P U N J A B    S T O R I E S


No dengue case in Malwa belt
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, October 3
While dengue cases have been reported from different pockets of Punjab and neighbouring Haryana, the Malwa
belt has largely remained unaffected by it and no such case has come to light in Bathinda, Muktsar, Mansa and Faridkot districts as of now.

However, a dengue case was reported in Ferozepore district last month, but the patient had recovered from the disease.

Bathinda Civil Surgeon Dr Maninder Singh said though no dengue case had been reported from any part of the district, they had directed all municipal committees as well as panchayats to take precautionary measures to prevent its outbreak.

He said the Health Department was also making announcements through the public address system in various localities of the city to sensitise residents on preventive measures that they needed to adopt.

He said medicines of dengue, diagnostic kits and blood platelets were available at the hospital and they were fully prepared to deal with any eventuality.

Muktsar Civil Surgeon Dr Amritpal Kaur said fogging had already been done in various localities to check the breeding of mosquitoes. She said they were also making people aware about precautions against dengue through newspapers, cable TV and public announcements.

Mansa Civil Surgeon Dr P.K. Mittal said they were running an advertisement campaign informing people about the disease’s symptoms and urging them to clean up their water coolers, avoid any water-logging and use mosquito nets.

The MC had also been asked to maintain cleanliness in the city. Faridkot Civil Surgeon Dr Rajinder Singh said a meeting of doctors working under the Zila Parishad was held today to review the situation.

He said all government hospitals had been put on alert and the department staff had been asked to keep a close eye on any suspected dengue case.

He said they had also told people suffering from any of dengue symptoms to immediately visit the nearest government hospital. Ferozepore Civil Surgeon Dr Swaran Singh Walia said a dengue case had come to the fore from Kasuana block of the district last month, but the patient had recovered later from the disease.

He said no fresh case of dengue had been reported. He said they had issued necessary instructions to the local bodies to prevent the occurrence of the disease.


City in grip of dengue fear
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, October 3
While immunoglobin test conducted on suspected dengue victim Krishan Kumar (15) was negative, but, fear has gripped residents of Jalandhar, who apprehend outbreak of it once again, particularly, when it has already claimed two lives in past one month.

Meanwhile, alarmed over the possibility of the outbreak of the deadly disease in the city and surrounding areas, the Health Department authorities, have started an awareness and the Municipal Corporation authorities have resorted to fogging in congested and vulnerable localities. Jalandhar has several localities where, stagnant water and wild growth provide ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes.

Impact of the campaign is yet to reach at grassroots level due to low intensity of preventive steps by the MC and the Health authorities.

Arrival of Naresh Kumar, a resident of Lama Pind and a suspected dengue case, on Monday at Civil Hospital, virtually pressed the panic button for authorities and scared residents as well, particularly, as his blood platelet count was considerably low, first sign of dengue in a patient.

His immunoglobin test the next day, however, proved negative and allayed the fears of the Health authorities and residents to some extent.

But, the threat still loomed large over residents, who, had witnessed death of two women due to dengue. Savitri, (90) resident of Mithapur locality and Ms Pawan Sharma, (40) from Sanjay Gandhi Nagar locality, died due to dengue 20 days ago. According to Dr J. P. Singh, Civil Surgeon, apart from dengue, deceased Ms Pawan Sharma had suffered from multiple organ failure.

Though, Health Department officials and MC authorities were forced to be extra cautious in case of Mithapur and Sanjay Gandhi Nagar localities and ensured that these areas were subjected to fogging and other preventive measures, but, almost nothing was done in case of many other localities, particularly, those on the city’s outskirts, around the Urban Estate and along the Nakodar and Kapurthala roads. Since these localities were still coming up, pools of stagnant water-a major mosquito-breeding place could be seen here and there in such localities. Pools of slush and accumulation of garbage could also be witnessed in congested localities and bazaars of the old city and in the Bhargo camp area.


Ludhiana in grip of dengue
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 3
Hundreds of persons in areas in and around Ludhiana are down with suspected attack of dengue.

Although the official figure of confirmed cases admitted to local hospitals is put at around 125, with four persons succumbing to illness, the ground reality is far too grave. Rough estimates put the number of victims at many times more than the official figures.

Two major hospitals in the city — Dayanand Medical College and Hospital and Christian Medical College and Hospital — have received 115 dengue cases. Both institutions have reported two deaths each due to the disease.

Around 45 dengue patients are reportedly still under treatment at both these hospitals.

Chandigarh: Taking a serious view of suspected dengue fever cases being reported in the region, the Punjab government has drawn up a strategy to tackle any situation arising out of dengue fever in the state.

Mr Surinder Singla, Health and Family Welfare Minister, today said that all the government hospitals in the state had been put on alert and directed to maintain adequate stocks of medicines and fluids. He, however, appealed to the public not to panic and cooperate with the health authorities to wipe out dengue. Guidelines in this regard have been issued to all civil surgeons in the state to ensure measures to prevent outbreak of dengue.

A control room, with telephone number 0172-2603276 has been set up at the state headquarters to monitor the situation, said the minister. He today convened the meeting of officers which was attended by Mr Darbara Singh Guru, Principal Secretary, Health and Family Welfare, Dr Sukhdev Singh, Director Health and Family Welfare besides other senior officers of the Health Department.


Amritsar gets new air link to the Gulf
Our Correspondent

Rajasansi, October 3
The Punjabi workforce employed in Gulf countries has been provided a new link with its home state with the launch of a no-frill Air-India Express Delhi-Amritsar-Dubai flight here today.

Dr M.S. Gill, a member of the Rajya Sabha, the man behind the starting of the three-days-a-week flight, flagged off the low-budget flight as a troupe performed bhangra.

Dr Gill said it was a great moment, especially for the large Punjabi workforce in West Asia. He said with the induction of new and bigger aircraft into the Air-India fleet, more flights would start operations by next year.

Dr Gill felt that the national flag carriers Air-India and Indian should provide more domestic and international connectivity to the state. He pointed out that the city had emerged as one of the most important religious and tourist centres in the country and he was dismayed to learn that Indian was not operating a single domestic flight.

Mr Navjot Singh Sidhu was also present on the occasion.


PM biased against state, claims Gill
Our Correspondent

Rajasansi, October 3
“Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should not shy away from undertaking major development projects to turn his home state into a model state,” said Dr M.S. Gill, a Rajya Sabha member, here today.

He made these remarks after flagging off the Air India Express Delhi-Amritsar-Dubai flight at the international airport here.

Expressing displeasure at the present state of the airport, Dr Gill said he would urge the Prime Minister to visit the airport and announce a grant to upgrade it.

Dr Gill said the Prime Minister seemed to be biased against the state and should come out with grants for projects to usher in a new era of prosperity in the border state.

Endorsing the views of Dr Gill, Mr Navjot Singh Sidhu said the Prime Minister should take personal initiative and offer a grant for the total revamp of the airport which should act as economic pivot for the overall development of the holy city. Quoting extensively from various study reports on airports, Mr Sidhu said the growth of an airport reflected on the prosperity of that region. He said at present more than 40 per cent of the traffic and cargo load at Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi, emanated from Punjab.

He alleged that the Centre was deliberately neglecting the people of this border district. He urged the Civil Aviation Minister, Mr Praful Patel, to convene a meeting of the parliamentary panel on civil aviation at Amritsar to monitor the facilities and focus on the revamp of the existing infrastructure.


Stop auction, acquisition of land: farmer bodies
Tribune News Service

Mansa, October 3
Leaders of various farmer bodies today announced that they would not allow auction of debt-ridden farmers’ land by any moneylender and bank officials would also be prevented from going ahead with it. The announcement came at a rally organised by the BKU (Ugraha), the BKU (Sidhupur) and the Punjab Kisan Union in front of the DC’s office here today.

Addressing the farmers, the state BKU Ugraha president Joginder Singh Ugraha said the government should do away with its policy of forcibly acquiring fertile land of farmers for handing it over to private companies.

He demanded that the land acquired for the Trident Group in Fatehgarh Chhana, Dhaula and Sanghera villages of Sangrur be restored to farmers. He also sought cancellation of notifications regarding the acquisition of thousands of acres of near Amritsar and Mohali and handing over of panchayat land to Reliance. Mr Pishora Singh Sidhupur and Mr Sukhdev Singh Kokri said the government should waive off institutional and non-institutional debt on the farmers and the farm labourers of Punjab.

They also sought a compensation of Rs 10 lakh for suicide-hit families of farmers and extension of interest free agricultural loans. They advocated total ban on land auction and arrest of debt-ridden farmers. They said a proposal comprising all their demands had already been sent to the state government. The union leaders flayed the police action against the farmers who converged at Raipur village to stop the auction of a local farmer’s land.

They alleged that the police not only cane charged the farmers ruthlessly but also damaged their tractor-trailers. They alleged that the police registered “false cases” of attempt to murder against some farmers and arrested 16 injured farmers.

They demanded release of these farmers and action against the “guilty police officials”. They accused the state government of siding with commission agents and moneylenders.

Their other demands included providing diesel to farmers at subsidised rates, free canal water, payment of remaining amount, of bonus on paddy and withdrawal of “false cases” registered against the farmers.


Daily-wage earner’s minor daughter struggles for life
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, October 3
Life of Bhawana four- year-old daughter of a daily wage worker has been hanging in balance. poverty of her family is coming in the way of her treatment. She is suffering from a serious heart ailment termed ductus arteriosus in medical terminology, since birth.

According to doctors, if not treated her heart ailment could cost her life. Her heart needs surgical closure for which her parents need at least Rs 1 lakh.

Her father Rakesh Kumar is making desperate efforts to arrange money for the treatment of his daughter. He earns Rs 2000 per month so cannot think of to collecting the needed amount.

He has also petitioned Deputy Commissioner, Gurdaspur, Vivek Pratap Singh for money for the treatment of his daughter. The Deputy Commissioner is likely to recommend the case the government for relief from Chief Minister’s fund.

Talking to The Tribune Rakesh Kumar, who is resident of Gurdas Nangal village near Gurdaspur, said that due to her heart ailment the Bhavan could not carry out daily activities like children. She has lot of difficulty in breathing. We have to keep a watch over her health all the time.

The meagre savings he had, has been spent on tests performed by the doctors to diagnose the ailment.

When female foeticide is common in the state and the parents go to any extent to get rid of the girl child before birth, poor Rakesh Kumar has two daughters. He is willing to go to any extent to save the life of his elder Bhavana. However, his limited resources and poverty are proving his handicaps.

Krishanesher Swami a social worker has taken up the cause to arrange funds for the treatment of the girl. He has appealed the social organisations to the help saving the life of poor Bhavana. 


Time for Akalis to join hands, says Atinder Pal
Tribune News Service

Rajpura, October 3
The President of the Shiromani Akali Dal (International) and former MP, Mr Atinder Pal Singh, said here today that the struggle for Khalistan would continue through peaceful means.

Talking to mediapersons here today, he called upon various factions of Akalis, including those led by Mr Parkash Singh Badal and Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, to join hands with his party to contest in the forthcoming elections to the Punjab Assembly.

Mr Atinder Pal Singh, who returned from a tour of Switzerland, claimed that there had been a change of perception among the Western countries about Khalistan.


Civic byelections on Oct 29
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 3
The byelection to elect members from ward numbers 11 and 33 of the Batala Municipality will be held on October 29, a spokesperson of the Punjab Government said today.

The byelection to elect a councillor from ward number 33 of the Municipal Corporation, Jalandhar, and ward number 32 of the Patiala Municipal Corporation would also be held on October 29.


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