L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Gastroenteritis outbreak
11 more cases reported
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 2
The attack of gastroenteritis in half a dozen colonies in Giaspura here, which claimed seven lives and afflicted nearly 200 persons, appears to have subsided with just 11 fresh cases being reported during last 24 hours at the medical camp, put by the health department in Makkar Colony.

The medical teams of field staff of the health department continued their door to door survey of the affected colonies to identify any fresh cases. The field staff also distributed chlorine tablets and ORS packets among the residents while advising them to drink only chlorinated water and maintain fluid level of the patients under attack from diarrhoea and vomiting.

According to SMO, Sahnewal, Dr K.L. Kapoor, who was supervising the medical camp, around 160 persons, residing in Makkar Colony, Guru Teg Bahadur Nagar, Sua Road, Indira Colony and Ram Nagar, were examined at the medical camp. 11 patients with mild symptoms of diarrhoea and vomiting were given medication and follow up advice.

The civil surgeon, Dr S.P. Sharma, also visited the affected areas and the medical camp. He later told that situation was well under control and no fresh patients had to be hospitalised or referred since yesterday.

The medical teams of field staff of the health department continued their door to door survey of the affected colonies to identify any fresh cases. The field staff also distributed chlorine tablets and ORS packets among the residents while advising them to drink only chlorinated water and maintain fluid level of the patients under attack from diarrhoea and vomiting.

Meanwhile, former councillor of Ward No 21 Hakam Singh Giaspura, in a statement, denied that the outbreak of gastroenteritis was caused due to contaminated piped water, supplied by the civic body.

He said even though the municipal water supply was properly chlorinated, still in the larger interest of the masses, the MC has made arrangements to supply safe drinking water through tankers in the affected colonies.

He further urged to the people to maintain level of sanitation, avoid eating uncovered or unsafe food stuff and observe personal hygiene to keep diseases at bay.

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Cotton crop faces mealy bug attack
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana July 2
An attack of the mealy bug in cotton crop in the districts of Bhatinda and Faridkot has come to light during a meeting of extension specialists, scientists and officials of the region at Punjab Agricultural University.

Presiding over the meeting, N.S. Malhi, director of extension education, PAU, suggested the farmers that regular survey of cotton crop be conducted to counter the attack of the mealy bug.

He said the university had been disseminating information to curb the pest since May and information regarding remedial measures could be obtained from the department of entomology, PAU.

The regional centre of the university at Bathinda was also spreading awareness, Malhi added.

On the nature of damage due to the mealy bug, N.S. Butter, head, department of entomology, said both adults and nymphs of the bug sucked sap from leaves, flower buds, petioles and stem of plant. In severe cases of damage, defoliation took place by the development of sooty mould on honeydew produced by mealy bug crawlers. The flower buds, flower, immature bolls and leaves fell down.

Butter cautioned that the infested plants became stunted with fewer bolls of smaller size and incomplete opening of bolls, which ultimately reduced the yield of cotton.

D.S. Brar, director, regional centre, Bathinda, threw light on identification and control of the bug. He said the pest first attacked the alternate host growing in outer region of cotton crop before shifting to cotton. The management of this problem could be done mechanically or chemically.

In mechanical measures, the severely infested plants must be cut and burnt immediately. The alternate host plants of the mealy bug like congress grass, puthkanda, gutputna, bhakhra, itsit and tandla growing on field bunds, water channels and wasteland should be uprooted and destroyed.

Brar clarified that uprooted infested plants should not be thrown in the field and water channels.

Rishi Kumar highlighted chemical control method in the mealy bug. He said recommended dosages of insecticides of carbamate or organophosphate group could be sprayed.

These insecticides of different groups should be rotated in consecutive sprays. He also warned against mixing of insecticides.

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Effluent Plant
Industry evinces little  interest
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 2
Even after a month of Common Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP) having been put to functioning, over half of the electroplating units are still not getting their hazardous waste treated.

Clearly against the P Ram Committee’s directions and despite warnings from the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) and also the SPV to local industry, only 225 units have availed membership so far.

The units that have availed the membership include, apart from electroplating industry, a few from the bar and wire drawing industries as well.

“The plant has begun functioning. However, the response from within the industry is not so encouraging. Many units are still throwing their water into sewerage,” said Joginder Kumar, CEO of the Ludhiana Effluent Treatment Society, the SPV formed to facilitate CETP functioning.

Not only had the P Ram Committee stated that the units which failed to get their hazardous waste treated within the deadline of May 31 would face closure. The PPCB too issued a warning recently asking units to avail membership before July 1. Industrial sources attribute lukewarm response to the absence of any action against the erring units by the PPCB.

Kumar said the SPV is regularly sending updated list of members to the Pollution Control Board. “Now that the board has issued a warning, we are expecting more units to respond.”

To generate response from industrial units, the SPV, after putting the CETP to functioning on June 1, had asked units to avail membership by June 20 failing which it said it would hold no responsibility if an action was taken against those units. The SPV had set a target to increase the membership to 500 by the mid of June.

However, the threat failed to evoke the desire interest. So far, 1 lakh litre of water has been treated and 160 units have signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs).

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SMS campaign for Taj
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 2
Bharti Airtel today announced a free SMS campaign for its customers across the country presenting them with an opportunity to vote for the Taj Mahal.

This special initiative is in line with the ongoing campaign running across the country, for people to voice their support, in order to select the Taj Mahal as one of the new seven wonders of the world, said a press note issued here today.

To participate in this campaign and vote for one of India's most symbolic and internationally recognised landmarks, all company's subscribers can send an SMS with the keyword "Taj" to a shortcode (4567). Airtel offers all its users the first SMS free during the period July 1 to July 6 (till midnight). For subsequent messages, the sender will be charged standard Rs 3 per SMS.

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Gobindgarh girl to be honoured in USA
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, July 2
The Fatehgarh Sahib district unit of the Youth Congress honoured Sonia Sohal, a daughter of Rajinder Sohal, during a function at her residence here today.

Bringing laurels to the town for her selection by the ministry of external affairs, New Delhi, in the Hindi essay writing award competition, the award will be conferred on her at the 8th Vishav Hindi Sammelan to be held in New York from July 13 to 15. She has been allotted accommodation besides air travel free pass to that country.

Speaking on the occasion, Sandeep Singh Ball, district Youth Congress chief, said people should learn a lesson from this achievement that girls are in no way behind the male child and people should rise against female foeticide. Harinder Singh Bhambary, secretary PPCC, said the Hindi Sammelan is held after four years. He congratulated the girl and her parents.

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Govt has failed on all fronts: Dharmsot
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, July 2
The state government has failed on all fronts and may adopt undemocratic means to capture power in civic elections, said AICC member Sadhu Singh Dharmsot while addressing a meeting of Congress activists of the Mandi Gobindgarh circle here.

Criticising the government, Dharmsot said it had failed to provide cheap atta-dal to the poor and backed out of its promise to absorb the teachers appointed by the zila prishads into the education department. He cautioned the workers to remain vigilant during the civic elections of Mandi Gobindgarh.

He said ward-wise election committees had been formed and the committees would be set up in villages of the Amloh constituency to make the people aware of the “anti-people” policy of the government.

A similar meeting was held at Amloh today, which was addressed, among others, by Dharmsot; PPCC secretary Sawtanter Karkra; DCC secretary Manjeet Dalla; and Lal Chand Garg. 

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How will the town cope with monsoon ?
K S Chawla

Ludhiana, July 2
How will Ludhiana, the industrial hub of Punjab, cope with the monsoon? This is the question being asked by the local residents.

The monsoon has set in and the first showers have brought misery to the residents of the low-lying areas along the Budha Nullah and other unplanned colonies.

Prof Prithipal Singh Kapoor, former pro vice- chancellor, Guru Nanak Dev University, and president of the Peoples Awareness Forum, and Prof Gurcharan Singh, a retired principal of government college, who is general secretary of the forum, feel that politicians, the Municipal Corporation and the state health authorities have not bothered about the maintenance and cleanliness of the town.

They point out that the sanitary conditions are the worst and it has become a town of garbage. Huge dumps of garbage can be seen all over. Prof Kapoor and Prof Gurcharan Singh also criticised Hira Singh Gabria for his assertions that industries in small streets would be regulated and the chief Parliamentary secretary Harish Rai Dhanda for his "public snubbing" of the corporation without showing any positive results.

S.S Channa, another senior retired officer of the ministry of environment, government of India, who has been fighting against the Municipal Corporation says that the town has been betrayed by the successive governments and the officers have no sympathy for the residents.

Channa has filed a PIL in the Punjab and Haryana High Court against various local bodies for their failure to remove garbage and make the city clean and green.

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal promised to take care of the town but he has not come here for the past three months .

Some of the NGOs are also planning to raise voice against the Municipal Corporation, the pollution control board, sewerage Board and the industries which are causing pollution.

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N.S.S. camp concludes 
Our Correspondent

Doraha, July 2
Various competitions, including poster-making, drawing, painting, mehandi application and jewellery making were especially organised in order to lend colour and variety to the 10-day NSS camp for girls being carried on in the girls wing of Guru Nanak National College, Doraha.
NSS volunteers at a rally in Doraha.
NSS volunteers at a rally in Doraha. —  A Tribune photograph

A majority of the NSS volunteers showed great enthusiasm in these quality and talent- promoting competitions by ensuring their active participation in them.

During the course of these competitions, Prabhleen, an expert designer, explained about various nuances of fine arts and other decorative arts and the need for adopting them as future professional courses. The practical knowledge accorded to these volunteers along with the theoretical information, proved an asset for all the students. The students also got yoga training under the guidance of Savita Bector. A special yoga class was arranged for according practical training to these volunteers and making them aware of various physical, social and psychological benefits one can have by becoming a regular yoga practitioner. Bector also educated the volunteers about the uses of taking a balanced diet and also the means by which one can protect oneself from various types of diseases by adopting a healthy and pure lifestyle.

A rally, focusing on the eradication of various social evils in society, was also taken out by the NSS volunteers. This rally was supported by the Youth Forum, Doraha, accompanied by its chairman Jandeep Kaushal and other members, including Hardeep Singh Boparai and Joginder Singh. The chairman of Youth Forum, Doraha appreciated the steps being taken by these volunteers towards a radical social change in acutely deformed social set up.

Prof Balwant Singh Pangli, general secretary, College Management Committee, Jaswant Singh Gill, director, Dr Narinder Singh Sidhu, Principal and Adarsh Pal Bector, treasurer, College Management Committee, also addressed the volunteers and exorted them to put in their efforts in establishing a clean and corruption- free society.

A nukkar-natak (streetPlay) entitled ‘Anpar Kuri’, focusing on the relevance and significance of education for village girls, was also staged by the volunteers. The play also focused on various social evils as dowry, female foeticide etc.

An exhibition on various aspects of rural Punjabi folk culture, was organised on the campus itself. A cultural programme was presented on the concluding day of the camp.

The results of various competitions organised during the course of this camp are as follows: In poster-making competition, Jatinder Kaur of B.A.II and Amandeep Kaur of M.Com secured the first place while Amandeep Kaur was placed in the second position and the third place was won by Sarabjeet Kaur of M.A.I and Amandeep Kaur of B.A.II.

Similarly, in mehandi competitions, Jagpreet Kaur of B.A.III and Jatinder Kaur of B.A.II got the first and second positions, respectively, while Sandeep Kaur of B.A.II and Kamaljit Kaur of B.A.I, were jointly placed in the third position. 

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Citizen council pledges to save environment
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 2
The divisional forest officer, R.R. Kakar, called for massive efforts toward afforestation to make the environment pollution-free, conserve water, arrest soil erosion and check global warming while at the same time saving the existence of life on earth.

Addressing a meeting organised by the Ludhiana Citizen Council (LCC) here today, he cautioned that the mega had earned a dubious distinction of being the most polluted city in the region, having alarming level of sulphur dioxide contents in the air.

As a result, the city population especially the growing children were falling prey to asthmatic and various other dangerous diseases of the respiratory system.

Kakar exhorted people in the industrial city to join hands and motivate industrial houses, NGOs and other social and religious bodies to plant maximum number of trees in different parts of the city.

Chairman, Darshan Arora and Ashok Juneja, secretary general of LCC, assured the DFO that the council would extend full support to the forest department officials in making the city “clean and green”. The LCC offered to adopt specific areas for this purpose.

K.S. Kelley, president, Ramesh Banda, vice-chairman, and Ravi Kant Gupta, along with other office-bearers, while felicitating the chief guest, focused on the commendable work done by Kakar during his tenure in Hoshiarpur. While in Hoshiarpur, Kakar had got planted 25 lakh plants and effectively checked illicit felling of trees, poaching of wild animals over a vast area of more than 50,000 hectares.

The former principal of Government College, Avtar Singh Turna, and his daughter Kanwalpreet Kaur, from the US were also honoured in the meeting for their services toward environment conservation.

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Birth anniversary today
Maulana, the unsung hero
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 2
Maulana Habib-u-Rehman Ludhianvi was one of the few influential Muslims who not only opposed the two-nation theory but also fought against it. In fact, he was so upset and dejected over Partition that he could not resist shouting at Jawaharlal Nehru, with whom he enjoyed cordial relationship.

The Maulana, born in Ludhiana on July 3, 1892, belonged to a religious and nationalist family. His great grandfather, Shah Abdul Qadir Ludhianvi, was the first person to issue a “fatwa” against the British in 1857, for which he had to pay dearly. And the Maulana lived by the nationalist beliefs and stayed back in Ludhiana, despite so much communal frenzy and manslaughter.

Much against the common belief that the demand for Pakistan had a strong backing of the religious leadership of the country, the Maulana always stood sincerely with the Congress. He happened to be one of the important symbols of secularism in the Congress along with Maulana Azad and Rafi Ahmed Kidwai.

The Maulana literally lived by his nationalist ideals. When Pandit Nehru unfurled the tricolour on the banks of the Ravi, the Maulana unfurled it in Ludhiana. He also vehemently opposed the “Hindu pani, Muslim pani” move of the British to put separate pitchers for Hindus and Muslims at railway stations. After his strong resistance, the move was withdrawn.

For his strong nationalistic beliefs, the Maulana had to spend 14 years in prison at various places like Shimla, Mianwali, Multan, Ludhiana and Dharamsala. He was kept in cold places during winters and hot places during summers. He developed serious infection in the jail that cut short his life and he died in 1956.

After Independence, he set up the “Phir Basau Committee” to arrange the return of Hindu and Sikh girls who had been forcibly detained in Pakistan and the Muslim girls who had been detained in India to Pakistan. Thousands of girls returned to their parents under this exchange programme. It was he who suggested running of the Samjauta Express train between India and Pakistan to restore the link between the divided families.

In 1952, he was appointed the leader of a delegation to visit Saudi Arabia by Pandit Nehru. He was one of the important ambassadors of Nehru to lobby for India in the Muslim world and it helped a great deal in establishing India’s credibility among the Islamic countries despite the presence of Pakistan. His influence was acknowledged by the then Saudi ruler Shah Saud Awal, with whom the Maulana had personal relationship.

Unfortunately, despite his immense contribution towards the freedom and the unity of the country, the Maulana remains a forgotten hero. Except for his descendants, not many people know about his secular ideals he cherished all through his life.

Given his influence over the Muslims across the region, he would have been always been welcome in the Muslim League, but he never looked towards it. In fact, he always got feelers from the league with “fabulous” offers. But he always remained true to secular spirit of Indian nationalistic movement.

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Another feat by Kailey
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 2
Pawan Kailey has done it again. A simple, illiterate tailor from Goraya has threaded a needle with 1,584 threads. Impossible one might say but when one sees his handiwork, one is amazed.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, he said: “I took two months to put in 1,584 threads in a needle. It required a lot of patience and then I had to devise a way to show all threads to the viewers. So I took a round clock, ripped off the dial, numbers and needles, replaced them with velvet cloth. I had embroidered the map of India on it and on the grain of rice put my name and India. After having done this, I arranged the threads in a circle so as to make the threads visible.”

Pawan has earlier created a number of amazing things for which his feats have been recorded in the Limca Book of Records four times. His jacket that can be worn 9,800 times found his name in the book. For this unique creation, he has been invited to many countries, including Germany and Italy.

The second time his name found entry in the Limca Book of Records was when he stitched a trousers that could be worn in different styles like a sleeveless and full sleeved shirt, a capri, a pant and six different types of jackets.

Pawan said: “Though I cannot read or write, I want to do something different and I keep on performing different feats that some people may find absurd. I was proud when my name figured in the Limca Book of Records for the third and fourth time for my acts.”

His unique acts have not passed unnoticed and even TV crews of different countries have interviewed him. 

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Steel producers under pressure to cut prices
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana,July 2
Steel producers are under pressure to reduce prices in order to save the small-scale industries. Consumers have approached the finance ministry to pressure the main steel producers to reduce the prices by reducing central duties.

During the year 2005-06, 2.1 million tonnes of steel was imported which increased to 3.9 million tonnes in 2006-07

Disclosing this, P.D Sharma, president, Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Punjab, said here today that the finance ministry might reduce the central duty on HR coil from 5 per cent to 2 per cent.

The steel prices in the international market are also falling. In view of this, the steel producers have assured the government to reduce the steel prices by Rs 1000 per tonne.However, the consumers want that the prices should be reduced by at least Rs 3000 per tonne. The imported HR coil steel costs$ 600 per tonne. The market prices of the same should be between Rs 25,000 to Rs 26,000 per tonne whereas the prevalent price is Rs 32,000 per tonne, excluding the central excise duty and other taxes.

Sharma revealed that during the year 2005-06, 2.1 million tonnes of steel was imported which increased to 3.9 million tonnes in 2006-07. Surprisingly, the imports are surging every year, he said.

The apex chamber president has further pointed out that major steel producers, particularly SAIL, used to supply billets which would stabilise the prices. But now,SAIL and the integrated steel plants are exploiting the situation. To further complicate the issue, SAIL has fixed higher price of billets at Rs 26,000 per tonne. As a result of this, the prices of long products like rounds are also ruling high to the detriment of the steel using industry.Sharma pointed out that the production cost of HR coil for Indian producers ranged from $ 400-450 per tonne which converts into Rs 116500 to Rs 18000 per tonne.

He alleged that the government had allowed cartelisation and the steel producers fixed the prices on an import parity basis which did not exist anywhere in the world. The steel producers fleeced the consumers by way of freight of $ 60 per tonne, custom and other duties and earning huge profits.

Sharma protested that the main steel producers by fleecing the small- scale consumers were making huge fortunes by buying foreign steel companies.

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SBP launches account opening drive
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 2
State Bank of Patiala (SBP) launched a saving bank account opening and deposit mobilisation campaign from June 15 to July 15.

A road show was organised by the bank in this connection in various areas of the city like Millerganj,Ghumar Mandi, Bharat Nagar Chowk, Kitchlu Nagar.

While flagging off the road show, Balwinder Kumar, assistant general manager of the bank highlighted features of the ongoing account opening and deposit mobilisation campaign.

Balwinder Kumar said it was the first public sector bank of the country to provide core banking solutions, thereby networking all its branches through Internet. The bank was also providing Internet banking, anywhere banking and anytime banking through ATMs and online deposit of excise duty to its customers.

He further added that a lucky draw of all new accounts would be held on every Saturday and attractive prizes and gifts would be given to the winners of lucky draw. He also informed that an accidental insurance cover for Rs 1 lakh would be provided to all the new and existing saving bank account holders of the bank.

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Amway holds seminar
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 2
Amway India has celebrated the seven years of the launch of all-purpose spray adjuvant concentrate (APSA-80) in Punjab. A seminar was organised here yesterday to mark the occasion.

According to a press note of the company, the success of APSA 80 is attributed to the progressive farmers of Punjab, who have been always open to try new things to maximise the yield.

Ernest H. Brumbaugh, a senior research associate from the USA, having 36 years of experience in the agro department of Access Business Group Research Development, and U.S. Walia of Punjab Agricultural University were the keynote speakers on the occasion.

It was Brumbaugh, who had developed the APSA 80, 22 years back. He also holds nine US patents to his credit.

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