C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Conversion pangs persist
Zoning control gets loose
But rules on facade remain
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 28
Almost 18 months after the industrial conversion policy was launched, the Chandigarh administration is having serious reservations on relaxing crucial architectural controls over converted sites in Industrial Area, Phase II.

Now, the administration has decided that those having plots measuring up to two kanals will have to adhere to the architectural rules on the façade and the sky line. Relaxing the rules on the façade would disturb the sky line, the architecture department was of the opinion.

The relaxations will help the applicants build the sites as per their needs while adhering to the broader framework. — Administration
Since our requirements are different, we should be allowed to change the façade as per our needs. — Stakeholder

The decision would also apply to those who have got their building plans sanctioned. “There were several problems regarding the architectural controls, which do not permit changes as sought by the stakeholders-parking, ventilation and light,” said a senior official. However, the applicant would be allowed a choice in the use of material for the façade.

At the same time, zoning control of converted sites has been relaxed. Sources in the administration said with this, the sites had been placed on a par with the converted sites in Industrial Area, Phase I.

Stakeholders had sought modifications to suit their needs. The relaxations, which are in consonance with the conversion policy, would help the applicants build the sites as per their needs while adhering to the broader framework.

“Since our requirements are different, we should be allowed to change the façade as per our needs”, said a stakeholder. Certain relaxations in the basement of the converted sites are in the pipeline.

Applicants’ consent

Those seeking conversion will have to give consent regarding adherence to the architectural controls while applying to the Chandigarh Housing Board. This would apply to those having plots up to two kanals.



Stem cell therapy puts him on his legs again
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 28
A 33-year-old man was able to walk after the first successful application of stem cell therapy for a spinal cord injury, here at the PGI.

It was a significant recovery as Uggarsain, a resident of Malkon village of Patiala district, was able to walk as well as control his urine and bowel movements in less than three months after the treatment performed, said professor Raj Bahadur, orthopaedics, PGI. His body was paralysed below the waist due to a severe spinal cord injury.

Till 1942, patients with this type of injuries were considered incurable, but with advancements in medical science, surgeries were carried out to treat patients with spinal cord injuries. However, in majority of cases, complete recovery was not possible, informed Bahadur.

“We injected stem cells taken from the bone marrow of the patient’s olfactory mucosa and injected them near the injured spot,” informed Raj Bahadur.

The stem cells regenerate themselves and become an integral part of the region, thus helping in recovery.

The collection of stem cells involves major ethical complications as these could be taken from ovam, placenta and bone marrow. “However taking stem cells from bone marrow extracted from the body of patient has negligible ethical issue.”

“I was working at a construction site when I fell down from the roof in December 20 last and injured my back bone and lost all sensation in my legs,” said Uggarsain.

Now I can even climb stairs as I started walking in the beginning of this month, said Uggarsain, adding that he spent more than Rs one lakh for the treatment.



Disability unfriendly city
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 28
The status of inclusive education for disabled children in the city is dismal, according to a study conducted to find out the level of disabled children joining mainstream education.

Only 26 of the 35 schools sought to be sampled cooperated for the exercise. In the schools that cooperated, the percentage of disabled children was a poor 0.25 of the total number of students enrolled.

The total strength of students in these schools was 27, 319. Out of this number, 64 were found to be disabled, girls being the most neglected. Their number was 23 as compared to 41 boys.

Out of the 64 such children, just one was found suffering from profound disability, an indication that the system is not yet geared to accept children who suffer extreme disability. As many as 42 children were found to have moderate disability.

Even in terms of teachers’ training, most schools were found wanting. Only eight of them have sponsored their teachers for equipping themselves with skills to deal with disabilities (PWDs) in an inclusive environment.

Only 10 schools were found to have ramps. The study is by J.S. Saini of the National Institute for Technical Teachers Training and Research.



Cop’s son arrested for rape
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 28
A police constable’s son was today arrested on the charge of raping a Sector 56 resident. The four-month pregnant victim alleged that the accused established ties with her on the pretext of marriage, but ditched her after a year.

The SHO of the Sector 26 police station said the accused had been booked for kidnapping, rape and cheating under Sections 366, 376 and 420 of the Indian Penal Code.

The accused, 24-year-Balwinder Singh of Sector 26 Police Colony, has been referred to the Sector 16 General Hospital for medical examination.

City-based advocate and human rights activist Arvind Thakur told TNS that the victim approached him after the police refused to pay heed to her pleas.

SHO of the Sector 26 police station inspector Mani Ram Kadiyan said the victim met Balwinder Singh, who ran a shop in Bapu Dham Colony, in February last year and fell in love with him. Balwinder promised to marry her. They lived together in a rented accommodation in Kishangarh village for about four months.



Class IX boy crushed to death

Chandigarh, March 28
A 16-year-old boy was crushed to death at the Sector 43 ISBT early this morning. The police said the victim, Amit Kumar of Sector 20, was coming out of the bus stand on his motorcycle form the wrong side when the accident took place.

The bus driver fled after the mishap. Sources at the ISBT police post told TNS that the accident occurred at 6.30 am. The victim was killed on the spot. Though he was wearing a safety helmet, he suffered severe head injuries. He had gone to the bus stand to drop his sister, who was to leave for Ropar.

Eyewitnesses said the boy made an exit from the entry gate of the bus stand and the bus coming from the opposite direction (HR-68-7232) on high speed crashed into the motorcycle, dragging the vehicle up to a distance of about 25 yards before coming to a halt.

The police rushed the victim to the Sector 16 General Hospital, where the doctors declared him “brought dead.” Son of Chandigarh Police head constable Tilak Raj, Amit was studying at the Sector 20 Government School in Class IX.

The body was handed over to the family after post-mortem. A case of causing death due to rash and negligent driving has been registered. — TNS



Youth succumbs to injuries
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 28
The 25-year-old boy who lost his legs in an accident yesterday, succumbed to his injuries at the PGIMER here today.

The victim, Ravinder from Bihar, was reportedly listening to music on his walkman and failed to notice an approaching train, which severed his legs.



IAF mulls short service enrolment for airmen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 28
To check supersession and stagnation in its rank and file, the IAF has proposed introduction of short service enrolment for airmen. Under this, airmen would serve for 10 years with the option of further extension in service. This is part of several steps recommended by Air Headquarters to generate vacancies in the higher levels for meritorious personnel below officer rank (PBOR) and ensuring career progression.

Under the proposal, approximately 40 per cent of the total recruitment every year would be through the short service enrolment scheme (SSE), though the figure may vary depending upon the trade and available vacancies. The SSE airmen would not be entitled to pension, but would get 24 months emoluments on leaving the service. Extension of service would depend solely on Air Force requirements.

According to a recent IAF in-house newsletter, the proposal has been sent to the Defence Ministry for approval. Other aspect of the proposal include cutting down on the minimum service required for next promotion at different levels. A requirement also exists to lower the average age profile in the Air Force. In the changing scenario, quality recruitment can only be carried out if the potential applicants know that promotional prospects and better and faster for meritorious candidates, the newsletter states.

The said proposal came about because of the necessity of not only streamlining cadre management, but also to provide for promotional opportunities and a minimum assured rank to all airmen. In the absence of such a proposal, promotion, even to the rank of sergeant would be difficult as no vacancies may exist, the newsletter adds. The proposal would ensure that a fit airman would retire from the service with the minimum rank of junior warrant officer.

Air Headquarters has also taken up a case with the Defence Ministry for releasing banned establishment vacancies and for an increase in the overall establishment. The increase in vacancies in the higher level, if approved, would mean that lesser number of individuals would be denied extension in service.



Consumers’ Rights
Doctors promoting brands, says ADC
Our Correspondent

Mohali, March 28
Certain doctors have been promoting drugs of particular brands, additional deputy commissioner Ajoy Sharma said at a function organised by the Consumers Protection Forum to mark World Consumers’ Rights Day here today.

Sharma said certain doctors had a nexus with drug manufacturing companies and they prescribed drugs of those companies only. The patient had the right to question the doctor and request him not to prescribe medicines of a particular brand only. The profession of a doctor was considered very noble, but for the past about 10 years deterioration in moral values of certain doctors had been witnessed, he added.

He appealed to the gathering to create awareness in society about consumer rights.

Director of the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) Anil Kumar Arora said Indian markets were flooded with Chinese goods giving local manufacturers a tough time. He said now it had been decided that only those Chinese goods would be allowed to be sold in India, which had the ISI mark.

Renuka B. Salwan, deputy director, BIS, laid stress on the importance of the ISI mark. She said in most cases the entire product did not have the required quality mark but only a part of it had the ISI mark. Such products should not be purchased. Consumers should only purchase hallmarked gold jewellery as it guaranteed quality.

Sales officer from the Indian Oil Corporation Smir Shukla said it was not mandatory for a customer to purchase a gas stove and a pipe from the gas agency that gave him the LPG connection. While taking delivery of a gas cylinder, the consumer should get its weight, seal checked from the delivery boy. If he was not satisfied, he could complain to the gas agency.



Rally flagged off to Pak
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 28
Demonstrating the underlying unity and oneness of the South-Asia region, Punjab Governor and UT administrator Gen S.F. Rodrigues, flagged off the SAARC car rally for its onward journey to Pakistan through the Wagah border.

The rally was flagged off by Gen Rodrigues at the Open Hand Monument, an important tourist spot of the city.

Gen Rodrigues wished the participants success in their mission.

The rally began from Bangladesh with about 30 Tata Safaris and over 100 participants and is scheduled to cover over 8000 kms covering Bangladesh, India, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Maldives over a period of one month.




Incorrigible babus

Apropos the Chandigarh Tribune survey on office latecomers in the second week of March, I would like to draw your attention to the nagging issues of rampant corruption and 'who-cares' attitude among staff members of almost all government offices.

It is unfortunate that in this age of cut-throat competition, where private players are in abundance, old babudom still prevails in government offices. More often than not, babus sit on files, waiting for gratification. I suggest that your newspaper carries out a survey of such institutions and highlight the problem. Perhaps the fear of shame will make the babus more responsible and accountable for their actions.

Rakesh Sharma, Panchkula

Colourful neighbourhood

It is good to find more visual elements on pages of Chandigarh Tribune. But I feel that pages carrying more news and more pictures are generally in black and white. Colour pages are full of advertisements. If possible, make the ‘Neighbourhood’ page in colour. It will lead to more equitable distribution of advertisements on all pages.

V. Nath, Chandigarh

Positive stories, please

On some days, all that the newspaper have are suicides, murders, rapes and scandals. Please reserve some space for positive news.

K.K. Sharma, Patiala



Idols stolen from Harmohan Dhawan’s home
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 28
Thieves decamped with three brass idols from the Sector 9 residence of former union minister and president of Chandigarh Vikas Manch, Harmohan Dhawan, last night.

Dhawan said the idols were more than 20 years old and were worth around Rs 1.50 lakh. “We had recently reduced the height of a hedge on the boundary wall of our house. It is because of this that the idols were visible from outside and caught the eyes of the thieves.”

A case of theft has been registered in this regard.

LCD missing

P.B. Malhotra, head of the department of mechanical engineering, Punjab Engineering College, Sector 12, lodged a complaint with the police alleging that an LCD projector had been missing from a classroom of the department between March 23 and 26. A case of theft has been registered.

Caught stealing

Four minor boys were caught red-handed this morning while they were stealing the cable of a private telecommunication operator in Sector 44.

The police said the accused were unaware of the fact that the cable was attached to an automatic surveillance system which rings an alarm when the cables were disturbed or cut. As soon as the boys cut the cables, the alarm rang and an official reached there and nabbed the boys. Being minors, the accused were produced before a court, which sent them to a juvenile home.

Meanwhile, Pankaj Sohal of Sector 32 reported to the police alleging that his motorcycle (CH-03-W-5644) was stolen from his residence on the night of March 1. In another incident, Inderjit Singh of Sector 41 lodged a complaint alleging that his motorcycle (CH-03-K-1103) was stolen on Monday night.

Two separate cases of thefts have been registered.

Laptop gone

Dinesh Kalwat of Modern Housing complex, Mani Majra, lodged a complaint alleging that his laptop was stolen from his car, which was parked at the Sahib Singh parking lot, on Tuesday. A case of theft has been registered.



60 mobile phones stolen from shop
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 28
A theft of 60 mobile phones was reported from a shop in Sector 8, here today. The owner of the showroom, in his complaint, said that mobile phones worth Rs 5.5 lakh and cash to the tune of Rs 40 lakh was stolen from the shop. The police said that the shutters of the shop were locked when they arrived at the scene of the crime.

According to the police, the theft would need thorough investigation since the theft took place in a locked showroom.



Biz clips

e-bikes outlet:
Hero electric bikes - a joint venture between Hero Electric and Ultra Motors - today opened an exclusive outlet of e-bikes (battery operated bicycles and scooters) in Sector 23 and Industrial Area, Panchkula. The outlet was inaugurated by managing director of Hero Cycles Vijay Munjal. There are seven versions of the scooters and bikes available. The bikes ranged from Rs 14,500-19,500 while the price range of e-scooters was between Rs 22,400 and 27,000. — TNS

Celebrations: Dell’s customer support centre at Mohali completed two years of its operations today. Site director Vivek Mathur congratulated the centre employees for their contributions and highlighted the accomplishments of the centre. — TNS



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