L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Akalis snub BJP councillors
Decision on tenders taken in spite of BJP’s disapproval
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 14
The friction between the SAD-BJP alliance at the municipal corporation-level seems to have taken a serious turn. BJP district president OP Bhardwaj is going to hold a meeting with SAD district chief Hira Singh Gabria in this regard soon.

Talking to The Tribune, Bhardwaj said: “The recent incident of dissenting note on three projects by Senior Deputy Mayor Praveen Bansal and Deputy Mayor Sunita Aggarwal at the finance and contracts committee meeting on January 9 was due to party directive.

“Akali councillors were three in number and since they enjoyed a majority, it doesn’t mean that the BJP’s opinion could be ignored.”

He said he would talk to Gabria so that SAD councillors, who had been cold-shouldering BJP councillors, could be held accountable.

When Bhardwaj was asked that MC officials had already started functioning on the projects by inviting tenders, Bhardwaj said: “If the tenders have been called, it doesn’t mean works have been allotted. The final commissioning of works is yet to take place.”

Sources in the municipal corporation, however, said the final decision of the contractor to whom the tender of fancy lights had to be given had been decided and the file had been sent to the municipal commissioner for approval.

Some contractors said on the condition of anonymity: “We are ready to undertake the work of the installation of fancy lights at 25 per cent lower rates while the contractor who is being given the project has quoted a price just 8 per cent less.”

During the committee meeting on January 9, Bansal and Aggarwal had opposed the installation of fancy lights on all major roads at the cost of Rs 5 crore, provision for basic amenities to 216 illegal colonies and invitation of tenders for display of advertisements on bus shelters, streetlights, etc. to one contractor.

The projects were given a green light by the six-member F&C committee, which included Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura, Simarjit Singh Bains and Pal Singh Grewal, all Akalis. They were backed by municipal commissioner GS Ghuman, leaving out the two BJP councillors.


Feroze Gandhi market parking goes for Rs 62.5 lakh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 14
The municipal corporation has finally been able to auction the Feroze Gandhi market parking to a contractor at a cost of Rs 62.5 lakh for one year.

The auction, which continued for about an hour at the D-zone office here today, witnessed the presence of five contractors as bidders.

MC officials said the contractor would make the parking functional from January 19. The last contract of the parking site was bagged by the same contractor.

The MC auctioned the site even though it earned a revenue of around Rs 20 lakh in just one month, starting from December 13.

The civic body had decided to take over the functioning of the parking when it failed to get a contractor on a reserve price of Rs 88 lakh during the auction on December 12.

The decision of contractors to refrain from the auction was termed as pressure tactics by MC sources and the price was reduced to Rs 60 lakh.

On December 13, Joint Commissioner Mahinder Pal Gupta was assigned the charge of the parking site and MC officials were put on duty at the parking.

Shopkeepers of the area had hailed the decision, expecting beautification of the area by the civic body.



Garden or garbage dump?
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 14
The Bougainvillaea Garden at the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), for which the development work was started last year, is in the state of shambles. Thanks to the callous attitude of authorities, who have no time to see the garden becoming a garbage dump. This backyard of the premier institute is marked by acres of ugliness.

The moment one enters the farm varsity, well-trimmed gardens, maintained pathways with huge lawns indeed provide delight to the eyes. Unfortunately acres of the farm university, due to negligent attitude by authorities, have turned out to be a dumping yard. On the back of the department of floriculture and landscaping, where one of the plaque reads "Bougainvillaea Garden", heap of garbage, stray dogs and overgrowth of cactus and other wild weeds welcome the passers-by. Though one can find scattered growth of pink and yellow Bougainvillaea trees but in absence of attention paid by authorities, these scanty trees are being neglected.

Dr Ramesh Kumar, head of the department of floriculture and landscaping refused to comment on the issue. He however said, “The landscaping and maintenance work comes under the Estate Office, they will be in a better position to tell,” he said.

Balwinder Singh (name changed), a worker said earlier this park used to be well maintained. “But nobody pays any attention for the maintenance of the garden. The authorities are busy beautifying the frontal part of the varsity, which is well maintained as VIPs, guests and other visitors visit regularly but nobody has time to see that acres being wasted here", he said further adding that those associated with the varsity were pained to see this sorry state of garden.

Estate Officer Gurkirpal Singh, said he was not aware about this dumping yard but assured to look into the matter.



Unruly jawans put rlys in action mode
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, January 14
The railway authorities have taken exception to the “high-handedness” and unruly behaviour of Army jawans on Jammu-Indore Malwa Express twice last week when they bolted the doors of reserved sleeper coaches and those with confirmed reservation from Jalandhar and Ludhiana were not allowed to board the train.

Maintaining that several steps had been initiated to check the recurrence of such incidents, senior railway officials said travelling ticket examiners (TTEs), conductors of sleeper and other reserved coaches, besides the railway protection force, had been directed to keep strict vigil at Jammu and Jalandhar stations, where a majority of jawans board train.

“The railway staff has been instructed to seek the assistance of the RPF and Army officials deployed at the station en route if any one, including jawans, are found occupying reserved seats/berths illegally. The TTEs and the RPF staff had also been asked to ensure that the doors of reserved coaches were not bolted from inside and those with reserved tickets had access to their respective berths and seats,” a senior railway official said.

As part of the exercise, a team comprising the RPF and GRP officials inspected the coaches of Malwa Express at the railway station here on Tuesday and Wednesday.

According to railway officials, the Army top brass had been apprised of the misconduct of the jawans. A process had also been set in motion to evolve a mechanism to provide spot reservation to jawans in some important trains originating from Jammu and Jalandhar.



Idol thieves arrested
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 14
The CIA-II staff has nabbed three thieves for stealing silver idols from a temple at Mundya Khurd four days ago.

Dilpreet Singh, in charge of CIA-II, said the thieves had stolen idols of Lord Vishnu, Ganesha and Goddess Laxmi, weighing 1 kg, from a temple at Paramjeet Colony in Mondya Khurd in the wee hours of January 10.

The accused had been identified as Krishan Singh, a resident of Chandarlok Colony, Bunty Kumar of New Preet Nagar and Sham Lal of Baldev Nagar.

The police had received a tip-off last evening on their hideout and that they were planning to sell the idols.

The police arrested the accused and recovered the idols from their possession.

According to the police, the accused were habitual criminals and had been in and out of jail several times in the past for theft.

The three formed a gang in jail and Bunty Kumar (22), youngest of the three, was the kingpin. It was the gang’s first theft.



400 jhuggis at Focal Point razed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 14
The tehbazari wing of the municipal corporation removed around 400 jhuggis at the Focal Point during a joint exercise here today.

Tehbazari superintendents were joined in by Assistant Town Planner Harpreet Singh Ghai of the building branch during the anti-encroachment drive.

The MC team, which included 25 officials along with the police team of the civic body, pressed into service three JCB machines to demolish the structures, including 250 pucca and 150 kutcha jhuggis.

Though jhuggi dwellers tried to protest against the MC by raising slogans and hindering its work, the team members carried on with their job.

Zone-B SI Om Prakash Sat said: “We witnessed some resistance from people, but since it was our work we had to do it. We were joined in by zonal commissioners BK Gupta and Vinod Sharda.”

Later, the tehbazari squad went to Kabari bazar of zone-C and removed encroachments by shopkeepers.



Timely help saves wounded youth
Suicide Bid Suspected
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 14
Timely action by villagers and prompt medical assistance saved a youth of Khera village in Ludhiana district, who sustained multiple stab wounds in the abdomen last afternoon.

Large quantity of some poisonous substance was found by physicians in his stomach and abdominal cavity.

Though parents of the victim claimed that he fell from the roof, villagers suspect that he had tried to attempt suicide.

The police has initiated a probe in this regard. An FIR would be registered after the victim was declared fit for giving a statement.

Kamikar Singh (21) of Khera village had a miraculous escape when villagers, led by sarpanch Chetan Ram and Amrik Singh, shifted him to a private hospital and surgeons from Ludhiana were called to perform the high-risk surgery.

He was declared out of danger after the surgery that continued for over six hours. Kamikar Singh was found lying in a pool of blood at his house by some children. Finding nobody at his house, the children informed Chetan Ram and Amrik Singh.

Clinical tests and observations by the doctors revealed that the youth had consumed some poisonous substance before stabbing himself.

They said the injuries seemed to have been caused with a sharp-edged weapon and were most likely self inflicted. The trust of the stab had injured visceral organs and had punctured the stomach badly. However, the puncturing of the stomach proved beneficial for the victim as it drained out the poison.



Partial diagnosis hurts the disabled
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 14
“Partial” diagnosis of physically and mentally challenged children by a panel of specialist doctors at the Civil Hospital is causing obstructions in their treatment, pension schemes and travel concessions.

The casual approach of the doctors diagnosing children and adults with physical and mental disability like orthopaedic, hearing, visual and locomotor impairments, is evident from the certificates given to two children recently that carry “partial” mention of their problems.

The panel of experts includes a physician, orthopaedician, ENT specialist and a psychiatrist and each certificate carries a verification of the civil surgeon.

The unavailability of the IQ testing equipment is a bother for parents of such children as they have to go to the DMCH or the CMCH for this test.

Jaspreet (6) was diagnosed with bilateral congenital cataract with squint by a specialist as mentioned in her disability certificate, but the child is undergoing treatment for cerebral palsy at Aashirwaad, an NGO working for children with special needs.

Gurpreet Singh (8) is another example. The panel diagnosed him with mental retardation, but failed to mention cerebral palsy.

Sudhir, coordinator and occupational therapist at Aashirwaad, said parents of both children were not acquainted with medical terminology and hence ignorant about the condition of the children.

The disabled have to wait for years to get a disability certificate which is mandatory for special pensions and travel concessions.

“The delay on the part of the district health authorities is denying these children their right to be part of the mainstream society and nullifies the efforts of NGOs and their parents,” a doctor said.



Foundation of Banda Bahadur hall laid
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, January 14
The foundation stone of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Memorial Hall was laid at Raqba village near here.

Sant Baba Ram Pal Singh of Jhande, Sant Jasvir Singh of Kala Aana and Baba Balvir Singh of gurdwaras Panjuana Sahib, Lamme Jatpura, laid the foundation stone of the hall.

The initiative has been taken to immortalise the memory of the martyr, who sacrificed his life for Sikhism.

Baba Banda Singh Bahadur International Forum president Krishan Kumar Bawa and Baraigi Maha Mandal president Hari Das Bawa said the place would preserve Sikh history and house portraits of Sikh Gurus, religious leaders and martyrs.

Former legislator and chief patron of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur international forum Jagdev Singh Jassowal said the memorial would act as a custodian of Sikh history.

He said successive Punjab governments had failed to work towards recognising the efforts of martyrs like Baba Banda Singh Bahadur. He appreciated the people of Raqba village and the NRI community for contributing towards the cause.

Leaders of various parties took part in the function. They included Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, Balkait Singh Dakha, Gurdeep Singh Bhaini, Tej Parkash Singh Kotli, Jagpal Singh Khangura, Ishar Singh Meharban, Gurdev Singh Lapran, Jasbir Singh, Telu Ram Bansal among others.



50 quit SAD over market panel chief’s appointment
Our Correspondent

Khamano, January 14
Around 50 senior local Akali leaders left the SAD over the appointment of Market Committee chairman Gurdeep Singh Ghuman without taking them into confidence.

The leaders told mediapersons here that they had been working for the party since 1970 but had been overlooked by the party high command when it came to appointing the Market Committee chairman.

Those who quit the party included Punjab working committee member Sarban Singh Sohavi, district vice-president Prem Singh Maneli, district working committee members Sukhdev Singh Loharmajra, Harsohan Singh and Gurdev Singh Jatana, former PADB president Kashmira Singh Ranwan, SAD Youth leader Parmjit Singh Bhangu, councillor Balamjit Singh, Prof Nirmal Singh Maneli, former general secretary Bhagat Singh Panjkoha and several block samiti members and councillors. SAD district president Jagdeep Singh Cheema said he had taken up the issue with the party high command.



Dakha constituency on development trail: MLA
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, January 14
Development works worth Rs 200 crore had already been started in the Dakha constituency. This was stated by MLA Darshan Singh Shivalik while addressing a gathering at Fatehpur Awana village after inaugurating the project of fortifying the drainage system of the village at a cost of Rs 4 lakh.

He said the Dakha would soon be a model constituency and its development would be carried out without delay. He was accompanied by Ludhiana Municipal Corporation Commissioner GS Ghuman, Joint Commissioner Kuldip Singh, Pritam Singh Walia, Jagjit Singh Dhandra, Baldev Singh, Balwinder Singh, Jagroop Singh, Gurmit Kaur among others.

Shivalik said Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had so far sanctioned Rs 93 crore for urban development and Rs 50 crore for rural development for the constituency.

He said Dakha drainage was being fortified at a cost of Rs 1.25 crore and widening and repair of Ludhiana-Humbra-Sidhwan Bet road had been started at a cost of Rs 18.7 crore.

Coming down heavily on the Congress, he said the constituency had been in neglect during their regime. Ghuman said work would soon start in 216 colonies to lay paved roads in unauthorised colonies of Ludhiana.

He said around 295 km of streets would be laid in these colonies at a cost of Rs 32.7 crore covering over one crore residents.

The development at Fatehpur Awana village was part of the scheme only, he added.

Addressing the gathering, Paramjit Kaur Shivalik said all round development of ward No. 58 was being carried out at a cost of Rs 26 crore.

She said soon underground electrical wiring of the ward would be done. She also said each colony in the ward had adequate grant for development.



SP activists protest imitation of Big B, Amar Singh
‘Kaash Mere Hote’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 14
“Kaash Mere Hote”, the debut film of city lad Kumar Sahil, ran into rough weather today after the youth wing of the Samajwadi Party and members of the Aishwarya Rai Fan Club staged a protest against Johny Lever’s imitation of actors Aishwarya Rai, Amitabh Bachchan and SP general secretary Amar Singh.

Raising slogans against Johny Lever, the protesters carrying the photographs of Aishwarya and Amitabh, burnt the effigy of the actor.

The agitators have issued seven-day notice to Johny Lever to come to Punjab and apologise publicly.

SP youth wing state president Krishan Lal Sharma said: “The ‘unworthy’ act of Johny Lever in the movie wherein he imitates Aishwarya Rai, Amitabh Bachchan and Amar Singh is derogatory, for which he will have to apologise.”

“If the comedian fails to respect the sentiments of people, we will intensify the stir and stage protests in front of cinema halls screening the movie,” added Krishan Lal.

He added that the party would submit a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner tomorrow in this regard.

Darpan, a movie buff, said: “It is a publicity stunt as the movie has crashed on the box office and negative publicity is the best way to attract attention these days.”

However, Gulshan Kumar, Kumar Sahil’s father, said the producer of the movie, Sharvan, had already filed a petition in the Mumbai High Court.

“This is not a publicity stunt as the movie is doing good in Mumbai and other parts of India. Also, there have been protests in UP and other parts of Punjab which can’t be attributed to ‘promotional gimmickry’,” said Gulshan Kumar.



LS Poll: Wooing voters through rallies, grants

Ludhiana, January 14
Despite wrangling in the Congress as well as in the ruling coalition, the two major parties of Punjab are vying with each other for holding rallies and contact programmes for interacting with the electorate and preparing the ground workers for the Lok Sabha poll.

Whereas the Congress is concerned, the situation remains as it was a few days ago. Despite the best efforts of the party high command to curb dissidence and factionalism between Rajinder Kaur Bhattal and Amarinder Singh groups, the factional leaders at all levels are behaving so tactlessly and are declaring aspirants for the party ticket thereby confusing the voters. It seems they have not learnt any lesson from the party’s defeat in the recently held Vidhan Sabha poll in Madhya Pradesh.

With the SAD being in power and the leader being a master tactician is assuming a posture to indicate that they are entering the election arena with an aggressive posture. Prakash Singh Badal knows the weak points of his party and is at his best in playing one faction against the other at every level of his organisation. Despite the fact that with the installation of his son Sukhbir Singh Badal as SAD chief, the factional leaders are rubbing shoulders with each other to readjust their position vis-à-vis the SAD chief. Senior Badal has on numerous occasions faced the charges that the party is not development oriented.

In the first phase of his sangat darshan and now vikas yatra rallies his announcements have centred around the development plans whether present or in the future. At times he promises moon for giving better life to the people at large. The vikas rally along with distribution of grants is simply to convince the people of the SAD-BJP government’s credibility.

Secondly, he has also identified the areas where the SAD had not fared well in the Vidhan Sabha elections. He is targeting such constituencies, particularly the Malwa belt.

This time senior Badal has been compelled by the BJP to look toward the urban sector also. Hence liberal grants have been given to the municipal corporations and the municipalities in the state. The Opposition is taking it as a move to woo the voters with the grants received from the Centre. But, how he will be able translate this into votes for the ruling coalition is yet to be seen as industrialists and traders not happy with the SAD-BJP government’s performance.

The industrialists and the traders are sore over the fact that for the past four months ever since the start of the global meltdown, the state government has not even bothered to take care of the industrial plight.



Jurisdictional Conflict
Development board chairman, bureaucrats
at loggerheads
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 14
The Industrial Development Boards of Punjab chairman and other functionaries seem to be at loggerheads over the issue of their contribution for the development of the industries in the state with the bureaucrats. There is now jurisdictional conflict between the newly appointed industrial development board and bureaucrats heading the industries department and departments concerned.

The SAD-BJP government has constituted three industrial development boards namely small-scale industrial development board, medium and scale industrial development board and the state industrial development board, respectively. The first two boards, small-scale industrial development board, medium-scale industrial development board have chairman and vice-chairmen from the industries while the state industrial development board is headed by Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal.

These boards were constituted to suggest ways and means for the development of the industries in the state. The chairman and the vice-chairmen of the two boards have been given the status of cabinet minister and the minister of state with offices in Chandigarh and the secretariat staff. More than six months have passed since these boards were constituted. But their contribution to the development of the industries in the state has not been visible.

The reason for the failure of the chairman and the vice-chairmen to make contribution to the development of industries is stated to be the conflict over the jurisdictional powers of the boards over and above the department of industries and allied departments.

Enquiries made by The Tribune show that the representatives of the respective industries don’t want to be labeled as ‘lame duck’ office holders and they are keen on making valuable contribution to the development of industries in the state as they have practical experience of running the industries and the problems faced by the industries.

They want to take up these issues with the departments concerned.

The sources told The Tribune today that there was the conflict over the jurisdictional powers. They say that the bureaucrats want them to discuss the industrial problems only and the same may be through the industries department only.

However, they maintain that have many problems like red tape, corruption and methodology for the policymaking.

Besides, the industrialists are also facing problems in dealing with departments like the Punjab Pollution Control Board, Punjab State Electricity Board and the forest department.

They further point out that they being the representative of the industry are supposed to discuss the problems being faced by the industry otherwise what is the use of their being at the head of such development boards.

They are understood to have told the government that they would discuss all issues concerning the industry.

One senior functionary of a industrial development board on condition of anonymity told this reporter that they were not taken into confidence while discussing the industrial policy of the state which was likely to be finalised by the middle of the next month.

Similarly, there were issues like the non-refund of the VAT to the industry. There were cases where the industrialists had not been paid their refund for the past two or three quarters.

"The bureaucrats do not like criticism of the policies they follow where as we can help them in overcoming the problem of the industry through our experience". said another functionary of an industrial board.



Gosain writes to CM, seeks DC’s arrest
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 14
BJP MLA Gosain has once again recommended the registration of a corruption case against Gurjar after Chief Secretary Ramesh Inder Singh confirmed that he had received a complaint against Gurjar alleging his involvement in accepting bribes from tehsildar (West) Arvind Prakash.

In a letter issued to Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today, Deputy Speaker has once again urged him to get the Deputy Commissioner arrested immediately and demanded a CBI or vigilance enquiry against him.

He in the letter as written to the Chief Minister sated that "I regret to inform you that despite such serious allegations, no action has been taken against Gurjar, Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana."

Earlier, too, Gosain had demanded an enquiry and transfer of the Deputy Commissioner for his involvement in the cracker shops allotment issue during Diwali, but Patiala divisional commissioner J.S. Bir, who was entrusted the enquiry, gave a clean chit to Gurjar.



60-yr-old beaten to death
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 14
A 60-year-old man succumbed to his injuries after he was allegedly beaten up by a group of drunken youths at Ward No. 6, New Colony, Sahnewal, late last night. The man has been identified as Gurmail Singh.

This incident took place when a few miscreants entered the colony and started abusing the residents. They objected to this and told him to immediately leave the place. After some time the youth returned along with his accomplice, who were carrying sticks and rods and started fighting with the residents. The brawl turned ugly and Gurmail sustained serious injuries and died on the spot.



Rs 3 crore alloted for promoting girl education
Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 14
Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan, Punjab, has chalked out a programme to encourage girl education in the state and has also announced several incentives to motivate the girls to go to the schools. Various new experiments with learning are being conducted to promote girl education in schools.

According to Krishan Kumar, director general Punjab Schools Education, a budget of Rs 3 crore has been allocated under SSA for this specific programme. To boost the morale of the girl students in academics, awards of Rs 2,000, 1,500 and 1,000 will be given to the girls getting first three positions in each block for classes V to VIII. Criteria for the selection in Class V and VIII will be the final exam results. Free notebooks will be supplied to girls in Class V for 100 select schools in each district.

Under the health care programme, in 100 select schools, in each district girls of classes VI, VII and VIII will be taught yoga to keep them fit. They will be given refreshment in the schools and sweaters will also be given to them.

In order to widen the horizon of the girls and to give them practical training, 50 primary and 50 upper primary schools per district will be selected to organise exposure visit.



PAU to host state-level workshop from Jan 23
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 14
Punjab Agricultural University will host a three-day state-level workshop on "Micro-organisms: Let us observe and learn", organised by the Centre for Communication and International Linkages (CCIL) and department of microbiology under the aegis of the Punjab State Council for Science and Technology (PSCST).

According to the course director Dr Jagtar Singh Dhiman, the workshop will be inaugurated on January 23 at the Student's Home auditorium of the PAU by Dr PS Minhas, director of research wherein, Dr DK Pandey will be the chief guest. The dean College of Basic Sciences and Humanities Dr Tejwant Singh, and Dr NG Sharma, additional director PSCST, will present their remarks.

The technical director of the event, Dr PK Khanna said the workshop will have five technical sessions, wherein, expert lectures scientists will be organised. The participants will include 30 science teachers from different schools and colleges of the state.

Dr Tejwant said classroom deliberations, demonstration of modules, involving kits, manuals, posters, CD-ROM, etc, visit to laboratories, hand-on experience on microbiological experiments in relation to food microbiology, clinical aspects of microbiology and related fields will be organised in various sessions. The concluding ceremony will be held on January 25. Dr Nirmal Jaura will be the coordinator of the programme.



Diploma in insurance management launched
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 14
Max New Life Insurance in partnership with the Punjab Technical University (PCTE) today announced the launch of a diploma programme in insurance management (DPIM). The programme offers professional training in specialised subjects such as insurance sales practices and management, insurance products, legal and regulatory aspects of life insurance and will also cover the fields of general and marketing management. The memorandum of understanding was signed between Rajit Mehta, executive director and chief operating officer, Max New York Life, and Sandhir Sharma, deputy dean, PCTE.

Interested candidates will undergo a selection process comprising a written test, group discussion and personal interview. The first batch of 60 students will commence from June 2009 at PCTE, Ludhiana. The programme details and application forms are available at www.pcte.edu.in.

In order to bring the industry perspective in a classroom environment, the course curricula have been developed by incorporating both the industry and the academic perspective.

The duration of this diploma programme is 10-and-a-half months.



SPS Apollo ties up with Gurdev Hospital
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 14
In its endeavour to bring healthcare to the neighborhood, SPS Apollo Hospitals today tied up with Gurdev Hospital to offer its medical expertise and technology.

Dr GL Avasthi, director medical services, SPS Apollo Hospitals, and Dr SS Grewal, medical director, Gurdev Hospital and managing trustee Sri Gurdev Dharam Arth Trust, signed a memorandum of understanding in this regard.

Gurdev Hospital is a 50-bed hospital having operating theatres, ICU, NICU with medicine, gynecology, ophthalmology, orthopedics, general surgery, paediatrics and dermatology facilities.

SPS hospital will source doctors for cardiology, nephrology, gastroenterology, neurology and neuro surgery to Gurdev Hospital.

Addressing mediapersons, Dr SP Singh, COO, SPS Apollo Hospital, said in the next phase a dialysis unit and a trauma stabilisation centre would be set up.

Also, doctors’ computers would be linked through telemedicine to the electronic medical record of the clinic, which would allow easy access to all patient data by doctors, he added.

Also a hi-tech ambulance with trained staff for transfer of critical patients would be made operational soon. The staff of Gurdev Hospital would also be trained by SPS Apollo Hospitals.

This is a step towards networking of the hospital with a number of medical centres in the peripheral areas of the city for a medical expertise and technology sharing arrangement, said Dr PS Bhatia, deputy director, medical services.

This is called a “hub and spoke” model, with the hospital forming the hub and several smaller hospitals linked to it.

The hospital has similar tieup arrangements at Mullanpur, Doraha, Bathinda, Mandi Ahmedgarh.

We intend to tie-up with 15 more centres in various cities in and around the state before December, said Dr Bhatia.

Gurdev Hospital’s additional director Dr RK Grewal said the tie up would eliminate unnecessary expenditure incurred by patients to meet specialist doctors.

SPS Apollo Hospitals will also start a nursing college affiliated with the Nursing Council of India, stated Dr Avasthi. A cancer centre with an investment of Rs 30 crore will also come up by December.



Needy students get woollens, shoes
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, January 14
The Jaycees of Jagraon today distributed woollens and shoes to the needy students of RK High School.

The society visited the school and distributed shoes, socks and woollen garments to the needy students. This was their first initiative in this year. President Satwinder Saggu, secretary Amandeep Soni, cashier Ramesh Verma along with other members of the society appealed general public to donate generously to help the needful, specially the poor students who want to study but have no means.

Satwinder said in future also they will help the students of this school which was founded by Lala Lajpat Rai.



Dr GS Saroa is PAUTA’s spokesperson
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 14
Punjab Agricultural University Teachers' Association (PAUTA) is learnt to have changed its spokesperson. Dr GS Saroa has reportedly replaced the previous spokesperson of the association Mukesh Siag in recent development.

According to sources, a meeting of the executive was convened recently on the campus in which this decision was taken. One of the members of the PAUTA on condition of anonymity disclosed that certain statements issued by a few members recently were objected by the members of the association. “Difference of opinion can be anywhere but it should not indicate that there was a rift among the members of the PAUTA. The association does not want to give a wrong signal. Mukesh had some personal reasons, he showed his helplessness in continuing,” said the faculty member.

Mukesh confirmed this development. He said that he was busy with his PhD. "I have to submit my thesis. It is difficult for me to continue with this responsibility", he said. Dr Saroa, the new spokesperson said a statement in this regard would be issued by the executive.

Another member of the PAUTA, however said Siag was often condemned for issuing statements that landed the PAUTA in trouble. “He was replaced because he was a bold person”, said the member.

Despite repeated efforts, the president of the PAUTA MS Mahal, could not be contacted for comments.



Biz Word
Milestone for cable co
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 14
KEI Industries limited, a power cable manufacturing company, has joined the elite group of cable manufacturers in the country that have an in-house capability to manufacture cables with more than 66 kV capacity. Earlier, the company was manufacturing HT power cable up to 33 kV capacity. It has a presence in 27 countries and has a growing market share of 10 per cent in Indian market. The company has installed the state-of-the-art CCV line imported from Germany to upgrade its existing facility. This CCV line with single point triple extrusion has computerised control and monitoring systems. Sophisticated online X ray machines continuously check and measure the dimension of cable to ensure great HT cables. The machinery will help faster production of HT cable and increase overall operational efficiency.

LAUNCHED: Madame is offering one-stop accessroy stores christened ‘NYCT’. The company has plans to launch the brand initially in cities like Jalandhar, Moradabad, Gwalior, Ludhiana and Patiala. Handbags, belts, caps, scarves, fashion jewellery, etc. would be available at the stores. At the launch of the store here, Bipan Jain, managing director, Madame, said: “Accessories are becoming a fashion statement. Most lifestyle marketers have understood that to make a mark in fashion business one has to create a niche, and then expand by venturing into allied segments. Madame has already created a niche in the women’s segment and now we want to explore other segments of fashion industry.”

HONOUR: Sanitary ware manufacturer Hindware’s water closet and wash basin range for children — Poncho — has bagged the global Elle Deco International Design Awards (EDIDA). The EDIDA award aims at identifying and honouring indigenous talent in home decor products at the national level, and providing an international stage for the creativity.



City Concerns
Transparency must for effective auto-rickshaw service

Lungs of city residents continue to be choked by the smoke emanating from more than 30,000 auto-rickshaws. These vehicles are nightmare for the majority of people commuting on the roads. At the same time, in absence of an effective mass transport system, the autos ferry thousands, daily, to the less-covered distances on the city transport route maps. This is what a cross section of the city residents have to say on the issue.

The current auto-rickshaw service in our city has both pros and cons. Among the disadvantages, auto-rickshaws add to the air pollution of the city. Secondly, the drivers, in face of competition from their fellows, don’t follow any traffic rules and suddenly stop anywhere on the roads to receive customers. This causes nuisance resulting in traffic jams and increased chances of accidents. But even after all this, it is not reasonable to completely eliminate the service because it is beneficial for the poor and the middle class labourers, daily workers, office staff or even the college students who can have an easy access to an economical transportation. What needs to be done at this point is to improve the current auto-rickshaw service by undertaking remedies to overcome its defaults. Auto-rickshaws should be allowed to use CNG as fuel for reducing the pollutants emitted by them. Licence should be issued to a limited number of auto-rickshaw drivers and those driving without licence should be penalised. Moreover, auto-rickshaws should be allowed to stop only at the main points or the chowks. The drivers should be challaned if they don’t follow the rules. Thus, overall, transparency and efficiency are required on the part of traffic police and administration for the efficient functioning of auto-rickshaw service in our city.

Gurleen Kaur, Ludhiana

Start CNG autos

Sometimes ago there was a news in some newspapers that the auto-rickshaws running on petrol and diesel will be switched over to CNG in January but nothing has happened till today. Further, each move and slogans of the local administration and the state government for bringing in reforms seems to be a futile exercise. I want to ask the administration and the state government, why the introduction of CNG autos in the city being delayed? Compressed natural gas (CNG) is a fossil fuel best substitute for petrol, diesel, or propane fuel because its combustion produce greenhouse gases that is a more environmentally friendly. If leaked or released accidentally, it evaporates quickly as it’s lighter than air. Due to its costs factor it can be utilised in cars, locomotives, buses and taxis.

Bhawna, Shivala Road

Opt for battery operated

Petrol and diesel-powered auto-rickshaws, that usually run on two-stroke engines, have become a major cause of pollution on city roads as compared to the regular four-stroke engine and other vehicles. Data reveals that in various traffic conditions that usually prevails in most of the inner parts of the city, auto-rickshaws run only at 15-20 km per hour speed. That is why; these auto- rickshaws pollutes more. Pollution further gets compounded by the fact that these have continuously run in stop/start mode. Moreover, because of ever- increasing numbers of these auto-rickshaws, it has become a major polluting factor. Time is ripe to withdraw the services of the petrol and the diesel- powered auto-rickshaws for switching over to battery-powered rickshaw, a silent and non-polluting source for the local conveyance specially designed to run 60-80 km with speeds of 25 -30 km/hr. These auto-rickshaws, besides a major step forward in the race to halt global warming, can also prove to be an excellent substitute for the petrol and diesel-powered three-wheelers. Battery- powered rickshaw fitted with a PMDC motor, lead acid battery, three speed gear box and an electronic card for soft start, can run at 60-70 km per battery charge that can be done overnight via a stand alone battery charger.

The electricity to charge the batteries of these rickshaws can come from any renewable power plants like biomass, solar and wind etc. In fact it can be envisaged to have battery-charging stations powered by PV units.

Ravi Chander Garg, Ludhiana

Ban illegal plying

Pollution caused by auto-rickshaws, mainly, on the congested roads is a matter of concern and none seems to be bothered about this. They halt as per their wish. They are even mixing diesel with kerosene causing major pollution.

I strongly feel that the illegal plying of auto-rickshaws should be banned.They need to be immediately replaced with CNG. The city also needs to work out an effective public transport plan. City bus service should be operated on all routes in the city so that two-wheelers also get relief and reduce pollution. Administration, along with the police should take effective steps for implementing the laws and punishing the guilty. Corrupt officers should brought to the books.

TD John, Jamalpur

Fix routes

Auto-rickshaws, in spite of being economical for the local conveyance and for other multi-purpose uses, has become a major source of headache and a debatable issue for residents as these are increasing everyday. Because of the non-adoption of any environmental friendly policy and due to failure in imposing restrictions, residents are bound to live under the thick layers of smoke being emitted by these autos. They are also being forced to inhale deadly toxic gases. The administration doesn’t seem to be bothered about bringing in reforms. Because of non-establishment or fixation of routes, auto- rickshaws are freely roaming in the city. At times it becomes difficult for the commuters to cross the roads as it is parked in every nook and cranny of the city. So, the administration must take steps for reducing the number of autos.

Shivanshu, Chandigarh Road

Strict pollution check

A ban on autos would be like igniting an incendiary bomb in the city. Hence, the administration can get the state government’s approval in allotting routes by keeping in view the road factor. The routes can be displayed in the front and back of the vehicle for transparency. Secondly, electric or solar buses or on LPG, which are available can be introduce or remodelled on outer routes giving a lead in the country and would reduce the ever-increasing pollution.

Five auto owners can be given a mini bus license and their auto be eliminated, thus financially not effecting their earning but also removing some of the ever increasing menace.

Kuljit Singh Sidhu, Ludhiana

Traffic chaos

Auto-rickshaws once treated as popular, convenient as well as the most economical means of public transportation, now a days, has become a major source of traffic congestion. Travelling on these also spread fear among those boarding it as these run at a high speed and take ugly turns.

The administration is responsible for the present road congestions.

A large number of autos are plying without any valid license or consent from a registering authority. Majority of them flout the pollution norms as well.

I think, in order to change the traffic scenario, the administration must issue guidelines to revive horse cart system. It is very economical, environmental friendly and popular in the city.

PK Jain, Ahmedgarh

Worst transport system

We know that we have the worst transport system in the city and we alone are responsible for it. Media has revealed the chinks in the system many a time, but the suggestions have always fall on deaf ears. First of all, I would urge all religious and political organisations to implore them not to hold big processions. This leads to traffic diversions. Hope, if this happens the three-wheelers,who make both ends meet by providing us an economical and effective means of transportation, don’t get kicked out of the system!

HS Dimple, Jagroan



Seminar on languages from Jan 17
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 14
Punjabi Sahit Akademy and Sahitya Akademy, New Delhi, will be holding a two-day national seminar on "Future of Indian languages". The seminar will be inaugurated by Dr Upinderjit Kaur, education minister, on January 17.



Poets meet
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 14
The monthly meeting of the Punjabi Sahit Vichar Manch was held here today. Poets present on the occasion read their poems. Inderjeet Hasanpuri recited "Rupeya Ruria janda ee". Dalvir Singh Ludhianvi read his poem on "Mata Gujari".



Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 14
Amarjit Singh Sagar, president of the Ramgarhia brotherhood organisation, a social organisation, that aims to serve the society especially the backward sections of the society, and others, including Narinder Singh, Kirpal Singh, Didar Singh, Harvinder Singh, Bhupinder Singh distributed shoes to the underprivileged children of the primary section of Government Senior Secondary School, Dholewal.



Man booked for defaming girl
Our Correspondent

Raikot, January 14
A man has been booked bringing a village girl into disrepute. Inder Singh, son of Deva Singh of Burj Littan village, has accused Balwinder Singh, son of Nachhater Singh of the same village, for bringing a classmate of his daughter into disrepute.

For the past one week Balwinder Singh has been telling people that Manjot Kaur (name changed) of the village has eloped with a man of the same village. He stated in his complaint that his daughter and Manjot Kaur are pursuing nursing course from the Sigma Institute in Ludhiana and resides in the hostel. They visit their homes during holidays only.

When mothers of both girls went to Balwinder Singh’s house for asking why was he levelling false allegation against her daughter, he started abusing them. She narrated the incident to him and the three again went to his house, Balwinder Singh confessed to have said those ill words against her daughter. He entered into a scuffle with them and also pulled one of the women by hair and tore off her shirt. The Sudhar police has booked Balwinder Singh under Sections 294, 341, 506, 323 of the IPC.



SAI trials from Jan 22
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, January 14
The Sports Authority of India (SAI) will conduct trials to enroll players for its training centre being run at the multipurpose hall of the Guru Nanak Sports Complex here from January 22 to 24, according to Harbans Singh, in-charge of the centre.

The selection trials will be held in six sports disciplines i.e. athletics for residential and non-residential boys; basketball for the non-residential boys; judo for residential and non-residential boys and non-residential girls; handball for residential and non-residential boys; volleyball for residential and non-residential boys and non-residential girls; weightlifting for the residential and non-residential boys.

The players who have secured first three positions in the national or state-level competitions and are in the age groups of 14 to 19 years are eligible to take part in these trials.

The selected players will be provided with facilities like board and lodging, coaching, sports kit and equipment, limited competition exposure, education, medical and insurance cover under the SAI sports promotion schemes.

Interested players have been advised to report at the SAI Centre on January 22 at 10 am along with two passport size photographs, age proof certificates in original and photo copies and sports achievement certificates.

The aspirants appearing for the trials will have to arrange their own stay during the trials and no TA/DA will be paid, the in-charge said.



Basketball meet
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, January 14
The 59th edition of the Punjab Basketball Championship for men and women will be held at Jarkhar village in Ludhiana district from January 20 to 23.

Teams from all district units affiliated with the Punjab Basketball Association (PBA) have been invited to take part in the four-day championship, according to PBA president Rajdeep Singh Gill. Entries can be sent to Teja Singh Dhaliwal, honorary general secretary of the PBA, by January 18. Some matches will be played at basketball stadium of Guru Nanak Sports Complex, Ludhiana.



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