C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Peace for Now
Students’ polls cancelled at MCM
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15
In an attempt to set things right at MCM DAV College, Sector 36, the Chandigarh administration today cancelled the students’ council elections and promised to look into the allegations of “bias” against the principal, Dr Puneet Bedi, in nominating a candidate as college president.
Students have levelled serious allegations against the college authorities and teachers support them. The allegations will be probed. The principal’s act of asking girls to leave the hostel was unjustified — Director, higher education

The decision came after a group constituted by the administration visited the college campus today and reviewed the situation.

Speaking to the Tribune, Dr Raji P. Shrivastava, director, higher education, said: “The administration has been trying to sort out the issue through negotiation, but it hasn’t worked. A team comprising academicians and UT officials not only reviewed documentary facts, but also spoke to various sections of students and teachers and based its decision on it.”

The decision seems to have been widely accepted by students and the protesting group said it would maintain decorum.

Dr Shrivastava elaborated: “We have to be careful. Students levelled major allegations against the college authorities and teachers also supported them. Every allegation will be thoroughly probed and frankly, the principal’s act of asking girls to leave the hostel was unjustified. I am glad that the matter has been resolved.”

The principal also seemed relieved, but did not comment on the decision.



PU does it again
Chaos marks admissions
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15
Commotion ruled admission for various courses, including pharmacy and law at Panjab University, here today.

Hundreds of students who had come to attend the counselling for seats under the OBC and SC/ST category (including those lying vacant and to be converted into general category later) were left high and dry, thanks to a misleading advertisement on the admission schedule that appeared in the media.

The departments where the admissions were to be made included BSc (honours school), UILS (BA LLb honours), BE, Bpharma, MCA and MEd.

According to sources, admission under the OBC quota went well, but students in the general category were inconvenienced. In many courses, including UILS and UIPS (University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences), admission was to be made on the basis of the entrance test, as was done during previous counselling. However, the university authorities announced that the admission would be made on the basis of marks obtained in the last qualifying examination (provided the minimum eligible marks condition was met for that particular course).

Parents of some wards claimed that the university was admitting students as per the OBC criteria even in the general category, which was based on merit.

The PU syndicate had recently given a formal nod for making admissions in the OBC category after the university received a grant of Rs 5 crore. It was decided that applications under the OBC category would be invited on September 12 and the admissions would be made in this category, along with the remaining general category seats on September 15. However, there was some miscommunication on what was resolved during the meeting, resulting in confusion.

Candidates who had come from far-off places kept waiting in departments all through the day.

Syndicate to meet today

Gauging the seriousness of the lapse, the dean, university instructions, Prof S.K. Kulkarni, called a meeting at 3.30 pm to clear the confusion. When called to enquire about it, he refused to comment.

Earlier too, he had been reluctant to give the official version, even though he was heading many committees and taking decisions.

When the vice-chancellor was contacted, he informed that an emergency syndicate meeting had been called for tomorrow. Most likely, fresh applications would be sought for admissions under the general category.



Rapist father gets life term
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15
Gajjan Singh, who has been accused of raping his daughter, was sentenced to life imprisonment by the additional district and sessions judge, R.S. Attri, here today.

The court also directed the administration to pay a compensation of Rs 1 lakh to the victim.

“This court directs the UT Chandigarh, through the home secretary, to bear the educational and boarding charges of the victim until she attains the age of majority. The UT shall also provide her appropriate accommodation,” it said.
There can never be a more grave and heinous crime than a father being charged with raping his daughter. It is a betrayal of trust as he is a fortress and the refuge of his daughter. — Judge

Commenting on the nature of the crime, the court observed: “It is a loathsome sin and an unpardonable act. Ordinarily, the offence of rape is grave in nature, more so, when the perpetrator of the crime is the father. It is far graver and the rarest of the rare, which warrants a strong judicial hand. Not only this, the victim carries an inedible local stigma and deathless shame as long as she lives.”

Pronouncing the orders the court held: “There can never be a more grave and heinous crime than a father being charged with raping his own daughter. It is a betrayal of trust as he is a fortress and the refuge of his daughter.”

Her brother Makhan Singh and maternal uncle Raj Kumar were present in the courtroom and were happy to hear the orders. The victim had specially come to the court today to hear the quantum of sentence after appearing for the internal examination of Class VII.

While the accused and the victim sat patiently in the courtroom for the orders to be pronounced, the defence counsel told the complainant’s counsel that his client had been implicated as the girl’s maternal uncle wanted to grab the property. Later, the accused started levelling allegations against his daughter, saying that she used to return home late at night.

Talking to the Tribune, the victim said: “I am happy with the orders and want to go back home soon. When he was shouting in the court, I felt like slapping him.”



Shubhwant’s husband held
Akash Ghai & Archit Watts
Tribune Reporters

Chandigarh, September 15
Vikramjit Singh, husband of Shubhwant Kaur, a schoolteacher, was arrested on the charge of attempt to murder this morning.

He has been remanded in judicial custody.

Shubhwant Kaur, who received 15 to 20 per cent burns, is still recovering at the ICU in the GMCH-32. Doctors have described her condition serious but stable.

She had sustained burns last evening at her Sector 44 house. While her statement has not been recorded due to her condition, the police has registered a case on the basis of her father’s statement, Rattan Singh, who arrived here last night from Ludhiana.

He told the Tribune this afternoon that he suspected his son-in-law set her on fire. He alleged that Vikramjit was having an affair with a Jaipur-based girl and wanted to get rid of Shubhwant. He said: “I had paid Rs 30,000 for his first Maruti car and he often chided her for getting less dowry.”

However, talking to the Tribune at the Sector 34 police station where he was held earlier in the day, Vikramjit refuted the allegations, but admitted that he was seeking separation from his wife.

“We don’t get along and I don’t want to stay with her,” he said, adding that he was being falsely implicated. He said he had been staying separately for the past few months in a rented flat in Sector 49. But he said he was in his Sector 44 house at the time of the incident.

“I was in the other room when she sustained burns,” he claimed.

Meanwhile, the police has recovered a 2-litre bottle containing some kerosene and a matchbox from a dustbin in the house.

“The bottle was wrapped in a plastic which was also burnt,” police sources said.

Their children are with their paternal grandparents. “They don’t know anything about the incident,” Darshan Singh Kler, a family friend, said.

On May 16, Vikramjit’s parents had filed a case against Shubhwant in court, seeking her eviction from their house. “The case was slated to be heard today,” Rattan Singh said, adding that the case had been adjourned to September 24.



Shubhwant a ‘kind, brave teacher’
Archit Watts

Chandigarh, September 15
Students of Ryan International School, Sector 49, are in a state of shock at the incident involving their teacher Shubhwant Kaur, who was allegedly set on fire by her in-laws here yesterday. During a visit to the school, the TNS found Shubhwant to be quite a popular teacher among students.

“I was shocked to see the news in today’s newspaper. It’s unbelievable as she is a very good teacher,” said a girl student after she emerged from the school after taking her science examination this afternoon.

Many other students asserted that Shubhwant was very kind and brave.

“We only learned about the trauma she had been undergoing on account of the family dispute. But that (the trauma) never reflected on her professional skills. She never let her feelings of suffering out,” said students, requesting anonymity.

Principal Poonam Sharma said she had learned about the discord between the couple a few days ago. “Two days ago, her husband came to me seeking a solution to their dispute. However, I did not want to involve myself in their family affair and steered clear of it. It was shocking to learn about the news today,” she said.

Terming Shubhwant a good human being, Sharma said she was one of the best teachers of the school. “We are all praying for her early recovery,” she added.

Shubhwant, who is a gold medallist in MSc from Panjab University, joined the school in 2003 and is a science teacher there.



Dowry harassment cases on the wane
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15
The arrest of the husband of a Ryan schoolteacher, Shubhwant Kaur, in an attempted murder case today notwithstanding, the city has seen a sharp decline in dowry harassment cases this year.

Shubhwant has been receiving treatment at the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, since Sunday after she was allegedly set afire by her in-laws. She suffered 15 to 20 per cent burns, said the doctors treating her.

A perusal of records of dowry cases registered by the Chandigarh police revealed that there had been a 50 per cent decline this year in comparison to last year.

Till August 31 this year, 35 cases had been registered under the Prevention of Dowry Harassment Act, while 112 cases were registered during the intervening period of 2007.

However, incidents of dowry deaths have doubled since last year, as two dowry deaths were reported till August 31, as against one in 2007.

Investigations so far indicated that other than extramarital affairs of Shubhwant’s husband, Vikramjit Singh, her in-laws had harassed the victim for dowry.

The victim’s father, Rattan Singh, in his complaint, alleged that soon after the marriage of his daughter in October 1995, her mother-in-law began demanding dowry and harassing his daughter.

She was thrown out of the house on May 16 this year, and the matter was reported to the police. He claimed that he had paid his daughter Rs 30,000 as her husband wanted to buy a car.

Last year, the police received 1,280 complaints, while it had registered 800 complaints so far this year.

However, a large number of complaints ended in a compromise and registration of cases was far less as against the number of complaints received.

Citing figures, sources in the police said in 2005, 75 cases were registered under the dowry harassment Act, while three incidents of dowry deaths were reported.

In 2006, a considerable rise in such incidents was seen with the registration of 102 cases of dowry harassment and 10 incidents of dowry deaths.

A senior police officer said one of the reasons behind the decline in number of registration of such cases was that in a large number of disputes, the complaint was filed under the dowry Act for arm-twisting purposes.

Moreover, a large number of marital disputes were resolved during counselling sessions that the police provided to disputing parties.



Jinxed: Work on Tagore Theatre halted
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15
Renovation work on Tagore Theatre may not be completed on time as the contractors have stopped work.

Sources revealed that on September 11, the vigilance department had conducted a surprise “raid” on Tagore Theatre and collected 30 samples of construction items from the site. Today, it had called people from the chief engineer’s office and inspected documents related to the project.

The sources said the construction had been allotted to 10 contractors and all of them had informed the engineering department that they would not continue the work until the report of the samples was received by the department.

Talking to the Tribune, a contractor, on the basis of anonymity, said the contractors feared that if the outcome of the report was not satisfactory, the administration would find an excuse to delay their payment.

He said no hi-tech laboratory was available with the department where the samples could be tested immediately. The samples had to be tested in a private laboratory and it would take long. Finance secretary Sanjay Kumar said as it was a prestigious project of the administration, the vigilance conducted a routine inspection to check the quality of work.

On September 16, 2007, Tagore Theatre was closed for six months for its renovation. The administration had extended the deadline of the project twice and fixed it for September 30, 2008.


Bomb hoax at Punjab mini secretariat
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15
Panic gripped the Punjab Mini Secretariat in Sector 9 this morning when the police evacuated the building following recovery of a letter threatening to blow it up.

The police received information around 9.35 am from the security staff at the secretariat that three photocopies of a typed letter, purportedly sent by the Babbar Khalsa International (BKI), had been recovered from various parts of the building. The letters threatened to blow up the building between 10 am and 4 pm.

The letters were found by the security staff of the building and sub-inspector Sucha Singh of the Punjab police informed the UT police.

A police officer told the TNS that the letters were typed in Punjabi and bore no signature.

The letter claimed that the BKI had accomplished its job and dared the Parkash Singh Badal’s government in Punjab to save itself if it could.

The SHO of the Sector 3 police station said soon after getting the information, the police reached the secretariat and evacuated the building.

The fire brigade and various units of the police, including the bomb disposal squad, the dog squad and the operations cell, were pressed into service.

The entire building was searched and the operation lasted over four hours. Nothing objectionable was found during the search, he added.

UT SSP S.S. Srivastava, SP (traffic and security) H.S. Doon and SAP (central) Madur Verma reached the scene and supervised the operation. The SHO said they were investigating into the source of the letter. 



Terror threat to city real, says SSP
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15
With Chandigarh fast emerging as another centre for IT and multinational companies and a tourist hub, the city is increasingly becoming vulnerable to terrorist threat.

Security and intelligence agencies are apprehensive about the threat perception looming large on the city in the wake of serial bomb blasts that rocked the national capital on September 13.

Terming Chandigarh as one of the vulnerable cities in the country, a senior police officer said threat perception could not be ruled out here as terrorist outfits could easily target it to get immediate attention.

Malls and big shopping centres accommodating huge crowds are more prone to such strikes, which was not the case earlier.

Talking to the TNS, UT SSP S.S. Srivastava maintained that though there was no specific information about any terrorist strike in the city so far, the police was on high alert.

He said the entire force had been alerted in the wake of the blasts in Delhi and search operations were being conducted in the slum areas to keep a tab on suspicious and unaccounted for persons.

The police conducted a search operation in the wee hours today at Burail village to locate and arrest suspected terrorists and anti-national elements. The operation began at 3 am and went on till 6.30 am.

DSP (operations and training) Vijay Kumar supervised the operation with a team of 75 policemen.

The police rounded up 33 suspected persons out of whom 19 persons unaccounted for were booked under Section 109 of the CrPC.

The SSP said similar exercises would be carried out in the coming days as a preventive measure.

The slums and other vulnerable areas would be thoroughly checked during the operation in various parts of the city.



Anti-Encroachment Drives
MC staff struggle sans security
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15
The Chandigarh municipal corporation’s enforcement staff seem to be facing a stiff resistance from encroachers in various parts of the city.

Close of the heels of the manhandling of the MC staff in Sector 17, a team faced the wrath of encroachers in Sector 23 recently. Such incidents have raised a question mark on the security of the enforcement staff in the line of work.

Source in the corporation said the ruling party had raised the issue of enforcement department not carrying out its duty properly at a recent house meeting.

They said when basic facilities like security were being denied to them, it was not possible to deliver the desired results.

Officials claimed that the staff was ill-equipped, had no communication facilities and operated on old and worn-out vehicles. They said the item of purchase of new vehicles for enforcement staff was removed from the house agenda on the plea that it was not required.

Earlier, a proposal was sent to the Chandigarh police to provide adequate security to the enforcement staff during encroachment drives but the request was turned down by the police department.

Sources in the corporation said the former MC commissioner had been mulling the question of raising their own force for such drives rather than depend on the police department, but it could not be materialised.

Sources said a number of times, the encroachment drive had failed to undertake a drive due to non-availability of security for the team.

MC’s additional commissioner P.K. Sharma said there had been a shortage of security staff for the enforcement wing and they had requested the city IG to provide adequate staff, including the women police, to handle the encroachers. 



CHB shies away from paying relief 
G.S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15
While the Chandigarh Housing Board doesn’t bad an eye while charging penal interest to the tune of 30 per cent from the allottees of Sector 49 self-financing one-bedroom and two-bedroom scheme, 2005 and 2006, for delayed payment, it is shying away from paying compensation to the allottees for delayed possession.

The double standard adopted by the CHB and inordinate delay in granting possession has invited the ire of hundreds of allottees (160 one-bedroom flats and 112 two-bedroom flats).

In spite of paying full amount of the dwelling units, the allottees are still not in a position to move into their flats.

Office-bearers of the welfare organisation of the allottees ARWAS-49 rued that they had been charged double the amount of what CHB had offered the flats for in its 2001 scheme.

Exercising the Right to Information (RTI) Act, the allottees have asked the CHB to break up the cost of construction and criteria for fixation of rate of interest.

“It is beyond the mandate of the CHB to make excessive profit as the CHB’s citizens’ charter clearly focussed at constructing well-designed quality and reasonably priced houses,” ARWAS joint secretary V.K. Sharma alleged.

The citizens’ charter clause also assures to establish convenient and transparent procedure for allotment, possession and payment etc. However, the situation is the other way round, allottees alleged.

“We had moved an application under the RTI in July but are yet to get a reply from their side. At least, we have the right to know under what rules and regulations the CHB has charged us the amount,” said president organisation M.K. Handu.

The allottees argued that they were assured of false ceiling in toilets and kitchen by the then chief engineer G.S. Rosha.

“He told us during one of his visits to the site on November 20, 2007, that false ceiling would be provided to cover the protruding P-traps,” said another allottee, Rajiv Jindal.

“Let alone false ceiling, the CHB has not kept its commitment of giving possession in September, 2007 for scheme-2005 and April, 2008 for scheme-2006,” the allottees resented.

Neither chairman Mohanjeet Singh nor CEO Sandeep Kumar was available for comments.

CHB rules on delayed payment

In case payment of registration money or the subsequent installment is not made by the due date prescribed in the acceptance demand letter, the CHB has asked applicants to pay penal interest at the rate of 18 per cent per annum for the first month, 21 per cent for second month and 24 per cent per annum for the third month. No extension, the CHB says, will be allowed beyond three months. Only under exceptional circumstances, the chairman reserves the right to revive the allotment, subject to the payment of 30 per cent per annum penal interest. 



Conversion Policy
Finally, admn has second thoughts
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15
Stung by criticism, the Chandigarh administration seems to have finally spared a thought for infrastructure development in the Industrial Area here. For, the administration is apparently having second thoughts on the extension of conversion policy beyond September 18.

In fact, this was the broad consensus that emerged during a meeting senior administration officials had with leading industrial associations, including the CII, the PHDCCI, the Chandigarh Industrial Association and the Chamber of Chandigarh Industries, presided over by finance secretary Sanjay Kumar.

A senior official told Chandigarh Tribune that it was time to take stock of infrastructure development at Industrial Area.

“Consolidation of basic amenities rather than extension of the conversion policy was high on the mind of the administration,” he said, claiming that the final decision on the extension of the conversion policy was yet to be taken.

Since around 100 plots-holders had applied for conversion of their plots, the meeting felt that the upgrade of basic infrastructure through huge sum amounting to crores of rupees earned as conversion fee was the need of the hour.

The administration had been at the receiving end of various quarters, particularly the media, for allowing indiscriminate conversion of the industrial plots into multiplexes and offices complexes without first putting the civic amenities in place.

In fact, the opening of the first shopping mall-cum-multiplex, Centra Mall, had sparked off traffic chaos on the roads passing through the area. Another view was that multiplexes should be allowed only on plots measuring 2 acres and above to end the parking problem. Meanwhile, the tenants association has opposed the conversion of plots up to 2 kanals, as plot owners were “harassed” tenants to vacate the premises.



Phase X residents  getting dirty water
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 15
Residents of Phase X have complained of muddy water being supplied in the area. In a complaint to the local authorities, the residents have lamented that despite repeated complaints there was no improvement in the quality of potable water.

Ranjveen Singh, press secretary of the Citizen Welfare Council, Phase X, said due to erratic power supply, the water pressure was already low. “Whatever water comes is muddy,” he added.

On one hand the Punjab government boasts of making Mohali a future city and on the other hand it is unable to supply potable water. 



City retains top slot
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15
Chandigarh continues to lead the country in per capita income. As against an all-India per capita income of Rs 29,642 per annum in 2006-07, the city has a per capita income of Rs 99,262 per annum at the current prices.

This was revealed in the state domestic product and per capital income figures released by the directorate of economics and statistics (statistical cell) of the Chandigarh administration here today.

In monetary terms, the per capita income of the city has been projected at Rs 1,10, 676 during 2007-08 as per quick estimates.

In fact, Chandigarh has moved away from the primary sector in terms of occupation. Gross state domestic product of the city has highest component of tertiary sector around 78.09 per cent at constant prices since 1999-2000 with 75.91 per cent in the year under review.

Contribution of industries or manufacturing sector called “secondary sector” has been around 20.69 per cent since 1999-2000 with 23.54 per cent in the review year at constant prices.

According to figures, Goa comes next with a per capita income of Rs 82,903 in 2006-07 at the current prices. Delhi at 66,728, and Haryana at 49,039 are the other state whose figure are available.



Financial coordination conference at Chandi Mandir
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15
A financial co-ordination conference of senior officers from the Western Command and the controller of defence accounts was held for the first time at Headquarters Western Command, Chandi Mandir.

The aim of the conference is to bring out professionalism and proficiency, and enhance customer satisfaction level.

Issues like monitoring of expenditure, audit objections, submission of accounts by army units, e-payment scenario and recently introduced New Pension Scheme were deliberated upon during the conference.

General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Command, Lieut-Gen T.K. Sapru chaired the conference.

Nita Kapoor, Principal Controller of Defence Accounts (Western Command), welcomed the officers and explained the objectives of the conference.

She also discussed issues and problems faced by Army officials regarding financial transactions.

Among other senior officers present were Lieut-Gen Amar Aul, Chief of Staff, Western Command, and D. Lahiri, Additional Controller General of Defence Accounts.

The conference was organised at the insistence of Controller General of Defence Accounts, who heads the Defence Accounts Department. 



Protest by youth federation members
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15
Members of the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI), Punjab and Chandigarh, today organised a rally and a march in protest against the unemployment and anti-youth policies of the government.

The march culminated near the Tribune Chowk in the afternoon after the OSD to Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal took the demand charter from the protesters.

Earlier during the day, the members of the DYFI held a rally at Bhakna Bhawan in Sector 29.

They demanded end to privatisation of public sector units, division of surplus land to landless people, implementation of reservation in private sector, disallowing penetration of multinational companies in the retail sector, ensure job and education avenues and to snap the Indo-US nuclear deal.

The police had made elaborate security arrangements for the rally and had a riot control squad to back it up.

Addressing the gathering, CPM state general secretary Prof Balwant Singh flayed the UPA government at the centre and the Akali-BVJP government in Punjab for increasing unemployment due to “anti-people” policies being adopted by them.



BSP holds dharna  outside MC office
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15
Activists of the Bahujan Samaj party (BSP) led by their leader Harmohan Dhawan staged a dharna outside the municipal corporation office today against the enforcement department’s campaign to remove roadside vendors.

The protesters raised slogans against the enforcement department.

They demand allotment of alternative sites to the vendors to rehabilitate them so that they could earn their livelihood. The said no survey had been carried out to identify genuine vendors.

They rued that the rent fixed by the authorities for booths allocated to vendors were high and these should be toned down.

Dhawan later presented a memorandum to MC commissioner Dr Roshan Sunkaria.



Fresh suspected dengue cases 
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 15
With five more suspected cases of dengue reported at local hospital, the number of patients of the disease has reached to 11 in the district here today. The cases reported today were from rural and urban areas of Sectors 4 and 21.

However, only three cases of dengue were confirmed till now, said a press release of the administration.

According to district malaria officer Anil Allahabadi, out of 11 cases reported in the district till now one patient arrived from Jharkhand while another suspected patient of dengue had died at PGI on Friday.

In addition to it, 92 cases of malaria were also reported at different hospitals in the district, said Allahabadi. However, only three of them were found to be suffering from plasmodium falciparum and the authorities have ordered to fumigate the area from wherever the case is reported, he added.



Telemedicine project to start in Patiala
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15
The Gian Sagar Charitable Trust, which runs a hospital and medical college in Banur, will soon start a telemedicine project in Patiala district. The Trust is in a process of equipping the satellite centres.

The principal of Gian Sagar Medical College and Hospital, Dr A.S. Sekhon disclosed this, during a media interaction organised today. The interaction was organised to showcase the custom made software in the hospital. This software ensures a hassle free dealing for the patients, as all processes from registration to discharge would be done online.

Dr Sekhon said they were setting up the satellite centres for the telemedicine project at Rajpura and Gajukheda village. He said the project would be implemented by the end of this year.



Man with a healing touch
Himani Chandel
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15
He is no spiritual guru but a modern age avatar, who serves people gripped in pain and grief with his collective energies of mind and soul. For people, he is the ultimate source of positive energy.

He teaches the pleasurable experience involved in the moments of dying to people with terminal illness or the ones waiting for their death.

A man who cures people by his healing touch and spiritual energy, Patrick San Francesco was in the city today to bless the stressed people. He is a man whose only passion is to serve the poor and downtrodden. “Nobody has seen death as no one has ever come back from the point to tell what exactly it is. So, why fear of the unknown. What is beyond that is much fun and this is what I tell people,” said Patrick.

According to Patrick, 99 per cent of our diseases are outcome of stressed life. “I don’t treat the illness but the source that has caused it. The irony of human life is that we spend our lives to earn money and then spend our money to earn life,” he said.

Patrick treats people by not praying for them but by demanding for their wellness from God. “We have always been taught to bribe God or to beg him for wealth and happiness. Unlike others, I demand Him wellness for poor like a stubborn child and fortunately I always get it. You need to fully know and not just have faith in God,” he said.

Patrick spreads happiness as an attitude towards life rather than a feeling or a sentiment. “The biggest mistake people commit is when they take happiness as a feeling or something which can be achieved by purchasing material things. It is just like a mirage as when you get one thing, you crave for the other. One should learn to be in a state of happiness in whatever situation he is put to. It should become the natural behavior of a person,” he said.

Born in Holland to a Dutch mother and Portuguese-cum-Rajput father, brought up in Bangalore, studied in London and based in Goa, Patrick identifies himself as an Indian who travels from nook and corner of the country in search of his patients.

A graduate in Medicine, Law and Accountancy, Patrick wants to learn everything that could help him in providing the right consultancy to people. “I studied because I wanted to give medical, financial and legal consultancy to people,” said Patrick.



Western Command observes 61st Raising Day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15
A solemn memorial-cum-wreath laying ceremony marked the commemoration of the 61st Raising Day of the Western Command — the army’s sword arm — at Chandimandir military station today. It was on this day 61 years ago that the Western Command came into being in Delhi.

A wreath was laid at the Veer Smriti war memorial by the General Officer-Commanding-in-Chief, Western Command, Lt-Gen T.K. Sapru, to pay tributes to the martyrs.

Senior officers, JCOs and other ranks were present on the occasion. Ceremonial guards reversed arms as a mark of respect while buglers sounded the Last Post followed by the Rouse.

Speaking on the occasion, General Sapru assured that the path shown by the veterans would be the guiding force in all future ventures. He also reaffirmed the Army's commitment in providing all possible help to the veterans. Entertainment programme,“barakhana” for troops and a social evening for officers and their families were also organised.

Raised on September 15, 1947 with its headquarters in Delhi, it was then called Delhi and East Punjab Command and controlled all formations with an operational role in the territorial areas of the present Western, South Western and Northern Commands. It was redesignated as Western Command in January 1948. In 1954, the Command Headquarters moved to Shimla.

After the 1971 Indo-Pak war, Northern Command, with its Headquarters at Udhampur, was carved out of it to assume operational responsibility of Jammu and Kashmir. Headquarters Western Command eventually moved to its present location at Chandimandir in 1985.

In 2005, consequent to the raising of South Western Command, the areas of responsibility of the Command were readjusted. Today, Western Command guards the heartland of the country, including parts of Punjab and J&K. It has participated in all wars since independence, blunting enemy offensives and carrying the battle into enemy territory.

The Command is currently involved in flood affected areas of Bihar and Punjab. It also provided timely medical aid to cyclone-hit areas of Myanmar this year.



Admn nod to open-air sculptures
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15
Installation of open-air environmental sculptures at various nodal points — pedestrian plaza in front of Neelam Cinema, square in front of DC office in Sector 17, State Library in Sector 34, airport and Rose Garden — has been approved by the Chandigarh administration.

The initiative has been taken by the administration by inviting sculptors from all over India to the city to display their finest works.

A specific theme is being given to each site/location. The sculptures will be aesthetic and of high quality and represent the city itself.

The selection committee has recommended three sculptors — Indranil Garai, Jitesh Malik and S.K. Kushwaha — to make a detailed proposal based on the locations decided by the administration.

Known internationally for its architecture and urban planning, Chandigarh is home to numerous architecture projects of renowned architects like Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret, Matthew Nowicki, Albert Mayer and Indian architects.



Three-day Punjabi drama bonanza begins
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 15
The fifth ‘Gursharan Singh Naat Utsav’ organised by the Suchetak Rang Manch Mohali in collaboration with NZCC, DPR Chandigarh and Punjab Arts Council will start at the Randhawa auditorium here tomorrow.

The three-day theatre bonanza of popular Punjabi dramas written by Gursharan Singh is a salutation to the octogenarian thespian, bestowed with the national Sangeet Natak Akademy fellowship and Kali Das Samman.

Shiromani theatre director, Kewal Dhaliwal will present a play ‘Dhamak Nagare Di’ on September 16 while Anita Shabdeesh will direct Pali Bhupinder’s play ‘Agali Dastak Hon Ton Pehlan’, staged on 17th September.

The festival themed as ‘Theatre for social change’ concludes with satirical plays ‘Nawan Zamana and Tamasha Moteyan Da’ in street theatre format propagated by Gursharan. All art lovers can watch plays from 7.00 p.m. onwards on all days.



Provide bus service

Derabassi, Zirakpur and Lalru are some of the most important towns in Punjab and a lot of people commute between these towns and Chandigarh for work. But despite their proximity with the UT, there are no direct bus services linking the city with these areas.

The existing bus service from the city to the aforementioned towns is not an intra-city service but an inter-city service. As a result, residents of these towns end up wasting a lot of time and face inconvenience.

Lastly, in the absence of direct bus service, people coming from these places have to take auto-rickshaws. While, the rising oil prices impose an additional burden on commuters, the drivers fix their own fares for the distance and thus should not be encouraged as an alternative of inter-city transportation.

Rajesh Krishan, Chandigarh

Re-carpet roads

The V-6 roads in Sector 40-C are in a dilapidated condition and are now leading to serious accidents. There are big potholes and no efforts have been made to fill up the potholes. Earlier, when the roads were repaired the contractors used very poor quality of material.

Numbers of letters requesting carpeting of these roads were addressed to the ward councillor who in turn assured every time that the roads would be re-carpeted shortly. About four months ago a deputation of Welfare Association MIG-I, Sector 40-C met the Mayor, Municipal Corporation, who assured that he will even get the roads re-carpeted from his own funds. Recently, the roads committee of MCC has passed number of estimates for repairing of roads across the city, but nothing has been done. The assurances given by the Mayor as well as the Councillor just remained on papers.

S.K. Khosla, Chandigarh

No ECG on weekends

The Panjab University runs a big hospital, but it is sad to know that on weekends there is no ECG facility. The ECG facilty is indeed very necessary, as it a matter of life or death for a patient. What is the use of a hospital when the services are not provided to save patients?

Opinder Kaur Sekhon, 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



Irked by PU authorities, warden resigns
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15
Irked over university authorities stand of not owning up decision to conduct checks and raids in the girls’ hostels for the intervening night of September 10 and 11, Seema Vinayak, warden of the Sarojini Hall (hostel no. 3) submitted her resignation today, to the dean Students Welfare (women), prof Nishtha Jaswal.

Her resignation come in the wake of a protest held by hostel girls, who demanded her removal following the checking and raids in the hostel, two days before election.

It is important to mention here that a group of girls protested on September 13, demanding the removal of the hostel warden.

According to sources, the controversy erupted when as per the university orders the wardens of the hostel conducted raids and surprise checks in the hostel. Parents of those students who had not marked their attendance for September 10 and had allegedly gone for a night out from the hostels without prior intimation were called-up and letters were also sent to them next morning asking for an explanation for the absence.

The warden of this hostel, Seema, also did the same as other wardens to which some students objected.

According to sources, the protest of the students and the demand henceforth was long planned as some notorious elements in the hostel were against the disciplined ways of the warden and were on a lookout for the right time. Consequently, the students waited till the students’ poll passed off as many of them were alleged to be the wining alliance’s supporters and were also involved.

The protest happened on the next day of the student council elections.

In this matter the vice-chancellor had given the additional charge of this hostel to another warden, so as to inquire the matter.

However, the vice-chancellor did not remove the warden, Seema, and said that he would not remove or take any action against the warden till he confirms the incident.

However, when contacted, Seema, refused to comment on this matter.



PUTA rejects Ronki’s resignation
Issue to be discussed at general body meeting
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, Sept 15
Panjab University Teachers Association’s (PUTA) executive body today declined to accept the resignation of PUTA’s newly elected president Ronki Ram. Ronki had submitted his resignation yesterday. The issue would be discussed now in the general body meeting of PUTA slated for tomorrow.

Ronki had tendered his resignation from the post of president after he was accused of diluting PU’s struggle for central status. Ronki had invited a lot of criticism for his appeal to the teachers to fight for the total central funding rather than central status for Panjab University in wake of opposition from their Punjab counterparts on the issue of granting central status to the PU. Punjab government due to opposition from academicians based in Punjab, including the former vice-chancellors of other universities in Punjab had to withdraw the letter of consent forwarded to the ministry of Human Resource Development clearing all roadblocks to grant the central university status to Panjab University.

PUTA general secretary, Ashwini Koul, when contacted said, “The executive committee expressed its support and faith in Ronki and declined to accept the resignation. We have full faith in him and his methodology.”

Ronki had been facing a lot of opposition from a section of PU faculty for his stand on the issue of central status to PU. His view to bid for total central funding against the central status, in wake of the Punjab government’s withdrawal of consent letter, did not go down well with the PU faculty members.



Student flunked for not signing attendance sheet
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15
Deepak Sood, a first year student of Government College Sector 11, is the latest victim of Panjab University’s laidback attitude. While he faired well in all his exams, held couple of months back, he has been declared failed and repeated pleas and continuous visits have born no fruit in getting the error rectified.

According to Deepak, “I appeared in all exams as a general candidate though was late for English exam. While I was allowed to take this exam, the examiner did not get the attendance sheet signed by me, as a result I was marked absent and thus declared failed. My college authorities refused to help and passed the buck to the university. I have been visiting the university since two months to get directed to a new person every time. I am afraid of losing an year withstanding the fact that I have completed all formalities and submitted all requisite documents on time.” It may be noted that amongst requisites, Deepak, has submitted a written application along with affidavit by fellow students confirming his presence in the examination.

On being questioned that why didn’t the university wake up to the obvious discrepancy between the number of papers checked and list of students appeared all that dean students Welfare, Naval Kishore had to say was, “I agree that if the case is genuine then this discrepancy should have surely been noticed. I will look into the matter and resolve the issue as soon as possible.”



3 pc schoolchildren suffer from depression
Tribune News Service

Patiala, September 15
At least 3 per cent school going children suffer from emotional disturbances such as severe depression, suicidal thoughts, psychosis, attention problems, and excessive compulsive neurosis. “There is a need for creating more awareness about the adolescent health problems,” said Dr Kusum Mahajan, professor and head of the department of Paediatrics of Gian Sagar Medical College and Hospital, while speaking at a continuing medical education programme on adolescence, organised at the Gian Sagar Medical College and Hospital today.

About 100 paediatricians from across Punjab attended the programme, which was inaugurated by Dr C.M. Adya, medical superintendent, and Dr M.S. Sekhon, vice-principal of the GSMCH.

Dr Kusum said everyone was concerned about the adolescents, including parents, teachers, doctors and the society as a whole.

Adolescents spend maximum time at school than at home so besides, family, school is the most important place where they can be introduced to a healthy role of an adults’ life.

Schools played an important role from childhood to adolescent in the development of a child, including cognitive, language, emotional, social or moral development. Still about 20 per cent adolescents have emotional and behavioural disorders at some time in their youth regardless of their socio-economic status, Dr Kusum added.

The CME was organised by the Indian Academy of Pediatrics, Punjab state branch, under the auspices of the Punjab Medical Council.

Doctors from across Punjab who participated in the CME presented papers on various problems faced by adolescents. Participating doctors and specialists were felicitated with momentos.



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