L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Yarn trader shot at
Assailant used motor cycle of victim’s brother
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 31
The police today said the theft of the motor cycle of the brother of a yarn trade broker, who was shot at by an unidentified assailant last evening, could provide a strong lead.

Pankaj Jain, a yarn trader, was returning to his home in Haibowal on his scooter when an assailant came on a motor cycle and opened fire at him.

The attacker fled, but later, abandoned the motor cycle at some distance from the scene of the crime.

The police found that the motor cycle was owned by the victim’s brother Vishal Jain. He had lodged a complaint at the Civil Lines police station hours before the crime that the motor cycle had been stolen.

‘‘This was quite curious,’’ said a police official. ‘‘If it is true, the police is dealing with a dangerous planner and executor of crime.’’

The police took the statement of the injured trader, who was operated upon last night. He could not identify the assailant. He did not name any person he suspected to be responsible for the crime.

Police sources said they had been working on several theories in the case, including some strong personal enmity or a case of contract killing, besides the suspicion over the motor cycle theft case.



Tribune Impact
Admn invites senior citizens
Shivani Bhakoo & Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, December 31
The 28 inmates of Senior Citizens Home, Red Cross Bhavan, here are no longer alone. At least not for today. They are the special guests of the district administration, which has invited them to celebrate New Year with hundreds of people at the Sutlej Club this evening. They have been sent a letter of invitation by the Deputy Commissioner.

The Deputy Commissioner said a mini-bus had been arranged for them. “A special area has been earmarked for them, where they will enjoy the bonfire. Dinner will be served to them. The same bus will drop them back after the celebrations.”

Ms Sehgal, one of the inmates, when asked about the invitation, said, “We have never been invited for such celebrations. Naturally, we feel great. The entire family used to celebrate the moments of happiness together. We will try to forget our bitter memories at least for a few moments,” she said.

Mr Jagtar Singh (75), a retired Air Force officer, is preparing well for the evening. “My family lives in Pune. I am leading a happy life here and the New Year will be very nice in the company of hundreds of youngsters and my dear friend Mr Balnabas, another inmate, from Bangalore.”

Mr Omkar Nath (78), feels that celebrations at the Sutlej Club would be filled with fun and music. “Since I do not have any child, I will be spending time with hundreds of children there. I am eagerly waiting for the happy times ahead,” he said.



Recall 2005
Unions got active; city attracted major investments
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 31
For industry, 2005 was a year of activities. While on one side, workers unions, new taxation system (VAT) and other taxes, power problems, etc, kept industry on its tenterhooks, the industrial town continued attracting investment from outside, particularly in the retail segment. The industry also received a setback with the death of the founder of the Oswal Group, Vidya Sagar Oswal, in July.

The first month of the year began with protests against the implementation of Value Added Tax (VAT). Industry resented the new system and was scared at the thought of having yet another tax. However, little did it deter the government, that had kept postponing the implementation of this new system, from going ahead with VAT this year. VAT was implemented from April 1 onwards. Even after its imposition, industry continued facing problems on account of certain provisions of the Act and non-refunds.

Poor power situation remained another big hurdle in smooth operations. Industry faced power cuts and unscheduled cuts of even longer than 15-hour duration. Several industrial associations continued meeting high-ups, only to little effect. Textile industry, cycle and engineering industry and other industries complained that they were not able to meet orders on account of irregular power supply. Induction and furnace units got a blow when the government decided to shut them down till power situation improved. Industry also remained sore over hike in electricity tariffs and penalties on account of power factor too added to industry’s woes during the year.

As if hurdles in its way to smooth functioning were not to end, trade unions remained active throughout the year. Bicycle industry was worst hit by union activities where Hero Group, KW Cycles and Avon too witnessed strikes. In November, Rockman Cycle Industries and Highway Industries closed their cycle divisions attributing high losses caused by poor productivity and other factors as the reasons. As 1,500 workers were rendered jobless, unions came to the fore and demanded the reopening of these units. The CPM-backed unions still continue with their dharnas and several leaders from the party too visited city to address workers.

Unions held several rallies, including a state-level rally on December 9. Three unions backed by the CPM were also registered during the year. Industry continued raising its voice against unionism and kept grappling with the problem at the same time.

Despite all these adverse factors, the industrial town appeared attractive to various industries, particularly the retail segment. The city witnessed opening of the first shopping mall of the region, Ansal Plaza, in October. The city also attracted investment to the tune of hundreds of crores of rupees in retail segment and will have at least 10 more malls by the end of 2007.

From food chains, including Pulse and Khushiram, to branded fashion wear like Style by Janak and stores like Pyramid, a host of to-of-the line brands marked their entry to the city this year.

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) also opened its office in April in the city. Besides a host of other exhibitions, the city also hosted an international textile fair and conference in November.

Industry also witnessed increased activity in publicity and marketing front wherein a host of road shows were organised and celebrities like Mona Singh of “Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahin”, Lisa Ray, Diana Hayden and several other eminent television and film personalities and also those form the political field were invited by the industry.

Amid all its problems, the industrial town, it seems, managed to retain its sheen and glory.



2005 had a cooler winter than preceding year
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 31
During the last week of November, the minimum temperature and the maximum temperature were nearly normal, without any rainfall occurrence, against the normal rainfall of 1.6mm. In the first week of December, not much change was observed in maximum temperature, but the minimum temperature fell 1.6ºC below normal, again without any rainfall.

In the second week of December, the minimum temperature started decreasing and reached to 3.6ºC, against the normal of 6.3ºC, but maximum temperature remained close to normal like 21.2ºC, against the normal of 21.6ºC.

In the following week, maximum temperature was only 1ºC below normal and minimum temperature was 1.7ºC below normal. The rainfall experienced was 27.8 mm during this week.

During the current week, the minimum temperature came to normal, 5.9ºC, but maximum temperature went below normal, with a difference of 1ºC, along with zero rainfall. During this year, November as well as December remained absolutely dry.

During the corresponding period last year, the minimum temperature was above normal by 5.4ºC, but maximum temperature was below normal by 0.9ºC, along with 1.5 mm of rainfall.

According to the forecast issued today, a western disturbance lay over Pakistan as an upper air system. Under its influence, scattered to fairly widespread rain or snow was likely to commence over the western Himalayas and scattered rainfall over the plains of Punjab and Haryana from tomorrow for two or three days.

Cold wave conditions over parts of Punjab and Haryana were likely to abate during the next 24 hours as the night temperature was likely to increase. With the expected eastward movement of the western disturbance, cold wave or fog was likely to return over north-west India around January 3.

Weather conditions during November and December were normal this year as compared to last year. The minor fluctuations in the maximum and minimum temperatures had not effected the growth of the crop. The minimum temperature, which remained below normal, had favoured the wheat crop in terms of tilling.

Although the weather remained dry during November and December, most of the crops had been given irrigation. This year, till December, weather remained favourable for rabi crops.

As rainfall was expected in two or three days, farmers could delay irrigation to late-sown wheat crop. In case crops in some areas were still not sown, farmers were advised to complete sowing by the first week of January.



Protest today
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 31
Ludhiana district ETT teachers will burn an effigy of the Punjab Government tommorrow. Unemployed ETT teachers will observe New Year day as Black Day.

Failure in recruitment of ETT teachers had caused resentment among them.



Riot relief too little, says SAD
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 31
The announcement of ex gratia for victims of the 1984 Delhi riot victims seemed to have drawn mixed response.

While some sections among the victims have hailed the announcement, the SAD has rejected it saying it was too little, too late.

The Danga Peerat Welfare Board, Punjab, while hailing the announcement said it was better late than never.

In a joint statement, the president of the board, Mr Kartar Singh Patna, the vice-president, Mr Surinderpal Singh Suri, the general secretary, Mr Gurmukh Singh, and others said the announcement of Rs 714 crore was a welcome development. They said the victims had been waiting for the relief for a long time.

On the other hand, a former minister and general secretary of the SAD, Mr Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal, maintained that the relief was “too little, too late”. He said the government seemed to have played a joke with victims after a gap of 21 years.

Mr Grewal claimed that it was only after a lot of sustained pressure built up over years by the party that the government came out with some relief package.

The general secretary urged the Prime Minister to reconsider the relief amount and enhance it so that the victims were able to get an honourable and workable living.



Recall 2005
Dist stood out on political map
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 31
In political terms, 2005 was quite an eventful year for Ludhiana. While in the first half, Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo from Khanna was appointed President of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, in November, Mr Avtar Singh Makkar from Ludhiana was appointed President of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC).

Mr Makkar’s affable manners, a clean image and easy accessibility, besides unfailing loyalty to Mr Parkash Singh Badal and his son Sukhbir, helped him to get elevated to this prestigious post. Mr Makkar belonged to the influential community of urban Sikhs, who had a long-time grievance of being ignored in the Shiromani Akali Dal. The year would be a testing period for Mr Makkar as he would have to provide all the support his political mentor, Mr Badal, would need in preparing for the 2007 Assembly elections.

In the Congress, Mr Dullo’s elevation was the best thing to happen for Ludhiana district. Although the outgoing President, Mr H.S. Hanspal, also claimed to belong to Ludhiana, he mostly remained in Delhi. Mr Dullo permanently stations himself at Khanna and kept frequenting Ludhiana.

Immediately after taking over as state party President, Mr Dullo tried to shake off the inertia that had crept into the party cadres. He also managed to create a lot of hype about party activities.

Although at one point of time, it was also projected as he was trying to create an alternative power centre in the state, parallel to the Chief Minister, subsequently he announced his unambiguous support to him. Mr Dullo managed to provide a semblance of unity in the party. 



At The Crossroads
‘Pehley aap’ is panacea for all ills

Haste is the malady from which mankind has been suffering. Everyone seems to be in a hurry to reach somewhere. Jostling with one another is the pastime of the people seeking vantage point. It is not a necessity, but a habit to jump the queue. By doing so, a sense of victory overpowers the wrong-doer.

On the roads, there is a mad rush for overtaking others. The person ahead may be going at a fast speed, but the man behind is eager to push him aside. The scooterist is not tolerated if he takes the liberty of going ahead of a car. The bus or truck driver cannot brook the insult of meekly following a car.

Not that the one is impeding the speed of the other one, it is merely the manifestation of an inflated ego. Honking mindlessly is the order of the day. Not even accidents have the capacity to change the scheme of things considered to be predestined. As a result, the idiom ‘haste makes waste’ has been discarded disdainfully.

It is high time we adopt the time-tested Lucknavi style of giving precedence to others by saying ‘Pehley aap’. This term endears others while engendering, in the process, mutual respect. In this frame of mind, an individual maintains the balance of his mind, that helps him perform his work in a delightful manner. There is neither pressure on the nerves, nor the hangover of irascible temperament.

The youngsters can earn the goodwill of the elders by extending a helping hand to them instead of ignoring them. This attitude creates vibes that can make the atmosphere soothing and pleasant. Work is accomplished agreeably, which otherwise, is in danger of having been done half-heartedly, even if completely.

The attitude of investing the minds of others with the sense of significance is reciprocal. It is a cycle of sentiments that creates reverberations like an echo in a mountain. This step shortens the distance between the individuals who feel alienated from each another.

‘Pehley aap’ is the panacea for all the ills from which humanity is suffering at present. Heartburn will cease when the awards are not coveted without deserving them. In literary and cultural functions, the tendency to occupy the stage out of turn will be checked, if such an honour is bestowed on the basis of merit.

Age is another factor that has to be taken into account while according recognition to the deserving persons in the various fields of human activity. During the past two or three decades, the younger generation has been at the receiving end for being impatient to grasp every conceivable opportunity to win applause. Not that they should now sit with their fingers crossed, but they should not run the race against time, losing their peace of mind in the process.

On their part, the senior citizens should not go on expecting preferential treatment all the time. They can also encourage the young persons to run the race of life without impediments, with the words ‘Pehley aap’. It is high time to adopt ‘Pehley aap’ as the New Year resolution. This will relieve mankind of anxiety, tension and stress.

—N.S. Tasneem



Drainage project opened
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 31
Fulfilling a long-pending demand of residents of Gurdev Nagar, a storm water drainage project was inaugurated here today by the ward No. 41 councillor, Ms Amrita Varsha Rampal

This project will end the problem of rainwater accumulation in the area. The councillor said all roads in the area would be recarpeted as tenders worth Rs 29 lakh was called by the Municipal Corporation.

Parks in the area would also be maintained. The repair of roads in Sarabha Nagar, Blocks D, H and J, and the work on sewerage construction in the Jagjeet area Nagar would be carried out soon.

At the inauguration ceremony, Mr B.K. Rampal, Mr Rahul Rampal, Mr P.K. Puri, Mr J.S. Walia, Mr Bhajan Lal Saini, Mr K.K. Bhagai, Mr Satpal Sharma, Mr Gian Chand, Mr Sanjeev Bassi, Mr Susheel Kapoor, Mr Susheel Malhotra, Mr Ravinder Sehagal and Mr S.P. Gogna were present among others.



Panchayat Secy retires
Our Correspondent

Amloh, December 31
A farewell party of Mr Surinder Kumar Tiwari, Panchayat Secretary, Amloh, was organised at Panchayat Samiti complex here yesterday. He retired after putting in 33 years of service. Mr Devinder Singh Walia, ADC (Develop-ment), Fatehgarh Sahib, Mr Jagwinder Singh Sandhu, Block Development and Panchayat Officer, and Mr Pakhar Singh Salana, Zila Parishad Chairman, presented gifts to Mr Tiwari. 



Kites are here
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, December 31
With Lohri and Makar Sankranti round the corner, kites have made their appearance in the market. Those brought from China are in birds’ shapes.

Kites made of plastic paper are sturdy. Prices start from Rs 5 and go up to Rs 250.



Gursharan to be honoured
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 31
The Revolutionary Movement of Punjab will honour Mr Gursharan Singh for his contribution to the cause of social change for the liberation of oppressed masses.

A gathering will be held at Kussa village, near Moga, on January 11 to highlight his role in a people’s movement for a social revolution.



13 to get awards today
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 31
The Shan-e-Punjab and Prof Puran Singh Dhami awards will be presented to 13 persons at Punjabi Bhavan on January 1.

Mr Charanjeet Singh Batth of the USA, Mr Gurcharan Singh Chhatwal of the UK and Prof Jagir Kaur Dhami will be given the Shan-e-Punjab Award.

Prof Sarita Tiwari, Prof Balwinder Pal Singh, Mr Dalbir Singh, Mr Manjit Singh, Mr Kulwinder Singh Sarai, Mr Rupinder Singh Sandhu, Mr Satnam Aseem, Mr Jatinder Pal Singh Chhabra, Mr Parkash Singh Delhi and Mr Verinderjit Singh will be presented the Prof Puran Singh Dhami Award.

The function is dedicated to the fourth martyrdom centenary of Guru Arjan Dev.



2 held with poppy husk
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, December 31
The police has seized 770 kg of poppy husk from a truck and arrested two persons in the Kannia Hussaini area.

The two arrested have been identified as Jasbir Singh of Mothanwala in Kapurthala district and Gurmet Singh of Jandu Khurd in Mansa district.



SBI holds customer meet
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 31
The State Bank of India, Kesarganj branch, organised a customer relation programme to welcome 2006. At least 65 customers attended the programme.

Mr N.K. Gosain, Senior Branch Manager, highlighted the achievements of the branch for 2005. He stated that 2,548 branches of the bank had been inter-connected and the remaining branches would be connected shortly.

Mr Gosain stated that the bank had formulated the scheme according to the requirements of traders, professionals and industrialists so that their requirements could be met immediately. He added that the bank had entered the insurance sector and decided to cover its depositors and borrowers.

Mr Manjit Singh, president of the Sugar Merchant Association, stated that they were satisfied with the branch, but their demand for issuance and acceptance of cheque anywhere be accepted. Mr A.K. Sharda, Manager (PBD), thanked the participants.



Lohri, boom time for business community
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 31
More than three weeks time is left for the Lohri festival to arrive, but enthusiastic families have already begun celebrating functions. Various segments of business community including cloth merchants, jewelers, marriage palace owners and professionals have begun minting money this season.

A visit to the area revealed that families, who are to celebrate Lohri festival on account of new arrival of a baby or on account of marriage have begun doing so in advance.

“I remember having missed a number of Lohri celebrations in the family as many of them had arranged function on the same day. This not only disappointed me but annoyed some of my friends also as they wanted me to attend their function”, Mr Jai Shanker Sharma said. Hailing from Barundi village, he had thrown a party at a marriage palace at Dangon village on Wednesday to celebrate Lohri of his twin grandsons. His son and daughter-in-law have arrived from Canada recently to share their joy with their relatives and friends.

Members of the business community, including clothes merchants, jewelers, grocers, marriage palace owners, have noticed a boom in the market, and are happy over the new trend. “The trend will enable our clients to avail better services and enjoy more claimed,” Yogesh Kumar, manager of an orchestra group and sound service provider.

The celebrations that will continue for more than a month this time will synchronise with the vacations of NRIs who usually prefer visiting their homeland during winter. Rural families seem to be more interested in accomplishing their task of arranging a fabulous party much before the Lohri arrives. The onset of the trend suggests that celebrations during the second week of January will be dominated mainly by urban families.



MBA students attend lecture
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 31
An extension lecture was held at GGNIVS here yesterday. The resource person was Mr Parvinder Singh, Head, Management Department, Gujranwala Guru Nanak Institute of Management and Technology.

“Presentations skills” was the topic of the lecture. Students of MBA I and II attended it.

Mr Parvinder Singh started the lecture with basic steps to be followed while preparing a good presentation.

He emphasised on the need to frame the objectives of the presentation to know the target audience. He also advised to research on the topic and then frame the presentation accordingly.


A three-day zonal-level workshop organised by the Punjab State Council for Science and Technology at the MTSM College for Women concluded here on Saturday.

Delegates from Ludhiana, Moga and Ferozepore have participated. Lectures by Mr Jagwinder Singh and Ms Vandana Kotoch were delivered.

The Principal, Dr Madanjit Kaur Sahota, thanked all delegates.


NCC cadets of the Devki Devi Jain Memorial College for Women, Kidwai Nagar, celebrated New Year eve with inmates of the senior citizen home. The cadets interacted with them.

NCC officer Robina Sood and some other staff members also accompanied the students.



Recall 2005
PAU entered into collaboration with private players
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 31
The Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) has always retained an aura of distinction when it comes to agricultural research. It has been the harbinger of change, rather the medium, of the Green Revolution. Over a period of time, with resources shrinking, there was nothing much for the PAU to cherish or take pride in.

The year gone by has been an eventful one for the PAU. While it continued with its research and extension programme, it also sought collaboration with leading industrial houses. As the Vice-Chancellor, Dr K.S. Aulakh, puts it, “The PAU has always tuned and fine-tuned itself according to contemporary needs and requirements”.

The best thing that could happen to the PAU this year was the staying of the split of the university into two as the high court stayed the setting up of a separate veterinary university. It was to be carved out of the PAU.

The prime focus, Dr Aulakh maintains, has been on diversification and value addition. He asserts, “We need to come out of the wheat-paddy cycle”. This he suggests by way of adopting other crops like the pulses or cotton, which fetch handsome prices to the farmers. He points out that the Reliance and Bharti group have announced their multi-crore food processing projects in Punjab.

The VC said, “The PAU had opened new vistas of partnership and co-operation to provide basic technological inputs, as also extension services, to the private sector in the interests of farmers”. A typical example was the linkages with a consortium of textile industry for promoting cotton production with desired quality in the state. These Textile houses were advised by the President, Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, during his recent interaction with the industry at Bathinda, to set up a chain of processing units from cottonseed-to-fibre-to-fabric-to-cloth-to-garment manufacturing in the rural hinterland of the cotton belt.

It was otherwise also an eventful year in the university. Students went on strike and some employees resorted to indefinite fast, but everything ended in reconciliation. While Dr Aulakh has been asserting that the discipline in the campus cannot be compromised at any cost, he has left scope for dissent. He revoked the termination orders of two senior officers, besides getting the students’ issues resolved amicably.


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