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Govt to discipline defaulting nursing institutes
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 14
Over 1200 students from 60 nursing colleges of Punjab and Chandigarh showcased their talent as the Platinum Jubilee celebrations of the State Nurses Association and XXI Biennial Conference of the Punjab branch of Trained Nurses' Association of India (TNAI) got underway at a packed Dumra Auditorium of Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) here today.

In his inaugural speech, Mr Satish Chandra, Secretary, Medical Education and Research, Punjab, said it had been felt that there were now enough institutes in Punjab for good nursing education. Therefore, the government had decided that no new institute would be allowed to open. Moreover, such institutes, that lacked adequate staff and infrastructure, had been given a year to meet the standards or close down.

Admitting that reports of irregularities and malpractices had been received from some nursing institutions in the state, he informed that the appropriate authority would commence inspections of the institutes and, if found guilty, strict action would be taken against the defaulters.

While commenting about the fee structure, he said that Majithia committee was working towards fixing fee. He assured that the fee structure would in in accordance with the cost of education and training facilities provided by the institute to the students.

Delivering her welcome address, Ms Jasbir Kaur, Principal, College of Nursing of the DMCH and Secretary of Punjab branch of TNAI said since its inception, it had contributed enormously to raising the standards of nursing education and training all over the country.

"It is a matter of pride that Punjab has been ranked in the country for imparting quality education”, she observed. She also introduced the other TNAI office-bearers to the audience.

Mr Daljit Singh, principal of the DMCH, congratulated the College of Nursing for organising the event successfully and introduced the chief guest. He said being secretary to the government, Department of Medical Education and Research, Mr Satish Chandra had done a remarkable job by bringing uniformity in the admission policy in all medical colleges of the state.

Mr Dharam Vir Bector, vice-president and Mr Amrit Nagpal, secretary of the DMCH managing society, along with Dr Sandeep Puri, Medical Superintendent, Dr Rajoo Singh Chhina and Dr G. S. Wander, Chief Cardiologist, Hero DMC Heart Institute, were also present. Dr K. J. Gill, president of the TNAI, in her presidential remarks, unfolded the theme of the event while Ms Sawinder Kaur, vice-president of the body, highlighted the role of the association in nursing education.

The programme got to a start with a patriotic skit presented by nursing students of DMCH which were followed by various talent hunt competitions. The sports competitions for the participants were, later in the day, organised at Guru Nanak Stadium.

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Rajgarh paying heaviest toll tax
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, August 14
Rajgarh village seems to be paying the heaviest toll as heavy traffic passing through it has plundered of its cleanliness, sanitation, safety and security, peace and isolation following the implementation of exorbitant toll tax on national highway by the National Highway Authority of India.

A majority of the commuters, in order to avoid toll, use the route via the village to Doraha town and vice versa thus reducing the life of the villagers to a virtual hell. The other two routes taken by the commuters to evade toll tax are along side Sidhwan canal and via Kanesh and Rampur villages. But all these are less used as the Rajgarh route is the nearest and the easiest. A majority of the vehicles, including four-wheelers, tempos, trucks even tankers, pass through the Rajgarh village.

The villagers have lodged various complaints with the authorities concerned, but to no avail.

Mr Narinder Singh, Sarpanch of the village, said, "The major problem we are encountering at present is the damaged village roads. Their condition is deteriorating day by day. When no government department came forward to repair the roads, we started accepting some monetary help from the commuters for the repair work. But our action was termed illegal by the authorities concerned and our work came to a naught."

"The road from all over the village canal has been completely broken for which we had demanded pipes from the local administration but no aid has arrived till today”, he added.

Another villager resents, "We have been plundered of our peaceful and secure life. The heavy vehicular traffic is a continuous threat to the lives of children who were in the habit of moving about freely on the otherwise peaceful roads. Moreover, a man had his leg broken and another received fractures when they were hit by a speeding vehicle on the village road.”

The villagers decry that such type of mishaps may turn into a major tragedy if the flow of the heavy vehicular traffic continues. Any school-going child, a cyclist, scooterist or pedestrian can be crushed under a vehicle passing throug the village,” says another villager.

Yet another resident of the village said, “The toll tax is taking a heavy toll on our social lives too. Sitting on the ‘phirni’ and engaging in endless talk has become the thing of the past. The privacy of our village has gone. Not only are we forced to spend restless days, our nights too are full of noise and pollution. The worst sufferers are the young girls and ladies of our village. The school-going girls, who mostly use bicycles, arrive late due to traffic jams. Moreover, the women folk of the village, who are engaged in regular cutting in the fields, have to face indecent remarks passed by the drivers and conductors of the trucks, tempos etc.”

Another villager alleges, “During monsoon, the situation becomes worst. Water accumulated on the damaged roads can lead to the serious water-borne diseases. Not only this, sometimes the vehicles splash rain water on adjoining houses.”

The Rajgarh route is generally preferred over the Kanech-Rampur route which is a longer one having a railway line on the way.

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Sevadar of dera found murdered 
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 14
Maghar Singh, a sevadar of Dera Baba Shobha Singh, was allegedly found murdered and a cash box stolen from the dera. The sevadar was sleeping in the courtyard of the dera located at Virk village when some persons entered it and killed Maghar Singh by hitting him on his head with a sharp- edged weapon. They also took away the cash box after breaking its lock.

Devotees who came to pay obeisance found the 'akhand jot' extinguished. Lal Singh, a panchayat member, was apprised of the situation. He called the sevadar who did not respond. They found him lying in the pool of blood with injuries on his head and face. The villagers were informed about the incident on the public address system and the Jagraon police, DSP (Jagraon) Randhir Singh, DSP(D) G.S. Cheema and SHO Sidhwan Bet police station informed about the incident. The DSP reached the spot and called the dog squad and fingerprint experts. According to Randhir Singh, the sevadar used to daily get up at 2 am. He was of the view that the sevadar might have been murdered before 2 am. He said the sevadar might have identified the culprits which resulted in his murder. The Sidhwan Bet police has registered case on the statement of Lal Singh.

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MCPI flays cut in EPF rate
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 14
The Marxist Communist Party of India (MCPI) has condemned the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre for reducing the interest rate on the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) from 9.5 per cent to 8.5 per cent and described this step as anti-employees and against the interests of the working classes.

In a statement here today, the state secretary of the party, Mr Kuldip Singh, called for review of the decision and enhancement of the interest rate to 12 per cent. The Punjab MCPI also opposed the proposal for further increase in the prices of petrol, diesel and gas.

The party urged the Left parties, including the CPI, CPM, RSP and Forward Bloc, supporting the UPA government to come to the defence of the common man and withdraw support if the government went ahead with the these “anti-people” measures.

Mr Kuldip Singh maintained that the state MCPI had rejected the meagre increase of Rs 10 in the minimum support price of paddy.

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City ill-prepared for a disaster: expert
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 14
Ludhiana is not prepared for any major disaster whether natural or man made. The ill-preparedness of the city to meet any such disaster came into focus during a seminar on 'Pre-Disaster Preventive Measures' organised by the Ludhiana Management Association at Hotel Park Plaza last night.

In her keynote address, Miss Mrinal Mathur, an architect-environmental planner working with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), observed that it was very disturbing to note that the people of the city were living and working in a very unsafe environment. To make the matters worse, she pointed out, the people were not aware and were unconcerned about any measures to be taken to prevent any disaster, and more so in taking the measures at all if a disaster did happen.

Miss Mathur explained that 65 per cent of land mass in India was prone to earthquakes and 12.5 per cent was susceptible to floods. She warned that Ludhiana fell in the danger zone on both the counts. She urged the local residents to wake up to the issue and make safety habits their daily routine.

She emphasised the importance of taking preventive measures for an impending disaster by citing the example of the fire tragedy in a school in Tamil Nadu recently. Concern for safety measures and regular drills were needed to instil the habit of disaster prevention among the people.

The UNDP is now operating in 38 cities of India for community preparedness in case of a disaster. According to Miss Mathur, the UNDP organisation started working in India during the Cyclone disaster in Orissa in 1996. It has taken up the issue of educating people and devising measures to prevent disasters.

She was also very critical of the type of construction taking place these days where the safety angle was totally ignored for the sake of design. The formation and implementation of rules was another very important area needing consideration as many rules were flouted in collusion with the government employees resulting in major tragedies like the Uphar cinema episode of Delhi. She asked the community to launch a programme where public and the government authorities joined hands to educate and train each other to be prepared in case of a disaster.

Mr Mahesh Munjal, president of the LMA, was of the view that the participation of the people in such programmes should be forthcoming voluntarily as it was their lives and property which was in question.

Mr V.K. Goyal, general secretary of the LMA, also stressed the need for making people aware of implications and preventive steps if a disaster happened as the government machinery did get into action sooner or later but only the preparedness for disaster would help people in reducing the risk.

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Man on a mission
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 14
Manjit Rai Bharadwaj is on a long mission. Today he completed 9,000 km on foot when he reached Ludhiana. He says, he is trying to spread the message of peace, amity and brotherhood among the countrymen. Moreover, he has been asking the addicts to give up drugs.

Sixtyeight-year-old Manjit Rai is a senior leader of the Pradesh Panthers Party. He started his 'padayatra' on November 6 from Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir. After walking through various parts of the country, he reached Kanyakumari on April 30. From there he travelled towards Delhi.

On August 1, he paid tributes to the martyrs at Amar Jawan Jyoti. Today, when he reached Ludhiana, he was received by senior party leaders, including the state president, Mr Gurinder Sood, at the Jagraon bridge. He garlanded the statute of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru.

Talking to the media, Mr Bhardwaj said he wanted to spread the message of peace, brotherhood and national integration among the countrymen. He said, wherever he went, he was accorded a warm reception by people.

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Traffic disrupted as tanker overturns
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 14
Traffic at the busy National Highway No. 1 road near Sherpur Chowk here remained blocked for several hours after a LPG-filled tanker overturned while negotiating a curve at midnight last night. The police cordoned the area till noon today to prevent any loss of life and property if the gas leaked or the tanker exploded.

Traffic at the road had to be diverted. Long serpentine queues of vehicles were seen on the road. The diversion resulted in heavy increase in traffic on the Sherpur-Dholewal chowk road, causing traffic congestion.

Police sources said the tanker driver escaped with minor injuries. The tanker of Indane gas agency was carrying the LPG to Jalandhar. 

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Lakhowal to visit USA
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 14
Bharti Kisan Union supremo Ajmer Singh Lakhowal is leaving on a tour of the USA and Canada to further the cause of global unity of farmers against the adverse impact of WTO provisions, particularly those of developing nations.

This was stated by Mr Manjit Singh Kadian, secretary-general of the BKU, while addressing a press conference here today, after an emergency meeting of the union, which discussed at length the activities of International Farmers' Movement.

Presiding over the meeting, Mr Lakhowal told the BKU functionaries that he would address a series of meetings in several countries on the WTO regime over the farming community.

Mr Lakhowal also dwelt at length about the action programme chalked out by the global body of farmers from 52 nations, which was working in close coordination with farmers’ bodies in developed countries, to mobilise public opinion against the provisions of the WTO that were detrimental to the farming community.

He said his overseas trip was solely aimed at safeguarding the interests of the Indian farmer in the global market. 

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Don't pressurise us, vets tell seniors
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 14
A meeting of the central body of the Punjab State Veterinary Officers Association comprising presidents and executive members of all districts was held here recently.

The association warned deputy directors against pressurising veterinary officers or junior staff to present fraudulent cases of artificial insemination in order to complete their targets. If any Deputy Director tried to use its office for any wrong purpose, the association would launch a protest against him, said the presidents of the association. Dr T.P. Saini, senior president of the association, and Dr Ashok Sharma of Hoshiarpur also spoke in this regard.

It was unanimously decided that the association would fully cooperate with the District Administration to cope with flood situation.

The association assured the veterinary officers that their interests would be watched. Hence they should not submit fraudulent record.

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Jaycee Week celebrations
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 14
Ludhiana City Jaycees are observing Jaycee Week up to August 15. Various functions and programmes are being organised during the week. On the fifth day of the week a 'free pollution check up' was organised at Bharat Nagar Chowk yesterday. Four and two-wheelers were checked free of cost and certificates issued. Almost 100 vehicles were checked with the help of the Traffic Police. In the evening a’Tom and Jerry’ programme was organised which taught children etiquettes, good manners.

A nutritional assessment of students of Kundan Vidya Mandir was carried out and over 100 students of Class IV were examined by a team of doctors led by Dr Deepinder Singh. Mr Vaneet Bansal and Mr Didarjit Singh have been appointed convener and coordinator, respectively, for the programmes.

Mr Manvinder Kataria, president of the chapter, told mediapersons that a lot of training programmes, community and management programmes would be organised during the week. Mr Kataria said a langar and clothes distribution function was organised at Nishkam Sewa Vridh Asharam on August 9.

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Trains to Hisar may resume today
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 14
All passenger trains running on the Ludhiana-Jakhal-Hisar section, which were cancelled more than a week ago in the wake of floods that washed away earth from beneath the railway line near Ambala, are likely to resume tomorrow, according to railway sources.

Following the damage caused to the railway line, several trains running between Amritsar and Delhi and Bombay were cancelled while several others were diverted to the Ludhiana-Jakhal-Hisar section.

Meanwhile, a passenger train left Ludhiana for Ambala as a test run last evening and according to railway sources one of the two tracks on the Ludhiana-Delhi section has been opened to rail traffic, which is expected to be normal once again within a couple of days.

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PAU VC releases book

Ludhiana, August 14
Dr Kirpal Singh Aulakh, Vice-Chancellor, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, released a book tilted 'Gyan Vigyan Parkash'. The book has been published by the Centre for Communication, Languages and Culture with the collaboration of Punjab State Council for Science and Technology(PSCST).

Dr Aulakh praised the PSCST for taking interest in the field of agriculture. He said the scientific ideas should be conveyed to the farmers in a very simple languages so that they were able to understand it properly.

Dr Surjit Singh Gill, Additional Director, Extension Education, said the book was based on the articles presented by different scientists in the state-level workshop on “Enhancing Science Coverage Through Electronic Media” organised in the university on April 1.

Dr Neelam Gulati Sharma of the Punjab State Council for Science and Technology, Chandigarh, said the university was the first institution to write articles for the workshop. The function was conducted by Mr Nirmal Jaura. All deans and directors of the university were present on the occasion. OC

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Vendors removed from Ghanta Ghar area
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 14
The city police today swung into action and chased away all roadside vendors and hawkers from the Ghanta Ghar area in connection with the Independence Day celebrations.

As a result of this drive all rehriwallahs and roadside squatters doing business within the periphery of the Clock Tower took to their heels.

However, all these encroachers are likely to return at their respective places on Monday. 

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Decision welcomed

Samrala, August 14
The Punjab Raj Pensioners Maha Sangh has welcomed the decision of the Health and Family Welfare Department of the Punjab Government to allow full reimbursement of medicines etc. against outdoor complicated chronic diseases for employees/pensioners of the government vide orders/ instructions dated July 21, 2004. OC

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Two booked for attempt to murder 
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 14
The Sarabha Nagar police, on the statement of Mr Talwinder Singh of Daad village, yesterday registered a case of attempt to murder under Sections 307,324 and 34 of the IPC against Sukhwinder Singh and Kulwinder Singh of Mansuran village.

The complainant had alleged that he was returning to the village from the city in his jeep on Thursday night, the accused intercepted him near Shaheed Karnail Singh Nagar and attacked him with knives with the intention of killing him. They fled on a scooter when raised the alarm. No arrest has been made so far.

Assault cases: A case under Sections 451,324,323,506,148 and 149 of the IPC was registered on Friday on the statement of Ms Jarnail Kaur of Partap Singh Wala village against Surinder Singh and Gurmukh Singh, residents of the same village, Raj Rani and Asha Rani, both residents of Chhawni mohalla and two other unknown women accompanying them. The woman had stated that the accused came to her house on Thursday evening, beat her up and also threatened her. No arrest has been made so far.

A case of alleged assault was registered at the Model Town police station yesterday on the statement of Mr Desh Partap Singh, who lives in Chauhan Nagar at Dugri village, against Harmandeep Singh, Amandeep Singh and Inder Angrez Singh, who live in the same locality. The complainant had alleged that the accused came to his house, beat him up and threatened him on Tuesday last.

Fraud alleged: On the statement of Mr Inderjit Kaushik, Additional Sessions Judge, the police yesterday registered a case under sections 420, 467,468, 471 and 120-B of the IPC against Harjap Singh, who hails from Thakkarwal village and is now living in Jagjit Nagar on the Pakhowal Road.

The complainant had stated that the accused had obtained a licence for a .315 bore rifle in May 1991 but had later tampered with the rifle to erase the bore number. The accused did not apply for a renewal of the licence and thus committed a fraud.

Copyright violation: On the statement of Mr Gobind Kumar Aggarwal, a New Delhi-based businessman, the police yesterday registered a case under various sections of the Copyright Act and Sections 420 and 120-B of the IPC against Amit Bansal, who owns an engineering works located in the city, and Gurdas Rai and Kamal Kumar, who live near Dana Mandi at Samrala.

The complainant had alleged that the accused were using his trade mark without his authorisation on bags of cereals and selling the same in the market. No arrest has been made so far.

Killed: Kabal Singh, a driver with the PRTC, was booked under Sections 279, 304-A and 427 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Lalit Kumar, a migrant from Bihar living in Vishwakarma Nagar on the Tajpur Road. The complainant had alleged that his brother Santosh Kumar was killed when his cycle was hit by the bus driven by Kabal Singh on the GT Road near Tajpur village on Friday evening.

Injured: Bakshish Singh, a resident of Dhann Kalan village near Patiala, was yesterday booked on the statement of Mr Munit Khanna of Dugri village. Munit was injured when Bakshish rammed his vehicle into Munit’s Maruti car injuring him and damaging the car.

Hooch seized: The police yesterday arrested Ajay Kumar, a migrant from Lucknow and living in Vijay Nagar, seized 20 bottles of hooch from his possession and booked him under the Excise Act.

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Small industry opposes service tax
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 14
The Federation of Tiny and Small Industries of India has opposed clause VI of the Budget 2004-05( provision of service on behalf of the client) wherein, any activity that amounts to 'manufacturing' within the meaning of clause 'f' of Section 2 of Central Excise Act 1944.

A meeting of the federation was held here today under the chairmanship of its president, Mr Joginder Kumar. The federation, along with its affiliated associations, apprehended that that the tiny and small-scale units which were engaged in the manufacturing process, if brought under this clause would face huge losses and the production cost would escalate.

Mr Joginder Kumar pointed out that the in-house experiment had failed miserably, as the fixed investment in plant and machinery was very high and the installation capacity remained, unutilised as it was used once a month.

He observed that the government was under wrong notion that such manufacturing processes are job works, whereas these are manufacturing processes for all purposes. He reminded the government that as per the 46th amendment in 1986 such process had been considered as sales and not job work.

The present practice of deducting TDS at the rate of 2 per cent was erroneous and not justified, as the same was refunded at the time of assessment. 

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