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Evading toll tax, VIP style
Jupinderjit Singh and Mahesh Sharma
Tribune News Service

A ‘police pass’ used to evade tax at a toll tax barrier on the national highway near Doraha.
A ‘police pass’ used to evade tax at a toll tax barrier on the national highway near Doraha.

Ludhiana, June 2
A large number of police officers, bureaucrats and politicians in the region have issued VIP passes to their relatives and supporters to enable them evade tax at the toll tax barrier on National Highway No. 1 near Doraha.

The local VIPs have got hundreds of such passes printed for the purpose. They ever use their visiting cards for the purpose by making little improvisations. The officials stamp the second fold of their visiting cards, mentioning especially that it was a pass for the toll tax barrier.

While common commuters have to pay tax at the barrier, these influential persons conveniently circumvent the rules by using these passes.

The toll tax barrier employees have confiscated over 50 such passes in the past two months. These were issued by a local Congress minister, some bureaucrats and police officials. The employees claim that they had let hundreds of other persons pass through the barrier without paying tax, fearing the “unbridled power” of the issuing authorities.

The confiscation of these passes had no effect as the authorities issued new passes to the same persons. The Tribune has copies of special “police passes” issued by a police official of the rank of an Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI). He has issued dozens of such passes. The Tribune also has copies of some specially designed visiting cards of senior police officers.

The VIPs are so confident that they even mention their phone numbers on the passes. The barrier employees are often reprimanded over the phone by the VIPs for daring to stop a “pass holder”.

Mr Manish Dubey, the Manager of the barrier, said they were upset at the misuse of power by the VIPs, ‘‘ It is illegal. We have confiscated a large number of passes but the menace continues,’’ he said.

Mr Dubey has complained to his senior officials about the problem, alleging that it was growing rapidly.

Mr Jatinder Kumar, a member of the Nagar Council, Mandi Ahmedgarh was witness to a bitter argument between one such pass holder and the barrier employees recently. He has demanded strict action against the erring officials to end the illegal practice.



Ferozepore Road: encroachers’ haven
D. B. Chopra

Ludhiana, June 2
The Ferozepore road, which begins from the foot of the Jagraon bridge on the Bharat Nagar chowk side and winds up past the PAU and Rajguru Nagar, is perhaps the only swank road in the city other than the Mall.

But this character of the road is swiftly being eroded due to the presence of roadside dwellers, beggars, hangers-on, drug peddlers and other shady characters on the stretch of the green belt running parallel to the boundary wall of the Government College for Women (GCW).

Visit the place at any time during the day and you would find scores of idlers hanging around outside the Durga Mata mandir, located on the curve of the Club road before it merges with the Ferozepore road and the entire stretch parallel to the college boundary wall. The stretch, which is supposed to be a green belt, has been converted into an unauthorised cluster of flower shops.

A couple of years ago, when Ludhiana Tribune took up the issue of roadside encroachments by owners of flower shops along the boundary wall of the college on the Club Road side, right opposite the temple, these were removed. However, after sometime, these shops started coming up on the Ferozepore road, a little farther away from the previous site. The pace of encroachment, as always , was slow but steady.

With these flower shops again in business, the stretch has become haven for anti-social elements of the city, who move around in the garb of ‘babas’, and beggars.

A couple of years ago, the municipal corporation had built up a number of bus stop shelters all over the city. Since the public transportation plan under which these were built is yet to get under way, the shelters are not serving the purpose for which these were built.

One of such shelters , which is close to the unauthorised flower shops, has become a home for some roadside dwellers

All these encroachments have been possible due to the temple in the vicinity. Encroachments were removed from the Club road but they came up again along the Ferozepore road. With the result that besides flower sellers and beggars, drug-peddlers are also back in business, particularly near this temple, the management of which enjoys the patronage of a senior BJP leader who even interfered with the demolition process launched by the municipal corporation a couple of years ago to remove unauthorised construction by the temple management on a portion of the Club road.

The division number 5 police station, located about 1200 M away, has also not given much attention to anti-social elements infesting the place. With incidents of snatching and robbery becoming a routine in the city, the least the police can do it.



City takes lead in waste management
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, June 2
With the biomedical waste handling plant already operational in the city, a project for the segregation of domestic and industrial waste water in one of the industrial pockets in advanced stage of execution and a solid waste management project for the handling of about 800 tonnes of solid waste produced every day, about to be launched, the industrial hub of Punjab has taken a lead in waste management in the region.

These observations were made by the MC Commissioner Mr S.K. Sharma while presiding over one of the sessions at a five- day National Training Programme on Design, Construction and Operation of Sanitary Landfills organised jointly by the Union Ministry of Urban Development and Poverty Alleviation and the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests at Panjim (Goa) from May 24 to May 28, 2004.

Explaining the work done towards deft waste management in the biggest city of Punjab, the MC Commissioner told the participants that a bio-medical waste treatment plant with 200 kg per hour disposal capacity, was already functional in the city since the end of 2002 and Ludhiana had the distinction of having set up the facility ahead of all other major towns in the northern region in implementation of the Biomedical Waste (Handling and Management) Rules 1998.

"The MC has already done a lot of ground work in setting up a solid waste management plant, based on vermiculture process to properly dispose off an estimated 800 MT solid waste generated in the city every day. The proposal, after the process of shortlisting, has been forwarded to the Department of Science and Technology for final assessment and a formal go ahead."

The civic body, he further informed, had embarked upon another novel project for waste management and achieving the objective of a 'greener and cleaner' city by mooting a green park project in the Dashmesh Nagar industrial cluster for the segregation of domestic and hazardous industrial waste water and providing treated water for irrigation to the green belts. The project had been cleared by the state government and a group of British consultancy firms had been entrusted with the preliminary work.

In an interview with Ludhiana Tribune here, Mr Sharma said that unlike in Ludhiana, performance of other major cities in implementation of Municipal Solid Waste (Management and Handling) Rules 2000 was far from encouraging, if a survey report of 128 class I cities in the country, presented during the programme, was any indication.


Residents oppose construction on green belt
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 2
The move of Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) to construct a three-storey residential complex on a proposed green belt in Model Town Extension, Block-D, has invited the wrath of residents of the area, who are all set to oppose the move. They are saying that the area earmarked for the complex would not have requisite infrastructure for 72 families, who would be living in the flats.

Saying that green belts were lungs of the area, the residents alleged that some officials were interested in the plan due to vested interests. They alleged that the interest of the residents, who had bought plots by paying huge amounts, was not being considered.

The LIT, under a plan, started the constructing flats after joining eight plots of 250 square feet each two days ago. The scheme was conceived by a former chairman of the trust and was stalled some years ago after the residents protested against it.

Residents living in the vicinity of the complex claimed that the LIT was also including the green belt area in the complex. They said that while 25-foot area had been left in front of their house under the original plan, LIT was itself covering it with concrete.

They claimed that there was no need to construct a residential complex in the Model Town area where the original plan was to sell plots and not flats. ‘‘We had bought plots here as we were told that the area would be developed as a model town. The prices here start at Rs 10,000 per square yard and if LIT sells the land it would earn crores of rupees. But some officials, in connivance with land developers, could have received kick-back in the deal said Mr G.S. Middha, a resident of the area.

Mr Hukam Chand, another resident, said they had spent savings of their life for constructing a house here. ‘‘They are constructing the residential complex next to my house. The master plan does not show any flats in the area”.

They demanded that the construction be stopped immediately and the area sold in form of plots.


Parag Jain is city DIG
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 2
Mr Parag Jain, an IPS officer of the 1989 batch, took over as the Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), Ludhiana range, here today. Mr Jain replaces Mr Dinkar Gupta, who has gone to Delhi as Deputy Director, Intelligence Bureau. Mr Jain was the DIG, CM (security), prior to his transfer to Ludhiana.

Mr Jain has served as SSP, Chandigarh, Tarn Taran and Mansa, besides being Joint Director Vigilance and Commandant, IRB. Mr Paramjit Singh Sarao had the shortest stint as the DIG in this district. He was given the additional charge of the Ludhiana range after Mr Gupta joined at Delhi. Mr Sarao remained acting DIG of Ludhiana only for a day.


Seminar on oil expelling technology
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 2
The Mechanical Engineering Research And Development Organisation (MERADO), Ludhiana, organised a 5 day training programme on oil expelling technology for operation and maintenance of 1 TPD oil expeller. The training was organised especially for the trainees from the state of Manipur. Seventeen of the trainees participated in the programme, which concluded here yesterday.

The programme was sponsored by the Technology Mission on Oil-Seeds, Pulses and Maize (TMOP&M), which had earlier provided 65 1 TPD oil expellers capable of extracting pungent oil from mustard to the participants.

During the deliberations of the course Mr R. Nigam, scientist in-charge, informed that the oil expeller designed and development by Merado, Ludhiana extracts better quality pungent oil. It is for the first time in the world that the pungent mustard oil can be extracted with the help of an expeller. The oil expeller developed is an efficient machine which leaves 8-9% residual oil in cake in comparison to 15-18% residual oil left in cake by a ghani.

The topics covered during the course included: (i) oil expelling technologies: various methods, advantages/disadvantages; (ii) introduction to oil seeds and processing parameters; (iii) introduction to oil expeller and its operational aspects; (iv) concept of water cooled chamber and its construction; (v) important design parameters of oil expellers: compression ratio and extraction efficiency; (vi) trouble shooting in 1 TPD oil expeller operation; (vii) screw conveyors: design, installation, operation and maintenance; (ix) storage of oil seeds; (x) selection of spare parts and specifications for their procurement.

The theoretical lectures were followed by practical sessions on (i) seed preparation before oil-expelling; (ii) assembly of water cooled chamber; (iii) operation of 1 TPD oil expeller developed by MERADO were also given to the participants.


Work on elevated road resumed
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, June 2
The construction firm involved in the Rs 32.68 crore project of an elevated stretch on the Old GT Road from Jagraon Bridge to Chand Cinema has resumed the construction work.

The work on the project commenced in May, 2001, and was to be completed within 24 months. But the builders, Skanska Cementation India, suspended work due to various reasons like delay in shifting of power cables by the Punjab State Electricity Board, revised alignment of piers around the Budha Nullah crossing where main sewer was coming in the way, besides their internal reasons.

Meanwhile, the builders demanded Rs 12 crore from the Municipal Corporation on account of escalating costs and losses suffered due to forced suspension of work.

However, the corporation rejected the claim of Rs 12 crore and charged the builder with deliberate delay in executing the work. It also served a legal notice, threatening to forfeit the company’s security deposit of Rs 2 crore.

The Municipal Commissioner, Mr S.K. Sharma, maintained that while the period of contract had been extended by another 15 months, the builder had been told that a 10 per cent penalty would be levied for delay caused in the completion of the project. He told that the work had resumed for laying the remaining piers.

Shopkeepers demand speedy completion

Meanwhile, the Clock Tower Association has demanded speedy completion of the project. Addressing a news conference here today, the president of the association, Mr Gurinder Sood, said even after the scheduled completion time in December, 2003, the preliminary work of laying piers was yet to be finished. The suspension of work for a long period had led to a portion of the Old G.T. Road being damaged and flow of traffic disrupted, causing inconvenience to the shopkeepers and commuters.



Cong reviews poll results
Our Correspondent

Amloh, June 2
A meeting of the Congress members of the Amloh Assembly segment, part of the Ropar parliamentary constituency, was organised at Canal Rest House here by Mr Shingara Singh, the Block Congress Chief, on Monday. The purpose was to find out the reasons behind party’s poor show in the parliamentary elections.

Mr Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, MLA, was of the view that the previous SAD government had left the state in a poor financial condition.

Moreover, the NDA government at the Centre did not lift levy sugar from sugar mills, which resulted in non-payment of cane arrears to farmers.

The Central Government did not release the development funds to the state, he alleged.


Man accuses in-laws of kidnapping wife, child
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 2
Mr Avtar Singh , a resident of Shimla Puri, who recently returned from Dubai, has complained to the police that in his absence, his in-laws had kidnapped his wife and a child.

The Shimla Puri police yesterday registered a case under Sections 363,366,406 and 34 of the IPC on his complaint against Harbhajan Singh, husband of his wife’s sister, sister-in-law Raj Rani, mother-in-law Harnek Kaur, father-in-law Surjit Singh, Jaswinder Singh and Kulwinder Singh, residents of Mahna village in Moga district and Inder Pal, who lives in street No. 3 of Guru Gobind Singh Nagar along the Barota Road in New Shimla Puri.

Mr Avtar Singh had stated that when he returned from Dubai recently, he found that his wife Manjit Kaur was missing from the house in Shimla Puri along with a child. Later, he came to know that the accused had kidnapped her sometime before March 3 last. No arrest has been made so far.

2 held with poppy husk

The Basti Jodhewal police yesterday arrested Kuldeep Singh, who lives in New Kuldeep Nagar, recovered 30 kg of contraband poppy husk and registered a case against him under the NDPS Act. The police said today that the accused was intercepted at Gopal Nagar chowk on the Tibba Road on Tuesday evening.

The Sadar police nabbed Nasib Singh Gora, a resident of Ghawaddi village while he was allegedly carrying 20 kg of poppy husk on a scooter near a rivulet-bridge at Dagore village on Tuesday. A case under the NDPS Act was registered against him.

Dowry cases

The division No. 8 police yesterday registered a case under Sections 406 and 498-A of the IPC on the statement of Ms Sonu Bala, who lives in street No. 8 of New Kundan Puri, against her husband Bhulli, alias Rinku, father-in-law Makhan Singh, mother-in-law Seetal, who live at Jalandhar.

The woman had stated that the accused had been harassing and demanding more dowry after her marriage in February, 2003. No arrest has been made so far.

On the statement of Ms. Gurmeet Kaur, a resident of Bhairo Munna village , the Sahnewal police yesterday registered a case under Sections 406,498-A,506 and 120-B of the IPC against her husband Gurdeep Singh, father-in-law Milap Singh, mother-in-law Harbhajan Kaur and Lal Singh, residents of Bhikki Khatra village near Payal.

The woman had stated that the accused had been harassing and threatening her for more dowry after her marriage three years ago. No arrest has been made so far.


The division No. 3 police yesterday registered a case under Sections 279, 337 and 336 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Om Parkash, who lives on the Shahpur Road, against Kashmir Singh, who was driving a bus coming from Baba Balak Nath.

The complainant said that the accused was driving the bus at a high speed and because of his negligent driving the bus overturned at a speed breaker near Baba Thaan Singh chowk on Tuesday. As a result, the passengers travelling by the bus sustained injuries, added the complainant.

Eve-teaser booked

The division No. 7 police yesterday registered a case under Sections 451,294,506,509 and 34 of the IPC on the statement of Ms. Sunita Rani, a who lives in street number 1 of Kuldeep Nagar located along the Tajpur road, against Satpal and Vicky, who live in Preet Nagar.

The woman stated that her daughter Puja runs a beauty parlour in Preet Nagar. The accused came to the beauty parlour on Monday and started teasing her daughter. When she objected to their rowdy behaviour., the accused threatened her and also hurled abuses at her, added the woman.

Gamblers held

The division No. 8 police yesterday arrested Vijay Kumar, who lives near the PAU, Surinder Singh and Mohan Singh, residents of Rajpura village near the city while they were gambling at a public place near DMC Hospital , recovered Rs 800 form their possession and booked them under the Gambling Act.

The accused were later bailed out, the police said.

Knife seized

The Model Town police yesterday arrested Jaswinder Singh, alias Jassi, a resident of Shimla Puri , recovered a kamanidar knife from his possession and booked him under the Arms Act, the accused was nabbed in Phase-3 of Dugri on Tuesday evening, added the police.


Financier commits suicide
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 2
A local financier allegedly hanged himself after appearing in a city court in connection with a case registered against him sometime ago. Samuel Danny hanged himself by his wife’s dupatta from a ventilator at about 1. 30 pm. here today.

According to police sources, the deceased had a tiff with his wife before leaving for the court in the morning. The couple had been having strained relations ever since the registration of the case. His wife was reportedly pressuring him to settle the matter as soon as possible. The couple have an infant son. His parents and relatives are stated to be living abroad.

His relatives claim that he was booked by the police along with others while they were allegedly planning a dacoity. He had all along been claiming that he had been framed by the cops to settle old scores with him.

Neighbours said that his wife Mona left with their son soon after he went to the courts and left the house in care of a maid servant, Sheetal. She too left the house after Danny came from the courts at about 1 p.m. His body was found by some neighbours sometime later.

Proceedings under Section 174, Cr P C have been recorded while further investigations are on.


Satluj Club in news again
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 2
Satluj Club is once again in the news and not for any good reasons. The bar secretary of the club, Mr Rocky Malhotra, was yesterday arrested by the police and later released on bail in connection with a case registered in Sarabha Nagar police station.

Mr Malhotra was earlier suspended by the club president for a different reason. However, he was subsequently reinstated by the president. In the current case he is accused of not having returned the money he owed to a city financier.

The general refrain in the club remains that of shock and surprise. It is probably for the first time that the name of the club has been dragged into a controversy in a case which has not even the remotest relation with it (the club).


Demand to simplify sales tax structure
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 2
The Ludhiana Electronic Traders Association (LETA) has urged the government to implement the proposed valued added tax (VAT) only when it was introduced simultaneously all over the country. It further asked for all other local taxes to be scrapped and the simplification of the sales tax structure.

Presiding over a meeting of the association here today, Mr Mohinder Aggarwal, president of the association, pointed out that if the state government went ahead with the introduction of VAT in a hasty manner, the trade and industry in Punjab would be affected and rendered uncompetitive in comparison with other adjoining states. He made a plea for the abolition of octroi and fulfilment of all other poll promises made by the ruling Congress with the trade and industry at the time of Assembly election.

Mr Aggarwal expressed resentment against “repressive policies” of the Excise and Taxation Department and “harassment under the prevalent inspectors raj”. The department had literally let loose a reign of terror under the garb of checking evasion to such an extent that the industry in the state was losing its customers from outside the state, he added.

He said it was a welcome development that a noted economist like Dr Manmohan Singh had taken over as Prime Minister of the country. “The business community is hopeful that the government will formulate economic policies that will promote trade and industry and provide relief to them.”

Mr Aggarwal said. He also urged for establishment of trade ties with Pakistan which, he said, would go a long way in boosting the economy of the state, in particular benefit trade and industry in the border districts of Punjab.

Prominent among those present at the meeting were Mr Rajesh Vikki, Mr Sarabjit Singh, Mr Ashwani Ahuja, Mr Surinder Singh, Mr Ram Pal, Mr Surinder Bharti, Mr Darshan Singh, Mr Pankaj Kumar, Mr Ashok Kumar, Mr Vinay Chopra, Mr Ravinder Singh, Mr Narinder Kumar, Mr Pawan Kumar, Mr Krishan Murari and Mr Shiv Shankar.



Peerless office
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 2
Since the Peerless General Finance and Investment Company was set up in Jalandhar in 1978, the company has made long strides, with six branches in Punjab and a network of more than 170 branches all over the country.

This was stated by Mr S. Chatterjee, Area Manager (North), while inaugurating a fully computerised office of the company here yesterday.

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