L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Joy for some, sorrow for others
Regularisation of paramedics: 356 staff nurses return disappointed
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 1
While a few paramedical contractual employees (now regularised) celebrated after receiving the appointment letters, others seemed depressed and disappointed as they could not get the same today.

Hopes of at least 356 staff nurses were dashed when an official of the health department announced that only those, who have completed three years of contract, would be getting the appointment letters.

Parwinder Kaur, a staff nurse from Abohar Civil Hospital, said, “Earlier, 1,786 contractual employees were to be regularised. But, we were told that we would not be getting the appointment letters as we had joined only last year.”

She was unhappy by the stand taken by health authorities. Pawandeep Kaur, another staff nurse from Abohar, said, “We came with a hope but are retuning empty handed.”

These staff nurses also met director (health services), Punjab, Dr Ashok Nayyar in this regard. But the officer refused to budge.

Sweeti, a physically challenged employee from Amritsar, said, “Thank God! Someone has listened to our woes.” Kuldeep Kaur, another handicapped girl from Phagwara, said, “I am happy, I have been regularised from today.”


We were left to fend for ourselves in the hot and humid weather. The department should have sent these letters by post. Here also they handed over the letters in envelopes. But orders are orders.


Generosity or political gimmick 
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 1
Speeches delivered at a function organised by health and family welfare department in Kidwai Nagar (near the residence of health and family minister Satpal Goasin) for distributing appointment letters to contractual employees turned out to be a political stunt with speakers promising to support the minister during the next year’s assembly elections.

The function started with a few SAD-BJP leaders presenting siropas to health and family welfare minister Satpal Gosain. The workers of both parties were seen raising slogans in favour of the respective parties and promises fulfilled by leaders. Gosain handed over appointment letters to each contractual teacher, who was called on stage by Pran Nath Bhati, a BJP leader. Candidates along with their family members could be seen eagerly waiting for their turn despite rain. 

Drivers stood in queue

A large number of drivers, whose services were also regularised today, stood in front of a van of the health department for getting their appointment letters. Today, only 970 out of 1,786 employees were handed over appointment letters. Gosain announced he would issue the remaining letters before July 7.

We, too, will help him

We, too, will help the health minister in the assembly elections for doling us out of the crisis,  Said Vajinder Singh Randhwa, state president, Paramedical Contractual Employees Union, while drawing a contrast between the former “autocratic” health minister and the present “benevolent” one.



New Ludhiana-Delhi Shatabdi to chug soon
Train to run via Sangrur and Rohtak instead of Ambala
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, July 1
A new Ludhiana-New Delhi Shatabdi Express, the third Shatabdi train on this trunk route, is soon going to become a reality if the new timetable of Northern Railway released on Friday is any indication.

Earlier the Mamata Banerjee, the railway minister at the time, had announced a new Shatabdi between Punjab’s industrial hub and the national capital would be introduced.

Though preliminary action on the proposal had been initiated some time back, officials at Northern Railway’s divisional headquarters in Ferozepur were not in a position to give the timeframe for commencement of the train. They had maintained the plan would depend on availability of an adequate number of coaches and making provisions for base facility at the originating station (Ludhiana in this case).

Talking to The Tribune on phone, Northern Railway senior divisional commercial manager MM Singh said the fact that the Ludhiana-New Delhi Shatabdi express had found a mention in the new timetable itself was an indication the train would begin running very soon. "At the most, it shouldn’t take more than a month or so. But we will give out the exact timeframe for the new train as and when it’s announced by Indian Railways’ headquarters in New Delhi”, he added.

According to information available till now, the new 12037/12038 Shatabdi express will run via Sangrur and Rohtak (which will be commercial stoppages as well) instead of the traditional Ambala-Panipat-Karnal route. The down train will leave Ludhiana at 4:40 pm to arrive in New Delhi at 10:05 pm while on the return journey it will leave New Delhi at 7:00 am and arrive in Ludhiana at 12:20 pm.


y The down train will leave Ludhiana at 4:40 pm to arrive in New Delhi at 10:05 pm while on the return journey it will leave New Delhi at 7 am and arrive in Ludhiana at 12:20 pm.



Appointment triggers hope for better PAU-GADVASU ties
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 1
With Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon, the new PAU VC, joining office today, it is being hoped that ties between the farm university and Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) will strengthen.

While both the VCs-Dr Dhillon and Dr VK Taneja (GADVASU VC) have worked together in the Indian Council for Agriculture Research (ICAR), they expect to come up with certain joint projects, which will benefit both the universities and farmers as well.

Dr BS Dhillon said Dr Taneja was like an elder brother to him. “I hope that PAU and GADVASU will come up with several joint projects.”

Dr Dhillon added that he would not like to comment on what had happened in the past between the two universities, as he was away from the country for all these years. “I am sure that the ties will strengthen,” said Dr Dhillon.

Similarly, Dr VK Taneja said a few years ago, PAU had cordial relations with GADVASU. “We used to get dry fodder (wheat/paddy straw) from the farm university, while they took the dung for manure. But the practice stopped after sometime.”

“Dr Dhillon is an intelligent and a capable person and the tie-ups between the two universities will prove beneficial for the common man,” said Dr Taneja, adding that the joint ventures could be brought to the notice of the state government and ICAR for seeking grants. “We hope to work together on several projects concerning agriculture/livestock,” said Dr Taneja.

“The differences came to the fore over land bifurcation and other trivial issues. These are all minor issues which can be sorted out amicably,” said a senior faculty member of Punjab Agricultural University. 

New PAU V-C takes charge

Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon today took over the charge as the Vice-Chancellor of Punjab Agricultural University. He was given a warm welcome by the faculty/staff/non-teaching union members. This is, perhaps, for the first time that three Board of Management (BoM) members, including Jaspinder Singh Kular, Urvinder Kaur Grewal and BS Boparai, were present on the campus to welcome the new VC. Among others present on the occasion included KS Sidhu, members of Board of Management of GADVASU and PAUTA president Harmit Singh Kingra.



Many teachers still holidaying abroad
Education dept to take action against absenteeism in schools
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 1
Even as the education department has taken a strict disciplinary approach on absenteeism among government schoolteachers, many of them have still to return home from their trips abroad even though the schools reopened on Friday after the summer break.

Five teachers who had applied for long leave were found absent from duty during a surprise check conducted by department officials. Besides, a teacher at the government school in Kila Raipur did not turn up for work today.

The education department, was had come under fire following criticism over teachers and students remaining absent from schools after the summer holidays, has now issued a “show cause” notice to the teachers who were found absent.

The surprise checks, led by district education officer (secondary) Harbhajan Ram, came after the Punjab director general of school education instructed all the district education officials to visit schools to check attendance and punctuality on the first day after the summer vacations.

"Absenteeism won’t be tolerated and the report of the team that conducted the surprise checks will be sent to the education department’s head office in Chandigarh for disciplinary action against erring teacher," said Ram.

There have been several complaints against teachers who went abroad in pursuit of greener pasture. The absence of teachers has put a drastic on the education of students, who blame the former for their poor result in the annual examination.

Some of the teachers have even exceeded their leave period. Sources said now the department is planning to initiate the termination proceeding of the teachers so that new teachers could be recruited at their place.

Ram and his team began Friday’s surprise checks at government schools located in Khanna and Machhiwara. Last year the district education department was swamped with complaints relating to pertaining to the skewed teacher-student ratio in schools in those two towns after the summer break.



GLADA razes 7 more colonies
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, July 1
Continuing its relentless drive against development of unauthorised colonies on the periphery of the mega city, the Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA) today razed structures and infrastructure development projects in seven colonies on the Sahnewal-Dehlon road.

GLADA Additional Chief Administrator Jaswant Singh, along with large number of police personnel, began the demolition drive at a colony (spread over 45 acres) on the right side of the Sahnewal-Dehlon road near Bhagwanpura village. They basically targeted under-construction roads, sewer lines and electricity poles, which were dug up, and structures pulled down.

Thereafter, the operation continued a little further on the left side of the same road where demolition was carried out in two colonies (spread over 20 acres) each.

Other unauthorised colonies where infrastructure development was razed were a colony (spread over 30 acres) on the right side of the Sahnewal-Dehlon road (near Shiv Balaji Transport), another colony (spread over 15 acres) in front of the PSEB office on the right side of the same road, two colonies (spread over 5 acres each) being developed opposite the Umedpur-Dugri road and the Sahnewal-Dehlon main road near the office of the Ganpati Developers.

GLADA Additional Chief Administrator Jaswant Singh said the provisions of Section 88 of the Punjab Regional Town Planning and Development Act 1995 were invoked to carry out demolish the unauthorised colonies, which also provides for seeking police assistance to get the development work stopped. “Action will also be initiated against the offenders under the provisions of the Punjab Apartment and Property regulation Act, which provides for registration of criminal cases for developing a colony without taking mandatory license and fulfilling other provisions made under the Act,” he added.

“Our message for the real estate developers and colonisers is loud and clear. Get licenses under the relevant laws, fulfill the laid down conditions and then develop a colony strictly as per the specifications. Development of unauthorised colonies and cheating the gullible members of public with false promises is not going to be permitted,” he added. 



Garbage collection at your doorstep
MC signs letter of intent with A2Z Infrastructure, to start from October 1
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 1
Heaps of garbage in the city is likely to be a thing of the past as the door-to-door collection of garbage scheme will start from October 1. The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation has signed a letter of intent with the A2Z Infrastructure, which had got the contract on June 10.

The city generates 900 metric tonnes of garbage daily, highest in Punjab. A2Z Infrastructure Pvt Ltd had quoted an Rs 395 per tonne for solid waste management in the city. The company would be involved in door-to-door collection of garbage and later generate power from it.MC Assistant Commissioner Kuldip Singh said: “Now that the letter of intent has been signed, we will sign the contract in next 15 days. The company will start the door-to-door collection of garbage from October 1.”

The processing plant and the power generation unit will be constructed under the build, own, operate and transfer system. The MC has a vacant land in Jamalpur village, which will be allocated to the company for setting up the solid waste management plant.

What you have to pay

Area (sq yard) Charges in Rs

Up to 50 10

51-100 20

101-150 30

151-250 40

251-500 50

501 and above 100


Shop 60

Restaurant 500

Dhaba 300

Marriage palace 5,000

Shopping mall 5,000

Factory 5/sq yard

School 100/section/class

Hotel 500

Hotel with

restaurant 1,000

How will the system work

Collection of solid waste from doorstep

The company will transport the garbage to a site allocated by the MC

Will segregation the waste

Generation power from the garbage 



MC to set up sewage disposal unit in Kidwai Nagarn Move to spark row between Punjab Health Minister Gosain, city’s Senior Deputy Mayor Bansal
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 1
City residents can look forward to some respite with the municipal corporation finally deciding to set up a disposal plant pumping station at the mini rose garden in Kidwai Nagar as part of the Janakpuri storm sewer project.

However, the move is expected to stir a political storm as the proposal to construct a pumping station in the garden had been initiated due to the efforts of Punjab Health Minister Satpal Gosain, a resident of Kidwai Nagar. It was he who had inaugurated the Janakpuri project on May 23 and is now showing keen interest in it.

On the other hand, senior deputy mayor Parveen Bansal, who also lives in the same locality, along with other area residents have been opposing the plan to set up a disposal plant at a park in Kidwai Nagar. Though both are members of the Bharatiya Janata Party it is well known they are political opponents.

When the civic body was about to begin construction of the plant on Wednesday, it was Bansal who, along with other area residents, opposed the move. The residents had also held a protest against the civic body in the park. However, construction was deferred after Bansal persuaded civic officials to have the matter discussed at a meeting.

Bansal said a meeting in this regard was held with Sewerage Board and other MC officials. "We’ve almost decided to set up the disposal plant in the mini rose garden in Kidwai Nagar in place of another park where it was earlier proposed to be constructed. Behind the toilets constructed in the garden there is a vacant piece of land, which is lying unused", he added.

"During the meeting it was decided that the dumping plant could be constructed there as it would not affect the beauty of the mini rose garden, which had come up with Gosain’s untiring efforts. All we’re doing is making optimum use of available resources," said Bansal.

When asked whether the health minister might oppose construction of the plant in the mini rose garden, he said, "I’ve full respect for him (Gosain). Moreover, whatever decision we’ve take would be in the interests of all area residents”.

Meanwhile, BD Goel, executive engineer at the MC’s sewerage board, said on Friday: “We’ll be writing to the board’s senior officials in this regard and hope to get the nod for the project”.



Develop area or face action, MC warned 
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, July 1
Bhadarkali Mata Mandir Management Trust, Jagraon, today issued a one-week ultimatum to the municipal council for carrying out various development works in the area.

Members of the trust said work carried out in some areas was not up to the mark. While accusing contractor of using substandard material, they alleged that the MC officials had embezzled funds meant for development work.

They said they would hold a protest outside the MC’s office and MC president Baldev Krishan Dhir’s residence, if the work was not started in one week.

In a meeting held here today, trust chairman Prashar Dev Sharma said various development works in the area had been pending for long.

Trust president Rakesh Verma said though there were a number of prominent religious places, including Mata Bhadarkali Mandir, Shiv Wadi and Dera Mangal Giri, where hundreds of people paid obeisance everyday, the MC had ignored development of the area.



Monsoon brings miseries for villagers
Animals breach canals in search of food ; cause extensive damage to fields
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 1
Believe it or not mice, rabbits and bovines belonging to nomads were responsible for the floods that damaged paddy fields in villages located near the river and canals last year.

Balwinder Singh Gill, a resident of Ekohala village, has made these claims during a meeting of the district advisory committee held recently.

He said, “Mice and buffaloes were responsible for the last year’s breach. The canal and rivers generally remain dry in the summer. And farmers don’t sow any crop in the fields. Thus, mice and rabbits make holes in the banks to reach the canal in search of the food. During monsoon the banks, where the rabbits and mice make holes, cave in resulting in the breach.”

Besides these, domestic animals of nomads, who live on the banks of the river and canals, also help in creating the breach.

This year, besides all this, farmers living in the flood-prone villages are worried about the rise in the water level of the Sutlej, canals bisecting the city and monsoon.

“Buffaloes break the banks while entering the canal. Water level rises during the monsoon, overflows and cause extensive damage to the fields,” said Balwinder Singh. He along with a few other villagers has urged the administration to relocate the nomads to some other place during the monsoon so that their animals don’t damage the banks of various water bodies.

They have also requested authorities of the irrigation department to inspect canals and banks of the Budha Nullah and the rivers for any type of breach.

Recently a team inspected the Gill canal and found that the slum dwellers, living alongside the water body, were polluting it by throwing garbage and polythene bags.

Sale of cut fruits unabated

Animals domesticated by nomads were responsible for the flood that caused extensive damage to paddy fields located near the river and canals last year. Water bodies generally remain dry in the summer, as farmers don’t sow any crop. These animals make holes in the banks in search of the food. These cave in during monsoon resulting in the breach. Farmers living in flood-prone villages are worried about the rise in the water level of the Sutlej and canals bisecting the city during the monsoon.



Poles stand dangerously tall on road
MC deposits fee, Powercom delays shifting; commuters suffer
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, July 1
Even as the Jagraon Municipal Council has deposited the fee to shift electricity poles from the Old Sabzi Mandi Road, the Punjab State Power Corporation Ltd (Powercom) has failed to do so, causing inconvenience to commuters and hampering development works.

The electricity poles are in the middle of the Old Sabzi Mandi Road and the MC had deposited Rs 3,78,166 as shifting fee on May 2, 2011. “The condition of the Old Sabzi Mandi Road is pathetic. It has not been repaired since long. Large potholes are turning into death traps for commuters. The MC authorities say they cannot repair the road till the electricity poles are removed,” said Sarabjit Khanna, a resident of Geeta Colony situated on same road.

“When the MC has undertaken various development works in the town, it has also planned to repair this road, but the presence of electricity poles on the road is causing delay,” he added.

The electricity poles installed in the middle of road here have been causing inconvenience to the residents as well as commuters. The presence of poles causes long traffic jams on this busy road.

When contacted, Powercom Executive Engineer, Jagraon, Gurpreet Singh said: “The shifting of poles has been delayed keeping in mind the ongoing paddy season. It will take some time to erect new poles. This will lead to power cuts, which we want to avoid. Besides, there are some technical issues which needed to be resolved before shifting of poles.” 



Rare surgery on 8-yr-old at DMCH
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 1
Eight-year-old Lavish Garg, who looks like three-year-old as he suffers from seckel syndrome, was friendly with every stranger in the Dumra Auditorium of Dayanand Medical College and Hospital.

Although his hands were bandaged as a precautionary measure, he was trying to convey his gratitude to everyone.

On June 24, he was operated upon in the department of plastic surgery as he was having cleft palate along with seckel syndrome.

Dr Sanjeev Uppal, professor and head of plastic surgery department, claimed: “Till now, only 60 such cases have been diagnosed in the world and only two have been operated upon. This is the third case which has been operated upon in the world.”

In cleft palate, there is space between mouth and nose and one gets suffocated if he tries to eat or drink anything as a normal human being. Lavish also used feed from a bottle.

Lavish was only 930 grams when he was born. Is father, Birbal Garg, who hails from Bathinda, said: “He has been suffering from this deformity since birth and could not eat anything except bottle feeding. Before coming here, we went to various hospitals in Chandigarh at least 90 times but no institute was ready to take the risk. Finally, we came here and he has been operated upon.”

“Now, he is under speech therapy and has started taking semi-solid diet. After a few weeks, he will be able to take proper food,” said the elated father. 

What is seckel syndrome

This syndrome is characterised by dwarfism, bird like face, beak shaped nose, small chin and large eyes. Dr Anju Grewal, professor of anesthesia and operating surgeon and assistant professor of palstic surgery Dr Ramneesh Garg said: “These patients tend to have airway problems and because of hypoplasia of tissues, surgery in these patients becomes difficult. There can be genetic and environmental factors behind this deformity.



Clean chit to encroachers
NGO demands probe into matter
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 1
With the SDM (West) giving a clean chit to encroachers, Maha Sabha, an NGO, has demanded an inquiry into the matter. The sabha has submitted a memorandum to the Additional Deputy Commissioner in this regard.

A liquor vend, which was situated on a government land at Sunet village, was demolished by the MC officials on June 27. The Ludhiana Improvement Trust, which had acquired the piece of land, which was actually a park, had encroached upon the land for almost a decade, and ironically, the civic body had turned a blind eye to it.

Even Sub-Divisional Magistrate (West) Prem Chand, in his report on the liquor vend, which was submitted to Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tewari, had stated that the tehsildar (West) had submitted a report, in which he had mentioned that the vend was situated on a panchayat land of Patti Raghu and Patti Mansoor.

“But this is far from reality. He tried to misguide the Deputy Commissioner and that is why, we are demanding an inquiry into the matter. Such officials are considered responsible and if they are indulging in such tactics, they have no right to remain posted in the city,” said Col J S Brar, president of the sabha.

“For almost a decade, government officials kept helping the encroachers, which is totally against the law. I came to know that the claimants of the encroached piece of land were paying almost Rs 50,000 per month to the government officials,” said Col Brar.



MLA camps in Chandigarh
Says will bring the matter to the notice of CM
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 1
The ghost of Rs 42-lakh Shagun scheme scam continues to haunt the employees of district welfare department, as MLA Darshan Singh Shivalik is camping in Chandigarh to bring the anomalies to the notice of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.

The development took place after the welfare department employees handed over the list of Shagun scheme beneficiaries to the MLA for tracing the fake entries.

What irked the MLA was the fact that the list of beneficiaries did not contain their addresses.

“Despite asking them to provide the list containing the residential addresses of people who were benefited under the scheme, the department concerned had failed to handover the adequate record. Left with no option, I have come to Chandigarh to bring the matter to the notice of the CM. Now, he will decide the course of action,” said MLA Darshan Singh Shivalik.

Following allegation of fake beneficiaries, Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tiwari had ordered an inquiry into the scam by the finance and accounts department.

He stated that if entries were found fake, cases would be registered against the erring employees.

The development took place following a report tabled by SDM Manpreet Chattwal during a district grievances meeting.

The SDM was probing the matter after local SAD MLA Darshan Singh Shivalik levelled allegation that Rs 42 lakh meant for the beneficiaries of Shagun scheme were usurped by the department employees.

The report stated that 63 cases out of 80 had been found correct during a random checking, while in 13 cases, the addresses were not found and in four cases, residents claimed that they did not receive cheques.



Raid on Coca Cola Beverages
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 1
Following instructions from Dr HS Bali, Civil Surgeon, Ludhiana, the district health department today raided Coca Cola Beverages near Sahnewal.

Manoj Khosla, food inspector said: “We conducted the raid following a report in these columns on June 28 “Uncool fungus in cold drinks”.

Dr Bali issued instructions to the health officials and a team comprising Dr Kulwinder Singh, district health officer, food inspectors Harpreet Kaur and Manoj Khosla conducted the raid and collected four samples of different cold drinks, including Maaza, Coca Cola, Fanta and Limca. Khosla said: “We have sent the samples for lab test.”



Motorcycle stolen from parking lot
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 1
Don't think getting a slip form parking lot employees ensures safety of your vehicle, as parking a motorbike at bus stand did not prove to be a safe deal for a resident of Deep Nagar.

The victim, Baldev Singh, said the incident took place on May 19 when he went to Malerkotla after parking his motorcycle at the bus stand paring lot.

“When I returned, I was shocked to find my motorcycle (PB-10- BX-3866) missing. The parking lot employees also started searching the vehicle along with me. They told me not to panic as someone else might have taken my vehicle by mistake and it would be traced in a day or two," said Baldev Singh.

He added that the parking lot employees even promised to compensate him, but backtracked after some time. 



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