L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Voter’s Day today
19.5 lakh voters to decide fate of 18 candidates; 8,500 personnel put on poll duty; 1,855 polling stations set up; EVMs with two balloting units to be used
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 9
All is set for polling tomorrow in the Ludhiana parliamentary constituency. Mr Anurag Verma, Deputy Commissioner-cum- District Election Officer, said all arrangements had been made in the district for the smooth conduct of the elections. The polling will start at 7 in the morning and continue till 5 in the evening.

Mr Verma said there were 12 Assembly segments in the district. Nine Assembly segments are part of the Ludhiana parliamentary constituency, while Khanna and Samrala are part of the Ropar parliamentary constituency and Raikot segment falls in the Sangrur parliamentary constituency.

The Deputy Commissioner said the district had a total of about 19.5 lakh voters. There are 1,855 polling stations. For the parliamentary constituency, 18 candidates are in the fray. This is the only constituency in the state for which two balloting units will be used.

Mr Verma said about 8,500 polling personnel had been put on duty in the district. About half of this are from outside the district as per the directions of the Election Commission. All polling personnel have been given training for use of electronic voting machines consisting of two balloting units.

To supervise the election process, about 150 supervisory officers have also been put on duty. These supervisory officers have been allotted 10 to 12 polling stations each and they will be constantly touring and covering the polling stations in their respective areas.

He said as per the directions of Election Commission, voters who have been issued photo identity cards must bring these at the time of voting. For those who have not been issued the identity cards, the commission has given a list of 14 alternative documents for proving their identity.

Mr Verma said the Chief Secretary, Punjab, had ordered that May 10 would be observed as a public holiday all over Punjab. Government offices, all offices of corporation/boards of the state government and all educational institutions in the state will remain closed on account of the Lok Sabha elections.

He stated that the Chief Electoral Officer, Punjab, had clarified that the day following the polling day would also be treated as period of election duty for polling personnel and they would not be required to report for duty at their respective places of work on the day. Hence, polling personnel will not be treated as absent from duty on May 11.



Polling booths in Ludhiana West shifted
Our Correspondent

Polling officials inspect electronic voting machines in Ludhiana
Polling officials inspect electronic voting machines in Ludhiana on Sunday. — Photo by Sayeed Ahmed 

Ludhiana, May 9
The Assistant Returning Officer of Ludhiana West Assembly segment has shifted some polling stations in the area for the Lok Sabha elections on May 10 due to certain administrative reasons.

According to an official press note, polling station Nos. 17, 18, 19 and 20, located earlier at Public High School, have been shifted to Government High School (No. 5) on College Road for voters of Ghumar Mandi, Hira Singh Road, Prem Nagar, Sant Nagar, Dayal Nagar, Baba Balak Nath Mandir, Gurdwara Ravidas, Sham Lal Vehra, Maya Nagar localities in Ward No. 25.

Similarly, polling station Nos. 77 and 78, previously located at Shri Ram Bhavan Dharamshala in Sham Nagar on Sita Nagar Road, have been shifted to UK Public School in Sham Nagar on Sita Nagar Road for voters of Sham Nagar, Sita Nagar II and Sita Nagar III localities in Ward No. 30.



Liquor washes ban aside
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 9
While liquor shops in the state remained closed for the common man, its flow continues for most of the political parties as well as Independent candidates. Be it the Congress, the Akalis or peripheral groups, no one appears to be prepared to take the risk of not supplying the golden liquid.

A random survey in more than ten villages around the city and a few localities within revealed that “active party workers” and polling agents of different candidates were receiving generous supplies of liquor from candidates. Even at places in the heart of the city, like Jawahar Nagar or Camp Area, supporters of the candidates did not hesitate in supplying liquor.

It was learnt that “senior and responsible” leaders had been entrusted with the job of ensuring the supplies to the local-level leaders and polling agents. The lists of such people were prepared in advance. The supply of liquor started on May 7, as the candidates did not want to take any chance, lest some of their supporters were left “dry”.

This reporter spotted a group of people in Dad village on the Pakhowal road offering liquor to supporters of an Independent candidate. They said there was nothing wrong in it as every candidate had arranged for such “refreshments”. They claimed, “Even the Congress and the Akali-BJP workers are supplying liquor; so what is wrong if we supply liquor to our supporters”.

They said standing at the polling booth, preparing “voter slips” and also keeping an eye out for bogus voters was an arduous job. “Everybody wants some refreshment at the end of the day, and we are providing it”, they said, adding, “this practice has been continuing since years, and on every polling day liquor is provided to workers”.

One of the liquor contractors revealed that they had been approached by all main political parties and a few Independent candidates for liquor. Although the parties and candidates have offered to pay, the contractors do not expect any payment. Leading contractors, including one from Uttar Pradesh, are said to have supplied liqour to all parties. So have the smaller contractors.

The distribution of liquor among the workers and grassroots party leaders is no mean job. One of the leaders assigned the job disclosed that for the past two days and nights he had hardly taken any rest as he had to ensure that liquor reached the destination in time.

While it is believed that not many people switch their loyalties for a couple of bottles, even the few who get swayed are of great help as at least they stand outside the booths holding the party flag and issuing voter slips. 



Don’t vote for drink, urge academicians
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 9
Padam Shree Dr S.S. Johl, former Vice-Chancellor, Punjabi University, Dr Sukhdev Singh, former Vice-Chancellor, Punjab Agricultural University, Prof G.S. Dua, Dean, Guru Nanak Dev University, Principal Manjinder Kaur (Kotan), Prof B.P. Singh, economist, and many other academicians of the state have appealed to the people not to vote for the political parties and candidates who have distributed alcohol and other drugs to lure voters.

Dr C.K. Singh, Chief Secretary, Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle, while expressing faith in the democratic process said present political scenario showed that voters would punish the drug distributors as the practice was greatly damaging the democratic setup of the nation.

Dr Deepinder Singh, Director, Social and Health Services, Directorate of Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle, said some selfish persons, to gain political power, played politics of convenience and distribute drugs, alcohol etc. Recent studies by the Social and Health Services had clearly shown that the people of the state were now fed up of such practice. All political parties and candidates must come out of this misconception that they could win votes and hearts of the common people by just distributing drugs. In the changed scenario only their work and commitment to the social cause matters.

Dr Pushpinder Singh expressed full confidence in the electorate. He said people of the state would discard the candidates luring them with alcohol and bhukki, opium etc.



Muslim body to support Dhillon
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 9
The SAD-BJP candidate, Mr Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, today claimed that Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s appeal to the electorate to vote for stability at yesterday’s rally had consolidated his mass base.

Talking to mediapersons here, Mr Dhillon said the people had now realised that Punjab had lagged behind as far as development was concerned under Congress rule. “Successive Congress representatives from Ludhiana have never raised crucial issues concerning the local population, including the business and industrial community, in Parliament. The result of the poor representation of the industrial hub has been that many projects have either been scrapped or put on the back burner,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Punjab unit of the Indian Muslim Council has announced its support to Mr Dhillon. In a statement, Haji Muhammad Farooq said the council had resolved at a meeting held in Bagh Soofian to support the SAD-BJP combine. 



Congress workers honour Tiwari’s mother
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, May 9
Dr Amritpal Kaur, mother of the Congress candidate, Mr Manish Tiwari, was honoured at Nandpur village, near Sahnewal, last evening at a gathering of the Congress.
Captain Sukhjit Singh Hara, Ludhiana block president of the Congress, and other party workers honoured Mr Tiwari’s mother by given her Rs 21,000 and sweets. The workers assured support to the congress candidate.

Mr Pushpinder Singh, sarpanch, Pawa Khagat, Mr Bant Singh, sarpanch, Mangali, Mr Ajit Pal Singh, sarpanch, Kanech, Mr Ram Asra, sarpanch, Madnipur, Mr Gurdial Singh Dharaur, Mr Charanjit Singh, vice-president, block committee, Dehlon, Mr Sarabjit Singh Kohara, Mr Dharanjit Singh Jandiala, Mr Darshan Lal, Mr Jaspal Kaur, Mr Jeet Ram, Ranjha Ramand Sikander of Bazigar Biradari, Mr Jasvir Singh Majara and Mr Bhatinder Singh Jargari were among those who promised support to the Congress candidate.



Slum-dwellers glum, others happy 
as campaigning ends
Our Correspondent

The Election Commission may have ordered campaigning closed, but there is no stopping children from carrying flags of political parties in Ludhiana
The Election Commission may have ordered campaigning closed, but there is no stopping children from carrying flags of political parties in Ludhiana on Sunday. — Tribune photo by Pradeep Tewari

Ludhiana, May 9
The end of campaigning has brought relief to most Ludhianvis, especially after yesterday’s nightmarish experience, while for others it means no more freebies or brisk business.

Mr Rakesh Sharma, a shopkeeper, says, “It was a tough day for me. I have my shop in Chaura Bazaar, but due to Captain Amarinder Singh’s road show, we were not allowed to go to our shops. I had to suffer losses. The elections do not mean that the common man should be inconvenienced. At last, we are free of campaigning of political leaders."

Soni, a student, says, “I am very happy, too, as there will be no rallies and hence no traffic jams. As I had to appear for my examinations, I was apprehensive lest I should get caught in the traffic jam due to rallies. One day, I did get caught and reached the examination centre just in the nick of time. For my practical examination, I will not be tense and will not have to start one and a half hours earlier.”

Mr Aggarwal, a senior citizen, says that the noise of loudspeakers was getting on his nerves. His blood pressure remained constantly high due to the din of campaigning as he lives in a congested locality near Domoria Pul. He said he is peaceful now that normalcy has returned.

However, many slum-dwellers are very sad. “During the campaigning, we were given free liquor and food. Sometimes, we got cash, too, to attend the rallies of political leaders. We just went without even knowing which party's rally we were attending. We were just happy to get good food and whiskey or whatever they gave us to drink. We are sad as we will not get two square meals any more. First they came to our doors but now they will not even recognise us,” they said.

Similarly, poster-makers and painters, who did a roaring business painting posters and hoardings and printing leaflets, are a sad lot as again there will be a lull in their business.



MiG crash victims’ kin get Rs 62 lakh as relief
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 9
More than a year after MiG-23 aircraft crashed into a locality in Mullanpur Dakha, killing seven persons besides damaging property, the Indian Air Force authorities disbursed cheques worth Rs 62 lakh among relatives of the victims of the tragedy and those who lost their property.

The cheques were disbursed at Mullanpur Dakha yesterday. Those who had lost their relatives were given a compensation of Rs 5.5 lakh each, while those who had suffered damage to their property were compensated according to the damage.

Mr Jasbir Singh, father of youngest victim Gaganjodh Singh (15), Ms Ranjit Kaur, mother of victim Paramjit Kaur, and Mr Dewan Chand, husband of victim Bimla Devi, were given a compensation of Rs 5.5 lakh each, while Mr Purshottam Singh Bholla, a tractor mechanic in the area who had lost three members of his family — his wife, son and daughter — was given Rs 16.

Mr Avtar Singh, a college lecturer, whose house was damaged in the incident was given a cheque for Rs 23.54 lakh, Mr Jagwinder Singh Sekhon Rs 6.16 lakh, Mr Purshottam Singh Bholla Rs 9.81 lakh and Mr Dewan Chand Rs 1.7 lakh.

Though the affected families accepted the cheques, the pain of losing their kin was visible on their faces. A MiG-23 aircraft had crashed into Bank Colony of Mullanpur Dakha on April 4 last year, killing seven members of two families and badly damaging several houses. In the incident, an Amritsar-based family was wiped out.

Though the incident remains etched in the memories of residents who had lost their relatives and those who had seen the tragedy unfold in front of their eyes, they are trying to come to terms with the reality.

As the mangled remains of household goods and some parts of the aircraft lie in a house in the colony, the owner of the house, who had lost his wife, son and a daughter in the incident, has decided to sell his house.

The house of Mr Purshottam Singh Bholla, which had suffered maximum loss in the incident, has been put on sale. “I lost my world in the incident. There is no fun in living in the house now. I have reconstructed the damaged portion and is ready to be sold. The moment I find a buyer, I am going to sell it.”

Unfortunately there are no takers for his house. “Who would buy this house where seven persons lost their lives in one of the most tragic incidents?” said a neighbour. Even Bholla shifted from this house months ago and went on live in his workshop with his youngest son.



Evasion of Rs 69.48 lakh customs duty detected
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 9
The Central Excise Commissionerate, Ludhiana, has detected a case of fraudulent evasion of customs duty amounting to Rs 69.48 lakh by a local unit. The commissionerate has arrested one of the partners in the company.

According to the Commissioner, Central Excise, the unit, Classic Wool and Fibers, Pakhowal Road, imported acrylic staple fibre and polyester texturised yarn duty free under the 100 per cent export-oriented unit (EOU) scheme, but instead of using the imported material for the manufacture of export goods, it diverted the material to the domestic market and replaced it with locally procured cotton yarn.

Investigation in the case revealed that a major part of the duty-free imported raw material was not even brought to the factory premises and was disposed of in the domestic market.

The Commissioner revealed that in the beginning the unit was a proprietor concern and later it was converted into a partnership firm, with Mr Harpreet Singh and Mr Vinod Kumar as partners. Mr Vinod Kumar allegedly opened letters of credit fraudulently and imported the material and got it cleared without paying duty under the 10 per cent EOU scheme.

Summons were issued to Mr Harpreet Singh for further investigation. In his statement he admitted to the evasion of customs duty and disclosed that Mr Vinod Kumar was the mastermind in the fraud and had played a major role in processing duty-free imported goods, claimed the Commissioner.

He said Mr Vinod Kumar appeared in the Commissionerate office on May 6 and 7 to tender his statement and admitted his involvement in the fraudulent evasion of customs duty.

Mr Vinod Kumar was arrested on May 7 and further investigations are on. The Commissioner claimed that Mr Vinod Kumar was also involved in another case registered by the Kolkata Customs in March 2004 against his firm Brij Spinners, Ludhiana.



Probe sought into SAD leader’s death
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, May 9
The Akali Dal (A) has demanded a probe into the sequence of events that led to a stampede at an SAD rally at Malerkotla on Friday, which was followed by the death of an SAD leader under mysterious circumstances. However, SAD leaders have termed their leader’s death as natural and blamed the police for disrupting their rally.

Mr Charan Singh Lohara, general secretary, Akali Dal (A), alleged that SAD workers had spread rumours regarding visit of cine star Dharmendra to the rally. District general secretary of SAD Avtar Singh Madevi had received fatal injuries in a stampede at the close of the rally.

Elaborating, Mr Lohara said: “Fearing low attendance at the rally, organisers spread rumours in the area that Dharmendra was scheduled to attend the SAD rally at Malerkotla on Friday. The Akali Dal (A) and the Congress had also organised simultaneous rallies at Malerkotla. But Dharmendra fans thronged SAD rally to get a glimpse of their star. When Dharmendra did not turn up till 10 pm and Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa rose to address the rally, the fans got impatient, which resulted in a stampede causing injuries to Mr Madevi. Instead of taking the injured leader to the hospital, SAD activists dropped him at his residence, where he died the next morning.”

On the other hand, SAD leaders termed their leader’s death as natural. Mr Nusrat Akram Khan Bagga, a former SAD minister, said: “He had not been keeping well lately. Instead of sitting on the stage, the leader decided to sit with workers on the ground due to ill health.” He was alright when he was taken home, Mr Bagga claimed. He, however, blamed the police for the reported stampede.



Commitment, perseverance stood them in good stead
Tribune News Service

Gagandeep Gambhir (left) and Madhur Verma with their families in Ludhiana after making it to the Indian Civil Services
Gagandeep Gambhir (left) and Madhur Verma with their families in Ludhiana after making it to the Indian Civil Services. — A Tribune photograph

Ludhiana, May 9
At the end of the day is commitment, conviction and perseverance that stood Gagandeep Gambhir and Madhur Verma in good stead in their unfailing pursuit to make it to the final list of the Indian Civil Services. While Gagandeep has scored eighty-fifth rank, Madhur has been placed at 206 position.

For Gagandeep it was the final chance and she did clear it brilliantly. She expects to be included in the IAS, while Madhur hopes to make it to the IPS or IRS. Madhur’s was the second attempt and he want to appear again to ensure a place in the IAS or the IPS.

Both of them have studied in Ludhiana. Gagandeep, after her schooling in Bihar, where her father is doing business, studied in Khalsa College for Women here, from where she did her graduation. She did her postgraduation in history from Panjab University, Chandigarh. She is doing her PhD from there.

History and public administration were her option subjects. She said although she could not make it in the first three attempts, she remained committed and firm in her resolve and ultimately success came her way. She laboured and studied hard to realise her dream Had it not been for her commitment and perseverance she might not have succeeded.

Gagandeep remains grateful to her family, particularly her mother. It is the family which provided her full support in her pursuit, which was certainly not an easy job.

Madhur wanted to make it in the first 100 to secure a place in the IPS at least, but could not. However, he is not disappointed as he hopes to improve in the next attempt. A product of the Atam Public School, Model Town, here he did his engineering from Guru Nanak Engineering College, Ludhiana. However, he took sociology and public administration as his optional subjects. He is a regular reader of various newspapers.

Madhur’s father, Mr V.M. Verma is himself an Indian Revenue Service officer and is currently posted as Assistant Commissioner, Central Excise. It is the entire family, including his mother Kusum Verma, who teaches in Atam Public School, which inspired and supported him to achieve his goal. Madhur maintains that he has still a long way to go to reach his ultimate goal.



Fawn attacked by dogs rescued
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 9
A vigilant security officer of Punjab Agricultural University posted at Laddowal Farms saved a fawn from some stray dogs on the “hadda rori” of Laddowal village, near here, today.
The fawn was injured by the dogs and its rear left leg was fractured. Two veterinary doctors of the district surgically mended its leg.

Mr R.S. Dhillon, security officer at PAU farms, saw a fawn being attacked by some stray dogs on the “hadda rori.” He immediately rescued the small animal and handed it over two veterinarians, Dr H.S. Dhalla and Dr Jaswant Singh.

The duo handed over the animal to the Wildlife Department authorities, which asked the doctors to provide its treatment. They operated on the fawn and mended its broken bone with nails. They said it would recover in 7-10 days and nails would be removed after 25 days.

The wildlife authorities asked the veterinarians to keep the fawn with them till it recovered. They said after removing nails, it would be released into the forest.

Residents of Laddowal said many such small animals were eaten up by stray dogs in the area but nothing was being done to save the lives of these animals.

The residents said the “hadda rori,” which was earlier on the outskirts of the village, was shifted inside the forest area of Laddowal. It was frequented by stray dogs, which used to stay away from the forest earlier. With the shifting of the “hadda rori”, these dogs caught any small animal that strayed near the “hadda rori” and eat it up.



Cotton saree contest organised
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 9
A cotton saree competition was organised by members of the Gitanjali Ladies Club here yesterday. The members were divided into three different age groups. The ladies wore smart starched sarees. They walked down the ramp elegantly.

Tambola was also enjoyed by the ladies. In the age group 25 to 35 years, Ms Shalini won the first prize while Ms Vanita was placed second.

In the age group of 35 to 45 years, Ms Anita Kundra won the first prize and Ms Kiran Garg stood second.

In the age group of 45years and above, Dr Achla won the first prize, Ms Roshan got the second and Ms Suniita Aggarwal third. A special prize was given to Ms Manjula Rai.



Rhyme competition
Ludhiana, May 9
Whiz Kid Toddlers Club organised a rhyme competition on the school premises on Saturday. Children aging three years and above participated in the competition. Winners were honoured with certificates and prizes by the chief guest, Ms Smriti. Ms Dimple Verma, Principal of the school, said the event was organised to encourage and motivate tiny tots to showcase their talent. TNS
Tiny tots of Whiz Kid Toddlers Club during the rhyme competition organised in Ludhiana
Tiny tots of Whiz Kid Toddlers Club during the rhyme competition organised in Ludhiana on Saturday. — Photo by Inderjit Verma



Another fire victim dies
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 9
The second victim of the Field Ganj fire tragedy has died due to unavailability of medicines and appropriate medical aid. The tragedy had occurred after firecrackers burst in a house in Field Ganj few days ago. One person had died in the incident.

Residents of Field Ganj claimed that hospital authorities were refusing to hand over the body of the victim to its relatives. They alleged that the hospital staff were demanding money in spite of assurances of help and aid given by the Punjab Government as well as the local administration.

PPPP state president Gurinder Sood, along with youth president Manu Sidhu, demanded immediate release of the body to the relatives and provision of medicines and proper medical aid to the remaining three victims, who were struggling for their lives at the CMC Hospital.



Four hurt in accident

Doraha, May 9
Four occupants of a Maruti car, including a child, were injured in an accident near Malhipur village here today.
The driver, Gagandeep Singh, his wife, Sandeep Kaur, and their three-year-old girl, Arshi, who were seriously injured, have been admitted to CMC Hospital in Ludhiana. Hardeep Kaur was admitted to Sidhu Hospital.

The family was coming from Ambala to attend a marriage ceremony when a tempo hit their car. OC



Petrol station worker shot, 4.3 lakh looted
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, May 9
Five armed miscreants shot dead a petrol station employee and snatched Rs 4.36 lakh from the owner at a level crossing at Jitwal Kalan village, near here, last night.
The police has registered an FIR under Section 396 of the IPC and the Arms Act.

According to sources, Sukhjiwan Singh (19), a resident of Jhaner village, who was accompanying Harvinder Singh, owner of a petrol station in Sehora village, was shot dead in an attack by five unidentified miscreants.

The two were returning from the petrol station with Rs 4.36 lakh. Their car was stopped by the robbers at the level crossing and one of them shot Sukhjiwan as he attempted to come out of the car. They asked Harvinder to surrender the money. He had escaped a shot, which hit the car.

The robbers escaped with the cash and a mobile phone after deflating the tyres of the car by firing at them.

Mr Mukand Singh Mahli, Deputy Superintendent of Police at Malerkotla, said Mr G.S. Dhillon, SSP, Sangrur, and Mr Harjinder Singh, SP (D), had visited the spot.

Sukhjiwan, who was waiting for his 10+2 result, had joined the job only yesterday. Though Harvinder Singh was carrying a revolver, he did not dare to use it once Sukhjiwan was shot. According to the police, the shells recovered indicated that the robbers used a very sophisticated 7.6 mm weapon.



Centre, state to blame for rising steel prices: chamber
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 9
The Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry has strongly reacted to the blame game being played by political parties to the detriment of trade and industry, and decried their indifference to the crisis-like situation created by faulty policies of the government.

To make matters worse, different sections of industry are being used as tools by the ruling parties, both at the Centre and the state level. Charges and counter-charges are being traded, particularly over rising steel prices.

Mr P.D.Sharma, president of the chamber, observed that the unusual hike in steel prices had taken a very heavy toll of the user industry. “There is no doubt that it was bungling and mishandling by the Union Steel Ministry. The situation came to such a pass that the government just did not listen to the steel-consuming industry's grievances,” he said.

He claimed that the apex chamber had hurled factual allegations, pinpointing major fallacies of the Central Government which, for a change, had responded promptly.

As a remedial action, the government evolved a package to control steel prices, with the result that the prices of products like HR coil, steel plates and sponge iron remained stable since then and those of pig iron also came down heavily.

Iron and steel material like steel rounds and wire rod are mainly being produced by the secondary sector. The prices are being manipulated and these keep fluctuating throughout the day. Due to such unhealthy trends, the secondary sector has suffered very heavily in the past and about 50 per cent of the units were wiped out while others functioned in an erratic manner.

Continuing with its policy of manipulative pricing, the secondary sector has been fixing prices arbitrarily, much to the discomfort of the user industry.

Mr Sharma said the state government had a vital role to play in saving the steel-user industry, mainly producing and exporting light engineering goods. He termed it as a major misconception that the Centre alone was responsible for the “mess”. When the prices had shot up to an unrealistic level, it was the duty of the Chief Minister to intervene and deal with the situation. There were rumours of large-scale hoarding of steel by the traders, which again, came under the purview of the state government, he added.

He was of the view that compared to neighbouring states, the secondary steel sector in Punjab, which played a vital role in producing necessary raw material, had a bleak future.

“When the iron and steel prices were rising, the industry urged the Punjab Chief Minister to give concessional power tariff to the steel-producing units, but to no avail. The steel furnace units are not in a position to augment the capacity without switching over to 66 kv, which is beyond their reach due to phenomenal investment,” Mr Sharma said.


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