L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Water tax defaulters to face MC wrath
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 22
While the Municipal Corporation (MC) is firmly dealing with encroachers, the water tax defaulters, too, would now be on its target list.

According to sources, lists of water tax defaulters have been prepared and these reveal various government departments, educational institutions and many individuals owing crores of rupees to the MC.

One of the lists of the D-zone in possession of The Tribune reveals that the top 100 defaulters in the D-zone only have to pay more than Rs 1 crore to the civic body.

According to the documents available, Punjab Agricultural University is one of the top water tax defaulters in the zone, as it owes Rs 7.46 lakh to the civic body.

Following suit are various colonies of government departments due to which the MC is bearing the losses. These are Income Tax Colony and Postal Colony that have to pay Rs 5.75 lakh and 1.98 lakh, respectively, to the civic body.

Even the Ludhiana Club, one of the elite clubs of the city, owes Rs 98,588.23 to the MC.

Talking to The Tribune, MC officials said, "The civic body has a lot of potential to generate revenue, but due to these defaulters, we often lag behind our targets. The water tax of these 100 defaulters is not for one year, but accumulation of arrears due to the non-payment of charges for the past many years."

Giving example of the Postal and Income Tax Colonies, the officials said, "We have written numerous times to these departments, but they don't pay any heed. The matter needs to be looked after by senior functionaries of the civic body, only then things would be sorted out." They added that defaulters’ list is prepared every year, but these defaulters are not ready to budge by paying their arrears and complain that there were mistakes in the bills prepared by us.


‘Selective’ closure of units decried
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 22
In the absence of a viable solution suggested by the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB), the owners of three forging units, shut since October 1, 2009, are finding it difficult to survive.

Perturbed over the sealing by the PPCB and then power disconnection by the PSEB, the unit owners alleged a "biased" decision taken against only them by the department. The Small Scale Industrial and Traders Association said that instead of adopting "dictatorial" attitude, the department should come up with an appropriate solution.

The three units, namely Teg Forging and Stamping, Gobind Forging and Ess Enn Forging on Gill Road opposite Arora Palace, have been lying closed since October 1, when the PPCB sealed the premises on the pretext that these units could not be run in residential area. But in that particular area and several other adjacent areas (Janta Nagar and New Shimlapuri ) more than 70 per cent industry/business establishments are also located.

"I fail to understand why only we have been targeted. We are all related to each other. That means, the department has pointed its needle towards us alone. It has been nearly two months, but no action has been taken against any other industry/business establishment," said Bhushan Kumar, an affected owner.

Small Scale Industrial and Traders Association general secretary Gurwant Singh said the factories were not causing any kind of pollution. "They have asked the owners to cover the hammers with canopies. This suggestion is not viable. Unless land is provided to them, how can the department expect the units to get shifted? As per the 2008 Master Plan, the area has been designated for residential purpose. We want the area to be declared for mixed land use (MLU). How long will these units be made to remain closed? The department or government has to provide a concrete solution to this problem," said Gurwant Singh, adding that despite their best efforts, nobody has come to their rescue.



Demolition squad extends operation to whole district 
Our Correspondent

A JCB machine demolishes an illegal structure at Mullanpur.
A JCB machine demolishes an illegal structure at Mullanpur. Tribune photo: Rakesh Gupta

Mullanpur Dakha, November 22
The anti-encroachment drive on the Ferozepur-Ludhiana road that was appreciated by a large number of residents of Ludhiana and others has been extended to rural areas of the district also.

In the news-item published in Ludhiana Tribune on November 20, residents of Jagraon, Mullanpur Dakha and other towns on national highways had demanded such demolition operation on the sides of all national highways of Punjab.

Master Baljinder Singh of Mullanpur Dakha, while appreciating the demolition drive in Ludhiana, said the department concerned should know that the people residing in the satellite towns and rural areas have the same rights of living as those living in urban areas.

Similarly, Jatinder Kaur, an employee, said the demolition drive should continue at least till all encroachments along the national highways were cleared. Dr Hari Singh, however, maintained that the liquor shops beside the roads were causing major problems to commuters.

DFO Vishal Chauhan, along with his deputy Manish Tewari, Block officers Mohan Singh, Jarnail Singh, Paramjinder Singh, Jasbir Singh, Daljit Singh, Rang officer Amritpal Singh along with about 40 members of the demolition squad and a police party from Ludhiana swung into action today.

Vishal Chauhan said on the Ferozepur road within the district, none except GK Resorts (marriage palace) and Waddi Haveli (eating joint) had permission from the central forest. He added that taking permission from the department was an easy process but people are not aware of it. He said the department was further simplifying the process of granting permission

Residents of Mullanpur Dakha, however, heaved a sigh of relief when the DFO stated that they were responsible for removing encroachments outside municipal limits of a town. He said the responsibility to remove the encroachments within the municipal committee is that of the committee itself and the PWD department.

By evening, the demolition squad entered the municipal limits and started demolition drive within the town of the encroachment. By the time of filing the report, the drive was in progress in Mullanpur Dakha.

The town witnessed not a single forceful protest against the demolition except verbal confrontation by Raja Deol of Deol Estate, who tried to convince the department by showing the permission granted by the Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana. The demolition squad, however, continued its job of demolition, as the permission was not granted by the appropriate authority. The squad rather went a step ahead and asked him to sue them if the demolition was doing something illegal.



Traditional ‘doli’ still the first choice
Manav Ghuman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 22
With the wedding season in full swing city residents are going back to their roots and increasingly opting for traditional ceremonies that depict the rich culture of the state. Of these ‘bidaai’ is the most emotional part of a wedding when a girl leaves her own house and leaves for her husband's home.

The traditional palanquin (‘doli’) has once again emerged on the scene. The bride is carried in it to her in-law's house by four men known as ‘kuhars’.

There are different types of ‘dolis’ available for the big day - some come in a traditional design with two men carrying it from the front and two from behind. Another option is a gold ‘palki’, made of wood and coloured in gold, which all the four men carry from front.

Today one can also ask for ‘dolis’ in different shapes like the moon that are decorated in various ways. Some adorn them with flowers, others with traditional Punjabi ‘phulkari’ while a few go in for pearls and crystals.

"The rent for these ‘dolis’ starts from Rs 2,000 onwards and increases with the type of decoration one prefers”, said Krishan Kumar, who deals in arrangement of music bands and ‘dolis’ for weddings.

Apart from ‘dolis’ some also go in for a six-wheeled Victoria carriage that is driven by a white horse and is beautifully decorated and is a perfect option for the ‘bidaai’. "This year Victoria carriages have gained popularity and bridegrooms are going in for them to make the occasion very special," added Kumar.

While traditional styles still rule among residents, NRIs appear to prefer limousines and open cars for the ‘bidaai’ ceremony. "Almost all nonresident Indians getting married here go in for a limo for the ‘bidaai’, though open cars are also a rage among them. My cousin got a limo for his wedding," said Kamaljeet Singh, an NRI who is in India these days. Some also prefer an open car that is driven by the bridegroom himself.



Man stabbed to death
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 22
A man was stabbed to death by an unidentified man at Fauji Colony near Sherpur Chowk here today.

The victim identified as Ajay Kumar alias Chotu (30), a migrant from Uttar Pradesh, was a hairdresser in a nearby shop.

The incident came to light this morning, when some commuters spotted blood coming out of the shop.

When they opened the shop, they found the victim’s body lying in a pool of blood.

Personal enmity was stated to be the reason behind the murder. The police has registered a case and a probe is on.



27-yr-old dies of swine flu
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 22
Daljinder Singh (27) from Maksoodan (Jalandhar), who was undergoing treatment for swine flu at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) here, died this morning. Admitted to the DMCH on November 13, the patient tested positive for Infleunza H1N1 infection on November 14.

District Epidemiologist Dr GP Mangla stated that the patient was put on curative treatment on November 14 and all his contacts, too, were administered preventive medicine. "The patient had completed his therapeutic treatment for swine flu, but had low immunity level. Daljinder's death was caused by multiple organ failure," Dr Mangla went on to add.

Meanwhile, three other swine flu suspects, including a staff nurse at Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH), a two-year-old child and a middle-aged woman from different localities of Ludhiana were tested negative for H1N1 infection.



Production of woollens plummets
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 22
In order to clear their old stock, manufacturers of woollen garments have come up with less production this season. Due to a limited fresh stock, even retailers are finding it difficult to tackle customers.

Sham Bansal of Rage Knitwears and president of the Wool Club said a huge stock was already piled up with manufacturers. This time, manufacturers did not want to take any risk. They added a limited fresh stock and tried to clear their old stuff as well. Heavy sweaters and jackets were the products, which could not be sold at retail stores. “As manufacturers had to bear huge losses, production of woollens is comparatively low this winter,” he said.

Sudershan Jain of Oner (Sarjeevan) Knitwear said due to a limited stock, certain products could not be repeated in markets.

“Last year, industry was already hit by recession and piling up of woollen stocks further aggravated the problem of manufacturers. We hope that all stocks get cleared by the end of this year,” said Jain.

During a "Woolmark meet 2009", which was organised by Australian Wool Innovation Ltd and Wool Club of India, experts said Australian wool was a hit among Indian buyers.

The meet was attended by several experts, including Dr SK Chaudhry, director, South East International Wool Innovation, Jimmy Jackson, marketing head.



Parks in city not smoke-free
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 22
Burning of waste has become a routine affair in various parks of the city, putting the health of morning walkers at risk.

Only yesterday, people who had come to Rakh Bagh for morning walk, had to breathe poisonous gases emanating from the waste that was put on fire.

Finding an easy way, gardeners of Rakh Bagh collected the remains of plants and grass on the road outside the boundary in the morning and set it afire. Thick smoke kept on billowing out of the huge pile, which engulfed the green area, popularly known as the lungs of the city.

People in the park were seen coughing, sneezing and rubbing their eyes before they left the finally bid a good bye to Rakh Bagh for the day. ‘‘It was disgusting on their part to put the waste on fire. How can they do that despite knowing that so many walkers throng the area?” said Sher Singh Harike, president of the Morning Walkers Association.

He said this was not for the first time that the gardeners had put the waste on fire. The authorities concerned should impose the ban on burning waste in letter and sprit, he said.

Another morning walker Parmod Kumar said their laughing club could not hold a meeting in the garden due to smoke.



Recession, govt policies hit auto parts industry hard
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, November 22
Industrial units in the state, especially the auto parts manufacturing units in the industrial capital of Punjab, are in dire straits due to global meltdown, high taxes, complex taxation structure and stringent pollution control norms.

To make the matters worse, both the Central and the state governments are being oblivious to the plight of auto parts industry, mostly to the small and the tiny sector, rendering the affected units uncompetitive and unviable.

President of Auto Parts Manufacturers Association (APMA) Gurpargat Singh Kahlon said the highest slab of VAT rate (12.5 per cent) on auto parts, delay in VAT refund, newly enforced stringent air quality norms, increase in power tariff in Punjab, along with huge concessions being provided by the Central government to the industry in some of the neighbouring states, had put the industry in Punjab in such a mess that it had become difficult for the entrepreneurs to run their units.General secretary of APMA Ranjodh Singh, lamented no steps were being taken to help the small industries by the Central and the state governments. “On the contrary, the government policies in most of the cases are proving counter-productive and creating more problems for the tiny and small units rather than providing any relief to them,” he said. Citing an example, he said the recent decision of the Excise and Taxation Department for submission of forms "C" and "H" along with the annual VAT returns by last date (November 20) had disturbed the industry as it would have to pay heavy amount of tax for non-production of these forms.

The state government would do well to de-link the submission of forms with annual return and also extend the date for this purpose to March 31, 2010, he pleaded.

The APMA functionaries made a strong case for total review of new air quality standards in detailed consultation with concerned units while expressing apprehension that revised norms, which were difficult to adhere to, could become a major source of harassment by enforcement agencies.

Focusing on the adverse effect on industrial units located in Punjab due to incentives and concessions provided by the Union government to the neighbouring states like Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Uttarakhand, they observed that even though the concessions were due to expire by 2010, the beneficiary states were putting pressure on the government for extending the same.

Kahlon and Ranjodh Singh urged the Punjab government to take up the matter with the Union government to press against any further extension of concessions presently being availed by industry in the adjoining states. They also asked for a review of the new industrial policy of Punjab so as to provide incentives and other facilities to the existing industries as well on which the policy is silent.



CM to chair first district grievances panel meet
KS Chawla

Ludhiana, November 22
Punjab Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal has finally convened the first-ever meeting of the district grievances removal committee, over which he will preside, on December 1 to discuss complaints by city residents.

On November 13 The Tribune had highlighted the CM’s indifferent attitude towards the city and his failure to hold even a single committee meeting, in his capacity as minister in charge of the district for the past three years, since the formation of the SAD-BJP government.

In its report The Tribune had also drawn attention to the large number of illegal encroachments, mounting traffic problems, poor civic amenities and the deteriorating law and order situation in the city.

It is also worth mentioning here for past many months the city has not had regular district grievances removal officer, with the SDM (East) having additional charge of this office.

Confirmed Badal had convened the meeting on December 1, deputy commissioner Vikas Garg also acknowledged the fact that the city did not have a district grievances removal officer for the past five months.

Meanwhile, municipal corporation officials continued their vigorous drive against encroachments in the city for the fifth straight day despite strong political pressure. About 1,500 unauthorised structures have been removed or demolished so far and city residents have welcomed the drive provided it is sustained.



Suhasi keyed up for her new serial role
Manav Ghuman
Tribune News Service

Suhasi Dhami Ludhiana, November 22
Suhasi Dhami is all excited about her lead role in Zee TV's new show, Yahaan Mein Ghar Ghar Kheli’, as this was her first chance to work with Rajshri Productions. The serial begins on November 17 and will be aired Monday through Friday at 8:30 pm.

Talking about the serial during a video conferencing here today the production house’s first-ever on Zee TV depicts how the indelible memories of one’s growing up years accompany him all his life, no matter what circumstances he has been brought up in.

"The tender moments of love, compassion and emotions that one spends with his parents and siblings stay with us forever. Delving into this sensitive concept the serial narrates the story of the protagonist (played by Suhasi) her love for her house and the many such memories that she cherishes in her heart. What differentiates the show are the beautiful songs written by Irshad Kamil, lyricist of Bollywood movies like ‘Jab We Met’, ‘Love Aaj Kal’ and ‘Ajab Prem Ki Gajab Khaani’, who has also written the script," she said.

Suhasi says she spent the initial years of her life in Libya and then came to Bombay where she did her schooling. As her mother was active in the Gujarati theatre acting came naturally to her, though her first love has always been dancing. At school she won many dancing competitions at the zonal level and is a trained Bharatnatyam dancer.

Her first serial was ‘Shakti’ that was telecast on Doordarshan. She also acted in the Star Plus serial ‘Ek Chaabi Hai Pados Mein’ and has also done numerous ad films.

"My favorite actors are Aamir Khan, whom I find very versatile, and Madhuri Dixit who is both a superb actress as well as a good dancer," Suhasi added.



Institutional delivery scheme eyewash
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 22
The waiver of delivery charges by the state government in 2008 under the institutional delivery scheme is nothing more than eyewash.

The government has done away with the charges of Rs 375 for normal delivery and Rs 500 for a caesarean, but people are still being charged in the name of medicines, as a majority of essential drugs are not available at the health centres and civil hospitals.

Rued Leelawati (name changed), wife of a rickshaw-puller, who recently delivered a baby girl at the Ludhiana Civil Hospital: “We had come to the hospital thinking that the delivery would be free of cost, but we were shocked when the hospital staff asked to buy medicines on our own. My husband got IV fluids, injections and medicines from the drug store in the hospital."

Ironically, the Jan Aushadhi, a generic medicine drug store (a venture of the state government), which was started to provide medicines to people on nominal rates, has become an easy way out for the department of Health and Family Welfare to shirk from their responsibility of providing sufficient medicines in the civil hospital.

The doctors conveniently ask the attendants to get the required medicines from the store on the pretext of their "unavailability" in the hospital.

Refuting the charges, senior medical officer, civil hospital, Dr Harvinder Singh said: "We are getting more than 150 cases of institutional deliveries in the hospital every month which points towards the public approval for the existing system. Moreover, we are providing every medicine as per the list given to us by the department. The transport allowance of Rs 200 is also being given to every patient coming for institutional delivery in government hospitals and health centres.”



Pooja Tandon shares her experiences
Tribune News Service

Pooja Tandon Ludhiana, November 22
Though Pooja Tandon could not become the ‘Perfect Bride’ she has managed to become the talk of the town by participating in this reality show telecast by Star Plus.

Belonging to Chandigarh, Pooja, who had come to the Ludhiana Club last evening, has featured in numerous music albums and was also seen in the Punjabi flick ‘Sat Sri Akal’. "Though I was unable to become the winner in the Star Plus serial it has definitely given me recognition. I have received several Bollywood offers and will now be putting my foot forward in the tinsel town," she said.

Talking about the reality show Pooja alleged “politics ruled the roost” at the show and that finally led to her ouster from the ‘house’. "Still, being a part of the show was a good experience and I learnt lot of things. I came to know the meaning of relationships and how things change with a change in situations," she added. 



Students reach out to senior citizens
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 22
Parents bring kids into this world, provide them with best of education, food, clothes, etc as per their financial status, shower their utmost love and affection on them and make sacrifices throughout their lives to keep their kids happy.

However, the question is do these kids care their parents when they grow old? Do they stand by them when the parents need them the most? To answer all such questions and to create awareness among the youth about the plight of the aged as well as to bring happiness to the elderly, cultural extravaganza was organised by Government College for Women.

As many as 30 inmates of the Old Age Home were invited to “Ek Kehkashan Ki Ore.”

Prof Kuldeep Singh of political science department, said the endeavour was undertaken by the college with a view to educate the younger generation about the worth of the elders and the pain that one has to bear when one's family abandons him/her.

"Students’ eyes were filled with tears when the inmates of the home shared their experiences. We are now sure that when these children get settled in their lives, they will treat their elders with respect and love and give them right place in their homes as well as in hearts," Prof Singh said.

"One who cries on seeing someone else's abandoned parents in pain, can never do the same to his own," Prof Singh added.

"We have been organising regular visits to old age homes for our students but we wanted to do something special for the inmates," he further added.

The function started with a shabad gyan followed by dances, skit, rock 'n' roll, group song, solo song, medley of old film songs by the college students. Bhangra was the main attraction.

Principal RK Aulakh urged the youngsters to respect and show care for their elders.



Mock interview sessions at kindergartens
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 22
Mock interviews seem to be "the thing" in kindergarten schools these days. With regular schools declaring admission schedule for nursery classes, kindergarten schools are busy preparing tiny tots for interviews by conducting a number of mock interview sessions.

Aiming to achieve the maximum number of admissions in topmost schools of the city, these schools are leaving no stone unturned to ensure that their students perform well during interviews for admission to nursery and KG classes.

During such sessions children are exposed to all possible situations that they might have to face during interviews. Their learning and speaking abilities are being honed to perfection. These schools are giving little ones the opportunity to hold the mike and introduce themselves confidently. All this, with an aim to boost the confidence levels of children.

Prreity Garrewal, director, Hollyhock Nursery School, says parents are very happy with the exercise. "We have been holding such sessions for the past few years and they have been a great success,” said Garrewal.

In agreement, Shobhan Soi, director, Mother's Pride, says, "Mock interviews, both, with or without parents' presence, are great confidence boosters and we conduct both kinds of sessions in our school."

He said he had already organised four such sessions in his school and there were a few more to go.

Soi added that besides preparing kids, they were also giving lessons on positive parenting to parents as interview sessions of many schools involve them as well.

Meanwhile, the exercise seems to be a hit among parents of tiny tots. Raj Kaushik, father of a pre-schooler, remarked, "We were very worried about our child's performance at the time of admission interview but since he is being trained to face a volley of questions in the interview with confidence in the school itself, we are relieved and sure that he will get through.”

“The exercise surely is a stress reliever for parents, who need not sit at home and make children mug up answers to all possible questions or perform activities," said a smiling Manpreet Kaur, mother of another pre-schooler.



Bipasha, Mugda in city
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 22
Bollywood lasses Bipasha Basu and model turned actress Mugda Godse (of Fashion fame) attended the pre-wedding bash of city-based actor Kumar Sahil’s elder brother last evening.

Draped in a fawn/maroon saree, Bipasha looked stunning. Bipasha looked like a "perfect fit" amidst the replicas of Queen Cleopatra, Sphinx, Neferetiti, Egyptian Ram God and 500 life sized murals from the set of Stephen Sommers's Hollywood flick 'The Mummy'.

Fans from all age groups swarmed the actress leaving her with no space to move. Kids on the block sneaked in the security circle to take autographs.

A fan refused to nudge an inch from the gates of the wedding venue.

Posing for the photographs with family and fans, the actress was a real charmer, but in order to avoid any unpleasant incident, she left the venue in haste.

The Bollywood actress was bowled over by the grandiose of the occasion as she expressed her delight to realtor Gulshan Kumar, groom's father.

“After a thorough research, we decided to go for an Egyptian theme for the cocktail party. I want everything to be grand and unique at my son's wedding. Wedding will take place on November 24 at Marshal Farms," Gulshan Kumar said.

Mughda Godse's scintillating performance during "the lazer show" was an additional treat for the guests at the pre-wedding bash. 



Quiz contest at Karamsar college
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, November 22
Government Degree College, Karamsar, organised an annual quiz competition on the school premises recently.

Sarabjit Kaur, Rajan Deep Kaur, Simranjit Kaur, Dalip Kumar and Yuvraj Singh, students of BA II, were declared winners.

Principal Amrit Varsha gave away prizes to winners.

Harjinder Kaur, Sarabjit Kaur, Amandeep Kaur, Raminder Kaur, Jaswinder Kaur and Vijay Kumar, students of BA I, were declared runners-up.



Punjab IMA House
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 22
Following its registration in the name of Indian Medical Association (IMA), the IMA House Ludhiana has been renamed Punjab IMA house.

The association has planned to construct a fully equipped auditorium, rooms in Punjab IMA house, for which Manoranjan Kalia, Punjab Minister for Local bodies, Industries and Commerce said the Punjab government had donated an amount of Rs 5 lakh. The total cost of the project is more than Rs 1 crore.

Dr Yash Sharma, president, IMA appreciated the role of Ashok Juneja, chairman, Improvement Trust, Ludhiana, for getting the IMA House registered after a period of 27 years.

Also Dr Sharma expressed gratitude towards the Local bodies, Industries and Commerce minister for his role in formulating new industrial policy to promote medical tourism in the state wherein any doctor in the state running a private hospital can use 25 per-cent of his land for commercial purposes without any change of land use charges.

Dr Sobti, district IMA president, Dr Arun Mitra, vice-president, IMA, Punjab, thanked the state government on behalf of the medical community for the support in getting the ordinance on the protection of doctors and nursing homes.

The state leadership of the IMA said private hospitals and nursing homes would create special funds for the treatment of the poor and needy patients. 



Nagar kirtan taken out to mark martyrdom day
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 22
A nagar kirtan was taken out in the city to mark the martyrdom day of Guru Tegh Bahadur yesterday.

The nagar kirtan, led by “Panj Piaras”, started from Gurdwara Dukh Niwaran and passed through Bearing Market, bus stand, railway station road, Clock Tower chowk, Chaura Bazar, Ghas Mandi, Chauri Sarak, Division No. 3, Baba Than Singh Chowk, Gurdwara Chhenvi Paatshahi, CMC Chowk, Sikandari Road, Khud Mohalla Chowk, Old Civil Hospital, Gurdwara Kalgidhar Road and Jail Road before culminating at the venue of origin.

Volunteers of Singh sabhas, Bir Khalsa Dal, Shaheedi Dal, Shabadi jathas, Istri Satsang Sabha, youth wing and women wing, district Akali Jatha (urban and rural), besides schoolchildren, band parties and gatka parties took part in the nagar kirtan.



Promoting medical tourism
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 22
Manoranjan Kalia, Punjab Minister for Local bodies, Industries and Commerce, said the Punjab government had formulated new industrial policy recently to promote medical tourism in the state.

The projects related to healthcare defined by the department of health and family welfare will be promoted under the new policy.

Any doctor in the state running a private hospital could use 25 per cent of his land for commercial purposes (commercial ventures related to healthcare) without any change of land use charges, he said. He called upon the doctors of Punjab to avail the opportunity adding that they have best skills and means to promote medical tourism in the state.

Kalia was in the city to lay the foundation stone of the auditorium at IMA House, Ludhiana, which was re-designated as Punjab IMA House.

The minister announced a grant of Rs 5 lakh for the project.

He also appealed to the doctors to provide low cost healthcare facilities to poor patients. IMA state president Dr Yash Sharma said hospitals would create funds for poor patient.

IMA appreciated the role of Ashok Juneja, chairman of Improvement Trust, Ludhiana, for getting the IMA House registered after 27 years.

Dr DP Singh Arora, secretary IMA, Dr Yash Sharma, president IMA Punjab, appreciated the role of the minister towards the progress in the field of medical science in the state.

Dr Sobti, district IMA president, Dr Arun Mitra, vice-president IMA, Punjab, along with 200 doctors were also present.



Play against drug addiction staged
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, November 22
Drug peddlers should be dealt with strict hand, said SSP, Jagraon, Harinder Singh Chahal during his visit to Mullanpur village to see the play staged there with the initiative of the local police that gave the massage to keep drugs at distance.

The Ludhiana Rural police seems to have left no stone unturned to see its brainchild “Jago” successful. After joining the police district Jagraon, SSP Harinder Singh had initiated an anti drug-campaign named “Jago”. In continuance of the drive, the Dakha police organised a play at Mullanpur village that was largely attended by residents of the village and nearby areas

Rajwinder Singh Samrala leading the Akash Dramatics club of Samarala staged the play 'Dhukdi Rag Punjab Di' hitting at the consequences of addiction to drugs. The artistes were successful in passing on the anti drug massage to the viewers. 



300 delegates attend Rotary seminar
Our Correspondent

Doraha, November 22
A seminar of Rotary District 3070 was recently organised by Rotary Club, Doraha, at Dr Ishwar Singh Memorial Hall of Guru Nanak National College, Doraha.

More than 300 delegates from all over the district attended the function. District Governor Rtn KC Kalra elaborated upon various avenues of service and stressed upon voluntary donations.

He said members of Rotary International should join hands to fight diseases, oppression and suppression in the world. Keynote speaker, regional director Rtn Y P Das, invited the Rotarians to feel the pain of those suffering from poverty and hunger.

“The ones who are bereaved and need help, support and aid should be comforted at all costs by the Rotary International,” said the former District Governor, Rtn Surinder Seth. Rotary Foundation chairman Dr Gursaran Sidhu appraised the delegates about the merits of Rotary Foundation and Rotary International and its contribution in focusing on issues related to health and hunger.

Rtn DS Jaggi, president of Rotary Club, Doraha, and secretary Rtn Arun Bector thanked the delegates for their participation. Dr Ravinder Sidhu, Tarlok Singh Jaggi and principal Dr Narinder Singh Sidhu were also present.



Scholars to reconstruct First War of Independence
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, November 22
You don’t have to collect the fragments of India's First War of Independence - the 1857 Great Rebellion - by frisking voluminous literature. A reconstructed account of the mutiny as illustrated and visualised through literature, folksongs, missives and canonical episode is under progress.

A two-member team led by Dr Manpreet Sahota of Satish Chander Dhawan Government College, Ludhiana, has already started working on the project - Reconstruction of historical representation of the First War of Indian Independence in English fiction. The first-ever major project on the subject in the history of any educational institute of the area, is being funded by the University Grants Commission (UGC).

Though the project is mainly text based and access to relevant publications might be sufficient to arrive at conclusion in the matter, the research team comprising Sahota and Kiran Deep Kaur has decided to undertake extensive touring to locations related with the war. They intend making the observations lively and up-to-date.

“When the UGC has provided us all facilities, why should we leave any relevant page of fiction lying at any place or with any person unstudied,” said Dr Sahota, on tour to historical locations of the region. Dr Sahota said all efforts would be made to maintain originality of the sequence of event.

“As we know that all the nations, old and new, have been claiming antiquity in their own ways, we will work as an Indian first and then scholars while reconstructing the episode. We will try to make minimum use of words which can incite hatred among members of a particular caste or class,” said Sahota, admitting that the task was not simple.

She said they would have to study authentic works of history and then fit the chosen texts of fiction on the touchstone of originality. The team will focus on establishing the level of exaggeration or understatement in the chosen works of fiction according to established sources of history.

Any extracts which projected higher value and norms of character associated with the mutiny, irrespective of their caste and creed, will be reproduced in original as a supplement with due permissions from the original publishers.

With some of the publications, published over 150 years ago, having become out of the reach, the team members have decided to contact historians and artists who claim to have read those materials.

“Once identity of such clans or persons is established who were somehow connected with characters of the mutiny we will contact them and try to verify elements of the history from them,” said Dr Sahota. 



Claim on laparoscopic gastric bypass
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 22
Laparoscopic gastric bypass is proving to be an effective tool against obesity, said Dr Kular, a bariatric surgeon of the town while addressing doctors at a special meeting organised yesterday evening.

The meeting was arranged in view of the rising trend of obesity in North India wherein different surgical modalities were discussed.

Roux en Y gastric bypass and mini gastric bypass are the latest laparoscopic surgeries now available in the city, said Dr Kular.

Punjab is proving to be a great medical tourism destination for the patients from across the world. The same kind of surgery in the US and other western countries is available at a much higher cost, added Dr Kular.

All those patients who are at least 30 kg above their required weight, can be considered for bariatric surgeries. The surgery is done laparoscopically and the patient has to stay for two-three days in the hospital. 



Work on tubewell inaugurated
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 22
Congress councillor Ashok Bagga inaugurated the work on setting up a tubewell at Kashmir Nagar of ward No. 18 here yesterday. The work will be undertaken at the cost of Rs 7 lakh.

The councillor said: “There had been regular complaints about lack of potable water in the area and keeping that in mind the tubewell was being installed. Within a few days, the area will get relaid roads at the cost of Rs 99 lakh.”

Bagga said: “Some leaders were trying to mislead public against sitting Congress councillors by indulging in blame game. They are not only tarnishing the image of workers and leaders but even disturbing the party environment.”

Among those were Congress councillor Sanjay Talwar, Pritpal Singh Ghayal and others.



Horse riding her passion
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 22
At an age when tiny tots play with toys, Beant Kaur dreamt of riding the stallions that her father bred.

Born and brought up with horses around her, 19-year-old Beant Kaur says riding has been her passion since childhood.

“Riding is my life. Not a single day goes without training with my instructor,” says the confident young woman, who has been training for the past one year.

The teenager, a first-year student of BSc (fashion designing), College of Home Science, PAU, aspires to take up riding at the professional level.

“I want to excel in both riding and fashion designing,” says the gutsy girl, who is the lone girl training with 19 boys at the GADVASU horse-riding club.

Terming her father, a professional horse breeder at Raikot, as her greatest strength and support, Beant says having four horses at home is an added advantage for her.

Recently, she won a commendation in Ladies’ Hack Ride at the Chandigarh Horse Show, held from November 15 to 17.

“This is just the beginning, I want to win many more medals and awards and make my parents proud,” says Beant, whose other passions are music and dancing.



Tewari defends Capt
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, November 22
Ludhiana MP and National Spokesperson for the All-India Congress Committee Manish Tewari today came down heavily on those, who had hatched a conspiracy against senior party leader and former Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh.

Tewari said entire rank and file of the party was with Capt Amarinder.

Tewari was here to attend a school function after his return from Washington, where he represented India and addressed the UN.

“How could the opposition level allegations of rape against Capt Amarinder? All parties should condemn such allegations,” added Tewari.

He said conspirators would soon be exposed.

Tewari visited Dakha assembly segment.

At More Karima village, he inaugurated a water tank.

He was accompanied by senior party leaders Malkit Singh, Dakha, Jagpal Singh, Khangura, Major Singh, Mullanpur, Manjit Singh, Bharowal, and others.



Sensitisation campaign launched
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 22
The National Trust, a statutory body working in areas of autism, cerebral palsy, mental retardation and multiple disabilities, launched a sensitisation campaign “Badhte Kadam” to curtail rampant violation of the National Trust Act in social, economic and political spheres.

The trust had recently organised a function, wherein disabled children undergoing education/training at eight NGOs of Ludhiana, including Ashirwaad, Ek Prayaas, Nirdosh, Darpan, School for Deaf, VRTC for the Blind, Balaji Prem Ashram, Bhartiya Vikas Parishad and Muskan participated in the national-level rally. Away from inhibitions, these special kids invited normal children and teenagers to share the stage with them.

A team of National Trust from New Delhi having travelled to Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and various other states had come to Ludhiana to sensitise people through a cultural show. Dr Neelam Sodhi from Ashirwaad, who was recently elected in the executive body of the National Trust, stated that despite having signed the UN Convention of Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), nothing concrete had been done by the government to remove physical, attitudinal, psychological and informational barriers that prevented their participation in all aspects of community life.

Neera Gupta, mother of Divya (14), a child with special needs studying at Ek Prayaas, said, “It is must for the government to encourage these children. There should be a scheme to ensure their future, travelling allowances/arrangements in buses/trains, healthcare facilities and inclusion in mainstream society, she added.



Cops bat for Khali
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 22
The police officials who had once voiced their dissent over the absence of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) wrestler and Punjab Police ASI Dalip Singh Rana, alias Khali, from work for over one year are now backing him after the giant wrestler was suspended from the service on charges of absenteeism.

The Punjab Armed Police (PAP) had been asking the WWE superstar to rejoin his duty after rejecting the leave application of the new Hollywood movie star.

SI-level officers who have been seeking promotion for nearly 18 years have accused the Punjab Police of having double standard.

They alleged that the wrestler, who had earned laurels for the country, was being suspended for not joining work when there were significant number of sports quota policemen who had participated in a few national events and had been given backdoor recruitment and promotions.

“Look at the double standard of the IPS lobby. The man who should be promoted is being suspended and sportsmen with no track record are being promoted,” said an SI-level official.

Commandant of the 7th Battalion Arun Pal Singh had suspended the wrestler on Wednesday.

Though Khali had applied for extended leave, police sources stated that he was not entitled to it.

Hardeep Grewal, a hockey Olympian, said it was unfortunate that he belonged to the Punjab Police. “The state police has no respect for players and they only need a bunch of yesmen around them. Had Khali belonged to some other state police force, they would have treated him like a hero.”

Defending Khali, Hardeep said: “People say it is purely entertainment and there is no truth about the form of wrestling in which he participates. I agree but we have to take into account the fact that it has a huge audience around the world. Markets are full of Khali posters. And we are suspending him! It is unfortunate that we are giving promotions to policemen with potbellies and suspending a wrestler for not attending work.”



Liquor worth Rs 6.4 lakh seized

Ludhiana, November 22
The State Excise and Taxation Department has added an amount of Rs 6.4 lakh to the state exchequer through the confiscation of illegal liquor. 

In a period of seven months from April to October, the department collected the said amount. During the period of seven months, the department registered 55 cases under the Excise Act. “The highest number of bottles seized was 295 and the amount fined was Rs 50,000.

The record number of bottles seized was in the month of October. Sixteen cases were formed in the month of October and the total number of bottles seized was 567,” said a source. — TNS



Girls risk health by swimming in open
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 22
The Punjab sports department is going ahead with the swimming event at the state women’s sports festival beginning tomorrow despite the swimmers being exposed to health risks. In the absence of a heated pool the over 50 girls would have to swim in the open in water below 15 degrees Celsius.

The Tribune team spotted some of the girls, who were training for tomorrow’s event, diving in the cold water in the MC’s open swimming pool. They parents were even seen encouraging them even though they were complaining of the cold. Some of them even refused to enter the water.

“I’ll die of hypothermia, mom - I’ll not enter the cold water. It’s very cold out here,” one of the swimmers told her mother. To which her mother replied: “Look you want to win a medal so you have to jump into the water. Once you would start swimming you’ll not feel cold. I understand your problem”.

Though the coaches present at the swimming pool appeared concerned they expressed their helplessness.

“Yes, we know this is no time to organise a swimming event but what can we do - the order came from higher-ups and the event will start tomorrow at 10 am. I wish we could have an indoor stadium, then there would not have been any problems. We understand the risks swimmers will face but can’t do anything about it,” said a coach on the condition of anonymity.

Munish Munjal, a senior ENT surgeon, stated: “It’s absolute insanity to organise a swimming competition in the open and that too in a pool with cold water. Is the Punjab sports department testing the endurance of women swimmers? I fear they might suffer from multiple problems it they swim in the open.”

Events like basketball, handball, swimming, ‘yoga’ and table tennis will be held at the festival.



Athletics Meet
Karanjeet, Simran emerge winners
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 22
Karanjeet and Simran, won the boys and girls 800 m races on the concluding day of annual athletics meet at Guru Nanak International Public School here today.

Bhupinder (boys) and Anterpreet (girls) won the long jump event.

SSP Dr SS Gill was the chief guest on the occasion.

Results: 400 m junior boys: Lovejot Singh, Shahbaz Singh and Mohitbeer Singh.

400m: boys senior: Anoop Singh, Bhupinder Singh and Sarabjot Singh.

400m girls junior: Savleen Kaur, Narpinder Kaur and Rasleen Kaur.

1,500m girls senior: Simran Kaur, Ramandeep Kaur and Deepika.

200m boys sub-junior: Gagandeep Singh, Karanveer Singh and Gujral Singh.

200m girls junior: Savleen Kaur, Gurveen Kaur and Narpinder Kaur.

100m girls junior: Saavleen Kaur, Narpinder Kaur and Rasleen Kaur.

600m sub-junior girls: Raavneek Kaur, Gurnoor Kaur and Navpreet Kaur.

600m sub-junior boys: Gagandeep Singh, Tamandeep Singh and Ravneet Singh.

Long jump senior girls: Antarprret Kaur, Tarvinder Kaur and Deepika.

Shot put senior boys: Saarbjot Singh, Harkirat Singh and Parampreet Singh.

Shot put senior girls: Chanpreet Kaur, Parminder Kaur and Antarpreet Kaur

Long jump boys: Bhupinder Singh, Srabjot Singh and Hamjot Singh.

800m senior girls: Simran Kaur, Ramandeep Kaur and Antarpreet Kaur.

1,500m senior boys: Karamjit Singh, Gagandeep Singh and Anoop Singh.

Javelin senior boys: Karamjeet Singh, Simranpal Singh and Prasanjeet Singh.

800m junior girls: Savleen Kaur, Gurleen Kaur and Narpinder Kaur.

Fairy race (nursery class): Deepali Bhola, Harnoor Kaur Devgan and Prabhnoor Kaur.

Clown race (LKG class): Jashaanjot Singh, Inderpreet Singh and Akshat.

Obstacle race (UKG class): Noorpreet Kaur, Jaspriya Kaur, Tarandeep Kaur and Bimandeep Kaur.

Sack race boys: Jashanjot Singh , Hargundeep Singh and Ramandeep Singh.



Indoor swimming pool project in limbo
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 22
It has been over 10 years, but the all-weather indoor swimming pool on the Sutlej Club road near Rakh Bagh is still nowhere near completion.

The pool, supposed to be a first-of-its-kind in the city, has fallen victim to red tape. In the absence of this facility, over 50 girl swimmers, who are participating in the women’s festival, would have to brave the cold in the open swimming pool. Having spent nearly Rs 20 lakh on the structure which is incomplete, the MC has dashed hopes of local swimmers, who have been awaiting its completion and would be able to practise throughout the year.

Even the constructed part of the pool is in ruins. On an occasion when the city is hosting a mega event like women’s festival, the swimmers are feeling the pinch and complaining that had the MC completed its ambitious project, they would not have to brave the cold.

The project, started in 1999, was aimed at giving the swimmers a pleasant swimming experience of warm water in chilling winter.

Recently, a delegation of swimmers met Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and urged him to pass orders so that it could be completed.

It is learnt that the application was further handed over to Deputy Commissioner Vikas Garg, but its fate lies unknown.

While all officials concerned are passing the buck, it is the swimmers who are suffering. “It is very easy to expect medals. Did someone even bother to look at the infrastructure provided to us for practice? You give us facilities, we will give you the results,” said a girl swimmer.

The parents were also lamenting at the casual attitude of the authorities. The mother of a promising swimmer said:“We are paying Rs 1,200 every month to a private swimming pool owner. But that pool is too small for practice.” 



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