C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Dhanwantry hospital renamed
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 8
Shri Dhanwantry Ayurvedic Hospital, Sector 46-B, was renamed as Dabur Dhanwantry Hospital following a strategic alliance between the Shri Dhanwantry Educational Society and Dabur India today.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Sunil Duggal, CEO Dabur India, said, “This initiative involved providing strategic inputs to the institute besides expanding its infrastructure in line with business opportunities.

A sum of Rs 1crore will be given to the hospital a year for infrastructure.

“Many people in the west are adopting the Science of Ayurveda but in India it has still to catch up. Most of the people are not aware about it. Allopathy is the main domain here” , he said.

As part of the alliance with Shri Dhanwantry Educational Society, in December 2003, Dabur India has been offered representation in the governing body and the council of the Society.

According to the alliance, the Vice-chairman and a member in the governing body will be from Dabur India.

Mr Charanjit Mohan, Executive Director, Dabur India also released a souvenir on the occasion.

Later in the evening celebrated its annual prize distribution function and organised cultural programme on its premises.



Leprosy awareness camps planned
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 8
With migrants adding to the load of leprosy cases in Chandigarh, the UT Health Department through its District Leprosy Society has decided to launch a massive awareness campaign in the city slums to check the disease.

According to the department officials, leprosy patients currently undergoing treatment in the city are migrants from high endemic states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Maharashtra.

Currently, seven leprosy clinics where treatment is given free of cost are being run in the city. The Health Department has planned four separate awareness camps in the city slums for leprosy eradication.

In the camps organised at Kumhar and Janata Colonies on Saturday, two leprosy cases were detected. Also 656 patients were found suffering from various skin diseases. More camps will be held in Colony No. 5 on December 12 at Bapu Dham, and Madrasi Colony on December 16 and at Colony No. 4 on December 18.

Officials say there will be three to four free skin detection camps in each area will be manned by dermatologists from the PGI, the GMCH, Sector 32, and the General Hospital, Sector 16.

Malaria workers and the sanitary inspectors will assist the staff from the hospitals. Awareness will be created through Siti cable, distribution of handbills and display of banners.



Intravenous drug users face highest HIV risk
Neelam Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 8
The city’s first-ever sentinel surveillance report to find out the incidence of the HIV\AIDS among intravenous drug users (IVDU) in Chandigarh has thrown some surprises for the policy makers.

With the HIV prevalence rate of 4.80 per cent, this group has shown the highest prevalence rate among all categories, registering a prevalence rate higher than female sex workers and the patients suffering from the sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

The experts, however, say that the data of a few more years is needed to analyse the extent of penetration of the infection among drug- users in the city.

The Chandigarh’s Sentinel Surveillance report, which has been forwarded to the National Aids Control Organisation (NACO), has included the INDUs for the first time to arrive at the prevalence rates of the HIV. Among other categories, the prevalence rate among the female sex workers is 0.80 per cent and the 0.50 per cent in pregnant women visiting the ante-natal check-up clinics.

The prevalence rate among patients suffering from sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) is calculated at 1.80 per cent, while for the men having sex with men, the first report of prevalence of HIV in the category indicate that 1.36 per cent of them are HIV positive.

“We are among the few centres in the country which are able to arrive at the prevalence rate of HIV in the five prominent high-risk category persons. The results have reaffirmed that Chandigarh remains the low prevalence centre where the prevalence rates are less than 5 per cent in all the high-risk behaviour groups,” says Project Director of the State Aids Control Society, Chandigarh, Dr N.M. Sharma.

At present 12 target intervention projects for the identification and awareness of HIV\AIDS are being run in the city through the assistance of various NGOs. The projects, however, are composite target interventions that are not focused any one high-risk group.

“Unlike other high prevalence states in the country, we are still running the composite interventions which are targeting the high risk groups under one project,” adds the Project Director. 



City schools’ volleyball team returns with silver medal
Our Sports Reporter
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 8
The Chandigarh schools volleyball team (under19) returned today after winning silver medal in the 50th National School Games, which concluded at Gwalior on December 6. The team lost to Uttar Pradesh in five-set final thriller. The team was given a warm welcome by the DPI (Schools), UT, Mr D.S. Mangat, and other UT Education Department officials.

According to Mr Mohan Nargeta, one of the coaches, it is for the first time that UT schools volleyball boys team has won silver medal in the under-19 section.

The team comprised, Lalit Kumar, Gurinder Singh, Sandeep Singh, Raju Chauhan (captain), Rohit Kumar, Surinder Kumar, Ravinder Singh, Tejvir Singh, Vinod Negi, Hardeep Singh, Anil Chauhan and Inderjot Singh. Suresh Kumar and Mohan Nargeta accompanied the team as coaches while Dharamvir Singh was the manager.

ICSE cricket

St Stephen’s School, Sector 45, won the ICSE Inter-School Cricket Tournament by defeating Little Flower School, Panchkula, by eight wickets. Nitish Bhardwaj of Little Flower was declared the best batsman, Hitesh Bhutani of St Stephen’s the best bowler and Jaskaran Malhotra of St Stephens’ the player of the tournament.

Brief scores;

LFS-Pkl: 143 all out in 24.5 overs (Nitish Bhardwaj 66, Sukrant 18, Hitesh 2 for 21, Saurabh 2 for 17). St Stephen’s:144 for two in 23.2 overs (Saurabh Kumar 59, Jaskaran Malhotra 56, Nitish Chopra 2 for 21.

Korfball meet

SD Club downed Shivalik Club, 9-7, in the second round match of the Chandigarh State Korfball Championship played here on Wednesday. Twelve teams from various institutions and clubs are taking part in the meet. PU Club, Modern Club, DAV Club and SGGS Club also won their matches.



Boycott by councillors forces adjournment of MC meeting
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 8
The General House meeting of the Municipal Council was adjourned indefinitely, today after 15 councillors owing allegiance to the Congress and BJP abstained from meeting. Since at least four councillors of the ruling Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) were also absent from meeting, the quorum was incomplete and the meeting could not be held.

In a premeditated move, the Congress and the BJP councillors had decided to boycott the meeting on the issue of alleged failure of the council to show how money was spent on “sub standard” development work. They gathered at the MC office, but did not attend the meeting. Mr R. K. Kakkar, councillor from Sector 10, alleged that over Rs 30 crore had been spent in the name of development, but the civic amenities in the town were dismal.

His views were supported by Mr C.B. Goel, BJP councillor from Sector 7, who said there was no transparency in the allotment of tenders and the use of money for various development works.

Mr Naresh Rawal, councillor from Sector 15, said no committees had been formed in the council, and there was no participation of councillors. “The MC is being run according to the whims and fancies of the president,” he alleged.

These councillors, including Ms Renuka Rai Walia, Mr Dalbir Singh, Mr S. S. Goel, Ms Jalmegha Dahiya, Mr Om Prakash, Ms Amoljeet Kaur, Ms Anjala Kataria, Ms Manvir Gill and Mr Tarun Bhandari, went to meet the Deputy Commissioner and submit a memorandum demanding that the president be removed and an administrator be appointed to ensure the smooth working of the council.

Meanwhile, the 10 councillors from the ruling INLD, and the Congress councillor, Ms Anita Aggarwal, continued to wait for the councillors. When they did not come, the MC president, Ms Seema Chaudhary, adjourned the meeting. She said a suitable date would be announced later.

Today’s meeting was called to get a revised budget plan of the MC approved from the House, so that the development project approved by the House in its previous meeting held on July 23, be executed. The MC has reportedly spent Rs 6 crore more than what it had estimated to spend by the end of November.

In order to carry out development project approved earlier, the MC President had specially called today’s meeting, after the administration refused permission to utilise its fund and asked to get it approved from the House.

Ms Anita Aggarwal, Congress councillor, said she had decided not to join other Congress councillors because the agenda also included sanctioning of money for slums, and since her ward had a slum colony, she wanted that the work should be done in her area. Her husband and Congress leader Mr Krishan Nanha, alleged all Congress councillors were being instigated by MLA Chander Mohan, who did not want any development in slum colonies.

Their views were supported by Mr Mahinder Singh, who said the agenda included building of toilets and lanes in slum colonies. “Those who boycotted the meeting did not want that work should be done in slums and labour colonies,” he said.

Ms Seema Chaudhary said the Congress and the BJP councillors were indulging in petty politicking, and were not bothered about the development of Panchkula. She said a date for the next meeting would be fixed shortly. 



Computerisation of birth & death records hangs fire
Our Correspondent

Mohali, December 8
The local municipal council has failed to start the work of computerising the data related to births and deaths and to carry out a house-to-house survey for gathering necessary information although such a proposal was cleared by the House six months ago.

The work involved a cost of Rs 7 lakh and was to be done with the help of Punjab Engineering College (PEC), Chandigarh.

According to sources, the Deputy Director, Urban Local Bodies, Ludhiana, Ms Sarojini Gautam Sharda, sent a demi-official letter to the council yesterday questioning why the civic body had not started computerising the data related to births and deaths.

It is learnt that the council has sent a reply to the Deputy Director stating that the proposal cleared by the House could not be implemented as the Director, Local Government, Punjab, had stayed the proposal cleared at the council meeting held on June 9.

Council officials said when the proceedings of the meeting were sent to the Director for approval, he stayed the proposal related to the computerisation of relevant records and also the house-to-house survey that was to be carried out on the directions of the Ropar Deputy Commissioner, Ms Seema Jain. The Director had asked for some clarifications, like the cost of the project, benefits involved etc. The information in that regard was provided by the council, but the stay on the proposal had not been removed so far.

The Ropar Deputy Commissioner had directed the council at a meeting held on May 20 to carry out a house-to-house survey for collecting the necessary data and later computerising the gathered information. This information could be used at the sub-divisional level, whenever required. Other departments could also benefit from it. She also asked the civic body to enter data related to births and deaths in a computer and issue computerised certificates.

It is learnt that 50 per cent of the amount involved in the work was to be given to PEC before the start of the work. While the work related to the survey was to be completed in three months, the data of births and deaths was to be computerised in two months. As many as 15 employees of the council were to be given one weeks training free of cost. 


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