L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Criminal Armyman
Inter-state car-jacking gang busted
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 21
An Armyman was the face behind the inter-state car-jacking gang. Aman Singh, a Lance Naik with the 4th Rajput Battalion at Meerut, was calling the shots and was behind several recent car-jacking incidents in the city.

Joint teams of the Meerut and Ludhiana police arrested Parminder Singh of Jawaddi, Hira Lal of Ropar and Ranjit Singh of Meerut and recovered three cars from their possession, stolen from different parts of the city.

The other two members of the gang, Tajinderpal Singh Bunty and Rajdeep, were on the run. Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Ashish Chaudhri said cops got vital leads a few days ago when one of the members of the gang, posing as the owner of the car, called up the car dealer and asked for duplicate keys and documents of the SUV.

The call was made form Ghaziabad. A team led by CIA-I in charge GS Bains conducted several raids at Ghaziabad and found that the Meerut-based solider was the kingpin of the gang.

The revelation of a soldier’s involvement in the car-jacking gang shocked the police. The matter was brought to the notice of Police Commissioner SS Chauhan, who established contact with the Meerut police.

Following a combined operation, the police busted the gang. Ranjit was arrested while Hira Lal and Aman Singh managed to flee. During interrogation, Ranjit cracked and divulged the names of his accomplices.

Besides a huge chunk of weapons, the police recovered three pistols of .12-bore, .315-bore and .38-bore in the vehicle. The Meerut police established contact with the Army authorities, which led to the arrest of Aman Singh.

The city police arrested Hira Lal and Parminder Singh from different parts of the city. The DCP said raids were on to nab Tajinderpal Singh and Rajdeep Singh.

Modus operandi

The DCP said the accused were habitual criminals and had been in and out of jail for various offences. They met in jail and formed the gang. Ranjit introduced Aman to other gang members. “While Tajinder, Hira Lal, Parminder and Rajdeep used to commit the crime, Ranjit and Aman used to sell the vehicle,” he said. After committing the crime, they used to flee to Meerut and hide the stolen vehicle at a garage. They used to change number plates and Aman used to prepare fake documents.

Vehicles stolen

The gang first stole a Tata Indigo car parked outside the Chaurasia Pan Bhandar at the Sarabha Nagar market a few months ago. Then they fled with the Chevrolet Optra car of Ravinder Arora from Model Town. The gang then took the Swift car belonging to a couple from the Jamalpur road. On August 9, they stole a Ford Endeavour belonging hotelier Naresh Kumar. 


Childbirth scheme strains hospital’s labour wards
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 21
With implementation of the “Mata Kaushalya Yojna” scheme the city’s Civil Hospital has begun receiving a large number of labour and delivery patients. The scheme, which was launched on June 6 and under which a woman is presented with a cheque of Rs 1,000 by the government if she delivers her child at a government hospital or primary health centre, is becoming hugely popular among people.

A female hospital employee told The Tribune: "We’re now working under increased pressure as we daily receive more than a dozen expectant mothers. Conducting deliveries of so many women in a day makes us feel stressed out. When a large number of patients come for delivery not only does the staff face problems but the hospital also runs short of beds. Very often two delivery patients have to be accommodated on a single bed and sometimes even the newborn has to be laid at the side its mother. One can well imagine the level of suffocation in a ward where these patients are treated."

Before the scheme was floated the number of delivery cases at the hospital every day were far less, but now there are between 12 and 18 cases in a day. Dr Subhash Batta, the hospital’s senior medical officer, said: "The gynecology ward has only 16 beds but we now get more than 15 patients every day. We have also attained a record of sorts in the district by conducting 21 childbirth deliveries in 24 hours."

As to shortage of staff and beds, Batta said: "Only last Friday 33 more beds were installed at the hospital, of which 15 will be given to the gynecology ward once our new labour room, presently under construction, is ready. This may take two to three months. As far as the manpower shortage is concerned we expect to get additional staff soon”.



Health dept doubts reliability of dengue spot tests
‘Pvt hospitals skipping proper tests’
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 21
Cases of dengue fever are being reported in various private hospitals and clinics in the city, but the figures provided by them are always at variance with those trotted out by district health officials, who assert the tests conducted by them are in accordance with the guidelines laid down by the Indian government. However, on their part the private hospitals claim their spot tests are equally reliable.

Dr Kanwal Masih, medical superintendent of the Christian Medical College & Hospital, told The Tribune: "Till Saturday we received 57 dengue patients whose diagnosis was confirmed through a spot test and they were treated accordingly for the disease. After district health officer Dr Kulwinder Singh told us four days ago to confirm dengue patients through the ELISA (enzyme linked immuno sorvint assay) test, we have adopted this method now. However, the spot tests were equally reliable - in case a patient has fever for two three days the test gives very good results for confirming dengue."

However, Dr Sandeep Puri, medical superintendent of Dayanand Medical College & Hospital, said: "Till Saturday we received 100 dengue patients from Ludhiana as well as other districts. We have been confirming dengue patients through ELISA tests and then giving treatment to them."

Meanwhile, Kulwinder said: “Some hospitals have conducting other tests to confirm dengue, which are not in accordance with government guidelines. We’ve told all hospitals to hand over blood samples of suspected dengue patients to us and will conduct tests our own tests. Even if a hospital is conducting ELISA tests we will again undertake the tests on those samples with our standardized kits. Currently there are only 30 patients suffering from dengue."

When asked as why figures put out by the health department varied with those given by private hospitals, he said: "We have not included the spot tests conducted by hospitals. Despite our instructions some hospitals did not keep blood samples for the health department. Two days ago we collected 20 samples from Christian Medical College & Hospital and five from Dayanand Medical College & Hospital."



Gang of blackmailers busted, five arrested
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 21
A day after The Tribune highlighted the activities of a gang of swindlers on the prowl, blackmailing residents after luring them, the Haibowal police busted a five-member gang, including women, for blackmailing a resident of Walipur village.

According to Randhir Singh, Haibowal SHO, the gang allegedly blackmailed individuals after making their sex tapes. While four members were arrested following a raid, the woman who managed to give the police the slip was arrested.

The gang comprised Swarn Singh, Avtar Singh, Sewa Singh, Ramesh Kumar and Neena (45). They had made the MMS of Kulwant Singh, a resident of Walipur village. The woman was being used to lure men while the male members made sex tapes of the victim in a compromising position with her.

The victim was blackmailed thereafter. Avtar Singh was blackmailed of Rs 5 lakh and made to sign blank stamp papers. He had filed a complaint at the Haibowal police station. Police officials laid a trap and arrested the accused. The SHO said Neena played an important role in the gang as she was the one who used to tempt residents. “We are at a preliminary stage of the investigation. It will not apt to comment on how many residents are being blackmailed. I hope that more skeletons will tumble out of the closet during the course of the probe,” he said.



Men lured, trapped in sex tapes

Ludhiana, August 21
Gang kingpin Neena used to zero in on rich middle-aged men, according to Assistant Superintendent of Police Gurpreet Singh.

Another young woman, Mona (name changed), was also a part of the gang. The gang had also blackmailed a businessman from Doraha.

“After a couple of telephonic conversations, Neena used to win the trust of the victim and call him to a house. On reaching the house, the victim would meet the young woman and be seduced and trapped. Neena and her accomplices would make an MMS of the victim and the woman in a compromising position,” said Randhir Singh. After making the MMS, the gang would barge into the room, thrash the victim and threaten him of make the MMS public. They used to force the victim to sign a stamp paper. The victim would be forced to call a relative or friend to the spot. When the relative or friend would reach the spot, the gang made that person sign the stamp paper as guarantor.

Kulwant Singh told the police that the gang was blackmailing him and asking for Rs 5 lakh. “They told me that I should hand over the money or else they would put the MMS on the Internet and circulate it on phones,” he said. — TNS



Councillor attacked
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 21
MC councillor Gurpreet Singh Goggi was injured in a scuffle with two youths in his office at Ghumar Mandi.

The incident occurred around 7.30 pm, when Pankaj and his accomplice entered the councillor’s office for getting a unique identification card made.

A scuffle broke out when Goggi rejected their request as the applicants were not residents of his ward. Pankaj and his accomplice thrashed Goggi and fled. Goggi was rushed to the DMCH.



Parents careless about oral hygiene
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 21
Parents of city kids are well aware of the importance of oral hygiene but are careless about primary teeth, i.e., milk teeth, of their wards. The reason is they are of the view that milk teeth are temporary teeth, so it hardly matters even if these get infected.

This has been revealed by a research conducted by Dr Reejo C George, a resident doctor in the department of paediatric and preventive dentistry of Christian Dental College Medical.

College principal, Dr Abi M Thomas under whose guidance this study has been conducted said, “The data collected from 521 parents showed that most of the parents have knowledge about oral hygiene as almost all said brushing teeth is important, however, 83.3 per cent encouraged brushing twice daily.”

He further said, “82.8 per cent parents said primary milk teeth are important, but only 46.3 per cent said saving milk teeth was important. 55.4 per cent believed that the first visit of a child to a dentist should be when the tooth starts aching. This reflects enough awareness among parents regarding maintenance of good oral hygiene.”

‘Care is must’

Although milk teeth get replaced before the age of 12, there are some permanent teeth. if milk teeth are infected, permanent teeth too get infected. it is required to keep milk teeth in good health.

Dr Thomas



Traffic cops loath to give up khaki for white uniforms
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 21
Though it is common knowledge most cops have a penchant for khaki, it appears this infatuation has grown to such an extent that many are not willing to wear a uniform of any other colour. Though over a year has gone by after the police department issued a notification instructing traffic cops to don white uniforms, the latter are still reluctant to do so.

A traffic police official said on condition of anonymity” “They (cops) hesitate to wear a white uniform as they feel they’d look clumsy in it”. The officials also believe a khaki uniform exudes "awe” and commuters would not take them seriously if they wore a white uniform.

Another excuse that is making the rounds is that a white uniform attracts more dirt. As the state’s industrial hub tops the chart of polluted cities, a white uniform would get soiled more quickly and would give traffic cops a “bad impression” as they have to stay put in the field for the whole day.

"Just stand at any busy intersection in the city wearing a white shirt and within no time it will be stained due to air pollution. If the city had been as clean as Chandigarh then perhaps we wouldn’t have any problem in wearing the white uniform," said a group of traffic police officials.

Subinspectors and inspectors posted with the traffic police continue to wear khakis but sport a white belt to indicate they are in the traffic wing and the new white uniform for traffic cops has irked made of them. They feel the move is “discriminatory” as senior police officers have been exempted from wearing it.

It is learnt the uniform was changed to differentiate the constabulary from senior police officers. "If our uniform was changed then their uniform also needs to be changed. It is constables up to the inspector-level personnel who do the policing. The uniform was changed just to add grace and distinct identity to the senior officers," said a traffic cop.

Reluctant to pay from their own pockets

It has been over a year since the police department instructed traffic cops to wear white uniforms but the latter have still not got the new uniforms stitched. The reason is that they were asked to shell out money for buying the cloth for the uniform and get it stitched. According to the notification issued by the Punjab police, policemen will have to shell out about Rs 5,000 for a pair.



patient’s death
Civil Hospital accused of negligence
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 21
The Karkhana Mazdoor Union has accused the Civil Hospital of negligence in a case of patient’s death on August 17.

According to Lakhwinder, convener of the union, “We handed over a memorandum to the Chief Medical Officer, Ludhiana, yesterday pointing out Aakasho Devi’s death on August 17 due to negligence on part of a laboratory technician after he refused to give her platelet-rich plasma (PRP). Later when Dr Subhash Batta, Senior Medical Officer, Civil Hospital, said the PRP was available, the attendant agreed to give the plasma. However, the technician compelled the patient to come to the laboratory for the blood test. For a dengue patient, whose platelet count was already 17000, it was quite difficult to even move from the bed. The patient later died due to negligence on part of the hospital.”

He added: “We want an inquiry by the CMO into the incident and punishment for the guilty along with a compensation for the family of the deceased.”

‘No negligence’

We received the patient at 11.30 pm in a serious condition and at 12.30 am she was declared dead. In one hour, she was given the best treatment available and there was no negligence on part of the medical staff in her treatment.

Dr Subhash Batta, Senior Medical Officer, Civil Hospital

‘Inquiry on’

I am holding an inquiry, which will take another two to three days to complete.

Dr HS Bali, Chief Medical Officer, Ludhiana



Support for Team Anna going strong
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, August 21
Candle-lit marches, processions and foot marches continue in the city in support of Anna Hazare. People from different walks of life are chanting slogans for setting up the institution of Jan Lokpal to effectively deal with the demon of corruption.

The district unit of Bharat Swabhiman Trust (BST), Patanjali Yog Samiti (PYS) and Yuva Bharat, outfits headed by yoga guru Swami Ramdev, organised a candlelight march from Pizza Hutt on the Ferozepur road to Gate No 2 of Punjab Agricultural University here late last evening.

Led by Vijay Kapoor, Darshan Singh, Ashwani Kumar and Parmod Sharma, a large number of people carrying candles and firelights (mashals) marched through Aarti Chowk, Ansal Plaza, Malhar Road Chowk while raising slogans in favour of the Jan Lokpal Bill of Team Anna.

The Anti-Corruption Council of India while extending its full support to the movement asked Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh to either accept the draft bill or else quit his post. Body secretary general Shiv K Gupta said the Jan Lokpal Bill ought to be adopted as being demanded by Anna Hazare in the larger interest of the nation and deal with mammoth corruption. He also advocated the inclusion of the office of Prime Minister and judiciary under the purview of Jan Lokpal, the institution, which he asserted should be adequately armed with powers to investigate, prosecute and punish corrupt politicians, bureaucrats and members of judiciary.

The city residents, especially youngsters have taken upon themselves to hold demonstrations and processions to express their solidarity with Anna Hazare and his supporters observing hunger strike in New Delhi. Candlelight processions, foot marches and processions were organised at Jagraon Bridge, Clock Tower Chowk, Ghumar Mandi, Mall Road, Old Sabzi Mandi Chowk, Old GT Road, Mini Rose Garden and elsewhere in the city calling for early legislative measures to deal with corruption.

While there is a virtual scramble to stand up and be counted as a supporter of Anna Hazare’s tirade against corruption, there are voices of dissent, too. A body, “Shaheed-Azam Bhagat Singh International Krantikari Party”, has made an appeal to Anna Hazare to call off his fast while asserting that strikes and fasts are no remedies for the menace of corruption.

The body has suggested that the President of India and Prime Minister should convene a meeting of all state chief ministers and leaders of other political parties to evolve a consensus on legislative measures to effectively deal with corruption.



Flip side: ‘Look within’
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, August 21
With activists and leaders of various political parties losing no chance to get political mileage from the Anna Hazare ‘kranti’, a section of social activists have dared protesters to ask their conscience if they are honest.

Apprehending that the hijacking of the crusade by politicians with vested interests will deteriorate the situation in the state, social activists have cautioned residents against adverse affects of the politicisation of the movement.

The third version of the Lokpal Bill, put forward by National Campaign for People’s Right to Information (NCPRI) activist Aruna Roy, has disappointed activists genuinely interested in curbing the menace of corruption.

Former district ayurvedic officer Bhupinder Singh Bedi said the scenario showed that every person had the right to amend the Constitution according to his whims and fancies, but this was not the way to reform the system.

“Before we set on to stage protests and marches, let us ask ourselves whether we are corrupt in our daily lives or not. If the answer is ‘yes’, we should mend ourselves and stop blaming others,” he argued.

Regretting that controversy over different versions of the Bill had complicated the issue, social activist Ripudaman Singh ridiculed that the number of versions would rise to that of the total population of the country.

“The third version of the Bill is put before the public. The time is not far when it will have 120 crore versions,” he said. He stated that people should adopt honesty in dealing before expecting others to be honest.



Supporters hold vehicular traffic to ransom
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, August 21
The increasing public support from various quarters in favour of Team Anna with each passing day is taking its toll on the city roads where smooth flow of traffic has become the first casualty.

People taking to the streets in support of Anna Hazare choose busy commercial hubs and congested roads in different parts of the city to hold a candle light procession or a foot march. Carrying candles and chanting slogans in favour of adopting the draft for Jan Lokpal Bill, people obstruct smooth flow of traffic, block intersections and at times even resort to holding impromptu rallies on roadside with scant regard to smooth flow of vehicular traffic and movement of other road users.

Obstruction in vehicular traffic for extended periods was reported from Ghunar Mandi Chowk, Mall Road, Kailash Cinema Chowk, Bindraban Road, Ferozepur Road and several other localities where Anna’s supporters staged rallies, processions and marches and in the process holding the vehicular traffic in these areas to ransom on Friday and Saturday.

Blaming the so-called Anna’s supporters for creating chaos on the roads and disrupting normal movement of traffic in one of the busiest commercial hubs of Ghumar Mandi, a shopkeeper said even though the intention of the people (in extending support to Anna's movement) is noble, the manner in which this “tamasha” is causing frequent snarl up is not acceptable.

To make matters worse, most of the times, even police or traffic cops on duty, seem reluctant to intervene and make any visible attempt to restore the traffic movement. “Those holding marches or processions appear sentimentally attached to the cause (eradication of corruption) for which Anna Hazare is holding fast. When even the government and authorities are standing alongside Team Anna, then why should we unnecessarily interfere and face the ire of the mob,” asked a traffic cop on duty at the Jagraon Bridge.



‘Tough for automobile industry to survive in Punjab’
Business community says anti-industry policies of state government to blame
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 21
The automobile industry in the city, which is worth Rs 10,000 crore, seems to be finding it difficult to survive in Punjab due to the "anti-industry" policies of state government. The industry representatives claim that no new unit in the city had come up in the last 10 years.

The business community rued that the national growth of the country could be around 9 per cent while growth of Punjab was just 4.8 per cent, as no incentives were being given to the industry in Punjab.

Rajnish Ahuja, president Focal Point Shed Association, said automobile industry was affected due to several threats. Power and petrol were, too, expensive in Punjab as compared to other states in the country.

He added that it was becoming difficult to compete the automobile industry set-up in the South.

"No new unit in the automobile industry had come-up in the city during the last one decade. Moreover, majority of industrialists prefer to shift or expand their new units at places like Uttranchal, Haryana, Chennai, Tamil-Nadu and Karnataka due to industry-packages and better returns.

There is no regular supply of electricity, taxes are being imposed and we are facing problems due to labour-shortage. How can we survive in such circumstances?" said Ahuja.

President of Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry PD Sharma said that growth of Punjab had already begun to falter mainly due to weak governance, increasing cost of productions and uncertainties. "The automobile industry is bound to face the wrath as China has started dominating the scene. There are about 500 automobile units in city, which are supplying parts to players like Maruti, Toyota, Honda etc. But due to lack of incentives by our own government, the industry is gradually shifting its export-parts to China to stay in competition", added Sharma.

Those industrialists who got the spare land and infrastructure, while many others had preferred to move to Uttranchal and South for better returns were doing just the expansions.



Experts dwell on parasitic diseases among pets
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 21
Livestock and pets are prone to diseases, especially vector-borne parasitic diseases. Prof PD Juyal, Registrar, GADVASU, stated this in a press note issued here.

During the monsoon, humidity and increase in temperature may increase parasitic problems manifold such as gastrointestinal parasites, ticks and tick-borne diseases in pets and farm animals, said Juyal.

“However, these diseases are often overlooked because clinical symptoms are rarely apparent. Losses of production occur mainly from low milk production in adult animals leading to retarded growth and delayed fertility,” he added.

Tick population flares up during the monsoon and post-monsoon. Regular and repeated application of newer generation of acaricides can serve the purpose.

However, the animal on which acarcide is applied, needs to be kept in shade for a few days, said the expert.

The ailments afflicting animals include high fever, swollen lymph nodes, loss of appetite and sudden drop in milk yield. To reduce fatality in such cases, the earlier the disease is diagnosed and treated, the better it will be. However, all such interventions need to be made strictly under the supervision of a qualified veterinarian, the release stated.

Juyal cautioned against the usage of a single acarcide for a longer period of time, as it can develop acarcide resistance. Crevices and cracks in the walls are major hideouts for ticks, so chemical should be sprayed on these spots, he said, adding that livestock farmers are advised to adopt the practice of a routine check-up.



Movement against social evils

Mandi Ahmedgarh, August 21
The leftist organisations of the region have announced to launch a coordinated movement against social evils and defective policies of the Union and state governments during a conference to be organised during Mela Chhapar on September 13.

The decision was taken during a meeting of office-bearers of CPI and CPI (M) held at Latala village near here today. Sukhwinder Singh Sekhon and Kartar Singh Buani, district in charges, chaired the meeting.

Sekhon and Buani said a coordinated movement to aware masses about anti-people policies of the government would be launched in September. — OC



Sumneet is Miss Teej
Our Correspondent

Samrala, August 21
The Guru Gobind Singh Khalsa College for Women, Jhar Sahib, celebrated “Tiyan Teej Dian” by organising a function, in which Sumneet Kaur of BCA-I was crowned Miss Teej, while Manjot Kaur of MA-I was declared runner-up.

The function was inaugurated by college principal Paramjit Kaur Tiwana, who also presented the college annual report, while jail minister Hira Singh Gabria was the chief guest.

Girl students of the college presented several cultural items, including lok geet, dhola, giddha, ghori, sithnia, tappe and dance, which enthralled audience. Skits were also presented on drugs, illiteracy and female foeticide.

Several schools also participated in the function by organising competitions like mehandi and rangoli, where Captain Santokh Singh School, Kotala, won the first prize of Rs 3,100.

In the mehandi competition, Mandeep Kaur stood first, while Sandeep Kaur bagged the second position.



Park or parking space?
Our Correspondent

Doraha, August 21
The only municipal council park made after spending lakhs of rupees for the welfare of residents of the town has been reduced merely to a parking stand. Tempos and taxis have converted the park to a taxing area due to absence of any check.

With morning walkers fed up of asking the council to restore the original beauty and grace to the park, that has now been converted into an open space where animals roam about apart from the taxis and tempos which are made to stand there.

Many people in the town come out due to either health consciousness or their craze for a daily walk have to risk their lives along the canal. Many people feel unsafe while taking a walk on the road as there is lots of traffic. Many people now prefer staying indoors.

The park with collapsed wall, heaped garbage, over grown grass, parking of vehicles, pigs, requires maintenance. Many people do not feel to visit to the park as they rue that it is no longer meant for them. A senior citizen of the town said, “As the residents left the park, the committee further disowned it entirely.”

Another person said, "Now the situation is that the tempos and other four-wheelers remain in the park which was once used to be the property of the daily walkers. The grills of the park are missing but who cares! It is not a personal property and nobody is bothered about. Moreover, due to frequent rains, the sight and the smell has become unbearable to such an extent that many residents don’t feel like visiting the park. Inspite of frequent reminders, the park has not been cleaned. Rather more filth and dirt is added every now and then. In the adjoining meat shops, there are stray dogs who enjoy their feast and later take a nap in the park. The situation has become all the more intolerable.”



‘Lack of balanced diet leads to deficiency diseases’
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, August 21
Lack of awareness about balanced diet and hygiene are major factors behind increasing incidences of deficiency diseases and infections among children and aged persons.

Non-adherence to the vaccination programme drafted by the health authorities was another cause of loss of immunity among children.

The observation was made by a group of physicians after examining about 200 persons at a medical camp organised at Guru Nanak Charitable Hospital at Dehlon near here yesterday. Dr Balwinder Walia, chairman, inaugurated the camp.

A group of physicians led by Dr Jaspal Singh Walia, managing director, and Dr Pardeep Sharma observed that a majority of the patients had contracted diseases due to lack of resistance owing to deficiency of essential macro and micro nutrients in their diet. The residents also ignored the importance of vital components of balanced diet for growing children and ageing persons. “Regrettably, people have started evaluating usefulness of food items on the basis of their price. A little awareness about the importance of various components of balanced diet and their source of availability can enable even the poor families to keep their elderly members and children healthy by providing them all nutrients in a proper ratio,” said Dr Jaswant.

Medicines were also distributed free of cost at the camp. Diagnostic tests, including ultrasound, imaging, etc, were done on subsidised rates.



reporter’s diary
‘Akhbarwali’ in village!

The curiosity level of villagers invariably revs up the moment they see a woman reporter. “She is an ‘akhbarwali’, the wave spreads among villagers in no time. Women avoid her scrupulously. The “akhbarwali” could be far, too, clever - she may wheedle out a good chunk of information from them, which is not meant to be shared with outsiders. So, the women restrict to giving vacuous smiles. It's men who do most of the talking, their attitude alternating between a grudging admiration and a patronising scorn. Elderly men hobble up to her to deliver a sleep-inducing lecture on tottering moral values. After all, an “akhbarwali” in a village is a serious affair and no villager wants to be caught on the wrong foot. Only kids have a whale of time staring at the spectacle - an “akhbarwali” wielding her pen and talking tirelessly!

‘I am still young’

A friend, along with her teenage daughter went to see a movie. Both witnessed a huge rush at PVR Cinemas. Acting “bold”, my friend asked her daughter to wait and let her get the tickets. There were a group of four college-going boys standing. The friend was wearing a pair of jeans with a cool T-shirt. She said, “Excuse me” to the boys expecting that they will pay regards seeing a “married” woman. All boys gave her a smile, while one said, “Wow! Excused”. The daughter was watching this, when mother came back she asked, “You would have given them a dirty look”, to which the mother replied, “Why are you feeling jealous? You know after ages I felt as if I am still young”. Poor daughter kept on looking at her mom!

Ready to board ‘Zalim’ bus

The image of public transport in Punjab is perhaps not as bad as the one being portrayed, albeit inadvertently, through huge advertisements splashed on the fleet of Punjab Roadways buses nowadays. As most of the other government departments, the cash-starved state transport department has also resorted to offering advertisement spaces on its buses. However, ads of “Zalim Lotion” painted in huge size on both sides of the buses has created a comic situation, especially for those unaware of the particular brand of medicinal cream for treatment of skin conditions like itching and eczema. The “zalim” word in the ad is so prominently painted on the buses that it creates an impression that one is about to board a “cruel” (zalim) bus, which to some extent, is true also going by the track record of the roadways buses with respect to breakdowns and road accidents.

Crusade or ‘tamasha’?

The manner in which the spate of impromptu rallies, marches and candle light processions are being organised in support of social activist Anna Hazare and his Jan Lokpal movement, the crusade, at least in most parts of the city, seems to have lost all its seriousness and has virtually become a “tamasha”.

With the exception of those by a few political parties and bodies of professionals, a majority of processions and rallies held by motley group of unconcerned people end up as a big nuisance for shopkeepers and members of public in the commercial hubs where traffic is held up and business activity is adversely affected. Rather than anything else, the self-styled champions of Anna’s cause, most of them having nothing else to do, appear to be entertaining themselves, making mockery of a serious issue of rampant corruption with the sole aim of getting their photographs and names flashed in print and electronic media.


To save anything from bad omens, people use different ways. Some hang inverted slipper while others hang a horrifying face. Many auto drivers prefer to write couplets related to it. An auto driver carried a couplet on its auto, which read, “Buri Nazar layenga, DMC jayenga.”

Contributed by Minna Zutshi, Shivani Bhakoo, Charanjit Singh Teja and Kuldip Bhatia and Anupam Bhagria



Scientists present research proposals on post-harvest technology
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 21
Stating that Punjab has always been on the forefront in agriculture mechanisation, deputy director-general (ICAR), Dr MM Pandey said close coordination between manufacturers and scientists was the reason behind. He made these remarks on conclusion of the three-day coordination committee meeting of the all-India coordinated research project (AICRP) on post-harvest technology at the Central Institute of Post Harvest Engineering and Technology (CIPHET) yesterday.

Pointing out that scientists should work hard to give new impetus to agriculture growth, Dr Pandey advised that they should think more for future generations than for individual growth. He chaired various technical sessions and also listened to administration problems faced by scientists working under AICRP. Assistant director-general (ICAR), Dr KK Singh showed satisfaction over the progress made by AIRCP.

Director CIPHET, Dr RK Gupta said the institute had made significant progress in the area of post harvest. Project coordinator (PHT), Dr SK Nanda informed about the success of agro processing centres established under AICRP. Six technical sessions were held and scientists presented various research proposals.



Man electrocuted
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 21
A migrant labourer was electrocuted in Sherpur area here today. The deceased, identified as Ram Prasad, came in contact with lose electricity wires of a transformer and died on the spot.

The callousness of Powercom employees could be gauged from the fact that residents had reported the matter to the authorities concerned but no action was taken. It was after the death of the person that the employees woke up from their slumber and fixed the snag.



Flyover no magic cure
No respite from traffic congestion at Bhadaur House
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 21
When the construction of a flyover in place of the Lakkar bridge at the Bhadaur House was started, residents felt that it would ease traffic congestion and provide relief to commuters passing through.

Now that the bridge was almost complete, the traffic situation seemed to have aggravated as shopkeepers and buyers had started using the area under the flyover for parking.

Drivers of three-wheelers and tempos, in addition to rickshaw-pullers, had started parking their vehicles in a haphazard manner under the flyover, not giving enough space to commuters to move freely.

Shopkeepers at the Calibre Plaza had been raising a hue and cry that the demolition of the bridge had badly affected their business.

Many of these shopkeepers had started moving on the main Deepak Cinema road, which has created more congestion on that road.

The road from the Deepak Cinema to the Mata Rani Chowk through the Calibre Plaza and the road from the Deepak Cinema to the Society Cinema has become more chaotic due to the loading and unloading of stock by the shopkeepers on the main road itself.

At times, the situation would become worse, with vehicles taking between 40 and 45 minutes to cover the half-kilometre stretch.

“Yesterday, the driver of a tempo parked his vehicle in the middle of the road to unload stock. He refused to move the vehicle even when repeated requests were made by commuters,” said Surinder Kumar, a shopkeeper.

“Resultantly, traffic was blocked in the evening. From the other side, a tractor-trolley blocked the road as there was no space for it to pass through. Auto-rickshaws, two-wheelers, cars and bicycles were banging into one another,” he rued.

“Though cops stand on the main point to regulate the flow of traffic, there is hardly any regulation. Since the construction of the flyover, traffic congestion has become more frequent,” he added.

As the authorities concerned had virtually failed to keep a check on haphazard parking and not towed away vehicles of defaulters, commuters continued to suffer.

Several shopkeepers and office and restaurant owners at the Bhadaur House had been complaining about the nuisance being created due to the failure in enforcing parking norms, but to no avail.

“At any given point of time, one can see rickshaws and auto-rickshaws loaded with stock. Many a time, shopkeepers keep huge piles of stocks on the road to avoid chaos at their shops,” said a bank employee.

“Commuters keep blowing horn, but the drivers, rickshaw-pullers and shopkeepers refuse to listen. The enforcement staff seem to have given up on the situation,” he stated.



Veggies’ rates may go south
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 21
The soaring rates of all vegetables are expected to come down within 10 days, provided there are no rains. But if the rains continue and roads get blocked, the prices are bound to increase further.

The prices of almost all vegetables are presently on the higher side. Since all vegetables are being brought from hilly areas like Kullu, Manali and Shimla, in case there are rains, the roads may get blocked and prices will further be increased.

A retailer at the Civil Lines, Gurmeet Singh said though the rates of veggies were on the higher side, there was hardly any impact on their demand. “People have to purchase vegetables, they have stopped bothering about the price as they have no other option,” said the shopkeeper adding that peas were being sold in the retail market at Rs 110 or even more. The prices of each vegetable, including tomato, potato, onion, Brinjal and capsicum were on the higher side, as 75 per cent of veggies were coming from Himachal Pradesh.



‘CAs play vital role in nation’s economy’
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 21
The global business competitiveness intensifies the demand for improvement of communication and negotiation skills. The Indian economy is one of the fastest growing economies and chartered accountants (CAs) play a vital role in an economy and specifically in audit of financial statements, direct taxes and indirect taxes, financial management, cost and cost management.

These observations were made by Punjab chief secretary SC Aggarwal while presiding over the inaugural session of the two-day national CA students’ convention at KVM School here today.

The national meet of CA students with the theme “Insight, initiate and perform” is being hosted by the Ludhiana branch of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), representing 1,400 practicing CAs and 3,500 students.

Aggarwal exhorted the CA students to play a pivotal role in the national economy by sticking to the highest standards of performance and ethics. He remarked that the fact that the government, shareholders of companies and organisations whose accounts are audited by CAs and society relied completely on the financial statements certified by CAs.

National president of ICAI, G Ramaswamy while stressing on need of information technology in the profession urged the students to be tech-savvy.

Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tiwari and former MP Sharanjeet Singh Dhillon were also present on the occasion.



Two private buses impounded, drivers held
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 21
Cracking a whip on the reckless parking of private vehicles in front of the railway station, the Kotwali police impounded two private buses for causing traffic jam.

The incident took place here today when a private bus operator parked their buses in front of the railway station, which resulted in traffic jam.

The matter was brought to the notice of Kotwali SHO Amandeep Singh Brar, who rushed to the spot and arrested drivers, Bagga Singh and Ajay Kumar, for causing traffic jam by parking their vehicles in the middle of the road.

Both buses were impounded and taken to the Kotwali police station. The drivers were let off after furnishing a bail bond.

The residents have appreciated the police action, as the private bus operators enjoy a political clout and cause major traffic chaos in front of the railway station by parking their vehicles.



Factory owners seek security

Ludhiana, August 21
Owners of factories located in the Kali Sarak and Nehru Vihar Colony in Jodhewal Basti are perturbed at the area becoming a den of drug addicts, rise in incidents of snatching and thefts.

Miffed factory owners urged SHOto increase patrolling by PCR vehicles. The SHO promised round-the-clock patrolling in the area — TNS



Basketball Meet
Nav Bharti lads storm into quarterfinals
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, August 21
Defending champions, Nav Bharti Public School, Ludhiana, that got a direct entry into the last 16, began their campaign in a style with a thumping victory over Oxford School, BaktaBhai in Bathinda district, 51-1 in the boys’ under-18 category in the Mahindra NBA Challenge Basketball League Season II being held at the Guru Nanak Sports Complex here today.

Nav Bharti School players faced no challenge from their opponents and went on to add point after point to clinch the issue convincingly. They were so dominating that Oxford School boys could gather only a single point.

The winning side was leading 26-1 at half time. Harmandeep accounted for 23 points in Nav Bharti School’s victory.

In the second match (boys’ U-18), BCM Senior Secondary School, Dugri Road branch, Ludhiana, outplayed Oxford School, BaktaBhai, 26-13 in which Gautam made 13 points for the winning side.

In the senior men’s section, Punjab Police, Jalandhar, overpowered PSEB, Patiala, 68-29 after leading 46-18 at the end of second quarter.

Amanjot Singh netted 22 points for the Punjab Police, while Gurpreet Singh with 12 points fought well for the losers.

In the boys’ under-13 section, Gymkhana Club, Ludhiana, proved too good for Government High School, Gure in Ludhiana district, whom they defeated 32-12. The half time score sheet read 21-7. Yuvraj was the main scorer for the Gymkhana Club who contributed 11 points.

In the girls’ section (U-13), Oxford School, BaktaBhai, too, failed to put up any resistance as they lost against Faridkot district comprehensively (0-17). Hajrat with 11 points played the pivot role in Faridkot’s easy win.

In the boys’ (U-18) group, Faridkot district registered victory over Jalandhar district 54-36. Sukhdeep Pal dropped 17 baskets for the winning side and Ravinder contributed 11 points for Jalandhar district.

In the boys’ under-13 section, Kapurthala district squeezed past Sujjapur 31-28. The winners were in a comfortable position (20-4) at half time, but fumbled at crucial moments during the last two quarters, however, managed to hang onto the lead till the long whistle.

Kapil chipped in with 14 points for Kapurthala district, while Vikram played well for the losing side and scored 10 points.



Cricket Tourney
Rahul helps Chaman Lal XI reach 217
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, August 21
Rahul Singla from Ludhiana excelled with bat and ball (26 runs and two for 28) that resulted the ongoing cricket match between Chaman Lal Malhotra XI and MP Pandove XI evenly poised on the second day of the PCA Players’ Emerging Cricket Tournament being organised by the Punjab Cricket Association at the Punjab Agricultural University campus ground here today.

At close of the second day’s play, in reply to Chaman Lal Malhotra XI’s first innings score of 217 runs, MP Pandove XI were 145 for six after 46 overs.

After the initial hiccups (99 for five), Chaman Lal Malhotra XI were able to reach a respectable total of 217 runs in their first essay.

Chaman Lal XI skipper Karan Goel won the toss and opted to bat. His decision appeared to be a miscalculated one, as they found themselves in dire straits with MP Pandove XI bowlers finding their line and length making it difficult to negotiate the ball.

Jeewanjot Singh (zero) and Karan Goel (three) were consumed cheaply and Chaman Lal XI was soon in shackles. Mayanak Sidana and Abhishek Gupta made 12 and 35 runs, respectively.

However, Anil Sihag (76), Shiv Lal (34) and Rahul Singla played sensibly to help their team to reach 217 runs.

Anil figured in two valuable partnerships. First, he was engaged with Shiv Lal in a 44-run partnership for the fourth wicket and then in association with Rahul Singla, he added 65 runs for the sixth wicket.

For MP Pandove XI, Maninder Singh captured three wickets, while Love Abhlish and Rajesh Sharma took two wickets each.

MP Pandove XI, too, began their first innings on a dismal note with losing wickets at regular intervals. At draw of stumps, they were 145 for six with two batsmen on the crease, Sharad Loomba (16) and Yogesh Kumar yet to open his account.

Brief scores:

Chaman Lal Malhotra XI (Ist innings): 217 all out (Shiv Lal 34, Mayank Sidana 12, Anil Sihag 76, Rahul Singla 26, Sidharth Kaul 12, Manpreet Singh Goni 21 n.o, Mohit Mohindra 14; Love Abhlish 2 for 23, Maninder Singh 3 for 33, Yogesh Kumar 1 for 53, Kamal Passi 1 for 5, Shard Loomba 1 for 0, Rajesh Sharma 2 for 51).

MP Pandove XI (Ist innings): 145 for 6 in 46 overs (Munish Bhatia 5, Sarul Sawar 12, Amitoj Singh 58, Preet Kamal 35, Sharad Loomba 16 n.o; Manpreet Singh Goni 2 for 2, Sidarath Kaul 1 for 23, Mohit Mohindra 1 for 29, Rahul Singla 2 for 28).



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