L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Backing SBI staff, PSU banks threaten stir
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 7
Employees of public sector banks today threatened to go on strike if State Bank of India employees were victimised.

As the strike by SBI employees entered the fifth day, the Punjab Bank Employees Federation came out in their support and observed a dharna here.

The United Forum of Bank Unions would observe a strike in case SBI employees were victimised, said Mr Naresh Gaur, secretary of the federation.

If the strike was prolonged and the management or the government did not come out with a solution, the forum would observe a one-day strike to support them, he added.

Asserting that the review of pension ceiling was a genuine demand, he said the issue has been pending for several years and needed to be resolved immediately.

The Joint Council of Trade Unions, which also extended support, threatened that all trade unions would join SBI employees if the government did not come out with a solution at the earliest.

Customers of the bank remained agitated and business worth crores was hit.

Industry associations asserted that the strike should be ended immediately.

Mr Manjit Singh Sachdeva, president of the Ludhiana Electrical Merchants Association, said, “The government must resolve the issue on a priority basis as its affect on business is catastrophic”.

Pensioners and salaried employees, who had not been able to withdraw money since the beginning of the strike, said customers should not be victimised further.

“Customers are the direct sufferers. We are not able to withdraw money. It is a shame that though people are suffering, the strike has continued for five days”, said Mr Naresh Kumar, a local resident.



PAU to set up 6 centres of excellence
Amarjit Thind
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 7
PAU has submitted a roadmap on “Basic and Strategic Research in Agriculture” to the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) which gives details on how Rs 100 crore special grant to the university is to be spent.

This grant was announced by the Union Finance Minister in his Budget speech (2006-07) to Parliament on February 28 last.

The Vice-Chancellor, Dr. K. S. Aulakh, who held a series of discussions with scientists within and outside PAU, today said the roadmap envisages setting up six centres of excellence and stresses on three key areas of research. He has sent executive summary of the roadmap to the Union Finance Minister, Mr. P. Chidambaram, and Deputy Chairman Planning Commission, Dr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia.

PAU has proposed to set up a “corpus fund” of about Rs.78.70 crore from which an interest of Rs.6.29 crore is likely to accrue, annually at 8 per cent rate of interest. The remaining sum of Rs.21.29 crore will be used during the current financial year, 2006-07, towards new equipment and for developing cutting edge technologies and meeting working contingencies.

The proposed six centres of excellence are in (1) Crop Biotechnology and Improvement, (2) Farm Animal Biotechnology, (3) Food Processing and Value Addition, (4) Natural Resources Management, (5) Bio-energy and (6) Farm Power and Machinery.

The three important areas of research are: (1) Strengthening Integrated Pest Management, (2) Multi-location Testing and Regional Specific Research and (3) Intellectual Property Rights, Market Intelligence Cell and Technology Impact Analysis.

Dr. Aulakh has had discussions on the basic and strategic research in agriculture with Dr. Ahluwalia during the latter’s visit to Patiala, recently, and had apprised him of the acute financial crunch faced by the university for the last four years or so. This crunch is particularly in respect of state sponsored projects. At times it becomes difficult for the university to meet even the committed expenditure and was denied state share in ICAR schemes.

PAU is keen to upgrade laboratories that are to handle bio-technology, food processing and farm power and machinery. In the roadmap efforts have been made to strike a balance by making provision for new equipment, power hot line, import of germ- plasm and contingencies to cover maintenance and operational costs of labs and to provide working funds to the scientists in the current financial year.

These requirements add up to Rs.21.69 crore while the remaining sum of Rs78.70 crore will be put in a corpus fund. This will generate recurring contingency funds to the tune of about Rs6.29 crore, annually.

Dr. Aulakh said on implementation, the project will provide “sustainability and stability” of the university in the years to come. This special grant of Rs.100 crore is also an acknowledgement of contribution of PAU to the Green Revolution and adoptability of the farmers of production-protection technologies evolved by the university, which have support terms of government policies.



Gupta takes over as DC
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 7
Mr Ashok Kumar Gupta took over as Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, here this afternoon. Earlier, Mr Anurag Verma, the out-going DC, relinquished charge to join his new assignment as Deputy Commissioner, Jalandhar.

After taking over, Mr Gupta interacted with officers of the administration and took first-hand information about the priorities in the district.

While discussing the procedure of disbursement of pension under different schemes of the Social Security department, the new DC asked the Additional Deputy Commissioner (Development), Mr Pryank Bharti, to create a mechanism to ensure the disbursement of pension among the beneficiaries in villages from the sixth to the tenth of every month positively.

He asked the ADC(D) to direct all panchayat secretaries to chalk out their programmes in their circles in such a manner so that each and every beneficiary gets pension on the fixed dates and to streamline the distribution of midday meals among the students in primary schools .

The DC also reviewed the progress of disbursement of compensation to the families of the riot victims of 1984 and asked the concerned SDMs to expedite the disbursement work at the earliest.

Mr Gupta further informed that he would accord priority to the smooth redressal of grievances of people and to accelerate the pace of development under various schemes of the government in the entire district.

Verma given farewell

Meanwhile, the outgoing Deputy Commissioner, Mr Anurag Verma was today accorded a touching farewell today by the journalists of Ludhiana.

Mr Verma served as Deputy Commissioner in Ludhiana for about three years. He said he was pleased to have a good experience of the people, politicians and media in Ludhiana.

Cutting across their political affiliations, leaders of the Congress, SAD and BJP wished Mr Verma success at his new place of posting.



Wedding exhibition displays grandeur
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, April 7
To infuse the latest style and grandeur to conventional weddings of Ludhiana, Sunstar Expositions Pvt. Ltd, New Delhi started a mega wedding exhibition under the name of ‘Wedding in Style 2006’ at Hotel Maharaja Regency today. The four-day exhibition will conclude on April 10.

Mr Anil Bali, one of the organisers, talking to Ludhiana Tribune, said the exhibition would change the definition of grand weddings in Ludhiana.

“It offers the best of jewellery, bridal wear, trousseau, furniture, footwear, fashion accessories, food, wedding planning, photography, cars and bikes from various places”, said Mr Bali.

Mr D.P. Singh and Mr Vikas Narang, the other organisers, said a similar exhibition was held in Chandigarh from January 5 to 8, which more than 30,000 people had visited.

“We chose Ludhiana because the people here have both money and taste. They believe in style. They would not mind spending money if they get the best. In today’s hectic and busy life, it is very difficult to accomplish each and every task regarding a wedding. We offer people not to run around as they would get everything under one roof,” said Mr Bali.

Drawing from their experience about Ludhiana, where style is integral to every celebration, the organisers said the exhibition would to add a long-awaited new style and grandeur to all the forthcoming weddings in and around Ludhiana as it would have a number of national and regional brands displaying their product range used in the weddings.

Mr Bali said more than 47 stalls had been put up by exhibitors who have come from Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad, Chandigarh etc.

He admitted that the exhibition was aimed at the affluent and upper middle class families with a good spending capacity.



Work at dry ports computerised
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 7
In furtherance of the department’s speeding up computerisation of the work linked with import and export of cargo from Punjab, the container freight station, concor, Ludhiana, has been brought under the Indian Customs EDI system (ICES).

With this, all three dry ports at Ludhiana — Punjab State Warehousing Corporation, Overseas Warehousing Private Limited as well as Container Corporation of India (Concor) — have been fully computerised.

The processing of bills of entry and shipping bills was brought under the Indian Customs EDI system on April 5.

The traders were informed about the launch of EDI system at CFS (Concor) vide public notices dated February 23 and March 23 issued by Mr D. P. Singh, Commissioner of Customs, Amritsar.

The computerisation of the CFS (Concor) shall speed up the processing of import and export documents, deposit of customs duties and disbursal of drawback and other incentives to the trade besides preventing any unscrupulous attempt to evade taxes or to claim any undue incentives.

The Assistant Commissioner of Customs, Mr C. L. Dogra, has particularly appealed to the members of the export trade that they may open drawback accounts at Punjab National Bank situated at Dhandari Kalan so as to facilitate a direct credit of the sanctioned drawback amounts in to their accounts.

The installation of the EDI system at Concor has been done by M/s OST, Chandigarh. The customs software ICES is developed implemented and maintained by the National Informatics Center, New Delhi.



Install waste treatment plants or close, 100 units told
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 7
The Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) has issued notices of closure to about a 100 wire drawing and bright bar drawing industrial units in Ludhiana if they fail to install effluent treatment plants within 15 days of the issue of the notification.

The board, it is learnt, has identified several other such units which do not have any arrangement for the treatment of effluents. The board is likely to issue about 300 more such notices to these units.

It is learnt that the board has taken serious note of the increasing levels of pollution caused by industrial effluents in the city. Most units do not have treatment plants installed in their units which is mandatory.

It is learnt that these units were taking the services of a Moga-based treatment plant.

The unit holders stored the effluents in drums which was transported to Moga for treatment.

However, as the treatment plant was shutdown for some reason, the effluents were being dumped untreated.

The notices, which have reportedly been received by the unit holders has caused panic among them.



No action on list of bribed officials
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 7
The police has booked a man for allegedly attempting to grab the property of his physically challenged aunt, a resident of Ayali Kalan village.

But a list of expenditure the complainant had attached to her complaint has aroused more interest. In the list that the accused had given to his aunt during happier times, he claimed to have spent lakhs of rupees of the woman to help her illegally in several legal and police cases. The list claims he had given handsome bribes to senior police and revenue officials for help in those cases.

However, later, the woman learnt that her nephew had cheated her into signing documents and transferring her property in his name. She made a complaint to the police regarding the fraud. She appended the list of expenditure with the complaint. However, no action has been taken on the list which had sent the police department in a tizzy over claims of bribe given to them.



Habibs’ hair salon opens in city
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 7
Jawed Habib, the hairstylist who finds a place in the Limca Book of Records for 410 haircuts in 24 hours, refuses to acknowledge that hairstylists can improve your hair. “Stylists can only give you a good cut, the quality of hair depends of your lifestyle, diet and your maintenance,” he says.

Adding a word of caution for those wanting to go in for hair colour, he asserts that you seek the help of a professional else it could be highly damaging. “Hairstylists are like doctors. It is their duty and they can guide you properly on not just styles but also on the products or chemicals you use on your crowning glory.”

Jawed, who inaugurated Jawed Habib Hair and Beauty Salon at Park Plaza, here today, also revealed that his company had become a public limited company and would soon become the first hairstyling company to go in for a public issue.

“We plan to come out with an initial public offer (IPO) after Divali this year,” he said, adding, “Expansion is on the cards and in the coming five years, Habibs would have over 2,000 salons across the globe including Europe.”

The company, which also offers herbal cosmetics, is buoyant on the Punjab market. “Punjab is the biggest market in North India when it comes to the hair-dressing industry. People are experimenting and also very cautious about the way they look,” maintained Jawed.

When asked on the role of hairstylists, he said it had become more of a science where you need to be aware of all aspects related to hair and could not just be content by offering a hair cut to people. “The kind of hair one goes in for should match one’s personality. Apart from that, one has to be very careful while using chemicals on hair. Experimenting is not bad, but it should not be done without expert guidance.”


Chikankari exhibition on
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 7
Chikankari designer wear is on display at the Sutluj Club, Ludhiana. The gossamer thin designs on ethnic voils and other cool cottons are very eye-catching. Ms Alka, who is holding the exhibition, told Ludhiana Tribune that Sonu, whose creations she was displaying was a well-known designer of chikankari and had displayed her works all over India.

The salwar suits, and sarees on display are interesting as the embroidery has been done very delicately .

Though the basic embroidery is chikankari but it is matched with cutwork, aari work , sequins and other types of embroideries to lend them a different look to distinguish them from the usual chikankari work.

Th5e exhibition was inaugurated by the outgoing Deputy Commissioner, Mr Anurag Verma today and will be on till tomorrow evening.


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