L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Inter-caste marriage leads to couple’s murder 
Girl’s parents, relatives booked
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 9
In a case of suspected honour killing arising out of caste differences, a youth, son of a senior Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader, and his wife, a BDS final year student, were brutally murdered in a house in Kiran Vihar after being tortured by contract killers, allegedly hired by girls NRI parents and relatives of the girl here.

The victims, Harpreet Singh, son of Parkash Singh, general secretary of the BSP, and his wife Amandeep Kaur, who was a student of Baba Jaswant Singh Dental College here, were beaten with rods and killed by slitting their throats open. The couple tried to grapple with the assailants as signs of struggle were found at the murder scene. The assailants had even pulled apart chunks of their hair. Blood was splattered all over the place.

The boy was a Ramdasia Sikh and the girl was a Jat Sikh (Dhaliwal). Their decision to tie knot despite the caste differences resulted in their death said the police.

Mr Parkash Singh told the Sadar police that the girl’s parents were against the marriage and had beaten up the girl earlier also. He alleged that as part of a deep-rooted conspiracy, they suddenly changed colours during the past few months and gave a house free of charge in Kiran Vihar to the couple two weeks ago.

They were earlier living in a rented accommodation near Model Town police station. The girl’s parents had told them that they could live comfortably in the house. The boy’s family learnt today after the murder that the house was a rented one and did not belong to any friend of the girl’s parents.

The girl’s parents left for Australia last week with their son. Investigating officer Charanjit Singh said the police had registered a case under Section 302, IPC, against the girl’s parents and three relatives.

No relative of the girl reached the scene of the crime. Civil Hospital contacted the police. Parkash Singh said the boy and the girl had met at a religious function a few years ago. They fell in love and decided to marry.

The girl’s parents and relatives were against the match. Due to their opposition, the couple got married secretly and later got it registered with the District Magistrate, Ludhiana. The girl’s parents then called them home saying they had accepted the boy. However, they beat up the girl and also manhandled the boy.

The couple had to escape cut off relations with the girl’s parents. They lived in Model Town as the girl had to visit some hospitals in late hours for her study.

The house in Kiran Vihar was a big one, but an isolated one. Resident of the area told the police that they had spotted strangers moving around in cars for the past three days. The bodies were first spotted by a maid servant of the couple.



Sigma fire: hospital sans emergency exit
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 9
Yesterday’s fire incident in Sigma Hospital has once again brought to fore the glaring violation of building bylaws and the inadequate arrangement of the hospitals to deal with such exigencies.

While Dr Amardeep Singh Bedi, owner of the hospital, claimed that he had a no objection certificate (NOC) from the Town Planner, it was ironical that the hospital did not have an emergency exit and there was hardly any fire-fighting equipment available with the hospital but for seven fire extinguishers. Dr Bedi also claimed that there was indeed an emergency exit in the hospital which could not be used as it was clouded by acrid smoke.

It was a providential escape for about 60 persons, including patients, doctors, nurses and paramedical staff, as the fire was controlled in time. Alacrity of hospital staff and some good Samaritans also played a major role in averting the tragedy.

Like most buildings in the city, the hospital has no fire exit. The main door of the hospital on the ground floor served as the entrance as well as the exit point. Being an air-conditioned unit, the hospital had no ventilation system with the result that smoke engulfed the entire ground floor and subsequently reached the second floor. As acrid smoke filled the area on the ground floor, the lone entry and exit door could not be used and all persons were trapped inside.

Panicked due to poor visibility and inability to breathe, the hospital staff started moving the patients to first floor and subsequently to the second floor.

Fortunately, there were no grills in the windows and employees of Fire Department broke open a glass pane on the second floor to enter the building. Mr Ashok Kumar, an employee, hurt his arm and hand badly while doing so. It was then that the rescue operation started and patients were moved out to a safer place. Even the second floor had no proper exit and the rescue workers had to demolish a wall of a neighbouring house to make a temporary exit.

Deputy Commissioner Anurag Verma said he could not do anything in the case and it was upto the municipal corporation to look into the matter. The Commissioner of the corporation was not available as he was stated to be out of station.

Dr Jaswant Singh, Joint Commissioner, said the MC would look into the matter and would find out whether the hospital had got an NOC from the Town Planner. He could not say whether the MC would be ordering an inquiry into the incident or not as the Commissioner could only say about it, he added.

He said the hospital staff had done a good job by making efforts to douse the fire. Mr B.S. Brar, Senior Town Planner, was also not available for comments.

The employees of Fire Department said they had a tough time in tackling the fire as there was only one entry point to the hospital and that was engulfed by smoke. Though the hospital had stored fire prone material on the first floor there was no arrangement to douse the flames. Needless to say there were no fire hydrants, they added.

Meanwhile, the Sigma Hospital Management today expressed its gratitude to different persons and departments which in a joint effort prevented a major tragedy in the hospital yesterday.



Kite flying kills 20 pc birds every January
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 9
Spearheading a campaign against kite flying, which results in killing of 20 per cent of the bird population in Ludhiana in January every year, the local chapter of People for Animals (PFA) has appealed to the local residents to avoid flying kites as it kills and causes lifelong injuries to birds in a number of cases.

Stating that kite flying is a personal decision and is deeply ingrained in culture, Mr Sandeep K. Jain, PFA president, said that the strings used for flying these kites are coated with glass powder and very often the birds get entangled in these strings and lose a wing or legs and, therefore, are unable to fly again.

“This traditional merry making proves to be a threat and even fatal for thousands of birds every year. Ludhiana is a place with the highest number of kites flown during the month of January, which results in a reduction of bird population by 20 per cent during one month,” said Mr Jain.

He added, “Since we are working towards creating a better society, including animals and birds, it is of great concern that we should save as many birds as we can. In order to achieve our aim, we have made arrangements to provide immediate relief to injured birds. Even as we have limited resources, we have managed to set up around six centres all over the city where we shall attend to these injured birds.”

While educating the people about providing first aid to the injured birds, Mr Jain said the bleeding can be stopped by putting gentle pressure with the help of cotton dipped in cold water or with the fingers over the bleeding point. The dust or foreign material may be removed but there should be no wiping of the wound repeatedly.

The bird may be immobilised by wrapping a cloth/ bandage gently around its body. The bird can be placed in a cardbox having paper clippings or cottonwool, the lid of box can then be perforated at few places for air supply. This box can then be sent to PFA activists. Few drops of water can be put into its mouth or in case of severe bleeding, glucose can be added to water. In winters the bird should be kept dry.

“Our centres are manned by volunteers who feel that birds look better in the sky than in a cage with their wings cut off. These volunteers will be getting basic first aid instructions to attend to the injured birds.”

The PFA also invited donations from various organisations for saving more birds. The organisations can also sponsor the entire birds section. Any avian veterinarian, who is interested in volunteering can contact the PFA.



Hectic lobbying for Mahila Congress chief’s post
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 9
Amidst reports that the party leadership intends to nominate a new state president of the Punjab Mahila Congress in place of Ms Gurkanwal Kaur, who has been given a ministerial berth, activists of the mahila Congress here are lobbying for Ms Usha Malhotra, who is the district president of the party.

At a meeting of the district unit held here today under the presidentship of Ms Paramjit Kaur Nijhar, general secretary of the district unit, the activists described Ms Malhotra as a dedicated party functionary, who had served the organisation in different capacities for a long time.

Making a fervent appeal to the party leadership to nominate Ms Malhotra as the next state president of the party, the speakers at the meeting sounded a note of caution against any attempt to hand over the post to a new entrant to the party, which they maintained would not be tolerated.

The Mahila Congress functionaries urged Ms Sonia Gandhi, President, AICC, the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, and the PPCC President, Mr Harwinder Singh Hanspal, to name Ms Malhotra as the new state chief.

Among others, Ms Vimla Rani, Ms Neelam Sharma, Ms Tarsem Guddi, Ms Vijay Lakshmi and Ms Malika Rani attended the meeting.

Meanwhile, a meeting of the Congress workers, presided over by Mr Parminder Mehta, secretary, PPCC, decided that in the wake of tsunami disaster the Republic Day functions in the city would have no cultural, dance and song numbers. It was further resolved to contribute money thus saved for the relief and rehabilitation of tsunami victims..

According to Mr Mehta, senior party leaders, including the Deputy Chief Minister, Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, would pay homage to late Mr Joginder Pal Pandey on January 19.

The meeting also hailed the nomination of Mr Paramjit Singh Sibia, a former Air Force officer, as Chairman of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust.

Mr Kewal Arora, Mr Amarjit Bhatti, Mr Goldy Sabharwal, Mr B.S.Thakur, Mr Ravinder Kumar, Mr Harwinder Singh, Mr Balbir Billa, Mr Nek Chand, Mr Anil Kumar, Mr Nirmal Bittu, Mr Sukhdev and Mr Nirmal Virk were also present at the occasion. 



Sarpanch accuses SHO of atrocities
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, January 9
Udham Singh, a Dalit sarpanch of Kothe Fateh Deen tehsil, Jagraon, has accused the city SHO of committing atrocities on him. The Punjab and Haryana High court has issued a notice on a writ filed by the Sarpanch.

According to information, Udham Singh, who belongs to the Majhbi Sikh community, was elected sarpanch of Kothe Fateh Deen, 2 km from here, in the last panchayat elections. On December 26 last year, he was approached by Nathu Singh and Gurmail Singh, who told them that Bant Singh and Babu Singh of his village and Kaka of Manuke had been summoned to the city police station in a case of theft of a bag of iron scrap. Udham Singh along with the parents of arrested persons visited city police station on December 26. SHO Gurinder Singh Bal after being convinced allowed them to go on a condition that they would present themselves the next day.

When the sarpanch brought them to the police station the next day, the SHO directed them to come in the evening and thereafter in the morning on December 28.

According to Udham Singh, Satpal Singh head munshi along with another policeman summoned the sarpanch on December 28 night to the police post at the bus stand, where Gurinder Singh, was prsent. Udham Singh alleged that the city SHO was under the influence of liquor and called the sarpanch by his caste. He humiliated the sarpanch and head munshi Sat Pal also abused him. They also allegedly confined the sarpanch in the police post but was only released after one hour when some prominent people of his village intervened.



500 gm opium seized, woman arrested
Our Correspondent

Khanna, January 9
The Khanna police has seized 500 gm of opium and arrested a woman in this connection yesterday. According to the police during a search operation the police recovered 500 gm of opium from a bag of the woman.

The accused was identified as Inder Kaur wife of Sukhwinder Singh and a resident of Gulmohar Nagar. The police has registered a case under Sections 18, 61 and 85 of the NDPS Act. Another case was registered against a man on the charge of axing a tree in Gobindpura village.



Relief pours in for tsunami victims
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 9
The Punjab Youth Congress (PYC) is continuing its efforts to mobilise financial assistance for tsunami victims to supplement the relief measures being taken up by the government. A party functionary, Mr Jatinder Singh Titoo, forwarded a draft for Rs 31,000 to the Rajiv Gandhi National Relief Fund Welfare Trust through the PYC state president, Mr Raminder Amla.

Speaking at the occasion, Mr Titoo called upon the city residents to come forward and extend a helping hand for relief and rehabilitation of thousands of tsunami victims.

The Senior Sikh Budhijiwi Council, a government recognised NGO, had contributed Rs 25,700 towards the relief fund.

According to Mr Lochan Singh Bhan, president, and Mr Bhupinder Singh Sachdeva, general secretary, the council, led by Choudhry Sunder Singh, advocate, had taken upon itself the responsibility to mobilise funds for the tsunami victims. They further said that the target for collection of relief fund had been fixed at Rs 2 lakh.

Management, Principal, staff and students of Master Tara Singh Memorial College for Women held a meeting in the college premises in memory of those who suffered havoc due to tidal waves. Two-minute silence was observed and principal Dr Madanjit Kaur Sahota appealed to staff and students to donate for the affected families.

Staff members decided to donate one day’s salary. The amount will be handed over to the district administration.

DORAHA: Responding favourably to the appeals of Mr Tejinder Singh Dhaliwal, SDM of Payal, the people of Payal, Doraha and Maloud have made generous contributions for relief for the tsunami victims, both in cash and kind.

Speaking to the Ludhiana Tribune, Mr Dhaliwal said that the SDM office, the tehsil office and the Patwari union had collectively donated Rs 53,500. The Arhtiya Association of Maloud had contributed Rs 20,000. The Municipal Committee office, Doraha, and the MC office, Maloud, had given Rs 11,000 and Rs 7,500, respectively. The Karyana Merchants Association, Dohara, donated Rs 5,000 while the Doraha Yog Sansthan Kender, the Chemists Association of Doraha and Kashmir Honey contributed Rs 11,000, Rs 16,000 and Rs 11,000, respectively. The local petrol pumps of Doraha and Payal, including Khem Singh Petrol pumps, the Payal filling station, the Rampur filling station, donated Rs 20,000. The Gyan Gas Service Station of Doraha donated Rs 5,000 while the Gas Agency, Payal, and the Warehouse Corporation of Dohara gave Rs 5,00 each. The Gram Panchayat of Dhoul Khurd donated Rs 7,700.

Mr Dhaliwal said that Mr Paramjit Singh Bhangu and Mr Jagjiwan Pal Singh Gill, both local residents, had donated Rs 10,000 and Rs 5,000, respectively.

“Contributions in cash and kind have been received. Villagers with little persuation have donated wheat, sugar, ghee, rice, clothes, blankets etc. A truck load of rice has been given by a local dera of Payal situated at Bair Kalan village. A total of 700 blankets are to be dispatched on Monday,” Mr Dhaliwal said.

The SDM, along with Mr Kulwant Singh Uppal, Tehsildar, Mr Pardeep Singh Bains and Mr Harbans Singh, Naib Tehsildars, have been organising meetings at MC offices at Doraha, Payal and Maloud, apart from educating and motivating residents for aid.

Mr Dhaliwal said that more contributions were being received regularly. Local schools and colleges had promised to provide aid. The employees of Guru Nanak National College, Doraha, would contribute their one-day salary, besides collecting aid in cash and kind from the students.

Khamano: A cheque for Rs 1 lakh was presented to the Deputy Commissioner (DC), Fatehgarh Sahib, for the tsunami relief fund by the Block Samiti, Khamano. A function was organised at the office of the Block Samiti in this regard. Block Samiti Chairman Harbans Singh Pandhar, SDM, Khamano, Ravinder Kumar, BDPO Roop Singh and members of the Block Samiti and sarpanches and panches presented the cheque to the DC S.K. Ahluwalia. Another cheque for Rs 5,600 was also presented to the DC by staff of block samiti.

In his address the DC said it was decided to collect Rs 31 lakh from the district for the tsunami relief fund and about Rs 9 lakh has been collected so far.

He said that a memorial will be erected in memory of the 14 girls who died in an accident near Khamano.



Deplorable condition of roads in Malwa belt
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 9
The observation of the Road Safety Week by the police has become meaningless for the residents of the Malwa belt here, as the condition of almost all roads is pitiable. Even the alternative routes being taken up by the commuters are equally risky for the traffic. Poor visibility due to thick fog has further increased the risk factor.

Observations showed that all roads leading to this town are in a critical condition. The condition of the Ludhiana-Malerkotla road, which was part of 200 km-long Ludhiana- Khanauri road, is deplorable. The stretch between Dehlon and Pohir and that between Kup and Bhogiwal is in a very bad shape.

The road is having potholes greater than the size of tyres of heavy vehicles, making it difficult for drivers to manage their vehicles through these pits.

Many commuters have found alternative routes through the link roads passing through villages. Those who have to reach Ludhiana now motor through Ghungrana, Jartoli, Mehma Singh Wala, Narangwal, Jodhan and Lalton villages. Similarly, the route through Jandali, Baurhai, Kanganwal, Manakwal and Dhano is used to reach Malerkotla.

Though these routes seem more comfortable to local residents, outsiders find them to be cumbersome, as they have to enquire the route to reach their destination.

The problem has been aggravated by the diversion of heavy vehicles carrying goods from neighbouring states to Punjab. To avoid the tax authorities and check barriers, drivers prefer the tough terrain. the increase in the number of private vehicles and school buses has added burden to the already stressed roads.

The deteriorating condition of the roads has affected all aspects of life of local residents. This causes monetary loss by way of extra fuel expenses and maintenance charges.

An agitation by the regional units of SAD had attracted the attention of the authorities concerned, who had promised that the construction of the roads would start shortly but no work on the project has yet started.



Closure of bank branches irks villagers
Our Correspondent

Machhiwara, January 9
Closure of two branches of the Ludhiana Central Cooperative Bank, at Behlolpur and Buraj Powat villages in Machhiwara block, has created problems for the villagers. These two branches had been functioning since 1970 and 2001, respectively. Earlier, the Ludhiana Central Cooperative Bank had closed its six branches from December 10, 2004.

The annual turnover at Behlolpur was around Rs 2.25 crore. But the bank employees tell that it should be minimum Rs 3 crore. Perhaps this was the reason along with staff shortage which led to the closure of branch.

Akali leader Hardeep Singh Behlolpur have the taken a serious view of this hasty decision. Instead of providing more facilities to the rural people, the government as started snatching the provided ones.

The villagers have urged the Punjab Government and officials of the Ludhiana Central Cooperative Bank to reconsider the decision and reopen the closed branches with immediate effect.



Youths urged to make use of employment cell
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 9
The Punjab Government has set up a special employment cell at Chandigarh which would provide guidance to educated youth, seeking jobs in foreign countries. The step was aimed at saving the youth from being exploited by unscrupulous travel agents.

This was announced by Punjab Minister for Local Bodies, Labour and Employment Choudhry Jagjit Singh while inaugurating a new burns unit at the Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib Charitable Hospital (GTBH) and Institute of Nursing Education here today.

He asked the youth, desirous of taking up jobs overseas, to avail the services of the employment cell of the government and not to fall prey to the allurements of travel agents.

Lauding the medical services being provided to the weaker sections, by the GTBH, the minister observed that in the present scenario where specialised medical treatment was virtually going beyond the reach of the common people, such private and charitable medical institutions were the only ray of hope.

He made an appeal to other private health institutions to provide specialised medical care at an affordable cost.

He remarked that the institution was not only doing a great humanitarian task by bringing super specialised medical treatment within the reach of the masses, but it was also running a nursing college

He said that with rapid advances taking place in medical science, the availability of trained nurses and other para-medical staff, had assumed greater importance.

The minister announced a grant of Rs 2 lakh to the hospital from his discretionary fund.

Prominent among others present at the function were the City Mayor, Mr Nahar Singh Gill, Mr Paramjit Singh Sibia, Chairman, Improvement Trust, Ms Sushil Gupta, deputy Mayor, Mr Prithipal Singh Kapoor, Bakshi Mohinder Singh, President, GTBH Managing Committee, Dr Jaswant Singh, Joint Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, Mr S.R. Kler, deputy Director, Local Government, Mr Sanjay Talwar, Mr Rajesh Jain Kala Navkar, Mr Bharat Bhushan Ashu, all councillors, Diwan Jagdish Chander, Mr Surinder Pal Singh Bindra, Mr Rajinder Singh Basant, Dr R.S. Sodhi, Medical Superintendent of the hospital and Ms G.K. Walia, Principal of the nursing institute.



Widows get ration
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 9
Mr Parkash Singh Badal, former Chief Minister of Punjab, distributed ration among widows and needy women at 89th widow pension ration distribution ceremony held at Shri Gyan Sathal Mandir, Subhani Building here today.

Addressing the gathering, he said: “I am happy to see that Gyan Sathal is reaching out to the needy women. When my government was in power, we had given a grant of three and a half lakh to the Mandir and I am happy to see that good use of money is being made y the mandir trust. The government should be helping the needy and the destitutes, but NGOs like this temple are aware of their social duties and are carrying them well.”

He further said if the Mandir Sabha gave him a concrete plan, he could seek help from the Central Government too.

Mr Mandir president, Mr Jagdish Bajaj, and vice-president, Mr Karnail Singh, thanked Mr Badal.



Dullo condemns atrocities on Dalits
Our Correspondent

Amloh, January 9
Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, former Member, Lok Sabha, has condemned atrocities against Dalits in the state. He was talking to mediaperson today after a function at Salana village.

Mr Dullo urged Capt Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister, Punjab to appoint a judicial commission to look into the incident at Patriwala village in Ferozepore district and suggested to Congress chief Mr Hanspal to constitute a committee to prepare a detailed report regarding the incidents, where Dalits were not allowed to perform “Anand Karaj” (Marriage) of their daughter near Bathinda in a gurdwara. The Dalits were not allowed to take langar in the gurdwara, he said.



Market committee to build 5 roads
Our Correspondent

Machhiwara, January 9
A meeting of the Market Committee Machhiwara was held today. Mr Jagjit Singh Pirthipur, chairman of the committee, and members paid tributes to the tsunami victims and decided to donate Rs 20,000 towards the relief fund. Besides, a resolution to build five new roads was also passed.

The new roads to be constructed include Sherpur Road to Sikandarpur and Koomkalan to Gehlwal Road. The money to be spent on the construction of these two roads would be Rs 24 lakh and Rs 31 lakh, respectively, The other roads whose construction was approved are from Kamalpur to village’s cremation ground, Bairsal bus- stand to Gurudwara Hedon Bet, Ropar-Machhiwara Road to cremation ground Kacha Machhiwara, Chaklohat bus-stand Mandir Hasanpur. The committee presented a cheque worth Rs 7500 to a migrant labourer who was injured in an accident.



Gym for children opened
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 9
Children participated in a dance competition titled ‘Boogie Woogie’ at a city hotel last evening. The show was organised by Foot Loose, an institute of ‘fitness and dancing’. The kids in the age group of 2 to 12 participated in the competition. The children amazed the audience with their versatility.

They danced on numbers like Dhoom Machale and songs of Back Street Boys etc.

The students performed on the stage with great confidence. Amit, a director of the institute, said the aim of such competitions was to develop confidence among children.

A gym for kids, Kidz Gym, was inaugurated yesterday. Incidentally it is the first gym specially designed for children.



Surjit Rampuri Award
Our Correspondent

Doraha, January 9
The Punjabi Writers Association of Rampur will confer the Surjit Rampuri award on Punjabi poet Gurbhajan Gill at Canal Rest House in Rampur on February 6.

Giving this information, Mr Surinder Rampuri, president, and Mr Jasvir Chajj, general secretary of the Punjabi Writers Association, said Mr Mohinder Manupuri would be awarded the Labh Singh Chatrik Prize for his book “Bal Udarian.” An amount of Rs 3,100 and a memento would comprise the awards.

The function would be presided over by Dr Satish Kumar Verma, Head, Punjabi Department, Punjabi University, Patiala.



No road safety week observed
Our Correspondent

Machhiwara, January 9
Though Road Safety Week was observed all over the state, there was no sign of it at Machhiwara. The local police did not conduct any camp for drivers or schoolchildren.



Automotive industry set to grow in India: Kapuria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 9
The Ludhiana Management Association (LMA) organised a presentation on “Global competitiveness and current rxport scenario” at a hotel here yesterday. Mr Deep Kapuria, who is the president of the All-India Auto Parts Manufacturers Association, was the keynote speaker on the occasion. He is the CMD of Hi tech Gears Ltd and an Harvard alumni.

He said automotive industry in India was poised for a rapid growth in the years to come due to healthy growth being seen in the Indian economy consistently for the past few years.

He said Indian economy was growing at a pace of almost 6 per cent per annum in comparison to the world which was growing at 2 per cent. And if we keep growing at the some pace then by 2020 we would overtake the economy of Germany. Studies have predicted that by 2050, the USA, China and India would be the three biggest economies of the world.

Mr Kapuria explained that the vehicle density ratio in the USA is 550 per 1000 persons which is just six in India. So there is a big gap which is definitely going to decrease in the years to come. There is a vast difference in the per capita growth in the agriculture sector and is again giving a filip to vehicle sales.

Since India has become a major consuming sector and there is availability of cheap labour and also there is a greater thrust on quality, therefore the country has become a preferred destination for many world auto manufacturers for their rates. The exports from India are growing at an astonishing pace of 35 per cent on year to year basis and is crossing $ 1 billion mark whereas the overall production in the auto spare manufacturing is growing at 20 per cent per annum.

He cited the examples of Hero Honda, which over the years, has grown to be the world’s largest two-wheeler manufacturer, a situation which was unthinkable 15 years ago, he added. He asked the auto manufacturers to be keep abreast of the ever changing technical and quality standards in the world.

A lot of action is happening in the automotive sector but India will have to strive very hard as China, Thailand and Korea will offer a lot of resistance. He suggested many strategies to grow in the sector, but according to him, the basis of everything is operational efficiently and unless we have that, any further pyramid making will be a futile affair. He also focused on the inability of the industry to invest in R&D and the slow pace of infrastructure development as the two important issues which can be the major stumbling blocks.

In his presidential address, Mr Mahesh Munjal also gave a detailed picture of the automotive growth in Indian and cited a interesting reason for the growth of two wheeler industry, especially, the motorcycle industry.

He said it was because the decision making in a family had passed from the parents to the youth. Moreover, on a nominal amount, anyone can take the delivery of the vehicle and pay the installments over a long period, he added.

Mr V.K. Goyal, general secretary of the association, asked the audience to maintain a two-minute silence for the tsunami victims. Mr Anil Kumar, vice-president of the association, asked the members to contribute for the rehabilitation of the victims.



Garment industry for reforms in labour laws
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 9
After the end of the quota regime in garment exports, the markets are open and whoever is more competent, will win the race. Stating this Mr S.P. Oswal, Chairman, CII, National Committee of Textile, said that China had emerged as a force to reckon with in this field.

Due to this, importing countries of the European Union and the USA China to have self-regulating measures to moderate the growth of textile and clothing from China to these countries, said Mr Oswal. These countries had also decided to have unilateral safeguards against China against imports.

According to Mr Oswal, China is the largest exporter to the USA, as 17 per cent of the total exports of textile and clothing are likely to cross $ 90 billion this year against the world trade of $ 370 billion. China has initiated some steps to ensure that the low-priced articles may be exported less and has proposed export duties. The duty rates are in the range of 3 to 5 per cent.

He points out that the power cost is the major factor which is affecting the cost structure of the industry.

The CII has pleaded with the Central Government for reforms in the labour laws at least for the garment industry and make the same flexible so that fluctuations in the demand for the labour can be met without creating permanent liability on the entrepreneurs.

He said that small contract operators have poor working conditions for the workers. Once labour reforms take pace, workers will get better working conditions and higher wages, he said.

Mr Oswal said India is facing stiff competition from Bangladesh, Pakistan, Vietnam, besides other small nations.

He also urged the government to include the textile and garment industry in the core sector for the allotment of coal.


HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |