Saturday, January 11, 2003, Chandigarh, India

L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Two labourers killed in blast in industrial unit
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 10
At least two labourers were killed and two injured, when a huge steam machine installed at a dyeing unit at Dhandari in Focal Point exploded today early morning. The blast also damaged the premises of the dyeing unit considerably besides rocking the region. Window panes of several units and some residential houses located nearby were also broken. A 10-feet-high wall of the unit also fell down. Panic gripped the area residents as initially it was thought that some scrap bomb had blown off.

The Focal Point police has booked a supervisor of the unit on the charges of negligence of duty. Police sources said supervisor V K Sharma was booked under Section 304, IPC. He allegedly did not check the steam machine properly as was required in his duty. No case has been registered against the unit owner.

The blast took place at about 7 a.m. inside the Dasmesh dyeing unit. The night shift was about to end and there were about 50 labourers in the unit. Every thing was going on as usual, when suddenly, the soft flow machine, in which the steam gathers, exploded with a loud bang.

The explosion was so powerful that the two labourers, who were standing at least 50 metre away, were killed instantly when some parts of the huge machine fell on them. The victims were identified as Vijay Kumar(18) and Anil Kumar (21).

Both of them were hit by large and very hot pieces of the exploded machine. Their faces were burnt beyond recognition. They were identified by other labourers with the help of the clothes they were wearing. The splinters fell on other labourers as well injuring two of them.

These were identified as Maya Ram and Arvind Chand. They were rushed to a nearby hospital. Sources said they were discharged in the evening.

Several parts of the machine were blown even 100 metre away. Panic-stricken labourers ran away in all directions. Due to this the deceased labourers could not get immediate medical attention. Some labourers had a miraculous escape when a 10-feet wall of the industrial unit also fell down due to the impact of the blast.

Work in all neighbouring industrial units came to a stand-still because of the blast. Labourers and employees of all units came out to know the cause of the blast. A large number of labourers collected outside the unit. The labourers were quite shocked at the incident as all of them were working with the same type of machines.

Sources said such blasts were not common. It has put under question the safety measures taken by the factory owners in the units.



Experts work on various theories
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 10
While mystery shrouds the death of some Asiatic lions at Mahendra Chaudhary Zoological Park, Chhat Bir, Punjab Agricultural University scientists are working on three theories to identify the disease prevalent in other sick lions, including canine distemper, worm infestation or pitfalls of inbreeding.

The scientists are of the opinion that the disease that is claiming the lives of lions is either canine distemper or some worm infestation that interferes with the nervous system in a chronic case or the pitfalls of inbreeding in the lions.

They are preparing the blood and serum slides to send these to a laboratory in the UK, where the scientists would identify the actual cause of the deaths. Talking to TNS the scientists said that it would take a week’s time to prepare the slides of blood and serum of diseased lions. Meanwhile, reports of samples sent to the Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Bareilly, are also being awaited.

The scientists said that they had sent a list of symptoms to the scientists in the UK, who had, in turn, written to the PAU scientists asking them to prepare the slides of blood and serum of infected lions. The PAU scientists said that the disease could have been identified earlier if samples were sent there but due to quarantine laws they could not do so.

The scientists maintained that the lions were very sick and suffered from some chronic disease. They said that though there were no new cases of infection but there was no improvement in the condition of lions who had already been infected.

The diseased lions were being given symptomatic treatment for the time being and they had also been vaccinated for various other diseases.

The scientists also said that they had studied the symptoms in detail and found that it took around more than a month for the disease to consume a lion. The first symptom includes anorexia or a loss of appetite for many days and the symptoms related to nervous system disorder appeared later.

They added that the lions suffered from the staggered movement and tried to climb up on the wall of the enclosure but there was no rise in temperature. After showing these symptoms for some time they died. The experts said that canine distemper could not be ruled out entirely as there was quite a possibility of spreading of infection from the stray dogs.

However, they were quick in adding that the disease among Chhat Bir lions could be identified only after the reports were received from the laboratories.



Cold wave curse for migrant workers
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, January 10
The intense cold wave has fallen like a curse upon thousands of migrant workers in Punjab in the hope of better livelihood that will keep the fires in their kitchens burning, besides tucking their children in warmth of security. The cold wave sweeping the region has not only rendered many such people jobless, but has taken 15 lives during the past one week in Punjab and Haryana.

The police has confirmed to have recovered the bodies of two unidentified persons in the city in the past 48 hours. The body of one person was found yesterday last morning from old Sabzi Mandi near Daresi Ground. The second body was recovered from Jarh Chowk of Focal Point area. The post mortem examination of both has been conducted.

Dr S.N. Tiwari, Civil Surgeon, when contacted, confirmed one death due to the cold wave and another of heart attack. A resident of South City had also died recently when his car fell into a canal after he could not see the road due to fog and went off the track while he was returning after attending a party here.

The cold wave has claimed more than 100 lives in the country. The chill in the city persists, with the day and night temperatures falling to a record low. The city has also witnessed a maximum temperature of 9.50C in recent days.

Despite wearing heavy woollens, residents continue to shiver as the sun remains elusive. The migrant workers and daily-wagers have been, lighting bonfires by the roadside.

The biting cold, coupled with fog, has also brought many viral and skin infections to the city residents. There has been an increase in the number of chest infections. People have been complaining of upper respiratory chest infections.

The cold weather has also affected the health of children as more and more children suffering from bronchitis have been visiting hospitals and nursing homes these days.

Dermatologists in the city say chillblain, dryness of skin and dandruff are common skin infections found among the people due to the intense cold. People have been regularly complaining of minor ailments like cold, cough and fever at city hospitals due to this intense cold.



Blueprint for smooth traffic flow
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 10
Alarmed at the increasing incidents of traffic snarls in the city, the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation will chalk out an elaborate blueprint to ensure the smooth flow of traffic in various parts of the city. In this context, the help of the traffic police, the transport department and NGOs has been solicited.

A high-level meeting was chaired by MC Commissioner S.K. Sharma a few days ago and it was decided that the traffic would be regulated in such a way that there was no congestion at any given time in the city. Those who attended included SP Traffic and his field officers, the DTO, Zonal Commissioners of the MC, besides Mr Sham Sunder Juneja, a road missionary of the city.

Sources said it was decided that the roads and junctions in the city — which were congestion prone — would be identified. The Commissioner directed all zonal commissioners to depute their staff to carry out an elaborate survey of all such points in their area and file a report. The help of the traffic police and the transport department would also be sought to make the plan fully effective.

It was also decided that all the requisite infrastructure for manning traffic lights, roadmarkers and signboards should be estimated and purchased in bulk, for which funds would not be a problem. Those present also felt that public awareness was an essential ingredient to make the scheme a success and for this, the support and cooperation of various NGOs would be sought. An elaborate media campaign to sensitise the people about their duties while commuting will be launched.

Mr Sharma emphasised that since students were the citizens of tomorrow, officers should regularly visit the schools and colleges to instil a sense of road safety. He also said there was great need to synchronise traffic lights, keeping the flow of traffic during peak hours. For this, timers should be installed and a committee would look into this aspect. Those present also appealed to the people to follow traffic rules.



Nine awarded at Lohri mela
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 10
Weather gods smiled at the large boisterous crowd that assembled today at the Punjabi Bhavan for the 10th Lohri mela organised by the Malwa Sabhyacharak Manch. Kites of different colours added to the spirit of Lohri. A massive crowd turned up to listen to a host of famous and lesser known singers.

Lohri was full of fun and packed with traditional fare, including traditional dances like jhoomar and bhangra. Mr K.K. Bawa, chairman of the manch, welcomed all. He invited Mr Gurcharan Ghalib, MP, Mr Nahar Singh Gill, Mayor, and Mr Malkiat Singh Dhakha, MLA, to honour nine personalities chosen for outstanding work in different fields.

The first one to be honoured was Sunita Rani, the athlete who had got back her gold medals won at Busan. She had won gold medals in 1500, 5,000 and 10,000 m and was awarded the Dhyan Chand Award. She said it was the first public function where she was being honoured after getting her name cleared of doping. She was delighted at being honoured and promised that she would win a medal at the Olympics.

Jagat Singh Hara, a progressive farmer, had made his mark by adopting progressive techniques and had contributed a lot to the Green Revolution. A resident of Kanganwal, he was awarded the P.N. Thapar Award. He said though he had won many accolades and awards but this award was special as it was from his own city.

An octogenarian, Giani Gurdit Singh, Padam Shri awardee, who is a prolific writer and author of more than 100 books, was awarded the Dr M.S. Randhawa Award. He said the soil of Malwas had produced culture in rainbow colours and he would continue to serve Malwa by continuing to write. The Principal Harvey Memorial Award was given to Mr B.C. Gupta, an IAS officer, for his contribution in the field of administration.

Mr Nakul Khullar — King of Apples — was awarded the Dr G.S. Cheema Award for his horticultural activities. Actor and singer Harbhajan Mann received the Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan Award. He said Punjabi cinema had to be revived in order to carry on with Punjabi culture and tradition. He said he planned to make another Punjabi film this year, major parts of which would be shot in Punjab.

The Bhagat Singh Puran Award was to be conferred on A.A. Siddiqui, DGP (Law and Order) heading the Punjab Police Academy. Since he could not attend the function it was collected by Mr Arunpal, SP.

The K.L. Sehgal Award was conferred upon Paramjit Singh Siddhu, popularly known as Pammi Bai. A law graduate, he had entered into the singing arena as it was a passion with him. Sarabjit Singh Cheema was given the Mohammad Rafi Award for his voice. All awardees were presented a gold medal, a shawl and a trophy.

The crowd was highly excited to find singers Surinder Chindda and Hans Raj Hans amidst them. The crowd savoured the popular songs of these singers. Prof M.S. Cheema handled the large crowd with his witty comments. Mr Pawan Dewan, secretary of the manch said this year too, they wanted to celebrate Lohri in the family spirit. Around two quintals of ‘rewris’ were distributed among the audience.



A prolific writer — Giani Gurdit Singh
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 10
A Punjabi writer of repute, Giani Gurdit Sigh was in the city recently to receive an award. A Padma Shree winner, Gurdit Singh’s enthusiasm for writing has not waned. In his eighties and still walking upright, he has lucid thoughts and a great longing to restart his favourite magazine ‘Singh Sabha Patrika’. Speaking to Ludhiana Tribune he said,” I do not remember the number of books that I have written. There are still so many unpublished books of mine. so many essays are lying around. I am going to compile them in a book.”

Giani Gurdit is widely travelled and written a score of books on religion. He has written many books on Guru Granth Sahib, including about the history of Guru Granth Sahib. He has penned many books on Sikh history. His book, a collection of essays titled ‘Punjab de Mele’ form the subject matter of many a student’s thesis. ‘Ek Pind Ek Din’, ‘Mere Pind De Log, are the names of his forthcoming books.

His favourite magazine ‘Singh Sabha Patrika’, which started with 500 pages had to be shelved because of lack of finances. He says, “So many times, I have urged the government to help out but the government is least interested in promoting writers. It is difficult to bring out such publications, but we managed with help of friends. But due to my poor health, we had to discontinue. Now that I am well, we will start it again though it will have only 100 pages instead of 500 pages that we started with.”

His advice to young writers ,” Write with your heart, and soul. Write for your soil and for brotherhood of man. These days due to commercialisation, such cheap literature is being produced.” 



Seminar on drug addiction among Sikh youths
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 10
Bhai Ranjit Singh, a former Jathedar of Akal Takht, said here today that he would extend unconditional support to any Panthic front against Mr Parkash Singh Badal as he (Mr Badal) had done maximum harm to the Sikhs during his five-year of term as the Chief Minister of Punjab.

Talking to newspersons Bhai Ranjit Singh said that Mr Badal had destroyed the sanctity of the Sikh institutions like Akal Takht and patronised the deras. The maximum number of sikh youths took to drugs during the regime of Mr Badal in Punjab, he charged.

Bhai Ranjit Singh said that a ‘dharam prachar’ campaign was being launched by him in the state with the support of the Sant Samaj and other Sikh saints and Sikh youth organisation. A seminar in this connection would be held here on January 19 where programme to involve the Sikh youth in this campaign would be chalked out.

He expressed concern over the increasing drug addiction in the state and said that Sikh youth in the rural areas were taking to smack, poppy and other intoxicants.

The seminar here would have three points of discussion - gurshabd, opposition to gurudom and fighting against drug addiction.

According to Bhai Ranjit Singh, five Sikh youth would be selected from each village who would spearhead the campaign and later SGPC constituencies would be made single unit for campaign.

In reply to a question Bhai Ranjit Singh said that the SGPC had failed to do ‘dharam prachar’ and it was doing so on paper only. There was no contribution by the SGPC on ‘dharam prachar’ front and fighting against drug addiction. If the SGPC was serious on this issue, the Sikh youth would not have gone astray and would not have become ‘patit’.

He declared that he was with Baba Sarabjot Singh Bedi, Jathedar Gurcharan Singh Tohra, Jathedar Jagdev Singh Talwandi and Jathedar Jasbir Singh Rode and support all their programme.



Power shutdown
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 10
Power supply to 11KV Preet Nagar feeder, 11KV(W) feeder, Chimney Road, Preet Nagar, Basant Road, Bhagwan Chowk, street No. 1 to 9, SAS Nagar street No. 1 to 7, Janta Nagar (Bhagwan Chowk) street No. 1 to 6, Vishwakarma Colony street No. 1 to 5 will remain suspended from 9 am to 4 pm on Saturday.

Power supply to 11KV Kashmir feeder, Harbanspura, Islamia School, Tilak Nagar, Bajoori Road, Ved Ganj, Madhopuri Chowk, Mehmoodpura, Madhopuri Kooch No. 1, Prem Gali will remain suspended from 9 pm to 3 pm on Sunday.

Power supply to 11KV Sahibana feeder, 220 KV Dhandari Kalan and Mundian Khurd feeders will remain suspended from 9 pm to 5 pm on Saturday.

Power supply to 11KV feeder, 11KV Kangaroo and Kuddu feeder, Bhagat Singh Colony, Railway Colony, Mahavir Complex, Phase IV focal point, 220 KV Dhandari Kalan feeder Kuddu feeder, Phase VIII focal point, will remain suspended from 9 am to 5 pm on Saturday.



LPG shortage in city
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 10
The city is facing an acute shortage of cooking gas these days, thanks largely to the recent crackdown by the district administration on gas vendors in which 110 cylinders were found to be underweight.

In the past four days, there have been a number of demonstrations and slogan shouting by residents of various localities facing a ‘shortage’ of the cooking gas.

The sources, however, were optimistic that everything would return to normalcy after the Lohri festival.



Shopkeepers intensify struggle
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 10
The Luxmi Shopkeeper Union has intensified its struggle to prevent the demolition of their shops on the land which has been sold by PUDA.

According to Mr Surjit Singh, chairman of the union, they will continue with the fast till the authorities do not give them an assurance that the shops will be spared. In case the government goes ahead, they will be forced to call for a Punjab bandh, he added.



1 booked for buying stolen iron
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 10
The Focal Point police has booked an alleged fence living in Anandpur village, near Sahnewal, on the charge of buying iron from thieves who had stolen the same from a factory in Janakpuri some time ago.

Mr Ajay Kumar Sharma, manager of the factory, had complained to the police that Vijay Kumar, the alleged fence, had bought the iron which had been stolen from his factory. The police said that the iron had been recovered after a raid on the premises of the fence.

Abduction alleged: The Basti Jodhewal police has registered a case of abduction under Section 366 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Munsha Singh, a resident of New Subhash Nagar, against Dalbir Singh, a resident of Assru village in Nawanshahr district. The complainant had alleged that the accused had abducted his 10-year-old daughter on Sunday and taken her to an undisclosed place.

The Sarabha Nagar police has also registered a similar case on the statement of Mr Vir Bahadur Bhalla, a resident of Housing Board Colony, against Munish Kaushal, a resident of Doraha. The complainant had alleged that the accused had abducted his minor daughter on Tuesday.

Ganja seized: The Salem Tabri police has arrested Nand Kishore, a resident of Aurangabad, and seized 2 kg of ganja from his possession. The accused has been booked under the NDPS Act.

Theft alleged: The Sadar police has registered a case of theft on the statement of Mr Harjinder Singh, a resident of Dugri village, against his servant, Gulam Chand, alias Munna, who hails from Uttar Pradesh. The complainant had alleged that the servant had stolen cash and some documents from an almirah. The accused committed the theft on December 7 and fled, he added.

Eve-teaser held: The Division No. 2 police has arrested Sonu, a resident of Islam Ganj, while he was teasing girls near the nullah bridge in Issa Nagri and booked him under Sections 294 and 509 of the IPC.

Gambling: On a tip-off, the Division No. 6 police raided a gambling den near Shagun Palace and arrested Ramesh Kumar, a resident of Dharam Pura, Raj Kumar, a resident of Shivaji Nagar, and Vijay Kumar, a resident of Ganesh Nagar, while they were gambling. The were booked under the Gambling Act.

The Division No. 4 police has arrested Roshan Lal, a resident of New Vishnu Nagar, while he was booking bets in Shivpuri on Wednesday night. Some satta slips and Rs 566 were recovered from his possession. He has been booked under the Gambling Act.

Body found: The body of an unidentified youth in his mid-twenties was found on the railway track near Dhandari railway station by the GRP staff yesterday. The body, which has not been identified as yet, was sent for an autopsy to the Civil Hospital.

Liquor seized: The Kotwali police has arrested Dharam Pal, a resident of Garha village, near Phillaur, and seized an unspecified quantity of illicit liquor from his possession. The Model Town police has arrested a woman, Sushma, a resident of Kartar Nagar, and seized an unspecified quantity of illicit liquor form her possession. Both the accused have been booked under the Excise Act.

Liquor seized:
The Sahnewal police claims to have seized 60 litre of illicit liquor being carried in a truck on a tip-off, at the Kohara road, on Sunday evening.

The liquor was being carried in truck No. HR-37-3474. However, the truck driver sensed danger absconded leaving the truck behind. A case has been registered under Section 61, 1 and 14 of Excise Act.

Stolen: Cloth was stolen from a showroom situated along the G T Road, near Pawa Khagat village, on the intervening night of Saturday and Sunday.

According to salesman Baljit Singh, when he came at the daybreak, he found the shutter of the showroom broken and cloth stolen. The exact loss was still to be assessed.

A case has been registered under Sections 157 and 380 of the IPC, but not arrest has been made so far.

Man beaten-up: A resident of Heeran village was attacked by two persons of the same village as a result of which he had to be admitted to the Civil Hospital, Sahnewal, on Sunday evening. Personal rivalry is said to be the reason behind the attack.

The accused attacked the complainant with sharp-edged weapons and sticks. While victim Amrik Singh is in the hospital, the alleged accused, Gurpreet Singh and Darshan Singh, are reported to be at large.

A case under Sections 341, 323 and 34 of the IPC has been registered.



Industrialists rue delay in policy
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 10
The delay in the finalisation and announcement of the much-awaited new industrial policy has caused resentment among the industrialists. They maintain that for the past four months they are being told that the policy was ready and could be announced any time. But nothing has come out so far.

According to Mr Inderjit Singh Pradhan, president, and Mr Avtar Singh, general secretary, of the Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings (CICU), it was still uncertain as to when the policy would be announced. They expressed their doubts over the policy being industry friendly as it had not taken all sections (of the industry) into confidence.

They said the chamber was of the “firm view that unless captains of the industry are taken into confidence and consulted before formulating all the industrial policies it is unlikely to yield the desired results”. They asserted that all the big industrial organisations, including the CICU, should be consulted without any discrimination for having a proper feedback for giving finishing touches to the industrial policy of the state which could prove helpful in this era of globalisation and regime.

The CICU leaders regretted that they were being ignored by the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, for the reasons best known to him. They pointed out the CM cancelled the appointment with them which could have served a great purpose. They hoped that they would be able to get the time so that they could provide proper feedback to him.

The industry leaders clarified that they did not have any political affiliations and was not fair to term the CICU as political organisation. However, they admitted that the chamber welcome anyone who came to power whether he may be Mr Parkash Singh Badal or Capt Amarinder Singh. “We have always organised receptions for the CMs like Mr Beant Singh, Mr H.S. Brar, Mr Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Mr Parkash Singh Badal or any one else. They said, “We are concerned with the government and not the individuals or the parties.”

Mr Pradhan was said to be enjoying good relations with the former Chief Minister and it was reportedly for this reason that the CM cancelled his meeting with the CICU here last year. Since then the CICU has been trying to build bridges with the government, but to no avail. Mr Pradhan has been maintaining that as a representative of the industry he has to deal with all the CMs and it is merely a professional relationship.


Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
122 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |