L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Residents, industry rue power cuts
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 24
Residents and industry are suffering due to prolonged unscheduled power cuts. Even as the electricity board has not declared official cuts for industry, unscheduled cuts of one to three hours are being imposed in several areas. Residential areas are no better where cuts of even lengthier duration are imposed.

Single-window system appreciated

While cut continue to bother industry and residents, the PSEB move to start a single window system has been appreciated by industry.

Using the facility, residents and industry can directly apply for new connections and extension of connections and they would be informed of the date of installation as well. "Availability of applications on the website would further simplify things and starting this system would end a lot of hassles we had to earlier go through while applying for extension or new connections," said Mr Rajnish Ahuja, president, Focal Point Sheds Association.

The current scenario has created panic among industry which fears that power situation would worsen in coming days adding to their losses.

"Cuts are being imposed without intimation. It seems there is no end to this problem. A cut affects water supply as well and we are not even able to carry on routine household works like cleaning, washing, etc. The last few years have only witnessed worsening of power situation and I dread to think what we would have to face in summers," said Pooja Sharma, a resident.

Residents rued that unannounced withdrawal of power supply affected their daily work. Industry is suffering not only on account of decline in production but also rise in costs and deterioration of quality of goods produced.

As a result of unscheduled cuts, several industries like induction and furnace and electroplating suffer heavy losses. The processes followed in these industries are such that once the power supply is suspended, the process has to be re-started.

"We are really worried as to what the situation would be in the coming months. Unscheduled cuts, which have already started, not only hit industrial production, they also lead to deterioration in quality of goods produce that further result in higher rejections by buyers," said Mr S.C. Ralhan, regional director, Engineering Export Promotion Council (EEPC), adding, "even industry is on mercy of rain. Besides, we are unsure of the measures that the next government would take to tackle this problem."

"The cuts are unscheduled and hit all categories of industries. We have recommended to the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) officials that a control room be set up wherein all complaints regarding power cuts are recorded. Besides, it would be better if industry is informed of cuts in advance even if they are for maintenance," said Mr Rajnish Ahuja, president, Focal Point Sheds Association.

Industrialists pointed out that poor power supply badly hit small scale enterprises which were not in a position to afford alternative measures of power generation. "Using gen sets et al is expensive. For a small industrialists, it means an addition to costs and also labour," another industrialists said.



Model Town road repaired, to open next week
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 24
A part of the road that had caved in front of R S Model School in Model Town six months ago will be opened to public after a week as the work on it was almost complete.

This was stated today by Mr Haravtar Singh, Superintending Engineer of Water Supply and Sewerage Board, the department which has been entrusted with the task of repairing that part of the road. He said that they had completed almost the entire work and only a slab was to be constructed to cover the hole.

‘‘It would take three-four days more and then the road would be opened to the public, ’’ he said.

The caved-in road was causing a lot of inconvenience to the commuters who were demanding that the work should be completed soon. The sewerage board was entrusted with this work in November last years.

Mr Haravtar Singh said that it had taken more than three months as the work involved carrying out repairs under the ground and was time consuming.

Moreover, too many labourers could not be deployed on the job as it involved dangers of more earth caving in, risking their lives. He said that they had constructed an RCC structure so that it does not sink in future.

He said that the board had prepared a special design for the place so that the road should not meet the same fate after some time. The same part of the road had sunk some years ago and the repeat of events happened on September 2 because it was reconstructed casually.

He said that as per the new design, a concrete core wall was erected around a sewer pipe of 153 inches in diameter so that even a leakage did not eat into the earth which gave in.

The sewerage in that area was as old as 25 years and due to leakage the earth around it was washed away and the road caved in. Model Town did not have a separate storm water sewerage and the rain water was being discharged into the common sewer only. This had resulted in over burdening of the system which finally gave away.

Meanwhile, the commuters said that they were having a tough time as the road was cordoned off for the last six months. 



Housefed flats ‘lack amenities’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 24
Residents of Super Deluxe Flats in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar Housefed Complex are a disappointed lot, thanks to the poor quality material used in construction and lack of amenities.

Claiming that they were given the possession of flats constructed out of poor quality material, the residents said that the Housefed had not even provided them with promised amenities.

Moreover, there was no drainage for the rain water at the top of the building. The rain water collected at the rooftop and seeped in the building. The residents suffered due to dampness throughout the year.

They claim that they were promised that a boundary wall would be constructed outside the complex but even after so many years a temporary wall was not replaced. The wall was very low and posed a threat to the security of the residents.

The fact that a slum had mushroomed adjacent to their building had made the residents all the more jittery. They claimed that they were having sleepless nights as there was no security system to protect them.

They said that they were already fighting a battle of sorts for getting the jhuggis in their neighbourhood removed. Some time ago they had given a representation to the Chairman of Punjab State Human Rights Commission, asking him to come to their rescue.

Residents claimed that the dwellers used filthy language and fought with each other every now and then. The residents of flats could hear them everytime as they were living in close vicinity with each other.

‘‘The occupants of jhuggis use the entire area as an open toilet. It causes nuisance and smell all around. We have told them several times but they do not listen to us, ’’ said the residents.

The residents said that when they were allotted the flats, they were told that the jhuggies would be removed soon. But even after so many years, they not only continue to thrive but more and more jhuggies are mushrooming with every passing day. 



Elect honest nominees, says Dullo

Amloh,February 24
To strengthen the democratic set-up of the country, voters should elect honest candidates so that in this era of globalisation, the economy of the country achieves the maximum growth targets.

This was stated by Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, President, Punjab Pardesh Congress Committee.

He was addressing the congregation to pay tributes to Banni Devi (90), mother of Mr Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, former Parliamentary Secretary, at grain market here today. She died on February 13 in Amloh at her residence.

Those who paid tributes to the departed soul included Brij Lal Goel, vice president, Panjab Pardesh Congress, Harbans Lal, former Chief Parliamentary Secretary, Lakhbir Singh Rai, district chief Congress and Joginder Pal Singla, treasurer. 



Cong legislators seek cancellation of FIR
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana February 24
Some sitting Congress legislators and the councillors today held a meeting at the residence of Mr Harnam Dass Johar to chalk out the further course of action in connection with the registration of an FIR against the husband of one of the party councillors.

The meeting was attended, among others, by Mr Milkiat Singh Birmi, Mr Rakesh Pandey, senior Deputy Mayor, Mr Prem Mittal and a number of councillors. They reiterated their demand for the cancellation of the FIR. They expressed solidarity with the councillor.

They said that the party has always for peace in the city and regretted that some people were trying to vitiate the peaceful atmosphere.



Karamjit wins Bal Sahit Puraskar
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 24
The Punjabi Sahit Akademi conferred Mata Jaswant Kaur Bal Sahit Puraskar on Karamjit Singh Grewal for his first book “Chad Ke School Mainu Aa.” The function was held yesterday at Punjabi Bhavan where he received Rs 10,000, a citation, shawl and a trophy.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune he said, “I am a Punjabi teacher in Government High School in Kheri Jhameri. When I joined the school six years ago, I asked the children to recite some poems. They sang filmy songs. Then I realised that the poems suitable for students were not available. This fact prompted me to write poems for children. My students recited these poems at district and state-level competitions and won prizes. This motivated me further and I started writing poems on regular basis. My topics were varied and touched all social ills prevalent in the society like drug addiction, female foeticide, dowry, etc. All my poems can be choreographed and sung. I am fortunate that my maiden book was chosen for the highest award in children’s literature.”

He said at the function held yesterday Ravinder Bhattal, general secretary of the Punjabi Sahit Akademi, read out the citation. Surjit Patar, president, said the poems were lyrical.

Principal Prem Singh Bajaj, convener, said Karamjit Singh was the youngest writer to get such a prestigious award. Prof Pritam Singh and his brother gave the award to Karamjit Singh Grewal as the award was constituted in the memory of their mother.

Dr Guriqbal Singh, another member, said Karamjit’s poems had depth.



Cop, 2 others held for extortion
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 24
The local police has arrested one police constable, Rajesh Kumar, and two other persons, Devinder Singh and Shekar of Shivaji Nagar, on the charges of extortion and cheating.

The DSP, Mr Narinder Pal Singh Ruby, disclosed that the suspects had taken Rs 50,000 from Pinki of Raghubir Park, Haibowal Kalan. The police claimed to have recovered Rs 20,000 out of that amount, from the suspects.

They were booked under Sections 384, 419, 420 and 34 of the IPC at Focal Point Police Station, following a complaint lodged by Sanjeev Kumar Sharma of Shastri Nagar, Model Town, Ludhiana. It was submitted by the complainant that on February 21, Pinki along with his son and one girl were going to Jalandhar in a car.

When they reached near Amaltas Hotel, they were stopped by the suspects. Devinder Singh allegedly impersonated as Sub-Inspector of the CIA and threatened to book them under the Immoral Trafficking Act. Thereafter, they demanded Rs 50,000 for releasing them. Compelled by the circumstances, the complainant allegedly paid Rs 30,000 to them following which Pinki and others were released. Later, Rs 20,000 were paid to the suspects for securing the release of the car “impounded” by them, added the DSP.



Top companies offer lucrative packages to MBA passouts
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana February 24
Many leading companies, including multinationals, are eyeing fresh passout MBA students in this part of region. By giving students lucrative packages, the companies are leaving no stone unturned to choose the best lot. And students, too, feel glad to get a good platform at the starting of their careers.

The final placement process of MBA students at PCTE is running at full swing.There are around 26 companies who have already offered jobs to more than 60 students from the current passout batch of MBA final of PCTE in the field of operations, sales/marketing, finance, research etc.

The maximum package offered to the students is Rs. 6.25 Lakh (including base salary and shares) by Google for the position of 'Ad Creatives', followed by ICICI Bank that has offered package ranging from Rs.3.70 lakh per annum to Rs.4 lakh per annum. Some of the leading companies, which have already offered the jobs to students here include Ispat Industries, Aditya Birla Cement, Yes Bank, Malwa, Berger Paints, India Bulls, Reliance, Birla Sunlife, ICICI Bank, ICICI Prudential, Liliput, Ranbaxy, Eastman, GettIt, Square Corp, Sonalika, CBOP, Eli Lilly, DELL, Mafoi, Copal Partners etc.

The companies which have almost reached final stages of recruitment process for MBA students are Google, HSBC, Max New York Life Insurance, Thomas Cook, Naukri.com. ICICI Bank. It may be mentioned here that these companies are recruiting MBA students of only selected campus from Punjab, including PCTE, APJ and Punjabi University, Patiala, for the last three years.

For the Joint Campus Recruitment Process, PCTE had invited about 300 students from GJU Hisar, GNDU, Amritsar, Hindu College of Management, Sonepat, ACETT Amritsar, PIMT Mandi Gobindgarh, BBMB, Sonepat, to participate in the process of 600 vacancies of Google, HSBC and McKinsey. The process was held in the first week of February.

ICICI Bank has recruited 12 students at a package ranging from Rs.3.50 to Rs. 4 lakh per annum, third year in a row. Yes Bank has offered around Rs 2 to Rs 2.40 lakh per annum excluding variable pay for the positions of Officer-Trade Finance/Associate Sales Managers etc. Copal Partners (One of the leading internationally renowned finance research organisations) has offered Rs 2.93 lakh per annum for finance students. Berger Paints has offered package ranging from Rs 2 lakh to Rs. 2.50 lakh per annum for the position of TSO. Birla has recruited the students for the position of Agency Manager at a package ranging from Rs.2.5 to Rs. 3.00 lakh per annum. DELL has offered Rs. 1.87 lakh per annum for their Mohali office. Ranbaxy has offered position of management trainee (Sales & Marketing) at a package of Rs.2.45 lakh to Rs. 2.88 lakh per annum.

“This year, companies started approaching us in the month of November 2006 and by the start of the year more than half of the batch has been placed in the different companies. Introduction of new brands in the list of recruiters of MBA students of PCTE such as Ispat Industries, Aditya Birla Cement, Google, HSBC, Berger Paints, Eli Lilly have been source of encouragement for our students", said Dr K.N.S.Kang, Director, PCTE.

One of the students said that this year there was a sharp rise in the salary packages offered to the students by different companies.The average offered salary was touching the range from Rs.2.70 lakh to Rs. 2.95 lakh per annum. "Almost all of us are getting good placements", added Shilpa Arora, who has been selected by ICICI.



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