C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


 

PGI, GMCH docs to go on strike today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
Even as protest against reservation for OBCs in medical institutes got rolling at Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, the stir finally gathered steam with the medicos deciding to launch an offensive from tomorrow.

While the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD) of the PGIMER has decided to boycott work in outdoor patient departments (OPDs) beginning tomorrow, junior and senior residents at GMCH have decided to suspend work against the UPA government’s reservation policy.

Students of the medical college today organised a sit-in dharna outside the Emergency block of GMCH. Holding placards and banners against the implementation of reservation and supporting black ribbons on their shoulders, the students held a silent protest amidst police deployment at the hospital.

By evening, the resident doctors, junior and senior, decided to join the protest bandwagon in a hospital already ailing with staff shortage following a strike by the contract employees.

The decision of the doctors will cripple the functioning of the hospital, the most crucial being the emergency services. “Representatives of GMCH have confirmed that resident doctors will strike work. The dharna outside the hospital will continue,” Dr Yash Bala, secretary Indian Medical Association (IMA), said.

At the PGI, the scope of agitation is further likely to be extended to departments other than those of critical care in case the government fails to address their demands favourably.

The vice-president of the ARD, Dr Anindya Banerjee, said a decision to join the stir had been taken at the general body meeting of the association. “To begin with, we will boycott all the OPDs and subsequently extend it to other areas. The overriding consensus at the meting was that we must protest without inconveniencing the public at large and seriously ill patients in particular. For the purpose, emergencies and the various wards will function as usual,” he stated.

Though various departments offering critical care will not be affected, the association has further decided to extend the strike to other departments as well. “We will organise dharnas or rallies to express solidarity with the cause. However, a final decision about the future course of action will be taken after tomorrow’s rally,” he held.

Meanwhile, following a call by the local chapter of IMA, city doctors will gather at the Sector 17 plaza for a rally in the evening.

Meanwhile the GMCH authorities have decided to postpone the summer vacation of the faculty which was to begin from tomorrow till further orders.

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Contract staff strike leaves GMCH paralysed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
Medical services received a severe blow and work was paralysed at Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, after the contractual staff, nearly 60 per cent of the total staff strength, chose to strike work to press for pay parity with regular employees of the hospital. Left with skeletal staff at their disposal, the authorities could do little to restore crippled services even as frantic efforts were on to tide over the problem with substitutes.

A complete shutdown of the unit sterilising equipment and conducting various tests, a single employee to man the entire blood bank, a handful of them to tackle the rush in the OPDs and ambulances in the wings all day——today was one painful day for patients and attendants at the hospital.

The protesting staff, comprising primarily lab technicians, lab and ward attendants and data entry personnel brought work to a grinding halt though the Emergency services were functional with minor hiccups.

Outdoor Patients Department

The OPDs, however, were badly hit with the staff being able to handle only 10 per cent of the daily registration. While most of these patients were turned away by the staff, old patients were allowed to just consult their doctors without any of their previous records. Those on duty had just no time to retrieve files while cards of a few new registrations were kept pending for over a couple of hours.

With data entry operators “missing”, work suffered considerably. Against 1000 new registrations, only 300 new patients were registered today. A 70-year-old Malerkotla resident with a medical history of a heart ailment, Sukhbans Kaur, who had been referred to the GMCH, went back without being able to consult a doctor while city resident Raj Rani, expecting her first baby, too, returned after the staff failed to prepare her card.

Laboratories and tests

With the exception of the Emergency laboratory, no tests were conducted at the hospital since technicians were unavailable. Here, too, microbiology tests were suspended by noon for want of staff. Blood and urine culture, ECGs, ultrasounds, x-rays in all OPDs were all postponed. While a couple of technicians called in from Rural Health Centre tried to tackle “serious” patients, most of them were turned away or asked to get their tests done privately.

Central Sterilisation Supply Department

The heartline of the hospital where all instruments, bandages, implants for surgeries are sterilised, the staff at the CSSD shut shop by noon. Though sterilisation of equipment carried out in the morning lasted till late afternoon, the absence of staff sent the authorities in a tizzy. Though the authorities admitted that each department had its own sterilisation unit, they admitted it was among the biggest problems which needed to be tackled on a war footing.

Blood bank

The blood bank functioned with only one regular hand the whole of today since most of the staff is on contract. By evening, another employee on leave had been called in to take over for the night. The authorities maintained that back-up arrangements for smooth functioning of the blood bank were being explored.

At the end of the day, the Director-Principal, Dr H.M. Swami, issued a statement stating that only 115 of the 1,200 contractual staff had not reported for duty. These included ECG technicians, junior lab technicians, data entry keepers, system administrators.

Sources said the contractor responsible for providing staff had been summoned and asked to provide substitutes for the striking staff. An arrangement is likely to be in place by tomorrow, the authorities said.

Contract staff’s demands

The striking employees said that they were only demanding equal pay for equal work under a clause of the Labour Act. They said they were being paid anything between Rs 2,600 and Rs 4,300 per month against Rs 10,000 to 11,000 for the same work. “This discrimination is not acceptable to us,” they maintained. However, officials maintain that the contract employees have been hired though a contractor who is getting 20 per cent service charges per person employed. Besides, a case for raising salaries of the contract staff has already been forwarded to the government even though it will entail an additional expenditure of Rs 4 crore for the GMCH alone.

“This is a policy decision of the government. We are not hampering the process in any way. In fact, we are ready to involve representatives from the contract staff in the entire process,” the Medical Superintendent, Dr Harsh Mohan, stated.

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Doctors wear black badges
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 15
Members of the local unit of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) wore black badges in protest against the proposed OBC quota in medical colleges and also against the treatment meted out to medical students who were protesting in a peaceful manner.

Dr Ashwini Kansal said the decision to wear black badges was taken at a meeting held in Chandigarh yesterday which was attended by Dr S.S. Bhatia, president of the local unit of the IMA.

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Raid on Lucky's house to nab Harneet
House of “accomplice” also raided
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 15
The Chandigarh Police today acknowledged, for the first time, the involvement of Harneet Singh, wife of Deputy Mayor Harmohinder Singh Lucky, in the Sector 17 garment theft case and conducted a raid on her house to arrest her.

A simultaneous raid was also conducted on the house of her alleged accomplice, Jaspal Kaur Bhattal, in Sector 8.

The two were booked under Sections 380 and 34, IPC. Police sources said they had sufficient evidence to believe that the two women were hand in glove with the salesman of the garment store. “They were booked under the relevant Sections after investigations showed that they had a common intention in committing the crime,” they said.

The raids proved futile as the police could not arrest either of them. However, the development is significant as so far the police had been refraining from proceeding against the two.

Meanwhile, Harneet Singh has filed an anticipatory bail application in the local court on the grounds that it was “political vendetta” and that her name did not figure in the FIR. She also petitioned that she was willing to join investigation. The case was adjourned for tomorrow.

Though the police sources said the investigating team had “enough evidence,” some officers had been delaying the arrest of the women, apparently “under political pressure.”

The action by the police today made it clear that the “police cannot continue to pursue its dilly-dallying tactics” on the ground of seeking legal opinion, a source in the police said.

A police team arrived at Lucky's house in a truck and cordoned off the premises. Accompanied by women police officers, the team entered the house and carried out a thorough search.

Talking to mediapersons, Ms Harbans Kaur, mother of Jaspal Kaur Bhattal, said: “My daughter is innocent and has nothing to do with the matter.” Asked about the whereabouts of her daughter, she said she had gone to her in-laws as her mother-in-law was not well.

Refuting the allegations of the involvement of her daughter she said: “Jaspal is our only child and belongs to a well-off family. There is no reason for her to indulge in theft. My husband retired as a Colonel and he is a doctor. Moreover, I always accompany my daughter whenever she goes for shopping and we shop at a Sector 8 showroom.”

Asked about Jaspal's acquaintance with Harneet Singh, she said both of them were teaching in the same school and thus were known to each other.

Inspector Satbir Singh, in charge of the Crime Branch of the Chandigarh Police, said the raids were conducted after Raju confirmed the involvement of these women in the case during his interrogation at Burail Jail. The other evidence had also established their involvement in the theft.

The police is providing full coverage to the operation. It had informed members of the media about the operation. “If their involvement is established, I will ask the management to suspend them,” said Mr R. Talwar, Principal of DAV School, Sector 8.

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4 youths thrash liquor vend salesman
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 15
A mob at Indira Colony here today thrashed four youngsters, who allegedly beat up a salesman of a liquor vend in the locality over a trivial issue of returning a bottle of beer that they had purchased. Taking advantage of the commotion, some miscreants in the mob decamped with cartons of liquor.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, Mr Azad Singh, contractor of the vend, said he lost over 160 cartons of beer and liquor in the hubbub. He totalled his loss at Rs 1 lakh. He further alleged that one of the accused is a son of the president of the colony, who wanted him to close the vend and had been threatening him with dire consequences.

The police has arrested three youngsters and a resident of the colony and claimed to have recovered three cartons from them. The youngsters who thrashed the salesman have been identified as Satish, Dharminder, Arvind and Krishan, all resident of Indira Colony. Another person arrested has been identified as Rajinder, who was nabbed while allegedly decamping with a carton of liquor.

Mr Sumit Kumar, the salesman, in his complaint to the police alleged that four youngsters came to the vend at around 9 a.m. and demanded two bottles of beer from him, which he delivered to them. After that they demanded two more bottles of beer and then a fifth one. At that time they entered an argument, which soon turned violent and they exchanged fisticuffs. Then they came to him and asked him to return the bottle purchased by them, to which he resisted.

Mr Sumit further alleged that infuriated over this, one of the accused hurled a bottle of beer at him and he ducked to save himself. Following this, the four barged into the vend by breaking open its door and thrashed him up.

Hearing his cries people gathered at the spot and they pulled the accused out and beat them up. At that time the situation went out of control and taking advantage of it, some people looted the vend.

He informed the contractor about the incident and the police was called there. Sumit was admitted to a local hospital along with Satish and Dharminder. Some other people injured in the commotion were later discharged from the hospital.

The police was conducting raids late in the night to nab the accused.

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Need to safeguard multiculturalism, says expert
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
“In my entire professional career of 37 years, it was the first case of its kind that I fought”, said Mr Julius H. Grey a practising advocate from Canada while sharing his views on his kirpan issue case, where a 13-year-old Sikh student was prohibited from wearing a kirpan to school by the Council of Commissioners of the school board in Canada. He was here in the city to speak on “Multiculturalism in Canada”, a seminar held at ICSSR Hall, Panjab University.

Mr Grey said it took him almost three years to win the case; a judgement was finally pronounced in March this year. “There wasn’t much support from the public as the Sikh population in Canada is not that visible. I had to convince the people and make them realize the value of religion. For that I even took the help of radio and television, he said. “The case finally helped in gaining respect for the Sikh religion and its cultural values in Canada,” he added.

The case was first filed in the superior court, later in the court of appeal and finally after losing in both courts, Mr Grey won this case in the Supreme Court of Canada. “Every religion has certain values to be followed and imposing a ban on these is uncalled for,” says Mr Grey. He is currently fighting a case in the Supreme Court of Canada for the right of Muslims. On his first visit to India, he will visit Amritsar, Agra and New Delhi.

Mr Grey said an institutional mechanism was needed to protect multiculturalism against majoritism. The most appropriate institutional mechanism for promotion and strengthening of multiculturalism was the judicial system.

In Canada, judicial review as a mechanism had been used very effectively for safeguarding and nurturing multiculturalism. He elaborated on a few verdicts of the Supreme Court of Canada, including the famous kirpan case, resulting in the establishment of legal precedents, culminating in the promotion and protection of the interests of minorities in Canada. According to him, multiculturalism can sustain only if there is a reasonable degree of accommodation among all communities.

Prof B.S. Ghuman, Coordinator, Canadian Studies Centre, said the Canadian model of multiculturalism had many lessons in store for India. Prof Virendra Kumar, Professor Emeritus, Department of Laws, in his presidential remarks, said the critical question in the arena of multiculturalism was how to resolve conflicts between cultures. He argued that the cultural conflicts should be resolved by referring to constitutional values, as these were rooted in the composite culture of society.

Prof R.S. Grewal, Director, University Institute of Legal Studies, proposed a vote of thanks.

Mr P.K. Saini, Director, ICSSR; Mrs Julius Grey; Prof Manjit Singh, McGill University, Montreal; Prof D.J. Sandhu, University College of Fraser Valley, British Columbia; Ms Crystal Sawyer, Justice S.K. Jain (retd); Bhayee Sikandar Singh of Bagrian; Prof Balram Gupta and Prof B.N. Goswami were also present.

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Building India in Canada
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
Except for his accent, there is nothing to suggest he is a big wheel in Canada’s Calgary city. For, investor-cum-land developer Parminder Jit Singh Randhawa’s downright simplicity and courteousness are still all very Indian.

It is only when he speaks about building dreams of India in Canada by giving the structures there a touch of old Indian architecture, that the realisation dawns — he is also a member of Calgary’s Future Planning Commission.

Flashing a broad smile, Mr Randhawa says the commission’s membership has over the years helped him and other land developers in setting up homes away from homes by giving the structures there a touch of the native style.

“Until a few years ago, the trend predominantly was to follow the Italian style of architecture,” says Mr Randhawa. “But now we have come up with Taj Mahals and Moti Mahals in Canada. The hotels and malls not only give you Indian ambiance inside, but are so very Indian even from outside,” he adds.

This is not the end of Indian safari in Canada. Mr Randhawa says they have persuaded the Calgary administration to give Indian names to predominantly Punjabi areas. Quoting an example, Mr Randhawa says you have Patiala Street and Chandigarh Avenue in Canada.

For Mr Randhawa, return to Calgary after spending a few weeks with friends and the rest of the family in Chandigarh has the flavour of home coming. “The combination of architecture and Indian names goes a long way in preventing the feeling of alienation from setting in. You see, we now have a mini Punjab, away from the land of five rivers,” he asserts. “To top it all, we organise cultural programmes like plays and concerts from time to time”.

Also associated with the Punjabi Cultural Association and Canada’s Sikh Society, Mr Randhawa says he was instrumental in staging the plays of Dr Harcharan Singh in Canada. “Besides this, we recently invited renowned Punjabi singer Hans Raj Hans to perform in Canada. After accepting another invitation, ghazal maestro Jagjit Singh is all set to croon magic in Calgary on May 20.”

But was it all this easy? “Well, not exactly. When I moved to Canada in 1977 after leaving the job of a Sales Supervisor with a Punjab Government department, the reaction of the general public in Canada was what is this turbaned gentleman doing here? For, Punjabis were still struggling to carve a niche for themselves in the country’s economy. But now things are different. The Punjabi community is doing very well in Canada’’.

He adds: ‘‘They have their own timber business, are running hotels and motels, have petrol pumps and car wash business, besides being actively involved in the field of real estate and investment. No wonder, even the Canadians are realising our importance.

That is, perhaps, the reason why they celebrate Baisakhi with akhand path, and even Divali, in the Parliament of Canada".

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New cabs to enter Mohali, Panchkula
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
The new cab service operators on city roads have also extended their services to Mohali and Panchkula. Indus Travels and Logistics submitted their application today while the Mega Cab Service will submit it tomorrow.

At least five passes were issued to Indus Travels and Logistics this evening. The development was preceded by deliberations between the UT State Transport Authority with the respective officials of Punjab and Haryana throughout the day.

Mr Krishna Mohan, Home Secretary, talked to Mr R.S. Sandhu, Secretary of the Punjab State Transport Authority. Mr P.S. Shergill, Secretary of the STA, met senior officials of Punjab and Haryana.

Sources said the UT Administration and the respective state governments had agreed to have a uniform tax structure for the cabs. A senior official said:“ The tax was much higher in the adjoining states. The senior authorities have agreed to have a uniform tax structure for cabs being run under this scheme.”

“The state governments concerned have told us that they had no hitch in the cabs plying in their territories. A formal agreement will be signed very soon,” a senior official said.

Until then, the cabs will be getting a pass on a daily basis from the UT. They will be required to pay tax to the state governments as well.

Mr C.B. Singh, General Manager of Customer Services of Mega Cab, said: “We will be applying for the cab service to Mohali and Panchkula tomorrow. It is appreciative that the Administration was working on account of a uniform tax policy for all three administrations with which we are concerned.”

In another related development, at least 22 cabs of Hertz Cab Service, the third agency starting the taxi service in the city, arrived on the premises of the STA today. Another 28 are expected tonight.

A senior official said: “Mr Krishna Mohan had a conversation with the CEO of the company in New Delhi where he was informed that the company was waiting for certain components of the GPA which will arrive from Canada. It has been communicated to the company that it should commence its services at the earliest.”

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Chandigarh Calling
Mama’s day out

It was Mama’s day out on Sunday. Being Mother’s Day, one did not have the heart to turn down her request for an outing, or let her pick that cookery gadget that she has been planning to acquire for a long time. And the exhibition on kitchen concepts in the city seemed to have been timed just right. The big rush of women along with their husbands and kids in the CII hall was indication of the pampering that the moms were enjoying even though a man in the melee was overheard saying, “kitthe phas gaye.” The same was the situation in sector 17, the Sukhna Lake and other popular spots in the city.

Fruit bonanza

The fruit bonanza at the Sectors 7-8-17-18 roundabout in Panchkula is definitely going to stay. For thousands of commuters entering Panchkula from Chandigarh Housing Board chowk, the fruit sellers will continue to cater to their needs as the Estate Office and local police try to figure out on who should remove these encroachments.

While the police says that since the 40-odd fruit vendors around this roundabout have encroached on the road, the Enforcement wing of Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) should deal with the problem. HUDA, on the other hand says that since the vendors have caused disruption in smooth traffic flow, the police should deal with them. Officials in HUDA say that they have launched various drives to remove the fruit sellers, and without the support of the local police, the drive would remain unsuccessful.

So while the two departments fight it out, the fruit sellers and their clientele make hay, even as the commuters continue to struggle to pass by.

Opaque cops

The Chandigarh police is very strict in booking vehicles that have black film darker than the prescribed limit of 70 per cent visibility on the front and rear glass and 50 per cent on the side panes. But when it comes to vehicles of the officials of the Chandigarh police itself, there is no limit on the ‘opacity level’.

Most Ambassador cars of officer of the ranks of SP and above and Maruti Gypsies of officers up to the rank of DSP have cloth curtains that are nothing short of 100 per cent opaque. The Motor Vehicles Act has prescribed a standard guideline on the issue that is applicable to all citizens of the country uniformly.

But how effective is the law when the guardians of law and the violators belong to the same team, is apparent from the fact that not a single police vehicle has ever been issued a challan for restricting visibility into the vehicle.

Traffic chaos

As the city’s population has increased manifold, the rush of vehicles has also increased. It has become difficult to drive, particularly during the festival seasons. In the evenings and mornings, road blockades/jams further aggravate the problems.

The roundabouts look attractive but have become more accident-prone. The idea behind installation of solar red lights is wonderful at the roundabouts of Sector 21-22, Sector 34-35 and other places. This has given some kind of relief to the commuters from the frequent traffic snarls. The network of slip roads too is a welcome step to streamline the flow of traffic.

A lot more needs to be done to end traffic chaos on the City Beautiful roads.

Beast of burden

The other day, a horse buckled down under the weight of its cart overloaded with goods at the Modella intersection. Before passersby could rush to the animal’s help, the cart overturned, scattering the goods in the middle of the road.

Thankfully, both horse and horsewala escaped unhurt. But horsewala went away scot-free as the cops chose not to take any action. Nothing serves to spur the police to take action against such “beastly” men.

Swim alert

The death of 14-year-old Gaurav due to drowning in the PCA swimming pool at Mohali last week has created fear in the minds of parents and guardians of children, who go for a splash in the pools to beat the summer heat.

They have become more vigilant. They have not only started accompanying their wards for the swimming regimen, but also question the officials concerned about the life guards and other safety measures adopted at the respective pools.

The swimming authorities in the city, too, have become cautious and are trying hard to provide extra security measures to prevent such accidents.

Helmet a villain

Most of the young boys and gals drive a two-wheeler without a helmet. For some young boys the helmet is a villain to their hairstyle. It also is a barrier to looking at beautiful gals. On the other hand, some girls prefer to cover their faces with colourful dupattas. The boys carry a helmet not for safety, but to don it as soon as they spot the traffic cops. There are surely other ways to make a style statement or to get noticed than to drive without safety. Girls also are more bothered about protecting their good looks than safety while driving a two-wheeler without helmet.

Contributed by Harvinder Khetal, Ruchika M. Khanna, Naveen S Garewal, Sunil Minocha, Tarundeep Aggarwal, Akash Ghai and Rajiv Bhatia

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COMMUNITY
 

Clicking Corbusier’s other city
Gayatri Rajwade
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
City-based photographer Diwan Manna is off on a unique assignment—to click the architecture and people of Firminy in Central France. This little town's claim to fame is that after Chandigarh, it's the second largest architectural accomplishment of French architect Le Corbusier.

On his selection by the city's metropolis, he explains, ‘‘My brief is simple. To photograph people and see how they live around the architecture in their city.’’

On his photography itinerary is the complex built by Corbusier in Firminy which comprises a stadium, a youth cultural centre and a habitation centre, ‘Unite d'habitation,’ and a church which was left incomplete when he died in 1965.

Resumed 40 years after his death, Saint Pierre Church will be inaugurated by French President Jacques Chirac later this year. To mark the occasion, a photography exhibition, ‘‘Regards Croises Franco-Indiens’’ (Indo-French Glances), on Le Corbusier's architecture has been commissioned. It includes photographs of Chandigarh taken through the eyes of French photographer Michel Dieudonne who spent three weeks in the city this February, while Firminy will be clicked by Manna.

‘‘I have lived in Chandigarh for 30 years and feel passionately about the city. However, ever since the project was assigned to me, I have developed a greater respect for Corbusier's buildings and design,’’ avers Manna.

How does he, known more for his human forms, look at architecture as a subject of photography?

‘‘If you look at India in the conventional way, colourful and vibrant as it is, then perhaps a city like Chandigarh wouldn't be interesting. If you are ready to break away from traditional forms, then you get a totally different picture. Corbusier played with volume, shape, colour, texture and light in a way an artist would.’’

The edifices in Firmany have been declared historic sites and Manna firmly believes that heritage should be brought to life, for, ‘‘what makes Firminy so fascinating is the tremendous people's participation in building their town, unlike Chandigarh.’’

Manna's take on architecture is imbued with the spirit of people, ‘‘since architecture springs from their inherent desire for a need for shelter. Volumes and spaces determine behaviour and buildings are important from that angle.’’ It is a city's relationship with its buildings that will determine how Manna looks at his project.

‘‘I am not going with any pre-conceived ideas. I plan to retain the sense of wonder, but not as a complete novice either,’’ he smiles. ‘‘Nor am I going to impose my style on what I click. I want to see the light (every photographer's muse), talk to people and explore everything, even the rain. The more concentrated and focussed you are, the more connected you are to a subject,’’ he explains.

The exhibition will also travel to India sometime next year in collaboration with the Chandigarh Administration.

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Admn to come out with new recruitment rules
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
The Chandigarh Administration is considering issuing instructions to all departments for short-listing candidates for recruitment, an official press note said here today.

As per the earlier mode of selection in some of the departments, candidates four to five times the number of vacancies were shortlisted on the basis of the percentage of marks obtained in the qualifying examination. This led to candidates being deprived of a chance though, they fulfilled the required minimum educational qualification, the note said.

In a particular case, the Transport Department had invited applications for the posts of bus driver and conductor. The selection criteria for the post of conductor mentioned in the advertisement was that the eligible candidates, four times of the vacancies in each category as per the percentage of marks obtained in the matriculation examination would be called for interview without conducting any written test.

As per the recruitment rules, the minimum educational qualification required for the post of conductor is matriculation. The educational qualification mentioned in the recruitment rules is the minimum and anyone possessing that minimum qualification has a right to be considered for the post.

Different education boards have different standards and the marks obtained by students appearing from these boards varies. However, since the recruitment is made by inviting applications on all-India level, uniformity is required to assess the suitability of candidates for the post by applying some common standard. Short-listing of candidates on the basis of marks obtained in the qualifying examination does not provide the desired uniform standard.

If short-listing is done in this manner, it will amount to denying an opportunity to majority of those candidates who possess the required minimum qualification and are legally entitled to be considered for the post. Since marks obtained in the qualifying examination does not necessarily mean that the candidates stand in the same order in terms of intelligence and capabilities, a number of intelligent/capable candidates may be left out of consideration and the recruitment process may not result in recruiting the best candidates.

In view of the above legal position the department has been advised that the candidates who have already applied in response to the earlier advertisement will not be required to apply again. It may not be out of place to write that all candidates for the posts of bus driver have been considered irrespective of the marks obtained in the qualifying examination.

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Fauji Beat
Need to nip evil of corruption in the bud

TODAY, when money has become the sole benchmark of our society and there is a marathon for grabbing more and more money, without caring for the means, the Army men can also not remain unaffected. But what prevents them from going the way of their brethren in the civil life is their training and strict discipline. Yet, we do hear of some cases of corruption in the armed forces off and on. It has also been noticed that strict punishment is always awarded in such cases.

Having said this, one cannot help recalling what Field Marshal K.M. Cariappa used to say: “Good officers, good army; bad officers, bad army”. No doubt, we cannot insulate the Army officers from the epidemic of corruption. But there is no denying the fact that those officers who succumb to greed are a bad example not only for their units, but also for the Army.

Now come to the case of that Colonel who got mines laid without fuses along the international border during Operation Prakaram. Obviously, he did not possess even an iota of loyalty towards his unit, the Army or the country. The officer has rightly been court-martialled and dismissed from the service. But what needs to be thought of is: do we need to go deeper into the deteriorating trends among certain officers who are pulling the Army down? Maybe if all such cases are given to an in-house study group, the remedy to streamline the selection system can be found.

ECHS rates

We had suggested in our column on April 25 that “the rates for treatment at the empanelled hospitals should be brought down because the Army clientele is their mainstay”.

The opinion held in certain quarters is that these rates have been fixed at the highest level and are the same for the ECHS as those for the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS).

Incidentally, the rates fixed for the ECHS at the higher level for the treatment of various diseases at empanelled hospitals indicate the upper limit beyond which you cannot go.

But the station boards fix the actual rates in each region. The rate for the bypass heart surgery under the CGHS is Rs 1.35 lakh; in case of the ECSH, it is Rs 1.34 lakh (plus 15 per cent for the officers and minus 10 per cent for the JCOs and other ranks).

But under the Punjab Sanjivini Health Care Scheme, the bypass heart surgery rate is Rs 1 lakh. All major hospitals in Punjab such as Escorts, CMC, DMC, Apollo, etc have accepted this rate.

Guards’ get-together

It is now 13 years that the retired officers of the Brigade of the Guards are having their monthly get-together in Chandigarh/ Chandi Mandir. During this period, a number of officers, after hanging their uniforms, have joined the group, while founding veteran Brig Manmohan Singh and his wife have passed away.

At a get-together at the Shivalik Officers’ Institute, Chandi Mandir a few days ago, Brigade of the Guards Centre Commandant Brig P.S. Siwach and his wife also joined in from Kamptee. It was a gathering of about 40 officers and their spouses who seemed to enjoy every moment of their togetherness at dinner. Such social gatherings are the only occasions for the retired officers and their spouses to meet and know about the welfare of one another. May long live this spirit of camaraderie in the Army where almost all regiments and corps have such regular gatherings.

The Brigade of the Guards is a creation of late Field Marshal K.M. Cariappa who, as the Commander-in-Chief of the Army, was also the first Colonel of the Regiment of the Brigade of the Guards. The Regimental Centre of the Guards shifted from Kota (Rajasthan) to Kamptee (Maharashtra) in 1976.

— Pritam Bhullar

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Residents want notices on gates withdrawn
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 15
The Residents Welfare Association, Phase IV, has asked the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) to withdraw notices issued to residents asking them to close gates opened at the back of their houses.

The secretary of the organisation, Mr Jarnail Karanti, said at a press conference here today that before issuing such notices the PUDA authorities should first make arrangements for the parking of vehicles of the affected persons. He said the PUDA authorities had not given permission to less than 10 marla houses to construct garages on their premises and as such people had opened up gates on the backside to park their vehicles in the courtyard. If the back gates were now closed, the residents would have no place to park their vehicles.

He said the PUDA authorities were arguing that the gates had to be closed as these led to accidents. But certain houses in Phase I and Phase VII had their front gates opening on the main road. He said back gates could be closed only if PUDA made a provision for a service lane or parking arrangements.

Mr Puran Singh Kirti, president, said Phase IV had never had a municipal councillor from the area. The Phase was divided into many parts and attached to different wards. As such no major development work was done in the area.

He said the area faced water shortage. As the pressure remained low, inadequate water reached the first and second floors. Storm water drainage in the area was not effective as the road gullies were not cleaned on a regular basis. He alleged that at certain points roads gullies were attached to the sewer system instead of the storm water drainage. At other points road gullies existed only on the surface and were not attached to any sewer lines.

Mr Kirti said safai sewaks did not lift the shed leaves from the roads but made heaps and set these on fire creating pollution in the area.

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Residents rue MC’s apathetic attitude
Tribune News Service

Cyclists negotiate water accumulated due to the overflowing of drainage in Burail village on Monday.
Cyclists negotiate water accumulated due to the overflowing of drainage in Burail village on Monday. — A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, May 15
It has virtually been a nightmarish experience for the residents of a part of Burail village for the past three days. The overflowing drainage water has been inconveniencing the residents opposite the boundary wall of Dev Samaj College of Education for the past three days. The stretch of land comprising residential and the commercial areas stinks with the result that passing through it has become difficult, Mr Ranjit Singh, a resident, alleged.

And, this was despite the fact that the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) authorities had been apprised of the problem atleast twice since May 12, he alleged. A shopkeeper alleged the business had been adversely affected due to the overflowing of the drainage water as the people avoided visiting the market.

The residents alleged that the apathetic attitude of the civic body spoke volumes about the provisions of the basic amenities by the civic body to the villages under its jurisdiction.

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Water shortage in Mohali area
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 15
A resident of Phase III-B 1 has complained that there is water shortage in the area for the past about one month.

Mr Baljeet Singh complained that the pressure of water was very low even on the ground floor. Water was available for a very limited period and that, too, in one tap at a time. It took almost 20 minutes to fill a bucket of water. He said if this was the condition at the ground floor level one could well imagine the plight of people living on upper floors.

He said the problem was brought to the notice of the authorities but in vain.

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MC warns Ram Darbar encroachers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
To expedite the execution of held-up development works, the Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh, has announced its second phase of action against illegal structures from road berms of V-5 and V-6 roads in Ram Darbar, Phase I & II.

A spokesperson for the MC today said a general announcement against illegal structures two made in Ram Darbar this evening. The inhabitants of the area had been advised to voluntarily remove encroachments, which existed in the form of additional rooms, unauthorised staircases and extended boundary walls. However, in case the violators do not take voluntary action before May 19. the MC would demolish these structures.

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Depts asked to initiate e-governance

Chandigarh, May 15
Keeping in view the recommendation of the Administrator Advisory Council, the Department of Information Technology has asked all the departments to initiate e-governance in their offices and take full advantage of the services of e-Sampark Centres.

The departments have been suggested to re-engineer all their processes to make them more user-friendly, simpler and transparent. The departments have been asked to make quick-response mechanism to public grievances and public service delivery through single-window systems.

The sub-committee has suggested accessibility of all levels of officials through well-publicised phone lines, e-mail and mobile-SMS systems. It suggested all departments to come out with citizens’ charters with details of procedures. TNS

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Urs of Sakhi Sarvar observed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
The 28th urs (death anniversary) of Peer Sakhi Sarvar was observed at his mausoleum in Sector 29 here yesterday.

Nasir and his associates, qawwals from Saharanpur, enthralled devotees with sufiana kalam, like 'Teri nisbat ke yaar mein sadke, meri takdir ayesi sawari, har jagah laaj rakh li hamari', 'karam itna sare mehfil ho jaai, idhar sajde mein seer jay, udhar deedar ho jaai,' and 'harsh ke din tere diwano mein naam ayega, teri chokhat par rahena hi kaam ayega.

People from all walks of life participated in it. Langar was also served.

Chief maulvi of the mausoleum Habibullah Sabri said the mausoleum was 30-year-old and hundreds of people visited here every Thursday.

He said beautification work for the mausoleum had already been started. The committee would construct a dharamsala and a hall for the pilgrims.

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CBI submits report
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 15
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today submitted a closure report in a case of corruption registered against a Haryana bureaucrat Sanjeev Kumar.

A case had been registered in 2004 in connection with the misuse of government machinery during his tenure at the Food and Supply Department.

Initially, the case was investigated by the Vigilance Department of Haryana. The alleged misuse of government machinery was during 2001 to 2004. Later, the CBI investigated the matter and submitted its report in the special CBI court here today.

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CRIME
 

Girl hurt in mishap
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 15
A teen-aged girl got seriously injured when she was hit by a car on the road dividing Sector 69 and 70 here this evening. The injured, Puja, was taken to the local Civil Hospital from where she was referred to the PGI, Chandigarh.

It is learnt that Puja is a resident of Kumbra village and had gone to Sector 70 with her mother to buy vegetables from Apni Mandi. When she was returning from there and crossing the road she was hit by the car.

A few persons chased the car and were able to overtake the vehicle which was then made to stop. The driver of the car was handed over to the police.

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Postman assaulted

Mohali, May 15
A postman was allegedly beaten up by two persons when he went to give a registered letter at a house in Sector 71 here today .

Mr Gurdev Singh distributed post in Sector 71. When he went to deliver a registered letter at the house he found that the person, on whose name the letter had been addressed, was not at home. Instead, his brother and his son asked the postman to hand over the letter to them. When the latter refused to do so he was allegedly dragged into the house by the two persons and beaten up. — OC

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