L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Now, Amarpura in grip of gastro
60 cases reported; Water supply through tankers begins
Tribune News Service

THE SUFFERING: An aged person in grip of gastro
An aged person in grip of gastro

THE ACTION: A manhole being cleaned by MC workers
A manhole being cleaned by MC workers on Sunday. — Photos by Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, July 8
After Gyaspura, gastroenteritis has gripped Amarpura now with 60 fresh cases of gastro reported from this area today.

As a measure to contain the spread of the disease, the MC authorities stopped supplying water from the tubewell and fresh water tankers were pressed into service. Residents were urged to boil the water before having it. The residents were being supplied with chlorine tablets also.

Dr G.P. Mangla and Dr Sanjeev Hans, both from the health department, said they were hoping that the number of cases would come down from tomorrow as water was being supplied from tankers only. They said the main source of infection was tubewell that was supplying contaminated water.

The doctors said three patients required hospitalisation and they were referred to the Civil Hospital. The residents were being asked to maintain hygiene.

Dr Hans said they had already taken water samples from the area and sent those to the microbiology lab of Punjab Agricultural University. The reports were expected anytime next week.

Waking up after the outbreak, a team of MC employees camped in the area and cleaned all manholes. They also disconnected some illegal water connections. The MC has been attributing the outbreak of the disease to illegal connections only holding the residents to be responsible.

A visit to the area revealed that people were living in unhygienic conditions. The small streets looked more like garbage dumps and stink emanated from all around. The water supply pipes were made to pass through the drains discharging dirty water making it prone to getting mixed. Councillor Gurdeep Singh Neetu said they were not sparing anybody and disconnecting all such connections that had spelt doom for the residents.



Hosieries set to start winter production
Kanchan Vasdev

Ludhiana, July 8
The hosiery industry is all set to start production for the next winter as buyers from other states placed orders to industrialists in a three-day mega exhibition organised in the city that concluded here today.

As many as 50 manufacturers, including leading brands, exhibited their products. These manufacturers, who displayed samples for prospective buyers, said they had an overwhelming response to their products.

"We had invited buyers from other places and in these three days we got orders for the coming seasons and will start production soon," said Varinder Bharti, owner of Satyam Knitwear.

Hosiery manufacturers exhibit samples of their work every year.

Besides quality and buyers requirement, price plays a key factor in procuring orders. "Competition certainly is tough as most people exhibit their products. We have to keep various factors, right from quality, design, colour to price, in our mind so as to attract orders," Bharti said.

Talking about the design, Pankaj Bharti of Satyam Knitwear said "Design is a critical factor as we have to produce keeping fashion trends that will prevail in the coming season. It is international fashion on which we rely for this. We visit the Internet and foreign trips too help a lot. It normally takes two years for a trend to come to India from Europe and we keep this in mind."

The city is home to roughly 15,000 medium and small scale producers who, as per estimates, do an annual business of Rs 5,000 crore in the domestic market. There is a large section of manufacturers who obtain orders directly from their clients. "Many people have started receiving orders directly from their previous clients," said Bobby Khanna of Waves, who manufactures childrens' garments.



Dhindsa meets city’s Shahi Imam
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 8
SAD secretary general Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa today visited the local Jama Masjid and met its Shahi Imam Maulana Habib-ur-Rehman Ludhianvi. The two leaders discussed problems being faced by Muslims living in the state.

According to Jama Masjid spokesman, Mohammad Mustakeem, Dhindsa assured Shahi Imam that the SAD-BJP government was committed to provide peaceful atmosphere in the state.

The Shahi Imam said Muslims had great expectations from the government led by Parkash Singh Badal and assured all possible support on behalf of the community to the government.

General secretary of the Majlis Ahrar Maulana Usman Rehmani, Liaqat Ali Farouqi from Malerkotla, Gurdwara Dukhniwaran president Prithipal Singh Pali, Kulwant Singh Dukhia and others were among those present on the occasion.



Thief in the garb of watchman!
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 8
Watchman at night and a “thief” during the day. This is what Dil Bahadur, a migrant from Nepal, used to do with his accomplices till the police nabbed him from near bus stand here today.

Stolen jewellery, including gold and diamond sets, apart from silver bricks, were recovered from his possession. One of his accomplices, Sunil Kumar, was also arrested while his brother-in-law and alleged gang leader Sidhu Bahadur was still at large. DSP Simrat Pal Singh Dhindsa told reporters this afternoon that Sidhu Bahadur used to identify the "targets" with the help of domestic servants.

Sidhu was employed as domestic help in the house of Kavita Khanna at Sant Ishar Singh Nagar, where the accused allegedly struck on June 22.

The police official said the incident once again stressed the need for registration and verification of the servants to prevent crime. Both accused were about 24 years of age and belonged to Attariya in Nepal.

The jewellery recovered from them includes diamond, gold and silver items. The accused even used to steal the costly taps and pipes.

DSP Dhindsa said the absconding Sidhu Bahadur was employed just a week before the theft took place in the house of the victim. She had gone to Mussoorie to leave the children in a boarding school while her husband, a chartered accountant, was away to office on June 22.

Dil Bahadur had been employed as a watchman at Kot Mangal Singh Colony for the past 4-5 years while Sunil was a driver with a family in Block-B of Tagore Nagar.

The police hoped to solve many theft cases after questioning of the accused.



Banned drugs being sold openly
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, July 8
The fear of recent crackdown against chemist shops selling intoxicating drugs seems to be over for some chemists of Sahnewal and Doraha who have again started selling these drugs.

While more than half of the medical stores at Sahnewal and Doraha are doing the business, the authorities have just to express concern for this sorry state of affairs.

Sleeping pills such as Luminol, cough syrups Corex,muscle relaxants Spasmo-proxivon and Parvon, Fortwin injections, Gardinal (drug for epilepsy), other anti-depressant drugs, pain killers, etc are easily available.

“All these drugs are a controlled item and supposed to be sold only at the written prescription of a qualified doctor. Moreover, the record of its sale and purchase has to be maintained at all costs”, a doctor added.

A drug-addict, who is a regular visitor to one such chemist shop, revealed that he had been taking drugs since many years and never faced any shortage of “material”. On the contrary, he added that many a times various urgently required life-saving drugs were in short supply but the supply of intoxicating drugs is always in abundance.

“Earlier, the chemists used to show reluctance in selling these drugs openly, but now this is being carried out in a normal way”, he said. One or the other drug-addict, lying unconscious in the market, is a usual sight in these towns.

Dr Jagmohan Singh, president,IMA (Sah-Doraha), assigns still another reason for the youth being hooked to drugs. He says, “As a majority of the work these days is being managed by migrants, young boys have no work. These youth are easily led astray and ruined their lives by getting involved in the dangerous intake of deadly drugs, thus giving rise to a number of anti-social ailments.”

Dr Gursaran Kaur, a surgeon of Sidhu Hospital, Doraha, views that discontent and frustration are greater reasons for increase in this problem. ‘A qualified jobless youth becomes an easy prey to drugs. Also, the regular family feuds resulting in break-ups is another reason of drug-addiction. Even the school and college-going students due to the demands of the competitive world become an easy prey to these deadly drugs”.

The situation has become more grim in recent times as more and more people, in order to seek timely escape from the pulls and pressures of their daily lives, have started taking these intoxicants as a matter of routine.

Dr Jag Mohan Singh, who also runs a clinic at Sahnewal, views that the situation is really alarming. Although the health department is initiating regular checks and raids, still a lot more needs to be done, if we really want to save our future generation from this deadly onslaught of drugs”.

He further said the IMA was planning to organise a regular workshop where a team of doctors would cure these addicts and also educate their parents and relatives.



Ludhiana Calling

Passing the buck

City’s health department and the municipal corporation are apt at passing the buck. Whenever a disease breaks out in the city, authorities of both departments start blaming each other. The health officials blames municipal corporation for supplying unfit potable water whereas corporation officials retort that health officials don’t know how to collect samples and results can not be trusted. Locals wait for the day when authorities of these two departments would become responsible and ensure proper sanitation.

Aqua business

If “dabba business” of Mumbai made waves the world over, city has a potable water supply business that is growing with every passing day. Every morning a large number of containers filled with water are supplied at various doorsteps. (see pic)

Using star power

With cine and sports stars taking part in a few protest marches for highlighting social or health issues, a large number of groups or organisations make it a point to showcase and boast their support to a select cause. But, as stars are out of reach of many, organisations like the Class IV union of the local bodies department, make do with cleverly pasting pictures of actresses on its calendar. Glamorous cutouts of Shilpa Shetty and Sania Mirza were strategically placed at the head of a protest march of anganwadi women workers. The photos were placed in such a manner that it looked as if the stars were holding the protest banner.

Being obese pays

It was one such place where being overweight paid dividends. Obese people too had something to rejoice when a shop selling garments attracted customers by weighing and giving them a discount worth half of their weight. If the customer weighed 80 kg, he walked out with 40 per cent discount. Cool way to attract customers indeed!


Delay in holding the municipal corporation’s election has taken the fizz out of what was considered to be a gala event for politicians. The BJP and Akali leaders seemed to be in a winning mood just after the Assembly elections and wanted to go ahead in the same mood. But, due to the delay they seem to have gone silent. On the other hand, Congress leaders are now regaining their confidence. All they wanted was the delay in elections as they are depending on the failure of the atta-dal scheme launched by the government. — Sentinel



Selection panels for MC elections
MLAs out, losers in
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 8
Punjab Pardesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president Shamsher Singh Dullo might have tried his best to ensure a balanced team for selecting candidates for the coming elections to various Municipal Corporations in the state, some people have expressed reservations for ignoring some deserving leaders who can play an important role.

The president recently constituted various selection committees for five corporations. The selection panel for Ludhiana is led by former minister Balmukand Sharma. Members of the panel include secretary All-India Congress Committee Manish Tiwari, Harnam Dass Johar, Surinder Dawer, Rakesh Pandey, Milkiat Singh Birmi, Milkiat Singh Dakha, former mayor Nahar Singh Gill, presidents of the rural and urban units of the District Congress Committee Bhulinder Singh and Jagmohan Sharma.

While supporters of Dullo justify the selection panel, others want that there should have been a few more additions to the panel. Interestingly, none of the winning candidates, who could play an important role among the urban voters, have been included in the panel.

However, sources close to the PCC president observed that there could be no better panel than the one constituted by him.

Dullo supporters when asked what was wrong in appointing the former MLAs, who had contested last time but had lost. "They will be in far better position than others to make the right choice of the candidates", a Dullo supporter said, while adding that, there was nothing wrong even if the candidates had lost themselves.

The local Congress leaders are putting high stakes on the corporation elections. Although the party had lost all assembly segments in the last elections, yet it is quite hopeful of a better performance this time as it expects a multi-cornered contest. Moreover, the disillusionment among the urban poor about the delay in the distribution of subsidised atta and dal by the SAD-BJP government might help the Congress to perform better than the assembly elections.

The selection of candidates will certainly hold key to the performance in the elections.



Misappropriation of funds
Cong MLA shielding sarpanches: Garcha
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, July 8
SAD in charge Jagdish Singh Garcha while accusing the Congress MLA from Kilaraipur of shielding those sarpanches who had allegedly misappropriated funds meant for developing their respective villages claimed that he and his associates would ensure that such funds were properly utilised.

Kilaraipur MLA Jassie Khangura, however, denied the charges levelled against him. He alleged that Garcha was bent upon harassing those close to the Congress. “But, we will not allow anybody to harass our activists on flimsy grounds. At the same time we will make sure that the tainted leaders owing alliance to any party don’t get our support,” said Khangura.

Garcha while talking to Ludhiana Tribune after inaugurating a project at Hargobindpura village near here today alleged that a few sarpanches, owing alliance to the Congress had misappropriated lakhs of rupees meant for development in their respective areas.

“There are instances where the funds meant for government project were swindled and utilised on private property. While enquiries into frauds committed have been initiated other cases will soon be probed by the authorities,” said Garcha while alleging that the MLA was trying to shield tainted sarpanches.

Earlier, Garcha presented a cheque worth Rs 1.5 to village sarpanch Manjit Kaur and unveiled a foundation stone for the project at the village. He distributed cheque worth Rs 50 lakh at Dhulkot, Sihar, Dhaul Majra Kalan, Dhaul Majra Khurad, Dehlon, Butahri, Bhutta, Sarabha, Mohi, Jangpur and Jodhan villages.



Punjab has lost a friend
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 8
With death of the former Prime Minister, Chandrashekhar in New Delhi today, Punjab has lost a sincere friend. Cutting across their ideological affiliations leaders from different political parties today expressed grief on his demise.

They said the country had lost a secular and socialist leader who always looked beyond stereotypes and partisan interests.

Condoling on his death, the Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker, Charanjit Singh Atwal said Chandershekhar was an outstanding leader whose death has created a great void in the national politics.

He said Chandrashekhar was always simple and down to earth even after becoming the Prime Minister of the country.

Chief parliamentary secretary, Harish Rai Dhanda in his condolence message said Chandrashekhar was a great friend of Punjab. He pointed out Chandrashekhar was one of the few leaders of the country who had an objective and realistic view of the Punjab problem. His approach in solving the problems of the nation was always humane and non-partisan.

Kila Raipur MLA, Jassi Khangura said leaders like Chandrashekhar would always set an example for others to follow. Khangura observed Chandrashekhar always lived by the principles he cherished all his life. He observed that the former Prime Minister was a classic example of simple living and high thinking.

Senior BJP leader Lala Lajpat Rai said, with the death of Chandrashekhar a great era of Indian politics had ended. He said he was one of the few surviving leaders of the pre-Independence era who had made immense contribution towards the nation building. He observed leaders like him were very difficult to find in this era as he never compromised on his principles.

An outstanding parliamentarian who served as Member of Parliament all his life, Chandrashekhar remained the Prime Minister of the country for seven months only. However, but he had won many a hearts by his simple and straight way of working. People recall his principled stand by resigning from the post rather than facing the humiliation and blackmail at the hands of the Congress, which was supporting his government in 1991.

Chandrashekhar had a special relationship with Punjab also. During the peak of terrorism, he was among few leaders who tried to take initiative aimed at resolving the problem. Chandrashekhar never compromised on the basic principles of secularism and socialism and lived by these till the end.



Badal pays tributes to Maharaja Ranjit Singh, Master Tara Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 8
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has called upon people to rededicate themselves for the creation of a strong and secular India for which Maharaja Ranjit Singh and Master Tara Singh had fought throughout their lives.

He was addressing a largely attended gathering at a state-level function organised to observe the 168st death anniversary of Maharaja Ranjit Singh and 123rd birth anniversary of Panth Rattan Master Tara Singh here last night.

Paying tributes to both the great personalities, Badal said they had a broad vision and capacity to change the destiny of the nation and they had been ruling the hearts of the people. Maharaja Ranjit Singh was a great planner and a brave warrior king who mobilised and united the scattered strength of small groups (Misls) of Sikhs and fought many battles for the creation of a strong and vast Sikh empire. During his life time the mighty British could not dare to attack the territory occupied by him, he pointed out.

Maharaja Ranjit Singh was a far sighted and secular emperor who had given representation to the most capable persons of all religions in his cabinet. The Maharaja had great regard for intellectuals and appointed many of them on various posts in his government and during his rule people were free to practise their respective religions without any kind of fear or hesitation, he added.

Badal also announced that a suitable memorial was being set up by the government at Amritsar.

Badal described Panth Rattan Master Tara Singh as the greatest ever leader of the Sikhs who had led Punjabis for a long time as president of SAD and of the SGPC. He also won many important struggles (morchas) launched under his leadership for the cause of Sikhs and Punjab. He was patriotic leader who in spite of many tempting proposals from the Muslim League for keeping Punjab with Pakistan had taken a wise decision of aligning Punjab with India.

Badal said Tara Singh was a dedicated and honest leader who practised value-based politics and always took a strong stand to safeguard the interests of Punjab and Punjabis. He announced that Punjab government would set up a befitting memorial to perpetuate the values for which he stood.

On this occasion, Badal honoured Kiranjot Kaur grand daughter of Master Tara Singh.

Badal said the state was passing though a critical stage and its economy was in a bad shape due to the foolish policies of the previous government. He said his government had inherited a debt of more than Rs. 53,000 crore. He said the most important task before his government was to create more job opportunities for the unemployed youth of the state, for which a new programme of setting up of skill development centres in all blocks of the state has been launched, where vocational training of various venture would be provided to the youth to enable them to set up their own ventures.

To attract big investments, a sum of Rs 7,000 crore had been earmarked to strengthen the infrastructure in the state. As a result, the corporate sector had started taking interest in investing in Punjab and during the first four months heavy investments of more than Rs 44,000 crore had already been cleared, which would create enormous job opportunities.

He added that as power was the main ingredient of development and industrialisation, the state had decided to add 3,000 MW more power during the next four years to make the state self dependent in power generation.

The Chief Minister asserted that the education and health sectors were also listed as priority areas and government had decided to fully develop three schools in each block with the latest facilities, so that the students could get best education. In each block, one Rural Health centre was being strengthened, where doctors with different specifications, latest diagnostic equipment and sufficient medicines would be made available for the patients, he added.

Prominent among others who attended the function were Charanjit Singh Atwal, Deputy Speaker, Lok Sabha, Jathedar Avtar Singh, President, SGPC, Hira Singh Gabria, jail minister, Harish Dhanda, CPS, Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, MP, Harish Bedi, MLA, Pryank Bharti, officiating DC, Ishwar Singh, DIG, Vikas Partap, Commissioner, MC, R K Jaiswal, SSP, Santa Singh Umedpuri, district president, SAD, Jathedar Swaran Singh, Amarjit Singh Bhatia, Maulana Habib-ur-Rehman, Shahi Imam. Jama Masjid and Baba Ajit Singh.



Cong worker refuses to pay MC dues; held, let off
Our Correspondent

Raikot, July 8
The local police has arrested a Congress activist for allegedly obstructing municipal council officials from performing their duties and misbehaving with them. Later, he was released on bail.

The Congress activist on the other hand said municipal council officials at the behest of a few BJP leaders had tried to frame him in a false case. Later, a large number of Congress activists protested against the vindictive attitude of the officials.

According to the complaint lodged by executive officer Malkiat Singh, Congress activist Rajesh Kumar had allegedly misbehaved with municipal employees Narinder Singh, Jaswant Singh and Kulwant Singh when they asked him to deposit arrears worth Rs 3,408 relating to his firm.

Though, the matter was reported to the police on the same day, it registered the case after verifying allegations levelled by the complainants. Preliminary investigations revealed that the suspect had allegedly challenged the authority of those deputed for recovering arrears of water and sewerage bills from him. Instead of giving assurance to deposit the arrears within a stipulated period Rajesh insulted and obstructed them from performing their duty.



Residents of Dehliz road live in unhygienic condition
Sewage project withdrawn by SAD
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, July 8
Disposal of waste water and solid waste emerged as waterloo for local civic authorities. Though people living in almost all areas of the town are forced to live in unhygienic conditions, those residing in the Dehliz road area are virtually living in the hell.

Municipal council president Jatinder Bhola said the situation got worse due to the stopping of sewage and water supply projects worth Rs 5.25 crore. These projects were sanctioned during the Congress regime. Though, works on both projects had started the SAD government immediately after coming to power ordered to stop the work.

Investigations by Ludhiana Tribune revealed that the garbage was pilling up on the Railway road and the Shaheed Bhagat Singh Chowk besides at Jagera, Jandali and Dehliz roads.

Situation was worst on roads leading to a crematorium where choking of sewerage system has resulted in frequent overflow of stinking water. What to talk of walking on these roads, vehicles too could also be seen stranded in this area. Inadequate disposal of waste has affected the supply of potable water. Those residing in colonies situated along the Railway road complained of contaminated water.

Parliamentary secretary Razia Sultana, besides fetching other grants had impressed upon then Chief Minister to sanction Rs 5.25 crore as grant under the municipal development fund scheme. Residents have now urged SAD and BJP leaders of the area to impress upon the Chief Minister to direct the authorities to make necessary arrangement before an epidemic breaks out in the area.



Inaction by food and supplies department
Rice-sheller owners threaten to shut units
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, July 8
Upset over the inaction of food and supply authorities in case of alleged unauthorised enhancement of capacities of certain rice shellers in the Kilaraipur area, the owners of affected units and activists of struggle committee constituted to save their interests, have threatened to shut down their shellers instead of suffering losses.

Meanwhile, functionaries of other rice sheller associations from various towns in Malwa region, led by Sham Lal Singh, executive member the Punjab Rice Sheller Association, Dinesh Jain from Samana, Ramesh Singla from Malerkotla have pledged to join any stir that will be launched by activists of affected area.

While talking to the Ludhiana Tribune after a meeting held at Maherna village Prem Jain and Ravinder Kumar Gupta alleged that the higher authorities in food and supplies department, had, instead of redressing their grievances, tried to shield the erring officials who had allegedly enhanced the capacity of certain shellers without undertaking necessary modifications.

“Though the senior functionaries in the department, after receiving our complaints had assured us that necessary action would be taken to review the alleged unauthorised enhancement, nothing concrete has been done till now. Now when it has become clear that they all are hand in glove with each other, we have decided to launch a stir from Monday,” said the sheller owner adding that they would hand over keys of their respective units to the district authorities.

The association leaders further alleged that the authorities had been promoting selected entrepreneurs while allotting shellers and also during the distribution of paddy during the past few years. “When we come on roads we will expose irregularities committed by the authorities,” they said.

Earlier, the struggle committee, led by Prem Jain and Ravinder Kumar, had accused the district food and supply office authorities of allegedly favouring owners of certain rice shelling units by enhancing their capacity from 1.5 tonnes to 10 tonnes without getting necessary amendments in the units.

Though the authorities had swung into action after Ludhiana Tribune had highlighted the plight of the affected entrepreneurs, the action was staggered later. The activists have now threatened to launch a struggle to safeguard their interests.



18-year-old drowns in canal

Mandi Ahmedgarh, July 8
A youth, who had dived into canal to fish out a coconut fruit is feared to have drowned, as the Sudhar police and relatives of the youth have failed to locate him after he once disappeared in the water.

Harpreet Singh, son of Nirmal Singh of Mansooran village, dived into Abohar branch of Sirhind Canal near Dhaipaie village here last evening. He had reportedly dived into canal to catch a coconut fruit floating on the surface of the water.

Sources revealed that the incident occurred when the victim along with two more employees of a cable network organisation operating from Jodhan village, had gone to replace a cable running, along the side of the canal yesterday.

"While we were working at the cable, Harpreet seeing a coconut fruit floating on the surface of the water, put off his clothes and dived into the canal to catch it," said Harpreet's colleagues.



Yoga camp concludes
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 8
A seminar on the topic to know the self and a yoga camp was organised by Anand Marg Sangh at Anand Marg School, New Kundan Puri. The camp and the seminar, which started on July 6, concluded here today.

In the concluding function, Acharya Satya Shraya Nand said nothing was impossible to achieve in this world. He said no work could bring good results, if it was done in a pretentious manner.

The camp which was attended by a large number of people started with yog sadhna and was followed by bhajan and kirtan and concluded with soul-lifting talks.



Garcha elected president
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 8
A meeting of Bharti Janta Party Mandal meeting was held at Shri Shakti Dharamshala, Khamano, in which Gurcharan Singh Garcha was unanimously elected president of Khamano Mandal. This meeting was chaired by district president of the BJP, Dharmpal.

Garcha’s name was proposed by Tarsem Lal Nanda and seconded by A. Singh and others.



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