L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Badal to inaugurate Bhagwan Mahavir Meditation Centre today
Doraha set to be on world tourism map
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

The idol of Bhagwan Mahavir
The idol of Bhagwan Mahavir 

Doraha, March 30
Doraha is all set to be on the world Jain tourism map with the construction of Bhagwan Mahavir Vanasthali, Meditation and Interpretation Centre in sprawling over 11 acres. Chief minister, Parkash Singh Badal, would inaugurate the centre tomorrow morning in the presence of Jain saints and industrialists.

The project has been constructed at a cost of several crore of rupees with the efforts of Bhagwan Mahavir 2600th Birth Kalyanak Samiti, Punjab, and aided by both the state and the centre governments. Ram Kumar Jain, president of the Samiti said it was Badal who had given aid of Rs 2.60 crore for the project during his last term.

Jain, who is also the chairman of the Sharman Group of Industries and the inspiring force behind the project said the idea was conceived during the tenure of former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who released a fund of Rs 100 crore for the development of Jain religion.

Out of this Rs 1.81 cr was given to this centre, "My close friends and relatives arranged the remaining amount with the help of the Samiti and major part of the construction plan is finally ready for inauguration after five years of hard work,” he added.

A huge idol of Bhagwan Mahavir carved out of a single block of pink stone after two years of labour has been placed on a high mound at the south west-end of the Centre. The idol overlooks two buildings, again constructed in Red and Pink Rajasthani stone, and sprawling lawns with modern landscaping.

The two blocks akin to architecture of the Rashtrapati Bhawan would house a museum and an interpretation centre. Set in the peaceful country-side far away from the hustle and bustle of the industrial areas of Ludhiana , Khanna and Mandi Gobindgarh, the Centre would be an ideal place for meditation. Khanna Police has made elaborate security arrangements for tomorrow's function.



Cheating cases against students
Miscreants threaten DEO, others
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, March 30
A group of unidentified miscreants tried to pressurise a flying squad led by Major Singh Sandhu, DEO, Ludhiana to withdraw copy cases registered against eight candidates appearing in class XII examination being conducted at Adarsh Senior Secondary School, Dehlon, and Government Senior Secondary School, Pakhowal, centers on Thursday.

Seeking security for the members of the flying squad, the DEO brought the matter into the notice of Shiv Kumar Verma, SSP Jagraon.

At least four members of staff, including one superintendent and two deputy superintendents were relieved from the concerned examination centers.

According to the DEO, a group of miscreants allegedly tried to force him and his subordinates to withdraw cases registered against six students of class XII appearing in examination center at Adarsh Senior Secondary School Dehlon and another two at the Government Senior Secondary Pakhowal, who were caught using unfair means on Thursday evening.

"When we refused to succumb to their pressure they chased us on their motorcycles and intercepted our way. They even threatened us of dire consequences in case candidature of concerned students was not restored," alleged Sandhu.

"Though we could not identify the miscreants we have brought the matter into the notice of the police, for necessary action," Sandhu said. He did not rule out the possibility of instigation of miscreants by residents of the concerned villages and the staff sponsoring the menace of copying.

The relieved staff on the other hand has resented the action taken by the DEO against them. Nirmal Singh, superintendent, relieved from Government Senior Secondary School, Pakhowal, maintained that he along with other members of the staff had been made scapegoats for no fault of them.

"Though it was the responsibility of the invigilators deputed in rooms from where students were caught possessing objectionable material, the DEO instead of initiating action against them relieved me and Parminder Kaur deputy superintendent," rued Nirmal Singh. He said the invigilators had given written statement in the beginning of the session that they had searched all candidates sitting in their rooms.

Singh further argued that the board authorities had deputed only two invigilators for 278 class VIII and 155 class X candidates. Ultimately teachers from schools of the area had to be arranged, he added.

Students, however, protested against the move by the officials stopping them from cheating as according to them the practice prevailed during earlier examinations. “When no body preventing us from bringing pockets in English paper, why are you initiating action against us today," a girl student was reported to have said to one of the members of squad.

The squad caught 20 students using unfair means at Sihar, Kilaraipur and Latala centers earlier.



City Centre Scam: Police remand of accused extended
Rajneesh Lakhanpal

Ludhiana, March 30
Duty Magistrate Shatin Goyal today extended the police remand of two arrested accused in alleged multicrore City Centre Scam for a day.

The Vigilance Bureau officials today produced Amit Sardana, Director of Infrastructure Professionals Enterprises Private Ltd. (IPE), from Delhi and Kamal Kumar Verma, Director Special Project, before the Duty Magistrate, as the concerned Judge was on leave.

The Special Public Proesecutors -- Ashwani Bedi and M L Solanki -- raised demand for extending the police remand of accused to facilitate the investigation.

They submitted that as per the disclosure statement made by the accused, Vigilance Bureau had recovereed one CD from them and several incriminating documents.

They wanted to study the documents properly and need sufficient time for questioning the accused.

However, the defence counsel refuted the contention. He said that the company was given the contract during the regime of SAD-BJP goverment in the year 2000.

He added that the prosecution has been given sufficient time for the interrogation of the accused. After hearing the rival contentions, the Judge extended the ramand.

The accused were arrested on March 23, 2007. On the next day, they were produced before the court and remanded to four days police remand. Thereafter, their remand was extended for two days.



300 industry units decide to outsource
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 30
Striving to combat global competition, machine tools manufacturing industry here has decided to outsource most of its works. Industry leaders said the decision that would help over 500 units here would result in saving on time and cost fronts apart from enabling better utilisation of labour and generating employment by passing on job work.

The number of machine tool manufacturers in Ludhiana has been on a decline on account of inabilities to face competition. "We have decided to engage outside parties for job work related to different processes and even for manufacturing certain parts.

This would not only create more work for those taking up the job work, the specialisation in the sphere would result in an estimated 50 per cent cost saving besides helping us meet orders on time," said Kirpal Singh Sagar, president, Ludhiana Machine Tool Manufacturers Association.

The industry currently manufactures most of the parts required for machinery itself. As a result, not only is heavy capital investment required, expert workers have to remain idle when work related to a particular machinery is completed. Time and increased costs are the other bottlenecks which reduce competitiveness of this industry.

The industry, apart from catering to domestic demand, also supplies to countries in the Middle East. Enhanced competitiveness would help manufacturers in this field tap European markets too, said industrialists.

As per industry's plans, vendors would be invited for job work through advertisements and those selected would get contracts from interested units.

"As we have taken the decision on a collective basis, any vendor who takes up the job stands to benefit on account of large number of orders," added Sagar. Industrialists said during the initial phase they would contact vendors within Ludhiana and later across the state for outsourcing.

Implementing this decision would mean that this industry would derive benefits accruing on account of functioning on a collective basis. "As the ones who take up job work would be able to specialise and derive benefits of enhanced productivity, the same would be passed on to consumer also. It would result in better availability of resources for this industry."

Those engaged in the business said demand in near future was expected to rise manifold due to major infrastructure investment by the government.

"Domestic demand is all set to rise. That apart, timely delivery would ensure an increased number of international contracts as well, a sphere where the untapped potential is quite high for this segment."



Farmers warned against early sowing of paddy
Our Correspondent

Samrala, March 30
Dr N. S. Mallri, director Extention Education, PAU, cautioned the farmers against an early sowing of paddy and also reduce area under cultivation of paddy crop in view of the scarcity of water as well as the declining soil health in the state.

He called upon the farmers and farm women attending a field day on ‘Crop diversification and weed control in crops’, organised by Krishi Vigyan Kendra and the department of Agronomy, Agromet and Forestry, at Koom Kalan village, to diversify into pulse and oilseed crops. He also urged the farmers to explore the markets on their own for more viable solutions.

About 500 farmers and farm women took part in the field day. Chief guest Dr Sat Pal Mehra, additional director, Extention Education, PAU, asked the farmers to reduce expenditure on crop cultivation and stressed on judicious use of fertilisers and pesticides. Dr U S Wali, Prof (Agron.), advised the farmers on weed control in maize and groundnut crops. 



Woman run over by bus

Jagraon, March 30
Nirmala Devi (52), a resident of Mohalla Sancharn here, was run over by a bus of Anand Bus Service near court complex today. The accident occurred when she was alighting the bus. The incident took place just few yards away from the traffic police picket.

The traffic police had claimed a day before that drivers shall not be allowed to park their vehicles along the G.T. Road. The erring drivers of the buses have been challaned and issued warning to take their vehicles inside the bus stand for the convenience of the passengers and the traffic. — OC



Boy commits suicide
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 30
A 17-year-old boy allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself from the ceiling at his house in Ram Nagar, Mundian Kalan, this morning.

His father, Umesh Pandit, a migrant labourer, said his son was suffering from some disease for the last two months and was not able to attend school regularly. Police source said the boy could have ended his life for not performing good in the exams.

No suicide note has been recovered. The Division No 7 police was investigating the matter.



At The Crossroads
Promoting Punjabi poetry in foreign lands

Ludhiana, March 30
Bubbling with new ideas for the promotion of Punjabi poetry in foreign lands through medium of the English language, Amar Jyoti is on a visit these days to her homeland from Amsterdam (Netherlands).

She has been editing a bilingual (English and Punjabi) magazine for the past three years which, has served as a bridge between poetic literature in Punjabi and Dutch.

She left Chandigarh in 1982, where she was editing Pankharian, a Punjabi monthly for children, for Amsterdam as a broadcaster for 'Radio Voice of Asia'. In 1994 she switched over to 'Radio Indian Time' as its producer for presenting programmes regarding Indian literature and culture.

She has five collections of Punjabi poems to her credit besides her research work. During her stay abroad, she earned a Ph.D. for her thesis 'Diasporic Suriname Poetry' and received a Diploma in the Dutch language.

Her poems are the voice of the woman of today who is eager to put her signatures on the sands of time. She is ever in quest of meaning of her life and the role she is destined to play in this world.

Like Sassi, the legendary heroine of a folk romance, she is walking bare-foot on the parched sand. In Punnu, of course, she can find the ultimate fulfillment of her desires. She has covered a long distance and it is well-nigh impossible for her to bear the pangs of separation any more.

Amar Jyoti is conscious of the fact that woman always gets lost in the labyrinths of relationships but she has no identity of her own. In her parental home, she is paraya dhan (someone else’s property), whereas in the house of her in-laws she is begaani dhi (someone else's daughter). As a result she regards herself as a rootless person, without any permanent address.

This feeling of rootlessness is further enhanced in an alien land. The language one speaks, the dress one wears and the food one cooks appear incongruous in exotic surroundings. At such places the pain of being a woman becomes even more acute because she is viewed there as a curio. Strange inquisitive looks peruse her face and she recoils more into the shelf of her misery. She has a bitter realisation that in her own country, she was considered at least the property of someone, whereas in a foreign country, she is regarded as the property of no one.

In the course of her musings about the fate of womankind in the past ages, Amar Jyoti dwells deeply on the plight of Sassi whose footprints, she feels, have been imprinted on the surface of her mind.

Then she is also reminded of Draupadi who was insulted in an open court. She was the victim of rapacity and lustfulness, a mere body devoid of soul or mind. Would that Draupadi assume the form of goddess Durga and avenge the wrong-doings meted out to her!

Amar Jyoti is not a sentimental poet, nor is she the victim of the phobia of male chauvinism. She is down to earth in her approach to the life of love and the love of life. She is the one whose innocent dreams have been shattered on the anvil of bitter experiences. Her longings for leading a life of her liking are not the outcome of narcissism. Rather, she wants to share the joys of life with man on an equal footing. Indeed her refined sensibilities can weave a palpable design when she is face to face with the image of true love -

You have entered my life in such a manner as has enwrapped me in the cloak of silken feelings

She is deeply immersed in folklore, apart from having interest in Indian mythology. Such an awareness of legendary and mythical personages gives a classical touch to the poetical rendering of her intimate feelings. In a forthright manner, she demands of Bulhe Shah the gifts of sincere feelings and honest living -O'Bulhe Shah!

You scoffed at the shams of your age Now teach us to live With dignity and honour.

— N.S. Tasneem



‘Create awareness about RTI Act’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 30
Punjab chief information commissioner Rajan Kayshap has called upon the district level officers, who have been designated as PIOs/APIOs to create proper awareness among the people about the Right to Information Act (RTI), under which any citizen can get any kind of information from all the departments.

He addressed a meeting of the officers of the district administration, police and heads of the other departments at mini-secretariat here today.

It is mandatory for all the PIOs/ APIOs to provide the information within a period of 30 days, whereas, for the police department, the deadline is of 48 hours from the submission of the application, he added.

Kashyap suggested the officers to go through the provisions of the Act, which was easily available in the market and could also be downloaded from the website of the commission.

People in developed countries like the USA, UK etc. were fully aware about the RTI Act and in our country; the awareness level was still low.

He advised the officers to put up boards in the premises about the nominated PIOs and the appellant authorities, in case, the appeal was to be made.

The RTI Act was a big support to the honest officers and was also a useful instrument in the hands of the people to check corruption elements at various levels, he added.

The commission had also told the deputy commissioners to organise orientation camps for the officers to train them about the setting up of the mechanism in their offices to provide the information under the Act through electronic forms.

Kayshap also suggested to the deputy commissioners to set up a separate counter at the Suvidha Centers in the District Head Quarters, where the applications under RTI Act could be received.

Under this act, all the SSPs have been designated as PIOs, so that information could be ensured within the fixed 48 hours and the deputy commissioners would be acting as coordinating officers, who would send the received applications to the concerned departments in order to supply the information to the seekers.

For the application received through the deputy commissioners, five more days could be taken in addition to 30 days. He asked the officers to have a feedback forms in their offices, so that they could get smooth flow of the information regarding the working of the department, which would help them to update the record.

Kashyap informed that the Information Commission itself had also been covered under the Act and it was also required to provide all kinds of information to the seekers under the Act.

Surinder Singh, Lt General Grover (both information commissioners), Ishwar singh, DIG, Ludhiana range, Sumer Singh Gurjar, deputy commissioner, R.K. Jaiswal, SSP, Pryank Bharti, ADC (D), K.P. Brar, ADC (G) and M.S. Kainth, joint commissioner, MC were also present on the occasion.



B’day celebrations of martyrs planned
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 30
Punjab state committee of the Marxist Communist Party of India (United) has decided to celebrate the birth anniversary of Shaheed Bhagat Singh throughout the year. The decision was taken at a meeting held under the chairmanship of Malkiat Singh here yesterday.

Addressing the meeting, Jagjit Singh Lyallpuri, national general secretary of the MCPI (U), said the decision was taken at the politburo meeting held at Hyderabad on March 10 and 11.

Kuldip Singh, state secretary of the MCPI (U) said, the meeting observed that the new Akali-BJP government was no different from its predecessors. The new government was continuing the policy of mega-projects and SEZs in the state and was silent on scrapping of this scheme in the state. 



Shahidi Chetna March concludes
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 30
The Shahidi Chetna March, which started from Hussainiwala in Ferozepur on March 23, concluded at Sukhdev's home here yesterday. The march was organised by the Internationalist Democratic Party.

According to the party president, Kheta Singh, the march was organised in order to create awareness among the people, particularly the youth, about the sacrifice of the martyrs like Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru.

“The modern generation is taking the freedom for granted. It is important to explain them as with how much difficulty and sacrifices it was won by the country,” he added.

Singh also opposed the indiscriminate economic liberalisation that was ignoring the interests of the farmers and the common masses. He said the land acquiring by the government for the big corporates must be banned at the earliest and there should be an end to the special economic zones.



Seminar on service tax

Ludhiana, March 30
The Ludhiana branch of the Northern India Regional Council of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) conducted a seminar on latest amendments in service tax and various issues concerning bank audits here on Thursday.

CA Ashok Batra from New Delhi delivered a talk on legal issues related to service tax and amendments. Amarjit Chopra, FCA, spoke about the recent RBI instructions to bank boards to appoint central auditors and raise the limits of advances to Rs 3 crore from the previous limit of Rs 1 crore for the purpose of bank audits. Among others present were Arun Gupta, chairman of the Ludhiana branch of ICAI.

Last date extended

Ashok Juneja, finance secretary, Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP), Punjab, has said the last date for submitting C forms under the Value Added Tax has been extended to June 30, 2007, from the previous date of March 31, 2007. "The date was extended following demands from trade and industry that was facing difficulties in obtaining C forms from certain states." — TNS



Panth Ratan Tohra Award for Alag
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 30
Swaroop Singh Alag, a renowned scholar, writer and chairman Alag Shabad Yug International Charitable Trust was honoured with the Panth Ratan Jathedar Tohra Memorial Award 2006-07 constituted by Sikh Education Society Chandigarh in memory of Jathedar Gurcharan Singh Tohra.

The award carries Rs 51,000 in cash, a memento, a shawl, citation and a siropa because for his selfless meritorious service to humanity for a long time.

Alag is the author of 65 highly acclaimed publications in various languages which are being distributed free of cost throughout the world by the Alag Shabad Yug Trust.

Alag thanked the organisers and expressed satisfaction that the research based Gurmat Literature being distributed by the trust was dynamic in disposition, reverential in character and reformative in nature. Other recipients of this year awards are Madanjeet Kaur of Amritsar and Gurnam Singh of Panjabi University, Patiala.



MC offices open today
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 30
All recovery branches of local municipal corporation would remain open on March 31 to enable people to deposit water and house-tax bills without interest by that date.



Police remand for PPCB official
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 30
Duty magistrate Shatin Goyal remanded Sandeep Behl, XEN, Punjab Pollution Control Board, after he was caught red-handed by the Vigilance Bureau for allegedly accepting bribe from a businessman. He was produced in the court today by the officials of the Vigilance Bureau.

The court has remanded the accused to police custody. He was arrested by the police on Thursday on the charges of accepting bribe of Rs 15000 and was booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act.



Kieis opens outlet
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 30
Kieis, a premier air conditioning and refrigeration solutions brand, opened its exclusive outlet here today.

Spread over three floors, the outlet would offer a variety of ACs to suit varied needs like outdoor models, split ACs, floor standing split ACs and also a four-way cassette model.

The company also offers commercial freezers designed to suit Indian business and weather conditions.

Speaking at the inauguration, MD V.K. Gupta said, “This is the first company direct outlet that will provide our products to the consumers at highly discounted company prices.”



Bicycle equipment store launched

Ludhiana, March 30
Striving to re-define bicycle shopping experience, TI Cycles of India launched their bicycle and fitness equipment store, 'BSA GO' here today.

The one-stop premium store for all bicycle and fitness equipment needs, the company is promoting cycling as a health and lifestyle option to discerning customers through its stores based on the touch and feel format. B. K. Singh, GM Sales, TI Cycles of India said, "With the changing retail landscape and consumer shopping habits, we believe that it was necessary to re-define the bicycle shopping experience in the country.” — TNS



SBP starts awareness survey about banking

Mandi Ahmedgarh, March 30
With an intention to create awareness about banking habits among masses, the State Bank of Patiala (SBP) has started door to door survey. The bank has called upon social organisations to join hands with its teams and inculcate saving and thrift trait habits among residents of their respective areas.

G S Bique, AGM of the bank disclosed this during an interaction with office bearers of various social organisations.

“Having emerged as the first financial organisation to achieve total computerisation and launch core banking, we have succeeded in knocking at the doors of common men to apprise them of uses of banking,” said Bique.

Elaborating on various service avenues, Bique informed that the SBP, since its inception, had been providing best financial facilities to all sections of the society. “However, we will focus our attention on agriculture sector and small and medium entrepreneurs now,” pointed Bique. — OC



Exhibition on yarn and accessories begins
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 30
Declining consumption of wool in the country can be controlled only if significant measures are taken in direction of innovations in woollen products, controlling fluctuations in prices of raw materials and promoting wool products, said S K Chaudhuri, director south-east Asia, Woolmark, while addressing a press conference here today.

Chaudhuri was in city to inaugurate a meet of knitwear and shawl industry being organised by the Woolmark and the Wool Club. The two-day meet, Wool-2008, would witness exhibition of yarn and other accessories.

Consumption of wool across the globe is on decline. In India, even as the current year consumption saw a minor rise, it is still 30 per cent less than 1995, added Chaudhuri.

He said major innovations were lacking in case of development of wool and its products. With wearing habits undergone change, need for innovations can not be ignored.

Sham Bansal, chairman of the Wool Club, India said, “Correct raw material and accessories are essential for cost effective and good quality knitwear. International and domestic markets are fiercely competitive which is why there is a need for careful planning and higher exposure for the industry.”



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