L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


4 PAU hostellers get expulsion notice
Students told to vacate hostels
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 16
Punjab Agricultural University authorities have served an expulsion notice upon four student leaders from hostels, accusing them of creating indiscipline on the campus. Surprisingly, one of the student leaders, Jaswinder Singh Cheema, is a day boarder and has still been served the expulsion notice.

Other students have also been reportedly told to vacate the hostels, but no written orders have been issued to them. In a sharp reaction, the students asserted that they would not leave the hostels “come what may” as they had already deposited the fee for the full academic year.

The notice has been signed by the Dean, College of Agriculture. The student leaders have been accused of having ignored the notice where in they were asked to appear before the disciplinary action committee (DAC) of the College of Agriculture on June 15. The students alleged that this was victimisation on part of the university authorities since they were not given a chance to be heard.

The students disputed the claim of the authorities that they did not appear before DAC. They argued that they had reached the venue 10 minutes ahead of the scheduled time but none of the DAC members were present there.

“The authorities, it appears, had already decided the course of action and wanted to complete a mere formality by summoning us,” they added.

Those who have been served the notice of expulsion include president of the Punjab Agricultural University Students Union Swaran Singh Boparai, general secretary Jatinder Kumar and convener Ravinder Singh. Jaswinder Singh Cheema, senior vice-president, has also been served the expulsion notice although he does not stay in the hostel.

The students asserted that they would not leave the hostels even if the authorities tried to use force.



Industry to challenge power tariff hike
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 16
Industry associations in the city have decided to challenge the Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission’s decision to increase power tariffs in the state electricity tribunal. Industry representatives also alleged that the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) gave distorted facts to the commission, that led to the decision of hike in tariffs.

“We will challenge the decision because industry simply cannot afford it,” said Mr P.D. Sharma, president, Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry, while addressing mediapersons here today.

Industry associations have joined hands to protest against the commission’s decision and take up the matter with the government.

Sixteen associations today condemned the decision and demanded its withdrawal.

“The PSEB did not follow the directions issued by the commission. Now it is trying to make good its losses by burdening electricity consumers,” said Mr K.K.Seth of Ludhiana Engineering Association.

Mr Sharma said for supplying power to agriculture, the state government had to bear the burden of subsidies. It was to pay Rs 5,470 crore to the PSEB last year, which it did not. The result of that non payment was that the PSEB made the loss good out of borrowed funds which created a gap between real assets and liabilities. Besides, impact of over allocation of the cost of Ranjit Sagar dam, excessive cost incurred on account of salaries were other factors that had contributed to poor financial condition of PSEB, he said.

Mr Seth said industry in the state was already facing problems due to erratic power supply. “All new investment is being done in neighbouring states. None wants to start a new venture in the sate due to government policies. There is hardly any growth of industry. Instead of creating an industry friendly environment, measures that are absolutely detrimental to the industry’s interests are being adopted,” he said. “But it is unjustified to shift all the burden on electricity consumers,” Mr Sharma said.

He said industrial units in the state were on the verge of closure and hike in power tariffs would only worsen their situation.



Govt under fire over hike in power tariff
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 16
The hike in power tariff announced by the Punjab State Electricity Board for all categories of consumers has given the opposition parties an opportunity to train guns at the Congress government. The BJP and the Marxist Communist Party of India (MCPI) have criticised the government for further burdening the people of the state.

Terming the 10.27 per cent increase in power tariff as totally uncalled for, former Deputy Speaker of Punjab Assembly and president of the trade and industry cell of the BJP Mr Sat Pal Gosain has asked the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, to quit for his failure to come up to the expectation of the masses.

Addressing a meeting of party workers here today, Mr Gosain observed that all sections of the people, including traders, industrialists and farmers were already sore over the heavy burden and taxes and acute scarcity of power.

Mr Gosain condemned the arbitrary decision of the PSEB to jack up the power rates for Darbar Sahib complex and Durgiana Mandir in Amritsar whereas the board had failed miserably to cut down its wasteful expenditure. On one hand the consumers were made to pay more for power while on the other hand the salaries of PSEB employees and officers had been raised.

The party functionaries took strong exception to the withdrawal of concessions to the agricultural sector while serving an ultimatum to the government with regard to a mass agitation if the decisions were not immediately rolled back.

The MCPI state secretary, Mr Kuldip Singh, also came down heavily on the government for the increase in power rates.

Calling upon the government to withdraw the increase in power rates, Mr Kuldip Singh gave a call to all other pro-people political parties to launch a protest against the unjust and arbitrary decision.



They drowned while saving others
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 16
Gloom engulfed Lohara village and Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar Colony here following the recovery of bodies of two youths and that of a minor boy who had drowned after electrocution in the Sidhwan Canal last evening.

The bodies of two other persons fished out by the divers were yet to be identified. The rescue operation continued even after the recovery of the five bodies. The body of another youth found yesterday was also yet to be identified.

Two youths of Lohara village, Kalla and Jassa, who had drowned while trying to save others. Both were 25 years old. They were employed as labourers with a sand contractor. The third victim was 12-year-old Sherry , who lived in Saheed Bhagat Singh Nagar.

The youths were not even bathing in the canal and just sitting on the banks when they heard the commotion, their relatives said.

Pritam Singh, father of Kalla said both youths were expert swimmers, “They drowned because of the electric current.”

Surjit Singh, father of Jassa, said no recognition of his son’s heroism or award or the grant of Rs one lakh announced by the state government could bring back their son. He and other relatives have demanded stringent action against the officials responsible for the negligence that caused the freak incident.

The family of the 12-year-old boy, Sherry, who was also bathing in the canal was inconsolable. The condition of his mother was the worst.

Meanwhile, the relatives of a nine-year-old girl Kayee were camping on the canal bank near Dugri bridge, hoping to recover her body. She was reportedly bathing near the canal bank when the incident took place and was also electrocuted.

Her father Sriram, a resident of Ambedkar Colony, said Kayee was pouring water on her with the help of a jug when she was electrocuted and fell into the canal.

The water level of the canal was also reduced considerably by the Irrigation Department which helped in retrieving the bodies.



Lottery boom spells doom
D.B. Chopra

Ludhiana, June 16
The lottery boom is spelling doom for thousands of middle class families that are heavily into lottery, unmindful of the consequences. Visit the city’s biggest lottery market near the Clock Tower at any given time of the day and you would find the market bursting at the seams.

From 8 am to 8 pm, the market is a virtual mad house with lottery sellers shouting and customers frantically looking for tickets of a particular digit. Those unable to get the tickets of their choice on the computer run to those who book the bets on paper.

Earlier, the lottery business would come to a close at around 6.20 pm, but with the recent addition of more lotteries till 8.20 pm with draws every 15 minutes, it has become more lucrative. More and more computer lottery centres are coming up all over the city. In the Bhadaur House area alone, five computer lottery centres have opened up in the past three months.

A fast-food seller is also retailing lottery tickets. Even children and women are into lottery . It has become so popular that draws of every lottery are telecast live on television.

But the lure of easy money is spelling doom for thousands of lottery addicts. A vegetable vendor committed suicide because he could not bear the loss of nearly Rs 30,000 in lottery. There are several unfortunate stories. A man who was running a dhaba near the cancer hospital quite successfully a few years ago, is now a beggar. His wife and children have deserted him and a migrant, who was a servant at his dhaba, owns the joint. 



Cops shoo away swimmers near canal
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 16
The police conducted a patrol along the Sidhwan canal banks, shooing away youngsters who wanted to take a dip. Though several people are spotted there everyday, diving from the road and railway bridges, very few were seen today.

However, notice boards by the Irrigation Department, banning swimming in the canal, were not to be seen. The boards were probably stolen away by junk dealers, police sources said. Major Singh, an employee of the Irrigation Department, said there had been no notice board for the past two years. 



New posting orders for IT officials
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 16
The Chief Commissioner of Income Tax, Ludhiana, Mr S.J.S. Pall, has issued new posting orders for eight Additional and Joint Commissioners of the department.

According to office orders issued here last evening, Mr J.S. Minhas, Additional Commissioner goes from Range VII Ludhiana to Range I Ludhiana, Mr Kanwaljit Singh, currently under orders of posting (UOP) takes over in Range IV Ludhiana, Mr Himanshu Shekhar Sinha (UOP) goes to Range V Ludhiana, Mr Sandeep Dahiya (UOP) will go to Range VI Ludhiana, Mr Rupinder Brar (UOP) goes to Range VII Ludhiana, Mr Ajay Kumar Sharma (UOP) is posted to Moga Range at Moga, Mr Rajinder Singh will go to Khanna Range at Khanna and Mr T.P. Singh will hold charge of Hoshiarpur Range at Hoshiarpur.



Bid to loot liquor vend
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, June 16
Two persons allegedly attempted to kill a person at a liquor vend last night. The local police has registered a case under Sections 382, 307, 511, 34 IPC.

According to the information, two persons carrying with firearms came to country-made liquor vend last night and tried to loot it. This was resisted by Goralal of Tezipur, Kangra, employee at the vend at which the duo fired at him. But Goralal had providential escape as he bent down and the bullet missed him. The incident took place opposite the sugar mill, 4 km from here, towards Moga side.



Akali Dal nominates  candidates
Our Correspondent

Khanna, June 16
A seven-member committee of the Akali Dal (Badal) constituted to select candidates for the election to Primary Cooperative Agriculture Development Bank, Khanna, has nominated five candidates while the decision one candidate has been postponed.

A meeting of the committee members, including Mr Sukhdev Singh Libra, MP, Mr Satwinder Kaur Dhaliwal former MP, Mr Bachan Singh Cheema, former MLA, Mr Gurpreet Singh Bhatti, Mr Devinder Singh Khattra, Mr Gurcharn Singh Raikhy and Mr Major Singh was organised at Gurdwara Fatehgarh Sahib today morning. After a two-hour long discussion committee members reached consensus for five zones out of total six.

According to a press note issued by the committee, Baljinder Kaur would contest election from Mank Majra Zone, Khushwant Singh Grewal from Lalheri Zone, Hardev Singh Bhamadi, Charanjit Singh Kot Pnaich from Bija and Jagdev Singh Hol from Rohno Kalan. 



Punjab Govt plans 3 new museums
Our Correspondent

Khanna, June 16
The Punjab Government has inked an agreement with Intec to develop three new museums in the state to boost tourism. This was stated by Ms Harbans Kaur Dullo, Parliamentary Secretary (Tourism) here today.

These museums would be developed in Amritsar, Kapurthala and Patiala, she said. Under the new tourism policy adopted by the government, a number of facilities had been given to the private sector. She said after discussions with Mr Jagjit Puri, Special Secretary (Tourism), it had been decided that the district-level advisory committees be constituted.

She said there were more than 100 parks and heritage places in Punjab that could be developed as tourism spots.

She said people in Punjab spent only 45 per cent of their income on touring and taking food in restaurants, which was much less than what people in countries like America and Canada spent for such purposes. The government aimed at increasing tourism in the state by five times in the coming years. 



At the Crosswords
The strains and stresses of life

In summer my imagination takes a flight to the hill-stations, particularly Simla. I am reminded of a seminar at Summer Hill organised by the Indian Institute of Advanced Study some years ago in which Keki N. Daruwalla and Aziz Parihar participated. Both of them have long association with Government College, Ludhiana. Prof. Parihar has been teaching English language and literature to postgraduate students in this college since 1987. Keki N. Daruwalla studied in this college in the late fifties for his postgraduate degree in English. He was selected for Indian Police Service from where he has recently retired as a high-ranking officer.

Keki N. Daruwalla has contributed much to Indian English literature, particularly fiction and poetry. As a poet he has attained a unique place in the hall of fame. He has been with the forerunners in the field of modern English poetry, such as Nissim Ezekiel, Kamla Dass and Jayanta Mahapatra. His poems depict the strains and stresses on the mind of the modern man. He has been deeply interested in the mythical interpretation of the plight of human beings. Lately, Daruwalla appears to be moving from acute perception of the social scene to a more inward kind of poetry.

With Aziz Parihar, like Daruwalla, poetry is a way of life. He is an admirer of Sahir Ludhiana in whose memory an art gallery has been established in the local Government College. He has recently published his first collection of Urdu poetry. In ''Ek Manzar Kam'' (2005), published by Modern Publishing House (New Delhi), Parihar has given voice to the thoughts and feelings of the present generation. The refined sensibilities coupled with the rarefied passions interweave the warp and weft of these poetic creations. In a ghazal he says :

''Yeh lamha lamha haseen dhup ke uterne ka

Ajeeb silsila hai umar ke guzarne ka

Udas sham ka manzar, yeh subh ki lali

Yeh silsila hai mere dubne ubharne ka"

(The moments, when the exquisite sunshine recedes, remind me of the subtle movement of the time. The sunset is subduing while the sunrise is uplifting. This is also the method of my rise and fall in the sphere of life.)

As an editor of the Urdu quarterly in English, Urdu Alive, Prof. Parihar has earned fame at the national level. As a poet of Urdu, he has been honoured at the state level as a Shiromani Urdu Poet.

He is also known for his versatility as a seminarian. At present he is doing research for his Ph.D. degree, besides working on a critical theory sponsored by University Grants Commission.

— N.S. Tasneem



Programme on computer hardware
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 16
The one-month entrepreneurship development programme on computer hardware organised by the Small Industries Service Institute (SISI) concluded here today.

Mr R.C. Chopra, Director, SISI, said computer-based industries like the BPO were growing and attracting fresh investment which was an indicator of opportunities for skilled professionals in the field. TNS

Hyundai: Hyundai Electronics has introduced a new range of “tower air conditioners”. The new AC is vertical floor-mounted split conditioner that facilitates easy installation. It is high energy efficient, silent working, and has superior resistance to corrosion, a press note said. TNS

Knitwear Club: At an executive committee meeting, members of the Knitwear Club condemned 10 per cent hike in power tariff. The members said power cuts had already hit production and the industry was also bearing additional cost to fuel gensets. The club demanded immediate withdrawal of the power hike. TNS



Car launched

Ludhiana: Daimler Chrysler launched its latest roadster Mercedes-Benz SLK Roadster here on Thursday. The two-seater is the latest addition to the range of roadsters from Mercedes Benz for 2005. — TNS


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