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Sunday, February 14, 1999
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Police gears up for day of hearts
CHANDIGARH, Feb 13 — The city promises to come alive on Valentine's Day and is gearing up to festoon itself up to honour the festival of lovers. Heart-shaped balloons, cards and cakes would be all over Chandigarh tomorrow.

Daler fans make mischief
CHANDIGARH, Feb 13 — The Principal and hostel staff of MCM DAV College had a traumatic time last evening.

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Need to diagnose institute’s diseases
CHANDIGARH, Feb 13 — The PGI, as a "sick patient", is in a pretty serious condition.
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Six lakh pilgrims expected for mela
CHANDIGARH, Feb 13 — The Shri Mata Mansa Devi Shrine Board, Panchkula, will receive about six lakh pilgrims from Punjab, Himachal and Chandigarh to pay their obeisance to the Goddess during the Navaratra mela to be held from March 18 to 25.
Campus beat
Panel of college, varsity teachers to be formed
Crime file
4 held for assault on jhuggi dwellers


Police gears up for day of hearts
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 13 — The city promises to come alive on Valentine's Day and is gearing up to festoon itself up to honour the festival of lovers. Heart-shaped balloons, cards and cakes would be all over Chandigarh tomorrow.

Discotheques, pubs, restaurants, resorts and even certain fitness joints have something extra to offer to the Cupid-stricken. The fact that this year Valentine's falls on a Sunday, when all educational institutes and most shopping centres are shut, might dampen a few spirits. But the elaborate preparations, if 'dry runs' at the geri-route and practice-rose-giving events are an indication, do mark the upbeat mood associated with the day.

With most eating joints going in for theme parties, couples are first expected to shell out a few extra bucks to gain entry and then enjoy the dancing-jiving-eating-drinking programmes.

A popular fast-food joint in Sector 17 has planned for an afternoon "bash" at their pub and plans to provide heart-shaped eateries, red roses and romantic music. And to provide a "safe Valentine" security cover has also been planned.

For those interested in shaking a leg, it is not only the discos which would give a chance to jive away on this lover's day, but even some restaurants have made provision for dancing events. A restaurant-cum-pub in Sector 26, plans to hold balloon and lemon dancing competitions. For those interested in giving their hearts away to Miss Indias, former Miss India, Nafisa Joseph and the reigning queen, Gul Panag, would be in the city.

With loads of hype and hoopla surrounding the event, a getaway from the 'madding crowd' can also be planned for tomorrow at a resort on the Ambala-Chandigarh highway, which has planned an informal fete and a dance party, along with events like boating and fishing.

The day will also have in store a water ramp for models, at the side of a pool, at a resort in Panchkula. Fashion shows, dance performances and heart-shaped doors would be the highlights at this resort.

In case the 'love-in-the-air' gets a little too much, a fitness joint in Sector 8 even promises a special aerobics session on the house!

Even as two local political organisations had decided to oppose Valentine Day celebrations in the city tomorrow, the Chandigarh police has made elaborate arrangements to prevent any rowdyism, eveteasing, over-speeding and other hassles faced by citizens during Valentine celebrations every year.

Around 270 policemen have been posted, with special concentration in selected sectors, to keep a check on youngsters during the day. Besides this the traffic police will set up 20 check points in the city to keep tabs on traffic violations like overspeeding, overloading of vehicles and people travelling on two wheelers without helmets.

Clarifying that no one, including volunteers of any political party, will be allowed to take the law into their hands, Mr Baldev Singh, SP, City, said elaborate arrangements had been made in the city with special emphasis in certain sectors, women’s hostels and main shopping centres.

Extra force would be stationed in Sectors 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16 and 17. An Inspector-rank official would be in charge of the force in each sector.Special pickets would be posted outside women’s hostels in various colleges and at the gates of Panjab University.

Each year young boys and girls throng the elite northern sectors to join in the bonhomie during the celebrations. This leads to traffic congestion for hours at a stretch. Officiating DSP, Traffic, Mr Satnam Singh Randhawa, said each of the 20 check points would be manned by a Sub-Inspector or ASI.

The staff would regulate traffic and also challan vehicle users for traffic violations.Meanwhile, the Bajrang Dal and the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) have decided to take steps to prevent any sort of misbehaviour with girls in the city.

While the BJYM will take out a protest rally commencing from Sector 37 and culminating in Sector 17, the Bajrang Dal will post 200 volunteers at various points in the city to check misbehaviour. Top


Daler fans make mischief in college
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 13 — The Principal and hostel staff of MCM DAV College had a traumatic time last evening. As a crowd swayed to the Daler Mehndi songs in the adjoining Fragrance Garden, scores of mischief makers scaled the college wall and entered the campus.

A visibly upset Mrs Sneh Mahajan, Principal, narrated the three-hour ordeal where even the police failed to turn up despite repeated phone calls." It all started around 7.30 p.m.", she said.

The college wall is not more than 50 metres from the stage.Mrs Mahajan saw about half a dozen youngsters scaling the college wall from the side the "nullah flows". She shouted at them to go out. Half an hour later, she heard a sound as if a whole group was being chased away. Suddenly, they could be seen scaling the college walls.

More than 40 of them had entered the college complex .Several among them asked for the exit gate. After allowing a few to exit from the garbage dumping yard. she asked the rest to go back the way they had entered.A number of them could be seen trying to enter after climbing the adjoining trees, she said.

The girls had been instructed to watch the programme from their balconies in the evening.The sudden commotion also affected the girls.Mrs Mahajan immediately asked both the big blocks to be locked.Meanwhile, attempts were made to contact the police. No one picked the phone for a long time.

When someone did, it was informed that the SHO was away on duty and ultimately no help arrived, Mrs Mahajan said.

Around 9.30 the scenario changed as the new entrants were rowdy. They demanded permission to climb on the rooftop to see the function.The peons called for help from outside.

"Virtually no help arrived as I and the hostel staff shouted that the complex be cleared of the rowdy elements.One wonders who chose the venue for the concert when no adequate arrangements have been made".

Meanwhile, Ms Anuradha, a resident of Sector 35, who is a regular visitor at the Fragrance Garden, has said in a letter that the Daler show had left "a tempestuous effect on the garden. The songs bamboozled the audience and the uncivilised people banged the innocent trees and flowers with ferocity".

The local unit of the Janata Dal in a press note has criticised the letting out of the Fragrance Garden. For minor gains, the Municipal Corporation had spoilt the beauty of the garden.Top


State of PGI — III
Need to diagnose institute’s diseases
by P.P.S. Gill
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 13 — The PGI, as a "sick patient", is in a pretty serious condition. Resuscitating it may perhaps be not easy. If there is vacuum at the top, mediocrity has creeped at in the middle and lower levels, both in the administration and academics.

If patient care shows signs of lower standards, research also suffers due to paucity of funds. Moreover, the research is primarily either "clinical" requirement-based or because students are to write thesis. There is no "basic" research as such, say in the molecular or genetics field.

Enquiries with a cross section of the medical faculty reveal that while patient care has plummeted one has also to put up with curt staff. Though there is nothing "free" in the hospital unlike in central government hospitals or even the AIIMS at New Delhi, it is the patients who fetch for their own care the elementary medical requirements.

The inflow of students and doctors is suffering qualitatively as well as quantitatively because of poor service conditions, including low pay scales. The undercurrent refrain at present is that the younger generation of the faculty may succumb to "underhand private practice", or even fall a prey to cuts from firms dealing in medical science equipment, etc. Growing frustration is seemingly discernible. Given any opportunity and faculty is willing to leave the institute.

Ad hocism in the administration and academics is well pronounced. There is no regular registrar, store officer or someone to head the central registration department. Even internal networking of computers is missing while pagers have disappeared, mobile phones with doctors are not heard of at the PGI.

The Medical Superintendent is a junior doctor. The institute does not have a dean, what to speak of sub-deans. Therefore, the PGI is sick in all respects. Of the over 45 departments it is surprising that over half of these do not have a senior professor as head. Additional professors are acting as head. The faculty feels that there should be a scheme of rotation of headship for the doctors. A majority of senior faculty consultants who earned a name for themselves and the institute, have retired and the burden is being carried on by others, who are much junior. In such institutes the designation counts when it comes to dealing with the outside world. The PGI fails in that respect.

While the PGI is expected to tend to patients, it is a victim of poor investigation of causes which have led to its own poor health. Operation theatres’ maintenance is poor. Some have remained closed due to infections caused by leaking pipes. Breakdown of machinery and equipment is frequent. Reports of equipment like CT scans, mammography apparatus, cardiac catheter lab., effort tolerance test centre, etc are nonoperative. Some major departments are unable to undertake surgeries for want of proper equipment.

It is an irony, the faculty pointed out that even before the PGI acquired some of the latest in medical equipment and apparatus, private hospitals in Chandigarh and in the periphery had already got the same. Such facilities include, MRI unit, lithotripsy, laparoscopic surgery etc.

Will the PGI regain its pre-eminence under these circumstances?

The engineering wing is the largest in the PGI. Its functioning leaves much to be desired. So faulty is its functioning that there is 25 per cent drop in operations because of continuous closure of operation theatres.

Admittedly the PGI has expanded and several advance centres have been set up. But what the PGI needs, say faculty members, is proper consolidation of the existing facilities. In the absence of senior doctors, a majority of the present incumbents will retire by 2002 or 2003, who will manage these centres of excellence if correctives are not applied now?

Another major setback is the paltry sum — Rs 40,000/- the PGI is prepared to pay to a doctor invited to attend an international medical conference. The sum includes air fare. These days most of the conferences have a handsome registration fee. Due to inflation one needs to pay more for local transport and accommodation. But such a situation offers only two options to the faculty invited for such conferences: either not to attend or look up to some pharmaceutical firm to sponsor the visit and meet the expenses. Attending national conferences is equally unattractive now.

On top of all this, the PGI is becoming a victim of "inbreeding". Given the tremendous clout it still enjoys among the people and patients of the region and the hard work doctors do put in despite the existing infirmities, the institute is getting choked. This may eventually affect the leadership quality.

As a consequence of frustration and disinterest of the faculty in organising itself far seeking pay scales the president of the association, Dr Jaswant Rai, has quit. A vice-president, Dr Ajit Awasthi, has taken over as president. There is never any proper circular for general body meetings which are attended by less than 50 doctors. The association is a house divided, with doctors having lack of confidence in the executive committee which is "soft" on deciding the mode of agitation for seeking better pay scales. At the AIIMS it is senior doctors who are leading the struggle. Here doctors want PGI's committee to be given time.

One section feels that what the AIIMS gets may will probably come the PGI way also, little realising that the institute is yet to have its administrative, decision and policy making bodies constituted. Some faculty members feel that the grant of central government health services grade may perhaps do!

The PGI has carved a niche for itself in the comity of medical institutions. It is itself a victim of manmade circumstances and cries for attention.Top


Six lakh pilgrims expected for mela
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 13 — The Shri Mata Mansa Devi Shrine Board, Panchkula, will receive about six lakh pilgrims from Punjab, Himachal and Chandigarh to pay their obeisance to the Goddess during the Navaratra mela to be held from March 18 to 25.

After reviewing the arrangements here today, Mr M.K. Miglani, Financial Commissioner and Secretary, Local Government Haryana, said elaborate security arrangements had been made for the mela. Special police force and Home Guards would be requisitioned to ensure foolproof security arrangements. Police ‘nakas’ would be set up to check the infiltration of anti-social elements during navratras. Besides, CID policemen in plain clothes would also keep strict vigil.

Mr Miglani said three Executive Magistrates would be on duty round- the-clock on shift basis.

The supply of essential commodities to the pilgrims, and a Confed shop would be opened in the premises. Special instructions had also been issued to the Food and Supplies and Health departments to check the quality of edible oils and ghee used in making sweets. The authorities had also been asked to ensure high quality of products.

Two medical officers would be posted round-the-clock. Emergency services would also be available. Two ambulance vans and oxygen would be available at the dispensary.

He said special buses of Haryana Roadways would run from Panchkula, Ramgarh, Pinjore, Ambala, Kalka and Naraingarh. The Chandigarh Transport Undertaking would also ply special buses from the bus stand to the mela area. Top


Beant case: SP’s evidence recorded
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 13 — Mr B.S. Bedi, the Sessions Judge, today, recorded the evidence of Mr D.K. Tripathi, SP (Security), in the ongoing Beant Singh assassination case, in a special court held at the high security Burail Jail.Mr Tripathi said in his statement, that the Chief Minister was sitting in his car when the incident took place.

He also said that he did not see anyone else except the security staff and the NSG personnel. After Mr Tripathi’s cross-examination Balwant Singh, Punjab Police constable and one of the accused in the case, reiterated that he and Dilawar Singh, the human bomb, had attempted to kill Beant Singh. However, he said that he was sorry for those 17 innocent persons, who too were killed in the blast.Top


Administration gets notice on
shows in gardens
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 13 — The Judicial Magistrate, Ms Paramvir Nijjar, today issued a notice for February 20 to the Chandigarh Administration, the Chief Engineer and the Municipal Corporation, on a suit filed by the Chandigarh Environment and Anti-Pollution Front and Mr Maheshwinder Singh, a resident of Sector 22, asking to restrain the respondents from holding any public show, festival or exhibition at the Fragrance Garden or any other garden in the city.

The plaintiffs stated that the Daler Mehndi show, held at the Fragrance Garden on February 12, had caused considerable damage to garden and if such shows were allowed, the gardens in the city would be destroyed.Top


Khayal holds seminar
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 13 — A seminar-cum-cultural programme of khayal, a multilingual group of philosophers, poets and artists of Chandigarh, was held today at the Conference hall of the Rotary Vocational Training Centre, Sector 18. This was the second meeting of this group.

The theme of the seminar was Secret of Happiness. Among those who participated in the seminar were Dr Dharminder Goel, Dr Sampuran Singh, Mr L.H. Naqvi, Dr Laxmi Narain Sharma, Prof G.S. Bhatia, Mr R.D. Sharma and Prof Nirmal Dutt. Justice V.K. Bali, a Judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, was the chief guest and Principal D.R. Vij (retd) presided over the function.Top


Award for 2 cancer survivors
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 13 — An 11 year old boy and a retired cop were presented with the Jeewan Shakti award for survivors of cancer. The awards were given away by the Sahayta Charitable Welfare Society to observe cancer survivors day at the DAV college here today.

The boy, Siddharth Jain has battled cancer of the brain. The cop, Mr Amrik Singh Virk, is a retired SP.

The President of the society, Mrs Neelu Tuli, said during a span of one and half years,the society had given financial assistance to 36 cancer patients for their treatment. She also thanked students, who collected donations from the secretariat, police headquarters, DAV college and other institutions for this noble cause.

Doctors from the PGI delivered talks on various aspects of cancer.Top


Campus beat
Panel of college, varsity teachers to be formed
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 13 — A decision to form a joint co-ordination committee of all college and university teacher associations in the region was taken here today at a meeting of the Panjab University Teachers Association ,the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union and the UT Government College Teachers Association.

The meeting was attended by Prof R.S.Brar and Prof Daljit Singh from the GCTA, Prof S.S. Hundal and Prof V.K.Tewari from the PCCTU and Dr P.P.Arya, Dr Rajivlochan and Dr Satya Pal Gautam from the PUTA.Also present on the occasion were Prof Charanjit Chawla, Dr I.M.Joshi and Prof Rabindernath Sharma, — all fellows of PU.

It was decided in principle that the coordination committee would resist all efforts of the government to divide teachers into various sub- groups of teachers, college teachers and university teachers. Teachers need to remain united, it was felt.The meeting decided to have a common programme of struggle which included resistance to any dilution of pay scales recommended by the UGC.

Teachers would boycott all functions of ministers and the Chief Minister till the time their demands were accepted.The meeting decided that teachers would boycott examination-related duties.University teachers have already begun to boycott setting of question papers.

A rally would be organised on February 16 on the campus. Teachers of the region are likely to participate in it. A two- period strike would be observed on February 17 and 18.Seminar: A seminar on “challenges before technical education” will be organised by the Akhil Bhartiya Parishad at Panjab University on February 19, according to Mr Ramesh Pappa, national secretary of the parishad.

The seminar will be last in a series of seminars on various aspects of the education system.The seminar will be inaugurated by Dr Mahesh Sharma, chairman of the KVIC and the keynote address will be delivered by Dr A.S.Setthramu,Head of the Department of Education at the ISEC, Bangalore.

Seminar: Speaking on the concluding day of a seminar on "Economic Development And Social Transformation in North West India'', Prof GS Bhalla, Professor Emeritus, JNU, stated here today that the process of globalisation was not in favour of Third World countries.

He was very critical of the agricultural universities which had not come up with any revolutionary crop variety. This was responsible for a serious social crisis in the North-West region. He expressed the need for the implementation of the 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendments to decentralise power and prevent wastage of resources.

He also disapproved of the free supply of electricity to the farmers and termed it as "collective populism'' and stressed the need of regular electricity rather than free electricity. He highlighted the need of a strong social movement.

Prof SL Sharma of the Department of Sociology, stressed that economic development of the region had not brought major social transformation. There was a need to build new institutions and modify the existing ones to improve the status of women and dignity of human groups. Top


Crime file
4 held for assault on jhuggi dwellers
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 13 — Four persons, including a father and son were arrested today for allegedly leading an attack on jhuggi dwellers near the Gursagar Gurdwara north of the Sukhna lake last night.

The police has arrested Gurnam Singh Sidhu, his son Sukhinder Singh Sidhu, and two of their relatives, for allegedly assaulting and injuring 21 jhuggi dwellers, who had built their jhuggis on lands owned by Sidhu and his family . The landlords reportedly used to collect rent from the dwellers. However, the labourers had refused to pay up in the past two months. This led to the clash. A case under Sections 147, 149, 323, 506 and 436 of the IPC has been registered.

Truck stolen: A truck belonging to a local transport company was stolen from near Shahabad in Haryana. The truck driver, Karamjit Singh, was going from Ludhiana to Hyderabad and the vehicle was loaded with threads. The driver was to checking tyres when six persons tied him to a roadside transformer and fled away in the truck.

Arrested: A resident of Ram Darbar, Pradeep Kumar, was arrested for allegedly attempting to molest a woman of the same locality. He allegedly threatened the woman. A case under Sections 354 and 506 of the IPC has been registered.

Case registered: Separate cases have been registered against 33 residents of Hallo Majra for allegedly stealing power. A complaint was lodged by Mr D.P. Singh , Assistant Engineer of the department. Cases under 379 of the IPC and 39 of the Indian Electricity Act were registered.

Car stolen: A car owned by Mr O.P. Sood of Sector 15 was reportedly stolen from his residence. A case under Section 379 of the IPC has been registered. Top


Contest for Rafi Award in April
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 13 — The Yaadgar-e-Rafi Society, Chandigarh, will hold a singing competition for the Rafi Award 99. The preliminary round will be held in April.

According to Mr R.D. Kailey, Organising Secretary of the society, the pattern of the competition has been changed this year. Male singers can sing songs of any male singer and female singers those of any female singer.

The awards will again be presented by a film personality. Cash awards will also be given to the first three winners in each category. Entries close on March 14.Top

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