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No threat of avian flu in Punjab: Officials
Scientists perturbed over possible mutation of virus
Jalandhar, February 21
Officials of the Northern Regional Disease Diagnostic Laboratory today ruled out any chance of the spread of avian influenza in Punjab.






Officials from the Department of Animal Husbandry give a live demonstration of taking a sample from the viscera of poultry, during a training programme held in Jalandhar on Tuesday. — Tribune photo by Pawan Sharma
Officials from the Department of Animal Husbandry give a live demonstration of taking a sample from the viscera of poultry, during a training programme held in Jalandhar on Tuesday

BJP frontal organisations step up tirade against Congress govt in Punjab
Jalandhar, February 21
More than half a dozen frontal organisations of the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) are seemingly up in arms against the Congress-led Punjab government, as their leaders have planned to ‘gherao’ the Punjab Chief Minister, Captain Amarinder Singh, at Chandigarh on February 27 on the occasion of the completion of four years in office by the Congress government.




EARLIER STORIES

 

Bholath Nagar Panchayat poll on Feb 24
Bholath (Kapurthala), February 21
The district administration has announced February 24 as the date for elections to the posts of president, senior vice-president and vice-president of Bholath Nagar Panchayat.

RCF revokes dismissal orders
Kapurthala, February 21
The former Staff Council member of the Rail Coach Factory (RCF), Mr Ram Rattan Singh, was reinstated in the service by the management here today. The revoking of the dismissal orders of Ram Rattan Singh was one of the major demands of the RCF union leaders, who had been on the agitation path for the past eighteen days.

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No threat of avian flu in Punjab: Officials
Scientists perturbed over possible mutation of virus
Deepkamal Kaur
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, February 21
Officials of the Northern Regional Disease Diagnostic Laboratory today ruled out any chance of the spread of avian influenza in Punjab.
Dr H.S. Sandha, Joint Director of Animal Husbandry and in-charge of the Regional Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, Jalandhar, said the centre had got as many as 5000 samples of poultry procured from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh, New Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir and Rajasthan tested from the High Security Avian Disease Laboratory in Bhopal. All samples had tested negative.

The officer said this during an interaction with The Tribune on the occasion of a meeting of veterinary scientists from across the region, including those from Punjab, New Delhi, Chandigarh and Rajasthan, over the issue. Dr Sandha said that out of the total samples, 1000 tests had been conducted on the birds of Punjab alone.

He said samples of migratory birds were taken from Harike, Ropar as well as Kanjli. He confirmed that diagnosis was also done for low pathogenecity of virus, which, too, did not show up.

The joint director said that since the infection in Nandurbar district in Maharashtra had been contained and the birds had been culled, there was no way that the infection could spread to this part of the country.

On this occasion, the major issue discussed was that of the possible mutation of the virus.

Dr N.K. Sood, Veterinary Pathologist, Punjab Agricultural University, said that in case there were any mutations, there were chances that this virus would adapt itself so that it could be communicated from humans to humans, which had not been a possibility till date.

Dr Sood said the virus could actually create havoc, as the mortality rate could be as high as 100 per cent. He said that almost all birds and a wide variety of mammals, including pigs and horses, could act as its carriers.

He said the H5N1 strain of the virus (that had led to the outbreak of the disease in China) had affected bar-headed geese that constituted 45 per cent of the migratory birds in India. It could have been one possible source of infection in Nandurbar district too, he added.

During the discussions, Dr Ramneek Patil, Veterinary Microbiologist, PAU, expressed concern over the fact that many new fatal infections had started spreading in this part of the world. He said that while SAARS had been a major threat last year, avian influenza had surfaced this year.

Dispelling a common apprehension of the re-occurrence of the disease in the country the next year, he said there was no possibility of this kind as the virus could not survive in a host for more than a month.

The officials of the department also showed a live demonstration of taking samples from poultry. 

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BJP frontal organisations step up tirade against Congress govt in Punjab
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, February 21
More than half a dozen frontal organisations of the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) are seemingly up in arms against the Congress-led Punjab government, as their leaders have planned to ‘gherao’ the Punjab Chief Minister, Captain Amarinder Singh, at Chandigarh on February 27 on the occasion of the completion of four years in office by the Congress government.

Meanwhile, to lodge its protest against the “prevalence of anarchic conditions in Punjab, police repression, recent suicides by farmers, price hike and corruption in government offices”, the Punjab unit of the BJP has also decided to observe a “Shok Saptah” from February 27 to March 4.

“The “Shok Saptah” would culminate in a dharna in front of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha at Chandigarh on March 4.

“Actually, the indifference of the government towards the issues concerning the common man, and industrial and business classes has reached its highest point. So, we have decided to intervene by creating awareness among people of the state,” claimed Mr Vijay Sampla, the General Secretary and spokesperson of the Punjab unit of the BJP.

It would be perhaps for the first time that such a large number of frontal organisations of the BJP, including the SC, ST Morcha, the Yuva Morcha, the Mahila Morcha, the Minority Cell, the Beopar Cell, and the Sports Cell, would be holding a joint political exercise and that also at such a large scale.

Meanwhile, a delegation of the BJP members, comprising Mr Harjit Singh Grewal, Secretary, Punjab BJP, Mr Navjot Singh Sidhu, MP, Mr R.P. Singh, Mr Avinash Khanna, MP, and Mr Brij Lal Rinwa, the former Punjab BJP Chief, today met Mr L.K. Advani, leader of Opposition, at New Delhi and discussed with him the issueof the banning of turban in the institutions of France. 

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Bholath Nagar Panchayat poll on Feb 24
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Bholath (Kapurthala), February 21
The district administration has announced February 24 as the date for elections to the posts of president, senior vice-president and vice-president of Bholath Nagar Panchayat.

The announcement was made after the Director, Local Self Government, issued instructions to the district administration to hold the elections before February 28.

It may be mentioned that a notice of motion for March 16 has been served by the Punjab and Haryana High Court on a petition filed in this regard by seven municipal councillors.

The councillors, who had submitted the petition, are Balvinder Singh, Sukhwant Singh, Jaspal Kaur, Neelam Devi, Anita Rani, Kulwant Kaur and Mohinder Singh.

Mr A.K. Sikka, SDM, Kapurthala, has been appointed the convener. He has sent notices to the councillors, informing them about the schedule of the elections.

Earlier, the elections had been postponed twice, first on October 5 and then again on December 22 last.

After the elections of the Nagar Panchayat on September 18 last, October 5 was fixed as the date for elections to the posts of president and two vice-presidents. However, the elections were postponed for an indefinite period when the councillors from the Congress and the SAD clashed with one another on the poll date in the tehsil complex, where the elections were to be held.

At that time, seven Akali members, supported by Bibi Jagir Kaur, local MLA, had alleged that they were forced to deposit their mobile phone sets with the officials deputed outside the complex, while six Congress members were allowed to carry their mobile phones inside. Following this, tension had built up. The police had to intervene and the elections were put off.

Then again, at the time of re-poll on December 22 last, the ruling party was “successful” in postponing the elections.

Bibi Jagir Kaur and five Akali councillors, along with two independent councillors supporting them, kept on waiting throughout the day for Mr Iqbal Singh Sandhu, Assistant Commissioner Grievances and the convener appointed to hold the elections.

Later, in the afternoon they were informed that the elections could not be held, as the convener had proceeded on leave.

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RCF revokes dismissal orders
Tribune News Service

Kapurthala, February 21
The former Staff Council member of the Rail Coach Factory (RCF), Mr Ram Rattan Singh, was reinstated in the service by the management here today. The revoking of the dismissal orders of Ram Rattan Singh was one of the major demands of the RCF union leaders, who had been on the agitation path for the past eighteen days.

The union leaders had alleged that Ram Rattan was dismissed on fabricated charges and without conducting proper inquiry.

Mr Balram Singh, CWE (the appellate authority) today ordered a fresh inquiry into the matter. He said there were certain shortcomings in the conduct of the enquiry proceedings. The CWE also set aside the Notice of Imposition of Penalty issued against Mr Ram Rattan Singh by the Disciplinary Authority.

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