L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Bad weather cuts short Advani’s visit
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 20
The overcast conditions forced senior BJP leader LK Advani to cut short his speech and visit in the city today.

Advani was here along with CM Parkash Singh Badal and his deputy Sukhbir Badal to attend the martyrdom day function of Baba Jiwan Singh at Dana Mandi near the Jalandhar bypass.

According to the police, Advani's personal secretary received a call at around 3:20 pm from the chopper pilot. Sources said the pilot raised concerns over the bad weather conditions.

Sources revealed that the pilot further told the secretary that if the weather conditions deteriorate, they would have to stay in the city for the evening. ‘It is learnt that the PAU authorities were told to make the arrangements for the VIP’s stay.

When the organisers were told about the pilot's concern, they announced that Advani would have to leave early. The long speeches by local leaders were cut short and Advani addressed the gathering.

In his quick speech, Advani said he was glad to visit Ludhiana, the biggest city of the state. He said he was fortunate that he was invited to attend the martyrdom day function of Bhai Jiwan Singh, popularly known as Bhai Jaito.

He left the venue at 3:45 pm and without wasting a single minute, his cavalcade headed towards the PAU where he boarded the chopper.

Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal also accompanied him to New Delhi. Even the junior Badal spoke for less than two minutes. The duo left the venue in a hurry.

Subsequently, a battery of the BJP leaders and party workers also left the venue and accompanied Advani's cavalcade to mark their attendance during his time of departure.


Canada-America Kabaddi Cup
Performance-enhancing drugs used by players
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 20
With no doping test in place, Kabaddi players were found using performance-enhancing drugs during the opening day of the Canada-America Kabaddi cup here today.

With the changing times, the game of kabaddi too seems to have changed. Earlier, the elders used to play kabaddi to build their physique and stay away from drugs and intoxicants.

Huge influx of money and growing competition has affected the game. Now, players use drugs to enhance their performance, defeating the objective of the game, which was earlier meant to keep the youth away from the drug menace.

Drugs were used by some international players as well. According to a kabaddi coach, the players take performance-enhancing drugs during their kabaddi stint in India till the time the kabaddi season starts in the UK and Canada, which is between May and August, By that time these players manage to drain out the drugs from their body.

He said the players were forced to take drugs as kabaddi tournaments were played frequently in the India in the winter season.

“In winters, these players play for a whole week without rest. It is not possible to play such a tough game for continuously three days without taking rest, and that is the reason why they take drugs,” said the coach.

Last year, dope tests on players of Punjab were conducted on a random basis. In these tests, about 140 players tested positive and were banned from participating in matches this year.

Those familiar with the game said some of the players do take steroids as well and subject themselves to injections shortly before the match. Injections given them instant kick.

“Steroids and injections used by players can make them not only impotent but also affect their organ systems in a big way,” an insider said.



Suspected swine flu cases
6 samples collected
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 20
Six more samples of suspected swine flu cases were collected today from city hospitals and sent to the PGIMER, Chandigarh, for testing.

One of the suspected cases has been referred from Gurdaspur, who was admitted in the DMCH. The suspected cases have been put on symptomatic treatment.

Dr Maninderjit Singh, Civil Surgeon, Ludhiana, when asked about the reports of the samples collected yesterday, said these were still awaited.

However, Secretary, Health, Punjab, in a recent statement, had stated that the reports of the samples of swine flu suspected cases would be delivered the same day.

According to some doctors, the delay in reports could cause further problems, as it is essential to administer preventive dose to the contacts of the swine flu confirmed cases to prevent the further spread of the virus.

Meanwhile, the district health authorities have confirmed that all suspected and confirmed cases of swine flu have been kept in complete isolation and are out of danger.



Aamir makes ‘guest appearance’ at rural wedding
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, December 20
It was a surprise gift for the bride and her family when Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan participated in her marriage festivities.

A team of journalists of Discovery Channel, out in Punjab to shoot a rural marriage function, reached the house of Jasvir Singh of Chur Chak village near here last night.

Jasvir’s daughter Ramandeep Kaur was being married to Gurjeet Singh of Sherpur village near Jagraon.

The team reached the village yesterday with 25 people. It requested Jasvir Singh to let them shoot the marriage, to be telecast on the channel. During the whole function till 11 pm, it remained with them and even danced and dined with the family.

The family, especially Ramandeep Kaur, got a pleasant surprise when the group leader removed disguise and revealed his true identity. He was Bollywood icon Aamir Khan. He was accompanied by his team, which was out for the promotional campaign of his forthcoming film “Three Idiots”.

The uninvited VVIP guest left the venue this afternoon after giving presents to the family of the bride and the groom, besides a 30 gm gold ring for Ramandeep Kaur.

Jasbir Singh said Aamir Khan spoke fluent Punjabi. He reached his house protected by his private security.

Ramandeep Kaur and her husband Gurjeet Singh said though they were fans of Aamir Khan, they had never ever imagined they would meet him in person. They said the gifts did not matter much. The presence of the great actor and great human being at their marriage was itself a priceless gift for them.



Cop thrashed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 20
A cop was thrashed by miscreants who were selling illicit liquor in the Amarpura area near Field Gunj here today.

According to the police, following a tip-off, ASI Shemsher Singh, along with constable Saligram, went to raid a house in the Amarpura area, where the illicit liquor, brought from Chandigarh, was being sold.

The duo found the miscreant selling illicit liquor and asked him to show the licence. But the latter failed to produce the same, following which the cop told the offender to surrender.

In the meantime, close aides of the liquor trader gathered on the spot and thrashed the constable, while ASI Shamsher managed to escape unhurt. Before a police party from Division No 2 could reach the spot, the accused fled from the scene.



Videos of clash on YouTube 
Police set to take action
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 20
Fifteen days after the violent clash between the police and Sikh radicals on December 5, the city police is planning to take action against anti-social elements, who had instigated the mob.

One person had died and several others were wounded in the police firing while they were protesting against the visit of spiritual guru Ashutosh’s visit to the city.

It is learnt that even the Sikh radicals wanted to lodge peaceful protest and did not want to take the law in their hands. But few anti-social elements in the crowed took advantage of the opportunity and reportedly incited the youths to charge on the police vehicles.

In no time the entire situation went out of hand and resulted in bloodshed.

The miscreants did not stop here, they put up the violent images and videos of the December 5 clash between the Punjab police and activists of the Sikh-radical organisations protesting against Ashutosh Maharaj, chief of the Divya Jyoti Jagriti Sansthan, on video sharing site-You Tube.

Meanwhile, the Punjab police is on the look out for the miscreants, who had uploaded the ‘disturbing’ videos on the net.

The site is currently showing many videos ranging from two minutes to six minutes, which also contains provocative speeches.

The videos do not show the radicals attacking the police but show the cops firing at Sikh activists, who were brandishing swords and pelting bricks at the police.

The police has also been shown mercilessly thrashing a man with sticks. Darshan Singh, the man, who died in the incident has been shown doubled up on the road, while a youth who sustained bullet injury on his abdomen can be seen screaming for help.

A top police official while requesting anonymity said they had received orders from the top police officials to register cases against the anti-social elements for provocating with intent to cause riot against few people, who were deliberately trying to destabilise peace and stability in the state.



City gets PSEB customer-care centre
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, December 20
The state government will set up four new thermal power plants to increase power generation. With this, the state will not only be self-sufficient in power generation but also become a power surplus state, said Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.

He said biomass and solar energy-based power plants were also being set up. Badal was here to inaugurate a customer care centre and a call centre for electricity related complaints. These centres have been set up at the Janta Nagar division of the Punjab State Electricity Board.

Elaborating on power generation scenario in the state, Badal said with the efforts of the state government, the Shahpur Kandi project had been declared a national project. He, however, lamented that the previous Congress government never made any attempt towards adding new power generation sources, which resulted in huge deficiency in the power sector.

On steps being taken by the PSEB to improve customer service and ensure speedy disposal of supply related complaints, the CM said setting up of customer care and call centre in the mega city was commencement of a series of such centres which were proposed to be established later at all major towns, including Jalandhar, Amritsar, Patiala, SAS Nagar (Mohali) and Bathinda at a cost of Rs 18 crore. In the next phase, such facilities would also be provided in 47 other towns and cities of Punjab, he sad.

The CM, while being appreciative of the new techniques being applied by the PSEB for convenience of the consumers, dwelt upon another pilot project for Ludhiana “Ghar baithey bijli da connection pao”. The applicants would have to make a phone call and have the representative of the PSEB at their doorstep to complete all formalities. Under this customer-friendly scheme, new electricity connections would be issued within a week.

PSEB chairman Harinder Singh Brar said the facility of customer care centre and the electricity complaint centre (call centre) would be available round-the-clock for the customers who register their complaints by calling on the landline number 5055520 for costumer care support and 5055510 for supply-related complaints. “A computer-based solution to the requirement of the costumer will be used for efficient and speedy disposal of complaints,” he said.

On improvement of power distribution system in the city, Brar said the PSEB was already supplying power to Ludhiana through seven 220KV sub-stations. Another 220KV sub-station at Ferozepur Road would be commissioned before the next paddy season so as to provide relief to the area.

Hira Singh Gabria, Jails and Tourism Minister, Punjab, KD Chaudhary, member Distribution, PSEB focused on the steps being taken for improving power distribution system and enhancement of power generation for the convenience of the people. 



New techniques for safe heart surgery soon
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 20
Dr Harinder Singh Bedi, head of cardio-vascular surgery at the Christian Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana, attended a conference organised by the International Society for Minimally Invasive Cardiothoracic Surgery (ISMICS) in Gurgaon recently.

The CME was attended by over 500 international and national cardiac specialists. Dr Bedi said it was enlightening to hear experts talk about their experience of cutting edge technology. He predicted that in the next five years, there would be a sea change in the way of treating heart diseases. Robotic and stem cell therapy are poised to radically improve results and make surgery safer for patients.

In stem cell therapy, the patients own multi-potent cells are injected into dead heart muscle to rejuvenate it.

The other new field is that of robotic surgery wherein a miniature robot with surgical hands is introduced through a keyhole. The surgeon controls the movements of the robot with a computer. Precise beating heart surgery is possible with all 3 arteries of the heart being changed with virtually no scar on the patient. Dr Bedi has had previous training in the control of the latest Da Vinci robot, which is a state of the art machine in the medical field.



‘Innovation key to development of industry’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 20
The management of the Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings (CICU) organised a seminar at its complex here yesterday.

In his inaugural speech, Inderjit Singh Pardhan, president, CICU, and chairman, Small Scale Industry Development Board, Punjab, said the Indian industry was passing through rough phase. He said the CICU was regularly conducting seminars and workshops to provide innovative and empowering solutions crucial for development of the MSME Industry.

Upkar Singh, joint secretary, welcomed the participants and said consequent upon the increased globalisation of the Indian economy, the MSME sector was facing new challenges. In order to cope with the global trends, competition and national development, MSMEs need improvement in the field of credit, marketing, technology and infrastructure. With this background, the CICU had organised the special programme conducive to the growth and development of the MSME sector. The tools were fundamental instruments to improve the quality of products. They were used to analyse the production process, identify major problems, control fluctuations of product quality and provide solutions to avoid future defects. 



Training in value-added products
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 20
The Central Institute of Post Harvest Engineering and Technology, Ludhiana, organised an entrepreneurship development programme on “Development of value added meat products using simple technologies” on its campus.

This was the first-of-its-kind training programme in the country available for livestock and fishery farmers. Dr Suresh K. Devtakal, senior scientist, was the programme co-coordinator. Livestock farmers and entrepreneurs from Punjab and Maharashtra got hands-on training on preparation of sausages, salamis, kebabs, fish fingers, blocks and meat pickles. They were also provided information on handling different equipments, hygienic practices and packaging methods to preserve the meat products.

Dr RT Patil, director, CIPHET and Dr Mahendra Kumar Sharda, deputy director, ATMA, Ludhiana, distributed certificates to the participants. 



From Schools & Colleges
Students at their creative best
Tribune News Service

A participant at work during an inter-school fashion illustration competition held in Ludhiana on Sunday.
A participant at work during an inter-school fashion illustration competition held in Ludhiana on Sunday. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, December 20
The Sportking Institute of Fashion Technology, Ludhiana, hosted an inter-school fashion illustration competition on at its premises here today.

Students from various schools participated in the contest with zest. This contest was for the winners of the competition, which was earlier held as a part of the workshop conducted by the institute in the participating schools in and around Ludhiana. In all, 24 schools participated in the contest.

The students were given a fashion figure with a garment in which they had to splash their creativity with ingenious colour combinations, ornamentation, graphics and prints. Winners were given prizes.


1 Loveleen Kaur from Sacred Heart Convent School. 2 Gurveen from Guru Nanak International School. 3 Tarvinder Singh, BCM Basant Avenue. The consolation prizes were given to Gurleen Kaur and Jaspreet Singh.

Christmas celebrated

Christmas was celebrated at the Christian Medical College and Hospital here last night with gaiety.

Coordinated by Stanley Thomas and his team in the fellowship department, the hospital organised Christmas Camp-2009. The function included an array of events, cultural programmes and prayers. The programme was attended by over 2,000 people, including staff members of the CMCH and their families and representatives from local churches.

Participants from the maintenance staff, combined paramedicals, clerical staff, nursing department and campus staff children presented several group songs while the ancillary staff enthralled with a qawali around a campfire.

Pastor Thomas Gill of SDS Church was the guest speaker while Dr SM Bhatti, principal of the medical college, Triza Jewan, principal of nursing college, Dr Abhi M. Thomas, principal of the dental college, medical superintendent Dr Kanwal Masih, deputy medical superintendent Dr Nitin and Dr Valsa were also present on the occasion. The event concluded with a prayer.



No-confidence motion against nagar 
panchayat chief
Gurminder Singh Grewal

Khamano, December 20
The way was cleared to remove Nagar Panchayat president Gian Chand when no-confidence motion moved against him by councillors was passed by a two-third majority.

A meeting of the Nagar Panchayat was held in the office under observer Khamano SDM Inderjit Kaur Kang in which the area MLA Jagjiwan Singh Khirnian was also present.

The president was asked by the observer to prove his majority but eight councillors out of 11 raised their hands against the president and passed their no confidence motion.The SDM after the meeting told mediapersons that no-confidence motion against the president was passed by a majority of the members and they would send their report to the Deputy Commissioner and other officials concerned. They also said that Nagar Panchayat vice-president Kamlesh Kumari wouldlook into the work of Nagar Panchayat till the election of a new president.



Post-harvest training for farmers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 20
Twenty farmers from Nalanda, Bihar, received training in “Post-harvest technology for rural catchments” at the Central Institute of Post Harvest Engineering and Technology (CIPHET), PAU campus.

The training program was sponsored by the Agricultural Technology Management Agency, Nalanda.

On the concluding day, CIPHET director Dr RT Patil said, “As the life is becoming fast in big cities, demand for ready-to-cook food is increasing day by day.”

Asking farmers to tap this market, he said storage and packaging of food was important for getting right price. He also shared a few techniques of storing onion crop and producing powder for value addition.

Dr Deepak Raj Rai, head, transfer of technology division, and Dr Sangeeta Chopra, senior scientist, were also present on occasion.

During the seven-day training programme, farmers were made aware about extrusion technology for ready-to-eat products, minimal processing and MAP of vegetables, concept of agro-processing centre for rural catchments, product showcasing, beetroot processing, technology for processing of onion, garlic and ginger, processing of soybean/ groundnut. CIPHET has also taken feedback from farmers about meeting of objective for organising this training programme. 



Paediatrics heart care clinic opens
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 20
Dr GL Avasthi, director medical services, SPS Apollo Hospital, inaugurated a Paediatric Heart Care Clinic in the hospital yesterday.

The clinic will provide multidisciplinary care by paediatric cardiac surgeons, paediatric cardiologists, neonatologists, paediatric cardiac intensivists, anaesthesiologists, pulmonologists, respiratory therapists, nurses, and other caregivers.

Also comprehensive care for septal defects (ASD, VSD and more complicated TOF), patent ducts arteriosus, hypoplastic left heart syndrome, aortic valve disease, aortic abnormalities and other simple and complex congenital or acquired heart defects will be availed at the clinic. 



Doraha-Ludhiana-Ferozepur Road
4-laning to begin shortly, felling starts
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, December 20
The project of four-laning the road along the canal from Doraha to Ludhiana till the Ferozepur junction it seems will begin shortly as the process of the felling of tress is in the full swing for the past a few days.

As per the report, the department has cleared the initial hitch and the formalities and the tenders are on the verge of finalisation, “which too shall be overcome by the end of the month or the beginning of the New Year” told a PWD employee. The utility shifting by the Punjab State Electricity Board and the formalities involved with the forest department, too, have been overcome by the PWD department.

“The paper process is at the last legs and the tenders have reached the allotment stage,” informed a senior PWD official. “This two-year project of the four-laning of the road along the canal is being financed by the Punjab Infrastructure Development Board and is to be executed by the Public Works Department”, he added.

Rakesh Kumar Garg, XEN, Canals, said once the tenders were allotted to a particular contractor, it would take another two to three months for the mobilisation. Many a tragedy had actually happened and others averted as a matter of sheer chance due to the eroded edges along the canal. The plight of the commuters commuting along the canal has been highlighted through the columns of this paper. The need for the erection of four-lane was strongly felt as the situation was worsening with each passing day.

Although the entire stretch from the Ludhiana to Gurthali bridge is at places hazardous but the one especially between Tibba and Gurhtali bridge is in no way less than a death trap. During daytime the commuters with sheer grit and tact somehow manage to escape the mishap but at night the passage becomes almost impenetrable.

The deteriorated edges along the canal and at places opposite to the canal, where the earth has become soft, could lead to accidents. . The risk has increased manifold with more and more vehicles, fearing the bottlenecks involved in the city’s interior, prefer this route. 



Midday Meal: Students to get more despite price hike
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 20
In order to make the midday meal scheme more effective and foolproof the Union government has amended norms on menu of food to be served, expenses to be incurred on each student and wages to be paid to the cooks.

Besides enhancing rate of per capita expenses for primary and upper primary-level students substantially, the authorities have directed the officials concerned to take decisions justifying ‘conscience’ in each case.

The decision was taken following reports of alleged malpractice of adjusting budget by marking absentees present and window-dressing by altering the menu.

Per capita allotment of funds under the Union government midday meal scheme for primary and upper primary-level students has been increased from Rs 2.08 and Rs 2.60 to Rs 2.50 and Rs 3.75, respectively. Weight of pulses and vegetable has been increased from 25 gm and 65 gm to 30 gm and 75 gm for the upper primary- level students, fixing 20 gm and 50 gm for primary students. New refined oil allocation is 7.5 gm and 5 gm for the two categories.

According to a communiqué from the director general (school education) and the director, Sarav Sikhya Abhyan, Punjab, the district authorities had been directed to depute a cook for preparing food for group of 25 students each and pay them Rs 1,000 per month as wages.

However, the officials accomplishing ultimate implementation have been provided cushion to make the scheme more effective. “But there is a need to take a decision justifying conscience in view of actual situation,” reads a paragraph of the communication.

Investigations by The Tribune revealed that officials undertaking implementation of the midday meal scheme had started adopting some malpractices in order to nullify deficit in budget due to price hike and other factors beyond their control.

Failing to persuade them to attend school despite luring them with sweet dishes, cooked rice and dal-roti under the scheme, many teachers marked the presence of absentees. The practice, though unfair, enabled them feed smaller number of students with otherwise insufficient funds available for the purpose. The DG (SE) had then ordered all DEOs (elementary education) of the state to direct heads of schools in their areas to stop the malpractice.

Absenteeism was more prevalent among rural area students than urban counterparts. Arbitrary alteration in menu and skipping over meals frequently were other malpractices observed by the authorities.



Poets relive Sahir magic
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 20
Amid poetic salutations and accolades, Urdu poets brought alive memories of their favourite ‘shayar’ Sahir Ludhianvi at the Jashn-e-Sahir, the 37th annual international ‘mushaira’ hosted by the Adeeb International (Sahir Cultural Academy) yesterday.

At least 12 poets from all over the country came together to celebrate Sahir’s poetry at the Nehru Siddhant Kendra here.

Noted Urdu poet Hasib Soz, while paying tributes to Sahir, said, “Sahir is my favourite poet as he kept the ‘adab’ of Urdu poetry alive through his lyrics in Hindi films. He lives in the heart of every Urdu poet as he touched the lives of poets.”

For the common man, Sahir was a romantic poet, but only a few knew his approach as a socialist, as evident from his verse “Harek daur ka mazhab naya khuda laya, karen to hum kis khuda ki baat karen.”

Dr Kewal Dheer, chief organiser, when asked by a poet why the word ‘jashn’, connoting celebration, was used for a dead poet, said, “Sahir’s poetry is immortal. Even after years, it is like a whiff of fresh air. Every verse of his is a celebration in itself, which can aptly be termed as jashn.”

Azam Shakiri, a poet from Uttar Pradesh, described Sahir as a true son of Punjab. None of the poets, despite being celebrities, had been able to beat Sahir, he said.

Sahir lived in millions of hearts through his simple, yet touching, verses like “Main pal do pal ka shayar hun, pal do pal meri kahani hai,” he added. The poets credited Sahir as a pioneer as lyricist who was given credit for his songs on the silver screen.

Sagar Sialkoti, a local poet, said, “His honesty and humility, coupled with talent, was what made him different from others. Sahir was an institution in himself,” he observed.



Youth Cong to hold training camp
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 20
The urban and rural units of the District Youth Congress will jointly organise a two- day training camp for preparing the ranks for the “aam admi ka sipahi” (AAPS) drive, a community service and mass contact programme, at Hari Om Mandir Dharamshala here on December 30 and 31.

Dimple Rana and Lakhbir Singh Lakha, presidents of urban and rural district units respectively, said today that senior party leaders, including state president Ravneet Singh Bittu, would interact with block presidents, district delegates and other office bearers to apprise them of the purpose and modalities for effective implementation of the programme, which had been launched at the initiative of Rahul Gandhi, the AICC secretary and the youth icon of the Congress.

“We shall impart comprehensive training to the party functionaries to carry out their assigned duties under the programme and the modalities for organising community welfare projects as well as effective mass contact programmes on a continuing basis,” Rana added.

Prominent among those present on the occasion were Kamalpreet Singh, Harish Dua, Kuldip Sharma, Sunil Shukla, Tejinder Chahal, Deepak Gupta, Shamsher Shera, Abbas Raja, Balraj Jagota, Gurpreet Singh Rinku, Rahul Bhasin, Sanjeev Arora, Harwinder Singh Dhindsa, Gurmukh Singh Chahal and Pradeep Kumar Dhall.



Post-H1N1 complications resulting in deaths
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 20
Experts in the city have termed the post swine flu “complications” as the cause behind the majority of deaths wherein the infected lungs fail to supply oxygen to the vital organs.

Dr Kanwal Massih, medical superintendent, Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH), while referring to the recent deaths due to the swine flu stated that the patients who died of H1N1 virus have been put under “C” category. “The patients were admitted with high grade fever, feeling low/irritable, passing blood in sputum, loss of appetite low blood pressure, blue nails and were immediately put on ventilators but it didn’t work,” said Dr Massih.

A few city doctors even ruled out the possibility of “low immunity” being the main factor in spread of H1N1 virus as they pointed towards the young people falling prey to the disease. “More than 90 per cent positive cases have been reported between 22 and 45 years of age,” the doctor added.

Meanwhile, principal secretary, Health, Punjab, Satish Chandra, said the district hospitals and sub-divisional hospitals were well stocked with Tamiflu medicine and syrup. “In addition to this, isolation wards have been set up in all district hospitals and 36 sub-divisional hospitals.

The department has strengthened five Civil Hospitals at Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Bathinda and Mohali for tackling swine flu-related cases.

He also stated that the department was empanelling two private laboratories for H1N1 test. The services of these laboratories could be utilised in case of rush at the PGIMER, Chandigarh.

The patients can contact the departmental control room in the office of the Director, Health Services, Punjab, at 2603276 and nodal officers designated in all districts. 



Exporters meet Customs officials
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 20
The Export Engineering Promotion Council (EEPC) organised an interactive session with the exporters and Custom officials recently. SK Goel, member (Customs), Central Board of Excise and Customs, was the chief guest. Chief Commissioner, Chandigarh, PK Sarohi, Commissioner, Central Excise, Charanjit Singh, Commissioner, Customs, Ranjit Singh were also present on the occasion.

It was discussed that the server at ICD, Ludhiana, was very old. It could not take the present load. The import and export of container in 2008 -09 was about 1.5 lakh container whereas there were only 9,225 containers in 2002-03.

There was a shortage of staff in the local department, added exporters. Besides this, there was a staff crunch due to the increase in the workload.

It was also proposed to upgrade the Ludhiana ICD to commisionerate level.

There should be an office of Commissioner (Customs) in Ludhiana.

Goel assured them that the new system would be installed by December end or by January 15. 



Unscheduled power cuts are here to stay
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, December 20
Residents of Doraha and Sahnewal are again forced to reel under scheduled and unscheduled power cuts, which are taking a heavy toll on their personal lives, leave aside the farming, business, trade and the industrial sector.

People are being forced to bear a nearly five to six-hour power cuts, almost daily. Those living in the town allege that the unscheduled power cuts have literally put a halt in to their day today activities.

“The situation becomes all more grim when the power is restored after a gap of nearly four to five hours and goes off again in 10 minutes due to occasional faults occurring in the supply line. Apart from this the regular maintenance work which lasts for almost 12 hours is taking a heavy toll and especially costing dear especially to the small shopkeepers who have to practically keep all work suspended in the absence of power. “I fail to understand why do the electricity board employees fail to indulge in such routine repair and maintenance work during the long periods of scheduled cuts”, questioned a senior citizen?

“Due to the non- paddy sowing season or for that matter there is practically no load of air conditioners and coolers, the power cuts seem to be altogether unjustified. On one hand the government is giving assurances that power supply would be made surplus by 2011 and on the other hand the non-supply, even in winters, is nothing less than a pre-warning to the consumers for the miserable summers ahead. In the existing scenario we can very well foresee the hard times ahead. The promise of the government to make Punjab rich in power supply has ended up in a fiasco and the collapse, this winter, has been near total” a man rued.



Polluting Unit: Villagers’ fight for health revival
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 20
As environmentalists gather at Copenhagen to devise methods to counter growing pollution, residents of Jitwal village and localities surrounding it are waging a battle to seek revival of their health affected by uncontrolled carbon emissions from a factory situated at the village.

Responding to an appeal by Dhuri legislator Iqbal Singh Jhoondan at Vidhan Sabha recently, the state government has initiated action against the erring industrial unit — Ralson Carbons — but steps have not been taken to gauge the loss caused to residents over the decades.

Claiming that management committee of the industrial unit would not be allowed to run the plant without making necessary amendments under the guidelines of the Punjab Pollution Control Board, Iqbal Singh Jhoondan said he would take up the matter with the Chief Minister and get a medical team deputed to examin all residents.

Jhoondan said a special committee led by a senior environment engineer of the PPCB had been constituted after the issue was raised in the Assembly recently.

Acting under the provisions of the Prevention and Control of Air Pollution, the board had proscribed the management committee of the industrial unit from running pollution causing plant till necessary amendments were made.

The administration has also decided to send another team to evaluate pollution fighting arrangements already made.

Investigations by The Tribune revealed that residents of Jitwal village and 12 other localities had been facing the brunt of pollution causing emissions of the unit established in 1984.

The affect of the carbon particles could be gauged easily from blackened walls of buildings and road surface in the vicinity of the unit.

Organised protests by social organisations of the area had failed to impress upon the authorities to direct the management cut the level of carbon emissions.

This was probably the first time that the issue was raised in the Assembly.

Recognising the role of the legislators in action initiated to curb the menace, residents have demanded that those suffering from diseases allegedly caused due to pollution should be provided treatment free of cost either by the government or the management committee of the unit.



Babys’day out at Mother's Pride school
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 20
It was surely a baby's day out at Mother's Pride Junior Pre-School here today. Dressed in their best, over 200 cute tiny tots from all over the city gathered at the school along with their parents, to participate in the grand baby show.

Excited and giggling, the smart toddlers, most of whom were pre-school goers, faced the volley of questions posed by the panel of jury, confidently even as they got ample opportunity to mingle with other kids their age.

Age-wise, children were divided into four groups - 0-6 months, 7-12 months, 1-2 years, 2-3 years. The children were judged according to their health and IQ. A panel of child specialists and experts evaluated the children on medical and other related aspects, on the basis of which the winners were chosen. The show was held in two parts - from 9:30 am to 12.30 pm and from 2 pm to 5 pm. The competitions included most healthy baby, sunniest smile, most active baby, friendliest baby, most attractive baby and most sparkling eyes. A special contest to judge the parenting skills, a most aware parents contest, was also held in which parents were asked to answer a simple questionnaire, based on the basic needs and upbringing of the child.

However, Super Baby contest was the most coveted among all, with almost each one of those present, having his/ her eyes set on the award.

Various fun activities, invloving the participatrion of both, parents as well as kids, were also held besides an array of competitions to select the winners. Numerous games were arranged for the children and prizes given to the winners on the spot. Surprise gifts and prizes brought smiles on baby faces as the joy of victory found expression in sweet cackle filling the air.

As happy as the kids were to be a part of the show, the parents were seen expressing a desire to have more such shows in the city on a regular basis as, "they are great-confidence booster for children," said Parminder Kaur and Aditi Gupta, mothers of particpants.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, Shobhan Soi, director of the host school, remarked, "The show has turned out to be a grand success."

This is the school's first baby show but definitely not the last, remarked Soi, adding, "The show was a hit right from the time it was planned as queries from enthusiastic parents, waiting eagerly to get their children registered for the contest, started pouring in quite early."

Results of the contest will be declared tomorrow.



PNB Exam Centre in Delhi
Candidates from North inconvenienced
Shivani Bhakoo and Mahesh Sharma
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 20
The examination for the post of probationary officers in Punjab National Bank, held in New Delhi today, put candidates from this part of the region in "trouble".

They felt that their one day was wasted in travelling. They said the authorities should have made one centre in the state itself.

The test was conducted for hundreds of those who had cleared the preliminary examination conducted four months ago. Candidates from the entire northern region, including Punjab, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Chandigarh and Uttar Pradesh, appeared at centres established in Delhi. The other centres were in Chennai, Mumbai and Kolkota.

But candidates from the North, especially Punjab, felt that the bank authorities should have made one or two centres in Punjab.

Pankaj Uppal from Sangrur said, "The test was of PNB. The name itself suggests that importance should have been given to Punjab. Surprisingly, no centre was made here. We found it difficult to go to Delhi to take the exam," he said.

This was not an isolated case. There were several other candidates, who felt the same way.

Another candidate from Ludhiana, Ravinder Singh, said it was very convenient last time when a centre was made in Chandigarh for preliminary exams.

"Now we had to go to Delhi for taking the exam. I did not want to take any risk, so I left for Delhi yesterday only. But it caused a lot of inconvenience to candidates, who had to reach Delhi from far-off places," said Ravinder Singh on phone, adding that their whole day was wasted in journey.

Deputy General Manager PNB GS Chauhan said their office had no intimation about the exams being conducted in Delhi. "I cannot comment on it since I have no information," he said.



Land dispute settled amicably
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 20
Setting an example for others to follow, the municipal corporation yesterday solved a dispute over the ownership of a plot in Kidwai Nagar peacefully. Municipal Commissioner AK Sinha, who visited the plot and met the members of both the groups that were at loggerheads since December 13, in this regard made efforts.

While senior deputy mayor Praveen Bansal, who claimed that the plot was a public property, was leading one of the groups comprising local residents the other group was of a family residing on that piece of the land for many years. They claimed that the land belonged to Mahmuda Begum as they had been paying house tax and water tax to the civic body for the past several years.

Giving both groups a chance to put their views forward and present evidences for claim of ownership rights, it was finally decided that the land belonged to the civic body and a public park would be constructed over it. Sinha gave the family residing there two days time to vacate the land.

The MC officials thanked residents for lending support in solving the issue amicably. Apart from it, the civic body also added another feather to its cap by protecting its public park from getting encroached upon.

Welcoming the decision, residents said, “We thank the municipal commissioner for sorting out the matter. We were ready to help the family that was living on that land, but were against setting up of a mosque, but to our much astonishment, the Muslims residing in that area also supported us.” 



Woman held under NDPS Act
Tribune Reporters

Ludhiana, December 20
A woman, who was on the run for the past three years in a drug paddling case, has been arrested. The accused has been identified Rani, a resident of Khanpur village in Phillaur. She was declared a proclaimed offender by the court about three years ago. According to Division no.2 SHO, the Nakodar police also booked her in the similar case.

43 LPG cylinders seized

The Dhandari police yesterday nabbed three men for illegally trading in LPG. About 43 cylinders were seized from their possession. These cylinders were stolen from Rachna Gas agency, a few days ago. The three accused are said to be migrant from Bihar.

Thief nabbed

The Divison no.2 police nabbed a thief, who was on the run for the past one month after committing a theft in the house of a local Samajwadi party leader, yesterday. The accused has been identified as Parmod Kumar. The accused was nabbed from the Janakpuri area, while he was planning to leave the city.

Poppy husk seized

Jagraon: Cops have seized about 500 grams of poppy husk from an almirah of a clerk working in the PSEB office located at the Moga Road. The Jagraon city SHO reached the PSEB office and asked for a particular clerk who was found to be absent. The clerk was called to the office. The SHO in the presence of the office staff asked him to open the almirah. About 450 grams of poppy husk, kept in a poly bag, was recovered from the almirah. Sources revealed that the clerk had kept the contraband for his consumption. A few days ago the clerk had refused to part with even the small quantity of the contraband. His colleague informed the police about the presence of the contraband, which was later seized by the cops.

10-gm heroin seized

The Ludhiana (Rural) police arrested Jasvir Singh of Rajpura along with 10-gram heroin. He was arrested from near Hathoor. The accused has been booked under the NDPS Act.



4 booked on assault charges
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, December 20
The Dakha police has booked four youths for armed assault charges against each other. The incident occurred on November 24 morning at Pamal village near here. Both the group had quarrelled over some issue a few days before the clash and the families were trying to reach out for a compromise.

Both groups had intimated the matter to the Dakha police, who entered the complaints in the Daily Diary Report and waited for the medical reports of both of them.

Yesterday, after the medical reports reached the Dakha police station, the police on the statement of Jaspreet Singh of Jodhan village registered a case against Jaspreet Singh and Harminder Singh, alias Sunny, of Pamal village under Sections 323, 325, 34 of the IPC and made a cross case against Jaspreet Singh of Jodhan village and Balwinder Singh of Pamal village on the statement of Sunny under Sections 341, 323, 506, 34 of theIPC.

Interestingly, both parties came prepared for the clash equipped with sharp-edge weapons and yet claim themselves to be innocent blaming the other party responsible for the bloody clash.

No arrest has been made by the police from any of the two groups.



Youth killed in accident

Raikot, December 20
A youth was killed in an accident when he was hit by an unidentified Indica car last night.

The victim identified as Balwinder Singh (34) of Halwara village, a carpenter by profession, was returning home at 8.30 pm after taking medicine from a doctor when he was hit by a white-colored Indica car near the guard room at AF Halwara.

The victim sustained head injuries and died on the spot. Though the car driver fled from the scene along with the car, some eye witnesses noted down the number of the car as HR 17 5009 and intimated of it to the Sudhar police.

The Sudhar police registered a case. — OC



Chess Tourney
Gursher emerges champion
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, December 20
Top-seed Raminderbir Singh from the State Bank of Patiala lost to Gursher Singh, an international player, in the final of the senior section of the Ludhiana District Chess Championship that concluded at the Janj Ghar, Shastri Nagar, here today.

In a contest that lasted for 80 moves, Gursher Singh tamed Raminderbir Singh with 6/6 score. Gursher overcame stiff challenge put up by his rival with white pieces in the 'gluco piano' opening game in the last round match.

In the senior women's section, Diksha of Green Land Public School prevailed over Tapsi Pahwa, also from the same to clinch the title.

In the under-11 category (boys), Himmat Singh of Guru Nanak Public School outperformed Vaibhav Manchanda of BCM Senior Secondary School to romp home as winner while in the girl's section, Samridhi Manchand of BCM Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagr branch came out triumphant.

In the boy's under 15 category, Jashanpreet Singh, a student of Green Land Public School, Jalandhar bypass branch defeated his schoolmate, Shubham Shukla to fetch the title.

In the girl's under 15 section, overpowered her opponent, Himandeep Kaur of Guru Nanak Public School to bag top honours.

Dr JS Cheema, general secretary, Punjab State Chess Association distributed the prizes.Meanwhile, on the basis of their performance during this championship, the following players have been selected to represent the Ludhiana district in the Punjab State-B Chess Championship slated to be held at Malerkotla from December 24 to 27.

The names of the selected players include (senior)- Gursher Singh, Raminderbir Singh, Amarjit Singh, Piyush Manuja, Rajiv Verma, Rahul Lamba, Guru Prasad, Anurudh Garg and Gurbax Rai Loomba.

U-15 years: Jashanpreet Singh, Imanjot Singh Deol and Shubham Shukla.

Results: boys u-11: 1 Himmat Singh of Guru Nanak Public School- 5.5 pts , 2 Vaiabhav Manchanda of BCM School, Shastri Nagar- 5 (21.5) pts, 3 Anmol Bhaskar of Green Land Public School, Chandigarh road branch- 5 (15) pts.

Girls u-11: 1 Samridhi Manchanda of BCM School, Shastri Nagar- 5.5 pts, 2 Shubhamdeep Kaur of Guru Nanak Public School- 4 pts, 3 Muskan Lamba of Green Land School, Jalandhar byepass branch- 3 pts.

Boys u-15: 1 Jashanpreet Singh of Green Land School, Jalandhar byepass branch- 5.5 pts, 2 Imanjot Singh Deol of DAV School, Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar- 5 (23) pts, 3 Shubham Shukla of Green Land School, Jalandhar byepass branch- 5 (22.5) pts.

Girls u-15: 1 Amanpreet Kaur Grewal of Green Land School, Jalandhar byepass branch 4 (22.5) pts, 2 Himandeep Kaur of Guru Nanak Public School- 4 (19) pts, 3 Shruti Tiwari of BCM School, Dugri branch- 4 (18.5) pts.

Men (senior): 1 Gursher Singh- 6 pts, 2 Raminderbir Singh of State Bank of Patiala- 5 (26) pts, 3 Amarjit Singh- 5 (23.5) pts.

Women (senior): 1 Diksha of Green Land School, Jalandhar byepass branch- 4 pts, 2 Tapsi Pahwa of Green Land School, Jalandhar byepass branch- 3.5 pts, 3 Prerna Saini of Green Land School, Jalandhar bypass branch- 3 pts. 



Kabaddi tournament hunting ground for travel agents
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 20
Immigration agents had a field day during the Canada-America Kabaddi cup at Guru Nanak Stadium here today.

Several agents were seen distributing pamphlets, visiting cards and luring innocent village youths, who had converged on the stadium to witness the kabaddi tournament.

Some of the travel agents were even guaranteeing to send the youths to Canada in 14 days. Pamphlets were scattered in the entire stadium.

"A youth, who was claiming himself to be an IELTS instructor, was standing in the parking lot. No sooner had I parked my vehicle, he gave me a pamphlet. He told me that the education service providers would take care of my IELTS results. I just need to arrange Rs 7 lakh for student visa," said Charanjit Singh, a student who came all the way from Jagraon to watch the kabaddi tournament.

Even the cops did not question these “conmen” who were seen duping rural youths on the pretext of sending them abroad.

A basketball coach, who was watching the kabaddi tournament, said, "People of rural areas easily fall prey to travel agents who manage to mix with the crowd and target the youths who aspire for greener pastures abroad."

It has been seen that travel agents use the opportunity to extract money from innocent youths on the pretext of sending them abroad. During these tournaments, immigration agents receive the advance payment or token money, while the rest of the payment is paid later.



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