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Feverish activity at Civil Hospital as Harsimrat vents her spleen
Bathinda, October 21
Bathinda MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal speaks to the doctors during her surprise visit to the Civil Hospital on Friday. "It's shocking and shameful". These were the words of the Bathinda MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal after checking the functioning of the local Civil Hospital during a surprise visit paid today.

Bathinda MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal speaks to the doctors during her surprise visit to the Civil Hospital on Friday. Tribune photo: Pawan Sharma

10 arrested for pilfering fuel from oil depots
Bathinda, October 21
Ten people have been arrested for pilfering oil from the depots of various oil companies at Jassi Pau Wali village, the petroleum hub of the region.

Rapid growth of welfare societies in poll season
Bathinda, October 21
As the assembly elections draw near, the welfare societies are making a beeline to register at the office of the General Manager, District Industries Centre, Bathinda.


EARLIER STORIES



Struck by cancer, martyrís widow languishes in the shadows
Bathinda, October 21
IG, Bathinda zone, Nirmal Singh Dhillon presents a memento to the kin of a martyr at the Commemoration Day function held on Friday. On Commemoration Day today, the Bathinda police organized a function to commemorate the significant contribution of its martyrs to society, but overlooked the plight of a cancer-stricken widow of one of their martyrs.



IG, Bathinda zone, Nirmal Singh Dhillon presents a memento to the kin of a martyr at the Commemoration Day function held on Friday. Tribune photo: Pawan Sharma


Policemen reverse their arms to pay respects to the martyrs to mark the Commemoration Day function at the Police Lines in the city on Friday.
Policemen reverse their arms to pay respects to the martyrs to mark the Commemoration Day function at the Police Lines in the city on Friday. Tribune photo: Pawan Sharma 

Two killed in gang war
Bathinda, October 21
Two youngsters were brutally murdered in the wee hours today in a gang war marked by gunshots and wielding of sharp-edged weapons in the Bhagta area. The deceased have been identified as 24-year-old Deepak Chawla from Bhagta and Kamal Kumar alias Waheguru from Faridkot. SHO Kulwant Singh said the deceased were involved in a number of criminal cases.

Air pollution in city above prescribed limits
Bathinda October 21
The level of air pollutants such as respirable suspended particulate matter (RSPM) have been recorded beyond the prescribed standards in the city, which is the root cause of the respiratory problems.

International chef day
Suraj Mehta crowned Master Chef
Students line up at the Institute of Hotel Management Catering Technology and Applied Nutrition that celebrated International Chef Day in Bathinda on Friday. Bathinda, October 21
The International Chef Day was celebrated at the Institute of Hotel Management Catering Technology and Applied Nutrition today. Seventy-five students of the first-year degree course in hospitality and hotel administration participated in an event organised on the occasion.

Students line up at the Institute of Hotel Management Catering Technology and Applied Nutrition that celebrated International Chef Day in Bathinda on Friday. Tribune photo: Pawan Sharma

NRHM employees gherao Harsimratís motorcade
Bathinda, October 21
Employees working under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) today gheraoed the motorcade of Bathinda MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal on the premises of the Civil Hospital here while she was returning after paying a surprise visit there.

GZSCET architecture students shine at intíl contest
Bathinda, October 21
The students from the department of architecture, Giani Zail Singh College of Engineering and Technology (GZSCET), bagged the second and the third prizes in the International Architectural Design Competition concluded recently during the Young Architects Festival- YAF 2011 held at Chandigarh.

Govt school lecturers to hold protest in Lambi
Bathinda, October 21
The Government School Lecturers' Union has decided to hold a token flag march in Lambi, the constituency of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, on October 23.

Draughtsmen continue their pen-down strike
Bathinda, October 21
The pen-down strike by members of the Punjab Draughtsmen Association, Bathinda unit, entered its third day here today in support of their demands, including pay-scale of Rs 10,300 - Rs 34,800 plus grade pay of Rs 3800 for junior draughtsman; Rs 10,300 - Rs 34,800 plus grade pay of Rs 5,000 for draughtsman; Rs 15,600 - Rs 39,100 plus grade pay of Rs 5400 for head draughtsman; and pay-scale of Rs 15,600 - Rs 39,100 plus grade pay of Rs 5,800 for circle draughtsman.

 

 







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Feverish activity at Civil Hospital as Harsimrat vents her spleen
Bathinda MP expresses shock & anger at the way dengue patients being treated, finds SMO missing
Sushil Goyal
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, October 21
"It's shocking and shameful". These were the words of the Bathinda MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal after checking the functioning of the local Civil Hospital during a surprise visit paid today.

The MP who the ailing patients, especially the suspected or confirmed cases of dengue, was appalled at the way things were in the Civil Hospital.

The MP caught the doctors and health authorities unawares as no one was expecting her visit.

On her arrival, though the Civil Surgeon Dr Iqbal Singh and District Health Officer Dr Raghubir Singh Randhawa reached the emergency ward immediately, where she had come to meet the patients, but Harsimrat could not find the senior medical officer (SMO) Dr Satish Goyal. She asked the Civil Surgeon to seek explanation from the SMO about his absence.

However, the SMO reached there after some time. Later, the Civil Surgeon issued a letter to the SMO to explain his position.

Harsimrat, while meeting the dengue patients in the emergency wing of the hospital, expressed her anger at the doctors for not treating the suspected dengue patients properly. She even told them that she was shocked over their attitude towards the patients. The MP also reminded them that they get salaries from the taxes paid by the people to the state exchequer.

She expressed her concern saying why even at 10 am the blood samples of the patients had not been collected. Asking the doctors to get the platelet count in all cases of fever, including the suspected or confirmed cases of dengue, the MP expressed her anxiety asking why the doctors did not administer the platelet rich plasma (PRP) to patients with only 10,000 platelet count. Were they waiting for the health of the patients to deteriorate, she asked?

She also visited the Blood Bank at the Civil Hospital and asked the Blood Transfusion Officer Dr Inderdeep Singh Sra about the number of units of the PRPs issued to the patients admitted to the Civil Hospital.

However, Dr Sra said there was less demand for PRP units from the Civil Hospital as compared to the private doctors. She instructed the Civil Surgeon to make all arrangements for the treatment of dengue patients in a proper manner.

It may be mentioned that Bathinda district ranks second in the total count of dengue cases in Punjab. The district has recorded 373 cases. Ludhiana tops the list of dengue cases while Muktsar ranks third.

When a girl patient complained to Harsimrat that she was not being treated properly, Harsimrat asked the doctor present there about it. The file of the girl was brought

On the file, she was shown as absconding by the doctor on night duty. However, the girl pleaded that she was present in the hospital at night.

The MP asked the Civil Surgeon to take action against the doctor concerned as to why he had shown the girl as absconding.

Harsimrat also said that she had seen several shortcomings in the hospital and she would discuss the issue with Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and the Bathinda Deputy Commissioner KK Yadav. 

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10 arrested for pilfering fuel from oil depots
Caught red-handed with 270 litres of adulterated diesel
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, October 21
Ten people have been arrested for pilfering oil from the depots of various oil companies at Jassi Pau Wali village, the petroleum hub of the region.
SHO, Bir Talab area, Gurjit Singh Romana said that acting on the basis of secret information, the police caught these ten people red-handed with 270 litres of adulterated diesel, which they had brought from the Jassi Pau Wali village.

"We had information that these people have been pilfering oil in large quantities, adulterating it and selling it off illegally," he said. Those arrested have been identified as Lal Mohammad, Kochi, Jagjit Singh alias Jaggu, Kaka, Jassa and Happy from the Phoos Mandi area as well as Rinku from Tungwali, Gurdeep Singh from Bathinda, Satnam Singh, Banta Singh from Mehta and Gursewak Singh from Phoos Mandi.

Earlier, the Bathinda Tribune had carried a detailed report on the way fuel is stolen in large quantities from the Phoos Mandi area. Oil pilfered from the trucks is supposed to be transported to fuel stations in Punjab and some areas of Rajasthan.

After arresting the ten accused, police have also sealed all the dozen nohras (closed parking place for trucks with high walls) adjoining the three oil depots of the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) and the Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) where oil is allegedly pilfered from tankers. 

SHO Romana said that the role of others involved in this large-scale theft, including the transporters and oil company officials is also being probed. Almost every truck pilfers oil before delivering it to the petrol pump. From each truck, 10 to 100 litres of oil is stolen everyday and sold to the local customers at a cheaper rate.

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Rapid growth of welfare societies in poll season
Distribution of funds major factor for it
Neha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, October 21
As the assembly elections draw near, the welfare societies are making a beeline to register at the office of the General Manager, District Industries Centre, Bathinda. In the last four months, from June to September, the total number of registered welfare societies has been recorded at 84, whereas the count last year for the corresponding period was 69. By October 20, 12 more societies were reported to have been registered. 

In the financial year 2010-11, a total of 222 societies had been registered in the district. But in only six months this year, from April to September, the number of such welfare societies has risen to 132. To form a welfare society, the pre-requisites are a mere Rs 500 and a minimum of seven persons. 

The procedure to get the registration for the association is very easy. Only a forwarding letter in the name of the additional registrar of societies, a resolution and a declaration letter from the president of society is all that is needed to for registration. 

Thereafter, a society gets registered and starts working. Once the society is registered, the GM's office has no authority to monitor their working as no firm procedure has been evolved for their monitoring. 

"The only checking that the GM's office does is to check the memorandum of the association, where the society specifies its aims and objectives, which are always for the good of society. We are not concerned whether they work for the welfare of the people or not," said an employee of the GM's office. 

The General Manager, District Industries Centre, Chaman Lal Bansal said, "Undoubtedly, the trend increases during the election days as politicians tend to distribute funds under various welfare or development schemes. There are a number of societies registered in the region. However, a few names are known to the common man. 

ďAlso, there is no regular check on their expenditure. But occasionally, some forums are set up by the government to monitor these private societies."

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Struck by cancer, martyrís widow languishes in the shadows
SSP cites legal constraints but promises to help
Megha Mann
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, October 21
On Commemoration Day today, the Bathinda police organized a function to commemorate the significant contribution of its martyrs to society, but overlooked the plight of a cancer-stricken widow of one of their martyrs.

Paramjit Kaur from village Jeond lost her husband Jaspal Singh, a home guard jawan on April 12, 1992. Her deaf and mute daughter was born seven months after the death of her father. The girl Prabhjot Kaur is studying in class IX now. 

Struck by cancer, Paramjit lost her father-in-law Baldev Singh, also to cancer four years ago, while her mother-in-law is bed-ridden. The family has no means of livelihood. Her brother-in-law Kamaljit Singh said the family has already sold off its tractor and two buffaloes to meet the expenses of treatment for the cancer. 

"For the last three years, she has been coming to the commemoration day, seeking monetary help for her daughter's future. All her pleas have fallen on deaf ears. What is the use of remembering the martyrs when you treat their wives and children like this," said her brother-in-law Kamaljit Singh.

Senior Superintendent of Police Dr Sukhchain Singh Gill said that as per the legal provisions, nothing could be done for the widows of the home guards. "Still, we are looking into the possibility of some NGO funding her. I have called her to my office on Monday and will surely help her out," he claimed.

Meanwhile, IG, Bathinda zone, Nirmal Singh Dhillon was the chief guest at the function. He said that the police Commemoration Day is observed in the memory of bravehearts who laid down their lives on October 21, 1959, while fighting against the Chinese army at Hot Spring, Ladakh.

He added that from 1984 till 1993, three sub-inspectors, six assistant sub-inspectors, six head constables, 24 constables, seven special police officers (SPO) and 12 home guard jawans have lost their lives fighting against terrorism in the state.

The IG presented mementoes to the family members of the martyrs. A police contingent paid homage by reversing arms and observed a two-minute silence. 

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Two killed in gang war

Bathinda, October 21
Two youngsters were brutally murdered in the wee hours today in a gang war marked by gunshots and wielding of sharp-edged weapons in the Bhagta area. The deceased have been identified as 24-year-old Deepak Chawla from Bhagta and Kamal Kumar alias Waheguru from Faridkot. SHO Kulwant Singh said the deceased were involved in a number of criminal cases.

Last year, Deepak Chawla was kidnapped from near Bajakhana and released at Bhagta by the same gang that killed him today. The accused have been identified as Deepa and his brother Pawan Kumar, both from the Bhagta area.

Police officials said that both the factions were at loggerheads since long. Due to this, a member of Deepa's gang was undergoing trial and was lodged in the Bathinda jail. Both the parties reached a compromise. Deepak's gang members had promised Rs 1.70 lakh for perjury in court, police said. 

Deepa had called Deepak to take Rs 1.70 lakh to a house on Aklia Road in Bhagta. They had drinks and then suddenly, one of the accused fired a shot at Deepak. "Deepak was killed using sharp-edged weapons," the SHO said. A case has been registered against Deepa and his son Pawan Kumar. --- TNS

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Air pollution in city above prescribed limits
Neha Sharma
Tribune News Service

A thick cloud of smoke created due to the burning of stubble in the fields at a village in Bathinda.
A thick cloud of smoke created due to the burning of stubble in the fields at a village in Bathinda. A Tribune Photo

Bathinda October 21
The level of air pollutants such as respirable suspended particulate matter (RSPM) have been recorded beyond the prescribed standards in the city, which is the root cause of the respiratory problems.

The general trend of the average amount of Particulate Matter (the suspended particular matters in the air which are inhaled by human beings), has been recorded at 92 micron gram per cubic metre as minimum and the maximum concentration is 126 micron gram per cubic metre. On the other hand, the concentration, according to the National Ambient Air Quality Standards of the Central Pollution Control Board, should not exceed 60 micron gram per cubic metre on annual average basis and in 24 hours, its prescribed limit is 100 micron gram per cubic metre.

The ambient air quality monitoring is done by the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB), Bathinda, thrice a week, on alternate days. It is measured with the help of High Volume Sampler (HVS), which record samples of the three major pollutants, namely RSPM, Nitrogen Dioxide (NOX) and Sulphur Dioxide (SO2).

In the city, the HVS is installed in the Verka Milk Plant, where the monitoring is done on the device for 24 hours and six samples of SO2 and NOX each and three samples of RSPM are collected. The samples are sent to the Central Laboratory at Patiala for testing.

"More than 60 micron gram per cubic metre of particulate matter is hazardous for humans. The cloud of dust a bus leaves behind contains over 1000 micron gram per cubic metre of particulate matter and if a person continuously remains in such condition, respiratory problems will get multiplied on a fast rate," said PPCB XEN Najjer Singh Manshahia.

The extent to which a person is harmed by the air pollution and catches the respiratory problems is dependent on total duration of the exposure and the concentration of pollutants.

The level of SO2 and NOX are recorded within the prescribed limits of the Central Pollution Control Board. However, the exceeded value of RSPM is enough to create incurable diseases in the residents.

Dr BK Bansal, an ENT surgeon, said, "The respiratory diseases start with nasal problems like naso-bronchial allergy, nasal obstruction, nasal polyps and sneezing. These are common problems. On a daily basis, 20-30 per cent patients complain of respiratory problems. It is mainly due to the pollution caused by the thermal power plant and other industries such as the National Fertilizers Ltd and the Bathinda Chemicals."

"Even medicines cannot cure such diseases. However, the respiratory problem subsides if the patient changes location, say if he shifts to some other city," he added.

Today, from 6 PM to 12 midnight, the PPCB will measure the noise level in various locations of the city. To check the noise level in the silence zone, the Civil Hospital has been selected. For Commercial Area, Gol Diggi, and Model Town has been selected to record noise level in a residential area.

 

Effects of air pollution

Young and elderly people often suffer more from the effects of air pollution

Patients of asthma, heart and lung diseases are prone to other major problems due to air pollution.

Air pollution can have both short-term and long-term effects. Short-terms effects include irritation in eyes, nose and throat and upper respiratory infections such as bronchitis and penumonia. Other symptoms include headache, nausea and allergic reactions.

Long-term health effects include chronic respiratory disease, lung cancer, heart disease, and even damage to brain, nerves, liver or kidneys. Continual exposure to air pollution affects the lungs of growing children and may aggravate or complicate medical conditions of the elderly.

The main areas listed by the society with the problem are Hall Gate, road in front of Khalsa College, Putlighar, Pink Plaza, Chehartta, Majitha Road, Gopal Nagar, front of the railway station, Lawrence Road, Ranjit Avenue, Katra Moti Ram and Green Avenue

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International chef day
Suraj Mehta crowned Master Chef
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, October 21
The International Chef Day was celebrated at the Institute of Hotel Management Catering Technology and Applied Nutrition today.
Seventy-five students of the first-year degree course in hospitality and hotel administration participated in an event organised on the occasion.

Suraj Mehta of the first year course was crowned the master chef. He prepared bread and butter pudding.

Judges at the event were general manager of the Hotel Country Inn, JS Rajawat, and executive chef PS Sahani.

Principal Kamal Piyush said such competitions help students understand the practical aspects of their education better.

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NRHM employees gherao Harsimratís motorcade
Sushil Goyal
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, October 21
Employees working under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) today gheraoed the motorcade of Bathinda MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal on the premises of the Civil Hospital here while she was returning after paying a surprise visit there.

The protesters led by Narinder Kumar, the zonal president of the NRHM Employees Association, blocked the way of the motorcade near the main gate of the hospital till Harsimrat heard their grievances and demands. Slogans like 'Punjab Sarkar Murdabad, Nanhi Chhaan Murdabad', rented the air. Even as the police tried to push the protesters away, they remained adamant and continued sloganeering.

The MP remained inside her vehicle for some time. Later, she alighted and heard the protesters. However, she expressed her anger over the slogans raised by them. She said in such conditions, neither the Chief Minister nor the Deputy Chief Minister or she would hear them.

She assured them that as they were employees of the NRHM, a Central government scheme, she would present their case in the Parliament. She told them that the state government could not regularise their services. She asked the protesters to meet the Deputy Commissioner and submit a letter seeking time from the CM for holding talks about their demand.

The protesters also submitted a memorandum enlisting their demands to Harsimrat to forward the same to the state government.

The NRHM employees have been observing strike in support of their demand for the past 19 days.

They also staged a dharna in front of the Blood Bank at the hospital today.

Narinder Kumar said if the state government did not accept their demand, they would ghrerao the SAD-BJP ministers.

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GZSCET architecture students shine at intíl contest
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, October 21
The students from the department of architecture, Giani Zail Singh College of Engineering and Technology (GZSCET), bagged the second and the third prizes in the International Architectural Design Competition concluded recently during the Young Architects Festival- YAF 2011 held at Chandigarh.

Pakistan won the top prize. The Indian Institute of Architects, Chandigarh- Punjab Chapter, had organised the fest.

Students who brought laurels to the college included Himanshu Gupta, Nikita Arora, Pranita Shandilya, Anand Jha and Udit Sharma. Students of the department also won four of the five prizes in a quiz competition.

Faculty guides of the team were Ranjeet Kaur and Ripu Daman Singh while faculty coordinators of the YAF event were Dr Prabhjot Kaur and Prof Bhupinder Pal Singh.

Principal Dr Jasbir S Hundal congratulated the students and encouraged them to participate in such competitions in future also.

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Govt school lecturers to hold protest in Lambi
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, October 21
The Government School Lecturers' Union has decided to hold a token flag march in Lambi, the constituency of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, on October 23.

Addressing mediapersons at the Teachers' Home here today, the president of the union, Hakam Singh, said they would go around the area to make known to the residents the reason of their protest. He added that later on October 30, they would get together at Gurdwara Amb Sahib in Mohali and hold a protest rally.

General secretary of the union Sukhdev Singh Rana said the principal secretary to the CM, Darbara Singh Guru, had not been allowing fulfillment of their demands, which the government had agreed to.

Their demands include Rs 6,600 as grade pay for lecturers, promotion of lecturers to fill 90 per cent of the posts of principal, inclusion of vocational lecturers in seniority lists, provide for direct recruitment of 25 per cent staff and filling the vacant posts of guidance councillors. Appreciating the move of the government to grant Rs 5,000 as grade pay to master cadre, the union demanded that the grade pay of lecturers should also be fixed at Rs 6,600.

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Draughtsmen continue their pen-down strike
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, October 21
The pen-down strike by members of the Punjab Draughtsmen Association, Bathinda unit, entered its third day here today in support of their demands, including pay-scale of Rs 10,300 - Rs 34,800 plus grade pay of Rs 3800 for junior draughtsman; Rs 10,300 - Rs 34,800 plus grade pay of Rs 5,000 for draughtsman; Rs 15,600 - Rs 39,100 plus grade pay of Rs 5400 for head draughtsman; and pay-scale of Rs 15,600 - Rs 39,100 plus grade pay of Rs 5,800 for circle draughtsman.

The protesters are on five- day strike. They also staged a dharna outside the Mini-secretariat here to compel the government to accept and implement their demands.

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