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VB unearths Rs 16-lakh scam
10 persons, including 5 officials of financial corporation, booked
Kanchan Vasdev/Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 3
The Vigilance Bureau (VB), Ludhiana, claim to have unearthed a scam worth lakhs of rupees involving officials of the Punjab Financial Corporation (PFC).

The VB has booked 10 persons, including five officials of the PFC, who in connivance with a private party, allegedly sanctioned Rs 16.21 lakh loan against a disputed property to set up a factory. The loanees defrauded by selling the machines causing loss of lakhs to the PFC.

The arrested have been identified as manager, New Delhi, Pawan Jas Rai, deputy manager (legal), PFC, Bathinda, Harjeet Singh, manager Raj Kumar, senior assistant Raghbir Singh, deputy manager, Ludhiana, Vinod Parkash Tiwari and deputy manager, Ludhiana, Naseeruddin Gorkhi alias Prem Nath.

According to SSP, Vigilance, Kanwarjit Singh Sandhu, the case dates back to 2000 when Balbir Singh, a resident of Model Town Extension, had given a power of attorney to Gurcharan Singh for his property. The latter registered a sale deed of the said land in his nephew Balwinder Singh's name. In the meantime, Balbir Singh got the power of attorney cancelled and took the matter to a court.

Despite the matter being sub-judice, Gurcharan Singh, Balwinder Singh and two others, including Jarnail Singh and Charanjit Singh sought a loan from the PFC in June 2002 after deposing that the land was not disputed.

Manager Pawan Jas Rai was sent to verify the application by visiting the spot. He allegedly did not verify and gave a report that the loan could be sanctioned.

After taking the loan, the accused did not pay back a single instalment and sold off the machines for without informing the PFC. The matter came to the light and the officials -Gorkhi, Raghbir and Harjeet - took the possession of the factory. Since there were no machines, they claimed to have sent a complaint to SSP, Ludhiana.

However, no case was registered since the SSP did not receive any complaint. SSP Sandhu said as Tiwari and Raj Kumar were legal and local branch managers, respectively, it was their duty to take up the matter to a legal and logical conclusion. “They, however, remained silent and helped the accused in this manner,” said the SSP.

A case under Section 420, 467, 468, 471 and 120-B of the Prevention of Corruption Act has been registered against the accused. Gorkhi and Tiwari have been arrested. 

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Commercial Connections 
PSEB uncovers fake NOC racket
Power supply cut off to 13 units
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, March 3
Officials of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) here have come across a racket of fake "no objection cerificates" (NOCs) being issued by certain employees of the municipal corporation by allegedly charging hefty amount to those applying for non-residential (commercial) power connections.

Having identified at least 13 such commercial connections, obtained on the basis of forged NOCs under the area of City Central Division, the power supply has been cut off and the energy meters have been permanently removed by the officials concerned of the operations wing.

Deputy Chief Engineer of City East Circle HS Randhawa said here today that the shady operation had come to light after an applicant for a new commercial connection in the Purana Bazar area approached the PSEB officials, saying he was denied an NOC by the civic body, whereas several other commercial establishments in the same locality had produced the NOCs and given power connections under the non-residential category.

"The field staff of the PSEB conducted a random check of 20 commercial connections, and when the NOCs produced by these units were sent to the MC for verification, 13 of them were found to be bogus. Notices were issued to the establishments concerned in this regard seeking their reply before orders of disconnection were issued."

Randhawa said the gang of the MC employees behind the racket had the audacity to provide letters purportedly signed first by the assistant town planner (ATP) concerned and again from the municipal town planner (MTP), saying the NOCs were genuine. However, when a senior officer of the PSEB contacted the signatories of these verification letters, it came out that these verification letters were also forged and both the ATP and MTP denied having signed any such letters.

Once it was established that the commercial connections had been provided on the basis of such documents that turned out to be forged and fabricated, the power supply to the units was cut off and meters permanently removed.

Randhawa said if information provided by the affected persons was any indication, the racket was being run by a draftsman, an inspector in the building branch and a class IV employee of the MC. "We have written to the MC authorities to conduct an inquiry at their level and also to lodge a report with police if they deem fit so that the guilty can be brought to book."

In a separate but related development, the vigilance wing of the PSEB was conducting a probe into complaints that certain industrial units had obtained power connections by claiming to be in the green category where NOC is not required from the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB). However, some of these units did fall in the red category as these were discharging toxic waste and effluents.

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Husband, two others get life term for murder
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 3
The Court of Additional Sessions Judge Kishore Kumar has convicted Surinder Pal alias Chhinda (52 years), Raj Rani and Dinesh Kumar, all residents of Hazuri Bagh Colony, Bhattian village, on the charges of killing Gurbaksh Kaur alias Baksho.

All accused were ordered to undergo rigorous life imprisonment. They were also ordered to pay fine of Rs 2000 each.

A case under Sections 302/34 of the IPC was registered against the accused at the Salem Tabri police station, Ludhiana, on the statement of Satpal, brother of the deceased.

According to the prosecution, Baksho's husband Surinder Pal was having illicit relations with co-accused Raj Rani. In order to get rid of her, they all hatched a conspiracy and murdered her.

The complainant had submitted to the police that his sister was having a daughter but no son. His husband used to taunt her on this score. Later, he developed illicit relations with Raj Rani of the village. Due to this reason, the relations between the couple worsened.

Even a compromise was arrived at between the couple with the intervention of panchayat. It was settled that Surinder Pal would not meet Raj Rani. But despite this, he did not mend his ways.

On April 7, 2006, her brother got a message about 1 am that Surinder Pal and his sister were quarelling with each other. Then he, along with some other persons, reached at her sister's house but found her dead. During investigation, the police found the accused persons guilty and arrested them.

While on the other hand, the accused pleaded that on the night of the incident, he had gone somewhere and his wife was alone at home.

When he returned about 3 am, he saw his wife murdered and Rs 20,000 and gold ornaments were found stolen.

But after appreciating the statement of 12 prosecution and witnesses and convinced with the arguments presented by Additional Public Prosecutor Sukh Chain Singh, the court found them guilty.

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From hutment to Australia
Gurdeep Singh Mann & Gurminder Grewal
Tribune News Service

Doraha, March 3
From modest hutment dwellings to Australia, Seema Mishra from Doraha has scripted a success story setting example for others to follow.

Daughter of bidi-seller Mani Ram Mishra, Seema is the third of his seven children. The family has been living in a hutment near Neelon Bridge here along the canal for the past many years.

With the help of a good samaritan from Panchkula, Seema managed to pass her IELTS last year and is now studying hotel management at Australia. She has been living at Brisbane, near Melbourne, for the past one year.

“All of my children are brilliant in studies since their childhood. Seema went a step ahead and did well not only in academics, but sports as well”, said the proud father.

Seema has completed her masters degree in political science and PGDCA. She has also been the best athlete for seven years at Guru Nanak National College, Doraha. Seema’s mother Mansa Devi said earlier the family was into beekeeping business. After suffering huge losses in beekeeping, the family opened a small shop near Neelon Bridge.

After Seema, now it’s the turn of her younger sister Naina, who too will soon leave for Australia by the next month or so. “But at this moment, we are not sure about her as still many papers are yet to be completed”, she said.

The mentor of the family is mainly a Panchkula-based businessman as well as handful of other people. Being an intelligent and shining student, Seema had always remained in the good books of her teachers. It was the word of mouth that brought her financial help to continue her studies and achieve her aim.

According to family members, Seema now wants to complete her degree, return to India, work hard and help her other siblings. Two of her sisters got married at an early age and are now pursuing their graduation after marriage.

The family had been living in penury for the past many years, however, things are now improving.

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7-yr-old raped, murdered
Tribune News Service

Khanna, March 3
A seven-year-old girl was raped and murdered in the city today morning. The girl was missing since last night. The girl, identified as Kiran, was a resident of Khukhrain Colony near the grain market on Samrala road.

The girl’s father Shiv Kumar is a labourer at a flour mill in Khanna. The victim was the youngest of the five children in the family.

At around 10 am, somebody informed the police about a dead body lying near the high-rise water tank. The girl was apparently raped and then murdered by some unidentified persons, said the police.

A case has been registered and investigations are on, said the police.

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PAUTA general house today
Members demand discussion on chief’s status
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 3
Though the general house meeting of the Punjab Agricultural University Teachers' Association (PAUTA) is scheduled for tomorrow to discuss four major issues, hundreds of members of the association have demanded that unless the status of presidentship of PAUTA was cleared, they will not discuss the remaining issues, no matter how important they would be.

A letter signed by more than 300 members of the association says that certain unfortunate happenings for the past two months in PAUTA had brought disrepute to association. Terming the conflicting statements issued by president/vice-president and secretary, PAUTA, regarding the resignation of the president as disturbing, the members feel that only the general house could decide whether Dr MS Mahal's (president) resignation should be accepted or not.

One of the faculty members of the rival group, Prof K.S. Sangha, said only the elected president or vice-president should preside over the general body till the issue was resolved or otherwise if anybody else was to preside-over, his/her name had to be first got approved from general house before starting the discussions on other agenda items. The general body under the presidentship of unapproved president will be unconstitutional and illogical, he said.

Speculations are rife that PAUTA may be divided into two factions over the candidature of president. Dr M.S. Mahal had resigned about two months back, citing certain personal reasons but his resignation was not accepted by vice-president Dr B.S. Sohal. As per the constitution of PAUTA, in the president's absence, the vice-president acts as president and has authority to chair or convene the meetings. Due to the standoff between certain office-bearers of PAUTA, the joint-secretary of PAUTA Dr G.S.Saroa was named as the newly elected president to which a large number of members had raised objections.

Another senior member of PAUTA disclosed that unless the association was united over the elections of president, all other issues remained unimportant. "We cannot fight for our rights unless we all are united. There should not be in-house conflicts", he said.

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Paper Leak: DEO orders probe
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 3
District Education Officer (DEO), Secondary, Amarjit Kaur has ordered an inquiry into the incident of alleged paper leak and scuffle that followed in Government High School, Chhowni Mohalla, yesterday.

According to information, class IX maths paper was allegedly leaked by a teacher and the same paper was stopped from being distributed.

The teacher objected to it and a scuffle took place between the teacher and the office superintendent of the school.

The matter was referred to the DEO (Secondary) and the new question paper was distributed among the students.

The DEO said the matter was being looked into and action would be taken against the guilty. 

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Lok Sabha Polls
City has more urban voters this time
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 3
Redefined area of the Ludhiana constituency throws up interesting electoral possibilities in the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls. More than 500 villages have been relocated in alternate constituencies making the city largely an urban population dominated seat.

In the ensuing Lok Sabha elections, Ludhiana will have voting in 255 villages against the earlier number of over 700. The prominent shifting out includes 268-odd villages in Koomkalan assembly segment, at least 100 in Payal and as many as 32 villages from Kila Raipur.

Certain villages within the city municipal limits, including Jhabewal, Mundian and Kasabad, besides Kohara and neighbouring villages now fall in the Fatehgarh constituency. At the same time, at least 13 Raikot assembly villages are now part of Ludhiana constituency.

Ward numbers 12 and 14 of the city municipal limits are now attached with the Sahnewal assembly seat and Fatehgarh Lok Sabha constituency.

The new division of blocks in the local constituency makes it six urban blocks and three rural blocks.

It is worth mentioning that the shift makes the constituency largely urban which Congressmen feel was in their favour. The main opponents, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) feels the change makes no difference as the voters want a change at the 
Centre.

A spokesperson of the SAD said: “To say that SAD was basically a rural party was not true today. We are living in a changed world."

The Ludhiana (East) block has 130 polling booths and 1,27,991 voters registered till January. Ludhiana (South) will have 99 polling stations for 1,11,541 voters. Atam Nagar block will have 132 polling stations for 1,37,224 voters. Besides the urban population, the area also includes voters from Dakha belt.

The central block covering the old city will have 133 polling stations for 1,29,863 voters.

In the West block, as many as 1,49,012 voters will cast their vote at 156 poling stations and as many as 1,43,067 will exercise their franchise in 144 booths in the North.

In the rural segment, Dakha has 166 booths for 1,55,999 voters. Gill has 1,76,523 voters who will exercise their franchise at 180 booths. As many as 1,54,979 voters will cast their vote at 159 booths over 61 villages in the Jagraon block.

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Lok Sabha Poll
DC holds all-party meeting
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 3
Vikas Garg, Deputy Commissioner-Cum-District Electoral Officer, today called upon the representatives of the parties to extend their co-operation to implement the model code of conduct during campaign for the coming Lok Sabha elections and strictly abide the directions of the Election Commission to conduct free, fair and smooth elections.

Garg was addressing a joint meeting of the representatives of the parties, electoral returning officers and other officers concerned under his chairmanship to apprise them about the directions of the commission. Copies of the code of conduct were also provided to the parties.

Referring to the code, he informed that no party or candidate would be allowed to indulge in any activity that may aggravate existing difference, create mutual hatred or cause tension between various castes, communities, religions or linguistics. As per direction, there will be no appeal to caste or communal feeling for securing votes, and religious places will not be used as forum for election propaganda. The parties will avoid corrupt practices and offences under the election law, and no political party or candidate will permit its or his followers to make use of any individual’s land, building, compound wall etc for erecting flags, pasting notices, writing slogans etc without permission.

The DC said the political parties and candidates would ensure that their supporters did not create obstructions in or break up meetings and processions organised by other parties. Processions would not be taken out by party along the places at which meeting was being held by another party. Posters issued by one party would not be removed by workers of another party.

The party or candidate would inform the local police of the venue and time of any proposed meeting well in time to enable the police to make necessary arrangements.

Public places and guest houses would not be monopolised, and would be allowed to use by all parties equally, but no publicity meeting in these rest houses would be allowed.

The DC constituted a committee under chairmanship of Kuldeep Singh, Additional Deputy Commissioner. The representatives of various political parties and officers would included as member in the committee.

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Free surgery at city hospital
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 3
Smile Train, a US-based NGO, which provides free reconstructive surgery for cleft lip and cleft palate, especially to children in developing countries, has selected Ludhiana Mediciti Hospital here to hold these surgeries.

A team of doctors of the hospital will hold a free reconstructive surgery camp from March 3, where surgical procedures for these congenital defects will be carried out free of cost. Dr BS Sekhon, managing director of the hospital, said 40 patients had already been registered for the free surgeries.

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310 donate blood
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, March 3
Terming blood donation as the noblest contribution towards humanity, office-bearers of some social and medical organisations have called upon the youth to help the needy.

The call came during a blood donation camp organised by the local unit of the social welfare organisation at grain market here on Sunday. At least 310 persons, including 100 women, donated blood.

Gurlovleen Singh Sidhu, SDM, Malerkotla, inaugurated the camp, while Tarantaran Singh Bindra civil judge was the guest of honour.

Stressing the need for voluntary blood donation, speakers, including Prof Amarjit Kaur, HoD, Social and Transfusion Medicine, Dr Jyoti Hind and Dr Ravinder Puri, councillor, urged office-bearers of social organisations of the area to join hands in creating awareness about the significance of blood donation. The organisers felicitated the donors with mementoes.

Vikas Tondon, Rohit, Charanjit Singh Babboo, Navneet Singla and Sonu Mehta were felicitated for being regular donors. Society chairman Dr Rajinder Mittal and secretary Tarsem Garg thanked donors for their contribution.

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Scientists stress on crop insurance
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 3
Since agriculture yesterday became a risky enterprise, scientists strongly believe that there is a need for crop insurance in the present scenario.

They feel since agriculture in India is at the mercy of vagaries of monsoons and other natural factors like droughts, floods, cyclones, storms, earthquakes, etc. and all these risks are beyond the control of farmers, the latter needs to use risk management techniques.

But the farmers on other hand say it is the duty of the governments to provide compensation to the farmers.

HS Dhaliwal and Ravinder Kaur from the department of economics and sociology, respectively, through “Progressive Farming”, a monthly journal of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), have stressed that the risks, including man-made disasters, such as fire, price crash, sale of spurious seeds, fertilisers and pesticides, etc. are all beyond the control of the farmers.

They said in case of crop failure, relief was given to the farmers sometimes but crop insurance had an edge over the relief.

Under the crop insurance, the farmers’ claim is a matter of right whereas relief by the government is charity. The crop insurance agency is bound to pay the relief, when the farmer claimed for it while the relief by the government depends on the financial position.

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Stamp on Jain acharya released

Ludhiana, March 3
The Jain Sankranti Mandal in cooperation with the postal department and the Ludhiana Philatelic Club released a stamp for public on Jain acharya Vallabh Suri. 

Suresh Jain from the Ludhiana Philatelic Club spoke on teachings of Vallabh Suri. MS Nima, senior postmaster presented the first album containing the stamps.—TNS

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E-bike market likely to rev up
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 3
Indian manufacturers of electric bikes, or e-bikes as these are popularly known, are looking forward to massive growth and demand for these "plug and ply" bikes. Undoubtedly, their economy, convenience and zero emission are the prime drivers for the electric two-wheeler category.

The Indian market size of e-bikes right now is of Rs 500 crore and is expected to grow to Rs 600 crore in next 4-5 years.

Around two lakh units were there in market and were expected to grow to 30 lakh in next 4-5 years, said Rakesh Malhotra, MD, SAR Group, who was in the city last month for the launch of the company's e-bike.

Electric bikes operate on a chargeable battery and do not require petrol. These bikes do not even require registration or licence. They just have to follow certain statutory norms that specify that the speed should not be more than 25 kmph.

"The electric bike market has come of age, unlike in the West, where e-bike is a lifestyle product and for some, an environment-friendly technology. In India, it is an economical mode of transportation. Primarily, it is a common man’s vehicle as it is 10 times cheaper than a traditional petrol bike," said Gurpal Singh of a private company.

Many big players in the cycle industry are already producing these bikes, including Hero Cycle, Avon Cycles, Techno Bikes to name a few. Recently, SAR Group forayed into the automobile sector, with their e-bike company, Lectrix Motors Limited, and launched their showroom for e-bikes in the city, which is testimony to the fact that demand for these bikes is growing in the region.

The present sale of e-bikes in the city is around 35-40 bikes in one month, which is all set to rise. According to Malhotra, "The two-wheeler market in North India, especially in the city, is a growing fast, hence it has a strong potential for electric vehicles as well. So we look upon it as one of our key target markets for the future."

While official figures are not available and with no organised body to represent these manufacturers, industry players guess that there are between 75 and 80 players manufacturing the e-bikes in India.

"The running cost turns out to be the biggest factor associated with the two-wheelers," feels Rajinder Singh, working at a motor workshop in Sarabha Nagar.

Sonal, a Class XII student, who is a proud owner of an e-bike, says one litre of petrol gives 50 km of transportation. One unit of power gives from 70 km to 100 km of transportation. One litre of petrol costs approximately Rs 45. And one unit of power in India costs approximately from Rs 4 to 5. This makes it less than 10 paise per kilometre in an electric two-wheeler compared to almost one rupee per kilometre in a petrol two-wheeler.

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Camp on fruit preservation ends
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, March 3
A 5-day training camp on preservation of fruits and vegetables concluded at Chowkiman village near here. The camp was organised by home science department of PAU, in collaboration with the Food and Nutrition Board, Punjab, under the guidance of Dr Harpreet Kaur.

About 25 participants were trained in making of squash, pickles, chatni, murraba and other products.

The experts with the board also trained the participants in cooking various nutritious food items. The participants were also made aware about the importance of mother feed, maintenance of newborns, diet of kids and ailments by Dula Singh and Parminder Singh of the board.

They warned the participants of the harmful effects of consuming fast food. Sarpanch Kuldeep Kaur, president Balwant Singh and the camp organisers distributed the certificates to the participants.

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Animal welfare camp at Gureh village
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 3
The Department of Veterinary and Animal Husbandry Extension, College of Veterinary Sciences, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary & Animal Sciences University (GADVASU), organised an animal welfare camp at Gureh village here today.

GADVASU adopted Gureh in 2007 and since then the varsity’s animal welfare centre has been operational in the village. A team of experts naming Dr RS Sahota, Dr Narinder Singh, Dr SK Kansal, Dr Jaswinder Singh and Dr Rajesh Kasrija from the Department of Veterinary and Animal Husbandry extension were there to treat the animals and provide guidance for the livestock farmers.

Dr HK Verma, head, Department of Veterinary & Animal Husbandry Extension, was the chief guest on this occasion. Village panchayat members Jatinder Singh and progressive livestock farmer Sukhraj Singh welcomed the guest during his speech. Dr Verma said the university would always be ready to help the needy livestock farmers and give a brief on reproductive problems of animals. Dr Verma also ensured the villagers for an expert facility for the Gureh centre for all working days.

During the camp, 60 cases of buffaloes, cows, bullocks and dogs were presented.

A majority of the animals were weak due to worm infestation, mineral deficiencies and lack of fodder and balance feed. The drug application against “ticks” was demonstrated to the farmers as tick infection was quite prevalent in this season, especially in crossbred cows.

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Conference on physical education
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 3
Sardar Pargat Singh, an Olympian and director Sports, Punjab inaugurated a two-day national conference on "Physical Education in the 21st Century" at Arya college.

He said the standard of sports had gone down due to commercialisation of the society. The play grounds were being replaced by the business complexes. Moreover the people had become complacent to their health. By doing well in games, one would make a contribution in the society.

The keynote address was delivered by Dr RN Dey, from West Bengal.

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Residents feel cheated by society
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, March 3
Residents of Doraha and the surrounding areas, who had got the first doze of Hepatitis-B vaccine a month back, returned disheartened yesterday as the so-called the Health Society of Jaipur that had organised the vaccination awareness campaign at a dharamshala of Doraha a month back, failed to turn up to administer the second dose. Not only this, the masses felt doubly betrayed when the government health department too washed off its hands by showing utter helplessness in this regard.

A labourer rued, “I am a road worker and I took my whole family today to get the second dose but the society officials failed to turn up”.

Earlier, too, the vaccinations administered by the society were proved costlier as a total of Rs 70 was charged for an adult doze as against an amount of Rs 14, which was the actual cost of the vaccination per indivudual.

Dr Walia, SMO, Payal, said these NGOs were untrained in the medical profession and hence they had been stopped from organising such camps in the future. Members of this health society had also failed to produce any trained doctor possessing any medical degree”, he added but at the same time when asked as to where the people should now go for getting the second doze administered, the SMO replied that they could go to any private doctor to get it administered.

The residents rue that the officials have washed off their hands of the responsibility by suggesting the patients to move to a private hospital but who will ascertain whether the initial dose of Hepatitis -B vaccination was really authentic or was simple an ordinary liquid.

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Fountain on Mata Rani Chowk razed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 3
The Municipal Corporation today demolished fountain on Mata Rani Chowk as the structure was one of the major reasons for the congestion in the area.

The civic body employed a JCB machine to demolish the structure that had been non-functional in the area for the past more than four years and had become a nuisance for the shopkeepers as it is used to stink.

"The decision was taken during the last general house meeting," said area councillor Parminder Mehta, adding that he had received several complaints regarding the structure.

The place was often used by people for urination which made the structure eyesore and the area full of stink. Besides, the slip road along the fountain too was not wide enough and is often encroached with parked vehicles. With the removal of the structure, the shopkeepers have heaved a sigh of relief as left turn would be made easier.

A daily commuter said, "This big structure had been lying in a state of neglect for so many years and the authorities have never bothered to run it. Instead of spending money on this structure, the MC should have invested in some development project." The removal of this fountain is the example of how public money is wasted by councillors and the civic body. Besides, the demolition is an example of lack of planning on behalf of authorities.

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Roads made of inferior bricks destroyed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 3
The Municipal Corporation today destroyed brick roads in Guru Gobind Singh Nagar and Sukhdev Nagar in ward 62 following complaints of inferior quality of bricks being used.

According to information, contractors had used one truck of inferior bricks which were being laid in both streets. While the work on Guru Gobind Singh Nagar was given to a contractor for Rs 6 lakh, laying of bricks in Sukhdev Nagar was given at the cost of Rs 17 lakh.

Area councillor Jaspal Singh Sandhu said, "This morning when I went to inspect the work, I found the contractors laying bricks of inferior quality and brought it to the notice of MC officials after which the officers came on the site and got the inferior bricks removed." He added that otherwise work of the contractors was satisfactory.

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PAU engineer honoured
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 3
Aseem Verma of PAU’s college of agricultural engineering has won first prize in the "Anveshan-2009", national student research convention of the Association of Indian Universities (AIU), held at Bengal Engineering and Science University, Howrah in West Bengal, recently.

His MTech research, conducted with research engineer Dr Manjit Singh, on combine mounted straw managing system, was recommended for the prize that carries a medallion, a citation and cash prize of Rs 1 lakh.

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Love Dale tiny tots mesmerise audience
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 3
Love Dale Montessori Home organised its annual function to celebrate at Le Baron. Principal and staff of the school bid farewell to the passing-out children. The gaiety of the function was exhibited through various dances presented by the tiny-tots. Intense practices were carried out in full vigour from the last few months.

Items like “Radha Krishan”, Western dance, salsa, followed by giddha and the bhangra, mesmerised the audience.

Vijay Dhanda, wife of Harish Rai Dhanda, chief parliamentary secretary, was the chief guest, who distributed prizes to the kids.

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MC fails to obey info panel order
Complainant not paid compensation of Rs 10,000
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 3
The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation, which deals in crores, seems to be so "poor" that it has not been able to pay a compensation of Rs 10,000 to a complainant for the past one and a half years.

On May 30, 2007, the civic body was asked to pay the amount by a bench of state information commissioners headed by former Chief Information Commissioner Rajan Kashyap. However, the complainant till date is yet to receive the compensation amount.

Talking to The Tribune, Colonel N.K. Ghai said, "In 2006, I submitted an application with the Municipal Corporation asking about information on various projects like flyovers in the city, which is responsible for switching on and off the streetlights in the city and many questions which were in public interest."

The other information which I had sought from the authorities was on whether the tax taken from the shops in the residential area comes under residential tax or commercial tax. He added that the MC failed to provide any information.

Finally, the case was taken to the State Information Commission in Chandigarh, where a three-bench judge, including State Information Commissioner P.P.S. Gill, heard my petition, and levied a penalty of Rs 10,000 on the municipal corporation for its failure to reveal the information.

However, Col Ghai complained that even till date, the Municipal Corporation had not paid the compensation, which is violation of orders. He added that he met information commissioner yesterday to apprise him of the situation in the case too.

When MC legal advisor K.S. Kahlon was contacted, the official said, "I would inquire into the case tomorrow and find out who is the erring official responsible for the delay."

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Newborn needs help to survive

Ludhiana, March 3
Premature baby of Rishu (27 weeks) is battling for life at the Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) since February 3, 2009. The baby is suffering from multiple complications like fungal septicaemia, respiratory failure, DIC and hypoglycaemia. The CMCH Unit number of the baby is C-7180691.

The baby is currently on ventilator in the paediatrics ICU and needs further intensive care management. With an outstanding bill of Rs 57,600, the parents of the child are unable to meet the expenditure to save her.

Desperate to save their baby, her parents have made an appeal to the public, NGOs and clubs to extend financial assistance for her treatment.

The interested can send contribution to CMCH. All donations should be made in favour of the Christian Medical College and Hospital with “Treatment for B/O Rishu” written on back of the cheque or demand draft. The donations can be sent to the office of the Medical Superintendent, CMCH, Ludhiana. — OC

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4 hurt in gang attack
Our Correspondent

Raikot, March 3
The Binderjita gang today seriously injured four persons during an attack at Bajigar Basti. Since the local DSP and the SHO are on leave, DSP (D), Jagraon, Satnam Singh and SHO, Sudhar, Bhajan Singh were pressed into duty when a fight between Binderjita gang and Raja gang took place.

The attack took place around 5 pm. The residents of the area, in protest, blocked the Malerkotla byepass and even tried to ransack some vehicles passing nearby. But Satnam Singh, DSP (D), succeeded in persuading them for not to indulge in mob violence and to lift the dharna by ordering the local police to register a case and arrest the accused. The protesters blocked the roads for more than two hours.

The injured, identified as Madan Lal, Bhola Singh, Passi and Lala Singh, have been admitted to the local civil hospital. In the complain, it was alleged that a group of about 20-25 goons attacked the residential area equipped with rifles, iron rods, swords and other sharp-edge weapons. It was also alleged that the goons looted about Rs 60,000 in cash, beside gold jewellery and damaged household goods.

Thanks to the inactive police and political patronage, the notorious Binderjita gang has been flourishing day by day and despite of having dozens of cases registered against its members, including those under Section 307 and 302 of the IPC, they get bail in the matter of seconds. The gang is operative for last more than 10 years. The police has yet to start initiative to get them registered as bad elements. They are often seen to have reached the police station to show their approach much before the victim does.

Earlier, during the Congress regime, the gang was having patronage of the party leaders and is now under the patronage of local Akali leadership. The gang was responsible on the attack of Leftist party leaders that raised furore at that time. Last year, when some journalists published reports against them, they attacked them, in which two of the journalists had got their legs broken.

Raja gang was split out from this gang, with around two dozen of members.

The police has booked about 21 persons, including Binder Jit Singh, Banti Barber, Golu, Laddi and Karma of Raikot, Kuldeep Singh Kaddu and Tersem Singh of Johlan village, Paramjit Singh Pamma of Tajpur village and about 10-15 unidentified persons under Sections 452, 323, 382, 506, 427, 148, 149 of the IPC. No arrest has been made so far and the police parties are raiding possible hideouts to nab the accused.

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