L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Gastro cases soar in city’s slum areas
Anshu Seth/Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 15
Following the heavy monsoon showers the number of gastroenteritis cases in the city’s slum localities at Tibba Road, Tajpur Road, Giaspura, Sherpur Chowk and Ambedkar Nagar have increased manifold in the past one week. However, due to lack of potable water, preventive and curative treatment provided by health department teams has failed to bring relief to residents.

Their problems have been aggravated by quacks thriving in the slums, who administer wrong medicines that have harmful effects on their health. More than six people "treated” by quacks in Puneet Nagar on Tibba Road were recently admitted to various private hospitals in a critical condition.

Says Omkar Nath, a resident of Shankar Colony, "I had taken my son to a ‘doctor’ in Puneet Nagar but he couldn’t diagnose his condition properly and gave the wrong medicine. As a result my son died on the way to the Civil Hospital”.

The slumdwellers’ problems are not restricted to falling ill. A private hospital is charging from Rs 2,000 to Rs 2,500 for two days’ indoor stay for gastroenteritis patients. At the same time the charitable hospitals claim to provide free of cost treatment but are fleecing these "illiterate" people in the name of tests.

Lami, another resident of the area, while registering her complaint stated she and her daughter were ill despite having spent over Rs 2,000 on medical treatment.

Dr BS Kapoor at Sai Hospital on Tibba Road said the hospital was getting five or six patients suffering from acute diarrhoea and gastroenteritis from nearby localities every day. "Virtually all the patients have fallen ill due to contaminated water. There have also been some jaundice cases that need to be checked by health officials”.

The situation is grim in Makkar colony on Dabba Lohara road where stagnant water have become a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

Most water samples fail

District health officer Dr DS Kochar said a mobile van that was sent to Kakowal Road and Tajpur Road provided residents with medicines for diarrhoea. “The health department has been regularly taking water samples in all low lying areas falling under the jurisdiction of the municipal corporation. However, it’s unfortunate over 80 per cent of the samples have failed lab tests”, he added.


Residents brace for disease outbreak
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 15
The threat of waterborne diseases looms large on the city with several cases of gastroenteritis having already been reported from some areas on Tibba Road and Gyaspura. Most of those infected are residing in unauthorised colonies and slum areas that do not have access to safe drinking water and sewage systems.

A visit to Shankar Colony, Mahatma Colony, Star City and other colonies these areas revealed residents were not getting potable water for the past two months, for which they put the blame squarely on civic officials. Yellow coloured water emitting a foul smell is what most of the residents are drinking in these areas. A few who are extra cautious have begun boiling the water before drinking it or using it for cooking.

Talking to The Tribune, Kashmir Masih, a property dealer, said many of these localities were unauthorised. "About 40 per cent of the population consists of migrant labourers. Residents are not getting potable water supply in the areas.

However, they have attached their personal water pipes with main lines in an illegal manner to get water. When these 2-3 inches pipes are broken, water gets mixed with sewerage lines. Unaware of the contamination residents keep on drinking the dirty water, exposing themselves to contracting diarrhea, gastroenteritis or even cholera”.

are the outcomes", he said.

Ranjit Singh, a resident of Shankar Colony, said other than contaminated water the garbage dump in his locality had made residents’ lives miserable. "On an average, 10 to 15 overloaded garbage trucks move on these roads and throw the refuse in the main dump near here. We’ve requested the authorities concerned to shift the dump in the interests of the residents’ health. However, instead of listening to our complaints the overloaded trucks continue to spill garbage on the entire street. Flies, mosquitoes, pigs, dogs, stray cattle are found around garbage heaps and even outside our homes, increasing fears about an outbreak of deadly diseases", said Ranjit Singh.

"By paying Rs 3500 per square yard, we had purchased a small piece of land here, still we are not getting the facilities", rued Vijay Kumar, a migrant worker whose wife is suffering from gastroenteritis.

Meanwhile, ward no 7 councillor Mandeep Kaur said she was aware about the situation. "There’s no supply of safe drinking water in many areas. However, water pipes are now being laid in some of them though it will take another two months to finish the work. We’re distributing chlorine tablets to residents for the time being", she stated.



Real Estate
Development charges, licence fee cut
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, July 15
In order to regulate housing activity and check mushrooming of unauthorised colonies, the state government has cut the licence fee (LF) and external development charges (EDC) for approved colonies.

A notification by the department of housing and urban development said the endeavour of the government to make available affordable housing for weaker sections had failed to take off due to high land value and cost of construction though land for this purpose was available in all approved housing projects and lying unutilised.

“The real estate sector has suffered due to economic turmoil, high interest rates, reduced demand and liquidity crunch and requires assistance,” it stated.

Additional chief administrator of Greater Ludhiana Area development Authority (GLADA) Indu Malhotra said the mega city within the municipal limits had been placed in High I potential zone with EDC for residential and commercial areas at Rs 24 lakh and Rs 45 lakh per acre, respectively.

The LF in these areas would be Rs 2.5 lakh and Rs 50 lakh. For High II zones (outside MC limits within 15 kms), the EDC had been fixed at Rs 18 lakh and Rs 35 lakh per acre for residential and commercial areas, respectively, while the LF would be Rs 2.25 lakh and Rs 45 lakh, respectively.

The EDC and LF for High III, medium I, medium II, low I, II and III had been slashed with the former ranging between Rs 2.5 and Rs 15 lakh for residential colonies and Rs 6.5 lakh and Rs 30 lakh per acre for commercial pockets. The LF for these zones would stand between Rs 0.15 lakh to Rs 2 lakh and Rs 1 lakh to Rs 40 lakh for residential and commercial pockets, respectively.

The policy envisages creation of a social infrastructure fund by way of collection of 3 per cent of change of land use charges, EDC and LF from all promoters to promote sports, healthcare, education, recreation and EWS housing.



2 die of gastroenteritis

Phillaur, July 15
Panic gripped Phillaur Village after two villagers died of gastroenteritis in the wee hours of today. The outbreak landed 86 villagers in hospital.

Phillaur SDM Pritam Singh said two patients were referred to Jalandhar and 14 were discharged after treatment this afternoon.

Contaminated water is said to be the reason behind the spread of gastroenteritis.

The SDM said three water samples were collected from the village. Water tanks were sent to the village.

The SDM said chlorine tablets were distributed among villagers and sanitation arrangements were being made to prevent any epidemic. He said a probe would be initiated to find out the exact cause of the outbreak. — OC



Heroin worth Rs 25 cr seized
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 15
In the biggest narcotics haul by the Ludhiana police so far, narcotics worth Rs 25 crore in the international market was seized during a naka here last night.

The accused, Shamsher Singh, was held with 5 kg heroin at around 10.30 pm from near Singla Enclave on the Pakhowal road. His car was intercepted and a search led to the seizure. The Police Commissioner, Ishwar Singh, said: “The narcotics were not even hidden and were lying on the front seat in plastic packs.”

The police was looking for more links in the case. “It could be a big nexus. A lot of details revealed by the accused seem misleading,” he said.

The accused was a resident of Jamalpur Awana village and had allegedly bought property through smuggling.

A case under Sections 21, 61 and 85 of the NDPS Act has been registered against the accused who would be sent to the Joint Interrogation Centre at Amritsar and kept in police custody, the Commissioner said.

Plea to public

In a message to the public, the Commissioner of Police said the police was looking for assistance from residents to curb illegal activities like smuggling. If a person was aware of or came across any suspicious activity, he/she should immediately contact the police. “The identity of the informer will be kept secret and he/she will also be rewarded,” he said.



Tractor collides with train
Rail traffic disrupted
Tribune News Service

Khanna, July 15
The schedule of several trains was disrupted on the Ludhiana-Ambala section after a tractor collided with the Jammu Tawi Durg Express (0892) near the Lalheri road here this afternoon.

Railway officials said the tractor driver failed to apply brakes on time and the trailer was loaded with soil.

The train driver, Jagdish Chand, said the superfast train was going towards Ambala and the tractor suddenly came in front, forcing him to apply emergency brakes.

The engine was changed after three hours. Nearly 600 passengers were travelling on the train and most of them were on their way back from Amarnath.

Railway officials said Malwa Express (2920) got delayed by over half hour due to the accident. The schedule of some other trains was also hit. The tractor driver fled after the accident. A case would be registered against him, the government railway police said.



Biomedical Waste
Pollution board drags Civil Hospital to court
Rajneesh Lakhanpal

Ludhiana, July 15
The Punjab Pollution Control Board has initiated criminal proceedings against the Civil Hospital authorities for allegedly violating the Environmental Protection Act by not disposing of biomedical waste in a proper manner.

A complaint was moved by the board against the senior medical officer (SMO) before the court of the Duty Magistrate. The complaint will come up for hearing before the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate on July 21.

The complaint has been filed under Rule 8 of the Biomedical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules and under Sections 15 and 17 of the Environment Protection Act. Following a complaint by the anti-corruption and crime investigation cell, a board team had visited the hospital in February.

In April, the officials had again visited the hospital and found that biomedical waste was lying scattered on the premises.

It was claimed in the complaint that during the visit, the record maintained by the hospital regarding the generation of biomedical waste was checked and it was found that around 2.5 kg to 4 kg waste per day was being given to the common facility while the generation of waste varied from 40-50 kg everyday.

The board said despite a show-cause notice, the hospital authorities failed to obtain authorisation under biomedical waste which was mandatory for a hospital.



Clinical Establishment Bill
Docs take to streets
Submit memorandum to DC
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 15
Around 175 doctors registered with the district unit of Indian Medical Association (IMA) today took out a rally outside the Deputy Commissioner’s office and submitted a memorandum to be further presented to the President and Prime Minister of India.

Balraj Kaur, district revenue officer, Ludhiana, received the memorandum on behalf of the DC.

The rally was taken out as part of the nation-wide protest by national IMA, wherein every district branch would hold a rally and submit memorandum to the respective Deputy commissioners.

Dr Narotam Dewan, president, IMA Ludhiana, Dr Hardeep Singh, secretary, IMA, Ludhiana, advisor Dr SC Garg, former district president Dr Arun Mitra and Dr Nirjeet Kaur addressed the rally.

“The government is far away from the ground realities, which is why health problems of people and working problems of allopathic doctors are not being redressed,” said Dr Dewan while addressing the rally.

The country has the worst health facilities, where 90 per cent of the health services are being provided by private health endeavours. The government has a little role to play in facilitating medical education or establishing clinics, nursing homes and private hospitals.

“Private medical facilities are already under about 40 laws and imposition of “Inspector/Licence Raj” on them to cancel their registration on petty grounds and fine them up to Rs 5 lakh will lead to closure of these health services,” rued Dr Hardeep Singh.

“Already insurance companies have come out with the fact that corporate hospitals are overcharging. This bill has laid down conditions impossible for small and medium range health facilities to function,” Dr Singh went on to add. Doctors further opined that the government should fulfil its basic responsibility and should provide primary, secondary and tertiary medical care to the entire population of India.



Forgotten Promises
BKU comes down heavily on state govt
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 15
The Bharti Kisan Union, Rajewal, today came down heavily on the state government and the Centre for turning a blind eye to the plight of farmers and persistently ignoring their genuine demands.

In a memorandum submitted to the government through the district authorities, the BKU lamented that a special package of Rs 800 crore granted by the Centre to Punjab farmers on account of scant rainfall and inadequate power supply last year, which led to escalation of input cost for paddy cultivation, was still to reach the intended paddy growers.

The funds (Rs 800 crore) were released by the Union Finance Ministry to the state government on March 31, 2010, but the state government had till date not disbursed the compensatory funds to farmers.

The SAD-BJP government also faced the ire of the BKU for slapping energy bills and water charges on farmers by taking an about turn on its electoral promise of providing free electricity and water for irrigation purposes.

“The unabashed political leadership, especially Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbiur Badal, has forgotten his commitment that electricity and water charges from farmers would be recovered only after payment of productivity bonus on paddy and wheat,” the memorandum pointed out.

The BKU further alleged that under pressure from its coalition partner-the BJP, the state government had imposed an urban development cess of Rs 150 crore on farm produce, thus putting more burden on already debt-ridden farmers of Punjab. Criticising the repeated hike in the price of diesel, scrapping of subsidy on fertilisers by the Centre and multiple taxation on farm inputs by the Punjab government, the farmers body demanded direct payment of subsidy on fertilisers to farmers.

The memorandum asked the government to effectively check the practice of acquisition of fertile land for various purposes like gas pipeline, diesel pipeline and railway corridor. If at all, cultivable land needed to be acquired, land owners be given a proper hearing and given adequate compensation which should be sufficient for their rehabilitation.



Surprise checks at govt schools

Ludhiana, July 15
Fifteen teams constituted by the Director General Secondary Education (DGSE) today inspected as many as 119 government-run schools in the district and found several teachers absent from duty.

The inspection teams arrived in city in the morning. They checked diaries and note books of schoolchildren to find out whether they were doing good in studies.

A spokesperson of the department said in the evening that washrooms of several schools were found in bad shape and were ill-maintained. Most schools lacked general maintenance.

He said the teams would prepare a detailed report and submit it to DGSE Krishan Kumar. He would then decide further course of action, said the spokesperson. — TNS



Protest against abolition of promotion channels
Primary teachers burn copies of letter
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, July 15
Reacting to the letter issued by the education secretary and director, school education, Punjab, which stated that promotion channels of primary teachers were being abolished, primary teachers of Sidhwan Bet block on Tuesday burnt copies of the letter.

The letter also stated that primary and upper primary schools running from the same complex would be merged. JBT, ETT and BEd teachers are working as teachers, head teachers and centre head teachers at primary schools. According to the letter, leaves of teachers, distribution of periods, annual confidential report and attendance will be taken care of by head teacher of upper primary school.

A centre head teacher takes care of 10 primary and upper primary schools, besides being a resource coordinator of the centre under the Sarv Siksha Abhiyan.

Interestingly, this resource coordinator-cum-centre head will be a subordinate to head teacher of his own school.

Teachers urged the government to review its decision.

Among others present were Harbhajan Singh, Sukhjeewan Singh, Charanjit Sharma, Munish Kumar, Balwinder Kaur, Daljhit Singh, Gopal Saroop, Harjinder Singh, Gurvinder Singh, Amarveer Singh, Kulwinder Singh, Sukhjinder Kaur, Vijay Kumar, Sunil Kumar, Manjit Kaur, Harbans Singh, Sukhwinder Singh, Harbans Singh, Davinder Singh and Jaswinder Singh.



From Schools
A trip down memory lane

LUDHIANA: Former students of Sri Guru Harkrishan Public School, Doraha, took a trip down the memory lane at their first alumni meet “Nostalgia”.

The response to the meet was overwhelming with nearly 120 former students of the school attending it. There was an atmosphere of camaraderie and ecstasy all around with students meeting their teachers and old friends. Students formed an association by unanimously electing the following members. President: Rajbir Singh; vice-president: Satinder Kaur; secretary: Chitvan Vinayak; treasurer: Gurcharan Singh.

‘Festival of swings’ celebrated

Teej, a festival of swings, was celebrated with gusto and fervour at Maple Bear Canadian Playway and Nursery School, Udham Singh Nagar. The festival commemorates the reunion of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.

Kids celebrated the festival with earnest devotion. Teej falls in the month of “Sawan”.

Such rituals and customs of Teej force people to become part of the grand celebrations. The festival was celebrated as part of the ongoing monsoon week celebrations. — TNS



Chamber demands Rs 10k cr for engineering sector
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 15
The Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings has demanded 10,000 crore for research and development in the engineering sector. For achieving the goals set by the industry the above said amount is required in the form of venture capital in public and private partnership. Industry is required to sustain growth impulses in this important sector of the economy.

Upkar Singh, joint secretary of Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings (CICU), said the economy, according to advance estimates for current fiscal, was recovering from a slowdown. The growth rate remains much below the average of 8.6 per cent clocked in four years before the downturn.

Adding he said in the present scenario, the export of auto components, machine tools and bicycle parts had declined and subsequently their imports have increased considerably. The growth of engineering industry was almost stagnant due to low level of technology and non-availability of matching finance for carrying out research and development in this sector. The present state of infrastructure and research development in this industrial sector is rather weak. This sector is the best vehicle for inclusive growth.



Strike by I-T employees
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 15
A one-day strike was observed by the Joint Council of Action of Income Tax Employees Federation and Income Tax Gazetted Officers Association in support of their demands.

Rajinder Singh, president, Ludhiana circle, said the Central Processing Centre should function as per the agreement reached with the Joint Council of Action. He demanded reimbursement of mobile phone chargers to all employees in the department. He said laptops should be given to all gazetted officers and Group C employees should get desktops.

“Publish civil list without any further loss of time on the lines it was issued till 2006. Transfer the Deputy Commissioner of Income Tax /Assistant Commissioner who have completed two years of service and fill vacant posts in the department,” he said. Rajinder said after four years of service, Income Tax officers, assessment officer, personal secretary and senior personal secretaries must be placed under PB-3 with grade pay of Rs 5,400. “If our demands are not met, we will adopt a non-cooperation movement from July 20,” he added.

Jatinder Khurana, president, Taxation Young Lawyers Association, said the strike had paralysed the work. No return was accepted and refunds were not released due to the strike.



Plywood prices go up by 7 pc
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 15
The prices of plywood have gone up by 7 per cent with the increase in the prices of petroleum and raw materials. Plywood manufacturers say that the prices of phenol, formaldehyde, glue and other chemicals have gone up up by almost 15 per cent; core veneer by 20 per cent; and labour cost by 10 
per cent.

“The input prices of wood have gone up by 25 to 35 per cent in the past four months, forcing us to raise the prices of plywood and board,” Ashok Juneja, secretary of the Punjab Plywood Manufacturers Association, stated.

Another plywood manufacturer, Nagesh, said the hike in fuel prices hit them as the chemicals they used were petro-based. Wood prices had also been following an upward trend due to the shortage of poplar and other wood.

Rajinder Singh, a plywood maker, said wood of eucalyptus and poplar had shot up considerably. “Rates of eucalyptus wood have jumped to Rs 800 a quintal from Rs 600 while the prices of poplar have increased to Rs 1,000 a quintal from Rs 800 in the past four months,” he said.

The plywood industry in Punjab supplies almost 70 per cent of its production to local markets and the remaining to states like Maharashtra, UP, Rajasthan and Gujarat.

The plywood industry also complained of “illegal diversion” of wood to neighbouring states by unscrupulous dealers through tax evasion.

If the state excise and taxation department kept a strict check on borders, the illegal supply of wood to other states could be restricted, it said.



Kisan union chief cremated
Our Correspondent

Amloh, July 15
Punjab Bharti Kisan Union (Ekta) chief Balkar Singh Dakonda and his wife Jasbir Kaur, who were killed in a road accident on July 12, were cremated at their native Dakonda village, near here, yesterday.

Union activists marched ahead of the funeral carrying flags and raising slogans as a mark of respect to the departed leader.

Thousands of men and women from trade unions and parties were present at the funeral.

Amarpal Singh, couple’s son, lit the pyres. Dakonda had been jailed six times while fighting for the rights of farmers and farm labourers, said SAD district press secretary Jathedar Sukhjit Singh.

Among others SDM Tejinder Singh, DSP Amarjit Singh Ghuman, Paramjit Singh Saholi, BKU chief Pishora Singh, Market Committee chairman Lakhbir Singh Laut, BKU (Lakhowal) Patiala district chief Pavitra Singh, Democratic Teacher Front chief Devinder Singh Punia, zila parishad member Harinder Singh Tohra, panchs, sarpanchs of the area paid tributes to the departed leader.



Jammu boy to play Kasab in movie

Ludhiana, July 15
Though in real life every Indian hates militant Kasab, for Junnaid Shekh, who will be playing the role of Kasab in a forthcoming Bollywood movie, it’s a mixed feeling.

Title of the movie has not been decided yet. Nidish will be directing the film. Junnaid was in city yesterday to meet some producers.

Junnaid hails from Jammu and has done a film down South, while four more are in his kitty. His first film “Pappu” received a good response from audience and then forwarded his portfolio to a casting director and managed to clinch a movie in Bollywood.

“I have done my MBA and could have ended up doing a job but the acting bug in me prompted me to join Berry Acting Studio in Mumbai,” he said. Discussing about the role of Kasab being played by him, he said it would be a challenging role.



Liver surgery gives new lease of life to infant
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 15
A two-and-half-month-old male child was brought to the department of paediatric surgery at Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) here with complaints of jaundice, passing of white stools and dark urine since second day of life.

Investigations showed a rare condition - extra hepatic biliary atresia - found in babies in which liver remains non-functional due to a block in the connection between the liver and the intestine.

The child underwent a five-hour surgery performed by a team of three paediatric surgeons - Dr William Bhatti, Dr Dhruv Ghosh and Dr Nandini K Bedi.

The surgery, Kasai’s Portoenterostomy, involves the removal of affected bile ducts that are outside the liver and making an alternative system of drainage of bile from liver to the intestines by making a bile duct-like tube by restructuring the small intestines.

The surgery was successful and bile flow was restored from the liver to small intestine. The baby is now five months old and jaundice has reduced.

Dr Bhatti, who heads the department of paediatric surgery, said normally physiological jaundice appeared in a child on second or third day and got resolved by itself by seventh day of life.

If jaundice, however, persisted or got worsened after seven days, the child needed to be investigated fully in a hospital. It was the first-of-its-kind surgical procedure performed in the institution.



Animals more vulnerable to diseases in monsoon
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 15
Monsoons bring along disease threat. While the human population is facing the threat of epidemic outbreak, animals, too, are not safe.

Problem of parasitic diseases, particularly gastrointestinal parasites, ticks and tick-borne diseases increase manifolds in pets and farm animals during monsoons.

“Major problem is of blood-thirsty ticks, which suck blood and transmit many fatal diseases such as babesiosis in dogs, theileriasis and anaplasmosis in farm animals,” said professor PD Juyal, registrar, GADVASU.

“So, if farmers still have not cared about it, it is time to look out for these blood suckers before it is too late. These ticks cause blood loss and irritation to the animal,” he said. The dreaded tick-borne diseases may even be transmitted further, aggravating quickly and killing the animals with little warning.

Dr Juyal informed that in an animal, the swollen ticks, engorged females after blood meal, can be easily detected with the naked eye on ear pinna, groin, inner thigh, udder and below the tail.

“Tick population flares up during the monsoon and post-monsoon season due to increase in humidity,” he added. Even the dairy farmers of the state were facing the problem of ticks. He revealed that in case of dairy animals, ticks can cause decrease in milk production.

As the climate was conducive for multiplication of ticks, Dr Juyal suggested that owners must act vigilantly. To control the problem, he advised, “Regular and repeated application of newer generation acaricides can serve the purpose.”

However, he warned that the animal on which acaricides is applied, needs to be kept in the shade for a few days. About the ailments afflicting an animal, he said, “High fever, swollen lymph nodes, loss of appetite and sudden drop in milk yield of animals can be the main symptoms in the monsoons.”

To reduce fatality in such cases, Dr Juyal advised, the earlier this disease was treated, the better. However, he maintained that all interventions should be made strictly under supervision of a qualified veterinarian. He also warned that usage of a single acarcide for a long period of time can develop acaricidal resistance which already had been reported in many areas and it should thus be kept under control.

Dr MP Gupta, head, epidemiology and preventive medicine, informed that a large number of cases of ticks had been identified in organised and unorganised dairy farms in Bathinda, Moga, Hoshiarpur, Khanna and Patiala. “Crevices and cracks in the walls are the major hide-outs for ticks, so chemical should be sprayed on these spots,” he said, adding that GADVASU had a well-equipped veterinary hospital and laboratory for diagnosis and control of tick-borne diseases.



Tewari to attend Asian conference

Ludhiana, July 15
Ludhiana MP and national spokesperson for the All-India Congress Committee Manish Tewari will represent the Indian National Congress at the International Conference of Asian Political Parties being held in Kunming, capital of Yunana Province, China, from July 16.

According to a press release, Tewari has been designated by Congress president Sonia Gandhi to represent the party at the conference being held on poverty alleviation. He will leave for the conference tonight.

Representatives of all major parties from Asia will attend the three-day conference to examine the problem of poverty and discuss the measures for poverty alleviation in the region.

Tewari will leave for Beijing on July 19 where he would meet senior leaders of the ruling Communist Party of China. He is expected to put forth the Indian point of view before the Chinese leadership on various issues, besides getting their opinion. — TNS



3 nabbed for stealing motorcycles
Mahesh Sharma

Ludhiana, July 15
Next time you find somebody trying to open the lock of your bike and pretending to be doing so by mistake, don’t take him lightly and inform the police.

It is the modus operandi of automobile thieves now. They park their own motorcycle or scooter near the target automobile and then try their luck. If nobody notices them taking away the targeted vehicle they take their own automobile too. If caught by the owner they plead innocence and go scot-free.

Three members of one such gang, nabbed by cops led by Bhagwant Singh, in charge, CIA Bahadur Singh Wala, revealed that vehicles thieves from Malerkotla, Ahmedgarh, Jagraon, Moga, Samrala, Raikot and other localities situated on outskirts of the city had found local markets and offices as easy targets for stealing costly brands of motorcycles.

Like any other class of commuters, these gangsters visit various busy markets and offices daily and look out for their target resembling vehicle brought with them. At least one of the gangsters keeps an eye on the owner of the target vehicle and alerts his accomplice when the owner returns. Even if they are caught stealing the vehicle red handed they escape by taking plea of mistaken identity of the vehicle.

Observations by The Tribune revealed that majority of the vehicles seized were in the police stations situated within the radius of 70 km of Ludhiana and were found to be stolen from busy markets and office complexes of the city.

All sixteen motorcycles recovered by the CIA, Bahadur Singh Wala, were stolen from the city.

The investigating team was finding it difficult to deal with the seized motorcycles as the accused had destroyed original documents of these vehicles and prepared fake documents to dispose them off. Engine and chassis numbers of some were also tempered with.

The police suspects that some officials in transport offices were also hand and glove with the gangsters. At times the gangsters had got duplicate registration certificates prepared within a couple of days of application and that too on basis of fake identity.

SHO, CIA, Bhagwant Singh said many more gangs of vehicle thieves from various towns and cities of the state were active in Ludhiana. Rajveer Singh and Navdeep Singh of Moga and Jagsir Singh of Nihal Singh Wala were nabbed and booked under Sections 411, 483 and 37-C of the IPC. The police stated that majority of these gangs were interconnected.



Opium, poppy husk recovered
Tribune Reporters

Jagraon, July 15
The police yesterday recovered 500 gms of opium and 20 kgs of poppy husk from an abandoned Scorpio car (PB 10 BV 5645) near Dhurkot village near Dehlon.

On receiving a tip-off, SI Harinder Singh, along with a police party, launched a search and recovered the vehicle.

As the police reached Mehatab Palace near Dhurkot village, occupants of the vehicle identified as Paramjit Singh, Pippal Singh and Sarabjit Singh, alias Sabra, all brothers from Dholewal village near Kot Isse Khan of Moga District, managed to flee.

The accused are the same smugglers whose consignment of poppy husk worth Rs 80 lakh was recovered by the CIA staff in July from Bassian village near Raikot.

Two persons were also arrested.

The gang operates in Sangrur, Ludhiana, Bathinda, Moga, Jalandhar, Muktsar, Ferozepur and Faridkot. It procured opium and poppy husk from Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. A case has been registered against the accused under Sections 15,18, 61, 85 NDPS Act.

Ludhiana: About 500 gm of opium was seized last night from two persons during a naka.

Palwinder Singh and Narinder Singh, both aged about 30 years, were arrested from Bal Singh Nagar last night with the contraband.

While Palwinder Singh belongs to Rajpura, Nairnder Singh is from Barnala. Both accused were working as drivers in Delhi, but had left their jobs some time back. They had been living in a rented accommodation in the city for some time.

Giving details, police officials said the duo used to bring drugs from Kota, Rajasthan, and used to supply to drug addicts in the city. A case under the NDPS Act has been registered.



Cyclist killed in accident
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, July 15
A cyclist was killed in an accident yesterday when he was hit by a speeding motorcycle. The youth killed has been identified as Naresh Balmik (20), a migrant labourer from Uttarakhand, settled at Detwal village, near here.

The accident occurred around 9 pm when he was returning home after working in his fields. He was hit by a motorcycle (PB 10 CN 7606) from the rear by Beant Singh of Bains village.

The accused is absconding. The Dakha police has booked him under Sections 304-A, 279 and 427 of the IPC on the statement of Sukhpal Singh, brother of the deceased.



Natasha, Bhuvana bag doubles title
Our Correspondent

Jassowal (Jagraon), July 15
Natasha Palha and Bhuvana Kalva claimed the women’s doubles title at the HTA-AITA Men’s and Women’s Tournament today. They beat Shweta C Rana and Sharmada Balu with élan without facing any resistance 6-2, 6-3. Bhuvana is now in line for a double crown.

All top seeds were knocked out of the tournament today. The men’s final will be between GP Prajnesh and Suraj Beniwal tomorrow. Prajnesh defeated sixth seed Saurabh Dilip Patil 6-2, 6-1. Suraj beat Digvijay Singh Mehta 6-4, 6-2.

In the women’s singles, Sharmada Balu defeated top seed Shweta C Rana 6-2, 6-3, while another Bhuvana Kalva, a trainee at HTA, beat second seed Nupur Kaul 7-5, 6-3.


Men’s singles (semifinals): GP Prajnesh (TN) (WC) beat Saurabh Dilip Patil (Mah) (6) 6-2,6-1; Suraj Beniwal (Har)(Q) beat Digvijay Singh Mehta (Chd) (LL) 6-4, 6-2.

Women’s singles (quarterfinals): Sharmada Balu (Kar)(WC) beat Shweta C Rana (HP) (1) 6-2,6-3; Bhuvana Kalva (AP)(WC) beat Nupur Kaul (Mah) (2) 7-5, 6-3.

Men’s doubles (semifinals): Sagar Manjanna (Kar) and Rashein Samuel (Kar) beat Prosonjit Paul (Jha) and Deepinder Singh Bains (Pb) (4) 5-2(Conc); Ajay Yadav (Har) and Gurinder Singh (Pb) beat Surya Pavan (AP) and Jatin Dahiya (Har)(3) 6-0, 7-5.

Women’s doubles (final): Natasha Palha (Goa) and Bhuvana Kalva (AP) beat Shweta C Rana (HP) and Sharmada Balu (Kar) 6-2, 6-3.



City cagers shine in state meet
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, July 15
Ludhiana players finished among position holders in the State-Level Invitation Basketball Tournament (u-14) held at Moga, recently.

In the girl’s section, Ludhiana finished runners-up while the boys from the city secured the third position. Girls pocketed a cash prize of Rs 30,000, while the boys received Rs 20,000.

In this tournament, played on knockout-cum-league basis, eight teams each in the boy’s and girl’s sections competed.

The girl cagers from the city reached the semifinal after overpowering their opponents comfortably.

In the semifinal league, Ludhiana eves thrashed hosts Moga and then Mansa before going down 22-36 against Gurdaspur to content with the second position.

Gurdaspur district emerged champions, while Moga district finished at the third place.

In the boy’s section, Moga district came out triumphant while Bathinda district finished second.

Members of the two teams were given a warm welcome on reaching the Guru Nanak Stadium here on Tuesday.

Ludhiana District Basketball Association honorary secretary Teja Singh Dhaliwal along with other office-bearers and coaches were present.



Yesu Raj, Bikramjit adjudged best athletes
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, July 15
Yesu Raj and Bikramjit Singh from Ludhiana were declared best athletes in the boys U-20 and U-16 categories during the Punjab State Open Athletics Championship held at Sangrur.

Yesu Raj proved his mettle to clinch three titles-100m, 200m and 4x100m relay races, while Bikramjit Singh with a 6.29m leap won gold medal in the long jump.

Other medal winners from Ludhiana included (women)- Nainy Bala, Kulwinder Kaur, Prabhvir Kaur, Rajni Bala, Ramandeep Kaur and Tarandeep Kaur.

Girls U-20: Navdeep Kaur; boys U-20: Ajay Tandon, Sandeep Kumar, Mandhir Singh, Rohit, Sumit, Kuldeep Singh, Yudhvir Singh; men: Amandeep Singh, Daler Singh and Sunil Bishnoi; boys U-18: Ram Pal, Raghu, Vikas Kumar and Prashant; boys U-14: Gaurav.



Sat Pal Singh is dist sports officer
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 15
Sat Pal Singh took over as district sports officer, Ludhiana, today. He replaced Jagir Nahar.

Jagir has been transferred to Kapurthala. Medal holder in the All-India Inter-Varsity Swimming Championship, Sat Pal Singh, a postgraduate diploma holder from NIS, Patiala (1985-86), has produced a number of swimmers of eminence during his stint as coach and sports officer at Taran Tarn, Sports School of Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Kapurthala.

Prior to his present assignment at Ludhiana, Sat Pal was first posted as district sports officer at Kapurthala in September last year and then was shifted to Kapurthala in October, 2009.

Jaspal Singh, senior football coach, Mohan Lal, basketball coach, Sanjeev Sharma, athletics coach, along with local staff of the Punjab sports department and representatives of various sports associations were present at Guru Nanak Stadium to welcome the new DSO.



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