Wednesday, May 15, 2002, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


City to have air analyser lab 
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, May 14
Responding to an initiative taken by the Municipal Corporation, the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) has agreed to establish a continuous air analyser laboratory for the measurements of sulphur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in the air in the mega city.

Giving more details, the MC Commissioner, Mr R.L. Kalsia, informed that the funds for this purpose would be provided to the PPCB by the Ministry of Environment and Forests. The laboratory would soon become functional as the civic body had already provided the requisite land near a foot overbridge at Vishkarma Chowk.

The PPCB, he added, had already arranged for the ambient air analysers for measurement of the quantity of particles of carbon dioxide, sulphur and nitrogen in the air, from the funds already received from the state government under a project for setting up of the regional laboratories. The other necessary apparatus for analysis of air contents was already in place at the regional office of the PPCB here.

Mr Kalsia claimed that Ludhiana would be the first city in the state and perhaps in the region to have this facility. With data on quality and contents of air being available on a regular basis, the residents of the Ludhiana could know the level of pollution in the air in the city at all hours of the day.

Further, to make the system secure and functional, the PPCB had set up the necessary infrastructure with the assistance of the Central Pollution Control Board.

The MC Commissioner said that in a bid to make the city ‘clean and green’, the Municipal Corporation had carried out an extensive plantation drive during the past one year. As a result, the alarming level of environmental pollution in the industrial hub of the state, to some extent, had been brought down.

However, this was a gigantic task and the civic body would seek all possible cooperation of the city population. He once again called upon the voluntary, non-government and social organisations of the city to come forward so that collective efforts could be put in to make the city ‘clean and green’.



Red Cross introduces international symbols 
Our Correspondent

The new professional symbols introduced by the National Red Cross Society as per international standards 

Ludhiana, May 14
In a bid to introduce uniformity in use of symbols used by medicos and para-medicos, the Red Cross has introduced professional symbols for medical professionals and various institutions as per international standards recently.

All Deputy Commissioners and presidents of the district Red Cross units have been issued certain guidelines regarding these symbols, based on the directive of the International Red Cross, the emblem of which is generally used by the medical fraternity. Mr S.P. Malik, Secretary, District Red Cross, said that the theme of World Red Cross Day this year was ‘Stop misuse of the Red Cross emblem’.

He said that the Red Cross emblem was being misused by government hospitals, dispensaries, clinics and blood banks, members of medical, dental and nursing associations, private pharmaceutical companies, their staff and products, private clinics, hospitals and nursing homes, traditional healers and herbal healers and organisations operating ambulance services.

Mr Malik said as per the guidelines, The Red Cross/Red Crescent Emblem was a neutral sign. It conferred protection to the Army Medical Services and members of the Red Cross/ Red Crescent Movement. It was not the emblem of medical profession and its use was regulated by international and national laws. The law regulating the use of the emblem in India was the Geneva Conventions Act 1960. Unauthorised use of the emblem in India was a punishable offence.

Mr Malik said president of district Red Cross, Mr Anurag Aggarwal, had already given directions to put banners displaying these new professional symbols in different areas in the city.

Mr Malik said that authorised users for this emblem were military medical services, their personnel, units, installations and means of transport, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the International Federation of Red Cross and the Red Crescent Societies, National Societies, first aid centers that offer totally medical assistance and were authorised by the national society.

Mr Malik said that the punishment for flouting the guidelines was a fine of Rs 500, besides the provision for forfeiture of the goods or vehicles on which the emblem was used without authorisation.



Parties told to abide by code of conduct 
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 14
The Additional Deputy Commissioner-cum-District Election Officer for municipal elections, Mr A.K. Sinha, has asked all candidates and the political parties to strictly abide by guidelines issued under model code of conduct during the coming civic poll to ensure free and fair elections.

Presiding over a meeting of the political parties and the candidates at Bachat Bhavan in Mini Secretariat yesterday, he said that the campaign convoy of any candidate must not comprise more than three vehicles and warned of stern action under the defacement of property Act for putting up posters and banners on government and private properties without permission.

He further directed that all candidates would seek permission from officers concerned for the use of public address system to be used for campaigning and would maintain an expenditure register on day-to-day basis. Mr Sinha said a copy each of all pamphlets and other propaganda material had to be submitted without fail to the Returning Officers concerned.

Elaborating the restrictions which would come in force on the polling day, Mr Sinha informed that no unauthorised person would be allowed to enter into an area within 100 metres around the polling booths and no vehicle would be permitted to be used by the candidates to carry the voters to the polling stations. The election propaganda would come to an end at 4 pm on May 17 and voting would be held on May 19 between 8 am and 4 pm. According to Mr Sinha, the counting of votes would commence immediately after close of polling at the respective polling booths.

Each candidate would be allowed to nominate one agent each for the polling and counting and the applications for this purpose could be submitted to the Returning Officers concerned, he added.



Young hearts under ‘siege’
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, May 14
The popular belief that one of the world’s largest killer diseases — heart attack — afflicts only the elderly, has been shattered by some recently reported incidents.

The gravity of the situation can be gauged from the fact that in the past 48 hours the patients admitted to a local heart research centre included a 23-year-old youth, a woman in her early thirties and a recently married woman, besides several others of varying age groups from among both males and females.

Dr R.P. Singh, a senior consultant cardiologist at the hospital, said there were many known factors for heart diseases. Some of the common risk factors that affect the heart were hypertension, family history, sedentary lifestyle, faulty diet, obesity, diabetes, stress and strain, smoking and alcohol intake.

“Earlier it was said that persons above 40 were more prone to coronary artery diseases (CAD), but now more and more patients below the age of 30 are coming to hospitals with various heart problems. In some of the cases the exact cause of heart attack is very difficult to ascertain,” said Dr R.P. Singh.

Surinder Kumar, a 23-year-old youth from Abohar, had suffered two massive heart attacks in the past four months. He consulted one of the doctors at Abohar who gave him some medicines. He was advised to get his angiography done. In the meantime, he went to Ganganagar for consultation. “Doctors told me that I was normal and there was no need to take medicines. I was happy and came back to Abohar,” said Surinder Kumar while talking to Ludhiana Tribune.

He stopped taking medicines and some time later he suffered another heart attack. He was referred to a city hospital and his angioplasty was done immediately. It was found that one of his arteries was 99 per cent blocked.

“He was a chain-smoker and had a high level of cholesterol. The risk of heart attack increases six times if the person is a smoker and has a high level of cholesterol,” said Dr Singh.

Dr Singh said recently a bypass surgery was performed on a newly married woman. “It is shocking that even women, who are said to be less prone to these diseases, are getting heart attacks at a very early age. One should avoid worry and fatigue. Balanced diet should be taken and intake of ghee, butter, oil, meat, cheese, carbonated drinks and sugar should be reduced. Control of diseases like obesity, hypertension, diabetes etc also lessens the risk of heart attack,” maintained Dr R.P. Singh.



Recovery of bombs causes panic
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 14
Tension prevails in Jaspal Bangran village and some colonies adjoining the Sidhwan Canal on the Ludhiana-Doraha Canal road since last night after three bombs were found lying on the dry river bed.

The bombs were noticed by some passers-by last evening, who raised an alarm. The residents informed the police late in the night. A team from the Shimla Puri police station cordoned off the area and put sand bags around the explosives.

Police sources said it could not be ascertained if the bombs were live or used ones. They said the Baddowal Ammunition Depot officials had been informed. Sources said a written request had also been made to the Army officials.

The city regularly witnesses such recoveries of bombs as these explosives come in scrap imported from the middle-east. A number of persons have lost their lives in explosions caused by such bombs in the past.

Meanwhile, the recovery of bombs this time is being viewed as quite an alarming development by the Irrigation Department officials. Earlier also, such bombs were found in the Sidhwan Canal, but it is for the first time that the bombs have been found so close to areas inhabited by people.




Nobody can ever contest the fact that martyrs and their widows have to be respected. But perhaps officials of the district administration do not believe in the same. At a function organised by Army officials to honour the war widows in the city on Monday, not even a single official of the administration was present despite the fact that they were invited by the Army officials. While the Army officials kept waiting for the “administrators” and delayed their function for half-an-hour for them, they only disappointed them. Although nobody expressed their disappointment openly at the same, the words of Brigadier P.S. Toor (retd), “Neither the people nor the government of this nation respects its martyrs, and a nation that does so, can’t survive for long”, came appropriately.

Rumour time

This is election time in Ludhiana. This time it is the election to the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation, where 499 candidates are trying their luck for 70 wards. During these days, rumour mongers are having a field day. It started with the Congress. As usual the Congress took a long time to bring out the list of candidates after many wranglings. Within a day rumours started that the party had decided to change its lists by dropping some of their candidates. Suspense continued for a few days and ultimately it was on the last day that of the 70, only one candidate was changed. During the same time it was rumoured that the elections had been postponed and people made frentic calls to each other and more so to the newspaper offices to inquire if the news was true. And only on Monday evening, the leader of a political party declared at a press conference that the Punjab and High Court had stayed the elections. Later it was found that the court had only issued notices to the government. While five more days are still left for the elections, there may be other types of rumours again.

‘Best’ qualification

Criminals abound in all political parties. They are no longer exclusive to any single political party. Recently, during the ticket distribution function of a political party as the name of candidate was being announced, somebody shouted in protest that a particular candidates allotted the ticket was a “police tout”. He was instantly snubbed to silence by some ardent supporter of the party, who argued that there was nothing unusual in being in that party and also being a "police tout". Some other party activist joined the argument in his support, pointing out, "at least he is not a criminal".

Pleasant surprise

The mediapersons covering PAU beat were taken for a surprise last week when they were offered paneer pakoras and barfi, besides biscuits at a press conference recently addressed by the Vice-Chancellor on the campus. The reason was that the PAU authorities had recently issued guidelines to their staff not to offer mineral water and snacks to any guests except foreigners. The move was aimed at saving funds as the university is facing a severe financial crunch. The mediapersons were witnessed whispering to each other that the university had bent the rules for the scribes.

PCR nuisance

The Police Control room(PCR) motorcycle squad of the local police may be proving effective in controlling crime, but the residents of several colonies, especially Sarabha Nagar, BRS Nagar, Kitchlu Nagar and other areas are unhappy at the squad. They lament that the cops riding on these ‘westernised’ bikes play a large hooter while negotiating turns or curves on the road in the dead of the night. Their act wakes up the residents with a start as the sound is quite alarming. The residents feel that patrolling is OK, but some thought should be given to the noise pollution created by the PCR cops.

Heat wave

The spell of the blistering heat wave has irritated the Ludhianvis. They are doing all possible things to protect themselves from the cruel weather. But seemingly the most prudent are the beauties of the city who don't want to expose an inch of their skin to the sun. It is a common scene to witness young girls covering their faces and arms with dupattas and gloves, respectively. Perhaps they do not know that the gloves available in the market are made of nylon, a fabric that harms the skin instead of protecting it. (See picture)

Fashion farce

Fashion shows seem to have become a monotonous routine in Ludhiana. These shows have nothing in them except the semi-nude models made to sashay the ramp. And one wonders what people get out of it except for the voyeuristic pleasure. Otherwise the outfits displayed at these shows can seldom be used by people. Recently a similar show was organised at the redesigned Megha Resorts on the Ferozepore road. Hundreds of people travelled to Megha Resorts only to return disappointed in the scorching heat. There was not even a proper ramp so that the models could sashay and display their outfits (only if they could be described like that). And there was no mention of the person who had designed these outfits and the purpose for which these 'outfits' were designed. However, there was one consolation with the Megha Resorts, which started functioning after being demolished last year, presenting a more beautiful look in the starlit night as it had been designed and decorated aesthetically and artistically.

Just a minute

'Just a minute' is a common refrain when one wants to seek any information from a bank or some other computer institution or an MNC. The person after listening to your question would say ‘Just a minute’. You are passed to another person and you repeat the question again to be told ‘Just a minute’. This drama is enacted 4-5 times and finally you think that you would have reached the right person to give that information but ultimately you are told that he is not in his seat or nobody knows when he/she is going to return. Just a minute can take 5-10 minutes of one's time to get a little information if one is lucky.

Election fever

The elections do create such a frenzy that people forget the heat , dust, flies and everything. Inspite of the city sizzling due to high temperatures, the candidate in the fray for municipal elections with red ‘chunni with gota’ and garlands around the neck, with red face can be seen with their supporters dripping sweat, yet shouting slogans at the top of their voices, roaming in the open jeeps. Just a look at them makes one wonder that power is perhaps the biggest intoxicant that makes one forget even extreme heat.

Tail piece

Written on the back of a car, ‘‘I am not driving fast, I am flying a bit low."




Showers bring cheer, relief
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 14
The city experienced heavy showers this evening, which brought a much needed respite to the residents who have been scorching due to the heat wave persisting in the region for past many days.

In the city, the temperature had crossed 45°C making it the hottest in the state. The rain brought cheers for the residents.

The clouds had been gathering in the sky since this afternoon. Residents came out of their houses to enjoy the showers.

Small children were seen playing, splashing in puddles in their houses and streets. The commuters were seen moving on the roads with umbrellas and wearing rain coats. The rain water had collected on the roadside and under the Damoria Bridge.

The farmers were happy as the showers would soften the earth and would help those who were yet to cultivate paddy. 



PSEB employees to go on strike tomorrow
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 14
The Punjab State Electricity Board Employees Federation has decided to go on one-day strike on May 16. According to a press release issued here today, the notice in this regard has already been given to the authorities concerned.

The general secretary of the federation, Mr Tejinder Singh Mohi, said, “Despite repeated efforts of the board employees, their due has not been given to them. The higher authorities always assured but nothing substantial has been done so far.” 



New twist to elopement case
Girl alleges rape, abduction
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 14
The alleged elopement case of a couple from Nangal Khurd village has taken a new turn as the girl involved in the case has stated before the police and a Judge in a Jagraon court that she did not elope but was lured by the accused, abducted and raped for some weeks at Mumbai, where she was allegedly taken.

On the basis of the statement of the girl, who is adult, the Sudhar Police has registered a case under Sections 366, 376 and 36 IPC against the accused Dharam Singh. The accused has been remanded in police custody for two days.

This surprising twist in the case came three weeks after the couple eloped from the village. The case was highlighted as the Sudhar and Jodhan police allegedly picked up and illegally detained some villagers accusing them of being involved in the case. The police had later released all persons but had registered a case against a youth Piara Singh, alias Gunny.



Bag snatcher nabbed, rescued
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 14
A boy, in his early teens, was nabbed this morning in front of the Calibre Plaza market, opposite Bhadaur House, while he was trying to flee after snatching a bag from a cloth merchant.

According to information, the cloth merchant has just come to the market at 11 am, when the boy grabbed the bag and tried to flee. Some other traders who were present there caught the boy and started beating him up. At this, a large number of the boy’s supporters rescued the boy on the plea that instead of beating, the boy should be handed over to the police. But by the time this report was filed no such report had been lodged with the police.

Nine persons booked: Nine persons have been booked by the police on the charge of parking their vehicles on the road and thereby obstructing traffic.

The Kotwali police arrested an autorickshaw driver, Jitender Singh, a resident of Jamalpur, on the charge of parking his vehicle on the road in such a way that traffic got obstructed.

The Division No 4 police arrested Dinesh Kumar, a resident of Shiv Puri road area, Shankar, a resident of Chhawni Mohalla, Vinod Kumar and Lal Babu, residents of Shiv Puri, Ajay Verma, a resident of Chhawni Mohalla, on a similar charge. In another case, the Division No 8 police arrested Mohammad Imam, a resident of Malerkotla, Pawan Kumar, a resident of New Sant Nagar, and Lalu Kumar on the charge of parking their ‘rehris’ in an illegal manner.

The accused have been booked under Section 283 of the IPC.



One booked for burning wheat stubble
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 14
The Sadar police today booked a farmer of Aiyali Kalan for burning wheat stubble in the fields near the Baddowal Ammunition Depot two days ago.

A case has been registered on a complaint filed by Major A. Benipal of the ammunition depot. The farmer, Ajmer Singh, has been booked under Section 336 of the IPC for doing an act which endangers lives or property of others. According to Mr Benipal, such an act of the farmer also posed a threat to the depot as it was situated at a short distance from the fields.


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