L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


11-day-old baby abducted from hospital
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Deep Hospital’s director trying to pacify the grandmothers outside the hospital.
Deep Hospital’s director trying to pacify the grandmothers outside the hospital. Photos: Inderjeet Verma  

Ludhiana, July 19
An 11-day-old baby boy was abducted in broad daylight from the premises of Deep Hospital in Model Town here today.The baby, who was undergoing treatment at the hospital under Dr Baldeep Singh for the past one week, was discharged from the hospital at 12 noon today.

The incident took place at around 12.30 P.M. when the Gaffuran (maternal grandmother) and Majiran (paternal grandmother) of the child were waiting for their son to come from Malerkotla and take them home.

Gaffuran said they were coming out of the hospital’s pediatric ward with the child when a woman approached to and complimented them for boy’s looks. “As soon as I told Majiran to hold the boy as I wanted to drink water, the woman immediately took the child from my hand. Before we could realise what was happening, the woman sprinted down the stairs with the boy and sped away in the car waiting outside the hospital,” added Gaffuran.

Majiran said the woman had put a handkerchief near her nose, which made her dizzy, and she was unable to hold on to the child.

Baby's father Nasir, a carpenter by profession, blamed the hospital for being lax as far as security was concerned and added that no security guard was present at the exist to stop the woman from fleeing.

Nasir had married Rukayia a year ago and the baby boy was their first child but following some complications during the birth, the child was referred to Deep hospital.

On the other hand, Dr Baldeep Singh, director, Deep Hospital, said the woman had been identified as Manpreet Kaur. She had come to the hospital earlier also. “The hospital staff suspect that she had an eye on the twin brothers, who were born in the hospital two weeks ago, but she could not succeed in her nefarious designs. But, we have given her description to the police and hopefully they will recover the child,” he added.

However, speaking on the role of “security”, Dr Baldeep said it was a lapse on the part of the grandmothers as they had willingly handed over the child to the stranger.


Armed men waylay car, loot Rs 42.5 lakh
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 19
In a daring daylight robbery six armed assailants said to be members of the notorious ‘Fortuner gang’ struck again in the city, looting Rs 42.45 lakh from employees of a firm based in Jhabewal village after forcibly stopping their car in the Focal Point area here this afternoon. Four of the six men were reportedly clean-shaven with the other two sporting turbans.

The incident occurred at about 12:30 pm when the four employees of Bonn Food Industries, who included cashier Sanjay Mehra, driver Jasvir Singh and two helpers, Raj and Josan, were heading towards the State Bank of India branch located near Rockman Chowk to deposit cash. The four, all with muffled faces, were riding in a grey Ford Fiesta (registration no: PB10 BU1749) and had kept the cash in the vehicle’s trunk.

According to Sanjay, when the employees neared Rockman Chowk a white Honda Accord car came up from behind them and hit their vehicle’s rear end. Jasvir, who was at the wheel, said the impact was so strong he lost control over the vehicle and it rammed into an electrical pole on the roadside.

Before they could react the assailants swiftly alighted from their car, trained their pistols on Jasvir and his colleagues and ordered the driver to open the vehicle’s trunk. “After they weren’t able to find the knob that opens the trunk the robbers ordered me to open it”, said Jasvir.

"In the meantime two more armed assailants arrived in a white Toyota Fortuner (from which the gang reportedly got its name) and parked it right behind our car. After taking the cash in the trunk they fled the scene in the SUV, leaving the Accord behind," said Sanjay. None of the four employees were able to note down the registration number of the Fortuner. The police later said it suspected the robbers fled towards the highway leading to Delhi.

Sanjay said the entire episode happened so quickly the employees did not have any time to react. The employees stated they immediately informed the police after the incident. However, he added the cops took 25 minutes to arrive at the

They included ADCP Sushil Kumar, CID AIG Yurinder Singh, ACP Balraj Singh, ACP Bhupinder Singh and SHO Sandeep Wadera.

The city was turned into a virtual fortress following the incident. Barricades were erected on almost every roundabout with the cops searching vehicles.

The police has not ruled out the involvement of an insider behind the robbery, saying the robbers did not waste any time in searching for the cash as they knew fully well it was kept in the vehicle’s trunk.

It appears the robbers deliberately left behind the Honda Accord at the crime scene to send a message to the police they were members of the same gang that had forcibly taken away the same car from a youth in the Sarabha Nagar market on June 18.

Sources close to the police said though the car used for the robbery was in a fit condition and the robbers could have fled in it they intentionally left it behind.

‘Favourite’ hot spot

The SBI branch located at Focal Point appears to have become a preferred location for robbers to strike. A few cases in which industrialists were robbed, either before or after visiting the bank, have been reported in the past. Members of the ‘Fortuner gang’ robbed an industrialist on May 6 while he was returning to his factory aftervisiting the bank.



15 injured as school bus overturns
Rakesh Gupta

Raikot, July 19
A school bus overturned after its tyres got stuck in the adjoining fields. This accident took place while the bus driver was trying to overtake a car. At least 12 students and three teachers sustained injuries in the accident. Jasbir Singh, the driver, a resident of Pherurahin village, however, managed to escape from the spot.

Agitated parents and the locals stormed the school premises and damaged the office. They also staged a dharna in the main chowk of Bassian village for about an hour. The dharna was lifted after Prithipal Singh, DSP, told the protesters that stern action would be taken against the offenders.

This incident took place today morning at around 8.30 A.M. on the outskirts of Bassian village near here. The bus (PB 10 AP 7705) belonged to Guru Nanak Public Senior Secondary School of Bassian. Those injured have been identified as Rupinder Kaur (17), Karamveer Singh (7), Harjot Singh (12) and Manjot Kaur (12). Manjot’s limbs had got fractured. Most of the injured students were from Nathowal village.

The eyewitness said there were at least 100 students in the bus when this accident took place. The bus didn’t have any permit to ply on the road and was not even passed by the transport department. There was not even a first aid kit available in the bus.

Mohinder Singh, director of the school, though accepted the error on the error on the part of the driver. But, he tried to put the entire blame on the farmers who have encroached upon the roadside land.

Avtar Singh, school principal, maintained that the parents had earlier also complained against the driver, who was even warned for that. He, however, maintained that there were only 48 students in the bus at the time of accident. 



Traders dread the vehicle
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 19
The fear of a white Toyota Fortuner continues to haunt the industrialists of the city. The SUV was reportedly stolen from Patiala a few months ago. Since then, the vehicle has become a headache for the police.

Though the police is on the lookout for this gang and highway robbers, but no headway has been made yet.

The first robbery by this gang was reported on May 6 when assailants fired a shot at the Mercedes of an industrialist and waylaid him a few meters away from his factory.

Police sources said the SUV gang was behind the June 18 robbery incident, when members of the gang robbed a youth of his car while he was returning home after watching a movie with his friend at the PVR Mall located near the Sarabha Nagar market. At the time of the incident a police official suspected that the robber might use the vehicle for robbery and the robbers did exactly the same. They used the car for the committing the robbery and left it on the place of the crime. 

Modus Operandi

Earlier the robbers used to strike every fortnight, but this time they struck after a month. The area around PVR in Sarabha Nagar and Focal Point was said to be its favourite hunting ground as they had committed four robberies in these areas. 

Suspected robberies by SUV gang

May 6: Armed youths rob an industrialist of his laptop and luxury watch after a hot chase in Phase-V, Focal Point

May 13: Armed robbers snatch Rs 29 lakh from the sarpanch of Seehra village at Bajra road

May 21: Robbers flee with SUV at gunpoint in Sarabha Nagar

June 12: Robbers flee with bag containing Rs 10 lakh from a forex dealer at Hambra road; and robbers take away car at gunpoint near Sarabha Nagar

June 19: Robbers a youth of his car while he was returning home after watching a movie with his friend at the PVR Mall.



Car falls into unfinished basement, driver unhurt
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 19
A local resident had a narrow escape yesterday evening when the white Tata Indica car he was driving through Bhagat Singh Nagar fell into an uncompleted basement being constructed for a city centre project, which has been hanging fire for the past many years. He was lucky enough to have not suffered even minor bruises.

According to police sources, the car, bearing a three-year-old temporary registration number, belonged to a Jalandhar based political leader who sold it to his relative in the city.

The incident, however, has again brought to the fore the fact that the incomplete project is becoming an accident prone site. Residents living in the vicinity said during the recent heavy showers earth on the sides of the uncompleted basement began to cave in. They added a major tragedy could occur anytime.

Meanwhile, activists of the Rajiv Gandhi Panchayati Raj Sangathan of the All India Congress Committee today staged a protest at the scene of the incident. They said the accident occurred because streetlights in the area did not function at night.

“All our pleas to the Ludhiana Improvement Trust to resolve the problems in this area have fallen on deaf ears. Nobody listens to us. With the earth on its sides caving in, the road can be washed away anytime and vehicles can fall into it. Maybe they are waiting for a big tragedy to happen”, the activists said. 



Following protest, PAU reverts to old timings
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 19
Following a silent protest by teaching and non-teaching staff of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) over the change in summer timings from June 1 to July 31, PAU authorities today restored the old schedule.

The varsity timings were changed from 7.15 A.M. to 2.15 P.M. from 9 A.M. to 5 P.M. on June 1 for about two months.

This had evoked a mixed response from the faculty and the non-teaching staff. A large of faculty members and employees had welcomed the move while others had handed over a representation to the university for rolling back its decision and for sticking to the previous schedule as they felt that 7.15 A.M. was too early to start the work.

Dr RK Mahey, registrar, while conveying the orders of Vice-Chancellor Dr MS Kang stated that offices and departments located on the PAU campus, Ludhiana, and outstations would stick to the old timing of 9 .M to 5 P.M. The order also reads that the PAU hospital will also function as per its previous timings.

The Class IV employees, too, had expressed unhappiness over the changed timings as they had to report an hour early i.e. at 6.15 A.M. and for people coming from outside Ludhiana, the day started at 5 A.M. thereby leaving no time for eating even breakfast.

Numerous employees had to do double duty as the university did not have enough staff to deploy for security purposes to fill the gap from 2.15 P.M. to 5 P.M.

The Beldaars are in a tight spot, as they have to work from 8 A.M. to 5 P.M. with the hired field laborers.



Restored Jeeps now the rage on city roads
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 19
The oldest off-road vehicle brand that was hugely popular during the Second World War, the jeep is now once again going strong and has become a style statement to make for young hunks. If one sees rich brats zooming around in the city in expensive cars like Audis, BMWs and Mercedes, boys in open, modified jeeps is a common sight as well.

Besides the city’s spoilt kids those who fancy this light SUV also include wealthy NRI youths as well. From Porsches and Lexuses their loyalties now appear to have shifted to the Willys Jeep.

"The jeep was earlier synonym with the army. The Willys Jeep, made by the US auto firm Willys-Overland Motors, which became an iconic brand in the 1970s and 80s, is back in style these days. Its reasonable price coupled with a sturdy body is reason enough to buy this beauty," said Major (retd) Pal Singh.

"The jeep is a potent status symbol. People envy a person driving this rugged offroader more than someone driving a car costing Rs 20 lakh,” said Harman Brar, a proud owner of a jeep.

Where are these open resouped jeeps available? Harkomal Singh, who recently bought a restored Willys jeep, said Moga and Dabwali is the marketing hub for these refurbished vehicles.

The jeeps are modified in Dabwali in Sangrur district and are being sold in the markets of Malout, Ludhiana, Monga and Bhatinda. The region’s largest second-hand jeep market in Moga draw jeep aficionados coming from the hilly regions and a number of other states.

The price range of a restored Willys jeep starts from Rs 1.65 lakh and can go up to Rs 2 lakh. The abandoned chassis is fitted with a top of the line Toyota turbo diesel engine, which is preferred for its high fuel efficiency and pickup performance. These jeeps are replete with modern accessories and chrome alloys wheels that are fitted to attract buyers.

Gurtej Singh, a dealer from Moga’s jeep ‘mandi’ (market), observed: “Nonresident Indian buyers have again set the trend for open jeeps. The passion for driving imported vehicles is no longer evident, instead they love these restored Willys jeeps. There are close to a hundred ‘dealers’ in Moga with each selling at least ten resouped Willys jeeps every week”.

Iconic Brand

The Jeep was produced in response to a 1940 tender request for an initial 70 vehicles by the US Army Quartermaster Corps. Fortyseven days after the tender was floated Bantam delivered its prototype to the army for testing



Teachers with high merit to be selected
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, July 19
Tree plantation, pure drinking water and supervision of sanitary situation of toilets at their respective schools have been allotted two marks each while considering applications of school teachers for selection for state award in the profession.

Results and academic qualification have been ranked highest at 20 and 15 marks, respectively.

With extension of last date for receipt of applications from March 15 to July 30, the education department has also announced a renewed policy for evaluating the performance of the teachers desirous of being selected for the annual state award in teaching.

According to the policy, the teachers in mathematics, English, social studies, science, Punjabi, physical education, headmasters and principals will be represented by one state awardee in each category, while two teachers will be chosen from vocational, drawing and agriculture subjects, etc.

However, only teachers with exceptionally high merit are to be selected and in case of non-availability of appropriate candidates in a particular category, a teacher from other group would be considered.

Perusal of guidelines circulated under the signature of the special secretary (school education) revealed that outstanding teachers should be felicitated at the district level too.

Bifurcation of total 100 marks for reckoning merit of the candidates revealed that besides considering educational qualification and results of the applicant, the selection committee would judge his/her overall personality traits too. Confidential reports of last 10 years can fetch maximum 10 marks, contribution in cooperative teaching activities six marks, role in construction and maintenance of school building and innovation can fetch five marks each and contribution in maintaining discipline and fighting with dropout problem four marks.

The role in increasing strength, maintaining students attendance, cleanliness of premises, availability of upkeep of furniture, national integration and utilisation of teaching aids, besides tree plantation, drinking water and sanitation of toilets have been allocated two marks each.



Vets trained to tackle biological threats
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 19
Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) organised two training programmes for the veterinarians of the state. These trainings were sponsored by the Punjab State Veterinary Council, Chandigarh, and were in context with the present scenario of the livestock sector in the state.

In the series, as many as 39 training programmes on different aspects of veterinary science were conducted. The veterinarians from the Punjab State Animal Husbandry Department and the rural veterinary officers of the Zila Parishad have been given training on “Entrepreneurship in Veterinary Science” and “Biological Threats” which were organised by the Department of Veterinary and Animal Husbandry Extension Education and Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Veterinary Medicine respectively, As many as 20 vets were trained in these programmes.

The financial assistance for workshop was provided by Dr Darshan Singh, Registrar, Punjab State Veterinary Council, Chandigarh, under the 11th five-year plan, centrally sponsored scheme. The veterinarians were deputed by Dr HS Sandha, Director, Animal Husbandry, Punjab.



Australian delegates visit CIPHET

Ludhiana, July 19
A delegation of Australian students in order to get a first-hand account of activities in the area of research and extension visited the Central Institute of Post-Harvest Engineering and Technology (CIPHET), Ludhiana, today.

All 25 student delegates were explained about the research programmes in the areas of post-harvest and value addition at CIPHET.

They were shown videos highlighting the mandate and innovation carried by the institute. The students took keen interest in the activities carried out by the institute. — TNS



Rare hernia surgery conducted on infant
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 19
An infant who was diagnosed with congenital diaphragmatic hernia, a rare disorder, was brought to CMC Hospital and after active neonatal intensive care management and ventilator support, the baby underwent a rare and complicated surgery of diaphragmatic hernia.

The surgery was successful and the baby was taken off the ventilator. He was discharged earlier this week and is doing well.

Dr William Bhatti, head of department of paediatric surgery at the Christian Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana, said that this was a rare disorder.

The hole was in the baby's diaphragm and diaphragm was a muscle that helped us to breathe and keep the organs in the abdomen from going into the chest cavity the doctor said.

He said, When the baby is very small (early in the pregnancy), there is a hole in the diaphragm, which is normal, but the hole usually closes by the end of the third month of pregnancy. But in this case, the hole did 
not close.

This allows intestines to move into the chest cavity, as a result, the intestines can also push the other lung and keep it from growing fully.

Bhatti further stated that the complication sometimes kept the heart from growing normally, which led to high mortality rates.

"But the child was operated upon successfully and is recovering miraculously”, he said.



Sapling plantation drive
Our Correspondent

Raikot, July 19
Members of the Raikot Loins Club undertook the project of planting saplings in various schools of the area as an imitative to save environment for a healthy future.

The club has decided that they will also take care of the plants after planting them so that they may not die due to non-irrigation or some other disease. The club started their drive from Tagore Model School at Bassian village by planting 50 plants of medicinal values and fruits. Lions Club president Subhash Passi and others were present.



From Schools & Colleges

Ludhiana: MBA students of 2008 batch of the Bhutta College of Engineering and Technology (BCET) have brought laurels to the college by securing excellent marks in MBA 4th semester examination conducted by Punjab Technical University in May 2010. This was claimed today by Prof MS Seekree, officiating principal, and Dr RS Gupta, dean, management studies, in a press note issued here today.

In MBA (4th semester) the overall pass percentage is 96.6 per cent. All students passed in the first division and 90 per cent students passed with honours. Parnita Kaur bagged the first position in the college by securing 88 per cent marks. Japneet Kaur got second position with 86.8 per cent marks; Sanjay Kumar Singh secured 3rd position with 86.3 per cent marks. Navjinder Grewal and Gagandeep Kaur with 86 per cent and 85.9 per cent marks respectively closely followed them and were placed fourth anf fifth.

Jagdish Singh Garcha, former Technical Education Minister, Punjab, congratulated the members of the faculty and students for the excellent performance in the university examination.

Jyotpreet bags top spot

MBA students of the GGN Institute of Management and Technology (GGNIMT) have achieved excellence once again in the MBA 4th semester examination conducted in June, 2010 by Punjab Technical University (PTU). Jyotpreet Kaur bagged first position with 91 per cent, Ishmeet Kaur stood second with 91.37 per cent and Ritu Walia was declared third with 89.37 per cent. Noteworthy is the fact that more than 35 per cent students secured above 80per cent marks and 65 per cent students secured above 70 per cent marks. Institute director Kuldip Singh congratulated the students for their outstanding performance. Prof Gunwant Singh Dua, coordinator, GGNIMT, congratulated the students and the teachers for their hard work and dedication.

Monsoon celebrations

With the onset of splashing monsoons, Guru Nanak Model Senior Secondary School celebrated “Teej” on the school premises. Children came dressed up in colorful attires. On this occasion, a programme was presented by the students. The celebrations started with the Shabad. A singing competition was also organised. In which Raksha of class XII (commerce) was adjudged first and Kulwinder Singh of class XI (Arts) was second and Heena Mehnaz of class XII (commerce) stood third. Vice-President Prof Balwant Singh Pangli, Director S Jaswant Singh Gill were also present on this occasion. DP Thakur appreciated the efforts put up by the students. The function came to an end with sumptuous lunch of “Kheer” and “Puras”.

Career counselling

If wrong medicine can spoil health, choice of wrong field of specialisation can damage a whole career. It was stated by Rajeev Gulati, general secretary of the Ludhiana group of colleges, Chaukimann, Ferozepur road, in a career counselling session held on the campus. In his address, he said the students, while taking admission in an engineering course, risk their careers when they choose a stream following the choice of their friends only without analysing their own aptitude and interest. More than 500 students have already benefited from the counselling sessions held on the campus in the recent days, he added. Vikram Grover, member of the college management committee, remarked that not only students, but sometimes parents also were not fully aware about the career streams their wards should join.

Though professional streams are preferred to conventional degree courses these days because of more employment opportunities, yet one should make a choice keeping into mind one’s own skills, asserted Harpreet Singh who has been carrying out career counselling in different parts of the country. Referring to Bihar and Uttar Pradesh students, he said they make more conscious decisions regarding their career than students of the other North Indian states, even being from educationally backward states. They check faculty details, infrastructure and past credentials before joining any institution.

Good performance

Students of the Guru Nanak Institute of Management and Technology, Gujarkhan Campus, Model Town, Ludhiana, have performed well in the MCA IV semester examinations held in May, 2010. All students passed with first division and 32 students have got honours by scoring more than 70 per cent marks and 2 students have secured 90 per cent above marks. Whereas 9 students have got more than 80 per cent and above marks. Babita secured first position in the university with 90 per cent marks, followed by Shilpa Tangri with 89.8 per cent marks and Richa Handa bagged third position with 88.8 per cent marks.

MBA results

PTU has also declared MBA final results in Which GNIMT students have surpassed all records. As many as 110 students out of 117 appeared have got more than 70 per cent (distinctions) marks, 27 students have more than 80 per cent marks and two have got more than 90 per cent marks. Divya Jain has stood first in the university with 92.3 per cent, Sakshi Garg is second in college with 90.5 per cent marks. Nidhi Gupta has scored third position with 89.12 per cent. Prince Marwaha, Amanpreet Kaur and Anureet Kaur got 4th position with 89 per cent marks.

Group discussion

Discussion is an exchange of knowledge. It is a team-building exercise, which has a common goal. In order to test and polish the communication skills of the students, the Senior Humanities Forum of Kundan Vidya Mandir organised an Inter-House Group Discussion contest in its auditorium here today. School Principal Rajiv Nagalia presided over the function. The contest was divided into two groups. Group 'A' comprised 12 students from class XI and XII and Group 'B' comprised 12 students from Class IX and X who were representing their respective houses. Each participant was given enough time to express his views. Dr Manisha Gangwar acted as the moderator. The topics under discussion were “Reckless Driving” and “Increase in Expenditure Harass parents”. The judges were Maninder Kaur and Pooja Nagpal from City Campus. They had tough time declaring the winners.


Group 'A' Class XI and XII

Subhash House bagged the 1st position and Patel House stood 2nd. Sidharth Sachdeva from Patel House was declared the “Best Speaker”.

Group 'B' Class IX & X

Subhash House won the Best House Award, whereas Patel House got the 2nd position. Nischay Grewal from Patel House was declared the “Best Orator”

Nagalia appreciated the efforts of the participants and motivated them to perform even better next time. The function ended with the National Anthem. — TNS



Mullanpur gets its first public park
Ayali lays its foundation, sanctions Rs 11 lakh
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, July 19
Manpreet Singh Ayali, Chairman, Zila Parishad, laid the foundation stone of the first-ever public park here yesterday.The Punjab Mandi Board inaugurated the new grain market on April 13, 1966. The provisions were made to open a few parks in the area but not a single one could be established till date. 

Though, the market committee had developed a small park a few years ago, but women and children never used to stroll here as it used to be dominated by men. Now, miscreants have uprooted everything and sold them to junk dealers.

Though Mullanpur Dakha Nagar Panchayat was established on January 1,1975, it never thought of providing a park to 35,000 residents on the pretext that the allocation of the land for this purpose was not under their preview. Most probably, Mullanpur Dakha is the only town in Punjab where not a single public park or stadium has been constructed for the general public.

Five years ago, another park was inaugurated by the then SSP Jagraon Rajiv Ahir. Since it was developed on encroached land and only a few families had access to that park, women, children and even senior citizens never entered it.

All these years, sources revealed, proposals to develop the park was sent by the local market committee to a district mandi officer. But, the request used to be turned down. Now, the same mandi board has sanctioned Rs 11 lakh for developing the park spread over an acre. 



Insurance Institute of India starts online registration
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 19
The Insurance Institute of India has started their online registration process to conduct examinations to grant associateship and fellowship diploma in life and general insurance. The Institute conducts these professional examinations twice in a year across 110 centres in India and 15 centres overseas. The last day of online registration for October/November 2010 examinations is August 20.

The Insurance Institute of India has initiated the online registration process on www.insuranceinstituteofindia.com for the examinations-pre-licensing test for surveyors, which is conducted on behalf of IRDA, Licentiate, Associateship and Fellowship examinations, certificate in insurance salesmanship (for the agents) and certificate course on foundation of casualty actuarial science.

Students who have either completed matriculation/ SSLC, SSC or have worked with an insurer in the field or in office for a minimum period of three years are eligible to appear for theses examinations. The last day for online registration is July 15 after which late fees will be charged. The last day of registration with late fee is August 20.

The Insurance Institute of India conducts these examinations at a very nominal fee to encourage self-employment in the country. They charge not more than Rs 700 for registration across India, Bhutan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. 



Review Nuclear Liability Bill, say experts
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 19
The Indian Doctors for Peace and Development and Social Thinkers Forum, Ludhiana, organised a seminar on “Nuclear power plants in context of Bhopal gas tragedy” today.

The speakers while expressing anguish at the belated judgment warned that worse situation could arise in the event of a nuclear accident where the government is proposing to put a cap on the liability in the Nuclear Liability Bill.

The speakers demanded a review on the Nuclear Liability Bill in the seminar. The Bill must be opened up for wider and transparent public consultations before any further step is taken to approve it, the speakers said.

Amarjeet Kaur, secretary, All-India Trade Union Congress, said the latest judgment on the Bhopal gas tragedy and unveiling of reports how the high ups in Union Carbide Limited were let go scout free coupled with failure of the Government of India to protect the rights of its own citizens was a matter of grave concern for every Indian.

Dr LS Chawla, president IDPD, said there was no foolproof method to manage the waste of the nuclear power plants. The IDPD study conducted at the Jadugoda uranium mines revealed astounding information about this waste lying in open and causing hazardous effect on the health of people living around there, Dr Chawla went on to add.

Meanwhile, Dr Arun Mitra, general secretary IDPD, in his presentation informed that the government had already come out with the Nuclear Liability Bill with a cap of US$ 458 million. Dr Mitra further stated that India should go in for renewable energy rather than harping for the nuclear, which is neither safe nor economical.



Villages to get grant for development
Our Correspondent

Khamano, July 19
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal will distribute grants of crores of rupees to all 71 villages of Khamano block and 10 villages of Bassi Pathana block for development tomorrow at 9 am at Green House, Sanghol.

Stating this, District Planning Committee chairperson Satwinder Kaur Dhaliwal said all arrangements had been made for this purpose. She said the Chief Minister would start sangat darshan at about 9 am and would continue till all villages were covered.

She said the village gram panchayats, youth clubs and mehla mandal members should reach on time to take the grants. Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner Fatehgarh Sahib, Yashvir Mahajan and SSP Gurpreet Singh Gill visited the sangat darshan site and took stock of the situation.

People of the area who are waiting since long for pending demands of the area, including tehsil complex, are hoping if there demands could bear the fruit.



5 killed, 8 hurt in mishaps
Our Correspondent

Phillaur, July 19
Five persons, including a woman, were killed and eight others injured in mishaps in and around Phillaur last night.As per the reports received here today, two motorcyclists, both residents of Goraya, were killed on the spot. The third person riding pillion sustained injuries. They have been identified as Kulwant Singh, Amarjit Singh and Joga Singh. 

They were returning from Gohawar to Goraya on their motorcycle (PB-21-D-6077) when their motorcycle overturned near a diversion, while negotiating a turn. They were rushed to a Goraya hospital where Kulwant and Amarjit were declared brought dead. Joga Singh was admitted to a hospital at Goraya. The bodies were handed over to their family members after conducting post-mortem examinations today.

In another accident, Hans Raj, a resident of Rasulpur village, died on the spot after hitting a speeding vehicle near Indira Colony, Goraya, on the National Highway last night.

Meanwhile, a woman identified as Simar Kaur (65) was electrocuted in nearby village Nasirabad last night. She was returning home after attending a religious function when suddenly she came in contact with electricity wires near her house. Darshan Singh, a resident of Hisar, was run over by a train near Phagwara last night. Whereas, four persons sustained serious injuries when the car in which they were traveling overturned between Goraya and Phillaur last night. The injured identified as Rajesh, Suchet, Sanjay and Anurag were admitted to a local civil hospital. The accident took place when the driver lost control over the vehicle while ramming it into another one.

Bhupinder Singh, his wife Paramjit Kaur and daughter Hardeep Kaur sustained injuries when a speeding car near Bhattian village hit their motorcycle. All injured were admitted to the local civil hospital. Cases have been registered. 



Beggar kids at their innovative best!

Who says, the beggar children do not have an aptitude as they are at their innovative best when it comes to "begging". Living with their core groups, they learn all tricks of "emotional blackmailing" and the best being their presence of mind to identify the sections, who can succumb to their tactics. Two beggar children not more than eight years of age got hold of a cardboard box, placed the idol of Lord Shiva and decorated it with flower petals. A gentleman after observing them for sometime asked them the reason for choosing Lord Shiva to which the boy replied, "This is the month of ‘sawan’ and everybody worships Lord Shiva and we will get good money from the people."

All for the name

A senior official with the Municipal Corporation, Ludhiana, became a good source to provide "inside" information to this correspondent. The "stories" given by him came out pretty well with all facts and figures. Around four to five times, he happily provided all the necessary information but of late, he started avoiding me. Whenever I called him, he would say that he was busy in the meeting or would call later. As I was not ready to lose this source, who provided vital information, I asked him if he could spare 10 minutes for a cup of tea. He agreed and I went to meet him in his office. After asking again and again, the official said, "I give you all inside information, still you never mention my name. I feel very bad about it. You should have mentioned my name, at least". I told him, "You are an official here who feeds me with inside information and if I will mention your name, you will be in trouble. Seniors may call for your explanation, are you ready for this?" Only then he understood and felt sorry for being little rude to me!

Just walk to stay healthy

There is good news for the fitness freaks as the study, carried out by researchers at Cambridge University and the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, which was published in the International Journal of Epidemiology said that there was no need to spend hours on a treadmill to become fit, as the key to a longer life could be as simple as taking a gentle stroll for just half an hour a day. According to experts, a daily walk to the shops can cut the risk of early death by 20 per cent, reports express.co.uk. “Our research confirms that it is not just exercising hard that is good for you. Even moderate, everyday activities like walking and cycling can have major health benefits,” James Woodcock of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine said. “Just walking to the shops or walking the children to school can lengthen your life - as well as bringing other benefits for well-being and the environment,” he added. It is a very important message that small amounts of light to moderate activity on a regular basis will have large benefits. Diet and movement specialist Joanna Hall agreed with Woodcock and said, “This research is so encouraging because many people are under the impression that in order to incur health, fitness and weight loss benefits they need to exercise vigorously and this is simply not the case.”

Punjabis all the way

Unable to let down their spirits of "camaraderie", the Punjabis sometimes become an obstruction for the professionals especially when it comes to observing the rules at the hospitals. My brother-in-law who was in the intensive care unit (ICU) at a corporate hospital had a lot of visitors and majority of them were his friends who despite the repeated reminders of the ICU security refused to move from the waiting lounge. Whenever the security guards came looking for them, the gang of 10 used the washroom, cafeteria and recliners in the waiting to hide themselves and queued up before the ICU during the meeting hours. The exasperated security staff had no option but to tell the ICU in charge, who did not miss a chance to say , "Your friend indeed is a lucky guy to get the support of strong willed Punjabis and I am sure your wishes just like you 10, must have sneaked in through the closed corridors."

Blame it on Facebook

An Army officer, who recently received threatening calls from an unknown caller forcing him to accept bribe in lieu of recruiting a youth was quite perturbed when the caller blurted out his personal details. The caller was aware of the school the Colonel went to and even named his several friends. While our officer being a ‘‘fauji’’ was not worried about the threat that the caller would not allow him to walk on city roads, he was quite upset at the fact that he was privy to information about him that not many people knew. After racking his brain for a long time, he could reach the conclusion that it was the Facebook (FB) to be blamed. “It has to be the FB. I will change the security settings right away,” he said.

Contributed by: Anshu Seth, Shivani Bhakoo, Manav Mander, Anshu Seth, Kanchan Vasdev



1 dead as gastroenteritis grips village
Our Correspondent

Phillaur, July 19
After Shamshabad village in Phillaur sub-division, now it was the turn of Chack Dhotrre village near Goraya to come in the grip of gastroenteritis, where a six-year old girl, Seema, died, while four others, including her cousin Mamta, fell ill and were admitted to different hospitals in Goraya and Dhahan Kaleran today.

Phillaur SDM Pritam Singh, who along with other officials rushed to the village, today told the condition of the ones suffering is out of danger now.

During a visit of the village, it was observed that the villagers were in a state of fear, while chief parliamentary secretary Sarwan Singh Phillaur and ADC (development) Jalandhar, Sarojini Gautam also visited the village and advised the people to take boiled drinking water in the rainy season as a preventive measure.

Use of contaminated water was said to be the cause of the gastroenteritis, which gripped some localities of the village. The SDM said three water samples had been taken from different houses of the village.

Replying to a query, ADC Sharda told The Tribune that the villagers were also having their own drinking water arrangements after discontinuation of the water supply of public health from nearby Mahalan village due to a hindrance from the passing railway track.

However, announcements have been made to avoid drinking water of the village and some water tanks were sent to the village to provide fresh drinking water to the villagers, said the SDM.

He said tablets of chlorines were also being distributed among the villagers and sanitation arrangements were being made to prevent people from any epidemic.

The SDM announced free medical treatment of the ill.

When asked, ADC Sharda told public health officials had been asked to launch a village-to-village campaign to check the drinking water supply. She, however, also advised the people to adopt precautionary measures for the prevention of the disease.

Meanwhile, the body of the girl was handed over to her family members after conducting a post mortem.

It may be mentioned here that several villagers are making their own drinking water supply arrangements without adopting hygienic steps and the departments concerned, including health and public health officials, are least bothered to check this violation.



Workers’ bodies stage dharna
Our Correspondent

Phillaur, July 19
Hundreds of labourers belonging to the Pendu Mazdoor Union and Dehati Mazdoor Sabha organised a demonstration before the local BDO office on Monday. The protesters led by Mela Singh Rurrka sat on a dharna and raised anti-government slogans. They were demanding opportunities of jobs and better pay scales. 



State RTI body to have video conferencing facility
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 19
State RTI Commissioner Darbara Singh Kahlon said that the State RTI Commission would soon have video conferencing facility, which will save the public information officers (PIO) from making repeated visits to Chandigarh.

The RTI Commissioner was in the city today to address the PIOs over various issues, which become a bone of contention between the information seeker and the PIOs.

"The Right to Information Act is a boon for the people in the country as it enables them to fight against corruption and ask for transparent working of public departments. Thus it becomes the duty of all PIOs to provide the information to people under the RTI," the RTI Commissioner said.

While giving details of the applications received by the commission from January to June 2010, Kahlon said that there had been 3,940 applications out of which 3,120 had already been cleared and the remaining 820 too would be cleared at the earliest. He further stated that 181 officials had been fined for having failed to provide information to the people and 321 people had been given compensation.

Meanwhile, the RTI Commissioner said that it was unfortunate that Punjab despite being an agricultural state had a large number of farmer suicides. The marginal farmer earned a meagre income of Rs 1,578 per month while a farmer with big landholding earned Rs 8,300 per month, which was inadequate to support a family. "It is the need of the hour to take serious steps towards diversification and value addition in agriculture," Kahlon said.

Kahlon also pointed towards the infant mortality rate and school dropout rate, which he said, was a blow for the progress of a developing nation. Further delving on the issue of IAS officers and their responsibilities, the RTI commissioner said that their number should be increased as the district's progress depended upon their working, which included making projects and utilising funds.

Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tewari, Additional Deputy Commissioner Kuldip Singh, ADC (G) Davinder Singh and various other officials were also present on the occasion.

No power to take action

Majority of government departments have failed to put the 17 point "suo moto information" on their official website which RTI Commissioner Darbara Singh Kahlon termed as mandatory under the RTI Act. At the same time he expressed helplessness in taking action against the erring departments adding, "We do not have the power to take action against the erring departments and officials for the violation." 



Couple accuse NRI of backing out
Lovleen Bains
Our Correspondent

Doraha, July 19
A tribal couple that was allegedly injured by a Skoda car on the national highway a few days back and were said to have arrived at a compromise with the accused, have alleged that the latter backed out accompanied by the police apathy.

According to information, it was on July 4 that Rakesh and his wife Rekha, residents of Sunder Nagar, Ward No 6 of Doraha, were hit by Skoda car (PB-10-BD-0997). They were admitted to Sidhu Hospital, Doraha. Rakesh lost his leg in the accident, while his wife had to be operated upon.

The Skoda car is said to be of an NRI who had allegedly arrived at a compromise with the couple on the condition that he would give financial assistance to the injured and bear the expenses thereafter too.

But according to the victims, although the help poured in initially, after that it stopped all of a sudden. They said they were not in touch with the NRI and when they tried to contact the police, they were not given any positive response.

Jaspal, who is pleading for the cause of the injured, said he had tried to contact police officials but to no avail.

DSP Payal said at the time of the incident, the couple was asked to get an FIR registered against the alleged accused, but as both parties arrived at a compromise, the police had no further role to play in the matter. “But now, as they are facing a fresh problem, they should approach the police so that the needful can be done as per their statement,” the official added.



Davinder is Rotary Club chief
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, July 19
The Rotary International Club, Ludhiana Midtown, held its installation ceremony yesterday at Park Plaza, Ludhiana. New team of the Rotary Club, Ludhiana Midtown, under the leadership of Rotarian Davinder Garg as president was installed with Rotarian Pankaj Sharma as secretary and Rotarian Rajan Kapoor as treasurer.

Along with this election, women wing of the club, Inner Wheel Club also had election and Vineeta Saluja replaced previous president Vaneera Garg. Prinka Nitani was appointed secretary of the club.

Prominent Rotarians were present to witness the ceremony, which included DGE Rotarian Sanjiv Sethi, while Charanjit Singh, IRS, Commissioner, Customs and Central Excise, were the guest of honour.



‘Unawareness leading to spread of seasonal diseases’
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 19
Seasonal diseases like gastroenteritis, cholera or dengue spread panic among city residents during every rainy season. Not checking the supply of contaminated water or not lifting dirt or garbage on time, the Municipal Corporation is blamed for bringing "epidemic"-like situation in the city. But Corporation Commissioner AK Sinha said that it was unfortunate to hold the MC responsible for everything "wrong" in the city. Unawareness among residents, too, was responsible for the spread of seasonal diseases to an extent.

Talking to The Tribune, Sinha said that ever since the monsoons knocked in the region, he made sure that officials concerned were "on round" to the affected areas. Contaminated water was undoubtedly one of the major reasons for gastroenteritis and cholera but the problem occurred mainly in unauthorised colonies where residents drew water illegally from the main water pipes.

"Their rubber-thin pipes are broken in which sewerage water could be mixed. Majority of these are unauthorised colonies, though they come under the MC. Here the civic body feels helpless ", said Sinha. He further added that in these affected areas, teams of officials found that migrant population was also eating stale food.

"These people cook rice in bulk and consume it for 1-2 days. Keeping food outside in the extreme humid weather will certainly not be good for consumption. The rotten food can also cause diseases", said Sinha adding that the civic body was trying their best to control the situation but residents, too, had to take certain precautionary measures.

Meanwhile, the MC has identified certain sensitive areas, including Tibba Road, Giaspura, Subhash Nagar, Mayapuri, Haibowal, Shanti Nagar, Sherpur, Jawahar Nagar camp etc, where chlorine tablets are being distributed. Through pamphlets, residents are being told to maintain hygiene.



Residents submit memo to Commissioner
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 19
Residents of Janakpuri today submitted a memorandum to Commissioner AK Sinha asking the latter to find a solution for proper drainage of rainwater. The residents rued that it was a flood-like situation in Janakpuri where children were unable to go to schools and shops could not be opened due to water logging in several areas. Above all, there was a threat of disease epidemic, said the residents.

The residents said work on storm-water management started during the Congress regime by depositing a hefty amount of Rs 92 lakh to the water supply and sewerage board department. About 70 per cent of the work was done when the SAD/BJP took over. The residents rued that they were paying all taxes, still facilities were not being provided to them.

The residents requested the Commissioner to find immediate solution to their problem.



Toyota’s Etios in city

LUDHIANA: Toyota “Q” World - an exclusive auto show by Toyota - is being held in the city. The event will be held at Radiant Toyota, GT road, Jugiana, Ludhiana, from 10 am to 7 pm. 

The customers of Ludhiana eagerly awaiting the launch of much-awaited concept model of Toyota’s new compact car - Etios - will now get an opportunity to see the vehicle in their own city. To ensure maximum accessibility to its customers, Toyota will expand its sales/service network to about 150 dealers by the end of 2010. — TNS



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