L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Health care for Poor
CM asks industry to chip in
Offers land for health units at remote villages
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 28
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today called upon industrialists and corporate houses to set up a fund with equal contribution from the state government for providing highly specialised health care facilities to the poor and underprivileged sections of the society.

The entire system would be managed and operationalised by the trust mutually formed by the industrialists.

An announcement to this effect was made by Badal here today, while presiding over the function after inaugurating the "Flat cath lab and 1.5 telsa MRI scan" at Hero DMC Heart Institute and DMC Hospital.

He said this fund would be used for the poor patients, who were deprived of the basic medical facilities. Badal also mentioned that the state government was contemplating to start a medical insurance scheme for the poor and needy to enable them to seek basic medical facilities.

He also pointed out that the state government had appointed Dr J S Bajaj as vice-chairman of the State Planning Board and had been entrusted with the responsibility of revamping the entire health, medical education and research sector, which had been in shambles over the past many years.

He said plans were afoot to modernise Government Medical College at Amritsar at a cost of Rs 100-150 crore within one and a-half year. Under this plan, the entire building of the college would be re-constructed with ultra-modern equipment to provide super-specialty facilities to the patients. Likewise Punjab Institute of Medical Sciences, Jalandhar, would also be run on the pattern of AIIMS as the talks were in progress with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

All district hospitals would be linked with the PGI and three state medical colleges at Amritsar, Faridkot and Patiala for tele-medicine facility.

Expressing deep concern over the growing menace of drug addiction, he said the government has chalked out a strategy to check this evil. He said 20 beds in each 100-beded government hospital had been reserved for the treatment of drug addicts.

Lauding the proposal of the management of the DMC group under the stewardship of Sunil Kant Munjal for opening health units in the remote rural areas of the state, Badal said the government was ready to offer requisite land free of cost and assured full support and cooperation to them.

Medical Education and Research Minister Tikshan Sood said the SAD-BJP was committed to providing basic health facilities to the people of the state at an affordable rate and quality medical education to students. Responding to the demand raise by Munjal, he said the state government was already in process to streamline the fee structure of the medical colleges.

MP from Ludhiana Sharanjit Singh Dhillon said the management and faculty of DMC would prove to be a milestone in setting the benchmark for the quality health services and medical education not within the state, but in the country also.

Among others who spoke on the occasion included Sunil Kant Munjal, president, management of the DMCH and Hero DMC Heart Institute, D S Cheema, adviser to the CM, Punjab, principal Dr Daljeet Singh.

Dr G S Wander, chief cardiologist and director of the Hero Heart Centre, presented the vote of thanks.

Dhanda skips function

Chief Parliamentary Secretary and MLA from Ludhiana, West, Harish Rai Dhanda today said that he could not attend a function at the Dayanand Medical College Hospital as he had an engagement already fixed at Fazilka.

Reacting to the reports that he had deliberately abstained from the function that was attended by the Chief Minister, Dhanda said, "DMC is like a family to me and I can never get upset with my family". He claimed, he was trying to get the status of the Deemed University to the DMC.

He clarified that he was supposed to attend two functions of the Bar Associations of Fazilka and Jalalabad last Saturday. But he could not attend it as there was a meeting in Ludhiana about the selection of candidates for the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation elections. "It would not have been proper to postpone the functions a second time", he said.

Even Hira Singh Gabria was not present as he was busy with the Municipal Corporation elections.



Beant Killing Case
Kotli in reflective mood
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 28
Kotli, native village of the late chief minister Beant Singh, who was killed in 1995 in a bomb blast, was in a reflective mood today after a court held six persons guilty of the assassination of the leader.

The villagers were pensive. While most expressed satisfaction over the court decision, they said they were awaiting details on the evidence that had led to the acquittal of others. The villagers wished the verdict had come sooner.

His son and sitting MLA Tej Parkash Singh and grandson Gurkirat Singh welcomed the decision and demanded exemplary punishment for the guilty.

"My father was an apostle for peace. He laid down his life fighting for peace and development in Punjab. It would be natural justice that those who killed him suffer stringent punishment," said Tej Parkash Singh.

He had returned to the village this evening after canvassing for MC elections in Jalandhar.

Durlabh Singh and Pargat Singh said:" It has been an agonising wait for 12 years for all of us in the village. The son of Kotli seems forgotten by the state. He is remembered only on his birth and death anniversaries, and that too more by the media than the government or the party.”

Malkiat Kaur and Luxmi said: “He was like family to all of us. He remembered us by our first names. It is difficult to think of any other leader who has had such a personal rapport with members of his village."



SI held for graft, suspended
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 28
A Punjab police sub-inspector (SI), posted as in charge of a police post, is now behind bars in the same police station after he was booked and arrested under the Prevention of Corruption Act for allegedly taking a bribe of Rs 15,000.

The accused cop Tarlochan Singh, former in charge of Basant Park police post, had allegedly taken the money from Pankaj Verma, a resident of street no 17, Shimla Puri for releasing him from illegal detention. The money was also taken to sort out a complaint filed against Pankaj by a manager of PNB.

According to an FIR registered at Shimla Puri police station here today, Pankaj, after his release, complained to SP City-II Harish Kumar about how he was illegally detained and had to dish out money for his freedom. The SP held an inquiry in which the charges were proved.

The SP said the SI had been suspended also, " We found during the inquiry that the SI had unnecessarily detained the complainant for a minor altercation."

DSP Harmohan Singh, has been entrusted further investigation into the case.



Missing teacher eloped with ex-student

Ludhiana, July 28
The mysterious disappearance of a school teacher of Dashmesh Senior Secondary School has turned out to be a case of elopement. Her parents and friends had been staging demonstrations seeking a case against the principal of the school.

The teacher, Jasdeep Kaur (23), had allegedly eloped with a former student of the school, aged about 18. Her parents and supporters had been pressing the police to arrest principal of the school Shimla Puri. — TNS



MC Poll
Independents may spoil party
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 28
Independent candidates are likely to play a crucial role in the final outcome of the municipal corporation elections. About 70 independent candidates have already filed their nomination papers from various wards. Quite a few of them are strong candidates.

Four BJP candidates, Pran Bhatia, Gurdeep Singh Nittu, Rajkumar Khera and Sanjay Kapur, filed their nomination papers from ward Nos. 18, 42, 50 and 36, respectively, here today.

While 11 independent candidates filed their nomination papers on the first day yesterday, about 65 filed today. Two more days are left for filing of nomination papers.

The independents include rebels from political parties and individuals who have a good influence in their particular areas. And a good number of them hold a good chance of victory.

According to Harjinder Singh Laly, who is contesting as an independent from ward No. 6, the corporation elections are fought on the basis of an individual’s credibility and influence among the people. Laly contested independently in 2002 and polled about 2,500 votes. He lost by a slim margin of less than a 100 votes. He said he had offers from at least two political parties to contest on their ticket, but he wanted to contest independently once again.

There are scores of other candidates who are going to prove too tough for candidates from mainstream parties. “Usually the area is limited and each and every voter is known to you, said Ajit Singh, another independent candidate.

More independents are likely to file nominations.

So far only the BJP and the SAD have announced their candidates. The Congress is still holding it back and is even planning an alliance with the Communists.



BSP tries UP experiment
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 28
The Bahujan Samaj Party appears to be trying to replicate the Uttar Pradesh experiment in the municipal elections in Punjab. Of the 37 candidates it announced today, 12 belong to the upper castes. The list includes four Brahmins, three Khatris, two Rajputs, two Jat Sikhs and a Bania.

Party general secretary and in charge for Punjab Narinder Kashyap, state president Avtar Karimpuri and state general secretaries Gurmail Pahalwan and P. Jandiali said here today that the party wanted to give representation to all castes and sections of society.

Interestingly, the list released by the party here today mentions the caste of the candidates along with their name and ward. 



Offices marked for filing papers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 28
The process for filing nomination papers for the MC elections began here yesterday.

Pryank Bharti, officiating DC-cum-DEO, said the nomination papers for wards 1 to 11 were being received in the office of assistant commissioner, grievances; wards 12 to 22 in the office of the SDM (east); wards 23 to 33 in the office of the SDM (west); wards 34 to 44 in the office of the deputy director, local bodies; wards 45 to 55 in the office of the AETC-II; wards 56 to 65 in the office of the SE, Sirhind canal circle; and wards 66 to 75 in the office of the district transport officer (PUDA office).

The notification for the elections to be held on August 8 had been issued and the nomination papers would be accepted from July 27 to 30 at these venues. The scrutiny of papers would be conducted on July 31 and the papers could be withdrawn on August 1.



Transport firm godown sealed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 28
Suspecting tax evasion by a transport company on Gill Road, officials of the Punjab excise and taxation department, district I, sealed the godown of the company after conducting a raid. The department is suspecting a sales tax evasion of at least Rs 6 lakh by the company. Goods worth about Rs 15.5 lakh were seized.

The process, carried under the supervision of deputy excise and taxation commissioner Jarnail Singh and the Ludhiana police, continued till late last evening.

On receiving information about the transport company carrying goods without supporting bills, officials conducted the raid. According to the officials, the party tried to evade them by adopting several tactics.

As the company kept dilly-dallying, the officials informed the excise and taxation commissioner, who sought the help of the police.

The department officials asked the company to produce bills, which it could not.

The goods that were booked by the transport company included cycle parts, sewing machines, auto parts and other engineering items.

The officials scouted the entire stuff and recorded details after which the company’s godown was sealed. The department said an evasion of at least Rs 6 lakh was likely.

The company has been asked to furnish details on Monday.

Meanwhile, officials said they would be strict with tax evaders. The department has been particularly vigilant of late due to several incidents of tax evasion here.

Evasion has led to a decline in revenues too and Punjab lags behind its neighbouring state Haryana.



House ‘grabbed’, old couple cries for justice
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 28
At the twilight of their lives, Usha Rani and Lachman Dass are making the rounds of the offices of the district administration and the police to seek justice.

They alleged that their 147 sq yard house at Tajpur Road, Indrapuri, had been grabbed by Ravinder Kumar Tittu, a scrap dealer in the area with whom one of their sons had worked. They alleged that Tittu was threatening the family with dire consequences if it raised its voice against him.

A septuagenarian, Usha Rani alleged that the scrap dealer had made their life hell. She said at this age, they wanted to die a peaceful death but they were being harassed by Tittu. “We do not know where to go and are worried,” she said with tears rolling down her cheeks.

The couple has already complained against Tittu at the Tajpur chowki. They have recently given a representation to the deputy commissioner.

She said one of her sons worked with the scrap dealer.

“A few months ago, the scrap dealer levelled allegations against my son that he (son) had cheated him of Rs 40 lakh. How can one believe such allegations? He forcibly got documents of the house signed. A few days ago, he entered the house, locked it and went away with the key. When the family tried to protest, Tittu injured my daughter-in-law. He has even threatened to kill my sons,” said Lachman Dass.

The couple said they had complained to the police, but nothing had been done so far. They alleged that several other cases against Tittu were pending with the police and court as he had cheated many people.

The old couple said they had no source of income. “We want to sell the house to lead a comfortable life but are unable to do so. We want justice,” said Usha Rani.

The scrap dealer termed the allegations as baseless. He said they had sold the house on their own to one of his (Tittu’s) acquaintances, but he had played no role in it. He said he was just the middleman in the deal.

“These are baseless allegations to defame me. They want money from me as the sons used to buy lottery tickets to try their luck in which they lost a huge amount. They sold the house to repay the debts. The DSP had initiated an inquiry earlier and found nothing against me,” said Tittu.



Special polio drive for kids of migrants
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 28
A special round of pulse polio immunisation will be carried out on August 5 to administer polio drops exclusively to the children of migrant population staying in the city and urban areas of the district.

A meeting in this context was chaired by Pryank Bharti, officiating deputy commissioner, at the Bachat Bhawan here today.

Bharti said during this round, only the children of migrants would be covered as per the directions of the Centre as the wild virus circulation is mainly focused in UP and Bihar.

He said the listing of high risk areas had been completed and all children of the migrant families had been identified. To achieve the comprehensive coverage in the area where average of migratory population was high, the Punjabi population living in those areas would also be covered to achieve a good level of immunity in the community.

During this round, health department teams will visit house to house to administer the drops instead of setting up of booths, transit points, etc.

The approximate number of under 5 years age of children of migrant population is 1,84,342 in the entire district, out of these 1,00,314 are in Ludhiana, 76759 in the Ludhiana rural areas and 7,269 in the towns. He said during this round all localities of migrant population, including slum areas, peri-urban colonies, industrial areas, brick kiln, etc. would be covered.

The DC asked the DEO (S) and district programme officer to provide sufficient number of employees to assist the health staff and NGO teams in this task. He also asked the PSEB authorities to ensure the uninterrupted power supply to the places, where the polio vaccine is to be stored.

Dr Sat Pal Sharma, civil surgeon, said a sufficient number of medical teams had been formed in the district and each and every children of migrant population would be covered under this round.

Others present at the meeting included J K Jain, executive magistrate, Manjit Kaur, DEO (S), Rajpal Singh Dhaliwal, district mandi officer, and Dr Manjit Kaur. 



Spic and Span
Railway secretary visits station
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 28
Much against its routine look, the city railway station was spic and span this morning. The cleanliness operation was part of preparations for the visit of commercial railway secretary Bhupinder Singh.

However, Singh chose to remain confined to his special coach for almost an hour while he interacted with other railway officials and later stepped out on to the platform for less than five minutes.

“It was a big disappointment. We had hoped that he would at least inspect the railway station. But he came out for only a few minutes and kept sitting inside the coach.

Later, he boarded the Shatabdi to Jalandhar and left,” said a safai karamchari.

The occasion, which the railway staff apparently wanted to make the most of by coming in his good books, did not seem to yield the desired results.

The commercial railway secretary was on an official visit to inspect unmanned railway crossings in the Ludhiana junction. This junction has over 70 such crossings. It is learnt that he also inspected railway tracks for safety.

However, the visit to the Ludhiana railway station was only brief. Not only did it come as a disappointment to most staff members, the officer also did not interact with the media, who waited for him for quite some time.



Dowry claims another life
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 28
Four months after her marriage, a woman was allegedly forced to commit suicide for dowry in Partap Nagar here yesterday.

The woman, identified as Laxmi, 22, hanged herself from the ceiling fan this afternoon. She belonged to Zira in Moga district. She was married to Tony in March this year. However, she was being allegedly harassed for dowry.

The police has booked Tony, his parents, Bimla Rani and Amrit Lal, for allegedly creating circumstances for her suicide.



Youth hurt in attack
Our Correspondent

Khamano, July 28
A youth of Lakhanpur village, near here, was injured when he was attacked by certain youths with sharp-edged weapons at Preet Dhaba near Pohlo Majra.

Harmanpreet Singh was sitting at the dhaba for dinner when the youths attacked him.

His friends and a highway patrol party took him to the civil hospital, Khamano, where doctors referred him to the PGI, Chandigarh. The police has registered a case against Jagdish Singh of Bhari village and Jagwinder Singh of Jalowal village on a complaint of Harmanpreet’s brother Rupinderjit Singh. 



Gang of robbers busted, 6 held
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, July 28
Six members of a notorious gang involved in robbing people them were nabbed by a joint operation conducted by the Raikot police, PO staff and the CIA Jagraon staff, while they were conspiring to loot an organisation on Friday.

Two gangsters escaped the arrest. Two pistols and sharp-edged weapons and a motorcycle were recovered from them.

According to Gurpreet Singh Bhullar, six robbers were arrested by the joint team led Pirthi Pal Singh, in charge, CIA, Gagandeep Singh, SHO, Raikot, and Naveen Pal Singh in charge, PO wing, when the miscreants were preparing to strike at a commercial organisation on Friday.

The miscreants were identified as Harbans Singh of Chhappa village near Mehal Kalan, Harbans Singh of Kaheru (Dhuri), Gursharanjit Singh alias Bobby of Sanghera, Kotwali Barnala, Bindra alias Aadu of Mohalla Rampura Jagraon, Ramesh alias Kukla of Balmik Mandir area Jagraon, Fouji alias Buddha of Jhugian Railway Station Jagraon and Sunny Kumar of Bag Kheta Ram, Jagraon. Harbans Singh of Kaheru village (Dhuri) escaped under the cover of darkness.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the gang members had been nabbed on the basis of secret information on Friday.

"An informer told us yesterday that some miscreants were at Focal Point, Raikot, were conspiring to loot some rich families of the town. A coordinated and prompted action by teams resulted in the arrest of the six members," said Gurpreet Singh Bhullar, SSP Ludhiana (Rural), claiming that a robbery was foiled by the timely action.

Two countrymade pistols, five cartridges, a number of sharp-edged weapons and a motorcycle was recovered from their possession.

On modus operandi of the gang, Bhullar said they had committed robberies like members of the Kala Kachha gang.

The gang admitted to have snatched at least six scooters, one motor cycle and cash and jewellery worth lakhs from various persons at Malak Road, Jagraon, Hira Bagh, Jagraon, Mullanpur Chowk, Kalsan village , Johlan village, Rampura Phool, court complex, Jalandhar, Mehal Kalan, Goraya, Barnala and Sunam during the past few months.



Global skin-care brand hits counters
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 28
International skin-care brand Olay is now available in Indian markets. P&G has launched Olay Total Effects with VitaNiacin, an anti-ageing moisturiser.

The company said prior to product’s launch, it had conducted an extensive research involving over 6,000 women aged between 18 to 69 years from three continents to assess their attitude in relation to the skin care needs and their issues with the ageing skin.

While there were slight variations from country to country, a large number of women across these geographical and cultural boundaries identified seven signs of skin ageing, fine lines and wrinkles, sagging skin, uneven skin tone, age spots, appearance of pores, dull skin and dryness.

The research revealed that consumers were unaware that the ageing process started by mid 20s.



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