Saturday, March 22, 2003, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Slum women, children to get better healthcare
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 21
The municipal corporation here will provide healthcare facilities to women and children in the slum areas under the “Urban Reproductive and Child Health Project ”, mooted by the state government in a bid to strengthen the medical and health infrastructure in the urban areas.

The project will make available the necessary guidance and infrastructural support for setting standards for the healthcare services, safeguard of the interests of the “below poverty line (BPL) families” and ensure public and private participation in preventive, protective and curative healthcare services.

While the civic body has been nominated the nodal agency for the project, the management committee is headed by the city Mayor, with the MC Commissioner and the Civil Surgeon as its Vice-Chairman and Member-Secretary, respectively. At a meeting of the managing committee presided over by the Mayor, Mr Nahar Singh Gill, a draft conceptual plan of the project was adopted and forwarded to the state government for approval.

Mr Gill said the health branch of the municipal corporation would be directed to specially focus on the project and as a step towards making the project a success a massive health education drive would be started through corner meetings and door-to-door visits.

According to the MC Commissioner, Mr S.K.Sharma, initially the basic health services to the needy would be provided through the existing dispensaries in slum areas. For the purpose the project managing committee would have functional control over the existing health posts, urban family welfare centres, urban slum area dispensaries and other healthcare centres in urban area to be established in future under the project.

“In order to provide free or low cost preventive, protective and curative facilities and to promote primary healthcare services, particularly to expectant women, the municipal corporation will set up rogi kalyan samitis in urban slum areas through loans and advances and funding from various development agencies.” According to Mr Sharma, the state-level child health project society had already released an initial grant of Rs 5 lakh from sector reform fund to the local agency for starting the project in motion.

It was proposed to have at least one health post for a population of 15,000 with one ANM and a representative of the slum area being service providers. “The agency will seek the support and involvement of the NGOs and other such bodies in this regard.”

The nodal agency for the project will have accountability for significantly and consistently bringing down the impact indicators pertaining to death rate, birth rate, infant mortality rate, mother mortality rate, epidemic control and major public health disasters, including accidents and natural calamities.



Land grab: bail plea dismissed
Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 21
Mr H.S. Madan, Additional Sessions Judge, here has dismissed the anticipatory bail plea of Bhupinder Singh, accused of attempting to grab land of the Decent Neighbour Co-operative House Building Society by allegedly committing forgery and cheating, in connivance with officials of the Co-operative Department.

The accused along with eight others was booked under Sections 420, 467, 471 and 120-B of the IPC at Sarabha Nagar police station on the complaint of Advocate Jaspal Chugh, former president of the society, and Mr Harbhajan Singh, president of the society.

Dismissing the plea, Mr Madan observed: “Here the allegations against the accused are of very grave and serious type, the custodial interrogation of the applicant is necessary to unravel the complete story and to effect the recovery of record.” The judge further held that in case custodial interrogation was denied to the investigating agency it would hamper the investigation.

The Additional Public Prosecutor, Mr N.D.Vashisht, argued that the allotment was also made in the names of fictitious persons. Three alleged allotees had even furnished affidavits before the investigating officer, stating therein that they had no concern with the society, neither had they applied for any allotment nor paid any amount.

The prosecutor further contended that “connivance of the Assistant Registrar of the Co-operative Society with the accused is crystal clear” from the fact that in award, the date of first receipt regarding deposit is mentioned as May 20, 1991, which goes to show that as per version of the accused, he became a member on that day but the resolution vide which the plot was allegedly allotted to the applicant is dated April 2, 1991, prior to the date of becoming the member of the society.



Attack on Iraq crime against humanity
Our Correspondents

Ludhiana, March 21
The Punjab State Committee of Marxist Communist Party of India (MCPI) has condemned the US-led attack on Iraq. At a meeting of the party, presided over by Mr Gurdev Singh Sarabha, party activists said that the US imperialism and its allies, had no respect for the UN and majority of the democratic world opinion.

According to the state secretary of MCPI, Mr Kuldip Singh, the Iraqi people were already reeling under poverty and hunger due to economic sanctions, which had already claimed the lives of more than four lakh children. The military attack by the USA and allied forces, which was nothing less than a crime against humanity, would further add to the miseries of the people of Iraq.

The party was of the view that the attack would further isolate USA increase Islamic terrorism and would also expose USA and British citizens to insecurity.

Mr Jagjit Singh Lyallpuri, general secretary of the central committee of MCPI, said the US attack was brutal, unjust, uncalled for and dictatorial. The USA and its allies were violating international laws and had undermined the dignity of the UN. He said the USA had imposed its will on an independent country and posed a threat to the region

In a separate press release, the Ludhiana Welfare Society has flayed the US attack on Iraq. Even after Iraq was almost disarmed with the help of UN, the US attack had exposed the real face of imperialism.

Mr Manjit Singh Matharoo, president of the society, said ultimatum given by the US President George Bush to Iraqi President Saddam Hussain to leave the country within 48 hours was deceitful because in any case the USA wanted territorial supremacy over Iraq and control on the vast oil resources. Terming the attack as a threat to global peace, he urged the Indian government and the UN to intervene immediately and stop the US attack.

The district unit of Nationalist Congress Party has also flayed the US attack saying that it was an attempt by imperialist forces to repress the poor and deprived people.

The United Nations Youth Organisation (an affiliate of International Youth and Students Movement for the United Nations) Punjab State president, Dr Shiv Gupta, Mr Devinder Singh Walia, Lal Bahadur Shashtri Social Forum and INTUC Punjab have strongly condemned the US President, Mr George Bush, for attacking Iraq which was illegal, unjustified, unwarranted. The members, in a joint statement today said that US war was violative of international law and denigrated the UN Security Council which did not pass any resolution.

The leaders deplored military action of the US as the war had been not against terrorism, but its real intentions were to control the oil-markets all over the world. The USA wanted to dictate the international price of the oil throughout the world. If the US Government considered it a war against terrorism, they should have first attacked Pakistan which was the main creator of terrorism where terrorists training centers were being run with the active assistance of the Pakistan Government.

The members said the Russian Prime Minister Mr France, Germany, China, the Indian Govt and many others were condemning the US president for launching war against Iraq as it would lead to large-scale human disaster, destruction, infrastructural damages and large scale killing of the civilians and military forces.



MC man held on graft charge
Tribune Reporters

Ludhiana, March 21
The Ludhiana Vigilance Bureau today caught a head draftsman of the local municipal corporation and a Patwari posted at Ropar under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Mr Kanwarjit Singh Sidhu, SSP, Ludhiana Vigilance Bureau, said here today that a vigilance team nabbed head draftsman Avtar Singh Bhatti while accepting a bribe of Rs 12,000 from a complainant. The complainant, Khushwinder Singh, had informed the bureau that the official was demanding bribe for not fining him. The official had fined him Rs 50,000 for not getting the architectural plan of his house cleared from the corporation even though it was not within the MC limits.

Mr Sidhu said the official had taken some money as the first instalment and the complainant had gone to his office to pay the second instalment when the vigilance sleuths swooped on the official.

In another case a vigilance team led by DSP Sarup Singh caught a Patwari, Darshan Singh, while he was accepting a bribe of Rs 500 for giving a copy of a sale deed to the complainant, Kulwant Singh.

Produced in court: The police today produced Makhan Singh of Bhumal village, who was arrested for smuggling poppy husk, in the court of Mr H.S.Grewal, JMIC, Jagraon. He had claimed that he had been falsely implicated in the present case.

In-laws held:
The police yesterday arrested husband of Baljinder Kaur Jasvir Singh, father-in-law Kaka Singh and sister-in-law Balbir Kaur on the complaint of Baljinder Kaur of Daulatpur village, Sangrur, who said she was harassed, physically and mentally. She added that on March 15 she was set afire by her in-laws. A case has been registered by the Sahnewal police in this regard. The mother-in-law is reported to have absconded.

1 hurt in mishap: Kuldip Singh of Janta Nagar, Ludhiana, was injured when a tempo hit him at the Kohara chowk on Wednesday. Kuldip Singh was coming from Anandpur Sahib towards Ludhiana in his car. Jagdev Singh of Sahibana village waq the driver of the tempo. A case has been registered.



Tumour removed 
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 21
An endoscopic surgery was recently employed to remove a hidden tumour of the cheek at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital by Dr Manish Munjal, Reader, Department of ENT. Such tumours are generally removed through risky conventional methods as they cannot be seen with naked eyes.

Mr Karnail Singh (45), a resident of Ludhiana, was admitted to the DMCH with complaint of nasal bleeding and progressive nasal obstruction on the right side. A CAT scan showed a big tumour blocking the right maxillary sinus. The tumour was endoscopically removed from the sinus, passing through the sidewalls of the nose by a team of doctors led by Dr Manish Munjal. It was a carvenous haemangioma — a tumour arising from the blood vessels.

Dr Munjal said: “Endoscopic Sinus Surgery or Sinoscopy is the most recent technique to have been adopted by advanced surgical centers.” Earlier, the sinuses were approached externally through the outer bones of the cheek, which was laborious, caused a lot of blood loss, post operative swelling of the cheek and pain.



Telecom staff stage dharna
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 21
Members of the Telecom Employees Association staged a dharna outside the office of General Manager, Telecom, in response to a call given by the circle headquarters of the association. The dharna was organised at all headquarters in Punjab circle due to apathetic attitude of the BSNL’s corporate office and the Government of India.

Addressing the rally, Mr Sanjiv Gupta, district secretary of the association, said there was resentment among the members due to non-declaration of the pay scales of employees who were to be absorbed in the corporation. The rally was also addressed by Mr Inderjit Singh and Mr A.P.S. Chawla.

The members said if their demands were not met, the agitation would be intensified and another demonstration would be held on March 28.



‘Include eggs’ in mid-day meal scheme
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 21
Facing problems of survival poultry farmers in the state have devised a novel method to remain in business. They are demanding from the government that under the mid-day meal scheme being run in government schools the students should be given eggs instead of other edibles.

In a decision taken at the meeting of Poultry Farmers Association held here yesterday, the farmers said an egg was considered a very nutritious meal especially for the growing children so the government think in this regard.

Addressing the mediapersons after the meeting, Mr P.P.S. Gill, owner of Lalton Poultry Farms Private Ltd, said the government should introduce eggs in mid-day meal scheme in schools to encourage consumption of eggs, besides abolishing entry tax for poultry feed ingredients and supplements.

Mr Rajesh Gandhi, another poultry farmer of the district, said poultry farmers had become debt -ridden and one of them had even committed suicide recently.

Mr Gill, who has the biggest poultry farm in the region, said as per records of the North India Poultry Farmers Association, the price of egg between April,2002, to December,2002, was Rs 118 per 100 eggs which was reduced to Rs 109.80 per 100 eggs in the current year.

He added that the average price of mixed feed had risen by 23.23 per cent during the same period probably due to the drought-like conditions.

The farmers said that the government had failed to release the capital subsidy for the poultry farmers for the past six years. They demanded that the subsidy should be released immediately.



Meetings for Alamgir conclave
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, March 21
In a run-up to the Alamgir conclave on April 2 Shromani Akali Dal (Badal) workers assembled at Gurdwara Reru Sahib, Nandpur, near here, yesterday.
Similar gatherings have been organised at Payal and Jagraon, Dehlon and Koomkalan. The gatherings were organised by the president of the Youth Akali Dal, Mr Sharanjit Singh Dhillon.

Mr Dhillon said two Youth Akali Dal members from each circle would be trained for six months in Haryana and promoted to the rank of the captain and pilot.



Hike in raw material prices flayed
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 21
The Federation of Tiny and Small Industries of India (FTSII) has condemned the hike in the prices of basic raw material for engineering industries, alleging that the manipulative tactics of major producers of steel were to blame for it.

A deputation of the FTSII and the Ludhiana Electroplaters Association, led by its president, Mr Joginder Kumar, met Mr Jai Singh Gill and Mr S.K. Tuteja, Secretary, Steel, and the Department of SSI, respectively, of the Union Government to apprise them of the rising prices of HR coil. The deputation alleged that it was the direct result of manipulation by five major producers of HR coil.

Mr Ajit Singh Kular of the Chamber of Commercial and Industrial Undertakings and Mr Harjinder Singh, General Secretary of the Apex Chamber, were also present.

The deputation alleged that the producers of raw material had created an artificial scarcity and taking advantage of the situation, the secondary left-out material was being passed off to the industrial units at Rs 21,000 to Rs 22,000 per tonne, whereas the prime quality of the same material was being exported at around Rs 13,000 per tonne. Logically, the secondary left-out material should command a lower price and should be sold in the range of Rs 10,000 per tonne.

Mr Joginder Kumar charged the five main producers of HR coil with getting the dumping duty imposed on certain countries from where HR coil was available at cheaper rates.

He alleged that the clause of BIS was also introduced under the influence of main producers of the raw material. The members of industry decried that there was a variation of 18 per cent in custom duty of secondary defective category than the first grade material as a result of which the users were buying the left-out material under compulsion.

The deputation urged the government to ensure that the five major producers were not permitted to export HR coil worth more than 50 per cent of their production and stated that the customs duty of 8 per cent on secondary sheet categories and flats was rationalised as in the case of cotton.

Mr Tuteja was told by the delegation that due to non-availability of defective material in foreign countries and the irrational duty structure, the import had become unviable. “There is an urgent need to take up the matter with the Finance Ministry about the rationalisation of custom duty and withdrawal of notification on computation of the Rs 3-crore limit for the survival of the small and tiny sector of industry.”




New Cars: Fiat India has launched the much awaited Palio diesel and adventure diesel models of their popular car in the city. According to Mr Ajay Pal, managing director of Sandhu Automobiles, the Palio diesel would be offered in three versions — EL, ELX and the top-of-the-line fully-loaded ELX SP. OC

Dealers meet: M/s H.C. Jain Sales (India), authorised dealers of Pune-based Kirlosker Oil Engines, organised a dealers meeting here on Thursday for the dealers from Ludhiana, Amritsar, Nawanshahr and Pathankot. OC


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