L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Committees reject park maintenance fee
Threaten to launch stir
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 2
Confrontation between the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation and park management committees today took a new turn with the latter resolving to reject the maintenance fee of parks at the rate of 80 paise per square metre.

Terming the decision illogical and arbitrary the Federation of Park Management Committees said they would not accept the new contract at the nominal rate and would prefer not taking any money from the MC at all. Stating that they would not leave the maintenance of the parks to the MC as the survey conducted by local administration had proved that all well-maintained parks were due to the efforts of the committees only.

At a meeting of office-bearers of the committees, the members also resolved that the payment of dues to them at the rate of Re 1 per square metre should be released immediately as the government had approved the payment of dues at the same rate. The payment is due to them since February, 2002.

The federation said in case the payment was not released immediately, the members would start an agitation and hold a dharna outside the residence of the Commissioner.

They also demanded that the Commissioner of the corporation should be transferred from the city. Criticising the Mayor’s recent visit to France, Mr S.S. Chana, president of the Federation, said he had promised to install the French street lighting system in the city while it lacked in civic amenities. Earlier he had announced to develop a Japanese park after his visit to Japan but any proposal in this regard was yet to be made, he added.

A statement by Mr Pawan Sood, general secretary of the federation, claimed that an impression was gaining ground among residents and certain councillors that the MC was not at all interested in looking after the ‘‘lungs’’ of that highly polluted city. Otherwise there was no reason why the Commissioner should have been dragging his feet to implement the direction given by the government and the Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PHRC).

He said in an action taken report dated December 12, 2003, the local government, Punjab, stated that the MC had to take their own decision keeping in view their financial position and the government had no objection to the payment of the maintenance charges as per the agreements previously entered into by the corporation and the committees.

In the face of this policy decision one failed to understand as to why the payments were still not released as per the decision taken at the meeting held on February 5, 2004, with MC’s legal adviser Mr Bains under the direction of the MC.

It was really ironical that while the MC had no hesitation in paying Rs 25 lakh of tax payers’ money, without any approval from the House, for the Indo-Pak sports meet at Patiala, it had withheld the payments due to the hapless residents for the past two years. Similarly, he had not bothered to allot the maintenance of parks to the committees, although the General House had resolved to do so on July 27, 2004 and October 1, 2004, he said.

Although the General House of the corporation had approved the payments to the committees at the rate of Re 1 sqmt in September, 1999, February, 2002, and August, 2002, the rates were reduced to 80 paise at the meeting held on December 28, 2004, while the rates for other things are increasing.

Even the rate payable to the contractors has been increased from 50 paise to 90 paise although the parks allotted to them were found in a bad shape by survey teams.

According to the assessment made by the representatives of the federation, who accompanied the survey teams deputed by the Deputy Commissioner, only 119 parks, out of 721 parks were found to be regularly maintained as per the specifications laid down by the corporation. Out of these, 62 parks are being maintained by the committees without any grant from the corporation, while 8 others are looked after by the councillor in the Maya Nagar area.

Only 48 parks, including Rose Garden, Rakh Bagh, Leisure Valley and Mini Rose Garden, maintained by the corporation, could meet the desired standard. The survey has exposed the blatant lie that the corporation was maintaining all parks, claimed the statement.



Residents contribute generously for tsunami victims
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 2
Responding to the appeal of Mr Anurag Verma, Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, the residents of the city have come forward in a big way to contribute towards the CM’s Flood Relief Fund. Today, Nahar Exports Limited, a prominent garment producing unit, has contributed three trucks loads of garments, worth Rs 20.57 lakh.

Mr Verma informed that the relief collection centre had earlier received garments from Bhandari Hosiery Export Ltd and Sood Sons, a local shawl-producing unit, for the tsunami victims.

He said many associations, relating to industry and trade, are expected to chip in. He added the relief material collected at the district collection centre at Red Cross Bhavan, would be sent to the state headquarters, from where a consolidated consignment would be dispatched to the affected states.

The Deputy Commissioner has appealed to the people, who desire to contribute in the CM’s Relief Fund in cash or kind, to deposit their contribution at the earliest at the collecting centers.

Mr Sukhraj Gogna, a resident of the city, has been making appeals to the people to contribute towards the cause.

Meanwhile, the Malayalee community has formed a Confederation of Ludhiana Malaylee Associations and have appealed to the public to donate relief materials the tsunami victims.

Another organization, the People for Common Cause, in a meeting held in Lily Buds School under the presidentship of Mr Arun Atre, has urged the people to reach out to the victims of the tsunami.


Forest officers to donate one day’s salary
Our Correspondent

Amloh, January 2
The non – gazetted forest officers union, (south circle) Patiala, at a meeting chaired by its chief Iqbal Singh, decided to contribute one day’s salary towards the relief fund for the tsunami victims. This was stated by Mr Tejesh Sood, general secretary of the union, in a press note here today.

Meanwhile the Punjab Government Pensioners Association of Fatehgarh Sahib district, at a meeting presided over by its district chief Balwant Singh Sodhi, appealed to the pensioners to donate one day’s pension for the relief of tsunami victims. This was stated by Mr Dharam Chand, general secretary and Mr Mohinder Singh, press secretary, of the association in a joint press note here today. Back


BKU to launch agitation from Jan 10
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 2
The Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) will launch an agitation from January 10 to press for payment of arrears worth over Rs 80 crore to sugar cane growers and announcement of new support price for the crop.

This was stated by BKU president Ajmer Singh Lakhowal and working president Manjit Singh Kadian, while talking to mediapersons, here today.

They alleged that the government was deliberately withholding the payment of farmers on account of sale of sugar cane and at the same time, a dilly dally attitude had been adopted with respect to the revision of support price of sugar cane.

As a result, the farmers had no other choice but to sell their produce to mills at the price of Rs 100 per quintal.

According to BKU activists, in neighbouring states of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, the cane farmers were being given a price of Rs 125 and Rs 117 per quintal respectively.

Although a private sugar mill in Punjab was purchasing the sugar cane crop for Rs 125 per quintal but the cooperative mills were still paying Rs 100 per quintal to the farmers.

Mr Lakhowal and Mr Kadian served an ultimatum to the government to ensure payment of arrears in full to the sugar cane growers and further announced an MSP of Rs 156 per quintal on the basis of price index by January 10, failing which the union would launch a mass agitation of farmers. The modalities of the agitation would be finalised in an emergency meeting of the state executive of the BKU here on January 10.

They castigated the state government and the PSEB management for inadequate and erratic power supply to the farming sector. The farmers were getting, at the most, three to four hours of power supply during the day, that too with frequent tripping.

The farmers were finding it difficult to irrigate their crops. Even the faults in the transmission system in rural feeders were not rectified for weeks together.

The BKU called upon the government to take necessary steps for providing a minimum eight hours of power supply during the day to the farmers and also to prevail upon the PSEB for imposition of power cuts on rural feeders at par with the urban feeders.

Mr Lakhowal further informed that the forthcoming meeting of the state executive here on January 10 would also deliberate upon crop loans, increasing debt burden on farmers and other problems of the farming community.



NRI singers come calling
Asha Ahuja

Gunjit Singh Ludhiana, January 2
“I started playing tabla and harmonium during kirtans in the gurdwara in Malaysia as I have a passion for music”, says Gunjit Singh. He has cut a popular album ‘Nach Le’ and is going to come out with the second one soon.

His best buddy as well as his ‘guru, Sukdev’was with him here to play in Lodhi Club for the New Year function. The function was cancelled due to the tsunami tragedy

Though Gunjit was born and bred in Malaysia, and Sukhdev was born and raised in Kenya, both have their roots in Punjab. Gunjit’s grandfather is from Nakodar and Sukdev’s father is from Jalandhar.

“We love the air of Punjab, the warmth of the people and the Punjabi food,” both said.

“After playing tabla in Gurdwara, I moved to England to learn music seriously. I enrolled in Conventory, West Midlands, England, and learnt about nitty gritty of music required to bring out an album.

“Last January, my maiden album ‘Nach Le’ with the title song ‘Whiskey di botal’ was a great hit. The album was released by the Times music. I had composed my own tunes and it was produced by Aman Hayer. After the album became a hit, I was asked to come to Mumbai and while I was in India, I toured all over for my shows. I have been to Orissa, Uttranchal,” said Gunjit.

He is yet to turn 20 and he has tasted the fame and has made a name for him self. As for future plans, he said, “I will continue to bring out good albums, so that people remember me and my songs.

“I am so happy that Bhangra has entered the main stream music all over the world and I am proud to say that I am a Punjabi.”

Sukhdev began playing on the ‘key board’ at the age of 15 during his school functions.

He started playing with a band back home. Shortly after, he began singing, “I started doing a lot of shows in Kenya which were liked by people. Then I decided to do a course in music from East Berkshire College, UK.

“I learnt everything about music there. I gained knowledge about contract production, music production and performance. Finally I recorded my album titled ‘Solva saal’, written and sung by me. Even music was arranged by me and it was a hit in 1999.It really sold well.

“My second album was titled ‘Kudi India di’ and the third album is ‘My heart is beating’. Some songs are in Hindi while some are in English.

“I am recording yet an untitled album in Mumbai and title song of the album ‘Ye hai Bombay’. The other song is ‘Itfaaq hai dil ki baaten’.”

Sukhdev says after bringing out a few more albums, he would turn to music direction. 



Beopar Mandal opposes VAT draft
Our Correspondent

Mandi, Gobindgarh, January 2
The Punjab Pradesh Beopar Mandal Mandi Gobinbgarh and Khanna Unit fully supported the decisions taken by the state body at its meeting held recently in Phagwara against the VAT draft, according to Mr G.P. Gupta and Mr Subash Singla, president, and general secretary respectively, of the Mandal.

They pointed out that even on minor mistakes, the erring persons would be penalised heavily. The officials have not been made accountable in case their excesses are proved. At the time of new RC, the applicant would have to deposit his title deeds with the department and cannot sell until and unless permitted by the department.

Likewise the issuance of computerised bill, prior permission of the ETC will be a must. Thus the VAT, in the present form, is not acceptable to the trade and industry, they maintained. It was demanded that either CENTVAT be introduced on the basis of the Vijay Kalker report or additional excise duty be imposed on the pattern of sugar, cloth and the tobacco, by merging all taxes.

LUDHIANA: The Hosiery Association members on Saturday burnt the effigy of VAT. Condeming VAT, which is scheduled to be implemented from April this year, Mr Jatinder Singh Galhotra said industry in the state would be badly affected if VAT is imposed. It will also discourage new units from operating from the state, he said.



Five get Prof Puran Singh Dhami Award
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 2
The Alag Shabad Yug Trust organised Prof Puran Singh Dhami Annual Award distribution function at Panjabi Bhavan here today. Around 24 guests from the USA, the UK, Canada and some other countries attended the function.

Dr Sarup Singh Alag, chairman of the Trust, highlighted various services of the Trust. Prof Balwinder Pal Singh, a Sikh scholar, and Dr Y.S. Ahluwalia stressed to follow the tenets propounded in Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Mr S.M.S. Aneja, advocate, Prof Prem Singh Bajaj, Prof N.S. Tasneem and Prof M.S. Cheema threw light on the qualities of Prof Puran Singh Dhami.

They also appreciated Alag Shabad Yug for its soul-lifting and character-building literature. The magazine is distributed free of cost.

The services of Dr Sarup Singh Alag were lauded by one and all.

Mr Gurcharan Singh Chhatwal, chief guest, hailing from London, announced to help the Trust. Dr Mandeep Dhami, guest of honour and son of Prof Puran Singh Dhami, and his mother, Prof Jagir Kaur Dhami, promised to help the Trust in strengthening its infrastructure. He expressed sympathies for the victims of tidal waves in India and other countries.

Mr Chhatwal, Dr Mandeep Dhami and Prof Jagir Kaur Dhami awarded Prof Puran Singh Dhami Awards to Principal Devki Jolly, Prof Anoop Kaur Bansal, Prof Kulwant Kaur, Patiala, Ms Sushil Kaur, Dhahan-Kaleran, and Prof Phulwant Kaur of Kolkata for their humanitarian services in various fields.

Every awardee was given Rs 5,100 in cash, sponsored gifts, a memento, citation, shawl, saropa, souvenir and a set of Trust publications.

Five books of the Trust were released on the occasion. A langar was also organised.



Family mourns blast victims’ death
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 2
For people, Kuldeep Singh might just be another entry in the long list of labourers, who have perished in various blasts taking place in factories, but for his wife, he meant the world. Paramjit Kaur (20) had married Kuldeep Singh just 6 months ago and had often seen him off to his journey to various destinations with truck driver Shamsher Singh. She would fear about his safety but never knew that her worst fears would come true in such a manner.

Kuldeep Singh and the truck driver Shamsher Singh died in the blast at Mukesh Steels along with a labourer Anil Singh late Friday evening. Kuldeep’s sister was married to Shamsher Singh, who belonged to a village Tulliwal, near Ahmedgarh.

Their relationship was cemented on friendship. Paramjit’s mother Charanjit Kaur who was also inconsolable and told the Ludhiana Tribune at Civil Hospital that she never knew the both the bread earners would die in such a tragic manner.

Shamsher Singh (40), is survived by his wife, two daughters and a son. 



Old age pensions, blankets distributed
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 2
Mr Surinder Dawar, Parliamentary Secretary, Power and Housing, exhorted the people to come to the aid of their fellow human beings which was the noblest of all deeds. He said those who were blessed by the Almighty should follow the example set up by voluntary organisations like the Nishkam Sewa Ashram and the Nishkam Sewa Samiti, which were running old people homes, schools, training centres, dispensaries and hospitals for the service of the mankind.

He was presiding over a function at Nishkam Vidya Mandir in EWS Colony on the Samrala Road here today. Mr Dawar distributed blankets to a large number of needy women as well as sweaters and winter school uniforms to more than 1200 students.

Mr Kewal Krishan Sood of the Nishkam Sewa Ashram, Mr Chaman Lal, Mr Maharaj Krishan, Ms Veena Goyal, Mr Hem Raj Goyal, Mr Gurbachan Singh, Mr Jagdish Sidana, Mr Dara Singh and Mr Surjit Sharma, among others, attended the function.

Earlier, while distributing pension papers to more than 250 needy and old women at his office in Cheema Chowk here last evening to mark the beginning of the New Year, Mr Dawar said the state government was committed to providing adequate infrastructure facilities to the urban population and to launch more schemes for the welfare of old people, widows and destitute women and other weaker sections of society.

At the commencement of the function, Mr Dawar paid tributes to the tsunami victims and urged the people to contribute whatever they could to mitigate the suffering of the victims. Two minutes silence was also observed to pay homage to those who had lost their lives in the tragedy.

He presented cheques of Rs 1 lakh each to Aggarwal Dharamshala and SAN Jain Senior Secondary School and Rs 50,000 each to the Vishwakarma Veer Sabha and the National Welfare Society from his discretionary fund.

Prominent among those present at the function were Mr Jasbir Singh Chadha, Mr Sanjay Talwar, Mr Rakesh Parashar, all councillors, Mr Ashok Bagga, Mr Virendra Joshi, Mr Vijay Novelty, Mr Rajinder Soi, Mr Ramesh Joshi, Mr Vijay Gaba, Mr Pardeep Jindal, Mr Subhash Makkar and Dr Pawan Mehta.

Widows receive pensions

At the 12th Widow Pension/Grossary Scheme, a function was arranged by the Punjabi Nishkam Sewa Dal (regd) here today at Shri Sankat Mochan Hanuman Mandir, Shahpur Road, where needy persons and widows were given free ration and pension for the month. The function was attended by District Congress President, Mr Jagmohan Sharma.

Mr Sharma said the Dal was doing the good job of helping the needy. A two-minute silence was observed to pay homage to the dead during the tsunami destruction.

Mr Sushil Prashar, president of the Punjabi Nishkam Sewa Dal, said that the Dal had decided to reach out to the needy women of society a year ago, and by the God’s grace and help of generous people , they had been able to carry out this noble task.



‘Scientific attitude must for global competition’
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 2
The Punjab Minister of State for Science and Technology, Mr Rakesh Pandey, today emphasised the need for scientific attitude to keep pace with fast-developing technology and global competition. He said in the wake of IT revolution all over the world, the students had to be not only computer literate but also open to changes taking place in the technology.

Mr Pandey was addressing a function organised by Aakash Institute to felicitate the students who had cleared medical entrance examination and secured admission to different medical and dental colleges all over the country in the current academic session.

The minister observed that the available infrastructure needed to be expanded to meet the increasing demand of scientific, technical and professional courses in the state.

Dr Pawan Kumar Singla, principal of the institute, welcomed the minister and other guests.

Various quiz competitions and entertainment programmes were also organised on the occasion.



8 cows die under mysterious circumstances
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 2
Eight cows died under mysterious circumstances at the Maa Parmapati Gaushala, on the outskirts of the city, on the Ludhiana-Malerkotla road this evening. The gaushala authorities have complained to the Dehlon police that they suspected that some one had given poisonous substance to the cows.

The cows were healthy till this afternoon.

They become restless after they were fed and bled from their mouth before dying. Meanwhile, the authorities have named some suspects.



Design award

Ludhiana: TVS Motor Company’s scooterrette, Scooty Pep, has won the outstanding design award in its category in the recently concluded Business world — INLD Design Excellence awards 2004.

National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad, and Business World felicitated TVS Motor Company for the design in Scooty Pep with an award in the two-wheeler category. There were a total of 18 awards for various categories in the competition. A jury of national and international experts declared “Scooty Pep” as the winner after shortlisting three vehicles namely, Scooty Pep, Bajaj Discover DS-i and Kinetic Zing. OC


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