L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Rs 100-cr MC plan for development
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, November 14
The Municipal Corporation has unfolded an ambitious plan for intensive infrastructure development in the city which includes construction of subways, flyovers, beautification of entry points, installation of new digital traffic lights, total coverage of street lights, both in the declared and undeclared areas and surfacing of unpaved roads in undeclared colonies of the city at an estimated cost of Rs 100 crore.

Elaborating the plan, which would be a big step forward towards expansion of major infrastructure facilities in the mega city, the MC Commissioner, Mr S.K. Sharma told Ludhiana Tribune that that the city had a total road network of 2810 km which included 1400 km of black-top surfaced roads, 410 km of cement concrete top and another 800 km of brick paved roads. A comprehensive survey had revealed that around 200 km length of unpaved (kuchha) roads existed in undeclared areas which would be surfaced at a cost of Rs 9 crore.

Similarly, to provide total coverage of street lights in the city, both in the declared and undeclared areas, a sum of Rs 24.82 crore was proposed to be spent. The plan, expected to be put into effect by the end of next year, would envisage installation of 14,500 new street light points in declared colonies and 12,000 points in undeclared areas.

Several other proposed special projects in different stages of preliminary survey, planning, invitation of bids and execution, were construction of five sub-ways on the National Highway (G.T. Road) from Sherpur Chowk to Jalandhar bypass at an expenditure of Rs 2 crore, construction of sub-ways on Ferozepore road at Bharat Nagar Chowk, Mini Secretariat and Aggar Nagar at a cost of Rs 2.5 crore, beautification of Rakh Bagh, including construction of officers’ club and installation of a musical fountain at a cost of Rs 2.5 crore, development of Leisure Valley at a cost of Rs 1 crore, development of park along Chandigarh road at a cost of Rs 1.20 crore, beautification of seven entry points to the city at an expense of Rs 70 lakh, installation of new traffic lights at a cost of Rs 30 lakh, creation of parking facilities at a cost of Rs 40 lakh and plantation including procurement of tree guards at an expenditure of Rs 1.05 crore.

Mr Sharma observed that in the wake of phenomenal increase in the vehicle population in the city, the MC was aware of the increasing need for better roads, infrastructure, traffic management and enforcement to ensure smooth flow of vehicular traffic on the highways and within the city. While work was already on for construction of a flyover at Dholewal chowk, an elevated road from Jagraon bridge to Chand Cinema and a motorable bridge in place of Lakkar Pul (to be integrated with elevated road), the civic body had prepared conceptual plans for a flyover on Gill chowk with an estimated cost of Rs 11 crore and a flyover with under pass at Samrala chowk at a tentative cost of Rs 42 crore.


Bauria gang involved in 85 dacoities
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 14
The busting of an inter-state gang of dacoits, consisting of Bauria tribesmen, is proving to be a windfall for the local police as investigations have revealed their alleged involvement in as many as 85 different cases occurring in several states of the country.

One after another more and more victims are identifying the culprits as responsible for crimes committed against them. As a result of the latest investigation, the gang, which was so far being held responsible for dacoities in Punjab, Delhi and Haryana only, has now been found highly active in Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal and parts of Bihar also.

For further investigations, five teams of the local police have been dispatched to different states. Apart from meeting other suspected victims of the dacoits, the teams would verify all the unsolved robbery and dacoity cases in those state, especially those where the modus operandi of the crime matched the one adopted by the alleged gang.

Confirming the gang’s involvement in as many as 85 cases, the city SSP Narinder Pal Singh told Ludhiana Tribune that the gang was not being implicated in one case after another.

He said the accused were taken to the different cities, where they had allegedly committed crimes. The victims identified the accused and only then they were nominated in more cases.

He revealed that the gangsters were ruthless in the execution of the crime. The pleading of victims to not physically harm them fell on deaf ears as the accused beat several victims to death.

The gang was busted early this month by the Ludhiana police. Fourteen members of the 32-member-gang were arrested. The remaining have absconded.

Police sources disclosed that teams were raiding different places in north and central India as the alleged gangsters were found involved in crime cases taking pace there.

Initially, the accused were found involved in 30 cases. Then 22 more cases of Haryana were detected. The latest investigation has found their involvement in 31 more cases taking the tally to 85.


Firm fined Rs 5 lakh for duty evasion
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 14
After sitting for more than three years on an excise duty evasion case worth Rs 1 crore, the local Central Excise Commissionerate has taken action against a local company for evading excise duty by fraudulent means. It has imposed a penalty of Rs 5 lakh on the firm and directed it to pay the evaded amount of duty along with interest.

The action comes after more than three years when the premises of the firm were raided by the department. The Commissionerate has imposed a penalty of Rs 5 lakh on the Managing Director of the firm under Rule 209A and demanded a payment of appropriate interest under Section 11-B of the Excise Act.

The firm has, however, been given three months to appeal against the decision. According to the sources, the premises of the company were raided on July 11, 2000 after a secret information to the department which was recorded vide Secret Code no. 001 (dated 10.7. 2000). The firm was raided by a team of the department led by its Superintendent R.S. Multani on the directions of Deputy Commissioner, Central Excise Division-I, Mr Jagir Singh.

Sources disclosed that the company in question was evading the excise duty as it used to obtain duty free import licenses for the import of acrylic fibres from various countries including Japan, Malaysia and other countries for the use of said fibres for processing in the spinning mills. These fibres were then used for hosiery goods. Interestingly the firm was owned by the son of a retired higher official of the excise department.

Interestingly the MD of the firm had, in his voluntarily tendered statement on the spot stated that they were mainly engaged in manufacture and export of knitwear and readymade garments and they were importing Acrylic yarn fibres and dyes under the DEEC scheme. The acrylic fibre after import was sent for spinning into Acrylic yarn to various units and a part of its was used in their own units.

According to sources, the firm had evaded more than Rs 98 lakh in the form of excise duty.

The complainant who had informed the department of duty evasion with documentary proofs was promised an award but he has not been given anything till date.

Talking to The Tribune on the condition of anonymity, he said that he had risked his life to provide the information to the department which had promised a reward of Rs 25,000 to him. He added that even after three years the officials had not give him a single penny.


Kids’ day out in school
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 14
The management of BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar, gave a unique gift to their students on Children’s Day today.

The students were given the booklet titled ‘Flights of Fancy’ containing paintings, posters, poems, letters and essays on Pandit Nehru which they had penned themselves. A few days back, the school authorities had told the children to contribute some items for Children’s Day. These were then compiled and printed. The cover page included a painting by a student, Akshet Jethi of Class III. The school also organised an inter-school declamation contest.

To mark the day, a cultural function was organised jointly by the Post and Telegraph Department, Ludhiana Philatelic Club, Lions Clubs and Ludhiana Citizen Council at General Post Office here today. Mr Harnam Dass Johar, Minister for Higher Education, presided over the function and inaugurated a stamp exhibition of rare stamps on Braille, embroidery, chocolate, modern arts, flora and fauna, butterflies, saints and several unusual themes.

Mr Anurag Verma, Deputy Commissioner, inaugurated a stamp painting competition, in which students from 10 schools drew paintings on ‘My village’, ‘My city’ and My town’. Mr Yashpal Bangia, general secretary of the club, said a philatelic vidyalaya and a stamp library would be set up soon.

Celebrating Children’s Day, Satluj Club organised painting, fancy dress and rangoli competitions. The club donated Rs 25,000 each to various social organisations such as Ek Prayas School, Nirdosh School, Deaf and Dumb School, Thalasaemmia Society and Aashirwad.

At Pearls Nursery School, Gurdev Nagar, children came dressed up like leaders. A painting competition was held, in which Ravleen was given the first prize, Ishan was declared second and Amitoj stood third. Mr Amarjit Singh Sial, Regional Manager, Modistone, was the chief guest. Later, children played musical chairs and parcel game. Sweets and chocolates were distributed.

Students of Pumpkins Kindergarten organised sports day. There were various events such as recognition race and hop race. Ms Manjit Sodhia, former Principal of Government College for Women, was the chief guest. Ms Belie Kler, Principal, gave away prizes to the winners.

Activities like dance, antakshri and drawing marked Children’s Day celebrations at New Senior Secondary School, Civil Lines. Mr Sunil Maria, president of school managing committee, told the students about the life and teachings of Pandit Nehru. Ms Varun Lata Patel, Headmistress, gave sweets to all the students.

Folk song, folk dance and fancy dress shows were held at Bhartiya Vidya Mandir, Civil Lines. Sahil, Jatin, Nitin and Kishanjit won prizes for folk song. Prince, Akshit, Namita and Shruti won prizes in folk dance competition. For fancy dress, Shweta, Rozan and Sanchit were declared the winners. An exhibition of best out of waste products was organised on the occasion.

A fancy dress show was held at Swiss International Public School. Children came dressed up like watermelon, pineapple, onion, cabbage and carrot. Ms Daisy Pruthi, Principal, told them to shun junk food and consume healthy and nutritious food. Prizes were given to Aditya, Inayat, Vishwas, Gobind, Jasmine, Nonu, Naman and Pragun.

Students of Harsh Vidya Mandir participated in a cultural show. Students of SKN Model High School presented a choreography on Pandit Nehru. Speech and poetry recitation competitions were held at Shishu Vatika, Civil Lines. A fancy dress show was held at Jain public Senior Secondary School. For the children of St Bawra Public High School, frog races, one-legged race and lemon races were held. Students of Child Heart Day Boarding School cut a cake to observe birth anniversary of Chacha Nehru.

Various activities like cultural show, lucky draw and extempore contests were held at Kundan Vidya Mandir. Students Sacred Heart Convent Senior Secondary School, Sarabha Nagar, invited the children from Ek Prayas, a school for special children, as special guests for the Children’s Day function. Magic shows, fancy dress and skits were presented. A fancy dress show was held at Jesus Sacred Heart School, South City.

A bal mela was also held at Bhartiya Vidya Mandir, Kitchlew Nagar. A painting competition was held at Government Girls’ High School, Ramgarh, Samrala Road. Kids of Spring Dale School celebrated with a fancy dress show. A cultural show was held at Government High School, Salem Tabri, and SDP Senior Secondary School, Basti Jodhewal. A cooking competition was held at Greenland Senior Secondary School. An art and craft contest was held at GMT Senior Secondary School, Jalandhar bypass.

Members of the All-India Bairagi Maha Mandal distributed copies among needy students. Members of the District Congress Committee paid tributes to Jawaharlal Nehru.


Children’s Day celebrated
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 14
Nehru Sidhant Kender Trust celebrated the 114th birth anniversary of Jawaharlal Nehru here today. Students from various schools and colleges and eminent citizens participated . Mr Khushhal Bahl, Education Minister, Punjab, was the chief guest. Floral tributes were paid by the trustees and chief guests to Pandit Nehru.

Sat Paul Mittal National Award for outstanding service to humanity for the year 2003 was presented to SOS Children’s Villages, New Delhi and Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement, Mysore.

MANDI AHMEDGARH: Sanatan Vidya Mandir Senior Secondary School, Dayanand Adarsh Vidyalaya, MGMN Senior Secondary School, Janta College for Women, Kennedy Public School, Lal Bahadur Shastry Public School, Guru Nanak Kanya Mahavidyalaya, J.M. Shri Kundan Kanya Mahavidyalaya Anand Isher Senior Secondary School, Government Senior Secondary School, Kanganwal, and Government Senior Secondary School, Latala, were some of the institutes where Children’s Day was celebrated.

SAMRALA: Students of DAV Public School and Punjab Public School celebrated Children’s Day here on Friday. Children took out “chetna march” on cycles in the city from their respective schools to the ITI, Samrala, carrying banners and raising slogans against liquor and intoxication.


Mill labourer collapses
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, November 14
A worker of a furnace industry collapsed on duty yesterday at Mugal Majra village, near here. According to information, a Nepali labourer Bhim Giri (30), son of Budh Lal Giri, was working in the mill along with nine others during the night shift. He collapsed while carrying the scrap and died on the spot.

Sources said, he had been continuously working for the past 36 hours without rest. His body was sent to the local hospital for postmortem.

The labour and police departments have been informed.


Sikh diaspora divide behind Kala Afghana row
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, November 14
Of late various controversies have cropped up on the Sikh doctrinal and conventional matters, the most important of these being the writings of Gurbax Singh Kala Afghana, a Canada-based writer. Kala Afghana, hails from Kala-Afghana village in Batala tehsil of Gurdaspur district. He is believed to have put up in the Golden Temple complex during the period of ascendancy of Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale. Some even allege that he was planted by the Central intelligence agencies. Whatever he might be, he has tried to emerge as a dissenter Sikh reformer of the present times. He has been writing against the Sikh maryada (prevalent practices in the Sikh religion). He has emerged as the severest critic of the “Dasam Granth” and has expressed his doubts over some of the ‘vanis’ recited at the time of the baptism of the Khalsa (Amrit Chhakna). He has even cast doubt that “Bachittar Natak”, an autobiographical writing by Guru Gobind Singh, was ever written by him.

Such core issues gave rise to a controversy. A group of Sikhs in Canada, supporting him, managed to rope in some local Sikh scholars, including one journalist, to take up the cause of Kala Afghana. On the other hand, Akal Takht chose to ex-communicate Kala Afghana and advised him to withdraw his writings. With the help provided by the diasporic Sikhs, a convention was held at Mohali on October 26. It is interesting to note that none of the gurdwaras at Chandigarh and Mohali came forward to provide the venue for the convention. Ultimately the convention was held at a community centre in Mohali. Seven resolutions were adopted at the convention, criticising the Jathedar of Akal Takht severely as also the Sikh leadership. It is certain that the organisers of this convention tried to arrive at some agreement with the SGPC authorities. But the SGPC authorities did not find their stand reasonable.

Meanwhile, the SGPC constituted a religious advisory board for resolving the matter. The board is believed to have existed earlier also and eminent men like Bhai Jodh Singh, Bhai Kahan Singh and Principal Teja Singh served on this board. Then it was called the religious advisory committee. In fact, it remained an integral part of the system created by the SGPC for discussing and resolving the core issues. The religious advisory board originally consisted of 21 members who were drawn from overseas countries as well. They included members from the USA, the UK and Canada besides local Sikh scholars. Some more members have been added to this board. The first meeting of this newly constituted advisory board was held at Amritsar on November 11 where the resolutions of the October 26 convention were discussed thread bare. The proceedings of the board were kept secret and not released to the press. This was the first time that the meeting was held in-camera. It is noteworthy that those who attended the meting came from the USA, the UK and Canada on a two-day notice. Besides, the local nominated members also participated in the meeting.

The board reiterated the supremacy of Akal Takht.

It is learnt that a majority of the members of the board were of the opinion that Kala Afghana was bringing in issues which were damaging to the Sikh religious practices in totality and such acts could not be tolerated.

It seems that the Sikh diasporic factionalism, rampant in all countries where Sikhs have settled, is the root cause of this controversy.


Pet dog bites girl
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 14
A 14-year-old-girl of Partap Nagar sustained injuries when she was bitten by a pet dog of her neighbours. Pooja, the victim has received grievous injuries on her right arm.

She is admitted to a local hospital and the doctors attending to her said she would have to undergo a surgery.

Narrating her tale of woes, Pooja said that she had gone to her friend’s house. When she knocked at her friend's gate, her dog jumped on Pooja and bit her arm. She was saved by her friend’s parents.

Bleeding profusely, Pooja came back home from where she was taken to hospital. She is waiting for the surgery now.

Pooja’s mother said that they had confirmed from her neighbours that the dog was vaccinated and the doctors said that she was out of danger.


Woman, grandson hurt in car-train collision
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 14
A woman and her grandson were seriously injured when their car was hit by a train at an unmanned level crossing near Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar late last night.

The car was thrown more than 50 feet away due to the impact of the collision with the speeding train. Due to smog, the car driver Pradeep, could not see the train in time.

He and his grandmother were admitted in a city hospital in serious condition.


Man dies of electrocution
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 14
Jasbir Singh (33) of Aligarh village was electrocuted when he came in contact with a low-voltage transmission cable last might. He died on the spot. The postmortem examination was conducted today.

House burgled: The house of a teacher was burgled in broad daylight yesterday. Mr Sukesh Kumar Kaushal, who returned home around 12 noon, found that the lock of his bedroom was broken and articles were lying scattered. Gold ornaments weighing about 130 gm and Rs 10,000 were stolen.


Likhari sabha meets
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, November 14
A meeting of the Punjabi Likhari Sabha, chaired by Mahinder Singh Kainth, has been held at Rose Garden) here.

Dharampal Anwar sang gahzal dedicated to Guru Nanak Dev Ji. Davinder Dhaulmajra presented a satire on drinking “Lal Pari Dey Sajna-kiney Seema Ghere”.

Dr Ish Kumar, Jagjeet Singh Guram, Mahinder Singh and Surjeet Singh Marjara also presented items.


Thousands participate in cycle rally
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 14
Around 2,000 students from 36 schools and members of the Lions Club participated in a cycle rally organised by Hibird Cycles in association with Lions Club International here this morning . It coincided with Children’s Day.

The state-level rally was flagged off by Mr HS Hanspal, President of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, along with the Chairman of Hibird Cycles, Mr RD Sharma, from Guru Nanak Stadium.


New BJP office-bearers
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 14
The president of the East Mandal unit of the BJP, Mr Sat Pal Saggar, has nominated new office-bearers and a 21-member executive committee with the approval of the district president of the party, Dr Subhash Verma. The new executive of the mandal would have seven special invitees as well.

The new office bearers are Vice-presidents — Mr Jaswant Rai Saldi, Mr Sarbjit Singh Kaka, Mr Pritam Singh Rathaur; general secretary — Mr Jagat Bhushan Johar; treasurer — Mr Kewal Krishan Balli; secretaries — Ms Prem Rani Bhatia, Mr Anil Walia, Mr Bhupinder Rocky; media in charge — Mr Kewal Baweja.


Employees to hold rally

Amloh, November 14
A rally of technical and mechanical employees unions of the PWD, Public Health, Punjab Sewerage Board and PUDA will be organised in Ludhiana on November 18, according to a press notes. At least 200 employees from Nabha and Amloh blocks will participate in the rally. OC


Trade India to help city exporters
Naveen S. Garewal
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 14
Trade India, a subsidiary of Infocom Network, has launched its operations in the city with the objective to provide a platform to the city exporters. Disclosing this at a function to ‘Bring the EXIM world under a single roof of trade in India’, company Managing Director Bikky Khosla said that Trade India primarily aimed at facilitating interaction between manufacturers in the country and retailers overseas.

Started a decade ago with a very little investment, Trade India makes a profit of over Rs 7 crore from the information dissemination business. Trade India has recently tied up with a US-based company that will pass the data base of Indian manufacturers to those willing to import Indian goods.

Currently the company operates through its 12 branches spread across the country and has over 300 trained work force that generates and builds database and information of the EXIM world with the initiative of giving their clients all the knowledge, an importer or exporter could ever need.

According to Mr Khosla, Trade India is also in discussions with a premier Indian organisation to enable the international trade community source tailormade EXIM related data from his organisation. To lend more credibility to the Indian EXIM community, Trade India is actively planning to leverage credit reports on exporters and importers from India. This proposed plan will be in alliance with existing credit rating agencies in India.

To enable manufacturers’ access contracts in India and overseas, Trade India has an alliance in place with a leading online tender provider. The service will be available to all users of the website www.trade-india.com very shortly. The overseas offices will also help selectively; exporters/importer query information form buyers and seller in that particular country.

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