L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Final fails to enthuse residents
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 2
Against Pakistan it was a war, but against Sri Lanka it was just a match, as the din and excitement were missing in city markets. While it seemed a matter of life and death that day, it was business as usual today. The city residents, who were seen tense during the encounter against Pakistan, were seen relaxed.

The, residents who formed groups and chanted prayers for the victory of the Indian team, were quietly enjoying the match at their television sets.

Even the streets did not wear a deserted look and residents were seen commuting on the roads.

“The traffic was on the road largely because Sri Lanka opted to bat first. Had India been batting first, then the streets would have been deserted,” said Charanjit Singh Channi, a cricket coach. Even hotels and restaurants kept the final a low-key affair and did not make extra efforts to woo customers.

A hotel owner, on the condition of anonymity, said, “The India-Pakistan encounter was a final before the final. We threw out Pakistan from the World Cup.

That was important for us. Now it does not matter who we are playing against. Even customers were not showing interest and we received a thin attendance in our restaurant.”

Anticipating rush in the evening, the traffic police got its act together and started clearing traffic from all major intersections.

“People were banging their vehicles into each other in order to reach home. Fortunately no one indulge in the road rage,” said a traffic cop managing traffic at the Bharat Nagar Chowk.

Match against pak mattered

“The India-Pakistan encounter was a final before the final. We threw out Pakistan from the World Cup and that was important to us. Now it does not matter who we are playing against."

A hotel owner

‘Kundi’ connection

The celebration to cheer Team India cost dear to the power corporation as a majority of LCDs and DJ systems installed at public places were seen running on “kundi” connection. Power Corporation employees were aware of the violation, but they simply looked the other way.

Patriotic fervour reigns supreme

Patriotic feelings reigned supreme today with both the young and the old seen hoisting the Tricolour and cheering for the Indian team. “Today, no one is Punjabi, Bihari and Gujarati. No one is a Muslim, Sikh or Hindu. All are praying for Team India and are cheering for the team in unison. We thank the game of cricket for inculcating a patriotic feeling in people,” said Gurmeet Singh Sodhi, a government school teacher.


Truckers strike work
Results in loss of about Rs 300 cr
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 2
Protesting against the notification of the state government to install speed governors in the trucks, the Sangarsh Committee of Transporters stalled the wheels of their vehicles, resulting in an approximate loss of business worth ` 300 crore.

The state government has, meanwhile, decided to look into the demands of the transporters.

The transporters, who have been protesting against the recent step of the state government of issuing a notification for installing speed governors in trucks, lamented the move in the presence of Transport Minister of Punjab Master Mohan Lal here in a rally today.

The transporters rued that the state government had not consulted the experts before issuing the notification due to which they were facing problems. They said after the passing of the notification the government officials were not passing their vehicles, after the speed governors are installed in their vehicles, the manufacturers were not giving any sort of warranty to them, which the transporters could not afford.

Similarly, transporters also rued that they had to pay largest toll tax in the state compared to the rest of India. They said apart from national highways, they had to pay toll on the state highways also, which was not justified. They rued that the concept of toll was initiated just to ensure a three-fold benefit to the transporters, which included less time, less fuel and low maintenance cost. But they regretted that due to the ongoing work of the upgradation of national highways the transporters are not getting any of these benefits.

In the same manner, transporters also rued the guidelines of the Union government that for a bus or truck whole material should be produced by one body builder. The transporters said it was not possible and the basic thing behind the proposal was that the government wanted to extend benefit to some big truck body builders.

Talking to The Tribune, Charan Singh Lohara, convener of the Sangarsh Committee of Transporters, asserted that they had protested due to the policies of state and Union governments. He said they would continue their agitation if their demands were not met.

Addressing the rally, Transport Minister Master Mohan Lal, who was caught in a sticky situation, assured the transporters that their demands would be presented to the Chief Minister by a seven-member committee comprising District Transport Officer, Regional Transport Officer and transporters.

Protest in front of minister

The transporters, who have been protesting against the recent step of the state government of issuing a notification for installing speed governors in trucks, lamented the move in the presence of Punjab Transport Minister Mohan Lal here at a rally on Saturday. They rued that the state government had not consulted experts before issuing the notification due to which they were facing problems.



Unethical advt: Dr Sumita Sofat issued show-cause notice
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 2
City-based Dr Sumita Sofat has been issued a show-cause notice by the Punjab Medical Council (PMC) for alleged “unethical advertisements” in print and electronic media in contravention of the Medical Council of India (MCI) guidelines.

A show-cause notice issued to Dr Sofat by Punjab Medical Council Registrar Dr AS Thind categorically mentions, "Your interview on the ETC channel carries the details of your professional capabilities along with the complete address and telephone number, which is a violation of the code of medical ethics. Thus, you are requested to send us a reply within 15 days of the receipt of this notification," added the Registrar.

Dr Jagjit Singh, a homeopathy doctor who is the brother of a noted city gynaecologist, had given a complaint to Dr GS Grewal, member, PMC, who, in turn, forwarded the same to the Registrar, PMC.

Dr Grewal, who is also a member of the ethical committee of the PMC, said the committee would take action against all erring doctors, adding, "there are some other names in the list and the council will issue show-cause notices to them in the coming week. The practice will also check the commission business as the quacks, after viewing these advertisements, get in touch with the doctors concerned and then mislead the patients who end up paying almost double the amount".

A doctor advertising about his/her professional capabilities before a layman and identifying the name along with the place of work is a violation of the MCI norms.

Another senior gynaecologist, while referring to the advertisements of the infertility centres, said it was unethical to make tall claims for curing infertility related problems in young couples, as in various conditions it is not even possible to do so. "It is shocking that a lot of infertility centres take the liberty to flaunt about the techniques, tests and results, which is strictly prohibited under the code of medical ethics." 

I have not yet received any notice from the Punjab Medical Council and as soon as I receive the notice, I will send a reply to it. I have nothing to say on the issue of the advertisement on the ETC channel.

— Dr Sumita Sofat

Hoardings and Unipoles

Some doctors in the city have gone to the extent of giving advertisements through hoardings/ unipoles highlighting the facilities available at the hospital. The hoardings have been carrying photographs of the doctors along with the advertisements in a section of the print media.



World Cup Final
PU exams play spoilsport
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 2
The Panjab University annual examinations, which commenced today proved to be a spoilsport for city youngsters, who were eagerly waiting for the cricket World Cup final.

Sagging faces were witnessed outside city colleges, as anxious students were rushing into the examination halls using chaste abuses against the authorities for coinciding examination dates with the final.

The students, who are pursuing second year of the graduation degree, were a disappointed lot, as their examinations timing clashed with the timing of the final between India and Sri Lanka. The match started at 2.30 pm, while the examination was conducted during the evening session from 2 pm to 5 pm.

Surabh Duggal, a student of SCD Government College, said, “It is difficult to control the emotion. While my family was glued to the television set, I was studying. I wanted to watch the match, but the final coincided with the examination.”

According to university authorities, BA II year students appeared for the examinations of mathematics, history and zoology, while MCA II year students sat for their English examination and BBA II second year students appeared for their business law examination.

However, no report of the students leaving the examination hall before the time was reported from any centre.

“The examination was long. I tried my best to finish it early but it consumed three hours. Fortunately, India did not bat first otherwise I would have lost all the pleasure of watching Sachin Tendulkar play, probably for the last time in the World Cup,” said Puja Sharma, a BA II student of Khalsa College, who appeared for the history examination.

Students ask scores during exam

Students repeatedly asked to know the scores and match details during the examination leaving examinees baffled and annoyed. In one such college, a professor lashed out on a student and told him to finish the exam early and rush home if he was so interested to know the details of the match.



Cricket not their cup of tea
Anshu Seth/TNS

Ludhiana, April 2
Not keen on watching the final match between India and Sri Lanka, a section of people in the city are spending their day in cinema halls, eating joints, beauty clinics and shopping malls.

Geetu, a homemaker, has booked tickets for a Hindi film “Saat Khoon Maaf”, as her gang is not interested in the game of cricket. When asked if her family members were interested in the game, Geetu labelled her husband and two children as "fanatics" who ate, walked, slept and dreamt cricket.

Similarly, Akshita, a mother of five-year-old, who otherwise hates shopping, has decided to spend her day doing the same.

NSD graduate and art connoisseur Ashwani Chatley said, “I will get a chance to zoom across the city,” said Ashwani Chatley. He said the game originated in England and people there were die-hard fans of cricket.

The match between India and Sri Lanka is the last thing on my mind opined Dr Ravinder Vatsyayan, a city-based ayurvedacharya. “I will read some books. I have been warned not to ask my wife or domestic help to go to the kitchen as the food will be ordered from outside,” the doctor said.



Trains witness less rush
Manvinder Singh/TNS

Ludhiana, April 2
Though the Railways has not been affected by the fervour of the cricket World Cup, its impact is certainly visible on passengers, as a few are bothered to move out of the city at the weekend due to the final match of the cricket’s biggest event.

Getting a ticket for the Shatabdi from Ludhiana to New Delhi in normal days is one of the most daunting tasks for the city residents. But due to the World Cup final, the waiting list for getting a seat in the chair class category was only one and around five seats were available in the executive class category, as per the data available from the reservation office of the city railway station.

In normal days, both these categories are jampacked and people are seen approaching high officials of the department for getting seat in their high official recommendation (HOR) quota.

However, sources also revealed that owing to the World Cup final, a large number of tickets had also been cancelled.

Ramesh Kumar Bedi, chief reservation supervisor (CRS) of the city station, confirmed that only one seat is waiting for the chair class and around half a dozen seats in the executive class are lying vacant. When asked for the reason, Bedi expressed ignorance.



‘We wish for our victory’
Crazy for cricket, girls in the city claimed to be the biggest supporters of Team India. They expressed considerable enthusiasm for the final between India and Sri Lanka. Anil Kumar talked to a few of them who said they would remain glued to their TV sets till the end of the match.



World Autism Day
Day out for special kids
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 2
Oblivious to the social, economic and intellectual divide, the autistic children, along with other differently abled children, enjoyed a day-long carnival at a shopping mall on the World Autism Day.

Going by the theme “Light It Up Blue”, all participants were attired in blue outfits and blue ribbons.

Ashirwad and Darpan, the city NGOs working in the field of developmental disabilities, including autism, cerebral palsy, intellectual disability and multiple disabilities shared a common platform on the World Autism Awareness Day today.

Sudhir Kumar, an activist at Aashirwad, said, “Children with autism look like normal children, but have distinctive/unusual behaviour, speech patterns and aloofness, appearance of being deaf and reluctance for an eye contact may be a disappointment for many, but a warm handshake and a comforting smile is enough to coax them into a grin that gradually develops into a cascading laughter which is a surprise even for their families,” observed Sudhir.

Trying to dance to the beats of Bollywood numbers, a majority of them could relate to the songs and music, thereby displaying an ability, which is usually hidden beneath the lost looks.

Gagandeep Singh and Prabhojot Singh, along with the staff at Westend Mall, act as anchors for NGOs, as they volunteer to sponsor the events.

One look at the faces of these differently abled children was enough to ascertain their joy in rides and different games emphasising on the fact that they share the same intensity and desire to enjoy life like normal children.



Showers bring down mercury

Ludhiana, April 2
The midnight showers brought respite to the city residents. The mercury plummeted by almost two degrees, but power cuts turned up the heat. Chief Engineer of Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) Rashpal Singh said felling of trees in some areas caused the disruption in power supply. “But the load of damaged transformers was distributed among other transformers. The power supply was restored after a few hours.”

Singh said they would start the maintenance work in April. “On the other hand, last night showers have added to the worries of farmers, as water logging in the fields will cause obstruction in the manual harvesting,” said Pavitar Pal Singh Pangli, president of the PAU Kisan Club.

“Water logging adds to harvesting expenses, but it will not affect the crop, as it was not a heavy spell but mild showers that lasted for a short duration. Farmers need not worry,” Pangli added. On the other hand, those suffering from allergies have a reason to cheer. The showers have cleansed the environs from dust particles and will give people time to acclimatise. — TNS



‘Adopt scientific methods of teaching’
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, April 2
“Teaching community should utilise the tool of ‘culture sports’ to promote education in government schools. Latest modes of communication and media could play a vital role in propagation of quality education,” expressed Dr Davinder Singh Chhina, key resource person and media researcher while addressing teachers from 50 schools of Doraha-Khanna-Payal belt on the concluding day of the 15-day induction training programme at Government Senior Secondary School here on Thursday.

Principal Nirmal Singh advised the teachers to work in close cooperation with heads of the schools and implement the latest techniques of education in the schools, as had been discussed during the induction training programme.

Resource person Pradeep Singh Saini asked the teachers to adopt scientific methods of teaching in the government schools.



Infertility in rural areas on the rise: Radiologists
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 2
Punjab chief parliamentary secretary Harish Rai Dhanda, while seeking support of radiologists towards the government efforts against female foeticide, has assured that instances of untoward harassment in the course of enforcement of the PNDT Act will be checked.

“The guilty will not be spared, and the innocent have nothing to fear,” he stated while addressing a CME on “Imaging in infertility” organised by the Indian Radiological and Imaging Association (IRIA), Punjab and Chandigarh branch, during its annual conference here.

Sushil Kumar, Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police-II, who was the guest of honour, said the police would strive to redress genuine cases of the medical fraternity promptly while also offering cooperation in the steps taken by the administration and the IRIA to eradicate female foeticide from the society.

In the technical session, Dr Bhardwaj, president of the body, expressed concern over increasing rate of infertility cases in the state, especially in the rural areas, which he attributed to excessive use of pesticides and chemical fertilisers over the years.

Organising secretary Dr Gurdeep Singh said extensive interaction with experts from all over the country would benefit the doctors attending the CME and assist them in effective patient management.

Dr Ashok Nayyar, director, health sciences and state appropriate authority, Punjab, under the PNDT Act, held a discussion with radiologists attending the CME.

Outlining the steps being taken by the government to eradicate the evil of female foeticide, he assured the doctors that their genuine problems would be redressed and other pending issues sorted out soon.

He stressed the need for strengthening the implementation of the PNDT Act by involving more radiologists into the PNDT advisory committees, both at the local and state level.

The CME-cum-annual conference was attended by over 200 doctors drawn from Punjab, Chandigarh, Jammu and Kashmir and other states.

Prominent experts included Dr Prabhakar Reddy (Hyderabad), Dr Jignesh Thakkar (Mumbai), Dr Bhupinder Ahuja (Agra), Dr Rajesh Kapoor (New Delhi), Dr Ghanshyam Dev (Jammu) and Dr Paramjeet Singh (PGIMER, Chandigarh).

In the annual general body meeting of the state branch of the IRIA, held at the conclusion of the CME, Dr Kavita Saggar was elected president and Dr Kamini Gupta general secretary for 2012-13.



Will deliver on promises, says DBA chief
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 2
Highhandedness by any officer from judiciary, police and administration will not be tolerated at any cost.

This was stated by the newly elected president of the District Bar Association, Ashok Mittal, while talking to Ludhiana Tribune here today at the district court complex.

The sensitive issue of the controversial wall adjoining the Sessions Court and allotment of chambers recently would be discussed at the general house meeting of DBA. The course of action would be decided as per the wishes of the members of the Bar, said Mittal, showing firm resolve to implement the manifesto circulated amongst lawyers for seeking votes.

“To minimise the distance between Bench and Bar, restoring the dignity of the Bar with honesty and without any selfish interest would also be on my priority list,” said Mittal.

Washrooms in the judicial complex were in a bad condition. We will take up the matter at all administrative levels so that litigants may get hygienic washrooms and proper sitting arrangements outside the courts.



3 nabbed for selling duplicate paint
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 2
The police raided a paint factory on the Jalandhar bypass and seized 125 canisters of duplicate paint.

A team of the crime investigation agency (CIA) raided the premises and arrested Ravinder Ravi, Ashish Sood and Varinder Sood and seized 125 canisters of duplicate paints.

According to the police, the accused was using the name of some international paint brand to sell his product.



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