L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


power tariff hike
Industry set to hike prices
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 13
The state industry is all set to increase the prices of finished goods in the wake of the hike in power tariff by 9.06 per cent. The increase in the power rates would affect the input costs, which in turn lead to an increase the price of finished goods. Be it the steel, hosiery, auto parts or cycle industry, all are set to increase the prices of their goods.

Auto part manufacturers are expected to increase the prices of their products by 7 per cent, hosiery by 5 per cent and the cycle industry by 3 per cent.

The secondary steel makers have already raised the steel prices. "The increase in power tariff will prove to be counter-productive for the industry as it will result in the additional burden, particularly in the ongoing sluggish phase," said Dev Gupta, general secretary of the Induction Furnace Association of India.

The orders that have already been booked will be completed at the old rates but the new rates will be applicable for the orders booked in April. It is difficult to bear the costing. The industry will have to think twice before making new investments, said Himmat Singh, the owner of an auto part unit.

Punjab produces 10,000 tonne of steel per day from about 300 furnace and rolling mills. "Now, the cost of industrial items like cycle parts, auto parts, light engineering goods will go up because of an increase in input costs," added Dev Gupta.

"Excise duty on power tariff should not be there. The cycle industry will be increasing the prices by 3 per cent in the wake of the hike in power tariff. We have to pass on the hike to the consumers as it is impossible for us to bear the same. The high rates of taxation and power tariff in Punjab have made the industry uncompetitive," added Gurmeet Singh Kular, president of the United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association.

State industry rendered uncompetitive

Excise duty on power tariff should not be there. The cycle industry will be increasing the prices by 3 per cent in the wake of the hike in power tariff. We have to pass on the hike to the consumers as it is impossible for us to bear the same. The high rates of taxation and power tariff in Punjab have made the industry uncompetitive.
— GS Kular, president, United Cycle, Parts Manufacturers Association


Interest on house tax, water, sewerage dues waived
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 13
The state government has waived interest on pending house tax and water supply and sewerage dues. Now, the residents can clear their dues by May 31. But, the sad part is that this waiver has been announced after March 31 and many residents have already cleared their dues on time. Providing a relief to the defaulters might create problems for the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation, as people might stop clearing their dues on time.

It is learnt that when the state government took this decision, the officers were not in its favour and wanted that no waiver should be provided to the defaulters. But, their political bosses had their say and that is why this decision is looked as a politically influenced move rather than an administrative step.

By March 31 (end of financial year), the house tax officials of the Ludhiana MC had managed to surpass their target of collecting Rs 90 crore as tax, but the water supply and sewerage dues target was not achieved.

The state government has now sent a letter in which it has been stated that the residents can now clear their dues till May 31 and no interest on the principle amount would not be charged.

It is pertinent to mention that usually such orders arrive in March, but this time they have arrived on April 12. As many defaulters were expecting these orders in March, many of them waited for the right time to clear their dues.

The Commissioner of the Municipal Corporation, Rakesh Kumar Verma, stated that this decision was likely to generate additional funds for the MC. “The residents can now clear their dues by May 31 and no interest will be charged from them,” he confirmed.



Common man’s budget to take a hit
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 13
The common man's life is surely going to be affected this summer with the higher bills of power consumption and eating out.

The hike in power tariff by 9.06 per cent is surely going to upset the budget of every household. Restaurant owners, ice-cream manufacturing units are soon to increase their prices to offset rising input costs.

Reetika Bansal, a resident of South City, said: "We have started using air-conditioners, but in the wake of the hike in power tariff it seems we will have to curb their use. With every member of the family having an AC in his room, the power bill is surely going to be very high".

The hike in power tariff may spoil your plans of eating out as restaurant owners are also planning to increase the rates.

"Recently, service tax was imposed on the AC restaurants in the Union Budget, which led to a hike in the prices of food. Now, the hike in power tariff will further increase input costs. Recently we got the menu re-printed and now it seems we will have to do that again. Printing a menu is also not an easy job as a big amount is spent on it. The food prices will be hiked surely, may be in a month or two," said Kawalpreet Basant, the owner of Basant Resorts.

A local ice-cream maker said they would be left with no other option but to increase the prices. "Electricity is the major input factor in the manufacturing of ice-cream. With the power rates going up, the prices of ice-cream will surely go up," he added. 



Man returns after spending 30 years in Pakistan jail
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 13
Seventytwo-year-old Surjit Singh from Ferozepur, who has returned after spending 30 years in a Pakistani jail, was honoured at Gurdwara Singh Sabha, Jamalpur, today. He was imprisoned on the charges of intelligence in Pakistan. He has served the BSF.

"It had been a very tough time of my life. A substantial part of my life was spent in jail. I would get a chance to speak with my family on the phone after months," he said.

He said he was a prisoner of the Pakistan Rangers and the ISI, not the police. Imprisoned in the Central Jail, Lahore, he was earlier sentenced to death, But, the jail superintendent appealed to the authorities concerned to commute his death sentence. "So, since 1989, there had been hope that I would be freed," he said.

He had to go through a harrowing time during investigation. However, he was not ill-treated in the prison where he served his sentence. Earlier, he had to do cleaning, pick up sand and do other laborious work. After former Pakistan President Zia-ul-Haq ordered that no foreign prisoner would be made to work in jails, he spent most of his time reading, he said.

He is one of the lucky ones to be freed, he says. Many other prisoners, who have served their sentence, are still lying in Pakistani jails. "The government here says Pakistan is not releasing Indian prisoners while the Pakistan government says India is not taking them back," he said.



Man falls off train, dies
Ashok Kaura

Phillaur, April 13
A passenger reportedly fell off a Ludhiana-bound diesel multiple unit train near Noormahal Railway Station and died this evening.

The train guard, Vidhi Chand, told Ludhiana Tribune that the deceased was under the influence of liquor and was boarding the train in a drunken condition when he had a fatal fall. The train was immediately stopped and he was taken to a hospital at Noormahal by the staff of an 108 ambulance. He succumbed to injuries at the hospital.

Though the deceased could not be identified, his mobile phone was recovered from the spot, the guard said. Reacting to the apprehensions that the man might have been pushed from the train, GRP in charge Vijay Kumar and Railway Protection Force in charge at Nakodar Munshi Ram denied an foul play in the man's death.



Protest against rising sand prices
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 13
The Lal Jhanda Punjab Bhatha Mazdoor Union today staged a protest against the rising sand prices. The workers voiced their anger against the rising sand prices and hike in power tariff.

Tarsem Jodhan, vice-president of the Central Industrial Trade Union, while addressing the protest rally, said Punjab's financial position was going down and unemployment was also increasing. “To further add to the problems, power tariff has also been increased,” he said.

He said black marketing of sand should be stopped; otherwise, they would be forced to intensify their agitation.



Dates of SSC, SBI exams clash
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, April 13
The sudden adjournment of the date of Combine Graduate Level Examination for year 2013 to be organised by the Staff Selection Commission (SSC) of Government of India for recruiting employees in different government departments has left the candidates in confusion. Originally, this examination was scheduled to be held on April 14 and April 21. But due to holiday on April 14, on the occasion of birth anniversary of Dr BR Ambedkar, Staff Selection Commission has now postponed the April 14 examination till the last week of April. As per the revised notification, released by the Staff Selection Commission today, the examination scheduled for April 14 has been postponed to April 28.

But as the date of the examination for the recruitment of Probationary Officers in State Bank of India to be conducted by the Central Recruitment and Promotion Department has also been scheduled for April 28, the candidates who were willing to appear in both the examinations have been in limbo to decide which examination they should skip as the dates of both the examinations clash with each other.

Moreover, the Staff Selection Commission has also directed the candidates willing to appear in the examination to resubmit the admission certificates, which has infuriated the candidates further. The candidates say that due to the adjournment of the examination they would have to go through the same procedure which they had already completed. "Whole the procedure would take a lot of time but we have no option but to resubmit the admission certificates to be able to appear in the examination," said an irate candidate willing to appear in the examination though requesting anonymity.

"The authorities should have a prior idea about the holiday of April 14 before finalising the examination schedule. Now the candidates have been made to pay the price for the mistake made by the authorities of the Staff Selection Commission," rued Sarabjit Singh, father of a girl candidate willing to appear in both the examinations.

He further said apart from his daughter, there are hundreds of other candidates who have deposited huge fees for appearing in both the examinations. "As the revised date of the examination to be organised by the Staff Selection Commission clashes with the date of the examination to be held by Central Recruitment and Promotion Department for the recruitment of Probationary Officers in State Bank of India, the Staff Selection Commission should change the date of examination," demanded Sarabjit Singh.

The candidates planning to appear in both these examinations say they have to skip one examination if the date of one examination is not changed.



Police solves Sarabha murder case
Sister, two others arrested, one suspect still at large
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 13
The Jodhan police claimed to have solved the blind murder of a youth of Sarabha village, whose body was found lying on the Gujjarwal-Dehlon Road near here a week ago.

Three out of the four accused, including the sister of the deceased, her daughter and son-in-law, were arrested when they were trying to leave the area today.

Paramjit Kaur alias Charanjit Kaur alias Baboo, an office-bearer of the Dehlon unit of a national party; her daughter Manpreet Kaur; and son-in-law Amandeep Singh; were arrested by a police team led by SHO Jodhan Rachhpal Singh Dhindsa in connection with the murder of Jaswinder Singh (Baboo's brother) of Sarabha village.

The police had registered an FIR under Section 302 of the IPC against unknown persons on the statement of the deceased's brother, Jaspal Singh, according to whom the victim had left home on his bicycle at about 8 pm on the preceding day.

It was during inquiry that the police found Baboo's role non-cooperative and suspicious and focused the investigation around her family. Circumstantial evidence revealed that Jaswinder had reached Dehlon before midnight and had visited Baboo's house, too.

Though the suspects tried to destroy the evidence by throwing the deceased’s cellphone in a pond and concealing his bicycle and weapon used in the crime, the police recovered all items from different places today.

Further investigations revealed that the victim, who was a drug addict, had tried to enter his sister’s house through trespassing on the night of April 6 and 7.

Contrary to the expectations of Jaswinder Singh, his niece Manpreet Kaur had woken up to feed her child, and other members of the family came to know about his alleged unauthorised entry. Losing control over nerves, Baboo assaulted him with a sharp-edged weapon and killed him.

The accused then threw the body of the deceased on the roadside in their Scorpio and informed Sarabha family that an unknown caller had informer them about the murder.

Rachhpal Singh Dhindsa, SHO Jodhan, said Baboo's son Jagpreet Singh, the fourth suspect, was still at large.



Attacks on hospitals and doctors
Don’t take law into your hands, IMA urges public
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 13
Due to repeated attacks on hospitals and doctors, the Indian Medical Association (IMA), Punjab, appealed to the public not to take law into their hands.

Dr Manoj Sobti, president, IMA Punjab, said: “People who have any complaint against a doctor or a nursing home should approach the office-bearers of the IMA. There is a committee at the district and state-level to address the genuine complaints of the public”.

While giving a reference to a letter issued by the DGP-Punjab, Dr Sobti said a case of negligence could not be registered against a doctor till he was proved guilty by the board of experts.

Referring to a case reported on April 4, 2011, at Haibowal, Dr Sobti said a 70-year-old patient, who was admitted to a private nursing home, could not be saved despite the efforts of the doctor couple. The relatives of the patient vandalised the hospital and misbehaved with doctors and paramedical staff. A case was registered against those who vandalised the nursing home at Haibowal.

“The Violence and Damage Property Act has been enacted by the Punjab Assembly in 2008. According to this Act, an offender who commits any act in contravention of the provisions of this Act, will be punished with an imprisonment, which may extend to one year or with fine, which may extend to Rs 50,000 or with both. Any offence committed under this Act will be cognisable and non-bailable and the suspect will face a trial in the Court of Judicial Magistrate of the First Class,” said Dr Sobti.



City youth on his way to Bangalore
Spreads message of pollution-free transport
Tribune News Service

Sanjay Verma starts his bicycle journey for Bangalore from Ludhiana on Saturday.
Sanjay Verma starts his bicycle journey for Bangalore from Ludhiana on Saturday. A tribune photograph

Ludhiana, April 13
As Ludhiana is gasping for breath amid rising pollution levels and the traffic situation in the city has become worse due to increasing vehicular traffic, Sanjay Verma, 27, wants to spread the message of need for pollution-free means of transport. He has set off on a journey by bicycle to Bangalore. He will pedal over 2,600 km during his journey.

"It is ironical that the city is a hub of bicycle parts manufacturing and people here, do not use bicycles much," he says.

"Because of the reluctance of the administration and a lack of awareness and action by people, pollution levels are rising in the city the day. Cycling is the answer to the problem of traffic and pollution in the city," he says.

This is not the first time that he is undertaking such a long journey. But passion for paddling has taken him places. Riding his passion, he has travelled to Allahabad, Amritsar, Pathankot, Kapurthala and many other places in the state on bicycles.

On his return after about a month or so, he wants to create a bicycling club in the city, he says.

He would ride for about 100 kilometers for about eight hours a day, staying at places including Gurdwaras, and other places. Carrying three sets of clothes, medicines and cycle repair kit and a bit of food along, he would travel with less baggage, he says. Married and having a child, he has complete support of the family, he says.

He was given a bicycle recently by Suncross Cycle Manufacturing Unit worth Rs 17,000 as an encouragement, he says.

"With a message of Ludhiana to Bangalore, he would give a message about bicycling; saving the environment and health to everyone he meets on his way. Some people would also join him when he would passes through different cities on route to Bangalore," he says.

Sanjay said the government should encourage and support the sport of bicycling.



Excise officials inspect hotel
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 13
The mobile wing of excise and taxation department today conducted inspection at hotel Grand Marion, Dugri road.

AETC, Inderjit Singh, said the inspection was done to check VAT compliance.

"We have confiscated registers and bill books to study them. Only after that we will able to know if there were any discrepancies in the VAT,” he said.



from schools
Schools celebrate Baisakhi with fervour

Ludhiana: Baisakhi, which marks the beginning of harvest season in Punjab, was celebrated with traditional gaiety and fervor by the staff and students on the Vajra Army School premises. The function was marked with speeches in English, Hindi and Punjabi. Students and staff jointly performed "gidda", a Punjabi folk dance.

Spring Dale Sr Sec Public School

Spring Dale Sr Sec Public School celebrated Baisakhi with all fervour and enthusiasm. Vivek of class VII delivered a speech and the started the cultural programme. The chief guest in her speech highlighted the importance of the festival and wished students "Happy Baisakhi".


GNI Public School, BRS Nagar, celebrated Baisakhi. Everybody appreciated at Amanjot Khalsa's (XII) speech on 'Birth of Khalsa'. Various shabads were recited by the students. While the students of kindergarten celebrated this wonderful day by being dressed up in traditional Punjabi attires. — TNS



Day care centre to take care of jail inmates’ children
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Members of an NGO with the children of women inmates during the launch of the "Satrangi" project at Women’s Jail in Ludhiana on Saturday.
Members of an NGO with the children of women inmates during the launch of the "Satrangi" project at Women’s Jail in Ludhiana on Saturday. Tribune Photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, April 13
“We will not hesitate to take action against the jail staff whosoever found involved in the supply of narcotics to jail. We are also serious about stopping the supply of cellphones in jail. Lakhwinder Singh Jakhar, Director Inspector General (prisoner), said this while inaugurating a day care centre for the children of women prisoner and undertrials at Women’s Jail here today.

Today, two NGOs, Lodge Vishwakarma N0 173 and Sarbat da Bhala, collectively adopted the creche and nursery school, which was running in the jail from years.

Snehjot Dhawan, Superintendent, Women’s Jail, said: “As many as 8 children of women inmates have been studying in the nursery school. The school was earlier being run inside the jail. The former Jail Minister inaugurated the creche and nursery school building on October 1, 2011. The government had deputed teachers and caretakers for children”.

Now, two NGOs adopted the nursery school under the “Satrangi” project.

"The need for this move was felt because of the presence of children up to the age of six years who are not mature enough to be separated from their mothers. These innocent and invisible prisoners are deprived of the joys of childhood for no fault of their own. “Satrangi” will run the day care centre from 9 am to 4 pm, six days a week. The basic needs of a child, viz, wholesome food and nutrition, health and hygiene and education and entertainment will be taken care of,” said Kiran Singh, secretary of NGO Lodge Vishwakarma No 173.

Vasudev J. Masurekar, national head of Freemasonry, was also present on the occasion.



Habit-forming drugs, opium seized; 6 held
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 13
The city police has nabbed several persons and seized habit-forming drugs and opium from their possession in separate cases.

The Focal Point police attested a person with habit-forming drugs. The accused was identified as Jaspreet Singh, a resident of Mohalla Modian Wala, Sarhind, Fatehgarh Sahib district.

ASI Kuldeep Singh from Police Station Focal Point said: “The police found activities of a pedestrian suspicious while he was passing from a temporary naka, which was laid near the Lal Kothi Sherpur Khurd. On seeing the police, he tried to flee from the spot but we succeeded in arresting him. We found 95 packets of tablets and 50 bottles of cough syrups from his possession”.

In another incident, Police Station Division No 6 also arrested two persons with narcotics today morning.

Gurdev Singh, SHO Division No 6, said two youths, who were coming from the Cheema Chowk side on a motorcycle, were nabbed when they tried to escape after seeing the policemen standing near Jammu Hotel, RK Road.

Both accused were identified as Inderpal Singh and Hari Singh, residents of Sihora village near Malaud.

During the search, the police found 210 bottles of cough syrup, 150 capsules and around 2,900 tablets from their possession.

“Both accused admitted that they used to sell drugs on higher rates,” said Gurdev Singh, SHO Division No 6.

Meanwhile, Police Station Model Town arrested three smugglers with 500 grams of opium.

Davinder Kumar, SHO Model Town, said: “We got a tip-off from an informer that smugglers Sompal and Shiv Das, residents of Sanjay Nagar in Bareilly district of Uttar Pradesh, were in the city for selling opium. We nabbed the duo and recovered 250 grams of opium from their custody. During interrogation, the duo informed the police about their third associate Somapal, a resident of Bara Gaon, Bareilly. Later, we arrested him with 250 grams of opium from Railway Bridge near Atma Nagar".



Sarpanch booked for rape
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 13
The Mehrban police has registered a case against sarpanch of Hawas village along with his four accomplices for rapping a woman 18 year ago.

The woman had levelled an allegation that the sarpanch who used to be a "Godman" about 18 years ago, raped her and clicked photos to blackmail to her when she came in contact with him. Unsatisfied from the police action, the victim then approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court in 2010. The court ordered to conduct the DNA test of sarpanch and after the test reports the police has register a case against the sarpanch.

Seven booked for dowry

The city police has booked seven persons under three separate dowry cases at a women police station.



Tehsildar seeks bail in graft case
Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 13
Taking cognisance of a bail plea filed by Tehsildar-cum-sub-registrar Arvinder Singh in a corruption case, Additional Sessions Judge KS Lamba has issued a notice to the Vigilance Bureau for April 18. The court has directed the Vigilance Bureau to present the case file on the next date. Arguments on the bail plea would be heard on that day.

Claiming himself to be innocent, the Tehsildar has sought bail. He has also mentioned that no bribe money was recovered from him. Moreover, no useful purpose would be served by keeping him in jail, as the presentation of challan will take a long time.

The Vigilance Bureau had conducted a raid on the office of the Sub-Registrar (West) situated on Hambran Road on April 5.

It arrested Bunty, who is said to be the Tehsildar's aide, with Rs 2,000 bribe money. Later, it was claimed that Bunty was acting as a middleman, and he used to pass the bribe money to the Tehsildar. In return, he would Rs 500 daily.



Basketball trials today
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, April 13
The Ludhiana District Basketball Association will conduct trials to select the district boys and girls’ teams here on April 14 at Guru Nanak Stadium from 4 pm onwards.

Teja Singh Dhaliwal, general secretary of the association, said players born on or after January 1, 1997, were eligible to take part in these trials. The aspirants had been advised to bring their age proof certificates at the time of trials.

"The selected boys and girls will represent Ludhiana district in the Punjab State Youth Basketball Championship scheduled to be held from April 15 to 17 at Kirpal Sagar Academy, Rahon," Dhailwal said.



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