Monday, July 14, 2003, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Settle doctors’ row, says PGI governing council
Pratibha Chauhan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 13
The controversy over headship of the Department of General Surgery at the PGI between Dr J.D. Wig and Dr R. Minz could be dragged to the Supreme Court. The governing body has directed the authorities concerned to settle the issue amicably between the two doctors, failing which a Special Leave Petition (SLP) should be filed against the high court orders in this regard.

To settle the controversy, the PGI had placed the matter before the governing and institute body meeting held in New Delhi on May 12. According to minutes of the meeting signed by the Union Health and Family Welfare Minister, Ms Sushma Swaraj, a few days back, the PGI has been told that additional funds could not be made available to enhance the infrastructural facilities at the Renal Transplant Centre merely to settle the dispute.

In order to settle the controversy, the PGI had proposed for redesignating the Kidney Transplant Centre as separate department of the Renal Transplant Centre and make Dr Minz its head. As per this arrangement, Dr Wig would have continued as head of the Surgery department.

Dr Minz, had taken the issue of headship of the Department of Surgery to the National Commission for SC and ST, pleading that despite being seniormost he was not made the head.

The governing body observed that there should be an amicable working environment in the institute for which resolution of the dispute between the two doctors was necessary. “In case an amicable settlement to implement the high court order is not arrived at, a SLP should be filed before the Supreme Court against the order of the lower court,” says the decision of the governing body in this regard.

It was Dr Wig who had moved the high court against the orders of the Health Ministry to appoint Dr Minz as head of the Surgery department. The court in turn had directed the PGI that the process of creation of a separate department should be completed within three months time.

Sources at the PGI said with the minutes of the governing body clearly stating that no funds could be made available for creation of a separate department, the dispute was bound to be dragged to apex court. “Under no circumstances would Dr Minz, agree to the solution suggested by the GB and as such the SLP, would have to be filed,” observed a senior PGI official.

Meanwhile, the governing body has turned down the request of the Adviser to the UT Administrator for a copy of the J.S. Chopra inquiry report, regarding death of a patient, Ms Mohinder Kaur, at the PGI due to alleged negligence of doctors.

The governing body observed that the copy of the inquiry report could not be given as the matter was still pending before the Consumer Forum. However, the doctors have been directed to cooperate with the Dr Raj Bahadur committee, on the issue.



UT plans golden jubilee celebrations
A.S. Prashar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 13
The UT Administration is planning to celebrate the golden jubilee of the City Beautiful later this year.

The celebrations may be spread over a year and are likely to be kicked off with a grand function on October 7, 2003. Although the Administration is still in the process of firming up plans for the celebrations, it may invite the President or the Prime Minister for the occasion.

Other events being contemplated include issuing of a postage stamp, a documentary film on the making of Chandigarh architects’ workshop, car rally, cultural programmes etc.

“We have been thinking along these lines for some time,” said Mr Virendra Singh, Adviser to the Administrator of Chandigarh, in a talk with TNS. “But nothing is final as yet. However, the feedback which we have been getting from the people to the proposal is very positive and encouraging.”

The final decision in the matter will be taken at an officers’ meeting to be held here on Monday (July 14).

It was on October 7, 1952, that the first President of India, Dr Rajendra Prasad, formally inaugurated Chandigarh. A public meeting was held in an open space adjacent to the civil secretariat to mark the occasion. The open ground has since been named Rajendra Park and lies between the Chandigarh Club building and the row of ministerial houses in Sector 2.

Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, who conceived the project after the Partition of the country in 1947, inspired the planners and builders of Chandigarh in the following words.” Let this be a new town, symbolic of freedom of India, unfettered by the traditions of the expression of the nation’s faith in the future”. Originally built as the capital of Punjab, Chandigarh is now the seat of the governments of Punjab, Haryana and the Union Territory Administration.

Le Corbusier, the French designer of Chandigarh struck a personal friendship with Nehru due to their similar philosophy of life. Speaking about the reconstruction after World War II, Corbusier had said: “Let us draw up the human poetic plans of the new world — let us reconstruct everything: the roads, the ports, the cities, the institutions. The page has turned ... between belief and doubt, it is better to believe. Between action and vacilliation, it is better to act”.

Chandigarh, a gigantic experiment in architecture and town-planning has played a significant in the evolution of modern architecture. It has provided a fresh thinking and has, in fact, shown a new way of life. It is built without imported machines and material and is economically and beautiful, related to the needs of man and in harmony with nature. The spirit of Chandigarh has remained unaffected and the city has thrived in spite of various hurdles and setbacks owing to the reorganisation of Punjab, a fact which amply reflects the boldness of spirit and original concept of Chandigarh.



Police remand for Sapra’s wife
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 13
A local court today remanded Dr Swapna Singh in two-day police custody on the charge of killing her husband, Mandiv Sapra, executive director of the Delhi-based Group 4 Securities Guarding, in a city hotel on Saturday.

The autopsy report of Mandiv Sapra is learnt to have indicated that the two injuries on the throat of the deceased had been inflicted with a two-pronged sharp-edged object, probably a pair of scissors.

However, the police is yet to officially clarify its stand on whether the injuries had been caused by a broken bottle of soda water or by a pair of scissors. The possibility of Mandiv being drugged before his throat was slit has not being ruled out by the police.

“The viscera report of the deceased would make it clear whether there were traces of any drug in his body,” said a police official.

Sources said the arrested wife of the deceased, Dr Swapna Singh, during her questioning, had not narrated the sequence of events leading to the murder.

The police investigations was focussed on establishing the purpose of stress-busting drugs like Alprex (90 tablets), Diazepam (13 injections) and other medicines which Dr Swapna Singh, had hidden in a vanity bag. She had handed over the bag to a relative after the murder.

The police has already recovered a blood-stained pair of scissors from the site of the murder.

During the autopsy at the Sector 16 General Hospital, the forensic experts had sought medical opinion on the nature of injuries, angle from which the deceased had been hit and time of death. Experts of the CFSL had been asked to study the distance from which the deceased was hit. Sources said the couple was resting on the bed in the hotel room when the scuffle broke out and Mandiv fell on the floor after being hit by his wife.

The police has already said that the injury on the arm of the assailant was not that caused by a bottle of soda water hurled at her by her husband. Some scratches on the chest and abdomen of the assailant showed that there had been a shuffle between the couple.



Power board, HUDA lock horns over
electrification plan
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 13
The Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN) and Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) have locked horns over the electrification plan for the city’s main commercial centre, City Centre, in Sector 5.

While HUDA authorities have demanded that the electric cables for the commercial centre be laid underground, on the lines of the Sector 17 market in Chandigarh, the UHBVN maintains that though the system will be underground (underground electrification will be done only for transporting power from one point to another), overhead individual connections will be released.

Though a final report in this regard is to be submitted by the UHBVN authorities to HUDA next month, sources in the UHBVN inform that giving overhead individual connections is the best option to curb power theft. A senior official in the department said providing underground individual connections in the area would not only increase chances of power theft but also make power theft detection difficult.

On the other hand, HUDA authorities say that since the laying of underground cables for power supply is an expensive proposition, they would have to rethink on the proposal for having part-underground and part-overhead connections.

The Chief Engineer, HUDA, Mr K.K. Bhugra, said, “Though an overhead system would spoil the aspect of most buildings, we will go by the best technical solution offered by the UHBVN, keeping in mind the cost factor.”

It may be noted that the estimated load for the City Centre is 18 MVA, which will cover all shop- cum-offices, hotels, cinema halls, Town Office, telephone exchange, fire station and parks. This is the only part of the township where the authorities have proposed laying of underground cable for assured power supply, especially in case of storms and high-velocity winds. The estimated cost of electrification of this commercial centre is Rs 7 crore.

Interestingly, HUDA officials concede that they are yet to achieve what they had planned in this area because of lack of development. But 20 years after the City Centre was planned, commercial activity is limited to two- odd hotels, a cinema hall, a few shops and buildings. With lack of development in this area, HUDA officials, too, are unwilling to spend crores on laying a part- underground system.

As of now, the system is overhead and all individual connections being released are through an overhead system, comprising of about 10 transformers being fed from the Industrial Area substation. Officials of HUDA also say that they have completed most electrification works, including illumination of parks and parking places, main roads, etc.



Vajpayee unrivalled leader of BJP: Naidu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 13
Mr M. Venkaiah Naidu, National President of the Bharatiya Janata Party, today sought to lay at rest the controversy over his recent remarks about Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Mr L.K. Advani jointly leading the party into the next parliamentary elections by declaring that the Prime Minister was the only leader acceptable both within and outside the party.

“Mr Vajpayee is unrivalled”, said Mr Naidu while addressing party workers at a function held here to mark the inauguration of the new office of the Punjab unit of the BJP. “He is not only the leader of the BJP, but also that of the NDA and India.”

He emphasised that a nation must accept a leader before he was appointed. The party had a great leader in Mr Vajpayee who had the necessary stature, capacity, character and calibre to lead the nation. He pointed out that Mr Vajpayee had been a part of the political scene of the country for nearly 50 years.

Mr Naidu made no mention of Mr Advani throughout his 45-minute speech delivered in Hindi with a smattering of English but spent considerable time on extolling the virtues and qualities of head and heart of Mr Vajpayee. He pointed out that Mr Vajpayee had risen from the ranks and had his roots firmly planted among the people.

He asked party workers to get ready for the coming elections and said the BJP would win not only the “semi-final to be played in the four state assembly elections” but also the “final in the shape of the Lok Sabha poll next year”. The party would go to the people for a fresh mandate on the strength of its performance during the past five years. Mr Vajpayee had become the first non-Congress Prime Minister to complete his full term in office.

During this period, the government had transformed the economic face of the country. From an era of scarcity, the country had been propelled into an era of abundance. Telephone connections and cooking gas connections were available for the asking. Foodgrain stocks were comfortable while exports were growing at a rapid pace. Milk production had risen to record levels. Production of steel, cement and pharmaceuticals was rising.

Earlier, Punjab BJP chief, Mr Brijlal Rinwa, Lala Lajpat Rai, MP, and several other BJP leaders welcomed Mr Naidu to the inaugugation of the party office which has been named as “Amar Shaheed Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Bhavan”.



Venkaiah flays Cong on alliance issue
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 13
BJP President M. Venkaiah Naidu here today ridiculed the Congress for offering alliances to other parties. He also hinted at party’s inclination towards holding simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and the state assemblies.

“How will the parties, which are either principal rivals of the Congress in states or have raised the issue of foreign origin of Ms Sonia Gandhi, respond to the Congress offer?” he said. He was addressing 42 MLAs from Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Uttaranchal at the conclusion of a three-day camp for them here.

He said he favoured Vice-President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat’s proposal of simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha, assemblies, panchayats and local bodies as it would provide stability to the government.

While asking the MLAs to feel proud to be pursuing Hindutva, Mr Naidu also reminded them that the party had to reach out to 12 crore Muslims, two crore Christians, Sikhs and other minorities. He asserted that the party was for justice for all, but appeasement of none.

He said the party would push the Women’s Reservation Bill in the Lok Sabha soon. He said the Anti-Defection Law should be scrapped and a change should be brought about to force the defectors resign from their positions and to seek a fresh mandate from the people after changing the party.

He also expressed the need to have a common code of conduct for elected representatives to bring about decorum in legislatures. He said a law was needed to ensure that the size of the ministry was not more than 10 per cent of the strength of the legislature concerned.

Mr Naidu, who had burnt his finger on the leadership issue in the party, chose to praise the Prime Minister saying Vajpayee never went to the Well of the House, but offered constructive suggestions during his 50-year Parliamentary stint. He was speaking on how legislators should behave in the legislatures.

He lashed out at the Opposition for raising the Best Backery case. He said between 1985 and 1992, 5,734 cases of communal violence were registered in Gujarat and convictions were made in only 97 cases, but the Congress governments chose to appeal only in two cases.

As many as 1788 persons died between December 1992 and January 1993 in Mumbai, but there was no conviction. He said 2,733 persons of a community died in Delhi in 1984, but there were only eight convictions.



Naidu warns Amarinder
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 13
The BJP chief, Mr M. Venkaiah Naidu, today warned the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, to lay off Mr Parkash Singh Badal or be ready to face the consequences.

Addressing a meeting of party workers, Mr Naidu said the party had been keeping a close watch on the situation in Punjab It was regrettable that Capt Amarinder Singh was following the one-point agenda of “badla, badli and Badal” against the Akalis.

The BJP leader referred to the utterances of the Punjab Chief Minister to the effect that “law will take its own course” with regard to cases registered against Mr Badal and other Akali leaders, and said Capt Amarinder Singh should not forget that the “law will take its own course” in his case too.



MLAs’ camp sparks off debate
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 13
The three-day training camp of BJP MLAs from the region has sparked off a debate if the institutions of learning could be divested from politics.

With associations of all national leaders and big movements with universities well known, a section feels there was nothing wrong in the function being held in the university but another felt it was probably the first such function held in the university.

They fear if such direct party functions are allowed, other parties will queue up for holding such functions in the city.

But a senior Fellow seeking anonymity said it was probably the first programme of the BJP held on the university campus breaking the monopoly of the Congress which had opportunities for holding such functions earlier.

He said during his 40 years of association with the university, he had seen Congress Chief Ministers namely Darbara Singh, Beant Singh and even Union Home Minister Giani Zail Singh attending political functions in the university.

An official said even Phoolan Devi had come for political functions in the university.

Anti-dam campaigner Medha Patkar had recently held a conference of a national coalition of non-governmental organisations to thrash out alternative politics.

An official of the university said when one could hold marriage functions in the university, what could be an objection to political functions when university teachers were free to participate in political activities.

The organiser of the training camp, Mr Satyapal Jain, said there was nothing objectionable in an academic effort of a party in the university and that too on payment for the use of the premises. He said if a public function was to be held, it could have been objectionable. Mr Jain said even display of flags was permitted under the rules.



It was one unseemly controversy which the Bharatiya Janata Party could have avoided at any cost. Contradictory statements were issued by the Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Mr I.D. Swami, and the Chandigarh Administration on the issue of demolitions in slums and urban areas of Chandigarh.

The minister when he came to Chandigarh earlier this week announced that there would be no demolition of slums or of any construction being carried out in urban areas. Mediapersons questioned the minister if this would mean a change in the demographic profile. No, said Mr Swami, there would be such change. Chandigarh is for everyone, announced Mr Swami grandly, when asked why Punjabis were being evicted and people from other states being settled.

Even as Mr Swami promised in the afternoon that demolitions had been stopped and in urban areas all notices for illegal construction had been stayed, within hours of this the Chandigarh Administration said all government lands and properties needed to be protected. The Heads of Departments (HoDs) had been instructed to get all encroachments removed immediately by the officials concerned.

In retirement

It has been two months since Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd) went away from his assignment as Punjab Governor and UT Administrator. So what does he do now? Well, the General lives in R.K. Puram in his tastefully done-up flat. The flat has lovely art pieces. His long-standing servants are with him and he loves to go to the India International Centre. Actually, he goes there every day. His driver takes the General there in his Esteem car. A colleague called on the General and was told: “I love Chandigarh and miss it very much.’’

The General is planning to write a book. No, it is not on Chandigarh or the changes initiated by the General.

Boom time

The war has spilled over to the next generations. Panchkula remained a scene of major political activity with the scions of Chautala and Bhajan Lal families — Abhey Singh Chautala and Chander Mohan — declaring that their battlefield in the next elections would be the Kalka Lok Sabha constituency.

Amidst charges and counter-charges over which government (present Indian National Lok Dal or the previous Congress government) did more development work for Panchkula, it is the residents who are likely to benefit. With eyes set on Panchkula as a constituency for Mr Abhey Singh Chautala, Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala has sanctioned major development projects for the district. Against the practice in Haryana, where development projects initiated by a previous government are kept in abeyance, the Chief Minister had earlier allowed the construction of an auditorium in Sector 5. Other than this, several announcements were made by Mr Abhey Singh Chautala during his two-day whirlwind tour of the town, including the construction of a railway overbridge at Mansa Devi Complex. For the local residents, it is boon time.

How to make a strong house

Seeing the poor quality of construction work in most buildings, Panchkula-based Ghaggar Stone Crushers has now come up with a booklet on “Guidelines for Constructing Strong and Durable Buildings.” The booklet has been written by Mr Amar Desh Passi and Mr Navdesh Passi of Ghaggar Stone Crushers, under the technical guidance of Prof P.S. Sawhney, and is being distributed free of cost. Says Mr Amar Desh Passi: “A lot of people are exploited by the masons when they are constructing a house. They go by what the mason says and learn of their mistakes only when the construction work is over. We want people to read the guidelines and avoid making mistakes.”

A tool to know who is who

Negative applications of anthropometry — a study to classify and formulate the racial as well as ethnic differences among the global populations — were used by the Nazis during the pre-WW-II period to find out the Aryans and non- Aryan groups. The unfortunate episodes of systematic executions were conducted by Adolph Hitler and his men.

During the post-WW-II period, the biological anthropology has developed into the fields of anthropometry and osteometry. These have provided ample data to revolutionise medical and forensic sciences. Dr P. Raghavan, a former pre-and post-doctoral scholar of Panjab University and one of the students of Prof Ashok Sahni, India’s internationally reputed expert in palaeontology, is currently working as a Senior Research Scientist at Australia’s reputed Australian National University at Canberra. Dr Raghavan has examined and measured a large number of fossilised and modern human skeletal material from various regions of Australia, Melanesia, Micronesia, Polynesia, Southeast Asia and South Asia to study the contributions of South Asia to the peopling of Australia. He will be visiting India shortly.

His current visit will be funded by the Australian Research Council, the largest research funding body of Australia. Unfortunately, the modern biometric methods are not known in India. For example, nearly 70-odd measurements are taken on a single skull. Dr Raghavan has been asked by many Indian universities and medical institutions to conduct workshops in these methods for the Indian scholars, including medical professionals and forensic experts.

He is planning to help the Indian scholars by introducing these methods, including the advanced software applications such as FORSDIC, in India voluntarily. He will also impart training on identification of bone disease or pathological conditions of bones. These methods will be handy in India for ethnic identifications and reconstruction of human bodies from distorted bones and chips.


The teachers in charge of school eco-clubs under the National Green Corps (NGC), Panchkula, have welcomed the decision of the Director, Secondary Education, Haryana, entrusting the additional responsibilities to the school principals and district-level officers for the effective implementation of the eco-clubs.

By an order, all principals, headmasters, headmistresses, deputy district education officers and district education officers have been designated as Organiser NGC (ex-officio) in their respective areas of duties.

In addition, District Science Specialists (DSS) posted at all DEOs offices have been entrusted with the work of monitoring and supporting the awareness-cum-action based activities of the school eco-clubs and organise orientation training programmes for teachers from time to time.

— Sentinel



After VAT, abolish state taxes: experts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 13
It would be ideal that with the implementation of value-added tax (VAT), various state-levied taxes such as state sales tax, turnover tax, entry tax, octroi, municipal tax and other local taxes and levies on sale or movement or transfer of goods be abolished.

These views were expressed by Mr M.L. Patodi, a tax practitioner from Kota. He was presenting a paper on “Relevance of Central Sales Tax Act under VAT Regime” on the concluding day of seminar on “Building the nation, role of tax professionals” here today. The seminar was organised by the All-India Federation of Tax Practitioners.

He said inter-state taxation on sale of goods would also created problems for assesses. “In case of inter-state transactions, Cenvat (earlier MODVAT) has been by and large successful due to easy set-off of excise duty across the states, but in VAT, it may not be possible,” he added.

He also highlighted few concerns of trade and industry that had emanated from lack of transparency. He said the state governments should frame VAT law after consulting various traders’ organisations and professional bodies.

“Determination of VAT rates and classification of goods should be done on a practical and scientific basis in all states. If the revenue-neutral rate (RNR) is not fixed scientifically, the consequences will be disastrous and the regime of multiple tax rates may get revived,” he said.

Later, Mr P.C. Jain, a senior advocate practising at Chandigarh, stressed upon the need for more transparency in search and seizure cases under the Income Tax Act. He was presenting a paper on “Search and seizure under the Income Tax Act”.

He said no fresh search would be allowed till the investigating agency completed the formalities connected with the earlier search, as this would ensure time-bound disposal of search and seizure cases.



Mayawati’s rally tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 13
The Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Ms Mayawati, will hold a rally in the city on July 15 as show of strength to demand the resignation of the Punjab Chief Minister, Captain Amarinder Singh, over caste violence in Talhan village of Jalandhar district. This was announced here today by in charge of the Bahujan Samaj Party in Haryana and Chandigarh and a member of the Legislative Council in Uttar Pradesh Narendra Singh Kashyap.

He said a massive rally would be organised in the city in support of Dalits who had been at the receiving end in a recent caste violence.

The venue of the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister’s rally and the date had to be changed after the Jalandhar district administration requested Ms Mayawati to change the venue in the wake of tension prevailing in the area.



Platform: Save water

Mother Earth is beautiful. Its bosom holds everything that is essential for creation and sustenance of life — water being one of them. The growing population and indiscreet exploitation of this natural resource pose a grave threat to the very existence of mankind.

Consequently potable water is not available to one-sixth of the population of developing countries, which aggravates the misery of people. Experts have estimated that half of the world population will live under conditions of severe water stress by 2025. In India, the pendulum swings between extreme drought in some states and unmanageable floods in others.

The problem calls for remedial measures urgently — both on short-term and long-term basis. Wastewater can be recycled after proper treatment for industrial use or irrigation purposes. Inter-linking of rivers can solve the twin problem of flood and drought. Its implementation should be expedited. Stress on afforestation and harvesting of rain water will go a long way to ease the situation. A multi-pronged strategy needs to be outlined soon to meet the challenge.

Ankita Sagar, Class X, Sacred Heart Senior, Secondary School



Robber arrested
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 13
A team of the Sector 11 police station has arrested a Sector 25 resident for trying to commit a burglary in Sanatan Dharam Mandir in Sector 11 here. The burglar, Suresh Kumar, was arrested by a priest at the mandir.

Dead: Chama Lal, 60, who had been hit by an unidentified vehicle in Sector 24 died at the PGI. The deceased, hailing from UP, had gone to meet his nephew.

Cheated: Dr Kamaljeet Kaur, a resident of Sector 41, reported that she had marrid Gagandeep Singh on August 4, 2002. But her husband and mother-in-law harassed her to bring more dowry.



Three arrested on theft charge
Tribune News Service

SAS Nagar, July 13
The police today arrested three persons on multiple charges of theft. Ashok, Bhudev and Ramesh, all residents of a slum area in Phase II, are suspected to have committed thefts within and around the area.

The three were arrested on the complaint of Amarpreet Singh, a resident of Phase II.


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