L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Cabinet okays metro rail project report
With local buses yet to roll, another pie in the sky for residents
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 22
City residents can now hope to get the much-needed respite from traffic hassles and vehicular pollution polluted city with the Punjab cabinet approving the detailed project report on a metro rail system prepared by the Delhi Metro Rail Corp (DMRC). The cabinet has also given the nod for execution of the public-private partnership project on the build, operate & transfer (BOT) model.

The proposed metro, the first such project in the state, is estimated to entail a cost of about Rs 10,000 crore and would be constructed in a phased manner with two corridors (routes) planned for now.

A decision in this regard was taken at a cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal in Chandigarh on Wednesday morning.

After the project was mooted in 2008, DMRC engineers took soil samples from various city areas that would be covered by the proposed corridors. The first corridor, with a length of 15.798 km, is planned from Ayali Chowk to BBMB Power House on the Chandigarh Road with a total of 14 stations. The second corridor - 13.035 km long - is planned from Gill Village to the Rahon Road barrier, with 13 stations along the route.

Municipal corporation commissioner AK Sinha said now that the detailed project report has been approved by the state cabinet the city might have a metro rail soon. However, the project report will have to cleared by the central urban development and finance ministries as well as the Planning Commission.

The existing urban transport system of the city is road-based, which remains mostly choc-a-bloc with traffic. With the absence of public transport system in the city, residents are dependent on other modes of transports such as autorickshaws, cycle rickshaws, radio taxis or their own personal vehicles.

As per the survey of this project, it would have a carrying capacity of about 25,000 peak hour peak direction trips, which would be adequate to meet not only current traffic flows but for the next 20 to 25 years. Even the much-hyped local bus service seems to remain on paper ever since it was proposed first in 2002 and later in 2008.

Experts feel that taking into consideration the slow pace of city bus service project, it would still take many more years for the metro rail project to take final shape. "The metro rail project would take a lot of construction activity in the city as compared to city bus service project," they added.

Stations along proposed corridors

Corridor I (Ayali Chowk to BBMB Power House (15.798 km)

Ayali Chowk

Rajguru Nagar

Aggar Nagar

Verka Milk Plant


Aarti Chowk

Bharat Nagar Chowk

Guru Nanak Stadium

Dukh Niwaran Gurdwara

Civil Hospital

Samrala Chowk

Vardhman Mills


BBMB Power House.

Corridor II (Gill village to Rahon Rd barrier (13.035 km)

Gill village

GNE College


ATI Chowk

Sarabha Market, 
Gill Road

Gill Chowk

City Bus Station

Railway Station

Daresi Ground

Guru Nanak Nagar

Basti Jodhewal

Rahon Road



Liquor vends near school premises
Parents, authorities fume at admn
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 22
Two liquor vends that have come up in the vicinity of Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School in BRS Nagar have become a cause of concern for parents and the school authorities alike. While one was there since long, another came up just a few days ago.

School authorities have even lodged a complaint with the Deputy Commissioner and the District Excise and Taxation Commissioner in this regard but in vain.

“We have written a letter to both of them but no action has been taken in this regard. Earlier there was just one vend, but within a few days another one has come up adjacent to the previous vend,” said Sister Cristo, Principal, Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School.

A senior student of the school said, “It is a serious matter and violates the norms laid down by the administration, but it is not paying any attention towards it. It seems students need to do something to wake the authorities from the slumber. In my opinion, we also need to protest like students of Greenland School. The administration swings into action only after the students took to the roads.”

Jaspreet Singh, parent of one the students, said, “Liquor vends and tobacco shops near the school are illegal. It can have a bad effect on the minds of schoolchildren. Such shops should not be located near the school and the administration should shift these vends at the earliest.”

District Excise and Taxation Commissioner Parampal Singh said both liquor vends were located within permissible limits. As per state’s excise policy liquor vends and tobacco shops cannot be opened within 50 meters of educational institutions and religious places. Earlier it was 100 meters.

Now the permissible limit has been changed to 50 meters.

“We have received a complaint in this regard from the school authorities, but since it is within the permissible limit our hands are tied. We are trying to convince them to shift vends to some other place since it is too close to the school,” he added. 



Car-borne robbers snatch gold bangle
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 22
Three unidentified car-borne women and a driver robbed a middle-aged woman and her nine-year-old grandson at around 11.30 am near Atam Nagar today. The suspected robbers decamped with a pair of gold “karas” worn by the woman.

Gurbir Singh, SHO, Model Town, told Ludhiana Tribune that the middle-aged woman and her grandson were on their way to hire a rickshaw for going to the bus stand. While she was looking for the rickshaw, a Zen car, in which three women were sitting and a man was driving the car, stopped near the woman. In an attempt to “extend help” to the woman in the scorching heat, the unidentified women asked the woman if they could drop them to the bus stand as they, too, were towards that side.

“When the woman sat in the car, the robbers drove it to about half-a-kilometer and asked woman to hand over her gold “karas”. Fearing threat to her life, the woman handed over the “karas” to robbers who left her and grandson on the road itself and escaped,” Gurbir Singh added.

Investigations are on, but the police has not registered a case so far. “We are recording the woman’s statement. We will soon register the case against the four unidentified persons,” he added.



Hospital back to old ways after minister’s visit
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 22
It’s back to square one at the city’s Civil Hospital following a “surprise” visit by Punjab Health & Family Welfare Minister Satpal Gosain less than a month ago on May 27. Even though some new employees were brought in to maintain cleanliness at the premises and in spite of Gosain’s instructions to officials to provide all facilities to patients, the hospital administration to be hidebound and inefficient.

To have a first-hand taste of the dismal state of affairs, Dr HS Bali, the newly appointed city civil surgeon, visited the hospital on Tuesday at around 10:30 pm and found several things in a mess.

According to sources, “Bali, who was accompanied by the hospital’s officiating senior medical officer, pulled up the employees for not maintaining the premises properly. They found both the men’s and women’s wards dirty and smelling badly with the toilets in very bad shape. It was pitch dark in many rooms where both lights and fans were nonfunctional. The civil surgeon asked the hospital electrician to fix them in two days."

Bali told The Tribune: “I found the hospital wanting in many things. I issued instructions to the staff to get 20 fluorescent tubelights and 20 electric fans installed in the wards. When I was informed there were only about 400 bedsheets at this 130 bed hospital I told the officiating SMO to arrange at least 130 more”.

“Last Monday I visited the Civil Hospitals in Sahnewal and Payal and found both were in very good shape. 



Raid unlikely to check sale of rotten fruits, vegetables
Health dept team tosses seized items into garbage dumps
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 22
The raid conducted at new Sabzi Mandi by team of health department officials led by district epidemiologist Dr GP Mangla on Tuesday was apparently a mere eyewash as they just went through the exercise of getting rid of the rotten fruits and vegetables they confiscated by throwing them away in garbage dumps in the area.

“We seized about 40 quintals of rotten fruits and vegetables including papaya in large quantities along with tomatoes, onions, capsicum and ladyfingers. All of these were thrown away at dump sites in the Sabzi Mandi area. We don’t have the authority to take any action against the shopkeepers, but we warned them against selling rotten fruits and vegetables in future”, said Mangla.

When asked if the garbage dumps had been cleared of the refuse, he passed the buck to the municipal corporation, saying, ``We asked civic officials to properly dispose of the dumped fruits and vegetables. I guess MC trucks must have cleaned up the place."

However the rotten fruits and vegetables could still be seen scattered at the dump sites till Wednesday afternoon, with some people rummaging through the heaps.

When contacted Ashwani Sahota, the MC’s chief sanitary inspector, put the onus on the market committee, saying, ``The area doesn’t come within the municipal limits. It’s the responsibility of the market committee to get the garbage dumps cleared”.

He also denied the health department had called him up to get garbage lifted in the Sabzi Mandi area.

Meanwhile, Indermohan Singh Kadiyan, chairman of the Ludhiana market committee, stated: “A health department team conducted a raid in new Sabzi Mandi, targeting vendors standing on roadsides. The area is situated within the municipal limits. The rotten fruits and vegetables weren’t thrown away within the ‘mandi’ premises but somewhere else."



Eco-rickshaws : Laden with comfort, utility
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 22
Eco-rickshaws are now a reality in the city. Chiefly made without wood, the rickshaw has been created by laying special emphasis on safety norms and comfort of passengers.

The passenger seat has been designed for extra comfort. The rickshaw comes equipped with a seat belt, sufficient luggage space under the seat, enough leg space on the platform, kids’ seat on the rear with an extended safety bar, a smart roof canopy, an FM radio and a first-aid kit.

In the near future, arrangements will also be made for “dial-a-rickshaw cab” in various cities, including Ludhiana, which will enhance the popularity of the rickshaw and encourage people to use it instead of auto or taxi for short-distance travel,” said RD Sharma, chairman of the company that has come out with the rickshaw.

This will contribute towards reducing pollution, easing traffic congestions and saving fuel. Also, it will create employment opportunity for rickshaw-pullers as the demand for the rickshaw grows. The entire rickshaw, barring its tyres, comes in green colour, keeping in sync with environment.

Sharma says such rickshaws are in great demand in European countries. “We have launched four models of the rickshaw and in the near future will come up with a battery-operated e-rickshaw as well. Our R&D team has been working on these rickshaws for the past four years, as we wanted to lay special focus on making the rickshaw-puller comfortable, while pulling the vehicle. Impact on the body of the puller from various angles while in motion has been studied and weight of the rickshaw has been kept between 65 kg and 70 kg. The conventional rickshaw weighs nearly 100 kg. Enough space has been created for dislay of advertisements, which will be a source of additional revenue for the rickshaw-puller.”

Buoyed by the demand for rickshaws in Europe, the company has developed a full-fledged rickshaw division. All components, including frame, fork, base, seats, canopy, and structure, are manufactured in their unit using quality raw material.



MC violating norms
Calls complainant, contractor for inquiry
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 22
An RTI activist has alleged that after he made a complaint regarding anomalies for the construction of portion of the Pakhowal road, MC official called him and contractor during the inquiry proceedings to his office, which he termed “against the rules” and “possible threat to his life”.

He alleged that this shows the callous attitude of the MC officials and that they are not serious about conducting this inquiry.

“I had procured information about anomalies during the recarpeting of the Pakhowal road from Sidhwan Canal to the MC limit amounting Rs 1.49 crore, which was awarded to a contractor without analysing his technical bid. I filed a complaint with the MC and while acting on it, on May 31, MC Commissioner AK Sinha marked an inquiry and asked Additional Commissioner Kuldip Singh to submit report within 15 days,” claimed Kuldeep Singh Khaira, an RTI activist.

Khaira said even after passing of 22 days, the Additional Commissioner has failed to complete the inquiry and submit his report.

“He had called me on June 17 at his office and when I reached there, I was shocked to see the contractor also sitting next to me. How can I air my grievances when the contractor is sitting next to me. It’s clearly a threat to my life and totally against the rules. Even when I asked for information of the recarpeting of the Pakhowal road through the RTI, the MC had disclosed my name to the contractor, which is also against the rules,” claimed Khaira.

When contacted, MC Commissioner AK Sinha said the Additional Commissioner was conducting the inquiry in free and fair manner. “The report would be submitted to me soon,” said Sinha.



MC razes five illegal residential colonies under zone c
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 22
Municipal Corporation (MC) officials demolished five illegal residential colonies spread in Zone C area of the MC today. These colonies were situated near Jaspal Bangar village here.

Nirmal Preet Singh, assistant town planner (ATP) of Zone C, informed that the residential colonies were demolished after they were found in the recent MC survey.

“A three-acre colony near Major Property Dealer, Radha Swami Satsang road near Jaspal Bangar village was demolished today. We razed roads and sewerage system of the colony. The other colonies are one situated near Major Building Material Street, Jaspal Bangar Road behind Radha Swami Satsang Ghar (four acres), a one-acre colony on road leading to Radha Swami Satsang Ghar from Jaspal Bangar village, two different colonies adjoining Malhi Property Dealer on the road leading from Radha Swami Satsang to Jaspal Bangar Chungi road, which are of seven acres and two acres, respectively,” informed the ATP.

This is the second such drive carried out by the MC officials in the last two days. Yesterday, the MC officials demolished two such colonies situated in Mundian area, falling in Zone B area of the MC.

In a recent survey, the MC had detected 18 such colonies spread across different parts of the city. At that time, the MC officials had given an option to the owners of those colonies for getting them regularised by paying development charges, else the colonies would be razed.



Residents protest against MC
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 22
Residents of Ishar Nagar, near Gill village, held a protest against the municipal corporation (MC) here today.

They were protesting against an incomplete sewerage project, work on which had not moved on for the past more than one year.

A private school with a large number of students was situated in the vicinity of the site. Residents warned that if work was not completed, it could lead to problems.

“Children come to school everyday and they can fall in the dug-up area. Two days back, a man fell in the dug-up area, but thankfully, did not receive serious injuries,” said Jaswinder Singh, a resident.

Work on the project was started around two years back and its foundation stone was laid by Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura.

An amount of Rs 241 crore had been received under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission for the project.

Another resident, Jarnail Singh, alleged that the MC had turned a blind eye to the area and not even a brick had been laid for the past more than one year.

Residents alleged that if the MC failed to start construction on the project within one week, they would intensify the protest.



Water treatment plant for Doraha soon
Our Correspondent

Doraha, June 22
In a welcome news for local residents, a water treatment plant will be set up at three separate areas in the town shortly.

According to municipal council president Inderjit Singh Kala, the town had been facing an acute sanitary problem due to paucity of space for drainage of sewage.

“Tenders for setting up a water treatment plant in the town have finally been passed. The water treatment plant, costing Rs 24 crore, will be set up at three locations i.e. Satnam Nagar, ward Nos. 12 and 13, and the Jaipura road. The work on the plant will start in the coming days. This will ease the difficulties being faced by residents on account of waterlogging and contamination of drinking water with sewage,” the president asserted.

“A number of private connections that had been causing water contamination were removed recently. A warning was also issued to the residents against tampering with the water supply,” he said.

He urged the residents to inform the authorities about the defaulters, as they were responsible for causing water contamination and illnesses.

“The council will act sternly against violators,” he added.

“Further, work on road repair has been initiated in all 13 wards of the town. Recarpeting has been accomplished in all major areas and streets like College road, Guru Nanak Model School road, Khurda bazaar, Post Office road, Guru Nanak Mohalla, Baazigar Basti, Dashmesh Nagar, Depot Street,” he added.



ludhiana  scan
Lecture on green architecture

Architect Sanjay Goel from Designex Architects delivered a lecture on “green architecture” to the students of architecture at Kathmandu Engineering College, Nepal. More than 200 students attended the lecture. Goel talked about various energy consumption patterns. He said architecture was the field where maximum energy was exploited, but he also emphasised upon the integrated approach to design buildings to reduce energy consumption.

Integrated design processes, design principles, surface-to-volume ratio, roof insulation, orientation, passive architecture techniques and various other building design solutions were cited by him. — OC

Meet on animal health

Dr Harbans Singh Dhalla, senior veterinary officer at animal husbandry department here, was invited as a guest speaker at the International conference in Animal Health Surveillance (ICAHS) held in Lyon, France. He was the only one from India to be invited for this meet.

The aim was to gather scientists and policy makers working in the area of animal health surveillance to exchange new ideas and better understand the challenges and opportunities that each group faced.

Dr Dhalla advocated that the effective global system must be evolved for early detection of new and emerging diseases in developing countries. — OC

Appeal for cancer patient

The family members of a cancer patient have appealed for financial help. Karamjeet Kaur said: “My brother-in-law Harjinder Singh, who lives at Sunet village, along with my sister Gurdeep Kaur, has been suffering from throat cancer for one-and-a-half year. Earlier, he was getting treated at Bikaner, but later after finding not much improvement, he was shifted to Chandigarh.” She further said: “My sister has two kids. However, one of her 15-year-old daughters died just one-and-a-half month ago. She has been facing a lot of financial problem.” She appealed to the public in general to come forward to donate for his brother-in-law’s treatment. Those interested can contact at 98762 91202. — TNS



Park cries for attention
Our Correspondent

Doraha, June 22
The park constructed by the Municipal Council of Doraha by spending lakhs of rupees is now in a shambles. With morning and evening walkers turning their back towards the park due to its poor maintenance, tempos and four-wheelers have usurped the formers’ place.

With collapsing walls, stolen grills, heaps of garbage, filth and dirt, over grown congress grass, lack of maintenance, the park has now been reduced, more or less, to a dirty open ground, which can be used the way a commuter, a passerby or a vehicle owner wish to.

“When the park was erected, we were overjoyed. The park was constructed with a motive to give residents a place where they can inhale fresh air, children can play and elderly can spend a few hours in solace,” lamented a resident.

“But with the passage of time, the park suffered for want of maintenance, dirt began to accumulate, one of the walls collapsed, heaps of garbage gathered on the sides and finally the park became unfit for activities. As the residents left the park, the committee further disowned it entirely,” expressed another.

“If the park was to be finally converted into a tempo stand, what was the use of spending lakhs of rupees on its erection, it could have been done otherwise also. Why can’t the committee be thinkable enough to look into such matters which are of general concern?” said Pawan Kumar Kaushal, a senior citizen.

“Now the situation is that the tempos and other four wheelers stroll on the green park, which was once the property of walkers. In spite of frequent reminders, the authorities have not cleaned the place. Rather more filth and dirt is being added every now and then. The adjoining meat shops have made the situation all the more intolerable,” rued one of the residents.

Bhushan Singh Rana, executive official of the Municipal Council, Doraha, said he had a definite proposal regarding the installation of gates all around the park, which would prevent any vehicle from being parked inside. “The walls shall be re-erected and heaps of garbage will be removed soon,” asserted the EO concerned.



Shopkeeper untraced 
Our Correspondence

Samrala, June 22
Mystery shrouds disappearance of a Macchiwara-based shopkeeper who had gone to Delhi with Rs 3 lakh cash about five days ago, but has not returned till date.

Rajesh Kumar, who runs a mobile shop in the town, had gone to Delhi on June 17 with cash to purchase mobiles and some other items from the Gafar Market. On June 18, at around 9 pm, he called up his family at home and informed them that he will return the next day. When his family members called on his mobile only to find it switched off.

They have failed to contact him and are running from pillar to post but to no avail. The family members approached the local police in this regard. It is examining his call details and is in touch with a few officials concerned of the Delhi Police. 



Rural Health Mission
Doctors urge govt to use funds judiciously
Ashok Kaura

Phillaur, June 22
Doctors’ cell of the Punjab unit of BJP has urged the government to properly use funds meant for the implementation of National Rural Health Mission to facilitate the people.

The state president of the cell Dr TC Malhan and district president Dr Punit Galhotra, while talking to mediapersons here today, said Rs 771 crore out of Rs 849 crore sent by the Union government, could had been spent on NRHM in Punjab during the past four years, while Rs 935 crore was allocated to the state. They demanded regular appointments in NRHM and do away with the contractual system.

Dr Malhan said he, along with senior PCMS (retd) Pensioners’ Association president Dr SS Sharma and vice-president Dr SN Tiwari met Health Minister Sat Pal Gosian and principal secretary Satish Chandra yesterday and urged them to include the non-practicing allowance (NPA) in the pensions of those government doctors who had retired before 2006.

They claimed that both minister and secretary had promised to consider their demands. They also supported the demand of the Punjab unit of the Indian Medical Association regarding the Clinical Establishment Bill.

Malhan said the Bill should be imposed with a few amendments and the condition of the government hospitals must be improved. BJP leader Tejaswi Bhardwaj was also present.



For the retired it’s a home away from home
City’s Pensioners’ Information Centre unique in state
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 22
It would not be wrong to describe the “Pensioners’ Information Centre” as a “home away from home” for government pensioners and their families in the district. Being the only one of its kind in Punjab, this project has not been funded by the state government. It is a self-financed institution and managed by pensioners in a dedicated manner.

Talking to The Tribune, BR Kaushal, chairman, Pensioners’ Information Centre Management Committee, who himself had retired as additional registrar from the state cooperation department, said: “After my retirement I nurtured a passion to keep myself engaged and do something practical for pensioners. So I advocated the project for setting up a pensioners’ information centre in the city. I got the site selected for the Pensioners’ Bhawan in the mini-secretariat with the help of those heading the district administration. With a lot of effort I secured sanction of the plan and financial outlays as well as architectural design by the state chief architect, enabling construction work to commence.”

Perhaps this is the reason why pensioners feel proud of him for his selfless contribution. In February 2001 when construction of the building began and then deputy commissioner SK Sandhu arranged funds amounting to Rs 10 lakh. The then local MP Gurcharan Singh Galib had arranged the remaining Rs 6 lakh from his MPLAD scheme.

The Pensioners’ Bhawan was dedicated to pensioners on June 19, 2003. Spread over 3,450 square foot with a provision for a big hall that can accommodate about 250 people, it also has an office room, separate toilets for women and men and a spacious porch with a fenced grill fenced in front of the hall and a green belt alongside the main complex. Well furnished with furniture, it has all facilities that a good office should have.

A unique feature of this information centre is that the management celebrates all national holidays in addition to Pensioners’ Day (December 17), besides arranging social activities like medical check-up camps. Pensioners meet here every month with the management charging a nominal fee of Rs 100 per session.



Work suffers due to lack of coordination
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 22
The food and supplies department, which has been entrusted the responsibility by the state government to make unique identity cards for residents, has so far not been able to do justice to their job due to the lack of coordination and proper guidelines to staff and insufficient number of machines installed.

The state government though claims to finish the project by September end, to cater to the huge population of about 35 lakh people in the city, the government has installed only 20 machines at three centres in the city. These centres have been made at DFSC office, Nauria Mal Jain School and Government School, Sarabha Nagar.

Initially, it was told at many other points that the enrollment forms will be available and machines will be installed but due to shortage of equipment and lack of coordination and directions, the work has certainly not kicked-off well.

A visit to the DFSC office revealed that many residents were being sent back by the staff, as there was already huge “backlog” of filled forms. When Ludhiana Tribune correspondent asked one of the attendants to provide the form, the attendant said, “The forms are not available now. Either you come tomorrow or after the lunch, only then we can say something.”

When told it was difficult to come again and climb three storeys to get the form in the scorching heat, the attendant said, “We cannot help it but there are no forms available.”

Several residents were asked to come again after the lunch to get the enrollment forms. Another attendant at the office on the condition of anonymity disclosed, “We don’t know what to do. There are just five machines here and the residents have been pouring in huge numbers to get the forms. Even if we start sorting out the forms, it will take two-three days to clear the backlog. On one machine, just about 20-25 persons can be accommodated (to get fingerprints, colour of eyes, etc) in one day. The government needs to provide more machines and several centres in all wards must be made if work has to be done smoothly. Secondly, the staff engaged in getting the IDs made must be given proper training, they have not been given guidelines by the government.”

Progress discussed

The food and supplies department reportedly held a meeting with the Deputy Commissioners and DFSCs at Chandigarh to discuss the progress being made in the process. Sources add that private agencies, who have been given the task to do the work for the government, have been warned to show progress, else their contracts will be cancelled.

‘Initial hiccups’

DFSC Rajnish Kumari when contacted said there were initial hiccups and certain problems were being faced by the public. “But we will make sure that working gets streamlined at the earliest,” she said.



Mosquitoes all over, no fogging in sight
75 machines rotting as MC yet to hand it over to councillors
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 22
The Municipal Corporation is yet to distribute hand-held fogging machines to councillors, leave aside fogging the areas despite the fact that it is raining in the city for the past three days. The municipal corporation had purchased at least 75 fogging machines worth Rs 50 lakhs a few months ago. At that time, senior officials had stated that one machine each would be allotted to every councillor, who could get fogging in his respective areas carried out as per his own convenience.

Even the Municipal Corporation had claimed to start fogging in the city from June 15 onwards, but this seems far from reality.

Earlier also, the councillors had complained that they were neither given manual fogging machines bought in April nor its use was demonstrated to them.

Municipal Corporation’s Health Officer, Charanjit Uppal, says that the machines have already been allotted to the malaria inspectors for operating them. “We will not allot the machines to the councillors. The malaria inspectors will be operating them and that is why they don’t need them,” Uppal added.

Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura, however, said Uppal might be mistaken; these machines would be allotted to the councillors. “We have purchased them so that ever councillor can get the fogging done in their respective areas as per their convenience. If Uppal has said this, I would speak to him,” Giaspura added.

Congress councillor Gurpreet Singh Gogi says that he has not received the machine. “After recent spell of rain, there is a need of fogging in many areas of the wards. But the machines have been kept in “safe custody” by the civic officials and I don’t understand, why are they not been allotted to us,” he enquired.

Even Akali councillor Jagbir Singh Sokhi said he had not been allotted the hand-held fogging machine. “I already have one such machine which I had purchased from Germany for Rs 40,000 in 2009. It was after seeing my machine, the municipal corporation decided to purchase more. But the machines have not been allotted to the councillors,” he confirmed.



Punjab expected to produce enough paddy
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 22
Paddy is the major kharif crop of Punjab. It is estimated that an area of around 27 lakh of hectare will be put under paddy this season. Though labour shortage was the major problem being faced by farmers in Punjab these days, still the state was expected to sustain paddy growing.

Dr MS Sidhu, head department of economics and sociology of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), said farmers, especially in the kharif season, largely depended upon migratory labour, hailing from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

However, the recent scenario of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, popularly known as MGNAREGA, had offered migratory labour employment in their states. Under this scheme, 100-day employment was assured to one adult member in each rural household in a year.

Besides, fast economic development has taken place in the states like Bihar during the last six years.

Dr Sidhu said this had resulted in a significant decline in the migratory labour that affected agricultural operations in Punjab.

He highlighted that to cope with labour shortage, several steps at the government and PAU level had been taken. The university had held programmes on the generation and popularisation of mechanised transplanting of paddy, organising training for farmers on the technique of raising mat type paddy nursery and use of paddy transplanters.

Dr Sidhu said the legal steps to ban transplanting of paddy before June 10 had been followed by farmers and that it had generated a favourable impact in minimising the rate of underground water table depletion, especially in the central Punjab.

Further, in the recent years, the area under basmati has increased significantly, which resulted in saving ground water in the state. Keeping in view the shortage of migrant agriculture labour in Punjab, the local labour had also joined the operation of transplanting of paddy.



Cervical cancer vaccine must at 10: Doc
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 22
To protect against the virus that causes almost all cervical cancers, cervical cancer vaccine also known as “Human Papillomavirus” or HPV vaccines should be given 10 
years before being sexually active.

This was said by Dr Vineet Kaur, a senior gynaecologist at SPS Apollo Hospital, Ludhiana.

Dr Vineet said: “This injection can be given to a girl at the age of 10.

This way a girl will be already immunised with anti-bodies to fight against this cancer.”

The cervical cancer is more prevalent at the age of 40 to 50. The gynaecologist said: “If a girl or a young woman becomes infected with certain high risk types of HPV, and her body doesn’t clear the virus, cervical cancer may develop later in life. It is the second most common cancer affecting women and the second-leading cause of cancer death among women.”



Dysfunction Drugs
Business sore as NRIs purchase drugs in bulk
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 22
Though chemists and druggists of the region have stopped selling banned drugs clandestinely, sale of pharmaceutical preparations meant for treating erectile dysfunction has turned out to be one of most remunerative businesses in the region.

Transformation of therapeutic administration for recreational use, its popularity among men of all age groups, bulk purchase by NRIs and hurried buying have helped in supplementing the earnings of drug store owners. Though effectiveness of a few preparations meant to be used by women are yet to proven, corresponding arousal medicines for fairer sex are also sold in plenty.

Most of the drug store owners in the town and its surrounding localities are focusing on the sale of pharmaceutical preparations meant for erectile dysfunction and related complications. Generic brands containing sildenafil citrate were found to be more remunerative than standard Viagra tablets.

With profit ranging between 15 to 25 per cent, a few brands, including ayurvedic and homeopathic preparations, have earned more than 100 per cent margins for retailers. Massage oils, lotions and creams are other profitable items for the sellers.

Mahavir Goyal, owner of a local drug store, said selling sildenafil nitrate tablets was more remunerative than any other medicine or drug.

Goyal, while maintaining that the sale of banned drugs was unethical and illegal, argued that transacting business in Viagra and allied preparations caused no harm to any section of society as most of the users are adults.

A few customers, who hesitate to go to drugstores, place orders for these preparations with grocers or departmental stores on phone. Profit in such cases was shared between the drug owner and the owner of the departmental store. 



Of jewellery, sarees, carpets

Ludhiana, June 22
A ten-day exhibition: “Cotton Fab 2011,” organised by Awadh Hathkargha, Hastshilp Evam Gramodyog Samiti, started at Welkom Palace yesterday.

An exhibition-cum-sale of exquisite handloom and handicrafts from all across the country is being organised to promote craftsmen from across the country.

There is a huge variety of traditional art work, logistic stuff under one roof.

Javes Alam, secretary of the society, said the samiti had been organising 
many such exhibitions in the city. — TNS



13-yr-old boy electrocuted
Our Correspondent

Samrala, June 22
A shock wave swept a sleepy village when a 13-year-old boy, Ramandeep Kumar, of Khanpur village near Machiwara died due to a severe electric shock at his home this morning.

According to information, Ramandeep at about 11 am tried to switch on a standing fan. When he touched the fan, he was hit by an electric shock and the fan fell on him. His mother, who was in the other room, came running to the room and found his son was lying under the fan.

He was rushed to the Civil Hospital, Machiwara, where he was declared brought dead. Ramandeep was a student of Class VI. His body was handed over to his parents after a post-mortem.



1,014 take vet varsity CET
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 22
More than 1,014 candidates took the Common Entrance Test (CET), 2011, conducted by Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) here today. The number of aspiring veterinarians witnessed an increase as compared to last year’s CET.

Dr SPS Sangha, controller of the examination, told the test was conducted for BVSc&AH (Bachelor of Veterinary Sciences and Animal Husbandry), BFSc (Bachelor of Fisheries Science) and BTech (Dairy Science Technology).

Among the total candidates, 660 were boys and 354 were girls. The result will be available on the university website www.gadvasu.in and the university notice boards.



Govt school students bring laurels in BSc (III) results

Ludhiana, June 22
Pawanpreet Kaur of AS College, Khanna, has brought laurels to her college and district by obtaining second position in BSc (III), the results of which were declared by Panjab University (PU) today.

Pawanpreet scored 88.8 per cent marks.

Two more students from Government College for Women and Khalsa College for Women here also secured top university and district positions in BSc (III) examinations.

Ekta Jain of GCW scored 1,772 marks out of 2,000 marks and scored 88.6 per cent marks and stood fourth in the university. While Lovneet from KCW scored 1,761 marks and stood second in the city. — TNS



I lost my husband twice, says Kulwinder
Lovleen Bains

Sahnewal, June 22
“This death is like double death for me as I had already lost him to the girl the day I came to know of his illicit relationship with her. Yesterday I finally lost him to death.” These were the words of Kulwinder Kaur, wife of Gurmukh, who ended his life with his paramour at Kum Kalan yesterday.

“There is a difference between the two. In the former, I had wished him to come back home ultimately. Now everything is finished, all hopes, all expectations and all desires,” she said, crying inconsolably.

Four months pregnant and mother of a two-year-old girl, Kulwinder said her relationship with her husband ended the day she learnt about his extramarital affair. “The one thing that binds you together is earnestness towards your partner, whose lifelong companionship you nurture in your mind the day you get married,” she said.

Sitting over his body, a wailing Kulwinder said, “Gurmukh and I were a perfect couple and I never expected anything more from God. As he had been orphaned in childhood, I used to give him all the more attention and care.”

“I tried to sacrifice my wishes when it came to fulfilment of his desires. I submitted meekly and did it readily. I carried the blind belief in my heart that Gurmukh had no one but me and Kamalpreet, our two-year-old daughter, to look back to,” she said.

“My husband had met with an accident three months back, in which he fractured his legs, but recovered fast. My whole world came down the day I learnt about his affair. I remember how I came as a bride here,” she recalled.

“The love showered, the tall promises made and the care and affection shown by him seemed meaningless that day. The horrible present and the momentous past now stand in stark contrast to each other,” said the sobbing widow.

“Had Gurmukh been alive today, he would not have lived for his family. From the day I left his home for my parents’ house a week back, I kept hoping against hope that he would leave the girl and take me back to start life afresh,” she stated.

“But unfortunately, this never happened. Fate had something else in store I really wish to question the justice of God and more so, the psyche of husbands, who marry to abandon and love to forsake,” she added.

“Whenever I tried to keep Gurmukh out of my mind, he would appear in front of me in the form of his daughter. She resembles him in every way. I finally decided to forgive him for the sake of my daughter, but he never gave me the chance,” she rued.

Gurmukh’s grandparents lost their grandson, who was their only hope. He left them to beat their heads with the walls and cry over their fate. “Only we know how we reared Gurmukh after his mother died, followed by his father’s death,” said Gyan Singh, Gurmukh’s grandfather.



No lesson learnt from the past
Open manholes pose threat to people
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, June 22
The authorities in the municipal council seem to have learnt no lesson from the past incidents of people dying due to uncovered manholes in various parts of the district.

According to sources, municipal council employees have left a manhole uncovered at a busy road of the city thus risking the lives of hundreds of people.

This uncovered manhole is located on the road connecting Shashtri Nagar with disposal road. This manhole is in the middle of the road and the area residents fear that this could prove fatal if someone falls in it. The risk is more during the night, as uncovered manhole becomes almost invisible due to darkness.

The fact that open manholes have claimed a number of innocent lives recently, but authorities concerned seem to be unmoved by the situation.

According to residents, the manhole is lying unconverted since more than three months. “This is a serious problem, as a lot of people have lost their lives due to open manholes at various places. This open manhole can also prove fatal if not covered soon, but I don’t know why MC officials are delaying the process,” said Rajinder Jain, a resident.

The area residents rue that though they have brought this matter to the notice of senior MC officials several times, still of no use.

Another resident Kumar Gaurav said: “I, along with some other residents of the colony, had met MC president and told him about the problem. Though he promised us to do the needful, but nothing has been done so far.”

The problem is bound to become worst during the monsoon season. According to area residents, due to rain, a few days ago, the manhole vanished under rainwater and it became difficult for people, especially who were not well acquainted with the area, to locate the uncovered manhole. “We covered the open manhole with a huge iron sheet to save people from falling in it. If we had not covered the manhole, someone might have fallen in it,” said a shopkeeper.

MC president Baldev Krishan Dhir said he was not aware about it. Though he claimed that he covered the said “I quickly got the damaged manhole repaired and covered it with a cemented slab.”

When reminded that the manhole was still lying uncovered he said someone might have broken the slab. He promised that he would make the manhole covered as soon as possible.



Draftsmen protest outside mini-secretariat
Kuldip Bhatia
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 22
The “pen-down” strike from June 20 to 24 in response to a call given by the Punjab Draftsmen Association, draftsmen of various government departments today held a rally at the mini-secretariat here in support of their demands.

District president of the body, Gurcharan Singh Hira, patron Jang Jasvir Singh Gill, chairman Pradeep Kumar Sharma and general secretary Surjit Singh asserted that draftsmen were the back bone of the engineering wing of various government departments as the cadre provided technical expertise in various development projects while contributing towards huge savings by way of correct estimates of expenditure.

However, the state government had been treating the draftsmen in an indifferent manner, and their genuine demands were being ignored even after persistent pleas made with the government at various levels. “The step-motherly treatment being meted out to the cadre of draftsmen has forced us to adopt the path of agitation with a five-day pen-down strike,” the trade union leaders said.

Hira said their pending demands include scrapping 12-year bar on junior draftsmen, restoration of SDO quota in the draftsmen cadre, redesignation of junior draftsmen, draftsmen, senior draftsmen, head draftsmen, circle head draftsmen and chief draftsmen, grant of drawing allowance and payment of all other special and travelling allowances onpar with ministerial staff.

The functionaries of the association threatened to further intensify the agitation beginning with extension of the ongoing pen-down strike if the government failed to respond in a positive manner.



Labourers complain of health hazards

Ludhiana, June 22
Labourers working in some of the rubber factories her allege that they were under-paid and were facing several health hazards.

Parvasi Bhalai Board has sent a letter to Deputy Commissioner stating that the un-skilled labour is forced to work for 12 hours and are given a minimum pay of Rs 4,000. Workers are suffering from liver, kidney and lung diseases. “The owners are not paying attention towards the health of the workers,” said Sitambar Singh, member of the Punjab Parwasi Bhalai Board. — TNS



Habit-forming drugs seized

Ludhiana, June 22
The health department today raided a drug store at Pindi Street and seized habit-forming drugs of worth Rs 1 lakh.

According to sources, “The raid was conducted at Sameeksha Drug Inspector, Pindi Street. The team raided shops and seized habit forming 22,400 capsules, 16,100 tablets, 297 syrups and 615 injections.” — TNS



Ludhiana register win over Jalandhar
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 22
In the ongoing Punjab State Cricket (under-22) Championship, the hosts, Ludhiana emerged winner in the two-day match played against Jalandhar on PAU ground here.

In the first innings, Ludhiana lost its two wickets on 36 runs. Resuming the second day’s play at 36 for two wickets, Ludhiana scored 152 runs losing eight wickets in 60 overs.

Top scores for the team was Geetansh Khera (66), while Sunny Pandey (23), Deepak Bansal (22), Nikhil Chaudhary and Aashish (15 each) also chipped in.

Yogesh claimed six wickets for 39 runs and Gursewak scalped one by giving away 22 runs.

In the second innings, Jalandhar played tremendous cricket, scoring a respectable 171 runs in 37 overs for four wickets.

Main scorers were Anmol (67), Abhishek (29), Pargat Singh and Siddhartth (23 each).

Though he scored 22 runs, opener Love carried his bat. Among Ludhiana bowlers, Sandeep got two wickets for 61 runs, while Baltej and Ravi claimed one each.

The crucial first inning lead of 90 runs proved decisive for the hosts who were declared winners.



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