L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Minor raped by classmate
Mohit Khanna/Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 20
In a gruesome incident, a boy raped his classmate in the playground of SCD Government College  for Boys here today afternoon.

The 17-year-old girl, a student of Class VIII, Government Primary School, Civil Lines, was returning home after school when she was taken to the playground of the adjoining college by Vijay on the pretext that he wanted to talk in private with her. The girl, in her innocence, accompanied him to the playground.

His friend Rahul accompanied Vijay. They took her behind the bushes where Vijay allegedly raped her. Rahul gagged the girl after she started screaming. After she started bleeding, the boy hired a rickshaw for her, paid the rickshaw puller Rs 10 and sent her home. The boys fled away from the spot.

After she returned home at the local Rajpura Road she fell unconscious. Her father was home at that time. She was rushed to the Civil Hospital. Doctors attending to her said they had to perform a minor surgery on her. They confirmed she was raped. Her condition is said to be stable.

After the parents lodged a complaint with the police, the division No. 5 police arrested Vijay, a resident of Ghumar Mandi. Rahul, a resident of Rani Jhansi road, is absconding. Raids are on to nab him.

SHO Shawinder Singh Dhillon said they were investigating the matter. He said Vijay in his statement to the police had admitted to having committed the crime. They have been booked for raping a minor under Sections 376/ 34 of the IPC.

He said the boys had already planned about the crime when they had asked the girl to come along with them. Incidentally, they took her to the college where her father was a Class IV employee. The girl had lost her mother sometime ago.


Bribery Case: Tehsildar, two others in police remand
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 20
Chief Judicial Magistrate Lachhman Singh today remanded Tehsildar- cum-Sub-Registrar (West) Arvind Parkash Verma and two other employees of his in police custody for two days. The Vigilance Bureau had arrested them in a bribery case yesterday.

Vigilance Bureau’s government’s pleader Sukhchain Singh has sought the police remand of accused on a plea that much was yet to be enquired. He has submitted that it has come to his notice during preliminary investigation that a few persons working the Sub-Registrar’s office used to collect Rs 7.5 lakh from the public daily. So, the agency needs sufficient time to probe into the matter.

The defence counsel strongly opposed the Vigilance Bureau’s contentions. He submitted that his client was innocent and had been falsely implicated due to political vendetta by the ruling party. He also alleged that the Tehsildar was beaten up by the Vigilance Bureau officials and stressed on getting him medically examined.

He said Verma paid heavily for filing a writ petition against the state government after his transfer from the same post due to the political interference. In the writ petition he had leveled allegations against the SAD leaders for replacing him. After transferring him, one Mukesh Kumar was given this post. One local chief parliamentary secretary and other leaders had garlanded him and accompanied him at the time of his taking charge as Tehsildar here.

Aggrieved with all this, Verma had showed such photographs in the High Court during the hearing of his writ petition. The High Court had then ordered him to be given the same post. Subsequently, Mukesh Kumar was transferred from Ludhiana and accused was posted here again. Due to all this, he was framed in this false case, further added defence counsel.

But after hearing both parties, the Judge remanded him in the police custody. 

Named leaders, officials involved in racket
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 20
With the arrest of Tehsildar-cum-Sub Registrar, Arvind Parkash Verma and two others by Vigilance Bureau in a graft case, many skeletons are expected to tumble out of the closet.

Sources in the Vigilance Bureau said questioning of the accused had revealed that many local politicians, senior officials and other professionals were involved in the racket. The bureau was all set to investigate the role of all named by the accused.

The Vigilance action brought to the centre stage the allegations that the office was a den of corruption.

The residents had been raising a lot of hue and cry over the past few months but nobody could do anything till Verma was caught on graft charges yesterday.

Incidentally, Verma was appointed Sub-Registrar in April this year following the directions of the High Court. He had moved the court after Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had handpicked Naib Tehsildar Mukesh Sharma for the post to reward him for his honesty in August last year.

Badal had categorically stated that he wanted an honest officer like Mukesh to handle the affairs of an office that made crores of rupees every month for the state exchequer. The office was always in the midst of a controversy as sale deeds of lands in Ludhiana, where land is very expensive, were registered here everyday.

The development had not gone down well with Verma, who was replaced with Mukesh. He had filed a petition in the High Court at that time. The court had given direction in his favour and he had to be appointed at the post.

Meanwhile, the associations of Tehsildars and Naib Tehsildars of the state were holding a meeting to discuss ‘‘atrocities’’ committed on Tehsildar by the Vigilance Bureau at Jalandhar tomorrow. Spokesperson of association Gurpreet Singh said they had taken a strong notice of the way he was picked and beaten up by the Vigilance officials.

The associations would chalk out its future course of action during the meeting.



Taxi Driver’s Murder
Shiv Sena leader remanded
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 20
President of the Shiv Sena
(Bal Thackrey) students wing Suraj Ahluwalia facing accusation of murdering Kamaljit Singh, a taxi driver, at a taxi stand near Chander Nagar, was remanded in police custody for two days.

Judicial Magistrate Kawaljeet Singh passed orders for remanding him in the police custody after being convinced with submissions of public prosecutor, who had stressed for more interrogation.

The court remanded two owners of Neelkanth taxi stand, Happy and another, in judicial custody. They had surrendered before the police a few days ago.

The tragic incident has happened in the night of September 6. All of them, including the victim, were stated to have taken drinks together. Later, due to some altercation Kamaljit was killed after he was shot in head. 



New industrial policy on anvil, says Kalia
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 20
Industries and commerce minister Manoranjan Kalia today said the SAD-BJP government was committed to develop industry in the state which has a major role in economic growth.

Speaking at the inaugural session of a two-day state-level conference of company secretaries here today, the minister said new industrial policy for the state was on the anvil.

The new industry policy is being framed by UNIDO, a subsidiary of UNO. The agency has been engaged and its report is in final stage, he added. After the report is submitted, it would be implemented soon, he added.

A focal point would come up in an area of over 200 acres in Kapurthala and four thermal plants with a capacity of 9,000 MW would come up with an investment of Rs 50,000 crore from the private sector, added Kalia.

The minister said the state government, with aid from World Bank, would widen and strengthen road network and spend Rs 1,500 crore for the purpose. He added that master plans for 40 towns would be notified soon.

The company secretaries submitted a memorandum of demands to the minister on the occasion. Responding to their demand regarding permitting CSs to perform audit in case of VAT, the minister said the demand would be considered positively.

Deputy speaker, Punjab Vidhan Sabha, Satpal Gosain and chairman of northern region of Institute of Company Secretaries of India Hitender Mehta also spoke.

Kayoor Bakshi, president, ICSI, Nesar Ahmed and P.K. Mittal, council members of the institute, were present.



17-yr-old castrated by eunuchs
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 20
A minor was allegedly castrated by a group of eunuchs in Salem Tabri here today.

The victim, identified as Mikky Sharma (17), a resident of Haridwar, was allegedly picked up from his residence at Thrike village here this morning.

The victim alleged that the accused, identified as Kranti, Reenu, Parveen, Nanu and some unidentified person, gagged him and castrated him. The victim was admitted to the civil hospital.

The police is yet to register a case.



Gang of motorcycle thieves busted
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 20
The local police has claimed to have nabbed an interstate gang of motorcycle thieves with the recovery of 13 motorcycle stolen by them during the past six months.

All these bikes are of brand new models. The accused used to open the lock of these bikes with the help of a worn-out key.

The accused admitted that the new motorcycles could easily be stolen with the help of an old key.

The accused were arrested from the Tibba Road, Gulabi Baag, and three motorcycles recovered from them after the police party led by CIA- II SHO, Dilpreet Singh and ASI, Balraj Singh was tipped off about their whereabouts.

According to the SHO, accused Davinder Kumar, alias Lovely, a resident of Hoshiarpur, was the kingpin of the gang. Two other youth, Taari and Ravi, both resident of Sangrur, were members of his gang.

During their interrogation the accused admitted that they had stolen 10 more motorcycle from various places in the state. They also admitted that they had stolen two motorbikes from Sangrur, two from Phagwara and one each from Phillaur and Hoshiarpur.

Davinder used to keep all these motorcycles in his rented apartment at Amarjit Colony. The accused have been booked under 379 and 411 of the IPC



Bawa Colony residents found stealing power
Rs 24 lakh penalty worked out 
Kuldip Bhatia
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 20
In the course of massive raids carried out by the enforcement wing of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) at Bawa Colony in the Haibowal locality here on Friday, nearly 50 per cent of the people living in the colony were caught stealing power through “kundis”. On the basis of connected load of the defaulting consumers, a penalty of around Rs 24 lakh had been worked out on account of the power theft.

Even a colonizer was found stealing power as numerous under-construction buildings in the colony were found to be drawing electricity from the low-tension cables without any permission having been obtained.

Enforcement director of the PSEB S.S. Kohli told The Tribune that on specific complaints, a team of officials had inspected about 75 houses in the colony where at least 34 residents were found stealing power.

The inspection continued for several hours and the members of raiding party got all kundi connections removed. Power supply of those stealing power was also disconnected. It will only be restored after penalty amount is recovered, Kohli added.

A few residents of the colony alleged that the power was being stolen by a large number of people on regular basis in connivance with a few PSEB officials working in the Aggar Nagar division office. “Those stealing power in the area and causing huge revenue loss to the PSEB are paying a fixed amount every month to the conniving officials,” claimed a resident.



Foreign tour fever grips city schools
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 20
The trend of arranging education tours to foreign countries is picking up in the city. While two city schools have already taken their students to the US, three others have already made the requisite arrangements with many more planning to join the bandwagon.

Students of BCM Arya Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar, and Guru Nanak Public School, Sarabha Nagar, have already been to the US, including NASA, Florida, New Jersey and Orlendo.

Paramjit Kaur, principal, BCM Arya Senior Secondary School, says: "It was our first trip abroad. Such tours are enriching for everybody be it students or teachers. It was a 12-day trip and we advertised about the same. Students from different classes, who were interested to go, were welcomed. Twenty two students and eight teachers went on the trip and learnt a lot from it," she said.

The principal said the school would plan more such trips in future if they get an opportunity.

Students of Guru Nanak International School, Model Town, are being taken to the same destination next month. The 11-day trip from October 1 will include 22 students, seven teachers and the principal. Principal Gulati says: "The trip is a guided tour and all arrangements have been taken care of by a Delhi-based company which deals in organising such tours. It will cost Rs 1.65 lakh to each student."

"The offer was open to students from Classes VI to XII. The response has been tremendous. Many parents are still coming to us with the request that they would want their kids to be a part of it the next time when we organise such a trip," he said.

Whether or not such tours serve any meaningful purpose, the students surely have a gala time. Afreen Grewal, a Class-X student of Guru Nanak Public School, Sarabha Nagar, says: "We enjoyed ourselves thoroughly during those 10 days. As the tour was organised during our summer vacations, we did not even miss out on our studies."

However, not all parents are excited at the thought of spending a fortune on a tour which might or might not benefit their kids. "After all, not every child, who visited NASA, would want to become a scientist and many may not be able to. So, the purpose of such trips is a little vague. But we had to send our child because she was really keen on going," said father of a Class-XII student of Guru Nanak Public School.

Malkit Singh, parent of a Class-XI student of the same school, says: "The trip is beneficial if the student wants to go in for related higher studies. But it surely is a rip-off and parents often have to give in so that their child does not feel left out. But at times, it gets very difficult to shell out over Rs 1 lakh, especially for the middle-class families, and this might lead to complex among the kids whose parents can't afford to pay such amounts."



From Schools and Colleges
Tiny tots celebrate fruit day
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 20
Kindergarten section of GMT Public School celebrated Fruit Day on its premises today.

Tiny tots attired as colourful fruits were looking pretty and charming. They brought different fruits to accentuate healthy eating habits. Shalini Dhir, coordinator of the kindergarten section, encouraged students to include the fresh fruits in their diet.

Principal Amarjeet Dhaliwal and coordinator Meenu Tangri were also present on the occasion.

Mandi Ahmedgarh

Shortlisted: Six students of Bhutta College of Engineering and Technology were shortlisted for employment in various wings of Bajaj Allianz, a multinational company.

The selection was done during a campus interview conducted by Amit Verma and Sandeep Singh, business development managers of the company, today. Director of the company Dr R.S. Gupta said final selection would be made after an interview on the company premises. — OC



PU Senate Poll
Presiding officer changed at last minute
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 20
Lecturers of Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Women (GNKCW) are surprised at the last-minute change in the name of the presiding officer for the Panjab University’s senate poll tomorrow. The college will now have two presiding officers for two booths.

Kamaljeet Kaur, the original presiding officer, said she had called up the university to learn that she had been removed. The college principal said she had only been informed about the change by the university. “We have come to know that the polling will now be held in two booths for which Dr Gursharan Kaur, principal, and Prof Veena Sharma will be the presiding officers. We fail to understand why they have changed the earlier presiding officer?” a lecturer wondered.

Kamaljit Kaur said: “I did not get any intimation from the university. When the college authorities told me that I had been replaced, I called up the university and a clerk confirmed it,” she said. Prof S.S. Bahri, PU registrar, said two booths had been set up on the request of the college authorities.

“Since the new principal had taken over the charge, she requested to change the presiding officer. The university just conceded the request,” Prof Bahri said.

However, Dr Gursharan Kaur said she did not know anything about the newly appointed presiding officers. She said it was a decision of the university and the college simply obeyed the orders. “I did not ask for any change. Appointing or changing presiding officers is the university’s decision, not ours,” she said.

Meanwhile, some contestants were sending SMS for support even at midnight. A voter said it was disturbing to get messages at 12 in the night. Some contestants were seen campaigning at various institutes with the entire college staff for. “So many lecturers are accompanying them today, which means no classes were held at their respective institutes. Why should students suffer?” a voter asked.



Teachers stage protest
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 20
The Ludhiana unit of the ETT Union staged a protest in front of the DC office and marched towards Bharat Nagar Chowk where they burnt an effigy of the state government.

They were protesting against the arrest of four of their members in Chandigarh on Thursday where they had gone to release a video CD against the Badals. In the VCD they had claimed that Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, his son and president of SAD Sukhbir Singh Badal, the then education minister Tota Singh had, prior to the elections, promised to fulfil their demands if voted to power.

The cops had swooped down on them after they had released the VCD in a Chandigarh hotel and arrested four members of the state committee. They were later let off on bail. 



Cake lovers get baking tips at fest
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 20
The cake carnival at Hot Breads in Sarabha Nagar today was a unique experience for the women of the city as they learnt new recipes and designs of making cakes.

The team of chefs prepared cakes in different shapes and sizes on demands of the people present. Chef Vidhu Mishra from Delhi headed the team of chefs from 'Rich' company. The chefs had come from different parts of the country.

From rich chocolate flavours to light vanilla, strawberry, pineapple and blackforest, each cake was a temptation, especially the ones embellished with fresh fruits, candies, nuts, crunch and chocolate.

The chefs gave a detailed demonstration. It was difficult for the guests to resist the aroma of fresh baked cakes.

The show was a delight for the amateur young bakers who could not hold back their inquisitiveness to ask the chefs about easy- to-prepare recipes. Ruchi, a bride-to-be, said, "I just happened to be there and learnt three recipes which I would try to achieve perfection before my wedding in November."

A new cake creme ‘Niagra’ was also introduced. The creme is known for its non-greasy spread and luscious taste. 



Workshop on declining sex ratio in Punjab
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 20
The regional resource centre “Mamta”, in collaboration with the district health authorities, organised a workshop on “declining sex ratio” in Punjab. The seminar was attended by NGOs, including Guru Angad Dev Sewa Society and BSB Welfare Society.

Dr Reena Sandhu, district family welfare officer, in her address spoke on varied facets of the PNDT Act and the efforts being made by the district health administration in the field. Talking about the positive results of campaign, Dr Saba George, a renowned activist from Chandigarh, called people to join the struggle against female foeticide. Following discussions, the group reached a consensus to initiate a social movement against the social evil.

Civil surgeon Dr S.P. Sharma, Dr Manorama Avasthi and intellectuals from different walks of life were also present. 



Oriental Bank to open 4 new branches
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 20
Claiming that at least 26 per cent branches of the Oriental Bank of Commerce were catering to needs of farmers and entrepreneurs of suburban areas, executive director of the financial institute H. Rathnakara Hegde stated that 21 more units would be opened in the border state. Four of these would be stationed in the Ludhiana district.

Hegde was talking to The Tribune after inaugurating 1,421st (295th in the state) branch in Dehlon village, near here, today.

The bank envisaged to enhance quanta for agriculture and priority sectors from 14 and 42 per cent, respectively, to 18 and 44 per cent. Providing housing and education loans at moderate terms was another social commitment the bank had met, claimed Hegde.

Claiming that all branches of the bank were under the CBS platform, the official maintained that IT-enabled services like anywhere banking, multicity cheque book, cash management services, RTGS, NEFT, proton ATM card, internet banking, phone banking, online shopping and online tax payment were being offered at 
these branches. 



Demand from J&K revives hosiery industry
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 20
Hosiery industry that feared huge losses after demand from the Jammu and Kashmir came to a halt is now hopeful with fresh orders coming from the strife-torn state.

A large number of Kashmiri buyers are visiting this city these days in order to place fresh orders and also make their pending payments. Revival of activity in the hosiery industry can be witnessed in most of the city areas, including Mochpura Bazaar, Daal Bazaar, Madhopuri, Bet Ganj, other old city bazaars and even industrial areas, receiving a large number of visitors from J&K.

As demand has revived due to the holy month of Ramzan, industry is hopeful of covering its losses. "Buyers are coming in large numbers. It is good for us as we had nearly given up hope that there would be any demand from J&K this season. If orders continue at the same pace, we may be able to recover our losses," said Vishal Bandha, a trader.

While this has brought smiles back on the faces of industrialists that were relying on Jammu and Kashmir for their business, most manufacturers and traders are still sceptical and not giving credit to their buyers. After the turbulence in J&K, a large section of enterprises had been badly hit as demand came to a halt. Payments, too, got stuck as a result of which many units had to cut down drastically on their production. The small and medium enterprises were the worst hit. "We will be able to conduct our business only if peaceful situation continues. Most of the sellers are not giving credit to buyers as we are unsure if things would be normal in future as well. We are now keeping our fingers crossed ," said Sunil Dutt, a manufacturer-trader. 



Kashmir Apiaries wins gold medal
Our Correspondent

Doraha, September 20
Jagjit Singh Kapoor of Kashmir Apiaries Exports has been awarded a gold medal for being the largest producer and exporter of honey from India during the second International Beekeeping Congress held in Thimpu, Bhutan, recently.

Earlier this year, the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) under the ministry of commerce and industry, the Government of India, awarded for the eighth time in succession the “Biggest Exporter of Quality Honey Award” to Kashmir Apiaries Exports and Little Bee Impex.

Jagjit Singh dedicated himself to the world of honey business since 1981.He owns melliferous apiaries with 25,000 bee colonies and fully automated high-capacity export-oriented honey-processing plant capable of handing 20,000 mt honey in India.

He also runs one of the biggest nationwide buy back networks for the quality honey, beeswax and the melliferous colonies from the vulnerable beekeepers thus providing them sustainable livelihood.

In order to solve the problems of the beekeepers, Kashmir Apiaries, has established a Lee Bee International Institute of Beekeeping and Agro-Enterprises aimed at providing the latest technical know-how, skill-up gradation and sos outreach services through different trainings, workshops and awareness camps.



PRTC bus pass holders, a harassed lot
Lovleen Bains
Our Correspondent

Doraha, September 20
Local college students holding bus passes are undergoing physical and mental torture at the hands of drivers and conductors of the Punjab Roadways and PRTC buses, who not only ignore them, but also treat them indecently.

Not a single day passes when the students of various colleges and technical institutions don’t have a brush with the drivers and conductors for the simple reason that the latter are seldom willing to let students having passes board the buses.

Kush Kumar, a B.Com IInd-year student, alleged that he sustained injuries due to the obnoxious behaviour of the driver of a Punjab Roadways bus (PB-10-BP-0467) while he was waiting at the Sherpur Chowk, Ludhiana, the other day.

“The bus driver intentionally slackened the speed and sarcastically signaled us to board the bus. The moment we tried to get in, he drove away, leaving me hanging in between. As I was yet to balance myself, the bus picked up speed and I fell under the bus. It was by sheer good luck that I rolled myself out before the rear tyre could pass over me.

My ordeal was not yet over and had a second escape when I had to roll once again to save myself from an Indica coming behind the bus.

That one cruel joke played by the driver could have cost me my life,” complained the student.

Rajan Nanda, another college student and pass holder, states, “The same endless wait, agony, clashes and the same old story every day. My classmates and I have to board a bus from Ludhiana but drivers and conductors of the Punjab Roadways and PRTC buses, it seems, regard us as untouchables and speed away once they see students. If at all they halt for other passengers, we remain their most unwelcome guests.”

Narrating his tale of woe, Nitish Kumar said: “I was standing with other boys to board a bus from Doraha in the afternoon. A PRTC bus halted and that, too, half a kilometre away from the main stoppage. Hardly had I stepped in when the conductor blew the whistle. As a result, I fell down and sustained injuries.”

The problem of girl pass holders is even worse. Nikita (name changed) complains, “Boys somehow manage to board by running, but it is difficult for girls.

Moreover, the conductors try to take undue advantage of our pleas and behave indecently with us.”



Pediatric ward opens at Sidhu Hospital
Our Correspondent

Doraha, September 20
Sidhu Hospital, Doraha, has opened an exclusive pediatric ward, which was inaugurated by Dr Harbans Singh Sidhu, managing director of Sidhu Hospital, yesterday.

Dr Gursaran Kaur Sidhu, head of the medicine department, shared that a need to provide the latest facilities for treatment of newborn babies was being acutely felt for some time, as the facilities for the exclusive treatment of such patients were virtually non-existent in the rural areas. Keeping this in view, the hospital has now established the pediatric ward for the treatment and care of the newborn babies and children, equipped with the latest equipments. "We hope to add more equipments and facilities in the near future", the surgeon added.

While elaborating and giving details Dr Sukjinder Singh Wadwah, managing director (pediatrics) and head of the pediatrics department (HOD), said for any specialised treatment in respect of the newborn babies, the nearest facilities were presently available only in Ludhiana.

He said the pediatric department at Sidhu Hospital had now its own ICU, ventilator, warmer, photo therapy, double volume exchange transfusion (DVET) and piped-oxygen supply, which were essential for the care of critically sick newborn babies. "The pediatric ward has been designed to ensure a proper natural lighting and continuous monitoring of the patients by medical staff", he claimed.

A free medical check-up camp for children of all ages was also organised by the Rotary Club, Doraha, on the inaugural day. More than 150 children were examined on the occasion.



PHS fails to ensure vital drugs
Poor forced to shell out Rs 3,000-Rs 6,000 for childbirth
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 20
The state government has made a mockery of the public health sector as it has failed to ensure proper supply of vital drugs. This has led to the increase in the expenses incurred on childbirth in the civil hospitals.

In contrast to the inexpensive services in ‘institutional deliveries’ for economically weaker sections provided a decade age, people, now, are shelling out Rs 3,000 to Rs 4,000 for normal delivery followed by Rs 6,000 to Rs 7,500 for Caesarean cases in the civil hospitals across the state.

The patients admitted to the local civil hospital, apart from paying Rs 375 for a normal delivery and Rs 500 for Caesarean as the fee are also procuring antibiotics, antiseptic, painkillers, IV fluids, injections, suturing material and even bandages on their own.

Cefixime (antibiotic) priced for Rs 130 per strip to Diclofenac (analgesic tablets) Rs 39, Ornidazole for Rs 44.67 and other compulsory ointments and supplements varying in prices are also being procured by patients and their attendants.

A group of doctors pointed out deterioration in dispensing system of medicine over the past three years. They added that the Punjab Health System Corporation was not bothered about the regular supply of drugs in the civil hospitals. “Despite repeated reminders, pleas remain unheard as with growing population the gap between demand and supply is gradually increasing,” the doctors rued.

The charitable hospitals across the city are charging anything between Rs 1,200 to Rs 2,000 for normal deliveries and Rs 2,000 to Rs 3,000 for Caesarean cases and are even providing medicines free of costs in case patients are unable to afford it. Moreover, the facilities as compared to civil hospital are better at charitable hospitals.

Anwara, wife of a daily wager living near Dholewal Chowk, gave birth to a baby boy after Caesarean last Thursday in civil hospital. She said, “ This is my third delivery in the civil hospital but there is drastic change in the set up as hospital provided most of my medicine during my first Caesarean five years ago whereas this time we have practically purchased everything, including the glucose, bandages and antibiotics.”

Other two patients Sukhminder Kaur and Harpreet Kaur said they had spent around Rs 6,500 each. “My husband borrowed some amount from a relative for meeting the expenses of childbirth at the hospital,” Harpreet said.

However, Harvinder Singh, SMO, said patients were in the habit of adding up their personal expenses to give exaggerated figures.

“ At least 25 vital drugs and 44 essential drugs prescribed by PHSC are available at the hospital and there are NGOs that volunteer to make arrangements for medical expenses of poor and needy patients” Harvinder added.



Pritpal Singh is BJP employee cell chief
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 20
Pritpal Singh has been appointed Punjab president of the employee cell of the Bhartiya Janata party. This was disclosed in a party press release issued here today.

He urged the employees and pensioners of the state to bring their grievances to his notice and asked the state government to accept pensioners' demands, including 4-9-14 years promotional scale for all categories, medical allowance of Rs 1,000 per month and implementation of old pension rules.



Build sheds for labourers in mandis: INTUC
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 20
The Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) has demanded construction of sheds in government mandis at a rally here today.

Addressing the rally, district president Swaran Singh said the government had failed to fulfil its promises. "The atta-daal scheme failed and so did the others that were listed in election manifesto," said Singh.

The labourers said the government had assured that they will not have to resort to dharnas and rallies to raise their demands but they were disappointed as the government had ignored them.

The protesting workers also demanded education for their children, health facilities and cheap ration. They said the government should provide them with cheap housing.

The union threatened to hold a protest march in Ludhiana on September 29 in case the government did not fulfil their demands.



Kitty Bakshi is Inner Wheel Club chief
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 20
The new executive team of the Inner Wheel Club of Ludhiana was installed here today wherein Kitty Bakshi was appointed president while Darshi Chatwal and Kalyani Rai were appointed secretary and treasurer, respectively. Dr M.S. Kang, vice-chancellor of Punjab Agricultural University, was the chief guest.

The club also received donations for Nirdosh School. The donations would be used in establishing a vocational centre for the school.

"The main aim of establishing the vocational centre is to make the students self-sufficient," said Manjula Jain from the club.

She added that PAU VC has assured that he would try to find out jobs for three students in the university itself. In addition, the club members collected clothes for the inmates of Vridh Ashram.



‘Punish officials not using Punjabi’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 20
The Shiromani Khalsa Panchayat (SKP) has urged the Punjab government to amend the Punjabi Language Act and make it mandatory for bureaucrats to use Punjabi.

In a press release issued here yesterday, outfit's Ludhiana convenor Bhupinder Singh criticised the government for allegedly leaving loopholes in the Act for helping bureaucrats. He said according to the Act, the bureaucrats could be pressurised to work in Punjabi but no legal proceedings could be initiated against them if they do not comply with it.

He alleged that the Badal government was working under RSS pressure and said the IAS and IPS officers in the state, who do not respect the language, should be punished.



Heavy rain  damages houses
Tribune News Service

Khanna, September 20
The incessant rains for the past 36 hours affected as many as 15 houses in ward No. 13 of Khanna Khurd. Many of the houses developed big cracks and few of them got tilted this morning forcing residents to stay out.

Many farmers also lost their produce stored in various houses of the locality. The Khanna SDM sent the area patwari to take stock of the situation. The patwari identified 15 houses that were damaged due to the rains.

The area residents said water started seeping through their roofs last night and a number of houses got damaged completely.

The officials said compensation would be released to the occupants whose houses were completely damaged due to the rains. 



Make sewerage system more efficient
Government and private health institutions in the city these days are flooded with cases of gastroenteritis, diarrhoea and other water-borne diseases. Reason: Unattended heaps of garbage and unhygienic conditions in various parts of the city. Shortage of staff in the municipal corporation, poor infrastructure and negligible citizen participation have compounded to the problem. This is what a cross-section of city residents have to say on the issue. 

Better known as Manchester of India, the city plays host to a number of VVIPs, including the chief minister, cabinet ministers and top brass of various political parties. Apart from this, a parliamentary secretary, a cabinet minister and deputy speaker are from the city. The city also has a maximum number of multinational companies in the state. Despite this, the city is lacking in basic amenities for which the Municipal Corporation and other authorities concerned are to blame.

Except some posh areas like Sarabha Nagar, BRS Nagar, Gurdev Nagar and Urban Estates, the condition of other areas is pitiable. Due to lack of sweepers with the MC, streets and roads are rarely cleaned. Vacant plots have become dumping ground for garbage. In the absence of garbage collectors, people usually throw the household waste in the nearby vacant plots and parks.

The municipal authorities should challan the violators and impose penalty. There are provisions in the Indian Penal Code which empowers a police officer to book such persons who dump garbage in open. The government and the MC officials are concentrating only mega projects but are least concerned about providing basic amenities to the city residents.

The work of sewerage plant is going along at a snail’s pace. In certain areas, including Raghubir Park, Luxmi Nagar, Anand Nagar, Jagat Nagar, Naseeb Enclave and many other areas of Giaspura, Dhandari Kalan, Rahon Road, there is no planning for the same. Illegal constructions (vehra) are in plenty. People define Haibowal as “Hai-Bo-Wala” (high on smell).

The officials should be made accountable for every assigned work. Since the population of city has increased manifolds, appropriate steps need to be taken by the authorities concerned and the government to control the situation.

Garbage dumpers and carriers should be provided in every locality of the city. People throwing garbage in open should be challaned. The MC and the government should arrange funds for lying sewerage line in all parts of the city.

The work of laying sewerage lines can also be given to private contractors who can later charge nominal charges from the residents.

J.S. Rajan, translator, judicial courts, Ludhiana

Set up garbage dumpers

It’s difficult to solve the problem at personal level. The government is expected to do all the initial work as it has resources to provide basic amenities to the city residents.

The problem can be solved by putting up garbage dumpers in every locality. Special committees of residents should be formed to keep a check on wrong disposal of garbage.

It is difficult to solve the problem of stagnant water in slums without a proper drainage system because. The MC should link all the areas of the city with sewerage system to solve the problem.

Instead of spending huge amount on treatment of aliments, people should spend little money proper disposal of garbage.

Dr Arvinder Pal Singh, Mullanpur

Check pollution

I would like to bring to the notice of the authorities concerned the killing effect of noise and the smoke pollution in the city. Elderly people and the children living along side busy roads are the worst sufferers. A number of three-wheelers ply on these roads causing pollution. Truck and bus drivers ruthlessly use pressure horns causing noise pollution. One must realise that life can never be enjoyable without good health.

I suggest that the general bus stand situated in the heart of the city be shifted. The present bus stand can be utilised for city bus service. There was a plan to shift the bus stand to Chandigarh road, but the plan is yet to see the day of light.

S.S. Bhangu, 208/3 Dugri Road, Model Town Extn, Ludhiana

Segregate garbage

It is a matter of concern that in 21st century we feel that there is a need to know how to live healthy. While experiments are being carried out through largehadron collider to explore the earth, we still fail to explore our surroundings.

For this, the MC should provide three boxes for segregation of garbage to each house. Those who don’t comply with the orders should be punished and fined. People should throw the waste at the space provided for the purpose. Each one should plant a sapling as it will make the environment clean and green.

Regular fogging and spray on the stored water will help check spread of mosquitoes. People should also go hand in hand with the local government to make city clean.

Mohammad Saleem, Head, department of economics, Kamla Lohtia, SD College, Ludhiana

Awareness is the key

Due to the lack of awareness as well as growing population of migrant labourers and due to management of waste, the civic conditions in the city is going from bad to worse. Due of faulty policies of the MC, the city has turned into a garbage dump.

The residents are also to blame for unhygienic conditions in the balme city as they throw waste in open. In order to keep the city clean the MC should introduce a waste management system with proper collection, transport, processing, recycling or disposal of waste materials.

The term usually relates to materials produced by human activity and is generally undertaken to reduce their effect on health, environment or aesthetics. Waste management is also carried out to recover resources from it. Waste management can involve solid, liquid, gaseous or radioactive substances. Different methods vary widely between areas for many reasons, including type of waste material, nearby land uses, and the area available are Landfill operation (that involves burying of waste to dispose of), Incineration (combustion of waste material), Recycling (involves the process of extracting resources or valuable contents from waste material), Physical as well as Biological reprocessing etc.

Further, waste management practices differ for developed and developing nations, urban and rural areas, and for residential and industries as well as producers.

The most important method of waste management is the prevention of waste material being created, also known as waste reduction method that include reuse of second-hand repairing broken items instead of buying new, designing products to be refillable or reusable, encouraging consumers to avoid using disposable products, and designing products that use less material to achieve the same purpose.

Further, team of expertise as well as task oriented staff is also required for the waste management system that can provide education and general awareness in the area of waste and waste management to the public from the result point of view.

Ravi Chander Garg, Ludhiana

Keep surroundings clean

Stagnant water in pots, coolers and vacant plots is a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes, so don’t allow the water to stagnate and clean your coolers at least once a week. Besides, keep your surroundings clean to avoid water-borne diseases.

Shauraya Bhatia, class III, DAV Public School

Challan violators

Huge dumps of untreated garbage are seen in various parts of the city, a perfect recipe for outbreak of diseases like gastroenteritis, diarrhoea, malaria and dengue. Potholes and ditchers are filled with dirty water. The MC should carry out regular fogging and fill the potholes to avoid breeding of mosquitoes. Moreover, the residents should be made aware not to litter garbage in open and keep their surroundings clean. The MC should also act against violators and challan people throwing waste in open.

Dr K.K. Kalra, Model Gram, Ludhiana



Cleanliness amiss

Heaps of garbage are a common sight in the city. One can see these on the Ferozepur road near Verka Plant, the Mall road, grain market near Arora Palace, the Pakhowal road, Sherpur and at many more spots in the city which give out a foul smell and are a threat to residents’ health.

Residents of the areas complained to authorities concerned, but in vain. The media has also brought it to the notice of the municipal corporation but nothing has been done.

This is a grave problem and the MC should take immediate steps to check it.

Manjit Singh Mehram, 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.



Punjab Hockey League
Gurukul Academy win by 3-2
Anil Datt
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, September 20
Gurukul Academy players of Doraha survived a scare against their spirited opponents from Mata Sahib Kaur Academy of Jarkhar before squeezing past 3-2 in a group A match of the u-14 section in the Punjab State Weekend Hockey Tournament being organised by the Punjab sports department at the Prithipal Singh Memorial Astro Turf Stadium of Punjab Agricultural University campus, here today.

Doraha lads struck in the very first minute of the encounter when Jaspreet Singh scored a fine field goal to put his side ahead. They increased the lead through Inderjeet Singh in the 16th minute while Jaspreet again found the target in the 24th minute to read the score sheet 3-0.

Trailing by three goals, Jarkhar Academy reorganised themselves. They weaved some good moves and swarmed rivals' territory time and again. The pressure tactics yielded results in the 30th minute when Amandeep Singh sounded the board to reduce the margin 1-3.

They continued to raid the Doraha citadel and finally forced a penalty corner off which Rajbir Singh scored to make it 2-3. They pressed hard for an equaliser, however the much-needed goal eluded them.

Doraha Academy lads managed to hang to the one goal lead till the long hooter and heaved a sigh of relief by wrapping the issue 3-2.

The second match of the day, played between Roomi XI and Kurali XI in the group B of the u-14 section turned out to be one-sided with the former romping home victors easily 4-0.

Gurjant Singh opened the account in the 21st minute and three minutes later Harpreet Singh scored a field goal to enhance the lead 2-0. The third and fourth goal came off Harvinder Singh's stick in the 28th and 32nd minute, respectively, which sealed Kurali XI's fate.

In the third match of the day in the group B of u-16 category, Grewal Hockey Academy of Kila Raipur defeated Bathinda XI 3-1 after leading by one goal at half time.

Kila Raipur lads surged ahead in the 16th minute through a field goal scored by Dalbir Singh. He again struck in the 41st minute to consolidate the lead. They further cemented the lead in the 43rd minute through Gurvinder Singh. The lone goal for the losers was scored by Gurpreet Singh off a penalty corner in the 47th minute (1-3).



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