L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Pratap Chowk a garbage dump
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 23
Non-lifting of garbage by the local municipal corporation employees has literally converted Pratap Chowk near Sangeet Cinema into a garbage dump.

Commuters on the road say that the garbage remained dumped for days together. It is lifted partially after many days. The rest is again left to rot on the chowk.

‘‘Garbage-lifters come after a week. The dump creates problem for the commuters. It stinks so badly that it becomes almost impossible for people to pass near the place without covering noses, ’’ said Mr Rajesh Kumar, a resident.

He added that they had complained to the authorities a number of times but to no avail.

Things have come to such a pass that the garbage has almost blocked a road near Sangeet Cinema. ‘‘Many times scooterists skid while driving on the road due to garbage. But nobody cares. It has become a breeding ground for the germs,’’ said a resident. 

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Clash between Congress, Akali supporters averted
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana February 23
It turned out to be a marathon confrontation between the Congress and Akali supporters today that started from Circuit House and ended at Basant Food Plaza on the Malhar Road. Fortunately, better sense prevailed among both the groups and a major clash was averted.

Both the groups restricted themselves to hurling abuses, accusations and allegations at each other through the media only, although they were at an arm’s length from each other and could have gone beyond the verbal assaults.

Earlier in the day, the Congress called for a press conference at the Circuit House in connection with the registration of an FIR under section 307 of the IPC against, Raj Mehra, husband of a sitting party councillor from Ward 38, Ms Santosh Mehra, for allegedly assaulting Mr Harish Narang, a lawyer and the supporter of the Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP alliance candidate Harish Rai Dhanda on the intervening night of February 12 and 13 at Jawahar Nagar camp.

The party delegation comprising city Mayor Nahar Singh Gill, Surinder Dawer and several councillors met the SSP seeking the cancellation of the FIR against Mehra.

Later, the senior Deputy Mayor Prem Mittal told reporters that it was a fabricated case registered at the behest of Dhanda. He demanded that Narang must be booked for assaulting Mehra.

He said the party had given an ultimatum to the police to cancel the case within 48 hours following which they would stage a demonstration.

Mittal alleged that Narang and his supporters were trying to intimidate the police. He claimed they were desperate to create a law and order problem in the city. He pointed out, "First we went to Circuit House for the press conference. He (Narang) along with his supporters followed us there. When we shifted to a restaurant, they came there. When we decided to change the venue to avoid confrontation he followed us here as well".

The Congress leader said the Akalis were feeling desperate as they knew they had lost and were now trying to create scenes.

Mittal claimed the Congress workers were exercising utmost restraint.

"Otherwise, they (the supporters of Narang) had done everything possible to provoke us for confrontation", he said, while adding, Narang was trying to take law into his own hands as he and his supporters had gheraoed Mr Mehra's residence in Jawahar Nagar Camp area, here yesterday.

On the other hand Narang, who had also reached the Basant Food Plaza along with several supporters, alleged that the police was trying to shield Mehra.

He claimed only yesterday when he had spotted Mehra in his house he had intimated the local police, who had told him that they had arrested him (Mehra).

But later, to his surprise, the police claimed that Mehra had escaped from the police net. He said they had given 48-hour ultimatum to the police for arresting Raj Mehra failing which they will sit on indefinite hunger strike outside the residence of the Ludhiana SSP.

Narang said he was only cooperating with the police to help them to arrest the culprit who had assaulted him.

He said he had even traced the culprit and ensued that he lands in police net. But unfortunately he was let off, obviously with the police assistance only, he claimed. 

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Get rid of the bulge through stomach bypass
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, February 23
Jaswinder Gill is a Canadian, Baldeep an American and Harjeet a city resident. What binds them together is their desperation to get freedom from those extra pounds through much cheaper stomach bypass surgery in the industrial capital of Punjab.

Stomach bypass, also called "Bariatric surgery or Weight loss surgery", is a procedure done to bypass the stomach to treat severe obesity. It includes sealing off most of the stomach to reduce the amount of food one can eat, and rearranging the small intestine to reduce the calories the bodies can absorb.

Ludhiana is now fast emerging as a major "Weight Loss Surgery" destinations in India, not only for NRI's and local population, but also for morbidly obese persons from developed countries like USA, UK and Canada, thanks to SPS Apollo Hospital that has equipped itself to offer world class procedures at a much economical cost.

Addressing a news conference here today, Dr Arindam Ghosh, Senior Consultant in Gastroenterology Surgery at Apollo, said that earlier a large number of persons keen to go for weight loss surgery were put off by the high prices in Europe and the USA. But now that the world class facility was available here, all those people were travelling to India and many of them to this city to get the same treatment at 60 percent or even more cheaper cost.

He said the institution was aiming to achieve the objective of first world treatment at third world prices. In addition to the cost savings, the benefits of this surgery were huge as immediately after surgery, most patients lost weight rapidly and continued to do so until 18 to 24 months after the procedure.

Jaswinder Gill, a 53-year-old Canada-based former weightlifter, who was present at the occasion, told that he weighed 175 km with persistent problems of breathlessness, unsatiated hunger, difficulty in walking and carrying out his daily chores. "I have got the gastric bypass surgery done at less than 30 per cent cost as compared to Canada and just after 10 days of having been discharged from the hospital, I have lost nearly 7-8 kgs weight. The best part is my craving for food is gone and I eat small portions of food 4 or 5 times during the day."

Ms Sucheta (name changed), a home maker from the city, who had undergone bariatric surgery about 3 months back at Apollo, told Ludhiana Tribune that she was 105 kg when the surgery was performed. "I have lost some 20 kg, my joint pains are gone and I feel much fitter now."

According to Dr Ghosh, weight reduction surgery had been reported to improve many related conditions including sleep apnea, diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. In one of the studies carried out on results in operated cases, it was found that the blood sugar levels of most obese patients with diabetes, returned to normal after surgery.

Obesity, he observed, was emerging as a health epidemic around the world. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity was rapidly spreading across all regions and demographic groups.

An estimated 97 million adults in the United States were overweight or obese. "Similarly, in India 3 per cent (around 3 crore) persons are obese and almost one percent suffer from severe obesity, and the numbers are growing by leaps with changing lifestyles and eating habits. The obese individuals have a 50-100 per cent increased risk of death as compared to normal weight individuals.

Ludhiana will start giving competition to facilities elsewhere in the country by being even more economical, claimed Dr S.P. Singh, COO at Apollo. "We will soon offer an all-inclusive deal in this institution for fraction of an amount as compared to the USA or any other centre in India. The package will include pick-up at the airport, hospital, physician fees, and pre-operation workup. So, all that is needed is to add the cost of a flight." 

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Indian economy all ‘set to grow’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 23
The Indian economy is all set to achieve double-digit growth after achieving the 9.2 per cent mark in the current fiscal year ending March. The manufacturing and services sectors have been considered as engines propelling the growth.

This was stated by K.V. Kamath, MD and CEO, ICICI Bank Limited, while delivering a lecture organised by the LMA here today.

He added that demographic forces, continuous growth in industry, globalisation and resurgent industrial sector were the driving forces for the economic growth.

Mr Kamath said the focus of the industry should be more customer-oriented than product-oriented. “We don’t have to lose sight of the major problem of economy - poverty - and in order to eliminate that, we have to increase wealth, re-strategise our growth plans, leverage the strengths of India and put greater emphasis on rural India.”

He added that the education system needed to be improved with the introduction of new curriculum according to the requirements of the business and skill sets of the students. Captive infrastructure and training were the associated concerns with education.

He specifically mentioned that the huge potential in rural India was still untapped and the key factors for the same would be providing access to financing services, enabling infrastructure and marketing, providing education and micro loans to the rural India.

Mr Kamath was named CNBC-TV18’s “Outstanding Business Leader of the Year” in 2006, Business India’s “Businessman of the Year” in 2005 and CNBC’s “Asian Business Leader of the Year” in 2001.

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Hospital canteen sealed
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, February 23
The canteen in the Civil Hospital here has been sealed by the hospital administration on a complaint of selling expired items. Its contract had been given to Satish Kumar but the contractor was selling most items with expired dates.

Some patients informed the SDM and the Senior Medical Officer of the hospital on which Dr Krishan Singh checked these last evening and found many such items, including biscuits, dalia, salted items, available with expired dates. 

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Seminar on criminalisation of politics
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 23
An ICSSR-sponsored state-level seminar on “Criminalisation of politics and its impact on women” was held on the premises of Master Tara Singh Memorial College for Women here today.

Principal Dr Madanjit Kaur Sahota welcomed the guests. The keynote address was delivered by Dr Surinder.

Prof B.S. Ghumar, Dr Kanwaljit Singh, director, Regional Centre, Ludhiana and Muktsar, PU, Chandigarh, Dr Dogra, Law College Regional Centre, PU, Ludhiana, Dr Yadav, director, Ambedkars Studies, New Delhi, Dr Baljeet Singh Mann, University of Jammu, Chanda Jain, lawyer, Punjab and Haryana High Court, and Prof Kiran, Law College, Sidhwan, spoke.

A paper, jointly authored by Prof Aman A. Cheema and Prof Ashish Virk, focussed on the approach of judiciary and government in the country towards girl education under various amendments that had taken place in the Constitution in the field of education.

Kiran Cheema, Dr Anupam Ahluwalia, Dr Shiv Kumar Dogra also spoke.

Morning and afternoon technical sessions were chaired by Prof B.S. Ghuman and Prof Sushma Yadav, respectively, and followed by an interactive session. The seminar concluded with the vote of thanks presented by the principal.

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Youth exhorted to follow Marxism
Our Correspondent

Raikot, February 23
Proponents of the Marxism called upon the modern youth to follow the concept of Marxist literature in case they wanted to contribute their share in understanding and solving problems of various sections of society, including lower strata.

The call came at the UGC-sponsored national seminar on “Impact of Marxism on Cultural and Literature” that concluded at Swami Ganga Giri Janta College for Women, here yesterday. More than 50 delegates from various colleges of the state participated in the seminar chaired by Dr H S Deol, former chairman of the National Minorities Commission and former member, Punjab Public Service Commission.

Illustrating various concepts of the Marxism in his keynote address on “Fundamentals of Marxist Literary Theory”, Dr Surjit Singh Bhatti, principal, university college, Punjabi University, claimed that the understanding of literature and social problems were complementary to each other.

“As the Marxist literature was more realistic, objective and scientific, its understanding will enable the educated youth help members of lower strata in a better way,” argued Dr Bhatti, urging that the aesthetic beauty of the literature should not be compromised with political undertone. The contents should always be in favour of masses, he held.

Other speakers, including and Dr T R Vinod, head regional centre, Bathinda, claimed that the economical and political scenario in India could have been more brilliant had the policy makers adopted elements of the Marxist literature while drafting plans during post-Independence period.

“Even now it is not too late to compensate the loss. But to achieve best results, we should focus our attention on the youth in general and students in particular as they could incite other sections of society to get desired results,” said Dr Deol.

Recollecting history of Marxist literature, various speakers, including Dr Sukhdev Singh from Sirsa, Dr Sarabjit Singh from GCM Chandigarh, Dr Hardeep Kaur Shahi Sangh Dhesian, Dr Jagdish Kaur, PAU Ludhiana, Dr Jaswant Singh and Sufi Amarjit Singh from Canada advocated adoption of socialistic approach for success of any organisation. Dr Savita Uppal, principal of the college, presiding over the concluding session, thanked the delegates and participant for their active involvement. 

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Son burns father to death
Our Correspondent

Samrala, February 23
In Balala village, near here, which falls under police station, Samrala, a youngman has killed his father by burning him.

According to police sources, Gurmel Singh (62), son of Bachan Singh, resident of Balala village, was going to sleep at around 9 pm, when the accused, Kamaljeet Singh, poured kerosene oil on his father and set him on fire.

On hearing, the mother of the accused cried for help and some persons residing nearby came forward to help and took him to Civil Hospital, Samrala, in a serious condition.

The case was registered under Section 307 of the IPC on the statement made by Gurmel Singh. He was then referred to Ludhiana and he died there.

Now the police has changed the Section from 307 to 302 and a case has been registered. The police is still looking for the accused who is absconding.

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Industrial expo begins today
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 23
An India international industrial expo and conferences, 2007, is starting in the city from today.The event is being organised by Paramount Exhibitors with the participation of more than 30 industrial associations/ organisations.

The ITPO (India Trade Promotion Organisation) approved exhibition is being held at Guru Nanak Engineering College, Gill Road, Ludhiana. Multi-theme exhibition and conferences will be held to discuss the requirements of the industry and technology available so as to keep pace with the international market.

Concurrently with the exhibitions, a number of state of the art seminars and conferences on technical as well as business topics are being held, where eminent speakers are expected to participate.

A number of speakers are professors who are actively participating in the conferences. The conference section of this event provides a unique forum for the exchange of information between exhibitors/paper presenters and the conference delegates.

The manufacturer-dealer meets along with the exhibition and conferences are also being organised.

This expo is bringing together above 150 exhibitors from array of industry displaying the latest products available in the sectors like machinery , power and electronics, pollution-control equipment, water treatment, power electrical, electronics and instrumentation.

Hydraulics and pneumatics, plastics and packaging, dye and moulding, industrial parts and supplies, plant automation, automobiles and software sectors are also taking part.

The event is being held to bridge the gap between users and manufacturers. 

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BSNL bonanza for customers
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 23
There is good news for landline and WLL subscribers of the BSNL. Under the new plan, for an additional monthly payment of Rs 111, the subscribers can have unlimited free calls to BSNL landline and WLL telephones in the entire Punjab circle, including Chandigarh.

Launching the scheme at a news conference here today, the general manager telecom (GMT) S.K. Nigam elaborated that under the plan, Lage Raho BSNL De Naal, the calls to BSNL mobile phone in Punjab circle (94 level) will have metered pulse of 180 seconds against the existing pulse rate of 60 seconds.

The BSNL had offered free calls worth Rs 150 to those with a monthly rental plan of Rs 150 and free calls for the equal amount to those with monthly rental of Rs 200. The call charges under these two plans will be Rs 1.50 and Rs 1.20.

BSNL CellOne subscribers under the service plan 100 free calls worth Rs 90 were available for a monthly rental of Rs 100. This plan was available to employees of the state government, Central Government, boards and corporations, autonomous bodies and nationalised banks. Other subscribers were being given free calls worth Rs 100 for a monthly rental of Rs 199.

The GMT said several steps had been taken to enhance the speed as also the download and upload limit without affecting the existing tariff. For home plan 250, the free download and upload limit had been enhanced from 1 GB to 20 GB while for business plan, 75 GB free download and upload was available as against earlier limit of 4 GB. The speed of broadband was available from 256 kbps to 2 mbps.

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