L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Ban on use of polybags from today
Admn fails to take effective steps, confusion prevails
Manufacturers suffer loss worth crores
Anshu Seth/Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 30
The state government’s ban on use of polythene bags below the thickness of 30 microns from May 1 seems like another notification, as the administration has not taken any effective steps for its implementation.

No concrete plans have been formulated by the Punjab Pollution Control Board, Municipal Corporation or the district administration to discourage the use the ubiquitous polythene bags, handy for the housewives and indispensable for shoppers, thus making implantation of the ban ineffective.

The ministry of environment so as to ensure an effective implementation of the ban had categorically defined the line of action for the above departments.

However, “Say no to polythene bags,” the slogan given by MBBS doctors working in rural areas of the state and the specialists working in urban/private hospitals under the Indian Medical Association (IMA), is an initiative on their part to discourage its use through a massive public campaign.

The medical fraternity has pledged to boycott the use of polythene bags in their clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, dispensaries and at their residences.

Cheap and thin polythene bags less than thickness of 30 microns contain cadmium or lead-based chemicals that are harmful to humans as well as animals. “Used for storing fruits, vegetables, grocery items and other eatables, these polythene bags plastic are not biodegradable and release harmful toxins in the air. Besides, people who work in plastic industries are at risk of afflicted with cancer and other diseases,” said Dr Kulwant Singh, IMA district president.

Also, these polythene bags leach into vegetables, meat and foods lying in garbage and find their way into the cattle’s gut, thereby asphyxiating it.

Rural Medical Services Association state president Dr Aslam Parvez said non-implementation of the Punjab Plastic Carry Bags Control Act had led to injudicious use of these bags. This has resulted in repeated gastroenteritis outbreaks in slums especially in Ludhiana.

NGOs promote paper, cloth bags

Ek Prayas and Nirdosh School, NGOs working for the cause of physically and mentally challenged children, are promoting the cause of environment-friendly paper, jute and clothe bags. These children are taught skill of preparing shopping bags, folders, and envelopes from the waste paper and cloth. This in addition to being a source of income is an initiati ve to promote eco-friendly products. A few city shopkeepers and showroom owners buy their stuff thereby becoming a part of the promotional campaign.

Easy substitute

Dr Neelam Sodhi, director, Ashirwaad, NGO working for Cerebral Palsy said reutilising the cut pieces of clothes (waste) from textile units and boutiques could be stitched to make bags of all shapes and sizes. This in turn could be circulated in various markets. Not only would it become a good substitute for the polythene bags, but it also give employment to a large number of men and women.

Easy Loan

Various departments have been asked to help those owning polythene bag-manufacturing units in arranging loans for setting up units for manufacturing paper, cloth and jute bags. The Pollution Control Board has also been directed to keep a check on units violating the Act. Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tewari said complaints against those violating the Act would be forwarded to the board for taking appropriate action against the guilty.The Deputy Commissioner has, however, denied having recieved any instructions on setting up new units.


Dismantling of Lakkar Bridge stalled
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 30
Work of dismantling the century-old Lakkar bridge over the main line of the Ludhiana-Amritsar railway route got stalled due to the objection raised by the operating department of the Railways.

The engineering branch of the Railways with fanfare started the work of dismantling of the bridge and even removed two spans of the bridge in two days.

Likewise, the officials had planned to remove the two remaining spans on Saturday and Sunday. But as both spans are above the busy railway route of Ludhiana and Amritsar so the branch had sought permission from the operating branch of the Railways for dismantling it.

The engineering branch had submitted that as the momentum of the work was already there so the permission must be given for removing of the two spans that were left so that the work on ROB could be expedited.

The permission is mandatory, as heavy traffic of trains is witnessed on the route. More than 150 trains pass daily to and fro from the route. So the engineering branch had sought the permission to stop or divert the traffic from the operating branch.

However, the sources revealed that instead of giving permission to the engineering branch, the operating department has objected the proposal and was not giving any reply to them due to which the project was hanging in balance.

According to sources, senior officers of the operating branch were asking the engineering branch to come to their office next week to discuss the matter. The result is that the work, which is expected to complete by tomorrow, would be lingering on for a few more days.

Officials in the engineering branch were tightlipped about the matter. Neeraj Sahay, Senior Divisional Operating Manager (DOM), Ferozepur, refused to comment citing that he was busy on some inspection.

Meanwhile, Senior Deputy Mayor of Municipal Corporation (MC) Praveen Bansal said the Railways authorities were deliberately delaying the project to harass the residents. “They are not serious about completing this ambitious project,” he added.



DGSE raids 120 govt schools
38 teachers found absent
Charu Chhibber/Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 30
Thirty-eight teachers of various government schools in the district were found absent from duty during a surprise check by a team led by the Director-General of Secondary Education (DGSE) today.

Besides, 19 teachers were found to be on long leave without any information and 46 teachers came late to work this morning. All these teachers are from different primary, middle, secondary and senior secondary schools in the district, which were raided by DGSE V Purushartha this morning.

The DGSE conducted surprise checks in 120 primary, middle, secondary and senior secondary schools today. He said strict action would be initiated against teachers found guilty of dereliction of duty.

An official, who was a part of one of the checking teams, said raids were conducted as part of the DGSE's initiative to uplift the standard of government schools in the state.

“There were a lot of other such issues where the school staff was found lacking following which the DGSE called an all-principals' meeting at RS Model Senior Secondary School this evening," revealed another official.

Meanwhile, addressing the principals’ meeting at RS Model School, the DGSE said he wanted cooperation of teachers and principals in his initiative.

He disclosed that for the current academic session, he has undertaken Rs 1,200-crore project under the Sarv Shisksha Abhiyan, the main focus of which would be on the infrastructure of government schools.

The DGSE said his focus would also be on the proper implementation of the Right to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) in the state within the next three months.

“I will ensure that the RTE is implemented across all schools, government and private, in the state," he said, adding that once the Act comes into force, the violators would be dealt with strictly.



PAU V-C’s term expires
Management to decide on acting V-C tomorrow
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 30
While the term of Punjab Agriculture University (PAU) Vice-Chancellor Dr MS Kang ends today, all those attached to this premier agriculture institute are curious as to who would become the next Vice-Chancellor. Faculty members and the PAU Employees’ Union believe though the new Vice-Chancellor will be appointed in May, the fate of acting Vice-Chancellor will be decided during the Board of Management meeting at Chandigarh on May 2.

Deans and the directors of the university have organised a farewell party for Dr Kang and his family at Sukhdev Bhawan today evening. One of the hosts said, “Dr Kang’s term expires today. We are holding a small get together with families to bid adieu to the man, who was there with us for all these four years. His style of functioning as the Vice-Chancellor was both appreciated and condemned by employees and faculty members. We expect the name of the acting Vice-Chancellor to be announced during board’s meeting on May 2.”

Meanwhile, PAU employees believe that the acting Vice-Chancellor will be an outsider. “Had it been from the PAU, the board would have held meeting before May 2 just to announce the name. We expect the acting Vice-Chancellor to a senior IAS officer from Chandigarh. Whosoever the person may be, we expect that the new appointee will watch the interests of the employees,” said an office-bearer of the PAU Employees’ Union.

Chief Secretary SC Aggarwal had stated yesterday that the last date for inviting applications from suitable candidates was May 5 and the name of new Vice-Chancellor would be announced by the end of May.

Dr GS Kalkat, member of the search committee, said, “The Vice-Chancellor of the PAU should be a dynamic personality with minimum 10-year-experience in administration. “It is too early to say anything about it as the state government will get the resume of eligible candidates by May 5,” Dr Kalkat added.

May 5 has been fixed as the last date for inviting applications from suitable candidates. The name of the new Vice-Chancellor will be announced by the end of May.

— SC Aggarwal, Chief Secretary

The PAU Vice-Chancellor should be a dynamic personality with 10-year-experience in administration. It’s too early to say anything about it as the state government will get the resume of eligible candidates by May 5.

— Dr GS Kalkat, member of the search committee



Minor domestic help locked inside car
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 30
Breaking crockery could have cost the domestic help dear after his master locked him inside a car and parked the vehicle in scorching heat in Aggar Nagar yesterday afternoon.

The man has been identified as Rajesh Kumar, a resident of Aggar Nagar. Chanresh Kumar (14), the domestic help, started crying due to the heat. A resident of the area saw the child crying inside a locked car and informed the police.

The police reached the spot and registered a case against Rajesh Kumar. Chanresh said Rajesh had warned him against breaking the vehicle’s windshield in order to save himself. “He would have thrashed me had I broken it and jumped out of the vehicle,” the domestic help added. Chanresh condition is stated to be stable.

The incident has once again brought to the fore the plight of migrant children working as domestic help, who are treated worse than a slave and subjected to inhuman treatment.



Brawl with Khali’s bodyguards
Man accuses police of harassement
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 30
The man, who sustained injuries due to alleged firing by bodyguards of wrestler Khali, has alleged that the district police is harassing him for taking the case against the wrestler back. Gurpreet Singh had sustained injuries after a few unidentified persons opened fire while he was waiting outside the house of Deputy Speaker Satpal Gosain to catch a glimpse of wrestler Dalip Singh Khali a few months ago. Gurpreet had been alleging that the armed bodyguards of Khali had opened fire after a brawl with him on the issue of clicking Khali’s photograph.

The police has failed to take any action despite the fact that one of his arms had allegedly stopped working. Gurpreet had also moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court in this regard. The High Court had in a notice served to the Police Commissioner asked him to respond on the issue.

Now, Gurpreet has accused the district police of pressurising him to take the case against Khali back. He alleged that the district police had opened a case against him in which compromise has already been reached between both parties.

The police instead of arresting the main accused is after him, he added. A senior police official had on numerous occasions threatened him to take back the case or he get him implicated in some other case, he alleged.



Cop’s body found in pond
Police suspects honour killing, launches hunt to nab accused
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 30
Suspecting the alleged murder of 32-year-old Gurdeep Singh Sidhu, a Punjab Police cop and a folk singer, to be an honour killing, the sadar police has launched hunt for unknown persons who had allegedly killed the cop and tried to destroy his body three days ago.

The body of the deceased was found in a pond at Matoie village near here yesterday. As the suspects had not taken away cash and valuables possessed by the deceased, the police suspects it to be a murder due to extramarital relations or an old rivalry.

Gurdeep Singh Sidhu, a resident of Amarpura Mohalla, and a cop posted at Batlana chowki under Zirakpur police station, who emerged as famous figure due to his favourite song 'Ikk Pagg' (a turban), had disappeared under mysterious circumstances after he left his house around 7.30 on Wednesday. Though he had left his house on the pretext of being called by his seniors, he did not reach Batlana chowki even the next day. Members of his family became suspicious as his mobile phone was switched off. The family was shocked when a team of cops approached it for identification of a body recovered from a pond at Matoie village on Friday.

The police identified the deceased on basis of the identity card recovered from his clothes. Marks of injuries on head, forehead and other parts of the body suggested that he was bludgeoned to death with of some solid object.

The Sangrur police constituted a special investigating team headed by Bikramjit Singh, SHO sadar, to probe the circumstances leading to the death.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the deceased was married and had left his house on the fateful on pretext of reaching Batlana. As the place from where the body was recovered is situated at a distance from normal route to Batlana, the police construed that somebody had thrown the body there after killing him somewhere else.

Further investigations revealed that Gurdeep had bought some eatables and DVDs after leaving his house. The police suspects that he had concealed his programme from members of his family.

Maintaining that it was too early to arrive on any conclusion, DSP, Amargarh, Gurpreet Singh Sikand said the police was working on various theories. It is suspecting a woman who was once close to the deceased.



Liquor vend in school’s vicinity
Dy CM orders immediate closure
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 30
Taking a serious note of the opening of a liquor vend in the vicinity of Green Land Senior Secondary Public School, Jalandhar bypass, Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal has directed the district administration to immediately close down the vend.

The administration has directed the Excise and Taxation Department to look into the matter and take appropriate action at the earliest.

District Excise and Taxation Commissioner Parmpal Singh said the department had measured the distance of the liquor vend from the gate of the school and found that it was located at a permissible distance.

"However, keeping the sentiments in view, we have directed the vend owner to shift his vend to another location," he said.



Teachers’ training programme ends
Our Correspondent

Doraha, April 30
A five-day training programme, conducted under Rashtriya Siksha Abhyan, Punjab, concluded here today. The programme was conducted as per the directions of DGSE, Punjab, with the collaboration of the British Council of India for English teachers of various government schools from Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Kapurthala and Mansa districts.

Those teachers, who attended the seminar, learnt various new methods and techniques of teaching English. Deputy state project director Vijay Kaushal and assistant project director Surekha Thakur visited the training centre. Ashish Kumar, district project co-ordinator, Ludhiana, said those teachers, who get training in the seminar would be able to impart this technical training to their students.

The teachers demanded more such seminars to be arranged often so that they could learn about various teaching methods.

Chief resource person Aparjita Bhardwaj from Hyderabad said techniques of teaching English, if improved, could go a long way in working towards better results.



Fearing unrest, religious congregation cancelled

Ludhiana, April 30
The nine-day-long religious congregation scheduled from Saturday at Daresi ground was cancelled following fear that the function could trigger unrest in the city.

The congregation was to be conducted by a spiritual organisation in the city's Dasesi ground. The cancellation came after a radical Sikh organisation threatened to create ruckus during the congregation.

Confirming the development, Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (ADCP- I) Harsh Bansal said, "Yes, they are shifting the base and would conduct their discourse at some other venue. I don't know about the new venue."

According to the organiser, they had completed all the formalities. "The stage was set and even hoardings were installed across the town. But today we were told to shift the base sighting security reasons," said one of the organisers. The city witnessed unrest in December 2009 in which one person died in alleged police firing. — TNS



Musical extravaganza at RIMT
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, April 30
A musical extravaganza was organised on the RIMT campus wherein Punjabi singer Ishaan left the audience spellbound with his captivating performance for over two hours.

Ishaan is a budding Sufi singer and is a student of BBA at the RIMT. Singing the songs penned by Ravinder Mann, a fellow student and classmate, Ishaan left the audience mesmerised.

In his message, RIMT Group chairman Dr Hukam Chand Bansal said music was food for the soul and the present programme was an earnest effort on the part of the group to encourage young and talented artistes.



‘Homeopathy an advanced medical science’
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 30
Duly recognised by the ministry of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Unani, Sidha and Homeopathy) and European countries, predictive homeopathy commenced by Dr Praful Vijaykar has become popular among allopathic doctors from across the country.

The doctor was in the city to address the homeopathic practitioners and students and to examine patients with chronic diseases at a special camp to be followed by the treatment.

The seminar and camp is being organised by Hahnemanian Education and Research Forum.

“Taking it as a challenge to prove that than the old system of allopathy, I have given the best results in terms of treatment of the most chronically ill patients who could not be cured under homeopathy,” said Dr Praful Vijaykar, the founder of predictive homeopathy, who is in the city for a seminar and a special camp.

The expert said the basic principle of homeopathy is to cure the man in disease, while that of allopathy is to cure the disease in man, which is why there is no question of the co-existence of the two. “ Homeopathy is better and result-oriented out of the two,” Dr Vijayakar added.

However, while expressing resentment on the prevailing scenario in academics , the expert said it was unfortunate that little was being done in the colleges as far as teaching standards were concerned. It is must to introduce a subject on predictive homeopathy in homeopathic colleges in India so as to make it a permanent part of the curriculum, said the doctor.

Dr Vijaykar cited an example through video demonstration of the case of a young son of an Income Tax Commissioner, who was in coma for four years, but came out of coma and started his routine chores in a year and half. “We believe and follow in stem cell stimuli, wherein the golden rule is to stimulate the nerve cells to get response from the tissues,” the expert added.

In another example, a three- year-old boy with zero speech and zero hearing started speaking sentences, comprehending things after three years of treatment.



Man held selling illegal weapons
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 30
A few days after a gang trading in illegal weapons was busted, the police today arrested another person selling illegal arms in the city.

Assistant sub-inspector (ASI) Balbir Singh, posted at the Police Division Number 5, said the accused, identified as Charanjeet Singh of Basant Bihar Colony in the city, was arrested following a tip-off. He said a policy party arrested the accused from near the bus stand as he used to sell illegal weapons that he used to bring from Uttar Pradesh.

The ASI said the accused used to prepare fake bills of weapons and used to sell the same in the city. In order to evade security agencies, the accused had prepared a fake identity card posing as a police official, the ASI said.

A case under Sections 419, 420, 467, 468, 471 and 420-B of the IPC and Sections 25, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act has been registered against the accused.



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