C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Risky convenience: Drugs’ doorstep delivery
Subhiksha home delivers medicines without prescription
Bipin Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 31
In this age of home delivery, now the public can get a drug delivered at doorstep, and all this without any prescription. For those in the business of supplying these drugs, it hardly matters if the drug is covered under the Schedule H category.

This seems to be the policy of Subhiksha Trading Services Limited, a Channei-based company, that has recently opened some outlets in various sectors of the city.

The company has been selling the drugs, including those covered under Schedule H, to customers without verifying the doctor’s prescriptions for the drugs, thus violating the Drug Act right under the nose of the UT Health Department. Moreover, the home deliveries for drugs are being offered to customers residing within 1.5 km radial distance from any of the company’s outlet in the city.

As an inaugural offer, the company has also been offering 10 per cent off on maximum retail prices (MRPs) on all medicines, besides a thermometer free worth Rs 32 to allure customers.

Mr Pradeep Ranjan, associate vice-president of the company, however, denied selling of Schedule H drugs. He claimed that the company had obtained drug licences for each outlet for sale of drugs.

A survey by TNS revealed that medicines and drugs are being sold at the outlet counters in sectors 16, 23 and 47 without seeking doctors’ prescription from the customers. The salesmen at these counters have been issuing retail invoices / cash memos mentioning names of customers and sate of sale. The column for doctors’ name is being left blank.

Contraceptive pills and condoms (Imported) are also being sold on prices (including value added taxes) in almost every outlet.

Sources in the UT Health Department said that 10 drug licences have been obtained by the Subhiksha Trading Services Limited for selling drugs at its outlets.

The company aims to open 27 outlets in the city besides about half-a dozen in its satellite towns, including Panchkula and Mohali.

Mr Amarjit Singh Virmani, president of the Chandigarh Chemists Association, when contacted said that selling of Schedule H drugs with doctor’s prescription is a cause of concern. The Health Department should take a serious note of it. “Availability of these drugs at phone call may aggravate the problem of substance use among youngsters,“ added Mr Vijay Anand, general secretary of the association.

Dr. Manjit Singh Bains, Director, UT Health and Drug Controller UT, said that the way of selling drugs and that, too, covered under Schedule H is in violation of the Drug Act. He, however, claimed that the matter would be looked into.



City to have urban art panel
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 31
Subgroups of experts would be set up to suggest modalities for setting up an urban art commission for the city. A decision in this regard was taken at a special meeting of the Administrator’s Advisory Council here today.

The proposed commission would play a vital role in deciding the future of the city as all major projects would be referred to it. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), while seeking views of the Advisory Council, has directed the Administration not to sanction or finalise any new project till the constitution of the commission.

To be enacted by an Act of Parliament, the commission will have the competence to reject or modify any plan of any local body if it impinged upon urban aesthetics. Residential complexes and plans of private buildings will also come under the preview of the commission.

In a communication to the UT Administrator, the MHA has pointed out that there will be concurrent jurisdiction between the commission and the UNESCO heritage committees. The bodies will have the competence to approve or reject the proposals of the Chandigarh Administration, the Municipal Corporation and the Metropolitan Planning Committee, a body proposed to be set up for the preparation of a draft development plan and for deciding on functions relating to planning and coordination for the metropolitan area.

Members opinion was sought on solving differences that might crop up between the commission and the UNESCO committees, irreconcilable different local bodies and the modelling of the commission on the pattern of the Delhi Commission.

The Administrator, Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd), heard views of the members and architecture experts. He directed the Adviser to constitute a subgroup of experts from among members of the council, to discuss pros and cons of the proposal for proceedings further on the issue. He also directed to set up another subcommittee of members having architectural background.

He said there was a need to strike a balance between the old and the resurgent Chandigarh in view of the changing needs of the people.



It is now Home Ministry’s Voice
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 31
The proposed move to have an Urban Arts Commission threatens to put a stop on the unbridled powers enjoyed by the bureaucracy-laden Administration in deciding the future of Chandigarh.

The move initiated by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to set up the Urban Arts Council, on the pattern of Delhi, threatens to derail the course of urban planning as being visualized by UT Administration led by the UT Administrator.

A note sent by the MHA, advising the Chandigarh Administration not to sanction any new project till the constitution of the proposed Council, has raised many a eye brows about the spirit behind setting up the body. Though the move to se up the body was being discussed for the last few months, the directive to hold in abeyance sanctioning of the new projects has come as a surprise to many.

Not denying that difference between Congress leadership and the top hierarchy in the Administration, especially after the Congress failed to get its Mayor elected in the recently constituted Municipal Corporation --- played a role in hastening the move, sources said strong objections by a group of non-political original inhibitors of the city over ''disfiguring'' Le Corbusier's master plan with regards to the development of the city to Chandigarh, and on it's periphery has also played a major role.

It may be mentioned that last year, the group of eminent citizens had met the Congress President, Mrs Sonia Gandhi seeking her intervention to put an immediate end to the haphazard development in the city and on it's periphery.

The group comprising of eight prominent city residents had sought setting up of a regional urban planning authority on the lines of the National Capital Region Board for promoting coordinated development of the area surrounding Chandigarh. They had sought that the Government of India should direct the Chandigarh Administration to refrain from changing the existing land uses and carefully drafted zoning regulations and building by-laws, such as permitting high rise buildings or apartments in sectors meant for low rise development that define the distinct open and green character of Chandigarh.

The group has also suggested that this body should also have some say over issues related to growth and development of areas in Punjab and Haryana as these areas directly overburden the prevailing infrastructure of Chandigarh.

There were others who were in favour of the future development being planned by the Chandigarh Administration. It may be mentioned that another group wants to strike a balance between the old and the resurgent Chandigarh, in view of the changing needs of our people. They believe that the founder of the City visualized the City, to be dynamic and vibrant. There was need to establish a responsive and transparent system to meet the needs of the common man.

It may be pertinent to mention that the Standing Parliamentary Committee had also expressed the need to have a new mechanism for redressal of grievances of the general public.



It should have an advisory role only, say residents

Chandigarh, January 31
Divergent views are being expressed by imminent persons on the issue of setting up of an urban arts commission.

Most of the persons contacted on the issue felt development of the city was of paramount importance, irrespective of the fact who was in power. They want that the proposed commission should have an advisory role rather than being a decision-making body.

Opposing the formation of the commission, Mr Pankaj Sahgal, managing director, Meters and Instruments, said the Administration was more than competent to handle all local issues. Bold policy initiatives taken recently by the Administration would result in rapid economic growth and creation of large job opportunities, he said.

Mr Kuldeep Singh, a councillor and member of the Administrator’s Advisory Council, said the proposed commission should have representatives from among villagers.

Mr Arshad Khan, a nominated councillor, said the set-up should be different from that of the Delhi commission. The body should act as an advisory forum to assist the local bodies.

Mr M.P.S. Chawla, another nominated councillor and president of the Chandigarh Industrial Association, also opposed the formation of the commission. Mr Pankaj Khanna, member of the Advisory Council, welcomed the coveted Heritage City status for Chandigarh. — TNS



Dance show in silence zone at GH-16
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 31
Patients were put to hardship at the Sector 16 General Hospital this afternoon after a bagpiper party performed right in front of the office of the hospital Medical Superintendent for over an hour.

Moreover, a provocative dance by two men in a lawn of the hospital gave a tough time to patients and their attendants. The “show” was organised right under the nose of the hospital authorities where even blowing horn is prohibited.

Not only the Director (Health), but also some senior functionaries of the hospital, including the Medical Superintendent (MS) and the Joint Medical Superintendent, were present in GH-16 at that time.

Clad in women attires, the dancers performed on the tunes of various Punjabi and Hind songs, thus attracting a huge gathering. Even the hospital employees were seen enjoying the dance leaving their seats unattended for a long time.

The occasion was the farewell party of Mr Mall Singh, ward servant who retired after serving the hospital for over 35 years. Mr Mall Singh, lambardar of a village near Mullanpur Garibdass, was to be escorted by the bagpiper party from the hospital to his home. While the farewell function was on, the bagpiper party and dancers enthralled the gathering at the cost of patients’ convenience. The hospital authorities, however, remained a mute spectator of the entire episode.

When questioned on the issue of inconvenience caused to the patients and their attendants, Mr Mall Singh said, “This is my last day and my well-wisher and colleagues want all this.”

Colleagues of Mr Mall Singh said, “He is retiring after serving the institution for 35 years. What is wrong in giving him a farewell and celebrating the occasion?” an employee of the hospital said.

Dr Usha Bishnoi, Medical Superintendent, expressed ignorance over the issue.



College of Architecture student creates mural for city
Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 31
He is young, spirited and raring to go. Uma Dhar Kamti, a third- year-student of Chandigarh College of Architecture here is right now on the top of the world.

He had received a special honour from the UT Administrator- cum-Punjab Governor Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd) for his creation of the mural that now finds a pride of place in Sector 17.

The colourful eye catching mural covers a large sidewall of a unit of showrooms and depicts the soul of the city-its emblem of the open hand surrounded by hues of primary colours.

Son of a humble peon Siya Ram Kamti working at the PGI, Uma Dhar has worked hard to reach the college. “After ten plus two I started working. There was no other option. I had gathered some knowledge of using a computer and that helped me get a job with a lawyer in Chandigarh. I also started perusing an arts degree through correspondence,” he said.

Uma Dhar’s fascination for graphics and animation, however, led him to learn more about computers and while in second year of his arts degree he decided to become an architect. “I worked very hard for my AIEEE examination and got through the college. Although I tried my best to be financially independent and not burden my parents, they supported me throughout. In 2004, I was in the college and since I already knew a lot about computers I picked up the concepts fast.

The only problem I faced was in understanding many things initially. I was not very fluent in English then but I managed to pick up. My friends and teachers were very helpful,” he said.

“The Chandigarh Administration had asked for entries for the creation of these murals. Other than Chandigarh College of Architecture, Chandigarh College of Art and the Lalit Kala Akademi had sent the entries but only four were finally chosen by the Governor,” pointed out Mr Rajnish Wattas, college principal.

The mural is one of the four others that will soon be seen at prominent places in the city. “What you see on the wall is a small detail of the original image that I had created. It depicts the city’s life and soul.

I chose to use the three primary colours, which Le Corbusier was so fond of. I added green to reflect the greenery here and the blue is of course the city’s skyline,” explained Uma Dhar.

Uma Dhar’s achievement has also brought laurels to the college. “The War Memorial, the murals at Mount View and Raj Bhawan and now this is another feather in our cap. We are after many years geared up to take up consultancy works,” added the principal.

For Uma Dhar, however, this mural has given him the most memorable moment of his life. “I have no words to explain the joy and pride on my father’s face when he was specially invited by the Governor to the Republic Day home,” he said.



Public to help manage community centres
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 31
The Municipal Corporation has decided to have public participation in the management of the community centres in the city. The policy provides for the constitution of a governing body headed by the area councillor where there are more than 50 members.

The body will be responsible for the day-to-day management of the community centres. The members of the community centre can elect three members from amongst themselves for representation in the body. The residents can register themselves as lifetime members by paying a one-time subscription fee of Rs 1000 or pay Rs 500 as admission fee and Rs 50 as the monthly fee. The income received from the bookings of these centres and other activities will be shared between the governing body and the Municipal Corporation in 75:25 ratio.

The governing bodies were constituted in eight community centres during the tenure of the last House.

Meanwhile, the corporation has also decided to upgrade the community centres which are under its control. The kitchens and toilets, which were in bad shape, are being upgraded and renovated in 23 community centres. The centres in Sector 8,15,16, 18, 19, 20, 27, 29, 33, 35, 37, 38, 40, 41, 44, 45, 46, 47, Ramdarbar Colony, Mauli Jagran Colony, Maloya Colony, Palsora Colony and Indira Colony are on the anvil for upgradation.



Rising temperature can hit wheat yield
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 31
The rapidly rising day temperature in the wheat-producing region of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh has set the alarm bells ringing in the Union Government.

Such a rise in the day temperature at this stage is harmful for the wheat crop. It can hit the wheat yield in a big way, say agricultural experts. Even the night temperature has crossed 10 degrees C. Again, it is a bad development for the wheat crop.

Sources said the Union Government had convened a meeting tomorrow of senior officers of Punjab, Haryana and other states to assess the impact of the rising temperature on the crop. At the meeting, the issue of availability of fertiliser will also be discussed.

In the Punjab, Haryana and Delhi region, the temperature started rising on January 16. Except yesterday, when various parts of this region had light to moderate rain, the temperature had been on the rise for the past two weeks. Yesterday, at certain places like Ludhiana and Patiala, the day temperature went down by 4 degrees Celsius. However, again today it jumped to 24 degrees C in the two cities. In City Beautiful, the temperature was 25 degrees C.

At the last weekend, the day temperature had gone up to 29 degrees C. The night temperature has crossed 10 degrees C in Chandigarh and places in Punjab and Haryana.

The early onset of the summer can harm the wheat crop in a big way. It will impede the tillering of the crop which will mature early. Rising temperature affects the formation of healthy grain in wheat plants.



Jasjit’s wife, aunt campaign in Mohali
Our Correspondent

Mohali, January 31
Mrs Sanjit Kaur and Mrs Harpreet Kaur Gill, wife and aunt respectively, of the SAD-BJP candidate, Mr Jasjit Singh, have started a door-to-door campaign and meet women voters in the constituency.

Today both of them first inaugurated an eye camp at gurdwara Angitha Sahib and later on made two groups for canvassing. Mrs Sanjit Kaur campaigned in Matour village where she went door-to-door for seeking votes for her husband. Later she went to Sector 71 where she addressed an election meeting and later went from door-to-door in Phase 2. Then she attended a well organised meeting in Phase 11.

The second group was headed by Mrs Harpreet Kaur Gill, sister of Capt Kanwaljit Singh, who held a meeting with the ex employees of Punwire.



Inquiry against PNRC demanded
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 31
A Punjab and Haryana High Court lawyer, J.S. Brar, has demanded an inquiry commission to look into the functioning of the Punjab Nurses Registration Council (PNRC) and its connivance with the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, and the Deputy Chief Minister, Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal.

Addressing mediapersons in Sector 17, Mr Brar and Mr Surinder Bhardwaj, city president, Janta Dal United, alleged that the CM and the Deputy Chief Minister had misutilised public money in the past five years. The duo had also minted huge money in granting permission to various nursing colleges affiliated with the PNRC, they alleged.

Mr Brar said the politicians and bureaucrats played a major role in granting the permission for admissions of students to different nursing colleges. Even, the PNRC president, Mr J.S. Dalal, had to face the heat after he refused to bend before them.



Rally organised by SPCA

Chandigarh, January 31
As a part of celebration of the Animal Welfare Fortnight, the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) organised a rally to make people aware of the prevention of cruelty to animals and their welfare, here today.

Holding banners and placards, over 100 students from Sharda Sarvahitkari Senior Secondary School, Sector 40, BHS Arya High School, Sohana, and the members of the SPCA participated in the rally that passed through Sector 22 market before it culminated at Plaza in Sector 17. Dr S.K. Sharma, Patron of the SPCA, who was the chief guest, flagged off the rally at Nehru Park, Sector 22. Mr Sharma highlighted the activities of the SPCA and stressed on the need for involvement of students and citizens in campaign for prevention of cruelty to animals.

Mr Jasbir Ralhan, former president, SPCA, and Dr J.C. Kochar, the senior vice- president, SPCA, also spoke on the occasion. — TNS



Former chairman of NHPC dead

Chandigarh, January 31
Former Chairman and Managing Director of the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) Budh Singh Kochar died at his Sector 11 residence here on January 28.

Born in 1924 in Sargodha district, he graduated from Benaras Hindu University in 1947 in electrical and mechanical engineering, where he was awarded two gold medals.

He started his career as an assistant engineer with the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) in 1949 and rose to the level of the Chairman and Managing Director of the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC).

He is survived by his wife Harbans Kaur, two daughters and a son. — TNS



Fatehabad DC’s house burgled
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 31
Thieves decamped with valuables from the official residence of the Deputy Commissioner, Fatehabad, Mr O.P. Sheoran, in Sector 6 here. The family members had been away to Fatehabad since January 18. The theft came to light when one of them returned last night.

The thieves had broken open the lock of the front door to gain entry into the house. The broken latch and the lock were found lying there. The thieves had broken open the locks of the bedrooms and ransacked the house.

There was a hectic activity outside the house since morning as police personnel stood guard and teams of the CSFL staff, fingerprint experts and police photographers took turns to visit the place. Mr Sheoran's son, Mr Pankaj Sheoran, said three sets of gold ornaments, one silver figurine, three Titan watches and some credit cards were among the things missing from the house.

However, a complete list of the missing items would be available only after the entire family returned. Mr Pankaj Sheoran said he did not suspect anybody. A case has been registered under Section 457 and 380 of the IPC.



FM, TV channel to jointly produce air show first time in history
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 31
Big 92.7 FM and IBN 7 have, for the first time in the history of Indian media entertainment joined hands for one of the most awaited musical shows -- "The Big Show -- Crazy Kiya Re". This is the first time an FM station and a TV channel have come together to co-produce a show which will be broadcast on radio as well as aired on TV. The show will be hosted by radio jockey Anirudh of Big 92.7 FM who, according to a recent survey, has emerged as the second most popular RJ in Mumbai.

The show is not just a one-off show as it comprises 13 episodes featuring some of India's best singers. This is also an opportunity for listeners to meet their favourite RJ and singers at the same time as they attend the shoot as the studio audience. Anyone wishing to be part of the studio audience of the show can SMS 5454 as Big 92.7 FM is currently running its on-air contests wherein the listeners can key in and get straight to the show's sets.

As regards the programme content, it is a high-strung chat show featuring live performances by talented artistes. The show is in an hour-long episode, accompanied by a top music band. The weekly show will also have a short chitchat with the RJ on various interesting aspects of the singer's life; will entertain viewers with their favourite songs. There will be six segments of the show and will have at least six different songs suing by the guest. The top line-up of guests for the show includes singers Kunal Ganjawala, Shreya Ghosal, Sudesh Bhosle and Sunidhi Chauhan, among others.

About the show, RJ Anirudh today said, "I am thrilled and very excited about my new responsibility. The new musical game show will help me in attempting to connect and reach out to my listeners once more." Arun Chakravarthy, Head, Marketing, Big 92.7 FM said, "Our association with IBN7 for such an exciting and appealing show will definitely give our FM station an opportunity to reach out to millions of listeners."



Franchising awards announced
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 31
Franchise Plus' Magazine and the Franchise Association of India (FAI) today announced the nominations open for the "Indian Franchising Awards, 2007".

The award is an initiative to identify and recognise best practices in the business of franchising in India by honouring outstanding players with a proven record of exceptional success across various categories.

Mr C. Y. Pal, president, FAI, informed TNS, "The franchise market in India is estimated to be around USD 2.7 billion with over 700 franchise systems already operating. The franchise industry is expected to grow by 35 per cent per annum. With the growth of entrepreneurial skills in India and also rise in income, it is a potential breading ground for franchising industry. The retail revolution has brought many brands to India and franchising industry provides it the required resources to expand in a vast country like India."

The Franchising Association of India (FAI) was formed about five years ago to promote the concept of Franchising in India and today boasts of a growing list of members that includes industry majors Aptech, Pepsi, McDonalds, Subway, Kodak, Vitesse, Apollo Healthcare, Lakme, NIIT and The Bombay Store to name a few. FAI is also a member of the prestigious World Franchise Council.



SBI employee honoured
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 31
The Panchkula district administration has honoured Mr S.C. Dhall, branch head of State Bank Of Patiala’s main branch at Kalka for his outstanding work in the field of banking. Mr Dhall has already received three awards from the Chief General Manager of the bank for his contribution to and promoting ATM culture, government business and insurance business.



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