Friday, October 10, 2003, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Clouds of smoke mock at eco concerns
Paddy stubble burning continues unabated
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Experts recommend machine

Scientists of the Department of Farm Power and Technology, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), have recommended a chopping machine for incorporation of paddy straw in the fields. The tractor-operated chopping machine harvests the straw and chops it for spreading in the fields in a single operation. The chopped and spreaded stubble can be buried easily in soil by the use of traditional disc harrows in two operations. It decays after irrigation. Subsequently, wheat sowing is carried out as usual.

According to Dr I.K. Garg, head, Department of Farm Power and Machinery the machine costs around Rs 25,000 and covers about 8 to 10 acres by using a 40 hp tractor. He said the incorporation of the stubble by using machine was simpler and consumed less time as compared to other methods as it could chop the straw in a single operation. He said as rice was an important crop of the state and was cultivated on an area of 2.4 million hectares, around 78 to 80 per cent area under the paddy cultivation was machine harvested by combines leaving behind enormous quantities of organic matter which was difficult to manage.

Ludhiana, October 9
Paying little heed to the repeated warnings by the environmentalists and agriculture experts for not burning the stubble of paddy, the farmers of the district are resorting to it.

Despite the fact that the experts have cautioned the farmers time and again against the burning of paddy stubble as it affects the fertility of the soil and leads to environmental pollution besides causing many diseases in human beings, the farmers, burn the stubble which is left in the fields after harvesting the crop in order to save time and labour.

While the recommended sowing time for wheat crop starts after October 25 and almost a fortnight's time is left for the farmers to prepare the fields, thus they are in a hurry and do not bother about the environment.

A survey of the villages in the district by Ludhiana Tribune revealed that the farmers, especially the ones who had harvested the paddy with threshers were burning the stubble. The smoke was visible not only in the villages but in the city also. A layer of smoke can be seen in the city around midnight.

Although most of the farmers are aware of the ill effects of burning of the stubble, they said they would think about it the next year. Mr Karnail Singh, a farmer of Barundi village said, “We know that the fire is dangerous for the fields as everytime the scientists tell us this but what should we do? We have to prepare our fields for the next crop and there is no time left for us now.”

Another farmer said if they followed the advice of the scientists to incorporate the stubble into fields by chopping it would lead to severe pest attack in the next season. They said the only successful way was to pull every root out and destroy it but this took a lot of time.

They said by burning the stubble the pests were destroyed the fields were free of stubble.

It is worth mentioning here that last year also the effects of smoke due to burning of stubble were seen in all parts of the state. the environmentalists and agricultural scientists had raised a lot of hue and cry also. But again after one year the farmers are all set to create the same conditions, not learning from their past experiences.

Doctors say that the pollution caused by the smoke is responsible for many respiratory problems as many cases of bronchitis and various other allergies are reported every year. They said eye infections were also a common aliment that was reported due to this pollution.

Dr G.S. Nanda, Director Research of PAU, said the university had recommended that the farmers should get rid of the stubble by other means. He said burning in the fields caused the loss of micronutrients present in the top layer of soil, death of microorganisms and other organisms, which were friendly for the farmers besides causing environmental pollution. He said that the best method was to incorporate the stubble in the fields by chopping it in small pieces.



Wife’s paramour held for murder
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 9
Cracking of a murder case and arrest of the accused within 24 hours of the crime by the Jagraon police has once again exposed the close link between crime and sex. After the body of Mr. Amarijit Singh, a Dalit, was found near a brick kiln on the road running between villages Thallan to Mallan near Jagraon last Tuesday, it was initially taken to be a case of hit and run. But investigations by the police claim that the paramour of the deceased’s wife killed the man.

The Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Mr Mukhwinder Singh Chinna, has disclosed that Mr. Amarjit Singh was killed because he came to know about the illicit relations of his wife Charanjit Kaur with Lakhbir Singh Lakkhi for whom both Amarjit and his wife worked.

According to the police, Amarjit got employed with Lakhbir Singh as a ‘seri’ (farm manager), while Charanjit Kaur got employment to take care of the cattle on Amarjit’s farm. As Amarjit was allegedly a drug addict, Lakhbir Singh lured Charanjit Kaur by offering her some financial help. But as the news of the illicit relations between his wife and employer reached Amarjit, he not only quit the job, but persuaded his wife to follow suit.

Since, Charanjit Kaur did not comply with her husband’s directives of quitting the job, an infuriated Amarjit went to the house of Lakhbir Singh on Monday last. The two had an altercation after which, Lakhbir with the help of another employee Ranjit Kumar tied Amarjit to his tractor and drove him away outside the village. On the Thallan - Mallan road, Amarjit was done to death with a spade.

Initially, the wounds on the back and the neck of Amarjit pointed towards death in a ‘hit and run case’. But investigations by Inspector Mohinder Kumar and ASI Mukhtiar proved otherwise. The police have registered a case and arrested the accused.

Meanwhile, in yet another case, the Khanna police have registered a case for causing death by burning for dowry. According to information available, one Hardeep Kaur was burnt to death on October 7 last by her in-laws when her parents failed to meet their demands for dowry.

According to the Khanna police, the matter is being investigated. According to the complaint of Natha Singh, a resident of Haans Kalan village in Jagraon, the in-laws of Hardeep conspired to kill her and were successful in their efforts. The accused include Harjinder Singh, Paramjit Kaur, Beant Kaur, Manpreet Kaur all residents of village Buani in the same area. No arrest has been made so far.

The Ludhiana police, too, have claimed to have arrested 35 proclaimed offenders in a bid to reduce crime in the city. This has been done on the day when three two-wheeler borne miscreants successfully looted a gas agency of Rs 23, 000 on the Sahnewal - Ramgarh road.

The SSP Ludhiana, Mr. Narinder Pal Singh, said that the special proclaimed offender wing of the police had arrested 35 P.Os in September, while during the last nine months 354 P.Os had been nabbed. Since the inception of the wing in 2001, 1435 P.Os had been caught, out of which 194 had been booked under Sections 82 and 83 CrPC and 1241 under Sections 299 of the same Act.



MC to give facelift to industrial belts
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, October 9
The Municipal Corporation has embarked upon a comprehensive plan to give a facelift to the industrial belts in the mega city. The Rs 5.50 crore plan would envisage massive repair and resurfacing of all major roads in Focal Point, Industrial Area A and B, Industrial Estate and Textile Colony, improvement in drainage and sewerage system, providing streetlights and development of green belts. The targeted date for completion of the project was Dec 31, 2003.

The MC Commissioner, Mr S.K. Sharma, who went round the industrial belts in the city, accompanied by City Mayor, Mr Nahar Singh Gill, on Tuesday so as to assess the kind of amenities and infrastructure required in these areas, told Ludhiana Tribune that the tenders for the work involving surfacing and repair of roads had been invited while those for maintenance of parks were in the process of being finalised. While the work on roads was expected to be taken in hand by the end of this month, steps were also being taken to make the existing streetlights functional and provide new ones where needed.

Mr Sharma said that the problem of drainage, inadequate sewerage system and stagnating industrial effluent needed to be tackled on priority so that roads, once resurfaced and repaired, were not damaged against by waterlogging. "We have asked the Punjab State Small Industries and Export Corporation, who had developed the industrial areas, to provide detailed maps of sewerage network so that the work for extension of capacity, if desirable, can be taken up simultaneously."

At many places, he observed, the industrial units were dumping fuel waste and draining out effluent in vacant sites or even on roads, which not only caused environmental damage and inconvenience to the people but also led to intensive damage to the roads. He made it clear that while the MC was committed to provide better infrastructure and amenities to the industrial community, the menace of dumping waste material, fuel residue or effluent on roads would be strictly checked and the civic body might invoke penal action under relevant rules against the offenders to keep the roads and surroundings in industrial belts clean.

Mr Sharma indicated that a survey had been ordered to know the extent of temporary and permanent encroachments on roads, bylanes, green belts and other vacant sites in the industrial belts. Once the survey was completed, stern measures would be initiated to clear the encroachments and no one would be spared, he added.



Gas agency looted
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, October 9
Sahnewal Gas Agency, owned by Mr Pawanpreet Singh, son of a former Member Parliament, Ms Rajinder Kaur Bulara, was looted by three armed robbers in broad daylight, this afternoon.

Mr Pawanpreet Singh said the robbers, one of whom was wearing a helmet, another a monkey-cap and the third with covered face, came on a scooter without number. They parked the scooter outside the agency, entered the agency and demanded cash from the gas agency employee.

The agency employee, Bheem, said they forcibly took away Rs 23,000 from the drawer, snatched his mobile phone and snapped the telephone lines by cutting wires. He also said that they fired two shots from the pistols they were carrying.

A police party led by Mr B.S. Dhillon, DSP, and Mr Gurbaj Singh, SHO, Sahnewal, reached the spot for investigation and a case was yet to be registered till the filing of the report.

According to police sources, employees of the agency, doubting the credentials of a few persons, roaming near the agency, had rung up the police in the morning, and a police party was sent to the spot. Sensing no danger, the police party returned to the police station. The looting incident took place at 1.30 p.m.

It may be noted that the house of Ms Rajinder Kaur Bulara, too, had been burgled by one of her servants along with four labourers a few months ago while she was away with her family to spend her summer vacations at Kasauli.



YC activists burn PM’s effigy
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 9
Protesting against the vindictive policies of the NDA government in the Centre, led by Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and political vendetta against Mr Ajit Jogi, Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh, activists of the Youth Congress today organised a demonstration at Clock Tower Chowk and burnt an effigy of Mr Vajpayee. Mr Devinder Singh Babbu, state president, and Mr Pawan Diwan, senior vice-president, led the protesters.

Speaking at the occasion, Mr Babbu charged the NDA government with politically motivated action against Mr Jogi to sully his image as the Assembly elections were at hand. He said the Congress and YC workers were fully prepared to meet all challenges and every conspiracy, being hatched by the NDA allies, would be exposed. “The ruling alliance is feeling frustrated over the mass support being extended to the Congress and sensing its imminent defeat in forthcoming elections, the key Congress functionaries are being attacked in a systematic manner.”

He said the people of the country were eager to install Ms Sonia Gandhi as the next Prime Minister and they were waiting for the next Lok Sabha elections to give practical shape to their wish to throwout the unholy alliance of the NDA, headed by the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Addressing the party workers, Mr Diwan lambasted the Union Government for its failure to deal with challenges on different fronts. The weak-kneed policies had resulted in the reorganisation of militant groups in several parts of the country. Referring to the case registered against Mr Jogi, he said it was an attempt to vilify the blotless image of the Chief Minister and to draw political mileage in the coming poll.

Later, the YC activists submitted a memorandum to the President of India through the Additional Deputy Commissioner, Mr Rahul Bhandari, asking him to intervene and stop the NDA government from misusing its official position for political purposes. They called for effective steps against the use of the CBI and other such agencies for settling political scores.

Prominent among others present at the occasion were Mr Jaswinder Singh Saabi, Mr Jarnail Singh Grewal, Mr Akshay Bhanot, Mr Jaspreet Singh, Mr Guriqbal Singh Sekhon, Mr Navneesh Malhotra, Mr Munish Tandon, Mr Baljit Malra, Mr Manmohan Vohra, Mr Jaswinder Singh Dilawari, Mr Charanjit Singh Sonu, Mr Prince Sharma, Mr Prem Passi, Mr R.S. Yadav and Mr Gaganjot Singh.



No escape from ‘noise’ demon
D.B. Chopra

Ludhiana, October 9
The absence of traffic lights at Ghanta Ghar Chowk, one of the busiest spots in the old city, leads to chaos in the area especially during peak traffic houses. Blaring horns and impatient road users shouting to make way for themselves add to the noise pollution. All this noise is enough to give a headache to anyone.

Things are no different in the other parts of the city also. Close to the old monument, a fruit seller tries to raise his voice to beat the others in this game but cannot be heard very far. A little farther, a lottery seller beckons passersby by waving the Divali bumper tickets in one hand and shouting. He too is hardly noticed as the volume of noise, which is generated within a radius of few meters around the Ghanta Ghar, is ear-splitting, to say the least.

Even the expansive Rose Garden, supposed to be a serene spot, is no better as the noise follows one everywhere. Even the so-called silence zones near hospitals are not spared. It is not only the indiscriminate use of horns that raises the decibel level but there are several other sources which contribute to the jarring cacophony.

Since the city had hundreds of industrial units in its residential areas apart from the Industrial areas and the Focal Point, residents of some areas such as Buta Shah Mandi in the old city and Haibowal in the outer city, have to bear the round-the-clock noise. Various representations submitted by them to the district administration from time to time to get ‘ this or that factory’ closed down because of noise-pollution and environmental degradation have had no effect.

During the tenure of the former SSP, Mr H.S. Sidhu, “holy” noise , which was generated from various religious places and marriage palaces , had come down to an appreciable level. But now this is again on the rise. Places of worship apart, lot of religious activity, which goes on in the city throughout the year, including shobha yatras , nagar kirtans and bhandaras on auspicious occasions, also add to the noise pollution.

Though the city traffic police is usually on a challan-spree, it has seldom challaned a four-wheeler driver for blaring a pressure horn.

Senior citizens, suffering from one ailment or the other, the student community and the other sound-sensitive citizens are the worst hit on account of the escalating levels of noise in the city. In a city that emits a constant cacophony, deafness is surely a bliss.



Designer labels lure city’s elite
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, October 9
Women have had a soft corner for jewellery and clothes but Ludhiana women do not mind spending thousands of rupees in a single day on these things especially during the festive season. The city is in the grip of festive shopping these days and if the rush at the showrooms is any indication, then the shopkeepers are indeed getting good returns.

Mr Sonu Nilibar of Nilibar said,”This time, the buyers have the shopping spirit. Our clientele is not limited to the upper strata only, we have all kinds of customers. As the festival of “Karva Chauth” is approaching, the daughter-in-laws as well as mother-in-laws are busy buying sarees, suits and dresses. We have recently launched the designer wear of five leading designers which are quite affordable and people are demanding and buying these outfits”.

Mr Bitta, who has recently opened his showroom on the Cemetery Road said,”Fashions come and go but the sarees always remain the hot-favourite among women. More than 65 per cent of our clients demand sarees. They won’t mind spending a good amount on a saree but there should be a good range, variety, colour combination. Saree has always remained the epitome of feminine grace and elegance. Today, women prefer good and elegant work and embroideries. Georgette and crepes are much in vogue”, said Mr Bitta.

Ms Neha Aggarwal, a shopper, said bright colours were in this season. “Antique work is very much in and the buyers prefer to get something unique. Earlier, there was a trend of dabka and salma hand embroidery but now a variety of new works like gota-patti, mirrors and bead work are in demand. I wanted to wear something which leading models had displayed in the Bridal-Asia show in Delhi. It was Ritu Kumar’s collection”, said Neha.

Ms Charu, another buyer said “karva-chauth” had great importance in Hindu religion. While buying jewellery from a showroom or the Mall Road, she said, “I have come here to buy something for my mother-in-law. I usually give her sarees or suit material, but this time, I want to present here with something in gold, though the price of the yellow metal is at an all time high during this season but I feel that there should be some change”.

One shopkeeper at Chaura Bazaar, however complained that the rich class wanted to buy things only from big showrooms. “Customers come and ask for particular brands. We do not have such designer labels but they stress on buying particular items. So such customers are lost. Today, in the city itself, showrooms have collection of designers like JJ Vallaya, Ritu Kumar, Sabhyasachi, Suneet Varma we can not compete with them because they cater to upper class only”, he said.



Park managements complain to PSHRC
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, October 9
The Federation of Park Management Committees has complained to the Punjab State Human Rights Commission that the Principal Secretary, Department of Local Bodies, Punjab, has not implemented the orders of the commission and the arrears of the park management committees due from the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation have not been paid to them so far.

Mr S.S. Channa, President of the Federation, has moved another application before the Punjab State Human Rights Commission seeking direction to the Principal Secretary, Department of Local Bodies, Punjab, for immediate release of arrears of the complainants at the contract rate of Rs 1 per sq meter.

The PSHRC, taking cognizance of the petition of the federation, had observed vide its order passed on August, 2003, that ‘after carefully considering the entire material on record the commission shares the concern and anxiety of the public regarding the alarmingly high level of pollution in Ludhiana and continuous deterioration and degradation of environment. Unless immediate and concerted efforts are made people would be made to suffer disastrous consequences. The quality of life would become unsustainable. Under Section 12 of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993, right to dignity of life has been accorded special position. There can be no proper dignity in life if we allow unchecked pollution and environmental degradation.’

The commission further observed: ‘The commission would expect that the government would accord highest possible priority to this all important matter. Municipal Commissioner, Ludhiana, in particular, would ensure that its parks and green belts are properly maintained so as to allow the inhabitants to have full benefit of well maintained public open spaces . The Principal Secretary, Local Government, shall intimate to the commission within three months of the receipt of this order as to what specific short-term and long-term measures are being contemplated to ensure high quality of maintenance of public parks’.

Mr S.S. Channa, following the order of the commission, wrote to the secretary, Local Government, Punjab, on August 22 requesting him to immediately order the release of the payments of dues up to date to the PMCS which are continuing the maintenance of parks entrusted to them at the rate of Rs. 1/- per sq meter along with an interest on delayed payment within a period of 15 days. He further sought payment of dues to the PMCS which could not continue maintenance work in their parks for want of funds, for the remaining period of their agreements.

Mr Channa also urged the Secretary, Local Bodies that the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation be restrained from awarding the maintenance of parks, which are being maintained by the PMCS and allowing the PMCS to continue with the work under existing arrangement.

Mr Channa told this reporter here today that the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation owed about Rs 70 lakh to the park management committees.

Mr Channa said that the Federation of Park Management Committees had no objection in giving the parks on contract but the Municipal Corporation must ensure that the quality of maintenance of parks was of the highest order as was being done by the PMCS.



Patwaris stage dharna
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 9
In response to a call given by the Patwar Union, Punjab, patwaris staged a dharna at the tehsil complex in mini-secretariat here today in support of their demands.
Addressing the protesters, the tehsil unit chief of the union, Mr Bhinderpal Singh, condemned the anti-employees policies of the government under which the leave encashment at the time of retirement was curtailed to 120 days, vacant posts abolished and pension computation system altered to cause financial loss to the employees. He warned the government that the patwaris would be forced to further intensify the struggle if these decision were not favourably reviewed.

Among others spoke at the dharna were Mr Varinder Kumar, Mr Balbir Singh, Mr Satinderpal Singh, Mr Kuldip Singh, Mr Ravinder Kumar, Mr Ashwani Kumar, Mr Charanjit Singh, Mr Harcharan Singh and Mr Ashok Kumar.



Experts to improve traffic management
Our Correspondent

Khanna, October 9
“Traffic management system in Khanna will be improved with the help of experts from Guru Nanak Dev University Amritsar and Police Academy Phillaur”, the SSP, Khanna, Mr Kapil Dev stated this while addressing mediapersons at a meeting of the local Press Club. The meeting was organised at the Golden Grain Club on Wednesday.

The traffic system in Khanna specially that on the G.T. Road is in the bad shape for the past few months. Most of the traffic lights are out of order and encroachments alongside the road were hampering the movement of traffic.

Giving priority to traffic problem the SSP said an expert in the field from Police Academy Phillaur, Mr Sham Sunder Juneja, has been requested to visit Khanna. He said the Vice-Chancellor of Guru Nanak Dev University had been requested to send a team of Town and Planning Department. He said a survey had been conducted two years ago by the students of the department about traffic problems in the city.

He said the in charge of the department Balwinder Singh would visit the city with the survey report and amendments would be made after taking suggestions from residents and officials concerned of the city. The meeting was attended by 20 members of the Club.



Shobha yatra taken out
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 9
A shobha yatra, which started from Daresi Valmiki Gate, was taken out in the city today as part of the birthday celebrations of Bhagwan Valmiki. It was organised by the Valmiki Dharam Samaj.
Elephants and horses decked up in bright clothes, school bands, tableaux, teams performing gatkas, bhangras and dandiyas and a large number of devotees reciting couplets from Ramayana were all integral part of the yatra.

The ceremonial flag was hoisted by the chief organiser, Dr Dev Singh Assur, while the sacred flame was lit by Mr Charanjit Singh Atwal, a former Deputy Speaker, Vidhan Sabha.

The yatra passed through various parts, including Mali Ganj Chowk, Pratap Bazaar, Meena Bazaar and Mata Rani Chowk.

Throughout the route, roads were decorated with buntings. Various market committees had set up stages to welcome the yatra and provide refreshments to devotees.



Fruit carvings demonstrated

Ludhiana, October 9.
Women of the city had the unique opportunity of learning how to carve out designer flowers from ordinary vegetables and fruits. All these creations were displayed at a hotel here today. The executive chef of the hotel, Sudhanshu Rajhans, displayed his art in an innovative way by carving fruits like apple and papaya in exotic shapes and designs OC



Halwarvi’s death mourned

Samrala, October 9
Two minutes silence was observed today by local mediapersons on the demise of Mr Harbhjan Singh Halwarvi, a former Editor, Punjabi Tribune, and Editor, Desh Sewak. The president of the Press Club, Mr Raju Makkar, and other members remembered Halwarvi’s contribution towards journalism. OC



Two killed in mishaps
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 9
On the statement of Mr Jagtar Singh, a resident of Sarinh village, the Sadar police yesterday registered a case under Sections 279 and 304-A of the IPC against Parshottam Lal, a resident of the same village. The complainant stated that the accused, who was driving a mini-bus, had hit his father, Mr Darshan Singh, who later succumbed to his injuries on October 6.

The Jodhewal police also registered a similar case on the statement of Mr Girdhari Lal Paswan, a resident of Kuldeep Nagar, against Surjit Singh, a resident of Jai Shakti Nagar. The complainant stated that the accused, who was driving a truck, had hit his brother Ram Narain, who died later on.

Dowry case: The Haibowal police yesterday registered a case under Sections 406 and 498-A of the IPC on the statement of Ms Jasvir Kaur, daughter of Mr Teja Singh, a resident of Laddian Khurd village, against her husband Satnam Singh, father-in-law Versa Singh, mother-in-law Jagir Kaur and brother-in-law Bhagwan Singh, all residents of Zirakpur. The woman alleged that after her marriage on February 4, 1990, the accused had been harassing her mentally and physically and demanding more dowry. No arrest has been made so far.

Case registered: The Haibowal police has registered a case under Sections 295, 506, 427 and 120-B of the IPC on the statement of Sai Prem Singh, head, Baba Sanet Shah Bali Memorial, Haibowal Khurd, against Abdul Shakur Rustam Kumber, Sukh Shan Ali and three others. The complainant stated that the accused demolished the ‘mazzar’ of Baba Sanet Bali Shah on Wednesday.

Assaulted: The Sadar police registered a case yesterday under Sections 325 and 34 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Joginder Singh, a resident of Nawan Khera Bet village, against Niku, Nandi, Latti Singh and Manjit Kaur, all residents of the same village. The complainant said the accused assaulted him on September 30.

The Salem Tabri police has registered a case under Sections 341, 323 and 506 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Jatinder Singh, a resident of Gurnam Nagar, against Upinderjit Singh, a resident of Jalandhar. The complainant stated that the accused had assaulted him.

Cases of theft: The Shimla Puri police yesterday registered a case under Section 380 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Ujagar Singh, a resident of Guru Gobind Singh Nagar, against unknown person(s) who entered into his house and took away a colour TV on Sunday.

Another case of theft was registered under Sections 457 and 380 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Paramjit Singh, a resident of Mohalla Satguru Nagar, against Lalkhwinder Singh, a resident of the same area. The complainant stated that the accused had stolen a colour TV and a watch from his house on September 30.

Liquor seized: The Sahnewal police yesterday arrested Samlu Parshad Gupta, a migrant from UP, from Mann Garh village and seized 74 bottles of liquor from his possession. He was booked under the Excise Act.



BSNL to launch WLL services
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 9
Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) will launch its WLL phone services in the first week of November. In the first phase of its launching, as many as 800 WLL connections would be installed in the city, 200 in Khanna and 7,500 lines in other outstation areas of Ludhiana. He said around 11 of the total 17 towers had already been installed for the purpose and the remaining work would be completed soon.

Mr G.S. Julka, General Manager, made this announcement while inaugurating the 26th online cash counter at New Sabzi Mandi on Karabara Road here today. He said student Power Connection-99 scheme was getting full response and Ludhiana had topped among all other districts in the Punjab circle. He said as many as 2000 connections had already been installed under the scheme.

Mr Julka said while earlier the subscribers had to wait in long queues outside the post offices, their problem would be solved by the opening of online cash counters. He said the facility was becoming very popular. Mr Suresh Chander Badal, Deputy General Manager, said through these counters, the customers would also be able to get new connections and cash cards.



Mutual fund office opened
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 9
JM Mutual Fund today opened its branch in the city.
Commenting on the inauguration of the branch, Mr Krishnamurthy Vijayan, CEO, JM Mutual Fund, said the branch would provide the company with a platform to offer efficient and personalised services to the retail investors in the city and surrounding towns. “Our Chief Financial Advisers are already present in Bhatinda, Ferozepore, Faridkot, Hoshiarpur, Jalandhar, Kapurthala, Nawanshahr, Patiala and Phagwara. JM Mutual’s schemes have far received a warm welcome from the people of Punjab.”

He said JM Mutual currently had 14 branches in key cities across the country and there were plans to extend the branch network to cover around 20 more cities.



Pahwa group sweeps cycle body poll
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 9
The group led by prominent industrialist Mr G.L. Pahwa made a clean sweep in the elections to the United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association (UCPMA), the biggest representative body of the manufacturers and traders of bicycles and parts. The group won all but one of the eight posts. The election of office-bearers was held here last evening in which as many as 1524 members out of a total 1688 exercised their right to vote.

Tempers were running high as the battle for oneupmanship between the contenders and their supporters from the two groups continued the entire evening even as the polling was in progress.

Following allegations and counter allegations of bogus polling, the Pahwa group, at one time, threatened to boycott the electoral process. However, timely intervention by the police and diplomatic handling of the situation by the presiding officer, Mr Shakti Sharma, saved the situation from taking an ugly turn.

Except for Mr Pradeep Kumar Bittu, who lost election for the post of secretary to Mr Pradeep Wadhawan of the group, headed by the outgoing president Mr D.S. Chawla, all other candidates fielded by the Pahwa group emerged victorious. Mr Pahwa defeated Mr Chawla by a margin of 147 votes while Mr Inderjit Singh Navyug trounced Mr Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria for the post of senior vice-president by a margin of 269 votes.

Mr Manmohan Singh Ubhi (vice-president), Mr Varinder Kapoor (general secretary), Mr Rajinder Singh Pappu (joint secretary), Mr Ajit Kumar (propaganda secretary) and Mr Subhash Madan (treasurer), all from the Pahwa group were also declared elected.

The new president of the body, Mr Pahwa said he was overwhelmed with the support extended to him by the members of cycle trade and industry and assured that he would do everything possible to do justice to the responsibility entrusted to him. Among the tasks ahead, were the implementation of UNIDO/UNDP project for bicycle industry in the city, power tariff and power related problems, sales tax issues, including exim form, preparing the domestic industry to face challenges of WTO and China, upgradation of technology and manufacturing processes and availability, as well as prices of basic raw material, he added.


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