L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Industrial units in residential areas to get NOCs
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 26
In a major relief to the small scale industry in the city, the state government has decided to regularise industrial units operating from residential and other non-designated areas. The decision will benefit over 70 per cent of small industrial units located in such areas. This, however, is not likely to augur well with the masses, many of whom have been fighting cases for shifting of these units.

The decision entitles ‘green category’ industrial units to apply to the Pollution Control Board for no objection certificates (NOCs) following which these will be able to get their existing power load increased, apart from getting new connections.

An announcement to this effect was made by the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) Chairman, Mr Tripat Rajinder Singh Bajwa, at a function organsied by the United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association here today.

“This was a long-pending demand by the industry here. After discussing the matter the Chief Minister finally gave approval that the industrial units located in the green belt could take new electricity connections and also go in for increase in the existing power load,” Mr Bajwa announced this at the function that was attended by over 300 industrialists.

The decision will benefit small-scale industrial units, a large proportion of which has been facing closure due to the previous decision of not allowing increase in existing load capacity and new electricity connections.

To get new connections or to get load increased, a unit would be required to apply to the PPCB for an NOC, which , Mr Bajwa said, would be issued within 15 days of receiving the application. “There will be no extra fee and if any official asks for extra fee or does not issue the NOC within 15 days, you can approach me directly,” Mr Bajwa told industrialists.

The Parliamentary Secretary, Mr Surinder Dawar, said small units had been suffering as these were not allowed load increase which was required for expansion. He said following this decision, an attempt would be made to get these areas declared industrial areas.

Interacting with industrialists, who came forward with various complaints, Mr Bajwa said the PPCB wanted to help them and closing down industrial units was not the board’s aim. “We derive no pleasure from getting industrial units closed. In fact, in the past around three months, you would not find such cases. Whenever we find any discrepancy, we invite representatives of the unit concerned for hearing. It is only when the other side fails to adhere to norms and is neither inclined to adhere that we are forced to close the units,” he said.

Talking to reporters at the sidelines of the function, Mr Bajwa said the decision was aimed at promoting growth of the industry. He said the units that would be regularised would be issued NOCs only if these were ‘no-pollution or less-pollution’ units.

Responding to a query that the move could result in increasing pollution, he clarified : “they have to be no-pollution or less-pollution units. Any unit that does not satisfy these conditions would not get permission.”

Welcoming the move, Mr Narinder K. Miglani, vice-president, Knitwear Club, said: “Over 90 per cent of the hosiery industry falls under the SSI sector. Due to the previous decision such units had been suffering badly. The move had come as a welcome step for the small-scale units that were facing closure due to previous norm.”

Meanwhile, industrialists also put forward their demands like provision for using or preserving sludge that was generated from electroplating and designating ‘green areas’ where industry was located as industrial areas.

Mr Nahar Singh Gill, Mayor, Mr Malvinder Singh, Member Secretary, PPCB, Mr J.L. Pahwa, president, United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Assocaition, were also present on the occasion.



Income tax net to cover more
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, February 26
Even as the extent of concealed income detected from the income tax surveys undertaken by senior officials of range III at two leading sweet shops — Mai Baap Di Hatti and Krishna Sweets near Old Sabzi Mandi Chowk here on Friday — was yet to be known, the department had made it clear that more such surveys were in the offing. These would be undertaken in March so as to achieve the twin objective of increasing revenue and bringing more and more people within the ambit of income tax.

About the survey carried out yesterday, which continued till late in the night, the Additional Commissioner-III, Mr Suman Gupta, said several documents, records and books of accounts were taken into possession at both places. These documents would be thoroughly examined on Monday to ascertain if there was any concealment of income. The department would take appropriate steps to recover tax amounts from these establishments, he added.

Sources in the department said the chief commissionerate of income tax here had directed all senior officials under its charge to step up the process of surveys, inspections and raids to unearth concealed income during March so as to achieve a sizeable jump in revenue collection. For this purpose, an exhaustive list of certain particular type of industries and business houses had been prepared which, the department was confident, would yield rich dividends.

Some members of the Taxation Bar and a number of taxpayers said the assessment officers concerned were asking, albeit in a persuasive manner, to show a reasonable hike in their income and deposit a proportionately higher tax. While in quite a few cases, this step might be justified in the wake of the general tendency of taxpayers to declare only a part of their actual income in returns, there could be some genuine assessees, who have had a fall in their turnover and profits during the current year and they would be hard pressed to be made to pay a higher amount of tax.

In this context, it would be pertinent to note that the Chief Commissioner of Income Tax, Mr S.J.S. Pall, while speaking at a felicitation function here on Thursday, had observed that the income tax collection in the industrial capital of the state was disproportionate to the overall standard of living of the people and display of wealth during marriages and other functions of the upper strata of society.



Swaran died fighting dacoits
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 26
A pall of gloom engulfed New Subash Nagar Colony in Basti Jodhewal today following the killing of a resident by armed dacoits on board the Jalandhar-New Delhi Super Fast Train between Doraha and Jaspalon railway stations early this morning.

Manjit Kaur (47), wife of the deceased Swaran Singh, did not know till noon that her husband had died. She was to undergo a stone-removal surgery on Monday. “My husband had taken leave to accompany me to the hospital. He will come soon,” she told relatives and mediapersons. She thought that he was injured.

She was crestfallen when she learnt about his death from TV channels. “I never liked his going on duty on Saturday and used to stop him. Today morning I did not say anything to him. However, he said while leaving that he was not in a mood to go. He complained that I did not stop him,” she said.

Swaran Singh used to commute daily to Ambala where he was posted as an assistant lineman with the Haryana State Electricity Board. He was due to retire in two years. He is survived by his wife and three sons. His parents live in Ambala.

His sons, Sukhwinder Singh and Devinder Singh, who worked with a private company, had reached the Khanna railway station. It was a pitiful sight to see them wailing over the body of their father.

They were consoled by police personnel who informed them that their father had died after fighting with the assailants. They said he was the only passenger who had dared to resist the dacoits.

The deceased’s third son, Jaswinder Singh, is a BSF jawan.

A large number of employees from the HSEB, Ambala, also reached the Khanna railway station after learning about the incident. 



Exhumation of body deferred following protests
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 26
The crime branch of the police today began an inquiry into the alleged murder of a Salem Tabri girl but deferred exhuming her body following protests by her family and a large number of Christians.

Crime branch officials said they had taken the statement of complainant Varinder Koffi and the accused in the case and would seek orders from senior officials for exhuming the body.

Tension prevailed in the Salem Tabri area when over hundred persons gathered in the police station in protest against the exhuming. The mob was defending the accused who are the parents of the girl, and claimed that Varinder Koffi had made false charges to settle a score with the family.

Police officials admitted off the record that investigation into the case could not progress much without examining the body to find out the cause of death. The post-mortem examination was the basis of any investigation in a murder case.

However, Mr Arvind Puri, SHO Salem Tabri, claimed that the crime branch officials had never taken any decision to exhume the body. He said the officials were here merely to take statements of the persons associated in the case.

Koffi and his supporters alleged that the body was not exhumed because of pressure tactics of the police and the accused. He said he was called by the police at the police station to meet the team of the crime branch that had come to exhume the body.

The crime branch is conducting an inquiry into the case on the directions of the Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC) which was moved by the complainant. He had alleged that the girl was murdered after being forced into prostitution by her parents.

However, the parents of the girl denied their involvement and said she had died due to illness. They said they were more sad than anyone else about her death and were under shock that someone could accuse them of killing their own daughter.



4 injured as Sumo, bus, tractor-trailer collide
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 26
Four persons, including two women and a girl, were injured in an accident involving a bus, a Tata Sumo and a tractor-trailer near Laddowal today afternoon.
All injured were travelling in the Sumo. They included the driver, Kashmir Singh, a minor girl, Raju, and her mother and another woman relative. All of them belonged to Bilga village and were on way to Ludhiana.

A patrolling party of the national highway authority was the first to reach the accident site. Mr Jaswinder Singh, in charge of the party, took the injured to the Civil Hospital, Phillaur.

The accident took place when the tractor-trailer driver came on to the highway from the link road without looking at the coming vehicles. The Tata Sumo driver had to swerve to right and climb over the central verge to avoid a collision with it.

A Sutluj Transport bus closely following the Sumo hit it from the rear. 



Is Punjab going Bihar way?
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 26
The armed dacoity that took place around 6 am between Doraha and Chawapali on 4682-Down Express Train going from Jalandhar to Delhi here today has shocked railway commuters. The demand to ban migrants from entering the city has become forceful after this incident.

Ludhiana Tribune spoke to some passengers at the railway station for their reactions to the first-ever such incident in Punjab. Mr J.S. Benepal, an advocate said: “The law and order situation is going from bad to worse. Our fear is that Punjab might be going the Bihar way?”

Mr Mohan Lal, another commuter, said: “This dacoity early in the morning has shaken me. Migrants boarded the train, looted and killed and just walked away. We do not want Punjab to become like Bihar.”

Ms Misha said: “I am a regular commuter as I study in Ludhiana. I travel frequently between Pipli and Ludhiana. I am very scared and so would be my parents. 



CM to lay stone of Amritsar, Nankana Sahib road
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 26
Chief Minister Amarinder Singh will lay the foundation stone of the Nankana Sahib-Amritsar road at Nankana Sahib on March 14. This was disclosed by the Minister for Public Works, Mr Pratap Singh Bajwa, during an interaction with reporters here last evening.

Mr Bajwa said the new road would further pave the way for closer cooperation between India and Pakistan. He pointed it would not only improve the cultural relations between the people but would also consolidate the trade links between the two countries.

Mr Bajwa had come here as the chief guest at the cultural programme organised by the Punjab College of Engineering and Technology, Badhowal. He also presented honours and awards to the meritorious and outstanding students.



PPCC chief focuses on role of youth
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 26
The Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president, Mr Harwinder Singh Hanspal, has said the youth could play a pivotal role in strengthening the organisational base of the party and with this purpose in mind, the front bodies of youth were being assigned specific task of mobilising the people.

He was addressing a party workers meeting at the Model Town here yesterday after the formal nomination of Mr Nirmal Singh Billa, president, Ramgarhia Youth Federation, as organising secretary of the BC cell of PPCC.

Mr Hanspal called upon the party cadres to intensify the mass contact programme to apprise the people with the achievements of the Congress government in Punjab during past three years, so that the party could continue serving, both in the state and the Centre, and to further the process of all-round development.

Speaking at the meeting, Mr Ravinder Singh Nagi, state president of the BC cell of PPCC, claimed that under the dynamic leadership of Mr Hanspal and the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, the party workers were reaching the masses to deliver the message of the party and to propagate the policies and achievements of ruling Congress.

Prominent among others present at the occasion were Mr Harwinder Singh Sokhey, Mr Ravinder Dang, Mr Neel Kamal Sharma, Mr Tejinder Singh Dhanjal, Mr Gurnam Singh and Mr Ravinder Dugri.

Meanwhile, Mr Krishan Kumar Bawa, secretary, PPCC, in a statement here today has strongly reacted to misleading statement of the SAD president, Mr Parkash Singh Badal on Ajnala by-election. He said contrary to the allegations levelled by Mr Badal, who seemed to be frustrated over the imminent defeat of his party candidate in Ajnala, the government discharged its duty diligently during the poll process and took effective measures to curb violence and irregularities.

Recalling the by-elections held in Nawanshahr and Sunam under the regime of erstwhile SAD-BJP government, headed by Mr Badal, the PPCC functionary charged the then government with highhandedness, unfair practices and violence against Congress workers. In stark contrast, the Congress government, particularly the Chief Minister had made all attempts to maintain peace so that the by-election was fair and impartial.

Mr Bawa has also written a letter to the Chief Election Commissioner, saying the Punjab government had upheld the democratic norms and the commission should not be misled by the unfounded charges and wild accusations of SAD supremo.



They go abroad for greener pastures
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 26
Thousands of Punjabi youths leave for foreign destinations in search of greener pastures every year. While a lucky few reach the country they had left for, others end up in jails.

The Ludhiana Tribune caught up with some of the youths at offices of travel agents to understand the trend.

Malook Singh, a motor mechanic of Hanskalan village, has saved about Rs 1 lakh in the past five years so he could go abroad. He has three children and wants to provide them with good education, which he thinks is not possible if he stayed in India.

His wife works as a farm labourer and has contributed to his savings. He met some travel agents to find out how much he would have to pay to go abroad.

Pal Singh of Fidde Khurd village left studies in the final year of BSc after he failed to clear the compartment. He took up farming on his land but was not content with what he was earning. "We are three brothers and we have 2 acres each. With such a small landholding I can neither give a comfortable life to my children nor leave anything substantial for them," he said.

He has decided to mortgage his land and shift to Canada. Aware of the risks involved in the process, he is not selling his land.

Subhag Singh, the son of a fruit seller, has done matriculation and yearns for a big "kothi" and flashy cars just like his neighbourhood friends who had migrated to Canada a decade ago. "I don't want to sell fruits all my life. I would do anything to make sure that my dreams come true," he said.

He said he had a tough time convincing his family as they were against his idea of going abroad.

A majority of the youths is lured by the palatial houses and big cars of NRIs, forcing them to tread an unknown path. 



Exhibition on water pollution
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, February 26
To create awareness among people on water pollution, an exhibition was organised by the Navneet Group at the Punjab Institute of Management and Technology (PIMT) yesterday.

Mr Vinod Garg, sales manager of Navneet Reverse Osmosis, said over 700 organic and inorganic chemicals have been identified in drinking water and some of them are linked to cancer, birth defects, neurological disorders and hosts of infections.

Mr Mukesh Jindal, distributor of the company, Prof S.K. Suryavanshi, director of PIMT, Prof Gurwinder Bakhshi and hundreds of students were present on the occasion.



On a mission against smoking
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, February 26
His fellow passengers on the train call him whimsical but he does not care. The aim of his life is to spread awareness among masses about the ill-effects of smoking. His office bag carries nothing but posters, placards and pamphlets displaying adverse effects of tobacco products.

A city resident, Mr Kanwal Nain Singh, Assistant Manager, Food Corporation of India, Pipli, said smoking had become a nuisance. It was unfortunate that youngsters were getting hooked on to tobacco products and very little was being done to curb the menace.

He suggested that during the assembly time in schools and in colleges principals and teachers should spend some time with children and make them aware about this social evil. “I want to spread this message through Gurbani. I tell people that by consuming such products their precious souls were getting spoiled,” he said.

For educating the masses he asked the administration, NGOs and other social organisations to introduce mobile vans for covering rural and urban areas. He said cultural and religious programmes should be arranged, while posters and signboards should be put up at sensitive points.



Market panel chief’s post lying vacant for 17 yrs
Our Correspondent

Khamano, February 26
The state government has failed to appoint the Chairman of the local Market Committee. The post has been lying vacant for the past 17 years.
In 1985, Mr Harlaik Singh of (Akali Dal) of Khamano was appointed Chairman of the Market Committee but after the Barnala government was terminated by the Centre market committee appointments were also scrapped. After that many governments came power but failed to appoint the chairman of the committee here.

The Khamano sub-division falls in five Assembly constituencies but most areas fall in the Samrala constituency. In 1992, the Congress MLA from Sangrur failed to appoint anyone to this post in five years. In 1997 the Akali Dal government come to power but nothing was done.



Accused escapes from custody
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 26
The absence of a proper lock-up in the under-renovation building of the Division No 3 police station provided an easy chance to an accused arrested under the Arms Act to escape from the police custody last evening.

The incident came to light today when the police registered an FIR against the accused, Abdul Razaq, alias Raja, besides recommending stern disciplinary action against SPO Vinod Kumar who was keeping guard on the accused.

Mr Manjit Singh, Inspector, said he had recommended action against the cop for dereliction of duty. He said the accused was arrested under the Arms Act for possessing some weapons. However, as the building of the police station was under renovation, the lock-up was demolished. The accused took advantage and escaped.

The police is trying to get clues about his whereabouts, but no success has been achieved so far.



Motor cyclist killed in accident
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, February 26
Amar Singh of Khandoor was killed when a car hit his motor cycle near Narangwal village. A case has been registered under Sections 304-A, 279, 337, 338 and 427, IPC.

Jewellery snatched: A scooterist was robbed of jewellery and cash at gunpoint. According to information, Surajkhan of Nathowal was going towards Moga via Lopon-Rasulpur on his scooter when two persons on a scooter signalled him to stop. They snatched gold jewellery and Rs 20,000 from him at gunpoint. A case under Sections 382 and 341, IPC, has been registered. No arrest has been made so far.

Assaulted: Jaswinder Singh and Jasbir Singh of Lohara are alleged to have assaulted Laddi of Guru Nanakpura Raikot and damaged articles during a marriage ceremony. The Raikot police has registered a case under Sections 341, 427 and 34 IPC. 



Biz Clips

: Marc Hansa Planetorium, a bathroom fittings unit, was inaugurated here on Saturday, Mr Sanjay Khanna, CMD, Marc, said in a press note. TNS

KNITTING CONTEST: Over 250 students from 20 schools in the city participated in the Vardhman “Aao Bune” knitting contest held here on Saturday. 10 best patterns from each of the five categories have been shortlisted for the final evaluation phase. The top three entries would be awarded cash prizes. TNS


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