L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Quackery thrives in city; main reasons are money, quick relief
Doing particularly well in fields of dentistry and orthopaedics n Innocent customers easily taken in by their propaganda
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune news service

Asha, whose knees were deformed after treatment from a quack Asha after getting her knees replaced at DMCH.
Post-quack Asha, whose knees were deformed after treatment from a quack.  Post-doctor Asha after getting her knees replaced at DMCH. Tribune photographs 

Ludhiana, May 30
Manjeet Singh, a 25-year-old government employee, was 10 and a promising football player when he suffered an injury on his leg. It started hurting him and he was not able to move. His mother took him to a quack, who massaged his leg vigourously and promised that he would be fine.

But instead of improving his condition worsened. He developed fever and started blabbering. Worried, his mother took him to a orthopaedic doctor where he was diagnosed to be suffering from septicaemia and gangrene.

Despite doctors’ best efforts, Manjeet did not respond to antobiotics. There was no way to save him but to amputate his leg. To live he had to lose his leg. A promising football player’s career ended due to a quack. Manjeet is now a government employee.

Similar was the case of Asha, a 50-year-old woman, a resident of Ludhiana’s periphery. She was however fortunate than she got timely help. She had painful knees and she went to a quack for treatment.

Consequently, she got deformed knees and lot of pain. The pain was so severe as she became totally bed-ridden. “I replaced her knees and now she has completely recovered from her gruesome deformity and is pain free. She is doing morning and evening walks along with routine work happily,” said Dr Rajneesh Garg professor department of orthopaedics, DMCH.


In spite of there being a ban on quacks and the fact that official instructions have been issued by Principal Secretary, Health, Punjab, to all the deputy commissioners, police officers and health officers to take proper cognisance of any complaint made against any quack, the evil of quackery continues to flourish in the state.

This is so because of several reasons like people prefer to save money, go to quacks for quick relief and avoid any major surgery. They have an age-old belief that some quacks are better than a qualified doctor, especially in case of orthopaedic ‘experts’, who are well-versed in setting the bones without any cumbersome process of using plates, rods and metal plates etc.

The success stories of such quacks keep circulating the market. The failure stories of experts also keep making rounds in the public circles. All this goes a big way in industry encouraging quackery especially in the fields of dentistry and orthopaedics.

The Tribune came across many patients who became a victim of quackery and finally got themselves treated from qualified doctors. Some lost their teeth while others got deformed bones.

Dr Vikas Jindal, a renowned dental surgeon of the city, said, “The commentary and propaganda of these quacks is so impressive that innocent customers are likely to be taken in by their apparently convincing talks. I receive about 10 to 20 per cent such patients who fall an easy prey to quacks. I also receive such patients in my hospital and that too in very bad shape. Recently I came across Pardeep Kumar and Nishan Kumar Paswan who became an easy prey to these quacks.”


A patient named Pardeep Kumar, a class XII student at Nav Bharti School near Kailash Chowk said, “About two months ago I felt pain in one of my tooth which was unbearable. I came across a roadside dental quack near Cheema Chowk for a carious lesion (dan ka kera). This person fixed something in my tooth. But after two days the intensity of pain increased manifold and my whole face got swelled up badly. I went to Dr Vikas Jindal for further treatment and got it cured properly.”

About Pardeep, Dr Vikas said, “The quack placed soman acrylic filling in the tooth, the liquid of which initially mummifies the pulp thus relieving the pain, but the bad effects of acrylic and the dead tissue caused a huge swelling on the face due to accumulation of pus. After premedication I saved his tooth through root canal treatment and could eventually save the tooth which was otherwise meant to be extracted and can now help the patient for chewing for a few more years.”

Another person, 28-year-old Nishant Kumar Paswan also fell prey to one of these roadside quacks for his dental treatment He said, “One of my teeth was shaking. I came across a quack who was carrying all his paraphernalia in a suitcase. I got my tooth fixed. But after some hours, I had severe pain and swelling.”

This patient got erythema of the gums (redness) and loss of bone around the teeth. Dr Jindal said the entire thing was removed with great difficulty and did a prophylaxis and bone treatment of teeth adjacent to the missing tooth and then put a new tooth in place which is holding good for many years now.

‘Less charges, the main reason’

Dr AB Thomas principal of Christian Dental College, said, “Dentistry has touched new zenith in the country but in spite of that, roadside, bus and train dental quacks continue to work their magic and befool the simple unaware people. We receive about 10 per cent such people in our OPD. The placement of denture is also preferred by many from quacks for lesser charges. But quacks donot provide denture of proper shape, so it keeps moving and thus, leads to indigestion problems. They give medicine which is not required and affects the body and fix the denture through vaccum cap, which causes perforations in the palette. To relieve the patient from pain they are also given steroids, which are very harmful. But after two three days, the things come back to square one.” He further said, “A patient should first see if the doctor is a registered practitioner with Punjab Dental Council, Chandigarh, or not. It goes without saying that all these quacks including those sitting in wayside make-shift shops work in conditions which are neither aseptic nor infection free. Nor are there instruments or hands properly sterilised in this era of autoclaving and perfect sterilisation.”

‘Orthopaedics get many spoilt cases’

Dr Pankaj Mahindra, an orthopaedic and assistant professor of Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, said, “The commonly seen complications created by quacks and bone setters are infection, deformity and joint stiffness, which are very disabling and difficult to treat. The quacks massage vigorously and give rise to formation of a new bone, which is called as hetrotrap ossification. Their way of treating is very harmful and sometimes leads to gangrene, following which amputation remains the last resort.” Dr Shukdev Sharma, an orthopaedic at Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar, said, “I get 10-15 patients daily in my clinic who come to me with deformed bones after visiting a quack. Mal-union, non-union and loss of functioning of a limb are the major setbacks for visiting a quack. One should go to a qualified doctor in case there is any tissue injury or bone injury.”

DMCH conducted study on quacks

Dr SC Ahuja, retired principal of DMCH and an indigenous orthopaedic, said, “It was about 15 years ago when one of my students conducted research on effect of quackery on medical practitioners. We went all around Punjab and collected data about things used by quacks and how harmful these are. That time we found many quacks at Malerkotla and in division number 3, 6 and 7 areas of the city. The quacks gain the ground on the basis of chain of people who visit for one reason or the other. But people from low-income groups become an easy prey to them.”

Police booked 3 in 4 months

About the action by police department, Isher Singh, Commissioner of Police, Ludhiana, said, “We are keeping a tab on quacks and in the past four months we booked three quacks from different areas under Section 420 of the IPC. Our campaign to curb this menace will continue.”

DC passes the buck

Rahul Tiwari, Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, seemed to be oblivious of instructions issued by Principal Secretary, Health, Punjab. He said, “It is the health department which is supposed to book these quacks. I will have to check if we have been issued instructions in this regard by the health department as we get instructions from many departments. But we are ready to cooperate with the health department if it ever needs us to curb this practice.” The DC further said, “In case a quack is held, he is challaned and no FIR is registered. Pursuing a challan is not the work of administrative officers, but of health officers.”

What action has been so far?

When contacted to know as to what action the health department had initiated against quacks, Satish Chandera, Principal Secretary, Health, Punjab, said, “About one year ago, we issued instructions to all chief medical officers, senior medical officers, deputy commissioners, DSPs, SDMs etc to take action against quacks. But I feel that there is a need to be more proactive by all these departments. More surprise checks are required so that they may not play havoc with the health of the people.”

Health dept conducts checks

Dr Yashpal Mehta, Assistant Civil Surgeon, Ludhiana, said, “We keep conducting checks whenever we get any complaint and immediately book a quack if he is unauthorised. However, in case we are doubtful, we send the proceedings of our findings to Director, Medical Education and Research, Punjab, for further action.”


0001 goes for ‘only’ Rs 3 lakh, less than past years
Fancy numbers’ auction draws lower bids this time n Work of ‘cartel’ suspected
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune news service

People participate in auction of registration numbers of vehicles at Nehru Sidhant Kendra in Ludhiana on Monday.
game of numbers People participate in auction of registration numbers of vehicles at Nehru Sidhant Kendra in Ludhiana on Monday. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, May 30
Amid suspicion of a "cartel" at work to sway bidding, the number 0001 in the DA series was sold for a “much lower” amount of Rs 3 lakh to Randhir Singh, a city resident, at the auction of vehicle registration numbers conducted by the district transport office (DTO) on Monday when compared to the two previous auctions.

At the last auction in November 2010 the fancied 0001 number of the CY series went to a doctor for Rs 4.41 lakh. This time, however, there were only bidders for this much sought after number.

The DTO received a total 1,085 of bids for fancy registration numbers in the PB10 DA series at Monday’s auction, held after a gap of about five months. Even though 0001 received a comparatively lower winning bid when compared to the last two auctions, the amount nevertheless was much higher than in December 2008 when the final bids amounted to less than Rs 15 lakh. At that auction the much fancied 0001 was sold for only Rs 62,000, considered “paltry” in a city known for its wealth.

Interestingly, compared to just four bids received for the 0001 number, the maximum number of bids was for the number 0022, which emerged as the hot favourite this time round. There were over 17 bidders for this double digit number that was sold for a “mere” Rs 60,000.

The reason why people hanker for these fancy vehicle numbers was best explained by a friend of Nirmaljit Singh, a resident of Jagraon, who declined to reveal which number he had bought.

"I’m happy he (Nirmaljit) got a number of his choice for his Toyota Fortuner SUV. He spent Rs 20 lakh to buy the vehicle. If we spend a few more (a lakh rupees) and get a desired number, it gives us immense pleasure. Though it’s not a status-symbol, still it gives the impression the vehicle bearing this registration number belongs to some ‘VIP’", he said. Although bidding was still in progress at the time of filing this report, DTO officials said they hoped to net about Rs 35 lakh.



Politics over road deepens
After Gosain, Cong councillors lay another foundation stone
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune news service

Ludhiana, May 30
Politics over the laying of foundation stone of the road from Raikhey Cinema Chowk to Khwaja Chowk doesn't seem to die down. After Health Minister Sat Pal Gosain laid the foundation stone of the road on Saturday, Congress councillors, who had rued of being ignored in the previous function, laid another foundation stone on Sunday.

Interestingly, Gosain had laid the foundation stone of the same road from Khwaja Chowk side while councillors laid the foundation stone on Raikhey Cinema Chowk side.

After Gosain laid the foundation stone on Saturday, three Congress councillors, including Parminder Mehta, Rakesh Prashar and Sham Sunder Malhotra, had showed displeasure for being 'intentionally' ignored for the function.

Mehta had also written a letter against executive engineer PK Chadha to MC Commissioner AK Sinha, demanding strict action against him "because he ignored us and disobeyed the protocol," Mehta had said.

Congress councillor Sham Sunder Malhotra said they laid the foundation stone of the road again because 'some other' people had organised the previous function. "But everyone knows that we worked hard to get the work orders of this road cleared. So it was necessary for us to organise this function," he said.

"Some people are allowing their political interests to come in the way of such development projects. Gosain should have enquired about the area councillors before laying foundation stone of the road," said Malhotra.

Another Congress councillor Rakesh Prashar said we ourselves got the whole project passed and BJP leader OP Ratra should have told us about the function beforehand. “This is bad politics," said Prashar.



66 per cent schoolchildren hooked to tobacco
Lack of discipline, inability to handle stress, lifestyle of parents are the main reasons
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune news service

Ludhiana, May 30
As many as 66 per cent schoolchildren are hooked to tobacco products, especially ‘gutka’ and are slowly graduating to narcotics by the time they turn teenagers.The data obtained is the outcome of a recent study conducted by the journalism department of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) which was subsequently published in WHO journal Lifeline. The data was collected from 200 schools in rural areas of the district.

“The youngest child hooked to chewing tobacco was a student of Class II at a primary school in Dugri area of the city. We came across this shocking revelation when were surveying this school and the principal of school himself said they found pouches of tobacco when they were checking their schoolbags to search for a lost pencil,” said Dr Sarabjit Singh, associate professor, department of journalism, PAU, who conducted the study with his student Sukhwant Kaur.

These disclosures were so startling that when the duo surveyed 200 schools in the district, they found every 66 students chewing tobacco out of a sample of 100 students.

Talking to The Tribune, Dr Pushpinder Singh, member of the District AIDS Control Society and member of the District Drug Abuse Society, said: “Many school going children are becoming an easy prey to these products as kiosks selling these products are very near to schools.”

Dr Daljit Singh, principal and professor of paediatrics, DMCH, said: “An estimated 40 per cent children are exposed to second hand smoke at home and are at greater risk for becoming smoker. Parental smoking, availability of tobacco products and household acceptance towards smoking are some of the additional factors that could encourage a child to take up smoking. Today there are children who begin smoking as early as nine to 10 years of age.” Dr Sarit Sharma, associate professor, department of community medicine, DMCH, said: “Hookah bars are another places which attract children. One day, my son, who studies in Class V, said his friends say that smoking hookah is not harmful as smoke is filtered through water. But I told him about its ill-effects.”

Dr Rajiv Gupta, a consultant psychiatrist, said: “Children from Classes VI to IX become victims of tobacco products. I have come across many kids whose parents bring them to me for counselling. Lack of discipline, unable to manage stress and of lifestyle of parents, who themselves smoke in front of kids are the main reason behind the trend. 

When a student pleaded for ‘gutka’

Children of urban areas are more prone to tobacco products it. But some students from rural areas are also hooked to tobacco products. Karamjeet Grewal, a teacher at Government High School, Kheri Jhameri, said: “Last year, I was on examination duty and during search, I found three packets of ‘gutka’ in the pocket of a student along with chits. The boy said to make an unfair means case, but pleaded me to return his gutka pouches. After the exam, I counselled the student as why he should quit this habit.”

Admn turns deaf ear

Dr Pushpinder Singh, member of Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle, an NGO working against smoking and drug abuse, said: “I have been associated with this NGO since 1996. Every year we give our representation to the Deputy Commissioner to strictly implement the Anti Tobacco Law in the city, but to no avail. But we continue our effort. Tomorrow again, we will give him a representation. However, Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tiwari was not available for comments despite repeated attempts.

Need to curb menace

“We keep a check on illegal kiosks selling tobacco products through our tehbazaari wing, but they crop up again. I think more effort is required to curb this menace and we are trying our level best."

50 fined

District health officer, Ludhiana, Dr Jagpal Singh said: “We have fined 50 persons for smoking at public places in the past six months. We have collected Rs 10,000 as fine.



Passive smoking equally harmful
Causes nasal allergies, affects health of pregnant women
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune news service

Ludhiana, May 30
Think twice before sitting beside a person puffing a cigarette or a "beedi" as passive smoking is equally harmful to your health. Passive smoking means when a person puffs out smoke and it reaches the lungs of a persons sitting beside him.

Requesting anonymity, mother of a college student said: “My husband used to be a chain smoker. He used to finish two packets every day and did not agree to my request for quitting smoking. And now my son is suffering from nasal allergy. We have to give him steroids at times when it goes uncontrollable."

Dr Jagdeep Whig, vice-principal, professor and head of department of pulmonary medicine, Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, said: “Passive smoking is one of the major reasons for lung cancer. Breathing constantly in the air full of smoke is harmful. And people who smoke "beedi' are at more risk. The leaf with which "beedi" is made is called tandu and when it burns, it leave behind carcinogen, which causes cancer not only to the one who smokes, but also to the one who breathes in the same air."

Dr Sunil Aggarwal, a city-based homeopath, who is expert in treating nasal allergies, said: “Passive smoking causes nasal allergies." Smoking also affects the health of pregnant women and the foetus. Dr Navkiran S Mahajan, professor, department of psychiatry, DMCH, said: “Tobacco is five to 10 times more potent than cocaine and morphine. All physicians must follow the 5-A approach which includes ‘ask about tobacco use, advice to quit, assess willingness to quit, assist with methods to quit and arrange to follow up and maintenance."

Anti-smoking clinic

To counsel people who want to quit smoking, the DMCH has come up with an anti-smoking clinic. It will function every Tuesday from 11 am to 2 pm. Similar clinics are already functional in Hero DMCH Heart Institute and at the PGI, Chandigarh. 



Students showcase designs
Tribune News Service

weaving a web A model walks the ramp during the fashion show Glam and Glitter in Ludhiana.
Weaving a web A model walks the ramp during the fashion show Glam and Glitter in Ludhiana. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, May 30
Glam and Glitter, a fashion show, was organised by Sportking Institute of Fashion Technology (SIFT). Students of SIFT mesmerised the audience with their innovative creations showcased by models who walked the ramp with panache and left the audience spell-bound.

AK Maheshwari, CEO, Acrylic Fiber, was the chief guest. Students picked up exotic themes ranging from nature's beauty to wild life. Be it “Flamingo” by Manisha or “Peacock” by Navdeep or “Butterfly” by Namita, all were left spell-bound. The pandora's box opened with the themes like futurism by Komil, faux real by Amandeep, gladiator by Jyotima and rephrase by Garima Jain.

Models walked the ramp on the beats choreographed by Liza Varma, former Miss India, who has 2,500 shows to her credit. The audience was mesmerised by a spectacular show. Mohit Saggar of MTV Roadies fame was the special attraction of the show.


Knitwear design

Best design-Viren Malhotra

Best technical design-Harmandeep Kaur.

Best commercial design-Gaurav Kapoor

Best Creative design-Harminder Kaur.

Fashion design

Best design-Garima Jain

Most innovative collection-Surinderpal Singh

Best concept-Namita Nagpal.

Apparel production and merchandising

Best diploma project-Shreya Behal

Most feasible project-Ridhi Kapoor.

Fashion merchandising and management

Best diploma project-Pawandeep Kaur.



New voter cards to be made by June-end
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, May 30
The district administration has chalked out a schedule for making new voter identity cards of the remaining persons in all 14 assembly segments falling in this districtThe work is scheduled to be completed by the end of next month.

In an appeal to the electorate, Deputy Commissioner-cum-District Electoral Officer Rahul Tiwari has asked all eligible persons, who have not so far got their voter I-cards made, to avail this last opportunity before the next assembly elections.

“The voter I-cards will not only be made mandatory to cast vote in next poll, but the process for deletion of such names from the electoral rolls will also be initiated in case of those persons who do not possess voter I-cards.”

Tiwari said as perdirections of the Election Commission of India, the work for preparation of voter I-cards of the remaining persons willbe carried out from June 1 to 30, 2011.

Photographs for new voter I-cards in Khanna assembly constituency will be clicked on June 25 and in Samrala on June 16.

Voters in Ludhiana East can get themselves photographed for new voter I-cards from June 1 to 14, in Sahnewal from June 1 to 15, in Ludhiana South from June 21 to 24, in Atam Nagar from June 16 to 20, in Ludhiana Central from June 16 to 30 and in Ludhiana West segment from June 1 to 12.

Similarly, photography will be done in Ludhiana North, Jagraon and Gill segments from June 1 to 15, in Payal from June 20 to 22, in Dakha from June 14 to 30 and in Raikot from June 16 to 30.



Emphasis laid on diversification of agriculture
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 30
A delegation of Beer Swaraj Conference today met Registrar of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) Dr RK Mahey. Various issues concerning soil health, Bt cotton, genetically modified (GM) crops, pesticides and herbicides and hybrid varieties were discussed at the meeting.

Dr Mahey, Dr SS Gosal and Dr MS Gill, directors, Research and Extension Education, PAU, said science was a continuous process. Stating that the mission of PAU was to serve farmers in particular and the nation at large, they emphasised on the diversification of agriculture. They added that the university experts and farmers worked hand in hand and all feedback was taken into consideration while formulating strategies for the future research and extension programmes.

The director (deeds), deputy director of research, heads of the departments of agronomy, plant breeding and genetics and entomology, took up the queries of the delegation and divulged that a database survey of soil health had been conducted by the PAU. They said the university had been imparting training to farmers in seed production also. The director (biotechnology) said along with biodiversity, bio-safety measures were being taken into account.

Led by executive director of Kheti Virasat Mission (KVM) Umendra Dutt, the delegation stated that seed was the most vital component of agriculture and the basis for food security. “There is a need to address issues like increasing prices, monopoly and control by private companies, unavailability of good quality seeds, loss of biodiversity and decline of public sector seed enterprise,” the delegation stated. Hailing the contribution of the PAU in making the country self-sufficient on food front, members said for the benefit of farmers and assured availability of seeds for agriculture and food security of the country, the PAU had played a vital role.

They disclosed that industry data showed that Indian seed industry value was around US$ 2 billion, within the global commercial seed market of US $ 30 bn. This is around Rs 9,000 crore. They stressed that nation’s food sovereignty as well as farming communities’ livelihoods were closely linked to seed sovereignty. 



30 calves die of mysterious disease
l Microbiology dept trying in vain to identify reasons
l Five-member IVRI team had visited GADVASU
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 30
More than 30 calves, less than one year of age, died at the dairy farms of Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) last week due to an "unknown" disease. The microbiology department of GADVASU has so far been trying in vain to identify the reasons behind the sudden death of the calves.

Sources say the calves were kept along with other cattle at the dairy farms of the Veterinary Varsity. But then four or five days back, about 30 calves died within just two days leaving university authorites both shocked and baffled.

The Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) in Izzatnagar (near Bareily in Uttar Pradesh) reportedly sent a five-member team following a request from GADVASU who along with experts from the latter took blood samples of the calves to identify the cause of the sudden death of so many calves.

Speaking on the condition of anonimity, a faculty member said that scientists at the Microbiology department who conducted tests on the dead calves say they were initially quite certain that the calves had died due to haemorrhagic septicaemia. But this has not been established.

"The results of the tests are negative. Authorities are still working to establish the real cause of the death of the 30 calves. There are conflicting reasons being advanced. Attendants at the dairy farms maintain that the calves died due to respiratory problems. Others say that the calves suffered from stomach infection. Whatever be the eventual reason, the fact remains that the mortality rate is high and that the authorities need to quickly establsh the cause lest there is a repeat," said the faculty member.

The incident has also sparked a debate on who is better equipped to identify the cause -- GADVASU or IVRI. Says a GADVASU faculty member, "The clinical findings of GADVASU were far more accurate than that by the IVRI. Their (IVRI's) research is better but our clinical findings are far more advanced. If our doctors have failed to detect the reasons, then I am not optimistic that scientists from IVRI will succeed in finding the cause", he said.

Only a few months ago a large number of cattle (estimated to be 100 to 150) at the dairy farms were found suffering from Foot and Mouth Disease. But GADVASU authorities had maintained that the number of infected animals did not exceed four to five. The entry of visitors was banned and regular sprays were conducted to curb the disease at the farms following reports of an "outbreak" of this disease.

Report awaited

l As per GADVASU authorities, the report of the tests was still awaited. "It will take another week to establish the real cause of sudden death of the calves. We are more eager to find the cause so that other cattle or calves do not meet the same end," maintained the authorities. 



Gas agency told to pay Rs 5,000 compensation
Rajneesh Lakhanpal
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 30
A consumer can book a refill of LPG cylinder at any time, as per his requirement. There was no time framework prohibiting him to re-book a cylinder after 21 days from the delivery of its previous supply.

This was held by the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, while deciding a complaint moved by Rakesh Kumar of Rishi Nagar, Ludhiana. The complainant had alleged that M/s Kailash Enterprises of Haibowal Khurd refused to book the cylinder within 21 days of the supply of the previous cylinder.

Coming down heavily on the conduct of the gas agency, the forum termed the services of gas company in this case to be illegal, unethical and ordered the owner of the agency to pay compensation of Rs 5,000 to the aggrieved consumer.

Forum’s president TN Vaidya and its member Priti Malhotra based their decision upon the circular issued by Indian Oil Corporation on September 11, 2009, to its distributors. The forum directed the gas agency owner to also pay Rs 2,000 as litigation cost.

The complainant had alleged that the gas agency was not booking the cylinder, as and when the request was made. As per rules of the company, the gas agency was bound to supply 17 to 18 gas cylinders in a year. But the gas agency was providing 10 cylinders only.

The Indian Oil Corporation denied the allegations of the complainant.

It submitted that a customer could book a re-fill as per his requirements and the supply was subject to the stock with the distributor.



Encroachments removed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 30
The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation removed encroachments from 2,500 sq yards of their land situated in the New Subhash Nagar area of the city today. Some jhuggi dwellers had encroached upon the MC land.

Harpreet Singh Ghai, assistant town planner of Zone B, said the MC has plans to construct a park on this piece of land. "The jhuggis were demolished by ditch machines and our 2,500 sq yards of land is free from encroachments now," he said.

The MC is planning to start the work on the park soon so that the land does not gets encroached upon once again.



Govt allows milder pictures on cigarette packs
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, May 30
The Union Ministry of Health has announced that packets of chewing tobacco sold across the country after December 1, 2011, will have to show gory pictorial warnings like that of rotting mouths and hanging gums.

However, social and medical organisations fighting for the cause are sombre that the government has allowed milder pictures on packets of cigarettes and ‘bidis’, which are equally harmful.

Office-bearers of the Cancer Elimination Council of India (CECI), led by Dr Devinder Singh Sandhu and Dr Sardara Singh Johal, said the council had been advocating for these pictorial warning since long.

“The step will go a long way in creating awareness about the harmful effects of tobacco. But the choice of images given to manufacturers of smoking tobacco will allow them to use milder warnings of a man with diseased lungs rather than of mouth cancer,” said Sandhu and Johal urging the government to review the notification.

Dr Sandhu said tobacco use accounted for 5.4 million deaths globally per year, out of which 1.5 million were deaths due to cancer.

Tobacco use accounts for nearly one-third of all cancer deaths in the United States and in India about half of the new cancer cases in males are related to tobacco use. Tobacco users have high incidence of cancers of lung, oral cavity, throat, larynx, oesophagus, stomach, pancreas, bladder, kidney, cervix and acute myeloid leukaemia, said the oncologist.

“People who quit smoking live longer than those who continue to smoke. After 10 to 15 years, a previous tobacco user's risk of premature death approaches that of a person who has never smoked. About 10 years after quitting, an ex-smoker's risk of dying from lung cancer is 30 per cent to 50 per cent less than the risk for those who continue to smoke,” Dr Sandhu added.

Packets of tobacco products will have to carry new harsher pictorial warnings from December 1 as the government on Saturday came out with separate sets of gory graphics of cancer-affected lungs and mouth for smoking and smokeless forms of tobacco.

The warnings will be rotated every two years instead of the existing duration of one year, apparently in keeping with a demand from the tobacco industry.

The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has issued a gazette notification on new pictorial warnings, which have come after prolonged delay. There are two existing warnings like scorpion and damaged lungs for cigarettes while a stricter one was to be depicted from December 1, 2010.



Govt move on regularisation fails to enthuse realtors
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, May 30
Even after nearly six months of the new government policy on regularisation of unauthorised colonies having been notified by the Punjab Government, the real estate developers have shown little interest in coming forward to seek licences and pay stipulated development charges to the regulatory bodies -- the Greater Ludhiana Area Development Agency (GLADA) and the Municipal Corporation (MC) -- in the industrial capital of the state.

Ever since the policy was notified on December 9, last year, just about half a dozen applications -- four with GLADA and another two with the MC -- have been filed by the developers of colonies which have already been developed without following the provisions of the Punjab Apartment and Property Regulation Act (PAPRA), and the colonisers now want to get their colonies regularised.

The response for regularisation of unauthorised colonies is dismal to say the least if the number of such colonies, more than 500 in any case, is any indication. Mere number of colonies developed in violation of regulations and the gross indifference of the colonisers to the pathetic plight of the people who have had the misfortune of purchasing plots in such colonies, is no real indicator of the magnitude of the problem in view of the fact that an estimated 20 to 25 per cent of the total population of the mega city lives in unauthorised colonies.

According to GLADA additional chief administrator Dr Jaswant Singh, three applications from the developers of as many colonies around the city, and one from Khanna town in this district, had been received after the new policy on regularisation of unauthorised colonies was announced by the government. As per layout plans provided by the applicants, the colonies awaiting regularisation on completion of required formalities were located at Dhandra on the Dugri Road (58.43 acre), Chuharpur village, near Haibowal (10.26 acre), Jhande village on the Pakhowal Road (24.84 acre) in the city and Khanna Khurd village in Khanna town (area unspecified).

Similarly, two applications for regularisation of colonies have been filed with the MC which were located near Basti Jodhewal (7-8 acre) and on the Humbran Road (1.75 acre). The MC officials, however, indicated that a few more developers, and welfare society of area residents in one or two cases, had evinced interest in getting their colonies regularised on payment of development charges, but formal applications were yet to be filed by them. If major players in the real estate sector are to be believed, the policy is flawed and the stringent rules made for compounding of the offence (of developing an illegal colony) were a big deterrent.

“Even after the promoter pays development charges at the rate of Rs 400 per square yard to the regulatory body, it is mandatory for him to obtain a license, get all necessary clearances as well as no objection certificates (NOCs) from different agencies, provide a bank guarantee against an undertaking for completion of all internal development works within a period of one year,” says Kamal Chatley, president of Ludhiana Property Dealers and Colonisers Association.

He asserts that a simple and hassle-free policy ought to have been formulated so as to attract maximum number of colonisers, or where promoters have disappeared after selling plots without completion of internal development works, the residents of illegal colonies, to take benefit from the policy.



Just 2,329 fined for wasting water in 13 months
Around 2.7 lakh litres of water goes down the drain in city everyday 

Only 2 XENs handling issuance of challans
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 30
Water wastage seems to go unchecked in the city with authorities apparently taking little notice towards this problem and that too in a season when water is most sought after.

(Left) wastage goes unchecked at Punjab Agricultural University; (Right) a tap dripping at Circuit House in Ludhiana. Tribune photos: Himanshu Mahajan

The Municipal Corporation has fined only 2,329 city residents in the past 13 months. This works out to 179 fines per month and just six per day in a city with a population of 16,13,878 and rising as per the recently released census figures.

Though MC officials claim they have been regularly issuing challans to all such violators, it is learnt that the number of such challans is far less due to an acute shortage of staff. Only two executive engineers (XENs) are handling the operations and maintenance cell of the four zones. While XEN Manjit Singh is handling Zones C and D, which comprises a portion of the Industrial Area and most of the city’s residential area, XEN Kamlesh Bansal is handling Zones A and B, which comprises mostly the Industrial Area and a portion of the city’s residential area.

As per a rough estimate, around 2.7 lakh litres of water daily goes down the drain in the city. It is learnt that more than nine lakh litres of water is being supplied every day from 460 tubewells, which operate for roughly 10 hours daily.

Residents continue to be routinely spotted washing their cars and driveways, squandering gallons of precious water. But officials are either too short staffed or lack the resolve to prevent its wastage.

“MC rules forbid residents to wash their vehicles or clean their houses with a hosepipe,” said XEN (operations and maintenance) Manjit Singh. “The use of hosepipes leads to water wastage and even damages the road. We have been urging the residents to use water from buckets to wash their cars or to get them washed from a workshop, as they pay us disposal charges. If a person is caught violating these rules, we slap a fine of Rs 500 on him,” he added.

“Most of the violations are by people living in posh localities. But still we fine them regularly,” said XEN Manjit Singh.



Residents show MC the way to conserve water
Install grass paver tiles to recharge rainwater
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 30
A residential colony has shown the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation the way to check recharging of rainwater, which, for the moment, does not seem to be the civic body's main thrust area.

Residents of Canal View Apartments located in BRS Nagar have taken the initiative on their own to install grass paver tiles around the park situated on their premises at a cost of Rs 1.5 lakh.

These tiles are believed to help recharging rainwater, which is considered to be the purest form of water. They have also submitted a proposal of a pilot project on rainwater harvesting by using the same kind 
of tiles with the civic body, which is under process at the moment.

The MC's building byelaws stipulate that every commercial establishment, which is more than 200 sq yards in size, install rainwater harvesting technology on its premises, the violation of which does not permit them to construct. However, this is continuing unchecked due to a combination of factors comprising shortage of staff and political interference from councillors.

But MC Commissioner AK Sinha harbours a different view. Every commercial building, which gets passed these days, is engaging in rainwater harvesting. "Else we do not let them construct. If they still go ahead with the construction, we demolish the structure," he says.

Novel idea

City Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura, Senior Deputy Mayor Parveen Bansal and some senior MC officials visited their locality to see the tiles, says Dr Gurdev Singh Hira, a resident of Canal View Apartments, who retired as Additional Director Research (agriculture) from the PAU. "The civic body officials liked the project so much that they promised to adopt it in other parts of the city as well,” said Manmohan Singh, another area resident. "The groundwater has started depleting at an alarming rate, particularly in Punjab. Environmentalists, who are concerned about this depleting natural recourse, have been urging people not to waste water. But residents seem to be in no mood to listen to their pleas. If we install grass paver tiles, rainwater will not go water and will help recharging water table," said Dr SK Sondhi, area resident.

MC studying project

It is a good and convenient way of rainwater harvesting. We are studying the project and would implement it in the city.

But it is unfortunate that many city residents are wasting this natural resource and that is why we keep conducting regular checks.

— Parveen Bansal,Senior Deputy Mayor 



MC to install 80 tubewells in city
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 30
In view of the upcoming elections, the MC authorities have decided to install 80 new tubewells in different parts of the city. Though officials attribute this to shortage of water in some parts of the city, sources claim that this is being done to please the voters.

This step will not only put financial burden on an already cash strapped MC, as the cost of installing a tubewell is around Rs 15 lakh, while in contrast a submersible costs around Rs 1.5 lakh, besides causing excessive wastage of ground water, which is the only source of water for the city.

“Most of the new tubewells are either installed in a locality where the demand of water is more or at places where there is a need for the tubewell to be replaced. But it is nothing to do with the elections as it is a routine exercise,” says MC Commissioner AK Sinha.

Rough estimates put the daily demand for water at around 3,000 lakh litres a day for a population of 16.13 lakh against a supply of around 5,000 lakh litres. Clearly, the supply exceeds the demand. This water is supplied from 481 tubewells and 276 submersibles spread across different parts of the city.

But then why is there a need for new tubewells?

Congress councillor Parminder Mehta said in some parts of the city there was a shortage of potable drinking water. “Maybe that is why new tubewells are being installed. But what needs to be checked is the unauthorised installation of submersible pumps in houses or in commercial establishments,” he said.

Senior Deputy Mayor Parveen Bansal on the other hand claimed that there was ample supply of water. “The supply is already much more than the demand and that is why there is wastage of water. If new tubewells are bored, it would lead to more wastage,” he said.



Hawks Club, Harpal Club record victories
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, May 30
Hawks Club of Doraha and Harpal Club of Kila Raipur recorded victories in their respective matches in the second edition of the Prithipal Singh Memorial Six-a-Side Hockey Festival being organised by the Ludhiana Sports Welfare Association at Mata Sahib Kaur Stadium of Jarkhar village near here last evening.

In the first match, Harpal Club thrashed Sunday Morning Club of Ludhiana 8-5. The two sides were tied 2-all at half time.

Narinder Singh and Jagjeet Singh scored a brace each for the winners while Gurdeep Singh, Balwinder Singh Jagga, Narain Singh and Kuljeet Singh found the target once to complete the tally.

For Sunday Morning Club, the lone scorer was upcoming hockey player Gurdeep Singh who chipped in with four goals and salvaged some pride for his team.

In another match, Hawks Club, Doraha, overpowered Gill Club, Ghawadi, 9-7. The winners were trailing 2-3 at the breather.

Former national star Baljeet Singh scored a hat-trick and Harmanpreet Singh sounded the board twice while captain Sukhjeet Singh, Gurpreet Singh and Varinder Singh accounted for one goal each for Hawks Club.

For the losers, Amandeep Singh found the target five times and Kuldeep Singh and Gurmeet Singh contributed one goal each to reduce the margin.



Seven babus found absent from duty
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 30
Seven government employees were found absent from offices in Khanna sub-division during a surprise check conducted by Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tiwari here today.Tiwari said the check was conducted in eight government offices at Khanna and Payal sub- divisions to ensure presence of employees during the office hours.

The raid, which was headed by Inderjeet Kaur, SDM, Khanna, found six employees of the PWD and one employee of the district food supply department absent from duty.



Medical negligence
Health Minister orders probe
“Negligent” officials advised to stay at home
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, May 30
Assuring that adequate facilities will be provided to all patients coming for treatment at government hospitals and dispensaries, health and family welfare minister Sat Pal Gosain has ordered a probe into the sequence of events leading to the death of an expectant mother from Pakhowal village, allegedly due to negligence of authorities at the Pakhowal Civil Hospital yesterday.

Principal Secretary, health, Satish Chandra has been directed to initiate stern action against erring officials in the department.

Meanwhile, activists of a few social organisations, led by president of the New Trade Union Initiative (NTUI) and former MLA Tarsem Jodhan, have demanded compensation for the victim’s family.

Investigations by The Tribune revealed that Gosain had taken notice of alleged unconcern of officials posted at various civil hospitals and dispensaries of the region.

Reiterating his earlier stand, Gosain said: “Those who can not perform their duties diligently need not come to hospitals or dispensaries. Better they stay at home as we want to provide efficient services to all those coming to government hospitals for treatment.”

Sumeer of Lehna Patti of Pakhowal village had alleged her sister Banita (23) had died due to alleged unconcern and negligence of the staff at the village hospital on Sunday. Banita was receiving treatment at the hospital since May 23. None of the doctors was available when her condition became critical at 3.30 am on the fateful day.

Delay in handling the case and subsequent shifting to the Civil Hospital, Ludhiana, had allegedly claimed two lives, including Banita, the expectant mother, and her unborn child, it was alleged.



Ludhiana scan
Residents complain of erratic power supply

Residents of Durgapuri, Anand Vihar and Jagatpur localities in Haibowal have complained of erratic power supply and fluctuation of voltage. They added that the fault was not rectified despite the helpline of Punjab State Power Corporation Limited having been notified.

The residents of these colonies maintained that they had also personally gone to the PSPCL complaint office in Haibowal several times between 9.30 pm and 3.30 am as nobody had turned up to attend to their complaint. Telephonic talk with one of the junior engineers also failed to evoke any response as a result of which thousands of residents of the affected area could not sleep at night.-


A special executive committee meeting of the Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertaking was held to condole the sad demise of Surinder Kaur Badal, wife of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal. All executive members of the chamber expressed their profound grief.

Demands raised

A delegation of the Government Teachers Union, Punjab, under the leadership of Narinder Singh Dhaliwal today met DEO (secondary) Harbhajan Ram and DEO (elementary) Harpal Kaur. The delegation handed over their charter of demands to both the DEOs. Some of the demands of the teachers included issuing of GPF and GIS slips which had not been issued to teachers and release of salaries of computer teachers.-TNS

Training course

City-based hairstylist Abhay Girdhar has just returned from Indonesia after attending “Matrix World Tour Asia Pacific 2011”.

Representatives from 10 countries attended the tour and Abhay represented India.

An advance training course was also attended by participants.


SPS Apollo Hospitals organised a health consciousness training programme at HDFC Bank. As many as 50 employees attended the programme. Vineet Arora, zonal head, HDFC Bank, coordinated the event.

Dr Amit Dhiman, associate consultant, oncology, said “India faces a smoking catastrophe.” There are about 94 million smokers in India. Of these, about 14 million are suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). “COPD is the fourth leading cause of adult deaths in India and has been found to be mostly caused by smoking,” he added.

Dr RP Singh, senior consultant, cardiology, said smoking had hazardous effects on heart. It could cause atherosclerosis, heart attack, angina, stroke and even cardiac failure leading to death, he added. “Quitting smoking can significantly reduce the risk of getting affected by any of the above diseases,” the doctor stated.

Awareness camp

The Rising Youth Association organised an awareness camp on World No Tobacco Day at Hotel Friends Regency yesterday. Dr Vyom Bhargawa, a leading neurosurgeon, delivered an informative lecture about the ill-effects of tobacco.

Gurinder Chahal, president of the association, felt that awareness about the ill-effects of tobacco should begin at school and home. There should be a complete ban on advertising tobacco products by any means. “At public places we should stop people from smoking,” Chahal added.

‘Quit smoking’

Health and Family Welfare Minister Satpal Gosain has appealed to the public to leave smoking. He said one should stop consuming tobacco products in order to lead a healthy life.


A seminar on “Technology Gap Analysis Study for Bicycle Parts Cluster in Ludhiana” was organised by Ludhiana Bicycle and Engineering Park (an approved bicycle cluster by the Ministry of MSME ) in association with TIFAC, New Delhi, and Dr BR Ambedkar National Institute of Technology, Jalandhar. Prof SPS Mishra, director, NIT, Jalandhar, SS Dhillon, director, MSME, Ludhiana, Parmjeet Singh, GM, R& D Centre, Ludhiana, Vishav Bandhu, GM, District Industries Centre, Ludhiana, and Lait Sharma, director, Punjab Pollution Control Board, were the main speakers.

Punjabi sabha’s annual function

Doraha: The 58th annual function of Punjabi Likhari Sabha, Rampur, will be held on June 5. Five Punjabi writers will be honoured on the occasion. Poet Niranjan Singh Sathi will preside over the function which will be inaugurated by Rajneesh Bahadur Singh. Writers to be honoured include Kamalpreet Kaur Sidhu and Didar Singh Didar. Comrade Randhir Singh Memorial Award will be presented to story writer Ajmer Sidhu. Mohinder Kaur Memorial Award will be presented to story writer Mukhtiar Singh. Story writer Jatinder Haans will be given Jaswant Dhamot Memorial Award. The sabha will also honour its seasoned member Didar Singh Didar (87), for his contribution to the sabha and Punjabi literature. General secretary of the sabha Avtar Singh Dhamot said the function would be held at Canal Rest House, Rampur. — Tribune Reporters



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