C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Action against quacks loses steam
Pratibha Chauhan
Tribune News Service

Break down of unqualified practitioners
  • Colony No 5 — 8
  • Hallo Majra — 4
  • Badheri — 4
  • Palsora — 3
  • Mani Majra — 3
  • Sector 32 — 2
  • Ram Darbar, Buterla and Kajheri — One each

Chandigarh, December 2
The UT Health Department’s resolve to crack the whip on bogus medical practitioners and quacks in the city seems to have lost steam as no action has been taken against those who had been issued notices for not possessing medical degrees.

It was in January early this year, that the Health Department had recommended the registration of cases against 27 bogus practitioners and had issued notices to 54 persons to produce their degrees or close down their shops. There has been no progress on the issue and no case has been registered so far.

It was on the directions of the high court that the Health Department had constituted a three-member committee to keep a check on the mushrooming of clinics and shops being run by quacks and bogus practitioners. It was on the basis of raids conducted by the team that police action had been sought.

“There are certain practical problems like our preoccupation with various health programmes that we have not been able to undertake frequent raids,” the Director Health Services, UT, Dr C.P. Bansal, said. He said another problem was the ambiguity in certain rules, because of which the police had not been able to register cases against the defaulters.

A majority of 3,000 quacks and medical practitioners, including registered and unregistered ones, are based in slums, villages and rehabilitation colonies, where a major chunk of the migrant population is settled. These people, most of them hailing from West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, are treating patients using various systems of medicine including allopathy, ayurveda and homeopathy.

Health officials and NGOs working in the field of AIDS feel that dental clinics being run in the slums were a major health hazard. Being run in unhygienic conditions and the fact that there is loss of blood in dental procedures, it makes them a potential source for transmitting infection. The department is yet to divert its attention towards these clinics.

The officials pointed out that during the raids a large number of practitioners were unable to produce medical diplomas or course certificates while others had obtained them from institutes that were unrecognised. “Another problem which we faced was that a large number of these registered medical practitioners (RMP) were registered in their home state like Bihar or UP but had been practicing here since long, which was not permissible under the law,” a senior doctor said.

During the raids the number of such bogus practitioners in Colony Number 5 was eight, Hallo Majra (4), Badheri (4), Palsora (3), Mani Majra (3), Sector 32 (2) and one each in Buterla, Ram Darbar and Kajheri.

The officials also found that in some places more than one clinic were being run in the name of a doctor, who was not treating patients personally. “This trend of a doctor permitting the use of his name and degree to enable unqualified people to run their clinics is also an offence and was particularly conspicuous in the Mani Majra area,” another doctor said.

The people availing the services of these quacks and RMPs, feel that unless the authorities provide medical facilities at their doorstep, they had little choice but to go to them, even if they are unqualified. They complained that there weren’t adequate number of dispensaries to cater to the huge population in the city.



Panchkula apni mandis for state farmers only
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 2
Residents visiting the apni mandi at Sector 4 on Thursday may not be able to get the best of fruits and vegetables. With the administration today warning farmers from neighbouring areas of Punjab against participating in the apni mandi here, and the district itself not having much of vegetable growers, it is the residents who are going to feel the heat.

While chairing a meeting of vendors and Market Committee officials today, SDM Inder Singh said the Chief Minister had issued directions that only the farmers from Haryana would be allowed to participate in apni mandis. He warned the Punjab farmers against entering into any confrontation with the government on the issue, while allowing them to participate for the last day today.

Mr Inder Singh directed the Secretary of the Market Committee, Mr Vipin Kapoor, to issue identity cards to farmers of the state so that only they could participate in the apni mandis. The farmers of Panchkula would have to show their revenue records to the Market Committee officials and the latter after verifying that the farmers were growing the produce here, would issue them identity cards.

Mr Vipin Kapoor said the farmers would be given all facilities like water and a definite place to sit in each of the six apni mandis organised here during the week. It may be noted that the apni mandi is held at Swastik Vihar on every Sunday, Sector 20 on Monday, Sector 16 on Tuesday, Sector 4 on Thursday, Sector 8 on Friday and Sector 14 on Saturday.

Though the farmers from Punjab pleaded that since they had been participating in the apni mandis for the past many years, they should not be stopped now. Mr Rajinder Singh of Khadola village in Rajpura and Mr Karnail Singh of Nabha Sahib village, near Zirakpur, pleaded that the Haryana Government should take a more sympathetic approach towards them. Mr Vipin Kapoor asked them to take up their case with the higher authorities.

The administration has also warned the flea market vendors, operating through the apni mandis, to stop selling their wares from Thursday, as it is a kisan mandi/ apni mandi and no other goods can be allowed to be sold here. Mr Govardhan and Mr Om Prakash, who participate in the flea market, urged that they were willing to pay double the entry fee (presently the entry fee is Rs 20 per day), but should be allowed here. They said a deputation from their side would meet the Chief Minister and seek his intervention.

The move is likely to harm the farmers only. Though the authorities have failed to stop the vegetable vendors from selling their produce, the farmers from Punjab have been asked not to sell their produce.



Notice to councillor for dumping ‘malba’
Tribune News Service

Construction material stored on a green belt at the rear of a house in Sector 11, Chandigarh. — A Tribune photograph.

Chandigarh, December 2
Acting against residents who use green belts or roads for dumping construction material, the municipal corporation (MC) today lodged a complaint with the Chandigarh police against the occupant of a house in Sector 11, for damaging government property. The MC also issued notice to BJP councillor Rajesh Gupta, for reportedly dumping “malba” on road in Sector 22.

An official of the corporation said on the basis of a complaint lodged by the horticulture wing of the corporation, the Sector 11 police station had lodged a daily diary report under Section 427, IPC. Mr P.S. Chauhan, SHO, confirmed that a DDR had been lodged. The occupant of the house allegedly damaged the mild steel railing at the rear of his house to allow truckload of construction material.

As per law, no permission can be given for dumping construction material in a green belt developed by the MC.

Denying the allegation, Mr Gupta said the “malba” was not dumped by him. He said he had the requisite permission to use the space for storing the construction material and he had shown it permission to the MC officer who had visited his showroom.

IThe MC is carrying out a survey to ascertain the number of violations in the city. Railing worth lakhs of rupees had been uprooted or damaged in the past few months at different places.

“Malba” dumped on a road in Sector 22 in Chandigarh on Tuesday. A Tribune photograph



‘Ahatas’ supplying unhygienic water
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

And now get water free with drinks
Residents guzzling invigorating drinks in the ahatas have another reason to cheer. In withdrawal of the earlier practice of charging for water, some ahata owners now offer “free” water to woo customers. As per the practice the liquor vendor contractor pays for boring a shallow hand pump and the unhygienic water is used at the liquor vend and the ‘ahata’. The “rights” to use water are automatically transferred to the new lessee holder after an year, say sources in the liquor business.

Chandigarh, December 2
Ban on hand pumps in the city, after the frequent outbreak of cholera in the past, is best implemented on papers.

Under the “watchful” eyes of the municipal corporation and the local health authorities, unsuspecting customers at ‘ahatas’ in liquor vends are being supplied unhygienic water, drawn from shallow hand pumps. None of the hand pumps, bored by the liquor vend contractors, is certified as fit for human consumption.

Caring little for the health of their customers, the vend owners have bored the hand pumps — either close to or within the premises of the ‘ahatas’. By rough estimates, around 40 shallow hand pumps in the city were still being operated to pump out drinking water and for the washing of utensils. Only a few liquor vends had temporary water connections or were paying flat rent for consuming the treated water, confirm sources in the corporation.

Investigations took the Chandigarh Tribune team to several ahatas housed in tin sheds. In a specific case in Sector 50, opposite the marble market bordering Phase 7 of Mohali, a motor was being used to pump out water through an underground supply line. Adjacent to a liquor vend in Sector 46, employees of the ‘ahata’ were busy drawing water. A similar scene was witnessed at a liquor vend near Palsora, Sectors 34 and 48.

Creating unhygienic conditions, owners of some of the liquor vends who had taken temporary water connections were discharging waste water in the open or into the storm water drains.

Sources in the corporation said after the frequent outbreak of cholera and other water-borne diseases, the local administration had banned shallow hand pumps in colonies and other public places. Apart from the metered supply, the corporation was supplying treated water through public stand posts and tankers.

Talking to the Chandigarh Tribune, the Superintendent Engineer (Public Health), Mr Swaran Singh, said checking hand pumps at the liquor vends was the responsibility of the Estate Office which had leased out the land to the liquor vend contractors. He said the hand pumps bored by the government had been abandoned and regular checks were being conducted. The abandoned hand pumps had been marked with red paint and their handles used to pump out water had been removed.

Regarding the recent raids conducted at eating joints and private schools to check the water supply, the Superintending Engineer said a detailed report on the status of the water connections would be ready in the next 10 days.

Confronted on the issue of the ahatas, the Chairman of the Water Supply and Sewerage Disposal Committee of the Corporation, Mr Pardeep Chhabra, said it was a serious offence. The issue would be taken up in the next meeting of the committee soon, he added.



Maldives police team in city for training
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 2
Topographical features of the Republic of Maldives, comprising small coral islands in the Indian Ocean, do not allow the Country’s Police Department to post police officers at one place for a long period, be it a plum posting or otherwise.

The tough climatic conditions in the remote areas of the country, comprising 201 inhibited small and big islands, make it mandatory for the department to have a rotational transfer policy, said Mr Ahmed Muneer, a Warrant Officer ( Grade-1) in the Maldives Police Department.

Heading a six-member team, which is at the Central Detective Training School (CDTS) to attend a three-month advanced course on scientific training, Mr Muneer told the Chandigarh Tribune that everyone in the 400 personnel police force had to spend six months each year at the Central Headquarters at Male. The rest of the period had to be spent at any of the five regional police headquarters. For policing the country had been divided among 20 police stations, called atolls— each covering a group of the tropical islands

The Warrant Officer said despite a lot of influx of foreign tourists — this year 5 lakh tourists had visited the country so far — neither heinous crime nor organised crime was reported. Of the total 6,800 cases reported this year, the street thefts by local population and road accidents topped the crime chart. He admitted that the problem of drug abuse existed there.

On being asked about the incidents of crime at the tourist islands, he said the tourism concept was unique as the locals were not allowed on 145 islands leased out to private parties for tourism. The police visited the tourist islands only when any crime took place, he said.

Tough immigration laws and expensive living ensured that the foreigners did nor resort to any criminal activity.

There were around 70,000 foreigners working as professionals and local people were recruited in the police and the military”, he added.

Mr Muneer said the republic was trying to modernise its police force by changing the legal procedures involved in crime detection and investigation. “Our officers were going to Britain, India Singapore and Canada to prepare a special guide book which would enable the officers to handle any kind of investigations”.

The others police officers from Maldives attending the programme are Mr Ahmed Mohammed, Mr Abdula Naseer, Mr Hamdoon Rasheed, Mr Ahmed Shamee and Mr Abdulla Nawaz.

Earlier, Mr Sarabjit Singh, Director-General of the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR and D) , in his inaugural address, said crime investigation involved forensic examining of the evidence, including electronic devices. He opined that international crime and terrorism did not see any boundaries and a peaceful country like Maldives should be ready to face any challenge.

Mr B.N.S. Negi, Principal of the CDTS, said police officers from Uganda would also be participating in the course. The participants would be briefed about the investigations in cases of dacoity, robbery, burglary, rape, cyber crime, arson and even training about fingerprint lifting, report writing, inspection, simulation exercise with a dummy.

Forensic experts would also give talks on the forensic aspects of investigations, he said. About 35 police officers from different state police were also participating in the course.

Road accidents on the rise

Due to a high density of vehicle population, especially two-wheelers, road accidents were on the rise in the island country. This year a person had died in a road accident, said Warrant Officer Ahmed Muneer of the Maldives Police. Due to a growing economy dependent on tourism and fishing, nearly every resident had a vehicle. Due to the accidents, the speed limit in the 2 sq km capital city had been restricted to 30 kmph and in the rest of the islands it was 70 kmph, said the Warrant Officer.



No factionalism in city SAD, says Riar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 2
The president of the Chandigarh unit of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), Mr Gurpartap Singh Riar, today said there was no factionalism in the Chandigarh unit of the party.

He said in the capacity of the president of the local unit of the SAD, he had repeatedly announced that the party had no representative in the elected house of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation.

He said Mrs Harjinder Kaur, a councillor, along with her supporters, was falsely claiming to be an SAD nominee. Mr Riar said the SAD was forced to snap its ties with the BJP in the city due to the treatment meted out to it after the 1996 general election.

He said Mrs Harjinder Kaur, fought the 2001 election of the corporation as an Independent and was not supported by the SAD. After the 1996 election of the corporation, the BJP did not give the due share to the SAD which had won on two out of four seats. The BJP leaders worked to create a split in the local units of the BJP and the SAD.



Need to strengthen voluntary blood donation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 2
Stressing the need for strengthening of the voluntary blood donation movement in the country, Mrs Shobha Verma, wife of Punjab Governor and UT Administrator, today said the movement must be taken to the remote and rural areas of the country.

Speaking at a function organised by the Blood Bank Society, Chandigarh, to honour the blood donors at Punjab Bhawan, she said we must join in this noble cause as there was no substitute for blood, which helped in saving many lives. She said the blood requirement in the country had shot up with the fast pace of life and more accidents taking place.

Expressing concern over the slow spread of voluntary blood movement, she said at present the blood requirement in the country was approximately 80,00,000 units annually and unfortunately only two million out of this was being collected through voluntary donations.

Citing examples of Switzerland and Japan, where the percentage of voluntary blood donations was 16 and 7, respectively, she regretted that even after 56 years of Independence, “we had been able to barely touch a figure of 0.3”. She lauded the efforts of the Chandigarh Blood Bank Society and said that having made an impact in the city, they must now carry the message to the rural areas of Punjab. She further said while encouraging voluntary donors, professional donors must be kept out. She later honoured the volunteers by presenting them with mementoes.



Panchkula diary
5-day fine arts workshop begins
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 2
A five-day inter-zonal fine arts workshop- cum- competition, sponsored by the Kurukshetra University, was inaugurated by the Deputy Commissioner, Ms Satwanti Ahlawat, at Government College here today.

Speaking on the occasion, Mrs Ahlawat said such workshops provided ample opportunities to budding artistes and inculcate the spirit of competition and creativity. The Principal, Mrs Usha Malik, welcomed the chief guest and the participants from over 20 colleges of Haryana, Chandigarh and Punjab.

Lectures and demonstrations by various experts and resource persons will be an integral part of the workshop. Subjects like clay modelling, painting, cartoon-making, poster-making, collage-making and rangoli will be covered in this workshop.

Others who were present on the occasion were:- Ms Seema Chaudhary, president of the Panchkula Municipal Council, Mr Deshbandhu, Principal of SD College, Ambala, and Mr R.R. Malik, Principal of G.M.N. College Ambala.

15 employees found absent

As many as 15 employees were found absent from duty during a surprise check conducted by the Additional Deputy Commissioner, Ms Neela P. Kasni, at the mini-secretariat and other administration departments. The surprise check was conducted from 9 am to 10 am, and other than the mini-secretariat, the Food and Civil Supplies Office and District Education Office were also checked.

Civil surgeon

Dr Satvir Chaudhary, Senior Medical Officer, MLA Hostel, Chandigarh, and officiating Civil Surgeon, Panchkula, has been issued transfer orders as Civil Surgeon here from December 1 onwards.

Having joined the state medical services as Medical Officer in 1981, Dr Chaudhary was promoted as Senior Medical Officer in 1987 and has served at LNJP Hospital, Kurukshetra, Civil Hospital, Kaithal and Civil Hospital, Ambala.



Readers Write
Nomination of Sikhs to Andhra legislature sought

AT present, there is no Sikh legislator in the Vidhan Sabha of Andhra Pradesh. The Sikhs living there are playing a significant role in the allround development of the state, but they have been denied representation in the state legislature.

Whereas Anglo-Indians in the state are nominated to the state legislature to give them representation by the Governor.

I, being a social worker, met visiting Andhra Pradesh Governor Surjit Singh Barnala here on November 18 and presented him a memorandum urging him to nominate eminent Sikhs of Andhra Pradesh to the state legislature.

Mr Barnala was also urged to write to the President, the Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister for an amendment to the Constitution for ensuring nomination of the Sikhs to the Andhra Pradesh legislature.

Narinder Singh ‘‘International’’, Chandigarh

PPSC should be wary of shortlisting candidates

The Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC) should be careful in shortlisting candidates on the basis of their academic records who are to be called for interview for the posts of college lecturer as well as finalising the result as most of the candidates had applied in 1999 and 2001. These candidates should be given only one interview chance for both batches.

No doubt, the Punjab Government guidelines for the selection of lecturers cover various activities and interests of the candidates. However, the national scholarship obtained by a candidate on the basis of marks secured in the BA examination finds no mention in the said guidelines. This achievement must be given due weightage.

The idea of resume writing required by a candidate at the end of the interview, as mentioned in the guidelines, is practically, inconvenient and cumbersome and hence be discarded.

Yash Paul Ghai, Chandigarh

SMO’s statement commendable

I want to congratulate the SMO, Civil Hospital, Ludhiana, who had contradicted the statement of the minister concerned regarding the number of dengue patients, who visited the Civil Hospital, Ludhiana. Such officials, who have the courage to speak the truth, should be encouraged in all fields of society to set examples for others to emulate.

Tilak Raj Mahajan, Chandigarh



1 more rounded up in fake certificate case
Our Correspondent

Mohali, December 2
An employee of the Punjab School Education Board here has been rounded up in connection with the fake certificate racket.

Sources said here today that Mehma Singh, a daftri of the board, was rounded up by the police last night.

It was reported that a number of persons were involved in the racket. The gang used to steal education certificates at the time of despatch and get fake copies printed.

The case was transferred to the CIA staff at Ropar for further investigation.



4 booked for threatening sarpanch
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 2
Four residents of Khuda Alisher village here allegedly entered the house of the village sarpanch, Mr Jasmer Singh, and threatened him yesterday. Acting on a complaint of the sarpanch, a case under Sections 323, 452 and 506 of the IPC was registered against Darshan Singh, Naresh, Raj Kumar and Des Raj.

Forgery case

A senior assistant at Central Poultry Breeding Farm, Industrial Area, Phase I, Roshan Lal, allegedly forged signatures of the farm’s Director to obtain 52 connections of Reliance WLL telephones. The police said investigations were on. A case under Sections 419, 420, 467, 468, 471 and 120-B of the IPC was registered.

Three arrested

The police arrested a resident of Sector 52, Vajinder Kumar, yesterday and seized 390 gm of ganja from his possession. A case under Section 20 of the NDPS Act was registered.

The police also arrested two persons, Ram Kumar of Sector 40 and Rinku of Ram Darbar, yesterday. It recovered 250 pouches of liquor from their possession.

Thefts reported

A Maruti car (PB08 C 8951) of Mr Jatinder Singh of Sector 7 was stolen from a parking lot at the Punjab Mini-Secretariat in Sector 9 yesterday. Mr Yogi Raj Kumar of Sector 38 reported that someone stole the car stereo from his Maruti car in Sector 22 on Friday.


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