L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Gujjar protest spills over
Traffic blocked on Jalandhar bypass

Tribune News Service

Gujjars lay siege

Gujjars burn the effigy of Vasundhra Raje on Saturday.
Gujjars burn the effigy of Vasundhra Raje on Saturday.
A heavy posse of police scans the disrupted area in Ludhiana.
A heavy posse of police scans the disrupted area in Ludhiana.
Traffic held up by protesters on the Jalandhar bypass.
Traffic held up by protesters on the Jalandhar bypass.

An activist stops a truck. Photos: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, May 31
The Gujjar protest today spilled over to the city with several members of the community staging a dharna and blocking traffic on the busy Jalandhar bypass against the Rajasthan government.

Expressing solidarity towards their brethren in Rajasthan, the Gujjars held a rally in Dana Mandi and then marched towards the Jalandhar bypass. There they sat on a dharna for an hour and burnt the effigy of Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhra Raje.

The traffic police had to remain on its toes as serpentine queues of held-up traffic caused a total chaos in the area. Hundreds of commuters were delayed from reaching their destinations. The harassed commuters had to sit in their vehicles in scorching sun while waiting for the traffic to move. It was only after they lifted the dharna that traffic could be cleared.

Threatening to intensify their agitation, if they were not heard, the Gujjars said they would resort to observing fast in the city. They said they were resorting to a peaceful protest for the time being but would block road and rail traffic, if not heard. While raising slogans against the Rajasthan government, they said the demand of reservation by the Gujjars was justified.

They said they had appealed to the Rajasthan government to fulfil the demands of the Gujjars but their appeals fell on deaf ears. They even appealed to the Chief Minister, Punjab, to criticise the Rajasthan government's high-handedness in handling the issue. But the Punjab government, too, did not care, said the protesting members of the community.

They rued that last year also as many as 25 people of their community were killed in the upheaval. Even the elderly and children were thrown out of their houses. Moreover, hundreds of Gujjars were arrested by the state government.

‘‘We also support the demand made by members of our community in Rajasthan. We had demanded that the government should pay Rs 25 lakh each to the families of those who lost their lives. A member of their families should be given employment on sympathetic grounds. But nobody cared,’’ said Krishan Dev Bhumbla, a leader of Gujjars.

After lifting the dharna, the Gujjars moved towards the deputy commissioner's office in open jeeps, supporting black flags as a mark of protest. The convoy passed through Ferozepore Road before reaching the DC’s office. They submitted a memorandum to the Punjab Governor through the DC. 



Consumers queue up to buy fuel
Demand goes up by 30 pc
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 31
The prolonged wait for the government's verdict on fuel prices is causing uncertainty with consumers resorting to panic buying in bulk and the dealers, on the other hand, refusing fuel, leading to frequent altercations between the two.

Consumers could be seen queueing up at petrol stations in the city to get fuel filled in drums of varied sizes today.

Daily demand has risen by more than 30 per cent, said dealers, who are now trying to convince customers not to make bulk purchases. While premium fuel is easily available and supply of petrol, too, has not been affected much, it is diesel that is being bought in bulk by industrialists and agriculturists.

A couple of days ago, panic buying was restricted to petrol stations in villages around the city but the problem has now spread to urban areas as well.

"Panic buying is on an all-time high. A consumer who bought, say 10 litres, now wants 50 litres. At our petrol station, the demand has risen by at least four to five times. But we are facing a lot of problems in getting oil from the depot. The uncertainty regarding pricing has created a lot of confusion," said Rulya Mal Amar Chand, a petrol dealer in Raikot.

As stocks are exhausting fast and dealers are unable to get enough supply to meet the existing demand, most of them are refusing fuel to customers or asking them to buy a lesser quantity.

"They refused to fill diesel worth more than Rs 500 whereas I had asked for double the quantity. It is quite harassing for a customer who wants to get the tank filled," rued Parminder Singh, a resident. On account of hoarding, many consumers complained that petrol dealers in rural areas were charging higher than the prevailing rates.

"Uncertainty has worsened the situation. The government should stop thinking of political benefits and refrain from making statements about the hike. They should, instead, take the decision quickly,” said J.P. Khanna.



World No Tobacco Day Today
Anti-Smoking Act goes up in smoke 
Police looks the other way to complaints

Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 31
As many as 100 kiosks selling tobacco products located within 100 metres of different educational institutes in the city are cocking a snook at the Anti- Smoking Act that came into being four years ago.

According to the provisions of the Act, a tobacco kiosk cannot be run at a distance of 100 metres from a school, a college or any other educational institution. The provision is being flouted with impunity and neither the school authorities nor the enforcement agencies have ever bothered to address the problem.

The stalls selling tobacco and its products can be seen all along the wall of the PAU. They are in plenty in front of Multipurpose School and Singh Sabha School, Model Town. A tobacco-selling stall is running in front of Lord Mahavira College as well as Baba Ishar Singh Public School.

The Act was being thrown to the winds near schools and colleges in Miller Gunj, Shahpur Road, Jawahar Nagar, Sarabha Nagar, Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, Hambran Road, Civil Lines, Ghumar Mandi and Rajguru Nagar.

Many kiosks, which existed near Ramgarhia College of Education, Millergunj, till two years ago continue to function from the same place. A school in Jawahar Nagar, another on Naulakha Road have a kiosk each near the buildings.

The saddest part is that several schoolchildren can be seen buying products from these stalls and get hooked to the deadly product but nobody seems to care, says Dr Deepinder Singh, associate professor, Lord Mahavira College, Haibowal, who conducted a survey of such stalls running in every nook and cranny of the city.

‘‘It was unfortunate that the provision had no impact in the city. Shockingly none of the authorities of these institutes complained against the menace. During our surveys for the last two consecutive years, we found that the stalls were staying put, ’’ said Dr Deepinder.

And if they took up the matter with the police, there was no response. ‘‘Like in our case, a man sells such products from the outside wall of our college. We complained to the Haibowal police eight months ago. No action has followed ever since,’’ he said.

He added that these educational institutions were the main targets of the Act as several studies showed that children had their first experience of such harmful indulgence at these places only.



Medicos vow to abstain from tobacco
Our Correspondent

Students of Greenland School at a rally organised on World No Tobacco Day in Ludhiana on Saturday.
Students of Greenland School at a rally organised on World No Tobacco Day in Ludhiana on Saturday. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Mandi Ahmedgarh May 31
Constituents of a few medical, educational and social organisations vowed to abstain from the consumption of tobacco and tobacco products and associate themselves with the crusade launched against the menace so that others might be warned of its hazardous effects of tobacco.

The oath was administered on the occasion of World No Tobacco Day observed at the Hind Institute of Paramedical Sciences here today. A seminar was jointly organised by health and institute authorities. SMO K.S. Khurana presided over the function and district health officer, Sangrur, K.C Goel, was the chief guest.

Terming implementation of the Tobacco Control Act as the need of the hour, Goel called upon officer-bearers of a few social and educational organisations to join hands with the health authorities in minimising its hazardous effects.

He illustrated that more than 400 chemicals, including nicotine, polycyclic hydrocarbons and Benzo tar, could cause fatal diseases like cancer and cardiovascular diseases.

Jyoti Kapoor, a pathologist, claimed that tobacco consumption in general and smoking in particular had been known as the main cause of chest diseases, including tuberculosis and lung cancer. She pointed out that passive smoking was even more harmful than active smoking.

Meenakshi enumerated adverse affects of smoking and tobacco consumption on a child during intrauterine life and infancy. She disclosed that expectant and the lactating mothers suffer the most due to passive smoking.

Pardeep Sharda and Kedar Kapila, secretary and president, local unit of Rotary Club, called upon teachers and students to identify their role in maintaining a healthy society.

IMA holds seminar

To mark World No Tobacco Day, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) organised a seminar at Lakra Industries, Focal Point, here today. speaking on the occasion, Dr Harsh Sharma said every year 9 lakh people in India die due to tobacco-related diseases. If effective steps were not taken, the number could rise four times by 2015.

IMA president Dr Arun Mitra cautioned that tobacco caused ulcers in mouth, throat and the voice box. Cancer in these parts was more common among tobacco users. Dr R.K.Sharma, Dr Satish Nauhria and Dr Naveen Sikka called upon the people to shed the use of tobacco in any form as the non-user (passive smoker) was equally affected. The doctors demanded complete ban on such industries and on advertisements.

The health department also organised a function at Government Primary School, Gill village. Dr G.K.Bansal said tobacco was a silent killer and by the time the person comes to know about the cancer, it gets too late. Similar function was also organised by Bhartiya Valmiki Adi Dharam Samaj.

Protest today

The Punjab ophthalmic officers' association will organise a state-level protest rally at Jalandhar tomorrow. Its vice-president Harpal Singh and general secretary Harjeet Singh in a joint press note issued here today stated that the rally would be organised to protest against the non-implementation of their long-pending demands. Both members said the principal secretary (Health) in the presence of the director (Health) had agreed to all demands but same had not been implemented till date.



Sukhdev’s House
Legal heir joins issue with trust
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 31
Joining the issue of declaring martyr Sukhdev's ancestral house as a protected monument with Shaheed Sukhdev Memorial trust, a nephew of the martyr today said that he had himself donated it to the state government and the trust had no locus standi to claim it.

Bharat Bhushan Thapar, Sukhdev's nephew, who claims himself to be a legal heir to his house, confronted the members of the trust, who had opposed the taking over of the house by the government.

Thapar said three months ago, he had written to the state government through the deputy commissioner that he agreed in principle to donate the house for protecting it as a memorial.

Claiming himself to be the only alive blood relation of the martyr, Thapar said he inherited the house and he wanted the government to conserve it so that it could be passed on to next generations.

‘‘Why should the trust have any objections to it? None of our family members is a member of that trust. They are themselves wanting to protect that house when the family wants it to be passed on to the government,’’ said Thapar.

The trust had yesterday stated that they would challenge the decision of the state government pertaining to the memorial. Its representative, Ashok Thapar, had stated that the government had not taken them into confidence before declaring it as a building of historical importance.

Meanwhile, Shaheed Sukhdev Yadgari Committee, a non-government organisation, which had protected the outer portion of the house, welcomed the decision of the government to conserve it.

Dr Hardeep Singh, president of the committee, said they wanted that the government should protect it. ‘‘We feel sad that it was declared a monument of historical importance after six decades of Independence. But still it is better late than never,’’ he said. 



2 sewermen die of asphyxia
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 31
Two sewermen died while cleaning a sewer manhole in Focal Point area here today.

The two, Naresh Kumar (40) and Bittu Kumar (34), had entered inside the manhole without wearing a safety kit and were asphyxiated due to poisonous gases in the manhole in the predominantly industrial area.

One of them entered the manhole and fainted. Seeing his condition, the other one followed and he, too, went unconscious. Persons standing nearby raised a lot of hue and cry. The fire brigade was also called. A fire man, Vijay Kumar, retrieved them from the manhole. When they were taken out, they had already died.

A team of officials from the MC rushed to the spot. Their bodies were sent for postmortem to the civil hospital.



City remains powerless for over eight hours
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 31
The electricity supply was disrupted for more than eight hours in many areas of the city today, following "preventive maintenance" by the department. With mercury hovering around 40 degree celsius, the residents had to bear the severe heat without power.

The power supply was disrupted in areas including Civil Lines, Rani Jhansi road, Major Sham Singh road, Ghumar Mandi, Pakhowal road, Sant Ishar Singh Nagar, Gurdev Nagar, Sarabha Nagar, Aman Nagar, Mini Secretariat, District Courts Complex, Haibowal Kalan, Udham Singh Nagar and certain areas in Kitchlu Nagar, etc from 8 am till 4.30 pm.

Condemning the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) for imposing "unannounced" long power cuts, one of the residents of HIG flats, Rani Jhansi enclave, Shalini, said the residents had no choice but to bear the brunt. "What else we can do? The coolers and fans have stopped working as the inverter's back-up is finished. There is no electricity since morning. The government has failed to provide uninterrupted power supply to the consumers", she complained, adding that in the absence of electricity, the colony residents faced water scarcity too.

As if this was not enough, the noise and air pollution caused by generators added to the problem. Rajdeep Singh, a resident of Sarabha Nagar, said the problem was further aggravated due to noise caused by generators. "Our residence is near the main market and the continuous noise of generators becomes intolerable at times", he said.

Meanwhile, B.S. Bhath, chief engineer, PSEB here, said it was a planned shut down. He said since preventive maintenance of electrical equipment was necessary, the supply had to be cut for a few hours. "If we do not take such steps, there are chances of a power breakdown, leading to additional complications. These are planned cuts and we generally provide prior information to the consumers", said Bhath.



Taxing Toll
NHAI facilities negligible

Potholed roads leave commuters fuming

Our Correspondent

Doraha, May 31
The potholed toll road, particularly between Sahnewal and Doraha or for that matter even beyond, speaks of the negligible facilities being provided by the National Highway Authority of India to the commuters in lieu of the exorbitant toll fee being charged.

Even as the toll rates have been revised and the single entry for cars which was Rs 45 earlier is Rs 65 now; for light commercial vehicles it has been raised from Rs 80 to Rs 110; for trucks and buses it is Rs 220 instead of Rs 160 and for heavy commercial vehicles it has been increased from Rs 340 to Rs 470, the commuters question the poor upkeep of roads maintained by the NHAI. Commuters are aghast over the loot being committed on the pretext of revised toll rates and merge facilities being provided by the NHAI.

As far as the condition of the road is concerned it is simply pitiable. A commuter rued, “It’s a very tiresome ride especially between Sahnewal and Doraha as the road is full of potholes. We are paying heavily out of our pockets for a road that is full of potholes and you never know when has to apply sudden brakes to cross the bumpy road ahead safely. It has been nearly five years now since the implementation of toll tax but not even once has the recarpeting been done. Instead the road is temporarily patched up and the potholes take no time to reappear”. “They aren’t ashamed to patch the road while garbing money in lakhs from the commuters?” questioned another commuter.

Further the claims of the toll authorities to provide emergency services to the accidental victims too have fallen flat. On numerous occasions the injured breathed their last due to the non-availability of first aid vehicle on the road. Many commuters complain that the emergency van of NHAI, which is supposed to patrol the national highway round-the-clock, could be seen in markets of Doraha, least bothered about a mishap that may have occurred on the humming road.

One of the commuters suggested that the emergency numbers should be displayed on the passes that are issued to them regularly so that they might call for assistance as and when required. Although emergency numbers are being displayed on signboards erected after every 2km to 4 km, commuters rued that in case of accident, whom should the aggrieved person call for help?

As far as the spot clearance of the accidental vehicles is concerned, it is almost negligible. It took more than 40 hours for the toll authorities to clear a truck that had overturned near the toll plaza.



Beware of astrologers

The number of tantriks and astrologers is increasing in Punjab, particularly in Ludhiana. Most of them come from other states to make huge amounts of money.

The people who want to achieve something without putting in hard work or intend to harm someone fall into their trap. The astrologers pretend to provide solutions to their problems. In reality, they create more problems rather than solving them.

In the modern and competitive era, why don’t we believe in hard work and adopt a positive attitude towards life?

Tantriks and astrologers must be banned.

Jaigopal Kusla, 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.



Rajasthani textiles exhibited
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 31
Twelve artisans from Rajasthan have put up heir products at an exhibition organised by the Samrat Hath Karga Vastra Co-operative Society.

Suits, women and kids wear, bed sheets and other items have been displayed at the exhibition that would be on till June 13. "These are hand-printed. Vegetable dyes give them a superior quality,” said Sunil Saraf, exhibition incharge.

The society, promoted by the ministry of textiles, conducts 15 to 20 such exhibitions every year.



Centre to start crop monitoring: Sibal
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh May 31
While union minister for science and technology and earth sciences Kapil Sibal has claimed that technological development has made significant contributions in improving the “grain bowl” (Punjab) agriculture, a few leaders led by Congress legislator Jasbir Singh Jassie contended more research and development was required in agricultural equipment. This was stated by Sibal after inaugurating Satwinder Sukhi Memorial Dispensary at Khadoor village near here.

“But despite all this over 60 crore people living in 6, 15,000 villages are earning less than Rs 100 daily,” said Sibal asserting that the nation could not be termed great unless lifestyle of the villagers improve.

Showing concern over discordant attitude of a few politicians, Sibal called upon politicians to place the nation above self. Advocating more powers for the panchayats, Sibal maintained that the state governments should separately pass panchayat-wise budgetary legislation.

He disclosed that the union government would soon launch a project that would enable farmers of the state get progress of their crops gauzed and monitored weekly at district level.

Later while talking to The Tribune, Sibal admitted that there was a lack of coordination between the union and state government departments and decisions taken at upper level were not implemented. He warned that water would become a rare commodity, in case remedial action was not taken to check ground water depletion.

Accusing state government of discriminating rural people, MLA Jasbir Singh Khangura alleged that adequate grants were not issued for development of villages.

“While budgets for urban civic bodies are announced on the onset of financial year, we are told nothing about budget of panchayats located in area of rural constituencies,” rued Jassie.

General secretary, Akhil Bhartya Panchayati Sangathan, N.C. Gaur, its state president Parkash Kaur and office-bearer of the sarpanches’ body Sukhdev Singh Bareke rued that at least 29 departments of Panchayati rule existed only in papers. They demanded that the union government should impress upon the state government to stop gagging elected representatives of villagers in general and Congress panches in particular. The speakers accused the SAD government of get nominations of a large number of Congress candidates for panchayat elections rejected.



School board course materials gathering dust
Mohit Khanna

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 31
Heaps of course materials issued by the Punjab School Education Department (PSEB) are gathering dust at Punjabi Bhawan as there are no takers for it.The course material were meant for private students appearing for Class VIII, X and XII PSEB board examination.As guides of all subjects are available in the market, there is no taker for these course materials. Even education department officials consider these books as useless.

Kamaljit Kaur, manager, Punjabi Bhawan,said: “The department is going to auction these books. These are of no use as students are not showing any interest”. As the piles of course material have occupied much of the space, there is hardly any space left for the department employees to sit.

Educationists and students have expressed their regret,on the manner in which these books are being stored at Punjabi Bhawan. Even the department officials said they do not have space to store these books.

Jasjit Singh, a bookseller, said: "The course material beneficial for the private candidates, who appear for the Class VIII, X and XII board examination respectively.”

He further added, "Rather, taking the benefit of these books the student opts for guides issued by the private publishers which cost double the price as compared to these book.".

The teaching faculty feels that rather then reading the course material students get hold of ready-made material available in the market. Sukjinder Singh, a teacher, said: "We taught our students to worship books and pay utmost respect to it. It is very sad that books are being kept in open at Punjabi Bhawan and eating dust. What kind of message we are sending to students by storing the books in such a manner”?



From Schools
Three-day creativity camp concludes
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 31
A three-day post-exam creativity camp concluded at BCM School here today. The camp aimed at exploring the creativity of students and giving them a chance to express it through myriad activities.

Students honed their skills in drawing, painting, buttoning, hemming, embroidery, art and craft, gift wrapping, origami and mask making.

“It was a refreshing treat to our tired minds after the unit tests” said Abhishek Agarwal, a student of class VII.

“We wanted to make a creative and effective utilisation of the post-exam period. The camp was organised to give the students training in creative skills,” said Vandna Shahi, principal of the school.

No Tobacco Day observed

Green Land Senior Secondary Public School observed World No Tobacco Day by taking out a rally to spread awareness among the students. Around 150 students of the school participated in the rally.

The students also participated in a poster-making competition.

The students of senior classes were told the ill effects of tobacco and the diseases associated with it by Rajesh Rudhra, school director, and Baldeep Pandher, principal.

Yoga camp concludes

A seven-day Yoga camp, organised at Kiddies' Paradise School, concluded here today. Over 100 students participated in the camp.

Yoga expert Pinki Cheema gave training of various asanas.

School director Randhir Singh said Yoga improves the learning capacity.



Raninder’s passport released
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 31
Court of Sessions Judge G.K.Rai today passed orders for releasing the passport of Raninder Singh, son of former Chief Minister Captain Amrinder Singh for a limited duration. He is one of the accused in the alleged multi-crore City Centre Scam.

Earlier, he had moved the High Court seeking release of his passport for going abroad. But the court had directed him to move the trial court which he did on May 29.

Meanwhile, another accused Chetan Gupta, a Delhi-based businessman, today moved an application seeking permission to go abroad from June 9 to June 15.



190 cases settled in lok adalat
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 31
More than 190 cases involving disputes worth Rs 4.99 crore were settled in the quarterly lok adalat held under the supervision of chairman of the Legal Services Authority, Ludhiana, G.K.Rai.

Eleven Benches were constituted to hear the cases. The Sessions Judge inspected the working of Bench headed by Additional Sessions Judge M.S.Virdi. This Bench awarded compensation worth Rs 4.80 lakh to Charanjit Kaur of Boparai Kalan village, whose husband had died in an accident.



World’s largest religious painting under creation
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 31
Six months’ hard work of a painter of making the world’s largest oil painting of Golden Temple is all set to borne fruit now. A team of experts from Limca Book of World Records have visited Ramgarhia School last week where the 51 ft x 12 ft painting is under creation.

Painter Ashok Kumar, a constable with the Punjab police, had to halt the work due to want of funds. The work has restarted now with Pushpinder Singh, a CIA inspector, and Kumar Sahil, a cine artist, donating Rs 50,000 and 3 tola gold, respectively.

Ashok who belongs to a poor family started the painting as thanks-giving to the Almighty for getting job in the Punjab police. Later, he learnt this could be the world’s largest painting.

“I started the work in a gurudwara. Ranjodh Singh, president of the management of Ramgarhia School, helped me to provide space in the school," said Ashok.

Ashok had shot into fame two years ago when he was given Rs 20,000 by former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam for making his portrait. SSP A.S. Rai took his help in making sketches to solve many cases including the Bikramjeet murder case.



Sub-junior swimming championship today
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, May 31
At least 200 swimmers are expected to take part in the 24th edition of the Sub-Junior Punjab State Swimming Championship to be organised by the Ludhiana District Swimming Association at the municipal corporation swimming pool, Rakh Bagh, here tomorrow.

Participants will compete in all national swimming events conducted during the one-day meet. Boys and girls in the age groups of nine to 10 years and 11 to 12 years, respectively, from across the state will be vying for top honours.

In the last year's championship held at Amritsar, Sangrur secured the first position in the boy's nine-10 years section while the second spot was bagged by Patiala. In the 11 to 12 years category, Amritsar lads bagged the title and Sangrur finished runners-up.

Similarly, in the girl's section (nine to 10 years), Ludhiana came out winners while Ropar eves had to content with the second position. In the 11 to 12 year's section, Patiala swimmers proved their mettle to clinch the title and Sangrur eves followed them at the second spot.

Sangrur swimmers proved too good and garnered more points than opponents to emerge as overall champions. Meanwhile, a 24 member squad will represent Ludhiana district in this event. The names of the selected swimmers are: boy's group III (11 to 12 years)- Balteshwar Singh, Manavdeep Singh, Bharat Sood, Prabhdeepak Singh, Saksham Kapoor, Nawab Kang and Anmol Kang. Group IV (nine to 10 years)- Sukhraj Singh, Sarfraj Singh, Rohan Chirag, Rytham and Kovid Kanda. Girls group III (11 to 12 years)- Shubhkaran Dhaliwal, Ishpreet Kaur, Japneet Kesar, Pukhraj Gill, Simran Brar and Guntaj Grewal. Group IV (nine to 10 years)- Mani Mehtab Dhaliwal, Purneet Grewal, Divya Jain, Kirti Monga and Gurmehar Kaur.On the basis of their performance in this meet, the Punjab teams will be selected for the 25th Sub-Junior National Aquatic Championship slated to be held at Kolkata from June 26 to 29.

Commissioner, municipal corporation, Ludhiana, Vikas Partap, will inaugurate the championship at 9 am on Sunday and cabinet minister Hira Singh Gabria will be chief guest.



Health director raids ESI hospital, dispensary
Staff, docs found absent

Tribune News Service

Mandi Gobindgarh, May 31
Director of the Punjab Health Systems Corporation (PHSC) Y.C. Markan along with a team of officials raided the State Insurance Hospital (ESI) and a dispensary today and found a few staff, doctors and safai karamcharis absent from their duties.

Sources revealed that the raiding team had taken the absence of staff and anomalies in the hospital are functioning seriously.” Only a few patients have got themselves checked since its inception and hardly any doctor is available in the hospital”, said Balwinder, a resident who regularly gets himself examined in the hospital and ESI dispensary. A large number of senior functionaries and politicians had visited this hospital earlier, but nothing has been done to improve its condition, the resident stated.

The sources revealed that about a year ago the portion where hospital exists was occupied by Punjab police officials. There was no electricity to this hospital. The entire thing was streamlined a few months back. Despite that patients prefer to stay away from this hospital due to the lack of equipments and doctors.

Constructed at the cost of over Rs 2.7 crores, the state-of-the art hospital if used properly could benefit thousands of employees insured under the ESI scheme in Mandi Gobindgarh. The 50-bedded hospital was set up a few years ago. A majority of the employees of the steel rolling and re-rolling mills come under the preview of the ESI scheme as their income is below Rs 10,000 per month-the mandatory condition for enrolling as the beneficiary under the scheme, said residents.



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