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Medicos return to hospitals
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 1
Teaching work in Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH), Baba Jaswant Singh Dental College and Lord Mahavira Homeopathic Medical College here resumed and out patients departments (OPDs) in all major hospitals, including DMCH, opened today after medical students and doctors called off their 20-day-old agitation against the proposed reservation for OBCs on the intervention of the Supreme Court.

The decision to call off the strike was taken after a meeting of representatives of the Youth for Equality (students body) and the Joint Medicos Front at the DMCH late last evening in view of the court directions on the issue.

The medical students, however, maintained that while they held the judiciary in the highest esteem and would abide by its directions, they would continue with their campaign to educate the masses about long-term detrimental effects of caste-based reservation, particularly in professional courses.

According to DMCH authorities, work in OPDs in the hospital was normal and patients were being attended to by senior doctors and interns in all departments.

Students in the DMC and other medical institutions also attended their classes after a gap of around three weeks.



Focal Point becoming flyash dump
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

A tractor-trailer being filled with flyash outside a dyeing unit at the Focal Point in Ludhiana
A tractor-trailer being filled with flyash outside a dyeing unit at the Focal Point in Ludhiana on Thursday. — A Tribune photograph

Ludhiana, June 1
Even as the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) has been grappling with the issue of emission of flyash by dyeing and tyre manufacturing units, the latter have been dumping heaps of residue alongside roads and vacant plots and in green parks of the Focal Point here.

The PPCB and the municipal corporation have not taken action in his regard and defaulters are having a field day.

Paint manufacturing units are the worst hit as the flyash gets mixed with paints, affecting quality.

Paint manufacturers say whenever they prepare an emulsion, fine particles of flyash are visible.

Industrialists whose machines worth crores get spoiled as flyash settles in parts have been crying foul.

Dyeing units have tied up with some contractors to dispose of flyash and workers of these contractors fill residue in trolleys in the morning and dump it at night.

No action has been taken against a worker caught by some industrialists and handed over to PPCB employees.

A dyeing unit owner says they have nothing to fear as each dyeing unit pays between Rs 3,000 and Rs 5,000 per month to officials concerned to look the other way.



PAU unions oppose new vet varsity
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 1
The Punjab Agricultural University Employees’ Union, the PAU Teachers Association and the PAU Fourth Class Workers Union have opposed the formation of Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University after bifurcating Punjab Agricultural University (PAU).

In a joint statement issued here today, these unions observed that they were always in favour of setting up new and independent institutions. However, they regretted that bifurcating an internationally recognised, best award winner and successfully running institution like the PAU was in no way in the favour of nation, state, peasantry, scientists, scientists and general employees.

They said such an attitude of the Punjab Government towards the PAU, which converted the food deficit state to a food surplus state by leading the green revolution and white revolution, was anti-development. The unions wondered when the government was not providing sufficient fund to the already running universities how could it borne the expenses of a new university.

They said that rather 10 per cent of their budget was cut every year. This resulted in downsizing and delay in payments of salaries and allowances.

The unions apprehended that the government might privatise the university, as it was not possible to meet the burden of added bureaucracy and infrastructure of another university within the same budget. “Obviously, the funds for veterinary university might be raised from private sources, which is an indication of a step towards privatisation of the university”, the unions observed.

Commenting on the Punjab Government statement to generate more employment opportunities with the formation of veterinary university, the unions said if the government was so serious about employment then why it did not fill thousands of vacant posts of teacher, civil doctor, veterinary doctor, paramedical staff, clerk, technical staff and scientist in Punjab.

The unions said the employees were not offered any option while being transferred to veterinary university, which was an “undemocratic practice in itself”. The unions feared that with the division of assets and liquidity of’ the PAU the tasks of research, teaching and extension would be adversely affected.



Transfer of teachers resented
Our Correspondent

Amloh, June 1
Honest teachers on examination duty have been punished to defame government teachers and pave the way for privatisation. The Government Teachers Union has always supported measures taken by the Education Department against cheating in examinations. However, it cannot appreciate the suspension and transfer of honest and innocent teachers on the charge of copying in the examination, said Mr Balbir Singh Ghuman, district chief of the union, while talking to mediapersons after a meeting of the union activists here today.

Some teachers of this district were suspended and some were transferred to far off places on the allegations of copying by students. While not even a single case of copying had been registered, honest teachers were being victimised.

Mr Ghuman citied the case of Mr Jaspal Singh Gill, vocational lecturer in Government Secondary School, Amloh, was posted as superintendent at SNAS Secondary School, Mandi Gobindgarh, and was transferred to Bathinda district on the charge that he possessed a mobile phone. The board and the department had noted this number to convey any message, he added.

In another case, Mr Jasjeet Singh, lecturer of physics in Government Secondary School (boys) here, has been transferred to Amritsar district in spite of the fact that no objectionable material was found from the possession of any student at the examination centre where he was performing duty.

The transfer of both teachers from government schools at Amloh would affect the results of students as they had helped students get positions in PMET examination every year, he said.

When Mr Jasjeet Singh went to Amritsar, he was informed that the school Principal office had no information about his transfer. Mr Ghuman urged the department to cancel the transfers and hold an inquiry into it. The DPI had promised to the union leaders to review the cases, but nothing had been done so far, he added.

A deputation presented a memorandum to Mr Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, local MLA and Parliamentary Secretary (Home Justice and PWD), for the cancellation of the transfers.



Man gets 5-year RI for abetting wife, son’s suicide
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana June 1
Mr R. L. Ahuja, Presiding Officer of the Fast Track Court has sentenced Tarlochan Singh (32) of Barwala village to five years' rigorous imprisonment on the charges of abetting his wife and minor son to commit suicide. His father, Jang Singh, had also been awarded same sentence.

Delivering the verdict, Mr Ahuja held that the prosecution had successfully proved that the two abetted Gurpreet Kaur and her minor son, Hardeep Singh, to commit suicide.

Terming it to be a crime against society, the Judge turned down the plea of leniency raised by the accused. A fine of Rs 2000 each was also imposed upon the accused.

An FIR was registered against the accused persons under Section 306 and 34 of the IPC at Sahnewal police station, on June 29, 2003, following the complaint of Dial Singh of Lopan village, Ludhiana.

The complainant had stated to the police that his daughter, Gurpreet Kaur, was married to the prime accused who was not doing any work. His father was addicted to drinking. They used to beat her daughter. She was also turned out from the matrimonial home and they compelled her to commit suicide.

The defence counsel argued that the deceased was mentally sick, so there was no fault of her in-laws. But the court held that the accused had failed to prove that the deceased was suffering from any mental disorders.



Community policing scheme launched
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 1
A community police officers scheme (CPOS) to ensure better security for the people was launched with fanfare in Jagraon police district by Mr Parag Jain, DIG, Ludhiana Range, here today.

All CPOs, beat committee members and a large number of eminent personalities of the area were present at the function held at the Police Lines.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr R.K. Jaiswal, SSP, Jagraon, said scheme was based on the concept of creating synergy by bringing together the resources, finances and manpower of the community and technical know-how of the police.

In this scheme, the community provides logistical support while the police provides the professional input. The police acts as a catalyst and a facilitator for the security needs of the community. In this process, participation of everyone from the community is ensured so as to build a stake for everyone.

He said before starting the scheme a detailed security survey of Jagraon city was undertaken and it was found that the present number of chowkidars were inadequate to cover the city. None of the chowkidars had got their antecedents verified and there was no standardisation of salaries. There was no standard uniform or dress code for identification and they carried no communication equipment.

Similarly, it was found that no professional inputs regarding their duties had ever been imparted to the chowkidars. Many were physically unfit to perform their duty as there was no system of selection, training and supervision.

Based on the findings of the survey, standardisation of chowkidars as per the requirement of the city was carried out and it was decided that the CPO scheme was best suited to meet the security needs of the city and its surrounding areas.

The SSP said the scheme would ensure that only people with no criminal record and verified antecedents would be allowed for security duty. The areas of responsibility demarcated professionally by the police was based on principles of “line of sight” and “ span of control”.

Based on the demarcation, entire community was divided into beat (comprising of approximately 100 houses/shops/ establishments each) for supporting each security initiative.

One formal representative community of three persons (president, vice president and treasurer) is formed in each beat for coordination on behalf of the entire unit. One bank account has been established for each committee to bring transparency and accountability.

Mr Jaiswal said the pay structure had been standardized in consultation with the public and individual monthly commitment per household had been determined.

Similarly, one nodal agency has been appointed for providing manpower and procedures had been standardized for selection, appointment, training and supervision.

In addition to this, all security officers has been given a distinct identification and uniform which includes an identity card, a torch, a baton, a whistle and a mobile phone.

Each beat officer is responsible for the conduct and performance of all CPOs in his jurisdiction and a parallel civil field officer has been appointed for the supervision of the CPOs in each beat.

This ensures supervision by three agencies- the police, CPO field officer and public.

He said for administrative and supervisory purposes, the CPOs had been linked to the police beats and the three-member committee of each unit would maintain proper record of collection of funds and the performance of the CPOs.

He said Jagraon city had been divided into 104 beats and these beats had been divided into 11 sectors under the close supervision of field officer of CPOs, one police official, PCR and one NGO of the city police station.

Field officers will supervise the duties of CPOs on a motor cycle and all CPUs will perform their night duty in their respective beat from 10.30 pm to 5 am.

A total number of 125 CPOs have been deployed in Jagraon under this scheme. In addition, a 25 member- committee of local residents has been formed to supervise the day- to-day functioning of this CPOs scheme.



‘11,000 OBCs’ in country
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 1
There are as many as 11,000 OBCs in India, said Sunil Kumar, Joint Secretary (Education), HRD Ministry, while addressing a meeting of the Standing Committee of the National Monitoring Committee for Minority Education in Delhi recently.

Prof Prithipal Singh Kapoor, former Pro Vice-Chancellor, Guru Nanak Dev University, and member of the committee, today said Sunil Kumar, who is also Member Secretary of the National Monitoring Committee for Minority Education, revealed during the meeting that the Mandal Commission had listed over 33,000 OBCs.

But the government on its own undertook an exercise with the help of the state governments to scrutinise and rationalise the present list of OBCs and the same covered around 11,000 OBCs.

He said the implementation of the reservation scheme would cover minority committees also.

According to Professor Kapoor, members of the committee also met HRD Minister Arjun Singh and thanked him for the gesture.

Earlier, the committee visited Shillong to study the situation of minority education in the North-East, where Meghalya and Nagaland were Christian-dominated states and had some very good institutes of higher learning.

In Assam, the Muslim minority was engaged in organising NGOs to establish self-financing technical education for higher education.

A large number of representatives of the minorities met the committee and demanded the establishment of technical and medical institutes.

They also sought relaxation in norms to facilitate the grants for these institutes.



Govt spending Rs 1154 cr on weaker sections: Johar
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 1
Education Minister Harnam Dass Johar informed that the government had accorded top priority for the welfare of the weaker sections of society and funds amounting to Rs. 1154 crore under Special Component Plan were being spent during the year 2006-07, which are 28.85 percent of the State Plan Outlay of Rs 4000 crore, whereas funds amounting to Rs. 934 crore (26.32 percent) were spent on these schemes during the year 2005-06.

The minister was addressing a function after disbursing the sanction letters of pensions among the beneficiaries at Model Town here today. Two dozen beneficiaries were handed over the sanction letters and prepared ration cards.

He informed that Capt. Amarinder Singh's Government had created a special corpus fund of Rs. 450 crore to ensure regular and timely disbursal of pensioners/financial assistance to 11 lakh old aged, widows, orphans and handicapped beneficiaries.

He said that it was always during the tenures of the Congress Party’s Governments when attractive welfare schemes had been launched for the Schedule Castes and labuorers, whereas during the tenures of the non-Congress governments, the interests of the Scheduled Castes had always been ignored.

Mr. Johar claimed that Rs. 60 crore have been released to provide toilets in the houses of SC families in rural areas. He said that the government had also decided to provide free education to the girls belonging to SC families and enhanced the amount of shagun from Rs. 5100 to Rs. 15,000 on the marriages of daughters of SCs.

He further asserted that the state government had also decided to implement the 85th Constitutional amendment as a fulfillment of the poll promise. He said that fulfilling the aspirations of the Scheduled Castes, the state government had decided to allow 200 units per month of free domestic electricity to all SCs families costing to more than Rs.50 crore to the government and 5 marla residential plots had also been allotted to Dalits out of village common land. So far, as many as 26,059 such plots have been allotted to SC houseless families and 80,000 additional residential plots would be given to dalits by 2007, Mr. Johar added.

Referring to the development in his constituency, Mr. Johar said that during the tenure of the Congress Government, funds more than 40 crores have been spent on the various development works in his Ludhiana (West) Constituency and grants amounting to Rs. 6 crore are being delivered for the various development projects.



Bus operators served notices
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 1
Acting on the reports of the PRTC authorities regarding the violation of rules by bus operators plying their buses in Sangrur district, including certain depots of the Punjab Roadways, the District Transport Officer, Sangrur, has served notices on them and warned them of consequences in case. Their buses instead of coming to the local bus stand according to schedule passed directly through Pohir village. The staff has been directed to conduct surprise checking and initiate action against the violators.

Mr Amandeep Bansal, DTO, Sangrur, said he had warned all operators of the district to run their buses strictly according to the permits granted by the state transport authorities. “Besides serving notices on the operators of the district, I have instructed the ADTO to conduct random checking and impound or challan buses of the violators,” Mr Bansal said.

Meanwhile, Mr Jatinder Bhola, president, municipal council, has accused the transport authorities of shielding bus operators who had been violating rules for years. “Even when the officials have identified the violators and provided lists of defaulting buses during certain period, inaction on the part of the transport authorities shows that they are protecting interests of operators’ causing inconvenience to the public,” argued Mr Bhola.

Leaders of various social and political organisations, led by Mr Jatinder Bhola had accused certain operators of violating rules by not bringing their buses to the local bus stand. In a joint representation to the higher authorities of the state Transport Department, the leaders had demanded that the PRTC, Punjab Roadways and private operators should be made to take buses to the local bus stand. Activists of certain organisations had blocked vehicular traffic at Pohir also.

A team of officials of the PRTC, Ludhiana, had observed that on an average 40 to 50 buses violated regulations everyday. Instead of coming to the local bus stand these buses went straight from Pohir Chowk. This not only caused inconvenience to the passengers but caused monetary loss to those depots which obeyed the rules.

“Long route passengers prefers to travel by those buses which go straight from Pohir village instead of coming to Ahmedgarh”, reads a letter written by the GM, PRTC, Ludhiana, to the higher authorities. The officer supported his claim by enclosing long list of violators.



Return of Office of Profit Bill hailed
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, June 1
President A.P.J Abdul Kalam’s decision to return the Office of Profit Amendment Bill passed by Parliament is an exemplary step to safeguard the values of democracy, said Mr Dalip Singh Pandhi, a former minister and member of the SAD advisory committee, while talking to mediapersons here today.

In the light of this decision, Ms Sonia Gandhi, Congress President, should quit her Lok Sabha seat on moral grounds. He pointed out that he had already written a letter to the Election Commission and to the President of India to take action against persons holding offices of profit.



Critically ill boy looks for good Samaritans
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 1
Suraj, a 14-year-old boy and a resident of Ferozepore,has been admitted to Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) here under the care of Dr Basant Pawar, Consultant,Department of Nephrology.

He is suffering from multiple brain abscess, chronic kidney disease and renal osteodystrophy, a life- threatening combination of complex diseases and needs continuous treatment, expected to cost around Rs 2.5 lakh, according to Dr Pawar.

The CMCH has been providing the entire possible medicare, most of it absolutely free and some procedures at highly subsidised cost. Suraj comes from a poor socio-economic background and his father Mani Ram hardly earns Rs l00 a day.

Being the only breadwinner of the family of five, with one daughter and two sons, his only hope of his son being restored back to health, is now pinned on the kind-hearted people of the region.

All those who wish to bring back the smile on the face of Suraj and his family members can contact the Medical Superintendent's office in CMCH in Ludhiana.

Donations can be made in favour of Christian Medical College and Hospital with 'Treatment for Suraj' written on back side of the cheque, bank drafts or on the covering letter.



Miniature animals his forte
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 1
Leeka from Rajasthan displays miniature animals made by him under a bus stand shed on the Ferozepur Road here.

“To make both ends meet, I had to leave by native town and come to Punjab to display the craft. Though it is very taxing sitting out in the open, I am grateful to God that my craft enables me to earn enough to feed my family”, he said.

He said he had learnt the art of making soft toys at a government centre near his village.

“I have honed my art with practice. It has evolved after a lot of experimentation and by using my imagination. Now my miniature animals look quite real.

“The way I have displayed my toys, people tell me that it seems they are visiting a zoo. People stop by as their children insist upon them to buy toys.

“Since I do not pay any rent and sell toys on the roadside, these are reasonably priced. The discomfort I have to go through is too much”, he said.

Leeka said the heat during the day was intolerable and life was like hell for him during duststorms.

“Beggars cannot be choosers. I have to bear the discomfort. Life is not a bed of roses at home. The temperature soars in summer and there is water shortage in Jaisalmer.

“There is no sale and so, I have little choice. I go out to different places to sell toys. My family back home chips in by making toys.

“I sleep in the shed as I cannot take my toys elsewhere. I cook my morning and evening meals near the shed. I skip lunch to save money”, he said.

He said he would go back after he saving a couple of thousand rupees and then start his nomadic life again.



Banda Bahadur martyrdom day in Canada
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 1
The All India Bairagi Maha Manadal has chalked out a programme to observe the 290th martyrdom day of Bairagi Baba Banda Singh Bahadur in a series of functions at different places in Canada later this month.

Giving this information here today, Mr Krishan Kumar Bawa, president of the mandal, said the Canada branch of the mandal would organise functions at Vancouver (Surrey), Calgiri and Toronto to remember the saint soldier.

According to Mr Bawa, functionaries of the mandal in Canada, including its convener Harbant Singh Deol, had formed a coordination committee to make arrangements for the martyrdom day functions.

He said the supreme sacrifice by Banda Bahadur, who laid down his life while fighting against the tyranny of the Mogul empire, was a source of inspiration to the people, especially the youth.



Stone of dharamshala laid
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, June 1
Senior Congress leader Sukhjeet Singh Hara today laid the foundation stone of a dharamshala to be constructed at a cost of Rs 20 lakh at Prem Colony.

Councillors Pal Kaur, Kuldeep Singh, Kulwant Singh, Saroop Kaur; former councillors Shamsher Singh Kailo, Jaspal Kaur, Jasbir Singh; Darshan Lal Bhatia, Sikander Singh and Jeet Ram from the Bazigar Cell, Punjab; and various sarpanch and panches of the area were present.

A number of residents of ward No. 13 also participated in the function.

Captain Hara urged Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and PPCC president Shamsher Singh Dullo to look into the problems being faced by the Dalits, especially widows and the elderly.

He also urged the government to ensure potable water supply for the residents.

He promised to open a library, funded by the Mr Ram Singh Trust, for the people of ward No. 13.

Captain Hara expressed his gratitude towards the residents of Prem Colony and promised help to the people of the area.



Sanction for more claims of riot-hit received

Ludhiana, June 1
Deputy Commissioner Ashok Kumar Gupta has informed that sanction for 312 more claims of riot victim families in the district, who had applied for rehabilitation grant up to February 22 has been received from the government.

Giving details, he said that the detailed lists containing names of the claimants had been displayed on the notice boards of the offices of the SDMs concerned. Besides, all these names are also available on www.ludhiana.gov.in  which can be seen by the claimants concerned. TNS



Meeting on noise pollution
Our Correspondent

Khanna, June 1
The public in general and managers of religious places in particular should cooperate with the administration in controlling noise pollution, otherwise the police will come down heavily on law breakers, said, Mr M.F. Farooqui, SSP, Khanna, while addressing a gathering of senior citizens and representatives of religious places, here today.

Mr Ashok Sood, president, Durga Committee, Machhiwara, assured the police chief that they would cooperate with the police in its drive against noise pollution.



Hotel opens in city
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 1
Fortune Klassik Hotel, a subsidiary of ITC Limited, was inaugurated here late last evening.

Addressing mediapersons, Mr Bhajan Singh, owner of the complex in which the hotel, along with a mall is located, said: "The project has cost us Rs 45 crore so far and another Rs 15 crore would be spent on it." Speaking about the facilities in the hotel, he said it offered 99 rooms and suites and conference halls and banquets could accommodate up to 2,500 people.


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