L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Prof Mohan Singh Mela draws crowds
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 20
All roads seemed to be leading to Punjabi Bhavan where Prof Mohan Singh International Mela was being celebrated by Prof Mohan Singh Foundation.

Dr Baldev Singh Aulakh was awarded with ‘Jeewan Daani Puruskar, while Ulfat Bajwa was given “Gazal Badshah” title. Harjit Singh Dothar was awarded with Sharvan Putra Award while Tejwant Kittu was given Sangeet Samrat Award. Lyric writer Sanmukh Singh Azad was given Gurnam Singh Teer Award. Folk singer Balkar Sidhu was given Sur Shehzada Award while upcoming video director Ravinder Rangowal was given Lok Kalavan Puruskar. Sarup Singh Alag was given Rohaniat Puruskar.

The audio and video CD of Guru Manyo Granth by kirtan singer Joginder Singh Riar was given a special award .

Prof Mohan Singh’s family was given the Mohan Singh Shatabadi Lekhak Puruskar.

Mr Jagdev Singh Jassowal, Chairman of the foundation, gave away the awards.

In the morning, the torso of Prof Mohan Singh was garlanded. Janmeja Singh Johal presented a slide show on Punjabi heritage.

Dhadi and kavishar darbar was attended by famous singers like Desral Lachkani, Iqbal Mohmad, Giani Ranjit Singh, Sukh Chain Singh, Inderjit Singh and Hardal Jit Singh.

Balkar Sidhu, Sarabjit Cheema, Harbhajan Mann, Pammi Bai Ustan Mohamad Sadiq, Ravinder Grewal, Angrez Ali, Manjit Roopewalia and Surinder Chindha entertained the crowd.



Mohan Singh Mela
Exhibition held at Punjabi Bhavan
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 20
An exhibition to showcase traditional utensils, clothes, paintings etc. was organised at Punjabi Bhavan here today. The exhibition was organised by the Prof Mohan Singh International Foundation for celebrating the 100th birthday of Punjabi literary doyen Prof Mohan Singh.

Different means of communication, modern and ancient, were exhibited at the entrance of the bhavan. Delivery of mail using pigeons, launch of modern postal services and the advent of telephones, mobile phones and the Internet were explained.

Utensils made of brass, copper and other metals were exhibited. The work on these utensils showcased the ingenuity and craftsmanship of their makers.

A number of statues had been put up in another corner. These included a statue of Mohan Singh.

Several books by Punjabi authors were also on display. Posters of famous personalities of Punjab were on sale too. The typical embroidered phulkaris lent colour to the exhibition.

The crowd was fascinated by miniature models of different gurdwaras located in different parts of the country. Their golden structures glistened in the sunlight.



College teachers go on mass leave; hold protest
Our Correspondent

Doraha, October 20
In response to a call given by the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers’ Union (PCCTU), nearly 6,000 teachers working in private affiliated colleges of Punjab and Chandigarh proceeded on mass casual leave and held a rally at Matka Chowk on Tuesday.

The union was supported by the Principals’ Federation of Non-Government Colleges of Punjab and Chandigarh and the Union of Non-Teaching Employees.

In a joint statement, Prof Parminder Singh, area secretary, Punjab University, Chandigarh, Prof S.S. Hundal, president, PCCTU, Prof R.S. Brar, co-president, Dr Jagwant Singh, general secretary, Prof H.S. Walia, vice-president, Dr Jaswant Singh, finance secretary and executive members, including Prof Kuldeep Singh, Prof Baldeep Singh, Prof Kuldeep Batta and Prof Vinay Sofat expressed their resentment against the present government, especially against the Minister for Higher Education.

The resentment was against the minister for his alleged failure to release the salary bills amounting to Rs 33 crore, in spite of repeated reminders and regular meetings. They also said that till date no college had received any letter regarding the merger of 50 per cent DA in the basic pay.

Shifting of Classes XI and XII to schools and the threat of retrenchment being faced by some of the teachers has also angered the unionists.

The leaders also demanded an alternative salary model based on the Johl Committee recommendation, absorption of staff affected by shifting of Classes XI and XII and implementation of the pension, gratuity scheme of 1996.

They also demanded relaxation as regards refresher courses up to December 31 as decided by the UGC and the implementation of many clauses of pay scales’ notification.

The union decided to hold a protest march to the CM’s residence at Chandigarh from the office of DPI(C), barefooted, on November 26.

Today’s rally was also addressed by Principal Gurmohan Singh Walia, Principal A.C. Vaid , president and senior vice-president, respectively, of the Principals’ Federation of Private Affiliated Colleges of Punjab and Chandigarh.



Consult farmers on power tariff: BKU
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 20
The Bharati Kisan Union (BKU) has demanded that members of the Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission should seek the views of the rural people before revising the fares of power.

The commission will be announcing the revised tariff soon and the union was of the view that the commission should not overlook its representation given on September 2.

Prof Manjit Singh Kadian and Mr Bhupinder Singh Maheshri, acting chief and spokesperson, respectively, of the union, said they were paying Rs 160 per horse power out of which a large percentage was in the form of government subsidy. The proposed tariff was Rs 220 which was on high.

The quality of power was also poor and erratic as compared to the urban sector. During this paddy season the rural domestic supply was almost nil and the villages had to go without power for days on end, they said.

Erratic power supply was also one of the main reasons behind the failure of the diversification programme of the government, they said.

About power breakdowns, they said while an elaborate mechanism was in place for urban consumers, their complaints were unattended for days.

The need of the hour is accountability besides restructuring the transmission and distribution lines and other infrastructure. All new employees and officers should be taken on contract and all unnecessary expenditure should be cut, they stressed.



Desire for fast life led them to crime
Jupinderjit Singh

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 20
Attracted by riches and the desire to have a fast life, four minor boys were led to the world of crime. Arrested by the police, these teenagers allegedly graduated from stealing taps and pipes to burglaries and finally to vehicle thefts.

"If they are not reformed in juvenile jails or later with the help of society, they would soon be hardened criminals," the SHO, Mr Pawanjit Singh said.

The police had earlier caught some teenagers indulging in criminal activities but most of them had been influenced by their parents or relatives who were criminals. These boys, however, had no such link. Their parents have no criminal record and are labourers, gardeners or peons.

The police had received information about the involvement of children in criminal activities in the area following which their hideouts were raided.

The boys are 14 or 15 years old. The gang leader said: "I wanted new clothes, shoes and mobile phones. I worked with a car mechanic but despite hard work, could not earn enough money. So, I decided that stealing would provide me with easy money."

First they started stealing taps and sold them as scrap but could not make enough money. They then decided to burgle a house. "I bought two mobile phones and we all dined at a good hotel," he said. This became a routine for them and they would spend all the money they made through stealing.

Another accused said his parents were died and his relatives were employed at class-IV posts in a good school.

"There were so many things around us that attracted us but were out of our reach," they said some of them washed cars in the Feroze Gandhi car bazar and learned tricks to open the cars without keys.

"We will never steal again in our life, sir", they said.



Two get 10-year RI for possessing narcotics 
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 20
Two youths of Kulgehna village have been sentenced to 10-year rigorous imprisonment on the charge of possessing huge quantity of narcotics. They were also ordered to pay Rs 1 lakh fine each.

The convicts, Swaranjit Singh (20) and Chand Singh (20), have been sent to the Central Jail, Ludhiana.

The trial of the third accused, Niranjan Singh (18), was entrusted the Juvenile Board as he was found minor at the time of commission of the offence.

Declining the plea of leniency raised by the accused, the Special Judge, Mr Inderjit Kaushik, held, “There is no ground to take lenient view as the accused have committed a serious offence. Provisions under the Act have been made stringent so that society at large does not indulge in consuming such intoxicants.”

The accused were booked under Section 15 of the NDPS Act at Sidhwan Bet police station on October 9, 2002. The police had reportedly seized a huge quantity of poppy husk from their possession.

According to the prosecution, the in charge of the Bhoondri police post, Mr Balwant Singh, along with a police party, was on patrolling on October 9, 2002. While going towards the Sutlej, they saw the accused sitting on three bags. On seeing the police party, they tried to run away. The cops apprehended them.

Thereafter, in the presence of DSP Baljinder Singh, a search was conducted and 51 kg poppy husk was found in those bags. Two days later, the police also seized 142 kg poppy husk following a statement by the accused.

However, during the trial the accused pleaded not guilty and claimed false implication. But the court found them guilty, after going through the evidence on record and sentenced them.



Cong leaders defend CM
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 20
Several Congress leaders from Ludhiana today came out in support of Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh claiming that he had an ‘unblemished record of honest governance’.

In separate statements, these leaders alleged that a malicious campaign had been launched against him by his opponents after the thumping victory of the Congress in Garshanker and Kapurthala elections.

Mr Surinder Dawer, Parliamentary Secretary, Power, Housing and Urban Development Punjab, Mr Nahar Singh Gill, Mayor, Municipal Corporation, Ludhiana, Mr Pawan Dewan, senior vice-president of the Pradesh Youth Congress, and Mr Jagpal Singh Khangura said the opponents of the Chief Minister were feeling ‘desperate and frustrated’ after the defeat at Kapurthala and Garshanker. Now they had started levelling baseless allegations against the Chief Minister, they said.

These leaders said the case had already been closed after the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence cleared Mr Raninder Singh of the charges levelled against him, during the regime of the BJP-led NDA government.

They maintained that now the opposition leaders, particularly Mr Parkash Singh Badal and his son, Mr Sukhbir Badal, were trying to flog a dead horse.

They said the party was firmly with the Chief Minister and all attempts of those having vested interests to create confusion would be defeated.

They pointed out that the popularity of the Chief Minister was growing and the Akalis were feeling ‘frustrated’ and now they were resorting to such ‘mean politics’.



Dugri Dasehra to be a big affair
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 20
The Urban Estate Ram Lila Dasehra Committee, Dugri, in a press note stated that Mr Malkit Singh Birmi, Chief Parliamentary Secretary, Department of Jails, Punjab, with be the chief guest at the Dasehra mela to be celebrated on October 22 at Urban Estate, Dugri. Mr Nahar Singh Gill, Mayor, Ludhiana, will preside while the flag hoisting ceremony will be performed by Mr Charanjit Singh Atwal, Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha.

Dr Shiv Gupta, general secretary of the committee, stated that the mela would be inaugurated by Mr Manjit Singh Jawaddi, Vice-Chairman-PPCC (labour and employment).

Prizes will be awarded by Mr Prem Mittal, Senior Deputy Mayor.

Guests of honour will be Mr Tarlok Chand Vyas, Mr S.K. Jain (General Manager), B.K. Rampal, Mrs Barjinder Kaur (Secretary-PPCC), Mrs Gurdip Kaur, Satvinder Jawaddi (councillors), Mrs Gurnam Kaur Director (Punjab Khadi Board), Mr Joginder Singh Chugh (trustee of Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital), Mr Sushil Malhotra, Mr Harbans Lal Sethi (Punjab executive member), Mr Gulshan Kumar, Mr Gagan Pal, and Mr Ramesh Sharma. 



Industry for clearance of scrap 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 20
Demanding clearance for scrap at all ICDs, industry representatives today said that Punjab would suffer due to the recent restrictions. All consignments of loose scrap after October 25, 2 004, without any prescribed pre-shipment certificate would be subject to a 100 per cent examination .Penal action would be taken, if foreign trade regulations were violated," said Mr P.D.Sharma, president, Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

As per the new procedure, the CBEC has decided to divide metal scrap imports into two distinct categories, scrap that has already arrived or is likely to leave the port of its origin on or before October 25, 2004, and scrap which is to be loaded for shipment to India after October 25, he informed.

As per the prescribed procedure a 100 per cent examination is required for the first category, though th manufacturer importers have the option to get it examined at their own premises. For the second category, shredded scrap would be permitted thorough all ports without any pre-shipment certificate In this case, physical examination is required for 10 per cent of the consignment.

For the second category, loose scrap must be accompanied by a pre-shipment inspection certificate and examination would be for 25 per cent of the containers for manufacture importers and 50 per cent for traders.

However, for each consignment at least one container is to be examined.

Mr Sharma pointed out that tough the procedure for clearing metal scrap had been specified, two major irritants remained. The Railway Ministry should have no hesitation in carrying this scrap, he said.

"Imported scrap can be cleared through 15 ports only. Such scrap used to be cleared at all ICDs. Now with detailed procedure in place, clearance should be opened at all ICDs," he said.



Prices of ply products may go up
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 20
Plywood manufacturers have decided to increase the prices of water-proof products by 15 per cent and of commercial products by 10 per cent. The decision has been taken in wake of the increase in prices of basic raw material like wood, chemicals, diesel, and input costs.

The price of wood, which is the major raw material for ply, has increased by 30 per cent and that of phenol, by 100 per cent over the past three-four months, Mr Ashok Juneja, secretary-general of the Punjab Plywood Manufacturers Association, said.

The manufacturers have decided to increase the prices of the water-proof and commercial products.

Mr Inderjit Singh Sohal, president of the association, urged the government to curb the price increase. The reason why companies had doubled the prices of chemicals needed to be checked, he said.

The association also said as per the industrial policy, of 2003, declared by the Punjab Government agro-based units which were using agro-wood were exempted from levy of market fee. However, the exemption notification was awaited.

“The state government should provide a helping hand by releasing the subsidy which had not been disbursed since 1996 and save the industry from this crisis,” the association stated.



PNB branches told to accept tax deposits
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 20
The Punjab National Bank (PNB) authorities here have directed its local branches to accept service tax deposits of traders and industrialists. The orders came after some complaints were received that branch employees were not accepting the deposits due to which, the businessmen had to go to the bank’s zonal office.

An excise consultant, Mr Krishan Gopal Sharda, had complained to the zonal office against the alleged non-cooperative attitude of the employees at the PNB, Pakhowal chowk branch. He said the zonal office had issued directions to all branches to accept service tax deposits in order to ease pressure at the main office. However, the Pakhowal chowk branch employees and the manager refused to accept the deposits. When he insisted, he was told to open an account in the branch for better results.

A senior official of the Bank said Mr Sharda’s complaint had been received and fresh instructions had been issued to all branch managers.



Ford edition launched

Ludhiana, October 20
As part of the fifth anniversary celebrations of Ford Ikon, the company has come out with a Ford Ikon anniversary luxury edition priced at Rs 5 lakh. The company will be producing only 500 units per month of this limited edition anniversary car, a press note stated. — TNS



City resident wins Tata Indica

Ludhiana, October 20
Ms Priya Narang, a city resident, is among the seven winners who won a Tata Indica (V2) car as part of a promotional campaign. Mr S. Krishnan, head of the car product group, Tata Motors, gave away the keys of the car to her at a function organised here today. TNS


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