L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Demolition drive suspended
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 17
In a sudden change of events following Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal’s visit yesterday, the MC, which was gung ho about its demolition drive, suspended it today.

The demolition squad consisting of more than 150 persons reached the B-zone office at 8 am this morning, but was told to go back.

Talking to The Tribune, members of the squad said: “On Friday, we were told that on Tuesday the anti-encroachment drive would get under way with the same vigour. We don’t know how a single visit of the Deputy CM can suddenly turn it all around.”

They claimed that Zonal Commissioner MS Jaggi suspended the operation, stating that since encroachers were removing the encroachments on their own, “we should give them more time”.

“Everything was in place till yesterday and suddenly this morning we were told that no work would be undertaken,” the officials said, stating that once again they would have to face the wrath of the High Court due to the intervention of politicians.

Senior MC officials are also reportedly upset over the move. Terming it to be an anti-MC action, a senior official said: “One cannot work like this with every small direction coming from politicians. I fail to understand why they are against the development of the city. In Delhi, the widening of roads is being undertaken on a large scale. When we are not given the freedom to work and develop Ludhiana, how do politicians expect change. Residents should support the civic body in such efforts because ultimately they would benefit.”

He added that the High Court should now intervene and find a solution for political intervention.

When MS Jaggi was asked about it, he denied that the anti-encroachment drive had been stopped. “There are two types of encroachments, temporary and permanent. Temporary encroachment drive is still on while shopkeepers who have permanent encroachments had asked for some time. Accepting their request, a two-day deadline has been given to them.”


Bitter pill for MC Commissioner
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 17
Municipal commissioner AK Sinha, who made an effort to remove encroachments from the city, had a taste of the anger of politicians and encroachers for his actions during a meeting held at the Circuit House here today.

The meeting, which was attended by minister for jails Heera Singh Gabria, MLAs Satpal Gosain and Harish Bedi and various market presidents, had various heated arguments.

While the commissioner was adamant that he was following Punjab and Haryana High Court orders, the MLAs were directing the bureaucrat to abide by their directives.

The situation became so tense that he had to leave the meeting midway. To avoid a controversy, he said he had to go to a core committee meeting at the mayor’s house.

During the arguments and counter-arguments, Gabria hinted that SAD leaders had a word with the deputy chief minister last evening about the anti-encroachment drive.

The minister further said he was not against the anti-encroachment drive, but it had been decided that a five-member team would be formed from among traders, who would guide the municipal corporation. During the two-day anti-encroachment drive on Thursday and Friday last, the municipal corporation did not touch the encroachments of SAD leaders and their associates, despite protest by the media.

Till the time of filing of this report, the five-member team to guide the municipal corporation was yet to be formed.

Among the officers present during the meeting were additional commissioner KP Brar, MTP Hemant Batra and zonal commissioners.



Plan to lease out Amaltas runs into hurdle
Resort land belongs to forest dept
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 17
The Punjab tourism department’s ambitious plan to lease out the multicrore rupee tourist resort, Amaltas, has hit a roadblock as the land on which it is located belongs to the forest department and any new construction by a private firm would be deemed an offense.

The land records, a copy of which is with The Tribune, clearly states the land on which Amaltas stands is the property of the forest department and anyone found to be carrying out construction on this land would be booked under sections 23, 24 and 60A of the Forest Conservation Act.

The tourism department’s plan could spell trouble for Jails & Tourism Minister Hira Singh Gabria who has already announced the government resort would be leased out to a private company.

It is learnt the government is looking at acquiring more land adjoining the resort in order to “impress” private firms who have been vying for this land.

"We are not going to close down Amaltas; rather we want to give it a new lease of life by handing it over to a private concern," said Gabria.

Earlier, principal secretary Geetika Kalha had directed the tourism department to close the resort after she found some irregularities in its functioning. A letter in this regard was also sent to the department on November 12, ordering the resort officials to shut down its operations and hand it over to the Punjab Heritage Board.

In the meantime, the forest department has also shot off a letter to the resort authorities stating that, according to the Supreme Court’s decision on December 12, 1996, the Amaltas land cannot be sold further without the consent of the forest department.

Ludhiana DFO Vishal Chauhan has also confirmed this development. Sources close to the tourism department said some people with political backing from the ruling government were interested in taking over the resort land on lease.

"I can smell a rat - how can such a profit making (over Rs 1 crore annually) resort be handed over to a private firm, and that too land that belongs to the forest department," said Pawan Kumar Sohian, general secretary of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee.



Cases Against Quacks
Civil Surgeon turns down RMPs’ plea
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 17
The registration of cases against quacks/self-styled doctors by the department of health and family welfare following the orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court has created ripples among registered medical practitioners (RMPs) who do not have the relevant degrees.

A delegation of RMPs from the district today met the Civil Surgeon, Dr Maninderjeet Singh, and urged him to help them, but he turned down their request. He said: “I have called a meeting of senior medical officers of the district to review their work against quackery as this is a cause against which every qualified doctor in the state is putting up a fight.

The lists of quacks would be updated on regular intervals by medical officers and departmental action would be initiated against doctors who are supporting quacks.”

The role of nursing homes and private hospitals in promoting quackery is also being questioned. Some qualified doctors employ illiterate people to run their hospitals and nursing homes in their absence. Untrained ward boys and nurses, after working for some years in these places, open their own centres in nearby slums or villages.

Also, hefty commission from diagnostic and therapeutic centres has added to the menace as some doctors are working hand in glove with unqualified practitioners, who are more like commission agents.



A wedding to remember
Manav Ghuman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 17
While the city is known for spending crores on weddings and people here leave no stone unturned to make their wedding the talk of the town, Harjot and Tanu belong to a different league.

Their wedding was solemnised in a simple manner today. Harjot is a son of Sham Singh Harike, a farmer activist, and has a bachelors’ degree in law.

“We had sent no invitation cards and no sweets. We had strictly asked guests to give no gift or ‘shagun’. The marriage ceremony was simple, but we followed every cultural tradition,” he said.

Both the bride and the groom were against spending money on the celebrations. The ‘Anand Karaj’ ceremony and lunch were held at the Sarabha Nagar gurudwara.

Kuldeep Kaur, mother of the groom, adorning a traditional ‘phulkari dupatta’ on her shoulder, said she was a great lover of Punjabi culture and traditions.

“Yesterday ‘jago’ was taken out in our tradition. We wore the traditional ‘ghaghra’ and a large ‘jago’ was taken out during the night. Both families saw no point in spending a huge amount on the wedding. We have kept the function a private affair,” she said.

One of the guests at the wedding said it was an ideal function. “It was not that they could not afford to spend lakhs, but they opted to keep it a simple affair. Distributing cards and sweets is sheer waste of money,” she added.



Boiler Blast
No safety norm in place for workers
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 17
The boiler blast which claimed two lives and seriously injured four yesterday has put a question mark on the safety of labourers working in such units.

Such blasts seem to have become a routine in the city with a similar incident having happened a few days ago. Unit owners, in order to meet deadlines for orders, hire the services of “non-technical” workers.

There are about 1,000 boilers in the city and an equal number of dyeing machines are being used in the units. Technical persons in the field believe that boilers cannot explode, rather dyeing machines do the maximum damage. Boiler was only a part of the machine and is used to generate steam.

Talking to The Tribune, TR Mishra, manufacturing boilers for the past three decades, said a majority of unit owners were hiring the services of non-technical persons who were not trained to work on machines, follow safety norms, watch temperature indicators or auto-cuts. The industry hardly followed the Indian boiler regulations (IBR), he alleged, adding that skilled workers/operators were needed for the risky job.

“There is generally no problem with machines or boilers. The reason for such incidents is unskilled work force,” he said.

Meanwhile, the owner of a dyeing unit at the Industrial Area said no industrialist wanted such incidents to take place. He said in case of a blast, they were the ones who suffered huge losses -- both in terms of money and reputation.

“We have to meet deadlines during the peak season and we try to accomplish work as soon as possible, but we ask operators to work cautiously on dyeing machines/boilers. If they work carelessly, we should not be held responsible. As far as providing training to workers is concerned, this is not possible as no worker works for long at one unit,” he added.



Victim worried about future
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 17
Lying at the CMCH burn ward with over 35 per cent burns Jeet Bahadur, who was injured in the boiler blast yesterday, is worried about his future.

With severe respiratory and physical burns, Jeet Bahadur, who hails from UP, has no financial support.

Though the unit owner, Vinay Kumar, has assured him of all help and even appointed a helper to look after him, he wonders how long the owner would be kind to him.

“His legs and hands have sustained maximum burns. The owner of the unit told me to help Jeet in the hospital till his family comes from UP,” Tiwari, who was attending on him in the hospital, said.

The first thing he asked after regaining his consciousness was about the condition of his colleagues, he said.

“We will do all that we can for the victims of the unfortunate incident,” Vinay, owner of the unit, said.



Giving schoolkids a flying start
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 17
“I want to become a pilot when I grow up and fly high, high, higher," said Dipenderjit Singh, a class II student of SS Public School, Lalton Kalan during his first-ever visit to Ludhiana airport, situated near Sahnewal, today.

Like little Dipenderjit, 39 students of the school appeared to have got their wings when they were presented with an opportunity to not only see but also get a feel of various aircraft at the airport.

The schoolchildren’s visit, which was part of the NCC Week celebrations that kicked off today, was one of their most memorable moments, one that they would cherish throughout their lives.

Expressing his boundless joy, Jagjit, a class V student of the same school, said: "I’m very happy today - my dreams and aspirations have found a direction. I now know flying planes is what I’d want to do when I grow up." Almost all the other kids present shared the same emotion.

The awestruck kids admired the various aircraft standing on the tarmac with a twinkle in their eyes and imagining they would be able to fly them one day. Meanwhile, Wing Cdr HS Gulati, Group Capt Charanjit Singh and NCC cadets looked on with a contented look on their faces, elated at having brought smiles on the kids' faces, most of whom are inmates of the Nishkaam Sewa Ashram.

Talking to the Ludhiana Tribune, Wing Cdr Gulati, commanding officer of No 4 (Pb) Air Sqn NCC, who made the children’s visit possible, said it was a part of the NCC week celebrations and was planned with a view to give the kids a chance to explore opportunities in the NCC and defence services.

“Such a visit gives children an opportunity to know about something that most of them would not get to see otherwise. I plan to organise more such visits for school kids every three months since they are an enriching experience for them," Gulati remarked.

The soft-spoken officer said it was a satisfying experience to see the kids smiling. "This is our small contribution towards laying the foundation of big desires in little hearts," he remarked.



Lala Lajpat Rai remembered
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 17
Rich tributes were paid to Lala Lajpat Rai on his 81st martyrdom day at a function organised by the Desh Bagat Yadgari Society, Punjab, at the auditorium of United Cycle Parts and Manufacturers Association.

Recalling the sacrifice made by Lala Lajpat Rai who had vowed to give each drop of his blood to fuel the fire of freedom struggle and force the British to leave the Indian soil, former minister Malkit Singh Dakha and former Congress legislator Surinder Davar exhorted the youth to emulate the freedom fighter and inculcate the spirit of patriotism and nationalism in the wake of evil designs of disruptive forces to disturb and destabilise the nation.

Society president Jagdev Singh Jassowal lamented that while Punjabis created and wrote history, they failed to preserve it. "This is the sole reason that the youth (in Punjab) is unaware of glorious history, culture and heritage of the country. If this was not so, such functions to remember Lala Lajpat Rai would have been held in every nook and cranny of the state."

Chief organiser and general secretary of the society Krishan Kumar Bawa made a fervent appeal that the martyrs who played a significant role in achieving freedom of the country from British rule ought to be remembered by all parties, cutting across political differences. He asked the youth to shun the menace of drug addiction and launch a fight against other social evils so that they could focus on channeling their energy towards development of the society and country.

The freedom fighters and activists felicitated at the function included Devki Nandan Khar, Mata Jaswant Kaur (wife of Beant Singh, slain chief minister of Punjab), Dewan Jagdish Chander, Daya Nand Jain, Rajinderpal Syal, Nathu Ram Palta, Ravi Bhushan, Sharda Gupta, Pritam Singh Banga and Ranjit Pannu.



Despite orders, allottees harried over sale deeds
KS Chawla

Ludhiana, November 17
Though Punjab Local Bodies Minister Manoranjan Kalia’s had assured the state’s residents that sale deeds of plots allotted by various city improvement trusts would be made at the original sale price, the allottees are still finding it difficult to get the deeds registered. Even after several visits to improvement trust offices they invariably fail to get a satisfactory response to their pleas.

Kalia had issued a statement three months ago saying the sale deeds would be made at the original sale price and the period for registration of such deeds had been extended up to December 2009. He had also stated deviations in the plans up to 85 per cent would be compounded by the authorities concerned.

Enquiries made by The Tribune reveal the formal orders from the state government on deviations in the plans for the violations had not been received so far and the allottees were being put to a great deal of harassment. Some of them are now reported to have contacted property dealers to mediate with the concerned engineering department and get their cases compounded.

When contacted, Kalia told The Tribune the instructions regarding violations in plans for compounding the cases would be sent within a week to all the improvement trusts.

Ludhiana Improvement Trust chairman Ashok Juneja claimed that registration of sale deeds was being done at the original price. However, he pointed out that the instructions regarding the settlement of cases where deviations in the plans had been made had not yet been received.

The minister added a meeting was held in Chandigarh last week on this score and written instructions were expected to be received soon. “Allottees would not have to face any more difficulties”, he assured.



Vet varsity surgeons win laurels
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 17
Surgeons of the department of veterinary surgery and radiology, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, won many honours at the recently concluded annual congress of the Indian Society of Veterinary Surgery (ISVS) held at the university from November 11 to 13.

Dr Narinder Singh Saini received a gold medal and best paper award for small animal session for his paper “Prediction and mineral analysis of stones in canine patients suffering from urolithiasis”.

The award was announced at the annual congress held in 2008 at Nammakal, Tamil Nadu, and was presented at the 2009 conference here.

In equine surgery session, “Surgical Management of uterine torsion in mares” authored by Dr NS Saini, Dr SS Singh, Dr J Mohindroo, Dr SK Mahajan, Dr M Raghunath, Dr Navdeep Singh, Dr A Kumar, Dr V Sangwan, Dr T Singh and Dr K Singh a won gold medal for best paper.

In ruminant surgery session, “Diagnosis and surgical management of reticular abscess in bovines” by Dr H Ather, Dr J Mohindroo, Dr A Kumar, Dr K Singh and Dr V Sangwan won gold medal for best paper.

In orthopaedic session, “Effect of interlocking nail diameter on canine long bone diaphyseal fracture healing” authored by Dr Arshdeep Sharma, Dr M Raghunath, Dr A Gopinathan and Dr SS Singh won an appreciation award.

In large animal poster session, “Surgical repair of compound, non-union metatarsal fracture with autogenous cancellous bone grafting and bone plating in a heifer cow” authored by Dr M Raghunath, Dr Navdeep Singh, Dr T Singh, Dr A Gopinathan, Dr K Atri and Dr J Mohindroo won the appreciation award.

“Sonographic findings in affections of urinary system in dogs” authored by Dr Pallavi Verma, Dr J Mohindroo, Dr SS Singh and Dr CB Singh won the AK Bhargava appreciation award for the paper published in Indian Journal of Veterinary Surgery.

All awards announced at the 33rd Congress would be awarded at 34th annual congress, to be held at Pudduchery in 2010. Office-bearers of the ISVS were also elected.

Dr Narinder Singh Saini, professor and head of the department of veterinary surgery and radiology, was elected vice-president. Dr J Mohindroo, associate professor of the department, was elected secretary for north zone. Their term would last two years.



Today is World COPD Day
Experts for effective treatment of pulmonary ailments
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 17
The “8th Annual World COPD Day” being observed on November 18 aims at creating awareness about chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) worldwide.

The theme this year — “Breathless Not Helpless” — emphasises the availability of effective treatment for people who have been diagnosed with the COPD. The focus is also on educating those who have not been diagnosed to see doctor and take a lung function test if they feel breathlessness.

Dr Jagdeep Whig, vice-principal and professor and head, department of pulmonary and critical care, says the COPD is a major public health problem among people over 40 years of age and will remain a challenge for the future.

“According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the COPD is the fourth leading cause of death worldwide and it is projected to be the third cause of mortality by 2030. Moreover, recent studies indicate that 25 to 50 per cent of people with clinically significant COPD do not even know they have the disease.”

This year, he adds, with public attention around the world focussed on the H1N1 influenza virus, the thing to be kept in mind is that viral infections, including this virus, can exacerbate the COPD.

“Smoking is a major risk factor in men and reduction of total personal exposure to tobacco smoke, occupational dust and chemicals, and indoor and outdoor air pollutants are important ways to prevent the progression of the COPD. But a majority of people having the COPD in India have a poor fate due to lack of awareness and myths about diagnosis and management.”

Dr UPS Sidhu, professor in the department of pulmonary and critical care, opines that the COPD is easy to diagnose by simple history and spirometry, which is a simple test and now easily available.

“Inhalation therapy is the most effective treatment to prevent the progression of disease,” he adds.

Dr Sandeep Puri, medical superintendent as well as professor and head in the department of medicine, says the two main strategies to prevent the COPD due to tobacco smoke are smoking prevention and smoking cessation.

Comprehensive tobacco control policies and programmes should target all ages, including young children, adolescents, young adults and pregnant women.

Broncho-dilators can keep the airways open and relieve breathlessness and chest tightness. Worldwide, the most commonly encountered risk factor for the COPD is cigarette smoking. Other important risk factors include dust and chemicals encountered on the job and smoke from biomass fuels (such as coal, wood, and animal dung) burned for cooking and heating in poorly ventilated dwellings, especially in developing countries.



Colleges still frown on girls donning ‘western’ outfits
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 17
Though most of the city’s colleges do not have any specific dress code for women students, it is apparent that the authorities are still averse to the idea of girls wearing ‘western’ clothes.

Girls are often harassed and even insulted by college officials for wearing western dresses like jeans, capris, skirts and sleeveless and spaghetti tops.

Interestingly, most of the college students Ludhiana Tribune talked to complained of having been ‘asked, stopped, lectured or insulted’ at some point for wearing a particular dress by the authorities, including principals, teachers and members of the administration.

This is in spite the fact that these institutions do not have any official dress regulations for their students.

“An unofficial and unwritten dress code is a problem that is common in almost all city colleges, especially all-women institutions. Girls are often asked not to wear certain dresses to colleges by the authorities, which more often than not, borders on imposing a curb on the students’ freedom,” remarked a retired college teacher.

“As long as students do not cross the limits of decency or wear something that reveals too much, there is no logic in barring them from wearing whatever they want to,” he added.

Alleging repeated harassment and insults at the hands of officials for wearing western outfits in college, a group of girl students of a local college termed it a ‘dictatorial attitude’ on the part of the authorities.

“Either the administration officials should specify a dress code to be followed in college or students should be allowed to dress up as they wish to,” they added.

A student remarked, “The chairman of our college is often seen reprimanding girl students in full public view for wearing dresses like skirts, spaghetti tops, capris or leggings to the college. The scolding is not just limited to a warning, but often turns into an outright insult. Though there is a rule that students should wear a formal dress on some days of the week, there is no written rule as to what is not to be worn on the campus.”

“Recently a girl student of our college was given Rs 2,000 by the chairperson of our institution so that she could buy some ‘decent clothes’ for herself. This happened after the girl was seen wearing a knee-length skirt with a spaghetti top,” stated a male student of a management college.

“Not only this, students’ complaints to the authorities about eve-teasing on the campus fall on deaf ears as the authorities blame the girls for dressing up in a ‘vulgar’ manner and inviting undue attention,” said a counsellor working with a local medical college.

Most students feel that the college authorities’ rigid attitude on the freedom to dress as one wants is unjustified.

“Today’s youth is an enlightened and educated lot and does not need to be told about trivial things like what or what not to wear,” said most of the youngsters.



Stray dogs make life hell
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, November 17
Hordes of stray dogs roaming aimlessly in the town is a common sight here. The situation in the streets is becoming more alarming as dogs keep increasing and spreading terror, mostly at dawn or night.

The pedestrians, cyclists and two-wheeler riders are primarily affected by this dog menace. Many of them have had the bitter experience of being bitten by a dog.

The instances of stray dogs chasing two-wheeler riders and pedestrians and catching them unawares have multiplied manifold.

Each day, one or the other resident becomes a victim of dogs, rues a senior citizen. Matters become worse for pedestrians at night as dogs pounce on them, he adds.

The newspaper, vegetable and milk vendors are fed up of stray dogs as they are frequently attacked by dogs.

“Stray dogs have made our lives hell. Dogs are having a field day and humans are at the receiving end,” says a milk vendor.

To make things worse, the subcutaneaous anti-rabies vaccine, which is of nominal cost, is generally in short supply.

Those who are poor are left with no option but to buy the intra-muscular one, which is not only costly, but is administered by doctors.

“A complete course of the anti-rabies vaccine costs between Rs 1,500 and Rs 2,000. The victims have to travel 10 km from Doraha to a primary health centre at Payal for vaccination. Most of them do not bother and develop rabies”, says a surgeon.

The municipal council has its hands tied in the wake of the ban on the killing of stray dogs. Sterilisation has failed to control the situation as the problem persists.

Residents have demanded that if the administration is helpless in curbing the menace, it should ensure adequate stock of vaccine at all government health institutions in and around the town.



Paddy Procurement
Official apathy upsets all
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, November 17
Perhaps for the first time, farmers, commission agents, rice sheller owners and tuck operators are all upset over alleged official apathy of procurement agencies.

It is apprehended that lakhs of tonnes of paddy will be damaged due to inefficient handling of the procured and harvested produce.

While thousands of bags of procured paddy have been left to mercy of the weather god by being dumped out in the open at mandis, the rest of the produce has been stocked by peasants under imperfect storage conditions at their houses.

Investigations by Ludhiana Tribune revealed that none of those concerned with cultivation and procurement of the paddy crop is happy this year.

With thousands of bags of procured paddy facing the wrath of the recent showers, no rice sheller owner is ready to undertake milling of the produce. Farmers who, expecting price rise in the near future, have kept their produce at their houses are also finding it difficult to store the same under ideal conditions.

Experts apprehend that grains of stored moist paddy will soon start germinating if they are not dried by spreading on dry floor.

Panicked over the situation and to narrow down losses, some commission agents have started offering six to 10 bags extra for each truckload of paddy to sheller owners in case they lift the commodity as such.

According to an estimate, over two lakh bags of procured paddy are lying out in the open at the local grain market and adjoining purchase centres.

Around 1.5 lakh bags belong to Punsup, 60,000 to Pungrain and 35,000 to Markfed.

Truck operators complain that they have to suffer losses as they are made to wait for days together due to disharmony among commission agents and rice sheller owners.



Forum team meets MC officials
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 17
A delegation of the Commonwealth Local Government Forum (CLGF) from the UK met the mayor, the senior deputy mayor and MC officials here yesterday.

The delegation came here to invite the civic body to send a five-member delegation to Leicester in March 2010 and discuss various development projects being undertaken by it, besides offering assistance for various projects.

Senior deputy mayor Praveen Bansal said the delegation told them how they could develop Ludhiana in a better way and manage financial resources.

He added that the idea behind the visit was to promote and strengthen effective democratic local government throughout the Commonwealth and to facilitate the exchange of good practices in local government structures and services.



Healthy baby contest
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 17
The Indian Academy of Paediatrics, Ludhiana district branch, organised a healthy baby contest at the Rotary Bhavan here.

The tiny tots were dressed colourfully for the occasion. The contest received an overwhelming response from parents. At least 300 children participated in the contest. The competition was organised in five groups for children upto 5 years of age.

The selection of the healthy baby was based on physical and mental growth, general appearance, cleanliness and hygiene, vaccination and parents’ knowledge of childcare. The children were judged by local paediatricians. Dr Surinder Likhi was the chief guest and Dr AS Chawla the guest of honour.

Dr Ritu Gupta, president of the branch, said the overall aim of the contest was to bring about awakening among parents about good health of children.



Hospital chalks out expansion plan
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 17
Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital here will observe the martyrdom day of Guru Teg Bahadur from November 20 to 22, which will culminate with a nagar kirtan and a free medical camp.

Giving this information here today, Dr RS Sodhi, medical superintendent, said having completed 30 years, the institution had chalked up an ambitious master plan for upgradation and modernisation.

“We plan to construct a new building at Paddi village, where land has been purchased for the purpose. A new BSc nursing course has been started the nursing college.

“We also intend to launch a post-basic BSc nursing course as well as diploma courses for various medical-related techniques.

“With the shifting of the college to the new building, the existing building will be put to use for starting cardiology and other super-specialty medical facilities,” he added.

According to Dr Sodhi, the hospital had begun the acquisition of the latest equipment and machinery for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes.

Work had also been undertaken for the construction of a four-storeyed surgical block with five fully equipped operation theatres.



Healthy diet, exercise key to preventing diabetes: Experts
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 17
The Rising Youth Association organised a lecture on the World Diabetes Day at the Gujarkhan Campus.

Dr Ramanbir Singh, endocrinologist at Apollo Hospital, said research and studies had shown that India would have 75 million diabetics in the next two decades.

The concentration of 10 per cent of Type 2 diabetic population in Punjab alone was a warning signal, he asserted.

He added that besides following a healthy diet and regular exercise, monitoring of blood glucose levels was the key to avoiding complications rising from diabetes.

At the same time, it was imperative to make sure that the gluco-meter being used for the purpose was correctly coded to obtain accurate results.

Dr Parambir Singh warned that people with diabetes were more at risk of heart diseases. Lipid profile and waist circumference were the early recognisable symptoms of diabetes, according to him.

According to Dr Sanjay Saluja, the risk of cardio-vascular disease, caused by high blood pressure, was double in case of diabetics as compared to non-diabetics.

It had been observed that strict control of blood pressure at 140/80 or 130/80 mm Hg significantly reduced diabetes-related deaths and heart failure.

Dr Deepak Rajput said painless (silent) myocardial infarction with occult heart failure occurred frequently among chronic diabetic patients.

Cardiac autonomic neuropathy (damage of the nerves of the heart) was responsible for reduced pain perception during a silent heart attack, he said.

At the time of a silent heart attack, patients might have atypical symptoms like fatigue, nausea, vomiting and breathlessness.



Book highlights role of women leaders
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 17
The book “Women leadership in urban governance in Punjab”, authored by Dr Antar Jyoti Ghai, highlights the role of women leaders in the governance of the country in general and urban local bodies in Punjab in particular.

It emphasises that in the near future, the progress of human race will be determined by the empowerment of women. So, they need to be integrated into the mainstream of the nation.

It explains that reservation for women in urban local bodies has definitely made them more visible atthe political front, but it does not automatically lead to their enhanced participation in various activities, especially the decision-making process.

The book reiterates that society needs to be sensitised about the need of gender equality.

To achieve it, the study calls upon government agencies, civil society and women to make concerted efforts at every level.

The author is a medallist in political science from Panjab University, Chandigarh. She has done her MPhil with distinction from Kurukshetra University.

She has earned her doctorate degree from Punjabi University, Patiala. Presently, she is head, department of political society, DD Jain Memorial College for Women, Ludhiana.



Promotion of Punjabi journalism emphasised
Our Correspondent

Raikot, November 17
The Punjab Union of Journalists yesterday organised a seminar to discuss the problems being faced by journalists.

The state-level function was organised here. Ludhiana Rural SSP Harinder Singh Chahal was the chief guest.

Raikot SDM Mukand Singh, Gurbhajan Singh Gill, GS Sidhu Damdami, Gurpal Ashq, Manpreet Singh Ayali, Rajinder Singh Lall and Jaspal Singh Heran were present.

Routine problems in dealing with the police and the civil administration, besides the fear of anti-social elements, were discussed at large.

It was unanimously decided that in case of a threat, press clubs of the town would fight back together with the help of both the civil and police administration.

In case of a problem arising because of them, the seniormost officer would be apprised of the situation.

All speakers addressing the gathering focused on the impartial role being played by journalists and emphasised on the promotion of Punjabi journalism.

On the other hand, the Punjab and Chandigarh Journalists Council organised a Press Day function at the Tahliana Sahib gurdwara.

Retired sessions judge Gurnam Singh, Jaswinder Singh Dhaliwal, Manjit Singh and Baljinder Singh Channa addressed the gathering. They discussed the problems being faced by journalists. It was agreed upon that only a secure journalist could ensure free and just journalism.



PAU Polls
Campaigning goes into overdrive
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 17
Campaigning for the PAU Employees Union polls to be held on November 19 are in full swing with massive rallies being held on the campus.

The PAU Employees Forum, PAU Employees United Front and PAU Employees Welfare Front and Democratic Manch held rallies to spell out their agendas even as presidential candidates of various parties, along with supporters, visited various departments. Paramjit Singh Gill is the presidential candidate of the PAU Employees Forum, Harbans Singh Mundi of the PAU Employees United Front and Kewal Krishan Sachdeva of the PAU Employees Welfare Front and Democratic Manch.



Truck cleaner killed in mishap
Tribune News Service

Khanna, November 17
A truck cleaner was killed in an accident late last night after being hit by an Alto on the GT Road here.

The cleaner, identified as Madan Singh, was trying to fix a fault in the engine near Bullepur when he was hit by the car on its way from Khanna to Ludhiana.

The driver of the car, Varinder Bhatia, has been booked by the police. Bhatia said the cleaner suddenly came in front of the car. He was rushed to the local Civil Hospital where he was declared dead.

The body was handed over to his family after a postmortem.



Three POs arrested
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, November 17
The Ludhiana rural police has arrested three proclaimed offenders from different places. While two were arrested by the Jagraon city police, the third was arrested by the Sidhwan Bet police.

On a tip-off, the police arrested Rajkumar of Bahiramke village, who was wanted by the Moga police under the Narcotics Act since 2002.

The police arrested another proclaimed offender, Malkait Singh of Malak village, wanted in theft cases by the Jagraon police.

The third proclaimed offender arrested by the police has been identified as Jaswinder Singh, alias Jassa, of Survind village, near Bhikhwind of Tarn Taran district, wanted by the Sidhwan Bet police since 2005 in theft cases.

The accused have been remanded in judicial custody.



Couple convicted in murder bid case
Rajneesh Lakhanpal

Ludhiana, November 17
The court of additional sessions judge Kishore Kumar has sentenced Meenakshi Kapoor and her husband Bharat Bhushan of Tungheri village, Raikot, to five years in jail in an attempt-to-murder case.

They were also ordered to pay a fine of Rs 5,000 each. They had been accused of inflicting injuries on the head of their neighbour Gagandeep Singh with an intention to kill him due to enmity.

A case under sections 307, 341 and 34 of the IPC was registered against the accused at the Raikot police station on March 19, 2007, on the statement of Sukwinder Singh, father of the victim.



VRTC students excel
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, November 17
Students of the local Vocational Rehabilitation Training Centre (VRTC) for the Blind and Disabled bagged 11 medals, including two gold, in the inaugural edition of the North India Music, Education and Sports Meet for the Blind organised by the Welfare Association for Visually Challenged Employees, Punjab, at Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Senior Secondary School, Faridkot, recently.

According to Sara Johnson, executive director of the centre, over 450 participants from 11 schools competed in the meet and those from Ludhiana finished among position holders.

The medal winners include Kamaljeet Kaur (gold in 200m, silver in shot put and bronze in quiz); Anuradha (gold in shot put); Jyoti Malik (bronze in 200m); Inderpreet Kaur (silver in 200m and bronze in 100m); Sandeep Kaur (silver in 100m); Monu (bronze in 100m and long jump); Varinder Malik (silver in 200m); Shamsher (bronze in 200m); Anil Sharma (silver in 100m); Arpit Sharma (gold in light music-junior section) and Pankaj Thakur (bronze in light music-senior section).

The principal appreciated the students’ performance and congratulated their instructors Kailash Chander, Kavita Rayat and Lal Singh Thakur.



Guru Nanak Academy clinch kabaddi cup
Our Correspondent

November, Khamano 17
Guru Nanak Academy, Nakodar, clinched the International Kabaddi Cup at Papraudi village here.

The one-day tournament, organised by the Shaheed Girdhari Lal Bhagi Sports Club in the memory of journalist PS Batra, was inaugurated by DPS Batra and club president Gurmeet Singh.

Eight teams — Baba Deep Singh Academy, Norway, Shaheed Baba Sihan Singh Academy, Sidhsar, Punjab State Electricity Board Patiala Academy, Baba Ajit Singh Jujhar Singh Aademy, Chamkaur Sahib, Guru Nanak Academy, Nakodar, Punjab Sports Academy, Samrala, Kabaddi Academy Parsrampur, and Kabaddi Academy, Latala — participated in the tournament.

The cup was organised under the aegis of North India Kabaddi Federation president Surjan Singh Chatha. He later presented Rs 51,000 to the club.

In the final, Guru Nanak Academy, Nakodar, beat Latala academy, 13-5.

The winners and members of the Batra family were honoured by Samrala MLA Jagjiwan Singh Khirnian and club members.

Koom Kalan MLA Isher Singh Mehrwan, former MLA Amrik Singh Dhillon, Ludhiana DSP (vigilance) Santokh Singh Saini, Samrala SDM Sukhdev Singh Mahal and other prominent persons were present.



Karate camp gets under way
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, November 17
The two-day Ludhiana District Karate-Do Advance Training and Belt Grading Camp organised by the Ludhiana District Karate-Do Association began at Guru Nanak Stadium, here today.

Over 400 students between four and 22 years of age from various schools are taking part in the camp. Earlier, Tarsem Lal, member of the executive committee of Vardhman International Public School, inaugurated the camp.



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