L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


MC shuts eyes to ‘illegal’ rally hoardings
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 22
The cash-strapped Municipal Corporation feels helpless when it has to bend its own rules for the ruling party. Hundreds of hoardings and banners of the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s Fateh Rally, to be held at Jagraon tomorrow, have been put up “illegally” across the city.

The Civic Body recently awarded a six-month contract for putting up advertisements on “unipoles” and garbage dumps in the city to a company for about Rs 2.5 crore, subject to the state government’s approval.

The MC will earn nothing from these rally hoardings and banners put up by leaders of both the SAD and the BJP, councillors, social organisations, welfare societies, businessmen and other individuals across the city.

An MC official said: “How could we remove these banners and posters put up on the ‘unipoles’? We will take action once the rally is over. The banners and posters have the pictures of Modi, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and other VVIPs. We are not going to land ourselves in trouble by removing these before the event”.

The MC Commissioner, Shruti Singh, said the MC teams were looking into the matter and these banners and posters would be removed soon.

Hundreds of buses hired

For making the Modi’s rally a grand success, the authorities concerned have been “pressuring” bus operators to provide them vehicles in good numbers. Hundreds of mini-buses and other buses have been hired to ferry people to the venue on Sunday. Lakhvinder Singh (name changed), a bus operator, said the Transport Department had been asked to arrange a good number of school buses vans for the rally. A majority of private schools have agreed to “please” the authorities by providing their vehicles for the rally. More than 50,000 visitors are expected to be brought on these buses from Ludhiana district.

Govt machinery on toes

Top officials of all departments are busy making preparations for the rally. One of the officials said it was a “do-or-die” situation for them. “A small mistake can cost us dear and this has been conveyed to us by the top-brass,” said the official.


Speculation rife about Bains’ candidature for city LS seat
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 22
Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal said today that if Independent MLA Simarjit Singh Bains wanted to contest the coming Lok Sabha elections from Ludhiana, then he could do so as in a democracy, any person can contest elections. He was speaking to mediapersons on the sidelines of a function here today.

Reacting to Sukhbir’s remarks, Bains, Atam Nagar MLA, said: “I thank him (Sukhbir Singh Badal) for his best wishes. I have worked under his guidance for a long time”.

The political scene in city has heated up with speculation rife that Bains might contest the Lok Sabha elections as an independent. The Bains brothers, Simarjit Singh Bains and his elder brother Balwinder Singh Bains, both independent MLAs from the Atam Nagar and Ludhiana (South) constituencies, respectively, have always been at loggerheads with the Akali leadership.

They did not attend an election meeting organised by Manpreet Singh Ayali, Dakha MLA and SAD-BJP candidate from Ludhiana. State PWD Minister Sharanjit Singh Dhillon had held a closed-door meeting with the Bains brothers at their house on Thursday evening.

“We have attained this position only due to the common man and now the next course of action will also be decided after taking him into confidence. If the public feels we should contest the elections, then we certainly will. It’s entirely up to the public to decide as we are their ‘sewaks’,” said Simarjit Singh Bains while speaking to The Tribune.

During the last Vidhan Sabha elections, Simarjit had defeated Akali Minister Hira Singh Gabria by a margin of 28,000 votes while Balwinder Singh Bains had defeated Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura by a margin of 32,000 votes.



Sukhbir dedicates 108 Saanjh Kendras to public
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 22
Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal today dedicated 108 Saanjh Kendras (3 constructed at the subdivisional level and 105 at the police station level) by symbolically inaugurating one such centre at Model Town. These centres have been built at a cost of Rs 15.5 crore.

Presiding over a state-level function at Nehru Sidhant Kendra here, Sukhbir said these Saanjh Kendras had been built with the aim of providing various police-related services to the public within a time frame.

Terming the Saanjh Kendras as the biggest success of the SAD-BJP government, the Deputy Chief Minister said Pakistan and the Indian Union Government were following the Punjab pattern. A team from Pakistan is coming here to study the functioning of these centres while the Indian Union Government has decided to include the concept in its planning, he added.

At the Saanjh Kendras, the public will get 27 police-related services, of which 22 are provided under the Right to Service Act, 2011. To date, more than 25 lakh applications for various services have been received. About 99.63% applications have been disposed of within the prescribed time frame.

Promising paperless administrative working by year-end, Punjab would be the first state to have the “online” service delivery system. Process has been started for implementing the E-District projects across Punjab from Mansa to Mohali.

He said: “Some people talk about the Lok Pal to eliminate corruption but I think the Lok Pal alone will not be able to cure this disease and we have to digitise the whole system”. “Corruption happens when the common man contacts government officials. But if the governments can provide all services online, then there will be no direct contact between people and government officials, hence no corruption”.

The Deputy Chief Minister honoured seven officials who had played a major role in making the Saanjh Kendras a success. They are Kuldeep Singh, Paramjit Singh Gill, Harsh Bansal, Darbara Singh, Pritpal Singh, Harwinder Singh and Daljeet Singh.



APICON-2014 has a different guest
Rajyoga meditation teacher lays stress on power of positive aura
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 22
“Weave a positive aura around your patients and see the miracle happening,” said BK Shivani, a Brahma Kumari and rajyoga meditation teacher, while delivering a lecture at the Annual Conference of the Association of Physicians of India (APICON) 2014.

She has been studying spiritualism and practising the ancient technique of rajyoga meditation, as taught by Prajapita Brahma Kumaris Ishwariya Vishwa Vidyalaya, for 12 years. She conducts motivational courses through seminars and television programmes.

“Never tell a patient to take medicine and see him or her after a while. You should be determined enough to tell your patient that he will be cured and there will be no need to visit you again. After hearing these words from a doctor, a patient recovers 50 per cent and the remaining 50 per cent is cured by medicines as the patient receives positive vibes,” she said.

She said in the present time everybody was carrying a baggage in their brains. If you have a conflict with some person then all incidents which had occurred even 10 years ago will come alive in your memory and you will vent your anger on that person.

“We should not carry forward our past into our future and should try to live in the present, without thinking about the past and worrying about the future,” she said.



ludhiana votes 2014
Slum children forced to work
Made to drain out rainwater accumulated at the venue for Modi’s rally
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, February 22
Some poor children were allegedly seen doing labour at local Sugar Mills grounds, the venue for BJP leader Narendra Modi’s Fateh Rally, today. The rally will be held tomorrow.

The children were allegedly draining out the rainwater accumulated at the venue after it rained last night. Sources said the administration forcibly brought some children from nearby slums to work at the venue. “The organisers forced the children to drain out the rainwater from the venue,” alleged sources.

The children said they were not even paid for the work. “Some people accompanied by the police brought us here today morning. They forced us to clean the ground. We have not even been paid,” said a child after working at the venue.

CPI (M) leader Sukhminder Singh Sekhon condemned the incident and said child labour was illegal and forcing children under the age of 14 to do labour was a crime. “Instead of trying to prevent child labour, the government seems to be promoting it. This is intolerable,” he said.

Deputy Commissioner Ludhiana Rajat Aggarwal said, “One can get many volunteers to do such kind of work. However, I will look into the matter and take appropriate action if these reports are found to be true.”

BJP Ludhiana (rural) president Dr Shirshti Garg rubbished the allegations. “We did not force any child to clean the grounds as we have plenty of sweepers and cleaners at our disposal,” he added.



Day 7 of AAP’s Jhadoo Chalao Yatra
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 22
The ‘Jhadoo Chalao Yatra’ was organised by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) today for the seventh consecutive day. The rally was started from Verka Milk Plant on Ferozepur Road moving from Barewal, Aggar Nagar, Rajguru Nagar and concluded at Sarabha Nagar. It was led by the AAP candidate from Ludhiana constituency for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, HS Phoolka.

“I appeal to all who wish to see corruption and drug-free Punjab to press the symbol of broom in the May elections,” Phoolka said during the rally.

Before the rally, he met lawyers of the City District Bar Association. He said, “Law and Judiciary is the third branch of power. The lawyers have to ensure that justice reaches common man and for that to happen the Judiciary must be independent of governmental control.”



Police outreach centre opened 
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, Feb 22
The Sangrur district police opened a ‘Police Outreach Centre’ at the local police station to pave the way for a more civilised and crime-free society and to provide better services to the people near their native places.

Legislator Iqbal Singh Jhoondan inaugurated the centre and Superintendent of Police Jaswinder Singh presided over the inaugural function.

Reiterating the state government’s stand to implement the Punjab Service Act in letter and spirit, the legislator claimed that the establishment of the centre would save the residents from harassment and exploitation they had been suffering by shuttling between Sangrur, Malerkotla and their residences earlier. “As fee and deadline for every service has already been made public, the employees concerned cannot misguide innocent people applying for issuance of various documents and certificates,” said Jhoondan.

SP Jaswinder Singh and DSP, Amargarh, Gurmeet Singh directed the staff led by in charge of the centre, Amar Nath, to ensure that no inconvenience and harassment was caused to applicants visiting the centre.

City SHO HP Singh and Jaswinder Singh, additional in-charge, briefed the visitors about various services being provided by the centre.



Experts dwell on diabetes
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 22
Diabetes proves harsher for women than male patients. This was stated by Dr A Muruganathan from Tirupur, while speaking at a symposium on “diabetes in women” on the third day of the ongoing conference of the Association of Physicians of India (APICON 2014) here today.

The expert said the burden of diabetes on women was unique because the disease affected both the mother and her unborn children. He said diabetes caused difficulties during pregnancy, such as miscarriage. It can also lead to the birth of a baby with defects, he said. Also, women suffering from diabetes are more likely to have a heart attack at a younger age than women without the disease, said Dr Muruganathan.

The four-day conference today also saw scientific deliberations on other topics related to alcoholic hepatitis environment and health, future trends in cardiology, obesity and effect of technological advancements on health.

Dr Satish Garg from the USA delivered the Novo Nordisk Oration on the future insulins, technologies and diabetes outcomes.

Dr Brinder Vij from Cleveland Clinic, USA, spoke on “Headache: clinical approach”. He said most of the diagnostic and treatment modalities in management of headache were at best a generalised approach and each individual patient would present a different experience. However, a good clinical step-by-step protocol, as for management of healthcare problems, helped the physician to reach a reasonably good diagnosis, said Dr Vij.

Speaking on the issue of alcoholic hepatitis, Dr Rajesh Upadhyay from Delhi said patients with alcoholic liver disease (ALD) comprised a huge population.

“Almost 70 per cent of patients with liver disease and 15 per cent with liver cancer have ALD. This is congruent to the worldwide data that confirms that ALD accounts for 40 per cent deaths from cirrhosis and 30 per cent from liver cancer,” he added.

Other scientific lectures held during the day were on creating cost effective high quality healthcare by Dr Rohit Gulati from the USA, environment and health by Dr Onkar Sahota from the UK, and future trends in cardiology by Dr Ashok Seth from Delhi.



ASHA workers protest outside Tewari’s house
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 22
Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) today protested outside local MP Manish Tewari’s Pakhowal Road residence.

Raising slogans, more than 300 ASHA workers demanded minimum wages, hike in incentives, promotion as per seniority and implementation of granted notifications.

Barricades were set up by the police outside the MP's house. When ASHA workers tried to reach the gate of the house, the police pushed them back. Earlier, the workers held a meeting at Chatar Singh Park.

“Both the state government and the Centre seem to have no interest in our welfare,” said Amarjit Kaur, said the state president.

She said the government had adopted a dilly-dallying attitude towards their pending demands.



Storm sewer at BRS Nagar to become functional soon
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 22
Finally, giving heed to the repeated requests made by residents of the area, the civic body has started the work of laying a storm sewer in the L-Block of Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar here.

The work, which started around three days back, is expected to be completed soon. A Municipal Corporation official said for past four to five years, water used to get accumulated in the area as there was no sewer.

"The total cost of laying the storm sewer is around Rs 25 lakh. It will take about a month for the work to be completed. The residents will finally give a sigh of relief,” said the official.

Residents have been facing a lot of inconvenience every time it rains as water gets accumulated in the area and takes a long time to drain out. Even a light rain leads to waterlogged streets.

Jaspinder Singh, a resident, said: "We have faced a lot of problems due to the accumulation of water. We had approached the area councillor and requested the authorities to set up a storm sewer. Once the project is completed, the water, which takes two to three hours to drain out, will be removed quickly.”



International Mother Tongue Day observed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 22
“Language associated with the common man should be used by the writers to get recognition,” said an expert on the occasion of International Mother Tongue Day at Punjabi Bhawan here today.

The key speaker, Gurbachan Singh Bhullar, a renowned story writer, said language and idioms play a major role for popularising literature. He said, “In Punjabi literature, the writers avoid using simple language. Most of the time readers fail to connect the fiction work with their real lives. We should use the language of masses.”

Bhullar translated Karl Marks’ Das Kapital in Punjabi during 1960’s. Talking about the future of Punjabi language, Bhullar said the future of the language depends on the intention of governments. “If the governments support the promotion of the language then only it can flourish,” he said.

Punjabi Sahit Akademi felicitates Bhullar

Punjabi Sahit Akademi organised an award function on the occasion. Akademy awarded Gurbachan Singh Bhullar with Comrade Jagjit Singh Anand award. Mata Jaswant Kaur child literature award was given to books ‘Mera Supna’ by Baljinder Mann and ‘Akhar-Mala’ by Balwainder Singh Kalia.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Jairoop Singh, Vice-Chancellor Central University, said children get life-long influence of the bedtime stories and fairy tales they listen from grandparents. 



Commission member blames govt for safai sewaks’ plight 
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 22
Gopal Krishan Sahotra, a member of National Commission of Safai Karamcharis, has expressed ‘dissatisfaction’ over the way safai karamcharis were being treated in Punjab.

During a meeting with safai karamcharis and officials from the District Administration and MC, Sahotra said the state government was not in favour of safai karamcharis as no basic facilities were provided to them. At the same time, Municipal Karamchari Dal here said Sahotra had half-baked information as at a recent meeting with the authorities, several measures were taken for the welfare of safai karamcharis.

Talking to The Tribune, Sahotra said no safety kits were provided to the workers by the authorities here. Besides, they were not given the salaries on time. “The Centre has initiated several welfare schemes for them but the safai sewaks are not being given any benefit. The sewer men should be given an insurance cover of Rs 20 lakh (each). There is unrest among the safai karamcharis here,” he said.

He stressed on the fact that the Deputy Commissioner was busy making arrangements for the Fateh Rally at Jagraon, whereas he should have attended the meeting with safai karamcharis. “This shows how much interest is being taken for the welfare of safai sewaks,” Sahotra said.

Municipal Karamchari Dal reacts to the allegations

The chairman of Municipal Karamchari Dal, Vijay Danav, said the real issue was of the welfare of safai karamcharis. “We must not politicise the issue. As far as benefits of karamcharis are concerned, during a meeting with former MC Commissioner Rahul Tiwari, many demands of safai sewaks were met and for the remaining ones, committees were formed to find out solutions,” said Danav. 



From colleges


Students felicitated

The Annual Prize Distribution Function of Guru Nanak Girls College, Model Town, was organised on Saturday. Guru Nanak Education Trust president Gurbir Singh urged the students to face the challenges of life with determination and hard work.

Parliamentary debate

The National Law School of India, Bengaluru, won the British Parliamentary Debate that concluded at the PCTE Group of Institutes. The second position was bagged by Rajiv Ghandhi National University Law, Patiala, and third by RGUKT, Hyderabad. Harpreet K Kang, Dean of the host institute, said these debates encouraged students to gain insights into various issues.

Industrial visit

Gobindgarh Public College, Alour, organised a one-day industrial visit to the Madhav Group of Industries, Amloh, for the students of BBA-II and III. Around 35 students were shown the production process.

Visit to spinning mill

Students of the Guru Gobind Singh Khalsa College for Women, Jhar Sahib, visited Kaur Sain Spinning Mill at Doraha. They gained knowledge about spin yarns used for knitting and weaving. Principal Dr Paramjeet Kaur Tiwana said such visits were organised time to time to help students excel in examinations. — TNS



Feed back

Complete construction of flyovers on NH-1

The half a dozen flyovers coming up on the Jalandhar Bypass-Sahnewal stretch of the National Highway No. 1 await completion with no work being done on these for the past two years. Needless to say that the NH-1 is the central vein of road communication between North India and rest of the country. Also, the vehicular traffic in Ludhiana has swollen along with its geographical boundaries. Everyone passing through these routes suffer due to long traffic jams under and around these flyovers. Many precious lives have already been lost. Why is our government doing no work on these projects? Also what is the National Highway Authority of India doing about it? Is there no authority to question the NHAI? It is a serious matter and needs serious attention of all the parties concerned.

Partap Singh, Ludhiana

Ease traffic chaos around Mata Vaishno Devi temple

The Mata Vaishno Devi temple at the Division No. 3 chowk is situated in the heart of the city. A heavy rush of vehicles is a matter of routine there. Also, inadequate space due to haphazard parking of vehicles around the temple and an alarming rise in noise and air pollution comes in the way of devotees who visit the temple for spiritual purposes. Although the Darbar Mata Vaishno Devi Swarn Mandir Trust has been trying its best to find a solution, the problems multiply during the festive season. Devotees also fall prey to incidents of theft, eve-teasing and snatching. Also, because of the inefficiency on the part of the administration and the police, traffic lights installed at the intersection have not been functioning for many years, making it difficult for pedestrians to cross the road. The administration must act and find a solution to all these problems being faced by such religious organisations.

Ravi, Ludhiana



Ludhiana scan


Request for public holidays

National Front of Indian Trade Unions has requested the Punjab Chief Minister, Parkash Singh Badal, to declare Shivratri, Baisakhi, International Women's Day and International Labour Day as public holidays under the Factories Act and Negotiable Instruments Act, 1847, so that workers in factories could also enjoy the festivals as other people.

Farmers to submit memorandum

Bharti Kisan Union has said about 20,000 farmers were expected to gather for the submission of memorandum to the Governor of Punjab, Shivraj Patil, on March 6. This was disclosed by BKU president Ajmer Singh Lakhowal. He said farmers in Punjab were facing troubles due to the wrong policies of the centre.

Mega health check-up camp

On the occasion of Remembrance Day, Fortis Hospital, Ludhiana, organised a mega health check-up camp at Khalsa College Sudhar. As many as 400 patients form the college and surrounding areas attended the camp. Major health consultants from the hospital offered free medical advice to the patients.

Union condemns lathi-charge

Moulder and Steel Workers' Union condemned the lathi-charge on the farmers at Amritsar. Harjinder Singh, president Moulder and Steel Workers' Union said it was unconstitutional to lathi-charge on the peacefully protesting farmers. He said the protest was a right of every citizen. — TNS



Girl succumbs to injuries
Our Correspondent

Machhiwara, February 22
A minor girl, who was injured on February 9 when she fell down at her house, succumbed to her injuries at CMC Hospital, Ludhiana.

Jasmeen (10), a student of Class V, was flying kite along with other children on the roof of her double-storied house on the eve of Basant when suddenly she lost her balance and fell down and suffered serious injuries. She was rushed to CMC Hospital, Ludhiana, where she died after 14 days.

The deceased was a cousin of a former Congress councillor Shammi Kumar Pehalwan. The body was cremated today at Machhiwara.



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