L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Land worth crores given to MNC for mall construction
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 29
A piece of 800 square yards of land worth Rs 8 crore, which was to be developed as a road in H-Block of Sarabha Nagar, has been given to a multinational company for the construction of a mall allegedly in connivance with some officials of Ludhiana Improvement Trust.

The mall is coming up on around 6,200 square yards of land on Ferozepur road. In fact this piece of land is in the midst of a controversy with grandsons of a former minister and renowned freedom fighter, Late Sardari Lal Kapoor, also staking their claim on another 800 square yards claiming their grandfather had bought this piece of land many years ago.

They are slogging it out in various government departments claiming that their land was allegedly occupied by some persons illegally who had even prepared fake sale deeds to stake their claim. The registry of the said piece is in possession of the Kapoor family which was issued by none other than the trust itself. But now, they claim, the record of the land has been lost by the office of the trust.

Demanding a CBI inquiry into the entire case, the grandsons of the late minister have asked as to how the trust provided a No Objection Certificate to the owners of the land for passing it on to an MNC when a piece of land was in their possession.

‘‘We have come to know that the trust is trying to drop the 80-square feet road from the layout plan to benefit them. How can they alter the plan? That means there is more to this case than what meets the eye,” said his grandson Anil Kapoor.

‘‘If a thorough investigation into this land is done, a multiple crore scam will be unearthed and many senior officials would come in the CBI net,” he added.

The LIT had reserved the land of Sunet village for developing it as Sarabha Nagar in 1967. The layout plan for the development was also finalised in that year only.

Under this plan, all the 40 square feet and 30 square feet roads in the area were to be connected with Ferozepore road. The plan was approved as the design was public-friendly.

In 1976 Mr Sardari Lal Kapoor had purchased 800 square yards land in H-Block. It was registered by the trust only. Since then the land was in possession of the Kapoor family. But after his death they could not take care of the property and without their knowledge it was transferred to somebody else's name. The trust even provided NOC to the person, who allegedly executed a fake sale deed.

As per the layout plan, a 40 square yard road was provided through this 6200 square yard area, which was to connect to Ferozepore road. The road existed in H-Block but could not culminate in Ferozepore road due to political pressures. Another 30 square feet road in the area also ended blindly as it could not be connected with the main road. According to a drawing of LIT, the existing road measures only 12 square feet.



CM lays stone for Rs 21 cr project
Tribune News Service

Khanna (Ludhiana), May 29
The Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, today laid the foundation stone for a Rs-21 crore drinking water and sewerage project for Khanna city.

This is part of the statewide project to provide clean drinking water and sewerage facilities to people living in the urban areas.

Interestingly, it is for the second time that the foundation stone had been laid for such a project. Earlier the former Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, had laid the foundation stone for sewerage and drinking water project. But the project never took off. However, Capt Amarinder Singh today assured that the project would be completed in a time-bound manner since he had already issued the grant for the project in cash.

The Chief Minister also announced a grant of Rs 25 lakh for the completion of Rajiv Gandhi bhavan and Rs 10 lakh for setting up a memorial in honour of Chaudhary Bhisham Prakash, a former Congress block president who was shot dead by militants two decades ago.

Surprisingly, the Chief Minister did not make any reference to his political opponents. He did not speak on politics but focussed on development.

He said he had ordered the repair and widening of the Khanna-Malerkotla road and other link roads connecting Khanna with other towns and cities of the state.

Later addressing a rally, Capt Amarinder was all praise for Punjab Pradesh Congress president Shamsher Singh Dullo, who belongs to Khanna and his legislator wife, Ms Harbans Kaur Dullo, for being so keen and concerned about the development of the Khanna town.

In his welcome address, Mr Dullo urged the Chief Minister to take serious note of the rising prices of essential commodities. He also thanked the Chief Minister for the development projects he launched for the city today.

Prominent among those present included the Local Bodies Minister, Chaudhary Jagjit Singh, the Ludhiana Mayor, Mr Nahar Singh Gill, the senior vice-president of the Pradesh Youth Congress, Mr Amarjit Singh Tikka and the district president, Ludhiana (rural), Mr Harmohinder Singh Pradhan.



Valmiki body threat to retaliate against anti-quota stir
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 29
The Bhartiya Valmiki Dharam Samaj (BVDS), a political outfit, owing allegiance to the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal), while taking strong exception to the ongoing agitation against the reservation policy, has threatened to retaliate and come out on the streets if the stir was not immediately called off.

Addressing a state-level delegate session of the body here last evening, national organiser Vijay Danav, convener Lakshman Dravid and general secretary Ashwani Sahota alleged that the reservation policy was being opposed by vested interests under a well thought out conspiracy which was aimed at denial of constitutional rights to the backward classes.

The BVDS functionaries regretted that certain radical bodies and high-caste groups could not tolerate the idea of students belonging to oppressed sections and backward classes being given the opportunity to have the right to higher and professional education.

Meanwhile, Dr B.S. Shah, president, and Dr Harpal Singh, press secretary of the newly formed Federation of Medical Associations (FMA), maintained that the reservation would prove to be a major roadblock in the development of the country and the creation of a caste-free society.

The ongoing agitation by medicos, they said, would turn out to be a revolution in the country and prove to be the most significant event after the British Rule. “It might lead to rewriting of the Indian Constitution where just and meritorious people are not singled out and put to taste the adversities while less deserving enjoy the benefits”.

The FMA functionaries stressed that the government could not hide its inadequacies in providing equal opportunities to the under-privileged in the rural areas by increasing reservations. The successive governments that had ruled the country for so many decades had not been able to provide equality in primary and secondary education for Indian citizens. “At this juncture, the rulers can not mask their failure by providing reservations at each and every level which is unjust.

The whole issue of reservations is a political gimmick of the present government to garner votes”.

They said it was time that things were not taken for granted by anyone. The whole nation needed to be aware of the amount of hard work and sacrifice that was put in by professionals to achieve their goals. “We should not allow anyone to make a mockery of our struggle in future”.



Two boys crushed to death
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 29
Two boys were crushed to death allegedly by a private bus on Tajpur Road when they were riding a bicycle here today.

Identified as Bablu (12) and Budhu (15), both friends, were going together for a haircut to a barber shop on Tajpur Road.

Police sources said that they were run over by a private bus. Bablu died on the spot and Budhu died after he was shifted to Civil Hospital. The bus driver fled from the spot, leaving the bus on the road. The police impounded the bus. Both were children of migrant labourers.

The bodies were sent for a postmortem examination at Civil Hospital. The police has registered a case against the unidentified driver.



Woman, paramour get life term for murder
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 29
Baljit Kaur (25), accused of being involved in the killing of her husband and her paramour,Dalbinder Singh (26), residents of Gurditpur village, Payal, have been sentenced to undergo rigourous life imprisonment. The co-accused, Naginder Pawan, has also been awarded same sentence.

Delivering the verdict, Mr Harbans Lal,Sessions Judge, held that the prosecution had successfully proved that all the accused in the criminal conspiracy killed Joginder Singh on the intervening night of November 14/15, 2004, by inflicting injuries with sharp- edged weapons.

A fine of Rs 5000 each was also imposed upon the accused.

An FIR was registered at Payal police station on November 15, 2004, against the accused under Section 302/34 of the IPC following the complaint of Kashmir Singh, younger brother of the deceased.

He had stated to the police that before his murder, his brother was residing in Saudi Arabia. Two months ago, he had came back to India.

When his brother was not in the country, his wife, Baljit Kaur, allegedly developed illicit relations with accused Dalbinder Singh. When his brother came back, he used to object to her maintaining such relations. The matter also went to the panchyat, but she did not discontinue her illicit relations, added the complainant.

On November 14, 2004,Baljit Kaur along with other co-accused killed his brother with a sharp-edged weapon.



Road dug a week ago, not repaired
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 29
A part of a road which was dug up a week ago to repair a sewer line poses a threat to the commuters near the Fountain Chowk, here.They fear that it could become a death trap for them anytime.

Considering the load of traffic on the road, the dug-up road can prove fatal for anyone.

Commuters on the road said if it rained, water would collect on the road and many people would meet with accidents as they would not be able to anticipate the ditch.

Some beggars,who live nearby on the footpath, said many pedestrians walking on the road at nights were alerted by them. Otherwise they would have fallen inside.

‘‘If somebody falls, he would be carried away by water. Many children pass through this road everyday. They may not be careful while passing the roadside’’ said a commuter.



MLA claims giving grants worth Rs 10 cr
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, May 29
Ms Razia Sultana, Parliamentary Secretary and MLA of the constituency, yesterday held a thanks giving meeting to acknowledge the contribution of party leaders and workers for making the recent rally held at Malerkotla a success.

Justifying the presence of her IGP husband , Mr Mustafa, at the rally she said those who were against his presence during the garlanding of the state Chief Minister should know that it was not only the prerogative of Mr Mustafa to be present to welcome the guest but his duty also as demanded by the ethics of hospitality.

“Moreover, Mr Mustafa, who is an important constituent of the Punjab Police, had attended a state function and not an obscure meeting of some anti-national organisation,” argued Ms Razia.

On the issue of development in the constituency, Ms Sultana claimed that she had obtained maximum grants for various projects in the rural and urban areas of the constituency. Grants worth at least Rs 100 million had been distributed to various organisations of Mandi Ahmedgarh, Malerkotla and surrounding villages, she claimed.

Ms Razia also redressed grievances of residents of her constituency after the meeting.



Punjab urged not to move SC on reorganisation Act
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 29
The Bharti Kisan Union (BKU) has urged the state government not to move the Supreme Court on the issue of challenging Sections 78, 79 and 80 of the Punjab Reorganisation Act, 1966, as it would harm the interests of Punjab.

Prof Manjit Singh Kadian, acting chief of the body, said it did not make sense to challenge the sections after 40 years.

The people of the state were the sole guardians of the river waters of the state and it was up to them to decide with whom to share the waters, if at all.

He said the state government had done the right thing in abrogating all water agreements. The need of the hour was to stand strongly by the decision to annul all accords and not move the Supreme Court in challenging the above mentioned section of the act, he pointed out.

The kisan leader said the first decision on water sharing was given in 1953 by the then secretary-level bureaucrats who had no authority to do so in the first place. By doing so the state had to part with waters to Rajasthan which was a non-riparian state. This was followed by the Indira Gandhi Award which was challenged by SAD chief Parkash Singh Badal in the court.

He said the petition was subsequently withdrawn by the late Darbara Singh when he was the Chief Minister. The water was given to other states arbitrarily since even the Prime Minister and the Chief Minister cannot decide on such matters.

This was followed by the Rajiv - Longowal accord which too was illegal. Only the state Assembly was the competent authority to decide on such matters, he added.

Prof Kadian said the state government should immediately convene a special session of the Assembly and pass a resolution stopping all the river water being illegally released to non- riparian states due to the previous erroneous awards and accords.

This would earn the government the gratitude of the people of the state, particulary of the farmers, who are facing drought-like conditions due to the steeply falling ground water levels, he said.

To utilise the surplus water so available the state should undertake digging of more canals to supply water to the affected areas of the state where the groundwater had reached rock bottom levels or is unfit for irrigation purposes.



Use water-saving machinery: expert
Our Correspondent

Samrala, May 29
The Krishi Vigyan Kendra here today organised a demonstration-cum-field Day on “Laser leveller and water-saving technologies” in collaboration with the Department of Farm Power and Machinery, PAU, Ludhiana.

The function was presided over by the Director of Extension Education, Dr Sarjit Singh Gill.

Live demonstrations of latest farm machinery contributing towards water saving and agricultural diversification such as automatic laser leveller, bed planter, multi-crop planter, pulverising roller, aeroblast sprayer were given to the farmers.

The use of such machinery, particularly the bed planter, reduces water requirement by about 30 percent and gives better crop yield.

Dr Gill emphasised the need to use groundwater judiciously by adopting such technologies. He also stressed upon the importance of setting up nutrition gardens, which would help the farmers in generating farm income.

Dr Gill advised the farmers to go in for agricultural machanization on custom-hiring basis through cooperative societies.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr S. S. Ahuja, Head, Department of Farm Power and Machinery, PAU, Ludhiana, gave details regarding various farm machines being tested and developed by the department.

Dr Kuldeep Singh, Deputy Director (Trg) K.V.K., Samrala, thanked the chief guest and farmers for showing keen interest in this event.

KVK scientists also delivered lectures to the farmers. Successful trainees were awarded training certificates by the chief guest. Nearly 25 farmers attended the demonstration.



400 take part in peace march
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 29
As many as 400 Sikh youth, wearing T-shirts with the message of peace, “I have befriended all; unto all I am a friend”, written across them, took out a peace march on motorcycles from Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle here today.

The march is being organised to spread the message of tolerance, peace, friendship and brotherhood as enshrined in Guru Granth Sahib.

Dr Charan Kamal Singh, chief secretary of the study circle, said the marchers started early morning and reached the Golden Temple in Amritsar. All marchers offered prayers for world peace and dedicated themselves to this cause.

Earlier in the day, the march was flagged off by Mr Raja Singh of Texla TV. SGPC members, presidents and secretaries of several gurdwaras, and members of the Istri Sat Sang Sabhas were present on the occasion. The beautifully decorated palanquin carrying Guru Granth Sahib was at the head of the march followed by “Panj Piyaras”.



Rs 4 lakh grant for Sanghol village
Our Correspondent

Khamano, May 29
The Punjab Government is celebrating this year as development year and grants are being disbursed to the villages for development works.

This was stated by Samrala MLA, Mr Amrik Singh Dhillon, while addressing residents at Sanghol village, near here. He gave a cheque of Rs 4 lakh to sarpanch Bahadar Singh for development works.

He gave away cheques for about Rs 45 lakh to about 24 villages of the Samrala area and about Rs 21 lakh to about 10 villages of the Chamkaur Sahib area.



26 booked for bid to grab land
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, May 29
As many as 26 persons have been booked allegedly for an attempt to take possession of a disputed land in Kotli village near here.

The accused include Karnail Kaur of Moga, Jagtar Singh and Nirmal Singh of Rakba, Surjit Singh, alias Gola, Amrik Singh of Rakba, Satkartar of Humberan, Sukhwinder Singh of Dhat, Barjinder Singh of Jangpur, Sonu Ram of Siarh, Mohan Singh of Rakba, Sawaran Singh and Harjit Singh of Dehlon, Pawan Kumar, Anil, Ankit and Sachin of Ludhiana.

The accused also allegedly stolen one lister engine and abused and threatened Ganda Singh, who presently hold the possession of the land.

The Humbran police on the complaint of Ganda Singh has registered a case under Sections 447, 511, 294, 379, 506, 148, 149 and 120B of the IPC and 25, 27, 54 and 59 of Arms Act and arrested all accused.

According to a report, a case has been pending in court regarding the ownership of the land.



Seabuckthorn Indage enters Punjab
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 29
With growing health consciousness among people, the market for fruit juices to is on the rise.

As per estimates, the demand for fruit juices, nectars and drinks has been registering a growth of 50-55 per cent on an annual basis for the past three years constantly.

Portraying this trend to continue with further improvement, Seabuckthorn Indage Limited, the group that has an average annual turnover of over Rs 800 crore, has marked its entry in Punjab with the launch of a range of fresh fruit juices and nectars under its brandname," Leh Berry".

"People are getting increasingly aware of health benefits of consuming juices and nectars. The market has been registering an encouraging growth which is what made us enter this segment," said Mr M.S. Dhanota, president, Seabuckthorn Indage, while addressing a press conference here today.



PNB records 18.8 pc growth in business
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 29
Mr I.D. Singh, general manager, Punjab National Bank (PNB), Punjab(South) Zone, inaugurated the new premises of the bank’s branch in Dhandari Kalan today. Addressing the gathering at the inauguration, he said the bank had achieved a total business of Rs1,94,312 crore at the end of March, 2006, and registered a growth of 18.8 per cent in comparison to previous year.

"It is our endeavour to provide the best of services to our customers. This branch is already connected to 2,400 branches/offices all over India under Core Banking Solutions. Customers of this branch can operate their account from all these 2,400," he said.

Mr Singh said the bank was focusing on providing a wide range of financial products and not only banking services to its customers.

Citing an example, he said the distribution of mutual fund of Principal PNB AMC Private Limited was being done by the bank through its 22 zones.


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