L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Ramoowalia helping Cong, says Dhillon
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 16
The SAD-BJP nominee from this Lok Sabha seat, Mr Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, today claimed that the masses were disgruntled with the Congress government in Punjab, which had done practically nothing for the welfare of the common man.

Addressing public meetings in more than 20 villages in the Koom Kalan assembly segment, Mr Dhillon said that if Chief Minister Amarinder Singh was not accessible to even his own party legislators, what could the people expect from him. Successive Congress governments in Punjab and at the Centre had never identified with the state and its people and the Punjabi had always been given step-motherly treatment, he alleged.

He also attacked Mr Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, Lok Bhalai Party leader who is also a candidate from this constituency, describing him as an outsider who had deserted his native district of Faridkot. "Mr Ramoowalia does not know anything about the problems of the people of Ludhiana and is not even aware of the location of most of the villages in the constituency." Mr Ramoowalia had jumped into the fray only to benefit the Congress, Mr Dhillon claimed.

Calling upon the electorate to vote in favour of the SAD-BJP candidates in the Lok Sabha elections, he stressed that the victory of the combine in Punjab would go a long way in strengthening the hands of Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajapayee, who was sure to get the mandate for another term. Comparing Mr Vajpayee and Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Mr Dhillon said: “Ms Gandhi is a greenhorn in politics and lacks the necessary experience to run such a vast country.”

Meanwhile, a meeting of the labour wing of the SAD held here under the presidentship of Mr Vijay Kumar at Jai Guru Dev Nagar in Mundian Kalan decided to mobilise the working classes in favour of Mr Dhillon. Mr Sitamber Singh, president of the district unit of the wing, was present on the occasion. The wing would organise a labour rally here by the end of this month.



Sukhdev’s house has memorial, at last
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 16
Even as the government machinery has failed to preserve the ancestral house of martyr Sukhdev in the local Nau Ghara area, the initiative taken by certain city residents has made this dream project a reality by constructing a memorial in his house within two months.

The memorial will be opened to the public on March 22, a day before Sukhdev’s martyrdom day. Members of Shaheed Sukhdev Yadgar Committee, the force behind the preservation of the memorial, today announced that the memorial would be unveiled at 1 a.m. that day.

The committee, led by Dr Hardip Singh, had inaugurated the memorial on February 5.

Without seeking assistance from any government agency, this committee, under the aegis of Desh Bhagat Yadgar Committee, Jalandhar, in collaboration with a UK-based organisation, Indian Workers Association, had initiated this project.

Baba Bhagat Singh Bilga of Gadar fame will unveil the monument. Rich tributes will be paid to Sukhdev, Rajguru and Bhagat Singh. The book ‘Naughara ton phansi tak,’ about the memories of Sukhdev, written by his younger brother, the late Mathra Das Thapar, will also be released on the occasion.

‘‘A portrait of Sukhdev,’’ published by Shaeed Sukhdev Yadgar Committee, Ludhiana, will also be released on the occasion. Sukhdev’s Nephew Bharat Bhusan Thapar, brother-in-law Mohan Lal Jhanji and other members of his family will be honoured.



Time to brace up for power cuts
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, March 16
The entire state, including this industrial hub, may be in for "powerless" days and nights if the current situation is any indication.
While the temperature has gone up marginally over the past fortnight, urban feeders are already having one or more power cuts of half hour each early in the morning or late at night.

According to sources, the coal stocks with the thermal plants at Bathinda, Lehra Mohabbat and Ropar are rather low and in case new arrivals are delayed even for a few days, it could become difficult for the plants to function and the power situation might worsen. The low water level in Ranjit Sagar Dam and the closure of one unit of the Bathinda thermal plant for maintenance are other factors that have adversely affected the situation.

As against the average daily demand of 1,100 lakh units of power, the total availability from all sources is around 810 lakh units, leaving a wide gap of almost 300 lakh units. As the temperatures rise in the next few weeks and power consumption in the farm sector also shoots up, first for harvesting wheat and then for sowing paddy, the demand-supply gap would increase further.

In case the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) authorities fail to take timely remedial measures, longer power cuts and measures like load-shedding and restrictions on consumption can be expected.

Senior board officials, however, claim that they are seized of the situation. "Coal is on the way and necessary measures are being taken to improve power generation at the thermal plants," they maintain. The PSEB is also in the process of negotiating with other agencies like the National Thermal Power Corporation to purchase electricity to meet the additional demand during the next three months.

Commenting on the power situation in the city, Mr A.S. Khangoora, Chief Engineer, Distribution Circle, Ludhiana, described it as satisfactory and not warranting "undue concern." Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, he said power cuts of not more than half an hour during the day were being imposed on urban feeders. If the frequency or duration was more in certain areas, it could be due to local problems and would be looked into on specific complaints.

He said an elaborate exercise was under way in the Ludhiana distribution circle to augment the transmission system for additional load during summer. "We have reduced the load on certain over-loaded feeders in the city while in some cases conductors with bigger capacity have been installed to cut down failures during the peak season.




WELL, the romance of the cool winds of Phagun is over. With the onset of Chet on Sunday, an appreciable rise in the day temperature was felt by everyone. The summer has finally arrived. Time to pack the woolens in moth-proofed trunks and take out t-shirts , lungis and so on. Time to turn on the fans and the air-conditioners and take so many other summer-related measures to enjoy it and to guard against it as well .

Holi has been long forgotten . Now is the time to look forward to Baisakhi. The lush greenery of wheat-fields has already started turning pale with the passing of each day. It is a matter of only days now before these vast fields start looking like waves of gold. Not just saying it metaphorically. For a farmer who toils on the soil day and night , a ripe crop, ready for harvest, is nothing less than 24-carat gold. This is the time when hard labour and patience get their reward in the end. Surely , it is time to dance and celebrate. Probably...oops, precisely, why the festival of Baisakhi is celebrated with such vigour and enthusiasm .

Hanky panky

Annu Kapoor, a noted TV actor is in town for quite some days for his “Antakshari”. The very first day he had a face-to-face with mediapersons. A journalist remarked that he looked “hanky-panky” on the screen, but he was looking quite relaxed in the city. This annoyed the tele actor. Annu Kapoor was almost near the door certain mediapersons pacified him by saying the question was not rude but the words were.

Confused and courteous cops

‘Confused’ faces of cops on duty is sure sign off VIP in town. Recently, two VIPs — Mr Surjit Singh Barnala and Mr R.C. Dogra visited the city. The road from where they had to pass was blocked due to security reasons.

The sentinel requested the cops on duty to let her go as her house was on that ‘blocked lane’. The confused cop got panicky and said, “Please gahan (move) Shri Man Ji, Oh tusi (you) Shrimati Ji ho! please gahan ko jayen (please move ahead)”. Seeing the poor, confused cop speaking all the languages in a courteous manner, the sentinel decided to take another road. — Sentinel



Major Kokri cremated
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 16
Vir Chakra Major Jagir Singh Kokri, hero of the 1948 Kashmir war, was cremated with state honours at the Barewal crematorium here today.
Among those who attended his funeral were Col. M.S. Samra, the representative of Station Commander, Ludhiana, Col. H.S. Rangi, Col. R.P. Singh of 17 Forward Ammunition Depot, Baddowal and Lt. Col. Rao of the 7- Sikh Battalion, Mr Tarlochan Singh, District Sainik Welfare Officer, Mr M.S. Jaggi, SDM (W), Brig. P.S. Toor(retd) and Col. Rajinder Singh Sohi (retd) attended his funeral procession. Col. Mukhtiar Singh of 15 Corps, Srinagar represented the GOC, 15 Corps, Lt. Gen. Nirbhay Sharma.

The end came on March 13 when he was getting ready to attend the Triennial National Convention-cum-Reunion of the War Decorated India, held at Chandigarh.

Brig P.S. Toor (retd) said that it was a rule in the army that an officer is carried by officers for cremation. But Major Kokri was carried by jawans.



‘Chatti lassi’ clicking with urban folk
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, March 16
It must have been far-fetched to imagine a few years ago that “chatti lassi”, a popular drink in rural areas, fed even to cattle, would become a commodity. Urban people, who did not go for this highly nutritious drink in the past, are now hankering for it. No wonder this “lassi” has arrived in the city with a bang.

Devoid of any fat content, this “lassi” is rich in proteins and minerals, is anti-acidic and good for digestion. It got its name from “chatti” (earthen pot), in which rural women churned the “lassi” and got butter. The remaining thin “lassi” proved to be nectar for thirsty farmers.

It is used to wash down the stale chappatis that farmers have for breakfast. Women folk find it useful in making “kadi”.

Some enterprising dairy owners have taken the initiative of marketing this lassi in the city. They bring “lassi” in drums on three-wheelers and park the vehicles in Model Town Market, Sarabha Nagar, Kitchlu Nagar and Mall Road areas. They have also put up a banner of “chatti lassi”. To their delight, motorists stop by and buy “lassi” in litres. In a few hours, they sell hundreds of litres. The “lassi” is not cheap at Rs 10 per litre but it is finding many buyers.

Mr Samarjeet says,“I buy three or four litres of this ‘lassi’ everyday as it is very refreshing. It is also very good for curing a hangover,”

Radhika, a working woman, stops by to buy the “lassi” as she wants to make good “kadi” from it.



Seven in race for club secy’s post
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 16
There is a virtual scramble for the post of general secretary of Sutlaj Club here with seven persons filing their nominations here last night. Some senior club members representing different groups held a meeting at Park Plaza yesterday to unanimously elect the executive body, but no concrete outcome came out of it.

The seven candidates are Mr Ashok Thapar, Mr Sanjay Arora, Mr Gurinderjit Singh, Mr Sunil Jain current general secretary), Mr Yogesh Kumar Bansal, Mr Jiwan Mohan Dhawan and Mr Karan Singh Bal. Those in the race for vice-president of the club are Mr Raju Sharma, Mr Yash Raj Goyal and Mr S.K. Lakhani. The candidates for mess secretary are Mr Rajesh Bhambi and Mr Jaidev Singh Dhillon. For the post of sports secretary, the candidates in race are Mr Jaswinder Singh, Mr Varinder Goyal, Mr Maneet Singh Bedi and Mr Jaspreet Singh Mahant. Those contesting for the post of cultural secretary are Mr Sanjeev Dhanda, Mr S.P.Malik and Mr Sudhanshu Bhatia. Mr Ravinder Verma and Mr Tribhuvan Thapar are contesting for the post of joint secretary while Mr Ajay Bhandari, Mr Gaurav Chaudhry and Mr Arvind Malhotra have filed their nominations for the post of treasurer.

The nominations were filed in the presence of the returning officer, Mr M.S. Jaggi. The list was displayed on the notice board of club late last night. A lot of activity could be seen at the lawns of club where contestants and their proposers and supporters gathered.

Some contestants alleged that they were being threatened by bureaucrats to withdraw their candidature. The senior club members were still making efforts to arrive at some unanimous resolution to avoid elections. A clear picture would emerge only after the scrutiny of nominations. 



Readers write
Woes of pensioners

In his letter published in these columns on 7.3.2004, Mr R.N. Sehgal has stated that the state government pensioners are availing more benefits like medical allowance, old-age increase in pension etc as compared to Central Government Pensioners. Our association, too, through its president, Mr Sher Singh, approached the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensioners Departments of Pensions and Pensioners’ Welfare for bringing Central Government pensioners at par with the state government pensioners. Under Secretary to the Government of the above Ministry had stated that ‘sate pension is the concern of state government under items 42 of state list of 7th schedule of the Constitution of India. Central Government is not bound to follow the state rules.”

K.L. Chitkara, Ludhiana

Najma Heptullah

Ms Sonia Gandhi’s claim that the Congress is a secular party and with the alliance of other like-minded parties it will defeat the BJP sound quite hollow.

After 64 years, the rule by the NDA government under the able leadership of Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, secularism has become a non-issue for the polls. More Muslim politicians like Ms Najma Heptullah, who had a long association with the Congress and served the nation as deputy chairperson of the Rajya Sabha for quite a long time and Mr Arif Mohammad Khan, are joining the BJP.

It is quite shameful how Ms Sonia Gandhi, Congress president, humiliated the leader of the calibre of Ms Heptullah. After the shameful treatment, the NDA government gave charge of the prestigious Indian Council of Cultural Affairs to her, besides nominating her to represent India at a special conference in Pakistan.

Natha Singh, Ludhiana

Sewerage bill

I got my sewerage bill, issued in 2002, rectified as domestic from commercial use but after that no bill was issued to me. The concerned SDO vide his order 20/2/2002 wrongly made it out as domestic since the beginning without mentioning the earlier commercial billing.

Now there is no record either with the corporation XEN and SDO and the JEs are not attending to the matter in the right spirit.

Secondly, on 19/2/2004, I received a letter from the XEN and it was marked by zonal Superintendent for issuance of a receipt, but the concerned clerk refused to issue the receipt. The matter has been reported to the Municipal Commissioner.

One fails to understand that when I am getting a water supply bill as domestic, how can my sewerage connection be commercial ? There is harassment at every step and the public is pushed to a wall. Moreover, there is no separate queues or preference to senior citizens. The bills are also not sent in time resulting in one paying heavy, arrears without any fault.

Is some one listening ?

Sher Singh, Ludhiana

Authority of Akal Takht is supreme

This is an established fact that Akal Takht is the highest temporal seat of the Sikhs and every Sikh bows his head before its edicts. Every now and then lot of confusion arises while declaring anyone a tankhaiya.

It is most unfortunate that Mr Gurbax Singh Kala Afghana of Canada has written books against Sikhism and maryada. Similarly, Joginder Singh, Editor, Spokesman, is accused of writing against Sikhism. As per media reports, they are challenging the authority of the Jathedar Akal Takht.

Such controversies arise because the appointing and removing authority for the Jathedar is the SGPC and the incumbent for the past several decades has always been as handmaiden of the comitteee President. More so in the past few years.

On the other hand, the religious punishment is so mild that the defaulters are not getting any lesson from it. Senior Akali leaders had taken and accepted the tankha but were again allowed to continue in their jobs. This is akin to letting a murderer off with a warning instead of the gallows. The tankha should be such which would be a lesson for others not to indulge in any anti-Sikh activity.

The cleaning of shoes and utensils, reciting of gurbani, arranging path and parshad is just a mockery since these leaders present themselves before Akal Takht with large number of followers and reach complex entrance in a cavalcade of vehicles and are escorted by the police. This is nothing short of a drama.

The Tenth master, Guru Gobind Singh, himself gave capital punishment to the Masands by boiling them in oil to enforce discipline. The tankah should be like debarring such persons or their family members from being in politics for one or two generations. Only then the authority of Akal Takht can be restored and the dissenters be curbed from going against the interest of Khalsa Panth.

Sher Singh, Ludhiana



Director’s bona fides questioned 
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 16
The Brown Memorial Hospital Employees Union in a memorandum submitted to the Union Finance Minister, have sought probe into bona fides of Dr Silas Charles, Director Christian Medical College and Brown Memorial Hospital, Ludhiana.

The union leaders also asked whether Dr Charles fulfilled the requirements of minimum qualifications for teachers in medical institutions.



Guard booked on assault charge
Our Correspondents

Ludhiana, March 16
Balwinder Singh, a security guard at a cycle manufacturing unit in Focal Point, on Sunday assaulted his boss Sham Lal, security in charge of the factory, and three others, including an ASI who reached the spot after receiving information that the irate guard was beating up everyone.

According to information, around 12 midnight, the guard, who was posted at the gate of the factory, asked the time from the store-keeper, who told him that it was 12o’ clock. Taking it as an offensive joke, the guard flew into a rage and started beating the store-keeper. A cleaner, who tried to intervene, was given the same treatment. When the complainant tried to control the furious guard, the latter beat him up and rammed his fist into a windowpane a piece of which hit the complainant in the face. In the meantime, the Focal Point police was informed.

ASI Baljit Singh, who arrived on the scene, tried to pacify the irate guard, but he was also given the same treatment. He was not among the injured who arrived at the Civil Hospital for medical examination. A case under Sections 307, 323 and 324 of the IPC was registered.

Forgery case: On receiving a tip-off that a gang of forgers was about to sell a stolen Zen car with a particular registration number in the Dhokan Mohalla on Sunday, the police registered a case under Sections 420,467,468,471,379 and 120-B of the IPC against Rajinder Kumar, a resident of Ajit Nagar, Jalandhar, Gurvinder Singh, a resident of Putli Ghar, Amritsar, Deepak, and a resident of Uttam Nagar, Janakpuri, Delhi, now living in Kitchlu Nagar in the city.

The police said according to the information, the gang was involved in stealing and selling vehicles with the help of registrations forged by them. No arrest was made.

Servant booked: On the statement of Mr Ashok Kumar, living near New Bikaner Bank in Madhopuri, the police registered a case under sections 381 and 34 of the IPC against Satya, alias Satti, and her husband Harbans Lal, living in Balmik Colony.

The complainant alleged that the accused, who was in his employment as domestic servant, connived with her husband and stole Rs 65,000 and some gold ornaments including rings and a bracelet, on Sunday between 4 pm and 5 pm. No arrest was made.

Car theft: The police registered a case under Section 379 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Baljeet Singh, a resident of Baddowal village. His Zen car was stolen from in front of Kumra Place between 12 noon and 5.15 pm on Sunday. No arrest was made.

Three arrested: On the statement of Mr Gurmeet Singh, a taxi driver, living in Ayali Kalan village and operating from a taxi stand at Aarti Chowk, that certain hoodlums, who had hired his taxi for going from Ludhiana to Chandigarh had hijacked the vehicle near Sahnewal at pistol-point after throwing him on the road, the police arrested all the accused and recovered the stolen car last evening.

Those arrested were identified as Rohit Kumar, alias Vishal, and Karamjit Singh, residents of Gobind Nagar in Mundian Kalan village, and Sunil Kumar, alias Sheela, a resident of Shakti Nagar in Basti Jodhewal. A case under Sections 382 and 34 of the IPC and Section 25 of the Arms Act was registered.

Cop manhandled: On the statement of Constable Harbans Lal, the Shimlapuri police registered a case under Sections 353,186,279,506 and 34 of the IPC on Sunday against Sushil Kumar and Rajan Vaidya, residents of New Shivaji Nagar.

The constable had stated that while he was on traffic duty at Gill chowk on Sunday, the accused, in a car, jumped a red light. When he signalled them to stop, the accused scuffled with him and interrupted him in the discharge of duty. The accused were arrested and the vehicle impounded.

Assault cases: The police on Sunday registered a case under sections 323, 341, 506, 148, 149, 356 and 427 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Ravi Kant Miglani, a resident of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar, against Gursahib Singh and Andy, both residents of Panjab Mata Nagar, Vikas and three other persons accompanying them.

The complainant had alleged that the accused intercepted him and his friend Rajesh near the locality on Saturday night and beat them up. The accused also threatened them and snatched a mobile phone before running away, added the complainant.

The police on Sunday registered a case on the statement of Mr Sukhwinder Singh, a resident of Koom Kalan, against L.B. Singh, a resident of Ram Garh village, and Gurdeep Singh, a resident of Ghumet village.

The complainant had alleged that the accused beat him up and threatened him on the road on Saturday evening near Ghumet village.



Complaint against in-laws
Our Correspondent

Khanna, March 16
Ms Amandeep Kaur, a local resident, has lodged a complaint at Sadar police station against her in-laws that they had beaten her up, threatened to kill her and demanded dowry.

Ms Amandeep Kaur alleged that she was married to Bhag Singh of Chanarthal village two years ago. After a year of the marriage, her in-laws started demanding dowry. One and a half month ago she came to her mother's house with her son and had been staying there.

Gold chain snatched: Two scooter-borne youths snatched a gold chain from a woman on Monday. Ms Kundan Bansal was returning to her house in Krishna Nagar after shopping with her relative Trushika Goel. When they reached near their house, two youths came on a scooter and one of them snatched the gold chain from Ms Bansal. The youths fled on their scooter.



Hotels cash in on cricket fever
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 16
Cricket fever continues unabated in the city, with more restaurants, clubs and theatres screening the live telecast of the match between India and Pakistan. After a sensational victory in the first one-day international at Karachi, Indian fans seem to have more reasons to watch the match.

All leading hotels have installed giant screens to telecast the match live. Although most people remained indoors in their homes, several others enjoyed the game in the hotels and restaurants.

There was a heavy rush at Satluj Club. Cinema houses also reported full attendance despite today being a working day.

The food plaza of Basant Resorts designed uniform for its waiters and other attendants which matched the uniform of Indian cricketers. The plaza manager said, this was the show of solidarity with the Indian team. They said, "The purpose is to identify ourselves with the team".



Hero Cycles strike continues
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 16
Hundreds of workers of the Hero group of industries here today continued their strike in protest against the suspension of four of their colleagues and the show-cause notice issued to 21 others.

The workers held a meeting at Chhatter Singh Park to chalk out their course of action. A meeting between workers and the management yesterday failed to reach any agreement.

Jagdish Kumar, one of the employees, claimed that the management was not allowing them to work freely. He alleged that the workers were being asked to furnish bonds pledging that they would not resort to any union activities on the factory premises. He claimed that work remained suspended in all companies of the group.

Jatinderpal Singh, district general secretary of the Centre for Indian Trade Unions, alleged that the company was not implementing the labour laws properly. He asserted that the workers had a right to protest.

A company spokesman, however, refuted the claims. He said a number of workers had already joined work and there was no lockout in any factory.


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 |