C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


PGI’s ultimatum to striking doctors 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 18
Medical services continued to be disrupted and patients continued to suffer as the strike by resident doctors completed four days, here today. Even as doctors resorted to candle light marches and road blocks to express their anguish over reservation, the PGIMER authorities issued a notice asking its doctors to join duty till 5 pm tomorrow.

While OPDs were only partially functional in the PGI, Government Medical College and Hospital as also General Hospital, Sector 16, the protest received a shot in the arm with school students coming forward to express solidarity with the doctors. A number of other institutes and coaching centres are likely to join the issue, intensifying the protest further.

Most patients had to go back without treatment for want of consultants who are busy working overtime to manage wards, the emergency and ensuring that regular work does not suffer. To add to the problems, PGI, today, issued a statement saying that OPDs of neurosurgery and paediatrics medicine would not be functional tomorrow while OPDs of internal medicine, general surgery and urology have already been discontinued. The number of patients reporting to OPDs, too, dwindled further.

While PGI’s parallel OPD by resident doctors failed to take off today, the day began with students and doctors of GMCH-32 organising road blocks on National Highway-22. The rally began from the medical college where students raised slogans against the Congress-led UPA government Congress President Sonia Gandhi and HRD Minister Arjun Singh.

Later, they distributed pamphlets in the Sector 32 market to garner support of the public and the residents. Dr Kashmiri Lal, spokesman for resident doctors of GMCH-32, said," We have formed our chapter of Youth for Equality. We want the public to wake up to the realisation that a disease sees no quota. The government can’t compromise on quality of doctors.”

Escorted by policemen, the students went up to The Tribune crossing and blocked the highway intermittently during the march. At the PGI, resident doctors held their own meetings, contacted schools to widen the scope of the protest.

“Students from Punjab Engineering College and some schools will be joining us. We even plan to shift our protest to Delhi where most of the action is since we have made our presence felt in the city,” said Dr Anindya Banerjee, Association of Resident Doctors (ARD).

In the evening, doctors from all three hospitals, PGIMER, the PGI GH-16 and GMCH-32, held a candle light march from Matka Chowk to the road separating Sectors 8 and 9. With lit earthen lamps, they wrote the message of “No Quotas” and sought public cooperation to fight reservation.

The PGI authorities have asked all resident doctors to report to the hospital till 5 pm tomorrow evening. When contacted, the DDA, Mr AK Gupta, said that the notice had been served on the protesting doctors to join work.

“We will see their response to our notice failing which we will have to follow the instructions of the government,” he said. The government has already said that services of doctors not reporting for work will be terminated.

Meanwhile, the general body of the ARD has decided to continue its stir despite the proposed ramifications. “We will not go back to work. Our protest and struggle will continue no matter what the consequences are,” DR A Banerjee stated on behalf of the protesting resident doctors.



Harneet’s bail plea hearing on May 23
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 18
The Additional District and Sessions-Judge, Mr B.K. Mehta, has fixed May 23 for the hearing of the application moved by the Chandigarh Police against the grant of interim bail to Ms Harneet Singh, wife of Deputy Mayor of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation.

The file for the grant of interim bail to the Deputy Mayor’s wife has also been transferred from the court of Additional District and Sessions Judge, R.S. Baswana to the court of Mr Mehta. Both applications will come up for hearing before Mr Mehta on May 23.

In its application the police has taken the plea that since the bail application of the salesman, Raju, was pending before the Additional District and Sessions Judge, Mr Mehta, the anticipatory bail of the Deputy Mayor’s wife should also be put up before the same judge.

Earlier, Mr Baswana had granted interim bail after the Deputy Mayor’s wife had filed the anticipatory bail application on the grounds that it was political vendetta and that her name did not figure in the FIR pertaining to the case. She also petitioned that she was willing to join investigation.

The second woman named by the police in the case of theft from the Sector 17 showroom, Ms Jaspal Kaur Bhattal, has not moved her application for anticipatory bail so far.



Dera Bassi, Lalru shopkeepers fear demolition
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, May 18
After Zirakpur, it is the turn of Dera Bassi and Lalru shopkeepers to face demolitions. Even as the work on the ambitious project of the four-laning of the 35 km “killer stretch” of the Zirakpur-Ambala highway has picked up momentum, the authorities concerned have chalked out an elaborate demolition plan for the two townships.

Official sources said the exact area to be covered by the four-laning project in these townships would be demarcated soon, following which the demolitions would be carried out.

In fact, the project had a direct effect on the commercial property transactions along the highway in these towns as uncertainty about the exact area to be covered by the road still continues. Recently, the National Highway Authority of India(NHAI) had slapped demolition notices on 148 shopkeepers on both sides of the road in Zirakpur.

The demolitions in Zirakpur was a comparatively smooth affair with the alleged encroachers also chipping in for the removal of the encroachments. With the cutting of thousands of trees also going on simultaneously, the traffic bottlenecks along the highway would be a thing of the past when the four-laning is completed in over two years.

The completion of the project, which entails the building of over a 2 km flyover at Zirakpur, three major bridges, besides the service roads, will remove major traffic bottlenecks on the highway. In fact, a major portion of Zirakpur township will get under the flyover as it will stretch from near the Silver City Extension to Mayur Hotel on the Chandigarh side. The four-laning of the road will also reduce the travelling time between Chandigarh and Ambala.



BSNL cable stolen again
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 18
Hundreds of BSNL subscribers were inconvenienced as services were affected because of a cable theft.

BSNL services in Sector 45-A and C and Sectors 46-C and D were hit after a 9-metre cable was stolen from the road dividing Sectors 45 and 46 on the night intervening May 16 and 17. An FIR has been registered.



Being regular in studies is her success mantra
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 18
It's a dream scorecard and Pallavi Chandra is overjoyed, it bears her name. Scoring an over all 98.25 percent in the commerce stream to be among the country's toppers, Pallavi says her success mantra has been regularity.

A passout from Welham Girls' School, Pallavi says it was all about being attentive in class, making notes, slogging hard without being a book worm and just keeping your eyes and ears open.

"Having scored 94 per cent marks in my Class X examination, I was expecting to be in the 90s somewhere. According to my calculations after the exam, I was hoping to get 94 per cent but this is unbelievable. I have been walking on air since the result came in. It seemed like a dream, unreal and impossible," she says.

She has scored 96 in English, 97 in Commerce, 98 in Economics, 99 in Accounts and 100 in Maths. "I concentrated on being thorough with my books and went over my lessons again and again. Then, of course, for quick recall, I made my own memory maps which helped me revise an entire lesson in a single glance," the topper of the region explains.

Daughter of Mr Prafull Chandra, a businessman in Yamunanagar, Pallavi says her preparation for the examination picked up in all seriousness after the pre-boards. "I don't advocate tuitions at all. Besides being regular, devoting time for self-study is very essential. We had brilliant faculty back at school. They helped us prepare and revise repeatedly which is why I have come out with flying colours. The entire credit for this goes to my teachers," Pallavi adds.

Having prepared her lessons well in advance, the last few days were all about going over her lessons. "Good marks are not about last minute study but a consequence of a sustained effort all through the year. So, I didn't really have to go through sleepless nights and any anxious-ridden months. I went into the hall well prepared and am happy my hardwork has paid me rich dividends," maintains Pallavi who wants to pursue Economic Honours in Delhi University before going on to do an MBA degree or a Master's in Economics.



Get your animals registered or pay fine
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 18
In an important development, the Chandigarh Administration has initiated a strong move to register all the animals being reared by the residents of the city and adjoining villages. A public notification asking for objections has been already issued with regard to the move.

Owners of all cows, buffaloes, calves, horses, pony, pigs and donkeys will be required to get their livestock registered with the Department of Animal Husbandry. The administration proposes to levy a fee Rs 150 per head on all animals who are above six months of age. Residents of the city who fail to deposit the fee within the prescribed time (one month) will stand to be fined by the administration. The livestock owners are required to renew their registration as formulated in the final draft of action.

The owners will be given a microchip for the identification of the animal whose owners have cleared the dues. The microchip is installed in the body of the animal. In case, any animal is found roaming on the city roads without a proper identification, the owner will be fined as per the Cattle Trespass Act.

The development comes following a decision of the Punjab and Haryana High Court on a Public Interest Litigation asking for better management of the stray cattle menace in the city. The administration has initiated the move to register all animals which will help in saving stray cattle from the reared ones for proper management, reliable sources said.

The UT Administrator will take up the matter for a final decision about a month later following response from the general public. Residents have been asked to send their objections to the Chief Administrator, who is also the Finance Secretary.

Any person found violating the norms will also stand to be fined. A senior officials said: “Any person found violating the provisions will also stand to be fined”. “The court had taken a very serious view of the stray cattle. After deliberations we thought it was a good exercise to have all the cattle registered which will make the residents more accountable in case of mismanaged livestock on city roads. The numbering process will expect more responsibility from the owners and the enforcement agency can also have a free hand”.Back



Passing thru

Jagmeet Samunderri Actor in Mumbai
Jagmeet Samunderri Actor in Mumbai 

What brings you to city?

I postgraduated from Panjab University so I never miss any chance to visit my alma mater whenever I am on a tour to this part of the country. I was doing a round of an adjoining city with regard to an advertisement project, so, I thought why not take a trip down memory lane. I like taking a round of the department canteen, hostels and meeting some old teachers.

Will you suggest something for the enthusiasts who dream of finding a role in the world of entertainment?

In first place, I will suggest that all enthusiasts need to prepare a neat copy of their bio data with a special emphasis on the highlights of their personality. They should identify the field they will like to pursue and then contact the specific institutes. Information about majority of fields is available on the net these days. Trained personnel always get a preference while applying for a job.

What do you mean by saying that the field of entertainment is very wide now?

When we were very young we thought entertainment meant only Bollywood and film world meant only acting. The satellite television now means scores of channels with hundreds of serials which have opened up a big world for the enthusiasts in acting. There are scores of related fields including editing, copy writing, modelling, animation, documentary films, sight and sound technicians, besides others.

—Sanjeev Singh Bariana



UN initiative to aid national development efforts in India
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 18
For some time now, the United Nations has been supporting a unique knowledge-sharing experiment to aid national development efforts in India. Branded Solutions Exchange, the initiative has been launched for the first time in India where its objective is to tap tacit knowledge in areas of development.

Structured to help development practitioners share their experiences and support India's Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Solutions Exchange works by the formation of communities of practice through electronic mail groups. These communities have been formed in areas that best reflect India's 11th Five-Year Plan targets as well as MDGs.

Right now there are eight communities for practitioners in maternal and child health, primary education, employment, gender equality and women's empowerment, decentralisation, HIV/AIDS, water and sanitation, and food and nutrition security.

That the project is inspiring curiosity is evident from its heavy subscription - over 5000 since the first community was launched last year. The range of subscriptions is vast - from 800 for HIV/AIDS to 200 for gender.

Of the total subscriptions, however, the share of government subscriptions remains lower than expected (just about 15 per cent). That explains why the UN Country Team in charge of the project has decided to revisit it with government functionaries in mind. Having covered Kolkata and Delhi, UN's National Coordinator for Knowledge Management Partnership Project Monica Raina was in Chandigarh today to sensitize officials from health departments of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh in Solutions Exchange and show them ways of building "knowledge networks".

Speaking to The Tribune she explained the process which has resulted in key partnerships between resource persons and volunteers in areas like education and HIV/AIDS. She also explained how the initiative has, for the first time, allowed Indian civil society to make precious contributions to the National AIDS Control Programme -III. "Thanks to Solutions Exchange, the Government of India for the first time invited responses of the community to NACP-III. The debate lasted for some weeks on electronic mail groups.

When it ended, consolidated responses were posted to the group. They thus became a vital resource base. That's what our initiative allows--an impartial exchange of knowledge and positive action on suggestions made for specific issues."

In fact, the process works quite simply. Everyone in Solutions Exchange is a member of the moderated mail group. When anyone faces a challenging situation, he/she can post an e-mail query. The moderator will then post it to all members in that particular community. A discussion will follow and after some days the moderator will post the synopsis of responses to the mail group. These responses will enrich the knowledge resource of the community in question, and it will become 
a tool in enhancing awareness.

For her part, Raina is vigorously promoting the concept which has inspired several achievements in the past.

"Communities of practice in education and health debating the mid-day meal scheme and its nutrition value recently suggested that every school should have its own kitchen garden. The Union Government may well be considering the option. Similarly the Decentralisation Community is developing ways to use Panchayati Raj institutions for HIV/AIDS awareness," she says.

A vibrant e-consultation, involving over 800 participants from India and abroad, is already helping address concerns related to HIV/AIDS.

The consultation is a part of the Knowledge Management Partnership initiated by the UN. The project's national coordinator, however, feels this is just the beginning. Anyone wanting to join the initiative can sign up at http://www.solutionsexchange-un.net.in



Punjabi writer Sarvmeet dead
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 18
Sarvmeet Singh, 38, husband of Ms Davi Devinder Kaur, Sub-Editor, Punjabi Tribune, died here this morning. Sarvmeet Singh was a Senior Reporter in Dainik Bhaskar and a well known writer of Punjabi short stories. He had also won the award of the best young story writer.

The body was cremated here this evening. The cremation was attended by people from all walks of life.

Sarvmeet Singh was found dead inside the reading room on the ground floor of the couple’s home in Sector 70 here. His wife and son were sleeping on the first floor. This morning when Sarvmeet did not open the door, his wife called in the neighbours who broke it. Since his body was found near the locked door of his reading room, it seemed that Sarvmeet may have tried to open the door but failed in his attempts. His wife called in the police and the requisite legal formalities were completed.

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has expressed grief at the untimely death of Sarvmeet Singh and described him as “an outstanding journalist with the qualities of the head and heart”. The Leader of the Opposition, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, while offering condolences to the family described Sarvmeet as a “young and a promising” journalist. Mr BIS Chahal, Media Adviser to the Chief Minister, has also offered his condolences.

At the cremation a wreath placed on the body on behalf of the Chandigarh Press Club. The Tribune Employees Union has expressed condolences with the family.



Residents protest against demolitions
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 18
Residents of Ram Darbar today threatened to intensify the agitation against the recent demolition of structures in the rehabilitation colony.

In support of their demand the Resident Welfare Association of Ram Darbar today took out a march in Sector 30 here. Mr Sat Pal, leader of the association, said the stand of the administration would not be tolerated.

Many of the legal houses were also damaged during the recent demolition drive. It may be mentioned that about 300 unauthorised structures were demolished in Phase I and II of Ram Darbar. The drive was the outcome of the anti-encroachment policy of the Chandigarh Administration in light of the Supreme Court guidelines.



Role of NGOs appreciated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 18
Mr Krishna Mohan, Home Secretary, today appreciated the role of NGOs for doing yeoman’s service to the mankind by organising various health camps.

He was addressing a gathering after inaugurating “free eye check-up camp” at Government Model Senior Secondary School , Sector 46-D, here. The camp was organised by the National Association for the Blind (NAB) in association with the Rotary Chandigarh Central.

The Home Secretary also took a round of the camp, where schoolchildren with eye related problems and low visions were examined by a team of doctors from Shri Guru Harkishan Eye Institute, Sohana.

Nearly 700 school children from various government schools attended the camp. 



Man found dead in his taxi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 18
The police today recovered the body of Kuljeet Singh from Tata Indica CH 02 J1653, parked outside the gurdwara in Sector 51 furniture market area. The police suspect to be a case of suicide.

Spotted late this evening by a passer by the body has been identified as that of Kuljeet Singh, who was driving for BSNL Nalagarh. That the taxi belonged to the deceased was clear from the log book found inside. The last entry in the log book was that of May 16.

Along with the log book, the police also found a suicide note from the taxi, besides a few medicines. The suicide note, apparently written by Kuljeet Singh, mentions, “I have been suffering from a back problem since 1974 and now I am ending my life. No one should be held responsible for my death.” Although on the face of it, the case seems to be one of suicide, the police cannot ignore the fact that the suicide note does not bear Kuljeet Singh’s signature.

The police ruling is out the possibility of murder as no injury marks have been found on Kuljeet Singh’s body.

The body has been sent to Sector 16 General Hospital for a post mortem. His employer has been informed but his family’s whereabouts are yet to be ascertained.



31 wards set up for MC poll
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 18
Overruling the objections of certain municipal councillors, the Punjab Government today issued a notification setting up 31 wards, 13 of them reserved, for the municipal council elections.

The date of the poll has, however, not been fixed. The copies of the government notification were sent to the office of the Deputy Commissioner, SDM and Municipal Council here.

Reacting to the notification, the former president of the civic body, who was also a member of the Delimitation Board, set up to delimit wards for municipal elections, Mr Kulwant Singh, said the government should restore the democratic process at the earliest. However, Mr Manjit Singh Sethi, a former municipal councillor belonging to the opposition group, said he would go to court as objections had been rejected by the officials concerned.

He said seven former municipal councillors had submitted their objections but no one had been given any personal hearing.

A draft to delimit wards was prepared by the government and the members of the Delimitation Board had just given their approval in this connection . Even the objections raised by the Kharar MLA, Mr Bir Devinder Singh, were not considered.

The MLA had demanded that the delimitation of wards should be done all over again as the draft had been allegedly prepared to protect certain vested interests.

On March 14, the Punjab Government had issued a notification inviting objections and suggestions from voters in connection with the delimitation of municipal wards. The voters were to submit their objections and suggestions within 30 days.



Wine shop shifted
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 18
The relentless efforts on the part of the Citizens’ Welfare Council, Phase X, have at last been rewarded with the authorities shifting a wine shop from the greenbelt opposite Silvi Garden to a commercial site. According to a press note issued here today, the wine shop was proving to be a source of nuisance for the residents.



Demolition drive on cards
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 18
The Chandigarh Administration is all set to remove structures which have come up on prime land in violation of the Periphery Act.

Under the campaign, a demolition drive against junk dealers is on the cards. Sources said the junk dealers sitting in Palsora village would be tackled first. 



Lawyers beat up ASI
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 18
The lawlessness in the district court complex came to fore when a group of advocates allegedly thrashed an Assistant Sub Inspector (ASI) of the Haryana police and a Kalka-based man today.

According to eyewitnesses, a group of advocates allegedly started using abusive language against Mr Roshan Lal, from Kalka, while he was sitting in the Bar room. He had been to the district court in connection with some litigation. Objecting to the abusive language by the advocates, Roshan was allegedly assaulted by the advocates.

In the mean time, Mr Ramesh Kumar, an ASI who was also in the bar room in connection with some case, reportedly intervened and tried to pacify the advocates. The aggressive advocates pounced upon the ASI and thrashed him too.

A high drama was witnessed in the court premises when the advocates, the ASI and the Kalka man reached in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM). A large number of visitors to the district court also assembled to watch the hooliganism.

Hearing the noise, the CJM Gulab Singh, asked the men indulged in the quarrel, to be calm and called the Superintendent of Police (SP) Balbir Singh. The matter was later settled as the ASI apologised.



Gang of auto thieves busted; 5 held
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 18
The district police today arrested five members of an interstate gang of auto thieves and recovered a country-made pistol, a car and three motor cycles. A member of the gang however, escaped.

In a press note, the police claimed that Harun of Neemkhera in Mewat, Arshad Kulyaka in Sohana, Amar Singh alias Pappy of Faridabad, Hardeep of Mukerian and Sandeep of Sundergarh in Orissa were arrested from the Mujsher area while hatching a conspiracy to conduct a robbery in the city.

The police claims that the gangsters had been using ‘fake registration numbers’ on the stolen vehicles. They have admitted to have sold a stolen Maruti van and a Bolero Jeep in Uttar Pradesh and Silliguri. Apart from this they also have admitted to having committed five cases of auto thefts.

Apart from this the police has also arrested three persons — Shakir Hussian, a resident of Fatehpur Tagga, Naman Khan of Buland Shahar in UP and Firoz Shekh of Malda in West Bengal — for stealing equipment from an industrial units located in the DLF area in Faridabad.

The three were wanted by the police in a case of theft in an industrial unit owned by Keshav Datt Sharma, of Faridabad.



Sadhapur sarpanch dead
Tribune News Service

Lalru, May 18
Banarsi Dass, sarpanch of Sadhapur, died here today in a road accident.

According to sources, the motor cycle of Banarsi Dass was allegedly hit by a tractor trailer on the Ambala-Chandigarh highway. The deceased was on his way to his village from Lalru mandi. Though the driver of the tractor trailer has absconded.



Oberoi-Ekido tie-up
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 18
The Oberoi Group yesterday tied up with Ekido Tours to promote holiday packages. This was stated by Ms Sonia Singh, assistant vice-president of national sales of the group, and Mr Kapil Malhotra, director of the Ekido Holiday Tours, while addressing a press conference here.

Giving details, Ms Sonia Singh said this was their first tie-up with a private agency for promoting the holiday packages.

Mr Malhotra said, “As a joint effort we will try to attract the travel market with special emphasis on travel details and personalised services.”


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