L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Resentment against attack on temple at Ayodhya
ABVP activists burn Pakistan flag
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 5
Grave resentment prevails among people here over the aborted attack on the makeshift Ram temple at Ayodhya. Cutting across the party lines, leaders and representatives of different shades of opinion while condemning the attack expressed relief that no major loss of life was reported. They also appealed to the people not to get provoked by such incidents and maintain peace and communal harmony at all costs.

Meanwhile the activists of the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) staged a demonstration and burnt the Pakistan national flag to protest the attack.

Immediately after the news spread in the city that the terrorists had attacked the makeshift Ram temple in Ayodhya, the activists of the ABVP took out a procession. They were shouting slogans against the terrorists and Pakistan. They blamed the Pakistani government for continuous support to the militancy in India. Later, they burnt the national flag of Pakistan at Old Court complex near the Fountain Chowk.

Leading the condemnations, the Mayor, Mr Nahar Singh Gill, said it was heartening to learn that the terrorists had been killed before they could storm into the temple and cause any loss of life. He lauded the courage and bravery of the police personnel who killed all terrorists before they could cause any major damage to the temple.

Mr Gill appealed to people to maintain peace and communal harmony and not get provoked by such mischievous acts.

Senior Akali leader and SAD-B general secretary, Mr Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal, also condemned the attack on the temple in Ayodhya. He said any well meaning person belonging to any faith would condemn it. He hoped that the terrorists and the anti-national forces do not succeed in the divisive and nefarious designs. He warned people against the designs of such elements who were bent upon sabotaging the peace and communal harmony in the country.

Octogenarian Bhartiya Janata Party leader and former MP, Lala Lajpat Rai while expressing grave concern over the incident warned that such acts must be nipped in the bud. He blamed the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government at the Centre and the Samajwadi Party government in Uttar Pradesh for their failure to check the activities of the subversive elements.

He observed that the Congress-led UPA government supported by the Communists had started going soft towards terrorism with the result they were getting encouraged and trying to strike at will.

He said, the government needed to convey a strong message to the terrorists and anti-national forces that they will be dealt with a firm hand.



PCCTU flays denial of promotions to librarians
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, July 5
The Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union (PCCTU) has lambasted the UGC and Government of India for denying financial and designation promotions to librarians. The educationists feel that the future would be an era of self-learners where teachers would be playing a limited role. Libraries would become an important resource centre with computers and audio-visual systems imparting most of the knowledge. And librarians would be playing a vital role in building the future of the students. As per the latest pay-scales, denying the lecturer status to librarians was unjustified.

Prof R.S. Brar, president and Prof Jagwant Singh, general secretary, PCCTU, talking to Ludhiana Tribune said that as per 5th Pay Commission, it was ensured that all the cadres would be getting career promotions. “But in 1996, the two cadres, including librarians and Director, Physical Education, were denied promotions.The librarians were given only the lecturer grade and not the senior lecturer or the selection grade. Since then, they have been fighting for their rights but the case is still pending”, said Prof Jagwant Singh.

Prof Brar, who himself is a librarian, said when librarians could hold important positions in teachers’ unions and they could be the members of various governing bodies, then why was there discrimination in their designation or pay-scales. “The recruitment process was also the same. Both lecturers and librarians had to clear the UGC with minimum 55 per cent marks in postgraduation. Rather, librarians had to clear masters in library science, too. We will definitely fight for the rights of librarians”, said Prof Brar.

One of the senate members Mr Tarsem Bahia said that the claim of librarians for the lecturer payscales was absolutely justified. The issues of designation or vacations were different. Their job responsibilities were different from teachers.”But they should not be denied the senior lecturers’ and selection grade pay-scales”, said Mr Bahia.

Meanwhile some of the principals said that librarians should be given similar designations.”We have nothing against them but the issue of vacations is important. If librarians are given vacations like lecturers, the work of libraries would suffer as there will be no one to monitor the counting, entering and issuing of books”, said one of the principals of a local college.



Health Dept to launch drive against quacks
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, July 5
In the wake of quacks and other unauthorised medical practitioners having a field day in the mega city with a population of over 35 lakh, the health administration is gearing up to launch yet another drive to curb the menace.

According to rough estimates, more than 2000 persons, including unregistered medical practitioners and those registered in ayurvedic, unani and homeopathic systems in states other than Punjab, were doing medical practice in the district. The actual number of such practitioners, providing medical treatment and minor surgical procedures, both in the city, other towns and villages in the district could be much higher if sources in the health department were to be believed.

Enforcement of laws against quackery and unauthorised medical practice was slack and untrained, and in some cases, even totally illiterate persons, were engaged in medical practice, thereby posing a grave threat to the life of poor people. Recently, cases had come to light in which the quacks, posing as MBBS doctors, were running full-fledged nursing homes in outer areas of the city.

Sometimes ago the Punjab and Haryana High Court had issued a directive to the Punjab government to check the unlawful medical practice by unregistered and unauthorised persons and to scrupulously enforce the Punjab Medical Council Act.

Responding to the directions, the government had instructed the health department to take appropriate action against quacks. A state-wide campaign was launched and a large number of quacks were booked.

But under immense political pressure and prolonged agitation by the unregistered medical practitioners, the government reversed its stand and situation was again back to square one.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, civil surgeon Dr Rajinder Kaur stated that the department was seized of the situation created by the quacks and serious health hazard they were posing to the people, mostly from the lower strata of society. She said all medical officers in the city and other towns in the district as well as senior medical officers posted in primary health centres in the rural areas, had been asked to prepare lists of unauthorised medical practitioners in their areas so that they could be proceeded against.

According to the civil surgeon, similar lists were prepared at an earlier occasion as well when the health department had lodged some 700-odd first information reports (FIRs) under the relevant anti-quackery law. However, during the intervening period, a large number of such practitioners shifted their bases while several new ones also joined.

She further disclosed that besides a large number of unregistered medical practitioners, several others, registered in indigenous systems in states like Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, UP, Haryana and Jammu and Kashmir, were also carrying on medical practice which was against the provisions of law.

“The department will initiate action against all such practitioners who are not registered with the Punjab Medical Council or Punjab state councils of ayurveda and unani or homeopathic systems because practically even those registered in any system of medicine in a state other than Punjab are not entitled to practice in Punjab and hence they will also be treated as unregistered practitioners”, she added.



Kisan Sabha demands 24-hour power supply
for rural areas

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 5
Members of the Punjab Kisan Sabha today held a protest dharna outside the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) office at Ferozepur Road here today. The members demanded 24-hour power supply in rural areas and 16-hour supply to agricultural consumers. “They should stop discriminating between rural and urban consumers and provide regular power supply,” the members said.

The Kisan Sabha also demanded the decision for “privatisation” of PSEB to be withdrawn. They also said that free electricity and water should be provided to farmers and pending bills be waived as had been done by the Haryana government. Exemption of 150 units every month be given to farm workers, the association said.

The association said that 50 per cent subsidy should be given on diesel used for farm operations.

Demanding replacement of non-functional transformers, they demanded that the money received by the board for extending load should be utilised for the replacing transformers.

Other demands raised by the members were withdrawal of hike in petroleum and diesel prices, and replacement of non-functional transformers. The members submitted a memorandum to the Chief Engineer, PSEB, Ludhiana.



City girl tops in MA English exam
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 5
Ms Amandeep Kaur Mangat, a student of SCD Government College here, has topped in MA English examination, conducted by Panjab University. She scored 64 per cent marks. Ms Mangat had topped in the university last year also by securing 60.75 per cent marks.

A resident of Maharaj Nagar near PAU, Amandeep owes her success to Almighty, hard-work, teachers and her parents. She said that head of the department, Prof Rajinder Singh, was always there to answer the queries of students. She intends to start her Ph.D next year.



SAD men in Chandigarh to hold dharna
Our Correspondent

Amloh, July 5
Activists of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) of the Amloh circle left for Chandigarh today in two buses to participate in a statewide protest dharna at Chandigarh. Senior Akali leaders, Mr Dalip Singh Pandhi, former Punjab minister, Jathedar Kahla Singh Baini, Mr Hari Singh Virk Machhrai, Mr Jaswinder Singh Grewal, Mr Balbir Singh Sarpanch Naraingarh and member working committee, SAD, Mr Zora Singh Hari Pur, Mr Ranjit Singh Ghola, Mr Hardial Singh Naraingarh and Mr Gurmail Singh Mallowal participated in the jatha.

Before leaving for Chandigarh, the SAD workers gathered at Gurdwara Singh Sabha here. Talking to the mediapersons at gurdwara, Mr Pandhi alleged that the Panjab Government had failed on all fronts. It was trying to divert the attention of people from deteriorating, law and order situation, corruption specially in the police department where both the complainant and accused are allegedly made victims of corruption. People of the state are tired of such a misrule, where the Chief Minister has no time to listen to the grievances of the people, he alleged.

The recent elections to the rural development bank is a barometer of public pulse where people have given verdict in favour of the SAD. The Congress was completely rooted out in spite of the government interference and pressure in the recent elections.

Perturbed over the growing anti-Congress sentiments among the people of the state, the Chief Minister has launched a campaign against the mass leader, Mr Parkash Singh Badal. The Chief Minister has now raised the issue to get militants released from jails abroad. The Captain resigned from the Cabinet against the police entry into Harmander Sahib during Mr Surjit Singh Barnala government in 1986, but opposed the raising of memorial of those killed during operation Blue Star in 1984. This exposes the double face of Capt Amarinder Singh. It is only SAD believes in communal harmony,” Mr Pandhi maintained. 



Follow teachings of gurus: Dawar
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 5
Mr Surinder Dawar, Parliamentary Secretary, Punjab for Housing, Urban Development and Power today exhorted the people to follow the path shown by great gurus and saints and to come forward to serve the humanity.

Addressing a religious function to mark ‘parkash utsav’ of Sri Guru Hargobind at Gurudwara Bhai Gurdit Singh in Rarri Mohalla here today, he said only those civilisations flourished and prospered which always remembered their religious and cultural heritage. India was a country of great rishis, munis, saints and gurus who had preached the message of truth, mutual trust, national integrations while at the same time waging a war against social evils.

Mr Dawar further remarked that this nation where people belonging to different castes, creeds and religions coexisted with harmony, was a unique example of unity in diversity. He said by following the message given by great gurus and serving the fellow human beings with dedication, the people would be paying real tributes to the saints and gurus.

Mr Dawar inaugurated a water cooler at the gurudwara to make available the facility of cold drinking water to the devotees at this occasion.

Prominent among others present at the function were Mr J.B. Singh Jugnu, Mr Surinder Singh Chinda, Mr Amritpal Singh Pala, Mr Subhash Kapoor, Mr Avtar Singh, Mr Tejinder Singh Gandhi, Mr Ajit Singh Bobby, Mr Jaspreet Singh, Mr Gurmeet Singh Monga, Mr Partap Singh Oberoi, Ms Charanjit Kaur, Ms Harjit Kaur, Ms Amarjit Kaur and Ms Maninderjit Kaur.



Man railway crossing, demand residents
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 5
The joint action committee, comprising representatives from more than a dozen affected colonies in the city, has sought immediate intervention of district administration for an early site selection to put up a manned railway crossing in Bhai Himmat Singh Nagar locality in Dugri on the Ludhiana-Dhuri railway line here.

A meeting of the committee, held under the presidenthsip of Mr Surjit Singh here today, observed that the report sent by the deputy commissioner to senior Railway officials saying that the site selected for this purpose by the Railways was 8 feet wide, had vindicated the stand of the area residents. However, those present at the meeting noted that with the recommendation to put up manned railway crossings at two sites, the authorities had rather put a spanner in the works and further action in this regard had been put on hold for the time-being.

According to Mr Piara Singh Dhillon, general secretary of the JAC, the district authorities were asked to ignore the report of the SDM in this connection and to undertake a fresh site survey which should pave the way for a clear cut recommendation to the railway authorities for putting up manned railway crossing at 66 feet road.

By another resolution, the meeting expressed gratitude on behalf of the residents to the Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha, Mr Charanjit Singh Atwal, the state president of BJP, Mr Avinash Rai Khanna, member of Lok Sabha from Ludhiana, Mr Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, former MP, Mr Gurcharan Singh Gahlib, and former MLA, Mr Hira Singh Gabria, for extending their support to the genuine demands of the people. The JAC expressed confidence that with the concerted efforts of political leaders, the affected residents and the district authorities, the objective (of a manned railway crossing) would be achieved soon.



Route of Mumbai-bound trains changed
D.B. Chopra

Ludhiana, July 5
Owing to the prevailing flood situation in Maharashtra and Gujarat, routes of Mumbai-bound trains have been changed with effect from Monday. Now, all Mumbai bound trains from Ludhiana railway station would change course from the Mathura railway station, according to railway sources.

The Amritsar-Bandra train, namely 2926 Down Paschim Express, is now running on the changed route- making a detour from Mathura, via Swai Madhopur, Jaipur, Ajmer and Palanpur.

Similarly, 2471 Up Swaraj Express, running from Mumbai Central to Jammu Tawi, would also run on the same route till further notification. The train running from Jammu Tawi to Rajkot-2476 Down Express- is also running via Swai Madhopur, Jaipur, Ajmer, Palanpur and Ahmedabad

Railway sources further revealed that the Traffic Control Office would be monitoring the changed routes on a daily basis to facilitate various trains to reach their respective destinations on time. Any further changes in the route are promptly announced at the public address system installed at the local railway station.

However, all trains coming from or going to Mumbai are running late by hours together putting thousands of rail passengers to inconvenience. These trains were running late mainly due to the changed routes , added the sources.



Bids for waste management project to be invited soon
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 5
Following acquisition of land for the Rs 22-crore hazardous waste management facility near Derabassi, Nimbuan Greenfield bids to select operator for executing the project would be invited within a fortnight. The operator is likely to be finalised within a month and a half. However, the management is yet to decide membership fee for industrial units that avail of the facility.

“By March 2006, the project is most likely to start functioning. The Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) has already acquired land for the purpose, which would be leased out to us and we will invite bids within 10-15 days,” said Mr S.P.Oswal, chairman, M/s Nimbuan Greenfield Punjab Ltd, the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) formed by a few hazardous waste generating companies for the purpose.

Due to slow pace of work on the project, the PPCB had asked industry to expedite the process, failing which they had threatened to take an action by way of penalising or closure. However, Mr Oswal said, since work on the project had begun and the pace of progress was “fairly satisfactory”, leniency from the Supreme Court on the deadline was expected.

The waste management facility would cater to 1,800 units including 520 large and medium units in the state.

While a grant of Rs 13 crore has already been sanctioned to the SPV by the government, a contribution of Rs 7 crore is required for the industry as it is only after receiving it that the grant can be utilised.

The recommended contribution for the membership is Rs 10 lakh for units with an annual turnover exceeding Rs 10 crore, Rs 5 lakh for units with turnover between Rs 3 crore and Rs 10 crore and Rs 50,000 from units having turnover below that. However, final decision regarding the contribution is yet to be taken.

“Money is not a problem as all the industrial units that are generating hazardous waste will have to contribute,” Mr Oswal said. The amount would be raised from industry by way of equity from the participants, who would become members of the company. The remaining Rs 3 crore would be raised via debt or equity.

However, problem could arise in case industrialists do not disclose the actual waste generated by them.

While technical design has also been prepared, it would soon be forwarded to the department concerned.



Mistimed sarpanches boycott meeting
Our Correspondent

Khanna, July 5
Sarpanches and nambardars boycotted the police — public meeting today when police officials failed to reach at the venue at the prescribed time. Mr Naunihal Singh, SSP said he would apologise to from panches and sarpanches and would request them to participate in the next meeting.

The local police called the meeting at Atwal Palace, which was to be started at 5 p.m. However, police officials didn’t reach at the venue. Feeling insulted the sarpanches boycotted the meeting under the leadership of sarpanch Mohinder Singh of Bahomajra, a retired DIG, and raised slognas against the Punjab police. Mr Balwinder Singh Pohli, ex-sarpanch of Kauri village alleged that the police ill-treated them.

The SSP said he was in Chandigarh for official work. He said he would look into the matter. The meetings were being organised for their betterment, he added.



Bhattal lays stone of Beant Memorial Gate

Doraha, July 5
Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Deputy Chief Minister and Higher Education Minister, today laid the foundation stone of Beant Singh Memorial Gate at Payal. Mrs Bhattal said that by erecting such memorials, the leaders who sacrificed their lives for the masses, were honoured in the most befitting manner.

Talking to newspersons she said, “The sacrifices made by the late Chief Minister, Mr Beant Singh, and his family are in no way small. His son, Mr Tejparkash Singh Kotli, should be taken back in the Cabinet at all costs for which I will try my level best.”

Talking about the free water and power supply to farmers she said, “If the government has sources enough, the poor farmers and dalits should be ensured free water and power supply. Also the shagun scheme should be reintroduced.”

Regarding the appointment of the party president she said, “I have also recommended the name of a very capable person for this honourable post to the high command.”She, however, did not disclose the name.

Apart from local Congress leaders, Mr Tejparkash Singh Kotli, local MLA,, Mr Gurkirat Singh, Mr Sudarshan Kumar Sharma, Mr Tejinder Singh Dhaliwal, SDM, Payal and Mr Parminder Singh, Naib Tehsildar were present.



Col Dhillon invited
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 5
Lt Col Chanan Singh Dhillon (retd) president, Indian Ex-Services League, Panjab, and Chandigarh, has been invited to participate in the commemorative Event of Reflection and Reminiscence to be held in London on July 10.

The invitation has been sent by the British government. The event is being held to mark 60 years of the victory of the allied forces in the second world war.

Earlier, Col Dhillon was invited for the golden jubilee celebrations in 1995.

Col Dhillon is also a veteran of the second world war and being the president of the Indian Ex-service league, Punjab and Chandigarh, has been taking up the problems of the exservicemen with the union and the state governments.

Col Dhillon said that the British government had also raised a memorial in London in memory of those Indian soldiers who were decorated and fought in the second world war in different sectors. 



Farewell function
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 5
A farewell was accorded to the outgoing Commission-er, Patiala Division, S.C. Srivastva by officers of the district administration at a function at the Sutlej Club last night. The new Commissioner of Patiala Division, Ms Anjali Bhawra, was also given warm welcome on the occasion.

Addressing the officials, Mr Srivastva called upon officers to accord top priority to giving patient hearing to people and to redress their problems. He said the officers should discharge their duties earnestly and honestly while serving the people under their jurisdiction.

Remembering his stay as a Commissioner in the division, Mr Srivastva said that he had received full cooperation from all the officers in the four districts of the division and substantial achievements in different fields have been made with the hard work and dedication of the officers. He said that he would always be available for the help and guidance to the junior officers, if needed.



Tributes paid to martyr
Our Correspondent

Samrala, July 5
The local Indian National Congress MLA Amrik Singh Dhillon paid floral tributes to Pandit Girdhari-lalji Bhagi, a martyr whose 66th anniversary falls today. Mr Dhillon garlanded the statue of Martyr Pandit Girdharilalji early in the morning.

Besides others who paid tributes to the veteran freedom fighter included Dr K K Bhagi, cousin brother of the martyr, Satwant Rai Bhagi, Sukhvir Singh Pappi, headmaster Ram Rattan (MC Samrala ), Mr Ranjit Singh (Ex-M C Samrala), Mr Kulwinder Kumar (Youth Congress leader), Mr Kulwant Rai Sharma, Mr Ram Singh Babbu, Pt Lakhvir Chand, Mr Behari Lal Saddi and Mr Bitu.



3 injured in factory blast

Mandi Gobindgarh, July 5
Three workers were wounded in a furnace blast while scrap melting process was going on in a factory on the Sirhind side of GT Road here on Monday. OC



Four held for robbery, Rs 3.10 lakh recovered
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 5
The local police has nabbed four persons allegedly involved in a robbery of Rs 3.5 lakh near bus stand from an employee of a local businessman. According to Mr Gurpreet Singh Toor, Superintendent of Police, the accused had kidnapped the employee, Narinder Kumar, who was carrying cash from Kesar Ganj yesterday.

The victim, who was carrying cash, was kidnapped when he got down from an auto.

The persons arrested have been identified as Mandeep Singh and Sandeep Singh, sons of Manohar Singh, Manpreet Singh and Saroj Kumar.

The police said the father of two of the accused, Manohar Singh, was working with the trader Vijay Kumar. While the accused said Vijay Kumar owed them some payment, which he was not making, due to which they resorted to the crime. However, Vijay Kumar denied it.

The police has recovered Rs 3.10 lakh from the accused, alongwith two knives and Sumo.



JE held for taking bribe
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 5
The Vigilance department today arrested a junior Engineer (JE) of Punjab State Electricity board (PSEB) for allegedly accepting bribe of Rs 1,000. Mr Sajjan Singh Cheema, DSP, said that the accused, Charan Singh, had asked for bribe from one Santokh Singh for installing a new connection at Ladhian Khurd. He was caught red-handed by the Vigilance department officials.



4 booked for cheating

Ludhiana, July 5
Gaurav, alias Goldy, Avinash Chander, Sunny , alias Vinod Kumar, all of Sant Vihar, Haibbowal Kalan and Anil of Delhi have been booked by the police. They reportedly duped Ranjit Singh of Mandiani village of Rs !5.!0 lakh by promising to send her daughter, Lakhwinder Kaur, abroad. OC



Budding entrepreneurs attend function
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 5
The valedictory function of the two batches of one-month entrepreneurship development programme for women on fashion designing and screen printing, was held at the Small Industries Service Institute (SISI) here today.

During the concluding programme, participants were provided information on entrepreneurial management techniques, scope of readymade garments industry, colour combination and dress designing, production planning and management and working capital requirements and its management. Experts from various fields delivered talks on opportunities available for new entrepreneurs.

The chief guest Dr V.K. Sharma, registrar, PAU, said efforts being put in by SISI for development of new entrepreneurs were being well recognised by industry.

Mr R.C. Chopra, director, SISI was also present on the occasion.


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