L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Services of DMC staff union leader, 4 others terminated
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 23
In a major decision the management of the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) today terminated the services of five union leaders, including that of president Chandermohan Kalia, since they had been regularly instigating the hospital staff to hold strikes in the institution.

The decision was widely hailed by the teachers and non-teaching staff, who were fed up with the day-to-day strikes allegedly instigated by these leaders. An atmosphere of uncertainty had been prevailing in the premier health institution of the city as nobody knew when the hospital would close down even on a slightest provocation.

Recently the teaching and the non-teaching officers associations of the twin institutions, the DMCH and the Hero DMC Heart Centre, had passed a unanimous resolution seeking the termination of the services of Mr Kalia and others.

Four others, whose services have been terminated, along with that of mr Kalia, include Irfan, Ram Singh and Anuj. Of these Anuj was an employees of the Hero DMC Heart Centre, while four others were working in the DMCH.

No senior official of the management was available for comments. However, sources disclosed that the management had been thinking for quite some time to terminate the services of these five union leaders as they had “made it a habit to hold the entire institution to ransom.” Acting tough, the management this time reportedly asked each and every employee to ensure that he or she was on duty in a disciplined.

This much-awaited action of the DMCH Management came after the Punjab Government notified in an order that the functioning of the DMCH fell under the purview of the essential services Act. Under the leadership of the union leader, Mr Kalia, the working in DMCH or the Hero DMC Heart Centre was being effected after every couple of months on some demand or other.

The management was reported to have taken into confidence the district administration so that no untoward incident was allowed to take place in the hospital.

The administration was also annoyed with Kalia and his supporters as he had gone back on his commitment that he would not allow the functioning of the hospital to suffer. He had signed an agreement with the management, which had been brokered by the district administration, only a couple of months ago. But he went back on his commitment and instigated strike again in the DMCH.

Recently Kalia had also taken away his father after getting a bypass surgery performed on him without paying a penny to the hospital. He had taken the plea that the dependents of the employees were entitled to free medical treatment. This was taken seriously by the management as he had started becoming a law unto himself.

There was a sense of relief among the faculty, the students and most of the non-teaching staff of the hospital after the news spread that the services of Kalia and four others had been terminated. A number of social and political organisations also welcomed the decision of the management and assured full support to the management to fight the mischievous elements who were bent upon to vitiate the peaceful atmosphere of the hospital. 



Khula darbar a flop show, fume residents; Mayor denies
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 23
High drama was witnessed at the khula darbar held by the city Mayor, Mr Nahar Singh Gill, here today, where a form seller was indulging in black-marketing of license and old age pension forms right under the nose of authorities and residents raised a lot of hue and cry there.

The Mayor then himself went to the form seller and saw that he was selling the license forms at as high as Rs 30 to 50. He then handed the selller to the police.

But the programme, organised with much fanfare, turned out to be a flop show with the residents alleging that none of their work was completed today.

Many residents, who had been waiting since 10 a.m. at the Government School, Sherpur Kalan, venue of the khula darbar, had to go back empty handed as the forms finished very soon. Officials on duty were not able to cope up with the heavy rush of residents as serpentine queues were witnessed at the counters selling old age pension and license forms.

The event started with the long speeches by some political leaders. While the leaders were busy at the dais, the residents were fuming as nothing had been organised properly. When a team of mediapersons arrived at the spot, the angry residents, who were not being unheard, lodged their protests with the media. Fearing loss of reputation, the area councillor, Mr Sardul Singh Grewal, intervened and tried to pacify the residents by claiming that nothing wrong was going on.

Soon, the Mayor hearing the hue and cry of residents’ went to the counter and caught hold of the man, who was indulging in black-marketing of the forms. He then handed him over to the Focal Point police. The Mayor then distributed the license forms, free of cost, from the dais. He asked the residents to lodge their complaints of overcharging of the forms and claimed that the money would be recovered from the form seller and handed over to them.

Later, while addressing the mediapersons, Mr Gill said that they had witnessed an ‘‘unexpected crowd’’ and the programme could not be ‘‘well organised.’’ He added that they would be organising a similar function in January and make sure that nobody had any reason to complain. He added that the maximum complaints were about old age pension, ration card followed by working of Municipal Corporation. He thanked the residents for bringing the matter into his notice.

Mr Surinder Dawer, local MLA and Parliamentary Secretary, said that function was more of a chaos. He was a chief guest on the occasion and provided a grant of Rs 3 lakh for the school on the occasion.

Mr Jogi Ram Singla, a resident of Fauji Colony, said that he had been waiting for a license form since 10 a.m. but he had been not provided with the same. ‘‘They are making us listen to their long speeches. How are we bothered if the Chief Minister or other leaders are praised and when we can see for ourselves what kind of administration they are giving us. They had claimed to prepare on-the-spot licenses. I took a leave from my office and now realise that I wasted my day. There are no forms. What to talk of making of a license?’’ he fumed.

Another resident, Mr Arvind Kumar of Bhagat Singh Colony, aired similar grievance. He said that there was no information about anything. He added that he wanted a card for the ration card but he was not provided with it.

Meanwhile, a communique by the Mayor in the evening claimed that the process to prepare as many as 411 ration cards and 97 widow pensions was initiated today. 



PAU to make budgetary provision for pension fund
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 23
Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) has decided to make a special budgetary provision for the depleting pension fund of the university. This was a long-pending demand of employees who were apprehensive that in case no such provision was made, most of them may not be able to draw their pension. The decision was taken at a meeting of the Board of Management of the university held in Chandigarh today.

The decision has been hailed in the university by the teaching and non-teaching staff. While from the financial year 2005-2006 there would be a separate budgetary provision for the pension fund, for the remaining quarter of the current financial year supplementary provision would be made in the budget.

The board which met under the chairmanship of the Vice-Chancellor, Dr K.S. Aulakh, also took some other important decisions. These included the winding up of the architecture unit of the university. The board considered it to be “the vanishing unit” since there would be no architect left in the unit after the retirement of the current head next year. The remaining staff of the unit will be adjusted in different departments. The architectural work would be done by the construction division of the university.

The board also nominated Mr Sant Singh Brar to the finance committee for a year. It also approved the appointment of Dr Ranjodhan Singh Shaota as the head of the Veterinary Extension Education Department.

The university also decided to give special promotion and increment to scientists and teachers working in the university and who had done their PhD before 1996. About the provident fund deposit of the employees, the board made it clear that the employees can keep their money in it for a year after retirement or death. After this period, the employees will get interest on a par with that given by the nationalised banks on saving account.

Mr Balwant Singh, whose one third pension had been withheld, failed to appear before the board today. He has been seeking full pension against the PAU order. The Board decided to give him one more chance to appear at the next meeting.

The president of PAUTA, Dr Hari Singh Brar, said it was a long-pending demand of the employees as they were worried about their pension.

The president of the Non-Teaching Employees Union, Mr D.P. Maur, said, it was too early to comment as he was yet to study the decision of the board. He said it was up to the Punjab government to accept the board’s recommendations and only then could the employees heave a sigh of relief.



NRIs donate Rs 1.2 lakh for school
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 23
Two NRI brothers, belonging to Mullanpur village, donated Rs 1.20 lakh for the upgradation of a government school today. Mr Harwant Singh Gill and Mr Narinder Singh Gill, London-based businessmen, have promised Rs 80,000 moreonce the  money was used in the construction of rooms, besides replacing the roof.

Recalling the days when both were students of Government Primary School at Mullanpur, they said they had received their education here and were doing well abroad.

The donation was received by Sarpanch Amrik Singh at a function in the school.

Mr Harwant Singh said the panchayat had asked him to donate money for a dispensary.

‘‘But I was not interested. It was already in bad shape. Moreover, I did not see a doctor often there so we decided to donate the money for the school. The roof was broken at places and there was leakage,” he said.

Mr Gill said he visited the village every year. ‘‘So, donating for a cause as great as education was the best idea,’’ he said.



Tax commissioners interact with tax payers
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 23
Two Income Tax Commissioners Mr MMA Chaudhry and Mr AK Mehrish assured members of Ludhiana Citizens Council (LCC) and the audience that Income Tax Department should not be considered an ‘ogre’. They were invited by the Ludhiana Citizens Council to interact with people at a function last night.

Mr Banga , Secretary general , of the LCC welcomed the guests . Mr Ashok Juneja, secretary general speaking on behalf of the public urged the commissioners to lower taxation rates. He said Indians pay the highest tax. Back


Problems of working women ‘on the rise’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 23
Problems being faced by working women are on the rise in the country. These range from sexual exploitation to family demands on surrender of salary of the women to husbands. Even in a place like Delhi the National Commission for Women (NCW) receives two to three working women specific complaints every month, revealed Baby Rani Maurya, member, National Commission for Women.

Talking to The Ludhiana Trubune, Ms Maurya, who was here for a workshop for the SC/BC women of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, said problems of a working woman increased after she got married. Other major problems related to marriages to NRIs, who left their wives in the lurch after marriage, female foeticide and dowry. 



Demand to re-start sugar mill
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, December 23
Hundreds of workers of various organisations, including labourer, employees and farmers, on a call given by the Sahkari Khand Mill Bachao Action Committee, Jagraon, today organised a protest rally and held a dharna in front of the office of the local SDM. They handed over a memorandum to Mr Gurmit Singh, SDM, to forward the memo to the state government.

They demanded the immediate resumption of sugar mill and to drop the decision to sell it to private party. Mr Tejinder Singh Nanni, president of sugar mill employees union, demanded to restructure the price of molasses to meet the loss of the sugar mill.

They warned the state government of tough action in the event the government make any effort to dispose of the mill.

The rally also demanded a immediate payment to the cane growers against their outstanding arrears.

The other who participated were the workers of the food and Allied Workers Union, the BSNL Employees Union, the Panjab Roadways Employees Union. Back


Winter Queen contest

Ludhiana, December 23
The Sarabha Ladies club celebrated Christmas and organised ‘Winter Queen Contest’ here today. More than 20 members participated in the contest. In the above 55 years age group, Neelam Manchanda was the winner while Rama Shori and Amarjit Kaur were the first and second runners-up.

In 45-55 year age group, Shammi Bindra was declared winner and first runner-up was Neelam Mahendru. Ms Pammi Sidhu was the winner in 35-45 year age group. The first runner up was Kusum Bhalla and second runner up was Uma Sharma. In below 35, Sapna Arora became the winter queen while Sonia Oberoi and Ritu Dhingra were the first and second runners.



Brahmin to pay homage

Samrala, December 23
A jatha of the Brahmin Sabha, under the leadership of Mr Kulwant Rai Sharma, organising secretary, will march to Fatehgarh Sahib to pay homage to the martyrs, Sahibzada. Baba Zorawar Singh Ji, Baba Fateh Singh Ji, and Mata Gujri Ji.

The jatha will start at 8 on December 25 from Samrala and will join the Brahmin Jatha at Mandi Gobindgarh at 9 am from where all jathas will proceed to the Fatehgarh Sahib gurudwara. OC



Maruti car stolen
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, December 23
Some unknown persons are alleged to have stolen Maruti car (PB-10U-0072 and a mobile phone from Mandi Mullanpur. The Dakha police on the statement of Bhupinder Singh of Mohi has registered a case under section 379 IPC.

In another incident, unknown persons allegedly have stolen Rs 2,000 in cash after breaking the lock of a cash box from Gurdwara Shekhupura. Case under Sections 457 and 380 IPC has been registered.

Truck drivers held
The dakha police booked Jaimal Singh of Fatehpur (Rajpura) and Sewa Singh of Mehta (Amritsar ) on the charge of blocking traffic by parking their trucks PB-10B-4887 and PB-10AG 9759 at unruthorised place. A case has been registered.

Hooch seized
The local police during patrolling arrested Manpreet Singh of Bank Colony Raikot and seized 13 bottles of hooch from his possession. A case has been registered. 



PNB signs pact on money transfer
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 23
Punjab National Bank (PNB) has signed an agreement with Weizmann Forex for money transfer services. The MoU was signed by Dr K.C.Chakrabarty, ED, PNB, and Mr B.S. Shetty, CEO, Weizmann Forex.

Mr K.C. Chakrabarty said the bank had designated 400 branches in various zones to handle transactions and estimated total revenue of $ 7.75 per transaction without incurring any marketing cost and business volume of 10 transactions per month per location for 400 branches.

He said there would be 4,000 transactions per month for the bank which would generate an income of $ 31,000 every month.Back


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