L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Bank Chairman, deputy suspended
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 17
Blaming two personnel of acting in a manner prejudicial to the working of the institutions leading to approximate loss of Rs 100 lakh per year, the Joint Registrar, Cooperative Societies, Patiala Division, has suspended the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Sangrur Central Cooperative Bank Ltd. However, they have been given a 15-day notice to show cause as to why legal action should not be taken against them for issuing directions to counsel of the bank to withdraw cases in a clandestine manner. The loss is likely to increase as the bank would be compelled to allow 38 persons join the bank if the withdrawal was not revoked.

Captain Tejinder Singh Virdi, Joint Registrar, exercising powers of the Registrar, Cooperative Societies, Chandigarh, suspended Mr Jarnail Singh Baurhai, Chairman and Mr Sukhjinder Singh, Vice Chairman of the bank from the directorship of the bank. The suspension orders were passed on the basis of a report submitted by the Deputy Registrar Cooperative Societies and District Manager of the bank who had found that the officials had allegedly acted in clandestine manner thus causing a loss of approximately Rs 100 lakh in current year that was likely to increase.

Perusal of the records revealed that Jarnail Singh and Sukhjinder Singh, along with another official of the bank had issued instructions to Mr Rajiv Atma Ram, counsel of the bank to withdraw CWP number 17401 of 1997 and 6574 of 2000, vide letter number Spl 1 on May 12, 2006. Non-availability of records in connection with the said letter made the senior functionary construe that the officials had acted in a clandestine manner.

Though the final decision taken on the agenda was still to be made public, an immediate meeting of Board of Directors was called at Sangrur on Thursday. Perusal of the agenda note revealed that the Board of Directors of the Bank, whose term was to expire on October 10, 1987 had issued appointment letters to about 60 persons, appointing them as junior clerks despite a ban on recruitment.

They joined with Managing Director of the bank on a separate attendance register on October 25, 1987 but on the expiry of term of the board on October 28, 1987 the then Manager (HO) did not allow them mark attendance. The bank later allowed these employees join the duties on the basis of orders of a court.

The candidates from reserve category and general category not selected filed various writ petitions in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, challenging appointment of these candidates. Pending these petitions, the then Manager gave his consent that the bank would appoint them as junior clerks against future vacancies. Consequently the petitions were disposed of. The administrator of the bank contested the consent given by the Manager and filed an LPA in the high court that was rejected. Again an SLP was filed in the apex court and the court remanded the case to the high court with directions to find out the truth. After hearing the case on merit the high court ordered that the petitioner could file objections before the Registrar, Cooperative Societies, Punjab.

Though general category candidates had filed a fresh LPA, the reserve category candidates knocked at the door of the Court of Registrar, Cooperative Societies. The RCS court decided the case in favour of candidates and directed the bank to appoint them as junior clerks. The bank had to file a CWP in the high court after Financial Commissioner rejected their appeal. The said CWP is still pending.

On knowing the positive outcome of the case filed by the reserve category candidates, general category candidates withdrew the LPA and filed representation before the court of RCS. This court directed the bank to appoint the appellants and give them benefits of seniority, pay fixation and retirement benefits from October 1987. Again after being rejected by the Financial Commissioner, the bank filed another CWP in the high court. Both these CWPs, 17401 of 1997 and 6574 of 2000 were pending in the court according to the agenda note.

It is the clandestine manner of instructing the counsel to withdraw these two CWPs that invited the present action. “If the writ petitions are withdrawn 38 persons will join their duty and as per decision of honourable court of RCS Punjab, they are to be given seniority and pay fixation from October 1987, which means every person will be given 21 increments and at present will draw Rs 22674 as total emoluments,” reads the agenda item that was discussed in the meeting. The authorities further observed that bank shall incur heavy financial loss to the tune of approximately Rs 100 lakh in current year which was likely to increase for obvious reasons.



Baby girl abandoned to drown
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, June17
It might have been the widely prevailing aversion for the girl child or the possible financial constraints that forced unidentified parents of a new-born girl to leave her floating on the Sidhwan Canal. Had it not been for chance spotting by a couple of youth, the baby might have drowned. The youth, who are working with a cable company, took her to Civil Hospital, where she is undergoing treatment.

Preliminary investigations have suggested that the girl might have been born with some congenital problem as was apparent from the swollen abdomen, which could be one of the possible reasons for the parents to abandon her. At the Civil Hospital, the doctors have said she required an immediate surgery. The police have not been able to trace the parents of the girl child nor the hospital where she was delivered.

The new born baby was spotted this afternoon by Mr Amritpal and Mr Viney who were going towards South City to rectify a cable complaint in the area. “We saw something moving on a floater in the middle of the canal. We stopped and dived and brought this baby out. Wrapped in a small towel, the girl was shivering”, said Mr Amritpal.

The youth immediately called PCR Sadar Police to narrate the incident. The police came with an ambulance and took the girl to Civil Hospital for treatment. Mr Kuldeep Singh, an ASI, who is on duty at Civil Hospital said, “There was a wrist band on the child’s hand which showed that her mother was Gurdev Kaur, and that she was born on June 16 at 10:42 am. We still do not know in which hospital she was born. The attending doctors say that she may require a surgery as she is having some congenital defect”.



Political ramifications of martyrdom functions
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, June 17
The event of quadri-centenary of the martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev has passed into history with processions criss-crossing all over Punjab, Delhi and major functions concluding at Tarn Taran on Friday. The event was of great significance to people of Majha. Tarn Taran, founded by Guru Arjan Dev himself and usually termed as the capital of Majha, has at long last been declared a district headquarters with three tehsils of Amritsar district — Khadur Sahib, Patti and Tarn Taran. The announcement made by the Chief Minister, Captain Amarinder Singh, that the district headquarters would be constructed at the land acquired for the purpose close to the town itself had been welcomed by the people with gratitude. The Chief Minister also announced that the newly opened Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University would have its regional centre at Khadur Sahib. This will decidedly be a boon for the farmers because Amritsar is known for milk production and the first-ever milk plant was set up in Amritsar district. The Chief Minister further announced many sops for the holy town.

The political parties this time seem to have learnt a lesson about the observance and holding of religious functions. Earlier also, the administration as well as the SGPC under Jathedar Gurcharan Singh Tohra had cooperated to bring solemnity to the annual congregations at Fatehgarh Sahib to remember the sacrifices of two younger sons of Guru Gobind Singh.

This time, the two major political parties, the Congress and the Shiromini Akali Dal, held separate functions to pay homage to Guru Arjan Dev in their own way with a view to getting political mileage for the impending Punjab Vidhan Sabha elections in February 2007. Both Mr Parkash Singh Badal and Captain Amarinder Singh declared that their functions were religious and they had sincerely gathered to pay homage and express their gratitude to the Fifth Guru on the eve of quadri-centenary of his martyrdom. However, the stage managers of the SGPC were too vocal in repeatedly reminding the audience that Mr Parkash Singh Badal was a veteran leader of Punjab. The two former Prime Ministers, Mr I.K. Gujral and Mr H. D. Devegowda, limited their speeches to the martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev. Mr Rajnath Singh, BJP chief, did criticise the UPA government and mentioned the issue of conversions of Sikhs in accordance with the BJP policy. The functions organised by the SGPC gained a mela-look with the women’s conference and Khalsa sports festival earlier. Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal also did not lag behind by leading a youth march from Damdama Sahib to Tarn Taran. It was also a religious affair and managers of the SGPC and the Jathedar of Takht Damdama Sahib were at the helm of affairs at the march.

On the initiative of the Punjab Chief Minister, Captain Amarinder Singh, the state level function was organised at Tarn Taran. The motive was beyond doubt political to get full mileage out of the declaration of district status for Tarn Taran. This announcement was coincided with the development projects for the new district. Besides the status of district, Tarn Taran has also been declared a holy city with a development board. However, Captain Amarinder Singh was anxious to repeatedly mention in his speech that his announcements were only to express gratitude of the people to the martyred Guru.

Prof Darshan Singh, former Jathedar of Akal Takht, made an impressive speech on this occasion. He said there had to be some rapprochement with those who are responsible for Operation BlueStar and desecration of Akal Takht. Prof Darshan Singh emphatically made the point that there could not be permanent enmity and the Sikhs should understand the situation as was done by Guru Hargobind after the martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev.

The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) had taken the initiative of organising a kirtan darbar at Tarn Taran in the month of May to observe the martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev and the same got a good response. The area of DSGMC remains Delhi where they organised the central function at Gurdwara Rakabganj on Friday. Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta was the star speaker and Mrs Sheila Dixit, Chief Minister, Delhi, paid homage to Guru Arjan Dev.

Mr Paramjit Singh Sarna, president, Delhi State Akali Dal, and Mr Harvinder Singh Sarna, president, DSGMC, made a plea for the setting up of Guru Arjan Dev University in Punjab and a chair in Delhi University.

The functionaries of SGPC and the DSGMC were envious of each other with regard to the functions at gurdwara Dera Sahib, Lahore. The Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee organised a seminar on Sikh-Muslim relations and martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev. The Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mr Shaukat Aziz, inaugurated the seminar and made some important announcements, including establishment of Guru Nanak Dev University at Nankana Sahib and issued a postal stamp. The organisation of nagar kirtan from Amritsar to Lahore was also a fiasco as the number of devotees allowed was too meagre and with the change of date, DSGMC withdrew and thought it to be an arduous journey. Mr Avtar Singh Makkar, SGPC president, did go to Lahore and it is a major achievement that the SGPC conceded the existence of Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee. The seminar organised by the SGPC on June 10 at Amritsar was also a lacklustre affair. The DSGMC is also organising an international seminar sometime in the last week of July and has invited the Prime Minister to inaugurate the same.

Mr Parkash Singh Badal in the absence of Mr Makkar has been looking after the arrangements at the SGPC office and thus emerged as extra-constitutional authority of the SGPC.

Mr Harminder Singh Gill, general secretary, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, has 
emerged as a powerful leader in Majha by organising the Congress government function at Tarn Taran. In fact, he galvanised a few sections of Sikh saints and was able to rope in veterans like Mr Prem Singh Lalpura, former president of the SGPC.

The solemnity and sanctity of the functions held at Tarn Taran notwithstanding gave the impression that both Congress and Akali Dal had to do something more to keep the solemn occasion of quadri-centenary purely a religious affair.



Super basmati hit in international market
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 17
Super Basmati- a variety developed by scientists at Punjab Agricultural University has found great acceptance in the international market. Government of India allowed the export of this variety recently.

Big export potential for Super Basmati is a good news for farmers in Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Ropar and Hoshiarpur districts.

These areas have a natural niche for growing basmati.

PAU strongly advocates the cultivation of Super Basmati. The university has developed and recommended complete packages for basmati cultivation. This variety gives 40 per cent higher yield than basmati 386 - the prevalent variety

Head ,Department of Plant Breeding, Genetics and Biotechnology, Dr N S Malhi, says, “Basmati Exports Association has joined hands with PAU to popularize this variety in Punjab.

PAU has supplied the seed to the association for production and multiplication”

Giving details of the characteristics of this variety, Dr Malhi said Super Basmati is a medium tall variety with good lodging resistance. It has weak photo period sensitivity and best even under medium fertility soils. As compared to the popular Basmati-386, Super Basmati matures early. The grains of this variety are extra long and superfine with strong aroma.

The transplanting of super basmati is recommended in the first fortnight. Thus it helps in saving a lot of water. “Popularization of this variety fits well in the ‘save water campaign’ launched by the university”, said Dr Malhi.

Another advantage of growing basmati is that after harvesting wheat in March, there is enough time till July to grow a crop of summer moong. This way, farmers can take three crops in a year. Growing summer moong has an added advantage as it improves the soil health which saves on fertilizer use in the subsequent crops.

Efforts are on to develop better basmati lines having yield as high as Super Basmati and quality characteristics superior to that of Basmati 386.



Malerkotla gets politically charged
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 17
Political activities in the Malerkotla Assembly constituency have been revived with the Bhartya Jan Shakti Party announcing Mr Ashootosh Vinayak, local councilor and former state president of the Bhartya Yuva Morcha, as the party candidate for the constituency.

Meanwhile, a resolution was passed by the Sangrur district unit of the BJP to urge the state body to impress upon the SAD to leave two Assembly seats, including Malerkotla, for the party candidates.

Factionalism among SAD leaders has already crossed all limits in the constituency. If the Congress party probable, Ms Razia Sultana, succeeds in exploiting the opponent’s infighting, the electorate would set a new record by selecting the same candidate successively twice.

Though political activities had been going on for long in this constituency, announcement of Mr Vinayak as BJSP candidate triggered an intensive pre-election process which necessitated prospective candidates pay visits to their supporters here. Several leaders, majority of them from the SAD and the BJP, have started attending public and social functions.

Among SAD leaders, Mr Abdul Gaffar, former education minister, has an edge over other aspirants in having a wide basis. “We personally stand committed to Mr Gaffar, irrespective of his political alliance,” say majority of his supporters. Sources close to him claim that Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa had committed party ticket to him.

Nustrat Akram Khan Bagga, former sports minister, is another strong contender for the ticket. His pleasing and social personality has proved harmful politically. He is a sort of political leader who had annoyed majority of his supporters in an effort to please all. He has links with Ms Surinder Kaur Badal, who could help him get the party ticket.

It is consecutively third time that supporters of Mr Tufail Mohamad, another confidante of Mr Dhindsa, have demanded party ticket. Though senior party leaders had persuaded Mr Tufail to support Mr Akram Khan during 2002 elections he had openly opposed him in 1995 for being ignored. His supporters are hopeful that Mr Dhindsa would advocate his candidature this time.

Among Mr Barnala loyalists, Sardar Ali Dara, former Malerkotla MC president, has already commenced his campaign from this town. “It is not the question of loyalty to a particular family or a faction. We have always been loyal to the SAD and it is our prerogative to serve the people by sending our representative in the Assembly,” feel supporters of Dara.

The BJP as such has not declared any candidate till now, but activities of Mr Dhanwant Singh, former congress MLA, and Mr Parminder Singh Goga, former president of truck operators’ union, Malerkotla, who have recently joined the party, suggest that one of them would be floated as a candidate from here.

The district unit of the BJP had recently resolved to demand ticket for a party candidate for this constituency. The activists demanded that the party ticket should be left for a local BJP leader.

On the other hand, Ms Razia, MLA of the constituency, has managed things in a way that kept her rivals away from the dais. Overwhelming response by the people of the area to a rally organised here recently compelled Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and PPCC President Shamsher Singh Dullo to give consent, though implied, to her candidature. Chances of dissidence by any of senior Congress leaders in the constituency are very rare.



PSEB sows troubles for paddy season
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 17
The recent transfer of nine assistant executive engineers in the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) managing commercial wings of the operations division by the Chief Engineer (Centrtal Zone), has been criticised by the association of engineers which termed it an “illegal and irrational” move that would adversely hit consumers.

“These are the officials who take care of consumers’ problems right from bills, new connections and disputes. Their transfer to rural areas would mean that they are not available and consumers problems would remain unsolved at least till September this year,” said Mr C.S. Brar, zonal secretary, PSEB Engineers Association.

However, Mr D.B. Arora, Chief Engineer, Central Zone, said the transfers were done to take care of the increased work in paddy season in rural sub-divisions. He also said that the work currently being done by these engineers would not be neglected as XENs concerned would take care of the same.

The association held an emergency meeting to discuss the issue. Alleging that the Chief Engineer was not the competent authority to issue their transfer orders during paddy season, the engineers said when they contacted the head office in Patiala, they learnt that neither the chairman nor the secretary were apprised of the move.

“It is desirable that engineers be posted in rural sub-division, but not at the cost of urban areas. These highly sensitive and important offices cannot be left unattended. Besides, posting them in rural areas for three months, would not serve any purpose as in such a short time span the officers would not be able to learn ground realities,” the association said.

They also said that the officers had been transferred from areas where monthly revenue receipts were more than Rs 500 crore and catered to the services of nearly 25 lakh consumers.

The engineers also said that temporary tubewell connections were to be released by June 20 and these officers had been asked to report by June 19. “As per board instructions, every temporary tubewell connection site is to be personally checked and verified by the SDO an, which is not practically possible.”

When contacted, Mr Arora said: “The transfer has been done as posts in rural sub-divisions are lying vacant. In paddy season the work would increase and it is according to that necessity that these officials have been asked to report there.” He added that: “Work would not be neglected and people would not suffer as concerned XENs would take care of it.”



DefenceIndia institutes excellence awards
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 17
DefenceIndia, a Delhi- based journal dedicated to defence matters and relocation of defence personnel in civil field, had carried out a survey to find if ex-servicemen make better managers, across the country.

A spokesperson of the publication said that buoyed by the response and the willingness of all respondents, the management felt a need to acknowledge the contribution of erstwhile soldiers, whose battlefields might have changed but their strengths, willingness to fight to win and the never-say-die spirit, had not waned.

“Likewise, we were impressed by the corporate culture that has shown its willingness to accept ex-defence officers as their team members and have bestowed trust on their ability and capability. The nationwide survey and press reports on the topic also strengthened this belief.”

DefenceIndia, has now instituted excellence awards to felicitate the corporates and the ex-servicemen who had made a success of their post-defence pursuits and proved themselves to be guiding lights for the next generation.

These awards will be given in different categories, which include the company, which recruited the maximum number of ex-defence officers, the company, which was headed by an ex-defence officer, the ex-defence officer who had achieved corporate success, the ex-defence officer who had broken perceived norms and made a mark in a new field, the ex-defence officer who had made a success as an entrepreneur and the ex-defence officer who had come up with a winning business idea in the year.

“Nominations are currently on and are being requested from all spheres. The method of selection shall be personality profiling, number of votes received and a review by the panel of judges, which would be drawn from different walks of life.



2,500 migrants issued I-cards
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur, June 17
Taking a lead in Jagraon police district, the local police has issued temporary identity cards to more than 2,500 migrant labourers hailing from UP and Bihar.

Meanwhile, the SSP, Jagraon, has called upon social and political leaders to impress upon the farmers and industrialists of their respective areas to ensure that the migrants they employed were registered with the police.

According to Mr R K Jaiswal, SSP, Jagraon, about 5,000 migrant labourers had been issued temporary identity cards by various centres established in the district. Total number of migrants was estimated to be around 20,000. “Though a lot is to be done in this direction yet the migrants have started appreciating the importance of the identity cards. Besides feeling secure they feel dignified in presenting a card bearing a government seal,” said Mr Jaiswal while talking to the Ludhiana Tribune.

He urged the office bearers of social and political organisations of the area to impress upon the residents of their respective areas to ensure that the migrants they employed had been registered at one of the centers established by the district police. “It is in the interest of the employers that migrants working with them had an identification certificate,” said Mr Jaiswal, claiming that the crime rate would fall. 



Boy missing since June 8
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 17
A 15 year-old boy, Pramod Singh, son of Mr Madan Singh, is reportedly missing since June 8.

According to his father, Pramod had gone to his school on the fateful day but did not return.

He said he had searched for his son everywhere but had not been able to trace him.

A report has been lodged at the Sherpur police post. The boy is of average height and can speak Hindi, Punjabi and Garhwali.



Career in TV more secure than movies
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 17
The dazzle of the tinsel world hasn’t blinded him. That’s perhaps the reason why television and film actor Arjun J Punjj looks at the sobbing operas on the idiot box so critically. And with a sense of prudence that he has honed over the years, he declares sagaciously: No serial should run forever and ever on the television — not even with new characters replacing the old order.

In Chandigarh for attending a private function organised by city resident P.S. Chhatwal, Punjj says the serials should come to an end with the storyline. “To begin with all serials are realistic. You do not see dead men rising from their graves and making a re-entry after several years, or actors turning old and haggard overnight in the initial episodes. But as the years roll by and the original storyline end, attempts at dragging things are made. In the process, the serials lose touch with reality.”

True! But then what is the solution? “Instead of taking a leap of 20 years, the serials should complete the start to finish cycle in the originally decided number of episodes. And in case there is a massive public demand, another serial with the same cast should be launched”.

Folks, Punjj knows what he is saying! Better known for Aman Khanna’s role in television serial Sanjeevni, he is currently displaying flair before the floodlights in “Woh rehne waali mehlon ki” on Sahara One. This is not all. Hailing from Delhi and in Mumbai for over six years, he has carved a niche for himself in Bollywood with blockbuster “Tera Liya”.

Although he is planning to act in a couple of other commercial Hindi flicks, Punjj is comfortable performing in serials. “Things have changed a lot since the time of Krishidarshan and Chritharar. Now working in television is as prestigious as acting in movies. Yes, people recognize you by the character you play in the serials, but at the same time you get the opportunity of achieving stardom. I don’t think Tulsi Verani’s and credibility fame is less than any other actor”.

In monetary terms also, television is lucrative. “You have small screen actors driving about in semi-limousines and owning houses purchased out of money they made out of acting.”



Martyrdom day of Banda Bahadur
to be observed in Canada

Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, June 17
The All India Bairagi Maha Mandal has chalked out an elaborate programme to observe 290th martyrdom day of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur in a series of functions to be held at different places in Canada later this month.

Giving this information in a news conference here today, Mr Krishan Kumar Bawa, president of the mandal and chairman of Punjab Housefed informed that tributes would be paid to Baba Banda Bahadur at functions being organised by the Canada branch of Bairagi Maha Mandal at Vancouver (Surrey) on June 25, Edmonton on June 27, Calgary on June 28 and Toronto on July 2.

He said the Indians settled in Canada in general and the Punjabi community in particular, had responded enthusiastically to remember the saint soldier, who had restored the glory of Sikh empire and avenged the killing of two sons of Guru Gobind Singh at the hands of Moghul rulers in Sirhind.

According to Mr Bawa, functionaries of Bairagi Maha Mandal, Canada, including its convener Mr Harbant Singh Deol, Mr Inderjit Singh Mullanpur, Mr Nirmal Singh Grewal, Mr Gurdip Singh Dhillon and Mr Ashok Bawa had formed a coordinating committee to make arrangements for the martyrdom day functions. Mr Jasbir Singh, chairman, Punjab Containers Corporation, will lead a representative delegation of Bairagi Maha Mandal from Punjab for participation in the martyrdom day functions in Canada.

He said the supreme sacrifice made by Banda Bahadur, who laid down his life while fighting against the tyranny of Moghul empire, was a source of inspiration for the people, especially youth. Known as a liberator of peasantry, Baba Banda Bahadur had made invaluable contribution towards emancipation of farmers in the country.

Mr Bawa said the keen interest evinced by the people of Indian origin, settled in foreign countries, towards martyrs and their glorious history was a matter of genuine pride. “The martyrs and revolutionaries do not belong to any particular caste or community and their struggles are aimed at the betterment of their countrymen without any bias or discrimination,” he added.

Prominent among others present at the occasion were Mr Pawan Diwan, Mr Jagdev Singh Jassowal, Mr Ravinder Ranguwal, Mr Pawan Garg, Mr Pargat Singh Grewal, Mr Jatinder Singh, Dr Devinder Singh Ladhar, Mr Akshay Bhanot, Mr Nirmal Jaura, Mr Daljit Singh Mankoo, Mr Surinder Singh, Mr Devinder Panaich, Mr Jagdip Gill, Mr Gurmel Singh Brar, Mr Maninderjit Singh Jhande, Dr Balwinder Singh Walia, Mr Balwant Singh Dhanoa, Ms Bhupinder Kaur, Ms Harjinder Kaur and Ms Sophia.



880 more claims of riot victims settled
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 17
Mr Ashok Kumar Gupta, Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana informed here today that 880 more claims of riot victims for payment of compensation of Rs. 2.00 lakh per family have been approved and recommended by the District level sub committee to the state level committee for sanction, which is likely to be received by the end of this month.

The Deputy Commi-ssioner further said that the lists of 880 recommended cases have been displayed on the notice boards of respective SDM offices, DC office and Assistant Commissioner (General) office and outside RRA Branch of DC office. He said that the applicants can see their names in these lists from June 19 onwards. These lists would also be available on the website of administration i.e. www.ludhiana.gov.in. Mr Gupta also said that scrutiny and verification of remaining claims is being carried out by the SDMs expeditiously.



Man donates land for dispensary
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 17
Residents of the area were overwhelmed when a large number of top bureaucrats converged here on the occasion of bhoomi pujan ceremony of a dispensary on Thursday.

The dispensary would be constructed on land earmarked for being donated to the Health Department by Masat Singh, father of Guru Nirmal Singh, a native of Dughari village, near here.

Mr S.S. Brar, Joint Secretary, Health, Union Government, Mr T.R. Sarangal, MD, PHSC, Dr G.L. Goel, Director, Health, Punjab Government, Mr S.R. Ladhar, DC, Sangrur and Mr Gursharan Singh, were among other bureaucrats who were present on the occasion.

Masat Singh has donated the land to the government. “I am a simple and uneducated person and do not know the technicalities. I have donated this piece of land for a common cause and will readily sign papers when needed,” he said. He was proud of his son whose followers had been descending on this village of and on and had been calling him Bapu.

Mast Singh said his younger son Nirmal Singh had started showing extraordinary behaviour during infancy. “Never during his infancy or childhood he urinated on bed and always used to descend down the cot so that the bed was not tainted.” After graduating from Government College, Malerkotla, Nirmal joined postgraduation at a college at Muzafar Nagar. “It was here that I came to know about his supernatural powers. I was surprised to see a large number of women and men bowing before him at Muzzafar Nagar,” recalled Mast Singh.

Sources revealed that a meditation centre was under construction in the village which would be ready by August this year.



‘Amend Act for more jobs to youth’
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 17
Resenting indifferent attitude of the state government towards providing employment to the youth of the area, leaders of various social and political organisations have demanded amendments to the Act governing employment avenues in the state. The leaders alleged that no steps had been taken to make people aware about job avenues according to their qualification and ability.

Mr Jagwant Singh Jaggie, a local councillor and president of the SAD jatha, alleged that the employment exchanges had nothing with them to provide as the department concerned was governed by Compulsory Notification of Vacancies (Employment Exchanges) Act 1959. “It is surprising that the Act is not applicable to the majority of the services in private and public sector including, agriculture and horticulture; the back bone of any economy,” said Mr Jaggie alleging that the authorities had ignored the interests of common people while amending the Act.

Referring to provisions of the Act, Mr Jaggie claimed that the Act was not applicable in any employment in domestic service, for unskilled office work and employment connected with the staff of Parliament. Even in case of vacancies proposed to be filled through promotion, by absorption of surplus staff of any of branches or department of same establishment or any examination conducted by any agency directions had to be taken from respective government, wondered Mr Jaggie.

Mr Jagdev Singh Ghaloti, an office-bearer of the Sukhmani Sewa Society, alleged that the suburban and rural population, mostly dependent on agriculture sector, had been kept out of the purview of the Act.

Mr Dharam Pal Sharma, a retired teacher, urged the government to review the provisions of the Act and amend them according to the requirements of present time. “Until the provisions of the Act are in the interest of masses, spending huge amounts on the maintenance of employment exchanges was useless,” commented Mr Sharma.



Extra load leads to frequent power failure
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 17
Extra load on electric transformers has been leading to frequent failure in the power supply to the farm sector. Farmers have been blaming the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) for the frequent breakdown. They argue that while the PSEB augmented their load and took the requisite money from them, it did not enhance the capacity of the transformers in due proportion.

According to Prof Manjit Singh Kadiyan, president of the Bhartiya Kisan Union, Punjab, the PSEB had asked the farmers to get their load enhanced. Most of the farmers have already deposited the requisite money with the PSEB. The enhancement of power load was necessitated after the farmers had to bore the wells deeper due to the falling water table.

Prof Kadiyan said while the PSEB took all the charges from the farmers, it did not enhance the capacity of the transformers. With the increased load, the transformers have been breaking down quite frequently. They said, with such recurrent power failures, the special eight hour daily power supply to the farmers does not serve much purpose.

The farmers have demanded that after approving the enhanced load, the PSEB must instal the transformers with more capacity. They pointed out that it was an urgent matter as the paddy transplantation season was at its peak. They said most farmers had adhered to the government advice to plant paddy after June 15. 



Motorcycle stolen from gurdwara
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, June 17
Some unknown persons allegedly stole a motorcycle (HR-05A-OS 35) along with a cell phone and a bag containing clothes from the parking of Nanaksar Gurdwara, 5 km from here belonging to Mr Pritam Singh of Karnal. He had come to pay obeisance. The local police has registered a case under Section 379 IPC. No arrest has been made so far.

6 booked for assault

Amar Singh and five unknown persons allegedly assaulted Mr Jagdev Singh and Ms Paramjit Kaur of Dhat village. The Dakha police has registered a case under Section 341,323,506,148 149 IPC at the instance of Mr Jagdev Singh.

One booked for theft of CTV

Jaspal Singh of Sudhar allegedly set on fire a house belonging to Mr Chhinder Pal Kaur and also stole a CTV, tailoring machine, gas cylinder and fan. The Sudhar police has registered case under Section 454,380,436,427 IPC. No arrest has been made 
so far.



Beopar Mandal raps govt over VAT
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 17
The Punjab Pradesh Beopar Mandal has alleged that the government has been misguiding the traders on value added tax. In a joint statement here today, the mandal president, Mr Amrit Lal Jain, general secretaries Sunil Mehra, Rajinder Singh Josh, Tarsem Jain, Pyare Lal Seth and O.P. Gupta and Ludhiana unit’s chairman Baba Ajit Singh, president Kasturi Lal Mittal and general secretary Mohinder Aggarwal, added that the Punjab Government had been befooling the traders on the VAT issue.

They said the sales tax (ST) officials were asking the traders to get their surety bonds renewed by June-end with a warning that otherwise the sales tax numbers of the defaulters would be cancelled. The ST officials were also speaking of charging a daily fine of Rs 100 on the defaulters under the garb of the Punjab VAT act, they added.

The state government had promised to them in the meetings that such provisions that were not in the interests of the traders in the Punjab VAT Act would be withdrawn but nothing had been done so far,” they regretted. They said they had agreed to support the state government on the VAT issue after the latter had assured to adhere to their demands.

They asserted that this was due to their cooperation that the Punjab Government had been able to collect additional VAT of Rs 1000 crore in the state, which was 28 per cent more as compared to the corresponding period. “If we are not given justice then we shall be constrained to launch a non-cooperation movement in the state.” warned the Beopar Mandal leaders.

Meanwhile, a separate faction of the Punjab Pradesh Beopar Mandal, led by Mr Tulsi Das Jaitwani will be holding a conference of trade and industry here on July 9. Mr Jaitwani said, a meeting of the 11-member working froup of the mandal would be held on June 25 to make arrangements for the said conference.



Industry sings paeans in government’s favour
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 17
When the local industry today sang paeans in the favour of the government, it appeared nothing more than a pre-election strategy. The industry had been crying hoarse on issues like labour unrest, delay in VAT refunds, subsidy release and power crisis, took a u-turn from its stand and said the Congress government had set all right and that all their problems were sorted out.

The changed attitude of representatives said those in the industry might not augur well for all those associated with them as the industry still continued to suffer on account of various problems.

Interestingly, the same issues had invited exactly an opposite reaction barely a month ago. “There is no labour unrest. The government has sorted it out all. To check the menace, Parliamentary Secretary Surinder Dawar had arranged a meeting with the Chief Minister, which helped restore normalcy,” said Mr Varinder Kapoor, general secretary, United Cycle and Parts manufacturers Association.

Incidentally, the same leaders had been condemning the government for not taking a stern action to prevent labour unrest, which they had said had significantly reduced production and also adversely affected their goodwill in other markets. Terming the “unrest” as politically motivated, industry representatives in spite of no agreement with labour unions said after the meeting in which they were assured of concrete action against erring labourers the situation had improved.

A similar response was given on other issues. Regarding delay in VAT refunds, they said: “There is absolutely no delay. We want to thank the government of timely refunds”.

Power woes that had severely hit industrial production too were not condemned today. “We agree there is a shortage, but we have been assured that it would be solved,” said Mr Vinod Thapar, president, Knitwear Club.

Unlike earlier, when assurances by the government never convinced the industry, today pro-Congress industrialists said they were happy with a “positive response” from the government.

They even thanked the government for reducing VAT to 4 per cent on textile related items, regularisation of electricity load over and above the sanctioned load, exemption from submitting Exim forms, declaration of hosiery as green industry and even on efforts to ensure that no industry would be dislodged from his present place of functioning.



Retail investors meeting
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 17
A special general house meeting of the Ludhiana Retail Investors’ Association is scheduled to be held here on June 19. According to a press note by Lt. Col (Retd) J.R. Jagga, convener of the association, that has been recently formed by the Ludhiana Stock Exchange (LSE), the meeting would discuss issues concerning investors in the capital market.



Bank starts retail sale of gold coins
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 17
Indian Overseas Bank (IOB) started retail sale of gold coins at its Civil Lines branch.

Announcing the launch, Mr A.P. Singh, Chief Regional Manager, said the coins would be available in denominations of 4 grams, 8, 20 and 50 grams. The coins carry 99.9 per cent purity.

Mr Y.S. Negi, Chief Manager of the Civil Lines branch, was also present on the occasion.



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