C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Pine tree faces axe
Paves way for law varsity guest house
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 24
Showcasing how concrete is recklessely taking over greenery in Punjab, a full-grown magnificient pine tree has been made to face the axe by the Rajiv Gandhi National Law University here just to pave way for construction of the varisty guest house.

More than 50-year-old, the tree was one of the very few pine trees left in the city of Patiala. Except for districts like Ropar, Gurdaspur and Hoshiarpur, the presence of pine trees are rare in Punjab. Only some pockets like Patiala, Jalandhar and Amritsar boast of a handful of pine trees, most of which are not very old considering the unfriendly environment conditions of Punjab.

The univeristy’s vice-chancellor, Gurjit Singh, however, said the pine tree was hollow from inside and was ailing for quite sometime. “Since we are a law university, we are very cautious and particular about such things. We had taken requisite permission from the Punjab Forest Department for felling of the tree,” he said.

When confronted as to why the tall, magnificient and healthy-looking tree could not be preserved, Gurjit Singh said, “It was coming in the way of our upcoming guest house. Moreover, since it was ailing, it could have been perilous for students, staff and others at any pont of time.”

When The Tribune team reached the scene, the pine tree had already been trimmed from all sides by a number of workers engaged by the varisty and efforts were being made to pull the rest of the tree down with the help of ropes.

When contacted, district forest officer Karamjit Singh Jatana said the university had got the tree assessed for its cost by the forest department.



Erratic power supply annoys residents
Megha Mann
Tribune News Service

Kharar, July 24
Unscheduled power cuts and high voltage fluctuation are giving sleepless nights to area residents here.

Besides scheduled cuts of more than six hours, people are facing unscheduled power cuts, mostly in the middle of night. The 132 KV power grid at Khanpur has capacity of 390 units whereas requirement of the entire area exceeds 500 units in summers. In order to meet with the increased demand, the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) imposes power cuts.

This power grid further supplies power to 66 KV grids at Gharuan, Morinda, Mullapur, Majra, Kajauli, Mundi Kharar, Teora, Sante Majra, grain market, Sahauran, Khanpur and nearby areas.

High voltage fluctuation renders coolers and air conditioners almost defunct. This has also damaged electrical gadgets of some of the households. As per the PSEB officials, high voltage fluctuation is due to faulty distribution system.

The present 132 KV power grid at Khanpur was set up in 1965. Since then the demand for power has increased manifolds, but the PSEB failed to augment its infrastructure accordingly. More transformers need to be installed at various places in the area to minimise losses.

PSEB officials say that the board has never got enough funds to go in for augmentation every year. “The air conditioners can be called main culprits, but then it is the right of a consumer to draw electricity,” pointed out another official. The power wires are presently being replaced to meet with growing demand. This process may take another one year to be completed.

The private townships developed in parts of Kharar also need to install their own transformers after getting them passed from the PSEB. Installation of these transformers will also minimise the losses incurred due to high voltage fluctuation.



Lawyers opt for kundi connection!
Gurdeep Singh Mann
Tribune News Service

Fatehgarh Sahib, July 24
The electricity board has decided to take stern action against the lawyers opting for a kundi connection from the hotline passing through the district court to get rid of power cuts.

The matter was brought into the notice of electricity board by some lawyers who do not enjoy this facility and PSEB SDO Rishipal Singh had decided to take action against the erring lawyers.

“We initially decided to lodge an FIR in this connection as some lawyers had been using the electricity from the hotline connection passing through the district court. However, we are helpless in detecting the theft as we fail to find the illegal connections there all the time,” said the SDO.

He said the electricity department officials had removed the wrongly fixed wires on the hotline a number of times, but people get it fixed again.

“Now, we have decided to change the route of the hotline connection, which passes near the chambers of some lawyers. We have already estimated the cost of changing the lines and the matter would be resolved in the coming few days,” he said.

Meanwhile, Maskeen Singh, a computer operator in the court complex, alleged that some electricity department officials are hand in glove with the wrongdoers who are enjoying free electricity through the hotline connection. He said a written complaint in this connection would soon be sent to the board’s higher officials.



Result changed, student files case
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 24
Niharika Malhotra, a student from Chandigarh, has filed a case against the Punjabi University authorities who had re-declared the result of entrance tests for MCA and MBA on July 21.

The university had earlier declared the result on July 18, but withdrew the result from the website within few hours. Some technical problem was said to be the reason behind this because of which the results had been wrongly calculated.

Niharika was earlier on 229th rank and rated 668th after the re-evaluated result. Niharika, who is a topper of Punjab Technical University in BCA, was not satisfied with the result and thus filed a case in the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

A notice of motion has been issued to the state government and the university authorities for July 29.

Niharika’s father disclosed that it was not only her daughter whose result had changed.



8-yr-old found dead near Dera Bassi
Our Correspondent

Dera Bassi, July 24
Body of an eight-year-old child was found from a room in the fields, near here this evening.

The deceased has been identified as Suman, son of a Nepali migrant labourer. The parents told the police that they lived in a tubewell house near the place where the child’s body was recovered. They said they were out and had left the child at home and came to know about the incident only on their return.

The recovery of the body under mysterious circumstances led to the speculation about the child having been murdered. However, the police said the body was decomposed and infested with insects and ants. They added that the cause of death can be known only after autopsy. Foul play could not be ruled out, said the police.



JE held for taking bribe
Our Correspondent

Ambala, July 24
State Vigilance Bureau, Ambala, has nabbed a junior engineer of UHVPN for taking bribe of Rs 2,000 from a villager here today.

Balwant Singh from Kurukshetra had filed a complaint with the IG of Vigilance Bureau, alleging that a JE of UHVPN, Kurukshetra, demanded Rs 2,000 from him for replacing faulty transformer in his field.

When Balwant was handing over the amount to the JE, the bureau’s raiding party nabbed him red handed.



Man dies of food poisoning, another critical
Tribune News Service

Banur, July 24
A migrant labourer of the area reportedly died of food poisoning and another is undergoing treatment at a local hospital.

According to reports, two migrants putting up in on liquor factory road in Banur had some food on Tuesday evening and complained of nausea. They were rushed to a nearby private hospital where one of them was declared dead. The deceased has been identified as Basant Kumar (34). Another labourer, Sudesh, is undergoing treatment in hospital. His condition is stated to be critical.

The police reached the spot and sent the body for a postmortem. No action has been initiated in this connection, the police officials said.

The police said the victim had complained of nausea and severe stomach ache immediately after having food on Tuesday night. 



Inter-School Sports Meet
DPS-40, DAV-8 set up title clash
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 24
Delhi Public School, Sector 40, and DAV Public School, Sector 8, will lock horns in the final match of table tennis (under-14) in the ongoing Inter-School Sports Meet for boys.

In the semifinals, DPS-40 emerged victorious against Moti Ram Arya School, Sector 27, by 3-0 while DAV team drubbed Ajit Karam Singh International Public School, Sector 40, by 4-0.

In throwball event, GHS, Sector 23, set up title clash with DAV School, Sector 8. GHS-32 beat GMSS-40 while DAV team got the better of GMHS-39 by 2-0.

The other results:

Hockey (semifinal): GMSSS-44 bt GMSSS-35 by 1-0.

Kabaddi (semifinal): GMSSS-45 bt GHS-12 by 69 points; GHS-Dadu Majra bt GHS-41 by 49 points; GMSSS-56 bt GHS, Colony No. 4 by 29 points; GSSS, Dhanas, bt GHS-40 by 23 points.

Football: GMSSS-22 bt St Anne's-32 by 3-0; GMSSS-10 bt St Xavier-44 by 4-0.

Dodgeball: 1 GHS, Bapu Dham colony, 2 GMSSS-26, 3 DAV Model School-15; 4 GHS, Dariya village.

Volley Ball: GMSSS-27 bt GMSSS-19 by 3-1; GMHS-26 b Manav Mangal-21 by 3-0.

Judo (final):

25 kg: 1 Prince (Dev Samaj-21), 2 Deepak (GMHS-40), 3 Rahul (GMHS-34) and Abdul (GMSSS-45).

30 kg: 1 Sagar Bharadwaj (Dev Samaj-21), 2 Sumit Thakur (GMSSS-37), 3 Pankaj (GHS-35) and Ravinder.

35kg: 1 Ankit (GMS-34), 2 Parveen (GMSSS-38 W), 3 Sumit Ali (GMSSS-35) and Aman Kumar (GMS-34).

40kg: 1 Dharaminder Singh (GMSSS-35), 2 Dev Anand (GMSSS-47), 3 Sunny (GMSSS-38 W) and Rahul (Dev Samaj-21).

45kg: 1 Vickey (GMSSS-38 W), 2 Sadashiv (GHS-34), 3 Deepak (GHS, Dadu Majra) and Gurpreet (GMSSS-35).

50kg: 1 Deepak (Dev Samaj-21), 2 Dheeraj (GMSSS-56), 3 Deepak (GMSSS-Manimajra).

50+ kg: 1 Jaswinder Singh (Dev Samaj-21), 2 Rahul (GHS-40), 3 Amandeep (GMSSS-Manimajra) and Prabjot Singh (GMSSS-40).



Sector 23 swimming pool for VIPs?
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 24
State-run swimming pool at Sector 23 has virtually become exclusive joint for city bureaucrats as well as the VIPs in the evening.

While the top officials along with their families spend prime time making splash in the state-of-the-art all-weather pool, the budding swimmers are finding it hard to get the time to hone their swimming skills.

“Actually the competitors need to get minimum two hours in the evening and one-and-half-an-hour in morning for practice. But the competitors have been suffering in both sessions due to mismanaged time slots, being allotted by the administration,” a parent of budding swimmer said.

For the competitors, the time slot has been fixed from 7.15 to 8.30 in morning for three days (i.e. Monday, Wednesday and Friday) while in the remaining three days, the slot is from 6 am to 8.30 am. In the evening session, the given timing is only one hour i.e. 5 pm to 6 pm.

“Is it possible for a school-going sportsperson to go to the pool at 7.15 am? Should we go to school or the pool?” said a national level sportsperson requesting anonymity.

“Earlier, we were given one and half hours (5 am to 6.30 am) for practice but now the slot (6 am to 7 am) has been allotted for ladies. In the evening, we hardly get one full hour for practice (5 pm to 6 pm). A competitor needs half-an-hour for warm-up exercises and minimum two hours more for taking laps to extract speed. After warm-up, we hardly find 15 minutes for practice as the family time starts at 6 pm and the people starts coming in at 5.45 pm,” rued a swimmer, who has brought laurels many a time by winning medals at national level.

“With such less practice time, is it possible to win medals in the big competitions,” asked the swimmer while demanding at least three-hour time slot for the competitors in evening and amendment in the timings of morning session.

Three competitions are on the cards, UT Swimming Meet from July 29 to 31, Inter-School Swimming Meet from August 24 to 26 and Junior National Meet from August 30 to September 4, but the city swimmers are ill-prepared due to the lapse, added the swimmer.

Chandigarh sports director I. S. Sandhu said, “Yes, I came to know about the problem the competitors are facing. Very soon we are allotting them proper timings by blocking the slots of other categories.”



AG Haryana reach TT final
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 24
Hosts, Accountant General, ]Haryana, stormed into finals of team championship in the ongoing North Zone IA Table Tennis Tournament at the Sector 23 Table Tennis Hall here today. The team will face AG, Uttar Pradesh, in the title clash.

Earlier, Haryana beat Delhi Audit team 3-2 in a well-contested semifinal match while AG, Uttar Pradesh, beat AG, Punjab, 3-1 in other semifinal.

It was Harish Kumar who clinched the final berth for AG, Haryana, after snuffing out the challenge of Shyam Kumar 11-9, 11-2, 7-11, 11-7 in the fifth and deciding final singles match. Besides Harish, Amod Kumar and Patanjali Kumar also won their matches for the team.

For AG, Punjab, Vikash Sharma clinched 14-12, 11-6, 14-12 victory against S. P. Singh of AG, Uttar Pradesh, in the opening singles to give his team 1-0 lead. However, the AG, Punjab, lost the next three matches as Uttar Pradesh emerged 3-1 winners and moved into the final.

Results (Team Championship):

Semifinals: AG, Uttar Pradesh, bt AG, Punjab, 3-1 (S. P. Singh lost to Vikash Sharma 12-14, 6-11, 12-14; Amit Srivastava bt Lav Kumar 11-2, 11-4, 11-5; S. K. Tiwari bt Sonic Monga 13-11, 11-7, 11-8; Amit Srivastava bt Vikash Sharma 4-11, 12-10, 11-9, 11-8). AG, Haryana, bt Delhi Audit 3-2 (Harish Kumar lost to Joginder Bisht 11-13, 7-11, 11-6, 6-11; Amod Dixit bt Shyam Kumar 13-11, 13-11, 9-11, 11-7; Patanjli Kumar bt Prashant Bhambri 9-11, 11-8, 11-5, 4-11, 11-7; Amod Dixit lost to Joginder Bisht 4-11, 11-6, 11-9, 3-11, 5-11; Harish Kumar bt Shyam Kumar 11-9, 11-2, 7-11, 11-7).

Ist Round: Delhi Audit bt AG, Himachal Pradesh, 3-1 (Shyam Kumar lost to Jaswant Gangta 12-10, 9-11, 8-11, 8-11; Jagminder Bisht bt Anamik Sood 11-9, 11-3, 11-6; Prasant Bhambri bt Somnath Pramanik 11-6, 11-6, 11-2; Joginder Bisht bt Jaswant Gangta 11-9, 11-5, 11-8).



Sharda Sarvhitkari win wrestling meet
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 24
Accumulating 30 points, Sharda Sarvhitkari Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 40, won team championship in under-14 inter-school wrestling meet held at Wrestling Coaching Centre, Sector 42, here today.

Government Senior Senior Secondary School, Sector 45, got 15 points and secured second spot while Government Model Senior Secondary School, Manimajra, stood third with seven points.



Vivek Trophy
GMSSS-35 beat St Stephen’s
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 24
Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 35, thrashed St Stephen’s School, Sector 45, by 10 wickets in the Vivek Trophy Twenty20 Inter-School Cricket Tournament 2008 at Vivek High School, Sector 38, here today.

Batting first, St Stephen’s team set target of 115 runs for GMSSS-35 by scoring 114 for 6 in 20 overs.

Gurraunar Singh chipped in 55 runs while Jasneet Singh remained unbeaten on 24 runs.

For GMSSS team, Chetan took two wickets for 21 runs.

In reply, Avneet Singh and Abhimanyu guided their team to victory with their unbeaten knocks of 54 and 32 runs, respectively.

Brief Score:

St Stephen’s: 114 runs for 6 in 20 overs (Gurraunar Singh 55, Jasneet Singh 24 n.o., Karan Aggarwal 13, Chetan 2 for 21, Sourav Vaswan 1 for 17).

GMSSS-35: 115 runs for 0 in 14.5 overs (Avneet Singh 56 n.o., Abhimanyu 32 n.o.).



Carrom tourney
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 24
The Chandigarh Carrom Association (CCA) is organising XIth St Stephen's Carrom Ranking Tournament at the St Stephen's School, Sector 45 from August 9 to 12.

In the championship, a total of six events including men's singles, women's singles, boys' single junior, girls' single junior, boy' single sub junior and girls' single sub-junior shall be organized.



GMSH-16 MS stripped of power
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 24
Barely a month after she was given an extension, joint director-cum- medical superintendent of Government Multi Speciality Hospital-16 Dr Usha Bishnoi was divested of all her administrative powers and virtually rendered ‘workless’ last week.

In a move that is sure to raise many eyebrows, all of Bishnoi’s work and administrative powers have been given to Dr S.K. Bhandari, the joint medical superintendent (MS), even though the post does not have the requisite sanction of the union government.

Though the profile of the joint MS categorically stated that the person would “assist the MS perform his duties”, with one stroke, the administration has made him the de facto MS.

While officials dub the move to divest Bishnoi of her powers as a routine administrative reshuffle, insiders claim that there is much more to it. Health secretary Dr Roshan Sunkaria said: “It’s a routine reshuffle. The file was forwarded to me by the director, health Service, Dr M.S. Bains, and I merely signed it.” Dr Bains was, however, not available for comments.

If insiders are to be believed, plans to clip Bishnoi’s wings had been going on for quite sometime as she was not “fitting into the scheme of things” of the powers that be. “They have used routine incidents like shortage of supplies to fix her whereas the truth lies elsewhere,” said a senior doctor advocating for an inquiry into the episode to expose the truth.

Denying any sort of malice in the move, Dr Bhandari said Dr Bishnoi was “overburdened” and that’s why her work had been transferred to him.

As of now, Bishnoi was the controlling authority of group "D” employees (sweepers, ward servants, receptionists, watchmen). Apart from that, all files of group “C” employees (nurses, nursing superintendents, lab technicians and pharmacists) were routed from the MS to the director, health service. But now, she is deprived of all these powers and works only in the capacity of gynecologist. 



19 cases of diarrhoea detected
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 24
As many as 19 cases of mild diarrhoea were detected at medical camps organised by officials of the health department at Madanpur and Jagatpura villages here today.

According to a press note issued by civil surgeon P.K. Mittal, 598 patients were examined at the camps. Thirty three patients were found to be suffering from fever and six from vomiting, apart from 19 diarrhoea cases.

Mittal, along with district health officer S.P. Surila, visited the Balmiki Colony today and found no fresh case of diarrhoea. Chlorine tablets were distributed in this colony. People were also given health education regarding chlorination of water.

Mittal said health workers were monitoring all slum areas to find out any outbreak of diarrhoea or fever. Six thousand chlorine tablets and 125 ORS packets were distributed in the slums. As many as six cases of diarrhoea admitted in the Civil Hospital were stable. However, a seven-year-old child of Balmiki Colony had died of diarrhoea yesterday while three members of the same family were admitted to the hospital.



More samples of suspected cholera cases sent to PGI
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 24
Panchkula health authorities sent 12 more samples of suspected cholera cases at PGI here today. Earlier, PGI had confirmed 15 cases of cholera in the city yesterday.

Dr Kamal Singh, civil surgeon, Panchkula, said some case of diarrhoea and fever were found in the Rajiv Colony, Kalka, Raipur Rani, Old Panchkula, Morni, Nanakpur, Barwala, Kot and Hangola of the district. A total of 64 cases of diarrhoea and 46 cases of fever were found in the different parts of the district, she said.

Dr Singh said four cases in Nanankpur, three cases in Kot, two cases in Hangola, 11 cases in Raipur Rani, one case in Kalka, three cases in Barwala, two cases in Pinjore, 19 cases in Old Panchkula, 39 cases at General Hospital and 13 cases in Rajiv Colony of diarrhoea were found, while six cases of fever in Kalka, nine cases in Kot and seven cases in Rajiv Colony were found. No case of diarrhoea was found in Morni, she said.

She revealed that two cases of jaundice at General Hospital, Panchkula, and one case of malaria in Hangola, were also found.



Clinic starts telemedicine facilty
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 24
Telemedicine facility was launched at Dr Batra’s homeopathic clinic here today. Actor Simi Grewal was the chief guest. The facility will enable patients getting treatment at Batra clinic across all centres to seek medical consultation without actually travelling to the place. 

In a video-conference at Batra clinic here, Dr Mukesh Batra, chairman, Dr Batra’s Positive Health Clinics, Mumbai, said: “We ensure patients get the finest medical aid that is both time and cost-effective.” Tele-homeopathy would assist the consulting doctors to share their evaluations, seek a second opinion and obtain advice on unusual, critical and rare cases from specialists, said Dr Batra. 



Man arrested with 4 kg heroin
Tribune News Service

Accused in police custody
Accused in police custody

Chandigarh, July 24
Sleuths of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) today arrested a city resident with 4 kg of heroin worth about Rs 20 lakh in the domestic market.

The accused identified as 34-year-old Liaqat Ali, alias Lakhwinder, of Behlana village was arrested from near the airport chowk this morning. He was supposed to hand over the contraband to a Nigerian, who did not turn up. Saji Mohan, zonal director of the NCB, told mediapersons that Lakhwinder told investigating officials that he had taken the consignment from Bittu of Amritsar yesterday. Bittu had delivered the consignment to him in Chandigarh and he was supposed to give it to the Nigerian.

He was produced before a local court, which remanded him in police remand till July 29. Lakhwinder, a drug addict himself, was released on bail in connection with a case after he was arrested by the police with 1 kg of poppy husk last year.



3 snatchers nabbed
Allegedly wanted in 60 cases
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 24
The Chandigarh police today heaved a sigh of relief with the arrest of three members of a dreaded six-member gang of chain snatchers which held the city to ransom for the past over one year.

UT SSP S.S. Srivastva told mediapersons today that the gang was involved in over 60 incidents of snatching in the tricity. He said the accused, Nadeem Mohammad of Saharnpur, Vicky of Bulandshahr and Sanjay of Kanpur, were nabbed from a secluded place in Mani Majra following a tip-off. The miscreants gave a tough time to the policemen as they attacked the raiding police team injuring some of its members.

They were planning to commit a dacoity when nabbed by a police team, which recovered a .315 bore country-made gun, two daggers, six gold chains and 17 mobile phones along with a stolen Bajaj pulsar motorcycle from them. The other members of the gang, who managed to escape, had been identified as Deepak, Anil and Vinod, said the SSP.

The police became active last evening following three incidents of snatching in less than 30 minutes. The police suspected that the snatchers might come out early in the morning to strike again.

In may be recalled that in June this year, one of the victims of the accused from Mani Majra identified Nadeem and Vicky, but they remained elusive. They were today produced before a local court, which remanded them in seven-day police custody.

Terming the arrest of the accused as one of the major achievements of the UT police, the SSP said Vicky was an expert in riding motorcycle and was well versed with the topography of the city while his associate Nadeem used to snatch the chains from gullible targets. The duo came in contact with each other when they were lodged in Burail jail for committing petty crimes. Later, they met other petty criminals of the same nature and formed a gang, which graduated from petty crimes to snatchings and robberies. They began with snatching mobile phones, but later began snatching gold chains, which were easy to dispose of. The police is trying to trace the shops where they had disposed of the stolen and snatched items.

This time, they were planning to commit a major dacoity and wanted to go to Deoband in Uttar Pradesh to dispose of their booty. Deoband is known as a market for illegal country-made weapons, adds KIP Singh, the DSP (crime).

They duo had been declared proclaimed offender in many cases, but remained elusive even as they struck their targets in broad day light.



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