C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


City has big hopes from Bansal
Wants better train connectivity, early work on Metro rail project
Tribune News Service

Work on the Chandigarh-Ludhiana railway link is running behind schedule.
Work on the Chandigarh-Ludhiana railway link is running behind schedule. A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, October 28
With local MP Pawan Kumar Bansal becoming the Union Railway Minister in today’s Cabinet reshuffle, hopes for the revival of an ambitious project to upgrade the Chandigarh railway station to a world-class facility have once again been revived. Welcoming the decision, city residents feel that it is time for the MP to do the needful for the city as he now the in charge of an important portfolio in the Union Cabinet.

Apart from improving the train connectivity between the City Beautiful and important destinations in the country, city residents hope that the new Railway Minister would push for the Metro rail project for the tricity (Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula).

“Though my priority will be the overall development of all regions in the country, I will look into the pending projects concerning Chandigarh. I have previously also taken up the issues regarding Chandigarh,” said the new Railway Minister.

Railway officials pointed out that the priority areas concerning Chandigarh were speeding up of the Chandigarh-Ludhiana rail link project, speeding up of the project for dual rail link between Chandigarh and Ambala and better facilities at the Chandigarh railway station.

City residents have demanded a direct rail link between Chandigarh and Bengaluru. They want more coaches to be added to the Chandigarh-Amritsar train. They have demanded a Metro link for Chandigarh.

Patil's supporters disappointed

While the Union Cabinet reshuffle brought cheer for city residents, supporters of Punjab Governor and UT Administrator Shivraj Patil were a disappointed lot as they were expecting a berth for him in the Cabinet. Patil was the Union Home Minister before taking over as the Punjab Governor.

What residents want

Early completion of the Chandigarh-Ludhiana rail link
Speedy work on the Chandigarh-Dapar-Ambala dual rail line
Starting of two superfast trains between Chandigarh and Delhi
Rail link between Chandigarh and Baddi
Rail link between Chandigarh and Bengaluru
More coaches for the Chandigarh-Amritsar Express with stoppages at Mohali and Beas
Another Shatabdi between Chandigarh and Delhi
Upgrade of the Chandigarh railway station
Metro rail project



In city maternity wards, 3 patients share a bed
GMCH-32, GMSH-16, PGI grapple with shortage of staff, poor infrastructure
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 28
Three mothers, along with their newborns, sharing a bed is a common sight at maternity wards in city government hospitals. With over 300 deliveries being conducted per month, the hospital authorities are grappling with a shortage of beds. The threat of hospital acquired infections (HAI) looms large.

The city’s three government healthcare institutes have been grappling with poor infrastructure and inadequate staff for the past couple of years.

Dr Raj Bahadur, Director-Principal, Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, said, “The patient load at our hospital has increased a lot since the past couple of years, leading to shortage of beds, especially in the maternity ward.”

Going by the figures available with the UT Health Department, more than 9,000 deliveries have been conducted at the PGI, the GMCH-32 and Government Multi-Specialty Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16, till September this year.

Of these, the highest number of deliveries (4,220) was conducted at the GMSH-16. The hospital has 95 beds in the maternity ward. It was followed by the GMCH-32 (2,755 deliveries). The GMCH-32 has a sanctioned strength of 60 beds in the maternity ward. The PGI conducted 2,522 deliveries. It has 42 beds in the maternity ward.

While officials blame it on the increased patient load, no steps have been taken to improve the bed strength in the hospitals during the past four years. “We receive the highest number of patients in the maternity ward every month. However, at present, a shortage of space in the ward has compelled us to accommodate more than two mothers on a bed. We hope the situation will improve soon once the new OPD block becomes operational,” said the Nursing Superintendent at the GMSH-16.

Sources in the Health Department said overcrowding and poor management of patients at the maternity ward had triggered an increase in the rate of hospital acquired infections and the department was compiling the figures. The Medical Superintendent at the GMSH-16 and Director, Health Services, Dr Rajiv Vadera, said, “We are currently short of 32 doctors in our hospital. Our 113 doctors are handling the entire patient load, including those at the maternity ward.”

“The new OPD block will share the indoor patient load once it is inaugurated,” Dr Vadera added.



Bhatti’s best was yet to come, says Om Puri
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Meaningful comedy
Bhatti’s biggest contribution was that he popularised the discipline of satire among the masses. However, he never hit anybody below the belt. His comedy and satire were subtle and meaningful. His approach was original and apt
— Om Puri.

Chandigarh, October 28
“Jaspal Bhatti was a walking cartoonist,” said actor Om Puri while remembering the "king of satire and spoof". He paid his condolences to the late satirist’s family members at their residence in Sector 19 here today.

He said, “Bhatti’s biggest contribution was that he popularised the discipline of satire among the masses. However, he never hit anybody below the belt. His comedy and satire were subtle, meaningful and asked everyone to introspect. His approach was original and apt,” said Om Puri.

He shared several anecdotes of his association with Bhatti and said his death was a big shock for him.

“There are some people who achieve everything before leaving this world. For instance, I would rather celebrate the death of Khushwant Singh because he is already 98 and has achieved so much in life. However, the same was not true for Bhatti. His best was yet to come," said Om Puri.

Expressing sympathy with the family, he said Bhatti would always remain with us through his work.

“Comedian Gurpeet Singh Ghuggi's statement about Bhatti in which he said the General had died, but had left his army behind is apt. He (Bhatti) has already sown a lot of saplings and I am sure that there would be many more in the future to carry forward his legacy," said Om Puri.



Thieves strike at two more wedding venues
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 28
Thieves continue to target wedding ceremonies as two more incidents of theft of "shagun" envelopes were reported today. The UT police has not been able to solve a single case of theft at weddings, which appears to be the work of a gang of juveniles.

The thefts were reported from the Sector 21 Community Centre and the Sector 8 Community Centre, where weddings were on late last night.

The first incident occurred at the Sector 8 Community Centre. According to the police, the complainant, Rajinder Monga, a resident of Sector 47, had booked the venue for the marriage of his daughter.

The police said Monga called up the police control room at 1.45 am complaining that someone took away "shagun" envelopes containing Rs 70,000. The envelopes were kept in a bag.

The investigating officer, ASI Dilawar Singh of the Sector 3 police station, said there was a dispute during the wedding, during which the bag went missing.

“They were busy solving the dispute and and are not sure whether the bag was stolen or it got misplaced. There was no formal complaint,” said the ASI.

In another incident, Sunil Kumar, a city resident, reported to the police that a bag containing around Rs 12,000 was stolen during his daughter’s wedding from the Community Centre in Sector 21.

According to the police, a group of juveniles was spotted during the wedding. Sunil Kumar told the police that boys took away a bag containing "shagun" envelopes. The envelopes contained around Rs 12,000. The police said no case had been registered as Sunil Kumar did not file any complaint.

Two such cases were reported yesterday when a minor boy decamped with a bag of "shagun" envelopes at Hotel Park Plaza in Sector 17. Another theft was reported from a wedding function in Sector 29.


Dengue spurs kiwi demand
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 28
Alarming rise in the number of dengue cases in the city has triggered a rapid increase in the demand of kiwi fruit (which is rich in anti-oxidants) in the city markets over the past three months.

With more than 250 crates of 30 pieces of kiwi fruit each being purchased everyday from various fruit markets in the city, the cost of the fruit has also shot up. Also, with many residents resorting to Ayurvedic therapies, in addition to the allopathic treatment, to fight the onset of dengue, the sale of papaya leaves has also gone up.

According to experts, kiwi fruit and extracts of papaya leaves are rich in anti-oxidants and have anti-viral properties. “We encourage the Indian system of medication in fighting some of the ailments, including high fever, since they prove to be highly effective. The herbs, including papaya leaves, do not have side effects on the body,” said Dr Gopal Bhardwaj, Head of the Department of Medicine, Government Multi-Speciality Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16.

Dr Gopal also said to control high fever among patients during a dengue epidemic, medicines like combiflame and brufen, which fall under the Nsaid category, should not be prescribed.

“These medicines weaken the reformation of the blood platelets in a patient and also elevate bleeding tendencies. It is pertinent to note that a dengue patient suffers from shortage in the blood platelet count,” he said.

“For deciding the medication of high-fever patients and gauging an epidemic, we conduct a sample survey by studying the symptoms of patients reporting to hospitals during a specific period. When a large number of patients exhibit similar symptoms, we suspect any epidemic, including dengue, and avoid prescribing the Nsaid medicines,” Dr Gopal added.

Meanwhile, the cost of kiwi fruit has increased from Rs 600 per crate to Rs 800 per crate in the last three months. According to the members of the Grain Market Committee, Sector 26, a large number of kiwi fruit have been sold (Rs 20 per piece) during these months.

For high-fever patients (suspected and confirmed dengue cases)

Ayurvedic therapies

Eat kiwi fruit and take extracts of papaya leaves as these are rich in anti-oxidants and have anti-viral properties.
Hydrotherapies help in bringing fever down.

Allopathic therapies

Medicines falling in the Nsaid group, including combiflame and brufen shouldn’t be prescribed to high-fever patients, especially during any epidemic.
Suitable medicine is paracetamol.

Suitable diet

Oral fluids, light and easily digestible food should be taken

Dengue effect in tricity

Total cases: 345
Total deaths: 6



Railway meal prices hiked
Breakfast, lunch and dinner to cost Rs 10 more each
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 28
Get ready to shell out more for special paranthas served to you on train or at railway stations as the Northern Railway Board has hiked the price of meals by Rs 10 each.

The breakfast, lunch and dinner, which were earlier available on order at a cost of Rs 22, would now cost Rs 32 each.

Some years ago, the rates were hike by Rs 2 each but this time due to inflation and the increased LPG price the meal rates have been hiked by Rs 10 each.

Initially, catering services provided to the passengers were looked after by the Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC). It was just two years ago when the division authorities of the railways took over catering services.

“In fact, wheat, which some years ago used to cost just Rs 6.50 per kg, costs around Rs 18 per kg now. The prices of other food products have also risen. “Even the LPG price has gone so high that we have to increase the costs of meals by Rs 10 each. But, I believe the hike is very nominal,” said a senior official at the railway division.

Senior division commercial manager GS Singh also confirmed the hike in meal prices.

In the breakfast, two paranthas, 100 gm curd, ‘chutney’ and butter are served. While for the lunch and dinner meals, rice, two chappatis, a vegetable and dal are served.

“This decision was taken last week and we have been asked to implement it now. Rather we have already implemented the new rates,” said another official.

“Owing to inflation, this hike was quite obvious. Now, if we get something to eat for Rs 50 also, we should be thankful. The hike of around Rs 10 is quite nominal,” said Daman Preet, a passenger.

Radhika, another passenger, said: “I don’t think everyone can afford the hike. People will prefer to stay without food rather than shelling out the extra amount.” “People who travel for a day will face difficulties,” she added.



Women gangs target patients at Panchkula hospital
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 28
It seems the Panchkula General Hospital, Sector 6, has become the new target of women’s gangs, the members of which, under the pretext of taking treatment there or being attendants, are targeting innocent patients.

It was yesterday when the Zeher Khurani gang targeted a mother-daughter duo at the hospital and looted their gold earrings and purse after giving them a sedative. One of the members of the gang, a woman, met Meenakshi and Krishna in the emergency ward and engaged into a friendly conversation with them. She told the patients that even her relatives had met with an accident.

It was some time ago when the authorities had seen a woman stealing a purse of a visitor in the CCTV footage.

Similarly, it was on December 6, 2011, when a baby boy was stolen from his maternal aunt by two women early in the morning at the hospital. Around 2.30 am, two women posing as good samaritans approached the baby’s maternal aunt, held a friendly conversation with her, and stole the baby.

“Meenakshi gained consciousness today and she said the woman met them in the emergency ward and talked to them in a friendly manner. She went along with them to have food and even said they must remove their gold earrings and keep it in the purse as anyone can snatch them,” said Ashok Bhalla, one of the relatives of the victims. He added, "It seems the women’s gangs are finding the hospital a safe place to strike."

“It has become quite unsafe for us in the Panchkula General Hospital. You can’t trust anyone. I believe that there must be adequate security on the hospital premises otherwise people will stop coming to the hospital,” said Renu Sharma, the attendant of a patient.

The same buiscuits

After one of the victims, Meenakshi, gained consciousness on Sunday morning, she said the woman offered them cold drink and biscuits. It was after that they fell unconscious. The Zeher-Khurani gang, in most of its strikes, offers biscuits laced with sedatives.



Man loses Rs 24,800 to ATM fraud
Tribune News Service

Shiv Kumar shows his ATM card.
Shiv Kumar shows his ATM card. A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, October 28
In yet another case of ATM-card cloning, an employee of the Ordinance Cable Factory, Industrial Area, lost Rs 24,800 from his salary account. The amount was siphoned off without his knowledge through an ATM of Canara Bank.

Shiv Kumar, a machinist with the factory, reported to the police that he had his salary account with the SBI bank in Sector 22. He operated his account from an ATM in Sector 71, Mohali, on October 24 but was shocked to find that there was no cash left and an amount of Rs 24,800 was withdrawn from his account without his knowledge. On further inquiries from the bank, he got to know that the amount had been withdrawn from an ATM of Canara Bank in Jalandhar on that day.

Both the SBI as well as the UT police showed a lackadaisical attitude towards his complaint, he said

“The SBI bank has not bothered to take out the CCTV footage to find out who is the person behind the fraud. Moreover, the UT police simply lodged a daily diary report (DDR) at the Industrial Area police station and never bothered to investigate the case,” he added.

In the last three months, over 20 such complaints of ATM frauds have been made to the UT police and despite a Special Investigating Team (SIT) being formed to investigate the case, there has been no clue to the rising number of such frauds.



Labourer hurt in mishap at university
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 28
A labourer suffered minor injuries while repairing a slab at one of the hostels at Panjab University (PU) yesterday.

The incident took place at around 12.30 pm at Mata Gujri Hall in Girls’ Hostel Number 1, when a portion of the slab at the hostel warden’s office gave way. The labourer suffered injuries on his leg.

He was rushed to the health centre situated on the university campus. “After being given first-aid, the injured worker was taken to the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital (GMSH) in Sector 16. He is out of danger,” said Vikram Singh, a security officer at Panjab Universit.



This Oct is colder than last year
Met Department records 11.4 °C on Oct 28
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 28
Chandigarh is one degree colder this October than the last year. The Meteorological Department recorded today’s temperature at 11.4 degrees Celsius in its observatory at Chandigarh Air Force, the figure is one degree less than the temperature recorded last year in October.

There is, however, not much variation vis-à-vis last year in the temperature recorded at IMD observatory in Sector 39.

The minimum temperature recorded in Sector 39 observatory for October so far is 13 degree Celsius, which was similar as last year.

“While temperature this October is below normal than the last year, but it is expected to go up again by end of this month because of western disturbance. It will however start plummeting by November first week,” says Surinder Pal, regional meteorological officer.


According to Surinder Pal, weather will remain by and large dry. No rain is expected in near future.

Coldest October

As per data, the lowest ever temperature recorded in month of October (Chandigarh) was 9.4 degree Celsius on October 29 in 1995.



Villagers forced to spend cold nights in tents
Only 5 tents were provided to 100 villagers after landslide hit Chandi Kotla in September
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 28
The bitter cold winds don’t let them sleep. About 100 villagers of Chandi Kotla, the landslide hit village, did not expected that this winter they have to spend their cold nights out, stuffed in a small tent.

After a landslide in September, around 50 houses at Chandi Kotala village near Chandimandir had either collapsed or developed deep cracks. The Administration had declared an alarming situation for entire village.

The Administration had provided the villagers with only five small tents. Around 10 to 20 people are living in each tent.

“It gets so cold at night that you can’t even sleep in the tent. We decided to put up in a nearby school to protect us from chilly winds,” said Irfan, a villager.

He further added, “My daughter will be getting married this December. And see we are putting up in a school. Our house has collapsed. We don’t know how will wed her off without a house.

Another villager, Bhim Singh, said, “It is very difficult to sleep and each day it is getting colder. We have only one blanket which I give to my 2-year-old son.”

“Most of us were suffering from fever recently. The Administration should shift us to pakka houses,” said Rama Devi. “I think the situation will worsen as each day it is getting cold,” she added.

The villagers had met the senior officials of the Administration and requested them to give more tents, but no action was taken.



Delay in giving possession of plot costs firm Rs 30,000
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 28
A city-based private firm has been penalised for causing delay in giving possession a plot and for increasing the cost of the plot after providing registration to a Panchkula resident.

The UT Consumer Forum penalised Emaar MGF Land Private Limited and directed it to pay Rs 30,000 as compensation to Alka Arora, a resident of Sector 8, Panchkula.

The complainant stated that she was allotted plot measuring 300 sq yards in Mohali Hills. Prior to the allotment, the complainant filled the advance registration form and enclosed a cheque of the basic price of Rs 10, 000 per sq yard, including applicable EDC, that was accepted by Emaar MGF.

According to the complainant, when the provisional allotment of the plot was issued, the opposite parties mentioned a rate of Rs 11, 500 per square yard instead of Rs.10, 000 per square yard.

According to the complainant, she visited the office a number of times but nothing happened. After depositing the amount, the development work was not carried out. In their reply, Emaar MGF officials denied that they issued any advance registration form for registration of any plot.

They also denied that the complainant is entitled to any claim of delayed interest as per the terms and conditions of the Plot Buyers Agreement.

The forum, after seeing the evidence provided by both the parties, granted the complainant compensation and also Rs 10,000 as litigation cost.



Bansal opens community centre at Dhanas
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 28
Parliament member and Union Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal yesterday dedicated a community centre to the public at Milk Colony, Dhanas.

Addressing the residents of the area, Bansal requested the residents to take the responsibility of the upkeep of the community centre. He said every sector would get a community centre each in the near future.

He said the corporation should start the collection of debris from the houses in sectors and villages and charge a nominal fee. He said one JCB machine and two tippers would be provided from the MPLAD fund for the purpose. He also announced a grant of Rs 5 lakh for the setting up of a library at the community centre.

Mayor of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation Raj Bala Malik highlighted the work done by the corporation. Commissioner, MC, VP Singh, area councillor Subhash Chawla and other councillors and officers were present on the occasion.



Minor girl delivers foetus at GMSH
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 28
A 17-year-old girl was admitted to the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital (GMSH) after she complained of severe stomach pain.

The minor girl, who is a student of a private college in Kharar, was found to be six moths pregnant. Doctors suspected her to be pregnant when she went to the bathroom and delivered a six-month-old foetus. Sources said she might have taken contraceptive to abort the child. 



Fireman commits suicide
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 28
A 28-year-old fireman allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself at his official accommodation in the Mani Majra fire station today.

Kuldeep Singh was found hanging from a fan by Jung Singh, a driver with the Fire Department. A suicide note was recovered from the spot, which states that Kuldeep was suffering from blood cancer, and it was the reason behind his extreme step. The note was found in a book kept on his table.

The police was informed and it shifted the victim to a hospital. Doctors declared him brought dead.

However, the police did not find any document related to his treatment from the spot.

The body has been kept in the hospital mortuary and will be handed over to kuldeep’s family after a postmortem examination. The police has ruled out foul play.

Kuldeep had been working with the Chandigarh Fire Department for the past six years and was provided official accommodation six months ago. He was supposed to report for duty at 4 pm today.



Plays, light shows to welcome tourists at Chappar Chiri
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, October 28
To attract tourists from other states and even foreign countries, special events like plays, light and sound shows, etc would be made regular feature at Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Memorial at Chappar Chiri here.

This was stated by Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, who came at the venue to witness the historical play on the life of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur, enacted at the open air theatre here for the first time.

"I wish that every Saturday or Sunday such events take place so that people from all over the world come and get a chance to see our rich culture," said Badal after inaugurating the show.

Terming the forthcoming visit of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper at Heritage Complex in Anandpur Sahib a big thing for 'Punjabis', Badal said this shows that heads of big countries like Canada have interest in our culture.

"The Canadian head himself wished to visit at our Heritage Complex which is really a big achievement for us," said Badal adding that more memorials on our 'heroes' would come up soon at the respective sites.

A state-of-the-art 'Jung-e-Azadi' Memorial would be constructed at Kartarpur near Jalandhar very soon. "We have earmarked 25 acres of land at the site for the purpose, said Badal while adding that the restoration work of Bassian Kothi near Ludhiana where" Maharaja Dalip Singh was kept during his arrest, has been completed.



Faulty sound, lighting system mar play
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 28
The play "Main Tera Banda" on Baba Banda Singh's life, which was staged at the open air theatre in Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Memorial, Chappar Chirri village, failed to charm the spectators as almost half of the audience were seen leaving the venue in the midst of the play. The sound and lighting system was also not upto the mark. Many a time artistes could not be heard. Most of the spectators who came were residents of Chappar Chirri village and were special invitees to the show.



Pensioners upset over delay in payment of arrears

Mohali, October 28
A meeting of the executive committee of the Punjab Government Pensioners Association was held here where office-bearers of the association expressed resentment over the Punjab Government’s decision to delay the payment of the third instalment of arrears.

The meeting was called to discuss the decision of the Punjab Finance Department according to which the last and third instalment of the arrears to the pensioners will now be given in May 2013 instead of next month.

The executive members also decided at the meeting to protest the decision of the government and also requested the government to release the arrears before Diwali. –– TNS



City to host first-ever children theatre festival
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 28
Chandigarh is all set to host its first ever children theatre festival, "Parwaaz". A four day festival, "Parwaaz" will showcase three plays, put up by over 70 children, aged between 5-17 years, of the city.

Starting from November 1 at St Kabir School, Sector 26, the interesting aspect of this festival is that children are not only part of stage performance, they are also involved in costume designing, lighting, direction and other backstage activities.

In cities like Mumbai and Delhi, such initiatives are getting a lot of popularity and are supported by schools as well as professional theatre groups. A lot of discussion is also going around as to how theatre is beneficial in addressing issues concerning kids.

“But children theatre in Chandigarh is still young. Here such shows are largely limited to schools’ annual day celebrations. Besides, there is no visible effort by amateur or professional theatre groups in the city to promote kids’ theatre," says young theatre artist Zubin Mehta. Zubin started Wings Theatre Academy this February which is organising this upcoming children theatre festival.

Zubin, 27, says that this theatre festival is unique because kids are involved in the whole process of preparing the production, right from scripting till final take.

According to him, the festival will open on Nov 1 with the play "Charlie's Dream", which has been developed and scripted by children around their fantasies of devils, witches and giants.

Two other productions have been adapted from popular scripts, he said.

On November 3 and 4, an adaptation of Satyajit Ray's play "Harun Da aur Baadshah" will be staged. The play brings out the innocence and purity of friendship, transcending all barriers.

The last play of the festival, "Mother's Day", written by JB Priestly, will be staged on Nov 5. The play is full of humour and is a satirical depiction of a mother’s status in a family.

Surya Mittal, 15, playing the lead in the play "Harun Da aur Baadshah", said, “I am a bit reticent, but theatre has given me a lot of opportunity to express myself.” According to him, the difficult part in the play was to dig deep into the character.

13-year-old Nihar, assistant director of the play, said that she was actively involved in play right from the rehearsals to its final take. “It was an exceptional experience. I feel more confident now," she said

All plays will be held at the auditorium of St Kabir School, Sector 26, at 6.30 pm. Entry to the event is open for all.

November 1: Charlie's Dream (presented by children aged 5-9 years)
November 3 and 4: Harun Da aur Baadshah (written by Satyajit Ray, presented by children aged 10-14 years)
November 5: Mother's Day (written by JB Priestly, presented by children aged 15-17 years)



open house response
Take action against corrupt cops: residents

It is a pity that even the Chandigarh Police has been bitten by the corruption bug. If the high ranking police officers are involved in crimes of the highest order, who will stop the low ranking policemen from taking bribes and letting off traffic offenders or from taking ‘hafta’ from rehriwalas. A crime is a crime whether it is big or small.

In the recent past, this is the third case where a high profile police officer has been caught taking bribe and was sent to jail. Sub-Inspector Navin Sharma was also caught taking bribe of Rs 5 lakh last month. He is now in Burail jail. Another Sub-Inspector Kulwarnjeet Singh Cheema of Mani Majra police station is also behind bars in the same jail for accepting a bribe of Rs 25,000.

Corrut officials should undergo harsh punishment. This is the only way to curb corruption. The protectors of law must not indulge in unlawful activities.

RK Kapoor Chandigarh

Seeking bribe is a shameful act

The rampant corruption in police force lowers the morale of common man who seeks justice from the force. Taking bribe is a shameful act. If a SHO, who commands over a large area to maintain law and order, gives bribe to his seniors to get his work done then how can a common man get his work done without giving bribe? The training academies are not well equipped to teach ethics to young officers. There is a need of drastic change in training institutions so that true values can be imparted on young officers.

Harjeet Bhandol Barnala

Strict action required

Credit goes to CBI for nabbing an IPS officer on corruption charges. The subordinate staff can’t indulge in corruption without the connivance of the senior officers. The general morale is going down day by day and the race for money is increasing due to materialistic trend.

Even three decades back, IPS officers used to act more responsibly. This is lacking now and that is why SHO or his subordinate staff indulges in corruption, which we are watching in news. A strict action against defaulting officers and staff is required immediately. Sending the defaulters to police lines is not a sufficient solution. In such cases, offenders should be punished in such a way that others remember it and learn a lesson from it.

OP Garg Patiala

Corruption rampant in City Beautiful

There is rampant corruption at all level in this City Beautiful.

Something drastic needs to be done soon or else the City Beautiful will be in anarchy. The Chandigarh Police, after the SP Deshraj incident, can be regarded as a corrupt, insensitive and indiscipline. There is tremendous corruption in every department of the Chandigarh Administration.

Sachin Sharma Chandigarh

Accused should be punished

The employees of so many departments like as police department in the state as well as Union government think that the corruption is their birth right. They live life king size. They never think about the nation. The culprit must be punished by the courts.

Sumesh Kumar Badhwar SAS Nagar

Power corrupts

'Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely'. The saying stands true in the case of Deshraj. Unchecked power gives one the opportunity to misuse it. Senior police officers should themselves expose corruption rather than delegating task to their juniors.

To eradicate corruption in traffic wing, amount of challans for traffic violations should be fixed. Facility to submit challans online should be given priority. The cadre strength of lower and middle rank police officers should be increased substantially to reduce the area under their command. Bureaucrats should keep a watch on senior police officers to eliminate corruption. Any complaint or enquiry against any police officer should be conducted by a panel of senior police officers from neighboring cities of Mohali and Panchkula to make it more transparent. In spite of recent incidents, Chandigarh Police can still claim to be well behaved and well mannered police in the country.

Sharanjit Singh Kallah Chandigarh

Dark side of UT Police

The arrest of superintendent of police in a case of corruption has again exposed the dark side of Chandigarh Police. The SHO had to pay bribe to his seniors to protect himself. This has tarnished the image of the police in the eyes of the citizens.

Politico-bureaucratic-police nexus are the root cause of corruption in India.

Vidya Sagar Garg Mani Majra

People should refrain from paying bribes

Corruption in India has prevailed from time immemorial in one form or the other. Our opportunistic political leaders have already done greater damage to our nation.

It is not possible to kill or remove corruption altogether at once. However, we can take some measures to reduce the level of corruption. It is not only the responsibility of the government but also ours. People should not give bribes to officials.

Guryog Kaur Mohali

Anti-corruption wing should be more active

The police department of Chandigarh Administration is more corrupt than the revenue department of Chandigarh Administration. More than 50 police personnel of the police department were arrested for allegedly demanding and accepting bribes during the past seven years. About 20 police personnel have been convicted and almost 15 have been acquitted by the CBI trial court.

One cannot go for registration of DDR for lost of purse or mobile in the police station without giving bribes. Earlier, the college girls have made complaints to the SSP regarding increasing number of eve-teasing cases in the city. The Vigilance and Anti-Corruption wing, which deals with the complaints, should be more active.

ML Garg Chandigarh

SP brought shame to police

The Chandigarh Police has been in news for wrong reasons. The residents are always found dissatisfied with the police. It is very disheartening to see top officials indulging in lawlessness by taking bribe. This has brought embarrassment and shame to the Chandigarh Police. The UT Police needs to be more disciplined and maintain dignity of their designation. The police officials are in a dire need of counselling in order to remind them of their duties. Taking bribe or offering bribe, both call for strict punishment. There is also need of grievance redressal system within the police department. Also, to improve police functioning, a system of internal vigilance should be developed to keep a close watch on erring police personnel.

Vineet Kapoor Panchkula

Residents' faith in police shattered

The incident of SP being caught taking bribe is extremely shameful and disheartening. This incident has completely shattered the residents' faith in police. The police needs to be more disciplined, dutiful and dignified. To serve the purpose, counselling classes can be conducted to remind them of their duties so that such incidents do not occur in future. The one offering bribe and the one accepting it must face the music.

Shruti K Chawla Chandigarh

Open House Question

The tragic demise of satirist Jaspal Bhatti has thrown open question on road safety yet again. His tragic death calls for a debate on whether fastening of seat belts for rear seat passengers should be made mandatory or not. Traffic experts have opined that Bhatti wouldn't have died if he had fastened his seat belt while seated on the rear seat of the car. Should the seat belt for rear seat passengers be made a traffic safety norm?

Write your suggestions to openhouse@tribunemail.com.



private schools
Proposal for common admission process
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 28
The admission process for the next academic session is fast gaining momentum in private schools in Chandigarh. While the schools have begun their internal procedures for admissions, the Chandigarh authorities too have swung into action and are planning to conduct a common admission process for all private schools at entry-level classes.

District Education Officer Ram Kumar Sharma said that the proposal in this regard has already been sent to higher officials and as soon as it gets their approval, private schools and the general public will be informed about it.

Under the common admission process, the authorities are expected to decide on the dates of registration, the draw of lots etc. They will also decide on other formalities required for a hassle-free admission process.

Chanchal Singh, deputy director, school education, said that the move will bring uniformity in the admission process and also help the administration in implementing the right to information Act effectively. The details for common admissions are expected by the first week of November, he said.

When contacted, the president of Independent Schools Association, HS Mamik, said that the education department must conduct a meeting with the private schools before finalising any common admission programme since any mismanagement at this level would have wide repercussions.

The Principal of DAV Model School, Sector 15, Rakesh Sachdeva, said that it is a good step but proper planning is required for the successful implementation of the proposal. "The schools must be consulted before implementing it," she said.

All eyes on seats available

Like every year, it will be interesting to see the number of admission seats made available for the general public this year. In the past, this issue has raised many an eyebrow because schools here in Chandigarh have had their fixed management and alumni quotas. Banita Arora, prncipal, Bhavan Vidyalaya, said that it was still too early to decide on the number of available seats. "We would take a decision only after the official communiqué by the education department," she said. Kavita Das, principal of St John's High School, said that the school would take some time in finalising the details about admissions.



180 students of GGDSD College pledge their eyes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 28
In a bid to serve society, 180 students of GGDSD College, Sector 32, pledged their eyes for donation during a special camp held in the college last week.

The enthusiasm among the youth for donating eyes has consistently risen for the last couple of years, say professionals associated with the field.

Going by the number of individuals pledging their eyes at PGI's Advanced Eye Centre, compared to the older generation, youngsters in the city are more enthusiastic to donate their eyes.

The trend is similar at the eye bank at Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32.

Of all the volunteers who have pledged their eyes at PGI's eye centre so far, more than 60 per cent were aged below 30.

Experts and counsellors at the Advanced Eye Centre credit it to the rising awareness levels among the youth over the last few years.

"The enthusiasm levels among the youth these days are quite high. Our counsellors have been visiting a number of education institutions in Chandigarh, encouraging youngsters to donate eyes. The youngsters inspire and motivate their fellows very easily. There has been a stark rise in the number of voluntary donations at our eye bank in last five years," said a doctor at the Advanced Eye Centre.

The rise in the number of eye donations (about 10 per cent every year) has been noted only in the last five to seven years, say officials.

Nearly 50 per cent of these donated eyes are being utilised for corneal transplant every year.

The eye centre at PGI also runs three 24-hour helplines (9814014464, 9855454464 and 98555464464) for addressing the queries of donors and volunteers.

Donors can pledge to donate their eyes by registering online at the centre's website.

For pledging, they need to submit a form confirming the consent of the family members.

The centre also offers a facility for taking the bodies of the registered donors after their death to the eye bank for donation.

Youths coming forward to donate eyes
The enthusiasm among the youth these days are quite high. Our counsellors have been visiting a number of education institutions in Chandigarh, encouraging the youngsters to donate eyes. The youngsters inspire and motivate their fellows very easily. There has been a rise in the number of voluntary donations at our eye bank in last five years

A doctor, Advanced Eye Centre



Institution fined for not holding English-speaking classes regularly
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 28
A city-based private education institution has been penalised for not providing regular classes for English speaking to a student as promised during admission to a Hotel Management course.

The UT Consumer Forum has directed Saintflight Worldwide Education Pvt. Ltd, Sector 34, to refund the entire fee for the course amounting to Rs 30,000 and compensation of Rs 30,000 to the complainant.

The complainant, Chandan Singh, a resident of Sector 29, said one of the subjects in the Hotel Management course was English speaking.

He pleaded that instructions were given to him in the subject of English speaking only for 10-15 days and thereafter no classes were ever held.

According to the complainant, the institution often remained closed. Even on the days when the institution was open, there was no teacher to teach the students.

"It has further been pleaded by the complainant that he contacted the officials of the institute a number of times and each time he was assured about the completion of the course but thereafter no classes were held," reads the judgment.

"So, ultimately the complainant had to ask for the refund of the amount, but the institution refused to do so.

Thus, according to the complainant, failure on the part of the institution to impart complete instructions of the course, for which he had taken admission, amounts to deficiency in service," the judgment reads further.

In addition to charging the compensation against the mental agony caused to the complainant, the court has also directed the institution to pay Rs 10,000 to the complainant as litigation cost.



Youth festival on legal services draws good response
Tribune News Service

Mohali, October 28
Having received 10 entries so far for the unique youth festival aiming at spreading legal awareness among college students, the Mohali District Legal Services Authorities is satisfied with the response from the colleges of the area.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, the Chief Judicial Magistrate-cum-Secretary of the District Legal Services Authority, Gopal Arora, said that they were happy with the response from the youngsters.

“The number of entries in youth festivals, a regular feature in colleges and universities here, is almost same. Considering that this was a special festival aiming at spreading legal awareness, the number of entries is good," said Gopal Arora.

Notably, the National Legal Services Authority, New Delhi, pursuing its "National Plan of Action for 2012-2013" to create interest of students in legal services, is organising the festival.

“The Punjab Legal Services Authority has decided to hold district, zonal, and state level inter-college competitions in documentary making, skits, slogan writing, poster making, declamation, poetry, photography etc. The topics include rights of women/children, cruelty against women, domestic violence, dowry, female foeticide, child labour and legal literacy as an instrument of social change,” said Gopal Arora.

The festival would start on November 7 at Shivalik Public School, Phase 6. The colleges which have confirmed their participation in the festival include Rayat and Bahra College, Government College, Phase 6; Government College, Dera Bassi; Guru Nanak Dev College of Education, Majatri; Chandigarh Group of Colleges, Gharuan; Gian Jyoti College, Mohali; Doaba Group of Colleges; Kharar and Shivalik BEd College.



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