L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Migrants’ distress calls
Cops to react in 5 minutes
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 9
Post the recent incident of migrants' fury following anger due to police inaction, the Punjab Police will now react to any distress call coming from the migrant-dominated areas within five minutes.

A police party from the nearest police station will reach the place of call within this time to hear the grievances. This was said by Punjab, Director-General of Police PS Gill, who was in the city as part of confidence-building measures initiated to woo migrants back.

He added that till the time more cops were posted in the pickets, specially set up for the migrant areas, the police from the nearest police stations would be rushed to the spot.

The DGP, while addressing a specially convened function oraganised by the Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertaking (CICU), said the migrants would not be neglected, as their complaints would be redressed.

Industrialists have helped the police to get 100 boards, which will have Focal Point police station with its phone numbers painted on them. These will be put up in migrant-dominated areas for their convenience.

Blaming vested interests for the entire migrant-local episode, the DGP said the issue was fuelled by some peoplefor their own vested interests.

He said the migrants and locals had been living in complete harmony with each other for the past many decades. Never ever such an issue had arisen.

‘‘But we should take this as a wake-up call, as the issues were being swept under the carpet for a long time and that had fanned the tempers of the migrants, ’’ he remarked

Earlier, the SSP Dr SS Gill gave a presentation on the critical analysis of the violence in Ludhiana. He said migrants needed to be treated well, their grievances redressed properly, facilities like healthcare, provident fund and residentship needed to be given to them. The government should ensure that the industrialists paid adequate grants to workers after accidental death.

The administration should ensure free -residential quarters for slum dwellers and poor. A separate railway-reservation counter for migrants and similar facilities should be provided to them as that of residents so that they feel accepted here, he added.


Sale of LPG on black market surges
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 9
The purpose to give subsidy on cooking gas stands defeated in the wake of the sale of the domestic LPG on the black market here.

A cylinder priced at Rs 325 is being sold between Rs 450 and Rs 650.

The Department of Food and Civil Supplies has failed to take any action against the distributors of the LPG who are selling it on the black market.

A large number of gas agencies in Basti Jodhewal, Sarabha Nagar, near Preet Palace, Dugri road, Fieldganj and Pakhowal road are selling gas cylinders meant for domestic consumers to commercial establishments, hotels, restaurants, dhabas and industrial units.

These establishments are supposed to buy the LPG at the commercial rate of Rs 1135 per cylinder.

Raman, a consumer, while protesting said, “My repeated requests have been turned down by the manager of the gas agency and I did not get the LPG supply even after 15 days of the due date for delivery. I was left with no other alternative but to buy a cylinder on the black market at Rs 650 today.”

Another consumer Birender (name changed) from Fieldganj said he had not received the gas supply for the past two months.

“Every time I go to gas agency, I am asked to pay an additional amount of Rs 250 to get a cylinder, but I refuse to buy the cooking gas on the black market, as it is my right to get it on the prescribed subsidy by the government.”

Making a shocking revelation about the malpractices of the managements of oil companies, a local LPG dealer stated that oil companies impose a cut of almost 25 per cent on the supply of the gas agencies, which creates a huge gap between the demand and supply. The gap widens during winter, as there is an increase of almost 10 per cent in the LPG consumption.

A dealer said in the absence of regular raids and checks, oil companies got a chance to fleece their consumers.

RK Bhaskar, Controller, District Food and Civil Supplies, Ludhiana (W), said, “The complainants are requested to give written complaints so that the department can write to oil companies. Also, the department will make sure that dealers return extra money extracted from consumers.”



Fog delays trains
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 9
The late arrival of trains has not only caused inconvenience to passenger but has also marred their travel plans. Passengers missed their flights from Delhi, as even the fastest trains, including Shatabdi, were running late by more than four hours.

Professionals, businessmen and students got late for their respective appointments due to the delay.

The Railways has cited fog and speed restrictions as the reason behind the late arrival of trains.

The delay has caused an additional burden on passengers, as they have to make alternative arrangements for their travel, including hiring cabs or travelling by video coach buses.

Varun, a young entrepreneur, said, “Suspension of flights from Ludhiana is already a major setback for businessmen and now the late running of trains in winter has further added to the stress. I could not reach Delhi in time and as a result, I had to postpone my meeting with international buyers.”



Daily wager dies of asphyxiation
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 9
A daily wager died of asphyxiation, while another had a miraculous escape after they were buried under a part of concrete road that caved in when they were laying a sewerline at Fathegarh Mohalla near Chand Cinema here today.

The deceased was identified as Ram Jatan Paswan (40), a migrant from Bihar, who lived in a shanty situated near the Jassia road, while Sonu (22) also from Bihar, who was residing in Ashok Nagar near Chand Cinema, escaped unhurt.

The incident took place at 1 pm when the two sewermen were working in a 7-foot deep and over 1-foot wide crater. Suddenly, the earth they were digging fell on the labourers. Sonu managed to jump out of the place, while Paswan was buried under the mud.

Private MC contractor Ravi Sethi had employed these labourers. Sonu said 15 labourers were working on the street for laying the sewerline.

He said the incident took place as the concrete road on which they were pilling mud caved in and the concrete slabs fell on the victim's face and he got buried in the hole.

The victim was exhumed after a 30-minute-long rescue operation launched by area residents and other workers. and was rushed to BL Kapoor Memorial Hospital, where he was declared brought dead. Meanwhile, the police has initiated investigation in the matter.




A matter of survival for six children, mother
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 9
The quest for survival in the cruel weather was staring in the face of the six children of Ram Jatan Paswan (40), who died of asphyxiation after he was buried under mud while laying a sewerline in Fatehgarh Mohalla here today. Not only the six children lost their father, they also lost the only breadwinner of the family.

Empty stomached, the five daughters and a son were seen running from pillar to post along with their mother Ganga Devi, completing the formalities posed by the police and the hospital staff after the death of Ram Jatan Paswan.

According to the maternal grandfather Durga Prasad, the family has no stock of food to survive on. The family was running their kitchen on what were Paswan used to earn as daily-wager.

As Paswan was employed as a daily-wager and had no contract with the MC, the latter is not liable to compensate the family.

The family was pinning its hopes on the private contractor, who had employed him.

The shock of losing their father was writ large on the face of the children, as they are not old enough to work. They do not have surplus money to help them.

"Kindly have mercy on us. How would I take care of my children. I have no money left at home and the man who used to earn is no more," said Gang Devi, before falling unconscious at the hospital, after seeing the body of her husband.



Chinese kites flood markets before Lohri
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 8
With Lohri round the corner, colorful kites have started dotting the sky. A wide range of kites from miniature to gigantic size is available in the market.

Chinese kites have taken the market by storm. Colourful kites in the shapes of eagle, dragon, butterfly, birds, fish, beetles etc can be seen flying in the sky every day.

"Chinese kites are giving tough fight to the domestic kite makers. Ranging from Rs 10 to Rs 500, some of these kites are even 7-8 feet high and made up of a fine cloth," said Inder, a kite maker.

The popular kites available in the market include chajj, pari, tukkal, Lucknow kaat and shatranj. The kites from Jaipur and Kolkata too are in demand here.

Colorful paper, plastic and cloth kites are available in market and their prices range anywhere between Rs 1 to Rs 150.

Prem Chand, a shopkeeper at Jawahar Nagar camp, said, "Punjabis known for their festive spirit leave no stone unturned to make it special. Lohri and Basant would be celebrated with colorful kites", added he.

Besides colored-cloth kites, waterproof plastic kites too have flooded the market.

"Waterproof kites are also in demand. The waterproof kites survive the chilly and moist weather conditions that we face during Lohri," added another shopkeeper at Ghumar Mandi.

In addition, miniature kites are also used for decoration. The palm-sized kites will be donning the walls of many homes on Lohri.

"I have bought miniature kites to decorate my home on Lohri. They will go with the spirit of the festival", Manmeet, a homemaker, said.



7 firms surrender undisclosed income
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 9
Undisclosed income worth Rs 7.07 crore was surrendered by seven firms during the income tax surveys held by the department yesterday.

Surveys were held under the supervision of KJ Singh, Range VI, Additional Commissioner.

Deepak Builders, Aggar Nagar, surrendered Rs 4 crore; Berry Marbles, Malhar, and Pakhowal road, surrendered Rs 1 crore; Kohli Chemicals, Industrial Area B, surrendered Rs 27 lakh; UHB Enterprises Private Limited, Industrial Area A, surrendered Rs 40 lakh; Sant Store, Pakhowal road, surrendered Rs 35 lakh; Red Carpet, Shastri Nagar, surrendered Rs 55 lakh and DJ Studio, Pakhowal road, surrendered Rs 50 lakh.



Registration Of Bogus Firms
3 booked by Excise Dept
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 9
The Excise and Taxation Department has booked one of its officer, along with two inspectors, on charges of getting bogus firms registered.

In order to claim the income tax credit (ITC) and refund, industrialists across the district have started presenting bogus turnovers.

While addressing a press meet here, District Excise and Taxation Commissioner Parampal Singh said firms showing bogus turnovers were being dealt with sternly.

“Three criminal cases have been registered, while around 12 more firms are under scanner,” he added.

While Rs 65 lakh, along with the interest, has been recovered from five bogus firms.

Parampal Singh said they had invited around 200 quotations for renting out vends for a year within the MC’s limits. It was observed that some new vendors were having problems, as some of them failed to get space and others, who got it, had to pay more. Otherwise their owners asked them to vacant vends.

“This system is being adopted only in Ludhiana for the financial year 2010-11,” he added.

He said if the system turned out to be successful, it would be followed in other cities as well,” he said.

He added that a vend should be of 10-15 sq m.

“The department is inviting applications for leasing out the vends for a year,” he added.



Another death at Focal Point
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 9
A migrant labourer died of asphyxiation due to the burning of a hearth at Focal Point here today. According to the police labourer died after inhaling carbon monoxide while he was sleeping.

The deceased has been identified Ram Naresh (52), who was living alone in a quarter in Focal Point.

Last night, he burnt a charcoal hearth and closed the room. As there was no ventilator in the room, the Ram Naresh asphyxiated.

The victim was spotted dead when the labourers living in the other quarter broke open the door.



Scrapping of Khamano sub-division decried
Our Correspondent

Khamano, January 9
Resentment prevails amongst residents of Khamano sub-division as the Punjab government plans to scrap the DSP office, here, and even the sub-division status given to the town in the coming days.

According to reliable sources, the state government had planned to raise the number of police stations in the state but is also planned to keep one DSP office in one constituency. If this order comes into force, then the post of the DSP will be scrapped because according to the new setup of constituencies, Khamano sub-division falls in the Bassi Pathana constituency where office of the SDM and the DSP are already working. The residents are apprehensive that the sub-division may be scrapped.

Keeping in view the apprehension, an all-party meeting took place at Gurdwara Sahib Ranwan in which local leaders of different parties had participated. They presented a memorandum to the local Tehsildar to forward it to higher authorities. They also decided to launch an agitation if the sub-division was scrapped. The sub-division had come into existence in 1992 when Late Beant Singh was the Chief Minister.

Common people are also blaming the Akali Dal-BJP government for the anti-people decision and they threatened that the Akali Dal might have to pay the price for it in the coming elections if this order came into force.

Chief Parliament Secretary Bikramjeet Singh Khalsa and MLA Jagjivan Singh Khirnian, when contacted, said that they would take up this matter with the Chief Minister.



Vehicular Pollution, Weather
No respite for traffic cops
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh/ Ludhiana, January 9
Hundreds of cops, who face pollution due to increasing number of vehicles on roads feel that human rights bodies should come to their rescue and impress upon the government to take remedial steps and get them medically examined regularly for diseases that could be caused due to long exposure to non-friendly factors. Recently, they had been overworking in the Traffic Safety Week under cold weather conditions.

Having received repeated warnings from their physicians, the cops demand that the government should take preventive measures at least to minimize harm being done to them.

Investigations by the Ludhiana Tribune revealed that majority of cops performing traffic-regulating duties were upset over the administration’s alleged apathy towards their health. They felt that though huge amount of money and energy was spent on the observance of the Traffic Safety Week, which concluded on Thursday, no government or non-government-organisation bothered to suggest methods for saving them from the slow death.

“If findings of medical research institutes are to be believed, we are the single largest group of any uniformed force that is exposed to pathogenic and carcinogenic factors, including weather extremes and environmental pollution. With no preventive measures at our disposal we are dying a slow death every time we are on duty,” rued a traffic cop, who was diagnosed to be suffering from a lung and blood vascular disease. As the lipid-peroxide level of his plasma was found to be high and the levels of various antioxidants in the RBC lysate on the contrary was low, his doctor had advised him to avoid exposure to adverse environmental factors.

Investigations further revealed that the traffic policemen, posted in cities like Malerkotla, Ludhiana, Raekot and Khanna were also susceptible to genetic damage due to constant exposure to vehicular emissions. The cops, who smoke were found to be at a higher risk of chromosomal aberrations.

Referring to findings of a medical institute in Hyderabad, Dr Ravinder Sharma, president of the local unit of an international social organisation warned that polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, present in vehicular emission were carcinogenic. Frequency of occurrence of such harmful mutations was corresponding with duration of exposure to the pollutants.



Auto-rickshaw body submits charter of demands
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 9
The delegation of Auto-rickshaw Workers Federation today met Cabinet Minister Hira Singh Gabria and submitted a charter of demands to him.

Federation president Jathedar Kulvir Singh Khalsa said for the past several years they had been urging the administration to set up a permanent auto-rickshaw stand in different parts of the city but nothing had been done so far.

"The traffic-congestion problem will also be solved if auto stands are constructed," he said. Further he said that since the auto-rickshaw drivers were less educated so education should not be made criteria for having a driving license.

The charter of demands also mentioned that the permits for the auto-rickshaws should be stopped and permits of valid autos plying presently should be renewed. In addition to this, the government should provide loans on subsidy for buying CNG auots. Nearly 70 to 75 per cent of the pollution problem would be solved with CNG auots, the charter said. 



Industry pleads for lowering duty on power
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 9
Differences over power tariffs and taxes between the two ruling alliance partners in the Punjab government have been a double whammy for industry in the state. Due to scarcity of power industrial units have to depend on costlier captive power as well being made to bear the heavy burden of what they term “undue” taxes on electricity levied by the state government in addition to “unjustified” power tariffs.

Apex Chamber of Commerce & Industry (Punjab) president PD Sharma said the problem needed to be resolved as soon as possible to protect the interests of industry.

“The ruling parties shouldn’t wrangle over power tariffs, which was under the purview of the Punjab Regulatory Commission. Indications are that the panel won’t agree to the government's proposal to subsidise the enhanced rates. The commission is justified on this as the state government hasn’t honoured its commitment of giving the amount collected to PSEB in lieu of free power,” said Sharma.

He said, "The Punjab government levies 10% electricity duty on power. In addition, there is 4 paise octroi on power. These two taxes work out to 50 paise a unit, which is outrageous. Traditionally, the Punjab government has been levying very nominal electricity duty on power. For the past 30 years the duty has remained static at 11 paise a unit on specific basis. The duty should be taken as input and output credit should be given to industrial consumers”

Sharma said Punjab was “facing the ignominy of poor economic health when it was supposed to be in sound economic health”, adding availability and cost were crucial factors in power supply to industrial units.

"We urge the Punjab government to resolve the matter immediately. Besides power the issue of VAT refunds is also assuming importance. With the blockade of VAT refund working capital of industries is shrinking", he underlined.



Scarves, boots in vogue this winter
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

High boots and scarves are a fashion statement this winter.
High boots and scarves are a fashion statement this winter. Tribune photos

Ludhiana, January 9
This season, it is not only coats that are making us warm, even scarves, stoles and boots are protecting us from the cold waves. The winter season is perfect for womenfolk to make a style statement. It is high boots and scarves, which are being 
considered a style statement this winter.

Stoles and shawls swiping the fashion industry are occupying a permanent place in every woman's wardrobe. Women abreast with emerging fashion trends compliment their latest designer dress with fashion accessories. The accessory this winter is a stole rolling down the shoulders or a scarf tucked around the neck.

"A trendy stole or a muffler around a woman's neck is an everlasting trend in the fashion world. Wearing a Pashmina at a hi-fi social gathering is a status symbol. Teenagers wearing stylish ponchos at happening parties and pubs are the latest rage. A jamavar viscose stole, cutwork woolen stole, a beaded stole or an embroidered woolen shawl are popular items attracting women folk," adds Shaksha, a fashion-designing student.

The main trends in this season are ankle boots and over-the-knee boots. Interesting details can be seen on shoes too. Some footwears have fringe, stones, flowers, and have various textures.

The colour palette for the cold season is dark and nearly mystic. Near-black and black and colours like midnight blue, asphalt, dark green, petrol, dark violet and deep reds are on display.

The forms range from rounded oval shapes to shorten and from square-toe styles to the so-called iron tips. Materials for over-the-knee boots are leather, suede, drap, silk or lace. Popular colours are black, grey, brown and red.

These shoes can be worn with short dresses and mini skirts and of course with knickerbockers or with trousers and skinny jeans, tights and long socks. One can put on over-the-knee boots to office or to a party and be in style.



40 felicitated at annual function
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 9
Bagga Institute of Information Technology and Management organised its annual function “Jashan 2010” on Railway road here yesterday. As many as 40 students were felicitated at the annual function.

Simran Bagga, director, presided over the function and Deepinder Singh Sekhon, president, All-India PTU DEP Associates, was the chief guest.

Speakers, including Sekhon, Simran and principal Pardeep Sharda, said information technology and business administration could eradicate unemployment, which they said was the main cause of instability in the urban society.

They said students should get professional knowledge from institutes engaged in imparting quality education.

Hardeep Singh Bagga, convener of the function, said around 100 students of the institute presented a cultural programme.

Ramandeep Kaur, Kamaljit Kaur, Ritu Rani, Amandeep Kaur, Prabhjot Kaur, Navpreet Kaur, Bhawan Deep Kaur, Ramndeep Kaur (II), Jasminder Kaur (BSc IT), Kiranjit Kaur Satwant Kaur, Davinder Kaur, Mandeep Kaur, Bikram Singh (PGDCA), Manjinder Kaur, Kamaljit Kaur (MSc IT), Balwinder Kaur, Talwinder Kaur, Gagandeep Kaur, Jagdeep Singh Rangi and Deepinder Singh (MCA) were felicitated for their outstanding performance.

Bhagwant Singh, Bhupinder Kaur Pandher, state award winner, Bimal Kumar Sharma, councillor, Gurwinder Grewal, sarpanch, Ravinder Puri and Arashdeep Singh were among others, who greeted students.



Nine persons to be honoured
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 9
The Malwa Sabhyacharak Manch, Punjab, will honour nine persons from the city for their achievements in various fields.

They will be honoured at a function on January 11.

Dr Harminder Kaur (scientist), Satinder Sartaj (singer), Harmanpreet Kaur Chahal (sports person), Nirmal Rishi (theatre personality), Daljit Singh , Krishan Kumar (IAS), Gurjatinder Singh Randhawa and Balwinder Singh Sidhu (agriculturist) and Lehmbar Singh (singer) will be honoured on January 11.

‘Parkash Utsav’ ends

The “Parkash Utsav” of Guru Gobind Singh was organised at Malwa Central College of Education for Women. Staff and students of the college participated enthusiastically in the decoration of gurdwara, langar preparation and other activities.

Dr Naginder Kaur highlighted the sacrifice of Guru Gobind Singh for the cause of humanity. Bhai Iqbal Singh from Chhevin Patshahi Gurdwara Sahib recited “Asa di Vaar”. The sangat was totally lost in the melodious recital of kirtan by shabad gayan teams of Malwa Khalsa Senior Secondary School for Boys, Khalsa Senior Secondary School for Girls, Khalsa College for Women and Malwa Central College of Education for Women. The celebrations concluded with an“Ardas”. Langar was served to all.

Pritpal Singh Grewal, president, Sudarshan Singh Deol, secretary, Gurdish Singh Grewal, treasurer, Sarbarinder Kaur Grewal, member, and other members of Khalsa Dewan, principals of sister institutions also participated in the day-long celebrations.

Dr Ravinder Kaur, principal, Malwa Central College of Education for Women, proposed the vote of thanks.



Renal Operations
‘CMCH committed to affordable treatment
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 9
Renowned renal transplant surgeon Dr Ganesh Gopalakrishnan delivered an oration on the 27th death anniversary of Dr LH Lobo, former principal of the CMCH, Ludhiana.

Recipient of Dr BC Roy award for his contribution in the field of renal transplantation, Dr Gopalakrishnan has performed over 2,500 renal transplant operations during his 40 years of service at the CMC, Vellore.

He is the president of the Urological Society of India.

Dr AG Thomas, director of the CMCH, who was the guest of honour, reiterated that the facilities of haemodialysis and renal transplantation were available at the CMCH for decades and several patients had benefited from these.

“We are committed to providing health care at affordable prices for patients with end-stage kidney disease. Late Dr LH Lobo, former principal of the CMCH, was a victim of the end-stage kidney disease and being a benificiary of the renal transplantation, he continued to serve people of Punjab for many years after transplantation,” Dr Thomas added.

Renal transplantation is the “gift of life” for patients with the end-stage kidney disease. With the shortage of organs and the legal restriction to perform unrelated transplantation, it has become a challenge to look for options for better organ donors. Results of renal transplantation has improved with better surgical technique, advent of minimally invasive procedures, and the availability of more effective immunosuppressive medications with fewer side effects. Renal transplantation has now become an affordable treatment for the end-stage renal disease.

Dr Kim Mammen, professor and head of urology and renal transplant surgeon, highlighted the recent developments in the field of renal transplantation.

He said renal transplantation had become a safe surgical procedure. 



Transparency key to running family trade: Expert
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 9
Leadership transformation, conflict resolution, proper compensation to shareholders, transparency in the financial issues and sound succession planning were some of the important issues which needs to be addressed if a family-owned business had to be made successful in the longer run. This was stated by Puneet Vatsayan, co-founder and chairman, Mobera Systems Pvt Ltd, while delivering a lecture on “Driving Growth and Leadership Transformation Issue in Closely Held Companies” to members of the Ludhiana Management Association here last evening.

Devinder Shorey, Canadian MP, also delivered a lecture on India-Canada as trade partners on the occasion. KNS Kang, General Secretary, Ludhiana Management Association, welcomed the guests and VK Goyal, president of the association, proposed a vote of thanks at the end.

Kang said: “In India most of the companies are closely held unlike the USA and other countries. Company like Cisco in the USA has more than 95 per cent hold of the public and only 5 per cent is in the hands of promoters. Whereas in India, companies like Wipro owned by Azim Premji has 85 per cent of hold and only 15 per cent was in the hands of the public. Hardly any professionals are running the business in Indian companies and it’s because of this that there are only a few Indian companies at the global level.”

Puneet said leaders in closely held companies should be more transparent and have ability to grow themselves as people. He strongly advocated that leaders should delegate the authority to its subordinates if they want to run the companies smoothly. Companies having worth of Rs 10 lakh and Rs 100 crore require different type of skills on the part of their leaders. The families in closely held businesses need to grow as collective entity rather than as bunch of individuals if they want to be successful in the highly professional business scenario. He quoted that world top 100 family owned companies had gross revenue worth $ 3.5 trillion and they were employing 13 million people.

He further added that the conflicts among the family members were the main reason behind the downfall of the family-owned business. Puneet said each and every enterprise passes through the conflicts, but the nature and meaning of conflicts were different in family owned businesses. It was easy to deal if one enters into conflict with the outside stakeholder, but it was very difficult to deal within the family.

Devinder Shorey said India and Canada were similar ethically, linguistically and diversity wise. Both countries had common heritage with approx 1 million Canadian being of the Indian origin.



Decline in swine flu cases
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 9
Despite prevailing cold weather conditions, conducive for breeding of the H1N1 virus, the mortality rate due to the swine flu has reduced by 60 per cent. There has also been 40 per cent decline in number of serious cases during the past eight days.

The doctors have credited this to the awareness campaigns launched by the Union as well as the state’s health ministry wherein people were regularly informed about its prevention, symptoms and management.

The district health authorities had fortified their mass contact programme since December 2009 wherein pamphlets were distributed in almost all localities of the city and the district. The teams of health officials, including the district epidemiologist and the mass media officer, had organised meetings in the educational institutes so as to make people and students aware of the disease.

Dr Deepak Bhatia, state nodal officer for the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme, said those with swine flu symptoms were reporting early and as a result there were lesser complications. “There has been just one death in Punjab in the past six days and the average of swine flu positive cases, too, has gone down to two per day in the past one week,” he added.

Dr Bhatia also confirmed that there had been just two positive cases from the city in past one week.

The situation is under control in the hospitals as their isolation wards, which were filled to the capacity about 10 days ago, now have lesser number of patients.

Dr Kanwal Massih, medical superintendent, Christian Medical College and Hospital, while reviewing the situation stated that people coming with H1N1 infection were reporting early and there was no need to hospitalise them as they were being sent after medical examination followed by dispensation of medicine. “Earlier we were running short of ventilators but now there is stray case of serious Swine Flu infection who needs to be put on ventilator,” Dr Massih added.

Round-the-clock OPD started at the local civil hospital, too, has helped people in early detection of the disease, as the suspected cases are being administered medicine on the spot. 



MC audit branch meeting
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 9
Municipal Commissioner AK Sinha recently met officials of the civic body’s audit branch for discussing about 1,200 cases pertaining to financial irregularities.

According to the municipal officials, the audit branch was asked to keep a check on financial irregularities taking place in the functioning of the civic administration.

Sources in the corporation said the audit branch meeting had not been held organised for the past many years, due to which the branch failed to submit its report to the state assembly.

Sources revealed that the civic issues, which were lying pending for over 30 years, were discussed at the meeting.

Recently, a state committee was constituted to look into the irregularities in the civic body and all respective MCs in the state were asked to submit a report to the committee by January 8.

Additional Commissioner KP Brar, who has prepared a detailed report regarding the financial breaches, submitted it to the commissioner at the meeting recently.

According to sources, the report can land many MC officials in trouble.



5,70,000 to be given polio drops

Ludhiana, January 9
As many as 5,70,000 children will be administered polio drops during the pulse polio drive in Ludhiana on January 10. Additional Deputy commissioner Davinder Singh in a statement issued today, stated that the meeting of the task force was held today.

Around 107 mobile teams and 98 transit teams, including 8302 officials/workers, have been constituted for the drive. About 2166 booths will be put up in the district, wherein polio drops will be administered to children from 9 am to 4 pm.

A door-to-door activity will be performed on January 11 and 12, wherein the teams will cover those children, who would not be able to reach the booths on January 10. — TNS



PAU Notes
250 attend kisan club meet
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 9
The monthly meeting of the PAU Kisan Club was organised in the Wheat Auditorium of Punjab Agricultural University, which was attended by over 250 farmers and farmwomen.

Director of extension education Dr MS Gill said: “The club activities help connect farmers with experts and this help to motivate them to go in for scientific farming.”

Former director of extension education Dr Sarjit Singh Gill shared his experiences of his Canada tour. He stressed the need for environment conservation.

Experts from the PAU provided tips to the farmers about various aspects of agriculture.

Dr Jaswinder Kaur Brar explained the health benefits of green vegetables. Dr Joshi provided for healthcare tips during cold weather. PPS Pangli, club president, provided an overview of the club activities.

Earlier, club executive member AS Bhullar welcomed the experts and the participating farmers. Senior manager of Allahabad Bank Lal Singh provided know-how about the pro-farmer schemes operating with the bank. In charge of the women wing of the club Dr Rupinder Kaur said women should also participate in the club activities as their important component of farming.

On this occasion, Bhagwant Kaur distributed CDs highlighting the righteous living among the participants. Aujla thanked the gathering while Dr. TS Riar coordinated the programme.



Schools register thin attendance
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 9
Students and parents have proved that no amount of politics can affect their final decision when it comes to the matter of attending school. Thin attendance in city schools, both government, as well as private, is testimony to the fact.

While the state education department and the district administration had been engaged in a tug-of-war earlier this week and even as various school authorities played their own tunes over the closure of schools in the district, the students and remained mute spectators to the entire episode.

Now that the issue has been resolved with schools reopening on January 7 and the primary ones opening yesterday, a ray of hope of normalcy returning to schools was emerging, the students decided to play truant.

Quite apparently, harsh weather conditions and dipping temperatures are keeping the students away from classes as parents are apprehensive about sending their children to school in the bone-chilling cold.

The apprehension among parents of government school students seems to be even more widespread as most of these schools lack basic facilities and a comfortable environment, required to protect children from the winter chill.

The parents' hesitation was manifested in thin attendance in the schools across the district for the third consecutive day today even as the teaching staff of most schools continued to be present in full strength.

"The weather is simply too harsh to go outdoors, especially for young children. Even though the schools have reopened, I have not sent my children to school. I will send them from Monday if the weather gets better. It is better to have the kids miss some classes than having them down with ailments due to cold," remarked Sarita Sharma, mother of two primary school students.

Another parent Anuradha Guglani added, "Even though most school authorities have changed the timings to a later hour, they have not changed their schedule of holding the morning assembly session and outdoor activities. I feel this can lead to exposure among children and make them fall sick, thus, I have not allowed my children to go to school till now. I will send them on Monday with a written request to their class teachers to avoid sending them outdoors for long periods."



Teachers’ body elected
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 9
Dr Harpal Singh Sandhu and members of his team were elected unopposed for the Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University Teachers' Association elections, the results of which were announced recently.

Addressing the members, Dr Sandhu said their association would work for the welfare of all the university teachers. The association will work in collaboration with the university administration for providing facilities to the teachers, in particular teachers working in the clinics and outstations, he said.

Dr Sandhu said all efforts would be made for early implementation of the revised pay grades, which the teachers have not yet received. Soon a charter of demands would be made in consultation with the faculty and the same would be presented to the GADVASU Vice-Chancellor and efforts would be made to achieve them, he added.

Earlier, returning officer Dr MP Gupta declared the list of the winning candidates. The results are: Dr Harpal Singh Sandhu (president), Dr Narinder Singh Sharma (vice-president), Dr Swaran Singh Randhawa (secretary) Dr Manjit Singh Pannu (joint secretary) Dr Baljinder Kumar Bansal (treasurer), and Dr Jaswinder Singh, Dr Vandana Sangwan, Dr Inderpreet Kaur, Dr Vaneetinder Kaur and Dr Rajdeep Kaur (all executive members). The newly elected team will work for two years.



City Conerns
Police insensitivity led to violence

The violence took the entire state by storm as the law and order machinery totally collapsed. But it could have been averted. The outburst of migrants was mainly due to insensitive attitude of the police. The situation was deliberately allowed to go out of hand by a few low rung and middle-level police officials. It was callousness on the part of the police, which failed to understand the gravity of the situation. Also the rumours spread by a few anti-social elements aggravated the situation. Thus, the issue, which was essentially workers versus the administration, was maliciously turned by the administration into a migrant versus local issue. Regarding the clashes between radical Sikh and Hindu groups, a 'samagam' was allowed by the administration in the city. So in both cases, the situation was by all means volatile and it was foolish on the part of the administration and the state government to blind their eyes. The need of the hour is to take stern action against the culprits and those who whip up passions or communal feelings by the state government as Punjab has already paid the heavy price for peace. Also it’s the moral duty of every citizen to maintain peace in their district and avoid being provoked by anti-social elements. Birkamal Kaur

Think globally, act locally

Holding peace loving and law abiding citizens to ransom and paralyzing life while protesting against authorities or individuals has become a common feature of our life. The city is no exception to it. Here we have to think globally and act locally. The root cause is the collapse of system and erosion of moral values. The government led by different parties has miserably failed to deliver justice among masses. Assembly houses have been converted into boxing rings and wrestling arenas. Rogues rule the roost. Custodians of the law rape it with impurity and succeed in tackling the government machinery and judiciary. Goons and moneybags are having hey days. Whatever happened in the city was just one symptom of this deep-rooted malady our nation is afflicted with. Time has come to show the door to those who have ruled the country in shifts without showing results.

The need of the hour is that clean and conscientious politicians forge a front and cleanse the corrupt system. KBS Sodhi

Tackle communalism

It looks like incidents of violence in the city was a deep-rooted conspiracy aimed at destroying the social harmony between natives and migrants on the one hand, and divide the people on religious grounds on the another hand. Both these incidents have shaken the faith of the people in the government and the district administration. Mishandling of the situation on the part of district administration and our politicians led to a situation wherein the state faced a major threat of violence. We can never afford such violence because we have already faced financial loss during these days. These incidents have thrown two major challenges of taming the migrant population and tackling the old age issue of communalism in the right earnest. There would always be a handful of people ready to crush the emotions of those who try to divide society on religion and caste basis, but we need to deal wit them sternly. Whatever happened in the city, our politicians and the district administration are equally responsible for it. May we ask from our politician who organised this controversial religious function, what are the circumstances that forced them to organise this? Was there any conspiracy aimed at destroying our social harmony as to ruin the local industry? People should discuss the problem for finding the solution themselves brushing aside politics-oriented steps taken with ulterior motives in mind. Confidence building measures and sense of responsibility on the part of the administration are essential to prevent recurrence of violence that defies logic. There is need to create a cordial atmosphere among all communities so that such incidents do not disturb our social harmony. Parminder Singh

Be soft towards cops

I was saddened by the recent incidents of violence in the city. First the migrants went on a rampage and later the Sikh organisations clashed with the police. But what saddened me the most was the predictable reactions from the media and the public. Whenever such incidents happen, we start looking for someone to blame. The administration’s role becomes an easy target for everyone and we conveniently condemn the cops at the drop of a hat. Lets spare a thought for our men in khaki. They are under-resourced, ill equipped, over-worked and always criticised even at the best of times. When we were listening to the news in the comfort of our drawing rooms, these men were out there risking their lives to maintain law and order. Surprisingly, no one is talking about the real reason behind the migrants’ outrage. The so-called reason of the police ignoring a migrant labourer’s complaint appears to be a lame fabrication in the light of what followed immediately afterwards. It is impossible that 3,000 men assembled within half-an-hour with bricks to hit the cops. It was a pre-planned and organised attack executed with ulterior political motives. The timing of the incident just a day prior to Ashutosh’s programme makes it all the more intriguing. After the ruckus in the assembly a scapegoat was made of the SHO and Dhandari police post in charge by transferring them out of the district. These officers should be rewarded for sticking to their duty against a full frontal attack. They put their duty ahead of personal safety and risked their lives for it when a few cops of policemen were attacked by this unruly mob. There are peaceful ways to protest and voice dissent and nobody has the right to resort to arson and vandalism. The transfer of police officers provides eyewash but does not always solve the basic problem. The real culprits are a few leaders who instigated the mob for their vested interests. The real culprits must be brought to book. Lekh Raj Verma

Cops as public servants

Little apathy among Punjab lead to a big drama. Residents were disturbed by the mob frenzy created by migrants. Everyone seemed shocked. The Punjab police should be held responsible for the entire drama. Their superior and the arrogant behavior towards migrants were responsible for the disruption caused. The residents suffered the most after the administration-imposed curfew in different parts of the city. They had to confine themselves to their houses due to the fear. Events, which were going to take place, could not take place. How the police could act casually in this type of situation? Little negligence led to heavy damage to the life and property. The cops shouldn’t forget that they are the public servants not that of the rich. The only strategy we can afford to take place is discipline. Bureaucrats should maintain discipline while handling such types of situation. The police squads could be held responsible for holding the city to ransom. The state government is not in a position to afford such types of incidents. Vakul Saxena 



3 held for theft, abduction
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 9
The Sadar police today arrested three youths for allegedly abducting a 19-year-old girl and stealing 330 gm of gold and Rs 6 lakh in cash from Alamgir village.

The accused has been identified as Mandeep Singh, who is the resident of the same village.

The incident took place seven days ago.

DSP Narinderpal Singh said the accused had been nabbed and cash and gold ornaments had been recovered from their possession.

He said the girl was handed over to his family.

The DSP said the girl was supposed to get married on January 18 and her family had kept the cash and gold in the house for the purpose.

Mandeep Singh, along with Talwinder Singh of Duley village and Amandeep Singh of Rangia village, hatched a conspiracy to abduct the girl.

DSP said the girl was befriended by Mandeep and both of them eloped.

The alleged elopement caused a lot of embarrassment to the girl's family.

After receiving a tip-off that the youths were spotted at the Baddowal Railway Station, the police nabbed the accused.



Two held with fake CDs
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, January 9
The Jagraon police this evening raided a kiosk near the bus stand and arrested a person for selling fake CDs and DVDs. The police also recovered a computer and arrested its owner for making fake CDs and copying music on memory chips.

The raid was conducted on request of Jaswant Singh and Gurcharan Singh, area managers of T Series music company and Kuldeep Singh, investigating officer of IMI music company as they had received complaints that accused Sonu of Jagraon was selling fake CDs from his kiosk near bus stand.

After the arrest, Sonu confessing his crime named Suresh Kumar of Novia Telecom of Jagraon as his supplier. During raid in the office of Suresh Kumar, the police recovered his computer set with many pirated music in its memory in MP3 and 3GP formats.

As many as 460 fake CDs and DVDs were recovered from the possession of the accused, including music and movie CDs. The police has booked the accused under various sections of the Copyright Act.



10 booked for armed assault
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, January 9
The Jagraon police yesterday booked 10 persons for armed assault in which three got serious injuries inflicted by sharp-edge weapons.

Gurmail Singh, alias Geli, of Lamme Jatpura village has accused that there was an old dispute with Surjit Singh, alias Gelu.

Yesterday, Surjit Singh and he had an altercation over a petty issue near the village crossing and both of them hurled abuses at each other the matter was settled with the intervention of other villagers.

But late in the evening, Surjit Singh along with his brother Balwinder Singh, Nephew Jassi, son Jaggi, friends Balbir Singh, Raghu Singh, Bhola, Jarnail Singh, Pala Singh all of Lamme village and Raju of Jhorran village, entered his house equipped with axe, gandasi, iron rods, sticks and other sharp-edge weapons and attacked him, his mother Jagir Kaur and his friend Sohan Singh, who was with him at that time when the accused attacked and injured all three severely.

A case has been registered against all 10 accused under Sections 452, 324, 323, 506, 294, 148, 149of the IPC. No arrest has been made so far.



School honours hockey winners
Our Correspondent

Amloh, January 9
Students should take care of their health by taking part in sports along with studies said former Planning Board Member Joginder Singh Naraingarh, while addressing an inaugural function at Government Senior Secondary School (Boys) here today.

Accompanied by Naraingarh other guests SHO Karnail Singh Bhaton, BSB finance proprietor Rajwant Singh Rurki distributed medals, sport-kits and certificates to the district hockey winning team under 17 and under 19 years age-group.

Joginder and Singh both donated Rs 5, 100 cash each to the school for infrastructure of midday meal project. A physically challenged boy, Avtar Singh, unable to work with hands, writes on his exercise copy with his feet was given financial aid of Rs 1,100 for school fee and other reading material.

As many as 40 students, who were wearing chapals as they could not afford cost of boots in a chilly weather were provided boots at the spot by Rajwant Singh. The school principal thanked the guests. PTA president Ram Saran Sood, staff secretary Harvinder Singh, lecturer Manmohan Sharma, Balbir Singh Ghuman, Dharam Singh, Sukhdev Singh and school staff was present on this occasion.



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