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Amnesty scheme for building violation
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 16
The Punjab Government has notified a one-time settlement scheme of violations of building bylaws in all cities and towns in the state through an Ordinance issued on January 22, 2004. The scheme would remain valid for three months from the date of issue of the Ordinance in all areas falling under the jurisdiction of municipal corporations and the municipalities. All applications filed for regularisation of the violations within the validity of the scheme would be finally settled within a period of six months.

Giving this information, MC Commissioner S.K. Sharma said under the voluntary disclosure and settlement scheme for regularisation of buildings constructed in contravention of building norms and non-compoundable violations, the owners shall have to apply to the Commissioners of the respective corporations or to the Executive Officers of the municipal councils or nagar panchayats, as the case may be and make payment of the stipulated fee depending whether the building was located in prime area or other areas of the town.

For determination of the prime and ‘other’ areas, committees headed by the respective Deputy Commissioners would be constituted and the decision would be based on market rate of the land fixed for the purpose of registration of conveyance deeds in those particular areas. These committees would declare prime and other areas in each city and town positively within a period of one month from the date of issue of the Ordinance.

In major cities, having municipal corporations, the area determination committees, headed by Deputy Commissioners would have the respective Commissioner, the concerned SDM, the Senior Town Planner or the Divisional Town Planner as other members. In the case of municipal councils and nagar panchayats, besides the Deputy Commissioner, the committees would comprise SDMs, the Executive Officers and the Divisional Town Planner of the area.

Mr Sharma said as per the provisions of the scheme, the non-compoundable violations in buildings in the cities having corporations, would be regularised on payment of Rs 500 per sq feet of the covered area in prime locations and Rs 200 per sq feet in other areas in the case of commercial buildings while such residential buildings would attract a composition fee of Rs 200 per sq feet irrespective of their location. In slum areas and for scheduled castes residential buildings with con-compoundable violations would be regularised on payment of Rs 100 per sq feet of the covered areas.

In the case of first and second class municipal councils, 80 and 70 per cent of the stipulated composition fee would be charged while non-compoundable violations would be regularised in towns with third class MCs or nagar panchayats on payment of 60 per cent of the fee.

In accordance with Section 6 of the Ordinance, the scheme would be applicable to those buildings which were constructed on or before September 11, 2003, and it would also cover the cases of such non-compoundable violations which had already been detected and in respect of which the proceedings were still pending. It has, however, been made clear that the scheme would be without any prejudice to the disciplinary action against the officials of the MCs, who were found responsible for aiding and abetting such violations of the building norms.

Under Section 7(2) after the expiry of the period of six months when all applications filed under the amnesty scheme ought to be disposed off, there would be no settlement of non-compoundable violations, which have not been disclosed within the stipulated period or if disclosed, but not finally settled, would be identified and would be demolished under the prevalent law.

‘Notwithstanding anything inconsistent contained in the Punjab Municipal Act 1911 and the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act, 1976, and the rules , regulations and the by-laws made thereunder or any other law enacted by the state legislature, the provisions of the said Ordinance shall have an over-riding effect’, says Section 8 of the Ordinance.



Road projects prove bane of people
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 16
The development seems to have come to a standstill here. With too much acclaimed elevated road projects remaining in suspended animation, people have been left high and dry. While the elevated road project between Jagraon Bridge and Chand Cinema was claimed to provide a facelift to the city, it has instead proved a bane of the people in general and shopkeepers and traders in particular.

However, the Commissioner, Ludhiana Municipal Corporation, Mr S. K. Sharma, maintained that there was no delay in the completion of the project although the work had been stopped for sometime for some technical reasons.

There are frequent traffic jams on the road between Mata Rani Chowk and Jagraon Bridge. Nobody likes to take that road leading to traffic congestion on Domorian Bridge.

The work which is scheduled to be completed this year, is moving at a snail’s pace. The corporation reportedly cancelled the earlier contract arguing that the company had been delaying the project without any reasons. But even after the cancellation of the contract no significant progress has been reported so far.

The corporation said there were so many difficulties which came across after the work started. Mr Sharma maintained that the work was already in progress and it would be completed by this year only.

There were some technical problems with the project. Before the project was launched no technical survey had been carried out. The main sever of the city also passes right through the road. Moreover there is no scope for realignment of the road. He said, it had to be done with available resources only, Mr Sharma added.



A rally of inconvenience
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 16
Vehicular traffic was affected as hundreds of people from various parts of the state thronged to attend a SAD rally organised at Bhanor village, near here, by the youth wing of the party.

There were traffic jams on all roads leading to the village as participants strived to find parking space for their vehicles. The limited parking created by the organisers was full within an hour and the traffic had to be diverted to other places. Some workers had to walk a long way to reach the venue.

Since the only parking space available was along the Ludhiana- Ferozepore highway, the movement of vehicular traffic was greatly hampered. Commuters going towards Ferozepore and those coming from the opposite direction were caught up in a traffic snarl at the Mullanpur Dakha intersection.

A stream of workers could be seen walking along both sides of the highway which brought the movement of vehicles to a crawl. The worst-affected was the stretch between Baddowal and Dakha where the police had a hard time to restore traffic. This intersection caters to movement of traffic on the Ludhiana -Ferozepore highway and the Ludhiana - Sangrur section.

A large number of stalls which had come up overnight near the venue did brisk sales. On the other hand a large number of villagers complained that any movement outside the village was impossible as most of the lanes and bylanes were blocked with vehicles. Similarly, the visitors also trampled crops by taking shortcuts through fields.



NRIs come home for medical treatment
Our correspondent

Ludhiana, February 16
Thank God, I am not in England, or else my family would have brought home my ashes,” said Mr Bikram Singh Johal, who recently underwent coronary angio-bypass grafting (CABG) at Sigma Newlife Heart Centre.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, Dr Harinder Singh Bedi, Executive Director and Chairman Cardiac Sciences, Sigma Newlife, who operated upon Mr Johal, said that with the near collapse of the National Health System in Britain, and a poor medical system in several western countries, a lot of NRI were coming to Punjab for medical treatment.

The heart centre was receiving one NRI patient every alternate day and on an average at least two NRIs get admitted for surgery each month, he said.

Mr Johal underwent angiography and immediate bypass surgery, once the blockage was revealed a week ago. “Over 70 per cent patient now come to India for treatment considering the two to four years long wait list they have to bear in Britain”, said Dr Bedi.

“If I were in Britain, though the expenses would have been reimbursed but I would have to wait for at least two years for operation. There is a long waiting list and in the meantime, the patients could die in serious cases. Even for a simple test, you have to wait for at least one week”, said Mr Johal, who is recovering at his farm-house in Nawanshahr district.

Mr Brijinder Singh, GM, Corporate Marketing, of the institute informed that many NRIs now came for a complete check-up during their annual visits here like Echo, TMT, ECG. He added that regular patients came from Middle East and the West.

Dr Bedi said a simple test in west cost around 10 times more as compared to Indian medical facilities. One would have to undergo months of anxiety for a simple MRI test, before one finds out what was wrong, he said.

Dr Bedi also said still NRIs settled abroad were unaware of the super specialised doctors and the international level facilities here. He said several societies and trusts like the Janata Sewak Society, the Akali Singh Sikh Society, functioning from some of the leading cities in Canada and Britain helped sponsor senior citizens for availing medical facilities in India, in case they could not afford one.



Tax registration certificate flawed: lawyers
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 16
The District Taxation Bar Association (Sales Tax) has expressed its strong resentment against the newly introduced 11-digit registration certificates of tax identification numbers which had many discrepancies.

Addressing a meeting of the association, Mr P.C. Garg, President, pointed out that the certificates being issued under the modified system did not mention items used in manufacturing, goods made for sale outside Punjab, name of the firm on certificate of central sales tax and status of the CST registration.

The public notice issued by the Department of Excise and Taxation was also discussed. Mr Garg said through the public notice, the government had revised the rate of sales tax on crockery and glass sheets to 12 per cent. At the same time, diesel engines, generator sets and glass sheets would attract sales tax at the first stage of sale. While the public notice was received here on February 11, it was made effective from February 3 without any intimation to the traders. He said any public notice issued for the revision of rate of tax in future should come into effect only when it was received by all quarters concerned.



Two drowned in Sirhind canal
Our Correspondent

Doraha, February 16
Two persons, one married male and the other a 20-year-old girl, were drowned in the Sirhind canal yesterday.

The girl, who, according to witnesses, was holding a note-book in her hand, got out of a bus and jumped into the canal. But immediately, she started shouting for help.

A newly married boy along with another person jumped into the canal to save her. The girl caught hold of both of them which made swimming difficult for them. While one of them was able to free himself, the other drowned along with the girl.

The man belonged to Rampur village and was sitting near the canal and having his food with his family. The bodies of the two victims have not been recovered till today.



Class V exams begin
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 16
Class V students from government primary and elementary schools of the district appeared for their annual examination conducted by the State Council of Education Research and Training (SCERT) that began here today.

A visit to a few primary schools in Gobind Nagar, Jawahar Nagar and Bharat Nagar showed that the examination was conducted smoothly. The question papers reached the centres well before the test and examination started timely. The students appeared for their mathematics test, while they would take their Punjabi test tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the Punjab School Education Board will conduct the examination of Class VIII students on March 20, Class X students from March 10 and Class XII students from March 2.



Grewal a strong contender for Akali ticket
Amarjit Thind
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 16
City Mayor Nahar Singh Gill is in the race for the Congress ticket from this constituency while his predecessor Apinder Singh Grewal is learnt to be lobbying for an Akali ticket. Although there are several other contenders for the Akali ticket from this parliamentary constituency, supporters of the former Mayor have been forwarding several reasons in his support.

They pointed out that Mr Grewal was a former Mayor who actively participated in the development of the city. It was during his tenure that the city got a facelift. Moreover, despite all opposition, Mr Grewal put his foot down to ensure that the elevated road project between the Jagraon Bridge and Chand Cinema was materialised. This is one of the major projects that will change the face of the city in the coming years.

With the Shiromani Akali Dal, having a predominantly rural base, is looking for a candidate who enjoys a comfortable position in the urban area as well. Ludhiana has a population of over 20 lakhs with about 10 lakh voters. The party obviously cannot overlook the fact that any candidate who does not enjoy a mass following in the city will not be able to win the seat.

Moreover, of nine MLAs in this parliamentary constituency, six are with the Congress. All four city legislators belong to the Congress Mr Grewal scores on this account as he has remained the Mayor for five years. Added to it, he has a cordial relationship with the alliance partner BJP's councillors. Many former and sitting councillors have reportedly told the SAD and BJP leadersdhip that if the party was serious of winning the seat they will have to field Mr Grewal.

His supporters have also been citing his clean image during the tenure as one of his plus points. Born and brought up in a rural area and having worked in the urban area, he is claimed to be the best bet for the party .

Mr Parkash Singh Badal has announced most of the candidates and no Tohra loyalists have been accommodated so far. So there is a possibility that Mr Grewal's name may be considered for the party nomination. Although he sided with Mr Tohra at the time of the split, he was first to return to the Akali faction led by Mr Badal.

A group of former and sitting councillors of the Akali Dal and the BJP have reportedly made a representation to Mr Badal seeking Grewal's nomination from Ludhiana. They have also warned against nominating any candidate who does not enjoy any mass base

Besides, Mr Grewal, other strong contenders include the former minister and Tohra loyalist Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal, former legislator Hira Singh Gabria, former MP, Mr Amrik Singh Aliwal and youth wing president of the party Mr Sharanjit Singh Dhillon.



Amarinder disappoints lawyers
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 16
Chief Minister Amarinder Singh disappointed over 1000 lawyers by not turning up at the handing over ceremony of chambers at New Judicial Complex here today.

Resentment prevails amongst the legal fraternity, which lawyers said could adversely affect poll prospects of the Congress in the forthcoming Parliamentary elections. The information regarding the cancellation of the scheduled visit of the Chief Minister was conveyed to the president of the District Bar Association, Mr Balwinder Goel, yesterday evening. He was informed that the PWD Minister, Mr Partap Singh Bajwa, would attend the function on the behalf of the Chief Minister.

However, today he also cancelled his visit, saying that he had to attend an emergency meeting of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee at Chandigarh.

The association had organised the function for the inauguration of the complex and handing over the chambers to lawyers. When the function could not start, an emergency meeting of the association was convened on the venue. The president assured the lawyers that they would soon get the possession of the chambers.

The general house of the DBA unanimously resolved to take up the matter with authorities concerned. Speaking at meeting, Mr Dharmjit Singh Khera, Mr Gurdish Singh Grewal and Mr J.B. Khanna called the entire episode embarrassing. Various speakers insisted that the “pandal” should not be removed till the Chief Minister inaugurated the complex.

A former president of the association, Mr Harish Rai Dhanda, suggested that all ex-presidents and secretaries along with the present executive, should call upon the Chief Minister to show solidarity with the bar. The foundation stone, bearing the name of Capt Amarinder Singh, was earlier changed to the one having the name of Mr Partap Singh Bajwa. It was later removed by the administration.



Drama show against female foeticide
Our Correspondent

Khanna, February 16
A drama to make the public aware of female foeticide was presented at the AS College for Women here last evening. The drama, ''Dairey'', was organised by the Khanna Vikas Club in association with the National Theatre Arts Society (NTAS) and the North Zone Culture Centre (NZCC), Patiala.

Mr Dilbagh Singh, SP (D), was the chief guest and Mr Anil Soodan guest of honour on the occasion. The drama was directed by Pran Nath Sabharwal and Ms Sunita Sabharwal.

Mr Dilbagh Singh said while addressing the audience that it was the duty of society, especially the intellectuals, to fight against the evil of female foeticide which is a curse on our society. He said the ratio among male and female population was going to be imbalanced which would lead to a criminal society.

Mr S.K. Khanna, chairman of the club, and Mr Bansi Lal Tandon, president of the club, also expressed their views on the issue.

Mr Shashi Mohan Sharma, secretary of the club, and Mr Dev Raj Kapoor, former chairman, Improvement Trust, were among those present.



Delay in DA merger notification irks staff
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 16
Union Finance Minister Jaswant Singh’s announcement to merge 50 per cent of DA with basic pay of Central Government Employees as per the Fifth Pay Commission’s recommendation has been hailed by employees’ organisations throughout the country. However, the delay in the issuance of the notification has irked the employees and the pensioners as well.

Mr Yash Pal Ghai, general secretary of the Government Pensioners Association, said several state governments, including Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, had already decided to follow the central pattern in this regard. They are just awaiting the copy of the notification from the government.

He said in a communication sent to the Union Finance Minister today he has been urged to issue the notification without further delay.



7 injured as bus overturns

Doraha, February 16
Seven persons were injured, two of them seriously, when a mini-bus carrying a marriage party overturned at Kaddon Chowk, Doraha, today.

The bus was coming from Ludhiana and was on its to Delhi. when the driver of the bus lost control over the vehicle at the chowk Seven persons, including five women and two men were reported to have received injuries in the accident.

Two women received serious injuries while the others were sent home after providing first aid by the Doraha police first aid post. The driver of the bus has absconded. OC



Readers Write
Concern over cracks in buildings

THE media had recently carried photographs of houses that had developed cracks in Vishwakarma Colony and Partap Nagar due to hammering job done in the area.

There are several units in and around the Gill Road area where heavy hammers are used.

The vibrations caused by these hammers are so strong that walls have started developing cracks.

Two years ago residents had lodged a complaint with the Pollution Control Board about the working of these hammer, but the board did nothing.

Residents find themselves helpless against the owners of these units as they have money power, political links and muscle power.

One fails to understand how these industrialists get their licences renewed from the Municipal Corporation and other authorities.

There seems to be a nexus between corporation officials and these people. Councillors of the area also do not take notice of the problem.

If steps are not taken, there may be some accident in the form of collapsing of some building. The municipal authorities should come in action and these units should be shifted to industrial focal points or some rural area.

Sher Singh, Ludhiana

Labour Problem

The latest speeches by leaders of various labour unions show that they want to make Ludhiana the second Kolkata.

But industry would not allow them to do so. The industry in Ludhiana is already facing recession due to increase in steel prices and scarcity of raw material.

The state government is also becoming a mute spectator to all incidents keeping in view the coming Lok Sabha elections.

Under such circumstances the only option with us is to close down our units. The industry is not going to tolerate the indecent behaviour of its labourers and labour comrades.

The profit margins are low. If labourers will not work properly, the production will suffer and we will be forced to take harsh steps. The shutting down of industries will prove costly for all.

The 25 per cent of bicycle parts manufacturing units are already closed due to the strike in Avon Cycles and if the government did not do anything regarding this the remaining units will meet the same fate.

Badish K. Jindal

Animal sciences university

The recent announcement by the Chief Minister about establishing an animal sciences university at Talwandi Saboo is a welcome step. It will accelerate the development of the area.

Earlier regimes had also made such announcements, but these projects remained a dream.

If the government is really honest and sincere it should appoint an officer on special duty for the establishment of the university immediately.

Dr Dalbir Singh Dev, a renowned animal scientist and former Head of the Department of Animal Science and Dean, College of Agriculture, PAU, will the most suitable for the job. Otherwise, this will also remain an announcement only.

Kartar Singh Ghai, Ludhiana



Two cars stolen from marriage palace in a week
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 16
Two car thefts have been reported at Jifco Resorts, at Sahnewal within one week. Last night, a car theft was reported by Karamvir Singh, a resident of 203-H, BRS Nagar, Ludhiana. He had come here to attend a wedding at Jifco Resorts, Sahnewal. His white colour car (Number PB-10-AP Temp 4212) was allegedly stolen from the resort.

Three days earlier another person Gurvinder Singh had also complained to the Sahnewal police about the theft of a car (Number PB10Temp 5969). The car belonged to Sukhpal Singh of Kakowal village. Gurvinder Singh found about the car theft when he came out after attending a wedding. Both the cases have been registered by the Sahnewal police under Section 379 of the IPC.

Mr Rahul, the owner of the resort when contacted said the parking at the resort was at the owner’s risk. Though we have employed security guards to ensure the safety of the place”, he said and added that the association of marriage palaces was planning to introduce token system to avoid such incidents.



One booked in abduction case
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 16
The Jodhewal police yesterday registered a case under Section 366 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Girdhari Lal, a resident of New Subhash Nagar on the Rahon Road, against Pankaj Kumar, a resident of the same locality.

The complainant had alleged that the accused had abducted his daughter on Saturday morning and had taken her to an undisclosed place. No arrest has been made so far.

Gamblers held

The Division Number four police registered two cases under the Gambling Act yesterday and arrested several gamblers.

The first case was registered against Sarabjit Singh, Amit Kumar and Harish Chawla, residents of Chhawni Mohalla. The police said today that the accused were gambling in a park near the Chand Cinema and a sum of Rs 2,650 was seized from their possession along with a deck of playing cards.

The other case was registered against Gurcharan Singh, Prabhjyot Singh and Gagandeep, all residents of the same locality. They were gambling in Bhai Manna Singh Park. A sum of Rs 2,790 was seized from the possession of those arrested.

The Civil Lines police also registered a case under the Gambling Act against Bablu, a resident of Ghumar Mandi and Manoj Kumar, who lives near the Khalsa College for Boys. They were arrested while they were gambling in a vacant plot in Ghumar Mandi. A sum of Rs 270 and a deck of playing cards were seized from the possession of the accused, who were later released on bail.

The Sahnewal police also registered two cases under the Gambling Act. The first case was registered against Lal Chand, a resident of Sahnewal. The other case was registered against Santokh Kumar Gupta, another bookie, who was also arrested and Rs 320 was seized from him.

The crusade against gamblers is part of the general drive started by the police against anti-social elements in the wake of the murder of Anil Kumar Lalla in the city.


The Koom Kalan police has registered a case under Section 283 of the IPC against Sukardin, alias Billu, a resident of Bhogiwal village falling under the jurisdiction of Malerkotla police station. He was arrested for allegedly parking his tempo on the road at Koom Kalan chowk and disrupting the movement of traffic. He was later released on bail.



Rising steel prices: relief expected soon
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 16
The Union Finance Minister, Mr Jaswant Singh, is learnt to have convened a high-level meeting of senior officers of his ministry to discuss the issue of rising steel prices which has adversely hit the small-scale industry. Disclosing this here today, senior Bharatiya Janta Party leader and Member Parliament Lala Lajpat Rai said some relief was expected soon for the industry.

Mr Rai said he met the Union Minister in New Delhi on Saturday and brought to his notice that severe crisis was being faced by the industry in the state. He said although the entire small-scale sector in the country had been hit badly, but in Punjab the problem was more serious as there were thousands of small-scale industrial units which use steel as their raw material.

The BJP leader said he pointed out to the Finance Minister that in case the industry was hit in Punjab it would create lot of problems elsewhere also. The BJP MP also brought to the notice of the minister the problems being faced by the hosiery and yarn industry because of the Indo-Nepal Treaty. The treaty which provides massive duty exemption for the raw material produced in Nepal has adversely hit the growth and progress of the acrylic industry here.


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