Sumeer Singh is a staff correspondent at Ludhiana. He covers industry, transport, district courts and sports.
Articles by Sumeer Singh
The organisers and participants of Kila Raipur Games, also called Rural Olympics, are upbeat about the prospects of event returning to its old charm in the light of banned bull-taming sport— Jallikattu—in Tamil Nadu taking place on Sunday.
December 2016 had been the worst in terms of monthly sales for sewing machine manufacturer Ravi Arora in his 62 years stint in the industry. From Rs 15 lakh in December 2015, Arora’s medium-scale unit at Lakkar Bazaar in Ludhiana saw a substantial drop in sales to Rs 4 lakh in December 2016.
Cracking on an Ambala-based production company for evading service tax, the directorate of revenue intelligence (DRI) recovered around Rs 3 crore after a raid on its premises on Thursday evening. The company has reportedly rendered services to the units of Bollywood movies such as Aamir Khan-starrer ‘Dangal’, Salman Khan’s ‘Sultan’ and comedian Kapil Sharma’s upcoming ‘Firangi’, being shot in Rupnagar.
“Around 80% of all industry is in the unorganised sector. And 80% of the workers do not have bank accounts,” said Badish Jindal, vice-chairman of the National Productivity Council, “In some cases, workers who are refusing to accept the old notes or cheques are being laid off.” Workers here usually come from villages of UP, Bihar and Himachal Pradesh, and such migrants are 8 lakh of the 12 lakh workers here. Around 4 lakh work in the hosiery industry, while more than 2 lakh in the cycle industry. Other sectors include machine tools, sewing machines and auto parts.
A day after the income tax department raided an auto-parts dealer and seized Rs 1.2 crore in cash, including Rs 72 lakh in the new notes of Rs 2,000, investigators said he had pressed his workforce of around 2,000 persons who queued up with his old notes at various banks and got him the new notes over the last few days ever since the old notes of Rs 500 and 1,000 were demonetised on November 8.
Foreign currency is being bought from farmers in exchange of scrapped notes through moneychangers, who charge up to 30% for striking the deal
It was mayhem outside the Punjab National Bank at Shivpuri area where thousands of residents made a beeline to the bank for a currency exchange (Rs 500 and Rs 1,000) and cash deposit. In their bid to force their way inside the bank through the main entrance people were seen indulging in verbal spats and launching physical assault on each other on numerous occasions.
The ongoing rift involving illegal late night gambling at the city’s prestigious Satluj Club has taken an ugly turn with internal politicking amongst members coming out in the open after the controversy
Showing scant regard for protection of child rights, the district administration is sitting on more than 650 release certificates (RCs) of the rescued child labourers who were employed in various commercial and domestic establishments in Ludhiana. As a result, the rehabilitation of these child labourers is in a limbo over a period of 4 years now.
To improve rural connectivity, the state is all set to get 164 new midibuses (medium size). The state transport officials said that tenders have already been floated for the manufacturing of buses and if not marred by any legal or technical glitches, the buses will hit the road by November 20.
Conceived three years back, the lion safari at Mattewara forests touted as the most coveted project of the district wildlife department, is yet to see the light of the day.
Visitors at the parking lot of the city bus stand are being taken for a ride as they are being charged even for brief halts at the spot.
“If you wait till you can do everything for everybody, instead of something for somebody, you will end up not doing nothing for nobody,” says 25-year-old Jagwinder Singh, a cyclist and art teacher.
Life came to a standstill for more than two hours as thousands of protesters from around a dozen trade unions thronged the city bus stand and blocked the Link Road on Friday.
The cycling velodrome at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) continues to be in a deplorable condition as the district sports department and PAU authorities are busy passing the buck at each other.
A long-pending demand of industrialists in Ludhiana to establish an exhibition centre has finally bore fruit on Friday when deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal announced that he would lay the foundation stone for it on November 1 during an interaction with traders of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME).
In a convention organised by the Association For Democratic Rights (AFDR) Punjab and Shaheed Bhagat Singh Vichar Manch, Umar Khalid, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student union leader expressed concerns over the prevailing situation in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), on Sunday.
The domestic steel manufacturing industry, which witnessed shutdown of over 100 units in Mandi Gobindgarh and Ludhiana in the last three years, is now hoping to revive with the Metal Scrap Trade Corporation (MSTC) introducing an online shopping portal ‘MSTC Metal Mandi’ for selling and purchasing iron and steel scrap at one platform on Thursday.
The Punjab National Bank branches in the district are not secure enough to prevent robberies of the kind that took place at one of their branches in Kochar Market where four men walked away with `15 lakh in broad daylight on Monday. Around 50% of all 103 branches have no security guards deployed in the premises.
Residents faced a harrowing time on Sunday as all 334 fuel-filling stations in the district remained shut due to a strike by the petrol pump owners.
Strong winds followed by rains uprooted electricity poles and trees in the wee hours of Tuesday, leaving residents a harried lot.
With the Punjab and Haryana high court directing the state excise department to amend the liquor vend policy against procuring alcohol from only a select group of licensees, liquor contractors in the district operating at medium and small scale have breathed a great sigh of relief.
The controversy over the release of ‘Udta Punjab’, a movie which reportedly highlights drug menace in Punjab, do not seem to end. With Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) suggesting major cuts and change in the title of ‘Udta Punjab’, filmmakers, literary and theatre personalities lent their support for the release of the movie.
Of total 50 ‘polluting’ dyeing firms at Tajpur road and the industrial area that were issued notices by the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) in its bid to contain deteriorating air-pollution levels in the city in March, only 25 companies have installed the latest FBC (Fluidised Bed Combustion) technology in furnaces, while others have failed to incorporate the recommended changes.
Dragged to court by its arch-rival Hero Cycles over alleged copyright violation, Avon Cycles, in its reply on Tuesday, said the bicycle design in question was already popular in the United States and China. The firm had earlier maintained that it has made requisite changes in the design of the bicycle model in question.
Every morning is an ordeal for 28-year-old Guddu Kumar, who lives in a small dingy room at a ‘vehra’ in Bahadur Ke village with his family of six.
In a legal battle to protect its design, bicycle maker Hero on Monday refuted the claims of business rival Avon that it had made the required changes to its model.
Leading bicycle manufacturer Avon Cycles Ltd has been dragged into court over alleged violations of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) by rival Hero Cycles Ltd.
In the absence of any checks by the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB), the city residents are literally inhaling ‘venom’ everyday. No doubt, Ludhiana has climbed up three notches to be ranked 12th in the World Health Organisation (WHO) ranking on the most polluted cities in the world. Environmentalists in the city flay improper monitoring of industrial units, including hosiery, steel, tyres, brick kilns and dyeing which emit harmful gases, increased vehicular congestion, burning of paddy/wheat straw and city residents’ increased dependence on air-conditioned homes and increased vehicular congestion for the hazard.
The big claims made by the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) on the reduction in the pollution levels, during the past five years, at industrial hub Ludhiana by as much as 50% have taken a serious beating as around 18 manufacturing firms at Focal Point Phase 5, 6 and 7 have been found discharging hazardous toxic liquid and solid waste in open.