Friday, March 22, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Long wait for accommodation
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 21
Nearly 150 PGI employees, who joined service after 1981, have been waiting for an official accommodation. Three months back it seemed that a few of them will get an accommodation with the construction of 36 houses for Class III and Class IV employees. But till today they are craving for accommodation.

The hospital’s engineering branch has handed over the possession of the houses to the PGI’s estate branch three months back, but the latter has not even started the process of allotment, states Mr Ashwani Munjal, general secretary, PGI Employees Union.

In 1997, the PGI was allotted Rs 10 crore for the construction of houses for the faculty and non-faculty employees. These included 36 houses of Type I; 36 houses of Type II; 64 houses of Type III; 32 houses of Type IV; and 20 houses of Type V. Out of the Rs 10 crore, Rs 4.5 crore was allocated for the construction of Types I, II, III and IV houses for non-faculty employees and Rs 5.5 crore for Type V houses for the faculty members.

Now, 36 houses of Type I for non-faculty members and Type V houses for faculty members are ready for possession. While the process of allotment to faculty members has started, the process is yet to start for the non-faculty employees.

Employees allege that the PGI administration is simply not showing any interest in moving the case further as it deals with the non-faculty employees whose interest, they say, is generally low on the priority lists of those in the administration. They also state that although there are 186 employees awaiting accommodation, only 36 houses have been constructed.

“The Type III and Type IV houses have been given to the Chandigarh Housing Board for construction by the PGI and the amount was deposited in the CHB on March 31, 2001, but no construction has started till date”, says Mr Munjal.

The standing estate committee meeting, which was held on February 24, 2002, sanctioned the construction of 32 more houses of Type II and 32 more houses of Type V for the employees.



Panel set up to check quacks
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 21
Concerned over the proliferation of unqualified medical practioners in the rural areas of the district, a high powered committee has been set up in order to keep a check on them.

The district health authorities have formed a three-member committee , comprising District Ayurvedic Officer, Drug Inspector and a qualified doctor in order to conduct periodical raids and surveys on the shops and clinics of these unqualified practitioners. This follows an order by the Punjab and Haryana High Court in May 2001, wherein Mr Justice R.L. Anand and Mr Justice K.C. Gupta had directed the Civil Surgeons in Punjab and Haryana and Chandigarh to form such committees and curb the menace of quackery.

When contacted, the Civil Surgeon, Dr B.S. Chaudhary, confirmed that a committee had been formed to check the nefarious activities of certain unqualified practitioners, especially in the rural areas where the nearest government dispensary or a sub-centre was at some distance.

Sources in the health department say that a large number of unqualified medical practitioners have mushroomed in several villages of Pinjore, Raipur Rani and Barwala blocks. Mr Ram Lal Arora, a panchayat secretary in the Raipur Rani block say, ‘‘There are only three government dispensaries in the Raipur Rani blocks, which has a total of 41 villages. These dispensaries are also located at a distance from most of these villages. Thus, villagers rely on the medical advice given by these unqualified doctors. It is only when the situation gets out of hand that they take the patients to a qualified doctor in Panchkula or Chandigarh.’’

His views are echoed by Mr Puran Chand, panchayat secretary in Pinjore. He says that there are 10 villages under his jurisdiction and there is no government dispensary . ‘‘All these villages are located at the foot hills, at some distance from the Primary Health Centre (PHC) at Pinjore. Also, the staff of the PHC, is not to be found in case there is an emergency at night. Thus, the villagers rely on these quacks’’, he says.

Villagers also lament about the dilapidated condition of these government dispensaries and PHCs. Mr Dharam Singh, Sarpanch of Barwala, rues, ‘‘There are two doctors in the PHC here, but the medicines are rarely available. Also, there is no cleanliness in these places.’’

However, Dr B.S. Chaudhary refutes all these allegations. He contends that there are sufficient number of PHCs, government dispensaries and sub-centres in the rural areas. ‘‘There is a PHC each in Barwala, Kot, Raipur Rani, Morni, Pinjore, Kalka, Hangola and Old Panchkula. Sufficient staff is also present in these dispensaries and PHCs ,’’ he says.

Dr Chaudhary denies that people are turning to quacks because of unavailability of proper medical aid. ‘‘The basic constraint for setting up more dispensaries and PHCs is unavailability of land. If the panchayats do not give us the requisite land , we cannot construct these health care centres,’’ he says.



PGI request for blood
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 21
The PGI has requested all those who possess B-ive blood group to donate for a patient admitted to the PGI, Lal Hussain,(35) who was admitted to the PGI for treatment of rheumatic heart disease in December 2001. His open heart surgery was postponed due to lack of funds.

With the help of Chandigarh Tribune, The PGI’s public relation department had collected Rs 1.6 lakh. It was grateful to the donors who made it possible. The surgery, has, however once again been postponed due to the non availability of B-ive blood. Six units of blood is required during the double valve replacement surgery of Lal Hussain. All other requirements for the surgery are complete.



A boon for swimmers during winters
Arvind Katyal

Chandigarh, March 21
A good news for swimmers! Now one can use a swimming pool even during winters if a solar water heating system, which regulates adequate temperature in the pool, is installed. A Chandigarh-based firm, Inter-Solar Systems Private Limited, has installed the first such water heating system for an outdoor swimming pool in a public school at Tizara village, around 80 km from Delhi, in Rajasthan.

The Director of the company, Mr Devinder Kaushal, told this reporter that though they were into various other projects it was their maiden venture in sports and had been received well with 100 per cent success rate.

On the modalities of this new method, Mr Kaushal, himself a technocrat, said the capacity of the pool was 12 lakh litres per day and was perhaps the largest single swimming pool in the country. He said this system was designed as per international standards.

He was of the view that in Chandigarh and nearby areas, people discontinued swimming during the winter season. He said the temperature of the pool could be maintained even if there were four sunny days in a winter season. He said the cost of heating the pool was nearly Rs 8,000 per sq mtr of the pool area. But he opined that the cost could be recovered in few years time since a lot of energy got saved.

He revealed that in summers the solar heating system could be used in laundry work, cooking etc., hence saving the overhead.

Another director of the company, Bhupinder Kumar, said the pool was covered with isothermal covers when not in use. This prevented it from cooling down at night along with protecting it from dust, thus reducing the cost of cleaning.

On the durability of this system, he said the life span of the system was more than 30 years, while during that period it needed very little maintenance. He said the project would also result in saving costly fuel thereby saving environment from poisonous gases produced by the burning of fuel to heat pool water.

He said the existing pools could be heated with the system by making minor modifications.

When contacted, the Joint Director Sports UT, Dr J.P.S. Sidhu, said indoor swimming pool could prove to be a costly affair, running into few crores. He said such heating systems might prove to be beneficial and that they would have to look into various modalities. But, he felt, it was good that some research had been done in this area and would prevent careers of many swimmers from getting wasted.

He said the UT could think of installing such system in any one of the swimming pools out of the three located in Sector 23 and Lake Club.



Mongia leaves for Mumbai
Our Sports Reporter

Chandigarh, March 21
Dinesh Mongia, the hero of the just concluded India-Zimbabwe series, left for Mumbai this morning to join other members of the Indian team, which is preparing for the forthcoming Indian tour to West Indies.

Minutes before leaving from his Sector-40 residence, Mongia told this reporter that he was hopeful of his entry into the squad and said it was a great moment reaching home last night and receiving accolades from hundreds of guests, followers and other friends.

Mongia said more was yet to come from him, as he was getting poised with every match he played. Mongia was hopeful of his side taking on the Windies in a more confident manner.



Sale of cut fruit banned
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 21
Keeping in mind infections in the forthcoming summer months the Chandigarh Administration today banned the sale of cut fruit, unhygienic ice, ice-candies, aerated water, unchlorinated drinking water, and food articles exposed to dust and flies.

All kinds of sweets, cakes, biscuits, breads, parched grain, all other articles of food including cut-fruits, grapes, dates and drinks of all kinds, including lassi, sugarcane-juice and sherbets, when exposed for sales, shall be properly protected by wire gauze or glass against contamination by dust and flies, the order says.

Exercising the powers conferred upon him under the Epidemic Diseases Act 1897, the District Magistrate, UT Administration, Mr M. Ramsekhar, has authorised the Assistant Commissioner I and II, MC, Medical Officer of Health, Superintendent Slaughter House, Meat Inspector, all Health Supervisors, Superintendent Vaccination, Chief Sanitary Inspectors, Sanitary Inspectors, Meat Supervisors of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh and all Judicial Magistrates, Executive Magistrates, Principal Medical Officer, Assistant Director Malaria, Anti-Malaria Officer, Entomologist-cum-Parasitologist, all class I and II Medical Officers, Food Inspectors and Sanitary Inspectors of Chandigarh Administration, in their respective jurisdiction to enter and inspect any market, building, shop or place used for manufacturing, sale or distribution of any article of food and drinks.

They have been authorised to examine and seize any such articles found exposed to dust and flies so as to prevent their consumption by human beings. The order shall remain in force up to December 31 this year.


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