L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Official apathy compounds malaria threat
8 cases reported from Ambedkar Nagar
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 16
A year after several people were killed and 400 taken ill due to malaria at Dr Ambedkar Nagar in Giaspura village, residents of this locality are once again in the grip of fever.

Almost every household in Street No. 3 of the Colony has a member with fever. In Street No. 1 and 21 several cases of fever, dysentery, vomiting, jaundice and typhoid have been reported.

Despite the fact that the Government of India had declared Dr Ambedkar Nagar in Sahnewal Block as “sensitive” area for malaria and directed the Health Department to take effective measures, residents claim that neither fogging nor any spray has been undertaken in the locality for the past many days.

A visit to the area today revealed that the residents, mostly migrants, are living amidst insanitary conditions. Dotted with heaps of garbage and small pools of water with plenty of mosquito larvae, vacant plots in the colony are proving to be ideal breeding grounds for vectors and pathogens of various diseases.

Mr Ravinder Kumar (27), a resident of Street No. 3 and a worker of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation said six days ago, he had had a high fever with shivering. Since then he was having temperature every third day. Similar was the case of Ajay, a 27-year-old worker in a hosiery, who claimed he was having intermittent fever for the past two months.

Sagar Kumar, 10-year-old boy of Vivekanand Nagar, also had fever accompanied with shivering. Mr Sudesh Kumar, his father said: “Last year also he suffered from dengue and this year too I have been taking him to doctors for the past many days. But the fever persists.”

Ankit, a three-year-old boy also has fever. Shantanu (11), is passing blood with stools. His mother, Laxmi, has no money to take him to hospital.

Similar is the condition of Arti Pandey, daughter of Hari Om Pandey, a kiryana merchant. She complains of fever and vomiting.

Nirmala (40), also has fever. Her husband and two sons recently recovered from jaundice and typhoid. “It is no fun living in this colony. We spent Rs 19,500 on our treatment this month,” she said.

The Health Department confirmed eight cases of malaria in Dr Ambedkar Nagar. Dr S.S. Dhir, SMO, Sahnewal Block, said eight persons from Street No. 1 and 21 had tested positive for malaria.

He said cleanliness operations in his block had begun.



No respite for Malaudh residents
Mahesh Sharma

Malaudh (Ahmedgarh), July 16
Even as the Government of India had declared Malaudh as a sensitive area for the outbreak of an epidemic, the health authorities are yet to take preventive measures, even a month after the onset of monsoon.

Interestingly, most officials of the Health Department did not know that the area was declared “sensitive”. A Tribune survey of the area revealed that though there had been a steep rise in the incidences of malaria in the recent past, the problem remained unnoticed as most patients received treatment form private doctors.

Residents said malaria had become a common disease in the area, so much so that the people had started adopting self-medication. They presumed every case of fever was that of malaria.

Astonishingly, the authorities have ignored the invasion of a different variety of arthropod in the area. “In addition to the prevalent species of anopheles mosquito, a new species of this vector seems to have invaded our area in the recent past that carries protozoa responsible for spreading malaria.

“Unlike other mosquitoes, it leaves a crust at the place of piercing,” said Mr Kuldeep Singh Mangewal, a social activist.

He alleged the authorities had been ignoring SOS calls made in this connection by the residents. “Instead of taking measures against the outbreak of epidemic, they suggest us to take preventive medicines that might lead to some side-effects,” Mr Mangewal said.

Mr Jagjiwan Pal Singh Gill, constituency in charge, SAD Payal, blamed the authorities for the alarming situation.

“Though we have been hearing about the rise in the incidences of the disease caused by unhygienic conditions civil or medical authorities bothered to bring about awareness about the issue among the masses,” he said.

He called upon the leaders of all political and social organisations to join hands to deal with the situation.

So pathetic is the condition here that even the authorities at the Civil Hospital, including the inspector who was supposed to have the data on all patients, did not know about the threat of the epidemic.

Dr R.C. Garg, SMO and in charge, claimed that the area declared decease-prone fell under the jurisdiction of the Civil Hospital, Dehlon, and not Malaudh.

Mr Sanjiv Puri, president, Nagar Panchayat, said: “We have already concentrated attention on the improvement of cleanliness in the town and checking of drinking water,” he claimed.

Mr Surinder Kumar, Executive Officer, said he had received directions from Deputy Commissioner Anurag Verma to initiate preventive measures.



The admin ignored their plight, now their effort too
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Kanya Hussaini (Sidhwan Bet), July 16
While residents of near 20 villages near Sidhwan Bet living on either side of the Jassowal drain are constructing a bridge over it, the district administration continues to ignore their plight.

The villages remain cut off from their fields every rainy season. This has been happening since 1954. The villagers started construction last month as the government did not accept their demand for the bridge for the past over five decades.

The administration has not even appreciated the villagers for their effort, let alone provide funds for help. The villagers are aghast at the insensitivity of the government.

A Block Development and Panchayat Officer visited the bridge site 10 days after the publication of a news report in these columns. The visit proved to be a mere formality.

The BDPO wrote to the Deputy Commissioner citing urgent need for the bridge. Scores of such letters by officers, villagers and politicians have been piling up in the DC’s office.

Mr Prem Singh, a former sarpanch of Sherpur village told the Ludhiana Tribune that they were expecting that the government would announce funds after they started construction. No politician of the ruling or the Opposition party had bothered to inquire about their plight.

Once completed, the bridge would become the lifeline for Kanya Hussaini, Sherewal, Baghian, Bahadar Ke, Mand Tihara, Subhajpur, Patti Multani, Kaker, Parjian Biharipur, Khurshedpura, Hujra and Bhaini Gujran.

The Jassowal drain was dug up by the government in 1954 to solve the problem of water-logging. The drain had become a seasonal rivulet of sorrow for these villages. Water flowed backwards into the drain when the Sutluj overflowed and flooded the area, cutting off the villages.



Surprise over hype on Dullo’s appointment
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 16
Most of the Congress leaders are not awed over the appointment of Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo as the Pradesh Congress Committee president. The way the media highlighted his appointment has come as a surprise to many of them. Mr Dullo, who comes from an ordinary family and has risen to become the PCC president, is not expected to do wonders for the party as is being made out to be.

His only qualification is that he is a Dalit and this does not mean that he will do wonders for the party leaders argue. He was already facing a corruption case by the Lok Pal, Punjab, which was later scrapped by the Punjab Government. The widespread appreciation and praise for Mr Dullo goes with the Congress culture of worshiping the rising sun. Same praises were showered over Mr H.S. Hanspal when he was appointed PCC president. He will have never thought that he will see such an ungraceful exit. That is again the Congress culture.

Mr Dullo’s main qualification for being elevated to the position of the PCC president remains that he is a Dalit and his appointment might arrest the drift of the Dalit vote bank away from the Congress. Whether the Congress calculations might go right remains debatable. On the other hand the Congress might find it difficult to raise the issue of corruption against the former Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, since Mr Dullo has already been implicated by the Lok Pal on corruption charges as a minister in Beant Singh government.

There are also apprehensions among Congress workers and leaders that Mr Dullo is uncouth, bordering arrogance. Unlike Mr Hanspal, who is quite soft spoken, Mr Dullo’s approach is raw and rustic. His “straightforwardness” only borders arrogance, which might even harm the party interests instead safeguarding them. The too much optimism being expressed at his appointment may at best prove shortlived and exaggerated.



Passing Thru

Sindura Gadde Miss India-World 2005
Sindura Gadde Miss India-World 2005

What does beauty mean to you?

I believe beauty is something that comes in all ages, colours, shapes and forms. God never makes junk. Beauty is not in the face of a person but in the radiance, in the heart. Someone who can see this beauty in others is a beautiful person.

How do you rate Femina Miss India contest?

Prestigious beauty pageants like Femina Miss India grooms, refines and prepare contestants to take on the world and represent the nation with elegance. Young aspirants can not get a better platform than Femina Miss India. I am truly honoured to be a part of it. Such contests allow you to gain both reputation and honour in life.

Comment on Indian fashion industry.

India Fashion Industry is really happening these days. Notwithstanding the nature or display of the product, you can tell an Indian design from thousands of designs on the shelf. Indian fashion industry is unique and truly diverse.

Who are your role models?

I try to grab positive points from everyone I see, talk to and interact and emulate those qualities to evolve as a better person.

— Shivani Bhakoo



Ram Lila panel members accused of embezzlement
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 16
Office-bearers of the Shri Ram Lila Sangharsh Committee today criticised Prem Prashar, Kewal Krishan and Sat Pal Bawa, all office-bearers of the Shri Ram Lila Committee, for alleged misappropriation of donations raised in the name of religion.

Addressing a press conference at Gita Mandir in Daresi grounds here today, president of the sangharsh committee Sham Sunder Lal “Fauji” alleged that the three had not only amassed ill-gotten wealth but also brushed aside all suggestions by the committee to uphold the “maryada” of Hindu religion.

Displaying photographs of a Ram idol in the Ram temple under the control of the committee here to mediapersons in which one arm of the idol had been wrongly fixed, Sham Sunder alleged that on the intervention of the sangharsh committee, the Ram Lila committee had agreed to get the flaw removed soon.

He said it was unfortunate that even after four years, the committee had not been able to remove the anomaly.

He alleged that the gaushala being run by the committee was also not up to the mark as huge donations by the devotees had been misappropriated.

He warned the Ram Lila committee of launching an agitation if the committee failed to mend its ways.

Others present at the press conference were Gurinder Sood, Vijay Walia, Nirdosh Bhardwaj and Amrit Lal Verma.



Jain seer arrives in city
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 16
Jainacharya Shrimad Vijay Ratnakar Surishwar ji Maharaj was accorded a warm welcome on his arrival to the city for his four month, here. Shri Atmanand Jain Sabha organised a function near Daresi grounds today to welcome the Jain muni and also to celebrate Sankranti Mahotsav.

Earlier in the day, a shobha yatra was taken out from the Clock Tower chowk, which covered Chaura Bazar, Ghaas Mandi, Nikka Mal Sarraf chowk, Chawal Bazaar and Rai Bahadur Road before reaching Jain School, where the welcome function was held.

The Jainacharya uttered the name of the new month after a programme of bhajans and kirtan. According to Mr Kashmiri Lal Jain, spokesman for the organisers, the Jain muni will stay at Shri Atam Vallabh Jain Upashrya in Purana Bazar for four months.

Others present at the function were Mr Sikandar Lal Jain, Mr Kashmiri Lal Jain, Mr Sanjiv Jain, Mr Ram Kumar Jain and various representatives of other religious organisations.



Protest against screening of Salman movie
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 16
Activists of the Bharatiya Janata Party today staged a demonstration against the screening of the Salman Khan-starre “Maine Pyar Kayoun Kiya” for his alleged links with the Bombay underworld.

The district administration had made elaborate security arrangements and deployed adequate police personnel to prevent any untoward incident. In a separate incident, workers belonging to the District Youth Congress burnt posters of the actor.

A number of BJP activists converged on Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar outside Orient Theatre. They raised slogans, demanding withdrawal of the film. They also demanded arrest of the filmstar.

They expressed shock that a filmstar loved and admired across the country was allegedly in league with anti-national elements. They appealed to the people to boycott the movies of Salman Khan since he had shown disrespect to the sentiments of the people.

A separate protest demonstration was staged by activists of the Shiv Sena (Bal Thackeray). They burnt effigies and posters of Salman Khan and demanded his arrest.



SSP denies charge against DSP
Our Correspondent

Khanna, July 16
The police has denied that a DSP posted in the district had taken money from Babbar Khalsa International chief Jagtar Singh Hawara for not telling anybody about his activities.

Reacting to news reports published in a section of the media that the DSP was sent on a long leave because of the allegations, the SSP, Khanna, Mr Naunihal Singh termed the reports as baseless.



Held for outraging modesty

Jagraon, July 16
Pritpal Singh of Bhaini Darera is alleged to have entered the house of a married woman in Pakhowal village and outraged her modesty. The Raikot police, on the statement of the victim, has registered a case under Sections 341, 509, 354 and 452, IPC, and arrested the accused.

He has been remanded to police custody till July 18 by Mr Jitender Walia, SDJM, Jagraon.

Illicit liquor seized

Chajwara Singh of Kania Hussaini was arrested by the Sidhwan Bet police from Sidhwal village with 49.110 litres of illicit liqour. A case under the Excise Act has been registered.


Bachan Singh of Walipur Kalan has been booked by the Humbran police on the complaint of Mr. C.L. Bains, Assistant Engineer, Humbran, for power theft by illegal mean. OC



Block samiti member booked
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, July 16
The police has booked a block samiti member, Jaswinder Singh, resident of Dhanansu village, for allegedly abusing and manhandling an Anganwari worker on duty on July 13.

Ms Jasmail Kaur of Sahnewal complained to the police that Jaswinder Singh, entered the Anganwari early in the morning and asked one of her helpers, Ms Jasvir Kaur to show the attendance register. Ms Jasmail Kaur objected to it and asked him to bring a woman panchayat member if he intended to gather any information.

Reacting to this, Jaswinder Singh abused her and slapped her. He even tore her shirt. The police has registered a case under Sections 186, 353, 323, 506, 509 and 354 of the IPC.



PNB disburses Rs 34 cr as loan
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 16
Punjab National Bank disbursed loans worth Rs 34 crore at a retail lending camp organsied by the bank here yesterday.

Mr Harwant Singh, general manager, PNB, Punjab zone, who was the chief guest said the bank had disbursed loans worth Rs 755 crore during 2004-05 in the Punjab zone in the retail segment and aimed at giving loans worth Rs 800 crore this year.

He disbursed loans of Rs 34 crore among 290 beneficiaries in the function.

He said the bank was providing various retail lending schemes specially designed to suit requirements of all types of customers at attractive interest rates through all its branches and specialised cells “Tatkal Suvidha Kendras”.

In his welcome address, Mr R.K. Sharma, Senior Regional Manager, said the bank was making effort to provide world-class services to its customers by implementing core banking solution (CBS) in its branches.

He said in the city, 22 branches of the bank were under the CBS, which was highest amongst all banks. He said the bank would organise more such functions in the future to interact with customers for their suggestions.

Mr K.C. Salota, Deputy General Manager, Mr K.L. Miglani, Deputy Zonal Manager, Mr Anil Sama, Chief Manager, and other senior executives from the bank along with other bank officials were among others present.



Chai parlour gains popularity
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, July 16
A morning cuppa of tea is a wake-up drink for millions all round the world. People drink billions of cups of tea everyday. One would think there is the usual tea, lemon tea and may be herbal tea with tulsi leaves.

But chai shop located on the Pakhowal road inside Coffee Shop, is the baby of Mr Gurlal Singh Grewal.

It serves 71 kinds of tea.

With a highly developed sense of aesthetics, Mr Grewal offers different types of kettles cups to go with different flavours of tea.

He has outsourced ‘kasoras’, typical earthenware containers from Kolkata, while teapots have been picked up from different cities all over India. The shop serves tea both hot and cold with milk or lemon. The other flavours are mint, rose, lemon, peach, mango or passion fruit.

Herbal tea like special herbals spice chai, tulsi, jasmine, chamroy and anti-oxidant tea is also served. But the most popular tea is Sally’s Masala Tea.

For figure-conscious people, Mr Satish Kaul, general manager, recommends “anti-obesity” tea and “calming tea”. There is caffine-free ayurvedic tea like “Pitta”, “Kapah” and “Vata”. Garden fresh tea leaves straight from Assam and the slopes of Nilgiri are sourced. Kombucha (Chinese) and Korean tea is also available.


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