L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Epidemics Act invoked as water samples fail
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 21
In the wake of over three dozen mild cases of gastroenteritis being reported from several colonies in the old city earlier this week, the district administration has issued prohibitory orders under relevant Sections of the Epidemic Diseases Act 1897 within the city limits with immediate effect.

On the other hand, it was authoritatively learnt that all five water samples, taken by the health officials from the affected colonies, had failed both the chlorination and microscopic tests and were declared “unfit for human consumption”.

Claims by the Municipal Corporation officials notwithstanding, the report of the water samples prove that the outbreak of gastroenteritis was caused by the contamination of water and that the water supply being provided by the civic body was far from being potable.

Under the orders issued by the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Ashok Kumar Gupta, the sale or exposure for sale of all kinds of food, cold drinks, lassi, bakery articles, unless properly protected with glass or wire gauge against contamination, has been prohibited.

Similarly, sale or exposure for sale, or manufacture of ice, ice candy, mineral water and aerated water, unless certified by the government bacteriologist as fit for human consumption, has been banned.

The prohibitory orders stipulated that water used for making ice, aerated water or mineral water would have to be got certified as being safe from the State Public Health Laboratory at Chandigarh.

Restrictions have also been imposed on the sale of over-ripe, under-ripe and cut fruits and sugarcane juice, unless prepared under hygienic conditions.

Laying the onus for the supply of safe drinking water on the civic body, directions have been issued that the supply of water by all waterworks running in the district for the purpose of drinking will be regularly chlorinated and tested for any type of contamination in the designated laboratories and for any lapse in this regard, the SDOs concerned will be held personally responsible.

The orders further provided that in the event of outbreak of cholera, or suspected cholera cases in any locality, all residents of such localities would undergo anti-cholera inoculation. In the case of minors, their parents or guardians will be responsible for getting them inoculated.

For the purpose of enforcement of these orders, the Civil Surgeon, all executive magistrates in the district, District Health Officer, District Epidemiologist, assistant malaria officer, all senior sanitary inspectors, sanitary inspectors, health supervisors, multipurpose supervisors, food inspectors, all senior medical officers, all government and local bodies medical officers, inspector vaccination and vaccination superintendents have been empowered to prosecute the defaulters within their respective jurisdictions.

These officers would also have the authority to enter into and inspect any market, building, shops or vends, used for sale, manufacture or distribution of any articles stored therein and further to seize, destroy or cause to dispose off in such a manner that they think fit so as to prevent its use by human beings.

Through the prohibitory orders, authority has been vested in the Civil Surgeon to establish medical inspection posts for prevention of diseases wherever desirable within the district.



Submit report on slums, PHRC tells DC
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 21
The Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PHRC) has directed the Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana to look into the mushrooming of slums at Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar following a complaint by the residents.

Asking the DC to submit a report in this case by June 12, the member of PHRC, Mr B.C. Rajput has registered a case under Section 12 of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993.

The DC has been asked to submit a report under Section 17 (i) of the Act. The copies of the order have been sent to Principal Secretary, Home and the DC, Ludhiana, for information and immediate compliance.

The residents of SBS Nagar had approached the PHRC for redressal of their problem after the knocking at the doors of Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT), had not yielded anything.

Claiming that the jhuggi dwellers had made their lives miserable by using public parks as toilets, littering garbage and drawing electricity through ‘kundi’ connections, residents in their complaint to the commission had stated that there was no official action against them despite their protests.

Only last year, residents had even returned the keys of their houses to the chairman of trust as a mark of protest. The then chairman had promised to take prompt action against the jhuggi dwellers but to no avail. Even after the new chairman took over, their grievance was not redressed despite various assurances.

They claimed that the slums had mushroomed on open spaces meant for parks in the area. The LIT did not develop the parks so, jhuggis had cropped up in this posh area.

The residents said that the jhuggis had sprung up in the area 6-7 years ago and following protests by the residents, the jhuggis were razed. These came up again before the elections and some candidates got the jhuggi dwellers’ names included in the voters’ list. Later, nobody was able to remove them.

Mr Arvind Sharma, a resident, said that more than 250 jhuggis had come up on an area of 475 acres belonging to the Improvement Trust. The jhuggi dwellers also reared pigs, which created nuisance by entering the green belts of the houses.

Mr Sharma said that it was the duty of the LIT to provide proper environment and proper amenities to the residents.



Industrialist’s son found murdered
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 21
Ramandeep Singh, son of paper mill owner Jaspal Singh, was found murdered under mysterious circumstances near Birmi village today, two days after he had gone missing.

The police had recovered the car of the victim from Ferozepore octroi post yesterday. The body of the victim was spotted by some villagers.

Police sources said acid was thrown on the face and upper part of the body.

They said some strong personal enmity seemed to be the cause of the murder.

Meanwhile, cases of three suicides rocked the city today.

A female student of Guru Nanak Khalsa College, a male resident of Sunet village and an employee of the DMC Hospital allegedly ended their life due to different reasons.

Police sources revealed the female student had consumed some poisonous substance at her house in Dad village. She was rushed to a hospital but could not be saved.

A 42-year-old labourer, Jaswant Singh, committed suicide by hanging himself at his house in Sunet. He was said to be under a heavy debt.

In the third incident, 28-year-old Haibowal resident, Manish, who was an employee of DMC Hospital ended his life by consuming some poisonous substance. He was depressed for the past few days.

The police is conducting investigations under Section 174 in all the cases.



SDM finds 87 officials absent
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 21
The SDM of Malerkotla has recommended stern action against 87 officials of various offices of the state government located in Malerkotla subdivision who were found absent in a surprise check conducted this morning.

The situation in the state government schools was also pathetic as besides showing laxity during duty, teachers were caught educating from banned guides and help books instead of the textbooks prescribed by the Punjab School Education Board.

While some offices were found locked, the heads of the department of some offices were absent when the team raided their offices in the morning.

In her report submitted to Mr S R Ladhar DC Sangrur, Dr Indu, SDM, reported that 87 officials from various government offices were found absent at the time of opening of their offices.

While the offices of The Punjab State Tubewell Corporation and Panchayati Raj, Malerkotla, were found locked at the time of checking. A majority of staff in other offices were conspicuous by their absence. Interestingly, none of the heads, including both Block Development Officers, were present at the time of material inspection.

The report further states that the condition of the government schools was pathetic. The teachers were either found sitting idle or they were teaching with the assistance of help books published by MBD and JBD.

“Though the teachers were present in their respective schools, they could not be said to doing justice with the pious profession. Contrary to the claims made by the officers of the Education Department, the teachers were found taking help of guides and substandard booklets to teach their students in all the schools checked today,” rued Dr Indu. The use of help books at the onset of academic session was more hurting, rued Dr Indu.

Dr Indu had conducted a check at government offices in the town and the nearby Malekrotla town. They included the offices of PSTC, ARCS, BDO-1 and BDO-2, BPEO-1, BPEO-2, Punchayati Raj Malerkotla and Ahmedgarh, CDPO-1 and CDPO-2, Tehsil Welfare Office, SDO Water Supply, Treasury Offices, Horticulture Department and offices of Municipal Councils at Ahmedgarh and Malerkotla.

A majority of the officials were found absent at the time of opening of their offices and none of the heads was found in his respective office.

Government Senior Secondary School, Bhogiwal, Government High School, Jandali Khurad, Government High School, Akbarpur Chhanna, and Government Senior Secondary School, Malerkotl,a were among those where teachers were caught teaching from MBD and JBD guide, asserted the SDM.



Stay away from touts, Brigadier tells Army aspirants
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 21
Officials of the Army Recruiting branch (Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir) today gave a clarion call to aspiring candidates to stay away from touts who claim to felicitate their recruitment in the Army.

Brigadier P.D. Joshi, Deputy Director General, Army Recruitment, called upon the candidates to help expose touts while giving details about the transparent and purely merit based recruitment process of the Army.

He stated this while talking to mediapersons during a visit at the Army camp here where a recruitment rally for residents of Ludhiana and Ropar districts is under way.

A few days ago, the police had arrested an alleged tout, S.S. Ghuman, who posed as a Major in Army and had claimed he could arrange recruitment.

Brigadier Joshi said the rally had drawn tremendous response as 3000 tokens were issued on the first day itself.

Commenting on reports in some newspapers recently about the declining physical standard of Punjabi youth, he said he has not found any such drop.

He said computer literate candidates stood a better chance for recruitment as tanks and artillery weapons, including Bofors, required computer expertise to fire successfully. He said it would be easy to train those who already knew computers.



Three purse snatchers held
Our Correspondent

Khamano, April 21
A three-women gang of chain and purse snatchers was arrested red-handed by the police after they snatched the purse of a woman at the Sanghol bus stand. According to information available, the purse of Anjali, a resident of Sanghol, was snatched by the accused when she was standing in queue to buy a bus ticket.

She raised an alarm and the accused were searched and the victim’s purse along with the money and handkerchief was found on the accused.

The police was informed and took the women in police custody. According to Gurnam Singh, ASI, the three were identified as Rupa, Neetu and Kalpana, residents of Gorakhpur. They were residing, at present, at railway station Kurali.

A case under Sections 379, 411 has been registered. The accused were produced in court at Fatehgarh Sahib, where they were remanded in police custody for a day.



2 booked for assault
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, April 21
Soni and Deep Singh of Shekhupura allegedly assaulted Sukhdev Singh of their village. The police has registered a case under Section 341, 323, 34 of the IPC on the statement of the injured who has been admitted to the civil hospital, Jagraon.

One held with liquor: The police arrested Surjit Singh of Khanzarwal and seized 18750 ml of illicit liquor. A case under the Excise Act has been registered.

3 men kidnapped: Bagga and his brother Raju, both residents of Jagraon, allegedly kidnapped three persons. The police has registered a case under Section 458, 365, 323, 148, 149 of the IPC. According to information given by ASI Rajbir Singh, the duo came on a motorcycle, scaled the wall of the house of Harbax Singh of Agwar Pana, Jagraon, assaulted Jaido Bahadur, Harmel Bahadur and Suraj Bahadur and took them along. The owner of the house lodged the complaint. No arrest has been made so far.



Festival City to come up in 2 years
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 21
The Festival City project, claimed to be the biggest mall of Punjab by Aeren R Enterprises with an investment of over Rs 250 crore, will be functional by the end of 2008.

Mr Vivek Srivastava, vice-president(Marketing and Corporate Communications), said in an interview to Tribune News Service that the company would strive to offer a balanced composition of shopping, entertainment and leisure in its project, which was based on the principle of 'malls within a mall'.

"Over 50 per cent of the leasing is already over and names like IMAX, Fun Cinemas, Shopper's Stop, Pantaloons and various others have already signed up. The final tenant mix would be decided only by 2008 so that we are able to offer the latest brands," he said.

With Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) having been permitted, the company expected a wide range of new brands to start operations in India and said it was keen on roping in new ones. "Besides the basic theme, malls in the coming years would differentiate through a variety of brands they offer, which would benefit companies as well as consumers."

Aeren planned not to lease out or sell the entire space, but to retain some part of it so as to earn higher returns and also make the necessary changes if required.

Mr Srivastava said an exhaustive study by Hudema Consulting done for the company projected a stupendous rise in the annual income and retail potential and in retail expenditure, which was what made the company buoyant on success of its mall.

"Ludhiana is a prosperous city with immense potential.Besides, we also expect customers from surrounding cities like Jalandhar and Chandigarh."

When asked about nearly 20 malls coming up in this region within the next two-three years, he said the malls that had a right tenant mix and good facilities had very high chances of success as the prevailing environment did not offer a very comfortable and enjoyable shopping experience.

The Festival City, besides exclusive kids, fashion, hospitality and leisure zones, would have Punjab's first IMAX theatre with seven screen multiplex, an ice-skating ring and a gaming zone.

Mr Srivastava said the ambience in the mall would by in sync with its name and there would be different zones, each bearing design and architecture portraying Indian festivals like Divali, Dasehra, Holi and many others. 



Biz Clips
Thapar elected Knitwear Club chief 

Mr Vinod Thapar was unanimously elected president of the Knitwear Club here on Thursday evening. At a meeting held to elect office bearers of the club for the term 2006 to 2008, the other members who were unanimously elected are: Mr Rajinder Bhushan Maini, senior vice president, Mr Sanjeev Jain and Mr Jagmohan Singh, vice-presidents, Mr Narinder K Miglani, general secretary, Mr Darshan Dawar, secretary, Mr Jaswant Lal Takkar, treasurer, Mr Sanjay Kapoor, joint secretary and Mr Charanjiv Singh, secretary (public relations).

Hero Honda: Honda Motor Cycle and Scooter India Ltd has launched its 125CC motor cycle Honda Shine. A company press note issued here on Friday said the new bike incorporates cutting edge technologies to deliver the best balance of mileage and pick up. It can complete a 0-60 kilometer per hour run in only 5.3 seconds and is equipped with a multi mapping CDI, tumble flow combustion chamber etc.

LMA: The Ludhiana Management Association (LMA) will hold a seminar on ‘Achieving Business Efficiency for Competitiveness’ on April 24 here. According to a press note, Mr Nitin Chikhale, Head Business Development - Midsize Market, SAP India Consulting, and Mr Keshav Sachdeva, MD, DCM Engineering, and Chairman, Economic Affairs and Taxation Committee, Northern Region, would be the keynote speakers. — TNS



Jewellery festival
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 21
Ebony Retail Holdings has started a jewellery festival that would continue till May 8. According to the company, customers will get attractive discounts on jewellery purchases made during this period. 


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