L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Blast at Mukesh Steels claims life
Factory closed; owner, directors booked
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 6
One labourer was killed and eight others injured, including two seriously, in yet another blast at the controversial Mukesh Steels Factory in Giaspura here today.
The Department of Industries, Punjab, has ordered the closure of the factory till further orders.

This is the fifth such blast in the factory and the second one in the past three months. Six labourers have been killed and over 30 injured in these blasts.

Today’s blast took place at about 11.55 a.m. when scrap imported from West Asian countries was being cut for moulding with the help of a gas cylinder.

The loud explosion ripped apart a shed of the unit and threw labourers several feet away. Fire also broke out in the factory. Other labourers at the factory were able to douse the flames.

The police was ascertaining if some scrap bomb had exploded or the blast took place because of the build up of pressure in the pipes. As per the orders of the district magistrate, the factory managers were supposed to segregate explosive material found in the scrap and inform the police or the administration.

Mr Mukesh Kumar, in charge, Sherpur police station, said a case of causing death due to negligence had been registered against factory owner, Krishan Kumar and its four directors.

The SDM, West, Mr M.S. Jaggi and Mr Kashmira Singh, Deputy Director, Industries, supervised the rescue operations. Mr Jaggi said he had directed the Industries Department to prepare a report in this regard.

The deceased has been identified as Sudama.

Among the injured the condition of Ram Bahadur and Vinod Kumar, who suffered more than 80 per cent burns was stated to be serious.

The factory was re-opened recently after being closed in August when a similar blast had ripped off a furnace in the moulding unit and injured eight labourers.



Blasts fail to awaken admn, Industries Dept
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 6
The district administration and the Department of Industries, Punjab, seem to be passing through the motions while dealing with the series of blasts taking place at the Mukesh Steels factory in Giaspura here for the past several years.

As many as 16 labourers have lost their life and over 30 injured in six blasts occurring in the factory.

A blast had taken place in 2003, three took place in 2004 and two this year. Whenever the incidents take place, the police registers a case of negligence, the district administration conducts a magisterial probe and the Department of Industries orders closure of the factory.

The factory, however, opens after a few days or weeks till another explosion wakes up the authorities. While the process is repeated with minor changes, the labourers continue to lose life or limbs in the incidents.

The police has, however, made amends this time by registering a case against the owner, Krishan Kumar, under Section 304 of the IPC. It is a non-bailable offence and the accused will have to approach a court to escape arrest.

Earlier, the case was registered under Section 304-A, which was bailable.

With the blasts taking place regularly, the claims of the safety measures adopted by the factory owners and the role of the officials of the Department of Industries who approve the measures have come under a scanner.



IMA for protection to doctors, writes to PM
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, November 6
The clean chit given by the local branch of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) to a doctor of Machhiwara, charged with the death of a patient due to negligence, has once again opened a can of worms involving ethics, liability of doctors and commercialisation which has plagued the profession.

Upset with the unruly behaviour of family members of the patient and other residents of the town against the doctor, who was later booked by the police, the IMA has written a letter to the Prime Minister urging a comprehensive legislation to protect doctors, hospitals and nursing homes from the fury of dependents of patients.

Last week, three incidents of this kind were reported in the district. Family members of a patient who died at SPS Apollo Hospital charged the doctors with negligence leading to the death.

Dependents of another patient staged a protest at a private nursing home, levelling allegations that the doctor ditched the patient after complications developed during a delivery.

A cross-section of people that the majority of the doctors tried their best to do what was in the best interest of the patient but some members of the medical profession criticised for unethical practices.

Denouncing the offering of package treatment for medical and surgical procedures, by private nursing homes and clinics, a former head of surgery in a hospital said during the course of medical treatment many complications could arise.

“When such a situation arises, the treating doctor is bound to cut corners or simply wash his hands off the patient because the agreed sum for treatment does not provide for such eventuality.”

The regulatory bodies should initiate steps to evolve a mechanism against the financial exploitation of the patients.

“It is a fact that to earn hefty commission from pathological laboratories and hi-tech diagnostic centres, doctors ask their patients to get tests done at a particular laboratory or diagnostic centre,” remarked a retired bank manager.

“The IMA has done well to come to the rescue of the doctors but it should sensitise members of the medical profession, an advocate said.



Passing Thru

Neeulfer, actress and dancer.

What have been your experiences on your first visit to Punjab?

I have loved my first visit. I have been shooting with Babbu Mann in Chandigarh for “Rab ne banai jodi” and I have enjoyed meeting people. They are very warm, open and loving. I have not liked Ludhiana as much as Chandigarh. Chandigarh seems to be a dream city without pollution whereas in Ludhiana, I am amused to read “keep your city clean and green” but nobody seems to be bothered about it.

Before acting what were you engaged in?

I have been struggling to find a place in Hindi movies. After I was selected Ms Pune in the 90s, I took acting lessons from Kishore Namit Kapoor. I auditioned for the role of lead dancer in a music album “Wet ‘n’ Wild”.

Where do you want to reach?

I did an item number “Yeh Ladki”. Obviously, I want to do meaningful roles in films. I do not care which actor I work with but the director should be Yash Chopra. Films made by him are so colourful and have divine music.

— Asha Ahuja



Ludhiana Calling

As newspaper offices were closed for Divali, there were no newspapers the next day. Most people did not realise that they would miss the newspaper so much. They were calling up newspaper offices to find out whether their agent had played a mischief. An elderly man, who did not seem to like the idea of newspaper holiday, said: “Why cannot mediapersons work on Divali? I do not think the festival is celebrated during night only.”

Sensitive nerve

In this part of the country where people have a penchant for foreign lands even beggars know how to seek alms. Beggars surprise you when they say, “Give me money and you will fly to Canada.” In no time, people, especially youths, shell out money to please the beggars and seek their blessings.

Quieter Divali

Despite various requests by environmentalists to celebrate Divali without fire crackers, residents burst crackers well past midnight. Though some observers said it was a quieter Divali, the residents said more needed to be done to check environment. They claimed that it was much better this time as the bursting of crackers stopped at 1 am while in the past, people stopped doing so at 3 am or even later.

Gypsy feats

Gypsies in Punjab continue to believe in earning livelihood through daring feats instead of the easy way adopted by migrants, begging. They perform spectacular acrobatic acts on roads. Their efforts are commendable but the government and social organisations have failed to help them. People enjoy road shows but no one comes forward to spot their talent in sports, especially gymnastics.

Heavy on the pocket

Last month witnessed a lot of annual school functions. Some functions were held on a massive scale. Even if the student had just to appear on stage and do nothing, he or she had to wear a dress required for the scene. Each dress cost hundreds of rupees. If the parents had two children taking part, they had to shell out more money. Parents suggest that schools should have dress cupboards and should lend the dresses to children during functions at a nominal price.

Traffic snarls

The opening of malls in the city may have benefited traders and residents but it is playing havoc with traffic. The shopping complex on the Ludhiana-Ferozepore road which was the first to open is a fine example of this. Traffic jams have started occurring at the four-lane road due to improper parking arrangements by plaza owners and failure of the traffic police to manage the problem. The administration should take action against such shopping complex owners.

— Sentinel



NDA leaders to meet Kalam today: Dhindsa
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 6
Senior leaders of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) will meet President A.P.J Abdul Kalam tomorrow and urge him to seek the resignation of External Affairs Minister Natwar Singh who has been named as a beneficiary by the Paul Volcker committee in the Iraqi oil- for- food scam. This was stated by SAD secretary-general Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa during a visit to the city here today.

The former Union minister said the defiance of Mr Natwar Singh in face of irrefutable evidence was an act of brazen shamelessness.

Mr Dhindsa said although the Prime Minister was a clean man, he too was dithering in asking the minister to resign. Asking Mr Natwar Singh to step down was in the interest of political morality and the least that could be done before an enquiry into the scam gets underway, he added.

He also said the role of Congress president Sonia Gandhi in the whole affair also needs to be closely scrutinised. The contents of a letter purportedly written by her to Mr Saddam Hussein and sent through Mr Natwar Singh should be probed.

Referring to the formation of a third front in the run up to the Assembly poll in the state, he said Mr Parkash Singh Badal was their undisputed leader and the front was nothing but a group of small parties being propped up by the Congress to counter them. We have nothing to fear and the Akalis will form the next government comfortably, he asserted.

Mr Dhindsa said the party would welcome Tamil Nadu Governor Surjit Singh Barnala back to the state when his term expires on November 11. Our party would be happy if he chooses to take up active politics. He also added that he had no differences with Mr Barnala.



Dawar, Mayor welcome Ringh Road project
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 6
Parliamentary Secretary Surinder Dawar and Mayor Nahar Singh Gill have welcomed the decision of the Punjab Government to approve the prestigious project of Ring Road around the city worth Rs 1100 crore, to ensure the decongestion of traffic.

In a joint statement issued here today, the two leaders said the project was the only solution to the fast increasing traffic in the city and it had been under active consideration of the government since long. They said that this project was lingering on due to the paucity of funds.

They said with manifold increase in the traffic intensity on the roads of the city, congestion in the inner parts of the city was creating serious problems. They said that with the execution of this project vehicular traffic from other parts of the state passing through Ludhiana would bypass the city without worsening the scenario.

They also welcomed the decision of the government to start the construction of a modern bus stand with the latest infrastructure facilities from December 15. They said that the stand had been in a bad condition for the past many years and the people of the city were facing a lot of problems in boarding the buses from the bus stand.

They further claimed that Capt Amarinder Singh Chief Minister, Punjab, was focussing on the development and improvement of the basic amenities for the people in Ludhiana city. They said that with the support of the state government, the Municipal Corporation was undertaking many prestigious developmental projects including solid waste and sullage water treatments and an elevated road from the Jagraon bridge to Budha Nulla, the work on which was going on at a fast speed.

They claimed that on the proposal of the Chief Minister, the Prime Minister during his recent visit to the city had also announced to adopt Ludhiana city under the National Urban Renewal Mission under which all the major development projects to develop the city as a model city of North India would be taken up and the industry and trade in this city would get further boost.



Global banks’ staff work under stress, but are satisfied
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, November 6
A study on employees of selected global banks in the city, “Relationship between job stress and job satisfaction”, conducted by Ms Meenakshi Esther Raj, a student of Punjab College of Technical Education, here has revealed that most of the employees of these banks have to cop with stress during working hours.

However, these banks grant heavy incentives, throw parties and organise get-togethers to stress out their employees. As far as satisfaction is concerned, all of them are satisfied with the job in one way or the other.

Total 90 respondents, 30 employees each from three leading banks, Citi Bank, HSBC and Standard Chartered Bank, were quizzed for the study. They included sales managers, relationship managers, branch managers and regional managers and executives.

Most of the respondents covered in the study said they felt stress during working hours. Very few employees said they did not feel any stress while at work.

As much as 100 per cent of Standard Chartered employees feel stressed in their office, 96.6 per cent at Citi Bank and at HSBC 93.4 per cent employees work under stress. The nature of stress includes mental stress, physical stress, environmental stress, social stress and self-induced stress.

Owing to stress, employees face physical disorders, their work quality deteriorates, they suffer a reduced sense of accomplishment. In addition, there was a feeling of lack of confidence, depression and emotional exertion.

To reduce the stress level among their employees, these banks arrange weekly parties or get-togethers, monthly trips, employee assistance programmes, grant heavy incentives and issue appreciation letters etc.

All employees in the three banks preferred grant of incentives as best technique. The second preference was weekly parties and appreciation letters.

The study has showed a strong relationship between job stress and job satisfaction. Almost all employees agreed that they could be stressed even when they were satisfied and could be satisfied in spite of being stressed. It was found that both job stress and job satisfaction were dependent upon each other.

With job satisfaction come responsibilities, which therein cause stress, many employees believe.



BKU seeks 8-hr power supply to farmers
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 6
The BKU has demanded uninterrupted power supply for at least eight hours during the day for farmers as the sowing of wheat has set in. Charging the PSEB with gross mismanagement and failure to improve the transmission system, the union claimed that the farmers were getting power supply for just two to three hours in most villages.

In a statement today, the BKU president, Mr Ajmer Singh Lakhowal, and general secretary Manjit Singh Kadian alleged that rural feeders were subject to frequent tripping for reasons like overloaded transformers, weak power cables and extended transmission cables. As a result, the farmers were dependent on diesel pumps to irrigate fields which added to the cost of inputs.



Prof Jagmohan’s book released
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 6
“Prof Jagmohan Singh’s poetry provides meaning to human existence and struggle in an important ingredient of human existence”, These were the words of Dr Tejwant Singh Gill, noted scholar and critique who was presiding over a seminar on Jagmohan’s book “Udey to Aast Hon Tak” at Punjabi Bhawan here today.

Releasing the book, the celebrated Punjabi poet Surjit Patar said true poetry was one which came straight from heart unmindful of the barriers in its way. He said that heritage provided strength to Jagmohan Singh’s poetry.

Presenting his paper on the book, Dr Manjit Singh Komal described Jagmohan’s poetry as of permanent mature which shall not fade away with passage of time. Dr Harbans Singh while presenting his paper said Jagmohan’s poems, particularly of historic perspective, were heart-rendering. Dr Raman who presented another paper said Jagmohan’s book indicated the return of fast-evading Punjabi poetry. He lamented that good poetry in Punjabi was hard to find these days.

Other prominent persons who participated included Dr Gurbhajan Gill, Prof Naranjan Tasneem, Dr Gurdev Singh Pandhol, Dr Guzar Pandhar, Dr Gulzar Mohammaed Gorik, Mr Mahandev Singh, Lal Singh Dil, Principal Prem Singh Bajaj , Principal Jagmohan Singh, Susheel Dosanjh, Prof Jaipal Singh ,Biharilal Saddi.



Book of poems released
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 6
Kivan Kahan, a collection of poems, by Prabhjot Singh Sohi was released by Prof N.S. Tasneem last evening at Punjabi Bhawan. The function was organised by ‘Adara Meer’ with the coordination of Punjabi Sahit Academy. At the start of the function, the poet recited some of his selected poems.

Poetry for Prabhjot Singh Sohi is the medium of expression, Prof N.S. Tasneem remarked. He said the poet had not only highlighted his personal feelings, but also the plight of the less-privileged. Prof Gurbhjajan Gill averred that the poet found himself at a loss to give vent to his pent-up emotions as he attempted to convey so many things at the same time.

Prof Ravinder Bhathal said Sohi was in search of such changes in the scheme of things as could shorten the distance between the haves and the have-nots. At present, the poet was baffled to see the crumbling edifice of cultural heritage. Bedi Purdaman Singh opined that the poet had raised many questions in his poems which were disturbing in nature and needed immediate attention of the intellectuals. Dr Gulzar Singh Pandher presented his paper wherein he stressed on the undercurrents of revolutionary urge in Prabhjot Singh Sohi so as to usher in a better tomorrow.

Prominent writers and thinkers such as Dr J.S. Dhiman, Dr Kulvinder Kaur Minhas, Dr Ajit Sikka, Prof Balwinderpal Singh, Prof Mohinderdeep Grewal, Jaswant Singh Aman, Prem Singh Bajaj, Raman, Gursharan Singh Narula, Inderjeet Pal Kaur Bhinder, Gurcharan Kaur Kochar, Manu Sharma, Sukhwinder Kaur Sohi, Pritam Pandher, Harkomal Baryar, Ajit Pyasa, and Budh Singh Neelon were among those present on the occasion.



Make widows self-reliant, says MC chief
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 6
The Municipal Commissioner, Mr S.K. Sharma, today urged activists of the Ludhiana Young Samaj Sewa Sangh to help widows in becoming self-sufficient instead of coming to them seeking ration every month.

Addressing a ration distribution function, organised by the sangh in Sarabha Nagar here today, he said it was the need of the hour to make destitute women capable of earning their own bread and butter instead of seeking monthly ration from some organisation. He said he would extend help in this regard.

Later, he distributed ration among 60 widows and appreciated the efforts of the sangh.



Vinod elected panchayat chief
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 6
Mr Vinod Kumar Pammy has been elected president of the panchayat, Mohalla Mali Ganj here today. The election for the post of the president was held at Gopal Mandir, near old grain market today. The incumbent , Mr Vinod Kumar, defeated his rival Mr Tarlok Chand Sood by 88 votes. One vote was found invalid.

According to Mr Vinod Kumar, the new executive committee will be formed after consultation with senior member of the panchayat.


HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |