Monday, August 7, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Malaria, viral fever cases on rise
From Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA Aug 6 — The city is again in the grip of malarial and viral infection. Hundreds of cases of malaria and viral fever have been reported during the past one week from various parts of the city.

A random visit to various clinics revealed that the number of cases of viral fever had shot up. Long queues of patients could be seen in clinics, with most of them reporting with the symptoms of viral fever. Several doctors revealed that the number of cases reporting viral or malarial fever had almost doubled during the past one week.

The Civil Surgeon, Ms Rajinder Kaur, however, allayed any fears of the outbreak of malaria. She said there are reports of viral fever in the city, but there is no cause of concern. She said since there were no admissions in the Civil Hospital, no exact figures could be given.

The doctors said due to the tropical climate, spread of viral fever had almost become a routine. They pointed out after monsoons, the weather becomes sultry which leads to the growth of virus and bacteria which can cause several types of infection with varied or similar symptoms. Some bacteria lead to body ache without fever and others lead to temperature with throat irritation. The temperature can range from mild to high.

Some cases of malaria also spreading due to the mosquito bites. However, the detection of malaria needs special laboratory tests. But the doctors clarify that shivering accompanied by fever may not necessarily be malaria. Nor it should be inferred that if there is no shivering it may not be malaria.

Doctors advise people against self-medication as it could lead to other problems like abdominal infection or even jaundice. In viral and malaria cases, the doctors usually prescribe chloroquine.

Although there is no preventive measure against the viral infection, the doctors advise personal hygiene and minimum contact with the infected person. Also, outdoor food should be avoided.

The number of viral and malarial cases has been found more in the congested areas within the old city. According to Dr Anshu Vatsyayan, a practitioner in the Old City area, the number of cases with symptoms of viral fever has gone up sharply during the past one week. She disclosed that people have been usually taking self-medication, which instead of being of some help leads to other problems. The symptoms and prescriptions usually vary and the patients should always be referred to a physician only.

The doctors have been advising caution from experience. They said during the past few years, there has been regular outbreak of malaria and dengue with a few casualties also. 


Gur Mandi develops new tastes
From D.B. Chopra

Ludhiana Aug 6 — Gur Mandi has been the hub of wholesale trade in the town for ages. The place has all kinds of dealers and traders who sell virtually anything you want to buy.

Enter the market from the Chaura Bazar side and you find some karyana shops selling spices, pulses and things like that. Tikki-Gur displayed prominently in all these shops is a silent introduction of the market. There are also some muniari shops (general stores) which are a hit with womenfolk.

A few steps further, you are at the entrance of a huge rectangular shopping complex. It also has a temple at its northern end that also serves as headquarters of Jagdish Tangri's Shiv Sena.

Huge buildings and new shopping complexes are coming up fast here. It is an ideal place for wholesalers as the market is frequented by general merchants from Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and parts of Haryana.

The huge rectangular complex has another bazaar that runs perpendicular to it. The mandi, with two huge iron gates at both its entrances, can be locked at night.

There were times when traders of Gur Mandi used to panic whenever a team of the Sales Tax Department visited the place. With time, traders became aggressive and on many occasions, officials of the department were even manhandled by them. Now, officials do not raid the mandi anymore.

There are nearly 200 shops here of various goods — imported as well as smuggled. Gur is no more the most popular commodity here. The gur trade declined sharply after 1980 and a large number of gur shops vanished. Today, only five wholesale dealers of gur are left here. Mr Des Raj (52), one of the five survivors, attributes the downfall to the trend of using sugar instead of jaggery that began in the early 80s. A number of former gur traders are now selling other things in the market, while some of them have shifted to the other markets in the town. Anyway, gur can be still bought in Gur Mandi.

Mr Jagdish Tangri used to own a gur shop in the market in the early 80s before he became a Shiv Sainik. Now the Tangri family has a number of shops in the market. Mr Tangri controls his Sena unit from his headquarters in the temple. An exclusive Shiv Sena shop, selling conventional Hindu armaments, has also come up in the complex.

Lastly, there are chana-bhatura wallahs and tikkiwallahs who are favourites of women shoppers.


Boundary wall broken, residents sore
From Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana Aug 6 — Residents of the Rajguru Nagar locality and Improvement Trust Colony on the Ferozepore Road here are angry over the demolition of a 2.5-foot boundary wall, erected at the dead end of the colony, by some anti-social elements. They also took away the material and an iron grill put up on the top of the wall.

The offenders even allegedly threatened the residents who raised objections to the action.

Mr Parveen Sehgal, contractor constructing the boundary wall, in a complaint lodged with the Sarabha Nagar police alleged that some persons led by Harinder Singh Grewal of Sarabha Nagar demolished the wall on the night of July 25 and removed the iron grill.

Mr Raj Bansal, whose house lies at the dead end where the wall was constructed, has also complained to the police that those who demolished the wall hurled abuses and threatened women and children against raising any objection to the demolition as they wanted a thoroughfare to the adjoining area.

The Rajguru Nagar Welfare Society has taken serious note of the incident and urged the Improvement Trust authorities and the district police to initiate action against the culprits.

In a written communication to the Chairman of the trust, the President of the society, Col Harbaksh Singh, has demanded that the boundary wall be reconstructed as a thoroughfare to the adjoining localities could pose a security hazard and disturb the peace and tranquility of the colony.

While the police has failed to take cognisance of the two complaints lodged with it on the subject, Mr M.M. Vyas, Chairman of the trust, told The Tribune that it was a trivial matter which had been blown out of proportion. He said he had visited the site along with senior officials of the trust. "I can assure you that the trust would not allow anyone to intimidate the residents and dictate terms to us and all development works planned, would be executed accordingly," the Chairman maintained. He added that the issue of reconstruction of the boundary wall would be resolved in consultation with the residents.


PUDA sangat darshan a damp squib
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Aug 6 — Residents of PUDA colonies, in their over zeal to explain their problems to the Minister for Housing and Urban Development, Punjab, Mrs Upinderjit Kaur, and senior PUDA officials, created a chaotic situation in the sangat darshan programme, which followed an inauguration of the computerised single-window system in the PUDA headquarters at the Samrala road, Urban Estate here on Friday.

The failure of the local PUDA officials to properly conduct the programme and explain the modalities to various welfare associations of the residents of the colonies further added to the confusion and several office-bearers of the welfare associations were seen complaining that the programme was a farce.

As the representatives of the associations, carrying their respective memoranda crowded around the dais and started speaking to the minister and other officials accompanying her, Maj S.S.Khosla and Mr Ravinder Pal Nayyar of the Urban Estate (Dugri phase I) Welfare Association objected to the manner in which the whole programme was being conducted. Mr Mohinder Pal Jain, president of the Housing Board Welfare Society also voiced similar views and suggested that the associations should be called one by one and allowed to explain their grievances.

The PUDA officials had some uneasy moments before order was restored and the deputations of associations started coming one by one on the dais and aired their problems before presenting their memoranda to the minister.

Residents were sore at poor maintenance of roads, parks, and open spaces in their respective colonies. The lack of playgrounds for children, community centres and cremation ground in addition to prevailing insanitary conditions and poor streetlighting, were other problems mentioned by various associations.


Power generators a necessary evil during 
power cuts
From Surbhi Bhalla

Ludhiana Aug 6 — When electricity plays truant in Ludhiana, the streets echo with the roar of thousands of generator sets. While the user relaxes in the comfort of his cool bedroom, he is oblivious to the harassment caused to his neighbours or passers-by.

In fact, the rich Ludhianvis seem to be caught between the devil and the deep sea when it comes to the issue of having a generator set installed. Their dilemma is that if they do not buy a generator, they have to live without power and if they do, they become responsible for causing air and noise pollution in their locality.

Even the Punjab State Electricity Board imposes a cess on the residents if they go for an electricity generation set. The reason is that it has to keep a check on the number of generators as they can cause accidents. There have been incidents when the board's linemen working on power transmission lines were electrocuted when generator sets were switched on by consumers.

The power transmission system in Ludhiana is grossly inadequate. The power cables are nearly two decades old. During this period, there has been a substantial deterioration of the cables because of wear and tear. They also do not have the capacity to carry the present load because the demand for electricity has increased manifold. According to PSEB officials, the cables can neither be upgraded nor replaced because of paucity of funds.

Shopkeepers in major markets pool money to hire a generator-wallah, who supplies them with electricity when power fails. While the measure brings business for them, they couldn't care less about the pollution caused.

According to Mr K. Khanna, an industrialist, an environmental impact assessment (EIA) study is done for industries, in which stock monitoring and air-flow dynamics are conducted. Only then, is permission granted for setting up a factory. Similar measures should be taken to check pollution caused by generators.

The level of pollution in the air is rising at an alarming rate. One of the culprits is the generator, which releases carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, methane, sulphur dioxide, carbon and sulphur particles. When inhaled by the human beings, these have a devastating effect on the respiratory system.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr S. K. Sandhu, while acknowledging the menace posed by generators says that the administration is taking steps to control it. He said he would shortly convene a meeting of PSEB officials and environmentalists to discuss the problem.


Mystery shrouds kidnap case
From Our Correspondent

Ludhiana Aug 6 — The alleged kidnapping of Mrs Priya Grewal (32), a schoolteacher of Gurdev Nagar, remains a mystery.

Mr Kuldip Singh, district police chief, told The Tribune today that Mrs Grewal rang up her husband around 3.30 p.m. yesterday to say that she had been kidnapped by some youths roaming about in a Tata Safari. She had gone out at about 1 p.m. in a rickshaw for some work in the city.

The police has registered an FIR lodged by her husband, Dr Ajit Singh Grewal, and investigations are on, he added.

Mrs Grewal has been married for seven years and has a three-year-old child.


Youngsters need another hero
From A Correspondent

LUDHIANA Aug 6 — After the fall from grace of most of our heroes, people, especially youngsters, have been left with few role models.

Kapil Dev, Azharuddin, Bal Thackeray, Hansie Cronje, Bill Clinton, Bill Gates, Ram Jethamalani — all have shattered the faith of their admirers, including millions of youngsters.

Are role models essential? Yes, society in general and youngsters in particular need role models to emulate. In adolescence, it is usual for everyone to have role models. By this time, adolescents grow out of hero worshipping their parents and look for some other role models.

Sughandha Taneja of the Government College for Women said, “I do not think that I need any role model. I want to carve out my own way and for that, I do not need external inspiration. All inspiration lies within me. The absence of role models has affected many persons in my college. Most of the youngsters are confused as there is no one to look up to. I admire the philosophy of Ayn Rand, author of Fountainhead. Her theory of objectivism says that everyone should take care of himself or herself. This is not a selfish philosophy because if you learn to take care of yourself, only then can you learn to take care of the others.”

Sandeepa, a teenager who studies in the same college, said, “I am a voracious reader. My favourite author is Dr Wayne W. Dyer. He has written books like Pulling Your Strings and Your Erroneous Zone. In these books, he has advised us not to become victims of the world. He also tells us to do our own thing and stop others from pulling the strings of our lives. I am greatly influenced by it and want to chart my own way. I admire Leonardo da Vinci because he was a versatile personality, but I do not find anyone worth admiring now.”

Sunaina Jodhka of BJS Dental College said youngsters were like rudderless ship in the absence of any role model now. She said, “In the absence of persons who can teach them positive values, they now admire persons who have negative values. Look around and you will not find any politician worth his salt. Atal Behari Vajpayee is better than the others, but he seems to be a procrastinator. Cricket heroes have lost their respect and the only person whom I consider my role model is Amitabh Bachchan. Look how well he conducts the KBC and how dignified and sophisticated he looks in spite of all ups and downs in his life. I like the way he keeps his cool and draw a lot of inspiration from him.”

Rohan of Tagore Public School is also disillusioned with his heroes, Kapil Dev and Ajay Jadeja. “How can they let us down? My room had their pictures on the walls. I have torn these down and I do not know who should be my hero now. We need a hero to emulate.”

Vikram of KVM School said, “I liked the way Mother Teresa worked. I know I can never do that sort of work. Sachin Tendulkar is also my hero. Thank God that he is not involved in any scandal.”

Teenagers are indeed a disillusioned lot. Without role models, the degeneration which has already set in society will accelerate. Teachers and parents have also not been able to inspire youngsters. The million dollar question is who will be their role model now?


Tej Parkash on Indo-Canadian lawyers’ panel
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA Aug 6 — Mr Tej Parkash, an immigration lawyer and consultant, has been appointed Legal Representative of the Indo-Canadian Lawyers Association.

He was recently invited to Canada for accepting the appointment at a function and to discuss the problems faced by Indians emigrating to that country. He also met the Immigration Minister of Canada, Ms Elinor Caplan, and submitted a representation highlighting the problems faced by Indian immigrants and the possible remedies.

In a chat with Ludhiana Tribune here yesterday, Mr Parkash said immigration rules need to be overhauled for the convenience of the general public. According to him, a large number of people sought entry into foreign countries on one pretext or the other and in order to check the illegalities, the immigration process had been made stringent. In spite of this many people succeed to slip through while the needy ones fail to do so.

In the representation to the Immigration Minister he suggested that if a bond system is introduced that only needy persons would seek immigration to Canada or any other country then the huge rush of persons seeking immigration will reduce heavily.

He also urged the Canadian Government for reducing the time consumed in processing the applications. Presently, it takes two to three years for an immigration applicant to complete all formalities. H e said the Indian and the Canadian Government should try to limit the application processing period to less than a year so that one does not have to wait for long for his turn to come.

Citing immigration figures he said Canada is still one of the most sought-after countries by Indians and there was room for 2.5 lakh citizens every year. However, due to procedural wranglings, only 1.75 lakh people managed to emigrate.


High-speed rakes by CONCOR
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA Aug 6 — The Inland Container Department of CONCOR has introduced high speed rakes for the speedy movement of export cargo between ICD and JNPT port. A press release by the Engineering Exporters Association of India informed that this had reduced the transit time of export cargo laden containers from four days to 52 hours. The new service has been appreciated by the exporters as it will give a boost to their efforts in increasing the exports from this region.

At a meeting with exporters, Mr N.L. Manjoka, Chief Manager, ICD, informed that complete infrastructure was ready at ICD of Concor which has been established in an area spanning 32 acres. Members of the association said that they were waiting for the government’s clearance to start the operation in this regard.

The association president, Mr Rajinder Jindal, has written to the Joint Secretary, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, to ensure early start of customs clearance of export and import cargo at ICD, Ludhiana.



Sapling plantation drive launched
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA Aug 6 — The Wildshot Joint here has launched a drive to keep the city green and clean. Saplings were planted, from Sarabha Nagar crossing to R.S. Model School in this connection.

At the commencement of the programme, Dr J.S. Bilga, Executive Engineer (horticulture) of the municipal corporation, Mr K.S. Ghuman, Commandant Home Guards, Mr Kirpal Singh, Mr Balwinder Singh, Mrs Baljinder Kaur — all councillors and Prof Gurbhajan Gill participated in the drive.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Bilga said that the MC would extend full support for the noble task and exhorted the citizens and other voluntary organisations to follow suit.


Thieves on prowl in Humbran
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Aug 6 — Thieves are reportedly prowling in the Humbran police station area.

Two incidents of theft were reported on Friday night from Birmi and Basimi villages, both falling under this police station.

In Birmi, the thieves allegedly entered the house of Mr Darbara Singh (40), a PSEB employee, when he and his wife were sleeping with the door open. In the morning, the couple found that it was poorer by Rs 3,200 in cash, two gold rings and some clothes.

In Basimi, the thieves reportedly took away the trunk of a migrant labourer living in a jhuggi.

Mr Tarlochan Singh, SHO, Hambran, said the police was clueless about the crimes.



PPCC chief to interact with traders 
From Our Correspondent

Ludhiana Aug 6 — The Punjab pradesh congress committee president, Capt Amarinder Singh, has convened a meeting of intellectuals, members of trade and industry and other prominent people from all walks of life here for August 19 to discuss in detail the policies and programmes that were required to be pursued by the party in the larger interests of the people and the state.

The broad outline of the proposed interaction, which the political circles point out, was aimed at strategy planning for the forthcoming assembly elections, was prepared at a meeting of the economic and planning cell of the PPCC, held in circuit house here last evening under the presidentship of Mr R.R. Bhardwaj, chairman of the cell.

The economic and planning cell of the PPCC has set up various subcommittees for the meeting which the congressmen assert would turn out to be a major pre-poll exercise for the party and would help in formulation of such policies document that would focus on promotion of trade and industry in the state.

Mr Gurcharan Singh Ghalib, MP, Mr S.P.S. Bedi, vice-chairman of economic and planning cell, the district congress committee (urban) president, Mr Surinder Dawar, former Punjab ministers, Mr Harnam Das Johar and Mr Malkiat Singh Dakha, the PPCC secretaries, Mr K.K. Bawa and Mr Nahar Singh Gill, among others, attended the meeting.

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