L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S



Bridges fenceless, commuters defenceless
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 18
Despite massive development projects being undertaken by the successive governments to maintain and construct highways and roads in the state, lives of those using link roads are not safe, courtesy apathy of the PWD officials towards the maintenance of fences at dozens of overpasses and bridges on canals and drains in this part of Malwa.

The administration seems to have learnt no lesson from accidents that have been caused due to unmanageable curves and unfenced bridges. Poor visibility due to fog and rains make the situation worse during winter and monsoon seasons.

A survey by the Ludhiana Tribune revealed that most of the link roads and bridges in the area have become virtual deathtraps for want of repair but the authorities concerned continue to be indifferent to their upkeep. These roads have become virtual deathtraps for those using these at night and during early morning time.

Drivers find it difficult to negotiate turns at Jagera and Kaind bridges thanks to the pitiable condition of the roads. Many fatal accidents have occurred at these two bridges.

The old Jagera Bridge that had been declared unsafe before the construction of the new one is still open for traffic. Though the old bridge at Kaind has since been closed for traffic, blockades erected by the authorities concerned are positioned dangerously. Similarly the turns on the roads at Pohir, Dehlon, Sarinh and Gill villages are also accident prone.

Railings of many small and big bridges on the Ludhiana-Malerkotla road and link roads too are damaged. Major accidents are just waiting to happen at small bridges near Jartoli and Bhikhi villages in Kilaraipur constituency segment as these have no railings at all. There are dozens of such bridges and overpasses which have become dangerous due to insufficient fencing. The remedial action taken by the department in response to reports published in these columns too have proved insufficient.

Residents of the area have urged the authorities to ensure that proper fencing is done at all small and large bridges to ensure their safety.

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New facilities at DMC Hospital
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, February 18
As a part of the ongoing process of infrastructure development and improvement in patient-care facilities at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) here, new areas were constructed and new major equipment recently installed in the hospital.

The newly constructed areas, including Microbiology Department, Psychiatry OPD and Transplant Ward, and ultramodern equipment, installed in the Microbiology and Radiology Laboratories, along with new EPABX exchange were opened in the presence of members of the DMCH Managing Society.

The spacious and well-equipped Microbiology Department was inaugurated by Mr Balraj Kumar, member of the managing society. Dr Raj Kumar, Professor and Head of Microbiology, outlined the latest facilities and newly installed equipment in the department, which included fully automated blood culture system and ELISA processor.

He also informed about various divisions of the department being identified separately and manned by qualified laboratory personnel. A quarterly newsletter of the department “Microbiology Profile” was also released on the occasion.

A recent addition of digital X-ray machine and Colour Doppler in the Radiology Department was also inaugurated on the occasion. While speaking about the benefits of newly installed equipment, Dr Kavita Saggar, Professor and Head of the Radiology Department, provided a brief review of scan techniques, as also the 3D and 4D imaging, which allowed the examinations to be more exhaustive and detailed.

“The new equipment will prove of immense help in anti-natal diagnosis of multiple foetal anomalies in second trimester of pregnancy. As far as benefits of digital X-ray machine is concerned, it reduces the dependence of the operator, cuts down waiting time for patients and allows more sensitive reporting,” Dr Saggar added.

Mr Sunil Kant Munjal, Vice-President of the DMCH Managing Society, stressed that the aim of the management was to provide quality heath care at the most affordable cost.

Regarding academic advancements in the institution, Mr Munjal said the DM courses in cardiology, gastroenterology and plastic surgery were introduced recently and super speciality courses in urology and neurology were in the process of being started very soon.

Appreciating the efforts of the faculty, administrative and paramedical staff of the hospital, Mr Prem Gupta, secretary of the managing society, exhorted all of them to enhance the quality of services in the hospital and work with a spirit of dedication.

He added that a lot many equipment had been added in several departments during the past few years and the management was planning to bring in many more the state-of-the-art equipment and diagnostic aids in other departments for the benefit of patients of the region.

Speaking at the occasion, Dr Daljit Singh, Principal, DMCH, observed that the management was constantly engaged in fulfilling the needs of the patients and the relatives attending to them. Dr Sandeep Puri, Medical Superintendent of the hospital, commented that there had been a rapid advancement in the field of medicine and the DMCH was making all efforts to provide the latest in the fields of medicine, surgery and infrastructure for better patient-care.

* Microbiology Department, Psychiatry OPD and Transplant Ward opened

* Fully automated blood culture system and ELISA processor installed

* Digital X-ray machine and Colour Doppler in the Radiology Department inaugurated

* New courses in cardiology, gastroenterology and plastic surgery introduced.

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Case registered after three months of murder
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 18
The apprehension of Rampur village based family in the district that their engineer son was murdered and not killed in a road accident near Sherpur Chowk three months ago have come true with the chemical examination of the deceased's viscera stating he died due to intake of poison.

It was on the insistence of the family that the police had pressed for the chemical examination into the death of Rajinder Singh, a young engineer employed with Bajaj Sons Ltd. He was found lying dead near Sherpur chowk on October 6 last year under highly mysterious circumstances.

The Focal Point police today converted the section 174 of the CrPc proceedings into a case of murder against unknown persons. The police has launched investigation from a new angle in the case now.

SHO Arvind Puri said the chemical examination found traces of sulphos. The poison was the only cause of death and hence a case of murder was registered. There was no clue or evidence to suggest suicide. No suicide not was also found.

Further, Mr Sukhdev Singh, father of the deceased, had been maintaining that his son was murdered. In his complaint to the SSP A S Rai, he had demanded the police should investigate into a murder case and not accident.

In the absence of any other evidence suggesting murder, the police kept the investigation pending till the viscera report proves the exact cause of death.

The police was also investigating if the youth took sulphos mistaking it as some drug that led to his death. He said the family does not suspect anyone nor knows the motive of the murder.

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Medical camps a farce: Doctors
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 18
Terming free or concessional medical or surgical camps being held in the city and elsewhere in the state a farce, some doctors have urged the Punjab Medical Council (PMC), as also the Medical Council of India, to hold a high-level probe against those defrauding people.

"Such unethical practice should be curbed and defaulting medical professionals be removed from the list of the PMC and membership of the Indian Medical Association (IMA)," demanded the doctors in a complaint lodged with the district unit of the IMA and the president of the PMC.

Coming down heavily on the proliferating medical and surgical camps under the garb of charity, the complaining doctors alleged that patients were fleeced with impunity at such camps and in most cases, the patients end up by paying many times more than routine charges for surgical procedures in the name of follow-up and post-operative complications.

The complainants maintained that ever since the PMC had effectively stopped the unethical practices by doctors like stopping the advertisements and alluring patients by other means, certain unscrupulous people in the medical profession were resorting to this method. Ironically, many of those behind such unethical practices were members of the IMA.

The PMC has been asked by the doctors to hold investigations to bring out the truth before the public. "The complete record of doctors and nursing homes holding so-called camps should be summoned and scrutinised to ascertain as to how much amount the patients had paid for medical and surgical treatment," the complaining doctors demanded.

They further wanted the PMC and the IMA to initiate steps to expose the misdeeds of unscrupulous members of the medical and surgical profession so that the people, and in particular the poor patients, could be saved from fleecing.

Confirming that the complaint had been received by the IMA, the district president of the body, Dr Gursharan Singh, told Ludhiana Tribune that he had already spoken to president of the PMC Manmohan Singh, who was at present in Guwahati in connection with the National Games.

He said the PMC chief had given a categorical assurance that this being a serious issue, the council would take serious note of the complaint and initiate necessary steps at the earliest to bring out the truth behind such camps.

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Ludhiana Calling

Two youths taught an insensitive taxi driver, who ferried passengers from Ludhiana to Chandigarh daily, for being insensitive towards the plight of a fellow passenger. A middle aged passenger had to alight just after a distance of 3 km from the Samrala chowk after receiving a call about a sick relative. The driver insisted on a full fare of Rs 70 despite requests by other passengers. Later, when the taxi stopped for chai-pani at a dhaba midway, two young passengers quietly slipped without paying the fare. They left a message in the car that they would save money by boarding another taxi or bus, for which they would have to pay less now, hoping that the taxi driver would learn a lesson for his insensitivity.

School or vegetable shop!

A vegetable shop has come up right at the entrance gate of the Dayanand Public School, Domoria pull. It gives an impression that the building is not of a school but of a vegetable market. The vegetable seller sits right in the gate forcing visitors to jump over a corner of the spread. One wonders why the school authorities are allowing him to use that space? (see picture)

A painter's devil

A painter's devil left a philosophical slogan painted on a wall of the district court complex. The slogan "Yahan pe thukna mana hai" written in hindi was changed to "Yahan pe Thakna mana hai". People, unknowingly, take it as a scribbling by someone who probably had been coming to the courts for years but was yet to get justice. Hence, they think he wrote the slogan in frustration!

Defacement

The election din is over and so seems to be the vigil of the Election Commission. The Commission had raised objections against the defacement of the city by posters, banners and hoardings. Now when the votes have been cast, neither the candidates have removed the bunting, banners or the hoarding, nor the commission has bothered to take any action to remind the administration for the work.

Inaccessible officials

The government officials have again gone inaccessible after the elections. There mobile phones were on 24/7 till February 13. But now they are again unapproachable. Even though the government has provided them mobile phones for benefit of the public, the bureaucrats switch them on or off at will. They were scared of the Election Commission and were always available.

Weather blues

The return of chilly weather due to rain has bamboozled the garment traders, especially those who had put on grand sales on winter wear. Shopkeepers in the AS market had removed all winter garments from their racks and put summer wear on display. But winter seems to have returned with a vengeance. Others who had gone for stock clearance by offering huge discounts are also cursing themselves with the change of weather.

Encroachment on road

The Ghumar Mandi road , which is quite wide, gives an impression of being the narrowest road in the city. This is due to encroachment by shopkeepers and wayward parking of cars. The civic sense among the shopkeepers is missing and the car owners also do not bother on the nuisance they create by wrong parking. The encroachments shrink the road to such an extent that just one lane is left for the vehicles to pass.

Voter relaxed, candidates, journos tense

Votes for the Punjab Assembly elections are lying locked in the EVM machines. The voter is relaxed after exercising his franchise but the candidates, journalists and the poll experts are anxious. The candidates are worried about the outcome while the journalists and the pollsters are anxious on whether their predictions would prove true or not. Most of the journalists, who delved in giving exclusive stuff to their paper , are sharing their notes these days to convince themselves about their news reports.

Civic manners

The Sarabha Nagar is the posh colony of the city where most of the highly educated residents live. However, as far as the civic manners are concerned, the residents need to learn a lot. Many residents have an irritating habit of blowing loud horns at the gates of their houses even late at night. The horn is a signal to their domestic servants to come and open the gate for the masters. The masters keep pressing the horn unmindful that they were disturbing other residents at the dead of the night.

Migrants lingo

Ludhiana city was developed by Kashmiri migrants. Even after three centuries, migrants keep coming here for livelihood. In order to remember the roads and places, the migrants have kept their own names for places to remember, thus wiping the old land marks. For instance, Bhai Bala chowk is being increasingly known as Park Plaza chowk, Malhar road chowk has become Ansal Plaza chowk and Rani Jhansi road is being referred to as Ghumar Mandi market road only.

Finding peace?

PAU and Rakh Bagh remain favourite destinations for the morning and evening walkers. PAU seems to attract more fitness savvy people because of its serene environment. These days, young girls and women are seen walking in groups at PAU, enjoying the beauty and atmosphere both. Even the young girls are seen doing pranayam on the green grass. The other day, a young woman was heard telling her friend, "I keep my mobile at home so that no body disturbs me, still I can not get rid of the haunted voice of my mother in-law even here".

Contributed by Jupinderjit Singh, Kanchan Vasdev and Shivani Bhakoo

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Children told to preserve heritage
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 18
Terming the modern education as lame teaching without knowledge about fundamental information about cultural and historical heritage, Ms Paramjit Kaur Ahluwalia, a resident of Kilahans village and head of a family from the maternal clan of Nawab Jassa Singh Ahluwalia, has called upon women of society to spread among the young generation awareness about their rich history.

Ms Ahluwalia alleged that parents were not making attempts to enlighten their children about the past.

“What to talk of knowing sacrifice of their forefathers in preservation of cultural heritage, a large number of youngsters do not know names of their grandparents,” said Ms Ahluwalia, adding that the knowledge about sacrifice of various Sikh leaders was lacking in text books too.

She admitted that the transformation of society from agrarian to urban was expected to bring about a change in lifestyle in villages.

Showing a pedigree of her family, Ms Ahluwalia claimed that descendants of Duni Chand (maternal uncle of Nawab Jassa Singh Ahluwalia) had settled at Kilahans and Butahri villages. While Rai Singh and Jai Singh stayed at Kilahans, Nand Singh settled at Butahri village near here.

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Bank staff flays attack on trade union rights
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 18
The state unit of the Punjab National Bank Officers’ Association, Punjab, affiliated to All India Bank Officers Association, has taken a strong note of increasing attacks on trade union rights of bank officers and employees, as also the pro-rich policies of the banks which had led to a virtual denial of banking facilities to the common man.

A general body meeting of the association, held under the chairmanship of Mr D.M Sharma, Vice-President, decided to launch a decisive battle against the injustice being inflicted on bank officers and staff. The association decided to observe a day-long strike on February 23 under the banner of United Forum of Bank Unions to mark the commencement of its stir.

Inaugurating the conference, Mr S. Iyenger, General Secretary of the All-India Punjab National Bank Officers Federation, said banks had played an important role in the implementation of economic policies of the government and in generating employment opportunities for youth.

The chief guest, Mr P.R Mehta, General Secretary of the All-India Punjab National Bank Employees Federation, said bank managements as well as the governments were snatching the trade union rights of the bank employees. In this context, he referred to the Central Bank of India where the employees and officers were struggling hard to defend their trade union rights.

Among other issues discussed at the conference were demand for pension, appointments on compassionate grounds, fixed working hours for officers, ban on outsourcing in banks and fresh recruitment.

Prominent among others who addressed the conference were Dr Kumar Arvind, Mr Vinod Sharma, Mr K.S Sandhu, Mr S.M Vikal, Mr S.K Garg and Mr Roshan Lal Arya.

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Over 70 pc children given polio drops
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 18
The health department here claimed to have covered more than 70 per cent of nearly 5.40 lakh children in the age group of 0-5 years under the second round of the pulse polio drive in the district today.

Officials said reports were still coming in from the rural areas and the exact figure of coverage would be known later.

Those left out from being given polio drops will be covered during the next two days when a team of volunteers will go from door to door in the city and rural areas to ensure complete immunisation of the vulnerable age group of children against the disease.

Dr Y.K. Markan, Director, Punjab State Health System Corporation, who was assigned the duty of supervision of the campaign in this district ,went Sidhwan Bet, Ladhowal, Jassian and Payal villages as well as Sabzi Mandi, Salem Tabri and Basti Jodhewal localities in the city to see the working of polio booths. He was accompanied by Dr Kuldip Kaur Sahni, District Immunisation Officer.

Dr Yash Pal Singla, Civil Surgeon, also undertook a tour of several localities throughout the day to supervise the vaccination at polio booths.

The administration, said Dr Singla, had set up some 2,200 polio booths in the city and rural areas which were manned by around 8,800 volunteers. In addition, 100 mobile teams and 75 transit posts were set up to cover the traveling children on rail routes, highways and bus stands. Industrial clusters with predominantly migrant population, slum areas and inhabitants of jhuggis on the periphery of the city, were under the special focus for the immunisation, Dr Singla added.

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Over 1 lakh given polio drops
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 18
The district health authorities claimed to have administered anti-polio vaccine to more than 65 per cent of targeted children in Sangrur district. The rest of the children will be provided vaccine during the door-to-door campaign in the next two days.

According to Dr K.C. Goel, District Health Officer, the authorities had arranged about 825 booths to cover all areas in the town and the surrounding areas.

The vaccine was provided to newborn children at their residence by volunteers of various social organisations.

Out of total population of more than 15 lakh, the authorities had identified 2,04,500 children in the district and 25,000 in Fatehgarh Panj Garaian, out of which more than 65 per cent children were administered the vaccine today, claimed the DHO.

Besides this, over 3,000 children were administered vaccine at nearly 50 booths set up in villages of Ludhiana districts.

Though the turnout was not encouraging, the authorities claimed the remaining target would be achieved during the door-to-door campaign. 

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Sick children recover

Ludhiana, February 18
All five children taken ill yesterday after consuming a poison have recovered. Three of them, admitted to Sachdeva Hospital, were discharged this morning,. The other two, Nazir and Rukhsana, admitted to Civil Hospital, were declared out of danger. — TNS

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City boy all set to try luck in Bollywood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana February 18
A 20-year-old Shrikant Juneja has all the reasons to be happy and cheerful as a leading choreographer and Director Farah Khan has promised him a good role in her next venture Om Shanti Om. He is excited about his big break in the silver screen along with Shah Rukh Khan.

Talking to TNS here today, Shrikant said that he would be leaving for Mumbai within a day or two to be a part of the movie. In the first week of February, Shrikant was invited by Farah Khan to attend the "formal inauguration" of the film in Mumbai.

"It was a wonderful experience like a life-long dream come true. Every one was so encouraging that I never felt for a second that I was a stranger among them", said an enthusiastic Shrikant.

This Ludhiana lad was selected through Pepsi Khol, Milega Role contest after defeating several lakhs of artists from through out the country.

The auditions were taken by Farah Khan and her team in Ludhiana and Delhi about six months back. Besides, he has also won Clinic All Clear Kalakar Award.

Shrikant said that shooting of the movie has been postponed for a month as Shahrukh Khan had already given the dates to "Kaun Banega Crorepati". "But Farah took me to see all the locations of the film in Mumbai. Shreya Tapade and model Deepika Padhukone are also doing lead roles in the film", he said.

A final year graduate student, Shrikant said that he will also complete his graduation. Once established, Shrikant wants to take his mother to Mumbai as there will be no-one to take care of her and his younger brother in his absence.

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Nigerian minister visits industrial unit
Our Correspondent

Doraha, February 18
The Nigerian Minister of States for Energy, Ahmed Abdullahamid, today visited NUCON Switchgears Private Limited, situated near Doraha, in order to have a closer look at the manufacturing unit in India.

It is not been for the first time that NUCON Switchgears has placed a tender of transformers with the Nigerian Government as earlier too transformers have been exported to Nigeria by the company.

As a major deal is now being finalised between the two countries, as far as the manufacturing of transformers is concerned, the Nigerian Minister for States today personally visited the company to have a closer look at the manufacturing unit and the working conditions here.

Speaking to this correspondent, the Nigerian minister said their tie up with India had borne positive results. "By increasing India's export to Nigeria we wish to establish a good relationship and turn it into a big deal some day. Both countries are being equally benefited and bilateral relations are receiving a good backup in every respect”.

"As far as quality is concerned, India has won universal acclaim. The nature and systematic functioning of the Indian manufacturing units is above board. All my apprehensions regarding any future deal have been cleared by my visit and now we shall be moving forward to establish closer links in the near future," the Nigerian minister added.

The Managing Director of NUCON Switchgears Private Limited, Mr Harminder Pani, revealed that the basic motive of the minister’s visit was to assess the quality standards of Indian exports. "India being the largest exporter of transformers to Nigeria, the visit of the minister was certain as a big deal is now being arrived at," he added.

He also told that the minister expressed satisfaction over the standard being maintained at the unit. Mr Bhushan Jindal, MD Stelco strips Limited and Mr I.R Jindal, Chairman, Punjab Transformer and electronics Limited, also told that as India was exporting transformers to foreign countries its growth in this sector was most appreciable and promising.

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