Wednesday, November 15, 2000,
Chandigarh, India

L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Psychiatry conference
From Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, Nov 14 — The first national conference of private psychiatry will be held in Delhi on November18 and 19 in which more than 400 psychiatrists from all over the country will participate. Mr C.P. Thakur, Union Health Minister, will inaugurate the conference.

The theme of the conference will be “Challenges to psychiatry in the new millennium”, according to Dr A.K. Kala, a psychiatrist of the city and chairperson, Indian Association Of Private Psychiatry”.

According to a press statement, there are only about 3000 psychiatrists in the country and only 25,000 psychiatry beds for about 20 million patients suffering from mental disorders like schizophrenia and Bipolar disorder and a higher number suffering from minor psychiatric disorders like anxiety, depression, obsessions and phobias.



City gets kabaddi, kho-kho events
From Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, Nov 14 — All kabaddi and kho-kho matches of the forthcoming National Games will be held here now. These matches were earlier to be held at Patiala.

This was announced by Mr I.S. Bindra, Principal Secretary Sports and Youth Services, during a visit to the city here today. He was here to inspect venues for the National Games.

“The infrastructure for the games will be ready by the end of January, 2001. Everything will work well in the National Games here,” Mr Bindra said.

He said there would be reception centers at bus stand, railway station, and airport for participants. The job of maintenance of facilities at the venues and boarding places of sportspersons would be given to some private agency, he said.

Participants would also be provided with medical facilities. A doctor and an ambulance would be kept ready at every boarding place of participants. A special bus service will be introduced to transport officials and players at the National Games.

Mr Bindra also approved the design of the indoor basketball court. The estimated cost of the court is Rs 71 lakh.

Fencing meet

The 8th Punjab State Junior (under-18) Fencing Championship began here in Government Senior Secondary School. The championship was declared open by the SDM of Khamano, Mr Nirbhai Singh. Fencers of Amritsar, Bathinda, Ferozepore, Gurdaspur, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Mukatsar, Patiala, Mansa, Ropar and Fatehgarh Sahib are taking part in it.

The Principal of the school, Ms Barwinder Kaur, the President of the District Fencing Association, Mr Joginderjit Singh Sidhu, and some other prominent persons were also present on the occasion.

In the preliminary rounds for boys, Ferozepore defeated Kapurthala, 5-4, Jalandhar beat Ludhiana, 5-4, and Fatehgarh Sahib beat Ropar, 5-2.

District basketball

N.M. Jain School and Guru Nanak Public School registered convincing victories on the sixth day of the 51st Ludhiana District Basketball League Championship in Guru Nanak Stadium here yesterday.

In the first match of the day, N.M. Jain School beat A.S. Senior Secondary School, Khanna, 42-25. For the winners, Balraj scored 13 points.

In the second match, Guru Nanak Public School beat PCTE Club, 44-28. A match was also played between PAU (B) and PAU Model School, which the former won, 44-28.

In another match, Junior Khanna Club beat Junior Gymkhana Club 26-20.

In the other matches, CFC School beat Saint Thomas School, 19-9, A.S. Senior Secondary School, Khanna beat PAU 41-31, A.S. Senior Secondary School, Khanna, beat Saint Thomas School, 41-25, and the Government College for Women beat PAU girls, 21-12.


Minimum wages likely to be raised
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Nov 14 — The Punjab government is contemplating to bring about an increase in the minimum wages for unskilled and other categories of workers in the state. Talking to mediapersons after the Sat Pal Mittal National award presentation ceremony here today, the Punjab Local Bodies Minister, Mr Balramji Das Tandon, who also holds the charge of the Department of Labour and Employment, said the government had decided to increase the minimum wages to Rs 1950 on an ad hoc basis.

He said objections had been invited to the proposal, both from labour unions and the employers and a final decision would be taken soon. The proposed hike would result in the unskilled workers getting around Rs 150 per month more than what was being paid to them now.

Despite persistent questioning by mediapersons, Mr Tandon refused to be drawn into the controversy surrounding the SGPC President Bibi Jagir Kaur, who is facing criminal charges in an FIR lodged by the CBI in connection with the mysterious death of her daughter Harpreet Kaur. “It is essentially a decision to be taken by the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) leadership, whether or not to renominate Bibi for the post of the SGPC President.” Asked if she should have resigned on moral grounds after a case was registered against her, the minister again managed to wriggle out by saying that it was an internal matter of SAD (B) and we shall not like to interfere in the affairs of an ally.

Strongly defending the government decision on the withdrawal of official vehicles from all officers, other than commissioners, of all the municipal corporations in Punjab, Mr Tandon said the move had resulted in massive saving by way of fuel charges and maintenance of the vehicles. Asked on the possibilities of misuse of the MC vehicles by officers, who were to be paid a fixed allowance as well, for use of their own vehicles, the minister said the government would keep a strict watch and violations of the government decision would be sternly dealt with.

He further remarked that the withdrawal of vehicles from the MC officers was an experiment, which had brought in encouraging results. Depending on the conclusive data, to be made available to the government soon, the class I municipal committees and even the improvement trust would be brought under the plan. “Even some other government departments have asked for details of the net savings after withdrawal of official vehicles and they were keen to follow suit.”

Mr Tandon informed that the new Municipal Act 1999 was expected to be sent back to the state government after the President of India accorded his assent by the end of this month. The new Act, he added, would replace the archaic Municipal Act 1911, the Executive Officers Act 1931 and the Municipal Corporation Act 1976. He said partial privatisation of street lights, introduced in the city some time ago, had proved to be very successful, and from November 15, the street lights in all four towns of Punjab, having municipal corporations, would be in private hands.

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