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Giving servantsí details to police mandatory
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 19
Deputy Commissioner-cum-District Magistrate Anurag Verma today made it mandatory for residents, landlords and factory owners to submit details, along with photograph, of their migrant servants and employees at the nearest police station or police post.

The orders were issued under Section 144 of the CrPC. The District Magistrate said those found not complying with these orders could be booked under Section 188 of the IPC and become liable to six-month imprisonment or a fine of Rs 1,000 or with both.

Mr Verma appealed to the general public to voluntarily comply with this order in their own interest. He said once the particulars and photograph of servants or employees would be with the police, they would be reluctant to get involved in criminal activity.

The orders were passed following a spate of crime in the district. It was found that most robberies and murders had been committed by migrants employed by local residents as domestic servants.

Mr Verma asked the Senior Superintendents of Police of Ludhiana, Khanna and Jagraon to conduct checks to ensure that these orders were complied with. He asked the Senior Superintendents of Police to work out modalities to make the process of receipt of information simple.

Such initiatives had failed in the past. Residents had complained that the process of recording information was cumbersome. The police had expressed difficulty in processing information due to shortage of staff.

Residents and industrialists were resistant in supplying information as they feared losing their servants or labourers. They were wary of Income Tax and Labour departments in case they got access to the information.

Kiran Dhawan, a middle-aged wife of the owner of Heavenís Resort marriage palace, was allegedly stabbed to death by a domestic help on July 17. She was the latest victim of such crime perpetrated by servants in the city. Scores of such cases have taken place. The police administration had launched a tenant verification drive but it had failed miserably.

Mr Gurpreet Singh SP (Detective), yesterday exhorted the city residents that the police would succeed in combating crime only if the residents too help in taking precautions. He said nobody should be employed as a domestic help or a servant unless some known person stands as a guarantee to him.

The servantís permanent address should be taken and verified either through other servants or by the police. His activities on the first day, week and the month should be closely observed. The servant should not be left alone with a child or women members.

The salary of the servant should be sent by money order to the address listed by him. This would ensure that he gives you the right address. No family matter like financial issues or visits of guests or family tours outside should be discussed before the servant.

Jewellery, cash and cosmetics should be kept safely and not left carelessly by the residents.

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Drought-like situation in Punjab
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, July 19
Less than normal rainfall during the current kharif season has increased the irrigation demand for kharif crops like rice, cotton, maize and sugarcane. The restricted availability of electricity fall in the water table and low rainfall in the current season has curtailed the irrigation capacity of farmers for saving their corps through tubewell irrigation, say Dr Lal Singh Brar, Head, and Dr S.S. Hundal, Professor, Department of Agronomy and Agrometerology, Punjab Agricultural University.

A total rainfall of 55mm has been recorded for June at Ludhiana while only about 16mm has been recorded from July 1 to 15. The current seasonís rainfall from June 1 to July 15 (71 mm) is one of the lowest during the past 35 years. Earlier, such low rainfall for this period was observed during 2002, 1995, 1987, 1981 and 1973 in which 2002 and 1987 turned out to be of the worst drought years. Further more, during July 1 to 15 rainfall of only 16 mm has been received at Ludhiana as compared to the normal of about 121 mm for the two-week period which was again one of the lowest during the past 35 years. For the same period during 1981, 1982, 1983, 1973 and 1970 still less rainfall was recorded.

Dr Brar and Dr Hundal said the IMD had predicted that monsoon would set in Punjab in the first week of July but due to unfavourable conditions and low pressure in the Bay of Bengal active monsoon has eluded the region. These conditions have restricted most activity of the monsoon in the eastern and south-western parts of the country but the north-western parts of the country have received quite a low rainfall so far. According to the IMD and also the National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF), a weak but fresh low pressure is developing in the Bay of Bengal and if conditions become favourable, the monsoon activity could enhance and increase in north central India in the coming days. However, current scenarios for Punjab and surrounding areas indicate that in the immediate 1-2 days, only isolated rain/thunder showers could be expected in Punjab as well as in the surrounding areas. Dr Brar and Dr Hundal have expressed concern over the emerging scenario and observed that the inadequate supply of water for the standing crops particularly paddy was becoming a serious problem with each passing day. A drought-like kharif season similar to the Kharif season of 2002 would increase expenditure of poor farmers.

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Obscene posters flout DCís order
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 19
Three months after the district administration had issued orders to the cinema owners, banning the pasting of obscene posters in the city, such posters have come up again at many local cinemas.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Anurag Verma, had issued the warning on April 5 and had asked the cinema owners to remove the posters by April 12 failing which action was to be initiated against them. The owners had complied with the orders at that time but of late the order is being thrown to the wind.

A survey by a Tribune team today revealed that many cinema owners still pasted obscene posters in many parts of the city, including Sunder Nagar, Damoria Bridge and Raikhy Road. The rickshaws advertising about the films on various city roads were also seen carrying huge obscene posters today.

The warning was issued at a meeting of the cinema owners with the Deputy Commissioner in wake of protests by a political organisation. The DC had stated that no such poster should be allowed to remain pasted near the educational institutions.

The DC said under the Punjab Prevention of Defacement of Property Act, there was a provision of punishment of imprisonment upto six months. Action would also be contemplated under Section 292 of the IPC, which prohibits circulation of pamphlets etc, which tend to corrupt persons who are likely to read them.

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Lobbying on for top DCC post
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July19
Lobbying has intensified for the post of president of the District Congress Committee following indications that the present set-up is likely to be revamped. The Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) has decided to revamp certain district units in the state. The Urban unit of the DCC is also said to be on the hit list.

It is learnt that the revamping of district units has been necessitated owing to the dismal performance of the party during the parliamentary elections. The party high command is believed to have issued directions to the state units to review the performance of the district units in the context of the parliamentary elections.

The party leadership is said to be not too happy with the functioning of the present set-up led by Mr Jagmohan Sharma. His detractors maintain that Mr Sharma has not been able to focus on party affairs as he remains involved in his own business. They point out that the party has not organised any show of strength since he took over. He has been seen only at a few VIP functions. There is no party programme that he has been pursuing of his own, they allege.

According to party sources, the district unit could have been revamped earlier. However, it was delayed due to the uncertainty over the fate of the PCC president, Mr H.S. Hanspal. It is learnt that the party high command is also considering revamp at the PCC level in the near future. Following the parliamentary elections, the party is in search of effective leadership that can steer it through the assembly elections successfully.

Although the assembly elections are two and a half years away, there is a feeling that new incumbents (at the state as well as district levels) should get at least two years to settle down.

While the old guard is getting active once more, it is learnt that the party may try a fresh face this time to give it a relatively younger look and connect it with the grassroots-level party workers.

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Shortage of forms puts students in a tizzy
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 19
Undergraduate and postgraduate students who got compartment in April-2004 examinations, are facing a tough time due to shortage of forms in the city. With the last date of the submission of forms (July 27) fast approaching, students are asking for the availability of these forms in the city or have come to Panjab University campus at Chandigarh.

Students allege that some of the shopkeepers have created artificial shortage of these forms forcing students to buy them at the price fixed by them. The system of pre-paid forms, introduced by the university last year, has further aggravated the problem. The compartment form for undergraduate classes cost Rs 850 and that of postgraduate classes is Rs 1,020. On the basis of the information gathered, book-sellers are charging from Rs 100 to 400 more than the actual price.

A shopkeeper told Ludhiana Tribune that ďwe take pains to procure forms from the Panjab University campus. Since the time of the introduction of pre-paid form system by the university, huge investment has to be made. If we buy 50 forms, we are supposed to pay approximately Rs 50,000 to the university. And then there is every risk of wastage of forms.Ē

Another shopkeeper said the scarcity of forms is due to their non-availability on the Panjab University campus.

Mr Jaswant Singh Gill, Principal, Guru Nanak National College, Doraha, said, ďA similar problem was faced by students at the time of submitting of examination forms last year. The system of pre-paid forms has added to the woes of the students as they are forced to waste their time and money. The university should send these forms to the colleges, so that the students are not harassed by any private agency or discontinue of the system of pre-paid forms.Ē 

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Property: identification process simplified
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 19
In order to simplify the procedure of identification of an individual for property purposes, the district administration issued new guidelines here today
Mr Anurag Verma, Deputy Commissioner, has informed that four identity documents-passport, income tax PAN card, voter identity card issued by the Election Commission of India and driving licence would be recognised as valid document by the registering officers in the tehsils for identifications of person executing a deal or processing a document.

Mr Verma informed that amendment to this effect has been made in the Punjab Registration Manual and these means of identification have been provided in addition to the existing means of identification i.e. Sarpanch, Lambardar, Municipal Councillor in order to facilitate the process of identification. Moreover, in big cities, many a times, Lambardars and Municipal Councillors do not know all the residents of their locality and hence there are chances of fraud.

The Deputy Commissioner said that as per the new procedure photo copy of the above mentioned documents produced for identification shall be attached with the registered documents. The original document produced for identification shall be perused and returned by the registering officer.

The registering officer shall, however, certify on the photo copy attached to the deed of the documents produced for identification that he has seen the original documents and that the photo copy is a true copy of the original.

Mr Verma appealed to the general public to make maximum use of this facility by bringing any of the above mentioned documents while coming to the tehsil office.

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Duty-evasion case: accounts scrutinised
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 19
The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has dispatched a team of senior officials to investigate the Sheetal Vij duty evasion case. According to reliable sources, a team scrutinised accounts in various banks at Jalandhar to look for anomalies in the accounts.

A DRI official on the condition of anonymity told The Tribune that it was a follow-up action in the case of duty evasion that came to light in May this year.

The official said the team would return with records from various banks in Jalandhar and look for further leads. He said it was not possible to say anything conclusively at this stage, but the team was working on specific information.

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Punjabi society to hold convention
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 19
The thirty-first anniversary celebrations of the International Punjabi Society will be held from August 6 to 8 in Los Angeles in which more than 500 delegates from all over the world are likely to participate. This was stated by Mr P.S. Bedi, honorary general secretary, International Punjabi Society, here today.

In the convention issues relating to problems being faced by Punjabis and the promotion of Punjabi language, culture and heritage will be discussed.

Dr A.S. Marwah, president of the society, said the convention would be inaugurated by the Mayor and will also be attended by Senators and other prominent personalities of the USA.

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Lalli is civic body vice-chief of Khanna
Our Correspondent

Khanna, July 19
Mr Gurmider Singh Lalli, councillor, has been unanimously elected vice-president of the Khanna Municipal Council. However, no member of the Opposition was present at the meeting. The election was conducted under the supervision of the SDM, Mr Jaspal Mittal.

The name of Mr Lalli was proposed by Mr Sant Ram, president of the council, and seconded by Mr Achhar Dev, councillor. The meeting was attended by 18 of the 28 councillors.

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Aulakh opens bank branch
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 19
The seventh branch of the Bank of Baroda was inaugurated by the PAU Vice-Chancellor, Mr Kirpal Singh Aulakh, on the university campus this morning.
Mr Jagmohan Singh, Branch Manager, said the branch would cater to the needs of university employees on the personal banking scheme.

The branch offers all types of loan facilities, such as personal, family, housing, car and scooter loans with attractive terms. The added advantage is that the bank offers the loans to the university employees without any processing or documentation charges. Arrangements have also been made to recover the instalments directly from the salary, he informed.

Dr J.K. Jain, Assistant General Manager, Chandigarh region, said this branch had been identified by the bank for personal financial services under the ongoing business transformation programme. With the introduction of core banking solution, the branch will be connected through network with 1,000 branches throughout the country. He said the bank would install eight ATMs in the city.

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Telecom cash counter opens at Kohara
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, July 19
A cash counter was inaugurated at the telephone exchange in Kohara by Mr G.S. Julka, General Manager, Telecom, yesterday.
According to Mr P.S. Nanda, a senior official of the Telecom Department, "this is the 56th cash counter. It would cater to Chaunta, Baliawal, Rasul, Koom Kalan, Bhaini Sahib, Dhanasur and Kohara villages among others. People will be able to deposit all kinds of bills related to the department."

Mr Dinesh Garg, Deputy GM, and Mr Gurtej Gill, JTO, were among those present on the occasion.

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