L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


An apology for a civil dispensary
Auxiliary nurse midwives working relentlessly in absence of electricity, infrastructure
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 2
It seems God is taking care of civil dispensaries of the health department, which cater to thousands of patients despite all odds. Sitting in dark and dingy rooms, auxiliary nurse midwives (ANMs) immunise newborns and struggle to scribble on vaccine cards in the absence of electricity at the civil dispensary in Haibowal.

The vaccines are kept in huge cardboard boxes near a toilet as there is no storeroom. More than 1,600 babies, tiny tots and pregnant women are vaccinated here every month.

Attending to patients in a dark room, the Medical Officer, Dr Balwinder Kumar, said: “We have seven ANMs here to take care of 1.50 lakh residents. Earlier, the state government used to give funds to the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital for immunisation. But for the last five years, it has stopped doing so and provides grant only for the Pulse Polio programme. So, all the rush of these patients has come to us. Every Wednesday, we vaccinate over 200 babies and pregnant women. Due to the heavy rush, we immunise twice a week. On both days, we receive about 400 patients.”

He said he had deputed some ANMS to vaccinate children and pregnant women while visiting nearby anganwari centres at Shamsher Nagar, Rajesh Nagar and New Partap Nagar.

The dispensary is equipped with electric appliances, but these cannot be used. Dr Kumar said: “The dispensary started functioning in 1998. But there is no electricity meter here. I joined as the Medical Officer only a few years ago. One of my predecessors used to get power through a ‘kundi’ connection. During a raid, the electricity department fined us Rs 90,000. Whenever we ask the department to install a meter, it asks us to pay the fine first. Why should I pay for someone else’s mistake?”

A large number of people from far-away areas were standing in a queue to get their children vaccinated. A resident, Geeta, said: “Today the queue is short and I am lucky that my turn is about to come. Last time I had to stand in the scorching sun as there is no waiting room here.”

Lady health visitor Raj Kumari said since they were vaccinating free of cost, they had been witnessing a heavy rush.

Civil dispensaries on the Tajpur road and Bhagwan Nagar are facing similar problems. 


LIT in trouble over building material
 Had issued it to contractors, but it remained unaccounted for
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, May 2
The internal and external audit reports for 2010-11 has again pointed out financial and other irregularities in the functioning of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT).

Raising objection to building material, which was issued either to officials of the engineering wing or to private contractors during the period 1997-99, but still remain unaccounted for, the audit report has asked the LIT authorities to either show the consumption of the material in development works carried out on behalf of the Trust or else recover the cost of the same from officials and contractors and deposit it in the LIT account.

The audit report, copies of which were obtained under the Right to Information Act by the Council of RTI Activists, says that as per the stock registers of the engineering wing of the LIT, building material, including cement, steel, bitumen and barbed wire were issued to officials/contractors. “But the consumption of this material or recovery of the cost from the contractors has not been shown to the auditors,” the report says.

The audit report has named a junior engineer, RD Awasthi; contractors HP Singh Chadha, Harbhajan Singh, DP Singh Chadha, Kuldip Singh, Parveen Sehgal; and the Municipal Corporation and Punjab Sewerage and Water Supply Board, against whom the building material was still outstanding as per the stock registers of the LIT.

The auditors have taken a serious view of the irregularity, which they added, had repeatedly been pointed out in audit reports for the last many years without the Trust officials taking any action whatsoever to show the consumption of the material or recover the cost of the material from the officials or contractors to whom it was issued.

No action
The auditors have taken a serious view of the irregularity, which they added, had repeatedly been pointed out in audit reports for the last many years without the LIT officials taking any action to show the consumption of the material or recover the cost of the material from the officials or contractors to whom it was issued.



No headway in measurement drive at Baddowal
 Area within 1,000-yard of ammunition depot to be assessed
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 2
The measurement and assessment of all residential and commercial establishments falling under the 1,000-yard radius of the 17 Field Ammunition Depot (FAD) at Baddowal seems to have become a difficult task for the district administration as once again village residents have refused to cooperate with the authorities.

Rupanjali Kartik, Additional Deputy Commissioner (G), said recently when officials had gone for the job, the villagers locked their houses and refused to cooperate with them. “We had asked the executive engineer concerned to make an estimate of the houses from the boundary walls, but even that could not be done as all the lanes were “locked”. Today was the date of hearing of the case in the Supreme Court. We are waiting for the court’s decision. Once we are given a direction, we will proceed accordingly,” said Kartik.

The sarpanch of Baddowal village, Surinder Pal Singh, said the hearing of the case had been postponed to August. The village residents were not ready to allow the administration to go ahead with the measurements. He said: “The measurement is not being done in a proper manner. The ammunition depot came up later. The existing gurdwara and houses were constructed much earlier. If they measure it from the parapet, then nothing comes within the 1,000-yard radius, but if the measurement is done from the fence area, it is well within the radius. So, we are against this measurement and we will wait for the Supreme Court’s decision.”

Earlier, the measurement work had to be stopped twice by the district administration. On one occasion, village residents had refused to let the staff take the measurements, while the second time around, the drive was postponed to March 31 due to a high alert sounded by the state government following the death sentence to Balwant Singh Rajoana. The measurement drive had started on March 24, but due to the opposition by certain residents at Ayali village, the drive was stalled and the administration had to resume it on March 27.

The residents are of the view that until the decision is pending in the Supreme Court, the administration could not continue with its drive. But the administration maintains that the measurement drive had nothing to do with demolition or evacuation and hence, the residents must not oppose it.



10,000 capsules seized; 2 jail inmates held
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 2
An alert jail official nabbed two inmates and seized over 10,000 habit-forming capsules from the jail premises here today. The incident took place in the backdrop of the statement of the DGP (Jails) that an organised gang of drug peddlers was supplying drugs in jail.

The incident took place here this morning when a man threw a packet of drugs over the wall near a jail barrack. The guard spotted Manjit Singh and Mukesh Kumar picking up the packet of drugs. He informed the jail officials who nabbed the duo.

Manjit Singh, a resident of Phillaur, was undergoing jail term in a murder case while Mukesh Kumar was facing trial in a rape case.



Snatchers flee with purse, pistol 
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 2
Cocking a snook at the claims of the police department, two incidents of snatching were reported in the city today. In the first incident, two youths on a motorcycle snatched a gold chain from a woman in the Chander Nagar area.

The victim has been identified as Upma Kapoor, who was returning home after visiting the BSNL office in Rishi Nagar.

Two youths -- one turbaned and the other clean-shaven -- started chasing her. When she reached near her house in Chander Nagar, the youths intercepted her scooter and snatched the gold chain.

In the second incident, two motorcycle-borne youths snatched a purse from the wife of a retired jail superintendent in the Ghumar Mandi area.

The snatchers also fled with a .32 licensed pistol of the jail superintendent that was kept in the purse.

The incident took place here this evening when Jasdeep Kaur, wife of Charanjit Singh, retired jail superintendent, had gone to Ghumar Mandi for shopping. Charanjit Singh said his wife was about to enter a shop when two youths riding a black motorcycle came from behind and snatched her purse.

A high alert has been sounded in the city since the snatchers were in possession of a pistol.

Snatchings not uncommon in Rishi Nagar
Snatching incidents are common in the Rishi Nagar area. The police is aware that a turbaned youth and a clean-shaven man are carrying out snatchings in Rishi Nagar and surrounding areas, but nothing has been done so far to nab the suspects. On April 27, the youths had snatched the earrings of a 67-year-old woman while she was returning home after visiting a temple in Rishi Nagar.




PPCC president denies expulsion claim
Minna Zutshi
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 2
It’s hardly nine days after the Congress Legislature Party leader Sunil Jakhar had sounded the bugle for the Municipal Corporation elections in Ludhiana, and the fissures within the party are already emerging.

Ashok Pappi Prashar, who contested unsuccessfully from the Ludhiana South seat during the Assembly elections, had claimed that Bhupinder Sidhu, who had “opposed” him during the polls, had been expelled from the party by the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president, Capt Amarinder Singh. The spokesperson for the PPCC president, however, stated that he had not been expelled.

Prashar convened a press conference today and claimed that he had received a communiqué, dated January 28, 2012, from the party high command last evening. He claimed that the high command was acting tough against those who had opposed party candidates.

However, the spokesperson stated: “This is in reference to some queries from the media about the purported expulsion of Bhupinder Singh Sidhu from the Congress. The Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee president has clarified that Bhupinder Sidhu has not been expelled from the party. Capt Amarinder said Sidhu is very much in the party and has a good future as he is a promising worker who worked hard during the elections for the party.”

Sidhu said he was very much an active member of the Congress. He said he would take up the matter with the high command.



Transnational thieves in police net
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 2
The police claims to have busted a transnational gang of thieves with the arrest of eight persons who were behind 25 incidents of theft in Delhi, Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Nepal.

The accused have been identified as Moti Lal, a Nepalese, Ram Nath, Rehmat Mansori, Balram Shastri, Mohd Shakir, Majim Rai, Mohd Alam and Mohd Shoaib, all residents of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, were arrested during a police naka near the railway station here last night.

The police has recovered iron rods and other tools which the accused used to break open shutters.

The ACP, Swapan Sharma, said Moti Ram was the kingpin of the gang and used to collect persons from Bihar and Nepal to strike at shops in the city. The SHO Kotwali, Surinder Mohan, said the accused used to check in a hotel located close to the railway station. “They used to strike during the wee hours and flee with cash,” he said.

The police has also recovered two stolen motorcycles from the possession of the accused.



Man killed as cylinder explodes
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 2
In a freak incident, one man died and two others were injured after a gas cylinder exploded in Dhandari here today. The incident took place around 10 pm when the victim identified as Sudershan Sahu was cooking food.

According to information, Sudershan was cooking food when the gas cylinder caught fire. Just as he was taking the cylinder and rushing outside his one-room quarter, it exploded.

Sudershan died on the spot while Charanjit and Ramesh sustained serious injuries. They were rushed to hospital.



Cemented covers give way 
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, May 2
The cemented covers of the sewerage manholes fixed at various locations in the town only a few months ago by the local municipal council have started giving way.

During the past six months, more than 30 cemented sewerage manhole covers have caved in. A cemented manhole cover on the local College Road has caved in six times since it was fixed by the local municipal council about five months back. The manhole cover had caved in thrice in December, last year.

Residents said on the College Road, the cemented cover was installed by the employees of the municipal council in the second week of November after removing an iron manhole.

“Though the iron manhole cover was in a good condition, still the municipal council replaced it with a cemented one. Now, the cemented cover breaks almost every month,” said Jagmohan Singh, a shopkeeper on the College Road.

The civic body had replaced 17 iron manhole covers throughout the city with cemented covers last year. But these have also started giving way.

“I fail to understand why the municipal council replaced iron manhole covers with the cemented ones,” said Laxman Singla, a resident of the Railway Road, where three cemented manhole covers had caved in.

Two manhole covers, including one on the College Road and the other on the Tehsil Road, have not been replaced so far.

The residents alleged that substandard material was used by the contractor.

While refuting the allegation, MC president Baldev Krishan Dhir said he was aware of the broken manhole covers and had already asked the employees to replace these. 



Panchayat minister for drug-free state
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 2
Surjit Singh Rakhra, Rural Development and Panchayats Minister, said the government was planning to take steps for generating employment and curbing drug menace in the state.

He said in order to curb the drug menace, the government would “honour” villages that were drug-free.

He was the chief guest during a two-day seminar on Women and Rural Development organised at Punjab Agricultural University. He said drug menace was afflicting the youth from all sections of society and was spreading rapidly. “Children from well-off families are also affected by the problem,” he said. Last couple of decades had witnessed more development than what was witnessed in the previous thousand years, he added.



Documentary on playwright Gursharan’s life screened 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 2
Punjabi Bhawan was bustling with people and plays last night. The open air theatre of Punjabi Bhawan was all packed to capacity as men, women and even children had gathered to watch the plays organised to mark the Labour Day.

Inqualabi Sabhyacharak Samagam was organised by the Punjab Lok Sabhyacharak Manch from 8 in the evening till 5 in the morning. The function was dedicated to playwright Gursharan Singh. Different theatre groups from various parts of the state had gathered to stage plays.

Stalls of books, including the themes of communism and history, were laid at the entrance to the theatre. Five plays of Gursharan Singh, including “Akhan”, were staged by the Amritsar Natak Kala Kendra, Chandigarh, Dhamak Nagare Di was staged by Rangmanch from Amritsar, Sukhi Vase Maskeenia by Suchetak Rang Manch, Mohali, Mitti Da Mul by the Chetna Kala Kendra, Chamkaur Sahib, Sees Tali Te by the Lok Kala Manch, Mandi Mullapur.

Apart from the plays, poetry groups of Rasulpur, Muktiar Kaffar, Lok Sangeet Mandli Bhadod presented poetry and songs. A documentary on the life of Gursharan Singh “Sada Safar Te” was also screened.

The audience came from different parts of the state to participate in the event. The plays focused on the struggle of people from lower strata and their trials and tribulations. Amolak Singh gave a speech recounting the Chicago episode and the problems that the labourers and lower strata of society faced even in present times. Plays of Gursharan Singh on the occasion of Labour Day was most fitting tribute to the day as well as to Gursharan Singh, said Vishal, present in the audience. Both are about the crusade of bringing struggles of people to the fore,” he added.



Women must adopt assertive attitude: PAU VC
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 2
A two-day national seminar on “Women and Rural Development: Critical Issues” jointly organised by the College of Home Science of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) and Home Science Association of India (Punjab Branch). Delegates from different parts of India and Pakistan attended the seminar.

Dr Uma Joshi, president, Home Science Association of India, said 2013 would be celebrated as the 100th year of introduction of home science in India. During the seminar, technical sessions on “Empowerment Issues: Status and Future Strategies”, “Women and Local Governance”, and “Food, Health and Hygiene” were conducted by Dr Joshi, Renee Singh, psychotherapist and Dr Satinder Bajaj, former Vice-Chancellor, EIILM University, Sikkim, respectively.

Chief guest Surjit Singh Rakhra, Rural Development and Panchayats Minister, Punjab, called upon the science fraternity of the PAU to continue working untiringly for the welfare of people in rural areas.

Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon, Vice-Chancellor, PAU, said while making so many sacrifices for the family, women must adopt an assertive attitude. “The PAU is laying a special focus on capacity building and development of skills of rural women through the organisation of training programmes,” he added.

Urwinder Kaur Grewal, member of the PAU board of management, said schemes should be introduced to honour women. Dr Bajaj stressed on passing a resolution to save the girl child and encouraging the women to fight for themselves. Harish Rai Dhanda, former Chief Parliamentary Secretary, Punjab, Balbir Singh Chaudhary, MLA, Himachal Pradesh, attended the inaugural session of the seminar. 



Ride gets adventurous on city roads
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 2
The ongoing development in the city is having its toll on residents, as some roads, including the Ferozepur Road, old GT Road, besides some others, have literally turned into deathtraps. The Ludhiana municipal corporation seems to have closed its eyes to the problem as one can see big stones and concrete slabs lying along the dividers on some of the prominent city roads which remain choc-o-bloc with traffic throughout the day.

The MC is repairing the divider of the main Ferozepur Road and ironically, big stones are kept along the divider and on the road. Any person travelling on a two-wheeler can easily lose his balance if his vehicle hits it during the day as well as at night. Leave aside taking any corrective measures, the MC has not even installed reflectors at these sites.

Even a portion of the divider, which is made of concrete slabs, is slightly tilted towards the road, which can lead to any accident.

A portion of the old GT Road near Clock Tower caved in a few days ago. Instead of taking corrective measures, the MC officials cordoned off the caved-in spot by placing concrete slabs around it.

One Anup Sharma, who owns a shop near the Clock Tower, brought the matter to the notice of senior MC officials on April 25. “But till date, they have not repaired the portion of the road. Many vehicles have hit these slabs during day as well as at night which are lying in the middle of the road. It seems that the MC is waiting for a tragedy to happen and maybe then it would repair the road,” lamented Sharma.

When contacted, Senior Deputy Mayor and Bharatiya Janta Party district president, Parveen Bansal, said he would immediately take up the matter with the authorities concerned. “It exposes carelessness on the part of the officials supervising the work and I will not tolerate it at any cost. I will contact the officials concerned and will instruct them to either clear these stones and blocks or install some reflectors so that no one gets injured,” claimed Bansal.



Magistrates told to renew arms licences within 15 days
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 2
To act tough against the “callous” attitude adopted by those responsible for the renewal of arms dealership licences, the department of home, law and justice (Home-2-Branch), has asked the District Magistrates and Commissioners all over the state to ensure that the expired licences are renewed within 15 days.

Sources said the letter had been issued recently by the department. The letter mentioned that it had been observed that licences of arms dealers were sent to the government after years of expiry and the dealers facing several kinds of problems approached the department and government with no other choice left.

The letter directed the District Magistrates and Commissioners that under clause 64 of the Right to Service Act, 2011, the licences had to be renewed within 15 days. Under the Arms Act, 1959/Arms Rules, 1962, the licences of arms dealers had to be renewed within stipulated time. In case, any dealer approaches the court on the serious issue, the responsibility will be of the DM/ Commissioner concerned.

Gurpreet Bassi Gogi, a Congress councillor and an arms dealer, said the licences were never renewed on time.

“They renew the licences for three years or so. My licence has expired and it has not been renewed for more than four years. In case we have to make fresh purchases, we cannot do so as it is illegal to sale and purchase arms without a valid licence. Despite making efforts and several requests, I have failed to get my licence renewed. It is just because of the dilly-dallying attitude adopted by the staff that licences are not renewed after years of expiry date,” lamented Gogi. 



Bains brothers join sad
Shiromani Akali Dal leaders in dilemma over party ticket
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 2
After the Bains brothers formally joined their “mother party” Shiromani Akali Dal yesterday, some leaders are in a dilemma as to whether they will get party ticket from different wards this time. Earlier, Bains brothers had announced to field Independent candidates from all 75 wards of the city and since then some leaders from their group had started preparing for the MC elections.

In December last year, the SAD (B) had not allotted party ticket to Simarjit Singh Bains from the Atam Nagar constituency and instead allotted ticket to his elder brother Balwinder Singh Bains from the Ludhiana (South) constituency. Perturbed over this, the brothers “returned” the party ticket to SAD president and Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal and announced to contest as Independents. The brothers were then expelled from the party.

Interestingly, Bains brothers managed to win from both the constituencies and later announced to field Independent candidates from all 75 wards of the city.

A leader close to Bains brothers told The Tribune, “When both the brothers were campaigning in their respective constituencies, they had promised those, who had worked hard during the election days that they would field them as Independents for the upcoming MC elections. Some of them had even started working in their respective wards and were hopeful of contesting the elections. But as the brothers have come back into the party fold, it is likely that now the tickets will be allotted by the party instead of Bains brothers themselves,” said a leader, who himself was “promised” a ticket by Bains brothers.

Not only this, some leaders were fielded by the Bains brothers during the last MC elections held in 2007. These leaders, including Parminder Singh Soma, Kamaljit Singh Karwal and Swarandeep Singh Chahal (now councillors), had defeated SAD candidates at that time. Later, three of them had also joined the Akali Dal.

Now, it will be interesting to see who manages to get “party” ticket from the wards represented by Soma, Karwal and Chahal.

When contacted, Simarjit Singh Bains said, “I have always stood by leaders from my group and this time also I will make sure that all those, who can win the seats, are allotted party ticket. But final decision will be taken by the party high command,” claimed Bains. 



Industry overburdened
 High power tariff, taxes stunting growth
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 2
The economic and financial slump in the Europen Union, U.S.A. and other region are spreading fast. As a result, there is slow down in major economies of the world and Punjab's industry is also feeling the impact of the global slowdown. Its export orders are dwindling. It is generally felt that one of the reasons for this slow down are austerity measures and lack of incentives. As it is there is a heavy burden on the industry and the Punjab Power Regulatory Commission is yet to decide tariff of the current year while the industry has already booked orders on the previous rates.

“The Regulatory Commission is urged to look into the genuine concerns of the industrial consumers in particular. Since the industry has to face global competition, the commission is urged to rationally balance while fixing the tariff. The new tariff has to be effective from April 1. Any delay in announcing the new tariff will burden the industry as cost of production has been based on the old tariff and sales realised. Any upward revision will have to be borne by the producer," said PD Sharma, president of the Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

"Apart from high tariff, the Punjab Government has withdrawn all types of taxes on power, octroi on diesel and petrol. Power still attracts 10 paisa per unit as octroi. Punjab is the only state to have such a tax on power," added GS Kahlon, president of the Auto Parts Manufacturers Association.

The Punjab government levies electricity duty at the rate of 13 per cent, which is almost the highest in the country. The tax is taking a heavy toll on the industry. Industries have urged the government to impose VAT on electricity duty, added Sharma.

"The industrial growth is nominal in Punjab and is gradually going down mainly due to heavy burden of taxes. We urge the Chief Minister to come to the rescue of the industry in its very difficult time. With the coming up of the Bathinda Refinery, the state government will be relieved where revenue is concerned. As such the undue burden of electricity duty and octroi on power should be waived off for at least the industrial consumers as they have to face stiff global competition. This can be done by imposing VAT on these taxes," added another industrialist Vinay Sood.



minimum wages
Industry jittery as Punjab govt issues new notification 
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 2
The Punjab government recently issued a notification amending the notification of January 6, 200,9 according to which the minimum wages fixed by the government would be the basic rate of wages. A large section of the state’s industry is adversely affected by the notification.

The notification is against the Minimum Wages Act 1948 and the Punjab government can only amend it through the legislature. Moreover, it has to get an accent of the President of India as the Act is a Central Act.

The industry representatives feel that the industry in general is passing through a crisis and undue burden on it may harm it adversely. “Punjab industry is very particular to protect the interests of labour. The industry here is by and large labour intensive. It depends upon migrant labour to a great extent. The state government fixes minimum wages under the Minimum Wages Act 1948. The minimum wages are revised to take into account the rising cost of living.

The minimum wages are reviewed at such intervals as decided by the government, but not exceeding five years as per the Act. While reviewing minimum wages, the government also specifies the neutralisation of cost of living based on the CPI index,” PD Sharma, president of Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry said.

Sharma further stated that there has been objection for this mode of defining wages. The competent authority at Ferozepur appointed under the Minimum Wages Act by the Punjab Government held that the minimum wages were the basic wages and the same could not be split up into various components.This order was challenged in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, which stayed the operation of the impugned order of the Authority. The Minimum Wages Act 1948 neither defines the terms “basic wages” nor “minimum wages”. In fact, under Section 2 (h) wages means all remuneration capable of being expressed in terms of money and it includes the House Rent Allowance (HRA) etc. The industry in Punjab by and large has been very particular to look after the welfare of labour. The wages to labour are split into basic wages and HRA etc.



mc polls
Political parties in poll overdrive mode
Minna Zutshi
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 2
As the Municipal Corporation Ludhiana (MCL) polls are approaching, various political parties have got into the poll overdrive mode.

The Bhartiya Janata Party(BJP) is gearing up for the May 7 visit of its national president Nitin Gadkari. In a meeting held at the party office here today, district president Parveen Bansal allocated duties to party workers for the May 6 and May 7 programmes. He said the thrust of the programmes would be constructive discussions on the Municipal Corporation and Municipal Council polls.

Meanwhile, the District Congress Committee held a meeting today in which the Central Block II president and ward presidents were instructed to form a 31-member committee in each ward. These committees will go door-to-door to gather information about anomalies in the voters' list.

Yesterday, the Punjab Mahila Congress president Malti Thapar had held a meeting with the party workers to chalk out a strategy for the Municipal Corporation (MC) polls.

"We have to strengthen the party at the grass-root level. Our focus is on the block as well as the district level. The party workers have to be mobilised for the polls," she said.

Trying to project a brave front vis-à-vis the Congress defeat in the state Assembly polls, the All-India Mahila Congress general secretary Anita Babbar said it was easier for a party that was out of power to bring to the public notice the issues that needed to be focused upon.

Thapar alluded to the lack of adequate representation of women party workers in the Assembly polls by conceding that it could have been the last reason for the party's debacle in the Assembly polls. "The women in the party feel that if we had been given the tickets, we could have done better," she added.

Hopeful that the women party workers would get a better deal this time in the MC polls, she said the finer points on the allocation of the tickets for the MC polls were for the high command to decide. However, Babbar clarified that the workers' contribution to the party would be an important factor in the allocation of ticket. 



Traffic policeman injured while nabbing defaulters
 They were jumping lights on a motorcycle
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 2
Trying to stop a motorcycle to nab youths, who were violating traffic-light norms, proved costly for a traffic policeman, as he was hit by them and injured today.

The incident took place at Bhai Bala Chowk here this morning, when Amrajeet Singh, while regulating traffic at Bhai Bala Chowk for the first day, tried to stop motorcyclists who had jumped lights. The youths have been identified as Hardeep and Amandeep. In order to escape from the spot, Hardeep and Amandeep tried to flee and in the process hit the policeman who fell on the road and was injured.

The shopkeepers and fellow colleagues rushed to the to rescue him.

In the meantime, Head Constable Lakhvir Singh, who came on a motorcycle, chased the motorcyclists and nabbed one of them who was sitting pillion near SRS Mall. The driver too was nabbed from the bus stand area.The motorcyclists were students of a local engineering college. They were going to SRS Mall to watch a movie.

ASI Harjit Singh, in charge, Ghumar Mandi police chowki, refused to divulge the name of the accused persons. He said a case had been registered against the students. Amarjeet Singh was rushed to Dayanand Medical Hospital (DMC&H) hospital for treatment as he had fractured his leg. 

Not a first
Last year, Nirmal Singh, who was posted as the SHO, Kotwali, suffered a leg injury after he tired to stop three PAU students who were travelling on a motorcycle during a midnight naka at Chaura Bazar. The trio had been booked under Section 307 of the IPC.



Delegation of cycle traders returns from China
 Three still detained in Shanghai
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 2
The three traders are still in police detention in Shanghai following a raid by the Anti- Prostitution Cell on April 26. Bicycle industrialist Rajiv Jain, who was heading the 64-members delegation to China, said that the issue was blown out of proportion by the rival group of cycle traders. Rajiv Jain made this statement following his return to the city here yesterday. He said that the issue was exaggerated to tarnish the image of Indian traders visiting China.

He further added that the government had intervened in the issue and the matter would be resolved soon." UCPMA president Gurmeet Singh Kular and Manjinder Singh have stayed back in China. They would come after the three traders are freed," said Jain.

He further added that the visit to China was successful and the cycle manufacturers had placed several orders to import new machinery. The delegation of cycle industrialists that left for China with much pomp and show on April 25, made a hush- hush return to the city yesterday.The delegation of cycle traders reached United Cycle Parts and Manufacturing Association (UCPMA) on Gill road here this morning on special buses.The delegation members refused to interact with the media and made a quick exit from the USPMA office to their respective houses. 



Early intervention can correct squint: Doctor
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 2
Rectifying squint is not only important from cosmetic point of view, but it adds to the psychological and emotional distress of the patient suffering form it, says Dr Satish Thomas, pediatric ophthalmologist and squint specialist at Christian Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana.

He said that it could cause decreased vision because of amblyopia, if the squint was in one eye. In addition, every case of squint can lead to loss of stereovision or three-dimensional vision. We can have three-dimensional vision only when both the eyes function simultaneously.

Children with squint suppress image from one eye in order to avoid double vision, but in the process lose three- dimensional vision.

Thomas further said that squint was best corrected as early as possible after its onset. This is because three-dimensional vision can only be restored if eyes are realigned within about a year of onset, which is before two years of age.

Amblyopia or lazy eye can only be treated before 7 or 8 years of age. If squint is to be operated only for cosmetic purposes, then timing of surgery does not matter as much. A surgeon can operate and correct squint at any age, but unless it is done very early in life, the patient cannot obtain binocular vision and three-dimensional perception ability, which is important criterion for many professions. It is important even for simple activities like threading a needle.

Many patients who come late have been advised that they have to wait until they get older to get their squint operated upon he said. Squints should be treated as soon as it is detected.

100 kids treated this year
Last year, close to 100 children with squint were treated. Twenty of them have been operated upon and many of them have been corrected with appropriate spectacles and occlusion therapy. However, the number of adults coming in with congenital squints is also on the rise. Last year about 50 adult patients underwent surgery for squint.




From Schools
Labour Day celebrated

Sacred Heart School, BRS Nagar, observed Labour Day on Tuesday. Floral greetings were given to workers in the school. An inter-house qawwali competition was organised. Rev Sister Christo, principal of the school, lauded the commendable efforts of workers.

Guru Harkrishan Public School

Assembly on "Labour Day" was held at Sri Guru Harkrishan Public School, Doraha. Students presented poems, articles and plays. Principal Manjushaw Vinayak highlighted the significance of Labour Day

Green Grove Public School

A function was organised at Green Grove Public School for the workers. The function began with a welcome song “come on-come on let's raise our hands”. Dance and group songs made the celebration more enthusiastic and vibrant. A treat was given to Class IV employees.

DRV DAV Centenary Public School, Phillaur

To appreciate the efforts of workers, students of DRV DAV Centenary Public School, Phillaur, enacted a play “Childhood” highlighting the plight of child labourers. A declamation contest was also organised.

Career counselling

Career counselling was organised at Guru Nanak International Public School, Model Town, on Wednesday. A lecture on "Army-A way of Life" was delivered. Captain Pavneet Narula spoke on the prospects of joining the Indian Army. Principal of the school Gurmant Kaur Gill proposed the vote of thanks.

A yoga session under way at Cherrylane school in Ludhiana.Health workshop

Cherrylane Play-school conducted a health workshop as part of the Mother's Day celebrations in the school on Wednesday. A talk on diet and nutritional requirement was delivered. A yoga workshop and healthy salad-making activity were also held.

A yoga session under way at Cherrylane school in Ludhiana. Photo: Inderjeet Verma


An inter-house English poem recitation contest was organised by the Sub Junior Humanities Forum for the students of primary section at Kundan Vidya Mandir, Civil Lines, to provide a platform where they can use language confidently. The participants recited poems like “Stolen Innocence”, “A Tribute to Handicapped Child”, “Determination”, “The Unborn Daughters” and “Woodman Spare that Tree” in an impressive manner.

Students honoured

About 100 outstanding students from 10 schools of the area of Mandi Ahmadgarh were felicitated during a function organised at Government High School, Ghangas, by the Lions Club Smyle, Ludhiana. Gurpreet Singh Khangura presided over the function and Roshan Lal Sood, deputy director, schools (Punjab), was the chief guest. — TNS



Ludhiana Scan
Scientist wins gold medals

Dr Deepika Goswami, scientist at the Central Institute of Post Harvest Engineering and Technology (CIPHET), has won the best overall trophy during the ICAR Institution Tournament held at National Dairy Research Institute, Karnal. Dr Goswami won five gold medals and one silver medal.

School gets award

Mother's Pride Pre-school, Ludhiana, was awarded for “Innovation in Early Learning and Child Development” during Indian Education Congress-2012 organised at Hotel Claridges, New Delhi. The awards were presented for contribution towards the paradigm shift in the field of education in India. The award was presented to Shobhan Soi, director, Ludhiana branch, Mother’s Pride Pre-school.

Workshop on student-teacher relationship

Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle, Ludhiana zone, is going to organise a workshop on student-teacher relationship on May 3 at Model Town. More than 100 teachers from the district are expected to attend the workshop.

Delegation meets Seechewal

A delegation of the Dharmik Ekta Welfare Society met Balveer Singh Seechewal on Tuesday. He lauded the campaigns launched by the society for saving water and environment. — Tribune Reporters



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