C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Food for thought: in hospital, on empty stomach
Bipin Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 23
His determination to survive has been flattened by the apathetic attitude of the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital, Sector 16. Twentythree-year-old Vikram has managed to wade through the worst crisis in life, but the unwillingness of the hospital authorities to provide him daily diet has traumatised the boy.

Discarded by his father Punji Ram after the death of his mother in childhood, the woes of Vikram seem to be never-ending. Hailing from Ramshila in Kulu district of Himachal Pradesh, his both legs were fractured after falling from the third storey of a guest house in Ludhiana, where he was hired for some construction work.

Seeking mercy of certain gentlemen, Vikram virtually crawled his way from Ludhiana to Chandigarh and managed to reach the Government Multi-Specialty Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16, on November 17. His ordeal was compounded at the hospital after the authorities discontinued his diet on Wednesday afternoon.

High drama was witnessed at the male ortho wards of the GMSH this morning when some attendants of patients in the ward assembled and objected to the discontinuation of his diet. The doctors and the attendants had an altercation over the issue and subsequently, certain attendants informed mediapersons.

Narrating this sequence of his woes, Vikram said after the accident, he found himself at the Ludhiana busstand on regaining conscious. “I was unable to stand on my legs and I sought help from a Sikh. He purchased a ticket for me to Chandigarh and helped me in boarding the bus,” he recalled.

“Since I was unable to stand, a passenger helped me in getting down the bus at Chandigarh. I crawled to the local bus stand and passed three days without having any food. A group of college students dropped me at the General Hospital, Sector 16, for treatment,” claimed Vikram.

Security guards at the hospital proved helping hands for him and Vikram was admitted to the male ortho ward. The doctors, after scanning his legs, plastered those for his fractures.

Since there was nobody to look after Vikram, Mr Prakash Chand and his wife Raj Bala, attending on their son at the same ward, stood by him and even arranged fruits and eatables for him.

Mr Mansa Ram Ahuja from the Jeewan Mukta Nishulka Vidyalaya, a Panchkula-based charitable organisation, came to the rescue of the boy and took him along. The boy was adopted by Ms Bala Bajaj, a resident of 960, Sector 16, Panchkula this evening.

The medical superintendent of the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital, Dr Usha Bishnoi Kapoor, refused to talk to the correspondent on the issue, saying she was busy in clearing some official files.

Dr MS Bains, director, Health Services, Chandigarh, was not available for comments, being busy in some meeting.



UT adopts Punjab’s assured career progression scheme
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 23
The Chandigarh Administration has adopted the assured career progression scheme of the Punjab Government with effect from November 1. In an official document signed by the joint secretary, Personnel, earlier this week, it has been said the scheme of career advancement will apply on completion of four, nine and 14 years of service, both in case of UT employees and deputationists from Punjab. The scheme was announced recently by the Punjab Government.

The document clearly provides that the scheme was optional. An existing employee “including those having less than four years service” will have either the option to continue in the existing scheme of 8, 16, 24 and 32 years or to opt for 4, 9 and 14 years for career advancements. All employees have been asked to fill in their preferences within two months from November 1.

Under the new scheme, after the fixed number of years in a post an employee who is not promoted on account of non-availability of a vacancy shall be granted the pay in the higher pay scale. An employee shall be entitled to a maximum of three placements in the next higher scales with the benefit of one increment at each every placement.

It has been clarified that under the new scheme, anyone who has rendered more than four and less than nine years cannot be placed in the next grade after eight years of service if he has already availed the benefit once under the new scheme.

Under the new scheme, an employee shall be entitled to a maximum of three placements in the next higher scales in the hierarchy of pay scales, with benefit of one increment at every placement. An employee who opts for the scheme but has already availed the benefit of two placements in the higher scales of hierarchy and two proficiency set-ups, will have to loose the benefit of increment granted after 32 years. His pay will be refixed from November 1.

The placement in the next higher scale shall be allowed only to employees whose track record is ‘good’. Good means more than 50 per cent annual confidential reports of the employee were good and two out of last three year’s report should also be good. On placement in the next higher scale, an employee will continue to do the same work and there will be no need for creation of any separate post. An employee who is dismissed from service, is under suspension or on leave will be allowed to exercise his option within two months of his joining duty. 



Accused teacher sacked
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 23
Showing rare promptness of action, the Chandigarh Administration today terminated the services of Vinod Kumar, a physical training instructor working on contract at the Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 16, here following allegations of molesting a class XI student of the school.

The teacher tried to commit suicide yesterday by consuming a poisonous substance and was still admitted to the PGI. Though his condition was stable, the police had not been able to record his statement. It booked him for attempt-to-suicide under Section 309 of the IPC.

The termination order, signed by District Education Officer Kamla Bains, was issued today. It stated that a preliminary inquiry had been conducted, concluding that Vinod had committed grave misconduct and was not fit to be retained. The order also debared him from future government employment.

Following an inquiry into the matter some days ago, Vinod had been asked to submit a reply to the show-cause notice within 48 hours. He had to submit his reply or appear personally before 2.30 pm yesterday. He went on leave without getting it sanctioned from any of the senior functionaries of the Education Department and while at home, consumed poison.

The parents of the girl had submitted a written report with Ms Kamla Bains. According to sources, the girl’s parents had alleged that the same teacher had tried to abuse their daughter three years ago. They had reportedly used ‘choicest of words’ in their written statement.

However, it was pointed out that three years ago, the teacher had got scot-free for the ‘objectionable gestures’ he had allegedly made towards the girl. Instead of bringing the matter out in the open, the principal of the school, Mr Ram Kumar, had on that occasion merely transferred him from the senior wing to the junior wing as ‘punishment’.

Now when the same teacher was posted back to coach the girls for volleyball in the senior wing of the school, the girl got provoked on seeing him again on the premises. The girl went to see the principal on November 2 with one of her close friends, but came back disturbed.

Interestingly, no action has been initiated against the school principal, who initially tried his best to push the matter under the carpet, constantly insisting that there was nothing wrong going on at the school.



Watch the grand old beauties roll out today
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 23
“Old beauties” are set to charm young inmates of SOS Children Village at Rajpura tomorrow. On November 24 and 25, the village inmates and residents of the city and Kasauli will have a rare opportunity to witness some of the rarest cars in the country in a unique two-day event — Delhi-Chandigarh-Kasauli Vintage and Classic Car Rally.

In fact, November 24 will be a memorable day for the village inmates as they will get a chance to see and feel 50 vintage cars drawn from Delhi, Chandigarh, Ferozepore and Dehra Dun.

And to add to the fun to the event — being brought to the region by Silvertone Motors and the Vintage and Classic Car Club, Chandigarh — children will don the judges’ cap and “select” the four best cars.

A cultural programme at the village will be another highlight of the festivities.

From Rajpura, the cavalcade will leave for Hotel Taj here tomorrow evening, said Brig J. S. Phoolka (retd), founder-president of the club, here today.

On November 25 morning, the vintage cars will meander their ways through the city roads for a “local lap” after a flag-off by DC, Mr R. K. Rao.

City residents will also have a chance to have a glimpse of the “old beauties” at the Lake Club from 12 noon to 2 p.m. “It is the consistent effort of the club to showcase vintage cars for the general public at regular intervals to create awareness about the priceless possessions,” he added.

Brigadier Phoolka said the vintage cars from 1930s to 1960s, a majority of them classic American cars, will take part in the rally. Among the prominent prized possessions on display will be Ford Tourer (1933), Fleet Master (1946), Buick 8 (1946), Fiat 500 (1951) and MG (1950).

Besides, leading car brands of the yesteryear, including Austin, Jaquar, Rolls Royce, Cadillac, will also vie for car connoisseurs’ attention.



Young man found dead
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 23
An unidentified man in his twenties was found dead under mysterious circumstances in an open drain at Mauli Jagran, here, this morning. Suspecting it to be a case of accidental death, the police ruled out the possibility of any foul play behind the death.

According to sources at the Mani Majra police station, the death came to light around 10.30 a.m. when some children playing near the drain noticed a hand protruding out of the gushing waters of the drain. They raised the alarm and soon, people gathered there. They informed the police and the police reached the spot.

The police sought the help of the fire brigade to fish out the body as the water was deep and its flow was fast, making it difficult to pull out the body. An injury was found on the head, from which the blood was still oozing. However, looking at the condition of the body, the police said the death might have occurred more than 24 hours ago. 



Watch out

Kirandeep Kaur: The golden girl of Panjab University will showcase her skill at the All-India inter-university rowing championship which gets underway at Kolkata on Friday. This law student of the university has won top honours in many rowing championships, including national level competitions, since she took to the sport.

Representing the university in the All-India Inter University Rowing Championship, she has been clinching gold continuously since 2003. Not only the university but the city also has high hopes on the talented rower. 



In Town

London based eminent Punjabi pop singer, Malkiat Singh, will be in town on Friday, to launch his new album, ‘Naach Aaj Naach’. The singer had shot to fame with his version of the folk song, “Tutak tutak tutiyan”. Though hailing from Jalandhar, he has always considered Chandigarh as his second home. His first ever stage performance in India was at the Chandigarh Press Club in the late 80’s.



Passing Through

S.K. Srivastava
S.K. Srivastava Mumbai-based Managing Director of Selandia Marine Service Private Limited

How lucrative is the shipping industry for youngsters?

The salaries are extremely good. The captain of a ship earns anywhere between $ 8,000 and $ 12,000 per month. And you just have to secure a minimum of 60 per cent marks in physics, chemistry and mathematics in plus-two examination for entering into the profession.

The selected candidates undergo three-year training as cadets. As of now, people from this part of the region are doing extremely well in the profession.

How safe is the profession?

Like any industry, you have good players who have been in the industry since long. These organisations hire the best in the market and lay utmost stress on the safety aspects. For them, manpower is the precious-most asset.

A few players, on the other hand, believe in short-term games. The possibility of their indulging in all kinds of activities cannot be ruled out. As such, safety is not a major issue with these companies. The youngsters should preferably go in for companies that have been in the industry since long.

Saurabh Malik



10 months on, mixed response to CTU grid system
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 23
After a period of 10 months of its introduction, the grid system of the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) continues to draw a mixed response from the commuters. The people, who use long-route local buses in straight direction, express happiness over the system as it consumes less time as well as less money to reach their destination.

On the other hand, the commuters, who have to change their bus because of change in direction of the route, have been facing a lot of problems not just because of problems in changing the route but also paying extra money.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune on the issue, a group of college students who uses the local buses to reach Government College for Girls, Sector 11, from the Housing Board Chowk, Panchkula, expressed happiness as they had to spend Rs 5 to reach their destination and the buses were taking lesser time than earlier.

“The system proves good for the people like us, who commute in the same direction”, said Nidhi, the college student.

But the residents of southern sectors like Sectors 37, 38, 39 and 40, Palsora, and Badhedi etc, who are daily commuters to Manimajra/ Panchkula or other destinations in different directions have been complaining about the system. “Many residents of these sectors visit Manimajra or Panchkula to earn their livelihood. The same case is with the people of that area. We have to change the buses, which is not convenient for many lady passengers, old aged persons and even school children”, rued Sanjeev Kumar, a resident of Sector 40.

Such people have been demanding to introduce direct buses for Manimajra, Panchkula, Grain Market from the southern sectors to facilitate the commuters.

On the issue, the senior official of the CTU was of the view: “No doubt, there was confusion about the routes of the buses in first one or two months after the introduction of the system. Even many have left using the buses for the reason but now they again start using the transport. The increasing of revenue of the CTU every month corroborates the fact”.

In the February, 2006, the month of introduction of the system, the revenue of the CTU was 83 lakh. It reached to 1.29 crore last month.

“We have been watching the situation minutely and we are open for the improvement for the convenience of public”, said the official. 



Waiting for tragedy to strike
Bipin Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 23
Uncovered electricity wires at various places in the employees’ residential colony within the premises of the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) have been waiting for some major tragedy to occur for the last couple of years.

Thanks to the PGIMER authorities for turning a blind eye towards this serious threat being posed by the charged and uncovered electricity wires to the human lives. The residents have also been put to another ordeal - a network of uncovered power cables a top the employees’ quarters, - in Block-D of the colony.

The uncovered electricity junction boxes and peeled off electricity wires at different streetlight poles have been giving open offers to the tragedies to happen. Moreover, the damaged internal roads with ankle- deep potholes and defunct streetlights have been proving a nightmare for colony residents. Wilde growth and garbage scattered in every nook and corner of various parks have been dotting the areas since long.

Residents of the area complain that sweepers often pile the trash, including papers and polythene bags, along road berms instead of dumping them at the earmarked garbage dumps. Piles of garbage and other solid material in different parks have become health hazards for the residents. Construction material, including bricks, sand and gravel, dumped by certain residents on internal roads has been resulting to road congestion, putting motorists to inconvenience.

Residents of the area complained that the authorities have hardly removed weeds from the parks in the last few years. The sunken storm water-lines and the open manholes have become death traps at certain places. The huge hedges around corner house have made the internal roads accident-prone, claimed Mr Surinder Singh, a colony resident.

Unwilling to quote their names, residents of the area alleged that their complaints fail to catch the attention of the authorities concerned. The written complaints were dealt with after quite a delay. The walls and the ceilings often get charged during rain because of the uncovered electricity cables, posing a serious threat to residents.

Mr R.K. Khanchi, newly elected president of the PGI Campus Residents Welfare Society, complained that the residents of the PGI Employees’ Colony were being given stepmotherly treatment by the UT Administration and the municipal council. They residents are being deprived basic civic amenities by the UT Administration and the MC. The society has a proposal to hold a meeting for decideding the future course of action for the municipal council elections.



Maintain parks, urge residents
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 23
Ill-maintained roads and poor street lighting were among the main problems highlighted by residents of Sectors 25 and 26 at a ‘khula darbar’ organised by the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) to redress grievances of the public in Sector 25, here yesterday.

While residents of both sectors were critical of non-functional streetlights in their sectors and the pot-holed roads, they sought the HUDA Administrator, Ms Neelam Pradeep Kasni, help for removing congress grass dotting all vacant spaces in the sectors.

Lodging their dissatisfaction over the non-maintenance of parks, residents complained that these were neither fit for children to play nor for the elderly wanting to sit or walk around.

The Administrator accompanied by the Estate Officer, Mr S.P. Arora, and a battery of officials from the engineering wing, heard complaints from residents and tried to redress these on the spot. Residents of Sector 26 also demanded the construction of a community centre in their sector.

Ms Kasni assured action in all cases put before her. She directed the engineering wing to remove all congress grass in the area.

She said the matter of altering the road from the national highway would be taken up with the Forest Department which had some area under its jurisdiction for the construction of a junction.

While patch work on roads would be carried out promptly in the two sectors, she directed the XENs concerned to check street lights periodically while urging residents to use the HUDA helpline for registering complaints regarding the electricity and sewerage.



Drink at own risk at UT ‘ahatas’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 23
Improper power and water supply, poor management of bio-waste and non-functional air conditioners, as expected under the new liquor policy of the Chandigarh Administration for the current financial year, are strikingly absent in the city ‘ahatas’ accompanying the liquor shops, particularly in the periphery of the UT.

Most of the erring liquor stalls and accompanying ‘ahatas’ are located in the sheds. The ‘ahatas’ all over the city are a favourite haunt for dogs.

“I counted at least 20 on the tip of my fingers in Sector 36”, said Mr Manjot Singh, a city resident. There is no proper delineation of any space or area for disposing of the waste from ‘ahatas’. Dogs in particular make a beeline for leftover bones, particularly in evenings.

Mr Sanjay Kumar Yadav, a worker at the ‘ahata’ of Phase I, Industrial Area, said, “The dogs trouble us in the evenings. We dump waste material in MC boxes late in the night. However, throughout the evening, the canine population is on an outing to our place. We did talk to MC officials, who came on a visit here, but to no avail on the ground”. Mr Gopal, a worker in a ‘ahata’ in Industrial Area, Phase II, had similar opinion.

The ‘ahata’ in Sector 22, opposite the ISBT, Sector 17, has poor sanitation. The floor is littered with waste, which also lies in the open in the backyard.

One ‘ahata’ in Industrial Area, Phase I, does not have an air-conditioner, while another one in Phase II has one which is not functional. It is an accepted fact that a number of ‘ahatas’ do not have properly functional AC facilities.

Mr Krishan Chand, a senior citizen, said, “I find no proper drinking water facilities in certain drinking shops, particularly in the periphery. I saw a worker drawing water out of a handpump in Ram Darbar. I am sure they are using the same for washing utensils and drinking purposes. The sanitation aspect needs a complete review”.

Mr Sanjeev Kumar, owner of an ‘ahata’ in Sector 16, said, “Water is no problem in the sector. One problem being faced by customers here is that shop owners do not allow customers to purchase liquor from any other shop and take it inside. Our shop has very good food items which customers relish”.

The worker of a ‘ahata’ in a tin shed of Sector 38 (West) said, “I have got special electricity and water connections and I think all located in tin sheds are given the same.”

Mr I.S. Sandhu, Additional Excise and Taxation Commissioner, said the administration was in knowledge about facilities lacking at certain ‘ahatas’. They was being looked into.



Room for improvement in Sector 38
Tribune News Service

Kamla Sharma
Kamla Sharma

Chandigarh, November 23
With a voter population of around 40,000, Ward No. 6 consists of Sectors 36, 37 and 38 (before delimitation).
The ward has seen considerable development in the past five years. There is, however, much scope for improvement, especially in Sector 38.

Area councillor Kamlesh Sharma has the distinction of being the first Mayor of the MCC. She also represents the opposition BJP in the MC House.

Sector 36 has undergone a lot of development. Two Sehaj Safai Kendras have been opened in these Sectors. However, Sectors 37 and 38 have yet to be provided with these.

Talking to the TNS, K.P. Malhotra said garbage disposal in Sector 38 needed to be improved.

“We have brought this to the notice of authorities, however no action has been taken. The stench from the dumping ground nearby also needs to be checked.”

Residents of Sector 37 are not too happy with the provisions of street- lights provided in their Sector. “However, we have got some very good green belts and roads have also been recently re-carpeted,” he added.


A lot of work has gone into this ward. The Fragrance Garden has been improved and toilet facilities have been provided. In Sector 36, 37 and 38 all V-4, V-5 and V-6 roads have been re-carpeted.

Parks in these Sectors have been developed, railings put up, and benches and playing equipment provided, wherever needed.

Trafficlight on roads intersecting Sector 36 and Sector 37 have been provided. Earlier, this used to be an accident-prone area.

Roads in markets of all three Sectors have been re-carpeted and widened.

Streetlights have also been provided in the markets. Paved blocks have been provided in some of the markets. The green belt in Sector 37, which had been a neglected area, has been developed.



MC poll: Filing of papers begins today
Amrita Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 23
The commencement of filing of nominations for the municipal corporation elections begins tomorrow. Nominations can be filed till December 1.
While a few parties have decided on their choices of candidates, the BJP-SAD-CVM alliance is yet to decide on the issue of seat sharing. According to sources in the BJP, Mr Arun Jaitley is expected to come to the city on Sunday to help in seat adjustments.

Though there has been no public announcement by the BJP-SAD-CVM alliance, the CVM has already announced its seven candidates.

The election committee of the nationalist Congress Party has finalised a few candidates. A meeting was held under the chairmanship of Mr Kuljit Singh Mintoo, chairman of the committee.

It was decided that Mr Ajay Verma would contest from ward 24, Mr Prem Shankar Bharti from ward 11, Mr Kartar Singh from ward 7, Ms Kala from ward 19 and Mr Ishwar Dutt Sharma from ward 9.



No card, no vote; apprehend residents
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 23
Residents of Sector 68 have expressed apprehensions that they will not be able to cast their votes in the coming Assembly elections because the authorities concerned will not be able to prepare the identity cards of a large number of voters in time.

Such apprehensions were brought to the notice of the SDM, Mr Sandeep Hans, by the residents welfare association of the area here today.

Mr Manoj Aggarwal, general secretary of the association, said a single booth (182) to prepare voter identity cards for Sectors 67, 68 and 69 had been set up. As such, it would have to prepare voter identity cards for about 6,000 voters, out of which 3,500 voters lived in Sector 68.

Mr Aggarwal alleged that the booth-level officer of the area was not issuing slips, on the basis of which cards were to be prepared. It would not be possible for one team of officials to prepare 3,500 identity cards in five days. The work of making identity cards would start on November 30 and go on till December 4.



PF federation ends stir
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 23
The three-day nationwide agitation started by employees of the All-India Provident Fund Staff Federation to press for the acceptance of their demands ended here today.

Federation members have been demanding the extension of organised accounts-oriented department scale to EPF employees, sanction of staff as per norms and fixing of benefit to Class C and D employees.

A press note issued by the secretary-general of the federation, Mr Vijay Sharma, stated that repeated discussions with the Central Provident Fund Commissioner and Union Labour Ministry, have failed to yield results.

He said that over 5000 posts were lying vacant in different cadres for the past 10 years and no staff had been sanctioned despite the extension of employees provident fund and miscellaneous provisions Act. He added that the management had been contemplating to implement the recommendation of the XLRI, Jamshedpur, on cadre restructuring in employees provident fund organisation which has recommended a method for promotion of group B, C and D.

Members of the federation have been agitating in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal, Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Regional Office, Delhi, Delhi, Central Office, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Orissa, Bihar, Jamshedpur, Madhya Pradesh and North Eastern region.



Baby swapping: DNA test confirmation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 23
The DNA test, conducted on a baby girl for establishing her biological identity has confirmed that she was Renuka’s daughter.
A resident of Sector 17, Panchkula, Rajinder Kumar had earlier alleged swapping of his newborn baby boy with a baby girl. Rajinder Kumar has claimed that his wife, Renuka, gave birth to the baby boy on November 10 but hospital staff swapped the boy with a girl.

Supporting his claims, Mr Rajinder Kumar had also given a complaint to the Medical Superintendent and attached a certificate mentioning that the sex (boy) of the baby in the registration certificate of the hospital. A birth certificate, mentioning the sex as ‘boy’, issued by the UT administration was also attached with the complaint.

Turning down Rajinder Kumar’s claims, the PGI authorities had already termed it as a clerical mistake. A DNA test was later conducted at the Central Forensic Science Laboratory, Sector-36, Chandigarh, which confirmed the PGI’s claims.



Parking blues at PGI
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 23
Inadequate parking space having deep potholes and the absence of attendants there have been a major inconvenience for patients and others who visit the PGI. Apart from this, different fee charged at every parking lot within the PGI premises from the patients and other visitors inconvenience all the more. The patients visiting the New OPD Complex and then the Research Block or the Nehru Hospital Complex for tests have to pay a fee at every parking lot.

A regular patient have to pay parking fee every time he visits the hospital as there is no provision of daily, weekly or monthly passes. However, sources in the hospital claims that there is a provision for these passes but the contractors have either removed the signboards or erected them at isolated places. Some of the boards have been damaged by rust, an employee of the PGI adds.

The contractors charge Re 1 for bicycle, Rs 2 for scooter/motor cycle, Rs 5 for car/jeep and other light vehicles and Rs 10 for multi-utility vehicles at every parking lot. Besides, they charge Re 1 for helmets from scooterists and motorcyclists.

To avoid paying separately at different parking lots for their visits, people park their vehicles haphazardly at no parking zones to others’ convenience.

Mr Pradip Sankhyan, an attendant of a patient from Una, lamented that the contractors of a paid parking lot did not recognise the slips of fee paid to other contractors. “I have to park my motor cycle at a parking lot adjacent to the New OPD block, then outside the Advance Paediatric Centre and in the park in front of the Nehru Hospital during my every visit in a week. Every time I am paying Rs 2 (Re 1 for my helmet) at every parking lot,” revealed Mr Sankhyan.

A PGI spokesperson, however, claimed that a multi-level parking having a capacity of over 1600 vehicles (two-wheelers and four-wheelers) was under construction adjacent to the New OPD Block. The parking would come up at a cost of over Rs 4.75 crore.



590 slum-dwellers get housing units
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 23
During a special verification camp for the shifting of slum-dwellers from Madrasi Colony to single-room dwelling units in Sector 56, as many as 590 applicants were given allotment. The six-day camp concluded today.

An official of the Chandigarh Housing Board said the allotment was done as per the provisions of recently notified Chandigarh Small Flats Scheme, 2006.

The eligibility was certified by the Estate Office, UT, subject to the conditions that the name of the applicant should figure in the bio-metric survey conducted in March 2006 as well as in the voters’ list of the year 2006. The allotment was to be done in the joint name of the husband and the wife. Families who have already been allotted or own dwelling units at Chandigarh, Mohali or Panchkula were not eligible for allotment under this scheme.

During the camp, forms were distributed to altogether 781 inhabitants in the identified area. Of these, a preliminary investigation had revealed that 716 applicants had their name in the bio-metric survey. A total of 766 applications were received.

A remarkable feature of the camp was that the beneficiaries were given allotment and possession of the one-room flat, complete in all respects, including water and electricity connection on the day their applications were received. The entire workflow procedure was automated and digital photography of the applicants was done on the spot and photos printed on the allotment letter and the possession slips. This ensured complete transparency in the system, besides reducing the processing time from up to six months to a couple of hours.

The remaining applications were kept pending for detailed scrutiny by the Estate Office due to certain discrepancies.

Details available online

The detailed list along with photographs of all beneficiaries allotted one room flats has been made available at the office of the ACEO, Chandigarh Housing Board, SDM (Central) Office, Estate Office, and notice board of Chandigarh Housing Board and on the website of Chandigarh Housing Board - http://chb.co.in



City’s serenity impresses Nitish of Mahabarata fame 
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 23
Nitish Bhardawaj, who played the unforgettable role of Lord Krishna in B.R. Chopra’s epic serial Mahabharata, was in the city today to talk about his current show, ‘Man Mein Hai Vishwas’.

After his press conference at the Taj, Nitish visited the Lord Krishna temple in Sector 8. After spending some time at the temple, he paid obeisance at the gurdwara nearby.

Speaking exclusively to the Tribune about his visit, Nitish said, “Being a spiritual person I make it a point to visit places of worship. I really liked it here because it was not crowded. So I could pay obeisance and spend some time here quietly”. The actor later visited other places like Rock Garden, Sukhna Lake and Panjab University in the city.

The actor, who studied at Bombay University, seemed awed by the lush green Panjab University campus. He said, “It is very important for students to have a proper environment to study, which helps them grow as good human beings”.

Considering both acting and politics as platform to bring about social change and eradicate social problems, Nitish said, “I feel this way. I contribute my bit to society and it gives me utter satisfaction as a human being”. About contesting elections, Nitish, who was an MP earlier, stated that he might do it again. Hoping to get a good response from the people of Chandigarh for his show, which is about people whose lives have changed after they experienced incidents that can be described as miracles, Nitish said, “It will be very good to have some one from this city to tell his/her real life account of faith and spirituality on our show”.



Postmortem of foetus conducted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 23
The postmortem examination of the male foetus that was extricated from a staff toilet of the injection room of the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital, Sector 16, late last night, was conducted this afternoon. The hospital authorities constituted a panel for conducting the postmortem examination.

This was not for the first such incident that a foetus was found in the hospital toilet. A woman had also dumped a newborn inside a toilet a couple of years ago. The appearance of a male foetus inside the hospital toilet had raised many eyebrows.

In another similar incident, the body of a newborn was found dumped adjacent to the boundary wall of the hospital a couple of months ago. The father of the body had later clarified that he had kept the body at the site since he had to get his wife from the gynaecology ward.

The case had come to light after the outlet of the toilet was blocked and a Class IV employee, while repairing it found the foetus inside.

Sources in the hospital said the toilet was for hospital staff and inaccessible to the general public. Certain woman staff of the hospital could be responsible for it.

The hospital authorities constituted a committee to investigate into the matter. A case under Section 318 of the IPC was registered at Sector 17 police station.



Garib Bhalai Party flays vikas yatras
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 23
Units are being set up in the state by the All-India Garib Bhalai Party to help raise the standard of living of the poor and also to protect their interests.
This was stated by Mr Gurnam Singh Sewak, national president of the party, at a press conference here yesterday. He said the units were being set up so that the poor sections of society could also raise their voice in the coming Assembly elections in Punjab.

Mr Sewak, a former judge, said that the Congress had done nothing for the welfare of the poor during its tenure. He said that people were not being provided basic facilities in villages. There was resentment prevalent in many sections of society, as the government was giving more importance to vikas yatras.



Session on life of US people
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 23
Ann Marie Everitt, an Exchange Officer with the US Embassy, had an interactive session with students about the life and culture of people in the USA at the American Corner, Chandigarh, today. The other speaker was Mr Sukhpal Singh Khaira, president of the Punjab Youth Congress.

Mr Khaira talked to the students about his experience when he went to the USA on a US Government fellowship. Some American citizens and business people exchanged their views about the American political system, business opportunities available and the other related information. Students mostly were keen to know about the opportunities available for higher education in the USA.



‘Shikaras’ in Sukhna soon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 23
The Jammu and Kashmir Government has finally given the clearance for the “shikaras” in the city and the Sukhna Lake will have two of them before the December-end, reliable sources said here today.

The Principal Conservator, Forests of Jammu and Kashmir, has given permission to CITCO that the “shikaras” can be transported to the city for promoting tourism. The matter was hanging fire because the government has expressed certain reservations on account of the state and Centre government restrictions on felling of ‘deodar’ wood.

The CITCO has also been informed that at least three more ‘shikaras’ will come next year.



Textile conference today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 23
The All-India Textile Conference will begin in the city from tomorrow. This two day conference is being organised by the Punjab, Haryana, Himachal and Chandigarh unit of the Textile Association of India.

Doyens of the Indian textile sector as well as delegates from textile industry in China, Bangladesh and Switzerland will be participating in the conference. Senior functionaries from the Ministry of Textiles will also participate in the conference, besides representatives from international textile machine makers like Reiters and BASF. 



Minor fire at CTU workshop
Tribune News Service

The area where the fire took place Chandigarh, November 23
A minor fire broke out this evening at the CTU workshop in the Industrial Area. The fire which occurred at about 8 p.m. reportedly took place after a short circuit took place in the main electricity switch.

Two fire tenders were rushed to the spot and the fire was brought under control. According to Shyam Singh, Fire Officer, Industrial Area fire station, no major loss was reported. The fire was reportedly noticed by certain outsiders as the depot had been locked for the day. 

The area where the fire took place.  — Tribune photo by Vicky Gharu 



Schoolboy hit by conductor, hurt
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 23
A Class II pupil of the local Doon International School was allegedly beaten up and injured by a conductor of the school bus here this evening.
According to reports, Diljot Singh (7) , a resident of Phase VII, was returning home in the bus from a rehearsal in connection with the school foundation day in the evening when he was allegedly hit on his back with a stick by the conductor.

The child suffered injuries. The child’s only fault was that he had indulged in some mischief along with other children after which he started laughing. The conductor lost his cool and allegedly struck the child.

The mother of the child, Ms Ritu Nirula, said when Diljot returned home after 7 pm he was in tears. Diljot complained of pain and asked for some medicine.

She said she then noticed two injury marks on his back. Her son told her that he had been hit with a stick.

Ms Narula said she rang up the school administrative officer to complain. He did not provide her with the phone number of the Principal. The Principal had also not contacted her till 11 pm, she added.

The father of the child has lodged a complaint with the police. A medical examinination of the child was carried out at the local Civil Hospital.



Rs 30,000 stolen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 23
Thieves decamped with Rs 30,000 and other articles from a house in Sector 27. According to the police Ms Rekha Sharma of Sector 27-C lodged a complaint that Rs 30,000 and some documents were stolen from her residence. A case of theft was registered.

Car stolen

Ms Sarika Gupta of Sector 7-B reported to the police that her Maruti car (CH-01-Q-2285) was stolen from a parking lot in Sector 9 on Wednesday. A case of theft was registered in this regard.

Held for eve-teasing

The police arrested Harwinder Singh of Sector 23 from the Sector 17 ISBT on the allegations of indulging in eve-teasing on Wednesday night. A case under Section 294 of the Indian Penal Code was registered in this regard.

Gambling case

The police arrested Manoj Kumar of Bapu Dham Colony from Depot Number 1, CTU workshop, Phase I, Industrial Area, on the allegations of indulging in gambling at a public place on Wednesday. The police recovered Rs 4,630 from his possession. A case under the Gambling Act was registered in this regard.

Woman missing

Mr Inderjit Singh of Mauli Jagran reported to the police his mother, 55-year-old Jamna Devi, went missing on September 3. She was mentally challenged. The police lodged a daily diary report at the Mani Majra police station.



Gold earrings, mobile snatched
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 23
Gold earrings and a mobile phone were snatched in two incidents here.
Ms Gurmeet Kaur, a resident of Phase VI, complained to the police that unidentified persons snatched her gold earrings when she went for a walk near her house. The snatchers had come on a motor cycle.

In another case, Mr Rohan Nanda, a resident of Sector 71, told the police that two motor cycle borne youths snatched his mobile phone from near the SCL complex.

The polic registered two separate cases under Sections 356 and 34 of the IPC in this regard. 



Ambala resident killed in mishap

Lalru, November 23
Sanjeev Kumar, owner of an ahata at Dappar village, near here, died in a road accident here last night A resident of Ambala, Sanjeev was on his way from Dappar to Ambala after closing the ahata. His scooter hit a motor cycle. He was seriously injured. Later he succumbed to his injuries. A case has been registered against the motor cycle rider, who is at large. TNS



Coal business flourishing
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 23
The coal business in the city may have taken a beating, but industrial growth in the surrounding areas of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh has brought a boom in business for coal depots here.

The easy availability of LPG cylinders in the city has meant that there is negligible sale of firewood and charcoal, for cooking purposes. However, the rapid industrial growth around Chandigarh has led to a high business growth for the coal depots, who are now servicing industrial clients in Ambala, Lalru, Dera Bassi, Mohali, Kharar, Nangal and Baddi.

With the coal being consumed only by ‘dhobis’, caterers and hotels in the city, the coal depots are catering to the brick-kilns, boilers, foundries and tractor part industry in this region. “The industrialisation in the region and the rapid increase in prices of other fuels like diesel and furnace oil, have kept the business rolling,” says Mr Harish Kumar of Iqbal Coal Depot in Sector 30.

Agrees Mr Deepak Mishra of Kamla Fuel Depot, Sector 20: “Earlier, a number of industries were using fuels other than coal. But as prices of these fuels continue to rise coal is emerging as the best alternative”.

The surge in demand for coal has also led to the prices shooting up in the past two months. Charcoal prices have increased from Rs 12 to Rs 14 a kg, hard coke prices have increased from Rs 6 per kg, to Rs 6.50 per kg while firewood prices have gone up from Rs 5.50 per kg to Rs 6 per kg.

“There is a huge gap between the demand and supply. As the winter approaches, the city will also cater to the demand for coal for heating homes in Himachal Pradesh, though the supply from Jharkhand is restricted,” added Mr Harish Kumar.

Traders also complained that because of low coal reserves in Jharkhand, the coal supply to the city (as elsewhere in the country) had a lot of dust. “As the coal pieces are mixed in the dust, we have had no option but to increase the coal prices for open sale of coal, though there is a marginal increase in prices of coal sold in the wholesale,” said Mr Mishra. 



Agro Tech from Dec 1
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 23
Punjab will showcase the second Green Revolution, that is now taking place in the State, at the Punjab pavilion at Agro Tech 2006 — India’s Premier Biennial Agro-Technology Fair. Agro Tech 2006 is being organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) from December 1 to 4 here.

On display at the Punjab Pavilion will be new techniques, processes, technologies and initiatives taken by the government to make horticulture an attractive proposition for farmers. 



Airtel’s free talk time offer
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 23.
Airtel today announced the launch of two value-for-money free talk time offers with the Motorola C139 and C118 handsets for its new prepaid customers in Punjab.
Airtel customers can get a Motorola C 139 colour phone and free Airtel-to-Airtel talk time worth Rs. 1999 — all for just Rs. 1999.

The free talk time will be valid for two years. Customers also have the option of getting a Black and white motorola handset (C118) and Airtel to Airtel talk time worth Rs.1499 in just Rs.1499. The validity of the free time will be one year, said Mr. Rajiv Jaitly, CEO (Mobile Services) Bharti Airtel, Punjab Circle.



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