Wednesday, July 30, 2003, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Blast in garbage heap leaves one hurt
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Sniffer dogs in action at the site
Sniffer dogs in action at the site. — Photo Pradeep Tewari

Ludhiana, July 29
A ragpicker was injured, while three of her companions escaped miraculously, when a blast took place in a heap of garbage near the Improvement Trust building in Feroze Gandhi Market here today morning.

The women used to collect waste paper and materials from different offices, including the trust building, daily and used to set it on fire in a vacant plot. They set the garbage on fire at 7:30 a.m. today also but at about 9:30 a.m, a powerful blast took place causing panic in the city.

The police was investigating the cause of the blast. A special team of Forensic Experts from Chandigarh examined the site late in the afternoon. The team would submit its report after a few days.

Though the police ruled out the possibility of finding any trace of an explosive material from the blast site, it has suggested the possibility of the presence of some detonators. The people also suggested that the blast had occurred due to neither a crude bomb nor a scrap bomb but due to electric wires, condensers and computer parts, which had caught fire in the garbage heap.

SP (D) Gurpreet Singh said there was no need for any panic as it was just a freak incident. “There could be some detonators but for final confirmation, we will await the Forensic examination report,” he told mediapersons.

The police was initially denying that the woman had suffered any injuries. However, when this correspondent met the injured woman — Amarjit Kaur at Mini Secretariat, the truth came out.

A visibly shaken, Amarjit Kaur, aged above 50, had a swollen eye and an injury on her forehead besides around 10 splinter type injuries on her left leg. She was whisked away by the police and could not be photographed. Blood was oozing out of her injuries.

SSP Narinderpal Singh said the injured woman and two other had disappeared from the blast site and the police had managed to trace them only in the afternoon. He said the woman has been sent for medical examination. The other two women were identified as Chindo and Bibo.

Amarjit Kaur said something hit her face and legs when the blast occurred and she ran away from the site. Though eye-witnesses maintained that the blast was very powerful and shook the window panes, some of which were broken, the police denied it. It said the window panes were already lying broken.

A large number of private and government offices are situated in the market. These include some banks, Improvement Trust and Stock exchange building. Employees were just pouring in these offices for the day’s work when the blast took place. Panic-stricken people ran out of the buildings and those on road ran for cover.

Surinder Kaur, a ragpicker, who escaped miraculously said they did not know what had caused the blast. She said “suddenly there was a loud explosion and the entire garbage was thrown all around.” According to some eye-witnesses thick smoke bellowed out of the blast site. Some thought a transformer had blown off while others thought there was another MiG crash. Senior police officials, including SSP Narinderpal Singh, reached the site and conducted inspections.

Three sniffer dogs from the dog squad were also pressed into service alongwith a team of forensic experts. Mr Narinderpal Singh, SSP, said the dogs could not sniff any explosive material. He said the police used three dogs separately but none of them could sniff anything suspicious.



Probe initiated against DSP, SI
Rape in police custody
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 29
The State Vigilance Bureau has initiated a regular inquiry into a complaint made by two Phillaur-based women against two Ludhiana police officers, a DSP and a Sub-Inspector, for allegedly implicating them in a false case of narcotic smuggling and resorting to extortion and rape in police custody.

The inquiry was ordered following directions by the Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC). The two women, Preeti and Rano (name changed), had approached the commission alleging that the two officers had ruined their life.

A regular inquiry is initiated after a preliminary inquiry finds some credence in the allegations. A senior official of the Vigilance Department confirmed the initiation of the inquiry, which would be conducted by the Ludhiana Vigilance Bureau. The official, however, claimed that though a regular inquiry had been initiated, the allegations were too good to be true.

According to the complaint, the two women were caught by the police on charges of smuggling poppy husk. The police took Rs 1.45 lakh from them, but showed only Rs 80,000 as the recovery amount. The women alleged that the police officers cooked up a false case and implicated them in the smuggling of poppy husk. Both were arrested.

The women said both police officers raped them repeatedly while they were in police custody. There was no policewoman at the police station. When they got out on bail after several months, they approached the human rights commission, which directed the DGP Punjab to hold an inquiry. The DGP sent the case to the Vigilance Department.

A preliminary inquiry into the case indicted the two police officers. Consequently, a regular inquiry was initiated today. However, no time limit has been set for the inquiry. The inquiry is expected to take around three months for completion.

Sources close to the police officers have denied the allegations. They said the complaints were motivated and aimed at blackmailing the officers who had busted a gang of the women smugglers.

Vigilance sources said the records of the case had been summoned and both the complainants and the police officers would be questioned. If indicted, the officers could face suspension and action under the Prevention of Corruption Act.



Facilities restored to Punjab Mata
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 29
The district administration today restored the various facilities given to Punjab Mata, a cousin of Ghadar martyr Kartar Singh Sarabha at her residence in the martyr's native village. After a news report carrying the plight of Bibi Jagdish Kaur was highlighted in these columns today, some officials of the administration were specially directed by the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Anurag Verma, to visit the martyr's sister and ask about her welfare.

Mr M.S. Jaggi, SDM (West), and Mr S.P. Malik, secretary, District Red Cross Society, along with PWD officials visited the house of Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarabha at Sarabha village today and enquired about the well being and problems of the Bibi.

The Deputy Commissioner also asked the SDM (West) to take a government car to the village for facilitating Bibi Jagdish Kaur to visit the hospital, if required. He said that ever since his taking over as Deputy Commissioner of Ludhiana, Bibi Jagdish Kaur had never contacted him to provide a vehicle for ferrying her to hospital for medical check up and said that the district administration had full respect for the families of the martyrs and Bibi Jagdish Kaur would be provided with a vehicle whenever she had to get herself examined in any hospital.

Mr Verma also discussed the progress of the ongoing Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarabha memorial project with the Executive Engineer, PWD, Provincial Division, and the SDM, who informed that so far the department had received Rs 40 lakh for this project which had been spent on the completion of a library, a war memorial, a museum, a hall and the boundary wall and the remaining work would be completed after the release of funds. Mr Verma asked the Executive Engineer to submit a detailed progress report of the project to him so that the case for the release of remaining funds could be taken up with the state government at the earliest.



‘DMCH seats filled as per norms’
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 29
As per notification issued by the Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot, Dayanand Medical College and Hospital(DMCH) has admitted candidates for the MBBS course by charging Rs 1.5 lakh each.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, Dr Amarjit Singh Sekhon, Registrar of the university, today confirmed that all paid seats at the DMCH had been filled after the counselling sessions.

He said, “candidates have been asked to pay Rs 1.5 lakh as per the government notification and not Rs 4 lakh as demanded by the DMCH. All seats have been filled”.

Meanwhile, resentment prevailed among parents and students, who appeared for the at Faridkot because of confusion over the DMCH fee structure. Several local students, who had scored good ranks in the PMET did not opt for the DMCH because of exorbitant admission fee. Many students alleged that they had met the DMCH authorities for reviewing their decision on fee hike, “but they flatly refused to review their decision” Mr Rohit Rampal, who hails from the district, and had scored seventh position in the PMET, said: “I wanted to get admission at the DMCH, but when the exorbitant fee structure was announced, my parents did not allowed me to opt for the institute”. Rohit has now taken admission in Government Medical College, Patiala.

Deepika Madaan, another student, who took admission at Government Medical College, Patiala, said her family could not afford to get her admitted to the DMCH due to its high fee structure. “Though I was keen to take admission here , but Rs 4 lakh was such a hefty amount that I did not opt for the it”, said Deepika.

By taking advantage of a recent Supreme Court judgement, which allowed private colleges to set their own fee structure, the DMCH had fixed Rs 4 lakh as the admission fee for the MBBS course.

But the university, on behalf of the state government, had outrightly rejected the proposal and the students were charged Rs 1.5 lakh each.



8-year-old dies of gastroenteritis
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 29
Notwithstanding the tall claims of the Health Department and the local Municipal Corporation of ensuring potable water to the city residents, gastroenteritis has claimed the life of an eight-year-old girl at Dhandari Kalan here. More than 75 fresh cases of gastroenteritis have been reported from in and around the city so far, out of which 10 have been referred to various hospitals by the Health Department.

Dr A.S. Chawla, District Epidemiologist, confirmed the death of the eight-year-old girl Kuldeep Kaur, daughter of Mr Harpal Singh, a resident of Dhandari Kalan, on July 27. He maintained that, “the girl fell sick and was prescribed medicines by one of the doctors of the locality. But she died and the exact cause of her death could not be ascertained”.

The residents of the affected area, Street No 1, Dhandari Kalan, blamed the authorities for being callous. One of the residents complained, “the child died due to the negligence of the authorities concerned. The drinking water in the area is mixing with sewerage pipes for the past many days. We have written to the authorities on the issue. Unfortunately, the authorities wake up only when some casualty takes place. Now, the medical camps are being organised and we are being supplied drinking water through water tankers by the corporation. We had approached the Commissioner, the Councillor in this regard but they refused to listen to us”.

The serious cases of gastroenteritis have been referred to the Civil Hospital, Sahnewal, the Civil Hospital, Ludhiana, and Rajwant Hospital, Doraha.

One of the health workers in the affected area said the teams had visited more than 400 houses and 75 patients showed symptoms of gastroenteritis. Dr S.S.Dhir, SMO, Sahnewal, said, “our teams are regularly working in the affected area. The department officials have taken four water samples and the results would be known by tomorrow”.




Heroes should never be forgotten but unfortunately they are. Only a few years have passed since the nation won the Kargil war but the government failed to celebrate Vijay Divas that fell on July 26. Sadly, while the visit of a political leader is marked with various functions in the city, there were no moments marked for the real heroes, who gave their life fighting the infiltrators in the difficult terrain of the Kashmir valley. While many private organisations arranged some functions to remember the day no official function was organised on the day.

Simple bride

In a recent wedding, the bride was not looking different from the guests at the occasion. While many of her friends were looking good with plenty of ‘make-up’, she was wearing simple attire. As the party was going on, a lady guest could not hold herself back and asked her why she chose to dress up so simply. The bride came with a reply: ‘‘We Indians have to make our marriages simple and I am conveying the message practically to my counterparts.’’

Rain dance

It was great time for party birds at a local resort when a rain dance party was organised on Saturday evening. While all participants were shaking a leg letting their hair down, a small boy was seen wearing a raincoat. His parents were dancing with great enthusiasm when he was moving in the artificial rain with a raincoat on. Another parent was on such a high that he was carrying his small child on his shoulders and dancing with him.

Traffic chaos

Whenever overzealous police personnel try to manage the traffic in the city, it invariably ends in more chaos. This is true especially of the famous Fountain Chowk that receives roads from six directions culminating here. The traffic police has tried installing traffic lights, but those too have failed. Ludhiana residents, it seems, now have to leave sentiments aside and adapt to intersections minus the roundabouts, as it has been done in Chandigarh.

Selective lines?

If you have a spice connection on your cell phone and need to call up the police or the fire brigade, don’t waste your time and look for another phone. For neither 100 nor 101 are approachable from the Spice connection. Despite repeated requests by the consumers, the company has failed to get these two numbers opened.

Law breakers

Ever seen law enforcers breaking the law? The other day a police cop was seen jumping the red light near Kacheri chowk in board-daylight. While the other commuters were waiting for the green light, a police cop dressed in his uniform, came on a scooter and jumped the light without thinking twice. And surprisingly the traffic cops posted at the chowk did not say anything to him.

Adamant principal

The level of academic standards of principals from government schools seems to be dwindling. In a recent visit to a city school, Sentinel asked the principal as to which courses were being offered for the students taking vocation training. The principal named a few trades, including one in “Commerical gar making’’. Sentinel asked, ‘‘Oh! You mean garment making?’’ The principal said, ‘‘No! the title is gar making. I am sure. If you want me to confirm about it, I can even ask my staff’’. At this, he rang his bell and asked his peon to call a teacher of vocational education. A young teacher came up and the principal asked him about the exact nomenclature of the course. The teacher said, ‘‘Sir, It is garment making’’. At this the principal became a little tense and asked him to bring out a typed list of the trades. As the teacher showed it out to him, he initially seemed unconvinced but finally realised that he was spelling it wrongly.

‘Intelligent lights’

The ‘intelligent lights’ put up these days in musical programmes add a great deal of enchantment. to the programme. At a music programme ‘Fusion’ by a group, Sitar Funk, held at Guru Nanak Bhavan on Saturday, one could see the changing patterns and lights changing with the speed of music being played. The lights have a colour lab and colour wash controlled through a controller which has a memory like a computer where one can store whatever programme one wants. The synchronisation of lights and sound results in different patterns and colours. With different sounds, different patterns and colours appear. When the sound reaches a crescendo, the movement of lights matches the sound, and patterns move faster, too. Hence the name ‘intelligent lights’.

Remembering Neil Armstrong

On July 21 1969, the first manNeil Armstrong walked on the moon. Eldrin Aldrich was the second man to step on the moon. Neil Armstrong sent a message to the whole world that the “first step for man on the moon is a giant leap for the mankind.” Their spacecraft Apollo II and Eagle that carried them to the moon has also gained special importance. Though many space travellers have been into space performing daring feats of endurance, Neil Armstrong and Eldrin Aldrich have reserved their places in space exploits.

Sweets and jewellery shops

The connection between sweet shops and jewellery shops is quite far-fetched but in Ludhiana there is definitely some connection between the two. In very posh localities like Civil Lines, Mall Road, Model Town, every few days expansive sweetmeat shops and equal amount of fancy jewellery shops are coming up. People protest a great deal when they get sweet boxes on weddings as they say that ‘no one eats sweets these days as they are fattening”. If this was true, how can one account for the opening of these palatial shops? Similarly, business men keep talking of money market being very tight, yet a great rush is seen at the jewellers.


Printed words under a picture of a hospital read, ‘‘Come to me and I will give you rest.’’




Undercurrents of dissent in Akali unity
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 29
While the unity between Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra and Mr Parkash Singh Badal may be welcomed by staunch Akalis across the state, it has placed the district unit of the SAD in yet another predicament. The faction-ridden district unit of the Akali Dal has now got into yet another contrary with Mr Hira Singh Gabria claiming to be the district president, much to the chagrin of Mr Avtar Singh Makkar.

Prior to the parting of ways by Mr Tohra and Mr Badal, Mr Gabria was the district president of the SAD in Ludhiana. After the division he sided with Mr Tohra. The faction led by Mr Badal appointed Mr Makkar as the acting district president. Throughout the remaining period the faction owing allegiance to Mr Badal was further divided into the supporters of Mr Amarjit Singh Bhatia and Mr Makkar.

The dispute continued till recently, when Mr Bhatia was appointed senior vice-president of the SAD. As Mr Makkar was in the process of settling down and trying to get a firm hold, the unity between Mr Badal and Mr Tohra created yet another problem for him as Mr Gabria has now started claiming that he is the district president. To complicate the matter further, the SGPC president, Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, while speaking at a reception organised in his honour here yesterday, addressed Mr Gabria as the district president of the SAD. Mr Gabria defended his leader, claiming that under the terms and conditions of the agreement (between Mr Tohra and Mr Badal) the status of the office-bearers of different units at the time of division will remain the same.

Sources, however, maintained that such problems were likely to surface once again as the local and district level leaders would need to be suitably accommodated. They regretted that the issued had cropped up when the Akalis should prepare themselves for the general elections scheduled to be held next year.

Interestingly, the Akali unity may take some more time to reach the grassroots. This was too obvious during Mr Tohra’s reception yesterday, when it was only his supporters, who were present. None of the leaders from the SAD attended the reception. It seem the senior Akali leadership is likely to face many difficulties in sorting out these problems.



MCPI flays BJP, Congress
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 29
The state committee of the Marxist Communist Party of India (MCPI) has flayed the policies of the Congress and the BJP. The MCPI, which met here, observed that there was no difference in the policies of the two parties. The MCPI meeting was attended, among others, by Mr Rattan Singh Chougawa (Amritsar) and Mr Jagjit Singh Lyallpuri.

The state committee observed that there was no difference in the policies of the BJP-led NDA and the Congress in economic sphere and foreign affairs. Both were adhering to the policies of the WTO, the IMF and the World Bank and blindly following the liberalisation and imperialist globalisation, which were causing havoc among the poor and middle classes in India as these resulted in mass unemployment and poverty.

The committee deplored the role of the CPI and CPM leaderships, which, it observed, were playing second fiddle to the Congress in the name of “secular front”. The committee called upon all other Left and democratic forces in the country to come together to combat the anti-people policies of these parties.

The committee condemned the illegal occupation of Iraq by the USA and Britain. It asserted that the Indian Government must not send the Army to Iraq on the invitation of the USA and its allied countries. The UNO should not be allowed to be used for this purpose now because the US-led attack on Iraq was contemplated violating UN resolution and bypassing all international norms and traditions.

Regarding the Punjab situation, the MCPI state committee condemned the commercial attitude of the Congress government regarding education, health and other services relating to the common people. The Punjab Government, it said, was treating these services on commercial basis.

The state committee opposed the privatisation of nine ITIs in Punjab. According to Mr Kuldip Singh, state secretary, the committee felt that the Congress and the Akali Dal were taking non-issues intentionally to divert the attention of the people from real issues touching the poor and middle- class people. Even on the issue of corruption, both parties had the same character and are culprits of similar degenerated culture which had been fully expressed in the recently held panchayat elections in the state.

The MCPI accused the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, of betraying the cause of peasantry as his government did not fulfil even a single demand of the farmers, although the Chief Minister had accepted and agreed to their demands during the meetings with the leadership of kisan organisations. 



Final round of making voters’ I-cards
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 29
The final round of photography for making photo ID cards of voters in the 55 Dakha Vidhan Sabha constituency will be carried out from August 3 to 7 here.
Giving detailed information, Mr M.S. Jaggi, SDM (West)-cum-Electoral Registration Officer for the 55 Dakha constituency, said the correction in the existing voter identity cards would also be done during the period and voters’ identity card would be made according to the voter list-2003.

Mr Jaggi appealed to the voters to get their identity cards prepared during the final round, as in future the identity card could be used as an identification document for various official works.

Voters’ of booths No. 1 to 13 will be photographed on August 3, booths No. 14 to 81 on August 4, booths No. 82 to 177 on August 5, booths No. 178 to 241 on August 6 and booths No. 242 to 262 on August 7.



Seminar on social awareness held
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 29
To promote health awareness, awareness regarding career choices, crop diversification and establish platform to fight against social evils, a special multi-purpose, multi-speciality seminar for social awareness was held at Government High School, Pabbian, about 10 km from here, by the International Council of Ayurveda (ICA), Jagraon chapter.

It was attended by more than 70 men and women, including members of the gram panchayat.

In the technical session, Dr Bahadur Singh explained the need and advantages of crop diversification and growth of medicinal plants. Dr Ghamanda Singh spoke on personal hygiene.

Dr Ashok Sharma, Chairman, ICA, discussed about advantages of choosing para-medical courses offered by Anuvrat Institute of Para-Medical Training, Jagraon. Mr Jagdev Singh and Dr Mohan Singh also spoke on the occasion.

Dr Rakesh Sharma, an ayurvedic practitioner conducted medical check-up and gave medicines to the patients free of cost.

Prof Baldev Singh, Lecturer in English, District Institute of Education and Training (DIET), Jagraon (Ludhiana), conducted the seminar stage and urged the audience to wage a war on population explosion, unemployment, poverty, female foeticide, drug addiction, AIDS and other social evils and problems.

He further said only education could promote universal brotherhood, strong man-woman and human relations and social upliftment.

He stressed on the multi-angle efforts for growth, development and investment in the field of education.

At the end , Sarpanch, Gram Panchayat Mr Sukhjinder Singh, thanked the organisers of the event and the residents for the successful completion of the seminar.



Man booked for raping daughter
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 29
The Shimla Puri police yesterday booked a migrant living in Chet Singh Nagar for allegedly raping his 12-year-old daughter and threatening her against disclosing his crime.

Ms Seeta Devi, wife of the accused, Huro Paswan, alias Harvinderpal Singh, had stated in her complaint to the police that the accused had been raping her daughter for the past few days and had already committed the heinous act more than 10 times before.

The accused was caught raping her daughter in his room on Monday when she returned home in afternoon. The accused is absconding.

Man dies: The Sarabha Nagar police yesterday registered a case on the statement of Mr. Nirmal Singh, a resident of Barewal village, against a car driver.

The complainant had stated that while his cousin Major Singh was going on his scooter near Gate No 1 of Punjab Agricultural University on Ferozepur Road on Sunday night , the unknown car driver hit him and sped away from the scene. Major Singh died on the spot.

Injured: The Sarabha Nagar police registered a case under the Motor Vehicle Act on the statement of Ms Neelam Bala, wife of Mr Harish Chander, a resident of Gurdev Nagar, against a car driver.

The complainant had stated that while she was crossing the road near Welcome Palace at about 8 am on July26 , the car driver jumped the red light and hit her. She got injured. The driver of the car, the registration number of which has been provided to the police by the complainant, sped away from the scene.

Beaten up: The Jodhewal police yesterday registered a case on the statement of Ms Kamlesh Kaur, wife of Mr Krishan Lal, a resident of Indra Colony on the Rahon Road, against Sukha, his wife Paramjit Kaur, Pamma and Kashi, residents of the same locality.

Ms Kamlesh Kaur had alleged that the accused stopped her on the road, beat her up and also threatened her on Sunday afternoon in the colony. No arrest has been made so far.

In another incident the Division No 4 police registered a case under Sections 323,341,506 and 34 of the IPC on the statement of Ms. Amarjit Kaur, wife of Mr. Paramjit Singh , a resident of Mohalla Saidan in Valmiki Ghatti, against Rakesh, Babbu and Shera, residents of the same locality. Ms Amarjit Kaur had alleged that the accused intercepted her on the road on Sunday night, beat her up and also threatened her.

In yet another incident, the Model Town police, on the statement of Ms Jasvir Kaur, wife of Mr Santosh Kumar, a resident of Dr Ambedkar Colony, yesterday registered a case under Sections 452,448,342,148 and 149 of the IPC, against Jaswant Singh, Karam Singh, Jasvir Kaur, wife of Jaswant Singh, Satya, wife of Ramesh Kumar, residents of the same locality, and some other unknown persons accompanying them. Ms Jasvir Kaur had alleged that the accused forced their way into her house and beat her and her daughter on Monday night and locked them up in a room of the house.

The police said today that two of the accused, Mohinder Kaur and Karam Singh, were arrested.

In fourth incident, the Civil Lines police registered a case of alleged beating on the statement of Mr Ram Kumar, a resident of Jawahar Nagar Camp, against Ravi and Sonu, residents of the same locality. The complainant had alleged that the accused intercepted him and his friend Pankaj on the road and beat them up on Sunday night.

Car taken away: The Focal Point police, on the statement of Mr Amrit Raj Singh, a resident of Jassowal village, who owns a car show room on the GT Road in Dhandari Kalan, registered a case against Satvir Singh, alias Sonu, Sarabjit Singh and Varjem Puri.

The complainant had stated that the accused came to his showroom on Sunday and insisted on a test driving a car. He accompanied them on the drive but the accused pushed him out of the car on the way claiming that the car had been financed by a company and that they were taking the delivery of the car.

Two sentenced: A fast-track court has sentenced two persons to undergo rigorous life imprisonment in a murder case. Apninder Singh, alias Raju Sapera, of Satjot Nagar, Dugri Road, and Rajesh Kumar, alias Bobby, of Pritam Nagar, Haibowal, were found guilty of murdering Ashok Kumar of Gulchaman Gali, in April, 1999.

Delivering the verdict, Mr A.S. Kathuria, said: ‘’It has been proved beyond any shadow of doubt that the accused intentionally committed the murder in Thakur Dwara by inflicting kirpan and kirch blows on the person of Ashok. Hence the convicts do not deserve any leniency.’’ The judge also imposed a fine of Rs 5,000 each upon the accused.

The accused were booked on April 18, 1999 at Division No. 3 police station on the complaint of Mr Mohan Lal, brother of the deceased. 



Ludhiana T-shirts face tough competition from Tirupur
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 29
Notwithstanding the presence of some topclass brands here, Ludhiana continues to face a stiff competition from Tirupur with more and more international buyers booking orders with the Tirupur manufacturers. Recently the Wal-Mart, one of the leading showroom chains of the world, signed a memorandum of understanding with a leading Tirupur manufacturer for the supply of T-shirts and casuals for its stores in the USA and Europe.

Although there is nothing new or unusual about it, yet the local industry feels the pinch since Ludhiana also has world-class brands. Mr Raj Awasthi chairman of the Sportking Industries, maintains that there is nothing of the sort that Ludhiana brands lack quality or are in anyway inferior to other brands. He disclosed that Sportking had been supplying T-shirts and other items to Wal-Mart for past several years. Happy with the quality and the scheduled delivery, the volume of orders had also increased, Mr Awasthi said.

There are some more manufacturers like the Nahar, Duke and a few others who not only supply to specific stores but also to different countries. Local industrialists feel that there is no challenge to Ludhiana from Tirupur. But Ludhiana also needs to ensure quality and proper delivery of the orders.

Mr Vinod Thapar, chairman Knitwear Club, Ludhiana, said that Tirupur could not be a match to Ludhiana either in terms of quality or in terms of the massive volumes. He observed that the people there might be better in marketing their products. “But that does not mean that their products are superior to ours,” Mr Thapar asserted, while adding that international buyers were also coming to Ludhiana.

Although for the time being the Ludhiana hosiery remains content with the volume of export, there seems to be a stiff competition from Tirupur which is considered to be qualitatively better. Only recently Royal Classic Mills, a Tirupur-based textile group dealing in yarns and garments, tied up with Wal-Mart and GAP in the USA to market its Classic Polo T-shirts and casuals in North America and Canada.


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