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Mother strangulates newborn to death
Tribune News Service

“Saheb, mere se galti ho gayee, main aage se aisa nahin karoongi (Sir, I have committed a mistake and will not repeat it in the future).” She also said she had wanted a male child.

“I had not expressed a desire for a male child. Whatever God gave us was more than enough. I will not be able to forgive Geeta during my lifetime. She had never talked about wanting a male child and I had not pressurised her.”

Chandigarh, January 17
Geeta Rani, 22, killed her daughter within a few hours of her birth. She promised the police that she would not do it again and asked to be allowed to go home. She said that she did not want a girl-child as she could not afford to bring her up. A boy, on the other hand, would have been a welcome addition to the family.

Geeta’s husband claimed that he had never expressed a desire for a male child. Surinder Rai said, “Whatever God had given us was more than enough. I will not be able to forgive Geeta.” He wept openly. Geeta remained impassive as the police made inquiries about the incident at the PGI here.

Geeta was brought to the PGI around 8.30 pm last night while she was undergoing labour pains. She was taken to the labour room immediately and the child was born a few hours later. The staff on duty informed the family of the birth, but Surinder was not allowed inside the sanitised area. The child was administered artificial feed at 5 am by the nurse as Geeta had not breastfed her.

A couple of hours later, when the nurse returned to check on the baby girl, she found her dead. The neck bore a deep blue mark. Geeta confessed to the nurse that she had wrung the neck of the child as she did not want a girl-child.

Geeta has been charged with murder. The police said the child was probably killed early in the morning. Geeta Rani, who is illiterate, probably did not know the implications of the law. Geeta told the police that she already had one daughter and she wanted a male child. She said she was poor and could not afford to rear another girl-child. She decided to kill her daughter immediately after she was born.

The exact time of the death of the child will be ascertained only after postmortem examination tomorrow. Doctors said the entire act of throttling the girl might not have taken more than 60 seconds. The child would not even have cried and there would have been no resistance of any kind.

Surinder and Geeta, who hail from a village in Deoria (Kushinagar) district in eastern Uttar Pradesh, were living in Hallo Majra located on the Chandigarh-Ambala highway. Surinder sells incense sticks of the streets.

Surinder told reporters that he used to spend a few months in Uttar Pradesh every year. He returned to Chandigarh about six months ago. The couple’s first child is a three-year-old daughter. They had been married for about seven years and did not try for a child in the initial years of marriage as Geeta was very young. Geeta will be produced before a magistrate tomorrow.



It’s circumstances, says psychiatrist

Chandigarh: It is not normal for a woman to kill her child, but circumstances like the family’s craving for a male child and poverty can force a woman to commit a heinous crime like killing her newborn daughter.

“We come across such cases once in a while, but in majority of such cases the woman also kills herself, which she did not in this case,” remarked Prof B.S. Chavan, Head of the Department of Psychiatry at the Government Medical College and Hospital, at the ghastly incident at the Gynaecology Department of the PGI.

He said the woman could have been under tremendous pressure from her husband, mother-in-law and other family members to bear a male child. “Seeing their urge for a male child, she must have feared ill-treatment and being thrown out of the house, which must have compelled her to kill her child,” explained Professor Chavan. He added that there was a possibility that she could have been threatened of dire consequences if she failed to give birth to a male child.

He said poverty was another major factor which made persons commit these kind of crimes. Psychologists at the PGI felt that the fact that a female child was considered a liability had much to do with such incidents. “Be it from any section of society, the fact remains that parents start collecting money to be able to manage a good dowry and marriage for their daughter, when she is still a toddler,” they opined.

Professor Chavan said it was mostly women who were depressed with their family lives who ended up doing this kind of crimes and they were so unhappy that at times, they first killed their children and then committed suicide.



Noise pollution levels cross permissible limits
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 17
Noise pollution levels in the city are crossing safe standards, placing the residents at a considerable risk of health. With an astounding 25 vehicles being added to the existing fleet on a daily basis, the levels of noise pollution are swelling, aggravating the situation.

Recorded noise levels at various points in the city are considerably higher than the permissible limits, laid down under health norms. It has been proved that continued exposure to high noise levels, like 112 to 120 decibels (many places in Chandigarh record 110 decibels) can cause abortion. Other implications include hypertension, nerve contraction, internal ear diaphragm loss and lack of sleep.

Among the most noise polluted areas of the city are the Aroma hotel light point in Sector 22 (which leads the pack with 110 decibels, the highest noise level recorded in city), General Hospital in Sector 16 (despite being a silence zone, the hospital is exposed to 85 decibels against the permitted 50), Transport Chowk, Tribune Chowk in Sector 29 and ISBT roundabout in Sector 17.

Conducted earlier by Sangeeta Garg and Dr Basudeo Prasad of the Central Scientific Instrument Organisation (CSIO), the study reveals that noise levels are very high even in zones categorised as "silent" under norms. Because noise pollution falls under the purview of the Air Act, its permissible levels are given under ambient air quality standards in respect of noise. The permissible noise levels, measured in decibels (dB), have been laid down for day and night. Levels during the day are allowed to be higher than in the night, given the natural flow of traffic during the day. Permissible noise levels in industrial area, commercial area, residential area and silence zones during the day are — 75, 65, 55 and 50, respectively.

The CSIO study, however, shows that recorded levels in Chandigarh are either on a higher side or on the brink. Whereas permissible levels in sensitive zones are 50 decibels during the day and 40 in the night, the recorded levels in most sensitive zones in city are shocking — 85 decibels inside the emergency ward of General Hospital, Sector 16; 86 dB outside the PGI, 76 dB in PU's Administration Block. Likewise whereas the permitted limit in the commercial areas is 65 dB in the day, recorded levels in the markets of Sector 9 D and Sector 7 are 98 and 88 dB, respectively.

Mr N.S. Tiwana, chairperson, Punjab State Council for Science and Technology (PSCST) nodal agency for Union Ministry of Environment's “State of Environment Reporting” (SoE) project, confirms high noise levels in city, “Five years ago I had measured noise around Sector 36 at 3 am. It was a shocking 73 decibel. You can imagine the figure today.”



PGI docs to meet Sushma Swaraj
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 17
Perturbed over the recent changes in the norms for doctors while on foreign assignment, the PGI Faculty Association will soon be meeting the Union Health and Family Welfare Minister, Ms Sushma Swaraj, to review the decision of the Governing Body.

The General Body meeting of the association was held at the PGI today. It was unanimously decided to seek the intervention of Ms Swaraj on the issue, in her capacity as the president of the institute. It was the decision of the apex body, which some time ago had decided that a doctor’s experience at a non-teaching medical institute in the Gulf, while on ex-India leave, would not be considered.

Prior to this the five year ex-India leave facility given to PGI faculty members, was considered as part of their experience. “Putting this kind of restriction is wrong as this facility is very much a part of the package, so it needs to be reverted back in order to maintain the status-quo,” said one of the office-bearer. We will seek time from the minister and then hand over the representation to her personally, he added.

The faculty members contested that the ex-India leave facility was available to doctors at AIIMS and since the same pattern is followed at the PGI and AIIMs, the status-quo should be maintained.

Another important issue that came up for discussion was the discrimination being made by some heads of department while writing the Annual Confidential Report(ACR) of faculty members. “Since some of the doctors, including heads of department have been given adverse remarks, we have decided to request the PGI Director to review en-masse the same within two weeks,” said office-bearer of the association.

The house also asked the Executive of the association to urge the minister to constitute various bodies and committee’s of the PGI at the earliest so that all pending meetings could be held and important issues settled.

A number of other important issues like providing proper office space to all faculty members within a specified time frame and giving them computers was also discussed. The issue of providing advance increments to additional professors also came up for discussion at the meeting. 



PGI’s negligence killed patient, alleges family
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 17
The family of a Panchkula resident, Mr Brij Mohan Anand, who died at the PGI Emergency today, has alleged negligence and delay in treatment by doctors, resulting in his death.

Mr Nishant Anand, son of the deceased, alleged that it was due to sheer negligence by the doctors at the Nephrology Department, PGI, that his father died, despite suffering from a mild problem, which could have been tackled easily.

Mt Anand died three hours after his dialysis was done at about 11.30 am in room number 22 of the male medical ward on the second floor of the Nehru Hospital in PGI. This was for the first time that he was undergoing a dialysis.

Shocked at his sudden demise, the family members and relatives of Mr Anand protested against the negligence of the doctors. It was PGI security personnel who wheeled out his body as the Joint Medical Superintendent, Dr D.P. Mehta, tried to pacify the agitated family members.

It was at about 10 pm last night that Mr Brij Mohan (53), was brought to the PGI emergency by his family. “We had brought him to the PGI four days back to get him admitted but the doctors at the Nephrology Department said his condition was fine and we should take him home and bring him to the OPD later,” said his son Nishant.

The doctors were not willing to admit him to the emergency even last night and it was after we insisted that he was finally admitted”, he added. “Despite arriving at the PGI at 10 p.m last night, no doctor attended to my father and it was only at 4 am that his dialysis was started after which my father died at about 1.30 pm,” alleged Nishant.

Mr Anand’s other family members, too, alleged that had the PGI doctors given him timely treatment, he would have been saved. A resident of Panchkula, Mr Anand, had undergone a surgery for removal of kidney stones last year. “My father did have a stone removal surgery last year but he did not have any chronic renal problem as being stated by PGI doctors, who are doing so to save their skin, as they know they are at fault,” alleged Nishant.

The family members said had Mr Anand been given timely treatment he could have been saved as it was only a mild problem. “Even though we reached the PGI at 10 pm, a doctor from the Nephrology Department, who was summoned by the emergency staff, arrived at 2 p.m and asked us to get the material required for the dialysis,” they said.

Nishant said even after the dialysis was over not a single doctor from the Nephrology Department came to monitor his father’s condition. “They did not bother to check that they had given him four bottles of 900ml liquid, whereas his body was not properly releasing the liquid, as a result of which he died,” he alleged.

The PGI doctors, when contacted, refused to come on record regarding the allegations made by Mr Anand’s family. “He was suffering from a chronic renal problem and the doctors did what was required. But as is natural the family feels there was negligence. Being emotional and in a state of shock they cannot come to terms with the harsh reality, as a result of which they are blaming the doctors,” said a senior PGI official, not wanting to be identified.

Some of the doctors at the Nephrology Department said that the patient had chronic renal problem and there was no negligence in his treatment.



Software to administer drugs
PGI-SCL project to be patented
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

Prof G.D. Puri (right) of the PGI explains the system which will automatically administer drugs during surgery. On the left are the engineers of the SCL
Prof G.D. Puri (right) of the PGI explains the system which will automatically administer drugs during surgery. On the left are the engineers of the SCL who are developing the software. — Tribune photo by Parvesh Chauhan

Chandigarh, January 17
Computers are now automatically administering drugs to patients during surgery to control critical parameters like heart rate, body temperature, respiratory rate and blood pressure.

The PGI here and the Mohali-based Semi Conductor Limited (SCL), under a pioneering project approved by the Union Ministry of Information Technology and the Union Ministry of Health, have developed a computer software which detects signals from the brain to alter the flow of drugs. This keeps everything within the desired range thus saving the patients from any complication.

The PGI and SCL team have already applied for a patent for the product. The PGI team led by Prof G.D. Puri has used the computer aided process on patients before applying for the patent. The Ministry of Health had given clearance before the machines was put to use in PGI, Prof Puri told The Tribune today.

The Ministry of IT has sanctioned Rs 20 lakh for the project which will entail development of a software to guide the computer. The PGI’s anaesthesia department has provided the SCL with the data which has to be fed into the software. On the basis of this data, the software on getting signals from the patient’s brain will give an automatic command to the computer to release the right amount of drug. A small strip of the EEG machine is attached to the forehead which sends out signals to the computer and this in turn activates a small sophisticated pump which releases the drug.

Before the advent of this software, doctors used to manually monitor the critical components of the human body and then administer the drug as per laid down procedures. This meant the variation in blood pressure would be high. The same was true with heart rates. These can be very critical during surgery, said Prof Puri while explaining that “the new machine reduces the variation to the minimal. It actually keeps it within the specified medical limits of endurance of the body. It not only meets the drug requirement of different individuals but also fine-tunes the dosages based on the patient’s response and surgical requirement”.

The earlier system led to time delay in reading the machines, and also brought in human error in judging the condition of the patient and then altering the drug dose.

Mr H.S. Jattana, Manager in SCL’s Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI ) department, said “We have got the money from the Ministry just a few months back. A computer hardware has been developed and within a year we will have a chip”. Prof Puri warned that this did not mean that anybody could buy the chip of the software programme and start using it to administer drugs. “The machine cannot replace the doctor. It can only assist him and fine-tune the drug delivery system as per the requirement of the patient.”

The PGI has kept it a secret. It has not even got it published in the medical journal as that would have “de-barred us from applying for the patent.”

Besides Prof Puri and Mr Jattana the other two applicants for the patent are Mr K. Manna, Senior Engineer, SCL, and Mr Rahul Bassi Research Fellow, PGI. The verification process for the patent is already on and it will take about 3 to 4 years.



Temperature falls due to heavy showers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 17
Due to heavy showers in the evening temperature fell in the city today. Earlier during the day high velocity winds swept the city , affecting normal life. The dust-laden winds were recorded at 50 km per hour.

It was a hard time for two-wheeler riders as visibility was reduced due to the dust-laden winds flowing close to the earth surface. Weather men said the high speed winds were the result of a low pressure area created over the city.

Though the maximum day time temperature was recorded at 20.4 degree Celsius — the normal temperature for this time of the year — the residents were deprived of sunshine due to partly cloudy sky. The weather department has predicted the possibility of thundary development tomorrow. Yesterday the maximum day time temperature was recorded at 17.8 degree Celsius. The minimum temperature was recorded at 11.2 degree Celsius.

Analysing the changing weather phenomena, weather men said the developments were related to several meteorological factors.



BJP, Cong gear up for LS poll
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 17
Political parties have started the process of strengthening their cadre citadels in view of the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections. The two major local political parties, the BJP and the Congress, have taken the lead in announcing their pre-campaign programmes and citing their achievements.

Mr Satya Pal Jain, a former Member of Parliament of the BJP, at a press conference today announced the starting of a house-to-house campaign to reach every voter even before the elections were formally announced. Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, Congress MP, yesterday gave a list of programmes implemented for public welfare out of the MP fund.

The BJP has taken a slight lead over its nearest rival by announcing a detailed charter of action. It has announced its Election Committee, which includes Mr Yash Pal Mahajan, president, Mr Satya Pal Jain, a member of the national executive, Mr Bal Krishan kapoor, general secretary, Mr Purshotam Mahajan, vice-president, Mrs Kamla Sharma, a leader of the Municipal Corporation, and Mr Darshan Singh, chairman of the Zila Parishad.

Both camps,the BJP and the Congress, have started the process of mustering party support at the local levels, particularly in the gram panchayats, elections for which were held recently.

There is nothing worth mentioning on this front with regard to any other political party. In a related development, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) yesterday announced that it would have alliance with the Congress and secular parties for the forthcoming Lok Sabha poll.

Mr Bansal yesterday circulated a list of various developmental works money for which was released out of the MPLAD fund. Mr Pradeep Chhabra, Senior Deputy Mayor, said at least 13 markets were given coloured tiles to add “more grace to the markets”.

Mr Chhabra said Mr Bansal had already sanctioned 97 per cent out of his MPLAD fund. Various markets for which funds were released included Sector 44-D, Sector 39(Police Colony roads), Sector 32-D, Sector 46, Sector 20-A, Sector 43-A and Sector 19-C.

Addressing a press conference at the BJP office (Kamalam, Sector 33), Mr Mahajan said “ we have worked out the entire plan for the election campaign. The city has been divided into four morchas, four districts and 20 mandals.”

It had been decided that each house of the city would be visited as a part of ‘Atal sandesh yatra’ (January 23 to February 21) where achievements of Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Prime Minister, would be highlighted and the failures of the local MP would also be presented before public, he said.

Mr Jain said the local unit of the BJP was prepared for the elections in the first phase. As part of the drive in the ‘pre-notification’ period every effort would be made to implement the party message of “Reach out every locality, knock at every door and talk to everybody”.

On January 20, a ‘havan’ would be performed at the party office to start the campaigning programme. The process of reaching out to every home would commence from January 23 onwards. Presidents of ‘mandals’ and districts would attend a national level meeting at Delhi on February 6.

Mr Jain said the local MP showed his hands were tied in carrying out any major developmental programme in the city because the national government was led by the BJP. In the same light people should understand the wave at the national level in favour of the BJP and cast their votes accordingly.



AIDB seeks one-rank-one pension for armed forces
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 17
The working committee of the All India Defence Brotherhood (AIDB), in its meeting organised here today observed that while the Central and state governments were announcing sops for all sections of the society in view of the forthcoming general elections, the defence sector had been left out.

In a statement issued here, today the AIDB president, Brig Harwant Singh (retd), said though the defence sector had contributed maximum towards the national cause, it had been left out because it dose not have a vote bank.

The AIDB president said even genuine demands such as one-rank-one pension, removal of the condition of 33 years service to get full pension and post-retirement rehabilitation were pending before the government for many years.

The biggest injustice heaped upon them, the president said, was clubbing serving and retired soldiers with civilians for the purpose of fixing their pay, allowances and pension even though service conditions were different.

Brig Harwant Singh said least the government could do was to implement the proposal of one-rank-one pension and set up a separate pay commission for the armed forces. He said the civilian leadership and bureaucracy had no exposure to life in the armed forces.

This ignorance, coupled with “arrogance” was the root cause of injustices being faced by them, Brig Harwant Singh added.

The AIDB president also demanded that the government should try to attract the youth towards the services so that the right talent could be harnessed and the shortage at the junior officer level as well as in the ranks could be filled.



2 hurt in mishap
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 17
Two persons were seriously injured when the scooter they were riding was hit head on by a tractor-trolley opposite the Sacha Dhan Gurdwara in Phase 3B1 here today.

The tractor-trolley (HP HR072506), coming from the Phase 3/5 lights, hit a scooter (PB12B 8010). The victims, Sanjiv Kumar, a doctor working in Indus Hospital, was driving the scooter while his friend Puneet was riding pillion. Both were injured seriously and admitted to the Indus Hospital here.



Beopar Mandal poll today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 17
Stage is all set for elections to the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal tomorrow. There is a straight contest between Mr Charanjiv Singh and Mr Jagdish Arora.
There are 226 votes in all. The polling begins at 10 am tomorrow and will continue till 2.30 pm at Hotel Regency, Sector 35. Results will be declared by tomorrow evening. Mr Arora has been the president of the mandal earlier also while Mr Charanjiv Singh lost the earlier election by a margin of one vote.

Mr Arora, whose name figured in a fraud pertaining to multi-level marketing companies, received a set back in his election campaign.He has been accused of luring people to become members of a company JobsOnline.com.

Mr Arora is confident this will not affect the results of the Beopar Mandal's elections. The issue is an old one which is being hankered upon by opponents just to gain some mileage. The matter has nothing to do with me. The voters are educated and know the reality so there is nothing to worry about, he said.

Mr Charanjiv Singh, his opponent, is confident that Mr Arora's name in the job scandal will have a definite bearing on the poll results. He is also confident of positive result going by the public response during his campaign trail.

The agenda of both groups have commonality on majority of issues concerning traders. These include working for amendments in the building bye-laws, business promotion schemes, voice against encroachments in markets, against the Rent Act and organising seminars. The groups of Mr Arora and Mr Charanjiv Singh continued to campaign in various markets of the city today.

The market associations which offered their support to Mr Arora are the Market Welfare Committee, Sector 29-D, the Capital Beoparis Association, Sector 19-D, the Traders Association, Sector 21-C, the Chandigarh Car Accessories Association, Sector 28-D, the Market Welfare Association, Sector 27-D, the Traders Association, Sector 8-C and the Traders Association of Electrical Appliances.

The associations which support Mr Charanjiv Singh are the Shopkeepers Welfare Association, Sector 23, the Chandigarh Booksellers Association, Sector 17-E, the Grain Market Association, the Light Auto and General Traders Association, Manimajra and the Market Welfare Association, Sector 47-C.



TVS Centra launched
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 17
TVS Motors Co. today launched its new model, TVS Centra 100 cc 4 stroke motorcycle fitted with variable timing intelligent engines (VT-i), in the city market. The model was launched by Mr S.S. Krishna Kumar, Area Manager of the company.

Speaking on the occasion, he said,” Priced at Rs 36,990, the TVS Centra is targeted at the popular segment. Its VT-i engines have been designed indigenously to deliver better performance through increased fuel efficiency and torque delivery. It has been made possible through variable ignition timing, superior combustion of fuel, reduction of friction and fuel wastage. We are giving a guarantee that this bike will offer 75kmpl under city travelling conditions.”

Further, he said, the bike would be fitted with a 13 litre fuel tank so that the average customer would have to visit a petrol station only once a month. It would be powered by 7.5 brake horse power (bhp) at 7250 rpm making it the most powerful motorcycle in its class. He added that booking would start from January 19 at all TVS authorised dealers and deliveries would commence from January 28.

TVS would now have four bikes, including TVS Max (Rs 24,990), TVS Victor (Rs 40,300) and TVS Fiero ( Rs 46,600). The company had also tied up with SBI and ICICI Bank. Customers could also avail of easy finances to buy bikes.

The company was already enjoying a market share of 22 per cent in the national market and about 15 per cent in Chandigarh and Punjab markets. The new model would help us increase our market share substantially, since no other manufacturer had a product in this price and quality range, added Mr Krishna.



Headmasters opens saloon in Panchkula
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 17
Headmasters, the stylish saloon, after the successful launch of its first saloon in the city in December, 2002, has now opened another shop at Panchkula.
The new saloon, spread over 2200 sq feet, offers quality hair care and styling. The saloon will have a pantry area for serving soups and snacks, a play zone for children, besides facilities like oxygen zone, spa, jacuzzi, body polishing etc. For its customers, the saloon also offers a valet service, to pick up clients' from their houses.

Managed by professionally trained hair care and beauty experts, Headmasters, will offer expertise and counselling on hair and beauty care. The saloon has been opened in partnership with Schwarzkopf Professional, and the latter will offer the best treatment for hair straightening, dandruff control and moisture repair shampoos and conditioners.

Ms Naomi Diwan of Headmasters said since 30 per cent of their clients were from Panchkula, they decided to open shop in Panchkula.



Hoax SMS on AirTel mobiles
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 17
Hundreds of AirTel prepaid mobile subscribers in the city and surrounding towns were surprised today when they got an SMS claiming that they could avail of credit worth Rs 150 by sending a SMS message to five more persons. But later the message turned out to be a hoax one.

A large number of BSNL mobile subscribers had also received such message recently. The BSNL was yet to identify the source of this mischief. The SMS received by AirTel subscribers today claimed, “We are celebrating 12th anniversary of the AirTel, and if you forward this message to five other persons, we will credit your account by Rs 150.” It is another matter that the AirTel has not so far completed 12 years of its service.

Mr Mandeep Bhatia, vice-president, marketing, AirTel, said that the company had not released any such message. He said,” After receiving queries from our prepaid customers about this message, we have also flashed SMS asking them to ignore the message as it was a hoax one”.


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