L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Production at vaccine institute halted
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 22
The Punjab Veterinary Vaccine Institute, the only government institute producing vaccines of haemorrhagic septicemia and other vaccines for the livestock here, has stopped production following failure in getting its license renewed from the Central Drug Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO).

The vaccine unit at the PAU has become a matter of concern to the department of animal husbandry, Dairy Development and Fisheries, Punjab, Chandigarh.

In case of a shortage of these vaccines, which are recommended by veterinarians, the government will procure these in bulk numbers from private companies.

Talking on phone from Chandigarh, S.C. Aggarwal, financial commissioner, department of animal husbandry, dairy development and fisheries, said the department had applied for the renewal of license. “The delay is on the part of the authorities concerned who will conduct an inspection following which the license will be issued. But we are hopeful that we will get interim permission to continue with the production of vaccines as these are vital,” he said.

An official at the vaccine institute said though it produced approximately 60 lakh vaccines every year, the institute lacked basic infrastructure. Even the CDSCO had asked it to improve the facilities.

“The initial delay was on the part of officials here as they did not bother to apply for license renewal. Even after the expiry of the license, the institute continued the production until the CDSCO acted tough this month. The government must appoint full-time officials to run the institute smoothly,” he said.

A progressive dairy farmer, Balbir Singh, said: “The government claims to be spending huge amounts of money on bringing new trends in agriculture, dairy farming, animal husbandry etc. But at the same time, it has failed to maintain the existing infrastructure/facilities at institutes. The vaccines are used during animal camps organised at villages.”

A team of officials reportedly visited Delhi yesterday to submit the documents for license renewal. “Within a month, the unit may start production again,” said one of the officials.



It’s ringing business
Results push cell phone sales up
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 22
It is raining gifts for toppers who have made their parents proud by securing top positions in the Class XII CBSE examination. Some have sought mobikes, some play station games and a majority of them latest mobile phone sets.

Ashish Marken of the medical stream, who scored 94 per cent, flashed his new Samsung J 600 mobile gifted by his parents. "I have got a list of things which I want from them."

Another topper, Yatish Jain, is all set to buy a Sony cell phone. “Though my parents have told me to buy whatever I want, I not not going to buy anything expensive as they have already spent a lot on my studies," he said, sounding far more responsible than most boys his age.

Not just toppers but students who could barely achieve passing marks are also receiving their share of presents promised to them by their parents.

Kunal, who scored 50 per cent marks, said: "My parents are going to buy me a trendy mobike as they promised to me before the exam."

With business ringing, it is not hard to guess that mobile sellers are only too happy with the results! Their sale has picked up since yesterday.

"We have sold 14 mobile sets since yesterday. Accompanied by parents, students are flocking to shops selling cell phones ," said a Ghumar Mandi-based shop owner.



Raise security bar, cops warn banks, landlords
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 22
The police has asked banks and finance companies to immediately foolproof their security measures or face action.

It has also asked industrialists and landlords to register employees and tenants with the police or maintain records if they don’t want action against them.

A police survey conducted few months ago found more than 200 of the 326 banks and financial companies in the city had not installed CCTVs. There was no night security guard in 45 banks. With faulty or non-existing alarm systems, these were easy targets.

The police orders comes in the wake of the Muthoot burglary and theft by a paying guest couple in Salem Tabri three days ago.

The finance company had not installed CCTVs or posted a guard on night duty despite keeping gold worth crores in its lockers.

The landlord at Salem Tabri had not kept any record of the paying guests.

“It was unbelievable when the landlord told me that he did not know the full names of the tenants who drugged and robbed him. He also did not have a photograph and their address,” the SSP, R.K. Jaiswal, said.

He said though the police was duty bound to prevent and detect crime, the public could help by keeping a record of servants, employers, tenants and paying guests.

Almost everyone keeping a servant had a mobile phone with camera, but whenever a crime was committed by a servant, the family could not even provide a picture of the accused.

In case of banks and financial institutions, several meetings had been held with their managements, but there was no improvement in the security system.

The direction to not allow mobile phones in banks is violated by most banks. Police sources said though periodical reminders had been sent to banks, there was no improvement in the situation.



Police website lying defunct since 3 years
Gurdeep Singh Mann
Tribune News Service

Khanna, May 22
The Khanna police website, claiming to act on problems of NRIs within 48 hours, has been lying defunct for the past three years.

The website http://www.mykhanna.com/police.html carries a 2005 message and photograph of the SSP, Mohd Faiyaz Farooqui. The police claims to have taken special measures to help NRIs of this police district.

The website also provides e-mail address of the SSP, ssp_khanna@yahoo.com, for direct communication with him pertaining to problems.

The website also seeks views and suggestions regarding improvement in police services. It also claims a follow up e-mail will be sent within 48 hours.

When this correspondent called up at the cell number (9876041001) of the SSP displayed on the website, the phone was attended by a farmer from Sultanpur Lodhi.

The farmer said the number was with the SSP sometime ago, but now he had bought it.

“I have been getting a large number of phone calls from NRIs. I also get calls from Canada and other countries where people inquire about the SSP.

I simply ask them not to call me again as it was my number now,” he said.

An e-mail sent to the SSP’s address was not acknowledged even after three days.

When contacted, the computer branch of the police said an NRI had developed this site and gave the password to the Khanna police.

“We have its password and if anyone sends e-mail to the address given, we can answer queries. But none of the new SSPs have taken an initiative to update it or even use it. We go by official orders, and cannot take an initiative on our own,” police officials said.

The SSP, Gautam Cheema, could not be contacted for his comments.



Slum dwellers made aware on hygiene
Our Correspondent

Doraha, May 22
As part of a 10-day NSS camp, volunteers of GNN College, Doraha, visited Balmiki Mohalla, a slum area of the town, and generated awareness on personal hygiene, cleanliness, abstinence from drugs, etc.

The volunteers discussed the problems being faced by the dwellers. They assured the dwellers of taking up their problems with municipal council authorities. They stressed the need for educating children.

The volunteers also decided to help the poor by contributing towards the education of their kids by helping them in cash and kind.

The dwellers were asked to stay away from drugs and other intoxicants like alcohol, which not only caused serious health problems but also hurt the economic condition of their families. The money thus saved could be spent on education of children instead, they added.

The volunteers also spread awareness on diseases like AIDS, dengue, malaria, cholera, etc.

They advised them on taking precautionary measures to protect themselves from such diseases

Meanwhile, lectures on religion were organised during the camp to make volunteers aware of the importance of faith.

Sikh Missionary College member Ranjit Singh Khalsa and Doraha Sikh Missionary College representative Jagjit Singh were the resource persons.



Stolen jewellery restored to Muthoot Finance
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 22
The city police today restored stolen jewellery to the Muthoot Finance. It was recovered from the two accused who committed a theft in this finance company recently.

The SHO division No.2 said the jewellery was handed over to state head of the company J.N.Sharma. He said a seven member team of the company was camping in its Millergunj office to sort the jewellery that belongs to their clients. Nearly 90 per cent of the jewellery was not mixed. Even sorting out of the remaining jewellery was not much a problem as elaborate steps like design and weight was properly listed.



Attack on docs: IMA meets Badal
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 22
The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has renewed its demand for issuing an ordinance on the Andhra Pradesh pattern which will make an attack on doctors or causing damage to property or equipment at the hospitals or nursing homes, a cognizable offence. Not only this, the offenders will be liable to pay damages to the affected institution.

Office-bearers of the IMA state body, who met Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal yesterday, impressed upon him that the entire medical fraternity was feeling threatened after violent attacks on them if critically-ill patients die during the course of treatment. “Only an effective legislative mechanism can deter the mischievous and unruly mob from taking law into their own hands and ensure safety of doctors and supporting staff where outcome of the treatment was not positive,” the IMA functionaries stressed.

Joint secretary, Punjab state branch of the IMA, Dr Anurag Goswami, said Badal gave a patient hearing to the IMA delegation and showed a CD in this regard to them. The Chief Minister indicated that the demand for issuing ordinance to deal with attacks on medical professionals would be examined and favourably considered, he claimed.

Goswami further said the IMA was upset over the ruckus created by the mob at Doaba Hospital in Jalandhar. “The patient’s relatives went on rampage and beat up the doctor, besides causing damage to the hospital. The IMA strongly feels that even if the doctor was at fault in this case, there were proper channels to raise the issue and seek justice,” he added.

Earlier, IMA office-bearers went to Jalandhar to enquire about the condition of Dr Ashutosh, who was admitted to Satyam Hospital. The IMA also appreciated setting-up of a three-member fact finding committee which included O.P.S. Kande, Gursharan Singh (Ludhiana) and Jagjit Singh (Delhi).



Teachers seek elections to state association
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 22
Resentment prevails among government college teachers over not holding elections to the state body of the Government College Teachers Association (GCTA) for almost a year.

Teachers feel that they should have newly elected representatives of the GCTA who can hold talks with the government regarding their demands.

In a press note today, GCTA unit president Prof Surinder Singh Bomb alleged that the “so-called” present office-bearers of the GCTA had lost the confidence of teaching community and were no longer elected representatives of teachers.

“I am long associated with the association and I have seen the functioning of the GCTA for the past many years,” he said, adding that it was unfortunate that most government college teachers were not members of the association because of its “undemocratic” way of functioning.

Bomb further alleged that “former” GCTA president was campaigning for a “politically” sponsored candidate for the Senate elections, something that had never happened in the past.

Teachers felt that the government and official machinery should not hold talks with non-elected office-bearers who had no mandate of the teachers.

He said they would hold a meeting of senior teachers of state government colleges to elect new leadership of GCTA.

Meanwhile, Dr Mukesh Arora and Prof Jagpal Singh, senior GCTA members, have condemned the “anti-government college teachers attitude” of present state president of association.

They said no office-bearer of the association had the right to campaign for president or general secretary of a non-government college teacher body and issue joint press statements.

GCTA Punjab president Prof Jaipal Singh said supporting a candidate from a private college was not an offence.

“Should contestants for senate elections from government colleges not demand support from private college teachers? It is a serious allegation that I was supporting a politically motivated candidate,” he said, adding that even elections of local unit of the GCTA were pending.

“Elections are not a problem. We will convene a meeting of state council shortly to decide the date of GCTA elections,” said Prof Jaipal.



Remove encroachments

Some plot owners on Sham Singh Road have extended their boundary walls 5 to 6 feet towards the road, making it narrow. The road has, within its periphery, a dozen colleges and schools, banks, SBI's treasury branch, mini secretariat, Feroze Gandhi Market, prestigious hotels and a shopping centre.

It is much preferred road as it provides a shortcut and save commuters from nerve-shattering traffic of Ferozepur Road, which runs parallel to it.

The MC authorities must ensure the removal of the encroachments.

K.B.S. Sodhi, Ludhiana

Readers are invited to mail letters (not more than 200 words) at "ludhiana@tribunemail.com" or post the same to The Tribune, 1, 2 Improvement Trust Building, Badaur House, Clock Tower, Ludhiana.



Remove taxes to make steel cheaper: ACCI chief
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 22
The local industry has in its list of problems submitted to the newly-formed industrial boards sought to redress issues like high electricity costs and hurdles faced in setting the base in the Focal Points.

“The state government has increased the octroi on power from 4 paisa to 10 paisa. The bulk of the steel used by the small and medium units is produced locally. So, 10 paisa octroi increases the price of steel by Rs 100 a tonne and another 6 paisa raise hike the steel prices by Rs 60 or more," P.D. Sharma, president, Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said.

Steel could become cheaper by as much as Rs 500 per tonne if the burden of a few taxes was removed, he added.

Taking up the issue of land prices in the industrial areas and Focal Points, Sharma said these were fixed by the deputy commissioner for the purpose of registration. "Prices of adjoining areas are applicable in these areas. As a result entrepreneurs cannot purchase land in industrial areas and Focal Points. Thus, the process of development gets blocked." The Chamber has urged the government to reduce the rates of land registration to give a fillip to developmental process.

The Chamber also said plots in Focal Points were, in most cases, allotted on leasehold basis.” PSIEC allows the conversion of leasehold to ownership. This conversion is done at the current rate of the land which is very high.Even the stamp duty is very high. The government should convert the plots into ownership at the same rate at which they were allotted, as there is no actual sale and purchase."



PSEB Class VIII Exam
Ankit tops in district
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 22
Ankit Luthra, a student of RS Model Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar, has brought laurels to the city by securing ninth position in the state in the Class VIII board examination conducted by the Punjab school Education Board (PSEB).

Ankit Luthra, who scored 92 per cent marks in the examination, has also secured top position in the district.

Ankit, who wants to be an engineer, devoted much of his time to studies. “I spent eight to nine hours every day on studies.”

“I was confident of securing top position in the state. However, topping the district and securing ninth position in the state is not a bad result either,” says an upbeat Ankit Luthra.

“When you achieve something, talking to your father gives immense pleasure,” said elated Ankit Luthra.

Ankit along with his mother Sudesh Luthra, sister Ankita and other relatives met school principal Mohan Lal Kalra this evening.

Kalra congratulated him for his success and said 16 students of the school had figured in the state merit list. Five students of the school figured among top 100 in the merit list.



From Schools
Seminar highlights problems of adolescents
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 22
A seminar to address the issues of adolescents and counsel them on behavioural and emotional problems was held at BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School today.

Teachers and students from various schools attended the seminar. The programme began with the lighting of ceremonial lamp followed by welcome of the panel of experts.

The seminar aimed at highlighting various issues and problems concerning adolescents and suggesting measures for the same.

Kuldeep Kaur spoke on “Identity crisis among adolescents” followed by Raman Nayyar, director, Golden Public School, Ambala, who discussed “Aggression among adolescents ways to handle it”.

Dr Krishnanand Chaudhary, professor and head, clinical psychology, CMCH, while discussing “Emotional instability among adolescents”, highlighted the techniques and strategies to handle stress and emotional mood swings.

Harpreet Kang, reader, Punjab College of Technical Education, Baddowal, spoke on “Over exposure to electronic media”.

Poem recitation

An inter-house poem recitation competition in Hindi and English was held for students of middle section today.

In English poem recitation, Lamia Fatima came first, followed by Kritika and Richa Sethi in second and third spot. Consolation prize was won by Pavika Makkar.

In Hindi recitation, Ishita Khurana came first, followed by Anisha Dhawan and Vridhi Gumber.

Consolation prize was won by Kanupriya and Akanksha Sharma.

Summer camp

Students of Lovely Lotus School enjoyed water games during the ongoing summer camp, here today.

Apart from singing and dancing, students were told historical tales to enhance their knowledge.

Dramas and skits were presented by students. Also, yoga and meditation classes were organised for students to lead a stress-free life.



Four drug peddlers get 10 yrs jail
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 22
Court of Additional Sessions Judge A.K.Mehta has convicted four persons on the charges of possessing narcotics. They have been sentenced to undergo 10 years imprisonment each. Fine of Rs 1 lakh each has also been imposed upon them.

The accused have been identified as Amarjit Singh of Patiala, Joginder Singh, alias Ginda of Shimlapuri, Ludhiana, Satnam Singh of Basant Nagar, Shimplapuri, Ludhiana and Parminder Lal of Nawanshahar.

According to prosecution, the accused were coming from Doraha side in an Indica car and were stopped by a police team. Four bags of poppy husk weighing 32 kg each were recovered from their possession. However, the accused pleaded not guilty and claimed they were falsely implicated. But, after appreciating the evidence on record, the court found them guilty and sentenced accordingly.



Admn to inspect Dhussi bandh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 22
Deputy commissioner Sumer Singh Gurjar has directed the district flood committee to inspect the entire stretch of Dhussi bandh along the Sutlej in the wake of ensuing monsoon. A team of district officials would conduct a survey of the bandh on May 24. The team has also been asked to identify the vulnerable sites. He said this while addressing a meeting of officials of various departments here today. He directed authorities concerned to make elaborate arrangement for tackling the flood-like situation.

He asked the officials of drainage department to circulate the priority list of the flood protection works to be undertaken at the Dhussi bandh and other parts of the district among the SDMs concerned. He even told them to visit the sites of proposed works in the list falling in their subdivisions and submit the verification report. Gurjar asked the XEN (drainage) and DRO to set up control rooms equipped with phones at the district and subdivisions headquarters and circulate the numbers among the officers.

These control rooms would function round-the-clock from July 1. He even told the XEN to set up information and warning system at his office,which would remain connected with Bhakra Head Works to collect the information regarding the discharge of water into the river and to further give this information to officers concerned without any delay.



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