L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S



Land dispute leaves 4-year-old boy dead
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 11
A land dispute in Mallipur village, near Payal police station, Khanna, today led to the brutal murder of a four-year-old boy, Ramnik, son of Sandeep Singh. According to information, Sandeep Singh, son of Pritam Singh, a resident of Mallipur village, had been having some dispute with his relatives over a piece of land, measuring around 28 kanals.

While the police had initiated action under Sections 107 and 151 to end the dispute, the court had ordered both parties to cultivate the land that was legally theirs.

On Sunday afternoon, Pritam Singh, accompanied by his brother Gurdev Singh, had gone to the fields. There they were attacked by members of the other group, as a result of which Pritam Singh sustained serious injuries, while Gurdev Singh escaped with minor cuts and bruises.

However, both were taken to the Civil Hospital, Payal, where Gurdev was discharged after treatment, while Pritam was admitted.

Today, Sandeep went to the fields around 7.45 am along with his son Ramnik.

As soon as he opened the door of the room housing the electric motor, used to draw water to irrigate fields, Kewal Singh, his son Ravi and Baljinder Singh, all armed with lathis, reached the spot and attacked Sandeep.

Fearing for his life, Sandeep fled the scene, leaving behind Ramnik at the mercy of the attackers.

The alleged attackers were so infuriated with Sandeep that they attacked Ramnik with a spade lying nearby, killing him on the spot.

SSP Khanna M.F. Farooqui, DSP Payal and SHO Payal reached the village to take stock of the situation.

The police has registered a case and further investigations are on.

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BSNL opens single-window booking counter
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 11
Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited, public sector telecom giant, has opened a single-window new telephone booking counter at its customer service centre in Bharat Nagar Telephone Exchange, here, for the booking of new telephone connections. The single window facility would be available for both mobile and landline connections.

Addressing a press conference after formally inaugurating the single window counter here today, Mr S.K. Nigam, General Manager Telecom Ludhiana (GMT) informed that initially the counter would function from 9 am to 5 pm but in due course, the working hours would be increased and the facility would also be made available at other customer service centres in Ludhiana telecom district.

He said the BSNL had introduced several innovative and attractive schemes for its mobile and landline services. Under the ‘Punjab Government Mobile Plan’, employees of the state government, boards, corporations and autonomous bodies would be offered a mobile connection at a monthly rental of Rs 250 with free calls worth Rs 150.

The new connections under this scheme would not be charged any registration fee, activation charges, security deposit, monthly CUG charges and could also avail themselves of free incoming, outgoing and SMS within CUG as well as free roaming in the north zone.

Giving details of other customer-friendly tariff plans and other schemes, Mr Nigam said activation charges of prepaid mobile had been slashed to Rs 100 with free talk time of Rs 30, full talk time was available on top up recharge coupons, upper recharge limit for ‘Excel Anant’ and student power had been increased from Rs 5000 to Rs 6000 with a validity of two years and unlimited SMS facility was being provided to prepaid customers of Excel Student Power scheme.

According to the GMT, the OneIndia plan rent stood reduced to Rs 225 per month with 25 free calls, in addition to the facility of calling anywhere in India at Rs 1 per minute. Similarly, prepaid and postpaid customers of Excel power plan could call any two numbers of their choice at 10 paise per minute.

Mr Nigam said as part of its efforts to win back old subscribers, the BSNL had decided to waive the rent for the period of disconnection of mobile and landline telephones, and also offer a suitable discount if these were reconnected during the period October - December, 2006.

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Delay in results harasses students
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, September 11
Due to the delay in the declaration of results of various classes by Panjab University, a number of students from almost all colleges in the city have been making rounds to the university, but to no avail. The students feel disturbed because of being harassed by the university authorities.

Mr Deepak Dhingra, lecturer of commerce in a local college, said that on an average the results of over 20 students from various classes were still awaited. He said that the results had been withheld due to various reasons like RLA, RLL, ML etc. He alleged that in most of the cases, the non-declaration of results were due to the lapse on part of university itself. “In some cases if something was required from the students, it was immediately sent but to no avail. They still withhold the results. I have been to the university thrice but they give a deaf ear to your problem”, said Mr Dhingra.

Not only this, even if the university declared the results of the students by notification, the students were further harassed due to non-dispatch of their detail mark cards in time and again. They have to make several rounds to Chandigarh for getting their own DMC, said Mr Dhingra

Prof Jaipal Singh, president, Government College Teachers Association (GCTA), while speaking on the issue said that students were being harassed like anything. He said at times the university declared the results at a very later stage like in September, October and in even November. “Naturally the students would have short of time for preparation of syllabus in the next class. This causes not only harassment but lack of concentration and tension too”, said Prof Jaipal.

Mr Dhingra suggested that declaration of results should be date bound, for example after fulfilling of requirement/submission of documents/fee by the students, the results must be declared within a specified time. After declaration of results, the preparation and dispatch of DMC should also be date bound (within a specified period of 10 to 15 or 20 days).

The students also demanded the same. Ms Anuja of BA II year whose result has not been declared because of some reasons, said, “A number of Senate and Syndicate members are from the district. They should submit a memorandum to the VC regarding the same problem. I am sure if representations are made again and again, they (University Authorities) would definitely act accordingly.”

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Distributors warn of LPG shortage
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 11
LPG distributors today said this winters consumers might have to suffer on account of shortage of gas if the oil companies did not increase the supply.
Mr K.J.S. Buttar, president, All-India LPG Distributor Federation (North Western Region), said at a press conference held here today that demand in winters is almost one and a half times more in comparison to summers. By now, the supply should have increased accordingly but so far the same has not happened.

“There already is a backlog of one or two days. If the supply is not increased, a shortage is likely.”

The distributors rued that the LPG commission has not been increased for the past three years. “The commission per cylinder is only Rs 16.71 and has not been increased in the last three years. Costs, on the other side have witnessed a significant rise. If the present situation continues, distributors would be forced to shut their businesses,” said Mr Buttar.

He also said that problems were being faced due to non increase in refill selling and in service charges for the last five years now. The distributors condemned oil companies for “forcing them to sell products like cookers”, which are not related to their business.

The oil companies penalise office bearers of the federation if they raise their voice against such attitude, they alleged. They threatened to launch an agitation if their demands were not met.

Mr Navin Talwar, general secretary of the association, was also present .

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Chicken glut hits farmers hard
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 11
Thanks to bulk production, chicken prices have hit an all-time low with farm lifting rate of broiler declining to Rs 23 per kg. In retail market, however, the rate hovers around Rs 70 for dressed chicken.

Decline in prices is being attributed, besides high supply, to the ongoing shradhs. For farmers, the situation is not pleasant as they are barely able to cover their costs in this rate.

“The costs incurred on feed, vaccines, etc. is more than Rs 20 per chicken, while it sells at just Rs 23, which means farmers are not even able to cover their costs. Anticipating high demand, farmers resorted to high production due to which rates have fallen,” said Punjab Poultry Farmers Association general secretary P.P.S. Gill.

The poultry industry, post-bird flu, witnessed recession as demand ebbed to 20 per cent of normal. Dressed chicken was available between Rs 40 and Rs 50 around six months ago. While retailers too suffered, it was the farmers who were bore the brunt. By the time the situation began normalising, poultry farmers in Punjab had already suffered losses estimated to the tune of Rs 1 crore every day.

“The industry has suffered heavily. As per our estimates, even in a normal situation, farmers would not be able to break even this year,” added Mr Gill.

Normalcy in situation encouraged farmers, who resorted to excessive production. Besides, big players like Venkys and Godrej also took up farms on contract, which resulted in a further rise in production.

Retailers said demand was relatively low, though the same was expected to continue for the season. “The demand has lowered in the past 10 days and even prices have reduced. However, for this time of the year the decline was quite expected. Excessive supply has resulted in price reduction,” said a retailer near Kailash Chowk.

Prices are not likely to rise for another month or so, said marketers. Prices of eggs, meanwhile, are on the higher side and in retail markets these are selling at Rs 22 a dozen, while the wholesale rate is around Rs 144 per 100 eggs.

Farmers said due to a decline in temperature, retailers expected demand to rise and were resorting to procuring more, which had increased the rates.

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Hope for settlement of dispute over maintenance of parks
K S Chawla

Ludhiana, September 11
The dispute between the Federation of Pollution and Parks Management Committees over the maintenance of the parks in the town with the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation may be resolved with the arrival of the new commissioner.

The functionaries of the federation are of the view that the commissioner of the municipal corporation, Mr Vikas Pratap, has a positive attitude and is keen on the maintenance of the parks and green belts in the town.

The Federation of Pollution and Parks Management Committees had entered into an agreement with Dr S S Sandhu, Commissioner of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation, in 1999 for the maintenance of parks in different parts of the town. The PMCs (park management committees) were to be paid Re 1 per sq meter as maintenance charges by the municipal corporation and the rest were to be borne by the PMCs.

This agreement was annulled in 2002 when Mr S K Sharma joined as Commissioner of the corporation. Since then, the federation has been fighting for the implementation of the agreement as the PMCs were not paid the arrears which run into several lakhs. The federation also knocked the doors of the Punjab State Human Rights Commission which directed the corporation to maintain the green lungs of the town and make the payment of arrears.

Mr S K Sharma had taken the plea that the municipal corporation would not make the payment at the rate of Re 1 per sq meter to the park management committees and even decided to handover the maintenance o the private contractors. the private contractors failed to maintain the parks as a result of which the town now has a number of deserted parks. Some of the parks are being used as garbage dumping ground. In some localities, the residents (PMCS) are maintaining the parks without the help of the municipal corporation and some parks have been encroached upon.

Mr S S Chana who has retired as special secretary from the government of India and is heading the federation of pollution and park management committees disclosed today that they had a meeting with the commissioner Vikas Pratap and discussed the issue thread bear. The attitude of the commissioner looked to be positive.

According to Mr Chana, the municipal corporation could make the payment to the PMCS at the rate of 80 paise per sq meter where as they were insisting on the old rate of Re 1 per sq meter. The government had also fixed a sum of Rs 1000 per park per month irrespective of the size of the park.

Mr Chana maintained that there were parks of bigger size and some were of the size of 3000 sq yards and it was not possible to maintain the parks with a meagre sum of Rs 1000 per month.

Mr Chana pointed out that the local bodies department of the Punjab government had asked the urban local bodies vide its letter of May 31,2005 that the parks maintenance could be given to the advertisers by inviting open offers and in lieu of this service, the advertisers would be given the advertising rights on grill/boundary wall of such parks but ensuring the compliance of the orders of the high court and that the nature and utility of the park is not affected in any manner and the terms of advertising right fixed after taking into consideration the advertising potential of the area.

In the event of failure of any response, the work may be allotted to private contractors, who may be offered maximum of ‘maintenance grant rate’ fixed in the government policy dated February 15, 2000.

However, if both the measures yield no result, the parks may be handed over to ‘park management committee’ of citizens area and these committees in the first instance offered the maintenance grant as per government policy of February 15, 2000.

If for compelling reasons, any departure from the approved maintenance grant is required, the case with complete facts sent to the government with special reference to the financial health of the ULB.

Mr Chana observed that the financial health of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation was very healthy and this was the richest corporation of the town. Whereas the town was the dirtiest and needed maintenance of the green lungs at any cost. the local residents were also making rich contribution in the health of the municipal corporation by paying heavy taxes. The city was in a deplorable condition and needed immediate steps.

The federation has also called upon the commissioner of the municipal corporation to tackle the problem of Budha Nullah on top priority jointly with the Drainage Department and the Punjab Pollution Control Board. After the cleaning of the nullah, proper green belts be raised on both sides of the nullah and check encroachments and dumping of garbage.

The federation has urged the Commissioner to clear the arrears of the park management committees. 

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Mud-slinging by Cong, SAD assailed

Ludhiana, September 11
The propaganda resorted to by political parties in the runup to the elections to the Punjab Vidhan Sabha has been assailed by people from various quarters.
Former Pro Vice-Chancellor, Guru Nanak Dev University, and Peoples Awareness Forum president Prof Prithipal Singh Kapoor and forum general secretary Prof Gurcharan Singh have taken strong exception to the propaganda being resorted to by two main political parties in the state.

They said here today that the advertisements targeting leaders of the either side were in bad taste and appealed the leaders to refrain from such propaganda. The two said people were aware of the poll gimmicks of the Congress and SAD. In the previous election too, the two parties had resorted to slanderous propaganda.

The parties were supposed to have a definite programme and agenda to benefit people before going to the election. But the two parties had started to target leaders of the either side by issuing unsavory advertisements, which was unacceptable.

They asked the leaders of the two political parties not to indulge in such practices.

Ex-services Leagues, Punjab and Chandigarh, president Lieut-Col Chanan Singh Dhillon (retd) also criticised the indulgence in persistent mud-slinging by the leaders. The political parties were indulging in negative propaganda, he said.

Colonel Dhillon said the management of India Today — the magazine in which Punjab Government was ranked among other states for its governance in one of its survey reports — must clarify on the ranking of Punjab. OC

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SAD(A) to protest visit of Kuldip Nayar to city today
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 11
Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) will hold a symbolic protest against writer and journalist Kuldip Nayar for his alleged “anti-Sikh writings”. Mr Nayar is scheduled to address a seminar on “Student-Teacher Relationship” at Ramgarhia College, here, tomorrow.

Addressing a press conference here today, the party general secretary, Prof Jagmohan Singh, alleged that Mr Nayar had written an article in The Asian Age, which had “anti-Sikh and anti-Akal Takht remarks”.

Professor Singh regretted that on July 2, Mr Nayar was honoured by Akal Takht and four days later he wrote an article which was anti-Sikh and anti-Akal Takht.

The SAD(A) leader appealed to the Chairman of the Ramgarhia College, Mr Ranjot Singh, to cancel the seminar and the invitation to Mr Nayar as he had allegedly hurt the sentiments of the Sikhs.

He said SAD(A) activists would distribute copies of the article which Mr Nayar had written among the participants of the seminar.

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SAD delegation meets DC

Ludhiana, September 11
A delegation of the Shiromani Akali Dal led by its Ludhiana district president, Mr Hira Singh Gabria, today met the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Ashok Gupta, on the issue of registration of an FIR against the senior party leader and former minister, Mr Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal, under the SC/ST Act.

The delegation apprised the Deputy Commissioner about the position on the case. It brought to the notice of the DC that the complaint had already been filed by the Ludhiana police after a thorough inquiry.

It also said that there was no basis in the allegations as these had been found to be wrong. TNS

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Survey on Punjab not based on facts, says Kainth

Ludhiana, September 11
We will strive for motivating the Dalits, workers and the poor of Punjab to oust the Congress and the Akali party as they have done nothing for the people except exploiting them, said Satnam Singh Kainth, former MP and president of Bahujan Samaj Morcha, while addressing a press conference at a massive rally here yesterday.

Kainth declared that the survey on Punjab was not based on facts and had ignored the ground realities, referring to the report by the Department of Sociology of Punjab University. The state had a 37 per cent population of backwards and 80 per cent of them lived without toilets, 40 per cent were indebted with a huge debt burden of Rs 2000 crores.

Giving further details, the BSM chief said 70 per cent Dalits were daily wage earners. Unemployment had sky rocketed and the education system had gone corrupt, he lamented. While 28000 posts of teachers were lying vacant, those qualified for the posts were being treated with police batons, he said.

He declared that the BSM would be playing a crucial role in the coming elections but it was too early to disclose the party’s strategy in the matter.

Kainth said zonal-level rallies were being held to create awareness. The party’s rally at Amritsar would be held on September 16 and at Barnala on September 17. He exhorted the government to spend 33 per cent of the budget on the poor in the state in order to fill up vacant posts and solve the problem of unemployment.

The rally was also addressed by general secretary Avtar Singh Lator, Raghubir Singh Badla, president BSM Fatehgarh Sahib, Charan Dass Talwandi, Rajvinder Singh Bhall Majra and S.P. Sagar. — TNS

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Training programme for clerical staff inaugurated
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 11
A three-day training programme on personnel management for clerical staff of various departments of the administration was inaugurated by Deputy Commissioner Ashok Gupta here today.

The programme is being conducted by the Mahatma Gandhi State Institute of Public Administration, Chandigarh, under a scheme for employees by the Centre.

The DC said the training and refresher courses would improve quality of services in the offices. It would also bring about qualitative improvement in behavior of the staff towards the public.

He said due to the lack of unavailability of proper training, most of the staff did not have the adequate knowledge about the relevant Acts, rules and directions of the government. Even most of them were unable to differentiate among the them.

Mr Gupta advised them to deal with public sympathetically whenever they come for work. He also asked the staff to be punctual so that they could enhance efficiency of their work.

He asked the employees to give full attention towards training which was being given to them with a view to make their attitude positive.

Mr R.K. Sharma, Associate Fellow, who is the In Charge of the programme, elaborated about the HRD- Concepts, issues and need for training.

He said Government of India had decided to impart this training through the state institutes of public administration to the class three staff in all districts.

Mr Sharma said the programme was also conducted last year in state and all districts would be covered in a period of three years.

He informed that last year four districts were covered, two were being covered this year.

He said training would be in enhancing personal effectiveness, team building at work place, record management, computer as a tool in office management and noting and drafting.

Mr Jatinder Singh, Assistant Administrative Officer, will impart training in Record Management and Noting and Drafting.

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Bairagi mandal sets up Rajasthan unit
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 11
Mr Sewa Ram Bairagi and Mr Seesh Ram Rao have been nominated Chairman and president, respectively, of the Rajasthan unit of the All-India Bairagi Maha Mandal.
Announcing this here today, national president of the body, Mr Krishan Kumar Bawa, Chairman, Punjab Housefed, said the Rajasthan state unit was formally set up at a well attended meeting of members of Bairagi community in Jaipur last week.

He said members of the Bairagi community, settled in Rajasthan, were expected to participate in large numbers on the 336th birth anniversary celebrations of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur here on October 16.

Mr Bawa, while stressing the need to bring the Bairagi community on a single platform, lamented that despite a sizeable presence in Punjab, the Bairagis were still to have their distinct social or political identity. “The Bairagi community has 7 lakh votes in Punjab, 10 lakh in Haryana and many times more in Rajasthan and Delhi, yet the due political representation eludes us,” he lamented.

Mr Bawa informed that elaborate progarmme had been chalked out for the birth anniversary celebrations of Baba Banda Bahadur in the city and members of the community from all over the country would attend the function in large numbers.

The Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, had agreed to inaugurate the celebrations, he added.

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Foundation to honour SHO who tried to save girl
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 11
Dr Harjinder Singh Walia, chairman, Global Punjab Foundation, has called upon leaders of various social and religious organisations of the area to join hands with the foundation in a move launched to curb the menace of female foeticide.

The foundation has decided to felicitate Mr Darshan Singh, SHO, Sadar, for outstanding efforts made by him to save a female child, who had been deserted by her parents at Kup village, near here, recently.

Talking to The Ludhiana Tribune, Dr Walia claimed that the foundation had received fervent response to the move launched from its headquarters at Patiala recently.

“A large number of religious and social organisations have come forward to associate with the noble cause undertaken by the foundation to motivate masses against female foeticide,” said Dr Walia.

With an intention to encourage officials in various government departments to work more for the noble cause, it has decided to felicitate personalities exhibiting outstanding performance. “Though the deserted child could not be saved, society must recognise the role of the SHO, who, besides spending huge money from his own pocket, had devoted much time for the noble cause,” said Dr Walia.

He urged the media to come forward to carry the campaign against female foeticide ahead. 

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Pensioners submit memo to Bhattal

Ludhiana, September 11
A communique, listing the pensioners’ long-pending demands, has been shot off to the Deputy Chief Minister, Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, who is heading the Cabinet sub-committee formed to examine the employees’ demands.

Mr Yash Paul Ghai, general secretary in a press note today, said the Government Pensioners Association has rued that not even a single promise contained in the Congress election manifesto on the eve of Assembly elections in February, 2002 has been fulfilled till date.

Pensioners have complained that a medical allowance of Rs 250 per month being paid to them for the past eight and a half years was woefully inadequate to meet the ever-increasing cost of medical treatment these days.

They have sought a fairly just raise in the allowance.

Pensioners have urged the government to merge 50 per cent DA with basic pension for pre-April 2004 retirees as it has been done in the case of post- April 2004 retirees for the payment of travel concession which is paid to them after every two years.

Mr Ghai further added that the pensioners had sought old age allowance at the age of 80 on a par with MLA- pensioners in Punjab.

The 3rd Punjab Pay Commission had also recommended this 18 years ago.

However, it remains unimplemented, he added. OC

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Refresher workshop for engineers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 11
A concrete refresher workshop was today organised by Ambuja Cement in Ludhiana.
“Durability criteria should be on top of the mind while designing and executing any civil project and carrying out any type of construction,” said Mr Ajay Pathik, Deputy General Manager, Technical Services of Ambuja Cement.

As many as 40 engineers from various private and government departments participated in the workshop.

Practising engineers and architects of Ludhiana from various government departments like the Improvement Trust (Ldh), BSNL, CPWD, PUDA and Irrigation Department and consultants of major project coming up in North India like Gold Souk, Wedding Souk, Festival City, Westend Mail, Omax Plaza, MBD, etc attended the workshop.

Mr Ajay Pathik spoke about the importance of quality awareness and cited various examples worldwide to emphasise on the durability of the structure.

The participants appreciated the efforts of Ambuja Cements for this technical workshop.

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Kerala Kalavedi celebrates Onam
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 11
Around 1,000 members of the Kerala Kalavedi celebrated Onam with religious fervour here today. The PHB Colony, Jamalpur, was tastefully decorated and lent an ambience of Kerala. Members of the community were dressed in customary attires.

Mr B.S. Anil, president of the Kerala Kalavedi — an association formed in Ludhiana in 1981 by converging South Indian people — while talking to Ludhiana Tribune said the festival had great relevance in their state.

“This is the time when we miss our hometown a lot. But by getting together we feel good and relieved. All families of the association take part in the celebrations. We eagerly await the festival every year. Not only us but our Punjabi friends too take part in the festivities. They show respect towards our culture and we appreciate that,” said Mr Anil.

Mr Biju Kumar, general secretary of the association, said Onam was the biggest festival of Kerala.

“All of us celebrate the festival without any distinction of cast or creed. The festival is celebrated 10 days in Kerala but we cannot afford to celebrate it like that here. We just celebrate for one day,” he said.

The main attraction of the program is the serving of 20 dishes, the traditional Malayalees feast, on banana leaves. The dishes included avil, thoran, sambar, inchikari, papad, chawal, etc. on banana leaves (the vazhyila).

While women are draped in mundum nariyatham — a saree — men wear mundum — a dhoti with zari border.

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Goods stolen

Mandi Gobindgarh, September 11
Burglars struck at G.K. Wheels on the Amloh-Mandi Gobindgarh road on Sunday and decamped with a TV, a fan, tyre, tubes and alloy wheels valued more than Rs 4 lakh, according to Mr Jatinder Singh, partner of the firm. He said the burglars searched cash in draws of the table but there was no cash. OC

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Hughes to open 300 centres
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 11
Hughes, engaged in broadband satellite networks and services, today said it would open 300 centres in Punjab, including 15 in Ludhiana, by the end of year 2006. The stores by the company will offer multiple broadband-based services like online education programmes, airline ticketing, online purchase of books, music, DVDs, prepaid recharge, games and international call.

LG bags award: LG Electronics India has bagged an award for excellence in exports of electronic hardware by the Electronics and Computer Software Export Promotion Council of India. According to a press note issued here today, the award was received by Mr Ajay Sapra, DGM, Corporate Exim, at a function held in Delhi last week.

Workshop organised: As many as 49 engineers participated in a refresher workshop organised by Ambuja Cement here today. Mr Ajay Pathik, deputy general manager, technical services, spoke about quality awareness and cited various examples to emphasise on durability aspect of structures.

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