L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


MC meeting adjourned for want of quorum
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, October 4
The President of local Municipal Council had to adjourn a general body meeting till next month as twelve members, including the local MLA, didn’t attend the meeting. The situation arose due to the ongoing factional acrimony among the councillors .

The Executive Officer had called the meeting to consider the adoption of bye laws regarding building plans of residential and other buildings, including marriage palaces, nursing homes and hospitals.

The matter regarding adoption of building byelaws was kept pending in meeting held on May 31, 2004.

The Assistant Municipal Engineer had placed estimates worth more than Rs 32 lakh for approval.

Mr Sham Sunder and Mr Jatinder Bhola, leaders of the councillors opposing the President, alleged that the council authorities had been acting at the behest of the President against whom 10 councillors had moved a no -confidence motion three months earlier. The motion was declined by the state government on technical grounds.

Mr Ravinder Kumar and Mr Sudhir Singla, presidents of city Congress and the Youth Congress, respectively, urged the higher authorities to impress upon the local authorities to execute the pending projects.

Mr Charanjit Singh Ubhi, Executive Officer, denied the charge of partisan action .

It is pertinent to mention that Mr Rajnish Sharma Guddu, a former OSD to former Chief Minister Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhathal had been elected president of the council unanimously with the efforts of Ms. Razia Sultana the MLA of the constituency in March 2003. Things went smoothly for a few months and thereafter some of the councillors started complaining that their suggestions regarding development of their respective wards were not being considered. Ten councillors moved a no-confidence motion which was later rejected by the government on technical ground.

The MLA had kept herself away from the factionalism as both the groups claimed themselves to be congress groups. Like most of the other meetings she was absent today also.



Cancellation of 11 arhtiyas’ licences recommended
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 4
The Jagraon District Food and Civil Supplies Officer, Dr Rakesh Singla, today recommended the cancellation of bidding licences of 11 arhtiyas and ordered the stopping of bidding by five others. He and the Assistant Food and Civil Supplies Officer, Mr Lekh Raj Lehri, inspected mandis in the Jagraon subdivision.

Some commission agents were found violating bylaws of the market committee and not taking care of the paddy lying in the mandi. They ordered the stopping of bidding by these commission agents and recommended the cancellation of their licences to the SDM.

The commission agents whose licences were recommended to be cancelled included Parminder Singh and Company, Rura Ram Triloki Nath, S.S. Sidhu Trading Company, Sinlga Trading Company, Jhanji Trading Company and Jimidara Traders.

Bidding by five other commission agents was stopped as they were found lacking the required number of trapaulins and crates for proper storage of paddy.

They included Gurdeep Singh Kulbeer Singh Company, Rakes and Company, Pyare Lal Babu Ram, Arjun Das Vinay Kumar and Kaka Ram Om Prakash.



Johar for frequent cultural exchange
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 4
The Education Minister, Mr Harnam Dass Johar, has stressed upon the need of frequent exchange of cultural tours and food festivals between different countries to provide international exposure to the youth so that they could get themselves familiar with the culture of the people of each other countries.

The minister was speaking last night at a function organised at Park Plaza as part of ongoing Malaysian Food Festival.

Mr Johar said with the induction of latest information and technology in all fields of life, whole world had become easily accessible and a large number of opportunities of selling the produce were available for all countries in the open international market.

He said the start of liberal trade at the global level had created a fierce competition in the international market and the consumers had many options to choose the product of different quality. He said the Punjab Government had also decided to accord top priority to lay more stress upon the improvement of tourist sites of religious and cultural importance in the state so that maximum numbers of the tourists could be attracted, which would help in further strengthening the economy of the state.

The minister said: “The Education Department is being fully revamped and more and more vocational subjects are being added to enable our youth to compete at the international level”.

Referring to the improvement in the bilateral relations between India and Pakistan, the minister said with the announced visa concessions for different sections of society, including cultural groups, senior citizens, professionals and journalists, by both the neighbouring governments and an environment of peace and mutual understanding had further strengthened and people had started freely visiting the other country.

The minister said the exchange of tourists and trade groups would also help in improvement of trade between both the countries.

He also appreciated the efforts of Mr Jagpal Singh Khangura and Mr Harbans Singh Kamal, former Mayor, Hounslow, UK, for their contribution in organising food festivals and cultural exchange programme from various countries.

He also welcomed the Malaysian delegates who have come to Ludhiana with a special message of love and friendship with the Indian people, besides promoting their food and culture in Punjab.

Mr Khangura and Mr Kamal said so far they had organised food festivals of many countries and Ludhianvis had given an encouraging response to all of them.

Mr Jagdish Rai Sharma, former Deputy Leader, Borrough of Hounslow, who was special guest at the function, said the NRIs had great attachment with India and were willing to invest in business in Punjab.



Principal claims innocence, gains support 
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, October 4
The case filed by a teacher of Sri Guru Ram Rai Senior Secondary Public School, Barewal, took a new turn today. Principals of 10 city schools along with students supported the school Principal, Mr J. S Chauhan, accused in the case.

Strengthened by the support, the principal today claimed in a press conference that the management of Sri Guru Ram Rai Mission, which runs schools all over the country, has decided to stage a demonstration on Ferozepore Road if the police did not withdraw the false case registered against him or ordered an impartial inquiry within two days.

A delegation of the management also met the SP-City-I, Mr R K Jaiswal, and submitted a memorandum .

The principal was booked under Sections 354, 323, 3451, 294, 427 and 506 of the IPC on the complaint of the teacher .

The students who accompanied the delegation raised slogans in favour of the Principal in front of Mini Secretariat.

Mr Chauhan said that the complainant teacher was employed two and half month ago. During this period, the students reported to him that they were not satisfied with her.

On September 28, the principal summoned her and told her to improve. The complainant teacher dared him to fire her.

Mr Chauhan said during the evening, while he was teaching four students, the teacher along with her husband and father-in law came to his house and started abusing him.

Her husband started beating him. By the time, he called the police, they had disappeared. He was shocked to know that police had filed an FIR against him under a lot of sections at her behest, but refused to register his case.

He had to run from pillar to post to get a bail. The principal wants his name cleared and so do the students of the school. 



Soyabean food industry expected to grow by 20 pc
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 4
The soyabean food industry is expected to record an annual growth of over 20 per cent over the next few years. The increasing awareness about benefits of soyabean products is evident from the fact that soya milk sales have shown a rise of 50 per cent and are expected to increase by at least 300 per cent by 2005.

This was stated by Mr R.C. Chopra, director of the Small Industries Service Institute (SISI), while addressing the inaugural and technical session of an awareness programme on soybean products organised by the SISI here today. It was organised to create awareness among prospective entrepreneurs and industrialists and the general public about the commercial and nutritional value of these products.

The inaugural and technical session was chaired by Dr G.S. Chauhan, director of the National Research Centre for Soybean at Indore.

He explained the importance of soybean and its products. He discussed problems related to quality maintenance of soybean milk and paneer with industrialists.

He said lack of standardisation and low shelf life were the major problems being faced by this industry.

Mr Vinod Kumar, assistant director (food) at SISI, said soybean products were being accepted in various forms like soya flour, soya biscuits, soya milk and soya paneer and the soya food industry offered many opportunities to entrepreneurs. It was a low investment industry, he added.



Natak Mela held
Our Correspondent

Samrala, October 4
The local Paras Rangmanch organised its 7th Annual Natak Mela and cultural programme at Harnam Nagar last night. This programme was inaugurated by the local MLA ,Mr Amrik Singh Dhillon, and the Forest Minister, Mr Hans Raj Joshan, was the chief guest. Satinder Satti, Sukhwinder sukhi, both artistes, were honoured.

Punjabi Natak 'Thuada kee khial hai', written by Pali Bhupinder and directed by Sandip Tiwari was staged. The cast included Paramjeet Deputy, Puneet Kumar, Jagdeep Deepi, Umesh Sharma, Gurdev Bimbra .

On this occasion junior and senior bhangra competition event were also held, in which junior dance Manpreet got first prize and Maninder got second prize. In senior dance Jangi Samrala got first prize and Mehkada club got second prize. In junior group Lucky stat for the first and Chardi Kala Club got the second prize. Parmajit Deputy and Vijay Balli performed 'Bhandan Diyan Naklan."

Among other distinguished personalities were Mr ail Sood, President of the Nagar Panchayat Machhiwara, Harpreet SIngh Happy Saprnach of Mutton, Narinder Mankoo, Satwant Singh Manki.

The prizes were distributed b mr Jagjiwan Singh Kheernian, Senior Youth Akali LEader, MR Jasveer Singh DSP Samrala, Balwinder Singh Saini Naib Tehsildar samrala, Inspector Balwinder SIngh SHO Samrala and Ram Gopal Thapar (Rinku) youth congress leader and President Block Samrala (city).

The president of the club Puneet Kumar thanked the audience.



Kewal Dheer felicitated
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 4
Urdu writer Kewal Dheer was felicitated on his 67th birthday at Rotary Bhavan here last night. His admirers came from Phagwara, Khanna and Moga to attend the function.

He was given the Adeeb Award, comprising a citation, a memento and a shawl, by Mr O.P. Munjal, patron of Adeeb International. Mr K.K. Chaddha presented him an award on behalf of Rotary Club. He was also awarded by Sahir Cultural Academy.

Prof M.S. Cheema, vice-president of Adeeb International, said Dr Kewal Dheer was a doctor by profession, but his love for literature had made him take to writing. Mr S.S. Khosla read out a paper on the life and contribution of Kewal Dheer to Urdu literature. He said the writings of Kewal Dheer had been well received by the people of Pakistan.

A mushaira was conducted, in which a tribute was paid to Kewal Dheer. The participants included Kewal Dheer’s grandson Ishaan, Farookh Engineer, Javed Malzada, T.N. Raj, Sardar Paanchi, Pooran Ahsas, Ajit Singh Hansrah, S.C. Kanwal, Prof N.K. Kalia and Kausar.



Expert stresses need for horticulturists
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 4
Punjab should divert 10 lakh hectares from the wheat-rice cycle to other farming produce such as fruit, vegetables, forestry or dairy. Most of this diverted area is likely to be covered by horticulture, and for that we need well trained horticulturists.

This was stated by Dr Amrik Singh Sandhu, Director, Extension Education, while addressing the trainees attending a course for horticulturists here today. He said we could safeguard our future by doing manual labour. Many horticulturists had shifted their nurseries to urban areas, which played an important role in keeping the environment clean. The private sector was providing more employment to trained horticulturists, he added.

Dr Yograj Chanana, Professor and Head of the Horticulture Department, welcomed the chief guest, and Mr Jagjit Singh Sarabha, programme in-charge, gave an overview of this training course.

Others present on the occasion included Dr Ramesh Kumar, Professor and Head, Department of Floriculture, Dr Amrik Singh Sidhu, Head, Department of Vegetables. Dr Bhagwant Singh Chahal, Senior Horticulturist, proposed a vote of thanks.



Govt to levy 35 paise toll per km
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 4
The Public Works Minister, Mr Partap Singh Bajwa, today announced that the state government would levy a toll tax at the rate of 35 paise per km for the use of roads. He said two-wheelers and tractors carrying produce of farmers would be exempted. He did not specify the date from which the tax would be levied. He was addressing a gathering at Malikpur village, near here, after laying the foundation stone of the project for strengthening of two major roads and the construction of two bridges on Budha Nullah in the Dakha Assembly segment.

He claimed that the rate of deaths in accident would come down and the cost of wear and tear of vehicles would be reduced with improvement in quality of roads. He added that the state government had launched a special road development programme, under which 18 corridors (state plan roads) measuring 7500 km were being widened and strengthened and 40 new railway overbridges were being constructed.

The projects for which the foundation stones were laid included the widening and strengthening of the Ladhowal-Nurpur road, at a cost of Rs 1.46 crore, the construction of a high-level bridge over the Budha Nullah on the Jainpur-Bagga Kalan road, at a cost of Rs 66.95 lakh, the construction of a high-level bridge over the Budha Nullah on the Baranhara-Talwara-Bagga Khurd road, at a cost of Rs 60.11 lakh, and the construction of approaches to the newly constructed high-level bridge over the Budha Nullah on the Malikpur-Nurpur road, at a cost of Rs 23.50 lakh. The minister inaugurated a newly strengthened Ludhiana-Hambran road, which was 7 km long and had cost Rs 103.22 lakh.

The minister stated that as per the agreements being signed for the construction of roads and corridors, construction companies would have to ensure quality and maintenance. He added that three corridors in Ludhiana district, the Ludhiana-Raikot-Barnala road, the Ludhiana-Dhuri-Sangrur road and the southern bypass in Ludhiana, would be strengthened. He said three railway overbridges, one each on the Chawa-Payal road, the Jagraon-Raikot road and the Lalheri-Khanna road, were being constructed in Ludhiana district.

Mr Bajwa asserted that the state government was committed to provide 24-hour power supply to all 12,000 villages in the state by December 31. He added that a loan of Rs 250 crore had been arranged for this purpose. He asserted that the government had given attention to the agricultural sector and power had been purchased at a cost of more than Rs 800 crore to ensure eight-hour power supply to tubewells of farmers.

Local MLA Malkiat Singh Dakha said the traffic load in Ludhiana would be reduced with the strengthening of the Lodhowal-Nurpur road as traffic from the Jalandhar side to Mullanpur, Raikot and Jagraon would be diverted via this road. He said residents of 24 villages would benefit from the construction of two bridges on the Buddha Nullah.



Bajwa denies eyeing CM’s chair
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 4
Public Works Minister Partap Singh Bajwa has said that he has no chief-ministerial ambitions and he is satisfied with his current assignment. “I do not have any such ambitions for the future either,” Mr Bajwa told a press conference here today after laying the foundation stone for the strengthening of two major roads and the construction of two bridges on the Budha Nallah in the Dakha Vidhan Sabha constituency, at Malikpur, near here.

Mr Bajwa claimed that he was being wrongly projected as the chief-ministerial candidate. “There is no such scope for anyone and Capt Amarinder Singh is going to complete the five-year term,” he asserted, claiming that the government was working well. Moreover, he tried to clarify that he had never been in the dissident camp.

When asked whether the outcome of the Kapurthala and Garhshankar byelections would have any impact on the leadership issue in the state, Mr Bajwa was diplomatic in his answer. He said, “The results would be in favour of the Congress, and even if the results are otherwise, the Chief Minister is going to stay as there is no alternative”.

Mr Bajwa said that during byelections the trend mostly favoured the ruling party.

The PWD Minister justified the government move to sponsor legislators for foreign trips. He disagreed that the step was ill-advised given the financial crunch faced by the state. He maintained that such tours were also informative and people learnt a lot from these.



Book culprits, demands samiti
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 4
Members of the Nari Shakti Jagran Samiti yesterday staged a protest in Ludhiana against the attack on devotees of the Divya Jyoti Jagreti Sansthan at a congregation in Harpura, Ludhiana. The members alleged that this was the mean-spirited act.

Nearly 40 devotees, including women, were injured in the attack yesterday. Some of them are in a critical condition. The Nari Shakti is firm on its stand to fight the anti-social elements. It demanded action against the culprits.



Sikh scholar returns to India
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 4
Dr Sarup Singh Alag, Sikh scholar and chairman, Alag Shabad Yug Charitable Trust, returned to India after visiting European and American countries in connection with the quadri-centennial celebrations of Guru Granth Sahib. He had participated in seminars and conferences, delivered lectures on Sri Guru Granth Sahib and given interviews.

His book “Sarb Nidhan Sri Guru Granth Sahib” had been released in London and the book “Andin Sukrit Kareya” in Toronto. He said the trust had been distributing 52 publications, out of which 17 were on Guru Granth Sahib, free of cost.



Woman accuses sons of theft
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, October 4
Two brothers and their wives have been booked by the local police under Sections 452, 380 and 120-B, IPC, on a complainant of their mother. According to Ms Tej Kaur, a resident of Kacha Malak Road here, her son Gurdev Singh and his wife Malkit Kaur of Kothe Hari Singh and another son Baldev Singh and his wife Kuldip Kaur of Patti Multani, under Sidhwan Bet police station, along with 10 or 12 other persons had taken away her domestic articles, including cupboards, phone, cooler and a box, worth about Rs 15 lakh. The accused are yet to be arrested.

Stolen: In another incident, Mr Jagdish Lal, Principal, District Education and Training Institute, here, has lodged a report with the local police that one Piara Singh of Lehandi Bhaini, Jagraon, has stolen a fan and a bicycle from the institution. A case has been registered under Sections 454 and 380 of the IPC.

Seized: ASI Rajinder Pal Singh, in-charge of Kaunke Kalan police station, has arrested Gurmel Singh, alias Neelu, of Gidder Windi in the Malah drain area and seized 32 kg of poppy husk. A case under the NDPS Act has been registered at Jagraon police station.



Photographer’s shop broken into
Our Correspondent

Khanna, October 4
Thieves broke into the shop of a photographer on Lalheri Road and took away goods worth Rs 1.5 lakh last night. The thieves entered the shop from the door of a room on the first floor. The theft was noticed in the morning when the owner of the shop, Mr Madan Lal, arrived.

He suspected four persons who visited the shop for a photograph and were there for an hour. He said they might have opened the shutter from the inside and entered in the night.



Sales tax evasion by hosiery units
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 4
Manufacturers and suppliers of hosiery goods are learnt to be evading huge sales tax. Most of it takes place at the railway station where the Sales Tax Department has set up a check post.

Some influential manufacturers with the help of politicians and certain bureaucrats manage to hoodwink the tax officials.

The hosiery manufacturing is at peak. Goods worth crores of rupees are transported through the Railways to different parts of the country every day.

The Railways is not concerned about the sales tax clearance .The whole operation is believed to be run by a well organised group of touts, some sales tax officials and the traders. Even some councillors are reportedly to be involved in this business. Interestingly most of the goods are believed to have a smooth ride right up to the parcel van.

Interestingly , rickshaw- pullers and auto drivers, who ferry the goods to station, can be seen carrying cell phones, reportedly provided by the manufacturers and traders, to resolve last minute problems with officials. The rickshaw pullers and auto drivers are also kept posted about the movement of the sales tax officials and hostile police officials regularly.

While the manufacturers and the traders are involved in a fierce competition in selling their goods, but when it comes to confronting the Sales Tax Department and evading sales tax, they work in close cooperation and keep on sharing information about the possible checks and movements of the officials. They seem to have set up a sort of control from where they keep the track of all the operating vehicles from their starting points up to their destination.

Although nobody, not even the rickshaw pullers, would reveal anything to a stranger not even the name of the owner or the manufacturer whose goods they ferry, it is learnt that the rates are fixed for each consignment depending upon the number of cartons or boxes being dispatched.

A senior sales tax official strongly denied the involvement of any official of the department. He claimed that the sales tax revenue had jumped considerably over the last year. However, he pointed out, "there can always be a little bit of pilferage, but it is certainly negligible". He claimed that the department has blocked all the loopholes and there was not much scope for any evasion. 



Biz Clip

Nilibar, a city-based retail outlet, will offer Shantanu Goenka, Manish Malhotra and Satya Paul collections this season. “We have almost finalised tie-ups with these renowned names of the fashion industry”, said the owner of the outlet. Not merely ethnic wear, including bridal, on the offing would also be Western outfits, he said. TNS


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