L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Yarn worth lakhs destroyed in factory fire
Tribune News Service

Workers look through the ash after a massive fire in Kidwai Nagar in Ludhiana on Sunday night.
Workers look through the ash after a massive fire in Kidwai Nagar in Ludhiana on Sunday night. — Photo by I.V.

Ludhiana, October 23
Yarn worth lakhs of rupees were gutted in a massive fire that broke out at a shawl factory in Kidwai Nagar here last evening.

As soon as the fire broke out, the residents living nearby called up the factory owner, who in turn called the Fire Department.The fire spread to three storeys of the building as the fire fighters grappled for dousing it without proper fire fighting equipment.

A number of fire engines were pressed into service and fire could be controlled only after midnight.

The non-availability of long ladders made the matters worse as the fire spread to the third storey could not be controlled.

The onlookers pelted stones on the glass window panes to break them so that the water could reach inside the building and douse the fire.


No decision yet on shifting of martyr’s statue
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 23
The issue of the shifting of Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarabha’s statue from under the elevated road is going to cast a shadow on the inauguration of the road by the Chief Minister on October 25.

The secretary of the PPCC has taken up the matter with the Chief Minister and PPCC chief, stating that it would be a disrespect to the martyr if traffic would pass on the road over his head. He has urged them to look into the matter.

Meanwhile, the MC is in a quandary over the issue. While the MC Commissioner, Mr Vikas Partap, is stated to be out of station, sources said the civic body was yet to decide about the site for the statue. The government machinery would be busy tomorrow with regard to the function.

Mayor Nahar Singh Gill was also not available for comments. He was stated to be busy at a meeting throughout the day.

Mr Mehta had met the Deputy Commissioner some days ago, urging him to order the shifting of the statue. The DC had ordered the shifting of the statue to a respectable place immediately, however, nothing has come of it.

“I am pained to point out that despite the orders of the DC, nobody has cared to shift the statue,” Mr Mehta said, adding that the issue would take a political colour.

“If the inauguration takes place with the statue at the same place, it would be an insult to the martyr. It would embarrass the district administration, the state government and the Chief Minister,” he said.

With protests from the PPCC, residents are fearing that the inauguration may be postponed again. It has taken more than five years to complete the bridge.



Brain surgery on fully conscious woman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 23
The mind boggles at the very thought of actually seeing a hole being cut through one's head, but that's exactly what the unnerving experience was for 49-year-old Mrs G. Kaur, wife of a leading auto parts manufacturer and a resident of Ludhiana. In a rare surgery, the patient was operated upon for brain tumour in a state of full consciousness. She observed and spoke to the staff even as the doctors were all deftly focusing on performing the intricacies of the operation.

Dr. Tushar Arora, Senior Consultant Neurosurgeon at SPS Apollo Hospitals, who performed surgery, believes that 'awake craniotomy' could be a revolutionary and major advancement over the conventional craniotomy, in which the patient is given general anesthesia before being operated upon. "The objective of doing such surgery in an awaken state is to monitor neurological functions like facial and limb movements, to pro-actively observe the possibility of and prevent any damage during the surgery," said Dr Tushar.

In the conventional brain surgery, since the patient is on general anesthesia and is unconscious, it cannot be ascertained at the time of operating if the brain has received any accidental injury. Even if it is observed after the surgery, it's already too late and may render the patient incapacitated for life.

During an MRI scan after her fit (convulsion) this year, Mrs G. Kaur was diagnosed for brain tumor in the right side of the brain in the area which gives strength to left side of the body including left side of face ,left arm and left leg. Besides the fit, she also had weakness in her left hand and foot. She was admitted to SPS Apollo Hospital on October 15, where after a detailed evaluation, Dr Tushar collectively decided to remove the tumor surgically.

After having been explained the reasons for symptoms, nature of her tumor, the urgency for a surgery and the risks associated, the patient agreed to go in for awake craniotomy. During the surgery Mrs Kaur was fully awake and was able to move her body as directed by Dr. Tushar, who constantly monitored the limbs and motor functions. The surgery lasted 4 hours and the patient had no pain at any time during the surgery and was perfectly comfortable. She was able to move her left hand and foot normally throughout surgery. She talked to me throughout the procedure.'' Ialso explained to her how I was taking out her brain tumor and she smiled and said thank you at the end of the surgery. She was discharged on October 20.''

According to Dr. Tushar, a procedure which has gained so much popularity in USA and Canada over the last so many years should also gain popularity in India. There will be a definite increase in the number of awake craniotomy cases in the years to come.'' I am now trying to do more and more cases by this new awake technique at Ludhiana itself so that no patient has to go out of the country for this procedure.



8 booked for beating up driver
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, October 23
The police has booked at least eight persons, including the lecturer of a private college, for allegedly obstructing the driver and conductor of a PRTC bus from performing their duty and threatening to kill them after beating them up here this afternoon.

Gurdip Singh and Rajbir Singh, driver and conductor, respectively, were allegedly assaulted by a group of students and a lecturer of Shanti Tara College, Akbarpur Chhanna.

However, the college authorities have denied any link with the accused.

Gurdip Singh and Rajbir Singh, informed the police that a group of students from Shanti Tara College, led by Mr Charanprit Singh, a lecturer, beat them up with lathis when they were on their way back to Ludhiana. Rajbir said some tickets and cash were also lost in the incident.

The accused had beaten them up to teach them a lesson for not stopping the bus in front of the college.

Immediately after the incident, some drivers and conductors of various private and government 



Akalis continue dharna outside City Centre
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 23
Activists of the Shiromani Akali Dal today staged a demonstration in front of the Ludhiana City Centre reiterating their demand for a CBI probe into the alleged multi-crore scam in allotment of sites.

Addressing the dharna, the Ludhiana MP, Mr Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, alleged that the state exchequer had been defrauded of Rs 2,100 crore.

He claimed, everything had been established beyond any doubt.

Reiterating his party’s demand for a CBI probe, he said, the Vigilance inquiry instituted by the state government was just an eye wash. He asked, if the government was so confident that nothing wrong had taken place then why was it afraid of a CBI inquiry.

He alleged that the Vigilance was trying to let off the main culprits.

He said, the government by dissolving the Ludhiana Improvement Trust was trying to make people the scapegoat.

Mr Dhillon claimed, “The huge response to the protest from across the state has proved that people were quite upset and angry over the scandal”.

Prominent among those present on the occasion included senior party leader and former SGPC president, Mr Jagdev Singh Talwandi, Mr Bikramjit Singh Khalsa and others.



Congress gearing up for Sherpur rally
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 23
Leaders and workers of the Congress are busy preparing for the party rally being organised on October 25 at Sherpur. The rally will be addressed by the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh. He is scheduled to be here on October 25 to inaugurate the elevated road after which he will address the public rally.

While the Local Bodies Minister, Chaudhary Jagjit, was here yesterday to review the preparations, the local leaders, including Parliamentary Secretary Surinder Dawer, Dakha MLA Milkiat Singh Dakha, Mayor Nahar Singh Gill and others, held a meeting today to ensure the success of the rally.

Mr Dawer told the Ludhiana Tribune that party workers were working hard to ensure that the October 25 rally was a success. He said urban and rural units, the youth wing and other frontal organisations were mobilising workers and supporters for the rally.

Mr Nahar Singh Gill is putting in additional efforts since the rally was being organised in the Ludhiana Rural assembly segment. Mr Gill is a claimant of the party ticket from this segment. Moreover, the venue of the rally falls in Sherpur, which is represented by Mr Gill in the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation.

Mr Dawer said this would be the first in the series of party rallies being planned in the city.

He said each rally would be addressed by the Chief Minister. Some senior party leaders from the Centre were likely to attend the rally. However, their final confirmation was still awaited.

The Ludhiana East MLA claimed that the party was quite in an enviable position since the Congress government led by Capt Amarinder Singh had fulfilled all promises made in the election manifesto.



33 years gone and still awaiting pension
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 23
He has been struggling to get pension from the Indian Navy for the past 33 years, but justice seems to elude him. Mr Vadish Kumar Gupta was declared invalidated by the Navy 36 years ago, stating that he was mentally ill. And since then the battle to get disability pension has been continuing.

Inordinate delays have marred the fight of this former Writer-II with INS Hamla Ships Company in Mumbai, who was discharged from the services after diagnosed with schizophrenia in 1970.

Due to his repeated efforts the Bureau of Sailors, Cheetah Camp, Mankhurd, Mumbai, directed the Commandant, Base Hospital, Delhi Cantonment, in June to constitute an appeal medical board to reconsider his case. But he is yet to get a letter in this regard.

The Bureau of Sailors sent a copy of the letter to him, asking him to wait for some official document, but to no avail.

His claim for disability pension was rejected in 1970 after his schizophrenia was considered by the medical board as neither attributable nor aggravated by being in the Navy. Hence, he could not be provided with disability pension.

Since then he has been writing to various naval authorities for considering his case on the grounds that he was invalidated during the service and was hale and hearty when he joined it.

Mr Gupta had joined the Navy on October 14, 1967. After completing the basic and divisional training on January 18, 1968, he was posted at INS Hamla, Mumbai. He remained posted there till May 1969. He was posted at INS Angre till October 1969.

Years of writing letters to the naval headquarters, President and Prime Minister of India have not yielded anything.

He added, “I am entitled to more than 50 per cent disability pension for life along with the arrears and further increment.”

The District Sainik Welfare Officer, Lieut Commander Tarlochan Singh (retd) has also written a number of letters to the naval headquarters to expedite the case, stating that the ex-sailor had suffered enough mental agony.



PNB sleeps on payment order, penalised
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 23
Failure of the officials of the Punjab National Bank, Civil Lines Branch, in crediting a PPO (pension payment order) in the account of a senior citizen for years has led to penalisation of the bank.

The bank has been burdened with the costs of Rs 10,000 and was also directed to pay interest of 9 per cent per annum on the amount of Rs 1,24,767 which was not credited for years.

The orders were pronounced by the President of the Consumer Forum — Mr A.S. Narula, the members — Mr Daljit Singh Bakshi and Ms Pooja Dewan — while deciding on a complaint filed by a retired inspector of Punjab Police, Mr Hari Krishan Sharma, 
resident of Pavittar Nagar, Haibowal Kalan, Ludhiana.

It was submitted by the complainant that he had retired in the year 1998. Since then, he was getting pension from the PNB, Civil Lines Branch, where he was having a savings account.

The Accountant-General, Punjab, vide its letter dated March 2, 1999, had commuted his value of pension. It was ordered that Rs 1,24,767 be credited to his account.

The letter was duly received by the bank from the Treasury Office, Ludhiana, to that effect. However, the amount was not credited in his savings account by the bank for the reasons best known to them.

He had been approaching the bank from time to time for the past six years but to no effect.

On the other hand, the bank refuted the charges. It was asserted that the complainant himself was negligent. He did not bother to write to the bank for getting this amount credited for years. Infact, he wrote a letter to the bank in 2004.

Then, the matter was taken up with the Treasury Office and Accountant-General, Punjab. Thereafter,the amount was received and credited in the account of complainant on July 7, 2005, during the pendency of the case.

It was argued that it was not proved that the Treasury Office ever sent the said PPO to the bank.

After appreciating the evidence on record, the Forum observed that it was duly proved on record that the PPO order was sent to the bank by the Treasury Office, Ludhiana, in March 1999.

Even the despatch register bore the stamp and signatures of the bank officials on reciept of the PPO.

The bank had written a letter to the Treasury Office that the said PPO appeared to have been not recieved by them or have been misplaced.

“In such circumstances, the deficiency of the bank is fully reflected that the PPO was misplaced from the office of the bank,” observed the Forum. 



Pools of stagnant water — menace to residents
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, October 23
Pools of stagnant water especially in the Lakkar Mandi area of Doraha has made life miserable for residents.

Lakkar Mandi, popularly known as the model town of Doraha, the problem of stagnant water (stagnating for not less than six months) has become a matter of immediate concern. The water standing right in front of the residential colony, is enough to create panic amongst the residents.They are in deplorable conditions.

Mr Inder Singh, a resident of Lakkar Mandi, rued, “With dengue cases on the increase, the water stagnating along the boundary wall of my house, is only giving us sleepless nights.”

Mr Ajay Mohindra, too added that “The Municipal Council has been given immutable verbal reminders but to no avail. It seems that they are least bothered about the poor sanitary conditions and the ill-effects they are having on the health of the residents. This negligence on their part is sure to lead to an epidemic outbreak.”

Mr Naresh Mohindra and Mr Ankit Mahindra too complained that the problem had been plaguing the area for more than six months but the MC had not taken pains to clear the mess . “The errant employees, rather than finding an immediate solution to the problem, have turned a deaf ear to our repeated pleas and reminders,” added Mr Narinder Kumar.

This correspondent visited the area in Lakkar Mandi where the uncovered pits , apart from emitting foul smell, are providing a safe and congenial breeding ground to mosquitoes.

The residents near Kali Devi Mandir too told their tale of woes as they complained of the standing stagnant water.

A huge pit, dug for the purpose of attaching to the main sewer line, has been left uncovered for the past one and a half month and no effort has been made to fill it, as a result, the area is prone to accidents.

“Who will come to our rescue, we are already poor and do not know whom to approach. Many of us are suffering from fever but are not in a position to avail medical treatment,” the dwellers added.

The condition of cleanliness in Doraha is poor to such an extent that the main drainage line has not once been cleared. The wild vegetation and the unwanted shrubs and plants over grown on this main drainage system has made matters worse.

The residents complain that the authorities have been receiving grants for the cleaning it, but the work has not been initiated.

The position is that the drainage pipes spread in the entire town are of a much smaller size as compared to the daily inflow which has ultimately resulted in blocked sewers. The uncovered pits at places too is one of the reason.

The Sanitary Inspector when contacted said the drainage lines are of very small size, so no machine can be employed for their cleaning.” “On the contrary, with the given man power we try to do manual cleaning of the main hole alone that serves the purpose but to a minor extent. Lakkar Mandi being on the lower end of Doraha, faces more water accumulation problem that is solved by us from time to time. But no permanent solution can be sought due to the drainage system that is faulty in the present set-up,” he added.



Mattoo third front nominee from Dakha
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 23
The CPM, the CPI and the Lok Bhalai Party today announced a joint candidate, Mr Amarjit Singh Mattoo, from the Dakha (reserved) Assembly segment.

According to Mr Sukhminder Singh Sekhon, CPM district secretary, the three parties will contest the coming election in the state jointly. This may pave the way for the formation of the Third Front in the state.

The three party front will soon be announcing candidates for other constituencies also. The campaigning will also be started soon, he said. 



Pensioners’ plea on old commutation formula
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 23
The Punjab Government Employees and employees of various boards, corporations and universities who retired in the past three and a half months are jubilant over Capt Amarinder Singh’s announcement to restore old age pension commutation formula. The decision will benefit thousands of retirees, say the pensioners.

To meet the pensioner’s demand in entirety, the pensioners urged the Chief Minister to restore the old formula from the date it was scrapped.



Five booked for attempt to murder
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, October 23
The Sidhwan Bet police has registered a case under Sections 307, 148, 149 IPC and Sections 27, 54, 59 of the Arms Act against five persons on the charges of attempt to murder.

The accused are Mangat Ram, Gurjit Kumar, Pardeep Kumar, Ranjit Kumar and Manjit Kumar of Malsihan Bajan village.

According to information, Jagmohan Singh and Jagjit Singh, both brothers, allegedly bursted crackers in front of the house of accused and were stopped from doing so but they did not pay any heed to the accused’s request.

Provoked, Ranjit Kumar allegedly fetched a .12 bore riffle from his home and fired towards the house of Jagmohan Singh injuring Jagmohan Singh and his brother, Jagjit Singh.

The injured have been admitted in Civil Hospital, Jagraon. No arrest has been made so far.

12 charged with assault

In two separate incidents, 12 persons have been booked by the Jagraon and the Sudhar police on the charges of assault.

In the first incident, the Sudhar police has registered a case under Sections 323, 324, 506, 34 IPC on the charges of assaulting Joginder Singh of Boparai Kalan against Charanjit Singh, Avtar Singh, Bhupinder Singh and Buta Singh of Boparai Kalan.

The accused had allegedly beaten him up with sharp-edged weapons. A dispute of water in the farm house is said to be the cause. The injured has been admitted in the Civil Hospital, Sudhar.

In the second incident, the Jagraon police has registered a case under Sections 323, 324, 341, 427, 506, 148, 149 of the IPC against Gurinderpal, alias gindi, of Kamal Pura on the charges of assaulting Sukhjit Singh of his village.

The accused allegedly intercepted Sukhjit Singh on Friday night and assaulted him with weapons and also damaged his motorcycle.

The injured has been admitted in the Civil Hospital, Jagraon. No arrest has been made so far in both cases.



LSE awaits nod for pact with NSE
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 23
The trading community in the region awaits the SEBI nod for the pact between the NSE and the Ludhiana Stock Exchange (LSE) which will enable members of the LSE to get a platform to trade on the NSE.

While for an investor, agreement means increased opportunities, it is the stock exchange that stands to witness a revival in the form of active trading.

Official sources said SEBI could take three to four months in granting its approval which means it would be six months by the time trading begins.

Beginning of the process is expected to bring a positive change in trading environment in this region as more members are likely to get involved in active trading.

The agreement between the regional stock exchange and the NSE grants multiple membership benefit to over 120 members. While the LSE acts as the clearing member that will coordinate the operations, the members will be involved in active trading.

"Members of the LSE will get a national platform for trading," said executive director of the stock exchange H.S. Sidhu.

The members would be able to trade in securities listed on their own exchange and also those on the NSE which brought them on an equal footing to that of the NSE members.

The business of the stock exchange had been hit owing to automated trading. Even Indo Next, through which an attempt was made to restart trading, failed to give positive results, said the sources.

As a consequence of the pact, LSE Securities would be wound up within three years. It was LSE Securities through which most of the trading was being done. Since the members would not have to trade through the subsidiary route, the LSE Securities would be wound up, said the sources.

As of now, the LSE awaits the approval by SEBI after which it would begin developing infrastructure required for the purpose.



Extend last date for submitting form C: assn
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 23
Disappointed with inaction on the availability of form C, the local industry has urged the state government to extend the date for submission of these forms to March 31, 2007.

In a letter to the Principal Secretary, Excise and Taxation, United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association, said the industry was facing problems on account of less time for filing C forms.

“The Sales Tax Department has fixed November 20 as the last date for filing annual statement along with forms C, H and F. However, some of the states like Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Delhi do not have these forms. Due to shortage of forms it has become very difficult for industrialists to procure them,” said Mr Varinder Kapoor, general secretary of the association.

The association said in case where the requirement is of 20 forms, only two-three forms are being available. “The last date is near and in such a short period it is not possible for industrialists to get these forms. The government should extend the last date to at least March 31, 2007,” the association added.

Industrialists pointed out that the issue had been taken up with the government earlier also, but no action has been taken in this direction so far.



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