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10 MC workers suspended
Kuldip Bhatia
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 13
A protest organised by activists of the Municipal Workers Union at the MC headquarters here today cost them dearly as nine employees of the horticulture wing of the civic body along with their supervisor were placed under suspension for dereliction of duty.

And an equal number was issued charge sheets to show cause as to why they should not be proceeded against for negligence and participation in union activities during duty hours.

Giving details of the sequence of events, the Municipal Commissioner, Mr S.K. Sharma, told Ludhiana Tribune that the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh had convened a rally to press for their demands, most of which related to the state government. The matter was already being taken up with the state government in this regard.

When some BMS activists met the Commissioner to hand over their of memorandum of demands, Mr Sharma confronted them with the charge that the workers deployed in the horticulture and sanitation departments were not performing their assigned work diligently. As a result the parks were lying in a state of neglect and the sanitation level in the city localities also left much to be desired.

The trade union activists, led by BMS general secretary Khelar Chand Gupta denied the allegations.

In reply the Municipal Commissioner, along with three councillors, who were present in his office, decided to inspect the Rakh Bagh, where according to the duty roaster 18 workers were deployed for the maintenance work.

According to Mr Sharma, the entire area of the Rakh Bagh was in a state of total neglect with weeds in abundance, plants not being tended, garbage and dry leaves scattered all around. Taking decision on the spot, nine workers, who were supposed to be on duty at that particular time, were suspended while nine others were issued charge sheets.

The supervisor of the horticulture wing, Mr Harwinder Pal Singh, along with Mata Pher, Parlad, Kali Parsad, Nand Lal, Ramesh Chand, Hansla Parsad, Sham Baghir, Agnu Ram and Kailash Wati were suspended whereas Mangat Ram, Angnu Ram, Shiv Nath, Shitla Parsad, Ishwari, Ram Bihari, Tara Chand, Ram Sunder and Jagga Singh were chargesheeted, added Mr Sharma.

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Schools flout orders on I-Day celebrations
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Students of Holly Hock Nursery School celebrate Independence Day
Students of Holly Hock Nursery School celebrate Independence Day on Friday. — Tribune photo by Sayeed Ahmed

Ludhiana, August 13
Making a mockery of government orders, a large number of schools, clubs and non-government organisations continue to celebrate Independence Day well in advance in order to get publicity.

So much so many of these will be organising Independence Day function tomorrow, which is, in fact, independence day of Pakistan! What surprises one is that neither the District Magistrate nor the District Education Office has taken notice of this aberration.

Of late, it has become quite a fashion in the city to start celebrations of the day well in advance, even a week before. Many even continue celebrating it after the day. This provides them a chance of getting publicity as otherwise only functions of main organisations, including the government ones, get publicity in the media.

Prominent organisations indulging in this practice are schools and ladies clubs. The quality of the functions is dismal. The organisations argue that they celebrate the occasion in advance to avoid calling children to school on a holiday. The clubs and other organisations do not have any such argument to put forward.

One wonders how this affects the general knowledge of the students, who are taught that the country's Independence Day is on August 15 but are told to celebrate it on some other day!

Newspaper offices are deluged with invitation of such advance celebrations. Love Dale School and Green Senior Secondary Public School will be celebrating the country's freedom on August 14.

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Boost to residents’ fight against polluting unit
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 13
Residents of Hira Nagar, Kakowal Road, who had been protesting against a polluting unit in their area for the past many years, today received a shot in the arm when the Assistant Town Planner issued a certificate that as per the master plan of the city their area was earmarked for residential purposes only.

The latest development would help them in their struggle against OK Tin Factory in their area, which allegedly was creating pollution in the area. The factory owner had been claiming that he had clearance from the local Municipal Corporation to run the unit.

The residents had been fighting a case against the owner in the court of SDM for the past many months but it could not reach a solution. It is still pending. Actions had been taken against the factory but it had not been shifted.

The unit recycles old tins used for storing vegetable ghee and oil by hammering and cleaning these with the help of strong chemicals. The procedure causes the release of poisonous gases and ear-piercing noises. A furnace is used to heat chemicals and fumes make the life of residents a hell.

The factory owner had allegedly threatened the residents of dire consequences. Some persons staying in the area had even sold their houses on throwaway prices and these houses were bought by the factory owner.

‘‘He had been claiming that he would convert the entire street with residential houses into a tin factory. If we say anything to him he gets a case registered against us. His tins are always found kept on the road blocking the way.’’ said Mr Satnam Verma, who had been spearheading a campaign against pollution in the area.

The Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) had also issued a notice to the factory for causing air and water pollution thereby violating the provisions of the Water Act 1974 and the Air Act 1981.

The notice was issued following the raids on the premises of the factory by the PPCB officials after receiving a complaint from the residents of the area, who had been claiming that the unit, which was recycling vegetable oil tins, was creating pollution by hammering noise and discharging chemicals into the sewerage.

The PPCB officials had stated that the industry had not provided any arrangement to treat its trade effluent discharged during washing process, had put a diesel generator set of 5-10 KVA capacity and had not provided with adequate stack height.

In a report submitted to the SDM, the officials claimed that the industry had installed a process machine for fixing new covers on tins. The unit was emanating thick smoke from the furnace and noise, which was creating nuisance in the area.

The officials further stated the results of the monitoring revealed that the noise levels were beyond the permissible limits of 55 dB/Leq and the contribution of noise by the industry was more than 10 decibles.

A report by the PPCB had also claimed that the industry was operating in a predominantly residential area of the city and was engaged in the process of cleaning old vegetable oil tins with the help of hot caustic solution in a tank and then clean the empty tin with fresh water.

‘‘The trade effluent generated from the washing was being discharged into public sewer, without giving any treatment. The report also says that Mr Ghanayia Lal had not obtained any NOC from the board and was now running its business without the prior consent of the board under water and air acts, which is obligatory on the part of the industry.’’

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Physically challenged waits for pension
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 13
Mr Rakesh Kumar, a resident of Anand Nagar, Haibowal Kalan, who is physically challenged, has been awaiting the sanctioning of a monthly pension of Rs 200 for more than a year even after the completion of all formalities regarding the filling of forms and verification.

Mr Rakesh Kumar had applied for pension for the disabled about two years ago. It took him nearly one year and several trips to the office of Bal Vikas Department in Kitchlu Nagar to get the various documents required for the purpose. His application form was finally completed in all respects on August 8,2003.

Mr Rakesh Kumar, who visited the Ludhiana Tribune office yesterday and showed his application form, said he was made to undertake trips to the office of the Bal Vikas Department for full one year. And just when he thought that all hurdles in the way of his pension had been overcome he was handed a new form by the department and told to fill it all over again and he had to undergo all hardships all over again.

Mr Rakesh Kumar, who was already fed up of making all those trips to the office, said in a disheartened tone that he saw no point in undergoing all the trouble once again as there was no guarantee that the department would not ask him to fill yet another form. He said it took him more than one year to get the formalities completed. This way, if he fills the form once again, it would take another year or two before he would be eligible for the pension. 

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SAD conference at Isru tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 13
SAD activists will hold a meeting on August 19 at Alamgir Gurdwara to finalise the preparations for the Parkash Utsav of Guru Granth Sahib being organised in Amritsar on August 30,31 and September 1. The meeting will be presided over by the SAD President, Mr Parkash Singh Badal.

Giving details of the programme Mr Jagjivanpal Singh Gill, senior party leader, said today that the SAD would organise meetings throughout the state and these would be addressed by Mr Badal himself. Senior party leaders, including MPs and legislators would also attend the meeting. He said the party was mobilising its cadres to ensure that maximum number of people reach Amritsar during the celebrations.

Mr Gill also said the party would also organise a state-level political conference at Isru on August 15, in memory of the martyr Karnail Singh Isru, who laid down his life for the safety and integrity of the country in Goa. 

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Co-option of SGPC members hailed
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 13
Prof. Prithipal Singh Kapoor, President, Master Tara Singh Institute of Studies in contemporary Sikh Politics, today hailed the unanimous co-option of the members of the SGPC.

Prof. Kapoor said here the cooption of people like Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta was a step in the right direction. It gave a positive message to the Sikh sangat.

He has appealed to the president of the Shiromani Akali Dal, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, that he should utilise the services of persons like Manjit Singh Calcutta for the benefit of the panth. He said Mr Calcutta was well conversant with the Sikh traditions.

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Need to promote Punjabi, says Hans Raj
Our Correspondent

Doraha, August 13
"The ethical values of the Punjabi language need to be promoted and adopted by the modern youth of Punjab."
This idea was expressed by Hans Raj Hans, a renowned Punjabi singer, in a programme organised by him along with another folk singer and dancer, Sarabjit Mangat, to honour students of the college and others for participating in the Hans Raj Hans live programme held at Panchkula on July 30. The venue was Guru Nanak National College, Doraha, where Hans Raj Hans and Sarabjit Mangat arrive late last evening to entertain audience and honour the 'talented' artists.

He said, "The immediate need of the hour is to inculcate values, which we have left far behind and adopt our clean innocent language in its most original spirit. Our rich cultural heritage and the treasure hidden in it must be preserved at all costs otherwise our Punjab shall loose its dignity forever, " he added.

Speaking on the purity of Punjabi language, he said, "The original Punjabi language breathes in our villages and it is because of this that the language has survived its identity in spite of regular foreign onslaughts."

He presented 'Shikra' from the depth of his heart.

The function was organised in the seminar hall of the college. Two students of the college, Renu Sharma and Sukhmani, were among the eight artists who received the token of appreciation from the renowned singer. The honourable artiste was welcomed by Mr Jaswant Singh Gill, Principal, Guru Nanak National College, Doraha, and the vote of thanks was delivered by Prof Jagdev Singh Grewal, Head of the Postgraduate Department of Punjabi.

Mr Amarjit Grewal, Principal, GCB College, Dakha, and Mr Pritam Singh Jaggi were among those who graced the occasion.

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Real estate bodies to meet in Delhi 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 13
The Confederation of Real Estate Developers Associations of India (CREDAI), the apex body representing associations of pan-India real estate and housing developers, announced today that the forthcoming fourth CREDAI National Convention 'NATCON 2004' along with a concurrent event 'Property 2004' will be held in New Delhi. Supported by the Ministry of Urban Development and Poverty Alleviation, Government of India, NATCON 2004 and Property 2004 is scheduled to be held from September 10 to12.

Reiterating CREDAI's commitment to strengthening the prospects of the already booming Indian real estate industry Mr Jitendra Thakker, vice-president, CREDAI, while addressing mediapersons said, "We are here to solicit your fullest support to make Property 2004 and NATCON 2004 a benchmark success. Our mission is to provide an integrated platform to pan-India developers to understand their needs and devise a strategy to meet the industry challenges. A national level exposure at NATCON and Property 2004 will help the developers to come together and collectively maximise their learning which will help them brighten their business prospects."

CREDAI is the apex body of the organised real estate developers/builders across India, representing pan-India associations of real estate and housing developers. CREDAI's objective is to promote housing and real estate developments in an organised and cohesive manners and provide a liaison with government bodies to effectively represent the views and needs of the indsutry. Eighteen state/city associations spread over 17 states of India are members of CREDAI with over 3,500 individual member developers encompassing over 60 per cent of the organised private sector real estate development activity in member states/cities in the country. 

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Chamber welcomes move to check steel price hike
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 13
The local Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings today welcomed the initiative taken by the Union Steel Minister, Mr Ram Vilas Paswan, to check the rise in steel prices.

Mr Inderjit Singh Pradhan, president, and Mr Avtar Singh, general secretary of the chamber, have urged the Mr Paswan and the Finance Minister to withdraw the DEPB to the five big steel producers and exporters. 

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