C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Now 14 villages to go to MC
Mayor denies any information 
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
The stage is set for inclusion of 14 villages in the Municipal Corporation. A notification in this regard is likely to be issued soon by the Chandigarh Administration.

Instead of the initial plan of handing over five villages — Hallomajra, Palsora, Maloya, Daddu Majra and Kajehri — the administration would hand over all 14 villages in one go.

Four villages, which do not fit into the urban character of the city, were being retained by the administration.

While Mr Surinder Singh, the Mayor, said the Municipal Corporation had received no intimation in this regard from the administration, sources said the administration had the prerogative to “thrust” any responsibility on the civic body under the relevant provisions of the Punjab Municipal Act.

The Mayor said: “ We are still waiting for an official communication from the administration after we forwarded our terms and conditions for taking five villages.”

The corporation had sought regularising of structures outside the lal dora, relaxation in the building bylaws and providing basic infrastructure at the cost of the administration.

Mr Subash Chawla, former Mayor, said, in a recent meeting with the Advisor, the councillors had sought that construction of four storeys should be okayed and commercial activity be allowed at the ground floor. The Advisor had hinted at preparing blueprints of each village.

But sources confirmed that all terms and conditions of the corporation were not acceptable to the administration.

In that probability, the administration would transfer all 14 villages with a matching grant.

Apart from political mileage to the party in power, the reported move could directly benefit hundreds of illegally constructed dwelling units outside the lal dora of the UT villages.

On being included within the MC limits, the administration would have greater control on managing the vacant land outside the lal dora of the villages.

Carrying out demolitions within the villages would also be possible for the administration. This would also mean end of the Panchayati Raj institutions.

The sources said on inclusion, around 40,000 additional voters in the 14 villages would be eligible to cast their ballot in the municipal elections which were due in December 2006.

The elected representatives and the officials in the corporation were opposed to inclusion of all villages as it would badly affect the ongoing developmental works in the city and put additional burden on the civic body.

The sources said before holding the elections to the corporation, the exercise to delimit the wards would have to be undertaken.

Since the election of the corporation was due in December 2006, the delimitation had to be done before that. 



Doctors call off strike; arrested youths get bail
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

In her statement to the police, Simran, the girl behind the controversy, said she was returning from college yesterday when she felt a terrible stomachache. She took an overdose of painkillers to counter the ache, and started feeling dizzy.

That was when her friends and her fiance Rajbir Singh took her to the GMCH. “I was attended to and was feeling better when Dr Kamal came to re-examine me. He slapped me and that was when the scuffle started. I told my friends that I did not want to get treated at the GMCH. We were then referred to the PGI," Simran said.

Chandigarh, April 26
Patients emerged real winners when the agitating junior doctors of the GMCH-32 called back their strike at the stroke of noon today. It, however, took the UT Administration and the police a significant amount of convincing to send the disgruntled doctors back to work.

The situation took longer than normal to diffuse because doctors and some agitating nurses raised certain pending internal issues this morning.

The Director Principal of the College, Dr H.M. Swami, admitted that yesterday’s issue had been politicised to a certain extent by factions that wanted to draw mileage out of the situation. He clarified that only a handful of nurses were on strike.

The real issue, however, centered on the security of doctors on duty in the hospital, Dr Swami said. He added that the hospital would allow only one attendant per person in the emergency ward. The authorities also decided to add two security guards to the existing security strength available for the ward.

It is significant to note that the present security officer of the GMCH is the head of a department from within the hospital. In an ideal situation, such a post should have been given to a trained professional — an ex-Army person or someone who is quick to depute security in the time of crisis.

Another important issue concerns the location of the police post on the hospital premises. Said an insider, “The post is located at a distant end, far away from the emergency ward. It should be brought closer to allow the police to act in time.”

The GMCH has faced problems on account of security of its doctors and staff in the past also. Some time back, a senior laboratory technician was beaten up by some people at the hospital gate. His leg was grievously injured in the attack. There have also been cases of drunken attendants misbehaving with nurses on duty and some other staff.

A GMCH Employees Union member said, “We have four blocks, but meager security staff. We should have more trained people in our security wing.”

The security concerns apart, junior doctors today demanded withdrawal of the police complaint which Rajbir Singh and his friends filed against them yesterday.

The Additional DC, Mr I.S. Sandhu, who along with the DSP, Mr KIP Singh, spent the morning assuring the doctors, however, said the law would take its own course.

He said, “We have assured the doctors on the security front and asked them to take occupational hazards in their stride. They were apprehensive about the recurrence of such cases, but we have assured them safety.”

Meanwhile, three friends of Simran who were arrested late last night on the charge of assaulting a government servant on duty, were bailed out today.



Only one power cut in UT villages, slums
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
All villages and various slums of the Union Territory will have only one power cut in a day on the pattern of the cut schedule in the city. The decision comes as a relief to the villagers which face two cuts in a day.

Mr V.K. Bhardwaj, Chief Engineer, said the officials concerned had been instructed to work out a single-cut schedule for all 18 villages in the UT. The timing of the cuts in different time slots would be announced very soon.

According to the present cut schedule for the villages and slums, one cut is imposed in the time slot of 8 am to 10 am while another is effected in the schedule of 4 pm to 6 pm.

Residents had been complaining about the timing of the cuts. The 8 am-10 am slot coincides with the early morning water supply. The supply comes through tubewells to a majority of these villages and slums. In the absence of electricity the water supply is affected.

Mr Sanjeev Gupta, a resident of Dhanas, said: “The cut during the morning hours coincides with the office hours. We have to get ready for the office and the household demand for water is also maximum during the time of the cut”.

Mr Sukhjeet Singh, Sarpanch of Halomajra, said: “Besides the two cuts, sometimes we also face power cuts in the afternoon. This timing also coincides with the water supply hours. The women of area have been demanding a rescheduling of power cuts as their daily chores in the kitchen are hit”.

Mr Bahadur Singh, a resident of Colony No. 5, said: “The Administration has taken a very laudatory step by taking a decision to introduce a uniform schedule for cuts”.

The Administration has repeatedly asked the public to use power judiciously so as to help it overcome the ongoing power crisis. At present, only 88 MW or 145 MW of power is available against the peak demand of 186 MW.

There is very little possibility of power purchase from the National Grid. Attempts are being made to get additional power from Himachal Pradesh.

Ms Neelam Jaura, a housewife said: “The new cut schedule was a very welcome step. However, students appearing for the AIEEE test are likely to face an uncomfortable situation for cuts in schools on April 30. The Administration should look into the matter or the schools should make elaborate electricity arrangements”.



Passing thru

Jaideep Wahi
Mr Jaideep Wahi, Account Manager, India Nike

Why go in for a second store in Chandigarh?

We already have a store in Sector 17. We have invested in a market only after certainty of making it big. The location at Taj hotel gave us a perfect ambience for our brand. The opening of malls in the city and surrounding areas shows that the market is opening up in a big way.

Does the store offer anything new?

This store will target the women as more than 40 per cent of our products at this store will be especially for them. The Sharapova skits, Federer tee shirts, Henry off-field apparel and Ronaldinho workout gear are the special attraction. The store also offers air-technology shoes.

What is air technology?

A shoe is divided into three portions- upper, lower and the middle. The middle portion is the most sensitive portion as it takes the pressure of the impact when the foot touches the ground. The air-technology shoes have air capsules covering the middle portion and these act as cushions for the body weight. These are being used by the sportsperson in a big way these days.

Sanjeev Singh Bariana



Setback to township plan
Environmental NOC evades Dubai-based company
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, April 26
The ambitious Rs 3,819 crore integrated township project here of EMAAR- MGF has received a setback with Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) officials recommending that a no-objection certificate should not be issued to the developers till they carry out the mandatory Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) study and remove other shortcomings in the plan.

The Dubai–based EMAAR and MGF will be developing the integrated township with Special Education and Wellness Zone in Raipur Kalan , Dhol , Sambhalki and Sukhgarh villages which will cover Sectors 85 to 106 of the Mohali Master Plan.

The NOC is to be issued by the Chairman of the board.

Sources said that EMAAR MGF Land Private Ltd had applied for an NOC to the nodal office of the board around mid-March and submitted, among other required documents , the site plan, the feasibility report , the scheme for the disposal of treated waste water and copies of the registration of land for solid waste management . The allocation for pollution control under the project was Rs 3 crore.

The nodal office of the PPCB had also stated that the NOC could not be given for such a large project on the basis of a bank guarantee of merely Rs 10 lakh.Besides , the promoters should come out with a proper plan on the disposal system for treated effluents and also a map showing the network of channels for carrying sewage to the sewage treatment plant (STP) and its utilisation after treatment.

The sources said the huge construction project, which was likely to have a substantial effect on the environment , was covered under the EIA notification of July 7, 2004, and was required to get environmental clearance from the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests after getting the EIA study done . The project promoters had given a bank guarantee of Rs 10 lakh , which was valid up to February 24 , 2007 , as an assurance to this effect , but the amount was too small for a project involving a total investment of Rs 3,819 crore. It was important for the promoter to first get the EIA study conducted before proceeding further.

The feasibility report for the STP given by the promoters showed the quantum of sewage as 5,400 kilolitres a day ( KLD) with a proposal to install an STP comprising a bar screen , a collection tank , a primary clarifier, an aeration tank , a secondary clarifier and sludge drying beds . The company proposed to recycle treated sewage in toilets up to 500 KLD . The rest of the sewage was proposed to be used in part for the irrigation of the green belts and partly discharged into the Patiala-ki-Rao choe. However , the sources said the promoters had failed to give the exact bifurcation of the two components ( irrigation and discharge ) to the PPCB.

The sources further said that there would be a total of 14 tonnes per day of solid waste generation from the proposed township. The company had submitted a proposal to carry out composting of the waste for use later as manure. It had given an affidavit wherein it had said that land measuring 37 kanals and 7 marlas in Daon village, near here, would be exclusively used for the disposal of the solid waste on a bio-degradable and non-bio-degradable basis. 



Sex, competition, parents: problems for city teens
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
A Panjab University study has found that that 60 per cent of city adolescents have problems related to sex, while 50 per cent of them suffer from problems related to education.
Also, a substantial number suffer from emotional disturbances and poor social adjustment.

A team of the Centre for Adult, Continuing Education and Extension, Panjab University, has listed a varied set of “problems and stresses” which adolescents go through.

Mrs Renu Gandhi, Programme Coordinator from CACEE, and Dr Avnish Jolly had undertaken a study on “Adolescent Behaviour and Role of Teachers and Parents”.

The study shows that adolescents are highly emotional in nature and do not have a free hand to develop their social and moral values which is why they are generally assertive, explorative and revolt for simple things, thus facing invisible crisis in their tender age.

Anxiety and negative approach results in stress and even drug addiction, finds the study.

It also reveals that failure to adjust properly with competitive education system results in mental harassment among adolescents.

According to the study, 90 per cent of the adolescents feel that excessive expectation from parents in the exams, especially at 10+2 level, results in stress and tension in their lives.

“Adolescent period is a period of stress and strain, strife and strong emotionality and suggestibility, daydreaming and adventurous, intense affections.

“Adolescents have various needs and problems in their changing life style. It is the duty of parents and teachers to play constructive roles in their lives.

“The present study explores problems faced by adolescents in their lives and the measures and means to achieve better personality in their lives,” explained Mrs Gandhi.

The team had distributed interview schedules to adolescents and collected information from 450 students, 20 teachers and 30 parents.

The interview schedule and questionnaire comprised questions on adjustment with physical growth, mental competition, emotional disturbances, adjustment with home and family members and social adjustment.

When asked about the role of media in their daily life, adolescents felt that media played a negative role in their lives because it gave them education without direction.

In response to questions related to their teachers, the adolescents felt that it could be made positive in nature if parents' interaction was included in their relationship with the teachers.

The study also found that adolescents had little knowledge about their physical and sexual growth, resulting in experimentation on themselves, which further created problems in their physical and sexual growth.

The study also expressed that the problems being suffered by the adolescents were mainly due to uneducated parents and lack of interaction with them.

Nuclear families with smaller space at home with no interaction would have problems of emotional disturbances and mental adjustment with adolescents, Mrs Renu Gandhi observed.

She said it was necessary to have adolescent education at school-level so that children should be well informed about physical, sexual and mental changes in their lives.



Citizen facilitation centre soon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
The Engineering Department of the Chandigarh Administration will set up a citizen facilitation centre. The citizens can call up phone number 4639999 to lodge their complaints pertaining to electricity, public health, horticulture and engineering wings.

Sources said the centre would work round-the-clock and the date of commencement would be announced very soon.

Residents could lodge their complaints which would be registered on the computers at the centre, to be located in Deluxe Building. The RCC was likely to collaborate on the project.

The complaint would be forwarded to the offices concerned. The offices would file reply with the centre, which in turn would inform the complainants as to how much time it would take to solve the problem. Computer-generated reports and the accompanying action taken reports would go to the higher-ups, sources added.



CHB holds draw of lots
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
The Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) today conducted the draw of lots for 646 one-room flats in Sectors 38 (West) and 49 here today.
All dwelling units had been allotted and a same number of applicants had been kept in the waiting list, sources said.

The oustees quota had 34 flats. Only two turned up as a result of which the remaining were converted into the general pool.

The SC category had 302 applicants for 82 flats; Defence had 317 for 32 units; the OBC category had 153 applications for 32 units; and the general pool received 5716 for  417 flats.



Sandhu elected immigration association chief
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 26
The Association of Professional Immigration and Education Consultants (APIEC), a non-profit making organisation, unanimously elected Col B.S. Sandhu and Col J.S. Bath as chairman and president respectively, of the organisation at the annual general meeting held here yesterday.

While addressing the members, the newly elected chairman of the APIEC, Col Sandhu said they had to work hard in strengthening the aim of the organisation to bring transparency in the immigration and education consultancy industry, for which, he said, they had formed this association. He further said that the organisation would fight to safeguard the interests of aspirants. The organisation unanimously passed a resolution that the office-bearers of the organisation would soon seek an audience with the Governor and the Chief Minister of Punjab to explore the possibility of offering APIEC’s expert services to the government in controlling and eliminating the menace of human trafficking.

The newly elected president Col J.S. Bath, laid emphasis on the necessity of educating the public by organising seminars, discussions, conferences both at the state and national levels.



Writers not meant to sermonise: Dr Naresh
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Dr Naresh Chandigarh, April 26
Writers’ revolutions are silent and subtle. They inspire change without making a fuss about issues. That also explains why litterateurs are rarely seen in a sermonising mode. They would rather their words do the talking.

So when eminent Hindi litterateur Dr Naresh, also Chairperson, Chandigarh Sahitya Akademi, chooses to talk, one knows the issue is big enough. It centres on the revival of locale-based novels, once the pride of Hindi literature, now an obscurity. In his latest book “Maati Kahe Kumhar Se”, Dr Naresh has revisited tradition and recalled it for the present generation as well as the posterity.

His 62nd book in a row, “Mati Kahe Kumhar Se” is by no means routine. It stands apart for its experimental streak, which the writer has deliberately brought in to address the sensitive issue of India’s tolerance of the minorities.

Set in Malerkotla — the only city in Punjab which saw no disturbances during Partition, the book deals with post-Partition pangs, both on emotional and political level.

Says the writer,“In the book, Malerkotla becomes my laboratory for a unique experiment. Once typified by Hindu-Muslim unity, the town endures its share of communal violence to finally emerge as a perfect example of secularism.

He adds, “Partition was also forced upon us. It is not something we desired. Now is the time to celebrate unity by absorbing and embracing Muslims who are as much part of India as Hindus are,” says Dr Naresh.

For his part, he still believes in the constancy of progressivism. “Our association may have become defunct but as a movement we very much exist. Even modern literature is an extension of the progressives. The only difference I see in modern literature is that it reflects more individual concerns than social.”

The trend might well be traced to the changing times that demand changing attitudes. But in the midst of change, the purpose of art remains constant. As Dr Naresh points out, “People don’t expect us to knit press releases as stories. Our stance has to be anti-establishment, but it has to be subtle enough to inspire quiet change.”As it is, writers are not meant to sermonise. They can, at best, make oblique suggestions. Their work is not to treat the malaise, but to diagnose it well. And that’s what Dr Naresh has attempted in his latest book.



Inquiry marked into police assault
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
The police has marked an inquiry into the alleged beating up of Vinod at the Sector 26 police station here. The victim, who had a fight with another person on April 23, was called to the police station to enter into a compromise with the opposite party. When he reached there, he was beaten up and later released on bail.
After being released on bail, he approached human rights lawyer Arvind Thakur, who later met the SSP.



Rickshaw puller rapes daughter, suicide bid by wife
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26
A 30 year-old rickshaw puller was today booked by the Chandigarh Police for allegedly raping his 12 year-old daughter in Hallomajra village in the wee hours of this morning.

The wife of the rickshaw puller, who tried to set herself on fire on seeing the act of her husband, has also been booked for attempt to suicide.

The accused, along with wife and five children, including the victim, was residing in Hallomajra village. While other members of the family were asleep, the accused woke up and was caught in the act by his wife.

Enraged at the act of her husband, the woman doused herself with kerosene before setting herself on fire.

She was admitted at the GMCH, Sector 32, with about 30 per cent burns.

On the basis of the medical examination of the victim, a case of rape was registered against the rickshaw puller at the Sector 31 Police Station. The name of the parents of the victim had been withheld for the benefit of the victim.



Police picks up youth
Our Correspondent

Mohali, April 26
A youth of Phase XI, here, had allegedly been picked up by the Patiala police without informing members of his family.
According to reports, Kulwinder Singh was taken away from Phase XI by some unidentified persons on Monday evening. Members of his family then approached the police to lodge a compliant .

It is reported that the family members came to know that Kulwinder Singh had been taken away by the Patiala police only when they met the SSP today but it was still not clear why he had been rounded up.

Mr Varinder Pal Singh, SP, said the family of the youth had approached the police only yesterday afternoon complaining that Kulwinder Singh had gone to get medicine and had not come back. He said the members of his family had now been informed by the Patiala police that the youth was in their custody and they were free to get him from there .

When asked why the Patiala police had taken away the youth without informing the local police, the SP said it was not clear whether Kulwinder Singh had been taken away from Mohali or some other place.



1 held in dowry death case

Chandigarh, April 26
A resident of Sector 27, Ram Pal, has been arrested by the Chandigarh Police after his wife, Sunita, died at the General Hospital, Sector 16. She allegedly consumed poison. The accused was reportedly harassing his wife for dowry.

A case under Section 304 B of the IPC was registered against Ram Pal on the basis of complaint lodged by his mother-in-law, Phool Wati. The accused had married the deceased in June 2005. After consuming poison on the night intervening April 22 and April 23, the victim was admitted at General Hospital. She later died. TNS



Bootlegger held
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 26
Tightening noose around inter-state liquor mafia, the district police today arrested a person while smuggling 425 cases of liquor from Himachal Pradesh to Delhi.
Acting on a tip-off, the police laid a naka in Mattanwala village near Pinjore and seized a truckload of the contraband.

The truck driver, Gurnam Singh alias Gama, told the police that he was transporting the liquor to Delhi.



CII team meets Hooda

Chandigarh, April 26
A CII delegation, led by Mr Sunil Kant Munjal, former CII president and Managing Director-cum-CEO of the Hero Corporate Service, held a meeting Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Chief Minister of Haryana.

The delegation included Mr Jatender Mehta, Chairman of the CII (Haryana), and several other captains from the Haryana industry.

The meeting dwelled on labour reforms, deteriorating of power situation in Haryana and more development authorities on pattern of Gurgaon. TNS



NRI wins $5,000

Panchkula, April 26
An NRI, Naveen Aggarwal, from Panchkula has won the first prize of $5,000 in RasGas in Qatar.
A Bachelor in Engineering, Mr Aggarwal was adjudged first in an internal competition organised by the RasGas, the biggest liquefied natural gas (LNG) company in the world, in collaboration with the Government of Qatar and ExxonMobil.

More than 500 employees of various companies from over 54 countries participated in the competition. Mr Naveen Aggarwal, had earlier been awarded with the best project in Punjab Engineering College in 1993 for his invention "Artificial Foot with Ankle Movement". TNS


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