L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Yarn worth lakhs gutted in hosiery fire 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 14
Yarn worth lakhs was reduced to ashes in a fire that broke out in a multi-storeyed hosiery unit in the Bet Ganj area here today.

Fire Dept exposed

Today's incident exposed the Fire Department of not being equipped to take on such incidents. The firefighters had no means to ward the smoke off that was filling their nostrils and making them sick. They covered their noses with handkerchiefs, but the method was not very useful.

As many as 17 fire engines were put to service to control

 the fire in JN Saudagar Hosiery and it took around four hours for the firefighters to control it.

The firefighters had a tough time in containing the flames due to the narrow lanes of the area. ‘‘It was near impossible for us to reach the site as it was located in a congested area. Only one fire engine could be parked outside the unit. And then we had to wait for the second till the first was sent packed,’’ said Kartar Singh, a fire officer.

He added that the fire was not very massive. The third floor of the building caught fire first and then it spread to the fourth and fifth floors. As a lot of time was consumed in transporting the fire engines, it took more than three hours and 17 engines.

It was a task for them to stop the fire from spreading to the other units. ‘‘The hosieries are situated so closely that we were fearing that the fire should not spread to the other units.’’

After the operation, the firefighters said that despite storing highly inflammable material the owner of the unit had not made any arrangements to fight such exigency. ‘‘There was not even a single water tank that was meant exclusively for such emergencies. There were no other systems despite the authorities asking such units to be prepared for such situations,’’ said Kartar Singh.

He added that they would report to the authorities about the laxity on the part of the owner.

The owner, who was in a state of shock, said he was busy calculating the loss he had suffered. He added that they had stored yarn for the next hosiery season. He said that the exact cause of fire could not be known. It was suspected to be due to sparking in electric wires.



Meanwhile, 1000 hosiery units want regularisation
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 14
The owners of almost 1,000 hosiery units located in residential areas have demanded regularisation of the units. Their decade-long wait having failed to produce results, these units operating at the micro level, said they might have to close down if action was not taken in the direction at the earliest.

The issue has once again been taken up by industry representatives who asserted that these units not only comprise 10-15 per cent of this industry they are also doing job work for more than 25 per cent of small and medium enterprises.

"Frequent noises about evicting the units located in industrial areas gives sleepless nights to those depending for their bread and butter on them. It has been almost 10 years that we have been raising the issue. Regularising these hosiery units is a must," said Vinod K. Thapar, president, Knitwear Club.

As per estimates around 1,000 hosiery units are located in residential areas like Bajwa Nagar, Sunder Nagar and New Shivpuri. While a lot of units from various other industries like dyeing etc are also located in residential areas and have been demanding a re-location or regularising, hosiery industry representatives contend that the units they are talking of fall under green category.

"Around two years ago an announcement to regularise units falling under green category was made. Most of the units got permissions for electricity connections at that time. However, in other aspects the situation is still the same," said Thapar.

Small-scale entrepreneurs fear constant threats of closure could result in actual closing down of this industry which would hamper functioning of textile industry in the city that relies heavily for its job work on these enterprises.

"If they are not allowed to grow they would ultimately close down, which is not good."

"These are non polluting units and have been located in these areas for a very long period. Earlier we had sought relocation. But the fact is that 70 per cent of these areas comprise of small and medium units and only 30 per cent are residences. The best way out is to regularise them."

Regularising would mean that operations are smoothened. These units, that are under constant threat of getting closed or facing some adverse action, would be able to carry on their functioning smoothly. They can think of expanding and would operate better, feel industrialists.

Industry is now seeking instant reddressal of this long pending issue as previous governments only kept "dilly dallying" with it. "Time and again there were assurances that the matter would be considered but nothing was done in the direction. Now that this government promised a solution to this problem prior to elections we want that an action should be taken at the earliest," added Thapar.

Industrialists even brought the matter to the notice of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on his recent visit to the city.



Timely police intervention
Sacha Sauda, SSF face-off avoided
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 14
Tension gripped city today afternoon following confrontation between followers of Dera Sacha Sauda and several Sikh organisations over the issue of an advertisement inserted by dera chief Sant Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh.

Timely intervention by the local police, however, averted a major clash between members of the two groups, who had gathered in large numbers at Clock Tower Chowk here.

It all began when several activists of the Sikh Students Federation (Mehta) led by its president, Paramjit Singh, came with an effigy of Sacha Sauda chief and tried to set it on fire. The SSF activists were incensed at the baba, who they claimed “‘was trying to equate himself with the tenth Guru Gobind Singh.”

The provocation was enough for the followers of the baba, who started raising slogans against the SSF activists. The SSF activists also raised slogans against the baba. Sensing the mounting tension shopkeepers of the area downed their shutters. Situation was all set to turn violent when the police intervened and controlled it.

However, the SSF activists succeeded in burning the effigy of the baba in the presence of the police. The Sacha Sauda supporters opposed the move and accused the police of not taking any action against the SSF activists.

To protest against this police inaction, baba’s supporters staged a dharna on the old GT road. The dharna continued for around two hours. They also recited their prayers and other religious songs while sitting on dharna.

The situation could have turned ugly as many protesters were seen carrying baseball bats and soda bottles.

After being persuaded by the administration, they lifted the dharna but they were still demanding registration of a case against the SSF activists for hurting their religious feelings.

Paramjit Singh, said they were opposing the baba for “what he was doing was against the basic tenets of Sikhism and he was playing with the sentiments of Sikhs.”

SSP R.K. Jaiswal, said the police had got prior information about the trouble and enough force was deployed on the spot. He said the police presence discouraged both the parties and violence was averted. The police did not have to resort to lathi charge as the matter was sorted out amicably with negotiations. Though the police had rounded up several persons, no case had been registered against anybody, he said.



Gift for Ludhiana on martyr Sukhdev’s birth centenary
His house to be preserved, finally
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 14
There is hope at last for the martyr Sukhdev's ancestral house in the Nau Ghara area in Chaura Bazar on his birth centenary tomorrow.

Road after martyr?

Dr Hardeep Singh, convener of the Shaheed Sukhdev Memorial Society, has demanded that the recently constructed elevated road should be named after Sukhdev as a salute to his sacrifice for the country. He said though a school was named after the martyr in Bharat Nagar Chowk, this road could can be named after him as a befitting tribute to him.

On the occasion of his 100th birthday, the state government has a gift by announcing to preserve his ancestral house in Ludhiana.

The state government is busy preparing an estimate for the preservation of the house and the work would start on the memorial within three months. Talking to the Tribune, Jagjit Puri, secretary, Architecture, Archaeology and Museums, said the conservation would start within three months as the Centre had sanctioned Rs 8 crore for the preservation of memorials.

The announcement came as a shot in the arm for various organisations working for the preservation of the house. In fact the house had been in a dilapidated state six decades after the country attained independence.

Had it not been for an NGO, the Shaheed Sukhdev Yadgar Committee, Ludhiana, led by Dr Hardeep Singh which had constructed the front portion of the house without any assistance from a government agency, the house would have crumbled while mocking at the scant respect we pay our martyrs.

The NGO preserved the outer portion of the house and also put up a bust of the martyr outside. But could not do anything for the inner side as it has been occupied by a tenant family for years together. The tenants were removed recently by the Sukhdev Memorial Trust, who paid them several lakhs of rupees finally clearing decks for preservation of the house.

Unfortunately, neither the government machinery could get the house vacated from the family due to lack of seriousness towards the purpose, nor the occupying family showed any respect towards various pleas to vacate the house of the martyr, who sacrificed his life for his countrymen.

Some years ago, Raj Babbar, a Bollywood actor, came to the city and raised a lot of hue and cry that the martyr's sacrifice was not remembered as his house was in state of utter neglect. He had promised some money for the preservation of the house which is yet to arrive.

The district administration had also mooted various proposals to preserve the memorial during the last many years. Unfortunately none of them could make the preservation work possible.

Till some years ago, the house remained unknown to anybody. It was then that the Thapars of the city set up a trust named Shaheed Sukhdev Thapar Memorial Trust (SSTMT) to look after the historical place and to create awareness among people about the great martyr. 



Sukhdev: City forgets a braveheart
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana May 14
Every child in the country must be knowing about martyr Sukhdev, who was sent to the gallows during the freedom struggle, but, unfortunately not many people in his hometown, Ludhiana, seem to be bothered about his great sacrifice. So much so that even after 60 years of Independence his hometown has not been able to erect a memorial to pay tribute to the martyr.

Except for the Thapar community, that claims allegiance to him, no other organisation has ever bothered to raise the issue at any forum. Every year on his birth anniversary and martyrdom day resolutions are passed but they are never followed up.

Interestingly, a number of functions have been planned for tomorrow to celebrate the 100 birth anniversary of Shaheed Sukhdev. While a state level function will be held at the Guru Nanak Bhawan and would be presided over by finance minister Manpreet Badal, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh has planned programmes in about 20 city schools and one public function will be organised in front of his ancestral home in Chaura Bazaar area.

When the elevated road between Jagraon Bridge and Chand Cinema was to be inaugurated there was a demand for naming it after Shaheed Sukhdev. It would have been ideal as it passes over the Chaura Bazar area where the ancestral house of the martyr is situated. Sukhdev's ancestral house is in Naugara in Chaura Bazar.

Ironically, while institutions and localities have been named after Bhagat Singh and Rajguru, along with whom Sukhdev was hanged, there is none named after Sukhdev. Only one school has been named after him and that too remains too insignificant and forgotten.

In the past grants have been announced a number of times for setting up a memorial or for preserving his ancestral home, but these were never sanctioned. With the Punjab finance minister Manpreet Badal scheduled to preside over the state-level function to mark Sukhdev’s birth centenary tomorrow, it is hoped that the long wait for his memorial would ultimately be over.



Residents challaned for wasting water
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 14
Acting tough on residents wasting water, the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation today challaned the residents who were found washing their vehicles today.

The MC had warned the residents not to waste the potable water, that was meant for drinking purposes. The authorities had held that while people wasted it many like them suffered shortage in hot weather when it was difficult to sustain with it.

The authorities had even inserted advertisements in various newspapers warning the residents against the practice.

On the first challaning spree of the MC today, mostly various service centres came in the ambit. Ten auto service station were challaned in Zone A, three in Zone B and four in Zone D. The Commissioner, MC once against appealed to the residents to treat water as a precious commodity.

In yet another tough stance, the commissioner today put a health worker, Satinder Pal Singh under suspension for dereliction of duty. The employee did not get the salary cheques of other employees prepared in time and their payments were delayed.



Study stresses on segregation of urban waste
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 14
The solid waste segregation into compostable and non-compostable material at household level could serve as a valuable source when treated or recycled. This was revealed in a study - ‘Compost from Urban Solid Waste-segregation at Household Level - a Must’ by Dr B.S. Sidhu and Dr V. Beri of the Department of Soils, PAU.

The study states that each individual produces about 500 g of solid waste per day. Out of the present production of urban solid waste, almost half is green matter and biodegradable. This could be recycled in an eco-friendly way.

The scientists found that the present disposal methods adopted by the municipalities include land filling, open land dumping and burning. For productive use of the resource and for recycling it in agriculture, bioconversion into organic manure is conducive for soil health.

They pointed out that the direct use of mixed city garbage in agriculture soils is impossible as it contains almost 50 per cent non-biodegradable material. Thus, the biodegradable material needs to be segregated from the non-biodegradable.

According to the scientists, though the ultimate product looks very fine it cannot be called organic manure as its organic carbon content is very less. Therefore, the efforts of mechanical plant for producing compost out of city garbage are not in order as the costs involved are very high.

Through the study, the scientists have advocated an alternative management technique. Separate collection of compostable and non-compostable material could be attempted at the household level. The corporation or the people could either do this.

The study suggests that people should segregate the material into wanted (plastic, glass, paper and metal) and unwanted (organic material). They can sell plastic, glass and metal, etc, and deliver the rest in the corporation garbage, which further needs segregation into green and red. Out of this, only the organic part should be taken to the compost yard and processed further.

The concrete and building material, which is also generated should be collected separately and used as landfill.

The composted organic material would have organic carbon and nutrients to meet the required standards of organic manure.

This material could then be sold as organic manure without packing, as packing increases its cost, the scientists suggested.

However, this endeavor would require suitable technology, investment, government support and public movement/awareness, they added. 



Ramoowalia warns against weeds with imported foodgrains
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, May 14
Terming the proposal to import wheat as disastrous for sustained agriculture and uneconomical as well, Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, president of the Lok Bhalai Party and former union food minister, apprehends that weeds contaminating the exotic variety of food grains might after dispersal in otherwise healthy soil in the country ruin the fields for decades to come.

Suggesting the Punjab government to impress upon the union government to quash the idea of supplying the exotic variety in the state, Ramoowalia averred that his party would launch a statewide move to stop the infiltration of weed seeds in case the union government insisted on importing food grains and subsequently their supply to the state.

While talking to the Ludhiana Tribune yesterday, Ramoowalia claimed that reckless import of exotic varieties of any food crop might bring seeds of foreign weeds and resistant spores of certain fungi and other pests. Consequently, the food grains infested with these pathogens would pose threat to sustained agriculture for decades to come.

“Similar situation arose a decade ago also, when I was the union food minister. But apprehending the problem, I had then ordered that the wheat to be imported would not be supplied within the radius of 800 km of the border of Punjab,” said Ramoowalia. He added that he had also directed that the procurement would be done by calling tenders through the cabinet committee on economic affairs. Though the agencies had asked for import of 3 million tonnes of wheat, the department approved the import of 1 million tonne only, he said.

Ramoowalia further pointed out that it was the constitutional duty of the Punjab government to safeguard the interests of the peasants of the state. “It is high time that the Chief Minister should decide his priorities and impress upon the union government to purchase wheat from Punjab farmers and not import it. When the farmers will get better price for their produce they will be encouraged to continue feeding the nation. Otherwise, the nation will be required to import food grains every year,” argued Ramoowalia. 



Stone for widening of link road laid
Our Correspondent

Samrala, May 14
Chairman of the Punjab Mandi Board Ajmer Singh Lakhowal laid the foundation stone of a project for the widening and strengthening of a link road from the historical gurdwara Katana Sahib to the Ludhiana main road, 10 km from here, today.

According to nearby villagers and devotees who often visits the gurdwara, the road was in a bad shape for the past many years and people had been demanding its reconstruction.

Lakhowal said it was his desire to get this road widened from 10 feet to 18 feet on priority.

He said corruption in the construction of roads would not be tolerated and he would take strict action against the persons found not working as per the specifications of the PWD department.

Lakhowal disclosed that a quality control cell was being formed in the mandi board department and good quality work in the construction of roads and mandis would be assured.

Among others who addressed the gathering were jathedar Santa Singh Umaidpur, district president of the SAD, senior Akali leader Baba Jagroop Singh and Ajmer Singh Bhagpur, besides Avtar Singh Mehlon.

On the occasion, Sukhmeet Singh Qadian, member SGPC, panchayat members of Katani Kalan and nearby villages were also present. They appreciated the role of XEN, PWD (B&R), Satinder Pal Singh Samra and engineer Sehajpreet Singh Mangat.



Club unrolls special fare for moms
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 14
A special function was organised at the Satluj Club here yesterday on the occasion of Mother’s Day. A number of contests and activities were organised specially for mothers and children on the occasion. Ms Gurjar was the chief guest on the occasion. The function was arranged by the members of executive committee, namely, Sanjeev Dhanda, cultural secretary, Sanjay Arora, general secretary and Prof Arvind Malhotra finance  secretary

Mothers were thrilled as they received messages written specially for them in 25 to 30 words by children. About 10 best messages were selected and 10 children who had written these were given prizes. The mothers gushed with pride as their children eulogised them.

There were surprise gifts for mothers too. Children presented songs and dances for their moms. Dermatologist and cosmetologist Dr Anupama Gupta talked about latest trends in age -control solutions. Dr Rama Sofat, former Prof and Head OB & Gynae dept, DMCH, talked about probelms related to menopause.

After fun and games the children and mothers enjoyed the light refreshment served by the club.



Mission congratulates Maya
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 14
The Vishwa Guru Ravi Dass Mission has congratulated Mayawati on taking oath as the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. Shiv Ram Saroye and Jaswant Kataria, national president and chairman of the mission, respectively, joined other officer-bearers and members in extending good wishes to Mayawati.

In a statement issued here yesterday, they praised Mayawati for leading the Bahujan Samaj Party to an absolute majority and regaining power on her own. The members of the mission distributed sweets. Langars were also arranged on the occasion.



2 killed, 1 injured in accidents
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, May 14
Two persons have been killed and a woman has been injured in two separate road accidents.

In the first incident, Bachittar Singh was killed and his wife Manjit Kaur injured when their motor cycle was hit by the tractor in Kaind village. Harbans Singh of Lehra was driving the tractor.

The Dehlon police has registered a case under Sections 304-A, 279, 337 and 427 of the IPC against him. Manjit has been admitted in DMCH, Ludhiana.

In the second incident, some unknown person was killed in the area of Kothe Bagga when some unknown vehicle hit him and fled.

The local police has registered a case under Section 304-A of the IPC.

Bid to murder

Parwinder Singh had been working as a driver with Ranjit Singh of Khandur but later left him and joined someone else. Feeling frustrated, Ranjit Singh, Paramjit Singh and Lovely of Jangpur, in a bid to murder, allegedly assaulted him with sharp-edged weapons.

The Dehlon police has registered a case under Sections 307and 34 of the IPC against the trio.

1 held with illicit liquor

The Sudhar police has arrested Sanjay of Tusse from Atiana with 16680 ml of illicit liquor.

A case under the Excise Act has been registered against him.

2 booked for teasing girl

Chetan Sharma of Kothe Pona and Rajinder Singh of Galib Kalan have been booked under Sections 294 and 506 of the IPC.

According to information, both used to allegedly tease and threaten Dharamvir Singh’s sister, a resident of Mullanpur.



Green card investor programme

Ludhiana, May 14
Sunrise International Legal Services announced that it has tied up with State of South Dakota/ South Dakota International Business Institute (SDIBI), a state government organisation, conducting international business of the state of South Dakota to introduce in India a unique government-approved EB-5 Green Card Investor Programme which offers an investor green card and US citizenship in the fastest possible time (8-12 months).

The announcement was made at a press conference here by an American Government-sponsored delegation comprising Richard Benda (Secretary, Government of South Dakota), Joop Bollen (Director, SDIBI) and James Park (American Solicitor) who are also conducting seminars in the region. — TNS



HP new range

Ludhiana, May 14
Hewlett-Packard India has launched its new Compaq desktop portfolio featuring new design and enhanced ergonomic features.

A company press note issued here today said that the new range breaks away from the traditional "box" PC, and offers great features at an affordable price. The new Compaq Presario SR5000 series comes in a modern sliver finish with new 17" Compaq branded monitors with integrated speakers. Its intuitive easy access design, makes computing simpler and natural with several user-friendly innovations.

It offers 2.5" HP Pocket Media Drive Bay, available in 80GB and 120 GB, for additional storage capacit which facilitates user to carry pictures, music, videos and work files wherever he goes, the press note added. — TNS



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