L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Councillors 'lathicharged'
Were disrupting police drive to close 2 diversions for smooth traffic flow
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

A resident of Rishi Nagar shows injury marks on his back outside the Police Commissioner’s office in Ludhiana on Friday.

Ludhiana, June 22
High drama was witnessed on Hambran Road here this afternoon when policemen, led by Assistant Commissioner Police (Traffic) Navin Jindal, went to close two diversions on the road opposite Kali Maa Temple.

About four senior elected Congress councillors, including Balkar Singh (Councillor ward number 55), Dr Jaiprakash (ward number 30), Gurpreet Bassi Gogi (ward number 53) and Maharaj Singh Raji (ward number 28), who tried to "borrow" time from the police for closing the particular two diversions were allegedly lathicharged by the policemen for disrupting the task.

While the Congress councillors alleged that they were ill-treated and lathicharged by the policemen when they resisted the move of closing the diversions, the police maintained that since it was for the betterment of the general public for a smooth traffic flow, the councillors disrupted the police's working by blocking the road. The police admitted that to carry on with their drive, they were pushed away by the cops and not lathi-charged.

These four Congress councillors were brought to the office of Ashish Chaudhry, Deputy Commissioner Police in the evening by the traffic policemen led by Jindal. Bharat Bhushan Ashu, another Congress councillor, also accompanied the four councillors to Chaudhry.

Talking to The Tribune, Balkar Singh in whose ward the incident took place said they were the elected representatives of the public, but the city police had "thrashed" them without listening to any of their pleas as they belonged to the Opposition Party (Congress). Another Congress councillor Gogi said it was a "politically-motivated" move and they were perturbed over the "rude" behaviour of the police.

Meanwhile, the councillors were taken to the office of the DCP where they held detailed discussion over the issue.

Ashish Chaudhry, however, said the councillors had raised certain objections and the police would again visit the site tomorrow to see what best could be done without hurting anybody's sentiments. On asking whether lathi-charge took place, Chaudhry said that police just pushed away the protesting councillors and residents to evacuate the road as they were not letting cops carry on with their drive.

Common man suffers

  • On asking whether any of the Councillor was injured during the lathi-charge, the councillors maintained that they were saved by the grace of God but were badly "dragged" by the police. It may be mentioned here that in this whole inclident, it was again the common man, who faced the music. Residents including Pankaj Kumar, Vicky, Gurpreet, Neeraj, Narinder Kumar etc received minor injuries during the scuffle between the police and political leaders while the councillors were "saved".

Case not registered

  • As these councillors tried to "disrupt the drive" initiated by the police, a case against them could have been registered. But the police failed to register any case against them or residents who created the ruckus.


Cops bitten, injured by proclaimed offender's dogs
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 22
The policemen from the Daresi police station, who had gone to arrest a proclaimed offender from Kila Mohalla yesterday, had to face the wrath of the pet dogs of the accused. The dogs not just tore the clothes of the policemen but bit them badly. The dogs were reportedly unleashed by the wife of the offender.

Bitten Kumar, in charge Daresi police station, said about four policemen, on getting information, raided the house of a proclaimed offender from Chamba district in Himachal Pradesh. A case under Section 20-61-85 (NDPS Act) has already been registered against the accused Raman Kumar in Chamba.

"We got information that Raman Kumar was residing here in Kila Mohalla (Salem Tabri) . The police party was sent to arrest the offender, but his wife Pinky unleashed the family's ferocious pet dogs on the police party. The dogs attacked the policemen and tore their clothes. Ravinder Kumar and Ashwani Kumar were bitten and injured during the attack by the dogs. Th accused Raman Kumar managed to escape from the scene," said Bitten Kumar.

He added that a case under sections 212/216/353/386/332/289/506 had been registered against the wife Pinky. "No arrest has been made so far but we will arrest the accused soon," said Bitten Kumar, adding that the treatment of both policemen was on and they were stable.



MC office
Firefighting arrangements only on paper
Most of the equipment is out of order or broken
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 22
The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation’s (MC) main office located in the Mata Rani Chowk seems to have maintained firefighting arrangements only on paper. Ironically, this all is happening despite the fact that the city’s fire department is run by the MC.

Most of the firefighting arrangements at this office are either out of order or broken, while on paper, the MC office is having sufficient fire extinguishers as well as water hydrants, along with hosepipes.

Hundreds of people visit the MC office for work on daily basis and for them there is only one door, which is used as entry and exit point and is facing the multi-level parking. Other two doors have been closed permanently by MC officials and in case of an emergency, people would have to use only one door, from where two persons can hardly pass together at the same time.

Interestingly, it is the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation, which runs the ailing fire department of the city. And it’s the MC fire department officials who are entrusted with the duty of checking whether all buildings and business establishments have maintained proper firefighting arrangements or not.

A visit to the MC’s Zone-A office located in Mata Rani Chowk reveals it all. The firefighting equipment is broken at both inside and outside the building premises. Even fire tenders installed on the walls of this building do not bear any expiry date.

A resident who visited the MC office today rued that the firefighting arrangements seem to be low on the list of priorities of the MC authorities. “I want to ask the MC Commissioner that if any fire breaks out in the building, will the MC officials be able to control it by using present firefighting measures? Leave aside fire extinguishers, even the web of naked wires can lead to any short circuit, which might further lead to a fire incident,” rued the resident.

It’s not only the Zone-A office, which is in such a picture of neglect, but all other MC zonal offices narrate the same story. In these offices, the fire extinguishers have been installed on the walls, but they don’t carry expiry dates.

Senior Deputy Mayor Parveen Bansal claims that the modernisation of the fire department is on the cards. “Soon, we will be purchasing new equipment for the fire brigade as well as for MC zonal offices. But, I must clarify that the fire extinguishers installed in the MC offices are in order and we get them repaired regularly,” claimed Parveen Bansal.



Power situation grim in city
100 MVA transformer on the 220 KV Ferozepur Road still non-functional

Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, June 22
With the non-functional 100 MVA transformer on the 220 KV Ferozepur Road sub-station still being out of system, the massive power crisis in the mega city continues to haunt the residents who are forced to cope with the sweltering heat during the day and spend sleepless nights.

The unscheduled power cuts being imposed for a duration of anything from six to eight hours every day, the power inverters, common man's alternative source to run the lights and electric fans during power failure, are no longer dependable because power is not available for sufficient period to fully charge the inverter batteries.

The erratic power supply, shut downs, load shedding and increasing frequency of line faults due to extremely hot weather conditions, have affected the normal life of the city residents.

“There are no fixed hours for power cut during the day or night, and we are totally at the mercy of the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) authorities. With no schedule of outage or load shedding known to us, it has become difficult to perform even daily chores because water supply is also badly affected during power failure," complained several residents of Haibaowal and Civil Lines localities.

The power crisis has come at a time when most of the parents of the school going children are in a holiday mood due to summer break in the schools. However, the children and their parents are having a tough time with adverse weather conditions further adding to their misery. "We can not let our children sleep till late in the morning and spend their day in a leisurely manner because of uncertainty about the power and water supply. The unwilling kids are told to take a bath as and when power supply is restored in the morning," said Gudeep Kaur, a working woman and mother of two school going kids, who lives in Dugri area.

In the wake of ongoing power shortage, the persistently soaring mercury, coupled with very high humidity, has also taken its toll as far as working in the government and private offices is concerned. Even in some of the private banks and big department stores, the stand by power sources like generators cannot take the entire load and air conditioners are switched off during power failure.

"The generators are not meant to take the full load and we have to switch off the air conditioners during long spells of power cuts with the result that sweating and fretting customers lose interest in shopping," manager of a department store in Sarabha Nagar said while claiming that extended power crisis have had an adverse impact on their business during last fortnight. Inquiries made from the senior PSPCL officials here revealed that major repair work of the defective 100 MVA transformer had been completed and the equipment was now being tested before making it operational. "The transformer is expected to become operational sometime during next week when power supply will become near normal," the officials said.



Boy electrocuted
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 22
A twelve-year-old boy Sandeep Kumar was electrocuted by high-tension wires while he was playing on the bogey of a goods train. According to information, the boy sustained 30 per cent burn injuries and was rushed to the Civil Hospital by the railway police.

The police mentioned that Sandeep Kumar, along with his friends, climbs the goods train, which was standing at the railway station and started playing on the roof of the standing goods train. While playing, he came in contact with the high tension wire and got electrocuted.

The boy reportedly was a resident of shanties near the railway station.



‘Spend time with children’
PAU scientists tell parents to involve children in household chores
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 22
Keeping in view, the sweltering heat and on-going summer vacations for children during the month, the home scientists of the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) have impressed upon the parents to spend quality time with their children, involve them in household chores and keep them healthy.

Advising the parents not to let the children watch television or play games on computer for a longer time, Dr Sukhminder Kaur said that it affects their eyesight and obstructs thinking and creativity. Children should be involved in household chores, keeping in mind, their age and capability, such as cleaning/dusting of their room, table setting, making artificial flowers and decorative articles by using leftover accessories, cloth, wool, paper, etc., she suggested. Referring to the household activities, the home scientist, Dr Harinder Saggu said that kids should be asked to keep their shoes in separate cabinets and that low boards should be used to keep them organised. “To avoid deterioration of clothes due to moisture and insects, spread newspapers underneath the garments. Put some natural disinfectants like dried neem leaves, French chalk and camphor cakes so that clothes remain safe for a longer period of time, she said. Stressing on proper diet and health care, Dr Kirti Grover emphasised on keeping the children well hydrated.

Ensure that they are drinking at least, 6-8 glasses of water a day, she added, while suggesting other drinks like squashes, sharbats,lime water, etc.

As the rising and hot temperature of summer season is ideal for the growth of harmful bacteria, it is vital to ensure prompt, proper cleaning and treatment of the child’s wounds, she said.

Elaborating further, Dr Surinderjit Kaur asked the homemakers to serve children with the home cooked meals and snacks as they are fresh, hygienic, nutritious and without any preservatives.

Dr Surinderjit Kaur also informed the parents to add plenty of whole grains, fruits and vegetables with higher water content to the children diet and serve them in a different and attractive ways, she added.



Online admission for engineering, architecture colleges
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 22
Those interested in taking admission to engineering and architecture institutions affiliated to Panjab University now will go through online admissions process. Admission to all the six engineering and architecture institutions in Chandigarh and Hoshiarpur will be conducted online in which students will mark preference to their colleges. The fee will also be paid online.

Students can register on the website www.chdenggadmissions.nic.in and download the brochure-cum-admission by paying Rs 1,200. The applicants can either pay the amount via a credit or debit card or by generating e-challan and submit the amount in HDFC bank.

The forms are already available on the website and the last date for registration and submission of forms is June 26. After this mock counselling will be conducted online for helping the students decide their preferences of institutions in accordance with their ranks in AIEEE.

The mock counselling and filling of preferences will start from July 1 and students will be allowed to change preferences, if needed, till July 5. On July 6 and 7, the preferences will be locked and merit list will be declared online on July 9.

The students will then have to pay the admission fee online between July 9 and 11. Those who do not get any suitable seat or are not satisfied with the seat allotted in the first round of counselling will have to pay the fee for participating in second and third rounds of counselling.

For CCA and UICET, Rs 10,000 has been specified as the provisional fee, to be paid during the counselling, for all the other four colleges, the amount is Rs 45,000.



Narrow escape for youth in Jagraon
Jaswant Shetra

The high-voltage wire tied with a pole after it broke at Disposal road in Jagraon on Friday. A Tribune photograph

Jagraon, June 22
A youth in his twenties had a miraculous escape when he came in contact with a broken high voltage live wire here today. The incident took place at local Disposal Road early morning when a hightension electricity wire broke after a truck hit it.

The wire kept hanging in the middle of the road for quite a long time and when the migrant youth, identified as Sunil Kumar, was passing from the road on his bicycle, he failed to notice the wire and his bicycle touched the naked wire. Though he received a strong electric shock but quite fortunately he escaped unhurt.

In the meantime, a local resident informed the correspondent about the broken electricity wire hanging in the middle of the road. When this correspondent was going to take account of the situation, he too failed to see the wire and his bike was just to touch the wire when a person busy in installing a temporary warning signal near the broken wire to save the people from touching it started shouting and the correspondent managed to stop his bike only a few inches away from the wire.

Following this, the correspondent with the help of some local residents somehow managed to tie the broken electricity wire with the pole on the roadside. Soon after this, XEN PowerCom, Jagraon, Chetan Kumar was informed about the issue and he assured of immediately sending a team to repair the broken wire. But despite being informed in the morning, the broken wire was neither removed nor repaired for more than three hours. A shopkeeper near the place where the wire had broken informed that the employees arrived to repair the broken wire around 12 am. Perhaps the authorities were waiting for some major tragedy to take place before waking up, he added.

When contacted, XEN, he said, "I have issued immediate instructions to the employees for repairing the wire at the earliest. Besides, the power supply to this line was also shut down to avoid any miss happening." When asked about the delay in repair work, he replied, "I was out of station and was not aware of any delay."



Bhangra workshop at educational institutions of Doraha
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, June 22
A month-long workshop on the learning 'Bhangra and other Folk Dances of Punjab' is being organised at various educational institutes in Doraha. The workshop, however, commenced at Saraswati Model Senior Secondary School, Doraha, here today.

Other schools where such types of workshop would be organised include Doraha Public School, Mehta Gurukul Senior Secondary School, Guru Nanak Model Senior Secondary School.

Principal of Saraswati Model Senior Secondary School, DS Gosain, said that the workshop is meant both for the students and the non-students. He expressed that there was enthusiasm among the learners to be part of this workshop. Moreover, it is there vacation time and they can easily devote time to such activities, which are essential for their all round personality development.

“This workshop is organised every year to teach the kids as well as the grown ups the importance of Punjabi folk dances and at the same time discourage the increasing attraction of students for the western dances, under the influence of which the Punjabi children are adopting artificial living standards and moving away from their actual roots,” Gosain expressed.

Anish Bhanot, bhangra coach, informed that many such workshops are organised during every vacations, as this was the time when the kids can put in their best and channelise their energies to the fullest. He also informed that such workshops are simultaneously being conducted in various schools and colleges so that the students get equipped with their abandoned folk dances apart from spending their vacations fruitfully.

Also they are prepared for various inter-schools and inter-college competitions, which are organised by the institutes from time to time during the session.

“It has been seen that such workshops, apart from giving an opening to the introverts enable them to develop a sense of confidence by way of which they shun their hesitation in front of their learning counterparts and gain excellence at some stage of their life,” the coach added.



From colleges
Students bring laurels

Ludhiana: Students of BA III of Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Women, Model Town, have excelled in the Panjab University Examination. Mainsha Stood 1st in the college securing 76.08 per cent, Neetu Rani 2nd in college securing 74.75 per cent and Amandeep Kaur stood 3rd in the college securing 72.66 per cent marks.

Master Tara Singh Memorial College

Students of Master Tara Singh Memorial College for Women brought laurels to college by showing excellent performance in final examination of BA III conducted by Panjab University, Chandigarh. Overall result of the college is 98 per cent. 108 students got first division in the examination. Puja Rani stood first in college with 76.16 per cent marks. Sushma Rani secured second position with 75.58 per cent and Priya secured third position in college with 74.33 per cent.

Guru Nanak Girls College

Students of BA III of Guru Nanak Girls College, Model Town, have proved their excellence in the Panjab University annual examinations. Kulwinder Kaur stood first in the college by securing 76.8 per cent marks. Amandeep Kaur bagged second position in the college by securing 74 per cent marks. Kamaldeep Kaur stood third by securing 73.4 per cent marks.

Faculty development programme

The five-Day PTU Sponsored Faculty Development Program on “Emerging Paradigms in Professional Education” organised by GGN Institute of Management and Technology (GGNIMT) concluded here today. As a part of concluding Technical Session, Dr Maninder Singh, head, computer science department, Thapar University, Patiala, deliberated on network learning. During the session, he discussed the role of network as an indispensable learning tool. Appreciating the change in the learning environment, Dr. Maninder remarked that tools like webcasts, Podcasts, Blogs, RSS feed and others would help a long way in educating billions of learners all across the globe at a reduced cost. This was followed by the Valedictory Session which was chaired by Dr. Prem Kumar, former principal, Sri Aurbindo College of Commerce.



Water shortage in Jagraon
Residents hold protest against municipal council
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, June 22
Like many other cities of the state, the residents of several localities of Jagraon have been grappling with the water shortage for the past couple of days. There has been less than half water supply then previously by the local municipal council for the past some days as a result of which the residents have been facing a lot of inconvenience.

The situation is such drastic in some localities that the residents have to wait for many hours at municipal council taps installed on public places to collect drinking water in such hot and humid conditions.

The localities like Shastri Nagar, College Road, Shakati Nagar, Gandhi Mohhalla, Sant Nagar, Ajit Nagar, Karnail Gate and some residential areas situated on Malak Road have been worst hit by the water shortage. A large number of the residents of these localities can be seen grappling for collecting drinking water at public places.

In such a situation, a large number of residents have been depending upon the hand pumps to get the drinking water. Though the water being pumped out from majority of the hand pumps in the town has been contaminated and is not suitable for drinking but the residents are forced to drink this contaminated water due to shortage of water supply by the municipal council.

The residents rued that they have been forced to drink the contaminated water of hand pumps because there was an acute shortage of water supply.

"We have been depending on hand pumps to get the drinking water as the water supply by the municipal council is too less. Some of residents of our locality are even suffering from stomach infection and other diseases because of drinking contaminated water," revealed Dinesh Kumar, a resident of Shastri Nagar locality.

Despite acute shortage in supply of water the municipal council has even failed to supply the water through the water tankers. In fact, there is only single water tanker with the municipal council and that too is in utterly bad condition.

Irked over the failure of the municipal council to supply the required water, the residents of Jagraon even held a protest against municipal council today and demanded regular water supply from the authorities.

The MC president, Baldev Krishan Dhir, when contacted, said that the supply of the water has been badly affected by the unscheduled and prolonged power cuts. "We are witnessing power cuts between 8 to 10 hours daily due to which the submersible pumps installed by the municipal council in different areas to provide water are unable to function," said Dhir. We are trying to provide the water to the residents of areas hit by water shortage with the help of water tanker, he claimed.



Govt's proposal to increase minimum wages spells doom for industry
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 22
Punjab government's proposal to revise the minimum wages has upset the local industry. Government intends to revise the minimum wages to Rs 5200 from the existing Rs 4,268 as per the notification, which has come as a huge shock to industry.

"Minimum Wages Advisory Board is recommending substantial increase in the minimum wages in Punjab. Unfortunately Punjab's Industry has not been given adequate representation in the board. As such Industry's viewpoints remain unattended," said PD Sharma, president of Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The industry in Punjab is generally in the sector of textiles, engineering, and sports goods etc, most of them being 'Labour Intensive'. The competing states having labour intensive industry like Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Rajasthan etc have wage rates, which are lower as compared to Punjab. Any sudden decision of increasing the wage rate will kill the industry in the state, added Gurpargat Singh Kahlon, president of Auto parts manufacturers association.

"This ill-conceived initiative at this time of economic slowdown to review the minimum wage when it is not due is not correct. This is especially true when an appropriate mechanism already exists of adjusting the wages after an interval of 6 months linked with the Consumer Price Index i.e. increase in prices of the basket of goods as consumed by industrial workers is adequately and timely compensated through increase in wages by an automatic biannual process. Therefore any revision in minimum wages is unnecessary at this stage," added Sharma. If labour cost is increased through the minimum wages the industry will find it hard to survive. Government is therefore urged not to tinker with the existing minimum wages, added Kahlon.

What does the law say?

  • The provision of the Section 3(1) (b) of the Act provides that the Government may review (not revise) the Minimum Wages prevalent in the state and revise it only if necessary. It is not mandatory that the government must revise minimum wages after every five years. As per the provision of The Minimum Wage Act, 1948, the wages can be reviewed once in 5 years if there is mechanism of neutralisation with the cost of living index as in the case of Punjab or once in two years where there is no linkage of increase linked to the CPI index as in case of Himachal Pradesh. The last revision of Minimum wages was effective from September 2008 where it was fixed at Rs 3,200 per month which due to neutralisation with the cost of living and has been revised to Rs 4,268 per month at present.

Comparative wage rate in various competing states is shown below:

State      Minimum wages

Rajasthan Rs 3510

HP Rs 3900

Uttar Pradesh Rs 4528

Maharashtra Rs 4160

Punjab Rs 4268

Uttaranchal Rs 4264

Karnataka Rs 4346

Haryana Rs 4847

Jharkhand Rs 3784

Bihar Rs 3926



Security norms thrown to wind by private contractor
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, June 22
The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) or for that matter the private company involved in the process of road widening, has dug up deep pits for erection of a foot overbridge at Doraha bus stand. In the absence of any sound word of caution coupled with slow progress of work, the spot has become hazardous for the residents and the commuters to pass.

Strange are the ways of these private contractors. They relent on one hand and make things intricate on the other. We are indebted to the National Highway Authority of India who has heard our pleas of erecting a foot overbridge at the Doraha bus stand but at the same time we are regretful of the pace at which the work is going on. It has been more than a month now since the deep pits were dug up and the work is moving at snail’s pace ever, informed Dr. Sarabjit Singh Mangat, a resident of the area.

We simply do not understand why should the authorities put the residents and commuters to test every time before providing them with ultimate relief? Reports reveal that till date many lives have been sacrificed at the alter of road widening and god knows how many more are yet to be claimed till this awful extension is finally accomplished complained Arun Bector, another resident of Doraha.

Even a slight slip on the part of the commuters is sure to make them pay through their nose. One wonders that there was no sign of caution affixed at these places to ascertain the security and safety of the commuters and townsters. In such a state, if a vehicle tries to overtake the other, it is sure to fall in the ditch and invite trouble, which would be definitely unaccounted for. More so, at night when judgment fails in normal conditions, what would become in that particular case, said Pawan Kumar Kaushal, a resident.

We are not against the ongoing work but the condition is that that it should seem to be going on. It is not that you dug deep ditches at public places and then rest assured to hear about some tragic mishap to finally retain the work .The spot being a bus stand is the busiest one. A number of passengers or for that matter buses and other vehicles halt at the place. The other day a passenger, in a hurry to board the bus, overlooked the pit and was about to fall when on the spur of the moment, he was pulled up by one of his friends. The elderly with reduced vision and children with poor judgment are sure to suffer in case of even slight carelessness, opined a bus passenger who daily boards the bus from this particular spot.



MC house
BJP lobbies hard for posts
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 22
With the newly elected councillors still to take oath, the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) councillors are lobbying hard for the posts of Senior Deputy Mayor and Deputy Mayor. In the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation elections, as per the internal arrangement between the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) and its coalition partner BJP, the post of Mayor goes to the Akali Dal, while the BJP gets the posts of Senior Deputy Mayor and Deputy Mayor.

The frontrunners for the post of Senior Deputy Mayor are Gurdeep Singh Neetu, a councillor from ward number 42, and Sunita Aggarwal, a councillor from ward number 13.

Narinder Singh Malhi, a councillor from ward number 31, and Ripu Daman Sharma, a councillor from ward number 25, are in the race for Deputy Mayor.

In the outgoing MC House, Neetu was leader of the BJP councillors, while Sunita Aggarwal was the Deputy Mayor.

BJP district president Parveen Bansal, who had unsuccessfully contested the Vidhan Sabha elections from the Ludhiana north constituency, was the Senior Deputy Mayor in the outgoing MC House. He was a sitting councillor from ward number 41, but did not contest the recently held municipal corporation elections.

That is why, Neetu and Sunita Aggarwal, who are the senior most amongst the BJP councillors, are now lobbying hard for this post.

Similarly, Narinder Singh Malhi and Ripu Daman Sharma are both first-time councillors. In the outgoing MC House, Malhi’s wife Roopamdeep Kaur Malhi and Sharma’s mother Prem Lata Sharma were the councillors from ward number 31 and 25, respectively. Both of them are considered close to Parveen Bansal.

A senior BJP leader said for the posts of Senior Deputy Mayor and Deputy Mayor, the party will certainly have one Sikh councillor. “Which means out of Gurdeep Singh Neetu and Narinder Singh Malhi, one would get adjusted for sure. Every councillor aspires to become the Senior Deputy Mayor or Deputy Mayor one day and that is why, they have been lobbying at their own levels. But the final decision will be taken by the party high command,” said the leader.



Clinical Establishment bill
Docs to stage protest on June 25
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 22
In protest against the NCHRH and Clinical Establishment Bill, all doctors of the IMA, Ludhiana, are going to hold protest and strike on June 25. Disclosing this, IMA Ludhiana president, Dr DP Singh Arora, said, “The NCHRH proposes to have government nominated persons, who could be from any field and could control affairs of the medical profession. So, it will be a government body only. Doctors are strictly against this and this is against the democracy also. We need elected members in the council, governing doctors and no bureaucratic control. The supremacy of the Medical Council of India (MCI) must be maintained.”

While Dr Narjit Kaur, Dr MK Sobti and Dr Arun Mitra said, “NCHRH is against our basic human rights. It says doctors cannot change their profession. It says doctors cannot go to court against decisions taken by this council.”

The doctors said the NCHRH and Clinical Establishment Bill was in favour of the corporate sector and hospitals. It is destroying the medium level of hospitals, which are catering to 80 per cent population of India. So, it is not favouring anybody, neither doctors nor public.

These bills will increase the cost of treatment tremendously and people of the country like India will not be able to afford it. Our government is copying developed countries and wants to bring these kind of bills in India, but our politicians and bureaucrats are not understanding the fact that in those countries everybody is covered under the medical insurance, basic needs of every person are fulfilled, schemes like old age pension, free education to children are also existing in those countries.

At those places these bills can do, but in our country, only less than 10 per cent people are covered under the medical insurance. Over 40 per cent of the people are still under poverty line, how they can afford treatment in corporate hospitals?

IMA demands

  • Restore autonomy of MCI
  • Medical profession needs independent council.
  • Clinical establishment should not come.
  • BRMS course is not at all acceptable (there cannot be double standards for medical courses).
  • Basic human rights of doctors should be safeguarded.
  • Equality of rules/regulations for all professionals (doctors, engineers, CAs, lawyers, IAS, IPS officers, etc).
  • Complete tertiary care facilities at government hospitals.
  • Special focus on setting of small/medium scale hospitals (to cut short cost of treatment).
  • Health insurance for everybody.



‘Jail bharo aandolan’
BJP leaders, workers court arrest
Tribune News Service

BJP workers court arrest as part of the ‘Jail Bharo Aandolan’
BJP workers court arrest as part of the ‘Jail Bharo Aandolan’; and (bottom) protest against hike in prices of essential commodities and fuel in Ludhiana on Friday. Tribune photos: Himanshu Mahajan
Protest against hike in prices of essential commodities and fuel in Ludhiana on Friday.

Ludhiana, June 22
As a part of the nationwide “Jail Bharo Aandolan” against hike in the prices of fuel and rising inflation, a large number of BJP leaders and workers courted arrest in Ludhiana today.

The leaders and workers protested under the leadership of general secretary of the Punjab unit of BJP Kamal Sharma. They held a protest dharna outside the mini-secretariat against failures of the Congress-led UPA and demanding complete rollback of hike in fuel prices. Later, they marched towards the mini-secretariat and held protest.

Addressing the protest rally, Kamal Sharma said, “It is an extraordinary hike, which is out of reach for common man. It should be rolled back.”

The leaders, including BJP district president Parveen Bansal, Gurdeep Singh Neetu, Renu Bansal, Renu Sharma, Monica Jaggi, Bhola, etc, also addressed the protest rally and courted arrest, along with hundreds of workers.

Later these leaders and workers were released near Dana Mandi, Buddha Nallah.



PAU notes
Turmeric-processing plant inaugurated

Ludhiana: Inaugurating a turmeric processing plant at Jodhan village, near here, today the Punjab Agriculture University Vice-Chancellor, Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon said that turmeric is an important crop, which the people have been traditionally consuming in various forms since long.

Such crops hold potential to shift some area from under rice-wheat rotation, he said adding that processing of turmeric and other such crops is meaningful. He appreciated the progressive NRIs, who have translated their idea of processing into practical shape by setting up and automated processing plant. Dr. Dhillon said that the farming community in the Malwa region would be greatly benefited with the setting up of the plant. He, however, said that any venture is successful if the marketing system is duly considered. "The Punjab Agriculture University is considering setting up of small niches of new crops at appropriate places in the state and to provide expert guidance to the farmers. The Punjab Agriculture University has provided guidance and advice for setting up of this project that has a capacity of handling 50,000 quintal turmeric in a year," he added.



Punjab procures pilot project
Cashless insurance of accident victims by the government on Amritsar-Pathankot stretch

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 22
After making several representations and presentations, finally Punjab has succeeded in procuring the pilot project for cashless insurance of accident victims by the Government of India on the Amritsar-Pathankot tretch. This was disclosed by Dr Kamaljeet S Soi, vice-chairman, Punjab State Road Safety Council, Government of Punjab, and a member of the European Union Road Safety Council and of International Road Federation.

Dr Soi said, “Punjab is the only state, which is been selected for implementing this project in the country in the first phase. Punjab looses 4,000 people every year and we have a fatality rate close to 90 per cent.”

Features of project

  • The government will roll out the country’s first project for cashless treatment of road accident victims in August on the Pathankot-Amritsar stretch, the national highway linking Golden Temple and Vaishno Devi. In this pilot project, the government will bear all medical expenses during the first 48 hours of hospitalisation of the road accident victims. It will ensure “right to emergency care for all road accident victims”.
  • The government is undertaking the first pilot project on the 108-km stretch of the NH-15, which is used by around 75,000 vehicles every day on their way to Vaishno Devi and there is one bus every 1.5 minutes.
  • Since a substantial number of victims are pilgrims, they have no local contact to help them in case of accidents, which is crucial for recovery. The government has fixed Rs 30,000 ceiling for reimbursement. In case the victim stays in hospital for three more days, the hospital will charge “discounted” treatment amount as per the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) or AIIMS norms. A nationalised insurance company will operate and monitor the scheme, including recouping of medical expenses from the insurer of the vehicle.



24-hour helpline for children
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 22
For children facing any problems, a 24-hour helpline, “Child Line”, has been set up in the city, informed the Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC) today. Children till the age of 18 can call at the helpline number i.e. 1098 any time. The Swami Ganga Nand Bhoori Wale International Foundation, an NGO, is working for the benefit of the children.

Rishipal Singh, ADC (development), said children facing any kind of difficulty or problem could call at the helpline number and their problem would be addressed without delay. This free helpline number has been started for children facing problems like child marriage, child trade, sexual abuse, children labour or if they are lost or have left home. Children unable to resolve their problems can also seek help by calling at this number to seek help. This helpline has been recognised by the women and child development department.



Protest against Powercom
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 22
Activists and office-bearers of the Bhartiya Kissan Union (Ugrahana) organised a dharna in front of the divisional office of Powercom at Ghudani village near here today.

Speakers, including Darshan Singh Kuhli, Saudagar Singh Ghudani, Jagdev Singh Nasrali and Rai Singh Lasara, alleged that the authorities had failed to provide sufficient power to agricultural sectors during paddy sowing season.

Though the government had promised to supply at least eight hours of supply to electric motors running tube-wells, a majority of villages were receiving power for less than six hours.



Health dept seals ultrasound machine
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 22
Continuing its surprise checking of ultrasound centres, a team of the health department today sealed another centre at the Civil Lines area.

Disclosing this, deputy medical commissioner, Ludhiana, Dr AK Handa, said, “After getting instructions from the Civil Surgeon, Ludhiana, Dr Subhash Batta, we sealed an ultrasound machine at Dr Ravi Aggarwal’s Diagnostic Centre in the Civil Lines, as F-forms, which are supposed to be filled by the diagnostic centre were incomplete. We found that three-four F-forms related to patients were not complete, so we sealed the ultrasound machine for four weeks.”



BPL families to get Rs 100
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 22
District Food and Supplies Controller, Rajnish Kumari, said that the families who had registered as the BPL (below poverty line) /AAY (Antyodaya Anna Yojana) under Aadhar project will be given Rs 100 per family member by the government.

Those who have not received Rs 100 yet can collect the money from district controller, food and civil supplies by showing documents like BPL/AAY cards by June 29, 10 am to 5 pm.



2 killed in road accident
Gurminder Singh Grewal

Machhiwara, June 22
Two scooter-borne persons were killed when their scooter was hit by a speeding Bolero on the Kohara-Machhiwara road near Partapgarh village.

As per information, a Bolero jeep in which five persons were boarding was going towards Kohara from Machhiwara and the unidentified scooterists were going towards Machhiwara. When their scooter reached near Partapgarh village, suddenly they were hit by the speeding Bolero and both died on the spot.

Their identity could not be ascertained yet. No identity proof was found from their possession and only the scooter was registered on the name of Jiwan Kumar of Ludhiana. Bolero driver Amrik Singh and Ujagar Singh, an occupants of the jeep, also received injuries and were admitted to the Civil Hospital, Machhiwara.

According to Koom Kalan police ASI, Jagga Singh, a case was registered against Amrik Singh of negligence driving. Meanwhile, the bodies were sent to the Civil Hospital, Ludhiana, for a post-mortem.



One dies in road mishap
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 22
A migrant worker, employed at a corporate sector textile mill, was killed when a speeding tractor-trolley overrun him when he was walking along the verge of the Ludhiana-Malerkotla road at Akbarpur Chhanna village near here today. The Sadar police has booked owner and driver of the tractor-trolley under Sections 304-A and 279 of the IPC.

Davinder Kumar Pandey (45), working in a textile mill at Akbarpur Chhanna, was mowed down by the tractor-trolley, which was being driven by a resident of Dhulkot village, when the former was walking on the extreme left of the Ludhiana-Malerkotla road near here today.

Though the driver had tried to run away with the vehicle, passersby, including pedestrians and commuters, intercepted him and stopped the vehicle at a short distance from the incident. However, the suspect, later identified as Darshan Singh of Dhulkot succeeded in fleeing from the spot before arrival of the police.

Investigations by a police team led by ASI Gorakh Nath revealed that the deceased had left a shop shortly before the mishap. Though he was walking outside the white strip on the extreme left side of the road, he was hit from behind by the tractor-trolley, the driver of which had probably lost control over the wheels due to heavy vehicles from behind.

The investigating team is yet to ascertain whether the driver had a valid licence to drive vehicles on the highways or not. The deceased was the only breadwinner of a joint family consisting two children, wife, ailing parents and siblings.



1 held under NDPS Act
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 22
The local police has nabbed a youth of the local ward number 9 who had allegedly been involved in the illegal trafficking of habit forming drugs in the town. Besides supplying these drugs to labourers and youths, including students, the suspect had been selling banned products from his grocery shop situated in the heart of the town.

SHO (City) Davinder Singh informed that a police party led by Nirmal Singh had nabbed Tarun Kumar of the town when he was bringing a consignment of the habit forming drugs from a godown at Pohir to the local town last evening.

While 40 bottles of cough syrup and 500 tablets of Caricol were seized from his possession, the investigating team expects more recovery from his suspected hideouts.

Preliminary investigations disclosed that the suspect used to bring the drugs from a shop at the Pindi Street at Ludhiana and used to sell at exorbitant prices to his regular customers.

The accused was booked under Sections 22, 61 and 85 of the NDPS Act.



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