L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Cop imprisoned for hitting man by car, dumping him
Ravi Inder Singh Makkar

Machhiwara, August 28
Gone are the days when it was thought that the police’s first and foremost duty is to serve the people. What is happening in the case of Punjab police is exactly opposite. It is evident from the fact that a Punjab police personnel tried to throw a wounded person into the nearby canal on the night of August 22. The victim is from Muzaffarnagar (UP) and he was hit by the car of a head constable near the octroi post on the local Samrala road. The cop who unsuccessfully tried to throw the victim into the nearby canal, thinking that the victim might have died, has been sent to jail under Sections 307, 337, 338, 279 and 427 of the IPC.

This information was given by Mohammad, maternal uncle of Mohammad Taju, the victim, who is undergoing treatment at the GMCH, Sector 32 in Chandigarh. Mohammad said that they worked in Agro cold storage on the Machhiwara-Samrala road. He said that he and his nephew were returning to the cold storage after selling bananas at Machhiwara on the night when the accident took place at 8:30 p.m. A Maruti car going at a high speed hit them from behind. Mohammad said that he and his uncle, Abdul Qadir, got bewildered when the accident occurred. In the meantime, the car borne passengers threw Mohammad Taju inside the car and fled, he added.

When Taju could not be traced till late night, Mohammad and Qadir telephoned Mohammad’s maternal uncle residing in Naraingarh (Ambala). Incidentally when Mohammad’s maternal uncle was coming from Naraingarh in a Maruti car to Machhiwara, he was requested to give lift by a wounded person when he was just 7 km away from Machhiwara.

To his utmost surprise, the maternal uncle could not believe his eyes when he saw his wounded nephew in front of him in a bad shape. It was learnt that the car passengers had thought that Taju might have died and instead of throwing him in the canal, they had hurriedly thrown him along the river bank. The car owner, Kulwant Singh, who is a resident of Todarpur village near Samrala, has been posted as a head constable at Sadar police station, Khanna.

The recognition of the culprit became possible from the number plate of the car which had fallen at the accident site.

Kulwant Singh lives in police quarters at Machhiwara police station. Though Taju is stated to be out of danger, he has yet to recover from mental shock.



57 youths cheated by travel agents; gang busted
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 28
A gang of four travel agents have duped as many as 57 persons of crores of rupees on the pretext of sending them abroad.

The fact came to light today when the Ludhiana police arrested a member of the group, Tarsem Kumar alias Billa, from Bhattian village, who had recently duped two youths of Rs 17,000 and Rs 27,000 respectively. The police is on the lookout for three other members, Paramjit Singh, Anil Kumar and Charanjit Kaur.

Billa was active in Ludhiana and Jalandhar and he used to fleece youths willing to go abroad with the help of the kingpin of the gang, Paramjit Singh, who lives in Bombay. He used to tell the youths that he was readying papers for their immigration.

Addressing a press conference, Mr Gurbans Singh Bains, SHO, Salem Tabri, said the plight of 57 innocent youths came to light when they received a complaint from a resident of Malaudh village, Dhanna Singh, whose son and nephew were duped by Billa.

Following secret information, the police arrested Billa from Hazuri Bagh Colony. The SHO claimed that investigations revealed that while Charanjit Kaur helped Billa in dealing with clients in Ludhiana, Anil Kumar was active in New Delhi. The police has launched a drive to arrest all of them. A case under Section 420, IPC, has been registered against all the accused.

Mr Bains said that Charanjit Kaur used to lure youths for sending them abroad “where they would be getting proper remuneration for their hard work”. Then she used to send them to Billa who in turn used to make them contact Paramjit Singh.

He accepted money from many of them and even took their passports on the plea that he needed these in the embassies of various countries. The SHO further claimed that Billa had come in contact with Paramjit Singh, when he had visited Bhattian village five or six years ago. They together decided to dupe the youths in this way. Then Billa came in contact with Charanjit and Anil also and they succeeded in duping 57 youths.



Gang of robbers busted
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 28
The Ludhiana police today claimed to have busted a gang of robbers. They used to feed their victims with drug-laced biscuits and decamp with their valuables.

The police has arrested two gang members — Madhuri, a Bihari migrant, currently living in Bhattian village and her brother, Kesri Chauhan. Two other members, including her brother Satyam and her husband, Jai Shankar, are absconding.

The SHO, Salem Tabri, Mr Gurbans Singh Bains, claimed that the four persons used to travel together in a bus or a train. Madhuri used to befriend the soft targets especially youths and then offer them tea and biscuits laced with drugs.

The gang had robbed around 12 persons during the last some months. Yesterday, both of them were caught when they were trying to flee with a suitcase of a woman, Bholu Sharma, travelling in Jalandhar-bound bus from Ludhiana. A case under Section 379 of the IPC has been registered against the accused.

The four were active in four districts, including Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Pathankot and Gurdaspur. They were wanted in a number of cases in these districts.



Dullo prepares for Beant function
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 28
Ever since, Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo took over as the president of the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) he has taken upon himself the task of immortalising his mentor and former Chief Minister, Mr Beant Singh. He holds the great sacrifice of Mr Beant Singh at a par with that of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru. Mr Dullo’s logic is, “the three great martyrs sacrificed their lives for getting the freedom for the country, while Beant Singh sacrificed his life for safeguarding it.”

Mr Dullo has been campaigning hard for the mega show on August 31 to mark the 10th death anniversary of Beant Singh at his native village Kotli near Payal. He wants to immortalise Mr Beant Singh for his sacrifice. “He saved Punjab for India otherwise it would have been turned into Khalistan”, he asserts while arguing that Mr Beant Singh deserved a better treatment after his martyrdom.

In fact, Mr Dullo maintains that the party cannot offer anything to Beant Singh. “It is the party and the nation that will always get benefitted from his sacrifice.” “Today, if there is peace in Punjab, it is because of Beant Singh and if anybody is enjoying power it is because of Beant Singh only.”

Replying to a question: whether he was satisfied with the treatment meted out to Beant Singh’s family, Mr Dullo said “ministerial placements cannot be compensation for such a great sacrifice...”

Giving details of the anniversary programme he said the Congress general secretary Ms Ambika Soni, the Parliamentary Affairs Mr Ghulam Nabi Azad, the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, Deputy Chief Minister, Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal and most of the ministers, legislators and party leaders would be attending the anniversary function at Kotli village on August 31.



Rail repair holds traffic
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 28
Hundreds of commuters in Shastri Nagar were inconvenienced today. A level crossing on the Ludhiana-Ferozepore railway line was closed for 10 hours due to ongoing repair work.

The Senior Section Engineer, Northern Railway, Moga, had written to the Deputy Commissioner, traffic police and the SHO, Sarabha Nagar, a week ago, that they would be undertaking repair at the crossing, no arrangements were made by either of the departments to spare the residents of inconvenience.

A copy of the letter, a copy of which is in possession of The Tribune, dated August 23, 2005, clearly asked the authorities concerned to divert the traffic between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. as no traffic would be allowed to pass through.

Residents took U-turn from the crossing traffic jams.

The spot engineer had asked the traffic police to depute some staff on the spot, but no cop turned up to manage the traffic.

“I thought that the crossing was closed due to an approaching train I stopped and waited. A serpentine queue of vehicles followed my car. After some time, I was told by workers that the crossing would remain closed for 10 hours. Then there was a traffic jam,” lamented commuter Inderpal Singh.



Passing Thru

Joy Sengupta Actor
Joy Sengupta Actor

You have visited Ludhiana a number of times, how have you found Ludhiana audience?

In spite of the fact that the city audience does not get to see many plays, they are receptive to our serious plays like ‘Womanly Voices’ and Zen Katha.

How have you managed to essay the role of Gandhi in “Sammy” so well?

I read a lot of books on Gandhi to get familiar with his thought process, his reactions to situations. Of course director Lillette Dubey’s insights into the play helped to build the character. I focussed on projecting Gandhi as the common man with his humour and anger.

— Asha Ahuja



Ludhiana Calling

There may hardly be any political party in the country which does not have its representative unit in Ludhiana. Even those political parties which have not much stakes in their home states have “active” (in terms of issuing pressnotes at least) local units. And the leaders, most of whom are holding state posts, if not the national posts, never fail to comment on any issue, whether local, national or international. The leaders of these political parties include the Haryana-based Indian National Lok Dal, the Maharashtra-based Shiv Sena (there are so many factions), the Bihar-based Rashtriya Janata Dal of Laloo Prasad Yadav and the Lok Jana Shakti Party of Mr Ram Vilas Paswan, the Jammu-based Panthers Party (which is restricted in J&K to a small constituency). They are religiously regular in issuing press notes, holding press conferences and persisting with the publication of their “important news”.

Waist size

In Delhi people find matches through matrimonial advertisements, after finding the nitty gritties and age, date of birth etc to match the horoscopes. The next main question that the boy’s side ask these days is the waist size of the would be bride. If she has a thick waist, then further marriage talks fizzle out. Earlier the people paid great importance to the family background, education, character, but during these days the emphasis in on the waistline.

A pleasant surprise

The Municipal Corporation, which has to face brickbats more often than not for its failure to maintain delivery of civic services, has for a change drawn applause from city residents. It was a pleasant surprise for the people when the other day they found that water supply had commenced at an odd hour after a two-and-half-hour long power cut in the morning. Earlier, during the unscheduled power cuts, which have become a routine affair in the mega city, the water supply was disrupted since the tubewells were run strictly during water supply hours and in case there was no power, the people were deprived of the scheduled water supply.

Aren’t you proud of your daughter?

A young man, father of both a son and daughter, had the habit of addressing her daughter as ‘beta’ all the time. One day his five-year-old pesky daughter said to her father. “Please do not address me as beta. I do not like it. I am proud to be a girl, Papa, and I am your daughter. So call me ‘beti’ in future. The father narrating the whole incident said that on hearing his daughter’s admonition, his eyes brimmed with tears and he realised that he had hurt the sentiments of his daughter and he felt proud of his daughter.

Dodging the court

Lawyers are well known to try every trick in the book to defend their clients. But one city lawyer went too far in his zeal to do so without taking the client in confidence. At the end he was himself left more embarrassed than anyone else. The lawyer’s client did not come on time for the hearing of the case. So, in order to avoid ‘adverse ’ orders, the lawyer put up special request that the client was sick and his presence be exempted. The Judge agreed on humanitarian grounds. But within few moments, the client in question appeared before the Judge with the munshi of his new lawyer much to the embarrassment of his previous laywer and amusement of the court.

Enforcers or violators?

In a typical example of law enforcer turing a violator, the other day a colleague saw a cop driving a car while talking over his mobile phone. Otherwise the cops posted on duty do not spare anybody else driving while talking over the phone and challan the person. But they did not even stop this cop when he was crossing the fountain chowk. In fact his colleagues smiled at him when he crossed the busy chowk. Flouting norms has become a regular feature for the cop, who drive without helmets and jumps red lights with impunity. Does the uniform given to them makes them above the law?

Uncharitable hosts

District Athletic Association, Ludhiana was caught offguard when it could not provide seating arrangements to the guardians and parents of participants. In the absence of any good arrangements, mothers of some participants were sitting on the ground in the sweltering heat. To ward off the heat, they had opened umbrellas and were waiting in vain that they would be made to sit in a proper airy place. But to no avail. They continued to sit in the sun for hours together. And the hosts did not act as good hosts at all.

CNG please

The pollution levels are rising every day in city. There is nothing new about it. But the local residents are waiting for a solution to the problem. After the CNG bus rule has become applicable in the national Capital, the local residents are also waiting for such an exercise in the city. With the pollution levels in the city attaining alarming concentration in the air due to the ever increasing number of automobiles on city roads, such a rule will be welcome from the sufferers. Although the local traffic police has launched a number of drives time to time, all of these either failed to take off or were not implemented properly. The CNG rule will atleast ensure a cleaner environment.

— Sentinel



Saving lives on highway
Our Correspondent

Doraha, August 28
The Model first-aid post here which is being run by NGOs and Punjab Police personnel, for the past eight years is not only a unique venture but has also strengthened the faith of the common man in men in khaki.

Mr Gursharanjit Singh who started this project says, “Setting up of a first-aid post at Doraha was an experiment carried out by the NGOs and the Punjab Police in 1996. As no model existed earlier, it was more of a challenge than an accomplishment in its initial stages.”

Mr Gursharanjit Singh, state awardee and secretary, Punjab Police State Apex Committee for NGO Projects, and secretary general INGOA along with being the president of BSB welfare society said, “I happened to see a traffic project by the police and a voluntary organisation in Kerala during our study tour. Our team began to think about setting up a similar model in Punjab. With the consent of police officers at Khanna, I gave first-aid training to Hawaldar Harbans Singh and five other constables. This team participated in the first aid competition of the Punjab Red Cross Society in the 1992-93 and 94 and won state awards. It was in the year 1996, that 22 passengers died in road accidents on the National Highway after which it was immediately decided to establish a police first aid post for providing aid to the victims and carrying them to the nearby hospitals. Mr Rajwinder Singh Mangat, Sarpanch of Begowal village, donated the first ambulance for the purpose.

Mr Gurdev Singh Sahota, the then S S P of Khanna, deputed a Hawaldar and four constables on duty. A wooden booth was donated by the Campa Cola company and the first highway police first-aid post was established on G T Road, Doraha on November 2, 1996.”

Again five policemen were given training and an oxygen cylinder was made available at the post. A telephone (No. 102) and wireless set were also installed. Mr Raj Pal Singh Sandhu, the then DSP of Payal helped in the construction of a room . In the very first year its establishment the post gave first-aid to 453 injured in various accidents and got them admitted in hospitals. Till date, the post has saved the lives of 2,834 injured. This post was declared a model police first-aid post by WHO and health services and the Family Welfare Department, Punjab, in the year 1998.

It was on the pattern of the Doraha first-aid post that police first-aid posts were established on GT Road Bullapur Khanna in 1998, at Bija village in 1999, at Samrala in 2000, at Jarg in 2003 and at Neelon in 2004. At present there are a total of 90 police first-aid posts in Punjab with a total of 90 ambulances donated by NGOs. Last year 4,651 lives had been saved in Punjab.

“It is a matter of rare honour for us that Khanna is the first district in Punjab that is covered by seven such first-aid posts on the National Highway and state highway, adds Mr Gursharanjit Singh. “Our main aim, however, is “No loss of life in road accidents due to lack of first aid,” he said.

At present, the first-aid post in charge, Mr Manjit Singh, along with two Head Constables and one SPO, has been entrusted with the task of saving precious lives in case of an accident on National Highway.



City lad wins trip to Egypt
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, August 28
One never knows when luck will smile on you but it seems that luck, too, has its favourites like Gurvaran Singh and his family. Gurvaran Singh is a student of the local Government College. He along with his entire family is all set to undertake a trip to Egypt, land of pyramids. Gurvaran won the trip on the programme “Heroes 4 Alladin” on the Disney Channel out of 1,75,000 entries.

An excited Gurvaran, talking to the Ludhiana Tribune, said,”Heroes 4 Alladin is a cartoon show and during its three-week promotion in May, the channel asked questions related with the show and I used to answer them. Finally, I am one of the three lucky winners from India who sent the maximum number of correct entries. My whole family is very excited at the prospect of visiting Egypt and see its wonders in a pre-paid holiday. I just cannot believe my luck. My family members are also very happy and we are indulging in a shopping spree and buying new clothes for the trip.”

He said,”I won a lot of sling bags as they were offered on sending correct entries on a daily basis. I won two CD players and five spy cameras in the contest. Even my brother and sister, Sumit Sheena and Sunny Gurpreet, won mobile phones in the Kim Possible Code Tod Contest. I have won a host of gift hampers for sending correct entries on SAB Television’s “Jai Hind” programme.”

Gurvaran got seriously interested in sending entries to different contests on television channels when his mother won an air-conditioner in a contest where she had to come up with a promotional slogan. He has won a mobile phone and a gift hamper in a programme “Kids ka kamaal” on Hungama TV.

He participated in many programmes telecast by Zee Television and was able to win two Foce watches and a Scooty . He has won cash prizes too. He generally finds out about the contests through the Internet. On being asked if he watched television all the time, he said,” No I keep switching channels as I know now when the question will appear.”



SGPC a bastion of corruption: AISAD
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 28
The All-India Shiromani Akali Dal (AISAD) has expressed concern over the present political situation given the bipolarity between the Congress and the BJP which has driven the SAD into insignificance and oblivion.

Mr Jaswant Singh Mann, president of the outfit, alleged that the Parkash Singh Badal-led-SAD has failed to do any good to the Sikhs and the issues concerning their polity have remained unresolved for decades. Emotive issues like passing of Anandpur Sahib Resolution, water issues, territorial claims and other matters relating to Sikh diaspora are still to be taken up in earnest. In fact, the Badal-led faction has become a coterie of a few families of the state and their proteges. Corruption and mismanagement are the hallmarks of the ‘great’ party which fought for the rights of its people.

He said the SGPC, which come into being after great struggles and sacrifices, has become a bastion of corruption, mismanagement and refuge of tainted and discredited elements. Issues of rehat maryada, heritage, dossier, participation of women in the religious affairs in the committee and the internal management have become non-transparent and subject to public ridicule, he pointed out.

His party is deeply concerned over the mess and chaos in the Sikh affairs. Sikh issues are not being attended to like Nanavati Commission, turban issue in France and ethnic murder of Sikhs in different parts of the world.

He said they would hold a Panthic convention on December 14, the day on which the Shiromani Akali Dal was founded in 1920 to mark the 85th anniversary of the dal. All genuine and devouted Akalis who have been ousted or ignored by the opportunist leadership of the Akali Dal would be invited. Mr Purinder Pal Singh Grewal was named the president of the District Ludhiana (Rural) unit and was also inducted as a member of the working committee of the party on the occasion.



Creche, boon for working mothers
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 28
With the industrial city becoming more cosmopolitan each day and number of working mothers rising, pressure on creches has also increased. But the number of creches in the city is not sufficient to meet the requirements of working families.

Not only do women working in schools, offices, banks and MNCs leave their kids in creches, women working as beautician, nurse, maid, housekeeper also do so. Hence, creches have come up not only in upmarket colonies but also in small localities of the city.

Rani, a working mother, leaves her child in the creche as she does not want to leave her daughter with a maid.

While looking for a creche, she made sure that there were enough attendants, adequate cleanliness, well-trained creche runner, and a doctor in case of emergency.

She says: “There are no trained creche keepers. Most of the creches I visited were run by housewives. Finally, I selected the one were the woman was gentle and there were only a few children. During the course of my dealing with her, I found out that she took good care of the children. She would fed them if parents got late. When my daughter was not well, she would immediately contacted me. However, I do feel that there should be some certification course or a diploma course before one can start a creche.”



NRIs highlight problems
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 28
Scores of Indians who have done well overseas are keen on reviving links with their native places. But red tap, corruption makes them shy away from such an initiative.

Three NRI businessmen — Mr Gurpreet Singh Brar, Mr Jarnail Singh Sran and Mr Mandeep Singh highlighted this at interactive session organised by Mr Krishan Kumar Bawa, Chairman, Housefed, Punjab, here last evening. Mr Nahar Singh Gill, Mayor, Mr Malkiat Singh Dakha, MLA and Mr Shashi Kant, ADGP (Security), Punjab, were also present at the occasion.

Mr Mandeep Singh, who belongs to Hans village in this district, along with other two NRIs said that they were keen on inverting in real estate, medium-size industrial units and infrastructure development projects.

Mr Bawa, who had detailed discussions with several sections of NRIs during his recent trip to Canada, said that Housefed was in the process of taking up construction of deluxe and super deluxe flats in all the major towns of Punjab and earmark some for the NRIs.



Seminar on Sikh women’s religious rights held
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 28
The women’s wing and Sahityakar Sadan of Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle organised a seminar on the rights and duties of women in performing ‘sewa’ according to Gurmat principles here today. The seminar was attended by different women’s satsang associations and Sikh intellectuals.

Mr Inderpal Singh, deputy chief organiser of the seminar, said that sewa rights at Akal Takht in Shri Harmandar Saheb have already been granted to women by Mr Manjeet Singh. Similarly the right of inclusion of women as Panj Piaras had been granted in a resolution way back in 1945.

The controversy raised over these two issues now is either a political stunt or a mischievious conspiracy, he said.

Bibi Amanjeet Kaur, Visiting Lecturer, read out a paper appreciating the resolution passed during the seminar which said that women should be allowed to perform kirtan, sewa and jobs like cleaning the Palki and they should also be included as Panj Piaras.



Designing jewellery with passion
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, August 28
Young budding jewellery designers in the city foresee a bright future with exclusive jewellery malls like Gold Souk coming to the city.

Though the concept of jewellery designing is a few years old, the youngsters, mostly girls, are opting for it as a full-time profession. With an optimistic attitude, they feel they would make a mark in the line if their designs speak of taste, style, elegance, splendour and sophistication.

Mona, Senior Faculty in NIFD here, said jewellery designing, launched recently at the centre, had got an overwhelming response. The girls were keen on studying the history of jewellery, gemology, cuts and purity in detail.

“The concept of jewellery has changed all these years. Now women want jewellery which is graceful, elegant but wearable. They do not want to keep the jewellery in lockers. And the contemporary designs designed by todays’ designers impart style, which add poise to the personality. The big jewellery houses are paying handsome salaries to the jewellery designers throughout the country”, Mona.

Some of the designers, after completing their courses from various institutes, have started designing and selling their own branded jewellery and people have approved their trendy styles. A student of NIFD, Delhi, Tripti, has adopted jewellery designing as a profession. Today she takes orders, designs jewellery according to people’s choice and offers purity assurance, variety and unmatched transparency- which a buyer generally looks for.

“Why should I work for someone else when I can easily earn good money for myself. Otherwise, the big jewellers also pay handsomely, if the designs are according to their taste. My designs are a confluence of traditional and contemporary styles in gold, silver, platinum, diamonds and semi-precious stones. I see a promising future ahead”, said Tripti.

Neha Dutt, who has done jewellery designer course from JD Institute here, plans to join one of the jewellers here.” After a thorough training on the subject, I have recently come back from America. I have learnt about diamonds. We were given basic knowledge about designs and styles”.



Hanspal vice-chairman of Bhaini Sahib Board
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 28
The Punjab Government has reconstituted the Shri Bhaini Sahib and Rayian Development Board with the Chief Minister being its chairman and Mr H.S. Hanspal as vice-chairman.

The board was originally constituted by the Akali-BJP government in 2001. However, the Congress government reconstituted the board recently.

According to the notification issued by the Punjab Government recently, the board will have 24 official members and seven non-official members. Among the non-official members four are MLAs and three would be appointed from the local area by the Chief Minister.



Police undertakes social awareness campaign
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 28
The Jagraon police has taken a big leap forward. Besides policing, it has gone ahead with a social awareness campaign. This, according to the SSP, Jagraon, Mr Rajiv Ahir, will help the police in establishing links with community leaders and respectable citizens which can be utilised during crisis situations.

Giving details, Mr Ahir said that in Jagraon police district, these campaigns had focused various important issues affecting the general public. These include drug abuse and alcoholism, unscrupulous travel agents, illegal channels of immigration and settling abroad, rights of women and children, female foeticide, stress management, hepatitis-B, AIDS, police station working and working of the district police headquarters.

The SSP pointed out that in a system based on the rule of law, it was imperative that the common citizens should be aware of the laws that govern them or else they could be exploited and misled by vested interests. He observed that considering the level and quality of literacy prevailing in our society, there was a great need to educate the public about its rights and liabilities. He said, “In a young democracy like ours, where new legislations keep coming with regularity, the public as well as the administrators need to keep pace with such statutes so as to use these effectively”. He said such public awareness campaigns in the form of public meetings, awareness marches, cultural programmes like street plays, lectures, educative visits to the police stations and the district police headquarters gave the police an opportunity to contact the masses in a cordial atmosphere which did not happen often in the normal course.

He said similar campaigns were used by the Jagraon police to cultivate goodwill by simultaneously organising free medical camps, provision of assistance to the needy in form of clothing, text books, etc and these campaigns helped the senior officers in particular in building crucial links with the community leaders.

Mr Ahir said that as a part of this exercise, a total of 40 public meetings and four awareness marches were carried out. Seven visits were organised to police stations and the headquarters involving 5,100 school students. He said in the next phase of this campaign, school and college students had been chosen as the target for awareness campaigns, which would include subjects such as drug abuse, AIDS, civil rights of the citizens, traffic rules and rights of the women and children.



Govt committed to industrialisation
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 28
Mr Surinder Dawar, Parliamentary Secretary, Power, Housing and Urban Development, Punjab has asserted that the Punjab government was committed towards rapid industrialization of the state. He said that investments to the tune of Rs. 10,000 crores were being made for the setting up of big industrial units by the end of this year. He said, Mohali was fast emerging as a major centre for information technology.

Mr Dawar was addressing the members of the association of industry and trade at a function organised by the Citizen Welfare Council, Ludhiana to honour him for his services the city, here last night.

Mr Dawar stated that the Punjab Government has chalked out a comprehensive plan to strengthen the infrastructure facilities in the state for the fast growth of industrialization and to ensure all round development. He said that the government had secured an aid of Rs 1300 crore from the World Bank for the Punjab State Roads Project and the entire road system would be upgraded to international standards.

He said that to strengthen the infrastructure facilities, different road projects were being strengthened at a cost of Rs 1100 crore and new 18 corridors roads were being completed at a cost of Rs 1200 crore. He further said that 1700-long link roads have been repaired at a cost of Rs 700 crore and 1869km link roads were being constructed in the state. He said that as promised, the government has created a corpus fund of Rs 450 crores to ensure regular disbursement of pensions to around 10 lakh persons in the state.

Mr Dawar said that most problems relating to the implementation of VAT have been solved and the rest would also be got settled soon.

Referring to the development of the Ludhiana (East) constituency, Mr Dawar claimed that during the past three and a half years, a sum of to Rs 35 crore had been spent on different developmental projects. He announced that another prestigious project to cover the length of sullage drain has been got sanctioned and the project would be started on September 10, by Chaudhary Jagjit Singh Minister for Local Bodies, Labour and Employment, Punjab.

Mr Ramesh Joshi, Director, Punjab Pollution Control Board, said that Mr Dawar has set up a workable system to get the routine works of people done through his offices in the constituency.



Banks disburse Rs 859 crore as loans to priority sector
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 28
Banks in Ludhiana released loans to the tune of Rs 859 crore to priority sector for the quarter ending June 30, 2005, against the target of Rs 673 crore, said the Deputy Commissioner Mr Anurag Verma, while presiding over the district credit review meeting held here today.

Mr Verma said the district showed good performance in lending and attained a target of 120 per cent by extending credit worth Rs 454 crore against the fixed target of Rs 378 crore during the quarter. He said banks released loans amounting to Rs 191 crore against target of Rs 156 crore to other priority sectors, which is 122 per cent of the target, and also released loans to 214 small-scale units during this period.

With a view to educate farmers about new schemes launched by the government for agricultural sector, a comprehensive programme has been started under which ‘goshthies’ are organised by various banks. During the first quarter, 178 such ‘goshthis’ were organised, the DC said.

Regarding the Reserve bank of India (RBI) guidelines for the benefit of farmers who defaulted in repayment of their loans, Mr Verma said 13 farmers were covered during this period for one-time settlement.

Giving details about the progress under the Prime Minister Rozgar Yojna, he said for the 10th successive year, the Ludhiana district achieved the its target for 2004-05 of completing 1,020 cases. He said against the target of 80 groups (up to September 2005) the district formed 137 groups, effected credit linkage to 46 groups against the target of 152.

Mr Jeet Singh, Lead District Manager, said the district recorded good performance in credit ratio which is 82 per cent against the state’s credit ratio of 52 per cent.



PSEB has harmed industrial economy, says federation
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 28
The Federation of Punjab Small Industries Associations have held Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) responsible for the shattered economy of the industrial sector. Federation members said they had to face undeclared power cuts in addition to two-day closure imposed by the board.

Mr V.P. Chopra, president of the federation, said the industrialists had agreed to two days staggered holidays with the assurance that regular supply to industrial feeders would be maintained. But the undeclared power cuts during the rest of the five days had jeopardised the very existence of the industrial sector.



Cafe with health food as USP
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 28
Cafe Coffee Day, part of Rs 300-crore Amalgamated Bean Coffee Trading Company (ABCTCL), is planning to introduce health food, including low calorie snacks, at its outlets in Ludhiana from September 1.

The company would also open more than 100 cafes by June next year across the country, disclosed Ms Shabri Prabhakar, manager marketing (north,) Cafe Coffee Day here today.

Ms Prabhakar was here to inaugurate Cafe Coffee Day’s first lounge-format cafe at Pakhowal Road.

Talking to mediapersons, she said the company had adopted a unique strategy of providing cafes with diverse kinds of ambience.

“For instance, for book lovers, we have tied up with bookshops wherein people can have coffee and read books. Then there are cafes that cater to music lovers who can select the music of their choice that would be played at the cafe,” she said.

The lounge-format cafe, she said, aimed at providing a relaxing environment where people can leisurely have coffee.


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