L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Spurious soft drink unit sealed
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 17
Manoj Arora, the owner of Maini Soda Water Company, Bhagat Colony, Sherpur Kalan, was found to be manufacturing spurious soft drinks like Coke, Campa Cola, Gold Spot, Coca Cola and soda water in blatant violation of the Prevention of Food Adulteration (PNDT) Act.

The unit owned by him is an “unlicensed” one. A case under the PNDT Act was registered against Manoj Arora after he was found guilty of recycling plastic bottles for refilling water and soda thereby selling adulterated products with increased toxicity. US Sooch and Harjot Singh, food inspector, along with a team of health officials raided his premises after being tipped off about a spurious soft drink manufacturing unit.

About 72 bottles of Coca Cola and various other spurious soft drinks under different brand names were sealed by the health officials. Harjot stated that the manufacturer was selling these products to the local shopkeepers.

The samples have been taken for the lab test. Sooch stated that the raid was conducted following the information from one of the consumers living in the area. "It was learnt that the owner had engaged a few rag pickers who used to collect used plastic bottles of all shapes and sizes for him.

The bigger bottles were refilled with water that was sold as mineral water of different companies while the smaller bottles were filled with soda water to be sold at the MRP of respective companies," added Sooch.

The bottles neither had any batch numbers nor were there any date of manufacturing or expiry that projects insensitivity of the manufacturer towards the health of the consumers.

Artificial sweeteners like Saccharin and synthetic colours, which cause harmful effects on vital organs of the body, are added to the soft drinks.

A few studies have shown that the plastic bottles when put to a prolonged used create toxic effects thereby causing liver and kidney disorders.

In another major breakthrough, a team of health officials lead by drug inspectors of different district of Punjab conducted raids on four unlicensed godowns of drugs in Laxmi market, Pindi Street, wherein drugs worth Rs 10 lakh were seized.

Ludhiana drug inspector Rajesh Suri said nobody came forward to stake claim over these godowns and buildings that housed all sorts of medicines and habit-forming drugs. Large quantities of capsules, tablets, syrups and injections like those of proxyvon, dexavon, nitrazipam alperozam; the health authorities seized microlit, momolit, rexcof, corex and pentazosin.

SP Sharma, Civil Surgeon, Ludhiana, said the department was determined to carry on with their campaign against 'drug mafia’, which was behind the 'unbilled' sale and purchase of drugs.

Meanwhile, the department is planning to take action against those found violating the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act in order to safeguard the public health.


Faulty transformer left by roadside
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, January 17
Even as theft of transformers in the city and elsewhere in Ludhiana circle has assumed alarming proportions and the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) suffering heavy losses on this account, the maintenance staff of the Aggar Nagar division of the PSEB has simply forgotten to remove a burnt down 200 KV transformer lying abandoned by the roadside in Raman Enclave, near Rishi Nagar colony, here for the past few months.

Area residents told The Tribune that the matter had been taken up with the PSEB officials several times but to no avail. “The defective transformer is lying in front of our house and oil keeps leaking from it, giving the area a dirty look. Our pleas for removing the transformer have evoked no response,” said owner of the house where the transformer has been lying.

According to residents, the abandoned transformer was not only a civic nuisance but a virtual invitation to petty thieves who could be be allured by the scrap.

In a way, the abandoned transformer also posed a security risk to the locality, they maintained. Senior XEN of Aggar Nagar division MP Singh said he was aware of the case as had taken over the charge of the division only towards the end of last month. He, however, assured of looking into the matter and take necessary action.

SDO Gurdial Singh said earlier there was no room in the workshop where defective transformers were deposited. This had caused delay in removal of the equipment.

“Now, the delay is on part of the junior engineer concerned who has not reconciled the account of the equipment under his charge. His salary has been withheld and it will be released after the transformer is removed and lodged with the workshop.”



Ayurveda hospital a sick unit
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 17
The non-availability of medicines and poor infrastructure at the only Ayurveda hospital of the district has come as a big disappointment to patients. The Government Ayurvedic Hospital, Model Gram, among the five Ayurveda hospitals of Punjab, doesn’t have the basic cough syrups, eye drops and anti-inflammatory and pain relieving medicines.

Steam, which is an integral part of Ayurvedic treatment, is a distant dream for patients coming with arthritis, joint pains and back problems to this hospital.

However, doctors, in order to accommodate patients, carry out some procedures of Panchkarma before hand on their own.

An employee at the hospital said, “Women doctors have arranged personal gas cylinders to heat oil, sand and water for the procedures.”

The present condition of the hospital is in contrast to its opening in 1983. It was inaugurated under the name of Giani Devi Niranjan Dass Sachdeva municipal dispensary. Later, it was taken over by the department of Ayurveda in 1993 and converted into a 10-bedded hospital.

A nearby chemist said, “The hospital had qualified and competent staff who offered best treatment to patients suffering from chronic diseases, but gradually the condition of the hospital deteriorated. Now, even the hospital staff has lost interest in work, as despite their repeated reminders, medicines are not supplied to them.”

Exasperated at the prevailing conditions in the hospital, an ayurvedacharya said it was unfortunate. “The department should have employed experts with advanced training to make it a leading centre, but it is now sick itself.”

District Unani and Ayurveda officer Narinder Dhand, when contacted, said there was some problem pertaining to the supply of medicines in urban hospitals and dispensaries, but the matter had already been discussed with the director, ayurveda, Punjab. “The regular supply of medicines would be ensured at the earliest,” he added.



Poll: BSNL employees union holds rally
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 17
The BSNL Employees Union organised an election rally today for the forthcoming elections to be held on January 21. VAN Namboodari, general secretary of the union, while addressing the rally, said nearly 2 lakh non-executive members throughout the country would cast their vote during these elections.

He said seven more unions were giving support to them. Chairman of the BSNL Mazdoor Sangh Malik Arjun extended his support to the BSNL Employees Union.

Arjun said they were in favour of the union as it had saved the Nigam from privatisation. Circle secretary Balbir Singh said they were confident of their win in the coming elections.



Councillors Dawar Row
Cong men write to Sonia
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 17
The infighting within the Congress in the city refuses to die down with a few leaders today shooting off letters to the party high command against former Congress MLA, Surinder Dawar, for his alleged anti-party activities.

Incumbent and former councillors, who had protested against Dawar a few days ago in front of AICC spokesman Manish Tewari, said they were not willing to bury their hatchet with the senior leader as yet.

Parminder Mehta, Ashok Bagga, Rakesh Prashar, Pritpal Singh Ghayal and a few former councillors whose wards fall in Dawar’s constituency wrote letters to AICC senior leaders, including Sonia Gandhi, Mohsina Kidwai and Rahul Gandhi to make them abreast of the situation.

The councillors said Dawar was always working against them. He had even supported their rivals in the municipal elections. The former councillors claimed they had lost elections only due to his anti-party activities.

In their letter they said if Dawar would be asked to manage the campaign in his segments, then they would not help the party candidate.

Last time the councillors had met Tewari over the issue. He had assured them the matter would be sorted out. He had, however, refused to divulge the details to media stating it was a secret meeting.

Dawar refuted the allegations that he had worked against the party ever? I am a loyal soldier of the Congress. I have proved my loyalty time and again.

If the councillors have a problem with me they can talk it over, he said adding that several vested interests were trying to provoke his party leaders against him? They would be benefit if there were infighting within the Congress, he said.



9-yr-old abducted, servant held
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 17
The Jaodhewal police has arrested an old servant for abducting a nine-year-old child of a hosiery manufacturer. Rishub, son of Deepak Kapoor, a resident of Madhopuri, was abducted from his house yesterday.

According to the police, Vishlesh, a resident of Utter Pradesh, who was working at Deepak’s house was recently sacked from the job and was looking for an opportunity to settle score with the owners.

The servant lured the boy for a movie and took him along. Later, he telephoned the family and asked for Rs 5 lakh ransom from the parents.

The family informed the police about the incident. The servant was caught at the railway station while he was trying to take boy to Utter Pradesh. The boy has been reunited with the family.



357 students awarded degrees
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 17
The authorities, faculty members and students of the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) were a bit disappointed today, as their much awaited chief guest for convocation, Dr Montek Singh Ahluwalia's, Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission, Government of India visit was cancelled at the last moment.

The convocation of the university was held today at the Pal auditorium. World Food Prize winner Dr Gurdev Singh Khush was the chief guest. The function was presided-over by the PAU vice-chancellor Dr MS Kang. Wheat scientist from USA Dr Bikram Gill, Nobel Peace prize laureate Dr Jagtar Bhatti, and chief executive officer of the National Rainfed Area Authority (NRAA) Dr JS Samra, were the guests of honour.

Dr Khush said students had to play a vital role in shaping the future of the country and bringing food security to the nation.

A total of 357 degrees, including 74 PhD, 242 M.Sc, 27 MBA and 14 MBA Agri-business degrees were awarded to the students.

Besides, nine meritorious teachers were honoured by presenting plaques (2), awards (7) in recognition of contributions in their respective fields. Further, 58 merit certificates were also awarded to students.



Cong councillors up in arms against MC
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 17
Finally adopting the role of opposition, the Congress councillors in the city have decided to raise their voice against various irregularities and corrupt practices that had been going on in the municipal corporation for the past few weeks.

In a meeting at the residence of Vijay Gabba, municipal councillors Sham Sunder Malhotra, Pritpal Singh Ghail, Ashok Bagga, Rakesh Parashar and Parminder Mehta, along with some former Congress councillors, decided that they need to strengthen their stand in various activities going on in the MC.

Talking to The Tribune, Mehta said, “There is news in a section of media from Patiala that the Punjab government is now going to issue completion certificate for various buildings and not the MC. If any such decision has been taken it needs to be opposed as the move is an insult to the civic body that has been constituted by the directly elected representatives.”

Besides, councillors lashed out at the MC’s recent decision of brick lining of streets and other facilities to be given to only 216 colonies in the city.

Mehta said, “There are around 1,250 colonies in the city and just taking 216 out of them is nothing but pick and choose policy.” Besides, the municipal officials and the Mayor claim that the development work in these colonies would be done by the funds that have been received from sangat darshan. He said if the funds have arrived, every councillor should be made aware about it.

The MC’s move of developing these colonies has been also being opposed by their allies. The BJP, Senior Deputy Mayor Praveen Bansal and Deputy Mayor Sunita Aggarwal had also sent dissenting notes on the issue.

Municipal councillor Ashok Bagga said, “There are many areas in the old city where potable water is not available and the SAD councillors are spending money on fancy lights on the Ferozepore road. Since they have a monopoly in the F&CC, they do not fear anyone and the issue is going to storm the coming municipal house meeting.”



Godawari Motors to pay Rs 2,000 fine
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 17
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has ordered the owner of Godawari Motors, Ferozepur road, Ludhiana to pay Rs 2,000 as compensation to an aggrieved consumer for delivering the registration certificate (RC) of a car with delay.

The orders were pronounced by the president of the forum, JS Chawla, and its member Jagjit Kaur Mander while deciding a complaint filed by Suresh Kumar of Gandhi Nagar, Ludhiana.

The complainant had submitted before the forum that he had purchased a Santro from Godawari Motors.

At the time of delivery of the car, he was assured that he would be provided the RC within a week.

Despite a lapse of time, he was not provided with the RC. This caused Suresh a lot of tension and harassment.

While on the other hand, the counsel for the car agency had stated that there was no fault at their end.

Actually, the consumer was himself negligent, the counsel said, adding that the RC was delivered to the consumer before the case proceedings.

However, after appreciating the evidence, the forum ordered the agency to compensate the consumer.



10 village panchayats go to polls
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 17
The elections to the 10 seats of village panches in the Ludhiana district would be conducted today.

These had remained vacant during gram panchayat elections in June last year. These include villages in Pakhowal, Macchiwara, Raikot and Khanna.

The electorates would be able to caste their votes between 8 am to 4 pm and the results would be declared before January 21.



75 take part in ‘Umnag’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 17
Kamla Lohtia S.D. College organised ‘Umnag’, an inter-school competition, on the college campus today.

It included group song, rangoli, matka decoration, painting, cartooning, folk song, geet, ghazal, quiz, poster making, shabad etc.

Purshottam Mittal, chairman, Shri Durga Mata Mandir Trust, was the chief guest. About 75 participants from various schools of Ludhiana participated.



Punjabi mandatory for Class X: Minister
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 17
Dr Upinderjit Kaur, education minister, Punjab, said Punjabi had been made compulsory for class X students in schools of Punjab affiliated to CBSE, ICSE and PSEB. The official correspondence in offices of Punjab will also be made in Punjabi.

Inaugurating a seminar entitled ‘Future of Indian Languages’ held in the memory of renowned scholar principal Pritam Singh, she said in order to implement the Punjabi language, district level committees were being set up.

She further said Punjabi would be implemented in the lower courts as well. The two-day seminar had been jointly organised by the Punjabi Sahitya Akademi and Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi.

Dr Upinderjit asserted the state government was committed to raise the standard of education and basic facilities in the schools were also being upgraded.

In order to provide a public-school pattern in rural areas, three senior secondary schools in each block were being given Rs 1.5 crore to launch science and commerce classes.

Besides, government would also spend Rs 400 crore on establishment of adarsh schools in the state.

The education minister disclosed UNO was observing the International Language Day on Februay 21 and to encourage Punjabi, this day would be celebrated in Punjab.

She announced Rs 8 lakh would be granted for Punjabi Sahitya Akademi. The seminar was also addressed by Dr Jaspal Singh, vice-chancellor, Punjabi University, Dalip Kaur Tiwana, president, Punjabi Sahitya Akademi, Ludhiana. AK Krishnamurthy from Karnataka read the key note address.



Ankush wins Rs 15,000, signs music contract
Manav Ghuman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 17
The grand finale of singing competition was organised by “Shakti”, here today. The compositions were created by students and the theme of the compositions was ‘shakti’, which represents women.

Out of 10 participants, Ankush Sharma from RS Senior Secondary School was declared the winner.

He was given a cash prize of Rs 15,000, trophy and singing contract with the Mystica Music Company.

The second prize was bagged by Kumar Sharma from BCM Senior Secondary School and was awarded Rs 10,000 with a trophy.

Karuna Sharma from Bhartiya Vidya Mandir stood third and got a cash prize of Rs 5,000 and a trophy.

Each participant was given a cash prize of Rs 1,000 and a certificate. Music composer Kanchman Babbar and Indian classical vocalist Gauri Pathare were the judges for the competition.

Anandmati Gurumaa said she had set up this project in 1999, which had now blossomed as a project of multidimensional excellence, besides empowering the girls through education.

She further said, “Shakti has emerged as a wake up call to combat the heinous practices of female foeticide, infanticide, dowry and the brutalities afflicted on the girl child.”

800 girls have been provided scholarships so far since the inception of the Shakti programme and 200 girls are being offered support from Shakti.

Gurumaa is a contemporary master, who through her teachings and meditation techniques, conveys the true meaning of spirituality.



Water samples taken from schools found unfit
Sheetal Chawla
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 17
The schoolchildren are not getting potable water, as the samples taken by the district health authorities have been found to be unfit for human consumption after being analysed by a government laboratory.

When a Tribune team visited a government primary school children were seen drinking water from a pipe as there wasn’t any tap. These way children can become susceptible to numerous water-borne diseases.

As many as 377 potable water samples were taken from the schools in urban and rural areas of the district in 2008.

According to district health officer SS Dhir, 244 samples were found to be fit while 133 were found to be unfit for human consumption. The school authorities have failed to take any remedial measures so far.

Enquiries revealed that water were being supplied in rural areas through hand and submersible pumps whereas in urban areas municipal corporation was supplying it.

Even the deep digging of submersible pumps has failed to provide any relief in getting potable water. Samples of Shantidevi School, Mundian, Government Primary School, Dugri, and GN Public School, Nanak Nagar, Sabzi Mandi, have not been found fit for consumption.

Similarly, water samples of the Government Primary School, Barundi, Government Primary School, Hori, and Machhiwara School were non-potable.

The district health officer said they were taking water samples at regular intervals. We have directed the schools to chlorinate the water supply, he added.



Inderpal, Tajider win 200m race
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, January 17
Students of all branches of SDP educational institution, namely, SDP Senior Secondary School, Hazoori Road, SDP Senior Secondary School, Basti Jodhewal, and Om Parkash Gupta SDP Model Senior Secondary School, Quilla Mohalla, participated in various disciplines of sports in the annual sports meet held at the SDP College for Women, here today.

Honorary secretary of the SDP educational institutions HK Chugh inaugurated the meet. A cultural programme was also presented by the students on the occasion.

Principals of SDP schools Ashok Kumar Verma, Jasveer Singh Chauhan and Sanjeev Bindra along with director S Verma, Vijay Mohan, OP Angrish, Vijendra Gupta, Veena Mann, Lekh Raj Arora, DS Singla and RK Khurana conducted the events. Results:

Girls: 200m race- Inderpal Kaur Ist ; 100m race- Neha Ist; 400m race- Chandni Ist; Long jump- Surinder Kaur Ist.

Boys: 200m race- Tajinder Ist; 400m race- Karan Ist; 800m race- Sunil Ist; Long jump- Khushwant Ist; Javelin throw- Agam Ist.



Rural Sports Meet
Roomi thrash Aitiana 3-0
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, January 17
The Roomi village team grabbed the hockey championship while the Kaunke Kalan team succeeded to grab the Kabbadi championship, as the three-day rural sports festival concluded, near here, yesterday.

This was the fourth tournament organised by the Dashmesh Sports Club of Malak village. The Roomi village team grabbed the championship by defeating the Aitiana village team by 3-0.

The Dhudike team stood third and in kabbadi, the Kaunke Kalan team secured first position as a match between the Kaunke Kalan and Sidhwan Khurd cancelled due to rain. About 24 teams from Punjab had participated in the Kabaddi championship.



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