L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Admn mitigates widow’s plight with pittance
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana April 19
Life has been an unending struggle for 38-year-old Radha Bai ever since the death of her husband in February. With no source of income the hapless widow is not only faced with the momentous task of feeding her three children, one of them mentally challenged, but also has to repay a debt of Rs 25,000 that her husband had taken for the marriage of their eldest daughter. Her husband, who was a rickshaw-puller, was hit by a train on the railway track near Model Gram on February 19. She said, she did not get any compensation for the death of her husband as is given to the kin of accident victims.

One of her three sons (the eldest) is mentally challenged. The other two are aged between six and eight years.

She also came to attend the first sangat darshan programme held here recently in the hope of getting some relief. But as there is no provision for providing relief in such cases, the Deputy Commissioner ordered the District Red Cross to provide Rs 1,000 to her. With tears of disappointment rolling down her cheeks, she said her hopes had been dashed to the ground. "For how many days will I survive on this Rs 1,000? This is no compensation" she said.

When asked why she did not work, she said, she was prepared to work but could not since her children were small and one of them was required continuous looking after. She just wants to be able to provide one meal a day to her children.

Hailing from Chhatarpur District of Madhya Pradesh, Radha Bai along with late husband Jagdish had come to the city in search of a better life several years ago. Though not very happy with the earnings, they were satisfied with whatever little they had. But destiny played its role and she was left alone to suffer away from home.

"I also have to repay the debt that we had taken for our daughter's marriage from some of the relatives in village. I can not go back to my native state as I don’t have money. If they (the officials) are eager to listen to common people's woes, then they must provide a suitable solution too. The meagre amount of Rs 1,000 can’t make me come out of this period of crisis", she added.



Wildlife Dept sits on inquiry reports
Residents await licences for articles of protected animals
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 19
More than four years after a number of city residents had declared articles of protected animals under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, their case for license lies pending for want of an enquiry report even as the Divisional Forest Office sits pretty over the issue.

As per a list of the pending cases in the possession of The Tribune, a number of inquiries are pending since 2003.

The list includes many rich and influential people of the city, who possess articles like tiger skin, deer skin, head and horns of sambar, ivory figure and statue, coat of fox skin and a number of shahtoosh shawls.

While the DFO, Tushar Kanti Vahera, was not available for comments, Divisional Conservator of Forests Jarnail Singh said most of the inquiries were pending as the applicants had stated that they had inherited the goods and could not say from where these were procured. He added that the details could be divulged by Vahera only as the matter was to be handled by him.

According to the list, Lahori Ram Bhanot, a local resident, is in possession of tiger and deer skins and he had declared his belongings in September 2003. But even after almost four years, the department has not been able to complete the inquiry and case is staring in the face of the Wildlife Department and hints at how seriously the Wildlife Protection Act is taken by the same.

Raju Sharma, a resident of Gurdev Nagar, had declared a tiger skin with head in the same year but he is also waiting for the license in the absence of an enquiry report.

Further, Trilochan Singh, a resident of Raghu Nath Enclave, has a sambar head and horns and had declared the same in September 2003. But the case stands for want of an inquiry.

Amrita Kaur, a resident of Sarabha Nagar, Satish Chandra Sanwalka, Shubha Sanwalka, Anish Sanwalka, Manish Sanwalka, Rajnish Sanwalka, Gautam Munjal, Surinder Kaur Phulka, Manju Oswal, Madhu Kothari, Rathi Kothari, Gopal Krishan Kothari, Amit Kothari, Jashu Atwal and Ashok Kumar Oswal had declared shahtoosh shawls and the fate of their licenses also remain the same.

Adish Oswal and Manju Oswal had declared a coat of fox each in October 2003 but report is still awaited.

Ludhiana has a maximum number of shahtoosh shawls that stands at 200 and tops the list in the state. Around four to six antelopes, protected under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, are killed for every shahtoosh shawl. Ludhianvis, boast of 200 shahtoosh shawls and a sari. 



Groups of ‘84 riot victims clash over PUDA flats
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 19
Speculation over the allotment of 72 PUDA flats in Dugri, Phase-II and hopes of subsequent rise in the price of these led two groups of the 1984 anti-Sikh riot victims to attempt to take physical possession of the flats by evicting the families already residing there this evening.

Members of the two groups clashed and tension prevailed today till PUDA officials reached the spot with a police contingent and forced the illegal possessors to flee.

In the mêlée, women of two families of riot victims were injured and their gold jewellery was lost.

PUDA officials, led by SDO Naurang Singh later took control of the flats. He said the flats belonged to PUDA and had not been allotted to anyone. He said the riot victims had applied for the allotment some years ago and the case was still pending with the government. One of the groups had obtained a stay order over the allotment process also.

SP (City-I) Sukhchain Singh, said the police would register a case after receiving complaints from different parties involved in the clash and in the bid to forcibly occupy the flats.

PUDA officials and Danga Peerat Welfare Organisation, led by Surjit Singh, filed a complaint in Dugri chowki. The other group, led allegedly by a person identified as Bobby and others, however, has not filed any complaint so far.

Gurdeep Kaur, president of the Istri Welfare Wing of the riot victims’ association, said many riot victims had been staying there since 1984 but the government had not fulfilled the promise of allotting them the flats. Giving an account of the incident she said today evening a mob attacked the families and threw their furniture and belongings outs. The women were beaten up and their gold jewellery was snatched.

Jasmeet Kaur, who lived in the flats, said a mob led by Bobby barged into their house and beat them up. " They threw our goods out ". The women also showed bunch of their hair allegedly pulled out by the ‘goons’.

Surjit Singh, president, of the Danga Peerat Welfare Organisation, said the other group wanted to exploit the government sympathies towards the riot victims. "Our organisation had held a series of meetings with Parkash Singh Badal, Chief Minister, Punjab, for the allotment of flats. Now when the government was ready to allot, the other group opted to occupy the flats so that these were automatically allotted to them.”



Badal promises facelift
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 19
Ludhiana would get a facelift under the city development plan soon. Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal said today the state was all set to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for Ludhiana under the Jawahar Lal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission.

“We have already signed an MoU for Amritsar and it is a matter of days that an agreement would be signed up for Ludhiana too,” he said while addressing a huge gathering of industrialists at a function organised by the Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings (CICU) here today.

Assuring the industry that all its problems would be sorted out at the earliest, Badal said power supply was the top priority and within five years the state would produce enough electricity to make it self-sufficient.

“The industry has helped us come to power and we would solve all its problems. If you want to meet me, only give me a 24-hour notice and I shall be available wherever you wish me to be,” he committed.

Regarding industry’s grievances pertaining to administration, the Chief Minister said he would soon call a meeting between all department heads like taxation, industry and pollution and industry so that they come out with mutually agreed upon solutions.

Regarding subsidy, he said Rs 105 crore were released last month and would soon reach industry. Stressing that the industry should equally co-operate, he said issues like corruption needed efforts from all sides. “You should not bribe any official. If you face problems, you can come forward with complaints. If you are forced to bribe someone, even then the complaint would be heard, the money returned and erring officials punished”.

On a large number of vacancies, he said all vacant posts of teachers and doctors in the state would be filled soon.

Industry representatives submitted a memorandum to the Chief Minister in which they listed their demands ranging from the utilisation of surplus land at focal points, restoration of old allotment policies, renovation of the dry port in Ludhiana, improvement in civic amenities and the opening of a flyover of Dhandari Kalan.

The industrialists urged the Chief Minister to keep one day of sangat darshan exclusively for the industry to which Badal responded positively. He also said that dry port renovation too would be taken on priority.

He also inaugurated the CICU complex. Among others present on the occasion were MP Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, minister Hira Singh Gabria, parliamentary secretaries Harish Rai Dhanda and Bikramjit Singh Khalsa, MLA Harish Bedi, Inderjit Singh Pardhan and Avtar Singh. 



Jagjit’s bail plea hearing on April 24
Rajneesh Lakhanpal

Ludhiana, April 19
Special Judge Gurbir Singh today adjourned the hearing of the bail application filed by the former local bodies minister of Punjab, Chowdhry Jagjit Singh, for April 24. The judge also issued notice to the Vigilance Bureau for producing the record on the next date.

He had filed the bail application in the Sessions Court, Ludhiana. yesterday. Earlier, he had filed an anticipatory bail application in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, where his bail application had been dismissed as withdrawn.

However, the accused was directed to move the Ludhiana court within three days. The High Court has also directed the city court to dispose off his bail application within a week. The accused was permitted to move High Court within three days from the day of pronouncement of order on his bail plea, if he failed to get relief.

The Special Judge had already issued notice to the Vigilance Bureau on the anticipatory bail application filed by Sourav Gupta, Assistant Manager Marketing of Today Homes, for April 24.

Meanwhile, the Special Judge, Gurbir Singh, yesterday dismissed the anticipatory bail application filed by Capt. Rajesh. He was accused of striking the alleged deal of Rs 100 crore between the Ludhiana Improvement Trust and the politicians named in the FIR.

The regular bail applications filed by the Director of Infrastructure Professionals Enterprises Pvt. Limited, Amit Sardana and Director, Special Project, of the same company, Kamal Kumar Verma, have also been dismissed.

The two are the only persons arrested in this case so far, out of 19 accused booked by the Vigilance Bureau. They were arrested on March 23, 2007. After remaining in police remand for a week, they had filed a regular bail application. Special public prosecutors, Ashwani Bedi and M. L Solanki had argued that the grant of bail to the accused would hamper the investigation.

However, the defence counsel appearing for the arrested accused had stressed that no useful purpose would be served by detaining them in jail till the conclusion of trial.



MC turns blind eye to garbage dump
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 19
Industrialists of the Industrial Area A extension are fighting a battle of sorts for the past two years to get a garbage dump shifted from their area, but their pleas have fallen on deaf ears of the Municipal Corporation authorities.

The industrialists said the garbage was dumped in front of number 91, 92 and 93 industrial units for the past two years. They had written to the authorities a number of times, but to no avail.

Vijay Bhalla, an industrialist, said during rains the road, which was half blocked by garbage, turned slippery and many accidents took place causing injuries to many people. He added that a labour colony was also situated nearby and the labourers and their children had to eat in open. The flies made their life a hell and were spreading many diseases also. He said the dump was not cleared as the garbage was not lifted for days together.

“I do not know which door to knock at now when there is nobody to listen to us. We get clients from abroad and whenever they see the garbage in front of our unit they are disappointed. Is this the message we are sending to the world that we cannot keep our surroundings clean? “ asked Bhalla. 



Yajna performed on Parshuram jayanti
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 19
The Bhagwan Parshuram Brahman Sabha, Ludhiana, organised a yajna on the occasion of the Parshuram jayanti in Naurhia Mal Senior Secondary School here today.

Dr Krishan Rai Sharma, president of the Ajar Amar Brahman Sabha, also participated. District president of the sabha Dharam Pal Sharma said we should perform yajnas on the birth anniversaries of saints. A large number of people attended the yajna. Bhajans were sung in the name of Parshuram. A community langar was also organised.



Environment friendly batteries launched
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 19
Tata AutoComp GY Batteries (TGY) launched Tata Green, a range of environment friendly batteries here yesterday. The batteries, manufactured in the company’s facility in Pune, are available in the initial phase for passenger cars and utility vehicles.

The company plans to launch these batteries for commercial vehicles, farm vehicles and two-wheelers later this year, said D.S. Gupta, managing director.

“These batteries will bring the advanced technology of GS Yuasa of Japan to India. It is the first among series of high-tech automotive batteries that will be launched by our joint venture with G S Yuasa.”

The distinctive design of the battery minimises water loss, reduces self discharge, increases storage time and provides best protection from acid spillage and sparks, he added.



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