L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


MC fails to desilt Budha Nullah
Threat of floods gives residents sleepless nights
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 10
Even as the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation, (LMC), claims to have cleaned the Budha Nullah of water hyacinth, a thick layer of silt on its bed is giving residents, living alongside the nullah, sleepless nights.

They claim that the silt in the tributary was enough to cause flood in their area and inundate their houses once again but the civic body had failed to do anything in this regard.

Residents of New Madhopuri, New Kundanpuri, Shiv Puri, Luv Kush Nagar, Salim Tabri, Mahavir Jain Colony, New Puneet Nagar and Kirpal Nagar, who face the fury of floods caused by the nullah said that silt was the major reason behind the floods as the nullah was not able to contain the rain water itself.

‘‘After rain showers every year we have to bear the brunt of situation. Water enters our houses and we have to shift our household goods to safer places. But nobody listens to us. It is a same story every year.’’ said Mr Gian Chand, a resident of Puneet Nagar.

He said the entire water body required de-silting as heaps of garbage and other material was lying on its bed. ‘‘Removing the water hyacinth is alright but who will clean the silt?’’ asked Mr Gian Chand.

Residents of Mahavir Jain Colony, who had already suffered due to floods twice during this season only said that had the MC cleaned the nullah before the monsoon only they could had been saved of this torture.

‘‘We remained confined to first floors of our houses for two days. The dirty water had entered our houses. It was only then that the MC team arrived and pumped the water out. Had they cleared the water hyacinth a month ago we would have been saved. Is there anybody to ask them,’’ asked a resident.

He said every year, lakhs of rupees were spent on the cleaning of nullah but the ground reality was that, despite the money spent on cleaning operation, residents had to suffer.

Mr Parvin Bansal, a senior BJP leader, and leader of opposition in the MC house said the civic body lacked infrastructure to deal with the silt as there were no machines used in the entire operation.

‘‘Every year they write to Drainage Department for the machine. This year also they had done so but there was some problem and no de-silting was carried out.’’ he added.

While the residents show their displeasure at the absence of de-silting, the MC officials say here residents are to be blamed. They said that it was residents only who were responsible for the silting in most of the cases. It was bags full of garbage and other waste materials from the small units alongside the nullah that interrupted the smooth flow of water in the nullah. The residents litter everywhere and then they want the civic body to clean it.



Alarming rise in allergies in city
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 10
“An estimated 10 to 20 per cent people in India are suffering from one or the other allergic diseases whereas the incidence of these diseases in the world is 4 to 40 per cent. Two major diseases, asthma and allergic, rhinitis, caused by allergy, accounted for nearly 1.8 lakh deaths in the world, according to a survey conducted by the World Allergy Organisation.”

These observations were made by Dr Pradeep Kapoor, head of the Chest Diseases Department, in Mohan Dai Oswal Hospital while addressing a function to mark the “World Allergy Day” here yesterday.

The most common disease caused by allergic conditions is allergic rhinitis in which predominant symptoms were frequent sneezing and watery discharge from nose, irritation in throat and clogging of nasal passage. Depending on the intensity and aggravating factors, the patient could suffer from the disease all year round or for a certain period during the year in particular weather conditions.

Dr Kapoor pointed out that both asthma and allergic rhinitis were closely inter-related since it was observed that around 78 per cent asthma patients also suffered from allergic rhinitis and similarly, 38 per cent of those suffering from allergic rhinitis had asthmatic conditions. “The treatment of allergic rhinitis is nasal sprays which are beneficial to a great extent in relieving the discomfort.”

According to Dr Kapoor, the key to treatment of allergic diseases was identification of the cause of allergy. For this purpose, lifestyle of the patient and particular weather conditions when the disease aggravated, had to be examined in detail. In majority of the cases (30 to 50 percent), the allergic diseases could be congenital whereas some others could have acquired the same from other members of the family.

Speaking at the occasion, Dr Suresh Goyal attributed the alarming rise in allergic and other respiratory diseases among the people in this city to high level of environmental pollution. In the wake of enormous number of three wheelers and other mass transport vehicles plying in the city which were wreaking havoc to the environment, he made a fervent plea with the government to think in terms of switching over to CNG-run auto-rickshaws and public transport vehicles in the industrial capital of the state.



Jagraon, Zira sugar mills to be disinvested
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 10
The Minister for Cooperatives and Horticulture, Mr Jasjit Singh Randhawa said here today that the government was studying the plight of sugar mills in the state and was seriously considering disinvestment in these. He said two sugar mills at Jagraon and Zira had already been placed for disinvestment.

The minister admitted that most of the mills were running under losses. He said there was a stiff competition from private sugar mills, which were better equipped in terms of technology and other inputs. The government had decided only about the two cooperative sugar mills of Jagraon and Zira for disinvestment, while no decision had been taken about others, he said.

However, he claimed that the performance of cooperative sugar mills had improved and the mills had earned a cumulative profit of Rs 30 crore during last year. He said of the total pending payment of farmers of Rs 72 crore they had been paid Rs 30 crore, while Rs 22 crore would be paid by September this year. He informed that the Central Government had also sanctioned Rs 12 crore for this purpose.

Referring to the strengthening of cooperative movement in Punjab, the minister said the Congress government had completed elections to all democratic and cooperative institutions in the state. He said to help the small and marginal farmers, which accounts for 84 per cent of the total number, the government had decided to set up multi-purpose cooperative societies where all required farm machinery would be made available.

Mr Randhawa said the Cooperative Department had also decided to double the credit limits of the farmers in a phased manner and 30 per cent limit had been enhanced during the last year. While 30 per cent was being enhanced during the current year, another 30 per cent increase would be made in the next financial year. He claimed that the Congress government had reduced the rate of interest on cooperative loans from 14 per cent to 10 per cent for the farmers. It had also decided to give a further rebate of 1 per cent to the good pay masters. The credit limits for the purchase of diesel by the farmers had also been increased from Rs 1,000 per acre to Rs 2,000 per acre keeping in view the rising cost of diesel. The minister said the state government was fully committed to fulfilling the promise of free power to small and marginal farmers, which would be implemented from August, 15.



Help mishap victim, get award
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 10
In order to save precious lives that are lost for delay in providing medical aid to the injured in accidents, the city police has launched a public participation scheme in which those persons who help such victims would be suitably honoured.

The scheme aims to change the mindset of the public that the police harasses anybody taking an accident victim to the hospital.

The police has put up boards all over the city, especially at busy road crossings. The message says that the accident victims should be attended to immediately and those doing so would be honoured. People are exhorted to call at the police control room No. 100 for providing information about the accident.

Police sources said it was a general attitude of passersby to ignore an accident victim on the road. The victim could be saved if given first-aid or rushed to the hospital. The police has tried to encourage people by putting up the notice boards.

Sources said more people die for want of timely medical aid than the impact of the accidents. It was hoped that the death rate in road accidents would be controlled by offering award to the helpers.



Post-mortem rules out foul play
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 10
A Board of three doctors at the Civil Hospital here today stated that the woman and her two teenaged daughters found dead inside a car fished out from Sidhwan canal last morning had died of drowning. The board did not find any injury marks on the bodies.

The deceased woman, Neelam, and her two daughters, Jaspreet and Navtej, were cremated in the afternoon.

The board, however, did not send the viscera of the deceased for chemical analysis to a laboratory in Patiala, stating that it would be of no use in this case. Viscera examination was customary in such cases. The SHO of Model Town, Mr Rajesh Kumar, expressed surprise at this “deviation” from the routine.

He said the police would continue investigations on different theories.



Ludhiana Calling

THE city police goes gaga over a minor success, but there is no scheme to tackle petty crimes like chain or purse-snatching. The cops discourage people seeking registration of such complaints. The argument is that this entails unnecessary hassle for all. There chances of the accused being caught are remote. Even if he is held, the stolen property is seldom recovered. Surely the cops, do not believe in nipping the evil in the bud.

Man hours wasted

Thanks to poor drainage resulting in water standing on the streets, people and students had to skip work and school, respectively. With rain pouring throughout the day and water standing knee-deep, it became impossible for the people owning two-wheelers to wade through the water. Attendance in offices and schools was thin.

Spending fortune on a dress

Last Saturday a grand dance competition was organised. That children had spent a lot of time practising was obvious by their well-executed dance steps. Boys and girls danced on film tunes. All participants were in dresses replica of the dress worn by a film star. during that song. The parents would have spent a small fortune on procuring the dresses.

Hapless women

Certain NGOs active in the city are doing a yeoman’s service in helping women run their households. But the way these hapless women are treated by representatives at a function organised to distribute ration, leaves many feeling sorry for these women. They have to wait for the chief guest, mostly a politician. These women are paraded in front of mediapersons for publicity. Organisers of such functions say they are caught in a vicious circle. They have to invite politicians donations. After all, donations help them run their mission.


A young boy asked his grandmother while she removed her dentures and put these in a glass of water, ‘‘Dadi ma, how can you take out your teeth while I cannot do so despite trying hard?’’ — Sentinel



Cops ‘acting’ against Mann on CM’s behest
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, July 10
The SAD (A) has branded the action of the Majitha police to add new sections of the IPC in the FIR registered against Mr Simranjit Singh Mann as undemocratic.
Addressing a mediaconference at Kup Khurd village near here, Mr Charan Singh Lohara, Mr Jaskaran Singh Kahav Singh Wala and Mr Kuldeep Singh Karwal (general secretaries of the party and youth wing) apprehended that Capt Amarinder Singh, CM, and Mr Parkash Singh Badal were hand in glove in creating an impression of “revived terrorism” in the state.

“We had expressed our apprehension before the Home Minister before the appointment of Mr Virk as DGP. But no action was taken on our apprehension that has proved true,” said Mr Lohara, claiming that the sequence of events before and after the arrest of Mr Mann proved that the government was trying to pressurise Mr Mann into withdrawing the case against the police chief.

Referring to addition of some Sections of the IPC to the FIR registered against Mr Mann, Mr Lohara alleged the police had been acting on the behest of the Chief Minister.

“Nowhere in his speech did Mr Mann admit to have supplied arms to Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale. He only said that he had issued him licence for keeping imported arms presented to him by Dehli-based leaders.”

Reacting to statements issued by the Chief Minister and his Cabinet colleagues, Mr Lohara said: “It is a political stunt to mask their failure on all fronts.” 



Woman panch seeks probe
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, July 10
A woman panch of Bhaini Arora village in Ludhiana district has urged the Senior Superintendent of Police at Jagraon to probe an incident in which a man of the village had assaulted his sons but some political leaders had misled the police and got the victims booked.

The SSP has directed the DSP, Mullanpur, to hold an inquiry.

In a complaint to the SSP Jagraon, Ms Jasbir Kaur woman panch of Bhaini Arora, and her husband, Mr Jasmel Singh, office-bearer of a cooperative society, have alleged that Davinder Singh along with his accomplices had assaulted his son, Kanwaldeep Singh Goldy, after calling him to his house on the pretext of making an amount which he owed to the victims.

Kanwaldeep was admitted to a multi-specialty private hospital at Ludhiana on June 24 and the Dehlon police was informed of the incident. The assailants had attacked Kanwaldeep with sharp-edged weapons, including swords and axes.

“Though the Dehlon police recorded the statement of the injured and received a report from doctors, instead of initiating action against the assailants, it has registered a case against our sons,” said the couple.

Mr Rajiv Ahir, SSP, Jagraon, said he had directed Mr H.S. Brar, DSP, to probe the matter. Referring to a complaint lodged at the police station at Dehlon, Mr Ahir claimed that the police had registered a case on the statement of a woman of the village who had alleged that the accused had been “exploiting her physically”. The sarpanch of the village had accompanied the complainants, he claimed.

“However we will verify facts from residents of the village and act accordingly,” said Mr Ahir.



Applications for awards invited
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 10
The district administration has invited applications for Prime Minister’s Shram Awards Scheme under which awards are given to workers in recognition of their contribution towards production and for showing exemplary zeal and enthusiasm in discharge of their duties.

Mr Anurag Verma, Deputy Commissioner, elaborated that the most important award was Shram Ratna Award which included a cash prize of Rs 2 lakh. There were four Shram Bhushan Awards, which included a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh each, 12 Shram Vir/Veerangana Awards of Rs 60,000 each and 16 Shram Shri/Devi Awards of Rs 40,000 each.

He said Shram Ratna Award was for both public and private sectors.

The DC further said the awards would be presented to workmen as defined in the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, and employed in departmental/undertakings of central and state governments, central and state public sector undertakings as also the private sector with a minimum of 500 employees on roll and engaged in manufacturing and productive processes.

He said two copies of particulars of each worker recommended for the awards may be submitted along with two copies of his recent passport size photograph.

Mr Verma said the applications received in his office would be further submitted to the Director of Factories, Punjab, from where the compilations would be sent to the Ministry of Labour and Empowerment.

The application forms in this regard could be obtained from the office of Assistant Commissioner (General) in the Mini Secretariat, Ludhiana. Duly filled applications should be submitted to the Assistant Commissioner (General) within a week, he added.



Centre urged to help Muslims in Saudi jails
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, July 10
A local Muslim youth has urged the Union Government to rescue hundreds of Indians who are languishing in jails in Saudi Arabia after being duped by travel agents and exploited by labour contractors. The youth himself has suffered due to greed of his brother.

Mr Sardar Ali, a local Muslim youth, who had spent around three months in central jails at Damam and Riad after being caught working illegally, claimed that more than 300 youths were languishing in those jails for the alleged indifferent attitude of the authorities there.

“Though the authorities from embassies of other countries visited those jails regularly and arranged for the repatriation of their citizens, nobody from the Indian Embassy bothered to rescue hundreds of youths starving there,” explained Mr Ali. He could return as a native of that country had helped him financially and in preparing Out-Passport.

He urged the Union Government to depute a special team to take the stock of situation in the jails of that country and take remedial steps for the repatriation of inmates.

Though the Muslim youths had some chance of getting released on the pretext of Umra Haz, non-Muslims were left on the mercy of the authorities there, observed Mr Ali.

Narrating the story of his own woes Mr Sardar Ali said he had gone to Saudi Arabia in search of greener pastures, but had landed in jail as his brother Faiz Mohamad, who had lured him to go there, did not give him documents regarding his work permit issued by the Saudi government.

Mr Ali was assured that he would get 120 rials (Rs 1,380 equivalent) daily by working as a carpenter in Saudi Arabia. He was pressurised by his parents to spend around Rs 1 lakh to go to his brother as he had already sent an open visa for his nephew, who had declined to go there.

“I was shocked to learn on my visit to my brother’s house that he had called me there with the ulterior motive of working for him without any consideration. All he gave me was misery and starvation and kept my wages with him,” narrated Mr Ali. Though he charged fee for getting issued ghama (legal permit), it was never handed over to Ali.

He had fallen from 35 feet high building in Fasla city, but his brother did not bother to take him to hospital. Some Pakistani nationals got him treated from a quack. In another incident Faiz had allegedly tried to eliminate him after taking him into a thick forest. A native and a Bengali saved him and took him to some Punjabis settled there. He had to live with a shepherd for a long period. Even on the eve of Id Faiz did not allow him pay obeisance at a mosque. Ali alleged that Faiz had duped many youths of the area during his visit back home around four years ago. He was rounded up by the local police then on the complaint of some victims.

The Saudi Arabian police arrested Mr Ali in March. He remained in central jails at Damam and Riad where around 300 Muslim and non-Muslim youths were waiting for being rescued.

“I could manage to come out with the help of a generous native of that country, who helped me get a ticket and call documents proving my identity in India. Others were waiting for Id so that natives of that country would visit jails and pay them out of zakat (donations given by Muslims).”



Cops told to be people-friendly
Our Correspondent

Raikot, July 10
The Circle Officer of the Punjab Police has directed his staff to be people-friendly and cooperative, besides being vigilant on duty. Addressing NGOs at his maiden meeting after joining as Circle Officer, Mr Gurtejinder Singh Aulakh, DSP, said the police officers could not maintain peace without the active role of leaders of various social organisations working in their respective areas.

“As these leaders were more close to the public, they were able to distinguish between good and bad elements better than officials. Keeping a vigil against anti-social elements on our own, we should take the help of social leaders in identifying them,” said Mr Aulakh.

Keeping in the view the recent developments in the state, Mr Aulakh directed the SHOs to tabulate information about bad elements active in the area. He asked them to strengthen security at and near religious places and other places. Staff of the local police station and those from police stations and chowkis at Sudhar, Jodhan, Jalaldiwal and Lohatbaddi attended the meeting.



New club teams installed
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 10
At a well-attended function, teams of both Mid-Town Rotary Club and Inner Wheel Club were installed at a function held last night in Kohinoor Hall of Park Plaza. Mr Devinder Bhasin was appointed president whereas Mr Kulbir Singh Kelly was appointed secretary. Mr Rajan Kapoor was made treasurer.

Anju Kapur IW was given the post of president. Addressing Rotarians and Inner Wheel members of Mid-Town, she said with the assistance of members, she would intensify social activities.

These activities would revolve around poor children. The members would provide books and uniforms to poor children and pay their school fee.



MC waiting for outbreak of disease?
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July10
Officials of the local Municipal Corporation are waiting for the outbreak of a disease, if sanitary conditions in some areas of the city are any indication. This was claimed here today by Mr Parminder Mehta, secretary, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, who said residents of Salim Tabri, New Ashok, Peeru Banda Mohala, Rahon Road, Karamsar Colony, Mayapuri, Shakti Nagar, Swatantar Nagar, Transport Nagar, Janakpuri, Vijay Nagar, Industrial Area, Loha Mandi and New Kundanpuri.

Claiming that due to failed sewerage these localities were filled with dirty water, a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes and germs.

The MC had banned the purchase of malathion and DDT and no spray was being done in water-logged areas.



Gurdev Singh on grievances committee
Our Correspondent

Samrala, July 9
A senior Akali leader of the area, Mr Gurdev Singh Mushkabad, has been appointed as a member of the Subdivisional Grievances Committee, Samrala, according to Mr Baldev Singh, SDM, Samrala.

The appointment has been made on the recommendation of Member Parliament, Mr Sukhdev Singh Libra, he added.

Leaders of the Akali Dal, Jathedar Kirpal Singh Kheernian, member SGPC, Mr Joginder Singh Seh, district general secretary of the Akali Dal, and Jagjeevan Singh Kheernian, have welcomed the decision.



3 buffaloes killed as shed collapses
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, July 10
Three buffaloes and a cow were killed and 15 more animals injured when a cattleshed collapsed at Brahamanmajra village, near here, this afternoon. The cause of the accident could not be ascertained, but villagers said the shed had collapsed due seepage of water.

Teams of doctors from veterinary hospitals at Dehlon, Kalakh and Haibowal reached the spot.

Dr Ramesh Chander, Dr Deshdeep Talwar, Dr Vikram Singh and Dr Prabhjit Singh made makeshift arrangements for the treatment of injured animals. They performed surgery on animals with multiple fractures.



Minor girl abducted

Ludhiana, July 10
A minor girl has been abducted and the Dakha Police has registered a case under Sections 363 and 366 of the IPC. According to information, Kamli Kumari (12) is alleged to have been abducted by Suraj Thakur, son of Sunil Thakur of Bil Sankhian (Bhiar) from Rurka village. Baletar Sahni, father of the victim, originally a resident of Begu Sarai (Bihar), has lodged report with the Dakha police. No arrest has been made so far. — OC


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