C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Mayor gets bail after hours of wait
The court had issued a non-bailable warrant against him for failing to depose in a case pertaining to forcible entry in a general house meeting of the MC in 1997
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 28
Mayor Pardeep Chhabra and his predecessor Subash Chawla were granted bail today after they surrendered before a local court that had issued non-bailable warrants (NBWs) against them in an 11-year-old case.

The court had issued the warrants on May 5 against them after they failed to depose before the court. It was alleged that the duo, along with 35 others, forcibly entered a general house meeting of the MC and raised slogans in May 1997. Today, they were made to sit in the court for about two hours. The mayor claimed that they were “humiliated”.

A case of rioting, obstructing a government servant from discharging his duty, assaulting/using criminal force to deter a public servant from discharging his duty etc. under various provisions of the IPC had been registered against them.

When the mayor and the former mayor appeared before the court, they were told not to leave the premises as the NBWs had been issued against them.

A drama ensued after mediapersons were informed that the mayor had been arrested. Within minutes, supporters of the mayor thronged the courtroom.

The proceedings lasted for about two hours, with the court directing the counsel of the accused to furnish bail bonds of Rs 15,000 each.

Outside the court, the mayor said he was treated like an accused and it was a political case as he was opposing water tariff and the system of paid parking.

He said Chawla and he had been regularly appearing in court, but the police had failed to submit a chargesheet.

The case had taken a long time and two of the accused had died, they said.

Chhabra clarified that he came to the court on May 5, but not finding any of the accused there he went back.

Sources said so far four judges had conducted the trail and the case was recently transferred from the court of the chief judicial magistrate to the trial court of Mahesh Kumar. 



Racial Bias Charge
Khatra marks inquiry; Ness absent
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 28
It seems that the Punjab Police is in no mood to abandon its tough posturing vis-a-vis the Mohali team owners.
Punjab Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal has categorically stated that providing security for the IPL matches is the duty of the government and the police. “I have never heard of the concept of money for security,” he said. The chief minister, who was interacting with the media here this morning, said the issue could be given a relook as the game had become commercial. 

Ness Wadia, who had locked horns with the SSP, R.S. Khatra, did not accompany Preity Zinta during today’s match. “Ness is in Mumbai. He did not turn up for the match as he did not want to fuel the controversy with his presence at the stadium”, an official of the Mohali franchisee said. No liquor was served during the match.

The SAS Nagar SSP, Mr R.S. Khatra, has marked an inquiry on the complaint he has received regarding racial discrimination by two London-based black cheerleaders Ellesha Newton and Sherinne Anderson.

The police, who received the complaint on e-mail on Monday through George Aldana, Event Manager of Fierce company, checked the credentials of the mail before starting the inquiry.

The company had hired Mumbai-based company Wizcraft to provide cheerleaders for Ness Wadia and Preity Zinta’s team against whom (the Wizcraft officials) Ellisha and Sherinne have levelled the charges of racial discrimination during the inaugural match between Kings XI Punjab and Chennai Super Kings on April 19.

The SSP said: “We first talked to the person who sent us the complaint following which an inquiry was marked to DSP Sarandeep Singh”.

DSP Sarandeep Singh said: “Today I quizzed local officials of Wizcraft, including Gautam Kumar and Sandeep, at the PCA Stadium, where the company has set up temporary office”.

“As the company termed the racial allegations baseless and claimed there were no black cheerleaders in the squad, we asked them to provide the passports of all cheerleaders,” the DSP said.



Indicted, but CT scan centre won’t mend ways
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 28
Even after two years of the formation of a committee to probe the illegal sale of medical consumables like omnipaque non-ionic contrast, trazograf injection and scalp van cannula used for CT scan at the GMCH-32, the practice still continues.

Not only does the CT scan unit, outsourced to a private company, continues to sell these without a license, it is overcharging customers for the services.

The hospital’s CT scan centre, run by S.S.S. Diagnostic and Research Centre, charges Rs 3,075 for a full abdomen scan. The amount includes consumables worth Rs 1,275. In contrast, the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital charges Rs 2,600 for the same scan. This centre is also outsourced to a private company.

When asked, attendants failed to give a satisfactory reply why higher rates were being charged at the GMCH.

However, the centre’s director, when contacted later, said, “We have been allotted the place by the GMCH and we do not sell consumables, but use it for referred patients, for which we do not require a drug license.” Asked if he had procured a license for their sale, he said he did not have a drug license.

The issue had cropped up in 2006, too. A committee was formed to look into the matter and it reported unauthorised sale of consumables.

Based on panel findings, the centre was asked to furnish a drug license or stop the sale of consumables with immediate effect, said a senior doctor at the GMCH. But even now the centre is flouting rules.

Director principal Raj Bahadur said he did not have any idea about the committee regarding the illegal sale of consumables.

According to doctors, the committee failed to implement the order. Repeated checks were mandatory to ensure proper compliance of orders, they said.



Fire team inspects two multiplexes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 28
The fire and emergency services department today carried out inspection of fire safety systems in two multiplexes in the city as part of its week-long checking-cum-awareness drive.

A team of fire officials, including station fire officer, Sector-17, M.L. Sharma, chairman M.P.S. Chawla and other members of the fire and emergency services committee, conducted inspections at Fun Republic in Mani Majra and DT Cinemas, IT Park.

Over 2,000 persons visit Fun Republic every day, while DT Cinemas is visited by around 1,000 persons.

According to Chawla, the fire safety system at Fun Republic was found to be in place and the staff there was trained in handling fire safety equipment. Automatic water motor and water sprinklers were found to be in working condition.

The team also carried out a mock drill at the multiplex and checked the response time of the fire brigade.

At DT Cinemas, the team found fire safety equipment installed, but its staff was found untrained in handling the equipment. The team also checked movie halls.

Both multiplexes were found to have employed fire officers.

A fire department officer said the DT Cinemas management was told to train their staff to fight fire within 15 days. The department also offered its services to help train the staff.

The department said the drive would continue in the coming days and teams would visit educational institutes, nursing homes and hotels. 



Minimum wages for workers enhanced
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 28
The Chandigarh administration has increased the basic daily and monthly rates of minimum wages for daily and monthly rated employees under the Consumer Price Index Number of Chandigarh centre for the half year ending March 2008.

According to a press note, the monthly minimum wages for unskilled workers have been increased from Rs 3,481.50 to Rs 3,546.50. For semi-skilled-II, these have been increased from Rs 3,631.50 to Rs 3,696.50.

For semi-skilled-I, minimum monthly wages have been hiked from Rs 3,731.50 to Rs 3,796.50, for skilled-II from Rs 3,931.50 to Rs 3,996.50, for skilled-I from Rs 4,156.50 to Rs 4,221.50 and for highly skilled from Rs 4,556.50 to Rs 4,621.50.

Similarly for class III (staff), minimum monthly wages have been increased from Rs 3,756.50 to Rs 3,821.50, for class-II (staff) from Rs 3,906.50 to Rs 3,971.50 and for class I (staff) from Rs 4,267.50 to Rs 4,332.50.

Also, daily minimum wages for daily rated employees have also been revised. The daily minimum wages for unskilled workers have been increased from Rs 133.46 to Rs 136.40. For semi-skilled-II, it has been increased from Rs 139.26 to Rs 142.17 for the same period.

For semi-skilled-I, the minimum daily wages have been hiked from Rs 143.06 to Rs 146.00, for skilled-II from Rs 150.76 to Rs 153.71, for skilled-I from Rs 159.46 to Rs 162.36 and for highly skilled from Rs 174.86 to Rs 177.75.

Similarly for class III (staff), the minimum daily wages have been increased from Rs 143.46 to Rs 146.98, for class-II (staff) from Rs 149.86 to Rs 152.75 and for class I (staff), it has been hiked from Rs 163.26 to Rs 166.63, the press note added.



District-level weather forecast for farmers soon
Jyoti Rai

Chandigarh, May 28
The Indian farmer will soon be better equipped to deal with the vagaries of nature. With the Indian meteorological department (IMD) increasing the concentration of its observatories in all district headquarters, farmers will now be able to get a weather forecast for five to seven days.

Stating this here today, Dr N. Chattopadhaya, director of agrimet division of IMD, Pune, said the agromet advisory service (AAS) would soon be available across the country.

During a programme on the implementation of district AAS for Haryana here today, he said there had been a growing demand from the farming community for weather forecasts at least at district level for five to seven days.

“The IMD now plans to scale down these forecasts under the AAS scheme by using a set of high-resolution numerical weather prediction models with effect from June 1, 2008. It has been providing weather forecast for next two days for a state as a whole in qualitative terms,” he added.

Since timely dissemination of farm advisories up to village level was of utmost importance, the extension machinery of the state government or state agricultural university like the district/block agricultural officers, krishi vigyan kendras (KVKs), agricultural technology management agencies (ATMA), and electronic and print media would be extensively used to disseminate these advisories.

Under the new system, district-wise forecasts would be issued for different weather parameters (rainfall, temperature, wind, cloud cover and relative humidity) in quantitative terms up to next 5 days.

Among others present were Dr S.C. Bhan, director of the regional meteorological department, New Delhi.



Beopar mandal for intensified night patrol
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 28
Alarmed by increasing incidents of theft and burglary, members of the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal and the Grain Market Association have requested the Chandigarh police to intensify patrolling within the market.

According to sources, more than five incidents of crime have been reported in the past three months from various markets, wherein thieves have taken away goods worth lakhs of rupees. In all cases, the thieves have committed the crime using similar modus operandi.

The members appealed to IG S.K. Jain to increase night patrol within the market so that the increasing incidents of crime could be curbed.

Mandal president Charanjiv Singh said: “We have requested to the IGP to intensify patrol especially during the night. We are even planning to introduce a new system wherein the watchmen of the area will be asked to mark their attendance on a regular basis.”

Jain said: “I have directed the SHO to investigate the matter and increase patrol. We need the cooperation of public in controlling crime. Soon, a meeting will be held with shopkeepers to educate them on how to take preventive measures.”



Gujjar Agitation Parishad expresses solidarity
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 28
The Gujjar Samaj Kalyan Parishad today pledged support to the ongoing agitation of the Rajasthan Gujjars in support of the ST status.

At a meeting here presided over by parishad president Hoshiar Singh, an appeal was issued to the community to adopt peaceful means to agitate in support of their demand.

The police was also requested to exercise restraint while dealing with the agitators.

While announcing a grant of Rs 1 lakh for next of kin of those killed in police firing, the meeting urged the state and central governments to compensate the families of the deceased.



Cops carry out combing operation
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 28
In search of the accused in yesterday’s dacoity, the local police carried out a combing operation in the areas of the town sharing a border with Zirkapur during the wee hours here today.

More than 50 police personnel of Panchkula police, assisted by Punjab police cops, started checking the antecedents of Sector 19 and Baltana village residents at 4 am. The operation lasted till 8 am.

Meanwhile, SP Sandip Khirwar has constituted a special investigative team headed by DSP Ram Chander Rathi for solving the dacoity at Sector 4 and nabbing the accused.

Four car borne criminals had shot at an assistant of a contractor and snatched Rs 7 lakh from them yesterday. 



Estate office halts construction at Daria
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 28
Two days after Chandigarh Tribune carried a story highlighting blatant violation of the Punjab New Capital (Periphery) Control Act, 1952 by godown owners of Daria village, the Estate Office has acted.

A team of the office halted illegal constructions and seized two truckloads of construction material.

Besides, a demolition drive is also being planned for tomorrow, sources said here today. It may be recalled that construction activity has allegedly been going unabated at Daria village on acquired land. There had been no major demolition drives in Daria recently. The last one carried out there against godown owners on December 11, 2007 was halted after around 20 structures were demolished.



Traffic helpline on the blink
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 28
The traffic police’s toll-free helpline (1073) is in a dire need of help. For, the helpline has been out of order since yesterday — the second time in less than a month. The number is meant for use by residents to get their traffic-related queries answered.

The helpline remained nonfunctional today leading to inconvenience to those who tried to get their queries answered.

The helpline kept repeating message “this number is temporally out of service” on dialing. Consequently, commuters were caught up in snarls-ups.

In spite of repeated dialling the number, which the police said had been restored, the problem persisted.

According to sources, the traffic police had no clue as to how long it would take to resolve the problem, as it was a technical fault.

When contacted, officials declined to comment on the issue.

Last month, the traffic helpline had gone out of order but was restored within a day. However, in spite of repeated complaints this time, the number has not yet been restored.



Road cries for attention

A few months back, the Chandigarh administration/municipal authorities repaired a part of the slip road starting from Doordarshan corner to Batra Cinema. But a portion exactly between Batra cinema and Doordarshan (vertical to the repaired portion), which had big potholes, was left out. I wonder why a patch has been left out.

Moreover, there is no proper lighting in the area and it can lead to serious accidents at nights.

The patch is frequently used by Sector-37 residents and people visiting Batra cinema. The administration should look into the matter and carry out the required repairs.

R.K. Rehani, Chandigarh

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CBSE Class X results today
Telecom cos to students’aid
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 28
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) will declare results of the Class-X examination for Panchkula, Delhi, Guwahati and Allahabad regions tomorrow at 8 am.

The students, who are awaiting their result tomorrow, need not worry about the inaccessibility of the site. For, to cope up with the heavy load on the server, the board has made arrangements to circulate the results through mobile phones, landline and an interactive voice-response system.

According to CBSE officials, more than 7,00,000 candidates from around 7,500 schools have appeared for the examination. The schools can get the entire results by giving their school code and e-mail ID on the websites. The board will also be making its results available to individual students through the interactive voice response system.

Airtel, Spice Telecom, BSNL and Idea - have made special arrangements for providing results through voice and short messaging service (SMS).

According to Sanjay Bahl, COO, Mobile Services, Bharti Airtel, the Airtel customers can register their roll numbers through the interactive voice response (IVR) system or message.

Through IVR, the customer would need to call 54321202 and enter his/her roll number. The customer can also send a message to 54321202. More than one roll number can be registered from the same mobile. The voice call charges are Rs 2.40 per minute, while a message will cost Re 1. The registered users will be sent the result via message.

Adopting the same procedure, Spice Telecom offers to access the result through SMS or IVR calls at 51012, which would detail out the candidate’s name, roll no and subject wise marks obtained. The charges are same as that of Airtel’s.

Idea Cellular Ltd. has launched a new service - "Exam Results", which will be available on its voice portal "Say Idea". Subscribers need to dial 456080 and register their roll numbers. Once registered, they will get a message containing their results.

BSNL is also providing results through IVR system for its landline and mobile subscribers. 



CBSE helpline to tackle anxiety
G.S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 28
Coming as a relief for students coping with result anxiety or upset with the examination outcome, the CBSE has started the second phase of its “Post-exam helpline”.

The CBSE counsellor for the region and principal of KB DAV Public School, Sector 7, Madhu Behl shared the services of the helpline with Chandigarh Tribune.

“Children develop a sort of phobia and feel helpless and scared if the examination result is not up to their expectations. The helpline helps pacify the child and explains them that they are capable of doing better. The purpose of the helpline is to decrease student’s stress levels and alleviate their fear during or after the examination”, said Madhu.

During the first phase i.e. during pre-exam period (from January to March 31), over 40 calls are received daily and during post-examination period, the figure goes up to around 55 calls per day.

The helpline’s post-exam stage runs from March to June wherein students phone in to ask about the stream to opt for, manner in which to prepare for preparatory examination, forms availability, eligibility criteria and extra help in particular areas of study.

A majority of calls are received from students who enquire about the re-evaluation procedure. However, Behl, who just returned from the CBSE helpline meeting held at Delhi, felt that the counsellors needed to be equipped with the re-evaluation process thoroughly.

“I have raised this point at the CBSE helpline meeting to let us have thorough knowledge about re-evaluation process as a majority of calls received are from students scoring around 60 per cent or below marks. Since admission to medical or non-medical streams requires at least 60 per cent marks, students also try their hands at re-checking of answer sheets”, she said.

Then there are sportspersons who call frequently. “Most of these students playing at national or international levels generally achieve low percentage of marks i.e. between 55 percent and 65 per cent. But due to their sports gradation quota, they have bright chances to go in for AIEEE exam. They have to be counselled for their further studies keeping in mind their main interest,” said Behl.

The students who prepared well but could not get marks according to their expectations are immensely worried to see their counterparts obtain more marks comparatively. They are counselled on ways to deal with this and concentrate on their further planning.

Students who achieve between 70 and 80 per cent and aspire for higher marks are advised on ways to improve their marks. Mediocre students are guided on self-study techniques to increase their marks further.

Personal counselling is undertaken only under compelling circumstances when students fail to get through the examination.

“In such cases, even parents feel helpless. Our job is to counsel them and make them understand that it is not the end.”



INIFD treats its alumni 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 28
For 93 budding fashion designers of the Inter National Institute for Fashion Design (INIFD), Sector 8, it was a day when their alma mater honoured them for making it to the fashion scene.

The "placement day" at the CII in Sector 31 was a big draw for former INIFD students, who have been placed with top brands, including Tommy Hilfiger, Benetton, Wills Lifestyle and Esprit.

A beaming Ritu Kochhar, director of the INIFD, said, “They will prove to be an asset to their employers with their managerial capabilities and aesthetic fashion sense," she added.

On the other hand, the students were very enthusiastic. "We were taught the basics like needle work and embroidery. This helps us in strenghtening our foundation in the highly competitive industry," said Sugandha, who has been placed at the United Colors of Benetton.

Harmanjot, a passout of the 2007-08 batch placed at Tommy, said, "Intensive training in fashion sense has made us different from others."

The products of the institute has to their credit the designing of the wardrobes for movies like "Jodha Akbar","Vivah" and "Apne" besides designing for personalities like Amitabh Bachchan, Shahrukh Khan, Angelina Jolie and Prince Charles.



Courses on financial planning
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 28
International College of Financial Planning (ICFP) is starting two postgraduate courses on financial planning to produce specialists in India.

“Financial planning is the process of helping a person meet his life goals through the proper management of his finances. To prepare financial planners, we offer two postgraduate courses-Postgraduate Diploma in Financial Planning and Post Graduate Diploma in Securities Analysis and Trading (PGDSAT),” said Brijesh Bhayana, vice-president, ICFP. The session will commence in August. 



Despite notices, schools lack fire-fighting arrangements
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, May 28
Even as notices have been issued to 38 institutions to do the needful, almost all schools of Mohali are still lacking proper fire fighting arrangements putting the life of thousands of students in danger.

During a routine check carried out at a number of schools, officials of the fire brigade found that fire fighting arrangements were made only in name to complete a formality. Only a few fire extinguishers were found even in well-known schools of the town in the name of fire fighting measures.

Assistant divisional fire officer Lakhwinder Singh said he had visited a number of well-known schools with his team but was disappointed to see that even reputed schools had only about 20 per cent of the fire fighting arrangements in place. If important institutions were taking the fire safety angle for granted, what could be expected from lesser-known schools, he added.

The fire brigade authorities have sent notices to 38 schools in and around Mohali asking them to complete fire fighting arrangements in the institutions, according to specified norms, within a month and report back to the concerned authorities.

Among the schools which have been sent notices are Yadavindra Public School, St Xavier’s Senior Secondary School, Gian Jyoti Public School, Shivalik Public School, Sant Isher Singh Public School, Swami Ram Tirtha Public School, Government Senior Secondary School, Doon Public School, Paragon Public School, St Soldier’s School, Lawrence Public School, Vivek High School, Millenium School, Ajit Karam Singh International School, Manav Mangal Smart School and DAV Public School.

A copy of the notice sent to the schools has also been sent to the Mohali SDM for information and further action.

A copy of the letter from the office of the director general, civil defence, fire services, ministry of home affairs, New Delhi, which laid various guidelines to avoid recurrence of accidents like Kumbakanam School fire, and forwarded by the department of local government, Punjab, to the local fire brigade was attached to the notices sent to the schools.

The guidelines stated that the schools should have fire protection arrangements as prescribed in the National Building Code of India, Part IV of Fire Protection Act 1997 be enforced in all schools. Enough emergency exits be provided. Minimum width of staircase should be 1.5 meters so that children can be evacuated in the minimum possible time. Underground or overhead water storage tanks and portable fire extinguishers be provided in schools.

Buildings should also be kept free from inflammable and toxic materials. Teachers and other staff of the school should be sensitised and also be trained for use of fire extinguishers in case of emergency.



Rain dance party at Path Finder
Tribune Reporters

Students of Path Finder High School enjoy a rain dance party in Mohali
Students of Path Finder High School enjoy a rain dance party in Mohali on Wednesday. A Tribune photograph

Mohali, May 28
Path Finder High School, Sector 69, organised a rain dance party for students during their summer camp here today. Students cheerfully danced to the tunes of Punjabi and Hindi songs in the ‘rain’. MD of the school Kulwant Kaur said the school had organised different activities like dance-music, art-craft, games etc during the camp. She said more activities would be added as students took keen interest in various events.

ACCREDITATION: To strengthen the ongoing initiatives for the process of brand building, Chandigarh Engineering College (CEC) is getting accredited to TCS. According to a press release, students of CEC will now be trained according to industry requirements by a team of professionals from the company in addition to the university curriculum.



Mohali health centre not to be closed: HC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 28
The primary health centre in Mohali’s Phase 3-B-1 will not be closed or moved for the time being.

Taking up a petition filed by residents against its closure, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has directed the maintenance of status quo on the shifting of the centre. The centre has been functioning since 1979.

The Bench, comprising Justice M.M. Kumar and Justice Sabina, also issued a notice of motion to Punjab and others. The case will now come up on August 1 for further hearing.

In the petition, Gian Chand Aggarwal and four others had earlier sought directions for quashing a latter dated April 21, vide which the centre has been closed down.

Elaborating, the petitioners added the premises were being given to the Ayurvedic, Unani and Homeopathic Department.

The petitioners also asked for the issuance of directions for quashing order of May 16 and May 22, vide which the doctors and the staff of the centre were sought to be transferred to the Civil Hospital and dispensaries.

Describing the move as “illegal”, “mala fide” and “arbitrary”, the petitioners had contended the closure would affect patients, particularly from economically weaker section.

The worse affected would be the patients putting up in Phase 3 B-1, B-2, 3-A, 4 and seven, along with Sectors 52, 70, 71, Nehru Colony, Madanpura village, Industrial Area, and Phase 8. The petitioners added some of the patients were being treated since 1979.

Notice to PGI

Taking up a petition seeking re-fixing of pay filed by 53 ex-servicemen working as security guards with the PGIMER here, a Division Bench has issued a notice of motion for September 3.

In their petition against the Union of India and the institute, Mohinder Singh and others have asserted directions should be issued to re-fix the pay, grant increments, contributory provident fund, leave or leave salary as provided under the Central Civil Service (Fixation of pay for re-employed pensioners) Order, 1986.

The petitioners have also sought the release of arrears with interest at the rate of 18 per cent per annum.



Injunction orders against Annapurna-32
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 28
Taking note of violation of bylaws by an eating joint, Annapurna-32 in Sector 32, judicial magistrate Balwinder Kumar has imposed interim injunction, restraining the restaurant owner from using the basement for purpose of kitchen instead of godown.

Chander Kanta and Girish Inder Virk, the landlords of the SCO No. 359 in Sector 32 from where the restaurant is functioning, had appealed before the court after taking note of the violations of bylaws.

In the petition, the landlords had stated that the basement was being used as kitchen and that violated the laws laid down by the administration.

They further requested the court to direct the defendants to remove the stairs leading to the basement in accordance with the sanctioned plan.

The petition also sought the removal of cabin from the basement and kitchen from ground floor and also tap and sink provided on the rear of the building for washing.

The plaintiff had entered into a registered lease deed with the restaurant owner on November 21, 2002. It was stated in the petition that under the sale lease deed the defendant was not permitted to run any restaurant or kitchen in the basement.

The defendant argued that they had been running the restaurant for the past 10 years and as per the notification of the administration all those allotted commercial sites except industrial sites were allowed to pursue any trade.

The court observed: “It is clear that the plaintiffs have faced irreparable loss and injury due to the violations. The balance and convenience also lies in favour of the plaintiffs as they are seeking directions just to make the defendant obey the laws of the land.”



Man gets life term for wife’s murder
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 28
Additional district and sessions judge Raj Shekhar Attri today sentenced Laxman Singh to life imprisonment for strangulating his pregnant wife to death.

Laxman was convicted under Sections 302 and 309 of the IPC. A fine of Rs 2,500 was also imposed on the accused.

According to the prosecution, Laxman had allegedly murdered his wife, Godavari, on the night of March 30, 2007.

Laxman along with his eight-month pregnant wife and their two daughters used to live in Housing Board Colony, Dhanas. The examination result of their children was to be announced on March 31.

After Godavari was not seen the next morning, residents of the area inquired about her from children. The children told them that their mother was asleep.

Thereafter, residents went to check on her and realised that she was dead. The accused, Laxman, had locked himself in the adjoining room after consuming pesticide.

Laxman was booked under Sections 302 and 309 of the IPC.



MC, estate office told to get their act together
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 28
Taking serious note of burgeoning encroachments on the prime public land, the UT administration today directed the estate office (EO) and the municipal corporation (MC) to get their act together on removing encroachments to maintain the distinctive character of the city.


Coordinate effort toward removal of encroachments in the city to maintain its distinctive character and chalk out a road map for the future

UT administrator

In a warning to the DC and the MC commissioner during a meeting today, UT administrator S.F. Rodrigues asked them to follow the rules strictly and not buckle under pressure on the issue of illegal squatters.

“Coordinate effort toward the removal of encroachments in the city to maintain its distinctive character and chalk out a road map for the future,” the administrator told a meeting of senior officers here today.

Terming law paramount, he asked the officers to check the occurrence and growth of unauthorised and illegal structures on government land.

He emphasised the need for further activating and strengthening the monitoring and enforcement wings in place. A system of accountability must be revitalised at different administrative levels, he added.

Rodrigues’ directive seems to be the result of the lack of coordination between the EO and the MC that was hampering the anti-encroachment drive in the city, leaving the prime commercial land worth crores of rupees at the mercy of squatters.

This, coupled with shortage of staff at the disposal of the MC, was not giving desired results. So much so that in several commercial hubs like Sector 17, the anti-encroachment drive was proving to be a damp squib with the police and the MC allegedly failing to act in tandem.

However, administrator’s directive notwithstanding, anti-encroachment drive is bound to face roadblocks in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections next year.

With petty politics weighing heavy on the minds of political parties, encroachers usually have a field day ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

Meanwhile, referring to controversy over recently launched municipal solid waste management project, he expressed his concern over misguided endeavour of vested interest on the issue and emphasised that the administration and the MC had to work with a common goal i.e. betterment of people and improving their quality of life.

Rodrigues asked senior officers to coordinate and monitor the progress of different development projects falling in their area of jurisdiction and work for creating necessary support structures for all these projects, including Sarangpur institutional area, housing projects, medicity and education city. Adviser to administrator Pradip Mehra, secretary to governor M.P. Singh, finance secretary Sanjay Kumar, DC R.K. Rao and MC commissioner Roshan Sankaria attended the meeting.



Appointment of GMCH-32 MS
Admn gives norms the go-by
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 28
The failure of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) to appoint a medical superintendent (MS) for the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, has forced the Chandigarh administration to appoint a doctor on “deputation” from the PGI who does not meet the qualification under the Medical Council of India (MCI) guidelines.

The MCI rules say that a doctor working on the post of MS should be “professor in hospital administration”. However, the new appointee, Dr Vipin Kaushal, an experienced hand of the PGI, has been appointed as “assistant professor in hospital administration-cum-medical superintendent”.

Official says: “Finding a doctor with these qualifications is already a tough thing and hoping that he will join government service is another fallacy.” With private sector wooing doctors with hefty packages, finding doctors with specialised qualifications for government jobs is a difficult task.

Prof Raj Bhadur, director principal, GMCH-32, admitted that he had appointed a person who did not meet the qualifications but they did not have other options. “We had sent requests to the UPSC twice but they didn’t appoint anyone,” he added.

“Our hands are tied. This was the best option under the given circumstances. The MCI has laid down certain guidelines that are tough to meet in the first place,” said Professor Rajbhadur.

Health secretary Sanjay Kumar said: “We cannot leave the post vacant so we appointed a person on deputation immediately.”

Due to delay in relieving process, Dr Vipin Kaushal has failed to join the new post. “As soon as the PGI authority relieve me, I will join there,” he added.



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