L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


25 died due to heat in June
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 30
At least 25 persons alone have died in the district due to the intense heat wave conditions in June.

Confirming this, Dr Karamveer Goel, Senior Medical Officer, Lord Mahavir Civil Hospital, Ludhiana, said, “We have received 179 bodies alone for the post-mortem examinations in June. Out of these 30 were of unidentified patients. It is presumed that at least 25 unidentified persons out of 30 had died due to the heatstroke.”

Dr Goel said: “Earlier in May, we received 145 bodies for the post-mortem examinations, out of which 29 were of unidentified persons. But we are facing hardship in keeping the bodies in the mortuary. We receive 10 to 12 bodies daily. Only six deep freezers are in working order. Two are lying defunct. Due to less number of freezers we are forced to keep bodies in open inside the mortuary. We are left with no option other than keeping the bodies for 72 hours and sometimes for longer duration.”

Meanwhile, Dr KK Gill, Assistant Agrometrogist, Punjab Agriculture University, said, “One should not expect respite from the heatwave till Tuesday. The temperature is expeceted to increase gradually. At present, it is 38°C and in coming days it may increase by 40°C to 41°C.We can expect showers between July 4 to July 8.”


One experiences giddiness

Body temperature increases

Patients may fall unconscious

Do’s and Don’ts

To escape heat wave one should:

Drink at least 3 to 4 liters of water in a day.

Avoid exercising if suffering from heatstroke. Wear a cap or if possible try to cover head with wet cloth.

Avoid direct sunlight.

Take medication if suffering from illness.


25 deaths, 2,500 homeless expose admn
More lip service than real action, yet to provide basic amenities to the poor
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 30
The summer season has exposed the indifferent and callous attitude of the district administration towards the underprivileged. At least 25 persons have lost their lives due to the unrelenting heatwave so far. Far from providing basic amenities and proper shelter, it seems inept to provide accommodation or relief to the poor.

According to an estimate, more than 2,500 people are homeless in the city and are finding it hard to survive in the absence of a place to escape the scorching heat. A few of them have even died.

“The affluent section of society can manage the heat sitting in air-conditioned homes and places, but weather has become stifling hot for the underprivileged,” said Pramod Kumar, a street vendor.

Many complain about no support from the government. “We are treated like orphans, not citizens by the government. If we have the right to vote, why can’t we have the right to live life,” says a slum-dweller.

We know that the government is spineless enough to give basic amenities to citizens, but at least, they can at least do something to save people from extremities build enough homes for the people.

Dr Naurang Singh Magat, Guru Amar Dass Apahaj Ashram, an NGO, said the administration should make arrangements for providing cold water at least in May or June. A nodal officer or coordinator with team may be appointed especially for this purpose, or this can be outsourced, he added.

“Life has become a hell for us. On one hand the weather conditions have become more extreme this year; we are left to face indifferent administration on the other. The government is doing little to ameliorate our conditions,” says Sunder Kumar, a rickshaw puller.

When asked about the steps taken by the administration in this regard, Additional Deputy Commissioner Neeru Katyal disconnected the phone. 



50 cuts closed to ease traffic
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 30
The traffic police has closed more than 50 cuts due to which traffic jams and accidents were taking place in the city. The police claims this will help in improving the traffic flow and reducing accidents.

Traffic Inspector Beant Juneja said about 21 unauthorised cuts had been closed on the entire stretch of the Hambran Road (under Ludhiana Commissionerate). “Many of these cuts were either narrow or creating traffic hazards. Though people residing in the area had initially opposed the move, but they agreed to cooperate when things were made clear to them. The situation has improved after the cuts were close,” Juneja added.

The police had recently closed 15 cuts on the Gill Road, 11 on the Rahon Road, three on the Malhar Road and three on the Ferozpur Road to give respite to residents from regular traffic jams.

Ashish Chaudhry, DCP, said bottlenecks had been cleared due to the closure of several cuts on major city roads. “The traffic has started moving smoothly and no major traffic jams have been reported. People, NGOs and a few social organisations have appreciated the move initiated by the traffic police. We are gathering data, which show that the number of accidents in the city has reduced with this drive,” Chaudhry added.

Shopkeepers and residents are resisting the closure of four such cuts in Field Ganj. The traffic police is meeting them to make them aware of the traffic congestion as the particular area always remain abuzz with activity. Due to the narrow roads, half of which have been encroached upon by the vendors, traffic jams are routine in this area. 

Unauthorized cuts closed by the police

21 on Hambran Road

15 on Gill Road

11 on Rahon Road

3 on Malhar Road

3 on Ferozpur Road

4 to be closed in Field Ganj 



Arrival of monsoon
How prepared is Administration?
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 30
As the monsoon is about to set in, the administration has done a little to deal with it.

Last year, rain had led to three casualties and caused damage worth crores, but it seems that the authorities have learnt no lessons from the past.

While people wait for the monsoon eagerly, due to the lackadaisical attitude of the district administration towards the maintenance of sewerage system, rainy season becomes a nightmare.

Those residing near Budha Nullah and Ganda Nullah are the worst affected as water enters their houses. Choked sewerage is a common problem in most of the areas here. Situation worsens during the monsoon.

Rainwater is disposed of through Budha Nullah. In the absence of storm water sewer, rainwater passes through sewers then goes to treatment plant and disposed of in the Budha Nullah.

Waterlogging on streets and roads leads to the caving in of roads. Last year, a causality was reported at Kitchlu Nagar.

The municipal corporation had planned to install storm water sewer 10 years ago. But the project requires huge sums. Last year, the MC had decided to install 294 km storm sewer, but had failed to execute the project due to a shortage of funds. One third of the city is still deprived of the facility.

Residents have no hopes from the MC officials.

Hakam Singh Giaspura, Mayor, said, "We are fully equipped to deal with any situation. Residents residing near Budha Nullah face problems during rainy season. Therefore, we have installed draining machine on the nullah. Moreover, our workers are cleaning the Budha Nullah and sewerage system. This time we will not face any problem."



New way to beat the heat
Residents roam in air-conditioned cars during power cuts 
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 30
Long drive in air-conditioned cars has become the new trend among the residents of Malwa region.

Women, children and elderly persons are no exception to the new fashion.

A large number of residents of local town and surrounding localities have started going on drive to beat the heat during power cuts, which has since become more frequent.

While members of higher stratum of society roam in luxury cars, those from less affluent families use motorcycles and scooters for the purpose.

Munish Vinayak, a social activist and an industrialist, who has recently shifted to a nearby city, said he had been commuting between his residence and local town simply to beat the heat.

"Though we have installed generators at our residence and at workplace too, one cannot afford to run these frequently during intermittent power cuts. I prefer to be in my car during those hours though at times I don't need to travel," said Vinayak.

Manav Karir, a real estate dealer, said he along with his associates has been striking deals with their valuable clients while moving on their car. “It is better to keep travelling in air-conditioned vehicles rather than being disturbed by intermittent power cuts during important discussions in office, said Karir.

Munish Sharma, a young deed writer is among those who take out their small families on motorcycles during power cuts. On one Sunday, he and his wife chose to enjoy a countryside drive during a long power cut but now it has become a habit. Sharma said his three-year-old son is now 'addicted' to these rides. 

Though we have installed generators at our residence and at workplace too, one cannot afford to run these frequently during intermittent power cuts. I prefer to be in my car during those hours though at times I don't need to travel  — Vinayak, resident



Health dept cracks whip on radiologists, sonologists
Now, can only work at two ultrasound centres
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 30
Cracking the whip on all radiologists and sonologists, the state health department has ordered them not to practice at more than two ultrasound centers.Dr Sanjeev Hans, District Family Welfare Officer, Ludhiana, said, "Earlier, it was the state government that issued these instructions. But these instructions have been issued to them on the basis of the gazette notification of the Government of India after an amendment in the PC/PNDT Act 1994.

As per the amendment, no radiologist can work at more than two ultrasound centres. We have issued notice to some sonologists and radiologists who have been working at more than two places and asked them to decide within five days at which two centres they would continue their work. All ultrasound centres will have to put up boards, displaying the doctor’s name and the timings of his visit at the centre concerned."

Talking to The Tribune, Dr Subhash Batta, Civil Surgeon, Ludhiana, said, "In case a radiologist or sonologist does not abide by the new guidelines, his registration will be cancelled.

Earlier, there was no such binding with the ultrasound centres. Some doctors were working at more than five ultrasound centres."

“Earlier also, the doctors were issued instructions to work at limited ultrasound centres. But now, after the new amendment in the PC/PNDT Act 1994, these instructions are being implemented strictly," he further said.



Now, sale of abortion pills on docs’ prescription only
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 30
To curb the misuse of abortion pills easily available at a chemist shop, the state health department has taken a tough stand and has asked the chemists to sell these pills only on the prescription of a doctor. The Director, Health and Family Welfare, Punjab, has issued these instructions to all Civil Surgeons across the state.

Confirming this, Dr Subhash Batta, Civil Surgeon, Ludhiana, said, "All such medicines come under schedule- H. We have been instructed by the Director, Health and Family Welfare, Punjab, to issue instructions to all chemists to sell these only on the prescription of a doctor."

Due to easy accessibility of these pills, their misuse was on the rise. Sources revealed that the misuse of these pills, the state government made it mandatory to keep a check on the sale of these. All drug inspectors will also be issued instructions to check the record pertaining to these pills while conducting raids at the chemists shops.



Overcoming obstacles with grit
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 30
It has been a resolve to overcome and surmount any of the obstacles that come their way. Although problems come, but bucking down is not their attitude, as they pull through and move on facing the challenges come what may.

Mridula Jain, MD, Shingora Textiles, and Sandeep Riat, MD, Akal Springs, shared their experiences during "My Story Session" organised by the Ludhiana Management Association.

Mridula Jain has spearheaded the change in the shawl industry.

Epitomising sheer grit, she showed that there was no looking back, or looking far into the future, when one was passionately involved in what he or she did and lived in the present.

She has proved that one can turn things around for oneself.

She wanted to pursue engineering, but girls at that time wouldn't do engineering. She completed her MSc, BEd and pursued literature after marriage and joined Sacred Heart Convent School, where she taught for 10 years. But the irrepressible entrepreneur couldn't wait beyond this and she decided to do a shawl business after her elder son passed out from the high school. She brought new changes to the shawl industry in the region becoming export oriented. She took brave steps further spearheading the campaign for de-reservation of handlooms, and upgradation of industry, and won many awards, including Mahila Udyog Ratna and Best Woman Entrepreneur. "There are challenges, but you have to face them with confidence, and with a cool head and take challenges in your stride," she said.

Sandeep Riat, MD, Akal Springs, had to face the gender bias against women in an auto-parts business. She took over the reins of her company after her father. She had to face dejections from seven banks for loan, before a bank agreed to support. She hung on, fighting the biases and glass ceiling. "Infusing life into a sick company was more difficult than it would be for starting a new company," she says. But it was the spirit challenge, turned the company around, and is a success story today. She has been honoured with the Punjab state award "Parman Patra". She said there was a place for everyone, but all one needed was to stick it out and have faith in oneself. 



Property dealers, developers threaten to stall work
Ask government to regularise unauthorised colonies 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 30
Property dealers and developers from all over Punjab gathered at Guru Nanak Bhawan today to "pressurise" the state government to regularise unauthorised colonies in the state on the pattern of Delhi. About 2,000 developers from various districts of Punjab have asked the government to regularise the colonies without making any changes or keeping any conditions.

They said if the government failed to listen to their demands, they would hamper the working of land-deals (registries), following which the state exchequer would bear heavy financial losses.

President of the Punjab Colonisers and Property Dealers' Association Kultar Singh Jogi said the officials of PUDA and GLADA were unnecessarily harassing the developers by demolishing the colonies. He said on the pattern of Delhi, the Punjab government should also provide relief to colonisers by regularising the unauthorised colonies.

"Recently, Delhi had authorised 1,639 colonies, providing relief to lakhs of people. The Punjab government should also regularise these colonies without taking into consideration the Compounding Policy. PUDA officials have been harassing the colonisers, which should be stopped. Single-window systems should be introduced in districts where maps of colonies be passed," said Jogi.

Jogi added that if the government did not come to their rescue, property dealers and colonisers would be forced to adopt an "agitative" path by hampering the land deals, holding dharnas, protests and blocking roads.



VAT on gensets worries traders
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 30
The industry has condemned the state government for adopting a "step-motherly" treatment towards it.

Already suffering losses, industrialists maintained that instead of providing uninterrupted power supply to the industry, the state government had imposed VAT on generator sets and it had become too difficult to purchase these to run the businesses.

Condemning the state government for its "apathetic" attitude, the president of Federation of Punjab Small Industries Association (FOPSIA), Badish K Jindal, said it was the duty of the government to provide electricity to the state. "But our production has already come down up to 35-40 per cent due to several reasons," Jindal added.

"Power cuts have further deteriorated the situation. The industry depends entirely on generator sets, on which the government has imposed heavy VAT to the tune of 12.5 per cent. First, they are not providing us power and if we are making alternative arrangements, the government is not making it viable. The profitability in our units/factors goes into negative if we are not given regular power supply," said Jindal.

The president of Fasteners' Supplier Association of India, Raj Kumar Singla, said if the units were run on electricity, they had to pay Rs 5.50 per unit while when units were run on generators, the industry had to shell out Rs 14 per unit. "We cannot rely on the power provided by the government as the situation is grim. The government has levied huge VAT on generator sets which should be abolished. We do not get VAT refund as gensets come under capital investment. Secondly, we are 
not given VAT refund on the diesel too. The situation of the industry in the state is miserable. The state government must provide some respite to run the business," lamented Singla. 



Birth anniversary of Master Tara Singh celebrated
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 30
The 128th birth anniversary of Master Tara Singh was celebrated today.

A function was organised by the Pant Rattan Master Tara Singh at the GGN Khalsa College, Civil Lines.

Prominent Sikh scholars besides leaders were present at the function, which was presided by Punjab Vidhan Sabha Speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal.

Atwal lauded Master Tara Singh’s role in serving the community and expressed confidence that the coming generations would be indebted to the late visionary for his contribution to society.

Hira Singh Gabria, former Cabinet Minister, Punjab, also appreciated Master ji’s contribution towards the community. Kulwant Singh Dukhia, president of the trust, emphasised the importance of building a memorial in his name.

Prof GS Dua, convener of the trust, presented a resolution that was passed with a voice vote. The resolution urged the state government to institute a University Chair in the name of Master ji and also to sanction a suitable site for construction of a memorial, installing a statute of Master Tara Singh at a prime place and declaration of holiday on his birthday.

Former Vice Chancellor Dr SP Singh, Guru Nanak Dev University, proposed a vote of thanks to the dignitaries for sparing time to attend the function. 



Education or business?
Devious institutes plague Sahnewal, Doraha
Lovleen Bains

Sahnewal, June 30
Several private institutes have mushroomed in and around Sahnewal and Doraha which are non-affiliated and allegedly do not follow any norms.

These ‘teaching shops’ lure students to take admission but do not provide quality education as they do not hire qualified teachers, say educationists.

“Their modus operandi is to slowly mould the minds of the parents. They feel that half the battle is won if they successfully convince the parents,” said a local teacher working in an affiliated college.

“Their main target is girl students. They tell parents that their girls do not have to travel huge distances to gain education if they take admission there. They would relate it with the security and safety of the ‘unguarded girl child,’ said Shalini, who refused to take admission in a one such academy and graduated from an affiliated institution this year.

“The ‘teaching shops’ try to attract the students by charging less form them for the first instalment. Later they charge as per their wish. They are aware that the students cannot change institution at a later stage and they (students) have to pay the price,” said a parent.

“These so called educational institutions are not based on any principle. These are also not answerable to any particular body. The teaching staff are less qualified than others. These provide limited options as far as the choice of subjects and fees are concerned,” said another educationist.

Tarsem Bahia, Chairman, Punjab Educationists Forum, said, “The students, their parents as well as the educationists should restrict these activities.”

He further added. “Unless the staff is qualified, quality education cannot be provided. These institutes have not been able to establish their credibility in any way, how can they be expected to equip the students with specific and professional skills? Students studying in such academies have limited chance if they plan to go abroad.”

These so called educational institutions are not based on any principle. These are also not answerable to any particular body. The teaching staff are less qualified than others. These provide limited options as far as the choice of subjects and fees are concerned — An educationist 

Unless the staff is qualified, quality education cannot be provided. These institutes have not been able to establish their credibility in any way, how can they be expected to make the students apt? Students studying in such academies have limited chance if they plan  to go abroad — Tarsem Bahia, Chairman, Punjab Educationists Forum



Girl found dead
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 30
Tara (10) died while “swinging” with the help of a “dupatta”. No one was at home when this accident took place otherwise the girl could have been saved, the police maintains.

SHO of the Division Number 5 police station Nirmal Singh said the incident took place at around 4.30 pm when the parents of the girl had gone out to purchase vegetables. Tara, the daughter of a migrant from Uttar Pradesh, who eked a living by selling vegetables along with his wife, and her 11-year-old sister were alone in the house when this incident took place.

“She had made a swing out of the “dupatta” by tucking it with a ceiling fan. She started swinging with her feet on a suitcase lying in a small room in Sham Nagar. The suitcase on which she had kept her feet slipped. Tara lost her balance and her neck got stuck in the dupatta. She was alone in the house when this accident took place. Her sister came and raised an alarm. Neighbours gathered at the spot. But, the girl had already died by then,” Nirmal Singh said.

The girl’s body was sent for the post-mortem examination. “It will be conducted at the local Civil Hospital tomorrow. The family basically hails from Uttar Pradesh but were living in the city for the past three decades,” the SHO added.



Four arrested, 17 cartons of liquor seized
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 30
A few persons against whom cases were registered in various police stations have been arrested in raids conducted by the Salemtabri police station in the past 24 hours.

Assistant Commissioner of Police (North) Swapan Sharma said today that Rahul Sharma, a resident of Chandni Chowk, Salem Tabri, and Naresh Kumar of Salem Tabri were involved in several snatching incidents in the city.

“These accused had looted a shop in Salemtabri. Two gas cylinders, nine pair of sandals and shoes, 28 belts, one DVD, one Sansui deck, one videogame and clothes were recovered from their possession,” Sharma added.

“Onkar Singh, a resident of Preet Nagar, Shimlapuri, has also been arrested. One laptop and a motor-cycle have been recovered from his possession. About 48 cases have been registered at various police stations in the city against Soma. We are interrogating him and expect to recover more things from his whereabouts,” the ACP said.

Amar Singh of Karol Bagh Colony, Jassian Road, was arrested and 17 cases of liquor were recovered from his car. Manga’s brother Seenu, however, fled from the spot. After interrogation, 26 more cases of liquor were recovered from Manga’s house, the ACP added.



Akhil Aggarwal helps Ludhiana score 323 runs 
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, June 30
A magnificent century by Akhil Aggarwal (127) and an equally valuable contribution from Himanshu (71) helped Ludhiana to reach a defendable score of 323 runs in their first innings against Patiala in the four-day match of the Punjab State Inter-District Cricket Tournament (U-22) organised by the Punjab Cricket Association at the Punjab Agricultural University campus ground here today.

Both the teams have reasons to feel contented as Ludhiana, after some initial hiccups, managed to put up a fighting total while the visiting team’s bowlers, particularly Amrinder, succeeded in restricting Ludhiana batsmen to somewhat a reasonable score.Besides, Akhil and Himanshu, it was Davinder Sidhu who exhibited a fine foot work and an uncanny selection of loose deliveries. He fought valiantly and remained unbeaten on 48 runs.On the other hand, Patiala's Amrinder Singh found his line and length to make local batsmen to fall a prey to his accurate bowling. He scalped five victims after conceding 75 runs. Sukhwinder Singh, too, claimed two wickets for 80 runs.

Brief scores

Ludhiana (first innings) 323 all out in 93 overs (Akhil Aggarwal 127, Himanshu 71, Devinder Sidhu 48 n.o. and Nikhil Chowdhary 18; Amrinder Singh 5 for 75, Sukhwinder Singh 2 for 80 and Beant Singh 1 for 35).



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