L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Punjab Govt declares DMCH strike illegal
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 9
The Labour and Employment Department of the Punjab Government in its notification has declared Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) as a public utility service, thus forbidding any strike in the hospital. Consequently, the hospital administration has warned employees to perform their duties to ensure the smooth functioning of the hospital. The management also reiterated that the policy of no work no pay shall be enforced for the employees not responding to the appeal.

Meanwhile, 43 patients were admitted to the hospital in the past 24 hours. The billing services continued to be disrupted but the hospital administration has made alternative arrangements. Though some technicians didn’t report for duty, the labs were run by the medical staff and the paramedical staff.

The Central Sterile Store Department was also forcibly closed for the night, causing difficulty to patients who were likely to undergo surgery. The OPDs were functioning normally and registered 692 patients. The faculty members of the DMCH have expressed their concern over the situation since there is no “significant” issue involved. They have offered their support to run the institution under any circumstances.

Today, the hospital management and administration reiterated that the policy of no work, no pay was strictly being implemented. Those employees who were not performing their designated work would be considered absent from duty. Only those who were present at their place and actually working would be considered present.

At a meeting of the College Council, all heads of department expressed their anguish over the way a small number of employees were holding the hospital to ransom without any reason and trying to cause inconvenience to the public. The billing and the Central Sterile Store Department was affected today as some employees did not report for duty. However, work was still carried out as the hospital administration had made alternative arrangements.

Meanwhile, Ms Rajwant Randhawa, president of the DMC Employees Union, today condemned Mr Chandermohan Kalia for resorting to “hooliganism” in the hospital. She said: “I will not call it a strike but simple hooliganism and bullying by Mr Kalia”.

Ms Randhawa regretted that the DMC Management was not taking any action against him and had not even issued a show-cause notice to him. She alleged, that even the current strike being sponsored by his group was being timed to build pressure so that the father of Mr Kalia was treated well in the hospital. She said while they (Kalia’s supporters) were trying to enforce the strike, everywhere, but for Hero DMC Heart Centre where Mr Kalia’s father was admitted.



Recruitment controversy in PAU
Violation of rules alleged
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 9
The recently held interview for the post of a "beldaar" in Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), for which 1700 youths, including postgraduates, had flocked the varsity, has run into a controversy following allegations that the post has been awarded to an applicant in violation of the rules.

The Daily Paid Labour Union of the PAU today alleged that the post has been awarded to a youth having only a few months of experience while others with over 20 years of experience were ignored. The union has urged the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, to order probe into the scandal and punish those guilty.

Dr G.S. Nanda, Director, Research, who is also the chairman of the selection committee, said the post had been filled as per rules. He said the post was reserved for physically challenged persons and only 10-12 persons were eligible under the category out of which the most suitable candidate had been selected by the committee.

On the other hand, Mr Sandeep Kumar, general secretary of the union, in a statement, alleged that the PAU had violated a notification of the state government which called for the regularisation of daily wage earners who had completed three years of work. However, he alleged that the university had ignored the experience of daily wage earners who had been working for nearly two decades in the PAU. He alleged that the recruitment was done at the behest of senior officials of the PAU.

The Class-IV post had generated a lot of interest since a large number of youths had reached the campus last month and were interviewed in a single day by a committee of experts under the chairmanship of Dr Nanda.

There was a commotion on the campus on November 29 when the interview was held. Media reports revealed that many postgraduates had come for the interview.



Hosiery stocks pile up at railway station
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 9
Huge stocks of hosiery goods are piling up at the Ludhiana Railway Station. The goods are awaiting to be despatched to different destinations across the country. With the onset of winter, hosiery manufacturers are making a beeline to the station with the goods.

Hosiery dealers said they were facing difficulties in transporting their goods. Since there were no additional trains or additional space available with the Railways, the goods were being sent in the usual routine. But that did not satisfy the needs of the hosiery industry here.

Most of the hosiery industry depended on the Railways for its transportation. There were a few big manufacturers who managed their own transport. The hosiery manufacturers had been seeking additional parcel capacities in the existing trains so that the goods were delivered on time, the dealers said.

They pointed out the delivery of the goods could help them reap benefits. If the delivery got delayed they had to either offer massive discounts or their goods were rejected. However, they said the Railways were not cooperative. The goods had to wait for a few days at the railway station for their onward journey.

They were also apprehensive of the bad weather. Although the trains are running on time so far, but there was no guarantee that the weather would not play truant. If there was dense fog on a single day, the entire schedule of the Railways got disturbed. That was why the manufacturers were rushing with their stocks to the railway station as early as possible.

Railway officials expressed helplessness. They pointed out that they did not have any authority to run additional trains. They said they were not even in a position to add additional parcel coaches to the existing trains. It was quite a lengthy process. At best they could make recommendations to the higher authorities which would obviously take some time, they said.



ICICI Bank ATMs go haywire
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 9
Most of ATMs of ICICI Bank here are learnt to have gone out of order. Customer care executives have one simple answer, “try another ATM”.

It is learnt that there are about 10 ATMs of ICICI Bank in the city. Most of these, including the one at Feroze Gandhi Market which remains the busiest of all, have one problem or the another.

Usually the ATMs have the upper dispensing limit of Rs 20,000. But most ATMs do not dispense more than Rs 4,000 in one swipe. Sometimes they don’t provide slips of the details, mini statements or the cash balance available against the account.

Interestingly at the Feroze Gandhi ATM, on several occasion, customers have to return without money as it runs out of money, too, frequently.

There are thousands of account holders of ICICI Bank in Ludhiana. The customers said, the bank should have provided adequate facilities keeping in view the demand of the customers. Once the bank issued ATM cards, they should provide the proper infrastructure also, said Mr Arvind Kumar, a customer.

ICICI Bank officials could not be contacted. However, a customer care executive said she was not in a position to comment. She did not provide any numbers of the officials who could “be in a position to comment”.



Insurance staff to observe strike on December 21
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 9
All four public sector general insurance companies will observe a nationwide strike on December 21 in protest against the alleged indifferent attitude of the management towards their demands.

Mr Arun Kalia, member of the CWC-General Insurance Officers All-India Association, said the call for the strike had been given by all unions and associations of all public sector insurers.

The association alleged that the management had adopted an indifferent attitude towards their demands related to wage revision, promotion and pother issues.

“The association had presented a memorandum on November 24 to the Finance Minister regarding 10 issues for consideration,” he said.

These issues were the immediate implementation of the promotion scheme, wage revision, non-core benefits, monolithic culture, autonomy to individual companies on vigilance matters, third party administrator for medi-claim insurance, level playing field and check-off facility, he said.

The association said they had also urged the government management to carry out the current year promotion exercise without any reference to the Ferguson Report. “The offer of 8.5 per cent wage hike by GIPSA made during the meeting at Hyderabad in November has also been outrightly rejected by the unions and associations involved in these negotiations,” he said.



Woman, son booked for forgery
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 9
The Focal Point police is searching a mother and son who have allegedly extorted money from an area resident in the name of some city police officials, besides forging a sale agreement in their favour.

The accused Gurmail Kaur and Harjit Singh alias Raju have been booked under various sections for cheating and forgery of documents. Interestingly, they have also been booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act, which is normally applied in case of government officials.

The accused had allegedly taken Rs 15,000 from Avtar Singh, resident of Dhandari Kalan, for settling a dispute he had with his eight tenant shopkeepers. The accused also allegedly prepared a fake sale agreement of the shops owned by the complainant and were threatening him with dire consequences for its implementation.

The police was suspecting that the duo had duped many other people also by taking money in the name of the police.

The complainant Avtar Singh has in the FIR stated that he had a dispute over water supply with his eight tenant shopkeepers. He claimed that the accused approached him saying they would get him help from the police and took the money.

The police was conducting raids to arrest the accused, sources said.



Body of second labourer retrieved
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 9
Rescue operations concluded as the partially decayed body of the second labourer was retrieved after three days of joint efforts by villagers and the administration late evening on Wednesday.

The labour retrieved was identified as Ajaib Singh of Manki village who was declared dead by doctors on duty at Civil Hospital, Sudhar.

The rescue operations resumed in the evening for the retrieval of Ajaib Singh who was buried along with Chhinder Singh on Sunday while digging a tubewell bore in the fields of Baldev Singh of Seeloani village in Raikot sudivision.

Cremation of the bodies took place at their villages, Bapla and Manki, in Malerkotla subdivisions.



Abduction accused still not arrested
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 9
Even after 10 days of the abduction of a minor girl of Buraj Littan village the police has been unable to identify the three accomplices of the main accused and none of them has been arrested yet.

Meanwhile, the registration of a criminal case against members of the family of the girl by the Sidhwan Bet police has further complicated the case.

Observations revealed that no arrest had yet been made in connection with the case registered at Sudhar police station against a youth of Lohat Baddi village and three other unidentified youths for allegedly abducting the minor girl. The police claimed to have raided the suspected hideouts of the accused but to no avail.

According to the complaint lodged by Manjit Singh, farmer of Buraj Littan village, his daughter Kuldeep Kaur (name changed) has been kidnapped allegedly by Acchra Singh, resident of Lohat Baddi village, and his three other accomplices who are yet to be identified.

Kuldeep Kaur (17), Class X student of a private school at Halwara village, had developed proximity to the main accused Acchra Singh during her frequent visits to Lohat Baddi. The houses of her maternal grandparents and that of the accused were situated opposite to each other.

Based on the information received from witnesses from his own village, Manjit Singh had told the police that the accused had kidnapped his daughter from the outskirts of the village on the evening of November 28 when she was returning home from fields. The suspects had come on two motor cycles and the names of three of them were not known to the complainant.

The family members had been searching the girl themselves for the obvious reason of defamation and ultimately reported the matter to the Sudhar police on Sunday. The police registered a case under Sections 363, 366 and 34 of the IPC and started investigation.

Inquiries by Ludhiana Tribune revealed that Sidhwan Bet police station had already registered a case under Sections 365, 367 and 34 of the IPC against Kulwinder Singh, brother of the abducted girl, and five more persons on a complaint of Nachhatar Singh of Bhundri village

Mr Rajiv Ahir, SSP, Jagraon, disclosed that the cases registered at Sidhwan Bet police station had been registered before the parents of the girl informed the Sudhar police about the incident.



Meeting on oilseed milling held
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 9
A meeting on oilseed milling technology between the Central Institute of Post-Harvest Engineering and Technology (CIPHET) and Oil Mill Machinery Manufacturers Association was organised at the conference hall of the institute here today.

Mr R. C. Chopra, Director, SISI, was the chief guest while Dr S. M. Ilyas, Director, CIPHET, presided over the function. The meeting was attended by around 50 delegates from the association, scientists, MERADO and officers of the SISI.

Dr R. K. Gupta, Senior Scientist, welcomed the delegates Dr O. D. Wanjari, Head, of the Foodgrains and Oilseeds Processing Division, spoke on the background of the meeting by highlighting various research projects undertaken by the CIPHET related to oilseeds processing and various oilseed processing machinery and equipment developed by the CIPHET.

Dr Ilyas spoke on the scenario of oilseed processing and by-product utilisation. During his presentation, he stressed on the importance of cleaning, grading and various pre-milling treatments applied to oilseeds prior to actual expelling. He informed that only 10.3 per cent of actual capacity is utilised in the oilseed processing mills.

He called upon the members of the association to gear up to adopt the up-to-date modern milling technology to be able to compete with the global market in view of complete opening of Indian economy from the next year onwards.

Mr Sudarshan Singla, president of the Oil Mill Machinery Manufacturers Association, thanked the initiative of the CIPHET. He stressed the need for developing processing technology for Jatropha, on oilseed identified for bio-diesel.

Mr R. C. Chopra of the association informed about the various government schemes like cluster approach programme and subsidy scheme for the development of the industry in getting ISO certification. Thereafter, an open house discussion was held.

During his concluding remarks, Mr Harish Singla, spokesman for the association, expressed the need to declare the oil-milling industry as agro-based industry. He also proposed a vote of thanks.



Pisciculture to be promoted in villages
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 9
With a view to shoring the finances of village panchayats, the district authorities have decided to promote pisciculture in villages ponds which have remained neglected or have become dumping grounds for village waste.

Deputy Commissioner Anurag Verma today visited Barwala village in the district and reviewed the digging of the village pond with the JCB machines provided to the District Village and Panchayat Development Officer. This has been done following objections raised by Irrigation and Power Minister Lal Singh over non-utilisation of the machines at the previous planning board meeting.

Mr Verma disclosed that over the years the ponds had not been used by villagers with the result that they had either been encroached upon or had become silted with the dumping of garbage by the villagers. Such ponds had also become an environmental hazard and the need of the hour was to restore them to their original glory.

This would not only help in restoring the environmental balance but would also earn revenue for the cash-strapped panchayats. Since most of the land around the ponds had been encroached upon, he directed the DDPO to get the area of the ponds earmarked so that shops could be constructed along its periphery to fetch more revenue to the villages.This would also ensure that no one dumped waste in the ponds, he pointed out.

He said 50 ponds had been identified in the district for the limited exercise where the machines would be used for clearing the silt. As many as 38 ponds had been cleaned and prepared for the release of seedlings. The administration would provide all assistance in case the panchayats faced any difficulties in securing seedlings or loans for the purpose.

The cleared ponds would help in tackling the declining ground water table in the villages. He also directed the DDPO to speed up the work and ensure that all problems of the villagers were redressed.

Later on, the DC visited the village school and inspected the midday meal scheme, he examined the foodgrains and inspected the quality of the food being served to the children.

On his way back, he also stopped to examine the ongoing work Kohara at the village pond. He urged the villagers to join hands to make the scheme a success so that the income of the village panchayats could be augmented.



Donations, functions mark Sonia’s birthday
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 9
Blood donation camp, distribution of fruits and sweets among lepers and physically challenged children and several other functions organised by the Congress and its front organisations here today on the 58th birthday of Ms Sonia Gandhi, President of All-India Congress Committee and the chairperson of the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) in the Centre.

Praying for long life and good health of Ms Gandhi at a meeting held in Congress Bhavan, the District Congress Committee (DCC) president Jagmohan Sharma exhorted party workers to follow the example of selfless service and sacrifice done by Ms Gandhi when she declined the post of the Prime Minister in the larger interest of the nation and its people. Those present at the meeting took a pledge to serve the society and the country and follow in the footsteps of great leaders of the party.

Later the party activists marched to the local Civil Hospital and the “kusht ashram” for distribution of fruits among patients and lepers. Prominent among others present were Mr Satish Sharma Showman, Mr Arun Likhi, Mr Ravi Sehgal, Mr Sameer Sharma, Mr Walaiti Ram Kundra, Mr Vijay Sharma, Mr K.K. Garg, Mr Pritpal Singh Ghayal, Mr Hans Raj Gagat, Mr Dharam Vir, Mr Sham Sunder Malhotra, Mr Ashwani Kapoor, Ms Shashi Sood, Lala Jiwan Kumar, Mr Kala Sareen, Mr Chander Shekhar Sahota and Mr Vijay Sharma.

Functionaries of the Terrorist Victims Association cut the birthday cake and distributed sweets among deaf and dumb in the school for physically challenged children run by the District Red Cross Society in Sarabha Nagar to celebrate the birthday of Ms Sonia Gandhi. Besides Mr Krishan Kumar Bawa, president of the association, Mr Jiwan Dhawan, Mr Pawan Diwan, Mr Ashok Makkar, Mr Pawan Garg, Dr J.B. Rao, Mr Amandeep Bawa and Mr Tek Chand attended the function.

Mr Bawa commented that every Indian felt pride over the sense of sacrifice shown by Ms Gandhi in turning down the highest political post of the biggest democracy in the world.

He announced a monthly scholarship of Rs 500 in the name of Ms Sonia Gandhi to inmates of the deaf and dumb school for overall excellence.

More than 30 units of blood were collected at a blood donation camp, organised by Mr Ishwarjot Cheema, vice-president, Punjab Youth Congress at Punjab University Extension Library to celebrate the birthday of AICC President Sonia Gandhi.

PYC president Raminder Amla, while inaugurating the camp, asked the party workers to dedicate themselves for the welfare of the people and to take the message of the party leaders to the people to inculcate the sense of nationalism and patriotism among them.

In another function, held in Nanak Nagar, Congress leader Kewal Arora made a fervent appeal to the party workers to come forward for social service and to provide relief to depressed and weaker sections of society. Mr Arora and other party activists distributed sweaters and stationery articles among needy students.

Among others, Mr Chaman Lal, Mr Nirmal Virk, Mr Balbir Billa, Mr Pankaj Sood, Mr Arun Bedi, Mr Nek Chand, Mr Rajesh Rajja, Mr Anil Sharma, Mr Ravinder Bittu, Dr K. K. Kharbanda and Mr Santosh Kumar were present.



For women, life begins at 40
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 9
The real life of a woman starts only after 40. The only condition is that she should ensure good health which is possible only by regular monitoring and medical check-ups. This was stated at a seminar by Dr Birinder Kaur Ahuja, a gynaecologist, at Lakshmi Ladies Club, here today.

Delivering a lecture on “Life after 40”, she said women should be aware about menopausal complications and the ways to handle them. She said women could lead a healthy and joyful life only if they went regular check-ups and monitored their health. “You are as old as you think yourself to be”, she added.

Dr Sanjeev Mahajan, an orthopaedic surgeon, delivered a lecture on knee pain and knee replacement surgery. He said, it had become a common practice now and the medical science had made massive advances in knee replacement surgery.

Dr Sumeet Chopra emphasised the need for regular diabetes and eye check-up after 40. He said, it was important to monitoring the blood sugar level as women could be vulnerable after the age of 40.



Girl injured in accident

Ludhiana, December 9
A girl riding a Kinetic Honda was injured when a Tata Safari knocked her down in Kitchlu Nagar here today late afternoon. Rekha Gheek, of Rishi Nagar was riding a Kinetic Honda when a Tata Safari came from behind and knocked her down. She has been hospitalised. The police has registered a case. TNS



Biz Clips

WATCH STORE OPENED: Kamla Dials and Devices today launched its premium multi-brand watch boutique Ethos Swiss Watch Studios in Feroze Gandhi Market here. Announcing the launch of the sixth store in the country today, Mr R.K. Saboo, chairman, Kamla Dials and Devices, said the store would display more than 15 international watch brands like Rado, Dior, Tag Heur, Longines, Balmain, Omega, Corum and Carl F Buherer.

Mr Saboo said the company had also started an installment purchase scheme for credit card users that would enable the purchase of watches above Rs 15,000 with up to 12 EMIs at zero per cent interest with no initial deposit. — TNS

SHOE POLISH: Renckitt Benckiser launched Quick Wax, a new product. Quick Wax is available in black and white a press note added. — TNS

D’MARS: D’Mars, a brand from the house of Ankit Garments, will now be available at TNG’s outlet at Mall Road here. A company press note said D’Mars shirts, trousers, jackets, coats, suits and pullovers are available in the price range from Rs 395 to
Rs 595. — TNS


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