L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

LPG supply hit; hotels use domestic cylinders
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, October 16
Interruption in supply to the local gas agency has once again created panic among more than 16,000 consumers of the town and adjoining villages. With the festival season around, commercial organisations, including hotels and restaurants, have been forced to use domestic gas cylinders.

Meanwhile, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd has authorised Raj Gas Agency, Dehlon, to give refill supply to the local consumers, hitherto being catered by the Ahmedgarh Gas Agency, on a temporary basis. The agency has been asked to mobilise additional infrastructure to cater to the additional area.

The owners of the deputed agency have urged the consumers not to panic as the LPG supply would be regularised shortly.

A majority of the consumers, registered with local gas agency, have been facing problem in getting LPG cylinders refilled. The supply by the local agency had been interrupted due to technical problems.

According to Mr Jatinder Kumar Bhola, president of the Municipal Council, and Mr Ravinder Kumar, president of the City Congress Committee, a large number of consumers had complained about irregularity in the supply of LPG cylinders for domestic use. The problem had been multiplied due to alleged illegal use of domestic cylinders for commercial purposes.

“However, the Food and Supply authorities managed to give extra supply to the consumers through an agency at Dehlon,” said the leaders. Raj Gas Agency has asserted that the supply would be normalised shortly. Mr Deepak Kumar, an owner of the agency, appealed to the consumers not to create panic. He, however, urged the owners of commercial organisations to avoid use of domestic cylinders for business purposes.

Meanwhile, cylinders were supplied on a first-come-first-get basis at a deserted plot near Gandhi School. 



PAU dons see babus as villains
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, October 16
The Punjab Agricultural University Teachers Association (PAUTA) and the Non-Teaching Employees Union of PAU have launched an agitation against the alleged stepmotherly attitude of the state bureaucracy.

The bone of contention is the autonomy of PAU and the Audit Department. The failure of the state government to enhance the annual grant-in-aid of the university is another major cause of agitation by the university teachers and non-teachers. PAUTA has already started a dharna on the campus of the university here while non-teaching employees have been agitating against the alleged harassment by the audit staff of the government.

Interestingly, this time the agitation by the teachers and the non-teaching staff is against the government whereas in the past such agitations were held against the authorities of PAU.

PAUTA has a grouse that the bureaucracy is bent upon destroying the premier agricultural research university. It alleges that the bureaucracy harmed PAU by bifurcating it and establishing Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University.

This is the first time that another university has been set up within a university. PAUTA has filed an SLP against the verdict of the high court in the Supreme Court.

Dr Amrik Singh Sohi, president, PAUTA, alleges that the bureaucracy has adopted a humiliating attitude towards PAU. When a team of senior officials went to have discussion on the financial needs of the university, it was insulted and shown the door without conceding a single demand.

Dr Sohi said the state government had fixed block grant-in-aid to the state universities in 2002 and PAU was sanctioned a sum of Rs 80 crore. This amount was not even sufficient to meet the salary component, which was Rs 92 crore per annum, what to talk of undertaking research activities. The government has refused to pay the deficit of the provident fund while the pension fund is depleting.

The PAUTA president points out that the university undertook economy measures and merged eight departments and cut the staff strength by 22 per cent.

The PAUTA chief took exception to the comparison of PAU with other universities. PAU was basically a research institute for agriculture and was a state-funded university. The government was bound to meet the financial needs of the university, he emphasised.

Dr Sohi said the state government was supposed to contribute 25 per cent share in the grants received from agencies like the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), but it was not doing so. PAU was meeting this contribution from its own sources.

Dr Sohi maintained that the state government had to meet its commitments towards PAU in order to enable it to undertake research, extension and teaching activities,

As regards the difficulties being caused by the Audit Department, Dr Sohi said flimsy objections were levelled and employees were harassed unnecessarily. The useless objections resulted in delay in the payment of salary.

Dr Sohi said the Principal Secretary (Finance) had conceded the demand of PAU on the issue and had written to the authorities of the university in this regard. However, the Audit Department was not ready to follow the instructions of the Principal Secretary.

He said the general body of PAUTA would soon decide on steps to intensify the agitation.

It has called upon the Chancellor and the Chief Minister to intervene and raise the grant-in-aid
of PAU. 



MC asked to simplify bill waiver process
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, October 16
Terming the procedure for claiming waiver of water and sewerage bills for houses constructed on area less than 125 square yards as complicated, the local unit of SAD has demanded implementation of the scheme after conducting a survey by the local bodies authorities. The party has threatened to launch an agitation in case the bills were raised for such houses.

According to Mr Amar Singh Saraon, president of the local unit of SAD, owners of houses constructed on area lesser that 125 sq yards were being asked to submit affidavits regarding the genuineness of their claims and the poor residents had to spend time and money on unnecessary documentation.

‘‘Instead of asking owners of houses to submit affidavits and prove their claim the civic body authorities should conduct a survey and verify the facts regarding the size of plots being provided amenities’’, argued Mr Saraon adding that submitting affidavits might be misleading at times.

Referring to information collected by the office-bearers of the party, Mr Saraon claimed that some residents had failed to submit their claims due to technical problems. There were a large number of instances where the connections had been issued decades ago and the actual consumers had since died. ‘‘In case of others the title deeds of the properties are not available. In such cases physical verification is the only mode to establish the genuineness’’, he argued.

Mr Jagwant Singh Jaggie, a councillor and vice-president of Sangrur district unit said he would place a proposal to this effect in the next meeting of the Municipal Council.

Mr Gurdial Singh Pandher, Mr Jagdev Singh Ghaloti, Tehal Singh Dulman and Sukhsagar Singh Sodhi were also among those who attended the meeting.



CM’s security dashes destitute
Army nurse’s hope for help

Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 16
It was a disappointing day for Lieut. M.G. Welseley (retd), a former nurse with Military Nursing Services, (MNS), as she was not allowed to meet the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, who was in the city today.

Ms Welseley (44) waited in vain to meet the Chief Minister outside the Government College for Women for more than an hour to tell him her tale of woes and seek some help. However, policemen posted outside said she could not be allowed to meet him due to security reasons.

Lieutenant Welseley has been moving from pillar to post in order to get permission from the district administration to be allowed to stay in a room in the old courts complex but nobody has paid any heed to her pleas. Her justification for the request is that the complex, which has been lying deserted for quite some time following the shifting of courts, would be demolished one day and she should be allowed to stay there till that time.

Having worked for six years as a nurse in the Army, Ms Welseley has been spending her life in penury. Her life story has been a reverse of the rags to riches tale. For her a glamorous career finished abruptly forcing her to literally beg for daily bread.

‘‘I was thinking I would be allowed to meet the Chief Minister. But a commoner like me, who is in need of help can not even hope for such a thing’’, she said dejectedly.

‘‘Is this democracy? I think his (Capt. Amarinder Singh) grandfathers would have been more accessible to people than he is today. This is making a mockery of the system where we proudly claim that the leaders are our representatives,’’ said an angry Ms Welseley.

She added that she was ready to be frisked and go through the security checks. ‘‘I was not carrying a bomb. What would have gone wrong if I was allowed to meet him for a minute,’’ she rued, speaking fluent English.

Having won the All Round Good Worker award, which was presented to her by former President of India, Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, Ms Welseley now mops the floors of houses of city residents to earn a livelihood. At times she even takes to rag picking to fulfill her daily needs. She was thrown out of her rented house by her landlord two years ago and she has been without a home ever since. She is fighting a legal battle against them in a local court and is pleading her own case.

She was allowed to put up in a room in the old courts complex by an official on compassionate grounds. But she was thrown out by some officials a year ago. Since then she had been putting up in the open outside the room only.

But now she is worried as winter is fast approaching. ‘‘I cannot live outside in the open as it would become chilly. I had thought the Chief Minister would meet me. ’’

Lieutenant Welseley had joined MNS in 1985 in Agra. She worked with the Army till 1992 when she put in her papers due to medical reasons. She said she was not given any pension as she had not put in the minimum years of service required for availing pension. Whatever money was given to her at the time of leaving Army has been spent in fighting various court cases. 



SAD (A) to prepare White Paper on Punjab

Ludhiana, October 16
The Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), headed by Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, is gearing up for the ensuing Punjab Vidhan Sabha elections.
The SAD (A) is planning to issue a White Paper on the Punjab situation in the shape of 10 papers, which will be presented before the electorate. These papers will touch upon various aspects of the state, including the state of education, health, fiscal health and plight of the farmers.

Prof Jagmohan Singh, general secretary and spokesman for the party, said here on Saturday that the SAD (A) had started organising brainstorming sessions to prepare the proposed 10 papers and the election manifesto. One such brainstorming session was held at Anandpur Sahib on Friday.

The 10 papers are being prepared by Mr Daljit Singh Bittu, senior vice-president, and Prof Jagmohan Singh.



Fake currency causes concern in Machhiwara
Our Correspondent

Machhiwara, October 16
Machhiwara town once again seems to be in the grip of fake currency holders these days as many fake Rs 100 notes can be seen in the market. It is learnt that some fake currency holders had succeeded in duping the innocent vendors on Dasehra at the mela by paying them fake currency.

This correspondent was able to get one such hundred rupee note from the market. The note seems to have been scanned from an original one. Queries revealed that some more people who were cheated also have similar notes.

Due to the festival season, shopping is in full swing in the local markets. So the chances of such incidents are likely to increase in the next few days. Now it has become a challenge for the Machhiwara police to trace the fake currency holders to save the people from any sort of disappointment prior to some very important festivals.



Vikas Gill’s property sealed in Jessica case

Jagraon, October 16
A CBI team, led by Mr Ved Parkash, DSP, today sealed properties in Jagraon, including Sukhmani Hospital, a house, besides 18 acres situated in three villages — Galib, Malak and Kaonke Kalan — in pursuance of the orders of the Delhi High Court in the infamous Jessica Lall murder case. The properties allegedly belonged to Vikas Gill of Jagraon, who is at large and has been declared a proclaimed offender.

The CBI team had come from Delhi to carry out the court orders. Dr Harpal Singh Gill, father of Vikas Gill, filed objections with the team. However, it turned down his plea.

Before sealing Sukhmani Hospital, about 15 patients admitted there were forcibly discharged. — OC



Directive to expedite voter card work
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 16
Ms Manisha Nanda, Chief Electoral Officer-cum-Secretary (Elections), Himachal Pardesh, who has been appointed Election Observer for Patiala division by the Chief Election Commissioner, has directed the Electoral Registration Officers (EROs) of all constituencies of Ludhiana and Sangrur districts to strive to complete photography work for issuing voter cards to all voters and to ensure foolproof revision of electoral rolls in their constituencies.

These directions were given by her in a special meeting of the EROs held at Mini Secretariat here today. Ms Anjali Bhawra, Commissioner, Patiala division, Mr Ashok Kumar Gupta, Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, Mr S.R. Ladder, Deputy Commissioner, Sangrur, Mr Mohinder Singh Kainth, ADC (G), and Ms Anupam Kaler, Assistant Commissioner (G), also attended the meeting.

Ms Nanda said the EC had given strict instructions to update the electoral rolls of all constituencies in Punjab and to issue voter cards to each and every voter before the coming elections.

She also directed the EROs to hold meetings of representatives of political parties and persuade them to mobilise their workers to ensure photography of voters in their areas.

Expressing concern over the low percentage of women voters that were turning up for making photo ID cards, she asked the EROs to ensure proper publicity to educate women and involve panchayats, mahila mandal etc to achieve the target.



Ex-services League seeks arrears
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 16
Lt-Col Chanan Singh Dhillon (retd), president, Indian Ex-services League, Punjab and Chandigarh, yesterday assailed the Ministry of Defence for not implementing the payment of arrears of defence personnel due to the anomaly in the Fourth Pay Commission and described same as ‘unwise’. Colonel Dhillon said in a statement that the decision of the ministry ran counter to the policy of the government which credited itself to minimise the grievances of defence retirees.

He charged that this amounted to cheating on officers’ rights. The Ministry of Defence had been doing this with the tacit connivance of the politicians in power. The serious anomalies were left intentionally and a number of defence retirees had died waiting for clearance of the same, he added.

Colonel Dhillon called upon the defence ministry to honour the decision of the court and stop escalating bitterness among the defence retirees.



24 homeless families get cheques
Our Correspondent

Amloh, October 16The district Congress chief, Mr Lakhbir Singh Rai, distributed cheques for Rs 40 lakh among 24 poor homeless Scheduled Caste families at a function in municipal complex here today. Mr Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, Parliamentary Secretary could not attend the function.

Fifteen of the beneficiary families belong to Amloh and nine to the rural area of Amloh block. Dr Swatantar Karkra, state secretary of the PPCC, highlighted various development schemes launched by Captain Amarinder Singh.

Councillor Jeevan Puri, president of the Arhtiya Association, said earlier the house-building grant was given to rural people only, but on his suggestion Mr Dharamsot got the consent of the Chief Minister to extend the scheme to poor families residing in urban areas also.

Block Samiti Chairman Dilbag Singh Bhambri, block Congress chief Shingara Singh, district Congress general secretary Manjit Singh Dalla, sarpanch Jarnail Singh, district Planning Board member Budh Raj and Pradesh Congress Committee member Gurdev Singh also spoke.



Follow Gurbani for healthy life, says preacher
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, October 16
Branding stress and manipulations as major causes of all human ailments, Bhai Panth Preet Singh Khalsa Bakhtaur Wale, a Sikh preacher, called upon people, irrespective of their caste and religion, to follow the teachings of Guru Granth Sahib in order to live a healthy life.

Addressing devotees at a discourse organised by the Sri Sukhmani Sahib Seva Society and other religious organisations at the local Guru Nanak Kanya Mahavidyalya, Bhai Khalsa claimed that the teachings of Guru Granth Sahib applied equally on individuals from all sects. The findings of the 10 Sikh Gurus were centuries ahead of observations made by the scientists and technologists of modern era, he added.

“While medical science has now established that more than 80 per cent diseases had genesis in chaotic psychological niche, Gurbani advocates that all ailments were caused due to deviation of mind from the teachings of the Gurus,” claimed Bhai Khalsa, adding that by controlling one’s mind one could keep oneself fit both physically and mentally.

Bhai Panth Preet Singh cited several examples from the Gurbani bearing that the correct balance between catabolism and anabolism was important for stopping the spread of diseases. The preacher pointed out that certain self-styled saints had tried to interpret inscriptions in Guru Granth Sahib in a way that projected them confined in a particular section of humanity.

The 10-day-long religious discourse is being organised by the society with the help of other religious organisations, including the Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, Bahadurgarh, Baba Namdev Gurdwara, Gurdwara Bhagat Ravidass, Gurdwara Dukh Nivaran, Sri Kalgidhar Federation, Nirvair Khalsa Dal, Peer Budhu Shah Seva Society, Bhai Ghanaya Seva Society, Guru Nanak Mission Sabha and Baba Budha Gurmat Parchar Trust. 



Foreign particle found in soft drink bottle
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 16
A suspended particle has been found in a soft drink bottle at Sri Aurobindo College of Commerce and Management. However, even after bringing the matter to the notice of the soft drink company over two weeks ago, no company official has turned up till now.

Mr P. S. Chaudhry, General Manager of the college, said, “The canteen contractor spotted the suspended particle in a bottle of Mirinda more than two weeks ago. We brought the matter to the notice of company officials here and expected an immediate response. However, even as we have been repeatedly contacting them, no one from Pepsi has turned up so far.”

When contacted, Mr Vishal, an executive of Pepsi, said, “Tomorrow I will visit the college and find out the problem and inform our officials so that a suitable action can be taken.”



Cherish and respect girl child, says Guru Maa 
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 16
‘‘Good deeds and karmas of the human beings always pay rich dividends. Certain karmas yield rewards in this life whereas certain others are accumulated to give their effect in next life.’’

These observations were made by spiritual leader Anand Murti Guru Maa while addressing a meeting, organised by Ludhiana Citizen Council here last evening. People from different walks of life, including professionals and members of business community , were present on the occasion.

She asked the people to always do good deeds, help others and follow and spiritual principles in their day to day life. ‘‘By the method of dhyan and meditation, one can achieve God.’’

Sounding a note of warning against the social menace of female foeticide, Guru Maa stressed that killing daughters in the wombs or general disliking for the girl child would have devastating results in the days to come. ‘‘Therefore, daughters should be considered equally important, and equal to sons,’’ she advised.

In the meeting, Mr Darshan Arora, Chairman, Mr Ramesh Banda, vice- chairman, Mr K.S.Kelly, president, Mr Ashok Juneja, Mr Sudhir Sehgal, Mr Ravi Kant Gupta, secretary generals and Mr Harminder Singh Hummy, president, Youth Wing felicitated and greeted the spiritual guru.

Students of D.A.V. School presented religious songs on the occasion.



Video DJing, the in thing
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 16
The popularity of DJs has been on the rise since the past decade as they provide wholesome and economical entertainment on all occasions.
The DJs use both audio and video to enhance the entertainment value, says Bhanu, a pioneer in DJing.

He says, “In video DJing, four or five plasma television sets are placed at the venue depending on its size. The audience can hear a popular Hindi song and see Michael Jackson dance to the tune.”

Bhanu explains that if a Hindi song has say 106 to 110 beats, a song by Michael Jackson with as many beats is selected and synced with the Hindi song. He says it is possible on specialised DVD players. This kind of video DJing is being done by Bhanu in Ludhiana at present.

Incidentally, Bhanu’s Studio 69 is the first-ever company to get the ISO-9001 certification so far.

Daman, another DJ, says there have been many advances in the equipment being used, while Bonnie says “fireworks line arrays”, latest gizmos, are part of DJing in Ludhiana. Vivek, a senior DJ, says the latest thing being introduced is “confetti cannons” that shower confetti on an important person during a function. 



Calendar to be released in Bhagat Singh’s memory

Ludhiana, October 16
The Lok Chetna Organisation is organising a state-level function on the 100th birth anniversary of Bhagat Singh on October 18 at Punjabi Bhavan.
On the occasion, Prof Jagmohan Singh, nephew of Bhagat Singh, will release a calendar in the martyr’s memory. — OC



Man held with poppy husk
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, October 16
The Humbran police has arrested Charanjit Singh, alias Fauji, of Rachhin from the Basami area with 49 kg of poppy husk. A case has been registered under Sections 15, 61 and 85 of the NDPS Act on a complaint of ASI Jagmohan Singh.

One arrested with liquor: The Dehlon police has arrested Jagdish Gupta of Khajuria, UP, from the Bool area on Sunday and seized 7500 ml of illicit liquor. A case has been registered under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act.

Five booked for assault: The Sudhar police has registered a case under Sections 452, 323, 148, 149 and 506 of the IPC against Sheetal Singh, Jugraj Singh, Randhir Singh of Uppli and two other unknown persons on the charge of assault. They allegedly trespassed on the residential premises of Santokh Singh of Gill Patti, Sudhar, on Sunday and attacked him with sticks.

Dera occupants looted: Miscreants barged into Dera Bhuriwala, Kailpur, and snatched two watches, one mobile phone, two earrings and Rs 3,000 from occupants of the dera on Friday night. A case under Sections 382, 342, 148 and 149 of the IPC has been registered on a complaint of Darshan Singh of Kailpur. 



Biz Brief

Sportking project
: A mega project, being set up by the city-based Sportking Group of Industries, would provide direct employment to at least 3,000 persons, besides generating indirect employment for thousands others. Talking to Ludhiana Tribune here on Sunday, Mr Munish Awasthi, Managing Director of the group, said the project had recently been approved by the state government. The initial investment into the project was estimated at around Rs 160 crore. — TNS



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