L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


A day of celebrations, once in four years
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ms Karamjit Kaur of Aiyali Khurd village with her baby boy born at 3 am on leap day at DMC Hospital, Ludhiana
Ms Karamjit Kaur of Aiyali Khurd village with her baby boy born at 3 am on leap day at DMC Hospital, Ludhiana.

Ludhiana, February 29
It was a celebration that had come after four years for 32-year-old Vijay Kumar and his family, who celebrated his eighth birthday today. His spirits were high for it's not every year that he cuts the cake like others.

"Right after 12 am I started receiving calls. My in-laws even dropped in at my place at midnight. There was a 'different' kind of feeling. People keep waiting to wish me for four years, so the enthusiasm in greetings is all the more," said Mr Vijay Kumar, a resident of New Shiv Puri here.

He said his family was in the celebration mood since morning and one of his cousins who lived at a distant station had paid a surprise visit on the day. "For all of us, the day becomes a sort of family reunion. People don't mind travelling to this place after four years. My sister, who lives in Jammu, is also coming today," he added.

Similar was the case of another leap-year born, 20-year-old Saket Jain, a student of the local Arya College, who was celebrating his fifth birthday. He had organised a party at a local restaurant where his friends, including those of his childhood days, were invited.

“I am happy that all those who know me never forget my birthday. Since morning, I have received nearly a hundred calls,” said Saket. He said as a child he used to hate his birthday as it came after four years. He even tried to celebrate it on February 28, but that was not the same as the real day. But now he felt he was fortunate to be born on this day as people celebrate his day with extra enthusiasm. Still, "I end up giving everybody four gifts for every one that I receive," he added cheekily.

Mr Gursharanjit Singh, a 44-year-old businessman, was celebrating his 11th birthday. But he had to go to Saharanpur due to an urgent work even on his special day. Talking to the Tribune over phone, he said his Saharanpur-based brother-in-law had made arrangements to celebrate his "rare" birthday there.

"I feel having been born on this day I get special attention," he said with delight in his voice.

Harpreet Singh, another leap-year born, was thrilled to throw a party at his residence in Jamalpur. It was his fourth birthday. "I love being born on this day. I party till I drop for my birthday is not a routine annual feature as it is for others."


Residents shocked at corruption in corporation
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 29
The local Municipal Corruption is a ‘den of corruption’ the Vigilance Department should he given a free hand in probing, into various scams of the corporation, local residents have demanded.

The residents have reacted strongly to the news reports about the Rs 7-crore diesel fraud and the allegations about 11 more scandals in the civic body. In a communication to the Ludhiana Tribune, the residents have demanded action against senior officials without whose help the lower rank employees could not have robbed the public exchequer.

The residents have particularly scoffed at the statement of Mayor Nahar Singh Gill terming the Rs 7 crore scam as ‘mere delinquent act of an employee’. The residents said the scam of such enormity could not have been caused by one man only. They have called upon the Mayor and MC Commissioner S.K. Sharma to announce the action taken against the tainted officials.

Dr Gurkirpal Singh has in a statement has cautioned the Bureau to withstand pressure and uproot corrupt persons from the civic body.

Dr I.S. Kalra said the diesel scam was rightly the tip of the iceberg but he wonders what the Internal Vigilance cell of the MC, the Audit Department and the senior officials of the MC were doing when some employees were pilfering money for the past five years. He said one only hopes that the investigation into the scam was not sabotaged.

Prof. A.D. Bhalla has alleged that no work was done in the MC without greasing someone’s palm. He alleged that bribe was being taken ‘on the table’ instead of the proverbial ‘under the table’.

The MC Commissioner, Mr S.K. Sharma has, assured that the MC would take action against the accused employees only after the charges were proved.


Call to eliminate N-weapons
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, February 29
The future depends on investments in fulfilling human needs and social services and combined effort for the elimination of nuclear weapons, reduction in military spending and a commitment to the non-violent resolution of conflicts. This will lead the people of South Asia into a period of sustained prosperity and freedom from the fear of extinction under a mushroom cloud.

These views were expressed by Mr John Loretz, Programme Director, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) during a guest lecture on ‘War, Violence and Health-South Asian Perspective’ at the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital here yesterday.

Talking to the Ludhiana Tribune, Mr Loretz said the IPPNW received the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize for bringing this message to the leaders of USA and the former Soviet Union during the cold war. Today, IPPNW was working closely with its affiliates — Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD) and Pakistan Doctors for Peace and Development (PDPD) — to promote this second, more life-affirming future.

A delegation of physicians from the USA, Sweden, Malaysia, Nepal, India and Pakistan were meeting with the decision makers in Islamabad and in Delhi to impress upon them the medical consequences of a nuclear war.


Guddu orders cancelled
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 29
A Youth Congress leader and three other alleged victims of the ‘misuse of authority’ by Shamsher Singh Guddu have heaved a sigh of relief today following the cancellation of the orders of the cop’s posting in this district.

Dy. Inspector General (DIG) of Police, Ludhiana range, Mr Dinkar Gupta informed reporters at a function in a local college that he had returned the orders of posting Shamsher Singh SHO, Basti Jodhewal police station. Mr Gupta said the reason for the returning of the orders was that there was no requirement for an additional official in the range.

Sources informed that the decision was made following the intervention of the Chief Minister’s office in the case. The Chief Minister was upset at the posting following protests by the Congress leaders and city residents. A number of cases were registered against the cop by the residents here.

The general secretary of Punjab Youth Congress, Mr G.S. Grewal has withdrawn his threat to a fast unto death outside the CM’s residence in case Guddu was allowed to join duty here.


9 hurt as bus turns turtle
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 29
Nine persons were injured when a mini bus turned turtle near Jhabewal village on the Ludhiana-Chandigarh road today. The bus was carrying a baraat from Mundian to Samrala. The accident reportedly took place when the driver of the bus in his attempt to save a bicycle rider lost control.

Residents of Jhabewal village rescued passengers and took them to a private hospital. The injured were discharged in the evening.

Among those injured were Nachhattar Singh, Paramjit Singh, Narsi, Dinky, Bittu and Gogi, all residents of Mundian village. The marriage they were going for was solemnised after some delay.


Killer gets life sentence

Ludhiana, February 29
Mr Baldev Singh, Sessions Judge, has sentenced Manjit Singh of Jawaddi Kalan village to undergo rigorous life imprisonment for killing Gurcharan Singh, alias Rimpi.

An FIR was registered under section 302 of IPC at the Model Town police station on February 12, 2002 following a statement of the father of the deceased. OC


Noise pollution bane of city residents
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, February 29
The bursting at seams population of vehicles on the city roads, ground shattering noise of different kinds of industrial units, located amidst thickly populated residential areas, coupled with indiscriminate use of loudspeakers for social and political functions and by religious institutions has pushed the level of noise pollution in the mega city to alarming proportions. The more unfortunate part of the gigantic problem is totally indifferent attitude of the concerned authorities and the offenders being completely inconsiderate to the inconvenience caused to others.

For record purpose only, the district administration has imposed a ban on the use of loud Speakers under Section 144 of CrPC which is renewed after every two months and the prohibitory orders explicitly state that unauthorised use of loudspeakers or its use before or after stipulated hours in the morning and evening would attract penalty and forfeiture of the sound equipment. But practically, these orders are flouted with impunity, much to the frustration and helplessness of the affected people while the police or other enforcement agencies remain mute spectators.

The high decibel sound appears to have become a status symbol of almost all the religious institutions in the city, particularly the temples and gurdwaras which carry on the recitation of bhajan or kirtan in the early hours of the morning without any consideration for the residential localities around these institutions and creating disturbance for the old and infirm people, students or patients, who might be in need of sleep or ought to study at those hours.

The ‘jagratas’ organised in every nook and corner of the city with regular frequency and uninterrupted recitation of religious hymns at full blast throughout the night further add to the woes of the people, who can not even lodge a formal protest for fear of hurting the religious sentiments of their neighbours

In particular, the residents living in the vicinity of marriage palaces, hotels or resorts are the worst sufferers due to late night parties and functions where ear piercing music or songs are blared in blatant violation of the regulations. The administrative orders restricting use of sound system to particular hours in the evening at marriage palaces and other places where such functions are held, remain on paper without even a semblance of enforcement .

The noise pollution created on city roads due to indiscriminate use of pressure horns and hooters as well as thundering sound of heavy machinery are other problematic areas which have eluded any solution and continue to harass the city residents. Remedial measures, even if taken by the authorities towards this end, have been half hearted at best.

While the city residents continue to suffer at the hands of the offenders and the administration washing its hands of the crucial issue, the health experts have warned that prolonged or excessive exposure to noise whether in community or at work can cause serious permanent medical conditions like stress, hypertension and other cardiac problems.

WHO has, in a recent report, revealed that noise could also adversely affect performance of reading, attentiveness, problem solving and memory. The effect of noise on the human system can range from annoyance to problems with communicating to actual psychophysiological effects. “Noise above 80 decibels may also increase aggressive behaviour. In the developed world, noise-related hearing impairment was mostly restricted to the work environment. However, in the developing nations, not only are the industrial noise levels higher but the problem is worsened with the high levels of community noise,” the report added.


Dhami awards presented
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 29
Under the aegis of Alag Shabad Yug Charitable Trust, Ludhiana, Prof. Puran Singh Dhami awards were presented at Punjabi Bhawan here yesterday.

The recipients of the awards include Principal Prem Singh Bajaj, Gurmet Sangeet Scholar, Raagi Bhai Narinder Singh Hazuri Raagi Darbar Sahib and Vajinder, radio dramatist, Ravinder Pal Shamra, Punjabi type and shorthand, Rajinder Singh.

The awards were presented by the chief guest, Prof. Jagir Kaur Shai wife of Late Prof. Puran Singh Dhami and guest of Honour, Prof. Mota Singh Sarai of England. Even awardee was given Rs 5100 cash, a sponsored gift of Rs 2100, a shawl, siropa, a momento and a set of Trust’s publications.

The Trust chairman, Dr Sarup Singh Alag, on December 26, 2004 in commemoration of Mata Gujri’s martyrdom tercentenary five prominent women would be honoured.

Prof. Kulwant Jagraon of the Prof Mohan Singh, Foundation, Principal Surinder Singh Jagraon, Prof. Devki Jolly, M.R. Jain, Ludhiana, Prof. M.S. Cheema, Mr Ajit Singh Johal of Southampton, Er. Pratap Singh of Canada, Er. Gurdial Singh of London were also honoured with a shawl and a siropa for their services.

A souvenir in the memory of Dhami and a book “Dastaar” sponsored by Dhami family were released by Prof Mota Singh Sarai.


Book on Maharshi Balmiki condemned
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 29
Dr Ambedkar Ekta Mission, Punjab has supported the Akhil Bharatiya Safai Mazdoor Congress in demanding action against a book “Janbaz Raakha” for containing derogatory remarks against Maharshi Balmiki.

At an emergency meeting of the mission under the guidance of Mr Roshan Lal Pala and Dr R.S.Yadav here on Friday, the members of the mission flayed the book and demanded strict action against the writer for allegedly playing with the sentiments of the Balmiki Samaj.

Mr Pala said they supported Mr Kala Hans, president and Mr Sudesh Gharu, district president, Akhil Bharatiya Safai Mazdoor Congress, for demanding action against the “guilty”.


Industrial expo starts
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 29
The second exhibition of Paramount Exhibitors, Industrial Expo-2004, was inaugurated by the Principal Secretary, Department of Industries and Commerce, Punjab Government, Mr S.C. Agarwal, here yesterday.

The exposition has attracted hundreds for exhibitors from a diverse array of industries, displaying a wide range of products like machine tools, pollution control equipment, water treatment, electrical and electronics, material handling, instrumentation, hydraulics and pneumatics, transmission, hardware and tools, plastics and packaging, automobiles, industrial parts, plant automation and dye and moulding etc.

The exposition is being supported by over 25 leading regional industrial associations from Punjab, including the Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings, Ludhiana Spinners Association, Ludhiana Electroplaters Associations, Chamber of Chandigarh Industries, Small-Scale Steel Re-Roller’s Association, Mohali Industries Association, etc.

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