L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Two booked for duping man of Rs 10 lakh
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune news service

Ludhiana, September 21
The Division No. 5 police today registered an FIR against two persons for duping Inderjit Singh, a resident of Model Town, of Rs 10 lakh. The accused had assured him that they would get his daughter admitted to a medical college in Patiala district.

Though the deal was struck at Rs 19 lakh, but the payment of Rs 10 lakh was made to the accused by the victim.

The SHO, Naveen Kumar, said the case had been registered against Balwinder Singh Boparai, a local resident, and Satnam Singh Bhullar, a resident of Patiala, following a complaint lodged by Inderjit Singh who said the accused had promised him that his daughter would get admission in Gian Sagar MBBS College, Banur, provided he gave them Rs 19 lakh.

As per the complainant’s statement, Rs 5 lakh (first instalment) was given to the accused in June-July 2009. After 15 days, another instalment of Rs 4 lakh was given to Satnam Singh in Patiala.

On August 26, 2009, Rs 10,08,000 were deposited in the ICICI account of Satnam Singh, but the girl did not get admission.

The complainant approached the accused but each time they only gave assurances.

Inderjit Singh approached the police yesterday and got a case registered against the accused.

Not a solitary case

A city doctor was duped by a city resident on the pretext of getting his son admitted to an MBBS course. The accused, identified as Kundan Singh of Jamalpur, had allegedly taken Rs 5 lakh from the doctor at Sudhar village in 2008. Dr Anil Arora claimed that Kundan Singh had demanded Rs 7 lakh to get his son admitted under the NRI quota at a college affiliated to Baba Farid University of Health Sciences in Faridkot. But, he neither arranged for the admission nor did he return the money. The victim then filed a written complaint to the then SSP, after which an inquiry was ordered. Kundan was booked in June this year.


Loot or rob, but provide funds, Gosain tells health officials
Despite pledges, Lord Mahavira Civil Hospital still in shambles
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

‘108’ ambulance launched under the National Rural Health Mission.
‘108’ ambulance launched under the National Rural Health Mission. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, September 21
“Loot or use any deceitful means but provide funds for the upgradation of the Civil Hospital” is the ‘diktat’ of Punjab health and family welfare minister Satpal Gosain to health officials.

This was stated to The Tribune by Gosain himself, when he was confronted on the state of 110-bed Civil Hospital despite his oft repeated promise to make it a model health centre.

“I am holding a meeting of officials on September 23. I am going to ask them to beg, borrow or steal. I don’t care whether they have to indulge in loot or use any means to generate funds. I want this hospital to be a state-of-the-art health centre,” he said.

With the facility still dogged by a severe staff crunch, unhygienic conditions, shortage of beds, poor security and - above all - substandard infrastructure, the hospital remains a pock-mark on the state of health in the minister’s hometown.

Gosain had announced on several occasions the number of hospital beds would be increased to 300. However, conditions remain pathethic with two patients often having to share a bed, especially in the maternity ward with work on building a new labour room at the hospital going on for over a year. Burn victims are treated in the same ward.

‘Facilities will be upgraded soon’

Although I had earlier stated the Civil Hospital would be upgraded to a 300-bed facility, I managed to get approval for 400 beds. I’ve instructed officiating senior medical officer Dr Karamveer Goel to spend Rs 7-8 lakh for the ongoing construction. However, for upgrading the other facilities, I will hold a meeting of health department officials on September 23. I’ll also take up the matter with the chief minister at the upcoming cabinet meeting.

Satpal Gosain, Punjab health & family welfare minister



Illegal Constructions
HC issues notice to govt, civic body
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 21
Taking cognisance of a public interest litigation (PIL) demanding that unauthorised constructions in the city be removed, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has issued a notice of motion to the state government, the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation and the Deputy Commissioner of Ludhiana.

They respondents have been asked to appear in the court on November 21. An NGO, Council of RTI Activists, had filed a PIL in the Punjab and Haryana High Court stating that a large number of buildings and shops have come up in violation of the sanctioned plan or without obtaining the sanctioned plan from the competent authority. The petition stated that the building owners had not left any space for parking, which was mandatory as per the Building Bylaws, 1997, according to which it was mandatory to leave a particular percentage of their land for the purpose of parking.

The NGO said the respondents should initiate criminal proceedings against the violators, who had raised unauthorised constructions over the public land and acted in violation of the bylaws and immediately demolish the unauthorised constructions so raised.

Rohit Sabharwal, president of the Council of RTI Activists, said: “It can be seen that several industrial/commercial buildings and complexes constructed in the past few years are violating the Non-Compoundable Building Bylaws. Most of the commercial buildings and shops have been constructed in the parking space and sold further. As a result, customers visiting shops and malls park their vehicles on the road, which obstruct the flow of traffic. The resultant effect is that the general public is facing difficulty due to traffic jams and the government is also suffering loss,” he said.

“In the past, I gave a detailed representation to the Commissioner of Police, Ludhiana, with copies thereof to the Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, and Senior Town Planner of the MC. Unfortunately, they failed to take any action. In our city, there has been a flagrant violation of the building bylaws. More than 70 per cent of the industrial and commercial buildings have been constructed in violation of norms. A policy of “pick-and-choose” has been prevailing in the MC. While the mighty and influential violators escape any kind of action and punishment, action is taken against small and petty violators,” said Sabharwal.

Promila Nain, counsel of the NGO, said the state of Punjab, the MC and the DC have been issued a notice of motion by the Punjab and Haryana High Court for November 21.



Prank calls taxing ambulance service
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 21
The 108 emergency ambulances that were launched as part of the National Rural Health Mission to provide free service to patients and accident victims has been facing a serious problem of receiving hoax calls.

Said Jatin Malhotra, the service’s cluster head for Ludhiana: "The control centre receives one or two prank calls every day. We have been getting an overwhelming response ever since the service was launched about four months ago. But now we are also receiving many hoax calls and that too in extreme weather.'

Giving details of some of the worst experiences, he said: "On August 12 when it rained heavily with streets caving in and trees falling, a woman from Jagraon called us up at around 10 pm, requesting us to take her to a hospital as she needed urgent medical treatment. When the ambulance arrived there and the staff called her up to give her address she simply said ‘I don’t need the ambulance, I just called you up like that’. The ambulance staff felt helpless and reported to the control room and came back without providing any services."

“Again, in another incident a few days ago, a man called us up to say an accident had occurred near a resort near Jagraon in which two men got badly injured. But, as it later turned out, nothing had happened. The caller's phone was switched off and after half an hour he again called us up to say ‘the injured person has been admitted to a privately run hospital’. But when the ambulance staff went there they found no injured patient had been admitted”, Malhotra added.

He said a few days ago a child called up to say his father had met with an accident near the bus station. “But when the ambulance went there the staff didn’t find any accident victim”, he added.

When asked whether the police was informed about hoax callers, Malhotra replied: "We haven’t filed any formal complaint as yet, but we’ll now discuss this problem at our head office and consider legal action against hoax callers."



PAU refuses to relieve staff, MC writes to Police Commissioner
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, September 21
The Municipal Corporation, the nodal agency for conducting the caste, socio-economic and religious census within the city limits and Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) here are engaged in a spat over providing enumerators for the census operations which were to commence from September 20.

Miffed over the refusal of the PAU authorities to relieve employees who were to perform duty as enumerators or supervisors, the MC acting commissioner MS Jaggi has written to the Commissioner of Police to proceed against the employees concerned and their superiors for interfering with the work of the Census under Section 11 of the Census Act.

The MC had assessed the need for 800-odd enumerators and around 135 supervisors for conducting the Census. Like all other government departments and educational institutions, the PAU authorities were asked to make available two dozen employees for field work and a time table for rehearsal and training was duly provided to them.

However, the PAU Registrar reportedly sent a written reply, refusing to relieve the employees for Census duty. It was stated that since the PAU Vice-Chancellor had gone on a foreign trip, the matter would be reviewed on his return.

“The Census duty, a national cause, cannot wait for anybody and under a legal framework, all government employees are duty-bound to perform the work assigned to them,” said Jaggi while confirming that he had written a letter to the police to take action against the PAU authorities under the law.

It was further learnt that the actual field work for enumeration under the Census was yet to commence as the data entry operators, engaged at the government level, were still awaited.

“We are ready with the field staff and other material and the collection of data will commence immediately after the available data is fed to the computers which has to be further supplemented under the caste Census,” said an MC official.



School buses don’t care for rules
Charanjit Singh Teja 

An overcrowded school bus at the Civil Lines in Ludhiana.
An overcrowded school bus at the Civil Lines in Ludhiana. A Tribune photograph

Ludhiana, September 21 
The safety of schoolchildren is under threat as school vans and buses are not following guidelines of the transport department. Most buses are run by private operators who do not care about norms even after fatal accidents have taken place in the city.

Despite the orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, a majority of these buses do not have speed governors and first-aid box. The buses are either overloaded or in such a battered condition that one is forced to think how the transport department has allowed them to ferry children. 

As per the instructions of the transport department, it is mandatory for a bus to have a conductor or helper on board. But these buses are operated by only a single man. Neither do the drivers wear uniforms, nor do the buses have the right colour as prescribed under the norms. 

The buses do not carry route boards, which they are supposed to display prominently in front. It is mandatory to display the phone number of the school on the  rear of the bus, but a majority of buses do not have these. Even the drivers do not have the numbers of school principals and any other authority concerned.

Bus drivers and private operators say that they cannot afford the “recommended” essentials in buses. “We are working on very less margin. We take Rs 400 to Rs 500 per month from a child. It is very hard to meet the requirements of the transport department,” said Resham, a school bus owner and driver.

Private bus operator Iqbal Sing Lakhewalia said: “Accidents do happen. No one causes them intentionally. We buy second-hand buses on instalments, and speed governors comes with new buses.”

Mona Singh, principal of Guru Nanak Public School, Sarabha Nagar, said: “These bus operators have no link with schools and they deal with the parents directly. A few months ago, I received a letter from the district transport office and I asked private bus operators to implement the instructions of the department. But the response was poor. Only parents can help their children and are responsible for their safety.” 



Crisis Looms
Textile workers to go on indefinite strike today
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune news service

Ludhiana, September 21
The textile workers’ union here has announced to go on an indefinite strike from tomorrow after talks with the Assistant Labour Commissioner and textile manufacturers “failed” today. 

The union maintained that workers of about 85 powerloom units would go on a strike from tomorrow. Thousands of workers are working on powerloom machines in the city and will go on indefinite strike against the alleged non-implementation of labour laws.

Rajwinder, convener of the union, said workers working in about 85 powerloom units at places, including Shakti Nagar, Gaushala, Kashmir Nagar, Madhopuri, Motinagar, Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar and Textile Colony had agreed to go on strike from tomorrow.

“While many others did not go to the units as the negotiations between the Assistant Labour Commissioner, textile manufacturers and powerloom workers failed today. Our wages have not been increased for long despite inflation. Other benefits, including provident fund, ESI cards and bonus, have not been given to us. The factory owners are just not bothered about our welfare. About a month ago, we had brought it to the notice of the Labour Commissioner and said the exploitation of workers must stop, still nothing has been done. We have no option but to go on indefinite strike,” he said.

Last year too, workers went on strike in August for about eight days.

They had raised similar demands and a few were accepted by their employers.

Radhey Kiran, a worker, said this was the peak season and there was full strength of workers in powerloom factories.

“We have been fighting for our rights and it is certainly not blackmailing. The employers mint money in this season due to the hardwork we put in,” he said. “But they are not ready to provide us our dues, which is unfortunate,” he added.

Sheer blackmail’

Two-three self-styled union leaders are operating in Shakti Nagar and Kashmir Nagar where there are about 50 units. They are blackmailing factory owners and misguiding powerloom workers. Talks are still on with workers, but the workers went on strike today. They are being misguided by union leaders who get regular monthly amount from workers. Workers know this is peak season. Last time also they went on a strike in August. It is unfortunate, but we are still trying to accommodate them.

Shakti Jaggi, president, Ludhiana textile association 



India is developing without human face: experts
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 21
India is developing without a human face, where there is a wide disparity in the distribution of wealth and income, said experts in a seminar organised by postgraduate department of economics, SCD Government College. The theme of the seminar was, “Human development index and parameters of development in India”.

Dr Ashwani Bhalla, programme coordinator of MCom, business innovations, expressed the views that lot needs to be done for the development of the nation to ensure equitable distribution of wealth. He said the type of development that is taking place, is helping only a small section of the nation, which is already rich and prosperous.

The plight of the common man is deteriorating day by day with the result; India has become the number one country in the world in terms of 237.7 million people living in starvation. 50 per cent of the Indian children are affected with malnutrition, which speaks about the kind of health services, quality care for child and pregnant women as well as hygienic facilities, he added.

He said planning commission estimates that a person with Rs 32 per day income in city segment and Rs 28 per day in rural segment is not a poor, is base less and its calculations are far from reality. A human being needs at least Rs 100 gm dal, 300 gm rice and 300 gm wheat along with at least 200 gm vegetables to fulfill his minimum calories requirement. These are the statistical calculations only, which do not have any relevance in the present hyper inflationary economy.



PAU gears up for kisan mela
Charanjit Singh Teja

Ludhiana, September 21
Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) has geared itself up for the two-day kisan mela beginning from tomorrow. According to Dr Mukhtar Singh Gill, director of extension education and chief organiser of the mela, the stalls by different departments of the university have been set up. Various firms are busy giving last minute touches to their stalls and exhibits to effectively display their products to attract visiting farmers.

Sucha Singh Langah, Minister of Agriculture, Punjab, will formally inaugurate the mela in the main “pandal” at 10.30 am. Scot Slessor, Counsel General of Canada, Chandigarh, will be the guest of honour while PAU Vice-Chancellor Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon will preside over the mela. Dr Gill said the latest research achievements and recommended technologies would be demonstrated and showcased for the benefit of farmers during the two-day kisan mela. The scientists would address the farm related- problems of the farmers in the technical session. The mela would focus on the theme “Conserve earth, water and air for posterity”. He added that PAU would honour five progressive farmers for excellence in agriculture.



78-yr-old NRI attacked over piece of land
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 21
Recently, when Anna Hazare went on hunger strike for about 15 days at Delhi, Surat Singh Khalsa, a 78-year-old man from Hasanpur village here had “pledged” that he too would observe hunger strike and end the fast with Anna Haraze.

Fighting against the prevailing system, little had Khalsa realised that he too would face tough times ahead at the hands of the “land mafia”, being protected by a local Akali leader. Khalsa has also alleged that the police, instead of listening to his woes, was siding with the other party.

Talking to The Tribune, Khalsa said he was an NRI who lived alone at the village near here. His children were settled in the USA. “Already FIRs had been registered against these persons and they were looking for an opportunity to grab another chunk of land belonging to me as they know that I am old, weak and all alone and cannot fight in such condition. But I will fight against them till the end of my life,” said Khalsa.

According to him, these persons, including a woman, hailed from the same village. In May 2003, an FIR was lodged against these accused as they had stolen fodder from Khalsa’s land.

“Thefts took place while I was away in California. Then in 2005, the accused stole my tractor and a tiller. But the FIR could not be lodged as a young Akali leader was protecting the family. These accused have already grabbed a chunk of land belonging to me and now they want to grab another piece. Day before yesterday when I started constructing the boundary wall on my plot for safety purpose, the accused hurled swearwords and pelted stones at me along with their workers. I was injured in the attack. Though an MLR was also conducted at the Civil Hospital, the police has not registered any case,” rued Khalsa.

He also alleged that the police was protecting the accused as an influential Akali leader has been shielding them. “It has been two days and no case has been registered by the police,” said Khalsa.

Meanwhile, Head Constable Jagdish Kumar, who is looking into the matter in absence of SHO Prem Singh, who is on leave, said it was a case of personal rivalry over land. “It is not that we are not registering the case. Every time we go to Khalsa’s place, it is locked. We even called Khalsa on phone and he said he would inform us once he was back from the Civil Hospital and we were still waiting for his call. It seems to be a rivalry over a piece of land. Details could be known only after getting the statement recorded by the complainant,” said the Head Constable.



Police arrests contractor
Mahesh Sharma

Latala (Ludhiana), September 21
Three days after the death of a local lineman in Ludhiana, the police has claimed to have arrested the contractor who was booked for his alleged negligence for not stopping the power transmission before the repair work.

Urging the higher authorities to pressurise the official concerned to expedite action in the case, office bearers and activists of various organisations have demanded compensation of Rs 30 lakh for the next of kin of the deceased and service for his widow.

A delegation, led by chairman, block samiti, Pakhowal, and Gurmakh Singh Latala, alleged that negligence of the Powercom contractor Gurnam Singh had resulted in the electrocution of Gurpal Singh, who had been working as a temporary lineman for three months.

The contractor did not get the power supply turned off by taking due permission from the authorities before asking Gurpal to undertake repairs near high-tension wires.

A family member of the deceased said some officials in the department were trying to shield the suspect whose gross negligence had spoiled the life of victim’s wife and two sons.

Residents have threatened to launch an agitation in case their demands were not met.

The police, however, maintained that no one found guilty of playing with human lives would be spared.

Assistant Commissioner of Police RS Sohal said he had directed the investing officer to ascertain the routine methodology being adopted by the Powercom officials during maintenance and repair work. Besides proceedings against the suspects in the case, the department would be advised to initiate action against the officials concerned in case the practice was found to be deviating from the laid down procedure, said the ACP.

“We are going to take the matter seriously as it is concerned with human lives,” said Sohal adding that initial investigations had revealed that the contractor had not taken standard precautions before asking the lineman to undertake repair work near high-tension wires.



Youth festival: Students at their creative best at Govt College for Women
Gurvinder Singh

Ludhiana, September 21
Creativity, art and festive spirit with youthfulness pervaded the campus atmosphere with the soulful singing of the folk songs, spiritual recitation of shabads and immersion of the sense of sight in art and aesthetics with fine arts and heritage craft.

The first day of the zonal youth and heritage festival at Government College for Women was a sensuous delight for the participants, students and audience.

The college hosted the festival after 14 years, welcoming participants of 10 more colleges in the zone. “It is a matter of pride as were are hosting the festival for the zone,” said Nikita on duty for guiding the guests.

Tejinder Kaur and Parampreet Kaur, students at Guru Nanak Girls College in Model Town, said they had been preparing “shabad gayan” for the festival since April. “It is not a youth festival, it is a youth war," they said in a chorus.

The energy was conspicuous and the mood was upbeat as the girls from different colleges mingled and met one another. “I was surprised to meet my old schoolmate who is now studying in a different college and has come to participate in an event,” said Sukhleen Kaur, a BA I student. "We are enjoying the festive atmosphere all around,” she said.



Livestock farming fair to also appeal children, youth: Vet varsity VC
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 21
Pashu Palan Mela of Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University would be a useful event for people of all walks of life. Dr VK Taneja, Vice-Chancellor, GADVASU, expressed these views on the eve of the mela, which is going to be held on September 22 and 23.

He said the theme slogan of this mela was “Utpaadan di gunvatta vadhao, pashu palan ton vadh labh pao” (earn more profit in livestock farming by adopting value addition practices).

He said it would be a centre of attraction for not only the livestock, fisheries and poultry farmers but for children, youth, senior citizens as well as women, as different items would be on display for different age groups and sections. Dr Taneja revealed that whereas cattle, buffalo, goat, rabbit, different species of fish etc would be the main attraction for children, country-side scenes of university would be special attraction for urban children.

He further stated that experts of the university would provide on-the-spot know how through discussion and practical demonstrations regarding upkeep, vaccination and other timely cares of small pets like dogs and cats.

The pet owners would also get information about the latest products available in the market. Besides, the university had done a commendable work on ornamental fishes.

He added that different species of coloured fish keep the mind fresh and help in relieving mental stress. “Moreover, fish is a pet of calm nature that does not produce any kind pollution,” he said. Housewives who had either independently taken up the livestock profession or were helping in it could also interact with the experts of the university to get the latest information about the livestock products and their usages.

It was also a privilege to taste and know about the different mouth-watering vegetarian and non-vegetarian delicacies like mithat dahi, sweetened and salted lassi, flavoured milk, ice creams, sweets, meat patties, different types of meat pickles and quality cheese prepared by College of Dairy Science & Technology and the Department of Livestock Products Technology.

The exhibition depicting latest interventions in the field of animal husbandry would also be very helpful for the unemployed youth of the state who were especially interested in setting up their own business in livestock sector with minimum finances.

Financial institutes like banks and insurance agencies and experts of the university would provide them the up-to-date knowledge.

The food processing machinery would also be on display in the mela to educate the masses about the latest interventions involved in the preparation of hygienic, fast and good quality food products. University publications containing information relating to livestock diseases, their remedial measures and information regarding training courses to set up new units in livestock would also be available.



Youth fest
Need to protect culture and heritage, says jails minister Gabria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 21
Youth and Heritage Festival Four-day Zonal Youth and Heritage Festival of Panjab University, Chandigarh commenced at Government College for Women here today. Eleven girls’ colleges are participating in the festival. Nearly 1000 girls will participate in various items including shabad, bhajan, lok geet, giddha, mime, drama, creative writing, classical dance, group dance, folk instrumental, folk orchestra, fine arts, mehandi, pakhi making, elocution, debate, quiz, spot photography and many other artistic items.

Hira Singh Gabria, jails minister, Punjab government inaugurated the festival. Speaking on the occasion, the minister said, in the present scenario, there is a need to protect the enrich culture and heritage of Punjab. He added that we are trying to ape the west which is not healthy for our society.

In the various events on day one of the festival, the following students from various colleges stood first. Amandeep Kaur from Guru Nanak Girls College stood first in clay modelling. Jaspreet Kaur from Guru Nanak Girls College bagged the first prize. In on the spot painting, Aditi from Ramgarhia Girls College stood first. In collage making, Neetu Singh from Government College for Women did well. Gurleen Kaur from Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Women won the first prize in cartoon making. In Rangoli, Sonali Bhaskar from Government College for Women won while Poster Making competition was won by Gurpreet Kaur from Government College for Women. Government College for Women won the group shabad and bhajan competition. 



College notes

Ludhiana: Simerpreet Kaur, a student of Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Women, Gujharkhan Campus, Model Town, stood second in Punjab University by securing 82.16 per cent in MCom second semester examinations.

Placement drive

Career-counseling cell (CCC) of Sri Aurobindo College of Commerce and Management organised a placement drive on campus yesterday. More than 40 students of BCom and BBA final year took part in the drive.

Koshish festival

Annual festival of PCTE 'Koshish' started here from Wednesday. The festival includes more than 50 events in culture, literary and fine arts. The literary and fine arts events started almost a week ago. The main stage events began from Wednesday and would go on till September 23. Foreign students from Tanzania, Bhutan, Mozambique, Nigeria, Lesotho, USA, Afghanistan, Uganda, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, and Angola, will also participate in folk events like giddha and bhangra, said PCTE director Dr KNS Kang. Among the literary events scheduled for the festival include business plan, British parliamentary debate, case presentation, JAM, quiz, software development and portfolio management. The fine arts events include rangoli, canvas painting, cartoon making and face painting. The cultural events include solo dance, western solo song, folk dance boys, folk dance girls, choreography, skit, and fashion show.

Investiture ceremony

The Sportking Institute of Fashion Technology organised investiture ceremony, to honour the new council members for the year 2011-12. Knitwear Club secretary, Charanjeev Singh, who is also the industrial coordinator of the institute, was the chief guest of the ceremony.



Swami Vivekananda Youth Award

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 21
With intent to recognise outstanding students in various fields, Swami Vivekanand Study Circle has urged management committees of the colleges situated in the region, to encourage students to participate in Swami Vivekananda Youth Award 2012 contest.

Last date for receipt of applications at head office in Ludhiana is September 30. — OC



Pulse polio campaign from Sept 25
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 21
The health department will hold a pulse polio campaign from September 25 to September 27, under which children between 0 and 5 years will be given polio drops.
Daleep Kumar, civil surgeon, Ludhiana, said: "For this, 1,565 teams have been constituted and 6,90,805 houses will be covered and it is aimed to give polio drops to 3,70,109 children.

For supervising the campaign, 280 supervising teams have also been constituted.

He said the teams would visit door-to-door during the drive.



Admn naps as building cracks
Police station has not been repaired for past 25 years
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 21
The building housing the local police station has become unsafe for policemen as well as inmates as walls have developed cracks and the roof is on the verge of collapsing as mud and bricks are protruding out of it. The SHO’s quarter, “munshi” hall, kitchen, mess room, barracks and “maalkhana” are in dilapidated condition. Iron girders supporting the roof have started rusting and wooden planks have cracking from several places.

Occasional peeling of the plaster from the roof and the walls is reported to have embarrassed officials in presence of people, including councillors and social activists.

Family members of a few cops have refused to stay in quarters with them due to callous attitude of higher authorities. Roofs of almost all rooms have been constantly leaking since the onset of the monsoon. But the authorities, it seems, are waiting for major tragedy to happen to shake them from slumber. Notwithstanding a series published in The Tribune, the authorities instead of initiating the process for repairing and renovating the building have stopped holding meetings in the building.

The Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) recently held a meeting in a private school to avoid embarrassment in the presence of locals.

Sources said the building had not been repaired for the past 25 years. In the absence of any grants from the government, police officers kept on shifting their offices from one room to another. Now, they are left with no choice other than converting waiting halls into makeshift offices.

Though senior officers up to the rank of the inspector general have been visiting this police station, but none bothered to recommend restoration of the building for the safety of police personnel posted here.

A few organisations had urged Mandi Ahmedgarh DSP, Narinder Singh Ruby, to take up the matter with high authorities. Reiterating his earlier stand, Ruby said the higher authorities had been appraised of the situation and necessary steps in this regard would soon be taken. 



Lakkar Bridge flyover by year-end
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, September 21
The work on the motorable flyover in place of Lakkar Bridge is expected to be completed by year-end and city residents will receive a New Year gift in the shape of another link between the Old City and the Civil Lines localities.

At a high-level meeting convened by officiating city Mayor Parveen Bansal with officials of the municipal corporation and the engineering wing of the Northern Railway in his office here today, executive engineer (construction) of the Railways William Jeet Singh said the final drawing of the portion of the flyover to be constructed over the railway tracks had been finally approved.

He said the work for laying six piers to support the flyover - two on the Old City side, two on Civil Line side and two in between the railway tracks - had already been awarded and site handed over to the construction agency after the structure of Lakkar Pul was dismantled. With the approval of the drawing, the construction of piers will commence in a few days. "The targeted time for construction of piers, laying pier caps and the pre-fabricated super structure to make the flyover operational is 50 days and barring unforeseen circumstances, the work will be completed on schedule,” said William Jeet Singh.

The Rs 50-crore project has been jinxed right from its inception in 1996 when the then executing agency, the public works department (PWD), had abandoned the project after executing the preliminary work due to non-clearance by Railways and financial constraints. Then there were technical hurdles like changes in final alignment of up and down ramps, acquisition of railway land for the up ramp from the Clock Tower side while paucity of funds had always been a big stumbling block.

Parveen Bansal, who is officiating as the Mayor in place of Hakam Singh Giaspura, who has gone on a foreign trip, made it clear to both the MC and the railway officials that dead lines had to be kept and the flyover must be completed within the scheduled period. "Once another link becomes available between old city and Civil Line, a lot of pressure would be eased on the Jagraon Bridge and Domoria Pul, which remain choked with traffic all through the day." 



Youths being targeted in name of foreign banks
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 21
Opening savings account in a foreign bank is no more a distant dream for anyone who wants to be duped by swindlers claiming to be organisers of SMS Sweepstakes, showering awards worth billions on gullible youths.

However, the unfortunate part is that you will be proud holder of the foreign bank account in the data of fraudsters only who will swindle the deposited amount soon after the dump.

As a part of their awareness drive, the police has cautioned the residents against depositing huge amounts in accounts opened in response to emails announcing fortunes and awards.

Investigations revealed that gangs of swindlers were out to allure gullible Punjabi youths to open accounts in foreign banks and deposit huge amounts on pretext of processing and freight charges for receiving fortunes running in millions of British Ponds and Dollars.

“A certified bank cheque will be sent to you, which you is required to log into your account in any of the local banks in your country for easy payment. Before this could be possible, you are requested to contact the paying bank gold assets financial by clicking here or copying and pasting the link on your internet browser,” is the communication received by those among thousands who happen to respond to emails announcing winner of one Million British Pound lottery by the World International Olympic Committee- SMS Sweepstakes London. The message is enough to prompt the youth to proceed further.

The link (http://174. 141.226.138/gaf/RegisterUser.aspx) when clicked opens a dialogue box seeking basic information about the prizewinner. Unlike majority of local bank, which may need some time in scrutinising and verifying KYC norms, the foreign bank declares opening of the account instantly.

“This is to acknowledge the receipt of your account opening credentials. Your certified bank cheque will be issued on your name within the next 72 hours,” a message from Alfred Jennifer Atkinson, claiming to be remittance officer is enough to enthuse the recipient to deposit a sum of £550 British pounds or its equivalent of equivalent of $860 USD.

“You are required to provide this office with the sum of £550 British Pounds or it's equivalent of $860 USD being the cost of the cheque freight from the UK to your home address. If you have any further question, kindly contact our Southern Africa representative Mrs Jose Braun,” the prizewinner is advised by Atkinson.

In case of delay, organisers continue reminding the ‘winner’ to proceed further to enable him or her claim the fortune, certified cheque for which had already been prepared according to them.

Showing concern over gullibility of youths, Rajesh Sharma, SHO has cautioned the residents against entertaining alluring emails and SMSes received from unknown sources. 



MC to renovate Fountain Chowk, Cheema Chowk
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 21
The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation has decided to renovate two main intersections (chowks) in the city. These include Fountain Chowk in the Civil Lines area and Cheema Chowk in the Industrial Area of the city.
MC officiating commissioner Malwinder Singh Jaggi said the officials concerned have already been briefed about the beautification work, which would be completed within two weeks.

“They (officials) have been told that the work should be completed in two weeks time and the area should be given a complete makeover. We will make sure that all fountains of Fountain Chowk are in the working order. The chowk will have new lights and ornamental plants so as to give it a green and pleasant look," said Jaggi.

Dr Vivek Saggar, who owns a dental clinic near Fountain Chowk, has hailed the MC’s decision. "It’s good that the MC is thinking of beautifying the Fountain Chowk. Being in the heart of the city, this place should be developed as a picnic spot where residents could come and spent time with their families," he said.

A meeting in this regard was held today and the concerned officials have been directed to start the work soon.

When asked about the expenditure on the beautification of intersections, Jaggi said, "We are working with an open mind and funds will not be a problem. The funding will be decided as per the requirement." 



BSE starts countrywide seminars for SMEs
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 21
The Bombay Stock Exchange Ltd has initiated a series of seminars across the country towards educating shareholders, market intermediaries and investors on the importance of listing of small and medium enterprises on BSE SME Exchange.

The initiative is aimed at creating awareness on raising equity capital by SMEs, thus promoting financial inclusion. It will also facilitate development and enhancing the competitiveness of micro, small and medium enterprises.

Speaking about the initiative at a seminar here today, Lakshman Gugulothu, CEO of the BSE SME Exchange said the BSE SME platform would aim to provide a great opportunity to the entrepreneurs to raise the equity capital for the growth and expansion of SMEs. It will also provide immense opportunity to the investors to identify and invest in good companies at early stage while at the same time helping unleash the valuation of the company, and in the process, creating wealth for all the stakeholders including investors, providing considerable capital gain tax benefits and facility to exit at any point of time.

He said the first phase of the programme covered Kolkata, New Delhi, Ahmedabad, Bhubaneshwar, Goa, Rajkot and Pune. “It is part of the BSE’s endeavour to ensure continuous awareness that conforms to the needs of diverse market participants and investors.”

Each workshop conducted till now for SMEs had an industry expert present to create awareness among the targeted companies, market intermediaries and investors about the BSE SME Exchange.

Expected to be operational in a couple of days, the SME exchange will aim to provide SMEs with equity financing opportunities to grow their business - from expansion to acquisition which in turn would lower the debt burden, lower financing cost and a healthier balance sheet. The listed companies would be able to expand the investors’ base with opportunity to get secondary equity financing, including private placement. 



Drug stores raided
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 21
The district drug inspector today raided six chemist shops in the city and found three pharmacists absent from shops.
Sanjeev Garg, district drug inspector said: “We found pharmacists absent from three chemist shops, including Mohan Medical Shop, Abdullapur Basti, Anmol Medical Hall and Sant Drug Store in Model Town.

While medicines without purchase record were seized from three chemists shops, including Baba Deep Singh Drug Mart, Model Town, Deep Drug Store, Model Town, and Manjeet Medical Store, Abdullapur, Basti Jodhewal. Medicines worth Rs 15,000 were seized.



Traffic routes changed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 21
Sajjan Kumar Cheema, Additional Deputy Commissioner, Traffic Police, Ludhiana, while issuing a press release, said some traffic routes would be changed from tomorrow due to ongoing construction work at Dugri Canal bridge and over bridge.

He said, “From tomorrow slabs will be kept on the over bridge under construction along the side of Dugri Canal bridge. So the traffic has been diverted. The traffic which comes from Atam Park or bus stand side has been diverted via Jawaddi Canal bridge or Pakhowal Nagaur bridge side. The traffic from Model Town, Gill Road, and bus stand side towards Dugri should also move via Jawaddi Canal bridge. This way will remain closed for 20 to 25 days. Therefore, public in general is appealed to follow the diverted routes and cooperate with the Traffic Police.”



At the crossroads
Popularity of Urdu ghazal

Urdu will be kept aloft in India on the basis of Urdu ghazal. In Devnagari and Gurmukhi scripts, Urdu ghazal has found new readers. The jolt of course is to the Urdu script (Urdu script is a bit different from the Persian and Arabic scripts). In the recent past renewed efforts have been made to popularise Urdu script, which is a welcome sign.

Urdu ghazal has been influenced by Persian ghazal, which had earlier been under the influence of Arabic ghazal. During the eighteenth century, Urdu ghazal gained popularity as the stalwarts of the period had been Mir Taqi Mir, Mir Dard and Mirza Sauda. It so happened that Mirza Ghalib was 13-year-old when Mir Taqi Mir died in 1810. Thereafter Ghalib, Momin Zauq, Zafar, Hali and Dagh made Urdu ghazal glorious in the middle and the closing years of the nineteenth century.

Incidentally, both Ghalib and Dagh came together in the Red Fort, before the uprising of 1857, when the last Mughal emperor, Bahadur Shah Zafar, was still on the throne. It was left to Mirza Dagh to popularise the word Urdu as is evident in his oft-quoted couplet-

“Urdu hai jis ka naam hameen jaante hain Dagh; sare jahan mein dhoom hamari zaban ke hai.”

Earlier the word “Rekhta” had been in use instead of Urdu, which had been a spoken language among the people of different nationalities coming across one another in the war camps in Delhi and Agra. So Mirza Ghalib says: “Rekhta ke tumhee Ustad nahin ho Ghalib; kehte hain ugle zamane mein koi Mir bhi thha.”

The point at issue is that Urdu ghazal is popular as ever, even when the teaching of Urdu has subsided in Punjab and some other states of the country. It is the word of mouth that has kept ghazal alive in the hearts of the listeners. I remember I used to quote Urdu couplets profusely while teaching English to undergraduates during 1960s. In Government College, Tanda Urmar, some classes were held in sheds due to paucity of space in the main building. Once a sudden shower of rain created some sort of melody on the tin roof of the shed. I closed the textbook and quoted the couplet: “Gungunate huee aati hain flakk se boonden; koi badli teri pazeb se takraee hai.”

The students started jotting down the couplet in their copybooks. Not only at this time, but on many other occasions they did like that with smiles playing on their lips. Once during the winter season I was taking my class on a grassy plot surrounded by flowerbeds. A butterfly suddenly appeared on the scene and was observed, hovering over flowers one after the other, by the students. At that time I quoted Hali Panipati: “Abb thhairti hai dekhiye jaakar nazar kahaan; hai justju ke khubh se hai khubhtar kahaan.”

Urdu ghazal’s popularity is based on its treatment of love in multifarious ways. The lover is generally at the receiving end. The beloved is coquettish and enjoys her sadistic treatment meted out to the lover. Sometimes it is a light-hearted banter while at the other it is simply ironic. Most of the accusations are make-believe, intended to have good time at the cost of the lover’s bewilderment. The lover, on his part, tries to bolster up the beloved’s ego by praising her beauty indulgently: “Rukhe raushan ke aage shama rakhkar woh kehte hain; udhar jaata hai dekhen ya idhar parwana aata hai.”

Punjabi ghazal is in step with the Urdu ghazal as every Punjabi poet has resorted to this genre at one time or the other of his life. The credit goes to Maula Bakhsh Kushta for publishing first ever Punjabi Diwan (a collection of ghazals) way back in 1903. Now at this age of my life, if ever I happen to take my class under a tree, whose shaky branches had earlier been drenched in rain, I would quote the couplet: “Ruk ruk ke aas aksar, rondi rahi ae aedaan; bhijhi hoi lagar jyon, panchhi hila gye nein.”

Contributed by: NS Tasneem



200 checked at medical camp
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, September 21
Malnutrition and absence of essential micronutrients in regular diet of members of middle class families and lack of awareness about hygiene are major factors behind increasing incidences of deficiency diseases.

The observation was made by a group of physicians after examining about 200 persons at a medical camp organised at the local branch of the State Bank of India here today.

Anuradha Naraynana, assistant general manager of the bank, inaugurated the camp supervised by Vivek Sehgal, manager.

A group of physicians, led by Dr KL Kapoor, former SMO, observed that a majority of patients had contracted diseases due to lack of resistance owing to deficiency of essential micronutrients in their diet.

The patients also ignored the importance of vital components of balanced diet required for developing immunity.

“Regrettably, people have started preferring luxuries to diet. A little concern about diet can avoid illness and poor health,” said Kapoor.Medicines were also distributed free of cost at the camp. Diagnostic tests, including bone-density test, ultrasound imaging etc were also carried out.



Man gets 10-yr RI for raping minor
Rajneesh Lakhanpal

Ludhiana, September 21
The Court of Additional Sessions Judge Mohammad Gulzar has convicted Piara Singh of Sidhwan Bet, Ludhiana, on the charges of raping a seven-year-old girl.
The court sentenced the accused to 10-year rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs 4,000. 

Delivering the verdict, the court held that the charges against the accused were proved beyond any reasonable shadow of doubt. The plea of leniency raised by the accused was also declined.

A case under Sections 363-A and 376 was registered against the accused at the Sidhwan Bet police station on October 24, 2007, following the complaint of Binder Singh of Leelan Megh Singh village, Sidhwan Bet, Ludhiana. The complainant had stated to the police that on October 24, 2007, at about 7 pm, he and his brother Surjit Singh were in the house. One of his daughters came from the street and told that the accused had taken away Sarita (name changed) to his house.

The house of accused was abutting the house of the complainant. When Binder Singh and his brother reached the house of accused, they saw him raping the girl. They rescued her and the accused fled from the scene. The police arrested him the same night.



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