L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Encroachments along NH-1
Demolition won’t serve purpose: MC
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 3
The Punjab and Haryana High Court’s directions to remove encroachments along the National Highway-1 will not be a cakewalk for the Municipal Corporation as there are many constructions on the road which have been done before 1996.

Though the civic body was quick in issuing notices to all residents and shopkeepers along the NH-1, which extends from Samrala Chowk to Jalandhar Bypass, sources in the MC confirmed that the whole route would not be cleared if encroachments before 1996 were exempted.

They revealed that after demolition of the constructions on encroached areas which came after 1996, the path left would be haphazard and would not solve the purpose of widening the highway.

According to the notices issued by the civic body, it had given a three-day time to the encroachers to file their reply. The step had caused panic among around 20,000 residents as the order would mean closure of 4,000 shops, small units, petrol pumps and restraints.

MC officials had tried to calm down these residents by telling them that they should submit their replies and the constructions that were before the PUDA Act 1995 would be exempted.

Interestingly, Municipal Commissioner GS Ghuman had said he would appoint a sub-committee for scrutiny of the replies submitted by the residents, but nothing has been done till date.

Meanwhile, the residents in the area still fear the sword that has been hanging on their heads as to where would they go if the houses would be demolished.

Talking to The Tribune, Rakesh said, "I have constructed my house in 1998 after seeking a loan from the bank and I am still repaying it. If the corporation really wants to demolish our houses, they should either give us another land for rehabilitation or enough compensation."

Another resident Sudesh Kumar said, "I have small children and the increasing inflation has already giving us a tough time. If the land was to be vacated earlier, the authorities should have not allowed us to construct our buildings."

Congress councillor Sanjay Talwar, who has come to the rescue of these encroachers, said, "We are planning to take up the matter at the MC house meeting to be convened soon and after passing it in the local house, the matter would be forwarded at the state-level."

He added that the way the Haryana government has de-notified notices on NH-1, something like this should also be adopted by the Punjab government. He said, “Since we are public representatives, we would not allow our electorates to suffer”.


Makki di roti, saag pull Abdullah
Manav Ghuman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 3
It is the spicy and tasty food of Punjab which pulls National Conference president Dr Farooq Abdullah time and again to the city.

He was in the city on a personal visit and savoured Punjab's speciality, saron da saag and makki di roti.

"We also have delicious food in Kashmir but “saron da saag” and “makki di roti” is unmatchable," he adds.

Topped with fresh white butter, Abdullah relished every bite of his lunch today.

Apart from saag, another favourite dish which was especially prepared for him today was Dal-Makhani.

While enjoying his lunch at the house of the chairman of Pringle Oswal Group, he adds that his friend knows about his tastes and preferences perfectly.

"He never misses to get plenty of onions and garlic in the saag as I love their
taste," he smiles.

Ludhianvis are known as food lovers and even Abdullah finds this place perfect for eating out. "I have a long list of the foods which I want to relish while in Ludhiana," he adds.

"Due to the shortage of time today, I was unable to enjoy kulfi and tikki," he quips. But he makes sure to relish them next time.

Farooq Abdullah promises his friend to return again soon and his friend also assures him to be ready with his favourite dishes. With a smile on his face, Abdullah signs off from the city.



Elusive rains deepen power crisis
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, February 3
For the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB), which has been grappling with acute scarcity of power leading to massive power cuts all over the state, complete failure of winter rains has come as a big blow.

With demand of power from the farm sector rising manifold for the coming rabi crop, and gap between demand and availability of power further going up, the board is left with no other choice but to withdraw all relaxations being given to all urban feeders.

After sticking to the promised daily power cut of two hour on mixed and category I feeders in the city for a few days, five hour power cut has been reimposed.

Highly placed sources in the PSEB headquarters at Patiala told The Tribune the gap between the total availability and daily demand of power was hovering around 210 lakh units (LUs) which left little or no margin for any relaxation in the scheduled 5-hour cut on all categories of consumers.

"The PSEB has been making efforts to provide a minimum of seven hours power supply to the agricultural sector for running tubewells so that the wheat crop does not suffer any damage. For this purpose, we are even resorting to overdrawing power to the extent of some 50 LUs daily from the central grid at an exorbitant rate of around Rs 6.50 per unit," the sources stated.

Even as all major power projects in the state were fully functional, the power that the PSEB had to return to other states in lieu of power procured during peak of summer under power banking agreement was also making a dent in the total availability of power with the board.

According to the sources, approximately 100 LU power was being returned at present to different states, which was expected to continue till February 15.

If the sources were to be believed, there seemed to be no respite for the city from drastic power cuts for the time being, or at least till the end of this month.

The only ray of hope in the bleak scenario is the rain god because adequate rainfall will reduce the demand from the farm sector and the power thus saved could then be diverted to urban feeders.



Snarl-up fails to move cops
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 3
It is the “disinclination” of the traffic cops deputed on various intersections in the city to execute their duties with precision that has amplified the traffic woes.

In what could be termed as a “deliberate defiance” of duty decorum, a group of three traffic personnel accompanied by a senior police official failed to monitor traffic during the peak hours on the Pakhowal Road-Sidhwan Canal intersection.

However, the vehement cries of the traffic control wing about staff shortage are ironic to the fact of four personnel deployed at one spot at the same time.

With power playing truant at 11 am, lights on the intersection were dysfunctional.

However, the four cops standing on the side of the road were oblivious to the jam. Instead, they were busy arguing with two auto-rickshaw drivers trying to challan them for traffic violation.

When approached by this reporter, who was stuck up in the jam, a traffic cop with belt number 421 maintained that the traffic lights were functional a moment ago.

He confronted saying, “Write against us if you want to.” He also said that the four of them were having tea whereas there was no tea stall nearby.

The road adjoining Sidhwan Canal has heavy traffic through the day as it connects the Ferozepur Road on one side and Ludhiana/Chandigarh highway on the other.

Owing to heavy vehicles plying on the road, the intersection is one of the busiest. However, cops are hardly ever present at the point where they are required.

The arrogant attitude of the cops is a little solace to the haggard commuters as they go and come back from their respective offices.

“The encounters with the traffic personnel are more infuriating as compared to the conflicts between the drivers. If given some lessons at public dealing, the cops can play a significant role in controlling the road rage,” said a commuters.



Burglars strike at Sub-Registrar office
Authorities yet to ascertain loss
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 3
Unidentified thieves struck the office of the Joint Sub-Registrar-cum-Assistant Collector, Dehlon, last night.

Though the police claim to have identified the suspects, no arrest was made till filing of the report.

The authorities were yet to ascertain the value of goods stolen by the thieves. The office is situated near to the Dehlon police station on the Ludhiana-Malerkotla road near here.

According to Dhakha DSP Parmajit Singh Goraya, unidentified thieves broke open the doors of the office of the Joint Sub-Registrar office last night.

The burglars broke locks of almost all the almirahs in the office. It is suspected that they were searching for cash, he added.

Munish Kumar, a computer operator at the office, reported the incident to the police. A dog squad was pressed into service. The police claimed that it had received important clue to the suspects.

Investigation by the Ludhiana Tribune revealed that huge amounts of cash were received at the office on the days when deeds were registered, but there was no arrangement to keep the cash secured at the office.

As the registration clerk was on leave yesterday, the suspects thought that cash might be lying in one of the almirahs.

However, fortunately a little amount was collected on account of registration fee yesterday and the same was shifted to the Ludhiana office.

Hari Lal, Naib Tehsildar, said that as there was no safe in the office. The cash was not kept here.

The cash collected during the day was either shifted to Ludhiana office or deposited in the bank. He said that no watchman was posted at the office.



Thieves beat factory worker to death
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 3
The police has arrested two thieves for allegedly killing an employee of a cloth-manufacturing unit and taking its owner hostage at Kailash Nagar near Mohan Dai Cancer Hospital late last night.

One of their accomplices, however, managed to escape. According to the police, the deceased, Umesh Kumar, a migrant labourer from Uttar Pradesh, working in Cristal Nit Fab at Street No.3, Kailash Nagar, was beaten to death by the accused.

The thieves entered the unit with the help of an insider as no sign of forcible brakeage of locks was found on the premises, said the police.

Suresh, an employee at the unit, has been detained for questioning, while police has launched a hunt to nab Kailash, another servant who was absent from the duty.

According to the residents, the thieves arrived in a mini-truck at around midnight and started loading polyester thread.

Aman Sharma, owner of factory, who was visibly terrified after the incident, said he came to help the employees as Kailash did not come on duty.

The thieves laid a trap for him and as soon as he entered the factory and was taken hostage. The accused locked the servant Surash into a room and owner was locked inside a circular machine, said the police.

The thieves threatened the owner that they would switch on the circular machine if he made noise.

Meanwhile, the area residents gathered at the site after hearing screams of Umesh Kumar who was hit on the head with an iron rod by the accused. The residents managed to nab driver of the truck Pratap Singh.



Man gets life term for killing wife
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, Feburary 3
The court of Additional Sessions Judge M S Virdi has convicted Jagdish Chand of Gali no: 2, Gurmel Park, Tibba Road, Ludhiana, on the charges of murdering his wife Poonam. He was sentenced to undergo rigorous life imprisonment.

A fine of Rs 10,000 was also imposed on the accused. Pronouncing the verdict, the Judge held that the prosecution had successfully proved the charges levelled against the accused. The Judge rejected the plea of leniency raised by the convict.

A case under Section 302 of the IPC was registered against the accused at Basti Jodhewal police station on July 14, 2002, on the statement of Jagdish Singh of Gurmel park, Tibba Road, Ludhiana.

The complainant had submitted that accused was living in their adjoining street. He had four children.

On the day of incident, the accused had some dispute with her wife. He hit his wife’s head with an iron rod.

“Since I was president of the mohalla committee, I went to their house. On asking, the accused said she was not doing the household work properly. That was the reason behind the dispute”, he said.

“Then I with the help of some other mohalla residents took the injured to the civil hospital. Her condition was serious. Doctors referred her to CMC Hospital. She was hospitalised there but after some time she died”, further added the complainant.

The accused had fled from the scene. His posters were pasted at different places by the police. Finally, the police arrested him on Feburary 14, 2003.

During the trial, the accused had pleaded not guilty and claimed false implication.

But after appreciating the evidence on record and convinced with the submissions of additional public prosecutor R S Sibia, the court held the accused guilty.



Litigants suffer as lawyers strike work
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 3
Work came to a halt at district court here today as the city lawyers observed a complete strike following a nationwide call given by the Supreme Court Bar Association against amendments in the CrPC.

It was a day of embarrassment for the litigants, whose cases were adjourned without any fruitful hearing in the absence of lawyers.

The president of the District Bar Association, Ludhiana, Parupkar Singh Ghumman, claimed that the strike was in the favour of the society and said that the lawyers would intensify their agitation until the revocation of the amendments.

Harpreet Sandhu, spokesperson, Ludhiana District Bar Association, stated that the lawyers went on a daylong strike demanding the withdrawal of amendments in the CrPC according to which it is no longer mandatory for the police to arrest someone charged with an offence punishable with up to seven years in jail.

“We have also observed strike against the “anti-public” and “anti-society” amendments in the CrPC.

“As many as 18 district court bar associations and 14 bar associations of various high courts are participating in the strike,” said Sandhu.

He further stated that the proposed amendment in the statute would give criminals a free run and deteriorate the law and order situation and can also remove fear from the mind of criminals, who will misuse the provisions under the garb of personal liberty, added Sandhu.

JAGRAON: The members of the Jagraon Bar Association on Tuesday held a protest demonstration and abstained from the courts following amendments in CrPC.

The lawyers held a peaceful march from the SDM office to main chowk and then back to SDM office.

The full house meeting stood in two minutes silence to mourn Monday’s mishap in which school kids were killed.



Stray Dog Menace
Sterilisation drive fails to start
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 3
Tackling stray dog menace, it seems, is not the priority of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation as it has failed to take any initiative in controlling the increasing canine population in the city.

Except announcing dates, signing memorandums or giving various excuses, there is nothing concrete that has been done by the MC to control the population of around 30,000 stray dogs, which are a nuisance to the residents.

Even while signing a MoU with an Ahmedabad-based NGO - Animal Help Foundation - on November 25, 2008, the MC had claimed that the drive to sterilise dogs would start by February 1.

However, nothing has been done even on the third day of the month.

Joint Commissioner B.K. Gupta, who has been asked to look after the project, could not be contacted even after repeated attempts.

According to the MoU, a team of the NGO would sterilise as many as 12,000 dogs per year and the results were expected to come out after a few years.

Interestingly, even the municipal councillors too feel that the civic body has failed to control the dog menace.

Talking to The Tribune, Congress councillor Parminder Mehta said, "The intensity of the problem has been always ignored and that's the reason why the MC only forms sub-committees and does nothing to control the menace. Even if the question is raised in the MC House, no concrete solution has been ever achieved and the civic body has been always on the receiving end.”

He added that even a budget is decided to fix the problem, but no one knows where the money goes.

Sushil Mahajan, a city resident suggested the MC of taking the help of GADVASU students for the sterilisation campaign by providing them with medicines or funds.

Notably, a city lawyer, P.P. Singh, also plans to move court against the MC for its failure to control the dog menace.

"The civic body can also be held accountable in the consumer forum as well as the Punjab and Haryana High Court as it fails to control the stray dog menace,” he said.



BSNL employees seek revised pay scales
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 3
The United Forum of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) Executives’ Associations today held a dharna outside the office of General Manager.

The employees were protesting against the BSNL management for withholding the issuing of the orders relating to implementation of the new IDA pay scales along with fixation and payment of allowances in accordance with decisions of the government.

Prahlad Rai, general secretary of the AIBSNLEA, in a letter written to Kuldeep Goyal, CMD, BSNL, said: "To deny us our legitimate pay scales, fixation of pay allowances on flimsy grounds of declining profits, for which we are just not responsible".

The employees have made a fervent appeal to take necessary action for issuing the orders regarding implementation of the new IDA pay scales, fixation of pay, payment of allowances, failing which they have decided to observe countrywide protests. A full-day dharna will be observed on February 5 and 6.

"If no decision is taken by February 6, we will further intensify the stir," added the
agitating employees.



All is not well with jobs
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 3
The current job scene in India is not very encouraging just like the rest of the world due to the prevalent global economic downturn.

The case is the same for the blue-collared workers and the white-collared ones while job seekers in both categories are wondering if the job market has something in store for them.

Blue-collared workers need to upgrade their skills in vocational training. However, although there are many of them around, not many have employment opportunities.

"A few months ago, the job market for white-collared workers was booming. Every student, even before he graduated, had an entry-level job waiting for him. He got to pick and choose employer depending on various factors such as salary and perks offered to him, growth potential, the kind of training the company will offer him, whether he will get any offsite opportunities and, of course, overall job security that the job could offer him," said Dr Preeti Singh, a management consultant.

However, she added, given the US recession scenario, things don't seem the
same any longer.

"Every company is talking about cost cutting and the best way to do it is to cut staff and have just enough people to do the work. Hence, no buffer staff waiting in the wings which means not many job opportunities for job seekers," she remarked.

"Industries such as aviation, manufacturing, real estate, finance, automobile and insurance are not hiring at the moment. BPO and a few other service industries are hiring but that too, at the entry level only. We do not have big firms coming in for campus recruitment this year unlike previous years," said a lecturer at one of Ludhiana's prominent management institute.

Gurpreet Singh Grewal, an MBA student of a local management college, said, "Some firms which issued joining letters to some students during the campus recruitment drive held two months ago have asked them to wait till further intimation as they haven't got any new projects and the staff on hand can easily handle the projects. No reputed companies are coming to campus for recruitments. Small-time players in finance, marketing and BPO sectors are hiring, but that too, for meager salary."

However, what might bring cheers to the job seekers is a report of the latest global manpower survey that shows India will create more jobs in the next three months, more than other countries.

But, sources say the hiring growth will be the lowest since 2005.



Abandoned newborns puzzle cops
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 3
The city police which is already grappling with the increasing crime graph is witnessing a worst kind of crime these days.

At least four cases of stillborn, newborn and premature babies had been reported in a fortnight from various parts of the city.

These babies have paid the price of stigma associated with defiance of social norms. All these stillborns were found lying in deserted locations.

In a latest case reported on Thursday, a stillborn baby wrapped in a polythene bag was recovered from a vacant plot near Shanti Nagar.

This is the second such incident in the Focal Point area. Recently, a stillborn was recovered from a vacant plot in phase -5 of the focal point area.

Similarly, 10 days ago body of a newborn baby wrapped in a sack was recovered from a garbage bin at Barewal Canal.

The police suspected the newborn child was thrown in the plot, likely to had born out of an unmarried girl.

The police sources have said migrants had followed the practice.

A senior police officer expressing said, "What we can do except completing the formalities. Already so much crime is taking place in the city and this heinous crime is yet another example of how brutal people have become."

A few days ago, a premature baby was recovered along side the road at Bamalipur village in Khanna. When informed the Bamalipur Sarpanch Kamaljeet Kaur, immediately got the baby admitted to the local civil hospital.

The condition of the baby is stated to be out of danger.



PSEB to clear all tubewell cases by March 31
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 3
The Punjab State Electricity Board will clear all pending tubewell connections under general category by March 31, 2009, where demand notices were issued by December 31, 2008.

Similarly, all pending connections under "own your tubewell" (OYT) scheme where demand notices have been issued, will be cleared by this date.

This assurance was given by chairman of the PSEB Harinder Singh Brar to a deputation of the Bharti Kisan Union which met him at Patiala to discuss the demands of the farming community related to power supply.

Bhupinder Singh Mahesari, general secretary of the BKU, who led the deputation, said in a statement here today that it was impressed upon the PSEB chairman that the power supply being provided to the agricultural sector was far from being adequate and the farmers were forced to irrigate their crops using generators or diesel engines which added to the input cost.

Responding to the demand by the BKU activists for uninterrupted power supply for 8 hours, the chairman gave an assurance for seven-hour power supply to the tubewells with immediate effect.

According to Mahesari, the issue of those applicants under the OYT scheme, to whom demand notices were not issued till now on the basis of installed equipment not conforming to the laid down quality norms, was also raised during the meeting.

The BKU functionaries contended that the equipment was purchased by the farmers through contractors approved by the board, and the applicants were not at fault in such cases.

The chairman told the deputation that cases of such applicants would be
sympathetically considered.

The BKU further asked the PSEB chairman to take effective steps for improvement of transmission network, especially in the districts of Gurdaspur, Amritsar, Hoshiarpur and Tarn Taran so as to ensure full voltage of power for efficient working of tubewells and other farm equipment.



Fissures to fore ahead of Cong rally
KS Chawla

Ludhiana, February 3
Preparations are underway for organising rally at Mullanpur by the Congress on February 5 in the midst of the division in the party ranks.

Capt Amarinder Singh will address the rally organised for the preparation of the Lok Sabha elections campaign.

Congress leaders of the district and the city are engaged in mobilising the congress workers and the public for the rally.

There is a race among the leaders to show their strength to Capt Amarinder Singh, who is chairman of the election campaign in the state.

There are reports that Amarinder may be made president of the Punjab Pradesh
Congress Committee.

Some Congress leaders of the city were close to Amarinder during his Chief Ministership, who also made fortunes taking advantage of close proximity with him.

But they deserted him as soon as the SAD-BJP government came into being and a criminal case was registered against him and his son.

These leaders have again started appearing on the courts’ premises on the date Amarinder comes to the city to attend the hearing in case.

The district congress committees (urban and rural) are divided into different groups.

The leaders of the district and the city are having loyalty with different leaders of the state, but they have personal animosity against one another, as a result of which they could not put up a united face against the alleged high handedness of the ruling clique.

The urban unit, in particular, is divided into many groups, led by leaders like Jagmohan Sharma, Harnam Das Johar, former minister Rakesh Pandey, former Chief Parliamentary Secretary Surinder Dawar, and former chief parliamentary secretary Malkiat Singh Birmi.

Jagmohan Sharma, who organised a dharna against the removal of the encroachments as ordered by the Supreme Court, failed to evoke much response from the local leaders and workers.

Similarly, Surinder Dawar has been involved in a controversy with some of the municipal councillors of the party, who have revolted against his leadership.

The municipal Congress group is also badly divided and some of the councillors are hand in glove with the Akali and BJP leaders.



Drug addiction leading to marital discord
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 3
The city and its surrounding areas are witnessing a marked rise in cases of drug addiction and alcoholism, threatening marital lives in particular.

The Marriage Disputes’ Cell here witnesses more than 100 cases in a month.

In most of the cases, wives allege harassment at the hands their drug-addict husbands, who refuse to work and earn to run their families.

Anita (name changed), a mother of two, even tried to commit suicide as her idle drug-addict husband beat her and children regularly.

Thanks to the sincere efforts put in by members of the Marriage Disputes’ Cell
here that the husband was brought back on track and the couple is leading a
comfortable life today.

The complaints of marital disputes, lodged by both husband and wife at respective police stations, are diverted to the cell every month.

In most of the complaints, husbands are drug addicts, who while craving for drugs, ill-treat their better-halves.

In absence of financial income in the family, daily fights, beating of wife and children become a routine.

In certain complaints, husbands allege excessive interference by girls' parents.

Some other complainants complain of mismatched marriages, where girls complain of being duped on false grounds, whereas in many cases, impotency becomes the factor of discord.

"It is a matter of concern that marital disputes are increasing with each passing day. The panel members try to settle everything through counselling sessions and throughout the procedure, there is absolutely no pressure or interference by the city police," said Prof Rajinder Singh, a lecturer at GGN Khalsa College here, who is member of one of the panel of the cell.

He further added that in less than two months' time, 80 per cent of disputes are settled by the 12 panels.

The panel tries to convince both parties in an unbiased manner. When the cases are solved, an affidavit is taken from husband, wife and both the family members, saying that they will make adjustments accordingly.

Husband and wife are told to stay together for a week or so and then they are called by panel members again to review the progress.

"Only husband and wife are allowed in the counselling session. If wife still complains of ill-treatment or torture by husband, action is taken against the husband accordingly", said Prof Rajinder.

During the whole process, the complainant just has to write an application on a white paper to the cell.

"A majority of complaints pour in from lower strata of society and there is no financial burden on girl or the parents. They are not required to pay heavy fee to advocates. The cases of marital disputes are settled by panel members through counselling sessions," he said.



Demolition drive in Model Town
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 3
Carrying on with its anti-encroachment drive, a joint team of the tehbazari wing today removed encroachments from zone-D.

The MC squad, along with superintendents Daljeet Singh and Naveen Malhotra, removed encroachments from various areas, including Dugri Road and Model Town.

They crushed around 35-36 pharis which came on their way and a generator cover kept on the road by Lucky bakery.

The staff also picked around 10 frames and scrap from Basant Art in Model Town and challaned various car shops owners who had been repairing cars on main roads.

During the three-hour drive, the MC officials collected around 21 handcarts and removed encroachments on the roads, including few kiosks.

They lifted counters put up by various shopkeepers in front of shops and warned them not to encroach land further failing which strong action would be initiated.



TVS posts 13 pc growth in motorcycle sale
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 3
The TVS Motor Company has posted a growth of 13 per cent in motorcycle sales while registering total two-wheelers’ sale of 93,729 units last month against 93,385 units in the corresponding period of the previous year.

Cumulative growth for current financial year, since April 2008, stood at 2 per cent.

The company exported 14,000 units of two-wheelers in January as against 13,108 units in the corresponding period last year, registering a growth of 7 per cent.

Exports continued its overall-growth trend, registering 44 per cent increase in cumulative sales for the period from April last year to January this year, when compared to the same period of the previous year.

Motorcycle sales of the company stood at 43,990 units in comparison to 38,961 units recorded in January last year.

During the month, the company launched Stylish and Futuristic TVS Scooty Streak.



Staff shortage hits polio drive
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 3
Lack of coordination in terms of surveillance, screening, and control measures is hampering the eradication of the polio.

The department of health and family welfare is justifying in taking the plea of shortage of staff when it comes to the “left-out areas” in door-to-door campaign today and yesterday as was evident from the absence of teams in some areas.

If all doctors and paramedical staff are deployed on pulse polio duty, it is impossible to cover every area, which is why the department has to depend on volunteers.

But the volunteers are not “well versed” with handling of the vaccine and cannot be checked for their visits to earmarked areas.

Interestingly, the state government has roped in NGOs for national health programmes, but where lies the responsibility of the hundreds of doctors registered under Punjab Medical Council and Indian Medical Association (IMA).

The IMA district-body president, Dr Arun Mitra, when asked about association’s role in the campaign, said: "We all were busy with state IMA elections on February 1, but will participate in the next phase."

So much so, for the concern of the doctor fraternity, no pulse polio booth was set up at IMA house in Ludhiana.

It is rather unfortunate that India, known for having produced genius doctors, is considered to be in the group of Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan, the only countries having failed to eradicate the polio.

On the other hand, polio-eradication programmes, undertaken in other parts of the world, show that it was a constant effort of the governments, NGOs, professional organisations and the departments concerned that enabled them to overcome the political, cultural, geographical and financial obstacles.

A doctor working in a rural dispensary said the incidences of disease are maximum among lower strata of the society and the people living in remote areas.

"The World Health Organisation (WHO), Rotary International, UNICEF and United States’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have forged the Global Polio Eradication Initiative to eradicate the polio as a global imperative, and if followed with determination, their programme plan is not only feasible but has been tried and tested already."



Dr Savraj honoured
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 3
Proper balance in life can be achieved if one adopts the western materialism and eastern spirituality.

These views were expressed by Savraj Singh, renowned surgeon and writer, at present in the US.

Taking out time from his busy schedule, he pens books which are translated in different languages, including German, Chinese, Arabic and Persian to name a few. He regards Guru Granth Sahibji as the zenith of philosophy.

Savraj has written 19 books in English and Punjabi. He writes mainly on current affairs and comparative study of east and west.

He opines that western life is materialistic that need to be corrected. "To lead a happy life, we combine the western materialism and eastern spirituality," he added.

He is also the chairman of the Washington State Network for Human Rights and Central Wasington Co-relation of Social Justice.

Savraj says that even today there is no equality in the USA. "There is disparity between the whites and blacks," he adds.



Vet parasitology congress gets under way
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 3
The XIXth National Congress of Veterinary Parasitology, under the aegis of Indian Association for the Advancement of Veterinary Parasitology (IAAVP), and organised by the Department of Veterinary Parasitology, College of Veterinary Science, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU), Ludhiana, was inaugurated today at Pal Auditorium of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU).

As many as 150 delegates from all over India and abroad registered for this conference. The theme of the conference was “National Impact of Parasitic Diseases on Livestock Health and Production” with focus on “Changing Trends in Parasitology from Eggs to Genomic”.

Dr P.N. Bhat, a renowned scientist and former DDG (Animal Science), ICAR, and chairman, Task Force on Animal Biotechnology, DBT, New Delhi, was the chief guest who inaugurated the congress, while Dr V.K. Taneja, Vice Chancellor, GADVASU, presided over the function.

The event started with the invocation and welcome of dignitaries. Four retired professors of the alumni of the department of Veterinary Parasitology, College of Veterinary Science, GADVASU, were honoured for their dedication towards teaching, research and their significant contributions in the field of veterinary parasitology.

The society admitted two scientists of eminence, Prof M.B, Chhabra from New Delhi and Dr P.K. Sanyal from Chhattisgarh as national fellows.

Dr K.M.L. Pathak, president, IAAVP, and director, National Research Centre on Camel, Bikaner, addressed the gathering.

He highlighted the progress being made in the field of veterinary parasitology in India in the recent years.

He described the parasites as covert and insidious in undermining the health and productivity of animals through widespread morbidity, which in the long run impacted the livestock economy adversely.

He said the basic sciences of molecular biology, genetics and immunology have contributed a lot to the knowledge pool of parasitology.

Dr Bhat highlighted the impact of parasitic diseases on national economy. He said that despite the immense progress made with drugs, vaccines, and simple measures of public health and sanitation against infectious diseases in the past 100 years, these diseases still imposed intolerable burden on half of the humanity.

He said the era of the "omics" was with parasitology and changing trends in the discipline were addressing fundamental biological problems.

This could become the "golden age of molecular parasitology," leading to the control of parasitic diseases that had plagued man and his animals since antiquity.

Sophisticated new tools such as microarray technologies had provided better understanding of interactions between host response and parasite virulence factors.

Dr Sarman Singh from All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, delivered the keynote address on “Microscopy to Microarray: Techniques in parasitic diseases” at the conference.

He said that the application of microarrays helped in understanding simultaneously expression of thousands of genes in a single sample put on a single solid support.

Dr Taneja exhorted veterinary parasitologists to address the emerging challenges in the form of drug resistance, emerging and re-emerging food borne zoonoses, transboundary diseases, food safety, vector control and vaccine development.



Gurdev Kaur Mangat
A life dedicated to rural education
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, February 3
Gurdev Kaur Mangat, who died on January 25 and whose bhog ceremony is to be performed tommorow, was the one whose entire life was a befitting example of humility and piousness.

She was devoted to cause of education, for which her husband, Jagjit Singh Mangat, strived in his life. Opening of an educational institution in a remote area like Doraha was a dream of Jagjit.

He, along with late Dr Ishwar Singh, founder president of Guru Nanak National College, Doraha, established an institution, which is today viewed as one of the pioneer institutions of the region.

Gurdev, with a degree in nursing earned from Christian Medical College, Ludhiana, carried on the noble ambition of her husband, founder secretary of the college, even after his death.

So much so that apart from taking keen interest in the educational promotion, she provided monetary assistance to the meritorious and needy students.

A total of rupees one lakh were donated by the deceased and three lakh by her relatives for further extension of the college building.

A religious lady to the core, she represented dignity and nobility in their true colour. Thoroughly a civic being, she provided emotional solace and monetary abet to the deprived and the poor.

The sudden demise of her only son, Manmohan Singh, in 1989, made her stronger all the more as she emerged anew from the volley of sorrow and distress.

Left almost alone to fight with world around, she donned her role of a humanitarian but with a purpose.

She worked generously for the promotion of the cause of education, especially for the rural people and the deprived.

Gurdev is survived by two daughters, Mohinder Kaur and Sukhpal Kaur, and a grandson, Rajeshwar Singh Mangat.



Rare surgery saves man’s spinal cord
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 3
Department of neuro and spine surgery at SPS Apollo Hospital has successfully performed a rare spine surgery to save Babul Lal, a construction worker, who had fallen down from a height of 20 feet.

After the fall, he had got fractured his odontoid process, which had resulted in separation of skull and spine.

Babul was at a risk for getting severe spinal cord damage, which could have resulted in complete paralysis below his neck.



Annual function at girls college
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 3
The Annual prize distribution function of Guru Nanak Girls College was held here today. Harish Rai Dhanda was the chief guest of the occasion.

He distributed prizes among the students who achieved excellence in different fields like education, sports and culture.

Speaking on the occasion he said girls were marching ahead in every field and they had proved their worth. He wished best of luck to the students for their future.



Remove hoardings

Hoardings of different commercial enterprises, political parties and some other organisations have become a major problem in the city.

These hoardings not only create problems on the roads but also leave the roadsides defaced. The district administration must undertake a drive, to remove them as early as possible. The MC Commissioner must take appropriate steps in this regard.

Viney Gandhi, 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.



Land Row: Man beaten up by three brothers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 3
Volunteering to administer polio drops to children of his village cost Buta Singh of Togarh village dear, whose father Fauja Singh was assaulted by a farmer family nurturing enmity with them over a piece of land last evening.

Fauja Singh (55) received multiple fractures on both his arms and was operated upon at CMC here today.

He was allegedly beaten up with lathis and ice picks barbarously and was brought in a serious condition to the hospital.

His son Buta Singh, in his complaint to the police, alleged that he and a team of the health department was visiting various houses in the village when they reached the house of Jeet Singh, Lakha Singh and Ajmer Singh, three brothers.

Since Buta's family already had an ongoing fued with the trio over a piece of land, they did not take his visit kindly. By the time Fauja Singh went after Buta to make him receive a call on his mobile.

The trio allegedly started beating up both of them badly. While Buta escaped and received minor injuries, Fauja Singh was badly injured.

The police could not take his statement since his condition was not good. The police is yet to register any case.

The enmity dates back to many year since Buta Singh and his family proved to be a whistleblower in a revenue scandal.



Sewadar booked in minor’s abduction case
Rakesh Gupta

Raikot, February 3
Sewadar of a gurdwara has been reported to have abducted a minor girl of a village. Sant Singh (60) of Batthu Chack village in Amritsar was living at gurdwara of Tugal village. He used to work there as sewadar to collect food (dali) from nearby villages.

Balbir Kaur of Tugal village has accused Sant Singh of abducting her 11-year-old daughter, Rupinder Kaur (name changed), on February 1.

Amar Singh, investigating officer, said the accused used to live in the village in the attire of a Nihang Sahib.

The girl and her family used to frequently visit the gurdwara daily. He said somehow the accused seemed to have brainwashed her abducted her.

He went missing from the gurdwara since February 1 at 10 am, and the girl left home for gurdwara around 11 am the same day, but never reached the gurdwara.

Around 4 pm, when her parents reached the gurdwara, they found her missing.
Yesterday, they complained the matter to the Sudhar police, when they could
not locate her.

The police has registered a case against the accused under Section 363 and 366
of the IPC and is raiding the possible hideouts of the accused. No arrest has been
made so far.



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