L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Another power tariff hike likely
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, March 27
Even as the rollback of power tariff hike over seven months ago still remains on paper and consumers are paying power charges on revised rates, the PSEB has filed an aggregate revenue requirement (ARR) and retail tariff petition for 2008-09 with the Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC) to pave the way for another hike in tariff.

With the ARR having been filed for the next financial year and taken on record by the commission, the board has also set in motion the demand for advance consumption deposit (ACD), equivalent to average consumption of three months for consumers in the bi-monthly billing cycle and two months for those paying energy bills on a monthly basis.

The ACD has to be maintained under Clause 15 of the Electricity Supply and Related Matter Regulations, 2007, which were given effect on January 1, 2008. The recovery of the same was delayed due to provisions of Clause 16 which laid down that the demand for ACD would be reviewed within a year from the implementation of the Tariff Order 2008-09.

Since the PSERC has already taken on record the ARR and retail tariff petition for the next year and the tariff order, in all likelihood, would be issued after hearing objections within a month, there is indication that the tariff will be increased.

The state government had announced the rollback in September but the PSEB has still not received the subsidy of about Rs 292 crore to be given by the government on this account.

“As on date, the upward revision of tariff by 8.4 per cent is still in force. The matter relates to the government and refund of excess amount paid by consumers in the intervening period will only be made as and when the promised subsidy on this account is released,” a senior PSEB official said on the condition of anonymity.

It was learnt that as per the ARR filed with the PSERC, against an expected annual expenditure of Rs 13513.24 crore, the PSEB would earn a revenue of Rs 9103.02 crore from the sale of energy at the existing tariff and another Rs 2294.90 crore from power subsidy to agriculture, thus leaving a gap of Rs 2115.36 crore during the year.

Taking in account the revenue deficit of Rs 3139.10 during 2007-08, the cumulative gap would be Rs 5254.47 crore.



Date for submitting C forms extended
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 27
Acceding to the industry’s demand, the government has agreed to extend the last date for submitting C forms. The last date, however, is yet to be announced.

The decision was communicated to the industry by tourism minister Hira Singh Gabria last evening.

Extension of the date has brought relief to lakhs of industrialists who were finding problems in procuring C forms from other states, particularly Uttar Pradesh, that have implemented VAT from this year.

“The minister told us that the Chief Minister, Parkash Singh Badal, has agreed to extend the date and communicated about it to the departments concerned. The date is yet to be finalised,” said Charanjit Singh Vishwakarma, president of the United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association.

“We are happy that the government has agreed to extend the date. Shortage of C forms and difficulties in obtaining them from UP, as most departments there are busy with completing records for implementing VAT, were acting as hurdles. In case of inability to furnish the forms by the due date, the assessee is liable to penalty,” an industrialist said.

As March 31 was the last date, the industry feared delays and sent repeated requests to the government to extend the last date by another three to six months. Extending the date, they contended, would cause no revenue loss to the government. However, the delay meant a fine of 1 per cent.



Draftsmen protest arrest of colleagues
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 27
Draftsmen of the building branch of the MC today went on a pen-down strike and staged a dharna against the action against three MC employees.

They handed over a memorandum to the joint commissioner, Kuldeep Singh, stating that the arrest of the municipal town planner, Shakti Sagar Bhatia, and draftsmen Mohinder Pal and Nirmal Singh had caused a scare among employees.

They said the accused were called for evidence by the Vigilance Bureau in the case pertaining to a building, but were arrested.

“It seems as if jungle raj is prevailing in the state as nobody is being heard. Despite repeated appeals, nobody is listening to us,” the employees said.

They sat on a dharna for two hours. They said it was the high-handedness of the bureau to arrest the officials as the civic body had its own vigilance and the bureau should not interfere in their work.

Also, it had no right to arrest employees when they had only been called to appear for evidence.

“This way it would be difficult for employees to work against building bylaw violators. Moreover, it was a case of personal enmity between two neighbours and the bureau was playing in the hands of certain people,” said Congress councillor Parminder Mehta, who was among the protesters.

Later in the evening, the employees’ union held a meeting and decided to hold a gate rally outside the MC’s Zone A office for two hours after boycotting work. They said they would not allow anyone to enter the office between 9 am and 11 am.

If the bureau did not release them and withdraw the cases against them, they would be forced to intensify their agitation, they added.



Sutlej Club candidates fight it out, literally
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 27
Some members of the “prestigious” Sutlej Club indulged in a scuffle late last night while campaigning for their candidates.

They not only used abusive language for one another in front of women members, but also manhandled some members.

G.R. Chopra, 72, who has been member of the club for the past 30 years, said there was no discipline in the club these days. He said the president of the club should take strict action against people for creating nuisance at the club.

Eyewitnesses said some members did not even keep their families out of the brawl. “They cast aspersions on each other’s character merely for a post. These elections are definitely not healthy. One must keep his/her family out of dirty politics. More than 15 members were involved in the brawl. An enquiry must be conducted against erring members,” another member said. A woman member termed it as “rowdy incident”. “Such club members bring disrepute to the club. I will not vote for any candidate. They do not deserve to be given charge of responsible posts,” she said.

Priyank Bharti, returning officer, said he just came to know about the incident. “Discipline has to be maintained. We are getting all the facts and we will take action.”



7 months after polls, MC forms committees
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 27
Seven months after the house was elected, the MC constituted committees for finance and contract, house tax, building and roads and water supply and sewerage last evening.

Youth Akali Dal leader Simarjit Singh Bains was named along with another Akali councillor, Pal Singh Grewal, as member of the F&CC.

The mayor, senior deputy mayor and deputy mayor are the other members.

Naagar and Bharat Bhushan Ashu for Zone A, Manvinder Pal Singh Makkar and Santosh Kalra for Zone B, Ranjit Singh Dhillon and Harbhajan Dang for Zone C and Gurdeep Singh Neetu and Raju Thapar for Zone D.

Hem Raj Aggarwal, Sujhdev Singh Gill, Ravinder Kaur Chaddha, Inderjit Singh Gill, Tehal Singh, Parminder Singh Soma, R.S. Dhillon and Sakhsi Julka were named members of the building and roads committee.

Swaran Singh Mahauli, Amrit Varsha Rampal, Navjot Kaur, Sharanjit Singh Chahal, Sarabjit Lal, Hans Raj, Baby Singh Thakur, Mandeep Kaur Sandhu and Parminder Mehta were named members of the water supply and sewage committee.



PAU board members meet on budget
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 27
The annual budget of 2008-09 of Punjab Agricultural University was presented during a meeting of board of management in Chandigarh today.

The total budget of university for the current year was Rs 227.55 crore, with a deficit of Rs 68.45 crore.

According to an official information, the state will put its share of 78.84 per cent in total budget, while other agencies will put 17.06 per cent share.

The university will generate its own resources to the tune of 4.10 per cent of the total budget.

Fifty-eight per cent of the budget will be spent on research projects, while 20.55 per cent will go on teaching work.

With 10.92 per cent, extension education will get a boost, while remaining 9.96 per cent will be spent on general administration at the university.

According to a board member, they were a bit concerned at the deficit. “This amount has been carried forward over the years,” he said.



7 held for assault, kidnap
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, March 27
Seven persons have been booked for allegedly waylaying Manish Kumar of Bhundari and his uncle and assaulting them with sticks. The accused later kidnapped Manish. The accused have been identified as Amarjit Singh, Subhash Chander, Tarsem Lal, Mohan Lal, Naresh Kumar, Neeraj Kumar, Jagga Lal of Bhundari.

The Sidhwan Bet police has registered a case under Sections 364, 342, 323, 506, 148 and 149, IPC. A land dispute is said to be the reason behind the assault.

2 held: Pappu and Deepak of jhuggis near the bus stand police post were arrested by the local police from Agwar Gujjran with stolen property, including Rs 5,000 in cash. The cash, ceiling fan and other articles were stolen from the house of Ajaib Singh of Kashapur. The local police has registered a case under Sections 456 and 380, IPC.



Intoxicants seized

Ludhiana, March 27
The narcotics control cell of the local police has seized at least 16,000 intoxicating tablets, capsules, injections and syrups from three chemists in raids conducted yesterday evening.

Intoxicants were seized from Gill Medicos, Shaheed Karnail Singh Nagar, Rishi Medicos, Manmohan Nagar Dhurri rail Line and Banti Medical Hall. — TNS



Industry against 30 pc hike in minimum wages
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 27
The local textile industry has urged the government not to effect the proposed 30 per cent hike in minimum wages stating that it would not be able to bear the burden of higher wages as it is already passing through a tough phase.

“Industry should be protected against proposed hike of about 30 per cent in the minimum wages. In case the industry is not compensated against the effect of hike in wages and loss suffered due the power cuts, the situation is bound to deteriorate further,” Vinod K. Thapar, president, Knitwear Club, said in a memorandum submitted to principal secretary, industries and commerce, Punjab, S.S.Channy.

The industry also sought allocation of a dedicated fund for the development of this industry in the state. Club members said the industry contributed significant amount of revenues to the government but its share in allocation of funds was meager.

They also urged the government to contribute, in the form of grant up to 25 per cent, towards promotion of the cluster scheme.

“Under this scheme most of the funds are allocated by the Centre but there is no matching financial contribution from the state government. The local government offers land and building for such projects, but it’s yet to earmark a suitable fund for the schemes and wherever the industries have got their own land and building, the government should contribute in the shape of grant up to 25 per cent of the project,” said Thapar.

The members also demanded that VAT refunds and pending subsidies be expedited.



...begins relay fast against mobile excise barriers
Tribune News Service

Mandi Gobindgarh, March 27
Despite suffering losses worth crore of rupees, the local industrialists have decided to continue with their indefinite strike against the mobile barriers set up by the excise and taxation department for checking tax evasion.

Industrialists affiliated with different association, who started their chain hunger strike yesterday, said today that despite assurances, the state government had failed to withdraw the barriers that were harassing them.

The excise and taxation department had on March 11 set up mobile barriers at six different points in the town. Officials used to stop trucks and checked the bills and loaded material. Associations like the all-India steel re-roller association (AISRA), small scale steel se-roller Association, induction furnace association and Gobindgarh steel chamber of commerce have being meeting regularly to take the stock of the prevailing situation and to decide the future course of action.

Chief parliamentary secretary Jagdish Saini yesterday visited the town and held a meeting with agitating industrialist at the local MC office. He assured them that the barriers would be immediately withdrawn. After which the hunger strike was withdrawn. However, as the department continued to inspect the vehicles even today, the industrialists resumed with their hunger strike and decided to continue till the barriers were withdrawn completely.

The industrialists contend that they were already paying advance tax on steel and iron being purchased by them and the mobile barriers had just been set up to create troubles for them. On the other hand, the department is maintaining that there were reports of tax evasion worth crores in the town and the mobile barriers had been set up to check this.



PAU to revitalise research works
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 27
Courtesy the state government corpus grant of Rs 50 crore, Punjab Agricultural University has enough funds for laboratory research in the fields to attempt improvements in seed production and innovations in plant protection.

Dr M.S. Kang, vice-chancellor of the university, while talking to The Tribune here yesterday, pointed out bio-technology and crop diversification as the key areas of the action plan, which would be chalked out by the university at the earliest.

He said: “The grant has largely emerged out of a series of consultations with finance minister Manpreet Badal, who had promised substantial grants for quality research work in the current Budget.”

Dr Kang said: “We expect another grant of Rs 50 crore in the next budget. The amount earned on interest of the Rs 100-crore fund will provide a decent base to carry out qualitative research.”

He said research in bio-technology for food production is the need of the hour and also needed is identification of workable avenues for technology application. Wheat-rice cultivation dominated the cropping pattern in the country because farmers were assured of prices fixed by the government for their produce. “Wheat-rice farming is a sort of a contract farming with expected results. We will, at the same time, work on crop diversification and involve farmers by showing them changed results on grounds, particularly at krishi centres in the fields and also at kisan melas”.

Dr Kang said a university project on plant genome was being undertaken as part of an international project. The Department of Bio-technology has given a grant of Rs 10 crore for three years to submit a report on chromosome II AL, which is only one among 42 chromosomes.



Multi-state research project for varsity
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 27
Punjab Agricultural University has got a mungbean research project “Popularisation of extra-short duration mungbean cultivars for poverty alleviation and improved nutrition” in Bihar, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Tamil Nadu from Asian Vegetable Research Development Centre (AVRDC), Taiwan.

The project will be operated from the department of plant breeding, genetics and bio-technology for a period of one and half years. The project has a budget outlay of $ 31,000. The contract agreement for this project, signed by Dr Thomas Lumpkin, director general, AVRDC, was agreed by vice-chancellor Dr Manjit Singh Kang in the presence of AVRDC-regional centre for South Asia, Hyderabad, director Dr M.L. Chadha, head of department of plant breeding, genetics and biotechnology, Dr B.L. Bhardwaj, pulses in charge Dr J.S.Sandhu, and project principal investigator Dr T.S.Bains.

Dr Kang said pulses had a special place in Indian diets as they provided protein for the vegetarian. He added that pulses did have a place in diversification of agriculture and that the PAU was laying thrust on pulses through initiating research programmes. 



From Schools
Fun day for adventure seekers
Tribune News service

Ludhiana, March 27
Students of KVM School, city branch, took part in a one-day camp conducted by a Tourista Adventure Academy.

Headmistress Namita Raj Singh declared the camp open by releasing balloons.

The camp provided students to go through obstacles like flying fox, net climbing, Burma bridge, commando bridge, monkey crawl, rope climbing, tyre crossing, wriggling, twist fall.


An art and craft exhibition and prize distribution function was held at Akal Sahai Convent Senior Secondary School, New Shimlapuri, today.

Lieut-Col R.P. Singh, 19 Punjab Battalion of the NCC, was the chief guest.

He emphasised the role of discipline in life. He also underlined the need for good habits and respecting parents, teachers and elders.

Proposing the vote of thanks, director Gurbachan Singh emphasised the need for punctuality and regularly updating the classroom and home work.

Annual day

Kidies Paradise Nursery School celebrated their annual day with fervour at Punjabi Bhawan here yesterday.

The function started with the rendition of shabad “Deh Shiva Var Mohe” followed by the reading out of annual report.

Councillor Jagjit Singh was the chief guest, while ACS Dr Manorma Markan was the presiding officer.

Children presented a cultural program. Principal Radhika Mahajan bade adieu to outgoing students.



Protest by Arya college students
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 27
Around 100 students protested against the “callousness” on part of college authorities for not issuing them their roll numbers at Arya College, Civil Lines, today.

The students of various classes alleged that their final examination was fast approaching and they were not issued roll numbers because of the “ongoing politics” at the college.

A student of BA III, on condition of anonymity, said students were being held responsible without their fault by college authorities.

“The management says we are running short of lectures. Every second day there is a strike of teaching and non-teaching staff here. Dharnas by teachers are organised on regular basis. We cannot attend classes on our own. Teachers do not take lectures. Why should we suffer because of the tussle between teachers and management?” he said.

The final examination of different classes begins on April 1 but a bunch of students who protested today had not been issued their roll numbers. The university has issued roll numbers to other students.

Principal Dr S.M. Sharma maintained that the students were unnecessarily blaming the management and teachers. “How can roll numbers be issued to students who have not attended even a single class? They are suffering because of their own mistakes. All students are issued warnings but they care little,” he said.



Community participation must for sustained development: Expert
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, March 27
RIMT-Institute of Management and Computer Technology organised a three-day AICTE approved seminar on “sustainable development” on its premises. The seminar was inaugurated by Jagesh Khaitan, vice-president and MD, Amrit Vanaspati Company, Rajpura. RIMT group of institutes chairman Hukam Chand Bansal called upon people particularly the budding managers to be more vigilant and do their best to check environmental degradation.

Opening the seminar’s theme, RIMT-IMCT director Dr Surender Singh said India with its large agrarian population, the practical dimension of sustainable development had to focused on the nexus between poverty, ill-health, population growth and deterioration of land, water and biotic resources at local level.

Khaitan addressing the delegates said society should contribute in checking the further deterioration of the environment.In his key note address, the noted academician and former chairman of University Business School, Panjab University, Dr B.B. Tandon said the owning and the management of the natural resources should be dealt on two platforms and suggested that the state should own the resources and their management should be in private hands

In his presidential address the noted water management expert, Dr Rajinder Singh, who was awarded Magsaysay Award in 2001, stressed on revival of the indigenously developed development models to suit the local needs. He called for community-driven efforts for sustainable development. He shared his experience of building 6,800 water harvesting structures through his NGO “Tarun Bharat Sangh”.

Guest of honour Air Marshall K.S. Bhatia (retd.) said the model for sustainable development must be resilient, flexible, inclusive and must incorporate the effective monitoring system.

Director-general of the institute Dr B.S. Bhatia in his address stressed on the need for creating more awareness about the ecological system and developing mechanism to save it from multiple threats for its conservation and maintenance.

In the first technical session, vital issues concerning sustainable development like economic planning, managing strategies, social issues, ISO standards and corporate social responsibility were deliberated. The session was chaired by Dr K.K. Raina, deputy director, Thapar University, Patiala. The session also had on its panel renowned academician.

Dr Prem Kumar, principal, Shri Aurobindo College of Commerce, and president of Punjab Commerce and Management Association, said efforts in checking population growth, climate changes and overexploitation of natural resources can lead to significant results.



DMCH Sports Meet
Harminder beats Piyush in table tennis
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, March 27
The three-day North Zone Inter-Medical and Dental Colleges Games (NOZIT-08) began at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) here today. At least 400 participants drawn from about 15 major medical and dental colleges of the North zone are taking part in the meet.

Secretary of the DMCH managing society Prem Kumar Gupta declared the meet open by lighting the ceremonial lamp and releasing official newsletter “Nozit News-2008”. To mark the occasion, the mascot “Nozi-The Pug” was released by the 
chief guest.

DMCH principal Dr Daljit Singh welcomed the participants and stressed on the need for participating in sport activities for overall development.

Medical superintendent and chairman of the DMC sports council Dr Rajoo Singh Chinna said the healthy and positive body image was essential for healthy mindset.

Vice-principal Dr Jagdeep Whig, medical superintendents Dr Sandeep Puri, Dr B.S. Shah,dean (academics) Dr S.C.Chopra,secretary, DMC sports council Dr Sanjeev Uppal, convener of the DMC sports council Dr P.L.Gautam and members of sports council and Prof Indermohan Kumar.

The inaugural ceremony was followed by exhibition matches between the teams, comprising faculty members and students of the host Dayanand Medical College and Hospital. Arpandeep Singh Brar, organising secretary of the meet, welcomed students from medical and dental colleges.

Results:- Table tennis (men’s singles):- Harminder Singh of Adesh College, Bhatinda beat Piyush Khanna of Adesh College, Bathinda, 11-7, 8-11,11-9,12-10; Ankur of Government Medical College, Chandigarh, beat Tribhav of GMC, Chandigarh, 11-9,11-5,11-4; Ajay Maini of DMCH,Ludhiana,beat Saurab Bansal of DIRDS, Delhi,11-8,7-11,11-9,11-9 and Arpit of DMCH, Ludhiana,beat Abhimanyu of BJDS, Ludhiana, 11-9,11-8,11-5.

Table tennis (women singles) semi finals:- Ashima of CMC,Ludhiana,beat Satwant Kaur of DMCH,Ludhiana,beat, 11-8,11-7,5-11,6-11,11-9; Simarpreet Kaur of Adesh College, Bathinda, beat Suhasini of DMCH, Ludhiana, 11-8,5-11,11-7,11-6.

Badminton:-CMC, Ludhiana beat ASCOM, Jammu, 3-0 (Ansh beat Arshdeep 21-4,21-4, Arvind beat Rajeep 21-6,21-6, Aditya and Ansh beat Arshdeep and Rajdeep 21-9,21-5; GMC, Chandigarh,beat DMCH, Ludhiana,B-3-0 (Mayank beat Gurpreet 21-8, 21-10, Lakshya beat Abhinav 21-18, 21-19, Mayank and Lakshya beat Abhinav and Ashish 22-20,22-20.



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |