Cable Guys Thumb nose at rules 
Are in no mood to budge despite earning SCDRC rap for overcharging subscribers
Deepkamal Kaur
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, April 17
Even as the state consumer disputes redressal commission (SCDRC) has pronounced a judgement in favour of a bunch of local cable subscribers, the city’s cable operators have not given it two hoots. They seem to be in no mood to slash the charges accordingly, thus depriving the residents of any reprieve even after having won a two-year-old legal battle. The president of the commission, K.C. Gupta, in the judgement passed on March 31, had clearly stated that the cable operators cannot charge more than Rs 140 for relay of up to 20 paid channels and minimum 30 free-to-air channels, Rs 170 for transmission of 21 to 30 paid channels with 30 free channels and Rs 200 for relay of 31 to 45 paid channels with 30 free channels in B-2 class cities like Jalandhar. But the cable operators are continuing to charge anything between Rs 250 to Rs 300 even from the complainants in the case.

This despite that the commission had held that with effect from December 1, 2007, cable rates would be covered by the gazette notification dated October 4, 2007 under the Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable Services Tariff) Order 2007 and not at the whims of the cable operators. The complainants in the case were Consumer Protection Council Jalandhar, Jyoti Nagar Welfare Society and Vasant Vihar Housing Cooperative Society, who had earlier lodged the case with the district forum in May, 2004. The commission also dismissed the revision petitions filed by Jalandhar Siti Cable and Win Cable while asking them to pay up the costs of Rs 2,000 each.

K.K. Purewal, a representative of Vasant Vihar society, said there were two operators in the area who still were charging Rs 250, Rs 280 or even Rs 300 from the residents as per their own will. “As per the judgment, the operators should have been taking Rs 140 or Rs 170 from the subscribers as they are relaying only 20 to 22 paid channels. But we have not got any relief even as the report on judgement appeared in a section of media the very next day. The operators owe us refund too from December, 2007, onwards,” he said.

Joga Singh, a resident of Urban Estate, Phase-II, said residents were being charged Rs 280 per month as earlier. “I had hoped that the cable operators would themselves slash the charges after the judgement but this has not happened. Rather than each person going to knock the door of the commission, I wish that the cable operators themselves slash the charges or the district administration takes strict action against them for the deviation,” he said.

Residents of Defence Colony have been paying monthly charges of Rs 300 while those from Jaswant Nagar are being forced to pay up Rs 275. But cable operators seem to be adamant on this. Sonu, an operator for Siti Cable at Vasant Vihar, said, “We are simply like employees of Siti Cable. We do as GM Kataria of Siti Cable or owner Sheetal Vij direct us to do.”

Kataria, on the other hand, said, “I don’t know anything about the state commission’s judgment. All that I am aware of is the TRAI orders of charging Rs 220 plus service tax from the consumer, which amounts to Rs 240 per month.” He argued, “Every household has more than one TV set, which means that we should be charging double the amount. We ask the cable operators to pay us a commission of 50 to 70 per cent per connection.” Asked if the operators were drawing 50 per cent profit in some cases, he said it was not the case as they too were spending a lot on maintenance of their equipment and labour.Deputy commissioner Ajeet Singh Pannu said the administration could not intervene into the matter. “We can take action in the case only if we get directions to do it,” he said. Even S.P.S. Marar, ADC (G), said the subscribers need to approach the commission again in case the operators did not follow its orders.



Soaring prices fallout of privatisation: CPI

Jalandhar, April 17
The CPI’s local unit staged a rally at Desh Bhagat Yadgaar Hall here today to protest against the government’s inability to control inflation.

Addressing protesters, CPI’s state secretary Bhupinder Sambhar said the masses were groaning under the steep price rise and majority of households were struggling to put two square meals a day. It was due to the government’s failure to initiate tough measures to reverse the price graph.

He blamed the privatisation policy pursued by successive governments for the past two decades as the reason for inflation. “We had been predicting such a situation but the power drunk regimes were too busy to give a thought to it,” Bhupinder alleged.

The government boasted that the country was galloping on the road to progress, but how can a country develop when its public was hungry, he questioned.

He said the phenomenon was not India-specific and the United Nations had warned that the food crises would result in riots across the globe. “In such a scenario the government should act fast as experts have predicted a bumper harvest of wheat. Imports should be banned and the buffer stocks should be released through the public distribution system,” he added. Besides, the government should cut taxes on 
all essential commodities, including diesel.

He said the farmers should be given an additional 30 per cent bonus as an incentive. Among others who spoke were Kulwant Singh, Chand Fatehpuri, Niranjan Singh Uccha, Beant Singh Budhabarh, Mohinder Singh and Kapur Singh Jadli and Kulwant Kaur.— TNS



Attack on party men: BSP seeks Akali workers’ arrest 
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, April 17
The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) organised a dharna to demand the arrest of Akali workers who thrashed their party activists on April 14.

Hundreds of agitators assembled at Bootan Mandi here today and raised slogans against the administration and police, which, they alleged were shielding the accused. Although the accused had been identified, yet they were not been arrested under politicalpressure.

Speaking on the occasion, P.D. Shant, general secretary of the outfit, said Akali workers deliberately targeted a group of their workers and bashed them up when they were returning from a function organised to mark the birth anniversary of Dr B.R. Ambedkar. Many of the victims received serious injuries, he alleged.

The ruling alliance was bent on creating an atmosphere of terror in the area so that its members could have a free run of the place. This was an attempt to intimidate them in the run up to the parliamentary polls, he pointed out.

This was not an isolated incident since Dharan Vir Dhamma, president of the cantonment unit of the party, survived a murderous assault by some Akali activists a few days ago. Sensing the anger among the people, the police had provided security for Dhamma, he added.

Shant said they had been assured by the police that the accused would be rounded up in the next 48 hours. In case this was not done, they would be forced to intensify their agitation and give a befitting reply to the accused.



Hans is back with ‘Yaara-O-Yaara’ 
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, April 17
Renowned Punjabi singer Hans Raj Hans is back after a two- year hiatus with his latest album- Yaara-O-Yaara. The album has been brought by Speed Records. Music director Charanjit Ahuja has composed the music for the Punjabi after a gap of 14 years. They last teamed up for the hit album ‘Ishqe de barsaat.’

Hans said the album contains nine songs that have been penned by Vijay Dhami, Dev Threekewala, Amarjit Cheema (USA), Satta Kotliwala, AS Kang (U.K.) and Jailey Manjitpuri. The videos of two songs are ready and will hit the music channels in the next few days.Hailing from nearby Shafipur village, Hans was honoured with the Padam Shri recently, besides being declared as the Raj Gayak by the Punjab government. Hans is also the visiting Professor at the San Jose University, USA, and is the Lifelong fellow of Punjabi University, Patiala.



‘Youth can make world a better place’ 
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, April 17
In this fast paced life when people are struggling with stress and anxiety, the Art of Living (AOL) has virtually come up as a ray of hope. World Alliance for Youth Empowerment (WAYE), a part of AOL, director Dinesh Ghodke was in city for a workshop at Lovely Professional University to encourage youth to join their campaign “Clean inside, clean outside”.

Dinesh said India’s 71 per cent population consisted of youth and there was a need to help these youngsters to make world a better place to live in.

Talking to The Tribune, Dinesh said, “The campaigns are designed to help an individual lead a dynamic and serene life. The youth these days are prone to emotional turmoil, physical and mental stress from within. But with the help of workshops we help youth to overcome their problems.”

An alumnus of IIT Mumbai, Dinesh has been associated with WAYE for the past 13 years. He was himself a student when he was inspired to join the organisation during a workshop at his campus. He said, “The workshops generally leave a strong impact on the youngsters and I have witnessed them changing for the best.”



DC launches website of NGO
Tribune News Service

Kapurthala, April 17
Deputy commissioner J.M. Balamurugan has launched a website,, of a non-government organisation (NGO) Siddhartha Sharma Charitable Trust.

President of the trust Dr Bimal Kumar Sharma and its secretary Dr Abha Mudgil Sharma say that the trust has been holding medical camps every months since August, 2005. Investigations like ECG and blood sugar digital sensory neuropathy are done free of cost in these camps. Medicines are also distributed free of cost, they add.

Apart from holding 33 medical camps at Sharma Hospital on The Mall here, several camps have been organised in slum areas and surrounding villages and 14,000 persons have been benefited from these camps, they say.

Besides bone densitometry camps, free mammography camps for suspected breast cancer patients, eye operation camps have also been held under the aegis of the trust. In order to spread awareness among the youth about social evils, painting and essay writing competitions have been held at various city schools.



Young World
New evaluation techniques to reduce burden on kids
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, April 17
Darshan Academy organised an orientation programme for parents to make them aware of new evaluation techniques that the school would follow in the new academic session. The parents of students from class nursery to III attended the programme.

Principal Raman Oberoi said the new system was aimed at reducing burden and stress on the children.

Chess championship

The Jalandhar Chess Association held a two-day Jalandhar sub-junior chess championship at Seth Hukam Chand SD Public School, Prem Nagar, here.

The championship was conducted separately for boys and girls.

Among the girls, Kavya Khurana bagged first position, while Amandeep Kaur was second.

In the boys category, Karanvir Singh and Bikramjit Singh Kang brought laurels to the host school by bagging top positions. Principal Lakhvinder Kaur congratulated the participants.

Lovely toppers

Varun of Lovely Institute of Technology (Polytechnic) topped Punjab State Board of Technical Education & Industrial Training exam and scored 80.22 percent marks.

Two other students Vikrant and Vishal Sehgal too featured in the merit list with a score of 684 and 670 marks, respectively.

Campus placement

The CT Group of Institutions, Jalandhar organised a joint campus placement in which 64 students got jobs in a Chennai-based Shriram Value Services Limited and Software Development company NSPL.

As many as 400 students from B.Tech and MBA streams from different colleges and universities of Punjab participated in the placement drive.

The recruitment process comprised pre-placement talks, written test, GDs, personal interviews followed by HR interview.

The students would get a salary package ranging from Rs 1.8 lakh to 4.5 lakh. 



Now, Hinglish fashion course at INIFD
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, April 17
International Institute of Fashion Design (INIFD) organised a fashion show ‘Maujan-ee-Maujan’, showcasing designs inspired from Punjabi culture, at Gymkhana Club here on Wednesday evening. The event comprised five rounds.

The beautiful use of phulkari on garments was the highlight of the first round. Punjabi suits with bright colours dominated the second round. “Each and every strand used in embroidery is the result of students’ hardwork”, said Shefali, centre owner.

The next round was based on denim mix ‘n’ match. Lucknow kurtis with elaborate mirror work and embroidery caught the fancy of the spectators.

The fourth round was inspired from Baisakhi festival but with contemporary approach. The outfits were cotton and linen skirts with shades of yellow.

A basic six-yard sari made glamorous and chic by the creative flair of budding designers was on display in the concluding round. Shefali announced the launch of vocational course in regional language.

“This is for those who find language barriers in pursuing INIFD courses. The medium for instruction would be Hinglish.” 



Managing the adolescent 
Tribune News Service

Kapurthala, April 17
A workshop on ‘managing adolescence’ was organised at Army Public School, Beas, on Wednesday.

In his inaugural speech, the chief guest Brig SK Yadav emphasised on the need to understand the different aspects of adolescence and how it influence the overall growth of youth.

The workshop was attended by over 500 students, 150 teachers and 250 parents from various army schools. The resource persons Dr Sonia Sharma and Dr Bindu Suri interacted with parents, children and teachers separately in three different sessions.

The parents were given a new perspective on managing relationship with kids. They were also told about typical adolescent behaviour in children and how to handle it. The children were shown a movie focusing on the importance of sexual hygiene. They were also made aware of diseases like AIDS.

The interactive session, involving teachers, threw light on the need for holistic approach towards understanding the child’s growth. Colonel Balbir Singh (retired) was present on the occasion.



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