L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Missing youth found dead
Body found in Sutlej; Had gone missing after attending a birthday party; 4 friends booked
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 24
The body of a 29-year-old-youth, who was missing since Friday, was found in the Sutlej here today. The deceased, Vikas Parbakar, alias Monu, a resident of Preetam Nagar, had gone missing after he went to attend the birthday party of his friend. Vikas' motorcycle was found on the bank of the Sutlej at 4 pm yesterday. His parents suspect that his friends are involved in his kidnapping and murder.

The Division No. 4 police had yesterday registered a case against Vikas' four friends.

According to Vikas' father Varun Parbakar, he had left his house at 7.30 pm on June 21 with his friend Yogesh to attend the birthday party of another friend Lucky Verma. Vikas allegedly had a scuffle with his friend Yogesh, Wada Karan, Chhota Karan and Rinku during the party at the Sarabha Nagar market.

Vikas' uncle Sandeep Sharma said, "We suspect the involvement of Vikas's friends in this case. Vikas had gone with his friend Yogesh and never came back. When we asked Yogesh, he said he had dropped Vikas near his house after the party on Friday night. We have seen the CCTV footage at the restaurant where they scuffled."

Vikas had got engaged to a girl, a resident of the Jalandhar Bypass area, about a month ago and his friend Rinku was a mediator in his engagement.

Vinod Kumar, Station House Officer of the Division No. 4 police station, said, "On a complaint of Vikas' father Varun Parbakar, we have booked Vikas' four friends under Section 302 of the IPC. However, no arrest has been made so far."



Humid weather leaves residents sweating
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 24
It was a hot and humid day in the city today, making residents sweat. The relative humidity in the morning was 85 per cent, 23 per cent above normal, which is 62 per cent at this time of the year. However, the relative humidity was 45 per cent in the evening, giving some relief to residents.

The city recorded a maximum temperature of 38.2°C and a minimum temperature of 29.4°C. According to KK Gill, who works at the Agricultural Meteorology Department, PAU, light showers were expected today, but it did not rain and just remained cloudy.

According to the weather forecast of the department, the weather was likely to remain partly cloudy with the possibility of a dust storm in Ludhiana and the adjoining areas during the next 24 hours.


LIT turns a blind eye to encroachment
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, June 24
Prime land, including parts of a public street and vacant plots, in Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar Colony of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) has been encroached upon by certain residents for the past several years. However, except for taking note of the illegal occupation of its land in a submission made before the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the LIT authorities have done precious little to restore the possession of the land, valued at several crores.

Several residents of Block A of the colony alleged that a 462 sq yard vacant plot was under the illegal occupation of residents staying next to the piece of land for the past several years. In the absence of any action by the LIT authorities against the unlawful act, the residents had encroached upon a part of a 20-ft-wide public street by placing flower pots and putting up corrugate cement sheets, thereby denying access to members of the public to the street.

The residents alleged that the LIT remained unmoved even after a favourable verdict from the subordinate court, which was later upheld by the appellate court of the Additional District and Sessions Judge.

It all started when the LIT adopted a proposal for amendment to the layout plan of the BRS Nagar scheme for the construction of a 20-ft road from a portion of a park adjacent to house numbers 66 and 67 in Block A of BRS Nagar to provide approach to plot numbers 62 A, 62 AZ and 63 A. The proposal was sent to the state government and approved under Section 43 of the Punjab Town Improvement Act.

As the LIT authorities initiated action to carve out the 20-ft-wide public street to connect the inaccessible plots with the 80-ft main road, a few area residents, who had allegedly encroached upon the vacant land of the Trust lying alongside their houses and had also developed a park for their personal use, opposed it and tried to exert pressure on the LIT authorities to stall the work.

Disposing of the case filed by the residents, who had encroached upon the Trust land, the trial court and the appellate court observed that the LIT authorities were well within their rights to carve out the public street, and those residing along the park had no locus standi to interfere.

However, the LIT, has not been able to clear the temporary encroachments.

LIT Executive Engineer SS Jakhar, while admitting that a part of the public street had been encroached upon, maintained that the temporary encroachments would be removed as soon as the possession of the three plots, to which access had to be provided through the 20-ft road, was handed over to the allottees.



Akali MLA Bains backs Independent councillor
Condemns Grewal’s arrest; hits out at party MLA Dhillon
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Policemen deployed outside the Police Commissioner’s office. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, June 24
Akali MLA Simarjit Bains today came out in support of Independent councillor Daljit Grewal, who was arrested yesterday following a clash with an Akali councillor over taking credit for development work at Shakti Nagar. Bains condemned the "one-sided action" of the police and raised a voice against Akali MLA Ranjit Singh Dhillon.

The Jodhewal police had arrested councillor Daljit Grewal and another Independent councillor Gurpreet Singh Gora on a charge of attempt to murder last night for allegedly attacking Akali supporters at Shakti Nagar. The police today produced Grewal and his associates in court, which remanded them in two-day police custody.

A large number of Grewal's supporters were present in the court complex during the hearing. They raised slogans against Akali MLA Dhillon.

Bains pacified the councillor's supporters in the court complex and met Commissioner of Police Paramjit Singh Gill.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, he said it was the high-handedness of the police that it arrested the Independent councillor without conducting an inquiry. He condemned the "one-sided action" of the police. The police should have registered counter-cases as councillors are public representatives and not criminals, he said.

"I am with the councillor on humanitarian grounds and I don't think that the Akali Dal will have any objection to this. I will meet Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal against the "unfair" action, he said.

MLA Dhillon said, "I don't want to comment on what Bains said. Nothing is unfair and influenced in this case. The police took action on the basis of the victims' statements.



Post-threat calls, policeman to stand guard on Ambulance 108
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 24
Following threat calls issued by agitating employees of the Ambulance 108 service, one policeman will be deployed on each ambulance with immediate effect. The decision has been taken to avoid any untoward incident, said Jatinder Sharma, Project Head, Punjab, of the Ambulance 108 service, while talking to Ludhiana Tribune.

He said, "The decision has been taken for the security of the Ambulance 108 staff. Some persons who were terminated earlier this year by the disciplinary committee of the Ambulance 108 service are creating problems and misguiding the ambulance staff, in a bid to disrupt the services. We have asked the police to provide protection to the staff all over state."

He said these persons tried to hinder the services yesterday in Ludhiana and at some other places also, but could not succeed.

"We will hold a meeting with the Deputy Commissioner and the Commissioner of Police, Amritsar, tomorrow to resolve the matter as they created a hurdle in our work in Amritsar. However, they threatened the staff all over Punjab. We have enough back-up staff for the Ambulance 108 service and no one can stop its operation," he said.

The Assistant Civil Surgeon, Ludhiana, Dr KS Saini, said, "We received a letter from the head office of the Ambulance 108 service for proving police protection in each of these ambulances. We have forwarded it to the Commissioner of Police, Ludhiana, and have allowed them to park their ambulances on the premises of police stations (when not on call) so as to avoid any untoward incident."

Some employees are demanding that a terminated employee of the Ambulance 108 service be reinstated. They have been trying to create hurdles in the operation of the ambulance services all over the state since yesterday.



Rejection of papers
Cong workers block traffic
Gurminder Singh Grewal

Khanna, June 24
Fed up with the rejection of nomination papers of a large number of candidates for the posts of sarpanch and panch, hundreds of Congress workers led by MLA Khanna Gurkirat Singh Kotli blocked traffic on the Ludhiana-Ambala Road at Jarg Chowk Khanna.

Gurkirat Singh Kotli, while leading the protesters, said the papers of Congress supporters were rejected by the officials concerned without any reasons under the political pressure.

He said the leaders of the Akali Dal were pressurising the administration officials to reject the candidature of Congress supporters and were favouring certain candidates. He termed it as the murder of the democracy.

SDM Khanna Anand Sagar Sharma termed all charges as baseless and said six ROs deputed by the Election Commission were working at the Khanna subdivision to scrutinise the papers. They were working on their own without any political pressure.

He said only those papers were rejected that were found with major faults, including having no signs at some places, without caste certificates and NOCs. He made it clear that in a village, the papers of 11 candidates of Akali Dal supporters were also rejected.

The traffic blockade started at 8 pm and continued till 10.30 pm. MLA Gurkirat and some protesters were taken to the police station and efforts were on to persuade them to lift the blockade.



Man held on charge of minor's rape
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 24
The city police has arrested a bank employee for allegedly developing physically relations with a minor girl and distributing obscene video CDs featuring her in the girl's colony after she refused to marry him. The accused, identified as Vardhman Jain, a resident of Fazilka, has been arrested on charges of rape and criminal intimidation.

Davinder Singh, SHO, Jamalpur police station, said, "The police has registered a case under Sections 376, 377 and 506 of the IPC and Section 4 of the Protection of Children Sexual Offence Act-2012. We have arrested the accused. The computer, CDs and his mobile phone are yet to be recovered."

The girl's father, a resident of Chandigarh Road, complained to the police that his daughter was pursuing a Braille teaching course at the Braille Bhawan. The accused, Vardhman Jain, was her batchmate and used to stay near the Braille Bhawan in a rented accommodation.

Her father alleged that the accused developed physical relations with his daughter and made her obscene videos.

Vardhman left the course some months ago and joined a bank. According to the investigation officer, "The accused wanted to marry the girl. However, the girl turned down his proposal. He then allegedly distributed CDs of her obscene videos at the girl's colony and at the Braille Bhawan on June 21."



Panchayat poll
Teachers oppose duty
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, June 24
Teachers, whose contract has already expired or is going to expire by the end of this month, are unwilling to perform election duty as they rue they are no more a part of any institution once their contract expires and till the time it is renewed again.

An ad hoc teacher of a local institute, who is going to be relieved in a day or two, said: “We are no more a part of the system. We are going to be relieved by the college after which we are once again unemployed till we reapply in any institute and get selected for the next session again on an ad hoc or a contractual basis”.

“Our contention is that since we are not a part of any school or college, why should we be asked to perform any election duty? There are hundreds of teachers who are working on a regular basis and have not been put on any duty in these elections. We, who are working no more, have been asked to first attend rehearsals and then be present a day before the elections and remain there till late night on the election day. When we are not the employees of any institution, why should we perform election duty?” said another ad hoc teacher.

“We fail to understand as to why the institutions, where we are teaching just on a contractual basis, send our names to the electoral office. We went to the principal and asked him to give in writing about the expiry of our contract, but he asked us to manage our business at our own level. There are a number of regular employees who manage to escape as their names are never sent to the electoral office,” said another teacher, whose contractual tenure has already expired.

“We have decided that we will not attend any rehearsals, what to talk of attending the duty on the D-day. After all what is going to happen. When found absent, the electoral office will send letters asking us to explain our absence to the college. But, as we will not be the employees any more, both the electoral office and the college will not be in a position to take any action against us,” said a contractual teacher.

ADC Brar said: “The contractual staff has been sent letters because their names were in the database. If they are no more on rolls or will not be in the coming days, then they will not be supposed to perform the election duty. They will have to meet their respective returning officers and tell them about their positions”.



From colleges
Workshop concludes

RIMT-Maharaja Aggrasen Engineering College organised an open house on workshop training for Second year students. Director Harsh Sadawarti, Principal, RIMT-MAEC and Dr Sushil Garg graced the occasion. The dignitaries were given a warm welcome by Raveen Kaushal, Head, Mechanical Department, and Sanjeev Chopra, Head, Electronics and Communication Engineering Department. The aim of the open house was to provide the practical aspects of fundamentals engineering.

Industrial visit

To provide technical education to the students Maharaja Aggrasen Engineering College organised an industrial visit for second year civil engineering students at M/S Kandhari Beverages (P) Ltd, Sadhugarh. Gursewak Singh, manager of the company, gave technical details of the processes involved in industry. The students discussed about the details of technology adopted by the company for various purposes and studied the effluent treatment plant and air pollution control equipment. Prof DK Dua, Jashandeep Kaur and Chander Mohan Kansal coordinated the visit. Vice-Chairman of the company Vijayant Bansal appreciated the efforts of the faculty for organising sthe technical visit.

Industrial patterns discussed

Malam Sambu, Ambassador, Guinea Bissau in India, China, Japan, Korea and Singapore, and Deepak Vohra, advisor to Guinea Bissau and South Sudan, visited the PCTE Group of Institutes to interact with PCTE faculty and board of advisors about the business models adopted in India and regarding admissions of Guinea Bissau students. Dr KNS Kang, Director General, PCTE Group of Institutes, along with Prof Atul Tandan, Director, PCTE Business School, and board of advisors of the PCTE discussed the industrial patterns of both the countries with Sambu. Malam Sambu talked about Guinea Bissau, its independence, cultural heritage, economic agricultural and political structure of the country. He said that the economic and financial strength of the countries would govern the rules of successful countries. He also stressed upon the scope of more and more student admissions of Guinea Bissau at the PCTE. He emphasised on the need of strengthening the liaison with such quality Institutes in near future for educational and cultural exchange. — TNS



PAU notes
Seven-day tour held

Ludhiana: The Directorate of Students’ Welfare of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) organised a seven-day hiking and trekking tour for the university students. A group of 20 students, including boys and girls, visited Kullu Manali, wherein they were shown Bakheli Temple, Harinmba Mandir, Manikaran Sahib, Rishi Hari Narayan Cave, Raja Sindia Nagar Castle, Lajri Dam and National Park.

Satvir Singh, Welfare Officer, S Charanjit Singh, badminton coach, Dr Anita Arora and Dr Sukhjeet Kaur from the Department of Fruit Science, PAU, accompanied the students. The PAU Director Students’ Welfare, Dr Balwinder Singh, said the students were selected for the tour on the basis of their academic, cultural and sports achievements. He said such type of tours not only refreshes students’ mind but also give a practical exposure and helps in widening their horizons. Dr Singh called upon the youth to make active participation in co-curricular activities for the personality enhancement.

Agro-processing plants need of the hour: Expert

Agro-processing plants are need of the hour to curtail post-harvest losses and for the value addition of agricultural produce at village level. This was stated by Dr Ashok Kumar, Head, Department of Processing and Food Engineering, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU). “Keeping the significance of agro-processing plants in view, the PAU is imparting training and providing technical guidance and support to the rural population,” he said. “Till date, more than 250 agro-processing plants have been established across Punjab under the guidance of the PAU’s Department of Processing and Food Engineering,” he said.

Two-week computer training concludes

A two-week training course on “Operation and Programming of Computerized Numerically Controlled (CNC) Machines” jointly organised by the Department of Farm Machinery and Power Engineering (FMPE) and the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), concluded. The employees of agricultural machinery manufacturers, ITI pass outs, and educated rural youth of the Punjab participated in this course. Chief Guest Dr RS Sidhu, officiating Dean, College of Agricultural Engineering and Technology, PAU, said: “The training will be beneficial for the standardisation of farm machinery parts used for machinery production. It will provide employment opportunities to the farm machinery manufacturers and the rural youth in the production and manufacturing units.” On the occasion, Dr Sidhu released a training manual, “Advanced Technologies for Production of Agricultural Machinery”, complied by Dr Manjeet Singh and Munish Johr. — TNS



Ludhiana scan
German firm invests Rs 70 crore in Ivy hospitals

Ludhiana: A global private equity funds company based in Europe has invested Rs 70 crore in India in Ivy Hospitals as equity funds. The company is DEG, a subsidiary of the European Bank KFW, which is owned by the Government of Germany. It is the first investment by the DEG in any healthcare company in India. Gurtej Singh, CEO of Ivy hospitals said, “With this investment Ivy will set up more hospitals in North India, including Bathinda, Amritsar, Hoshiarpur, Simla, Karnal and embark on a multi-phase expansion and will make treatment accessible at local level though there are 3 operational hospitals at Mohali, Khanna and Nawanshahr.”

Health Dept checks eatables across city

A team of the District Health Department under the instructions of Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tiwari and Civil Surgeon Dr Subash Batta checked eatables, fruits and vegetables in different parts of the city. The checking was done in accordance of the campaign to spread awareness about the preventive measures people can take during this season. “Shopkeepers and rehri owners selling food items were told to maintain hygiene,” said an official.

Ministerial Services Assn holds meeting

A meeting of the State Ministerial Services Association under the guidance of Sukhvinder Singh was organised at the Bachat Bhawan on Monday. It was decided that the association would struggle for their rights as the demands of the associations have not been accepted by the government. The association members said that if their demands were not accepted or the government officials do not meet the association members, within 15 days they would struggle and wear black ribbons on July 8 to July 10 in support of their demands. If their demands are further not accepted, they would take out protest rallies on July 15 and July 16.

CITU: Labour laws not followed properly

Capitalists, contractors and civil servants are throwing labour laws for a toss and exploiting workers. This was said by Raghunath Singh, general secretary of the CITU, Punjab, while addressing workers of a factory. Although notification by the Labour Department regarding improvement of the minimum wages was issued on November 15 last year, but it has not been implemented in many factories according to the workers.

Residents send aid for flash flood victims

A delegation of the Municipal Sanitary Inspector Association, Punjab, met MC Commissioner RK Verma. They handed over their one-day salary for the flash floods victims of Uttarkhand. CITU members said they were collecting monetary help from its members for the aid of the victims. Ludhiana Sewa Samiti also sent a truck containing things of everyday need for the aid of the victims. Gaurav Mahendru from the organisation said Rs 1.29 lakhs has been collected from residents which would be sent to the Prime Minister National Relief Fund.


District conference of the SC/ST Employee Welfare Association of the BSNL concluded on Monday. The election for next term has been held and following were elected unanimously office bearers Amrik Singh as district president, Banarsee Lal as district secretary, Gurcharan Singh as finance secretary and Navin Kumar as organising secretary. — TNS



Power cuts hit residents hard
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, June 24
Contrary to the tall claims by the state government and Punjab State Power Corporation Limited to provide uninterrupted power supply to all categories of electricity consumers during the summer season, the residents of Jagraon and surrounding areas continue to grapple with unscheduled power cuts.

The prolonged power cuts are being imposed in Jagraon and the surrounding areas. In Jagraon town, power cuts varying from five to eight hours are being imposed every day. The situation is worst in rural areas where power cuts are being imposed for more than eight hours daily.

Officials of the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited said, “The power cuts are being imposed to provide maximum power supply to the farmers for planting paddy crop.”

The farmers on the other hand said that they were not getting enough power supply as assured by the authorities before start of the paddy season.

“We have been witnessing unscheduled power cuts ranging from five to eight hours every day due to which we have been facing a lot of problems. The period in which we sow the paddy crop has been delayed due to the prolonged power cuts being imposed every day,” said Joginder Singh, a farmer of Ramghar village.

“We have to depend on generator sets to pump out water for our fields to sow paddy crop. The use of generator is a costly affair. If the situation does not improve in coming days, we are bound to face heavy losses,” said Amarjit Singh of Janetpura village.

According to sources, the major reason behind the power cuts has been the increasing gap between the demand and supply of electricity. Besides this, the regular technical snags due to overload have also affected the power supply.

Xen PowerCom Jagraon Chetan Kumar said, “The reason behind power cuts is the rising demand of power. We are chalking out a plan to balance the power supply in rural and urban areas. The plan will be ready within a couple of days and once the plan is ready, the power cuts will be imposed as per the schedule,” he said.



Street vendors launch agitation against MC
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 24
Perturbed over the non-implementation of the 2004 National Policy for Street Vendors in the city and regular action against street vendors by the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation, the National Association of Street Vendors of India (NASVI), along with the Ludhiana Rehri Farhi Federation, today launched an agitation against the civic body.

The association is demanding the formation of a town vending committee (TVC) with 40 per cent representation of street vendor representatives. Besides, the association is also demanding the creation of 75 vending zones in all four municipal zones of the city.

The street vendors today organised an “Aakrosh Sabha” at Guru Nanak Bhawan here in which they accused the MC of ignoring the provisions of the national policy, which mandates the protection of livelihood of vendors through the formation of the TVC and the creation of vending zones.

Arbind Singh, national coordinator, NASVI, urged the street vendors to fight unitedly for the protection of their rights.

“Ten years have passed since the announcement of the national policy for street vendors, and now the stage is also set for the much-awaited Central legislation in favour of street vendors,” he said.

The street vendors also said the MC officials kept on harassing and evicting them from their places on regular intervals.

Tiger Singh, secretary, Ludhiana Rehri Farhi Association, said the city had enough space to accommodate the street vendors.

“The places proposed by us have no traffic problems and a large number of municipal councillors are also in favour of setting up of such zones. We have been on the streets and will remain on the streets even when we are evicted by the MC, as we don’t have any other option,” said Tiger Singh.

Later, the delegation of the street vendors held a meeting with Mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria.

Gohalwaria said he had assured them of all the possible help. “We are already in the process of formulating a policy for street vendors. Soon, zones will be set up in different areas of the city where these vendors will be allowed to set up their shops," he said.

The demands

The association is demanding the formation of a town vending committee (TVC) with 40 per cent representation of street vendor representatives. Besides, the association is also demanding the creation of 75 vending zones in all four municipal zones of the city.



Rehri vendors continue to encroach upon roads
Civic body yet to find permanent solution to the menace
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 24
Even though the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation officials claim to regularly remove encroachments from different parts of the city, there are several areas in the city where rehri vendors have encroached upon roads. This practice of encroaching upon public streets has been going on for a long time and all these years, the civic body has failed to find a permanent solution to the menace.

Thousands of rehris and farhis can be seen parked on the roads in blatant violation of rules. It is commonly observed that in many parts of the city, apni mandis as well as rehris operate from the road under the “silent patronage” of either the area councillor or some other senior MC official.

Those who provide patronage also charge “protection fee”, which varies between Rs 50 and Rs 150 per day, depending on the area and the road the rehri and farhi is operating from. All prominent markets as well as roads suffer from this menace.

But now, the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation is planning to set its house in order by formulating a uniform policy to be made applicable in all wards of the city. Under the policy, the MC will form rehri and farhi zones, where the owners can sell their products by registering themselves with the MC.

For the purpose, the civic body is also planning to rope in private partners, who will manage the affairs in such zones and later on, they might even be made the licensees.

Mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria said though the MC carried out anti-encroachment drives in different parts of the city, now the time had come to find a permanent solution to it.

"We do not want to harass the poor who own rehris or farhis. All the MC wants is that they should not encroach upon roads for running their business and get registered with the MC,” said the Mayor.

He said soon, the civic body would be coming up with a policy in which rehri zones would be formed.



Industrialists meet Chief Engineer over power issue
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 24
A delegation of the All Industries and Trade Forum held a meeting with KL Sharma, Chief Engineer, Central Zone, Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL), under the leadership of Gurmeet Singh Kular, Convenor, AITF, and President of the UCPMA, regarding the problems faced by the industrialist for getting new connection / enhancement in existing connection in mix land use area in which the compliance has already been done before May 10, 2011 by the applicants.

He was made aware that the applicants are not getting new connections or enhancement in spite of the announcement made by Manoranjan Kalia, former Industry Minister of Punjab. He was informed that approximately 500 applications are pending in the Janta Nagar sub -division as a result the industry is not able to work to their full capacity. The Chief Engineer said, "The work will be done on priority basis and deputy chief engineer will be monitoring the progress."

Another point raised in the meeting was regarding frequent tripping on 66 KV circuits -1 and 2 at Gill Road due to special protection relays (under SCADA system). He was made aware that these circuits feed to predominantly residential area. Due to frequent operation of this relay, the supply to these areas is adversely affected and situation is being repeated every night continuously since last one week.

The chief engineer was also requested that the interest charge on ACD should be refunded to the consumers which is lying pending with the department. The PSPCL has imposed two weekly off days on General industry and three weekly off days on Arc / Induction furnace vide Telephonic Message No 91/11 on June 23.



Protesters threaten to gherao substation at Alamgir
Our Correspondent

Dehlon, June 24
Irritated over frequent undeclared power cuts, residents of nearby villages protested against the alleged unconcern of the Powercom officials towards improvement of power supply in domestic and agricultural sector. The protestors threatened to gherao sub-station at Alamgir in case needful was not done to streamline the supply.

Maintaining that power supply had to be stopped for undertaking massive repair work subsequent to damages caused due to inclement weather a fortnight ago, the officials at substation said normal supply would be resumed soon.

Office bearers and activists of various social and political organisations, including Congress and SAD, protested against the alleged unconcern of authorities towards normalisation of power supply.

Besides, organising protest march on the streets, the protestors also blocked the traffic at Sahnewal chowk on Ludhiana-Malerkotla highway for more than an hour today. The protestors burnt the effigy of the chairman of the Powercom.

Speakers, including Jagdeep Singh Bittu director Punjab Land Development Bank, Paramdeep Singh Deepa, Jagir Singh and Nirmal Singh, alleged that authorities had failed to keep the promise to provide uninterrupted supply for domestic and agricultural sectors during past months.

SHO Dehlon Satinder Pal Singh persuaded the protestors to lift the blockade with the assurance that senior functionaries of the Powercom would be asked to intervene in the matter.



Jewellers welcome hike in tax refund rate
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 24
In an attempt to increase jewellery exports, the duty drawback rate, or tax refund rate, on gold ornaments has been increased. Exporters are seeing it as a positive sign that will lead to increase in the exports. The duty drawback rate of gold ornaments has been increased by Rs 73 to Rs 173.7 per gram. Duty drawback is the refund of duties on imported inputs for export items.

The notification issued by the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) in this regard reads that the drawback or tax refund rate for “articles of jewellery and parts thereof, made of gold is Rs 173.70 per gram of net gold content (.995 or more purity) in the jewellery”.

The earlier rate was Rs 100.70 per gram.

Narinder Sharma, a jeweller said: “This move will benefit jewellery exports and help them in offsetting the high duty, which they are paying for their import components consequent to hike in the import duty to 8 per cent.”

Some are of the opinion that the drawback rate has been increased to offset the increase in import duty on gold. Import duty on gold was recently raised to 8 per cent with an aim to curb the gold demand.

“The tax refund rate has been increased at a time when large import of gold is impacting the country's current account deficit (CAD), which is likely to be at around 5 per cent of the GDP,” said a market analyst.

A jewellery exporter said the move would definitely help the exporters as it would garner them more duty drawback.

“The step has been taken by the government to put a curb on imports of gold. Earlier, the Reserve Bank of India has also imposed restrictions on imports of gold. Whatever be the reason, the exporters will be benefited from this,” said Ram Parkash, another jeweller, at the Ghumar Mandi.



Good Samaritans join hands to help U’khand flood-hit victims
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 24
Good Samaritans joined hands to help the flood-hit victims in Uttarakhand and rescue those stranded at various shrines. Besides donating cash through various social and religious organisations, the residents donated eatables, clothes and tents through government agencies and private transport.

The sent materials included mineral water, biscuits, rice, pulses, garments, bed sheets and tents.

Pardeep Sethi and Vikash Tandon, conveners of the help group, said office-bearers and activists of various social and religious organisations of the town and surrounding localities had decided to collect materials from residents at one place and forward the same to Uttarakhand for distribution among people stranded at various places.

Tempos, accompanied by volunteers, moved through streets and mohallas so that the residents could donate without any inconvenience. Besides, collecting centers have been established in various parts where collected materials were sorted and packed in waterproof bags.

Truck operators and tempo unions of the region contributed their share by offering free transport facility for the purpose.

Deepak Sharma and Inderpal Singh Walia, office-bearers of the Har Har Mahadev Langar Committee and RS Friends Club, said consignments of eatables, water and clothes had already been sent through military base in Ambala.

Meanwhile, the team of volunteers, which had reached Uttarakhand to run community kitchen, has been called back due to worsening of weather once again.

Bimal Kumar Sharma, patron of the organization, said the decision to recall volunteers was taken by keeping in view the worries of families of the volunteers.

The Lions Club, Rotary Club, Social Welfare Organisation, Shree Ram Mandir Committee, Shree Ram Sharnam Mandir Committee, Cattle Feed and Oil Manufactures Association and the Municipal Council are the organisations that have extended organisational support for the noble cause.

The help

Besides donating cash through various social and religious organisations, the residents donated eatables, clothes and tents through government agencies and private transport.



Councillors condemn clash over road work inauguration
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 24
After the clash between supporters of independent Councillor Daljit Singh Grewal and Akali MLA Ranjit Singh Dhillon, the city councillors are an angry lot. They rue that such incidents bring bad name to other councillors and the clash over staking claim over some development project is a cheap gimmick.

Independent councillor Daljit Singh Grewal and supporters of Akali MLA from Ludhiana West, Ranjit Singh Dhillon, had entered into a brawl in New Shakti Nagar area of the city yesterday. This was not for the first time that they had entered into a brawl as their supporters had clashed in the past as well.

An Akali councillor said even if Daljit Singh Grewal had any issues with MLA Ranjit Singh Dhillon, he should have sorted them out by discussion and not by entering into a clash. “Because even if they fight over and over again the development of area which will suffer,” he said. Another councillor from the Congress said when elected representatives start having clashes, people stop taking them seriously. “If both Grewal and Dhillon don’t sort out their differences, both of them will suffer as people might not vote for them again,” he said.

Mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria said, “Entering into a heated argument or clash will not lead them anywhere. Instead of cheap publicity, the councillors as well as other political leaders should work for the betterment of area residents.”



Following in his grandfather Beant Singh’s footsteps
Mahesh Sharma

Kotli (Beant Singh Nagar), June 24
From an obscure village sarpanch to a powerful Chief Minister of a sensitive border state, it is the statesmanship trait which a grandson observed in his slain grandfather Beant Singh. Laying the foundation stone for the repetition of the family history, Harkirat Singh Kotli has agreed to serve the village panchayat instead of aspiring for any other higher post in the party or the administration.

Continuing the precedence, Kotli residents, irrespective of their political allegiance, have chosen Harkirat as the sarpanch of the village.

As none of the residents of the village filed nomination for the post of sarpanch and Kotli was the only candidate having filed nomination, he is said to be unanimously elected chief of the village panchayat today.

“Like my grandfather Beant Singh, I want to start my political carrier from grass-roots level,” says Harkirat Singh, maintaining that he owed responsibility to members of at least four generations of the village.

Strengthening the existing public utility infrastructure, curbing drug addiction, establishment of higher educational institutes and rechristening of the village in name of his grandfather are on the priority list of Harkirat.



Panchayat members elected unanimously

Jagraon, June 24
Residents of Jhorran village near Jagraon have set a new example by electing the panchayat members as well as sarpanch of the village unanimously. Jhorran village is the birth place of Baba Isher Singh of the Nanaksar sect.

The decision of unanimous selection of village sarpanch and panchayat members was taken during a meeting of various candidates contesting elections on tickets of different political parties at Gurdwara Nanaksar Sahib.

All the candidates contesting the elections were present during the meeting presided over by Baba Ghala Singh of the Nanaksar sect. Gurmail Singh of ruling party Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) was unanimously elected as the sarpanch during the meeting.

Prior to the unanimous selection, the main contest for the election of village sarpanch was between SAD candidate Gurmail Singh and former sarpanch and Congress candidate Sadhu Singh. But Congress candidate Sadhu Singh gave his consent to elect Gurmail Singh as sarpanch during the meeting.

The distinction of unanimous selection of village panchayat is that it would complete its full term and no compromise was made to share the power for half term.

Apart from Gurmail Singh, nine panchayat members were also elected unanimously during the meeting. — OC



Children get tips on Latin dance
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 24
A Latin dance workshop was organised by an institute in the city. As many as 45 children participated in the workshop. It comprised of dance forms, including Mirengue and Cha-cha.

"Through such workshops, children can channelise their energy and get involved in creative activities," said Dr Sangeeta B Khushwaha from the dance institute.

"The workshop was organised to make children aware about the global dance styles, so that they up perform at national and international level. These are technical dance forms like some of the Indian classical ones. So children can excel in these once they get the techniques right."

"Considering the fact that so many children are performing breathtakingly well in the dance reality shows on television, many parents want their children to learn the dance forms quickly," said Sonal, a resident. "This is the sole reason why I have enrolled my child in a dance institute early so that he can learn dance and compete," she said.

"Apart from learning the dance, the other benefits of dance are that they become confident while performing in front of a huge crowd. Dance is also a form of workout, which can help children in remaining fit and active," said Radhika, a resident of Civil Lines.



Exempt women teachers from poll duty: Democratic Front
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 24
A delegation of the Democratic Teachers Front today met District Election Officer Kanwalpreet Brar regarding the election duties of women teachers. Charan Singh, president, Democratic Teachers Front, said many teachers belonging to Raikot and Jagraon block had been assigned election duties at Khanna, Samrala and Machhiwara.

The Democratic Teachers Front demanded that women should be exempted from election duty as the process of counting will go on till late night and it will be very difficult for them to stay overnight at far flung areas.

Meanwhile, the Master Cadre Union, Punjab, also met Kanwalpreet Brar regarding the election duties and requested that the teachers should be given election duty within the block. They also demanded a holiday following the election day.



Technical bid for effluent treatment plant opened
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 24
The technical bid for the common effluent treatment plant to be set up at the Tajpur Road was opened today. Four companies participated in the bid and after studying the details of the technical bid, the financial bid will be opened next month.

Bobby Jindal, general secretary of the Punjab Dyers Association, said: “We will be studying the technical bid in detail and understand which company has a better outlook towards the project and can do full justice to it. Once the technical bid is thoroughly read and understood, we will open the financial bid in July”.

It is the much-needed common effluent treatment plant by the dyeing units located in and around the Tajpur Road. Once the treatment plant is installed, these units will be able to discharge the water at this plant, which will further be treated before being disposed of.



Excise raid on oil firm
Tribune news service

Ludhiana, June 24
Excise and Taxation Department today raided Solvex Refined Oil Manufacturing Company at Jagraon. The raid was conducted under the supervision of AETC Bhupinder Gupta on the directions of DETC Rishipal Singh.

"Some incrementing documents, loose papers and computers were seized during the raid. We suspect that the firm was selling goods without bill and thus evading tax. The exact outcome of the raid will be known only once we go through the papers seized by us,” said Gupta.

A team led by AETC Tejbir Sidhu went to Moti Nagar for verification of the firm but found the premises locked.



Snatcher held with cop’s weapon
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 24
One of the absconding miscreants, who had snatched the service revolver of a policeman at Aarti Chowk, was nabbed by the Punjab police in Patiala today. The arrested miscreant has been identified as Jaswinder Singh, alias Jaad, who snatched the service revolver from head constable Narinder Kumar on June 22.

The other two miscreants, who were also involved in this snatching, are still at large. The police has recovered the service revolver of head constable Narinder Kumar from the possession of Jaswinder Singh.

Hardial Singh Mann, SSP, Patiala, said the kingpin of the incident, Jaswinder Singh, along with five members of the gang, was in the same car which the miscreants used in the snatching. They fired gunshots at the police when it tried to stop them at a naka”.

Mann said the miscreants also tried to snatch the carbine from a policeman at Rajpura, but other policemen at the naka foiled their attempt and arrested the criminals. The police arrested nine members of the gang at Rajpura and some were still at large. Due to the lack of coordination between the police of both districts, senior officials of Ludhiana were not aware of the arrest of the miscreant till late evening.



Woman held for theft

Ludhiana, June 24
The city police has arrested a domestic help and booked her accomplice for the involvement in theft case yesterday.

The accused has been identified as Geeta, a resident of New Agar Nagar, and Kuldeep Singh, a resident of Mohie village. The theft had taken place on June 8 at the resident of Harish Singh in Gurdev Nagar. Harish Singh said he along with his wife had gone to visit a factory in Gandhi Nagar. When they returned, they were shocked to see their house ransacked. Their domestic help had decamped with Rs 6.5 lakh. He then lodged a complaint at the local police station. The police has arrested Geeta and recovered Rs 3.71 lakh from her posession. Kuldeep Singh is still at large . — TNS



Phillaur shooter selected for World University Games
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 24
Akshay Jain, a shooter from Phillaur, has been selected for the World University Games, which will be held at Kazan (Russia) from July 6 to July 17. Akshay (21) is expecting top positions in this tournament. “I have pinned many hopes on this tournament. It will give me a good exposure and an international platform to perform on,” said Akshay.

He recently completed his BCom from DAV College, Phillaur, and has a long list of achievements.

Akshay has participated in various international events and bagged positions. He participated in the 50th World Championship in Munich (Germany), 2010, in air and free pistol events. In the same year, he took part in the 16th International Junior Championship at Suhl (Germany) in air pistol and free pistol events. In 2011, he participated in the 17th International Junior Championship at Suhl (Germany) in air pistol, free pistol and sports pistol events.

Akshay competed in the 4th Air Gun Asian Championship at Kuwait and bagged two silver medals, one individual and one team medal. In the same year, he also participated in the 12th Asian Shooting Championship at Doha (Qatar) and won team silver in 50m free pistol and a team bronze in 10m air pistol events.

He also competed in the 22nd meeting of shooting hopes at Pilzen (Czech Republic) and bagged fifth position in air pistol and 12th position in free pistol. Akshay participated in the International Junior Competition in Suhl, Germany, in 2012 in which he bagged 23rd position in air pistol and 10th position in free pistol.

Akshay’s father Parvinder Jain said: “Akshay had a good ranking when he used to play for the junior wing. Now, he plays in the senior wing, so the competition is tough here. He is a hardworking and a dedicated player”.



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 |