Water in Sutlej recedes below 19,000 cusecs
Ludhiana, August 17
The receding water had, however, eroded the river bundh at some places, which may cause harm if corrective measures are not taken in time.
District administration has other problems at hand with the state government releasing Rs 55 lakh grant for flood control so far.
The administration had sought over Rs 10 crore for the repair of spurs and studs besides strengthening of Dhussi bundh.
Though the administration, aided by police, is on maximum alert at sensitive points like Khehra Bet, Machhiwara, Qasabad, Mattewara, Dhulewal and areas surrounding these places, the officials have heaved a sigh of relief after the water receded to the comfortable level today.
"For the first time in last one week, the water level came down to 20,000 cusecs today morning. By afternoon, it went below 19,000 cusecs," said an official spokesman of the district administration here this evening.
Punjab minister Hira Singh Gabria, along with district administration officials, inspected the flood control arrangements at Qasabad, where Sutlej water had entered Bhattian Bet sewerage treatment plant two days ago.
Residents of villages like Garhi Sheru, Dhulewal, Issapur, Khehra Bet, Mattewara, all situated close to the river, had sleepless nights for a week as water level rose. One more heavy rain would have forced the administration to evacuate them.
While rain and receding water eroded the Dhussi bundh, several kilometers long bandh protecting Ludhiana district from Machhiwara to Jagraon, villagers have only protection in form of sand bags that were provided by the administration.
"The water level has gone down but if it comes back, only God would save us. The
Dhulewal remains the most sensitive point with the administration has sent a team there to meet with any eventuality. Police at Samrala and Jagraon has also kept a round-the-clock vigil at these points.
Road caves in, LIT unresponsive
Ludhiana, August 17
The situation took a turn for worse when a portion of the main road caved in following heavy rains a few days back.
According to area residents, a big portion of the side berm of the road caved in creating a huge crater, which posed a threat to road users.
Although the matter was reported to the officials of Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) immediately after the road was damaged, but till now there has been no response from them nor have any steps been taken to repair the damaged road.
The builders of the City Centre project, at their own level, had filled up the damaged portion of the road with sand, but still the site remained an accident-prone area.
Condition of the other roads in the colony, especially in F-Block near BSNL complex, was no better, said Subhash Verma, secretary of Kabir Colony Welfare Association.
"Roads and green belts in the entire colony are in a state of total neglect, upper surface of the roads have completely disappeared and almost all the roads are dotted with pot holes and massive depressions. About the sanitation level, the less said the better," he complained.
The residents were wary of indifferent and apathetic attitude of LIT officials, whom they charged with being unresponsive to the civic and other problems of the colony.
"We have been left to fend for ourselves with bad roads, poorly maintained parks, heaps of garbage, herds of stray cattle. Threats of accidents and outbreak of diseases are looming large over our heads," they said.
Mini train all set to start from today
Ludhiana, August 17
The municipal corporation has been ignoring the train since long. Its trial run attracted a large number of children from the surrounding areas today.
However, all this would not have been possible without Tarun Jain, husband of ward No. 52 councillor Ruchi Jain, who took personal interest in rolling out this toy train.
"I saw this train chugging in the park about 10 years ago. I still have not been able to understand why this toy train, which was quite popular among the children,was locked in the shed," he asked.
It's surprising that nobody tried to get this train restarted. This decision also snatched the livelihood of numerous small vendors. This train was also popular among residents especially during weekends.
Numerous mechanics tried to run the but failed. Finally, I took the help of Deepak Kumar, a railway employee, who made this train functional, he added.
"The very thought of the train made me nostalgic so when Tarun Jain approached with a proposal to fix the machine, I started working on the project," said Deepak.
His three months hard work finally bore fruit and the train was running on its track. "At first it looked like a difficult task as the entire track was dismantled. We engaged some worker and cleared the shrubs and got the track repaired," said Deepak.
The engine needed a complete overhaul so we decide to replace the old engine with that of 307-matador."
Sunny Kumar of Bhandri builders, who owns the maintenance contract of this ground said, "We have completed all formalities and rest will be completed on Monday."
Sunny said,"We still have to decide as to what would be the cost of each ride on the train but one thing is certain it will give the same kind of enthusiasm which it used to give about seven years ago."
Blocked road causes harassment to residents
Ludhiana, August 17
All vehicles going from the Fountain Chowk, Dandi Swami Road or Bindraban Road towards the Domoria Bridge were diverted towards the road adjoining the DIG office and vice-versa by traffic cops posted at the Old Sessions Chowk and Nigam Market near Domoria Bridge.
While the policemen were evasive when asked about the reason behind traffic diversions, there were angry exchanges between people and the traffic police.
The management of a gurdwara near the Nigam Market has barricaded the entire stretch for organising a function in connection with foundation stone laying ceremony of the new building and a medical camp.
Situation further worsened when activists of the Shri Govind Sewa Society sat on a hunger strike near the Kailash Cinema Chowk. People living in Guru Nanakpura, Rajinder Nagar, Upkar Nagar, Bank Street, Luxmi Street could not venture out in street as the road blockade continued throughout the day.
Shopkeepers, particularly the sweetmeat shops, bakeries and fruit shops in Kailash Cinema Chowk, for whom Sunday morning used to be a busy day, had to miss out on a major share of their business as a few customers turned.
But most of them had to return disappointed after their vehicles were not allowed to go beyond the Sessions Chowk.
The residents of the affected areas were particularly sore at the road being encroached upon in the presence of the police personnel.
“The cops were rather found supporting this unlawful act and assisting in traffic diversion, thereby harassing people,” complained Sant Singh, an angry resident of Guru Nanakpura.
Depression among kids on rise
Ludhiana, August 17 The ‘show-off’ culture and the unnecessary comparisons have ended up with children losing their self-confidence. Mother of a child in fifth standard, recently approached a psychiatrist complaining about his son's unwillingness to go to school. After counselling the child for about three days, the psychiatrist drew conclusion that child had developed inferiority complex
as his best friend’s father had recently purchased a new Civic Honda whereas his own father drove old model of Zen. “Not only this, the child complained that all his friends wore latest watches and carried stylish school bags but his mother had refused to get him anything new.” The experts stress when children refuse to eat or play with their friends, throw tantrums, show mood swings, parents must take it seriously as such children may be suffering from depression. Children have become victims of the rising show-off culture in the city. They compare themselves with others and boast about their ‘riches’. But at such a tender age, many
fail to cope up with such unpleasant competitions and suffer from severe anxiety, irritability, violence, depression and even drug addiction in severe cases, warned Dr V.P. Prabhakar, a city-based psychiatrist. Rajani Sharma, a psychologist suggested that parents must keep their children away from such unhealthy competitions. She blamed that parents, to hide their guilt of not spending quality time with
their children, compensate by giving them huge amount of pocket-money, which worsened the situation. Majority of children felt dissatisfied as the parents show helplessness to fulfil their ever-increasing demands. Consumer culture, peer-pressure, availability of luxury goods and lack of vigil on part of parents were certain reasons for depression among kids, she added.
Ludhiana, August 17
The ‘show-off’ culture and the unnecessary comparisons have ended up with children losing their self-confidence.
Mother of a child in fifth standard, recently approached a psychiatrist complaining about his son's unwillingness to go to school.
After counselling the child for about three days, the psychiatrist drew conclusion that child had developed inferiority complex as his best friend’s father had recently purchased a new Civic Honda whereas his own father drove old model of Zen.
“Not only this, the child complained that all his friends wore latest watches and carried stylish school bags but his mother had refused to get him anything new.”
The experts stress when children refuse to eat or play with their friends, throw tantrums, show mood swings, parents must take it seriously as such children may be suffering from depression.
Children have become victims of the rising show-off culture in the city. They compare themselves with others and boast about their ‘riches’.
But at such a tender age, many fail to cope up with such unpleasant competitions and suffer from severe anxiety, irritability, violence, depression and even drug addiction in severe cases, warned Dr V.P. Prabhakar, a city-based psychiatrist.
Rajani Sharma, a psychologist suggested that parents must keep their children away from such unhealthy competitions.
She blamed that parents, to hide their guilt of not spending quality time with their children, compensate by giving them huge amount of pocket-money, which worsened the situation.
Majority of children felt dissatisfied as the parents show helplessness to fulfil their ever-increasing demands.
Consumer culture, peer-pressure, availability of luxury goods and lack of vigil on part of parents were certain reasons for depression among kids, she added.
Seizure of Intoxicants
Ludhiana, August 17
Presiding over a meeting of party workers here today, district president of the morcha Paramjit Singh Sarabha said it was unfortunate that the leaders claiming to represent the masses were involved in trade of addictive drugs.
In such a scenario, what would happen to the younger generations and how could they be saved from the menace of drug addiction, he wondered.
Charging the senior leaders of ruling coalition in Punjab with building castles in the air, Sarabha said on one side the SAD(B) president Sukhbir Badal was talking of ambitious projects like Metro Railway which involved huge capital investment, while on the other side, the government had utterly failed to provide elementary facilities like school education and healthcare to the people.
"Those fighting for their rights in Punjab are facing police brutality, no development worth the name has taken place during one and a half year of SAD-BJP rule and had the nature not come to the rescue of the people of Punjab with adequate rains, the state might have been facing a total black out on account of severe power shortage," he said.
The morcha leader advised state government to address basic problems of common man on priority basis rather than making tall claims of imaginary achievements.
Others present in the meeting were S.P. Sagar, Sadhu Singh Saini, Harpal Singh Toor, Gurdev Singh Bhang and Kala Singh Nambardar.
Despite promises, Budha Nullah remains eyesore
Ludhiana, August 17
The Nullah which was known as “ Budha Darya“ till 1970s has been polluted for the past almost four decades.
In the upstream areas like Machhiwara, it is still known as “ Budha Darya” and its water is clean although some industrial units have come up near Machhiwara and the same have polluted the water.
But the pollution levels at Ludhiana are now beyond redemption. The Municipal Corporation has also not thought of making arrangements to deal with the problem of domestic wastes, including sewage.
What to talk of setting up sewage treatment plants (STPs) to treat domestic wastes, it did not have a proper garbage dumping ground.
The town has been witnessing rapid growth because of industrial expansion and the rise in the population.
The Municipal Committee was elevated to Municipal Corporation in 1975 and it was hoped that things would improve.
But instead of witnessing any improvement, things have been deteriorating because the municipal authorities have even failed to think of having a storm sewer channel to cope with the sullage and sewage of the town.
Successive governments in Punjab could also not visualise that Ludhiana known as the Manchester of India or Osaka of Japan would one day become the most polluted and dirty town of not only Punjab but also of the country.
In 1975, the state government set up a committee under the chairmanship of the then state town planner to suggest ways to check pollution and ensure better civic amenities in this town.
The committee had highlighted the plight of the town and had asked for Rs 100 crore for providing civic facilities, including cleaning the Budha Nullah which had just started getting polluted.
This report was put in the cold store and if any senior officer of the corporation is asked whether a copy of the report is available, the stock reply is: ”We are not aware of any such report.”
There had been a number of proposals to clean and develop the nullah into a tourist spot. The late Dr B.N. Uppal, who retired as director, Irrigation Research Institute, Amritsar, was appointed Professor Emeritus at Punjab Agricultural University by Dr M.S. Randhawa, the then Vice-Chancellor.
He had given a proposal to convert the nullah into a lake. But since the corporation did not have any arrangements to treat the domestic waste nor the industry had adequate number of treatment plants for industrial effluents, the proposal was discarded and industrial and domestic wastes were allowed to be dumped into it.
It is worth mentioning here that in 1970s even some of the large- scale industrial units which had come up in the newly carved Focal Point, Dhandari, did not have treatment plants in their premises and they were dumping all the industrial effluents in front of their factories.
Besides, the corporation and the politicians, the role of the pollution control board which was created in 1975 also calls for a thorough probe.
The central board was set up in 1975 and the states were asked to enact laws to set up state pollution control boards.
The officials recruited in the state pollution control boards were not properly educated and trained.
They also started indulging in corruption and industries which were causing pollution could procure no-objection certificates (NOC) by greasing their palms.
There are reports that even now nearly two hundred dyeing units are functioning in Ludhiana which are illegal and have not set up treatment plants and are discharging untreated effluents in the budha nulla.
It was in 2006, that the Punjab and Haryana High Court took suo-moto notice of the reports in the newspapers regarding the pollution of budha nullah.
The state government was asked to stop discharge of industrial effluents in the budha nullah. This raised hue and cry in the industry as a whole.
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal addressed a meeting of the industry in Ludhiana in April this year and the representatives of the industry brought to his notice the stringent measures taken by the P. Ram Committee and the high court.
The chief minister asked them to come to Chandigarh and said he would ask his officers to help them in preparing their petition in the high court. This reporter was present at the meeting.
The Chief Minister got the shock of his life when a few thousand fish died in the canals passing through Muktsar and Faridkot last month.
The residents of the villages of Malwa also told the chief minister about their plight after consuming canal water which had been polluted by the flow of water from the nullah and the Sutlej and Beas which merge at Harike Pattan. Till then, the chief minister was not aware of the gravity of the situation.
The industry, particularly the dyeing units, deny the allegation that pollution has been caused by the discharge of their industries.
The industry maintains that the discharge is only 15 per cent and the rest of the discharge is the domestic waste which the corporation has failed to treat.
It claims that daily 560 million litres of water is discharged in the Budha Nullah from Ludhiana and the industrial discharge is only 60 million litres.
The Municipal Corporation has established three sewage treatment plants (STP) at Bhatian, Jamalpur and Balloke under the Sutlej Action Plan. But the capacity of these plants is low and cannot cope with the daily discharge in the nullah.
The dyeing factory owners have set up an organisation known as the Federation of Dyeing Associations, Ludhiana, with Vinod Goel of Vardhaman group as its coordinator. This federation is also contesting the case in the high court.
Goel told The Tribune that the dyeing units alone could not be held responsible for the present state of affairs.
The federation would set up its own state of the art laboratory and check the samples of the effluents of the units.
The federation would also set up a monitoring and advisory cell which would make surprise visits to the dyeing units and ensure that the treatment plants were working properly.
They were also organising some consultancy service of international standards to keep the pollution level low.
Goel, however, said that it was difficult to bring to the zero level the pollution in the nullah as sought by the P. Ram Committee.
The high court had not issued any directions to bring down the pollution level to zero discharge.
The federation would also set up a mobile laboratory which would make a random analysis of the effluents of the dyeing units. He said the problem had existed for many years and it could not be tackled overnight.
Ludhiana, August 17
As a group of workers commenced their fast in the Kailash Chowk this morning, the state president of the BJP Rajinder Bhandari garlanded the protesters and assured the support of his party to seek restoration of the land to the shrine board in Srinagar. Swami Dev Vrat Devi of Shri Dandi Swami Gaulok Dham also blessed the samiti members.
Speaking on the occasion, Bhandari announced that this agitation in support of the Shri Amarnath Sangharsh Samiti would continue till the land was handed over to the shrine board.
Samiti functionaries, including Ashok Marwaha, president, and Pawan Sharma, general secretary, said the workers would not hesitate to sacrifice themselves to force the Jammu and Kashmir government and the Union government to amicably resolve the issue without any further delay.
Otherwise, the samiti workers might have to intensify the struggle by sitting on a fast unto death.
Illegal confinement alleged
Ludhiana, August 17
The Akali leader Randhir Singh Sibia told reporters that though his party was in power, but he had to take to the streets as the police had beaten up and illegally confined Gurbaksh Singh in an elopement case of a couple of Aman Nagar.
He alleged that the couple was missing for last many days and Gurbaksh, being close to them, had promised to the cops that he would try to find them out within a week. However, the cops picked him last night just two days after his assurance.
Beant Juneja, SHO, Salem Tabri refuted the allegations. He said the residents had a minor misunderstanding with a head constable over the elopement issue and no one was illegaly confined or beaten up.
Punjab framing new police rules
Ludhiana, August 17
These rules are being framed under the new Punjab Police Act 2008, which was passed by the Punjab Vidhan Sabha in February 2008.
Earlier, the Punjab police rules were framed under the Punjab Police Act 1861 and the rules in 1934 during the British rule.
So far, the police administration has been observing the police rules framed in 1934. The Punjab Police Act 2008 was passed after the Supreme Court’s directions and every state was asked to enact a new law and frame the rules accordingly.
The new rules have to be presented in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha by February 2009. The Punjab police administration has setup a number of committees comprising senior officers of the state police under the overall supervision of J.P. Virdi, ADGP.
Under the new rules, more stress would be on having sufficient identity proof of the criminals as at present they manage to escape after coming on parole or otherwise jump the bail.
Henceforth, the criminal will be issued ID cards by the election commission besides a residential proof.
There are very large numbers of proclaimed offenders at present on the state police records whose whereabouts are not yet known.
To curb drug trafficking, the details of the property owned by the drug smugglers through the smuggling and any other illegal means, have been made so as to attach these as and when needed.
More stress would also be lid on the INA, narco and polygraphic tests to establish the identity of the criminals. Such tests would help the police in identifying the culprits without much difficulty.
Scientific investigations and new technology like computes would be used to tackle hi-tech terrorism.
There is also a proposal to open police training schools at district headquarters where police personnel would be trained on more scientific basis.
No decision yet on pay panel report: CM
Issru (Khanna), August 17
This was stated by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal while addressing mediapersons here today.
"We cannot implement the decision of hiking salaries overnight, just like the Haryana government. Though state government employees are just like our children, we have to look into the matter," he said.
While the Haryana government has already announced the revision of its pay packages by 21 per cent, equivalent to those of Central government employees, Punjab is to take a decision in this regard.
Regarding Sukhbir Badal contesting Lok Sabha elections from Bathinda seat, Badal said there was no truth in rumours of Sukhbir contesting elections from Bathinda.
Refuting allegations of lack of any preparations to tackle floods in the state, he said floods were unexpected, and now all deputy commissioners had been told to fight the problem tooth and nail.
He said all political parties of the state should form a panel to discuss problems of decreasing agricultural land, sick industries and drug addiction.
Congmen welcome Amarinder
Doraha, August 17
Capt Amarinder Singh, who was accompanied by Congress leaders Raninder Singh, Hardial Singh Kamboj and Vijay Inder Singh, was received on the National Highway near Society Petrol Pump by Bant Singh Daburjee, a Congress leader, Harminder Singh, a Block Samiti member, Jasminder Singh Jassa, Malwinder Singh, Adarsh Pal Bector, Surinder Pal Sood, Narinder Anglish, Rajinder Singh Gheer, Inderjit Singh Saloo, Rajinder Singh Guni, sarpanch, Rampur, and Malkiat Singh Araichan.
The congress leaders, apart from expressing their thanks to Sonia Gandhi, president, AICC, for assigning such a responsible post to Amarinder Singh, assured their full cooperation and active support to the latter in the elections.
Hospital opens network centre
Mandi Ahmedgarh, August 17
Regretting that quality medicare in India was not accessible to the majority of the Indians; Dr Avasthi claimed that the networking of tertiary care hospitals with smaller healthcare centres was the need of the hour.
People sitting in remote areas would make use of the expertise of the larger hospitals through this system, he claimed.
At least 100 villages in and around Ludhiana and Sangrur districts will benefit from the association, though Hind hospital was already catering secondary level of medical services in the area.
Dr S.P. Singh, chief operating officer, said initially the hospital would provide services of super-specialist doctors from the cardiology, endocrinology, gastroenterology, neurology and neurosurgery wings at the centre. In the next phase all other specialty departments would also be integrated in this setup.
While secondary care, needed by the patients would be provided at Hind Hospital, critical patients, after being stabilised will be shifted to the tertiary care centre at Ludhiana or any other place.
A mobile ICUs unit will also be established soon, he claimed. Eventually, electronic medical records of the centre will be made accessible to super-specialist doctors through tele-medicine system.
According to Dr Sunit Hind, apart from an integrated system, a toll-free helpline for medical advice will also be made available at Hind Hospital and the clinic staff will be trained by SPS Apollo Hospital.
Hollywood movies becoming popular
Ludhiana, August 17
It all started with 'multiplex culture' in the city. Multiplexes have been instrumental in changing the mindset of 'cinebuffs' here as “Rambo”, “Vantage Point”, “Air Buddies”, “Kung Fu Panda”, “Dark Knight”, ”10,000 BC” were received well.
Brijesh Soni, manager of Waves cinema says business by these movies may not be overwhelming but it is good to see young people volunteering to get acquainted with 'global cinema'.
"Speaking in terms of business , Hancock did a good business," he added. Right from historical accounts, science fiction, love sagas to animations, the city at last has found an audience.
Besides action movies, animation movies are a craze amongst not only the children but also teenagers.
Not to miss the newfound interest of young mothers who have become passionate to unveil layers of emotional subtexts hidden beneath the Hollywood cinema. Proclaiming to be regular viewers of forthcoming English movies, Simmi (35) and her kitty members were all praise for “Vantage Point” and “Mummy”.
Says Gurusha, a college student:"I just freak out on Branden Frazer's style as his inquisitive expressions make him one amongst us. He again stole the show in “Mummy”, and “The Rising of the Dragon King”.
The Ludhianavis have an eye for action-packed movies as compared to love sagas, says Tejinder Singh, manager, PVR cinema in Ludhiana as is evident from the box office collections of “Dark Knight”, “10,000 BC” and “Hancock”.
Gabria retained SAD district chief
Ludhiana, August 17
A statewide list of presidents has been released by party president Sukhbir Singh Badal in Chandigarh.
The party has full faith in the leaders for taking the SAD-BJP combine to victory in the parliamentary elections next year, the press note stated.
Badminton coach bereaved
Ludhiana, August 17 She is survived by husband, four sons and three daughters.
She was cremated at the Civil Lines cremation grounds here today afternoon. Her funeral was attended by a large number of people, including politicians and representatives of various social
Ludhiana, August 17
She is survived by husband, four sons and three daughters. She was cremated at the Civil Lines cremation grounds here today afternoon.
Her funeral was attended by a large number of people, including politicians and representatives of various social organisations.
Parishad distributes scholarships
Ludhiana, August 17
The parishad distributed Rs 1.5 lakh as scholarships to 100 needy girls of various schools and colleges of the city.
Gurdash Singh Grewal, treasurer of Khalsa Diwan was the chief guest, who distributed scholarships among the students.
MTSM College conducts
17 These experts delivered a lecture on managerial skills.On the first day topics like "Leadership skills" and "How to be a successful team member" were discussed. Scholarships and cash prizes were distributed among students by Paramjit
Kaur, principal, Sidhwan College.
These experts delivered a lecture on managerial skills.On the first day topics like "Leadership skills" and "How to be a successful team member" were discussed.
Scholarships and cash prizes were distributed among students by Paramjit Kaur, principal, Sidhwan College.
Friendship Cricket Tourney
Ludhiana, August 17
Talwinder took three wickets and scored 43 runs, while Hardeep hit 51 runs and grabbed two wickets to steer their team to an easy win.
Batting first after winning the toss, Oshan Club scored 165 runs for the loss of six wickets. Ramandeep Singh faced 38 deliveries and scored 53 runs, which included five hits to the boundary and three sixes.
Other notable contributors were Manpreet Singh, Jatinder Bawa and Sukhjeet, who made 37, 33 and 22 n.o., respectively.
For Minerva Club, Talwinder Singh was the pick of bowlers, who sent down four overs, conceded 36 runs and took three wickets.
Hardeep Singh chipped in with two wickets for 32 runs and Sarabjit Singh captured one wicket for 41 runs.
Minerva Club made the required 166 runs after losing five wickets with four balls to spare. Hardeep Singh smashed 51 runs off 38 balls, which contained five boundaries and four towering sixes.
This was followed by other two useful innings from Talwinder Singh and Sarabjit Singh. Talwinder scored 43 off 33 balls with the help of 4 fours and two sixes, while Sarabjit remained unbeaten on 40 runs.
For the losers, Gurjit Walia and Harpal Oshan shared two wickets each for 28 and 38 runs, respectively, while Jagarpreet Singh took one for 39.