Tuesday, November 27, 2001, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Feud prevents selected teachers from joining
Deepkamal kaur

Ludhiana, November 26
Over 15 candidates from the district, who have recently been selected for the posts of lecturer in government schools of the district, have been unable to join their duty for the want of permanent posting order from the District Education Department. While the department has asked the teachers to get a medical certificate from the District Health Department for the release of orders, they have been unable to get the certificates owing to an indefinite strike by the Health Department Employees Union.

The candidates said they had been shuttling between the Education Department and the Health Department for the past four days, yet they could not get the permanent post orders. They said they had been coming daily from their respective villages i.e. Issewal, Bhaini Baroda and Machhiwara, to get the orders but in vain.

They said when the Health Department employees had repeatedly refused to issue medical certificates, they approached the Deputy Commissioner, Mr S.K. Sandhu, who reportedly directed the doctors at the Health Department to hand over provisional certificates to them. However, the union members at the Health Department threatened the doctors against signing any such certificate.

The teachers said the employees were using their case to pressurise the State Health Department to get their demand fulfilled. The employees have been demanding the expulsion of two candidates who had been appointed directly on the post of Senior Assistant in the office of Chief Medical Officer, Amritsar. They alleged that since the two candidates were relatives of ministers and their appointment had not been made through proper channel. The employees, who are on strike for the past eight days, said they would continue with their strike indefinitely till the candidates were expelled.

Mr Kanwaljit Singh, district Secretary of the union, admitted that members had told the doctors not to sign any certificate. He further said the union would meet the Health Minister in Amritsar late in the evening and in case he acceded to their demand, the strike would be called off. Only then would the union extend any cooperation to the selected teachers, said Mr Kanwaljit.

Besides, several candidates are demanding change in the stations allotted to them by the DPI. Four such girls got married during the period between the filing of application and the date of selection. They have written to the DPI for getting new stations.



PCMS for checks on unplanned spending
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 26
The PCMS Association, Punjab, has demanded immediate ban on the “unplanned hasty spending” of Rs 10 crore funds collected from hostel and tuition fees of postgraduate and MBBS students of medical colleges of the states.

Members of the association said that the funds were meant for the welfare of students and patients but these were being spent in an unplanned manner by the Department of Medical Education and Research, Punjab.

In a press note issued here, Dr Hardeep Singh, state president, and Dr Surinder Singla, general secretary of the association said that according to the decision of the cabinet sub-committee, additional resources had been raised from students by increasing their hostel and tuition fees but the in last two years, the department had not planned to use these funds, as a result of which about Rs 18 crore had lapsed in the last two financial years and even now the department was going to spend these funds without any planning in a hasty manner.

The state president alleged that postgraduate students were compelled to stay with first-year students, four students were compelled to stay in one room and proper furniture was also lacking. The standard of the hostels was deteriorating. Old buildings needed immediate renovation, especially at Amritsar Medical College a new hostel accommodation was needed. Rs 2 crore had already been collected per year from the students as hostel fees only. There was no separate accommodation for NRI students with modern facilities according to their living standard, although Rs 5 crore per year was being collected from NRI students.

Members of the associations said that Rs 3.25 crore per year had been collected from postgraduate MBBS students. But with this money no improvement had been done in medical education system of the state as per recommendation of the Medical Council of India. There was lack of equipment like endoscopic equipment and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging machines for the teaching programs). Libraries of the medical colleges were also lagging in up-to-date education standards.

The PCMS Association has urged the Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to intervene in the spending of these huge public funds and to direct for proper planning of these funds according to decision of the cabinet sub-committee.

The association demanded that funds raised for hostel facility should be spent for this purpose only and should be transferred to the PWD Department so that renovation of old buildings could be done and new hostel wings at all medical colleges could be constructed.

The association also demanded that Rs 3.25 crore of this year’s tuition fees and NRI fees should be spent to raise the teaching programme of medical education by purchasing new ultra-modern equipment and upgradation of libraries.



Rishneet adjudged best speaker
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 26
Students from various schools affiliated with the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) participated in an inter-school declamation contest held at GGN Public School, Civil Lines, here today.

Teams from 20 schools, each represented by two students from Classes XI and XII, participated in the contest. The students had to choose from ‘The belly is the vilest of beasts’, ‘Use of religious beliefs for terrorism’, ‘The greatest scandal waits on the greatest state’, ‘Unipolar war and peace’, ‘If you think you can, you can’, ‘Politics is a roaring business’, ‘Democracy is the worst form of government but no better form has been invented as yet’, ‘Globalisation in trade and the developing countries’ and ‘Circumstances are more powerful than man’.

Rishneet Singh from Guru Nanak Public School won the first prize, while Manraj from DAV Public School, BRS Nagar, was declared second and Jasmine Dhody from Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School, BRS Nagar, got the third prize. Consolation prizes were given to Jyotika from USPC Jain Senior Secondary School and Mukul Mohindra from Kundan Vidya Mandir. Overall trophy went to the team from BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar.

Ms Inderjeet Gill Vashisht, Principal, was the chief guest. Dr T.S. Anand from GGN Khalsa College and Ms Gurmeet Kaur were the judges.



Forum quashes PSEB demand
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 26
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has quashed a demand made by Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) for Rs 33,056 from Mr Randhir Sharma, a resident of Santokh Nagar, Shiv Puri. The forum has directed the PSEB to refund the amount deposited against the demand along with interest at the rate of 12 per cent per annum from the date of deposit till actual payment.

According to the complaint, Mr Randhir Sharma received a memo on August 30, 2000, from the PSEB demanding Rs 33,056 on account of theft of energy. The consumer stated before the forum that it was mentioned in the memo that meter coil was tampered with and it was running slow by 31.89 per cent. He approached the PSEB officials and asked for explanation they failed to do so, he said. Moreover, he was told that the demand was raised because the meter was running slower by 71.89 per cent, he further added.

Mr Sharma disclosed that due to non-payment of the amount, the power connection to his house was disconnected, which caused inconvenience to his family. He stated that the allegation of theft of power was baseless. He pointed out that he was not present at the time of checking of the meter in M.E. Laboratory as he was not called to join the checking, which was mandatory. He demanded the forum that the demand had been raised against the rules and was liable to be quashed.

The PSEB pleaded that during a door-to-door checking, the meter installed on the complainant’s house premises was checked and it was found that two seals on the meter had been tampered with. It maintained that the “standard heat load and stop watch method” for checking of the meter indicated that the meter was recording low consumption to the extent of 60 per cents. The meter, after proper sealing and packing was sent to the ME Laboratory for computerised checking to measure the accurate theft of power.

The forum held that the demand had been raised against the rules as the mandatory rules were not followed by the PSEB officials, and the demand was liable to be quashed. 



Music casts its spell on audience
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, November 26
The music of Maroon Town Band reflected a cocktail of Afro-Caribbean, and Asian influences. The band performed at Satluj Club last evening. The Ludhiana Sanskritki Samagam, an organisation that promotes performing arts, in association with the British Council had specially invited the band to Ludhiana. In its colourful costumes and amidst sparkling lights and beats, the band fascinated a large audience. The band played foot-tapping, music much to the delight of the audience.

The 10-piece band in its music revealed the melange of diverse ethnic back-grounds. Members from different backgrounds have formed the band hence displaying unity in diversity.

Its music was a combination of break beat, ska, rap, reggae and dud in a high-energy fusion. In addition to normal drums, trumpet played by Simon Finch and saxophone played by Jamie Anderson mesmerised the audience with delightful music.

The band has drawn its name from a small upland community in Jamaica, originally formed by the runaway slaves. The band started with Deaun German and a non-resident Indian, Rajan Datat, 15 years ago and no one remembers how other members joined. Earlier in a press meet Rajan said they had come to India to exchange ideas and music. He said, “Our aim of visiting India is two fold. We want to know about the contemporary music of India. The Indian effect has already crept into our music and our single ‘Sunset in Calcutta’ is reflection of this. At the same time we want Indians to get an insight into the British Contemporary culture.”

For the band, music is a way to exploring the world and for this reason they have been travelling India. Deaun German introduced Lenval Brown, Belinda James and Sandra James (vocalists), Martin Carling (drummer), Simon Finch (on trumpet), Jamie Anderson (saxophonist/ keyboard), Hee Young Choi (Bass Guitar) and Kerry Aldred (sound Engineer). The band played its unique music but it seemed the Ludhianivis were more interested in satiating their appetite and quenching their thirst. Sadly, only a low percentage of crowd seemed to have actually enjoyed the music as they danced to the tunes played by the band


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