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Hosiery stocks pile up as trains get cancelled
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 7
Huge stocks of hosiery goods are piling up at the local railway station as most of the trains continue to remain cancelled. Owners of the small-scale hosiery units are facing an uncertain situation as the delivery of their orders is getting delayed. It could not have come at a worse time as it is the peak supply time for the winter season.

Sources in the hosiery industry said that for the past six days no stocks had been cleared from the railway station. As most of the trains remain cancelled, they had not been able to send their stock to different destinations. The railway authorities had asked the hosiery manufacturers to hold back their stocks till the space was cleared at the railway station.

There is a massive production of hosiery items during July and August as the supply for the winter season starts at this time only. With a huge daily production, the manufacturers regularly dispatch their stocks to the railway station for their onward journey to different parts of the country.

Mr Sunil Dut, hosiery manufacturer of Shivpuri, pointed out that since most of the manufacturers had small units with a limited storage space, they kept on dispatching their goods regularly. After the railway authorities asked them to stop bringing stocks to the railway station till the pending stocks were cleared, the manufacturers were hard pressed for the space.

There are over 10,000 small and medium-scale hosiery manufacturing units in Ludhiana. Most of these units have a limited storage capacity. As a result, a number of them have stopped production. The production, the hosiery manufacturers said, will resume only after the normal train traffic resumes.

Ironically, the bigger units, which have a huge storage space and can store massive stocks, are not finding any difficulty as they have their own transport system for the delivery of their stocks. It is again the small-scale units which are the worst-hit.

Some representatives of the hosiery manufacturing associations have demanded that the Railways should provide additional space for stock clearance to compensate for the lost time. "Otherwise our orders will get delayed further and the backlog will continue to grow", said Mr Dut. 

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Khalsa Panchayat plea against godmen
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 7
The Khalsa Panchayat (Ludhiana) has urged Panthic organisations to come together to save the masses from the clutches of self-styled godmen in the state who were out to damage the Sikh way of life.

Mr Charanjit Singh Channi, national panch of the outfit which is spearheading a movement to rid the state of deras, said the Sikh leaders had chosen to ignore the rise of various sects in the past but the anti - Panth activities of people like Bhaniarewala and Ashutosh Nurmehlia had made various Panthic outfits sit up and take notice of the ground situation.

He said the outfit had succeeded in getting a sammelan of Ashutosh cancelled in Malout. Many activists were injured in a cane charge and the gravity of the situation could be gauged from the fact that the Akal Takht Jathedar had summoned a Panthic gathering and had announced action within 15 days against the sect in July, 2002. Even after two years nothing had been done in this context, he pointed out.

Mr Channi said the 31-member committee constituted from among various Panthic outfits had not even met once and attempts are being made to give the issue a quiet burial. Within these two years the sect members had gone ahead and had strengthened their network and if ground reports were an indication a repeat of the infamous 1978 Nirankari clash was on the cards, he warned.

He said if such an incident happened the entire blame would rest with Akal Takht, SAD chief Parkash Singh Badal and his family members. The family had actively patronised the sect and even contributed financially and politically towards its growth. Photographs of Mrs Surinder Kaur Badal seeking the blessings of Ashutosh are still fresh in the minds of the people, he alleged.

He appealed to the government to strictly enforce the ban on the meetings of the sect so that an open confrontation could be averted. The panchayat also said that the youth wings of the SAD, which were supporting every activity of such self-styled godmen, should work for the betterment of the Panth and not the Badals.

Mr Channi said a meeting of all like-minded organisations had been called at Ludhiana where the future course of action would be chalked out. He added that the people were ready to defend their faith and teach a lesson to those who had denigrated the Gurus and the symbols of the faith.

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Family dispute settled in Lok Adalat
Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 7
It was a happy day for two sisters-in-law of Jandiali village, who had been embroiled in criminal litigation for the past five years, as a Lok Adalat today intervened in their dispute and persuaded them to go back as a happy, united family.

The case relates to Mr Budh Ram and his wife, Ms Jaswinder Kaur, who were booked under Section 324 and 34 of IPC at Samrala police station, on January 27, 1999, following a complaint by Ms Kulwinder Kaur, wife of the younger brother of Budh Ram.

The complainant had alleged that they had a family dispute with the accused. On January 27, 1999, when she was cleaning the courtyard, the accused abused her and caused injuries by a sharp-edged weapon. Mr R.K. Condal, Judicial Magistrate, had sentenced the accused to six months imprisonment on November 23, 2003. Now the appeal filed by the accused was pending in the Sessions Court.

This case came up before the Lok Adalat headed by the Additional Sessions Judge, Mr Sukhdarshan Singh Khaira.

The Judicial Officer and members of the Lok Adalat, Ms Ruby Fernandez and Mr Ramesh Lakhanpal, succeeded in persuading the parties for an amicable settlement. The accused apologised to the complainant and the matter was settled.

As many as 184 cases were settled today out of 313 cases placed before the 19 benches of the Lok-Adalat, involving an amount of Rs 5 crore 70 lakh. The Legal Services Authority has organised the Lok Adalat under the supervision of its chairman, Mr Baldev Singh, District and Sessions Judge.

Giving the information, Mr Arvind Markan, Assistant District Attorney of Legal Services Authority said 50 bank loan cases, 19 civil cases, 16 criminal cases were settled apart from motor accident claim cases and matrimonial cases.

The bench headed by Ms Anshul Berry, Additional Civil Judge (Senior Division) and Dr Vipin Gupta, settled two cases involving an amout of above Rs 2.5 crores.

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Flood fear fades
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 7
After giving a sleepless night to residents along the embankments of the Sutlej here yesterday, the river was almost dried up today. A small amount of water was flowing through the river at villages along the dhussi bundh. The river bed was visible at some places. Bathing and sand mining were going on.

Residents of Allowal village said they were organising a ‘thikri pehra’ every night and they stepped it up last night. They added that they came to inspect the river thrice last night, but there was no release of water. The district administration urged villagers not to panic. It stated that the administration was prepared for any eventuality.

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Three shops gutted
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 7
A grocery shop was completely destroyed while an adjoining video parlour and a clinic were extensively damaged in a fire that broke out in one of the shops in the congested commercial centre of Chowk Division No. 3 here today.

The fire service staff had to struggle for more than an hour and a half and three fire tenders were brought in. Stock and furnishings worth lakhs were estimated to have been damaged. The fire was suspected to have been caused by a short circuit.

According to officials, the fire was spotted around 11 am and within minutes the grocery store, where thread, machine oil and other inflammable items were stored, was completely destroyed. The fire also engulfed two shops adjacent to the store. A scooter was also damaged and one of the shopkeepers sustained minor injuries while trying to save the stock.

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Urban Estate residents seek better amenities
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 7
Residents of Urban Estate, Dugri, demanded better civic amenities and infrastructure in the colony. They want particular attention to be paid to roads, parks and the removal of encroachments.

A delegation of the residents met the Municipal Corporation Commissioner, Mr S.K. Sharma, under the leadership of Dr Ajay Shahi, president of the Congress committee, Ward No. 40, and submitted a mem orandum.

Mr Shiv Gupta, general secretary of the Urban Estate Welfare Association, said roads in phases I and II required urgent repair. The parks in the area were not being maintained properly and encroachments, both on the roadside and on vacant sites, by vendors and shopkeepers, were rampant, he added.

There was also the complaint of drinking water shortage, which could be met by the installation of at least two new tubewells.

The other demands included the construction of an over bridge on the Dugri canal, more safai karamcharis, drainage in vacant plots near the cremation ground, streetlights, and fencing of vacant government land in Urban Vihar to discourage encroachment.

The Commissioner assured the delegation that the repair of all main roads of Urban Estate Phase I and II would be taken up immediately. Tenders for road works worth Rs 1.50 crore had already been approved. The sewerage in LIG and MIG flats would be cleared and the damaged sewer near the labour colony would be repaired, he added.

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Rs 10 crore to be spent on forestation
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 7
The Punjab Government has chalked out a comprehensive forestation programme in the state with the active involvement of the public. Tree plantation in 3,655 hectares of forest and non-forest land would be carried out at a cost of Rs 10 crore during the current financial year to improve the environment, check soil erosion and enhance ground water recharge.

This was stated by Mr Surinder Dawer, Parliamentary Secretary, Power and Housing, while addressing a Vanmahotsav function organised by the Bharat Vikas Parishad (Tagore Sakha) at Arya Senior Secondary School here today.

Mr Dawer said the government had planned to set up forest development agencies in each district of the state, which would ensure public involvement in forestation. During the current financial year, 1.64 crore trees would be planted in the state.

A substantial share of the returns from forestry would be given to owners of land along the roads where the plants were grown.

Mr Dawer urged NGOs and educational institutions to educate people regarding tree plantation and improvement of the environment.

He said indigenous trees like neem, sheesham, desi mango, peepul and jamun were more effective in improving the environment. This year, 68 lakh traditional plants would also be planted.

Among those present on the occasion were Mr Viresh Brij and Mr Madan Mohan Trehan, president and secretary respectively of the Bharat Vikas Parishad, Mr Darshan Dawar, Ms Neelam Thappar and Mr Prem Pal Kaushal, Principal.

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Sewing centre inaugurated
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 7
Prerna Kendra International, a social and charitable organisation, started a sewing training centre at Hambran Road here today. According to Dr Satbir Singh, general secretary of the organisation, this centre will cater to the needy in the area.

Mr Hem Raj Aggarwal, Councillor of the area, was the chief guest on the occasion. Dr Ranjit Kaur, president and project director of the Prerna Kendra, presided over the function.

Four sewing machines were donated to the centre by the kendra. The trainees of the Prerna Computer and Sewing Centres presented a cultural programme.

Mr Gurpreet Singh, Mr Sarbjeet Agnihotri, Mr Kulwinder Sharma and Mr Jaswant Singh Sehmbi were among others who addressed the gathering. They stressed the need of social welfare activities and importance of sewing.

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YSAD leaders’ resignations rejected
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, Aug. 7
The resignations of Mr Amandeep Singh Gill, district senior vice-president, Mr Sukhcharan Singh Raikot, Raikot circle president, and 28 other office-bearers of the Shiromani Youth Akali Dal submitted to Mr Jagdev Singh Talwandi and Mr Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, MP, have been rejected. 

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Order on fly-ash use hits brick-kilns
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 7
Owing to the government pressure to use fly ash in the manufacture of bricks, more than 60,000 brick-kilns all over the country have decided to close down for an indefinite period, with the result that a workforce of around 18 million has been rendered jobless.

Addressing a general body meeting of the Punjab Brick-Kiln Owners Association here today, its president, Mr Sarbjit Singh Makkar, and the general secretary, Mr Ashok Mittal, condemned the state government for forcing the brick-kilns located within a 100 km radius of thermal plants to use fly ash (a by-product of thermal plants) in the production of bricks. Besides it being a dangerous material, no technology had so far been developed for its use in brick-making, they said.

Mr Makkar pointed out that the kilns in Punjab had taken the lead in modifying the existing furnaces to make them pollution free, thereby reducing the suspended particulate matter.

The association, representing almost 2800 units in the state, charged the state government with adopting a vindictive and discriminatory attitude towards the industry. They said the Congress government had failed to fulfil the promises made before the assembly elections. The brick-kiln owners would seek the intervention of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the matter, they said.

Mr S.P. Bansal, chairman of the association and former president of the All-India Brick and Tile Manufacturers Federation, alleged that due to the “nefarious activities” of the coal mafia only “E” and “F” grade coal was available to the brick-kiln industry.

Association functionaries said that in 1992 then Union Coal Minster P.A. Sangama had decided to allocate 33 per cent B and C grade coal to the industry, but a year later his successor, Mr Ajit Kumar Panja, scuttled the move.

Mr R.P. Chandel, newly elected president of the All-India Brick and Tile Manufacturers Federation, New Delhi, said this sector consumed 20-25 million tonne coal annually and it was a pity that it was not getting even a fraction of the requirement. Kiln owners had to pay a premium of around Rs 2000 per tonne to middlemen during the peak season due to faulty allocation and marketing policies of the government.

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Confusion over steel prices
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 7
There is confusion about steel prices here. After the Punjab State Electricity Board minimised power cuts to industry, it was claimed that the prices had come down.
Steel-based units maintained that the prices still were the same. Union Steel Minister Ram Vilas Paswan had recently convened a meeting of public-sector steel manufacturers for revising prices of steel produced by them.

Questioning the rationale behind the rise in steel prices, the president of the Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr P.D. Sharma, said the prices of steel rounds and wire rods produced by secondary producers were less than those produced by public-sector units.

Mr Sharma claimed that public-sector steel plants had exploited the market when they raised the prices of steel rounds and wire rods by Rs 5,000 per tonne on May 12 and hoped that steel prices would not be raised further.

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New bleaching material technology developed 
Tribune News Service

Mr M. N. A. Choudhry, Income Tax Commissioner, Ludhiana, and Dr S. M. Ilyas, Director, Central Institute of Post-Harvest Engineering and Technology,
Mr M. N. A. Choudhry, Income Tax Commissioner, Ludhiana, and Dr S. M. Ilyas, Director, Central Institute of Post-Harvest Engineering and Technology, at the technology transfer function at the institute in Ludhiana on Saturday. — A Tribune photograph

Ludhiana, August 7
The Central Institute of Post-Harvest Engineering and Technology (CIPHET) here today unveiled a low-cost technology on producing bleaching material for oil refining at a function presided over by Dr S. M. Ilyas, Director of the institute.

Dr Ilyas welcomed guests and in his opening remark highlighted the importance of developed technology in reducing the processing cost, enhancing the quality of the produce and reducing the cost at the consumer level. Dr O. D. Wanjari, Head, Foodgrains and Oilseed Processing Division, gave a brief on the technology developed and said the bleaching material was developed from the available bioresources to reduce the bleaching loss as well as the cost of the material which was normally imported.

The technology was developed under the leadership of Dr Ilyas and Dr S.K. Tyagi. Mr M.N.A. Choudhry, Income Tax Commissioner, Ludhiana, was the chief guest at the function and Mr R.C. Chopra, Director, SISI, was the guest of honour.

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Videophone launched
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 7
Videophone service has been launched here by Millennium Solutions in collaboration with Vialta. The beamer phone video station will help subscribers add colour motion video to telephone calls. The beamer videophone does not require additional equipment or wiring. The facility will also be available in Amritsar, Jalandhar and Patiala shortly.

City map: A city resident, Mr Vikas Passi, has come out with Ludhiana Highlighters, a map of the city. It contains important telephone numbers and addresses and information about various places in the city.

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