L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


2 held, 12 cases registered for defacement
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 27
Two persons were arrested while 12 cases registered under the Defacement of Public Property Act, 1997 at various police stations of the city yesterday against unknown persons for pasting posters of various political parties.

The Kotwali police registered a case against unknown persons for pasting posters of Mr Manish Tiwari, Congress candidate, on the outer wall of the Punjab State Electricity Board office in Chaura Bazar.

The Division No 2 police registered a case against unknown persons for pasting posters of the Lok Bhalai Party president, Mr Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, on the outer wall of telephone exchange office, near Civil Hospital.

The Model Town police registered a case against unknown persons for sticking posters of Mr Manish Tiwari on the wall of a bus stand shed near Dugri. The Sarabha Nagar police arrested Gopi and Raju, residents of Gian Da Vehra, near Kochhar Market, and registered a case against them for sticking posters of an Independent candidate, Mr Satnam Singh, on the outer wall of a government school in Sarabha Nagar. About 100 posters of the candidate were also seized from them.

The Haibowal police registered a case against unknown persons for sticking posters of different political parties on various government buildings in its area.

The Division No 6 police registered a case against unknown persons for sticking posters of Mr Ramoowalia on the outer wall of a telephone exchange at Dholewal.

Two cases were registered at Division No 7 police station against unknown persons for sticking posters of Mr Ramoowalia on the outer wall of Government Veterinary Hospital on the Tajpur road and of Mr Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, SAD-BJP candidate for the Lok Sabha elections, on the outer wall of Government Primary School at Daba.

The Sadar police registered two cases, one against unknown persons for sticking posters of Mr Ramoowalia on the outer wall of Government Elementary School at Betwal village and the other against unknown persons for sticking posters Mr Manish Tiwari on an electric pole at Lalton Kalan village.

The Sahnewal police registered a case against unknown persons for sticking posters of Mr Manish Tiwari on the wall of the bus stand at Pawa village and the Koom Kalan police registered a case against unknown persons for sticking posters of Mr Ramoowalia on the outer wall of Government Elementary school at Rattan Garh village.


Painters, poster-makers make best of poll
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 27
It is busy time for painters, poster and banner-makers.

With 18 candidates in the fray in Ludhiana, there is a great demand for material like posters, banners and cutouts. And scores of people have started doing this job.

According to rough estimates, election material worth over Rs 1 crore will be used in the Ludhiana parliamentary constituency. The estimates are said to be less in view of the strict monitoring by observers from the Election Commission. Moreover, the local administration is also trying to ensure that the candidates do not resort to unbridled expenditure.

But still it is the best time for Rumal Chand, a painter in Old City. He said whatever the laws and rules might be, he earned good money during elections. Although he refused to tell how much did he earn, he said: “It is more than enough for me to make both ends meet and save something”. He said, he was a professional painter and painted signboards throughout the year. But election time got him the bonus.

Rumal Chand is in the business for several decades. In fact, he has inherited it from his father Faqir Chand. But about two decades ago the business was not so brisk like it is now. People spend a lot of money on publicity material now and a major portion of it goes to the poster-makers and signboard painters like him.

Rumal Chand has no preferences, although he likes the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee. He has painted the posters and banners of former Prime Minister, Ms Indira Gandhi, Mr Rajiv Gandhi, PV Narsimha Rao, Mr Beant Singh, Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, Capt Amarinder Singh and many others whom he does not remember.

“Everybody comes to us as they have to”, he claims in overconfidence while maintaining that he was the best painter in city. He said, there were others also, but he remained the choice of all as his work was accurate and delicate. No wonder at his small shop in one of the interiors one can see the flags of all parties, including the Congress, the BJP, the Shiromani Akali Dal, the Lok Bhalai Party, the Bahujan Samaj Party and the symbols of other independent candidates lying on the ground.


Cong has neglected city, says Dhillon
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 27
SAD has said that Ludhiana has emerged as Punjab’s economic capital but the status has not gone down well with the Congress since the party has not cared to develop it on modern lines.

SAD-BJP candidate Sharanjit Singh Dhillon has said that the mega city has over the years grown at such a rapid pace that it is the fifth largest city after Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai and Mumbai. Lucrative employment opportunities have attracted migrant workers from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh making it the most sought after destination north of Delhi.

The place of pride it occupies on the Indian map does not seem to go well with Congress. The party has neglected Punjab as a whole and Ludhiana in particular in its scheme of things. The city has suffered in the sphere of development. Criminal neglect by the party at the state level and its henchmen in the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation is unforgivable. The air, water and noise pollution in the city is unbearable. There are no civic amenities for the public, he alleged.

The city is also home to writers, musicians and folk singers from all over the state. Intellectuals from various educational institutions and the Engineering College and PAU have no facilities worth the name. Traffic conditions in the city are chaotic. The city is home to a maximum number of vehicles but there are no parking lots. In brief, there are countless problems demanding immediate attention but the ruling regime does not care. He said if voted to power the alliance would give a major facelift to the industrial hub of the state.


23 city students clear PMT (Prelim)
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 27
At least 23 students of the city have cleared the Pre-Medical Entrance (Preliminary) Test conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), the result of which was declared on the Internet last evening.

The candidates include seven students each of Sacred Heart Convent Senior Secondary School, Sarabha Nagar, and Guru Nanak Public School, five of DAV Public School and four of BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar.

Students of Sacred Heart Convent Senior Secondary School who have cleared the screening test are Divyanshu Malhotra, Preetika Khurana, Gurleen Wander, Bhuvnesh Aggarwal, Ankita, Nehaprita and Ashneet. Divyanshu has made it with the highest score of 485 marks out of 500.

Among the students of Guru Nanak Public School, the highest score is 448 of Navkirat Singh Bajwa. Six other students who have been selected to appear for the main paper are Navreet Kaur, Harleen Kaur Chadha, Harleen Chhabra, Simranpreet Singh Sandhu, Gaganpreet and Harshdeep.

Pancham Kalra is the highest scorer among the students from DAV Public School with 452 marks. Others from the school to clear the test are Divya Arora, Rishik Vishisht, Manraj Kaur and Sudeep Brar.

Ankur Aggarwal of BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School cleared the test with 466 marks. Besides, Niharika, Karambir and Sukhjinder of the same school have also made it.

Having cleared their preliminary test, students were now preparing for the main subjective examination to be held on May 16. Manraj Kaur, a student of DAV Public School, said she had joined a coaching centre from where she was getting a question bank of long questions every day. She attempted some of the questions at the centre and the rest at home. She was spending five or six hours daily at the coaching centre and nearly seven hours studying at home, she said.

Ankur Aggarwal, a student of BCM School, said he had been taking private tuition from different subject experts.


Siahar villagers hope to find missing witness
Tribune News Service

Siahar (Ludhiana), April 27
With the initiation of an inquiry into the violence incident at Nanaksar Ashram Thath, Siahar, by the Crime Branch police, there is a ray of hope for the villagers who are worried about the fate of the prime witness in the case who had disappeared mysteriously three months ago.

Pandit Acchhru Ram, an old man of the village, had sustained injuries during the violence in the thath on October 11,2003 and was recorded as a witness in the FIR registered against some persons responsible for the violence. A person was killed and several others were injured in the violence.

The villagers are hoping that the Inquiry Officer, SP Harbhaj Singh, might look into his disappearance while inquiring into the case.

Acchhru Ram had disappeared from his residence in the village in February. He used to live alone in the house as his family had deserted him some years ago.

Amidst allegations and counter-allegations levelled by both the warring factions, the villagers are hoping that with the initiation of the inquiry at least his whereabouts would be known.

He was looked after by some villagers after he had sustained injuries. But one morning he was found missing from his house and villagers thought he might have left for some relative's house. But he did not appear till date.

Both the factions are still accusing each other for his disappearance but are not willing to come on record.

Acchhru Ram had been living alone in Siahar village for the past many years. He had never left his house for so long. Though he used to go to his relatives' houses, he used to inform the villagers about it.

Mr Gurdev Singh Grewal, spokesman for the Baba Mann Singh faction, had sent telegrams to higher officials regarding the disappearance of Acchhru Ram.

A spokesman for the Baba Harnek Singh group said they were surprised at the disappearance of Acchhru Ram as they were hoping that he would come back himself.

Villagers say they were quite worried about Acchhru Ram and fear that he might have been killed by the other camp.


Residents suffer as authorities pass the buck
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, April 27
Some residents of Rajguru Nagar Extention Colony, which is situated opposite the improvement-trust developed Rajguru Nagar, have allegedly got water and sewerage connections from the official sewerage and water supply of the trust, which caters to the latter.

The Rajguru Nagar Welfare Society has made a complaint to the trust authorities, seeking action against residents of Rajguru Nagar Extension Colony, who have illegally connected to the official water and sewerage system of the colony. The society has complained that residents of Rajguru Nagar are already facing shortage of drinking water and the illegal connections have added to their difficulties. The society has sought action against the defaulters, but so far the trust authorities have not moved in the matter. They are passing on the responsibility to the Water and Sewerage Board.

Mr Manmohan Singh, Superintending Engineer, Ludhiana Improvement Trust, when contacted, said he had written to the Water and Sewerage Board in this regard and asked it to take action against the residents who had illegal connections. It was the duty of the board to initiate action, he said.

However, Mr K. C. Gupta, Executive Engineer of the board, said it was only maintaining the sewerage and water supply systems and it was the duty of the trust to take action in this matter. He said the granting or disconnecting water and sewerage connections was the job of the trust.

Mr Gupta said officials of the board had gone to cut the illegal connections, but no official of the trust accompanied them. It was mandatory on the part of the trust to depute an official to accompany them on such tasks.

Residents of Rajguru Nagar Extension Colony allegedly have political support. One trustee of the improvement trust allegedly stopped the officials of the board from cutting the illegal connections.

Rajguru Nagar Welfare Society office-bearers are planning to approach higher authorities in Chandigarh.



Thanks to the Election Commission of India directive and the follow-up action taken by the district administration, public property is not being misused for pasting posters and installing banners and cutouts. After the Deputy Commissioner, who is also the Returning Officer, issued an ultimatum to the candidates against defacing public property, they (the candidates) launched another drive. This time it was cleanliness drive. More posters and more problems. So far everybody knew about pasting of posters by the candidates and their supporters and now it is the reverse process. It was the candidates themselves and their supporters who were made to perform the onerous and unpalatable task of removing their own posters. One of the workers pointed out it is more difficult to remove a poster than to paste it.

Poll or freestyle wrestling?

With election time around it is too much of sound and fury. With 18 candidates in the fray in Ludhiana and each one of them claiming to be confident of victory, the electoral festivity appears to be at its best (read worst) here. From the pamphlets that drop from the newspapers in the early morning to the jarring notes from the loudspeakers played at high volumes in the vehicles seeking votes, everything conveys the only impression that a big fight is on. Somebody put it more appropriately, not just a big fight, but the freestyle wrestling that is quite popular among the youngsters. And no candidate leaves any stone unturned to ensure that his opponent gets a good thrashing.


Hot and cold

The climate also appears to be playing hot and cold like the candidates contesting the elections. The mercury touched an all-time high in the month of April only breaking all previous records. But within a few days only there was a downpour thus bringing down the temperature once again. The weather experts said it was unprecedented that such a huge variation was noticed in the temperatures in a span of few days only. While it remains extremely hot on a particular day, the very next day its turn relatively cold. A cool relief indeed.

Much needed public transport

About a year ago the Ludhiana district administration had embarked upon an ambitious plan to launch public transport system on a similar pattern in other metro cities of the country. Even the routes had been identified and permits issued for operating the mini buses for the same purpose. Like most of the government schemes, it also went haywire. The public transport system was expected to provide much relief to the traffic problem in the city as this could prompt people to use public transport instead of private vehicles. This could also lessen the burden on the congested roads. But even when over a year has passed, nobody knows as what happened to that scheme.

Only sons & not daughters

Swami Ramdev who had organised a 10-day yoga camp would often prescribe cures for many illnesses or problems. He prescribed some medications for women who had problems begetting children. After telling a number of medicines, he assured the ladies that this remedy would produce a sure shot son. Why not a daughter? If in a very large congregation attended by more than 10,000 persons the gender bias is openly maintained then how ca n one expect the dropping female ratio to come up at all? Already the female sex ratio as compared to males is alarmingly low in our state and when influential people tell remedies to produce sons only, the scene is quite dismal for fair sex in the state.

Who will tear faster?

With the elections drawing nearer, the need to make the campaign more aggressive is also on the rise. In the city, one can see the banners and posters of the candidates pasted on every available space. But the most amusing part of the business is that one day the posters are there, the next day they are gone and in its place the posters of the candidates of the opposite party have been put up are. It is a race against time as elections draw near. No can see the posters being torn during day time. Obviously then the party workers must be pulling, tearing and pasting the posters of its own candidates during nocturnal hours. What a waste of money and effort. But everything is fair in elections, isn’t it?

Publicity hungry

Every institution, whether it is a school, bank, or store, and even individuals, are publicity hungry. For this reason the Press receives a number of invitations of this kind every day. The reporters are asked to cover from smallest to smallest events or functions. Since it is not possible to attend all such functions, press notes received mention only one line about the function... like one poor girl got married ...but there will be about 10 lines about the people who were present at the function.

— Sentinel


Bag containing cash snatched, recovered
Our Correspondent

Khanna, April 27
Two persons, including a child snatched a bag containing cash from a trader near the Lalheri Road Railway Crossing on Tuesday.

The trader was purchasing some articles after parking his scooter. In the meantime, the two took away the bag lying in the basket of the scooter and fled. The man managed to escape while the child was caught by people and the bag recovered from him.


Passengers robbed
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 27
Three armed youths robbed the occupants of a tempo of more than Rs 1.75 lakh near Baurhai Kalan village today.

Sources said the three robbed the passengers, travelling in the tempo which was going from the local Railway Road to Kanganwal village at gunpoint around 2 pm.


Seminar on food processing industry today
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 27
PNB is organising a seminar on the food processing industry “Emerging trends and opportunities” in association with the Ludhiana Management Association and Punjab Agricultural University tomorrow.

Eminent professionals, scientists, bankers, industrialists from the Punjab Agricultural University, the PHPTC, the Central Institute of Post Harvest Engineering & Technology), Ludhiana, the Defence Food Research Laboratories, Mysore, the National Dairy Research Institute, Karnal, the Agriculture & Processed-Food Export Development Authority, the Punjab Agro Industries Corporation, Chandigarh, National Bank for Agriculture & Rural Development, consultants from NITCON/-UPICO, representatives from food processing industries, industrialists, progressive farmers & new entrepreneurs will participate in the seminar.

Issues like opportunities in food business in the state, developments in post-harvest management, food processing, equipment and machinery, commercial sourcing of food processing machinery and equipment will be discussed.


Steel Workers Union threatens fast
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 27
The ongoing dispute between workers and the management of Avon Cycles took a new turn today after the District Steel Workers Union served a notice on the Sub-Divisional Magistrate for having failed to resolve the issue.

The notice served by the general secretary of the union, Mr Sarbjit Singh Sarhali, pointed out that on January 23 it had been decided at a meeting in the office of the Deputy Commissioner that a committee headed by the SDM would be constituted to resolve the issue.

The dispute is regarding the settlement of 25 sacked workers of Avon Bicycle Component Private Limited, seven of Bhogal Sons and three workers of Avon Cycles.

Mr Sarhali alleged that the committee had not pursued the issue properly and even after four months it remained unresolved. The SDM was to give his final decision within a few weeks. However, despite several representations by the union, no action had been taken, he said.

The union urged the SDM to give the final decision within two days, failing which it would resort to relay fast in front of his office.


Call for import of steel
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 27
The Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Punjab, has opposed the demand of the main steel producers to restore DEPB incentives.

The incentives were withdrawn with effect from March 27 to check the export of steel and give relief to the steel consumers in the country. Mr P.D. Sharma, president of the chamber, in a statement here today said that prices of steel rounds were continuing to rise. These were mainly supplied by secondary steel plants. Public sector plant RINL, Vishakhapatnam, fed the market only up to 5 per cent and SAIL did not produce rounds, he said.

Despite this limitation, public sector plants were not despatching material to Punjab and as a result the situation was becoming grave with regard to the availability of steel.

Mr Sharma said the price situation could cool down only through import of steel. At present, the custom duty for the import of steel was 15 per cent, which was too high. For some special steel used in high-end automobile products custom duty was 10 per cent. In order to make imports viable and check the rising prices custom duty on steel should be reduced to 5 per cent, he said. In fact, the situation demanded that it should be reduced to zero for some time, he added.

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