L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Fracture found on Ludhiana-Dhuri line
Rail tragedy averted for 2nd time in month
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 24
An alert keyman of the Northern Railway today averted a major tragedy by noticing a fracture on the Ludhiana-Dhuri line, 100 m before bridge no 2-A of the Sidhwan canal, early morning today.

The keyman Ram Bharose has shown alacrity twice this month. He stopped a train just in time after spotting a similar fracture on the same track on January 10. There was a distance of a few yards only between the wide crack repaired then and the one spotted today.

The Government Railway Police has ruled out any sabotage behind the incident. The biting cold wave that has gripped the region is not only affecting humans but also causing contraction of rail lines, leading to such fractures.

Meanwhile, trains were moving at a slow speed over the troubled spot. Railway employees had done a temporary repair of the track by filling an iron piece in the fracture and using a clamp to keep it together.

Ram Bharose saw the cracks when he was checking the line as a routine exercise. He stopped every train at a point away from the affected area. He informed the railway authorities and a team of technical experts arrived on the spot.



Two convicted for food adulteration
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 24
Mr S.S. Dhaliwal, Chief Judicial Magistrate, has convicted two persons under the Prevention of food Adulteration Act 1954 for selling adulterated and sub-standard food stuff.

According to Dr Rajinder Kaur, Civil Surgeon, a karyana merchant of Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar colony, Samund Singh, and a contractor in the College of Veterinary Science canteen of Punjab Agricultural University, Lekh Raj, have been sentenced to six months of imprisonment with fine of Rs 1,000 each for selling adulterated turmeric powder and sweets, respectively.

Meanwhile, as part of the campaign to check the quality of food items being sold in the city, a team of health officials conducted raids in different localities. During the crackdown, 11 samples of different food items were taken and a large quantity of unhygienic and sub-standard food stuff at dhabas and other eateries at the Subhani Building, the Domoria Pul, the CMC Chowk, Jamalpur and Shastri Nagar was destroyed.

The Civil Surgeon said that samples of cooked chicken were taken from an eating joint near Shastri Nagar and several samples of milk along with a similar number of samples of cold drinks were collected from vendors on the Haibowal road, the Jalandhar bypass and the Pakhowal road. The samples had been sent to the government laboratory for analysis.

Dr Rajinder Kaur said that the drive to check food adulteration would continue and strict action would be taken against defaulting persons, besides the poor quality eatables would be destroyed.



Online lotteries boost revenue but ruin poor
Our Correspondent

A long queue of migrant labourers at an online lottery counter on the Samrala-Machhiwara road
A long queue of migrant labourers at an online lottery counter on the Samrala-Machhiwara road.

Machhiwara, January 24
The sale of online lotteries, launched by the Punjab State Lotteries Department, is picking momentum and is perhaps the most beneficial source of collecting revenue for the state government yesterday.

Long queues of lottery lovers can be witnessed all day at various online lottery agencies installed on the Samrala-Machhiwara road. Most of the customers are reported to be migrant labourers.

The first only lottery counter which came into existence nine months ago in front of the local police station created a lot of interest amongst people, as a result of which three more online lottery counters have been started in front of the grain market.

The total sale from all these four counters is reported to be more than 1 lakh every day.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, agency holder Satpaul Sethi said there were 35 draws in the Punjab State Online Lottery Systems.

A survey conducted by this correspondent revealed that apart from the labour class, people belonging to the middle class and higher classes, including shopkeepers and businessmen, were also showing a lot of interest in the online lottery system.

Though the online lottery system is contributing a lot to the state government’s revenue, it is proving to be a disaster for the poor labourers, who almost spend their daily wages for purchasing the lottery tickets. Representatives of various social organisations have urged the state government to find other ways for collecting revenue instead of ruining lives of poor people.



Habitual offender arrested
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 24
An alleged habitual offender has been caught snatching valuables from women in the Division No. 8 police station area by the city police. He was out on bail after remaining in jail for two years.

The alleged offender, Bobby Kumar, who faces nine cases of theft, burglary and robbery, could not desist from committing crime while released on bail. Despite remaining in jail he was not reformed and he remained a drug addict. One of his accomplices, Amarjit Singh, was yet to be arrested.

The SP (Detective), Mr Gurpreet Singh, told Ludhiana Tribune that the accused had snatched a purse containing valuables from Ms Sawita Jain of Kitchlu Nagar on January 21. He had disclosed during police interrogation that he was hooked on to various drugs and desperately wanted money for the purpose.

Mr Gurpreet Singh said that though purse snatching was not a major offence but the history of the accused was quite disturbing. The accused was one of several criminals indulging in crime habitually and no reforms or jail sentence was successful in checking their activities.

He had remained in jail for the past two years and was facing trial in nine cases of different nature registered against him in Sadar, Salem Tabri , Basti Jodhewal and Model Town police stations in the city.



Russian students in PAU
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 24
A group of five students from Moscow State University of Environmental Engineering (MSUEE), Moscow, arrived at Punjab Agricultural University on a two- week training programme at the College of Agricultural Engineering.

The Vice-Chancellor, Dr Kirpal Singh Aulakh, welcomed the students who are part of the first batch of students from Russia. The training programme is part of an agreement of exchange held between Dr K S aulakh, Vice-Chancellor, PAU, and Dr Igor S. Rumyantsev, Rector, MSUEE.

Dr S K Sondhi, Dean, College of Agricultural Engineering, informed that the students would be imparted training in environmental engineering, water management, machinery and equipment, environmental pollution, energy management, post- harvest technology and remote- sensing technology. They will also be visiting various industrial houses to study the effect of pollution in and around Ludhiana city.

Mr Andrey Sorokin, Deputy Proctor for international programme, Moscow State University of Environmental Engineering, is the group leader and Prof K S Saini, incharge of the training. The students from Russia include Yan Penskiy, Victor Zinovyev, Vera Kukaleva and Elena Kastryulina Pankraatov In exchange, a group of six students from the College of Agricultural Engineering will go to Moscow State University for training during June-July.

Dr Igor S. Runyantsev, Rector, also presented a souvenir to Dr K S Aulakh who hoped that the ties between PAU and MSUEE would be further strengthened. Dr Igor also invited Dr Aulakh to visit Moscow during the 75th anniversary celebrations of Moscow State University.



SAD protest against erratic power supply
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 24
Activists of the Shiromani Akali Dal, its youth wing, Sikh Students Federation and the Istri Akali Dal today blocked traffic for about half-an-hour while staging a massive demonstration outside the district head office of the Punjab State Electricity Board in protest against the dismal power supply situation in the region.

A memorandum was also submitted to PSEB officials in which the leaders of the agitating parties alleged that the PSEB was discriminating against villagers in distributing power supply as long cuts were enforced in rural areas in comparison to the urban areas.



UPA underplaying terrorism issue: Parthasarthy
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 24
Senior diplomat and former High Commissioner to Pakistan G. Parthasarthy said while the BJP led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) was overplaying the issue of terrorism, the Congress led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government was underplaying it, and both approaches were not in the interest of the country.

However, he appreciated the statement of the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, that India would not accept any change in the borders nor would it allow the division of Kashmir along the religious lines. “And this is for the first time in the recent past that such categorical, bold and unambiguous statement came from the highest level”, he pointed out.

In an exclusive interview with The Tribune here today, Mr Parthasarthy warned against the role of Pakistan in the infiltration in the North-East. He expressed surprise as why the Government of India was silent about it. He observed that there was a need to create world opinion against Pakistan’s role in the insurgency in the North-East. “I don’t know why the government is silent on the issue. May be the government has its own compulsions,” he added.

While maintaining that the foreign policy had not witnessed any major shift after the UPA government took over at the Centre, he observed that dialogues with Pakistan on various levels were a healthy development. “But it would be wrong to have exaggerated expectations from these dialogues”, he cautioned, while pointing out, nothing significant had come out although the process had been on for so long.

Mr Parthasarthy said while peace along the border was a welcome development, as it helped India to complete the fencing, there were certain elements in Pakistan which would not allow General Pervez Musharraf to tread a peaceful path. He pointed out that the two Islamic Jihadi groups, Jaishe Mohammad and Harkat-ul-Ansar, were after his life. He revealed that six Pakistani army officers, 30 soldiers and seven Pakistani air force officers were being tried in court martial for their complicity with these groups in an attempt on Musharraf’s life.

However, he favoured the ‘people to people’ contact between the two countries. He pointed out Pakistani army could not afford any misadventure as long as the public did not support it. He favoured the continuation of this process as it would have some positive results.

Appreciating the former Prime Minister, Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee, for creating a favourable world opinion about Kashmir, he said it was Mr Vajpayee who convinced the world about the fact that “terrorism and not Kashmir” was the core issue or the real problem. However, he maintained, there was not much consistency in the NDA’s foreign policy stand. 



Put off Ajnala poll, pleads Adhyapak Dal
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 24
The Adhyapak Dal, Punjab, has made a plea for putting off the byelection in the Ajnala assembly segment in the state, scheduled to be held next month, saying the battle would interfere with the annual examinations of lakhs of students.

The state president of the dal,Mr Darshan Singh Rakba, said in a statement here today that a written representation for postponement of the byelection had been sent to the Election Commission of India.

He maintained that examinations for middle standard, matric and plus two were to be conducted in the month of February and the students as well as the teachers were busy in preparations.

He said even if the byelection was to be held in only one assembly segment, the charged political debates, charges and counter-charges were bound to affect the concentration of the students and vitiate the general atmosphere of the state.

The deployment of teachers, who were needed to undergo repeated rehearsals would also have an adverse impact on the studies.

Mr Rakba opined that even otherwise there was no justification to hold the byelection at this stage when the term of the present assembly was to end in less than two years. “However, if the Election Commission wants to go for the byelection, it should be put off to sometime in May or June when the annual examinations of the schools and colleges will be over,” he remarked.



Karat for cautious approach on economic reforms
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 24
Mr Prakash Karat, a CPM Politburo member, said today that India needed to tread a cautious path on economic reforms, liberalisation and foreign investment. He said that the CPM was not opposed to signing various international agreements but there must not be surrender of India’s interests.

Addressing the members of the District Bar Association here today, Mr Karat said certain sectors like the print media were crucial to the freedom of the country. Opening up the print media to foreign investment was not in the interest of the country as the print media was an integral part of the Indian democracy.

Responding to various questions from the members of the Bar, Mr Karat said that the CPM and other Left parties were aware of the needs of the nation. He pointed out that a huge wealth could be generated from taxes, which were pending in arrears. Referring to the 2005-2006 Budget being prepared, he said that everybody wanted a “friendly Budget” which unfortunately meant a “corporate friendly Budget and not people friendly”. The tax benefit was being provided to the corporate houses only while the common man did not get any benefit.

Commenting upon the exit of the NDA government, he said that although it claimed to have achieved a growth rate of six per cent, but it never reached the grassroots level and the common man felt being burdened. He said that the NDA government had reduced grants to the agriculture sector, which was key to the Indian economy. Mr Karat called for increased allocation in health, education and other welfare schemes.

Spelling out the role of the CPM and other Left parties, he said, “We are acting like the sentinels of the public”. He maintained that whenever they had any difference of policy measures they seek the resolution immediately. Mr Karat said that India should learn from the Chinese experience as they had not been averse to change but had not surrendered their national interests. He warned against total surrender to the American line of thinking in terms of economic and foreign policy.

Earlier Mr Karat was welcomed by the DBA president, Mr B.K. Goyal, and other office-bearers and members of the association.



Dena Bank staff observe strike
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 24
Employees of Dena bank today observed a strike against the bank management’s decision to reduce government capital from 71 per cent to 51 per cent and entering into the capital market.

A rally was also held in front of the bank at Clock Tower here by members of the Punjab Bank Employees Federation to express solidarity with the employees.

Mr Naresh Gaur, secretary, Punjab Bank Employees Federation, while addressing the rally, said the bank was one of the leading public sector banks in the country with more than 1,100 branches.

Mr Gaur said public sector banks in the country were catering to needs of various segments of society by fulfilling their social objectives and responsibility.

“But now, the government is pressurising public sector banks to raise capital from equity market up to 49 per cent which would result in reduction of government holding to 51 per cent. Though technically these banks would remain in the public sector, they would be under increased pressures from vested interests,” he said, adding, “public sector banks deal with a huge quantum of money and precious savings of the public which makes it important that these banks remain under government control and ownership. The government alone can be the best custodian of public money which is to be utilised for public welfare.”

The federation members said allowing private capital to 49 per cent was a step towards privatisation of the bank and public sector banks, being instruments of socio-economic development, should not go in private hands.

Leaders of the federation threatened to intensify their protest and go on strike in mid-March if the government and the Dena Bank management failed to take any action in this direction.



Sabha scraps women's wing president’s post
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 24
Dr Krishan Rai Sharma, president of the Bhagwan Parshuram Brahmin Sabha, Ludhiana district, announced the abolition of the post of women’s wing president at the executive committee meeting, which was held at Lajwanti Public High School at Haibowal yesterday.

Addressing the meeting, he said he was taking the decision in view of the complaints that the president of the women’s wing was misusing her powers and creating indiscipline in the ranks of the sabha.

He also announced new appointments. Mr Kamal Gosian will take over as organising secretary, Ms Anju Joshi as administrative secretary, Ms Amita Behl Sharma as general secretary and Mr Jatinder Sharma as joint secretary.

Those nominated members of the executive committee are Ms Parveen Sharma, Ms Anita Sharma, Ms Lalita Tripathi and Ms Shashi Sharma.

Through a resolution, the sabha also decided to celebrate Bhagwan Parshuram Jayanti at the state level in the city on May 15. 



Cultural mela on January 26
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, January 24
A cultural mela will be organised by the Dharmendra Cultural and Sports Club at Sahnewal on January 26.
The club president, Mr Avtar Singh Nandpuri, and chairman, Mr Jasminder Singh Sandhu informed this mela was organised very year, especially for Dharmendra, who belongs to the town.

Many prominent personalities are being honoured on the occasion such as Mr Vicky Dhillon, the Canadian MP, Mr Sukhdev Singh, and Mr Rachhpal Singh, international players. The award for the best poet i.e. the Dhani Ram Chatrk Award, is being presented to Harjit Singh Dhillon, a Punjabi writer and poet.

Inderjit Nikku, a famous Punjabi singer, shall especially be presented the award of honour. The famous Punjabi singers, including Romy Gill, Angrew Ali, Akhil Akhtar, Sunita Bhatti, Jaswant Sandhila, Neeru Virk, Inderjit Nikku and Manjit Roopewalia, shall perform on the occasion.



Programme on dairy products
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 24
The Department of Food Science and Technology, PAU, Ludhiana will organise a training programme on “Value -added Dairy products” from February 10 under the EDP for entrepreneurs, educated unemployed youths, housewives, and girls.

During this training the products like fluid milk products, dahi, lassi, cheese, ice-cream, kulfi, chhana, kheer and sandesh will be demonstrated.



Biz Clips

: Sarna International, an export house which deals with the cycle parts, has been given the quality control award by the International Export Promotion Council. The award was presented to the Managing Director of the company, Mr Harjab Singh, at the annual convocation held at Kolkota recently. — TNS


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