L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


PC’s Proposals
Industry gives mixed signals
Exporters unhappy; but textile units glad
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 29
The Union Budget presented by finance minister P. Chidambaram got a mixed response from the local industry. While exporters and steel consuming unit owners were unhappy, textile industry appreciated hike in provision for TUF.

Exporters who were expecting major relief after the dollar crisis were disappointed. “There is nothing that the finance minister has announced for the industry. We feel disappointed. It seems that the government wants industry to handle its problems on its own,” said S.C. Ralhan, regional chairman, Engineering Export Promotion Council. Industrialists said no steps had been taken for the benefit of micro and small industrial units which were the backbone of the economy.

“Measures for small and micro units result in direct employment. However, no announcements for this sector were announced which is pretty sad,” said V.P. Chopra of the Federation of Punjab Small Industries Association.

Increase in provision for technological Up gradation Fund (TUF) from Rs 911 crore to Rs 1,090 crore would benefit textile industry, said industrialists. “Though it would have been good had the finance minister extended TUF to re-conditioned machines, even the existing proposal to increase the provision amount would help textile units a lot.

It is a good Budget for the industry,” said Vinod K. Thapar of the Knitwear Club.

The tax holiday for establishing new hotels in heritage sites, said hotelier, would not yield much. “The benefit should have been given to existing hotels.

Punjab would not benefit much. Hospitality industry would continue to suffer,” said N.S. Nanda, owner of Nanda Hotel.



There is nothing for aam aadmi
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 29
City residents today termed the Union Budget as lacklustre and said they had expected the finance minister to dole out more benefits to common man in this budget.

The increase in tax slab from Rs 1.1 lakh to Rs 1.5 lakh, rise in minimum limit for pensioners to Rs 2.25 lakh and for women to Rs 1.8 lakh were appreciated but termed insufficient by the residents.

“We had expected the minimum tax limit to be increased to at least Rs 2 lakh. An increase of Rs 40,000 is meager considering the inflationary factors. The budget has focused on the farm sector and can’t be termed as a common man’s budget, though the big relief is that there are no additional taxes,” said Dr Mukhtinder Singh, a resident of Dugri.

Senior citizens hailed the increase in tax limit. “It is good that the finance minister took care of pensioners and increased the limit,” said Harbans Kaur, a resident of Haibowal Kalan.

Cheaper cars, two and three wheelers, said residents, would not have much  impact on a householder’s budget. “We wish he had included more relevant items. But he talked of cars, two wheelers and even in food it was items like tea and coffee mixes, puffed rice, things which do not really effect a householder’s budget,” commented Namita Batra, a resident.

Increase in service tax limit from Rs 8 lakh to Rs 10 lakh, said tax payers would help. Finance experts, who termed the increase in tax slabs as sufficient, said the budget could not be termed as a growth budget and was unlikely to curb inflation as the finance minister projected.

The rise in short term capital gains tax from 10 per cent to 15 per cent and introduction of commodities transaction tax would hit investors, they said.

“Traders and small investors are directly affected due to this increase, which would have an adverse impact on investment in commodities and also capital market. Besides, such steps are unlikely to curb inflation much. The finance minister did not touch corporate tax too, which is another disappointment’. In the whole, one can say that he has focused on welfare schemes and played it safe,” remarked chartered accountant Sanjeev Gupta.



After 8 years, govt staff win legal battle
DC to ensure upkeep of houses

Rajneesh Lakhanpal

Ludhiana, February 29
In an important decision, a local court has directed the local deputy commissioner, PWD B and R and the public health department’s secretary and other departments of the state government to ensure the proper maintenance of the houses allotted to the government employees at Dugri.

Mandeep Kaur Bedi, Civil Judge (junior division), pronounced this orders while deciding the long-pending case of the Sarkari Karamchari Welfare Association, Ludhiana. The employees were jubilant after winning the legal battle after eight years’ of struggle.

A large number of government employees had on October 1999 filed a case against those residing in the houses allotted to them at Dugri. Government had been deducting 5 per cent of their basic salary as maintenance charges every month from their salary. Despite this they failed to carry any maintenance work since 1998. Request was made to the authorities concerned but in vain.

These employees had claimed that their houses were in bad shape. Not even white wash had been conducted.

Windowpanes and glasses were broken. Pipelines were leaking, electric fittings were old and needs to be replaced, says the plaint filed by employees.

In this case, a local commissioner was appointed by the court for inspecting the houses and submitting the report. After visiting the houses, the local commissioner had reported that he visited 10 houses. Only two were found to be white washed. The electric fittings were found in bad state. He had also pointed out various other shortcomings.

However, the government authorities had claimed to have kept the houses in proper order. They had claimed that the proper maintenance was being carried out. It was submitted that the 5 per cent amount deducted was not for maintenance of the house but it was license fee charged from the employees.

The case was also filed against the revenue secretary, executive engineer PWD (B&R), provincial division, executive engineer PWD (Public Health), executive engineer PWD (Electricals). They all shall remain bound with the decision of this court.

The case was also filed against the PUDA, which had constructed the houses. But PUDA authorities pleaded that the possession was handed over to the government. The houses were allotted to the employees by the deputy commissioner-cum-chairman of the house allotment committee, Ludhiana. So, the PUDA authorities were not responsible for any maintenance or any other activity.



Cops find girl’s body, cremate it
In-laws hand in glove with police: Family

Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 29
A family of Lehal village in Payal subdivision was shocked to learn that their daughter, whom they thought was living happily with her husband at Rurka village; had died three weeks ago, and the Rampura Phool police considering her body to be unclaimed had cremated it.

The Dehlon police has registered an FIR under Section 304 B of the IPC against four members of the girl’s in-laws.

Sukhjinder Singh (husband), Jang Singh (father-in-law), Raj Pal Kaur (mother-in-law) and Bhinder Kaur (sister-in-law) of Rurka village were booked for allegedly causing the death of Ramandeep Kaur, whose body was found from a canal near Rampura Phool, about a fortnight ago. Ramandeep Kaur had reportedly gone missing from Rurka on February 6.

According to a complaint lodged on statement of Davinder Singh, his sister Ramandeep, was married to Sukhjinder Singh of Rurka about six years ago. Though the Lehal family had spent a huge amount on her marriage, her in-laws started harassing her for bringing insufficient dowry shortly after the marriage. Friends and relatives of both families had to intervene whenever Ramandeep showed apprehension about her being eliminated.

Though Ramandeep Kaur had reportedly gone missing about three weeks ago, her parents came to about it only three days ago. “We came to know about her disappearance when Sukhjinder rang us to know whether she was at Lehal. Now, we apprehend that they (in-laws) have killed her and destroyed her body,” Davinder said.

The Dehlon police after receiving information about disappearance of Ramandeep, launched the manhunt. During search operation the Rampura Phool police found the body of woman from a canal and cremated it. “The pictures and clothes shown by the Rampura Phool police prove that the body that was cremated by them was of my sister Ramandeep,” Davinder said. Ramandeep is survived by son, Kuldeep Singh (2).



At the Crossroads
Meeting a long lost friend

Distances are eliminated when the hearts crave for a meeting. This is precisely the case of an American and an Indian - William O’ Larsan and Nagar Singh - who were together in Chandigarh in 1965. Larson had come to India from America to monitor the distribution of jeeps donated by UNICEF to the health department of Punjab, where Nagar Singh was also employed at that time. Their common interest in painting cemented the bond of their friendship. However, when they bade farewell to each other in 1966, they did not care even to exchange their addresses.

In 2006, after years, Larson’s efforts to locate Singh materialised with the help of a lady from Chandigarh who had got married in Minnesota, United States. Still the task was not an easy one as Singh had left Chandigarh a long time ago and taken up a teaching job. He had retired as principal from Government Arts and Crafts Teacher Training Institute, Nabha and settled in Patiala. Eventually, the name of his father, a well known poet and artist, helped and the lost contact was re-established.

Larson sent copies of some photographs of the period they were together in Chandigarh, including the one he had clicked at Pinjore Gardens where they had gone for picnic in 1966. In his letter dated September 11, 2006, he wrote -

“Dear Nagar, I am sending you all the best greetings from America ... We will write about good things, things we perhaps remember for the last 40 years when we worked at the Punjab Health Services ... It was such a long time ago.”

Larson visited Patiala on January 19, 2008, to meet his friend Nagar after 42 years. He had also brought from America 30 books on painting which he distributed to meritorious students of Nagar’s ‘Ajaib Chitarkar Art and Crafts Teacher Training Institute, Patiala.’ In the function held in his honour on January 24, Larson dressed himself in kurta and pyjamas, with a big turban on his head. He evinced keen interest in Punjabi culture and participated in the folk dance, bhangra, with zeal. It was on January 27 that I met Larson at Nagar Singh’s residence in Patiala, where he had arranged a grand reception for his dear old friend. The newly painted house was fully decorated and the elite of the city had been invited to meet the warm-hearted American. We struck a conversation.

How was it that the memory of those days, when he and Nagar were together in Chandigarh, had sustained for such a long time?

“We were both young at that time and our common interest in art bound us together.”

He told me that on his way back to America, he had planned his stay at U.K. for some days. What could be his motive?

“I am an American but my ancestors came from Scotland. Now I have a desire to see the place where my forefathers resided before migrating to America.”

How was it that he had come alone to India?

“The objective of this visit of mine had been to establish contact with my long lost friend. Next time both of us would come to Punjab.” Indeed, meeting an old friend is a little more pleasant than meeting Messiah or Khizr (a prophet) — N.S. Tasneem



Dowry Case
Women alleges molestation
Our Correspondent

Khanna, February 29
Within 24 hours of their marriage, a couple was at loggerheads, as the bride besides being harassed forbringing insufficient dowry, was also allegedly molested by her father-in-law and brother-in-law. Police have booked 11 persons under Sections 354, 506, 498 A and 406 of the IPC. Two of the accused have been arrested while others are absconding.

Ravi Kumar (groom), Sher Singh (father-in-law), Kamla Devi ( mother-in-law), Dimple and Anju ( both sister-in-laws), Surinder Singh, Budhu, Montoo, Parmod, Kanwarpal and Tehal Singh of Daddoo Majra near Chandigarh have been booked for allegedly harassing and threatening the girl, a resident of Rahaon village. Sher Singh and one of his sons were also accused of outraging her modesty. Sources at the Sadar police station revealed that girl was married to Ravi Kumar on February 20. Though her parents had given sufficient dowry, the accused started harassing her.

Disappointed over the treatment, the girl asked her parents to intervene. They then requested Tehal Singh, the mediator, to impress upon Ravi and his father to safeguard interests of the bride. The victim finally approached the Sadar police yesterday.

“As I was assured of justice by the mediator and other social leaders I did not approach the police earlier. Now, when all their efforts to reach a compromise have proved futile and the accused are threatening me of dire consequences, I requested the police to take action against those, who besides misappropriating my dowry, also tried to outrage my modesty,” Manju said last night. The police raided various places to nab the accused. Montoo and Parmod were arrested today.



Massive protest by PAU pensioners
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 29
Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) pensioners, along with faculty members and employees of the varsity, took out a protest march on Ferozepur Road, here today. The relay fast by pensioners and their supporters also entered the fifth day.

The protesting activists of Confederation of PAU Pensioners Associations, PAU teachers Association and PAU Employees Union commenced the march from Thapar Hall and passing through gate no 1 of the university reached gate no 2, where a rally was organised.

Speaking at the rally, trade union leaders, pensioners and teachers made scathing attacks on the state government for its utter failure to solve the pension imbroglio. They regretted that pensions have not been paid for the last four months and retired PAU employees have been running from pillar to post for them.

Punjab State Pensioners Association president J.S. Dhillon and senior vice-president H.S. Kahlon offered their wholehearted support to the beleaguered PAU pensioners. PAU Teachers Association president M.S. Mahal expressed resentment at the indifferent attitude of the government while announcing intensification of protest till funds were provided for the pensions. Other speakers at the rally included Dr I.K. Garg, N.K. Pillai, S.P.S. Madan, D.P. Maur, K.S. Thukral, M.R. Passi and B.D. Tandon.



Grandparent's day celebrated at SGHPS
Our Correspondent

Doraha, February 29
The kindergarten section of Sri Guru Harkrishan Public School celebrated Grandparent’s Day, here today. On the occasion, tiny tots presented a cultural bonanza and nursery students put up a dance show. KG class girls presented a Haryanvi dance.

Prep class students taught everyone the Punjabi alphabet through their song and dance sequence with a classroom as the backdrop. English plays ‘Tim’s Kite’ and ‘Noddy’s Birthday Party’ was presented by class I and class II. Fun games like block building race, backward running, tug-of-war, hop-race were also organised.

The grandparents joined in the fun by taking part in the musical chairs competition. H.S Miglani, grandfather of Tavleen, won the event. Usha Kaushal, grandmother of Yuvraj from class Prep, won the punctuality draw.

Grandparents who had extended their co-operation throughout the session were honoured on the occasion.



National Science Day celebrated
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 29
With the objective of promoting science and nurturing a scientific temper among students, the primary wing of B.C.M Arya Model Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar, observed National Science Day - 2008, here today.

Students and teachers showcased their creative skills and knowledge about various issues related to science and environment. Advances made by scientists in the field of communication, production technology, biotechnology, space technology, medicine etc, were highlighted by the teachers.

Class I students participated in a drawing competition. Students were exhorted to use water judiciously and were explained the concept of water conservation.



LCET job fair from March 4
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 29
The consultancy, training and placement (CTP) cell of Ludhiana College of Engineering and Technology (LCET), will organise the ‘Second Job Fair - 2008’ on March 4 and 5, an official press release stated here today. The job fair aims at providing a common platform for industrial recruitment of engineers and management professionals and facilitate industry-institute interaction.

Around 15 companies will conduct their selection process for MBA (finance & marketing) and mechanical engineers on the first day, and B.Tech electronics & communication, computer science & engineering and information technology on the second day of the fair. Around 18 colleges have already registered their students for the selection process on both days. LCET chairman Vijay Gupta, director Dr J.S. Sohal and principal Dr Pawan Kumar appreciated the efforts of the CTP cell.



Maths quiz held at GGPS
Our Correspondent

Doraha, February29
An inter-house maths quiz was held at Green Grove Public School, Mohanpur, today. Students of all the four houses - Nehru, Tilak, Gandhi and Tagore - participated in the competition.

Tagore house (Rajni Paul, Monika Jandu, Channipreet, Jaskirat) won the quiz in the senior section. Among juniors, Hasrat, Ankita, Jaskaran Kular and Latashi (Tagore house) were adjudged the winners.



Forum quashes PSEB’s demand
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 29
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has quashed the PSEB’s demand seeking Rs 42,557 as surcharge from a consumer on account of theft charges, terming the same to be not justified.

Forum’s president J.S. Chawla and its member Daljit Singh Bakshi gave this judgment while deciding the complaint filed by Mohan Singh, alias Manmohan of Maya Nagar, Ludhiana.

The complainant had submitted before the forum that he was stunned to see the surcharge of Rs 42,557 added in his bill.

He approached PSEB officials but was not given any satisfactory reply. The officials asked him to deposit the money or face disconnection.

On the other hand, the PSEB officials submitted that the complainant’s meter was checked on August 1, 2006. The seal of the meter was found to be tampered with. Thus, the officials alleged that he was indulging in the power theft.

But after hearing the arguments put forth by both parties, the Judge did not find any merit in the PSEB’s case and quashed the demand.



Inter-Agricultural Varsity Meet
PAU athletes stamp authority

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 29
The contingent of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) was declared overall champions in the athletics (men and women) event during the 9th All India Inter-Agricultural University Sports meet held at MPKV, Rahuri, Maharashtra. The meet was held from February 22 to 25, an official press release stated here today.

According to the director of student's welfare, Dr Dulcha Singh Brar, 32 teams from the State Agricultural Universities (SAUs) took part in the meet. PAU students took part in table tennis, basketball (men), volleyball, athletics and kabaddi events.

In the men section, PAU athletes won eight golds, three silvers and three bronze medals and were declared runners-up with 20 points. Mandeep Singh was declared the best athlete. He also won gold medals in high jump and triple jump events, and bronze medals in 400 mt and long jump events. Gurinder Singh won the gold in 1500 mt race. Perivinkle Grewal won the silver medal in javelin throw.

In the women section, the university contingent won five golds, two silvers and two bronze medals. PAU team was declared overall champions in women section with 37 points. Harmeet Kaur won gold medals in discuss throw, shot put and 4x100 mt relay race. Jagdeep Kaur won gold medals in javelin throw and 4x100 mt relay race. Balinder Kaur won gold medals in 800 mt and 4 x 100 mt relay race, and bronze in the 400 mt race. Maninder Kaur won silver medals in 400 mt and 800 mt race.

PAU also won a silver medals in basketball (men) and table tennis (men) events.



Sports day at Kids Zone School
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, February 29
The annual sports day of Kids Zone Play Way School, New Chander Nagar, was held here today. Children attired in red shirts and white shorts and skirts took part in various events. Poonam Sethi, principal of the school, awarded the winners.

Results: Race for juniors: Section A - Devansh 1, Diya 2 and Srishti 3; Section B - Prabhjot 1, Raghav 2 and Tanush 3; Race for seniors: Harshit Bhatia 1, Bhavik 2 and Venus 3; Toy race: Section A - Ashmit 1, Tushar 2 and Gautam 3; Section B - Devansh 1, Rva 2 and Reet 3; Potato race: Sudiksha 1, Anishka 2 and Mehak 3; Kangaroo race: Arindam 1, Karneet 2 and Sparsh 3; Banana race: Parv 1, Ragini 2 and Ravneet 3; Back race: Archit 1, Sneh 2 and Ashina 3; Ballon race: Ritish 1, Avneet 2 and Kannan 3; Tricycle race: Trushti 1, Madhav 2 and Rimaljeet 3; Musical chair race: Kusha 1, Naina 2 and Vivan 3; Lemon and spoon race: Pranika 1, Manya 2 and Adarshpreet 3.



Athletics meet at Sanghol college
Our Correspondent

Khamano, February 29
The second annual athletics meet was held today at the Jawala Devi College of Education, Sanghol, near here. The meet began with the flag hoisting ceremony by the chief guest Gurmohan Singh Walia, director of Punjab SGPC colleges.

This was followed by the march past by the contingents of the four houses of the institute - Gandhi, Tagore, Vivekananda and Nehru. Deepika took the oath on behalf of all the students after which the events began.

Satbir Singh was declared the best athlete among boys and Rajdeep Kaur in the girls category. The overall trophy was bagged by Tagore house. Gandhi house was adjudged the best contingent in the march past.


Boys: 100 mt, Satbir 1, 200 mt, Satbir 1, 800 mt, Jasbir 1, javelin throw, Bagga Singh 1.

Girls: 400 mt, Deepika first, shot-put, Kulbir 1, long jump, Sukhwinder first.



Annual meet
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, February 29
The annual sports meet of Baba Jaswant Singh Dental College, Hospital and Research Institute, Ludhiana, will be held from March 3 to 8, according to a press release issued by the institute here today.

During this six-day event, students, interns, faculty and other members will take part in different indoor and outdoor games, besides fun games.

The annual day of the college will be celebrated on the concluding day of the meet on March 8.



Tarun, Gurleen adjudged best athletes
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, February 29
Tarun Kumar of BA II and Gurleen Kaur of B. Com II were adjudged the best athletes among boys and girls respectively in the 57th annual athletics meet of GHG Khalsa College, Gurusar Sadhar, near here today.

G S Bhullar, SSP, Ludhiana Rural, was the chief guest on the occasion. Dr Swaranjeet Singh Deol, principal of the college, along with faculty and members of the management committee were present during the meet.



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