L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Poppy husk worth Rs 24 lakh seized
Tribune News Service

Jagraon, February 12
The police today seized 60 kg of poppy husk (worth Rs 24 lakh) during a naka near Kila Raipur. The naka was laid by a police party headed by Mr Harjit Singh Brar, DSP, Dakha.

The poppy husk was concealed in 89 bags in a truck carrying peas. The arrested persons have been identified as Dilbagh Singh, a resident of Raqba village, and Ajmer Singh of Duleh village. Another accused Shinder Singh, however, escaped. He is wanted in various cases under the NDPS and the Excise Acts.

During investigation they said now smugglers were bringing drugs from Jammu and Kashmir. Till now the region was coping with the problem of smuggling from Rajasthan.

The district police is making all-out efforts to break the supply line of poppy husk carrying in a big way either from Rajasthan or from Srinagar, said Mr R.K. Jaiswal, SSP, here today. In this regard, special awareness/de-addiction camps are being organised to sensitise the youth.

In the past six months, the Jagraon police district has arrested 94 persons under the NDPS Act. As much as 13 kg of opium and 68 quintals of poppy husk has been seized from them.

MANDI AHMEDGARH: The Sudhar police has booked two persons under the NDPS Act and seized 35 kg of poppy husk from their possession.

According to Mr Shawinder Singh Dhillon, SHO, Sukhchain Singh of Hans Kalan village and Satpal Singh of Dabbwali were arrested by ASI Hardev Singh and SI Hardeep Singh, respectively, and 35 kg of poppy husk was seized from their possession.



Shiv Sena burns Valentine's Day cards
Our Correspondent

Shiv Sena activists burn Valentine's Day cards at Baba Than Singh Chowk in Ludhiana on Sunday; and a girl has a look at a soft toy on display in a store in Ludhiana stocking gifts for Valentine’s Day
Shiv Sena activists burn Valentine's Day cards at Baba Than Singh Chowk in Ludhiana on Sunday; and (right) a girl has a look at a soft toy on display in a store in Ludhiana stocking gifts for Valentine’s Day. — Photos by Inderjit Verma

Ludhiana, February 12
The Shiv Sena held a protest against Valentine's Day celebrations. They burnt 'vulgar cards' at Baba Than Singh Chowk here today. They marched from Shingar Cinema to Baba Than Singh Chowk. The protest rally was led by Mr Anil Sahni Monu.

He said: "Celebrations of this alien custom will ruin our Indian culture. This day is a day of celebration for the people of the West and this custom is alien to our culture."

He said such celebrations would take our younger generation towards the wrong direction. He said some major companies had commercialised this day .The youngsters were motivated not only to buy expensive cards but also gifts .

He said sadly few people knew the significance of Valentine's Day and why it was celebrated. He said there were many other Indian festivals about which the youth were not aware of but were foolishly aping a festival alien to our culture.

He said the administration needed to keep a strict watch on Valentine's day so that the girls faced no harassment In case the administration failed to stop hooliganism on February 14, the Shiv Sena would take firm steps .

Those present included Mr Ravi Anand, Mr Parveen Kumar ,Mr Rajkumar Suri and Mr Sham Sunder.

On the other hand , Archie's Shops is selling Valentine Day gifts and cards wrapped up in attractive white and red covers with white and red balloons lending a festive look. Scores of cuddly soft toys and a humongous variety of cards, love bands, watches, gifts and perfumes are on display. 



Booked under Noise Control Act
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 12
Finally launching a crackdown on violators of the Supreme Court directive on noise pollution, the city police booked a resident for playing music after 10 pm yesterday.
The division number 7 police arrested Varun Sood, a resident of Phase-I , Urban Estate ,Dugri, for flouting the SC directive and District Magistrate's orders. He was released on bail.

According to the police, Varun Sood was booked under Section 188, IPC, and the Noise Control Act when he was playing DJ at Perfect Marriage Palace, causing a nuisance to residents living in the vicinity .

The case was registered on the complaint of manager of the marriage palace who told the police that Varun Sood continued to play music much beyond the stipulated time.

The much-needed action has invited accolades for the police from all quarters. Residents from all parts of the city had been demanding action against violators of the SC directive as the marriage season is proving to be a nuisance for those living in the neighbourhood of marriage palaces.

The DM, Mr Anurag Verma, had implemented the SC directive a month ago. He had warned the disc jockeys in the city to obey the orders or face music.

Despite this violations continued not only at marriage palaces ,but in residential areas also.

KHANNA: All marriage palaces and religious places have been advised to control the volume of the loudspeakers so as to keep the sound within their premises from 10 pm to 6 am.

This was made clear by the SDM, Mr Jaspal Mittal, while interacting with the owners, managers of religious places, marriage palaces and DJ systems during a meeting specially called for the purpose at the local Tehsil Complex, here recently. While soliciting their cooperation, Mr Mittal informed them that the Deputy Commissioner, had banned the above under Section 144 in the entire district.



Civil Surgeon saves injured owl
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 12
The Civil Surgeon of Ludhiana, Dr Rajinder Kaur, saved an adult barn owl, which had developed injuries after its wings were entangled in a kite string. The owl was found hanging on a tree with wings injured badly. The doctor offered water to the owl and then reported about it to the local chapter of the People for Animals (PFA).

The PFA provided it treatment and shelter at Jeev Kalyan Kendra and Bhagwan Mahavir Abhayshala at Khwajke (Rahon road). Being a Sunday today, the PFA was not able to contact Forest Officials.

Dr Sandeep Jain, president of the PFA, said the Forest Department had no arrangements to rescue such animals . He said some people, who spotted injured birds and animals, did not know what to do with such animals as no Forest official was available on holidays. 



Ludhiana Calling

Rural transport

The rural areas of the state remain neglected as far as transport facilities are concerned. Though new and better equipped buses have been started between urban areas, villagers are left to make do with outdated modes of transport. Some ply on ‘peter rehras’ while other scramble for space on “Marutas” a large three-wheeler that makes a lot of sound while running.

The Indo-Pak cricket series always give rise to strong emotions. But this time, viewers are just taking it as another cricket match. Gone are the days when restaurants and hotel owners presented waiters in cricket dress and menu and crockery in the cricket gear to attract customers.

Even cinema owners used to screen live telecast of the matches suspending routine shows. But this time, no one has taken much notice. May be too much of cricket is not only injuring the players but leaving the public bored as well.

Same claim, different ministers

With the Congress government entering the fifth year of its rule, ministers and leaders of the party have begun to sing praises of the government. This has often resulted in piquant situations. The Health Minister talks about the good condition of roads. Then there is Jail Minister who keeps talking about funds to upgrade schools. There are a number of Principal Secretaries who have no portfolio. So they keep raving about development works by all ministries.

Police image

Senior police officials in Haryana have scored a point over the Punjab Police. Haryana Police officials, starting from the DGP, have displayed their mobile phone numbers at key places in the city. They answer the calls too. This is in sharp contrast to the Punjab Police cops, who give their numbers to a select few. Then too they answer calls at their convenience. May be, taking a cue from its neighbhour can help the Punjab Police improve its image.

Women power

The other day city Mayor Nahar Singh Gill found himself in a tight spot when he was gheraoed by womenfolk after a bhog ceremony in Dugri area. As soon as the Mayor stood up to leave, some women went up to him and registered their protest against bad roads in their area. ‘‘Come with us and see the condition of roads. Only then we will allow you to go,’’ said the women in unison. The Mayor, who was taken unawares, could do little but promise the women with folded hands that all development works would be completed soon.

Pollution pangs

Ludhiana is the most polluted city in the state. When will the Pollution Control Authority go serious in checking the ever-increasing demon that has already started affecting the health of city residents. While it has issued hundreds of notices to polluters, it has failed to do a follow-up on the same. Residents in many areas have got tired of protesting against the polluting units in their area but to no avail. There has been no action against the violators. Even the digital machine to monitor air pollution, claimed to be the only one installed in the state two years ago with much fanfare, has developed a snag. But nobody cares.

Tricky readers

There are some residents who send their opinion to newspaper offices on every issue. As publishing houses find it difficult to print their opinion on a daily basis, the residents get angry and threaten that they will stop subscribing to the newspaper. Some of them even start accusing mediapersons of nurturing biases against them. They do not realise that newspapers cannot publish hundreds of letters everyday due to space constraints.

Mineral water

Mineral water companies in the city are doing brisk business, thanks to the contaminated water supplied by the Municipal Corporation. In Bhadaur House, employees of different government and private departments are seen carrying mineral water bottles to office. The shopkeepers also are spending more money offering “pure” water to customers. But the MC does not seem to bother.

Marriage palaces

When the marriage palace owners were told by the district administration a few years ago to move out of the city to ease traffic congestion, nobody had thought that the palaces would choke the smooth flow of vehicles on the highways. The Ludhiana-Jagraon and the Ludhiana-Pakhowal road is facing the brunt of the problem. Long queues of vehicles on the highway cause major traffic jams.

— Sentinel



Lajpat Rai questions PM’s stand on Iran
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 12
Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader and former Rajya Sabha member Lala Lajpat Rai today questioned the Prime Minister’s stand on the issues like Bihar and voting against Iran at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) meet.

He said “the Prime Minister simply cannot get away with everything just on the assumption that he is a man of high integrity”.

In a statement issued here today, Mr Rai said:

“The Prime Minister is no private person. He is the head of the government. His integrity will be judged in terms of omissions and commissions of his government.

The senior BJP leader said notwithstanding his assertions, the Prime Minister had proved to be “too meek and too weak”. “Given his image of an honest man with high integrity, we expected him to take independent decisions, irrespective of their consequences. But he has disappointed everybody”.

Mr Rai said: “The way he presided over the murder of democracy in Bihar and led President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam to give his assent to the unconstitutional dissolution of the Assembly only proves that he can be bullied by the people like Lalu Prasad Yadav who wanted to prevent Mr Nitish Kumar from becoming Chief Minister”.

The former MP said the people of the country deserved an explanation from the Prime Minister as to why the country had gone against the traditional policy towards Iran. He said, “we need to know from the Prime Minister as to why we went against Iran despite our strong ties with the country”.

He pointed out, that it seemed the foreign policy was now being “dictated by the United States”.



Social security cards issued to employees
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 12
The office of Employees Provident Fund Organisation, Bathinda, finished the first phase of issuing the National Social Security Number cards (NSSN) to thousands of employees from seven districts falling under the circle, claimed Mr P.R. Mitra, Commissioner of the organisation. He distributed documents among heads of various industrial units of the area at a function organised at Gillanders Arbuthnot and Company Ltd at Akbarpur, near here, on Friday.

While talking to the Ludhiana Tribune after distributing the NSSN cards among employees of Shryans Industries Ltd, Sohrab Paper Mills, Arihant Spining Mills, Nahar Fibres, Nahar Exports Ltd and General Industrial Society Ltd, Mr Mitra said these employees were the first to receive the cards in the state.

Mr Mitra claimed that data collected on feedback of the employees revealed that a large number of workers had been shifting frequently from one unit to another. “Now when they have been issued a unique identity number, as a token of registration with our office, they will find no difficulty in geographical movement,” said Mr Mitra.

On the significance of NSSN cards, the Commissioner said it would strengthen relations among employees, employer and the government. “Till now the government agencies, including our office had to depend on the employer for getting in touch with certain employees. But through NSSN registration we will have direct access to all the 26,000 employees registered our office,” he said.

Mr Mitra further said that the process of data capturing would continue in the future but it would be an ongoing process and no camps would be organised. 



VAT refunds now within three weeks
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 12
The Excise and Taxation Department will clear all VAT refunds in the state within three weeks. The department has already disbursed refunds to the tune of Rs 41.65 crore, said Mr D.P. Reddy, Excise and Taxation Commissioner, Punjab, here recently.

Mr Reddy, who met trade and industry representatives in the city, said since the introduction of Value Added Tax (VAT) as many as 1,628 applications for a claim of Rs 88.08 crore had been received in various districts. “Of those, 670 applications were incomplete and out of the remaining 592 have been finalised and a refund of Rs 41.65 crore has been allowed,” he said. Regarding Ludhiana, Mr Reddy said only 37 cases of VAT refunds were pending in Ludhiana-I whereas all the 55 cases in Ludhiana-II and 41 cases in Ludhiana-III had been cleared. “Of the 166 applications received in Ludhiana-I district, a refund of Rs 11.18 crore has already been issued in respect of 129 applications”.

Mr Reddy said the amendment to the VAT Act made on January 25 and subsequent clarification by the department had helped in expediting the process. On industry’s claims that huge capital was blocked due to non-refunds of VAT, Mr Reddy said only 1 per cent cases apply for refunds. “There are 1.58 lakh assessees in the state and in 99 per cent cases, adjustments are done. Refunds are claimed in only 1 per cent cases,” he clarified.

He assured the industry that henceforth all refund applications would be disposed of expeditiously within the stipulated period.

In their recommendations, industry associations pointed out “anomalies in the notification issued on January 25”. The United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association, in a memorandum, said there was a need for the department to clarify the issue of submitting forms C and H, on which the Finance Minister promised that those could be submitted at the end of the financial year.

Industry associations also said the maintenance of stock registers was not practically possible and urged the department to abolish the provision pertaining to the same. They also brought to the notice of the Excise and Taxation Commissioner the issue of additional audit in case of firms with sales above Rs 40 lakh. Heavy penalties in delay in the filing of returns and the “harsh measures” like search and seizure should be abolished, the industry said.



Need to preserve water 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 12
Punjab Agricultural Management and Extension Training Institute, PAU, has organised a six-day national training programme on “Efficient management and use of water resources for sustainable agriculture”. It was sponsored by the Ministry of Water Resources.

The objectives of the programme were to update the skills of the participants to improved job performance by equipping them with latest technical know-how to manage water resources for sustainable development.

Mr D.K. Kaushik, Senior Joint Commissioner, Command Area Development, New Delhi, briefed the participants regarding the various vistas under the Command Area Development programme for improved water use productivity and irrigation efficiency.

Dr G.S. Kalra, ex-Deputy General Manager, Nabard, New Delhi, spoke about the characterisation and diagnostic analysis of saline and sodic soils. In his lecture on planning institutional finances for irrigation projects, he stressed the need of proper coordination among the brain (scientists responsible for technology generation), brawn (the people who are to use that technology) and banks for growth and development.

Dr T.S. Puri, ex-Joint Director, MITC, Haryana, elaborated the strategies for reclamation and management of the waterlogged soil. In his another lecture, his elucidated the use of bio-drainage in dealing with waterlogging problem i.e. plantation of high water requirement plants like eucalyptus in problematic area.

Dr Gurbachan Singh, Director, Central Soil Salinity Research Institute, Karnal, listed the management strategies for brackish irrigation water use. He also averred that the sewage water be utilised after treatment for raising the trees which are not part of food chain.

Mr Sanjay Marwaha, who is a Scientist with Central Ground Water Board, Chandigarh, explained ground water assessment criteria and its contribution to correct water logging and salt problems in soil and assessing aquifer potential for installing shallow and deep tubewells.

Dr R.S. Narang, a former Head, Department of Agronomy, PAU, who was course co-director for this training programme, emphasised the need for the formulation of optimum irrigation schedules in the field crops and the role and importance of water user associations for the management of canal and community tubewell waters and their limitations.

Among the resource persons from PAU, Dr H.S. Gulati, Dr M.P. Kaushal, Dr J.K. Chawla, Dr A.K. Jain, and Dr Sunil Garg elaborated about the principles of irrigation planning and designing drip, sprinkler and underground irrigation systems, approaches and design considerations for roof and surface water harvesting for ground water recharge, land leveling and designing on-surface irrigation systems.

Dr S.K. Jalota, Professor, Soils, explained field water budgeting developing model for different processes and Dr M.S. Gill, Senior Agronomist, enlightened the participants about managing on farm water in rice-wheat cropping system for sustained food security.

Dr S.P.S. Brar, who was the course director for this training programme, elaborated on the conjunctive use of brackish water.

Speaking on the valedictory function, Dr V.K. Sharma, Registrar, PAU, emphasised the need of joint efforts for effective management of the water. 



Dalits to join SAD’s chetna rally
Our Correspondent

Amloh, February 12
People of the Dalit community are fed up with the false promises of the Congress government in the state and they will participate in the chetna rally to be organised by the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) at Kartarpur on February 18, said Mr Dalip Singh Pandhi, former minister and member of the SAD advisory committee to mediapersons. Earlier in the day he addressed a meeting of Akali workers on the compound of the Canal Rest House.

Mr Pandhi said that he had visited Bhadal Thuha, Shahpur, Khanoura, Khumna, Tohra, Bhamarai, Bugga, Naraingarh and Bholia villages yesterday and the response to the rally had been very encouraging.

Lashing out at the state government, Mr Pandhi said the government was surviving on the basis of false propaganda The debt left by the SAD- BJP government was Rs 32,000 crore whereas during the four- year-rule of Capt Amarinder Singh's government, it had touched Rs 50,000 crore, in spite of the fact that posts of teachers, doctors and other categories were lying vacant

Mr Pandhi further said the time had come when the right to work should be made a fundamental right.Weaker section should be provided free access to medical treatment. 



Class IV employees to hold meeting 
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 12
In a meeting held by office bearers of the Sikhya Vibhag Class IV Government Employees Union here today, the body president, Mr Harbhajan Singh, said they had decided to hold a protest meeting on February 14.

They have a number of grievances against the Education Department. Mr Harbhajan Singh said the part time employees had not received their salaries for over a year. Moreover, 25 per cent of the part time employees were to be made permanent, but only 10 per cent had been given permanent jobs.

The union wants the Education Department to expedite the matters. Moreover, the Class IV employees who give duties during the board examinations do not get proper remunerations and on time. 


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