L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Flood fears rise as BBMB releases more water
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Kasabad/Ludhiana,September 10
The release of another 40,000 cusecs of water into the Sutlej by the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) has added to the worries of the inhabitants of villages situated on the river’s banks in this district.

A visit to the ‘dhussi bundh’ in Kasabad village by this reporter provided an insight into the magnitude of the problem, which could aggravate in case of incessant rain followed by further release of water by BBMB.

The villagers fear intermittent rain during the past three days may cause more damage to the bundh, triggering floods in at least six villages including Kasabad, Bhattian, Bahadarke and Jamalpur Lele.

The washing away of 150 feet of the spur on the ‘dhussi bundh’ in Kasabad two weeks ago has made this specific spot more vulnerable, thus making the villagers apprehensive. Panic is writ large on the faces of farmers who have their landholdings on the riverbank as the water is slowly making entering their fields, posing a danger to crops.

Said Baldev Singh, a farmer in Kasabad: "I’ve 40 acres of land in the river basin and the water is already making its way inside the fields. The situation will get out of hands soon after BBMB releases more water. Unfortunately we can only wait and watch”.

A group of villagers said the drainage department did little to repair the washed away spur during the past two weeks, adding the staff did not have enough materials for the job. "A few hundred bags of sand and jute ropes can't sustain the water pressure. Only a concrete arrangement with studs and spurs is the solution to the problem”, said Satnam Singh and his associates.

The villagers are weary of promises made by the administration. “The current flood like situation could have been averted with timely work on strengthening the bundh. However the drainage department, despite having procured materials worth Rs 40 lakh last July, failed to do the required work”, the villagers added.

However, the department staff present there said: “We’ve tried to mend the damaged bundh but the velocity of the water obstructed the work. The materials required for the job are available and we’ll commence work as soon as the water recedes”.

Night vigil resumed

The DC said night vigil had been resumed beginning Thursday in all the 15 “sensitive spots” in the district. "A team of officials has also visited Issapur, Kasabad, Khera Bet, Rampur and Madepur and identified the most vulnerable spots. Also, the officials in all departments have once again been put on a high alert," he added.


FIR on BPL scam, but where is the suspect?
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 10
In a typical case of the administration proposes and the police disposes, the division number 5 police has not registered a case against the former employee of the administration despite the Deputy Commissioner writing to the police to book him for siphoning off Rs 50 lakh.

The police today registered a case of forgery and siphoning off of public money against employees of the administration, but did not name anyone in the FIR, raising eyebrows.

The district administration had nominated Laxman Singh, a former employee who worked as the district accountant and field officer of the National Child Labour Project, as the key conspirator of the scam. The complaint was forwarded to the Commissioner of Police for necessary legal action.

The Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC), Davinder Singh, had lodged a written complaint against Laxman Singh for forging his signatures and siphoning off Rs 49,52,145 from his account.

Amid reports that a senior functionary of the government was pressuring the police, sources said they were trying to hush it up. This explained why Laxman Singh was not booked directly, they claim.

Out of Rs 50 lakh that was withdrawn from the bank by allegedly forging the signatures of the ADC (D), Rs 19 lakh was deposited back into the account two days ago.

The ADC (D) submitted inquiry reports to the Deputy Commissioner, who further sent the complaint to the Police Commissioner for action.

Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tewari when contacted said they had clearly written Laxman Singh’s name in the complaint. Expressing surprise, he said: “I will get in touch with the Commissioner of Police again. We will get him booked,” he said.

While the police press note said “employees” of the administration had been booked, the SHO, Division number 5, said the case was registered against Laxman Singh. He said they had visited the bank and the ADC’s office today and studied some documents to investigate the matter.

The district administration had received a grant of Rs 1.66 crore from the Centre under the Indira Aawas Yojna to build concrete houses for BPL families living in kutcha houses in villages.

The money was lying unused for some time. According to officials, they were in the process of returning the funds and had informed the ministry concerned about it.



Jan 31 deadline for speed governors
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, September 10
The Punjab government has finally issued notification for installation of speed governors in all vehicles ferrying school and college students.

Vehicles used by employees of industrial units and institutions for transportation have also been asked to install speed governors.

Other public and goods transport vehicles will also be covered under the new rule to curb maximum speed limit.

Kamal Soi, vice-chairman, Punjab Road Safety Council, who was instrumental in launching a concerted drive to pressurise the government to take steps for making roads safer for schoolchildren and other commuters, in the wake of alarming rise in the number of road accidents and loss of precious human lives, said the relief expected from the compulsory installation of speed governors in public carriers would be partial, as vehicles of the civic body deployed for garbage collection and dumping would not be covered under the said notification.

Soi added that the Punjab and Haryana High Court had issued directions in 2002, but the state government was dithering on the issue.

Under provisions of the notification, all new vehicles under the listed categories will be registered by the state transport department only if they are fitted with speed governors. Further, a deadline-January 31, 2011, has also been fixed for installation of speed governors in vehicles which are already registered, failing which punitive action will be taken against owners and drivers.

He said, there was dire need of installing speed governors in public and private transport vehicles, goods carriers, plying on long routes and passing through towns and cities. “Speeding heavy vehicles were causing several accidents,” he added.

Flip side of the notification, Soi remarked, was the irony that in most of the city areas, either the speed limit had not been fixed or if it was laid down, sign boards had not been put up to indicate the same. The civic body and district administration would do well to fix speed limit on all internal roads in the city and put up prominent sign boards to this effect.

“Moreover, vehicles of the municipal corporation and private taxis that are driven at a high speed, should also be brought under the ambit of the compulsory fitment of speed governors,” Soi pleaded. 



Shopkeepers hurt in clash
Tribune News Service

A worker of a shop shows injuries after a clash between shopkeepers in Ludhiana.
A worker of a shop shows injuries after a clash between shopkeepers in Ludhiana. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, September 10
The issue of encroachments in the AC Market took a violent turn here this afternoon after two groups of shopkeepers clashed with each other, leaving two injured.

The incident took place at around 2.30 pm today after a team of the municipal corporation visited the market to check if the encroachments had been removed.

After the team left, a group of shopkeepers started accusing Rajeev Kapoor, a shopkeeper, of complaining to the MC. The accusations led to a fight between the two groups in which Kapoor sustained head injuries. A youth who worked in his shop was also injured.

Eyewitnesses said the shopkeepers hurled bottles and water containers, among other things, at one another. The MC police, which was present there, reportedly did nothing. A police party from the Kotwali police station visited the market and recorded the statements of both parties.

The SHO said an inquiry was on, but no case was registered till the filing of the report. The injured have been admitted to the Civil Hospital.



Probe on for delivery in jail toilet
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 10
Taking serious note of yesterday night’s incident in which a female prisoner gave birth to a premature baby in the jail toilet, which later died, state jail & tourism minister Hira Singh Gabria has ordered an inquiry into the matter. DIG (jails) Jagjit Singh, who has been appointed to conduct the probe, has been asked to submit his report within two days.

The incident, which pointed to medical negligence on the part of the health department, occurred last night when Balwinder Kaur, a resident of Nawanshahr, an undertrial in an attempted murder case, gave birth to a baby girl in the prison toilet. The baby later died on the way to hospital.

The incident triggered outrage among the woman’s relatives who later staged a ‘dharna’ (sit-in) outside the Civil Hospital here.

“Despite undergoing two scans at the Civil Hospital doctors there told Balwinder she was not pregnant. Instead jail officials accused my daughter of making false claims to get bail in the case. Even the doctors claimed she had a malignant tumour. It was not a tumor, it was a child that was killed due to medical negligence,” said Amarjit Singh.

“On Wednesday Balwinder was taken to the Civil Hospital. After conducting the ultrasound scan a doctor said she was not pregnant. When she complained she could not walk the doctors referred her case to Government Rajindra Hospital, Patiala. She was to be taken there on Thursday but, due to labour pains, she was again taken to the Civil Hospital”, Amarjit stated.

He alleged the doctors attending upon Balwinder administered painkillers to her and asked the jail officials to take her back to the prison. “On arriving there she again complained of pain and delivered the baby in a toilet”, he added.

Civil Hospital senior medical officer US Sooch said: “A panel of five doctors has been set up to look into the matter”.

DS Bhatti, superintendent of women’s jails, said: “At the time of Balwinder’s arrest on February 6-this year, the department conducted a pregnancy test on her which turned out to be negative. The report of the ultrasound scan conducted on her in August also said she was not pregnant”.



Swings in most MC parks not safe
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 10
A day after a ten-year-old boy lost his life after falling off a slide at the municipal corporation's mini rose garden, which is still under construction, in Gyaspura, the civic body disowned responsibility for the mishap. Its officials claimed the child died while playing and not falling from the slide.

The incident has again brought the pathetic condition of MC parks in the city, about 15 of which have playground equipment, into the limelight. Since most of them are managed by park management committees it appears no one is accountable for the maintenance of the slides and swings installed at these parks.

Senior deputy mayor Parveen Bansal said in Thursday’s incident the child did not lose his life after falling from the slide.

Most of the municipal parks are in a pathetic condition and swings and slides installed there are seldom maintained properly. Most of the swings are broken.

A park near the Jalandhar bypass is among those that are poorly maintained. Wild grass grows unchecked and all the swings are broken with a concrete pillar lying underneath one of them. It appears civic officials are almost waiting for yet another accident to happen.

Sushma Rani, who lives near the Jalandhar bypass, said: “Earlier my kids use to go to a park to play. However, a few months ago one of their friends was injured after falling from a swing that was not in good shape. If swings and slides have been installed they should also be maintained regularly”.

Commenting on maintenance of playground equipment in municipal parks, Bansal said: “There’s no fixed schedule to check the slides and swings for faults. Whenever we get any complaint we get the swings, slides and fountains fixed”. 



Excise commissioner reviews issuance of VAT refunds
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 10
The government has issued VAT refunds amounting to Rs 1.25 crore while refunds worth Rs 250 crore are still pending with the department.

Addressing a review meeting with department officials here today, excise and taxation commissioner A Venu Parsad said pending VAT refunds amounting to Rs 1,100 crore had also been issued while the remainder would be issued soon.

He added that the department had collected Rs 20 crore in taxes from bogus firms. “e-filing has been made mandatory for 100 per cent VAT return. In the last quarter, 1.6 lakh returns were e-filed,” he said.

“One bank has already been equipped with the facility of e-payment in the city, while four more banks will be roped in for the purpose.”

He said 75 per cent VAT refunds would be given on the basis of monthly returns and against indemnity bonds only after the department had issued a notification. “It has been announced by the Cabinet but will be applicable after the notification is issued,” he said.

Taxation Young Lawyers’ Association president Jatinder Khurana discussed the problem of pending refunds and requested that these be released at the earliest.

While District Taxation Bar Association (sales tax) president Arun Kanwal highlighted the issues of pending refunds and delay in getting VAT numbers.

The commissioner was also apprised of the poor condition of the office and the officer promised to look for a new location for the office.



Villagers protest against ration depot owner
Our Correspondent

Samrala, September 10
Fed up with the false promises and alleged misbehaviour by a ration depot owner, residents of Behlolpur village protested in front of the depot here.

The villagers led by sarpanch Manjit Singh demanded termination of licence of the depot as its owner had failed to provide ration to BPL card-holders.

DFSO Gurdeep Singh and AFS Nitin Kalia visited the village where the residents voiced their complaints.

The villagers alleged that the depot owner acted on his own whims and fancies, and misbehaved with women-folk.

They accused the depot owner of charging more than the controlled rates from villagers.

Some women accused the owner of selling wheat flour and kerosene above the controlled rate. They also accused him of harassing them.

The villagers said if appropriate action was not taken against the depot owner, they would be forced to launch a protest against the suspect as well as the department. The officials assured people of initiating action under the rules.

The depot owner, however, refuted the allegations levelled by villagers.



Man ‘loses’ 3.5 lakh to travel agent
Turned away by police for want of proof
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 10
A 29-year-old man was allegedly duped by a Pakhowal Road-based travel agent of Rs 3.5 lakh on the pretext of sending him abroad on student’s visa. To make things worse, the police has refused to file a complaint for want of documents in support of his claims.

Yogesh, a resident of Ashok Nagar in the Salem Tabri area, was trapped by the travel agent in January with the former ending up paying Rs 3.52 lakh in installments to the agent, who promised him student’s visa to the UK and later Cyprus.

However, even after eight months of paying the money, he was neither sent abroad nor returned his money. He approached Commissioner of Police Ishwar Singh, who marked it to the NRI cell for inquiry. However, former DSP of NRI cell Bhupinder Singh refused to register a case.

“I was told that I did not have any proof to corroborate my claims. Where should I go now?” he said.

In his complaint to the police, Yogesh alleged that he had paid Rs 10,000, Rs 15,000, Rs 8,000, Rs 42,000, Rs 52,000, Rs 1.25 lakh and Rs 1 lakh in installments to the agent from his hard-earned money after working as a garment cutter for five years.

“Now I have nowhere to go. The police has closed its door on me and the travel agent says I will not be able to harm him. Why should I have to suffer?” he rued.

He said even his certificates and other documents were with the travel agent.

Police officials said the youth did not have any proof to establish that he had paid the money to the agent.



Low-quality Products
China not the only country
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 10
Neco Wang nurtured the dream of visiting Ludhiana since childhood when his teacher told him about Ludhiana being the biggest cycle industry. Today Neco himself is one of the biggest cycle manufacturers in China and finally his dream of visiting the city was fulfilled today.

Sharing his journey of success, Wang said he started his factory in 1982 with just four people and today he has two factories in China and one in Taiwan. “Adopting high techniques is my key to success. Besides Asian and African countries, I am also exporting cycles to European countries also,” he said.

Wang said if both China and India got together they could create a monopoly on the world scene. Commenting upon the false marks being used by some China-based companies, he said he was not aware of this and would definitely take up the matter with the association. Wang is president of the China Bicycle Association.

When asked about the spurious products being manufactured in China, he said high and low quality products were manufactured everywhere. “China does not manufacture low-quality products,” he added.

After arriving in the city, he went to Avon Cycles and met Onkar Singh Pahwa and later went to Hero Cycles and met OP Munjal and had relished lunch with them. He was honoured by Manjit Singh Khalsa, director of Punjab State Industrial Corporation, DS Chawla, secretary of the United Cycle Parts and Manufacturers Association.



Post-harvest technologies discussed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 10
A week-long training programme on “Post harvest technology for rural catchments” for farmers sponsored by the State Institute of Rural Development (SIRD), Assam, was inaugurated today at Central Institute of Post Harvest Engineering and Technology (CIPHET).

The programme aims at training farmers and rural entrepreneurs in post harvest technologies and increasing their income through value addition.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr RT Patil, director CIPHET, encouraged farmers to explore tremendous opportunities emerging in post harvest, as demand for processed food was gaining momentum in the urban centres.

“The entry of top corporate houses, including Reliance, give us enough reasons to believe that it is a high profit market. The market has also grown up bigger with increasing income and shrinking time,” he said, adding that processing of food is not as difficult as one perceives.

“For converting raw material into processed food, one does not require a big science. Practice is required. At CIPHET we will provide technical know-how, hands on experience and confidence to farmers,” Dr Patil added.

Dr Patil said farmers did not realise the potential of food processing. CIPHET has made things easier for them.

He advised farmers to set up rice mills that could begin at the cost of Rs 1.5 lakh.

Dr Deepak Rai Rai, head, Transfer of Technology Division, advised farmers to produce processed products instead of selling raw material, which could generate employment also. He said through this training programme they would also like to increase confidence in farmers.

Senior scientist Dr Sangeeta Chopra and Technical Officer OP Moondan were also present on the occasion.

Training programme would include processing and value addition of groundnut and soybean, concept of agro processing for rural production catchments, food packaging for rural catchments, meat processing technologies, processing and value addition of beetroot and carrot, low-cost storage of fruits and vegetables and processing of rice and by-product utilisation.



Educate needy kids, Gabria urges NGOs
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 10
Punjab minister for jails, tourism and cultural affairs Hira Singh Gabria today urged the members of trade and industry as well as NGOs to come forward to help the poor and needy children so that they could go to schools, colleges and undertake professional education so as to contribute to the nation building.

He was addressing a function organised by Sarv Vidya Society in Vishwakarma Colony to distribute free textbooks, exercise books and stationery to 400 school students.

Gabria said children were the future of the country as they were the one who would take over the reins from the present generation.

“All of us need to make united efforts for all-round development of the children, especially those belonging to poor and underprivileged sections. The NGOs can do a lot of good work in this direction by providing financial support to poor kids whose parents are not able to afford the cost of school or college education,” he added.

The minister felicitated newly appointed director of Punjab State Industrial Development Corporation Manjit Singh Khalsa, director of Punjab Khadi Board Harpreet Singh Bedi, SAD working committee member Baba Ajit Singh and SGPC member Kanwalinder Singh Thekedar on this occasion.



Education hub lacks district library
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 10
For a city that claims to be the educational hub of the region, not having a district library of its own is both, surprising as well as shameful. This is the reason why books are not best friends of the city residents and reading is limited to academics only.

Though the Ludhiana municipal corporation has a public library to its credit, it has lost sheen over the years. Besides, a few people in the city are aware of the existence of the municipal corporation public library in the city. Perhaps the odd location and dilapidated condition of the library is one of the reasons for the low turnout.

While the history of Public Library in the city dates back to 1858, nothing has been done so far to improve it. Dilapidated structure, unhygienic and stinking surroundings, worn-out interiors, old, rotting books with torn and soiled pages, and just about 50-odd members-is all that the library has.

The library has two branches and 12 reading centres across the city. The main library is located on the Gill road, where Labour Office is situated.

One of the branches is located at Rose Garden, while the other-Children Library is situated on the premises of Children Traffic Training Park in Model Town. The libraries not only present a picture of neglect, but have constantly been combating the twin troubles of maintenance and scarcity of books.

“I didn’t know that a municipal public library exists in the city,” said Geetika and Ruchi, both students.

Though the LMC’s libraries are in a pathetic state, Reference Library at Punjabi Bhawan boasts of being one of the best libraries in the region in terms of collection of books, documents and papers. But here, too, one can see students who pay a visit ahead of examination for preparation of notes and reference material. The library houses 42,000 books .

Reference Library was founded in 1955 at a private residence and was later shifted to its present building in 1966. It houses 44,000 books on diverse subjects and proves to be a great help to students. “The library gets no funds for books. Grants are given only for the building. The collection of 34,000 books over the last 15 years has been possible due to the generous families of writers, guides and research fellows who donate books,” conceded an insider.

Other two libraries that Manchester of India can boast of are MS Randhawa Library at Punjab Agricultural University and Extension Library at Fountain Chowk. Both these libraries are frequented by students. However, students are not happy with the books and study material available at Extension Library as they complain that pages from most books are torn.

Meanwhile, MS Randhawa Library is perhaps the only saving grace for the city. It is one of the finest libraries and the first in the country that has sophisticated equipment for documentation and microfilming. 



Govt Schools
Books in libraries off students’ limits
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 10
Thousands of books stacked in libraries of government schools are rarely issued to students. The higher authorities in the education department have directed all district education officials to ensure that in charges of school libraries persuade students to make maximum use of the literature and books provided by the administration.

Annual reports of librarians will be based on the quantum of books issued to students in a year.

Investigations by The Tribune revealed that books stacked in the shelves of libraries at government schools were rarely issued to students by staff of the library. Fear of losing books had forced teachers to avoid issuing books to students.

The authorities have directed all DEOs to ensure that students of schools falling under their jurisdiction be encouraged to read library books.

“Library in charge hesitates to issue books to students, fearing loss or damage to the same. The tendency needs to be changed. Under such circumstances, students should be asked to take proper care of issued books instead of stopping them from borrowing these,” read a communication issued to all DEOs and heads of government schools of the area.

Observing that services of librarians were not being utilised properly, the authorities said staff deputed at libraries should be asked to show selected books to students in their free periods.

Annual appraisal of a librarian should be based on his or her performance. Confidential report of a librarian should be written in accordance with the number of books issued to students each year.

Reading rooms at schools should have newspapers and magazines and no teacher should be allowed to take books or journals out of a library. A register should be maintained in a library. School authorities have been advised to form a readers club. Three to five students from each class should be included in the club to monitor cultural events.



From Colleges

Ludhiana: Science Society, chemistry department, Government College for Women, marked the beginning of activities by launching “Go Green” campaign. Principal Gurminder Kaur presided over the function and performed the installation ceremony of office-bearers. Science president Tajinder Kaur welcomed the chief guest. Secretary Navneet, science representative Ekta and 15 other executive members took oath.

Dr Vishal Bector, assistant professor, College of Agricultural Engineering, PAU, delivered a lecture on “Motivation and Decision Making”. Ekta proposed the vote of thanks.

Students thoroughly enjoyed the time and participated in discussion. The lecture laid stress on professional management. All faculty members from the science department-Dr Mohinder Kaur Grewal, Surinder Bajwa, Sudarshan, Dr Harpreet Gill, Sukhwinder Kaur, Dr Ravinder Kaur, Dr Manju, Dr Harinder Kaur, Dr Suman Lata and many more graced the occasion.


Training and placement cell of Guru Nanak Institute of Management and Technology (GNIMT), Model Town, organised a workshop on open source technologies. Deepak from Power Ideas, Mohali, was the resource person. In an interactive session, Deepak enlightened students about open source, its advantages and made students aware of the open-source technologies and their significance in the IT industry. The resource person said, “Open source is a model in which a software developer gives away the source code of the programme developed or makes it available over the Internet.”

It gives students the opportunity to learn from the freely available code. Open source development is generally carried out by seasoned programmers that develop open source project in their free time, while working full time with some job. The technologies are being used in many reputed companies. Students were also apprised about Java and web technologies. A live demonstration was given on creation of an e-commerce database driven dynamic website using open-source product. The event was coordinated by Wing Commander SS Arora (retd), training and placement officer. Around 100 MCA students attended the workshop. Dr Sandhya Mehta, deputy director, said, “It was always our endeavour to apprise students of latest technologies.” She thanked the resource person.


The management of RIMT Group of Institutes sponsored a two-day faculty programme, celebrating the successful completion of the admission process for the current academic year. RIMT Group of Institutes chairman Dr Hukam Chand Bansal said the group had received an overwhelming response from students of the region and from other states as well. Seats of both engineering colleges and architecture College had been filled, he added. He thanked parents for showing faith in the management and assured that the group would continue to provide the best of the facilities available in the education sector. RIMT-IET principal Dr Harsh Sadawarti said a two-day tour of the faculty was organised to Chail in HP.


Desh Bhagat Institute of Management and Computer Sciences organised the 54th Blood Donation Camp in the institute today. Director-general Prof Shalini Gupta inaugurated the camp. She said blood donation was the most precious gift of life. Desh Bhagat Group chairman Dr Zora Singh stated that the number of road accidents was increasing, so it was essential to organise blood donation camps to save precious lives of the victims. He suggested that the NGOs should come forward to create awareness among people. Around 25 students donated blood at the camp. The camp was organised in collaboration with Civil Hospital and Vivakanand Sewa Society Mandi Gobindgarh. — TNS



From Schools

LUDHIANA: Students of St GD’s Convent School participated in a “Save Tree Save Earth” campaign. Every student adopted a plant and pledged to take care of it. They put their name boards near the plants for recognition. They promised that they would take care of the plant like their family members. Director of the school Manmohan Singh and principal Manisha Talwar appreciated the initiative taken by students and also encouraged other students to adopt trees and to plant more saplings to keep the environment neat and clean.


A mesmerising two-day annual function “Phool Khile Hai Gulshan-Gulshan” was held at BCM School, Basant Avenue, Dugri. The two-day event of the Kindergarten section was graced by Rama Munjal, president, Arpita Cancer Society for Children, Manmeet Grewal, director, International Relation and programme of YFU, Sanjay Behl, general secretary, Congress Yuva Brigade, Anupama Modgill, regional manager, scholastic, along with RB Khanna, education adviser. — TNS



Docs chalk out strategy to curb social evils
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 10
The department of health and family welfare in association with the Indian Medical Association has chalked out a joint strategy to combat female foeticide and increasing cases of dengue fever and swine flu in Ludhiana.

This was stated in an interactive meeting of the health authorities and members of the Indian Medical Association at IMA house today.

Dr Satwant Kaur Bhalla, Civil Surgeon, Ludhiana, presided over the meeting and said the health department was committed to combat female foeticide under the PC & PNDT Act. She stressed on the role of doctor community to curb the social evil, adding that every doctor should stick to the norms of PC & PNDT Act to achieve this goal.

She also elaborated upon the arrangements to contain rising cases of dengue fever and swine flu in the district. Dr Narotam Dewan, district IMA president, promised full cooperation to the health authorities for the cause and said the association would not support sex selection or any other violation of the Act. Dr Hardeep Singh, honorary secretary of the IMA, said an awareness campaign was launched to control dengue fever and swine flu cases. All private hospitals are serving patients suffering from these diseases.



Railway staff protest privatisation
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 10
Responding to a call given by National Federation of Indian Railwaymen, all units of Uttariya Railway Mazdoor Union (URMU) today held a gate meeting in the morning and later staged a dharna at the railway station to press their pending demands.

Speakers at the rally expressed staunch opposition to the ongoing privatisation of railways and demanded to fill all vacant posts, removal of anomalies in the recommendations of the 6th Pay Commission and putting an immediate end to victimisation of the URMU activists.



Man shoots cousin for honour
Suspected victim of enticing wife into immoral activities
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh,September 10
Suspecting his married cousin sister of instigating his wife for indulging in immoral activities, a farmer of Jaspal Bangar village in Ludhiana district, near here, allegedly killed his cousin a few days ago.

Baljit Kaur of Butahri village, a mother of two children who was living at her paternal village after deserting her husband, was allegedly shot dead by her cousin Amarjit Singh. Amarjit suspected her of instigating his wife to partner her in her alleged immoral activities.

Baljit was married to Jaswant Singh of Butahri village two decades ago. Things went on smoothly for some years till Baljit started disliking the Butahri family for being “old-fashioned”.

The rift widened and ultimately Baljit along with one of her sons started living at Jaspal Bangar over 10 years ago. The elder son stayed on with his father Jaswant Singh.

During her stay at Jaspal Bangar, Baljit allegedly got involved in immoral activities. She tried to involve other women of her clan, including Amarjit, in her activities.

Fearing that the association of his wife with Baljit would bring a bad name to the family, Amarjit reportedly barred her entry to his house. However, the latter continued to visit the house and meet his wife in his absence.

Amarjit then decided to allegedly get rid of Baljit. On the fateful day, he lured Baljit to accompany him on the pretext of earning a handsome “commission” through matchmaking.

While the two were on their way on a scooter, the accused stopped the vehicle between Kular and Tuggal village along the Abohar branch of Sirhind canal on some pretext.

He allegedly shot Baljit with a country-made pistol and left on scooter.

Receiving information about the recovery of the body bearing a bullet injury, the Ludhiana (rural) police constituted an SIT headed by Sudhar SHO Gagandeep to investigate the matter.

On the basis of mobile call details of the victim, the police identified Amarjit Singh as the main suspect.

The Sudhar SHO maintained that police teams had been sent to raid the hideouts of the suspect.

No arrest has been made so far.



Suicide second leading cause of death in youth
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 10
An alarming average of 40 teenagers coming with psychiatric and neurological disorders to the outpatient departments (OPDs) of the city neurologists and psychiatrists has been referred to as the outcome of drug/alcohol addiction and stress caused by the studies.

Psychiatric and neurological disorders have contributed to the manifold increase in deaths as the experts pointed that suicide was the second leading cause of death in the age group of 15 to 44 years after accidents. It is the third leading cause of death in adolescents.

Dr RS Bhatia, the neurologist at SPS Apollo hospital, while speaking from neurological perspective said, “In seven out of every 10 cases, the teenagers are addicted to drugs and alcohol which ultimately results in financial crunch, thereby leading to frustration. Moreover, the brain becomes hyperactive and there is a fascination for expensive gadgets/vehicles, including mobile phones, luxury cars, branded clothes and the unavailability results in emergence of suicidal tendencies.”

“Talking openly to a friend or a family member about suicidal thoughts might be helpful in saving a life,” observed Dr Navkiran Mahajan, associate professor of psychiatry at the DMCH, on the occasion of World Suicide Prevention Day today.

She elaborated, “Most of the people who wish to commit suicide are in conflict over ending their own lives and nearly 90 per cent of these people suffer from a psychiatric illness like depression, alcohol abuse and schizophrenia. Intervention at the right time followed by counselling from an expert can postpone the suicidal instinct and the impulse usually dies down,” said Dr Mahajan.

Professor and head of psychiatry at the DMCH Dr Ranjive Mahajan asserted that suicide prevention should start by creating awareness among health professionals, including physicians. Major warning signs for suicide include talking about killing or harming oneself, talking or writing a lot about death or dying and seeking out things that could be used in a suicide attempt, such as weapons and drugs. 


n Get involved and be an active listener

n Recognise warning signs of depression and suicide risk

n Don’t be afraid to ask: “Are you thinking about committing suicide?”

n If the answer is “yes”, take the person’s response seriously

n Do not leave the person alone who is at “high risk” for suicide

n If the person has taken some form of “life-threatening” action, get help immediately



Reliance Insurance told to pay Rs. 5,000
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana,September 10
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has ordered Reliance General Insurance Company Limited to pay up Rs 5,000 for causing harassment to a consumer by declining her claim with their arbitrary act.

The forum also ordered the company to pay Rs 2,000 as litigation cost. The orders came on a complaint moved by Seema Rani of Preet Nagar, Shimla Puri.

Forum president TN Vaidya and member Priti Malhotra directed the company to settle the claim as the company’s claim that the vehicle was being used as taxi could not be proved.

The consumer had submitted before the forum that she had got insured her Indica car (PB 10 CA 1732) with the insurance company.

The vehicle met with an accident on August 5, 2009 when a scooter crossing the road collided with it.

An FIR was registered against the offending driver and a claim was filed with the insurance company.

The damaged vehicle was fixed after spending Rs 45,072, besides Rs 27,000 on purchase of spares and other material.

However, the claim was repudiated on false allegations that the car was being used for hire and reward, added the complainant.

The insurance company justified the repudiation on the ground that the vehicle was a private one. However, against the policy, the same was being used for hire. They relied upon the report of their surveyor.

After appreciating the evidence on record, the forum held that the decision of the company was erroneous. 



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |