L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Notice to 50 polluting units
Industrialists write to CM
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 19
The Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) has issued notices to around 50 units in the Industrial Area-C for discharging waste in underground soaking pits, thereby polluting ground water.

The PPCB has asked owners of the units to close the pits or face action within 15 days. The board has targeted mixed engineering industries, including cycle parts, dyeing units, hardware and motor parts.

Action followed in the wake of a complaint to the Chairman of the PPCB, who ordered a survey. A team visited these units and found out that these units were dumping the waste underground. The notices were issued after the team submitted its report to the Chairman.

Meanwhile, the Federation of Tiny and Small-Scale Industries has shot off letters to the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, asking him to direct the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation to lay sewerage in the area.

The industrialists called an emergency meeting here today to decide the course of action. Mr Joginder Kumar, president of the federation, said they could not do anything about the pits unless the MC provided them with basic amenities to dispose of the sewage.

He said the area had been declared an industrial area by the Industries Department in the 1990s and the MC had still not provided basic facilities though they had been paying licence fee, house tax and development charges.

He said the area did not have sewerage, potable water, sanitation and streetlights. ‘‘Every unit generates some domestic discharge. In the absence of a proper disposal system, we have to dispose of this waste through some method. So we decided to have soaking pits. Now they are asking us to close those or face action. Shall we start throwing this water on the road?’’ he asked.

He also urged the Chief Minister to direct the MC to start laying underground pipes for water disposal.



Concealed income of over Rs 1 crore surrendered
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 19
Three of the four business houses where the Income Tax officials had undertaken surveys on Tuesday and Wednesday have surrendered concealed income of more than Rs 1 crore. Survey operations at Kipps Restaurant and Departmental Store in Sarabha Nagar were still continuing at the time of filing this report.

According to sources in the department, separate teams of IT officials led by Mr Sandeep Dahiya, Joint Commissioner, Range VI, had commenced surveys at the business premises of M/s Kipps, M/s Auto Stuff in Model Town and outlets of M/s Bansal Traders in Feroze Gandhi Market and Sarabha Nagar on Tuesday morning.

The tax sleuths, accompanied with police personnel, carried out a detailed inspection of the books of accounts, computer data, stocks of finished goods and raw material and other record.

Owners of the companies were also questioned about their immovable property and other assets.

The sources said M/s Bansal Traders, an auto accessories firm, had surrendered concealed income of Rs 45 lakh, M/s Auto Stuff had come out with undisclosed income of Rs 12 lakh. Another firm, M/s Sahib Synthetics, had surrendered an additional income of Rs 50 lakh. All firms had undertaken to clear the additional tax liability before the end of this financial year.

Senior officers of the department maintained that in the face of targeted revenue collection of Rs 1150 crore for the current financial year, pressure would continue to unearth tax evasion under the Ludhiana Chief Commissionerate.

The department is learnt to be eyeing high-value transactions in different fields and contemplating action under the relevant provisions of the Income Tax Act to check evasion and ensure better compliance.



Murder case evidence goes missing, 16 booked
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 19
The city police today booked a retired medical record officer and about 15 employees of the CMC Hospital for allegedly conspiring to misplace or steal an evidence document in a 10-year-old murder case of a local woman.

They have been charged with the disappearance of the document, bed-head ticket, of the deceased, Gurmeet Kaur, when she was admitted at CMC Hospital.

Her husband Vajinder Singh, who was charged with the murder had claimed that the ticket had duly recorded her wife’s statement that she had got burnt in an accidental fire.

The employees were booked at the Division No. 3 police station under Sections 120-B, 201 and 380 of the IPC on the inquiry report of SP, detective, Gurpreet Singh. The inquiry was conducted after Vajinder Singh appealed against his conviction in the case in the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Gurmeet was admitted with severe burn injuries at the hospital in 1995. She died a few days later. The division No. 2 police had then booked Vajinder and his mother. They were convicted by a district court.

They appealed against the conviction in the high court. The inquiry was ordered after Vajinder claimed that her wife had stated she had suffered burns in an accident.

He claimed that he had been falsely implicated by the police.

The FIR does not mention the names of the accused as there were several persons responsible for the safe custody of the document.

He said his inquiry was concentrated on whether the document was missing or not.

The retired medical record officer in his statement before the SP, Detective, said they had stated before the court in 1996 that the document was missing. He said it was not deliberately misplaced. The investigation further found out that there were 13 to 15 employees in the record office.

The SP, detective, said Sub-Inspector Swaran Singh, Additional SHO, division No. 3 police station, would conduct further investigation in the case.



No to bail plea of building inspector
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana January 19
The Additional Sessions Judge, Mr Gurbir Singh, has dismissed the anticipatory bail applications filed by the building inspector of the municipal corporation, Ramesh Kumar, and head draughtsman, Neeraj Bhatti, in a case registered against them by the Vigilance Bureau. Certain politicians had met the IG, Vigilance, Chandigarh, yesterday against local Vigilance officials.

The Vigilance had charged the accused with corruption by regularising illegal constructions in the Tajpur Road area and Guru Arjun Dev Nagar. It was alleged that they, in connivance with several persons, had allowed the construction of 11 godowns in the residential area. Some were challaned and in other cases the guilty were not even challaned.

The Vigilance had registered a case under sections 420 and 120-B of the IPC and Section 13 of the Prevention of Corruption Act on January 12.

Rejecting the bail applications, the Judge observed: “The merit of the case is not to be seen at this stage, whether they acted negligently or they failed in their duty after receiving some benefit is to be established during the investigation. The entire record is in their custody. So, their custodial interrogation is necessary.”

However, the court granted bail to junior draughtsman, Harjit Singh, who was in custody. Bail was also granted to Vijay Kumar and Charanjit Singh who were arrested by the Vigilance a few days ago.

Interim bail was granted to Anita Aggarwal of Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, Pinki Lamba of Sarabha Nagar, Jatinder Lamba of Civil Lines, Agya Devi of Sunder Nagar, Sheela Devi Garg of Vinay Trading Company, Guru Arjun Dev Nagar, Salochna Gupta, Rajesh Gupta, Anu Gupta, Rashmi Gupta of Sunder Nagar and Urmila Gupta of Dr Hira Singh Road. They have been directed to join investigation.

Granting the interim bail, the Judge held: “I am of the view that they must be given an opportunity to join investigation. Their bail application can be disposed of after seeing the result of the interrogation.”

Their bail application would come up for hearing on February 6.



Doctor killed in mishap

Jagraon, January 19
A woman doctor was killed and four occupants of two cars were injured when these collided with each other near Aligarh, 3 km from here, on the Jagraon-Ludhiana G T Road, today.

According to information, Mr Malsingh Ghuman, former Chairman of the Punjab Mandi Board, along with his driver, were on their way from Mullanpur to Moga in the Esteem (PB-10 At-0148) when it collided with an Accent car (PB-60A-0099) on the GT road near Aligarh, in which Dr Prabhjit Singh, his wife Dr Sukhwant Kaur and driver Ramesh were going from Moga to Ludhiana. OC



Akali leaders pay tributes to Pandey; Congress leaders skip function
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 19
While most senior Congress leaders, including the Deputy Chief Minister, Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, and the Pradesh Congress Committee president, Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, missed the death anniversary function of former minister and senior party leader Joginder Pal Pandey, two senior Akali leaders Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, Ludhiana MP, and senior vice-president of the Shiromani Akali Dal, Mr Amarjit Singh Bhatia, attended it.

Ms Bhattal and Mr Dullo were scheduled to attend the function and their names and pictures had been prominently displayed in posters. However, they were said to be busy with the All-India Congress Committee session starting at Hyderabad tomorrow.

Local leaders, including Minister of State for Science and Technology and Industrial Training Rakesh Pandey (son of Joginder Pal Pandey), the Mayor, Mr Nahar Singh Gill, District Congress Committee president and Mr Jagmohan Sharma were present at the function. Former Director-General of the Punjab Police, Mr D.R. Bhatti, also attended the function.

It was the two Akali leaders, Mr Dhillon and Mr Bhatia, who stole the show by praising the courage of the late Pandey. Mr Dhillon said had Pandey compromised on principles, he would not have fallen prey to the bullets of terrorists.

He said the contribution and the sacrifice of great martyrs like him needed to be glorified and future generations needed to be told about it.

Mr Bhatia recalled the zeal with which Mr Pandey had served the people of Punjab.

The senior Akali leader said although he represented the Congress, he never made a distinction among people along partisan or communal lines. He treated and served all with respect and

A large number of people had gathered at the Sita Mata Mandir complex at Daresi to pay homage to their leader.



BJYM protests against rising prices, burns effigy
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 19
Activists of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) led by mandal president Kewal Baveja and general secretary Inder Aggarwal burnt an effigy of the Punjab Government and staged an angry protest at Samrala Chowk here today against rising prices.

Addressing party workers, district president Sanjay Kapoor focused on widespread discontentment among the people over the spurt in prices of wheat flour, pulses, rice and other essential commodities as also hike in power, water and sewerage rates in the state.

He said the average man was finding it difficult to make both ends meet.

The district chief of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Dr Subhash Verma, and former Deputy Speaker of Punjab Assembly Sat Pal Gosain attacked the government for what they termed its failure on all fronts.

They said the electorate would throw out the ruling party in the next elections.

Among other speakers at the rally were Mr Jiwan Gupta, state secretary, BJYM, Mr Ashok Loomba, Mr Kewal Gupta, Mr Rajnish Dhiman, Mr Sanjeev Malhotra, Mr Ramesh Bangar, Mr Satish Nagar, Mr Rakesh Kumar Mr Varinder Kapoor and Mr Rajesh Sharma Mintu.



Ex-servicemen seek one rank, one pension
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, January 19
The Indian Ex-services League Punjab and Chandigarh, which is the only ex-servicemen’s organisation recognised by the Government of India and is affiliated to the Royal British Commonwealth League, London, held a special meeting at Lopon Ashram, Jagraon, today. It was attended by all district and block presidents of Punjab and Chandigarh and was presided over by Col Bhag Singh, senior vice-president, Indian Ex- services League, and discussed the long outstanding demands of ex-servicemen. Those included one rank one pension and removal of 33 years service condition. These demands are pending with the Government of India since 1988 and each government had been playing hide and seek game with ex-servicemen. Whereas MPs’ pay and perks had been increased by 400 per cent in just a one minute discussion. The NDA government had rejected the one rank one pension demand in Parliament in 2002 after giving full assurance.

The president of this league, Maj-Gen Bikram Singh, alongwith the delegation met the President of India, who had assured that rightful demand should be accepted. 



Bank staff stage dharna
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 19
Employees of the State Bank of Patiala today observed a dharna in front of the regional office of the bank at Miller Ganj here in response to a call given by the All-India State Bank of Patiala Employees Federation. In an ultimatum to the management, the protesting employees made it clear that if their demands were not conceded, they would be forced to resort to a countrywide strike from January 23 to 25.

Addressing the agitating employees, Mr Sushil Gautam, general secretary, and Mr Naresh Gaur, joint secretary of the State Bank of Patiala Employees Union, made scathing attacks against the “rigid, adamant and uncompromising attitude” of the bank management. They lamented that it was after a lot of struggle that the working hours of employees were regulated and beyond the duty hours, the employees were entitled for payment of overtime.

The trade union leaders alleged that the bank authorities were giving a raw deal to the employees which had made them seek the intervention of the Labour Department. “After the introduction of the core banking system, a lot of complaints from customers like slow processing and connectivity problem have arisen and the staff has to sit late in several branches, especially the cash department. While the employees are being forced to sit late, they are denied the benefit of overtime.”

Mr Gaur regretted the continuous attacks on the trade union bilateralism, which was the hard-earned right of the employees. Not only this, the management was resorting to many other tactics to harass and intimidate the employees which the bank union would not take lying down. “The attitude of the management is negative and no initiative is being taken by them to resolve the pending issues. Instead of working for the development of the bank and to increase the business, the management apparently wants to increase the profit by making recoveries and deductions from the wages of employees.”

The union leaders charged the management with neglecting the crucial issues, affecting the employee-employer relations. They said the management was pursuing calculated moves to attack and weaken the unions so that they were free to run the affairs according to their whims. Mr Gaur and Mr Gautam called upon the employees to be prepared for a decisive battle to defend the trade union rights which were under brutal attack.

Prominent among other speakers at the dharna were Mr A.K. Chibber, Mr Ashok Malhan and Mr K.K. Jaggi.



Death anniversary
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 19
The Nehru Sidhant Kender Trust yesterday commemorated the 14th death anniversary of its founder president, Sat Paul Mittal. Mr Prem Nath Gupta, president of the trust, all trustees and well-wishers paid floral tributes.

Those present were Mr Harnam Das Johar, Education Minister, Mr Nahar Singh Gill, Mayor, Municipal Corporation, Mr Prem Mittal, Senior Deputy Mayor, Municipal Corporation, Ludhiana, Mr G S Galib, Mr Ramesh Joshi, Chairman Punjab Pollution Control Board, Ludhiana, Mr Pritam Singh Banga, Mr Sham Sunder Malhotra, Mr Chint Ram Mehra, Mr Banbari Lal Rajasthani and Mrs S. Walia.

The Mayor of Ludhiana, Mr Nahr Singh Gill, described him as a great patriot who worked all through his life tirelessly for the poor and the downtrodden.

Mr Harnam Dass Johar, Education Minister, spoke on various facets of the philanthropists life Mr Prem Mittal, Deputy Mayor, and Mr G.S. Gallib, also spoke.

The organising secretary of the Trust, Lt-Col (Dr) D.B. Sharma, spoke of the unmatched contribution made by Mittal towards the progress of the nation.

Mr Rakesh Bharti Mittal thanked all those present.



Trust takes possession of plot

Ludhiana, January 19
The Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) today took over the possession of a plot in BRS Nagar, where a migrant was staying for the past many years. The Trust came to know about the plot only after a property dealer allegedly tried to occupy it.

Led by Mr Parmod Sharma, a team took the possession of the plot. Mr Sharma said the colony was transferred to the MC some years ago so it could not take stock of this piece of land. — TNS



Probe into tender allotment sought
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 19
The leader of the opposition in the Municipal Corporation House today demanded a CBI inquiry into the tender allotment system of the civic body, which was allegedly causing a loss in crores to the public exchequer.

In a written statement, Mr Parveen Bansal, a BJP councillor and Opposition leader in MC House, accused senior officials of the civic body of allotting tenders to their own agencies running in other people’s names and stated that a probe by an independent authority into the allotment of tenders would prove the allegations.

He also alleged that the tenders were given to those contractors who either enjoyed patronage of political leaders or ran the agencies of officials of the MC. Many employees were also involved in the alleged tender scam.

‘‘This was the reason why the tenders were not allotted to contractors who quoted the minimum amount but to those who gave inflated quotations,’’ he alleged.



MCPI hails CPI stand
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 19
The Marxist Communist Party of India (U) has welcomed the stand of CPI’s Punjab State Council to have no truck with the Congress or the Akali-BJP alliance in the state. Mr Jagjit Singh Lyallpuri, convener, national preparatory committee of the MCPI (U) and, Mr Kuldip Singh, secretary, in a joint statement here, appreciating this stand of the Punjab CPI described it a positive step in the right direction.

The two leaders hoped this would pave the way for left unity in the state, which was the need of the hour in the present political scenario.

Mr Lyallpuri and Mr Kuldip Singh hoped that the CPI, Punjab, would remain steadfast on its pro-people position. The MCPI(U) leaders also called for a joint meeting of all Left parties and groups in Punjab which wanted to pursue independent a political line against both the ruling Congress and the Akali-BJP combine.



PNB launches services fund
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 19
Punjab National Bank Asset Management Company Limited has launched a new scheme, Principal Infrastructure and Services Industries Fund (PISIF). The new fund is open till January 31.

The scheme was launched by Mr Rajan Krishan, senior vice-president (sales, marketing and business strategy) at a function here today. Mr I.D. Singh, General Manager, Punjab National Bank, Punjab zone, was the chief guest on the occasion.

Mr I.D. Singh said the asset management company was a joint venture of principal financial group, a Fortune 500 company and PNB, the third largest bank in India and Vijaya Bank, which started its India operations in September, 2000.

He said in such a short span, the company was managing assets worth over Rs 7,000 crore across a range of equity and debt funds of more than 4,52,000 investors.

Mr Krishan said the primary contributor to India’s GDP growth had been the services industries, whose share in the GDP had grown consistently from 48 per cent in 1996-97 to 58 per cent in 2004-05. This spectacular growth could not be sustained without strong infrastructure development.

The PISIF offers the investors two investment options of growth and dividend. The minimum application amount for both options is Rs 5,000.

It also offers investors an option to invest through a lower amount by way of systematic investment plan with a minimum amount of Rs 1,000, he pointed out.



Bridal wedding show

Ludhiana, January 19
The VLCC organised a Bridal Wedding Show at its centre in Sarabha Nagar here on Tuesday. Young models dressed up in bridal attire with mehndi. Mehndi artists made designs on hands and feet.

Ladies of all ages watched with awe the girls turning into beauties after make up was applied by experts. — OC


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