L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

2 suspected gastro deaths in city
40 persons in six Giaspura colonies affected
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, June 29
Even as the rainy season has almost set in, nearly half a dozen colonies in Giaspura in the city are under attack from gastroenteritis with around 40 persons afflicted with vomiting and diarrhoea and two victims having succumbed to the disease in the Shantinagar locality during the past 24 hours.

The health administration, however, claimed that the situation was under control while at the same time denying that the deaths of 45-year-old Mewa Lal and a child Arun in Shantinagar Colony were caused by gastroenteritis.

According to information gathered by Ludhiana Tribune, cases of gastroenteritis were reported from many localities, including Shantinagar, Makkar Colony, Samrat Colony, Indira Colony and Atma Singh Nagar in Giaspura, and at least 24 people were under treatment at private clinics. It was also reported that two persons, Mewa Lal and Arun, had died of dehydration following severe attacks of gastroenteritis.

Senior medical officer of the Civil Hospital Kuldip Kaur Sahni said six patients with symptoms of diarrhoea and vomiting were admitted to the hospital till this afternoon and condition of all of them was stable.

Residents of the affected colonies alleged that for the past several days, contaminated water was being supplied by the civic body which had led to the outbreak of the disease. The authorities, though admitted to a few complaints of contaminated water supply during the past few days, maintained that the source of contamination had been located and rectified.

The water supply was restored to many of the affected colonies through water tankers by the Municipal Corporation and the people were asked not to use piped water in case of suspicion, a senior official of the health department told Ludhiana Tribune.

The district health officer S.S. Dhir said a medical camp had been put up by the health department in Makkar Colony where around 24 patients, suffering from diarrhoea and vomiting, were being treated.

Commenting on the reports that the disease had claimed two lives, he said Mewa Lal, who lived alone in a one-room tenement, was found dead in his bathroom. While his death due to gastroenteritis could not be ruled out, there were no apparent signs of dehydration.

In the case of Arun, he added that the child did suffer from mild attack of vomiting but the level of dehydration could not have caused the death unless there was aspiration of fluid into the lungs leading to respiratory failure.

Meanwhile, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee secretary Parminder Mehta today held a demonstration in Partap Bazar to protest against the callous attitude of the civic administration and total collapse of basic amenities in the city.

He alleged that the MC had failed to make arrangements for cleaning of drains, nullahs and drainage of sewerage water to prepare for the rainy season. Mehta also charged the district authorities and health administration with failing to take lessons from past experience and taking preventive steps in vulnerable areas against the outbreak of gastroenteritis, jaundice and dengue.

Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee secretary Parminder Mehta today held a demonstration in Partap Bazar in protest against the callous attitude of the civic administration and total collapse of basic amenities in the city.



Admn gears up for rains
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 29
The district administration is all geared up to meet any eventuality and had activated its flood control mechanisms.

Pryank Bharti, acting deputy commissioner, directed all concerned officers to give final touches to the flood protection measures in the district. He was chairing a special meeting of the officers of various departments at Bachhat Bhawan, here today.

He directed XEN (Drainage) and the police department to keep a constant vigil on Dhusi Bandh along Satluj river falling in the district. He also directed the XEN (Drainage), to keep in touch with the Ropar Head Works and get a regular report of discharge of water in the river.

He told the civil surgeon to keep sufficient number of medical teams ready and also to stock life saving medicines in order to meet any kind of eventually. Deputy director, Animal Husbandry (DDAH), had been asked to depute medical teams of veterinary doctors/staff for the treatment of animals during the rainy season. DDAH informed that vaccination for prevention of seasonal diseases had been administered to 100% cattle.

Referring to the other measures, the deputy commissioner informed that two control rooms had been set up at district head quarters, one at District Revenue Office in Mini Secretariat (phone number - 2400394) and the other at XEN, Drainage Office (phone number - 2409043), which would remain functional round-the-clock from July 1 onwards. One control room each had also been set up in the offices of all SDMs in the district.

Bharti said sufficient number of common places have been identified in villages and mohalls to be used as relief centres in the villages, in case of any emergency. He also directed the DFSC to ensure sufficient supply of kerosene oil during the coming days. He told the MC authorities to ensure proper cleanliness to prevent the spread of seasonal diseases in urban areas.

Others present during the meeting include Inderpreet Singh Kahlon, DRO, Amrit Kaur Gill, SDM (West), Jagjiwanjit Singh SDM (East), Gurlovleen Singh, SDM, Jagraon, Mukand Singh Sandhu, SDM, Raikot, Sukhdev Singh Mann, SDM, Samrala, Sukhminder Singh Gill, SDM, Khanna.



It's official, no pro-VC in PAU
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 29
At last, the Punjab government is learnt to have given up the idea of appointing Dr B.S. Dhillon as the Pro-vice-chancellor of Punjab Agricultural University. Dr Dhillon retires from the services tomorrow.

Although the government had earlier thought of appointing him as the Pro-VC, given his research experience and expertise, but due to the strong resistance by V-C M.S. Kang, the idea was abandoned midway.

In fact, when the Board of Management of the PAU approved the appointment of Kang as the V-C, it had suggested to appoint Dhillon as the pro- VC. Dhillon was also a hot contender for the post of the VC and was one of the three shortlisted candidates.

There were speculations in the university that there might be last-minute communication from the government about his appointment as the pro- VC. However, till the closure of the university offices today no such communication had been received.

At the same time, it is learnt that Dhillon might be accommodated in some other university in the state, but not in the PAU, where there has not been any tradition of appointing a pro-VC except for one occasion.

Since the appointment of the pro-VC had earlier also been challenged on the basis that there was no provision in the university Act for such post, the government wanted to avoid any further litigation, besides the unambiguous stand taken by the VC that he did not need a pro-VC.



Drive against adulteration: Shops raided
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 29
In an ongoing drive against adulteration of food, health officials raided a few provision stores in different parts of the city today and took 10 samples of desi ghee, spices and other eatables.

Civil surgeon Sat Pal Sharma said samples of spices and turmeric powder were taken from Kitchlu Nagar, desi ghee, chilly chicken and chilly cheese from the Rajpura road, Kailash chowk and the Gill road and that of salt from New Deep Nagar.

These samples have been sent to a government laboratory for analysis. He further said the health department officials destroyed a huge quantity of spices and dry fruits stored at a provision store in Kitchlu Nagar. These food items had outlived their shelf life.



Craft Bazaar comes to town
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 29
A handicraft exhibition, Karigari Craft Bazaar and Training Programme, organised by the Akhil Bhartiya Dastkar Someday commenced at Nehru Sidhant Kender here today. Forty craftsmen from different parts of the country are participating in the “craft bazaar”.

The crafts on display include exotic embroidery suits, jute goods, khurja pottery, kurta-pyjama, artificial jewellery and leather items.

Iqbal Singh, president of the samiti informed that the exhibition provided a platform to the craftsmen to display and sell their crafts directly to the people.

He said India is known for its art and culture. He pointed out that Indian handicraft is famous all over the world and there are people who are fully dependent on handicraft for their survival so the Indian government was taking measures to develop this art.

However, most profits were being pocketed by commission agents only. He said to ensure that they got all the profits themselves, the Akhil Bhartiya Dastkar Samiti had been regularly organising exhibitions in different parts of the country.

The samiti aims at bringing about a direct interaction between dastkar and consumers thereby eliminating the middlemen for the mutual benefit of both.

Further, it envisages a year-round sale of products in handicrafts by these dastkar, by holding exhibitions and sale of their products besides providing them all possible assistance in related matters.

The exhibition will continue till July 8.



Councillors up in arms
Vice-president’s election postponed
Our Correspondent

Amloh, June 29
Ten out of 14 agitated councillors led by Sadhu Singh Dhramsot, local MLA, staged a protest march from the municipal complex to the SDM office and held a rally against the postponement of the vice-president’s election scheduled for today.

Addressing the rally, Dharamsot flayed the Punjab government for violation of democratic values as it had twice postponed the election meeting, but it would not succeed to compel the members to get their votes in favour of SAD candidate.

The MLA alleged that soon after coming to power, the SAD government stopped the work of widening the road from Nabha to Mandi Gobindgarh via Amloh which caused inconvenience to public on the bypass road due to potholes and the work was resumed after three months.

The same is the case with laying of sewerage in the town. The government has withdrawn the grant of Rs 5 crore.

Council chief Lal Chand Garg, ex-vice-president Harpreet Singh, councillor and arthiya association chief Jeevan Kumar Puri, state secretary PPCC Sawtantra Karkara spoke against the highhandedness of the government.

Dharamsot threatened to launch an agitation against the government. Jatinder Singh, councillor, Kamlesh Mittal, Jaspal Kaur and Parkash Kaur (all councillors) did not participate in the protest as stated by Hari Chand Mittal, president SAD urban unit.

Manish Kumar, SDM, Amloh, said in the absence of executive officer, the election could not be conducted as he had to identify the councillors and maintain the proceeding book.



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