Wednesday, August 13, 2003, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Steel price hike pierces cycle units
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 12
The United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association today warned the Central Government that if it failed to arrest the continuous hike in the prices of steel , most of the small- scale industrial units would shut down. The association, said to be the largest in Asia, has over 1,700 members.

The president of the association, Mr D.S. Chawla, while addressing a press conference here today said the cycle industry, that falls in the small- scale sector, was on the verge of closure. He disclosed that about five lakh people in over 4,000 units were engaged in manufacturing various bicycle parts . He expressed surprise as to why the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, had maintained silence and had not taken up the issue with the union government. Mr Chawla said if the Chief Minister could stage dharna in front of the Prime Minister's residence and court arrest for the cause of farmers then why was he indifferent towards the problems faced by the cycle industry which was the mainstay of the state's economy.

Apprehending some connivance between the government and the top five steel manufacturers of the country, Mr Chawla pointed out that the issue had repeatedly been raised by various associations but no steps had been taken by the government. He demanded an inquiry by a parliamentary committee or the CBI.

Substantiating his apprehensions, Mr Chawla pointed out, the steel produced by top five Indian manufacturers ,including the SAIL, Tisco, Essar, Jindal and Ispat Ltd was being exported to China at lesser rate than it was supplied in India. He added that while the steel exported from India was available in China at a landed cost of Rs 17,000 per metric tonne, the same steel was sold to the domestic industry for Rs 25,000 per metric tonne. He said the five steel giants were increasing the prices almost every month.

The association has decided to demonstrate in front of the local offices of the Steel Authority of India and Vishakhapatnam Steel Plant on August 19. In case the government fails to take any action, they will organise a protest demonstration at the Vishwakarma Chowk in a democratic manner.

Meanwhile, the Federation of Punjab Small-Industries Association has decided to stage a dharna in front of the local offices of the Rashtriya Ispat Nigam opposite the Ludhiana Stock Exchange tomorrow. The protestors will then proceed towards the SAIL office, where they will stage a similar demonstration and later submit a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana.



Sisters’ love for martyr brother 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 12
Touching scenes were witnessed at Gill village when two sisters of a Kargil martyr tied rakhis on his statue at the village school here today.
Naik Paramjit Singh had lost his life fighting infiltrators in Kargil Sector on January 12, 1999. Though more than four years have elapsed since his supreme sacrifice for the nation, he is still alive in the memory of the aggrieved family and proud villagers.

This morning, the two sisters went to the statue and tied “rakhi” to their only brother with tears streaming down their eyes. The grief of the moment reflected on their faces as they went about their ritual. The only consolation was that their brother had laid down his life not only to save them but millions of his sisters in the country.

“We feel that we are representing all other sisters. This gives us comfort,” said Kuljit and Baljit Kaur, while talking to Ludhiana Tribune. With tears rolling down their cheeks they said they were feeling proud of their brother’s supreme sacrifice.

Their father — Mr Nacchattar Singh — who also served in the Indian Army as sepoy till 1978 said he was proud that his son had done what he could not do while he was in active service. By making the supreme sacrifice he had joined the ranks of those heroes who would never fade away, he added.

He said the government had given pension to his wife but all other promises had fallen flat. He said the statue of the martyr was also built by him after spending around Rs 50,000. It was installed in January two years ago.

“I am happy that with the statue at least his sisters are feeling some kind of satisfaction. And the villagers will also recall him for the times to come,” said his father.

He said the government had promised that the village school that was named after Shaheed Paramjit Singh would be upgraded to senior secondary level. “But this promise too has remained unfulfilled. I am pained at the insensitiveness and callousness of the government,” he said.

He further said he had applied for the allotment of a petrol pump but nothing had come out of it.



Girls tie rakhis to classmates
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 12
Raksha Bandhan was celebrated with traditional fervour in the city today. Sisters tied rakhis on their brothers’ wrists and brothers loaded them with gifts and assured them of their protection. They shared sweets with one another. Girls and women were especially dressed up for the occasion. Enthusiasm was seen among small children too. Several schools in the city also celebrated the festival.

Little Blossom Nursery School, Model Gram, held a function to mark the day. Girls tied rakhis to their classmates and were gifted with toffees, chocolates and sweets. Mr R.P. Singh, an advocate, was the chief guest. He said such functions helped kids learn the importance of the festival. The function was organised by Ms S. Kochhar, Principal of the school.

A rakhi-making competition was held at Spring Dale Public School, Sherpur, here today. Students were divided into two groups. Junior group comprised students from classes I to V and senior group had students from classes VI to XI.

Kids used ribbons, threads, cartoons, paper flowers, etc. to decorate the rakhis. Anjali Sharma from Class IV was adjudged first in the junior category. Kanchan from the same class was declared second. Third prize was shared by Shilpa Dhamija of Class V and Balinder of Class III. Harpreet Singh of Class III won the consolation prize.

Among students from senior category, Vanika from Class VI and Manjeet Singh from Class VIII came first. Second prize was shared by Gurmeet Kaur from Class VIII and Kanika Sharma from Class VII. Third prize was also shared by Manadeep Kaur from Class VII and Nitasha from Class VIII.

Ms Avinash Kaur Walia, Principal, awarded prizes to the winners. She said the contest helped bring out creativity among children besides making them aware of the festival.

Mandi Ahmedgarh: Girl students of local Sanatan Vidya Mandir Senior Secondary School tied rakhis on the wrists of their classmates. Mr Data Ram Sharma, founder of the school, spoke about the festival. Shaminder Kaur and Aman, students of the school, also spoke.



Gurdwara election row turns murky
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, August 12
The elections for the office-bearers of Gurdwara Shri Guru Singh Sabha in Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar took an ugly turn on Sunday evening with the two rival factions charging each other with hooliganism and unconstitutional acts. With the situation getting out of control and supporters of the two groups getting aggressive, the police had to be called in and as many as persons were arrested.

The present office-bearers of the gurdwara management claim that the meeting convened for electing office bearers on August 10 had been adjourned due to lack of quorum and was to be reconvened on August 24. However, late in the evening a Janata Dal activist, Mr Kartar Singh Patna, along with his supporters, barged into the gurdwara premises, entered the office of the manager and threatened him. The intruders allegedly threw the telephone set and tried to snatch keys.

Mr Gulwant Singh, president of the management committee, said apprehending threat to his life and building of the gurdwara, the manager, Mr Lakhwinder Singh, called the police, who arrested Mr Patna and six others. He further said the police had let off the arrested persons without obtaining bail due to the intervention of a Congress minister, who was trying to influence the election process.

Mr Patna and his supporters again came to the gurdwara on Monday morning and made an announcement from the stage that two observers — Mr Karam Singh and Mr Avtar Singh Binder— had been nominated to oversee the elections whereas the outgoing committee had already named Mr Darshan Singh Gill, Mr Kanwalinder Singh and Mr Inderbir Singh as observers.

The gurdwara management claimed that there was great resentment among the people over the undue interference of Congress functionaries in the election process and the failure of the police to take action against Mr Patna and his supporters for disturbing the peaceful and tranquil atmosphere in the gurdwara. It further asserted that new office-bearers would be elected soon in accordance with the constitution and till then the present committee would continue to function.

Mr Kartar Singh Patna, on the other hand, maintained that the term of the managing committee had already ended on June 2, 2003 and no office-bearer of the gurdwara management committee existed at present. He said the outgoing committee had the constitutional obligation to set the election process in motion well before the expiry of its term, which was not done with the apparent intention of retaining control over the gurdwara.

Denying the allegations of the management, he said the General House meeting had elected an 11-member committee with a chairman and the convener earlier in the day on Sunday. "It was the duly elected members of the committee that were to hold a meeting on Sunday night which was disrupted by the outgoing office-bearers. The meeting hall was locked and as the committee members were assembling in 'langar' hall, the police was called in and the members of the committee were taken in custody."

Mr Patna, while condemning the attitude of the former office-bearers, expressed his resolve to oppose their unconstitutional activities. He urged the administration and the police to take action against those out to obstruct the working of the duly elected ad hoc committee.



All is fair in love and war
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 12
The adage , all is fair in love and war, has once again been proved in the forthcoming elections of the British Columbia Veterinary Medical Association (BCVMA). Two Indian veterinary doctors, vying to become the members of the BCVMA, are fighting it out not only on the western turf but right here in the Punjab Agricultural University campus from where they graduated.

Ms Gurcharan Kaur, a BJP Rajya Sabha member, and mother of one of the contestants, Dr Dilbag Singh Rana, has demanded an inquiry into the events that led to a strike in the veterinary college wherein the effigy of Dr Rana was burnt in an apparent bid to defame him prior to the August 14 BCVMA elections.

"I was honoured as 'veterinary mother' for my son's achievements in 2001 and today my son has become a villain simply because his contesting the elections is threatening other candidates like Dr. Hakam Singh Bhullar", she told Ludhiana Tribune. She added "I have asked the PAU Vice- Chancellor to conduct an inquiry into reasons that led to a strike and burning of an effigy of my son by students".

Openly accusing Dr Bhullar of instigating students at PAU, Ms Gurcharan Kaur said she had also lodged a complaint to the city SSP to expose what she called "a conspiracy to defame my son". Coming out in defence of her son she said why would my son make adverse comments against his own alma mater. It may be recalled that last week students of PAU Veterinary College had burnt Dr Rana's effigy because " Dr Rana's election manifesto, had mooted the ideas that as the vets of the university lacked clinical skills, one year's internship should be made mandatory for them", students alleged. PAU students, however, denied that Dr Bhullar was behind the strike and burning of the effigy , an issue the MP wants to be investigated. She also told Ludhiana Tribune that she was receiving threatening phone calls asking her to persuade her son to step down.

Canada has a large number of Indian veterinarians whose votes can shift balance in elections to the various provincial veterinary associations.

The Punjab unit of the BJP Kisan Morcha and the president of the BJP's OBC Cell, Mr. Mehnga Singh Khaira, has decided to support Dr Rana Dilbag Singh.



Badal, Tohra inquire about Thekedar’s health
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, Aug 12
Former Chief Minister and president of the Shiromani Akali Dal, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, and the SGPC president, Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, today inquired about the health of senior Akali leader, Mr Surjan Singh Thekedar. Both the leaders, who came separately, did not meet anyone and made a quiet exit.

Mr Thekedar, who was the acting president of the erstwhile Sarb Hind Akali Dal led by Mr Tohra, is ill for quite some time. Mr Badal and Mr Tohra inquired about his health and prayed for his early recovery and long life. The senior Akali leader holds a lot of influence in the party and happens to be a close lieutenant of Mr Tohra.

Both Mr Badal as well as Mr Tohra declined to meet the press. Both of them said they were on a personal visit only and wanted to inquire about the wellbeing of Mr Thekedar. They said they had nothing special to tell to the media. Mr Tohra was more specific saying, he would call everyone himself when he had to say anything.




In an effort to acquaint the children with the significance of modern as well as traditional festivals, many schools are leaving them confused. Like recently, on August 4, all children were told to bring friendship bands and the kids tied these to each other, with a message of friendship. A week later, it was time for Raksha Bandhan and children were told to bring rakhis to school when they were told they were brothers and sisters. Does it not confuse the kids? What bond exists between them, that of friendship or kinship?

Last of corn cobs

There is bad news for the corn cob lovers of the city. The sand-roasted corn cob that is a speciality of the city and difficult to find anywhere else in the region is on its way out as the season is coming to an end. Though, dozens of corn cob sellers can still be seen on the streets, the corn cobs they now offer are neither soft nor delicious. In fact, many corn cobs are even infected or inedible. However, not wanting to miss the opportunity of enjoying the very last of the corn cobs the corn lovers are trying to make the most of the situation.

"Sale" and it is sold

Ludhianvis would buy anything if it has the word ‘‘Sale’’ affixed to it. When a Delhi-based NGO alleged that Coke and Pepsi had pesticide traces, the sale of the soft drinks dropped drastically to barely 10 per cent of the original. But some innovative businessmen and traders of Ludhiana have been able to clear all their stocks by simply putting the soft drinks on sale and by offering freebies with the purchase.

Modern Teej

Gone are the days when women used to celebrate Teej on swings set up on trees. As times change only symbolic significance of the tradition remains. As mango trees are hard to find these days for putting up swings, innovative organisers have replaced swings with modern swings like cart wheels and merry go rounds.

Balanced diet

Some city schools do not practice what they preach. Recently, such a school in BRS Nagar took the students out for a picnic. The school authorities, in a press note handed over to the Sentinel, said all kids were served coke, chips and chocolates on the occasion. Just two days later, there was a good health show in the same school in which the kids were told not to take coke, chips or chocolates and instead consume fresh juices, fruits and eat all green vegetables, giving them a lesson on balanced diet. What an irony.

Telephone Durbar

BSNL had organised a Telephone Darbar the other day and inserted a notice to this effect in the newspapers. The purpose was to listen to the grievances of BSNL consumers. Several persons turned up from far and near to get their grievances redressed. But they were in for a shock as at the venue all other things like the tents and hoardings were there, but no officer of BSNL was present. The durbar that was to start at 10 am did not begin till 12.30 pm as there was no official present at the venue.

Atrocious English

Some press notes sent by schools reporting the events use atrocious English. Like one school reporting of Independence Day celebrations read that ‘‘the students came 'disguised' as Chacha Nehru, Bhagat Singh’’. Another school reporting the Rakhi celebration wrote, ‘‘The girl students tied up rakhi to their male classmates along with a lot of love and hope of being promised to be kept safe from each and every problem in their lives and were being responded as per their expectations’’. Both the schools are English Medium schools of repute. Another such invitation read ‘‘We prey to the almighty’’, while another said ‘‘We seek your sport’’. If teachers write such English, what can be expected from the students.

Chinese Rakhis

Chinese goods are not only flooding the markets but are also giving tough competition to Indian goods, but still it was a bit of surprise to find Chinese rakhis in markets. These were offered in bracelet form- (may be the left overs of Friendship Day bands.) The designs were pretty and very competitive. Almost all shopkeepers were stocking them. What next will the enterprising Chinese come up with?

Sweet temptation

A diabetic entered a newly opened sweet shop in the city, which is offering sugar less sweets to the customers . Hurriedly he asked the owner about the variety of sugar less sweets. Pat came the reply, "We have phirni, spongy rasgulla and kalakand." And the diabetic who wanted to eat everything in the shop only placed the orders. Within a few minutes he consumed two phirnis, three spongy rasgullas and 250 gm kalakand. Thanking the owner for offering sugar less sweets, the man, in his sixties rushed out of the shop. Little realising how many calories he had consumed in the garb of having sugar less sweets.

Stray menace

The killing of a man by a bull in Dana Mandi recently has not woken up the Municipal Corporation authorities. The ‘killer’ bull is still roaming freely in the area. Residents complained that the other day it had overturned a car parked in the mandi . Despite various complaints by the shopkeepers of the area the stray animals have not been shifted. ‘‘May be the authorities were waiting for an accident like this to happen’’ said a shopkeeper.

Mobile enterprise

The cut throat competition between various mobile phone companies has forced some to devise innovative ways and means to sell their connection. A mobile phone company is calling up subscribers of the other companies to switch over to their schemes. With very good marketing skills the representatives of the company are leaving no stone unturned to convince the customers.


A majority of city’s population is in the grip of viral fever these days. Things have come to such a pass that at least one person in every household is down with the fever. As the infection is spreading fast the residents who are aware of the risk have stopped shaking hands fearing the infection . One such resident has devised a novel method in order not to offend others. Whenever he reaches somebody he joins his both hands and says,"Jab dil se dil milta hai to haath milane ki kya zaroorat hai." — Sentinel



Administration to observe Isru’s Martyrdom Day
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 12
The state government has decided to hold a state-level function to observe the Martyrdom Day of Shaheed Master Karnail Singh Isru who laid down his life during the Goa Liberation Operation in 1955 at his native village Isru on Independence Day.

Mr Anurag Verma, Deputy Commissioner, reviewed the arrangements at a meeting of civil and police officers concerned held under his chairmanship at Isru village yesterday evening. The Deputy Commissioner also visited the sites in the village where conferences of various political parties are to be held and directed the officers to hold elaborate arrangements.

Mr Verma said Capt Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister Punjab, various ministers, MPs, MLAs and other senior leaders would pay their tributes to the great martyr. He asked civil surgeons to depute teams of doctors and paramedical staff at different points in the mela to provide medicines. He also visited the site of the statue of the martyr which was being given a new look and asked the officers to complete the work on raising the wall of the statue park.

He appealed the people to cooperate with the administration. Mr Ajmer Singh, SP (HQ) Khanna, informed that the police department had made elaborate security arrangements on all routes and said parking of vehicles would only be allowed at different parking places earmarked on the entry point from various sides.

The SDM informed that facelift was being given to the park where the statue of the martyr is situated.

Among others who participated in the meeting included Mr Bhalinder Singh, Vice-Chairman Zila Parishad, and Mr Swaran Singh, President Block Congress Committee.



Cong to honour freedom fighters
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 12
The rural and urban units of the District Congress Committee (DCC) will honour 150 freedom fighters on Independence Day. The DCC units will also organise Kranti Jyoti Yatras on August 13 and 14 to remember the martyrs and other freedom fighters.

Disclosing this here today at a joint press conference, Mr Jagmohan Sharma, president of the DCC (U), and Mr Harmohinder Singh, president of the DCC(R), said two Kranti Jyoti Yatras would be taken out from Clock Tower to the statues of three martyrs at Jagraon Bridge.

While the rural unit will take out the yatra on August 13, the urban unit will take out the yatra on August 14 from the same venue. All the freedom fighters in the district have been invited to participate in the yatra.

Dewan Jagdish Chandra, a senior Congress leader and former legislator, who is himself a freedom fighter, said it was nice to learn that the DCC was honouring freedom fighters who seemed to have otherwise been forgotten.

Mr Jagmohan Sharma said it was high time that the party and the workers rededicate themselves to the cause the great leaders had taken up.

Mr Sharma said there were 150 freedom fighters in Ludhiana and most of them were not living in a good condition.

The DCC president said the Kranti Jyoti Yatra was to create awareness among the today's generation about the sacrifices made by freedom fighters.



PSEB staff flay state government
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 12
Activists of the PSEB Employees Federation have condemned the anti-people and anti-employee policies being implemented by the government in Punjab.
Mr Surjit Singh Goraya, president of the federation, said the policies had caused a lot of heartburn among the employees who were now living in a state of distress. The government had ordered the decrease in leave encashment and had also pruned the pension amounts. Similarly, five departments were being handed over to the panchayats in the near future as part of the empowerment exercise of the panchayati raj institutions, which too was not in their favour.

Commenting on the functioning of the board, he said instead of eradicating corruption, the government was resorting to privatisation as if this would be the answer to all ills that plague the board. The state was not serious in extending the anti-graft drive to the board since that would expose several senior officers who were virtually bleeding the board dry.

Citing an instance, he said crores were being pocketed by senior officers posted in the Ludhiana Central division in collusion with junior store officers. The modus operandi is that the board sends costly equipment of the stores to the division. The equipment is not checked. It is declared operational even though certain consignments are faulty.

He further added that the store officials do not spare the junior field staff who take the equipment for installation. They demand a set rate for various materials, while the others are given substandard stuff. Senior officers were turning a blind eye to it, he added.



Akalis flay Cong’s witchhunt
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 12
The Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) and the Shiromani Youth Akali Dal (SYAD) would continue their fight against witchhunt by the Congress government in Punjab.
This was stated by Mr Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, president of the SYAD, while addressing a workers’ meeting at the residence of Mr Sukhwinderpal Singh Garcha, a prominent Youth Akali leader, here today. He said the short-sighted policies of the government had led to stagnation in the state’s economy.

Mr Dhillon observed that the Congress government, headed by Capt Amarinder Singh, had no policy or programme for the development of the state or welfare of the people. The ruling party was pursuing a one-point programme of causing harassment to former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and his close supporters.

Speaking on the occasion, the SAD (B) legislator from Koom Kalan, Mr Inder Iqbal Singh Atwal, lambasted the government for scrapping all welfare schemes launched by the previous SAD-BJP government for Dalits and weaker sections of the society. “The Congress functionaries are out to defame the SAD-B leaders under a conspiracy but such repressive and mean acts are proving counter-productive.” Mr Atwal claimed that in the face of government repression, the Akali Dal workers were in high spirits and masses were also rallying around for the SAD-B.

Mr Dhillon was honoured at the meeting for his work towards mobilising the youth under the leadership of party president Parkash Singh Badal. 



Monsoon sales storm city
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, August 12
“Monsoon Hungama” proclaim many posters in the city. They offer discounts up to 50 per cent on electronic equipment, clothes, shoes and even bed linen. Even gold-smiths are offering discounts. It so appears that auspicious time for marriages is coming to an end on July 27 and ‘shubh muhart’ for weddings will come again somewhere in October,” say some pandits.

The shopkeepers generally put things on “sale” in the rainy season for two reasons. Firstly, the customers are not in the mood to purchase in the damp rainy season. The other major reason is the money spent on buying summer stuff that has been blocked by the unsold goods. So the shopkeepers have to tempt the customers with attractive offers. Only when the unsold goods would move out, the liquid cash would enable them to buy fresh stock.

Sanjay of Kala Mandir says,” the customers stand to gain. The ‘lehngas’ originally priced at Rs 25,000 are being sold at half the prize. This would mean that the customer can buy more sarees and that too at reduced rates. We also gain as cash flow becomes more regular and for buying fresh stock we don’t have to take money on interest. So if our profit margin goes down, at least our dead stock is out. We get customers even from outside as people can make their entire dowry, so they wait for ‘sales’.”

Mr Vipin of a store in Ghumar mandi says,” We want to get rid of suits made of cotton fabric as the season of cotton is waning. Moreover, the festival of Raksha Bandhan brings in a spurt in buying activities. Sometimes we incur small losses when we are wanting our dead stock to move, but then that is part of the business.”

Discounts are being offered by the shopkeepers in prices of airconditioners and refrigerators. The customer has to negotiate the discount though some shops have displayed the board of “Monsoon Hungama- Huge Discounts.”

But the shoppers are generally getting wary of such sales. Radha and Sunita Bhogal say,” These sales have become so stale. They are on almost throughout the year. The shopkeepers play on the psyche of women. They advertise boldly “up to 50 per cent off.” The shoppers find out that only a few things offer 50 per cent discount, while the others offer only five to 50 per cent discount. Moreover, the things sold on sale are not of good quality.”

Monica and Shaymali who travel frequently to Metros say,” Sales in Ludhiana are so boring. In Mumbai and Pune, big stores after a purchase of certain amount of goods, offer camera and watches. Certain stores ask you to deposit Rs 11,000 and offer you air tickets of the same amount plus free clothes worth Rs 5,000. Another store asks you to give your old trousers or jeans and get a rebate of Rs 200 to 300. Yet others allow the customers to mix and match and offer free gifts like imitation jewellery, vials of perfumes and many others. Why can’t they make ‘sales’ more exciting by offering more promotional schemes? What we need is a ‘change’ in ‘sale strategy’.



Ways to check milk adulteration
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 12
Coming to the rescue of public to save them from being duped by some local dairy farmers, scientists at Punjab Agricultural University have recommended a few measures to check the adulteration of milk with urea, starch and other harmful chemicals at the domestic level.

The scientists from the Department of Food, Science and Technology, College of Agriculture, have said the consumption of synthetic milk for a long time can lead to swelling of hands and feet, adverse effect on eyesight, cardio-vascular diseases and even chronic diseases such as neurological disorders, kidney and liver ailments, blindness and even cancer.

Stating this, Dr Fakir Chand Shukla, Professor in the department, said the practice of mixing synthetic milk and natural milk was an old practice. However, the malpractice had come to the knowledge of public due to exposure by the media a few days ago.

He said synthetic milk was a well-designed combination of urea, sodium bicarbonate , vegetable oil, detergent, sucrose and water. He said each component had a specific purpose. Urea was meant to replace nitrogen, vegetable oil replaced milk fat, sodium chloride was added to evade detection by a lactometer and sodium bicarbonate adjusted the alkalinity. Detergent acted as an emulsifier, he said.

Since the synthetic milk resembled dairy milk in colour and consistency, it was being used easily to adulterate milk. However, the professor said, by keen observation, the two could be distinguished. While the synthetic milk gave soapy odour on boiling, the natural milk had characteristic milky odour. When rubbed between fingers, adulterated milk gave a soapy feeling. Even the pH value varied in the two.

While dairy milk had 6.6 to 6.8 pH value, synthetic milk was alkaline with 9 to 10.5 pH value, he said. Dr Shukla said the lactometer was not a sure test for checking adulteration in milk as it simply measured the density of milk which could be altered using starch.

He said synthetic milk would always give positive tests for starch, urea, sugar and pulverised soap. He said most of these tests could be done at home by taking the help of some science student in the area at community levels.

For starch test, Dr Shukla said, 5 ml of milk could be taken in a test tube, boiled and then cooled. A few drops of 1 per cent iodine solution or tincture iodine could be added to it. Formation of blue colour was a indication of starch.

The presence of sugar could be tested using 10 ml of milk in a test tube, then adding 1 ml of concentrated hydrochloric acid and 0.1 gm of resorcinol. Mixed well, it be placed in a water bath for five minutes. Formation of red colour was a indication of the addition of sugar to milk.

For testing the presence of pulverised soap, 5 ml of milk sample be taken in a test tube. To this, 5 ml of hot water be added, followed by a few drops of phenolphthalein indicator. The appearance of pink colour was an indicator of the use of soap.

The presence of urea could be tested in two ways. To 2ml of milk, 2 ml of para dimethyl amino benzeldehyde reagent be added which was 1.6 per cent of ethyl alcohol containing 10 per cent HCl. The development of distinct yellow colour would be an indicator of the addition of urea while a fade yellow colour would indicate purity.

The second test involved the use of 0.2 ml of urease to 5 ml of milk. Shaken well, 0.1 ml of 0.5 per cent bromothymol blue solution could be added. The appearance of blue colour after 10 to 15 minutes indicated the presence of urea in milk.

Dr Shukla said though such tests required shelling out of some money ,but it would be worth spending as it could prevent one from getting duped. He said if such tests proved correct, a Civil Surgeon must be informed so that strict action be taken against the adulterator.



Employees to intensify struggle
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 12
Taking strong note of sustained attacks by the government on the employees and various decisions adversely affecting their interests, the joint action committee of the government employees has decided to intensify their stir.

Giving information, the conveners of the action committee, Mr Datar Singh, Mr Sukhdev Singh Barri and Mr Ranbir Dhillon, said in a joint statement here today that in the first phase, employees of government and semi-government departments would hold protest rallies and demonstrations at district headquarters from August 13 to September 5 and a token dharna at Matka Chowk, Chandigarh, on August 26.

On August 31, all employee organisations and federations would hold a convention at Chandigarh to consolidate strength and widen the platform, followed by a state-level demonstration in the state capital on September 12. The agitating employees would continue their struggle with a massive dharna in front of the Punjab Assembly in Chandigarh on September 22, the first day of the assembly session.

The activists of the action committee said the employees were determined to put up a decisive battle against the government decisions to commute pension, curtail leave encashment from 300 days to 120 days, deny other service benefits, handover seven departments to panchayats, freeze dearness allowance and go ahead with proposal of contributory pension scheme. The action committee conveners made a fervent appeal to other bodies of the employee and trade unions to join hands in the struggle.



Workers assail Supreme Court ruling 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 12
Activists of the Construction Workers Union held a convention to dwell on the decision of the Supreme Court banning strikes by employees besides other problems being faced by workers.

Addressing the workers, Dr Arun Mitra, eminent trade unionist, and Mr D.P. Maur, president of the PAU Workers Union, said the decision had come as a bolt from the blue and had caused immense anguish among workers for whom the only easy and effective way to express their resentment was through strikes. He said there were more pressing matters to be pursued in the country and the ruling by the apex court was unfortunate.

They also urged those present to be prepared for a long fight if they were to get their problems and grievances redressed. It was felt that rights of a majority of workers were being suppressed and they were being forced to work for a pittance even though several labour and compensation laws had been enacted in their favour.

Dr Mitra also dwelled on the rampant abuse of child labour laws in the country and added that they were not only maltreated but also not paid. In many cases they were made to work by their employers for 18 to 20 hours a day. Similarly, he said the education system was a mess and the frequent fee hikes had pushed education out of the reach of the common man.

Others present on the occasion included Mr Charan Singh Sarabha, Mr O.P. Mehta, Mr Paramjit Singh Gill, Mr Amrik Singh, Mr Karamjit Singh, Bibi Barjinder Kaur and Mr T.K. Nirala.



DBA row ends; Dhanda becomes president
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 12
The warring factions in the District Bar Association have buried the hatchet and unanimously accepted Mr Harish Rai Dhanda as president of the body.
In a formula worked out by the factions, Mr Sandeep Kapoor has been made chairman of a committee assigned with the task to survey, take opinion and suggest concrete proposals for seating of those members who had not applied for the chambers committee.

Meanwhile, at a joint meeting of the Executive of the DBA and the Chambers Committee, the resignation of Mr K.R. Sikri, Mr Hemant Kalia and Mr H.L. Sethi from the committee was turned down. It was decided to request them to participate in meetings of the Chambers Committee in future.

Before the registration of case against the three supporters of Mr Dhanda on the complaint of Mr Sandeep Kapoor, the rivals of Dhanda faction were having a upper hand.

But after that things started moving in favour of Dhanda faction. On Thursday, the vice-president of the DBA gave a call for strike, claiming that Sandeep Kapoor had falsely implicated the three advocates in the case.

Forced with the circumstances, Mr Piyush Kant Jain resigned from the post of acting president, paving the way for Mr Dhanda.

Thereafter, a compromise was reached between the two factions at the office of a BJP leader-cum-advocate in the presence of a former president of the Bar.



Woman seeks action against Dr Chahal
Our Correspondent

Kharar, August 12
The case of alleged sexual harassment of Ms Sandhya Sharma, senior T.B. Laboratory Supervisor, Civil Hospital, Kharar, by Dr G.S. Chahal, state T.B. Officer, took a new turn yesterday when Ms Sharma along with her colleagues met Mr Bir Devinder Singh, local MLA and Deputy Speaker of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, here today. She gave Mr Bir Devinder Singh a written complaint demanding action against Dr Chahal.

Mr Bir Devinder Singh talked to Principal Secretary and asked him to look into the matter.

Ms Sharma reportedly alleged in her complaint that the then Secretary, Health, Mrs Rupen Deol, had constituted a sexual harassment committee headed by Dr Padma Gupta. After an inquiry Dr Chahal was indicted and action was recommended against him. She said she was directed to attend the inquiry in March 2003. Which completed its report in June, but till today no action had been taken against Dr Chahal nor had she been given a copy of the inquiry report.

Meanwhile, Dr Chahal refuted all charges and said all this had been done to defame him. 



Pedalling to Naina Devi for others
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, August 12
Fifteen youth pedal to Naina Devi Mandir to pay their obeisance during Navratras each year. They belong to lower middle class. On their way back home they said they had been going on the pilgrimage for the past six years. They pray for good health of the near and dear ones.

Randeep Singh from Mahlian village, near Tapa, said: “We never aspire for cars or mobile phones. We wish to be healthy enough to pull our own cycles.”

Sukhwinder from Pakho Kainchean, near Barnala, claimed that he had been visiting the temple for the past six years.

“My journey has always been trouble free. With the grace of Mahamaee, not even once did I have a flat tyre,” he said.

Bhola of Puhli village said every year he travelled 500 km on the cycle during Navratras. “More friends joined me this year for the Goddess had fulfilled their wish as Nachhater Singh had got elected as Sarpanch of the village. My sisters refuse to tie rakhi on my wrist if I fail to pay my obeisance to Naina Devi,” he said.



2 die in accident

Ludhiana, August 12
Two persons died and another was seriously injured when a school bus hit a motor cycle on the main road near the sugar mill in Jagraon, about 40 km from here, on Monday.

According to SHO of Sadar Jagraon police station, Jatinder Sahota, a resident of this city, with his wife and two kids were going towards Zira side in the afternoon when an oncoming school bus rammed into their motorcycle. Mr Sahota and his daughter Tina (4) died on the spot while his wife Kirti was admitted to a local nursing home in a serious condition. Gagan, one year old son of the deceased, had a providential escape. The police has registered a case and the bus driver has been arrested.



Face to face with Premee
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 12
Vishav Punjabi Sahitya Vichar Manch organised a ‘Ru-b-Ru’ with prominent progressive writer Mr Ram Lal Premee.
Mr Premee, while depicting his life and literary career, asked the fellow writers to write for the people and their socio-economic problems. He said nothing could be achieved without struggle. Prof Grewal, president of the forum, told that Mr Premee had written about one dozen books for children and adults. He was presented an award by Language Department, Punjab, and honoured by several other societies. 



Man held with charas
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 12
The Division Number 8 police arrested Rajesh Kumar, a resident of Gujjar Mal Road falling under the Kotwali police station , last night from near the dhobi ghat and allegedly recovered 100 gm of charas from his possession. The police said today that the accused was booked under Sections 20,61 and 85 of the NDPS Act.

Woman duped: On the statement of Ms. Krishna Rani, wife of Mr Mulkah Raj, a resident of Sector 7, Faridabad in Haryana, the Division Number 2 police registered a case under Section 420 of the IPC against an unknown person who met her near the Old Jail on Monday afternoon and duped her of her gold ornaments weighing 45 gm by replacing the same with ornaments made of brass. The police is on the look-out for the trickster.

Cyclist killed: The Sadar police yesterday registered a case under Sections 2879 and 304-A of the IPC on the statement of Mr Jagjit Singh, ex-sarpanch of Jassowal village, against an unknown driver of a bus (PB-11N-9513). The complainant had stated that on the evening of August 10, the suspect had hit a cyclist, Bant Singh, a resident of Majri village near Jassowal. The accused allegedly fled from there after the accident. Bant Singh, who was rushed to Civil Hospital at Malerkotla, died in the hospital the next day. No arrest has been made so far.

Chain snatched: The Sarabha Nagar police yesterday registered a case under Section 379 of the IPC on the statement of Ms Usha Rani, wife of Late Ramesh Singla, a resident of Nawan Mohalla near Lakkar Bazar, against five unknown women. The complainant had stated that the unknown women, who were travelling with her in a three-wheeler on the afternoon of August 5, snatched her gold chain. No arrest has been made so far.

Thieves booked: Acting on a tip-off, the Shimla Puri police registered a case under Sections 379,420,4657,468,471 and 120-B of the IPC yesterday against Naresh Kumar, alias Nesha, a resident of Sagar Pur, New Delhi, Raj Kumar, alias Raju, a resident of Kanhaya Nagar, New Delhi, Shankar, a resident of Maya Puri, New Delhi and Surinder Mali, who lives near the bus stand, Gurgaon and Malta, owner of Malta Tour and Travels near Jeewan Park in Janakpuri, New Delhi. A ccording to the police the case had beenregistered on the basis of specific information that the accused were stealing vehicles and selling those with forged documents. No arrest has been made so far.

House burgled: The Model Town police registered a case under Sections 457 and 380 of the IPC yesterday on the statement of Mr Ajay Singla, a resident of Model Town, against unknown person(s) who allegedly broke open the lock of his house sometime between 6 pm and 8 pm on August 10 and decamped with Rs 2,500 and gold ornaments. No arrest has been made so far.

SPO arrested: The Civil Lines police yesterday registered a case under Sections 323,224 and 2265 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Rajinder Singh, ASI, posted at Police Lines, against Hardeep Singh, alias Kaka, a resident of Barota Road and his wife Meeran, Sant Ram, a resident of Dugri and SPO Sunder Pal posted at the Police Lines. The complainant had stated that Hardeep Singh, who was lodged in the Central Jail, had been taken to old courts on Monday by a police party. On the court premises, Meeran and Sant Ram gave a cold drink to SPO Sunder Pal to divert his attention. In the meantime, Hardeep Singh managed to give a slip to the police party. The police said today that SPO Sunder Pal was arrested and later released on bail.

Assaulted: The Division Number 7 police registered a case under Sections 341,323 and 34 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Kamal, a resident of New Shiva Ji Nagar, against Deen Dyal, his son Raj Kumar, and another unknown person accompanying them. The complainant had alleged that the accused had stopped him on the road and beaten him up on July 30 last. No arrest has been made so far.

Gamblers held: The Salem Tabri police yesterday raided a gambling den in Aman Nagar and arrested Harish Kumar, a resident of Qilla Mohalla; Gurmit Singh, a resident of Kartar Nagar; Jatinder Singh, a resident of Salem Tabri; Kishan, a resident of Neta Ji Nagar; Vipan Kumar, a resident of Arya School, Salem Tabri and Raj Kumar, also a resident of Salem Tabri while they were gambling. The police said today that a sum of Rs 39,000 and a set of playing cards were seized from their possession. A case under the Gambling Act was registered against the accused.

Fake currency: The Focal Point police on Sunday registered a case under sections 489-A and 489-B of the IPC against Subrib Syam of the Panjab Housing Board Colony, Jamalpur, for possessing fake currency notes. The police said on Monday that he was absconding.

Knife seized: The police yesterday arrested Mukhtiar Singh of Narain Ganj village in Amritsar district and seized a ‘‘khamanidar’’ knife from his possession and booked him under the Arms Act.

Liquor seized: The Kotwali police on Sunday arrested Sunny Kapur, a resident of Gobind Nagar, and seized 12 bottles of country liquor from his possession. He has been booked under the Excise Act.



Apex chamber questions steel price hike
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 12
The Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry today raised 15 questions about the massive hike in the prices of steel and asked the government of India to explain as why it had remained a silent spectator so far. The chamber observed, it was a paradox that the steel exported to China was cheaper than the one supplied to the domestic industry. He pointed out, while the Indian manufactured steel is available for Rs 17,000 per metric tonne (landed cost) in China, while the same is sold here for Rs 25,000 per metric tonne.

Mr Sharma questioned the government for bailing out the five big steel plants and suffering a loss of Rs 7,000 crore. He pointed out, the government bailed out the UTI at a cost of Rs 14,500 crore, and the benefit went to 20,000 unit holders, but here in this case the benefit had gone to the select five.

The apex chamber said while the big steel plants were being given huge loans without any personal guarantors, in other cases these formalities were essential. Some of these steel manufacturers were included in the RBI's list of willful defaulters.

He said, India was the ninth most cost competitive steel producer in the world and the cast iron cost in India was just 9.24 per cent as compared to 22 per cent in China. TISCO, he said, was the world's lowest cost steel producer and still the price had gone too high. He asked as why the prices of sponge iron had gone up by about 50 per cent when India was one of the top producers of the sponge iron with a global share of 12 per cent.

He alleged that some of the big steel companies bailed out by the government had diverted the funds to power and telecom sector. He asked as why did not the government fix the minimum price of steel while bailing them out. He questioned the logic of allowing the export of steel when there was acute shortage in the domestic market.

Mr Sharma revealed that the steel exporters were exporting the steel at 40 per cent cheaper price than the domestic steel prices. Besides, the government was giving them 20 per cent export incentive from its own exchequer and was also losing 25 per cent income tax which was exempted to exporters. He said, the steel producers had exported 137 per cent more steel to China during this year so far as compared to the total steel export during the past four years. He alleged that the steel export was being done to create scarcity in the country to "justify the loot". 



Khanna Lab opens sample collection centre

Dr Lal Path Labs Pvt Ltd, Delhi, has opened its sample collection centre at Sant Market here. Ms Taruna Manro, in charge of the centre, said it was the most trustworthy pathology laboratory in India. She said it was the first Indian laboratory to be accredited with the NABL, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India, and CAP, prestigious college of American pathologists.

She said the lab had also achieved the I S O 9001:2000 certification. OC

Ashok Leyland: The eighth service centre of Ashok Leyland, truck manufacturing company, in Punjab was inaugurated by Mr B. Khatian, General Manager of the company, here yesterday.

Mr Khatian, while addressing the gathering, said the company was proposing to introduce 23 new models to meet the diverse customers' expectations.

He said with the appointment of M/s D. R. Motors as authorised service centre in Khanna, the transport community here would get prompt service near their homes.

He said the company would give more focus on Punjab to achieve the sale target.

Mr Ranbir Singh Khatra ,a partner of M/s. D.R. Motors, said the centre would try to give better service to its customers.

Twentyone customers, who purchased new vehicles on the opening day, were honoured on the occasion by Mr Khatian.


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