C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Health services at GMSH, PGI go for a toss
Harrowing time for patients; GMSH strike called off, PGI’s still on
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 16
Government Multi-Speciality Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16, may be the last resort of the common man but the “aam aadmi” was the least wanted here with a strike by contractual workers crippling the functioning of the UT Administration-run hospital today.

Meanwhile, operating theatre (OT) technicians at the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) continued to hold seriously-ill patients to ransom for the second day today.

Patients and their attendants had a harrowing time with over 300 employees, including nursing staff, technicians, security personnel, ward attendants and drivers going on strike.

The plight of scores of patients on the premises failed to touch a human chord even as the employees held a noisy rally near the emergency wing of the hospital.

There was chaos both inside and outside the OPD and emergency as there was no hospital staff to monitor the rush of patients and attendants. To top it all, no senior functionary of the UT health department visited the OPDs and the emergency wings to listen to the grievances of patients.

Anger and anxiety were writ large on the faces of hapless patients and their attendants, who could be seen moving from pillar to post. Balwant Singh (84), a resident of Sector 20, Chandigarh, was desperate as he tried hard to look for a wheelchair for his wife Surjit Kaur, who had difficulty walking to the emergency. When he did find a broken wheelchair, there was no ward attendant to help him.

Nursing a fracture in the hip joint, Saroj, a resident of Maloya village, was being taken around to different departments by her husband. “We have been here for the past one hour for preliminary diagnostic tests, but without any success,” Saroj said.

Rajiv Koli, who had fractured his hand, was seen taking care of his wife Shakuntla who was suffering from severe back pain. “Since I was suffering from fracture, I expected some hospital staff member to lend me a hand. The strike by the hospital staff, though their demands may be genuine, is least expected,” he said.

Salig Ram, a Mauli Jagran resident, had a tough time in manoeuvring the wheelchair of his daughter to the orthopaedic department.

The striking employees called off the strike at 1 pm. “Two of our demands regarding the release of arrears and refund of money deducted by the contractor at the time of appointment has been accepted by the hospital administration,” said Sonu, a union leader, while calling off the strike.

More photos, report P3



Youth found bludgeoned to death near lake
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 16
A 22-year-old youth was found bludgeoned to death near the Sukhna Lake here this morning. The victim, who has not been identified yet, was found lying in a pool of blood and had multiple stab injuries. The police has registered a case of murder and attempts are on to identify the victim.

The body was first noticed lying in a pool of blood at the rear of the lake near the Horse Riding Club on the road leading to a gurdwara by a morning walker who informed the police control room. The police reached the spot along with a team of the Central Forensics Scientific Laboratory which took samples.

An examination of the body revealed that the victim had been attacked with a sharp-edged weapon. There were over 40 stab wounds on the body. There was a deep cut on the neck and his windpipe had been slashed. There were deep stab injuries on his forehead, chest, belly, back, wrist, mouth and thighs. “Akash” had been tattooed on his right hand. A wire was found wrapped on his toes and his shoes were missing.

The police recovered a slip soaked in blood from his pocket. There were three phone numbers written on it and the police made calls to all the numbers to gather any clues leading to his identity. However, none of the three persons to whom the calls were made had any knowledge about the identity of the victim. Two of the numbers were traced to Kapurthala and the third to Ferozepur.

The victim was wearing a sweater, jeans and had a stubble. His clothes were branded and the police said the murder had occurred elsewhere, but the body was dumped at the spot. A streak of blood was found up to a certain distance. The police said there seem to be more than two accused in the case.

Another murder in Colony No. 5

A resident of Colony Number 5 died after his neighbour, Vasudev, allegedly hit him with an iron rod following a scuffle today. The victim, Mahesh Kumar, who was in his 30s, succumbed to his injuries at the Government Medical College and Hospital in Sector 32. The brawl took place when Mahesh intervened while a brawl was on between Vasudev and his wife. In a fit of rage, Vasudev attacked Mahesh with a rod on his head. The accused, Vasudev, is absconding. The victim was a labourer.

Woman commits suicide at lake

The body of a 32-year-old woman, who is believed to have committed suicide, was recovered from the Sukhna Lake here this evening. The victim, Sarneet Kaur, is a resident of Phase IX, Mohali, and was reportedly suffering from severe depression, the police said. She is survived by her husband, Vishwajit Singh, General Manager at Tata Indicom in Gurgaon, and a son. Her family told the police that she left home at 1.25 pm yesterday and failed to return. She is believed to have jumped into the lake late at night.

4th murder in six days

The city has witnessed four murders in the past six days. Although three murders have been solved, the police has failed to arrest the accused. While the accused in the murder of a colony resident has fled, the police is yet to arrest the accused in the other two cases as well.
March 11: Kitchen supervisor with a hotel in Sector 43, Vijay Kumar, killed by three persons over professional rivalry. All three accused, since identified, are absconding.
March 12: An 18-year-old youth battered to death by nine persons in the PGI. The police has arrested five accused while the remaining four are absconding.



Golf club greens may parch
MC to disconnect water supply today
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 16
Golfers of Chandigarh Golf Club could soon be playing on dry patches. With the water supply to the club located in Sector 6 all set to be disconnected by the Municipal Corporation (MC) tomorrow following the failure of the club to deposit water tariff for the last five years amounting to Rs 6.15 lakh.

MC Chief Engineer SS Bidda confirmed that the water connection of the club will be disconnected as it had not cleared the dues even after a number of reminders had been sent by the MC.

He said in December last year, the club management had appealed to the water grievances and redressal committee, claiming that it had deposited the water tariff in time but the corporation had imposed undue surcharge which should be waived.

Rejecting the appeal, the committee had asked the management to deposit the dues immediately. Bidda said since the club had not deposited the pending tariff, the authorities had decided to take action.

Chandigarh Golf Club, General Manager, Col JS Randhawa, denied that there were any pending dues. He claimed that all water tariff bills of the club had been cleared by the management in time. 

Sources in the corporation said since 2006, the management of the club had not been paying the water tariff dues to the corporation. They revealed that the club had drinking water supply and tertiary water supply for the watering of lawns, and the major amount pending was for tertiary water supply.



Working couples have only 20 mins a day for their kids
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 16
Working couples in Chandigarh and Ludhiana spend a meagre 20 minutes with their children on a working day, reveals a recent study undertaken by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).

The survey report said the study had been conducted on at least 1,500 working couples in Chandigarh and 1,000 couples in Ludhiana. These couples are working in mid-to-senior level management positions at various companies, including multi-national companies.

Releasing the findings of the survey, ASSOCHAM national secretary-general DS Rawat said: “In the current scenario, working parents remain so engrossed in their jobs and domestic chores that they hardly spend any quality time to nurture their kids.”

Besides, with nuclear families growing in large numbers, there is no

one to look after the children once parents leave for work, he says.

The study says that typically out of 24 hours, an average working woman spends 10 hours working in office, three hours travelling back and forth between home and office, seven hours of sleep, three hours for household chores, at least half-an-hour for TV and surfing Internet and of the remaining half-an-hour, at least 15 minutes are spent attending calls and buying groceries and barely 15 minutes are left for children.

The study also states that an average working male spends close to 12 hours in office, three hours travelling, at least an hour on TV and surfing the Internet and eight hours on sleep. He is left with nearly no time to spend with his children. Considering the irregular working hours and strenuous daily routine of parents, they are not able to assist their kids in completing the home work and are generally ignorant about school functions.

About 80 per cent and 65 per cent of working couples in Chandigarh and Ludhiana, respectively, admitted that due to deadline pressures and intensified job responsibilities, coupled with household chores like submission of bills and other obligations, they are not able to spend quality time with their children during weekdays as well as weekends.

At the same time, at least 15 per cent working parents in Chandigarh and 20 per cent in Ludhiana disclosed that they get to spend anywhere between 30-45 minutes per day with their children. Only 5 per cent working couples in Chandigarh and 15 per cent in Ludhiana said they spent over an hour daily with their kids.


PU Student Poll Expenditure
RTI info seems far from reality
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 16
In a revelation that appears completely divorced from reality, information provided by Panjab University has revealed that the key elected leaders to the student council spent paltry sums of money during the annual student council elections held in September last year.

Responding to a question filed under the RTI Act by Raman Dhaka, a PU history department student, the university’s Dean, Student Welfare, has stated that Panjab University Campus Students Council (PUCSC) president Gurwindervir Singh Aulakh had spent Rs 4,750, vice-president Vibha Rs 2,224, while secretary Akhil Bansal had spent Rs 1,500 during the elections.

These amounts are well within the prescribed maximum limit of Rs 5,000 per candidate imposed by the Lyngdoh Committee whose guidelines were made mandatory for colleges and universities in 2006 by the Supreme Court of India.

But considering the elaborate campaigning that precedes the elections, the amount revealed under the RTI Act hardly reflects the reality. Sources estimate the expenditure to be running into lakhs considering that candidates spend money on posters, banners, vehicles and other promotional material generously.

But the mismatch between official figures and reality is reflective of an absence of a mechanism to verify the expenditure details.

Incidentally, the only document submitted by these council members in 2010 was merely a written statement detailing their expenditure. The statement was not backed by receipts or verified by any audit mechanism even though the Lyngdoh committee has recommended that these sums be audited by the university.

“Most candidates, including me, did not attach the relevant bills or proof. This is mandatory as per the Lyngdoh committee’s guidelines. Tragically, the university authorities believe whatever the candidates say,” admitted Avinash Goyal, an independent candidate, who contested the PUCSC elections last year. “How does the university make out whether or not their claims are genuine?” questioned Goyal. When questioned about their expenditure, the present student council members said they did not furnish any bills or provide evidence to prove their total expenditure. A few others said they could not "recall whether or not they had submitted bills.”

“I did submit particulars of the expenditure, but I am not sure about the bills. Even though the DSW’s office reminded us for the need to submit bills, there were several miscellaneous expenses which could not be listed,” said Bansal.

“Although I remember submitting my cost of contesting elections, I do not remember the exact details,” responded PUCSC joint secretary Subhash Chander. Interestingly, the DSW’s office records put the expenses at "nil" for expenses incurred by Chander in response to the RTI.

PUCSC vice-president Vibha said they had submitted particulars of the expenditure. However, she added, “There was a reminder from the office. But I do not recall giving any bills or any other proof. I will check with the DSW office,” she added.

Interestingly, defensive university officials, however, blamed the way the question had been framed. “I am not aware of this question filed under the RTI since it’s sent directly to the office. I have checked with the DSW who said the questions filed under the RTI Act were incorrect,” said PU Vice-Chancellor Ranbir Chander Sobti. He added that there were a handful of students on the PU campus who repeatedly filed questions under the RTI. 



Patients at the receiving end, yet again
Tribune News Service
Kamlesh, a resident of Ladwa in Haryana, after being told at the PGI that the surgery of her son has been postponed.
Kamlesh, a resident of Ladwa in Haryana, after being told at the PGI that the surgery of her son has been postponed.Tribune photo: Vinay Malik

Chandigarh, March 16
Operating theatre (OT) technicians at the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) continued to hold seriously-ill patients to ransom for the second day today.It was a long wait for Kamlesh, mother of Rajesh from Ladwa in Haryana, who was kept waiting for the surgery of her son till afternoon.

While she continued to hope against hope, she was ultimately told to report to the operating theatre on the fourth floor of Nehru Hospital tomorrow.

“The leg of my son requires a surgery. After a long stay here, his surgery was scheduled for this morning. I was initially told to get confirmation of the time of surgery in the morning. However, in the afternoon I was told that it was not possible for doctors to conduct the surgery today,” said an exhausted Kamlesh, standing at the door of the operating theatre.

The tale of woe of Gurmail from Nawanshahr was no different. Gurmail was scheduled to be operated upon for an ENT problem. Another patient, Satinder from Una (Himachal Pradesh), was scheduled to undergo surgery in the orthopedics’ operating theatre. Both have now been told to wait till the new timings for the operation are released.

PGI authorities, however, claimed that the fallout of the strike by OT technicians was negligible as surgical operations at the hospital were conducted normally.

While 147 surgeries were carried out yesterday against 141 planned, the number had touched 107 till 3.30 pm.

‘All is well’ at PGI

Claiming normal functioning of the operating theatres, the PGI today released figures of surgical operations in the past five days. On March 10, when there was no strike, 143 surgical operations were carried out. During the next three days, till Monday, the figure stood at 181, 87, and 103, respectively. However, on Tuesday, 147 surgical operations were performed as against the 141 planned. 



Little respite in sight
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 16
With PGI authorities and agitating operating theatre technicians sticking to their guns, patients will continue to be at the receiving end in the days to come.

The “deadlock” between the PGI authorities and OT technicians continued today with the PGI management adopting a tough posture against the strike and asking the striking employees to rejoin work without any precondition for an amicable settlement.

The employees, on the other hand, wanted an assurance from the authorities about addressing their grievances.

“No initiative has been taken by the authorities during the past two days to end the crisis,” alleged Manoj Kumar, general secretary of the OT Technicians’ Association.

“Today we met with senior PGI functionaries, including the Director, and were told to join work without any precondition,” he claimed.

PGI authorities, however, claimed that the ongoing strike was “totally unwarranted and unjustified”.

The PGI administration has gone out of its way to ensure that the genuine grievances of OT assistants are redressed expeditiously. However, the OT assistants have unilaterally decided to go on a strike, the PGI spokesperson claimed.



Security tightened ahead of Prez’s visit
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 16
Security has been beefed up at Panjab University ahead of the visit of President of India Pratibha Devisingh Patil. The president will visit the campus on Thursday to deliver the VN Tewari Memorial Lecture.

Key guests at the lecture include Governor of Punjab Shivraj V Patil, Governor of Haryana Jagannath Pahadia, Union Minister of Science and Technology and Parliamentary Affairs and Chief Minister of Haryana Bhupinder Singh Hooda. Terming it to be a historic event in the university’s history, Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti said, “It is an event of great significance.”



Awareness on EWS Quota
UT to rope in radio stations, NGOs
Sumedha Sharma/TNS

Chandigarh, March 16
Getting a lukewarm response for over 400 seats reserved under the economic weaker sections category, the UT education department has decided to intensify its awareness campaign.

With the last day of admission to these “free” seats drawing near, the UT is moving a step ahead from issuing usual public notices. Joining forces with several local NGOs, the department plans to tap thousands of prospective students through radio jingles, pamphlets, SMSes and door-to-door campaigns.

“It’s after three years that this dream has come true and we want the maximum number of people to reap benefit. We expect all seats to be filled by last date i.e March 23 and to ensure that we have issued pamphlets in English, Hindi and Punjabi. We have tied up with a local radio station and will be playing regular jingles enlisting schools giving free admission to poor students. We have also tied up with local channels to run scrolls in all three languages giving the seat details and last date of admission,” said a senior official of the department.

NGOs functional in various parts of the city have been asked to go to slums, colonies and send SMSes to their target groups.

“One of the most important tasks is to motivate parents of these children. A majority of them choose to skip the opportunity because of the hassles involved. The NGOs will not only be motivating them, but will also help them apply in various schools. They have been asked to ensure that everybody in their target group is well aware of the criteria and spare a thought for it,” added the official.

Following a prolonged tussle with the city private schools, the UT finally managed to get reservation for children belonging to the economic weaker sections. Having failed to educe much response after its first announcement, the UT was directed by the High Court to issue public notices to make people aware. Complying with it, the UT has designed this awareness campaign.



Shortage of radiologists in govt hospitals
4 private doctors volunteer
Our Correspondent

Mohali, March 16
The scheme to rope in private players to overcome the shortage of radiologists in government hospitals has made a headway with four doctors showing interest in providing their services.

The district has three government hospitals and two primary health centres. Only two radiologists are currently available as a result of which patients have been deprived of related medical facilities.

Keeping the welfare of patients in mind, Principal Secretary (health and family welfare) had decided to reach out to private players to overcome the shortage of radiologists.

In accordance with the decision of the Principal Secretary, the Punjab Health Systems Corporation (PHSC) had then invited expressions of interest from radiologists and radiodiagnostic centres for providing referral diagnostic services in the district. Mohali Civil Surgeon Dr PK Shridhar said four doctors had expressed interest in providing their services at the government hospitals. They were Batra Ultrasound and Medical Scan, Aman Scan, Dr Ruby Baraya and Dr Sukhdev Singh.

They had agreed to spare three to four hours daily. These centres would have to abide by the PNDT Act.

The response received had been sent to the managing director of the Punjab Health Systems Corporation for further action, added Dr Shridhar.

The Civil Surgeon said the position in Mohali was much better as compared to other districts of the state.

Currently, Dr Vijay Bhagat, a radiologist at the Mohali Civil Hospital, has to go to the Kurali health centre once a week to attend to patients there. Similarly, another radiologist, Dr Harneet Kaur, posted at the Dera Bassi hospital, has to take care of patients at the Kharar hospital as well. The health centre at Banur has also to be covered.



Booth scam
‘Tainted’ EO, police officials may face the axe
Pradeep Sharma/TNS

Chandigarh, March 16
Heads are set to roll in the booth allotment scam with the UT administration contemplating action against estate office and police officials “directly” involved in the fraudulent allotment of booths in the Krishna Market in Sector 41 as alleged in the PS Shergill report.

With Deputy Commissioner Brijendra Singh slated to submit the report to Home Secretary Ram Niwas in a day or two, the ball has been set rolling for the initiation of action against those named in the report.

The report had recommended initiation of criminal proceedings against DS Balouria, Tehsildar (colonies); Jagbir Singh and Satbir Singh, DSPs; Bishi Ram, inspector (retd); Hira Lal and Sucha Singh, ASIs (retd); PL Dhami, superintendent (retd); Prem Sharma, superintendent (retd); Ashok Bish, superintendent (enforcement); RK Arora, Dharam Singh and Ranbir Singh Gill.

Since the Home Secretary heads the police department as well, the action against estate office and police officials will be taken after seeking legal opinion from the UT Legal Remembrancer (LR).

Normal procedure like the issuance of show-cause notices and charge-sheets will be followed while initiating action against officials allegedly involved in the booth scam, sources said.

Assistant Estate Officer (AEO) Hargunjit Kaur, who examined the report in detail, had reportedly recommended the initiation of strict action against the EO officials named in the Shergill report.

The report, which echoed in Parliament on March 14 leading to adjournment in Lok Sabha following a slugging match between union minister for parliamentary affairs and leader of the Opposition and BJP leader Sushma Swaraj, had alleged a politician-bureaucrat-police nexus in the allotment of the booths in the Krishna Market.

DC to submit report in day or two

Deputy Commissioner Brijendra Singh is examining the report, including the comments from the AEO, and will submit it to the Home Secretary either on March 17 evening or on March 18. The higher officers will take a call on the initiation of action against the officials allegedly involved in the booth scam, he said.



Chhabra files defamation suit against Shergill
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 16
Former Mayor Pardeep Chhabra, who has been named in the PS Shergill inquiry report as part of the booth mafia, today slapped a defamation suit against the former Additional Deputy Commissioner.

Terming the contents of the inquiry report “defamatory, unwarranted and biased”, the defamation suit filed before the Chief Judicial Magistrate alleged that Shergill took “undue advantage of his chair and submitted a report, which has ruined the image and status of the complainant without assigning any valid reason”. Moreover, the complainant was not even once called for his version by the inquiry officer in this reference.

“The inquiry was entrusted to the area SDM (Shergill) on March 10, 2010, and he kept the matter pending for around 10 months. He was repatriated to his parent state, Punjab, on January 13, 2011.”

It is apparent that he had not handed over the verification report/reference to the Chandigarh administration at the time of relinquishing the charge of the SDM and had illegally retained the official record even after relinquishing his charge on January 13, 2011, the complaint alleged.

Going into the background of the “animosity” will Shergill, Chhabra said during Diwali celebrations last year, he had exchanged heated words with Shergill regarding the removal of crackers’ stalls in Sector 22, which fell in his ward.

“The complainant, being the area councillor, was approached by the affected persons to help them from the illegal and arbitrary action of the SDM. The complainant approached the higher authorities in order to redress the grievances of the poor hawkers and with the timely intervention of the authorities of the administration, the hawkers were allowed to continue with their business.

Shergill felt publicly humiliated at the hands of the complainant and threatened him with dire consequences, Chhabra claimed.

“The incident is the main reason for Shergill to make derogatory, blemishing as well as unwarranted remarks in his report, which was leaked to leading newspapers,” the complaint alleged.

The former ADC had given his finding with ulterior motive and malafide intention and had gone beyond the scope and ambit of his official duty. Therefore, in any case, the imaginary fixing of responsibility went beyond the scope of inquiry, it alleged.



Reconciliatory Move?
Sukhbir visits dissident Akali leader
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 16
With elections round the corner, Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal seems to be in a reconciliation mode. For, the Badal Jr on Monday came calling at the residence of dissident Akali leader Kiranbir Singh Kang in Sector 69 here this evening, after a gap of almost two years.

He was accompanied by another local Akali leader Bubby Badal. It is learnt that the leader also visited Bubby Badal’s house.

To ensure a smooth sailing for the SAD in the forthcoming elections, the party has been trying to win over dissident Akali leaders.

Though the Deputy Chief Minister and Kang, who had earlier resigned from the post of Youth Akali Dal wing, while talking to mediapersons, dismissed the meeting as a routine affair, sources in the party said the presence of Badal with two Akali leaders was a signal for the party cadre to fall in line.

In the past, Kang has openly aired his difference with District Planning Board chairman NK Sharma and other Akali leaders who have eyed the Mohali seat, say party sources. 



BSNL extends deadline

Chandigarh, March 16
Owing to error in the landline bills of November, December, 2010 and January, 2011 due to the implementation of a new billing system, the BSNL has extended the last date of payment of bills till March 31. BSNL subscribers in the city have been receiving inflated bills on account of erroneous inclusion of previous months’ bills to the latest one.

The BSNL said customers should only pay the amount due and ignore the earlier payments made. They also “regretted” the inconvenience caused to public due to the error. — TNS



Spreading awareness on environment
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 16
The Punjab State Council for Technology and Environment staged a play on environment at Government Senior Secondary School, Nada village.The three-day event also witnessed on-the-spot paper reading and poem recitation competitions.The students of the school carried out an awareness campaign on environment conservation.

On the concluding day, a child fitness campaign was also organised. Sinder Kaur, a social activist, was also honoured on the occasion. 



PSEB issues roll no with changed gender

Zirakpur, March 16
In a major faux pas, the Punjab School Education Board has changed the gender on roll number cards of students of a private school appearing for the board examinations.

In one of the cases, Gagandeep Singh, a resident of Zirakpur, said he was a student of Class XII of a private school in Zirakpur. He alleged that he had received the roll number card with a photograph of a girl pasted on it and therefore causing inconvenience to him during the examinations.

Meanwhile, school authorities claimed that they had complained about the same to the PSEB, but still the problem prevailed. — TNS



Engg student dies as car collides with truck
Tribune News Service

The police inspects the mangled remains of a Maruti Swift car on the Patiala-Zirakpur highway on Wednesday. (Inset) A file photo of victim Mohammad Sagir.
The police inspects the mangled remains of a Maruti Swift car on the Patiala-Zirakpur highway on Wednesday. (Inset) A file photo of victim Mohammad Sagir. Tribune photo: Nitin Mittal

Zirakpur, March 16
An engineering student of Shaheed Udham Singh College of Engineering and Technology, Tangori, was killed iafter a Swift car collided with a truck near AKM resort on the Zirakpur-Patiala highway here this afternoon.

The deceased was identified as Mohammad Sagir, a resident of Sector 45, Chandigarh. Mohammad Sagir was pursuing electronics and communication engineering.

The investigating officer Shamsher said the incident occurred around 3.30 pm.

He was on his way towards Chandigarh from the college in his car when a speeding truck coming from Zirakpur side hit his car head-on.

The front part of the car was damaged due to the collision. The police took him to the Civil Hospital, Dera Bassi, where doctors declared him dead on arrival.

Meanwhile, the truck driver managed to flee leaving the vehicle behind. The body of the victim would be handed over to the family members after conducting the autopsy tomorrow, the investigating officer added.

The police official said a case had been registered against the truck driver on the complaint of deceased’s brother and investigations were on.



Zone-wise sanitation system to be introduced in Panchkula
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 16
The Panchkula Municipal Council (MC) will be introducing new zone-wise sanitation system in the town from next month as the present ward-wise sanitation system had failed.The residents had been complaining of unsatisfactory sanitary condition in the city stating that even though the sanitation workers were performing their duties in various wards but the main roads were never clean.

Under the new system, the whole city is divided into two zones and the MC will outsource the sanitation work for both the zones. The first zone will include all the sectors while the second zone will include the main roads dividing various sectors in the city. As MC is facing staff crunch, the sanitation work was being outsourced from the past few years.

According to sources in the MC, there were 31 wards and there was separate contractor for each ward. In view of the large number of complaints from the city residents, the MC authorities found it difficult to fix the accountability, as there were large numbers of contractors.

The sources further said that under the new system there would be only two contractors for these two zones and it would be easier for the MC authorities to fix the accountability. Moreover, the contractor will not only look after cleaning of roads but would get the garbage lifted and dumped as well.

Confirming the same, MC Executive officer KK Jain said that in the first two months they would check the performance of the contractors and would allow them to work only if their work was found to be satisfactory. He said the contractors had also been asked to raise the strength of sanitation workers from 500 to 600.

However, the residents were skeptical about the new sanitation system that would be introduced from April 1. They said earlier too, the MC officials had made the same claim while introducing the ward-wise sanitation system. Pushpinder Kumar, a resident of Sector 12, said that one could find the heaps of garbage on the city roads and added that only time would tell how successful the new scheme would be.

Rajesh Kumar, a resident of Sector 4, said that contractors engaged large number of sanitation workers only in VIP areas. Sanitation workers visit other sectors once in a week to clear the road.



Volunteers’ body seeks better salaries
Our Correspondent

Mohali, March 16
The Inclusive Education Volunteers Association held a protest march against inadequate salaries being given to them by the state government.Volunteers who teach differently-abled children first gathered at Gurdwara Amb Sahib and then marched till Kumbra Chowk.

They said that they were given only Rs 2,500 per month by the government when other teachers were given higher salaries. They demanded that their salaries should in raised to Rs 10,000 per month. 



HUDA employees threaten to intensify stir
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 16
Members of the Haryana Sarv Karmchari Sangh (HSKS) threatened to intensify their stir if the authorities of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) failed to fulfil their long-pending demands.

HUDA workers also held a rally outside the office of HUDA in Sector 6 here today in which large number of HUDA workers from various districts of the state participated. The union leaders said that they were postponing the agitation as the authorities had assured them that their demands would be considered sympathetically and would try to fulfil these within a month. Two months’ ultimatum was given to the authorities to fulfil their demands failing which they would be forced to intensify their agitations, the leaders said.

Addressing the media, Subash Lamba, general secretary, HSKS, said heads of various departments had failed to implement the orders of the chief secretary who had directed them to hold meetings with the respective union leaders to sort out the issues. He said the unions were being forced to hold protest rallies, as they were not being invited for talks.

Earlier, addressing the workers Banwari Lal Saini, regional chairman of the HUDA Workers Union said that their main demand included performance award, skilled wages to workers engaged in technical works from May 1, 1990, 5 per cent quota of plots to be reserved for HUDA workers.

He said after their meeting with the administrator last evening they were hopeful that authorities would consider their demands sympathetically. 



Residents seek action against SDM
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 16
Irked over the thrashing of four youths by the SDM over the eve teasing incident last evening, residents of EWS colony in Sector 15 submitted memorandums to the Deputy Commissioner and the Superintendent of Police here today.

The residents demanded that action should be taken against SDM KK Kalson, who had thrashed four youths in the Sector 15 police post.

The residents had gheraod the police post in the same area after the SDM had allegedly thrashed one of the four accused involved in eve teasing. Varinder, uncle of the girl, in his complaint to the police had alleged that four youths identified as Surinder, Tarun, Rajesh and Gaurav used to used to tease his niece when she went for her tuition in Sector 15.

However, the SDM refuted the allegation of thrashing of youths as baseless. He said that he had gone to the police station, as he knew the girl’s parents. He claimed that he had not thrashed any youth.

The parents and relatives of the girl immediately reached the spot and thrashed the accused besides handing them over to the police. After getting the information the SDM, who knew them also arrived at the police post and allegedly thrashed Surinder after locking him up in a room.

Soon after, the residents arrived at the police station and raised slogans against the police and the district administration for beating mercilessly one of the accused, who had been identified as Surinder, after locking him in a room at the police post.



‘Anti-pensioners’ policies decried

Mohali, March 16
Members of the Punjab Government Pensioners Joint Front held a rally near YPS here today in protest against the ‘anti-pensioners’ policies of the government.The protesters, who carried black flags and wore black bands, raised slogans against the government. They said that the government had failed to fulfill the promises, which were made by the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) before coming to power in the state.

The three conveners of the front, Mohinder Singh Parwana, Prem Sagar Sharma, and Om Parkash Gaba, said that the election manifesto had clearly mentioned on page 25 that the party, if came to power, would make every possible effort to remove the anomalies of the pensioners retiring from various services of the Punjab Government. But the government, which had come to power in 2007, had neither removed the anomalies nor called the representatives of the front to listen to their problems. — OC



‘Fake’ company shortlists students at PU

Chandigarh, March 16
Panic triggered among students of School of Communication Studies (SCS), Panjab University, after they found that a company which was offering lucrative salaries through an internal placement drive turned out to be fake.

Later in the evening, an official mail was released by the department prohibiting the students from joining this private company.

Chairperson of the department Archana R Singh noticed the suspicious behaviour of the company’s managing director and initiated a probe.

“ I sent a person to verify the official address of the firm. It was found that the address mentioned on the website did not exist. I informed all students, who had been shortlisted, to not join this company,” she added. She added that a meeting of the department faculty and placement coordinator would be held shortly. SCS students said the firm shortlisted 10 students. — TNS



From Schools & Colleges

Chandigarh: SGGS College, Sector 26, organised its annual prize distribution function on Wednesday. Ajoy Sharma, IAS Director, Higher Education, was the chief guest. HS Sohi, principal, presented the annual report of the college.


Advocating healthy food habits and need of nutrition, the kindergarten wing of Saupin’s School, Sector 32, organised a show today on the school premises. Parents were invited to witness the show.

Awareness drive

The NSS unit of Guru Gobind Singh College for Women, Sector 26, organised an awareness drive for “Right to Education” (RTE) at Raipur Kalan village on Wednesday. Around 86 NSS volunteers participated in the drive.— TNS



PUSU leaders demand a say in vital matters
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 16
Demanding a representation of students in the supreme governing body of Panjab University, a section of Panjab University Students Union (PUSU) protested outside the Vice-Chancellor’s office.

Within minutes of the protest, Dean, Student Welfare, Naval Kishore, reached the spot and students submitted a memorandum to him. “It is high time that students be given some say in the decision making matters of Panjab University. The gallery of visitors has been opened to students, but they are mock spectators. Students must be given some right to speak in the Senate and put forward genuine demands,” said Simranjit Singh Dhillon.



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