Thursday, May 24, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S



Robbers decamp with cash, jewellery; injure four
Tribune News Service

Khanna, May 23
Armed with iron rods and sticks, about six persons attacked a family in Khanna and decamped with cash and ornaments after seriously injuring three family members. The robbers attacked Balwinder Singh, a cashier in a bank at Malerkotla, his wife Baljinder Kaur and their daughter, in Sethi Nager Colony, Malerkotla road, yesterday night.

While the couple was rushed to Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana, their daughter was admitted to Civil Hospital, Samrala. While fleeing, the robbers also injured another passerby with iron rods, identified as Arvinder Kumar.

After injuring the victims, the robbers ransacked the house and broke open almirahs and box-beds. The robbers remained in the house for about half an hour. The neighbours who came to the rescue of the family, found goods scattered in the nearby fields, which included boxes of ornaments.

A neighbour, Surinder Kaur, said at around 2 am, she heard some screams and sound of footsteps. She informed, Mr Mohinder Singh, who lived nearby. He and others reached the house and found the couple badly injured. The police was informed and the injured were rushed to hospital.

All the robbers were clean shaven and spoke Punjabi. One the statement of a neighbour, Mr Baldev Singh, a case under Sections 458 and 459 of the IPC was registered and investigation started.

The SP (D) Khanna told this correspondent that it seemed to be the handiwork of about four persons wearing gloves, but the situation was not clear yet. The dog squad and fingerprints experts had been pressed into service.

Ludhiana: Balwinder Singh was operated upon for head injuries at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, while his wife Baljinder Kaur was stated to be out of danger.

Mr Sadhu Singh, a relative of the victims, said the motive of those who attacked Balwinder and other members of his family appeared to be robbery. He said he had he received a telephone call from Balwinder’s next-door neighbour, Mr Baldev Singh at around 2:20 a.m. “Baldev Singh, told me that he heard somebody crying and screaming at Balwinder Singh’s house. Without wasting any time, I rushed to Baldev Singh’s house,” he said.

Mr Sadhu Singh said,” We jumped over the wall and reached on to the balcony, where the whole family was sleeping. Balwinder Singh, who had received serious head injuries was bleeding profusely and Baljinder Kaur, who had received multiple injuries, was crying in pain. The daughter and the son were in such a shocking state that they did not speak even a word”.

Some other neighbours also rushed to the spot after some time and the injured were taken to Civil Hospital, Khanna, from where they were advised to be rushed to the DMC.

Neurosurgeons operated upon Balwinder Singh for the head injuries he received. Baljinder Kaur was stated to be stable. 


Punjab Roadways staff observe two-hour strike
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 23
More than 2,400 buses of Punjab Roadways came to a standstill today in the state when 9,000 employees of the roadways observed a two-hour strike in 18 depots on a call of Joint Action Committee of 12 employees’ unions. The call for the strike, from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m., was given by the employees’ unions to highlight the need to save the roadways which was going into losses as the state government had failed to provide compensation worth crores for free transport services provided to students, policemen and other categories, said Mr Sandeep Singh, district convener of the State Action Committee of the employees unions.

While addressing a rally of workers at the local bus stand, Mr Harjit Singh Grewal, state vice-president, CITU, said. “The Badal government has failed to provide 300 buses to the roadways as per an agreement between the unions and the state government, though the Transport Minister and the Chief Minister never forget to announce in rallies and sangat darshans that the government is adding a fleet of 300 buses in the roadways.”

Mr Manjeet Singh, general secretary, AITUC, said, “About 1,100 buses out of the total 2,400 buses have been already declared unfit as these are more than 11-year-old and spare parts are not easily available for repairs. The workers have no option but to run these buses as the government has failed to add new buses to the fleet.”

He added that widespread corruption in the department and ill-conceived kilometer scheme were badly affecting profits of the roadways.

In Ludhiana depot alone, the daily receipts had increased from Rs 4 lakh to 5 lakh on an average when the unions forced to close down the illegal operations of private transporters recently. In the past year alone the income of the roadways has substantially increased, but the government was not investing the money.

The speakers challenged the government to order an inquiry into the functioning of the roadways. Due to unions’ efforts, the workers have fulfilled all the targets of the management such as an efficiency of 4.25 km per litre of diesel and the receipt of Rs 11.8 per km. However, the government had not released any grant against the free travelling of freedom fighters, old-age women, policemen and students in the state transport buses. The profits of roadways can increase manifold if corrective steps were taken by the government.

Mr Grewal pointed out that the Punjab Roadways was suffering losses to the tune of Rs 20-25 lakh per day due to the ill-conceived kilometer scheme and the illegal operation of private buses and taxies in the state. These buses were operating because of the alleged connivance of ministers and bureaucrats. The roadways was leading towards doom because of the operation of the kilometer scheme and corruption at the highest level.

The union leaders demanded that government should immediately invest for 300 buses which were promised by the government in an agreement with the transport unions. They alleged that the government was determined to privatise the roadways which was reported to be running into losses because of the government’s faulty polices. The management was indulging in corruption in the purchase of spare parts and even in the transfers of employees.

Mr Manjeet Singh, general secretary, AITUC, said, “No recruitment of drivers or other staff has been done during the past many years.

According to an estimate about 1,500 posts were lying vacant in the roadways which was badly affecting its operations.

Despite increase in the prices of diesel and spare parts, the fares have not been revised. Rather due to the increasing competition the roadways has been forced to slash the fares such as on Ludhiana- Chandigarh route.”

The action committee of about 12 unions has warned the government to undertake corrective steps to check corruption in the roadways at the earliest.

It further said that at least 300 buses should be immediately added to the roadways fleet otherwise they would be forced to launch a ‘decisive’ struggle.


Move to privatise water supply, sewerage
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, May 23
In a complete volte face over its earlier move to provide free water supply and sewerage facility to the city population, the Municipal Corporation has embarked upon a scheme to privatise these services in order to extend the cover and to bring about a qualitative and quantitative improvement over a long term period.

The resolution to this effect was adopted in the General House meeting of the MC on May 18 without any discussion, due to the uproar and unruly conditions created by the BJP — a ruling party constituent, over the last minute introduction of a supplementary agenda, containing nine items, including the one on the controversial “Elevated road project”. Buoyed by the overwhelming support of 51 non-BJP councillors, the Mayor, Mr Apinder Singh Grewal, had announced that all items on the agenda stood approved. In the process, the ambitious plan to waive the water supply and sewerage charges on domestic sector was given a quiet burial without even a whimper from the political parties, which had extended whole hearted support to the move, with their eyes on the civic elections, due next year.

In the resolution brought before the House, the MC admitted that at present piped water supply was available to just about 60 per cent of the total population, while about 50 per cent of the existing about 20 lakh population had sewerage facilities. Citing resource crunch as the main reason, the MC admitted that it was unable to cover the entire population under the water supply and sewerage network and providing these facilities to a projected population of 32 lakh by the year 2011 was a far cry.

The only solution, under the prevailing circumstances, according to the MC was to go on for ‘private sector participation’ (PSP) on the pattern of Pune and Thiruvananthapuram. The PSP system of water supply and sewerage, it has been claimed, will result in expansion and improvement of these facilities, while at the same time providing round the clock water supply to the people, which would bring in more revenue to the civic body.

According to the MC claim, it would only be possible through the PSP pattern that necessary infrastructural facilities would be provided in a phased manner, not only to the existing city population, but to the entire projected population during the period 2011-2021. The private sector would arrange the needed funds at its own level and would introduce latest technology and provide better services to the city residents.

That the move to provide free water supply and sewerage facility was a political compulsion of SAD (B) and the Congress in order to ensure that the BJP, which had been persistently pushing the issue to woo the urban population, does not derive political mileage, is evident from the plan to introduce private participation in the sector of basic amenities, which of course would come at a price.

In another veiled attempt to pre-empt the populist measures like free water supply and sewerage in future, the MC has armed itself with more powers and effective measures for “recovery of water and sewerage bills, realisation of arrears, identification of illegal connections and their regularisation” under the garb of Rs 105 crore loan from HUDCO for the extension of sewerage projects in the city. A separate resolution, similarly adopted without any discussion, envisaged that the MC would make provisions for contributing 30 per cent of the cost of sewerage projects from its own resources.

However, undeterred by the humiliation inflicted upon them in the General House meeting, the BJP councillors have made it clear that they would stand their ground in support of their earlier move for providing free water supply and sewerage for domestic purposes in the city. One of the vocal BJP councillors, Mr Sunil Mehra, told Ludhiana Tribune that the party, while calling for cancellation of resolutions, brought through the supplementary agenda by the MC Administration, had given a written notice to the Commissioner and the Mayor that no further bills for water supply and sewerage be issued to the residents. The BJP councillors, he said, would also take up the matter with the government and the Local Bodies Minister, Mr Balramji Dass Tandon, to accord approval to the proposal for waiving water supply and sewerage charges.


BJP councillors to stage dharna
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 23
In a rather unprecedented move, Bharatiya Janata Party councillors would launch a campaign against the City Mayor, Mr Apinder Singh Grewal, from tomorrow, when the party workers would stage a daily dharna in front of his office to press for their demand for cancellation of nine resolutions, brought before the MC general house through a last minute supplementary agenda and subsequently adopted with a majority vote, without any discussion.

The items in the supplementary agenda included one on the ‘elevated road’. The Mayor and the MC top brass, had made it clear in no uncertain terms, that the project would not be shelved at any cost.

In the face of vociferous opposition by the BJP, despite the fact that the party is a constituent of the ruling alliance, the Mayor had successfully garnered the support of as many as 52 councillor, in a house of 70 and signatures of all the councillors, supporting the project, were appended to the concerned item in the agenda papers.

A meeting of the district unit of the BJP, presided over by Mr Harbans Lal Sethi here last evening, decided to sit on a dharna at the City Mayor’s office daily till their demand for withdrawal of the resolutions, contained in supplementary agenda was conceded. In a bid to make the protest a mass movement, the party decided to rope in the people from outer wards. The BJP while opposing the Rs 38 crore project, has been pleading that the MC should first ensure basic civic amenities like proper water supply and sewerage facility to the entire city population and only then such projects should be taken up.

Meanwhile, the District Youth Congress (DYC) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) have flayed the BJP stand over the project and have urged the MC to disregard the adamant attitude of the party.

The DYC president, Ms Parminder Mehta, in a statement here today, remarked that the BJP had been caught in its own net and after being isolated and reduced to minority was opposing the proposed elevated road on one pretext or the other.

He further charged the BJP with an attempt to exploit public sentiments over the issue of civic amenities. It was under the SAD-BJP rule, both in the state and in the MC, that water and sewerage rates were repeatedly jacked up while no worth while efforts were made to create infrastructure for improvement in these services. Moreover, the MC had effected hike, more than once, in the rates of house tax, building tax, licence fee and octroi during this period, with the BJP watching the plight of the people like a mute spectator.

Echoing the views of the DYC, Dr D.P. Khosla, senior vice-president of the BSP, Punjab, said that the unparliamentary behaviour and hooliganism of BJP councillor in the general house meeting of the MC on May 18 proved beyond any doubt that the party could stoop to any level for its selfish motives. He was of the firm opinion that the MC administration should not give in to the blackmailing tactics of the BJP and the construction of elevated road should be taken up at the earliest. The BJP, with just 19 councillors, was opposing the major development work, while 52 councillors, from all other parties had come out openly in support of the elevated road project, he said.


New fruit varieties approved
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 23
The State Variety Approval Committee for horticultural and floriculture crops which met under the chairmanship of Dr Jagtar Singh Mann, Director of Horticulture, Punjab, approved four new varieties of flowers, three varieties of fruits and one variety of vegetable crop for cultivation in Punjab.

The approved varieties include Punjab gold variety of chrysanthemum, novalux, eurovision and white prosperity varieties of gladiolus, flame seedless variety of grapes, Punjab beauty variety of pear, Wallaiti variety of ber and PSP-21 variety of sweet potato.

Elaborating the characteristics of these varieties, Dr M.S. Bajwa, Director of Research, PAU said that Punjab gold variety of chrysanthemum was the ideal for small (10-15 cm) pots as no pinching or staking was required. He said that the varieties, novalux gladiolus, eurovision gladiolus and white prosperity gladiolus, were resistant to lodging. Besides, all three varieties were highly resistant to fusaria wilt, he said.

He further said that the flame seedless grapes variety was light purple in colour and had low acidity. Tree of the Punjab beauty variety of pear was upright and medium in size. Fruit size is medium to large which matures in the third week of July, giving a yield of 71 kg per tree. PSP-21 sweet potato variety was the first approved variety of this crop in Punjab. It was suitable for planting in June and July, he said.

Regarding the fruit of wallaiti ber variety, Dr Bajwa said that it was medium to large in size, oval in shape, and light golden yellow in colour. Its pulp was soft, sweet with 13.9 to 15 per cent total soluble solids, he said. It ripens during the first fortnight of March, giving an average yield of 114 kg fruit per tree, he said. However, the variety is moderately susceptible to powdery mildew disease, Dr Bajwa said.

The meeting of committee was attended by horticultural experts of the Punjab Agricultural University and field officers of the State Department of Horticulture. Dr Jaspinder Singh Kolar, Director Extension Education of the university, said that these new varieties would help in diversification of agriculture in Punjab.


High-handedness by PSEB officials alleged
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 23
Several activists of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), its youth wing and office-bearers of various trade and industrial organisations have charged the Punjab State Electricity Board authorities with highhandedness and vindictive attitude against a local steel mill, owned by Mr Balwinder Singh Bains, president of the youth wing of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar).

Addressing a news conference here today, Mr Bains alleged that a team of the PSEB staff, comprising an Executive Engineer and an SDO, arrived on the factory premises on the pretext of surprise checking. Since the owners of the factory were not present at that time, the PSEB officials talked to him (Mr Bains) on a mobile phone and agreed to visit the factory the next day.

However, Mr Gurmeet Singh, SDO, accompanying the team, insisted on entering inside the main shed and was prevented from doing so by the gatekeeper and the security staff, which led to an altercation. The PSEB employees, according to Mr Bains, beat up the factory employees and one Sahib Dayal, a gatekeeper was seriously injured and admitted to a hospital.

Among others, Mr Inderjit Singh, President, Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings, Mr Dhiraj Rai Gupta, president, Ludhiana Industry and Trade Association, Mr Charan Singh Lohara, general secretary SAD(A), and Mr Sarbjit Singh Baba, district president of the youth wing SAD were also present on this occasion.

Claiming that the PSEB was causing harassment to the factory owners because of their political affiliation, Mr Bains said that the PSEB officials had lodged a false FIR of being beaten up by the factory workers to cover up their own misdeeds and violent attack on the factory workers. The police had registered two separate cases against the PSEB officials and the factory owners in this connection. He further said the officials were levelling false allegations of power theft against the mill and had also stage managed a protest by the employees to strengthen their case.

The trade and industry leaders deplored the PSEB action which they said was uncalled for and politically motivated. Mr Inderjit Singh made it clear that the industry would not take the harassment and pressure tactics of the PSEB officials lying down and would fight against the injustice with all its strength. He further said that the local industry would launch an agitation if the false case registered against the steel mill owners was not withdrawn immediately.

PSEB directed to pay compensation
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 23
The District Consumer Forum has directed the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) to pay Rs 3,000 to Mr Pritam Singh, a resident of Chounta, village for sending wrong bill for a period of about two years.

According to the complaint, the consumer had a sanctioned load of 0.5 kw for his household requirement and he had been paying the electricity bill regularly. The consumer stated before the forum that despite clearance of all dues, the board officials replaced his electricity meter and gave him an exorbitant bill.

The consumer disclosed that the bills issued from June 12, 1998, to February 12, 1999, was on the basis of reading of meter number 514547, but the bill issued on April 17, 1998, was raised on the basis of meter number 50192 without any reading. He pointed out, “Whenever the meter is changed the reading of the old meter as well as the new one has to be recorded. The respondent did not do so.” He further stated that in the bill issued on February 12, 1999, the PSEB wrongly added arrears of Rs 5,029, which was deficiency on the part of the respondent.

The PSEB pleaded that the consumer had not made the payment of the bill issued on December 12, 1998, of Rs 5,029 and the amount was rightly included in the bill issued on February 12, 1999. The respondent maintained that the consumer was explained the details of the charges debited to the bills issued on actual consumption basis and the complainant had paid the the amount along with arrears after satisfying himself.

The board disclosed that the complainant had failed to make the payment of the bills from December 12, 1999, for which an amount of Rs 9,481 was added as arrears on account of difference worked out on the basis of actual consumption and the bills were issued on average consumption basis from September, 1995, to July, 1997. The respondent further disclosed that the bills were issued on average consumption basis as the advice regarding the change of meter was sent to the computer section and the section continued to send the bills on average basis.

The board admitted that the electricity connection was permanently disconnected on March 24, 2000, for non-payment of bills vide permanent disconnection order issued on March 9, 2000. The respondent further stated that after one-third of the payment by the consumer, the connection had been restored.

The forum observed that the demand for Rs 10,135 raised by the board was justified and the same could not be quashed. The forum further observed that the PSEB had sent wrong bill to the consumer for the period from September, 1995, to July, 1997. The forum stated that it was the duty of the PSEB officials to feed information on the computer regarding the basis of calculation of the bill. The forum held that there was deficiency on the part of the PSEB and as such the board was directed to pay Rs 3,000 as compensation to the complainant.Back


PSEB staff to stage dharna
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 23
In accordance with decision of the state committee of the PSEB Employees Federation (AITUC), employees would stage a state-level dharna at headquarters of the PSEB at Patiala on May 29.

Activists of the PSEB Employees Federation — Mr Gurnam Singh Gill, Mr Tejinder Singh Mohi, Mr Darshan Singh Dhillon, Mr Kewal Singh Banwait, Mr Walaiti Khan and Mr Rajinder Singh Bhattal — giving this information here recently claimed that all division-level units were activated to prepare for the dharna. Criticising the PSEB top brass for pursuing anti-employees policies, they said the decisions taken at a meeting on March 9 were not being implemented. Although accepted in principle, the 9, 16, 23-year promotional scale had been put off and revision of pay scales on a par with the PSEB engineers had not been given effect.

The federation leaders further pointed out that the PSEB management was not serious over filling up a large number of vacant posts, which had adversely affected the normal working and the employees had to bear two or three times more work load than the normal. 

PSEB former staff seek free power
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 23
The joint action committee of the All-PSEB Pensioners Associations has given an ultimatum to the PSEB to provide free electricity to all former employees of the board by June 15 otherwise they would be forced to launch an agitation.

Mr S.K. Kapoor, secretary of the committee, said a joint meeting was held here recently in this regard in which delegates from Jalandhar, Ropar and Patiala were present. It was decided that only four demands would be now discussed with the board and free electricity was the main demand.

The convener of the committee, Mr Mohan Singh, and the secretary, Mr S.K. Kapoor, have been re-elected. Mr V.N. Sharma from Patiala has been elected as co-convener.Back


Institutional friction stunting growth’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 23
“The present growth rate of about 6 per cent of the Indian economy, can be raised to 9 per cent provided the country can get rid of institutional frictions — failure of physical and human infrastructure to work efficiently. The regular breakdown of road, electricity, telecommunication networks and the widespread corruption in the administration and bureaucracy have increased the cost of production of the manufactured goods and services. The foreign investors are also scared to invest in the country due to these factors”, said Mr Brooks Ungar, the South Bureau Chief of ‘The Economist’.

He was in the city to deliver a lecture ‘Can India be Competitive’ at the annual meeting of the Ludhiana Management Association. While talking to the Ludhiana Tribune, he disclosed that at present he is involved in writing a survey of the Indian economy that would appear in June 2 issue of in “The Economist”.

Elaborating his concept of institutional friction, he said, ‘‘The local and foreign entrepreneurs have to overcome non-constitutional hurdles caused by indigenous institutions. The companies have to overcome the cost of power cuts, telecommunication network failure, cumbersome legal system and trade unions. It affects their cost of production, quality and the time of delivery. Consequently, number of entrepreneurs shy away from making investments in worthwhile risky ventures.’’

Mr Ungar pointed out that the total foreign investment in the country had been about $ 3 billion compared to about $ 40 billion in China in the recent years. “The rate of growth is estimated to increase by 1.5-2.0 per cent if adequate and uninterrupted power supply is made available. The foreign investors do not have much faith in the cumbersome legal system where more than 2.5 crore cases were pending in different courts all over the country”, he added.

When asked how the software companies have succeeded in boosting the exports from the country despite so many frictions, he said, “The software solution companies are less vulnerable to institutional frictions. The software bypasses the octroi, customs, transport and other hurdles because of the typical nature of the service. Further, most of them have succeeded in overcoming the traditional obstacles by investing in power and other infrastructure.”

Commenting on the present state of the Indian economy Mr Ungar admitted, “India is better set up to employ the talents of 3 crore English speaking people than its 95 crore farmers and manual labourers.”

He felt what was needed, however, was that the government should undertake power, agriculture, judicial, fiscal, administrative and labour reforms at the earliest. The country has already lost much time. Now it required leadership that had managerial skills as well as political acumen to solve the development crisis.


‘Most burn victims are young women’
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 23
“A victim with 60 per cent burns has 90 per cent chances of survival, whereas a person with 70 per cent burns has 40 per cent chances of survival. A burn victim needs a lot of financial support, besides family support, to survive,” says Dr Abraham Thomas, in charge of burn unit and plastic surgery unit in CMC Hospital. He further says they get 150 to 200 patients per year.

Burns are usually caused due to bursting of stoves, scalding and electric shocks. The burn victim is under a great shock and it is the responsibility of the relatives to admit the patient immediately to the hospital and give a lot of support to the victim. Dr Abraham says like eyes, skin can be donated to save the burn victims with 70 per cent burns and above. The relatives of brain-dead people involved in accidents can give the consent for donating skin and limbs. These days limbs can be transplanted, provided these are given within four hours after the death of a person. Dr Thomas feels that the public can help burn victims and other needy persons with organ transplant like kidneys, heart, and spleen.

Most of the burn victims are young women between the age group of 20 to 30 years. The causes of burns are usually marital or family discord. The young women even if victimised by the in-laws or husbands hardly ever confess to being victimised. He says, “Most of the women rather die than implicate their families. The women are too good to involve their families. Only rarely the women allege being burnt by their family members. The marital discords can be reduced only with awareness.”

According to Dr Thomas, who is a recipient of B.C. Roy Award for his skills in microsurgery and the first one to reconstruct a burnt face in the world, says the burn unit in CMC is a very compact unit with isolation rooms, specific nursing areas and intensive care. It has trained nurses and trained technicians. The treatment of a burn patient is a collective responsibility of nurses, technicians, doctors and relatives. But the social organisations have to come forward in rehabilitation of patients. A patient with 60 per cent burns needs a hospital stay of more than one month and daily treatment of burn patient costs about Rs 2000.

Most of the time, the burn victims are from poor strata of life, who can ill-afford to bear such high costs. Every year the hospital is giving concessional treatment from its resources. In case of Ram Avtar, a labourer, admitted into the hospital with 60 per cent burns, stayed in the hospital for two months and his medical treatment amounted to Rs 2.50 lakh. Being penniless, he could not pay and the hospital had to bear the costs. Philanthropists and society can come to aid of such poor patients by establishing a corpus fund. The interest on the amount deposited can help the burn and other needy patients. The NGOs and the government can help. The medicines are very expensive.

The burn unit in the CMC hospital has six beds, and is air-conditioned. Each cubical has a TV for the patient as the patient is in depressive state of mind. There is a barrier nursing zone. The nurses and the technicians have to change before they enter the ward. Even the relatives have to change and only one relative is allowed to stay for short periods. They can watch their patient through the glass panes. Dr Thomas says they plan to introduce an intercom system so that the relative can talk to the patients.

A psychologist and psychiatrist visits the patients for counselling as the patient is under depression. A priest visits the patients to give them moral support. The doctor prescribes the dietary requirements and the chief dietician prescribes the required diet. Sometimes the patients require as many as 4000 to 5000 calories, which means the patient needs to eat 16 to 18 eggs a day. Patients require blood transfusion after 4 to 5 days. Most of the time, the relatives donate blood. In blood donation NGOs and the public can help.

The patients are bathed after 4 to 5 days and the expertise of nurses is required. There is a special bathing area and special tubs and showers for them. After 4 to 5 days the burn victims are assisted to exercise and walk or blood clots can form in the legs which can prove fatal.

Gurnam Singh, a technician working in the burn ward for the past 19 years, is proud that they are able to save most of the patients. The nurses and technicians serve the patients with a smile because they know about the trauma of patients. He adds that those patients who have will power to live recover faster than those who are despondent.

After the patients have recovered considerably, they are shifted to another ward. The patients then have to go in for plastic surgery. The burn patients have a long way to go before they recover fully.


Power situation improves
Tribune News Service

Lalton (Ludhiana), May 23
Thanks to recent rain in the region, this small village like several others has got pleasant relief with the duration of power cuts reduced by about eight hours. Electricity remains off for not more than eight hours these days.

According to Mr Bahadur Singh Grewal, a farmer, only a few days back there was hardly any electricity. The situation improved only after the recent rains. Although the villagers had still to bear the cuts, but these were not so frequent or regular.

Predominantly an agrarian village, agriculture was the primary occupation of the people and most of them make a living from cultivating their land. There are some government employees and a few people serve in the Army.

The village is situated barely ten kilometres from the Majestic Park Plaza, on the Pakhowal Road. The village, with a couple of thousand households, may present a stark contrast to the affluence of Ludhiana. Most of the 6000-odd residents feel comfortable with their living.

Mr Surjit Singh Grewal, who is 75 years old, has seen the village prosper. He has seen the local boy’s school upgraded to higher secondary level, besides a separate higher secondary school for girls. There is an English medium school upto class VIII in the village. Most people prefer to send their children to the English medium school.

Most of the students drop out before reaching class X. Those who manage to study more are worried about their future. With land holdings shrinking and no substantial resources to start business, the people look towards government for jobs. Some manage a visa to migrate to the USA, Canada, England or Germany. People even sell their land to manage finances for sending their wards abroad.Back


Notices served on Cong leaders
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 23
The Congress high command is understood to have issued show-cause notices to some local leaders, including the District Youth Congress Committee (Urban) president, Mr Parminder Mehta, for their alleged role in April 11 incidents before and at a party rally and also for allegedly indulging in slogan shouting against the Pradesh Congress Committee President, Capt Amarinder Singh.

The Congress had organised a rally against the tehelka exposure. Some party workers had raised slogans against the PCC President at the Ludhiana railway station. Some unruly scenes were also witnessed at the venue of the rally. The matter had gone to the high command at that time .Mr Nitin Sharma, permanent secretary of the Indian Youth Congress, on behalf of the IYC President, in a letter dated May 18, and addressed to Mr Mehta, has asked him to explain his position about the charges levelled against him within 15 days.

The letter pointed out that the complaint against Mr Mehta made by the state Youth Congress President, a Member of Parliament and other senior Congress leaders from Ludhiana pointed out that he has been charged of having “indulged in shouting slogans against Capt Amarinder Singh at the railway station and in a public meeting held on April 11.


No protest was staged: Makkar
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 23
A senior Akali leader and the acting district president of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal), Mr Avtar Singh Makkar, today denied that he had staged any demonstration against the police or the government.

Reacting to reports, Mr Makkar said that he had only gone to meet the SSP along with some party workers to bring to his notice the behaviour meted out to a youth leader in a police station. He disclosed that he got fixed an appointment with the SSP and there was some delay in the meeting.

The Akali leader said that they never raised any slogans against anyone. However, he clarified that the resentment among the workers was genuine and justified as the SHO should not have behaved with the youth leader in a manner he did. He alleged that his turban was taken off and an FIR registered against him. But, according to Mr Makkar, everything has settled down now with the SHO having apologised for his conduct and the case has also been withdrawn.


Stop contract system: sabha
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 23
A meeting of the ladies wing of the Shri Guru Valmiki Sabha, Punjab, was held at Naali Mohalla here yesterday, which was presided over by its vice-president.

A resolution was passed, asking the Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, to immediately implement his recently announced decision regarding the payment of wages for Saturdays. He was asked to stop the contract system and start recruitment of safai workers. The vice-president of the unit appealed to the safai workers to discharge their duties honestly so that Ludhiana could top in sanitation.


One booked for murder
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 23
The police has booked Kala under Section 302 of the IPC for stabbing a Bihari migrant near Malhar Palace cinema on the night of May 17. The victim later succumbed to injuries in Civil Hospital yesterday. According to the FIR, registered on the statement of Buta Dass, a Bihari migrant, the accused stabbed Badri with a knife several times before fleeing the scene of the crime. Badri was rushed to the Civil Hospital where he breathed his last yesterday. The accused is said to be absconding.

Cars stolen
The police registered a case under section 379 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Anil Kathuria, resident of Kitchlu Nagar, against an unknown person who stole his white Maruti (PB-10-H-0953) on May 20. The police also registered a case of theft regarding the disappearance of another Maruti car ( PB10-P-7775).

The police registered case under Section 379 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Rajinder Kumar, resident of New Janta Nagar , whose scooter ( PB-10X-8117) was stolen by unknown persons from in front of the locality near Arora Palace cinema on Gill Road.

The police registered a case under Section 379 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Gurbachan Singh, resident of Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, against unknown persons who stole his Maruti car from in front of his house on the night of May 20.

Driver booked
The police registered a case under Sections 279, 337 and 427 of the IPC against Dalvir Singh, driver of a tempo (PCW 4225), for causing an accident. Scooterist Sham Lal, a resident of Model Gram Extension, was on his way near Durga Mata Mandir yesterday when the accident occurred. Mr Prem Lal, brother of the injured, stated to the police that the accused had fled the scene after hitting the victim, who was admitted to the DMC Hospital.

Snatcher held
The police claimed to have nabbed red-handed an ornament snatcher from Shimlapuri yesterday. According to an FIR registered on the statement of Resham Kaur, resident of Kot Mangal Singh, she was returning home along with her husband last evening at about 7.30 p.m. when the accused Satpal, came towards her and ran away after snatching her gold earrings. A police party which was near the scene caught him after a chase. He was booked under Sections 356 and 411 of the IPC.

Assault case
On the statement of Ms Kamaljit Kaur, resident of Dashmesh Nagar, Gill Road, the police registered a case under Sections 323, 354 and 34 of the IPC against Gurmit Singh and Gurjit Singh. The complainant stated that the accused, who were her tenants, tore up her dress and also beat up her husband. No arrest had been made so far.

Three booked
The police registered a case under Sections 406, 498-A and 506 of the IPC on the complaint of Renu against her husband Deepak, mother-in-law Beena, brother-in-law Meenu Sushil residents of Atam Nagar, for demanding more dowry from the complainant . No arrest had been made so far.

Case registered
The police registered a case under Sections 323, 506, 148 and 149 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Paramjit Singh Bedi, resident of Rajguru Nagar, against Binder, owner of Bikramjit Singh Malwa company bus numbered PB-10-A-9697, and three other unknown persons, for beating and threatening the complainant on May 19 near the PAU gate number one. The accused stopped the complainant’s scooter, beat him up with rods and threatened him before fleeing in the bus. No arrest had been made so far.Back


Conference to focus on NRIs’ investment
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 23
With a view to promote the involvement of NRIs in the development of their native villages in Punjab in a big way, a states level conference of the representatives of NRIs will be organised at Guru Nanak Bhawan here on May 27, in which more than 500 delegates of NRIs from different parts of the world are expected to participate.

Giving details, Mr S.K. Sandhu, Deputy Commissioner and chairman of the Ludhiana unit of the NRI Sabha Punjab, informed that under the special scheme of state government to involve NRIs in the development process, they would be encouraged to adopt more development works in their respective villages and the provision had also been made to get the particular development projects named after their near and dear ones, in case the NRI contributed 75 per cent of the cost of the project.

Mr Sandhu informed that Capt Kanwaljit Singh, Finance Minister of Punjab, who was also vice-patron of the NRI Sabha, Punjab, would be the chief guest and Ms Deepika Kalha, Commissioner, Jalandhar division and Chairperson, NRI Sabha, Punjab, would preside over the function. A meeting to chalk out the elaborate arrangements for the conference was held here yesterday, in which the duties for particular works to be carried out were assigned to various executive members. Mr Manjit Singh Brar, SDM (west), coordinator of the conference, also attended the meeting.

Mr Pritam Singh Deol, president of district unit of the NRI Sabha, said a large number of NRIs, who were on their visit to India these days, had been invited to the conference. In the conference, the NRIs would be apprised of the efforts of the NRI Sabha Punjab during the past years to solve their problems and the important achievements made regarding the settlement of their property related disputes in Punjab.

Mr Deol further said the NRIs had been contributing in a big way by investing their foreign earnings in the state to bring about prosperity. He said NRIs would also be encouraged to make more investments in the industrial sector to further improve the employment opportunities for the local youth and to boost the state economy.

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