L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Lok adalat settles 8,166 cases, awards Rs 27 cr
Rajneesh Lakhanpal

Ludhiana, March 17
It was a mela like scene in the districts courts complex here today as a large number of people thronged the lok adalat held here. Judges from across the state, including the special judge, CBI court, Patiala, were deputed in the lok adalat to hear more than 10,000 cases. Around 30 judges from various districts were present.
The lok adalat settled 8,166 cases. Compensation of more than Rs 27 crore was awarded to the litigants. 

District and sessions judge Harbans Lal disclosed that 54 benches were constituted to hear the cases. For the smooth conduct of the lok adalat, 16 enquiry counters were set up. Lawyers, judicial staff and NGOs were deputed on the enquiry counters.

The managing committee of Gurdwara Shree Dukh Niwaran Sahib arranged a community langar for the public. Ten chabeels were also organised. It was a well managed show by the Legal Services Authority. 

Earlier, Justice Viney Mittal was accorded a warm welcome by the district administration, judges and lawyers. Sessions judge Harbans Lal, deputy commissioner Sumer Singh Gurjar, DIG Ishwar Singh, SSP, Ludhiana, R.K. Jaiswal, District Bar Association president Hemant Kalia presented bouquets to the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Additional sessions judges H.P.S. Mahal, Sanjeev Berry, Gurbir Singh, A.K. Mehta, Satvinder Singh, R.L. Ahuja, chief judicial magistrates K.S. Cheema and S.S. Dhaliwal, civil judge, senior division, Tarsem Mangla, additional civil judge, senior division, Balwinder Goel, members of the Bar council, K.R. Sikri, Ashok Bhakri, president of the Labour Courts Bar Association Chaman Lal Vashist were also present on the occasion.

The benches were headed by judicial magistrates Manoj Singla, Shatin Goyal, Charanjeet Arora, K.K. Jain, Ranjan Khullar, K.S. Sullar, Gurdarshan Kaur, Ravi Inder Kaur, Manjinder Kaur, Palwinderjit Kaur, Navjot Kaur Sohal, Rakesh Mittal and S.S. Jossan.

President of the District Consumer Forum A.S. Narula disclosed that 82 cases out of 111 were settled. The consumers were awarded compensation of Rs 8 lakh. Labour court presiding officer A.K. Singla said 146 cases were settled and a compensation of Rs 7,83,678 was awarded.



Thousands throng PAU kisan mela
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana March 17
Seeds of new and improved varieties developed and released by PAU continue to be the star attraction of mela. Farmers were spotted carrying seed bags right from 8.30 in the morning. The farmers either stayed overnight or queued up early in the morning to ensure their requirement of seeds.

Farmers check the varieties of sugercane displayed during the kisan mela being organised by Punjab Agricultural University in Ludhiana.
Farmers check the varieties of sugercane displayed during the kisan mela being organised by Punjab Agricultural University in Ludhiana. — A Tribune photograph

Farmers evinced keen interest in social and welfare slogans. Apart from environmental issues these included slogans on female foeticide, child education, work culture, drug abuse etc. 

For the first time an exhibition for generating awareness about HIV/AIDS was organised by NSS in collaboration with Extension Education experts.

University security personnel had a tough time handling the heavy vehicular traffic. 
Every inch of parking space near gate No.1 was occupied. A beeline of cars, jeeps etc. loaded with seed bags plants was witnessed here. The traffic on the Ferozepore road also moved at a slow pace. It seemed as a sea of humanity surged to the mela. 

A bond of faith and confidence between PAU and farmers was discernible in the fields of vast university campus where farmers were posing thought provoking questions to experts.

Putting across counter questions by the enlightened farmers was a common sight at many field demonstration sites. It was truly a day of knowledge dissemination.

During the inaugural ceremony, the Chief Guest gave away the Chief Minister's prize to Mohinder Singh Dosanjh for diversification and Sukhpal Singh Bhullar for horticulture. Ranjit Singh Sidhu and Balraj Singh received the prize for their feat in poultry and dairy farming, respectively.

Dr. Sarjit Singh Gill, who superannuated as Director Extension Education, PAU, was honoured for his concerted efforts in popularising last year's mela slogan 'Save Water Save Punjab'. Kamaldeep Singh Sangha, Joint Director, Cooperative Societies, Jalandhar, was felicitated for popularising farm literature.

Farmers from all over the state evinced keen interest in the field demonstration and agro industrial exhibition. The seed sale counter and farm literature stall witnessed a heavy rush. The technical session was another highlight where the farmers' queries were answered by the university experts.

All-India Radio, Jalandhar, was in forefront with the live broadcasting of mela from the university campus. 



Bankers recover 4 cr 
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 17
Bankers literally laughed their way to banks from the state-level lok adalat after recovering Rs 4 crore from over 1000 loan defaulters without filing recovery suits in regular courts, as the matters were compromised through a pre-litigative section of the adalat today.

The loan defaulters, too, were beaming as they got maximum concession on the interest incurred from the bankers with the persuasions of judicial officers heading the bench and members of the adalat. A number of defaulters cleared their arrears in cash to the bankers.

Nine benches were constituted to hear the pre-litigative cases pertaining to bankers and the BSNL. Law officer of the Oriental Bank of Commerce H.S. Saini revealed that their bank alone recovered Rs 1.5 crore in 85 cases.

With the settlement of such disputes, bankers have been saved from spending huge amounts on affixing court fee at the time of filing the case, besides paying fee to the lawyers for contesting the cases. Usually, it takes years for a case to reach a logical conclusion.

On the other hand, the loan defaulters, too, have benefited. They have been saved from contesting the cases, which were to be filed by the bankers to recover their loan amounts. Now the disputes have been resolved. It would also be helpful to the already overburdened judiciary from such cases.

In an interesting case, the bench headed by Sajneev Berry, Additional Sessions Judge, and Sunil Dutt succeeded in resolving the money dispute pending between the parties for the past 14 years. The suit for the recovery of Rs 1,20000 was filed by Shikha Jain of Ghas Mandi against Vashisht Steels Ltd, Khanna.

The case was decreed by the lower court in November 1995. But the losing party went in appeal. Ultimately, the winner of the case was not able to get the decreetal amount. But today the matter was compromised. Similarily, there were a number of cheque bounce cases. Matrimonial disputes pending for years were settled by persuading the parties. 



Agri clinics: Banks fail to meet targets
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service 

Ludhiana, March 17
spite constant endeavour to promote the setting up of agri-clinics, banks in the state have failed to meet the targets this year too. Till December 2006, only seven agri-clinics and agri-business centres were set up against the target of 180.

Last year too, banks fell short of the target and managed to finance only 20 such clinics. The abysmally low performance might get some fillip as the government has approved a scheme to cover agri-business centres under the Capital Subsidy Scheme.

Bank officials in Punjab are expecting the scheme, which would be implemented in the current financial year itself, to contribute towards boosting the setting up agri-clinics. 

The concept of agri-clinics was mooted with a view to generating self-employment and to provide expert advice to farmers on cropping practices, market trends, prices of various crops, information on latest technologies etc. Banks are providing easy loans for the purpose to farm graduates. 

Low performance in this field is attributed to a lukewarm response from young agriculture graduates in the state who, say banks, are preferring routine jobs and other lucrative business options. "At some places despite providing training, youngsters did not come forth to set up clinics," a bank official said. 

Claims by bank officials that people had begun understanding the importance of expert advice regarding agriculture through such clinics only proved hollow, as results portrayed otherwise.

To attract more youth to the concept, banks have been approaching universities, employment exchanges and also agriculture officers to obtain lists of agri-graduates. However, efforts did not yield the desired results and more measures are being taken by the government and also banks in this direction.

The Capital Subsidy Scheme would include agri graduates trained under agri-clinics and agri-business centres on or after April 1, 2004. Those who availed of loan earlier would also be eligible for subsidy for expansion to existing units or for fresh investment.

Subject to a ceiling, 25 per cent capital subsidy on total capital cost would be provided, said bank officials. Full interest subsidy would also be eligible for the first two years of a project subject to conditions.

"Agri graduates who can effectively utilise their skills by providing expert guidance if they have such centres would now find it even more attractive to enter this domain. We are expecting the scheme to improve financing for such clinics in the state," an official said. 



Leader’s b’day wish: Open forgotten college
Foundation stone was laid 27 years ago
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, March 17
On his birthday here, president of the local unit of BJP Ramesh Ghaie, has called upon various social and political parties to impress upon Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to initiate the process for opening a government degree college.

Interestingly, the foundation stone of the college was laid at the local MGMN Senior Secondary School by him 27 years ago.

SAD leaders and supporters of Abdul Gaffar, party candidate, flocking the area during pre-election days were put to shame by the leaders of other parties and residents of area as according to them, Badal, who could not manage to open a degree college (for which he had laid the foundation stone) during his three terms as the Chief Minister, should not dare seek votes for his candidate Abdul Gaffar.

"If we want to avoid awkward questions about worthiness, our leaders during election period we should impress upon Badal to manage to open degree college for which he had laid foundation stone at Gandhi school here in 1979," said Ramesh Ghaie, while addressing a gathering on occasion of his birthday party at local Railway Road here on Thursday.

The veteran leader recollected that in the past 27 years, leaders of almost all political parties had addressed gatherings at Mahatma Gandhi Memorial National Senior Secondary School, but nobody bothered to enquire about the progress of the college project, though its foundation stone laid in 1979 stands in the third block of the school itself.

According to Ghaie, Badal had passed verbal orders regarding the establishment of the college in the town, but these had not been acted upon till now.

He said only the Janta College for Women and Rashtrya Adarash Mahila College were there to meet the educational needs of the women of the area.

Though the educational needs of the town have increased manifold since 1979, no recognised institute has come up for imparting education to the girls beyond Class XII.

As a majority of the parents could not afford to send their daughters to other cities for higher studies, the girls had no option but to sit idle at home or do BA privately, he rued.

Kuldip Singh Karwal, general secretary, SAD (youth wing), Happy Verma, general secretary, AISSF, and Yash Pal, general-secretary, BJP, endorsed the demand raised by BJP president.



Parties ignoring workers, promoting progeny: Johal
Mahesh Sharma

Ahmedgarh, March 17
Joginder Singh Johal, eldest son of the former Chief Minister Punjab Darbara Singh has accused senior leadership of all political parties of ignoring patriotic and selfless workers of their respective organisations and passing on the reins of the party to their sons. He accused that the parties like the Congress were not giving families of dedicated workers their due.

Terming the trend as a degradation of values and norms he alleged that leaders in the Congress party had been ignoring families which, had contributed a lot during the freedom struggle and later in curbing terrorism in the border state.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune Johal accused leadership of all political parties of keeping profit earning offices within their own families. "Contrary to political scenario three decades ago, when leaders used to keep their wards away from political affairs, present day chiefs try their best to retain all profit earning offices in their families," said Johal.

Johal named Sukhbir Singh Badal (son of Parkash Singh Badal), Parminder Singh Dhindsa (son of Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa), Ranjit Singh Talwandi (son of Jagdev Singh Talwandi), Iman Singh Mann (son of Simranjit Singh Mann) and Ran Inder Singh (son of Captain Amarinder Singh) as few examples of how power had been passed on from onegeneration to the next.

Johal rued that even successive leaderships in the Congress had ignored the contribution of his fore-fathers in the pre-independence and post independence period. "It is a pity that Congress leaders forgot sacrifice of Dalip Singh, my grandfather and his brother Mehar Chand in the freedom struggle besides ignoring my father's contribution too as the CM and a working committee member."

Johal claimed that during his tenure as the CM his father had not allowed any of family members to interfere in government affairs. "Though we used to play active role in his campaign we were not allowed to interfere in official matters afterwards," said Johal, adding that he along with his friends used to paste banners and make flags also.

Johal, who is presently looking after his business at Dhanbad is aloof from Congress politics now for indifferent attitude of the senior leaders of the party. His father besides heading Punjab government from 1980 to 1983 had served party as a working committee member for 37 years, he added. 



Anti-Boparai voices get SAD support
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Patiala, March 17
The race for the post of vice-chancellor of Punjabi University here has gained momentum with students and faculty members today holding a protest in front of the main gate of the university. They were demanding removal of the vice-chancellor Swaran Singh Boparai.

The protesters blocked traffic on the main gate at 9 am. They staged a dharna till 11 am raising slogans against the vice-chancellor. The university authorities, however, got opened the back gates to let the university staff in.

The protesters alleged that in past five years the vice-chancellor had ruined career of many students. The students had been rusticated for demanding their rights in a democratic manner. Certain candidates were initially recruited on a temporary basis and later brought on the university roles in violation of the rules, they alleged.

The protesters got the support of the local SAD leaders. Former SAD minister Ajaib Singh Makhmailpur addressed the dharna. He said the alleged misappropriations in the university would be taken up with party president Sukhbir Badal.

The agitating students claimed that the SAD president had called them to Chandigarh to discuss their demands.



At the Crossroads
Storyteller as a roving ambassador 

This time again when he met me in Punjabi Bhawan (Ludhiana), I found myself guilty of omission and not commission. Such a great short story writer had remained unnoticed by me although he had earned kudos from litterateurs in India as well as Pakistan.

He writes his stories in Punjabi in Urdu script, called Shahmukhi. He is instantly read in Pakistan, whereas in India some readers have to wait for the change of script, although the older generation is well conversant with the Shahmukhi script.

The theme of his stories is the queer situation in Jammu and Kashmir, where there is no rift between the Hindus/ Sikhs and Muslims, but the terrorists are bent upon driving a wedge between them.

Bullets and bombs can never be selective in their targets, with the result the blood of innocent persons is shed indiscriminately.

Khalid Hussain was born on April 1, 1945, at Udhampur, 66 km from Jammu Tawi. During the riots, on the eve of Partition in 1947, he lost his father and their house was burnt to cinders. Later the family shifted from Udhampur to Jammu as refugees. They had to undergo untold miseries for seven years in refugee camps. His mother took good care of him and provided him education up to matriculation. He got employment as a clerk in a government office of the state and continued his studies at the same time.

By dint of hard work, he rose to the position of additional deputy commissioner, Jammu, managing director, development corporation, Jammu, and deputy commissioner, Poonch. He retired as a special secretary, department of food and supply.

At present he is a member, Jammu and Kashmir state consumer protection commission. Indeed it is no news if a bureaucrat turns at one time into a creative writer, but a writer ascending the ladder of bureaucracy by slow degrees, while keeping aloft the banner of creativity, is a great news.

His latest publication Baldi Barf da Seik (The Searing Heat of Burning Snow) is a collection of his 42 selected short stories. All these stories concern one problem or the other being faced by the residents of Jammu and Kashmir due to the infiltration of terrorists from across the border.

In his stories Kawar Gandal and Halala, he has highlighted the fissures in familial relations in the background of the present situation of distrust in the valley.

Dard Vichhore da Haal conveys the tragic undertones of the lives of the people of Kashmir who have been caught in the crossfire, resulting in untold sufferings.

The story Dunghe Panian da Dukh is symbolic in form while it depicts certain aspects of Indian philosophy to strengthen his point of view. He has made use of interior monologue in the story Udeek da Qaidi that helps the reader to have a peep into the mind of the character. There is no doubt that he is the master of his craft. He avoids unnecessary details in his short stories and makes use of the episodes artfully. His heart beats for the welfare of his countrymen who crave for peaceful existence in 'the paradise on earth'.

Khalid Hussain never minces his words, rather he is forthright in the expression of his views. His sincerity of purpose has touched the hearts of the readers of Punjabi literature in India as well as Pakistan. He is a lovable person who has the knack of putting across his viewpoint convincingly in seminars held in Srinagar, Delhi, Ludhiana, Amritsar and Lahore.

Fakhar Zaman has called him 'a true writer'. Dr Noor has praised his method of interrelating cause and effect in an artistic manner. To me he seems to be a roving ambassador who never tires of telling the people to desist from adopting violent methods for the resolution of their problems. He asserts that only the sentiment of love for mankind can ensure peace and prosperity on this globe.

— N.S. Tasneem



Tata Sky World Cup offer 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 17
Tata Sky, a joint venture company of Tata and Star, has announced a promotional offer under which consumers, who purchase its connections by April 15, 2007, will get three months of free subscription on up to four televisions. In addition, 50 subscribers with their families will get a chance to watch the ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 final with superstar Hrithik Roshan on April 28 in Mumbai.

Vikram Mehra, Head, Consumer Marketing, Tata Sky Ltd, said, "It is an endeavor to provide cricket fans with an effective way of enjoying the stadium experience from the comfort of their homes"

He said the company's service makes it possible for viewers to select the camera angle from which they wish to watch their favourite cricketers. Highlights are also available on-demand, at any time during the match.

Besides, ActiveTM Sports by the company offers viewers the option of listening to commentary in a language of their choice and the convenience of extracting player statistics and ball trajectory at the press of a button. Since Tata Sky is a satellite television service, viewers will be able to watch all matches in DVD quality picture and CD quality sound.



Live cricket on mobile handsets
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 17
Subscribers of Spice Telecom will be able to view live matches during the Cricket World Cup 2007 on their handsets. Announcing this at a press conference held here yesterday, chief operating officer (COO) Man Mohan Nandwani said the service would be available for pre-paid as well as post paid customers.

The 'World Cup' services launched by the company include live matches, live updates and also a contest for subscribers.

Subscribers would be able to avail this facility by downloading a special software from the company's portal, called Cricket Genie. The application would facilitate ball by ball updates in animated form and users would also be able to view live scores for every match, results of concluded matches and highlights.



Emotional adieu to outgoing DC
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 17
The Deputy Commissioner's Office Employee's Association accorded a farewell to the outgoing Deputy Commissioner, Ashok Kumar Gupta at a function organised at Bachhat Bhawan here yesterday. The present incumbent, Sumer Singh Gurjar, was also warmly welcomed.

Gupta said during his short tenure of around one year he had the full cooperation from the officers and employees in the district. In view of the excellent working environment he could implement the programmes and policies of the government besides carrying out development work.

He said the staff had worked hard to complete the important task of distribution of relief and in holding elections in the district in addition to timely redressal of the grievances of the people.

Gupta said he had always tried his best urge the officials in completing the various works and had never given any punishment to any employee with malice. Gupta was presented a shawl and memento as a token of respect by the association. 



Woman injured in attack
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, March 17
Darshan Singh, Paramjit Singh and Rajinder Singh, alias Mintu, of Sarabha allegedly entered the house of Charanjit Kaur of their village and assaulted her with a sharp-edged weapon and a baseball bat. Sudhar police has registered a case on a complaint by the victim. Charanjit Kaur has been admitted to the civil hospital, Pakhowal. No arrests have been made so far.

4 booked for assault

Police has booked Kala and Sonu residents of Khacha Malak Road, Jagga a resident of Atam Nagar, and Danika a resident of Pabian, for intercepting Hargunjit Singh, a resident of Jagraon and assaulting him with sharp edged weapons. The local police has registered a case. The injured has been admitted in the civil hospital.

House burgled

Two gold earrings and gas cylinders were allegedly stolen from the house of Col. Bhagwant Singh of Chachrari. Police has registered a case. No arrest has been made so far. 



Extension lecture on capital markets
Our Correspondent

Doraha, March 17
Managing director of the Ludhiana stock Exchange H.S. Sidhu delivered an extension lecture on capital markets at the Doraha Institute of Management and Technology, Doraha, today. This was stated by Dr R.K. Lekhi in a press note issued here today.

Sidhu was accorded a warm welcome by Dr Lekhi. In his opening address, the director of institutions introduced the speaker to MBA students.

The resource person said an educated investor was a successful investor. The capital market was a broad term that included primary market and term lending institutions.

The history of stock exchanges was discussed at length, with the Bombay stock exchange (BSE) in focus. The post Independence scenario in the capital market witnessed drastic changes with the setting up of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), the National Stock Exchange (NSE) and depositors (DPs), daily settlement in the place of badla trading, introduction of T+2 settlement in 2003. The learned speaker informed that FIIs inflow in India was on the rise.

While answering the queries of MBA students, Sidhu stressed that stock exchanges were an epicentre of financial activities of a country. They were barometers of the economy.

They provided finance for productive outputs instrumental in capital generation, provided platform to investors for trade proceeding.

The speaker shared his valuable views on capital market reforms. The reforms did not happen overnight but countless people have slogged for over two centuries. The whole objective of reforms was to bring the stock markets to the centre stage and to check unfair trade practices.

The lecture ended with a vote of thanks by V.J. Rai.



Exhibition inaugurated
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 17
Knit World 2007, an exhibition on knitted garment allied machinery and accessories, was inaugurated here yesterday. The event that would continue till March 19 is approved by the India Trade Promotion Organisation and supported by various industry bodies like AEPC, Wool and Woollens Export Promotion Council, said a press note.

The exhibition strives to provide a platform for buyers and sellers in the industry and also make them aware of latest technologies in the industry across the globe through products put on display by major companies in the field. 



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