L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Student thrashed by teacher, told to strip
The latter, who was sacked, was expecting excellent work from an ‘average’ student
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 27
Wanting excellent performance from a “below-average” student proved too much to handle for a schoolteacher here yesterday.The teacher resorted to corporal punishment and asked the student to strip in front of the class. After the student refused to obey the order of the teacher, the former was thrashed.

Taking disciplinary action, the BCM Senior Secondary School authorities terminated the erring teacher from service here today.

The development followed after the parents and relatives of the child lodged a complaint with the police and further staged a dharna outside the school premises here today.

The incident took place yesterday when Ankit Goyal (12), a student of class VII, was allegedly asked to lower his knickers in front of the whole class after he did not do well in a class test.

Ishwar Chander Goyal, father of Ankit, complained that Sunil Kumar, the maths and science teacher of the school, had asked his son to lower his knickers. When his son refused, he was thrashed badly.

“He was upset and refused to take food after returning from the school. Later in the evening, he narrated the entire incident to his sister and showed the injuries inflicted on him by the teacher. More than the wound, he was worried about the humiliation he had to face in front of the entire class and refused to go to the school today,” said Ishwar Chander Goyal.

The family that lives in HR Colony in Jamalpur today lodged a formal complaint with the police and later staged a dharna in front of the school along with other residents of the colony.

MR Mehta, principal of the school, said, “He came to know about the matter in the morning and action was taken against the erring teacher.”

It was learnt that the teacher had apologised to the parents and a compromise was effected. Despite repeated attempts, the school teacher was not available for comments.


Living hell inside city Civil Hospital ward
Ludhiana Tribune exposes pathetic condition in the male ward
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 27
It can be termed a virtual hell. The plight of destitute patients in the Male Ward of the Civil Hospital here is enough to send shock waves into any “minimally invasive sensitive heart” if he/she happens to visit this place.

callous; "Night soil" markings seen on the walls of the male ward of the Ludhiana Civil Hospital where three unknown patients are getting treatment; and (right) The hospital authorities say he is violent and does not lie on the bed. Photos: Inderjeet verma

One just needs to visit the last room of the male ward on the second floor of the OPD Block of the Civil Hospital, where three unknown patients have been stationed. Their plight is nothing but a picture of callous neglect, inhuman treatment and cruel behaviour.

The room is full of stench and one cannot enter it without spoiling one's feet with "night soil", which is scattered here and there. It is not only the floor but also the walls and beds of the patients which are littered with filth. The very room as well as toilets which are adjacent to this ward are suffocating stinking and full of filth, dirt, human excreta and urine.

Yesterday around 1:30 pm a Tribune team visited this ward. The corridor leading to this room was having scattered human excreta and running water of the toilets in the corridors. Almost every passerby had his shoes completely drenched in the filth. And worse, the toilets were badly stinking.

Three unknown patients lie in the male ward of the Civil Hospital, Ludhiana and (right); Health and Family Minister Satpal Gosain visits the hospital.
Three unknown patients lie in the male ward of the Civil Hospital, Ludhiana and (right); Health and Family Minister Satpal Gosain visits the hospital. Photos: Inderjeet Verma

It was observed that two patients were lying on the bed, while the third one was lying under the bed in a very bad condition. Making a gesture towards this correspondent, the one who was kneeling down under the bed, named Lambodar said, “Give me biscuit.” He was just covering his legs with a thin yellow linen having blood drops here and there. While the other one Subhash, lying on the bed, said, “Give me water.” The wall nearby him was full of night soil. The third one, whose name is still unknown, kept lying (half on the bed and half on the floor) and looked helpless as he was having pain in his back.

According to sources, Lambodar’s legs were amputated on railway tracks and is here since March 15. While another unknown patient (60 years old) came here in the month of April 25 after his back was injured in a road accident. The third one, Subhash (aged 40), a resident of Uttam Nagar in New Delhi, reached here on April 16 after getting injured in a road accident.”

All these three patients are unable to move, totally dependent and have none to look after. Ironically, the place where they reached with a hope of better care and treatment is also not less than a “hell’’ for them.

Operation clean-up: Minister visits hospital, marks inquiry
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 27
Swinging into action following the capturing of plight of the destitute patients by a Tribune team in the male ward of the Civil Hospital, state Health Minister Satpal Gosain, today constituted a two-member committee, including senior medical official, Samrala, and senior medical official, Macchiwara, to fix responsibility in the case.

This committee will give its report within a week, on the basis of which action will be taken against the irresponsible staff and officials,said the Health Minister, who swung into action immediately after he was contacted for his statement on the issue.

Gosain went straight to the male ward at 3 pm, following a call to him at 1.30 by the Tribune team and observed the maltreatment to these three patients. Talking to Tribune, he said, “I am thankful to the Tribune for bringing this to my notice.”

Agreeing that the situation was “hell-like”, he said, “The SMO told me that these three patients are abnormal, but I personally feel that anyone normal can be abnormal in such unhygienic conditions. I got it cleaned properly and instructed the staff to maintain good hygienic conditions there.”

Requesting anonymity, an employee said, “We are fed up with the attendants of patients who drink and throw empty bottles in the toilets. As a result of which these get choked after every fortnight. We have acute shortage of staff specially sweepers.”

About this Gosain told Dr Yashpal Mehta, Assistant Civil Surgeon, Ludhiana, that very soon, the department would provided them four Class IVemployees , i.e, sweepers.

Medical hall raided

Health and Family Welfare Minister Satpal Gosain today raided Makkar Medical Hall in the Pindi street and seized 7,488 intoxicant capsules along with 114 bottles of intoxicant syrups.

The health minister said, “I will cancel his licence and also get an FIR registered.”

SMO speaks

l Dr US Sooch, Senior Medical Officer, Civil Hospital, Ludhiana, said, “These patients are violent. Sometimes they also bite the paramedical staff. A few times we had to give antibiotics to the staff. Moreover, we have been facing shortage of staff. The vacancies of plumber, electrician and sweepers are lying vacant. We are providing our services to these three patients along with others. But we have none to help them out all the time."

Shiv Ram Saroay, member of the Rogi Kalyan Samity, said,”The government should arrange some help for these people. They should be treated as human beings.” 



Blind murder solved, three arrested
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 27
Fight over refusing to gamble again and sharing the booty led to the murder of a 42-year-old man, who was found dead in a park located in Rajguru Nagar's B- Block on May 7.With the arrest of three persons, the city police has claimed to have solved the murder mystery of Balwindr Singh, who was strangulated to death by three of his friends.

The accused, Satish Kumar, Amit Kumar and Raj Kumar were arrested form BRS Nagar last evening. The trio was further produced before the court and further sent on police remand.

Giving details about the murder deputy commissioner of police (DCP) Yurinder Singh said the accused had confessed to have committed the offence.

It was on May 6 that the trio of Raju, Amit and Baldev Singh were playing cards in the house of Satish Kumar. Satish was not at home when the incident took place. Raju, Baldev and Amit consumed liquor and began gambling.

Soon Amit lost all his saving and borrowed money from Raju. He again lost the borrowed amount to Baldev and asked the latter to play one more game. But Baldev refused to gamble, which led to a fight. Raju and Amit thrashed Baldev and strangulated him to death.

In the meantime, Satish returned home and was shocked to see Baldev lying dead.

The trio then took the body in an auto-rickshaw and left it near a park in Rajguru Nagar.The trio took out everything from the pocket of Baldev so that he could not be identified.The police came to know about the incident on May 7 and started the investigation. The body bore a tattoo of BR on the left arm.

Three days ago, a Jalandhar resident Balvir Singh visited the city to find his missing brother and identified the dead as Baldev Singh (42). The cops probed further and came to know about Satish, Amit and Raju.

After receiving a tip- off the police sprung into action and detained the trio for questioning. The accused soon confessed to have committed the offence. 



Asiad Circus told to stop operations from gurdwara land
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 27
The Asiad Circus, being run in Ludhiana for over a month was asked to stop its operation today after it landed in a controversy following the use of gurdwara land in the Shimlapuri area.

The members of the Gurdwara Dharamshala at Gill village were gunning for the organisers for some time and had even knocked at the doors of the court.

The police ordered the closure of the circus today following stay orders by the court on a plea filed by the members of the committee.

The Gurdwara committee members alleged that local Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee members, in connivance with some other persons, gave recommendation letters to the police for issuing a no objection certificate (NOC) for the said circus company.

They have alleged that the NOC was issued by the police department without checking the actual ownership of the 17 acres of land from where the circus company was operating since April 22.

Avtar Singh Gill, president of Gurdwara Dharamshala, Gill,said that the gurdwara owned 17 acres of land near Kwality Chowk. “For the last many years, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) members of the area were misusing this land for organising a Dussehra mela, besides other such functions,” he alleged.

After the gurdwara authorities came to know of the circus running from their land, they wrote a letter to SGPC and also to the police commissioner. “But no action was taken by them, so we were forced to approach the Sikh Gurdwara Judicial Commission, who have issued stay orders regarding the same,” Gill said.

The Gurdwara Dharamshala, Gill, is notified under Section 87 of the SG Act 1925. “While the historical gurdwaras such as Gurdwara Sri Manji Sahib, Alamgir are notified under Section 85 of the SG Act 1925. Here, the manager of Gurdwara Sri Manji Sahib, Alamgir wrote a letter to te police, requesting them to issue an NOC to the circus company, which could not be done as he was himself an employee and was not authorised to do so,” Avtar Singh Gill alleged.

One such letter, which is in possession of The Tribune, was also issued by SGPC member Sukhwinder Kaur Sokhi. “The circus company not only started their operations, but even set up a cigarette shop on the Gurdwara land,” Gill further alleged.

Land transferred illegally

The 17 acres of land is the property of SGPC and not of any single gurdwara. “Going against the rules, the gurdwara committee members have got the land transferred in their own name in the land records (farad). Now, we will take the matter to the court. They had planned to open up an SGPC-run college on the 17 acres of land in Shimlapuri. But now we will take legal opinion on the matter”. - Jagbir Singh Sokhi, area councillor and husband of SGPC member Sukhwinder Kaur Sokhi.



A feast for literature lovers
Punjabi Sahit Academy re-edits Tagore’s 12 books
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 27
The Punjabi Sahit Academy, Ludhiana, has relived Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore by re-editing and publishing a series of 12 books of this Noble Prize winner laureate during his 150th birth anniversary year.

“This is the best way to pay tributes to him,” said principal Prem Singh Bajaj, a librarian of Reference Library of Punjabi Sahit Academy.

The academy, which published these books earlier in 1960, the birth centenary year of Tagore, has again re-edited and published these books with the support of Sahit Academy, Delhi.

Gurbhajan Gill, president of Punjabi Sahit Academy, said, “Dr SS Noor, vice-president of Sahit Academy, Delhi; Amarjit Grewal, executive member, and Dr Sukhdev Singh, general secretary of Punjab Sahit Academy, Ludhiana, 
played a significant role in getting the grant of Rs 3 lakh from the Government of India. While Punjabi Sahit Academy spent a sum of Rs 60,000 from its own to re-edit and re-publish these books.”

The books have been re-edited by eminent litterateurs, including Ajmer Rode, Amarjit Grewal, DR Sarabjeet Singh, Prof Ravinder Bhattal, Dr Karamjeet Singh and Kuldeep Singh.

50% discount

l To promote the writings of Tagore, the Punjabi Sahit Academy is selling these books at 50 per cent discount to schools, colleges, institutions and to anyone interested in buying these books. Gurbhajan Gill said, “Next time we will arrange all finances by the academy.”

‘Chonvi Kavita’

The book “Chonvi Kavita”, which was earlier edited by Dr Surjeet Patar, an eminent Punjabi poet, former president of Punjabi Sahit Academy and winner of Saraswati Sanmaan, along with Prof Mohan Singh, a popular Punjabi poet, has again been re-edited by Dr Patar. Dr Surjeet Patar said, “I really enjoyed this work and the book has also been published in an artistic way. I hope readers will love to read it.”

‘Translate world classics’

Dr Amarjit Singh, a retired head of the department of journalism, languages and culture, PAU, who has also some Punjabi books to his credit said, “It is a good effort on behalf of the academy. Tagore was Asia’s first Noble Prize winner in the field of literature. His literature has historical value and, moreover, Bengali literature is too rich. Through these books, our Punjabi readers will get a chance to read this enriched literature in their own language. I suggest that the Punjabi Sahit Academy should also translate all world classics and thus provide the world’s rich literature to Punjabies.”



MC all set to start e-billing
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 27
A good news for city residents! Gone are the days when the residents would have to stand in queues for paying their water supply, sewerage and house tax bills.

The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation is all set to launch its e-billing facility through which, the residents would be able to pay these bills online on the MC website, www.mcludhiana.com. This facility is expected to start within a month time.

Presently, the residents can view these bills on the website and can even take printouts. For this purpose, all the residents need is their identity numbers, which are printed on consumer bills sent to them. The MC has already issued ID numbers to customers on the bills issued to them.

A meeting in this regard was held in Zone D office of MC situated in Sarabha Nagar, here today. Senior Deputy Mayor Parveen Bansal, who chaired this meeting, stated this initiative to be his dream project.

"I want e-billing to start at the earliest and we are already in talks with the three leading banks, including HDFC, Punjab National Bank and Axis Bank. It will be by these banks through whom the payment of bills would be routed to the municipal accounts informed. 



Activists demand picture of cancer-stricken mouth on cigarette packs
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, May 27
Accusing the Union Health Ministry of buckling under the pressure of the powerful tobacco lobby for showing soft pictorial depiction on cigarette packs, office-bearers and activists of social, religious and constitutional organisations have demanded for replacement with a picture of cancer-stricken mouth.

The demand was raised on the conclusion of the seminar on cancer awareness organised jointly by the Rotary Club and State Bank of India at Hind Hospital here yesterday.

Dr SS Johal, former Vice-Chancellor, Punjabi University, Patiala, inaugurated the seminar and Anuradha Narayanan, assistant general manager, SBI, was the chief guest.

Identifying tobacco use as a single largest factor for cancer, social activists of local town and surrounding localities led by office-bearers of various organisations, urged the government to enforce law forcing tobacco manufacturers to print pictorial warning depicting a picture of cancer-stricken mouth on the tobacco packets. The demand followed a series of lectures and discussions on the issue.

Dr Davinder Singh Sandhu, executive chairman of the national body of the Cancer Elimination Council of India, said a majority of oncologists, including office-bearers and members of the council, were upset over the failure of the successive governments to realise significance of awareness on factors causing cancer among illiterate and members of poor sections of the society.

Maintaining that at least 40 per cent cancer can be prevented by launching a co-ordinated awareness movement against the menace, Dr Sandhu said in rest of the cases, life could be prolonged by timely screening.

Regrettably, the administrative’s apathy has resulted in a situation wherein cancer patients are forced to go to quacks instead of availing a proper medical treatment.

Tobacco consumption claiming highest number of deaths (1.5 m) globally every year, high fat diet, sedentary lifestyle, lack of exercise, obesity, less intake of fruits and vegetables, increasing use of pesticides, water pollution, alcohol consumption and infections were identified as other factors causing cancer.

SP Sofat, Lalit Kaura (president and secretary, Rotary Club), Dr Madan Mohan Maudgil, Dr Nirmal Singh (president and secretary, local unit of IMA), Dr Sunit Hind director, Usha Sood, president Municipal Council, Ravinder Puri, Bimal Sharma, Kedar Kapila, former vice-president (all councillors) and Tarsem Garg, patron, Social Welfare Organisation, announced to support the fight against cancer. 



Deprived of justice, guard meets SSP
Seeks action against accused for racial remarks
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, May 27
Deprived of justice by police officials, a resident of Dangian village, near here, met SSP Ludhiana (rural) Gursharan Singh Sandhu and sought action against two youths of the same village, who hurled racial remarks against his family and beat up his son.

In his complaint to the SSP, Gurdeep Singh, who is working as a security guard at the Post Office, Jagraon, alleged that Taar Singh and Lakhi, along with some other youths, used to sit in front of his house everyday and play vulgar songs on their mobile phones.

When Gurdeep complained to the family of these youths, they, instead of stopping their wards from misbehaving, started abusing Gurdeep.

A day after the incident both the youths stopped Gurdeep’s son Satwinder Singh while he was returning from school and beat him up.

Following this, Gurdeep, along with his brother Parkash Singh, went to Kaunke Kalan Police Post to register a case against both of them. “The police didn’t take any action against both the youths, as they belonged to an influential family,” alleged Gurdeep.

This further irked both the youths and their family members. On May 20, they all reached Gurdeep’s house, who was on the duty at Jagraon Post Office at that time, and started misbehaving with his family members.

They also hurled racial remarks against his family members and even tore of the clothes of his sister-in-law.

Gurdeep said soon after the incident, the police reached his house and recorded the statements of his family members, but no case was registered.

Instead of taking action against the accused, the police officials started pressing Gurdeep and his family members to reach a compromise, which forced him to submit a complaint with the SSP, he added.

Meanwhile, a delegation of the Pendu Mazdoor Union Punjab also met SP (operation) Ludhiana (rural) police today and sought action against the accused.

The SSP, however, said he had marked an inquiry into this matter. “No one is above law and necessary action will be taken against the guilty,” he added.



NALSA secy inspects legal aid clinic
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 27
National Legal Services Authority’s (NALSA) member U Sarath Chandran today inspected the working of the legal aid clinic and mediation centres being run here at district courts complex.

He was accompanied by Sessions Judge SP Bangarh, State Legal Services Authority’s member secretary Munish Singal, Civil Judge (senior division) JP S Wehniwal, Commissioner of Police Ishwar Singh.

He interacted with officials handling the legal aid clinic and also gave patient hearing to those seeking free legal advice. Chandran asked them to solve disputes amicably by placing the matters before mediation centres.



Without books, teachers, students have sleepless nights
Complain that books of CBSE classes VIII to X are in short supply
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, May 27
Is it not a matter of pity for students of Classes VIII, IX and X studying in schools affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) that they are forced to go to schools without books for the past two months?

The urgency of the situation is being felt all the more as some of the schools here have been forced to delay unit tests due to the shortage of the books. The academic handicap and more so lagging behind with the syllabus, is what is giving teachers and students restless nights.

The teachers and students have complained that the books of Classes VIII to X are in short supply.

Regarding the delay in the taking of unit tests, a senior student of a local school said, “At the time when all other students of the school are taking papers, we are just waiting for the books to arrive. These have till date not been made available to us. We have no option but to wait and watch endlessly for the books to arrive, the teachers to teach, the tests to culminate and finally to break up for the summer holidays.”

“Why are the children made to suffer in such a manner? With mercury rising each day, it has already become difficult for the students to attend classes. They are really a harassed lot,” commented a parent of one such student studying in a local school affiliated to the CBSE.

On the other hand, in some schools, which have already taken the unit tests, the students expressed their dissatisfaction with the fact that nothing substantial was asked in some particular papers. “It was just taking the test just for the sake of taking it,” said a student.

While it has been learnt that in some schools as Tagore International Public School, Sahnewal; Green Grove Public School, Mohanpur, Khanna and many schools in Ludhiana, the books have already arrived, but in some schools as Doraha Public School, the students are still waiting for the books to arrive.

In the schools where the books are arriving now, much time has already been lost. “We will have to just rush through the things. After all we have to cover the huge gap of two long months apart from covering the present syllabus as well,” said Rajni Sharma, an English teacher at Tagore International Public School, Sahnewal.

“As the time passes, more and more complications await the teachers as well as students. When the teachers and students are burdened with the forthcoming formative exams, the availability of books has become all the more crucial. Earlier one-third of the portion used to be covered till the summer break and the holiday homework, too, consisted a major portion of the same,” expressed a teacher.

“We have yet not received our Hindi, mathematics and social studies books and the books of English and mathematics are available only with a few of them. Now the teachers are asking us either to procure second-hand books or share it with our classmates and note down the things from others. But the students who have already paid the school for the new books, should they buy second-hand books as well?” questions a student of Class IX of Doraha Public School.

Principal Jatinder Kaur Gupta of Doraha Public School admitted that there is generally a shortage of NCERT books. When asked about the preparation of the unit tests without books, Gupta commented, “Those who really wish to prepare for the unit tests and are serious in their studies have already procured those books from their predecessors.”

Questioned whether the school would return the money collected from the students for arranging books in case they buy second-hand books, she reacted that this is an internal matter of the school and that the media should not interfere unnecessarily, blaming that the correspondent is being over indulgent by inciting and encouraging the parents and students for comments.

Suzie George, principal Green Grove Public School, Mohanpur, said, “Although our school has somehow made the books available to all students and the unit tests, too, have been conducted, it was really a Herculean task to cover up the syllabus in the absence of books. The teachers had to download the syllabus, the relevant portion of it, get it photocopied and then distribute it among the students so that their precious time is saved.”



Tributes paid to Jawaharlal Nehru
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 27
Tributes were paid to the first Prime Minister of India Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru on his 47th death anniversary at prayer meetings organised at several places in the city. The District Congress Committee (DCC) observed the occasion as “inspiration day” to perpetuate the memory of Nehru, describing him as a far-sighted and visionary leader, who took India to new heights after Independence.

During a meeting at Congress Bhawan, the DCC president Pawan Dewan said the real tribute to Pandit Nehru would be to follow his footsteps. DYC workers, led by district president Dimple Rana, paid floral tributes to Nehru at a meeting held in Shivpuri. Remembering the freedom movement launched by Congress, Rana exhorted the youth to seek inspiration from the life of the first Prime Minister of India and channelise their energy for creative activities.

At a meeting organised by the Desh Bhagat Yadgari Society, Punjab, at Dr BR Ambedkar Nagar, former DCC president Krishan Kumar Bawa, Congress Sewa Dal district president Nirmal Kaira, Harchan Singh Dhir and others termed Nehru as the architect of modern India. “Independent India emerged as a strong developing nation due to dynamic leadership of Nehru and his policies of peace and non-alignment,” they said.

Functionaries of the Urban Development (UD) cell of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee paid tributes to Jawaharlal Nehru by offering flowers and garlands at Nehru Sidhant Kendra. Chairman of the UD cell Ramesh Joshi focused on policies of the first Congress government in India under the dynamic leadership of Nehru. 



General secy of PAU Employees Union suspended
Action was taken on account of anti-union activities
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 27
Disagreeing with the employees union proved dear for General Secretary Lakhwinder Singh, as he was suspended from the PAU Employees Union for making comments against the union president Harbans Singh Mundi.

The executive council of the PAU Employees Union, at its meeting today, decided to suspend Lakhwinder Singh from the executive council. The council members stated that Lakhwinder Singh was suspended on account of anti-union and anti-employees’ activities.

Union president Mundi and Lakhwinder Singh were at loggerhead following the indefinite fast, forcing PAU authorities to solve problem of delayed salaries.

Mondi alleged that while the executive council was in favour of a written undertaking from the PAU authorities assuring permanent solution of salaries, Lakhwinder was opposing the move of executive council and was in favour of settling the issue with an assurance from the PAU Vice-Chancellor. Despite attempts, Lakhwinder was not available for comments.



Garment excise levy pushes industry to the wall
Govt urged to shift duty from readymades to yarn
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 27
The recent imposition of 10 per cent excise duty on readymade garments has dealt a heavy blow to the city’s textile industry that was already beset by other problems. After its efforts to persuade the government to roll back the excise levy came to a naught it has now proposed the duty be levied on yarn (first stage of production) in place of the garment stage.

"Keeping in mind the welfare of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), the government should levy excise duty at the yarn (first) stage) instead of the garment stage to derive benefit in terms of larger revenues. As the excise duty can be collected fully at the yarn stage there will be less manipulation of accounts in the supply chain as it will pass through fewer hands. Imposition of duty on the first stage increase revenues by about 25 to 50 percent," said Vinod Thapar, president of the Knitwear Club.

The textile Industry is one of the country’s largest employers, providing a livelihood to 8 percent of the population. However, after excise duty was slapped on readymade garments the industry has been put under immense pressure and faces stagnation due to inflation, labour shortages and the general slowdown in economic growth.

“The industry has suffered a lot due to corrupt practices by government officials and staff. Imposing excise duty only at yarn stage not only will restrict the illegal practices automatically but will support small entrepreneurs not to get discouraged to enter in the textile market," said Narinder K Miglani.



‘Development claims by SAD-BJP govt hollow’
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 27
Ludhiana MP and spokesperson of Indian National Congress Manish Tewari today termed the claims of development made by the SAD-BJP government in Punjab, as hollow, which were aimed at misleading the people of the state.

Addressing a meeting after laying the foundation stone for a rainwater drain at Sunet Road in Ward No 57 here, he said the spree of foundation stones launched by the ruling combine all over the state was an exercise to hide their misgovernance as also acts of corruption.

"Especially the BJP, the minor coalition partner in the government is fully aware that it will not be able to again befool the electorate in the coming elections. The recent exposes of major scams committed by senior leaders of the BJP has further alienated the masses from the government."

The Congress MP claimed that his party practiced what it preached. "The work on the construction of rainwater drain on Sunet road has already commenced as the foundation stone has been laid. Most of the development projects for which the stones were laid by the ruling party functionaries had turned out to be non-starters.

The function was organised by area councillor Hari Singh Brar. Among others present at the occasion were district Congress committee president Pawan Dewan, district Youth Congress chief Dimple Rana, Amrit Varsha Rampal, Raju Thapar, Anil Malhotra, Palwinder Singh Taggar and Satwinder Singh Jawaddi.



Auto-rickshaw drivers allege harassment by transport dept
Threaten to launch stir soon, say despite HC directions new diesel vehicles plying in city
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, May 27
Accusing transport department of causing harassment and acts that will throw thousands of poor auto-rickshaw drivers out of business, the Clock Tower Auto-Rickshaw Union today served an ultimatum to the government to make amendments, failing which, the union would be left with no other alternative than to launch an agitation soon.

Presiding over a meeting of the union, its president Madan Lal Bhumbak alleged that despite directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court to the contrary, new diesel auto-rickshaws were being given permits to ply in the city. “With each passing day, new diesel auto rickshaws, having obtained permits from adjoining small towns, are entering into the city without any check from the supervisory officers of the transport department.”

On the other hand, he maintained, the existing auto drivers were being burdened under repressive rules, which were posing a threat to their livelihood. “First, auto drivers were asked to affix new number plates followed by name plates of the drivers along with phone numbers, made to wear uniforms, and now they were being asked to put a sticker on each vehicle. Besides, putting an avoidable financial burden on auto-rickshaw drivers, these measures come handy to the officials to harass the drivers.”

Calling upon the state government to intervene and save the auto-rickshaw drivers from annihilation, Bhumbak and other functionaries of the union said if the government remained a mute spectator it will have to pay a heavy price for this “injustice” in the coming Assembly elections.

District Transport Officer Ashwani Sharma said auto-rickshaws with permits issued from any other town except Ludhiana, were not permitted to ply in the city. “We will make random checks, and if any such auto-rickshaws are found plying in the city, necessary action, including impounding the vehicle, will be taken against defaulters .”



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