Tuesday, September 11, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Move to set up fund on AIIMS pattern
Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
The PGI Purchase Department has proposed to set up a Rs 15 crore revolving fund to help the public use cardiology, cardio-thoracic and ophthalmology services. The fund will be spent on manpower and material.

As per the proposal, on admission, a patient will be required to pay a lump-sum amount to the PGI and the expenditure will be adjusted after the department concerned issues a utilisation certificate at the time of discharge. Medicines and the other material will be stored by the PGI and issued to the departments as per requirement.

Following a discussion by senior professors on this proposal, the PGI administration had asked its purchase department to study the pattern followed by the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences. The AIIMS has been successfully following this procedure for a while now. After studying the scheme, the PGI Purchase Department has submitted a proposal to the PGI administration.

The proposal will subsequently be studied by various bodies, including the Standing Finance Committee and the Governing Body, for approval. The actual implementation, however, may take a few months.

Meanwhile, as a stop-gap arrangement, the PGI has floated tenders for some expensive items that are required for cardiology procedures like angioplasty and ballooning.

As per the proposal, the PGI has fixed the rates for such items. Patients, however, still have the option to purchase from any of the PGI-approved sources or any other authorised agent.


CGHS dispensary in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
The Union Health Ministry has sanctioned a Central Government health scheme (CGHS) dispensary for extending medical facilities to the serving and retired Central Government employees stationed in the city. An order to this effect was issued by the ministry today, sources said.

The dispensary is expected to start functioning on the PGI premises in about two months’ time, and will benefit Central Government employees and pensioners in Chandigarh, Panchkula and SAS Nagar.

To have a CGHS dispensary in the city had been a long-standing demand of the Central Government employees who are otherwise entitled to free medical treatment in terms of their service conditions.

The CGHS infrastructure will include a dispensary and an administrative set-up. The dispensary will have a Chief Medical Officer, four medical officers and two pharmacists. The group B and C staff will be drawn from the UT administration sources said.


Docs speak on ‘nutrition and goodness of eggs’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
The Indian Medical Association in collaboration with the National Egg Co-ordination Committee (NECC) today organised a lecture on “Nutrition and goodness of eggs” at IMA Hall in Sector 35.

Dr G.S. Kochhar, President of the IMA, in his welcome address said dietary, cholesterol (which is present in eggs) does not have a major effect on the overall amount of cholesterol in the blood. Japan has the highest rate of egg consumption — 346 eggs per person per year — and the lowest rate of heart disease. In India egg consumption is 36 eggs per person per year. As per the National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad, India per capita egg consumption should be 180 to make it a balanced diet.

Dr B.S. Maur, Chief Executive, North Zone, Venkateshwara Hatcheries Ltd, in his address highlighted on the nutritive value of eggs. While most foods were primarily good sources of one or two nutrients, egg contained the balanced distribution of nearly every nutrient essential for the human body. The biological value of the egg — on a scale of 0-100 — stood at an impressive 93.7, the highest compared to other nutritious foods like milk (84.5), fish (76.0), soyabeans (72.8). Dr Maur added that while other food articles could be adulterated, egg was one food product which was pure and could not be adulterated. “Therefore, in a developing country like ours, where malnutritional level is alarming, egg is a very economical wholesome food.”

Mr Ajit Singh, Chief Executive, North Zone, NECC, briefed the doctors about the various activities of the NECC. He said poultry farming had become an integral part of the Indian agricultural economy contributing over Rs 10,000 crore to the GNP. The NECC is a non-profit, autonomous body of over 25,000 poultry farmers and traders with the primary aim of price declaration.

The meet concluded with closing remarks by Dr Nitin nagarkar, Secretary, IMA, Chandigarh.


PGI OTs reopened
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
The operation theatre complex on the fifth floor of the PGI, which was closed on September 3 for maintenance work, started functioning today. The eight operation theatres on the fifth floor had remained closed for most of the period during the past one and a half months, leading to the postponement of many surgical operations.

According to the PGI officials, this time the operation theatres had been closed down to rectify problems in duct pipes of airconditioning system in the complex. Following fumigation and cleaning up, the complex was reopened.

Operating surgeons had been complaining about the airconditioning system in most of the OTs which, they say, had not been functioning optimally for long and most of the operations were being carried out in extremely hot and humid conditions.

With the fifth floor OTs out of order, the entire load of the scheduled operations was being handled by those on the fourth floor and emergency operation theatres. The theatre complex on the fourth and the fifth floors were shut down following reports that water supply to the complex was contaminated by micro-organisms.

While the OTs on the fourth floor had become functional after remedial measures, those on the fifth floor had to be closed down again after being operational for just one day on August 22 due to excessive leakage from the ceiling due to rusted and severely damaged water pipes.


Spreading awareness about HIV
Kulwinder Sangha

SAS Nagar
The local unit of the Family Planning Association of India (FPAI) is one of the prominent non-government organisations active in the town and its surrounding areas in promoting sexual and reproductive rights and health.

Set up in 1991 in a rented building in Phase-II, the unit is one of the 43 branches of the FPAI in the country and at present covers six villages, two slums and the LIG and MIG housing areas in Phase XI.

Its activities cover, apart from family planning, child health and AIDS prevention programmes. Recently, it organised a meeting for creating an environment for implementing sex education in schools, with special emphasis on HIV/AIDS prevention.

The branch has been implementing the Healthy Highways Project, sponsored by the National AIDS Control Organisation and the Department of International Development. The programme attempts to bring down the spread of HIV/AIDS among the inter-city truck drivers, helpers and their sex partners.

Dr Surjit Kaur Sandhu, president of the local branch, says that truck operators and their employees have been feeling that as a community, they have been neglected by the government. The FPAI provides the services of doctors and organises need-based camps to build their confidence. The truck unions have started cooperating with the FPAI and some of the unions have provided the association with rooms to work from. The Ropar union has given its guest room.

She says the FPAI’s ongoing projects include an intervention project for STDs and HIV/AIDS awareness for rickshaw-pullers, which has been drawn up by the State AIDS Control Society, Chandigarh, and another one for the migratory labour and intravenous drug users in Ram Darbar (Chandigarh).

The FPAI attempts to spread its message through different ways, including seminars, poster contests and group meetings. It runs a clinic at its office in Phase-II and also provides training in type-writing.

A 965 sq yard plot has been allotted to it by PUDA in for its office building, but the FPAI is not in a position to start construction for want of funds. The branch is, however, short of space in the rented one kanal building which has been converted into its office. Two projects relating to truckers are being run from a temporary room made in the verandah. The project on rickshaw-pullers is being run from the garage. Type-writing classes are held in the verandah at the back of the building.

According to this branch of the FPAI, positive changes have taken place in its operational area as a result of its educational and clinical programmes. It says that the contraceptive prevalence rate rose from 54.20 per cent in 1993 to 65.18 per cent in 2000. The birth rate per 1,000 population dropped to 27.10 per cent last year against 32.03 per cent in 1993. The figures for other activities in 2000 are (figures for 1993 in brackets): Average age of marriage of girls 21.50 years (21.6); female literacy (above 7 years) 74.46 per cent (67.55); immunisation level of pregnant women 95 per cent (75.90); and immunisation level of children (below 6 years) 96 per cent (57.33).


Body-building meet from Sept 16
Our Sports Reporter

Chandigarh, September 10
The second Inter-club body-building championship will be organised by the Chandigarh Amateur Body-Building Association from September 16 to 18 at DAV College Auditorium, Sector 10. Two international body-builders, Ramakant and Hardeep Singh will also provide motivation to budding youngsters, said Mr Sunil Walia, president of the association. The weighing-in and pre-judging will be held on September 16 at 4 pm at the venue. The weight categories to be conducted vary between 55 kg and 75 kg weight categories.

Cricket tourney: The Chandigarh Cricket Association, affiliated to Haryana Cricket Association, will hold the first DP Azad League-cum-knockout trophy from September 15 at different grounds in the city. The teams such as Godrej CC, ICC, High Court XI, LIC XI, Gymkhana XI, Bedi XI, Satluj Coaching Centre-4, Kelvinator XI, Tari XI, CNS XI, among others will take part.

Carrom association: The Chandigarh Carrom Association will hold a clinic on the ‘Laws of Carrom’ as adopted by the International Carrom Federation and the All India Carrom Federation on September 22 at 4 pm at the St Stephen’s School, Sector 45. Those interested may contact Mr Mahesh Sekhri, general secretary of the Chandigarh Carrom Association.


Mayor’s meeting a damp squib
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
The Mayor, Ms Harjinder Kaur, called an informal meeting with the councillors today to solicit their cooperation, suggestions and guidelines so as to give shape to future projects, complete pending works under ward development funds and execute other major decisions taken by the civic body.

The said tea party meeting proved to be a damp squib, with only nine councillors turning up. The meeting was attended by six of the eight BJP councillors owing allegiance to the Jain group and three nominated councillors.

A BJP councillor, Mr O.P. Goel, emphasised the need to complete all pending development works within the specified time and urged that sanitation be given due attention. He also asked the Mayor to get the backlanes cleaned and constitute various subcommittees of the civic body.

Ms Saudamini Bambah, Air Marshal ( retd) R.S. Bedi, Maj-Gen (retd) Rajinder Nath and Mr R.S. Kailey urged the Mayor to focus on the cleanliness of the city and ensure strict monitoring of sweepers. They were also in favour of observing sanitation week.

Mr K.K. Adiwal and Ms Kamala Sharma were of the view that works lying pending with the Chandigarh Administration should be pursued and got done immediately. Ms Sharma said encroachments in the greenbelt in Sector 41 must be removed by the MC authorities at the earliest.

Mr Kanhya Lal and Mr Bachan Singh pointed out that the community centres in their respective wards should be thrown open to the public. Mr Bachan Singh urged the Mayor to get the street lights in his ward functional and impressed upon in the need to strengthen and recarpet phirni road surrounding Burail. He also urged her to get the construction of community centre in Sector 45 started.

Asked about the boycott of the said meeting by certain BJP and Congress councillors, the Mayor said the overall development of the city figured on her priority list and she was happy about the cooperation extended by some councillors. She said that her endeavour would always be to work in cooperation with everyone and take decisions by consensus.

The next meeting of the Finance and Contract Committee, scheduled for September 14, would take up other pending development works. The meeting of the House would be fixed in due course..

Later in the evening, the Mayor visited the market of Sector 41, where a new toilet block would be constructed. She also listened to the grievances of the residents and shopkeepers.


MC, Administration in active mode
100 jhuggis evicted, 15 structures pulled down
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
In a joint effort, the enforcement staff of the Chandigarh Administration and the Municipal Corporation today removed about 15 illegal structures which had come up on land acquired by the Administration, besides evicting about 100 jhuggis which had sprung up inside a community centre in Industrial Area Phase I.

Starting with Raipur Khurd village, the team razed 15 structures which had come up on Administration’s land. About two years back, these houses had been got vacated by the Administration and residents had moved out. Later, no one from the Administration bothered and people once again moved in.

The full strength team next moved to Industrial Area, Phase I, where over 100 jhuggis which had sprung up within the boundary wall of the community centre were razed.

Nearly 250 jhuggis in the Kabari Market Colony, located on a piece of MC land near the fire station, were demolished in a joint operation undertaken in May this year. Following this, detailed surveys were carried out by the UT Estate Office to ascertain who were eligible to get the sites from the Administration. On the basis of this, only 15 eligible persons were put up in the community centre for a short while, but in course of time, many others encroached upon this piece of land. Sources added that some action was being contemplated against the violators.

According to the information available, the joint drive was undertaken under the supervision of SDM Gyanesh Bharti, Enforcement Magistrate Ishwar Singh and Secretary MC Ashwani Kumar. They gave the dwellers half-an-hour to remove their belongings from the jhuggis. While most of them were busy removing the same, the staff removed illegal jhuggis in the area in the next hour-and-a-half. Three JCBs, 5 or 6 trucks, 40 to 50 labourers and 50-odd police personnel were used in the drive. Both tehsildars were also present.

Later, they removed the illegal encroachments of the kabariwalas from along the road berms adjacent to the community centre. They also seized truckloads of material while challaning them for encroaching upon public land.


Permission slips on a premium

When the enforcement staff went to remove about 100 jhuggis inside a community centre in Industrial Area Phase I, the jhuggi dwellers showed the staff slips handed over by the Chandigarh Administration in May this year. Slips permitting them to temporarily sit on government land had been purchased on a premium, once again revealing flaws in the Administration’s controversial rehabilitation scheme .

In May this year, as a temporary arrangement, only 15 jhuggi-dwellers were given place to sit in the community centre when a major demolition drive was carried out. Today, the squatters revealed that they had purchased the slips permitting them shelter inside the community centre for about Rs 1.20 lakh each. The original slip holders had sold their rights.

Administration officials had come across five such cases while another six slips were in the process of being sold, sources said. Till late at night no FIR had been lodged against those who had sold off government property as their own.


JE dies on duty
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
Dina Nath, a Junior Engineer in the Public Health Wing of the UT Administration, died on duty today at Raipur Khurd where an anti-encroachment drive was in progress. The drive in Raipur Khurd and Phase I of the Industrial Area was a joint operation of the Chandigarh Administration and the Municipal Corporation.

Dina Nath, 55, suffered a heart attack at Raipur Khurd where he had stayed back after the other members of the demolition squad had left for the Industrial Area.

A case has been registered under Section 174 of the CrPC.


Post Offices to sell passport forms
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 10
A scheme whereby passport forms can be deposited in Post Offices was inaugurated here today. A total of 11 Speed Post Centres in Punjab and Chandigarh have been identified initially where the scheme was started.

The service was inaugurated at the Speed Post Centre here by Mr A.S.I.S. Paul, Chief Postmaster-General, Punjab and Chandigarh. Inaugurating the service, the CPMG said that the service would be extended soon to the remaining Speed Post Centres at district headquarters of Ropar, Nawanshahr, Fatehgarh Sahib, Sangrur, Moga, Muktsar and Faridkot. These centres will also sell passport application forms.

The first application was accepted from Mr Surajmal Singh of Sector 30 here. Today 35 application forms were sold at speed post centre, he added.

He added that the service would provide sufficient number of outlets for the acceptance of passport applications to enable the applicants to submit forms expeditiously and save time. An official press note of the department said that the facility would reduce time for travel to passport offices and waiting in queues.


Information technology team of UP in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
It maybe a day the Information Technology Department of the Chandigarh Administration will not forget in a hurry. A team of top IT officials from Uttar Pradesh today came visiting to study the work done in the field of IT by Chandigarh Administration. The work on IT had started about an year-and-a-half ago.

The seven-member delegation from UP is on a two-day visit to the area and is led by Mr Om.N. Vaid, Principal Secretary, IT and Electronics, UP. Officials of computer software giant Microsoft are also with the team which basically has technical persons. Even as Director, IT, Mr Vivek Atray, went about with the team , Mr Vaid said UP will be setting up software technology parks at five places — Lucknow, Varanasi, Agra, Moradabad and Allahabad.

The UP Government has also announced certain changes like allowing women to work round the clock in the IT industry. There will be no sales tax on IT-related industry, there will be no power cuts and no entry tax, Mr Vaid added. All other subsidies given to other industries will also apply.

Most importantly all the 17 divisions of the state will be connected with their respective district headquarters. This will save on travel and time as officials of any department can discuss things through video conferencing with their subordinates in the districts.

The project is to be launched on October 2 in the state. Optical fibre cables are being laid by three companies — Reliance Industries Limited, Gas Authority of India Limited and the RPG group. The OFC has been already laid along major road routes while work is on a big pace in other areas.

A UP online portal is being created and information about all the 114 departments The team will also be meeting officials of Punjab and Haryana regarding strides taken by them in IT development and promotion. A high-powered lunch meeting between officials from UP and the neighbouring states was also arranged.

The UP team went to the newly opened SPIC Microsoft centre of excellence, studied the video conferencing facility, and checked out on e-governance initiatives of the Administration.


CTU to seek help of Telco, Leyland
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
The Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) will approach automobile majors TELCO and Ashok Leyland and seek a report on the maintenance and operations of the three CTU workshops.

This is a sequel to the UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob’s (retd) surprise visit to the CTU workshop in Sector 25 on Saturday where he was shocked to see the state of affairs. The Home Secretary-cum-Secretary Transport, Mr Raminder Singh Gujral, has asked the Director Transport, Dr Amarpal Singh, to report within a week. Assistance is also being sought from the Army.

Since TELCO and Leyland are the original equipment manufacturers their opinion has been sought, sources said. Mr Gujral said he had asked Dr Amarpal to form an internal committee to study the aspect of improving physical infrastructure, equipment upgradation and human resource development (HRD). 

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