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Ludhiana sizzles at 42°C
Power, water shortage adds to woes
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 7
The summer has just started and people are already sweating heavily with the temperature recording 42.8°C.

As if the soaring temperature was not enough, the severe shortage of electricity and water has added to the woes of the public. Power cuts have become a routine. Water supply has already gone too irregular.

Weather experts disclosed that the temperature had already gone too high in this summer season. People were not prepared for the temperature shooting up so fast. Most people expected such an intense heat wave in June. By that time the schools are closed and a good number of people go out to cooler environs.

With mercury soaring, the demand for power is rising. And the power-starved Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) is finding it difficult to maintain regular supply round the clock.

PSEB officials said they had no other option but to resort to the cuts. They said although the cuts were not prolonged and frequent right now, but the same could not be guaranteed in the future.

The PSEB officials pointed out that power shortage was a national phenomenon and there was pressure from the Centre on states not to draw extra power from the central pool. Under these circumstances the summer did not hold any good prospects for the power consumers.

In Ludhiana, particularly, the demand for power has grown substantially. With the coming up of shopping malls, some of which have already started operations, the demand for power has gone up beyond expectations.

There are other business establishments also and an increased used of air conditioners in households has put additional pressure on the PSEB.

Similarly, the water supply has also gone erratic. In a number of areas people have been complaining of being supplied water after a gap of three or four days. The taps have dried down.

The municipal corporation authorities have been claiming to be supplying water to such areas by tankers. But that hardly compensates for the regular water supply.

Cutting across the party lines, leaders from the Congress, SAD, BJP and other parties have been demanding an adequate supply of water.

A senior BJP leader said while the power shortage was understandable, but why should people be made to live without water and that too under such extreme weather conditions.

While the attendance in the schools, government offices and other commercial establishments remained normal, the usual hustle and bustle in the markets has vanished. Most of the busy markets have been wearing a deserted look during the daytime as people prefer to stay indoors. The business and trade activities in the markets start only late in the afternoon.



NRI dowry victim comes to India for justice
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, May 7
An NRI bride Karamdeep Kaur, who had been harassed by her Punjabi groom and in-laws to bring more dowry, has been asked by the police to come here and join the investigations against her in-laws.

Karamdeep Kaur and her father Sukhwinder Singh had come to India last month and registered a complaint with the DIG Ludhiana, Mr Prag Jain, against Karamdeep’s husband and his family.

Meanwhile, the Jagraon police, acting on a complaint recommended by Mr Jain, has registered an FIR at Sudhar Police station under Sections 498, 406 and 420 of IPC against the groom Parminder Singh, his father Hari Singh, mother Kamaljit Kaur, sister Paramjit Kaur, brother Karamjit Singh and sister-in-law Vir Pal Kaur for allegedly harassing the bride to bring more dowry.

The groom Parminder Singh, his sister Paramjit Kaur, his father Hari Singh live in England while his mother, brother and sister-in-law live in India.

Sukhwinder Singh of Andloo village and now an NRI settled in Englan, had alleged that the accused had been harassing his daughter Karamdeep Kaur to bring more dowry. They had forcibly taken the articles of dowry that were given to the bride by her relatives.

The DIG had deputed Mr Jarnail Singh Dhaliwal SP (H) to investigate the matter and initiate action against the accused. Mr R K Jaiswal, SSP Jagraon, on receiving the investigation report of the SP (H), had directed the SHO Sudhar to register a case and arrest the culprits.

Investigations by the police revealed that Sukhwinder Singh, who had been living in London for 26 years, had married his daughter Karamdeep Kaur to Parminder Singh, son of Hari Singh, a resident of Pakhowal Road Ludhiana, at Aman Marriage Palace, Mansooran, on March 12 last year.

Sukhwinder Singh claimed to have given a handsome dowry consisting of 46 tolas of gold ornaments and other articles of daily use. His daughter lived with her in-laws for four months after her marriage. Then she took the groom to England with her. The complainant alleged that immediately after the marriage Parminder Singh and his relatives, including father, mother, sister, brother and sister-in-law started harassing her for bringing more dowry, including a luxury car. Even when she went to England the harassment continued there.

“Besides insulting me and my parents they tortured me physically and psychologically and ultimately threw me out of my home at Ludhiana and London,” revealed Karamdeep Kaur before the police during investigations. “The physical and psychological torture I suffered on their hands forced me to come here and join investigations and teach them a lesson,” said Kamaljit Kaur to the investigation officer.

Mr Shawinder Singh Dhillon, SHO Sudhar, said that three of accused, Parminder Singh, Paramjit Kaur and Hari Singh were reportedly settled in London these days. The police had started hunt for others, he claimed.



Two arrested in dowry harassment case
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, May 7
A man and his brother were arrested in a dowry harassment case here today. The Magistrate remanded them to the police custody for one day.

It is reported that Mehak Sharma, a local resident, was married to Dinesh Kumar of this town. However, she allegedly left the matrimonial house and was residing with her parents. Dinesh Kumar had filed a case under Section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act.

Meanwhile, Mehak Sharma lodged a complaint with the police and alleged that her husband, brother-in-law and mother-in-law were harassing her for not bringing adequate dowry.



INTUC seeks representation on various panels
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 7
The Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) has urged the Centre to give representation to them on the District Grievances Redressal Committee, the Sales Tax Advisory Committee, the Telephone Advisory Committee, the Wages Committee, the Employees State Insurance, Vigilance Committee and the Employees Provident Fund Regional Committee so that the interest of the workers, labourers and government employees could be protected at the appropriate platforms.

The Chairman of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (labour and employment) cell, Dr Shiv Gupta, who is also the general secretary of INTUC, has submitted a memorandum to the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, and the All- India Congress Committee President, Mrs Sonia Gandhi, urging them for giving due representation.

He said the Punjab Government should issue a circular to all departments and the police authorities to give due respect to the INTUC and PPCC (Labour and Employment) office-bearers so that dignity of labourers and the poor is maintained. Such a step would also pay dividends in the forthcoming Assembly elections, he added.

The unit vice president Sunder Lal Mehta and Mr Harish Kapoor, organising secretary, expressed concern that labour unrest was increasing day by day in Ludhiana industrial centre where labour Laws were violated in the small- scale private sector industries.

INTUC wants that payment of wages Act, Bonus Act, ESI act , employees provident Fund Act, Maternity Benefit Act, Apprenticeship Act, 1961, Child Labour Prohibition and Regulation Act, 1986, Contract Labour (Regulation and abolition) Act, 1970 , Factories Act, 1948, Minimum wages Act, 1948, payment of Gratuity Act, 1972, Workmen Compensation Act, 1923 etc must be implemented strictly to ensure social security to the working community.



Sukhbir woos Dalit youths
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 7
With the SAD getting into election mode, the party has made efforts to rope in the youth of the state. In this context, party general secretary and MP Sukhbir Singh Badal addressed three events here today.

Exhorting the youth to work for the party, he said the Congress had not addressed the aspirations of the unemployed. The present regime had been too busy raking in money for clearing mega projects than creating job avenues for the youth. Capt Amarinder Singh had promised the moon to the youth in the election manifesto but had yet to create even a single job in the past over four years, he said.

Mr Sukhbir reiterated that the Akalis would rout the Congress at the hustings since the people had seen through the propaganda of the regime. “Capt Amarinder Singh has failed to live to the expectations of the people by unleashing police raj in the state and bringing all development activites to a grinding halt,” he said.

The function at Alamgir village had been organised by youth leader Palwinder Singh Mahouli and was attended by MP Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, Mr Barjinder Singh Brar and Mr Bikramjit Singh Majithia.

Earlier, he addressed a gathering of Dalits to celebrate the birth anniversary of Dr B.R. Ambedkar at Mullanpur Dakha. The event had been organsed by Mr Darshan Singh Shivalik and Mr Manpreet Singh Ayyali.

Mr Sukhbir indicated that ticket would be given to Dalit candidates even in the general category Assembly constituencies. He also acknowledged the contribution of Dr Ambedkar towards the uplift of Dalits and said it was part of SAD’s drive to mobilise Dalits from every village to strengthen the party base.

He announced a number of sops for the Dalit community, particularly the youth, who, he said, would be given special representation in the Youth Akali Dal. He also announced free education to Dalit girls up to university level.

Mr Badal also promised free electricity to Dalit households up to 400 units as well as give Rs 2,500 as shagun to every Dalit bride.

Mr Shivalik said they had started a special drive to enroll members of the Manch in the Dakha constituency. Around 3,000 members had been registered so far.

The SGPC president, Mr Avtar Singh Makkar, said there was no place for casteism in Sikhism.

Mr Badal also addressed office-beares of the AISSF (Mehta).



Dullo comes down heavily on BJP yatras
Our Correspondent

Khanna, May 7
“Wherever BJP leaders have taken out rath yatras, there have been communal riots. They talk of ahimsa and shanti, but spread himsa and ashanti,” said Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, president of the PPCC, while addressing a rally of the Youth Congress on the arrival of the “prerna yatra” here today.

Taking a dig at the leadership of the Akali party, he said it was nourishing the idea of handing over the reins of power to its progeny and others were like bonded labourers.

He ridiculed Mr Badal’s statement that Mr Manmohan Singh was a weak Prime Minister. “Mr Badal had the opportunity of leading the state thrice. What betterment has he brought about in the affairs of religion, farmers, education and other fields,” he asked.

Viewing seriously the indiscipline in some quarters of the Youth Congress, he remembered the spirit of working for the party in his early days. He exhorted partymen to work for the party and bring about a rapport between the people and the Congress.

Ms Harbans Kaur Dullo, parliamentary secretary, Punjab, Mr Naresh Teetu, secretary, All-India Congress Party, Mr Ravinder Aawla, president of the Youth Congress, Punjab, and Mr Amardeep Purewal, among others, attended the rally.



Ludhiana Calling

Leaders of the Shiromani Akali Dal have always been critical for the easy-,going approach of the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh and his weakness for ensuring his personal comforts. Even a desert cooler at any of his functions makes big issue for the Akalis to comment. But the Akali workers themselves do not seem to lag behind when it comes to providing comforts to their leaders. On Sunday during a function organised by the Youth Akali Dal, the Akali leaders had installed about half-a-dozen air conditioners in open to ensure that the party general secretary and heir apparent Mr Sukhbir Badal did not feel the heat. When some reporters pointed out to the organisers as what was the purpose in putting the ACs in open, they remarked, at least these could blow cool air. Mr Sukhbir Badal’s chair was placed right in front of the ACs.

Yoga fever

With the Yoga guru Swami Ramdev in the city, local residents have gone crazy about yoga. Thousands of people have been attending his camp every day. Thousands others are keen to meet him that too personally. The guru has repeatedly been saying that he is an ordinary human being like anybody else. He has been saying that he has nothing special to offer to people who come to meet him personally as he does not carry any magical wand. But still people keep on rushing to him. Recently during a press conference at Satluj Club, the common people outnumbered the scribes. While the scribes were themselves present in abundant numbers, making it one of the most crowded press conferences in the city, those who had come to know about the venue of the press conference, had flooded in and occupied most of the seats. Even during his private visits to different people’s residence every time it became a public function.

Roadside dentists

Ludhiana has fast turned out to be a medical destination for people from abroad. Given the number of good medical institutions, it is natural for people to come here for medical aid. Some of the dentists are believed to charge as much as Rs 5000 per sitting. As is the wont of Ludhianavis to develop a cheaper alternative for everything, it has happened with dentistry too. There are umpteen number of ‘roadside dentists’’ who offer ‘instant and hassle-free’ dental care to people for a meager sum of Rs 5 or 10. You can even bargain for the charges. The services provided include cleansing of teeth, removal and replacement of teeth and also dental care like treatment of routine pain. These roadside dentists are obviously not qualified, but are “well experienced”, as they claim themselves to be. No wonder they get a good number of patients, nay the customers, and at the end of the day they make a good earning. At the same time the customers also ‘benefit’ from the “cheap and the best” treatment. (See picture).

Minor drivers

The traffic police in has taken several measures in the public interest. While the movement of traffic remains slow, but by and large it seldom gets jammed. Even at the traffic lights, when there is no electricity the traffic cops manage well. This may sound incredible in a city like Ludhiana, where traffic chaos has been an accepted norm. Of late, the traffic police has also started a campaign against the minors driving the vehicles. While the main focus remains on the two wheelers, they have also been checking the four wheelers as well and challaned a good number of unauthorised drivers. The traffic police needs a pat on the back for taking up such campaigns as most of the minor and unauthorised drivers, resort to reckless driving leading to the accidents. The campaign has had its impact with most of the juvenile drivers vanishing during last few days.

(Contributed by Vimal Sumbly)



Mulazim dal to launch statewide stir
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, May 7
The Punjab State Mulazim Dal has drafted an action plan to launch a statewide stir for the acceptance of their long-pending demands. This was stated by Mr Inderjit Sharma, chairman of the union, here today.

Mr Sharma said the decision was taken at a meeting held in Ludhiana on Saturday. He said a statewide stir would be launched from Ludhiana on June 7.

"We will launch the statewide stir with a dharna scheduled to be staged in front of the mini secretariat in Ludhiana on June 7", he added. He further said this would be followed by dharnas at Ranjit Sagar Dam, Shahpur Kandi, on July 12 and at mini secretariat, Hoshiarpur, on August 2.

Their main demands were regularisation of employees of PUDA, corporations and sewerage boards, including withdrawal of privatisation moves, filling of vacant posts and absorption of ETT teachers.

He said the union condemned lathi charged on peacefully demonstrating employees of the Health Department at various places in the state.



Rotarians host dinner for Bal Bhavan inmates
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 7
Members of the Rotary Club, Ludhiana, invited all inmates of Red Cross in Sarabha Nagar to Rotary Bhavan for dinner last evening.

Fortytwo children, belonging to destitute families or orphans, many of them deaf and dumb, were treated as honoured guests by Rotarians, led by club president Dr A.S. Bindra and secretary S.P. Karkara.

The children regaled the audience with Punjabi folk songs and Hindi film songs. Rotarian Balbir Singh, Director, Community Service, who hosted the dinner for the children, and Rotarian Maj S. Khosla, who provided stationery items like notebooks, pens, etc, to them, had made excellent arrangements.

Rs 2,600 was also collected for the children.



Seva samaj distributes ration
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 7
The Young Samaj Seva Sangh organised the 17th free ration distribution camp in memory of Shanti Bajaj at Shri Vishavkarma Temple, Vishav Chowk here today.

As many as 61 widows were given ration. President Yogesh Sachdeva and Mr Jagdish Bajaj, president of the Shri Gyan Sthal said real peace comes when one reaches out to others and helps them in bad times .

A two- minute silence was observed for Shanti Devi.


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