C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

22-yr-old crushed to death
Tribune News Service

Ranjna Jha
Ranjna Jha

Chandigarh, September 8
Two persons, including a 22-year-old woman, were killed in two separate road accidents in the past less than 24 hours. Besides this, two motorcyclists were hurt after being knocked down by a truck. The woman was crushed to death by a Haryana Roadways Bus (Hr-61-2623) in Sector 21 this afternoon.

The deceased woman, identified as Ranjana Jha of Baltana village, was doing M.Sc in bio-technology from Punjab Technical University.

The accident took place at around 1 pm when the victim was on her way to her institute in Manimajra on her scooter after meeting her father in Sector 22. According to eyewitnesses, the woman and the bus were coming from Aroma traffic light point. Both the vehicles were moving parallel to each other and had to take a turn from the slip road to come on Chandigarh-Ambala road from the Piccadilly rotary. The bus driver, who was not aware of the scooter moving on the right hand side of his vehicle near the rear tyres, steered his bus to right side and in process hit the scooter. The woman lost her balance and fell in front of the rear tyres of the bus while her scooter fell in opposite direction.

Ranjana was crushed to death and the bus driver fled from the spot leaving his vehicle behind. Eyewitnesses alleged that the bus was being driven rashly. Passers-by found her mobile phone and informed her father about the incident. The victim’s father K.K. Jha reached the spot in no time and was shocked to see the gruesome sight. The police shifted the body to the Sector 16 Government Multi Speciality Hospital (GMSH). The police has registered a case of causing death due to rash and negligent driving against the bus driver.

In another accident, the police said a rashly driven unidentified Tata 406 vehicle knocked down a scooterist and two motor cycle riders near PGI on the road leading to Khuda Lahora Village, late last night.

Quoting Rajinder Singh, a security guard at PGI, the police said the truck hit the scooter before colliding with the motor cycle.

The scooterist, 32-year-old Mohan Lal of Khudda Lahora died on the spot while the motorcyclists identified as Gagan and Uttam of the same village were seriously hurt. They were rushed to the PGI, where the condition of Gagan was stated to be critical. A case of causing death due to rash and negligent driving has been registered in this connection against the unidentified driver.

In another incident, a motorcyclist, Jagpal Singh of Phase II, Mohali reported to the police that he suffered injuries after being hit by a Toyota Innova (CH-02-2150) near Sector 36 and 37 traffic light point, this morning. He was admitted to the GMSH. A case has been registered.



DLF mall gives eco clearance the go-by
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
DLF city centre, a shopping mall-cum-multiplex is coming up at the Rajiv Gandhi Chandigarh Technology Park (RGCTP) here without the mandatory environmental clearance.

Raising the issue, the regional office of the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests has sought comments of the Chandigarh Administration. The ministry has clarified that for a mall, environmental clearance was mandatory.

The mall, comprising a shopping mall, food courts and a multiplex, is scheduled to be inaugurated soon. A large hoarding inviting booking of space board has been put up in the DLF complex. Two malls are scheduled to come in the Phase I and Phase II of the IT Park. Though no official at the local office of the developer was ready to come on record to talk about the issue, an official of company said as per a notification of the ministry, no clearance was required from the ministry.

The mall building is adjacent to the premises of the DLF Info City Developers, a joint venture of the DLF and Chandigarh Administration and was inaugurated in May 2005 to provide infrastructure and IT related services

Incidentally, the issue of approving the revised building plan for the mall is coming up in a meeting of the Chandigarh Administration’s empowered committee on special projects, scheduled to be held next week. “Since the developer had made certain changes in the building plans, a revised building plan has to be approved”, said an official in the administration.

Enquiries by the Chandigarh Tribune reveal that the issue came to light after a team of senior officials of the ministry visited the IT park. On being asked, the developer informed the ministry that a mall was being constructed in place of a multi-utility block.

Malls to add to the load on infrastructure

Although the administration has, in its tentative layout plan for phase III of the IT park, said hotel, residential or mall sites would be allowed, already two malls one being developed by the DLF and the other proposed to be come in the PrideAsia, a residential and commercial complex being developed by Parsavnath Developers, are bound to put extra pressure on the infrastructure at the IT park.

Apart from those working at the IT park, public inflow into the area is expected to grow many times over. 



Amrik gets bail

Chandigarh, September 8
A local court today released Amrik Singh Randhawa, son of MP Dara Singh, along with his three other accomplices in connection with assaulting his wife Amrita Randhawa, at their Sector 8 residence, here on Friday.

The police said Amrik along with Gur Rattan Singh Aulakh and two friends, advocate, Kanwar Pal Singh Cheema and Varinder, were released after they furnished bail bonds of Rs 20,000 each before the district court.



World War III will be over water: CJ 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
Judges are widely perceived to be clinically precise and circumspect in their speech.

But for a pleasant change today, they shed their routine, cautious approach and spoke like men on mission.

And the issue, which prodded them to shed their inhibition, was water scarcity, a catastrophe staring the country.

The occasion was a seminar on ‘Water resources and its future management’ organised by the Asia Pacific Jurist Association (Punjab and Haryana Chapter) in collaboration with the Department of Laws, Panjab University, at the Law Auditorium of the university.

Justice Arijit Pasayat, judge, Supreme Court of India, highlighted, in an overwhelmingly satirical tone, lack of vision and policy on the part of the authorities concerned to tackle the threat of water scarcity looming large over the country.

“In the apex court, I noticed that almost 50 per cent of murder cases from Punjab were grounded in battles over water,” Justice Pasayat said amidst peels of laughter.

But hidden behind this humour is a bitter truth. In December 1999 and January 2000, the country witnessed its first water-riot of the century in the region of Saurashtra, Gujarat.

He advocated the need to shun the “chalta hai” attitude and shoulder collective responsibility lest the country plunged into a crisis.

And what may leave one shocked is the fact that there is not a single town in the country, which has required quantity of drinking water.

At least 40 per cent of our population does not get three litres of drinking water which is a minimum needed for survival.

The Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court, Vijender Jain, too stressed on the need to have an effective regulation to ensure preservation of water in particular and check environmental degradation in general.

Speaking with the passion of a social activist, he painted a somber picture of the future if the present trend of wasting precious water continued unabated. “By 2025, a large chunk of our country will face absolute water scarcity.

The third world war will be over water and not territory,” he warned.

The Chief Justice minced no words in blaming the callous attitude of the government and citizenry resulting in misuse and overuse of valuable water resources.

He asserted that it was about time the country has a water-management policy and developed scientific temper.

Justice Anil Kumar of the Delhi High Court, Asia Pacific Jurist Association’s secretary general Atul Lakhanpal, PGI’s director K.K. Talwar, Prof Shashi Sharma, chairman, Department of Laws, Panjab University, too spoke on the issue.

Punjab Advocate-General H.S. Mattewal, Haryana Advocate-General H.S. Hooda, HC Bar Association’s acting president G.S Attariwala and secretary Onkar Singh Batalv were among those present on the occasion.



Ensure media works sans fear: Philip
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
“In view of the important role the media is expected to play - as eyes, ears and conscience of society - there is need for ensuring that it continues to work without fear or hindrance from both state and non-state functionaries,” said A.J. Philip, senior associate editor with The Tribune, while delivering a talk on “Violence against media in South Asia”.

Giving a comprehensive and incisive account of violence against the media in South Asia, Philip said, “Fear of facing the unpleasant truth on the part of both state and non-state players is the main cause behind this.” Giving details of violence against the media in countries of South Asia, he cited various examples of journalists like Kamala Saikia who was killed by ULFA in Assam.

He said the media had changed a lot during the past few decades and market forces were playing a bigger role today. As a result, the media was not as free as it should be.

Veteran journalist Gobind Thukral narrated the experience of the media, especially in Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir and north-eastern states. “In order to make Indian society move in the right direction, we need to achieve the ideal of a free and fearless media,” he said.

Earlier, welcoming the guests, P.C. Dogra, chairman of the Chandigarh Chapter of the Indian Media Centre, said a free and responsible media was necessary for the healthy growth of society.

Proposing a vote of thanks, Ashok Malik, vice-chairman of the centre, said it was committed to involving society in ensuring that the media functioned in a free and unfettered manner.



Farmers object to medicity project
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
The medicity project of the Chandigarh administration has attracted strong objections from the Chandigarh Sanjha Morcha, a group of land owners and farmers who have been protesting against the acquisition of their land for the IT park.

In a letter to the union home minister, the morcha has drawn his attention to the need for setting up of a regulatory authority before projects come up on the periphery of the city.

Jyoti Subramanian, secretary of the morcha, said the acquisitions by the administration in the recent past for the development of the IT park and subsequent handing over of the land to developers like Parsvnath and DLF for huge profits had contributed to the anguish and was creating an atmosphere of unrest and indignation.

The land (where Parsvnath is developing its prestigious Pride Asia project and DLF its multi-crore hotel project) was acquired from the land owner at Rs 10.5 lakh per acre then further auctioned to the developers at Rs 11 crore per acre. 



Mid-term transfer ‘scare’ haunts docs
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 8
With reports that the Civil Hospital here is not to be upgraded to a 200-bed facility in the near future, there is resentment and a scare among doctors that mid-term transfers may be ordered soon adversely affecting their professional work and families.

According to reports in medical circles, the transfer orders, which are expected to be issued next week, are likely to affect at least one-third of the doctors at the hospital.

Many doctors were shifted to the hospital about a year ago in anticipation that it would be upgraded to 200 beds. The health minister is reported to have questioned the need for such upgrading in view of low occupancy at the hospital. Besides, reports indicate that the government, which is facing a financial crunch, may be reluctant to dish out about Rs 8 crore needed for the hospital extension project.

Doctors are worried that efforts are being made at the higher administrative level to affect transfers even in violation of the guidelines of the department of personnel issued on April 13. Under the guidelines, a stay of three and five years may be treated as the minimum and maximum period, respectively, in a particular place. Besides, premature transfers should not be ordered except under the rare circumstances of punishment or clearly spelt out administrative reasons. Further, the doctors say, the transfers and postings of all employees, except those belonging to the departments of education, cooperation and food and civil supplies, should be done from April 15 to May 15.

To back up their arguments against such transfers at this time of year, the doctors also refer to letter of the Punjab chief secretary of August 16 to all financial commissioners, principal secretaries and administrative secretaries stating that the last date for postings and transfers for the year 2007-08 was over and there was a complete ban on mid-term transfers except in cases where it becomes necessary to fill a vacancy as a result of certain eventualities prescribed under the policy guidelines.

The chief secretary’s letter, they say, also points out that the state’s advocate-general has brought to the notice of the government that a large number of writ petitions are coming up before the high court in respect of transfers made by various departments in violation of the policy guidelines on postings and transfers. The letter says that the government has taken these violations “ very seriously.”



Employment Exchange Blues
Candidates called and forgotten
G. S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Sandeep (extreme right), along with other dejected candidates, comes out of the GMSSS-23 in Chandigarh after finding no official there to fill application forms on Saturday.
Sandeep (extreme right), along with other dejected candidates, comes out of the GMSSS-23 in Chandigarh after finding no official there to fill application forms on Saturday.— A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, September 8
It was a day of disappointment for Sandeep, a visually-impaired unemployed aspirant for Hindi Teacher’s post, who came to Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 23 assisted by his sister Radhika to fill his application form, as no official of the employment exchange turned up at the spot.

“Their formalities are quite tedious. Since there was only one post reserved for visually handicapped or physically handicapped person, I couldn’t afford to leave it to chance and rushed for here in no time. Now, I have been told that no such programme has been scheduled for today, ” he rued.

Like Sandeep, there were as many as 40 other candidates, who reached the venue after receiving information through the employment exchange that the fill-in forms for the posts of Hindi Headmaster/Headmistress would be held at GMSSS-23 at 10 am. Since, nothing of the sort was scheduled they found the school locked.

The letter they all got from the employment exchange clearly mentioned that the interview was scheduled for 10 am at GMSSS-23. The letter further stated that failure to report on time would lead to the cancellation of their registration.

One of the candidates Jiwan Jyothi was called for the interview for the post of music teacher and since she was also eligible for the post of Hindi mistress, she was intimated to come on September 10 also. “ I am a teacher in a private school and my one day leave was wasted because of this confusion. I have been asked through another letter sent by the employment exchange to report once more after two days which is again a blunder,” she said.

Kiran Dhawan had come to the city from Faridabad in the morning after getting information through employment exchange letter stating that she would have to report here with her original certificates.

Finding no official at the stipulated time at the venue, they called up DPI (S) Office and soon an official of the education department appeared there only to tell them that the date had been postponed to October 3.



Speaking Out  
Ensure stir doesn’t hit patients

The strike at AIIMS, New Delhi, by doctors last week posed threat to the life of many patients. Now, the technologists’ association at the PGI has decided to go on mass leave in support of its demands. Should employees involved in essential services like in hospitals be allowed to put the life of patients at stake to air their grievances? No, feel prominent city residents, reports Arun Sharma

Harmohan Dhawan Had the PGI authorities handled the situation aptly, employees would have not decided to strike work. However, the employees should ensure that patients don’t suffer because of their agitation.

— Harmohan Dhawan, former union minister 

Ranjan Lakhanpal Employees of hospitals should not be allowed to go on strike like police personnel as they are responsible for taking care of patients. The employees should not even be allowed to form unions in these institutions.

— Ranjan Lakhanpal, lawyer 

Dr B.N.S. Walia Employees should realise their responsibility regarding taking care of patients and desist from measures like strike to raise their demands. All issues should be sorted out on the negotiating table.

— Dr B.N.S. Walia, ex-PGI chief 

Nobody can be allowed to play with the life of innocent patients just to pressurise the authorities to accept their demands.

— Chander Shekhar, ADGP (Law and Order), Punjab



Free eye check-up camp
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8A free eye check-up camp will be organised at Gurdwara Babe-Ke in Sector 53 A, near Furniture Market, from 8.30 am to 12.30 pm tomorrow. Free spectacles will be provided to the needy patients on the spot. Free cataract operations will also be carried out on poor patients.

The camp is being organised by the Sardarni Daljit Kaur Sethi Memorial Charitable Trust, Mohali.




Get the names right

A lot of significance is attached to the name of a place. And an error in displaying the name of a place, especially when those in positions of power have slipped up, leads to a loss in image. The fact that wrong signboards are donning the city has been highlighted by your paper. The UT information technology director had stated that the signboards of Rajiv Gandhi Chandigarh Technology Park would read as precisely this. However, the office of UT chief engineer has slipped up again. A signboard erected near the Sector 26 market, which earlier read as ‘Chandigarh Technology Park’, now reads ‘Rajiv Gandhi Technology Park’ - with ‘Chandigarh’ conspicuously missing. How long will the administration take to get the names right?

R.K. Garg Chandigarh

Readers are invited to write to us. Send your mail, in not more than 200 words, at news@tribuneindia.com or, write in, at: Letters, Chandigarh Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh – 160 030



Quiz Contest
OBC team gets the answers right
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
Manish Sinha, Vivek Mittal and Anand Prasad from Oriental Bank of Commerce bagged the winners’ trophy of ‘XquizIT 2007 - A Corporate Challenge Quiz’, organised by CII, in association with UT’s Department of Tourism, here today. Karumbaiahm Palachanda, Venita Sajwan, and Rajesh T Nair of Dell International Services and K.M. Prashant, Sujit Verkey and Chandan Shahi from the National Thermal Power Corporation were the 1st and 2nd runners-up, respectively.

In a parallel round organised for the institutes, Deepak Gauri, U. Veer and S Sridharan from Thapar University were declared winners, whereas Varun, Samrat and Anaswar from Symbiosis Institute of Business Management and Ruchi Sharma, Karandeep S. Kapany and Gaurav Chibbar from Panjab University bagged the second and third prizes, respectively.

Quizmaster Andrew Scolt and associate quiz master Derek O’Brian kept the participants on tenterhooks with questions from a wide variety of subjects. CII Chandigarh Council chairman Partap K Aggarwal gave away the prizes. 



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