L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Water, sewerage for 65 villages
Rs 25-cr budget sanctioned
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 8
As many as 65 villages in the district are set to get water supply and modern sanitation with the district water supply and sanitation committee (DWSSC) passing a Rs 25-cr budget for the purpose here today.

The meeting of the committee was held under the chairmanship of Manpreet Singh Ayali, panel chairman-cum-chairman of the zila parishad.

Ayali said 35 villages had opted for water supply schemes, 20 for sewerage and 10 for the renovation of ponds.

A sum of Rs 25 crore would be spent in these villages initially and Rs 16 crore
would be spent on individual household toilets, school sanitation, women sanitary
complexes and solid waste handling with the help of the centre under the total
sanitation campaign.

If any village covered under the campaign won, it would be given Nirmal Gram Purskar Award by the President, a citation and Rs 2 lakh.

He said the Punjab government was implementing a World Bank-aided rural water supply and sanitation project amounting to Rs 1,280 crore for providing clean drinking water, sewerage facilities and renovation of ponds in the state.

The renovation of ponds would include dewatering, desilting, portioning of ponds, construction of bundhs, construction of diversion drains and repair of village drains.

“This is a unique project which is being implemented with the participation of people. The execution and operation of schemes has been vested with gram panchayat water supply and sanitation committees,” he said.

The committees comprise members drawn from the panchayat and other prominent members of the village gram sabha.

These facilities would be provided to villages who were ready to deposit 10 per cent of the estimated cost as beneficiary share, subject to the maximum limit of Rs 1,500 per household.

The beneficiary share was 5 per cent where the SC population was more than 40 per cent or if the village fell in the Bet area.


Ghostbusters catch pranksters
Two boarders suspended
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 8
Two girl students of Guru Nanak Girls College who had created panic among boarders by acting as “ghosts” for the past several days have been suspended from the hostel for two months.

Amanjot (name changed), a boarder, told the Tribune that about 500 girls had filed written complaints against the girls for creating indiscipline in the hostel.

“For the past 15 days, we had been hearing different kinds of noises near our rooms. We were so scared that we used to sleep in groups. Some students could not sleep for days and some had started screaming because of fear,” she said, adding that both these girls remained “indifferent” to these developments.

The students held a strike on the college campus against the “ghost” menace.

Students as well as the hostel warden started keeping an eye on the activities of both these girls after complaints were lodged against them.

On September 1, the warden along with some students searched the rooms of the girls and found articles meant to create panic among students.

Their parents were called when they admitted to playing ghost.

Principal Charanjit Kaur Mahal said since both were students of BA III and BSc III, the management decided not to ruin their career by rusticating them.

“We were receiving regular complaints against them, but we did not act hastily. The authorities wanted evidence against them. Their parents were called today and the erring girls have been asked to vacate the hostel immediately. We have allowed them to attend classes. We hope they will be more responsible now,” she added.



Labourers’ Death
Vigilance team visits cave-in site
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 8
The vigilance cell of local bodies department today conducted an inquiry into the death of two labourers, who were buried after a basement caved in a few days ago.

A team led by the vigilance officials from Chandigarh reached the spot today, where the basement in a shop was allegedly being dug illegally.

The labourers were pulled out alive, but they died on the way to hospital. The police had booked the owner of the shop.

The MC had been under fire for not taking action against the shopowner as the structure was coming up in violation of building bylaws.

Vigilance officials said they had confiscated the record of the shop and would conduct a probe.

They said they would be able to comment on the issue only after going through the official records.

The officials also inspected another building on the cemetery road. They also inspected Gill road and took samples of bitumen and premix that had been used for the recarpeting of the road.

It had been alleged that poor quality material had been used for the purpose. Following the allegations, the local bodies department had ordered an inquiry.

“We will get the samples tested and then take action,” the vigilance officials said.



PU Senate Poll
Campaigning hots up
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 8
Campaigning for the Panjab University senate elections started here today for two main constituencies --- staff and principal of technical and professional colleges (staff/principal constituencies). Five polling booths have been set up in the district by the university authorities.

Three candidates from the district are in the fray. About 1,550 voters are being pressured by the managements concerned to support their candidates.

“In just two hours, I have received four calls and three text messages to support particular candidates.

We are all educated people and such pressure tactics don’t matter. Managements should not interfere as a voter’s choice can never be changed,” a local voter said.



Man beaten to death
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 8
A man, who was brutally beaten up by three youths at the Mahopuri area yesterday night, succumbed to his injuries today morning.

Subhash (35), the victim,was working in a hosiery unit for the past 12 years.

According to the police, Subhash had gone to a PCO to make an urgent call at his native village in Utter Pradesh.

There he entered into an argument with the three youths namely Bhanu, Ram Karan and Sunil, who also lives in his locality.

On his way home the three youth attacked him with rods and sticks. Subhash sustained serious injuries.

He was rushed to CMC hospital where he succumbed to injuries this morning. The three accused are absconding.

Meanwhile, the Jodhewal police has registered a murder case against the accused.



Thieves strike at 3 houses
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 8
Thieves are striking at will in the city these days. In yet another attempt, thieves struck at three houses situated in Shaheed Udham Singh Nagar here, last night.

The thieves failed to strike a bounty as after a hunt in at least three houses they could only manage to steal a motorcycle of Digvijay Kumar, a resident.

The other two strikes proved to be futile as the thieves did not get to steal anything despite rummage around the houses belonging to president of the Ex- Servicemen Welfare Association, Col Chanan Singh Dhillon, and retired general manager of GM Telecom, H.S Sodhi.

The residents alleged that this is the second strike by the thieves in less than a week and the police is sleeping over the matter.

Navneet Bari, secretary of Shaheed Udham Singh Nagar, complained against the lackadaisical attitude of the police.

"Earlier the thieves entered the house of Sat Pal Bhumbla situated in 46 C and stolen Rs 1.50 lakh a week ago. But the police did not tighten security in the area, which encouraged the thieves to strike again," he said.

Dhillon said there had been a spate of such incidents in the recent past but authorities despite doing anything was sleeping over the matter.

Meanwhile, forensics experts and a dog squad were pressed into the service.

Bitan Kumar, incharge the Kitchlu Nagar police post said, "We have tightened the
vigil in the area and are making possible efforts to nab the thieves before they
strike again."



Woman ends her life
Our Correspondent

Khamano, September 8
A married woman, Ramanpreet Kaur (21), of nearby Maneli village reportedly committed suicide by hanging herself in her house today.

According to information, Ramanpreet, a resident of Malakpur in Kaithal (Haryana), married Ravinder Singh of Maneli about a year ago.

She was alone in the house at the time of the incident. Her husband had gone to the fields and when he returned, he saw Ramanpreet hanging.

The reason behind the extreme step is not known. The police handed over the body to her family after a postmortem. A case has been registered.



Dual Pricing For Diesel
Industrial board to approach state government
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 8
The industry has decided to take up the issue of the central proposal regarding dual pricing for diesel, which will hike costs for bulk users, with the state government.

The matter will be discussed at a meeting of industrial board for medium enterprises to be held next week.

Industrialists said they would be forced to either shut down or move out if the proposal got a go-ahead.

Punjab’s industry will be among the worst sufferers, as it is already bearing extra costs for power due to a poor power supply in the state.

Industrialists said dual pricing would increase diesel rates for them by over Rs 20, which would nearly double the per unit power cost.

“While normal per unit cost is over Rs 4, it goes up to Rs 11 when we use gensets. However, if diesel rates rise further, it will mean that we incur around Rs 20 a unit. It’s a burden industry will be unable to take. The state government will have to take it up with the centre. Considering the gravity of the matter, we have decided to raise the issue at our meeting next week,” Ludhiana-based exporter S.C. Ralhan, who is a member of the industrial board for medium enterprises told The Tribune.

Rising input costs have been posing problems in quoting rates to buyers. Bad power supply situation has been making it tough for industry to combat global competition.

“We are already at a disadvantage due to geographical location. Adding to it is a poor power supply that jacks up costs. Under such situations, buyers start looking for better alternatives. If dual pricing happens, Punjab will be worst hit,” said Parminder Singh, an entrepreneur.

Industry is waiting for the state government to take up the matter with the centre.

Petroleum dealers too said dual pricing would only add to their problems as there would be difficulties in identifying the category a customer belonged too.

Dealers said focus of oil companies on increasing sale of premium fuel had caused them immense problems and now they were unwilling to resort to dual pricing.



Land Grab Case
Ex-serviceman seeks justice
Accuses Dehlon police of shielding suspects
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 8
Gurmit Singh of Mukandpur village in Ludhiana district, an ex-serviceman, who fought with enemy on the border, apprehends danger to his life and property from his real brother, who according to him had forcibly grabbed his land.

Accusing the police of shielding the suspects, Gurmit Singh has now urged higher authorities to impress upon the Dehlon police to initiate action against the suspects.

Denying charges of partiality, authorities at the Dehlon police said Santokh Singh; complainant’s brother had claimed to be legal heir of the land.

While Gurmit Singh produced a will supposedly written in his favour by his father Gurdev Singh, Santokh Singh placed on record a bainamma prepared in his favour.

The complainant and the defendant termed each other’s document as fake.

In a communiqué addressed to higher authorities, including Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and the DGP Punjab, Gurmit Singh alleged that his brother, Santokh Singh, in connivance with a few revenue officials had got their ancestral property transferred in his name.

While a case regarding substantiation of claims put forth by both parties was pending in the court, Gurmit Singh was forcibly deprived of the land and the house.

“The police, instead of coming to rescue, harassed me and my family by registering a number of false cases on one pretext or the other,” alleged Gurmit Singh.

Referring to proceeding of the case filed by his wife Davinder Kaur with the Punjab State Human Rights Commission earlier, Gurmit Singh maintained that the then DIG Ludhiana had found the SHO guilty of not taking timely action against the suspects.

Though he (DIG) had recommended a departmental inquiry against the erring officials, no relief was granted to the victim.

Demanding fresh probe into sequence of events leading to he and his family being deprived of the property, Gurmit Singh has urged the authorities to ensure that he was allowed to plough the land, which had been in his possession till now and live peacefully at his house.



LIT gets consumer forum rap
Told to allot plot on rates prevalent 35 yrs ago
Rajneesh Lakhanpal

Ludhiana, September 8
Coming down heavily on the functioning of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust, the consumer forum has termed the attitude of officials discriminatory and negligent in handling a case of plot allotment under the local displaced persons (LDP) category.

Forum president T.N. Vaidya and members Daljit Singh Bakshi and Jagjit Kaur Mander held that it had come to light that several persons had been allotted plots under the LDP category ignoring the complainant family for over 30 years.

The forum ordered the Improvement Trust to allot a plot of 200 sq yd to the consumer on rates prevailing 35 years ago. The trust was also penalised Rs 10,000 for harassing the consumers unnecessarily.

The orders were pronounced in a case filed by three brothers — Dr Vishwanath Sood, Jatinder Sood and Surinder Nath Sood — of New Lajpat Nagar, Pakhowal Road, Ludhiana.

The trust had acquired a plot belonging to Pran Nath Sood, father of the present complainants, for Model Town Extension Part-II scheme in 1973.

As per the trust policy, Pran Nath applied for allotment of a plot against local displaced persons category by depositing the requisite fee in January, 1975.

However, he was not allotted any plot. He kept reminding the officials in writing, but to no avail. He died in 1980.

Thereafter, his wife pursued the matter with LIT officials till she also died.

After her death, her three sons started this legal battle and won.

The LIT officials opposed the allotment of any plot to the complainant family.

But after appreciating the evidence on record, the forum observed that the application for allotment of plot was filed with the trust way back in 1975.

Since then, the application was never declined or rejected. Even the record of the trust showed that Pran Nath was eligible for getting a plot against his acquired plot and as such his legal heirs were also entitled to the same.



Cane catches city residents’ fancy
Manav Ghuman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 8
Described more often as cheap and best, cane furniture is today in great demand in the interior decoration segment.

Often known as poor man’s timber, it is now the ultimate choice when it comes to home decor.

“Natural” is the look for the season, so interior decorators are drawn towards cane for its versatility and cost effectiveness.

Today Ludhianvis are experimenting with cane as its products spell grace, elegance and glamour.

“I have used cane furniture for my lounge area. It has added warmth and coziness to the space,” says Komalpreet, a resident of Rajguru Nagar. Cane products has fascinated Komalpreet, as apart from furniture she has bookrack, lampshade and fruit trays to her kitty.

Cane is appealing to the contemporary taste of city people and apart from furniture, many other products are available in the market.

There is a long list to choose from, including blinds, screens, room dividers,
baskets, candleholders, mats, vases, penholders, magazine stands, CD racks
and fruit baskets.

Initially cane was used essentially as an outdoor furniture material but currently it has made its way into the living room.

“Nowadays, the opinion of people has changed and they are going in for cane furniture and the market is warming up with each passing day,” adds Vishal Garg, a city-based interior decorator.

Ludhianvis are lapping up the ongoing North East Craft Fair organised by Purabashree Emporium here.

Artisans from Assam, Sikkim, Mizoram and Nagaland have displayed their products and the response they have received is overwhelming.

“City residents have a great liking for handicrafts and we have received a good response to cane furniture,” said a participant at the exhibition.

He added that cane furniture was an excellent choice for home decor and gave an enhanced look to the house.

Giving tips on the maintenance of the furniture, he added that cane furniture should not be exposed to direct sunlight and rain.

If the products were polished, they should be re-polished every year and the area near the furniture should be kept moisture free.



13-year-old needs aid
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 8
This 13-year-old boy never thought his typhoid fever would take such a turn that he would have to undergo surgery.

Ramesh, who hails from Raikot, is son of daily wager who is unable to meet expenses of his son’s treatment at the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH).

Talking to The Tribune, Ramesh’s father Jaspal said: “I have already used all my resources for his treatment. Now, I am left with nothing.”

He said doctors told him that Ramesh needs to be kept in the hospital for another 15 to 20 days and has to undergo a surgery.”

Jaspal added that daily hospital expenses of his son were around Rs 5,000.

He revealed that he had three children, his wife and mother to look after and was the only bread winner in the family.

Besides, his wife too was suffering from tuberculosis and asthma.

Dr Satpal Singh Virk, who is attending on Ramesh, said the child’s surgery would cost between Rs 25,000 and 50,000.

Giving details about the boy’s condition, Dr Virk said Ramesh underwent a surgery at some other hospital earlier but unfortunately repaired part gave way due to which there is leakage from his intestine.

“Right now we are waiting for Ramesh’s condition to get stable and are feeding him through various channels. It would take around 14 days for him to get stable and after that we would conduct the surgery,” said Dr Virk, adding that the treatment would cost around Rs 1 to 1.5 lakh.

Ramesh’s father urged good Samaritans to come forward and help his son to lead a normal life again.

All those who wish to donate could either contact medical superintendent office (0161-4687504) or public relations office (0161-4687514, 94178-06606) at DMCH.

The donations should be made in favour of Dayanand Medical College and Hospital with “Treatment for Ramesh Kumar (CR No. 2008-87104)” written on back of cheque/ demand draft/ covering letter, said official spokesperson for the hospital.



PU Senate Poll
Schoolteachers work overtime to woo voters
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 8
With Panjab University Senate poll just round the corner, campaigning is going on in full swing.

To the surprise of many, besides college students and politicians, schoolteachers have also joined the bandwagon of campaigners who are making every effort to woo as many voters as possible.

Teachers of one of the best city schools, DAV Public School, have been assigned the task to go door-to-door and campaign for their nominated representatives.

They are expected to carry a list of the eligible PU Senate voters who are at least university graduates. Each teacher is expected to convince at least 20 voters.

Interestingly, the school management has no qualms about the fact that the staff is being exploited in the process.

Prinicpal of DAV Public School, BRS Nagar, Ludhiana, R.S. Patial, said, "Yes I have asked my staff to campaign for PU elections to be held on September 21. What is wrong in it?

"We are working for an organisation which has schools and colleges all over the country and if little efforts by us can prove beneficial for our sister organisations, then why not? Afterall, Panjab University is the parent organisation.

"The policies framed by the university depends on the outcome of the poll to a large extent, and in turn, influence the students of our institutions."

"Moreover, I am under tremendous pressure from the higher-ups and in such circumstances, what can I possibly do if not ask my staff to go out and woo voters?" he questioned.

When this correspondent was taking to the school principal, parent of a student walked in with a request for leave and was asked by the principal to find out the eligible voters at his workplace and convince them to vote for DAV's candidate.

He was further pressurised that it was expected that he should try and get at least 15-20 votes. The episode was repeated when another parent walked in.

Even students have been asked to chip in by convincing friends, relatives and neighbours to vote, confirmed Komal, a Class XII student of the school.

Sources say the school authorities have made it mandatory for senior students to ensure at least five votes each.

Interestingly, most of the teachers first denied having been given such a job but were later found discussing the campaigning process with the principal.

"With the September examination round the corner, we are expected to get the best results. But how is it possible when we are working overtime and exhausting ourselves on things which are not even a part of our job profile," said a senior teacher on condition of anonymity.



Teachers go on mass casual leave
Our Correspondent

Doraha, September 8
As per the call given by the Punjab and Chandigarh college teachers union, the teachers of all private-aided colleges of the state and the UT proceeded a mass casual leave attend a rally in front of the DPI colleges at Chandigarh today.

The members of P.C.C.T.U said they protested against the dilly-dallying attitude of the government as far as the fulfilment and implementation of their genuine demands were concerned.

The teachers demanded the restoration of full grant-in-aid, lifting of ban on recruitment and conversion of posts, pension and gratuity for college teachers apart from implementing the CAS and grade of 14940 of DPEs Librarians from 1196, annual stagnation increments, exemption of RC and OC up to June 2008, HRA for rural colleges, feeder grade, total service benefits, remaining instalment of 12 crores of DA merger, difference of allowances from January 1996, up to February 1998, timely implementation of G.K. Chadha committee report i.e. 6th pay commission report and the early release of recently announced grant worth Rs.11 crores, so that the teachers get their delayed arrears at the earliest.

Earlier an action plan was prepared on Teacher's Day in which members observed a two period strike in their respective colleges and chalked out a plan of mass dharna.



Steel Prices: Local units yet to benefit
from global reduction

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 8
Local industry rued that it was not getting benefit of reduction in the steel rates happening at a global level.

They said steel companies were not passing on the benefit to them due to which they were unable to quote competitive rates to their buyers.

“Whenever global prices record a hike, steel companies also increase the rates. However, now they are not following the trend. Buyers, on the other hand, seek competitive prices but under such situations it is getting increasingly difficult for us to function smoothly,” said Charanjit Singh Vishwakarma, president, United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association.

Fluctuations in prices have already been posing problems for the industry, particularly exporters, who work amid global competition.

Alleging that big steel companies were resorting to “arbitrary” changes in rates, industrialists urged government to control steel prices in tandem with global trends.

“Indian manufacturers are not fair while fixing prices. The government should control practice,” said P.D. Sharma, president, Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

“Many businessmen have to supply finished goods under the tender system to various organisations.

“They charge the rate of their finished product on the basis of steel rates as supplied by the large companies.

“But when these companies do not change their rates and charge higher prices, manufacturers suffer heavily,” added Sharma.



Cotton MSP to hit textile industry
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, September 8
The Centre’s fixation of higher minimum support price (MSP) of cotton will adversely affect textile industry, particularly cotton spinning industry, feel industrialists.

The government has fixed the MSP over 40 per cent to 50 per cent higher for 2008-09, compared to last year.

The prices of “narma” cotton remained high during the last year, ranging from Rs 2,200 to Rs 2,500 per quintal.

For the current season, the government has fixed the MSP for Punjab between Rs 2,600 and Rs 2,700 per quintal and between Rs 2,900 and Rs 3,000 per quintal for Gujarat cotton for different varieties.

These prices are high compared to the international prices, which are currently at 63 to 66 cents per pound.

Sources in the industry say the international prices of cotton are likely to fall further because of economic slowdown in the USA and Europe.

The fall in cotton prices in the international market will encourage import of cotton, they say.

According to D.L. Sharma of the Vardhaman Textile Group, the government has not taken a holistic view while fixing the MSP.

The government has not given any consideration to employment in the industry, which is highest in the country.

The industry is the highest employment provider, standing at 86 million.

Sharma said there was no parity between the anticipated cotton prices based on the MSP and the yarn prices.

Cost would be much higher than the sale price of cotton yarn.

He said already some cotton mills had closed down in South and more were facing the same fate.

The export of textile goods, including readymade garments, is expected to fall as a result of the higher cotton prices and low demand from the USA and Europe.

The total export of textile goods is currently at $ 21.5 billion, including $ 9 billion of readymade garments.

There are as many as 3,600 textile mills in the country with 30.5 million spindles.

These mills produce four million tonnes of cotton yarn annually. The total economy of the textile industry is worth $ 65 billion.

Out of this, domestic market is worth $ 34 billion and export market $ 21.5 billion.



Potholed roads: People wants CM to intervene
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 8
Irrespective of the political allegiance residents of this area want the Chief Minister to reach the Chhapar Mela venue on car as not a single road connecting the local town with Ludhiana, Malerkotla and surrounding villages is motorable.

Since roads are full of potholes numerous accidents have taken place in the areas.

If one commutes from Ludhiana, Payal, Malerkotla, Mullanpur, Sandaur, Jodhan, Jandali and Raikot on car none of these roads are ideal for motoring.

The zigzag driving to avoid potholes has also resulted in numerous accidents.

All six-approach roads - the Jandali road, Pohir road, Dhulkote road, Chhapar road, Dehliz road and the Jagera road - are in bad shape.

The roads along the bank of the Bathinda branch of the Sirhind canal and from Mulanpur, Sandaur and Raikot are also in a bad shape. The situation worsens during the rainy season.

Even though the Chhapar Mela starts from September 13, the authorities have failed to repair the roads.

Since the VIPs have started coming to the mela by air, nobody seems to be bothered about the condition of these roads, residents rued.

Jagjit Singh Jajjie, a resident, said though the local bodies department, PWD and a few market committees were responsible for its upkeep nothing had been done so far. This confusion has worsened the condition of these roads further, he added.

Tarsem Lal Garg, president, CB Welfare Association, is concerned over the falling business in the town because people from surrounding villages have started going to other towns for purchasing various commodities due to the bad condition of these approach roads.



Cong seeks 20 pc interim relief for govt staff
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, September 8
Former minister Darshan Singh Barar, former district Congress committee president Sikandar Singh, Naresh Kataria, Ajit Singh, Joginder Singh, Love Kumar Goldi (all MLAs) have demanded immediate implementation of the Central Pay Commission report for the employees of the state.

They further stated that the Central, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana governments had already implemented the pay panel recommendations whereas the Punjab government was silent over the issue.

During its regime, the Congress had announced an interim relief (from November 1, 2006) for its employees.

They sought 20 per cent interim relief for the government employees till the state government finalises its report.



LIC holds road show
Our Correspondent

Doraha, September 8
The Life Insurance Corporation of India, which completed its 52nd year, has in collaboration with Arya Putri Senior Secondary School, organised a road show today.

The road show was jointly flagged off by Vinod Kumar Pandey, principal, Arya Model Senior Secondary School, and former employee of the Khanna Branch Jagdish Chand.

At least 100 students took part in it. Gulshan Kumar, sales manager, Shiv Vinayak, Dharamjit Singh Jaggi, Kulbir Jalota, Jagdish Chand Angrish, Sukhminder Singh and Gurjinder Singh were also present on the occasion

Speaking on the occasion, Prem Singh Bandhan, in charge, LIC Khanna branch, announced that 23 crore-policy holders were presently on its role.

Last year, the LIC earned Rs 20,636 crore and compensation worth Rs 37,206 crore was handed over to the policyholders.



Farm workers seek employment guarantee
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 8
The Kul Hind Khet Mazdoor Union has given a call to cadres and other like-minded bodies to join hands for effective implementation of the legislative mechanism under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme.

Addressing a state convention of the body at the grain market on Gill Road here today, union president Bhup Chand Channo and other speakers said wherever the administration was found lacking in giving effect to the employment guarantee scheme for farm workers, the union activists would stand up for them and hold protests for proper implementation of the scheme.

The convention was dedicated to the memory of communist leader Harkishan Singh Surjit. Those present took a pledge to keep alive the philosophy and ideology of the leader for the welfare of masses and strengthening the democracy.

National general secretary Sunit Chopra and state secretary Vasdev Jamsher charged the SAD-BJP government with neglecting the poor and the needy of state.

They said pensions had not been disbursed to widows, elderly and physically handicapped persons for the past six months.

Similarly, pick and choose policy was being adopted for other welfare schemes like “shagun” and “atta-dal”.

The apathy of the government had left farm workers and poor people with no other choice but to take the path of agitation.



Raising your own kitchen garden
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 8
According to dieticians, each adult should consume 250 to 350 gram vegetables every day out of which 40 per cent should be leafy ones, 30 per cent root vegetables and 30 per cent other vegetables.

They, however, rue that the consumption was around 200 g per capita per day.

Balanced nutritional food was incomplete without vegetables, as these were the major and the only source of nutritional vitamins and minerals required by the human body besides being rich source of carbohydrates and protein, said PAU scientists.

“The year-round supply of fresh vegetables can be accomplished to a great extent by growing vegetables in the kitchen garden,” said vegetable scientists Dr T.S. Dhillon, Dr Daljeet Singh and Dr Sandip Kaur.

On the establishment of recreational kitchen garden, they said it should be established near the residence to ensure proper attention.

The garden must receive adequate sunlight for at least six hours as under shade vegetables grew pale and sickly, said the experts.

The water source should be available in the garden, as vegetables required regular water for irrigation and washing. The garden soil should be well-drained, loamy and rich in organic matter.

The scientists suggested that September-October was the ideal time for planting winter vegetables (peas, carrot, radish, turnip, cauliflower, cabbage, onion, garlic, potato and leafy vegetables).

Several successive plantations of radish, spinach, lettuce, peas and beans, which perish quickly, should be done.

Proper protection should also be given against cold weather, if needed. For protecting the plantation against insect-pest and diseases, non-chemical methods minimising pesticide residues should be preferred.

The experts suggested that for clean cultivation, fallen leaves should be removed and buried in soil.

This would help reduce the infestation of insect pests like borers, fruit flies and leaf miner in the following season.



Nuclear isolation to end: Panels
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 8
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has been praised for getting exemption from Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), which will end India’s nuclear isolation.

President of the Punjab state unit of the United Nations youth organisation Shiv Gupta and other members of various organisations yesterday congratulated him.

Gupta stated that the Prime Minister deserves appreciation as the NSG waiver would entitle India to conduct nuclear commerce with 45 nations.



Tax on registration of ambulance resented
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 8
There is resentment over the levy of 2 per cent tax on the registration of ambulance and other such vehicles as fixed by the Punjab government.

According to a notification of the Punjab government, 2 per cent of cost of the chassis is charged but subject to a maximum of Rs 1 lakh in lump sum on the purchase of ambulance, animal ambulance, fire tenders, smoke ladders, auxiliary trolleys, mail carrier, mobile clinic, X ray van and library van.

For purchase with complete body, the tax is 3 per cent of the cost of the vehicle, subject to the maximum of Rs 1 lakh in lump sum.

Dr G.S. Grewal of a local hospital said the union government had granted 10 per
cent rebate in the central excise duty on the purchase of ambulance and other
medical equipment.

The state government should follow the example of the centre and not charge any tax on such vehicles, he said.



Date for vascular screening extended
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 8
Due to the massive response, the International Vascular Month, organised at the Sigma New Life Heart Institute here in August, has been extended till September, for the benefit of the needy patients.

Harinder Singh Bedi, chairman, cardio-vascular sciences at the hospital, said yesterday that at least 350 patients were examined had been examined so far.

The aim of organising this camp was to make people aware of the symptoms of the vascular disease so that timely action could be taken.

According to Bedi, peripheral vascular disease (PVD) can easily be prevented. If the disease remains unchecked it can lead to complications like severe pain in legs, inability to walk, gangrene, loss of limb and even death. It occurs due to blockage of the arteries of the limbs with arteriosclerosis.

“The PVD affects one in 20 adults over 50 years of age, the total number of cases being over 42 million.

“More than half of those affected may not even know about the disease till it is too late. The disease can be easily diagnosed by a painless test called an ankle-brachial index (ABI).

“It is easily available at most of the healthcare institutes. The treatment for the advanced cases is by ballooning or surgery.”

During the camp, the patients were advised to keep cholesterol level under check, exercise regularly, have a healthy diet, control weight, avoid tobacco and go in for regular check-ups.



Eye donation fortnight concludes at DMCH
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 8
The eye donation fortnight, observed by Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) from August 25 concluded here today.

In the course of various programmes organised during this period, the department of ophthalmology conducted eye donation awareness lectures in the eye OPD and motivated a large number of people to donate their eyes.

Along with this, various posters with informative slogans were also pasted in various OPDs and wards of the hospital.

The department also held an eye donation registration camp on September 6, 2008 in which many people got themselves registered for this noble cause.

A separate lecture was organised for the medical and paramedical staff of the hospital for this purpose.

According to Dr G.S. Bajwa, professor and head of ophthalmology department, the main aim of the programme was to create awareness, so that they could pledge to donate their eyes after death.

“There are lakhs of children and adults in India who are corneal blind and donation of an eye can give them the gift of sight. Restoration of sight dramatically improves the quality of life for a person who has otherwise lived a life of total darkness.”

Dr Bajwa pointed out that there was no age limit for eye donation. Even those with weak eyesight, diabetics and those suffering from systemic disorders like asthma, hypertension and tuberculosis as well as people having undergone cataract surgery could also donate eyes.

“The main reasons for very low number of eye donations in our country can be attributed to the causes like lack of awareness, improper infrastructure, absence of motivation even among the trained personnel and social and religious taboos regarding eye donation,” he added.



Laser clinic starts at SPS Hospital
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 8
An advanced state-of-the-art "laser clinic" was today launched by the department of skin and cosmetology at SPS Apollo Hospital to offer world-class skin and hair treatment to people of the region.

The clinic will function under the supervision of renowned cosmetologist Jastinder K Gill, who had trained and worked at world famous John Hopkins Centre in the US.

Inaugurating the clinic, Jugdeip Singh, managing director of the hospital, said the laser, installed at the clinic, was designed to deliver the 21st century technology and it would be an outstanding equipment for permanent hair removal in the region.

The clinic had been set up on international standards, maintaining safety protocol and it would offer the treatment to both men and women for all skin types safely and effectively.



AIDS awareness camp for cops
Tribune News Service

Khanna, September 8
An AIDS awareness camp was organised for police officials at Police Lines, Khanna, wherein around 200 policemen participated.

The medical officer from the Police Hospital, Kashmiri Lal, made the policemen aware of the disease.

Superintendent of police Gurmeet Singh, all DSPs, SHOs and others participated in the awareness camp.



Noble gesture needs a pat

Image of the Indian Railways staff does not
lend any sense of security to the general public
hurrying on the crowded platforms, missing or
torn train charts, potters demanding exorbitant
rates and trains arriving late.

Karam Singh, a resident of Vikas Puri, New Delhi, was in for a pleasant surprise after he got held up in an unpleasant situation while waiting for a delayed train at Ludhiana station, recently.

On hearing the announcement that the train was going to be delayed by more than two hours due to “unavoidable reasons”, Karam Singh walked to the station superintendent, Ashok Singh Salaria’s office.

Salaria offered a seat to him and patiently explained that the train had got delayed due to the power failure. While the two were talking, a woman along with a child entered the room. She was wailing as her sister had boarded a wrong train.

The superintendent got up from his seat and offered a glass of water to her. She said, “ When I reached the platform along with her sister, they enquired about a train going to Amritsar. A man standing on the platform signalled towards the moving train. Her sister ran and boarded the train. The train was actually going to Ambala.

Salaria asked her to be patient. He took the residential address of the woman and called her home. After talking to them, he asked for the mobile number of the crying woman’s sister.

He called her up, assured her safe passage and asked her get down at the next station. He also gave his own mobile number and asked her to reach the train guard and call him up.

Tolerant cops

Policemen on VIP duties indulge in most redundant practices especially when the minister happens to be in ‘recreation’ mood. As SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal watched the premiere of a Punjabi film at PVR Cinema, more than 24 cops, including his special security and local policemen, were restricted to watch “trampoline show” of the children.

While a few cops clapped enthusiastically making “optimum use” of their time, the eyes of remaining cops wore a sullen expression as they rested on the “exit” gate.

Over the years, the security personnel accompanying these politicians have not only become tolerant but also improved their oration skill, which they exercise at an opportune time.

Disillusioned by excessive checking and prohibition to use a specific elevator, a gentleman enlisting his fundamental rights coerced him to allow entry in the lift.

It was the timely intervention of a verbose security personnel who diffused the situation as he referred to senior Badal and junior Badal adding, “Dost u have little choice as you being a Punjabi have to bear with this ‘baba ji’ and ‘kaka ji’ factor”.

Unsafe city

Used to sense of discipline on the city roads and markets in Chandigarh, I was in for a shock when I went to the Gurdev Nagar market, two days after I arrived at my office last week. I asked a middle-aged man to direct me to the nearest market. He caught my hand and said “Come, I will take you.”

The man was carrying a liquor bottle. He smelled awful as he tried to pull me along. In order to free myself from his clutches I pushed him had. I was shocked but managed to escape from the site as fast as I can.

I was forewarned about the different living conditions in the city. But, I have come to know that one has to be more careful in this city.

Money matters

The “money is Moses” psychology of Ludhianavis, industry in particular, at times get too obvious to be taken kindly. And mind you, mediapersons are not spared.

Apart from flashy invites to the media, a totally uncalled for effort, organisers don’t mind making a loud mention of the availability of lunch or dinner to mediapersons.

As if that was not enough, these days it is cocktails, which are bold inclusion in the invites. Wish such organisers observed a little professionalism too.

No cheers for MC

The present house of municipal councillors, led by mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura have completed one year in the office.

But going by the dismal track record till now that is, there is not much for the civic administration to cheer about.

The year that has gone by, have been more of failures or poor performance rather than concerted efforts for improving the lot of the city population.

The people are still making do with unsafe drinking water, condition of the roads, sewerage system and rainwater drainage has worsened, sanitation level of most of the localities is pathetic and outbreak of diseases has become a routine rather than an exception.

Brazen encroachments on municipal land, green belts, and footpaths, coupled with total lack of traffic management still make the life of Ludhianavis miserable. As things stand now, one can only keep one’s fingers crossed and wish better luck next year to the corporation.

SMS way

To save parents and students from unnecessary botheration, Sacred Heart Convent Senior Secondary School, Sarabha Nagar, has started sending SMSes to parents regarding the holiday or any other change in their routine.

The first such sms sent by school authorities to the parents of students from LKG on Saturday regarding holiday on Monday was welcomed by the latter.

On such situations, many parents, earlier came to know about holiday only after reaching the school. They feel since everyone carries mobile phones these days, more information regarding wards’ can be sent to the parents now.

Mother of five-year-old student heard saying, “Thank god, I will be able to sleep for two more hours on Monday.”

Avian guests

Gone are the summer and we have the avian guests from the far off foreign lands landing on the Punjab waters, particularly in the rural areas for their winter homes.

Mohinder Kaur, an 80-year-old resident of Chhak village, says “nothing new. Ever since my childhood, we have watched our guests arrive. The surroundings look beautiful and by the end of the season, they are gone only to be back again”.

Contributed by Shivani Bhakoo, Anshu Seth, Charu Chibber, Shveta Pathak, Kuldip Bhatia, Sanjeev Bariana



City Concerns

People living in the city, slums and low-lying areas in particular, are usually faced with a battery of seasonal diseases.

Stagnant water and stinking garbage are conducive for gastroenteritis, diarrhoea, skin allergies and other diseases.

The preventive measures taken by the Ludhiana municipal corporation don’t mean anything because garbage is littered all over the city in the absence of any effective litter management machinery or staff.

Heaps of rotting garbage can be seen in vacant plots and areas earmarked for parks in residential colonies across the city.

Improper disposal of waste has resulted in outbreak of gastroenteritis in Gyaspura, Fauji Colony, Ambedkar Nagar, Sherpur Kalan, Janta Nagar and other areas.

The administration has overlooked the gravity of the situation and the loss of lives due to gastroenteritis over the past decade have gone “unnoticed”.

Ludhiana Tribune is seeking public opinion on what is the urgent requirement of the hour for garbage disposal in the city.

Is the government expected to do all the cleaning work in the city? On which front is the service mechanism failing to clean garbage?

Can the residents contribute towards cleanliness, at least in their own areas?

Ludhiana Tribune invites its readers to write their opinion on this issue.

Response, in not more than 200 words, can be mailed to ludhianaconcerns
@tribunemail.com or sent to our city office at Bhadaur House, Ludhiana.



Panchayat member held with poppy husk
Our Correspondent

Khamano, September 8
A panchayat member, Arjun Singh, of nearby Sohavi village was arrested by the Kheri police with 20 kg poppy husk last night.

According to sources, Kheri chowki in charge Harjinder Singh nabbed the accused during a routine patrol around 10 pm.

They stopped and searched the suspect, who was riding a bicycle and coming from Baur village. Around 20 kg poppy husk was seized from his possession.

The police arrested him under Sections 18, 61 and 85 of NDPS Act and presented him before the duty magistrate, who remanded him in one-day police custody.



From Schools & Colleges
‘Know thy country campaign’ at BCM school
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 8
BCM School Dugri today successfully completed its ‘know thy country’ campaign, launched to bring the students of modern India closer to the spirit of true India.

Students were provided information about the cultural heritage and lifestyles of different states in classrooms.

To supplement this classroom information with practical experience, students were involved in recreating the cultural ambiance of different states.

Students enjoyed the regional dances, food and language besides learning many interesting facts about all the states.

Dr Vandna Shahi, principal of the school said the campaign was a way of paying tribute to the undying spirit of diverse but united India.

NSS meeting: BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School conducted a meeting of NSS officials regarding schedule planning for the whole year.

Assistant director, youth services and sports Jagjit Singh Chahal, was the main speaker of this meeting, while, 50 programme officers of different schools of Punjab attended the meeting.

The upcoming event, National Youth Festival to be held by NSS in January 2009 was also announced by the officials, wherein, the NSS students will showcase their talent and creative skills in a wide array of activities.

World Literacy Day: World Literacy Day (ILD) was celebrated at Partap College of Education here today under the guidance of college authorities.

Students expressed their views on literacy and its need. They said literacy was still an unaccomplished goal and an ever-moving target.

Another student of M.Ed expressed her views on the topic "Importance of being literate". Balwant Singh, principal, in his address said literacy was the best remedy to a number of problems.

"Considerable achievements have been made in many countries and progress has been attained through adult literacy and non-formal educational programmes but major challenges remain untouched", said Balwant Singh, adding that ILD 2008 was placing a special focus on the important relationship between literacy and health.

Guru Nanak Girls College: To mark International Literacy Day, NSS volunteers of Guru Nanak Girls College visited Red Cross Bhawan here today.

Principal Charanjit Mahal addressed and inspired the NSS volunteers to help destitute and poor children of society and underlined the need to improve the literacy rate particularly among women.

The volunteers interacted with the students of Bal Bhawan and distributed pencils, notebooks, erasers and fruits among them.

Importance of a personal hygiene and general health awareness was also taught.

The NSS volunteers stressed upon the importance of relationship between literacy and health underlying the significance of literacy for healthy society.

SDP College: International Literacy Day was celebrated at SDP College for Women today under the guidance of NSS programme officers B.Ahuja, Ranjana Sood and Ramneek.

Highlighting the importance of education, students presented skit, poems and songs.

More than 200 volunteers took pledge to follow the policy of "Each one teach one". Veena Gian Singh, officiating principal, addressed the students on the occasion.



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