L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


BSNL waives off installation charges
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 21
Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited has waived off the installation charges for the landline services. The offer is valid till March 31, 2004. Disclosing this here today, the General Manager, BSNL, Ludhiana, Mr G.S. Julka, told newspersons here today that several new schemes had been launched by the BSNL for its subscribers.

He said keeping in view the BSNL’s commitment to provide best possible services at cheapest rates, many new schemes and value-added services are being offered by the BSNL for its landline, WLL, mobile and Interest users.

He said for new subscribers who want to book basic landline phone, will not have to pay installation charges. Installation charges have been waived off till March 31. For existing landline subscribers there are attractive offers as they can get another WLL or mobile against security of existing b-phone. Shifting of telephone is also free, he said.

People can also avail Sulabh Plan under which rent has been reduced from Rs 250 to Rs 60. Similarly there are special schemes for corporate and heavy users. They can have BSNL economy (rent Rs 350, free class 150), BSNL special (rent Rs 750, free calls — 600) and BSNL super (rent Rs 1650, free calls 1800 (per month based).

Also for the ISD users, there is drastic reduction in call charges. For calls to Britain it is Rs 7.20 per minute, for the USA, Canada and other countries of Europe except Britain it is Rs 9.60 per minute and for Indonesia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Thailand it is Rs 12.60 per minute will be charged under the special scheme.

Internet users can avail of BSNL 499 scheme. Under this scheme internet users do not have to pay any call charges for the Internet. For a monthly rent of Rs 499, internet user can use the internet as long as they want without paying any call charges for using the phone. No security for existing basic phone subscribers will be charged.

Tarang, the WLL mobile service has been launched in Ludhiana in December. In this scheme subscribers can purchase a WLL handset for Rs 25 equal installment or if he does not want to purchase the handset, he can get a WLL handset in just Rs 22 a month as insurance. Tarang offers many standard and alternate tariff plans according to the subscribers needs. The rental being just Rs 200 per month in standard package.

Students 99 — attractive mobile scheme which enables students to go mobile for just Rs 99 has been extended till March 31, 2004 looking at the enormous response it evoked. 



Johar inaugurates lawyers’ chambers
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 21
The Higher Education Minister, Mr Harnam Dass Johar, today inaugurated the newly constructed multi-storeyed Lawyers’ Chambers Complex at the new Judicial Complex and handed over the letter of possession to the District Bar Association president, Mr B.K. Goel.

Mr Johar announced that the lawyers would not have to pay even a single penny for the installation of lifts in chamber’s complex. He said the cost would be borne by the government alone, as the Chief Minister has agreed to this.

Mr B.K. Goel thanked the minister and the Deputy Commissioner for handing over the possession of lawyers’ chambers. He assured the lawyers that they would be given the physical possession of the chamber within four days, after completing certain formalities.

The mega project — nine-storeyed complex having 527 chambers for the lawyers — had started in the year 2000, during the tenure of the then Bar President, Mr Harish Rai Dhanda. The allotment of chambers was done by the former Bar President in December 2003. Lawyers had contributed Rs 4 crore in the Rs 8-crore project and the rest was shared by the government.

The tall claims of unity in the DBA were seen nowhere in the function. Showing resentment, the general-secretary of the Young Lawyers Welfare Association, Mr Sanjeev Malhotra said today’s function reflected prevailing bitterness and factionalism in the DBA.

The sitting member of the prestigious Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana, Mr Harish Rai Dhanda, was not invited on the stage and even his contribution towards the construction of chambers complex was not acknowledged.

The function was attended by almost all judicial officers and lawyers including the Chairman of the Congress Legal Cell, Mr Dharamjit Singh Khera, convenor, Mr Ashok Bhakri, Mr Kamaljit Sharma, Mr Rajneesh Gupta, Mr Nageh Singh Gill, vice-president of the DBA and Mr S.S. Cheema, secretary, DBA.



Chicken feast for free, courtesy bird flu
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 21
To remove the scare of bird flu from minds of people, some meat shops, selling chicken, today devised a novel way of convincing masses that Indian chicken was not suffering from the disease by distributing various chicken delicacies free of cost.

Offered with kulchas, there were many takers for the “otherwise feared bird”. Poultry sellers had to lower rates in view of the decreasing demand for chicken meat by the day.

Right from beggars to passers-by, all stopped to have a bite of delicacies being offered at the place. Traffic policemen posted at the Damoria bridge had a tough time controlling the traffic. Seeing that it was being served free, many, who otherwise do not buy chicken, were seen savouring it with delight.

Mr Jatinder Pal Singh, owner of Micky Meat Shop, said he had slaughtered 4.5 quintals of chicken in the morning to dispel the bird flu scare and spent Rs 25,000. The feast continued till the evening and thousands of people tasted the delicacies in disposable plates.

He said as many as 600 broilers were slaughtered and he had organised the feast to help poultry farmers who hade been out of business for the past 23 days since reports of the bird flu started coming in.

“We want to show there is no danger of the disease in India,” he said. He added it was sad that the poultry industry was suffering losses for the past 23 days and his own business had come down to 20 per cent.

Coming down heavily on the Central and the state government, Mr Bhupinder Singh of Punjab Broiler said it was ironical that the government has not made any serious efforts to dispel wrong notions in people's minds about the disease.

He said the Delhi Government was publishing full-page advertisements in newspapers about its achievements but had not done anything for poultry farmers.

He said not even a single advertisement had been published by any government in the favour of poultry farmers. He said while poultry products were being exported to Iran and Iraq from Kerala, there were no takers in the country.



Chess champ champions pulse polio cause
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 21
He was five when he contracted polio which rendered him paralysed below neck. Twenty five years later the life story of this state chess champion has become an example of achieving success with grit and determination. But in spite of this he feels something is missing and if he had not become a victim of this dreaded disease he could have achieved much more.

In view of his struggle to eke out a living, Mr Rajiv Nayyar (30), a chess champion has given a clarion call to all parents to get their children immunised against polio by administering them drops at pulse polio immunisation camps being organised at various places in the city tomorrow.

“I know how much I and my parents are suffering due to this disease. I believe human body is an extension of mind which tells it to perform various functions. Had I got a strong physique, I would have achieved the impossible. But now I have to sit back as I can’t move myself. It is a handicap. After suffering for so many years, I don’t want anybody else to undergo the same suffering and that too when it can be avoided simply by taking drops,” he says.

“Please go ahead and get your child immunised. If the vigorous campaign does not move you just look at my condition. Your child deserves a good life.” he says. Recalling his childhood days he said he had to overcome his handicap to make a name in the field of chess. He learnt a number of languages on his own and even mastered astrology to eke out a living.

A resident of Street No 7, Dasmesh Nagar, in the city, Rajiv contracted polio at the tender age of five which rendered him paralytic from neckdown wards. But he is not a picture of pity and compassion, instead he is a personification of perseverance, and an embodiment of unimaginable strength to survive against all odds.

Rajiv cannot move his legs and arms, he can’t even sit, stand and has to keep lying down on the bed all the time and only his head and neck function normally. Making optimum use of his brain he literally ruled chess championships in North India and even made a memorable impact in the national tournaments 10 years ago.

But fate had other hurdles in store for him. In 1993 due to severe financial crisis faced by his family and the absence of any help from government or the sponsors, Rajiv had to abandon his dream of becoming a chess champion and stopped competing in the tournaments. The decision tormented him more as at that time he was the highest rated player in North India and had just finished third in the National Junior Chess Championship.

“I was completely normal till the age of five” he reminisces, “I had never imagined that I would never be able to play again when one night high fever gripped me”. When he tried to rise from his bed to fetch a glass of water, his legs refused to move and he fell down with a thud. Since then, he is forced to move around in a wheel chair driven by his parents.

Till the age of 14 life seemed even worse than hell. Rajiv was totally dependent on his parents for all kinds of movements. His life was limited to the four walls of his room with occasional visits outside. His education too stopped at Class III.

Then a ray of hope came as on his 14th birthday his parents gifted him with a chess board and pieces to make him pass his time. The game caught his fancy and Rajiv began mastering its intricacies. Without any proper schooling he began reading chess books with the help of a couple of friends and the ever willing parents. Within months he began defeating everyone playing with him.

Recognising his talent, Rajiv’s parents took him to participate in a chess tournament held at Nabha in Patiala district in 1986. Rajiv surprised many senior players and finished third in the state-level tournament. From that day to 1993 he was a darling at chess tournaments and amazed everyone with his moves and the vibrant smile.

More than his efforts it was the contribution of his parents that kept Rajiv going. His father being an accounts officer spent literally every penny on his son’s treatment first and then on his passion for the game. His mother too began working to meet the burgeoning bills of Rajiv’s participation in chess tournaments across the country.

Rajiv has all regards for his parents, “Who would invest money in a child whose 90 per cent of body was motionless,” he asks, “They are my God” he remarked. “Now I want you to be your children’s god and get them immunised,” he says.



Farmer unions form joint front
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 21
Hundreds of farmers owing allegiance to various kisan unions today staged a massive demonstration against the policies of the state government and Centre.
Addressing the agitators, kisan leaders of various organisations alleged that all parties had betrayed them.

The farmers also announced their support for a nationwide strike on February 24 called by various trade unions in support of their demands. The eight kisan unions which participated in the demonstration were — the Kirti Kisan Union, Bharity Kisan Union (Ekta), Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ugrahan), Jamhoori Kisan Sabha Punjab, Kul Hind Kirti Kisan Sabha, Punjab Kisan Sabha, Kisan Sangarsh Committee Tarn Taran, and Kheti Bari and Kisan Vikas Front. 



Jatropha planted in Diesel Shed
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 21
A function was organised at the Diesel Shed of the Northern Railway here yesterday in which a sapling of Jatropha, a tree which produces bio-diesel, was planted in the shed’s garden. The function was presided over by Mr Dharam Singh, Divisional Railway Manager, Ferozepore.

Mr G.K.Gupta, Senior Divisional Mechanical Engineer, in charge of the shed, said the Railways had undertaken the project to plant the sapling in collaboration with the Indian Oil Corporation which was contemplating to introduce bio-diesel as future fuel for road and rail transportation.

He said scientists had already used bio-diesel, produced from the fruit of the Jatropha for running a car and the Railways had also successfully run a locomotive of Shatabadi Express on bio-diesel.

Mr Gupta expressed hope that with the introduction of bio-diesel, problems of petroleum diesel would be overcome in the times to come.

He also lauded staff for converting the yard of Diesel Shed into a beautiful garden through Shramdan”.



LPG cylinder thieves active in city
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 21
City residents have to beware of the activities of a gang of LPG cylinder thieves who devise new methods to fool their victims and flee with the cylinders.
A family residing near the State Bank of India at Ghumar Mandi has become the latest victim of the gang yesterday. Similar cases have been reported from Sarabha Nagar, Industrial Area, Urban Estate and some other areas.

A number of such thefts have been reported from different parts of the city in the last few days but the victims are shying away from lodging an FIR. They contend that though the theft hits their pocket as a cylinder costs more than Rs 1000, yet they had only informed the police about the incident instead of lodging a formal complaint. The victims sought to avoid the hassles involved in the process.

Mr Ashish Kumar of Ghumar Mandi, said an unidentified man, who looked like a labourer usually seen transporting LPG cylinders on a cycle-cart came to his house yesterday and sought to re-fill a cylinder.

He told his servant that the cylinder he supplied to the family last week was underweight and he would refill it. The man went away with the cylinder and never returned. 


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