L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Bakeries flouting food safety norms
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 5
After sweetmeats containing impurities adulteration in bakery products has added to the woes of city residents, who have little choice to when it comes to buying them ahead of the festival season. A large number of bakery shops and confectioners are ignoring the prescribed standards of the additives in clear violation of the Prevention of Food Adulteration (PFA) Act.

The excessive use of emulsifier, emulsifying salt, firming and flour treatment agents, flavour enhancers, foaming, gelling, raising and glazing agents, humectants, preservatives, propellants, stabilizers, sweeteners and thickeners results in multiple health problems. Small bakeries are also using salicylic acid as a food preservative that is injurious to health, even in small quantities.

Dr Kiran Bains of Punjab Agricultural University’s food technology department stated one reason for the excessive use of preservatives in bakery products was to increase their shelf life. "Excessive use of preservatives in addition to the low-quality cream used in the baking items is unhealthy for human consumption and results in stomach disorders," she added.

Interestingly, even the oldest bakeries in the city refrain from giving details of the ingredients used in their products including cakes, cookies, biscuits, rusks, breads, loafs and buns.

The bakeries and confectionaries are also violating the PFA Act in terms of packaging and labeling as the products are packed in bad quality plastic packs and aluminum foils. However, what is more shocking is the fact that the manufacturing and expiry dates are missing on the labels.

Dr GS Grewal, a gastroenterologist in the city, stated some pesticides used as preservatives cannot be removed from the stomach and gradually result in severe disorders. "People consuming bad quality bakery foods that contain high levels of preservatives also suffer from liver, kidney and intestinal dysfunctions”, he added.

Dr Jaswinder Sangha of PAU’s food nutrition department stated the maximum shelf life of a cake is one week and that of a pastry not more than 24 hours. “Their shelf life can only be enhanced with the use of excessive preservatives, which is not permissible under the PFA Act. Products with enhanced shelf life are referred to as ‘stale, he went on to add.

PFA standards on flavours

The Prevention of Food Adulteration Act clearly mentions every bakery product should have the declaration of flavours on the label under the classification of natural flavours and natural flavouring substances, natural identical flavouring substances or artificial flavouring substances. Leaving aside major brands most of the small bakeries refrain from mentioning the above classifications. 


Dung-strewn street gets residents riled up
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, October 5
Over half of the part of a street leading to a school and a college in the town is covered with cow dung that residents have been openly dumping it there for years. Without bothering about hygiene they have literally turned the street into a virtual cowshed where their cattle roam around freely.

The residents have complained town council employees evacuate the place temporarily and issue verbal warnings from time to time without providing any permanent solution to the problem. “Repeated reminders and frequent pleas to the offenders have fallen on deaf ears. Instead they have become bolder”, said a resident.

The residents complained the cowdung, which is strewn all over the main street, has become a big nuisance for all. It has proved to be congenial breeding ground for the mosquitoes and other flies. This has not only made the life of the passerby's and the residents a hell but also posed to be a serious health hazard, exposing the residents to a vulnerable number of diseases.

“Either sanitary employees aren’t bothered about the mess or - if at all they are - their attitude is most casual. It has been for years together but at this instant the situation has got out of control, as we are unable to even gasp in such dingy conditions.

Jaswant Singh Gill, director of GN Model School and Guru Nanak National College, which are located in the area, rued people, in particular school and college students, were facing a tough time due to the negligence on the part of civic officials.

“The students have no option but to cross the dingy street laden with cow dung and invite trouble. Their clothes often get soiled early in the morning while passing through this street, which has now become a perpetual headache for one and all. Moreover, it is on no way hygienic too. We have written many a times to the municipal authorities but to no avail,” he said.

“School students as well as teachers have to cover their noses as the smell is unbearable. The situation gets worse after rain when the street becomes impassable”, complained DP Thakur, the school’s principal.

EO Mahesh Sharma stated after he received a complaint on the matter from the school director about four days ago he directed the sanitary Inspector to issue a strict warning to those responsible for the situation. “If they refuse to comply they’ll be taken to task”, he added.



Admn auctions inedible sugar to traders
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 5
Despite declaring 550 quintals of sugar unfit for human consumption, the district administration has raised eyebrows by auctioning it to traders yesterday along with another 10,000 quintals, the last installment of the 115,000 quintals of sugar confiscated from hoarders in September 2009.

The administration auctioned the sugar, which was laced with dust, sand and other foreign particles, after fixing its reserve price at Rs 750 per quintal while that of “better quality” sugar was fixed at Rs 2,400 and Rs 2,100. The traders evinced interest in purchasing the 550 quintals of seized sugar that was declared unsuitable for consumption. The bidding went up higher and higher and eventually it went under the block for between Rs 1,615 and Rs 1,670 a quintal.

Though experts feel the sugar should have been destroyed and not passed on to traders, the administration officials said they had taken an undertaking from the traders that the latter would use the sugar in molasses factories.

Additional deputy commissioner SR Kaler said the traders promised they would use it in breweries. ‘‘They have assured us they won’t use it in edibles for human consumption”, he added.

City residents are however apprehensive. They fear with the festival season nearing the impure sugar would find its way into sweetmeats. As sweet sellers would start preparing these shortly in the run up to the festivals, the residents would not even come to know that they were consuming such sugar.

‘‘No one knows what these traders would do with that sugar. If they can but it for more than double the reserve price, they surely have some designs. They will not suffer losses at any cost. Who cares about the health of people, ’’ said a health expert requesting anonymity.

Meanwhile, ‘A’ and ‘B’ quality sugar was auctioned for Rs 2,810 and Rs 2,765 respectively. This sugar was confiscated in September last year from hoarders who had allegedly stocked it for the festival season after sugar prices spiralled. 



VAT forms sans key columns
Manav Mander/TNS

Ludhiana, October 5
Missing columns in value added tax (VAT) return forms has created panic among traders. The department has made amendments in the old forms and some important columns are missing in the new ones.

Only those who have VAT numbers will now be able to fill the forms while traders who are engaged in retail purchase and sale and do not have VAT number will not be able to fill the forms.

Arun Kanwal, president of the District Taxation Bar Association (sales tax), said the new forms lacked some basic columns. Traders without VAT numbers would not be able to fill the forms. “We have talked to senior officials. The department should do something at the earliest to avoid last-minute problems,” he said.

Darshan Singh, a retail trader, said due to discrepancies in the forms he was unable to file his return.

A senior official from the department said the problem could not be rectified at the local level. “We have asked the head office to make the necessary changes. Corrections had to be made in the forms which will be done by the IT department,” he said.



MC staff remove encroachments
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 5
Officials of the building and drawing branch of the municipal corporation cleared over five permanent encroachments in various streets of Malerkotla House in Civil Lines locality here today.

Assistant town planner SS Bindra along with officials of the drawing branch and police personnel descended on the scene with a JCB machine and labour and removed eight encroachments. These were on the list of encroachments provided to the Punjab and Haryana High Court in the course of a civil writ petition.

During the demolition drive, which continued for over four hours, boundary walls, portion of stairs and other concrete structures raised in violation of the town planning (TP) scheme by owners of six houses were removed as per the directions of the High Court seeking compliance within 15 days of the passing of speaking orders.

Copies of the speaking orders were handed over to the owners of two other houses. Under an earlier stay order obtained by the building owners, a 30-day notice had to be served by the corporation before carrying out removal of encroachments.

According to Bindra, mild resistance was witnessed from affected residents but the situation was handled deftly and encroachments were removed to maintain 20 feet width of streets as per the layout of the TP scheme.



Bad roads, indifferent authorities
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, October 5
Claims of making the industrial hub of the state a world class city by top functionaries of the government remain a far cry going by the pathetic state of roads - in almost every part of the city.

Not that the roads were in an extremely good condition before the monsoon, but long spell of rain from July to September has wreaked havoc on the road network, adding further to the misery of city residents.

Be it the old city localities, periphery or for that matter posh areas, roads have deep potholes, broken top layer of premix. Spray of mud or dirty water greets road users as three-wheelers and other motor vehicles go speeding past them.

Traversing the bad roads is nothing less than a nightmare for people, particularly those driving two-wheelers, as they run the risk of hitting a pothole or even skidding due to mud and slush.

Barricades put up for ongoing construction work on the railway overbridge cover most part of the road from Society Cinema towards T-junction of Domoria Bridge Chowk along Deepak Cinema.

The portion available to road-users is waterlogged, muddy with debris and leftovers of construction material littered all over.

Similarly, the stretch from Kailash Cinema Chowk to Domoria Bridge is just an apology of a road.

The entire stretch of 500 metres is bumpy, dotted with potholes posing threat to motorists and two-wheeler riders.

To add to the woes of road users and shopkeepers along the road, overflowing sewer at many place leads to accumulation of dirty water on both sides of the road.

Residents and shopkeepers of the area complain that repeated pleas made with the officials of municipal corporation have failed to evoke any response.

“There have been quite a few accidents due to bad condition of road and water-filled potholes on this section without moving the civic body into action,” says Chander Parkash, a shopkeeper in the area.

An official of the engineering branch of the corporation said work on repair and recarpeting of the section of the road from Kailash Cinema to Domoria Bridge had been allotted to a contractor and the delay was caused due to rainy season.

“The work on road repair is expected to commence in the next few days,” the official claimed.



NGO activists on peace mission
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, October 5
|Upset over blasphemous incidents and sequence of protests and demonstrations by activists of various radical organisations, a group of 11 youths from erstwhile princely state of Malerkotla have set out on a peace march to Valmiki Tirath (formerly known as Ram Tirath) at Amritsar.

Led by Prince Gill and Ravi Bagga, the youth who started their foot march after paying obeisance at religious places of all sects this morning, vowed to spread the message of universal fraternity among those who interacted with them during their peace march.

They said Valmiki was a great exponent and forefather of Indian culture and civilisation. He was the author of epic “Ramayana”, which occupies a supreme place in Indian religious literature and has become part and parcel of Indian culture.

Contents of the epic, highlighting ideal role of every constituent of different societies, have made it a universally accepted holy book.

The teachings of Valmiki were applicable to modern society too and an ideal society could be constituted by following the path shown by such religious books, claimed the marchers.

Regretting that senior leaders of religious organisations had failed to sensitise members of their communities towards adverse effects of radicalism of any kind, the young peace marchers said they (religious leaders) had been forgetting that none of the religions preached hatred and violence.

“Through our symbolic march, we want to remind the administration and office-bearers of various religious organisations that solution to all evils of modern society lies in following the teachings of Valmiki ,which propagate ideals of universal fraternity and respecting all religions,” said Gill and Bagga.

The marchers said they would pay obeisance at all religious places on their way.



LBP drafts foolproof schooling for cadre
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, October 5
Terming voluntary enrolment of a large number of youths as members of the Lok Bhalai Party an expression of anguish against the SAD and the Congress, party president Balwant Singh Ramoowalia has accused successive governments of ignoring core issues of the common man, including labourers, taxi drivers, milkmen, employees and anganwari workers.

Interacting with Ludhiana Tribune at the conclusion of a roadside enrolment camp here last evening, Ramoowalia maintained that the alleged unconcern of successive governments towards the issues of various sections of society had rendered the leaders of the SAD and the Congress unacceptable.

“The fact that more people are coming for enrolment in the LBP shows that they are dissatisfied with the performance of the government led by Parkash Singh Badal and do not want Capt Amarinder Singh and Rajinder Kaur Bhattal to become Chief Minister of the state either,” said Ramoowalia, regretting that these leaders had failed to protect the rights and freedom of even active members of their party.

Ramoowalia apprehended that desperate youths, if not adopted by the LBP, would retaliate against their political exploitation by selfish leaders.

“As a majority of political parties have surrendered public agenda and are pursuing policies against the interest of masses, a sense of instability has originated that will direct the youth towards disruptive ideologies,” argued Ramoowalia.

Referring to the tendency of sympathisers and followers of the LBP to be swayed by alluring slogans of dishonest politicians just prior to elections, Ramoowalia said the party had drafted a foolproof schooling of the cadre during months to come.

He said enrolment camps would be organised simultaneously at various levels in the state in the future.

At least 100 families in each village will be associated with the party by the next elections, said Ramoowalia.

Acting president Avtar Singh Mullanpuri, Gurnam Singh Talwandi, Jaswant Singh Sudhar, Kuldeep Singh, Himmat Singh Dhatt, Mohinder Pal Singh and Amandeep Singh were present.



Prince to present saplings to farmers
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 5
Considering themselves fortunate to have been among the seven chosen farmers from the state who got a chance to interact with Prince Charles, Jasbir Singh and Amritpal Singh from Ghulal village got an added bonanza in the form of signatures of the Prince of Wales in their visitor’s book.

Sharing their moments spent in the company of Prince Charles at Hansali village in Fatehgarh Sahib, Jasbir Singh said, “It was a magical moment when the member of the Royal family of England adorned his formal suit with the rose grown in our organic farms. The Prince was at his candour best as, having noticed my Punjabi jutti, he spontaneously appreciated the craft, asking about its source and prevalence in the state,” revealed Jasbir Singh.

Owners of Preet Golden Agro Farm in Ghulal, Jasbir Singh and his brother Amritpal Singh are cultivating vegetable crops, herbs and fruits under organic farming. The organic manure and vermicompost used in their farms is also prepared by the duo in their farms.

The duo was also complimented by the Prince for the organic coriander, mint and lemongrass grown in their farms.

The Prince, while interacting with the organic farmers, stated that he would present them with saplings of “neem and peepal” so as to make the environment pollution free.

Overwhelmed by the Prince’s gesture, Jasbir and Amritpal promised the Prince to nurture the neem and peepal saplings presented by him with love and care. They added that, “It would be a pleasure for the Prince to watch the saplings having grown into beautiful trees during his next visit to Punjab.”

The Punjab Organic Council had taken into consideration the environmental friendly measures, including water conservation and drip irrigation system adopted by these organic farmers. Also, the brothers have set an example for other organic farmers by establishing good marketing network directly with health conscious consumers — people who are willing to pay anything for the produce — of Ludhiana and Chandigarh.



25-yr-old battles with renal failure, AIDS
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 5
Determined to save his 25-year-old son from the clutches of death, life is a constant battle for Som Prakash from Raison village near Karnal in Haryana, for whom Christian Medical College and Hospital in Ludhiana has become a second abode.

Gulshan Kumar (24), suffering from acute renal failure, is undergoing treatment at the CMCH for the past five years.

Despite having been given little hope by doctors, Som Prakash refused to give up on the hope and has managed to bring his son for the bi-weekly dialysis at the hospital.

As the patient’s family is reeling under financial crunch, the hospital authorities have given generous discount to the patient. However, the family still needs financial help for Gulshan’s treatment.

The weekly expenses incurred on the dialysis are approximately Rs 7,000, which adds up to Rs 28,000 every month, an amount that the family is unable to arrange even after seeking help from their near and dear ones.

It was hard for Gulshan’s family to come to terms with the fact that he was diagnosed with renal failure in 2005, but things became even tougher when he tested positive for AIDS following transfusion of infected blood at one of the hospitals, where he was admitted at the initial stage of his disease.

Having complained against the doctor, Som Prakash, who has been running from pillar to post for his son’s treatment for the past five years, says: “The police has denied me justice, as no action has been taken against the doctor who is guilty of transfusing infected blood to my son. It is with the help of the philanthropists that I have managed to save my son for all these years. But now I need a stipulated amount from the government quarters so as to continue Gulshan’s treatment,” said Som Prakash.

The amount can be sent through a cheque, draft or cash in favour of Gulshan Kumar Setia, c/o Som Prakash Setia, department of nephrology and renal transplantation, Christian Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana.

People interested in meeting the family or giving money by hand can contact at 098961-73326.



Salaries of imams, maujnis hiked by ` 2,000
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 5
The salaries of imams and maujnis teaching in mosques has been hiked by Rs 2,000, said Mohd Usmaan Rehmani Ludhianvi, chairman of the religious affairs committee of the Punjab Wakf Board, while addressing a meeting here today. He said the salaries were hiked with the intervention of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.

Further he said it had been decided that strict action would be taken against those who had taken the illegal possession of the buildings belonging to the Wakf Board.

“The properties will not only be emptied, but those buildings that have been made without getting the site plan approved will be demolished,” he said.

The salaries had been increased and in addition to this monthly grant given to the mosques and madrassas would also be increased from the next month, he added. Very soon a graveyard spreading over five acres would be given to Ludhiana, he said.



SIT to probe missing boy’s death
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, October 5
The police has initiated a probe into the mysterious death of a child whose body was recovered after five days of his disappearance.

His body bearing head injuries and a broken arm was spotted in the bushes by a passerby along the railway track yesterday afternoon.

The police has already registered a case under Section 365 of the IPC against unknown persons.

An SIT, headed by SHO City Jaswinder Singh and supervised by Bhupinder Singh DSP (D), has initiated a probe into the death of Atul Sharma, 10-year-old son of Rajesh Sharma of Kotkapura.

Atul, who along with his mother had come here to stay with his maternal uncle Pawan Sharma of the local Katcha Malik Road area, had left home last Thursday but never returned. He was fond of dogs and had taken a domestic dog for a stroll. The dog was found injured near the railway track the next day.

Apprehending that the child had been abducted by some miscreants, Pawan Sharma lodged a complaint against unknown persons and the police started a hunt for the missing child.

Yesterday, some passersby informed the police that a body was lying in the bushes along the railway track.

The body was handed over to the family after a post-mortem examination at the local Civil Hospital. The viscera was sent to the forensic laboratory for chemical examination.

DSP (D) Bhupinder Singh, who inspected the scene, constituted an SIT led by Jaswinder Singh to probe the sequence of events before and after the disappearance of the child. Though the exact cause of death will be known only after the receipt of viscera report, preliminary investigations revealed that he had died of deep head injury. Besides some bruises on the body, one arm of the child was also broken. The police is working on several theories. Though it seemed to be an accident, other angles were also being considered. The investigating team is believed to have questioned some women known for their proximity to some tantriks.



Bail in forgery case
Bar assn calls off strike
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 5
The court of Sessions Judge SP Bangarh today granted interim anticipatory bail to lawyer Surinder Dogra till October 19 in a case of alleged cheating and forgery of documents relating to land situated at Birmi village worth crores.

The court has ordered the lawyer to join the investigation with the police. Meanwhile, the District Bar Association president, Naval Kishore Chhibber, today called off the strike.



Sachin, Ashi pedal to glory
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, October 5
Sachin of GGN Khalsa College and and Ashi of Government Girls College, Sector 11, Chandigarh, emerged fastest cyclists in men and women categories during the Panjab University Inter-College Cycling Tournament at Punjab Agricultural University velodrome here today.

Around 50 cyclists from GGN Khalsa College, AS College, Khanna, SCD Government College, Guru Nanak Girls College, Guru Nanak Khalsa College, Government College, Chandigarh, Khalsa College for Women and GGN College, Narangwal, participated in the event.

The results: men: 1000m: 1 Sachin (GGN Khalsa College), 2 Baljinder Singh (SCD Government College) and 3 Satpal Singh (GGN Khalsa College).

4000m: 1 Karamveer (SCD Government College), 2 Satpal Singh (GGN Khalsa College), 3 Kuldeep Singh (SCD Government College).

Massed start: 1 Naginder (SCD Government College), 2 Jeevandeep (GGN Khalsa College) and 3 Kuldeep Singh (SCD Government College).

1000m sprint: 1 Sachin (GGN Khalsa College), Nagendra (SCD Government College) and 3 Baljinder Singh (SCD Government College).

3000m (women): 1 Rajinder Kaur, (Guru Nanak Girls College), 2 Ashi (Government Girls College) and 3 Navjot Kaur (Guru Nanak Girls College).

3000 m (team pursuit): 1 Guru Nanak Girls College, 2 GGN College, Narangwal, and 3 GN Khalsa College.



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 |