Thursday, January 17, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Massive rally in protest against ‘entry tax’ 
Agitators vow to continue struggle till withdrawal of paid parking
Tribune News Service

Agitators raise slogans against the decision of the MCC in Chandigarh on Wednesday. 
—  Photo Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, January 16
The city today witnessed a partial bandh between 10 am to 2 pm against the introduction of paid parking in Sectors 17, 8 and 9, which agitators are making out to be a step in the direction of an end of a five-decade-old tax holiday era in the Union Territory.

While agitators including the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal (CBM and many other employees bodies claimed that the bandh was complete and a massive rally was held in Sector 17, the police said the bandh was total in Sectors 17, 18, 19, 7 and 46 but markets in Sectors 22, 21 and 20 remained open.

Employees and Sector 17 Traders Association spearheading the agitation under the aegis of the CBM, held a rally in Sector 17 in protest against the paid parking. The rally was addressed by Chandigarh Beopar Mandal leaders Mr Jagdish Arora, Mr Kamaljit Panchhi, Mr Neeraj Bajaj, Mr Rajkumar Goel (former Mayor), and employees’ leaders Mr Sajjan Singh, MrTarlochan Singh, Mr Jai Singh, Mr Dilip Singh and Mr Prem Jindal, among others.

The protesters laid a siege to the office of municipal corporation after the completion of the rally which began from in front of the Neelam cinema.

Agitators also condemned the Chandigarh Administration for imposing an ‘’entry tax’’ on prime markets of the city and vowed to continue the struggle till complete withdrawal of paid parking was ensured. The agitators’ strident mood has come after the Municipal Corporation and the parking contractor had announced certain concessions yesterday. A Congress delegation of councillors and the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee President Mr B.B. Bahl, had met the Municipal Commissioner, Mr M.P. Singh to make parking arrangements people-friendly. The delegation of the Congress was led by local MP Pawan Bansal who wanted free entry in markets and multi-zone validity passes and improvement in the service.

The corporation and contractor announced many measures apparently to sabotage the bandh call but did not give the kind of concessions the Congress had sought.

There was a heavy band bust of police with rapid action group of the Chandigarh police and riot control machinery being seen in full gear. Office-bearers of different market associations also attended the rally.

The CBM vice-president Mr Kamaljit Panchi, said the leadership of the Beaopar Mandal was soon going to announce the next course of action about how the agitational programme would be continued till the complete withdrawal of the paid parking. “The next course of action could be a full-day bandh, followed by a 48-hour bandh and then an indefinite bandh. The final decision in this regard is likely to be taken at the general body meeting of the CBM,” Mr Panchi said.

He informed that the employees were also holding separate meetings to decide how to sustain the anti-paid parking movement.

The agitators have been demanding to withdraw the 1998 resolution of paid parking passed by a BJP ruled house, whose implementation the Punjab and Haryana High Court has sought from the authorities.

The UT, Chandigarh UT Subordinate Services Federation, also .joined today’s rally with representations from Punjab Government employees, UT employees and Haryana banks, boards and corporations based in Sector 17. The federation president, Mr Ramesh Kumar Chandolia, patron, Mr Raghbir Singh and general secretary, Mr Sant Singh, also addressed the rally. They said after employees being subjected to maximum burden of income tax, higher rates of electricity, school fee, heavy rent on telephone, higher charges of water, the Chandigarh Administration and municipal corporation have imposed parking fee on them for coming to attend their duty in Sector 17, the main office-cum-shopping complex of the city.

Traders are also preparing to adopt legal path to block imposition of paid parking and are consulting legal authorities to explore the possibility of seeking a review of the Punjab and Haryana High Court judgement to implement the 1998 resolution of the House.

The Beopar Mandal is likely to hold its meeting to decide the next course of action tomorrow or day after to continue the struggle against this issue.

Traders have been left high and dry this time as the Congress has indicated that it would not oppose imposition of paid parking per se but seek improvement in the system of parking and concessions for the employees.

The Congress’ attempt to seek improvement in the parking system day before yesterday had been taken by anti-paid parking agitationists as accepting paid parking and taking a U-turn on its stand. The Communist Party of India supported the bandh and criticised Congress for going back on its word.

Give enough space for traffic parks’
Tribune News Service

Ambala, January 16
Citizens Council president, N.C. Jain today said that sufficient space should be provided to make “traffic parks” which will help in educating the people about the traffic rules.

Dr Jain said that often teenaged children without valid driving licence are found driving vehicles at high speed. The alarming situation makes it obligatory on the authorities and educational institutions to educate the students and all others to learn the traffic rules.Back


HUDA resumes anti-encroachment drive
Sector 10 residents get four-day reprieve
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 16
The Haryana Urban Development Authority today resumed its anti- encroachment drive, which was launched a month ago, in Housing Board colonies of in Sector 10 and Sector 18 today. While the residents of Sector 10 were spared by HUDA after they sought a four-day reprieve, at least encroachments of 20 houses were demolished in Sector 18 Housing Board colony.

Most of the houses encroaching on the road berms in these two colonies themselves began to remove the encroachments. Residents continued with the demolition on their own till dusk. In Sector 10, the fear of HUDA beginning the demolition drive was looming large since 11 am today. In most of the houses here , residents began to remove encroachments as they came to know of HUDA’s intention to carry out a demolition drive.

But a sizeable number of residents, who had gone off to work in the morning, came back by 11.30 am and gathered in large numbers in order to thwart any attempt by the HUDA officials to remove encroachments. Tension was brewing in the air till about 2.30 pm, when the HUDA staff led by the Estate Officer and accompanied by police force reached the spot. Women gathered in large numbers, raised slogans and sat on the JCB machine in order to prevent the demolition staff from carrying on their work.

It was then that the residents of the area led by their President, Mr. R.K. Kakkar, requested that they be given some more time . The Estate Officer, Ms Geeta Bharti, asked the residents to remove all encroachments from the road berms till January 20 and warned that they would resume the drive on January 21.

Meanwhile, the drive could not begin early as the police force was not available. It is learnt that the force had been sent to Bir Ghaggar village in order to assist the forest staff in carrying out the fencing work peacefully.

Officials from the district administration, members of the Enforcement Wing of Estate Office and about 50 policemen under the supervision of DSP J.P. Dahiya were deployed for the smooth functioning of the drive. The staff from the Housing Board was also accompanying HUDA officials during the anti- encroachment drive today.

In Sector 18, residents were more or less taken by surprise. Though a number of residents had heard that the drive could begin today, they thought otherwise when HUDA officials did not reach there till 3 p.m. As many as 20 illegal structures were demolished, even as most of the residents themselves began removing encroachments.

Also, the houses that have set up business ventures in Sector 18 were also issued warning by the authorities. It is learnt that such residents have been issued notices by HUDA.

A preliminary survey by the authorities show that around 1,000 houses have encroached upon the road berms in Housing Board colonies in different sectors. The residents of Housing Board colonies had earlier refused to budge, in spite of several notices issued by HUDA. The Estate Office of HUDA had earlier carried on its anti- encroachment drive in Sector 15 decided on carrying on its drive today.

Housing Board colonies are present in Sectors 18, 10, 11, 15, 8, 6, 19 and 26 in the township. Encroachments had continued to grow in these colonies , mainly comprising of raising of unauthorised structures, encroachment of road berms and opening of commercial establishments.

Even live electricity poles are covered under construction of houses and live cables pass through the buildings which is violation of the Indian Electricity Rules and Indian Electricity Act, 1910. 


Research on stress faced by scientists
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 16
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has approached Panjab University here for collaboration in research on stress levels among scientists working in Defence Ministry establishments across the country, it is learnt.

The project, titled “Role, Cognition, Creativity and Personality of Defence Scientists”, will be carried out jointly by the Delhi-based Defence Institute of Psychological Research (DIPR), a DRDO laboratory, and the Psychology Department of Panjab University.

According to sources, the proposed date of completion of the project is November 2002. Research work is reported to have already started, with funds for the project having been released from the Defence Ministry. This is the first project to be taken up by the university with the DRDO, sources said.

A team at Panjab University has been constituted under the guidance of a senior professor of the department concerned. The team will be visiting various laboratories functioning under the aegis of the Defence Ministry and its research would be based on a pre-drafted questionnaire and interviews.

The project assumes significance as the DRDO, the primary employer of defence scientists in India, is under flak for its shoddy performance leading to prestigious projects being delayed, and in some cases, being scrapped altogether. This is despite its huge infrastructure and impressive technical manpower. The DRDO is reported to have manpower of approximately 30,000 personnel, out of which about 1200 are engineers and scientists at the senior level. DRDO operates through a network of 50 laboratories, besides collaborating with 70 academic institutions, 50 national science and technology centres and about 150 state or privately owned industrial establishments.

It is not yet known whether research would be restricted only to scientists directly employed by the DRDO or will also include those scientists working with other establishments but engaged in defence projects.

While this project may be Panjab University’s first interaction with DRDO on psychological research, sources say that DRDO laboratories are already collaborating with several academic institutes for research on topics related to psychology.

A few recent ventures which have generated interest in this field include a project on “Identification of Combatant Personality”, undertaken with Bharathiar University, Coimbatore, and a project on “Mental models and cognition style in job performance : A study of technical crew members in the Army”, undertaken with the IIT, Kanpur. Back


Rehabilitation scheme may expand
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 16
The controversial rehabilitation policy of the Chandigarh Administration to rehabilitate slum-dwellers in subsidised houses is set to change. Some sections of the urban poor are to be included in it.

Living in a slum may no longer be the only criterion of eligibility for reaping benefits of the rehabilitation policy. Sources said the policy was under review, but did not say anything about the proposed amendments.

Though no concrete guideline has been issued, the Administration is unable to fix a yardstick for the allotment of 1,000 flats of original rehabilitation colony.

The flats are nearing completion and will not be allotted as per the old system where slum-dwellers used to be given housing on the basis of voters’ list.

Because flats and plots are given at subsidised rates, domestic help, factory workers, pavement dwellers also want to be included in the scheme.

Local politicians have also been demanding that persons other than slum dwellers should also be included in the scheme.

It has been observed that slum-dwellers are those who come here just to set up a temporary shelter, following which, the Administration rehabilitates them, attracting more such persons from outside.

A source said the issue raised by the president of the Pind Bachao Committee, Mr Angrez Singh, that the 5,000 villages that were uprooted to make room for Chandigarh be rehabilitated, will add to the pressure on housing.

Since the Administration has told the National Minorities Commission that it would give “maximum possible benefits” to the uprooted villagers, turning down the demand of villagers will be difficult.

Mr Angrez Singh has also told the National Human Rights Commission that the Administration had acquired land only to house slum-dwellers.

“The city does not have more land to keep on meeting the needs of illegal slum-dwellers,” said an official. There has been a move to end the monopoly of slum-dwellers on rehabilitation schemes.

For long, city residents have been saying that rehabilitation schemes have only ended up adding more slums to the city, making it dirty and prone to crime.

The police has tough time verifying the antecedents of slum-dwellers.


Suicide attempts, one successful
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 16
A 24-year-old unemployed youth, Sunil, a resident of Ram Darbar, allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself from a ceiling fan in his house here today. He was said to be alone at the time of the incident and the police was informed at about 3 pm.

Though no suicide note has been found on him, the police believes unemployment drove him to ending his life. The body has been sent for the postmortem.

Meanwhile, a girl in her mid 20s reportedly tried to end her life by consuming some poisonous substance at the Sector 33 Terrace Garden here today. She is a resident of Fazilka in Punjab and had come here to stay with a friend in Sector 33.

The police said she had had her education in Chandigarh and some problem in her love affair with a city youth was the reason for the attempt. She was taken to the Sector 16 General Hospital, where she is said to be out of danger now. The police is investigating the case.


Jacob tells CHB to expedite works
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 16
Asking the Chandigarh Housing Board to pull up its socks, the UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), today listed some tasks for the CHB to take up on a priority basis.

The General had come to launch the website of the CHB. He also launched the citizen charter of the Board on the occasion. The Administrator said that the Housing Board should continue provide quality service to its consumers and be responsive towards the needs the people. He hoped that with the website, citizens would be able to access information required about their dwelling units on the Internet.

The Administrator asked the Chairman, Chandigarh Housing Board, Mr G.K. Marwah, to expedite the construction of ongoing projects of MIG houses. Expressing concern over delay in the allotment of land of housing societies, he asked the Chairman to ensure early allotment of land to the remaining societies. The Administrator also asked the Adviser to go into the problems being faced by the Societies which have already constructed their flats. He said that these societies were facing problems of individual electric connections and water connections and Adviser should give priority to these.

General Jacob asked the CHB Chairman to expedite the construction of a toilet block in the sub-city centre Sector 34 and also in Rose Garden, Sector 16. He asked the Adviser to frame a scheme where toilets could be provided in all places of tourist interest and gardens.

Stressing the need for giving a green look the Capitol complex, he said that there was a need to construct a park near the famous open hand monument in the open space lying in Capitol complex.

He asked the Board to engage a landscaping consultant and come out with a design of park, which could become a major tourist attraction.

General Jacob instructed the Chairman to get the citizens charter translated in Punjabi as well as Hindi and said that all forms of the Housing Board should be tri-lingual.

The website of the CHB ‘‘ in’’ contains general information about the CHB with emphasis on items useful to the general public such as procedures for various services, downloadable applicable forms, legal provisions, etc. Up-to-date information about ongoing projects and all public notices, tenders etc. released by the CHB also feature on the website.

On the occasion, the Adviser to the Administrator informed that subsidised rates were being worked out for “sullabh” toilets, located near slums to help the poor. 


DC fails to connect with cable men
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 16
The administration has failed to break the stand-off between cable operators and residents here after operators have refused to slash tariff.

The Deputy Commissioner, Ms Jyoti Arora, had convened a meeting of cable operators of the town. The operators had announced on January 5 that the monthly tariff had been hiked by Rs 35 per connection, following a hike in subscription rates by various pay channels.

They had also said the rates would go further up in March when Zee TV and Sony TV would hike their subscription fee. The expected hike next month will be about Rs 25.

The DC, reportedly, asked cable operators to observe restraint and not to hike tariff every now and then. However, the operators, led by the head of the Panchkula Cable TV Association, Mr Rajesh Sondhi, said they were helpless in the wake of the hike in subscription rates of pay channels. He said about 60 percent of the residents had already paid the enhanced tariff.

The DC also raised the question of operators showing less connectivity to owners of pay channels, which the operators denied. The issue of deficiency in service was also discussed. The DC agreed to convey their opinion to various resident welfare associations here.

Meanwhile, the administration has asked operators to issue proper receipts to consumers. It has been decided that a sample of the receipt will be prepared by the administration and given to the operators in the next couple of days.

Monthly cable TV tariff per connection had been hiked from Rs 150 to Rs 165 per connection in October 2001, following the hike in connectivity charges by pay channels.

Now, two months after that, operators have hiked the rates by Rs 35. The tariff is expected to go upto Rs 225 in February.

Operators are offering 52 channels in the region. Of these, 34 are now pay channels, charging the operators anything between Rs 6 to Rs 40 per connection per month.

Meanwhile, dharna by Mr Hemant Kinger, Convenor of the Panchkula Joint Welfare Association Forum, entered the third day today. Other than frequent hike in cable TV tariff, he is protesting against levying of house tax and hike in water charges. In the dharna, 28 representatives of various local associations participated.


Use of non-conventional energy sources stressed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 16
The Punjab Governor, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), who is also Administrator of Chandigarh, emphasised the need for promoting non-conventional energy devices to conserve oil for the coming generation.

Inaugurating the 12th Oil Conservation Fortnight function organised at Tagore Theatre yesterday, General Jacob said the liberalisation of economy had brought about all round economic and social development and a corresponding growth in associated activities resulting in an exponential rise in the demand for all forms of energy, including petroleum products. Since Independence although oil production in our country had increased considerably, there was still a considerable gap between production and demand. The consumption of petroleum products was increasing at a very steep rate from 3.5 MMT in 1950-51 to 100 MMT in 2000-2001. It was expected to reach about 105 MMT in 2001-2002.

General Jacob said our indigenous production was only 32 MMT. This constituted only 30 per cent of our annual requirement. Neither our indigenous oil production nor our oil reserves were sufficient to meet our requirements. The increase in consumption of petroleum products coupled with fluctuating prices of imported crude was exerting tremendous pressure on our economy. Our import bill for crude and petroleum products during the current year was likely to touch Rs 47,604 crore (excluding imports by private parties ) in foreign exchange compared to last year’s figure of Rs 41,082 crore. Thus to save foreign exchange, it was necessary that due importance was given to oil conservation. All government agencies and oil public sector undertaking had to pay due importance to oil conservation.

The fortnight scheduled for January 14 to January 31 offered a good opportunity to stress the importance of oil conservation. During this period, the PCRA and oil companies along with Central, state and non-governmental agencies had planned to undertake a large number of activities to create awareness about the importance and need for conservation of petroleum products and to educate people about the ways and means for conservation.

The function was organised by Mr T.S. Sawhney, Chief Regional Manager, H.P.C.L. and the state-level coordinator of Chandigarh on behalf of the oil industry. Mr G.C. Daga, General Manager of the Indian Oil Corporation, apprised the gathering of adopting measures to conserve oil, while Mr P.V. Kumar, Area Marketing Manager, B.P.C.L, proposed the vote of thanks. The Deputy Commissioner, Mr M. Ramsekhar, administered the pledge to the audience for oil conservation.

A human chain was formed by the Governor, dealers and officials of oil companies and students of Sanjay Public School, for spreading the message of oil conservation. A poster making competition on the theme of oil conservation was also organised, for spreading the message of oil conservation. A poster making competition on the theme of oil conservation was also organised on the occasion. Balloons, depicting the message of Oil Conservation Fortnight-2002 were also released by the Governor.


Distinguished and decorated councillors

C.K. Sawhney

B.R. Verma

Dr B.R. Verma, who has been nominated as one of the councillors on the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, has doctored people throughout his life and now intends to help them by improving the sanitation system of the City. This will be possible if he gets cooperation from the elected councillors.

He recalls that when he was first Additional Director of U.T. Health Services and later Director, the first Chief Commissioner, Dr M.S. Randhawa, had issued him a letter at the time of leaving the charge which, inter alia, said: “Dr Verma had cordial relations with people who came to him for treatment. He was sympathetic to poor patients who usually received inadequate attention. He gave equal satisfaction to ministers, officers of the Punjab and Haryana governments and the public.”

Born on July 20, 1923, Dr Verma graduated from K.E.M. Medical College , Lahore, and did his M.D. from the same college in 1953. He remained teacher at the Lahore Medical College and later at the Amritsar Medical College. He became a medical specialist at Jalandhar and Divisional Medical Officer in Western Railways. He was Medical Officer in charge of the Civil Hospital, Rohtak and Medical Specialist at the Chandigarh General Hospital. He became Medical Superintendent, later Additional Director, U.T. Health Services, and later Director of Haryana Health Services.

He also remained Founder Fellow of the Association of Indian Medical Academy of Medical Specialities in Medicine. He was selected as fellow of Association of College of Chest Physician and member of the Indian Medical Association, president of the state branch of I.M.A. of U.T.. He is a life-member of the association of Physicians since 1953 . He was also member of the Telephone Advisory Committee for two consecutive terms. Now he is involved in active practice and probably the seniormost in the profession.

As Chairman of the I.M.A. building committee from 1975 to 1980, Dr completed the first phase of I.M.A. complex by getting a plot from the U.T. Administration and later getting handsome contribution from both Union Health Minister and Chief Ministers of Punjab and Haryana. He completed this project with Dr P.N. Chuttani.

Dr is blessed with a son, Mr Sanjeev, who is doing with own business. He has only one daughter, Dina, who is married to a chartered accountant in Delhi.

Mr C.K. Sawhney, who is one of the 10 nominated Councillors on the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, struggled throughout his life for dispensing justice to the poor. As councillor of the corporation he plans to do justice to the people of the city.

After completing his M.Sc in Physics, Mr Sawhney made it to the IPS and became Assistant Superintendent of Police in different districts, and later with the Railway Police. He remained Superintendent of Police of Mahindergarh, Sangrur and Bathinda before being posted as SP at Ferozepore. He also remained SP of CBI. From 1971 to 1974 he remained Director Vigilance and head of the Punjab Vigilance Bureau in the rank of DIG.

Mr Sawhney was also DIG of Ferozepore Range and Patiala Range and later as DIG. CID and Commandant-General of Punjab Home Guards and Director of Civil Defence. He was IG, BSF at Jalandhar, looking after the entire 553 km Punjab border. He was also Director-General of Punjab Police and tackled the problem of extremists and effectively maintained law and order control. He was also Chairman of the Pepsu Road Transport Corporation. He was decorated with the President’s Police Medal for Meritorious Services and the President’s Police Medal for Distinguished Services. He won the Police Medal for Gallantry.

At present Mr Sawhney is a member of the Dyal Singh College Trust Society, Chairman of the Dyal Singh Public School and vice-president of the governing body of the Dyal Singh College at Karnal. He was also member of the governing body of the GMN College, Ambala.

Mr Sawhney has four children, two daughters and two sons. His elder son is settled in a foreign country, while one of his sons is an IAS officer.Back



MC invites suggestions
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 16
The Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh has invited suggestions on the draft of polythene-use bylaws from residents within 15 days. The MC would ban the toxic material after the Chandigarh Administration approved the draft.

“Bylaws will be finalised after considering suggestions and objections,” an official spokesman of the MC said here today.

No trader or vendor shall be allowed to use carry bags or containers made of recycled polythene for any purpose, irrespective of the thickness of the bags or containers. The use of virgin and recycled plastic less than 20 microgram thick is already banned.

The draft proposes one-month imprisonment or fine upto Rs 1,000 or both for violators. A second conviction will attract a double penalty. The MC Commissioner has been given powers to authorise officials to confiscate illegally produced polythene. He has also been given the charge of disposal and destruction of this material.

Traders, vendors, manufacturers and their employees have been told to give all relevant information to the Commissioner or officials designated by him.

The bylaws also direct manufacturers to make their end-product as per the specifications of the Bureau of Indian Standards. Polythene bags will now only be allowed to be made in natural colour with no additives.


Saving Chandigarh

THE editorial “Urban disaster recipe”, for the fate awaiting the ‘City Beautiful’ on account of the possible reckless growth turning it into a hell like Delhi as a result of the promulgation of Chandigarh Apartment Rules 2001, is timely (January 5). Your suggestion to examine the feasibility of including the area touching Chandigarh with Ambala, Patiala, Kalka, Ropar for drawing up a comprehensive master plan capable of withstanding the pressure of population increase is worthy of immediate consideration. The Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India may be urged by the UT Administration to take the initiative.

Vast areas in and around the Union Territory, Chandigarh are, in violation of the Periphery Act, being turned into slums through unplanned and haphazard construction. The Governments of Punjab and Haryana and the UT Administration do not seem to have the guts to stop the same.

Given the present scenario, the setting up of the planned townships like Mohali and Panchkula seem to be acts of far-sightedness by the then Governments in Punjab and Haryana. These townships have saved at least that much part of the periphery from the slum-like haphazard growth contributing, thereby, its mite in helping the ‘City Beautiful’ in withstanding the pressure of population growth. Imagine what would have happened to Chandigarh if these towns had not been set up.

In this respect, forcing the Punjab Government to scrap the Anandgarh Project was not a wise decision. In fact, setting up of projects like Anandgarh and New Chandigarh earlier envisaged by Beant Singh in and around the periphery is a solution in the line with the drawing up of a comprehensive plan suggested in the editorial.

The media, powerful as it is, should, reversing its earlier stand, start supporting the Anandgarh Project thereby making a valuable contribution in saving Chandigarh and its periphery. The project would not only provide employment to thousands of people but also trigger an unprecedented improvement in the economy of the region as billions of rupees would be invested in the project.

The Punjab Government should not only revive the project but also vigorously pursue the SLP in Supreme Court thereby allowing the judiciary to continue to play its role of judicial activities in the larger interest of the development of the country. The Anandgarh Project, if revived and allowed to be implemented, would be the single most developmental act of the Akali Dal — BJP Government during its five-year rule.

Amar Kant, Chandigarh.

Checking misuse of medical facilities

This has reference to Mr M.S. Gill’s letter “Whose dispensary?” 

Mr Gill is very much right that hitherto we have not yet succeeded in weeding out the problem of misuse of the free medical facilities by outsiders. The university is seized of this problem: a high-powered committee which met on October 31, 2001 under the chairmanship of the Director, PGI, inter alia, recommended that all the medical entitlement cards be renewed/revalidated periodically within a timeframe. The minutes of the committee have been approved by the Vice-Chancellor, and initiation on this count is soon awaited. This single step would enable us to meet the problem of the misuse of free medical facilities effectively.

As regards the six other issues, Mr Gill needs to visit the PU Health Centre and see the shape of things for himself: he is sure to see a situation different from the one than he has projected. He would find, I am sure, to his pleasant surprise that the hospital waste is not dumped at the nearby dumping centre, but sent to the university incinerator for destruction in an appropriate manner; the proper upkeep of the injection and dressing rooms is ensured through the close supervision of our qualified surgeon, and disposable syringes are destroyed after use through the syringe and needle destroyer instrument; standard medicines are purchased only from the standard pharmaceutical firms which figure on the approved PGI list; and finally all the medicines are purchased through a regularly constituted purchase committee which meets periodically.

The purchase committee comprises three experts from the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences — one Medical Officer, DR (Accounts) and the CMO. They undertake the whole exercise of purchasing medicines with utmost seriousness.

Dr (Mrs) Pragya Kumar
CMO, PU Health Centre, Chandigarh



Due status for Punjabi sought
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 16
The Chandigarh unit of the Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal (SHSAD) has sought due status to Punjabi in Chandigarh, representation in advisory councils and holiday in banks on the birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh, which falls on January 21.

These demands have been made in a memorandum submitted by a delegation of the party led by its local unit President Joginder Singh Sawhney and its general secretary M. S. Kohli to the Punjab Governor and UT Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd). The SHSAD said the Governor has assured to do the needful at the earliest. The memorandum said the Punjabi was not given due status in UT signboards in government offices.


City cops enjoy ‘poll relief’
Nishikant Dwivedi

Chandigarh, January 16
Assembly elections in Punjab have come as an unexpected relief for the Chandigarh police which until a few days ago had to depute its personnel on security duties and be on the alert.

Though the police will have to guard the routes when VIPs from Delhi visit Punjab for campaigning and pass through Chandigarh, but elections in Punjab certainly mean reprieve for the city cops. Sources said a large number of Delhi-based politicians, including those from the ruling NDA and the Congress, would be campaigning in favour of their respective parties and may pass through the city.

All Punjab ministers and MLAs, having residences in the city, are nowadays spending ‘‘minimum time’’ in the city as they are busy campaigning in Punjab in their respective constituencies and the city cops have less of trouble at their hands. The Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, also remains outside the city most of the time these days. Though the Punjab VVIPs have their own security cover, but the city cops also have to guard the routes when they travel in the city.

Sources in the Police Department said the elections have not brought any extra burden on them as they had not been asked to make any special security arrangements in view of the election. A senior police official on condition of anonymity, admitted that the elections have brought some relief for them.

However, he said a large number of the politicians from Delhi would be visiting Punjab for campaigning and they would either take a halt here or at least pass through the city. In that case, the city cops would have to guard them and regular route alerts and mock exercises before the visit of certain top leaders would have to be carried out.

It may be noted that more than 10 per cent of the police force have been put on security duty of VIPs, civil and police authorities, but this security cover is not extended to the VIPs from Punjab and Haryana. The security wing personnel here are mainly providing security to the local politicians, judges of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, some lawyers, besides the civil and police authorities. 


Help him live
Tribune News Service

Lal Hussain with his son Farooque at the PGI, Chandigarh. Hussain awaits cardiac surgery due to a lack of funds. — A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, January 16
For Lal Hussain, a 35-year-old from Jammu, the road to good health and may be life might depend on you. Waiting now for more than two months at the PGI to be operated upon for a cardiac problem, Lal Hussain does not have the money which is needed for the surgery.

A daily-wager from the Punj district of Jammu, Lal Hussain was diagnosed to be suffering from a severe rheumatic heart disease. ‘‘I reached the PGI after asking everyone I knew where to go for treatment. When I reached here I was told that I need an operation and for that a lot of money is required. Since I do not have any money at all, I asked the hospital authorities to help me’’, he says.

With no money to even pay for his journey here, there was no way Lal Hussain could pay for his initial tests. Declared a poor free patient by the PGI, Lal Hussain is now waiting for monetary help to be able to pay for the operation which will save his life.

Accompanied by his 10-year-old son Farooque who is visually handicapped from one eye, Hussain is living off charity from residents of Khumbra village where he and his son are putting up in a temple.

Hussain has nowhere to go, his suffering only increase as each day passes since his condition worsens. ‘‘I used to earn Rs 2,000 per month as a wager. I was also cultivating a small piece of land which I had in the village. That land has also got washed away in the river and now I have a small house where my wife is living’’, he says.

The PGI’s Cardio-vascular Department has evaluated the expenses which will go in an operation to cure him. According to the evaluation report sent by the department, Hussain will require more than Rs 1.25 lakh for the operation which will involve valve replacement.

‘‘I have never been able to save any money. Even my son does not go to school as I cannot afford special care required for his studies since he cannot see from one eye. He has no idea what I am going through. He is too small to understand these things’’, he says.

The PGI’s Public Relations Department in charge says that they are trying their best to find a way in which he can be helped but since the amount is large, help from other sources will also be required.

Meanwhile, for Hussain, although every breath becomes heavier by the day yet his hope grows. ‘‘I have faith in God and he will come to my help,’’ he says.


Book on human rights violation
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 16
There were more than 300 incidents of human rights violations in Punjab during the past one year, revealed a book “Punjab at War with Human Rights-2001”, released by the Lawyers for Human Rights International at a press conference organised at the District Courts yesterday.

The general secretary of the LHRI, Mr Arunjeev Singh Walia, said that the book was about a detailed study of the human rights violations conducted by the organisation in different parts of Punjab.

Mr Walia added that the number in previous years was comparatively less. Sadly 11 persons lost their lives due to police torture in custody last year.

Fiftysix persons reportedly were tortured in illegal police custody last year and seventy people were rescued by the warrant officers appointed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court from illegal police custody. But not even a single policeman had been punished for the crime. 


Making people look healthy, beautiful
A.S. Prashar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 16
Cosmetology and homoeopathy may be poles apart but they combine well in Dr Poonam Bali, a Chandigarh-bred girl, who has made it good in New Delhi’s world of beautiful people.

Everybody who is anybody and wants to look good and healthy knows where to go. And for problems like pimples, spots, acne and other skin ailments, Dr Poonam Bali has an unfailing answer. Little wonder, some of her clients include celebrities like Maharani Gayatari Devi of Jaipur, France-based model Sheena Singh and Bollywood actress, Sonu Walia, to name only a few.

Dr Bali who has set up shop in Hyatt’s parlour in New Delhi, will also be visiting Chandigarh regularly and will be available for consultation at Planet Fitness. Dr Bali studied homoeopathy at Ludhiana before mastering cosmetology in England. Her first choice was to set up practise in Chandigarh. But soon she found that Chandigarh is not yet ready for the kind of treatment she had to offer. So she moved to Delhi, a decision she has not regretted so far.

But she always missed Chandigarh and wanted to come back here. Hence, her decision to join up with old friend, Kiran Chadha of Planet Fitness.

“My treatment is different from others”, says Dr Bali. “I generally begin by having a long talk with the patient. Besides getting to know about the problem, I try and delve into the characteristics of a person which helps me to give proper medication. I also make an attempt to know about their lifestyles, their diet, movement pattern and other details like the kind of life they may be leading because stress is an important factor.

“Thus, I try to take as complete a history of the patient as possible. Then I design the treatment course which includes not only external medicines like skin ointments but also internal medicines to be taken orally. It is supplemented by exercises, including yoga. And each time, it is a success”.

The original cause for these skin eruptions, she says, is hormonal imbalance, a stressful daily routine and lack of adequate rest. And it is also important to clean one’s skin before one goes to bed at night. But most people neglect it. Hence, the problem.

There is no dearth of patients. The high pressure modern-day life is taking a heavy toll. And also, there is more awareness among the educated people as to how they look. Many go to work while others have an active social life to lead. And they all want to look good. Dr Bali’s clients include both male and female.


A clarification

Apropos of the news item “Cut tree, install stone, remove...” published on January 7, it is clarified that the tree referred to in the news item was “not a full-grown tree” as reported. The site is not being changed and the foundation stone will be laid in the area of a proposed building. The site will not be altered. The error is regretted.


Complaint against husband
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 16
Ms Anjali Rani, a resident of Mauli Jagran, complained to the police that her husband was already married to some other woman and the fact was concealed from her. In the complaint it was also alleged that she was subjected to harassment and the was maltreated for bringing more dowry by her husband and the in-laws.

A case under Sections 494, 495, 406 and 498-A of the Indian Penal Code has been registered.

Two held: The police arrested two persons for allegedly stealing cycles under Sections 379 and 411 of the IPC during the past 24 hours. The stolen cycles were recovered from their possession. On a complaint by Mr Malkiat Singh, a resident of Perch village (Kharar), Khel Bhadur, a resident of Nepal, was arrested from Shastri Colony here. The second accused, Som Pal, a resident of Bapu Dham, was arrested on a complaint by Mr Sukhnandan Singh Vohra, a resident of Mani Majra.

Scooter theft: A resident of Mansa Devi Colony, Panchkula, Mr Ramesh Dangi, reported to the police that his scooter (HR-03-B-0288) was stolen from near the ITBP complex, Behlana village here yesterday. A case was registered.

Stereo stolen: Mr J.P. Singh, a resident of Sector 39, reported that stereo and some documents were stolen from his Maruti car parked at his residence last night. A case has been registered.


Car stolen: Two cars were reportedly stolen from different places in the township during the past 24 hours.

A Maruti Alto (HR- 01L- 0071) was stolen from Sector 15, while another car (CH-03-6050) was stolen from Sector 7 during the intervening night of January 14 and 15.

In both the cases, FIRs under section 379 of the IPC have been registered.

Chain Snatched: Two motor cycle borne miscreants allegedly snatched a gold chain from Ms Nikita Sharma in Sector 16 on Tuesday. She was going back home on her moped. Her moped developed a fault and came to a halt. The miscreants, who were on a mobike, came near her and snatched her gold chain. Back


Bharti to focus on product innovation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 16
Bharti Cellular , which is all set to launch its operations in the city and Punjab before the month-end, unfolded its plans to capture a major market share in the region within a short period of time.

“To begin with, we will launch our operations in 41 places, which will be shortly extended to at least 80 towns and cities”, said Mr Tushar K Maheshwari, Chief Marketing Officer, Bharti Cellular, while talking to TNS.

Emphasising on the quality services and a wide distribution network , he said these would give the company an edge over its competitors. Tight-lipped about the tariffs, the company officials however, ruled out the possibility of using tariff reduction as a tool to emerge as the market winner. “The tariffs will not be higher than the competitors”, but our main focus will be on superior customer care, product innovation and a widespread distribution network”, said Mr I. B. Mehra, CEO .

Bharti, which has planned to launch its cellular services under brandnames Airtel for post-paid and Magic for pre-paid services, is ready with its network of 100 sites (towers) and a distribution network of about 90 dealers and franchisees. The regional head office of the company will be located at Mohali.

Following a market survey conducted in the region, Bharti is eyeing the largely untapped market which the officials say stands at least 1.7 million potential users. “The fact that the people here are highly enterprising and there are strong family ties, increases the market potential. The products will be innovative, and at later stages we will further segment the market to cater to the demand of various segments of customers”, said Mr Maheshwari.

A few innovations, for instance, will be the SMS applications like board examination results on cell phones, games, contests etc, he said.

The network will be enhanced full rate (EFR) Coding compatible and GPRS ready which will ensure a good quality voice and faster transfer of data.

“We will have 2,500 outlets for Magic and we want to make sure that it is available at almost all major retail shops in the region”.

“Our aim is to provide best services to our customers, innovative and wide range of products with value additions and good after-sales services”, said Ms Maheshwari.Back

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
121 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |