L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


6 city roads to be beautified
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 24
Ahead of the civic body polls, the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation has identified six main roads of the city for beautifying and cleaning them. A special drive in this regard will start tomorrow, which will be carried out directly under the supervision of MC Commissioner Malwinder Singh Jaggi.

The six roads identified by the civic body are Jalandhar Byepass Chowk till Sherpur Chowk, Samrala Chowk till Chandigarh Road Octroi Post, Samrala Chowk till Bharat Nagar Chowk, Vishwakarma Chowk till Gill Road Octroi Post, Bhai Bala Chowk till Pakhowal Road Octroi Post and from Jagraon Bridge till Ferozepur Road Octroi Post.

A meeting in this regard was held at Jaggi’s camp office where instructions were issued to Joint Commissioner AS Sekhon to start the drive from tomorrow. A total of 12 teams have been formed, which will be deputed on these roads for a period of 10 days.

Malwinder Singh Jaggi said their main focus right now was cleanliness of main roads of the city. “I have asked all staff to perform their duties properly so that all roads give a pleasant sight. After all these roads are cleaned and beautified in 10 days, we would then focus on other roads,” claimed Jaggi.

During this drive, officials from the horticulture branch and those responsible for the cleanliness of roads would be part of the 12 newly formed teams. They would not only collect rubble and garbage from the roads, but the horticulture branch officials would make sure all plants were properly pruned and watered.

But the timing of this drive, just before the MC elections, has raised several questions. An MC official, who did not wish to be identified, claimed that the drive was being carried out just a month before the MC elections.

“All these years, no such drive has been carried out by the MC, but suddenly, its senior officials have come out of slumber. Such drives are beneficial only if they are carried out regularly. But if it’s being carried out just as a formality, then it’s of no use,” claimed the official.

Questionable timing

The drive was being carried out just a month before the MC elections. All these years, no such drive has been carried out by the MC, but suddenly, its senior officials have come out of slumber. Such drives are beneficial only if these are carried out regularly. But if it’s being carried out just as a formality, then it’s of no use.

— An MC official

Roads identified for cleanliness, beautification

  • Jalandhar Byepass Chowk-Elevated Road-Vishwakarma Chowk-Sherpur Chowk.
  • Samrala Chowk till Chandigarh Road Octroi Post.
  • Samrala Chowk-Cheema Chowk-Partap Chowk-Gill Chowk-Bus Stand-Bharat Nagar Chowk.
  • Vishwakarma Chowk till Gill Road Octroi Post.
  • Bhai Bala Chowk till Pakhowal Road Octroi Post.
  • Jagraon Bridge till Ferozepur Road Octroi Post.


Salary details of all depts to be available online
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 24
The state government has started the computerisation of the Treasury Department, Punjab, which means the salary details of all departments will be available online now (from April 1, 2012).

Due to initial hiccups, (about which most of the department heads are not aware), government employees working in more than 200 departments, are yet to get the salary for the month of March. Out of the total about 350 departments, employees of just 70-80 departments have been able to get the salaries, while others are still waiting to draw their salary for March 2012.

An official of the Education Department said that they had not been disbursed the salary for March. "The state government allocates the budget and every department provides the details to the District Treasury Officer. But now, the system has to be computerised. The data has to be fed in the software. It becomes the duty of the department heads to provide the details of their budget, but many of the heads are not aware about the new process, which started from April 1. So it is taking too much time for the disbursement of salaries to the departments," said the official.

Recently, doctors and other staff in the Health Department had protested against the delay in disbursing salaries by the state government. But today employees in the ESIEC, Primary Health Centres etc have been released their salaries. The employees working in departments, including police, judiciary, vigilance, health, have started getting the salaries. Still the employees in the entire Education Department and many departments falling under the District Administration like Block and Development Officers etc are yet to be released their salaries.

"It has been 23rd of April, which means that after seven-eight days, the salary for April will also be due. For higher officials, delay in disbursing salaries may be a very small issue but for persons like me, who is the only bread winner in the family, it becomes too difficult to run the household," said a BDO.

"Many departments had already got the salaries while a few were still left. Since the process is being streamlined, in the coming days, employees in all departments will be able to draw their salaries," said District Treasury Officer Rashpal Singh Sidhu.



Man duped of Rs 9 lakh
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 24
A swindler by the name of Sudesh Jain duped a money exchanger of over Rs 9 lakh here today. The Division Number 3 police registered a case under Section 420/419 against the unidentified swindler.

Additional SHO police Division Number 3 Pritpal Singh said in the morning, one Charanjit Singh of Raj Forex Services Pvt Ltd, Malhar Road, who runs money exchange business, got a phone call from one Sudesh Jain, who wanted $ 18,000. Jain told Charanjit Singh to reach Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) with the money to be exchanged.

Pritpal Singh further added that Charanjit Singh sent one of his employees Deepak Sharma with the money to the CMCH, from where the latter called Sudesh that he had arrived. Sudesh reportedly told Sharma to reach the gynae ward of the hospital. The “swindler” Sudesh Jain reached there and asked Deepak Sharma to hand over the money, telling him that he would get the photocopy of his passport and photographs from inside the ward. Jain also requested Sharma not to come inside since it was the gynae ward and female patients would mind to see a stranger.

Sharma handed over the money to Jain. After waiting for about an hour outside the ward, Sharma went inside, but there was no one except a few patients. Despite trying his best, Sharma could not find the swindler. He called up the police and narrated the incident.

Pritpal Singh said the name of the swindler might be something else and everything was done in a planned manner.



City resident pays price for I-T dept’s blunder
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Amarjit SinghLudhiana, April 24
City resident Amarjit Singh is paying the price for a fault committed by his namesake sitting in Uttar Pradesh. Due to a technical glitch allegedly committed by the Income Tax department, Amarjit Singh, a city-based goldsmith, has been branded a defaulter and denied housing loan and has been forced to live in a rented apartment.

The IT department had issued same Permanent Account Number (PAN) card to two persons having similar names.

Coincidentally, the name of their fathers (Darshan Singh) and date of birth (1-1- 1963) are also the same.

Amarjit Singh while pointing towards the anomaly committed by the IT department said, "I am paying income tax through the PAN card for the past 15 years, while my namesake is paying the IT returns through the same account number for past 10 years. Who is accountable for this goof-up? Who can tell me where my hard-earned money is going. Why the IT department never objected to the fact that two persons were paying income tax in the same account (AEHPS2274R)? Why the IT department was receiving IT returns from two persons having same account, only the IT officials can tell," said Amarjit Singh.

Amarjit came to know about the goof-up when he applied for a home loan for constricting a house.

"I came to know about the anomaly when I applied for a housing loan from LIC- housing finance. But I was shocked when the Credit Information Bureau India Limited (CIBIL) report stated that I was a bank defaulter and did no pay the installments of Rs 1.12 lakh of a truck. I told the housing loan department authorities that I have never purchased a truck," said Amarjit Singh.

He went to the bank from where the truck was financed and got hold of his namesake's number.

"Amarjeet Singh of Lalitpur in Uttar Pradesh (UP) was equally shocked to know about the IT department's goof-up. He told me that he had suffered a paralytic attack due to which he could not pay the installment on time and became a bank defaulter. He further told me that he was a reputed transporter of the town and files his returns regularly," said Amarjit Singh, the goldsmith.

For the past three months, Amarjit Singh is running from pillar to post for correcting the anomaly, but the IT department is passing the buck.

"I have not only suffered a financial loss, but the tag of being a bank defaulter has dented my image. It smacks of scam. Both I and my namesake are paying tax. I am forced to approach the police to file a case and nab the culprits who have tarnished my reputation," said Amarjit Singh.



State of Schools - I
Government schools in urban areas cry for attention
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 24
Despite getting grants from the Government of India for infrastructural facilities, government schools in urban areas are having congested, overcrowded classrooms full of darkness. Many schools are running from three-storeyed buildings of 150 sq yard, while others do not have sufficient rooms and furniture.

As per guidelines under the Right to Education Act, the education department has been checking the basic infrastructure in private schools, but the government schools are not fulfilling these conditions.

During a visit to Indira Colony, Fauji Mohalla, Salem Tabri, Basti Abdulapur, Engine Shed, Railway colony, Basti Jodhewal, it was observed that government schools are lacking in basic infrastructure. Government Primary School and Government Middle School Basti Abdulapur are running from the same building, which is not enough even for two families.

Government Primary School Basti Abdulapur has enrolled 85 students in class II. But for these 85 students, there is only one teacher.

The classrooms are also poorly lit. Congested classrooms also cause noisy environment. Some of the teachers complained of continuous headache. School authorities store wheat and rice for mid-day meal in classrooms. And mid-day meal workers prepare food for 300 students in a small kitchen.

Government Primary School Engine Shed and Government High School Engine Shed are running in double shift in the same building. The primary wing has five teachers, five classrooms but more than 200 students have been enrolled. Government Primary School Salem Tabri has furniture only for class V, while other four classes are still sitting on mats.

Government Primary and High Schools near Diesel Shed are running in the same building of the Railways. According to teachers," The building is on rent so they cannot renovate it. Rainy season is worst for the students of this school because of leaking roofs."

Stinking urinals with broken toilets seats are a common story in most of the schools. The only good point is that water coolers installed by the government some years ago are functioning well.

The District Education Officer (Elementary) Ranjit Singh Malhi said, "We are aware about these problems. Government has been providing all facilities under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. But there is no provision to buy land for the schools. Transport facility can be provided to other nearby schools. Our schools are managing to come out of these problems by getting donations from NRIs and other donors."



PSEB hikes exam fee
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana April 24
The Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) has decided to increase the examination fee from next semester to overcome financial crisis. This decision, experts in the education sector feel, would affect poor students of the government schools.

The teachers rued that while on one hand the government has exempted the fee and other funds of girl students and those belonging to the Scheduled Castes (SC), on the other, the PSEB has been increasing the examination fee.

The board has increased the fee to Rs 100 for all examinations, it was officially learnt. The fee for each semester, which stood at Rs 350 earlier for the Class X examination, has now been increased to Rs 450. Similarly, the examination fee for reappear and re-evaluation cases has also been hiked from Rs 550 to Rs 650. For Class XII students also, examination fee as well as reappear and re-evaluation fee has been increased by Rs 100.

“The government has adopted contradictory policies, which will lead to massive loss to the education sector in general and the poor students in particular. On one hand, the government exempted the fee of students, while the effect has been negated by significant hike in the examination fee,” said Gurbeer Singh of the Master Cadre Union while adding that this ill-conceived move will lead to increase in the dropout rate.

Another teacher, Ramanjit Singh Sandhu of the Democratic Employees Front, said, “Most of the students in the government schools are from financially poor families. So, it is all the more necessary for the PSEB to show its concern for them. The board is already taking double examination fee by conducting semester examination twice in an academic year, which makes any further increase unjustified.”

If the board is in a financial crisis, it should not put the burden on the poor students and cause immense loss to the secondary education, he added.



Need to strengthen veterinary extension, say experts
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 24
Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) organised a one-day workshop for dairy and fisheries officials of the state yesterday. Jagpal Singh Sandhu, Financial Commissioner, animal husbandry, dairy and fisheries, was the chief guest and Dr VK Taneja, Vice-Chancellor, GADVASU, presided over the function.

During his inaugural address, Sandhu appreciated the role of livestock sector in food security, employment generation, asset creation, financial security and as coping mechanism against crop failure.

He said the Punjab government was doing its best to uplift this sector further and every required support will be provided to GADVASU for meeting the challenges ahead.

Dr Taneja in his presidential remarks said this workshop was held with an objective to create an interface for exchange of knowledge, ideas and challenges to develop mutual dialogue between university scientists and field officials, those were working at the grassroots level.

Dr Taneja emphasised the need of strengthening veterinary extension, which was the backbone component to disseminate the scientific technologies to the farmers, which are the end users.

On this occasion, Dr BS Sidhu, managing director, Milkfed, revealed that all departments concerned i.e. dairy, animal husbandry, Milkfed had the common goal to uplift the livestock sector and they had do perform their role in a collective manner so that every livestock farmer could be looked after at the doorstep.

Inderjeet Singh, director, dairy development, and BK Sood, director and warden fisheries, were also present and they highlighted their department’s role in the livestock sector development and chaired their respective sessions held after the inaugural session.

Dr RS Sahota, director of extension education, GADVASU, welcomed the delegates and highlighted the university’s extension programmes. Dr SNS Randhawa, director research, GADVASU, highlighted the research programmes being carried out at the university. Dr HS Sandhu, dean College of Veterinary Science, Dr SS Sangha, dean College of Dairy Science, GADVASU, also graced the occasion.

Dr HK Verma, head, veterinary extension, proposed the vote of thanks and informed that different technical sessions were held to update the knowledge of officials of the dairy and fisheries departments.



Punjabi akademi’s library houses rare books
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 24
As the World Books Day is being celebrated yesterday, everyone talks about the need for reading and receding reading habits. The research and reference library of Punjabi Sahit Akademi at the Punjabi Bhawan is growing gradually with not only new books but also with books that have become old and are ready to become a part of history.

The library is becoming home to the old and rare books. An 1890 book “Economic History of Punjab”, “The History of an Alphabet” published by Issac Taylor in 1899 and “The Gurdwara Reform Movement” published in 1922 are available in the library. Books like manuscripts and printed through litho press in 1890, “Gurmat”, by Prem Sagar are also available in the library.

Urdu book like “Lives of 44 Saints” translated from Italian to Urdu published in 1882 is also a part of the library. A long-published miniature “Guru Granth Sahib” is also lying at the library. “Satgur Mahima” was the first book of Nanak Singh. He devoted his first book to Sikh Gurus as a poet, says Dr Prem Singh Bajaj, who has been working tirelessly for acquiring and collecting books for the library.

“These books have been acquired and received from personal libraries of many people,” he says.

There are handwritten books as well that have been kept in the library.



Unpredictable weather worries farmers
Delay in procurement, lifting of wheat crop
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, April 24
Unpredictable weather has left thousands of farmers whose wheat crop has been lying in open at the Jagraon Grain Market worried. As per information, more than 25,000 tonnes of wheat of farmers has been lying at the grain market, which is the second largest grain market in Asia after Khanna.

First, the arrival of wheat started about two weeks late as compared to past years due to prolonged winter season and unseasoned rains. Now, the sudden influx of the crop at the Jagraon grain market has been causing problems like delay in procurement and lifting of the crop from the market.

During a visit to the local grain market, it was found that the farmers as well as arthiyas (commission agents) were worried over the delay in procurement and lifting of wheat crop due to constantly changing weather. The farmers complained that the procurement agencies have been causing delay in purchasing their crops for different reasons.

While the commission agents rue that the lifting of the crop has been quite slow. According to commission agents, even after one week of the beginning of procurement by the procurement agencies, only about 30 per cent of the total crop purchased has been lifted from the grain market so far.

Nirmal Singh, a farmer from Sawadi village near Jagraon, said he had brought his crop four days back to the grain market but his crop had not been purchased by the procurement agencies so far. “In such a situation when the weather is unpredictable, the authorities shall step up the procurement process. But this has not been the case and the crop has been lying in the open. Who will be responsible for the loss if the rains come?” asked disappointed Nirmal Singh.

Several other farmers at the local grain market, too, said the procurement process had been quite slow so far.

On the other hand, the commission agents are too looking worried. Rajinder Singh, a commission agent at the Jagraon Grain Market, said the lifting of purchased crop had been too slow. “In some cases, the procurement agencies lifted the crop within time, but a large stock of wheat crop purchased even one week ago has still been waiting for lifting. We are bound to suffer losses if the purchased crop gets wet due to rain,” he added.

The farmers and the commission agents have urged the authorities of the local market committee to ask the procurement agencies for stepping up the procurement and lifting process of the crop to avoid it damaged from the rain.

Nacchatar Singh, secretary market committee Jagraon, claimed that the procurement has been smooth and the crop is being purchased on regular basis. However, he, too, admits that the lifting process is a bit slow but that is because of sudden influx of the crop in the market. “The arrival of the wheat started about one week late as compared to past years. But now there is a sudden influx of the crop in the market due to which there is a shortage of labour, which is slowing down the lifting process,” he said. He further claimed that proper arrangement has been made to safeguard the crop in case the rains come.



Principal Secy visits mandis
Shivani Bhakoo and Mahesh Sharma
Tribune reporters

Ludhiana/Raikot, April 24
The state government is committed to watching the farmers’ interests and the Chief Minister, Parkash Singh Badal, was concerned about their welfare in the state, which makes the largest share to the food kitty of the nation. This was stated by Principal Secretary, Defence Services Welfare Department, Punjab, C Raul, who visited the grain markets at Sahnewal, Raikot and Salem Tabri today.

Raul said For the lifting of wheat grain from the mandis, the state was divided into sectors and each sector was being taken care of by Chief Secretary-rank officials. He was accompanied by Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, Rahul Tiwari, and other Mandi officials. He visited the grain markets especially after the inclement weather in the past 48 hours.

Raul said though the district administrations was doing its best for the farmers’ welfare, he was given the responsibility to look at the arrangements at the mandis in the districts of Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Kapurthala and get the direct feedback from farmers coming from far-off villages to sell their produce. He asked the officials to make sure that there was no scarcity of polythene bags (baardana) and the process of lifting of grain should be started speedily. At the same time, Raul urged the farmers to bring their matured and dry grain to the market so that they must not wait for long for its lifting.

The Deputy Commissioner said the administration would make sure that the farmers were not facing any difficulty in the markets. Tiwari said till date, 3 lakh metric tonnes of grain had arrived in the mandis. Out of the 3 lakh tonne, 2.74 lakh tonne of wheat had been lifted. “As much as 90 per cent of the wheat have already been lifted and about 95 per cent farmers have been paid their dues," said Tiwari.

Among others present on the occasion were Indermohan Singh Kadiyan, chairman, Market Committee; Rajpal Singh Dhaliwal, District Mandi Officer; Sher Singh, Ishar Jassal, Rajnish Kumari, Rajat Oberoi and HS Chahal.



To know their secret, cycle industry team off to China
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 24
Since the dragon is gulping down the local cycle industry, a delegation of 64 cycle manufacturers set out for China today to attend an international cycle show that is being organised from April 26 to 29. They will also get a chance to visit the Chinese cycle-manufacturing units and get knowledge about Chinese technical know-how.

Om Parkash Munjal and Onkar S Pahwa flagged of the delegation from the office of the United Cycle Parts and Manufacturers Association (UCPMA).

The members of the delegation, including three women, were all excited to be part of the three-day international cycle show to be held in Shanghai. The exhibition will be attended by entrepreneurs from nearly 80 countries.

"It is regarded as one of the biggest cycle shows of the world and it is also a great opportunity for the local industry to be part of it. The visit will also help us learn a few tips that will help improve the cycle industry in Ludhiana," said Gurmeet Singh Kular, president of the UCPMA.

"We will also come to know about the secret behind their success. The delegation will also visit some of the cycle units there and learn about the secret behind their success story. We want to explore the way Chinese work in their units and how they organise their workforce. It will be an interesting visit where we will get to know a lot about our competitor and the cycle industry in the city needs a lot of upgrading in terms of machinery and work culture," added a member of the delegation.



Akshya Tritya: 713.5g gold coins sold at post offices
Tribune Reporters

Ludhiana, April 24
A total of 713.5 grams of gold coins, worth Rs 24 lakh, were sold at various post offices in the district on the occasion of Akshya Tritya today, officials at the head post office informed. This is more than the total quantity of gold sold in the district since beginning of this month till April 22. Of this, 621.5 grams of gold coins got sold at the head post office.

The city tops in the sale of gold coins in northern India, according to Swaraj Kaur, senior postmaster, head post office. There was sale of coins worth more than Rs 1.68 crore in 2010-11 and about Rs 2 crore in the previous financial year at the post offices in the district, said PC Pal, superintendent post offices, Muffasil division.

It is faith in government offices and assurance of purity because of which the sale of gold coins at the post offices has increased despite rising prices of gold and this year the department is expecting even better sales, an official said.

“Akshya Tritya is considered auspicious and buying gold on the day is particularly lucky. That’s the reason I bought coins from here today,” said a resident, who purchased gold coins at a post office.

The gold coins at the post offices are available in the denominations of 0.5g, 1g, 5g, 8g, 10g and 50g. Head post office, sub-post office, Model Town, central post office and PAU post office apart from head post office at Khanna are authorised for the sale of coins in the district. The gold coins available with the post offices have the purity of 99.99 per cent and are manufactured by Valcambi, Switzerland, and sold at the post offices in association with the World Gold Council and a private company.

Jewellers disappointed

Even the auspicious occasion of Akshay Tritya has failed to lift the spirits of the jewellers in the city. Since the price of gold was at an all-time high, various lucrative schemes and discounts were offered by the jewellers but still jewellers failed to see a profitable Akshay Tritya.

"Sales remained very poor. It's an auspicious day and people do buy on that particular day. But the quantity of buying was much less this year," said Vedant Verma, a city-based wholesaler and exporter of gold jewellery.

The price of gold was hovering around Rs 21,700 per 10 grams in April last year during Akshay Tritya and now it is Rs 28,420 per 10 grams.

Jewellers did not have too many reasons to cheer because of the rise in the price of gold. "Although the number of customers on such an auspicious day usually double, it was not the case this year. Sales volumes were lower compared to those last year," added the owner of Dhawan Jewellers at Sarafa Bazar.

"Since it is a custom among the Hindu families to buy on this day so most of the families have opted for utensils this year. A large section of people today opted for buying utensils as this was very much within their budget," said another jeweller from the city.



World Meningitis day
Vaccinate your child now, meningitis can be deadly
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Luhdiana, April 24
Meningitis can affect people of all ages but infants, children and adolescents are typically at an increased risk of infection. The peak infant age group at risk of bacterial meningitis is from six to 18 months. Overall about 50 per cent of the cases of bacterial meningitis occur in children under five. The second peak age group at risk of bacterial meningitis is from 15 to 19 years. For viral meningitis, infants under one month are at risk the most.

But now one can get his child vaccinated against meningitis bacterial infections. Dr Ravinder Gulati, paediatrician with the Civil Hospital, Raikot, said: "This year the WHO is celebrating first-ever World Immunisation Week. The benefits of immunisation are increasingly being extended to the adolescents and adults, providing them protection against life-threatening diseases such as influenza, meningitis and cancers such as cervical and cancers."

Dr Gulati further said: "Vaccines are available for three bacterial infections causing meningitis. Vaccine against haemophilus influenza type B (HIB) is given along with three doses at 6, 10 an 14 weeks of birth and a booster between 16 and 24 months. To prevent neumoccocal bacterial infection, one can be given neumoccocal conjugate vaccine at the same age. However, for meningo coccal bacterial infection, in India only polysaccharide vaccines are given at the age above two years."

Children who are at increased risk of meningo coccal can be repeated at the age of two or three years.

Dr SS Bedi, a member of the Executive Board from Punjab for the Central Indian Academy of Paediatrics, advised parents to get their children vaccinated in order to protect them against meningitis. Safe and effective vaccines are available for protecting children under five.

The Symptoms

Meningitis is the infection and inflammation of membranes surrounding brain and spinal cord. It is caused by bacteria, viruses and tuberculosis. Children under five years of age are at high risk. Meningitis starts with vague symptoms like fever, body ache, headache, loss of appetite and it suddenly takes a serious turn with high fever, vomiting, pain and stiffness of neck, drowsiness, convulsions and unconsciousness. If not treated properly, it may have a fatal outcome or may result in irreversible brain damage.

The Causes

  • Viral meningitis is the most common and the least severe type. Almost all patients recover without any permanent damage although full recovery might sometimes take many weeks.
  • Bacterial meningitis is more aggressive and can lead to permanent damage or death. It is fatal in around 50 per cent of the cases if untreated, and accounts for around 170,000 deaths globally each year.
  • Most cases of bacterial meningitis are caused by meningococcus, pneumococcus and hib. These three bacteria are by far the most frequent causes of meningitis worldwide.
  • The meningococcus can be subdivided into distinct groups called serogroups, of which serogroups A, B, C, Y and W135 are responsible for over 95 per cent of the meningitis and septicaemia cases.
  • As with many infections, bacterial meningitis is much more frequent in the developing world than in the developed countries. The major factors for the greater incidence of meningitis are poverty, overcrowding and lack of access to vaccines.
  • Other causes of meningitis, such as fungi, cause severe infections but occur much less frequently than viral or bacterial meningitis.



rti complaints
LIT peon suspended for posing as clerk
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, April 24
The Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) has suspended a class IV employee, Harpal Singh, who had appeared as a clerk before the Punjab State Information Commission (PSIC) in the course of hearings of different complaints from time to time.

On a complaint filed by Rohit Sabharwal, president of the Council of RTI Activists, in this regard, a meeting of the full commission had recommended to the appointing authority to take disciplinary action against the class IV employee (sewadar) for impersonation as a clerk.

In his complaint filed before the PSIC, Sabharwal had alleged that Harpal Singh had appeared before the commission on behalf of the Trust as many as 33 times during 2010-11 and 2011-12 posing as a clerk in the course of hearings of different complaints.

"That a class IV employee had been making such a mockery of the RTI Act is simply not possible without the knowledge of the designated Public Information Officer (PIO) and the Assistant Public Information Officer (APIO) of the LIT which indirectly conveys the impression that these officials show utter disregard to the Act as well as the State Commission setup for redress of complaints," pointed out the complainant.

The PSIC, at its meeting held on November 4, 2011, under the presidentship of the State Information Commissioner RI Singh, took strong notice of the LIT peon impersonating as a clerk in the hearings of different complaints. The commission directed the LIT to take appropriate disciplinary action against the class IV employee for this undesirable conduct.

In an office order issued by the LIT Executive Officer on February 3, 2012, the said class IV employee was placed under suspension. Without elaborating, the office orders stated: "Harpal Singh, sewadar, is placed under suspension for dereliction of duty and disobeying the orders of his superior officers. The formal charge sheet in this regard will be issued later”.



Stress on need for water management
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 24
Amjad Ali, district governor, Rotary International district 3090, called upon leaders of all NGOs to make people aware about the need for water management and environment preservation, so that future generations may have sufficient life sustaining constituents.

Office-bearers and activists of the local unit of the Rotary Club vowed to contribute their best in conserving water at their homes, offices and business organisations.

While addressing a gathering of representatives of various organisations on the occasion of the annual function of the host club at MGMN Senior Secondary School last night, Ali while showing concern over the ever deteriorating environment claimed that joint steps taken by all social organisations, supplemented by the government, would save society from facing a situation when there would be no water to drink and no air to breath. He urged the directorate of the local unit to allocate enough budget for water management projects.



dengue tests
Private hospitals told to use govt-approved kits
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 24
The Chief Medical Officer, Ludhiana, Dr Subhash Batta, has told all private hospitals to conduct dengue tests only through the government-approved kits and to prepare blood film in case a patient was positive with malaria. He also issued some instructions related to swine flu.

Dr Batta said this while holding a meeting of hospital officials of different private hospitals of the city. He told the authorities to conduct Mac Eliza test. The Chief Medical Officer further asked them to conduct these tests only through six governmment-approved kits. He said,"Once they are doing as per the guidelines, probably we should accept it. If and when required, it will be cross checked. So even after the confirmation of dengue through these tests, the health department will further get these tests done on its own. In case a dengue case is positive, its sample will be preserved so that it can be cross checked by the health department."

He also said that enough stock of blood components should be maintained.



Harpreet clinches top spot in MSc exam

Ludhiana, April 24
Harpreet Kaur, a student of GNGC, has bagged first position in Panjab University in MSc I (physics) securing 81 per cent marks in the first semester examinations. She said it was regular and constant studies that helped her clinch the top position.

She says she would work hard to maintain the position in the next semester as well and wants to become a scientific official, she said.

Sapna securing 71 per cent marks has stood second in the college and Manpreet Kaur with 69 per cent marks stood third. — TNS



Shift liquor vend, demand residents
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 24
A delegation of the Ambedkar Nagar Welfare Society led by president, Dr Surjit Singh, met Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC) Rupanjli Kartik here today. The delegation submitted a letter to the ADC demanding to shift liquor vend from ward No. 47, Ambedkar Nagar.

Dr Surjit Singh alleged that some residents of the locality installed a liquor vend in a house near a school. He alleged that the liquor vend is installed with the support of excise department officials.



Couple hurt in road mishap
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, April 24
A couple got injured when a truck hit the motorcycle they were travelling on today. As per information, the accident took place at the Ludhiana-Moga Highway near Malak Chowk of Jagraon. The injured have been identified as Gurdeep Singh (32) and wife Simran Kaur (29) of Upplan village near Samrala.

While Gurdeep escaped with minor injuries, Simran was seriously injured. Both injured were admitted to the Civil Hospital, Jagraon.

While Gurdeep was discharged after the treatment, Simran has been still undergoing a treatment.

According to doctors, there are some serious injuries on the abdomen and other parts of the body of Simran, though her condition is stated to be stable. According to Gurdeep, he along with his wife was coming from Ludhiana side to Jagraon on his motorcycle. When they reached near Malak Chowk, a speeding truck hit their motorcycle and as a result both fell on the road and got injured, he alleged. Meanwhile, the police impounded the truck and took its driver in its custody. Investigating officer Baldev Singh said the police had recorded the statement of both injured. Though no case was registered till the filing of this report and negotiations were on between both sides to reach a compromise.



Man charred to death
Our Correspondent

Phillaur, April 24
A truck driver, identified as Prem Nath of Shadipur village, was burnt alive when the truck he was driving caught fire after coming in contact with loose high tension wires near Bilga in the Phillaur sub-division.

Deceased father Shiv Nath told the police that Prem Nath was going to the fields for loading wheat from a combine when the truck touched the electric wires and caught fire.

The police has registered a case under Section 304-A of the IPC against Powercom employees on the charges of negligence, which caused the death of the truck driver.

The body was handed over to family members after conducting a post-mortem at the Civil Hospital.



Sets of boxes stolen from car

Ludhiana, April 24
Sets of boxes were stolen from the car of Jatinderpal Singh, a cable operator from Ludhiana, who had come to attend a wedding at Dugri today. The police is looking into the matter, while no case has been registered so far.

According to information, Jatinderpal Singh went to a wedding at Dugri this afternoon. After attending the wedding when he came near his car, he found windowpanes broken and the sets of boxes, which were lying in the car stolen. — TNS



5 booked after clash over ‘eve-teasing’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 24
The Model Town police station has registered a case under section 323, 341 and 506 against five persons after they clashed over an "eve-teasing" issue at Railway Colony here last evening.

According to the SHO, Jaswinder Singh, the case has been registered on the basis of a complaint filed by Baljit Singh, a resident of Railway Colony, who was injured in the clash.

Jaswinder said two brothers, namely Roxy and Joxy, reportedly used to tease Simran (name changed), a 21 year old girl, residing at Railway Colony Number 7. Last evening, too, they came to the colony with the same intention but this time Simran’s brothers engaged in a scuffle with the "eve-teasers". Simran and Baljit Singh were injured in the scuffle.



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