L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


City registers spurt in malaria cases
... But fogging yet to begin
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 26
The health department and the municipal corporation has yet to kick off the much awaited fogging operations, a precautionary measure to prevent mosquitoes from breeding in the rainy-season.

Due to “differences of opinion" among officials of the two bodies, fogging is not being done in spite of humidity levels soaring to their maximum. Perhaps officials are waiting for an outbreak of dengue fever or malaria before they swing into action, feel city residents.

At a recent meeting with health officials of both bodies deputy commissioner Rahul Tewari had asked them to start fogging operations as soon as possible. "Since the health department had said earlier it wasn’t the right time for fogging the MC waited for the former’s nod. However, at the recent meeting we asked the authorities concerned to begin the process soon", he stated. According to MC officials fogging operations had already been started. The MC’s health officer, Dr Charanjit Uppal, told The Tribune fogging machines were in place and all set to begin work in city areas.

"The process started today itself. We’ve got stocks of the medicines needed for fogging for the next ten days. The next order has already been placed and fresh medicines will arrive before the existing stocks are depleted. This is the ideal time for fogging”, Uppal claimed.

“Officials are busy making a fast buck in this whole exercise. Instead of fogging by machines door-to-door manual spraying is more effective. But in that case the officials wouldn’t be able to continue with their corrupt practices. Health experts have already declared fogging was nothing but an eyewash,” said Congress councillor Parminder Mehta.

Fact file

  • The Health dept has 20 fogging machines of which about a dozen are in working condition
  • MC spends about Rs 5,000 per hour on fogging
  • Annual expenditure to operate fogging machines is over Rs 1 crore
  • 50 litres of diesel and 5 litres of petrol are required to operate a machine for an hour
  • Experts believe mosquitoes have become resistant to a particular medicine - technical malathion - used for fogging
  • Fogging machines fail to reach all the city’s 75 wards


Stagnant water, garbage to blame
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Mosquito larvae in stagnant water at Dhandari Kalan, Ludhiana
Mosquito larvae in stagnant water at Dhandari Kalan, Ludhiana. Tribune photos: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, July 26
The recent rain has led to a spurt in malaria cases in the city slums where pools of stagnant water and heaps of garbage have become the breeding ground for mosquitoes.

More than 20 cases of malaria have already been reported from the city and its periphery. But the measures to control the disease have taken a backseat as the health department is short of pyrithrim, the medicine used to destroy the mosquito larvae. At the same time the controversy over fogging has further added to the problem.

Confirming the reports, the district health official (DHO), Dr DS Kochar, said these were sporadic cases which surfaced during this season. He also said that the anti-larvae wing of the health department was already on the job. “Pyrithrim, pemophos and BTI are being used in the sprays to destroy the larvae of mosquitoes in almost all the areas of the city. Also, the teams are visiting the peripheries,” the DHO added.

Asked about the health department’s refusal to the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation (LMC) to go ahead with the fogging (the common preventive measure to restrict the growth of mosquitoes), the DHO said the central government had advised against it since it was “ineffective” on mosquito larvae. But the state government had instructed the local bodies to go ahead with fogging, which had added to the confusion.

On the other hand, the department of health and family welfare is short of staff, as a result they are unable to extensively carry on the drive of destroying the mosquito larvae.

At the same time, the doctors in the city are apprehending further chances of surge in the number of cases as the weather is conducive for the breeding of mosquitoes.


  • Malaria, a vector-borne disease, is caused by female anopheles mosquito
  • The incubation period can range from seven to 30 days


  • Cold phase (shivering, feeling cold)
  • Hot phase (vomiting, fever, headache; convulsions in children)
  • Sweating phase (sweating, normal temperature, sleepiness)



No stopping gastro cases
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 26
With a dozen more gastroenteritis cases surfacing in the low-lying areas, the number of cases has gone up to 80. People living in Tilak Nagar, Mohalla Anantpura, Jain Colony, Shakti Nagar, Punjabi Bagh, New Kundan Puri and New Subhash Nagar are the worst affected as they have been constantly getting contaminated water supply.

The district health officer (DHO), Dr DS Kochar, said the department had taken 80 water samples in the past month and had received reports of 40 samples. “It is shocking that all 40 water samples have failed the test,” he stated.

Even the samples taken from Punjabi Bagh, which saw the worst gastro outbreak last year, have failed. More than 400 gastroenteritis cases and two deaths were reported from here last year.

The failure of the samples had put a question mark on the working of the municipal corporation (MC).



Senior cops in dock for framing constable
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 26
Six senior police officers, including an IPS one, have found themselves in trouble after a constable accused them of framing him in a false case of drug peddling in the Punjab & Haryana High Court. He has now demanded a criminal case be filed against the officers.

The constable, Kuldip Singh, who was acquitted in the case, has now filed a criminal writ petition in the high court against the then SSP Harpreet Singh Sidhu, who is now posted as DIG, Punjab State Human Rights Commission, and Sandeep Goel, PPS ADCP PCR and control room, Ludhiana range.

The others who were summoned include retired DSP Malkiat Singh; DSP (Jalandhar range) Mukhwinder Singh; ASI Darshan Singh and head constable Narinder Singh, posted in Sahnewal. Taking cognisance of the petition, the high court has issued notice to these police officers for filing a reply in the case till July 30.

After being rendered jobless for five years Kuldip has now rejoined the police force but the latter has refused to include the five-year period during which he was placed under suspension in his service career. He asserts he was falsely implicated and has demanded the government should compensate him by including those five years in his service.

The incident reportedly took place on October 2002, when DIG Harpreet was Ludhiana SSP. The department formed a PCR squad and Kuldip was deployed as PCR officer. In the meantime a robber looted Rs 2 lakh from Sahnewal and Kuldip was posted in the area where the incident took place. It led to wide criticism of the SSP and the PCR officers for a doing shoddy job.

Kuldip alleged the SSP was miffed over the incident and on October 30 2002 he was ordered to report at the division no 5 police station in the context of a case.

He claimed following the direction of “highly placed officials” he was taken to the CIA staff where he was booked for opium peddling and the police further showed a recovery of 1 kg of opium from his possession. An FIR No. 360 was also registered against him in Haibowal police station, he stated.

Following the registration of the FIR Kuldip was suspended and a departmental investigation was initiated against him. He said after being acquitted by the court of an additional sessions judge on April 12, 2008 he filed an application and stopped the departmental investigation in the case.

Making serious allegations against officials of his own department, Kuldip said the police recovered 3 kg of opium from Sahnewal on October 22 2002. He said following the orders of seniors, head constable Narinder Singh, who was posted in Sahnewal, took 1.5 kg of opium from the seized 3 kg and used the recovered opium to frame him and another cop in a false case.

“The truth will come out if the police conduct a lab test of the seized drugs”, he added.

Kuldip further went on to allege the police adulterated the drug to increase its weight. “I’ll keep on fighting for justice. I’ve suffered immense social and professional humiliation after I was booked in the case and I have now demanded compensation”, he asserted.

Despite repeated attempts neither DIG Harpreet Sidhu nor ADCP Sandeep Goel were available for comments.



Making dream weddings come true
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Swati Pandya Sood
Swati Pandya Sood

Ludhiana, July 26
Those who think a perfect wedding is only a matter of having oodles of money, think again. For there is much more to a ‘dream’ wedding than just moolah flowing endlessly.

"A perfect wedding is all about showing off one's individualistic style through a well-planned and well-executed event," says Delhi-based wedding planner and décor stylist Swati Pandya Sood.

In town to take part in the ongoing three-day lifestyle exhibition, ‘Bride & Groom’, Swati is an established name in the field with numerous top-of-the-line weddings and events to her credit. She has worked her magic in some of the grandest weddings the country has seen including that of Sahara India, the royal family of Nabha and Mandelia's.

"A dream wedding is not about spending a fortune. It’s all about smart planning and packaging," asserts the charming stylist who has made many dream weddings come true.

Besides planning the event, Swati and her team of 61 members arrange for almost everything that goes into the making of a wedding, be it the décor, furnishing, linen, lighting, florals, accessories or coordinates, according to the client's demand, taste and budget.

“I pay extra attention to the client's style and make sure to depict it through the theme," she says, disclosing her trade secret.

Swati dismisses the notion that wedding planners are a luxury that only the wealthy can afford. "That’s a myth. A minimal budget wedding can also be made very special with a little extra care towards finer details, which are generally overlooked at, in a grand Indian wedding setup”, she avers.

A multitalented personality, Swati feels proud to be a part of the most important event of someone's life in a very special way. "Nothing gives me more joy than making weddings perfect for everyone, right from the bride and the groom to their families and invitees," says the stylist, who also teaches event management to final year students of the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), New Delhi, besides writing columns on styling in leading national dailies.

On her journey so far, Swati recollects with a bright smile: "Wedding planning has been a passion for me ever since I can recall. So, in order to be able to live my dream and passion, I set up my one-woman company 'Bollywood Secrets' some seven years ago and today we are 62 and growing."

On her visit to the city, she says, "People in Ludhiana are rich. They love to experiment and don't mind spending big money to make a lasting impression, especially at occasions like weddings. I think the city is a great potential market for wedding planners. I’d love to work with people here and am really looking forward to a wedding I’m working on for a local client."

  • Popular wedding themes: Fusion, western, Venetian, Moroccan, Arabic, Zen, ‘Buddha bar’
  • Personal favourite: Urban yet traditional appeal with fusion ofcontemporary and traditional elements
  • Cherished moment: When a bride text messaged “thank you" for making her dream of a perfect wedding come true
  • Prized possession: Glowing testimonials from couples and their families confirming their blissful experiences



Admn to tighten noose around smugglers
Mahesh Sharma

Ludhiana/Mandi Ahmedgarh, July 26
Tightening noose around anti-social elements stocking illicit liquor and selling it without seeking the administration’s permission, the Punjab Excise Department and Narcotic Cell of the Ludhiana police have launched a joint crusade.

Under Sections 61,1,14 of the Punjab Excise Act, those nabbed with illicit liquor are imposed a fine of Rs 5,000, besides being tried.

Investigations by Ludhiana Tribune revealed that the authorities in the Excise Department and the Narcotic wing of the district police had launched a coordinated movement against those who were selling illicit liquor without paying tax.

Profits made by licensed vendors also got eroded due to obvious fall in sale at their shops in specified periods. Illicit liquor was either manufactured at unauthorised distilleries or procured from vends situated in other areas.

A team led by excise inspector Gurcharan Singh and Gurpreet Singh, in charge, Narcotic Cell, booked some persons for keeping and selling illicit liquor in the recent past.

Gurpreet Singh, a resident of Aman Nagar, was nabbed and 20 bottles of illicit liquor were seized from his possession. The investigating team is trying to ascertain the source of supply of illicit liquor. Besides being tried for the offence, he was directed to deposit a fine of Rs 5,000.

Four bottles of liquor of unknown origin were recovered from Partap Singh, a resident of Simla Puri, who was nabbed by the team on a tip-off. He was also asked to pay a fine of Rs 5,000.

Investigations further revealed that some dhaba owners, grocers and transporters were involved in the trade. Bottles which were commonly sold at licensed vends for Rs 200 were available at unauthorised places for Rs 150.

It was found that the sellers had procured these bottles from outside sources at a much cheaper rate. Some truck drivers used to supply them liquor at the rate of Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,100 per case.



Stay younger, have soybean milk
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 26
Dr RT Patil, director, Central Institute of Post Harvest Engineering and Technology (CIPHET), today said the production of milk from soybean and groundnuts had a lot of potential and was healthy for consumers.

He was speaking on the inaugural session of a five-day training programme on soybean and groundnut, organised for farmers of Gurdaspur district.

Emphasising on the demand and consumption of soybean milk in China, Dr Patil said the potential was not exploited in India. “The plant milk extracted from soybean is much safer, if produced under hygienic condition. Also, researches have shown it reduces blood pressure, controls diabetes and ageing effect,” he said.

Advocating for maintaining high-safety standards in production, Dr Patil said farmers adopting processing should never compromise on quality. “Farmers can maintain better quality in villages than industrialist in cities, as they have more easy access to fresh raw material.” he added.

“Farmers getting training from CIPHET can use institute name to market their products,” added Dr Patil. Dr Deepak Raj Rai, head, Transfer of Technology (TOT) Division, said they would provide all support to farmers. Senior scientist Dr Sangeeta Chopra and technical officer OP Moondan were also present on the occasion.



From Schools and Colleges
Saplings planted

Ludhiana: Week-long festivities started at Green Land Senior Secondary Public School today. Hundred saplings were planted by kindergarten students on the first day. The entire week will be dedicated to "go green" theme, wherein students from classes nursery to XII will plant saplings. Competitions on environment, including poster making, poem recitation, fancy dress, power point presentation, jute and cloth bag making, radio and talk show will be organised on the school premises to create awareness among students. Chairman-cum-director of the Chain of Green Land Schools and principal Baldeep Pandher exhorted students to protect their environment.

Green Day

The Green Day was celebrated by students of Everest Public Senior Secondary School, Moti Nagar, today on the school premises. They all came attired is green dresses. Rajinder Sharma, president, Association of PSEB Affiliated Schools, Punjab, addressed students.

SK Sharma explained the motive of healthy environment. Saplings were planted by tiny tots. They raised slogans like “Ek Rukh So Sukh” and “plant a tree, get oxygen free”.

Shashi Sharma, programme officer, said students were enlightened on keeping the environment healthy by taking little steps like plantation, proper repair of electrical appliances and paper saving in offices. A group discussion and a quiz on environment were also arranged. Cakes and sweets were also distributed among students.


An inter-house press conference on Women Reservation Bill was held for classes X and XII at Guru Nanak Public School today. Participants acted as correspondents of television channels and political parties. Judges for the event were Rupam and Tejinder Kaur while Mondair and Nanrey conducted the programme. The contest ended with a speech by principal RS Gill. Bhai Vir Singh House won the contest. Navpreet Kaur was adjudged the best speaker.

Talent hunt

ABC Montessori organised a fun-filled talent hunt and game show for kids in the age group of 1 to 6 years and their parents at Flamez Mall yesterday. Various games like touch and feel, quiz competition and hidden treasure were held. Surprise gifts were also given. The event helped parents understand the Montessori concept of learning.

Investiture ceremony

Saraswati Modern Senior Secondary School, Hambran road, organised an investiture ceremony for the recently selected school council. Team members were brimming with confidence to shoulder the newly assigned duties with sincerity and efficiency. The team members expressed their gratitude to the selection committee. The event started with a Saraswati vandana. SD Kalia, director of the Darshan Academy Chain of Schools, was the chief guest. He exhorted students to be energetic and dedicated towards their school duties. The felicitation was done, wherein the student council took an oath in front of president Kamla Jain, principal Meena Jain and other guests creating a memoir in the ceremony. Head boy of the school delivered a speech and head girl proposed the vote of thanks.


To seek the blessings of Almighty for the success of new academic session, a bhog sri sehaj path was held at Ramgarhia Girls' College, Miller Ganj, today. The function began with the recital of Gurbani Kirtan by students of the music department. Renowned ragi Harbaljit Singh enthralled the audience. Principal Dr Narinder Sandhu extended a warm welcome to freshers and wished them success.

President of Ramgarhia Educational Council Ranjodh Singh gave away prizes to toppers of university examination. Jagtar Singh, general secretary of the Ramgarhia Educational Council, proposed the vote of thanks.


Guru Nanak Institute of Design and Technology organised a seminar on Fashion Forecast 2010-2011 today. Hina Gupta, fashion expert (BSCFT from INIFD and MBA marketing), was the resource person.

Students learnt to identify upcoming colours, embellishments, fabrics and trends, which would enable them to design their own garments, make assignments and project work keeping in mind the forecast of this year. The presentation also highlighted the silhouettes and trends of all seasons, spring summer, autumn winter and fall-winter collections.

New courses

SDP College for Women organised an open darbar here today on the college premises. It was organised as per the directions and guidance of Balraj Bhasin, president, SDP Sabha, administrative officer Inderjeet Kohli and director S Verma.

Bhaisin said MSc (maths) and communicative English had been introduced and the management was planning to introduce many more activities which would not only improve the intellectual and communicative abilities but also enhance the overall personality of students. A free dispensary was opened by SDP Sabha at Naulakha Garden.

Students excel

Students of Guru Nanak Girls’ College, Model Town, won laurels in the PGDCA exams, the results of which were declared by Panjab University, Chandigarh. Preet Kamal Channa bagged the first position in the university with 85.7 per cent marks, Amandeep Kaur stood second in the college with 80.7 per cent marks and Sandeep Kaur secured the third position with 79.4 per cent marks. Principal Dr Charanjit Mahal congratulated the toppers. Meanwhile, students of PGDCA OF Devki Devi Jain Memorial College for Women also won top honours in university examinations. Meenu Dang stood third in the university with 85.2 per cent marks, Manpreet Kaur stood fifth in PU with 84.5 per cent marks and Kajal bagged the seventh position with 83.6 per cent marks. Chairman Sukhdev Raj Jain, president Nand Kumar Jain, secretary Kedar Nath Jain, vice-president Sheetal Kumar Jain, principal Surinder Dua and staff members congratulated students.


Students of Arya College brought laurels to the college in university exams of postgraduate classes. Sarabjeet of MA II political science secured 68 per cent marks and bagged the first position in the college. Harminder Kaur of MA I political science stood first in the college with 66.75 per cent marks. Sapandeep Kaur of MA II Punjabi topped the college and got 65.75 per cent marks, while Harmanpreet Singh of MA I History scored 59.75 per cent marks. President of the college management committee Davinder Nath Sharma, principal Dr TL Joshi and faculty members congratulated students.

Results declared

Jaspreet Kaur of MA (Punjabi) and Ruby of MBACIT of Master Tara Singh Memorial College brought laurels to the college by bagging the first position and gold medals in Panjab University annual examination-2010. College principal Dr Parveen Kaur Chawla congratulated students and staff.

Certificates distributed

On the completion of industrial training of BTech (IT and CS) students of various colleges of Punjab at Gtech Softwares and Education, certificates were distributed by chief parliamentary secretary (Punjab) Harish Rai Dhanda.

MD of Gtech Software and Education Gian Singh Kalra said Gtech had provided a national-level platform to get industrial training on projects in Ludhiana and would continue to provide better opportunities available in the industry to students. He disclosed that Gtech Education had also started its much-awaited career-oriented accelerated programmes- GASD, GAWD and GAHNE. — TNS



Rising Youth Association goes green
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 26
The Rising Youth Association (RYA) organised a plantation drive at Ambedker Park near Dholewal Chowk here today. Activists of the NGO, led by its president Gurinder Chahal, planted more than 100 saplings of satpati, bahera, neem, amia and ashoka.

A large number of saplings were also distributed among area residents for plantation in their respective localities.

Surinder Mohan, SHO, Police Div No 2, and Amit Gosain, chief guests at the function, said people, especially the NGOs, could make a significant contribution towards the environment protection by planting saplings and joining awareness campaign.

Naresh Dhingan, prominent leader of Bhartiya Valmiki Dharam Samaj, and trustee, Ludhiana Improvement Trust, while planting a sapling, observed that trees were important, valuable and necessary for the existence of any living creature on earth. “In the wake of alarming level of environmental pollution in the predominantly industrial city, there is a dire need of afforestation and expansion of green cover,” he added.

Chahal stated that during the drive, an awareness lecture was organised to educate people on the ways to check pollution-tree plantation being the first and foremost among them.

Driving home the point for extensive plantation all over the city, he said the trees not only cleaned the air, worked as a natural air filter of particulate matter such as dust, micro sized metals and pollutants like ozone, nitrogen oxides, ammonia and sulphur dioxides, but also improved the water quality. “A healthy urban forest can have a strong influence on our region’s water quality. Tree canopies and root systems slow and reduce storm water runoff, flooding and erosion. Trees also help filter water runoff, thus reducing potential sources of water pollution in our rivers and storm drains.”

The speakers castigated the Punjab Pollution Control Board for its utter failure to initiate effective measures against industrial units, hosieries and dyeing mills which were creating air and water pollution-hazardous for health.



A cop’s dilemma!

A traffic violator was stopped by a cop after she jumped a red light at a small intersection in the city’s interiors. Even before the policeman could say something, the girl started speaking, “I am extremely sorry sir. I did not see you.”

The harried cop, with a flabbergasted expression on his face, reminded the driver that she had to stop at the intersection as the traffic light was red and not because he was standing there. The girl replied that she knew the traffic rules and had been following them “only to be jeered at by fellow motorists for being a traffic hazard on the busy city roads. Thus adapting to the city motorists’ way and to save myself from being run over by other vehicles, I have learnt to ignore the traffic lights and watch out for traffic cops instead. But today I somehow missed you and got caught,” grinned the girl from the car’s window.

The shocked cop let the girl go after scolding her mildly, perhaps as he did not know whether to punish her for being party to mass violation happening in the city or to empathise with her for being a victim of the ruthless ways of city motorists!

Passing the buck, again

Come rainy season and the mega city never misses its date with water-borne diseases like cholera, gastroenteritis and jaundice in numerous slums areas, especially on the periphery of the city with majority of migrant population.

It is indeed shocking that neither the civic administration nor the health authorities take timely preventive steps against the outbreak of diseases. Quality of water supply, disposal of sewage and level of sanitation in most of the disease-prone areas remains pathetic. And like previous years, once the diseases surface, the MC and health administration shamelessly indulge in the game of passing the buck, holding each other responsible for the misery of the poor people. Will this buck ever stop somewhere? Will those responsible for civic governance as well as providing healthcare become sensitive to the plight of the victims?

Might is right

It seems without “references” getting one’s work done in the city is impossible. The other day, a friend (a well-connected reporter) of mine lodged a complaint with a centre of Powercom as there was no power supply in one of the phases.

The attendant spoke rudely to her and said linemen were busy and she should wait for 3-4 hours. Poor friend kept on waiting, but nobody turned up. At last she went to the complaint station to request linemen to rectify the problem.

The person on duty said, “The complaint has not been lodged, you have to wait as all linemen have already gone to attend to complaints.” She got upset and called up the XEN of the area from the centre itself. The attendant got panicky as the XEN pulled him up on phone.

He said, “Madam, you could have revealed your identity earlier. I will call the lineman immediately. He will accompany you to get the problem rectified. There was no need to call higher-ups,” he said.

Caught on the wrong foot

Hovering in the corridors of officials to make monthly monetary offerings is something that people get accustomed to in our country as soon as they step into a particular trade. But this exchange of “greetings”, when unveiled in public, can cause “embarrassment” to the officials concerned that lasts for lifetime.

As it happened, a drug store owner met a health official at a state-level meeting which was convened in the presence of the principal secretary and the minister. The chemist, without realising the presence of the media, came across to the official and asked him to step aside so that he could hand over the “monthly collection” to him as he said, “Sir, apka chakkar bhi bach jayega aur hamari tension bhi khatam ho jayegi. Yahin le lejiye is mahine ki kisht” (Sir, you take this month’s instalment here only as it will save you a visit to us and also we will be free of tension). Caught on the wrong foot, the official could do nothing but vanish from the scene.

Tail piece

A thought provoking SMS making rounds reads: Human Being: A creature that cuts trees, makes paper out of it and writes “Save Trees” on them!

Contributed by: Charu Chhibber, Kuldip Bhatia, Shivani Bhakoo, Anshu Seth



Re-employment of retired specialists
Health dept promoting corruption: Docs
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 26
The Punjab Civil Medical Services Association (PCMSA), Specialists Doctors Association (SPA) and Rural Medical Services Association (RMSA) today alleged the department of health and family welfare, Punjab, of promoting “corruption” through re-employment of retired specialists in the state.

Contesting the claims of the health department for re-employing retired specialists in the wake of “no response” from the eligible specialists in the state, Dr Hardeep Singh, the state president of the PCMSA said, “The health department has admitted to have received more than 300 applications against the 128 vacant posts. Thus there is no question of re-employment of the specialists who have attained superannuation.”

Dr Hardeep Singh pointed towards the postponed date of the “interviews” of fresh specialists from July 25 to August 8. “The retired specialists have been called for interviews on July 28 and 29, which is evident that they are being given preference over the young and eligible specialists,” alleged Dr Hardeep.

On the other hand, rural doctors, while expressing their resentment, said they had suspended their protests against the state government’s move of re-employment of specialists due to floods in Punjab. “But the Punjab health minister instead of rewarding the rural medical officers working day and night in the flood hit areas has backstabbed them by calling the retired specialists for interviews,” accused RMSA state president Dr Aslam Parvez.

The rural doctors in an urgent meeting convened in Ludhiana last evening decided to gherao the health directorate in Sector 34, Chandigarh, on July 29, the scheduled date for the interviews of retired specialists.

RMSA advisor Dr JP Narula and spokesperson of the association Dr Rajesh Sharma said, “There are nearly 1,200 doctors who are doing rural job and serving people in peripheral rural areas for the past five years and are taking care of the rural healthcare, where the doctors had not gone for the past 20 years. Instead of regularising their jobs or giving full pay scale, the government has not even fulfilled its promise of giving them PG quota in government medical colleges in lieu of the rural job,” alleged RMSA representatives.

The monthly salary of each re-employed specialist will come to Rs 1 lakh per month, an additional burden on state exchequer. Also, these specialists had been serving as senior medical officer, civil surgeon, deputy director and director for 10 to 12 years and were out of practice in terms of “clinical work”, alleged the above associations.



Surprise check at ESI hospital
Poor disposal of biomedical waste revealed
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

PPCB officials check the needle destroyer at ESI Model Hosiptal, in Ludhiana
PPCB officials check the needle destroyer at ESI Model Hosiptal, in Ludhiana. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, July 26
The ESI Model Hospital was found guilty of violating the biomedical waste and management rules during a surprise check conducted by officials of the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) here this evening.

The hospital has failed to get “authorisation” for the disposal of the waste from the PPCB and has failed to follow the prescribed manner for waste segregation.

PPCB XEN Arun Kakkar said: “The needle destroyer is not functioning properly as the needles are not destroyed completely. The authorities have failed to get the renewal for authorisation from the PPCB. Also, there are other discrepancies pertaining to the role of housekeeping in the segregation of waste,” he said, adding that the report was being sent to the head office for further action.

The Anti Corruption and Crime Investigating Cell, an NGO, in a complaint to the PPCB had pointed toward various other violations at the hospital.

Rohit Sabharwal, member of the NGO, alleged that the hospital had not submitted an annual report on biomedical waste to the PPCB, including category-wise record of the generation of biomedical waste. “The board had failed to provide us with the above details under the RTI as it did not have any,” he claimed.

MS Take

The medical superintendent at the ESI Model Hospital, Dr Suresh Kohli, said there were minor problems which would be taken care of at the earliest. “I took over as the MS in March and the process is on for the renewal of authorisation for the disposal of biomedical waste. As far as the segregation and other norms for disposal are concerned, the staff is following the prescribed procedure,” he stated.



Janakpuri becomes a Narakpuri
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Losses running into lakhs has aggravated the woes of shopkeepers who are still waiting for government aid
Losses running into lakhs has aggravated the woes of shopkeepers who are still waiting for government aid. Photos: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, July 26
Janakpuri has been rechristened ‘Narakpuri’ (a hell) by its residents. The area has been facing waterlogging for the past 25 years but the perennial problem persists as the authorities do not seem to care. The living conditions get so bad in monsoon that it becomes a virtual hell and hence the name.

Shopkeepers and residents of Janakpuri have resorted to all possible means - dharna, protest, request and hunger strike - to shake the authorities out of slumber and find a permanent solution to the problem but the situation has only deteriorated further.

For the past 20-25 years, around 3 lakh people have been facing the problem of waterlogging in the area. Due to this, their businesses have been affected, the value of their shops/residential premises has seen a decline and the threat of disease epidemic has been looming large, especially during rain. They blame the successive governments for their misery.



Residents face admn apathy
Mahesh Sharma

Raikot, July 26
If breaking a portion of the metalled road to allow water to flow is called rescue operation, we do not need any such help from the administration, said residents whose houses are surrounded with water and their paddy crops submerged under rainwater.

By the time, the level of water will come down, more rains will transform the fields into a pond.

Having suffered a loss of worth lakhs of rupees by way of damaged crop, commercial items and household goods, the residents have urged the Chief Minister of Punjab to depute some senior official to evaluate the role of officials in the civil administration in performing their duty.

It was only after a few social and political organisations of the area staged a protest dharna on Friday that the block development official of the area allowed the residents to break a portion of the metalled road and allowed the water to flow on the other side of the road. All requests to install equipment for pumping out water proved futile.

The officials supervising the breaking process of the road maintained that the department had no equipment to pump out water from any place.



Cleaning up of Budha Nullah
More funds sought
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 26
Ludhiana MP and national spokesperson of the All-India Congress Committee Manish Tewari has sought more funds for the cleaning up of Budha Nullah under the National River Conservation Plan.

Tewari requested Union Minister of State for Environment Jairam Ramesh to play a proactive role in the cleaning up of Budha Nullah. He said, although the water being the state subject, the Central government could supplement these efforts by providing both technical expertise and robust oversight in the utilisation of funds.

Tewari also requested the minister to ask the Punjab government as to where a grant of Rs 50 crore, sanctioned by the Planning Commission for the clean up, had been utilised, as the funds had not been utilised for the intended purpose.

Responding to the appeal made by the Congress MP to visit Ludhiana for an on-the-spot assessment of Budha Nullah-a huge source of pollution in the industrial hub of the state, the minister had tentatively scheduled his visit for August 14 to assess the implementation of various schemes for the conservation project connected to the clean up of the Budha Nullah.

Tewari said Ramesh would be bringing along some officials and experts from his ministry.

The delegation that met the minister in New Delhi included Qila Raipur MLA Jassi Khangura, Pawan Dewan, Bhupinder Sidhu and former minister Malkiat Singh Birmi.



Vijay Diwas
Ahmedgarh forgets its heroes
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, July 26
The Kargil Vijay Diwas is no more important for residents of this area, which once used to observe the occasion with great enthusiasm.

Though a large number of youths from villages of this area falling under Ludhiana and Sangrur had sacrificed their lives, none of the social, educational and constitutional organisations had even garlanded statues of these martyrs today.

While leaders of all political parties used to make their presence felt on such occasions for some years following the Kargil war, majority of them remained busy in pleasing their senior leaders by pretending to mobilise more people in support of their party.

Investigations by The Tribune revealed that the Vijay Diwas had gone unnoticed among administrative officials and political leaders in this region of the state that contributed largest share in the war.

No organisation was reported to have even showered floral petals over the statues of the martyrs erected at various places. Authorities at schools named in memory of the martyrs failed to get the statues and signboards cleaned.

When this reporter visited Shaheed Ajmer Singh Memorial Government High School at Dhulkot, no activity was seen on occasion of the special day. Neither the villagers nor the authorities at the school remembered that the day had some importance. Children playing in the ground could not tell even the importance of Vijay Diwas.

A teacher, on condition of anonymity, said the authorities had stopped celebrating martyrdom day of Ajmer Singh for obvious reasons of financial constraints.

Similar was the case at Paramjit Singh Memorial Government Senior Secondary Gill, where nobody from the school, village or the family bothered to garland the statue of the martyr. Students admitted that they were not told significance of Vijay Diwas in the morning assembly.

“Parents of the martyr were invited to the school every year earlier, but the authorities have stopped inviting them. They (parents) observe anniversary of their son by distributing sweetened rice among children at their residence only,” said Mohan Singh, an area resident.

Johlan, Ghudani, Manakwal and Bhasaur are other villages where statues of martyrs remained unattended today.



Vigilance nabs building inspector
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 26
Vigilance officials nabbed a building inspector of the municipal corporation (MC) for allegedly accepting bribe here today. Baljit Singh, a building inspector in Zone-B, was arrested while accepting Rs 10,000 as the first instalment of a bribe.

Sukhdev Singh, a resident of Karam Colony, alleged that Baljit Singh recently visited his house under construction and highlighted irregularities in the building plan. But Sukhdev maintained that he had not violated any rules.

When Sukdev refused to bribe him, the inspector reportedly threatened to demolish the house. Finally, the deal was struck at Rs 30,000. In the meantime Sukhdev lodged a complaint with the vigilance department.



Man held for sneaking in drugs in jail

Ludhiana, July 26
Central Jail officials nabbed a man who was trying to sneak in drugs by hiding it in an onion here today. The accused has been identified as Jagdeep Singh.

The incident took place this afternoon when the accused was visiting the jail to meet a friend, Messa Singh, who is facing life imprisonment in a murder case. Jail officials said he had stuffed the onion with 100 gm of charas. — TNS



Manhandling of court official
Lawyer denied bail
Rajneesh Lakhanpal

Ludhiana, July 26
Court of Additional Sessions Judge Munish Singal today dismissed the anticipatory bail plea of lawyer Ashok Mittal, who is facing accusations of manhandling and thwarting a court official from performing official duty.

Dismissing the bail plea, the court remarked that the accused had deterred a public servant from performing his duty. There were allegations that after manhandling the court official, he created ruckus in the court of sessions judge, Ludhiana.

Keeping in view the gravity of offence, the accused was not entitled to the grant of concession of anticipatory bail, further observed the court.

The defence lawyer had argued that actually, the court official had manhandled Mittal. But he moved false complaint against him in order to save his skin. It was also stressed that nothing was to be recovered from the accused.

The alleged recovery had already been affected. It was submitted that no case of custodial interrogation was made. So, the concession of anticipatory bail should be given. A large number of lawyers were present during the hearing.

The lawyer was booked a few days back under Sections 332, 353 and 186 of IPC on the complaint of Chaman Lal, ahlmad of the court of sessions judge.



Dharminder is snooker champion

Ludhiana, July 26
Dharminder of Amritsar emerged as champion of the Ballantine’s Punjab State Snooker Championship held at Satluj Club here today. City-based snooker players, Ashish Dhanda and Dhruv Verma got the second and third positions, respectively, while Joy Mehra of Amritsar came fourth.

Dharminder emerged winner in both matches played against Ashish Dhanda and Joy Mehra to capture the top slot. The results of the semi final league: Dharminder b Ashish Dhanda 4-0; Dhruv Verma b Joy Mehra 4-3; Dharminder b Joy 4-1; and Ashish b Dhruv 4-2. — TNS



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