L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


PHRC directive to MC Commissioner
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 28
Taking a serious note of the failure of Commissioner of Ludhiana Municipal Corporation (LMC) to appear before the commission, the Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PHRC) has once again directed him to do so personally in connection with a case filed by a local resident claiming that the city residents were deprived of clean environment by the local body.

Directing the Commissioner to come personally on February 21 for interaction over the issue, a full bench of the PHRC has stated that "a specific direction was given to the Commissioner vide order (dated: December 13, 2005). He did not turn up. The commission takes up the lapse seriously and repeats the direction to the Commissioner to appear in person."

The PHRC has also asked him to be fully conversant with the facts of this case before coming to the commission.

The Commissioner was asked to appear in person on January 17 also. But Dr Usha Dhingra and Mr Brijpal Singh, XEN, had appeared before the commission. Earlier a junior engineer and a junior clerk were present before the benches.

After filing of the complaint, the Commission had asked the local MC for comments over the issue. In its reply, the MC officials had categorically denied the allegations and stated that the civic body was doing its duty perfectly.

But the complainant had expressed his dissatisfaction and it was then that the PHRC had asked the Commissioner to be present himself during the next hearing.

Mr S.S. Chana, a retired I.F.S. officer and President of Federation of Park Management Committees, had filed a case with the commission after a long-drawn battle between him and the local body last year. Alleging that there was lack of basic amenities in general, delivery of services in particular and enforcement, Mr Chana had stated that the life of city residents had become miserable.

The senior citizen had stated that despite the city been graded 'A' class, it was one of the most polluted cities of the country as per the National Survey report. The people were fed up with deteriorating water supply, bad roads, illegal constructions, heaps of garbage, desolated parks and receding greenery. Pigs roamed around freely and garbage dumps were spread all over.

In his complaint, Mr Chana stated that the city generates around 850 MT solid waste everyday, which has not only made the sanitary conditions in the city filthy but has also become a serious health hazard, giving rise to numerous infectious diseases and epidemics.

Mr Chana further claimed that according to the survey conducted by the Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, at the instance of the Commission, only 11 per cent of the parks under the charge of the Municipal Corporation have been found to be properly maintained.

It is the duty of the corporation under section 44 (q) of the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act, 1976 to keep the public parks, green belts, and recreation areas in high state of maintenance. But the commissioner has miserably failed to do so even after the specific orders of the commission on August 7, 2003.

The complaint also dealt with the pollution caused by Buddah nullah and lack of proper arrangements for the disposal of garbage. The complainant had also highlighted the various acts of omission and commission and regretted that the chief of civic body had miserably failed to implement any of the legal provisions.



Parents allege harassment
Non-refund of admission fee
Shivani Bhakoo and Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, January 28
Several parents in the city have alleged harassment at the hands of managing committees of different schools here over non-refund of admission fees of their wards.

The parents, whose children got selected in more than one school, want that the other schools in which they had deposited hefty amounts of admission fee, should refund it. The harassed parents have also appealed to the Education Department and District Administration to intervene in the matter to avoid financial loss to them.

The Ludhiana Tribune received a number of such complaints by the parents who said various private schools in the city declared their results for admission on different dates and insisted upon parents to deposit the fees immediately.

"In order to avoid any risk and to secure the admission of children, we deposited admission fees in other schools also. Some leading schools declared the results much earlier for financial gains. But now, the results of the schools of our choice have also been declared." they said.

''My son has got selected at Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School, Sarabha Nagar also. But I have already deposited Rs 39,200 with Sat Paul Mittal School and I want the deposited amount to be refunded. I had gone to the school for the refund but they refused to oblige me saying that they did not have orders for it from anyone", said Mr S.S.Gill, a parent.

This is not an isolated case. Several cases of financial loss to parents have come to light where the school authorities refuse to refund money. Some parents even alleged that certain school authorities even refuse to obey the district administrations orders.

"They are openly minting money and refuse to obey orders regarding the refund. An action must be taken against such managements and principals", said another parent.

Meanwhile, Lt-Col. D.B.Sharma, Director, Sat Paul Mittal School, said everytime the district administration provided a cut-off date for the refund of money to parents. "Till date, we have not received such orders. Once we get the orders, we will definitely comply with that", said he.



Plan to develop urban areas
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 28
Mr Surinder Dawar, Parliamentary Secretary, Power and Housing Punjab, has stated that the state government has chalked out a special plan for fast pace of development of urban areas. The government has embarked upon an ambitious program to provide drinking water to 117 towns and sewerage in 37 towns of the state under the municipal development fund at a cost of Rs 991 crore by March 31, 2007. Mr Dawar was addressing a function after inaugurating a community centre in Royal City near GMT School, here today.

The Parliamentary Secretary, said the State Government had also launched national slum Development Programme with additional Central assistance in 23 towns of the state with an outlay of Rs 20.10 crore. He said Capt Amarinder Singh had cleared the construction of a ring road around Ludhiana city at a cost of Rs 1,100 crore on BOT basis. The Government of India had agreed to provide viability gap funding for the project.

Mr Dawar further stated that the state government had also selected Ludhiana under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission of the Government of India Under this programme the city development plan for the integrated development of civic infrastructure in Ludhiana would be made. He said the Government of India would contribute 50 per cent of the total plan i.e. around Rs 1,100 crore while 20 per cent of the plan was being contributed by financial institution.

Earlier, Mr Dawar inaugurated a medical camp organised by the Swarnkar Sangh at Saraffan Bazar Ludhiana.

Among others who attended the function included Mr Ramesh Joshi, Director Punjab Pollution Control Board. Mr Varinder Joshi vice president district Congress , Mr R.C. Chopra vice-president district Youth Congress, Mr Ashwani Sahota, Mr Vijay Danav, Mr Baljit Singh, Secretary, Mr Anokh Singh and Mr Jasbir Singh Chadha, Councillor. 



Neha, Somansh win student entrepreneur award
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 28
Neha Agarwal, B.Com III student of Government College for Women here, and Somansh Bansal, 3rd year, Agricultural Engineering, declared first and second for ''Student Entrepreneur of the year'' award from the Ludhiana zone here today.

The Top Careers & You had organised the final round of its ongoing inter-college competition ''Student Entrepreneur of the Year'' at Guru Nanak Institute of Management and Technology. The contest was the first of its kind in North India and gave exposure to the students.

It was sponsored by Trident and supported by TiE and SBS. Mr I.S. Paul, Chairman, Drish group and President, TiE, and Dr M.A. Zaheer, Director, SBS, inaugurated the function.

The purpose of this competition was to gauge the hidden entrepreneurial spark in students and bring it to the forefront. The event was conducted in almost 30 colleges of Punjab and Chandigarh region in four stages. These stages included written test, group discussion,writing an executive summary of a business plan and finally, the presentation of the business plan to a panel of judges.

Finally, the best students shortlisted from the Ludhiana zone competed today. The students included Vibha Maini, 3rd year, B.Tech (Comp Science dept), LCET, Ravinder Singh, 4th year, B.Tech (Mech), GNDEC, Neha Agarwal, 3rd year, B.Com, GCW, Soomaansh Bansal, 3rd year, Agricultural Engineering student, and Amandeep S. Sangha, 2nd year, Agricultural Engineering, PAU.



Bus staff rob sales officer
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 28
Staff of a private bus allegedly robbed a sales officer with a Departmental Store in Ansal Plaza here of cash and valuables while he was travelling in a private transport bus from Ludhiana to Phagwara on January 25 evening.

In a complaint made to the Phillaur police today, Mr Ratish Gupta, sales officer, alleged that he had boarded a bus no : PB 08 3361 of Prince Transport Company from Jalandhar bypass on January 25 evening.

The bus conductor did not give him travelling ticket despite his requests. When the bus reached Phillaur, he again asked for the ticket, but a man sitting behind his seat claimed there was no need for it. Just a few minutes thereafter, the same man and the bus conductor asked him to pay a fine of Rs 1000 for travelling without ticket !

They were joined by two more persons sitting in the bus. Mr Ritesh alleged that he was beaten up when he insisted on stopping the bus. They snatched his mobile phone when he tried to call for help.



Politics over anniversary of martyr
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Issewal, January 28
Petty politics held sway over the observation of the martyrdom anniversary of a Paramvir Chakra winner, Flt-Lt Nirmaljit Singh Sekhon, in his native village here.
After failing to force the village residents for adding names of certain Congress leaders on a foundation stone of a development work in the village, a group of the party workers, led by MLA Malkit Singh Dakha, laid the foundation stone prepared overnight with all necessary names.

Through this stone, the villagers paid gratitude to Mr Dakha for giving a grant of Rs 2 lakh for the road work.

Angry at the defiance, the Congress leader laid his own foundation stone at a distance of 150 yards from the foundation stone installed by the villagers.

A section of leaders, including Mr Dakha, distanced themselves from the main function.



Immolation threat; one arrested
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 28
Even as dust is yet to settle on the immolation committed by a rehri unionist-cum-Congress worker in Patiala, the city police has arrested a resident of Kashmir Nagar here for allegedly threatening to immolate himself opposite the residence of Commissioner, Municipal Corporation (MC) on the Republic Day.

Subash Goel was peeved with the MC official for razing a portion of his house on January 25 constructed on 12 square yard feet. He had sent a fax to MC Commissioner, Mr S K Sharma, on January 25 after the demolition. A copy of his threat letter was faxed to some newspaper offices also.

The police arrested him yesterday. A local court has remanded him to judicial custody till February 8, the police said.

According to Inspector Gurpreet Singh, SHO-Division No 8 police station, they had booked and arrested the man under section 309 (attempt to commit suicide). 



Mal Singh Ghuman — a Taksali Akali
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, January 28
Mal Singh Ghuman was a true Taksali Akali and was a veteran freedom fighter. Ghuman, who was general secretary of the SGPC for more than six years, was at the helm of affairs of the august Sikh body when Punjab was passing through a period of turmoil and had witnessed Operation Blue atar.

Ghuman (82) was killed in an accident on the Ludhiana-Jagraon road on January 19.

Ghuman had a narrow escape when militants had attacked him on the premises of the Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College, Ludhiana on July 25,1988. He was critically wounded and his two associates Bhan Singh, then secretary, SGPC, and Bhai Sohan Singh, then head granthi of the Harmander Sahib, were killed in the attack.

The cause for attack was that Mr Surjit Singh Barnala, who was heading the Akali Dal at that time, had been excommunicated from the Sikh Panth when he refused to merge his Akali Dal on the appeal of Akal Takht Jathedar Darshan Singh. Mr Barnala was then the Chief Minister of Punjab.

Mr Barnala had moved an application with the Akal Takht a few days before the attack seeking pardon for his action. Ghuman and Sohan Singh wanted that Mr Barnala should be pardoned.

Ghuman had also been involved in the negotiations with the Army authorities and the Central Government in 1984 because all senior leaders, including Mr Parkash Singh Badal, Gurcharan Singh Tohra, Sant Harchand Singh Longowal had been detained under the National Security Act. Even Mr Atma Singh, who was senior vice-president of the SGPC, had been arrested.

Ghuman was a close confidant of Mr Parkash Singh Badal and stood by him during his fight with Gurcharan Singh Tohra. But later on he voiced his concern over the ouster of Jathedar Tohra from the SGPC and the Akali Dal in 1999. He gave a call for the unity of all Akali factions which was not to the liking of Mr Badal and was expelled from the Dal.

Ghuman was made the Chairman of the Punjab Mandi Board by Mr Badal during the SAD-BJP government in Punjab. But following differences with Mr Badal Ghuman joined the Akali Dal (1920) headed by Mr Ravi Inder Singh, former Speaker of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha.

Ghuman was a veteran freedom fighter and joined the Indian National Army led by Netaji Subhas Chander Bose. He was awarded “Tamar Patras” by the state government in recognition of his services in the freedom struggle. He had set up a senior secondary school and a college in Mullanpur area of Ludhiana district.

The bhog ceremony of Ghuman will be held on Sunday (January 29) at Mullanpur.



At the Crossroads
Poet as interpreter of myths

It took a long time for B.S. Bir to preen his wings before taking a flight into the sphere of creative writing. He started writing poems when he was in class VIII. His first short story was published in “Pritam”, a monthly magazine, in 1965. He was 18 at that time.

But that proved to be a passing phase. He did MA in English and Punjabi and started a teaching academy at Nabha. Later, he looked around and found that a journalistic career was beckoning him. In April 1984, he started a Punjabi monthly “Mehram” from Nabha, to be followed by Punjabi fortnightly “Modern Kheti” (1987), Punjabi monthly “Ghar Shingaar” (1994) and Hindi fortnightly “Modern Kheti” (2002).

B.S. Bir is a litterateur in the true sense of the word. His successful journalistic career has earned him kudos in the field. As a short story writer, he has strayed into the hitherto prohibited areas of morbid psychology, sexual aberrations and social taboos. Mythology has gripped his mind as it reveals to him the nuances of psychic tension and mental stresses. His latest collection of poems “Mahabharata-de-Athharan Kuknus” has taken the Punjabi literary world by storm.

The Mahabharata consists of 18 chapters wherein a large number of characters and numerous episodes interweave the warp and weft of the epic.

About Dropadi, he says: “Kunti told her sons to share equally the thing they have brought home.” She little knows that the thing is a woman. In response to the mother’s wish, the five brother marry her without caring about the state of the bride’s mind. In the case of Eklavya he strikes a note of protest against the maltreatment meted out to the Dalits.

— N.S. Tasneem



Chamber flays govt on VAT
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 28
The Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry today said that the Punjab Government is showing apathy on the issue of VAT refunds.
“Initially the government committed to give refunds without producing forms ‘C’ and ‘H’. Later, it made obligatory to produce these forms. The notification issued on January 25 has though stated that refunds are possible without these forms, but as it does not take retrospective effect, those whose cases are pending do not benefit,” said Mr P.D. Sharma, president of the chamber.

Since the notification comes to effect from January 25, pending cases cannot be cleared without producing forms C and H, he said.

Oil and mill machinery manufacturers

At a meeting of the executive committee of the Oil Mill Machinery Manufacturers Association, the government’s decision to bring spare parts of all types of machinery, including oil mill machinery under 4 per cent category of VAT, was appreciated. 



2 held with stolen motorcycle
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, January 28
Dehlon police arrested Rupinder Singh of Nangal Kalan and Manmit Singh of Gujjarwal and recovered from their possession stolen enfield motorcycle No PB-10AZ-2451, belonging to Manmohan Singh of Phullanwala. He has lodged report with Dehlon police against both of them under Section 379 IPC.



K Lall opens centre for applied research
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 28
K Lall Overseas, a Rs 150 crore group, opened its corporate office with a centre for applied research here today.
The research centre will cater to small-scale textile units that had to rely on other states for such research.

“With the entry of international brands in the markets, expectations from small units have risen.

However, for research they had to turn to other states as such facilities are available only with large-scale units here.

With the opening of this unit that has a centre for applied research, the textile industry will find itself more competitive,” said Mr Mohinder Goyal, chairman, K Lall Overseas, while talking to newspersons.

The company has set up its textile dyes manufacturing unit, Nuchem Dyestuff, in Ahmedabad with a capacity of 1,200 metric tonnes per annum for synthetic reactive dyes, he said. The new unit will conduct research application.

He said the company would not take extra charges from corporate houses and SSIs that approached it for research facilities.

Apart from application work, the centre would also facilitate standardisation on sample batches which could be taken up for commercial production in the company’s manufacturing facility at Ahmedabad. On the company’s plans, it was now seeking accredition from the National Accredition Board of Laboratories (NABL). The new office was inaugurated by Parliamentary Secretary Surinder Dawar.



Security awareness week by PNB
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 28
The security awareness week conducted by the Punjab National Bank (PNB) concluded here today.
With a view to enhance security consciousness amongst all employees and public, the bank organised security awareness week from January 23.

During the week, a wide range of activities like mock drills and demonstration of security equipment were conducted at the bank’s zonal office here.

Top executives of the bank and a large number of bank employees attended the demonstration. A quiz competition on bank security matters was also conducted.

Mr K.L. Miglani, deputy zonal manager, gave away prizes to the winners. He urged the participants to always remain vigilant so as to avoid any untoward incident.


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