L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Midnight horror: 2 youths stoned, stabbed to death
Six friends were consuming liquor in a park, had fought over money; four booked, absconding; police launches manhunt 
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 30
Consuming liquor and bad company proved a deadly combination for two youths as they were stoned and stabbed to death following a quarrel with their four drunken friends over a petty issue at Subash Nagar near Basti Jodhewal Chowk here today.

The incident took place past midnight when they were consuming liquor in a park at Subash Nagar. The deceased have been identified as 31-year-old Sandeep Kumar and 29 year-old Rajiv Kumar, who were attacked with stones and broken liquor bottles.

The Jodhewal police has booked Bablu, Krishan, Kakka and Gurvinder Singh, residents of Jagirpur and Subash Nagar and started investigations.

Narinder Kumar, father of Rajiv Kumar, informed the police that six of them had gone to visit a dera in Phagwara. Sources said while returning home, they purchased liquor and eatables and consumed liquor at a park in Subash Nagar.

An area resident said the group attacked Sandeep and Rajiv with stones, bricks and broken liquor bottles following a monetary issue. After attacking the duo, the accused fled, he claimed.

Sub-inspector Surinder Singh said Rajiv and Sandeep sustained serious injuries on their faces, suspected to have been caused by stones.

“When I went in search of Rajiv in the morning, I met Gurvinder who told me that he left for home while Rajiv, Kaka, Sandeep, Bablu and Krishan kept on consuming liquor in the park. On reaching the park, I saw the body of my son. Kaka, Bablu, Krishan and Gurvinder have killed my son and Sandeep as they wanted to settle old score with them," said Narinder Kumar, Rajiv’s father. He added that last year Rajiv and his friend had a fight in which his son sustained a senior head injury.

The matter was resolved after the group agreed to pay Rs 1.25 lakh. "But little did I knew that they wanted to kill my son," said the visibly shattered father.

Sandeep, father of two daughters was deserted by his wife and while Rajiv was a bachelor. Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Bhupinder Singh said a case under Section 302 of the IPC had been registered against the accused and a hunt had been launched to nab them.

Shocking scenes

Residents of Subash Nagar were shocked to see the bodies of Sandeep and Rajiv in the park on Thursday morning. Women and children were horrified to see the bodies lying in a pool of blood.

‘Victims were notorious’

Rajiv was notorious for his alleged involvement in several snatching incidents in the area. A chronic drug addict, he used to take up fights over petty issues. Rajiv, along with Gurvinder, was booked for snatching a purse of Tersem Lal, a resident of Subash Nagar. Area residents said Rajiv and his accomplice had become a headache for them. Due to his activities, Rajiv's parents had to sell off their ancestral house in Subash Nagar. 


Gosain’s dream shattered
CM clips wings of ‘high-flying’ Health Minister; says no to photos on ambulances
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 30
Stung by criticism for the display of vanity by ministers, including Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal himself, who wanted their pictures on highway ambulances, the latter seems to have gone into a caution drive and has ordered removal of photographs with immediate effect.

The CM was in fact the first one who wanted his photograph on ambulances and later on bicycles meant for girl students belonging to BPL families. However, giving in to brickbats from various quarters, he had to pass these orders, sources said.

This happened following a “photo fight” between the recently sworn-in Health Minister, Satpal Gosain, and former Health Minister Laxmi Kanta Chawla, as the former wanted his pictures on these ambulances in place of his predecessor’s.

However, the official reason cited for the move sounds realistic. It says: “The CM is of the view that elections are approaching and when the model code of conduct will come into force, these photographs would have to be removed.”

“The CM now wants the slogans related to the health department on ambulances. We are glad that the CM has taken this decision,” said a senior health official, requesting anonymity.

With the latest orders, the dream of the new incumbent, Satpal Gosain, would not be realised. He had ordered replacing his predecessor’s pictures with his from the ambulances flagged off by the health department on January 26. He had also directed the health department to put up huge billboards bearing his and the CM’s pictures in all Civil Hospitals, dispensaries, health centres, religious places, educational institutions and markets.

The health department was in a fix as the pictures of the former Health Minister were a part of the vehicles converted into ambulances.

The minister was apprised of the situation, but to no avail.

The state government had received these ambulances under the National Rural Health Mission. There are 240 such ambulances out of which 90 were launched on April 3 at Amritsar.

Another 50 ambulances are to be launched in the second phase beginning from July 2 to 20. Out of the 50 ambulances, 16 will be launched from Ludhiana on July 2, while the remaining 100 will be launched till October.

CM set the trend

It was Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal who set the trend by ordering the state heath department to put his picture along with a slogan “Raj nahin sewa” on 90 ambulances. This had then led then Health Minister Lakshmi Kanta Chawla to insist that her picture too be displayed on the ambulances.



GLADA fails to attract buyers, auction deferred
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, June 30
Attribute it to sluggish real estate market or poor marketing strategy by officials’ concerned, but the Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority had yet another stillborn auction of a prime hotel site in Sector 32-A on the Chandigarh Road here today. The proposed sale through public auction of the hotel site, conducted at the GLADA office, had to be called off in the absence of any bidder.

The GLADA had made an offer to sell the hotel site, measuring 7,205 square meters at a reserve price of Rs 89,667 per square meter with total floor price of the chunk a little more than Rs 64.61 crore. The intending bidders were required to deposit an eligibility fee of Rs 64.61 lakh, but till the commencement of auction proceedings at 11 am, not even a single person had deposited the fee.

GLADA Additional Chief Administrator Jaswant Singh, who presided over the auction, said they kept waiting for quite some time as there were some inquiries about the site, and representatives of a few intending buyers were also present at the venue. “We were ready to accept the eligibility fee even after stipulated time if the minimum number of three bidders had come forward. But this did not happen and the auction was cancelled.”

Today’ s unsuccessful attempt to sell a prime piece of commercial land in the industrial hub of the state is third in the row by the GLADA when it failed to find buyers. On March 14 this year, two chunks of commercial land on the Ferozepur Road were offered for sale, while another commercial pocket on 100-foot wide main road in Dugri Phase I was proposed to be put under the hammer on June 27. Both offers met the same fate-no one turned up to offer any bid. And the same thing happened today. In all, these four sites, had a floor price of nearly Rs 198 crore, and assuming that the bids were offered at a marginal premium of 5 to 10 per cent, the sale of these properties would have yielded Rs 220 crore to the GLADA.

While GLADA officials maintained that they had made all possible efforts to advertise the offer and convey the message to the prospective buyers, sources revealed that the gamut of putting commercial sites on the offer in future was being reconsidered, and a suggestion to hire a professional consultant for this purpose was also under consideration.

If sources in the real estate sector are to be believed, commercial properties of this size, and commanding price in hundreds of crores were beyond the local buyers and investors. “The potential buyers have to be big builders, developers or consortiums. Perhaps, the GLADA failed to reach the potential buyers, or else the real estate scenario remains gloomy keeping buyers at bay,” they added.

Offer from GLADA

GLADA has offered to sell a hotel site, measuring 7,205 sq mts at a reserve price of Rs 89,667 per sq mts with the total floor price of the chunk at a little more than Rs 64.61 crore. The bidders were required to deposit an eligibility fee of Rs 64.61 lakh. But till the commencement of auction proceedings, not even a single bidder had deposited the fee.



Councillor leads from front
Starts fogging in his ward on his own
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 30
Perturbed at the indifferent attitude of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation’s health department regarding the fogging in the city, municipal councillor Gurpreet Singh Gogi has decided to lead from the front and started fogging in his area on his own.

Gogi, who is councillor from Ward number 53 of the city, stated that getting medicine for this machine from municipal corporation’s stores was a cumbersome process.

“Besides, they (health department officials) have told us that mohalla sanitation committee members will do fogging in their respective areas. But we are already short of staff and if we depute people for fogging, it will only be wastage of time. We are given stock of only one-day in advance,” Gogi added.

“My constituency needs fogging operation to be done at the earliest. That’s why, today, I decided that I to carry out the fogging operation on my own. It’s easy to operate the hand-held fogging machine and I must urge all councillors to come forward and lead from the front. This will prove beneficial for them as well as area residents,” added Gogi.

Two years ago, another councillor Jagbir Singh Sokhi had purchased one such machine from his personal funds, which was used by many other councillors. It was only after seeing Sokhi’s machine that the municipal corporation purchased 75 such.

“Whenever I used to ask municipal officials to do fogging in my area, either the machine didn’t come, or it was out of order. That is why, I decided to purchase my own machine so that residents of my area don’t suffer,” said Sokhi.

Municipal Corporation’s health officer Charanjit Uppal said things would soon be streamlined. “We cannot give medicine for more than one-day as it’s very costly,” added Uppal.

The cumbersome procedure of getting medicine for fogging machines?

A councillor will first have to get a letter from residents with four signatures. He or she then has to validate the letter if they want to get medicine filled in the hand-held fogging machine. A person can only be sent to the municipal stores situated in all four zones. They will get medicine for morning and evening. If any councillor wants fogging in his area everyday, he or she will have to go through this process which is a time consuming exercise.



Finally, 25 paisa becomes history
Today was the last date to get coins exchanged, but no one turned up
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 30
The 25 paisa coin, which has been fading out of purses and wallets, finally became a history today. Although, it was the last day to get the coins exchanged, banks failed to receive any customers from the city of the richie-rich.

An official of Indian Overseas Bank on the Pakhowal road said today was the last day to get the coins exchanged, but not even a single person turned up. “Ludhiana is an industrial city and people here hardly have coins of low denomination,” he added

Come July, the humble 25 paisa will no longer be accepted as a legal tender anywhere.

Sukhdev Singh, a nationalised bank employee, said, “Only a few customers came and submitted their coins, but their value would only be a few hundred rupees. Small shop owners generally get these coins.”

A cashier at Gurdwara Dukh Nivaran Sahib said though they had a chunk of coins, they did not bother to return it and get it converted. “We also have 5, 10 and 20 paisa coins with us and now 25 paisa will also join the league,” he said.

Recalling her childhood days, an elderly woman said, “We used to buy so many things with 25 paisa. But today, one can buy nothing with 25 paisa. Even the cheapest candy costs a rupee.”

Even before the inflation killed the 25 paisa coin, the RBI had been receiving complaints regarding non-acceptance of the coin by shops, business establishments, utility services and even public sector organisations and government departments.

These were generally used by tea vendors, small grocery shops and petrol pumps that were not part of major business transactions. There were a few people who had the coins.

The rise in metal prices and inflation have rendered the humble coin useless. Despite discontinuing its production since 2002, the coin has been in circulation, but today it has become a history.

Transition phase

Soon after Independence (1947-1950), India retained the monetary system and the currency and coinage of the British raj. While Pakistan introduced a new series of coins in 1948 and currency notes in 1949, India brought out its distinctive coins on August 15, 1950. Twenty five paisa coins were first issued in 1957 when India moved from the anna system to the decimal currency system. Over the years, various 25 paisa coins were issued by the Reserve Bank of India, including the famous 1998 stainless steel 25 paisa coin.



Pupils still at sea over certificate attestation
Despite new norm, many keep chasing gazetted officers
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 30
Confusion over attestation of academic certificates prevails among college students seeking admission to various undergraduate and postgraduate courses at the time of submission of application forms. Till last year they had to get photocopies attested by a gazetted (class I) officer but later the Punjab government relaxed this requirement, with students only needing to self-attest the copies to secure admission.

However, most students as well as college and university staff members are still in the dark about the new rule and the former continue to run after gazetted officers to get copies of their certificates attested.

Talking to the Ludhiana Tribune, Aanchal, a student seeking admission at Khalsa College for Women, said she got xerox copies of her academic certificates attested from a class I gazetted officer.

"The college prospectus clearly states photocopies of the certificates have to be duly attested. I had requested my friend’s father to attest the certificates. Though I didn’t face much of a problem many students are finding it an uphill task to get copies of certificates attested by class I gazetted officers officers. It’s especially tough for girls coming from villages as they don’t know any gazetted officers in the city”, said Aanchal.

Gurmel Singh, father of a girl seeking admission in the first-year BA course at the city’s Government College for Women, said: "I’ve come from Jagraon and was told by my colleague that copies of my daughter’s certificates are to be attested by a class I gazetted officer. I asked a college teacher here about this but was told there was no such requirement and a student seeking admission need only fill out a self-declaration form attached with the admission form".

Due to the prevailing confusion a large number of students seeking admission at colleges affiliated with Panjab University, Chandigarh have been getting their birth certificates, school leaving certificates, blood type certificates and detail marks cards of matriculation etc attested from class I gazetted officers. Many students have been asking school authorities to get the certificates verified so that they could get the admission whereas there is no such requirement now.

Kuldeep Singh, a senior lecturer at Government College for Women, said attested copies of academic certificates were required only when students belonged to a “backward” or “scheduled caste” category and the annual income of their parents was less than Rs 5 lakh. "Otherwise, students have to only sign photocopies of academic certificates. As part of the government’s educational reforms the earlier requirement to get copies of certificates attested by class I gazetted officers was waived-off last year so that students did not suffer unnecessary harassment", he added.

Jasbir Makkar, principal of SCD Government College, agreed there was confusion among students over attestation of copies of academic certificates. "Initially, students were worried as they weren’t finding gazetted officers to attest their certificates, but when they were told self-attestation (declaration) was sufficient to get admission they were relieved", she said.

Now, only self-attested copies required

According to a letter sent by the deputy commissioner to principals of educational institutions including colleges as well as various state government departments on May 7, 2010, the requirement to get photocopies of academic certificates attested by class I gazetted officers to secure admission to colleges and universities was done away with. Students now only needed to self-attest the copies.



Reshuffling to worsen law and order situation
ACPs, a number of SHOs and ASIs are likely to be shifted following imposition of model code of conduct
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 30
The reshuffle in the police department is said be a portent weapon to put an end to the politician and police ‘companionship’ before the ensuing assembly elections. But the move might prove an exercise in futility and could add the woes of city residents.

Following indications that the Election Commission would impose the model code of conduct in the state in July or August, several senior officials have started making rounds to the headquarters in Chandigarh for  postings to preferred districts.

A majority of police officials believe that major transfers put an adverse effect on the law and order situation of the city. There was a spurt in crime incidents during the Lok Sabha elections that went unreported, said sources.

A police official said the Election Commission guidelines do not hold any significance in today's scenario. “Changing police officials from one district to another worsens the law and order situation and hampers the investigation process. The entire work comes to a standstill and the policemen who are transferred to other districts do not take interest at their temporary posting. Hardly any criminal is nabbed during elections," said the police official.

As per the guideline, the policemen having spent over three years in the police district would be transferred to other district. The transfers are done in order to nullify the influence of policemen for helping political leaders.

Over seven Assistant Commissioners of Police (ACPs) and a number of SHOs and ASIs are likely to be transferred to some other district following the imposition of the code of conduct.

"In the present scenario, it is very difficult to benefit a politicians during the time of elections. People and media have become vigilant. A little act of influencing residents could put the police official’s career at risk,” said a police official. 

Futile exercise, say officials

An official said shifting police officials from one district to another worsens the law and order situation and hampers the investigation process. The entire work comes to a standstill and the policemen who are transferred to other districts do not take interest at their temporary posting.x



No false case against Cong men: DGP
Our Correspondent

Khanna, June 30
Setting aside allegations of registering false cases against Congressmen by the Punjab Police, DGP Paramdeep Singh Gill said even not even a single case has been registered on political basis.Replying to a query during a press conference after restoring recovered goods worth Rs 2.5 crore to the persons concerned during a function organised by the district police, the DGP said the cases were registered after proper verification.

He said: “People who indulge in crime raise hue and cry only to defame the image of the police and to divert the attention of people.”

The DGP clarified that there was no pressure on the police to register cases against anyone.

Replying to another query, the DGP admitted that jails had became haven for criminals and they were strengthening their groups inside jails. 



Where there’s will, there is a way
Ashok Kaura

Phillaur, June 30
The proverb “where there’s a will there’s a way” completely suits Manpreet Singh, a resident of Lassarra village, who is physically handicapped since childhood. But, he instead has set an example for others.

Manpreet, who had a “tumour” in his neck, was unable to walk and write. He was studying in third standard when he suffered from this disease. He was operated upon in the PGI, Chandigarh, but remained physically handicapped.

Determined to do something in life and not to become burden to his family, Manpreet (27) asked his uncle, who was living abroad, to arrange a computer for him. As soon as he received a computer from his uncle, he started practising on it with a pencil in his mouth. Ultimately, after struggling for a few months, he succeeded in becoming a computer expert.

Presently, Manpreet is working as a video editor and runs a photography shop in partnership with his friend. Manpreet does the job of movie-mixing and video editing on the computer with a pencil in his mouth and his friend videographs various functions.

The Phillaur Administration had recently honoured him for exemplary courage.



Frolicking is over, it’s back to school after vacations
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, June 30
With government schools re-opening tomorrow, children are busy giving finishing touches to their holiday homework, while others, it seems, are still waiting for an ‘angel’ to do their work.

“I could not enjoy my vacation, as I always had the pressure of completing my homework in time,” said Poonam.

On the other hand, Simran Singh of the same class seems to be least bothered. “Why should I bother? After all, holidays are meant to be enjoyed and not be worried about. My sister did my work,” he added

“My cause of worry is that in spite of my mother persuading me again and again, I did not touch my books even once. I am utterly confused now, from where to begin? My homework, too, is incomplete. Now I feel I am running short of time as my projects, too, are midway,” said Shikhai.

“Coming back home from school, too, is in no way relaxing. The same homework, the same tests the next day and the same boring vegetable schedule to be adhered to. Even Sunday fails to hold any attraction as the next day is again Monday and with it ‘starts another week of slow suffering’,” opined another worried kid.

“Oh! Back to the pavilion once again! I really enjoyed my holidays. I had finished my homework on time and then I went to my grandparents’ place,” said Gurbaxsh.

Although children find it difficult to start with, but a majority of parents feel that their wards are far better in schools than at home. Mother of Navsikha expressed, “Although a break is essential for children to rejuvenate themselves, but sometimes they become unruly. As they have nothing to do, they remain glued to television. It is during vacation that they can use their maximum time by engaging themselves in indoor and outdoor activities. But my son simply refuses to listen to anything. He just wants to while away his time.” 



Heaps of garbage soar in Jagraon as civic authorities snore
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, June 30
Despite Ludhiana Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tiwari directing the health department officials and various civic bodies in the district to keep a check on the sale of cut fruits and other eatables, the local administration has done nothing in this regard.

Eatables are still being sold openly under unhygienic conditions at various places in the town.

Nobody seems to be serious as far as instructions of the DC regarding the cleanliness are concerned.

Ludhiana DC Rahul Tiwari while presiding over a meeting of the civic body and health officials at the Mini Secretariat in Ludhiana on Wednesday, had asked the officials to keep a check on the sanitation level and get the garbage lifted on a regular basis.

But still the sale of unhygienic eatables is going unchecked in the town, which is in defiance of the orders of the DC.

People living in the area are prone to several water-borne diseases.

The situation is worst at the sabzi mandi here. During a visit to the place, it was found that vendors were selling vegetables and fruits amid stagnant rainwater, filth and heaps of garbage. Moreover, rotten vegetables were also laying scattered all over the area.

The situation is no better on the Raikot road, Old Grain Market and Lajpat Rai road, where a large number of roadside vendors sell eatables, with garbage strewn around their kiosks. People have no option, but to purchase vegetables and fruits under unhygienic conditions.

One can see heaps of garbage lying near Sanmati Vimal Jain Senior Secondary School situated just in front of the MC’s office. “When the MC officials have not paid any heed to get the garbage lifted, one can imagine the situation at other places in the town,” said Madan Aggarwal, a local resident. “People keep throwing the garbage indiscriminately, but no one has ever come to stop them,” he added.

“Every year a number of residents fall ill due to unhygienic conditions here. Though they have raised the issue a number of times, nothing has been done to improve the situation,” said another resident Dr Ashok Sharma.

When contacted, SMO Dr Amrit Kaur said, “We have conducted a number of surprise checks to curb the sale of unhygienic eatables. We have also issued strict warnings to vendors to maintain cleanliness.” She added that raids would be conducted on a regular basis in future also and strict action would be taken against the offenders.

Meanwhile, Jagraon municipal council executive official (EO) Pardeep Kumar was not available for comments.



MC allots work to expelled contractor
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 30
The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation loves to remain in controversies. During the allotment of Rs 1.5 crore contract regarding the re- carpeting of the Pakhowal Road to a contractor, who was debarred by the Finance and Contracts Committee (F&CC), Municipal officials allotted him work afresh, 20 days after he was debarred for two years.

The F&CC was totally ignored, despite the fact that a copy of the resolution, mentioning that the contractor has been debarred, was attached in the same file.

As per documents procured through the Right to Information Act, a payment of Rs 1,60,50,943 was made to the contractor, M/S SS Singla, on December 6, 2010, without prior approval of the F&CC. Even an item named “thermoplastic paint” was included, for which Rs 8,52,226 was paid, despite the fact that the contractor was debarred for two years by F&CC vide resolution dated October 7, 2010.

As per rules, when a contractor is debarred, the Municipal Corporation cannot make payment, nor can they allot him any work. Going against the rules, the Municipal Corporation, after debarring him on October 7, 2010 allotted another work order on October 28, 2010, and was paid in December 2010.

Taking this issue seriously, F&CC member and Akali councillor Simarjit Singh Bains, said he came to know about this matter a few days ago.

“Its height of irresponsible behaviour by all officials, starting from junior engineers to the Municipal Commissioner. When the work was extended and the payments made, no one had the courtesy to see the piece of paper, which mentioned that M/S SS Singla has been debarred. All officials should be held responsible for this behaviour. When the F&CC has debarred a contractor, how can the officials ignore this fact? Either they were hand in glove with the contractor or were totally irresponsive, which cannot be tolerated,” added Bains.

RTI activist Kuldip Singh Khaira stated that not only this, but the same contractor was allotted the work of re-carpeting the Pakhowal road (from the Sidhwan Canal bridge till the municipal limits), despite the fact that the contractor didn’t even qualify for it.



Dr Dhillon to join as PAU VC today
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 30
Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon, the new Vice-Chancellor of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), will take the charge tomorrow.Faculty members, staff, non-teaching employees of the farm varsity are geared up to extend a warm welcome to the new VC. After landing in Amritsar from Germany, Dr Dhillon went to pay obeisance at the Golden Temple.

Senior faculty members closely associated with Dr Dhillon for long said he was one of the strongest contenders for the post in 2007, too, when former VC Dr MS Kang was appointed the VC.

"Since the state government was adamant to bring someone from outside (abroad), Dr Dhillon's chances of appointment became bleak, but exactly after four years, Dr Dhillon will join as the VC,” said a faculty member, adding that if going abroad was the eligibility criteria, then Dr Dhillon did the right thing by going abroad.

"He is an experienced, well-qualified agricultural scientist and a good administrator,” he said. Sources said that when Dr Kang was appointed as the VC in 2007, the state government decided to bring Dr Dhillon as Pro-VC as he was considered to be a learned person but this proposal was rejected.



Ailing boy needs financial aid
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 30
Twelve-year-old Jaideep, who has been diagnosed with severe aplastic anaemia and is under treatment at Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) needs financial help.According to a hospital release: “He has an HLA identical sibling Akashdeep who can be his stem cell donor and by stem cell transplant, Jaideep can be potentially cured. His father is a maintenance worker with four children. The estimated expenditure on his treatment is around Rs 10 lakh.

The CMC is subsidising as much as possible and we have urged drug manufacturers to give sample drugs.” The hospital authorities have urged philanthropists to come forward and help the family.

Anyone willing to help the family can contact the clinical haematology unit, Christian Medical College, Ludhiana. Or call at 0161-5037957 email: mjosephjohn@gmail.com, cmcbmt@gmail.com or call Amarjit, publicity manager at 9888588840.

Cheques or demand drafts can be sent in favour of Christian Medical College, Ludhiana, Society payable at Ludhiana. Write "for treatment of Jaideep Hosp No: C- 425711) at the rear of the cheque, demand draft. The contact number of Jaideep's father Ram Dayal is 8054678321.



Two-day training course for beekeepers concludes

Ludhiana: The two-day advance training course on honeybee mites, other bee enemies, diseases and their management for progressive beekeepers of Punjab organised by the department of entomology, PAU, concluded today. The programme was held under the aegis of Sir Ratan Tata Trust project “Evolving Management Technology for Ectoparacitic Mite, Varroa in Honeybees and its Validation at Beekeepers Apiaries”.

Dr Gursharan Singh, Dean, Postgraduate Studies, PAU, said the training programme aimed at imparting knowledge to participants on different aspects of beekeeping, especially the management of mites, enemies and diseases endangering beekeeping. He said besides being the source of additional profit, the profession helped in enhancing productivity of crops due to increased pollination. He said Italian bees introduced in Punjab in 1967 revolutionised beekeeping in the state.

Dr Gosal said beekeeping was facing new challenges due to global warming and the research should be re-oriented to study impact of Bt cotton on the performance of beekeeping, especially in the south-western parts of Punjab. He said beekeepers, PAU scientists and extension workers had made beekeeping a successful venture in the state.

Experts deliberated upon various technical aspects of beekeeping and gave tips on prediction, diagnosis and management of these problems.

‘Net-house technology a hit with farmers’

Net-house and poly-house technologies are being widely used for vegetable production under protected conditions. PAU has developed net-house technology for vegetables such as brinjal, capsicum, tomato and cucumber. Director of research Dr SS Gosal said the technology significantly increased the productivity of vegetables, along with improvement in the quality. The technology used less pesticides by 20 to 59 per cent in different vegetable crops, he added.

“Besides, it also increases the employment opportunities. Farmers should take benefit of subsidy given for net-house installation and participate in vegetable cultivation to increase their income in the long run,” Dr Gosal added.



For them it’s obsession not profession
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 30
Although commercialisation has affected the noble profession of medicine, yet some doctors, who have been practising medicine for the past more than five decades, continue to alleviate human suffering without fleecing their patients or without resorting to unethical practices.

Setting an example for many, they strongly believe that medicine is a not a profession, but an obsession. On the eve of Doctor’s Day, 77-year-old Dr LS Chawla, former Vice-Chancellor of Baba Farid University of Medical Sciences, Faridkot, and an eminent gastroenterologist, who has remained member of the Medical Council of India for three terms, while recalling his good old days, said, “Things were purely on a merit basis at that time. It was in 1951, when I went to Amritsar for getting admission to a medical college. All students came alone, however, there was one student who was accompanied by his father. Everyone made fun of this act saying, “Ik kaka admission lain lai aaya hai”. But now a days things have changed.”

Dr Chawla, who has won many prestigious awards, including Dr BC Roy Award in 1993, which is given to four or five doctors for teaching in a year, said, “I still believe that medicine is not a profession, but an obsession. It is not an occupation.”

He said, “Have patience to attend to a patient. I always tell my students that a patient needs, sweet language, cold water and a sigh of relief, which a doctor can always provide.”

Dr Chawla, who is also on the panel of doctors who issue medical certificates to people eligible for immigration to Canada and Australia, said, “I do attend to my patients if they come to me. For me life without patients is meaningless.”

However, 92-year-old Dr ND Parhawk, a licentiate medical practitioner, who is still dedicated to patients at the twilight of his life said, “Nobility is disappearing day by day in this profession. I enjoy my work as for me life without a patient doesn’t mean anything. I give ample time to listen to a patient’s history and then recommend the medicine. I have seen this profession changing with the time, but I think that anything done with dedication and devotion always bears fruit.”

Importance of the day

Both the birth and death anniversaries of Dr B C Roy fall on July 1. He did his MRCP and FRCS from London. He also served as the West Bengal Chief Minister. Says Dr Chawla: “He used to examine his patients everyday for two hours when he was in Kolkata. There is an award in his memory, which is given to five teachers for excelling in academics, and five practitioners for excelling in medicine.” In Ludhiana, DR LS Chawla and, incidentally his student, Dr GS Wander have been given this prestigious award. 



Himself afflicted with cancer, he cures others
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 30
Despite suffering from cancer himself, Somnath Gupta is still going strong at the age of 79, doing a yeoman’s service to the sick by routinely going about his duties as an ENT (ear, nose and throat) surgeon. The doctor, who was diagnosed with cancer of the Buccal cavity cancer in 1984 and has lost count of the innumerable operations he has undergone, regularly examines his patients and performs surgical procedures to their complete satisfaction.

Talking to The Tribune, Dr Gupta, who retired as a professor at the city’s Dayanand Medical College & Hospital, said: “I can’t think about living without serving the ill. This noble profession is an integral part of my life but commercialization has affected it in all aspects. But if you work with dedication the monetary rewards automatically comes to you”.

A popular ENT specialist, patients flock to him in spite of the fact that, due to his ailment, he is unable to communicate with them, a job which is performed by attendants at his clinic. His wife helps him at home and elsewhere.

“It was I who started this department. And now I’ve retired from the hospital but not from the profession. I normally attend my patients between 12:30 pm and 3 pm and then for an hour in the evening. Although sometimes I ask patients to go to other physicians for their surgeries, they insist I perform them”, he added.

For the past three years Gupta has been unable to eat or drink anything using his mouth due to cancer and takes food through a tube installed in his stomach. However, he has no regrets in life. ``I’m thankful I’m still able to serve my patients”, he says.

Gupta and his wife, Dr Chanchal Gupta, has three daughters all of who are doctors. Chanchal, who retired as professor and head of the pharmacology department at Dayanand Medical College & Hospital, said: ``I provide free medical checkups along with free medicines to the needy."

It was observed that even on the eve of Doctor's Day, celebrated in India on July 1, the couple was busy in attending their patients.



Students getting hooked on correction fluid
Low cost, easy access has made it a preferred ‘drug’ for many
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 30
There has been growing concern over the rising incidence of college and even schoolchildren abusing correction fluid, used to mask errors in text, and the diluter that comes with it as a psychoactive inhalant. A few retailers are selling a bottle of the fluid and a diluter for anything between Rs 100 and Rs 150 to students, most of whom are said to be girls. It actually costs around Rs 30 in market. Students get a “high” in classrooms by putting the diluter on a handkerchief and inhaling it.

With most teachers in the dark about this type of substance abuse and dependence among students, no measures have been taken in colleges and schools to check the menace.

According to sources in Pindi Street (the city’s wholesale market for medical drugs), many girls from neo affluent families were getting hooked on correction fluid, which is psychoactive when deliberately inhaled. Apart from girls, children from the lower strata of society, many aged between eight and 12 years, found it an “easily available” drug.

“The Eraz-Ex brand of correction fluid is manufactured by office products firm Kores (India). Though on the pack, company has clearly mentioned that it is not to be sold to children below 18 years of age, still many retailers are making a quick buck by selling it to school and college students, thus playing with their lives. Some of retailers sell the pack for more than Rs 150. The correction fluid is not harmful but by inhaling the diluter, the addicts get a kick. The sniffing has come out to be a dangerous drug-addiction among the youth,” said a chemist in Pindi Street.

The owner of a leading stationery store in Ghumar Mandi, when asked for a Kores’ Eraz-Ex fluid, instead handed out a Wexon Twins pen and brush “correction combo” to this reporter. When asked to provide particular erazer, the owner refused to oblige saying this would serve the purpose (erasing text errors). But when the reporter disclosed her identity, the owner said: “Because of the increasing addiction of correction fluid among students we’re now selling the new pack that serves a similar 

But those intending to misuse the fluid keep on asking for the diluter and are sometimes ready to pay anything for it. And many retailers in the city are playing with the lives of youths.” Meanwhile, principal of the Khalsa College for Women, Varinder Kaur Thind, said she was not aware of this type of substance abuse in colleges. “College principal don’t interact closely with all students but teachers do and they can come to know about behavioral changes among students. More than teachers it’s parents that play a key role in recognizing such changes, if any, in their children. We can just make students aware about the ill-effects of drug addiction but it’s their parents who have to keep a close watch on their children’s activities,” she added.

Drug Inspector Balram Luthra when asked about the practice said, “Since it is a chemical, health department can not check its open sale.”

Easy availability

Correction fluid and a diluter are both an easily available “drug” for youngsters. By sniffing the diluter a person feels relaxed and is unaware of his surroundings. It’s not only college students who get hooked on correction fluid, but schoolchildren also misuse it to get a kick. Besides, it’s easily available in the market and doesn’t cost much

— Rajiv Gupta, a city-based psychiatrist



Truck driver commits suicide
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 30
Kamal Kumar, a truck driver, allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself from a ceiling fan at his house in Meharban yesterday afternoon. He used to remain depressed due to prolonged illness.

Kamal was alone in the house when he committed suicide. Family members of the victim returned to the house in the evening and found Kamal’s body hanging from the ceiling fan.

They informed the police about the incident. The police took the body into its custody and sent it the local civil hospital for a post-mortem examination. 



Protest by coaches
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, June 30
Coaches and administrative staff, recruited by the Punjab sports department on a contractual basis, staged a protest at Guru Nanak Stadium here today.Parminder Singh, president of Punjab Sports Department Outsourcing Employees Union, while addressing protesters said the sports department recruited the staff on a contractual basis in October, 2008, with an assurance that they would be regularised in due course of time, which was not done.

“Despite submitting memorandums to the Punjab Chief Minister, Deputy Chief Minister, Chief Secretary, Punjab, Secretary, Sports, Punjab, along with Director, Sports, Punjab, nothing has been done so far,” Singh added.

He added that the staff helped in the functioning of sports centres, sports wings, organising of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Punjab State Games, First World Kabaddi Cup, Punjab Rural Sports, besides other events, but the Punjab government failed to keep its promise to regularise the staff.

Parminder Singh and other representatives of the union made a fervent appeal to the authorities concerned to meet their long-pending demands and regularise them.

Parminder Singh announced that a similar peaceful dharna would be be held at Hans Raj Stadium, Jalandhar, tomorrow and later a march would be carried out to highlight their demands.

A large number of representatives of the union drawn from different places of the state took part in the protest.



Ludhiana scan
Plantation drive

Former president of the District Congress Committee Krishan Kumar Bawa along with party workers launched a tree plantation drive on the Gill Road under the Atam Nagar assembly segment. He said 5,000 saplings would be planted in 11 wards of the area. He exhorted the area residents and party workers to plant at least one sapling each and also nurse it till maturity. Bawa also slammed the government for its failure to replace a large number of trees axed for widening of roads and infrastructure development in the state.

Plea on Lokpal Bill

The Anti-Corruption Council of India has urged Congress president and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi to advise the members of the Lokpal Bill drafting committee not to adopt delaying tactics and also desist from mudslinging on the Anna Hazare team. The functionaries of the council have pleaded that the Prime Minister, along with senior members of the judiciary and bureaucracy be also brought under the purview of Lokpal as the people by and large were now fed up from rampant corruption in all walks of life.

Flood control room

Claiming that the district administration was fully prepared to meet the threat of floods in the wake heavy rains and the forecast of adequate monsoons, Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tiwari said eight flood control rooms had been set up in the district to collect and provide information of floods. The contact phone number of the central flood control room is 0161-2432100. The sub-divisional level control rooms under the SDM (East) and SDM (West) could be contacted at 0161-2400150 and 0161-2412555, respectively. Control rooms at other sub-divisions in the district, including Samrala, Khanna, Payal, Jagraon and Raikot were also operational.

Road re-carpeting project

PPCC secretary and councillor of ward no 35 Parminder Mehta said that councillors ought to rise above political considerations where the development of their areas are concerned and the political leadership should also desist from discrimination in allocation of funds for development projects. He was addressing a function after inaugurating a road re-carpeting project in Meena Bazaar. Mehta said to solve the persistent problem of waterlogging in congested commercial areas of the city, a storm water sewerage project had been approved by the civic body. He urged shopkeepers and residents of the affected areas to cooperate by keeping the road gullies clean and check the menace of encroachment along drains.

e-wallet card launched

Axis Bank on Thursday announced the launch of the 'e-Wallet Card', an innovative solution for online payments. The e-Wallet Card is an electronic payment service offered free of cost by the bank to its customers, which works like any credit or debit card for making online payments. The e-Wallet Card can be created instantly using Axis Bank's internet banking and can be used for making payments on all websites that accept Visa cards. To generate an e-Wallet Card, consumers need to log on to the bank's internet banking portal, select the e-Wallet Card option under the cards menu, select the source account from which the funds would be debited and follow the instructions that appear thereafter.

Sathe is LIC zonal manager

Nilesh Sathe, executive director, LIC, has taken the charge as Zonal manager of northern zone of the LIC from July 1 following the retirement of VK Sinha. Sathe is commerce postgraduate with additional qualifications in banking and insurance. SK Aggarwal, senior divisional manager, Ludhiana, said that Sathe joined the LIC in 1983 as a direct recruit officer and has successfully headed many important assignments in different zones of the LIC, senior divisional manager of two divisions in Mumbai and chief, Pension and Group Schemes (P&GS). In the P&GS, he created history within four years by increasing the assets under management to Rs 70,000 crores from Rs 28,000 crores. 



Man kills brother over land dispute
Our Correspondent

Khanna, June 30
In a shocking incident, a youth of nearby Rohno village was shot dead by his real brother last night.Pargat Singh, a resident of Rohno village was going on his motorcycle late last night. When he reached near the petrol pump at Ikolaha village, his brother and some other persons stopped him. When he tried to escape, two persons attacked him and fired a shot at him, which pierced his chest.

He was rushed to the Khanna Civil Hospital where he was declared brought dead. Land dispute is stated to be the reason behind the murder.

The Khanna police has registered a case against Santokh Singh, brother of the deceased and his accomplice Harpreet Singh, a residents of Ikolaha village under Section 302 of the IPC. 



Cagers, coaches felicitated
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, June 30
To recognise their performance and outstanding contribution to the field of sports, the Punjab Basketball Association (PBA) felicitated players and their coaches. They were honoured at a function organised at Guru Nanak Sports Complex here this evening.

International handball star Gurpreet Kaur Purewal, along with international football player Gurmeet Kaur and Dharamveer Singh, volleyball player (all recently promoted as DSPs), were given mementos by the PBA.

Other players and coaches who were honoured on the occasion include Hardeep Kaur (hammer throw), Amritpal Singh (long jump), Satinder Singh (400m hurdles), Navjot Kaur, Ramandeep Kaur, Nancy Bala and Probir Kaur (all track and field players), Baljit Singh, Harmandeep Singh, Sunil Bajaj and Gauravdeep (all basketball players).

Coaches who were honoured for producing players of eminence were Nirmal Singh Grewal, Sanjeev Kumar Sharma, Sita Kapila, Sat Pal Singh (DSO, Ludhiana), Jaspal Singh, Mohan Lal, Ashwani Kumar, Harjinder Singh, Davinder Pal Singh, Harbans Singh (SAI Training Centre, Ludhiana), Jagbir Singh Grewal, Jagbir Singh Dhaliwal and Dr S Subramanian.

Deputy Commissioner of Police, Ludhiana, and vice-president of the association Yurinder Singh Hayer, Teja Singh Dhaliwal, general secretary, PBA, and office-bearers of the Ludhiana District Basketball Association (LDBA)were present on the occasion.



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