L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Four of family among six killed in car crash
Were headed to Delhi to attend cremation
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Mandiani (Ludhiana), March 1
Six persons, including four members of a Moga-based family, were killed when their car collided head on with a truck on the GT Road near this village here today. The deceased included a woman and two children.

The victims have been identified as Ishwar Kalia (35), his wife Pankaj Kalia (32), daughter Saresh (7), son Shresth (3), Ishwar's friend Dharamvir (35) and driver Harvinder Singh of Mehna village, Moga.

The family had left their residence in Moga at 5.30 am after Ishwar Kalia received a phone call from Delhi that his father had died there.

They were travelling to Delhi for the last rites, but fate had it that they had to die too. The entire family was finished, leaving behind Ishwar's mother to bear the shock. Police sources said Ishwar Kalia had no brother.

The victims were travelling in an Indica car. Around 6.30 am, between Mandiani and Dhatt village, a truck coming from the opposite direction collided head on with the car. The impact of the collision was such that the car was pushed by the truck a few meters before coming to a halt. All six victims died on the spot. The truck driver, however, managed to flee. Eyewitnesses said that the truck (HR-58-4083) was in the middle of the road.

Mr Gurdeep Singh, a resident of Jatt village, informed the police about the accident. The bodies were stuck in the mangled car and it had to be cut open to remove them. Five bodies were sent for post-mortem at Civil Hospital, Ludhiana.

The Station House Officer of Dakha police station said a case has been registered against the truck driver under Sections 304-A, 427 and 289 of the IPC. He said that Ishwar Kalia was an employee of the Nestle factory at Moga and was living in a rented accommodation.

His friend Dharamvir also worked in this factory and was accompanying the family to attend the cremation. A few friends of the deceased reached the spot from Moga.



Bandh against steel prices today
Tribune Reporters

Ludhiana, March 1
Several bodies of the steel consuming industry today decided to observe a bandh tomorrow as a token protest against the “attitude” of the government towards the steep hike in the prices of steel.

Representatives of the industry, who met under the aegis of the Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings here today, felt that the meagre relaxations in customs duty and central excise duty announced by the Union Government would not check the arbitrary policies of steel producers.

They said the engineering industry, including the bicycle and cycle parts industry, would not be benefited by the cuts on duty because the exempted units in the SSI sector were debarred from availing Modvat Credit on the duty-paid steel material used by them.

All sectors of the light engineering industry, including bicycle, sewing machines and machine tools, are apprehending mass closure due to the hike in the prices of steel.

The industry is of the opinion that the 5 per cent cut in the import duty on steel by the government was too little and no sincere efforts had been done to “discipline” major steel producers who were holding the small-scale sector to ransom.

Industry representatives pointed out that the duty cut on the import of steel would not make a significant difference in the prices of steel in the domestic market.

Mr P. D. Sharma, president of the Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry, maintained that the cut was eye wash and would not benefit the domestic steel producers.

The Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings has also ridiculed the nominal reduction in the import duty.

The Engineering Exporters Association of India said the economy was in a shambles and the government was turning a blind eye to the arbitrary pricing policy of the major steel producers. .

Mr Sukhdial Singh and Mr Kirpal Singh Sagar, president and general secretary, respectively, of the Ludhiana Machine Tools Makers Association said the machine tool industry had virtually been paralysed. They said the imminent closure of thousands of small engineering units would lead to unemployment.

Convener of Steel Consumers Forum Ajit Singh Kular said the forum had been demanding a ban on the export of iron ore and basic steel items under the Essential Commodities Act to ensure supply to the domestic consumers, besides the withdrawal of export incentives under the DEPB scheme. 



CBSE plus two exams begin
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 1
Students of plus two (science stream) appeared for their annual examinations conducted by the CBSE that began here today.
The three-hour test (physics) was conducted smoothly at scores of centres set up in the city. Nearly 100 students appeared for the examination at BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar. The school is a centre for students from Greenland Public Senior Secondary School, GMT Senior Secondary School, GRD Academy, Kendriya Vidyalaya, Baddowal, and a some private students.

At Greenland Senior Secondary School, 183 students from eight schools appeared for the examination. These included students from Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School, BRS Nagar, BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School, CFC School, Spring Dale Senior Secondary School, Shamrock Christian School, Shivalikwala Doon School, DAV Public School, Phillaur, and Maharaja Ranjit Singh School, Phillaur.



City roads to wear new look
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, March 1
If the ongoing road development project launched by the Municipal Corporation is any indication, the roads in the mega city will wear a new look in the next couple of months. Almost the entire length of roads in city localities will not only be resurfaced but many of the busy roads would also be widened considerably to improve the flow of traffic.

Giving this information to Ludhiana Tribune, the MC Commissioner, Mr S.K. Sharma said that under the project, 510 km length of new roads would be laid in the city localities. By the end of this financial year, when the project was slated for completion, the entire city roads would have a fresh coat of premix carpet. Under the project, which started December last year, 112 new work orders were issued for resurfacing of roads at an estimated cost of Rs 49 crore.

While a number of new roads were constructed and many others were resurfaced, a sum of Rs 14 crore was spent during the current financial year for petty repairs and patch work on the roads which were in relatively better condition. Mr Sharma claimed that the road network in the mega city was comparable, if not better, with the major metropolitan cities in the country which was evident from a survey report by the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) of 10 cities in the country, including Ludhiana, which had adequate network of roads.

The Commissioner claimed that as against a total amount of Rs 245 crore, during the period 1998-2002, the Municipal Corporation had executed development works in the city worth Rs 250 crore during last one and a half years. While the total expenditure on repair, construction and maintenance of roads during four years, till 2002, was Rs 150 crore, as much as Rs 110 crore was spent on the road development project alone during past 18 months.

Terming the road development project as a major step towards providing better infrastructure to the city population, Mr Sharma maintained that the contractors, entrusted with the task of resurfacing and repair of roads had been explicitly told to strictly adhere to the time schedule and to execute the work in accordance with the specifications. “No delay by the contractors concerned, for any reason, whatsoever will be tolerated and there will be no compromise on quality of the work.”

Mr Sharma, while making an appeal to the people to bear the inconvenience, if any, during the execution of the massive project, asked them to keep a watch on the road works being carried out in their respective localities and approach the zonal commissioners concerned with suggestions or complaints regarding the work.



Joint Sub-Registrar held on graft charge
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 1
The local Naib Tehsildar-cum-Joint Sub-Registrar was arrested here today at Jagraon for accepting a bribe.
According to information, Mr Surjit Singh Khosa, DSP (Vigilance) Moga, arrested Mr Bhupinder Singh, Joint Sub-Registrar, while accepting a bribe of Rs 15,00 for the delivery of a general power of attorney executed by Mr Jagdish Singh of Kothe Sherjung in favour of Mr Gurdev Singh of Moga.

According to the complainant, Mr Jagdish Singh, he had executed the power of attorney on February 20, 2004, and after it was registered, the original was not delivered to the executants. Mr Bhupinder Singh demanded a bribe and the deal was struck for Rs 15,00. The complainant reported the matter to the DSP (Vigilance).



PUDA takes up development of five-acre park
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 1
The Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) has taken up the development of a park in an area of over five acres along the Chandigarh road at an estimated cost of Rs 21 lakh, which will benefit more than 3 lakh people in several colonies in that area including Jamalpur, Urban Estate, Dhandari, Sector 32 and Sector 39.

According to the Urban Estate Residents Association, which had been pursuing the matter vigorously for quite some time now, the work for the development of a green belt had commenced early this month and the expected date of completion of civil works and plantation was May 2004. The ground has been levelled, the boundary wall has been constructed and the work is in progress for the creation of other facilities like a parking site. The plantation of saplings, landscaping and construction of fountains and water bodies will be taken up once the civil work was complete.

Mr Basant Singh, president of the association said in a press note that the comprehensive project for the green belt would also have a provision for a joggers’ track, play-way facilities for children, decorative lights and covered seating arrangements for visitors.

While expressing gratitude to the Additional Chief Administrator of PUDA, Ms Rakhi Gupta Bhandari, and other senior officials for the initiative to develop the green belt, the association expressed confidence that the other pressing demands of the residents, including setting up a sub-office of PUDA in the nursery complex in the Urban Estate Phase I, would also be accepted without any delay. Immediate action was also demanded for reallotment of reserved quota plots lying vacant and creation of a health centre for the residents.



Identity crisis in voter cards
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, March 1
A large number of local residents would be deprived of the right to cast their vote if the election staff were to insist on the production of the identity cards issued by the Election Commission of India. A large number of voters here are either yet to be issued cards or have cards with wrong particulars.

Ms Arashdeep Kaur and Darshan Singh are among those who were photographed at the local municipal council office but never received cards. Mr Karanjit Singh, a resident of the local Ward 11, has received a card that bears his photograph, but the particulars are of Arun Tivarhi. Mr Tivarhi has reportedly left this town. Similarly, Mr Sat Pal has been issued a card with the photograph of a woman.

Mr Ravinder Kumar, president of the local Congress committee, has urged the Election Commission to direct the authorities not to insist on the production of identity cards at the time of polling.

Mr Happy Verma, district vice-president of the SAD, has accused the administration of being lax in the process of issuing identity cards.

He alleges that the local administration has also been acting under the influence of certain leaders and the confusion has been created due to their attempt to get bogus voters enrolled.

Mr Jatender Bhola, vice-president of the local municipal council, blames the complex system of maintaining separate electoral lists for the local bodies, assembly and Parliament. “Had there been common lists for these constituencies, the councillors could have helped the authorities in identifying the voters.”

Mr Suraj Parkash Sharma, Executive Officer of the municipal council, says the office has already returned the cards with discrepancies to the issuing authority. “These will be re-issued after rectification,” he says.



Pvt bus operators’ suffer without body 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 1
Rising diesel prices coupled with the plying of unauthorised vehicles by various state owned transport corporations have caused huge losses to the private bus operators. The lack of organisation among the private bus operators is also one of the main reasons for their sorry plight.

The transporters have not been able to put forth their point of view and the government too has not done anything in this regard. The transporters pointed out that the government had provided relief to all sectors in the state but the bus operators had been left out. Interestingly, a number of legislators and ministers are themselves in transport business. But even they have not been able to get any relief for themselves.

Mr Fateh Singh Libra, Managing Director of Libra Bus Service pointed out, during the past five years the prices of diesel had more than doubled, while the bus fare had remained almost the same.

Added to this is the problem of unauthorised vehicles operated by the Punjab Roadways, Haryana Roadways and the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking.

Mr Libra revealed that while the CTU had only about six or seven permits for Ludhiana-Chandigarh route, the number of buses being operated by it was several times more than that. Similar was the case with Haryana Roadways. Haryana Roadways had less than 10 permits for Delhi-Katra route, while it was plying about 50 buses on the same route.

Besides loss to the private bus operators, it has also been causing losses to the state exchequer. As Haryana Roadways or any other state-owned corporation pays the entry tax in proportion to the permits allowed to it and not in accordance with the buses being plied by it.

Referring to the diesel prices, Mr Libra pointed out that in 1999 the diesel was priced at Rs 9.68 per litre, today it is Rs 22.50 per litre. Against this the bus fare in 1999 was 36 paise per km and it is 42 paise per km now. The bus operators have to pay the additional toll tax also. Even if they run the buses for 40 kms they have to pay the toll tax for 100 kms.

The bus operators too are at fault for this state of affairs as so far they have not been able to form a joint organisation which could pursue their case with the government. 



Gift of father-in-law
Our Correspondent

Doraha, March 1
A bride being gifted with a brand new car by the grooms’ parents on the wedding day is indeed a rare case as one usually hears of cases where brides are made to suffer physical and mental torture and even burnt alive by the dowry seeking in-laws.

Dr Sandeep, daughter of a senior Xen of Khanna, recently got married to Amiteshwar Sidhu, son of an industrialist.

On her wedding day, after reaching Faridabad the new bride was taken to a showroom where she was asked to choose a car in a colour of her choice after which she was gifted a steel grey coloured Zen car in which she was supposed to enter her in-laws house.

Dr Sandeep said, “The whole concept in my mind regarding the attitude of the in-laws towards their daughter-in-law underwent a radical change after this.

The love and affection with which my father-in-law and mother-in-law gifted me the car, made me tearfully joyous. I was overwhelmed by all this. Really, the whole thing appears to be unbelievable.”

The bridegroom when asked about it, said, “I wanted a life-partner to live with. God has given us everything, we want nothing more.” Dr Sandeep’s father-in-law, Mr Satnam Singh said, “Seeking dowry from a girl’s parents was a shameful act.

It is our responsibility to make the new bride feel important and make her feel that she was one of the most significant member of our family. We have done nothing special, a daughter-in-law should be given at least this much as she has parted from her near and dear ones. It is really a great sacrifice for a girl.”

On the other hand, Mr Karam Singh Gill, father of the bride who is posted as senior Xen at PSEB, Doraha, said he had earlier rejected a number of offers because of dowry-seeking persons. “At last I had to take a stand. I decided to give my daughter to those who valued her qualification and not our belongings.

We ultimately came in contact with Mr Sidhu of Faridabad whose humble, balanced and selfless nature made us finalise the wedding date after the very first meeting. Now we can rest assured that our daughter will get more love and attention at her in-laws’ house and she would not miss us.



Woman killed as vehicle overturns
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 1
Prem Kaur of Meharban locality died in a accident on the Rahon road here today when the three-wheeler, in which she was travelling, overturned. She died on way to the hospital. The body was handed over to the family after a post-mortem. The police has registered a case.

Residents and shopkeepers held a demonstration, demanding the immediate repair of the damaged portion of the road. Mr Gurbaksh Singh, sarpanch, said the work for laying sewerage in the locality had been hanging fire. The residents said till the sewerage project was resumed, the road should be repaired.



SSP assures media of transparency

Ludhiana, March 1
Mr Harcharan Singh Bhullar, SSP who took charge three days back, held his first press meeting in his office at Jagraon. Addressing the media, the SSP invited it to highlight the problems of Jagraon police district.

The mediapersons apprised the SSP of the traffic problem of the level crossing, sale of narcotics and prohibited drugs by chemists, and political interference in the police working. Mr Bhullar assured that steps would be taken to check traffic problem on the railway road and Sabzi Mandi road, check drug trafficking and build good relations with people. OC



Time for third front, says Mullanpuri
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 1
Politicians are yet to come out with a concrete plan for the revival of the economy of the state, besides generating jobs. Addressing mediapersons here today, Mr Avtar Singh Mullanpuri, vice-president of the Lok Bhalai Party, said once the poll was over, the leaders concentrated on their own interests.
He said it was time for third front so that people had an alternative. 



A.K. Sharma is fencing body chief

Ludhiana, March 1
Mr A.K.Sharma, Superintendent, Central Excise and Customs, has been elected president of the District Fencing Association (DFA).
A meeting of the association was held here today, at which the new team of its office-bearers was elected. The other office-bearers are: senior vice-president — Mr Sumeer Verma; vice presidents — Mr G.S.Mann and Mr Harbans Singh Dalla; secretary — Mr Jodh Singh Garewal; joint secretaries — Mr Newton, Ms Amarjeet Kaur and Ms Rajinder Kaur; treasurer — Mr Ajay Sareen; press secretary— Mr Ujagar Singh Lalton; technical coordinators — Mr Gurmeet Singh Kular, Mr Gurmail Singh and Mr Amrit Singh; and technical advisers— Mr Johnson, Ms Anita Sharma and Mr Amrit Singh. OC



Rs 12.97 cr MC budget passed

Khanna, March 1
The local Municipal Council has passed the annual Budget of Rs 12.97 crore for 2004-2005 at a meeting held at Municipal Town Hall today.

The meeting was attended by 25 members of the total 28 members. Mr Sant Ram, president of the council said Rs 651.17 lakh had been reserved for development, Rs 549.33 lakh for establishment and Rs 96.85 lakh for contingency charges.



2 arrested for bootlegging
Our Correspondent

Khanna, March 1
The Khanna police has arrested two persons involved in liquor smuggling and found 20 bottles of country made liquor in their possession.
ASI Parmjit Singh In charge Isru police post, has arrested Gurpreet Singh Bodhu, son of Jeet Singh, resident of Nasrali village on Sunday and found 12 bottles of country made liquor on him.

In another action city police officials arrested Bhupinder Kumar and found eight-bottles of liquor in his possession.


HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | National Capital |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |