L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Kos minars, sarais to be conserved
Punjab heritage board to give a facelift to heritage buildings
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

The ancestral home of Kartar Singh Sarabha.
The ancestral home of Kartar Singh Sarabha. A file photo

Ludhiana/Khanna, April 29
The Punjab Heritage and Tourism Promotion Board (PHTPB), Chandigarh, has undertaken a project through which various sarais, Kos minars and other monuments, which have played a significant role in shaping up the cultural heritage, craft and livelihood of the people, will be conserved. The district administration has been asked to provide details of about 12 such buildings and roads in Ludhiana district, which need to be conserved for future generations.

Geetika Kalha, Principal Secretary-cum-Chief Executive Officer (PHTPB), said the board had undertaken the project of conservation of these heritage buildings and other monuments along the portion of the Grand Trunk Road passing through Punjab. The board has also sent the list and maps to the district administrations of Patiala, Ludhiana, Fatehgarh Sahib, Jalandhar, Kapurthala and Tarn-Taran and has identified about 40 such heritage buildings and roads, which need to be protected and conserved.

The board has particularly asked Ludhiana to provide details about the ancestral house of Shaheed Sukhdev Thapar, Anglo-Sikh War Memorial Aliwal with approach pathway, Ancestral House of Lala Lajpat Rai at Jagraon and plot in front of the house, ancestral house of Shaheed Kartar Singh at Sarabha village. Besides, the Kosminars at Ghungrali Rajput, Kot Mandiala, Dhandari Kalan, Sherpur and Sahnewal, Sarai Lakshari Khan, Kot Mandiala and Mughal Sarai, Doraha, are also in the list of the board which need to be protected.

The maps of a majority of these buildings and roads are not available with the board. In order to chalk out a conservation and tourism development plan and to provide tourism infrastructure, the board has asked the district administration to provide:

n Dimensions and area of the property as per revenue records
n Ownership of the monuments
n Physical demarcation of the monuments on the ground
n Information of the available government land in proximity to the monuments where tourist infrastructure can be planned. 


Fake Certificate Racket
Two PSEB employees, three others in police net
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 29
In a major breakthrough, the city police has nabbed five persons, including two employees of the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB), and claimed to have busted a fake certificate racket.

The accused have been identified as Sanjeev Kumar and Krishan Kumar, both residents of the city, while Deepak Kumar, Surjit Singh and Karnail Singh are residents of Mohali.

The accused were nabbed by the Sadar police following a tip-off. The five accused were duping innocent persons on the pretext of making fake certificates. In return they were pocketing huge amount of money from their clients. Besides, the police has recovered scanner, colour printer and papers from the possession of the accused persons.

Karnail Singh and Surjit Singh are employees of the PSEB. The police said, Surjit and Karnail were fudging with the records of the PSEB and were providing details about the serial numbers of Class X and Class XII certificates, to their accomplices.

They claimed to their clients that their certificate would not be challenged and would be considered as original.The accused had created a fake matriculation certificate of Amrik Singh of Partap Singh Wala village. The deal was struck at Rs 45,000. But Amrik was thrown out of the job after his certificate was found to be a fake one during scanning. Amrik further approached the police and narrated the entire incident, which further led to the arrest of the accused.

Gurpreet Singh, ACP (Sadar), said the gang was thriving in the region and might have sold many fake certificates.



3 traders detained in anti-prostitution raid
In China, could face jail, deportation or cancellation of visa
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 29
It is now official, the three city based traders, “who went to China to bring new technology”, have been arrested during an anti-prostitution raid in Shanghai on April 26.

The incident has yet again brought to fore the fact that how a section of traders are indulging in illegal activities in the garb of attending foreign exhibitions and misusing the name of prestigious business associations.

“The traders are indulging in such activities at Government’s expense. Many traders’ associations get approval of the micro-small and medium enterprise (MSME) to sponsor their tour. The traders maintain that they will bring in new technology,” said a cycle manufacturer on the condition of anonymity. If found guilty, the Indians traders would at least face deportation and fines.

Under the Chinese law, they can also face possible jail terms, although sentences for foreigners have varied from case to case in the past.Some have been let off with deportation and cancelled visas, while others have spent time in jail ranging from a few weeks to several months, said a legal expert.

Prostitution is illegal under the Chinese law. Prostitutes operate openly in many Chinese metropolises, such as Shanghai, where they are known to approach foreign tourists and businessmen and even advertise their services in the official-run newspapers and magazines, a city yarn and cloth trader, who regularly visits China, said.

The traders were, part of a 100-member delegation attending an international bicycle and motor fair in Shanghai, where they were detained following a prostitution raid on a hotel in the city, officials in the Indian Consulate said.

The United Cycle Parts and Manufacturers Association (UCPMA) is tightlipped over the issue and refused to divulge the names of the detained traders. Despite repeated attempts MS Khalsa, chairman of UCPMA, was not available for comments.

While taking a jibe, a former member of UCPMA said, “Everyone can smell a rat. Had they (businessmen) been innocent the cycle manufacturers of the city would have virtually hit the roads to press the government and External Affair Ministry to free the detained traders, but none of the association member have sought the help of the ministry which raises an eyebrow.”

There are more worries lying in store for the detained traders, due to the long weekend their detention could be extended till the middle of May.

The UCPMA members form the city were participating in the exhibition under the aegis of the Delhi- based Engineering Export Promotion Council (EEPC).



Partap Chowk flyover
Six-month-old road gives way; MLA seeks probe
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 29
Merely six months after its construction, the road of the down ramp of Partap Chowk flyover is in a dilapidated state. Now, the MC officials have started repairing the road, without ordering an inquiry or finding out the reasons as to why the road got damaged in just six months.

Sources in the civic body said that the road was being repaired by the MC itself as the hot-mix plant of the contractor was not “running” at present. This had not only led to the wastage of public money, but also brought to the fore, the contractor-official nexus within the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation.

City residents have always complained about the poor-quality material used in the construction of roads.

The condition of the road of down ramp is such that it gives the look of an age-old road and not like the one constructed six months ago. The layer of bitumen has got accumulated on one side of the bridge and people travelling on a two -wheeler can easily injure themselves as their vehicle could get unbalanced. Besides this, several potholes have also appeared on the road.

The foundation stone of the Rs 22.92 crore project was laid on May 25, 2010. The length of this flyover is 471 meters, while the width is 16.5 meters. The up ramp and down ramp are 70-meter long and 4.5-meter wide. The project was completed in September last year and was thrown open to public by Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on October 11.

The contractor, who constructed the flyover allegedly has good “political links”. If this is the condition of the down ramp in the first six months, one can imagine the condition of the road in the days to come.

When contacted, HS Khosa, Executive Engineer, MC, said that the road was damaged as the drivers of heavy vehicles applied brakes on a particular point from where the buses got off road, which was why, the layer of bitumen got accumulated on one side of the ramp. But now that it was being repaired, the problem would not arise again, Khosa said. He claimed that the road was being repaired by the contractor himself.

But a senior MC official, on condition of anonymity, said that the hot-mix plant of the contractor was not running at present. “We have asked other contractors to provide him (contractor of Partap Chowk flyover project) with bitumen so that the repair work can be carried out,” said the official.

Independent MLA Simarjit Singh Bains, (in whose constituency this flyover falls), has demanded that a probe be conducted into the issue. “The flyover is the lifeline of the city and the MC should have kept a close check on the quality of material used during the construction of the project. As this project falls in my constituency, I will take personal interest in it so that private construction companies are not able to play with the lives of the area residents,” said Bains.



Life a constant struggle for ‘Veer Nari’
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 29
While their husbands sacrificed their life to protect their country from the enemies, these women are waging a lone battle against the insensitive society to keep the kitchen fire burning. Almost every war widow, or “Veer Nari” as they are called, has a similar story to tell. These vulnerable women receive only half the pension following the death of their husband, which is not enough to manage a family.

The tragic story of Surinder Kaur can make the toughest heart melt. A few year after their marriage, her husband Mahinder Singh got killed while fighting against a terrorist in 1994.

"In the prime of my life, I was left to fend for myself and my child. I was not educated enough to get a decent job. In the name of pension, I am receiving Rs 4,000 and that too has to be divided between my mother-in-law and me. Is it justified? Can you run a household with Rs 2,000? I am forced to do menial jobs to keep the kitchen fire burning," she lamented.

The oldest among these women is 100 years old Pritam Kaur. Her husband Nayak Arjan Singh died in 1942 in Burma during the Second World War.

"India was under the British rule then. There was some problem over the issue of pension. Abiding by the family decision, I remarried Sohan Singh, the younger brother of Nayak Arjan Singh. My second husband too died in 1985. After his death, I have been receiving his pension. I do not know what would have happened to me had I not be given this pension," said Pritam Kaur.

Gurdev Kaur (80) has one dream - that her grandchildren should be accommodated in the Army. She said in the name of pension she was receiving just Rs 5,000. "My son Jugraj Singh died while fighting the enemies on the front nearly 13 years ago. I want that one of my grandchildren be selected in the Army to bail us out of the bad financial situation," said Gurdev Kaur.

Jaswant Kaur, sums it up, "Out sacrifice is no less. We spend our lives almost like widows. Our husbands remain in the front throughout their youth. And back home we look after the children and the rest of the family. What is our fault? Why is the government so insensitive towards us?" said Jaswant Kaur.



Polyester sarees to cost more
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 29
Polyester sarees are all set to become costlier, thanks to an increase in the prices of raw materials like polyester yarn, chemicals, dyes and the hike in natural gas and lignite prices.

The cost is likely to go up by around 10 to 15 per cent. Since these sarees are mostly worn by the labour class, they will now have to shell out extra money for buying the traditional attire.

Sources said the price of polyester yarn, a basic raw material for the textile industry, had gone up by around 20 per cent in the last couple of months due to the depreciating rupee and increase in crude oil price. This, however, has increased the production cost of the grey fabric.

On the other hand, textile processing units are reeling under severe pressure to increase the job charges of dyeing and printing of the finished fabrics, sarees and dress material by Rs 2 to Rs 4 per m due to 8 to 9 per cent increase in the prices of dyes and chemicals and the recent increase in the price of natural gas and lignite.

“An increase in the cost of chemicals, dyes, natural gas and lignite has forced the textile processors to increase the job charges by around 10 to 15 per cent in the past few days. This has led to an increase in the manufacturing cost of the finished fabrics, sarees and dress material by Rs 2 to Rs 4 per m,” said Girish Gupta, a textile unit owner.

“We mainly deal in low-cost sarees that range between Rs 150 and Rs 200. Therefore, a 10 to 15 per cent hike in the prices will affect our business,” said Deepak Bansal, a shopkeeper at Field Gunj market.

Sunita, a maid, said as they had limited resources, they could buy the traditional attire of their state, polyester sarees, only once or twice a year.

“I even buy sarees and send them to my mother living in Uttar Pradesh. High prices will definitely affect our purchasing power,” said Sunita.



Deregulation of diesel prices
Transporters urge government to revoke decision
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 29
Accusing the government of favouring international companies, transporters have appealed to the Centre not to deregulate diesel prices as this would adversely affect them. They have threatened to go on a strike if the government did not revoke its decision.

“The decision of de-controlling diesel prices will affect us badly. The move will help global companies set fuel prices according to their profit agenda,” said chairman of the Punjab States Goods Transport Association Charan Singh Lohara.

“Like petrol, the diesel prices will also be increased every few months,” he added.

Terming the government’s decision as incorrect, he said it was another erroneous decision by the government which would lead to price rise in the country.

Echoing similar views, another transporter Sukhminder Singh said their business would come to an end in case the prices were deregulated. “Petrol prices are going through the roof. If diesel prices are deregulated, these will go the petrol way and we will see a hike in the prices of diesel every couple of months,” he said.

“The government must consider all aspects before coming to a conclusion. Fuel prices directly or indirectly influence prices of every item. Hence, putting the diesel prices out of its ambit is indeed a major decision which will have larger implications.”



Ghanta ghar
MC repairs clocks damaged by birds
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 29
The four clocks installed on the Clock Tower, which had stopped working last week, have now been repaired by the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation. The civic body officials said that the clocks were damaged due to the birds sitting on the clock hands.

Last week, The Tribune had reported that the four clocks installed on the Clock Tower, also known as the Ghanta Ghar, had stopped functioning. After that, the MC authorities had sprung into action and had repaired the clocks.

While speaking to The Tribune, MC Commissioner Malwinder Singh Jaggi said that the design of the four clocks was such that the birds usually sat on the clock hands. “As they sit on the clock hands, they get damaged and slowly the machine stops working after a few days. The design is more than 100-year-old and we cannot change it or cover the clocks,” claimed Jaggi.

Some problem always persists with the Clock Tower. In September last year, the hands of one of the four clocks installed on the Clock Tower, had gone missing. The MC authorities, who are responsible for the upkeep of this landmark, had no knowledge about it.

In February last year, the MC had spent around Rs 7 lakh on the beautification and maintenance of the Clock Tower. At that time, the interiors and exteriors of the Clock Tower were whitewashed. Similarly, the Building And Roads (B&R) Branch installed fancy grills to give it an aesthetic look. Again in June last year, the Tourism And Cultural Affairs Ministry of the state government had spent around Rs 12 lakh on the restoration and beautification work of the Clock Tower.

A century-old legacy

The iconic Clock Tower, popularly known as “Ghanta Ghar”, is over a century old. It was on October 18, 1906, that the Victoria Memorial Clock Tower, Ludhiana, was inaugurated by the then Lt-Governor of Punjab and its dependencies, Sir Charles Montgomery, along with Dewan Tek Chand, the then Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana. The site of the tower was chosen keeping in mind its proximity to the business centre and the railway station. In those times, the common people depended on “Ghanta Ghar” to keep a track of time and synchronise their watches.



Youth in the dock for getting three passports issued
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, April 29
In search of greener pastures abroad, a youth hailing from Jhoraran village near Raikot, allegedly managed to get three passports issued in his name.

As per sources, an NRI informed the police that a youth had allegedly got issued three different passports in his name in connivance with certain government officials.

The youth is learnt to have managed to hush up the matter for some time using his proximity with certain police officials, but when the issue came to the notice of Gurpreet Singh Toor, SSP, Ludhiana (rural), he marked an inquiry into the matter.

It is learnt that the youth had been longing to migrate to Canada for long. He got his first passport bearing registration number F-0744940 issued a few years ago. Following which, he had applied for a visa in Canadian Embassy which was refused by the Canadian High Commission.

Despite this, he did not give up. He then contacted an immigration consultant who advised him to get issued a new passport following which he managed to get issued the second passport bearing number B-3162989 on the basis of some forged documents. Now, he again submitted an application to the Canadian Embassy on the basis of the new passport, but his application was again rejected by the Canadian Embassy.

But the foreign aspirations of the youth did not end here and he, however, managed to obtain a duplicate matriculation certificate from a Raikot-based academy. On the basis of the certificate, he once again got issued a new passport bearing number E-574437 and again applied for a Canadian visa. But his third application for getting issued Canadian Visa was, too, turned down by the embassy.

Moreover, the Punjab State Education Board had also clarified during police investigation that the certificate obtained by the youth was fake.

Sources added that prior to the inquiry initiated against him, the youth also registered a case with the police alleging that the two passports and the matriculation certificate issued in his name were obtained by a Raikot-based immigration consultant without informing him.

It was learnt that both the passports contained signature of the youth and the said immigration consultant was abroad.

However, the incident has raised a serious question mark on the integrity of officials of various departments, including the police, passport office and village panchayat. This might also land some government officials in trouble.

Confirming the development, Ludhiana SSP (rural) Gurpreet Singh said the matter was being probed.

“The investigation will be conducted in an impartial manner and we will go through various facts of the incident before reaching a conclusion,” said Toor. Strict action would be taken against the guilty, he added.

Meanwhile, the youth refused to comment on the issue and said he would give his statement before the police.



Residents lodge complaint against restaurant owner
Say the latter serves liquor to customers in their car
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 29
Environment (Park) Development Committee, Sarabha Nagar, has complained against a restaurant owner at the I-Block market, opposite Nav Durga Temple, Sarabha Nagar, for serving liquor to customers while sitting in their cars along with eatables from 9 pm onwards everyday.

In the complaint written to the Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner, Ludhiana II, and DSP, Sarabha Nagar, the residents have requested the officials to check whether the restaurant had a valid excise licence to serve the liquor to the customers.

BK Shahi, president of the park, has also asked the Sarabha Nagar DSP to ask the PCR staff to check the I-Block market two to three times everyday in the evening.

“Besides, the police must check park number 216, opposite the market, as sometimes youngsters consume liquor and create unhealthy atmosphere,” said Shahi. 



Samples of antibiotics, anti-allergic drugs collected
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 29
A team of health officials yesterday inspected chemist shops at Dhandari and Hargobind Nagar near Christian Medical College and Hospital and collected samples of antibiotics and anti-allergic drugs.

Sukhbeer Chand, drug inspector, said, “At Dhandari, we inspected Deep Medicos, Bihar Medicos and Yadav Medical Store and collected samples of cetrizine, betnovate, salbertamol expectorant and two samples of antibiotics.”

He added that a few days ago, Dr Subhash Batta had received a complaint that Pappi book store at Hargobind Nagar near Christian Medical College and Hospital was selling habit forming drugs.

“But we could not find any such drug there,” he added.

At Hargobinder Nagar, the team also inspected Hargobind Medical Store and Shri Ram Medical Hall.

Dr Subhash Batta, a member of the State Inspection and Monitoring Committee, said, “To ensure proper implementation of the PNDT Act, I visited a few scan centres in Sangrur district yesterday and found a few minor deficiencies. I have reported the matter to the higher authorities.”



Online purchase of jewellery in
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 29
There was a time when gold jewellery, diamonds and other precious stones were only bought from the trusted family jewellers. But now the trend is changing as people prefer buying jewellery online.

Online jewellery retail in India is at a nascent stage but poised for huge growth. India has never before been so open to buying jewellery online like what we have seen in the recent times-jewellery is the largest selling product online.

“It is mostly branded jewellery, gems-studded jewellery, jewellery for fashion and lightweight designs that fuel the demand for jewellery throughout the year,” said the spokesperson for an online shopping site.

But considering that most of the people in India prefer the touch, feel and try process before indulging in expensive purchases, there are several hurdles that online retailers have to overcome.

“I do not indulge in buying heavy sets online, but I regularly shop for pendants, rings and earrings. Designs available online are not prepared by the jewellers in the city. Buying jewellery online is a better option these days as one can shop while sitting at home. There is no need to go the market,” added Manisha, a business woman.

There are trust issues, which one needs to surpass by offering good variety and, most importantly, impressive and convenient after sales service, say experts.

“Little did anyone realise that there will be a day when Internet will be trusted for something as valuable as gold and other jewellery. Customers come and ask for the designs similar to what they have seen online,” said Krishan Chand, from Krishna Jewellers at Sarafan Bazar.

Most sites offer a wide range of chains, pendants, rings, earrings, bracelets and simple as well as elaborate sets. It may or may not be branded, but they do have a variety and exclusiveness, said Richa, who regularly shops online.

“It is quite safe in terms of supply chain as the products move in a completely secure environment and payment mechanisms are already quite secure in India through bank transfers, verified by visa, plus the chunk of the business happens on cash collection before or at the time of the delivery,” added Richa.



Ramshackle gateways of Old Grain Market need attention
Vendors, schoolchildren face life threat
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, April 29
The two entrance structures of Old Grain Market are posing threat to the commuters’ lives.

The shopkeepers operating their business here have been living under constant fear as the century-old buildings may collapse any time if not repaired at the earliest.

Besides shops, a primary school is also being run on the roof of one of the buildings by Municipal Council, Jagraon. More than 75 students study in this school.

Even a little shock can destroy the entire building that is also one of the entrance points of the market. Some years back a primary school was situated on the rooftop of this building but was shifted to the rooftop of the second entrance building situated towards Nehru Market.

Shopkeepers said they have brought the issue into the notice of the Municipal Council many times but no efforts were made by the latter.

Sources said the foundation stone of this building was laid by Sant Baba Nand Singh, founder of Nanaksar sect in 1913. This building was seen as a pride of the city but of late it has become a matter of concern for those who come here.

The shopkeepers have demanded immediately repair of the buildings to save them from collapsing.

Municipal Council President Baldev Krihan Dhir said the repair work would start soon. “The Municipal Council has been trying to hire an architect agency which may repair the historical building without damaging the original structure,” he said.



Pets vaccinated on veterinary day
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 29
"Judicious use of antibiotics should be strictly implemented by framing a law. For this, an anti-microbial policy is required,” Dr Kulbir Singh Sandhu, member Punjab Public Service Commission and a veterinarian, said while inaugurating World Veterinary Day celebration here in Veterinary Club.

The theme for the event was ‘Antimicrobial Resistance’. In the morning session, a free vaccination camp for dogs and cats was organised on the club’s premises. Dr Inderjit Singh, deputy director, animal husbandry inaugurated the camp.

Pet lovers from nearby area brought their dogs to get expert’s advice.

In the evening, a technical session was organised where Dr KK Baxi, president of club welcomed the guests and delegates.

All the dignitaries on the stage lighted the lamp. Bouquets were presented by female veterinarians of the club.

A cultural programme was also organised after the technical session. Scientists from Nestle India, DMC & H, CMCH, Verka milk plant, government field veterinarians and faculty members of GADVASU, Ludhiana, took part in the celebration.

Punjab State Veterinary Council commemorated this day for continuing education for veterinarians of the state.



Take cue from Chandigarh on parking fee issue: Minister
Minna Zutshi
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 29
The PWD Minister Sharanjit Dhillon wants the Municipal Corporation Ludhiana to take a cue from the Chandigarh model. He believes that the parking norms in the City Beautiful offer a solution to the parking fee problem in areas like Feroze Gandhi Market here.

In a meeting with the Traders and Property Owners' Association of the market, wherein the association members apprised him of their problems, including the 'high' parking fee and unsanitary conditions of the marketplace, the minister kept referring to the Chandigarh model.

Adopting an "aam aadmi" stance, Dhillon, after listening to the complaints of the association members, spoke over the phone to the MC Commissioner MS Jaggi.

"At the Feroze Gandhi Market, the public comes for routine jobs that sometimes take less than five minutes to finish. The parking fee (of Rs 20) that the visitors have to pay is too high. If for having a thali (of food) worth Rs 50, the people have to shell out Rs 20 as the parking fee, it is not done," said Dhillon in his telephonic conversation.

He added, "At the Chandigarh Airport, they have a system whereby the parking fee is levied according to the duration for which the vehicles are parked in the parking lot. Why can't we have a similar system here?"

Continuing his telephonic talk with the MC Commissioner he said, "The parking fee should be whittled down to half i.e. Rs 10. In Chandigarh, a parking fee of Rs 5 is charged." Later, his concern shifted to the litter in the marketplace. "The place is very dirty. It is littered with heaps of refuse. The cleaning job should be started from tomorrow itself," he went on.

Jaggi, when contacted, said, "We are already through with the auction for the parking lot of the market. But we'll surely study the legality of the issue and see if anything can be worked out at this stage." 



Asthma a stigma for some: Study
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 29
Most of the chronic lung diseases are progressively disabling and may force an individual to seek medical advice. But asthma is considered as a social stigma by some patients.

The department of physiology, Christian Medical College, Ludhiana, and Genesis Family Clinic, Ludhiana, conducted a research in a slum area on the Tibba Road where they included as many as 296 elderly patients.

Smokers as well as non-smokers or passive smokers were also included. A detailed medical history regarding age, sex, smoking habits, relevant symptoms, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, occupation, dietary habits, past or concurrent medication and education status was recorded. Each patient underwent a systemic clinical examination.

The study was conducted by Dr Neeraj, assistant professor, and Dr John Parmod, professor of physiology department, CMC, and Dr Mailna Chaudhery, consultant of Genesis Family Clinic.

It was found that more than 11 per cent of patients were not willing to accept that they had common pulmonary disease (COPD) or asthma and sought a routine treatment for cough or breathlessness. The reason is that none of them wants to live with the stigma of a chronic disease.

Dr John Parmod added, “Due to a complex social behaviour coupled with financial constraints, about 73 per cent of patients, who were suffering from chronic bronchitis or emphysema with or without asthma, underplayed their symptoms even in a condition where their lung functions were seriously limited.

Dr Malina Chaudhry and Dr Neeraj said, “Some of the patients (14.23 per cent) overlooked these symptoms and accepted these as part of the normal ageing process. A significant number of patients of COPD (69 per cent) took short-term symptomatic treatment at the time of acute exacerbations. Most of the people observed in this group were daily wagers who could not afford the treatment.”



CMC goes in for ‘matched unrelated donor transplant’
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 29
After successful allogenic stem cell transplant for thalassaemia patients, Christian Medical College Ludhiana is now taking a step forward i.e going for ‘unmatched unrelated donator transplant’.

Disclosing this Dr Joseph John Associate Professor and Head Clinical Haematology, Haemato-Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, CMC said, "In the span of three and half years we have done 35 transplants, out of which 26 are allogenic (stem cell received from within the family). And 9 autologous (stem cells not received from the family) in the last three and half years of time. Out of these 12 are of thalassaemia patients. "

Dr John said, "If the stem cells of a thalassaemia patient do not match with family donors i.e if parents or brother- sister's stem cells donot match with the patient, we can arrange for the "matched unrelated donor" from anywhere in the world. For this a patient is registered at CMC. We send that name to various donor registrations across the world. CMCL has affiliated with registeries in German and USA registeries. Once a donor is idenified at any of these centres, stem cells can be transported /transferred from these centres to India."

Dr John further said, "CMC Ludhiana is the first institution in North India (Beyond Delhi) to do successful allogenic transplant for thalassaemia. The first stem cell transplant was done in February 2008 in a 14 years old girl of Patiala. By now we have transplanted stem cells in patients of different age groups i.e. from 2 years to 18 years. "

Stem cells which have been transplanted by now at CMCL are taken from hip bone marrow or from peripheral blood stem cells from the veins in hands or legs.

The patient is supposed to stay for one month in a specially prepared room of the hospital and three months together in the city itself for follow up check ups.

For this expenditure is more than the standard step cell transplant. An amount of rupees 20 to 25 lakhs is incurred upon MUD Transplant.

What is thalassaemia?

Thalassemia is an inherited blood disorder in which the body makes an abnormal form of hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen. It causes excessive destruction of red blood cells, which leads to anemia.

Free screening of thalassaemia

CMC has also started free of cost ‘screening of thalassaemia’ for pregnant women of the state and adjoining area. People can make use of this test and save the future generation. But this test is done within three months of pregnancy.



Panel to look into DMCH employees’ demand
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 29
In response to the notice served by the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) Employees’ Union to the management, the latter has said an enquiry committee has been constituted to look into the matter.

The union issued a press release yesterday stating that the management should not carry out unfair labour practices and should withdraw disciplinary proceedings against president of the union, Charan Dass, and press secretary Harish Masih.

Today in a press release Prem Kumar Gupta, secretary of managing society said, “Charan Dass and Hardish Masih have been suspended by the management on the charges of disrupting the normal hospital services and indulging in anti-social activities affecting the patients. Both the employees had been actively involved in instigating other hospital employees in disrupting essential services.”



400 patients examined at medical camp
Tribune News Service

Luhdiana, April 29
Free medical checkup camp for eyes, ortho was held at Gurdwara Sri Nirmolik Heera Grusikh Trust, Aman Nagar, today.

The camp was organised by Anurag Kalhan, general secretary of Salaam Zindagi Foundation, in coordination with the teams of doctors from DMCH headed by Dr Sumeet Chopra.

Over 400 patients were examined by Dr Sumeet Chopra, Dr Anita Chopra, Dr Rohit Gupta (eyes) and Dr Suresh Rig (ortho).

Free medicines were also distributed. The camp was inaugurated by MLA Ranjit Singh Dhillon. He appreciated Salaam Zindagi Foundation team for its efforts.



Looters’ sketches released
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, April 29
The police here released sketches of two people who were allegedly involved in looting of Rs 20 lakh from a person on March 14 at the bus stand of Mandi Gobindgarh.

DSP Arashdeep Singh Gill said Patel Greedak, an employee of Patel Rakesh Kanti Lal and Company, was going from Ludhiana to Jamna Nagar by bus with a cash bag containing Rs 20 lakh. When the bus entered Mandi Gobindgarh bus-stand, four persons, two in police uniform, reached near the bus in India car (No HR 61-8196). They asked Greedak to come down from the bus for investigation. He was also threatened to put him behind the bars in black money case.

On his statement the police registered an under section 382 of the IPC against the four unidentified persons. 



Lobbying at its peak
Leaders vie for party ticket before MC by-elections
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, April 29
The lobbying among various leaders of local unit of the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) has reached its peak before the Municipal Council by-elections.

Sources said more than one dozen leaders of different political parties have been planning to contest the by-election from ward number 13, which fell vacant after the death of BJP Municipal Councillor Vinod Kumar Goel.

There have been as many as four leaders of the SAD-BJP coalition who have been in race to get the party ticket. Among those who have staked their claim include Honey Goel, son of late Vinod Kumar Goel, Dr Rajinder Sharma, BJP district general secretary, and Navneet Kumar Gupta, BJP district secretary. Harminder Singh Bhumal of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has also staked his claim to contest the by-election on coalition ticket.

Though others leaders too have been in touch with the party high command and claimed that they have been assured of getting party ticket, Dr Rajinder Sharma and Honey Goel are said to be among the frontrunners for getting the party ticket.

This race for party ticket might create problems for the party. Those who would fail to get the party ticket are likely to rebel. They may contest as independent candidates as well.

Honey Goel and Harminder Singh Bhumal said they would contest as independent candidates if the high command refuses to award ticket to them. If such a situation arises, the party is bound to suffer damage and this might directly benefit the opposition candidates.

BJP Mandal President Raj Verma has said he has received applications from four party leaders who are willing to contest elections on party ticket. “The final decision would be taken by the high command after consultation with the local senior BJP leaders,” he said.

Verma said a core committee meeting is scheduled to take place in the coming days and the name of the party candidate would be declared in the last week of April.

Sources said local SAD MLA Shiv Ram Kaler might also play a significant role in finalising the name of candidate. The sources maintain that the leaders willing to contest this election are making rounds of the residence of Kaler to convince him. However, it remains to be seen which candidate succeed in getting the party ticket. 



City vendors ‘fleecing’ foreign students
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 29
Although Punjabis are known for being bighearted and hospitable, foreign students studying in city colleges have a different tale to tell. They are often overcharged while shopping in markets. Foreign students, however, are not criticising about people or their attitude towards them.

According to a student from Uganda, not wanting to be named, vendor in the city often quote double the price of things knowing that they are foreigners and do not know about the actual cost of the objects. Sharing an experience, the student said he had to shell out Rs 8,000 to repair the broken screen of his laptop in Ghumar Mandi. When he sent his local friend for the same purpose, the same person quoted charged him only Rs 5,000. It is not an isolated incident, many foreign students agreed.

Another student said they face trouble when commodities, they want to purchase, do not have price tag. The language is yet another barrier for these students. "Most of the shopkeepers think we are tourists. They quote much higher price at first but when we tell them we are studying here and we know the prices they charge the correct price. But we don't know the correct prices of everything, and get duped often," he said.

The District Food and Supplies Controller Rajneesh Kumari said she hasn't received any complaint so far regarding the matter. If the aggrieved students complain in writing, the matter would be looked into.



New MCom course strikes a chord with students
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 29
Students of the first batch of MCom Business Innovations course at SCD Government College seem to be satisfied lot.

Being the first batch, they were skeptical about the course. But now, most of them say they are content with the curriculum.

"There is always a risk in joining new course and measured risk taking is also a business tactic," said Roshni Kapoor, a student. “So far it has turned out to be a good learning experience,” she said.

“They used to have seminars on weekends in the beginning. The students eventually got used to coming to college on Sundays,” said Prof Ahwani Bhalla, coordinator for the course.

"It is good and we are getting the hang of the corporate culture where people often have to devote weekends to work," said Kanav Gutpa.

"We had workshops on various projects. One of the best experiences so far was the business trip to a manufacturing unit of a large company at Baddi,” a student said. "We got to see how things are managed there," she said.

The course was introduced with the grant of University Grants Commission in the last academic session. It is the only college in the state where the course is available that gives students understanding of both MBA and MCom curriculum, said Prof Bhalla.

Prof Bhalla said there were some troubles initially, as some funds arrived in September last year. “But the infrastructure is nice and there are smart classes. The lectures are recorded and mailed to students, so that they don't have to write while in classes,” he said. Leenu Narang, one of the faculty members, said the course is good, and the senior professors are always very supportive. 



Incomplete road inconveniences residents of Jagraon
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, April 29
The residents and shopkeepers of the Railway Road are unhappy with the incomplete and faulty road construction by the local Municipal Council.

The residents rue that the MC in stead of covering whole the road has laid down the interlocking tiles on half part of the road. Sources said the MC has laid down the tiles from Old Grain Market Chowk up to Patel Nagar while no title was placed on the part towards local Railway Station.

The residents have accused the MC of adopting a partial approach while carrying out development works. “The MC has laid down interlocking tiles on the half of the road only. But the part of the road towards Railway Station has been left without any tiles. I fail to understand why MC did not lay down the tiles on whole of the road,” said Kapil Garg, a local resident.

Sources said the work of laying the tiles has been completed in two shifts and that too after a long delay due to which the residents of this road had to face many problems.

The portion of road without the tiles is about half feet deeper than the other which is causing inconvenience to people. Residents said they are facing a lot of problems. The shopkeepers said the MC did not properly levelled both the sides of the road before completing the work as a result of which the vehicles are getting damaged. The shopkeepers have also installed a hand written signboard on the middle of the road that warns the commuters.

Municipal Council President Baldev Krishan Dhir said he has instructed the contractor to level the road immediately. When asked about why the interlocking tiles have been laid only on half of the road, he said, “Tenders were floated for laying interlocking tiles up to Patel Nagar. The remaining part of the road will also be covered soon. We are going to float the tenders in a couple of days.”



LIC lends help to DMCH
Tribune New Service

Ludhiana, April 29
LIC Divisional Office, Ludhiana, today gifted a cheque for superspeciality ambulance to DMC Hospital. This ambulance will be used for free medical camps for poor patients. The chief secretary of the management of DMC Prem Gupta appreciated the efforts of LIC. Present on the occasion were Dr G S Wander, Dr Vishav Mohan, Gian Chand Dhawan, Satish Salhotra and S K Aggarwal.



From Schools
Annual prize distribution

Students all smiles during the annual prize distribution function at KVM School in Ludhiana. To appreciate the efforts of the students in various fields a prize distribution function was organised at KVM School campus. The chief guest and guest of honour gave away the prizes to the winners in academics and other extracurricular and co-curricular activities of the school. Principal Navita Puri and Headmistress Namita Raj Singh also graced the occasion. The students were advised by the chief guest to be diligent.
Students all smiles during the annual prize distribution function at KVM School in Ludhiana. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Freshers' party

A freshers' party was organised at the Sat Paul Mittal School premises here today. The function provided a wonderful platform for Class XI students to mix with Class XII students. The party commenced with the welcome speech followed by fantastic dance performance by Class XII students. The mind-blowing performance was followed by ramp walk. Students of Class XI walked with confidence, poise and attitude.

Another freshers’ party of KG Block was held at BCM School, Basant City, Pakhowal Road, with great enthusiasm today. The students enjoyed their day along with the teachers. They tapped their feet on various musical beats. Principal Amarjyoti Chawla crowned Mr Fresher and Miss Fresher who were selected on the basis of smartness and activeness.

Quiz competition

Senior students of commerce and science streams from two branches of Bhartiya Vidya Mandir, Kitchlu Nagar and Udham Singh Nagar, took part in a quiz competition based on commerce and science questions. As the year going is National Mathematical Year so the four teams were named after the names of famous ancient Indians mathematicians paying reverence for their unparallelled contribution to the world of mathematics. The Teams were 1 Aryabhatta 2 Ramanujan 3 Bhaskara 4 Brahmgupta. Students showcased their logical, realistic and balanced attitude.

Earth Day celebrated

NCC Cadets-3 Girls Punjab Bt of Bhartiya Vidya Mandir, Udham Singh Nagar in collaboration with Eco Club of the school created awareness among the students with their zealous celebration of the Earth Day in the school campus. The girls forwarded the message of saving the planet earth through the beautiful thought-provoking posters. They also planted saplings in the school campus under the guidance of Principal Bandana Sethi who highly recommended their initiative. The cadets pledged to keep their environment and surrounding clean and green. — TNS



ludhiana scan
Meeting by plywood makers

The Punjab Plywood Manufacturers Association held a meeting on Sunday. It was attended by Minister of Commerce and Industry of the state Anil Joshi.

Demands raised

ASHA workers demanded regularisation of service during a meeting held here on Sunday. The meeting was addressed by state adviser to the All-India ASHA Workers Union Gurmel Singh. The workers demanded that the colour of their uniforms should be green. Other demands included promotion of supervisors and incentives. Jeet Kaur, one of the office-bearers of the union, said in case their demands were not met, they would stage a dharna in front of the Civil Surgeon’s office on May 11. Meanwhile, a meeting of Class IV Government Employees Union, Punjab, was held here on Sunday. They employees demanded regularisation of service, promotion of Class X and Class XII passouts.

Restaurant opened

South Indian restaurant chain by the name of Aruma-the Kerala Cafe was opened at Feroze Gandhi market here on Sunday. PP Pillai, director of the company, said, “All chefs and master chefs are qualified and experienced."

Ex-servicemen meet Army Chief

During his visit to the Baddowal Army Station, Army Chief VK Singh on Sunday addressed the Ex-servicemen Wing (Shiromani Akali Dal). The ex-servicemen shared their problems with him, including one rank one pension, cars for soldiers in canteens, free toll tax and arrangement for houses for poor soldiers. The Army Chief listened to all their problems and assured them that he would try to get these solved. Among other present included Captain Pritam Singh, Col Mukhtiar Singh, Captain Gurdeep Singh and Captain Preetam Singh Sidhu.

Memorandum submitted

A deputation of the Government Primary/Elementary Teachers Association, Ludhiana, today met District Education Officer Ranjeet Singh under the presidentship of Dhanna Singh Sawaddi. They demanded timely salaries, promotion of JBT/ETT teachers. They said DA instalments should be deposited in GPF account. “Bet and Kandi areas should not be made directorates,” they added.

CM asks samaj to join hands

Punjab Chief MinisterParkash Singh Badal today called upon the Brahaman Samaj to play a pro-active role by joining hands with the state government to establish peace and communal harmony in the state permanently, which would further boost the pace of the development to bring back Punjab at its number one position. Badal was addressing a mammoth gathering during a state-level function on the occasion of Bhagwan Parshuram Jayanti here at Mandi Gobindgarh organized be the Punjab Brahaman Sabha. Regarding the setting up of a memorial in the memory of Bhagwan Parshuram at Khati (Tapo-Sthalli), Badal said that Rs 1 crore had already been given. Later talking to the media persons, the Chief Minister expressed concern over the indications of prices hike of Petrol and Diesel in near future, as given by the Prime Minister at Bathinda during a function.

— Tribune Reporters



ludhiana calling
Smart and witty children

Parents always want to prove that their children are intelligent and smart while the children can be really funny sometimes. A few days back I visited my friend at her place. Their child was sitting with us and when suddenly the father came in and began to prove how smart his child was.

He asked his son to recite A B C to which the son denied. Then he took out a book and asked his son to tell which one is his father in the book. He was thinking the child will point at ‘F for Father’. The kid was very smart indeed. He turned the page that has ‘A for Apple’, then he turned the pages with ‘B for Boy’, ‘C for Cat’ and then finally pointing at ‘D for Dog’. The child said, “This is papa.” The father was shocked while I could hardly control my laughter. All he managed to say was "Wah beta ye hai papa?"

Traffic mess

If the chaotic traffic conditions prevailing on the city roads are of any indication, the so called initiative taken by the traffic police to bring some semblance of order in the movement of vehicular traffic has not borne much fruit. While moving on the roads, especially busy stretches in commercial hubs, one still comes across haphazardly parked vehicles. Two wheelers, auto rickshaws and cycle rickshaws are jumping red lights every now and then. Ironically, in most cases of blatant violations of traffic rules, the cops are present at the spot. They are, however, seem to be either busy talking over the phones or deliberately look the other way. The top brass of the traffic police must understand that it is the lack of fear among the people that is wreaking havoc on the road and any half-hearted steps in this regard will do no good.

Dog menace

Reacting over the recent incident in which stray dogs killed rabbits at the Nehru Rose Garden, a morning walker said, "There are more stray dogs than visitors here. It won’t be wrong to call it "Heaven for Dogs." They come and eat rabbits and keep wandering here and there. He further said they are charges for parking a vehicle but no one is there to stop dogs from entering the garden.

Master of excuses

One should take lessons from Municipal Corporation officials if he or she wants to learn the art of making excuses. When close to dozen rabbits were killed by stray dogs inside the Nehru Rose Garden, the officials concerned tried all kind of tactics to cook up stories so that they are not to be blamed. First they "confirmed" that the rabbits died of snake bites and not by stray dogs. But when reminded that there was blood all over the place where the rabbits were kept, the same official said it could be an attack by stray dogs. "But sir there are no stray dogs inside the Nehru Rose Garden," he ‘confirmed’ again. When again reminded that we have photographs of dozens of stray dogs roaming freely inside the garden, the same official sheepishly said, "You already know everything. The incident had taken place early in the morning and I thought you might not be having photographs of the dead rabbits. One official has already been suspended due to this incident and please don't use my version in your news," he requested.

Manav Mander, Kuldip Bhatia, Anupam Bhagria, Puneet Pal Singh Gill



Mohali in commanding position
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, April 29
Sagacious batting by Tanprit (111) and Sidharath (109 not out) put Mohali in a commanding position (298 for 3) against hosts Ludhiana (224) on the pen-ultimate day of the Punjab State Inter-District Cricket Tournament (U-16) for the ML Markan Trophy at Punjab Agricultural University here today.

The match is being organised by the Ludhiana District Cricket Association under the aegis of the Punjab Cricket Association.

In their first essay, hosts Ludhiana could muster 224 runs in 114 overs. Resuming at overnight score of 181 for eight made in 95 overs, Ludhiana managed to crawl on to score 224 runs in 114 overs.

The visitors began their reply on a sound note as Ludhiana bowlers failed to find their line and length, giving liberty to batsmen to settle in.

Tanprit and Sidharth fully capitalised upon the opportunities and went on to score centuries. Tanprit scored 111 runs while Sidharth was still holding his domain with 109 runs against his name. At the draw of stumps, Mohali were 298 runs for the loss of three wickets after 75 runs.

Three wickets which Mohali lost were consumed by Ludhiana skipper, Anirudh, Manan Jain and Raghav.

Brief scores: Ludhiana (first innings): 224 all out in 114 overs (Harnoor Singh 51, Jaskarn 31, Deepin Chitkara 40, Raman 24, Naman Jain 29, Jai Sharma 19; Harpreet 5 for 67 and Amesh 4 for 70).

Mohali (first innings): 298 for 3 in 75 overs (Tanprit 111, Sidharth 109 not out, Shubham 26; Anirudh 1 for 55, Naman Jain 1 for 60 and Raghav 1 for 42). 



Karate Meet
Sehajpreet Kaur hogs limelight
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, April 29
The second day of the third edition of the Ludhiana District Karate Championship that concluded today at the Prithipal Singh Indoor Gymnasium Hall of Punjab Agricultural University witnessed absorbing contests.

Participants exhibited some quick reflexes and outstanding defence techniques during the two-day event organised by the Ludhiana District Karate-Do Association.

A large number of participants drawn from various schools from across Ludhiana district competed in kata and kumite forms in the championship. Prem Mittal, MLA, Mansa, distributed prizes.

Second day’s results: Individual kata-girls (11 to 13 years): Sehajpreet Kaur Dhillon 1, Tanu Panwat 2 and Damanpreet Kaur 3.

Boys (11 to 13 years): Tejwant Singh 1 and Taranjot Singh 2; 13 to 15 years: Gursimran Singh Dhillon 1, Sukhjeet Singh 2 and Gurjot Singh 3; 15 to 18 years: Uchrant Singh 1, Manik Sharma 2 and Amit Kumar 3.

Individual kumite boys (11 to 13 years): Amarpreet Singh 1, Arpit Singh 2 and Taranjot Singh 3. Girls (13 to 15 years): Simranjeet Kaur Bhandari 1, Parampreet Kaur 2 and Upneet Kaur 3.



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