L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Sidhwan Canal Desilting
Labour lost, if it rains
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 15
The Rs 2 crore cleaning project of the Sidhwan canal would prove to be a wastage of money if pre-monsoon showers hit the city as huge piles of dug earth are lying on its banks.

Though the dug out earth is being carried and deposited at weak places but if it rains within next 10 days, the hard labour and public money that went into desilting would be wasted. The rainwater into the canal and form a layer at its base wasting the efforts would carry the removed silt.

Two hours of an overcast sky today morning sent the workers of contractor into a tizzy who expedited the work of removing the sand from its banks.

The irrigation department, too, kept its fingers crossed. When it did not rain, they heaved a sigh of relief.

The work on the project of cleaning the Sidhwan canal was started in the last week of May. The water body was to be desilted and bridges were to be constructed at several points.

Residents feel that if the department had to start the work, it should have done it two months ago when the canal was not getting any water for irrigation.

Now, if it rains the entire public money would be wasted. ‘‘When I saw clouds in the morning today, I was left worried about the desilting operation only. Had it rained heavily the entire money spent would have gone down the drain. The department concerned should have started the project earlier. They should have known that pre monsoon showers often hit in the first and second week of June, ’’ said S.S. Chana, a retired IFS officer.

He said he was shocked to see that before spending so much of money, the officials did not even decide about the timing. ‘‘When we start building a house we always take into consideration the weather conditions. Can’t they do that?’’ he asked.

XEN Irrigation RS Saini said the work would be finished well before the monsoon. He said it would take another nine to 10 days for the entire work to be over.

‘‘We have pressed many tractor trollies into service. Those are carrying the sand to places where it is required. The work is being completed at a fast pace. We had started it well before the monsoon,’’ he said.


MC officials skip meeting
Dhanda, Gosain had called officials with records pertaining to Ganda Nullah
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Unwelcome guests

Congress councillor Gurpreet Gogi entered the venue and alleged that corporation officials had stopped working in his ward. “Work on roads in my area were halted midway due to these officials,” Gogi said . Similarly, other SAD and Congress councillors came with a hope of being heard but were turned out.

Next, raid on ‘corruption den’

After the Improvement Trust and the Municipal Corporation, Dhanda has decided to raid sub-registrar offices of the city, which are called “corruption den”. Dhanda said, “People have been giving advantage to the commission agents at these offices and I would ensure that corruption-free work is delivered in tehsildar offices too.”

Ludhiana, June 15
Officials of the municipal corporation displayed an example of “anarchy” today as they didn’t turned up for a meeting called by Chief Parliamentary Speaker Harish Rai Dhanda and Punjab Vidhan Sabha Deputy speaker Satpal Gosain.

These officers are Zonal Commissioner BK Gupta and SE Dharam Singh, who were intimated about the meeting a few days ago through a written communication by MLA Dhanda, to be present at the meeting scheduled at D-zone office today. Besides, the duo was directed to get all records pertaining to Ganda Nullah. However, both officers were on leave due to different reasons.

The meeting that aimed to find a solution to the polluted and choked Ganda Nullah turned to be a virtual failure due to absence of these officials as all records and reports were with them and no official except them had any idea about the issue.

MLA Gosain is already alleging embezzlement of funds in the project and the absence of these officials from the meeting has given a mileage to what the politician has been stating. Apart from it the original file related to Ganda Nullah is “missing” and the only file related to the project is a photostat copy which is with the Municipal Commissioner.

According to source, the only report that was presented before the politicians was covering of the nullah for which a consultancy service was hired and Rs 4 lakh out of Rs 8 lakh has been already paid to it. But MLA Dhanda, who seemed to have done his homework questioned, the report. “The company has recommended double barrel non-pressure type pipes, however, these were not conducive for toxic flow in the nullah,” said Dhanda, pointing fingers toward the officials who were experts and yet the corporation had to outsource the work.

Apart from it most of the information sought by the MLA were “refused” by citing various reasons.

After meeting talking to mediapersons, Dhanda said: “The condition of Ganda Nullah is pathetic and the corporation officials are completely non-serious about the issue. With the monsoon on anvil, once again the choked nullah will stink and give birth to an epidemic. I and Gosain have teamed up to ensure that all projects are brought to a logical end.”

He said, “As far as absence of officials is concerned, I have suggested Municipal Commissioner GS Ghuman to take necessary action and another meeting has been called at 4 pm on Wednesday at the same venue.” He added that he has already started working on a comprehensive report about the functioning of the corporation.



Politicians turn crusaders
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 15
With the change of season, even political agendas witnessing a change and this time it seems nullahs have become a favourite topic for the city-based politicians. Though it took years for these nullahs to be created, the politicians seem to have now waken up from a deep sleep after all these years. These stinking zones, which are a blot for the city and a gift of the industry, are sheltering politicians these days, but no one knows how long this will remain.

While newly-elected MP Manish Tewari has promised to change the present scenario of Buddha Nullah, it’s MLA Harish Rai Dhanda, who has come forward to help MLA Satpal Gosain in cleaning and finding a solution for Ganda Nullah which flows through the old city area.

This Ganda Nullah flows from Gurdwara Dukh Nivaran to Shamshan Ghatt and is completely choked posing a threat for the residents living on the banks and till date amount in crores have been spent on the project with no logical end. Similarly, Budda Nullah too has become an eyesore and various committees have been setup and reports submitted, but all of these turned out to be meager an eye wash.

With the politicians jumping into battle now, one really needs to think how far they would go to help in cleaning these seasonal drains that stink and call for attention.

Dhanda said: “Ganda Nullah has two issues - one being permanent solution and another is how to prepare it for upcoming monsoons. As far as cleaning of seasonal drain is concerned, I have already written to Punjab sewerage board to give a report about which method is most feasible for removal of sludge and other waste.” He added that all loopholes, which have been hindering Ganda Nullah, would be addressed from now onwards.

MLA Gosain said: “I have already convened seven to eight meeting with the municipal officials and the sewerage board, but I have failed to understand why no solution has come till date.” He added he has now pinned his hopes on help extended by Dhanda.



Ration Cards’ List
Names of 1lakh beneficiaries to be deleted
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 15
Names of at least 1 lakh beneficiaries belonging to the “creamy layer”, who were being provided kerosene oil on ration cards, is expected to be cut from the list. As per the recent streamlining process initiated by the government for providing relief to the needy and poor only, all beneficiaries (rural and urban) will now get 10 litres of kerosene per month as compared to seven to eight litres earlier. Even the depot holders have finally accepted the state government’s decision to streamline the process of the kerosene distribution.

Talking to The Tribune, District Food and Supply Controller, HS Mokha, said till date at least six lakh beneficiaries were being provided kerosene on cards. This included 1.40 lakh from the below poverty line (BPL) and blue cardholders. Besides them, 4.60 lakh other beneficiaries included daily wagers, vendors, rickshaw pullers etc. “At least names of 1 lakh people will be deleted from this list (4.60) and total five lakh needy or poor will be provided kerosene in the district. The persons whose names were being cut are living in posh localities”, said Mokha adding that the department officials had already started the identification process.

For bringing transparency in the distribution system, even the depot holders have now decided to support the government. But at the same time, they have asked the authorities to raise their commission and make fresh ration cards as soon as possible.

Dharam Pal Verma, president, Depot Holders Association, Ludhiana, said they would support the government to streamline the distribution process. “But, we want the government to start with the process of making fresh ration cards. Secondly, our commission must be increased”, said Verma adding that the department today again started the supply of kerosene, which was stopped for a while.



Shooting Incidents
Six months on, no breakthrough yet
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 15
The city police is groping in dark about the three major shootouts that had taken place during the past six months. Leave apart any major breakthrough, sources tell that the police has not been able to gather even primary evidence in all of them, separately. There are some names attached to the various crimes that had taken place so far. As the cops are sleeping over the cases, the assailants are roaming freely in the town and even threatening the victims.

The first case was reported on January 12, the day of Lohri festival, when five youths, namely Harsh, Amit Madan, Kallu, Billa Madan and Dinesh Mahajan thrashed Tarun (28) and his elder brother Kashav (30) and later, fired shot at the victims.

The brothers had snapped the string of the kite that was being flown by Harsh. The incident enraged Harsh and prompted him to shoot the brothers. The victims sustained serious injuries and spent months in the hospital. However, six months down the line, the city police is yet to arrest the accused in this case.

Meanwhile, the sources claimed that both parties had approached the police for an out of the court settlement.

In the second incident, local hairstylist Jeevan Mattu became the first causality of the gang war. Manvir and his accomplice shot Jeevan in the neck on April 23. A month later, he succumbed to his injuries.

Manvir and his accomplice had come to kill their Jasvir of Shajad village but shot Jeevan instead. If the sources are to be believed, the police is going easy in the case as both groups, that of Jasvir as well as of Manvir, enjoy considerable political backing.

All five accused, including Manvir Singh, Harpreet Singh, alias Mikka, Suresh Kumar, Ram Saran and Amandeep Singh, are still at large, for reasons best known to the police.

In the third case, an unidentified man shot at a businessman while the latter was returning home from his shop in Basant Avenue on June 1. Businessman Naveen Gupta sustained injuries in the chest and was rushed to the DMCH. However, the police claims to be on the verge of solving this case.



Women in Men’s World — I
Ruling the male bastion with ease
Manav Ghuman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 15
Women working as security guards combine societal expectations for femininity with the values and ideals of the hyper-masculine occupation of policing with ease. The increasing number of women security guards is a testimony to the fact that they are ruling the male bastions.

Despite the increased representation of women as security guards very little is known about their experiences in this field. Security guard is a male-dominated occupation and it’s associated with tough, manly acts of “crime-fighters and thief catchers. Despite the obstacles women security guards have made significant gains in this occupation during the past few years.

But for a few convincing family and friends in allowing them to undertake this job proves rather difficult.

On the outset security guards look important, relaxed and seem to command respect but scratch the surface and the lives of women guards aren’t as cushy as one may believe.

In fact women guards say their job is a challenging one. Imagine facing demeaning sarcastic women ridiculing her, her job and even her uniform. In fact, a few even suffer violence.

Kanika, a security guard at one of the leading malls in the city, said: “Actually I wanted to join the police force. But I didn’t get the chance. So, why not become a security guard?” she added with a laugh.

A tomboy as a child, Kanika said she wanted to go to a technical high school, but her parents objected and sent her to an economic high school instead. “My family objected, saying that it’s a man’s job, but they later understood,” she ads.

“I am proud about being a security guard. It has something in common with a policewoman, as both are in charge of security,” she adds. Kanika who loves children, said she felt uncomfortable that many children gets frightened on seeing her in uniform. “This is because their mothers always give children the wrong perception about security guards as people you should be afraid of,” she added.

Mamta (name changed) is a security guard working at another mall in the city. Assigned with the task of searching women visitors she says that many women scream at her angrily as she carries out her duties.

“It’s the psychological pain that hurts me the most. I have to bear a lot of sarcasm and derogatory looks from women and to top it off the salary isn’t very brilliant,” she ads.

When she initially took up the job she felt hurt by the sarcasm but gradually got used to it. Most people hate the fact that their privacy is invaded when searched but nevertheless, she finds other people supportive and polite. Mamta believes that it is these words of support that drive her to continue her work.

She faced difficulties in convincing her parents to allow her to work as one. Her parents finally allowed her to work as a security guard after they realised that she couldn’t really qualify for any other job.



Auto parts industry in dire straits
‘Wrong’ government policies to blame
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 15
Even as the local auto parts industry has a big scope for growth despite global economic meltdown, “wrong” policies of the state and the Central governments have pushed this sector on the brink of annihilation.

If the government grants some relief to the auto-part manufacturers by way of favourable policies, these could flourish and make valuable contribution to the overall industrial growth, both in the domestic as well as the global market.

In a memorandum submitted to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, copies of which have also been sent to the state government, CS Kahlon, president, and Surinder Singh, general secretary, of the Auto Parts Manufacturers’ Association (APMA), have raised various issues, which they feel should be taken up in the next Union and state budgets with an objective of giving a new lease of life to this industry.

“The crisis-ridden auto-parts industry is burdened with highest bracket of Valued Added Tax (VAT) at 12.5 per cent making it uncompetitive and unviable even in domestic market,” they said.

The added that other states like Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Jammu-Kashmir were charging lower rate of VAT and also providing economic relief to the units. The VAT should be cut down to 4 per cent, they added.

The association urged the Union government to abolish Fringe Benefit Tax (FBT), raise the Central Excise exemption limit from Rs 1.5 crore to Rs 3 crore and that for Service Tax on job works to Rs 50 lakh. The association also wants hike in eligibility limit for the small-scale sector to Rs 10 crore. Calling for setting up of a regulatory commission to control steel prices, the main raw material for the auto parts industry, the memorandum pointed out that restoration of freight equalisation scheme and freight subsidy will go a long way to boost the exports.

Kahlon and Singh urged the Union government to suitably amend the Income Tax Act to make it industry-friendly. “Mandatory audit of the firms, including industrial units should be applicable to a turnover of more than Rs 1 crore,” they said.

The association also demanded a special economic package for industry in general and auto parts industry in particular to revive and rehabilitate this sector in Punjab.

“In the absence of adequate measures, most of the auto part manufacturing units in Punjab will either shift to other states or closedown,” the memorandum mentioned.



Traders from Pakistan get poor response
Manav Ghuman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 15
Traders from across the border went back with a heavy heart due to the poor response they got during the Northern India Indo-Pak Trade Fair. It was the first time that they came on this side of the border for showcasing their goods.

Pure cotton suits, handloom and the world famous traditional ‘Kasuri jutti’ were on display during the fair. The trade fair concluded last evening.

Though they have a regular clientele from India and were expecting a good response from Ludhianvis, their hopes were dashed to the grounds. “We were expecting a huge response from the city residents as we had heard a lot about the city. Nonetheless, we will surely come back again soon,” says Shazia Fahed from Meer Designers.

Blaming the poor publicity and non-air conditioned hall, Shazia says she exports cotton suits to India, Dubai and Dhaka. “I have regular clients from Delhi and I was confident about the positive response from the city as well,” she adds.

Shazia is into this business from the last seven years and is also providing employment to village women. “Women from villages do the embroidery and other work on the suits and I further export them,” she adds.

Another trader from Pakistan, Parvaiz of P&B Textiles Pvt Ltd, Lahore, says the trends in India and Pakistan are exactly the same. “While people in the East prefer traditional designs, it is modern styles which are preferred by people in the West. Cotton suits are popular wherever there are Indians,” he adds.

He goes on to add that youngsters prefer designer suits as they want something unique and different. “We have in-house designer who does the job,” he says.

Suriya Collections and Laila’s Art, who also came to India, are also disappointed over the poor response and say, “We will definitely come back and we are sure our collection will sell like hot cakes.”



Cycle parts makers decry power shortage
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 15
The United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers' Association (UCPMA), during a meeting on the poor power supply conditions in the region here today, has asked the state government to stop power supply to the malls after 8 pm so that industry could get respite.

Varinder Kapoor, general secretary of the UCPMA, told The Tribune that industry was being given a step-motherly treatment, as always by the state government.

"We are paying taxes, generating revenue for the state, still no body takes care of our interests. At least the power supply to malls must be stopped after 8 pm everyday. Secondly, the street lights must be switched-on at 7pm instead of 6pm to save electricity,” said Kapoor adding that they would decide their course of action during the next meeting of the UCPMA on June 18.

Among others present on the occasion were Inderjit Singh Navyug, Ajit Kumar, Satinderjit Singh, Pradeep Wadhawan and Sukhdev Singh.



Vacant Posts
Doctors forced to do double duty
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 15
With 30 posts of medical officers (MO) and four posts of senior medical officers (SMO) in various hospitals in Ludhiana district lying vacant, the work pressure on other doctors has increased manifold, as they have to perform duties at more than one hospital.

Due to this “absenteeism” among doctors posted at civil hospitals, primary health centres, and community health centres, has increased, thereby causing inconvenience to patients.

The casual attitude of the state government to frame a clear-cut policy on improvement of public health sector has increased the resentment among doctors. Several doctors have even put up their resignations which are not accepted by the government and doctors are left with no option but to report to their places of posting after long leaves.

However, a senior surgeon from Ludhiana district had filed a case against the state government in Punjab and Haryana High Court following the “non-acceptance” of his resignation by the government. He alleged that it is impossible to work under prevailing circumstances.

Following the insufficient number of doctors in civil hospitals and health centres, doctors, including specialists are performing double duties as they have to dispense duties at hospitals where the posts of specialists are lying vacant. As a result, a large number of doctors either mark their attendance at the “second” centre of their duty or remain on leave for long intervals.

An ENT specialist rued: “Despite an appointment at the civil hospital, I have to go to a nearby health centre as there is no ENT. This hinders my work, as I am not able to provide proper services to the people coming at both the hospitals.”

Similarly, another gynaecologist working at a mini PHC said she had to work at two PHCs with worst infrastructure and there was no way to improve the working conditions. “It is difficult for me to cope with the institutional deliveries at both the centres, she added.

Civil surgeon Dr SP Sharma said he had already forwarded a request to the headquarters for appointment of MOs and SMOs against vacant posts in the district.



Govt ignores green crusader for 30 yrs
Mahesh Sharma

Bant Singh stands before his kacha house
Bant Singh stands before his kacha house; and (below) he tries to clear debris from base of a tree planted and nurtured by him at Sihar village near Ahmedgarh. Photos by the writer
He tries to clear debris from base of a tree planted and nurtured by him at Sihar village near Ahmedgarh

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 15
A few words of appreciation and a false promise to send saplings and tools required for nurturing growing plants is all what octogenarian of Sihar village Bant Singh received from the government in recognition of his selfless services spread over three decades.

He does not remember how many saplings of pipal, banyan and neem he planted and nurtured during the past three decades. However, he can recollect when he planted particular saplings, along some drain or a canal bank, in the area that had started sheltering the passers-by. Going by couplets of a song by Shiv Kumar Batalvi, he sees two of his dead sons, wife and parents in some of them.

“Jadon menun apne maan-bap, gharwali jan juani vich vichhre putran di yaad aundi hai, tan main uhnan di yaad vich apne hathin lagaye butean nal gallan karan nikal pendan han” (when I miss my parents, wife or dead young sons, I set out to talk to trees which I had planted in their memory), said Bant Singh who was busy in clearing base of a tree growing on outskirts of Sihar village.

Bant Singh drew inspiration from stories of a saint who had planted shady trees along the banks of Bathinda branch of Sirhind canal decades ago.

It was about thee years ago that an executive engineer and a sub divisional officer of the Punjab Pollution Control Board, appreciating his contribution towards preservation of environment, had promised to send him saplings and tools required for transplanting and nurturing the saplings.

The Rural Development and Employees Welfare Association had organised a function to recognise his selfless services on April 13, 2006. The organiser had also presented a plastic water tank, which he mounted on his rickshaw for watering the growing saplings.

Though he never expected any reward from the government, Bant Singh is upset that successive governments had failed to provide him grant for constructing a pucca house on the small plot he had purchased with savings from his meagre labour earnings.

He is also upset that the authorities never took an action against those who had chopped down growing trees planted by him at common places.



Punjab PMT result out
Tribune News Service

Anusha Monga 28th rank
Anusha Monga 28th rank

Shrishti Arora 43rd rank
Shrishti Arora 43rd rank

Ludhiana, June 15
Punjab pre-medical test (PMT) examination result has been declared today, which was conducted by Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot. Shagun Chahal of DAV Public School has achieved 23rd rank, Anusha Monga of BCM Senior Secondary School, Chandigarh road, bagged 28th rank, Harshit Khosla of DAV Public School and Srishti Arora of KVM School scored 35th and 43rd ranks, respectively, in the Punjab PMT examination.

Shagun Chahal told The Tribune that her rank was above her expectation. She took coaching for physics and biology and it was due to the guidance of her teachers, parents and above all it was her hard work, which made her achieve this position. She got 1,100th rank in CBSE PMT also.

She wants to join Dayanand Medical College, Ludhiana, for MBBS and wants to do specialisation in medicines. Her mother was happy for her daughter’s success. She said Shagun cleared the examination of the Armed Forces Medical College, Pune, and there were only two students from the city who were able to make it. She further added that they are waiting for Shagun’s Delhi AIIMS result.

Harshit Khosla, who secured 35th rank studied for five to six hours daily. He is ambitious to become a general surgeon. More than coaching, it was self-study and guidance of his parents and teachers, which helped him. His mother said that he used to sleep at 8 pm and used to get up at 3 am to study.

Shrishti Arora, who topped in the city in Class XII exams in the medical stream with 97.2 per cent and bagged 43rd rank in the Punjab PMT is very happy with her performance and aspires to be a surgeon, too. Her mother Sudha Arora, a college lecturer in economics, said she was proud of her daughter's success. She added that as parents they never imposed themselves on their child, they always encouraged her.

Among others who made it to the Punjab PMT are: Guru Nanak Public School- Akshita 52, Gurpriya 128, Amanpreet Singh 688, Vikramjit Singh 943, Preemi Bawa 1,325 and Amneet Kaur 1012. DAV Public School- Aastha Gupta and Arshdeep Kaur 191 and Navpreet Singh 391.



Parents’ assn sends memo to CM
Association has urged the state government to appoint a regulatory body to keep a tab on the functioning of schools, particularly unaided ones
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 15
The Parents Association (Punjab) in a memorandum against unregulated fee structure and other anomaly in schools to Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal have sought an immediate action to their problems in the forthcoming Vidhan Sabha session.

Parveen Dang, president of the association, said: "We are seeking state intervention to look into the widespread practice of looting of parents by the schools. We expect strict rules in place during the July session.”

The parents handed over the copy of the memorandum to Sat pal Gosain, deputy speaker of the state Assembly.

The association has sought a bill to stop the commercialisation of education in the state. The memorandum has pointed out that when the new academic session began in March, earlier this year, certain schools recorded a fee hike of 40 per cent.

The association has sought the state government to appoint a regulatory body, which should keep a tab on the functioning of schools, particularly unaided schools. No school should be allowed to increase the fee without the permission of the regulatory authority.

A check also needs to be kept on the schools going in for changes in the schoolbooks regularly. Schools should be instructed to adopt NCERT books prescribed by the CBSE.

Certain schools are also unnecessarily engaged in changing the school uniforms at regular intervals. No school should be paid money without due receipts because certain schools collect funds in the name of extra-curricular activity without any justified demands.

The regulatory body should also be engaged for audit of the school records. Random raids should be carried out in schools.



District court to remain closed still July 15
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 15
The district court will remain closed from June 16 to July 15 in lieu of summer vacations. However, in order to the hear and dispose off the urgent matters, the Sessions Judge GK Rai has deputed judicial officers.

Additional Sessions Judge Ashok Kumar will head the district as in charge, District and Sessions Judge, Ludhiana, till June 30. All urgent civil and criminal matters, including bail applications falling within the jurisdiction of the Sessions Court,will be put up before his court. He will also look after the matters relating to the court of Sessions Judge GK Rai, Additional Sessions Judges MS Virdi, GS Saran and Manjinder Singh.

The matters relating to the court of Additional Sessions Judges AS Grewal, Munish Singal, Mohammad Gulzar, AS Narula would be put up before the court of Additional Sessions Judge Kishore Kumar.

Sessions Judge GK Rai would be back on duty from July 1. In the lower courts, Civil Judge Senior Division-cum-ACJM JPS Wehniwal will hear the stay matters. He will also handle the work of the Vigilance Bureau, RPF, NRI, Division No. 5 and the Sadar police stations.

Whereas, Judicial Magistrate Lukwinder Kaur will handle the duty work of police stations Focal Point, Sahnewal, Haibowal, Basti Jodhewal, Model Town and division Nos: 1, 2, 4, 6 & 7.

The duty work of police stations Sarabha Nagar, Salem Tabri, Koom Kalan, Dehlon, Dakha, Payal, Shimlapuri, Laddowal, Hambran and division Nos: 3 and 8 will be entertained by Judicial Magistrate Parminder Kaur. At Jagraon, the urgent work would be put up before the court of Judicial Magistrate Ravi Inder Singh. Whereas at Samrala, the duty work and urgent matters will be entertained by the court of Sub-Divisional Judicial Magistrate HS Lekhi.



Reporters' Diary
Precaution on swine flu

While the Indian government has not yet woken up to check further spread of swine flu, many people are cautious that they may not become carriers of the disease. Despite many positive cases reported from Delhi, there is no check on the movement of people to other parts from there.

However, a young lady, who had to arrive in Ludhiana from Delhi this weekend, went too far when she cancelled her trip as she developed cold, sore throat and fever. She did not want people of Ludhiana to suffer if, in case, she had contacted the disease that turned out to be just ordinary influenza.

Truckers or philosophers

Truckers are known for their rugged intelligence. The graffiti on their trucks ignites the minds of many. They leave the people wondering that the lifestyle of truck drivers brings the philosopher out of them. They may not even have even the elementary education, but they really turn philosophical after staying away from their families for long.

The graffitis stand as a testimony to this fact. “Why not? When the entire world sleeps we drive on roads for making essential commodities available to them,” remarked a trucker.

Humble complainant

Humility comes easy to some people who do not think twice before stepping forward to help an individual in distress. But, it is rather astonishing when the person holding a high office goes out of the way to help the person whom he himself had approached for help.

As it happened, a person heading a local media office went to a PSEB complaint office to register a complaint pertaining to power breakdown in his house, but was in a fix on finding out just one man at the complaint centre.

The employee agreed to go and take a look at the problem on the condition that this gentleman would sit on his seat in the complaint office. Unable to say no, the gentleman not only attended to the complaints, but amicably accepted the impudence of the complainants.

Parks not for children

I was crossing a park in Tagore Nagar, recently, when I saw an old man scolding small children who were playing cricket inside the park premises. “Don’t you know this place is not for playing? Don’t you see your elders coming here in the mornings and evenings for their exercise and walking sessions?”

The eldest among the kids snapped his arm from the hold of the old man and said, “As such the city has very little space for us to play around. There is virtually no space for outdoor games like cricket or football. Whatever space is left behind has been encroached upon by the senior citizens saying they were beautifying the open space. What good are the parks incase children cannot play?”

One of my friends, a hockey player, said, “On weekends and government holidays, hundreds of children can be seen playing even in the tight corridors of the city. I feel pity for them. Probably, the senior citizens need to make certain adjustments in the available parks.”

Pressure tactics

The dressing down that Chief Parliamentary Secretary Harish Rai Dhanda and Deputy Speaker of Punjab Assembly Sat Pal Gosain gave to the officials of several government departments, including the Ludhiana Improvement Trust, and Municipal Corporation, in the city last week purportedly for indulging in corruption and being indifferent to the problems of the people, seemed just pressure tactics on the face of it.

Not that the functionaries of the ruling coalition were not earlier aware of the dubious conduct of officials and other members of staff of these departments, or for that matter, many other departments where corruption is an accepted norm and harassment of the people is a routine rather than an exception. But why did the leaders choose to act in the manner that they did defies a logical explanation.

Either the drubbing in the Lok Sabha elections on almost all assembly segments in the city has the political leaders worried or else they want the government officials and employees to act as per their dictates without raising any question on the merit of cases.

Queues everywhere!

The residents of the city are fond of eating out, especially on weekends. Long queues are witnessed outside food joints, restaurants and clubs where people wait to get tables. Even the rehris in Ghumar Mandi witness similar long queues and rush. But here the queues are more of the cars in which people switch on their ACs and get the eatables.

They park the vehicles in a haphazard way without giving a thought that they would block half of the main road, creating nuisance for general public. The role of Municipal Corporation seems to be more astonishing who care a damn to remove the ‘rehri walas’ to clear the traffic congestion. Perhaps, they too are fond of “eating” from the ‘rehri-walas’!

Copying trends

The women in the city always like to dress-up in glamorous and trendy styles. They would like to copy trends without realising whether a particular dress suits them or not. The tunics with jeans/slacks are the latest craze among them these days. A middle-aged fat woman, accompanied with her daughter-in-law wore a long, noodle-strap tunic at an elite club recently. She looked so odd that every member stopped at her table just to stare. She asked her daughter-in-law, “Is the dress suiting me so much? I think all the women here want to copy the dress. That’s why they are looking at me so minutely.”

Contributed by: Kanchan Vasdev, Anshu Seth, Sanjeev Singh Bariana, Kuldip Bhatia, Shivani Bhakoo



Emphasis on voluntary blood donation
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 15
Punjab Youth Forum observed Blood Donor's Day yesterday at Circuit house, Ludhiana.

Harmohinder Singh, president of the forum expressed his gratitude to the volunteers associated with the forum for the noble cause.

The forum is working for voluntary blood donation for past 15 years.

Chief parliamentary secretary Harish Rai Dhanda, Dr Kirpal Singh and Laxman Dravid conducted the meeting.

Dr Hardeep Singh, president of the Punjab Civil Medical Services Association, while highlighting the need of the blood donation said developing countries are far behind in donating blood. Several precious lives could be saved if people were aware of importance of voluntary blood donation, he added.

Dr Harsh Sharma explained the facts about blood donation and benefits of donating blood by emphasising its benefits for the donors.

Harish and Harmohinder also released a poster on voluntary blood donation.

The meeting was attended by Dr Satish Nauhria, Gurmeet Bagga, Bhupinder Pal Singh, Sunil Parbhakar, Dr Sandeep Chauhan, Rajesh Gandhi and Hardeep Singh.



Blood donors honoured
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 15
Volunteer donors were honoured on the occasion of World Blood Donors Day at Mohan Dai Oswal Hospital, Ludhiana.

A blood donation camp was also organised, which was inaugurated by medical director Dr Satish Jain with other dignitaries from Rotary Club, Ludhiana.

A total of 35 units of blood were collected, which was donated by doctors, nurses, paramedical, students and other staff. Importance of blood donation was highlighted by Dr RP Singh, blood bank officer. Many senior faculty members of the hospital were also present.



It’s a religion here
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 15
Till now known as major producer of agricultural implements, the town has emerged as “blood bowl” for government hospitals and private multi-specialty hospitals of the area.

Besides donating hundreds of units of the vital fluid to secondary and tertiary medical institutes periodically, the local organisations have prepared the lists of volunteers willing to donate blood in case of emergencies, including accidents and other exigencies.

A number of donors and social organisations have been felicitated by the administration and NGOs till now.

According to Dr KC Goel, former district health officer, a large number of social workers and some social and private organizations had played a major role in organising camps in the area. Two private hospitals were cited as major contributors for the blood camp at the Malerkotla civil hospital.

The local units of the Rotary and Lions clubs, Subash Chander Bose Society and Dera Sacha Sauda had also been organising blood donation camps for the past several years.

Management committee of Dyanand Medical College and Hospital, led by Prem Chand Gupta, secretary, and Daljit Singh, principal, had felicitated office-bearers of social welfare organisation for donating maximum units of blood (310) during a single camp recently. Dr Rajinder Mittal, chairman, Pawan Singla, president, and Tarsem Garg, secretary, received mementos and citations at a function organised in Ludhiana two days ago.

Earlier, Jagjit Singh Jajjie and Avinash Gupta were felicitated by the administration for donating highest number of units to organised blood societies.



Five-day yoga camp concludes
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 15
Hundreds of residents of local town and surrounding villages vowed to adopt yoga in their lifestyle during the concluding session of a five-day yoga camp organised by the Patanjali Yog Samiti and Social Welfare Organisation at GHG Khalsa Senior Secondary School, Bahadurgarh, here yesterday.

Harinder Singh, SHO of the city, presided over and councillor Ravinder Puri was the guest of honour.

According to Tarsem Garg, co-ordinator of the event, over 700 persons, including men, women and children took part in the event.

The office-bearers had claimed that yoga was based on scientific research and knowledge acquired through persistent efforts of saints and yogis.

A few social and educational organisations came forward to associate with the host organisation in spreading awareness about significance of yoga.

The participants learnt various asanas, including pranayam. The organisers emphasised on physical, mental and spiritual aspects of yoga.

Samiti workers further claimed that a team of trainers would impart practical training to interested persons during a camp to be organised in routine.



110 milk samples fail test
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 15
In spite of the skyrocketing prices of milk, city residents are being deprived of quality as all 110 samples of milk failed the purity test today. The samples had a high percentage of water in them.

The test was done at two camps organised by the dairy development department in Urban Estate, Phase II, Dugri. Samples of raw milk showed the presence of 30-40 per cent water.

“A milk sample even had 72 per cent water,” said Dilbagh Singh, deputy director, dairy development department. He further said most of the samples during one of the camps showed 50-60 per cent water.

This is not an isolated camp where milk samples had failed the purity tests. Every year, cases of milk samples failing the purity test during camps held in various parts of the city come to the fore.

According to Dilbagh Singh, the milk samples brought by the residents to the camp were mostly bought from milk vendors, who supply milk from door to door.

Sources in the dairy department said the consistency of the milk samples was so thin that it was even visible to the naked eye.

The deputy director said the dairy department would give a detailed report of the tests to the Deputy Commissioner, who in turn would decide the next course of action against the milk vendors found guilty of adulteration.

The purity test is done free of cost at the department office in Model Town on a regular basis. Samples of milk, which is not boiled, are tested for the best results.



Heartless City
Man dies of heart attack
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 15
The callousness of the city residents once again came to the fore as no one came forward to offer a helping hand to a man who succumbed to cardiac arrest near the Domoria bridge here today morning.

The deceased has been identified as Baldev Raj (70), a food vendor, who died while he was returning from Chaura Bazar after buying raw material. According to a passer by, he wriggled in pain for quite some time before taking his last breath.

Neelam Rani, wife of Baldev Raj, said her husband was suffering from heart problem for the past few years.

She further expressed disappointment over the public response who stood as mute spectator and watched the man dying in front of them.



Swine Flu: Health authorities alert hospitals
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 15
While the city hasn’t reported any case of swine flu so far, health authorities have sounded an alert to all local hospitals and asked them to make necessary arrangements to meet any emergency.

The health authorities have set up a special isolation room at the civil hospital and a kit has also been provided to doctors and other paramedical staff to tackle the swine flu cases.

The management of the Christian Medical College and Hospital has also set up a “designated area” for the same and staff has been given necessary training to deal with any emergency, says Dr AG Thomas, Director, CMCH.



Five booked for abetting to commit suicide
Our Correspondent

Raikot, June 15
The Sudhar police has booked five persons, including the husband of the deceased, for abetting to suicide. The deceased was identified as Bhupinder Kaur of Jalaldiwal village near Raikot.

She went missing from the home of her in-laws at Sarabha village over some dispute and jumped into the Abohar branch of canal at Akahara village near Jagraon. Her father Swaran Singh had lodged a missing complaint with the Sudhar police when Amrik Singh, husband of the deceased, informed him of her going missing.

The body of Bhupinder Kaur was fished out yesterday from the canal at Bargari village near Kotkapura. Swaran Singh, in his complaint to the police, had accused the husband of the deceased and her in-laws for abetting her to commit suicide.

He had alleged that her in-laws used to beat her up frequently in context of dowry and used to torture her mentally and physically since nine years of her marriage.

The police has booked Amrik Singh, his mother Charanjit Kaur, his aunt Amarjit Kaur, brother Dharma and sister-in-law Kamaljit Kaur for abetting Bhupinder Kaur to commit suicide under Section 306 of the IPC. However, no arrest has been made so far.



Youth killed, 2 hurt in accident
Our Correspondent

Samrala, June 15
A youth died and two were seriously injured in a road accident near Malh Majra village when they were returning to their home late last night. The youths were returning from Sarwarpur village around 11.30 pm. They lost control over their speeding motorcycle near their village and fell on the road.

They were rushed to the Civil Hospital, Samrala, and after the first aid they were referred to Ludhiana. While Gurdeep Singh died on the way to hospital, the condition of the other two injured, Jagdev Singh and Gurinder Singh, was stated to be critical and they were admitted to a private hospital at Ludhiana.

One of them was admitted to a neuro centre at Ludhiana due to severe head injuries. The body of the deceased was kept at the Civil Hospital, Samrala, and would be handed over to his parents after postmortem. No case was registered in this regard.



3 convicted for planning to commit dacoity
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 15
A Fast Track Court has convicted Karan, Chand Mian of Hardoi, Uttar Pradesh, and Imtiaz of Saharanpur on the charges of planning to commit a dacoity. They were sentenced to undergo imprisonment for four and half years.

AS Narula, presiding officer of the court, pronounced the orders. A case under sections 399,402 and 25 of the Arms Act was registered against the accused at the Model Town police station in 2004.

According to prosecution, Inspector Jaswinder Singh, the then CIA in charge, had on a tip off that the armed accused were planning to commit a dacoity in a park backside Model Town crematorium. Then a raid was conducted. Accused were arrested along with their weapons.



Cricket Meet
Dashmesh club clinch title
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 15
Cricket teams of Dashmesh Club, Ahmedgarh, and the Royal Sports Club emerged winners and runners-up, respectively, in the Friends Cricket Tournament that concluded at MGMN Senior Secondary School here recently.

Bimal Kumar Sharma, councillor, and Ashok Gupta gave away prizes to winners of the tournament organised by the GC Sports Club.

Earlier, Ravinder Puri, councillor, had inaugurated the tournament.

According to Deepak Sharma, co-ordinator of the organisation, 16 teams of the area had participated.

Sonu Jhajh of winning team was declared the man of the tournament. Yuvraj Sharma was the best batsman.



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