C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Govt offices, showrooms gobble corridor
space in Sec 17

Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 22
Many offices of the Punjab and Haryana governments in Sector 17 here have encroached upon the corridors of buildings by glazing their façade.
To have more working space, most of the offices of the Haryana Government in the 30 Bay Building, Punjab offices in 70 Bay Building and in other buildings in the commercial sector have covered the corridors on the upper floor by glazing the façade of the buildings. These buildings are on a lease since the re-organisation of the states.

The non-compliance of the architecture controlsheet attracts provisions of the Punjab Capital (Development and Regulations) Buildings Rules, 1952.

Even offices of the Chandigarh Administration, housed in the Town Hall Extension Building, have covered the corridor. The building houses offices of the Excise and Taxation Department, Social Welfare Department, Election Department, Pollution Control Committee, Science and Technology, Regional Employment Office, and some other offices.

Following in the footsteps of government offices, many business establishments have also resorted to these violations. A showroom under renovation has used a glass pane to give an “aesthetic” look to the façade.

Meanwhile, sources in the Estate Office said the violations had been there for a long period. Recently, the Estate Office issued a public notice through which the owners/ occupants of buildings in Sector 17 were asked to remove advertisement panels other than prescribed under the architecture controlsheet.

The occupants have also been asked not to paint/ white wash or glaze the façade. The occupants are required to get the façade of their buildings cleaned by way of silicon treatment or by other means. Thirty days have been given to remove the violations, failing which the Estate Office would recover the costs of removing the violations from the violators. 



Another newborn abandoned, count rises to 16
Suspected mother's blood sample sent for DNA testing
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 22
Another tale of abandonment has unfolded in the city. With this case, the count of newborns jettisoned in in the city since the beginning of this year has gone up to 16, a disturbing statistic by all standards.

Yet again, it is a newborn. And those who thought only the girl child was at risk of neglect from parents, here is some news -- of the 16 children relinquished and rescued during this year, seven have been males.

The seventh abandoned newborn was picked up from Colony Number 5 on July 19, after a resident, Mohammed Usman, informed the police.

The police has zeroed in on a suspect, a woman who was pregnant , and who is suspected to have disposed of her newborn.

Mohammed Usman, the complainant in the case registered at Sector 34 police station, has confirmed the shady manner in which the suspect had been conducting herself over the past few days. No one knew when and where she delivered the baby. She was spotted one fine morning - her womb flat and “cleared of life”.

The police has booked the woman under Sections 317 and 318 of the IPC (neglecting the child in order to kill it) and Section 44 of the Juvenile Justice Act (willful neglect of a child). Her blood samples have been sent to the Central Forensic Sciences Laboratory (CFSL) for DNA testing.

At another end, the child was lodged safely at Missionaries of Charity this evening. From July 19 to date, he was at Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, under the care of police constables of Sector 34 police station.

During this time, 10 persons approached the police for the custody of the child, but the law took its own course.

The case has been registered with the Chandigarh Child Welfare Committee set up under the Juvenile Justice Act, 2002, to ensure the safety of abandoned children.

A member of the committee, Ms Madhu Singh says: “More and more girls and women from slums are indulging in illicit and extra-marital sex. They obviously don't want to be responsible to the child born out of such a relationship. So they dispose of the child. Most offenders are unwed mothers.”

The committee has asked the police to observe extra caution in slums surrounded by vast, uninhabited spaces where it is easier to abandon newborns.

And the police has been quite responsive in such cases. In this case, SI Paramjit Kaur together with her team of constables has lent a human face to the UT Police Department's ambitious punch line, “We Care”.

Illicit sex on rise in slums
The fact that an increasing number of newborns are being jettisoned in slum areas also corroborates the recent findings of city-based gynecologist, Dr Meenal Kumar.

Dr Kumar has documented several cases of “unwanted pregnancies” among slum dwelling girls aged 15 to 20 years. Of the 20 researched cases, 10 girls showed symptoms of vaginitis (infection of vagina), two were found to be pregnant, and two had contracted human pappiloma virus (which indicates lack of sexual hygiene and chances of cancer of the cervix). 



Fire in Batra theatre causes panic
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 22
Cine-goers had to miss the climax of the film “Golmaal” at the Batra theatre in Sector 37 here this evening after a minor fire broke out in its basement at about 8:30 pm. The fire, which broke out in the AC plant compressor placed in the basement of the cinema hall, caused heavy smoke from the AC duct, which leads to the main hall.

Panicked cine-goers immediately rushed out and raised an alarm. According to Vinay Gambhir, manager of the theatre, about 115 persons were watching the movie when the incident occurred. According to him, the smoke alarm went off and the Fire Brigade was immediately informed. Two fire-tenders were rushed to the spot. As the smoke was great, the basement was inaccessible for some time.

The hall has a capacity of 1450. As the number of viewers were less, a major tragedy was averted. Theatre officials later cancelled the night show of the movie and also refunded the ticket cost to those who were present in the movie hall when the incident happened.



Pneumococcal disease vaccine brings new hope 
Naveen S. Garewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 22
The internationally acclaimed revolution in the treatment of invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) will soon be available in the region. It was made available for the first time in the country at Mumbai today. Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine for infants and toddlers will protect them against pneumococcal disease like meningitis, bacterial pneumonia, septicemia and bacteremia (bacteria in the blood).

Sold under the brand name of ‘Prevenar’, the vaccine is an international blockbuster vaccine and acclaimed to be a revolutionary in the treatment of IPD. According to some city doctors, the ‘Prevenar’ was launched in Mumbai by Dr Mark Fletcher, Director, International Scientific and Clinical Affairs, Wyeth Vaccine Research, Paris and Dr Nitin Shah, Consultant Paediatrician, PD Hinduja National Hospital, Mumbai and President of Indian Academy of Paediatrics.

Pneumococcal disease is a group of illnesses caused by the bacteria streptococcus pneumonia, also known as “pneumococcus”. Infants and children are at greatest risk of contracting invasive pneumococcal disease as 25-60 per cent of them are carriers of pneumococci in their throats. The risks of meningitis and bacteraemia and greatest during the first two years of a child’s life.

With the launch of the vaccine in India, it is expected to protect thousands of children from IPD that is responsible for many cases of childhood mortality and morbidity. This vaccine, the only one of its kind in the world, will not only protect children from critical diseases but also reduce the disease burden in India to a great extent.

According to World Health Organisation (WHO) statistics, IPD is responsible for over one million child deaths every year. Research has shown that streptococcus pneumonia strains are now increasingly resistant to penicillin and other antibiotics and simultaneously the prevalence of these strains continues to rise worldwide. The focus accordingly needs to shift from treatment to prevention.

Prevenar, a seven-valet vaccine, is being used worldwide and is part of the regular immunization schedule in many countries. It is part of the national immunization schedule in six countries, including the USA, Canada and Australia. Worldwide 30-40 million children have been protected against IPD.



25 suspects identified in Dimpy murder case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 22
The Chandigarh Police has identified as many as 25 suspects in the murder of Prabhjinder Singh Dimpy.
The investigations are focusing on those persons who were in contact with Dimpy a few days before his murder, a senior official said.



MC elections: 47 withdraw papers
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 22
The battle lines have been drawn with 47 candidates withdrawing from the Municipal Council elections here today leaving 125 candidates in the fray.
While some of the persons withdrew their nomination papers as they were only covering candidates, there were others who withdrew in the support of other candidates. A former municipal councillor, Mr Manjit Singh, who had filed his papers from Ward No. 23 also withdrew his papers.

Mr Karam Singh Dhanoa, who had filed his nomination papers from Ward No. 24, withdrew his nomination papers in favour of Mr Sukhdev Singh Patwari.

Poll symbols were also allotted to the candidates today. It is reported that symbols like the rising sun and the chair were in great demand.

Nomination papers of two candidates were rejected after scrutiny yesterday while one candidate had filed two sets of papers.

The following are the names of the persons who have withdrawn their nomination papers (ward number is given in brackets): Mr Baldev Singh and Mr Karnail Singh (2); Mr S.N. Mynee (3); Ms Urmila, Ms Kamaljit, Ms Meena Garg and Ms Joginder Kaur (4); Mr Baljinder Singh (5); Mr Jaspal Singh and Mr Baljinder Singh (6); Mr Amit Marwaha, Mr Ajit Singh and Mr Rajinder Singh (8); Ms Seema and Ms Manpreet Kaur (10); Mr Jatinder Anand (11); Ms Ravinder Kaur Badal, Ms Rajni Bala and Mr Ravinder Kaur (12); Ms Monika, Subhadra Devi and Sudesh Duggal (13); Ms Surjit Kaur (16); Mr Babu Ram and Mr Hakam Singh (18); Ms Harvinder Kaur and Ms Gurmeet Kaur (19); Mr Gaurav Jain and Mr Jarnail Singh (20); Mr Harjeet Singh (21 ); Mr Charanjit Singh (23); Mr J.S. Grover, Mr Narinder Singh, Mr Rakesh and Mr Ram Chander (24); Ms Monika and Ms Parvinder Kaur (25); Mr Amrik Singh, Ms Seema Aggarwal and Mr Sikandar (26); Mr Amrik Singh Bhatti (27); Ms Daljit Kaur and Ms Paramjit Kaur (28); and Mr Sukhpreet Singh and Mr Jaspal Singh (30). 



News Analysis
Who was responsible for allotment of land to law institute?
Maneesh Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 22
Even though the UT Administration has finally cancelled the controversial allotment of a piece of prime land to Chandigarh Law Institute Private Limited in Sector 38-A, a lot of questions still remain answered.

The most important question that begs an answer — has the UT fixed the responsibility as to who were the officials responsible for the illegal and arbitrary allotment?

A few days ago, citing the February 14, 2005 judgment of a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the UT Administration wrote to the company’s Directors, informing them that the land allotted to them for constructing a law college had been cancelled.

This followed the April 26 order of a single Judge of the High Court, dismissing the plea of the UT Administration and the Directors of the company referring the Division Bench judgement to a third Judge for a fresh opinion.

While the Division Bench, comprising the then Chief Justice, Mr Justice B.K. Roy, and Mr Justice Surya Kant, had delivered two different judgements while disposing of the PIL filed by Mr Neeraj Sharma of Jalandhar, both had found the allotment to be irregular and illegal.

In a scathing indictment of the UT Administration, the court had termed the allotment as arbitrary, unjust, clandestine and illegal and opposed to Article 14 of the Constitution.

Among the owners of the company are two sons of a sitting Judge, Dr V.K. Bansal, former Chairman of the Department of Laws of Panjab University, and advocate Shailendra Jain, who is a Central Government Standing counsel for the UT.

The court had given two months to the UT Administrator for taking “necessary corrective steps.”

It had also expressed “full faith and trust in His Excellency the Governor of Punjab-cum-UT Administrator, Chandigarh Administration” to find out who were the persons responsible for the apparent acts of commission.

It was, however, left to the Administrator’s discretion if the persons responsible for the apparent acts of commission needed to be dealt with through disciplinary proceedings or even launching of prosecution.

However, even though the land allotment has been cancelled, no action has reportedly been initiated to bring to book the officials who had made the illegal allotment and caused heavy loss in revenue to the UT.

Moreover, if sources are to be believed, no notice was served on the company informing it that the allotment was being cancelled. Why did this happen? A helping hand, perhaps!

Also, the company is sure to seek compensation from the administration for the money spent by it on the construction work undertaken by it on the land. The construction activity was stopped on the orders of the court.

A lawyer wonders, “If the company insists that it be paid back the amount that it spent on the construction work, who will bear the burden? It will be interesting to see if the money is recovered from the officials responsible for the allotment. But, then don’t the governments always let off the officials involved in such acts?”



Selected civil services candidates facilitated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 22
The Chandigarh Administration felicitated the newly selected candidates of Chandigarh and nearby places to the All-India Civil Services Examination today at Hotel Mountview here today.

The UT Home Secretary, Mr Krishna Mohan, the Joint Secretary Finance-cum-DPI (College), Ms Raji P. Srivastava, the Director Public Relations, Mr Vivek Atray, and other senior officials were present on the occasion.

While congratulating the trainee officers, Mr Mohan called upon them to use this opportunity to serve the masses and the needy ones. He also urged them to utilize their various responsibilities for the development and betterment of the country.

Mr Mohan, who is also Education Secretary, also sought their suggestions to further improve the education system in UT Chandigarh. He took note of their suggestions and asked the DPI (Colleges) to start holding monthly quizzes on different topics so as to promote healthy competition and enhance the knowledge base of the students.

On this occasion, Ms Gurneet Tej, Dr Abhinav Trikha, Ms Prerna Puri, Dr Vikramjit Singh, Mr Kunal Aggarwal, Mr Pradeep Virk, Ms Deepshikha Arora, and Dr Tarundeep Kaur were present.



CJA demands wage boards for newspaper staff
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 22
The Chandigarh Journalists Association (CJA) while welcoming the decision of the Union Government to constitute the sixth Pay Commission for the government employees today demanded the immediate setting up of the wage boards for journalists and non-journalist newspaper employees.

The association president, Mr Haresh Vashisth, in a press note issued here today said the CJA executive committee decided to set up a wage boards committee for drafting its memorandum for the grant of interim relief to the newspaper and news agency employees. The committee also decided to participate in a procession in New Delhi to present a petition to the UPA Chairperson, Ms Sonia Gandhi, demanding the immediate setting up of the wage boards.

A seminar on the “changing face of regional media” will be organised next month. The Chandigarh Media Directory prepared by the association will also be released on the occasion.

It may be recalled that leaders of the media and trade unions had met the Lok Sabha Speaker, Mr Somnath Chatterjee, last week in New Delhi and urged him to ask the government to announce the setting up of the new wage boards.

On May 25, the Union Minister of State for Labour, Mr Chandrasekhar Sahu, had assured the journalists at Bhubaneswar that the Centre was committed to the setting up of the wage boards, the press note added.



Home Guards’ plea to CM
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 22
The Home Guards Welfare Association in a memorandum submitted to the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, requested him to fulfil its long-standing demands considering the services rendered by Home Guard jawans in the past.

Mr Salamdin, president of the association, in the memorandum said since the militancy times in Punjab the Home Guards jawans had been working dedicatedly with the Punjab Police, the Railway Police, at FCI godowns and with the Army at the border. They had also rendered services during Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha elections in various states.

The association criticised the alleged rude behaviour of the some officers of the Home Guards Department with jawans in Chandigarh. It alleged that jawans were being made to retire from services before attaining the age of 58.

It urged the Chief Minister to reinstate Home Guards jawan Udiqke Chand of Ferozepore district, allow free travel facility in buses to jawans as allowed to police personnel, enhance deduction towards welfare fund and full compensation to the family of a deceased jawan and job to a member of his family.



“Akal Takht not a family jagir”
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 22
"Akal Takht belongs to the entire Sikh community and it is not a 'jagir' of one family. Its misuse by a particular family is not at all acceptable to the community. In the recent past, efforts have been made by anti-Panthic forces to weaken it. After Independence, different governments and agencies tried to weaken the principles of 'miri and piri' but did not succeed."

Stating this here today, the local unit of the Akali Dal 1920 headed by Mr Gurnam Singh Sidhu, said the present Jathedar of Akal Takht, Mr Joginder Singh Vedanti, was well aware of the forces inimical to Akal Takht but still he considered people opposed to Mr Badal as anti-Panthic.

"Jathedar Vedanti has expressed concern over the increasing dera culture, while ignoring the fact that it is Mr Parkash Singh Badal and his family who are patronising different deras in Punjab and outside," the party said.

While asserting that BJP leader Sushma Swaraj tried to distort history by stating that Chandu had no role in the martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev, the party said it was Jahangir who had handed over Chandu to Guru Hargobind for punishment for his treacherous role in the Guru's martyrdom. 



1 killed in shed collapse

Mohali, July 22
One person was killed and five injured when a shed under construction collapsed in the Phase I Industrial Area here last evening.
According to information available, the injured were taken to the Cheema Medical Complex in Phase IV, where Jatinder was declared brought dead.

The others injured were Raju, Jatinder Srivastav, Pitambar, Brijinder and Rajinder Prasad. They were busy in the construction of a shed, during which one of the girders of the shed gave in and they fell from about 25 feet.

Rajinder Prasad said when the girder collapsed, the workers sensed that something had gone wrong somewhere, but they hardly got any time to react. OC



Senior citizens’ picnic in the hills
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 22
Members of the Senior Citizens’ Welfare Association, greater Chandigarh, moved over to Hotel Bliss, Gadkal, Kasauli, to enjoy a picnic in the hills during the rainy season.

A conducted tour of Kasauli bazar and various hill features, including the New Kasauli Club, was a thrilling experience for most of them. They were later entertained by Mr M.S. Walia and Mr F.S. Chauhan with songs, ghazals, jokes and tambola. 



Aujla gets super time scale
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 22
Municipal Corporation Commissioner P.S. Aujla has been given super time scale. Mr Aujla was promoted to the IAS cadre from the PCS cadre in 1990.
He is serving as the MC Commissioner for the past two years.



1 held for theft bid
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 22
One boy was nabbed while allegedly trying to commit a theft in Phase IX.
According to the police, CPO Gurvinder Singh complained that three persons were making an effort to start a Maruti car in the wee hours here today.

As he was on duty in the area, he tried to challenge them and all of them ran away from there.

The CPO was able to catch one of them .

On questioning, it was found that the arrested boy was Raju, a resident of Kumbra village, but hailed from Ferozabad.

Raju told the police that the other two persons were Anil and Sonu and revealed their addresses.

The police was conducting raids to arrest the other boys.

A case under Sections 379, 511 and 34 of the IPC has been registered in this regard. 



Body found
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 22
Mystery shrouds the death of a 45-year-old sweeper of a market whose body was found underneath a small bridge in Mansa Devi Complex, this morning.The place is hardly 1000 yards away from the local police post.

According to locals, the body was noticed by some residents and the police was informed.

Eyewitness said an empty bottle of country-made liquor was also found from near the body. There were marks indicating that the body was dragged to the bed of the nullah.

Residents say the man had been living in a verandah during the night and was earning his livelihood by working as a sweeper in the market. Dr Abhey Rao, DSP (Headquarters), said Raju was a habitual drunkard and might have died by collapsing in an inebriated condition.



Books worth Rs 5 lakh recovered; 4 held

Zirakpur, July 22
The local police has arrested four persons and recovered books worth about Rs 5 lakh from them. The accused — Banu Parshad, Surinder Kumar, Hira Lal and Chhote Lal — were arrested at a routine naka put up by Mr Tarlochan Singh, SHO of the Zirakpur police station here yesterday. The vehicle (HR-68-3943) carrying the books was also impounded. Mr Naresh Masih, a resident of Chhatt village, had complained to the police regarding theft of books by some unidentified persons. TNS



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