Monday, June 25, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S



AHD trying to ‘hide’ PPR deaths
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 24
The local Animal Husbandry Department (AHD) is trying to cover up the deaths of hundreds of sheep and goats due to ‘peste des petits ruminantis’ (PPR) in the past three months. While the data collected by scientists of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) show that 400 such animals have died in the outbreak, the AHD report says that the number is less than 200.

According to a copy of this report, which the Veterinary Officer of Jagraon has sent to the Deputy Director of the AHD, 38 adults and 158 calves have died, while 386 animals still have this disease. On the other hand, the PAU study shows that 89 adults and 304 calves have perished so far.

In the AHD report, a copy of which has been obtained by ‘Ludhiana Tribune’, there has been overwriting at several places in the column of the death-count to show it as low.

Against the name of a man called Pal Singh, 20 animals had been shown dead, but after overwriting, this number has been reduced to 10. Against the name of Soma, a shepherd of Agwar Gujran village, the death-count of 40 had been shown, which has been reduced to 21. The initial count against the name of Jaswinder Singh of Kothe Pone village was 25, which was later changed to 15.

The AHD has also blamed the PAU scientists for the outbreak. The department report says that shepherds had taken their sick animals directly to the PAU, but the scientists did not inform the AHD about it. The report also says that the shepherds did not consult veterinarians to get the animals treated, for which, the Veterinary Hospital of Jagraon is not responsible.

Both reports differ on the time of the outbreak. While the AHD report says that the disease spread in late March, the PAU report says that the farmers say that it spread in the middle of April.

The Vice-Chancellor of the PAU, Dr K.S. Aulakh, said the university was just a referral institution and the local Veterinary Officer was supposed to refer the sick animals to the PAU, before these were admitted. He said it was the duty of the AHD to prevent the outbreak.

Both institutions have mentioned different names of the farmers in the reports, which shows that the death count is more than what has been claimed in both reports.

The PAU scientists said the disease was under control now and blood samples had been sent to the virology lab at Mukteshwar for the confirmation of this. They said, on the basis of epidemiological investigations and clinical symptoms, the disease had provisionally been diagnosed to be peste des petits ruminantis (PPR) which affected sheep and goats only.


Badal terms train incident unfortunate,
pleads for restraint
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 24
The Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, today said that the assault on sikh devotees and stone pelting on the pilgrims on a special train near Kolkata in West Bengal was most unfortunate, but at the same time, the people should not get provoked and should exercise restraint so that communal amity and peace was not disturbed.

Talking to mediapersons at the venue of the Lok Jan Shakti Party rally here, the Chief Minister said that somebody aboard the train had intimated him about the attack on the train by certain daily passengers and he had immediately responded in order to ensure safety of the devotees. “I spoke to the Chief Secretary and the home Secretary since the West Bengal Chief Minister was not available and told them to make adequate security arrangements for the train as well as the sikh pilgrims on board.”

Mr Badal further said that he was writing letters to the Chief Ministers of all the states to take effective measures to curb such attacks on minorities and to ensure the religious freedom of the Sikh community in their respective states.

He was of the view that if the organisers of such religious yatras could intimate the state government in advance, foolproof security could be provided to them.

Answering a question about admission of Wassan Singh Zaffarwal into the SAD, Mr Badal evaded a direct reply and remarked that militancy was finished for all times to come in Punjab. “The people of Punjab want peace and prosperity and no body supports the militants or disruptive elements.”

He said even the Akali Dal faction headed by Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, which was considered to be a symbol of militancy, had no presence in the state assembly and their lone legislator had defected to the Congress.

Mr Badal admitted that privatisation of civic services and abolition of the contract labour in sanitation work was under active consideration of the government.

A decision would be taken soon, keeping in view the interests of the poor people and the Dalit sections.

He ruled out any electoral adjustment or understanding with the Lok Jan Shakti Party in the coming assembly elections, while adding that he had come to attend the rally only because a commemorative stamp on Sri Guru Ravi Das was to be released and to welcome a senior NDA functionary and Union Minister for Communication, Mr Ram Vilas Paswan.


Who’s giving city police a telephone? No one
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 24
After about 100 telephones have been disconnected or converted to one-way due to non-payment of bills, the communication system of the city police has been paralysed. The city police has approached several authorities in the past several months to see that it gets connected once again, but its image of a defaulter has always come in the way.

The city police has approached the Punjab Chief Minister, Finance Minister and its senior officials for getting money for paying telephone bills for Rs 16 lakh that are pending.

After a dismal response of these authorities, the city police has approached private telecom companies like Connect and Spice to subscribe to their services. However, the negative image of the police has followed it there, too. The companies that were reluctantly discussing the proposals, have now said a firm ‘no’ to the police. According to the sources, the companies “could not gather the courage” to deal with the police and face the risk of a huge loss.

Sources said the city police had recently sent a team to the Connect head office with a proposal of a package deal. The police sources said the department was interested in this company because of its inexpensive call rates compared to other firms. The company also allowed the wireLess loop sets to be used as mobile phones.

The police offered a fixed annual sum for unlimited calls to the company, but the firm, decided not to get lured by the volume of the deal because the risk of losing money was more. The department sources said, if relations between the company and the police had soured after the deal, the firm would have found it difficult to recover its payment and sets, each of which costs more than Rs 10,000.

The proposed package was also discussed at a recent meeting of all senior superintendents of the state police with the CM. A police official of the Ludhiana range suggested that the companies be paid on annual or six-month basis if these agreed to the clause of unlimited calls. However, the authorities did not find the proposal to be cost-effective and turned it down.

The dead police telephone connections were said to be a major reason for the alleged police inability in taking timely action to prevent crime in the city. When the Home Secretary and the DGP of Punjab had visited the city to boost public confidence, many residents of the city had not been able to contact them because of the disconnected telephones.


Power supply not restored for 72 hrs
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 24
With heavy showers in the region, people are facing severe difficulties due to uprooting of electricity poles and snags in transformers in some parts of the city. Large areas in the Civil Lines, Model Gram, Atam Nagar, Model Town, Salem Tabri and Mata Rani Chowk had to face darkness after the showers. Poles were also uprooted in a number of villages around Samrala and Haibowal. Power supply has not been restored in a number of villages even after 72 hours of disruption.

Mr Jiwan Dhawan, chairman, of a hosiery manufacturers’ association, said, ‘‘The industry is facing unscheduled power cuts varying from 4 to 10 hours. Despite announcements about no power cuts, the board has failed to provide regular supply.’’ He said that despite a number of complaints, power supply to the Civil Lines area was not restored even after seven hours, as a transformer had developed some problem. The authorities, when contacted, said that only a junior engineer could attend the complaint, and he was not in the office.

In another case of official apathy, power supply had not been restored to villages even after three days of heavy hailstorm that uprooted a large number of electricity poles in villages. According to Dr Davinder Kumar, power supply in a number of villages around Haibowal had not been restored even after four days of a blast in a transformer. Interestingly, village panchayats have met the board authorities. They were even ready to pay the money to restore the power supply.

However, instead of attending to complaints, the board authorities are talking about power thefts and heavy losses to the board. Mr R. P. S. Randhawa, Senior Xen, PSEB, of Samrala division, while talking to mediapersons yesterday said that though the Board had suffered a heavy loss due to storm, power supply would be restored very soon. Maximum staff had been deployed to restore the supply, he added.

On the other hand, enquiries made from the PSEB control room at Patiala show that although with the onset of rains in Punjab, the power supply position in the state has improved, yet hydro plants in the state have not started running at full capacity. The Gobind Sagar reservoir is having about 27,000 cusecs of water whereas the release of water is around 21,000 cusecs while the daily inflow of water in Pong Dam is still less, as it is receiving 6200 cusecs against 7300 cusecs.

The water level in Gobind Sagar was reported at 1518 ft against 1520 ft of last year. The level at Ranjit Sagar Dam has reached at 496.10 m against the optimal level of 540 m. It is expected to increase in the next few days after the onset of monsoon. The total power supply to the state increased to 892 lakh units yesterday, including 140 lakh units from hydro units.

The board officials disclosed that the weekly power restrictions on Monday, applicable to a part of Ludhiana, Amritsar and Sangrur circles had been done away with. Erratic changes in weather had made it difficult for the board to announce power restrictions in advance. 


Upset stomach tells you rains are here
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 24
Come rains and gastric diseases like diarrhoea, dysentery and cholera grip the city. “Most persons fall sick because they are careless. In rains, it is common for the sewerage system to get blocked, which results in the bursting of pipes and, sometimes, mixing of the sewerage and drinking water. This dirty water is what causes these diseases,” says Dr Justin Das of Shri Bhagwan Ram Charitable Hospital.

He says, “The pre-monsoon showers have brought fresh patients of gastroenteritis. Everyday, we receive at least five such cases and, in the next five years, more persons in India will die of gastroenteritis than AIDS or heart disease. This hospital caters to residents of a large number of colonies like Purana Bazar, Salem Tabri etc, where clean drinking water is not available. One vomit or loose motion may be a sign of gastroenteritis and the person should consult a doctor immediately in such a case.”

Dr Sanjay Chand of Christian Medical College and Hospital also said the number of patients of gastric diseases was on the rise. Bacteria and viruses cause these diseases. Bacteria breed rapidly in hot and humid conditions and the infection spreads through exposed cut fruits, unwashed vegetables and poor hygiene.

“Most residents of the walled city buy eatables from roadside vendors. Sometimes, these vendors use dirty water in preparing eatables and even pass on certain diseases to their customers. Families gathered around ‘golgappa’ stalls is a common sight here. Vendors usually have dirty and long nails and they don’t want wash the plates properly before reusing these,” says Dr Sanjay.

“People have to miss work when they are ill, a lot of money is spent on medication and thousands of  persons lose their lives due to these diseases. However, precautions and timely medical treatment in a hospital can save many lives. Children are more prone to such diseases,” he says. Even community kitchens can be the cause of gastric diseases as cooks are often the carriers of these diseases. Moreover, ‘langars’ are served on roadside, where flies and dust are in abundance. While digging holes for erecting tent poles on a road, water-supply pipelines are accidentally damaged sometimes, which makes the drinking water dirty. We should avoid doing such things,” says Dr Justine Das. 

Do’s and Don’ts

  • Do not buy eatables like exposed cut-fruit and vegetables from vendors.
  • Do not drink water from anywhere outside your house.
  • Do not eat at ‘golgappa’ vends and the other roadside stalls.
  • Do not buy vegetables and fruits that are not fresh.
  • Do not allow children to defecate on the road.
  • Boil the drinking water, especially for children.
  • Keep drinking water at a clean place.
  • Maintain proper cleanliness and hygiene.
  • Throw garbage in dustbins.
  • Give babies breast feed and not bottle feed.



Should adult films be screened?
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 24
A few cinema halls in Ludhiana have been showing movies with very suggestive titles and obscene posters and these movies are running to packed houses as 10-minutes clip of pornography is added to maintain the flow of cine-goers. One cinema owner, on condition of anonymity, said the spools of movies come sealed from the censor. One can see that a clip of pornography is added only when one opens the spools in projection room.

A number of articles on showing movies with obscene titles and pornographic scenes were published in the newspapers to shake up the district administration into taking some action. But the administration claimed that since the movies were passed by the Censor Board, they could not take any action.

Ms Susie, a teacher of Kundan Vidya Mandir, said she was offended by the derogatory titles of some of the English movies like “The Sexy Bitch” and “Hot Woman.” How can censor allow movies with such titles? How can women ever find equal status with men when they are held as “sex objects.”

Teenagers are very curios to know more about sex. Half-baked knowledge about the sex, as these movies provide, would surely have detrimental effect on the psyche of the teenagers, said Avinash Dawar, a businessman.

Jarnail Singh Grewal, a computer engineer, said, “I just want to ask whether the cinema owners do not have children? Would they like their children to see such like movies? I feel very embarrassed when I pass the cinema halls showing movies with titles like “Give money have fun.” The hostlers and the migrant labourers throng the cinema halls to watch movies with sexual overtones.”

Raj Kumar, another professional, said,  “The government policies also lead the exhibitors. to show such movies These kind of movies are crowd-pullers and run to the packed houses. Earlier, the cinema owners paid excise duty according to the revenue earned in the show. But now they charge a flat rate. So even if the hall is not full, the exhibitors have to pay the flat rate. So to avoid losses, they screen such movies.”

Surinder.S Kooner said, “I have seen the people who watch such movies. They comprise of young migrant labour and teenagers. Some of them keep seeing the movies time and again.” Such movies should be thoroughly screened by the administration before allowing them to be shown to the public, he demanded.Back


Public suffers as VIPs come calling
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 24
The work in almost all the police stations in the city was completely paralysed as three VIPs, all falling under the Z-security, were in the city to take part in different functions.

‘‘Kal Aana , aj SHO sahib VIP duty te han’’ (come tomorrow, the SHO sahib is on VIP duty today) was the reply given to several complainants who approached various police stations today to lodge their complaint.

The Union Communications Minister, Mr Ram Vilas Paswan, and Mr Parkash Singh Badal had come to the city in connection with a function of the Postal Department. The Chief Minister was also scheduled to participate in other functions beside travelling to Moga for a sangat darshan and return to the city in the evening. Besides these, BSP supremo Kanshi Ram was also in the city to lead a rally in the city.

According to a complainant, who did not wish to be identified, was injured in a minor brawl but the officials of a city police station told him to come tomorrow as the police was busy in providing security to the VIPs. Similar reports came from other police stations also. Sources said at certain places the police was called for some help but could not go there as no staff was available.


Encroachments choke Gill Road
Our Correspondent

Encroachers have occupied a large part of the road leaving little room for pedestrians to walk. 
Encroachers have occupied a large part of the road leaving little room for pedestrians to walk. 

Ludhiana, June 24
Ludhiana is bursting at its seams. It has seen unplanned development and lacks basic facilities like water, toilets and housing for its residents. The migration of labour from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar has further compounded many problems. The sewerage and the water supply is under a severe strain. Many migrant labourers have set up small shops and kiosks any where and every where. This has led to a serious problem of encroachment in almost all commercial and residential areas of the city.

At the busy Gill Road which is the hub of great business activity on account of being a major cycle and scooter market, the encroachment is rampant. It has taken such alarming proportions that it has become a pedestrian’s nightmare. Incidentally, Gill Road is one of the widest and the busiest roads of the city.

The shopkeepers of that area have put up their “extra” wares in the corridors provided, restricting the movement of the passers-by. To make matters worse, big rehris are put up in front of shops occupying a large area of the road. The rehris are selling a large variety of goods from food stuff — both fast food and traditional fare — to consumer items like towels, belts, clothes etc.

Does any one care that these encroachments are the biggest traffic hazards? Has the municipality bothered to remove these people? We, the residents, are fed up of all the mess on the road,” said Mr H.S. Sawhney, an irate resident of the area.


Constitution of PPCC hailed
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 24
Congress activists today hailed the constitution of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) and expressed their gratitude to the party leadership for making it a representative body. Mr Surinder Dawar, who retained the post of DCC (Urban) President, along with Mr Nahar Singh Gill, member Disciplinary Committee, Mr Pawan Diwan, Chairman, Urban Development Cell of the Indian Youth Congress, Mr K.K. Bawa, Chairman, Labour and Employment Cell of the PPCC, and Ms Barjinder Kaur, member, executive committee, among others, attended the function.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Dawar announced that the DCC executive would be reorganised and efforts made to give due representation to all groups. The party, he added, would organise ward-level meetings in preparation for the coming assembly elections. Mr Nahar Singh Gill and Mr Bawa focused on the plight of traders, workers, employees and farmers and flayed the government for its anti-people and anti-poor policies.

Mr Pawan Diwan and Ms Barjinder Kaur, councillor, also addressed the function.

The renomination of Mr Surinder Dawar as President of the District Congress Committee (Urban) was widely acclaimed by the party functionaries. A function to felicitate Mr K.K. Bawa, on his nomination as Chairman of the Labour and Employment Cell of the PPCC, was organised at Ghumar Mandi here.


Phone on demand by August
Our Correspondent

Samrala, June 24
Telephone on demand in the area under the Samrala telephone exchange will be provided before the end of August Mr Mohinder Singh, DET (Phones), Samrala Division, here today.

Mr Mohinder Singh said that 1,000 additional telephone lines were being provided in the exchange. About 350 applications for new telephone connections were pending.

Mr Mohinder Singh said that power cuts in rural areas were a big problem in regular service.

The exchanges at Powat, Sherpur Bet, Hambowal Bet and Kiri Afghana villages did not have three-phase power supply.


Rich tributes paid to martyr
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 24
The bhog ceremony of martyr Niab Subedar Mahinder Singh of 1 Sikh Light Infantry, who laid down his life in the Rajouri sector on June 13 was performed at his village Ferurai, near Raikot today. Rich tributes were paid to the martyr on the occasion. A number of people from the adjoining villages attended the ceremony.

Speaking on the occasion, the local MLA said that the families of the martyrs should be handed over cheques at the time of bhog ceremony. Mr Jagjit Singh Talwandi, chairman, Small Scale Industries Corporation, said that the family would get all benefits like the families of all martyrs. He said that the contribution of those who lay down their lives for the country can never be forgotten.

He said that a statue of the martyr would be erected in the village. He also presented a cheque of Rs 2 lakh for development works in the village. 


Film stars to perform in city
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 24
The Press Secretary of the Vikas Housing Board and the show Fire-n-Ice, Mr Sanjeev Mehta, said Salman Khan, Karishma, Mahima Choudhry, Twinkle Khanna and Kashmira Shah will perform in South City here on June 30. Earlier, they were to perform here on June 23. Vikas Khullar, organiser of the show, said it would be the first show in Punjab where sky-fire technique would be used. 


Man booked for possessing weapon
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 24
The Division No 5 police today claimed to have arrested a resident of Kotkapura in Moga district on the charges of possessing a weapon to commit murder.

According to Inspector Mukhminder Singh, the accused Jaswinder Singh was arrested from a police check post last night. A .315 bore pistol which he had bought illegally from Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh has been recovered from his possession.

The man was booked under the Arms Act. He has confessed to the police that he had bought the weapon in order to take revenge from certain person who had beaten him up recently.Back


Three booked for demanding dowry
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 24
The Division No. 6 police has booked three persons on the charge of demanding dowry and harassing a woman.

Sukbir Singh, Mohan Singh and Balwinder Kaur, residents of Sector 38, Urban Estate, have been booked on the complaint of Narinder Artis, a relative of the victim woman. No person has been arrested so far in the case.

Injured: Baldev Krishan Chopra, a resident of Sahnewal, has complained to the Focal Point police that he was hit by a Tata-Sumo (PB-10P-9379) on Friday when he was walking on a road near Gobindgarh. He was admitted to a city hospital that day and gave the statement to the police yesterday. Subsequently, the police registered a case against Kulwant Singh, driver of the vehicle.

Beaten up: The Sadar police has booked two persons, owners of a hosiery factory, for allegedly beating up an employee, Anil Sharma. In his complaint to the police the injured man has alleged that he was beaten up without any provocation by the two owners, Surinder Kumar Saini and Balwinder Kumar Saini, due to which he was hospitalised for several days.

Chain snatched: Nirmal Sethi, a resident of Model Town, has complained to the police that an unidentified person snatched her gold chain near Children's park in the colony. The person escaped on a scooter. The police has registered a case and was trying to establish the identity of the scooter driver.


Maruti claims rise in sales
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 24
The sales of Maruti cars in northern India in the last quarter from January to March increased from 60,000 to 66,000 over the corresponding period during the past year. The region concerned includes Punjab, Himachal Pardesh, Chandigarh, Jammu and Kashmir and a part of Haryana. The increase in sales has been noticed in all models, especially WagonR and Zen Euro models.

These views were expressed by Vikram Mehtani, Regional Manager, Maruti Udyog Limited. He was in the city in connection with a rally which laid emphasis on safe and good driving habits. About 75 participants from the region participated with their cars in the rally.

Mr Chander Shekhar, IG, Punjab Police Academy, Phillaur, flagged off the rally at 7.30 a.m. The participants had to cover about 95 km in the city and surrounding areas. They were judged not on the basis of speed but on the basis of better mileage.

Mr Mehtani said the purpose of the rally was to instil confidence among Maruti users.

He agreed that the sales of the cars in the northern region had decreased by about 30 per cent after the equalisation of sales tax in all states last year. He pointed out that the company had 60 per cent share in the car market and was also adjudged number 1 in customers service in recent survey. Out of ten best dealers of the company five belonged to the region, he added.

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
121 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |