last Saturday but the Dean, Dr S.S. Sodhi, was adamant. He had called up the students’ representatives this morning for a meeting but they insisted the Dean should come down to meet them. When the Dean did not step down, they started a march towards the VC’s office in Thapar Hall where they were directed back to the Dean’s office.

The students then met Dr Sodhi who showed them the attendance records and said the attendance of the student was short by a significant margin. He said that if the cumulative attendance of any student was less than 75 per cent, neither the Dean nor the VC could consider the student for appearing in the examination. The students were convinced and decided to withdraw their strike. OC



Students resent hike in fee
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 17
The convener of the Punjab Vidyarthi Sangarsh Committee, Mr Sandeep Kapoor, and other students of Punjab, urged the Higher Education Minister, Mr Haram Dass Johar, to review the increase in fee of undergraduate and postgraduate classes by the Punjab Government. They attached a chart of the fee hike with the memorandum and submitted it to the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Anurag Verma, and requested him to hand it over to Mr Harnam Dass Johar on their behalf.

The students further said the fee hike would affect common students. They urged Mr Johar to intervene in the matter. 




Terrorism ended long ago but cinema halls in the city, barring only one, have yet to overcome the hangover. Even after a decade of peace in the state the cinema owners have not started late night shows. This comes quite shocking in this city, whose nightlife is said to be the second most active one after the national Capital in northern India. People stay out in clubs, marriage palaces and restaurants even up to 3 a.m. Yet, the cinema halls continue to live in the past.

Friendly cops

Under the much publicised community policing programme of the Punjab Police, cops are being oriented towards a friendlier approach with the public. While this remains a distant dream, some cops graduated in this field recently by going out of the way to help a fellow officer, who was booked by the Vigilance Bureau under various sections of corruption. The friendly cops got his present marked to save problems in his service and even accompanied him to Civil Hospital to help getting a certificate. Friends in need are friends indeed.

Sahib Bahadur Civil Surgeon

Britishers left India more than half-a-century ago. But the Civil Surgeon’s office here has kept a legacy of the Raj conserved. For, it tells about the high-profile status of the Civil Surgeon in those days. A nameplate on a wall of the office states, “Daftar Sahib Civil Surgeon Bahadur”.

No names

Business houses and hotels in the industry often pester reporters with a request of including their names in the newsreport of some function held in their premises. They often try to use the advertising agency people for the purpose also. But this week the case was just the opposite. The vigilance had raided some hotels and business houses. This time the requests came to please delete the names by the same persons.


Despite the various appeals by the Municipal Corporation to the local residents to exercise restraint in watering gardens, residents continue to do so caring little for the precious water. The practice is prevalent in the city as many residents are seen watering their lawns at least once if not twice a day. Some residents even water their lawns by waking up in the wee hours because at that time pressure is maximum. Surprisingly, the condition of our neighbouring states that has been highlighted by the media prolifically has no effect on them. Height of insensitivity! Last year the MC had initiated a drive to book the persons flouting the rules. But this year no such action has come to light.


The other day a colleague went to watch the movie ‘Bhoot’ in a local cinema. With its sound effects the movie actually made some girls leave the hall much before the interval. It was a funny sight to see that many women were actually coaxing their husbands to leave the movie mid-way. A pregnant woman was heard telling her husband, “Please let me go home. For our child’s sake, if not for me.” The request came so promptly that the husband could not refuse.

Good start

The announcements of awards by the local Deputy Commissioner, Mr Anurag Verma, to a brave woman, who had thwarted the robbery attempt and to a girl student who topped the plus two examination has filled many people with enthusiasm. It was after years that commoners were picked up for honour on Independence Day function. Otherwise the city saw the employees of DC’s office, police cops and the like awarded at the function on one pretext or the other. The announcement has come as a ray of hope for many who had been writing letters to the administration after performing rare feats but were never awarded.


The other day two hooligans driving a motorbike without a silencer caused much trouble to the residents of Sarabha Nagar. At around 10 p.m. the hooligans kept making rounds of the area. Surprisingly, no PCR cop stopped them from doing so. After around half an hour, a senior citizen came out of the house and requested them to let them sleep. Thank heavens they listened to him and left the place.


Some colonies in the city have virtually become pig parks. The owners leave these animals on their own who spend their hot days digging into the green belts developed by the residents outside their houses. Not only do the residents have to suffer at the behest of their owners, they are made witness to their cruelty. Whenever the pig grows into an adult, the owners come with a net to catch hold of them. The poor pigs, which are otherwise never cared for, are forced into a cart and carried for butchering. The alarming noise created by these pigs can leave anybody with a heavy heart.

Garden waste

Even as the Chandigarh Administration has banned the burning of garden waste, Ludhiana is yet to follow suit. The vegetable waste generated in various parks of the city is unfortunately set ablaze, thereby polluting the environment. The so-called environmentalists who claim to be the saviours of city parks themselves put the waste on fire. Perhaps the smoke emanating from the leaves etc, which are mostly wet, cannot move them.

Holiday time

Shops in Ludhiana are not only closed after a bandh call but shopkeepers here down their shutters during the hot summers. There are many markets in the city where these shopkeepers decide together and close their shops to go for a holiday. Its the turn of shopkeepers of Calibre Plaza to go on holidays now. A colleague after inquiring from the shopkeepers was amused to find that all of them were going to close shops to go for a holiday at some hill station with their families.

Langars create problems

These days a lot of people organise langars. In some langars sweetened water is served and in others, food is also served. The intentions of the people serving langars are good. But what causes problems is the way langar is served. People erect huge shamianas covering a large part of the road. Then to attract people, they play music. People park their two-wheelers haphazardly causing further congestion on the road. The traffic gets held up. Then when the langar is over, heaps of plates, disposable glasses are strewn on the roadside. Why can’t a big dustbin be placed at the site of the langar and one volunteer can request the people to throw glasses and plates in the bin? 

Kind gesture

A girl had forgotten to carry her admit card for the entrance test of B.Ed examination held yesterday. She was at her wits’ end as her residence was quite far away from the centre. Then a kindly soul appeared and offered her his mobile phone to call up her house and tell someone to bring her roll number. He showed her further kindness by letting her enter he examination hall and to further soothe the agitated girl offered her cold water. The gentleman was from the office of the college where she had gone to take her examination. Thanks to his kind gesture, the girl could perform in the examination well.

Never on time

Indians do not rate punctuality as a virtue to be imbibed. For this reason all the functions whether official, political, social or cultural, start much behind schedule. The matters worsen when a minister has to make an appearance. The function does not start till the minister arrives which might mean a delay of hours. It is torture for children all dressed up to present an item when they have to wait for hours on end. The organisers are busy entertaining the minister and his entourage. Due to the delay in starting the function, some items are cancelled and by the time children’s turn comes to perform, they are too tired and do not give their best. How can one instill punctuality in children when adults, their role models, present such a tardy picture themselves?

Missionary zeal

Sapna Nihar, an architect by profession, worked with missionary zeal to promote the cause of performing arts. She is one of the founder members of a newly formed organisation Kala Sewa Society. For a month she left her clients and chased different maestros to come to Ludhiana and hold workshops in art, crafts and dance under the aegis of their society. While the workshops were going on for a fortnight, she did not budge from the venue of the workshops lest some problems arises. She and her friend Sangeeta and other members were busy arranging meals, accommodation and transport for the artists. She was worried about her clients but she pushed their thoughts aside, as her chief aim was to make the younger generation aware of their rich heritage. She was happy in the end as the society had made a beginning by sowing seeds of love for traditional Indian culture among the hearts of young children.




Cong for consolidation of mass base
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 17
The District Congress Committee (Urban) president, Mr Jagmohan Sharma, has said the party was pursuing a multi-pronged strategy to consolidate its mass base. As part of the ongoing campaign, block and ward level meetings were being organised to educate party workers about policies and programmes of the party and make them more effective for mass mobilisation.

He was addressing a meeting of the Block Congress Committee (Block No 1) at Shahi Mohalla here last evening. Mr Chander Shekhar Sahota, president, BCC, presided over the function. Among others PPCC Secretary Parminder Mehta, District Youth Congress chief Komal Khanna, Ms Amarjit Kaur, councillor, Punjab Mahila Congress vice-president Sat Pal Kaur, DCC general secretary Lala Jiwan Kumar and PYC SC/ST cell president Jasbir Kumar Jony were also present.

Mr Sharma stressed the need for carrying the message of the party leadership right down to the grassroots level, so that party cadres could effectively propagate the party policies and counter the attempts by the Opposition parties to mislead masses. Claiming that it was only the Congress which could take along every section of society, irrespective of caste, creed and religion and follow its declared path of nationalism and secularism, Mr Sharma expressed confidence that with overwhelming support of the Dalit community, the Congress would be able to form the next government at the Centre.

While indicating that the organisational set up in the district would be reorganised to tone up the party, he maintained that the good work done by the existing block and ward presidents would be given due consideration.

Mr Chander Shekhar Sahota, BCC president, Mr Komal Khanna, president DYC, and PPCC Secretary Mr Mehta also addressed the meeting.



Aggarwal community parts ways with SAD
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, June 17
The honeymoon between the Aggarwal community and the Shiromani Akali Dal, headed by Mr Parkash Singh Badal is over with the erstwhile SAD adviser and president of the Punjab Pradesh Aggarwal Sammelan, Mr Amrit Lal Aggarwal, making a formal announcement here to this effect.

Mr Aggarwal said at a news conference last evening that disgusted over the party’s fundamental approach and tacit approval in declaring Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale as a martyr, he, along with other prominent leaders, including doctors, advocates, chartered accountants and educationists, was quitting the SAD. He further observed that the community stood for nationalism, secularism and communal harmony and would not hesitate to join any such political party or group which professed these values.

Prominent among those present at the occasion were Mr Surinder Gupta, president, Ludhiana Aggarwal Cooperative House Building Society, Mr D.J. Jain, manager, Tagore Public School, Mr Vijay B. Verma, vice-president, District Bar Association, Mr Ved Gupta, president, Punjab Aggarwal Sabha, Mr D.K. Gupta, Dr Vivek Malhotra and Prof P.P. Kansal.

Mr Aggarwal, along with a symbolic group of 501 members of the community, had joined the SAD two years ago with a lot of fanfare in the presence of Mr Badal who at that time had given an assurance to treat the Hindus, particularly members of the ‘Vaish’ community, at par with the Sikhs and further that the community would be given due consideration at the time of allotment of party ticket for the assembly elections.

He claimed that in the course of a state-level campaign to bring the Vaish community closer to the SAD, thousands of its members had joined the then ruling party in every town and city of Punjab. “Though we made our resentment known to the party chief after being ignored during the assembly poll but still we continued our association with the SAD in the larger interests of the community and the state as a whole.”

He lashed at the SAD leadership in general and Mr Badal in particular for the provocative move of declaring Bhindranwale as martyr after of 19 years.

The step was a culmination of a well thought out scheme to flare up communal passions and to rope in the radical and fundamental elements in order to keep the flock together in the name of “panthic unity”. 



Survey report on mentally challenged awaited
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 17
More than a month after the district administration had ordered a survey of mentally-challenged persons in the district, the report was yet to be submitted to the Deputy Commissioner.

The former Deputy Commissioner, Mr Anurag Agarwal, had ordered a survey of such people on May 5 and had asked the officials to submit the report within 10 days. But 40 days after the orders, the office of the Civil Surgeon was yet to compile the report.

Mr Agarwal had ordered a survey of such persons in the district after taking note of a series of newsreports about mentally-challenged persons chained at different places by their relatives in the district. He had said the survey would be conducted by the Health Department, Panchayats and Rural Development Department and Municipal Committee/Municipal Corporations. His aim was to treat such persons and deal with them sympathetically.

He had announced that all such persons, who could be treated through outdoor treatment, would be provided medicines by the government and the Red Cross Society, Ludhiana. But patients who required indoor treatment would be referred to Mental Hospital, Amritsar.

Dr S.N. Tiwari, Civil Surgeon, said there were some shortcomings in the survey, which were being removed. He said the doctors during the survey had not mentioned the age of the mentally-challenged persons. For providing them the treatment it was congenital to know whether the problem was inborn or was contracted later in life.

Dr Tiwari said but for this point the survey was complete and the report would be submitted soon. Mr Anurag Verma, Deputy Commissioner, said he was new to the place and was busy due to panchayat elections. He added that he was yet to look into the matter and would concentrate on pending issues after the panchayat poll.

The administration had already rescued around seven persons after getting the information that they were chained. They were shifted to government hospital for general health check and medical care. In one case, an FIR had also been registered against the relatives of the patient for illegal confinement.



Begging menace plagues city
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 17
Beggars are found at all major crossings of the city and pose problems for the residents. Little girls and boys with unkempt hair and shoddy clothes run towards the cars when they stop at crossings. They pull out a dirty rag and start cleaning the wind screen and in whining voice ask for money.

Since most of the people roll up their window as the air-conditioners are on, they keep tapping at the windowpanes till one tired of their whining shell out some money. But what is most dangerous is that some beggars struck by polio and crawling on the road are not visible to the driver and they suddenly appear from nowhere.

Mr Prakash says, I had the worst experience of my life as I shifted the gears and was about to move as the light turned green. But suddenly a beggar appeared from nowhere.

A few months ago the police had launched a campaign against beggars. They were picked up and put in jails, though not as prisoners. The drivers had heaved a sigh of relief as the roads had become clear. But it was a temporary measure as the state neither has any plans to rehabilitate the beggars nor any place to keep them. The state has no means to gainfully employ them.

Only solution is to crack down the masterminds that run the racket of begging. We have to get to the root of the problem. The root is poverty and migration of people from states that have been facing drought for couple of years now. A long-term plan has to be formulated by putting heads and resources together to solve this social menace,” says Prof Harkrishan at a local college.



Jaycees holds meeting
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 17
“India is second to none.” This was stated by Mr Vamana kumar, national president of Indian Jaycees at a meeting held by Jaycees of Ludhiana and Jagraon to honour Mr Vamana kumar, who was on a national tour at Ludhiana on Sunday. The Jaycee is a voluntary youth organisation formed to develop leadership abilities among youths.

During his address, Mr Vamana kumar urged the jaycees to take pride in being Indian and bring out the best in them. He also endorsed the vision of India in 2020 and emphasised to channel the energy of youths in the right direction, who are the real leaders of future.

He said, “Aim for star, even if you fall, you will land on moon.” By giving examples, he told the audience that India had the best civilisation of the world even 7,000 years ago. India gave zero to mathematics. He also stressed upon his national slogan” focus for future” to make India a financial superpower by 2020.

The meeting was attended by zone president Sukpal and Zone vice-presidents Vineet Ahuja, Vivek Mahajan all chapter presidents Jasminder Singh, Mahesh Arora, Rajiv Chaudhary, Raj Verma and Ajay NEB. The project was directed by Manvinder Kataria and JCRT Kiranjit Kataria.

The meeting was anchored by Naresh Verma. Other senior members present were Dinesh Kapila, Raman Nayyar, Rajesh Mehra and Laher Mahesh, all former zonal presidents. 



Hoteliers honour DCC chief
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 17
The Hotel Association, Ludhiana, honoured Mr Jagmohan Sharma, president, District Congress Committee (U), at a function held in Hotel Le-Classic here last evening.
Speaking at the occasion, Mr Harinder Grewal, president of the association, described the new DCC chief as a dynamic leader, who had always stood by the business community. He said the trade and industry circles in the city had high hopes from Mr Sharma and looked forward to his continued support in solving their pending problems.

Mr Jagdish Anand, Chairman of the Hotel Association pointed out that the house tax problem of the hotels was hanging fire for the last six years. Mr Amarveer Singh, secretary, said even though hotels were declared an industry in 1996, the Punjab State Electricity Board was still charging commercial rates for electric supply.

Mr Jagmohan, in his brief speech assured that he would take these issues with the government at appropriate level for early settlement. 



Summer creates seasonal jobs
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 17
Summer offers economic avenues to a lot of people. Truckloads of people come from Rajasthan bringing musk melons and melons with them. They can be seen selling the fruit in every nook and corner of the city. The GT Road from Phillaur onwards is dotted by people selling melons.

One of the melon sellers, Bhiku, says the money earned helps them sustain their families back in Rajasthan. In summer, due to the heat, tyres get punctured, hence many mechanics are seen sitting at strategic places to mend the punctures. They have small mobile units which they carry everywhere.

‘Nimbu pani’ is supposed to be the best coolant. A large number of people are engaged in selling lemon and soda.This traditional drink is a hot selling item. The milk shake sellers report a rise in sale of mango shakes and papaya shakes. The other favourite traditional drink ‘jal jeera’ sellers also do brisk business.

‘Chatti lassi’ sellers too report a brisk business. The rural folk have discovered that city people crave for this kind of lassi. So a few enterprising persons get drums of lassi in three wheelers from nearby villages and park the three-wheelers at Mall Road, Model Town, Ghumar Mandi, and many other localities. 



Sewa Dal camp concludes

Ludhiana, June 17
The five-day camp of the Congress Sewa Dal concluded here yesterday. About 150 workers of the party participated in the camp which was organised in a local school. The workers were subjected to brain-storming sessions during the training camp and made aware of the policies and programmes of the party.

According to Mr Sushil Prashar, the state president of the Congress Sewa Dal, the concluding function was attended by the Transport Minister, Mr Tej Prakash Singh, the Minister of State for Jails and Urban Development, Mr Milkiat Singh Birmi, and the MLA from Dakha, Mr Milkiat Singh Dakha.

Mr Tej Prakash Singh lauded the efforts of the Sewa Dal in spreading the basic philosophy and ideology of the party. TNS



Govt condemned on holiday issue
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 17
The city unit of the SAD has condemned the Punjab Government for not declaring a holiday on the martyrdom day of Guru Arjan Dev yesterday.
In a statement, Mr Harpal Singh Kohli, a spokesperson, said this had deeply hurt the religious sentiments of the masses since the day was to be celebrated after the implementation of the Nanakshahi Calendar. The government had also erred by not according recognition to the calendar which had been issued by the directives of Akal Takht, he added.



Thieves decamp with jewellery, Rs 10,000
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 17
Thieves broke into a house in Guru Nanak Nagar, Haibowal, and decamped with some gold jewellery and Rs 10,000 last morning.
The owner of the house, Mr Kamaljit Singh, had gone out early in the morning after locking the house. He stated in his complaint that when he returned around 11.30 am, he found the house burgled. The loss was estimated to be Rs 30,000, he added. A case under Sections 451 and 380 of the IPC has been registered at the Haibowal police station.

Another case of theft was registered on the complaint of Mr Rajinder Rajan of Durga Puri, that thieves stole jewellery and coins worth Rs 32,000 after breaking open the locks of his house on June 15 night.

The Shimla Puri police yesterday arrested Rakesh Kumar, a resident of Dashmesh Nagar, Anil Kumar, a resident of Guru Nanak Colony, and Ram Kishan, a resident of Chet Singh Nagar, and recovered some stolen factory goods from a house in Dashmesh Nagar. The accused had allegedly stolen the goods from the factory of Mr Vijay Kumar Gupta in Amar Nagar. A case was registered against the three accused.

Eve-teasing case: On the complaint of Mr Parveen Kumar, a resident of Raman Enclave, Haibowal Khurd, a case of eve-teasing under Sections 294 and 509 of the IPC was registered against Lucky, Harpal Singh, Jimmy and Bunty, residents of Haibowal, and Hardeep and Kanti, residents of Rishi Nagar, at Haibowal police station.

The complainant had alleged that these persons had teased his daughters and used filthy language in Rishi Nagar on last evening. No arrest has been made so far.

Gamblers held: The division Number 1 police raided the Janta Taxi Stand on the GT Road near Raikhy Cinema and arrested a taxi driver, Parveen Kumar, alias Pinka, and Gaurav Kumar, an employee of the cinema., while gambling yesterday. Playing cards and Rs 580 were seized from their possession. The accused, who were booked under Sections 13,3 and 67 of the Gambling Act, were later bailed out.

Booked: The Salem Tabri police on Monday registered a case under Sections 101 and 34 of the IPC on a complaint of Ms Asha Rani, who lives near the Jalandhar bypass, against Joravar Singh and Rachpal Singh of the Doaba Tempo Union. The complainant had stated that she had dispatched some bath tubs on their tempo, which met with an accident on the way. The accused allegedly misplaced the consignment and Rs 20,000. No arrest has been made so far.

Liquor seized: The division Number 3 police arrested Vinod Kumar, a resident of Mochpura Bazar, and recovered 10 bottles of MacDowell whisky from his possession last night. He was booked under the Excise Act.

Poppy husk seized: ASI Kulwant Singh, In charge police post Jalaldiwal, arrested Pritam Singh, alias Ghora of Shehbazpura, on bridge canal Daddapur and recovered from his possession 20 kg. of poppy husk. The police has registered a case under sections 15, 61 and 85 of the NDPS Act at PS Raikot.

3 held for gambling: The local police arrested three persons for gambling and seized from their possession Rs 3,194. According to information, ASI Swaran Singh arrested Ashok Kumar of Jeewan Nagar, Jagraon, from old grain market where he was alluring people to gamble. ASI Mohan Das arrested Bitoo Sharma from Jhansi Chowk and seized Rs 1100. In another incident, Vijay Kumar from Kamal Chowk was arrested for gambling and Rs 1040 seized. All the three have been booked under Gambling Act.



Dry cleaners to launch agitation
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 17
The Punjab Dry Cleaners and Dyers Association, faced with the burden of heavy taxes and reeling under severe recessionary trends, has alleged that both the Centre and state governments were determined to stifle the industry. Having failed to evoke a favourable response to its repeated pleas for relief, the association has decided to adopt an agitational approach.

The association president, Mr Santokh Singh Ahluwalia, said in a statement here yesterday that the Union Government had turned a blind eye to the demand by dry cleaners for scrapping the service tax of 5 per cent imposed last year. To add insult to the injury, the tax had been further raised to 8 per cent in the Union Budget for the current year. He said the trade had even earlier failed to recover the 5 per cent service tax from the customers which had to be paid out of the operating profit. The fresh hike in the tax would further erode the profitability and further worsen the financial condition of the dry cleaners. Making a plea against the service tax, he observed that almost 90 per cent dry cleaners and dyers were illiterate or semi-literate, who were finding it difficult to maintain the books of account as required under the relevant laws for registration under the service tax.

Another major factor, which had led to the crisis in the trade, was repeated hike of power tariff by the Punjab State Electricity Board and failure of the state government to concede the demand for treating this sector as small scale industry so that the dry cleaners were charged power tariff on industrial rates.

According to Mr Ahluwalia, a meeting of the state executive of the association would be convened in Jagraon on June 22 to chalk out the modalities of the proposed agitation to seek justice. The dry cleaners, having been pushed to the wall, were fighting a battle for their survival and would not hesitate to come out on streets if the government failed to relent and provide them the much needed relief, he added.



Seminar on yarn held
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 17
“Two recently completed projects by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) on wool scouring and effluent treatment and specification and prediction in worsted spinning would result in immense benefit to the Indian Wool Textile Industry,” said Dr S.K. Choudhry, Director of the Woolmark Company, in his concluding remarks at a technical seminar organised by the company. He said that these two projects had greatly improved the understanding of the current performance and potential improvements in the scouring and spinning of Australian wool.

“For three years, the ACIAR has supported these two research projects and in fact this is the first time that ACIAR has funded projects involving the processing of an agricultural commodity in collaboration with private industry. It is also the first time that the Indian Ministry of Textiles has been involved in an ACIAR project,” he added. Dr Choudhry emphasised the need for extending the study further, specially for top dyeing and polyster and wool processing.

Apprising the members of the wool industry about the detailed results of the projects, the expert speakers said that the project on wool scouring and effluent treatment had been undertaken in collaboration with Ahmedabad Textile Industry’s Research Association (ATIRA) and worked upon with CSIRO textile and fibre technology. For the first time, the researchers had compared the performance of 12 mills using the same wool. In some areas, mills were shown how they could save millions of dollars per year through reduced fibre losses.

On the second project on specifications and prediction in worsted spinning, the Indian Woollen Mills’ Federation and the Indian branch of the Woolmark Company had worked closely with the Department of Agriculture of Western Australia and CSIRO textile and fibre technology. Five Indian mills had collaborated in supplying top and yarn samples and in spinning special lots. Prediction software was used to benchmark spinning performance against global best practice and the data was used to improve the range and quality of predictions, to make the software more useful to mills, and also to investigate cases where performance could be improved.

This seminar was important as decentralised sectors were also considered to be the beneficiary of the outcome of those two projects. Eminent experts like Dr Peter Lamb, Mr K. Curtis, Dr W. Humphries and Mr Naveen Pant were present in the seminar as expert speakers.

Mr Sandeep Jain, executive director of Oswal Woollen Mills, observed in his speech that the knitwear and shawl industries would draw massive benefits from the information provided through seminar. Mr Harjeet Singh, chairman, Wool Club (India), said that to successfully compete in the global market, the wool industry needed to know all these recent developments regarding the quality and the process performance improvement.


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