Wednesday, May 3, 2000,
Chandigarh, India

C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Nerve transplant performed on gallant Major
By Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 2 — When an Army major along with a handful of men stormed an EME workshop to neutralise mercenaries who, in a suicidal attack had taken over the building and were on a killing spree, little did they realise that they were setting a precedent in the valley — executing a counter attack after dark and mopping up operations within a few minutes.

Though he was injured in the operations, Maj Dushyant Singh of 29 Rashtriya Rifles and his 10-member Quick Reaction Team (QRT) managed to save several dozen officers and soldiers from slaughter and also the destruction of the workshop.

His injuries presented a challenge for doctors. Splinters resulted in his lower left leg being paralysed and doctors had to carry out nerve transplant to restore sensation and motion to his leg. The surgery, called schiatic nerve transplant, was performed at Western Command Hospital last week. A rare type of surgery with expertise available just four centres, it involved removing a nerve from the right leg and embedding it in the affected limb. His leg injury will take about one year to heal.

Born at Chandigarh into a service family, the 35-year-old gunner has now been recommended for the Shaurya Chakra.

Recalling the events, Maj Dushyant Singh said he, along with his QRT, was proceeding from Srinagar airport to Baramulla after picking up his wife, who had come on vacation.About four kilometres short of Baramulla, he was informed by the military police about firing ahead and advised not to proceed further.

“There were two options — cordon off the area for the night and carry out search operations in the morning as is the normal practice, or attempt a rescue operation right now. Keeping in mind that I was the company commander at Baramulla and waiting till morning would result in more persons dying, I overruled the advice and decided to take the militants out,’’ he said.

“We went inside the workshop and started searching the repair bays,’’ Maj Dushyant said. “As we were guiding some of the trapped troops through the passages cleared by us, a grenade burst near us, followed by automatic fire,’’ he added. Some of the splinters pierced through his leg bone above the knee, resulting in compound fractures and he fell down. Some splinters also pierced his ribs.

“Another grenade landed next to me, but it did not explode. There was another burst directed at me.

“In a semi-conscious state, I noticed a person about 6 metres behind me. Taking me for dead, he came out firing randomly and at the same time I shot him in the face,’’ he said. The other militant had died in the cross-fire.

Both the militants were Afghan nationals, a fact confirmed from ‘’job cards’’ carried by them. The militants had used 4 AK magazines — about 120 rounds — in the shoot-out. Another 13 magazines (400 rounds), along with four grenades, were recovered from them. Before they were neutralised, the mercenaries had already killed one JCO and five other ranks, with 15 others being injured.Back


Oxygen injects fresh air in medical studies
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 2 — Prof S.K. Jindal, Head of the Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine of the PGIMER, today, delivered a lecture on Domiciliary Oxygen Therapy. The therapy has added a new dimension to the management of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and other chronic lung diseases which cause a low oxygen level in the blood.

The lecture was organised by the Department of Chest Diseases and Tuberculosis of the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, here today. The GMCH doctors of different specialities, besides many private practitioners attended the oration.

Dr Jindal said the disease process might not be commonly known, but, along with bronchial asthma, it was responsible for the maximum number of deaths in rural India. He also said the disease affected persons at a young age, but, its full manifestations occurred at an advanced age. It caused considerable morbidity in the form of progressive breathlessness, incapacitation and complications like repeated chest infections and the lung cancer.

He said the disease could be prevented if persons quit smoking, pollution was controlled and there was a prompt treatment of the infections. He said the irreversible course of the COPD had resulted in a large population of the senior citizens leading a poor quality of life.

However, the concept of treating patients with oxygen at home on a long-term basis has brought some hope. Apart from improving the quality of life, this strategy has shown encouraging results in studies conducted in many developed countries.

Prof Jindal highlighted the use of oxygen as a drug which had a proper prescription and use. In the case of chronic patients, oxygen has to be used round-the-clock at home, for which, various sources and delivery systems are available.

He said despite a high investment initially, oxygen concentrator was the best option vis-a-vis compressed cylinders which proved expensive in the long run.Back


The stress, henceforth, will be on quality care at special clinics: Kak
By Poonam Batth
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 2 — For providing quality care and proper management of patients coming to the hospital, certain departments of Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, will shortly start special clinics in the mornings and afternoons.

According to Dr V.K Kak, Director-Principal of GMCH-32, “these special clinics will not cut down the rush of OPDs which are overcrowded in most cases but will also help us provide residents of the city specialised services. We will call patients by appointments and ensure that not more than 10-15 patients are registered per day in these clinics, besides the follow-up cases. The doctors will be able to devote more time to the new cases and also the complicated cases, which come for follow-ups. This was not possible in OPDs due to the rush and paucity of time. The records of patients will also be maintained better in these clinics and a patient will be able to access his record on one number for the rest of his life. They are likely to become functional in the next one or two months, since additional staff, particularly nurses are required to cater to these clinics.

The Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology will have a paediatric adolescent gynaecology clinic for pre-marital counselling about family planning and reproductive health. Dr Sarla Malhotra, Head of the department, disclosed that a majority of the youngsters, who get married early are not aware of their marital role. They do not have any idea about what precautions are to be taken, which contraceptives to be used to avoid conception immediately after marriage. Even parents are not in a position to talk to them about all this, she pointed out.

The clinics, which will be held in the afternoons, will provide girls the required information about sex, family planning and contraception. A proper knowledge will help ensure that these young girls do not get trapped into motherhood without proper planning, says Dr Malhotra. Besides the staff of the gynaecology department, few experts of the Psychiatry Department will also be involved in counselling them about other related problems, she disclosed. This will help girls adjust better in the new set-up where family values are quite different from theirs. The school and college-going girls will also be counselled about the consequences of teenage pregnancies with a special focus on the deterrent measures.

As many as 10 special clinics will be started by Department of Medicine. These include gastroenteritis clinic, hypertension clinic, liver clinic, haematology clinic, renal clinic, diabetes clinic, thyroid clinic, rheumataology clinic and the geriatric clinic. Dr Atul Sachdev, a reader in the department, informed that modalities are being worked out to start these clinics at the earliest. Each clinic will be manned by one or two consultants, two senior and junior residents. The OPDs of the consultants may be reduced from two days in a week to one day so that they are able to attend to the patients in these clinics. Most of these clinics will be held in the mornings so that the facilities of specialists in the field could be made available to them.

For instance the geriatric OPD will be held once a week in the afternoons to specifically cater to the requirements of the senior citizens. According to Dr Kak, “the elderly have since long been demanding some special treatment at these hospitals in view of their requirements being different from others. This will now save them the botheration of going to the crowded OPDs in the peak of the heat.”

He further said that the clinic will be located on the ground floor of the hospital to make it convenient for them to reach. To begin with there will be an orthopaedician, ophthalmologist and a psychiatrist, keeping in view the common problems they generally face. The medical specialist will conduct their general examination and subsequently refer them to the concerned department in case of some complication. A proposal is also being considered to set up a clinic of geraitric dentistry to cater to the dental problems of people in this age group. The comprehensive package will certainly promise a better life to the senior citizens, maintains Dr Kak.

The Department of General Surgery also plans to start special clinics for vascular surgery, transplant surgery, plastic surgery and breast clinic with a view to focus exclusively on these patients. The other patients will be examined in the OPD of the general surgery.

Besides this, GMCH authorities are also comtemplating of providing home care services to those old people who are staying alone in the city, and do not even have a telephone at their homes to inform anyone of their illness in the hour of need. Dr Kak has already requested the Director, Social Welfare, to ask the personnel entrusted with the census duty to compile a list of all such old persons in the city so that social workers accompanied by a nurse can contact them at their homes at least once a week to monitor their health, and if need be, they can be admitted also on priority basis.Back


Vece Paes’ plans for players
By Our Sports Reporter

CHANDIGARH, May 2 — ''Helping top-level sportspersons reach their peak form is our aim," said Dr Vece Paes, father of Leander Paes and Managing Director of Paes En Sport, today, at the CLTA courts in Sector 10. He had earlier signed national hardcourt champion, Sunil Kumar of Chandigarh, for the company's training programme.

Dr Paes also said three more players of the city — Amanjot Singh (national under-16 champion selected for the World Youth Cup to be held in Indonesia later this month), Tushar Liberhan (student of St John's High School, winner of Asia Cup and Vietnam International Meet) and Akash Sharma had been signed by the company.

Dr Paes, a former hockey Olympian, said the agreement would be valid only till a player became major.

He said the company would help the CLTA in the conduct of general physical-efficiency tests, development of talented players and raising funds through various sponsorships.

"The company will make Sunil undergo a specialised fitness programme and a coach will travel with him on every tour," said Dr Paes. He said the CLTA would raise the funds through the Punjab Government, the UT Administration and private or public sector units.

Sunil will train at the CLTA for a year now, before he becomes a major in March next. Dr Paes said the company had signed Vinod Sewa in Calcutta and Vishal Uppal in Delhi.

As Sunil will play for the next nine months with little rest between tournaments, Dr Paes said he would not be pushed to the limit in every tournament. The company would like Sunil to play more among seniors and win most titles at the junior level.

He said for the next five weeks, Sunil will be made to undergo weight training and sprints training. "In June, he will play a number of international tournaments like the Roehampton LTA and the Wimbledon A. In July also, he will play some international tournaments.

Dr Paes said Sunil would be trained in Chandigarh only as his friends and family lived here. Dr Paes had earlier visited the city in March. He said the progress of the players would be monitored once every three months. "The company and its experts will keep in touch with the players through e-mail and the other channels," he said.

About the need for a regular accompanying sports-medicine doctor with these players, Dr Paes said the travelling coaches had already been given orientation on it. He said at every tennis centre in India, sport-sciences facilities and experts existed.

Dr Paes said the CLTA now had good facilities and a fine infrastructure, but, scientific backup was needed. He said the company expected some returns only after these players attained the age of 18.

He said Sunil would be made to play with players who were better than him, equal as well as marginally inferior in performance, to analyse his progress. Sunil would also be coached by Ramesh Krishnan and Bob Michael. Dr Paes said Sunil's role model was Marcello Rios as he was also a left-hander.

Sunil took various fitness-level tests. These included body composition, flexibility, speed, stress and strength tests. Dr Paes said a year's planning had been done for Sunil in advance who was now ranked 125 in singles, according to the ITF. He said the effort would be to help Sunil achieve at least the 75th rank by December.

Dr Paes also said these players would also be asked to play doubles with equal sincerity as it gave them a good amount of new strokes. He also hoped that by the next year, Sunil would get a direct entry into the Australian Open.

Another significant part of the deal was the medical enhancement tests and immunisation drives against hepatitis A and B as players ate all kinds of food on tours. Dr Paes also said medical insurance facilities, both at national and international levels, would be made available to these players. He said Leander could undergo operation abroad as he was covered under the International Insurance scheme.

Earlier in the morning, Dr Paes held tested the fitness levels of top players of the CLTA where an AITA tournament for juniors is in progress. He also interacted with players later on.Back


Encroachments removed
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 2 — In an effort to curb encroachers, the enforcement wing under the Deputy Commissioner, here today confiscated typewriters, tables and other equipment of several typists and advocates, who have set up their tables etc in an unauthorised manner at the back of the DC office in Sector 17.

These typists and advocates had reportedly blocked a major portion of the vacant area that is used by visitors to the advocates and typists sitting in the verandah of the estate office. Fiftynine advocates and 34 typists, who were not part of a list prepared by the DC office on the basis of a cut-off-date in 1986, were removed today.

The operation started at around 11 am. The lawyers later met the DC, Mr M. Ramsekhar, who reportedly assured them that none of the advocates will be removed.

In the evening the equipment of the typists and tables were returned. Sources said a high-level meeting will be held to decide the fate of the advocates and their typists. Probably the cut-off date will be extended or some more space will be allocated.Back


HUDA’s anti-encroachment drive continues
Tribune New Service

PANCHKULA, May 2—The Enforcement Wing of the Estate Office, Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), has continued with its drive of removal of encroachments in different sectors of the township.

After clearing Sector 2, the scene of action has shifted to Sector 6 and parts of Sector 7, where the staff is removing encroachments in accordance with the instructions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Meanwhile, the former Chief Minister of Haryana, Mr Bhajan Lal, whose name figures in the list of VIPs who have encroached upon HUDA land, employed labour to remove these on receiving a notice from the department concerned.

Some residents in Sector 7, however, criticised the department for deploying a crane to remove the encroachments caused by protruding gates which had left them with nothing but mangled iron gates.

One such resident, Mr SK Bajaj, said, “We should have been given a few hours notice, just like everybody else. However, to our surprise, a crane arrived at our home and bulldozed the gates without prior information. We could have easily dismantled it ourselves, had we known.’’

The authorities said no relaxation of any kind would be given to the violators and action would be taken against them, irrespective of no information being given as residents of all these sectors had been issued notices to this effect.Back


Promoted cops given ranks
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 2 — The police personnel who were promoted yesterday were formally given their ranks at a short ceremony at the Sector 26 recruit training centre police lines here this afternoon.

The next rank was awarded to 10 persons and were pinned by Mr Ajay Kashyap, SSP, Hq, and Mr S. S. Randhawa, DSP, Lines. Also present were Dr Sagar Preet Hooda, ASP, Central, and other officers.

SIs Baljit Singh, Budh Ram, Surinder Singh and Parvesh Kumari have been promoted as Inspectors, while Head Constables Raghunath Tyagi, Des Raj and Daya Ram have been promoted as ASIs. Similarly, Constables Gursahib Singh and Balwinder Singh have been promoted as Head Constables.

These trainers for the RTC have been specially handpicked and a special incentive package has been evolved by which they would be promoted to the next rank, given 15 per cent extra allowance and out of turn allotment of house in case they do not have one presently.Back


CPI to contest civic poll
From Our Correspondent

SAS NAGAR, May 2 — The local unit of the CPI has decided to contest the May 28 Municipal Council elections.

At a meeting of the party held here today, a five-member panel was set up, which comprised Mr Baldev Singh Jhajj, Mr Harpal Singh, Mr Ramji Dass, Mr Ripudaman Singh Roop and Mr Saudagar Singh Grewal.

The party also decided to contest the poll unitedly with leftist and secular parties to ensure proper development of the town and to check the alleged corruption in the civic body.Back


Carrying of firearms in public banned
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 2 — Carrying of firearms in the public even by licence holders has been banned, following an order issued by Mr M. Ramsekhar, District Magistrate. Any breach can be punishable under the provision of the Indian Penal Code.

This order shall not apply to police, military or paramilitary personnel and other government servants, if called upon to carry firearms in connection with their official duties.

In the order, the DM has observed that some members of the public have been seen moving around with small weapons tucked in the waist-belt for showing off and intimidation and carrying of weapons openly by licence holders has created panic in the public.

As such, there is every apprehension of breach of peace and disturbance of tranquillity, besides grave danger to human life and safety and injury to public property by display of weapons. This order will be effective till June 30.Back

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