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Contractor faces criminal action
Widening of road
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 3
The municipal corporation is likely to lodge a criminal complaint against one of the enlisted contractors for allegedly carrying out the work of widening of the Link Road from Preet Palace Cinema to Dhuri Railway Line without having received a work order from the appropriate authority.

The Law Officer of the MC, in his note, has agreed with the observations of the Superintending Engineern (SE) that the contractor, in going ahead with the work without proper authorisation, had damaged the pavements and had caused loss to the municipal property. The SE of the civic body has sought permission from the Commissioner under Section 394 of the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act, 1976 for making a formal complaint with the police.

Sources told Ludhiana Tribune that tenders were invited by the civic body for this work, which were subsequently approved by the Finance and Contracts Committee (F&CC) on October 26, 2004. However, before the work order for this project could be issued by him, the Executive Engineer (Zone D) received a report that the contractor (M/s S.K. Construction Co) had started work on the site without the work order having been issued in his favour.

The Executive Engineer concerned, under instructions from his seniors, directed the contractor in writing on December 2 to stop the work forthwith which was being done without authorisation and further that on inspection by the SDO, the quality of the premix laid on a portion of the road was found to be sub-standard. On December 3, the Executive Engineer submitted a report to his superiors that the contractor was still continuing the work and had refused to abide by the directions of the MC officers.

As the issue of initiating criminal action against the erring contractor was still caught up in procedural channels, the MC has issued a show-cause notice to the contractor. Depending on the reply received from him, the civic administration proposes to black list the firm and debar it from undertaking any work of the civic body in future.



Human rights panel’s order to SSP
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 3
Disposing of a complaint by a local resident against the local police, the Punjab State Human Rights Commission has directed the SSP, Sangrur, to protect his life and property and look into the matter at his own level. The complainant apprehended threat to his life from some policemen at the local police station.

The policemen on the other hand, have denied the charges and maintained that the complainant had approached the commission just to pressurise the police which had registered a case against him, pending in the court.

Mr Sukhdev Singh, a resident of the local Dhulkot road, had alleged that Baljit Singh, an employee of the local police, had tortured him on April 1 and threatened him with dire consequences if he reported the matter to the authorities. Describing the inhuman behaviour he was subjected to at the police station, Mr Sukhdev Singh said, “When I begged for a glass of water after being tortured for a long time, they urinated on my mouth and indulged in unmentionable things.” The policemen had done so allegedly on the behest of a retired principal who had allegedly bribed the police for teaching the complainant a lesson.

Mr Sukhdev Singh further alleged that the police had tried to implicate him on the basis of a complaint made by another resident of the area which had been withdrawn as both parties had reached a compromise on the persuasion of local leaders. He approached the commission after his attempts to seek justice from the police authorities, including the DGP, the ADGP and the SSP, Sangrur, failed.

A perusal of the PSHRC order revealed that Mr Sukhdev Singh had complained that he had been falsely implicated in a case which was pending in a court at Malerkotla and had been apprehending danger at the hands of the police. The complainant had prayed for safety.

The commission had observed that the case was pending before the court and no action on its part was called for. “However, keeping in view the threat perception, a copy of this order be sent to SSP, Sangrur, for looking into the matter at his own level according to law. Meanwhile, he will protect the life and liberty of the complainant,” say the order passed by Justice R.L. Anand, a member of the commission.



Market that poor turn to in winter
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 3
In the city where designer wear and branded clothes make a fashion statement for the elite, for the poor, it is the flea market which sells second-hand clothes along the wall of the Jagraon bridge. This market is popular with migrant workers and economically weaker sections of society.

They flock here in large numbers as sweaters, jackets and trousers are available within an affordable range for them. There are more than 100 makeshift shops selling clothes in reasonably good condition at cheap rates. The conditions under which they conduct their business are harsh though. Those who are into the trade for a long period are lucky to get the support of the back of the bridge. Parallel to them, on the other side of the road, sit a large number of sellers selling clothes on the road. Yet some others have their clothes displayed on cots.

There is no protection for them either in winter or summer. Since the road is very busy, dust keeps settling on the clothes. The sellers do not have awnings over their heads to protect them from sun and wind.

Most of the sellers said they went on ‘pheris’ carrying steel utensils and exchanged these for clothes. They made sure that they picked up clothes that were in a good condition. After washing, repairing and ironing these, they are ready to be sold.

Some of these sellers buy clothes (expert rejects) from the wholesellers in the Sunday market. While people like Darshan, who is better off than other shopkeepers, buy from the ‘pheriwalas’ directly, the more enterprising go to new Delhi to buy export rejects which are inexpensive and sold by weight. A fur lined coat can be bought for Rs 150 only.

The price of trousers starts from as low as Rs 20 and goes up to Rs 100. The shirts are being sold from Rs 20 to Rs 60. The good ones can be bought for Rs 80.

Children’s clothes and woollens are available in a wide variety and at cheap rates.

The sellers don’t seem to exist for the municipal corporation which has does little to provide them facilities. Their families have no access to education or medical facilities, yet they are doing yeoman service for the poor.



Raikot residents give Rs 2.5 lakh for victims
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 3
Various social organisations of the area responded to the administration's call to donate liberally for victims of tsunami tragedy. Dr Indu, SDM, Malerkotla, said residents of the area had responded positively to the appeal of Mr Hussan Lal, Deputy Commissioner, Sangrur, to donate liberally for tsunami victims.

More than Rs 7 lakh was sent through the SDM’s office in Malerkotla to the Deputy Commissioner, Sangrur, towards the state relief fund. This included contributions made by the employees of various departments, including the Civil and Revenue Departments.

Meanwhile, Dr Indu urged the people to send only new articles at the collection centers. "While making donations we must take care that the dignity and self respect of the recipients, who were already in state of shock was not hit,"the SDM said.

Mr Prem Chand, SDM, Raikot, today handed over a draft for Rs 2.5 lakh to the Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, Mr Anurag Verma. The amount was collected from various organizations of the town, including the Truck Operators Union, Rice Sheller's Association, Aartia Union, Medicine Dealers Association and Cloth Merchants Association.

According to Mr Gurmit Singh, SDM, Jagraon, garments, tents, blankets, quilts and eatables were received at the collection center maintained at the Tehsil office in Jagraon. Mr Manmohan Kaushik, Naib Tehsildar, supervised the collection.

The SDM sent Rs 50,000 to the Deputy Commissioner's office in this connection. The amount was collected from the staff of his office.



Judicial officers donate day’s salary
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 3
Judges and lawyers today observed two minutes’ silence to mourn the deaths of thousands in the tsunami disaster at a condolence meeting convened by the District Bar Association here today at the conference hall at the judicial complex. Expressing their solidarity with the victims, the Bench and the Bar resolved to send financial help.

The District and Sessions Judge, Mr Harbans Lal, announced that all Judicial Officers working in Ludhiana district had decided to donate their ‘’one day salary’’ towards Prime Minister’s Relief Fund. He appealed to the masses to join hands in the humanitraian task of raising funds for the tsunami victims.

The president of the District Bar Association, Mr Balwinder Goel, announced that the New Year celebration programme, which was scheduled to be held today, was cancelled in the wake of the disaster.

The programme was to cost around Rs 25,000. “Now we have decided to contribute this money to the Prime Minister’s Reilef Fund to help the victims.” Apart from this, more than 1,300 members of the DBA will contribute at least Rs 100 each.



Cheats cash in on tsunami victims’ misery
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, January 3
A large section of society has come forward to help tsunami victims in response to the appeals made by the administration, NGOs, voluntary organisations, clubs, etc. City residents are helping the victims both in cash and kind. But it is learnt that some unscrupulous people in the city have been trying to capitalise on the misery of the victims by collecting donations, clothes and eatables by visiting offices, business establishments and homes.

They have not been authorised by anyone to collect money or things for the victims. The gullible residents, without knowing their credentials, are donating generously. They have been collecting huge amounts for which they issue no receipt.

Ms Chander Sood, a resident of Deep Nagar, said two persons had come to her house yesterday and appealed to donate for the victims. “With the consent of my husband, I donated Rs 200 towards the flood relief fund. They neither gave any receipt nor could establish their identity. They were carrying a small notebook in which they noted down my name and telephone number before leaving”, added Ms Sood.

Mr Sudershan Chadha, a shopkeeper, said that such people visited door to door to collect money. “One person had come to our shop and claimed that he belonged to the affected area and had lost his family and friends during the recent floods. But we got suspicious and when we threatened to hand him over to the police, he concocted another story. He had already collected Rs 450 by fooling residents. We spared him after giving him a warning”, said Mr Chadha.

Meanwhile, Mr S.P. Malik, Secretary, Red Cross Society, said the government had not authorised anyone to collect anything for the flood victims. People were voluntarily donating to serve humanity." But certain manipulative persons were making profits by collecting finances from the general public. People should check the credentials of the person before giving anything and make sure that the help reached the victims”, said Mr Malik.



Posts of Administrative Officer lying vacant
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 3
In violation of the Supreme Court orders, the posts of more than 12 Administrative Officer in the Secondary Education Department, Punjab, are lying vacant. There has been only one Administrative Officer in the Education Department in Jalandhar. Resentment prevailed among the office-bearers of the Punjab State Ministerial Association over the callous attitude of the Education Department in filling the vacancies.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, Mr Anil Sandhir, general secretary of the Punjab State Ministerial Association, said despite repeated efforts, the posts were lying vacant for more than two years.

The department had failed to promote the deserving candidates. The appointment of Administrative Officers had to be made as per their seniority and merit.

Mr Jatinder Singh Mangat, president of the association said an emergency meeting was held here to discuss the issue. He said, “We have also asked the department to introduce the similar posts at Moga, Muktsar and Nawanshehar districts. But they should first fill the vacant posts at 13 districts”, Mr Jatinder Singh Mangat said.

It is also learnt that no promotions were given in the department for the past two years. Not only the posts of Administrative Officers, more than 19 posts of Superintendent Grade II and 25 posts of Senior Assistants were also lying vacant for the past many years.

In its judgement in Sarojini vs the State of Punjab, the Supreme Court had issued directions to the authority concerned on August 24, 1999, to fill the posts latest by December 31, 1999. Still no action has been taken by the department.



Cable users not to pay enhanced charges
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 3
The general body meeting of the Raj Guru Nagar Welfare Society last night unanimously decided not to pay more than Rs 150 as cable charges per month. The general body met under the leadership of Maj B.S. Gill (retd), president of the society.

A tussle has been going on between residents of Raj Guru Nagar and cable operators of the area for the past one month over the charges for the use of cable by the residents. The cable operators have raised the monthly charges to Rs 280 and the residents have resented it.

At the meeting, the residents expressed their unhappiness over the attitude of the cable operators of the area.

The residents have decided to arrange for alternative cable operators if the present operators do not cooperate with the residents.

The meeting also called upon the Deputy Commissioner to intervene in to the matter and direct the cable operators to charge Rs 150 per month.



Punjab BJP gears up for Haryana poll
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 3
The state unit of the BJP has geared up to support party candidates in Haryana during the forthcoming Assembly elections. Hundreds of leaders and workers are expected to cross over to the neighbouring state to ensure the success of its candidates after January 4.

Mr Sukhminderpal Singh Grewal, deputy in charge of the election campaign from Punjab, said if grassroot feedback was any indication, their party would emerge victorious. He said the people of Haryana were ready for a change and would vote for the BJP in view of the failure of the INLD on all fronts.

He said the state BJP chief and MP, Mr Avinash Rai Khanna, after consultations with the central leadership, had decided that the campaign would be led by Prof Brij Lal Rinwa. The campaigners would fan out across the state and educate voters about the progress made in Haryana during the NDA government and urge them to vote for the BJP, he added.

Mr Grewal said Ms Gurcharan Kaur, vice-president of the state unit, would be in charge of the Dabwali Assembly constituency. She would be assisted by district units of Muktsar and Faridkot. Mr Harjit Singh Grewal, general secretary, would look after the Kaithal constituency and would be assisted by district units of Patiala (South), Khanna and Jagraon.

Similarly, the national vice-president of the Scheduled Caste Morcha, Chaudhry Swarna Ram, and the deputy chief of the state unit, Ms Luxmi Kanta Chawla, will look after the Ambala cantonment and Shahbad constituencies, respectively. They would be helped by Patiala (North), Ropar, Jalandhar units, he added.

Mr Vijay Sampla, general secretary, would look after the Gulha Cheeka constituency and would be assisted by leaders and workers from Patiala rural (South), Khanna and Jagraon units. The state secretary, Mr A. Shaker, will camp at the Narwana and Tohana constituencies and would be assisted by Sangrur, Barnala, Kapurthala and Ludhiana city units.

Master Mohan Lal, a former minister, will look after the Ambala city constituency and would be helped by activists from Patiala rural (South) and Jalandhar (North and South) units. A former legislator, Mr Bhagat Chunni Lal, will look after the Rori constituency and would be assisted by activists from Ferozepore, Bathinda and Abohar units.

Similarly, a former minister, Mr Satpal Gosain, will camp at Pehowa and would be assisted by Patiala city and Fatehgarh Sahib units. A former MLA, Mr Ram Kumar Goyal, will look after Sirsa and would be assisted by activists from Abohar, Ferozepore and Bathinda units.

Mahila Morcha chief Trishna Minhas will look after the Fatehabad and Ratia constituency and would be assisted by party workers from Mansa and Moga.

Mr Grewal would campaign at the Naggal constituency and would be assisted by activists from the Patiala rural (South) and Fathegarh Sahib constituencies. The deputy chief of the Chandigarh unit, Mr Purshottam Mahajan, has been asked to look after the Kalka and Barwala constituencies and would be helped by workers from Panchkula, Chandigarh, Dera Bassi and Lalru units, he added.



PSEB employees stage dharna
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 3
Employees of the unit No.I, Western Wing, Punjab State Electricity Board, today staged a dharna against the state government's proposed move to privatise the board at the Fountain Chowk. They condemned the Mr Surinder Singla, Finance Minister, for issuing anti-employee statements and burnt an effigy of the state government.

The employees also threatened to go on an indefinite strike if the state government privatised PSEB. The employees who addressed the gathering on the occasion were Mr Som Nath, Mr Boga Singh, Mr Malkiat Singh, Mr Hazari Lal, Mr Sarabjit Singh, Mr Ramji Sharma and Mr Kushhal Mani. 



Viscera of cows sent to forensic laboratory
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 3
The police are keeping a watch over the situation after the death of nine cows at a gaushala at Kaind village. The viscera of the cattle has been sent to the forensic laboratory at Patiala to establish the cause of the deaths. A criminal case, if any, will be registered only after the receipt of the post-mortem report, maintained the police.

Nine cows had died under mysterious circumstances at Maa Parmapati Gau Dham at Kaind village on Sunday. Though the cause of the deaths was yet to be established, the organisers of the gaushala had named a person of the village who, according to them, is suspected to have fed some poisonous substance to the cows.

Mr Rajiv Ahir, Senior Superintendent of Police, Jagraon, said the Dehlon police had registered a DDR on the statement of the manager of the gaushala. The complainant had alleged that Amarjit Singh, a resident of Kaind village, had fed some poisonous substance to the cows to kill them.

Though an FIR will be registered after the receipt of the post-mortem examination report, Mr Jatinder Singh Khaira, DSP, Dakha has constituted a team to keep a watch on the situation so that miscreants may not exploit the religious sentiments of the residents.



Nagar kirtan held in city
Our Correspondent

A traffic jam on the GT Road after the procession in Ludhiana on Monday
A traffic jam on the GT Road after the procession in Ludhiana on Monday. — A Tribune photograph

Ludhiana, January 3,
Long lines of trollies, tempos, tractors full of children, women , tableaus depicting different scenes from the tenth Guru’s life , kirtani jathas singing devotional songs, sea of humanity singing praises of the Guru were seen during the nagar kirtan taken out today at the Parkash Utsav of Guru Gobind Singh from different parts of the city.

A procession was taken out in the city from Gurdwara Sri Kalgi Dhar Sahib. The Panj Piaras led the procession sitting on horses’ back dressed traditionally.

The procession marched from Gurdwara via Jagraon Bridge to Clock Tower and finally returned to Sri Kalgi Dhar Gurdwara Dhar Sahib.

The route of the nagar kirtan was decorated with flower bedecked gates. Hundreds of people followed the kirtan on trollies and other vehicles singing hymns. Kirtani Jathas sang shabads.

Several Sikh Sabhas of the city had joined in the procession. Many from neighbouring villages had joined in the procession. School children participated in the kirtan dressed in full ‘khalsa attire’.

Another procession proceeded from Gurdwara Model Town Extension via Krishna Mandir Chowk, R.S Model School, GTB Hospital, Shastri Nagar, Gulati Chowk, Model Town Market, Rani Market Dugri Road, Gurdwara Shaheedan , Model House and the Main Road of B.Block Extension and back to Gurdwara.

Around 3,000 school children and hundreds of tempos and trollies, carrying devotees participated in the procession.



Two killed in accidents
Our Correspondent

Samrala, January 3
Mr Harinder Singh (24), of Gharkhana village, 5 km from here, died when his car collided with a truck. Sudha Jain of Abohar was seriously injured and was referred to Ludhiana, after giving first aid in the local Civil Hospital.

In another incident, Sukhwinder Singh (13), Varinder Singh (9), with their father Jagjit Singh of Samrala were hit by a vehicle on the Ludhiana-Chandigarh road. Sukhwinder Singh was killed on the spot while Varinder Singh was sent to PGI, Chandigarh.



Firm directors booked
Our Correspondent

Khanna, January 3
The police has registered a case under Sections 406 and 420 of the IPC against four directors of Bindra Ispat Limited. They were accused of defrauding the Central Excise Department of Rs 78 lakh.

The directors have been identified as Mohammad Siraj Malik, Tanvir Ahmed Farqui, Mohammad Riaj and Mohammad Hakit. They had established an induction furnace near Irak village. They were liable to pay Rs 5 lakh daily to the department. The furnace was closed in 2001. On that day Rs 78 lakh was pending against the firm.


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