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Monday Special
Passenger woes persist at city’s train station
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, April 18
Despite being the top revenue earner in the Ferozepur railway division after Jammu, Ludhiana’s railway station continues to be plagued by poor amenities, congestion and other shortcomings. The problems are compounded every year by the steady rise in passenger traffic and introduction of new trains.

For the average passenger travelling by train translates into an ordeal right from booking the ticket, waiting at the station platform and boarding the train. The hardships most of them have to put up during the train journey is another story.

With passenger traffic crossing 60,000 every day the station is one of the most congested places in the city. It generates annual revenues totaling a whopping Rs 130 crore from passenger fares and freight. 50 pairs of mail and express trains, including the elite Shatabdi and Rajdhani expresses, and 20 pairs of passenger trains pass through the railway junction every.

However, when it comes facilities for travellers the less said the better. The level of cleanliness on the platforms and other places inside and outside the station leaves much to be desired.

Long queues at the reservation and general ticket counters can be seen at any given time, harassment to passengers - especially migrant workers - by the ticket checking staff and railway police is common, the number of licensed porters is far too inadequate, passengers complain of overcharging by vendors, and even a basic amenity like cold drinking water in the extremely hot weather is seldom available.

During a visit to the train station on Saturday, The Tribune team found of the three big and eleven small water coolers installed on the platforms, only eight small coolers were functional. Apparently, the railway ministry is still stuck with the traditional mindset, mandating that water coolers will begin operating only from April 15 every year and not depending on the weather conditions.

The electrical staff responsible for maintenance and operation of water coolers at the station had a stock reply - nonfunctional coolers were being repaired or parts of some of the coolers needed replacement.

Passengers have also been facing an acute shortage of licensed porters for almost two years now. With the recent addition of some two dozen new recruits, the number of available porters has gone up to 54 - still grossly disproportionate to the number of passengers boarding or disembarking from trains.

However, it appears all is not lost. On the brighter side a new 20-feet wide foot overbridge, connecting all the seven railway platforms is under construction at a cost of Rs 2.5 crore. A dilapidated ‘dhaba’ (makeshift eating joint) located near the station’s exit will soon make way for a swanky food plaza. Work is about to commence on a new washable apron on platform 2 for convenient and better cleaning of train coaches. And, a new 96-bed running room for guards and drivers is being built at a cost of Rs 2.2 crore.

Among other facilities that the railways have recently added in their bid to make the station more passenger friendly are a six line digital display board and new look modular stalls for sale of food items, snacks and beverages. The existing health unit catering to thousands of railway employees and pensioners is also in the process of being upgraded.

Also, the railways should ensure employees, ticket checking staff and railway police personnel are more passenger friendly.

Station superintendent speaks

  • Barring exceptional circumstances, at least seven advance railway reservation counters and as many for general tickets are functional every day. Additional counters are provided if there is a huge rush of passengers or to provide refunds in cases of cancellation of a train.
  • Complaints of passengers being harassed by ticket checkers and police are on the decline and strict action is taken against the offenders.
  • RK SharmaVendors at the railway station come under the domain of the Indian Rail Catering & Tourism Corp, which keeps a strict watch on the quality of food as well as sale prices.
  • Since all decisions on additional facilities and new projects are taken up either at divisional level or at the Indian Railways headquarters in New Delhi, there are delays in expanding the infrastructure.

    RK Sharma

Passengers speak

  • It seems to be a common practice of certain conniving railway employees and vendors to switch off the water coolers during the scorching hot weather so that passengers are forced to buy mineral water bottles, which are often sold at more than the retail prices printed on them," says Kulbir Singh, who is waiting on the platform for the Malwa express to take him to Jammu.
  • More reservation counters should be made operational for advance booking in the wake of heavy rush, especially due to forthcoming summer vacations, and to cut down waiting period for passengers who have to stand in queues for hours together," says Yash Pal Gupta, who has been standing in the line at the station counter for over two hours to book tickets for Moradabad.
  • Migrant workers, most of whom have come to the city from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar in search of jobs, are often harassed and even humiliated by the ticket checking staff as well as GRP and RPF personnel at the station. Indian Railways ought to put a comprehensive mechanism in place to check such behaviour”, says Bhanu Prasad Misra, an industrial worker waiting on the platform for a train to go to Samastipur.


Smuggling of heroin worth Rs 4.5 cr
Industries dept official, 3 others held
Gurdeep Singh Mann
Tribune News Service

Khanna, April 18
A senior industry promotional officer (SIPO) with the industries department, a retired surveyor from the PWD and two truck operators have been arrested for allegedly smuggling heroin worth Rs 4.5 crore here.

The accused have been identified as 54-year-old Ranjodh Singh (SIPO) from Preet Avenue in Patiala, Mukhtiar Singh (52), retired surveyor from Tripri village in Patiala, Gurmej Singh (45) from Sareenwala village in Ferozepur and Rupinder Singh (36) from New Abadi in Ferozepur.

The SSP, Sukhminder Singh Mann, said the accused had doubtful antecedents and were arrested on a tip off from near Bija in Khanna during a joint operation by the CIA staff and the police.

While three of the accused were in a car, one of them was following them on a motorcycle. The SSP said 870 gm of heroin had been seized from their possession. It was kept in polythene bags in the car. The seized heroin is worth around Rs 4.5 crore in the international market. The accused were trying to sell it off for Rs 30 lakh here. They were on their way to sell it in Khanna and adjoining areas.

SIPO Ranjodh Singh is deployed at the district industry department, Patiala, and Mukhtiar retired from the PWD two years ago. Ranjodh was earlier deployed as an inspector with the industries department in Rajpura and was allegedly involved in terrorist activities, the police claimed. He was, however, allowed to join the mainstream by the government and was offered a job.

CIA in charge Ramandeep Singh and Sadar police station in charge Krishan Kumar Panthey said the accused had an old liaison with one another and were planning to make quick money. 



Water scarcity, but wastage continues
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 18
With temperature soaring at 44 degrees Celsius, water woes have started worrying residents, especially those living in the interior parts of the city.

In the absence of proper maintenance of tubewells installed by the authorities, water scarcity has become a cause of concern in most wards these days. To make matters worse, wastage of water by residents continues. Also, the storage of water is being affected due to long power cuts.

The issue rocked the recent general house meeting of the MC, with the councillors from both parties (Akalis/BJP and Congress) asking the authorities to take stern action against violators.

Condemning the lenient approach of MC officials towards the vital issue, the councillors feel since the amount of penalty on water wastage was peanuts, residents did not bother to save water, which was the most important natural resource.

One of the oldest councillors in the city, Pritpal Singh Ghayal of Ward No. 17, rued that for the past 15 days, the residents of the ward were not getting proper water supply in the area, but officials of the MC had not bothered to take stock of the situation.

Similarly, Amrit Varsha Rampal, councillor of Ward Number 56, said she had to face the wrath of residents as the area tubewells created problems for two-three days.

The councillors are of the view that residents wasting water while washing their cars should be fined heavily. They said if the residents defaulted for the third time, their vehicles should be impounded. To put more pressure on them, metered water bills should be issued after every two months, they stated.

  • Many areas have got no water supply for days
  • Long power cuts affect water storage
  • Water being wasted during car wash
  • Councillors for impounding vehicles of violators 



New roads planned for each assembly segment
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 18
The Punjab government intends to construct new 20 km-stretch roads in each assembly segment in the state at an estimated cost of Rs 234 crore during the current fiscal, according to minister for jails & tourism Hira Singh Gabria.

He was here to lay the foundation stone of the Rs 9 lakh project to build a one km long stretch of the GT Road to Mangli Neechi.

“The new road will provide relief to industrial units in the city.

The government under the leadership of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal is providing the best possible grants to villages to boost rural development”, he stated.



Who is Knitwear Club president?
Manav Mander/TNS

Ludhiana, April 18
The president’s post of Knitwear Club is mired in controversy. While Vinod K Thapar has been declared winner, he has been “denied” the victory letter. Sources attribute the faux pas to observers, who they claim, are now feeling that they took a hasty and faulty decision in declaring the winner.

Thapar was declared winner by just a vote. On the election day, eight votes were declared invalid. However, sources in the club revealed that out of the eight “invalid” votes, four were valid and were in favour of Ajit Lakra, opposing presidential candidate. In that case, Lakra should have been declared the winner, they remarked.

Today, observers — Avtar Singh and Mahinderpal Singh --along with returning officer Narinder Bhamra, held a meeting with RC Ralhan and Subhash Lakra, who belong to prominent industrial organisations of the city.

The sources revealed that during the meeting, the observers accepted that they had committed a mistake.

Ralhan said: “They asked for my opinion, but we were unable to find a solution in the absence of the election rules, which they forgot to bring along,” he said. However, the returning officer had a different tale to tell. He said the results had been declared as per the criteria and there were no anomalies. “The victory letter is not required for the final nod. We have given a photo copy of the election register to the winner. The result is final,” he added.



Correction fluid abuse goes unchecked
Kids caught sniffing intoxicant, let off after counselling
Tribune News Service

Machhiwara, April 18
A few shopkeepers today caught children in the age group of 10 to 12 years when they were sniffing correction fluid for a kick. They were warned and let off after counselling by the shopkeepers and other area residents.

Around five or six children, all from the nearby slum areas, were seen sniffing the correction fluid in the morning and when the shopkeepers questioned them, they tried to flee from the spot. The shopkeepers managed to catch two of them and counselled them about the ill effects of consuming drugs.

The area residents, including Gurmukh, Harnek and Pavittar, said the correction fluid was available in the city at every bookshop from where these children purchased it in bulk and sniffed it out. The chemicals in the correction fluid are dangerous for health, especially for the children. Earlier also a few months ago, similar incident was reported and some children, all residents of the nearby slum areas, were seen sniffing the correction fluid. The matter was brought into the notice of police officials and drug inspector and bookshop owners were requested not to sell the correction fluid to the underage children.

The area residents informed that the use of drugs in Machhiwara had increased, despite repeated raids conducted by the police and health department. They said people could be seen consuming drugs near the bus stand and other public places.

The area residents demanded stringent punishment for those who flout the norms and sell intoxicants to the children.



25 given prosthetic devices
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 18
Twentyfive physically challenged persons were given prosthetic devices at a free camp organised by the Bharat Vikas Parishad Charitable Trust in collaboration with Canara Bank, BRS Nagar branch, here today. Narendra Mittal, convener of “viklang sahayta cell” of the parishad said 807 camps for the distribution of free prosthetic devices, including calipers, wheelchairs, tricycles and hearing aids, to more than 32,000 physically challenged persons had been organised.

Chief guest ND Sharma, assistant general manager, Canara Bank, along with divisional manager Sushil Hari and manager of BRS Nagar branch Manoj Kumar Jha made a donation of Rs 25,000 to the parishad, which would be utilised for rehabilitation of the physically challenged persons.

Meanwhile, more than 450 patients were examined, given free medicines and rendered follow-up advice at a free medical check-up camp organised by the Social Welfare Society at Government Primary School, Sunet, today.

A team of doctors comprising Dr Wahegurupal Singh, plastic surgeon, Dr BP Soni, eye specialist, Dr Baljit Kaur, gynaecologist, Dr Neeraj Arora, medical specialist, Dr Dhruv Jyoti Sharma, and paediatrician Dr Amrit Bhardwaj, along with paramedical and supporting staff examined the patients in their respective specialties at the camp, which was inaugurated jointly by Kanwalinder Singh Thekedar, member SGPC, and Harpreet Singh Bedi, political secretary to cabinet minister Hira Singh Gabria.

Earlier, chairman of the society Pritam Singh Bharowal extended a warm welcome to the dignitaries and doctors.



Rashtriya Gaurav Award for GNIMT professor
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 18
Rajni Sofat, an assistant professor at Guru Nanak Institute of Management and Technology (GNIMT), Ludhiana, brought laurels to the institute by winning the globally reputed Rashtriya Gaurav Award. Rajni has also been awarded a certificate of excellence.

The award was given to her by former Governor of Assam and Tamil Nadu, Dr Bhishma Narain Singh, All-India Congress Society secretary Ved Prakash and former director of CBI Joginder Singh on April 12 during a national seminar on economic growth and national integration.

The honour has been bestowed upon Rajni by the India International Friendship Society. The award was given to Rajni for her academic prowess in the field of academia, research, publications and contributions in various national and international seminars and conferences in finance.



Rajasthani hastkala stalls attract visitors
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 18
The Ivanna Institute of Fashion Technology and Hotel Management organised a festival of Rajasthan- hastkala and choupal today. This festival was the first of its kind to be offered by any fashion and hospitality institute in the region.

The students dressed in Rajasthani attire welcomed guests while offering “Suhali”, a sweet and salted snack.

Stalls of traditional food items of Rajasthan prepared by the students of hotel management were put up.

Starting with beverages like chaach, matha, lassi, kanji vara and jal jeera, the choupal offered a great variety of snacks and main course items too.

Hastkala offered hand crafted items of clothing, linen, jewellery and handicrafts. Special mirror embroidery of Rajasthan, neighbouring Kutch and Kathiawaar was used as the theme. Kurtas, cushion covers, suits and handicrafts, all had some work of Kutch and Kathiawar embroideries. Mirror-embroidered saree and blouses were the highlight of the exhibition.

Hastkala exhibited the work of fashion and textile designing departments of Ivanna. Executive chefs of various hospitality establishments in Ludhiana visited the festival. The exhibition also saw visitors from many garment manufacturing and export houses of the city. They all lauded the efforts put in by the amateur chefs and designers of Ivanna Institute.



Children’s film fest from April 21
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 18
As the world prepares to celebrate Earth Day on April 22, Ryan International School unfolds “Action for Green - the Ludhiana International Children’s Film Festival” (LICFF-2010) to be held from April 21 to 23.

The festival is based on sustainable development with environment and is organised in association with CMS Vatavaran, New Delhi, and Ludhiana branch of NIRC of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI).

This inaugural film festival will be a compilation of world cinema, films on environment, film-making workshop and a unique concept of “48 hours - Make a film contest”.

The film-making workshop was on from April 16 to April 18 at Ryan International School. Children in the age group of 13-17 years learnt the basics of film-making, scripting, camera handling, editing, etc. at the workshop.

“After the workshop, the children will produce a film on topics related to environment in allotted 48 hours. Being into the competitive category, the winning film will get a cash prize and will be premiered at the opening ceremony of the festival,” said festival director Utkarsh Marwaha.

Besides this, LICFF-2010 will introduce the line up of films selected from Netherlands, Iran, USA, Latvia, Germany, Turkey, Czech, Austria and India to be screened in the festival. In addition to the environmental films, the festival will present several screenings in the world cinema category i.e. animation, short and children’s international feature films from across the globe.

“We believe cinema leaves a great impact on young minds and through this film festival we aim at keeping the children closer to the environmental issues while teaching them the art of film-making,” said managing director, Ryan Foundation, Grace Pinto.

The opening ceremony of LICFF-2010 will be held on April 21 at PVR Cinema, Ludhiana, at 2 pm. The festival will be inaugurated by Rahul Tewari, District Commissioner, Ludhiana.

This three-day festival will run in Ludhiana at PVR Cinema as well as the Ludhiana branch of NIRC of ICAI.



Flight to Delhi
Ludhiana set to change in a big way
Lovleen Bains

Sahnewal, April 18
After the Ludhiana-Delhi test flight by Alliance Air was successfully carried out yesterday, residents are excited about the announcement by the MP, Manish Tewari, that the much-awaited flight would commence from May 1.

Rajinder Kaur Bulara, former MP, who lives near the airport, said: “More and more people would be attracted to this place and Sahnewal shall be on the air map shortly. Foreigners would also land at Sahnewal and may visit the town.”

A farmer from a nearby village, Pawa Khagat, said: “The initiation of this flight from Sahnewal to Delhi in itself would turn our land into gold. We expect big gains in the future. The demand for land around the airport is bound to increase. Our land would be much sought after by investors and traders.”

“The business of Ludhiana is going to progress. Earlier, foreign traders associated with locals, in order to avoid the hectic road journey, would call us to the Capital to finalise deals. Now, they could come here,” a trader stated.

“The thought of undertaking a long road journey to Delhi unnerves me. Now, I can easily get a flight booked from here,” a senior citizen said.

“NRIs, too, found the road journey tedious,” he added.

Sukhjit Singh Hara, in charge of the Ludhiana Aviation Club, stated: “The entire Ludhiana city would witness a sea change as its trade and commerce are sure to achieve new heights once the flights become functional. The entire industrial city is bound to undergo major transformation in the coming few years. It would be a changed Ludhiana.” The flight would also provide connectivity with Mumbai, Kolkata and later Srinagar.

“If the flying sector takes the cue from Alliance Airline, cargo business in Ludhiana would get a boost,” he added. 



Review bifurcation of reservation: BAMS docs
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 18
Terming the invitation of applications for only three general category posts of ayurvedic medical officer in health and family welfare department a cruel joke on them, BAMS doctors of the area have urged the higher authorities to impress upon the Punjab Civil Services Commission to review the bifurcation of 67 posts to be filled soon.

Those ayurvedic graduates who appeared in a similar test conducted by the Punjab Service Selection Board in 1996 and were still awaiting the result have also urged the Chief Minister of Punjab to either get the results declared or consider their candidature for fresh test. BAMS doctors led by Dr Ravi Sharma and Dr BS Bedi alleged the administration had played a cruel joke on thousands of ayurvedic graduates and postgraduates by inviting applications for only three general category posts of ayurvedic medical officer in various hospitals of the state.

Accusing successive governments of showing unconcern towards the development and promotion of ayurveda in the state, doctors regretted that a large number of BAMS candidates had adopted other professions out of frustration.

“Let alone providing government jobs, none of the governments has ever bothered to educate masses about the rich history of ayurveda and importance of its branches in cure and treatment of various chronic diseases like cancer and TB,” lamented Dr Ravi Sharma.

Though in all 67 vacancies were to be filled, all barring three posts have been tagged to clear backlog of reservation for various reserved categories.

Aspirants in general and general general category candidates in particular were also confused regarding the final outcome of the selection process.

Even though the PPSC has announced that applications have been called in response to a requisition letter of the Punjab government, higher authorities in the health department, including the minister, have stated that the department will fill the vacancies on its own.

In the absence of any clarification on the issue, a majority of candidates are applying with intent to lodge their claim only.

BAMS doctors led by Dr Narinder Pal Sharda of Khanpur village in Sangrur district said they along with hundreds of other ayurvedic graduates had appeared in the test conducted by the Punjab Service Selection Board in 1996 but their results had not been declared for reasons best known to the authorities in the department.

“As the test was conducted by the Congress government, the following government led by the SAD, staggered the declaration for obvious reasons,” said doctors.

Alleging that the unconcern of the successive governments have spoiled their careers, the doctors have urged the government to either get the results declared or consider their candidature for present test.



‘Flying Hanuman’ catches devotees’ fancy
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 18
‘Flying Hanuman’ has become a centre of attraction for devotees attending jagrans here. The role of Lord Hanuman is being enacted by Chheddi Lal of Allahabad, who dresses up as the Hindu God, balances himself on a stick and hangs in the air to take a round of the entire pandal.

This novel move was first exhibited at a jagran last week organised by Sri Bala Ji Trust at MGMN Senior Secondary School.

People flocked the venue as the word spread about the “Flying Hanuman”.

“Ever since I have been flooded with calls from organisers of other jagrans. They want me to perform at their programmes. Though not a novelty in Allahabad any more, people here are really excited. I saw them gaze at me with awe. Several had their jaws dropped,” said Chheddi Lal.

He said he was also overwhelmed by the response of residents who thronged the jagrans to have a look at him.

“I’ll be seen in many such functions in the district in the future. I have already got many bookings,” he said, adding that it was difficult to balance on a stick. “I do it for three hours at a stretch. God gives me the strength,” he added.



Couple gets police protection
Had married against parents’ wishes
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 18
A local court today granted police protection to a couple — Monika and Ravi Kumar — of Upkar Nagar, Civil Lines, who had married against the wishes of their parents.

Taking cognizance of a petition moved by the newlywed couple, the court of Sessions Judge SP Bangarh issued directions to the Commissioner of Police and SHO of the police station concerned.

The officers have been directed to accord necessary protection to the couple and ensure that no harm is caused to their lives by anyone.

In their petition, the couple had stated that they had fallen in love and decided to get married. However, their parents were against the marriage.

They got married against the wishes of parents at a temple at Upkar Nagar. The girl alleged that her parents wanted to marry her forcibly to the boy of their choice.

Apprehending danger to their life, the couple moved the court and filed a petition against their parents, who were residing in Ferozepur.

They sought directions for provision of police security to protect their lives and liberty.

The court passed the orders keeping in view the directions given by Punjab and Haryana High Court on March 31, 2010 while entertaining a similar writ petition moved by Asha Rani of Haryana against her parents.

Issuing the directions to the police, the court also issued notice to the parents of the couple.

The case would now come up for hearing on July 5.



Girl killed in road accident
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, April 18
A teenage girl was killed when the scooter she was driving was hit by a tractor-trailer on the Raikot road here on Friday.

The victim, identified as Ramandeep Kaur, of Dakha village, near here, was pursuing her BEd from GHG College of Education, Sadhar, after completing her BSc.

The driver of the tractor fled the scene. The road normally remains deserted due to the construction of railway overbridge of Mullanpur Dakha.

A commuter from Boparai village, who was passing by, saw the girl lying on the road with serious injuries and called some villagers for help. They took her to a nearby hospital where she succumbed to her head injuries.

No case, however, was registered.



Migrant couple’s endless battle for plot
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 18
Might is right, at least for this migrant couple who have been fighting for the possession of a plot they bought after spending whatever they saved putting in 22 years of hard work.

Rajnath Singh and Sumitra Devi, a migrant couple from Bihar, had bought a plot in Sat Kartar Nagar here in 2006. However, in spite of having the registry of the plot, they have been forced to move from pillar to post to get their due as an influential developer has staked his claim to the land.

In spite of having numerous police inquiries, including one by the ADGP (crime branch) and another by an SP-rank official, upholding their claim on the plot, they have not been able to build their dream nest on it.

They lost all hope when the developer recently offered them Rs 15 lakh for the plot, while its market price was Rs 30 lakh. “It seems there is no law of land here. We are unable to do anything in spite of inquiries coming out in our favour,” said Rajnath.

After going through several inquiries, former SSP AS Rai had ordered police protection for the couple to start construction. However, before this could happen, Rai was transferred out of the city. After that more probes were ordered but nothing had been done for them.

Even a recent probe by former SP (City-I) in December, 2009 had established that the plot in question measuring 320 sq yard belonged to Rajnath. “That too has had no effect. We have been ruined. That means a migrant cannot even dream of owning a house in this city,” he rued.

“We have tried everything. Right from sitting on a dharna to shaking the administration, nothing has worked for us,” said Sumitra Devi.

Incidentally, the Basti Jodhewal police had booked two accused on the basis of an inquiry conducted by the ADGP (internal vigilance) in the case. One of them was arrested.

As per the inquiry reports, the plot was part of a huge chunk of land at Kulliewal village belonging to two brothers. They had a dispute over certain areas. One of the disputed pieces of land was bought by the couple.

The plot was even registered in their name. The inquiry established their credentials. Even their neighbhours reported that the plot was theirs. The revenue records also supportee their claim.



Focus on advancements in ENT surgery
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 18
The 2nd annual Punjab state conference of AOIHNS (Association of Otolaryngologists of India and Head and Neck Surgeons), organised by the department of ENT and head-neck surgery of Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH), concluded here today.

Experts in the field discussed endoscopic techniques and recent advancements in the ENT. Over 200 delegates from Punjab and other adjoining states attended the conference.

Renowned guest faculty had been invited to perform live surgeries on endoscopic DCR (dacryocystorhinostomy) and middle ear surgery.

During the conclave, Dr Navneet Kumar, organising secretary, was installed as the state president of the Punjab state branch of the Indian Otolaryngologists Association.

Chief guest Dr Jairup Singh, vice-chancellor, Central University of Punjab, and guest of honour Dr AS Sekhon, director principal, Gian Sagar Medical College, Banur, exhorted the professionals in the fields of ENT as well as head and neck surgery to keep abreast with latest advancements in their respective fields and make use of newer technological breakthroughs to render safer and speedy treatment to patients.

Dr Navneet stressed on holding such type of scientific discussions and conferences where members of association could work for the betterment of the otalaryngology in India and to increase the involvement of individual members to update their knowledge and keep pace with the developments in modern medicine.

He expressed his gratitude to Dr Abraham G Thomas, director, CMCH, medical superintendent Dr Kanwal Masih and principal Dr SM Bhatti for their support.



Wakf board to raise income, cut expenditure
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 18
With intent to come true to the expectations of members of the lower strata of the Muslim society, the cash-strapped Punjab Waqf Board has drafted a long-term viable programme according to which self-perpetuating additional income will be generated for funding various projects.

More social organisations, irrespective of their religious and political allegiance will be involved in the resurrection programme.

This was announced by board chairman Azhar Alam at a meeting with office-bearers of a few educational and social organisations of the area today.

Regretting that the alleged flawed policies of his predecessors had resulted in economic instability of the board, Alam claimed that he along with him team members had tried to bridge the gap between income and expenditure of the organisation that had reached a record limit of around Rs 4 crore per annum.

Alam maintained that the board earned an annual income of Rs 10.38 crore and average expenditure was around Rs 4.45 crore during his last term as in-charge. However, expenses exceeded income when he took charge now.

“It is on record that the board has been collecting revenue worth Rs 4.45 crore per year during the past three years and expenses exceeded 8.5 crore. This is despite the fact that the staff at institutes run by the boards was not paid enough,” said Alam, claiming that the gap had been narrowed by both enhancing income and curtailing expenses.

As many health and education projects required regular inflow of funds, Alam said the committee had decided to enhance rents of properties by 20 per cent. New rates will be applicable from June.

Falsifying the notion that only Muslims benefited from projects of the board, Alam claimed that the board ran hospitals and educational institutes provided services to members of all communities.

“Contrary to the common belief, members of all communities avail of facilities at our institutes. Percentage of Muslim students at board schools situated at Patiala and Gobingarh was only 4.5 and 2.5, respectively,” argued Alam.



Residents rue imposition of morning power cuts
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 18
Blackouts during unscheduled power cuts imposed in the morning hours have upset the daily routine of people. Commuters, students and household women are among the worst affected.

Peeved residents and councillors of the town have urged the authorities to reschedule cuts keeping in view their special needs on the start of the day.

Frequent and unscheduled power cuts, especially in the morning hours, have caused a lot of resentment among residents and industrialists.

Besides affecting working at industrial units and trade organisations, the tendency to impose cuts during early morning has upset the daily routine of all sections of society.

As a result of power outages, the supply of water provided by the municipal council is also adversely affected.

Investigations by The Tribune revealed that morning routine of almost all sections of society has been upset due to disruption in water supply and sewage system. Members of families relying on water supply by the civic body have been forced to visit other houses for bath and other chores.

“We fail to understand the necessity of the intermittent power cuts during the morning hours. They could have rescheduled the timings so as to cause lesser inconvenience to residents,” argued Naresh Kumar Sharma, a social activist.

Councillor Ravinder Puri said even the services provided by the civic body were affected, as water supply and disposal of waste water were also dependent upon the power supply.

He rued that the board authorities had not responded to their appeal to reschedule the power supply.

Sanjiv Singla, an industrialist, said: “The unscheduled power cuts have not only affected production and margins but also the credibility of industrialists, who are unable to meet their orders. Poor power situation has caused heavy loses to the industry.”

He urged the authorities to ensure regular power supply before the industrial units are compelled to close down their units.



Fire destroys wheat crop
Our Correspondent

Phillaur, April 18
Wheat crop on at least 58 acre was reduced to ashes in a fire that broke out in three villages of Phillaur sub-division here this afternoon.

Crop on 50 acre at Chokkra village, 4 acre at Begumpur village and 4 acre at Sangatpur village was destroyed in the fire.

SDM Pritam Singh said the exact loss would be estimated tomorrow.

Sparking from high-tension cable was stated to be the cause of the fire.



Govt committed to welfare of migrants: Gabria
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 18
Punjab minister for jails, tourism and cultural affairs Hira Singh Gabria today said the Punjab government was committed to safety and welfare of migrant population in the city and state.

“We are committed to solve their problems and grievances on the top priority basis,” he stated, while addressing a function after inaugurating the new office of Poorvanchal Jan Kalyan Sangathan (PJKS) at Ambedkar Nagar, Giaspura, here today.

Gabria said the government had constituted a “parvasi bhalai board” (migrants welfare board) to address the issues related to the migrants. The government and district authorities were extending all assistance for establishment of the offices of the PJKS where the aggrieved migrants would be able to discuss their problems and seek redressal from the quarters concerned. “The government realises the contribution made by the migrant workers in the industrial and agricultural sectors in the city and state,” he added.

The minister said the SAD-BJP government in Punjab duly recognised the role of workers in all-round economic development of the state.

City Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura, councillor Jaspal Singh, chairman of PJKS Varinder Mishra, Rajesh Mishra, Jia Lal, Bhalai Gupta, Abdul Shakoor Mangat, Parveen Kumar, Imran Khan, Nitya Nand Guddu, Siraj Mohammed, Vishwa Nath Thakur, Dinesh Mishra, Sohan Kumar Shastri, Gautam Mandal, MN Rai, Narsingh Tiwari, Krishan Katpal, Parminder Saini and Raja Singh Khullar were also present on the occasion. 



Woman killed in road mishap
Our Correspondent

Phillaur, April 18
Jiwan Jyoti (30), a teacher at Government Primary School in nearby Sagarpur, was killed in a road accident when a speeding truck (PB-10AQ-9810) hit the scooter on which she was a riding pillion.

The accident happened near the village on the Phillaur-Noormahal road yesterday evening. The police has registered a case and sent the body to the Phillaur Civil Hospital for a post mortem.


Some unidentified persons robbed a godown of the Punjab State Warehousing Corporation on the Phillaur-Talwan road late last night.

The robbers decamped on a four-wheeler loaded with 45 bags of rice from the godown after locking three chowkidars in a room. The police has registered a case against unidentified persons in this regard. 



Man kills wife
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 18
A migrant in his late 20s allegedly killed his wife last night. According to the police, accused Prakash strangulated his wife around 1.30 am and fled the scene. The reason behind the killing is not known. Prakash had moved into a rented accommodation at Champa Nagar, Shimlapuri, along with his wife about a week ago.

“The couple were not known to people living in the vicinity and the neighbours were unable to provide any clue to the murder,” said SHO, Shimlapuri police station, Gurtej Singh.

A case under Section 302 of the IPC has been registered.



187 cases settled at lok adalat
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, April 18
A lok adalat was held at the Sub-Divisional Courts here yesterday. Three benches each of Justice JS Marook, Justice Girish Gupta and Justice Ravi Inder Singh took up 271 cases.

The cases included those pertaining to executions, civil suits, criminal suits, Negotiable Instruments Act, matrimony, cancellation of FIRs and recovery, challan, etc. At least 187 cases were disposed of amicably.

A sum of Rs 30 lakh was given in claims to various parties. Local lawyers assisted the judicial officers.

District and Session Judge Ludhiana SP Bangar paid a visit to the sub-divisional courts here to monitor the process of the lok adalat.

He appreciated the role played by the Jagraon Bar for the success of lok adalats held by the Jagraon judicial officers.

On the benefits of lok adalats, Judge Marook said since there was no appeal or reconsideration of the settlement, the precious time of upper courts was saved besides the cost incurred by litigation.

Moreover, settlement in lok adalats was speedy and less expensive.



Media XI rides on Yogesh’s exploits
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, April 18
A fine allround display by Yogesh ( 58 n.o and 3 for 6) steered Ludhiana Media XI to a convincing 8-wicket win over Ludhiana District Youth Congress XI in a friendly T-20 cricket match at Arya College ground here today.

Invited to bat first, Ludhiana District Youth Congress XI were bundled out for 104 runs in 12.5 overs. JP Singh was the highest scorer who made 19 runs while Aseem and Gaurav contributed 15 runs each and Channi scored 10 runs.

For Ludhiana Media XI, Yogesh and Lehri were the most successful bowlers who chipped in with three wickets each. Neeraj Manra grabbed two wickets while Tarsem Deogan captured one wicket.

Ludhiana Media XI made the required runs in 10.5 overs after losing just two wickets. Yogesh remained unbeaten on 58 runs with the help of 10 hits over the ropes and two lofty sixes. Sunil, Arshdeep Samar and Neeraj Manra contributed 10 runs each to enable their team to overhaul opponents’ total. Manish Tewari, MP, gave away the prizes. Jasbir Singh Jassi Khangura, MLA from Kila Raipur, along with Dimple Rana, president of the District Youth Congress, Ludhiana, were also present at the prize distribution function.



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