C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Cops set the pitch for ODI
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 3
Making elaborate security arrangements for the one-day international between India and Australia on October 8, the Chandigarh Police today said 1,200 police personnel would be put on the job. Besides this, 300 security guards of a private agency will assist the policemen to streamline the entire security process.
  • 1,200 cops, 300 guards of pvt co. on security job
  •   No road to be blocked permanently for match Exception: Stretch between   Sectors 16, 23
  •   Four ambulances around the stadium
  •   Six cops, 4 security guards at all nine entry gates 

SSP (Traffic) A.S. Ahlawat told TNS that 1,200 policemen, including 12 DSPs and 43 inspectors would ensure hassle-free entry to the spectators and also supervise sitting arrangements. As many as 300 security guards of a private security company would assist the cops and would be deployed outside the fencing.

Four ambulances would be deployed around the stadium for any emergency. All 11 blocks of the stadium would be supervised by the DSP-level officers.

Ahlawat claimed that no road would be blocked permanently during the match, except the road stretch between Sectors 16 and 23 from the small rotary to the Stadium Chowk. Long-route buses coming from Ropar would be allowed from Kisan Bhavan Chowk to Piccadilly Chowk and then diverted toward the ISBT. Similarly, buses coming from Pinjore and Ambala would be allowed to enter from Udyog Path (ITI turn).

Police personnel would be deployed at 17 points on the road leading to the stadium to guide visitors to their specific blocks to check chaos. All nine entry gates to the stadium would be manned by six policemen and four private security guards

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Special buses

Chandigarh, October 3
Special buses will ferry spectators from different parts of the city to the Sector 16 stadium.

“The extra buses during the morning and evening hours on October 8 is to discourage the use of personal vehicles to reach the venue and reduce traffic chaos,” said ADC I.S. Sandhu.

“We are meeting tomorrow to discuss the issue. Parking lots of some blocks are at a distance of about 1km.We may consider special buses to help spectators cover the distance,” he said.

The interesting fact is that the parking lot of ‘G’ block, where the ticket rate is Rs 3,000 per person, has been earmarked in Sector 10 near the museum, which is at least 1km far from the stadium. For ‘F’ block (Rs 250), the parking arrangements have been made at the Parade Ground, just opposite the stadium.

Similarly, those with tickets worth Rs 2,500 have to cover more distance on foot than ticket holders of the general blocks (Rs 250).

The adminstration has made arrangements for over 11,000 vehicles in 10 parking lots. Each parking lot will have a sticker of the colour of the ticket as well as that of the entry gate.

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Dengue claims life of girl; authorities mum

Chandigarh, October 3
Nagma, (14), a resident of Sector 32 here, who was being treated at the PGI for dengue, died early this morning. The health authorities did not confirm the death.

Family sources said Nagma was admitted to Government Multispeciality Hospital, Sector 16, on Saturday. As her condition deteriorated, she was referred to the PGI the following day. After reported kidney failure, she died at 3.30 am. Health services director Dr M.S. Bains said they were yet to confirm the address of the victim.

The health authorities have ambiguous regarding the total number of patients suffering from dengue in the city. This has been so right from the beginning when the first five patients of dengue were reported at the PGI on September 26.

Information on the number of patients given by the health services chief and the department officials on vector-borne diseases has been contradictory. — TNS

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Man dies in accident
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 3
A 65-year-old man today lost his life in a road accident near New Barricade on the dividing road of Sectors 2 and 3. He was riding a motorcycle, which collided with a scooter.

He suffered severe head injuries and was admitted to PGI in the morning. He succumbed to his injuries in the evening.

The victim has been identified as Gyan Singh of Dera Bassi. The accident took place at around 10:30 am when his motorcycle collided with a scooter being driven by a woman, Mini Grover, who is a final-year student of Punjab Engineering College. She escaped with minor injuries. A police officer said Gyan Singh was bleeding profusely when he was taken to the hospital and later fell unconscious.

The police traced his family and informed them about the mishap. The victim was a farmer. The police registered a case of causing death due to rash and negligent driving. 

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Child adoption on the rise
Reason: Infertility due to high-stress jobs
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

  • Infertility problems strike 1 in 3 women aged above 35
  •   One in 25 males has a low sperm count; 1 in 35 is sterile
  •   One in every 6 couples is infertile
  •   In 40 per cent cases, the problem lies with the male

Chandigarh, October 3
Child adoption in the city has touched an all-time high. There is no child at the Missionaries of Charity in Sector 23 for adoption.

Each of the four newborn at the home, the authorised centre for adoption in Chandigarh, is in the process of being handed over to prospective parents.

This is a sea change from the past when at least 20 children would be lodged at the home, waiting for adoption. Not any more.

“We are now registering couples who are in the queue for adoption. We appeal to parents who can’t look after their children for any reason to relinquish them at the home. The rising incidence of infertility remains the leading cause for high adoption. We are getting many young couples,” Madhu Singh, member, Chandigarh Child Welfare Committee, says.

The trend reflects the lifestyle problems that modern-day couples face. An increasing number of couples are facing infertility problems due to four major causes, say doctors. These are late marriages, high stress occupations, separate living, especially during the fertile period, and congenital complications, which can only be corrected if detected in time.

Attendance at the PGI’s infertility clinic has increased three-fold in 10 years. The clinic at the gynaecology department gets 40 to 50 persons per day.

“The numbers are huge and show how young couples, especially ambitious ones, are unconsciously inviting trouble. Our advice to them is -- live together to make use of fertile period and avoid stress as fertility is regulated by the brain. Late marriages should be avoided to avoid erratic ovulation. Those under 35 should seek treatment for infertility if they haven’t been pregnant after 12 months of regular sex; for those over 35, the threshold is six months instead of 12,” says a gynaecologist.

Dr A.K. Mandal, in charge, male infertility clinic at PGI’s urology department, says:“There has been an increase in the number of young men facing infertility; most of it is stress-related. Another problem is the low success rate of infertility management. Even the world’s best centres have ensured healthy babies only in 30 to 40 per cent such cases. No wonder then that people are preferring adoptions.

“Most of our visitors are in well-paying jobs like the IT and call centres, and they have unimaginably high stress levels. The next time you work long, remember the damage you are causing to your health.”

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Operation Sadbhavna
Kargil kids’ date with City Beautiful
G. S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 3
It was a real treat for the 20 children from Army Goodwill School, Kargil, who today paid a visit to City Beautiful.

Accompanied by an Army officer and two personnel, the kids, between 10 to 15 years of age, were excited to find new friends in the visually impaired children at the Sector 26 Institute for Blind, which was their first halt in Chandigarh.

Major Vineet Singh informed that this excursion trip to Chandigarh and Dehradun has been organised by the Army under the programme ‘Operation Sadbhavna’ to acquaint these children with the diversity of our country.

Major Singh informed that there is complete normalcy in Kargil now. “Children go to schools and are involved in all kinds of activities, be it sports or cultural programmes. The government too, provide infrastructure for the purpose,” he added.

The kids are, as expected, very excited about the visit which happens to be their first.

Syed Iftikhaar (11) and Mohammad Yusuf (15) were aware of the peaceful atmosphere and architectural splendour of the city, thanks to television and newspapers, but were absolutely thrilled to see its planned setting, neat and clean roads and organised traffic. “It is truly a heaven,” they exclaimed.

Fun part apart, the kids have also learnt an important lesson of their lives from the special children of the blind institute. “The hardships that we face back home is nothing as compared to the difficulties these children have to deal with, in their lives. Still they are happy and working towards their goals. I wish they could see us,” said Nissar Hussain (11).

The students of the institute presented a cultural programme and treated their guests to the beats of dhol, orchestra and sitar vadan.

Director, tourism, Chandigarh administration, Vivek Atray, was the chief guest on the occasion.

“These memories will definitely be cherished by our guests for a long time and I urge the administration to invite more children for such trips,” opined General Rajindra Nath, chairman of the Blind Institute. 

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Workshop on adolescent health from Oct 4
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 3
The Rajiv Gandhi National Institute for Youth Development and UNIFEM, in collaboration with Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangthan under the ministry of youth affairs and sports, will be organising a capacity building training workshop on adolescent health and development at CYP Asia Centre, Chandigarh, from October 4-11.

The main objective of this workshop is to focus on holistic development of the adolescents and to emphasise their role in community building activities at large.

The training workshop would be attended by 60 zonal project officers, district project officer and district youth coordinators of NYK from north India working for adolescent health and development project of the ministry.

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Telecom company’s festive mood costs customer
Man charged for sending SMSes, which the company had offered him as ‘free’, due to Janamashtmi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 3
The message is loud and clear: think before you use the text message (SMS) services of various telephone companies during the festive season.

Satinder Singh, a subscriber of Spice Telecom came to understand this when he was asked to pay a bill for sending SMSes to relatives during Janamashtami. He had sent the messages believing he was entitled to 2,000 free SMSes per month as part of a mobile service package he had subscribed to.

But he received a call from the Spice Telecom Company to deposit his mobile phone bill at the earliest. The last date of making the payments of the bill was September 15. The executive of the telecom company told him that he had sent SMSes worth more than Rs 700 in one day.

Satinder was shocked to know this, as he believed his usage was much less. Nonetheless he deposited the bill out of the fear of disconnection of the phone.

Satinder filed a petition before the chairman, Public Utility Services, wherein he stated that though he had subscribed to free SMS scheme he was being charged for sending text messages. He added that in February 2006 the company had approached him with the scheme. Satinder added that being under the impression that free SMS service was available to him, he sent messages to his relatives and friends. He said he later found that the company was charging money for the SMSes during the festive season.

He said, “The executive of the company told me that they had recently started to charge money on SMSes sent during festivals from August 15 this year.”

He said he was charged Rs 1 for each local SMS and Rs 2 for inter-state SMSes. 

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Mohali Mess
Footpaths of most-resistance
Tribune News Service

Mohali, October 3
Residents of this township do not know how it feels to walk on footpaths without tripping on broken tiles. Most footpaths in the township are in a poor condition and it seems like no maintenance work has been carried out to repair these.

The Municipal Council is responsible for maintaining footpaths but it has not done much in this regard.

There are places where footpaths are broken and cannot be used and pedestrians have to get down on the road before getting back on the path again.

In one corner of the Phase-XI market the curve of the footpath has been rendered unusable. The location is on the main artery of the township but it seems the local councillor is not conscious about the state of the footpath. 

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SMO seeks probe against ITBT DIG

Panchkula, October 3
The ITBP deputy commandant SMO, Dr Amitabh, today in a written complaint to the Chandimandir SHO has demanded an inquiry against the ITBP DIG, M.C. Bhatt. He maintained that hours after he sent a communication to the ITBP DG to look into the wrongdoings at the centre, he was manhandled and dragged out of his house by constables at the ITBP’s basic training centre in Ramgarh on Monday.

He alleged his bid to blow the whistle on some wrongdoings triggered the action against him. A group of ITBP men headed by an inspector went to his house and dragged him out of his house. “When I objected, they cited the DG’s order and abused me. When I resisted, they began to thrash me. On this, I raised the alarm and called the police,” he said.

ITBP officials, however, denied this and maintained that the SMO was mentally upset and was undergoing treatment at GMCH-32. He was being taken for treatment to Delhi as per orders received at the centre. Kumar, however, had termed the “treatment theory” a plot to sack him at the behest of Bhatt. — TNS

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Overnight safai abhiyaan falls in deep slumber
Safai karamcharis fail to clean Sec-7 market during hyped drive
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 3
It had the makings of a great ‘abhiyaan’ - motivational speeches, promise of loads of action, the biggies of the city and highly-sophisticated equipment, including brooms. However, the safai abhiyaan in the market of Sector 7 began with a public lecture on the civic sense (or lack of it) of Indians and it ended with all the dirt and trash just where it was in the beginning; thus, rendering the exercise a mere lip service.

According to plans, the safai karamcharis were supposed to clean the market of Sector 7 during the night so that when traders and customers returned in the morning, they would be greeted by a clean place. However, the litter around the market remained there throughout last night, this morning and also today evening. In fact, the abhiyaan had reportedly wrapped up right after broom-wielding officials had posed for pretty pictures.

“As soon as the top brass of the district administration comprising Deputy Commissioner Rajinder Kataria and MC president Seema Chaudhary arrived, a big crowd gathered at the spot. We got a long lecture on how we Indians, who habitually litter our surroundings, change our habit the minute we land in USA. The members of the market association, along with the administration officials, posed for pictures. With that done, the officials zipped away in their respective cars,” a businessman of the area complained.

After that, the sweepers, too, disappeared in search of dinner. And, they never came back.

Initiated by the MC at the instance of the DC, the idea of the ‘abhiyaan’ was to ensure a clean market in the morning. The secretary of the council, O.P. Sihag, said the marketplace was left dirty and stinking at night with piles of rubbish all over the place.

“Night sweeping in the market will mean that the shopkeepers and customers will come to a clean market in the mornings, ensuring a better environment. We began our mission with Sectors 7 and 11. There will be three sweepers in each market. I went and checked the market at 12.30 am and the sweepers were on the job. Though we are short of staff, we have started this drive for the convenience of the public and expect their cooperation,” he said.

The DC, who was present at the launch, maintained that the shopkeepers were enthused about the drive and had given him a positive feedback. “We can’t expect miracles overnight. The drive will catch up and things will settle down. I am sure of the project’s success and it is only a matter of time before it begins to show results,” he justified.

The MC is also planning to appoint a supervisor who would keep a tab on the sweepers cleaning the market and extend the drive to other markets of the city as well.

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CHB to auction EWS flats
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 3
The Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) would auction around 10 lower-income group (LIG) and economic weaker service (EWS) flats in various parts of the city.

The flats, including some in the rehabilitation colony, have been lying unoccupied due to various reasons. All dwelling units are not being auctioned.

The plots to be put under the hammer would be different from the single-room tenements being constructed by the board. It is not for the first time that the board is auctioning HIG and LIG flats. In 2000, it had auctioned dwelling units in Sector 38 (west).

“There could be other instances when HIG, MIG and LIG dwelling units are auctioned by the board, but the EWS flats should not be auctioned as the land is often given to the board on subsidised rates,” feel officials of the Chandigarh administration. In the past, unallotted EWS flats were offered under a fresh scheme after including the liability of the board since the flats were again floated. 

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Fake ration cards Officials to face music
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 3
The district administration is inquiring into the issue of fake ration cards allegedly being made by officials of the food and supplies department.

On the basis of preliminary inquiry, action against erring officials is being planned by the administration. It is for not the first time that such an incident has come to light.

A few months ago, a senior official of the department was arrested by the operation cell of the UT police in connection with fake ration cards.

He was, however, reinstated on the directions of a court. 

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Cause of NCC cadet’s death still unclear
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 3
Three months have passed, but the exact cause of the death of an NCC cadet on his return from a training camp has not been ascertained.

A court of inquiry (COI) conducted into the incident by the NCC authorities feels that the death cannot be attributed to NCC activities, but even then, they are pursuing the matter in the New Delhi office.

The COI, presided by Lt Col Arvinder Singh, CO No.1 Chandigarh NCC Battalion, has stated that no one was to be blamed for the incident.

A 13-year old cadet, Rajat, was a student of Class IX at Moti Ram Arya Senior Secondary School-27. He had died of acute encephalitis on June 6, three days after he had returned from an NCC camp held at Alhilaal in Himachal from May 25 to June 3.

A Maharashtra-based cadet, Swapnil, had also died due to lung failure and some others had fallen ill during the camp.

Rajat’s father, Manphool Chand, on the other hand, is complaining that things are proceeding at a snail’s pace. “I have written numerous letters to the authorities and visited the NCC offices several times, only to be told that things are being processed,” he said.

The COI, which concluded here a few days ago, came to the conclusion that there was no foul play in the incident and the cadet was happy during camping.

However, the exact cause of the death could not be established as the father of the deceased did not agree for an autopsy.

The PGI documents had stated acute encephalitis as the reason of the death.

But doubt arises over the credibility of medical fitness certificates submitted by schools on the basis of which children are taken for such camps.

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Crushing rules for style
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu /TNS

Chandigarh, October 3
Youngsters continue to violate traffic rules in the absence of proper checks by the traffic police.

Not only are they altering jeeps, removing the hard top and windows, but they seem to be crushing every traffic rule with extra wide tyres and additional dazzling lights.

Those who can’t afford to replace the tyres, have the tyres inside out on the vehicle’s rims, making these protrude out. The extra wide and wrongly fitted tyres adversely affect the vehicle’s manoeuvrability while the dazzling lights put the drivers of other vehicles at risk, blinding their vision.

The violations become rampant during student elections with party supporters holding rallies on modified open jeeps to carry more persons than the actual limit.

Sometimes, the youngsters are seen riding on the bonnet, paying scant regard to safety. Such violators are a common sight on the “geri route” and Panjab University campus, their vehicles playing high-pitch music.The policemen prefer to turn a blind eye to these violations during student elections and the Holi festival. A warning is all they get.

Quoting figures, sources in the traffic police said the cops booked 408 drivers in 2006 for violating provisions of the Motor vehicle Act, 1988.

The figures include every kind of alteration made in the vehicles, accessories, extra-wide tyres, replacing engine without permission and unauthorised installation of LPG gas kits.

Section 52 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, for alteration in motor vehicle, states no owner of a motor vehicle shall so alter the vehicle that the particulars contained in the certificate of registration are at variance with those originally specified by the manufacturer.

The ACT allows a minimal two per cent alteration meant for installing extra lights, mirrors etc.

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Wakf JPC members in city on six-day visit
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 3
Members of the joint parliamentary committee (JPC) on wakf led by its chairman, S.M. Laljan Basha, a Rajya Sabha member from Andhra Pradesh, were received at the Chandigarh railway station by officials of the administration and the state wakf boards.

The members of the committee are on a six-day study tour of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh.

“Today only four members arrived. Others are expected to arrive tomorrow,” an official of the reception committee said.

Talking to The Tribune, the chairman of the Chandigarh wakf board, Mansoor Ali, said they would request the committee to urge the administration to speed up the process of mutation of the land record owned by the board. Around 32 properties had been notified by the administration.

He said the notification should be considered as deemed mutation as it could initiate the process of evicting illegal occupants from the properties of the board.

The issue of grant from the administration would also be taken up by the committee members who would also interact with a cross-section of people and officers of the UT, Punjab and Haryana regarding issues pertaining to wakf boards.

The committee would meet residents of Chandigarh tomorrow. The members would also visit Jama Masjid.

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Letters
Mohali in mess

Mohali is in a real bad state where smoke-emitting, overloaded diesel auto-rickshaws without valid permits greet you.

Besides this, stray dogs, cows, beggars, kabaris and young boys on their over-speeding vehicles are also a common sight. Rehriwalas selling fruits in the middle of the busy roads are another major hazard.

Residents have encroached upon government land adjoining their houses. Residential houses are being used as paying guest accommodations, coaching centres, hospitals and astrology centres.

Moreover, corner house owners have gates in their back courtyards and are utilising the same for running various business like selling kerosene.

It is impossible to sleep till late in the night as boys, high on booze, roam about town in their swank cars with blaring music.

To add to the miseries of the residents, community centres and public parks in the town are being used for marriages and functions.

It is high time the administration looks into the matter and takes necessary action to check the menace and make Mohali, a better place to live.

Roshan Lal Rajput, Mohali

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

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Five arrested for illegal possession of house
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 3
The police has arrested five persons on the charge of illegally taking possession of a house in Mani Majra and allegedly threatening its owner with dire consequences in case he did not vacate the house.

The police has also arrested two persons in from Industrial Area for breaking locks of a plot.

The SWHO of the Mani Majra police station, inspector Hari Kumar, said Som Nath of Mohalla Dera Sahib in Mani Majra had reported that Sanjeev Kamboj, his wife and their relatives had forcibly entered his house after breaking the locks.

When he objected to their activity yesterday, the accused thrashed him.

He told the police that he had purchased a house from Harpinder Kaur in August for Rs 11.30 lakh. He paid Rs 2.25 lakh as earnest money and took possession of the house. He had also put some furniture and other household items in the house, but to his surprise, when he visited the house, it had been taken over by Kamboj.

He learnt that Kamboj had entered the house about five days ago. When his pleas failed to move Kamboj, the matter was reported to the police.

The police said Kamboj was a financier and had given a loan of Rs 65,000 to Harpinder Kaur. He had taken the possession of the house to take back the outstanding amount.

About the other incident, the SHO of the Industrial Area police station, inspector Jagir Singh, said Balwinder Kumar of Sector 10 had reported that Karnail Singh of Mohali and Santosh of Baltana had allegedly broken the locks of his plot last night.

The police has arrested the accused and registered a case under Sections 457 and 34 of the IPC.

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Forum sends textile co. MD to jail
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 3
The managing director of Gujrat Texspin, was sentenced by the Consumer Forum-I to two years of imprisonment. The MD has also been told to pay Rs 8,000 for harassing Vidyotma Sachan, a resident of Sector 26 here.

The forum had directed the managing director to refund the amount of shares bought by the complainant, totalling Rs 6,000 with an interest of 12 per cent with effect from October 5, 1994. It had pronounced the orders on August 7, 2000. The said amount was not paid though notices were issued repeatedly to the respondent.

The forum and the state commission can pronounce imprisonment of three years as per the law.

The complainant had stated that he was allotted 600 shares for which payment was made in time. The company sent a letter to him on January 22, 1995, that the amount had not been paid and he was asked to pay the same with an interest of 18 per cent per annum. Sachan then requested the bank and the postmaster to give information about draft encashment and its delivery. After visiting Surat, the complainant was told by the bank that the draft was cashed by the company on October 5, 1994.

Sachan said the company had sent a forfeiture notice instead of sending fully paid share tickets.

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