L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


PSEB slaps Rs 1 lakh penalties on villagers
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 24
The Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) today imposed penalties worth over Rs 1 lakh on agricultural consumers for using unauthorised load. The board, which conducted a surprise check in three villages here, found 30 electric motors being run without the electricity board’s permission.

“Usage of unauthorised load is not only a loss to the board, it causes a lot of inconvenience to other consumers also. It was in order to prevent this that we conducted the check,” said Mr P.K. Aggarwal, Chief Engineer, PSEB.

Surprise checks were conducted early morning today in Kasabad, Jamalpur Lilly, Bheri and Dhanderke villages. Eight squads of PSEB employees were formed to carry out these checks.

The problem of usage of unauthorised load increases during the paddy sowing season. While the PSEB has assured right hours of power supply to agricultural consumers during the season, farmers have been complaining of erratic supply and voltage fluctuations.

Attributing the problem of voltage fluctuation to the unauthorised usage, board officials said if consumers declared the actual load that they were using, the situation would be far better.

Officials said if the consumers, on whom penalty had been imposed, failed to pay it within 48 hours, the board would lodge an FIR against them.

“Though the chances of situation reaching that level are bleak, we are determined to check this practice,” Mr Aggarwal said.

He said the board would continue with these checks till atleast the ongoing paddy season is over.

Meanwhile, city residents continue to suffer prolonged unscheduled power cuts amid sultry summers. “They keep announcing that there are three to six hours of cuts. But cuts extend much beyond that. The worse is that unscheduled cuts are imposed at night. These cuts should be imposed either during day or evenings,” said Prashant Kumar, a resident of the Civil Lines area.

Industry, on which the PSEB has imposed a 24-hour weekly off, too is suffering due to poor power supply. Production has reached an all time low and industrialists are forced to bear fixed costs and labour charges.

“We met electricity board officials here but they only expressed their helplessness. Now we have written to the Chairman of the PSEB to regularise things,” said Mr Varinder Kapoor, general secretary, United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association.

“In order to deal with the crisis, they can impose two-day cut instead of one, but they should at least make the situation clear to us. When there are unscheduled cuts, not only does production come down, we have to bear fixed costs and also labour charges,” he said.

Chances of improvement in the current situation, meanwhile, remain bleak for at least 10 days, say officials.



‘Political pressure’ stalls road work
Shopkeepers demand probe
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 24
Irked over the delay in the construction of a left-out portion of Link Road near Preet Palace cinema here, the affected residents and shopkeepers have alleged that political pressure was blocking the completion of the project. They have demanded a vigilance inquiry into the whole affair.

In a signed representation submitted to the Minister for Local Bodies, Punjab, the shopkeepers have maintained that the work for widening of Link Road from Preet Palace cinema to Dhuri Railway Line was taken up in November by the contractor, S.K. Construction Company, even before a work order was issued. On top of it, an inspection carried out by civic officials found the work to be of a substandard quality.

On the basis of the violations committed allegedly by the contractor, the Municipal Council authorities not only refused to issue the work order to the firm but a show-cause notice was also issued for blacklisting the contractor.

The MC had also initiated the process of lodging a criminal complaint against the contractor for causing damage to municipal property and starting work without proper authorisation. However, the contractor, reportedly enjoying proximity to Mayor Nahar Singh Gill, managed to stall the proceedings against him.

The shopkeepers have further claimed that the same contractor (S.K. Construction Company) was once again trying to secure work with the political support of the Mayor which will be against all principles of natural justice as a report submitted by the officials concerned of the engineering wing of the MC to their superiors had charged the contractor with starting work without proper authorisation, using substandard material and workmanship and flouting directions of the supevising officials.

Making a fervent plea for immediate commencement of work to complete construction of the left-out portion of the road, the shopkeepers have pointed out that in case of a further delay in the execution of the work, the residents, shopkeepers and other commuters will have to face problems due to accumulation of water in the rainy season.

They also demanded a Vigilance inquiry into the whole affair to expose the wrong-doings of the contractor and the political hand so that the guilty could be brought to book.



Hawara: rights body condemns DGP
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 24
The International Human Rights Organisation (IHRO) today criticised the Director-General of Police, Mr S.S. Virk for accusing it of being in league with the Babbar Khalsa International.

The IHRO condemned the outburst of the Punjab DGP against the human rights organisations during his press conference in Chandigarh.

Reacting to the accusations, the body said it was committed to the rule of law. It claimed that it had come to know about the arrest of Jagtar Singh Hawara and it broke the news to the media. That did not mean the IHRO was in league with the terrorist body. It said it wanted to give the information to public while Punjab police had no clue to it till then.

The IHRO said the Lawyers for Human Rights International (LHRI), on June 20, moved the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) seeking status report about the whereabouts of over 150 persons “illegally taken into custody by the Punjab and the Chandigarh police for questioning in the wake of the arrest of Babbar Khalsa activist Hawara”.

Claiming that these persons were forcibly and illegally picked up by the police, lawyer activist of the LHRI Arvind Thakur, asserted in his petition to the NHRC that they had been picked up for interrogation without the knowledge of their relatives who feared their elimination at the hands of the police.

The IHRO observed:“The outburst of the DGP against human rights and lawyers activists are nothing but frustration” because the Punjab police had been caught napping as Hawara was very much there in the state, hale and healthy without any disguise.



Mismanaged ‘chhabeels’ not a boon
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 24
The news of some people having died after drinking sweetened water being served at a chabeel has sent shock waves among residents in the city. Even though the cause of deaths was not stated, one can conjecture that contaminated water had led to the tragedy.

Hygiene is definitely a casualty at the chabeels set up by people these days.

As the administration does not provide drinking water at strategic points on roads frequently used by the people, the commuters get some relief by drinking water from these chabeels but at what cost?

Huge supplies of drinking water are needed to quench the thirst of people throughout the day and it is difficult to ensure that the water being served in free from germs. Ice that is added to make water cool is again of doubtful origin and may cause serious water borne diseases like gastritis and even cholera.Tubs and pipes used too are of questionable nature.

Another major disadvantage is that the chabeels block half of the roads as the volunteers put up tents and big wooden tables to place massive water tubs. Frequent traffic jams are caused as people stop to drink sweetened water.

A lot of water is also wasted in the process of being transferred from one source to another. The whole stage is wet and so is the road.

There is a need to organise chabeels in a proper manner so that people are not inconvenienced and at the same time get safe and clean drinking water, said Ms Vandana Sharma, a social worker.



Man ends life in hotel
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 24
Two persons committed suicide in two separate incidents here. The police has registered an FIR in both the cases. While Raj Kumar was found dead at his home in the New Kundanpuri area, another person, Pritam Singh, belonging to Dhaba Road, committed suicide in a local hotel.

According to the police, Raj Kumar in his mid-forties, was found hanging from the roof of his room in his house in the New Kundanpuri area. He was staying alone in the house. The other family members had reportedly gone to Faridabad. No apparent reason for the suicide could be made out. The police said the neighbours who got apprehensive about him when there was no movement in the house. They called the police and found him hanging from the roof of his room. The family of the deceased has been informed.

Pritam Singh of Dhaba Road had checked in a local police said he had left a suicide note written in Punjabi. He had written that nobody should be blamed for his death as he was fed up with his prolonged illness. He had retired from government service a few years ago. He had three daughters all of whom are married. He has written in his suicide note that his body should not be cremated. Instead it should be donated to some medical college where it could be utilised for experiments.



Police move to register compromises
Aimed at assuring complainants
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 24
The Payal police has decided to take up the issue of getting the compromises arrived at the police stations registered with some constitutional body so that these were implemented in letter and spirit. The decision was taken up after some villagers during a police-public meeting organised at Malaudh village in Ludhiana district sought assurance from the police for not proceeding against the complainant after the compromise.

Mr Jatinder Pal Singh Khaira, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Payal, said some villagers had sought assurance from him that the police would not proceed under Section 182 against the complainant after a mutual compromise was arrived at.

“As the said section is a matter of law and has been framed to avoid unnecessary harassment due to false allegations and misrepresentation of facts, we cannot assure anything contrary to its provision. However, I would take up the issue with my seniors to find out some path facilitating compromises legally in the respective courts,” elaborated Mr Khiara.

Referring to another demand made by the public and the democratically elected representatives, Mr Khaira said he had directed the NGOs of the police stations falling under Payal Circle that the sarpanch or the councilor of the area should be informed of arrests made from their respective areas.

On receiving a complaint about the sale of banned drugs on some medical stores of the area he warned all those who were engaged in illegal trafficking of narcotics and psychotropic drugs and said the police would be organising drug de-addiction camps soon after the paddy sowing season.

Showing satisfaction over the results of thikri pehras, Mr Khaira claimed that the incidents of crime during nights had lessened. He called upon the villagers to follow the roster issued by the panchayat regarding the thikri pehras.



Tea quenches thirst in summer
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, June 24
Let the temperature soar to 44°C or even more. Tea drinkers continue to drink brownish liquid brewed over the stove. Even in the Tribune office, little glasses holding three sips of tea are sought after for regular intervals. Despite the heat and the fan giving out hot air , tea refreshes.

Raju , the tea stall owner in front of Calibre Plaza, is busy throughout the summers.

Not only does he supply tea to media offices but to many shopkeepers in Calibre Plaza, the air conditioned market here and a few shops in Bhadur Market.

His task force of young boys is on increase as small glasses of tea are very welcome notwithstanding high temperatures.

Do you remember a line young Rishi Kapoor says to Dimple Kapadia in “Bobby”? He says that “garmion mein chai thandak pauchahti hai”. Might be true as umpteen glasses of cold water do not quench the enormous thirst as a small glass of brewed tea.

During evening hours demand for tea increases and often the reporters in the office get annoyed as tea takes longer time to arrive. The boys employed by Raju take turns making tea standing in front of hot stove as it is impossible to bear it for long periods.

Life gets harder for them as water has to be fetched from a public hydrant a few meters away. The owner and the boys sizzle in the sweltering heat to provide endless cups of tea to provide. Umesh, a boy who supplies tea, says: “My body has developed rashes due to heat.

I itch the whole day but there is no respite, I have to bear all these discomforts. I definitely like winters as heat keeps us warm. But can beggars be choosers?” 



Central Excise dept to set up help centres
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 24
In order to give shape to the plan envisaged by the Union Finance Minister Mr P. Chidambaram in his budget speech earlier this year, the Department of Central Excise and Custom has embarked upon a nationwide programme of setting up help centres for small assesses. The help centre for the Ludhiana Commissionerate will become functional on July 1 and the Punjab Finance Minister will inaugurate it.

Giving this information here today, the Commissioner of Central Excise, Mr V.K. Garg, said the help centres for small assesses would provide an institutional mechanism for guidance and education of trade and industry on problems and misgivings related to central excise, service tax and customs. Further, the help centres would also create a sense of awareness about the rights of the tax-payers, their tax obligations and consequences of non-compliance.

He told that the help centre would largely be a constituent body of representatives from different sections of the trade and industry along with a few independent consultants and a nominated officer of the department to co-ordinate the proceedings. Through the help centres, the department would also provide guidance to the manufacturers, importers, exporters and service tax assesses about various changes in the law, procedures, tariffs and their implications.

According to Mr Garg, the help centre would hold fortnightly sessions. Mr Sandeep Puri, Joint Commissioner, Central Excise Department, would be the coordinator of help centre.

Mr Garg disclosed that in the wake of enormous volume of collection of duty and custom being handled by the department, the need was being felt to bridge the wide gap between the users and the department. Towards fulfilling this objective, technology was being brought in a big way in next couple of months.

Mr Garg informed that in an attempt to make the department user-friendly, it had been decided to deal with 'large tax-paying units' with turnover of Rs 75 crore or above, on one-to-one basis.



SAD flays hike in petro prices
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 24
The urban unit of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) today submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner highlighting various problems of the people.

The memorandum rapped the recent hike in the petroleum prices and the power tariff which, it pointed out, would only hit the common man. The memorandum signed by senior Akali leaders, including the general secretary and former minister, Mr Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal, former legislator, Mr Bikramjit Singh Khalsa, the urban district unit president, Mr Hira Singh Gabria, Mr Avtar Singh Makkar and Mr Amarjit Singh Bhatia.

They alleged that both United Progressive Alliance government at the Centre which was led by the Congress and the Congress government in the state had failed on all fronts.

The memorandum stated that the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre had increased the prices of the petroleum products. During the past one year the prices of petrol had risen by Rs 10 and the diesel by Rs 7. It observed that the UPA government had ignored the interests of the common man. The increase in the price of the petroleum products would hit the prices of essential commodities.

Similarly, the Akali leaders said, the Congress government in the state had increased the price of power by about 20 per cent. "On the one hand the government has failed to provide sufficient power to the people, on the other hand it has increased the power tariff", they added.

The memorandum also presented a grim picture of the industry in the state. It said industrial houses were shifting their base from Punjab to other states as the government had not taken any care. It said, be it the power supply, the infrastructure or other facilities, the government had failed on all fronts, with the result the industry started shifting. It said, in case the drift was not arrested at the earliest it would severely hit the economy and also lead to unemployment.



Looking young can cost you moolah
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, June 24
A beautiful face is a head-turner.

The cosmetic companies are marketing their beauty-products aggressively. Most people do not know what to use for maintaining a glowing skin as they are confused due to these advertisements. Due to air pollution and harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun, skin becomes dull.

Ludhiana Tribune spoke to a couple of skin specialists to find out what steps people should take in order rejuvenate the skin. Dr Anupama Gupta, a dermatologist with a skin clinic, says: “Cosmetic dermatology offers a wide range of services designed to improve the skin. These enhancement procedures are not only for acne and pigmentation, but are also for normal skin which becomes lifeless and dull due to everyday pollution.”

For people who care to look good, the clinics these days offer a number of treatments like glycolic peels and microdermabrasions photofacials are also being done by dermatologist to tackle these concerns. Also these days anti-ageing wonders like botox and fillers are being increasingly used to defy wrinkles and lines.

Dr Shalu Khurana, another skin specialist, says: “Microdermabrasions or polishing of skin in layman’s language is done using inert (non-reactive) crystals usually aluminum oxide under vacuum. It helps in superficial exfoliation of skin and leads to visibly softer , smoother , younger looking skin.”

Photofacials are done using laser light which targets the deeper tissues and causes the collagen production . It helps to remove sun spots, fine lines, and broken veins and capillaries and generally leads to an unblemished skin. It is useful starting in the late 30s as an anti-ageing service.

We often wonder how film stars (both male and female) maintain a wrinkle-free face. It is due to botox and fillers. These are the latest “lunch time” procedures done to remove static and fine lines, and wrinkles, grooves and scars.

Dr Anupama says Botox is a natural purified protein that relaxes wrinkle causing muscles creating a rejuvenated and youthful appearance. It is a simple, non-surgical procedure-lasting about 10-20 minutes. Tiny injections relax the muscles which cause the lines to form. They need a touch-up every six months. This is done even in the relatively younger age group so as to prevent the deep wrinkles from becoming permanent. It is an expensive treatment and has to be done by a well qualified doctor.

Fillers as the name suggests are used to fill out lines , furrows, and correct deep folds caused due to age. These can also be filled into deep scars due to accidents or birth defects. Restylane and perlane are the compounds being used for the same. After treatment, skin appears taut, and smooth. Lines around the mouth are nearly imperceptible and filled in. These are, however, temporary and fillers are to be repeated after six to eight months. Again this kind of treatment burns a hole in the pocket. But if one has moolah then there is no problem.



Don’t depend upon cosmetics for beauty: consultant
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 24
A five-day personal grooming work-shop for women and girls, organised by a beauty clinic concluded here today. A beauty consultant to Zee TV, Ms Indra Ahluwalia, conducted the workshop.

The workshop was aimed at providing a detailed knowledge of beauty aids and material and easy techniques that the young girls could follow at home. The participants were advised on how to highlight their natural beauty and depend as little as possible on commercially available expensive cosmetics.

Ms Ahluwalia emphasised that young girls had a God-given beauty. The workshop covered in detail the skin care, make-up tips, hair care, hair setting and hair styles and different styles of sari-draping.



Sewerage water woes in Haibowal
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 24
The pollution level in the city is increasing. It seems that the administration is ignoring the woes of the residents of Haibowal. The daries in Choti Haibowal supply milk and ghee to residents of the city but the residents themselves live in woeful conditions. Mr M.S. Gill, president of the B Block of Chothi Haibowal, in a press note, stated that sewerage water upto more than a foot collect on the roads often.

This dirty water hankered the movements of the residents of Haibowal causing them misery. It gave rise to a host of diseases like cholera, malaria, viral fever and gastritis. The residents have shown the terrible conditions in the locality to officials of different departments from time to time but nothing has been done so far.

The sewerage of B Block is choked and the level of the road is low resulting in accumulation of water.



Lions Club’s gesture for Lankan tsunami victims
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 24
The Lions Club Ludhiana (Greater) president, Lion G S Miglani, visited tsunami-affected areas of Sri Lanka recently. On return from Sri Lanka he reported that the exercise to help the victims was undertaken in collaboration with members of the Lions Club Jayawardenapura (Metro ) of Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, Mr Miglani said after taking stock of situation, a village named Daluawtta Mulla, 75 km south of Colombo, was identified as one of the worst affected. The houses in the village, located right on the seacoast, had been completely washed away. The devastation in the area was visible everywhere.

The rehabilitation work for housing and others was being undertaken by international agencies. But the villagers still needed various household articles. One such item urgently required by them was wooden beds. The wooden beds worth Srilankan Rs 50,000 were distributed among the tsunami- affected families. The district administration of the area helped and coordinated the distribution of the aid, he said. "Our little effort has been appreciated by the government and people of Sri Lanka", said Mr Miglani. 



Bharti Kisan Union holds rally
Our Correspondent

Samrala, June 24
Workers of the Bharti Kisan Union under the leadership of Balbir Singh Rajewal, national general secretary of the Union held a big rally and a demonstration in front of the SDM courts. They also submitted a memorandum to Mr Baldev Singh SDM, here in protest against the hike in prices of diesel and undeclared cuts of during this paddy season.

Addressing workers, Mr Balbir Singh Rajewal said the government had decided to give eight hours electricity to take farmers but they had failed to fulfil it. The Electricity Department had failed to get the transformers repaired Mr Rajewal said that more than 80 per cent populations lived in the villages but the electricity to the villagers was given for only three to four hours. But in towns and cities only there was only a cut for three to four hours.

Mr Rajewal demanded to withdraw the prices of diesel and in electricity bills and loans for farmers.

Mr Mewa Singh Sihala, Mr Kartar Singh, the senior leaders of the Bharti Kisan union, also addressed the rally.



BJP function on July 3
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 24
A district-level silver jubilee function of the BJP foundation day will be held at DAV High School here on July 3, according to organisers of the function.

Mr Rajesh Gaye, president of the local unit of the party, said senior leaders, including Mr Avinash Khanna, state president, Mr Brij Mohan Rinwa, a former state president, Ms Lakshami Kanta Chawla, a former MLA, Mr Sat Pal Gosain, a former Deputy Speaker, and Mr Harjit Singh Grewal, general secretary of the state body, had consented to attend the function.



‘Ved saptah’

Ludhiana, June 24
The Arya Samaj, Model Town, here will be celebrating ‘Ved Saptah’ from June 26 to July 1. Acharya Vivek Bhushan, one of the leading exponents of the Vedic teachings, will deliver lectures every morning and evening. TNS



IG begins probe into councillor’s ‘murder’
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 24
Acting on the directions of the Punjab Chief Minister, the Inspector-General of Police, Patiala, has initiated investigations into a case registered against unidentified persons under Section 302 for allegedly murdering Mr Sham Sunder Jain, councillor and former vice-president of the municipal council.

Meanwhile, the Congress leader and an action committee member, who had earlier claimed that a person had seen the murder taking place, denied his statement.

Mr S. M. Sharma, IG, Patiala, said he had gone into all aspects of the case and collected facts about the sequence of events before and after the death of Mr Jain. “I have spoken to around one hundred persons from all sections of society today and statements have been recorded. None of the persons has named anyone who should be held responsible for the murder of Mr Jain. Therefore, the accused have not been identified as yet,” said Mr Sharma in response to a query.

Referring to the statement made by Mr Rajneesh Sharma, former president of the municipal council, the IG said, “When we asked him to bring the person, who, according to him, had seen the murder taking place, he denied his earlier claim made publicly and held that he had no information about the accused.”

The IG assured the local residents and representatives of various organisations that his team would not succumb to any pressure and investigate the case with an open mind. Earlier Mr Sharma along with his team, including Mr Surjit Singh Grewal, SP (D), Sangrur, and Mr Rachhpal Singh, DSP, Malerkotla, visited the spots where the body of Mr Jain and his scooter were found.

Mr Jain had disappeared on the evening of May 3 and his body was taken out from a nearby canal the next day. The local police had registered a case under Section 174 of the CrPC on the statement of Mr Gaurav Jain who had apprehended that his father might have committed suicide due to financial constraints. He had turned hostile later and said his father could have been murdered. The police registered another case of murder against unidentified persons.

The situation became tense when a group of political leaders started naming some persons, including councillors, who had helped Mr Sham Sunder Jain in toppling a former president of the municipal council. The family of the deceased, accompanied by some members of an action committee, had approached the Governor, Punjab, to seek a CBI inquiry into the case. They had accused the local MLA and her husband, who is in the police, of influencing investigations in the case. Though an inquiry by the crime branch of the police was ordered by the ADGP (Admn), the Chief Minister, Punjab, had redirected the case to the IG, Patiala, as an MLA was involved and the officer concerned, according to him, had superceded his powers.



Body of new born found

Khanna, June 24
The body of a newborn was found near Government Senior Secondary School, Payal, this morning. The police has registered a case.

According to the information, today early morning Budh Singh, son of Jagir Singh, a resident of Payal was going on morning walk. When he reached near the school, he noticed that a dog was eating the body of a new born. He informed the police. A case under Section 318 was registered. OC



Mobile phones ‘underutilised’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 24
Over 85 per cent of mobile phone users in Punjab possess a Nokia handset,claimed Mr Pankaj Chopra, sales manager, North, Nokia. The company, along with Hutch, today inaugurated a consumer awareness campaign of its latest handsets.

Mr Chopra said the idea to organise the campaign was to make people aware of latest technologies in handsets. “Many people today have sophisticated handsets, that remain underused as they don’t understand the uses that their mobile handset can be put to,” he said. Nokia is organising the activity for the first time in North India. Mr Chopra said the company had 85 per cent market share in Punjab and more than 70 per cent share across the country.

He said during the campaign, apart from telling people about enterprise solution phones, the company would also give exchange offers on its handsets. “Consumers can avail upto Rs 10,000 off on their handsets in exchange,” he said.

Talking about high-end phones, he said : “ High- end phones are getting increasingly popular. The market today has handsets which offer majority communication solutions and are almost a replacement to gadgets like laptops. The Nokia 9300, that we launched recently, is finding over 150 consumers in Punjab alone every month,” he said.

He said Nokia would conduct such awareness campaigns in other parts of the country also. In North, the company would conduct the campaign in Jalandhar and Chandigarh. Mr Puneet Singh Dhawan and Mr Surinder Sharma, distributors of Nokia, were also present on the occasion.


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