L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Garbage takes over road space
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 17
The garbage menace is back to haunt the city. Mounds of waste lie along the streets and garbage bins are not lifted on a regular basis. There is no solution in sight even the solid waste management project has been launched in the city.

Ironically, due to non-lifting of garbage in the city, a majority of the bins kept on city roads have virtually turned into garbage dumps.

Prior to the solid waste management project in August 2011, the number of garbage dumps in the city could be counted easily. But as the private company — A2Z Waste Management Ludhiana Ltd — was given the contract of garbage disposal and garbage bins were placed in the city, the number of dumps have increased.

Ludhiana is not only the most polluted city, but also the city that produces maximum garbage in the state. Everyday, Ludhiana produces 968 metric tonnes of garbage.

It is learnt that due to the non-payment of dues, the workers of the A2Z company had gone on strike a few days before Divali and the garbage was not lifted.

In many parts of the city, heaps of garbage around the garbage bins is a common sight. Garbage bins can also be seen placed right in the middle of the road in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar.

Jawant Singh Zeerakh, secretary, Maha Sabha Ludhiana and a resident of Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar stated that the A2Z company should pull up its socks and should lift garbage regularly. "If the garbage is not lifted for one day, the problem starts. The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation should keep a close watch on the functioning of the company," he said.

When contacted, MC Joint Commissioner AS Sekhon confirmed that there was some problem in lifting of garbage.

"Due to the non-payment of dues, the drivers of the A2Z company had gone on strike, which led to accumulation of garbage in the city. But now the lifting has resumed and yesterday more than 1,300 metric tonnes of garbage was lifted from the roads. The situation will improve,” assured Sekhon. 


16 samples fail purity test 
Tribune News service

Ludhiana, November 17
The district health department collected a total of 131 samples of eatables during the festival season.

Out of these 16 samples failed the purity test while the report of 50 samples was awaited.

Talking to The Tribune, food safety officer Ravinder Garg said: "By now, we have received the report of 81 samples, out of which 16 failed purity test. The report of remaining 50 samples is still awaited." He said that many places from where the samples were collected during the festive season were unhygienic.

District health officer, Ludhiana, Dr Jasbeer Singh said: “We will continue the campaign. We will also advise owners of sweets shops and other eateries to maintain hygiene.” 

Spurious eatables

Samples of ice-cream from Franco's Ice Cream Parlour

Bakery products from Sweet Temptations, Udham Singh Nagar

Zafarani patti from Moti Ram and Sons

Khoya collected from Satti Sweet Shop and Daleep Sweet Shop, Jagraon

Barfi from Raj Sweet Shop, Model Town, coconut barfi from Bikaner Mishthan Bhandar, Mint Gumari Chowk, Model Town

Mustard oil from Roshan Lal-Chander Mohan, Kesar Ganj, Rajan Garg and Desraj Garg, Gokul Road, Aman Oil Mills, Dhandhra Khurd, and Manju Traders 



Authorities unmoved: Old Tibba bridge continues to pose risk
Lovleen Bains

Sahnewal, November 17
It has been more than a fortnight since the plight of commuters and residents using the Old Tibba bridge was highlighted in the columns of this newspaper, but the repair work is still awaited.

“Although a new bridge is being constructed and will be shortly available for commuting, for the time being commuters have no other option but to use the old bridge. The edges of the bridge have been badly eroded at the entry and exit points,” said a commuter.

This bridge is generally overloaded with a huge rush of traffic, and its poor maintenance posed a threat to the commuters, he added.

“How many times has the problem been highlighted and the authorities intimated about our genuine problem?” rued another resident, adding, “The authorities are so busy in constructing the new bridge that they have flouted all norms by not maintaining the old bridge.”

A villager from Khanpur said: “The canal may be dry for the time being, but that does not mean that any commuter crossing over the old bridge will escape unhurt if the vehicle happens to slide due to a slight lapse on the part of the commuter. When the department has already been informed about the problem, why is it now waiting for some tragic incident to occur before initiating any action?”

Another commuter from Jassar village said that how could the authorities ignore the safety of those crossing the old bridge, just because a new bridge was being constructed?

Superintendent Engineer of the Public Works Department, however, assured that the edges of the bridge would be covered up as early as possible.



Apni Mandi ‘Mafia’ on Mayor’s Radar
Mandi not allowed to operate on Jaimal Singh Road, two other cleared in past two weeksPuneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 17
Mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria has said that he will not allow Apni Mandi "Mafia" to operate from any road of the city.

"To start with, we have decided not to allow middlemen to operate from such mandis, because if we do so, the real purpose behind setting up of Apni Mandis stands defeated," the Mayor said while speaking to The Tribune. He said that three such mandis have been cleared in the last two weeks.

"We have managed to clear a mandi near Lodhi Club and another near Baba Ishar Singh School in Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar. Today we did not let one such mandi operate on Jaimal Singh Road. Since afternoon, we had deputed policemen on the spot and did not allow any person from operating mandi from the area,” he said.

To facilitate farmers in selling their produce directly to residents, the Apni Mandi concept was started by Punjab State Agricultural Marketing Board in 1987. For a few years, it flourished as planned, but slowly, traders and shopkeepers replaced farmers in these mandis, giving birth to a new kind of Apni Mandi "Mafia".

As per rough estimates, a shopkeeper selling fruits and vegetables at such mandis end up earning more than other shopkeepers.

This mafia allegedly enjoys patronage of some local politicians. People selling their produce at such mandis allegedly end up paying Rs 50 to Rs 100 as "protection fee" to these politicians.

A Tehbazaari wing official stated that when one such mandi near Sidhwan Canal on Pakhowal Road was cleared, he received phone calls from a senior leader of the ward. "Not only fruits and vegetables, but even spices and clothes are being sold at these mandis, which is against law," said the official.

What is Apni Mandi

Traditional marketing system for fruits and vegetables is unfavourable to farmers as major share of money is pocketed by the middlemen and traders. To address this problem, the Punjab State Agricultural Marketing Board started "farmers' market" in 1987 with a view to give boost to the small farmers around cities. It provided them direct access to consumers. It is also known as the "Apni Mandi" because it belongs to both the farmers and the consumers for their mutual benefit.



Exports dwindle; tax exemptions sought 
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 17
With country's exports declining for the sixth consecutive month, exporters have come up with some recommendations for the government.

These include tax exemption for units functioning in the special economic zones (SEZs), creation of an export development fund for small and medium enterprises, and enhancement of duty drawback rates for the industry to lift outbound shipments.

Ajay Mehta, an exporter, blames the contraction in demand in the developed world for the declining exports. He says the government should include markets like the USA in its focus market scheme to offset high freight costs and other externalities to make Indian products more competitive overseas.

"An export development fund should be created by the government to help micro and small enterprises. Among the sops recommended by the industry is the capping of interest rates for exporters at nine per cent, and enhancement of duty drawback rates to five to six per cent from the current two to three per cent," added Mehta.

Pawan Suri, another exporter says, "Nearly 30 per cent of exports take place out of the special economic zones (SEZs). As much as Rs 2 lakh crore has been invested by developers in these zones, but the current policy is not favourable for unit holders. The government needs to revamp the existing guidelines and extend tax exemptions to boost activities in SEZs.”

Glaring fact

India's exports shrunk by 1.6 per cent to $23.25 billion in October. Meanwhile, imports went up by 7.37 per cent to $44 billion.



Stenography catching up in city with rise in jobs
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 17
The city youth seem to be seeing stenography as a good way of securing a government job as more and more students are opting for stenography courses run by Punjab Bhasha Vibhag (language department) at its centre in Punjabi Bhavan.

Majority of these students are girls. Students get admission in stenography with the view that they would be able to get a government job by passing the one-year course. The course fee is economical and students from weaker sections also receive a monthly stipend of Rs 250 under a special scheme.

Earlier, instructors had to visit schools to convince students for admission to the stenography courses, as there were very few takers. Bhasha Vibhag was not even able to fill 45 seats of this class.

After a gap of 16 years, however, the state government has recruited a huge number of stenographers in the government offices and Suvidha Centres in DC offices.

This year, the department received 180 applications for the 45 seats available. People also used references to get admission.

Gurmail Singh Khokhar, instructor of stenography said, "Some years back people used to say that stenography is no longer a marketable skill. We used to work hard at the time of admissions to convince the students for this class. Now this year we gave the admissions on merit basis. This change has occurred due to the government's initiative of recruiting stenographers in government offices.”

"It is a job-oriented course. If the government does not provide jobs, no one will be interested in this class. According to rules, the class is only for two hours but we teach them for six hours to get good results," said Gurmail Singh.



Badal better worry about Punjab: Tewari
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 17
Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Manish Tewari today asked Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to “better worry” about the state and leave the country's concerns to Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and his team.

He was replying to Badal’s statement that the country's future was not safe in the hands of the UPA.

Talking to reporters after attending a function organised by the District Taxation Bar Association (Sales Tax), Tewari pointed out that the state of affairs in Punjab needed Badal's urgent attention, rather than politicking about the UPA.

He also said the affordable healthcare across the country was among the top most priorities of the United Progressive Alliance government at present.



Over 100 attend session on epilepsy
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 17
Over 100 patients participated in an interactive session on World Epilepsy Day at a private hospital here today.

The hospital also distributed free information booklets and patient education material regarding epilepsy. Dr RS Bhatia, Dr Siddhartha Garg and other neurology experts urged people to come forward and spread awareness regarding epilepsy.

They shared useful tips such as the need to carry identification and have proper knowledge regarding seizure disorders so that people remain safe and receive proper treatment.

Dr Bhatia said epilepsy could have profound social, physical and psychological consequences.

"Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological disorders affecting any defined population and it is estimated that up to 5% of people in the world may have at least one seizure in their lives,” he said.

Dr Garg said that epilepsy is often caused due to an underlying brain disease. He said that up to 60 to 70 per cent of newly diagnosed patients can be successfully treated with anti-epileptic drugs.



Extra nipple, marker for heart disease: Experts 
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 17
A person with a supernumerary (extra) nipple can be susceptible to ischaemic heart disease (IHD), also known as coronary heart disease.

This was revealed by Dr John Pramod, professor of physiology and former director, and Dr Amit Gulrez, senior medical officer at the Trauma and ER Department of Christian Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana.

Dr John Pramod said: "We have made this observation in people who already have ischaemic heart disease (IHD) or those people who have a strong family history of coronary artery disease."

According to this retrospective observation made by him, there is a strong possibility of correlation between IHD and presence of supernumerary nipples. It appears from the present study being done by Dr John Pramod that nearly six per cent of the known IHD patients have supernumerary nipples.

Dr Parmod said: "The supernumerary nipples appear along the two vertical "milk lines", which start at armpits on both sides, and run down through the typical nipples, before ending at the groin. They are classified into eight levels of completeness from a simple patch of hair to a milk-bearing breast in miniature.”

Dr John Pramod said that most people disregard this cutaneous marker and often the supernumerary nipples are misdiagnosed as a mole or skin tag.

Its presence should not be ignored and should be thoroughly investigated.

It is also termed as polythelia which may be a rudimentary miniature nipple and not necessarily an active gland.

There have been studies in the past that linked presence of supernumerary nipples among the Asian population with mitral valve prolapse.

Mitral valve prolapse is a heart problem in which the valve that separates the upper and lower chambers of the left side of the heart does not close properly.



Traffic police issues advisory
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 17
The traffic police has urged devotees to park their vehicles on the service lanes while performing Chhath Puja at Sutlej and Doraha canals here tomorrow.

Parking of vehicles on the main roads, while devotees take a dip in these canals, causes inconvenience to the general public.

In a press note issued today, the traffic police also stated that water will not be released in Sidhwan Canal due to the ongoing construction work.



Postage stamp released
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 17
A postage stamp on The Scinde Horse Regiment was launched by the postal department yesterday.

The regiment has been known for its valour and has received several gallantry awards. It was raised in 1838 at Hyderabad in the Sindh province of Pakistan by Capt W Ward to protect the British lines of communication to Baluchistan.

In 1961, it became the first cavalry regiment to receive the president's standard in the post-independence era. The regiment performed proved its mettle during the wars in 1965 and 1971. It also performed well in various missions abroad. It was awarded the United Nations Somalia Medal in 1994. The regiment has been awarded 26 battle honours and 19 theatre honours. 



PhD scholars receive Inspire fellowship
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 17
Two PhD scholars at the College of Veterinary Science, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU), have been bestowed with INSPIRE (Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research) fellowship by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India.

These scholars include Dr Aman Dev Moudgil of the Department of Veterinary Parasitology and Dr Amandeep Singh of the Department of Veterinary Anatomy College of Veterinary Science.

INSPIRE fellowship is an innovative programme sponsored and managed by the Department of Science and Technology to attract talented students toward science stream. Dr Randhawa, Dean Post Graduate Studies-cum-Director of Research, GADVASU, said that the scholarship has been provided to the two scholars for accomplishing their research targets in their respective fields for the PhD programmes.

Vice-Chancellor Dr VK Taneja congratulated the students on their achievement. 



Car catches fire, tragedy averted
Our Correspondent

Khanna, November 17
A big tragedy was averted when a gas-fitted Maruti Esteem car caught fire near Shanidev Mandir here today.

The incident reportedly took place after owner of the car Dr Major Singh, a resident of Model Town, left a petrol pump. He had reportedly switched off the gas cylinder before getting petrol filled in the tank.

He noticed smoke coming out of the front portion of the car as soon as he left. He immediately stopped the car and came out. Fire fighters reached the spot and doused the fire with water canons. Due to the fire, the front portion of the car was damaged. The fire, however, was doused before it could reach the petrol tank and the gas cylinder.

The cause could not be ascertained at the time of filing of this report.



Mini Secretariat  theft
Chowkidar chargesheeted
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 17
After the suspension of a security guard at Mini Secretariat, now the chowidar who was on duty when some important documents got stolen from the record room at Head Registration Clerk Branch has been chargesheeted for negligence while performing his duty.

Moreover, three clerks have been assigned the task to find out which land revenue documents were stolen from the record room.

Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tiwari said that he had requested the Police Commissioner to provide an additional security guard at the ADC (Development) Office where there is one record room.

"Lakhs of documents are kept in the four record rooms at Mini Secretariat and we cannot promptly say which all records have gone missing. It will take at least 15 to 20 days to check which files have been stolen," said Tiwari. 



28-yr-old shot dead, 2 held
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 17
A 28-year-old youth, identified as Gurmeet Singh Gogi, was allegedly shot dead by a father-son duo at Chuharpur village last night owing to personal rivalry. Both the accused surrendered to the police today.

Gogi was killed following an altercation between two groups. The victim's family alleged that Gogi was called by Kamaljit at the latter's place and was told on the phone that he (Kamaljit) had a fight with someone and needed Gogi's help.

In a statement to the police, victim’s brother Jatinder said on Friday night Kamaljit called his brother Gogi and said he had a fight with someone and needed his (Gogi's) help. "I got suspicious as earlier Kamaljit had called my brother when he got indulged in a brawl with one Guri. But instead of taking Kamaljit’s side, Gogi supported Guri after which Kamaljit was trying to take revenge from him,” said Jatinder, adding that when he followed his brother to Kamaljit's place, he heard latter's father Kulwinder Kahlon saying that Gurmit Singh Gogi must not be spared.

Kamaljit allegedly took the rifle of his father and shot at Gogi. Jatinder raised the alarm. The president of the area and his maternal uncle reached the spot and took Gogi to the DMCH where he died.

The incident took place at around 10 pm. ACP Gurpreet Singh reached the spot along with SHO, Haibowal, Satinderpal Singh. But the accused had fled after committing the crime.

Gogi’s body was handed over to the family after post-mortem. Gogi was the youngest of three brothers and was unmarried. 



Peddlers held with poppy husk
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, November 17
The Dehlon police has arrested a father-in-law and son-in-law duo of Gill village and seized a substantial quantity of poppy husk from their possession.

Assistant Commissioner of Police Gurpreet Singh Sikand said Malkit Singh of Janta Colony, Gill, and his son-in-law Kantu Singh alias Babli of Bharowal village were nabbed at a check post near Narangwal Kalan village on Jodhan road for allegedly distributing narcotics in the area.

Besides seizing a plastic bag containing 34-kg poppy husk and a Hero Honda motorcycle, the police has also recovered equipment used in measuring the contraband and packing materials.

Preliminary investigation revealed that the accused used to bring the contraband from drug-peddlers active in Mand area. They then sold it to labourers and addicts at deserted places alongside link roads and canals.



Carrom meet from today 
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, November 17
Around 400 students, including boys and girls, drawn from different schools affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) across the country will be seen in action at the National Carrom Championship at BCM Senior Secondary School here from November 18 to 21.

Forty-eight teams in the boys' as well as girls’ category will compete for top honours at the tournament.

The winners will qualify for the upcoming International Schools Carrom Tournament.



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