L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Kalka Mail derails, HITS rail traffic
 Most trains running late by four to six hours
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, October 28
Derailment of three coaches of 12312 Kalka-Howrah Mail near the Narela railway station in Delhi division of Northern Railway early this morning threw the rail traffic on the Amritsar-New Delhi trunk route out of gear with most of the up-trains running late by four to six hours.

The late running of trains will have a cascading effect on the return journey of trains from their terminating points for at least the next 24 hours.

With one track remaining obstructed due to derailment for more than six hours, the northern railway authorities had diverted more than a dozen trains while another half a dozen trains were either short terminated or regulated.

According to railway officials here, the 12029 New Delhi-Amritsar Swarn Shatabdi, which was diverted via Kurukshetra-Narwana-Ambala, arrived here some four hours behind schedule and 12497 New Delhi-Shane Punjab, diverted via Jakhal-Dhuri, was also delayed by four hours. Similarly, 12471 Bandra-Jammu Tawi Swaraj Express, regulated at Holambi Kalan railway station, arrived 4.30 hours behind schedule while 11057 Dadar-Amritsar Express, regulated at Narela railway station, was delayed by nearly six hours.

Among other diverted trains bound for Amritsar and Jammu were 14037 Delhi-Pathankot Express, 12919 Indore-Jammu Tawi Malwa Express, 12203 Saharsa-Amritsar Garib Rath and 12715 Nanded-Amritsar Sachkhand Express, which were diverted via Shakurbasti-Rohtak-Jakhal-Dhuri, 12925 Bandra-Amritsar Pashchim Express and 12483 Kochuvali-Amritsar Express, which were diverted via Meerut-Saharanpur.

The up-trains which were diverted and suffered delay included 12014 Amritsar-New Delhi Shatabdi Express, 12926 Amritsar-Bandra Pashchim Express, 15708 Amritsar-Katihar Express and 12716 Amritsar-Nanded Sachkhand Express.

Passengers travelling to Amritsar on 14673 Jainagar-Amritsar were stranded as the train was short-terminated at Delhi and those aboard 12459 and 12460 running between New Delhi and Amritsar, also suffered the same fate with short-termination of the train at Panipat.

There was chaos at the railway station all through the day with passengers making a beeline for enquiry counters to know the arrival and departure time of their trains. Those manning the enquiry counters also appeared clueless.

Passengers harassed

y For passengers aboard the Amritsar-New Delhi Swarn Shatabdi Express, the journey turned out to be a nightmare as the travel time of a little more than four hours from New Delhi to Ludhiana stretched to nearly eight hours as the train was diverted via Shakurbasti, Kurukshetra and Narwana before it reached Ambala. Kulbir Singh, a bank official travelling with a family of three from New Delhi to Ludhiana, said: “We were scheduled to arrive at the Ludhiana railway station at 11.25 am. But the train was delayed by four hours. The least the railways could do was to provide some extra refreshments to the passengers.”


Servant flees with jewellery worth Rs 50 lakh
Contractor had recruited him only 15 days ago
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 28
Trusting a servant proved costly for a road contractor’s family as the former decamped with cash and jewellery worth over Rs 50 lakh from his (contractor’s) house located in Model Town. The servant, who was recruited recently, also took away a licensed revolver with him.
Raj Kumar, whose house was burgled on Friday.
Raj Kumar, whose house was burgled on Friday.

This incident has puzzled the police as the servant was picked out from roadside and hired for the job just a fortnight ago. Leave alone registering the servant with the police, the family wasn’t even aware of his (servant’s) real name and antecedents. The only lead the police has so far collected is that the servant’s name is Suraj.

The incident took place last night when Raj Kumar Shahi, the road contractor, had come to shop in a mall along with his wife, son, daughter, daughter-in-law and the son-in-law.

“We left the servant at home and came to shop at the mall. But, were shocked to find the main gate of the house open on returning home. I could immediately make out that the servant had committed the theft. I rushed inside only to find the entire house ransacked. The servant had fled with jewellery, a revolver and cash,” said Shahi.

According to Station House Officer (SHO) of the Model Town police station Navreet Singh, the servant knew where the cash and jewellery was kept. He broke open the bedroom’s door and decamped with cash, jewellery and the licensed revolver kept in a cupboard in a small room adjacent to the bedroom after the family left for shopping.

“He might be a professional thief. In just 15 days, he won the trust of his employers and committed the theft,” said a neighbour.

Shahi said a servant of Nepalese origin, who used to work in the neighborhood, had persuaded him to employ Suraj. “He, too, is missing now. I don’t know what to do,” he added.

The family members aren’t even aware whether he was having a mobile or not. “He had used to the landline phone once to call his relatives. A man whom the servant claimed was his elder brother had visited the house a few days ago. Suraj had showed him the entire house. I had no inkling that Suraj was planning to commit a theft,” said Shahi’s daughter-in-law.

The SHO said the loss could have been more, had the servant targeted rooms of Shahi’s son and daughter. Meanwhile, the police has registered a case and launched a manhunt to nab the accused. 

CCTV defunct

Though Raj Kumar had installed CCTVs a few years ago, these were lying defunct for nearly two years. When Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) RS Sohal told him to install a CCTV, Kumar showed him the defunct cameras. “These could have helped the police in nabbing the thief(s),” he added.



Snatchers stab bank employee 
tribune news service

Ludhiana, October 28
A bank employee was stabbed by a groups of snatchers in the Rose Garden area here last evening. The incident came to light today after the police registered a case against three unidentified snatchers and started investigation.

The bank employee, identified as Nittu, said in his complaint that he was walking in the Rose Garden when three snatchers carrying sharp-edged weapons intercepted him. They threatened him and asked him to hand over cash and his mobile phone to them.

Sensing trouble, Nittu raised the alarm and tried to escape, but the accused nabbed him and stabbed him thrice in the abdomen. He was rushed to hospital in a serious condition.

Incidents of snatching and eve-teasing have increased in the Rose Garden, forcing people to keep away from the park. Drug addicts have no fear of the police. Even the police post set up inside the garden has failed to keep a check on anti-social activities. Also, it has failed to deter drug addicts.



TRAI intervenes, BSNL resumes services
Lovleen Bains and Gurvinder Singh

Ludhiana/Doraha, October 28
Much to the relief of subscribers, BSNL has resumed connectivity of services to private telecom service providers. Due to the snapping of interconnectivity services, both landline and cellular subscribers of BSNL and private telecom service providers had to face a lot of inconvenience as people were literally cut off from one another over a long period of time.

BSNL snapped connectivity services to the private cellular companies after these failed to pay interconnectivity charges to BSNL. The defaulting companies were Vodafone, Reliance, Tata, Idea and Airtel.

“A policy should be devised by the telecom department so that subscribers are not made to bear the brunt of internal strife among cellular companies. When subscribers are paying their bills regularly, why should they be made to suffer and that too for such a long period?” a social worker asked.

“These things happen when people take it lying down. It has been almost a month that the connectivity of services was snapped, but the companies took it easy. Despite the matter being highlighted in the media from time to time, the deadlock continued for rather long,” Pavitarpal Singh Pangali, president of the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) Kisan Club, said.

Harpartap Brar, general secretary of the college managing committee, GNN College, Doraha, said: “Have these companies bothered to consider the inconvenience subscribers have had to face in the past few weeks? What would have happened in case of an emergency? A matter that should have been resolved without any snapping of connections or services, has taken a month.”

Meanwhile, the resumption of services have came as a relief to city industrialists as communication is the lifeline of any business.

Bakhtawar Singh, proprietor, Modern Opticals, has wholesale business across the state and runs most of his business through landlines.

“At least 25-30 per cent of my business was affected during the period. it was difficult to reach my clients, causing delay in orders,” he said.

Sarabjit Singh, proprietor of Sonu International, said: “We have switched over to mobile phones to some extent. The companies should honour subcribers and their convenience should be a priority, else they will lose subscribers,” he said.

Anshul Garg, manager, Garg Hosiery Works, said: “BSNL is a commucation lifeline for most people across India. Disruption or discontinuation in service by BSNL affects business.”



Diwali more toned down in city this time
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
tribune news service

Ludhiana, October 28
Even as the city has earned itself the title of being the most polluted city in the country, the findings of the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) indicate a silver lining. The data collected by the PPCB reveals that during peak hours of Diwali celebrations, pollution levels were comparatively less than last year. Also, fewer crackers were burst in the residential zone compared to previous years.

The board had carried out the survey to measure the impact of festive activity as well as cracker bursting on the ambient air quality of Ludhiana city. For the purpose, ambient air quality was monitored on October 21 (pre-Diwali days) and on the day of Diwali (October 26). The PPCB had set up three ambient air quality monitoring stations at Vishawkarma Chowk, Milk Plant and Sheela Hospital representing commercial, residential and sensitive areas, respectively.

The analysis revealed that the 24 hourly average respirable suspended particulate matter (RSPM) levels registered an increase in the range of 112-131 microgram/m3 on Diwali than other days.

The increase in oxides of nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide levels ranged from 10-26 microgram/m3 and 7-12 microgram/m3 respectively. During the celebration hours (6 pm to 10 pm), the concentration of sulphur dioxide decreased from 36 to 32 microgram/m3 whereas the oxides of nitrogen levels decreased from 70 microgram/m3 to 64 microgram/m3 in comparison to the previous year’s data. PPCB senior environmental engineer Karunesh Garg said the RSPM levels showed decreasing trend from 516 microgram/m3 to 468 microgram/m3 (2 pm to 10 pm) in the residential area in comparison to previous years. “The data shows that bursting of crackers was less compared to previous years in the residential zone during peak hours of Diwali celebrations.”



Health dept destroys rotten pickle
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 28
The health department has finally destroyed the 225 quintal fungus-infested pickle seized from two godowns on October 19.

Dr Daleep Kumar, Chief Medical Officer, and Dr Kulwinder Singh, District Health Officer, Ludhiana, said: “The samples of the pickle sent for testing have failed. The pickle has been found unfit for human consumption as worms and fungus have been found in it. So we decided to destroy it.”

Harpreet Kaur, food safety officer of the health department, said: “We destroyed the fungus-infested pickle in a dump on the Tajpur Road and got it covered with garbage so that it could not be retrieved.”

The health department had seized 200 quintal pickle from Madan Lal’s godown, near Dera Udo, and 25 quintal pickle from Vickey’s godown, near Dera Bazigar, on the Bahadir Ke Road on October 19.



ACP Rana, two others posted out
 Fallout of spat with Gosain’s grandson?
Mohit Khanna
tribune news service

Payal, October 28
Three Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACPs) have been transferred in the wake of the ensuing Assembly elections.

The ACPs are ACP (Atam Park) RS Sohal, ACP (north) Paramjit Singh Pannu and ACP (central) Naginder Singh Rana. While ACP RS Sohal has been transferred to the intelligence department in Chandigarh, Paramjit Singh Pannu has been transferred to the special branch. There has not been any official confirmation about the new posting of Naginder Rana.

The transfer of ACP Naginder Rana was expected as he had recently courted controversy for his comments against Amit Gosain, grandson of health minister Satpal Gosain. Rana had stated that he was not his “yes man”.

Amit and Rana were reportedly at loggerheads over the issue of Janakpuri area turning into a gambling hub. Amit even went to the extent of accusing Rana of deliberately remaining mum on the issues of gambling and illicit liquor trading.

Recently, Amit had even led a delegation to meet the Commissioner of police, Dr SS Chauhan, demanding the transfer of the ACP. The transfer of Rana is being scene as the fallout of the spat.

“We welcome the transfer of the officer. We had no personal grudges against ACP Rana. We wanted strict action against anti-social elements, which perhaps did not go down well with the officer,” Amit claimed.



world stroke day
Massage can cause stroke!
Anupam Bhagria
tribune news service

Ludhiana, October 28
To beat stress, city youngsters like to visit chiropractors for getting their neck and back massaged. The sole purpose of their visit is to relax their nerves. But little do they know that a wrong massage can cause stroke.

Dr Gagandeep Singh, professor and head of neurology, Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) said: “Earlier stroke occurred only in those over the age of 60 years. But for the last three-four years, we have been receiving patients between the ages of 25 and 30 years. We have received 10 to 15 per cent patients suffering from this problem and the major reason is massage. When someone goes for a massage, especially a neck massage, the arteries which lead to the brain get blocked and can result in a stroke.”

The stroke could occur due to the occlusion of blood vessels (blood clot) leading to ischemic stroke. There was another type of stroke which was caused due to the rupture of a blood vessel leading to haemorrhagic stroke.

“Young patients with addictions like smoking, or using drugs like cocain and amphatamine are also prone to stroke. If a person stops taking drugs, the chances of stroke automatically decrease,” he said.

Dr Rajinder K Bansal, professor of neurology, said in India, stroke among the youth was more common as compared to the West. “It can manifest with sudden weakness or numbness of one side of the body, facial paralysis with weakness, and sudden swaying on either side. If a person has any of these symptoms, it is a matter of concern and the patient should be referred to the emergency at the earliest,” he said.

“When a patient gets a stroke, every minute counts because if the flow of blood is cut off for long, greater is the chance of damage,” said Dr Monika Singla, consultant neurologist at the DMCH.

“We have tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA) injection which can lyse the clot if given in time. It is the only FDA approved therapy. This injection helps in reperfusion and reducing the disability significantly. Usually, there is delay in recognition of stroke symptoms as the patient himself is unable to raise the alarm because of disability and attendants usually recognise the symptoms late,” she said.

What is stroke

Stroke occurs when blood flow to one hemisphere of the brain is interrupted leading to paralysis of the other side of the body. Brain cells in the immediate area begin to die because they stop getting oxygen and essential nutrients required for their functioning. Stroke is a medical emergency.

DMCH helpline for stroke patients: 9915355100



Abacus catches on with kids, parents
 Quick, fun way of doing mathematical calculations
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 28
Raghav, a class IV student, can do simple calculations fast and easy by imagining beads of an abacus.

Centuries-old techniques of calculating with abacus and vedic mathematics are seeing a revival with many institutes springing up in the city promoting the use of these techniques. Many children and parents now want to join these institutes as these not only increase the speed of calculations but also increase the power of imagination and visualisation.

After a certain level of using the abacus, children start visualising the abacus in front of them and start calculating mentally. “So abacus techniques not only make the calculations faster but also enhance the children’s imagination and concentration,” says Nidhi Gupta from one such institute.

“Mathematical calculations are the best way of providing mental workout to brain as while doing so, both left and right sides of the brain are used for reasoning and imagination. So, doing such mental calculations helps in all ages, but it is most fruitful until 14 years of age, as the brain continues to develop till this age,” she says.

“Using abacus is the best for kids who are afraid of numbers. Because these calculations with abaci at the lower level start as play, children take it as a game and over a period of time, they start becoming proficient at it,” says Shruti who teaches abacus. Tarun Sharma, a class V student, says: “It is a nice game.” “My son can do many calculations simultaneously now, while earlier he used to run away from mathematics,” says Shamit Rampal, a resident of Tagore Nagar. 

Fast & creative

Abacus techniques not only make the calculations faster but also enhance the children’s imagination and concentration



MC yet to recover Rs 154.91 cr dues
Water, sewerage bills pending against 86,899 people
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 28
The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation seems least bothered when it comes to recovering of outstanding dues from city residents. An information procured under the Right to Information (RTI) Act has revealed that the civic body is yet to recover a whopping Rs 154.91 crore as pending water and sewerage bills from 86,899 residents.

Zone D, which houses one of the most posh localities of the city, tops the list of defaulters (see box) and interestingly, their number is more than those in other three Zones, A, B and C. In Zone D, there are 43,468 defaulters, while those in Zones A, B and C is 43,431.

This information came to light when Rohit Sabharwal, president, Council of RTI Activists, sought information from the Municipal Corporation under the RTI Act.

“When I received the information, I was shocked because a whopping Rs 154.91 crore is still pending as water and sewerage bills in all four zones of the city. If MC officials work honestly, the civic body would be able to develop different parts of the city and that also without worrying about the funds,” he added.

As the state gears for assembly elections, it is unlikely that the Municipal Corporation would get strict with the defaulters.

But, Municipal Commissioner AK Sinha says that he has already issued written orders to officials of the Operations and Maintenance Cell for recovering the dues.

“Though some amount is still pending against the city residents, but in most cases, the Municipal Corporation’s record is to be updated. There are residents who have already paid the amount, but has not been updated in the records,” said Sinha.



Post-Diwali: Cracker sellers suffer loss due to strict guidelines 
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, October 28
At a time when a large number of traders were busy pocketing hefty profits by selling crackers wrth several crores in Jagraon, there were others who suffered huge financial loses due to strict guidelines issued by the local administration before Diwali.

At least 45 to 50 petty cracker sellers, who had been selling crackers by erecting temporary stalls in Old Grain Market for the past several years, suffered huge financial losses after the local administration did not allow them to sell the crackers there.

Three days prior to Diwali, the local administration had approved some specific areas, including College Road, Railway Road, Tehsil Road, Raikot Road and the Disposal road for selling crackers. The administration had also made it clear that a strict action will be taken against those found selling crackers in the areas not approved by the administration.

But these traders had already purchased the crackers by then. After the guidelines issued by the adminstration came into force majority of the traders failed to sell the crackers and suffered huge losses.

In fact, the Old Grain Market area has traditional been cracker market for the past several years as a large number of people, especialy villagers used to frequent these place for purchasing the crackers. Every year about 45-50 petty traders used to put on temporary stalls in the Old Grain Market to sell these crackers. But as the local administration did not allow the fireworks traders to sell crackers at Old Grain Market this time, most of these sellers could not put on stalls and sell the crackers.

According to sources, each of these traders had invested anything between Rs 30000 and Rs 350000 on crackers with a hope to earn around Rs 5000 to Rs 6000 But as they were not allowed to sell the crackers, they have been forced to stock these for the next season. Thus, these traders have not only failed to earn extra bucks, but also forced to stock the unsoled crackers. Besides, the money invested by them has also got blocked for almost a year.

“I had purchased crackers of Rs 35,000 just a week ahead of Diwali with the hope of earning Rs 5000 to Rs 6000 extra by selling these crackers. But as the administration did not approve Old Grain Market for the sale of crackers, I failed to sell the crackers. Now I have too stock these crackers till next year. The administration should have taken this decision 10 days before Diwali. We should have given time to plan things accordingly,” said Dinesh Kumar, who had been selling crackers at Old Grain Market for the past 15 years.

Accusing the administration of adopting biased approach while approving the areas for the sale of crackers, another trader Davinder Kumar said: “The administration gave permission to the areas where large scale fireworks traders sell crackers and completely neglected Old Grain Market, where every year about 50 traders used to sell the crackers. Thus, we have suffered losses.”



Tibetan gets new lease of life
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 28
Pema Charba, a Tibetan refugee, who suffered from urinary incontinence and weakness of all limbs, has returned home after being treated at the CMCH here.

Pema Charba, a Tibetan refugee, who suffered from urinary incontinence and weakness of limbs.
Pema Charba, a Tibetan refugee, who suffered from urinary incontinence and weakness of limbs. A Tribune photograph

“She was initially treated at a Mission Hospital in Manali and was referred to the CMCH for further treatment. She was bed-ridden and urine used to drib continuously as she was unable to retain it in the bladder, which had contracted due to tuberculosis. She was suffering from tuberculosis in blood vessels supplying certain areas of her brain, which had weakened her upper and lower limbs. At the CMCH, she was diagnosed to be suffering from genito-urinary tuberculosis. Her left kidney was diseased due to tuberculosis and it was non-functional. She had a diseased bladder due to tuberculosis and it could not store more than 50 ml urine.”

Dr Kim Mammen, Professor and Head, Department of Urology, with his team, Dr Francis Sridhar Katumalla and Dr George Mathew, performed a reconstructive surgery of her urinary bladder along with removal of the diseased left kidney. A segment of intestine was used to increase the capacity of the urinary bladder from 50 ml to 500 ml. She was also put on anti-tuberculosis treatment. She had underwent a vigorous and extensive physiotherapy and rehabilitation exercises under the supervision of Dr KV Dhiraj, Professor of Physiotherapy, and Dr Santhosh Mathangi, Consultant, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation.

Now, she has resumed her work as a daily wager in the PWD. Her husband, Pembha Charba, also works as a daily wager. 



With more areas under cultivation, potato prices might reduce 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 28
Early sown potato crop in Punjab will start coming in the market in December. It might reduce the prices. In view of the present scenario, farmers should be careful while dciding to sow potatoes, said Dr Jagrup Singh Sidhu, in-charge, Agricultural Market Intelligence Centre (AMIC), Department of Economics and Sociology, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU). The centre has advised the farmers to reduce some area under potato to minimize downward pressure on the prices during the coming marketing season

For the past six years, area under potato cultivtion in the state varied between 75,000 to 83,000 hectares, production between 12 to 21 lakh tons and yield from 16 to 25 tons per hectare, he said.

As the sowing of potato in the state has started, the centre has collected and analysed market intelligence regarding potato from various sources and forecasted potato prices between Rs 350 and Rs 450 per quintal during December 2011 to March 2012 under normal weather conditions, he added.

The centre stated that the market prices of potato in major markets in the state ruled between Rs 225 and Rs 350 per quintal during December 2010 to April 2011; Rs 350 to Rs 650 during May to November 2010-11. Dr Sidhu said favourable weather during the growing season in all major potato producing states during 2010-11 resulted in 13 per cent increase in potato production in the country, from nearly 36 million tons in 2009-10 to more than 40 million tons in 2010-11.

This has put downward pressure on its prices during the marketing season, 2010-11, he added.

Prices of various varities of potatos crashed due to the bumper and low demand for seed potato from other major potato growing states.

Dr Sidhu said about 65 per cent potatoes have been released from the cold stores and the rest will be available till November - December 2011. 



Arrival of winter veggies may curtail price rise
Household budget hit as food inflation on six-month high
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 28
With food inflation hitting a six-month high of 11.43 per cent, the arrival of seasonal winter vegetable stocks is awaited to ease inflation. Prolonged shelf-life of fruits and vegetables and arrival of fresh vegetables in the market are being seen as the primary reasons for the expected decline in inflation.

residents speak
‘It’s about survival now!’
Rising food inflation has left residents fuming. Gurvinder Singh gauges the sentiment in the city

According to Dr MS Sidhu, head, department of economics and sociology, Punjab Agricultural University, with the arrival of winter vegetables like “saag” and carrot, inflation will ease to an extent.

With the drop in temperature, the shelf life of perishable foods will increase, thereby easing food inflation.

Pointing out regional preference for “saag” during the season, he says the prices of other vegetables will come down as their demand will come down with increased consumption of “saag”.

On the measures to check inflation, he says production has to increase. “Untimely September rain also marred the crop, reducing production and affecting the supply and pushing the prices up,” he says.

“The reason behind inflation is the mismatch between demand and supply,” he says. Production of cereals and pulses also needs to be increased. To provide a longer shelf life to fruits and vegetables, more cold storage facilities need to be set up in the state.

Food inflation is being witnessed across the world because of various factors, including the rise in prices of crude oil, he adds. With the rise in prices, purchasing power across the segments and categories has also increased.

On the social impact of inflation, he says it creates social tension, particularly in families with lower incomes. Economic constraints give rise to other social problems.

Meanwhile, Harminder Pal Singh, president, Ludhiana Sabzi Mandi Association, says the prices of vegetables may come down as fresh stock of seasonal vegetables like pea, “saag”, carrot and turnip are expected to reach the markets in about 10-15 days.

Gurmeet Singh, a wholesale fruit seller says fruits prices will go down to an extent as the consumption of juices in winter decreases and the shelf life also increases.

What’s fuelling inflation?

Food inflation is being witnessed across the world because of various factors, including rise in the prices of crude oil. 



Lack of clear policies has steel sector in mess
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 28
In the face of economic slowdown, steel makers are increasing the prices of steel. The primary producers have increased prices to the tune of around Rs 1,000 a tonne. This, even as the demand for steel is not growing.

As the steel sector is in a mess due to lack of clear policies, the secondary steel producers or the weaker among the primary steel producers are struggling to survive while the consumer is bearing the brunt of higher steel prices.

PD Sharma, president, Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry, says the Indian steel producers sell steel locally at prices higher than the international steel prices by over $ 110 a tonne. On the other hand, the cost of iron ore to domestic producers ranges between Rs 760 and Rs 2,800 per tonne. The international support price of iron ore averaged at Rs 6,750 between March, 2010 and April, 2011. It is an irony that Tata Steel has a margin of 43 per cent as percentage of sales when it spends only 30 per cent on iron ore and coal.

“The discrepancy in the availability of iron ore to all steel producers on equal terms is irritating both steel producers and consumers. The government is bringing new Mines and Minerals Development and Regulation (MMDR) Bill in parliament. However, this issue has been lingering for a quite long time. Leading industrialists of the country, in their second open letter, have again appealed to the government to end policy uncertainties. Punjab’s industry has no reason to differ with them. The mining policy is one such uncertainty,” says Sharma adding that to be fair to the business, iron ore should be available to all steel producers on equal terms. He further maintains that the condition of secondary steel producers is getting worse mainly due to the weakening of the rupee.

The Punjab industry is almost fully dependent on secondary steel producers. The embargo on iron ore mines has upset the supply of sponge iron, which is a substitute for steel scrap.

The imported steel scrap has become costlier due to the weakening of the rupee.

“The secondary steel producers of Punjab are in dire trouble. Consequently, the steel consuming industry is also in dire straits due to ever-rising steel prices. To cap it all, the Punjab government has created another crisis for secondary steel producers. It has announced to give around 75,000 new tube-well connections to the agriculture sector, which will entail about 200 MW power. As a result, the production of steel will further go down leading to a rise in the prices of steel,” he adds.

Cost factor

Indian steel producers sell steel in the local market at prices higher than the international steel prices by over $ 110 a tonne. On the other hand, iron ore costs domestic producers between Rs 760 and Rs 2,800 per tonne



Jharkar stadium floors Gwalior varsity VC
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, October 28
The Mata Sahib Kaur Stadium at Jarkhar village, near here, on the Ludhiana-Malerkotla road has set an example for the promotion and conduct of rural sports in this part of the country.

This observation was made by Maj Gen Sarabjit Singh Pawar (retd), Vice-Chancellor, Lashmi Bai Sports University, Gwalior. The VC accompanied by his wife Harpreet Kaur Pawar visited the village today.

He was pleased to see the sports infrastructure created there. Interacting with the trainees of the hockey academy being run there, Pawar promised to prevail upon the Union Sports Minister, Ajay Maken, to visit the stadium during the annual sports festival to be held from December 15 to 18. “I will urge the minister to arrange an AstroTurf at Jarkhar so that talented boys and girls can avail of the facility to become players of national and international level,” he added.

The Major General Pawar, who is the member of the committee that decides the Arjuna awards, appreciated the office-bearers of the Mata Sahib Kaur Sports Club for providing excellent facilites for the players of hockey and basketball.

The couple paid tributes to former hockey Olympians Prithipal Singh, Surjit Singh Randhawa and Udham Singh besides sports promoter Amarjit Singh Grewal. They laid wreaths at the life-size statues installed at the stadium. The couple were felicitated by the members of the Mata Sahib Kaur Club.

Gurmail Singh Sangowal, sarpanch Tarlochan Singh Lalton Kalan, Karamvir Singh Grewal, Harminder Pal Singh, Sohan Singh Khanpur, Shingar Singh, Jasjit Karan Singh, Gurstainder Singh, Sukhwinder Singh, Sandeep Singh, Hukam Singh, Ranjit Singh Deol, Surinder Pal Singh were among those present.



diwali impact
Firecrackers leave many ears buzzing
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 28
Even as the city dazzled on Diwali night, the deafening sound of firecrackers made several sick. Dr Munish Munjal, Professor in the ENT department, Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, received several patients who complained of hissing, buzzing and ringing sensation in ears.

Dr Munjal said: “It happens every year after Diwali. This year, too, I received four such patients who complained of such sounds. This is the result of noise pollution. However, I also received a rare case of ‘cracker trauma’ in which a 25-year-youth got his wind pipe damaged while fixing a cracker up a wall when it went off. As the cracker burst and hit his windpipe, he received an injury to the windpipe.”

Firecrackers did not cause damage by bursting alone but also by mishandling. An 11-year-old child got infection in his larynx when he tried to clean his ear with a pen shaped cracker.

Several patients also complained of mouth ulcers and sore throat.

Dr Munjal said: “This is the result of excessive eating of dry fruit when winter is yet to set in.”

y Several patients approached doctors with complaints of hissing, buzzing and ringing sensation in their ears



from  School & colleges
Graduation ceremony for kids
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 28
A graduation ceremony was organised at GN International Public School, Model Town, here today for UKG class in which the little children “graduated to formal school” from kindergarten. The students of the primary section performed Ganesh Vandana and Kalbelia Dance and presented a solo song. Manmeet Singh of UKG performed “gatka”. Principal GK Gill congratulated the young students.

Diwali with the needy

Students of GGN Institute of Management & Technology (GGNIMT) visited Old Age Home, Model Town, and a school run for poor and needy on the Tajpur Road to celebrate Diwali with them. They distributed gifts and things of daily use worth Rs 25,000 among the underprivileged.

Lesson delivered

Guest demonstration lessons were organised in BCM College of Education. The winning students of previous batches were invited to deliver lessons in various subjects and share their teaching experience with the students. The guest demonstrators were Anshu Babreja, Shikha and Ritika.

Vishwakarma Day

Vishwakarma Day was celebrated by faculty and students of Ludhiana Group of Colleges (LGC), Chaukimann, on “Let’s bring a change”. The students of engineering, management and information technology streams of the college celebrated the day by performing “puja” in different workshops and laboratories. The machines were cleaned, oiled and incense sticks were illuminated to worship the deity.



pau  notes
Course in beekeeping
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 28
An advanced training course on “Bee breeding and mass queen bee rearing techniques” will be organised by the department of entomology, PAU, from November 2 to 4. The course will see the participation of progressive beekeepers, having large apiary units and practising innovative and scientific beekeeping.

Training course

The department of microbiology, PAU, in association with the Punjab State Council for Science and Technology, Chandigarh, will organise a training course on “Preparation of natural vinegar and non-alcoholic carbonated beverages” for farmers and farm women.



Formula 1 fever sends afficionados spinning
Many head to Buddh International Circuit for posterity
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 28
The city seems to be in the grip of Formula 1 fever as a large number of local residents plan to visit the Buddh International Circuit in Gautam Buddh Nagar, near Delhi, to witness country’s first ever Formula 1 event.

Payel Jain, Snehal Jindal, Ritu Goyal, Harshel Jain and Aditya Goyal proudly display their tickets while posing for a picture before leaving for the Buddh International Circuit to witness India’s first Formula 1 Grand Prix, in Ludhiana on Friday.
Payel Jain, Snehal Jindal, Ritu Goyal, Harshel Jain and Aditya Goyal proudly display their tickets while posing for a picture before leaving for the Buddh International Circuit to witness India’s first Formula 1 Grand Prix, in Ludhiana on Friday. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Most fans who plan to witness the event or have already left for the venue say they want to be a part of the history by attending this racing event.

“I have been a huge fan of Formula 1 racing for many years and have been following it over the television for years. Ever since I came to know that these races will be held in India, I decided to attend the opening race at any cost. I along with my other three friends will leave for Delhi today and will cheer for Ferrari team as its my favourite,” says Amit Jain, owner of Shingora Shawls.

Not only businessmen but even youngsters are excited about this event.

Amol Singh, a nine-year-old boy, who is a resident of the Model Town area, will attend this event along with his father, mother and sister.

“Amol has been a big fan of Formula 1 and has also subscribed to several auto magazines. It being a festive season, we decided to witness this mega event and will go there tomorrow. A group of friends from Chandigarh will join us there. All of us will cheer for Force India,” says Amol’s father Sonu Nilibar, who owns a textile business in the city.

Sachin Goyal, a developer, will go to the circuit along with wife Ritu and nine-year-old son Aditya.

“We are going there for my son as he likes Formula 1 races a lot. Besides, some of our relatives will accompany us,” says Goyal, a resident of Mall Road.



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