C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Chemists at PGI charge patients at whim
Medicines often sold at up to thrice the MRP
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
Chemist shops at PGI have been found to be charging far more for medicines than the maximum retail price (MRP) mentioned on them. In a number of cases the variation is high as thrice the printed price.

Ignoring the actual MRP printed on the cartons in which the medicines are packed in bulk, patients are being asked to pay as high as 300 per cent of the MRP at chemists located at the hospital’s advanced pediatric centre, the emergency block and at the old OPD building.

Chemist shops at PGI are required to give a discount of 15 to 30 per cent on the medicines they sell as per the allotment letters. Random enquiries by this reporter revealed chemists are in reality charging arbitrarily and showing the discount on prices decided by them to convey the impression of giving a concession while in fact making a profit.

A major discrepancy has been discovered in the pricing of HIV test cards, HCV test cards (hepatitis C) and HBsAg test cards (hepatitis B). All these cards are available in a pack of 40 pieces. The MRP on a pack of HIV test cards reads Rs 2,600; on the HCV pack it reads Rs 3,190; and on the HBsAg test card packet it is Rs 1,190. The individual cards do not carry separate price tags. However, a simple calculation puts the price per card at Rs 65, Rs 79.75 and Rs 29.75, respectively.

However, copies of cash memos issued by Bedi Child Care to this reporter revealed customers were required to pay Rs 120 per HBsAg test card. After making the 30 per cent deduction shown in the bill, the actual price paid was Rs 84. But according to the MRP of Rs 1,190 printed on a packet of 40 pieces, the price per card worked out to be less than Rs 30. This reporter is in possession of the cash memo (no 36141 dated March 21) giving the details of his purchase.

An ACT cartridge meant for angioplasty procedure is supplied in a packet of 50 pieces with an MRP of Rs 9,775, putting the cost of one piece at Rs 195.50. The cash memo of the same chemist shows a patient being charged Rs 450 even after receiving a discount of 30 per cent. However, the cash memo issued by the chemist mentions the MRP of the ACT cartridge as Rs 643.

When this reporter pointed to the unfair pricing, employees of the chemist shop retorted the medicines bought could be returned and he could purchase them elsewhere.

The Trilok Chemist (at the emergency block) and Universal Chemists (old OPD building) have been charging Rs 100 for a single piece of HIV test kit or HCV card test, showing a 15 per cent discount on the manipulated MRP of Rs 118. Both chemists, however, have been selling an HBsAg test kit at a little lower price of Rs 50, but which is still 60 per cent more than the actual MRP of Rs 29.75.

When contacted drug control officer Sunil Chaudhary said he was not authorized to penalize offenders. “I can only warn them”, he said.

A PGI spokesperson said the hospital’s administration would “look into the matter”.

We’ll rectify error: Chemists

We overlooked the MRP on the bulk packing. The error will be rectified immediately.

— Deepak, partner, Bedi Child Care

I’m new here. The salesmen who have been working in my shop since a long time marked the prices in question.

— Mahesh Sharma, partner, Trilok Chemist

We’re unaware of this irregularity and will correct it immediately.

Tarsem Gupta, on behalf of his son Ajay Gupta, partner, Universal Chemists



Calls by accused to brother did him in
Asked whether Khushpreet was fine and sleeping
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
In the end, five-year-old Khushpreet’s kidnappers-cum-killers were found up by what in intelligence jargon worldwide is classified as Techint or Technical Intelligence.

The prime accused, Sukhdev Singh, alias Billa, made the “mistake” of calling his brother, Gurvinder Singh, an accomplice, from his mobile phone either just before or soon after he had finished making a ransom call from various STD booths — at least five — located in and around Chandigarh.

After careful scrutiny and analysis lasting several days of hundreds of mobile numbers obtained from mobile towers located near the STD booths from where ransom calls were made, the police detected a specific phone number common to the area immediately around the five STD booths that coincided with the time when the ransom calls were made. That number turned out to be that of Sukhdev. A follow-up analysis then revealed that Sukhdev had each time placed a call to a specific number, which turned out to be that of his brother Gurvinder Singh.

This led to the police zeroing in on Sukhdev and his brother Gurvinder, thus providing them with the much-sought-after breakthrough in what was seeming to be a blind case.

While the first ransom call was made from an STD PCO in Kajheri on December 21, the day when Khushi was kidnapped, the second ransom call was made from an STD PCO in Colony number 5. The third call to the family was made from an STD PCO in Phase 8 in Mohali the next morning on December 22 and the fourth call from an STD PCO in Landran.

It then came to light that Sukhdev Singh used to ask his brother and co-accused Gurvinder Singh about the “well-being” of Khushpreet, who was kept in custody at their house before entering the STD booth every time he made the ransom call to Khushpreet’s uncle. After the police found that calls were exchanged between the two numbers near every STD PCO from where he made the ransom calls, they verified the numbers, which turned out to be belonging to the two brothers who lived 50 metres from Khushpreet’s house in Burail. The police then narrowed on the duo and their involvement was later confirmed after the police procured additional evidence from their residence.

Rs 1.8 lakh debt was paid only the next day

Sukhdev Singh, who collected the ransom amount of Rs 4 lakh on December 22, cleared his pending electricity bill worth Rs 23,000 and paid Rs 80,000 to his contractor that had been pending. He told the police that, in all, he paid Rs 1.8 lakh as debt to various people the day after he received the ransom money. The police is checking whether Sukhdev had paid money to about 25 persons to whom he owed money

Child was made to watch cartoons to console him

While he was fed mostly on chips and biscuits for 12 days when he was in custody of Sukhdev and before he was killed, Khushpreet used to often weep when he was awake. The accused Sukhdev, who would keep his face covered, used to then turn on the TV and engage Khushpreet in his favourite cartoons. 

Third accused paid merely Rs 50

Absconding accused labourer, Nand Kishore, was paid a “mere” Rs 50 for assisting Sukhdev and Gurvinder in keeping the child confined. While he is yet to be arrested, the two told the police that Nand Kishore was made a party at a later stage.



Reversing car claims toddler’s life
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
In a tragic incident, an 18-month-old girl was crushed to death by a car being reversed by a Panjab University student here today.

The mishap took place when the 22-year-old girl Ravneet Kaur was reversing her car and failed to see the child standing at the rear side of the car.

The accident took place in front of the Eye OPD of the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital in Sector 16. The victim, Kamalpreet Kaur, had come to the hospital with her grandmother Gurmeet Kaur, a resident of a Mohali village.

The mishap took place when the child’s grandmother had gone to visit the doctor inside the OPD and Kamalpreet was playing near the parking area. The car (number UK 02-3800) put in reverse gear by Ravneet Kaur hit the toddler. Kamalpreet received severe head injuries and was rushed to the Emergency, where she was declared brought dead.

The accused fled after hitting the child and was later arrested in a case of causing death due to negligence under section 304-A of the IPC. She is pursuing studies in Department of Sociology in Panjab University.

Ravneet Kaur had come to meet her friend, who is a nurse in the hospital, to wish her on her birthday.

The body of the child was handed over to her family members after conducting the postmortem examination. The accused was later bailed out.

How it happened

The accident took place in front of the Eye OPD of the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital in Sector 16. The victim, Kamalpreet Kaur, had come to the hospital with her grandmother Gurmeet Kaur. The mishap took place when the child’s grandmother had gone to visit the doctor inside the OPD and Kamalpreet was playing near the parking area. The car, put in reverse gear by Ravneet Kaur, hit the toddler.



Jat agitation
Trains cancelled till March 25
Anil Jerath/Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
The problems faced by rail passengers due to cancellation of trains due to the Jat agitation do not appear to end anytime soon as Indian Railways have once again extended the cancellations, including hat of the 12005/12006 Shatabdi Express, till March 25. The other trains that would remain cancelled are the Chandigarh-Allahabad Unchahar Express, Himalayan Queen and Chandigarh-Jaipur Garib Rath.

Meanwhile, the passengers affected made a beeline for reservation counters to claiming refunds for their reserved tickets in the trains that were announced cancelled. Weary travelers were seen waiting in serpentine lines as the arrangements made by railway officials proved inadequate.

Meanwhile, passengers aboard trains passing through Haryana were a harassed lot as the agitating Jats were frequently resorting to blocking rail tracks in support of their demands. Passengers faced a lot of inconvenience on the second day of the rail blockade on Wednesday and many preferred to take buses to reach their destinations.

Train movement in the Ambala rail division that caters to various areas of Haryana has been badly hit during the past two days. A number of freight trains too were held up at several places. A senior Northern Railway official said due to cancellation of trains the railways had suffered a loss of over Rs 400 crore so far.

“The train tracks have become a hot spot with the agitating Jats who have been resorting to blockading tracks for the past 19 days in support of their demands,” he added.

The official said the matter has been taken up with the Haryana government as law and order was a state subject. A series of meetings have also been held with the officials concerned with a view to avoid inconvenience to passengers in the wake of trains being frequently stopped by protestors.



Lack of donors stalls PGI’s liver transplant project
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
Despite having all the requisites in place PGI is yet to begin liver transplant surgeries for want of donors. Blame it on a lack of awareness as well as myths associated with the procedure, doctors there have failed to find any voluntary donor till date even though the hospital had announced three years ago it had the required medical expertise.

“There are two types of liver transplants. One is where a relative donates a lobe of his liver to a patient. Another is getting a liver from either a cadaver or

from ‘brain dead’ patients, which can assist up to two patients at a time. We’re ready with all facilities and can get going with our first transplant in another two weeks. But where are the donors?” asks Dr RK Dhiman of the hospital’s hepatology department.

PGI had launched its ambitious liver transplant project in 2009 and developed a treatment module that would have cost only Rs 5 lakh to Rs 7 lakh compared to about Rs 40 lakh being charged by privately run hospitals in Delhi and Mumbai.

“It’s unfortunate but most people don’t know the fact that even a liver can be donated. Lack of awareness is the key reason behind this. We’re ready to provide the cheapest and yet the best services, but there have to be willing donors. We’re still waiting for some one to take the initiative and come forward. We’re also working on an awareness campaign,” adds Dr YK Chawla, head of the hepatology department.

Every week PGI gets five to six patients suffering from chronic liver diseases or cirrhosis who are prospective cases for liver transplant. While some opt for private hospitals in Delhi, a majority of the patients are left with no option but to live with medicines until a donor comes up.

Organ info on driver’s licence

Driver’s licences issued to city residents will now contain extra information about any organs they have donated, which can be utilized in case of accidental deaths.

“We’re currently working on a public awareness plan and putting this information on a driver’s licence is just one aspect of it. We wish to popularize liver donations. We’ll also try to rope in some celebrity to make city residents aware about liver donation for transplants. We also plan to get hospital staff trained to inspire people to donate their livers”, said Dr RK Dhiman, hepatology department, PGI.


Land Acquisition
Admn to approach MHA to lift ban
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
The two-year ban on land acquisition for development projects in Chandigarh by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is set to be a thing of the past.

In the backdrop of the Punjab and Haryana High Court decision on the expansion of Phase III of the Rajiv Gandhi Chandigarh Technology Park here, the UT administration is in the process of writing to the MHA to “rescind” the order putting all land acquisition in the city on hold.

In April 2009, the MHA, apparently in the wake of the heat generated by the controversies surrounding mega projects, had put acquisition of land on hold and ordered a special audit of mega project. The MHA’s directive was seen as a direct fallout of the confrontation between former Punjab Governor and UT Administrator SF Rodrigues and Adviser to him Pradip Mehra over controversial infrastructure projects worth crores of rupees.

The MHA favoured an institutional mechanism for land acquisition saying that it should be vetted by the co-ordination committee and the Administrator’s Advisory Council (AAC) having representatives of the Union Ministry of Urban Development and the MHA.

“The UT administration should implement the National Rehabilitation and Re-settlement Policy, 2007, and should get it vetted from the ministry concerned,” the MHA directive had then stated.

Official sources said the UT administration might formally approach the MHA to issue a fresh directive in the light of the recent High Court decision on Phase III of the IT Park. In view of the changed scenario regarding land acquisition, the UT administration was ready for an institutional mechanism for land acquisition. As the Administrator’s Advisory Council had been reconstituted, the UT administration will abide by its decisions on land acquisition besides implementing the National Rehabilitation and Re-settlement Policy, 2007, sources added.

Why MHA had put it on hold?

With controversies plaguing the allotment of land for mega projects, including the Medicity, the Film City and the Amusement Park, besides the IT Park, the MHA had put all the land acquisitions on hold in April 2009. The MHA directive, which wanted an institutional mechanism for land acquisition in the city, was seen as a direct fallout of the Rodrigues-Mehra slugfest over mega projects.

Projects that went awry

Amusement Park: Aimed at turning the city into a tourist destination and bringing the best of a Disneyland-type entertainment facility at Sarangpur, the 73-acre Amusement Park was in the thick of controversy with allegations of the highest bidder being ignored in favour of Unitech Limited. On the recommendations of the Central Vigilance Commission, the Central Bureau of Investigation is probing the matter with the UT administration already having scrapped the project.

Film City: The Film City on 30 acres in Sarangpur, which was conceptualised to turn the city into a hub of cinematic tourism, became a hotbed of controversy. The UT administration and Parsvnath Developers were at loggerheads over the project with the latter alleging that it had not been provided encumbrance-free" land by the UT administration. UT Adviser Pradip Mehra recommended a probe by a central agency into the project saying that the land for allocation for the ` 191-crore project was undervalued. Even though the project was scrapped, the CBI is probing the matter.

Medicity: Relations between UT Administrator SF Rodrigues and Adviser Peadip Mehra reached a flashpoint over this project, which remained confined on paper, with the latter raising an accusing finger over the public-private participation model proposed by Rodrigues. Mehra specifically objected to a paper proposal to offer 45 acres of prime land, otherwise estimated to be worth over ` 2,000 crore, at merely ` 203.7 crore. The project seems to have been given a quiet burial by the UT administration.



MC challans encroachers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
The enforcement department of the Municipal Corporation issued challans to 10 shopkeepers at the Mani Majra motor market today during a routine anti-encroachment drive.

The enforcement team confiscated vehicles as mechanics were using road berms to repair the same.

A special anti-encroachment drive was also carried out in Sector 22 yesterday in which 60 challans were issued to encroachers. The drive was carried out under the supervision of Additional Commissioner-II Lalit Siwach and enforcement inspectors Kashmir Singh and KD Sharma along with the supporting staff of the enforcement and the engineering wing of the MC.



Admn not to revive bed and breakfast scheme
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
The bed and breakfast scheme will not be revived, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today heard.

As the case came up for hearing, the UT administration told Justice Surya Kant that it had no intentions of giving a new lease of life to the scheme, scrapped in October 2009.

Taking on record the assertion, the High Court disposed of the petition by asking the UT administration to take a decision within six months on the memorandum submitted by the petitioners, operating bread and breakfast accommodations on their premises.



Stick to your lane or get penalised
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
Stick to your lane while driving, lest the Chandigarh Police imposes a fine. That’s right. Traffic cops have decided to challan motorists driving away from the rules by not sticking to their lanes.

As part of the drive, the police has embarked upon the task of marking lanes. As the traffic regulation and pollution control case came up for hearing this afternoon, the police in an affidavit informed the Punjab and Haryana High Court that the process of lane marking was being carried out in a phased manner and those flouting the lane driving norms would be challaned.

The police also claimed the challaning drive would be preceded by a massive awareness campaign aimed at educating the motorists on the necessity of keeping to the designated lanes.

The cops also claimed that three-wheelers were a source of traffic problem, particularly the ones entering the city from Panchkula and Mohali.

The development is significant as Chandigarh, the richest city in the country with sprawling roads and ornate rotaries, tops the country in per capita fatal accident rate.

Accident cases in the city, in fact, continue to be a matter of concern. In 2006, 521 mishaps were reported to the police, followed by 536 the next year. In 2008, nothing less than 477 accident cases were reported to the police, followed by 424 the next year.

In 2010, 456 cases were reported and in January alone, 24 cases were brought to the police notice. From March 1 to March 16, eight mishaps were reported. A total of 95 accidents have been brought to the police notice so far this year.For applying brakes to the menace of underage, drunken and dangerous driving in the city, the High Court has already directed the top brass of the Chandigarh Police to carry out effective monitoring.

Hearing the traffic matter, Justice Rajive Bhalla has also directed the UT administration and the Municipal Corporation to ensure the confusion over the control of roads between the two bodies should not act as an impediment in providing “traffic infrastructure”.

Justice Bhalla directed: “Efforts should be made, particularly with respect to the southern Sectors, to provide requisite infrastructure for better traffic regulation and ensure deployment of adequate police officers.”



BJYM rallies against corruption

Chandigarh, March 23
As part of the Martyrdom Day of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev, the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) held a protest march in the Sector 17 Plaza against ‘corruption’ by the Congress-led UPA government.

The protesters demanded resignation of the Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister and Chandigarh MP Pawan Kumar Bansal for his alleged role in the booth scam in the city. A memorandum addressed to the President was submitted to the Deputy Commissioner. The memorandum demanded the resignation of the MP and a high-level inquiry into the booth scam. — TNS



Budget Plan of P’kula MC
Funds available, still projects confined to paper
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 23
A number of projects that failed to take off has been included in this year’s budget plan of the Panchkula municipal council.

Sanctioned years ago, some of these include a slaughter house, a meat market, a ‘Gaushala’ and cattle ponds.

Going by the budget proposals of the MC for the past three financial years 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11, funds to the tune of Rs 40 lakh to 75 lakh have been reserved for the these ambitious projects, but not even a single penny has been spent on these.

Sources said land for the ‘Gaushala’ had been identified in Pinjore about two years ago and the MC had earmarked Rs 75 lakh for the construction of sheds. “This year, the amount has been raised to Rs 1 crore,” said the sources.

Similarly, an amount of Rs 25 lakh had been reserved for the construction of meat market, but the project did not see light of the day. This year too, the MC has earmarked Rs 25 lakh, but the market is unlikely to come up as residents of Baltana village have filed a petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court in protest against the same.

The MC had also earmarked Rs 40 lakh for setting up sub-fire stations in the city in its previous budgets, but the project also met the same fate.

MC vice-president and BJP councillor from ward number 12 BB Singal said every year huge allocations were made in the budget proposals by the MC authorities, but unless and until the officials concerned generated the income from electricity duty and part of HUDA extension fee, these projects would not take off. He said the MC was to recover Rs 10 crore as electricity duty from UHBVN Limited, besides a 75 per cent share of HUDA extension fee. He said against the excise duty of Rs 1 crore, only Rs 23,000 were realised by the MC.

KK Jain, executive officer, MC, said this year their main emphasis would be to realise Rs 26 crore from HUDA authorities, besides getting its share in the excise duty. Former MC president and councillor from ward no 14 said they had already sought a permission from the state government for constructing a ‘Gaushala’ in Pinjore as the MC had provided them with the land for setting up the same. He said a 20-acre land had been identified at Batod village in the Barwala block for rehabilitating dairy owners, but HUDA had failed to transfer the land resulting in the delay. He said development works were hampered, as there was no elected president. The election case was pending in the High Court, he added.



Dharna by health employees
Our Correspondent

Mohali, March 23
Employees of the Punjab Health Systems Corporation, who are working on a contractual basis over the past many years, staged a dharna here today. The employees demanded that their services be regularised.

President of the union Manoj Modi said though they would be going on a pen-down strike from March 25, emergency services would not be disrupted. He said around 450 employees were given jobs on a contractual basis under a World Bank project at various health centres across the state in 1996. After the project came to an end in 2006, the authorities concerned recommended that the services of employees be regularised, but nothing had been done so far.



Hike in building map fee opposed
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, March 23
The Congress activists led by a senior leader from Dera Bassi on Monday staged a dharna against the Punjab government’s decision to increase the building map fee. They demanded that the decision be revoked with an immediate effect.

While raising slogans against the state government and Zirakpur MC, senior Congress leader RR Bhardwaj alleged that the Zirakpur municipal council had no right to collect hefty fee from residents as it had failed to provide better roads, bus stand, hospital and proper sewerage system in the town.

He said the hike in fee for constructing maps of residential sites would directly affect owners of small residential plots, as from now on, the same amount would be charged for all sizes of plots.

Bhardwaj said the increase would put a burden of Rs 20 crore per year on residents of the area and the poor would not be able to construct houses. He alleged that the fee should be increased for those who had developed unauthorised colonies and failed to provide basic amenities. He said in case the state government failed to revoke its decision, the Congress would launch a ward wise agitation against the MC and the state government.



Pension Distribution
BJP flays MC’s delaying tactics
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 23
The local BJP leaders have flayed the municipal council authorities and social welfare department for using delaying tactics as far as distribution of pension among the elderly is concerned.

Criticising the flaw in the system of pension distribution in the city, MC vice-president BB Singal and convener of the party’s local bodies cell CB Goel in a memorandum to Deputy Commissioner Ashima Brar stated that pension in various categories was decided by the social welfare department and distributed by the MC. They lamented that there seemed to be a lack of coordination between the two agencies on the disbursement issue and added that pensioners were never informed about the date of pension distribution. Many a times pensioners had to visit the MC office time and again to know about the pension, they rued.

They said there was no transparency in the records as there was a confusion about the exact amount distributed and received by pensioners. They suggested that the pension should be directly sent to the bank accounts of pensioners, besides intimating them about the disbursement date well in advance.



Ban on sale of correction fluid to minors
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
The UT Administration has imposed a ban on the sale of correction fluid to minors from tomorrow for a period of 60 days.

District Magistrate Brijendra Singh issued the orders in this regard under Section 144 of the CrPC yesterday.

The step has been taken keeping in view the recent reports of crimes showing that several minors, especially schoolchildren, have been addicted to correction fluid that is easily available in the market.



Traffic congestion on Zirakpur-Chandigarh road
Another window for truckers to deposit sales tax soon
Rajiv Bhatia

Zirakpur, March 23
To solve traffic congestion on the Zirakpur-Chandigarh road, the Excise and Taxation Department has decided to set up another window for truckers to deposit sales tax on the Zirakpur-Kalka highway.

The sales tax barrier is located at the Chandigarh border on the Ambala-Chandigarh highway, where long queues of trucks causing traffic hazard and traffic jam is a routine affair.

An official of the excise department claimed that the department would install the separate window within 15 days and a site had been finalised near the Old Kalka road. The separate window would be a relief to truckers travelling from Baddi towards Dera Bassi and the Pabhat Godown area.

Commuters on the Chandigarh-Zirakpur highway will benefit from this window. They are caught in traffic jam at the barrier, especially during the office hours in the mornings and evenings, due to heavy rush of trucks.

Many accidents have also been reported on the stretch during the past few months. The PWD had constructed service roads on the stretch, but the problems faced by the truckers remained.

For the past two years, the residents of the area have been demanding to shift the sales tax barrier to some other place.

Chief patron of the Commercial Welfare Association of Godown Area, Zirakpur, FS Nagra, said more than 40 per cent truckers were facing problems while depositing the sales tax at barrier at the Zirakpur-Chandigarh border.

He said truck drivers moving to Baddi had to come out of the way to the Zirakpur-Chandigarh border to deposit the tax. For returning to Dera Bassi or Baddi, they were compelled to drive down further till the airport traffic lights in Chandigarh, before taking a U-turn, he added.

He said truckers faced inconvenience at the lights as they often did not have the permission to enter Chandigarh. He said due to the non-presentation of permit, sometimes the truckers also faced fine.

Director (Investigation) Excise and Taxation Department KVS Sidhu claimed that the setting up of the separate window would be done in the next 10 to 15 days.



Gee City Builders directed to refund Rs 27.77 lakh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
In a two separate cases, the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has set aside the district forum’s orders dismissing complaints of Mohali-based couple against Gee City Builders, promoters of Rishi Apartments, Baddi, and ordered a compensation of Rs 3 lakh and refund of Rs 27.77 lakh deposited by them for the allotment of residential apartments.

Significantly, the builder has also been asked to pay Rs 50,000 each to the complainants for a false claim in the case.

In their complaints, filed separately, Indermeet Kaur and her husband Harcharan Singh Baidwan, had stated that they had applied for residential apartments in Rishi Apartments at Baddi on March 3, 2006, and were allotted the same. They said that had paid Rs 27.77 lakh as per the demand of the builder.

They said as per the agreement, the possession of the apartments was to be given within a period of 24 months from the date of the agreement but the company failed to do so.

In its reply, the builder admitted that the couple had applied for the flats but the same could not be given in the stipulated 24 months as various clearances by the HP government were delayed. Even as Gee City Builders claimed it could not be held responsible for the delay, it was revealed that the builder had not obtained permission from the authorities concerned.

The commission, comprising president Sham Sunder and the member Jagroop Singh Mahal stated that Gee City Builders had been grossly deficient in rendering services and was guilty of unfair trade practice and was hence liable to pay the compensation and refund the money.



Sony Ericsson told to pay Rs 7,500 compensation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal forum has directed Standard Teletronics, Sony Ericsson and Technocare to pay Rs 7,500 as compensation to a customer for failing to repair her defective mobile phone.

The complainant, Aarti Natarajan, a resident of New Delhi, had purchased a Sony Ericsson VIVAZ model mobile phone for Rs 23,500 on April 3, 2010. The mobile set suddenly went “dead” on August 12, 2010. When she took the set for repair to Technocare, she was told to leave the same.

Three weeks later, she was told that a cable needs a replacement but it was out of stock. However, the set was not repaired.

As none appeared on the behalf of respondents, the case was proceeded against ex parte and the forum observed that the parties were negligent and deficient in rendering proper service to the complainant. As the mobile phone was under the warranty period, the company was fully liable to get it repaired or replace it in case of any defect.



Draw of lots for 144 flats held
Tribune News Service

One of the applicants smiles after her name was announced in the final draw in Sector 32, Chandigarh, on Wednesday
One of the applicants smiles after her name was announced in the final draw in Sector 32, Chandigarh, on Wednesday. Tribune photos: Parvesh Chauhan

Chandigarh, March 23
The Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) held the draw of lots for its two-bedroom housing scheme in Sector 51-A here today. The draw of lots was held for 144 flats in the general and the reserved categories at the auditorium of Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32. Sixteen flats have already been allotted under the assured allotment fetching a bid of nearly Rs 90 lakh.

The CHB had floated the self-financing housing scheme 2010 offering 160 flats for the general public at a price of Rs 50.65 lakh for the ground floor flat and Rs 47.39 lakh each for the first floor, second floor, and the third floor flat.



Security to be stepped up at Burail jail
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
With a view to step up security at Burail jail, the authorities concerned have decided to install additional CCTV cameras, including static as well as PTZ cameras.

To provide security cover on the jail premises, a foolproof mobile jamming system will also be provided in the second phase. In order to curb the menace of drug trafficking by prisoners, a multi-drug detector will also be installed on the jail premises. Besides, the jail department will have modern equipments in the jail factory for better and timely completion of orders. To cope with the electricity failure, an emergency solar system will also be installed in the jail.

The decision was taken in a meeting chaired by the UT Home Secretary with Burail jail officials today. It was decided that the jail would be included in the solar system project being undertaken by the Chandigarh administration. It has also been decided to introduce more sports activities and facilities for undertrials for their physical fitness and modern sports equipment would be provided in the jail.

The other issues that were looked into included the construction of female cells and a gymnasium hall, purchase of generator sets and deployment of medical officer during night hours and construction of a community centre.

Burail Jail is already equipped with road jammer, tyre buster along with its barrier being under a high security zone.



Golf Club poll on April 24
Our Golf Correspondent

Chandigarh, March 23
Battle lines are being drawn for the presidentship of the Chandigarh Golf Club, which goes to the polls on April 24 to elect a new team to run the affairs of the club.

Although the last date for filing nominations is still 15 days away i.e. April 5, Raja Malwinder Singh is the first to throw down the gauntlet promising greener fairways and a better deal for caddies.

The other three in the fray making it a four-cornered contest are Punjab IAS officer Harjeet Inder Singh Grewal, former Punjab DGP SR Sharma and Col (retd) JS Kang.



Punjabi, Hindi certificate course
PU to conduct exam
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
Panjab University will soon conduct an examination for a certificate course of Class X standard, which is mandatory for those teachers to pass who have not studied Hindi or Punjabi up to matriculation.

The university’s Hindi and Punjabi departments will make arrangements to organise and conduct this certificate course.

The above recommendations have been listed in the Senate agenda for the forthcoming budget meeting on March 29.

Fresh recruitment of teachers in the PU’s teaching departments or affiliated colleges will be done only if the candidates have passed Hindi or Punjabi subjects. However, if the candidates do not posses this basic language qualification, they would be required to pass the Class X standard exam or a certificate course by the university within two years of their service.

Last year, the university authorities had formed a committee to ensure that teachers in PU affiliated colleges and the university teaching departments have the basic knowledge of Hindi or Punjabi.

Members of this committee later put forth their recommendations in the Syndicate meeting held on December 13, 2010.

The Senate members, who comprise the supreme governing body of the varsity, will now discuss the proposal.

For the in-service teachers, the committee members have given a time duration of three years to clear the examination. For teachers working in Punjab colleges, the Class X standard Punjabi exam will be mandatory and for teachers in Chandigarh, Hindi or Punjabi exam will be required.

The university authorities took cognisance of the issue last year, when students and college authorities had expressed concern on the increasing communication gap between teachers hailing from other states and their students at the PU or affiliated colleges.



PU Notes

Exams rescheduled
Students of the University Institute of Management Studies take out a rally to promote their fest ‘Praznik’ in Chandigarh
Students of the University Institute of Management Studies take out a rally to promote their fest ‘Praznik’ in Chandigarh. Tribune photo: Pradeep Tewari

CHANDIGARH: All practical examinations of BA/BSc classes in the colleges affiliated to Panjab University, which were earlier scheduled to be held on March 15 and later postponed will now be held on March 27 and 28. The revised datesheet has been put on the PU website www.puchd.ac.in. The students are advised to contact the principal of their examination centre on the respective date and time of practical examination.

‘Praznik’ from today

Students of the University Institute of Management Studies (UIAMS) staged a rally to promote their upcoming annual fest “Praznik 2011” to be held from tomorrow. The students in nearly 70 cars rallied around both north and south campus.


The Ambedkar Centre, Panjab University (PU), is organising a one-day national seminar on “Relevancy of Baba Saheb Dr BR Ambedkar Philosophy in the Present Era” tomorrow from 10 am at the Golden Jubilee Hall, PU campus. Social scientists, academicians, legal luminaries, NGOs and researchers are expected to participate in the deliberations of the seminar. The Centre for Advanced Studies, department of sociology, Panjab University, is organising a two-day national seminar on “Environment, society and technology” from tomorrow at the ICSSR Complex, Panjab University campus. The seminar will be spread for over two days will have a series of events.


Surinder Singh, department of history, Panjab University, has been invited as a visiting professor by the Vishwa Bharti University, Shantiniketan, West Bengal. Under this invitation, he will deliver a series of lectures on the latest advances in the history of medieval India. He will also deliver an additional lecture at Shantiniketan.

Blood donation camp

Around 150 units of blood were donated in the blood donation camp organised by the University Institute of Legal Studies (UILS) in collaboration with Government Multi Speciality Hospital, Sector 16. Sangita Bhalla, director, UILS, urged the students to donate liberally for the noble cause. — TNS



PEC technical fest from tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
The PEC University of Technology is conducting its annual technical fest “Vyom” with the theme “World without boundaries” from March 25 to March 27.

Each year, the technical fest congregates bright young minds from around the country offering them a platform where they can showcase their flair and win exciting prizes.

Mega shows such as sand animation laser show and aero show would be a part of the fest.

Other major highlight of “Vyom” is Kalpana, an initiative to promote a greener environment, which includes a green roof project of the Consulate General of Canada.

Vyom also comprises of workshops on 3D animation, android development and autonomous robotics. Apart from the exhibition by terminal ballistics research laboratory, 
a robot show and 3D interactive floor would also be organised.



Experts to dwell on mgmt of liver diseases
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
After a gap of almost 16 years, the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research is all set to host the 19th annual conference of Indian National Association for Liver (INASL) in association with the International Liver Transplantation Society (ILTS) department of haematology from March 25 to March 27.

The conference will be inaugurated by Prof Vishwa Mohan Katoch, secretary, department of health research, Government of India, and director-general (ICMR), who will also release a journal of clinical and experimental haematology (JCEH), an international and peer reviewed journal of INASL. Dr RK Dhiman from department of haematology, PGIMER, is the editor-in-chief of the journal.

The conference will be attended by experts in the field of haematology from all over the world, including 13 speakers from the USA, three from UK, two each from Canada, Italy, Japan, UAE and Austria.

The first day of the conference will be devoted to master class for postgraduates and single theme course on “management of end stage liver disease”, which includes management of complications of end-stage liver disease such as ascitis, hepatic encephalopathy, upper gastrointestinal bleed and renal failure, etc.

The second day is devoted to clinicopathological conference, presentation of outstanding research in the field of haematology, management issues in chronic hepatitis B and C, etc.

A special symposium on organ donation will also be organised.

The last day of the academic activity includes a joint INASL and ILTS symposium on liver transplantation. Different aspects of liver transplantation will be discussed in the specially designed talks from eminent speakers.



From Schools

Demands discussed

CHANDIGARH: A delegation of coordination committee of teachers (UT) met Sandeep Hans, PCS DPS (S), Chandigarh Administration, to discuss the pending demands of teaching community, which include promotions, release of seniority lists of all cadres, implementation of RTE by keeping the interest of teaching community in view, regularisation of contract and SSA teachers, clearance of probation period, ACP and conformation, construction of teachers holiday home, grant of regular increment to those whose basic pay was made personal pay in 1992 and a few others. The DPS (S) heard the delegation and assured to work upon the demands.


Gurukul Global School organised “Accolades”, a function to recognise the achievements of students for their academics, sports and co-curricular activities. VK Singh, education secretary, UT, and Santosh Kumar, director, environment, UT, were the chief guests. The awards such as best orator, artist of the year, mathematician of the year, linguist of the year, all-rounder, sportsman of the year, etc, were presented to the students. A total of 150 students from all classes bagged the achievement award in different categories. — TNS



Book on human rights released
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
A book “Human Rights: Issues and Dimensions” written by Panjab University fellow, Dr Rajbans Singh Gill was released on the occasion of national seminar on “Ethics and human values”.

“Of late, human rights are increasingly becoming the subject of concern for legal fraternity, academicians, researchers, policy makers and voluntary organisations. It is said awareness of human rights was largely limited to the educated section of society, while ideally it was necessary to create awareness about human rights at all level,” said Gill.

The book was released by Dr Jaspal Singh, Vice-Chancellor, Punjabi University, Patiala, at its Senate hall yesterday.



Expansion of reading room demanded

Chandigarh, March 23
Panjab University Student Union’s (PUSU) Sukhjit Singh Brar faction today issued a statement about the expansion of the reading room in Panjab University’s AC Joshi Library.

Brar said this was a part of the election manifesto and their student organisation had demanded an extension of the reading room. “The university authorities have agreed to our plea of extension of library reading room since it has inadequate sitting capacity. It has been a serious problem as the campus now has 14,000 students and the space is, too, less in comparison,” said Brar. — TNS



Importance of languages discussed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 23
The department of Hindi organised an inter-language panel discussion on the issues concerning languages at the Gandhi Bhawan on Panjab University campus here yesterday.

It was presided over by Prof VK Tiwari, dean languages, PU, and Veerbharat Talwar, a renowned Hindi critic and scholar from JNU, Delhi, moderated the discussion. Satyapal Sehgal, chairperson, department of Hindi, said it was astonishing that the languages had no dialogue, though there were several problems, questions and situations in common to discuss.

Tiwari while giving his presidential remarks stressed that such discussion will help create a secular atmosphere in languages.

The discussion today highlighted the importance of all Indian languages, translations and also creating infrastructure in academic institutions where comparative studies of various languages literature can be taken up.

Rana Nayyar, chairperson, department of English and cultural studies, talked about the need of languages rather than a language. He also talked about translations and development of Hindi as “raaj bhasha”.



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