L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Political interference mars anti-encroachment drive
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 6
Political interference once again marred the anti-encroachment drive of the Municipal Corporation, with some political leaders supporting the alleged encroachers and the demolition squad coming back without razing the illegal structures in the Jawahar Nagar area for the third consecutive day today.

Tension gripped the area when hundreds of residents gathered on the road to protest against the drive as they claimed that they would pelt stones at the squad if it tried to demolish the alleged encroachments. They had collected stones and were keeping kerosene filled cans safe with them only to scare away the squad.

Senior Town Planner, Mr Balkar Singh Brar, two Area Town Planners, MC police alongwith four JCB machines gathered near the Bharat Nagar Chowk before starting the operations. The officials kept camping in a furniture shop telling mediapersons that they were planning to launch the operation. But they had to return in the evening without even starting their work.

Political leaders, one after the other, came in support of protesters. These included Shiromani Akali Dal leader and Ludhiana M.P. Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, Avtar Singh Makkar, district president, Akali Dal, Satpal Gosain, senior BJP leader and Subhash Verma, district president of the BJP.

Without realising that they were trying to obstruct the MC workers from performing their duty following the directions of the High Court, the leaders criticised the MC action and said that the civic body was taking unnecessary action against the poor people who were staying in the houses for last 30 to 35 years.

The leaders claimed that they valued the directions of the HC and were not indulging in contempt of court but they had to support the residents who were being ‘‘harassed’’ by the MC. They demanded that their encroachments should be legalised by the civic body by compounding these under the legal procedures.

While many city residents expressed their dissatisfaction at the behaviour of the leaders arisen out of petty ‘‘vote-politics’’, MC officials maintained that there was no problem with the opposition by the political leaders as it was democracy and everybody had a right to protest. Not many were willing to be quoted on the issue.

The shopkeepers of Jawahar Nagar kept their shops closed during the day in protest against the move. Dr Jaswant Singh, Joint Commissioner, said many encroachers had removed the structures themselves. He added that the MC team was not able to do enough as they did not have proper police security.

He said that they had written to the Deputy Commissioner for providing them with police force so that they can take up the work of removing encroachments without fear.



Injured journalist shifted to CMCH
Accused railway employees still at large
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 6
Even after two days of the registration of a case under Section 307 of the IPC against eight railway employees for assaulting and injuring three journalists, one of them seriously, the police is yet to arrest the accused. It is learnt that the accused were evading arrest.

Meanwhile, the seriously injured journalist, Sanjay Kumar, has been referred to the Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) after his condition deteriorated at the Civil Hospital. The doctors said although he was stable, his condition was still not out of danger.

The local unit of the Punjab Chandigarh Union of Journalists has urged the police to ensure the early arrest of the accused employees. There was resentment among the people in general and the journalists in particular that the accused had not been arrested so far.

A number of city residents today called up the newspaper offices demanding an impartial probe into the functioning of the reservation counter at the railway station here. They appreciated the efforts of the journalists for daring  to expose the malpractices going on there for a long time.

Mr Dharam Vir Sharma of Sarabha Nagar maintained that the railway authorities should of their own institute an inquiry into the working at the reservation counter. He alleged, “There is a lot of mess as people have not been transferred for a long time”. He said he had seen the same people posted there for years together. Mr Sharma observed that like in the banks or in any other public dealing office, the employees must not be allowed to serve for longer tenures at one place.

Mr Jasbir Kahlon from Dad village also alleged that everything was not going on well at the reservation counter. “A few employees of the railways have monopolised the job there, while nobody else is allowed a posting”, he alleged. The government should assess the income and assets of these employees, he said. He said, the issue needs to be brought into the notice of the highest authorities in the Railways so that some action was taken. Otherwise, he feared, the issue might be hushed up at the local level only and the accused may get away with mild punishment.

Various journalists’ associations and social organisations have condemned the assault on the journalists. They regretted that a case was registered against journalists for damaging the government property. They expressed surprise as to how a person who was mercilessly beaten up and was struggling for life in the hospital could be implicated for an offence which he never committed. The journalists said they would raise the issue with the Chief Minister, who was coming here early next week, in case the arrests were not made till then.



Paucity of funds halts repair of Sangrur road
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 6
Whether the authorities would be able to make the Ludhiana-Sangrur road motor able for vehicles in the near future remains an unanswered question as the efficiency of the office of the Executive Engineer, Construction Division, PWD, at Malerkotla would depend upon the availability of funds.

The office of the Executive Engineer remained the centre of hectic activity on Tuesday as tenders for the said work were to be processed. Though all concerned in the office hesitated to make public the fate of the tenders, the legislator of the constituency confirmed that the process for the repair and construction of around 70 km long-Ludhiana-Sangrur had been initiated.

Ms Razia Sultana, Parliamentary Secretary and MLA of the Malerkotla constituency, said the inauguration of the construction would take place on April 21 and by the month of June the road would be ready for motoring.

Despite pressure from all corners of society, the state government had been putting off the construction of this part of the Ludhiana-Khanauri road. Besides being in the news for a number of cases filed by the residents of this area and service of notices to 11 authorities, including the government, the authorities invited statewide criticism by leaders of political parties. These authorities have to file their replies to notices in a court at Sangrur on April 15.

A tender notice published in newspapers showed that the process for opening tenders had been postponed at least seven times. Ultimately tenders for three groups — Ludhiana-Malerkotla road, Malerkotla to Ratolan and Ratolan —were reportedly accepted on Tuesday. The estimated cost of the 70-km road project was told to be around 8 crore.

Though the date for formal inauguration has been announced, a section of residents apprehend that the process had been initiated as a part of window dressing. “As the authorities apprehended action by a court at Sangrur, they initiated the technical part of the process but people would have to face inconvenience on this road, which has become a deathtrap on account of numerous potholes on it,” apprehended Mr Jaswant Singh, a transporter of Jandali Kalan village in district Sangrur.



Rights panel seeks report on living conditions in city
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 6
After a long drawn battle between the local Municipal Corporation and the Federation of Pollution and Park Management Committees (FPPMCs) over the upkeep of parks, the latter has complained to the Punjab State Human Rights Commission, (PSHRC) that the city residents were being deprived of clean environment.

Taking up the cause of residents, the commission has admitted the case and directed the Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, to comment on the complaint and asked the state government to submit a report in this regard.

Alleging that there was a lack of basic amenities, Mr S.S. Chana, president of FPPMCs, said the life of local residents had become miserable.

“Though the city is graded as ‘A’ class but is one of the most polluted as per the national survey report. The people are fed up with the deteriorating water supply, bad roads, illegal constructions, heaps of garbage, desolated parks and receding greenery. Pigs roam around freely and garbage dumps are spread all over, which not only stink but also leads to spread of germs, bacteria and mosquitoes,” he claimed.

The complaint also states that the city generates around 850 mt of solid waste everyday, affecting the sanitary conditions in the city but has also become a serious health hazard.

Mr Chana further claimed that according to the survey conducted by the DC, Ludhiana, at the instance of the commission, only 11 per cent of the parks under the charge of the Municipal Corporation have been found properly maintained. It is the duty of the corporation under Section 44 (q) of the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act, 1976, to maintain public parks, green belts and recreation areas but the Commissioner has miserably failed to do so even after the specific orders of the commission (dated August 7, 2003).

The complaint also deals with the pollution caused by Budda Nullah and lack of proper arrangements for the disposal of garbage. The complainant has also highlighted various acts of omission and commission and has regretted that the chief of the civic body had miserably failed to implement any legal provision.

Taking cognizance of the complaint, the commission has called for the report of the state government and the commissioner, Municipal Corporation, who has also been directed to give comments in this regard. The PHRC has also asked for the action-taken report in pursuance of the earlier order regarding the upkeep of public parks.

The commission has sent a copy of the direction to the Punjab Pollution Control Board, Patiala.



Passing Thru

Prof K.B. Razdan
Prof K.B. Razdan, Department of English, University of Jammu

How do you define humanism?

Humanism, has been defined as a non-religious philosophy based on liberal human values. Humanism, as a literary culture, blossomed into an endearing and irresistible concept for writers, intellectuals and literateurs. Humanism and the term “humanist” in modern times came to connote thinking based upon human experience and reason. Comment on humanism in Indian writing in English.

The Indian English writer has come to realise that in order to live in peace, one must live alone and seal one’s windows lest the air of the world seeps in. Humanism, as we know it with its classical genesis, becomes an Art that saves the writer from the commitments of love, marriage, family, relationship. He, the postmodern Indian writer in English, hides in that vague, problematic and ambiguous place where a name, an identity, means nothing to anyone, where no one loves or knows anyone, where even “death or absence costs no one a sigh or a tear”.

Is humanism flexible in Indian English writing?

The flexibility of humanism in present-day Indian English writing cannot and should not be underrated. Confession, unnerving debate and parody get embellished by absurdism. Humanism and the absurd, thanks to the ethos of mass society, become the two sides of same coin.

— Shivani Bhakoo



Remove VAT to save implements industry, warns association
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 6
The Punjab State Agricultural Implements Manufacturers’ Association has urged the Punjab Government to exclude them from VAT’s purview.

The association said the exclusion was a must if the state’s lead in the production of foodgrains and farm implements had to be maintained.

Mr Harmail Singh, secretary of the association, said after the implementation of VAT, power-operated agricultural equipments and machinery would be taxed.

So far, the agricultural machinery in Punjab was exempted from sales tax and this was one of the reasons why the state led the country in agricultural production.

But now, the farmers would have to pay 4 per cent VAT on the purchase of agricultural machinery, he added.

Further, about 85 per cent of the agricultural machinery manufactured in Punjab was sold to the farmers of the other states.

Being a leading state in agriculture, farmers from all over India always looked forward to Punjab for the latest in agricultural machinery technology.

But now under the VAT policy of taxation, farmers from other states who were buying agricultural machinery from Punjab would have to pay 10 per cent CST, he pointed out.

Similarly, any unregistered dealer (in the states which are not covered by VAT), would have to pay 10 percent CST.

Due to this heavy tax plus transportation expenses, nobody would come to Punjab to buy agricultural machinery and prefer buying from their respective states, resulting in the total closure of industry in Punjab, he added.

If this happened, thousands of workers engaged in this industry would become jobless while the farming community would also be deprived of the latest advancements in the agricultural machinery technology which had helped them to usher in the Green Revolution, he warned.

Under VAT, the tax revenue of the state government would not be much affected since agricultural machinery manufacturers were already paying the purchase tax on the procurement of raw material which accounted to about 80 per cent of sales value of the machinery.

This purchase tax paid on the raw material was already paid by the industry and was not charged from the farmers.

Now, under the VAT regime, this four per cent tax was not going to generate extra revenue for government but would affect the farmer who would now have to pay 10 per cent CST, which he could ill afford, he added.

The association appealed Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh to give some relaxation to the agricultural machinery manufacturing industry and exempt the same from VAT.



Transact through drafts, farmers told
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 6
The district police has asked the traders and farmers of the town and surrounding villages to take preventive measures against those who might strike at sensitive points in view of the ensuing wheat procurement season when they might be required to carry huge cash without any proper security.

While addressing a meeting of representatives of various business and social organisations Mr Mukand Singh Mahli, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Malerkotla, told the commission agents and traders not to carry heavy cash without enough security.

Referring to the instructions received from Mr H.S. Chahal, SSP, Sangrur, Mr Mahli suggested that the cash transactions should be minimised. He maintained that these should be made through cheques and drafts.

Commenting on the modus operandi of the suspected robbers, Mr Mahli pointed out that they survey the area and keep an eye on the clients of the banks transacting huge cash amounts.

“The robbers select their target from the counter of the bank and follow him or her and wait for a chance. They don’t miss any opportunity on the way and change their identity wherever necessary,” explained Mr Mahli.

Mr Mukesh Sharma, Naib Tehsildar, Mr Om Parkash Jain, secretary, Market Committee, Mr Sinder Singh, chairman, Market Committee, Mr Tarsem Lal Kapila, patron, Arhtiyas Association, Mr Ravinder Kumar, president, city unit of the Congress, and Mr Jagwant Singh Jaggie, president local unit of SAD, were also present on the occasion.



Wheat procurement process inaugurated
Our Correspondent

Amloh, April 6
Parliamentary Secretary Sadhu Singh on Monday inaugurated the procurement process of wheat by government agencies at the Amloh grain market. The purchase was made by Punjab Agro at the rate of Rs 640 per quintal, which is the MSP for the same. Officials of six purchase agencies Pangrain, FCI, Punsup, Markfed, Warehouse and Punjab Agro were present at the procurement.

Earlier, a joint meeting of procurement agencies, commission agents and farmers was addressed by Mr Sadhu Singh. He warned the officials against any harassment to farmers by procurement agencies or commission agents. Mr Sandeep Hans, SDM, suggested the parties concerned to solve their problems through mutual understanding and the administration would extend all help, whenever required.

Secretary, Market Committee, asserted that nine purchase centres had been attached with this market committee. Last year the total procurement was 6,04,977 quintals and this year it will exceed. Three purchase centres at Rangheri, Machhrai Kalan and Ramgarh, which were abolished, have been revived by the state mandi board, he maintained.



Staff protest bank’s entry into capital market
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 6
Protesting against the management’s decision to reduce government capital and entering into the capital market, employees of the Allahabad Bank observed a one-day strike here today.

The bank came out with its public issue for 100,000,000 shares today.

The employees said the proposed reduction of government capital from 71 per cent to 53 per cent would dilute government ownership and control over the bank which would be detrimental to its interest.

Addressing the Allahabad Bank Employees’ Union, the secretary of the Punjab Bank Employees Federation, Mr Naresh Gaur, said additional requirements of capital should have been met by the government or by focussing on recovery of non performing assets (NPAs) which would have automatically given a boost to the bank’s capital performance.

The association members said public sector banks catered to needs of various segments of the economy and after reduction of government stake, these banks, would though remain technically in the public sector, would be open to increased pressures from private vested interests.

They said Indian public sector banks had a primary social obligation to cater to development needs.



Chain fast by councillors enters third day
Our Correspondent

Khanna, April 6
The chain fast started by some councillors of the Khanna Municipal Council entered the third day on Wednesday. Mrs. Sharda Sharma, councillor of Ward no. 25, sat on the fast today at the Municipal Council complex with her supporters.

Councillors of the Khanna Municipal Council had started chain fast the April 4 in protest against on poor sewerage system in the city.

On the first day Congress councillor Santokh Singh sat on the fast and on the second day Rajinder Jit Singh of the Akali Dal went on fast. Vijay Sharma, councillor and husband of Mrs. Sharda Sharma, Mohinder Pal Jassal, Rajinder Jit Singh, Dinkar Kalia, and Bhupinder Kaur also reached the complex to take part in the fast today. 



Offices inspected
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 6
The Sangrur district administration conducted an inspection of the offices of Municipal Council, Sub-Registrar and Market Committee at local town and Amargarh. The authorities found the functioning at these offices satisfactory.

Dr Indu, SDM, Malerkotla, said the inspection conducted by a team of officials from the office of DC Sangrur, led by Mr Nirbhai Singh Ahluwalia, ADC, concluded on Monday.

Referring to the remarks given by Mr Walia, Dr Indu said the functioning at the office of Sub-Registrar-cum-Naib Tehsildar was declared outstanding whereas that at Municipal Council, Ahmedgarh, Market Committee, Ahmedgarh, Market Committee, Amargarh, and Sub-Registrar at Amargarh, was found satisfactory.



AISSF (Badal) gives memo to DC
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 6
All India Sikh Students’ Federation (Badal) marched to mini secretariat to present a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Anurag Verma. Mr Varinder Dhaliwal , president and other members of the federation wanted to draw the attention of the administration towards the matter of exploitation of the private schools’ authorities of the parents during the admission time

In a copy of memorandum released to the Press, federation members said when the parents wanted their wards admitted into the school of their choice, admission was denied to them on account of one or the other reason. When the relatives or other influential people approached the school authorities for admission, the parents were asked to give a large sum of money for building funds and other such funds for admission into the school. 



‘Contours of Punjabi Poetry’ released
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 6
Prof N.S. Tasneem’s 25th book, The Contours of Punjabi Poetry, has got good response from both its readers and critics. It presents a cavalcade of Punjabi poets form Farid Sani, Shah Hussain and Bulleh Shah to renowned poets of the present times.

Professor Tasneem has made an attempt to acquaint readers with the changing patterns of Punjab poetry over the years. He started writing in Urdu during his college days in 1945, but later switched over to writing in English and Punjabi. The writer is comfortable with all three languages and also knows Persian and Hindi.

The book is in fact an odyssey in the world of Punjabi poets, some famous Punjabi poems written by classical poets, such a Bulleh Shah and Qadiryar as well as modern poets such as Bhai Vir Singh, Dhani Ram Chatrik, Amrita Pritam, Bawa Balwant, Harbhajan Singh, Ajaib Chitarkar, Jagtar, Surjit Patar, Gurbhajan Gill and Ravinder Bhathal, have been included in the book.

“This book does not profess to present a profound study of Punjabi poets as its aim is to reach the readers who are eager to be conversant with the changing patterns of Punjabi,” said Professor Tasneem.

He said he enjoyed writing novel ‘Jado Sawera Hoya’ and the readers also welcomed it. Its sequel, Gwaaceehe Arth, has same characters, but they have become older. The first novel dealt with the theme of partition while the second dealt with terrorism that held Punjab in its grip in the 80’s and early 90’s.



Rotarians visit Lahore
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 6
A special delegation of Rotracters of Rotary International District 3070 participated in Rotary Centennial International , Ryla at Lahore, Pakistan. The delegation was led by PDRR Rtn Rupesh Saddi (Chairman) and PDRR Rajat deep Kaur (coordinator) DRR-elect Rajan Rai, RTR Harkirat Singh, RTR Rajinder Singh , RTR Jaideep Singh, RTR Japneet Kaur RTR Ravinder Kumar, RTR navdeep Kaur, RTr Navdeep Kaur, and RTR Prabhdeep Kaur were other members of the delegation.

The delegation was received by Rtn PP Dr Nur-Zaman Rafique with other Rotarians at Lahore.

Rotractors from India celebrated Holi with Pakistani Rotarians and their families.The main function started after National Anthem of both India and Pakistan was played. Ryla was inaugurated by the key-note address of Mr Najam Sethi, Editor , Daily Times & Friday Times. He sooke on the topic, “Rotary — Youth and Leadership” Ms Qudasia Lodi, Minister for Special Education , Govt of Punjab, Pakistan, delivered a talk on ‘Promotion of ethics in youth’.



Chandigarh resident wins Ford Ikon
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 6
Mr Sudhir Bansal, a resident of Chandigarh, won a Ford Ikon in the Spice Glucobon Mobile Tambola Contest. He was handed over the keys of the car by Mr Naveen Kaul, COO, Spice Telecom, Punjab, at a function held here today.

Mr Kaul said the contest received an overwhelming response. He said apart from the bumper prize of Ford Ikon, 200 other prizes were also given.

Spice had partnered with Bonn Foods and Zee TV for the contest. Prizes worth over Rs 11 lakh were won, Mr Kaul added.

Mr Manjit Singh, Managing Director, Bonn Foods, said: “Mobile tambola was an interesting and new concept and we received a very encouraging response”

Over 6 lakh customers of Bonn played tambola through the free coupons, he added.



OBC plans public issue this month
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 6
Oriental Bank of Commerce is planning to come out with a public issue in the third week of this month. Disclosing this, Mr Rajeev Rishi, Deputy General Manager, informed in a press note yesterday that the bank was the first one in the country to have attained a net non-performing assets (NPA) at zero level.

The bank is now focussing at providing multi-banking and anywhere banking facilities to its customers, Mr Rishi said.

“We have already implemented core banking solution in over 20 branches and plan to add 500 more branches under CBS this financial year,” he said.

Besides, upgrading human capital and infusing advanced technology, remain the priorities, Mr Rishi said.


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 |