L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S



Dausa violence hits business community
Movement of industrial goods affected, transporters worried
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 4
The impact of violence in Rajasthan is giving sleepless nights to business community heree. Inter-state import as well as export of most of the goods from the textile, engineering, jewellery and other industries has been affected. Transporters are also worried over hundreds of vehicles, which are stuck on the Rajasthan border due to restriction of movement. Decline in orders has further added to the trouble.

Some businessmen also said that delays in payments had already started, leading to tightening of liquidity. Production in the coming days could record a decline on account of present circumstances, they added.

For industry, which is yet to recover from declined business due to the Dera controversy, the situation is Rajasthan is causing panic among them.

“The disturbance there has put almost entire business on a halt. Most industries that send goods to other states have slowed down production. Problems are being faced in procuring goods from other states too. If the current situation continues, it would take a long time for industry to recover,” said V.P. Chopra, president, Federation of Punjab Small Industries Associations.

With Rajasthan being a common passage point to several other states for inflow as well as outflow of goods, most industries are being affected as a result.

Those in business said the impact in terms of rise in prices of items like artificial jewellery, construction material etc would still take a few days to be visible. However, delays in payments have already started occurring, resulting in tightening of liquidity.

“The impact would be long term for business in Punjab, which has already suffered on account of the Dera controversy. The psychological bearing should also be taken into account, which is a significant contributor in business,” said Vinod K. Thapar, president, Knitwear Club. He added that textile industry, which sends material like t-shirts at this time of the year to other states, was unable to send most of its stuff.

Things are even more negative for transporters, who are unable to conduct business due to a large number of vehicles being stuck on the Rajasthan border. Even as vehicles have started taking a different route, transporters are worried about the safety of their vehicles and also the goods that these are carrying. A steep decline in orders has further aggravated the problem.

“We are quite worried about the present situation due to which thousands of vehicles are stuck. The risk is not only in terms of the value of the vehicle the goods being carried, too, are of significant amount. Though different routes are being taken now, the problem is not over. We hope the situation would improve soon,” said Charan Singh Lohara, chairman, Punjab State Goods Transports Association.

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Partners in crime
Thieves use cop’s car
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 4
An alleged police-criminal nexus in the city came to the fore with the exposure when thieves used a cop’s car in committing theft of pipes at a plot of an industrialist in Dhandari last night.

City SSP R K Jaiswal suspended assistant sub-inspector Balwinder Saini, posted as in charge of the Dhandari police post, after it was found that the group of thieves, which had struck at the plot of industrialist Prabhjot Kalra last night, had used his Indica car along with a TATA-207 truck for stealing the pipes. Construction work was on at the plot.

SP City-II Harish Kumar said the thieves were spotted with the car when they were selling the stolen pipes to a scrap dealer in Dhandari. To the shock of the area residents and the police, the car was found to be of an ASI.

Investigation so far has not found out that the car was stolen. No report was lodged anywhere in the district about the missing car.

Sources said the senior officials were also quite embarrassed at the incident. The city is reeling under a series of theft, burglaries and snatching incidents.

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Father gets son’s suicide case reopened
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 4
The Khanna police has initiated fresh investigations into the suicide case of an IAS aspirant, Ashish Hansi, who killed himself four years ago and whose father had been fighting a battle to get those who allegedly forced him to commit suicide, booked.

The re-investigation was started by SP (Detective) Khanna police Sushil Kumar following directions by DIG, Ludhiana, Ishwar Singh. The ADGP (Crime) had asked the Ludhiana police to hand over the case to Khanna police as Ashish's father, N.M. Hansi, had reservations about the handling of the case by the Ludhiana police.

Khanna resident N.M. Hansi had talked to Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal during a sangat darshan programme at Chandigarh.

Hansi had also approached the Punjab State Human Rights Commission and National Human Rights Commission about the investigations.

He had been claiming that his son had received text messages and long calls from a phone number a few hours before he committed suicide. He alleged that the contents of the text message were suggestive of a threat and when he asked Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) about who the number belonged to, they refused him stating the number was not a private number but a BSNL customer care number. But the documents procured by him later did not match with the reply by BSNL.

He said he had knocked at the doors of the PSHRC on February 20, 2003, which was soon after his son committed suicide.

Though his case was taken up and district police chief was asked to look into the details, he could not get those guilty of his son's death booked. He was shown the door by PSHRC also.

‘‘I requested Badal not to hand over the case to local police now. They had closed the case file stating that there was nothing in

the case. But I strongly believe that my son, who was a brilliant student, could not have killed himself just before exams, had he not been pressed by some strong reasons, like threats.’’

In his request to the CM, Hansi had said that the local police had submitted a report by a DSP who had stated that there was nothing substantial in the case so the matter be closed. He claimed that it was shocking he had never met that DSP in his life.

He said it would have been impossible for the DSP to conduct the inquiry without meeting him, who was the complainant in the case.

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Arjuna award winner arrested
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 4
A renowned international wrestler, Arjun Award winner and former police inspector, Rustam-e-Hind Jagdish Bholla, who had been declared a proclaimed offender in a case registered under Sections 406 and 427 of the IPC, was arrested by the Khanna police yesterday. He had been remanded in judicial custody till June 18.

Despite pressures from many political and bureaucratic corners, the raiding team chose to carry out the orders of the district police chief who had been pressing hard on the arrest of all proclaimed offenders of the area falling under his jurisdiction.

According to Gursharan Singh Bedi, DSP, Khanna, Jagdish Bholla had been arrested from Jagat Pura Colony by a police party led by Dharam Pal, SHO, Khanna city, yesterday.

“As all attempts to nab him had been foiled by the

proclaimed offender, we had directed the raiding team to be more vigilant. However, he did not pose much resistance this time,” said Bedi.

He told the Ludhiana Tribune that Bhola had been booked for allegedly making certain changes in a house belonging to Mohinder Singh, an NRI, in the year 2005.

Mohinder Singh had alleged that Bholla had opened an akhara in his house that had been entrusted to him for some time.

Jagdish Bholla has been a renowned international wrestler. He brought many laurels to India and was also declared Rustam-e-Hind.

Prestigious Arjun Award winner, Bhola served the Punjab police as an inspector and was later removed from the service.

Though he is known for his proximity to top rank police officials and political bigwigs, the Khanna district police seemed to have resisted intense pressure from all corners to carry out the arrest.

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World Environment Day Today
It’s time to pay nature’s debt
Tribune News Service

A map of all melting hotspots of the earth.
A map of all
melting hotspots
of the earth.

Ludhiana, June 4
Only the people’s participation with proper vision, and sincere efforts by everybody can help promote a healthy environment, better health of people and save mother earth from ecological disaster, said Vikas Pratap, Commissioner, Municipal Corporation Ludhiana, while addressing a function today held on the eve of World Environment Day at the Nehru Rose Garden here by Bharat Jan Gyan Vigyan Jatha (BJGVJ).
Lauding the role of BJGVJ for its continuous efforts in this regard he asked the people to come forward with suggestions.

He further said that the administration was concerned about the problems arising out of Budda Nullah menace and was working hard to clean it and make all treatment plants functional at the earliest.

Nahar Singh, senior environmental engineer, Punjab Pollution Control Board, said that whereas Industrial growth was essential for developments it could not be allowed to adversely affect our health and day-to-day life. Dr R K Sharma, organising secretary, IMA Ludhiana, gave an account of diseases that could arise as a result of environmental degradation.

Presenting an agenda for 2007-08 for promotion of healthy environment in Ludhiana and to highlight the global issues related to the problems of’ ecology, Dr Arun Mitra, general secretary of the jatha, pointed out that a sustained effort with a vision for technological applications, keeping in view the environment needs, was the only way to promote health and save the planet from ecological disaster. For this we require global outlook, individual responsibility and joint efforts, he added.

During the function a number of activists of the jatha and students from different schools participated in the event. Carrying banners and placards they went around the garden distributing handbills on environment. They also addressed corner meetings and staged plays on environment promotion.

They pointed out that if people’s participation wasnot made effective, life on earth

would face serious consequences. Global warming, occurring as a result of large number of green house gases accumulating in the atmosphere, was a cause of extreme concern.

Maj Sher Singh Auluck, president of the jatha, said that it was a tragedy that as a result of greed of a few, the whole of the mankind had to face the problems related to ecological disturbances. An American citizen due to her/his lavish life style put 36 times the load on environment as compared to an average Indian. Even though the US was the biggest polluter they were not ready to share their responsibility to set things in order. They were backing out of the international agreements to control global warming, he rued.

Dwelling on the problem of environment in the agriculture sector, Dr Rajinder Pal Singh said that it was becoming acute, particularly after the entry of genetically-modified terminator seeds by giants like Cargill and Monsanto, which would have long-term disastrous effects. The peasants must adopt new methods in agriculture for rainwater harvesting. The practice of burning paddy and wheat straw, harmful to our health, should be stopped and also the unchecked use of pesticides and insecticides.

The participants in the campaign pledged to carry forward the movement for environment protection right from the homes to the city and the national-level.

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Use natural not chemical dyes: Experts
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana June 4
On the eve of World Environment Day, Dr Sandeep Bains and Dr Neelam Grewal of department of clothing and textiles, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, have appealed to the people to use natural dyes to combat environmental pollution.

Moreover, chemical colours can even prove to be carcinogenic (tending to cause cancer.

Elaborating on the horrifying effects of chemical colours, the scientists said that about 15 per cent of the total world production of colourant was lost in its synthesis and processing mainly as dye house wastewater.

In fact, textile industry was one of the major consumers as well as pollutants of water, they added.

On harmful effects, the scientists said synthetic dyes were sensitising, carcinogenic and mutating in addition to being detrimental to the environment.

Certain dyes were difficult to biodegrade and passed through treatment plants into rivers and streams. This caused irreparable damage to aquatic plants and eco-system of water bodies.

The scientists suggested remedial measures in the form of natural dyes, which were obtained from renewable resources and involved no or mild chemical reaction for dyeing.

Being biodegradable, they did not pose a problem in disposal of waste. Many of these, such as turmeric, in fact had medicinal properties, they observed.

Dyes could also be obtained from bark of arjun and mango trees, root of golden drop and madder, leaves of peach and kinnow, flowers of dahlia, China rose, coral jasmine, etc.

Regarding production, the scientists felt that availability of natural dyes, complex reproducibility and limited number of shades hindered their mass production. However, these could be used by craftsmen to produce value-added products like khadi, durries, handloom articles, etc. The profit margin was very high for articles produced from natural dyes and a niche market could be harnessed in India and abroad for such articles, the scientists opined.

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Labourer’s body found, police suspects murder
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 4
The local police has registered an FIR under Section 302 and 34 of the IPC against unknown persons for killing a migrant labourer, whose body was recovered from a deserted place along a drain near Kanganwal village near here yesterday.

The police suspected it to be a murder as marks of external injuries were found on face and below the chin.

In a complaint lodged at Sadar police station Jai Shankar, son of Parma Nand of Gohi village in Bihar, had informed the police that some unknown persons had murdered his cousin Arjun Kumar Jha, son of Aasa Narayan Jha of Kharsar village in Samastipur district in Bihar.

Perusal of records revealed that Arjun Kumar, an electrical fitter working at Shrayans Industries Limited, had left his workplace for lunch on Saturday. As his wife and son had gone to his their native town, Nitu, deceased’s daughter, informed Jai Shankar about the disappearance of her father late at night. “Believing that Arjun might have stayed with some of his friends I asked my niece to wait till morning. We were shocked to learn on the next day that his body was found from a deserted place near a drain,” Jai Shankar told the police.

Investigation revealed that the deceased had been staying with his family at Akbarpur Chhanna village in a rented house. As his wife and son had gone to their native village, his daughter Nitu was alone at home. Marks of external injury were found on his face and below the chin.

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City Centre Scam
3 Today Homes’ officials appear before VB
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 4
Three officials of the Today Homes and Infrastructure company, named as accused in the multi-crore City Centre Project scam, appeared before the Vigilance Bureau(VB) officials at the bureau's office near old district courts this morning to join investigation in the case.

However, as the Investigation officer concerned with the case was not present in the office, the accused officials would be called later.

The officials, G K Gambhir, Vinay Subhiki and Sunil Sharma were told to join investigation by the high court, while deciding the bail application in their favour.

The officials were told to appear between June 4 and 6. They were one of the 19 accused in the scam.

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COMMUNITY

Free ration to 45 families
Our Correspondent

Amloh, June 4
Members of the Manav Bhalai Manch organised a function here today and distributed one month’s complete ration, free of cost, to 45 needy families of the area.

Roshan Lal Sood, DEO, Fatehgarh Sahib, was the chief guest of the function. He appreciated the efforts of the manch to serve the society without any help from the government. He appealed the people to come forward to help the manch to extend its sphere of services.

Manch chairman Som Nath Lutawa thanked the guests and donors for their cooperation.

Speaking about the achievements of the manch, general secretary Manohar Lal Verma said the manch had been providing ration to the needy since 2004. Besides it had organised eye operation camps in 2005 and 2006, where respectively 80 eye operations were conducted and 176 patients were given spectacles, free of cost.

Manch vice-chairman Parshotam Dass Mittal said that leaders of the Congress and SAD had announced to extend financial help in the past but no aid has been received so far. Bank anager Surjan Singh Mehmi appreciated the efforts of Subedar Harnek Singh to collect 45 quintals of wheat. Angrej Singh and Charanjit Singh announced financial aid of Rs 500 each in every month. Project officer Parveen Singh Mittal, cashier Ram Lubhaya and Master Dharam Singh Raiawal also spoke on the occasion.

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SAD (A) resents sedition charges
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 4
The Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) has criticised the SAD-BJP government in the state for booking its leaders including Simranjit Singh Mann and Daljeet Singh Bittu for sedition.

Meanwhile, in a telephonic interview yesterday, Daljeet Singh Bittu said he was not present with the youths who raised the pro-Khalistan slogans in Fatehgarh Sahib during a march on May 31.

In the statement issued here today, the party alleged that such charges were being deliberately levelled against the leaders to appease the head of the Dera Sacha Sauda. They alleged, the Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal was trying to use this to his advantage and had not shown any inclination to take any action against the Dera chief.

The statement mentioned that the government was trying to target SAD (A) as it was the party most vocal against the Sacha Sauda sect. The party mentioned that it will still take the struggle against the sect to its logical conclusion.

In the telephonic interview, Bittu said the party was bound by the edict of the Akal Takht.

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Lohara is transport congress president
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 4
Charan Singh Lohara, a leading transporter of the region has been elected president of the All India Motor Transport Congress. In the recently concluded elections, Lohara polled maximum number of votes. The results were declared today.

Lohara told Ludhiana Tribune that this was an honour for all the transporters of the region. However, he clarified he would ensure that the interests of all the transporters of the country are looked after.

He observed the transport sector was passing through a critical stage and there were so many problems being faced by the transporters.

He said he would try to use every possible forum and occasion to get the transporters' problems solved.

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Arora is new LSE securities chairman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 4
Anurag Arora has been appointed the new chairman of Ludhiana Stock Exchange (LSE) securities.

At a board meeting of LSE Securities, the resignation of Jatinder Garg from chairmanship of the company was accepted.

Arora was unanimously elected the chairman, said H.S. Sidhu, executive director, LSE.

Arora is a member of the stock exchange and has an experience of 12 years in the capital market.

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Railway pensioners condemn ‘derailed’ healthcare
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, June 4
The retired employees of the Northern Railways here, are sore over persistent lack of comprehensive diagnostic and medical facilities in the railway hospitals, coupled with the adamant attitude of the railway authorities towards the reimbursement of expenditure incurred on laboratory and diagnostic tests in private institutions.

According to Northern Railway Pensioners’ Association president Sher Singh, the railway hospital in the city was not equipped to handle modern diagnostic tests like echocardiography, TMT, ultrasound scan, and even some of the simpler laboratory tests.

Similarly, the hospital did not have specialists for different diseases, as a result of which, the pensioners seeking treatment, were made to run from pillar to post.

Even though the local, divisional, and the central railway hospital at Delhi did not have the diagnostic equipment for cardiac and many other diseases, yet, the railway doctors, more often than not, refuse to refer the suffering railway pensioners to private institutions. In such cases, the cost of the diagnostic tests was not reimbursed to the pensioners.

In the wake of brewing resentment among the railway pensioners, he urged the senior railway officials to review the entire mechanism of providing treatment and reimbursement of diagnostic facilities availed at private hospitals which were not available at local or divisional railway hospitals. The prevailing practise of sending ailing pensioners to central railway hospital at Delhi should also be done away with, for the simple reason that it caused avoidable harassment to the pensioners, and was also more expensive if cost of journey was taken into account.

He expressed hope that better sense will prevail among the union railway ministry, the railway board and the Northern Railway authorities and they would come to the rescue of their former employees, who were being made to face harassment due to certain technical flaws in the healthcare policy.

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Dera Killing
Government accused of indifference
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 4
Accusing the state government of indifference towards the arrest of the killers of Kanwaljit Singh (who died in firing near a dera of the Sacha Sauda, at Sunam on May 17), the family of the deceased urged various Sikh organisations to impress upon the administration to expedite the process to arrest the assassins.

Meanwhile, with an intention to commemorate the martyrdom of Kanwaljit Singh, the SGPC announced the opening of Kanwaljit Singh memorial Sikh religious library at his native village Jogimajra, near here.

A grant of Rs 50,000 was also announced for the same by Raghbir Singh Saharanmajra on behalf of the SGPC.

Office bearers of various political, social and religious organisations felicitated the parents and wife of the deceased at the bhog ceremony organised at a village gurdwara today.

While talking to the Ludhiana Tribune after the conclusion of the function, Bant Singh, father of Kanwaljit Singh, alleged that the state government had shown indifference in arresting the killers of his son.

“Though a large number of Sikh organisations and individuals, recognising the sacrifice of our son, have come forward to help us morally and monetarily, the state government has failed to get the killers arrested even after three weeks. We have urged the office bearers of various Sikh organisations to remind the Chief Minister of his responsibility of getting the killers arrested,” said the distraught father.

Earlier, recollecting the sacrifice of Kanwaljit, leaders of various Sikh religious and political organisations claimed that he had laid down his life for preserving the sanctity of Sikhism. “We should not forget that Kanwaljit laid down his life, not for his personal cause but for the community,” said speakers, including Jagdish Singh Garcha, former SAD minister, Sukhwant Singh Tillu, youth leader, Sanjiv Puri, president, Nagar Panchayat Malaudh, Amrik Singh Mangewal, general secretary, SAD, Mann Singh Garcha, SVP, Dr Maghar Singh, former CEO and Charanpreet Singh Grewal.

On the occasion, siropas and funds were also presented to Parminder Kaur, the widow of Kanwaljit and Bant Singh, the deceased’s father.

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’84 riots: New red card soon
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 4
The state government has decided to give a final opportunity to prepare new or duplicate red cards to victims of 1984 riots who could not get those earlier.

The cards would be prepared as per instructions issued earlier by the government.

Giving further details, Deputy Commissioner Sumer Singh Gurjar said that advertisements to this effect had also been published in the different newspapers.

He said for new or duplicate red cards, the applicants should submit their applications by June 30 in the offices of respective SDMs, which would be properly verified to establish the genuineness of applicants within a period of 60 days.

The DC appealed to the remaining card-seekers also to submit their applications along with the required documents so that their cases could be considered.

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10 girls injured as bus collides with mini truck
Our Correspondent

Khamano, June 4
Ten girl workers of a cotton mill were injured when the bus they were travelling by, collided with a mini truck at Manpur village, near here, at around 6.30 am today.

According to information, a van (PB-23 E-4561) of Malwa cotton mill, Machhiwara, after picking up girls from Khant Manpur village and Morinda, was on way to Samrala.

When the bus reached Manpur village, the driver tried to overtake a Swaraj Mazda (HR-38K-35910) but the two collided, injuring atleast 10 girls.

A high patrol vehicle took the injured to a private hospital at Morinda. Four seriously injured girls were referred to a hospital at Ludhiana while others were discharged after being administered first aid.

The injured include Manpreet Kaur, Paramjeet Kaur and Daljeet Kaur of Rangian village, Anita, Nisha Rani and Gurvinder Kaur of Morinda, Sandeep Kaur, Manjeet Kaur and Seema Rani of Dhangrali and Rani of Rattangarh village.

When mill officials were contacted, the chief security officer, Harbhajan Singh said that perhaps, the driver would have fallen asleep, resulting in the mishap.

He said that action will be taken against the driver, Harpreet Singh and his service will be terminated due to negligent driving.

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Cyclist killed in accident
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, June 4
Ajit Singh of Gag Kalan was killed near Kishanpura village when his cycle was hit by a speeding Tempo (PB-08AZ-9467). Sidhwan Bet police has registered a case under Sections 304-A, 279 of the IPC against the unidentified driver of the Tempo. No arrest has been made so far.

15 booked for assault

The Sidhwan Bet and Jagraon police booked 15 persons on the charges of assault, in two separate incidents here today.

In the first incident, Gurmail Singh, his wife Sumitra Bai, Sucha, his wife Bhupinder Kaur, Prem Singh, his wife Chano, Resham Singh, his wife Pappy, Roop Singh, his daughter Seeta, Kundan Singh, his wife Vimla and Kurana Bai, all of Kulgahina, allegedly assaulted Seeto Bai of their village with sticks. A case under Sections 323, 325, 148, 149 of the IPC has been registered.

In the another incident, Gagandeep Goyal and Surinder Kumar of Jagraon, riding a motorcycle (PB-25Q-4499) allegedly intercepted an Esteem (PB-10Q-7988) and threatened the occupant of the car, Vishal Attre, also a resident of Jagraon. The local police has registered a case for illegal detention and threatening under Section 341, 342, 506, 34 of the IPC. No arrest has been made so far in any of the case.

60 kg poppy husk seized

The Sudhar police recovered 60 kg of poppy husk from the Rajoana area here today. However, the persons who were in possession of the drug, managed to flee. A case under Section 15, 61, 85 of the NDPS Act has been registered.

1 held with opium

Satpal Ram of Ram Nagar Colony, Ratia (Haryana), was arrested by the Raikot police from the road leading from Jalaldiwal to Raikot and one kg of opium was recovered from his possession. A case under NDPS Act has been registered.

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Shreyans’ turnover rises
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 4
Shreyans Industries has recorded a 10 per cent rise in its turnover for the year ending March 31, 2007, a company press note said today .

The company recorded a turnover of Rs 214.33 crore from Rs 193.11 crore in the previous year. Net profits for the year were Rs 662.74 crore.

Vishal Oswal, vice-chairman and managing director, said the company was in advanced stage of implementing 3.5 mega watt co-generation plant at Shreyans Mill in Ahmedgarh and the plant would be put to operation by August this year.

With the implementation of the co-generation unit, they would be self sufficient in their energy requirement, he said.

He said the company also planned to set up a 5.5-mega watt co-generation plant at its unit Shree Rishab Papers in Ropar, with a capital outlay of Rs 25 crore.

The company would be self-dependent for power generation after completion of this project.

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