L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Col Raminder cremated
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 5
The mortal remains of Col Raminder Singh, a former Director of Sports, Punjab, and the husband of Ms Gurkanwal Kaur, State Minister for Welfare and Social Security, who died yesterday at Mohali following a massive heart attack, were consigned to the flames at his native village, Jainpur, near here, today. He was the son-in-law of the late Beant Singh, a former Chief Minister.

The Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, attended the cremation. While condoling the death of Col Raminder Singh, he expressed his sympathy with Ms Gurkanwal Kaur, Ms Jaswant Kaur and other family members.

A large number of dignitaries, including ministers, bureaucrats, Army officials, sportspersons and police officials, attended the funeral. Among others who laid the wreaths were Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Deputy Chief Minister, Ms Parneet Kaur, MP, Mr H.S. Hanspal, President, PPCC, Dr Kewal Krishan, Speaker, Vidhan Sabha, Mr Surinder Singla, Finance Minister, Mr Harnam Das Johar, Education Minister, Mr Mohinder Singh Kaypee, Transport Minister, Chaudhary Jagjit Singh, Local Bodies Minister, Mr Jasjit Singh Randhawa, Cooperation Minister, Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang, Animal Husbandry Minister, Mr Rakesh Pandey, State Minister for Science and Technology, Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi, Chief Parliamentary, Secretary, Mr Surinder Dawer, Parliamentary Secretary, Mr Tej Parkash Singh, ex-minister, Ms Santosh Chaudhary, General Secretary, AICC, Mr B.S. Sudan, Director Information and Public Relations, Mr D.S. Jaspal, Principal Secretary, Information and Public Relations, and Mr Darshan Singh, DPRO, Ludhiana, Mr R.L. Kalsia, Secretary, Social Security, Mr Avtar Singh Brar, General Secretary, PPCC, and Mr Gurbinder Singh Atwal, Mr Malkiat Singh Dakha, Mr Amrik Singh Dhillon, all MLAs, Mr Gurcharan Singh Galib, Mr Nahar Singh Gill, Mayor, Municipal Corporation, Ludhiana, Mr Iqbal Singh, a former MP, Mr Darshan Singh Brar, and Mr S.R. Ladder, Director, Social Security.

Meanwhile, sports lovers and representatives of various sports organisations have expressed grief over the death of Col Raminder Singh.

Mr Rajdeep Singh Gill, ADGP, and president, Basketball Federation of India, Mr S.S. Channy, president, Punjab Handball Association, and Mr Balraj Sharma, general secretary, Punjab Swimming Association, in separate messages condoled his death.

Recalling Col Raminder’s contribution to the promotion of sports, they appreciated him for his able administration.

“Col Raminder Singh’s contribution to the state during the National Games held in 2000 at various venues in Punjab would be remembered since it was during this period sports infrastructure was created in the state for which the coming generations would be indebted to Col Raminder Singh”, they said.

Mr Teja Singh Dhaliwal, secretary, Punjab Basketball Association, Ms Surinder Dhir, a former Deputy Director, Sports, Mr Sohan Lal Lotey, District Sports Officer, Ludhiana, and Mr Vinod Chitkara and Mr R.S. Behal, general secretaries, Ludhiana District Cricket Association and Ludhiana District Badminton Association, respectively, also paid homage.



Accused denied bail in land sale case
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 5
The Additional Sessions Judge, Mr Sukhdarshan Singh Khaira, has dismissed the anticipatory bail applications filed by Mr Jitender Singh of Urban Estate, Dugri, and Ms Opinder Parmar of Bandra, Mumbai, accused of selling 55 kanals and 12 marlas of land belonging to the Ludhiana Improvement Trust worth crores.

Declining the bail applications, Mr Khaira observed that the accused did not deserve the concession of pre-arrest bail as it would hamper investigation by the police.

Following a complaint by the Chairman of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust, Mr Ashok Garcha, an FIR under Sections 420, 467, 468, 471 and 120-B of the IPC was registered against retired Brigadier Shashi Inder Singh, Ms Barjinder Kaur and the persons who moved the anticipatory bail application, at Sarabha Nagar police station on September 3, 2004, on the charge of cheating and selling the land belonging to the trust.

It was alleged that land measuring 189 kanals and 10 marlas, belonging to one Ms Devinder Kaur, was acquired under the Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar Vikas Scheme of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust. Due compensation was paid as per the award passed by the then Land Acquisition Collector and later enhanced by the court. The heirs of Ms Devinder Kaur had also lost litigation up to the Supreme Court. As such, they did not have any right to sell the property.

However, defence counsel argued no cheating or forgery had been committed. The trust had not taken possession of the acquired land. Their clients had every right to sell the land, counsel added.

The Additional Public Prosecutor had submitted that Ms Devinder Kaur had challenged the acquisition of the land but that had been dismissed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The Special Leave Petition filed by her had also been dismissed by the Supreme Court. The possession of the land had not been delivered to the trust as the Civil Court had ordered status quo regarding possession and the matter was sub-judice.



End to elevated road project in sight
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 5
The elevated road project between the Jagraon Bridge and Chand Cinema started by the local Municipal Corporation is nearing completion. The Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, Mr S.K. Sharma, said the project would be completed “early next year". The MC general House had recently passed a resolution in this regard.

The elevated road project, which would provide a major relief from traffic chaos in Ludhiana, was scheduled to be completed in August 2004. However, due to some technical problems the project was delayed. In fact the work on the project had been suspended for some time.

The MC general House also passed a resolution on October 1 resolving that the project must be completed at the earliest. Specifying the time limit, Mr Sharma said it would be completed early next year as the work had resumed and Skanska, which was awarded the original contract, had been allowed to start the work and asked to complete it within a time frame.

Mr Sharma said the project was conceived without taking into consideration various technical and economic aspects. "There was no techno-economic survey conducted, which is a pre-requisite for projects of such a magnitude", he observed. He said the original project proposal had overlooked the fact that the elevated road was to go over the main drain of the city. When the digging for the project was in progress the main drain of the city leaked several times leading to problems for the corporation. "It took us some time to overcome these technical problems, which had not been thought of earlier", he said.

Another major problem was that of electric wires. The corporation has already deposited money with the Punjab State Electricity Board to realign wires and poles at a safe distance from the elevated road. “These were the two main problems hindering the project work”, Mr Sharma said. He added that as these problems had been resolved the pace of the project works had picked up. 



11 proclaimed offenders held
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 5
The proclaimed offenders wing of the police arrested 11 proclaimed offenders in September and traced 21 others, according to a press note. Nine of them were involved in theft, dacoity and snatching cases, 12 in drug trafficking and one in assault case. Six of them were wanted for violation of the Arms Act and four for violation of the Excise Act.

The proclaimed offenders arrested included Charan Dass, alias Ram Rattan, Jarjit Singh, alias Jasvir Singh, Nanak Singh, alias Shanty, Nirmal Singh, Davinder Singh, alias Tota Singh, Raj Kumar, alias Raju, Hardev Singh, Prithipal Singh and Shashi Kant Pandit. The absconding criminals traced included Bahadur, Ramesh Kumar, Munish Kumar, Mithu Ram, Prem Bahadur, Mohan Lal, Sham Lal, Chunni Lal, Ashok Kumar, Gurdev Singh, Beant Singh, Surinder Kumar, Joginder Pal, Amarjit Singh, Ram Thakur, Paramjit Singh and Paltoo Yadav.



Fire crackers seized in raid
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 5
Deputy Commissioner Anurag Verma has appreciated the initiative of an unknown person, who provided vital information regarding the storage of a huge quantity of crackers and other fireworks in the congested area of Namak Mandi. Following the tip-off, a huge quantity of crackers were seized in a joint raid by a team comprising officers of the district administration and the Punjab police late last night.

Giving details, Mr Verma said that the SDM (East) received information on phone regarding the storage of fireworks from a person yesterday. A joint raid was carried out in which fire crackers loaded on two tempos were seized.

The Deputy Commissioner said the crackers had been stored on the fourth storey of the building of M/s Inderjit Vipan Kumar. The police has registered a case against the owners of the building Sanjay Singla and Raju Singla.

He said that the Namak Bazar area, where the crackers were stored, was a congested locality. In case of a fire incident in the area, the fire engines would find it difficult to reach the spot resulting in a huge loss to life and property.

The Deputy Commissioner said that a few days ago he had appealed to public through the Press to provide secret information to the concerned SDMs so that guilty people could be booked and crackers seized.

The Deputy Commissioner assured that the name and other details about the person providing such information would be kept secret. 



Selenium toxicity control experiments
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 5
Human activities contribute substantially to the redistribution and cycling of selenium on a global scale. Anthropogenic activities, including disposal of coal-generated fly ash, mine tailings, agricultural drainage water, use of fertilisers and underground water for crop production and household sources such as dandruff shampoo, have been linked to selenium toxicity.

These are the findings of Dr K.S. Dhillon and Ms S.K. Dhillon, soil scientists at Punjab Agricultural University, who have conducted surveys to assess the status of selenium in soils, fodders, cereals and grasses commonly grown in Punjab and their influence on selenium-related disorders in animals and human beings. Selenium toxic sites are located in a number of villages in Hoshiarpur and Nawanshahr districts.

The scientists have disclosed that a number of laboratory and field experiments have been undertaken to develop a suitable technology for the control of selenium toxicity. They have recommended that farmers should apply gypsum every alternate year before sowing fodder crops since it helps in reducing selenium absorption by up to 70 per cent and oats, maize and sorghum should be grown as fodder in seleniferous areas because their selenium absorption capacity is the lowest.

They have suggested that in case of multicut fodders, feeding first cut to animals should be avoided as it contains two or three times more selenium than the following cuts. They have stated that tubewells between 350 and 400 feet deep contain low levels of selenium (1 microgram per litre).



Waqf board employee held
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 5
The local Vigilance Bureau has arrested a rent collector clerk of the Jagraon Wakf Board on the charges of bribery and cheating a woman applicant. Kamal-ud-Din, who is a tehsil level in charge of the Waqf Board office had allegedly accepted a bribe of Rs 36,000 from a woman to give her a plot on lease. The land rent was actually about Rs 6,000 only. The accused allegedly misguided the woman on the issue.

The woman came to know about the truth after having paid Rs 15,000 to the accused. She informed the Vigilance Bureau. A trap was set for the culprit. A team of Vigilance sleuths, led by DSP Narinderpal Singh, arrested the accused while he was accepting a bribe of Rs 21,000 from the woman last evening.

Vigilance sources said the accused was being questioned about the level of corruption in the board.



Ludhiana Calling

All good things come with some bad aspect. The much proclaimed health facilities in Ludhiana are really notable. There are some good medical institutions and private nursing homes offering probably the best available medicare in the country. But at the same time the city has witnessed mushrooming of 'infertility centres' which literally remain the 'infertility' centres on as none of these has been able to provide any relief or treatment to anyone. These 'infertility centres' have been exploiting the weakness for having a child and promise wonders in their advertisements. It is not difficult for couples to fall prey to these. Some of these 'infertility clinics' have been claiming themselves to be the "number one in the country". One could simply ask, "number one in what?" and there appears to be a simple answer to this, "number one in befooling and cheating people" of lakhs and lakhs of rupees. These 'infertility' clinics are trying to sell the technique of IVF ( in vitro fertilisation) in which the success rate world over has not been more than 40 per cent. But these 'infertility clinics' go on to claim 90 per cent success rate. Since it is not possible for the unsuspecting people to verify the "super success" rate they keep on getting cheated. The well meaning medical fraternity, including the Indian Medical Association, needs to deal with the situation firmly and prevent people from falling prey to such centres.

Traffic nightmare

Traffic continues to remain a perpetual problem in Ludhiana. The number of vehicles is growing at a fast pace disproportionate to the limited and restricted road infrastructure in the city. While there is no provision with the District Transport Officer to set any limit on the number of new registrations of vehicles in the city, there is no check of the vehicles that are added to the existing number. Ludhiana has the maximum number of vehicles in the region. The road network remains the same as it was 30 years ago. No roads have been widened in the city. Besides the number of vehicles which enter Ludhiana also remains unrestricted. Under these circumstances it is a nightmarish experience to drive on the city roads. Even the Ferozepore Road, which is supposed to be the widest of all remains overburdened. In fact it is the worse during the peak hours. Plus, there is the callousness of the shopkeepers along these roads and people as well, who park their vehicles on the roads. Ludhiana needs a comprehensive plan to manage its traffic which is turning chaotic with each passing day.

A city of extremes

Ludhiana, like any other big city, appears to be turning into a city of extremes. While there are a number of people with enormous amount of wealth in the city, there are a number of other people who cannot even afford two square meals or a roof over their heads. Hundreds of people can be seen sleeping on the platforms and pavements during the night and there are people who are always in search of a cheap meal to fill their stomach.

DSP Sahib

The Sahib legacy left by the Britishers is still being insisted upon by Punjab Police cops. A number of gazetted rank officials do not forget mentioning the word specifically outside their residence or offices. This is quite common but one officer in Khanna police district seems to have gone too far. In a pointer built of bricks directing towards his residence mentions ‘Kothi DSP-sahib’.

Blind press conferences

Whenever a murder takes place in the city the cops are not the only ones having a tough time, the crime reporters in the city too are harassed by ‘blind press conferences’ held by the police. It has become quite common for journalists to receive a call from the police control room or from the readers of a police officer informing them about a press conference called at such and such place. But most of the times the caller doesn't know what the purpose of the conference is. Even the officer concerned is usually in the dark about it and insists on disclosing the facts at the venue only. More often than not, the press conference proves to be a damp squib with the cops boasting about busting a small time gang or solving a petty crime.

From best to worst

The Sarabha Nagar area in the city can no longer claim to be the best place to live in. Gone are the days when it boasted of cleanliness and good roads. The Municipal Corporation seems to have forgotten the area. All roads in the area had been dug up about two months ago to lay a fresh network of sewer pipes but the roads are yet to be repaired. The MC has failed to take any action against some residents of the area who were constructing houses and stacking the construction material on the road. The material occupies the road space and causes damage to it as well.




PCMSA seeks arrest of accused in Dhupar suicide case
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 5
The Punjab Civil Medical Service Association has demanded immediate arrest of four persons charged for abetting the suicide of M.P Dhupar, husband of Dr Manju Lata, a member of the association.

In an emergency meeting of PCMS Association unit ESI Hospital held here, Dr Hardeep Singh, state president PCMSA, condoled the sudden demise of Dhupar. Dhupar had allegedly committed suicide last week after being allegedly falsely implicated in a dowry harassment case lodged by Sangrur police on the complaint of his daughter-in-law.

He had jumped in front of a train and in his suicide note he had blamed the in-laws of his son for causing circumstances that forced him to commit suicide. The Railway Police had booked four persons named in the suicide note but no one has been arrested so far.

A resolution condoling his death was passed at the meeting of the association and the PCMSA resolved to extend full support to the bereaved family.

The staff and management of Mechanical Engineering Research and Development Organisation MERADO said the scientist’s death had created a void which would be difficult to fill. 



100 attend service tax camp
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 5
A fast-track disposal camp for service tax adjudications and for the instant registration of service tax payers under a “friendly” scheme was organised in the office of the Central Excise Division III and IV of the Central Excise Commissionerate, Ludhiana, here today.

About 100 service providers responded to the "friendly scheme" introduced by the Central Board of Excise and Customs. Mr V.M. Verma, Assistant Commissioner, Central Excise Division III and IV, said more than 70 service tax payers had been registered. Their penalty for not registering in time, not depositing the service tax on due date or for not filing the ST-3 returns was waived on the spot. A few assesses against whom show-cause notices had been issued for the non-payment of service tax filed applications under the fast-track disposal scheme.

The applications to waive the penalties were acknowledged on the spot. The Union Government has extended this scheme to October 31, 2004, and a similar camp will be organised on October 19 also. A public notice has been issued by the Chief Commissioner (Chandigarh zone) in this regard. The service tax payers can avail of this opportunity; they are required to pay only the service tax due along with the interest on the delayed payments. All penalties under this scheme are waived. Mr Verma disclosed that this scheme was applicable to all 70 notified services.



Kanpur industrialists visit hosiery units 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 5
An eight-member delegation from Kanpur today visited hosiery and dyeing units in the city to gather knowledge on the latest know-how, processes and other aspects related to the industry as part of the government’s Cluster Development Programme.

The programme was sponsored by the SISI, Kanpur, and organised by the SISI, Ludhiana. The delegation also met members of the Knitwear Club.

“Industry here is using the latest technology and we got to learn a lot on various aspects that would help us reduce costs and improve quality,” said Mr M.A. Lari of Kadls Knitwear, Kanpur.

Kanpur has around 400 hosiery units with the industry’s turnover of around Rs 10 crore annually. “The machines being used here are more sophisticated. Besides, industry here is aware on power saving and efficient utilisation of resources, which we plan to implement in our units there,” said Mr H.S. Dubey, a member of Kadls Cotton Knitwear Export Consortium Ltd.

Meanwhile, the SISI Ludhiana is also planing to take a team of 15 industrialists from sewing machine industry to visit the International Textile Industry Exhibition in Mumbai in December under the Cluster Development Programme.


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