L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Rs 204-cr PAU budget approved
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 30
The Board of Management of Punjab Agricultural University today approved the budget estimates amounting to Rs 204.66 crore for the year 2006-07. The board which met at the Mohali camp office also decided to re-introduce the pre-audit system with effect from April 1. Some items like salary bills, remuneration and travelling allowance, dearness allowance to examiners, experts, scientists and scholarships and stipends will be pre-audited for two to four months in a year.

The payment of DA will be post-audited for two months in a year, whereas advance to the employees out of General Provident Fund and Contributory Provident Fund will not be pre-audited.

The board meeting, presided over by the Vice-Chancellor, Dr K.S. Aulakh, also increased the maximum limit of 50 per cent subsidy for the purchase of books for the teachers from Rs 1,000 to Rs 2,000 in a year.

It placed on record its gratitude for the special grant of Rs 100 crore announced by the Union Finance Minister on February 28.

The board also approved the following appointments: Dr S.S. Chahal will be the Dean, Postgraduate Studies. He will take over on May 1 on the retirement of Dr Darshan Singh. At present, Dr Chahal is the Controller of Examinations and also the University Librarian.

Dr Raj Kumar Mahey will be the Head of the Department of Agronomy and Agro-meteorology. He will succeed Dr Lall Singh Brar on July 1.

The new Head of the Department of Soils is Dr Viraj Beri, while Dr Pushpinder Singh Aulakh is the new Director, Regional Station, Abohar. Both, Dr Beri and Dr Aulakh will assume charge with immediate effect.



PSEB to cover all villages under urban pattern supply
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 30
Punjab will become the first state to bring all its villages under rural pattern power supply by April this year. The PSEB has already brought 11, 504 villages under urban pattern supply and by the end of this financial year, it would cover 1,070 more villages, said Mr B.K. Bindal, member, distribution, PSEB, while addressing a press conference here.

"The remaining 625 villages would be covered by the month of April and the state would become the first one in the country to cover all its villages under urban pattern supply," he said.

Mr Bindal, who was in the city attend a meeting for reviewing the progress of the Accelerated Power Development and Reforms Programme (APDRP) scheme of the Central zone, said that of the total Rs 715 crore, the electricity board has already utilised Rs 280 crore towards reforms and betterment of the existing system.

"The scheme is exclusively to upgrade and strengthen the existing distribution system and not for new projects. We aim to fully utilise the Rs 715 crore available under the scheme for 26 towns/ circles of the PSEB," he said.

Regarding the Central zone, he said that Rs 28 crore have been spent to upgrade the distribution network in this zone. The zone has achieved almost 100 per cent progress in deloading and adding distribution transformers. Nearly 2.6 lakh single phase and 62,000 three-phase electronic meters have been installed in this zone under the scheme, he said.

This has resulted in a reduction of DT failure rate in Ludhiana (West) and Ludhiana (East) circles and also in AT and C losses.

Mr Bindal said that to tackle the problem of men and material, field officers have been asked to identify work for execution through outsourcing. He also directed field officers to prepare a detailed roadmap for improvement in benchmark parameters like reduction in AT and C losses, distribution transformer failure rate, interruptions and increase in revenue etc so that funds under the scheme can be better utilised to provide good service to the customers.



BSNL employees hold rally against disinvestment
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 30
Responding to a call given by the Central leadership of BSNL employees, a large number of BSNL employees today held a rally in front of the office of General Manager (Telecom) at Bharat Nagar Chowk here.

Addressing the rally, Mr Balbir Singh, circle secretary of the Punjab Circle of the union, came down heavily on the Congress-led UPA government for its decision to disinvest in the BSNL. He said the BSNL had assets in excess of Rs 1 lakh crore and was one of the very few profit-earning PSUs. Last year, it had earned a profit of Rs 10,183 crore. In recognition of its performance, the government had recently conferred the “mini ratna” status on the BSNL.

He remarked that the disinvestment move in the BSNL was influenced by bodies like the World Bank, IMF and WTO. Making it clear that the BSNL employees were prepared to fight tooth and nail against the decision, he said similar rallies were being held all over Punjab with the objective of apprising the government of widespread resentment among employees and to get the decision (of disinvestment) scrapped.

Mr Balwinder Singh, district secretary of the union, said the UPA government had meekly surrendered to the USA and the multinational companies which had made it go for disinvestment in profit-making organisations, including the BSNL. He called upon the workers of BSNL, irrespective of their affiliation to different unions, to be ready for a long-drawn battle against this move.

Prominent among other speakers at the rally were Mr Hari Narayan Singh, Mr Nikka Singh, Mr Jaswant Singh, Mr Amar Singh, Mr Avtar Singh Jhandey, Mr Amarjit Chander, Mr Parmjit Singh, Mr Ramesh Kumar, Mr Darshan Singh, Mr Sudesh Joshi, Mr Kirpa Ram, Mr Yogesh Kumar and Mr Mohinder Choudhry. 



Wadali brothers leave audience spellbound
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 30
Wadali brothers — Puran Chand and Piyare Lal — enchanted the audience in their soul-stirring performance at Guru Nanak Bhavan here last evening. The duo, who performed at a function, Lok Rang, organised by Prasar Bharti, Jalandhar, left the audience wanting for more.

The programme began with “Allah hu da awaaza aawe kulli di fakir ni vicchon” by Punjabi singer Sarabjit. This was followed by “Pichhe pichhey aanda meri chaal” and other folk songs.

Quite keen on experiencing the Wadalis’ performance, the audience gave the duo a standing ovation on their arrival. The first Sufiana kalaam, “Aaj ki baat phir nahin hogi, yeh mulakat phir nahin hogi...” itself set the mood and people could be heard humming and clapping along with.

“It is the audience whose blessings help us perform,” said Piyare Lal, whose charged up demeanour helped audience thoroughly enjoy the unadulterated form of Sufi music. Equally gripping were explanations along with, which Puran Chand gave with his brother.

The duo then presented two kalaams — “Tujhe takkya tu laga mujhe aise ki jaise meri eid ho gayi...” and “Ghunghat chakk..”, after which the audience asked for the famous “Tu maane ya na maane dildaara...”

Earlier, talking to mediapersons the Wadalis rued the fact that some singers, for the heck of popularity, claimed to be masters in Sufiana style of singing without even knowing the meaning of it.

“We have been singing Sufiana kalaams since our childhood, but do not call ourselves Sufi singers. It is a pious title and should not be used so easily,” they asserted.

They said before trying Sufi music, one needed to know about Sufism.



Plan for judicious use of water
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, March 30
The civil administration has launched a crusade against the over-exploitation and wastage of water resources. The move has been launched in view of apprehensions of water scarcity in the coming months.

Dr Indu, SDM Malerkotla, said sarpanches and presidents of civic bodies, including panchayats, nagar panchayats and municipal councils, had been directed to revive and recharge tubewells and wells that had earlier been abandoned.

"Besides expediting the process for routine development projects, we will recommend special facilities for those panchayats and councils, the heads of which will enlist their civic bodies for undertaking revival and recharging of deserted water resources," said Dr Indu while taking to Ludhiana Tribune.

Terming the situation to be alarming, the SDM apprehended that groundwater level would fall to on un-retrievable extent if corrective measures were not taken immediately.

On the revival of tubewells owned by the state government, Dr Indu said she had taken up the issue with the higher authorities. "Besides reviving existing tubewells, we would arrange interaction of people with experts from the Central Ground Water Board and the Soil Conservation Department," said Dr Indu. 



Lawyers’ complex still a distant dream 
Rajneesh Lakhanpal

Ludhiana, March 30
The completion of Yadwindra Lawyers’ Chamber Complex is still a distant dream. More than 230 lawyers had applied for getting chambers by depositing Rs 50,000. It is a major issue in the forthcoming annual elections of the District Bar Association.

The “malkhana” near the Judicial Complex is proving hindrance in the construction, said the president of the association, Mr Naval Kishore Chibber, while addressing lawyers. He assured them that they were pursuing the matter at the appropriate level. He accused the previous executive for not pursuing the project properly. He said the grant of Rs 50 lakh announced by the Chief Minister was not released so far.

The chairman of the Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana, Mr Harish Rai Dhanda, said due to non-shifting of the “malkhana”, the High Court had not given nod to start the construction. He claimed that he along with the Bar president on Tuesday attended the meeting of the building committee of the High Court and raised this issue. The suggestion was given to construct the complex without shifting the “malkhana” but the meeting was adjourned for April 18.

Mr Dhanda and Mr Chibber claimed that they even met the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Anurag Verma, who had given his consent to start the construction by changing the site plan.

The former Bar president, Mr Balwinder Goel, refuted the allegations of Mr Chibber.



Woman gives birth to triplets 
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 30
Triplets— a boy and two girl children— were born to 27-year-old Rajwinder Kaur at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) here yesterday. The parents, residents of Thaliwal village in Sangrur district, were very happy, saying it was God's gift to them.

In fact, Rajwinder Kaur was being treated for infertility at DMCH for the past six months and had finally conceived in June, 2005. Her treatment for infertility and Caesarian section to deliver the triplets was carried out by Dr Suman Puri, Assistant Professor of the Department of Gynaecology.

According to Dr Puri, all the three children weighing 1.8 kg, 1.73 kg and 1.37 kg were healthy and doing well.



Plea against phone tower

Ludhiana, March 30
Residents of Chander Nagar have urged the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation not to allow the private telecommunication company to put up a tower in the residential area.

In a representation to the Municipal Commissioner today, the residents claimed that the company did not have the approval of the corporation to set up the tower. — TNS



Woman ‘elopes’ with paramour
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 30
Love yarn has spun trouble for a 52-year-old migrant labourer, a resident of Dugri, Davinder Mahato whose 35-year-old wife eloped with her paramour deserting three teenaged children, including a polio-afflicted son.

Despite repeated requests to the police at Miller Ganj post to register a case about her disappearance, no FIR has been registered in the case as the cops expressed helplessness stating that the woman had left Mahato on her own.They have, however, registered a DDR.

His wife, Geeta Devi, had left home on December 17 last year when he had gone for work. He waited for her till late that night but was disappointed. Later, Mahato was told by a neighbour that she was having an affair with someone and was last seen with him.

A partially visually challenged, Mahato, is now a broken man. ‘‘I cannot see the condition of my three children Pintu (14), Sintu (13) and Rekha (12). I am cursing the day when I came to Ludhiana 18 months ago. I have lost my beautiful wife here. ’’

He added that he was not able to get her missing report telecast on TV as he did not have enough money for it. ‘‘If she comes to know that her polio-afflicted son is missing her and not eating food then she would surely come back to us’’.

Sometime ago he was told by someone that his wife was working at some Gyaspura-based factory. ‘‘I went and stood outside that factory looking for her but could not see her. I do not know where she has gone. ’’



Man booked for raping daughter
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 30
A middle-aged father allegedly raped his 17-year-old daughter in Baba Jiwan Singh Nagar here on March 26 evening. The incident came to light today when the girl narrated the shocking incident to her school teacher.

The school authorities took up the matter with the city police which registered a case of rape and criminal intimidation against the accused identified as Sanjeev Verma.

The victim girl was a student of class X. The girl was taking practical examination in the school today and as she appeared very depressed a teacher asked her the reason of her depression. On this the girl narrated the incident.

The accused had been married twice and the victim was his daughter from first marriage.

According to the FIR, the second wife and three children of the accused were not at home on March 26 when the incident took place. 



Vegetable commission agent assaulted
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, March 30
A fruit and vegetable commission agent, who had inspired a contractor to participate in an auction for collection of market fee at the local market committee office, was allegedly assaulted by a commission agent and his henchmen yesterday. Manmohan Singh, the suspect named by the complainant, has denied the charges levelled against him. Though no FIR has been registered so far. Police sources claimed that further action would be initiated only after preliminary investigations were over.

According to a statement made by Roshan Deen, alias Pheel, to the investigating team, he along with his associates had been attacked by a group of miscreants led by Manmohan Singh, another bidder for the auction.

"As I had inspired Jagtar Singh, a contractor, to bid in the auction and not enter into a pool with Manmohan Singh, the latter threatened me with dire consequences and attacked us along with his associates," reported Pheel to the police.

Pheel alleged that the suspects had assaulted him and his associates as they had stretched the auction from Rs 4 lakh to Rs 8.25 lakh. "They were infuriated as we had refused to pool a contract with them and they had to pay an extra amount of Rs 4 lakh for the contract," explained Pheel.

Pheel was shifted to the Civil Hospital in an unconscious state yesterday. Mr Bahadur Singh, SHO, city police, when contacted said the police had initiated investigation into the complaint. 



Rise in steel prices worries industry
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, March 30
Industries in Ludhiana are in panic due to the steep hike in the prices of steel and labour trouble. Industrial production, particularly of engineering goods, has been hit badly because of the hike in steel prices.Industrialists are sore that the state government has not bothered to take measures to check the rise in steel prices and labour problem.

Enquiries showed that the steel prices had risen by about Rs 3000 per tonne during the past one month and there were rumours in the market that the steel producers were likely to raise the prices from April 1.

According to Mr Inderjit Singh Pradhan, president, and Mr Avtar Singh, general secretary, Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings, Ludhiana, the price of “Kulfi” or what is known as ingot was Rs 19,000 per tonne before the presentation of the Central Budget on February 23. The Central Government imposed a duty of 5 per cent on the import of scrap and the impact of the same should have been not more than Rs 600 per tonne . However, the steel producers and the steel re-rolling mills raised the prices by more than Rs 2000 per tonne.The price of ms rounds has touched Rs 25,000 per tonne, whereas it was Rs 22500 per tonne last month.

Mr Pradhan and Mr Avtar Singh maintained that the main steel producers were indulging in speculation of prices. There was no cause for the enhancement of prices of HR Coil and Cr coil, as there was no duty levied on these two items. The HR coil was being sold for Rs 27,000 per tonne today against the price of Rs 24,500 per tonne of the last month. Cr coil was quoted at Rs 32,800 to Rs 35,500 per tonne.

Following the steep hike in the prices of steel, there was alround collapse of the industrial production, they said.

Mr Pradhan and Mr Avtar Singh said that they had written to the Prime Minister and the steel minister to take immediate regulatory measures to check the steel prices.

They said they had sought the setting up of a regulatory committee, which should regulate the price control of steel.

They pointed out that steel prices in the international market were lower than the prices prevailing in India. HR Coil was available for $519 per tonne in European countries.

Meanwhile, the agitation run by the CITU-led labour unions has also caused a lot of panic among industrialists.

The export of engineering goods, particularly bicycle parts, is also badly hit due to the hike in steel prices. It is estimated that there would be fall in the export of bicycles and parts by more than 30 per cent this year. Last year, too, the export was badly affected due to the reduction in duty drawback from 8 per cent to 5 per cent, which was later restored.

Some of the bicycle manufacturers have opened their offices in China and they are assembling bicycles there and exporting the same to other countries.

The industrialists are sore over the lukewarm attitude of the Chief Minister Punjab, who has not bothered to meet them during the past four years. 



Biz Clips
City stock exchange plans to form body
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 30
The Ludhiana Stock Exchange (LSE) will conduct a meeting of investors on April 1 here to form an investors' association in the city.The meeting is being held to protect and promote the interest of investors .

"The LSE has been conducting investor awareness workshops actively in Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh. It has been a part of the securities market awareness campaign launched by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) three years ago. Now, SEBI has advised us to form an investors' association, and we plan to do that soon,"said Mr J.S. Arneja, in charge,Investor Education, LSE.

He said most of the investors' associations in the country were located either in Maharashtra or in Gujarat. "The formation of an association will be of great help to investors in this region," he said.

Spring-summer collection: Duke has launched its New International Spring-Summer Collection, 2006. According to a company press note issued here on Thursday, the new range includes t-shirts for office wear, evening wear etc. "The collection has been given a special sweat-absorbing treatment," the company said.

Dealer wins Maruti car: Fairy Fashions of Chandigarh won a Maruti car in a contest for dealers organised by Oswal Woollen Mills for the sale of its Monte Carlo products.Kwality General Store of Delhi, Aggarwal Stores, Indore, Japan Store, Lucknow, and Deepak Hosiery won motor cycles. Mr Sandeep Jain, Executive Director of the company, gave away the prizes to winners at a function held here on late Wednesday evening. Among other prizes given by the company were DVD players, Monte Carlo gift hampers, mink blankets and juicer-mixer-grinders.

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 |