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Saturday, April 24, 1999
Chandigarh Tribune
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Cops have no clues to robberies
Panchkulaites concerned
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, April 23 — Even as the local police is yet to achieve any breakthrough in last Wednesday's daylight dacoity at a jewellery shop in Sector 4 here, residents have expressed concern over the growing incidents of robbery and cheating in the city during the past few months.

All this is happening despite plans made by the local police from time to time to seal all entry and exit points to the township in case of any such incident. The beat policemen and PCR vans were asked to step up their vigil.

The last time the police moved in to action was when the former had to face severe criticism after two successive incidents of robbery took place in Sector 21 last year, remember the residents. Ultimately, both the robberies were claimed to have been solved by the police.

The Chief Minister, Mr Bansi Lal, while addressing a public function here had advised the police to make the township a "crime free" place.

What is troubling the residents is inability of the police to solve at least four cases of robbery which have taken place since October last. Four youth armed with knives had tricked their way into the house of an SDO working with the Punjab Mandi Board. The robbers had locked three female occupants in a room before decamping with cash. The SDO was out of station.

In another daylight incident, two car-borne persons armed with a gun had robbed two employees of a shoe manufacturing unit of Rs 2 lakh.

Besides, the police is clueless about the cases of cheating in which a couple posing as followers of a religious sect duped several women of their jewellery worth lakhs of rupees.

Now as the police officails put their heads together to solve the cases of robbery the residents demand better policing.

Concerned at the incidents of robbery, members of the Youth Welfare Council and Beopar Mandal took out a procession demanding intensive patrolling in the sector markets. They were reportedly assured by the SP that the telephone at the Police Control (No. 100) would not remain out of order in future. Issuing of gun licence to the jewellers was also demanded by the representatives of the Beopar Mandal.Back


Water shortage in Mani Majra
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 23—With the demand shooting up, certain parts of Mani Majra have started experiencing a shortage of water.

As no major engineering work has been undertaken by the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) during the past one year, the gap between the demand and supply has widened. And going by the past experience, residents fear that a “dry summer” is in the offing for them when the heatwave intensifies and the temperature soars in the days to come.

With the population rising, the residents, particularly those living on the upper floors, have already started feeling the pinch. The situation has worsened as certain residents have installed online booster pumps despite a ban by the MCC.

According to a survey by TNS today, certain localities like Mohalla Shiv Mandir, Mohalla Jattan, Darshani Bagh, Mohalla Mata Raj Kaur and parts of Gobind Pura were the worst-affected.

Mr Rajinder Singh, a resident of Mohalla Shiv Mandir, alleged that the water pressure was “too low” at the second floor of his house. Similarly, Mr Ram Raj, a tenant living on the first floor flat in Shanti Nagar, complained of low water pressure after 7.15 a.m.

Corporation sources said the shortage of water and low pressure were on account of an increase in the summer requirements like more water for coolers and potted plants. While a cooler required 100 litres of water daily, each potted plant must have about three litres of water daily.

Similarly, for extra bathing each person required 25 to 35 litres of water. The shortage was likely to continue for the summer months since, apart from more water for coolers and potted plants, over 40 per cent of the population of the town took the evening bath.

Besides, illegal drawal of water by certain residents from the main supply line also contributed to the shortage of water. Though the MCC had launched special campaigns with the view to disconnecting the ‘illegal” connections, the theft of water continued unabated allegedly in connivance with MCC employees.

The sources claimed that like in the past few years no water crisis would be witnessed by the township. The residents, on their part, should also help the MCC in conserving water, they added.Back


‘Conferences a learning exercise’
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 23 — While the political stalemate continues at the Centre, the Public Relations Society of India (PRSI) was today talking about 'Image India' as a challenge for the PR professionals. On the last day of the the three-day 21st National Public Relations Conference, being held here, TNS spoke to a few PR people to get their views on the role of public relations in times of political crisis, and whether it had some impact on them as also the significance of such conferences.

"When you are stuck in a 9-to-5 routine, one tends to have a very myopic view of everything around. Such conferences actually provide us with a bird's eye view, because it gives us a chance to network with a lot of people and have a platform to interact and share ideas. A PR person has to be equipped with accurate knowledge. In fact at all times a global perspective is required, because public relations is all about quantifying issues", said Ms L. Aruna Dhir, manager-Communications, The Oberoi.

"Occasions like these prove to be learning activities for professionals like us. For those learning the ropes of this business, this provides an opportunity to interact with each other and even get guidance sometimes. With changing governments , policies changes and simultaneously corporate polices also change. So the pressure and challenges on the PR people is immense, and more so in such situations", said Mr S. R. Krishnan, Deputy General manager, Maruti Udyog, and Secretary Treasurer, National Council of PRSI.

But Mr Prabh S. Kang, Consultant, Marketing Services, who has also been teaching marketing, held a different approach to holding such conferences or meets. "The need of the hour for a PR person is to act as a catalyst. There is no need to be simply self-conscious or self-congratulatory about what all is being done, because the scope right now is tremendous. Such seminars and conferences would do good only when enough ground-work is done and specific task forces set up. Otherwise, the whole exercise would prove to be pointless".

Mr M. Shankar, CGM, SPIC, who has been participating in such conferences for the past 15 years said, "Earlier we were just like some 'handy-man'. Conferences like these have given us acceptability and recognition.

"Seeing the kind of political situation at the Centre today, I can say that a PR person has to deal with uncertainties all the time. But such kind of uncertainties definitely have the capacity to affect the industry, because as far as economic reforms or decisions are concerned, one can neither go ahead nor go slow. But as an industry, such situations do not hit directly", he added.

Mohammad Nasin, Manager Public Relations, Biman Bangladesh Airlines, a delegate from Dhaka, said, "PR profession has no frontiers, so whether India or Bangladesh, it is one and the same thing. Such conferences give a sense of direction and self-esteem to people like us which do benefit the PR industry in the long run. And no, political crisis does not affect people like us directly".

Said Mr Jitendra Bhargava, Director Public Relations and Inflight manager, Air-India, who was also award the PR Man of the Year Award today, "This year is 'Visit India' year, but I don't think that any kind of political situation in the country will have a direct affect on the same. PR is all about marketing and packaging of authentic information, and once that is done, I do not see any reason why goods cannot be delivered. As a PR man I can say that today our profession is not about arranging tea-coffee or receiving dignitaries, but much beyond that".Back


PGI to have modern paediatrics facilities
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 23 — State-of-the-art paediatric surgical services, in the Advanced Paediatric Centre (APC), will be inaugurated by Prof B.K.Sharma, Director of the PGI, on Sunday. The operation theatre complex will be simultaneously inaugurated by Prof I.C.Pathak, a former Director of the PGI and one of thefounders of paediatric surgery in this country.

To mark the occasion, the centre will organise a day-long continuing medical education (CME) which will include 15 lectures and a discussion on various aspects of paediatric surgery. Practising surgeons from Punjab and Haryana will participate in it.

The CME will be first such interaction with specialists with a view to improving the child care in this region. It will have a panel of doctors from national institutes, defence services, Apollo hospitals and various clinics from Punjab, Haryana and parts of UP. They will discuss common surgical problems of children and means to improve communication. The new centre will provides greater facilities for paediatric surgical services at the PGI and better amenities for parents. Its strength has been upgraded to 55 beds with a special unit for babies under one year of age.

Prof K.L.N. Rao, Head of the Department of Paediatrics, who is the invited international guest scholar of the American College of Surgeons for his pioneering research, says that a plan to have baby friendly surgical facilities of international standard here was underway.

The new spacious wards have a playroom for children and a room for parents to relax. The intensive care wards are equipped with facilities for post-surgical ventilation and invasive monitoring for children. The operation theatres are designed to have facilities like laminar flow, video operating lights, argon diathermy machines, advanced generation anaesthetic mobile ultrasound.

All these facilities have been provided on the same floor of the building to easily shift children in pre and post operative periods. The department, in a statement, called for support from persons or organisations to improve the conditions of children while they fought illnesses.

The department has excelled in the treatment of various ailments of children. It routinely performs tasks like treatment of Hirschprungs disease, correction of complex urological abnormalities, complex neonatal surgeries, chest surgery, craniospinal surgery and a variety of endoscopic operations.

The department has trained over 80 specialist paediatric surgeons, some of whom are professors in important institutions in the country. It hosts visiting professors from universities of the USA, the UK and Japan. It also has an exchange programme for trainees in collaboration with the United Kingdom.Back


Non-release of UGC scales worries teachers
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, April 23 — The Non-issuance of UGC pay scales to the lecturers in the city colleges and the non-implementation of the pension-cum-gratuity scheme for the teaching and non-teaching staff of the seven non-government aided colleges have become a matter of concern for the affected employees.

The staff of the government and non-government aided colleges are perturbed over the inordinate delay on the part of the Chandigarh Administration to issue the UGC pay scales. While these scales have been released to the non-teaching staff of the colleges with effect from January 1, !996, the teachers have been not been granted the scales by the Administration. There are nearly 1,000 teachers working in these colleges.

A Fellow of Panjab University, Prof Charanjit Chawla, has appealed to the Vice-Chancellor, Prof M.M. Puri, to impress upon the Administration to hasten the release of the pay scales to the teachers. He further said that the Punjab Government had released these scales for the teaching staff of the 139 aided colleges, 44 government colleges and three universities in the state on the advice of the Human Resources Development Ministry and on the basis of the UGC notification of December 24,1998.

The Punjab Government has also released Rs 14,940 as the selection grade of lecturers/readers having five years' experience. Nearly 70 per cent of the teachers working in the university and colleges have been benefitted by the release.

Another issue which is of immediate concern to the teaching and non-teaching staff of the seven non-government aided colleges is the non-implementation of the pension-cum-gratuity scheme in lieu of the contributory provident fund. About 50 teachers have already retired since 1992 without getting any retiral benefits.

Again, the Punjab Government has already accepted the scheme with effect from April 1, 1992, and the state assembly passed a Bill on March 30, 1999, and brought the scheme under an Act for those teaching and non-teaching posts which are covered under the 95 per cent grant-in-aid scheme.

The employees of the UT colleges are demanding immediate action on the vital social security issue.

The Managements and Principals Federation has withdrawn the examination boycott call without resolving the issues pertaining to Chandigarh. However, the President of the Principals Association of these colleges, Mr P.S. Sangha, says:''We were lending support to our counterparts in Punjab. We have been assured of action by the Administration and getting our demands will not be a problem at all.''

While the notification on the release of UGC pay scales has been pending with the Finance Department of the Administration, the notification on the pension-cum-gratuity scheme will be presented soon and implemented in due course of time, he says. However, the teachers are of the opinion that they are being forced to resort to agitation at the cost of the students on account of delay in the release of pay scales.Back

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