L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Cops take body home but find man alive
Tribune news service

Ludhiana, June 26
In a case of mistaken identity, the local Government Railway Police (GRP) carried a man’s body to Srinagar Garhwal in Uttaranchal only to return embarrassed as the family concerned produced the person alive and kicking.

Police sources said that on June 22 an unidentified bloated body of a middle-aged man was found on pedestrian over bridge no 3 at the local railway station. The body had no injury marks. The police found on the body an identity card of a man named Anand, employed in a cycle factory here. Although it was later learnt that Anand was alive and someone had picked his pocket at the railway station. The deceased was probably the pickpocket.

Earlier the police went to the factory and a number of co-workers identified the body as of Anand only as the deceased was of same height and the body was also bloated hence difficult to identify as facial features were all puffed up and bloated. Though some pointed out that Anand did not wear such clothes, there was general acceptance among the workers that the body was of Anand only. The police traced his address to Srinagar Garhwal and went there with the body there with some co-workers.

However, once the police reached the house in the hills, they were shocked to find that Anand was alive. The police met the man also. He revealed that his pocket had been picked at the railway station and the man whose body the police was carrying probably was the pickpocket.

The police returned yesterday and cremated the body as unclaimed. The cause of the death of the unidentified man remains a mystery, as the post-mortem examination report was not able to suggest anything. The police was awaiting the chemical examination report of the viscera now. 



Pall of gloom descends on paragliding victim’s town 
Jupinderjit Singh and Mahesh Sharma
Tribune News Service

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 26
A pall of gloom engulfed this town after the tragic death of Kiran Kumar Tandon, a senior Manager of the Oriental Bank of Commerce, Chandigarh, while para-gliding at the Billing International Para-Gliding club in Kangra on Wednesday. Kiran was born and brought up in the town.

Unable to come to terms with reality, his father, Mr Krishan Dev Tandon, who retired as a secretary, market committee, is a completely broken man today. Besides cursing his destiny for the tragedy, Mr Tandon is not able to understand what prompted his youngest son, to take to para-gliding at Kangra.

Tragedy in the form of death seems to be following this well reputed family of Tandons. Mr Tandon had lost his wife several years ago and his elder son too died in a road accident in 1994. He was manager in a nationalised bank. The wife of his third son Vijay Tandon, also passed away last year.

An inconsolable Krishan Dev Tandon curses his own fate only for everything that happened with the family. Besides, a daughter he had three sons and all were well settled. “Nature left me alone to see the gloomy faces of all my children. One can imagine, how difficult it is for an old father to face his only daughter who had three brothers and their children were either fatherless or motherless.”

Recalling the sequence of events, the family told The Tribune team that Kiran had gone to Kangra Bir area on a spiritual tour along with his friends. All were the members of Alfa Mind Power Meditation Group. They were scheduled to come back after some days.

His father said that after the tragedy, Raj Kumar, the pilot of the glider told the family members that Kiran was trying to glide with his help. As the destiny was warning him of the unfolding events, Kiran could not glide during his first two attempts. He had even given up once.

But as the destiny would have it he tried once again and succeeded in taking off for his maiden and last gliding. “Feeling excited at his success, he tried to set the leg strip right when a hook was unlocked, untying him from the glider. He fell straight into a stream and died on the spot. It took him just few moments to fall into the lap of death leaving us all crying and broken.” said Mr Tandon.

He was cremated on Thursday at Chandigarh. The family returned to the native place today only. The Family had earlier lost their eldest son, Kapil Tandon, a senior Manager of Bank of India in 1994. He died during a road accident. The wife of Mr Vijay Tandon, middle son of Mr Krishan Dev died last year following an illness.



In need of help to survive
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, June 26
Childhood is a time when one enjoys a blithe life. However, life turned out to be full of pain and agony for five-year-old Mohammad Ashraf. Since the age of three, he was forced to forsake play in the wake of extreme abdominal pain and vomiting. During the past two years, the child was being treated by a local doctor at Malerkotla, his home town, but to no avail.

On the suggestion of a relative, his paternal uncle brought him to Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) here, where he was detected to have a cyst in the liver that required a major surgery. However, Ashraf’s family was not in a position to go for the expensive surgery.

Mohammad Anwar, grief-stricken father of the kid, an illiterate labourer, hardly earns Rs 50 a day, which is not even sufficient to provide two square meals to his family. Though desperate to save his kid, he feels that fate has played a cruel joke on him. He said his son’s agony tormented him. “But what can I do ? I am simply unable to afford the right treatment for want of money. I have also knocked at the doors of many charity organisations, without much response.”

Ashraf is presently being treated at the CMCH. Even after financial assistance and concessions from the hospital, the child still needs a sum of around Rs 60,000 for the life-saving surgery and follow-up treatment. The father of the child, or his relatives for that matter, cannot put together this kind of money on their own accord. So the focus has shifted to philanthropists of the city and charitable bodies to come forward and lend a helping hand, which can save a young life from being snuffed out before blossoming.

All those who wish to bring back the smile on Ashraf’s face can contact the Medical Superintendent’s office or the Department of Paediatric Surgery at the CMCH here. All payments should be made in favour of Christian Medical College and Hospital with ‘Treatment of Mohammad Ashraf’ written on the back of cheques or drafts.



Rs 50,000 stolen from scooter
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 26
Unidentified person(s) broke the glove compartment of a scooter belonging to a hosiery owner and decamped with Rs 50,000 kept in it near the State Bank of India, Fountain Chowk, this afternoon.

Mr Rajesh Kapoor and his wife Shelly Kapoor, who run a hosiery in Hargobind Nagar near the CMC hospital, were eating kulcha-channa near Fountain Chowk when the theft took place. They had withdrawn the money from HDFC Bank, Mall Road, for disbursement among factory workers.

The broad daylight incident took place despite elaborate security arrangements in the city following a spate of robbery and snatching incidents. The timing of the theft was crucial as a red alert is being sounded at these hours only. Special check-points were being put up all over the city to avoid such incidents.

Mr Kapoor said the scooter was parked at a distance and when they returned, they were shocked to find the glove compartment broken. The suspect(s) did not have a master key and had broken the lock.

Interestingly, traffic cops are posted round the clock a few metres away from the crime spot. But by the time the victims raised the alarm, it was too late.

The SHO, Division No. 8, Sub-Inspector Dilpreet Singh, said a case had been registered.

There has been a spurt in crime incidents in the city for the past few weeks. Cases of robbery, snatching and theft from cars and scooters are on the increase. The police had jacked up security arrangements by sounding a red alert, putting up check-points, increasing vigilance and surveillance, but this does not seem to have made much of a difference.



No headway in Colonel’s assault case
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, June 26
The police is yet to make a headway in the incident of a murderous attack on the Director of Dreamland Amusement Park at Sahnewal, Col J.S. Sandhu, by some miscreants yesterday.

A case was registered last night on the statement of Mr Suresh Kumar, Manager of the amusement park, that some miscreants came to the amusement park in a car. Two out of them, one turbaned, came out of the car and enquired about the Colonel. The manager said they attacked Colonel, who was immediately taken to Sidhu Hospital at Doraha, from where he was referred to DMCH, Ludhiana today.

According to Mr Sikatar Singh, SHO, Sahnewal, “We have rounded up certain doubtful persons. We are focusing on the possibility of personal enmity in the case as it seemed to be revenge than robbery.” The family members have, however, ruled out the possibility saying that the Colonel does not have enmity with anyone.



Regularisation of undeclared colonies soon
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 26
The Punjab Government has almost finalised a comprehensive policy for the regularisation of undeclared colonies all over the state which is likely to be implemented very soon. Once the policy is announced by the government, residents of such localities will be able to avail all basic amenities like the residents of other colonies after the payment of stipulated development charges to the civic body.

This was stated by the Commissioner of local Municipal Corporation (MC) Mr S.K. Sharma, while addressing a news conference here yesterday. He agreed that powers for the regularisation of unauthorised colonies vested with the MC and the general house was competent to take action in this respect, subject to final approval by the state government, but said. “Since the government desires to deal with the problem in its entirety all over Punjab, it will not be prudent on the part of the MC to initiate any steps at its own towards this objective.”

Mr Sharma said in view of the hardship being faced by residents of unauthorised colonies in getting their building plans approved, the Local Government Department had issued an office order in February 2004 through which the MCs in all major towns had been empowered to sanction building plans in such colonies in order to ensure planned growth in its peripheral areas.

Maintaining that the MC was supplying clean and safe drinking water to the city population in all declared colonies, Mr Sharma said as many as 240 water samples were being taken from different colonies on daily basis to check chlorination level and remedial measure were immediately being taken wherever necessary. He said, the teams of MC staff and the Health Department, were working jointly and in close coordination with each other for educating the people about preventive measures against diseases like gastroenteritis and cholera as well as to distribute chlorine tablets and ORS packets.

The Commissioner, however, observed that the insignificant number of cases of gastroenteritis and cholera in the city with a population of over 25 lakh were blown out of proportion by a section of the media to make it look like the diseases had taken the shape of an epidemic.

He said in a city of this size, at any given time, there would be some people suffering with one or the other disease and it would be rather unfair to blame the MC for a few stray cases of gastroenteritis and cholera, that too in different areas of the city, located far away from each other.



Panchayat members attend workshop
Our Correspondent

Samrala, June 26
The Society for Social Health, Chandigarh, Organised a training workshop for elected members of panchayati raj institutions of Samrala block, Ludhiana district, in collaboration with the State Institute of Rural Development, Nabha. Seventy-two members attended the workshop.

The workshop inaugurated by Mr J.S. Jassi, SDM, Samrala. He told the participants that in view of the additional responsibilities of elected members as per the latest amendment to the Panchayati Raj Act, such training programmes would go a long way in improving the working of panchayats. He suggested that such training programmes should be conducted from time to time to help them understand their responsibilities towards people in a better way. Mr Darshan Singh, Block Development and Panchayat Officer, Samrala, said it was for the first time that such a training workshop was organised at the state level. Dr Naresh, director of the society, said it was important to train the elected members for the development and empowerment of rural folk.



Adi Samaj threatens stir
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 26
The Adi Dharam Samaj has threatened to take to the streets after July 16 to press for an early construction of a brahmalya at Balmiki Tirath in Amritsar.
In a statement issued here today, the national convener of the samaj, Mr Darshan Rattan Ravan, said resentment prevailed among the Valmiki community over the issue. He criticised the so-called mahants who had obtained a stay against the construction of the brahmalya.

He said the samaj had postponed an agitation in view of an appeal by the Central Valmiki Sabha, UK. He had promised the UK-based sabha that he would not launch any agitation till July 16.

He said the Valmiki community was not happy with the way karseva was going on an at the holy sarovar in Amritsar. He said the Valmiki community would not tolerate the “stubborn attitude” of mahants and the “incompetence” of the government in this regard and would go ahead in the construction of the brahmalya under all circumstances. If the community was not allowed to do so, it would take to the streets after July 16, he added.



Cleanliness drive in Sahnewal

Sahnewal, June 26
The health department and nagar panchayat of the town in joint collaboration since the past one week have launched a special cleanliness drive.
On the directions of the Deputy Commissioner Ludhiana and Civil Surgeon, Ludhiana, a team of the health department staff led by Dr S S Dhir, SMO, Sahnewal, surveyed the town and destroyed overripe fruits and other food items sold under unhygienic conditions by roadside vendors.

A team comprising officials of the health department, including Dr Dhir, Health Inspector Mr Dalbara Singh, along with the executive officer of nagar panchayat, Mr Devinder Singh Grewal, and committee workers has launched a health awareness drive. OC



Differentiation the key to succeed: AirTel CEO
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 26
"With the enormous competition, markets today are driven by choice. Your targeted customers have too many choices, all of which can be fulfilled instantly. Choosing from among multiple options is always based on differences, implicit or explicit, so you ought to differentiate in order to give the customer a reason to chose your product or service". Making these observations at a seminar organised by the Ludhiana Management Association (LMA) here last evening, Mr Vinod Sawhny, Director and CEO, AirTel North, said, "Differentiation is one of the most important strategic and tactical activities in which companies must constantly engage. It is not discretionary."

He asserted that what this new competition was often able to exploit the fact that buying behavior was not just about people and income; it was also about how dissatisfied consumers are with present alternatives. The concept of being unique or different was far more important today than it was ten years ago. This was the key to winning in intensely competitive markets.

He said, in this new knowledge economy, characterised by ever-changing aspirations of customers where customers wanted it quicker, cheaper, and they wanted it their way coupled with advent of new technologies and opening of economy, it was generally perceived that the organisations throughout the world would have to provide quality, cost advantage and novelty in their products and services to meet the aspirations of the target groups.

Mr Sawhny observed that the competitive landscape in the country was changing fast and we were operating in a highly dynamic market environment. He explained this through the fact that number of brands being advertised on electronic media ha increased three-fold from 3,973 in 1995 to 10,914 in 2003. He spoke about the intensity of the competition through various live examples, including that of television producers, who were almost about 100 about 10 years ago and today only 10 of them existed. Similarly, the number of cellular telephone companies had reduced from 50 to nine in a span of seven years only and was expected to reduce to just four major players by the middle of next year.

Mr Sawhny also observed that the consumer landscape in the country was undergoing major changes in terms of youth and rich population. He remarked that number of rich people earning more than Rs 5 lakh per year was over 100 million today, which meant a lot for a country like India. This was the reason as to why the sales of branded products were growing at a rapid pace. He proved it through the example of mobile phone user base, which had increased to 36 million and was likely to surpass the number of landline users by next year. He felt that mobile phone in today's context was for the poor and landlines for the rich.

Mr Sawhny underlined the need for a paradigm shift from ''customer satisfaction' to 'employee delight' as it was only the motivated and delighted employees who would help the organisations in being closer to customers, innovating on continuous basis and create a strong base of loyal customers.

Earlier in his opening remarks, Mr V.K Goyal, general secretary, LMA said, "Today, we are living in a chaotic transition period to a new age defined by global competition, rampant change, faster flow of information and communication, increasing business complexity, and pervasive globalisation. How to survive and sustain in these times is a million-dollar question."

Mr M.C. Munjal in his presidential remarks said, "The modern markets are characterised by explosive upsurges and sudden downturns. Also what used to be national markets with local companies competing for business has become a global market with everyone competing for everyone's business everywhere. In nutshell, the big and the fast are eating the small and the slow". Mr Anil Kumar proposed the vote of thanks.



Sony slashes prices of durables

Ludhiana, June 26
The prices of various audio systems and television sets are learnt to have nosedived with Sony India announcing a price slash of about 10 to 20 per cent for different products. This is believed to have prompted other competitors also to slash the prices of their products.

Sony India has stopped manufacturing music systems and television sets at Dharuhera in Haryana and has decided to import these. The company was faced with a tough competition and the local manufacturing was not considered to be financially viable.

Local dealers also confirmed that the company had slashed the prices. The prices of the hi fi audio systems have been slashed by about Rs 7000 while those of the colour televisions with bigger screens have been slashed by about Rs 5000. This is learnt to have boosted the sales of these products and at the same time prompting other competitors to do the same.

Sources said that about a week ago, Sony dealers started making fabulous offers to customers. A hi fi music system priced at Rs 42,000 was reportedly offered for Rs 32000 only and that too on easy instalments. The dealers are learnt to have been indicated to get all the stocks cleared. Hence the fabulous offers.

They admitted that the company had decided to stop production after it was found that the imported products will be cheaper. — TNS


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