L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Death of youth at Hemkund Sahib
Family demands action against ‘erring’ doctor
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 16
The negligence of a doctor posted at Gurdwara Govind Dham took the life of local resident Varinder Singh (30). The doctor allegedly refused to attend to the youth, who was gasping for breath. The doctor even reportedly refused to provide oxygen to him despite it being available in the gurdwara.

According to Rajwinder Singh, Varinder’s friend, they along with four others left Ludhiana on July 7 for Hemkund Sahib. On July 9 they took a break at a hotel near Govind Dham. After everybody fell asleep they noticed that Varinder was gasping for breath apparently due to low oxygen. They went to the gurdwara as a doctor is posted there round the clock.

To their dismay, the doctor, who appeared to be a Punjabi with a long beard and an employee of the gurdwara, refused to accompany them on the pretext that he cannot attend to the patients outside the gurdwara complex. Despite pleading with him that the patient was critical he refused to accompany them. Rajwinder said somehow they managed to bring Varinder to his room. By the time they reached there (to doctor’s room), the doctor had made a quiet exit and locked the room.

Desperately looking for the medical help, they were told that there was another doctor in the gurdwara complex itself in another room. That doctor advised them to shift Varinder to some other place. Since it was already late and quite dark nobody was prepared to accompany them as there are wild animals along the route during the night. Somehow they managed to convince some local guides who helped them with a cot. But by the time Varinder could get the medical aid he had already breathed his last. The doctor told them he should have been given oxygen at Govind Dham itself and that would have certainly saved his life.

Varinder leaves behind his wife Sonika, a four-year-old daughter and one-and-a-half-year-old son. His father, Harpreet Singh, is shattered and distraught man today. Little did he know that he was seeing his son off last time on July 7 as he left for the pilgrimage.

The angry family members and friends of Varinder demanded action against the erring doctor. They have appealed to the Uttarakhand Governor, Sudarshan Aggarwal, who also belongs to Ludhiana, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar to take action against the doctor and the manager of the gurdwara, who did not intervene over the callousness of the doctor.

They said despite best arrangements like oxygen available in the gurdwara it was not provided to the patient. They said the guilty must be punished so that others do not fall prey to their callousness in future.



VC warns against indiscriminate use of pesticides
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 16
Annual losses attributable to pests have increased from Rs 600 crore in 1983 to Rs 45,000 crore in 2006. This was stated by M.S. Kang, vice-chancellor, PAU, during his inaugural address at a five-day workshop on “Safety measures against harmful effects of pesticides/farm accidents” being held on the campus.

The workshop has been organised by the Directorate of Extension Education, PAU, in collaboration with the Punjab State Council of Science and Technology, Chandigarh.

According to Kang, pesticides continue to be used to manage plant pests, insects, pathogens and weeds. However, their indiscriminate use causes problems like resistance to chemicals in pests, resurgence, pesticide residue, appearance of secondary pests, mortality of natural enemies of pests and environmental contamination.

Terming judicious use of pesticides as pivotal to implementation of integrated pest management programmes, he informed that pesticide use continued to increase till 1990. This rose to 75,033 metric ton in 1990-91 but it was down to around 39,773 metric ton in 2006-07.

Regarding the pesticide residue problems, Kang said they had also been reduced as a result of greater awareness among pesticide users.

“Monitoring of pesticide residue at regular intervals from the soil, water and agricultural commodities is being done in the state. In addition, new pesticides have been introduced which are used at lower doses than the earlier ones. In line with this, 25 dreaded pesticides have been phased out in the country,” he added.

Acknowledging the contribution of farm machinery to the overall increased production of foodgrains, Kang said it reduced input costs by replacing human labour. However, he raised concerns regarding non-adoption of safety measures while using farm machinery. Earlier, N.S. Malhi, Director of Extension Education, spoke on the occasion.

Stressing upon the need for proper handling of pesticides right from their manufacture to final utilisation, he said care should be taken in the formulation process, packaging, transport, storage, use as well as disposal of empty containers.

“Timely application, correct dose and use of appropriate spraying technology are equally important,” he observed.



HC sets aside PAU’s decision
Admission under sports quota
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 16
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has set aside the decision of Punjab Agricultural University to declare a student ineligible for admission to B.Tech (agricultural engineering) under the sports quota.

Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel and Justice Ajai Lamba pronounced these orders while deciding the petition filed by Sumer Singh Aulakh.

“Declaring the petitioner ineligible for the sports quota is not as per prospectus conditions. The university is directed to consider the eligibility of the petitioner again in accordance with law,” observed Justice Goel and Justice Lamba while disposing the petition within 12 days from the day of its filing.

The petitioner had challenged the order dated June 29 issued by registrar, PAU, V.R. Sharma, who was chairman of the selection committee, which had denied the admission.

Other members of the selection committee were Kamaljit Kaur, Jagjivan Kaur, Charanjit Singh (badminton coach) and the dean of college of agricultural engineering



No takers for home science course
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 16
The College of Home Science in Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) has once again fallen short of candidates despite the admission procedure having been relaxed. Earlier, only students from the science stream were admitted. However, students of other subjects can also join the course. This has once again raised the question of the viability of running the course.

According to the information, out of 50 seats in the B.Sc (Home Science) only 37 have been filled. Forty-two students were directly admitted by the university, eight come through the Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR). While 36 gained direct entry. Only one candidate has come through ICAR this time.

A few academicians are of the view that the course needs to be redesigned and curriculum drawn up. A senior academician pointed out that the syllabus will more or less remains the same. She pointed out that the university needs to do serious thinking as to why students were not coming forth despite the eligibility criteria being relaxed.

Suggestions were coming forward to wind up the course. Even the process of merging a few departments was done for the same reason. As it faced some resistance there is likelihood of the departments being separated.

The lack of job opportunities in the home science is one of the main reasons that have been discouraging the students. A few former students told the Ludhiana Tribune that though they had passed out a few years ago they did not get any jobs. “It would have been better had we done simple graduation followed by B.Ed and we could have landed up with teaching jobs”, regretted a former graduate.

Compared to this, the other courses offered by the university like the B.Sc (Agriculture), B.Tech (Agricultural Engineering) to which admission is done through CEET have great demand and the applicants outnumbered the seats available in several proportions. 



Rush of ticket aspirants at Congress office
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 16
It was a great rush at the local Congress Bhavan with hundreds of aspirants of the party ticket for the forthcoming Municipal Corporation elections descending there as Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president Shamsher Singh Dullo presided over a meeting of party leaders there.

The meeting was second in a series being conducted by the PPCC president to step up the process of selection of candidates. Much before Dullo reached the office, the ticket aspirants had already been camping there.The over five decade- old structure that houses the Congress office was overcrowded.

The meeting was attended among others by former minister Harnam Dass Johar and Rakesh Pandey, former MLAs Surinder Dawer, Milkiat Singh Dakha, District Congress Committee, Ludhiana (urban) president Jagmohan Sharma, ex-Mayor Nahar Singh Gill, PCC secretary Parminder Mehta, the Mahilla Congress district president, Usha Malhotra and others.

Former Ludhiana( Rural) assembly member Milkiat Singh Birmi was conspicuous by his absence. Sources close to him claimed that he was not informed about the meeting. However, the DCC office claimed that the information had been conveyed to him about the meeting. Birmi does not enjoy good relationship with the PCC president.

Dullo said this was the first round of meetings only. He maintained that the selection process would be transparent. He said the winnability, sincerity and commitment towards the party would be the main factors to be taken into consideration for nominating the candidates for the elections. He ruled out the possibility of fielding all the sitting candidates.

To a question about the complaints against some sitting councillors who were accused of working against the party candidates in the assembly and parliamentary elections, Dullo said since he did not get anything in writing he could not take any action. Now, he pointed out, was not the time for any complaint to be entertained as it would obviously be motivated by other factors.

The PCC president claimed that the Congress was on a firm footing in the city as the people were alienated and disillusioned with the government. He said people had got so fed up with the government that they wanted to vent their ire at the earliest available chance. And there could be no better chance than the corporation elections, Dullo remarked, while adding, it would be the reversal of the assembly elections when the Congress was swept off all the urban and semi urban constituencies in Ludhiana. 



Elementary teachers form new body
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 16
A splinter group of the ETT Adhyapak Union floated a new body, Elementary Teachers Union (Bulerheri), here yesterday.

Both unions held meetings in the city to elect their office-bearers. None of the unions is, however, registered yet.

The ETT Adhyapak Union (Punjab) unanimously elected Paramjit Mann as its president at a meeting held at Punjabi Bhavan. Other office-bearers are: general secretary — Inderjit Singh Sidhu; senior vice presidents — Yograj Singh Mullanpur and Bhawan Deep Singh; vice-president — Amandeep Singh; chief treasurer - Palwinder Singh Ghawddi; and state committee member — Balraj Singh Ghaloti.

On the other hand, the Elementary Teachers Union (Bulerheri) held its election at a state-level meeting at Chattar Singh Park here in which Jaswinder Singh Bulerheri was elected chairman of the union. Other office-bearers are: president - Gurmukh Singh Baba; general secretary — Harminder Pal Singh Minda; senior vice-president — Gursewak Singh Machhiwara; vice-president — Bikramjit Singh; and cashier — Rashpal Singh.

Spokesperson for the Elementary Teachers Union (Bulerheri) said their aim was to ensure that elementary teachers got posting in schools closer to their homes and appointment were held under the education department and not under zila parishads, as was being done now.



Book of poetry released
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 16
Khem Singh Gill, a former vice-chancellor of Punjab Agricultural University, has released a book of poetry, “Shama Eh Jaldi Rahegi”, of Dalip Singh Bawa.

Presenting the paper on the writings and life of Bawa, Inderjit Singh Vasu described him as a saintly personality who always remained motivated and focussed towards his cause.

Kuldeep Singh Dheer, a former dean, Punjabi University, Patiala, elaborated on the technical part of Bawa’s writings. Principal Ram Singh presented a vote of thanks.

Among others present on the occasion were Charan Kamal Singh, chief secretary, Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle, Gurmit Singh, Ranjit Singh Moga, Inderpal Singh, Prabhjot Kaur, Jaspinder Singh Kular and M.S. Cheema.



Jagannath rath yatra taken out
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 16
The Sri Jagannath Mandir Samiti today took out the annual rath yatra (chariot festival) of Lord Jagannath in Ludhiana.

The festival involves the pulling of three large wooden wheeled chariots of Lord Jagannath, his sister Subhadra and brother Balabhadra.

Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, MP, Amarjit Singh Bhatia, Harish Bedi, MLA, and several ex-councillors of the municipal corporation, including Madan Lal Bagga, Raju Sushil Thapar and Rajiv Katna, were present.

The yatra passed through various areas of the city and culminated at Gundicha Temple, Chander Nagar.On the yatra route, devotees were served langar.



VC assurance to pensioners
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 16
Punjab Agricultural University vice-chancellor Dr M.S. Kang has assured pensioners of taking care of their interests. The assurance came at a function organised by the PAU Pensioners Association to welcome Dr Kang on his taking over the office.

Association secretary M.R. Passi welcomed the vice-chancellor on his arrival and appreciated the state government for entrusting the job to a scientist of international repute.

He also apprised the vice-chancellor of the formation and functioning of the association.

Association president K.S. Thukral proposed the vote of thanks.

The Vice-Chancellor also honoured D.S. Kang and K.S. Thukral on attaining the age of 75.



NGO asks Kalia to develop city
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 16
Core committee members of Shree Manav Sewa Welfare Bureau, an NGO, met under the chairmanship of S.K.Thaman to discuss holding of free and fair municipal corporation elections.

Members said a court case for delimiting the areas of the city was going on in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. July 27 had been fixed as the next date of hearing.

He asked local bodies minister Manoranjan Kalia as to how municipal corporation elections could be held before August 12. A court case was pending and the process of preparing the photo identity cards and of enlisting new voters was yet to be completed. He clarified that in order to hold free and fair elections door-to-door survey of residents was of utmost importance.

Dr Thaman requested the minister to start developing localities on a war footing, recarpet roads, errect sodium lamps, bifurcation of the approach roads in all localities to prepare ground for making the city look green.



Two held with 15 bags of poppy husk
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, July 16
The police has arrested two persons, Darshan Singh, alias Darshi, of Lakha and Nahar Singh, alias Nahara, of Meenia with 15 bags of poppy husk from Hathur village.

The police has registered a case under Sections 15, 61 and 85 of the NDPS Act against the two.

According to SSP (rural) Gurpreet Singh Bhullar, SHO of Jagraon police station Gurmit Singh and in charge of Hathur police post Inderjit Singh got a tip off that two persons were selling narcotics from a room in fields at the village.

DSP Bhupinder Singh joined them and raided the room. The two were arrested with 15 bags, containing 50 kg poppy husk each.

During interrogation, the accused said Pal Singh of Dangian had supplied the contraband to them under the instructions of Congress leader and Jagraon block samiti chairman Shamsher Singh Dangian, who was recently arrested under the Narcotics Act.

Probe ordered

The SSP has marked an inquiry into the allegations of Sudhar police SHO Balwinder Singh and others helping a party take forcible possession of 16-marla land at Tughal village. The complainant, Sandeep, had also accused ASI Sukhbir Singh of snatching a mobile phone. The inquiry has been marked to SP(D), Jagraon, according to sources.

Four booked

Bhupinderpal Singh, Parminder Singh, Tajinder Singh and Jasminder Singh of Walipur Kalan have been booked for allegedly assaulting Pritam Singh of the same village with swords and opening fire at him with the intention to kill.

The Humbran police has registered a case under Sections 307, 324, 323, 341, 148 and 149, IPC, and Sections 25, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act.The injured has been admitted to the local Civil Hospital. No arrest has been made so far.

Woman held

Vimla Bai of Kulgahina has been arrested by the Humbran police for possessing nine bottles of illicit liquor from Ahliwal village.

A case under the Excise Act has been registered.

Couple booked

Resham Singh and his wife Gurpreet Kaur of Khara, Faridkot district, have been booked for duping Baldev Singh of Kothe Hari Singh on the pretext of sending him abroad.

The complainant had alleged that he had given them Rs 4.3 lakh and a passport in May, 2006 with the assurance that they would help him send aboard.

The two neither sent him abroad nor return his money.

The local police has registered a case under Section 420, IPC.



Grand Vitara unveiled
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 16
Maruti Udyog Limited launched its Grand Vitara in the city today.

Speaking at the launch ceremony, executive director of agency Harkirat Singh said the vehicle was Suzuki’s third-generation five-seater SUV available with a 2-litre VIS engine.

The ex-showroom price for the vehicle in the city is Rs 13,95,537 for manual transmission and Rs 14,95,537 for automatic transmission.

Chandigarh regional manager Jyoti Malhotra stated that the new Grand Vitara included a generous boot space, fuel consumption display, pollen filter in the AC, integrated CD player with steering-mounted audio controls and rich dark interiors.



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