L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Overturned truck waiting for cops
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 10
It has been more than 40 hours when a truck overloaded with rice husk overturned on Ferozepore road near Nagpal Regency hotel, but the city traffic police has been unable to shift it.

The truck and the husk sprawled all over the place was hampering traffic. It blocked more than half the road and full space of the footpath.The truck had overturned late on Thursday night. Luckily, no one was seriously injured. The driver and his support staff suffered bruises.

The truck despite its huge load managed to reach well to the centre of the city without any cop challaning it for overloading and posing threat to road security.

DSP, Traffic, Paramjit Singh Virk said the truck had to be emptied before it could be brought back on wheels and towed away. He said it was a time consuming process but expressed surprise that the vehicle was still in that position.

Long queues of vehicles were seen moving at slow pace near the accident site due to the blockade caused by the vehicle. With the red lights at Bhai Bala Chowk located not far away, traffic jams took place many times in the day.

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High steel prices continue to trouble industry
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 10
The government’s effort towards controlling steel prices has failed to address the woes of steel consuming industry. Local industrialists said the Prime Minister’s move to get back hike in rates of hot-rolled or coil-rolled did not manage to tackle the problem of rising steel prices as a whole.

“Even after the Steel Authority of India (SAIL) rolled back increase in steel prices by 50 per cent, Rs 500 per tonne, there was no roll back in case of cold-rolled steel. This was apart from the fact that private manufacturers of steel effected only a nominal roll-back in case of hot-rolled (HR) coil prices,” said president of Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry P.D. Sharma.

For steel-consuming industries like the cycle and engineering, rates of cold-rolled coil have a significant bearing on costs, as ultimately is cold-rolled (CR) coil that is used by them. “Big industrialists, after obtaining HR coils, convert them into CR coils in their factories. As rates of CR coils have not been reduced as desired, steel consuming industry has to suffer on account of high prices.”

Various measures, including change in method of fixing prices and reduction in custom duty on imported steel scrap are needed to tackle the problem, said industry representatives.

Condemning the existing method of determining rates based on import parity, they said this method needed to be done away with.

Industrialists also said that steel rounds, which are used widely by tiny, small and medium size of units, were also highly priced. “Rounds are produced by small secondary producers mainly by induction furnaces. Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited also produces rounds, which are pitched very high and should be rolled back,” said Sharma.

He emphasised that reduction in customs duty on imported steel scrap from the existing 5 per cent to 0 per cent. 

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Highway body sharp on tax, lax on upkeep
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 10
Charging of hefty amounts as toll tax notwithstanding, the National Highway Authority of India(NHAI) is giving the commuters a shabby treatment by continuing with the patchwork on National Highway Number 1 passing through Ludhiana.

The condition remains the same on the entire GT Road between Ludhiana and Delhi which is being repaired in patches instead of recarpeting.

This despite the fact that the former NDA government at the Centre had set up toll-tax barriers at Doraha, Ambala and Karnal on the plea that the revenue thus generated would be used for providing better roads.

Though the commuters are paying hefty toll taxes at three places when they travel from Ludhiana to New Delhi, the road they get in return is ridden with patches on most of the places. The work of laying gravel mixed with bitumen is continuing at several places.

Even today the work was in progress near Doraha, just a few metres away from the toll plaza. The similar kind of repair work done in December had given away and the process to fill these gaps was going on.

‘‘They are repairing it in patches for the past three months. Earlier, we thought that the road would be re-laid after carrying our repairs but after patchwork nobody turned up. Now they have come again but the same old story is being repeated. ’’ said the commuters.

They said the authority, which was making big money by levying Rs 45, Rs 60, Rs 120 and Rs 340, for lighter to heavier vehicles, was saving money on maintenance.

‘‘Why should we pay them any toll tax if they cannot maintain the GT Road well? If they had to construct the entire road what would they have done.

“The Centre should order an inquiry to find out where the money generated was going when the authority was not spending enough to maintain the roads, ’’ said Dr Muktinder Singh, a local resident and a frequent traveller.

He added that he was pained to see that the GT Road was being given such a treatment.

‘‘If you drive through this road, it is a bumpy ride. Otherwise it should be smooth. And it is one of the prominent roads of the country?’’ he asked.

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Rural sports council reconstituted
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, March 10
Paramjit Singh Khatra and Jagroop Singh Jarkhar have been unanimously elected chairman and president of the Punjab Rural Sports Promotion Council (PRSPC), respectively. They were elected at the annual general meeting of the council held at the Guru Nanak Stadium here today.

Representatives of all rural sports clubs of Punjab and members of the PRSPC attended the meeting. Earlier, Prthipal Singh Batala, the outgoing president of the council, read out the report, which was approved by raising hands by the members. He also dwelt the achievements of the council during the last calender year.

The meeting also resolved to nominate DGP, Punjab, Rajdeep Singh Gill, and former union minister and president of the Punjab Olympics Association Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa as chief patrons and Director, Sports, Punjab, Pargat Singh as patron.

Other office-beares of the council are: vice-chairmen- Jarnail Singh Mainipur (president, Deep Singh Kabaddi Cup), Steven Grewal (president, Surjit Foundation, Canada) and Gurmeet Singh Khudia; general secretary- Bikar Singh; senior vice-presidents - Tarlochan Singh Grewal of Lalton Kalan, Kuldeep Singh Sarabha, Gurwinder Singh Udhonangal of Amritsar, Baljeet Singh Gill, Darshan Singh, Gurnam Singh Cheema, Balbir Singh; vice-presidents- Harvir Singh Boparai, Kuldeep Singh Issewal, Dhanjeet Singh, Sukhdev Singh Mangat, Balvinder Singh Ghaloti, Surinder Singh Tony Kalakh; advisers: Teja Singh Dhaliwal, Jaildar Yadvinder Singh, Harbhajan Mann, Swarn Singh Dhudike, Ramandeep Singh Grewal; finance secretary - Pavittar Singh; organising secretary - Dr Kulwant Singh Sohal.

Besides, Prof Kanwaljeet Singh of Guru Nanak Engineering College, Ludhiana, has been appointed the chief spokesperson of the council.

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SAD for scrapping Article 356
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 10
The minister for cooperatives, defence services welfare, removal of grievances, pension and welfare of the pensioners, Capt Kanwaljeet, today said that his party was for the abrogation of the Article 356 of the Constitution besides redefining the central-state relationships. He said the clause 5 of the Water Treaties Termination Act, 2004 would be repealed at any cost.

Talking to reporters here yesterday, Capt Kanwaljeet Said, in view of the water-sharing disputes the central-state relationship needed to be redefined. He said during the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) regime a study group had been formed, of which he was also a member, to look into center-state relationships in which SAD had suggested scrapping of the Article 356 as it was mostly misused.

He said his party had opposed the clause 5 of the Act at the time of its passage also but could hardly do anything as they were told about it only 10 minutes before it was presented into the Assembly.

On the issue of being denied the prestigious finance portfolio, Capt Kanwaljeet Singh said it was the prerogative of the Chief Minister. Moreover, he hastened to add, “I think the agriculture community could be served the best through the cooperative ministry only.” To a question whether he did not think Manpreet Badal was too junior to hold finance portfolio, he remarked, “He is a well read, intelligent and competent person”. To another question about whether he would like to offer any advice to him (Manpreet), he remarked, “Only if it is solicited”.

Capt Kanwaljeet later went around the cattle show organised by the Progressive Dairy Farmers’ Association at the Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University here. He also distributed prizes among the farmers whose cattle were adjudged as the best.

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NGO doles out aid to poor students
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, March 10
Yog aur Sewa Pariwar, (YSP) Ludhiana, distributed readymade dresses to the needy students of Shri Guru Virjan and Arya Samaj School, Kidwai Nagar, Ludhiana here today. Schoolchildren were given lunch after the function.

R.P. Jalan, patron of YSP, presided over the function.G.R. Vij, president of YSP and G.L. Brara, honoured the principal, Kiran Jha, and other teachers of the school for their dedicated services to the school.

Paramjit Singh, vice-president, V.P. Verma, vice-president, Vinod Dawar vice-president, Usha Jain, Arun Garg, Harish Jain, Amarjit Singh, Atam Parkash, Sat Pal Uppal. Harbans Lal , Som Nath, Ramesh Kumar, Harish Madan, Kamla Negi etc were present at the function.

The Principal thanked Yog Aur Sewa Parivar for its help. G.R. Vig announced that two more schools of the area would soon be covered under students aid programme. 

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Sarpanches apprised of human rights
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, March 10
A four-day workshop on the status of human rights in Punjab was inaugurated at Lajpat Rai DAV College here today by B.C. Rajput, member, Punjab Human Rights Commission. The workshop was sponsored by the UGC.

Addressing the gathering, Rajput apprised sarpanches and members of different panchayats of Jagraon and Sidhwan Bet blocks about their rights.

He said that the PHRC was set up in the state in 1997. He said that the state commission and the National Human Rights Commission are parallel bodies.

Rajput referred to the universal declaration of human rights by the UNO in 1948. The PHRC has so far received 86,059 complaints out of which 83,102 have been decided.

On this occasion, Braham Dev, principal of the college, Dr G.S. Bajwa, director, IAS and Allied Services Training Centre, Punjabi University, Patiala, Rekha Sharma and Bimal Garg were also present. 

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Beauticians fare well during farewell season
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 10
Beauticians in the city are having a field day as several girl students from different colleges make a beeline to get themselves ready for farewell parties these days.

Starting from a simple manicure and pedicure, these fashion savvy girls ask for good hairstyles, simple party make-over, saree draping, and highlighting. For a majority of them, money is not a problem.

To lure the middle class segment, some beauticians are even offering "special student discounts".

Farewell parties have become a routine affair in recent years. Earlier, there used to be one farewell party for outgoing students in a college. Now, the trend has witnessed a huge change. Seeing the enthusiasm among students, each department has started organising its own party.

Jaya Rastogi, who had recently started a beauty parlour at her house said that she was getting a tremendous response from young girls. She said that they were so conscious about their outfits and looks that they usually come with their dresses to consult about hair-style and make-up.

"They ask about which colour suits them or whether they should let their hair loose or tie it in a bun. Some of them are naturally beautiful and we tell them not to go for heavy make-up but to no avail. They don’t mind spending between Rs 800 to Rs 1500 on make-up and hairstyle," said Rastogi.

Another beautician Indra Ahluwalia said that girls were ready to spend anything for a good and different look. Some girls who have problems like acne, black circles and blemishes start coming to parlours for treatment much before their party.

We give them a good facial and cleansing according to their skin. They book dates and time to avoid any last minute inconvenience, she added.

A parent whose daughter studies in BA III said that parties had become very lavish.

She said college authorities should put some limits on students. "I cannot afford to spend so much on her make-up.

She has even threatened to boycott the party if I don’t give her the money for her make-up," she said on condition of anonymity.

Meanwhile, girl students justify their stand by saying that the party would be the last occasion when they would meet all their friends, juniors, and faculty. So, they wanted to look "their best".

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‘Akhand path’ at gaushala from March 16

Mandi Ahmedgarh, March 10
The newly constituted management committee of Shri Radha Krishan Gaushala, formerly known as Seth Gobindmal Chanan Ram Parmapati Gaushala, at Kaind village has decided to organise a ‘akhand path’ from March 16 to 18. The decision was taken at a meeting held at the ‘gaushala’ premises on Friday.

Referring to the decision taken at the meeting, Bimal Kumar Sharma, patron of the 71-member committee, said prominent personalities including legislators and parliamentarians had consented to grace the occasion and extend support to the noble cause undertaken by social organisations of the area.

Sharma claimed that the condition of cows and calves had improved after the newly constituted committee took over the management of the ‘gaushala’.

He said that a large number of donors including local traders and farmers from the area had come forward to provide concentrates and green fodder. Deepak Sharma, Tajinder Bhandari, Rajni Kant, Amit Joshi, Sanjiv Sharma were present. — OC

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Now, deposit LIC premium at UTI Bank
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 10
The Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India inaugurated a counter at the Miller Ganj branch of UTI Bank for the collection of LIC premiums here today.

Inaugurating the counter, senior divisional manager of LIC S.C. Dhingra said the endeavour to offer the facility of depositing insurance premiums to its customers through the bank was a move towards bettering services.

He said a duly signed receipt of the bank would be issued and the same could be produced for income tax purposes as well. As many as 500 offices of UTI Bank would extend this service, he said.

Among others present on the occasion were Rajesh Batra, assistant vice-president and branch head, UTI, and marketing manager, LIC, S.K. Saxena.

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