C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Let 2006 be year of reforms: VC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 2
Prof K.N. Pathak, Vice-Chancellor, Panjab University, today exhorted the employees to do their best to maintain the name of the university. He was addressing the employees who had organized a function to celebrate the New Year. Sweets and prashad was offered to the entire gathering.

Dr Pathak suggested that 2006 should be an year of reforms and of overhauling the systems wherever necessary. He exhorted the employees to ensure that public was put to least inconvenience. He complimented the employees for their hard work and support and said their efforts had been rewarded by pension and other benefits.

Earlier office-bearers of Federation of Staff Union complimented the Vice-Chancellor and those from the university fraternity who had played a significant role for special achievements during the year 2005, particularly pertaining to pension, promotions and for improving the 
financial status.

The employees union made a fervent plea for filling all the vacant budgeted sanction posts by regularising the daily wage employees during the current year. 



Road Safety Week begins
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, January 2
The Chandigarh Traffic Police launched an updated version of a CD on road safety and traffic rules at the inaugural function of the 17th Road Safety Week at the Sector 23 Children Traffic Park, here today.

The week is being observed from January 2 to January 8 at national level is based on theme “Avoid overspeeding and avoid overloading”.

A spokesman of the UT police said Mr Vikram J. Chhibber, General Manager of Indian Oil Corporation, was the chief guest at the function. SSP (Headquarters) Vivek Gogia, SP (Traffic) Amitabh Singh Dhillon, traffic marshals and a large number of schoolchildren were also present at the function.

A blood donation camp was also organised on the occasion in which 54 police officials and jawans donated blood. Four hundred students from various schools participated in a painting contest organised on the occasion.

Mr Vikram J. Chhibber honoured Mr Harman Sidhu, curator of the Chandigarh Traffic Police website.

Mr Amitabh Singh Dhillon announced that a book relating to detailed information and knowledge about road safety and traffic rules would be completed within six months.

Prizes were given away to all 12 winners of the painting contest. Among the age group of 6 to 9 years, Anshu of AKSIPS, Sector 41, stood first. She was followed by Simran Sidhu and Raghu Chawla of Ryan International School, Sector 49, who bagged the second and third prize, respectively. A consolation prize was given to Sakshi Chauhan of Government Senior Secondary School (GSSS), Sector 37.

In the age group of 9 to 12 years, Harleen of GMSSS, Sector 37-B, stood first. She was followed by Shikha of Ryan International School, Sector 49, and Simran of GMSSS, Sector 37, for the second and the third position, respectively. Disha of Ryan International School, Sector 49, was given a consolation prize.

In the age group of 12 to 16 years, Gagandeep and Kanika Bansal of GMSSS, Sector 16, bagged the first and the second prize, respectively. Sudesh Thakur of GMHS, Sector 25, got the third prize. Ravi Tannk of GSHS, Sector 24, was given a consolation prize.



Thin attendance in schools
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 2
Life returned to the city schools which re-opened today after the winter break. While all the government schools in the city were opened many, private schools remained closed and are scheduled to open a week later. The cold weather, a brief spell of rain and high velocity winds led to thin attendance in most of the schools.

At Government Model Girls Senior Secondary School, Sector 18, the turnout of students was a merely 40 to 40 per cent. At Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 19, also the attendance remained thin. While most of the students preferred to remain indoors and not go to schools, teachers were present in full strength. Strawberry Field’s World School, Sector 26, had almost 70 per cent attendance.

Most of the parents too preferred to keep the children at home in view of the bad weather. Schools like St John’s, St Anne’s and Sacred Heart remained closed.



Taking education beyond the conventional
Payal Pruthi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 2
Expanding education beyond conventional boundaries, is what the relatively new schools in the tri-city are promising the kids seeking admission in the new academic session. From school buses equipped with Global Positioning System to announce the arrival of the bus in a particular sector on the parents cell phones, to Little Tikes and Fisher Price toys which are not only child friendly but also non-toxic to air conditioned classrooms to touch screen Smart Boards and much more.

These schools are class apart and believe that the infrastructural facilities only help in developing the child’s personality further.

At Gurukul School, Panchkula, deluxe coaches have been fitted with mobile wireless radio network and an advanced passenger addressing system which makes commuting from the school more safe and comfortable.

The school also boasts of a touch screen blackboards, school management software system, centralized broadcasting system and library of CD Roms.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, Sangeet Growar, Principal, Euro Kids, Mohali, informed that special care is taken even in selecting the toys used by the small kids and only branded makes like Fisher Price and Little Tikes are used in the school which are non-toxic. She added that at Euro Kids the stress is on learning by doing and children are made to sit on the floor in air conditioned classrooms fitted with a computer system.

At Chitkara International School, Chandigarh, not only the curriculum but classrooms are designed according to the specifications of Maple Bear.

The Principal of the school, Niyati Chitkara, said that the focus is on the technology-aided learning.

Therefore, the Canadian curriculum which is more research based has been implemented in the school. She added that the school also conducts psychology tests for the parents.



Funds released to polyclinics for buying drugs, medicines
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 2
Holding polyclinics functioning under the Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) responsible for non-availability of prescribed medicines, Command Hospital, Chandimandir, has directed them to streamline their functioning.

A letter received by ECHS polyclinics in the region and military establishments concerned from the hospital's Deputy Commandant, Brig A Nagendra, a few days ago states that the problem is artificial because of the failure of proper forecasting, demand and management at the level of the polyclinics.

Headquarters Western Command, Command Hospital and the ECHS regional office here had received several complaints in the past, stating that certain medicines were not available in the polyclinics and the patients were harassed as they were referred back and forth between polyclinics and the Command Hospital.

Meanwhile, sources at Command Headquarters reveal that a sum of about Rs 1.25 crore has been recently released to ECHS establishments and polyclinics in the region for procurement of necessary drugs and medical stores. Though ex-servicemen were initially skeptical of the ECHS when it was launched over two years ago, things have smoothened out to a large extent and the scheme is well on track.

The letter states that medicines prescribed by polyclinics should be delivered to patients then and there and they should not be directed to the Command Hospital as it unnecessarily increased the load on the hospital's dispensary. The hospital, the letter adds, cannot cope up if everyone is referred to it.

The polyclinics have been directed to "properly" forecast the drug expenses and prepare their monthly maintenance fund and accordingly collect medicines for distribution.

Administrative officers of polyclinics have also been advised to involve themselves in store management.



Course for health officials begins
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 2
A 10-day training course on Reproductive and Child Health II (RCH-II) programme for district-level officers of the Department of Health and Family Welfare, Punjab, began here today.

The programme was inaugurated by Mr Tilak R. Sarangal, Managing Director, Punjab Health Systems Corporation, and Secretary (Health and Family Welfare), Punjab, at the State Institute of Health here.

Others present during the programme included Dr Rana Harinder, Director (Health Services), Punjab, Dr Y.C. Markan, Director, PHSC, Dr S.L. Mahajan, Dr T.S. Behl, Dr I.J.S. Bhatia, Dr Arvinder Pal Singh, Dr Rashmi Sharma, apart from the faculty of SIHFW, Mohali.

The objective of the programme is to enable trainers to effectively implement various components of RCH-II and impart training on issues like maternal and child health (MCH), immunization, prevention of RTI, population stabilisation etc in the perspective of the National Population Policy, 2000, and the National Rural Health Mission .

More than 20 participants from different districts of Punjab are participating in the programme. These participants would also be imparted training in managerial, communication and supervisory skills to effectively implement the RCH-II programme through out the state.



Kidney patient needs help
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 2
A 37-year-old journalist from the city is suffering from renal failure. He has a seven-month-old child and wife to support. He was diagnosed for kidney failure in August last year. He needs urgent kidney transplant. His blood group is B positive. Those willing to help him voluntarily may contact his family on phone Nos. 09811217281, 09868759513.



A Sania admirer in upcoming Israeli player
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 2
Sania Mirza is not only an ideal of Indians but also has a huge fan following outside of the country. This was evident when Nadine Fahoum, an upcoming tennis player from Israel, described her as her role model.

Nadine, the number two player of Israel at junior level, is in the city along with her three teammates and coach to take part in the ongoing ITF Junior (Grade 3) Tennis Tournament at Chandigarh Lawn Tennis Association (CLTA) courts, Sector 10, here.

Apparently smitten by Sania’s charm, the teenager wants to be like her in life. “I want to play and touch the heights of the game like Sania. The other reason for adoring her is that we belong to the same religion,” said Nadine, a student of Class XI.

Nadine wants to emulate Sania’s style of dressing. “Nose piercing seems to be a painful experience, that’s why I don’t want to wear a nose ring like Sania.”

On the other hand, her teammate Julia Glushko, an admirer of Andy Roddick of the USA and Maria Sharapova of Russia, is struck by the beauty of the city. “We have toured so many countries in America and Europe but not seen anything quite like Chandigarh,” she said.

Apart from the game, the Israeli sportspersons are relishing the Indian cuisine. “I like ‘naan with daal’ the most,” quipped Julia. Nadine, too was all praise for Indian food and termed it a little bit on the spicy side.

The new thing that attracted them here was the cool ride of rickshaw. “Rickshaw is something new to us as it does not exist in our country. We really enjoyed the interesting and safe ride of it,” said the players.

Coming to the status of tennis in Israel, both players, who are getting professional training at Wingate Tennis Institute, Israel, seemed unsatisfied with the facilities and infrastructure there.

“I am top ranked player in junior circuit but still cannot get any support or facility from government or private sector,” rued Julia.

The number two Nadine agreed with her teammate and said soccer and basketball reined in Israel. However, they expressed their satisfaction over the arrangements made by the local association for the tournament.

The team is accompanied by coach Shlomo Glickstein. Expressing his views on the status of the sport in Israel, he said: “Now the game is coming up on a fast note in the country as we have started a programme at the grassroots level to raise the standard of tennis, which has been largely depending on donations.”

He wants the Israeli government as well as big companies to come forward to give impetus to the sport.



A promising tennis duo
Arvind Katyal

Chandigarh, January 2
The brother-sister duo of Yuki Bhambri and Sanaa Bhambri, tennis players in below-18 age group from Delhi, has a goal to achieve. Both are here to participate in the ITF Junior Tennis Meet. The meet began at the CLTA, Sector 10, here today.

Yuki is the youngest among the 32 boys playing in the main draw. This wild card holder is just 13 and it is his third ITF meet.

The way Yuki played his first round singles match on Monday against top seed Rupesh Roy proved that this talented boy would fulfil his wish of making it to the Indian Davis Cup team.

Today he may be 900th ranked, but after playing in various ITF tennis meets, he hopes to improve, says Yuki. Last year, he was sponsored by the International Tennis Federation for a four-nation tour of France, Germany, Belgium and Netherlands. The tour helped him in attaining confidence and knowing the finer points of the game, he maintains.

It may be recalled that Yuki, who took to tennis when he was just six, drew inspiration from her two elder sisters — Ankita Bhambri, a top rank Indian tennis player and Sanaa, who is a top rank under-18 player.

Only a few days ago, Yuki had made it to the last eight of the ITF Junior Meet held in Gurgaon. He gave a tough fight to Allen Gomes another senior player of India. Next week, Yuki is all set to play his fourth ITF meet in Delhi.

Giving a pat on the back of Yuki was his 17-year-old sister Sanaa. Her current combined ranking is 214, while in January, 2004, she attained the highest rank of 37. Sanaa now ranks fourth in the ongoing ITF Tennis Meet.



Lawn bowling to be promoted in schools: IOC
Our Sports Reporter

Chandigarh, January 2
“From 2006, disciplines like lawn bowling will be accorded priority,” said Raja Randhir Singh, secretary general of the Indian Olympic Association, here.
He said Yadavindra Public School, Patiala, and a host of other public schools across the country would be made centres of excellence in lawn bowling and hockey.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, Randhir Singh, who is an alumni of the YPS, Patiala, said these schools had evinced interest in setting up infrastructure in specialised disciplines.

On a visit to the school in Patiala a few days back, he said lawn bowling was a game of future as the 2010 Commonwealth Games would have seven medals at stake in the sport.

Having its origins in Britain, lawn bowling is a compulsory sport for the games.

He said the sport required a little infrastructure and involved physical activity like walking, stretching and bending. The game required 40x40 metres of ground and the players needed to wear only flat sport shoes to move on the grass.

He said India needed to make a team before the 2010 Commonwealth Games. Boys and girls from 10 years onwards could take up the sport, he added.

Randhir Singh was accompanied by Sunaina Kumari, newly elected president of the Bowling Federation of India.

She said to begin with all schools under the Indian Public Schools Conference (IPSC) would be targeted and asked to build their own teams so that an IPSC school sports meet could be organised in this discipline.

School Principal R.P. Devgun said they would welcome any such effort of laying emphasis on lawn bowling and hockey. 



Admn to implement plan on city’s development
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 2
The Chandigarh Administration has decided to work out a plan for implementing recommendations of various sub-groups constituted as a part of the concept paper on Chandigarh. This was informed by Gen (retd) S.F.Rodrigues, Governor of Punjab and the UT Administrator, while addressing the meeting of the Advisory Council here today.

Various sub-groups constituted by the Chandigarh Administration had submitted reports on development of villages; building bylaws and other architectural innovations; periphery control; clearance of slums; garbage disposal and amendment in the Municipal Act.

The Administration has constituted a second set of sub-groups of the Advisory Council on various subjects, including education sector reforms and initiatives; e-governance and good governance; IT applications in health and medical education, education and technical education; review of existing laws and simplification of procedures; inter-state issue concerning Chandigarh; encroachments and unauthorised religious structures and child welfare and women empowerment. Four sub-groups had already submitted their recommendations and the remaining groups were expected to submit the same shortly.

General Rodrigues said that the administrative machinery had already initiated action and necessary action had been taken on some of the accepted recommendations.

Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, the local member of Parliament, Mr Surinder Singh, newly elected Mayor, Mr Lalit Sharma, Adviser to the Administrator, Mr Krishna Mohan, Home Secretary, Mr S.N.Sahai, Chairman of the Chandigarh Housing Board, Mr R.K.Rao, Deputy Commissioner, Mr P.S.Aujla, Commissioner Municipal Corporation, Inspector General of Police, SSP and other senior officers of the Administration were present at the meeting.

It was pointed out in the meeting that the proposed excise policy for 2006-2007, which envisages substantial changes in the existing policy on the lines of the suggestions of the Ministry of Consumer Affairs had already been circulated for public debate.

Prof K.N.Pathak, Vice-Chancellor of Panjab University, has been asked to make a comprehensive analysis on education and Dr (Brig) M.L. Kataria to work on promotion of education, health and vocational education programme in the rural areas and slums.

The council was unanimous in highlighting the need to remove encroachments and check the growth of unauthorised slums. Mr Bansal, while appreciating steps being taken by the Administration on removal of encroachments, regulating the building byelaws and remodelling plans of villages, stressed the need to find some suitable strategy for providing alternative employment sources to roadside workers and for the removal of malba and garbage from the city to ensure cleanliness and 

The meeting resolved to ‘Put India first’ with the emphasis on Chandigarh.



Public transport vehicles to run on CNG
Our Correspondent

Mohali, January 2
In order to reduce pollution emitting from vehicular traffic, the Punjab Government is making the use of compressed natural gas (CNG) compulsory for public transport vehicles in big towns of the state.

This was stated by Mr A.R. Talwar, Secretary, Transport, at a function organised in connection with the 17th Road Safety Week at Government Senior Secondary School, Phase III B1, here today. He said that orders would be passed to run buses, three wheelers and taxis on CNG only. To begin with CNG pumps would be installed in Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Patiala.

Mr Talwar said a sum of Rs 7 crore was earmarked for the road engineering wing and another sum of Rs 2 crore would be given to the police department to ensure safety on roads. Police posts on the main highways would be set up and Department of Health was asked to set up trauma centres in hospitals located near the national highways.

He said that a high-powered Road Safety Council was being set up which would be headed by the Punjab Chief Minister. Some ministers would also be members of the committee. Road safety councils would be set up at the district levels which would coordinate with the main body.

Mr S.K. Sharma, IG, Traffic, said that traffic on roads had increased manifold over the years. The length and width of roads had increased only by 5 per cent while the number of vehicles had increased nearly 5000 times. Nearly 2 lakh vehicles were added to roads every year.

He said that in Punjab about 4,500 accidents happened each year in which 2,500 persons lost their lives while 3,500 persons got seriously injured. A large number of vehicles also got damaged. In terms of money, the state suffered a damage of Rs 2,000 crore. He said that road users should take a pledge to follow traffic rules to ensure safety.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Iqbal Singh Sidhu, Transport Commissioner, Punjab, said that Road Safety Week was being celebrated throughout the state to create awareness among the public. He said that increase in the number of vehicles on roads was much more than the infrastructure available. In 1964-65, there were 9,500 vehicles on roads in the state. But at present, the number of vehicles was more than 37 lakh out of which 26 lakh were two-wheelers.

A painting competition was organised on the occasion and the winners were given prizes. A medical camp for testing the eye sight of road users was also organised.

Among those present at the function were Mr Karamjit Singh Sra, Additional Transport Commissioner, Mr M.L. Sharma, SDM, Mr Rajiv Gupta, DTO, Ropar, and Mr Amit Talwar, DTO, Patiala.



HUDA gives 1-yr extension to plot holders
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 2
Haryana Urban Development Authority has reportedly given a one year extension to thousands of plot holders in the state, who have failed to construct houses on their plots, after the extension period allowed to them ended on December 31 last year.

This decision has come as a reprieve to thousands of plot allottees, especially in the high potential (in terms of real estate prices) zones of Panchkula, Gurgaon and Faridabad. Sources say that though the decision has been okayed at a HUDA Authority meeting last week, it has to be signed by the Chief Minister, before it is implemented. It may be noted that HUDA had introduced its extension policy for plot holders in 1987. Initially, a two-year time was given to plot holders for construction of houses. If the allotee failed to begin construction within this time period, he had to pay an extension fee for not constructing a building on the plot. For the past 19 years, the extension period was extended by HUDA from time to time, and different slabs were fixed for charging extension fees from such plot owners. The extension fee levied also varied according to the real estate prices in each urban estate.


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