L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Barrewal going the Budda Nullah way
22 dairy owners booked for polluting drain
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 14
Learning from the bad experiences of the Budda Nullah that was allowed to be polluted by the industrial sewer, the district administration has taken a strong step today to prevent similar polluting of the Barrewal drain by booking 22 dairy owners for throwing dirty water into the nullah.

A similar strong action against industrialists was, however, awaited to prevent further damage to the Budda Nullah.

On the directions of the Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM)- West, Dr Indu, the Haibowal police has booked the dairy owners for choking the drain, despite being warned several times by the administration.

A special sewerage was laid for the dairy owners to prevent them from throwing the waste into the drain but still they continued to do so.

According to the FIR registered at the Haibowal police station, almost all male members of two families were booked. They are three brothers Pappu, Pappy and Amrik , two other brothers Prem Singh and Pappu Singh.

Other accused are Pawan Kumar, Hiran Singh, Harnam Singh, Pritam Singh, Kidwai dairy owners, Subedar Jung Singh, Jaswant Singh, Baldev Singh, Dipu, Munna, owners of Sidhu dairy, Narang Singh, owners of Price Dairy, Sukhwinder Singh, Ramesh, Sonu Sharma and Jiti Sethi.

Dr Indu told Ludhiana Tribune that the only way to prevent natural or man-made drains from going the Budda Nullah way was to take strong measures. She said the dairy owners were given sufficient warnings in the past in the form of verbal advice as well as notices but still they carried on polluting the drain.

They were booked under Section 430 of the IPC for committing mischief by causing diminution of supply of water for agricultural purposes. Though a bailable offence it can attract imprisonment up to 5 years or fine or both.



Mixed response to trade unions’ strike
Tribune News Service

Telecom employees stage a dharna against the economic policies of the government in Ludhiana on Thursday
Telecom employees stage a dharna against the economic policies of the government in Ludhiana on Thursday. — A Tribune photograph

Ludhiana, December 14
The nationwide strike called by seven national and about 60 affiliated state trade unions evoked mixed response in Ludhiana.
The transportation was partially effected as members of some trade unions under the banner of the Centre for Indian Trade Unions (CITU) blocked the traffic at Bharat Nagar Chowk. The working in the public sector banks and other business establishments was also effected.

However, private banks functioned as normal. The strike had maximum impact on the industrial sector.

The strike was against the various economic policies of the government. The main demands included ensuring that the interest rate on the Employees Provident Fund and other funds was not reduced, the profit-making public sector undertakings were not privatised, direct foreign investment was not allowed in the retail sector and the inflation was curbed.

The state general secretary of the CITU, Mr Raghunath Singh, claimed that the response was “unprecedented and overwhelming” in Ludhiana. He said traffic was blocked at the busy Bharat Nagar Chowk for about two hours.

He said various state-owned transport corporations had also supported the strike and they suspended work for two to six hours.

At Bharat Nagar Chowk some agitating labourers misbehaved with some lensmen. After the protest by the scribes, the organisers apologised. Mr Raghunath Singh condemned the incident and alleged that this might had been deliberately done by those who wanted to sabotage the strike.

Various other organisations of the employees also participated in the strike. Gate meetings and small protest demonstrations were held across the city.

These organisations included the Punjab Agricultural University Employees’ Union, All-India Central Council of Trade Unions, Joint Action Committee of the Punjab Roadways Employees, Bhartiya Khadya Nigam Karamchari Sangh, Punjab Bank Employees Federation, Northern Railwaymen’s Union, Punjab State Electricity Board Employees Federation, Income Tax Employees Federation, General Insurance Employees Association, Northern Zone Insurance Employees Association, Life Insurance Corporation Employees Association and some other organisations.



Fog triggers 2 mishaps; 1 killed
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 14
One person was killed while four others were injured in two fog-related mishaps here. The Dehlon police has booked the driver of a minibus under Section 304 A of the IPC.

Gurcharan Singh of Kalakh village was killed when the scooter he was driving was hit by a speeding minibus coming from the opposite side at Focal Point, Kalakh village, on the Ahmedgarh-Jodhan link road, near here, this morning. Sukhwinder Kaur, wife of Paramjit Singh of the same village, the pillion rider, was injured in the incident.

According to Mr Rachhpal Singh Dhindsa, SHO, Dehlon, Gurcharn Singh was coming from Kalakh to Ahmedgarh on his scooter (PB 10 AF 3872) when a minibus (PB 13 K 9243)coming from the opposite side collided with it due to poor visibility on account of fog. Gurcharan Singh died on the spot while Sukhwinder Kaur, who had hitch-hiked, was shifted to Hind Hospital in an unconscious state. Gurmukh Singh of Kalakh, driver of the bus, has been booked.

Earlier, Jasveer Singh and Pritpal Singh of Maholi Kalan and Paramveer Singh of Toosa village, who were going on a motorcycle, were hurt when their vehicle collided with a three-wheeler on the Jandali road. 



SC ban lost in marriage din
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 14
The Supreme Court directive on noise was lost in marriage din on an astrologer-touted most auspicious day yesterday as the city witnessed hundreds of weddings.

As all major venues were already booked, residents blocked roads and put up shamianas to organise weddings, giving others a sleepless night with blaring loudspeakers.

The SC directive banning the use of loudspeakers and bursting of firecrackers between 10 pm and 6 am near residential areas was flouted with impunity. While residents had a difficult time, the enforcement authorities remained in deep slumber.

As a number of marriages were being solemnised, firecrackers were burst and high-intensity music was played well past midnight. Firecrackers and loud music was heard even in localities where there was no marriage palace in the neighbourhood last night.

Certain residents claimed that they had made frantic calls on 100 to call the police and get rid of the nuisance but nobody listened to them. Marriage parties continued to cause inconvenience to people irrespective of their being elderly or sick.

Marriage processions were being taken out in the evening, especially after 10 pm. All preened-up members of the party burst firecrackers and played the music. Interestingly, many officials of the district administration and the police also attended many weddings closing their eyes and ears to the apex court's ban that was thrown to the winds in their presence.

‘‘I could not sleep throughout the night. Loudspeakers blared till the small hours today and marriage processions burst crackers throughout the night. There was traffic chaos due to road blockage at night and passers-by continued to blow horns in the middle of night,’’ said Ms Kanika Rawat, a resident, who had to suffer as a shamiana was put up near her house.

She added that besides creating noise, the organisers caused inconvenience to everybody in the neighbourhood by blocking the road.

Similar was the condition of residents who live near marriage palaces. ‘‘There were two or three functions going on in a marriage palace. If one party would stop bursting crackers, the other would start. We spent the entire night in great disturbance. And by the morning my father reported to a hospital with an increased heart rate, ’’ said another resident.

‘‘Things have come to such a pass that people in the neighbourhood cannot sleep as long as the marriage season is on. While it is a happy occasion for those who attend the parties, we dread the functions. We have requested the owners to do something to help us, but to no avail, ’’ he added.

Some residents living near a marriage palace complained that yesterday was the noisiest night of their life. ‘‘I cannot forget last night's terrible experience when an auspicious day was converted into the most nightmarish time of my life, ’’ said a resident. 



Akali leaders want Jagjiwan from Payal
Our Correspondent

Doraha, December 14
Akali leaders and workers of the Payal constituency want senior Akali activist Jagjiwan Pal Singh Gill given the ticket for the coming Assembly elections.

Mr Hardev Singh Matharoo, vice-president, SAD (Rural), Mr Darshan Singh Rabbon, member, general council, Mr Jarnail Singh Shahpur, member, general council, Mr Harnek Singh, member, Block Samiti, Rajgarh, Mr Major Singh Kaddon, member, Block Samiti, Mr Amarjit Singh Zulamgarh, member, Block Samiti, Mrs Paramjit Kaur, member, Block Samiti, Bilaspur, Mr Gurmit Singh Lapran and Mr Parminder Singh, a senior Akali activist, Mr Amarinder Singh Boparai, besides other Akali leaders and workers today gathered at Gill House and demanded the party ticket for Mr Jagjiwan Pal Singh Gill from the Payal constituency. They appreciated his 15-year dedicated service to the people. "We acknowledge his worth. The party shall have to pay through the nose if his candidature is overlooked as Mr Gill's name has become synonymous with that of Payal," they asserted.



Valmiki Samaaj extends support to Badal
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana December 14
The Bhartiya Valmiki Dharam Samaaj today extended its unconditional support to the Shiromani Akali Dal led by Mr Parkash Singh Badal. Addressing a press conference, the organiser of the samaaj, Mr Vijay Dhanav, and other leaders said during his tenure as the Chief Minster, Mr Parkash Singh Badal had done a lot of work for the welfare of Dalits and the downtrodden.

He said, even Mr Badal had announced several welfare schemes for the Dalits, including 400 units of free power, flour at Rs 4 per kg and pulses at Rs 20 per kg. He observed that such steps would go a long way in ameliorating the economic and social plight of the Dalits.

The samaaj leaders criticised the Congress Government and alleged that Dalits had been victimised during the past five years. They said, even traders, employees, industrialists and educated unemployed youth were upset with the present government. They alleged that the Congress Government had resorted to the policy of victimisation and vindictiveness.



NRI wants fund flow to villages regulated
Tribune News Service

Charanjit Singh Mandiani
Charanjit Singh Mandiani

Ludhiana, December 14
There is need for regulating the flow of non-resident Indians' funds to their native villages for various development works. Although most of these funds are properly used, no proper system has been evolved to ensure this.

According to Mr Charanjit Singh Mandiani, a former sarpanch of Mandiani village, who migrated and settled in Vancouver, Canada, about seven years ago, NRIs of each village, wherever they are settled, should form committees and set up a corpus fund for their native villages.

Making this novel suggestion, Mr Mandiani pointed out that funds were flowing in abundance for infrastructure development like construction of roads, school buildings, drains and dispensaries. However, these were not maintained properly later on.

He observed that the committees of NRIs could consider cases on merit and allocate funds. He felt this would go a long way in ensuring that the infrastructure developed in villages was maintained properly.

Mr Mandiani has served as sarpanch of Mandiani village for 15 years and also as member of the Block Samiti and the District Development and Planning Board. He said from his experience he knew the problems in the procurement of funds for infrastructure and its maintenance.

He said the idea was viable as a large number of NRIs from across Punjab were settled outside. These "sons of the soil" could have regular interaction among each other. The corpus fund would keep on growing and its interest would be sufficient for ensuring the maintenance of the infrastructure in villages.



Aiming to bridge borders
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 14
Aiming to bridge borders between India and Pakistan and to support the Indian Red Cross Society, a lifestyle exhibition , Xmaxx Carnival, will hit the city this weekend. Direct Relations, a Chandigarh-based public relations and event management company, is bringing this two-day exhibition of lifestyle products to the city.

With the theme revolving around Christmas, exhibitors from India and Pakistan will showcase an exclusive assortment of designer wear, designer jewellery, antique furniture, artifacts, home furnishings, handicrafts and various other gift items at Hotel Le Baron on December 16 and 17.

‘‘We wanted to work on two noble causes simultaneously. So we roped in designers from the Pakistan side of Punjab and decided to support the Red Cross with our profits. With exhibitors from both countries coming on the same platform with their creations, we will send a message of Indo-Pak brotherhood across, ’’ says the CEO of Direct Relations. The exhibition will be inaugurated by the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Ashok Gupta. The guests of honour will be famous Punjabi singers Sardool Sikandar and Pammi Bai. 



Pensioners up in arms against bank authorities 
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 14
The Punjab Government pensioners are up in arms against the pension disbursing bank authorities for non-payment of enhanced dearness relief, interim relirf and hiked medical allowance along with the pension for the month of November. The association has received scores of telephonic complaints from across the state in this regard.

The Punjab Government has granted certain benefits to its pensioners such as enhanced dearness relief (from 24 to 29 per cent with effect from July this year), 5 per cent interim relief and hiked medical allowance, both the benefits from November 1 this year.

But sadly most of the banks have failed to make the additional payments along with pension for November.

Bank authorities’ lethargy and inefficiency have enraged the pensioners. They rue that while the state government had granted 'relief' to them, the bank authorities had turned it into 'grief’.



Paparazzi condemn attack
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 14
The Ludhiana Photo Journalists Association today condemned the attack on a photo journalist covering the CPI strike at Delhi airport whose camera was snatched by a policeman and broken into pieces.

Rajesh Bhambi, president of the association, termed it as an attack on the freedom of Press. The association demanded that the policeman should be immediately suspended for the act. 



Gang of engine thieves busted, 3 held
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, December 14
The local police has claimed to have busted a gang of thieves, involved in stealing engines used for irrigation purposes, with the arrest of three persons.
Mr Vijay Sharma, SP(D), in a press conference here today told that a police party headed by Prem Singh, In charge, CIA staff, Jagraon, held a naka near bridge drain connecting Aligarh and Kothe Khanzuran today when they found five persons coming in a cycle cart.

One of the persons was pulling the cycle cart while the other two were sitting on it holding an engine and the other two were pushing the cart. When the police party inquired about the ownership of the engine, the two accused who were pushing the cycle cart fled from there while the other three, identified as Zora Singh and Kuldip Singh of Mai Jeena, Jagraon and Amandeep Singh of Rauwal, were nabbed.

They revealed that they had stolen the said engine from Chowki Mann and where on their way to sell it off. They disclosed the names of the two accused who fled as Satnam Singh of Kothe Khanzuran and Shamma of Mai Jeena, Jagraon. Investigations led to the recovery of nine engines which they had stolen from Chowki Mann, Gureh, Sidhwan Khurd, Sidhwan Kalan, Sheikhpura, Kothe Pona, Sohian. The engines were valued at Rs 1,50,000. 



Probe in theft case leads to recovery of girl
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 14
An investigation into a theft case enabled the local police rescue a minor girl, who had been allegedly abducted by a migrant labourer from her maternal uncle’s house at Hathur 17 months ago.

This solved an untraced case registered at Jagraon police station also.

Though the parents of the girl were informed about her recovery last evening, they did not reach here till today. She was later handed over to the Jagraon police.

Had the police taken the case lightly, the girl, who is now a mother of a child, could not have been rescued as her “abductor,” now her husband, had planned to shift to his native state from Ludhiana in the near future.

Gursharandeep Kaur, alias Rimpy, daughter of Sukhpal Singh of Bathinda, was rescued from the possession of Virender Kumar, resident of Saharghat in Madhuban district of Bihar but presently living at School Colony, Daba Road, Ludhiana, last evening.

Rimpy, along with three other girls studying with her at Government High School, Hathur, had gone missing from her school on June 22, 2005, and the Jagraon police had registered an FIR under Sections 363 and 366 of the IPC in connection with her abduction.

She was pursuing her studies while staying at the house of her maternal uncle Darshan Singh of Hathur village.

According to Mr Harinder Singh Chahal Senior Superintendent of Police at Sangrur, the abducted girl was rescued by a special investigating team constituted to investigate a theft case in which Virender Kumar was the main accused.

He was arrested for allegedly stealing power transformers and carrying illicit liquor.

“It was during investigations that Darshan Singh, SHO, Sadar, became suspicious about the origin of the wife of the accused. Though she was told to be hailing from Bihar, her name Rimpy made the SHO suspicious and he reported the matter to Mr Racchpal Singh Hara, DSP, Malerkotla,” said Mr Chahal, while talking to Ludhiana Tribune.

During the preliminary investigation, Rimpy told the police that she along with three other classmates (Jiwan Jyoti, Kuldip Kaur and Satwinder) was taken by a youth, Deepak Kumar, to Ludhiana on the pretext of showing a movie.

“I do not know the fate of the other girls, but was deserted by the Ludhiana boy near railway station on the same day. After being exploited by a youth named Naresh, I was later handed over to Virender Kumar, who agreed to give me food and shelter on the promise of keeping his deeds a secret,” Rimpy told the police.

A 1990-born Rimpy gave birth to a male child about two months ago.

Meanwhile, the local police informed Mr R.K. Jaiswal, SSP, Jagraon, about the recovery of the girl. Acting under the directions of Mr Jaiswal, Mr Nidhan Singh, an Investigation Officer of the Jagraon police, took her in custody.



Girl child found abandoned in DMCH
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 14
A six-month-old girl child was found abandoned on Wednesday evening in the reception area of Dayanand Medical College and Hospital here. The infant was spotted late in the evening by a security person, posted at the billing section area, who immediately informed the hospital authorities about the infant. Some medicines and clothes were also found lying near the infant.

The baby is being looked after by the hospital staff at present and is stated to be in good health. The hospital authorities said an FIR had been lodged at Kitchlu Nagar police station but no one had come forward to claim the child so far. 



Wooing Ludhianvis with innovative designs
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana December 14
Kirtilal Kalidas Mehta, an established jewellery brand of South India, entered Ludhiana market today. Mr T. Shantakumar, Managing Director of the group said the company’s entry in Northern market was late as it had to do extensive market research.

The formal launch of the brand was followed by the unveiling of three glittering diamond jewellery collections, Traditional, Contemporary and Empress, by the reigning Miss India World, Natasha Suri who was in town alongwith Simran Sachdeva and Rajbeer Cheema today.

Talking to mediapersons, Mr Shantakumar said their's was an established brand in South India with outlets in major cities like Coimbatore, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kochi and Vijayawada. "Before entering North India and Ludhiana in particular, we wanted to make sure that we could cater to the requirements of customers here. People are fond of traditional jewellry in jadau and polkis whereas in South, the trend is altogether different. Today, we are sure of presenting at least 10,000 global designs to our Ludhiana customers", he said.

He further added that diamond jewellery industry in Ludhiana was in an exciting phase right now. "With the vision of becoming the most personalised jewellery retailer for Indians everywhere and with its values of respecting individuality, empathy and attention, we feel this is the right time for us to launch operations here", said Mr 

Ms Seema Mehta, designer of the group, said their designing was traditionally innovative. Apart from the routine stuff, Jadaiwalli- the famous long hair ornament of South would be an added attraction for women in North India. "The ornament is all diamond and stone-studded and its price may go upto Rs 8 lakh. Besides, our designers attend the major trade fairs to get innovative ideas. Keeping in mind the customers' demand, the jewellery is designed accordingly. More than 5000 persons are working at our Coimbatore manufacturing unit to give the best in gold, diamond and platinum jewellery to customers", she said.

As an additional attraction for its customers in Ludhiana, the company has launched a 'Dazzle and Drive' offer where the customers could win cars in the months of December, January and February.



Industry mocks at government on development claims
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 14
The Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings (CICU) has come down heavily upon the state government, charging it with making tall claims of all round development and holding 'vikas yatrs' to woo the electorate for the coming Assembly elections while the trade and industry in Punjab are languishing as a result of persistent neglect.

Mr Inderjit Singh Pardhan, president and Mr Avtar Singh, general secretary, respectively, of the chamber said in a joint statement that the miserable condition of the industrial infrastructure, pathetic condition of roads in the industrial areas and industrial focal points, erratic and inadequate power supply, shortage of containers and non-availability of air-link between Ludhiana and metro cities, were the major drawbacks, hampering the industrial growth as also exports made from the state of Punjab.

The CICU functionaries, taking a serious note of the evasive and indifferent attitude of the government towards trade and industry, asserted that the road shows and vikas-yatras being taken out by the ruling party were of no use unless the problems being faced by trade and industry were sincerely addressed and mitigated at the grass-root level.

The government would do well to take corrective measures, that too without any further delay to save the business community from avoidable harassment a create a conducive atmosphere for promotion of trade, industry and exports,. they said.

Mr Pardhan and Mr Avtar Singh made a fervent plea with the Punjab Finance Minister, Mr Surinder Singla, to extend the date for filing of VAT returns with forms C to March 31, 2007, in order to ensure smooth compliance of the VAT regulations.

Meanwhile, Mr K.S. Budhiraja, senior vice president, Punjab Monoblock Pumps and Submersible Dealers Association have urged the Union Government to exempt the pumps being used for irrigation purpose, from CST and VAT in all the states so as to improve the economic condition of the farmers.



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