Friday, August 16, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


286 PGI research projects accepted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 15
Having promoted 26 Additional Professors to the post of Professor, a total of 286 new research projects have been accepted by the government for the PGI during the past six months.

Stating this on the occasion of the Independence Day at the PGI, the Director, Dr S.K. Sharma, said 15 Professors from abroad had visited the institute this year. Dr Sharma sought the cooperation of the PGI staff in maintaining the same tempo in scientific research and patient care, for which people from the entire region flocked the PGI.

Dr Sharma unfurled the National Flag and took salute of the parade. The function was attended by the PGI faculty, resident doctors, nursing staff and other employees.

At the Independence Day function held at Government Medical College and Hospital, the Director Principal, Prof S.B.S. Mann, said the under construction Block C would be made operational by the year end. He said the block had 9 levels, 14 operating theatres, 250 beds and 39 private rooms.

He said the Cobalt Unit would be completed within three months’ time. As many as 120 houses had been allotted to Class III and IV employees and construction work of residential complex and hostel for nurses, students and doctors in Sector 48 started.

The Director also gave away commendation certificates to regular and contract employees, who had rendered outstanding service.


‘Regular screening of labour must to check leprosy’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 15
Inspite of the best efforts of the government agencies concerned to tackle leprosy, the number of people affected by leprosy in Punjab and other parts of this region are quite substantial. According to an information available, as many as 1,300 active cases of leprosy are in Punjab alone. Most of them are migrant labourers from other states.

What should be done in this connection? How leprosy like polio can be eliminated? These are the questions often asked at various levels. The Punjab Government has posted medical officers to specifically deal with leprosy cases in all districts.

Mr Prem Singh Bhutte, head of the Leprosy Welfare Mission, Chandigarh and the Leprosy Elimination Society, SAS Nagar, both voluntary organisations, said the best method to eliminate leprosy in the state was to frame legislation making it mandatory for employers to get their labour medically examined on annual basis.

Those affected by the leprosy should be issued special cards for providing medicine on regular basis to ensure their cure. Mr Prem Singh, who was given state award last year for working in this field, said even this should be applicable in case of farmers who employ large number of migrant labourers on permanent basis. He said regular screening of labour force especially migrating from other states was a must.

Moreover, as people make a huge donations to such persons in Punjab, leprosy patients always prefer Punjab to migrate. He said most of the leprosy patients had the habit of shifting from one place to other. A permanent track of their movement should be kept to ensure continuity in their treatment and proper provision of medicine to them. Their human rights should also be protected and they should not be discriminated at their place of employment and education.

There should be a provision of leprosy homes with medical facilities such as operation theatres for performing what is called reconstruction surgeries on such patients. There were doctors who were prepared to perform such surgeries, Mr Prem Singh said. But there was a need to convince patients that such surgeries would be to their benefit, he added.

“I would try to build such a home for them. There are senior IAS officers such as Mr Sarvesh Kaushal and Mr Paramjit Singh Aujla who are prepared to extend helping hand in this connection. They have been helping the mission in various ways to educate people not to hate leprosy patients”, Mr Prem Singh added.


Challan issued to club caterers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 15
The Food Health authorities today raided city’s premier club, the Chandigarh Club, and issued challan to its caterers under Rule 49 of the Prevention of the Food Adulteration Act for keeping rusted and chipped utensils.

According to the Senior Food Inspector, Mr M.K. Sharma, the challan was issued as unclean utensils and unhygienic conditions could have led to infections. He said samples of some food items collected from the club had been sent to the laboratory.

He said as per directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court and the Central Government, the department would now start challaning and seizing the samples of packed food items which did not bear the symbol of non-vegetarian food or ingredients written on it.

Meanwhile, the president of the Chandigarh Club, Mr Ravinder Chopra, denied that the club had been raided. He, however, said it was private parties which did catering at the club.


Fifth floor OTs remain closed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, august 15
With the roof of the 40-year-old, Nehru Block at the PGI leaking following heavy rains, all the operation theatres on the fifth floor remained closed for the second day yesterday, as the possibility of these remaining unoperational for the next few days continues.

Interestingly, despite being a recurring problem whenever there is rain, no permanent solution has been worked out to plug the leakage, which renders the OTs unoperational . Though there are a number of other OTs in the PGI, including those on the fourth floor and in the Emergency, the closure of even a single OT, poses problems as the PGI caters to medical needs of patients from all over North India.

“It is twice a year that we are forced to close down the OTs for a few days at a stretch during monsoons and winter rains , as the roof leaks ever since the solar heating system was installed at the PGI,” said one of the official. Even this time the OTs are likely to remain closed for a few days.

Sources at the PGI said that due to leakage being a major problem, especially on the fifth floor, there had been a proposal to get water proofing of the roof.” A Calcutta-based company had been contacted to undertake the waterproofing, but the contract did not come through, with the result that everyone, including the patients and the PGI staff, face inconvenience,” revealed one of the official.

While admitting that the problem of leaking was not just confined to the fifth floor, PGI officials said that it is only when New OT block comes up that the problem will be solved once and for all. “Seeing the gravity of the problem there was also a proposal to renovate the top three floors of the Nehru Block, as they were badly in need of repairs, "said an official of the engineering wing of the PGI. He added that during the renovation, the water proofing of the OT\s would have been undertaken.

A majority of the doctors and medical staff, are unanimous in their view that there was an immediate need to have high tech OTs as the ones in the Nehru Block, were obsolete. They added that with PGI being a referral hospital, it was essential to have OTs with the latest facilities.


Saba accorded rousing welcome
Arvind Katyal

Chandigarh, August 15
The ‘baby’ of the gold-medal winner Indian women hockey team at Commonwealth Games, Saba Anjum, a resident trainee of the Sports Training Centre of the Sports Authority of India in Sector 18 was accorded a rousing welcome by SAI Assistant Director Ritu Pathik, coaches Jaswinder Singh and Manjit Kaur and her colleagues after her arrival from Raipur, today.

Saba, however, could not personally receive the award conferred on her by the UT Administration this morning as she had to attend a function organised by the Chattisgarh Government at Raipur.

Saba said the Chattisgarh Chief Minister, Mr Ajit Jogi, had given a number of awards, including cash prize worth Rs 1 lakh.

Today evening, she met the UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd).

On her third international experience, Saba said this had infused her with more confidence and now she was prepared to face any team in the world.

Saba played in the first two matches against Canada and New Zealand and then as substitute in the fourth match. She, however, has no regrets for not getting a chance to play in semi-finals and finals. Praising her senior and former Sports Training Centre trainees Sita Gussian and Mamta Kharab, who were instrumental in India winning a gold medal, Saba said, "It was coach G.S. Bhangu, Manager Rupa Saini, and the physician, Dr Ashok Ahuja who inspired us to put all our energies together."

Saba, the youngest member of the gold-medal winning team, was born on June 12, 1985. She was also the youngest among all six participating countries at the games. She has been a trainee and resident of this hostel for more than two years.

Saba's colleagues had been waiting for her arrival since yesterday. When this reporter visited the place this evening, girls were dancing in the common room. They said that they had watched Saba, and other former trainees of the hostel, Mamta Kharab, Sita Gussain and Pritam Thakran Siwach, help India win in the tough competition.

Coach Jaswinder Singh said, for Saba, it was a good exposure when she represented India in an International event. Jaswinder Singh, who supervised Saba as a coach during the national camp held at Delhi prior to Commonwealth Games said, "Saba is good at any position." He was hopeful of Saba making a strong claim for an assured berth in the senior team for forthcoming events.

Jaswinder, however, opined that in Asian games at Busan, Korea, next month, India would face a stiff opposition from the hosts, Korea, China and Japan. Saba will go to Patiala tomorrow to prepare for the team for the Asian Games.

Punjab Taekwondo Association

The Punjab Taekwondo Association today organised the colour belt promotion test at Sant Isher Singh Senior Secondary School, Phase VII, SAS Nagar, said Mr Satpal Singh Rehal, general secretary-cum-technical director of the association. The players who earned the belts are Bhupinder Singh, Deepak Kaushal, Rajbir Kaur, Manmant Singh Sethi and Sachi Badola.

Football coach appointed

Mr R.K. Bhanot, a senior Sports Authority of India football coach, has been nominated as the coach of the Indian schools football team for the Asian Schools Football Championship to be held at Bangkok from August 15 to August 26. Earlier, he was the coach of the Indian schools team for the Asian school-level meet. The Indian team will play its first match on August 17.


Airline comes under Bindra fire

Chandigarh, August 15
Country’s ace shooter, Abhinav Bindra, who won a gold and a silver medal in the recent Commonwealth Games, has served a legal notice on German air carrier Lufthansa and claimed a compensation of Rs 12 lakh for the damage to his two rifles, allegedly, on a flight from London to New Delhi last week.

Abhinav’s father, Mr A.S. Bindra, said the notice had been served after Lufthansa’s “callous” response to his complaint lodged in the New Delhi office of the airlines. The carrier had been given two weeks to reply, he said.

Mr Bindra said Abhinav, back home after the games, had enquired from Lufthansa officials in London and Frankfurt, during stopovers, about his baggage. However, on reaching New Delhi on August 4, Abhinav was told that his baggage had been lost.

When the baggage reached New Delhi on August 6, the guncase and two custom-made Walther air rifles made in Germany were found to be damaged. “The baggage was mishandled even though it had ‘handle with care’ written on it,” Mr Bindra said.

The damage has upset Abhinav’s training schedule for the Asiad, as the gun factory in Germany is closed till August 22 for summer vacation.

The rifles are sophisticated, having sensitive parts and velocity systems and Abhinav had got adjusted to such high-precision weapons, only two years ago, with good results. He has bought two rifles from the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) but, his father says that it is like shifting from Mercedes to Ambassador. PTI


Haryana to build more MLA flats
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 15
The Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, yesterday revealed that Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), Administrator of the Union Territory of Chandigarh, had given an assurance to the Haryana Government on the allotment of land in Chandigarh to enable the state to construct more flats for its legislators.

The Chief Minister was addressing a gathering after inaugurating the newly constructed Rs 2.50-crore building comprising 16 MLA flats here.

The CM handed over the keys of the flats to the MLAs who had been allotted flats in a draw of lots.

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