Wednesday, November 13, 2002, Chandigarh, India

L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Case against trespasser 
Administration to act tough
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 12
After demolishing certain recent constructions in various colonies of Kulliewal village despite the ban, the administration has decided to act tough on the trespassers and has started taking criminal action against them.

In a midnight swoop last night the local police registered a case of criminal trespass against a resident under Section 447, IPC. The trespasser, Sonu, a resident of New Puneet Nagar, was getting a tubewell dug in a piece of land and was tilling the land also.

The case was registered following the directions of Ms Bhawna Garg, SDM who had passed an order on October 28 directing the police to register criminal cases against the violators of the orders. Sonu was caught red handed by a Patwari, Mr Satish Kumar, who , after receiving an information reached the spot at night.

The administration is also keeping a tab in the area in order to discourage people to construct new structures. A team of officials visited the spot today also and took pictures of the construction material lying on the roads and fresh constructions. An official said that the pictures would be submitted to the SDM as an evidence of the construction going on at the place.

Meanwhile, some residents of Baba Jiwan Singh Nagar and New Puneet Nagar today alleged that some persons who had sold the land to them visited them and made them forcibly sign on blank stamp papers. The residents named a sarpanch of a nearby village and alleged that he had come along with some musclemen in the morning and forced them to sign on the papers.

The residents said that the matter of the legal papers was not even disclosed to them and who-so-ever tried to decline to sign was threatened of dire consequences. Some residents were even given a thrashing by his musclemen. They said that they were too scared to go to the police against the persons.

The demolition drive earlier scheduled for November 9 was postponed by the administration due to pre-occupation of local police for security duty in SGPC elections. With the elections over today the officials could swing into action.

Sources said that even as some persons were already cooling their heels in various jails for their connivance in this 100-acre scandal and soon more culprits would be identified. Sources further said that some government employees were also certain to face the action for their alleged involvement in the scam.

The employees had already been identified but their names had not been disclosed in order to nab more people who could go underground after getting a wind of the crackdown.

Meanwhile, the residents of the area were having sleepless nights as no officials was ready to come on record about the fate of these houses that were constructed years ago.

Even as the officials maintained that the decision would be taken at the government level, sources in the department said that in all possibility all these alleged encroachments would be regularised.



Dairy owners refuse to budge
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, November 12
Despite preliminary work for the shifting of over 500 dairies, located in thickly populated residential localities of the city, having been completed and the municipal corporation making it clear that dairies will have to shift to an alternate site earmarked for the purpose, the dairy owners are proving to be a tough nut to crack. As a result, residents of more than 12 colonies in the area continue to suffer with cattle belonging to the dairy owners making their life miserable.

The residents complained that they were made to live in un-hygienic conditions with cattle dung scattered all over, choked sewers and drains and unbearable stench emanating from heaps of fodder and garbage. Not that the MC is oblivious to the misery of the residents but steps taken so far to shift the dairies had borne no fruit till now.

Having suffered for a number of years, the aggrieved residents had now decided to seek justice and take up the matter with the authorities concerned.

Maintaining that dairies in residential areas was a violation of civic rights, Mr Raghbir Singh, a resident of Guru Arjun Dev Nagar, had lodged a complaint with the Punjab Human Rights Commission on behalf of the residents of the affected colonies.

The petition, seeking a direction to the MC for immediate shifting of dairies from the residential colonies in the city, was pending before the PHRC and next date of hearing had been fixed for January 30, 2003.

According to MC sources, a preliminary survey had revealed that about 500 dairy units were functional in colonies, including Guru Arjan Dev Nagar, Jagdish Pura, Kailash Nagar, Subhash Nagar, Salem Tabri, Issa Nagri, Chander Nagar, New Chander Nagar and Asha Puri.

Subsequently orders were issued under Section 343 (1) (c) of the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act 1976, declaring these areas as “no cattle zone”, which were published in the Punjab Government gazette on October 23, 2001.

The MC Commissioner, Mr S.K. Sharma, told Ludhiana Tribune that the civic body was aware of the matter and a piece of land had been earmarked in the Jamalpur area for development of a dairy complex.

Earlier, it had been decided to sell plots in an open auction but following protests by dairy owners, these would be allotted to eligible dairy owners at a price of Rs 1200 per square yards, including development charges.

However, the dairy owners were reluctant to shift even after the MC relented to their demand of allotting the plots at liberal terms of payment.

Despite a series of meetings between the dairy owners and MC officials, the allotment of plots had not begun as the allottees were not making payments.

At the last hearing of the complaint before the PHRC, an MC official said that the dairy owners had not deposited any money so far against the price of plots as they were pleading for a reduction in the price of land.

The MC Commissioner said the civic body would not shirk from its responsibility of providing basic civic amenities to the residents of the area.

“We have given a long rope to the dairy owners and if they do not shift to the proposed dairy complex, we will get tough and invoke penal clauses of the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act 1976.”



Offices to change for the physically challenged
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 12
The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Anurag Aggarwal, has directed heads of all district departments to install facilities for the physically challenged in their offices. The installations should be according to the Disabilities Act of 1995, so that, the physically challenged could feel comfortable visiting public places. These directions were issued at a special meeting of a district-level committee here today convened by the DC.

The DC told officials engaged in constructing buildings to strictly abide by the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court and make inclines and separate toilets for the physically challenged. He stressed the need for building inclines in old government buildings and private complexes witnessing rush of visitors everyday.

He praised some voluntary organisations like the Bharat Vikas Parishad, Ashirwad and Ek Prayas and said more social organisations should be mobilised to extend proper help to the physically challenged. Regarding the backlog in recruitment in government offices, the DC said it would be cleared at the earnest and a three per cent quota for the physically challenged would be ensured in this. The DC told the District Health Authority to conduct medical check-up of the physically challenged once a week in Civil Hospitals of Khanna, Jagraon and Samrala to issue them with certificates of disability.

Mr Aggarwal to the Civil Surgeon to hold camps for the physically challenged. Regarding the problem of the admission of physically challenged children in schools here, he said all schools would be asked to accommodate some number of such children.

The committee also decided to review the progress on the implementation of all guidelines of the High Court. The DC said, to identify students with low vision, eyesight-testing charts and the other equipment would be given by the District Red Cross Society to all schools on rotation basis. Teachers would identify case to be referred to eye specialists. The District Red Cross Society had already identified more than 4,000 persons who would be provided with artificial limbs, hearing aids and tricycles free of cost.

The others who attended the meeting included Mr Kuldip Singh Brar, Social Security Officer; Mr M.S. Grewal, DDPO; Mr V.K. Sharma, Registrar of the PAU; Mr Harbans Singh, GM of the DIC; and Mr S.P. Malik, Secretary Red Cross.



‘Insurance is necessity, not luxury’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 12
The Ludhiana Management Association (LMA) organised a seminar on ‘Changing Trends in Insurance and Claims Management’ in association with ICICI Lombard General Insurance. Lombard is one of the oldest property and casualty insurance companies in Canada.

Mr Sandeep Bakshi, Managing Director of ICICI Lombard General Insurance, said insurance had always been a necessity and an essential aspect of everyday life, from business to automobiles, health to home and life to travel. “Policyholder has a right to efficient service. For any unpredictable contingency, a suitable insurance cover should be available and every bona-fide claimant should go fully satisfied with prompt, efficient, and sympathetic services given to him. New guidelines have been given to agents, surveyors and brokers to protect policyholders’ interest,” Mr Bakshi said.

Mr R. Rangarajan, insurance consultant at ICICI Lombard, talked about the future of general insurance. His presentation covered all important happenings in the field of insurance, from the pre-1973 period to the days of nationalisation (1973-2000) and the age of reforms post 2000.

“In the pre-1973 era, development of the general-insurance industry was so so. Two public-sector firms, 63 private-sector domestic companies and 44 foreign insurance companies had their branches all over. Products were limited in number and were client-related, city-oriented, catering mainly to the needs of organised trade and industry. Major portfolio was fire insurance, followed by marine and motor insurance,” Mr Rangarajan said.

In his talk on the objectives of nationalisation, he said it was aimed at making general insurance meaningful to the common man and persons in the remotest corners of the country. “This period saw Indian business gaining its rightful position in the country’s economy. There was an unparalleled expansion of the industry network, besides the introduction of diverse insurance schemes for different sectors of society. Industrial-risks policy was extended to large industries and policies were introduced to cover all contingencies like breakdown, business interruption, project risks, public and product liability and professional indemnity. Accident and health covers for employees were also introduced,” he said.

Mr Rajiv Thapar, Managing Director of Cunningham Lindsey Ltd, Indian arm of Cunningham Lindsey Worldwide, talked about various aspects of fire-claims management and risks covered in an insurance policy.

He talked about pitfalls and the ways of avoiding these in judging claims. Obligations and rights of the insured were also covered in the talk. “There should be timely and fair settlement of admissible claims to the mutual satisfaction of all parties,” Mr Thapar said.

Earlier, introducing the subject, Mr V.K. Goyal, General Secretary of the LMA, said: “Insurance dates back to the times of ancient Egypt. In 3000 BC, Chinese merchants dispersed their shipments among several vessels to reduce the possibility of damage or loss. In today’s risk-prone society, it is impossible to anticipate the types of risk that may confront your business,” he said. He mentioned the case of the World Trade Center twin towers destroyed in a terrorist attack; the loss was a whopping $ 40 billion. What would have happened to all persons linked to the WTO who did not have insurance against terrorist attacks.”

Mr Rajinder Gupta, president of the LMA, said people still considered insurance a luxury, but it was a necessity for every successful business, small or big. Mr Manjeet Singh, senior vice-president of the LMA, talked about various aspects of general insurance.

About 400 industrialists, entrepreneurs, senior professionals, management executives, intellectuals and senior officials of banks and insurance companies attended the programme.



‘Acceptability of rice bran oil set to rise’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 12
Rice bran oil (RBO) will soon gain wider acceptability in the country. It is being used in Japan for over 50 years and is already being experimented across the world, particularly in America, for its health-friendly qualities.

This observation was made by various speaker at a workshop organised by the Solvent Extractors’ Association of India (SEAI) here today. The workshop was organised for popularising the use of RBO. The speakers said there was a massive scope of RBO production in India, more so in Punjab, one of the largest rice-producing states in the country.

According to Mr A.R. Sharma, north zone chairman of the SEAI, refined RBO is being produced and consumed as a cooking oil in Japan for over 50 years. Because of its ideal fatty profile and cholesterol balancing properties, it is more popularly known as ‘heart oil’ in Japan and has already acquired the status of ‘health food’ with Americans. Mr Sharma said it was a very good deep-frying medium.

“In India, particularly in Punjab, it will be doubly beneficial. Besides being health friendly, the production of RBO will encourage value addition in paddy processing also. All over the world large number of nutraceutical and biochemicals are being produced from the derivatives of paddy. The production of these value-added products alone can improve realisation to the paddy growers by at least Rs 200 per quintal,” he said.




THE winter seems to have heralded its arrival with an overcast sky and relatively low temperature prompting people to bring out their woollens and sweaters. And of course there was nothing unexpected about it. However, it could not have come at a more opportune time when the political tempers were already running too high in the backdrop of SGPC elections. With considerable interest and even apprehensions and anxiety about the developments owing to the confrontation between two rival Akali groups, people remained glued to their television sets and the cool and cloudy weather gave them the added reason. And there was another bonus. The blazing batting by the Indian batsmen in reply to West Indians massive ton of 300 added to the charm of the winter, which has already arrived.

Blue turban or trouble?

Blue turbans, the most commonly wore turbans in Punjab, suddenly went missing in the city during the last few days when the Akali workers were being put behind the bars by the police. Not even a single person was witnessed on the city roads wearing a blue turban. Even certain journalists, known for manning this particular coloured turbans during most of the days in a week, preferred staying away from what was known to invite trouble. When asked, a journalist replied with a grin: “I don’t want to invite the ire of policemen. Who will give me time to tell them that I am not an Akali but a pressman?”

Tombola news

A press in charge of a local ladies club shook a newsman out of deep slumber early in the morning to invite press coverage for a important function in late morning. The newsman in half sleep asked what the function was. The response was enough to wake up the journalist completely. The polite lady caller said: ‘‘ Well, the function is important and we need media coverage. We are organising tombola, you know!’’. The dazed newsman asked if there was anything else. ‘‘Oh yes, we have to give Divali gifts to our members also”, was the reply.

Cops’ dilemma

Policemen in the city found themselves bitterly sandwiched in the battle for political upmanship between the Akalis and the Congress. While the state government’s verbal directions wanted cops to nab as many as possible pro-Badal Akali workers, lower rung cops felt the heat. Several of them bypassed the orders saying that the wanted Akalis were not in their house or, simply, that there was no important Akali person in their area. The rider was that the cops feared the action feeling that the Akalis may turn the heat on them once they come bak to power. One cop confided, ‘‘ Ranjish rakhde hain jee ’’

Excellent work

In the recently concluded PU Zonal Youth Festival at Ramgarhia College for Girls, the role of NCC cadets of the college has to be lauded. The girls dressed smartly in their uniforms were posted at strategic places. They performed their duties during the four-day festival with great diligence and smartness. They were able to direct the guests and participants to right places. A great deal of bon-homie prevailed among the different teams, thanks to other student council members who could be seen on their toes.

Confusion confounded

Bhaiwalan Chowk , a busy place with a big shopping complex and a National Highway running through it, has non-functional traffic lights. If the traffic policeman is directing the traffic, then the traffic flows smoothly. But many a time, he is not there. Then it is free for all. Total chaos prevails, specially during rush hours. In the dusk the policeman, if there, is hardly visible as there is no light in the umbrella over his head. One can barely see him and it is difficult to comprehend his signals in the dark. It is of utmost importance that traffic signals should start functioning immediately to avoid fatal accidents.

After-Divali blues

Depression grips the people generally after Divali. The level of energy suddenly drops. Shopkeepers had stretched themselves to their limit selling their products, After the festival, the empty shops and fatigue makes their energy levels fall. Similar is the case of students and housewives. The polluted grey sky overhanging hardly cheers up the spirit. Gamblers who lost out heavily are the most depressed. Psychologists say that the rest period after hectic festivity should be used to recapture your energies with a positive attitude so that one can bounce back.

Bhangra fun

Bhangra and fun go together in Punjab. You cannot imagine about Punjabi culture without thinking of bhangra. And particularly when it is something related to the students and youth. Recently, Panjab University organised a cultural festival at Ramgarhia College. There were scores of items presented by students from different colleges. But it was the bhangra that remained the prime attraction. And it would certainly have been incomplete without bhangra.

Gambling fever persists

Though a week has gone by since Divali, gambling fever in the city persists as majority of the gamblers are trying to make good the reverses suffered earlier. While not much is known about the gambling scene behind the walls, in clubs, hotels and other gambling dens of the town, the gambling scenes at public places are more or less the same. Outside the central block of Bhadaur House market, sandwiched between rows of parked cars and a cluster of cycle rickshaws along the main road, one can witness any time of the day, a pack of closely- huddled dice-throwers and card-shufflers who are at the beck and call of the betters among them. The police from the nearby kotwali in Chaura Bazar and sometimes from the division number four police station has swooped down on the place a number of times. But this does not seem to have discouraged these obstinate and compulsive gamblers. These roadside gamblers are now adopting caution. One or two of the pack are now specifically asked to keep an eye for the ‘chitta motorcycle,’ for the moment it appears in the vicinity, the dice or the pack of cards does a vanishing act only to reappear after the white PCR motorcycle speeds away from the market.

Picture of neglect

The Clock Tower , which gives the city an identity of its own, continues to be an example of official neglect as far as preserving the precious heritage of the city is concerned. Rather than getting the attention it deserves from the residents as well as the civic administration, the 98-year-old monument is being subjected to insult and humiliation in a shameful manner. Those doing roadside businesses around it and the auto-drivers who park their vehicles close to it are using it as a post to piss against. This senseless lot has no idea of the damage it is causing to the historical monument and the general reputation of the city. The beautification plan drawn up by the Municipal Corporation a couple of years ago, according to which the Clock Tower area was to be transformed , seems to have been consigned to the deep-freezer. Just because some shopkeepers in the area were paranoid about the ‘loss’ of business they would suffer after the plan was put into practice. The civic administration, it would seem, has decided to safeguard the interests of some shopkeepers at the expense of the general beautification of an important city spot.


In a recent address, Mr H.S. Hanspal, president, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee said: ‘‘Jadon Akali power vich hunde han tan jeb bharde han te jadon nahin hunde taan jail bharde han’’.



Central jail bursting at seams
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 12
A large number of arrests of the Akali workers, ninetynine per cent of whom belong to SAD (Badal) group, has started telling on the space for inmates at the local Central Jail.

In fact, number of inmates has crossed the capacity of 2500, which is the maximum extension figure.

The conditions would have been even more dismal had the capacity of the jail not increased from 1500 to 2500 only a couple of months ago. While the jail authorities claim that the increase in the capacity was not in anticipation of any ‘Akali jail bharo andolan’, insiders said that this was the prime reason. Sources said for several years, the number of inmates had always been more than the capacity but no building was extended, citing fund crunch.

The jail caters to the need of Ludhiana and Jagraon police districts only. While the Ludhiana police had arrested about 100 Akali workers, the Jagraon police had arrested 250 workers. This was because Jagraon police district had become a major base of the Akalis. It has three MLAs, a former SGPC chief, Jagdev Singh Talwandi and Mal Singh Ghuman, one of the seven-member SGJC.

But suddenly, a couple of months ago, six old and locked barracks were renovated and given a new look. These barracks were now housing about 350 Akali workers held in the past one week. Jail sources said conditions were no better in other jails of the state.

Mr G.S. Sidhu, Superintendent Jails, expressed confidence that there was no shortage of space. ‘‘ We have enough room to accommodate the inmates ’’ he said. Jail sources, however, said there was no room for more inmates.

Jail sources said the over population was taxing on the jail funds also. The jails were already facing shortage of funds and any increase in the number of inmates would be serious. There was neither money nor room for any further expansion of the jail building.

Sources said the state government would have to dish more funds for the jails other wise a dismal financial situation of the jails would emerge. Sources warned that there was danger of a repeat of four-year-old condition, when the Central Jails had even no money to buy wheat flour for the inmates.



‘Amarinder should resign’
Our Correspondent

Machhiwara, November 12
Mr Charanjit Singh Atwal, a former Speaker, Vidhan Sabha, said here today that Capt Amarinder Singh should resign on moral grounds following defeat in the SGPC elections.

He said Capt Amarinder Singh had crossed all limits by following the track shown by Indira Gandhi. He had not only humiliated the holy Sikh shrine by sending the police inside the complex, but also hurt the feelings of Sikhs, he added. In spite of being a Sikh, Capt Amarinder Singh had tried his best to ‘instigate’ people for communal riots by hurting their religious sentiments, but the re-election of Mr Kirpal Singh Badungar as the SGPC chief signified the determination of the Sikh sangat, he said.



Crackdown goes abegging
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 12
The police has arrested about 30 beggars from different areas of the city. The arrests, however, did not have the desired effect as several beggars, especially children, could be still seen seeking alms.

The arrests brought to light some startling facts. While it is believed that Sikhs and Punjabis do not beg, several of those arrested were identified as Sikhs. Police sources said it was yet to be confirmed whether they were converts or not. Interestingly, more than 90 per cent of those arrested belonged to Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

The three-day- old drive saw the police swoop down in Model Town, Division No 5 and Division No 7 areas. Beggars had become a nuisance at cross-roads, religious places and markets of these areas. Special attention was given to traffic-light crossing on the Ferozepore road from the Jagraon overbridge onwards. Other places included Rani Jhansi road, Durga Mata Temple, Fountain Chowk, Sarabha Nagar market and Ghumar Mandi.

The beggars were booked under Section 3 of the Prevention of Begging Act 1971. Under this law begging is banned and illegal. The sources said the district police had received many complaints from residents regarding the menace of begging.

Not only does it also presented an ugly look to the industrial city, besides causing traffic snarls. The residents had also complained of thefts being committed by beggars in cars, besides being involved in snatching incidents. Some beggars were also injured in accidents or were cause of collisions.

A survey by Ludhiana Tribune, however, revealed that there was lot more to be done in the drive against beggars. The survey revealed that beggars were still operational at Bharat Nagar Chowk, Mall Road, Bhai Wala Chowk, Ghumar Mandi and outside almost all religious places in the city. Beggars were also spotted in Bhadaur House and outside the municipal corporation office.

A 10-year-old beggar said though he was scared of police action, such drives did not last for long. He said the beggars went in hiding for few days and came back again.



50 eminent persons honoured
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 12
As many as 50 eminent personalities were honoured at a function organised by the Shaheed Memorial International Sewa Society at Ramgarhia Girls College here today. The chief guests on the occasion were Flying Sikh Milkha Singh, Dr Dalip Kaur Tiwana and Mr Rakesh Bharti Mittal.

The awards were given in 13 categories and those honoured included freedom fighters, mediapersons, industrialists, scientists, social workers, NGOs, besides young achievers. The awards comprised a memento, a certificate and a souvenir.

The young achievers were local lad Harmanpreet Singh (one of the youngest Microsoft certified professional), Nisha Garg (Bathinda, stood first in Class VIII in Punjab), Sangeeta Goyal (Ropar, all-round best student), Manish Gupta (all-round best school-going deaf and dumb student), Anjum Chopra, captain, women cricket team, Mr Gurdial Singh Bhangu, chief hockey coach of the winning Commonwealth hockey games, Manjinder Kaur, hockey player, winner of Commonwealth hockey games, Mr Inderjit Singh Gill, coach, winner of Commonwealth hockey games, and Navjot Channa, junior judo champion.

The mediapersons honoured were Mr Karam Singh, chief photographer of The Tribune Group of Publications, Punjabi sports writer Jagroop Singh Jarkhar and Amar Navtej Singh, chief editor, Vishkarma Pracharak.

The freedom fighters felicitated were Thakur Hoshiyar Singh and Mr Shiv Das (from Himachal Pradesh), Mr Chaman Lal Ahuja (Haryana), and Mr Bachan Singh, Mr Girish Gupta, Mr Des Raj and Mr Bhagwant Singh, (all from Punjab).

The others felicitated were Mr S.N. Maini, social worker, singer Sukhi Brar, Dr K.K. Talwar, cardiologist, All-India Medical Institute, Delhi, Mr S. Tarsem, writer, Dr Sarup Singh Alag, writer, Principal Ram Singh, chief organiser, Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle, Kanwar Imtiaz, writer, Dr C.L. Narang, writer and administrator.

In the martyrs category, Mrs Santosh Kaur received the award on behalf of her late husband Subedar Surinder Singh, Akhnoor sector (J&K), Ashok Chakra awardee, Major Avtar Singh Parmar (retd) recieved the award on behalf of Captain Satnam Singh Parmar, Draas sector (J&K). Mrs Prem Yadav recieved the award on behalf of her husband, Jagdish Prashad Yadav (who died in the Lok Sabha attack) of Neem Ka Thana (Sikar, Rajasthan).

Mr Abhishek Jain, world champion in typing and third (all India) in the IAS exams, Mr S.S. Sokhi, additional director of extension education, Dr H.S. Dhaliwal, scientist, Mr Baljinder Singh Kalsi, MD, Falcon Engineers, Mr Mohinder Singh Grewal, a farmer and exporter, Mr Ishwar Gavri, Adarsh Steel Rolling Mills, Mandi Gobindgarh, industrialist, writer, Mr S.R. Nanda, chairman, Nanda Stationers, Mr Om Prakash Mitra, managing director, Orient Signs, Mr Anil Sood, MD, Shellers and Export House and President, Machhiwara Nagar Panchayat, were honoured.

The local 90-year old gaushala was also honoured for its selfless service through its president.

The others honoured included Prof Amarjit Singh Dua, Principal Harvinder Kaur Toor, SRS Government Polytechnic for Women, Prof Shavinder Kaur, Dr Narinder Sandhu, Mrs Manjit Rana, principal, Sargodha Senior Secondary School, and Mr Randhir Sharma, director, Shanti Niketan Adarsh Vidyalaya.



Docs concerned over N-war scenario
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 12
Members of the Indian Doctors For Peace and Development (IDPD) expressed serious concern at the events that were developing in the world, which could lead to attack on Iraq by the USA and its allies.

On the occasion of the release of ‘Collateral Damage- Health and Environmental Costs of War on Iraq’, a report prepared by International Physicians for Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) and Medact, the United Kingdom’s affiliate of IPPNW here today, the doctors said that Saddam Hussain’s rigid attitude had brought the situation to such an impasse and it was not hidden from any body that US and its allies had ulterior motives in attacking Iraq. They were finding one or other pretext to attack Iraq in the name of destroying its stocks of mass destruction.

According to credible estimates in present scenario, deaths on all sides during the conflict and the following three months could range from 48,000 to over 2,60,000. Civil War within Iraq could add another 20,000 deaths. The report also pointed out that $ 100 billion would fund about four years of expenditure to address the health needs of the world’s poorest people.

Post-war adverse health effects could add another 2,00,000. If nuclear weapons were used, the death toll could reach 3,900,000. In all scenarios, the majority of casualties will be civilians. The war will have serious effect on the mental health of Iraqi population which had not yet recovered from the 1990-91 Gulf war.



Road mishaps kill two
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 12
Two deaths in road accidents have been reported here in the past 24 hours. Jagga, a person of Meharban village near here, died on the spot when the motor cycle he was riding collided with a cart carrying a dead buffalo, near Amaltas on the Jalandhar road yesterday.

Jagga had left for a village near Jalandhar early yesterday to get some medicine and the accident happened when he was on his way back. Jagga ran a PCO in the village. His body was handed over to his family after an autopsy.

Darshan Singh, a man of Bhatinda, who had been admitted to the local Sutlej Hospital in a serious condition on November 6 after an accident, succumbed to his injuries late on Sunday.

Darshan’s motor cycle had skidded, throwing him on the road. The police, after an autopsy, handed over the body to Darshan’s relatives yesterday.



Monkey on biting spree; 2-yr-old 10th target
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 12
A monkey bit a two-year-old boy in Gobind Nagar here today, raising the number of such incidents to 10. In the past four days, this monkey has bitten nine persons in Punjab Agricultural University. It seems that the monkey slipped out of the campus after officials there tried to catch it.

The two-year-old boy bit today is Rohit, who lives in Gobind Nagar near Arti Cinema. He was outside his house when the monkey attacked him, following which, he was taken to a hospital and given the necessary treatment. The simian attack reminds one of a similar havoc caused by another monkey in the Dugri area a couple of months ago. That monkey was caught after several weeks of effort.



Father, sons booked for murder bid
Our Correspondent

Machhiwara, November 12
Bhupinder Singh Fauji and his two sons, Rajinderpal and Narinderpal, of Fatehgarh Mand village have been booked under Sections 307, 324 and 34 of the IPC and 27, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act on the charge of making an attempt to murder Gurpinder Singh of Mand Sherian.

According to the statement given by Harjit Singh, father of the victim, his son was going on a scooter when Rajinderpal tried to crush him under his tractor. After that, his brother, Narinderpal, also attacked on him with a sharp-edged weapon and their father, Bhupinder Singh, opened fire at him. On hearing Gurpinder’s cries, some villagers intervened and the accused fled away. Gurpinder is undergoing treatment at DMC Hospital, Ludhiana. When contacted SHO Banarsi Dass said all accused had been arrested.



SI’s mobile stolen from police station
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 12
A mobile phone set of Sub-Inspector (SI) Kulwinder Kumar has been stolen from Basti Jodhewal police station. Though a case of theft had been registered against some unidentified person (s), investigation had revealed that a constable of the police station itself had stolen the phone set.

The FIR states that the SI was in the rest room of the police station last afternoon when the mobile phone kept by his side was stolen. The constable has told some mediators, that he had stolen the mobile phone to play a practical joke on the SI and intend to return it. However, the sources say that the constable has stated this only after the police traced the calls made from the phone.



SSIs give memorandum to Vasundheraraje
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 12
Ms Vasundheraraje Scindia, Union Minister of State for Small Industries and Rural Industries, has assured the president of the Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Punjab that she would take up problems of small-scale industries, regarding banks, with the Finance Ministry.

Mr P.D. Sharma, president of the chamber, met Ms Scindia in Delhi yesterday and presented a memorandum, listing difficulties faced by the small-scale sector.

Alleging harsher rate of interest and discriminatory attitude against the small-scale industries by the banks, Mr Sharma said the banks were charging 4 per cent interest over PLR from SSIs and less from medium and large-scale industries. This was not justified, he said.

Mr Sharma further pointed out that the share of sick SSI units was higher but the amount involved in the NPAs was less than 25 per cent. He said the bigger units were getting money at concessional rates and the small-scale units were being subjected to a higher rate of interest. Even norms for charging the rate of interest were fixed with a particular purpose in view with all benefits for the bigger units.

Mr Sharma said that he brought to the notice of the union minister that despite the fact that the RBI had highlighted these points in its credit policy, the banks were dilly-dallying.


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 |
122 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |