L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


DC’s order on cigarettes goes up in smoke
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 24
Most of the educational institutions of the area have failed to implement the explicit orders by the district administration asking them to com ply with the provisions of the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, supply and Distribution) Act, 2003.

What to talk of sensitisation of students against smoking and consumption of tobacco products, these institutes did not bother to display notices warning traders against display and sale of these products.

Contrary to the provisions of Act, most of the educational institutes had some visible or hidden spot of otherwise banned products.

The Deputy Commissioner, Sangrur, Mr Hussan Lal, had directed the heads of all the educational institutes falling under his jurisdiction to ensure that cigarettes and other tobacco products were not being displayed or sold within the 100 yard- radius of their respective institutes.

Though he had asked them to display notice boards on their institutes regarding ban on the sale of these products by January 16 yet no such board was seen displayed on any of the institute of this area.

According to the Act, an owner or the manager or any person in charge of the affairs of educational institutions should display and exhibit a board at a conspicuous place outside the premises prominently stating that the sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products in an area within a radius of 100 yards of the institute was strictly prohibited and that it was an offence punishable with fine up to Rs 200.

A quick visit to the area revealed that most of the educational institutes had at least one sale point where cigarettes or the other tobacco products were being sold openly and that too to teenagers.

There were some institutes that had a cigarette-vendor adjoining the boundary wall of the institute but no school or college was found displaying the required board.

Besides flouting the civil rules, these organisations ignored the recommendations of the World Health Organisation also which urged the member states to resort to legislation and other effective measures for protecting their citizens with special attention to risk groups such as pregnant women and children from involuntary exposure to tobacco smoke and other harms.

Inquiries from the vendors and shopkeepers selling tobacco products and cigarettes revealed that most of them were not aware of the consequences of the disobeaynce of said law.

They considered a fine of Rs 200 to be a minor punishment in comparison to the income from their customers who seldom bothered to bargain the rates.

It was reported that teachers of some institutes usually asked their students to bring cigarettes for them from nearby shops thus violating the rules themselves.

Sources in the district office disclosed that none of the institutes had confirmed having complied with the instructions of the Deputy Commissioner issued two months back.



Blue film VCD: police probe begins
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 24
The police today started a probe into the sensational blue film VCD featuring some teenagers but said there was no proof that the compact disc had any relation with a medical institution of high repute as suggested by the three-letter initials written on the VCD.

The Kotwali police was in consultation with some experts before deciding the future course of action. The VCD was one of the hundreds of X-rated VCDs and DVDs seized from various shops while conducting raids on the behest of actor-producer Mangal Dhillon.

People flocked shops to get a copy of the VCD. However, most of the copies had disappeared from the market.

Most of the VCDs like those seized in Batala, Phagwara and Jalandhar had one couple with the camera installed in a secret manner.

This VCD features teenagers who are shown drinking and dancing nude and then in various acts. The teenagers do not seem to be belonging to well-to-do families and knew where the camera was placed.

Police officials were shocked at the young age of the boys and girls in the VCD, who were trying to imitate western movies on similar subject. The officials were perplexed on how to conduct investigations to trace the place where the film was shot. The police is interested in knowing the identity of a man whose hands were visible at different times in the movie.

Meanwhile, the police has booked seven persons under various provisions of the Copy Right Act for illegally selling VCDs and DVDs of “Khalsa” produced and directed by Mangal Dhillon.

The police is yet to register a case regarding the recovery of the blue movies.



Waiting for an accident to happen
Admin sleeps over poles, trees on roads
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 24
Hundreds of electric poles on the roads, at places right in the middle, pose a continuous threat of accidents and also hinder smooth flow of traffic. Name any road and there are a number of electricity poles and transformers there. Also big trees in the midst of the roads pose regular hindrance to traffic.

The traffic authorities maintain that they can do little as it involves several agencies for shifting these poles to suitable places. The officials disclose that there are hundreds of such electricity poles and also several electric transformers on roads which cause lot of disturbance to the traffic.

The officials maintain that it is up to the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation to do something about it. But the MC says the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) which is responsible for the supply of electricity should look into the problem.

The MC officials have been maintaining that they can also not do anything since the PSEB does not take much interest in removing the poles from the roadside.

They say the trees can also not be cut as it requires lot of formalities to cut a tree even if it is on the road.

Mr Suresh Sharma, a resident at Pakhowal Road, points out that there were several electric poles and trees along the road.

The road remains busy with hundreds of vehicles passing through daily. With the trees and electric poles there, the smooth flow of the traffic is disturbed and at times it leads to the jams.

He says the residents and the shopkeepers of the area have also approached the officials of the MC but no follow-up action had been taken.

Mr Sharma asks as why there should be an objection to cutting of a tree if it is on the middle of the road. 



SAD leaders demand drive against encroachments
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 24
Senior SAD leaders today demanded a drive against encroachments in the city and time-bound completion of major projects, among other things. This is in connection with Mr Simarjit Singh Bains’ a councillor, protest.

Upset over the demolition of a part of a building, allegedly on encroached land in Labour Colony here, Mr Simarjit Singh Bains had announced to stage a dharna at the MC headquarters. However, other party councillors and the senior party leaders had justified the action of the MC, thereby creating an embarrassing situation for their own party colleague.

Led by Mr Amarjit Singh Bhatia, vice-president of SAD, Mr Avtar Singh Makkar, member, SGPC, Mr Hira Singh Gabria, former legislator and Mr Harbhajan Singh Dang, group leader of party councillors, SAD activists presented a memorandum to the commissioner of the Municipal Corporation, Mr S.K. Sharma, at his camp office in connection with Mr Bains’ protest.



Indo-Pak Punjabi seminar on Feb 27
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 24
The Punjabi Sahitya Akademi will organise a seminar on "Pakistani Punjabi Sahitya-virsa te vartman" at the Punjabi Bhavan here on February 27 to mark its golden jubilee celebrations. This was stated by senior vice-president of the akademi Gurbhajan Singh Gill today.

A 25-member delegation from Pakistan led by the Chairman of World Punjabi Congress, Mr Fakhar Zaman and comprising poets, journalists and academicians would participate.

Prof Sutinder Singh Noor from Delhi University will deliver the keynote address on the status of Punjabi language and literature in Pakistan.

Dr Jagtar will present a paper on Pakistani Punjabi poetry while Dr Jatinderpal Singh will dwell on Pakistani Punjabi short story.

Dr Gurpal Singh Sandhu and Dr S.N. Sewak will present papers on Pakistani Punjabi novel and Pakistani Punjabi drama, respectively.

An Indo-Pak Punjabi kavi darbar will also be held. 



Youth held for drug peddling
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 24
The Sarabha Nagar police has arrested a youth under the NDPS Act and allegedly recovered 10 grams of smack from him which he allegedly supplied to school and college students in small packs of 0.5 grams each.

The recovered smack is pegged at over Rs 10,000 in the retail market. SHO, Sarabha Nagar police station, Pawanjit Singh, said the accused Santosh Sharma belonged to Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh but frequented the city to sell smack and some other drugs.

The youth’s arrest and his alleged revealtions that youngsters were his main customers had once again brought to focus the increasing drug addiction in the society, especially among the teenagers, the police said.

Mr Pawanjit Singh said most of the customers were affluent and well-educated and knew the perils of taking the drugs. Yet, they indulged in it just to get a kick or to show off to their friends.



55 quintals of narcotics destroyed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 24
The police today destroyed nearly 55 quintals of narcotics under the NDPS Act. These had been lying with the police and judicial malkhanas for the past over 12 years as case property.

DIG, Ludhiana Range, Parag Jain, SSP Narinderpal Singh and SP (Detective) Gurpreet Singh destroyed these on the bank of the Sutlej, near Laddowal, today.



Tributes paid to Justice Gurnam Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 24
Glowing tributes were paid to late Justice Gurnam Singh, a former Chief Minister of Punjab, at a function organised here today. Senior functionaries like Mr H.S Hanspal, President, PPCC, Mr H.D Johar, Education Minister, Punjab, Mr. Partap Singh Bajwa, Minister for PWD and Cultural Affairs, Punjab, Mr Rakesh Pandey, Minister of State for Science and Technology, Mr Malkiat Singh Dakha, MLA, Mr Nahar Singh Gill, Mayor, Municipal Corporation, Mr. Gurcharan Singh Galib, Ex-MP, Mr Jagmohan Sharma, President, DCC and Mr Parminder Mehta, Secretary, PPCC, offered their tributes.

Mr Hanspal said Justice Gurnam Singh was a farsighted multi-faceted personality who had strived hard to establish moral values and honesty in the political system and put the state on the path of fast development.

He said to clean the political system from corruption and criminalisation, we should implement his ideology and philosophy in politics.

He said that Mr Gurnam Singh had the unique distinction of being the only member of higher judiciary to head an elected government in the country in its 58 years of independence.

Mr Harnam Dass Johar, Education Minister, said Justice Gurnam Singh was a great visionary who had set up Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, Guru Nanak Dev Thermal Plant, Bathinda, Punjab School Education Board and many other institutions in the state.

Mr Bajwa announced that a befitting memorial of Justice Gurnam Singh would be established in the state and a road from Ludhiana to Narangwal via Dugri, Jassowal, Kila Raipur would be named as ‘Justice Gurnam Singh Marg’and it would be widened and strengthened within a period of six months.

Mr Nahar Singh Gill, Mayor, Municipal Corporation, announced that the main road in Model Town in the city would also be named as Justice Gurnam Singh Marg. 



War veteran Fernandez laid to rest
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 24
People from all walks of life paid glowing tributes to Lieut-Col E.W. Fernandez, a veteran of many wars, whose mortal remains were laid to rest at the cemetery grounds near Gumar Mandi today.

Lieut-Col Evan William Fernandez, commissioned in the Indian Army just after World War-II, had died at his house in Sarabha Nagar, Block-A, last evening. He was 87. He is survived by his wife Ruby Fernandez and a son, who is based in Australia.

His body was carried to the cemetery grounds in a large procession attended by eminent city residents, Army officers, NCC officers and police officials. The procession had started from Sacred Heart Convent School where funeral prayers were held in a Church.



Pensioners’ meeting on February 27
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 24
The Government Pensioners Association has convened a meeting on February 27 at Arya College for Women here for preparing a memorandum of their demands. It will be submitted to the Punjab Government.

Mr Yash Paul Ghai, additional general secretary of the association, said today that their pending demands include the setting up of the fifth Punjab Pay Commission, raise in medical and house rent allowances for pensioners, etc.



Swami Parmanand to visit city
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 24
Swami Parmanand Giri, a leading authority on Hinduism, will be visiting Ludhiana from February 25 to March 1. He will deliver religious discourses at the Tagore Bhavan, in the morning and evening.

He will be accompanied by some foreign followers. Some of them have set up eco-friendly villages in the USA.

Besides, some of them have developed eco-friendly washing machines which are run by cycling of wheels and not electricity.

Swami Parmanand has been promoting Indian cultural values not only in India, but abroad as well.

His followers, who are mostly from the USA will also deliver lectures.



Ravidass jayanti celebrated
Our Correspondent

Samrala, February 24
The birthday of Guru Ravidass was celebrated here on Thursday. On the occasion the Guru Ravidass Welfare Society took out a shobha yatra. It will also organise a dharmik jagran on February 25.

Mr Baldev Singh, SDM, Samrala, local MLA Amrik Singh Dhillon along with Jathedar Kirpal Singh Khirnian, member, SGPC, asked the people to follow the footsteps of Guru Ravidass.



Plea to make Ludhiana special economic zone
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 24
Welcoming the government’s decision of setting up a special economic zone (SEZ) in Amritsar, the Ludhiana Motor Parts Manufacturers Association demanded that Ludhiana should also be covered under it. The association said a SEZ should be set up here as well, as the engineering industry was suffering heavily.

Welcoming the government’s decision of setting up a special economic\ zone (SEZ) in Amritsar, the association also agreed to provide financial assistance for the development of the SEZ.

“Setting up of a SEZ would prove a boon for the economy of the state. We are happy that the Prime Minister has kept his promise which he had made during his last visit to Punjab,” said Mr G.S. Kahlon, president of the association.

He said as the SEZ was being set at the border district of Amritsar it would also help in improving Indo-Pak relations.

Mr Charan Singh Kohli, general secretary, said due to poor condition of state’s economy, development works had come to a halt. “Development works in various areas including education and health, have come to a halt. Due to the lack of funds the government is not in a position to clear the salaries of government employees as well. Not just that, the small scale industrial sector in the state is also facing many problems,” he said.

This, he said, had left the SSI units with no other alternative than to either close down or to shift to other states. “Under such circumstances, setting up of a special economic zone would prove immensely beneficial to the industry in the state”, he added.

Mr Kohli also recommended that Ludhiana, being the industrial hub of the state, should also be covered under the special economic zone. A SEZ should be set up in Ludhiana also so that the industry, which is suffering badly, can benefit from the same, said the association.



Autonomy to public sector banks draws flak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 24
The government’s decision to grant autonomy to public sector banks with regard to acquisitions, recruitment, promotions and other HR-related issues has drawn flak from bank employees. The Indian National Bank Employees Congress (INBEC) today said that the decision would be detrimental to the interest of the employees and would lead to a hire-and-fire policy.

“Merely on a lame excuse that this decision would help public sector banks compete effectively with private banks, the government has allowed public sector banks to acquire other banks, set up subsidiaries, take decisions regarding recruitment, staffing, promotions and transfers,” Mr K.R. Tripathi, president of INBEC, said.

He said such absolute autonomy would only breed corruption and would result in dictatorship, apart from promoting vested interests of directors of these banks.

He also came down heavily upon public sector banks for not having released the list of NPA defaulters despite the fact that NPAs were as high as Rs 20,000 crore. He alleged that the directors and management in banks were responsible for NPAs. He also said the voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) should not be implemented as it would result in unemployment if further recruitment in banks was stopped.



Chemists’ meeting on Feb 27
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 24
The Wholesale Chemists Association will hold a meeting at here on February 27 to discuss key issues facing chemists and druggists. Giving this information in a Press note here today, Mr Tikka Dalip Singh, president, Mr Harish Kapila, senior vice-president, and Mr G.S. Chawla, general secretary of the association said the present office-bearers had completed one year in office and an annual report would be presented.

According to functionaries of the association, the district Drugs Inspector and officials of the Excise and Taxation Department would also attend the meeting.



Biz Clips

An exhibition of intricate chikankari work was held at the Sutlej Club on Thursday by Rekha Mohan from Delhi. The exhibition included exclusive range of suits, sarees and dress materials of Lakhnavi work. Various kinds of stitches and embroidery on georgettes, crepes and silk are on display. OC


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 |