Saturday, August 9, 2003, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Dhanda back as Bar Association chief
His supporters charged with assaulting rival 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 8
After a tense night and a stormy morning, peace was restored by noon today in the Ludhiana District Bar Association. Mr Harish Rai Dhanda was restored as president of this largest body of lawyers in north India.

In an open general-body meeting of the DBA outside New District Courts, lawyers rejected Mr Dhanda’ resignation submitted on Tuesday. His return was made easy by the resignation of Mr Piyush Kant Jain, who had been declared president in the last general-body meeting that day. Mr Jain withdrew in favour of Mr Dhanda.

Mr Harjasdeep Singh Rana and Mr Malwinder Singh Ghuman, chairman and president, respectively, of the Organisation of Young Lawyers Association (Sandeep Kapoor group), presented note of dissent at the meeting.

While this was on, hundreds of litigants waited there with bated breaths as lawyers had shut the doors of District Courts and brought the work to a halt. The litigants were relieved when lawyers resumed work at about noon.

The four-day-old tug-of-war between Dhanda and Sandeep Kapoor factions spilled on the streets at about midnight after Mr Kapoor lodged a complaint at the Division No. 5 police station that he had been attacked with a knives by supporters of Mr Dhanda.

Angry at the allegations, nearly 100 supporters of Mr Dhanda descended on the police station at midnight and a verbal duel ensued between the two groups. The police prevented any violence.

On the statement of Mr Sandeep Kapoor, the police lodged an FIR against lawyers Harish Narang, Rajnish Garg, Ajay Chopra and another person, but arrested no one. The complainant alleged that he had been attacked in the lane adjoining Hotel Batra outside the RSS office at 9.30 p.m yesterday.

Today, a notice pasted at the entrance of New District Courts called upon lawyers to abstain from work to oppose the framing of certain members of the Bar. Tension was created when lawyers were stopped from entering the complex.

Speaking at the general-body meeting, Mr Piyush Kant Jain said the last few days had been painful for him. The image of lawyer community had been tarnished. The assault on Mr Dhand at the last general-body meeting should be condemned, he said.

After the resignation of Mr Jain, Mr B.P. Singh Gill asked the general body to decide whether or not the resignation of Mr Dhanda should be accepted. The general body refused to accept the resignation. Thereafter, Mr Dhanda addressed the gathering and agreed to rejoin as president.

Mr Dhanda said infighting among lawyers had indeed tarnished the dignity of the Bar. He called for settling disputes through and not mudslinging. “The cases against three of my supporters are false and I am confident that the police would act in a fair manner,” he said.

Mr Sandeep Kapoor refused to acknowledge Mr Dhanda as President and said he had apprised the Bar Council of India of the events here. He has convened a meeting of his supporters tomorrow in District Courts to chalk out the future course of action. He would also meet the Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr Narinderpal Singh, regarding the attack on him.

Meanwhile, the District Taxation Bar Association has unanimously condemned the assault on Mr Dhanda on Monday. Mr P.C. Garg and Mr Arun Kanwal, president and secretary, respectively, of the association, also urged the vice-president of the DBA not to accept the resignation of Mr Dhanda. Earlier, the New Court Bar Association had passed a resolution in favour of Mr Dhanda.

The disputes had arisen over providing young lawyers with tables in the new judicial complex. The Kapoor faction had levelled serious allegations against Mr Dhanda.


Mayor charged with forging agenda
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 8
The issue of nomination of three trustees of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) from amongst councillors has taken a new turn. The opposition parties have charged the City Mayor, Mr Nahar Singh Gill, with forging the agenda of the previous general house meeting, which was adjourned without conducting any business, and forwarding the names of three Congress councillors for appointment as trustees taking advantage of the technicalities of the relevant law.

According to the Punjab Urban Development Act, under which the Improvement Trusts are constituted, three members of the trusts have to be elected from amongst councillors in the House meeting. The Act further provides that if the House fails to elect these members within the stipulated period, the Mayor can recommend names of any three councillors for appointment as trustees to the government.

The district presidents of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Mr Harbans Lal Sethi, and the SAD district unit chief, Mr Avtar Singh Makkar, have alleged that the Mayor had forwarded names of three Congress councillors to the government for appointment as trustees saying the House had failed to elect these members, whereas, the fact was that the item had never been brought on the agenda of the House meetings held so far. In order to substantiate his claim, the Mayor had allegedly forged the agenda of the House meeting held on July 30, which was adjourned without conducting any business, they alleged.

They further claimed that on the basis of the total strength of Congress and other constituent parties in the general house of the MC, the Congress would not be able to get more than one member elected to the Improvement Trust. 


Dial single number for power complaints
Amarjit Thind
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 8
Prompt power compliant redressal is just a phone call away. The long wait for immediate compliance of power supply faults will soon be a thing of the past with a hi- tech pilot project of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB), involving a private company, becoming operational later this month in this city.

Consumer care and accountability are the main objectives of the scheme. The service would have been in place much earlier but was not well-recieved by employees. Keeping public interest in mind, the management dug its heels leaving the unions with no alternative but to give assent, albeit reluctantly.

More than 50 team have been constituted for the city which will move in a specified area and will be informed about complaints in their beats through pagers or mobile phones.

Elaborating on the scheme, Mr Bhupinder Pal Singh Gill, Additional Superintending Engineer (ASE), who is overseeing the project, said the consumers will have to dial a single number for getting their complaints attended round the clock. The call centre service had been outsourced to a private company which would also get back to the complainants to seek feedback on the promptness in getting the fault rectified and the quality of repairs.

This information will be routed to the board offices for information and action, if any, against the erring employees.

No complaints are being registered at the PSEB complaint centres sub-division wise. These complaints are marked by the phone attendentant at each subdivision which are given to the fault repair staff which go in pairs to attend each complaint and report back to the office. The necessary entry is made in the complaint register.

Mr Gill pointed out that this system had certain functional constraints. The staff had to make repeated trips to and fro to fault locations from the complaint centres and in some cases the same locality. This resulted in avoidable loss of man hours, besides delayed response.

The registration of complaints being a manual process, there was no generation of management information schedule reports and subsequently, poor monitoring. Another major drawback was that the staff registering the complaints were not trained for public dealing and they did not project a consumer friendly image of the PSEB.

The ASE maintained that the effort was to modernise the working of complaint centres with a view to bringing efficiency, transparency and promoting better customer relations by way of quality service.

Mr Gill said the call centre shall have a single response number (one phone number with multi incoming lines) for the whole of the city. In case of power cut or feeder/transformer breakdown, they would be informed accordingly.

This complaint would be sent as a pager message/SMS message to the mobile complaint staff operating in that locality, which after attending the fault, would report back to the call centre and the status of the complaint changed. In case of any delay in fault attendance, the message would go to the JE, AEE, Sr Xen and SE in charge of that area after every two hours till attended. The respective officers would be held accountable for any delay or deficiency in carrying out the necessary repairs.

Another feature of the scheme was that the call centre staff would randomly call back 10 per cent of consumers registering complaints to gauge their satisfaction for services rendered and authenticating the compliants. The centre would generate daily/weekly printed MIS reports for the PSEB and transfer the data to a central server to be installed in the CE/ operation office which would be interlinked with SEs office computers through networking so that senior officers could have access to all reports and related data.


Two-hour strike by PCMS doctors
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 8
The district unit of the PCMS Association observed a token two-hour strike from 10 am to 12 noon today. They, however, attended emergency cases.

Dr Hardeep Singh, state president, in a press statement today, said “Emergency services were maintained. In order to avoid public inconvenience, patients were provided with medical aid, even after duty hours.

This was part of the statewide protest, in response to a call given by the Punjab Civil Medical Services Association, to restore NPA”.

Addressing a public rally, Dr Hardeep Singh and Dr Balwinder Kumar said the government orders was a punishment to honest doctors and the poor who had to depend on state health services.

The government was compelling the doctors to indulge in private practice, he said.

SAMRALA: At the local Civil Hospital, doctors of the PCMS Association under the leadership of Dr J.P. Singh of Machhiwara Block and Dr Manjeet Singh Dhaliwal of Samrala block sat in dharna for two hours. The OPD services during the period remained paralysed.

The doctors raised slogans against the cut in the non-practice allowance.

Dr Manjeet Singh, Dr Sanjay Kapoor, Dr Tarkjot Singh, Dr V.P. Soni, Dr Jaswinder Singh, Dr Shashi Kant, Dr Rashmi Kapoor, Dr Sudesh Honda, Dr J.P. Singh, Dr Jasdev Singh, Dr Ashwani Sareen, Dr Ramandeep Kaur and Dr Puneet, participated.


National policy on street vendors on the anvil
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, August 8
In a bid to provide social security and guarantee of self-employment to street vendors, the Union Ministry of Urban Development and Poverty Alleviation is formulating a national policy. The draft of the said policy has been forwarded by the State Urban Development Authority to all municipal corporations and Regional Deputy Directors in Punjab for their comments so that comprehensive suggestions and necessary amendments could be forwarded to the Union Government for incorporation in the final document.

In the wake of increasing traffic congestion in towns and major cities and the problems created by unregulated movement and location of street hawkers, the role of local bodies in this context is quite significant and the government has done well to seek the views of the municipal bodies before finalising the policy.

Recognising the role of street vendors, the draft of the policy observed that urban vending was not only a source of employment but provided ‘affordable’ services to the majority of urban population. ‘The role played by hawkers in the economy as also in society needs to be given due credit but they are considered as unlawful entities and are subjected to continuous harassment by civic authorities.’ In this regard, the Supreme Court had also observed in one of its rulings that if properly regulated according to the exigency of the circumstances, small traders on the side walks could considerably add to the comfort and convenience of the general public.

Giving details of the salient features of the draft policy, the Commissioner of Municipal Corporation, Mr S.K. Sharma, said the policy was aimed at providing and promoting a supportive environment for earning livelihood to the street vendors, both stationary and mobile, as well as ensuring decongestion on roads and streets and maintenance of sanitation and hygiene at public spaces.

Objectives of the policy would be to provide legal status to vendors by amending, enacting, repealing and implementing appropriate laws and to make available legitimate hawking zones in urban areas. The policy would also provide for fee based regulation of access, make vendors a special component of the urban development by treating them as an integral and legitimate part of urban distribution system and at the same time impose self compliance among them. The participatory mechanism for vendors would be based on representation by urban vendors, organisations, voluntary bodies, civic authorities, police and residents welfare associations.

According to Mr Sharma, the policy, once in place, would envisage setting up of ‘town vending committees’ on ward-level comprising civic officials, traffic police, respective councillors, representatives of residents and traders associations and representatives of street vendors associations, both static and mobile. These committees would finalise the demarcation of vending zones, taking into account the natural propensity of street vendors to locate in particular places at specific timing.

The civic administration, on its part, would provide sufficient spaces for vendors’ markets with fee based access. Depending on the traffic conditions and congestion in certain areas, the civic bodies would hold the right to designate such areas as ‘no-vending zones’ in consultation with all concerned.

In quantitative norms for the proposed vendors’ markets in urban areas, the draft policy has recommended designation of at least 2.5 per cent space of the total populated area with the observation that each town and city could evolve its own quantitative norms after proper surveys. The proposed vendor’s markets would have provisions for solid waste disposal, public utilities, electricity, drinking water, protective coverage for wares and the vendors and storage facilities.

The policy would seek to decentralise the registration system, entrusting it to ward level ‘vending committee’ and providing a simple registration system on a nominal fee to be decided by urban local bodies. It would also provide revenue generation system for the ward committees, monitoring mechanism and a comprehensive procedure for relocation and rehabilitation of vendors, if needed. Among other features of the draft policy were suitable amendments in municipal and police laws, providing social security, access to credit and organising the street vendors.


Govt colleges go without fee hike rollback
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, August 8
Government colleges in the town have yet to implement the decision of the Punjab Government to withdraw the fee hike, the reason being non-issuance of a written notification in this regard.

The statement issued by the Punjab Government on July 2 in various newspapers read: “It has been decided not to impose the revised fee structure for the general education in college across the state.”

Earlier, the date of admission to these colleges was July 15 without late fee and July 26 with late fee. Due to the rollback in the fee-hike, the date for admission was extended to July 31 and with late fee August 8.

Private colleges in the district have followed the guidelines issued by the Punjab Government through the Press.

Mrs Inderjit Vashisht, Principal, Government College for Women, Ludhiana, said: “We have received no written orders regarding the fee hike rollback. It is mandatory for us to follow only the written instructions of the Punjab Government”.

Similarly, Principal V.P. Gaur of S.D Government College for Boys said: “We are waiting for written orders. Till then we are helpless.

Similarly Government College, Karamsar, Rara Sahib, is charging the revised fee charges from B.A. and B.Com (Part I) students. Reliable sources contend that till date no written notification has reached the DPI Colleges, from the Punjab Government.

Mrs Harmit Kaur, Principal of Ramgarhia Girls College, Ludhiana, and fellow Panjab University, said, “We went by the declaration from the side of the Punjab government regarding the rollback and did not wait for a written notification. Meritorious, but needy students were at the receiving end. The declaration of the government kindled new hopes in them. However, even after 15 days no notification has arrived and we are forced to doubt the intentions of the government in this regard.”

Mr Jaswant Singh Gill, Principal, of Guru Nanak National College, Doraha, said: “If the government retraces its steps, who will bear the brunt of the agitated students. Moreover it will become impossible for us to charge the enchanced fees and funds in the near future as the students will not be in a position to pay.”

Since tomorrow is the last date of admission and government colleges are still charging the revised fees, the students are feeling deprived of a chance for higher education.

Some students said: “What relief have we got ? The decision of the fee rollback is not applicable to us. Is this the policy of the government to say one thing and mean another?” 


Apex court order violative of rights, says Left
Tribune Reporters

Ludhiana, August 8
There has been a mixed response to the Supreme Court orders, banning strikes by government employees. While trade union leaders expressed their reservations and opposed the order, most of the common people welcomed it.

A trade union leader and assistant secretary of the district unit of the CPI. Dr Arun Mitra, said the right to protest should not be infringed upon. Call for strikes were made “under extremely desperate circumstances”. People should not be denied this right, he said.

Dr Mitra admitted that there were certain vested interests among the trade unions also but claimed that they were very few and for that others should not be made to suffer.

Sharing his view, Mr D.P. Maur, president of the Punjab Agricultural University Employees Union and the joint secretary of the Council of Trade Unions, Ludhiana, said the right to strike was a fundamental right and nobody would like to surrender it. He said employees and trade unions would resist it.

Mr O.P. Mehta, general secretary of the All-India Trade Union Congress, Ludhiana, also opposed the orders. He said the right to protest had also been enshrined in the International Labour Organisation declaration. He said a meeting of various trade unions would be held here tomorrow to chalk out the strategy to counter the SC move.

The common people, however, felt that the SC order had done a good thing. Mr Amarjit Singh, a business manager in a leading private sector bank, said the employees were in a habit of striking work on the slightest provocation. He said people suffered on account of it.

Mr Ram Murti Sharma, owner of a fabric weaving unit, said there was “too much liberty without responsibility”. He said if anyone opted for strike, he should also surrender the salary for that period.

The Marxist Communist Party of India (MCPI) has expressed concern over the judgement. Mr Jagjit Singh Lyallpuri, national general secretary, and Mr Kuldip Singh, Punjab state secretary, of the party, described the judgement as contrary to the spirit of the Constitution.

The MCPI leaders said: “The Supreme Court appears to have overstepped its jurisdiction in interpreting the Constitution,” adding that the judgement would have serious implications on workers and employees.


Eight days gone, cops fail to pick up body
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, August 8
An unclaimed body of a 25-year-old woman, Babita Devi, has been lying in the mortuary of Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) for the past eight days. Since it was a medico-legal case, despite repeated requests by the DMCH authorities, the police has failed to collect the body for a post-mortem examination. The body has started emitting foul smell, causing inconvenience to staff and others.

Mr Vikram Bhanot, Chief Officer on Special Duty of the DMCH, said, “We are helpless since it is a medico-legal case. We cannot dispose of the body. It is the police department’s duty to look into the matter. We have written to police officials but no one has come to collect the body for a post-mortem examination. For the past eight days, the body has been lying in the mortuary, and workers are reluctant to go there.”

As per hospital records, Babita Devi was admitted to the DMCH on July 31 after Om Prakash, posing to be her attendant, brought her there. He mentioned in the hospital record that she was married to Mahesh Kumar who lived “near the water tank on Noorwala road in Ludhiana”. Since it was an alleged case of celphos poisoning, she died on August 1. Doctors prepared a medico-legal report and sent it to the police.

Mr Bhanot said, “After the death of the patient, the attendant fled. Nobody turned up to claim the body. Salem Tabri police station officials were informed on July 31 but nothing has been done in this regard.”

The hospital authorities maintained that a police official at the police station said a team had gone to locate the whereabouts of the attendant and relatives of the deceased but didn’t find anyone.

A police official, on condition of anonymity, said since the case was under the Basti Jodhewal police station, it should be looking into the matter.


Generators spew poison in air
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 8
Even as the pollution level has reached alarming proportions in the city, it has not shaken Ludhianvis and the district administration if the use of diesel-run generators is any indication.

While in a landmark judgement on pollution, Judges of the Supreme Court had equated the everyday air pollution in the country with the Bhopal gas tragedy, the officials concerned are yet to wake up to the dangerous situation in the city that incidentally tops the list of most polluted cities in India. Its residents, too, are yet to realise the fact that they are poisoning the atmosphere around them.

The ever increasing pollution in the city has already crossed the dangerous levels. The industry and the public transport system are continuously adding poisonous gases to the atmosphere.

The condition worsens in the summer season. Rise in temperature and power-cuts make residents switch on their diesel-run generator sets.

The pollution caused by these generators has compounded the degrading environment condition in the city.

Thick smoke emanating from generators make it virtually impossible for a man passing by that place to breathe. Whenever there is a power-cut, climbing up on rooftop of one’s house is enough to witness black clouds of the smoke generated by these generators.

All domestic areas, industrial areas and markets are the best places to witness the menace of pollution caused by generators. Rough estimates say that every household has a generator.

“Smart” residents have installed these on the rooftops of their houses.

By installing long exhaust pipes, they think that the poisonous gases produced by the generator would not affect their immediate surroundings.

They little realise that the environment in general has become polluted.

According to official figures, the suspended particulate matter (SPM) in the city is between 500 and 600 microgram, while the permissible limit is only 200 microgram.

The data regarding sulphur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen are also not less alarming. Both the pollutants are equivalent to 80 microgram, while other cities in the state do not have more than 10 to 12 micrograms of these pollutants in the air.

“The worst time of the day is when there is no power supply. Thick smoke can be seen all around. Even big departmental stores, which otherwise say they use environment friendly boxes and packing material, are the ones that have installed diesel-run generators.

“While sleeping on the terrace last night, I was woken up by the smell of burning diesel. I saw that almost all house owners in the vicinity had switched on their generators that were emitting smoke.

It became very difficult to breathe in that air,” said Mr Pritpal Singh, a resident of BRS Nagar.


Quit India Movement anniversary
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 8
The Directorate of Youth Services, Punjab, observed the 61st anniversary of Quit India Movement at R.S. Model Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar, here today.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang, Minister for Youth Services, Sports, Animal Husbandry, Dairy and Fisheries, called upon the youth to prepare themselves to fight forces of communalism, casteism and racism.

Mr Kang said the department was planting 1,19,000 saplings throughout the state. He urged the youth to save the environment from pollution.

Mr Hridaipal, Director, Youth Services, Punjab, said it was the duty of the youth to make the community aware of the importance of tree plantation. Each one should plant one tree and ensure its survival. On the occasion, Mr Gopal, Deputy Adviser, National Service Scheme, Government of India, was honoured for his services rendered in the field of NSS.

Students of the school recited shabad. A cultural programme was also presented. The function concluded with bhangra. Mr J.S. Rahi, Assistant Director, Youth Services, thanked the management of school, NSS volunteers and members of the youth club for their cooperation.

Mr Satyanand Munjal, co-vice chairman, Hero Cycles, Mr M.L. Kalra, Principal, R.S. Model Senior Secondary School, and Mr M.R. Mehta, BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School, Focal Point, were present.


A month more before the bus comes
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 8
It will take still more time before mini buses can be seen on the city roads after transporters with permits to run these buses have not been able to fulfill the conditions.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Anurag Verma, has given them more time considering their problems. They will now have to complete all requirements by August 15 instead of July 15.

The latest orders came after transporters apprised the DC of reasons why they had not been able to launch the bus service by now. They said it took long for completing loan formalities.

Mr Verma said out of 245 transporters allotted permits under the project, 25 per cent were ready with the buses. The rest were still building the chassis. To make the scheme a success, he said, it was important to launch all buses at one time.

However, if transporters failed to launch the service this time, the administration would take a strict action against them. The much-publicised mini-bus scheme was launched by the former DC, Mr Anurag Agarwal, with a view to making the city free of pollution. The idea was to push out auto-rickshaws, which were a major source of air pollution in the city.

The Punjab Government had empowered the DC to organise the launch of the mini-bus service in the city. The buses will run on 20 routes.

The scheme was appreciated in this city of over 23 lakh who did not have a mass transport system. There were 25,000 diesel-driven auto-rickshaws for local transport.

The auto-rickshaws not only add to traffic congestion but also cause massive air pollution. The former DC had claimed that the local mini-bus service would not only provide Ludhianvis with a comfortable, safe and cheap mode of transport, but also reduce traffic congestion and air pollution, as each bus would replace at least 50 auto-rickshaws.


Wages not paid for months
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, August 8
Mr Hari Chand and Mr Avtar Singh, president and general secretary, respectively, of the Class IV Government Employees Union, Fatehgarh Sahib, told newsmen here today they resented the Department of Cultural Affairs and Archaeology not regularising the services of daily wagers with more than 15 years of service.

The workers, they said, had not been paid their wages for the past 11 months, so their families were facing hardships.

The daily wagers have approached the department and the Deputy Commissioner many times with their complaint, but to no avail.

The union leaders said a rally would be held this month in front of the office of the Civil Surgeon. After this, a memorandum would be submitted to the DC to seek early payment of wages. If the wages were not paid, the stir would be intensified.


Shopkeepers willingly remove encroachments
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 8
It was anti-encroachment drive with a difference. Shopkeepers on their own shifted sales counters inside their shops and dismantled cemented extensions facing the road at Field Ganj (Kucha No 6) in the presence of area councillor Rakesh Parashar.

In an operation which lasted for well over six hours, an MC team razed the cemented platforms in front of more than 100 shops on both sides of the road, thereby encroaching almost one-third of the 24-feet-wide road of the commercial centre.

A similar anti-encroachment drive was earlier carried out in the adjoining busy commercial and residential area on Shahpur road in the same ward. Temporary and permanent structures in front of more than 300 shops were removed.

According to the area councillor, there was no resistance to the operation since it was carried out after discussions with the traders’ association.


Travel agent booked for fraud
Our correspondent

Ludhiana, August 8
The Model Town police yesterday, booked a travel agent under Section 406 and 420, IPC, on the complaint of Mr Sudhir Kumar who alleged that he had been duped of Rs 1.5 lakh by the agent who promised to send his wife and son abroad.

Mr Kumar, a resident of Atam Nagar, alleged that Deepak Kumar Bansal, had assured him that he would send his wife and son abroad, but he neither did that nor return the money. No arrest has been made.

Booked: The Shimla Puri police has registered a case under Section 420 and 511, IPC, on the statement of Ms Sukhwinder Kaur against Baljinder Singh of Daba Colony. She alleged that the accused, who was her tenant, had got a false case of theft registered against her by alleging that she had stolen his machinery. Later, however, he failed to furnish any proof. No arrest has been made so far.

Bounced cheque: The Jodhewal police has registered a case under Section 406, 420, 506 and 34, IPC, on the statement of Mr S.K. Jain, of Jain Colony in Sundernagar against Kamal Sodhi Harjinder Singh and Satnam Singh, partners in a firm dealing with his firm. The complainant alleged that the accused had given him a cheque of Rs 1.65 lakh but it was not honoured.

Dowry case: The police on Thursday registered a case under Sections 406 and 498-A, IPC, on the statement of the daughter of Mr Ashok Kumar of Mohalla Suddan, against her husband and mother-in-law for allegedly harassing her for dowry. No arrest has been made so far.

Undertrial re-arrested: The police on Thursday registered a case under Section 224, IPC, on the statement of Head Constable Karnail Singh, posted at the Police Lines, against Sunil Kumar of Quilla Mohalla. The complainant alleged that Sunil Kumar, who was undergoing trial was presented at the New Courts on Thursday but he ran away. He was arrested again after some time.

Lawyer assaulted: The police on Thursday registered a case under Section 324, 34 and 506, IPC, or the statement of Mr Sandeep Kumar, an advocate, against lawyers of allegedly intercepting him near Bharat Nagar chowk on Thursday and injuring him with a knife. No arrest has been made so far.

Woman beaten up: On the statement of Ms Seeta, of Sanjay Gandhi Colony, the police on Thursday registered a case under Sections 341, 323, 354 and 34, IPC, against Tirath, Rinku and Gauri Shankar, residents of Haibowal, for allegedly teasing her and also beating her up. No arrest has been made.

Scooterist robbed: The Sadar police on Thursday registered a case under Sections 382 and 34, IPC, on the statement of Mr Paramjit Singh of Saloh village against three persons. The complainant had stated that while he was coming from Sangrur to his house on a scooter he was stopped near Sarinh village and the accused robbed him at gunpoint.

Cash stolen: On the statement of Ms Varan Lata, a resident of Maya Nagar Haibowal, the police on Thursday registered a case under Sections 454 and 380, IPC, against unknown person(s) who stole Rs 50,000 from her house on Thursday evening.

Excise case: The police on Thursday arrested Ramesh Kumar, of Field Ganj, and seized nine bottles of whisky from his possession. He has been booked under the Excise Act.

Liquor seized: The police on Thursday registered a case under the Excise Act against three persons who ran away leaving behind their car at a naka in Mann Singh Nagar when signalled to stop by the police. The police seized 72 bottles of country made liquor from the car.

Spurious paint: On the statement of the SDM, Ludhiana (East), the police on Thursday registered a case under Section 7 of the Essential Commodities Act against a paint store, for selling inferior paint. The SDM said in a raid on the shop, some samples of paint had been confiscated.


Eco-friendly approach to industrial development stressed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 8
Assuring its full cooperation to the Punjab government for safeguarding the environment in the state, the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry today said a clear and concrete policy on environment needed to be formulated which should be in total consonance with the industrial growth and development.

Speaking at a workshop on ‘Pollution control and sustainable industrial growth’, the president of the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr P.K. Jain, said, “to achieve sustained economic development, environmental considerations cannot be isolated from general issues of development”. He observed that it was important that environmental management and protection issues, particularly those related to pollution control, were given due attention in the process of industrial and economic growth.

Mr Jain maintained that awareness regarding eco-friendly products on part of the consumers has particularly made it imperative for the industry to adopt environment friendly technologies. It has been amply demonstrated the world over that increased business opportunities were created when an organisation addressed environmental issues through systematic environmental management.

The chamber president appreciated the initiative being taken by the Punjab Government to help the industry in controlling pollution and managing the environment. He said, “it is essential that the state government evolve a strategy for sustainable development and must devise its own pollution management plans for the cities”.

Mr Jain observed that there was need to minimise waste generation in the first place rather than wait and be forced to act on the intervention of the courts. Pollution related problems like relocation of industry, wasted dumps should be addressed through voluntary action based on mutual dialogue and understanding.

Urging the state government to formulate a comprehensive environment policy, he said it should be based on moral persuasion, like educating and sensitising all for good environmental behaviour, formulating litigation for punitive action against default, keeping in view the economic aspect like tax, subsidy and finally the government should also install treatment plants and recycling clean technology information and dissemination and research.

He said while the industry supported the government’s initiative in safeguarding the environment and its regulatory activities, these should not result in delays in project implementation. Any delay would eventually result in increased cost that would have to be directly or indirectly paid for by the consumer. Mr Jain also underlined the need for adopting new environment friendly technology for which awareness programmes and campaigns would have to be undertaken in a big way.

Mr Sanjay Singh, Deputy Director, NPC, suggested adopting green productivity strategy for enhancing productivity and environmental performance for overall socio-economic development. He said it was the application of appropriate productivity and environmental management tools, techniques, technologies to reduce the environmental impact of organisations’ activities, goods and services.

Dr R.K. Khandal, Director, Shriram Institute for Industrial Research, urged the industry and society at large to conserve water by reuse, recycle and rain water harvesting. he also talked about planting saplings which sit the local climatic conditions and are useful in decreasing soil and air pollutants.


Free trade pact with Latin countries soon
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 8
The Government of India may have a free trade agreement with Latin and North American countries, chairman of the Engineering Export Promotion Council (EEPC) Mr S.K. Dhanda said here today. This was likely to give a boost to exports in the country.

Addressing a seminar on business opportunities in Latin American countries organised by the EEPC, Mr Dhanda maintained that although there was lower export turnover now, the situation was likely to improve.

Mr Dhanda maintained that Latin American countries offered a lot of opportunities and potential to Indian industry and it needed to be exploited. He said the EEPC was organising regular awareness programmes for the same

Mr S.C. Ralhan highlighted various problems being faced by exporters.

Special invitee at the seminar, Varun Khanna, Deputy General Manager, National Centre for Trade Information, elaborated on various potential markets in Latin American countries. 


AirTel launches 24-hour customer care
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 8
In an apparent bid to keep ahead of its competitors, AirTel has launched a 24-hour customer care service in the city under the banner of AirTel Connect that will enable the customers to buy new connections, recharge their cards and interact with the companies’ representatives in person 24 hours a day all 365 days.

Mr Vinod Sawhney, CEO, Bharti Mobile Limited, who launched the service in the city last night said the customers would be able to get all value added services like bill payment and bill collection, activation, handset purchase, new connections both post and pre-paid cards including recharge coupons etc at any time on any day.

The company representatives said that special emphasis was being made towards customer care and in the days to come, customers could expect many more innovative features than would make the service better both in terms of improved technology as well as caring attitude

Mr Sawhney said the Bharti Tele-Ventures had a subscriber base of 4.17 million customers as of June 30, 2003, consisting of approximately 3.75 million mobile and 424, 000 fixedline customers making the company the largest mobile operator in the country. 

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