L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Flood fear grips 15 villages
200-foot bundh washed away at Garhi Fazal
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 18
An approximate stretch of 200-foot of the Dhussi bundh at Garhi Fazal village was washed away in the wee hours today thereby spreading the fear of flood in almost 15 villages. More than 1,000 acres at Garhi Fazal, Mattewara, Togra and Seekhewal villages have come under the direct threat of flood as the water of the Sutlej is flowing adjacent to the fields.

Taking immediate measures to hold back the river water, a “ring bundh’ has been raised on the damaged portion so as to avert the flood-like situation.

The breach in the Dhussi bundh has also jeopardised the existence of the sheep, buffalo and pig farms and fodder seed farm of the department of animal husbandry, Punjab. These are spread over 200 acres wherein the animal husbandry department has kept more than 900 sheep, 180 buffaloes and 100 pigs.

Dr Vinod Jindal, deputy director, animal husbandry department, who is also the in charge of the farms, while talking to The Tribune said, “The water can enter these farms anytime and keeping in mind the safety of the animals, we have decided to shift them to the buffalo farm that is on the other side of the road and is not under the immediate threat of flood.”

However, Dr Jindal said it would result in total loss of seed/fodder if the floodwater enters the farms. Lambardar Ajit Singh from Mattewara villages said the administration is moving things in the right direction and villagers are also willingly extending help to steer clear of the “critical situation”.

Unhappy residents

Residents alleged that the state government had failed to provide sufficient funds for carrying out the “repair” of the Dhussi bundh. A few progressive farmers said, “the administration and the drainage departments cannot be held responsible for the impending disaster as the officials can’t execute work in the absence of sufficient funds.” No substantial repair work has been carried out for strengthening the Mattewara Dhussi bundh since 1988, when the villages were submerged in floodwaters, rued the farmers.

Officials on their toes

Learning about the breach, Ludhiana Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tewari, ADC (D) Pradeep Aggarwal, Additional Municipal Commissioner Kuldeep Singh along with other officials rushed to the spot at 1 am to ascertain the situation. The Deputy Commissioner said, “ Chief engineer (drainage) Vinod Chaudhary has come from Chandigarh to supervise the ongoing work at the bundh. We are taking all necessary measures to avert the danger and have engaged sufficient labourers to execute the repair work.”


Admn axes 800 trees to plug breach
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 18
It may sound strange, but the district administration and residents of Mattewara village have brazenly ruined the ecology to save 13 villages from floods by resorting to the age-old method of plugging the breach. The administration and the residents have so far axed about 800 trees to plug the fresh breach on the dhussi bundh on the banks of the Sutlej at Mattewara.

This has disappointed environmentalists and forest lovers alike. They have flayed the employees of the drainage department for ruining the fragile ecology of the Mattewara forest.

While lambasting the officials, Harish Kumar, a former employee of the forest department, said the administration was still following the age-old technique, which was used 500 years ago to plug the breach.

“The administration should realise that this is the only forest cover left in the district and hundreds of animals are at its mercy,” added Harish.

Even the Army unit deployed in the area to stop the erosion criticised the irrigation department for recklessly chopping trees to stop the flow of the water.

An employee of the drainage department was heard saying that were not even aware of how to protect riverbanks from erosion.

District Forest Officer (DFO) Daljit Singh Brar also expressed concern over the cutting of trees. “I would talk to the Tehsildar concerned about emergency that led to the cutting of so many trees,” he said.

Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tewari admitted that the trees were cut to slow down the flow of water so that the breach could be plugged on time.

“Safety of the villagers living in the Mattewara and its surrounding areas is of paramount importance. My priority was to plug the breach in order to save the agricultural land and houses in the villages. The chief engineer of the drainage department and other department officials were also on the spot to assess the situation. I believe they could reply better on the issue,” said Rahul Tewari.

The irrigation and the drainage department officials refused to comment on the ancient method of stopping the erosion. Expressing his disgust at the state of affair, Tarun Taneja, a student, said, “First the lakhs of trees were axed on the National Highway No. 1 on the pretext of widening of the road. Later, trees were cut from Doraha to Ludhiana for the laying a ring road and now saplings have been cut for plugging the breach. If things would move like this, soon there would no forest cover in the city,” he added.

Age-old technique

Harish Kumar, a former employee of the forest department, said the administration was still following the technique that was used 500 years ago to plug the breach. Whereas an employee of the drainage department said that were not even aware of how to protect the riverbanks from erosion.



Chhapar Mela
Confusion prevails over auction of vends
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 18
With barely two days left in commencement of the mega event, confusion prevails over the auction of a common land at Chhapar village for the purpose of establishing stalls and vends during the historic mela.

Two groups, supported by local leaders of the SAD and the Congress, still claiming to be authorised lessees of the common land, the Punjab and Haryana Court has left the final decision to be taken by the civil administration.

The administration was represented in the court by the police, which had earlier washed off its hands of the responsibility saying it was concerned with only maintaining law and order in the area and had nothing to do with the process of auction and factionalism in the civic body.

Maintaining that the administration was yet to receive a copy of the court orders, Ludhiana Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tewari said he had directed mela in-charge SDM (West) Prem Chand to decide the matter according to extant law and directions of the court.

The police had remained on toes to prevent any clash between two factions of the village panchayat where the historic rural fair is organised every year. Auction of the panchayat land for establishment of temporary vends during the fair was reported to be reason behind the tension.

Investigations by The Tribune revealed that representatives of Hardyal Singh, former sarpanch, and Baldev Singh of Barnala had started inviting vendors for hiring pieces of land on rent for establishing their stalls during Mela Chhappar that commences on September 21.

Sarpanch Gurmel Singh, who had won the election with the support of the SAD, and had recently joined the Congress, chaired the auctioning committee in both cases.

Five out of nine office-bearers of the gram panchayat, led by sarpanch Gurmel Singh, had announced to rent out the panchayat land to Baldev Singh of Barnala on September 1 for `5.5 lakh.

Feeling offended by restrictions on appropriation of collected revenue, Gurmel announced to join the Congress the next day. He along with the support of other four panches declared the earlier auction null and void and announced to organise another auction at the mela site a week ago. Hardyal Singh, former sarpanch of the village, was rented out the same land for `4.15 lakh. SDM (West) Prem Chand had deputed a duty magistrate to keep watch over the situation.

Receiving information about a petition in the Punjab and Haryana Court regarding the matter, the SDM had directed the parties to refrain from renting land to any vendor. The duty magistrate, who had erected temporary abode in common land for his office, was also asked to shift his office to some other site.



Elderly woman robbed of Rs 1.50 lakh
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 18
Residents beware, an organised gang of robbers is on the prowl. They enter the house on the pretext of giving an invitation for marriage and then rob occupants, mostly women, of their jewellery. In a latest incident, a youth entered the house of an elderly woman in Krishna Nagar near Ghumar Mandi and fled away with a gold ring, four bangles and pair of earrings worth `1. 50 lakh here today.

According to Saroj Rani (66), who lives with her daughter in Krishan Nagar, a youth entered their house on the pretext of giving her an invitation for attending the marriage ceremony. She was alone in the house when this incident took place. The victim said that the robber had put a knife on her neck and even reatened to kill her.

She got petrified and handed over the gold jewellery to the robber. The robber ran out of the house where one of his accomplices was waiting for him on a motorcycle.

The duo then fled away. The woman raised alarm and informed the neighbours about the incident.

Till the time of filling this reports the police had reached the spot and started the investigation.



Girl dies for want of medical aid
She lay injured on potholed road for 30 minutes
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 18
A 25-year-old bank employee sustained injuries after she reportedly lost control over the scooter she was driving due to the potholes at Dholewal road today. The victim identified as Jyoti was working in an overseas branch of the State Bank of India near Dholewal. She lay injured on the road for nearly half-an-hour. This incident took place at around 10.45 am.

After failing to stop any vehicle, a passerby took her to a private hospital located near Dholewal. The doctors of the private hospital further referred her to a multi-specialty hospital near the Sherpur Chowk. She was declared brought dead by the doctors of the private hospital.

According to the passerby, who rushed her to the hospital, she could have survived had timely medical aid been provided to her.

This incident lay bare the tall claims of the traffic police of offering timely medical help to the accident victims.

Pall of gloom descended at Jyoti’s house in Durga Puri, Haibowal. Father Gurpinder Singh said till morning the entire family was in a celebration mood as the brother of deceased was to get married on October 10.



Lakkar Bridge Flyover
Construction work leads to snarl-ups
Shopkeepers lose business, commuters feel harassed
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Traffic chaos at Bhadaur House in Ludhiana. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, September 18
With the construction work of a flyover over the Lakkar Bridge going at a snail’s pace, snarl-ups have become a routine affair in the Bhadaur House area, causing lots of inconvenience to commuters as well as shopkeepers. There is only a narrow stretch left for the vehicles to pass and it has become a major traffic bottleneck. Things are getting worse in the absence of traffic cops and verbal duels have become a routine affair.

Ranbir Singh, who runs a shop in the area, has suffered huge financial loss after the construction work started. “Customers avoid coming to the area fearing traffic jam. We know it is a development project and it cannot be ignored, but the authorities concerned should take remedial measures to do away with snarl-ups,” he added.

The worst affected are the shopkeepers of AC market who say they hardly find any customer. “As the construction work is going on in front of the market, we have lost our customers. Traffic needs to be monitored in the area,” rued a shopkeeper.

Kamalpreet Kaur, a daily commuter, rued that it takes nearly an hour to reach office these days. “I got stuck in a traffic for nearly half-an-hour two days ago. The need of the hour is to make the road one way for traffic and also deploy at least two traffic cops at the spot,” she added.



Another student commits suicide
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 18
Barely three days after the nursing student ended his life by jumping from a mobile tower at Fatehgarh Jattan village near Macchiwara, a girl, who was also studying at the Desh Bhagat Institute in Gobindgarh, committed suicide by hanging herself from a ceiling fan in her house at Kot Mangal Singh here today.

The deceased has been identified as Neeru Bedi (21), a third-year- student of electrical engineering. She was reportedly suffering from depression, her father SK Bedi said.

The incident took place last evening, when Neeru, eldest among three siblings, was alone at home.

The matter came to light when Parveen Bala, mother of the girl, reached home and saw the body of Neeru hanging from the ceiling fan.

She immediately raised an alarm. Hearing her screams, Parveen, a neighbour, rushed to the house. Bedi, who was on his way home, was also informed about the incident. Meanwhile, cops also reached the spot and took the body in their custody.

Bedi turned down the ragging angle or any kind of peer pressure behind the suicide. He said his daughter did not share any incident that had taken place in the college with them and was apparently normal. However, no suicide note was recovered from scene of the incident.

The Shimlapuri police conducted the post-mortem examination and handed over the body of Neeru to her parents. The girl was cremated this morning. Two suicides in three days have raised fingers on the working of the institute.

Pawan Kumar (16) of Fatehgarh Jattan village had committed suicide by jumping from a mobile tower at Macchiwara on the night of September 15.



Attack on Church
Political interference, a biggest challenge for cops
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 18
The police is feeling sandwiched between demands for taking strict action against perpetrators of the recent attack on St Thomas Church at Malerkotla and allegations of unnecessarily harassing members of a particular community. Any step taken by the police for rounding up or calling someone to the police station for questioning is followed by hue and cry among politicians.

With SAD leaders allegedly trying to shield the suspects, Congress leaders alleged they (SAD leaders) were exploiting the issue for gaining political mileage by appeasing those clans whose members were asked to join investigations.

Factionalism among leaders owing allegiance to party in power has further complicated the situation for the administration.

Investigations revealed that the political interference had marred investigations leading to the attack on the church, followed by protests and demonstrations in the region by Muslims and Christians, a few days ago. Though the police had booked at least 150 miscreants, it is yet to ascertain whether the incident was spontaneous or pre-planned.

Activists of the All-India Mili Council, booked for the alleged blasphemy, were known to have links with leaders of both SAD and the Congress.

The police had to face ire of the politicians who in an effort to appease their supporters alleged that the case was registered in a hurry. Leaders of the various factions of the ruling party vouched for some suspects, claiming that they (suspects) were with them (leaders) at the time of blasphemous act.

Former ADGP Izhar Alam, who has since been projected as prospective SAD candidate for the next assembly election, will have to tackle reported non-cooperation of leaders of various factions of his party besides those of the Congress.

Other leaders are unhappy, as Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had not attended joint Eid function at Idgah this time. Badal’s visit to function convened by Alam is being construed as part’s green light for his (Alam’s) candidature.

Though it premature to comment on working of the investigation team verifying facts, Dr Jatinder Jain, DIG Patiala, is known to taking extra care for judicious disposal of the case.

Apprehending interference of local leaders, Jain had constituted special team led by a circle officer from the Amargarh subdivision. Two out of three members of the team are outsiders.

As the success of investigation is based on corroboration of statements of persons linked with the episode, before and after the incident, the investigating team is simply recording statements of those concerned by calling them at the police station. Three suspects, who were arrested on the fateful day, have been remanded in judicial custody.

Meanwhile, uneasy calm prevailed in the region. Situation remained tense but under control.

Admitting constraints DSP Gurpreet Singh Sikand said investigation would be carried in a fair manner and nobody would be allowed to interfere in the functioning of the police. “As the matter is concerned with peace and tranquility of the region we have to ensure that no culprit goes scot-free and no innocent person is harassed,” he added.



Indira Awas Yojna Scam
Capt Amarinder demands inquiry
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 18
Former Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh today said the scam involving lakhs of rupees in the Indira Awas Yojna in the Ludhiana Additional Deputy Commissioner’s office might be just a tip of an iceberg and the money involved might be more.

Talking to reporters here after appearing in the local sessions court in connection with the Ludhiana City Centre case, Capt Amarinder demanded an inquiry by an independent agency, saying all aspects of the scam must be examined. He said he had reports that only lower-level officials had been booked, while the main culprits were being let off.

The former Chief Minister said he had been consistently arguing that this government was corrupt. “You scratch a little bit and you will find a scam everywhere,” he remarked, while adding that there seemed to be clear political patronage at the highest level to the scam accused.

About the appointment of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) president, he said the delegates meeting was scheduled to be held tomorrow and they would pass a resolution to authorise Congress president Sonia Gandhi for the same. He said Gandhi would decide, as who was going to be the PCC president in Punjab.

He said he wanted to be on the scene of Punjab politics. “I am a thorough Punjabi and want to stay back and work in Punjab only.”

Tough time for cops

Hundreds of people today converged on the district courts complex to meet Captain Amarinder. It took about 15 minutes for his convoy to cover a distance of almost 100 meters on the arrival and half-an-hour while leaving. The police and security personnel had a tough time controlling the crowd



Dental college students, authorities at loggerheads
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 18
Baba Jaswant Singh Dental College authorities and students are once again at loggerheads. This time, the issue is about hostel mess food. While girl students boycotted classes and staged a massive protest here this morning alleging that the food provided in the girls’ hostel mess is “bad and unpalatable”, the authorities, on the other hand, claimed that the allegations were baseless and that, their protest was an off-shoot of yesterday’s incident, wherein eight senior students of the college were issued notices for misconduct with juniors in the hostel mess.

Levelling serious allegations on the hostel warden and mess authorities, over 60 hostellers camped outside the OPD section this morning and raised slogans. They carried placards condemning the mess food and demanding respectful behaviour from the hostel authorities.

The girls also accused hostel warden of misbehaviour, use of foul language, assault on their dignity and self-respect and passing of personal remarks.

“The warden has been doing so for a long time. When we demand that we should be treated respectfully, she passes rude personal comments and often threatens us,” said a student.

The students complained that the hostel mess food is bad and unpalatable.

“The food is pathetic. It is unhygienic, inedible and distasteful. We don’t want to eat it and fall ill,” said another student.

However, denying the allegations made by the hostellers, college principal, Dr DS Kalsi said, “Following numerous complaints from junior students about some seniors bullying them in the hostel mess, we had summoned eight senior girls and questioned them yesterday. Notices were also issued to them.”

“Today’s protest was an off-shoot of that. Because till date no such complaints, as the students made today about the food or warden, had ever come to me,” he added.

On the allegations levelled by the students on the hostel warden, Dr Kalsi said, “The warden is a functionary of the college and she has to enforce discipline. Some disgruntled elements do not like this. So, they accuse her of misbehaviour. In my knowledge, the warden, who is a senior staff member, has been functioning to the best of her abilities and the allegations are baseless.”

The principal added that the students were summoned for discussions today. “We made them see the reason and the protest was called off,” he remarked.



Nine-yr-old gets new life
Undergoes successful renal transplant

Tribune News Service

Barinder Singh (centre) with doctors in Ludhiana. A Tribune photograph

Ludhiana, September 18
Nine-year-old Barinder Singh was given a new lease of life at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) where he was successfully operated upon for chronic kidney failure with end stage renal disease. Barinder recently underwent a successful renal transplant by eminent urologist, Dr Baldev Singh Aulakh, professor of urology and head of transplant unit at DMCH. The mother donated the kidney to the child.

Dr Aulakh further informed that once a child develops end stage chronic kidney disease, some form of kidney replacement therapy is required. The choice is limited to dialysis or kidney transplant.

Children on long-term haemodialysis show abnormal growth, bone deformities, poor quality of life and delayed sexual maturation. Dr JS Sandhu, professor and head of nephrology, who was treating the child before the transplant, said haemodialysis was needed for two-three days a week, which was difficult and painful.

For small kids, kidney transplant is the best option to retard the progression of disease and the treatment of co-morbid conditions as mentioned above, said Dr Aulakh.

Dr Aulakh and Dr Sandhu further said children at risk for the development of chronic kidney disease had family history of kidney disease, antenatal detected kidney anomalies, neonatal acute kidney failure, low birth-weight babies, history of urinary tract infection with reflux history of nephritis or nephrotic syndrome, lower urinary tract obstruction, diabetes autoimmune disease, renal rickets, high blood pressure and long-term use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. According to Dr Aulakh, chronic renal failure (CRF) is an insidious and irreversible condition that eventually progresses to end stage renal failure. It is an important cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide.

He informed that the magnitude of chronic kidney disease varies from one geographical area to another due to genetic and environmental factors. In the absence of a national registry, the exact incidence and burden of chronic kidney disease in children in India is not known.



NRI Woman’s Death
Police still groping in dark
Our Correspondent

Khanna, September 18
The death of an NRI woman still remains a mystery, as a team of England police is groping in the dark at Khanna and adjoining areas to find the truth behind her death. The team, with the assistance of the Khanna police, is conducting an enquiry in various banks like ICICI, IDBI and Indusland Bank. The team also visited her in-laws at Bija village and some other villages to conduct the probe.

NRI woman Manjit Kaur (41), who was a resident of Phagwara, was married to Jagpaljit Singh of Bija a few years ago.

According to sources, it was second marriage for Manjit, who has a daughter from her first marriage. In 2007, Manjit came to India and stayed with her in-laws at Bija village.

In November, 2007, on Diwali she died near Bija village and it was suspected that her death was due to an accident.

According to her in-laws, she died while going to Gurdwara Sahib to pay her obedience. Suddenly an anonymous vehicle hit her and she died. But Manjit’s parents suspected a murder and lodged an FIR against her husband Jagpaljit and her brother-in-law Mandeep Singh.

Later, after the enquiry, the police closed the case, and called it a road accident. Jagpaljit, after clearance, went to England again. As Manjit was also a resident of England, the British police initiated an enquiry.

According to sources, her parents provided some clues to the metropolitan police, London.

According to Sanmeet, daughter of the deceased, the relations between her father and mother were not very good, but her mother never disclosed any atrocity committed by her father to her.

Amarjit Singh Bajwa, SP detective, said the Khanna police was co-operating with the four-member team of England police. The team, along with the Khanna police officials, visited the accident site and spoke to a few residents of Bija village. The team also visited her native place to find the truth.



Low Wages
Power loom workers submit memo to Labour Commissioner
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 18
The agitating power loom workers of Gaushala, Madhopuri, Kashmir Nagar, and Horgobind Pura submitted a memorandum to the Labour Commissioner at the Gill road here yesterday. The wokers were protesting against the low wages and non-implementation of the labour laws in their units. A few weeks ago, the power loom workers of Shakti Nagar had also staged a protest due to similar reasons. Their owners had complied with their demands and now the workers of other units were also following their footsteps to get their rights.

Fighting under the aegis of the Karkhana Mazdoor Union, Lakhwinder Singh, secretary of the union, said keeping in view the increasing rates of all essential commodities it essential to increase their salaries as well. “These workers have been working on the same salaries for the past 10 years while the inflation has touched the skies in these 10 years. A few workers are working on salaries while others are given money according to the piece rate. We want 25 per cent hike in the wages,” he added.

Another worker from the unit at Kashmir Nagar said the unit owners did not follow the labour laws. “Even after working overtime we are not given proper salaries. It is impossible to earn our bread and butter in these meagre salaries. In addition to this, there is no proper security in the units we are working,” he added.

The spokesperson of the Kharkhana Mazdoor Union adding said they would fight till the end and help the workers get their rights. “The workers of Shakti Nagar

were successful in getting their rights and we will put in our all efforts and help the workers of other areas to get their rightful dues,” he added.



‘India will be third largest economy by 2050’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 18
Strong economic growth, young population, better industrial and business environment, stable political structure, optimistic environment are the key factors that provide better investment opportunities in India, said Ajay Bagga, managing director and head of private wealth management at Deutsche Bank, India.

Bagga was addressing the members of Ludhiana Management Association on the "Investment Outlook in Changing World" here last evening.

VK Goyal, president, Ludhiana management association, Dr KNS Kang, general secretary, LMA, dignitaries from business, academicians and members of the association were also present.

Dr Kang said markets were quite optimistic and bullish, showing the Investors trust in India and its business. He said India would become third largest economy by 2050, but whether India would be a prosperous country (in terms of per capita income) is a major question.

He further said fallout from past years' excesses have resulted in several previously prominent players disappearing, combination of others, and a retrenchment among many with respect to certain activities.

These changes, combined with evolving investment opportunities, would provide an opening for new entrants to capture emerging opportunities and for nimble incumbents to stake out new ground in the changed world, he added.

Bagga also said the world economy is again revisiting to mean after 300 years of European and US dominance.

He quoted that global economy is USD 55 trillions on the basis of PPP followed by US at USD 7 trillion.

India is fourth at USD 3.2 trillion. He further said India with 18 per cent of the population is having 2 per cent of world’s GDP, while US and China having 5 per cent and 22 per cent of the world population have 28 per cent and 5 per cent of world’s GDP, respectively.

He said China was getting older fast and would find labour shortage, while in India 300-500 million population is less than 25 years of age. Every year 2 million young Indians will join the working pool. He said by 2050 China will have USD 44.5 trillion economy followed by US having USD 35.2 trillion and India will stand third with USD 27.8 trillion in world economy.

He further highlighted that Indian business was progressing fast and quoted the cases of Vodaphone and Tata Nano.

Ajay said in India 24 per cent of the market was owned by FII that shows strong Investment opportunities in India. He further said that growth in the country was mainly governed by higher Income, higher savings, higher investments and higher employment opportunities. But the biggest hurdle would be politicians and bureaucrats, who could slower the pace of growth due to their own vested interests.

He said in the past five years, GDP increased three times, while markets had grown nine times and the same trend would continue in future as well.

While forecasting India, he said by December 2010, markets would reach 22,000, oil prices will rise and rupee would get stronger as compared to dollar which would provide better investment opportunity to the country.

However, Goyal said it was a fact that majority of the youth was going to come to the markets, but do we have enough jobs to absorb them?

He further said healthy investment opportunities would come from strong and stable political and good governance. Goyal said the focus of business houses in the changed world from investment point of view will be increasing direct private equity and investment activities across both in the developed and emerging markets.



DMCH launches stroke helpline
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 18
The department of neurology at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) has launched a helpline to provide timely assistance to stroke victims. Patients from the region can avail this facility by calling at helpline No-099153-55100 in case of brain stroke.

“The neurology department at DMCH has the facility to administer an injection of tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA) called alteplase, the only approved drug in the treatment to dissolve the clots that block blood flow to the brain, informed Dr Gagandeep Singh, professor and head of neurology, and Dr Rajinder Bansal, professor of neurology.

Symptoms indicating brain stroke

  • Sudden weakness or numbness of the face, arm or leg on one side of the body
  • Sudden dimness or loss of vision, particularly in one eye
  • Loss of speech, trouble in talking or understanding what others are saying
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause
  • Unexplained dizziness, unstable walking or falling, especially along with any of the other symptoms

They said if the blockage in brain stroke-affected patients could be removed with administration of t-PA and sufficient blood flow was restored within a three to four-and-a-half hour period following the stroke, the patients usually recover with little or no disability within a period of three months to a year. “The cost of the therapy is about Rs 50,000 to Rs 70,000. Although somewhat expensive, this is negligible when compared to the total cost incurred on stroke treatment and rehabilitation, which extends over several months to years and the loss of revenue due to severe disability due to the stroke.”

According to Dr Monika Singal, attending consultant in neurology at DMCH, a stroke, also called a brain attack, occurs when blood flow to the brain is interrupted. When a stroke occurs, brain cells in the immediate area begin to die because they stop getting enough oxygen and nutrients they need to function. There are two major kinds of stroke - an ischemic stroke, which is caused by a blood clot, which blocks or plugs a blood vessel or artery in the brain, and the other, known as a hemorrhagic stroke is caused by a blood vessel in the brain that breaks and bleeds into the brain.

Dr Singal elaborated that stroke is the major leading cause of death and serious long-term disability in adults. In India also, it has become a major problem. Earlier, if somebody used to suffer from stroke, it was taken as untreatable and the patient was given symptomatic treatment.

“The good news is that now the treatments are available that can greatly reduce the damage caused by a stroke. However, one needs to recognise the symptoms of a stroke and get to a hospital quickly. Getting treatment within 60 minutes can prevent disability. Therefore, stroke is a medical emergency and every minute counts when someone is having a stroke. The longer blood flow remains cut off to the brain, the greater the damage,” she asserted.



Teacher’s song selected for scouts
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 18
Schoolteacher Karamjeet Singh Grewal’s Punjabi song has been selected for Bharat Scouts and Guides. It is an international scout movement. “It is a proud moment for me. My song - Jo sach da rah dikhaundi hai oh guiding hai - is one of the eight songs, which has been selected for scout movement,” says an elated Grewal, who is a Punjabi teacher at Government High School, Kheri Jhameri.

Talking about his achievement, Grewal says, “What has made me really proud is the fact that our mother tongue, Punjabi, has finally been recognised and given its due at the international level.”

“They will sing in Punjabi. It is like a dream come true,” smiled the state award for teachers’ winner of 2009, who was honoured by Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal for his contribution in the National Games for the Blind.

An active social activist, Grewal has sung numerous songs and has a number of audio-video music albums to his credit.

Grewal also runs a library at Lalton Kalan and is the president of Nehru Yuva Kendra, for which he has even been awarded with the District Youth Award.

He has performed with scouts at various international programmes in Kolkata, Bangalore, New Delhi, Haridwar and Gujarat.



DMCH doc interacts with liver transplant experts
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 18
Dr Sandeep Singh Sidhu, professor of gastroenterology at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH), recently visited Addenbrookes Hospital, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, which according to him is a world acclaimed centre for liver transplantation and multivisceral (liver and kidney; pancreas, kidney and intestine) transplantation.

During extensive interaction with experts in the field, Dr Sidhu apprised himself with new techniques of diagnosis and treatment of liver diseases like “transjugular liver biopsy”, in which the biopsy needle is passed through a neck vein to the liver veins via heart, “transjugular intrahepatic porto-systemic shunts (TIPSS) for treatment of uncontrolled internal haemorrhage and “total paracentesis” (drainage of large quantities of fluid accumulated in the abdomen due to liver disease).

According to Dr Sidhu, research in liver disease is essential to find better ways to diagnose and treat it. He said, “I was able to interact with researchers at Addenbrookes Hospital and as a follow up, research collaboration has been planned between DMCH and University of Cambridge in the field of liver disease.”

“This is a whole new way of treating such patients. At Addenbrookes Hospital, liver transplantation gave immense exposure and opportunity to interact with the transplant surgeons, physicians and transplant patients. This knowledge paves the way for initiating liver transplantation at DMCH here.”



Food fest at PCTE
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 18
Punjab College of Technical Education Institute of Hotel Management organised its bi-annual food festival “Daawat-e-Khas” here today. Dishes, including Awadhi, Punjabi, Rajasthani and Kashmiri cuisine were prepared and displayed. Star dishes of the event were dal Peshawri, jangli maas, murg sahib Patiala and paneer Jehangiri.

Besides, the event showcased the unusual dishes of India with a view to popularise them among students.

Live fusion music was played by popular band Shane Aala to entertain the guests. The entire event was planned and prepared by students of the Institute.

Prominent chefs of city hotels, including Hotel Majestic Park Plaza and MBD Radisson were also present.

They also interacted with the students. Prof Tahir Sufi, director of the Institute, said events like food festival, chef competitions and other culinary events, could help in honing the students' skills.

Director general of the PCTE Group of Institutes said: "Hospitality and tourism sector has an impressive growth and lots of new hotels are opening. There is an acute shortage of skilled manpower in the industry. Various hotel management institutes are the only source of trained manpower for the sector. Such festivals encourage students to learn and develop their skills."



Highway Robberies
Cops meet petrol station owners
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 18
In the wake of rising number of highway robberies, the police today conducted a special meeting with the bank authorities and petrol pump owners of Mullapur. SHO Mullapur Jungjit Singh told all bank officials to depute a night watchman at their respective banks.

The bank officials were told to instal CCTV cameras equipped with night vision.

They were also told to inform the police before the transfer of heavy cash from the bank to the treasury.

Petrol pump owner were also told to instal CCTVs. SHO Jungjit Singh instructed the cashiers of the petrol pump to stay inside a cubicle during the night and collect cash while staying inside the cubicles.

SHO said the directions were given following the instruction of SSP Ludhiana (rural) Gursharan Singh.



'Ik Kudi Punjab Di' premiered

Ludhiana, September 18
Manmohan Singh, a famous Punjabi director, who has given seven hits in the past seven years, is once again donned the cap of director with his romantic drama “Ik Kudi Punjab Di”. The film was premiered at PVR here on Thursday.

Manmohan Singh said the movie revolved around the theme that girls today were no less than boys and were marching ahead in every field.

Actors like Amrinder Gill, Jaspinder Cheema, Aman Dhaliwal, Guggu Gill, Gurpreet Ghuggi, Rana Ranbir, Kanwaljeet Singh, Deep Dhillon and Surinder Sharma have played lead roles in the movie.

Jaspinder Dhillon, who debuts with this movie, added that she is excited, as it is her first movie. “I always wanted to do a strong character. I do not want to be just a showpiece in the movie and I am sure audience will appreciate my acting,” she said. — TNS



From Schools
Health camp

Radcliffe School, BRS Nagar, in association with Dr Muktinder Singh, MD (homoeopathy), and director, HomoeoCARE, organised a health check-up camp on its premises here.

Most parents visited the school with their kids. An expert in behavioural problem of children Dr Muktinder first held a seminar and discussed general problems like short height, wheat allergy, improper growth and frequent cold and cough etc being faced by kids these days.

Later, a team of doctors from HomoeoCARE examined and recorded the height, weight, dental health and hygiene of children.


The activity club of St GDS Convent School, Meharban, organised a paper-reading contest for students of middle classes. The budding orators expressed themselves creatively in English on current topics. — TNS



2,500 saplings planted
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, September 18
Jawahar Lal Nehru Government Girls College, Tooran (Mandi Gobindgarh) celebrated “Vanamahotsava” today.

College principal Sushma Juneja inaugurated the celebrations by planting a sapling. Around 2,500 saplings were planted by the students and staff of the college.

In charge, Prof Barjinder Singh Tohra said the college had planned to plant 5,000 saplings in collaboration with the forest department of Fatehgarh Sahib district.

Tohra spoke on the importance of trees to maintain healthy environment. Prof Karamjit Singh, Jaspal Rai, Rajinder Kaur, Poonam and Jaspreet Kaur also spoke on the occasion.



Leader’s Arrest
Youth Cong activists protest

Ludhiana, September 18
Activists of the District Youth Congress today staged a dharna to protest against the arrest of the Punjab Youth Congress (PYC) president, Ravneet Singh Bittu, who were arrested yesterday by the police.

Bittu was protesting against Rs 82 lakh scam in Indira Awas Yojna and courted arrest yesterday. He was taken to the division no 5 police station in a police vehicle and then released in the police station.

The Youth Congress members staged the dharna outside Salim Tabri police station and raised slogans against the police administration. They sat for two hours and then went inside to court arrest. — TNS



Tremors felt in city
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 18
Residents were shaken out of their sleep after an earthquake of 6.3 on the Richter scale rocked the city and entire North India last midnight.

Officials said the quake, with its epicenter in Afghanistan, jolted the entire northern region at around 12.51 am.



Gold chain snatched
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 18
In yet another broad daylight snatching incident, two motorcycle-borne youths snatched a gold chain, worth Rs 50,000, of a woman near Sector- 32- A here today.

The incident took place this afternoon, when Neeru Gupta, a government employee, was parking the scooter in her house.

According to the complainant, two youths riding on a motorbike approached her on the pretext of enquiring about an address.

While Neeru was busy telling them the address, the youth, who was sitting pillion, pounced on her and snatched the gold chain weighing 3.5 tola, n a jiffy.

Neeru tried to chase the snatcher and even raised an alarm, but the youths fled away from the scene. Till the time of filing this report Division No 7 police had reached the spot and started the investigation.



2 killed, 3 hurt in accident
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 18
Two children were crushed to death whereas three persons were reported to have sustained serious injuries after an over-speeding truck run over them near the Phillaur toll plaza here yesterday. The incident took place at around 6.15 pm, when the victim, all residents of the Field Gunj area, were on their way to the Sutlej for immersing the idol of Lord Ganesh.

According to an eyewitness, the tractor- trolley was hit by the over speeding truck. Due to the sudden jolt, the victim lost balance and fell from the vehicle. Another speeding truck came from behind and ran over the victims.

While the two children died on the spot, the other three were rushed to the hospital under serious condition.

The incident triggered massive protests; the devotees who were traveling in the tractor-trolley pelted stones on the truck and staged dharna at the toll plaza, which led to a massive traffic jam at Ladhowal and Phillaur.

Deputy Commissioner of Police Yurinder Singh confirmed that the two children had died in the accident. Forces were deployed in the Ladhowal area to control the tense atmosphere.



Gang of swindlers busted; 5 held
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 18
The Dehlon police has begun a probe into alleged reports of the nexus between a gang of swindlers using fake mobile phone connections and agents of authorised dealers of various telecom companies.

The probe was initiated after five members of one such gang were arrested during a naka at the Kaind Bridge near here on Thursday evening.

Those arrested have been identified as Gurmej Singh, Resham Singh, Shinder Pal Singh, Krishan Singh and Jaswinder Singh, all residents of Jhanda village in the Sardulgarh area. Two vehicles used by the suspects were also seized.

The police stopped a Zen car and a Mahindra van and questioned their occupants. Though all five accused were carrying at least one mobile phone each, none of the connections were issued on their own identity. They could not even tell the police about names and addresses of the users of the mobile phones.

Suspecting something fishy, the police booked them under Sections 419, 420, 467, 468, 471 and 120-B of the IPC and arrested them on the spot.



City Centre case adjourned till Oct 9
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 18
The court of Sessions Judge SP Bangarh today adjourned the hearing in the alleged multi-crore City Centre scam till October 9. The lawyer of former trustee of Ludhiana Improvement Trust, Kala Navkar Jain, continued her arguments on framing charges against her client on the sixth hearing. She was yet to conclude her arguments.

Former Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh also appeared before the court.



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