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Nursing homes violate Pharmacy Act
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 2
In blatant violation of Article 17-A of the Pharmacy Act, a large number of private hospitals and nursing homes in the city and its periphery are running in-house drugstores without license.

It is shocking that doctors are indulging in the unethical practice of selling drugs procured under the garb of “usage during emergency”.

Every private doctor registered with the Punjab Medical Council is authorised to give medicines to indoor and outdoor patients, but he /she is not authorised to sell the medicines at the hospital counter to patients without a license.

A large number of hospitals and nursing homes in remote areas of Ludhiana and its periphery are selling drugs on their premises.

Maintaining anonymity, a senior doctor employed in a government hospital said: “Some centres are administering and selling morphine injections which can only be procured on a special license.”

Patients are not even given bills for medicines, causing loss of revenue to the state exchequer as doctors evade tax.

Pulling the wool over the eyes of the health authorities is easy for the violators as some “pharmacists” reportedly sublet their licenses to these hospitals and nursing homes for Rs 1,500 to Rs 2,500 per month.

To top it, unqualified persons are handling these drugstores.

Ludhiana retail chemists association president Aman said as per the Act, a minimum area for a drugstore should not be less than 120 sq ft. “Some nursing homes have small chambers with stacks of medicines and no space for even a single person to sit,” he stated.

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GLADA plans another bypass
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, January 2
The Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA) has chalked out a plan to provide another bypass, linking Ferozepur road to the southern bypass along the Sidhwan Canal on the GT Road (Doraha).

The 10-km proposed bypass, to be constructed at a tentative cost of Rs 100 crore, will run parallel to the southern bypass to provide connectivity to traffic to Delhi and Chandigarh, besides easing traffic on the southern bypass.

A sketch of the proposed bypass from the Ferozepur road to the GT Road (Doraha)
A sketch of the proposed bypass from the Ferozepur road to the GT Road (Doraha).

AK Sinha, chief administrator of GLADA, told The Tribune that a preliminary survey of the proposed bypass had been carried out by a Jodhpur-based private firm and a map had been prepared for final approval by the town and country planning department.

The bypass, commencing from Lodhi Club road, would pass through Pakhowal road, Urban Estate Dugri, Dhandra road and Gill road to connect it with the southern bypass.

Out of the total length of the road, two missing links -- 750 metres from Pakhowal road to Dugri and 4.50 km from Gill road to the southern bypass, would have to be constructed. The existing road links with a total length of 4.75 km would also be widened to make it a 200-ft six-lane highway.

Sinha said once the proposal was approved, the process for the acquisition of land would be set in motion and work undertaken for the construction of the missing links. The survey had revealed that there were some 230 structures, mostly residential houses located in slum areas, which would have to be removed to clear the way for the bypass.

“This is no big hurdle. We have had discussions with the owners of the properties and assured them of adequate compensation, besides providing them with alternative housing sites in developed colonies,” he said.

As for the proposed under-bridge at the Ferozepur railway line crossing, the approval of the railways was expected soon and work was likely to commence on the Rs 20-crore project in two months, he added.

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Bir steps in to resolve Sutlej Club row
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 2
The Punjab government has taken serious note of the house tax row between the Sutlej Club and the Ludhiana municipal corporation. It has directed the Patiala divisional commissioner, Jasbir Singh Bir, to resolve the issue.

Following the orders, Bir was in the city today and convened a meeting that was attended by MC commissioner GS Ghuman and deputy commissioner Sumer Singh Gurjar.

Bir asked them to solve the issue amicably as it was bringing a bad name to the district administration and the government. He also directed the DC to pay the house tax immediately.

Sources revealed that Bir had also called for another meeting which would be held soon to know what came of the house tax.

The sources added that the DC expressed dissatisfaction over the tax assessment by the MC for Sutlej and Lodhi Clubs, but Ghuman stuck to his stand.

Ghuman told Bir that the tax in Ludhiana had not been re-assessed for the past decade and the civic body would soon streamline house tax in the city.

Over the past few years, the house tax department of the D-zone was with joint commissioner Kuldeep Singh, who happens to be the executive committee member of the Sutlej Club.

The process gained speed after Ghuman took the decision to handle the issue himself and deputed joint commissioner Davinder Singh as in charge of the house tax department.

Meanwhile, after the civic body published an auction notice of the club, several house tax defaulters, including Apollo Hospital, have come forward to pay the amount.

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Encroachment List
No response from zonal commissioners yet
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 2
The Commissioner of the Ludhiana MC is personally supervising departmental functioning, particularly the anti-encroachment drive all over the city.

Besides the abysmally poor response by the ground staff, at least four communications to the zonal commissioners during the past four months, seeking information on encroachments and departmental action, have not produced any result.

The zonal commissioners have been asked by GS Ghuman, the Commissioner, to send a list of all encroachments in their respective areas and the departmental action initiated in this regard.

They have also been asked to send report on areas of potential encroachments. The MC is trying to compile a list before a formal charter of action.

Certain areas that witnessed heavy tehbazaari action to remove encroachments in the recent past included Feroze Gandhi market, subzi mandi on Pakhowal road and the posh area of Sarabha Nagar. Besides squatters, the corporation also removed banners and illegal advertisements. Encroachments can be seen all over the city, including Clock Tower, Kumhar Mandi, Gill road, Kochar market and Civil Lines.

Sources said none of the area commissioners had forwarded any list to the commissioner’s office. The issue had also figured at several departmental meetings.

Ghuman said: “I have drawn up an action plan for my departments and encroachments figure on the top of the priority list.” He refused to comment on the communication from his office to the area commissioners.

The city is divided into four zones -- A, B, C and D. One of the zonal commissioners, on the condition of anonymity, said: “We always respond to queries sought by the main office. As far as the issue of encroachments is concerned, we have a special officer designated for the job who is supposed to handle all related issues.”

A senior official said: “One of the biggest problems in solving the area problems in the city, particularly encroachments, is that there is interference by the area councillor. Several times it has happened that when we reach the target area, we are prepared for a call from the top, asking us to forgo the operations because of ‘orders’ from the top.”

In a related development, Ghuman today went to various areas and cleared roads and streets of encroachments. He took upon the work himself as his subordinates, including the zonal commissioners and tehbazari officials, had failed to do something about it and the civic body was drawing flak.

The MC squad, including superintendents of the tehbazari wing and master town planner Hemant Batra, were present there to assist the MC commissioner.

The anti-encroachment drive started at around 4.30 pm and continued till late evening in areas like Leisure Valley, Model Town Extension, Preet Palace road and Gill road.

The MC also confiscated handcarts and other items of street food vendors. Tea stalls along the Preet Palace road were also removed for the widening of the road.

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Ludhiana-New Delhi Shatabdi taken off track
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, January 2
Putting all speculations and uncertainty to rest, the Northern Railway headquarters have decided against continuing the winter special Ludhiana-New Delhi Shatabdi Express which was run on trial basis for a period of one month during December 2008.The train had its last run on Wednesday evening from New Delhi and returned on Thursday morning from the city.

Even though the senior officials at Ferozepur division had sent a positive feed back on the basis of improved occupancy in the train during last week of December, business of around 35 per cent done by Shatabdi during the trial run, perhaps, did not merit its continuation.

Senior divisional manager of the Northern Railway Dharmendra Kumar, told The Tribune that it was recommended to the headquarters to continue with the train for some more time, and extend its route to Jalandhar to take in some extra traffic. However, the authorities have decided not to extend the train for the time being and it has been withdrawn after completion of its scheduled run from December 3 to January 1.

Industry and trade circles in the city have expressed dismay at the decision of the railways not to further extend the Shatabdi between Ludhiana and New Delhi. Several persons, who had travelled on the train during last month, said they were confident that traffic would have improved after the weather changes.

"Several factors have affected the passenger traffic in the city Shatabdi. Cold wave like conditions, dislocation of train services due to foggy weather and missing computer links were responsible to a great extent for poor occupancy rate in the train. For quite some time, the Ludhiana-New Delhi Shatabdi was not shown on computer data bank for reservations which kept a large number of prospective passengers away," said Mohinder Aggarwal, a functionary of Punjab Pradesh Beopar Mandal while pleading with the railways to give the train another chance to prove its viability.

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Not in race for top SGPC post: Bibi Surinder Kaur
Our Correspondent

Samrala, January 2
“I am not in the race for the top post of the SGPC or any political position and I am serving the ‘langer’ on my own religious will.” This was stated by Bibi Surinder Kaur Badal while talking to mediapersons at Gurdwara Sahib Machiwara. She was here to mobilise the people of the Koom Kalan area to take ‘langer’ to Darbar Sahib.

She said the SGPC was working in its own way and she had nothing to do with it. She said due to her faith in ‘langer’, she had arranged the tour at all main stations of Punjab so that those people who could not go to Darbar Sahib on their own may be able to go there and perform the sewa of ‘langer’, cleaning of shoes and to clean utensils.

Bibi Badal, clad in a green suit, reached at Gurdwara Sahib at about 3.30 pm. She was accorded a warm welcome by Deputy Speaker Lok Sabha Charanjit Singh Atwal, Santa Singh Umaidpuri, Inder Iqubal Singh Atwal, SGPC member Jathedar Kirpal Singh Khirnian and some other leaders of the Akali Dal.

While addressing the gathering she appealed them to collect 5 kg flour from every house of the Koom Kalan area and some other items like milk, ghee, etc. that would be distributed to the ‘sangat’ at Darbar Sahib on January 21. She said that the ‘langer maryada’ had great importance in the Sikh history “that was initiated by our Gurus”.

She said although there was no shortage of money and ‘langer’ at Darbar Sahib, but her mission was to take most of the people, including women, who were yet to visit the gurdwara.

Meanwhile, Atwal appealed the people to stop female foeticide. This function was also addressed by MP Sharanjit Singh Dhillon and some other leaders of the Akali Dal.

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Nitrate poisoning in animals increases during winters
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 2
A number of cases of nitrate poisoning during December 2008, leading to the death of animals in Punjab, have been noticed by the experts of department of epidemiology and preventive veterinary medicine of GADVASU here recently.

The experts stressed that farmers need to take extra care of their animals during the extreme weather conditions. Talking to The Tribune, Dr MP Gupta, head of the department of epidemiology and preventive veterinary medicine, GADVASU told that during winters, problems of respiratory illness triggers among animals. Farmers should keep their animals indoors and if possible, to keep them warm, they should be covered, too. He said the department had attended the outbreaks of respiratory illness in dairy cattle in November and December leading to death of animals.

Dr Gupta stressed that farmers must get their animals vaccinated against foot and mouth disease and hemorrhage septicemia from their nearest veterinary hospital. "During winters, the floor should be kept dried by putting the rice straw on the floor and animals should be covered with heavy clothes and rags", he said.

"There is usually less fodder during winter season and farmers start spraying urea to get early and maximum fodder, which ultimately harms animals", he added.

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City Concerns

Residents are annoyed at the unnecessary security cover being provided to some VIPs travelling to the city. There is no denying the fact that normal policing is being heavily compromised on account of unwarranted security for a sizeable section of politicians and other influential people. The police has at its disposal a small workforce for community issues. This is what a cross-section of residents have to say on the issue.

Evaluate security cover

It raises no doubts that VIPs at the realm of policy making face a greater threat to their life and need police security. But the ever-growing threats faced by ordinary citizens like incidents of trivial crime or increased number of thefts are also serious. The need of the hour is to properly analyse the ratio of the police workforce engaged in VIP security and those engaged in maintaining law and order.

Police security should be given to only those VIPs who the intelligence feels are facing threat to life. Senior police officials like IGs and DIGs must evaluate the number of security personnel required by a VIP and bring changes from time to time whenever needed.

As far as the rich and powerful are concerned, they usually employ police security for “trend” or some personal rivalry. They should not be provided police security. They should hire personal bodyguards.

— Gurleen Kaur

Violation of Constitution

A logical analysis of security arrangements existing in the city shows that it is far from satisfactory or even rational in its functioning. VIP security is given top priority by the district administration whereas security for common citizens finds no place on the priority list.

VIPs of independent India are provided special treatment everywhere, including roads, while the common man is rudely pushed away.

The very idea and practice of special treatment to VIPs is obnoxious, besides being unconstitutional and unethical. It is violative of Section 14 of the Constitution, according to which “State shall not deny any person equality before law or equal protection of law within the territory of India.”

Special treatment to VIPs and their beneficiaries at the cost of the common man is unjust, as also a heavy drain on the public exchequer. In a welfare state, their should be no place for such things.

Legal luminaries of the city must file PIL in this regard.

— Prof KBS Sodhi

Limit security guards

Of late, the public is awakening from its slumber and wants to know about the security for VIPs. One fails to understand why after being elected, MLAs or MPs want security like “nawabs” at the cost of the public exchequer.

At the most, one security guard for an MLA and the principal secretary and not more than three security guards for ministers should be provided. Ten guards could be kept for a Chief Minister. Mayawati, the CM of UP, reportedly has 300 security guards, which is unheard of in any democratic setup.

— Sher Singh

Pay for security

The Tribune has always given a chance to the readers to express their views at the subject being asked from time to time through different ways. That is why, it has designated to the term," Voice of people".

Recently asked question on the deployment of large-scale police personnel for the security of our politicians is really a burning question for the nation. It's a matter of pity that once a politician wants to visit a destination, whole surrounding atmosphere of the destination usually changed immediately and huge amount has been spend for the security of these black spot of the nation.

Why the same is not done for the general public? Why the public is being harassed at various barricades set up at different areas to garb money whereas true meaning of the same is for safety of riders? Why the public has only been left to suffer inconvenience when a politician crosses a way? And moreover why, such type of disparities has not been abolished or washed out completely?

Our politicians must know the fact that it’s the general public because of whom they are enjoying such esteemed positions.

Further, I am not against the provision of security for politicians, rather it should be handled by each political leader privately and that too at restricted cost acceptable to general public.

— Pawan Kumar Jain

Not justified

Extra security cover to politicians to prevent them from attackers and to resist various hostile activities doesn't justify at any cost. Public must know the fact that out of crore of rupees that we are paying to the central as well as the state government in the form of fee and taxes, duties and other various types of charges, more than Rs 250 crore is being spent by the government to protect our politicians.

These politicians, who are enjoying this cover, are unable to protect the lives and limbs of the common people from terrorist attacks. There is no doubt some politicians may be at risk and require security, but there are numerous other who surround themselves usually with gun-toting commandos as well as police personnel to flaunt their status and end up harassing common people, by blocking traffic and pushing vehicles off the road. It is ridiculous in which our police personnel meant for anti-terror operations have mostly been diverted to protect corrupt politicians which in true sense is a sheer embezzlement of resources at the cost of nation.

— Bhawna Garg

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Compulsory computer education
Government schools follow suit
Sheetal Chawla
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 2
Students of the government schools have been acclimatised to compulsory computer education from Class VI to XII in order to make them tech savy.

Computer labs have been installed in all the government schools. Each class is given four periods in a week - two for theory and two for practical.

Students of Class VI, VII and VIII pay a nominal fee of Rs 22 per month, Class IX and X students pay Rs 30 per month and Class XI and XII students pay Rs 35 per month respectively.

Krishan Kumar, director general Punjab Schools Education, said, “Living in the 21st century, computer has become the basic necessity of life. If private schools are imparting computer training to the students, why should the government school children be deprived of it?”

Sanjeev Thapar, principal Government Senior Secondary Model School, PAU, said they are having well-equipped lab with 39 computers and Internet facility is also available. Harinder Kaur computer faculty of the school said students are taught the basics of computers upto Class X and in Class XI and XII they are taught the programming language.

Government Senior Secondary School for Boys, Jawahar Nagar camp, has two labs with 48 computers in all. Baldeep Singh, the vocational teacher says that vocational trade in computer science in Class XI and XII is different from the compulsory computer education from Class VI to XII.

HK Mayer, principal, Government Multipurpose School, said they are having two labs with 28 computers.

It is a positive step by the government to keep the students updated with modern technology.

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Transfusion medicine a boon for thalassemics?
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 2
Recent development on the scientific and socioeconomic fronts are directly proportional to the present period of rapid evolution in transfusion medicine, stated Dr Amarjit Kaur, professor and head of the department of transfusion medicine, DMCH.

Owing to the availability of specific blood components and massive education efforts of the department of transfusion medicine at DMCH, the parents of thalassemic children are hoping for ‘miraculous’ results. There has been an almost complete acceptance by physicians of more and more specific therapy in transfusion medicine.

Transfusion medicine has made tremendous progress in the field of various specialties. The newer development in the field of immunology and paediatric haematology has completely changed the scenario of management of paediatric diseases. The outlook for the life of thalassemic patients has changed remarkably due to specific component therapy, stated Dr Amarjit.

“We have recently started giving leucoreduced packed red cells to the affected children and this has minimised the rate of transfusion reaction thereby increasing the life span of thelassemic children,” revealed Dr Amarjit.

Component transfusion, which includes packed red cells, random donor platelets, fresh frozen plasma, single donor platelets, plasma aphaeresis, cryoprecipitate, fibrin glue, individual coagulation factor concentrates are utilised for the treatment of patients suffering from leukemias, aplastic anaemia, thalassemia and sickle cell anaemia.

Dr Amarjit further stated that more than 200 platelets were issued daily from the department for three months to the dengue affected patients which were elemental in saving their lives as platelet transfusion is the only remedy in dengue fever.

Therapeutic plasma exchange is the procedure initiated recently wherein harmful plasma factors are removed from a person’s circulation. This is followed by plasma exchange wherein epathological substance is continuously being removed and replacement fluid is infused.

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Sobti is city IMA president
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 2
Dr M Sobti was declared the president IMA, Ludhiana, following the general body meeting of the district unit of IMA (Indian Medcal Association) yesterday.

Dr Hardeep Singh was given the post of senior vice-president while Dr DP Singh was declared the general secretary followed by Dr S Nauria and Dr Narjit Kaur Gill on the post of finance secretary, and joint secretary respectively.

The term of the team will start from January 1, 2009 and will extend up to December 31, 2009.

The general body of district IMA in its meeting at IMA House rectified the agreement between doctors who were contesting for various posts of IMA for 2009 elections.

Meanwhile, it was unanimously decided in the general body meeting that Dr Narotam Dewan will be the president elect for year 2010, he will take the office of the president IMA, Ludhiana, from January 1, 2010 and will officiate up to December 31, 2010. No elections for the post of president will be held in 2009-10, instead, the elections will be held for the post of president elect for the year 2011.

The doctors affirmed their support to the decisions taken by the election commission by casting their votes. Dr A Mitra will be patron with voting rights for the term.

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PAU VC releases book on cardiopulmonary topics
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 2
A book, “Cardiopulmonary Topics”, jointly authored by Dr RS Bhatia and Dr Harpreet Singh, consultant physicians, was released today by PAU Vice-Chancellor Dr Manjit Singh Kang. In his remarks, Dr Kang said the advancement in understanding the pathophysiology of cardio-respiratory disorders in the recent times, owing to availability of efficient diagnostic tools, had led to recognition of the problem in various situations.

The 21-chapter book provides information on selected topics such as cardiopulmonary assessment, cardiopulmonary causes of pyrexia in ICU, manifestation in HIV/AIDS in rabies, cardiovascular disorders in the elderly, magnesium in cardiorespiratory, new therapeutic options etc. Dr Kang said due to the rapidly developing science of diagnosis and management of various cardio-pulmonary disorders, the released book would be extremely useful to health practitioners.

Although the book has been written in simple, understandable form, it provides the much needed information in a scientific manner. The information provided in different chapters has been made meaningful with the provision of relevant references. While congratulating the authors for bringing out a pocketbook on an important healthcare subject, Dr Kang hoped that the book shall be an asset for medical students.

Those present in the book release meeting included the former PAU additional director of research (agriculture), Dr Gurdev Singh Hira, Dr Sheetal Thapar, Dr Nirmal Jaura and Dr Jagtar Dhiman.

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ASICON-2008
PAU gained in many ways, says VC
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 2
After a report pertaining to the surgeons’ conference, ASICON-2008, was published in these columns yesterday (“Cash-starved PAU plays host for free”), the PAU said in a press note that it had gained academically, professionally and socially through the conference.

It said the conference had been a success and over 4,000 surgeons from India and abroad deliberated on the recent developments in surgery.

The conference reflected the PAU’s focused attention on national health security.

The inter-disciplinary approach was the hallmark of the PAU and like other disciplines, agriculture too could not flourish in isolation, Dr Manjit Singh Kang, vice-chancellor, said in the press note.

He said PAU-trained dieticians, diagnosticians and microbiologists were contributing towards healthcare through serving various medical organisations.

The university had made enormous gains academically, besides gains in terms of prestige and credibility, which offset monetary gains, the press note stated.

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10-day NSS camp concludes
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 2
A ten-day NSS camp organised by over 100 volunteers from Guru Har Krishan College, Phallewal, concluded at Jandali Kalan village near here yesterday.

The function was presided over by Jagdev Singh, while Harinder Singh, SHO City was the chief guest.

According to SP Sofat, coordinator of the event, the volunteers undertook various activities during the camp. Besides taking part in a cleanliness drive and promotion of environment, the volunteers contributed towards educating children and adults of the village. They distributed woollen garments and books among needy students.

A cultural programme was also presented. Bhangra, choreography and folk items performed by the volunteers were well appreciated.

Harinder urged the girl students to contribute their share in restructuring of agrarian society by focusing on achieving excellence in studies. He claimed that social evils, including female foeticide, drug addiction and dowry system could not be checked without active role of women.

Prof Amarjit Sidhu director, Dr Maghar Singh former CEO, Navdeep Kaur Sarpanch, Saroj Rani, principal and programme officer Maninder Kaur stressed the role of social service organisation in personality development of students.

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Cop saves woman from ending her life
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 2
A timely intervention by a cop saved a woman from death as she was about to commit suicide by pouring kerosene oil on herself near Clock Tower here this morning.

The woman was identified as Ravinder Kaur, a resident of Street No. 12, Salem Tabri.

The cop, requesting anonymity, narrated the whole incident.

He said as the spot was abuzz with activity no one noticed that woman actually trying to commit suicide.

“I was purchasing peanuts when someone told me that the woman seems to be pouring kerosene oil. Without wasting a moment I snatched the kerosene canister and grabbed the matchbox from her,” said the cop.

He further informed the division No. 1 police post about the incident and handed over the woman to the police.

Nirmal Singh, SHO, division No. 1, said the woman was mentally challenged and a mother of three children.

The police handed over the woman to her relative.

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700 vehicles challaned on New Year’s Eve
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 2
A special drive conducted by the traffic police bore fruit as the police challaned 700 vehicles on New Year’s Eve.

Seven teams of the traffic police was given the task of challaning offenders. However, the much-hyped Alco meters were not pressed into service by the police.

The police seemed “kind” on boozers as only nine persons were challaned for drunk driving.

The traffic police challaned around 466 persons for not wearing helmet and confiscated around 22 vehicles. Around 30 persons were challaned for entering the no-parking zone; 20 were challaned for listening to mobile phone while driving and 55 were fined for jumping red light.

The Sarabha Nagar market topped the chart as most traffic offenders were nabbed from the market place there.

The special drive was conducted outside Flames Mall, Model Town, West End Mall and Ansal Plaza.

The SSP said strict implementation of traffic rules was necessary for a peaceful New Year’s Eve and the police was successful in nabbing the maximum number of traffic offenders this time.

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Industries flay PSEB for poor power supply
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 2
The All-Industries and Trade Forum has flayed the Punjab State Electricity Board for erratic power supply and failure to take promised measures to improve power situation.

An emergent meeting of the forum held here today observed that the PSEB authorities had failed to give effect to the assurance of uninterrupted power supply from January 1 onwards, given by member distribution HS Brar during a meeting at Phagwara on December 31. The promised withdrawal of two-days weekly off on category II feeders and improved supply on mixed feeders had also not materialised.

A joint statement issued by Narinder Bhamra, Charanjit Singh Vishwakarma, conveners and Varinder Kapoor, co-convener after the meeting called upon the PSEB management to immediately take necessary steps to improve power supply to industry, and in particular to lift two-day weekly off on category II feeders. In the absence of a positive response from the PSEB, the industry and trade will be left with no other option than to launch an agitation, they threatened.

Prominent among others present at the meeting were Jaswinder Birdi, Naresh Sachdev, Raj Kumar Singla and Jugal Kishore.

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Safai workers hold protest rally
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 2
The Safai Labour Union along with the Disposal Workers Union held a protest rally here today to remind the municipal corporation about their various demands which had been put forward by them many times.

General secretary Vijay Kumar, said despite our repeated requests the municipal corporation has been paying no heed to our demands.

"Earlier we had protested on December 19, 2008 and had submitted a reminder of our demands to Municipal Commissioner, but to no avail.

Their various demands included regularisation of mohalla sanitation committee employees and those working on DC rates. Besides, pension for wives of MC employees who were dead and preparation of seniority list of sewer men.

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New Year celebrated with fervour
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 2
Lovely Lotus School celebrated New Year with enthusiasm.

Children danced, teachers cheered and everybody welcomed New Year. Children came in colourful dresses to the school.

Tiny-tots decided to do their own way by becoming picture post cards of health, happiness, prosperity and spirit themselves.

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Road safety week
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, January 2
The Jagraon police is celebrating road safety week that will conclude on January 7. Gurpreet Singh Bhuller, SSP (Ludhiana Rural) said the traffic educational cell in charge Sukhdev Singh briefed the traffic rules and safe driving procedures to a joint gathering of various tempo and truck unions of Jagraon.

More that 200 drivers and cleaners participated in the gathering. Sukhdev also gave tips to ply vehicles in this foggy weather.

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Letters

Right to education

Right to Education Bill-2008 passed by the Parliament is appreciable. It seeks to provide free and compulsory education to children in the government as well as in private schools across the country.

Of course, it is a welcome step but it has to be seen as to how it is implemented. It must not meet with the fate like the previous numerous educational programmes launched vehemently but later on not implemented in their true spirit. The bill also seeks that no child should be failed till Class VIII for poor performance. However, such cases are likely to be negligible, it should be made mandatory for the authorities to ensure teachers' attendance and producing results. Let there be quality education by implementing the act religiously in its true spirit. It is required to be monitored strictly by the authorities concerned without any prejudice.

Nahar Singh Chaha, 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.

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Accident case registered after 3 months
Our Correspondent

Raikot, January 2
The police has registered a case against an unknown driver and the vehicle that was involved in an accident at Gondwal village, near here, on September 22.

Davinder Singh of Mehma Singh Wala near Dehlon had died in the hit-and-run accident. Ranjit Kaur, wife of the deceased, had thought at that time that her husband had died when his scooter skid. But when she approached the police, she came to know that he had died after some motorist hit him.

On her statement, the police has registered the case under Sections 304 A and 279 of the IPC. No arrest has been made so far.

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Rape accused gets 7-year RI
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 2
A fast track court, headed by Additional Sessions Judge RL Ahuja, has convicted Mumtaz Khan, a resident of Ferozabad village, Saharanpur district, UP, in a
rape case.

The court ordered him to undergo rigorous imprisonment for seven years. He was also directed to pay a fine of Rs 6,000.

An FIR was lodged against the accused at Basti Jodhewal police station on December 23, 2004 under Sections 363, 366, 376, 506 of the IPC on the statement of Biro of New Shakti Nagar, Ludhiana.

The complainant had submitted to the police that the accused had allured her daughter on the pretext of marrying her. He took her to Saharanpur on March 31, 2004. The girl returned after a week. She apprised that she was kept in a room and raped.

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Hockey Tourney
Namdhari, Surjit academies set up title clash
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, January 2
Continuing with their dominance, Namdhari Academy, Bhaini Sahib and Surjit Academy, Jalandhar, wrapped up their semi final encounters without being challenged in the inaugural edition of the Canada Gold Cup Hockey Tournament being played on the Prithipal Singh Memorial AstroTurf Stadium of the Punjab Agricultural University campus, here today.

The first semi final played between Surjit Academy, Jalandhar, and Sarinh Academy also from Jalandhar turned out to be a one-sided affair in which the former came out triumphant 6-1.

Surjit Academy lads drew the first blood in the seventh minute through a field goal, which came off Jaswinder Singh's stick. They enhanced the lead two minutes later when Prabhdeep was on the target to make it 2-0.

Sarinh Academy outfit reduced the margin through Ajay Kumar in the 13th minute (2-1) while Karampal Singh of Surjit Academy converted a penalty corner in the 19th minute to consolidate the lead (3-1).

Surjit Academy further cemented the lead in the 24th minute through Jaswinder Singh, who converted a penalty corner to read it 4-1 and Manjinder Singh (33rd minute) and Satbir Singh (62nd minute) sounded the board to help their side to clinch the issue 6-1.

Similarly, in the second final, Namdhari Academy, Bhaini Sahib faced a little resistance from Maharaja Ranjit Singh Academy, Amritsar as they emerged victors 4-1 and secured a berth in the title clash match.

Namdhari Academy lads surged ahead in the 12th minute as Sukhchain Singh found the target and made it 2-0 in the 30th minute through Manpreet Singh.

With three minutes to go for the lemon break, Kanwar Subheg Singh of Maharaja Ranjit Singh Academy sounded the board to make it 2-1.

After changing ends, the winners added two more goals through Balwinder Singh Bhinder (39th minute) and Malik Singh (49th minute), which saw Namdhari Academy to romp home victorious 4-1. The final is slated for tomorrow from 2 pm onward.

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