L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Woman ASI in police net for kabootarbazi
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, February 20
In an illusive search for green pastures, Gurjit Singh was no of Bhundri village in this district lost almost his entire ancestral land besides being involved in a protracted legal battle against an organised group of criminals, including a woman Assistant Sub Inspector of police. The State Vigilance Bureau has registered a case against five persons in this regard and two of them had already been arrested.

Narrating his tale of woes to Ludhiana Tribune here today, the victim said Manjit Singh, a resident of Toose, who was in transport business, had introduced him to Ms Barjinder Kaur, an ASI, posted in Sadar police station here with an assurance that she was very well connected and could arrange his immigration to the USA. After a number of visits and a meeting with Ravinder Singh Gulati, a travel agent based in Mohali, the deal was struck for Rs 8 lakh for sending Gurjit Singh to the USA. An advance payment of Rs 2 lakh had already been made to Ms Barjinder Kaur and rest of the money (Rs 6 lakh) was raised by the family of the victim through the sale of 2.5 acres out of the ancestral land.

“The Travel agent Gulati sent a group of youths including me to Delhi and Mumbai with a promise that we will board the flight in the next couple of days after the completion of paper work of the aspirants. All of us were also made to spend money from our pockets on stay in hotels and food etc during this period.”

He said after the promised immigration to the USA failed to materialise, the accused persons were asked to refund the money but there note response from their side. “When we mounted pressure with the help of several prominent people of the area, the travel agent paid Rs 1 lakh in cash and issued two cheques for Rs 90,000 and Rs 10,000, drawn on HDFC Bank saying the balance amount would also be arranged and paid back soon.

However, the cheques issued by Ravinder Gulati bounced for lack of funds in the bank account and after being threatened with legal action for cheating and dishonoured cheques, he handed over the possession of a brand new Trax vehicle to the victim. But the vehicle did not carry any documents. Later on inquiries made by Gurjit Singh revealed that the vehicle had been purchased in the name of Preeti Gulati, wife of Ravinder and further that the installments were not being paid regularly by him, which could make the finance company take back the vehicle at any time in the future.

Sources in the Vigilance Bureau disclosed that while the victim was left in the lurch by the accused persons, the woman police official had managed to secure possession of a brand new Maruti car from the said travel agent as a part of the settlement of the amount payable to Gurjit Singh. The car was also got financed by Ravinder Gulati and he was paying monthly instalments for it.

The vigilance police had booked all accused persons under Sections 406/420/ 120-B while the woman ASI would also face charges under 13(1) and 13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act. The police said Manjit Singh and Ravinder Gulati had been arrested and produced before a judicial magistrate while Barjinder Kaur, ASI, her husband Sukhdev Singh and Preet Gulati, wife of the travel agent were absconding. The police had also seized the Trax vehicle as case property.



Fresh reports on bird flu spell doom for poultry
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 20
After the reports of fresh cases of bird flu in some countries, the flu scare has once again hit the poultry industry in the city which had recorded a shoot up in the sales during the last one week.

Poultry farmers said an aggressive media campaign in favour of poultry products helped in rise of demand but the recent news about the fresh cases was again threatening to the very existence of the industry.

Farmers said absence of such cases in the recent past had washed the fear off the psyche of local consumers who had started savouring chicken delicacies. It had brought a ray of hope for them. But with the recent developments, the demand seem to be falling once again.

The price of per hundred eggs, which had risen to Rs 117 during the last one week again showed a decline with these selling for Rs 113. A week ago the prices had fallen to Rs 70 including the price of tray.

Mr Sanjiv Bassi, a local poultry farmer, said the price of chicken had risen from Rs 8 per kg to Rs 14-15 per kg. But there was no substantial rise in demand. He, however, said they were hopeful that consumers will understand that there was no problem with the Indian chicken. Moreover, the cooking methods adopted by Indians left no chance of spread of a disease like bird flu.

Mr Bassi said despite the hike, the scenario was still grim. He added that three weeks ago undressed chicken was sold at Rs 37 per kg and a week ago it was sold for Rs 8 per kg. The eggs, which were sold for Rs 160 to 165 per hundred, had come down to Rs 113. He further said a chick was bought for Rs 13 and a farmer spent Rs 22-24 on its feed. If it was sold for Rs 14, the farmers were bound to suffer huge losses.

Meanwhile, the chicken breeders of North India had organised a meeting in Chandigarh today to decide whether they should restart the production from February 24 or not. The breeders had stopped the production from February 12 after suffering huge losses due to fall in demand of poultry products.

Mr Surinder Verma, Area Sales Manager of Venkies India Limited, a noted firm supplying chicks, had come on record saying that the breeders had opted for temporary stopping of production. Since February 12, no chick was hatched in the hatcheries all over the region.

The breeders had to take this hard decision thinking that with temporary stoppage in production, the wastage of chicks would go down. The breeders were facing problems as the poultry farmers were not buying the chicks because there was no demand of broilers in the market.



Warrants against Delhi resident in fraud case
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 20
A city court has issued bailable warrants against a Delhi-based alleged conman while acting on the complaint of an advocate who was duped of about Rs 4 lakh by the accused on the pretext of getting a DDA plot for him.

In his orders, Mr Jasbir Singh, PCS, Judicial Magistrate, First class, observed that according to the complainant, the accused Krishan Lal Khanna and his wife Prem Lata, had come to Ahmedgarh on July 11, 2001, to attend the funeral of his mother-in-law where he met the complainant and convinced him to invest his money in Delhi and settle there. Both the accused came to the office of the complainant at District Courts, Ludhiana, on August 17 and assured him that they could get a Delhi Development Authority plot as they knew a number of DDA officials. The accused further assured that the allotment would be genuine, in the name of the complainant and there would be no fraud or risk. The accused further told the complainant that he would have to pay Rs 4 lakh as application fee and other charges for the allotment of the plot. The whole conversation took place in the presence of Mr Shekhar Gupta, an advocate and clerk Mr Balwinder Singh.

The complainant further stated that he gave Rs 3,95,000 in all to the accused on different occasions and every time, the accused assured him that he would receive the allotment letter very soon. The accused also obtained his signatures on some unfilled forms. When the complainant pestered them to get the allotment letter issued, they refused to do the needful and did not return his money also.

The judge further observed in his orders that the version given by the complainant had been corroborated by Mr Shekhar Gupta and Mr Balwinder Singh. He stated further that the preliminary evidence had revealed that the complainant, Mr Surinderpal Modgil, had proved on record that the accused had dishonestly induced him to part with an amount of Rs 3,95,000 on the pretext of getting a plot allotted to him.

Therefore, there were sufficient grounds to proceed against the accused under section 420 of the IPC and that the accused should be presented before the court. Prem Lata, the other accused, had already secured an anticipatory bail in the case.



Three-wheelers major source of pollution
25,000 condemned Delhi autorickshaws ply in city
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 20
If the data available with the Pollution Control Board (PCB) is any indication, the greatest pollutants in Ludhiana are not industrial units, but thousands of unauthorised three wheelers.

Senior PCB officials revealed that most of the industrial units, which are considered to be one of the main causes of the pollution, are located outside the city. There is not much impact of the industrial pollution in residential areas of the city. The main source of pollution in the city is three wheelers.

The officials said according to their information, over 25,000 condemned three wheelers landed in Ludhiana from Delhi after the CNG fuel was introduced there. “Ludhiana became the dumping ground for the condemned three wheelers and there was no check on their arrival in the city”, the officials said.

They regretted that the matter was taken up with the District Transport Officer, but in vain. Only a few thousand three wheelers were legally operating in Ludhiana. While around 20,000 three wheelers were plying unauthorisedly. The officials maintained that these auto rickshaws or three wheelers were not only plying without legal documents, but also these were being run on kerosene and diesel leading to the worst pollution.

Since three wheelers go to each and every place in the city, no area remains unaffected from their smoke. But in the course these have become a good means for transportation, the officials added.

They pointed out that the board had no authority to ban these three wheelers. It can only recommend to the traffic police to ensure that only the authorised three wheelers are allowed in the city. And in turn, the traffic police will need the cooperation of the Transport Department. It has been claiming that it is too short of manpower to go for individual verifications. The buck does not seem to stop anywhere, the officials added.

The PCB is learnt to have mooted an idea for setting up joint coordination committees of various departments. Committee members, after examining various aspects, will recommend measures to check the pollution in a time-bound manner.

The officials said the vehicular pollution affected everybody. Since three wheelers ply in large numbers during the peak hours, working people and young students are quite susceptible to various health-related problems.

The issue has been raised several times by the PCB and the media. But when any action is initiated, it is left midway on account of various reasons, including the one that why should 20,000 persons be denied their livelihood and also thousands others a convenient and cheap mode of transportation. 



Bid to burgle bank
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 20
An attempt to burgle the Dhandari Kalan branch of Uco Bank, about 10 km from here, last night failed as culprits couldn’t break open its strong room. A broken grille and window of the bank was noticed by a security guard this morning, who informed the bank officials and the police.

Senior police officers, including the SP City (II) and the SP (Detective), visited the spot and a dog squad of the police was also pressed into service.

Mr Baldev Singh, Branch Manager, said the burglars had gained entry into the bank through the window, which had an iron grille. Apparently the culprits were carrying a gas cutter with them, which they had used to cut open the strong room door without success. There was no loss of money, the official said.



DGP Siddiqui for better police-public cooperation
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, February 20
The target to make the society crime free and more humane can only be achieved with the cooperation of people, asserted Director-General of Police A.A. Siddiqui while addressing a function at the Municipal Council hall here today after flagging off a fleet of five Royal Enfield motor cycles for the mobile wing of the police. The motor cycles were presented by the Furnace Association, the Steel Chamber and the All-India Steel Re-roller Association, Mandi Gobindgarh, as a token for the police-public cooperation.

“We have framed rules and should not forget our responsibilities. The police cannot succeed without the cooperation of people. Now there is a big change in behaviour of police personnel with the public,” the DGP maintained. The problem of theft and economic offences was more in towns located on GT Road, including Ludhiana, Khanna and Mandi Gobindgarh. To check this menace, many schemes were under consideration, including registration, character verification and issue of photo identity cards to migrant labourers from Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. Migrants bring more people from back home to work in factories here. Therefore, factory owners should also be vigilant,” he pointed out.

He said that to check the number of economic offences, a separate wing under the charge of an Inspector General had been constituted but the police would only interfere when a criminal offence was committed. Pressing requirements of crime prevention and improvement of service delivery underline the need to reverse the image that the police was against people thus incorporating community support became more essential. Community policing resource centers were an initiative to institutionalise the community – police partnership to make society crime free. Mr M.P. Arora, Additional Deputy Commissioner, was also present on the occasion.

Inspector-General Police Rajinder Singh spoke about the Grievance Redressal Center, where a duty officer would be available for about 12 hours to improve the accessibility of the police to the people. The mobile wing was created on the suggestion of district police chief Shiv Kumar Sharma. DIG Patiala range Iqbal Preet Singh Sahota assured all cooperation from the police to the public. DSP Amloh Harpreet Singh said the town had been divided into five sectors and 24 hours vigil would be provided in each sector. Special care would be taken of banks, petrol stations, LIC offices and business establishments and the police would reach within five minutes at the site of an incident. Each team would comprise a head constable and a constable and would be competent to challan vehicles and equipped with wireless sets.

Council chief Joginder Pal welcomed the guests. Mr. J. P. Sharma, president, Steel Chamber and Commerce, Mr. R.P. Bhatia, president, All-India Steel Re-rolling Steel Association, Mr Chanan Singh Mathardu district convenor of traders, PPCC General Secretary Joginder Singh Maini, MLA Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, Youth Congress leader Harinder Singh Bhambri also spoke on the occasion.

A deputation led by state chief of the Bharatiya Kisan Union brought to the notice of the DGP about a cheat from Sirhind who had now shifted to Chandigarh after duping innocent farmers of more than Rs 1 crore.



Residents opposed to park
Our Correspondent

Doraha, February 20
A protest rally and dharna were staged by residents of Ward no. 9 of Sahnewal against the alleged construction of a park by the Nagar Panchayat on the land belonging to local residents of the area, much against their former approval or consent.

The protesters raised their voice against the alleged injustice and exploitation and condemned the attitude of the Councillor of their ward, the SO, the ME and the EO in this regard. The protesters were wearing black badges and the women had covered themselves in white duppattas.

The march started from the railway line and ended at the office of the Nagar Panchayat. The dharna lasted nearly an hour in which the residents openly condemned the nagar panchayat officials for their indifferent attitude. Later they submitted a memorandum.

The protesters alleged that the residents of Ward No. 9 were poor landless agriculture workers and they were allotted plots measuring 120 sq yds in Ward No. 9, Sahnewal Colony, under the Rural Area Colony Act, 1981, as per the policy of the Central Government for construction of their houses and that they had deposited Rs 1,200 as cost of the plots in the year 1980 with the block development officer, Ludhiana and they were given possession of the plots of 100 yards each and 20 yards of area was reduced of each worker, thereby making it approximately 5,000 sq yds which was kept for tethering cattle, storing fodder, etc. by the landless agriculture workers.

They said that they had raised constructions on the said plots of 100 yards by spending huge amounts and had also levelled the plots allotted to them. Since then they had been living along with their families and using the land for tethering cattle and strong fodder.

They alleged that the Nagar Panchayat was trying to convert the land into a park by dispossessing the landless agriculture workers. Among those who opposed the move were former councillor Kartar Singh, Mr Ramlal, Mr Bachittar Singh, Mr Piara Singh, Mr Ram Asara, Mr Devinder Singh, Mr Darshan Singh, Mrs Charanjit Kaur, Mrs Mohinder Kaur and Mrs Gurmail Kaur.

While these residents were protesting against the move of the nagar panchayat, more than 100 residents had appreciated the construction of the park.

Mr Devinder Singh Grewal, Executive Officer, Nagar Panchayat, said on the telephone that the park land belonged to the Nagar Panchayat. He added, "Moreover, it was the demand of the residents itself that they wanted a park in the colony."



Bankers to strike work on Feb 24
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana February 20
Banks employees across the country will strike work on February 24 on a call given by the United Forum of Bank Union that represents bank employees across the country. Announcing this here today, the Punjab Bank Employees Federation (PBEF) said that bank employees would hold rallies across the country.

Giving out details about their plans, the PBEF said that in Ludhiana rallies would be held outside Canara Bank, Bharat Nagar Chowk, to protest against the inaction of the Central Government to review and remedy the impact of the judgement on the right to strike, anti-people economic policies, intensified attacks on working class and trade union movements, attempts to disinvest and privatise the public sector and demanding early conclusion of wage revision and another option for pension. The rally will be addressed by prominent trade union leaders. PBEF (Ludhiana unit) secretary, Naresh Gaur and president Ashok Awasthy said that all members were aware of the significance of the issue and demands and they did not need great elaboration. The Supreme Court judgement had far-reaching implications on the trade union movement and the basic right to go on strike. In a situation where the employers and the management were sought to be given increased authority to detriment of the labour, right to strike would become all the more important and that they would not allow this right to be diluted or compromised.

He said that if the employers got a free hand to close their factories, retrench and lay off and throw the workers in the streets, the workers should have the right to protest by all means, including by going on strike. The financial sector and the banking industry were the special targets of the attack by the vested interests since huge savings of the common masses were available in these sectors. Now the Central Government had announced its decision that foreign direct investment would be permitted in private banks up to 74 per cent of their capital.

The PBEF has disclosed that the total capital of the Indian private sector banks at present was only around Rs 2,900 crore. But the deposits of the people mobilised by these banks are more than Rs 207000 crore. Hence by a meagre investment in the capital of these banks the foreign capital will be available to gobble up, access and control the vast resources of these banks.



Seminar on e-filing of tax returns
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 20
Tax deduction at source (TDS) returns have to be filed to e-TDS intermediate National Security Depository Limited (NSDL), which will subsequently transmit the data and returns to the Income Tax Department. Each e-TDS return has to be furnished in a separate CD or floppy along with duly filled and signed in form no. 27-A.

This was stated by Mr Yogesh Jain, CEO of Smartex Technologies, while addressing a seminar on e-filing of TDS returns, organised by the Taxation Bar Association at the bar room in the Income Tax Office here yesterday. Mr Ajay Choudhry, president of the association, and Mr M.N.A. Chaudhry, Commissioner of Income Tax (CIT), Ludhiana-II, were also present at the occasion.

During the extended interaction with the members of taxation bar which followed, Mr Jain provided detailed information about the frequently asked questions relating to the TDS and the new system of filing of returns.

In their address, Mr Chaudhry and press secretary Jatinder Khurana emphasised that the taxation lawyers had to adopt themselves to the changing scenario of filing of returns through electronic media and automation in Income Tax Department.

Prominent among others Mr Tarlok Bhalla, Mr Inderjit Singh Malhi, Mr Karamjit Singh, Mr C.P. Bhardwaj, Mr Vijay Vohra and Mr Ravinder Garg were also present.



At the Crossroads
The secular ethos of Punjab
N.S. Tasneem

At the crossroads of Indo-Pak relations, it is worthwhile to have a look at the cultural ethos of Punjab. The very name Punjab — the land of five rivers - is indicative of unity in diversity. The language and culture of the people of this region are one, though they may follow different faiths or dress themselves differently.

The forms may vary but the spirit is one and the same. The greatest unifying factor is, of course, the Punjabi language. When we think of Sheikh Farid, we do not think of a Muslim Sufi poet but of a Punjabi Sufi poet. His poetry is the common heritage of all people whose language is Punjabi.

Guru Arjan Dev compiled the Granth Sahib, the greatest anthology of poetry in the world, 400 years ago. Compositions of as many as 35 saints belonging to different regions and sects were included in the Granth Sahib. The factor that is common to these saints is their deep concern for the predicament of man.

It is the condition of man that dominates their thoughts. This spirit has also been the focal point in Punjabi literature for the past eight centuries or so.

The Sikh Gurus too propounded the philosophy of the oneness of God and the brotherhood of man. Guru Nanak Dev ignored superficial barriers which divided man from man and stood for basic human unity and the oneness of the entire universe, where everything is in harmony with the Divine spirit. Stars and planets are not unrelated entities for him; they are “lamps symmetrically arranged in the firmament”.

“Gagan mai thaal rav chand deepak bane Tarika mandal janak moti”.

Sheikh Farid, Shah Hussain, Bulhe Shah and Sultan Bahu decried caste, colour, and creed and glorified the spirit of man. In Punjabi Kissa-Kav, the spirit of secularism reigns supreme. Waris Shah’s “Heer Ranjha” stirs the hearts of Punjabis all the world over as does Damodar’s “Heer”.

No one cares to know about the religious faiths of these great poets. Qadar Yaar composed “Kissa Puran Bhagat” in the early 19th century, wherein he eulogised the moral uprightness of a Hindu prince.

Amrita Pritam remembered Waris Shah in her famous poem “Ajj aakhan Waris Shah nun” which expresses her agony at the time of partition. She asks him : “You wrote so feelingly about Heer, a daughter of Punjab, but now when countless daughters of this land are in tears, how could you enjoy sound sleep in your grave?”

Prof. Puran Singh has employed symbols of “Heer” and “Ranjha” in a different manner. He says :

“Aa veer Ranjhea, aa bhain Heere, Saanu chhor na jawo, bin tusan asin sakhne”.

This is indeed a unique example of oneness of Punjabi culture. Diverse symbols play an important role in the formation of the ethos of a society.

Dhani Ram Chatrik’s “Maarda damame Jat mele aa gya” is as popular a poem in this part of India as Iqbal’s ‘Saare Jahan se achha Hindustan hamara” is in the whole of India.

Likewise, Sharaf Din Sharaf, Sharif Kunjahi, Ahmed Rahi, Mohan Singh, Vidhata Singh Teer, Kartar Singh Ballaggan and a number of other poets made Punjabi poetry popular among the people of all shades of opinion.

Folklore has been another important factor in bringing about unification. The popular fables, known as “Bataan” , have played a significant role in evolving a secular psyche. Similarly folk poetry has played a catalystic role. The songs sung by Surinder Kaur, Reshma, Asa Singh and Alam Lohar easily come to mind.

The Punjabi language itself is a symbol of unity in diversity. It has absorbed words of such diverse languages as Turkish, Arabic, Persian, Hindi, Sanskrit and English.



Sikh morcha to contest poll
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 20
The Democratic Sikh Morcha has decided to join the mainstream of politics by contesting the forthcoming elections, according to Mr G.S. Middha, its general secretary.

Mr Middha said in a press release here yesterday that leaders like Mr Parkash Singh Badal had made the Sikh religion and its followers a tool of the NDA government led by Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Describing Mr Badal a protege of Mr Vajpayee, Mr Middha said that it did not behove a Sikh to sit in the lap of a non-Sikh.

The morcha has decided to join the poll fray in order to guard the honour of the Sikhs and women , ensure justice for the downtrodden, to boost the morale of honest government officers and to remove fear of goondaism from the hearts of peace-loving citizens. The morcha would soon be getting in touch with the Election Commission regarding its entry into the polls, added Mr Middha.



Kashmiri Pandits celebrate Shivaratri 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 20
As many as 200 Kashmiri Pandit families celebrated Shivaratri with traditional gaiety and religious fervour. They also resolved that they would return to their homeland from where they had been turned out 14 years ago. The four-day Shivaratri celebrations concluded here today.

While Shivaratri is celebrated across the country and even in some other parts of the world, but for the Kashmiri Pandits, Shivratri remains a unique and main festival with special significance. The celebrations continue for four days and the final puja is performed on the amavasya that falls two days after Shivaratri.

Individual as well as celebrations were organised by all families in Ludhiana.

Dr M.K. Mam, a senior member of the community, who is also Head Department of Orthopaedics in Christian Medical College and Hospital here, pointed out that the Kashmiri Pandits had to face hostile rulers in the past. But unfortunately in 1990 during the onset of militancy in Kashmir, the entire community was uprooted and displaced.

Dr Mam said Kashmiri Pandits throughout the world were celebrating Shivratri as it symbolised their unique and distinct identity. He pointed out the Kashmir Shaivism was a unique philosophy and Kashmiri Pandits followed to this philosophy only. He maintained that the community would never let their cultural identity get diluted.



‘Female foeticide not acceptable’

Mandi Gobindgarh, February 20
“Society on one side, sees a girl child in the frame of Durga and on other side it kills her before birth. This custom of cruelty would not be acceptable in society now,” said BJP Mahila Morcha president Trishna Minhas. She was presiding over a meeting of the morcha at Gurdwara Jassran here yesterday. Ms Minhas made a fervent appeal to the workers of the morcha to create an impressive environment to stop the pre-mature death of female foeticide. General secretary of the State Mahila Morcha Santosh Aneja said that a woman was the backbone of any party or a country.

District BJP president Dharampal said that he would soon call a big Mahila morcha sammelan. OC



Sewing machine factories face closure
To go on two-day strike from Monday
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 20
The rising steel prices have affected the production of sewing machines. Manufacturers are crying foul over arbitrary hikes in steel prices at regular intervals. If the trend continues, the sector will have no alternative but to close down. As a token protest, the sewing machine sector across the country will observe a two-day strike from Monday.

Mr Gurdip Singh and Mr Virender Rakheja, president and general secretary, respectively, of the Sewing Machine Dealers and Assemblers Association, said the government had adopted a step-motherly attitude towards them. The issue of price hike was taken up with the Centre and the state government, but to no avail, they added.

They said the price of steel had been hiked twice in six months contrary to the price of steel in the international market. Sewing machines were getting out of reach of buyers. Besides the local market, these were exported to Africa and other third world countries from the clusters at Ludhiana, Saharanpur, Jalandhar, Delhi and Kanpur.

They said the Chinese had flooded the market with various models priced at a fraction of the locally made machines.

While our machine costs about Rs 1,000, the Chinese one is being sold for just $14 or about Rs 700. Similarly, an Indian needle is being sold for Rs 1. 50 while Chinese one is selling for just 25 paise. How can the government expect us to compete against them when the prices of steel are so high, they added.

They also came down heavily on the government for exporting steel while the demand of the local market is not met. Steel is locally available for Rs 28,000 per tonne while it is being exported at the rate of Rs 22,000 per tonne. Why is the local market made to suffer and forced to pay the subsidy to the producers.

Moreover, the five steel manufacturing plants in the country are exporting a major part of the steel made by them while countries like China are exporting only a fraction of their total production. For example, SAIL exports more than 20 per cent of its capacity while Essar and Tata export 80 per cent and 60 per cent of the total steel produced by them.

Being a border state, the government has not given them any concessions or special package as done in the case of Jammu and Kashmir and other hilly areas. We have to be dependent on transportation by road. The railways too have not helped us by cutting freight costs, they pointed out.

They warned that all clusters would be forced to close down if the government didn’t come to their rescue.


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