Wednesday, September 25, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Plan to rein in vendors selling eatables
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 24
With the health authorities now likely to be entrusted with the powers to issue licences to the vendors selling eatables in the city, the vendors will not only have to restrict to their jurisdiction, but will also have to undergo medical screening.

The authorities now hope to regulate and keep a strict check on the sale of eatables in the city as per the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act (PFA). The number of total vendors is over 10,000 in the city.

The decision follows a meeting between the Municipal Corporation Commissioner and the Director Health to decide as to who should issue licences so that the PFA can be enforced properly. Sources in the Health Department said the process of issuing fresh licences would start after the notification was issued.

Earlier, officials of the Food Health Department had difficulty in keeping a check on the vendors as the issuing authority was the MC, which led to confusion giving the vendors a liberty to sell any item in area of their choice.

“It was often seen that a person who had licence to sell a particular eatable was selling something else and that too in any area he wished to frequent,” said another official in the Food Health Department.

The licences issued to the vendors will be renewed annually and there will be a strict check by the authorities on their area of operation.

Apart from wearing a badge bearing a licence number, the vendors will also have to undergo medical tests to screen them against any disease.

It was during the monsoon, that the Food Health Department had launched a campaign to check the sale of adulterated food items.

A complete ban was imposed on the sale of soda water (banta type), four ice-cream factories were closed down and food samples from various hotels and units were collected.

Now the vendors selling fruits, vegetables, golgappas, ice-cream, tikki, chat and other eatables will be issued proper licences for a period of one year, which, the authorities say, will help them in enforcing the provisions of the PFA.

The authorities will also visit manufacturing units to check cleanliness there.



7-day ultimatum to cable operators
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 24
Amidst growing discontentment on rising cable subscription charges, the Chandigarh Territorial Youth Congress (CTYC) and the District Congress Committee (Urban) today served a seven-day ultimatum on cable operators to stop “looting” customers to avoid political and legal actions.

The two Congress bodies decided to call a meeting of all residents welfare associations and hold dharnas and appealed to associations and social organisations to join the fight to stop “exploitation” of city residents.

CTYC president H. S. Lucky and DCC-U president Pawan Sharma, at a press conference here today, also appealed to residents to boycott cable operators to teach them a lesson.

They said the party, with the support of people, would leave no stone unturned, including filing a case of monopolies and restrictive trade practices and unfair trade practices at a proper forum.

The Congress leaders said the party would collect a list of consumers through welfare societies and submit it to the Income Tax Department and the Sales Tax Department to stop evasion of tax and loss to the national exchequer.

They said multi-system operators (MSOs) would be forced to pay ground rent to the Municipal Corporation.

SITI, Mr Lucky said, had 1.5 lakh connections and was only paying for 30,000 connections, Sky Vision had 40,000 connections and was paying for 4000 connections, C-CON Cable with 25,000 connections was paying only for 3,000, Jason with 20,000 connections was paying for only 3,000 and another one in Sector 11 had 7,000 connection and paying for only 1000 connections.

They alleged the cable operators were resorting to repressive tactics to deal with the public outcry by forming cartels which refuse to provide connections to those who opt to disconnect connections with any of them.

They released an advertisement of the Star India saying that they were charging Rs 40 for providing seven channels to prove that cable operators were over-charging in the name of an increase in the subscription to pay channels. They said they would meet the Administrator to demand a policy on cable operation.

The two leaders alleged cable operators were using “muscle power”, involved in piracy and screened pornography on cable and demanded an inquiry into the antecedents of cable operators.



Minister misleads on function sites?
Kulwinder Sangha

SAS Nagar, September 24
Did the Punjab Housing and Urban Development Minister, Mr Raghunath Sahai Puri, mislead the state Assembly regarding alternative sites identified by PUDA for holding marriage and other social functions at SAS Nagar? It seems the answer is “yes” if one goes by the list of proposed sites presented by him in the House. Interestingly, certain sites simply do not exist!

During the previous Assembly session, Prof Darbari Lal had asked in the House (starred question 179): “will the Local Government Minister be pleased to state whether there is any proposal under consideration of the government to ban the use of parks in SAS Nagar for marriages and other social functions by its residents. If so, the alternative sites, if any, proposed to be offered for such functions?”

In his reply, Mr Puri had said that “neither any specific policy of the government is in vogue to allow the use of public parks in SAS Nagar for holding marriages and other social functions nor is there any proposal to ban it. However, the ACA, PUDA, SAS Nagar, in a local arrangement, have stopped allowing the use of developed and maintained parks for holding marriages and other functions. The alternative sites identified for organising such functions, which include open spaces and community centres, are mentioned in Annexure A”.

One of the proposed sites mentioned in the minister’s list (Annexure A) is supposed to be located in Sector 65 “opposite” house number 1233. Surprisingly, this is the number of a vacant plot which lies in front of a row of houses. Yet another site, according to the minister, is located in Sector 60 “opposite kothi no. 229.” Interestingly, there is no such site. In fact, there is a private house (number 214) located there. The minister’s list also speaks about another site in Sector 60 “opposite kothi number 1368.’ However, opposite this building there is a corner house. Adjacent to house number 1368 is a vacant plot. The general secretary of the Residents Social and Welfare Society, Phases III B2 and V, Mr P.K. Bansal, had pointed out the blunder in a letter dated August 16 sent to the ACA, PUDA. The Minicipal Councillor of the area, Mr Surjit Singh Grewal, says the ACA, Mr Yashvir Mahajan, has not cared to reply to the letter so far.

Another proposed site, says the list, is located in Sector 59 “adjoining the telephone exchange and Cheema Hospital.” This site is actually in possession of the state.

Police Department, which is at present engaged in the construction of a boundary wall. The local SP, Mr H.S. Bhullar, says the police is building its “malkhana” there as the police stations in the town do not have adequate space for keeping seized and other property.

Another site mentioned in the list was claimed to be in Sector 56 “opposite the waterworks and swimming pool”. In fact, at the site there is a developed neighbourhood park with the usual facilities like paved paths, benches, etc., and it cannot be used under the PUDA ban on the use of such parks for private functions. On one side of the pool area there is long, narrow green belt which, too, has been developed.



Auto-lifters’ gang busted, 3 held
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, September 24
The police has arrested three members of an inter-state gang dealing in vehicles on charges of theft, forgery and cheating and impounded four vehicles.

The members of this gang used to get vehicles made by using stolen chassis and engines and then sell these off. They also used to buy registration copies of condemned vehicles at low rates from junk dealers.

Mr H.S. Bhullar, SP, said in press note released here today that the police had got a tip-off that some members of the gang were active in the town and a plan was drawn up to nab them.

A naka was laid at a T-point near Bawa White House near Phase XI and vehicles were checked. The police team found that the engine and chassis numbers of two vehicles — a DCM Toyota and a Swaraj Mazda — did not tally with the information given in the registration copies. Two men, Gurdip Singh, alias Lucky, a resident of Phase II here, and Gulab Singh, alias Gulla, a resident of Tiur village under the Kharar police station, were taken into custody. The two vehicles were also impounded.

The SP said one of the accomplices of the two arrested men, Parminder Singh, alias Billa, was taken into custody from the suspect’s house in Phase VI here. A Canter was impounded from the premises as its chassis number was different from that mentioned in the registration copy.

The SP said Parminder Singh told the police on questioning that he had bought the chassis of the vehicle from the “chor bazar” in Delhi. He also said that he had fitted a stolen engine in a Fiat car. This vehicle was also recovered by the police.

A case had been registered under Section 420, 465, 467, 468, 471, 379 and 34 of the IPC. Efforts were on to arrest two more members of the gang.



Middle-aged lovers commit suicide
Tribune News Service

Anokha Singh
Anokha Singh


Shiamtu\Rattewali, September 24
A middle-aged couple, Anokha Singh (50) of Shiamtu village and Krishna (44) of Rattewali village here, committed suicide near Subhanpur village in Kapurthala district yesterday morning.

Their bodies were found lying in a field in Kapurthala district, along with a suicide note. The note reportedly read: “We are ending our lives of our own will. Our last wish is that we should be cremated together so that our souls may unite in heaven.”

According to information available from the Kapurthala police, a scooter and Rs 37, 850 were also found near the bodies. A few residents of Subhanpur had seen the couple in the village on Sunday evening. The couple had reportedly consumed celphos tablets, a fact proved by an empty bottle of tablets found at the scene of crime.

The couple had gone missing from their villages here on September 11. Anokha was grandfather of three children, while Krishna was grandmother of two children. They were reportedly having an affair for the past couple of year.

Ajmer Singh, husband of Krishna, had got a DDR registered at the Ramgarh police post here, saying that his wife had gone missing and had also taken away an amount of Rs 20,000. He had further said that he suspected the hand of Anokha Singh in her disappearance as the latter would often frequent their place.

The couple had reportedly not made any contact with relatives here since they eloped. Their relatives came to know about their death after they received a communication from the Kapurthala police.

Their bodies were brought back here late this evening from Kapurthala. Much against their last wish of being cremated together, village panchayats and their family members decided against this “to save any bitterness between the two families.”

Said Karam Chand, a resident of Shiamtu and a close friend of Anokha Singh, “How could they even think it possible that their last rites would be performed together? If everyone opposed to their relationship during their lifetime, how could such wild behaviour be granted sanction by performing their last rites together?”

Similarly at Rattewali village, angry village elders scoffed at the affair. They said the duo had brought disgrace to the two villages. “ Over my dead body,” said Rakam Singh, elder son of Krishna Devi, when asked his opinion on their last wish.

Residents say till three months ago everyone, including families of the couple, thought the two had a platonic relationship. “He used to refer to her as a foster sister and vice-versa. Even her children used to call him ‘mama’,” informed Jagiro Devi, sister of Ajmer Singh, who arrived here today on hearing the news of Krishna’s death.

A few months ago, when Ajmer Singh began suspecting their relationship, he asked Anokha not to come at his house or try and meet his wife. “But he continued frequenting our house, in spite of our protests. When things reached a boiling point between her, and us they decided to elope,” said Rakam Singh.

According to Rakam Singh, the lovers had been planning to elope for a few days. “I had forbidden him to come and meet my mother. So he would drive around our house in his car at odd hours. I thought he was coming here to find an opportunity to meet my mother, but it was probably to find an opportunity to elope,” he said.

It was on the evening of September 11 that they finally managed to elope, while Krishna’s daughter-in-law was alone in the house with her.

Though family members of Anokh are tight-lipped about the affair and maintain that they came to know about it only yesterday, villagers suggest otherwise. “ He had left home on the pretext of going for a court case hearing in Panchkula and had taken about Rs 35,000. It was only last night that we came to know about his death, “ said Hem Raj, younger brother of the deceased.



Rape accused files bail plea
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 24
A suspect, Ram Lal, in a rape case of a Shimla-based girl, today filed a second bail plea claiming that there was no allegation levelled against him by the victim girl. He has moved a bail plea within three days after his bail plea was dismissed by the UT Additional and Sessions Judge, Mr Balbir Singh, on September 21. The bail plea is likely to come up in a local court tomorrow.

Claiming that he was innocent and implicated in the case, he has stated that initially the case was registered against M.K. Jain on the statement of the victim girl under Sections 328 and 376 of the IPC and later the police evolved its own version by forcing the victim to change her statement on June 9, 2002, recorded under Sections 164 of the CrPC.

He alleged that it was clear that the FIR was against M.K. Jain for committing rape on the victim. The further statement recorded under Section 164, CrPC, on August 15 in a lower court also corroborated the version of the victim as given in the FIR against M.K. Jain. Not a word against Ram Lal has been said by the victim in her statement recorded on June 9.

Meanwhile, the victim girl has filed a complaint under Sections 210, CrPC, in a local court against the suspect, M.K. Jain, under Sections 366, 376 and 328, IPC. The court has adjourned the case till October 16.

The victim has also recorded her statement before the magistrate. The victim girl also denied the involvement of Ram Lal, Baldev and Surinder Sharma in the case. A suspect in the case, M.K. Jain, was granted anticipatory bail by the UT Additional and Sessions Judge, Mr Balbir Singh, on September 21.



Cheating case against rape accused
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 24
The Chandigarh police today slapped a case of cheating against Ram Lal and Surinder Sharma, the two prime suspect in the rape case of a girl from Shimla. The two had cheated a dealer of MRF tyres.

A case under Sections 420 and 120-B of the IPC has been registered at the Sector 31 police station.

Sources in the police said there were two complaints against them following which a case has been registered on a complaint lodged by Bharat Ratan Ltd, Industrial Area, Phase 1.

Earlier the police has registered a case against Surinder Sharma for cheating and forging the ration card and income tax statement to get an Indica car financed from a Sector 35 finance company.

A case under Sections 406, 420, 467 and 468 of the IPC has been registered at the Sector 36 police station.

Another case of cheating was registered against him at the Sector 36 police station.



BJP lodges protest against Pranab
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 24
The local unit of the BJP today lodged a formal protest with the visiting Parliamentary Standing Committee of Home Affairs against its Chairman Pranab Mukherjee for participating in a function and making a speech there and demanded an inquiry into the land allotment to Ms Ambika Soni and local MP Pawan Bansal.

A delegation of the BJP leaders comprising former member of the committee Satyapal Jain, local unit president Yashpal Mahajan and Leader of the Opposition in the Municipal Corporation Kamla Sharma today met the acting Chairman of the committee Anandcharan Sahu to give a representation.

The delegation also demanded a Vidhan Sabha and Lieut Governor system for Chandigarh, two more posts of secretary, metro and magnetic trains, various commissions and boards in the UT and Hindi and Punjabi as official languages.

In a separate memorandum it listed 20 alleged irregularities in the allotment of land to Ms Soni and Mr Bansal for the committee to inquire into it.

The BJP leaders at a press conference later said that Mr Sahu admitted that Mr Mukherjee should have avoided political engagements as per the parliamentary conventions, and he expressed his surprise over the senior Congress leader’s ignorance of conventions.

Mr Jain said he himself had been a member of this committee earlier and Mr Bansal, who has been an MP and member of various committees, should have adhered to parliamentary conventions of staying away from political engagements during visits and hoped Mr Mukherjee would not repeat the same in future.

Seeking an inquiry by this committee in land allotment to a society involving family members of Ms Soni and Mr Bansal for running a school, he sought a reply from Mr Bansal and Ms Soni why the Political Adviser to the All-India Congress Committee was hiding from the people of the city by not participating in the committee’s three-day engagements despite claiming to be a resident of Chandigarh.

The memorandum alleged the MP and the officials colluded to allot land to the Heritage Educational Society bending rules to accommodate the Congress leaders.

Mr Mahajan said that general secretary of the BJP and party spokesman Mukhtar Abbas Naqwi would open the “Gaon chalo abhiyan” from Kaimbwala village tomorrow.

Mr Jain said national BJP president M. Venkaiah Naidu would come to the city on September 27 after attending a National Democratic Alliance (NDA) function in Jind in memory of the late Deputy Prime Minister Devi Lal tomorrow.

The memorandum also demanded multi-storeyed and underground parking arrangements in the city.



Treat UT staff with MC on deputation: panel
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 24
Members of the Federation of UT Employees and Workers today demanded bonus for employees and to consider the employees transferred to the Municipal Corporation on deputation besides raising several other demands before the Parliamentary Standing Committee here today.

Within the purview of the committee are matters of personnel like those raised by the employees as they presented a memorandum.

The federation said before switching over to the Punjab pattern of pay scales, the employees of UT were being paid bonus as and when the Central Government released bonus to its employees. Unfortunately this practice had been given a burial and bonus was not being released automatically to the work force employed by UT Chandigarh.

The matter needed to be taken up with the Ministry of Home Affairs to release the bonus of UT employees at the earliest.

Another major demand was to rescind the contemplated move to privatise functioning of the electricity department as the move would be against overall interest of the consumers.

It was regrettable that the Administration proposed to privatise the functioning of the electricity department which was being looked after by Chandigarh Administration. Ever since reorganisation of the states and creation of Chandigarh in November, 1966, this department had been functioning quite efficiently and was making profit, even through the rates were less than that were being charged in Punjab and Haryana, the federation claimed.

With the growth of population, additions to the number of sectors and also growth and expansion of industrial establishments, trade and business, the demands for expanding electricity services continued to be ever increasing. Thus the electricity department had since expanded considerably. Electricity, being one of the most basic necessities for growth of economy had been kept in the hands of the government, as a department, the memorandum said

The federation also said daily wagers and work charged employees should be made permanent and DA, HRA, CCA should be released to them as per order of the Supreme Court of India. Most of the workers were working on muster roll for the past 10 to 25 years. There was no justification not to absorb them as regular hands.

It was further submitted that despite various judgements of CAT at Chandigarh and the judgement of the Supreme Court DA, HRA, CCA had not been released. “We strongly demand that equal work equal pay formula be implemented and also demand to introduce EPF scheme for all the daily wagers so that they may be eligible for pension, gratuity and other benefits,” they added.

The issue of treatment of employees transferred to the MC was also referred to. The federation said ever since the Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh was created, employees, who have been working with the UT Administration as its employees, been contemplated to be transferred to the said corporation, the Federation from all its forums and platforms demanded that, in the event of their transfer, they should be treated on deputation. Unfortunately nothing had been done so far in that direction. The status of employees from “government employees” to “corporation employees” was wrong. It was, therefore, once again requested that those transferred affected employees be treated as on deputation — thereby retaining them as government employees — for all purposes.



MPs visit slum colony, IT centre
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 24
The Parliamentary Standing Committee, on the final day of their two-day inspection-cum-study tour of Chandigarh, was shown the development of a rehabilitation colony which would house slum dwellers. The committee members were also taken to the SPIC-microsoft centre for excellence at Punjab Engineering College for a round of the Administration’s development projects related to information technology.

The day for the MPs started when they visited Sector 38 (West) where a new rehabilitation colony was coming up. The delegation also saw the swank Sector 38 (West) housing complex.

It was then time for them to move onto another latest housing project in Sector 56. The delegation was then taken around the newly developed green belt in Sector 48-A.

The committee also visited Panjab University before leaving for Delhi.



A lone, long wait for justice
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 24
He has been fighting a lone and long battle against the entire system for the past 17 years. But it is still a long wait for justice.

Randeep Wadhera, a 46-year-old local resident, was dismissed from service by the State Bank of Travancore on charges of ‘‘misconduct’’, when he failed to join duty because of his terminal illness. Seventeen years thereafter, he is still trying to grapple with his failing health and the indifference of his former employers and the prevailing law of land.

Randeep is suffering from a crippling problem leading to excessive calcification of his hip joints and spine. In medical terms, his ailment — ankylosing spondylitis — can take years to heal. This disease has confined him to the four walls of his house. He can either stand straight or lie down, but cannot sit down. ‘‘The last time I remember having sat down on a chair was 17 years ago, ’’ he says.

Though a medical board constituted by the bank had ruled he was suffering from a crippling disease, the bank authorities asked him to join duty. Later, a three-member inquiry team was constituted to verify his medical condition and present a memo. Even they ‘‘sympathized’’ with his condition. ‘‘I was expecting help from my employers, but was discharged from service,’’ he rues.

In spite of several court rulings and judgements that employees suffering from terminal illness cannot be discharged from service and rather be given a ‘‘softer’’ posting, justice has eluded Wadhera all these years.

‘‘Because of my illness , I cannot step out of the house, leave alone go to courts or approach any other fora. I cannot even go to meet a competent lawyer, who in turn, refuse to come over to meet me. I have also tried approaching certain NGOs run by lawyers as well as the National Human Rights Commission to help me out, but to no avail,’’ says a disgruntled Randeep.

The problem began in 1982, while he was posted in the small hill town of Munnar in Kerela as Probationary Officer . Calcium deposits on his joints, restricted his movements and he sought transfer to a warmer place. Subsequently, he was transferred to Mumbai, but his condition worsened and in 1985 he was completely bedridden .

He says he availed 720 days of leave, before he was asked by his employers to join duty. Since he failed to join back, he was discharged in August 1992. ‘‘Since my service was not pensionable, I was not even given any benefits,’’ he says.



Range of cuisines 
Harvinder Khetal
Tribune News Service

Drop-in. An inviting phrase. And seems just the right name for the latest venture of CITCO in Sector 34. Because the gazebo-like structure with its islands of green patches in the midst of the concrete jungle of multi-storeyed buildings of the Sector 34 city sub-centre stands out and attracts one to just... well, drop in.

Strategically located right opposite the Passport Office, the eatery has clientele dropping in from as early as 8 am. People from far-flung towns and villages take a break from the long queues in front of the Passport Office window to have a refreshing cuppa that cheers. Then, by and by, as the other multitude of offices, government departments, coaching institutes, hospitals and banks come to life, employees and visitors to the area troop into the fast-food restaurants. And in the evenings and after dark, it is the family crowd or groups of friends that saunter in.

Catering to the varied tastes of the multi-hued customers, the joint offers a range of cuisines — Indian, Chinese, Continental and South Indian. From a quick bite of a snack, to a meal takeaway, you have it all — And at reasonable rates. Sample this: A regular Combo Meal (dal, subzi, raita, salad achar, two chapatis) costs Rs 25. If you want a panir dish in addition, pay Rs 35, while an extra chicken delicacy comes for Rs 50 in all. A simple cup of tea is for Rs 4 and coffee Rs 6. Plates of vada sambar, idli sambar, dosa, pav bhaji, pakora, chana poori, bhatura, aloo parantha, hot dog, burger, cutlets, kathi roll, noodles, pastries, soup and ice-cream are priced between Rs 20 and Rs 30. If you are too busy to come out of your workplace, call for the special meal tray at Rs 5 extra. The non-veg tandoori chilli chicken and kalru kebab are the most expensive at Rs 70. Salestax is extra.

The spot is scenic in the late evenings as you sit out under diffused light, with the city, spread before you. The twinkling stars high above, and the raindrops (if you are lucky) only serve to enhance the ambience of the earthy browns of the interiors that are a play of ceramic tiles, granite, wood, wrought iron and stone.

Take a coupon and wait for your number that is displayed at the service counter. It usually doesn't take more than 10 minutes for the chefs to rustle up your order. Well, that's not surprising. The cooks have been trained by master chefs of the prestigious CITCO hotels — Mountview and Shivalikview.

On the anvil

  • Kiddy birthday parties: Mr Praveen Goswami, F&B Manager who is a Delhi PUSA graduate and has experience of working in Mountview, has an interesting package for birthday kids. For a minimum of 20 guests, Drop-In will soon take on the headache of the hostess. So, kids can look forward to a gala time in the 5 pm-to-7 pm slot with a special cake from the Mountview bakery, buntings, crowns for the children, decorations, games, gifts and tatoos at Rs 99 per guest.
  • Since there are no walls around, the food attracts flies and bees. While the fly catchers installed on the pillars all around have controlled the menace to some extent, some chiks and glazing will be set up to make things better and yet retain the beautiful view of nature and greenery of the potted plants and lawns.

What can be done

  • Maybe some soft music and light ghazals could enliven the atmosphere more and add some spice and sweet to the delectable beverages and snacks.
  • The patches of lawns could be put to better use: a couple of tables could be laid under an iron gazebo — for use in summer evenings and winter noons. 



Problems galore in Sectors 38, 38-A 

The Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh has installed a ‘sulabh souchalaya’ in Sector 38-A. It is very close to our house. As there is no permanent ground sewerage outlet, it emits foul smell and has become a health hazard. Living has become a nightmare here.

Surprisingly, without any concern for the residents, a number of junk dealers’ shops have sprouted on the road separating Sector 38 and Sector 38-A (West). As if the dirt and filth created by the unauthorised dairies is not enough, these junk dealers burn tyres from time to time, polluting the atmosphere.

It is strange how these ‘kabadies’ are being allowed to burn tyres when the Municipal Corporation does not allow burning of even dry leaves. Also the road, full of potholes, is not motorable. The dairy owners litter the road and let loose their cattle creating nuisance.

I wonder why the residents of this area are being given this treatment even though they had bought properties by paying hefty amounts. Even otherwise, this sector is a neglected one. The roads are not recarpeted in time, street lights are hardly maintained and faulty tubes are not replaced despite repeated complaints. Rainwater drains have not been laid out and wherever these exist, these are not properly maintained. A number of manhole covers are also missing.

Further, the trees around are not pruned from time to time. As a result, the branches stretch over the electric poles and properties. The MC seems busy exploring more ways to tax the already burdened city residents, without bothering about sanitation and other amenities for the residents.

S.C. Marwaha, Chandigarh

Poor interpretation

This has reference to the report “Viagra for treating blue babies” (Chandigarh Tribune, September 14). The report, which should have been based on the lecture delivered in the PGI by Dr Savitri Shrivastava, Escorts’ Senior Cardiologist, misleads the readers. The report ought to have dealt with the general gist of the doctor’s lecture instead of covering a statement, which looks out of context, when read alone. Apparently, the reporter was not able to grasp what the doctor has said.

Moreover, the report quoted the doctor as saying that she had been treating two patients, aged six and 15, and in both cases the treatment worked well. It is quite obvious to the reader that the doctor would not have given such conflicting statements. Consequently, it is a case of poor interpretation by the reporter.

Vijaya Sidhu, Chandigarh

Hospital management

The ‘sick’ equipment of Government Medical College Hospital (September 5) makes a painful reading in hospital management. Chandigarh’s PGI was the birthplace of hospital engineering in South-East Asia. The PGI’s department was acknowledged as a model for developing countries.

A mobile workshop of the PGI with spares bank used to go to Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab hospitals for undertaking repairs/PPM. This novel experiment, first of its kind, was acknowledged by the IFHE (London) and the WHO. Chandigarh is the headquarters of the Institute of Hospital Engineering — a professional body. The PGI trained senior engineers from the Union Territory’s Public Works Department in hospital engineering. These officials need to implement various concepts and systems at the city level.

Mr T.N. Chaturvedi, IAS (retd), the then Chief Commissioner of Chandigarh, and now the Karnataka Governor, was keen to extend this model at the city level. As Chandigarh is growing into a medical city, its integration with international tourism, will help the city a lot. The Director of the Government Medical College Hospital and the UT’s new Director of Health Services should take steps to use the Shared Hospital Engineering Services (SHES) model in Sector 16 Hospital, the GMHC, government and private clinics.

To begin with, the authorities should concentrate on disposal of medical waste. Any investment will pay back in three years, will save 30 per cent towards maintenance budget and reduce the idle period of equipment by 70 per cent. Proposals have been gathering dust in the cupboards of the Chandigarh Administration since 1998. It can also be followed as a model for Punjab hospitals. Industrialists and policy-makers should acknowledge the role of qualified hospital engineers, including biomedical, clinical and medical architecture, in the successful implementation of the model.

Panjab University’s new Institute of Research in Health can also play a unifying role in developing SHES for Chandigarh. It offers honorary services and collaboration. The PHSC will be helpful as Punjab’s Health Minister on September 16 inspired young engineers to make the best use of technology in healthcare.

Dr J.C. Mehta, Chandigarh

Contrary to facts

The report “Group clash in Govt College” (Chandigarh Tribune, September 14) is contrary to facts. The report says “guards and cops posted outside the campus looked on as mute spectators”. However, the fact is that there were no guards and cops at the time of the incident. There was only one gatekeeper to control the movement of vehicles at the gate.

Moreover, the incident took place outside the college premises, near the main gate. Staff members, who were present on duty — Mr J.S. Virk, Lecturer in geology and Mr O.P. Nain, Lecturer in economics — rushed to the gate from the canteen immediately to control the situation. More staff members joined them later.

On the Principal’s request, the police reached the site within five minutes. The staff members helped the injured students. The Principal requested the doctors on duty and the CMO to provide the best possible medical help to them.

Principal, Govt College Panchkula

Properties of chloroquine

A few years back, I had written to the Departments of Medicine and Pharmacology, Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, that chloroquine is anti-viral despite being anti-malaria. The anti-viral properties of chloroquine, I had emphasised, needed further evaluation and thorough research. There is no doubt that the anti-malaria properties of chloroquine are pronounced throughout the world, along with its disease modifying properties.

The anti-viral properties of chloroquine need to be exploited for the benefit of people, especially during the outbreak of viral fever in Chandigarh. Chloroquine, in usual dosage, may be distributed among the residents. It should be swallowed in a single dose before the onset of fever or before the outbreak of viral fever. Moreover, chloroquine in recommended prophylactic dose doesn’t have any side-effect. It is effective in controlling malaria also.

In my independent findings of chloroquine during my studies and experience of clinical practice during the past 23 years, I found enthusiastic results of anti-viral properties of this wonderful medicine. This is very much encouraging.

Suffice it to mention that the use of chloroquine helps prevent the spread of viral fever as a prophylactic drug but not as a therapeutic drug. This needs to be noted. Once there is fever, it takes its own time to subside.

Dr Tejinder M. Aggarwal, National Integrated Medical Association, Chandigarh



Bhagvad Mahapuran katha begins
Our Correspondent

Swami Gopal Mani deliveres a sermon as devotees listen at the Sector 28-A ground in Chandigarh
Swami Gopal Mani delivers a sermon as devotees listen at the Sector 28-A ground in Chandigarh on Tuesday. — A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, September 24
Devotees thronged the Sector 28 ground for listening to sermons delivered by Swami Gopal Mani Maharaj at the week-long Shrimad Bhagvad Mahapuran Katha which started this evening.

An impressive shobha yatra was also taken out from Sri Sanatan Dharam Triveni Mandir in Sector 7-C which reached the katha ground in Sector 28-A at about 2.30 pm. Devotees from city and vicinity participated with great enthusiasm in the yatra.

The katha will also be recited by Kumari Sita Devi. According to the belief of the devotees, the recital of katha during this period leads the way for Moksha of our ancestors. It also gives peace to the departed souls’’. Bus service was provided to the residents from 12 different sectors. 



CHB residents’ memorandum
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 24
A delegation of the Chandigarh Housing Board Residents Federation today met the visiting Parliamentary Standing Committee of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs and presented a memorandum, demanding need-based changes in the flats.

This is a big issue that needs your attention. An issue that touches more than three lakh CHB residents living in more than 10 sectors of Chandigarh, the federation told the committee.

Regularisation of need-based additions and alterations made by CHB residents in their flats over a period of 20 years was required. 



Ex-Mayor roots for uprooted Punjabis
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 24
An Akali councillor and former Mayor, Ms Harjinder Kaur, today questioned the rehabilitation policy in the city ignoring the uprooted Punjabis for the creation of the city and favouring “migrants”.

She challenged the rehabilitation policy, in a memorandum submitted to the visiting Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs today. She suggested an equal amount of grant should be given to villagers uprooted and pushed to villages.

She demanded Hindi and Punjabi being made official languages of the union territory instead of English. The former Mayor highlighted the financial crunch in the MC and its duty towards maintenance of the city.



Woman hurt in stove burst
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 24
Sudha(23) of Raipur Khurd village suffered over 60 per cent burns on the upper part of her body in her one-room house here today when she was lighting a stove which burst. She was admitted to the PGI. The woman is married for past five years. Her husband was taking a bath at the time of incident.

Parents and brother of the victim also came in the evening. The police says that the victim in her statement had said that it was an accident, though she was not able to sign her statement.



4 theft cases reported
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 24
Four cases of theft were registered at various police stations in the city during the past 24 hours.

A white Maruti car (CH-01-J-1996) of Mr J.S Sodhi, a resident of Sector 23, was reportedly stolen from Sector 34 last afternoon. Mr Devinder Kumar, a resident of Nayagaon, has also reported that his white Maruti Zen car (CH-09-3052(T)) was stolen from Sector 8 last evening. In another case, Mr Jaspreet Singh of SAS Nagar reported that his LML Vespa scooter (PB-65A-0724) was stolen from a Sector 19 parking lot on Saturday evening.

Thieves reportedly broke into House No. 39 in Sector 30 on Saturday night and took away Rs 15,000. There was nobody in one house when one incident took place, said Mr Hari Ram to the police in his complaint.

Six arrested: Balkar, Ravinder, Ranjit Singh, Manjit Singh, Daljit Singh and Harpreet Singh were arrested on Monday for allegedly beating up Gagan Kumar, a resident of Jalandhar district. The accused were arrested under Sections 147, 149 and 323 of the IPC.

Cyclist injured: An unidentified cyclist was injured allegedly after being hit by a Maruti car driven by a woman near the traffic-light point of Sectors 45 and 46. A case has been registered.

Held with liquor: Raj Bahadur, a resident of Colony No. 5 was arrested allegedly for carrying liquor pouches. He was booked under various Sections of the Excise Act.

Milkman dies: Nakshtra Singh (45), a milkman, who was injured after being hit by a car on the Chandigarh-Ambala Highway at Bhabhat village on Monday, succumed to his injuries on Tuesday. According to the police, the victim, a resident of Humbran village, near Banur, was riding a cycle when a car (MP-09B-0731) hit him from behind.

Critically injured, he was rushed to the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, Chandigarh, where he died on Tuesday.

After registering a case, the body has been sent to the Civil Hospital, Rajpura, for a post-mortem examination.

The car driver, Rajendra Prasad, is said to have been arrested by the police. The car involved in the crime has also been impounded. 



1 kg of smack seized, one held
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 24
The Crime Branch of the Chandigarh police seized 1 kg of smack valued at Rs 1 crore in the international market, here this evening. The consignment of the narcotic was seized from a resident of Sangaria in Hanumangarh, Rajasthan.

The suspect, Subash Chander (52), was waiting for delivery of the consignment near Samrat Hotel in Sector 22. The in charge of the CIA cell, Inspector Satbir, said the consignment was in a black leather bag.

The suspect is a commission agent of jaggery in a mandi of Hanumangarh. A case under the NDPS Act has been registered. The police believes that the suspect was a member of a gang involved in the supply of drugs in the region.


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