Thursday, May 23, 2002, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


New ‘drug’ to control suicide among farmers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 22
Committing suicides by consuming Celphos tablets will be a thing of the past since the manufacturer has incorporated certain changes in the composition of the formulation aimed at reducing the incidence of suicides.

It may be recalled that the state had witnessed a spate of suicides by debt-ridden farmers, who found the small tube containing the pills within reach and saw it as an easy and effective way to end their life causing untold misery for their families.

These instances snowballed into a major political issue. Celphos is readily available to the farmers from pesticide agents besides, outlets of the various storage agencies of the state for effectively controlling storage pests.

The product was unveiled here today by the Director, Agriculture, Dr Kesar Singh Panag. Talking about the improved version, Quickphos, Mr K. R. Srivastava, CEO, UFL, said the changes did not affect the freshness and quality of the foodgrains and the fumigant — insecticide tablet would be available across the counter across the state by next week.

In view of its misuse, the company took it upon itself to improve the product so that it could not be used other than for the purpose it was being marketed.

The major change brought about is adding Bitrin to the fumigant which acts as a swallowguard and induces severe vomiting the moment the tablet is placed in the mouth for swallowing.

In the previous version, the survival rate of the person who had consumed the tablet was quite low since the compound became gaseous the moment it came into contact with moisture. However, the storage agencies like the Food Corporation of Indian would continue to get the old formulation since there was little scope for misuse, he added.

The second change pertains to reducing the concentration of the tablet — Aluminum phosphide — from 56 per cent to just 15 per cent. In addition to this, the size and weight of the tablet, too, has been increased from 3 gm to 12 gm making it hard to swallow, he added.

Representatives said it was seen that the farmers were exposed to the after effects of the insecticide after opening the packing, but now they would be able to handle it for a longer period since the tablets would become gaseous after half an hour.

One tablet would be enough for storing 250 kg of foodgrains.

They, however, warned that certain precautions needed to be taken which include keeping it out of the reach of children, washing hands after use and keeping the containers in which the tablets had been placed away from residential quarters.



MC steps to improve city’s sanitation
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, May 22
With the projects for solid waste management and biomedical waste disposal already nearing completion, the Municipal Corporation has contemplated several measures to bring about a qualitative improvement in the level of sanitation in the city localities as also to effectively curb the menace of stray cattle in the mega city.

Outlining the comprehensive plan to achieve this objective, the MC Commissioner, Mr R.L. Kalsia, told Ludhiana Tribune that nearly 60 per cent of the problems related to health and environment could be attributed to lack of sanitation and cleanliness. Therefore, emphasis had to be laid on collection, segregation, transportation and management of almost 1100 tonnes of garbage, being produced every day in the city.

He said in a meeting of senior MC officials, Zonal Commissioners and the Chief Sanitary Inspectors, held earlier this week, it was decided to launch a campaign to educate the masses on health and sanitation and further to have bigger public participation to attain the goal of making the city ‘clean and green.’

Among various measures to be taken to improve the sanitation level, Mr Kalsia added, were spot visits of different localities by Zonal Commissioners and submission of weekly inspection reports. Further, to have larger participation and involvement of the residents, messages would be announced through public address system and hand bills would be distributed to motivate the people to keep their surroundings clean.

The MC Commissioner expressed the resolve of the civic administration to effectively curb the prevalent practice of throwing garbage in front of the houses and shops and to deal firmly with littering to the extent that penal clauses of the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act, 1976, might also be invoked against offenders. “We shall make sure that the garbage is deposited by all residents at the collection point or nearest containers site from where it will be transported to the garbage dump after segregation”.

The Zonal Commissioners were directed to make sure that garbage collection points and container sites were kept clean and on need basis, more sites for placement of containers be identified by the end of this month. Mr Kalsia informed that the MC had accorded approval for purchase of the machinery worth Rs 3 crore and the required items like dumper placer, containers and wheel barrows were being purchased immediately.

According to Mr Kalsia, the MC was making an elaborate plan to organise city-level and zone-level seminars with active participation of social and voluntary organisations, area councillors, school and college students and women organisations to mobilise awareness about the need for cleanliness and to give momentum to the drive for making the city clean and green. “The gigantic task of improving the sanitation level of the city cannot be accomplished without complete support and participation of the city population,” he observed.

Meanwhile, to deal with the menace of stray dogs and other animals like pigs, the civic body would provide about 1.5 acre land in Jamalpur area where a cattle pond and a pig pen would be set up. Giving details, Mr Kalsia said while the civic body was responsive to the demand of the people to rid the city localities of stray dogs and other stray cattle, it was also under obligation to follow the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, and the Animal Birth Control Rules, 2001, promulgated by the Union Government.

He said the MC would make available one van and trained dog catchers to clear the city localities of stray dogs. Besides, the civic body would ensure adequate supplies of anti-rabies vaccine to treat the cases of dog bites.

In accordance with the provisions of Animal Birth Control Rules, 2001, a monitoring committee had been set up for census of dogs and to chalk out the modalities for dealing with stray dogs shifted to cattle pond. The committee would comprise representatives from the Animal Husbandry Department, Health Department, civic body and NGO’s with the MC Additional Commissioner, Mr S.K. Sharma, being its nodal officer.


Martyr cremated with honours
Our Correspondent

 Lance Naik Balbir Singh
Lance Naik Balbir Singh

Ahmedgarh, May 22
Mortal remains of Lance Naik Balbir Singh, who laid down his life for the nation at Palan Wala sector of Akhnoor during cross-border shelling on Monday evening, were consigned to flames by his 10-year-old son, Devinder, at Maksudra village, near here. Constables of the Punjab Police reversed their arms in martyr’s honour. They also and fired shots in his honour.

Among the slogans of ‘Balbir Singh zindabad,’ ‘Bharat Mata ki jai’ and ‘Pakistan murdabad,’ Mr Mukhtiar Singh, martyr’s father, narrated the story of his family which has lost two sons and one daughter. His only surviving son, Sikander Singh, is presently posted in the Dera Baba Nanak Unit of the Sikh Regiment. Mother of Balbir Singh has also expired and now Mukhtiar Singh looks after the families and widows of his two sons. Feeling proud of his son’s sacrifice, he tries his best to conceal tears rolling down his cheeks.

Unable to understand even the meaning of death, Devinder, the innocent son of the martyr, says he will finish the enemy with the toy gun that his father had bought him during his last vacation. The widow of the martyr, Gurmit, is still in shock. Mr Sikander Singh, recollects that his brother had said to him in March this year that it was a co-incident that both of them had come for vacation simultaneously and had met, otherwise, God knows if they would be able to meet again or not.”

Narrating his last meeting with Balbir, Mr Jagmeet Singh, one of his friends, says Balbir was not afraid of death and he always said that he would die only after killing a couple of enemies at the LoC.

The Deputy Director, Sainik Board, Ludhiana, Wg Cdr M.S. Randhawa, said Balbir Singh was injured by splinters of NB shells fired from Pakistan side on May 20. His family would receive Rs 7 lakhs relief, besides his widow would be given a job, he said.

Wreaths were presented on behalf of A.C. Western Command, HQ 11 Company Commander, Co 152 INF, Station Commander, Ludhiana, 103 Infantry Sikh Battalion and 45 AD Regiment. Mr Tej Partap Singh Transport Minister, was among others who attended the funeral.


BJP leader asks MC to execute projects
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 22
Bharatiya Janata Party vice-president Pran Bhatia, Group Leader of the BJP councillors in the present House, who lost the civic election from Ward No 58 to a Congress candidate, has urged the Municipal Corporation authorities to execute the development works related to Ward Nos 57 and 56, which already stood approved and tenders were also called for the same.

Mr Bhatia, an outgoing councillor from Ward 59, had to shift to adjoining Ward No 58 after the rotation was given effect and his ward had become reserved for women. In a statement, he said the works like widening of the gaushala-cremation ground bridge at a cost of Rs 33 lakh, laying of sewer pipes in New Shivaji Nagar Nulla Road at a cost of Rs 11 lakh, Rs 23 lakh project for storm water drainage in Hargobind Nagar and surfacing of Hargobind Nagar Road were hanging fire for quite some time now which had given an opportunity to the opposition parties to carry on malicious and political motivated propaganda.

He has also demanded that a new tubewell being installed in Ganesh Nagar to cater to the demand of Har Kartar Colony should also be commissioned without any further delay so that the water scarcity in these localities should be overcome.

Meanwhile, the district unit of the Youth Akali Dal (Badal) has congratulated the voters of the city for a peaceful and impartial civic election. A meeting, presided over by Mr Kirpal Singh Arora, fervently asked the party councillors to work in a dedicated manner to bring about improvement in basic amenities, the sanitation level and maintenance of parks in their respective wards.

Mrs Kuldip Kaur, SAD-BJP candidate from Ward No 14, while alleging that the official machinery had indulged in irregularities in declaring the result from her ward in favour of another Independent candidate, Mrs Baljit Kaur, has asked the state election Commissioner to order a high-level inquiry. She said in the evening she was announced a winner by a margin of 150 votes and the news was even telecast on the local TV, Channel but in the morning, the result went in favour of another independent candidate. She alleged that an activist of the SAD-B Mr Pal Singh Grewal, had openly supported the candidature of her opponent and had been instrumental in influencing the official machinery in her favour.


MC employees resent President’s behaviour
D. B. Chopra

Ludhiana, May 22
Resentment is brewing among employees of the Ahmedgarh Municipal Council against the impropriety being currently committed by the President of the civic body by holding his daily darbar in the office of the Executive Officer (EO) against all established norms and protocol.

When the Town Hall , which houses the various offices of the civic body, was constructed about three decades ago, a big room was furnished with a huge table, several chairs and a carpet as well to serve as the office of the President.

Previous presidents namely Mr Nau Bahar Kaushal and Mr Rajneesh Sharma have been making use of the office to hold their darbars.

But these days, the office of the president, with a nameplate duly installed at the entrance, is serving only as a resting place by peons and other miscellaneous staff of the civic body for the simple reason that the current president prefers to sit in the EO’s chair in the absence of the officer. A piquant situation arose yesterday when the EO, who joined duty about a week ago, was made to cool his heels on a sofa in his own office before the president, who was occupying the officer’s chair, was told to vacate the chair. But even then, the president did not head for his own office but kept sitting on a single sofa chair within the EO’s office.

Among those who witnessed the drama included staff of the civic body and a couple of senior citizens. While the president said he was within his rights and was committing no impropriety, the EO refused to comment However, a few employees of the civic body expressed resentment against the behaviour of the president.



LDA councillors felicitated
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 22
All the newly elected councillors of the Ludhiana Democratic Alliance were today felicitated at a function organised in their honour. Senior leaders of the Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal (SHSAD), including, Mr Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal, Mr Hira Singh Gabria, Mr Surjan Singh Thekedar and Mr Bikramjit Singh Khalsa, were present on the occasion.

The SHSAD leaders congratulated the newly elected councillors and thanked the people for their cooperation and support in helping them to win. They exhorted upon the councillors to ensure that they come up to the expectations of the people.

Later talking to mediapersons, Mr Grewal claimed that the performance of the LDA candidates would have been much better and they would have won more seats had the Congress not misused the official machinery. He said there were several instances when the officials turned a blind eye to the complaints of the LDA candidates. Mr Grewal expressed gratitude to the people.


‘Inspiration Day’ observed
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 22
Tributes were paid to Rajiv Gandhi, a former Prime Minister on his 11th death anniversary by the Punjab Pradesh Fighters’ Successors’ Organisation (PPFFSO) here on Tuesday. The organisation observed the day as ‘Inspiration Day’.


Booked for driving wife to suicide
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 22
The Jodhewal police has booked Surbir Singh, a resident of Chanderlok Colony, under Section 306 of the IPC for allegedly driving his wife to suicide who set herself afire and succumbed to the burns in the CMC Hospital later.

The brother of the deceased, Rajpal, a resident of Gurnam Nagar on the Jassian road, has complained that the accused used to beat her up and humiliate his sister, Kamaljit Kaur, as a result of which she took the extreme step on Monday.

Cases of beating

The Division No. 3 police has registered a case under Sections 452, 506,341, 323 and 34 of the IPC on the statement of Ms Manju Bala, a resident of Mehmoodpura, against Kalu and Bablu. The complainant alleged that the accused had forced their way into her house, beat her up and also threatened her.

The police of the same division registered another case of beating under Sections 452,506,323 and 34 of the IPC on the complaint of Mr Jaswinder Singh, a resident of Khud mohalla , and some other residents of the area, against Manju and her husband, Ashok Kumar, both residents of Mehmoodpura. Mr Jaswinder Singh alleged that the accused had entered his house on Monday, beat him up and threatened him of dire consequences.

On the statement of Mr Virender Kumar, a resident of Chander Nagar, the Salem Tabri police has registered a case under Sections 341,323,506,148 and 149 of the IPC against Ashok Kumar, a resident of Friends Colony, Mohinder Pal, Virender Kumar, Gurdev Singh and Prem Singh. The complainant alleged that the accused had intercepted him on the road and beat him up.

Case registered

The Sarabha Nagar police has registered a case under Section 436 of the IPC on the statement of Ms Manjit Kaur, a resident of Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, against Avtar Singh, a resident of the same locality. The woman alleged that the accused had burnt down the door of her house on Monday.


Seminar for industrialists
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 22
The Institute of Design and Solutions has launched a programme on educating and helping the Ludhiana industry.

Dr A. P. Singh, Division Manager, Institute of Design and Solutions in a press statement said that a seminar on ‘Product Development’ through CAD-CAM-CAE was conducted at Model Town yesterday. “Computer aided designing, manufacturing and engineering is not a very old concept and a good number of industrialists and manufacturers have not been able to use and explore the benefits of these in a move to help and revolutionalise the concept of mechanical design and development of small-scale and medium-level industries”, said Mr Singh.

The seminar was attended by industrialists and their representatives from small and medium scale industries.


Computerised PNB centre at Machhiwara
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 22
A fully computerised extension counter of Punjab National Bank was opened at Miri Piri Public School, Machhiwara on Wednesday. The extension counter is attached with base branch, Panjgrain.

Mr P.N. Khurana, General Manager, Punjab zone who was the chief guest on the occasion said in his inaugural address that the opening of this extension counter will help offer more banking facilities to teachers, students and to the rural public at large. Mr Khurana further said that the Punjab zone had 484 branches and 50 extension counters in Punjab, which is the highest among all the commercial banks. In total business of PNB in the state of Punjab is at a level of Rs 18,500 crore.

He added that in the state of Punjab, PNB is number one in the total branches, rural branches, aggregate deposits, total advances, priority sector advances, retail trade advances, weaker sector and DRI advances. PNB is also convener of state-level banker committee, which decides on matters concerning banking needs of people in the state.


Discount on books

Chandigarh, May 22
Nacromancer Marketing Services is offering a discount between 50 per cent and 70 per cent on Oxford Webstar books. The company is offering dictionaries, thesaurus, story books and other books in various fields by Oxford Webstar. Mr Deepak Kaul, Director of the company said here on Sunday, the company was also into marketing of healthcare products. TNS

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