L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Candidates flout Bar poll code
Posters, banners dot Judicial Complex
Rajneesh Lakhanpal

Ludhiana, December 15
A majority of candidates in the election fray of the District Bar Association are openly violating the code of conduct prescribed by the Returning Officer. It appears that the warning of strict action for violating the code of conduct has no meaning for them at all. Violation could result in the disqualification of the candidate, as per the code of conduct.

The annual elections of the Bar Association are going to be held on December 20. For conducting the elections, Mr S.K.Pathak was appointed the Returning Officer and Mr P.S. Batra as the Assistant Returning Officer.

After issuing the schedule for conducting the elections, the code of conduct was issued by the RO and ARO directing the candidates to obey the same. As per the code of conduct, the candidates were restrained from defacing the Judicial Complex and pasting posters.

However, several candidates showing scant regard to the code of conduct are busy pasting posters. A number of posters can be seen pasted at the main entrance gate of the Judicial Complex, which is a public property. Similar is the position inside the Judicial Complex and the Lawyer’s Chambers Complex. The posters have been pasted outside the lifts and even adjoining the notice board of the association, where the notice mentioning the code of conduct is still hanging.

As per the code of conduct, no candidate or his supporter shall display banners in the District Court Complex and the Lawyer’s Chamber Complex. However, one can easily see ‘’dozens’’ of banners displayed by the candidates and their supporters.

A majority of the lawyers are against this practice but not wanted to oppose this practice openly. Certain lawyers feel that there was no need to issue such a code of conduct, which could not be implemented. Even before the issuance of the code of conduct, several aspiring candidates had started pasting posters. These lawyers say that even last year a majority of the candidates had violated the code of conduct but no action was taken against them. This was also likely to be done this time, say these lawyers not wished to be quoted.



Monitor kids on Net, parents warned
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, December 15
The rapid growth of online services and Internet access in India over the past few years has added a new dimension to modern computing. Through a computer, the children now have access to an almost endless supply of information and opportunity for interaction.

However, there can be real risks and dangers for an unsupervised child, cautions Dr Paramjit Singh Khurana, a consultant neuro-surgeon and drug deaddiction specialist at Guru Teg Bahadur Charitable Hospital, here.

“Most online services give children resources such as encyclopaedias, current events coverage, and access to libraries and other valuable material.

They can also play games and communicate with friends. The ability to ‘click’ from one area to another appeals to a child’s natural impulses and curiosity and needs for immediate gratification or feedback.”

Dr Khurana says that most parents teach their children not to talk with strangers, not to open the door if they are home alone, and not to give out information on the telephone to unknown callers. Majority of the parents also monitor where their children go, whom they play with, and what TV shows, books, or magazines they are exposed to.

However, many parents do not realise that the same level of guidance and supervision must be provided for a child’s online experience.

Parents should not assume that their child will be protected by the supervision or regulation provided by the online services.

Most chat rooms or news groups are completely unsupervised. Because of the anonymous nature of the screen name, children who communicate with others in these areas will not know if they are chatting with another child or a child predator pretending to be a child or teen. Unlike the mail and visitors, the e-mail or chat room activity is not seen by parents.

He added that such unsupervised activity can have serious consequences for the children who have been persuaded to give personal information like name, passwords, phone number, address, or have agreed to meet someone in person.

In addition, the children also run the risk of several other problems like accessing areas that are inappropriate or overwhelming, online information that promotes hate, violence, and pornography, children being misled and bombarded with intense advertising, invited to register for prizes or to join a club when they are providing personal or household information to an unknown source and losing precious time which could be well utilised for developing real social skills.

In his advice to the parents for making the online experience of children safer and educative, Dr Khurana suggested that the amount of time a child spends online and surfing the web should be limited, the children should be made aware that talking to screen names in a chat room was the same as talking with strangers, children ought to be told never to give out any personal identifying information to another individual or website online and never agree to actually meet someone they have met online.

“Further, the children should never give a credit card numbers or passwords, should not blindly believe what they saw or read on web sites, provide for an e-mail address only if a child was mature enough to manage it.

The children should also be taught to use decent language while chatting and the parents should make use of the parental control features offered with online service to restrict access to chat lines, news groups, and inappropriate websites.”

Dr Khurana emphasised that parents should remember that communicating online did not prepare children for real inter-personal relationships. “Spending time with a child initially exploring an online service and periodically participating with a child in the online experience gives parents an opportunity to monitor and supervise the activity. It is also an opportunity to learn together.”



Power shortage “may be” resolved in 3 years
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 15
The problem of power shortage in the state would take at least two-three years to solve provided the ongoing power projects were completed well in time, said Mr Raman Bhalla, administrative member, Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB), at a press conference here today.

Mr Bhalla was here in connection with the ‘Pension Adalat’ conducted by the PSEB today. The was conducted by the board to solve problems of its pensioners and distribute leave encashment cheques.

Blaming the previous government for not undertaking any power generation project, Mr Bhalla said that even a delay of one year put on hold the execution of such projects by several years. No projects were taken up in the past eight years. The projects that had been started now, if completed on time, would take two-three years to solve the ongoing power crisis, he maintained.

He said that electricity demand in the state was 800 to 900 lakh units per day and this increased to an average of 1,500-2000 lakh units in summers. “However, in winters the demand witnesses a considerable reduction and if there are minor cuts they are due to repair and maintenance work only.”

Mr Bhalla said with a view to controlling ‘kundi’ connections, the PSEB had started giving power supply for tubewells through high tension wires. “The board is also taking concrete measures towards curbing transmission losses. Stress is being laid on shortening the length of wires through which power supply reaches consumer. This would control transmission losses to a great extent,” he said.

In today’s pension adalat, Mr Bhalla heard problems of the pensioners and instructed the officials concerned to redress them at the earliest. The board distributed cheques for Rs 24.45 lakh to pensioners in central, western, eastern, sub-urban and Khanna circles.

He informed that so far as many as 149 pensioners had been given cheques for more than Rs 8. 67 lakh .

Among others present on the occasion were Mr R.P. Pandav, Director, Industrial Relations, PR, Patiala, Mr H.S. Thukral, Deputy Chief Engineer (West), Mr N.S. Brar, Deputy Chief Engineer (sub-urban).



Santa Claus dresses in great demand
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, December 15
Though the festival of joy-Christmas is a little away, city shopkeepers have started a brisk sale of dresses and accessories of Santa Claus. Be it big shopping malls or small shopkeepers in interiors city, the pretty red and white dresses with hoods and separate caps are displayed everywhere and parents have started purchasing them for their kids.

Mr Rohit Ahuja, one of the wholesaler at Chaura Bazaar informed that he supplied dresses of Santa Claus to retailers every year. Last year also, the clothes of Santa Claus were sold like hot cakes. “We get orders in bulk. These dresses are available right from new-born babies to elderly people. This time, we have got the dresses in cotton material, shearing and suede. Fine quality feather is used on caps, pockets and borders of jackets. Colourful bags for Santas have also been made which look attractive and match with the dresses. The dresses range between Rs 100 to Rs 1000 depending on the size and material used”, said Mr Ahuja.

A shopkeeper in Ghumar Mandi said he had purchased more than 30 dresses of Santa Claus for various age groups last year. He said, “the dresses are to be worn on Christmas Day or if there is some function or fancy dress competition. There is no fun buying them every year. I supply these dresses to schools. To celebrate the day of togetherness in schools, the authorities just hire them on rent.

The rental charges are Rs 100, Rs 200 depending on the quantity and accessories. Almost every kindergarten celebrates the festival of Christmas as kids like it most. One of the play-way school has already ordered for 20 dresses for Christmas celebrations”.

To provide extra warmth to the kids, the manufacturers have also given a thick cotton lining to the jackets this time. The price of these jackets is also high as compared to normal ones.

A dealer, who gets the material from Delhi said, “Santas are supposed to be kind hearted and plump.

The extra lining on jackets and lowers serve dual purpose. Besides giving warmth, it provides a natural look”.



Christmas fervour grips residents
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 15
Festivity fervour is back again as the city markets are getting decked up with Christmas knick knacks. One can spot brightly decorated shops with items right from Christmas trees, bells, stars etc on display in markets of Sarabha Nagar, Ghumar Mandi and Chaura Bazaar. While retailers are expecting sales to pick up within four to five days, as the festival comes nearer, wholesalers are already making moolah.

"Retailers bought huge stocks a couple of days ago, we are expecting fresh orders in four-five days time," said Raju, a wholesale dealer in Chaura Bazaar. Fun loving Ludhianavis, known to celebrate all festivals with equal zeal irrespective of their religion, are a shopkeepers delight as they also do not mind spending.

In the items that are on the offering are Christmas trees ranging from as low as Rs 30 to Rs 400, bells and gift boxes in various sizes available in packets starting from Rs 10 onwards. In decorative items one can get posters, paper chandeliers, posters and stars.

"Being a colourful festival a lot of people buy Christmas nick knacks to decorate their homes, whether they celebrate or not. Besides, kids find these items very attractive and account for over 60 per cent of our sales," said a shopkeeper in Ghumar Mandi. He said people had started purchasing but it would take nearly a week for sales to pick up.

Apart from the routine items, to attract kids are stuffed Santa Claus, Santa dresses, caps also available in city markets. As schools actively celebrate festivals, even fancy dress competitions are witness to the Christmas fervour.

"I have bought a Santa dress, a gown and a cap, for my four-year-old son. He has also bought a lot of bells and other items as his school would celebrate the festival. Since his friends have purchased Santa dresses, toys etc, he wants to outdo them" said Neeru, a resident.

Besides the festival day purchases, residents are busy buying gifts for their loved ones too. Sales of candles, particularly decorative candles and greeting cards too are on the rise. "After Divali, it is Christmas when sales of candles pick up. On demand are floating candles, gel candles and other decorative candles with candle stands," Ramesh Kumar, another wholesaler in Gur Mandi said.

Mobile phone companies, home appliances dealers etc are offering heavy discounts and attractive purchase offers.

The coming week is expected to have even more offers from apparel manufacturers and other companies.

After registering relatively lukewarm sale this festive season, traders have their hopes pinned up on Christmas to give a fillip to their business. "The beginning is good. We are hoping that sales pick up during Christmas," a trader said.



BJP opposes move to ‘favour’ minority institutes
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 15
The BJP has opposed to the Congress-led UPA government's move to keep the minority institutions outside the ambit of the proposed constitutional amendment Bill, seeking to provide for quota in unaided educational institutions.

In a press note here today, the state general secretary of the party, Mr Rajender Bhandari, said the proposed constitutional amendment, in its present form, was not only against equity and justice, but in violation of the spirit of the Constitution. The BJP was for the reservation of the poor and backward classes in all of institutions, irrespective who was running them. In fact this was the consensus evolved during the all-party meeting convened by the Union HRD Minister in August.

According to Mr Bhandari, it was an attempt by the Congress government to continue with its old policy of appeasement of its vote bank and to keep Muslim fundamentalists in good humour. It appeared that the ruling party had succumbed to the threat of Muslim radicals, who had threatened during the all-party meeting to launch an agitation in case the minority institutions were not kept out of the Bill ambit.

The BJP leader feared that if the Bill was passed in its present form, it could trigger resentment among the backward classes as they would be deprived of the benefit of reservation. Mr Bhandari alleged that the Congress had never been fair to minorities and had always been treating it as its vote bank. He advised the Congress-led UPA government to initiate welfare schemes for the uplift of the poor and backwards classes.



Octroi contractor “defrauding” MC
Vijay Bansal

Jagraon, December 15
A scandle involving octroi contractor defrauding the local (MC) by showing less collections has come to light. The Executive Officer of the council following complaints in this regard asked the police to register a case against the contractor.

According to information, after irregularities in collections came to the knowledge of the council officials, a complaint was sent to the local police. It came to light that the original receipts bearing No 9 to 16 of receipt book No. 3396 at the octroi point on the Sherpur Road, had been scratched while the duplicate receipts were blank in the receipt book. The municipal council vide its letter No 1917 had complained to the local police, but the police did nothing. The council again sent another letter No 2031 to the police demanding action.

Sources disclosed that a person presented to the council authorities a blank receipt bearing No 3427/124. This receipt allegedly belonged to the octroi point of Tehsil Chowk, G T Road, while its duplicate showed a collection of Re 1 . In its third letter No 2074, the council again had complained to the police against octroi contractor Sham Sunder asking to register a case.

The reason behind tampering with the receipts and showing less collections seems that the contractor had been indulging in illegal collections causing loss to the council. City SHO Gagandeep Singh has started investigations and a case was likely to be registered.



Draw for 90 flats on Dec 26
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 15
Housefed, Punjab, will take out the draw of lots for 90 super deluxe flats under the 475 acre Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar development scheme at its site office here on December 26.

Announcing this on Tuesday, the Managing Director of Housefed said that they would display the list of applicants for the scheme at the site office from December 14 to 19.

He asked the applicants to check up with the site office for any discrepancies in the applications and get these rectified before December 19 at the head office of Housefed in Chandigarh. Otherwise their applications would not be considered for the draw of lots.

The draw of lots would be conducted by the Board of Directors of Housefed, he added.



Cycle units workers to hold protest
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 15
Expressing solidarity with workers of cycle divisions of Rockman Cycle Industries and Highway Industries, rendered jobless following the closure of the divisions, several workers associations will hold a protest rally on December 25 in the Industrial Area here.

The decision was taken at a meeting of workers associations held here today. Mr Mahinder Singh, secretary, Moulder and Steel Workers Union, said the companies, by closing the cycle divisions had rendered over 1,500 workers jobless. The union leaders, who also condemned contractual employment system, said workers would continue with their struggle against the industrial units.

They said that not only industrial workers, those working in the agricultural sector, small-scale industry and even government departments were suffering due to such policies that encouraged contractual system.

Mr Singh said the rally on December 25 would involve participation of thousands of workers from industrial, agricultural sectors and from government departments.



Brick kiln workers’ meeting on Dec 20
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 15
Taking up the issue of alleged "non-implementation of the Factories Act in brick kilns", the Lal Jhanda Bhattha (brick kiln) Workers Union has decided to hold a state-level meeting on December 20 here. Around 25,000 workers from across the state would participate.

"Over 3 lakh workers working in more than 2,800 brick kilns across the state are suffering due to the non-implementation of the Factories Act in brick kilns," alleged general secretary (Punjab) of the union Jagdish Chand.

He said workers in brick kilns were not getting benefits like provident fund, ESI etc. "The Implementation of the Factories Act would ensure that workers get such benefits and mark their attendance regularly. They are being exploited as brick kiln owners are not implementing the Act."

Over 25,000 members of the union would participate in the meeting that would chalk out further course of action to ensure that workers get their due rights, said Mr Chand. "It was only after a long struggle that brick kilns were brought under the Factories Act. Now, they are not implementing it," he alleged.

More than 50 per cent of the workers in brick kilns are migrants from states like Rajasthan, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. The union says that these workers suffer in hands of kiln owners as they are migrants.

Mr Raghunath Singh, general secretary, Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), would address workers.



Bank Manager booked for accident
Our Correspondent

Khanna, December 15
The Khanna police has booked a bank manager for causing death of a man in accident with his car on Thursday.

According to Sarup Singh, son of the deceased that they were crossing the GT Road after paying obeisance at Gurudwara Bahtian. A Zen car hit his father Bilora Singh. He received serious injuries. He was rushed to Khanna Nursing home with the help of passersby. The doctor at the nursing home referred his father for CT Scan. When they were going to scan centre his father died.

On the complaint of Sarup Singh the Khanna police has registered a case against Harbhajan Singh, a resident of Udhey Pur village in Rajasthan presently working branch manager in Bank of Baroda at Phagwara.



21-yr-old girl found murdered
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, December 15
A 21-year-old girl has been found murdered near Sidhwan canal in the Janetpura area.

The girl, Kuldeep Kaur, was a resident of Shara village and had been missing for four days.

The post-mortem on the body, conducted at the local Civil Hospital, revealed that it was not a natural death but a case of murder.

A case has been registered under Section 302 of the IPC.



Poppy husk seized; 1 held
Our Correspondent

Khanna, December 15
The police seized 30 kg of poppy husk and arrested one man in this connection here last night.

According to the information, ASI Gurdeep Singh stopped a scooterist at Rahaun village. On checking the police recovered 30 kg of poppy husk in a bag belonging to the accused, who was identified as Gurpreet Singh, son of Jarnail Singh of Ismailpur village in Fatehgarh district.

A case has been registered at the Sadar police station.


HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |