L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Dullo rallies around Mayor in Birmi’s constituency
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 4
It was literally the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) President, Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, rallying around the Mayor, Mr Nahar Singh Gill, in the Ludhiana rural assembly segment represented by his arch rival and the Chief Parliamentary Secretary Jails, Mr Milkiat Singh Birmi.

Mr Birmi told The Tribune on telephone from Delhi that he had not been informed or invited by any of the organisers including the Mayor, Mr Gill and the District Congress Committee, Ludhiana (urban) President, Mr Jagmohan Sharma. However, both Mr Gill and Mr Sharma maintained that they had sent a formal invitation to Mr Birmi that the PCC President would be visiting his constituency.

When asked about Mr Birmi’s absence from the mass contact programme, Mr Dullo said he might be busy somewhere. He said he had been told by the district president and the Mayor that he was already busy. Mr Dullo asserted that it was the duty of the local MLA to keep the tag of the developments in his constituency and he should know that the PCC president was visiting his area.

The PCC President was accompanied by Mr Gill, Mr Sharma, the Parliamentary Secretary, Mr Surinder Dawer and the local councillors. He was also submitted a list of demands and problems being faced by the people.

He asked the workers to prepare themselves for the coming elections. He claimed that the Congress was in quite a comfortable position as development was at its peak in the state.

He said, all the problems of people would be solved and sorted out in a time bound manner.

Mr Dullo criticised the Shiromani Akali Dal-Bhartiya Janata Party combine in the state alleging that it was a communal alliance. He claimed that the two parties were bereft of all the issues and they were finding it difficult to go to the people. He asserted that the Congress was the only representative party of the people. He claimed that the Congress was destined to return to power in the state as it was the “only party” which always gave preference and priority to the state’s interests over other interests.

Mr Nahar Singh Gill, who had organised the mass contact programme of the PCC president appeared visibly happy over the outcome as the gathering at most of the meetings was reasonably good. In fact at some places it was beyond his expectations, given the severe and scorching heat. He expressed his gratitude to the people for attending the meeting and also to Mr Dullo for conceding to his request and meeting people. Mr Gill said, Mr Dullo cut short his Delhi visit to ensure that he kept his date with the people of Ludhiana in order to listen to their problems.



Lands for function in state copter
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 4
The Punjab Pradesh Congress (PCC) President, Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, appears to have given a reason for celebration to the opposition parties like the Shiromani Akali Dal-Badal and the Bhartiya Janata Party for using the state helicopter for coming to a party function.

The state helicopter which is used by the Chief Minister and the Governor is the state property and is to be used for the state functions only. Mr Dullo occupies no official position and is only the state president of the ruling party.

The opposition leaders said they would complain to the Election Commission of India besides raising the issue in the public. They alleged that this was a blatant misuse of the official machinery for the party purposes.

Mr Dullo arrived in Ludhiana from Delhi on the official helicopter of the Chief Minister. Since he was in Delhi yesterday for a meeting of the terrorist victims with the party president, Ms Sonia Gandhi, he could not have made it to the party programme on time. The programme was organised by the Mayor, Mr Nahar Singh Gill.



Probe indicts nurse, doctors
Woman forced to deliver child in front of hospital
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 4
Heads may finally roll in the case of a migrant woman who was forced to deliver a child in front of the Khanna Civil Hospital after being denied medical care by staff last week.

Mr Ashok Kumar Gupta, Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, has recommended to the Secretary, Health, to take disciplinary action against staff nurse Dinesh Sehgal, Emergency Medical Officer Maninder Singh Bhasin and Dr Jaswinder Kaur Malhi. They had been found guilty in the probe by Mr Jaspal Mittal, SDM, Khanna.

The report revealed that the behaviour of the staff nurse and two doctors towards the patient was extremely rude, inhuman and irresponsible, as a result she had to deliver the baby in the open.

Despite the presence of the staff, the women had to undergo an unbearable physical and mental trauma.

During the probe, Sanjay, a migrant labour, stated that he along with his mother brought his pregnant wife to the hospital on May 28, where the staff nurse after discussing the matter with Dr Malhi on the phone had given him a slip to get some tests done from a private laboratory.

The patient was not admitted in the emergency ward and made to sit outside the ward. He stated that the owner of Deepak Lab had conducted the tests by charging lesser amount.

When he again reached the hospital after the tests, the staff nurse told him that the patient was very weak and her hemoglobin was low at 7.2.

The staff nurse after consulting her case with Dr Malhi told him that nothing could be done here and asked him to take the patient to some other hospital at Patiala or Ludhiana.

During the inquiry, Dr Malhi admitted that when she was attending on another delivery in the hospital, she was told about the patient delivering a child in the open.

The SDM also mentioned in his report that neither the patient was admitted to the hospital nor any referral slip for other hospital was given. He reported that the staff nurse and the doctors on duty could not justify their negligence in refusing to admit the patient.

He mentioned that it was the duty of the hospital staff to look after the patient from the time of admission till the discharge from the hospital.

On the perusal of the emergency register, Mr Mittal found that the Emergency Medical Officer did not made entries in the register in the normal course regarding the case history of patient and tests to be done.



1,154 crore for benefit of weaker sections, says Johar
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 4
Education Minister Harnam Dass Johar has asserted that the Congress Government headed by Capt. Amarinder Singh was according top priority to the uplift of the Scheduled Castes and weaker sections of society. He said during the year 2006-07 funds amounting to Rs 1154 crore, which was 28.85 per cent of the State Plan Outlay of Rs 4,000 crore, had been allocated for the implementation of welfare schemes framed for these sections of society.

He was addressing a function organised to distribute new ration cards at a slum dwellers colony on Pakhowal road, here today. As many as 100 ration cards were distributed among the migrants.

Mr Johar said a sum of Rs 934 crore had been spent on various schemes meant for the welfare of members of the Scheduled Castes during the year 2004-05. He said the government had also decided not to allow the diversion of funds from this head to other schemes at any cost.

Mr Johar informed that under the Sarb Sikhya Abhyan all children falling in four to 14 year age group, who were not attending school, were being provided basic education free of cost by setting up schools in the slum areas and jhuggi colonies.

He said under the Education Guarantee Scheme for children, newly started informal schools catering to a minimum of 20 children were proving to be very fruitful and the parents themselves were bringing their wards to the schools.

The state government had created a Dedicated Social Security Fund of Rs 450 crore to ensure regular and timely pension/financial assistance to 11 lakh beneficiaries, including the aged, widows, orphans and the physically challenged. He said the government had also implemented the 85th Constitutional amendment to fulfill the promise made to the Scheduled Castes during the last elections.

He added that it had been decided that all SC families would get free domestic use electricity of 200 units per month and the government was giving a subsidy of Rs 50 crore for this purpose per year, he added.

Mr Johar said five marla residential plots had also been allotted to Dalits out of the village common land by the government and so far 26,059 such plots had been allotted to SC homeless families and 80,000 additional residential plots would be given to Dalits by 2007.

Among others present on the occasion were Mr Jagdish Marwaha, secrecy, DCC (U) and Mr Ajay Johar.



Ludhiana Calling

Hosting “relationship building” parties has become a common trend in the city. At a similar function, the organisers, who hosted a large scale party, expected the who’s who to attend the function. But they were in for a disappointment. For, most of the people who attended the function were eager to register their presence in every possible way. No wonder relationship were the first casualty.

Monotony in fashion

True, city damsels work hard at their looks but their approach doesn’t appear very smart. Visit a happening place or a party and you see most of them donning a similar hair colour, straightened hair and even similar dressing styles. Little wonder, young boys complain the city is becoming a boring place!

Elephant on the road

In the absence of any stringent laws against the movement of animals, especially like elephants and bulls on the road, the owners of these animals ride on them whereever they want. Even the congested roads like the Domoria Bridge, Mata Rani Chowk and old city lanes witness such rides every other day. Not only do the animals block traffic they cause harassment to commuters by squatting and defecating whereever they want. (see photo)

Bad PR

Some public relations guys have only one yardstick to measure the success of their events. It is making journalists attend their function. Sometimes it is a sheer time wasting exercise for the already busy journalists or a poorly managed show. These people do not hesitate in troubling reporters with numerous phone calls and they mostly end up irritating the reporter concerned and inviting his wrath.

Amazing feat

Two students of Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School, Sarabha Nagar, Awalpreet Singh Chadha and Gurneet Kaur Thind scored 100 per cent marks in three subjects in Class X Examination conducted by the CBSE Board. The results were declared last week. Scoring 100 per cent in three subjects is a record in itself. The subjects they scored full marks were mathematics, science and social studies. The school authorities, students and parents were delighted with their performance.




BJP begins groundwork for elections
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 4
The BJP has formally started preparations for the forthcoming elections to the state Assembly. Mr R.P Singh, the deputy in charge of the party affairs for Punjab and a member of the national executive, is currently in the city to have feedback from the workers, leaders and councillors.

Mr R.P Singh met senior leaders, including former Deputy Speaker, Punjab Assembly, Satpal Gosain, State Secretary Anil Sarin, General Secretary Rajinder Bhandari, District President Subash Verma, leader of the party in Ludhiana Municipal Corporation Praveen Bansal and others.

Mr R.P Singh also held a meeting with the mandal level leaders and workers. The meetings were not open to Press and Mr R.P Singhtoo did not meet mediapersons. The party organisers disclosed that he had come only to take stock of the situation and identify the weak and strong points of the party.

It was learnt that all those wanting to contest on the party ticket have been asked to prepare themselves for the elections. They were told, while it was the prerogative of the party to nominate the candidates in the end, each one of them must start mobilising the cadres to strengthen the party.

Mr R.P Singh arrived here yesterday and will stay here till tomorrow. He had a hectic schedule as he was supposed to meet the leaders individually and also alongwith the workers. He is believed to have taken the opinion of the workers about the probable candidates who had a better chance of winning.

The BJP leader has reportedly asked the party cadres to maintain unity and the discipline at all costs. He also asked them to move among the public. The party has been asked to organise more demonstrations on various issues concerning public interest.

This was the first organisatinal exercise of the party in anticipation of the Assembly elections scheduled for early next year.

The BJP General Secretary and in charge of Punjab, Mr Arun Jaitly, is also likely to visit the city to review the party functioning in the district.



Employees to launch phased agitation against govt policies
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 4
The Punjab Employees Action Committee has decided to launch a phased agitation against the anti-employees policies of the state government.

In the first phase of the stir, the employees will hold a state-level “anti-repression’rally and protest march at Hoshiarpur on July 6.

This decision was taken at a meeting of the action committee, held here today under the presidentship of Mr Hari Singh Tohra. The meeting was attended by activists of four federations and several other unions of the government employees.

In a joint statement here, the trade union leaders made scathing attacks on the Congress government, led by Captain Amarinder Singh for letting loose a “reign of terror and repression” against Health Department employees, ETT teachers and veterinary pharmacists, who were agitating against policies of privatisation of educational and health institutions.

According to Mr Sucha Singh Khatra, convener of the action committee, a detailed programme had been chalked out to mobilise the employees for the agitation under which district-level meetings of union leaders would be convened on June 12 which will be followed by a state-level meeting of trade union activists here on June 17.

The eight-point charter of demands, adopted at the meeting called for scrapping of 11th schedule of 73rd constitutional amendment which provided for transfer of 29 departments to panchayats, reversal of decision to privatise schools, civil and veterinary hospitals, ITIs, water supply, roads and bridges, sugar mills and state electricity board, restoration of more than 80,000 posts and filling up these posts through regular recruitment.

The action committee further demanded that all contractual, ad hoc and work-charged employees be regularised, time scale promotion of 4-9-14 years be granted to all employees, bonus for last seven years and fixed medical allowance of Rs 500 be paid to each employees. the meantime, employees be paid an interim relief of Rs 1000 per month. The demand for unconditional appointments on compassionate grounds was also reiterated at the meeting.



Pakistan summons meeting of Sikh representatives
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 4
The Pakistan Government has summoned a meeting of representatives of Sikhs in Lahore on June 6 to finalise the programme to observe the 400th martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev.

Disclosing this, Mr Avtar Singh Makkar, President ,SGPC, said here today that he had received information regarding the meeting of from Mr Bishan Singh, President, Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee.

Mr Makkar disclosed that the SGPC had received nearly 3000 applications from devotees for going to Lahore to participate in the martyrdom day function of Guru Arjan Dev in Pakistan.

The SGPC had already sent a list of 2500 devotees to the Pakistan High Commission for grant of visa. The Pakistani Government, he said, had allowed to grant visas to 10,000 pilgrims for participation in the functions in Pakistan and the SGPC was asked to send 6000 devotees and rest were to be sent from other states of the country.

The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee is also arranging the participation of the Sikhs in the martyrdom functions in Lahore.

The June 6 meeting will also decide about the symbolic nagar kirtan to be taken out from Amritsar to Lahore for which the Pakistan Government has reportedly agreed.

Mr Makkar said a seminar would be held in Lahore which would be addressed by Pakistan Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz.

Besides, the SGPC is organising a seminar in Amritsar on June 10 which will be inaugurated by Punjab Governor General S. F. Rodrigues (retired) and the valedictory address would be read by Mr Surjit Singh Barnala, Governor of Tamil Nadu.

Swami Agnivesh social activist will deliver the keynote address at the seminar.

Mr Parkash Singh Badal, President of the Shrimoni Akali Dal, who is also likely to participate in the functions in Lahore, had asked the SGPC members and legislators to mobilise the Sikhs for participation in the martyrdom functions in Lahore.

Sikhs from overseas countries will also participate in the martyrdom functions in Lahore and the estimates are that not more than 2,000 sikhs will reach Lahore from foreign countries.

The martyrdom functions will be held from June 14 to 16 at Gurdwara Dera Sahib, Lahore, with the start of akhand path on June 14.

The shaheedi divas falls on June 16.



Tributes paid to Karnail Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 4
Tributes were paid to Karnail Singh, a social activist of Pawa village, at a “shardhanjali samaroh” at Gurdwara Reru Sahib Nandpur, Sahnewal, near here, today.

Speaking on the occasion, PPCC chief Shamsher Singh Dullo said Karnail Singh was a great social and religious personality, who during his life had served the poor and done a great job in spreading education in rural areas. He said his family, especially his son, Raghbir Singh, was always in forefront to help the suffering people.

Condolence messages from around two dozen associations and institutions were read out on the occasion.

The Dakha MLA, Mr Malkit Singh, on behalf of the family thanked the people for their sympathies and condolences.

Prominent among those who paid tributes were Mr Nahar Singh Gill, Mayor, Mr Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal, general secretary, SAD, Mr Gurcharan Singh Galib, a former MP, Mr Jasbir Singh Sangrur, Mr Isher Singh Meharban, both former ministers, Mr Gurdip Singh Bhaini, a former MLA, Mr K.K. Bawa, Chairman, Housefed, Mr Gurkirat Singh Kotli, secretary, PPCC, Mr Jagpal Singh Khangura, Mr Santa Singh Umedpuri and Mr Rajinder Singh Basant, vice-chairman, Conware.

Others who attended the samaroh included Mr Manjit Singh Brar, Director, Information Technology, Chandigarh, Mr S.S. Gansi, DETC, Mr Darshan Singh, District Public Relations Officer, Mr Gurcharan Singh Rajajang, Mr G.S. Bahia, Joint Director, Health, Mr Amarjit Singh Tikka, Mr Ramesh Joshi, Mr Ashok Makkar, Mr Gurbej Singh Chabbra, Mr Ashwani Sharma, all secretaries, PPCC, Baba Jagroop Singh, chairman, Land Mortgage Bank, Mr Harbhagwan Singh, chairman, Block Samiti, Mr Jaswinder Singh Sandhu, chairman, Market Committee, Sahnewal, Mr Rajiv Johar, president, Bar Association, Sales Tax, Mr Parshotam Khalifa, Director, Pollution Control Board, Mr Manmohan Singh, a former DETC, and Mr D.K. Verma, AETC.



Residents submit memo to Mayor
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 4
The Mayor, Mr Nahar Singh Gill, today inaugurated a park in LIG colony of Urban Estate Dugri, Phase II, at a function organised by the Urban Estate Welfare Society, Phase II.

The Urban Estates Welfare Association, Punjab, general secretary, Dr Shiv Gupta, the Urban Vihar Residents Welfare Council president, Dr Ajay Shahi, the Urban Estate Shopkeepers Association general secretary, Mr H.L. Kaura, and the Welfare Society general secretary, Mr Bhagwant Singh, and the Congress Ward No 40 president, Mr Amarinder Singh, welcomed Mr Gill and submitted a memorandum to him.

They appealed to the Mayor for the construction of roads in Phase I and II, for which tenders had already been approved. They also demanded that tubewells must be set up in each block and the bridge over the Dugri canal should be widened.

The residents also drew the Mayor’s attention towards the faulty streetlights and the filthy Sabzi Mandi ground.

The chief guest assured the residents that the construction of roads would be started within one month and more tubewells would be installed.

He said PUDA and Municipal Corporation officials would visit the area on June 7 so that on-the-spot instructions are issued for the redressal of grievances.



Bypass plan resented
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 4
Leaders of various social, political and constitutional organisations of the local town and surrounding villages have impressed upon the social experts accompanying the Punjab Roads and Bridges Development Board officials, deputed to review the proposed bypass at Pohir village on the Ludhiana-Malerkotla road. They said the technical team should be apprised of the consequent multi-dimensional desertion of the town and around 50 surrounding villages in case the bypass was constructed on the eastern side of Pohir village.

Apprehending threat after the implementation of the proposed bypass the leaders threatened to launch a stir to get their demand met.

Mr P N Roy social expert, and Ms Aparna Gupta, SDE, PRBDB, addressing a joint meeting here on Saturday, said that they would project the feelings of residents of the area before the higher authorities in the board and the final decision would be taken in the interest of all.



Rly flyover sought at Mandi Gobindgarh
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, June 4
A meeting of the Railway Bridge Sangarsh Committee, Guru ki Nagri, Mandi Gobindgarh, was held here today. It was presided over by its president, Mr Harpal Singh Jassar.

Members said the absence of flyover was causing inconvenience to residents living on both sides of the railway track. President Harpal Singh said steps were being taken by the local council chief to get the railway flyover sanctioned at the earliest.

It was decided that a deputation of members of the sangarsh committee will meet the railway authorities at Ambala to get the matter expedited.



Police zeroing in on girls who fired in air
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 4
The city police is learnt to have finally established the identity of the four girls who had caused a scare in the Sarabha Nagar market by firing several rounds in the air on the night of May 27 late night.

Sources disclosed that the girls belonged to an influential family.

SSP A S Rai said he could only confirm at this juncture that the police had narrowed down on the girls . He said the police would disclose the identity soon after completing all legal formalities.

‘‘The girls may belong to influential or rich family but the law of the land was equal for everyone.’’ he said denying that the police was under any kind of pressure in the case to supress the facts.

He said the motive was also clear and the police may take action on what provoked the girls if that was the case.

This was probably the first incident of its kind in which young girls have resorted to use of fire weapons in public.

The girls had brought their Black Sonata car to a screeching halt near Bikaneri sweets at about 11 pm on May 27. One of the girls came and fired in the air .

The police had registered a case under section 436 (mischief by fire or explosive substance) of the IPC and for the violation of different provisions of the Arms Act regarding the incident against three unidentified girls.



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