L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


2 suspected cases of cholera reported
Nearly 100 afflicted with gastroenteritis
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, July 18
Even as people in more than one dozen city localities continue to reel under the attack of gastroenteritis for the last more than one week, two suspected cases of cholera were reported in the Christian Medical College and Hospital here. According to doctors at the CMCH, the patients were having all clinical symptoms of cholera but reports of certain laboratory tests to confirm the diagnosis were still awaited.

The intensity of gastroenteritis attack also did not seem to have relented even a bit and nearly 100 persons, including several women and children, have so far been afflicted with the water-borne disease, mostly due to supply of contaminated water and insanitary conditions prevailing in the affected colonies. The disease had already claimed one life when a three-year-old girl child in Jiwan Nagar had died on Saturday due to severe dehydration.

During last 24 hours, two fresh cases of diarrhoea were admitted to civil hospital, taking the number of in-patients to 18, according to Dr Harwinder Singh, SMO of the hospital. Several patients from Bhagat Singh Colony, Fauji Colony, Guru Arjun Dev Nagar and Shiv Puri colonies were under treatment at different private hospitals in Jamalpur, Urban Estate and Sherpur areas, according to officials of health department.

An average 15 to 20 patients, suffering from diarrhoea, vomiting and dehydration were reporting to OPDs of two major medical institutions, Dayanand Medical College and Hospital and Christian Medical College and Hospital, informed the hospital authorities.

Meanwhile, teams of health department, led by Dr S.S. Dhir, SMO, Sahnewal, today carried out a house-to-house survey in Sherpur and Jiwan Nagar localities about incidence of gastroenteritis in the worst-hit areas. Chlorine tablets were distributed to the residents, who were also advised to drink chlorinated or boiled water to check the possibility of infection. Dr Dhir later addressed the school children at a health education lecture organised by the department to stress the need of personal hygiene and health awareness for prevention of water-borne diseases.



RSS needs a thorough introspection, feel leaders
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 18
Senior leaders of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) appear to be disillusioned with the current state of affairs in the parivar in general and the organisation in particular. Some senior city-based RSS leaders with decades of association with the organisation regretted that even the swayamsevaks who used to be unassuming idealists and would always prefer to remain in oblivion than come to limelight were going after small and petty mundane benefits.

One of the RSS leaders recalled that when the current RSS chief, Mr V. Sudarshan, was the in charge if the Madhya Pradesh state, he would go around on a bicycle. Even now leaders like Mr Sudarshan remain unassuming irrespective of their contribution and the status towards the “organisation and nation building”. But now even the small time RSS pracharaks would need motorbicycles to work for the organisation.

The Sangh leaders also lamented that there was a decline in the RSS network. The number of daily morning shakhas (the morning drills followed by special lectures called bodhik) had drastically declined. Even the sankhya (the number) of volunteers had also come down substantially. The leaders regretted that there may not be many shakhas where the sankhya crosses the double-digit mark.

Unlike in earlier times when the RSS cadres would prefer a low-profile and would seldom go for material benefits, some of the leaders of the organisation have started falling prey to the material motivations and small benefits. Some leaders or their wards are busy in getting control over various institutions controlled by the RSS so that they manage to get benefits in terms of bagging contracts for supplying various items or doing other things.

Sharing their observations with The Tribune, the RSS leaders said the organisation needed to go for a “thorough introspection” to find out what went wrong. They pointed out, once BBC declared the RSS to be the largest voluntary organisation dedicated to social work. But the organisation appears to be losing its sheen. The RSS leaders observed the crisis in the parivar (RSS family) is the symptom of a worst disease that is eating into the vitals of the organisation.

“Something appears to have gone wrong somewhere, otherwise it is difficult to think of a swayamsevak falling for mundane and worldly benefits at the cost of the sanstha (the organisation),” regretted the leaders who had a vision of a different sangh.



Protest over student’s death
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 18
Students of the Central Tool Room (CTR) in the Focal Point organised a dharna in protest against the death of a hostel inmate here today. The students alleged that the college management and a private nursing home did not take care of the student.

Dinesh Singh Rana, a hostel inmate and a second year student of tool mechanical course of the CTR, died when he was on the way to a hospital here last evening. He was referred to the hospital by a private nursing home after being admitted there for some hours.

The students claimed that Rana had lost his cell phone two days ago and he was under immense mental pressure due to it. His condition worsened yesterday and he started having nausea.

They claimed that while they informed the management about it, nobody did anything. They then took him to a nursing home in the area. He was admitted to the nursing home for some hours said nurses looked after him. Soon, the doctor also arrived and said everything was under control.

‘‘But his condition worsened and he was referred to the DMC Hospital where he was declared brought dead. The nursing home did not even provide a van for him,’’ said a student, adding that the CTR had not bothered to do anything in the case.

While the students were protesting, the body was taken to Rajpura by his father Rohtash Singh Rana. According to Mr Navreet Singh, SHO, Focal Point, Mr Rana did not submit any complaint to the police. He said he was told by the doctor of the nursing home that Rana had a history of seizures. Rana was vomiting when he was admitted to the nursing home. They treated him for dehydration and after three to four hours he went to the toilet where he had a seizure. So he was referred him to the DMC.

The SHO said Mr Rana had claimed the body and taken it to Rajpura. He had not even demanded an inquiry or a post-mortem examination.



‘Extend date’ for filing VAT returns
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 18
The Taxation Advisers Association has urged the Punjab Government and the Excise and Taxation Department to extend the last date for the filing of quarterly returns of value added tax (VAT).

At a meeting of the association held here today, Mr Satish Aggarwal, president of the association, said taxation advisers and registered dealers were facing many difficulties in filling up return form No. 15, in which many changes had been made by the department.

Other speakers, including Mr Inderjit Sachdeva, chairman and Mr Jatinder Khurana, press secretary of the association, respectively, pointed out that the revised challan form for tax deposit should be of a single page on the pattern of income tax challan.

Mr Vijay Vohra, vice-president of the association, listed the problems being faced by tax-payers in depositing tax at the designated branches of banks. He said only seven banks were accepting payment of VAT and central sales tax, which were far too inadequate to cater to more than 50,000 registered dealers in the city. The taxation advisers demanded that the department should authorise more banks to accept payments of VAT and CST.

The association welcomed the decision of the Income Tax Department to extend the last date for filing tax deduction at source (TDS) returns from July 21 to Aug 31.



2 proclaimed offenders held
Tribune News Service

Khanna, July 18
Khanna police claims to have arrested two proclaimed offenders involved in cheating and smuggling cases. According to a press note, ASI Darshan Singh, in charge police post Doraha, arrested Baldev Singh, a resident of Buani village near from Kaddon Chowk. Police said that Baldev Singh had been running a travel agency at Doraha since 1980. He had duped people of crores of rupees on the pretext of sending them abroad.

Four cases have been registered against him at Payal police station. He was produced before the Duty Magistrate Scahin Goel, Ludhiana, who sent him to police custody till July 19.

Another proclaimed offender Om Parkash, a resident of Dholewal Chowk Ludhiana, was arrested by Havaldar Amrik Singh from Rara Sahib. Om Parkash was involved in cases of opium smuggling. Three cases of smuggling have been registered against him at Sadar police station.



Passing Thru

Ramesh Singla
Ramesh Singla, Chairman, Punjab Rural Sports Promotion Council

What is Punjab Rural Sports Promotion Council (PRSPC) plan to promote rural games in the state ?

The council has been reconstituted recently and representatives of more than one hundred 'popular' rural sports clubs of the state have been associated with it so that the scattered rural activities could be brought under one roof. By doing so, the council is determined to broad base the rural sports activities in the state as now, we have a good team of 'dedicated' force of field workers.

When do you expect, the initiatives taken by the PRSPC bear fruitful results ?

To encourage and promote the games, the council had organised a felicitation function in the city which was attended by a large number of sports organisers and lovers.

During this function, the council honoured two sports persons- hockey star Prabhjot Singh and international athlete Manjeet Kaur and a sports promoter — Jaswant Singh Kanwal— for their outstanding contribution in the field of sports. They were given Punjab Da Khed Ratan award besides a cash prize of Rs 25,000 each. This has generated interest among players to do well and be among the awardees' list.

What the council has been doing to avoid the clash of dates of the sports festivals during the forthcoming season?

The council has chalked out a comprehensive plan to draw the dates of the sports festivals during the next season and declare the same after its meeting slated to be held in September. It would also ask the organising clubs to adopt at least one game which has been played at the international level.

The clubs would be urged not to encourage the sports which involve the animals and feature 'inhumane' activities.

Anil Datt



MC earns record income in first quarter
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 18
The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation today claimed to have registered a record income in the first quarter of the current fiscal year. Mr S.K. Sharma, Commissioner, MC, stated here today that during the first quarter, from April 1 to July 8, the corporation had earned Rs 45.22 crore through various taxes as compared to last year’s income of Rs 5.48 crore.

Mr S.K. Sharma claimed that this income included a rise in house and fire tax from Rs 88 lakh last year to Rs 1.79 crore this year. Similarly, the MC earned Rs 2.51 crore from water supply bills as compared to Rs 1.75 crore last year in the same category.

The MC collected Rs 33.85 crore from octroi duty while it had recorded an income of Rs 30.81 crore last year. The Commissioner added that the Ministry of Local Bodies has announced that the MC had been running at a loss of Rs 18 crore as on June 1, 2002. But by March 31, 2003, not only was the corporation able to recover its losses, it also made a profit of Rs 28 crore and spent Rs 90 crore on various developmental tasks.

About the targets for 2005-06, the commissioner said the Budget for the year has been passed and Rs 354.88 crore has been allocated. In this the target for income from toll tax alone is Rs 135 crore, house fees/ fire tax Rs 43 crore, water supply Rs 28 crore and electricity tax Rs 10.50 crore.



Protest forces MC to convene meeting
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 18
Protest by some local Congress councillors forced the municipal corporation, to call a meeting of the Finances and Contracts Committee at the Mayor’s camp office here this evening in which various work orders, which were pending, were passed.

Some councillors aired their grievances against the MC at the meeting. A walkout was staged by Mr Balkar Singh, councillor of Ward No. 45 in protest against the improper cleaning of Budha nullah that had caused floods in his ward. He was accompanied by Mr Bharat Bhushan, councillor of Ward No. 48 and Dr Jaiparkash, councillor of Ward No. 69.

Mr Balkar Singh said he was unhappy because residents of this area were suffering due to silt in the nullah. The water was overflowing and the sewerage was choked.



Ambedkar morcha workers join BVDS
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 18
More than half a dozen office-bearers, along with a large number of workers of Dr Ambedkar Sangharsh Morcha today quit the party and joined Bhartiya Valmiki Dharam Samaj (BVDS) at a well-attended meeting presided over by national organiser Mr Vijay Danav.

Among the key functionaries of Dr Ambedkar Sangharsh Morcha who joined the BVDS were Mr Dimple Kumar Bhanwar, Mr Krishan Birla, Mr Sikander, Mr Main Pal, Mr Bhanwar, Mr Krishan Pal Vaid, Mr Gopal Vaid, Mr Jagdish, Mr Ran Pal and Mr Karan. They alleged that the leadership of the morcha had failed to provide direction to the dalit community and take up any worthwhile activity for emancipation and empowerment of the community.

Speaking at the occasion, Mr Danav and other office- bearers of the BVDS stated that the party would continue its concerted efforts for social, cultural, educational and economic upliftment of the dalit masses and would particularly focus on eradication of social evils and illiteracy among the community which would go a long way in achieving the goal of self-reliance.

Prominent among others present at the meeting were Mr Lachman Dravid, Choudhry Yash Pal, Mr Mohan Veer Chauhan, Mr Ashwani Sahota, Mr Tony Gehlot, Mr Mehak Singh, Mr Vicky Sahota, Mr Sudhir Kumar, Mr Amarjit, Mr Vipan Kumar, Mr Surinder Shunty and Mr Chander Pal Kalyan.



‘Hookah’ reappears as ‘sheesha’
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, July 18
Villagers have been smoking “hookah” or hubble-bubble and discussing village as well as national politics. Now the modest-looking “hookah” has come into fashion and in its new avtaar it is called “sheesha”.

The latest trend that has hit metros has reached the city and “sheesha” is becoming a rage with youngsters of the city. Mr Sanjay Arora of Schokolade, where one can spend some 45 odd minutes on one “sheesha” says, “It has received overwhelming response as it has only half per cent tobacco and is made out of molasses.Even that negligible amount of nicotine is dissolved when it passes through water. We get the pretty looking “hookas” from Dubai and different flavoured molasses from Jordan and Egypt. “Sheesha” is Egyptian word for “hookah”. Even the charcoal that we use is from Japan. It is odourless, smokeless and even if 10 people are smoking, there will be no pollution and other clients would not be affected.”

Mr Sanjay said he does not allow anyone under 18 to smoke a “sheesha”.

The first “hookas” were crafted in India from coconut shells after which they found their way to Iran and West Asia where “hookah” architecture evolved over centuries. Ornate crystal and earthenware soon replaced the coconut shell. Later brass and steel “hookahs” were introduced and it was not long before the “hookahs” became a form of artistic experience.

Meanwhile, Verinder and Devinder take puffs on “hookas” said, “It is so relaxing. It is a mystical world of puffing at exotic flavoured tobaccos ranging from strawberry to mint to apple. We simply love it.”

Another place one can see the “hookas” is at Bakes and Beans, a coffee shop.



Celebrating birthday by planting saplings
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 18
To celebrate his birthday in a unique way, a 9-year-old boy planted nine saplings today and set a trend for others to follow in the most polluted city of the region today.

Varinder Kumar Singh, the birthday boy and a resident of local Mushtaq Ganj, was motivated by his physically challenged uncle, Baljit Singh (33), a student of M.Sc. (IT) at GGN Khalsa College to plant the saplings.

Instead of blowing candles and cutting a cake, Varinder planted two neem and seven shade trees saplings alongside Cheema Chowk and resolved to take care of these till they grew into trees.

“It was difficult for me to motivate my nephew in this regard that he should not waste money on cake and other things. He finally listened to me when I taught him the importance of trees in a polluted city. He agreed and finally invited his friends to accompany him,” said Mr baljit, who was earlier a policeman and had been physically handicapped after he was operated upon for his spinal problem.

He is unable to move his legs although he is able to use his arms some years back.

Since then, Baljit with the help of his elder nephew has planted as many as 2,000 sapling in the city. Though he is confined to his wheel chair, he did not find it difficult to make people help him in his resolve. Even the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation helped him and gave him many sapling free of cost.

“I make sure that the trees are nurtured and looked after well. If they die it will be my defeat. So I motivate the shopkeepers and other people to look after these and go to them time and again to know about their condition,” he added. 



Project for destitute girls launched
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 18
The Nishkam — an NGO, has started a project, “Matri Shakti Seva Sadan”, the foundation stone of which was laid at Behla village 15 km from here, recently. The project aims to provide shelter to mentally challenged and destitute women and girls.

Mr Kewal Krishan Sood, secretary, Nishkam Seva Sadan, village Daad, said it would be a service to women. He said all projects of the Nishkam were taking shape because of the help extended by a number of philanthropists from here and abroad. “For this project, we have received Rs 16 lakh from good Samaritans. Till the building gets constructed and becomes functional, we will start a computer centre and sewing school for poor girls”, said Mr Sood.

The Chairman of the Nishkam, Mr Shrawan Kumar Sharma, said they thought of starting such a project after getting a number of requests from needy parents. A few months back, a rich widow had left her two mentally retarded daughters, aged about 40 to the ashram, saying that if she died, nobody would take care of them.”

These women used to fight a lot when their mother had brought them. Its surprising that their behaviour has improved tremendously in the past few months. They have become independent. Attendants and workers take care of them,” said Mr Sharma.

With 7000 square yards, the sadan would providing shelter to over 100 destitute and mentally challenged women and girls.



BSP leader cremated
Our Correspondent

Samrala, July 18
After post- mortem in the local Civil Hospital, the body of the President of BSP, Samrala, was handed over to the heirs of the deceased. Cremation of which took place in his native village Bijlipur, 5 km from here, today.

BSP workers in Samrala and Machhiwara and most officials of the local SDM Courts, Tehsil Courts and the patwaris and kanungos attended his funeral.

Dalip Singh was killed in a road accident last evening when he was coming from Ludhiana to his Bijlipur village where a mini bus hit his car and he died on the spot.

Three months ago, Dalip Singh Bijlipur was appointed as President of the BSP of Samrala constituency.



Website, directory on Ludhiana tourism
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 18
Minister for Science and Technology and Industrial Training Rakesh Pandey today released the Ludhiana tourism directory along with the website Ludhianatourism.com here.

The directory is dedicated to the nationwide programme “Atithi Devo Bhavah” (Guest is God) started by the Ministry of Tourism to promote Ludhiana as a tourist destination.

Mr Pandey said the promotion of tourism in Punjab was the need of the hour and even the state government was taking many steps to attract tourists. While appreciating the efforts of Mr I.B.S. Nanda, Director, he said the directory was an exhaustive compendium of adequate information on Ludhiana with complete details i.e. Ludhiana’s history and facts, Ludhiana Helpline, how to reach Ludhiana, travelling tips, places to stay, and eat, shopping centres, places of tourist interest with accompanying maps, etc.

It will also educate people about Punjab’s rich cultural heritage, its preservation, cleanliness and hospitality, he added.

Mr Rakesh Pandey further added that he was sure that this portal would help explore the new potential of growth of Ludhiana and to project it’s marketable strength to the national as well as international bazar.

Mr Nanda added that Ludhiana tourism.com would provide a complete picture and details of Ludhiana.



Ludhiana wool processing machinery for South Africa
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 18
South Africa is keen to use Indian technology to generate employment by creating a skilled workforce. A seven member delegation from the Motheo District Municipality in South Africa was here to examine wool processing machinery with a view to setting up a full-fledged plant back home. The delegation is likely to place an order to the tune of Rs 1 crore, resulting in Ludhiana exporting a plant for the first time to South Africa.

The National Small Industries Service Institute (NSIC), which invited the delegates as part of its initiative to promote trade relations between the two countries, said the main reason why India was being considered was cost effectiveness and suitability.

Mr Rajeev Kapoor, senior branch manager, NSIC said: “The machinery which they are keen on buying is semi-automatic and it suits them as they want the process to be fast and at the same time employ people. It is for the first time that South Africa is buying Ludhiana-made machinery in this segment.”

The main purpose of installing the machinery is to impart training to women in yarn-making. The machinery would be used for processing raw wool, which is abundant in Motheo, into garments.

“Generating employment by utilising available resources is our prime motive. We are considering to buy a plant from India as it suits our requirements. We have a long-standing relationship with the NSIC and are keen to promote trade relations,” said the Executive Mayor of Motheo District Municipality, Ms Kedibone Choene.

The delegates — Mr T.B. Nthjane, speaker councillor, Mr T.A. Zwani, the council chief whip, councillor, Mr L.G.Masoetsa, Chairperson, Economic Development and Planning, councillor, Ms T.F.K. Gosidintsi, municipal manager, Ms M.F. Tlake, Strategic Executive Director, Social Development and Planning, and Mr T.A.Mawonga, General Manager Economic Development and Planning would communicate their decision before they leave on July 22.

The machinery has been manufactured by the G.S.Lotey Group in Ludhiana. “Initially they could go in for a mini-sized plant which has a daily capacity of 50-70 kg production. Later on, the same could be expanded,” Mr Kapoor said. He said the Johannesburg office of the NSIC assessed the requirement for wool-processing machines, which it communicated to the office in India.The corporation had so far sponsored over 300 turnkey projects.



Biz Clip

Bank timings:
Punjab and Sind Bank would now be open from 10 am to 4 pm. Mr G.S. Rekhi, Deputy General Manager of the bank, said the bank had decided to extend its working hours with a view to improving customer services. All rural branches of the bank in this zone would remain open on Thursday. — TNS

Monte Carlo: Monte Carlo has come out with a new range of cargo pants and shorts. A company press note said the range was available in canvas and light weight fabric. The new spring-summer collection is styled in sporty designs. — TNS

Awarded: Neelam’s Ladies and Men’s Boutique has been conferred the Arch of Europe Award. According to a press note, the award has been given for quality and customer satisfaction. — TNS


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