|Saturday, July 8, 2000,
protest against water scarcity
LUDHIANA, July 7 Retaliating to aggressive stand taken by the top civic officials, including Commissioner of the local Municipal Corporation (MC) S.S.Sandhu against him in the general house meeting of the MC here on Wednesday, firebrand BJP legislator Sat Pal Gosain today led an angry demonstration of a large number of residents of Kidwai Nagar and adjoining localities to protest against acute scarcity of drinking water.
The protesters, including a large number of women, many of them carrying empty earthen pitchers, marched from Kidwai Nagar to the residence of the Commissioner in Rakh Bagh, where they sat on a dharna for about one hour, raising slogans against the civic administration for its failure to maintain adequate supply of drinking water all over the city, particularly in the localities under Mr Gosains assembly constituency.
Addressing the demonstrators who were squatting on the main road, Mr Gosain lambasted the civic authorities for their callous and indifferent attitude towards problems of the people. The basic necessity for sheer survival, drinking water, was not available to a majority of the city population in general and Kidwai Nagar and other adjoining colonies in particular, he charged.
He made it clear that the city population would no longer take it lying down and the civic officials would either have to perform or leave. We (the people) will mount so much of pressure against the non-performing MC administration that it will have to come to terms with reality and to deliver the goods. We are not demanding a charity. The people have the right to demand clean drinking water, a reasonably good sewerage and drainage system and properly maintained parks, Mr Gosain retorted.
While the demand of the protesters that the MC commissioner came out of his residence to talk to them was not conceded for obvious reasons, a few persons made attempts to throw the earthen pitchers inside the residence of the Commissioner but the BJP legislator intervened before the situation could take a turn for the worse.
Later, talking to Ludhiana Tribune, Mr Gosain alleged that all four tubewells in the locality were switched off deliberately by the MC authorities yesterday in order to teach the residents a lesson. While a BJP councillor, Mrs Parveen Rani, confirmed that there had been no water supply in the area since the day before, sources in the MC hotly contested the claim and asserted that only one tubewell, located in the Kidwai Nagar park, had developed a defect last evening which was rectified during the night-long repair work and made functional this morning.
political parleys were also on between leaders of
different political parties in the city to diffuse the
situation arising from open confrontation between a
section of BJP councillors led by Mr Gosain on one side
and the senior municipal officials and the MC
Commissioner on the other, with the councillors belonging
to other political parties supporting either of the two
groups depending upon their political expediency. One
such meeting was convened by the city Mayor, Mr Apinder
Singh Grewal, at his residence this morning, which was
attended, besides Mr Gosain by the Commissioner and Mr
Hira Singh Gabria, SAD(B) legislator, owing allegiance to
Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra.
PSEB told to refund bill
LUDHIANA, July 7 The District Consumer Redressal Forum today directed the (Punjab State Electricity Board PSEB ) to refund a bill of Rs 12,019 to a consumer along with 12 per cent interest and Rs 500 as costs for charging a wrong bill and causing harassment by disconnecting the power connection to his house in Sunet village .
Mr Amarjit Singh the consumer, had approached the forum that few months back he was astonished to receive a bill of Rs 12,019 while his average bill was far less. He said as he was taking up the matter with the PSEB , power connection to his house was disconnected following non-payment of bill.
Later on it was discovered that the PSEB had made a mistake in calculating the bill amount and charged the aggrieved consumer a bill of some other persons power connection.
Mr Hardial Singh, President of the forum, said that the PSEB had illegally added the said amount to the account of the complaint which was actually of some other consumer and then wrongly recovered it by disconnecting the supply of the complainants house.
The forum directed the PSEB to refund the bill amount and pay the compensation within one month of the receipt of the order.
In another decision, the forum today directed the Punjab Wireless System ( PWS ) to pay a compensation to a consumer for not ensuring maturity of a fixed deposit scheme .
The President of the forum directed the PWS to pay within a month Rs 10,000 with 14 per cent interest and compensation costs of Rs 500 to Mr S.K. Jain, a resident of Model Gram Extension here. The consumer had complained that he had deposited Rs 10,000 with the PWS in 1998 to get it matured after one year with interest.
However, even several months after the expiry of the maturity date the consumer could not get his money. The forum decided that there was deficiency in service on the part of the PWS and thus the consumer should be compensated.
Now send e-mail over phone
LUDHIANA, July 7 For sending an e-mail, one will no longer require a computer and an Internet connection. Instead, a telephone call will serve the purpose. The biggest advantage is that even those who do not have a PC or those who do not know how to operate it, will be able to send mails themselves.
Allyourmail.com is one such service provider that aims to enable people to send and receive e-mails, voice mails and fax messages on a telephone in almost no time. The price for a monthly subscription is expected to be less than the amount one pays for three hours of the Internet access.
According to Mr Deepak Malik, chief spokesperson of Opensoft Infotech Pvt. Ltd., the facility will be available in the city shortly, after completing all the formalities with the franchisees.
Explaining the project, he says when a person gets himself registered with allyourmail, he is provided with an e-mail address, an extension number, a passcode and a local access number. All that a user will have to do is to call up this local access number from their IVR (interactive voice response unit) which the company will provide to its subscriber. The IVR will guide the user through an easy to use menu and it will function to punch-in the required information.
Allyourmail is planning a set up that will enable a subscriber to interact in regional languages as well. Currently services in English and Hindi have been started. A sender of the message need not be a subscriber of the company. But only those friends will be able to interact who will be given this permission by the subscriber.
Another feature of this facility is that a subscriber will be able to send messages, maintain incoming mails, save up to 20 incoming mails and maintain an address book also. The subscriber will have the option to receive either a text message or a voice message. Allyourmail will have the capability to convert all text messages into voice messages.
Mr Malik says the facility will revolutionise the communication system especially the inter-country calls. The facility will now connect, at much reduced prices friends, relatives or business partners living in different countries.
Above all, the facility shall prove to be a great boon for the growing breed of the Internet chatters who will be able to hear each others voices as well.
Dug up roads add to woes of Ludhianvis
LUDHIANA, July 7 The industrial hub of Punjab and the largest populated city in the region has all the problems that emerge from indutrialisation and haphazard urban development to accommodate big influx of people from other urban and rural areas and a sizeable migrant population, with pathetic condition of the city roads and chaotic traffic situation being on the top of the list.
Even with the civic body making tall claims of taking up road repairs and measures to regulate traffic movement in the city, the situation seems to be worsening day by day. Whatever steps are taken by the civic administration in this direction are apparently more than negated, either by other government departments, dig up roads to lay cables, telephone and electricity poles, or by the civic body itself to rectify water supply and sewerage problems, which in any case are perennial.
At any given time, massive digging operations seem to be on all over the city, throwing the vehicular traffic out of gear, necessitating diversion of traffic from main roads to bylanes or leading to frequent traffic jams on busy roads and inter sections.
Earlier this week, the stretch of road from Mata Rani Chowk towards Nali Mohalla, Deepak cinema and Domoria Bridge, where pre-mix carpet had been laid only a day before, was dug up in front of Nali Mohalla to the extent that a portion of the road had to be closed to traffic for many days. When asked, the Superintending Engineer (O and M) of the Municipal Corporation, Mr. S.S. Jandu, said a major snag in the water supply had to be rectified and when dug up, some of the sewerage pipes were found to have developed cracks, which were being replaced now.
Similarly, a big portion of the main road leading to New Dayanad Hospital from Rajpura road had been dug up, forcing the traffic to move in single lane, causing a lot of inconvenience to the residents of several colonies and those visiting the hospital. The officials said the storm water pipes in the area had to be joined and the work would be completed in next couple of days.
What irks the city population the most is the lack of coordination among different government departments, who resort to road cutting for their respective works from time to time. Why should each one of them take up digging of the same road at different times, is the question people ask, without getting a satisfactory reply from any quarter. It is understandable that roads have to be dug up to rectify water supply and sewerage problems, which crop up suddenly; but at the same time, there is no justification in different departments carrying out their routine works, at different times, commented a resident of an affected colony.
The MC should evolve a system to undertake repairs only on those roads which are not to be dug up, atleast for routine development works, for a reasonable period, pointed out another agitated citizen, an architect by profession. The various government departments must be told to plan their work, in advance, so that frequent road diggings could be avoided and the city population saved from the havoc, the operations cause to the traffic on the city roads, occasionally leading to serious, and at times fatal road accidents.
Traders burn Badals effigy
LUDHIANA, July 7 Activists of a number of organisations of industrialists and traders of the state burnt an effigy of Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal to protest against the recent power hike here today. The organisations also gave an ultimatum to the state government to withdraw or scale down the power hike within 15 days lest they would launch a statewide agitation.
The protesting activists blocked traffic at the Vishwakarma Chowk for about an hour and raised slogans against the hike. Later, a meeting of the participating organisations passed resolutions condemning the hike and launching an agitation for the acceptance of their demands.
Releasing the agitation plan, Mr. Harish Khanna, President, Industry and Trade Forum, Punjab, said they decided to Gherao the office of the Chairman, PSEB, at Patiala on July 21, if the government did not withdraw the power hike by that date.
He said the Industrialists also demanded an immediate meeting with the government over the issue. The resolutions, besides, threatening the government also cautioned leaders or representatives of industry and trade against any agreement with the government over the issue or trying to jeopardise the agitation plan.
Earlier, leaders of various organisations of traders and industrialists addressed a rally near the chowk. Prominent among those who spoke about the power hike and other problems of industries were Mr Balwant Rai, President, Northern India Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr Jagmohan Sharma, President Pradesh Beopar Mandal Punjab, Mr Jaswant Singh Birdi General Secretary, United Cycle and Parts Manufacturer, Association and Mr Tulsi Dass Jitwani.
The leaders stressed that the PSEB was suffering huge losses due to free-power supply to the agriculture sector while the industry was being asked to pay the price. The leaders demanded that either free power be stopped or the state government should immediately compensate the board for free power supply.
The leaders also urged
the PSEB authorities to take measures against
mismanagement resulting in 31 per cent transmission and
distribution losses. The industrialists also demanded an
immediate end to the power cuts.
to be removed
LUDHIANA, July 7 The irritating commotion and traffic jams one witnesses daily, at Baba Dhyan Singh Complex Chowk near the Bus stand here is all set to become a thing of the past. The local Municipal Corporation has succeeded in convincing four shopkeepers to shift to some other place for a rotary to be constructed for the efficient flow of traffic.
It was because of these shops that the work on the construction of the rotary road had remained incomplete for more than one year. The rotary project was designed by the Public Works Department, while preparing the draft of the flyover near the bus stand. However, while the bridge was being constructed to remove traffic blockades, the absence of this rotary actually caused more problems at the chowk.
The chowk attracts traffic from various sides. First buses coming from the bus stand and going to Ferozepore have to cross through it. They come face to face with traffic coming from the Bharat Nagar Chowk area which has to either go up the bridge or take a U-turn.
Then, there are buses coming from the flyover which in order to enter the bus stand, have to take a u-turn. Also vehicles of all kind pass through the chowk and contribute to the commotion.
All this will be over now with the consent of the shopkeepers. According to Mr Dilip Kumar Additional Commissioner MC, they have reached an agreement in principle with the shopkeepers for clearing the land in return of which they would be provided an alternate site. He said all formalities would be completed soon and the work for the construction of the rotary would start.
According to the project design after the construction of the road, the chowk would be removed from the scene. The Bharat Nagar road divider would be extended to the flyover so that no one could take a U-turn.
The bus stand gate on this side would be closed. Traffic coming from the flyover and intending to go to the Bus Stand would turn left on the rotary and after encircling the MC park would enter the stand through a via-duct under the bridge.
Similarly, buses going towards the Ferozepore road would also take this path and enter the Bharat Nagar road from the left side.
Depression and alcoholism ... a lethal combination
LUDHIANA, JULY 7 Depression and alcohol dependence are two common disorders that frequently coexist. As a result, sorting out the various symptoms of each disorder and determining whether the symptoms of one are caused by the other, often prove difficult. In turn, this uncertainty hampers decision making concerning treatment.
At least 40 per cent of men and women have some temporary alcohol-related impairment such as absenteeism at school or work. Perhaps two-thirds of alcoholics have temporary but potentially severe psychiatric symptoms during intoxication or withdrawal. In this context, it is worthwhile to have a look at the management of alcohol withdrawal.
The major aims in the treatment of withdrawal states are to provide symptoms relief, prevent progression of withdrawal syndrome and to motivate for follow up programmes.
After preparing a careful case history, physical examination should be performed. The history should include:
1. Drinking history: The pattern of drinking, the quantity of daily consumption, time and amount of the most recent consumption, any previous attempt to control drinking, history of use of other drugs, previous experience of withdrawal syndrome and history of seizures associated with withdrawal of alcohol.
2. A detailed medical history and inquiry into the use of prescribed medications.
3. History of psychiatric illness especially depression, anxiety disorders and suicidal tendencies.
4. History of psychosocial stressors.
The Physical and systemic examination should include an evaluation of external injuries, chronic liver disease and lateralising neurological signs.
Laboratory parameters should include complete blood count with platelet count, some electrolytes, creatinine, glucose, amylase, magnesium, liver function tests, prothrombin time, and chest X-ray. Patients with evidence of neurological dysfunction may require additional neuroradiologic investigations.
While providing supportive care it is essential to provide general nursing care in a quite, physically comfortable environment, reassurance, hydration, nutrition, reality orientation and monitoring of signs and symptoms of withdrawal. Some people also advocate the administration of thiamine. The strategies should be targeted at
a) Adequate hydration and nutrition.
b) Control of infection, if any.
c) Correction of metabolic disorders.
d) Adequate, rational management of withdrawal symptoms.
Mayor assures basic amenities
LUDHIANA, July 7 The city Mayor, Mr Apinder Singh Grewal, has assured that adequate funds would be made available for development works in the city and resource crunch would not be allowed to come in the way of providing basic amenities to the city residents.
Inaugurating a canal bridge constructed at a cost of Rs 45 lakh on the road connecting Sarabha Nagar and Bhai Randhir singh Nagar here, he stated that the upcoming localities on the periptery of megapolis were allocated 1.5 times more development grants as compared to other colonies within the city. Work on a Rs 6.28-crore sewerage project in Punjab Mata Nagar and Shaheed Karnail Singh Nagar across the canal on Pakhowal Road had commenced and water supply and sewerage lines were being laid. On completion of the project, the residents of these localities would have clean drinking water and sewerage facilities comparable to other posh areas in the city.
Speaking on the occasion, area councillor Giani Baldev Singh remarked that the previous civic administrations had done injustice to the residents living across the canal and no development works were carried out for a long time.
He stated that tendering process had been initiated for the Rs 2.22-crore stadium to be constructed at Punjab Mata Nagar and the work was expected to be completed during next year.
Earlier, the Mayor inaugurated another bridge over the Sidhwan Canal on Pakhowal Road, built at a cost of Rs 70 crore. The bridge is one of the three bridges constructed over the canal to ensure easier movement of traffic in colonies across the canal.
Mr Grewal announced that work for construction of two flyovers at the Dhuri level crossing and another as replacement for the railway overbridge on Court Road at a cost of Rs 82 crores would be taken up soon and the flow of traffic would improve with the completion of these projects.
Mrs Gopal Kaur Sandhu, councillor, drew the attention of the Mayor towards insanitary and unhygienic conditions being created due to the fish market and other unauthorised mandis operating in these localities.
Speed post service revamped
LUDHIANA, July 7 The state Department of Postal Services has pulled up its socks for competing with the private courier services by introducing new posts of area managers and marketing executives.
Facing tough competition from the courier agencies flourishing in every nook and corner of the city, the department had already opened up speed post centres at areas like Jagraon and Khanna. Now the marketing executives would work for bringing business to the speed post centres and the area managers would coordinate the work and continuously make efforts to increase the revenue.
These marketing executives would be given a compensation of 50 paise per article. No new recruitment of staff for this purpose has been made and people from the existing staff have been adjusted after given proper training of the work. According to sources the action plan for proper conduct of business is under discussion. A number of meetings with the district and state level authorities have been held to finalise the action plan.
This district, having the record of highest revenue generation in north India, has been chosen for introduction of the scheme. One post of the area manager has been allotted for the city only while the second one will cover the remaining part of the district. The Rural Area Manager will also look after Sangrur, Mansa, Khanna, Malerkotla and Sunam where the scheme shall be introduced shortly.
The marketing executives have been trained to bring business on the plank of efficient system of delivery of the department. According to Mr M.K. Khan, Senior Superintendent of Post Offices, said the department promised time-bound delivery and even free pick-up service for regular customers.
The department had also
offered additional facilities to attract more customers.
Mr Khan informed that the regular customers giving
business of Rs 10,000 or more could avail the credit
facility after furnishing a bank guarantee. The regular
customers would also get a rebate of 5 per cent on
business of Rs 10,000 or more while business of Rs 50,000
or more would attract rebate of even 10 per cent.
Traders raise ST issue with Tandon
LUDHIANA, July 7 To resolve the crises arising out of ban on the inter-state movement of petroleum products, a delegation of the Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Punjab), Ludhiana, met the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, yesterday. Mr B.D. Tandon, Minister for Local Bodies, accompanied the delegation.
The Chief Minister was urged to remove the levy of first stage sales tax on furnace oil, LDO and HPS as these were the basic inputs of the industry. The Chief Minister immediately ordered the Financial Commissioner (Taxation) to find a way out so that there was no burden of sales tax on these fuels.
It may be recalled that due to ban the industry has to purchase these oils from the depots within Punjab where sales tax laws are applicable. The Sales Tax Department was charging a sales tax of 20 per cent with 2 per cent surcharge. This amounts to multiple taxation as the finished products also attract sales tax. The Financial Commissioner was apprised that some tractor parts had been exempted from sales tax because they were used for the manufacturing of final products. The department has identified nearly a dozen items as inputs sales tax on these items is being charged at the rate of 4 per cent.
Markets flooded with mangoes
LUDHIANA, July 7 The current mango season is at its peak. Popular varieties of the summer delight, namely, Dasehri, Saharni and Langra are on sale in every nook and corner of the city at around Rs 20 a kg. There is always room for bargain, you know.
But the Chausa variety, presumed by many to be the sweetest of all, has not yet started arriving in right earnest which survives till the end of the season as the Chausa crop is the last one to ripe. The city may look forward to heavy arrivals of this sweetest variety in the coming few days and weeks.
Presently, the market is flooded with mangoes with a daily arrival of 20 to 25 truckloads in the local Sabzi Mandi. A truck normally carries a thousand boxes that contain on an average eight to nine kg of the fruit.
According to a wholesale fruit dealer in the local Sabzi Mandi, Mr Amarjit Singh, the current arrivals are mainly from Lucknow and Saharanpur. Pathankot also counts for some hill varieties.
Big sized raw mangoes meant for making pickles and sweet chutneys, which cost from Rs 4 to 5 a kg to the wholesalers, is mainly arriving from Chintpurni in Himachal Pradesh at present. Local varieties of the same are likely to appear before long in the local market.
The wholesale rates for Dasehris, Langras, Saharnis and Chausa mango varieties continue to fluctuate between Rs 10 and 12 per kg. The rates differ from day to day, depending on the arrivals. There has not been a bumper crop this season.
Though there is only a month or so left before the sweet fruit vanishes from the city streets, yet there has been no let up in the retail prices of the available varieties.
However, according to fruit merchants, a fall in prices is expected once the monsoons set in.
LUDHIANA, July 7 Mr Navin Talwar, secretary, Ludhiana LPG Distributors Association, and Mr Ashu Bharti of Bharat Petroleum today reacted strongly to a Ludhiana Tribunes news report on LPG cylinder for Rs 300.
Mr Talwar said In summers the consumption of the gas touches an all-time low, so there was no possibility of black marketing in these months.
Moreover, he said that there were nearly 32 LPG distributors in the city belonging to three major gas companies. There are 18 distributors of Indian Oil, while HP and BP had seven distributors each in the city.
Mr Bharti said that since there was a big competition among the three companies, he was able to attain only 82 per cent of the sales target. He said the company was thinking of attracting new customers by offering some incentives. Even the company have been asked to look for new customers, he added.
Notwithstanding their verbal disapproval of the news item, inquiries by this correspondent revealed that halwais and hotel
owners were buying the LPG in black at Rs 250 per cylinder. But for the occasional buyers the rate is Rs 260 per refill. The black markeeters straightaway add Rs 50 to the official price of Rs 210. According to Mr Talwar the price is Rs 206.20.
Both Mr Talwar and Mr Bharti declined to issue a written denial of the news item or their version of the prevailing picture regarding the illegal sale of the LPG in the city.
Swami Vivekanand remembered
LUDHIANA, July 7 The Maha Samadhi
divas of Swami Vivekanand was celebrated here on July 4
by the local Swami Vivekanand Study Circle. Shabads from
the Gurbani were recited and excerpts from the
Swamis book, My India, the India Eternal were read
out at the function organised to mark the celebration,
according to a press note by the circle.
LUDHIANA, July 7 A Railways press
release today clarified that phone numbers 470314 to
470319 published as railway inquiry numbers in these
columns on Thursday actually belong to another city. The
computerised railway inquiry will be started shortly and
the new numbers would be published accordingly. The
public is requested not to call up at these numbers.
Inconvenience caused to the actual owners of these
numbers is sincerely regretted.
350 kg of poppy husk seized
LUDHIANA, July 7 The police seized 350 kg of poppy husk from four miscreants at Gobindgarh village yesterday.
According to information, 10 bags containing 35-kg of poppy each were seized from Sish Ram, a resident of Behror village in Rajasthan, Major Singh, a resident of Boothgarh village, Ramesh Chander of Ludhiana and Bachan Singh of Chhota Nanhera village in Rajpura.
They have been booked under Sections 15, 61 and 85 of the NDPS Act.
Woman killed: An old lady, Kartar Kaur was killed when she was hit by a PRTC bus near the Ludhiana-Jalandhar bypass on Wednesday. The Sadar police has registered a case under Sections 279 and 304-A of the IPC against Gurmej Singh, driver of the bus.
One held: The police
arrested Arun Kumar from the Dandi Swami area while he
was allegedly trying to steal a bicycle yesterday. He was
arrested by the Division No 5 police station under
Sections 379 and 411 of the IPC.
Two Satluj Hospital Directors booked
LUDHIANA, July 7 The tussle for oneupmanship between the former Managing Director of Satluj Hospital and the other four directors has got murkier with the police registering a case of violence and threat against two of the directors.
A case under Section 323, 506 and 34 of the IPC has been registered against Dr Ravinder Tah and Dr Sarvesh Mathur, Dirctors of the hospital, on the complaint of Dr B.S. Sekhon, estranged MD of the hospital. It is alleged that the two accused along with other persons gave him a beating with sharp-edged weapons on the head and also threatened him with dire consequences.
It is learnt that there has been a dispute between the four directors Dr Tah, Dr Mathur, Dr Chanddangi and Dr Grewal and the newly appointed MD, Dr. B.S. Sekhon for quite some time as the former had refused to accept the latter as the MD.
While Dr Sekhon still claims to be the MD of the hospital and has reportedly been demanding his share, which is being denied to him. Dr Sekhon was first accused of sending some persons to beat up Dr Mathur a few days ago, a woman employee of the hospital had accused Dr Tah and Dr Mathur of attempting to molest her, allegedly at the behest of Dr Sekhon.
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