L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


‘Jumbo’ welcome awaits Majithia
SAD leaders hire elephants, horses to appease youth wing president
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 17
All rules can be thrown to the winds when it comes to appeasing the brother-in-law of Punjab’s Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal.

This is exactly the case with the rank and file of the SAD in the city who have gone overboard to accord a “jumbo” welcome to the newly-elected Youth Akali Dal president, Bikram Singh Majithia, who will pass through the city tomorrow.

Elephants have been hired and will be decked up to salute the youth leader (read Sukhbir Badal’s brother-in-law). Horses will escort the Majithia’s cavalcade and he will be showered with flower petals.

Majithia will pass through the city during his thanksgiving trip to the Golden Temple at Amritsar, sending Akali leaders into an overdrive to give him a pompous welcome.

“We have arranged for four pachyderms, which will salute Majithia as he reaches the Jagraon bridge in the morning. Besides, we have also arranged for horses that will move in front of the convoy of vehicles,” said Akali councillor Tanvir Singh Dhaliwal, who along with his supporters are organising the welcome.

Also, the entire route to be followed by the cavalcade has been decked up with posters donning Majithia’s pictures. This is in violation of the High Court orders, as billboards can act as a source of distraction to traffic.

As a large number of vehicles are expected to join Majithia when the cavalcade enters the city, even the traffic police has made special arrangements to handle the rush.

Majithia will enter the city from the Neelon bridge side. He will pass through the city via Samrala Chowk, Cheema Chowk, Dholewal, Jagraon Bridge, Elevated Road, Jalandhar Bypass, before heading towards Amritsar.

The cavalcade will stop at various points, which have been “allotted” to party workers and will act as a platform to show their strength.

The cavalcade will enter the city around 9.30 am, in the midst of rush hour, and pass through areas that often remain clogged with traffic.

“After all, he is Sukhbir’s brother-in-law. Now that the Assembly elections are round the corner, everyone will want their presence felt in front of Majithia, who may play an important role in distributing the party ticket for the elections,” said an Akali leader.

The traffic police will divert traffic from Sherpur Chowk, Vishwakarma Chowk, Bharat Nagar Chowk, Elevated Road, Karabara Chowk and Ladhowal.

Majithia Magic

Before Bikram Singh Majithia’s appointment, the post of Youth Akali Dal (YAD) president had never caught so much attention. The city has had two YAD presidents — Amrik Singh Aliwal and Sharanjit Singh Dhillon — in the past. But never have functions on such a grand scale been organised in the city to welcome a YAD president in the past.


HIV+ man plays eunuch; found in women’s jail 
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 17
In a shocking development, an HIV positive man spent nearly four months in the women’s jail here disguised as a eunuch.

The fact came to light when the human rights panel demanded HIV test of prisoners of the women’s jail in Ludhiana and the Central Jail, Patiala, where he was subsequently sent after the exposé.

The convict, identified as Subash, who is currently lodged in Patiala jail, stayed in the women’s jail from April 10 to July 7, 2010.

His lies were exposed when he was sent to the civil hospital following a complaint of tuberculosis (TB). During his medical checkup, the doctors were shocked to see the male genitals. He was further found to be infected with the HIV.

The women’s jail official took prompt action and sent Subash to the Central Jail in Patiala. The jail authorities kept the matter under wraps fearing embarrassment.

“But the matter came to light when an inmate told us about the escapades narrated to her by Subash. We started digging the issue and received documentary evidence that he was staying in the women’s jail disguised as a eunuch,” said Satnam Singh Dhaliwal, president, Universal Human Right Organisation.

A resident of Dera Bassi, Subash had previously spent over a year in the Patiala jail in connection with a murder case in 2006-07.

Subash was arrested in an attempted murder case in March, 2010, but he managed to hoodwink the police and health officials.

“This speaks volumes of the negligence of health officials, who let a male have a party in women’s jail. We want that the health officials to conduct a medical check-up of all prisoners, be it men or women, who were in close contact with Subash. By doing so, we hope to control the spread of the deadly virus. Action should also be taken against the medical officer for negligence,” said Dhaliwal.

Snehjot Kaur, Superintendent of the women’s jail here, said Subash was referred by jail authorities in Patiala and after it was discovered that he was a man, he was sent back.



Mayor again linked to illegal liquor vend
Refutes insinuations of patronage as ‘baseless’
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 17
With mayor Hakam Singh Gyaspura appears to be patronizing liquor vend contractors, the municipal corporation is finding it very difficult to demolish several unauthorized vends in the city, despite the fact they are outright encroachments on public land.

Though Gyaspura has vehemently denied he is associated with any vend, he has been linked - for the third time in a row - with another liquor vend near the Chawni Mohalla locality, which has allegedly been opened under his patronage. His name cropped up in 2008 when the MC staff found it tough to raze a vend on a slip road off Gill Road and another vend operating in Sunet village for over a decade. The former vend was demolished only recently.

Ironically, the latest controversy surrounding he Chawni Mohalla vend, which operates on a sidewalk, has also been linked with the mayor. The vend has been set up near a temple in contravention of the law that restricts liquor vends to be set up within a 50 metre radius of educational institutions and places of worship.

However, civic officials say they are "helpless" to take any action against this vend, "This is so because the vend’s owner enjoys the mayor’s patronage”, said a senior MC official.

When the MC staff arrived in Chawni Mohalla on July 6 to remove encroachments there, they had to face an embarrassing situation when the area residents pointed towards the liquor vend on the sidewalk and near a temple.

Refuting the allegations as “baseless”, Giaspura said: “People have been linking me with every liquor vend in the city. But I can assure you I’ve nothing to do with any of them. A few days ago someone even associated me with a liquor vend on the Chandigarh Road. However, all these allegations are baseless and I’m amused whenever I get to hear them. These vends are owned by different people. Even then, I’ve spoken to the owner of the Chawni Mohalla liquor vend and told him to shift it to a proper place. If he fails to do so we’ll take action against him like we did against the owner of a vend near Sunet village”.



Pre-poll sop: Power connections for illegal colonies
Move a setback for regulatory process, say civic officials
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, July 17
With the Punjab government approving the proposal to provide new electricity connections in unauthorized residential colonies in the state, real estate developers - especially of the fly by night kind, have reason to rejoice. However, planned urban development and regulated growth will become the first casualty of this populist measure of the ruling SAD-BJP coalition, which has its eyes on the next assembly elections.

Although the state utility, Punjab State Power Corp Ltd (PSPCL) has yet to issue a circular for releasing new power connections in unapproved colonies, it could be a matter of just a few days.

Senior PSPCL officials confirmed the proposal had received the nod from the Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission. “Besides, the government seems to be desperate to implement the move in an apparent bid to win over a large number of residents of such colonies across the state," an official commented.

Sources close to the power utility added the actual process of accepting applications for new power connections in unauthorized colonies and releasing the connections will get started only after a commercial circular is issued laying down the conditions.

While the virtual turnaround by the government, which had imposed a ban on power connections in illegal residential colonies some three year ago, will come as a welcome step to colonizers and property developers, as also thousands of residents of such colonies who had invested their hard-earned money to build their dream homes, for the regulatory agencies, at least, it was being taken as a dampener.

Requesting not to be identified, officials of both the Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority and the city’s municipal corporation said regulatory measures would definitely receive a setback since denial of power connections was a big deterrent to unregulated urban growth. In Ludhiana alone there are about 500 unapproved colonies with further development being an ongoing process.

"Now power connections have been made available in unapproved colonies. Who knows - may be the next thing the government does is to approve building plans in such colonies. If all basic civic amenities are extended to these colonies, then why would developers bother to seek licenses for developing approved colonies," an official wondered.

In stark contrast the civic body’s elected representatives and even some of the legislators in the city were more than happy at the move. A senior MC functionary hailed the decision, saying “it was a right step that ought to have been taken long before”.



Fortunate Sunday for shopkeepers
As 100-yr-old building collapses at Gandhi Gali
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 17
Nearly 50 residents working in 30 shops had a providential escape after a 100-year-old building located at Gandhi Gali near Girja Ghar Chowk came crashing down here today. The incident took place this morning following the incessant rain.

According to Amandeep Brar, SHO, Kotwali, the shops were closed due to Sunday and no one was present in the street during the time of the incident. "The incident could have been catastrophic had it occurred on a working day," said the SHO.

Shoe and bookshops are located in the building. The shopkeepers said they were yet to assess the damage.

Assistant town planner (ATP) Kamaljit Kaur also reached the spot and told the residents that even the rest of the building was not safe.

A municipal corporation official said though the civic authorities had cautioned the residents about the unsafe buildings but the latter were reluctant to vacate the structures.

"While the owners of these unsafe buildings want that the MC should raze these structures, the tenants sitting in these buildings refuse to vacate the place. We cannot take any action and raze these unsafe building as majority of these buildings are occupied by tenants and they have got a stay from the court. It will be a violation of the court order if we take any action," said an MC employee.



Legislator warns erring officials
Directs them to provide prompt power connection to dwelling units
Mahesh Sharma

Dehlon, July 17
Maintaining that Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had directed Punjab State Power Corporation (PSPC) authorities to grant power connection to all dwelling units in localities situated on outskirts of various villages in the region, Dakha legislator and SAD in charge for Gill constituency Darshan Singh Shivalik warned those officials, who have been harassing applicants on flimsy grounds.

He has threatened to adopt do or die policy in case harassment continued in future also.

Shivalik told this after interacting with office-bearers of associations fighting for the rights of habitants of localities situated on outskirts of villages falling under Ludhiana district today.

“How can they refuse to accept applications for grant of power connections when their seniors have already been communicated about the government’s latest decision,” said Shivalik, maintaining that the Chief Minister had assured him that the PSPC authorities had already been advised to grant connections to all dwelling units in the region.

Regretting that some officials at PSPC were still harassing the applicants, Shivalik threatened action against erring officials if need be. “I will not hesitate in sitting on dharna in case the decision to grant connections to these dwellings in not implemented in letter and spirit,” said Shivalik.

Investigation by the Ludhiana Tribune revealed that families in these localities, since considered “unauthorised” had been living under dark for last about two years as they could not produce no-objection certificate as demanded by the authorities.

Though the government was reported to have issued a notification on approving unauthorised colonies in the state long time ago, homes in such colonies continued missing electricity, a basic necessity.

Announcements made by Parkash Singh Badal and other senior government functionaries, including Deputy CM Sukhbir Badal, to allow new domestic power connections “on demand” without any consideration as to their status remained on papers only till recently when SAD leaders, including Shivalik and councillors Simar Singh Bains, took up the matter with the authorities concerned.

‘Will hold protest’

I will not hesitate to sit on a dharna in case the decision to grant connections to these dwellings in not implemented in letter and spirit

Darshan Singh Shivalik, Dakha legislator 



Pharma association corners police over booking of trader
Alleges fake raid, demands inquiry
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 17
The claims of the police of busting a gang involved in the illegal sale of habit-forming drugs fell flat today after the Ludhiana District Chemist Association (LDCA) accused the police of conducting a fake raid and demanded an inquiry from a senior police officer.

The charges were levelled after the police booked Amit Dabur, owner of Hindustan Medicine Trader, for selling habit-forming drugs.

The association claimed that the chemist had been falsely implicated on charges of illegally stocking habit-forming drugs.

The LDCA had remained tightlipped on the issue since June 26, when the raid had taken place, and broke their silence only after the police booked Dabur.

LDCA president Tikka Dalip Singh alleged that the reported seizure of drugs was far from reality. In fact, on the day of the seizure, chemist shops located in Pindi Street were closed on account of a holiday.

Tikka further stated that Dabur was carrying out repair work at his shop that day. Dabur had no link with the medicine seized by the police as the former was not present at the shop when the raid was conducted, he claimed.

He demanded the report of the drug inspector to ascertain whether the alleged seizure of medicines had been made under the NDPS Act or not.

On June 26, the father-son duo of Mohan Singh and Prem Chand were arrested by the city police’s narcotics wing. They had disguised themselves as a tea vendor and a rickshaw-puller.

The narcotics wing claimed that the two were running a drug racket and recovered a huge quantity of habit-forming drugs from their possession.

The two did not hold any licence or degree to sell the drugs and had select customers.

Deputy Commissioner of Police Yurinder Singh said ADC Harsh Bansal was investigating the matter. 



SAD (Swatantar) stages dharna against poor healthcare facilities
Our Correspondent

Amloh, July 17
Activists of SAD (Swatantar) under the leadership of its chief Paramjit Singh Saholi staged a dharna today in front of the community health centre at Bhadson village for poor medical services provided to residents of villages by the health department.

Saholi alleged that the health centre failed to provide ultrasound and other facilities to patients, who have to undergo expensive tests and purchase costly medicines from private shops. Rural dispensaries, which were given on contract to doctors, fail to perform their duties, while on the other hand doctors have further appointed quakes on minor salaries to run these dispensaries.

The poor condition of toilets and unhealthy surroundings of the health centre further add to the sufferings of patients. Saholi presented a memorandum to SMO Om Raj Goldi, who assured to look into the matter.



Grants given for development works
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, July 17
Darshan Singh Shivalik, a legislator from Dakha constituency and SAD in charge of newly constituted constituency Gill, said he did not aspire to become the chief parliamentary secretary once the post is vacated.

Instead he wanted to devote his time in getting grievances of residents of the region redressed from the government.

Shivalik was talking to the Ludhiana Tribune after distributing grants to sports and social organisations at Kalakh village recently.

“I am more interested in getting problems of the people of my region solved from the administration. Though Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has been kind enough to sanction massive grants for development of my area, I have to get the disbursed grants utilised in my own supervision,” said Shivalik.

Paying gratitude to his supporters for their sentiments and emotions, Shivalik maintained that he had appealed to his supporters not to make any demand or statement demanding special status for him.



Reporters’ diary
Basking in motherly bliss

The love and care of a mother could be best exemplified during rains. From cooking hot "pakoras" to vegetable soups for clearing chest congestion, mothers experiment almost anything lying in the kitchen. Similar love and affection was seen recently when incessant rain forced everyone of us to run for cover. A woman who was in a hurry draped her "dupatta" around the child to protect her from rain. While the mother was wading her way to the destination, the child was seen enjoying the nature's bliss. I was touched and thought how unfortunate are those children who have been brought up without a mother.

This is not done !

The traffic cops in the mega city are clueless about regulation of traffic and enforcement of the rules. It is evident if the chaos prevailing on the city roads is any indication, but some other major violations that they seem to look the other way are unauthorised use of red and blue beacons atop vehicles and description of the owner on the number plates. If the former is against the rules as per the laid down policy of the government, the former is a blatant violation of Central Motor Vehicles Act. Moving on the city roads, one comes across vehicle number plates describing the owner as a sarpanch, liquor contractor, doctor, advocate, or caste of the owner like Grewal, Atwal; and most of all press. To further compound the situation, office-bearers of political parties, and even little-known associations and groups, most of which are not even worth the paper on which their letter heads are printed, flaunt their status on the vehicle number plates. So next time you come across a vehicle on which the number plate carries the text like secretary, XYZ party, or executive member of anti-corruption and anti-crime cell, thank the traffic police for their lackadaisical approach towards law enforcement.

Any award?

On the eve of World Population Day, The Tribune interviewed a few migrants from UP and Bihar who had more than a dozen children. One such migrant who is a father to 13 children felt very elated on seeing his interview and shared it with many others. One of his friends who was trying to glorify his friends big family called up The Tribune office and said, "Please tell me if Prahlaad will get any award from the health department as he has 13 kids?" Listening to this the reporter attending to the phone could not resist laughing and just said, "Sorry, there is no such scheme for a big family."

‘Highlight issue so that action is taken’

Some of our politicians seem to be shielding the land mafia operating in the city. This could be known from the fact that there was an encroachment of liquor vend in the city and when I called a senior Municipal Corporation official for his version, he was quick to reply that what could they do when the same liquor vend was owned by a senior Akali leader running the affairs of the civic body. "We are helpless and that is why, we cannot take any action against the liquor vend. Please help us by highlighting this issue so that we can take action against the liquor vend," said the official.

Contributed by: Mohit Khanna, Kuldip Bhatia, Anupam Bhagria and Puneet Pal Singh Gill



‘Right to Services Act to take effect from August 15’
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 17
The Punjab government has enacted the Right to Services Act which will come into force from August 15 this year so as to ensure delivery of some 67 services to the people of the state in a fixed time frame.Making this announcement at a public function after laying the foundation stone of the main road in Vishwakarma Colony here today, the Punjab minister for Jails, Tourism and Cultural Affairs Hira Singh Gabria claimed that the new legislation would provide "real independence" to the people and free hem from corruption prevailing in the government departments. "Under the new legislation, the officials concerned or employees will be held personally accountable for causing delay beyond a stipulated period, and will also be liable to imposition of penalty of Rs 500 to Rs 5000."

He said the services which had been brought under the purview of the new Act included issue of birth and death certificate, release of water and sewerage connection, registration certificates of motor vehicles, driving licenses, issue of new ration card, marriage certificate under Hindu Marriage Act, approval of building plans, social security for old age, widows and physically challenged persons, copies of jamabandi and girdawri.

Reiterating the commitment of the SAD-BJP government for the all -round development, Gabria made a fervent appeal to the elected representatives of the people to make their contribution in the process of development irrespective of their political affiliations so that the people at large could benefit. He said the financial constraints would not be allowed to affect the development projects in the city. He also said that the Punjab Infrastructure Development Board had issued a special fund of Rs 10 crore for the ongoing projects in the city on the directions of Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal. 

Penalty for officials

y Under the new legislation, the officials concerned or employees will be held accountable for causing delay beyond a stipulated period, and will also be liable to a penalty of ~ 500 to ~ 5,000



Central excise officials raise voice against stagnation
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 17
A two-day convention of the All-India Association of Central Excise Gazetted Executive Officers, which concluded here today, highlighted the burning issue of stagnation in the cadre, while also expressing firm commitment to raise all pending issues at an appropriate level to get them solved.

Sushil Pareekh and Ravi Malik, president and secretary general respectively of the national body, discussed in detail the problems being faced by the central excise gazetted officials. President of the Chandigarh zone of the association AK Sharma focused on issues of promotional channels, pay scales, arrears of pay, modified assured career promotion scheme, transfers and postings, pending cases in the Supreme Court of India, harassment by the administration and lack of proper infrastructure for officers.

The functionaries of the association resolved to take up these matters with the Central Board a of Excise and Customs (CBEC). The delegates were also apprised with the discussions held with the CBEC and it was conveyed that restructuring of the department would be completed later this year along with appropriate solutions to other issues.

Both Pareekh and Malik made it clear that no further delay on part of the CBEC in settling the pending issues would be tolerated. 



Inauguration plaque uprooted, abandoned
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 17
The ongoing work on the Lakkar Bridge has left the entire Bhadaur House market in disarray. Even the inauguration plaque of the market has not been left untouched. The plaque was removed soon after the work started and dumped on the side of a road, leaving the area veterans fuming.

“How can you expect a civic body to solve your problems when they are not even bothered about the sentiments of residents. They have thoughtlessly removed the plaque and dumped it on one side of the road,” rued an area shopkeeper, who owns a cloth shop in Bhadaur House.

“So often do we see politicians vie for their name to figure either on the foundation stone or the inauguration plaque of development projects. However, once these are inaugurated, no one cares about them anymore.”

Area shopkeepers and businessmen have urged the municipal corporation to fix the inauguration plaque at an appropriate place within the market and ensure that the 
area gave a clean and green look.

MC Commissioner AK Sinha says: “If any area shopkeeper or businessman has a grievance or wants to make a suggestion, they can come to my office. I will get the inauguration plaque fixed at an appropriate place, to the satisfaction of the shopkeepers.”

Rich history

Bhadaur House was a palace-like complex of buildings having a princely lodge, an audience hall for music and poetry, a prakash-kirtan room, guesthouses, servant quarters, guard rooms, stores, stables, cattle sheds, etc. These were owned by Attar Singh, who hailed from Bhadaur and was a learned man. It also had a garden with fountains, lawns and footpaths. The most noteworthy part of this princely residence was its library, which had a rich collection of books



Development takes a toll on Bhadaur House
Market a hub of audio-video piracy, illegal activities
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 17
The Giani Zail Singh Market, also known as Bhadaur House, seems to have lost its glory in the maddening race of development in the city. The first planned market developed by the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT), Bhadaur House was inaugurated in March 20, 1976 by the then Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee president Niranjan Singh Talib and the then LIT chairman Shiv Singh Sandhu.

However, over the years, the market has become a hub of audio and video piracy and other illegal activities. Even some hotels located in the market have been accused of indulging in flesh trade.

“Over the years, this place has given way to hotels, shops, offices, restaurants and other such commercial establishments. After the death of Attar Singh, who owned this land, certain people started their businesses in the area, including Sutlej Transport Company, Chhotu tea stall (which is still running), Sharma Motor Works, Giani Printing Press, offices of Kapoor Singh, former state finance minister, and Wazir Singh, an MLA, besides others,” said NS Nanda, president, Bhadaur House Market Association.

Nanda said the area was now facing the perennial problem of traffic congestion and parking blues.

“Besides, certain people in the hotel business have been indulging in flesh trade. Our association does not stand by them and wants strict action against the guilty. Also, there are others who have been engaged in audio and video piracy, which has brought a bad name to the market,” rued Nanda.

Shiv Singh Sandhu, who remained the LIT chairman from 1972 to 1977, said it was the first market developed by the LIT in 1976.

“At that time, we had got a great good response from people, who were either allotted shops or had bought these in auction. Now, the market is in poor shape and the civic authorities should take action in this regard,” said Sandhu, an octogenarian.

How Bhadaur House came into being?

Baba Ala Singh founded the Patiala state, while his brother, Dunna Singh, founded the state of Bhadaur, some 25 km from Barnala district. Bhadaur House emerged as part of Ludhiana town in the 1860s. Attar Singh mostly stayed there. He died at Bhadaur House, Ludhiana, on June 10, 1896 at the age of 63.

LIT’s initiative

The LIT had acquired the land for the Bhadaur House market. “At that time, the reserved price was kept at Rs 200 per sq yd. I had purchased two booths measuring 20 sq yd each. These are now worth crores,” said N S Nanda, owner of Nanda Hotel 



Proposed beggars’ home in city still in limbo
Admn officials fail to rope in NGOs for project
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 17
Even almost two years after the Punjab government announced on September 9, 2009 that homes for beggars, each providing shelter for 50 people, would be opened in Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Amritsar, the project is yet to get off the ground in the city.

Though the other two cities have already forwarded their proposals, officials of the Ludhiana district administration have yet to draft one and are still scouting for a suitable NGO to run the proposed beggars’ home. The city has a large number of beggars who can be seen at virtually every public place.

Along with the homes for beggars the state government had also planned to open an old-age home, a home for the mentally challenged and a rehabilitation centre for the disabled at an early date. District administration officials have claimed they have tried to rope in various NGOs to run these homes but none of them has evinced a positive response.

Said district social security officer Inderpreet Kaur: “We’ve yet to get this project going”.

AK Sharma, secretary of the Ludhiana District Red Cross, told The Tribune: “The district social security department asked me last year as well as this year to open a home for beggars at Bal Bhawan, located near Ferozepur Road, but I refused as we don’t have the required space in the premises. We’re already running a ‘bal bhawan’ (centre for children), a school for the deaf and dumb and a home for senior citizens there. How can we now start a beggars’ home?"

The lone beggars’ home in the state, being run by the social security department in Kaputhala, was set up way back in 1947.



Chemists’ body meets Tiwari over amendments to drug norms
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 17
The All-India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists today met MP Manish Tewari and requested him to look into the issue in toto before making amendments in the Drugs and Cosmetic Rules 1945. JS Shinde, president of the All -India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists in a memorandum handed over to Tiwari said, "We have come to know that the Union government is going to amend the Drugs and Cosmetics rules 1945 by inserting additional schedule i.e. Schedule HX in the rules. The schedule has two parts. Part A has 16 antibiotic drugs. These medicines should be sold directly by drug manufacturers to the tertiary care hospitals. And part B has 74 drugs and formulations that can be sold on the prescription of registered medical practitioners in duplicate."

He further said, "We appreciate this move and initiative of the government to curb the misuse of antibiotics and other drugs. It appears that the said amendment is proposed as a result of growing concern about anti-microbial resistance and the need to curb indiscriminate use of antibiotics as well as habit-forming medicines. We believe that multi-pronged approach is responsible for the problem and only change in the law to impose additional restrictions on the retail chemists will not have a solution to the problem. We are also of the view that instead of solving the problem, the purposed amendment will act as hurdle in the availability of life-saving medicines to the patients, especially in rural areas and micro interiors. We feel it will have adverse impact on the availability of medicines."



Residents accuse parking contractor of overcharging motorists
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 17
Residents of the city have accused contractor of the parking lot at Feroze Gandhi Market of overcharging. The residents have alleged that instead of taking Rs 200 for a monthly parking pass in the market, the contractor is charging Rs 300, which is against the law.

But the parking contractor has refuted these allegations and maintained that he is charging Rs 200 only.

A city resident, Bhupinder Singh Sidhu, alleged that the parking contractor of the Feroze Gandhi Market is overcharging for the monthly passes.

“The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation has installed a board, which clearly states that the monthly pass fee for a car is Rs 200, but the parking contractor is charging Rs 300 per month. My only purpose of raising this issue is that public is being cheated by the parking contractor, which should be stopped immediately. It’s sad that though the MC has deputed officials in the area, they are not doing anything about this issue,” alleged Sidhu.

On the other hand, Amarjit Singh, the parking contractor, stated that he was not indulged in any type of overcharging. “If someone is having any such slip, on which it’s written Rs 300, he should bring it to us and we would look into the matter. It could be a clerical mistake also, but still I would look into the matter,” claimed Amarjit Singh.

MC Commissioner AK Sinha informed that the rate list has been displayed on boards in Feroze Gandhi Market area and if the contractor has indulged in any type of overcharging, action would be taken against him. “If any person is having any such problem, they can come and meet me in the office,” stated AK Sinha.



Auditions for karaoke title
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 17
The auditions for World Karaoke Championship were held at a local retro bar here last night. About 40 participants participated in the auditions.

The participants sang old melodies along with modern era songs.

According to a press release issued by KWC, “This year the championship will take place in Ireland from September 8 to 10. Winners of the city trials will qualify for the zonal finals and three zonal finalists from each zone will comprise 12 grand finalists to compete for the McDowell No. 1 KWC Indian Grand Finale title on August 6 in Mumbai. The winners (both men and women) will represent India in the world championship in Ireland.”



Boy’s body found
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 17
The body of Ramji (18), who drowned while swimming in the Sidhwan canal, near BRS Nagar, two days ago, was recovered from South City here today.

An area resident spotted the body floating in the canal this morning. Ramji’s inflated body was taken to the local Civil Hospital. The deceased was cremated later in the day.

The search has now shifted to Pankaj (15), who is also suspected to have been drowned while saving Ramji.

On July 15, Ramji had lost his breath while swimming in the canal and asked Pankaj to help him. When Pankaj dived in the canal, he was also swept by the current.



Cab catches fire 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 17
A Dial -a- Cab caught fire due to over heating in Kitab Bazar near Chaura Bazar here today. The incident took place this morning when the car caught fire after being stuck in a traffic jam at Kitaab Bazar.

During the time of the incident, no passenger was travelling in the cab, the driver immediately evacuated from the vehicle and doused the fire by pouring water.

The incident led to traffic jam in the area. Finally, a police recovery vehicle towed the vehicle to Kotwali police station.



pau notes
Software training programme concludes

Ludhiana: A six-day training programme on statistical software ‘SAS’ organised by the department of mathematics, statistics and physics (DMSP), PAU, in association with National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI), Karnal, culminated here on Saturday. The programme was organised under the aegis of the National Agricultural Innovation Project (NAIP) “Strengthening statistical computing for National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS)”, Indian Agricultural Statistics Research Institute (IASRI), New Delhi.

He added that the software was not a replacement of statistical science as a subject, but was only a supplement to it. There were over 26,000 scientists under the national agricultural research system of which 1,500 would be trained in the use of SAS, said Dr Prasad and added that 900 had already been trained.

French education

PAU would now hold educational programmes in French. The programmes include one year certificate course in French (part time) for graduates in any subject, and one year diploma course in French for graduates in any discipline having one year certificate or equivalent in French. The application forms are available in the office of the dean, College of Basic Sciences and Humanities, on payment of Rs 50 by cash or by sending demand draft of Rs 70. — TNS



From schools
Developing comprehending skills

Ludhiana: A picture-reading competition was conducted in the primary wing of Guru Nanak Public School. Sixty-four students of classes I & II participated in it the competition. The objective of the competition was to develop and test the observation and comprehension skills of the students. The students were shown various kinds of pictures on the projector and were asked questions. Headmistress Dr Harjit Kaur Dua congratulated the winners. Anoop Singh Kang of BVS House first, Jugraj Singh of MS House second, Istnoor Kaur of BS House third, while Gunreet Kaur of BS House got consolation prize.

Annual exhibition

Visitors at an annual exhibition of Sat Paul Mittal School in LudhianaA two-day annual exhibition got off at Sat Paul Mittal School on Saturday. Waste material was used in making the models. The exhibition was inaugurated by the chief guest Rakesh Bharti Mittal, chairman, governing council, Sat Paul Mittal School. Speaking on the occasion, Mittal said the skills and endeavour of students showcased in the exhibition was overwhelming. The exhibits included still models, working models, projects and charts displaying the creative genius of the Satyans. — TNS
Visitors at an annual exhibition of Sat Paul Mittal School in Ludhiana. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan



District scan
Ludhiana scan

Hearing aids, calipers given: The Bharat Vikas Parishad (Shaheed Sarabha branch) on Sunday provided prosthetics, calipers, hearing aids and tricycles to 42 differently abled persons at the free artificial limb distribution camp held at Viklang Sahayta Kendra here. BVP secretary Suraj Jyoti said this was 861st free camp and the body had, till now, assisted some 35,700 physically challenged persons. Similarly, free polio surgery camps were conducted on every second and fourth Sunday of each month for polio victims. — OC

Entrance test: Students showed tremendous response for MCom business innovations, the entrance test of which was held by Panjab University, Chandigarh on Sunday. A total of 141 students appeared for 40 seats approved by the University Grants Commission and Panjab University. The entrance test was held under the supervision of Dr RK Sharma, observer, appointed by the PU Vice-Chancellor and proceedings of the test were monitored by dean, faculty of business management and commerce, Dr Deepak Kapur and Dr Meenakshi Malhotra, chairperson, University Business School, PU, Chandigarh. — OC

Teachers demand pay hike: The district unit of Government School Teachers Union, Punjab, has called upon the state government to grant pay hike to teachers on the pattern of police personnel and nurses while demanding payment of arrears from the year 2006. A meeting of the union made a plea for grant of conveyance allowance to all categories of teachers, mobile phone allowance, education allowance to wards of teachers and enhancement of medical allowance. The meeting also demanded early payment of honorarium for practical examination of the Punjab School Education Board. — OC

Students win laurels: Eight students of BDS second year of Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarabha Dental College bagged positions among first 11 meritorious students of the Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot. According to Dr Manisha Prabhakar, principal, and Dr SK Batish, Manmeen Kaur Sethi, Lovepreet Kaur Randhawa, Kirandeep Kaur and Sheenam Gupta (bracketed) had bagged top three positions in the university examination. Gagandeep Kaur, Samdisha, Sharanpreet and Navpreet Kaur emerged fifth, sixth, seventh and 11 in the merit list. — OC

Grant announced: Punjab Assembly deputy speaker Bhagat Chuni Lal on Sunday said he would take up the issue of construction of Bhagat Kabir Bhawan in the city with the Chief Minister soon. Addressing a function to mark parkash diwas of Bhagat Kabir at Jawahar Nagar camp here, he exhorted the people to follow in the footsteps of the great saint. He announced a grant of Rs 50,000 for Kabir Sewa Sangh. — OC

Distance training centre inaugurated: The Victoria Technical Centre, a distance-training centre of the Lovely Professional University, was opened at Dehlon village near here on Sunday. Jagdeep Singh, director Punjab Agricultural Development Bank, inaugurated the institute and Dr Maghar Singh Kalia, former circle education official, Nabha, was the chief guest. Speakers, including Dr Amarjit Singh Sidhu, managing director Guru Krishan Educational Society, Phallewal; Dev Raj Sofat, chairman Victoria Educational Society, Kalia; and Jagdeep Singh said the concept of distance learning centres had proved a boon for children of families settled in rural parts of the region. As a majority of families belonging to lower and middle class society were not in a position to send their wards to educational institutes situated in far off cities, they depended upon these centres for higher education. — OC



Married woman poisoned to death
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 17
In yet another incident of dowry death in the city, a 27-year-old married woman was allegedly poisoned to death by her in-laws in the Jamalpur area here this evening.

The victim, who was identified as Sunit, died at Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) here this afternoon.

The matter came to light when Tirath Raj, brother of the victim, along with relatives, staged a dharna outside the house of the victim’s in-laws here in the evening.

While husband Sushil Kumar fled the scene, the police arrested the father-in-law Tilak Raj.

A case under relevant sections of the IPC has been registered.



Three held with smack

Samrala July 17
The Samrala police has claimed to have arrested three youths from three different places in the area and recovered smack of about Rs 8 lakh.

Inspector Arvindpuri, SHO, Samrala, addressed mediapersons and told them that a police party of the Samrala police had laid a naka near Otalan village and apprehended a youth who was going towards Samrala on a motorcycle.

During the search, about 55 gm of smack was recovered from him and it was contained in a plastic paper. He was identified as Pritpal Singh, a resident of Lachkani village, Patiala. Another police party of Samrala nabbed another youth near Sihala village and recovered about 65 gm of smack from him. He was identified as Sultan Ali, also a resident of Lachkani. Another youth identified as Avtar Singh of Khanna was arrested during a naka near the New Grain Market, Khanna, with 45 gm of smack. According to the SHO, these youths were in Samrala area to sell the smack but they were nabbed. All youths were sent to14 days judicial custody. — OC



One held with 1.5 kg opium
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, July 17
The Ludhiana (rural) police has arrested one person and recovered 1.5 kg of opium from his possession.

The accused has been identified as Jagdish Kumar, son of Raamji Dass, a resident of Faridkot.

The accused was arrested near Nanaksar on the Ludhiana-Ferozepur highway this morning following a tip off.

As per the information given by in charge Rawinder Singh, anti- narcotics cell, Jagraon, the police had received a secret information that Jagdish Kumar was coming from Moga with a huge quantity of opium to deliver it to some of his customers in Jagraon.

Meanwhile, the police has registered a case against Jagdish Kumar under the NDPS Act and started the investigation. Later on, the police produced the accused in a local court, which sent him to one-day police remand. 



PO nabbed

Ludhiana, July 17
The city police nabbed a proclaimed offender (PO), who was on the run since 2009 after stealing imported watches and Rs 1 lakh from the house of his paralytic NRI employer.

Giving details, SHO Beant Juneja, PAU police station, said the accused, Amarjit Sahni, was on the run since September 2009 after stealing three imported watches and Rs 1 lakh from his employer’s house, NRI Kuljinder Singh Grewal in Raghunath Enclave. He was declared PO by the court. Yesterday, the PAU police received a tip-off that the accused was hiding in Raja Garden. The police conducted a raid and nabbed the accused. — TNS



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