C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


800 PGI doctors go on leave today
Emergency to function normally
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 17
The functioning of the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) is all set to be paralysed as 800 resident doctors have decided to go on one-day mass casual leave tomorrow following a controversy sparked off after a senior resident doctor was allegedly slapped by an assistant professor of the urology department on Wednesday.

However, a resident doctor claimed that the functioning of the emergency and the ICU department would function normally.

A decision was taken today by the Association of Resident Doctors at a general body meeting held on the PGI campus after the administration had referred the case to the health and family welfare ministry for final action.

According to Dr Prabhu Shanker, president of the association, after waiting for two days for the administration to take some action against the doctor, the association decided to go on mass casual leave.

The incident occurred on Wednesday when Dr Sanand Kumar, senior resident, Urology, was allegedly assaulted and abused by Dr Santhosh Kumar, assistant professor of the same department, in front of OT staff and technicians. The matter was immediately reported to the head of the department and the director, PGI.

According to sources, the scuffle took place over the matter of a case list in OT as his cases have not been given preference. “There are five consultants in the department and the list made it according to the cases,” said a senior resident of the PGI.

The director, PGI, constituted a committee yesterday to look into the grievances of the resident doctors. “We are really happy that the committee has looked into the matter on an urgent basis. There is prima facie evidence that Dr. Santhosh Kumar is guilty and has to be punished for his offence. But, we demanded his immediate suspension and expulsion from the institute” said Dr Prabhu.

“This fight is not against a person, it’s for a cause, and it’s against the gross misconduct by a member of the PGI family,” said the association president.

“However, we have ensured to run the emergency and ICU services and all doctors attending the emergency cases will wear black badges to show our protest. It is only a token protest and we had chosen Saturday to minimise its impact on the patients,” he said.

“If they will not take any action against him, then we can go on strike,” said association president.



Tricolour insulted; PCA in dock

Spectators at the PCA stadium celebrate Tendulkar’s record of highest scorer in the world in Mohali on Friday. Tribune photo: Kamal Kishore

Mohali, October 17
The Mohali police has booked staff members of the Punjab Cricket Association for disrespecting the National Flag.

PCA officials did not bother to check that the National Flag was hoisted upside down on the north pavilion.

The flag continued to furl for over 45 minutes before an alert police officer on duty saw this and reported the matter to his seniors.

An FIR has been lodged.

The PCA authorities later reportedly apologised for the mistake and also allegedly tried to pressure the police not to lodge an FIR. — TNS



Admn to put brakes on over-speeding school buses
One-month deadline to install speed governors
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 17
Sparing a thought for the safety of the school children, the Chandigarh administration, yesterday decided to put brakes on the over-speeding by the school buses and fixed one-month deadline for the bus operators to install speed governors.

In the backdrop of increasing incidents of accidents, involving the school buses the decision had been taken to reduce the number of mishaps. A speed limit of 50 km per hour had been fixed for the school buses, official sources said here.

With paucity of time in the morning, a substantial number of school buses resort to over-speeding to reach the schools in time compromising the safety of the children and other road users.

It has been observed that certain bus operators run "condemmed" buses, which pose major danger to the road users when they cross the prescribed speed.

Officials said the State Transport Authority (STA) and the Chandigarh Traffic Police would enforce the orders strictly after one month. Strict action, including challan and impounding of buses, would be taken against the violators, the officials warned.

While confirming the decision, UT home secretary, Ram Niwas said the decision was offshoot of increasing numbers of accidents, involving the school buses. The installation of the speed governors would go a long way in checking over-speeding by school buses and ensuring safe journey for the school kids, he added.

However, the UT decision is likely to face stiff opposition from the bus operators, who had been opposing the decision, as this would cost them money. Each speed governor cost Rs 15,000-17,000 and its installation cost would be passed on the students with a hike in the school bus fee imminent, a bus operator said.

Meanwhile, the parents of school children have welcomed the decision. The decision is praiseworthy as this would reduce the menace of over-speeding by the buses to a large extent and the administration should strictly enforce it, said Anup Sharma, a resident of Sector 21 here.



New building bylaws notified
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 17
The Chandigarh Administration has notified new building bylaws. This will bring relief to owners of thousands of residential and commercial buildings in the city.

The increased floor area ratio (FAR), strict parking norms and emphasis on eco-friendly measures such as solar water heating and rainwater harvesting are the highlights of the amended bylaws approved by Sanjay Kumar, UT finance secretary-cum-chief administrator.

All buildings, except residential, in Sectors 1 to 30 will continue to be governed by the architectural control. However, the buildings in Sector 31 onwards will be governed by the approved volumetric controls. The changes and extra spaces will come at a price fixed by the finance department with a provision for compounding fee for the already-made additions and alterations, sources said here today.

Bowing to the demands of residents, the administration has allowed FAR of two for the marla houses less than one kanal with ground coverage of up to 70 per cent. The houses from one kanal to two kanal will have the FAR of 1.5 and covered area of 50 per cent. The two kanal houses will have FAR and ground coverage of 1.25 and 45 per cent. And for the above two kanal bungalows, the FAR has been kept at one with ground coverage being only 25 per cent.

"Projection/cantilever on the first and second floor of the marla and kanal houses governed by the architectural control, not exceeding three feet from the building line in the front and real courtyard and at least three feet away from either side of the building line from the centre line of the common wall will be allowed,” the notification said. The restriction of having only square and rectangular shaped doors and windows in the residential buildings has been done away with.

Officials said for taking care of the ever-increasing energy requirements, it had been made mandatory for the one kanal houses to install solar water heater of at least 100 litres and for two kanal houses the solar system of at least 200 litres.

“Safety concerns such as stability of structures and adequate provision of civic amenities, including public health, electricity, air, fire services were the main criteria for the formulation of the new bylaws,” Sanjay Kumar said.


  • Coverage of 70 per cent for houses up to 1 kanal
  • Solar heating and rainwater harvesting must for above 1 kanal houses
  • Dual flushing system of not more than 7 litre capacity for one toilet
  • All changes/extra space come at a price
  • Existing houses given 2 years time to comply with new byelaws



0001 goes for Rs 3.1 lakh
Tribune News Service

Mohali, October 17
Cash-rich farmers of villages on the periphery of Mohali are ostentatiously spending money on luxuries. A reflection of their lifestyle was visible during the auction of fancy vehicle registration numbers held at the office district transport officer (DTO).

Many participants have recently bought expensive MUVs and premium sedans from the money distributed as land compensation by the government.

The maximum bid of Rs 3.1 lakh went for number PB 65 H 0001 against a reserve price of Rs 50,000. “The VIP number bid by Sandeep Kaur, a resident of Gharuan village, is the highest bid attracted ever since the auction was started ”, said the district transport officer, Mohali, Balbir Singh. The second highest bid of Rs 2 lakh for number PB 65 H 0005 was made by Kulwant Singh of Baliali village.

Today’s auction saw more participation by villagers and the response from the urban area was least. The urban elite, who have their establishments in Chandigarh, prefer UT numbers. Explaining the reason for bidding in the Mohali auction, Rajinder, a participant, said due to high-bidding that goes in Chandigarh, the craze for VIP numbers in Mohali will always remain.

Seeing the response of the bidders, the DTO was able to sell 82 numbers out of the total 1 to 100 number of the H series. Others numbers which went for bidding were PB 65 H 0007 that went for Rs 1.2 lakh, PB 65 H 0009 for Rs 80,000 , PB 65 H 0057 for Rs 40,000. The special number PB 65 H 0065 went for Rs 30,000.

The DTO said the total revenue earned was Rs 12.66 lakh against the total reserve price of Rs 3.04 lakh.



New Building Bylaws
Rules eased for commercial properties
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 17
Doing away with some of the archaic building bylaws, the Chandigarh administration has granted a slew of incentives to the owners of commercial property in the city.

The amended building bylaws, which have been notified, allows that certain portions of the buildings will not be counted for the calculation of the floor area ratio (FAR). These included mezzanine floor up 25 per cent of the total area, mumty or staircase cover leading to the terrace, watchman shelter up 10 square metres area, machine room for lift on the top floor, service and stilt floor for parking.

Officials said the basement had been allowed up to the entire zoned area for parking (minimum of 80 per cent) and services/storage (maximum of 20 per cent) in the commercial areas. Similarly, a silent generator or dry type transformer/sub-station will be allowed on the terrace or the rooftop.


  • Wide glazing in place of brick walls on upper floors allowed
  • Use of basements allowed for parking and storage
  • More FAR allowed for various essential services
  • Solar water heating must for commercial buildings

In major departure from the existing bylaws, the administration has allowed wide glazing in place of traditional brick walls on the first and second floors of the SCOs and SCFs subject to architectural control.

Covering of the back courtyard had been allowed in the bay shops. And there will be no bar on providing additional staircases in the commercial buildings. The ground floor of the existing commercial buildings will be allowed to have depression up 2.5 feet for the provision of mezzanine flooring.

Officials said that different categories of buildings at the IT Park here would have site coverage of 40 per cent. And for the educational institutions in the education city, 40 per cent coverage with FAR of 1.5 had been allowed. For the banquet halls, the ground coverage has been pegged at 40 per cent with FAR of one and parking of at least of 130 cars per acre.

Meanwhile, all commercial buildings, including hotels, will have to install solar water heating system of adequate capacity. A minimum of two staircases will have to be provided in the buildings above 15 metres, the sources added.

Welcoming the notification, Charanjiv Singh, president of the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal, urged the administration to take decisions on the pending issues of the traders on a priority basis.



City roads risky during night
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 17
It’s free for all on the city roads during night hours. With the absence of traffic police to man traffic on roads during late night hours, reckless drivers are playing with their and other’s lives.

Just drive down to any busy intersection during night and you can witness reckless drivers flouting the rules and jumping red lights with impunity. Those travelling during night hours feel that incidents of youngsters indulging in drunken and dangerous driving are common sight.

Figures available with the accident cell of the Chandigarh police reveal that out of a total 119 fatal accidents till October 16 this year, as many as 57 incidents occurred between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. Similarly, as many as 102 cases were registered in which the motorists were left grievously injured in the mishaps that occurred during the night hours. In all, 122 persons have lost their lives on city roads till now as against 154 in 2007.

Though the number of accidents during night hours appears to be less in number comparing it with the quantum of traffic during the daytime, the number is still alarming. Out of the total 223 road accidents registered till October 16 this year, as many as 62 fatal accidents were registered during the daytime.

A survey by The Tribune team during the late night hours reveals that all the major roads and intersection were without traffic policemen after 11 p.m. At some points, even the police control room vehicle was not deployed.

“It is difficult to venture out on roads during night hours as reckless driver do not follow the traffic signals and just hate to stop. One could not proceed even on green signal as you never know whether the vehicle coming from other side will stop or not, said Gurmeet Singh, a cook in a restaurant, who travels during late night hours.

When contacted, a senior traffic police officer maintained that the police had conducted studies of the accident-prone areas and at certain points in the city, the traffic policeman were deployed late till 11 p.m.. These points included Press light point, Aroma traffic lights point, transport light point, railway light point, Chandigarh Housing Board Chowk, Hotel Southend Chowk and at Piccadilly Chowk to regulate traffic.

Sources say the traffic police has booked 1,16,065 motorists for various traffic-related offences till September 30 this year, while a total number of 1.31 lakh offenders were booked in 2007. Though the number of persons challaned during night hours is not available, a police officer said only special ‘nakas’ are set up the during night. The police has booked 5,833 motorists for using high beams in the city and 26 persons were caught driving under the influence of liquor.



Pay panel to hear PCMS docs today
Tribune News Service

Patiala, October 17
The Pay Commission has fixed hearing on demands of the Punjab Civil Medical Services Association on October 18. Their demands pertain to higher pay scales and six time bound promotions at 4, 8, 12, 16, 20 and 24 years of service.

The association maintained that duties and working conditions of PCMS doctors were not comparable to any other category of service in view of meagre promotion avenues, stressful duties, fewer holidays and exposure to dreadful communicable diseases.

The PCMSA has demanded pay scales with higher edge, starting from scale of Rs 40,000-1,500-52,000 at entry level to Rs 1,50,000 fixed for director general, health services, and has also asked for 15 posts of directors, 45 additional directors, 125 joint directors and civil surgeons and 525 other administrative posts.

M.S. Randhawa, D.S. Gill and Manjit Singh, patron, president and general secretary of the association, respectively, today said that this was the only way to remove demoralisation, unprecedented stagnation and anomalous situation peculiar to PCMS cadre.

The association disclosed that although a standing cadre review committee was constituted by the Punjab government way back in 1989, but it failed to make any recommendation for nearly two decades.

It argued that every year 5 per cent PCMS doctors were leaving government services to join private jobs due to wide disparity with respect to private sectors. Indian doctors who opted to work in Western and Gulf countries earn even more than Rs 3 lakh per month.

In order to arrest brain drain from PCMS, above scales have been proposed in public interest to provide quality services to the patients.

While demanding 50 per cent Non-Practicing Allowance (NPA) at all levels, the association reproduced the recommendation of the 6th Central Pay Commission, which emphasised the fact that “NPA to doctors is paid not only for the loss of private practice, but also to compensate for longer duration of studies, longer working hours of duties and to compensate for the relatively lesser promotional prospects that exist on account of entry level posts of doctors necessarily having to be filled by direct recruitment without any posts in the entry level being filled by promotion.”

The association also demanded 75 litre of petrol as conveyance allowance to all doctors, higher pay for specialist and super specialist doctors.



Rape Bid
Forensic reports awaited to file chargesheet
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 17
The Chandigarh police is waiting for forensic reports of the over 30 various samples of nails, blood and hair of the five suspects involved in the alleged kidnapping and sexual assault on a German tourist.

The police said the reports would help establishing whether the victim was raped, who was not reportedly in her senses as the suspected tried to administer her with intoxicants before molesting her.

Sources in the police said the experts in the Central Forensic Sciences laboratory have been examining these samples, which would take another two week to complete. It is learnt that the experts had taken samples of nails of the victim as well as of the five accused.

Two types of blood samples to create and match the DNA profile of the accused have also been taken. Hair of victim, accused and from the crime scene was also to be matched in order to corroborate all the scientific evidence to establish the presence of the accused and to confirm that they came in touch with the victim, the sources added.

The police said the chargesheet would be prepared only after getting the forensic reports. Other than victim, the police had recorded the statements of the two security personnel of the Taj Hotel, Sukhwinder Singh and Devinder Singh, Shoba Singh, who came to drop the victim to Sector 20 after the incident, and the owner of the Scorpio car in which the victim was kidnapped and taken to Ambala.

About the rape angle, a police officer said the DNA samples and a condom recovered from the crime scene, which is suspected to have been used by the prime accused, Manveer Singh Jolly, would help in finding out whether the victim was raped or not. It is suspected that the victim was under the influence of intoxicants when she was molested.

The SHO of the Sector 17 police station Ramesh Chander Sharma said the police had enough time to prepare chargesheet and produce it in the court. They can wait for the forensic reports for two weeks to prepare the chargesheet.



Conference on women architects' contribution
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 17
The First Friday Forum and the Saakaar Foundation, two organisations dedicated to the promotion of art and architecture, will bring an event showcasing the contributions of leading women architects to the city on October 19 at the Government Museum and Art Gallery.

An array of experience from the leading architects in the government and private sectors will be shared by the participants drawn from New Delhi, Bangalore, Amritsar and the tricity.

According to Dr S.S. Bhatti, founder of the forum, who will deliver the keynote oration on "Women architects: architectural creativity and the Yin-Yang principle".

The current illustrious women architects had legendary predecessors in Jane Drew, the British woman architect in Le Corbusier’s team, U.E. Chowdhury, the first woman architect of Asia and a trusted associate of Corbusier, and Norma Evenson, who authored the book on Chandigarh (1966) which is now regarded as a Bible on the subject, Bhatti said.

Sensibility of women architects is different from their male counterpart, Surinder Bahga from Saakaar Foundation said adding that select professionals from a cross section of society would be honoured for their creative excellence.

While one of the India’s foremost practising women architects, Namita Singh, will make a presentation of select projects from her rich repertoire of architectural works, the indelible mark of flora and fauna on the works of Renu Khanna.

Punjab's chief architect, Balvinder Saini, will dwell on the constraints and challenges of keeping creativity alive in the government set-up while Archana Chaudary from the Haryana Housing Board will share her concerns and projects.



Councillors protest corruption in MC
Our Correspondent

Mohali, October 17
Sloganeering and protests over increasing corruption and inadequate development works marked the meeting of the municipal council here today.

Soon after the meeting started a number of councillors, including some of ruling group, staged a walkout and raised slogans against the council authorities. They alleged that council office had become a “den of corruption” and no development activity was taking place in the town.

This led to a reaction among civic body employees who, too, raised slogans against the authorities concerned and later met the executive office Amna Kumar Goyal to show their resentment who assured them that their interests would be protected.

While councillors belonging to the opposition group boycotted the meeting, those of the ruling group participated in the proceedings after holding the protest.

The councillors alleged that the EO had failed to free the town of the illegal ‘rehri’ menace as committed by him two months ago even when no councillor had interfered in his working. They said the EO had been blaming the councillors for the menace and wanted a free hand to route out the problem caused by illegal ‘rehris’, but had allegedly failed on this front and was unnecessarily blaming councillors for interfering in the working of the civic body.

Rajinder Sharma said he, along with Suresh Lucky and Kuldeep Kaur Kang, had proved that an employee of the ‘tehbazari’ wing had released a ‘rehri’ after allegedly taking a bribe from him. He said the matter was brought to the notice of the EO who failed to take any action in this regard.

Sharma said it was decided at the last meeting held on September 29 that an employee against whom complaints of corruption were received should be removed from the ‘tehbazari’ wing, but he was shifted only yesterday. Goyal, however, said he had marked an inquiry into the complaint and action would be taken after the report was submitted.

Phulraj Singh and S.S. Barnala alleged that corruption in the council office had increased after Goyal had joined as the EO some months back and councillors were not allowed to raise their voice against all this. They said that parking areas in the town were in a state of neglect and streetlights were not functioning properly.

Mohan Bir Singh said sanitation was in a bad state and no action was being taken despite repeated complaints. Councillors had to cut a sorry figure among the people who had elected them, he added.

The EO said a number of proposals cleared by the House earlier were stayed by higher authorities after councillors had made complaints alleging discrimination. He got the stay removed so that development could take place in the town. He said he was not involved in any sort of corruption and action would be taken against employees who indulged in corruption.

The council returned the 18 tickets given to it by the PCA for India-Australia test match because these could not be divided among 31 councillors.



IT dept tightens noose around tax defaulters
Attaches assets, properties to recover arrears
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 17
In its attempt to recover arrears of a whopping Rs 48 crore, the Income Tax department has started attaching properties and assets of tax defaulters of the city. However, the department has initiated action against a few defaulters out of the list of 207.

The recovery proceeding were initiated by the department last month in which they seized a car of Arun Ummat, son-in-law of senior Congress leader and former Punjab cabinet minister Harnam Dass Johar, in connection with alleged tax arrear to the tune of Rs 6 crore. Yesterday, they attached the sale of Gurdayal Singh & Sons who own petrol pump in Sector 22.

The income tax department has been maintaining that although they have been empowered to attach the properties of defaulters, yet there were many hurdles, which hamper the process of recoveries. A senior official of the department maintained that a number of defaulters were trying to circumvent the process by not receiving the notices.

"Although they (defaulters) also know that they have to pay back the arrear pending against them, yet they try to delay the process and bide the time," senior officials observed.

The Income Tax Act provides certain processes and procedures to be adopted before taking possession of the defaulters' property. It takes some time.

Moreover, once the defaulters make their mind that they are not going to cooperate with the department, the process becomes very complex, said a recovery officer of the department.

However, the department is pursuing all avenues of recovery in other cases. Since the assessee is free to move the court against any attachment, the chances of a major recovery of arrears are bleak, said sources.



Police guidelines for cracker sellers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 17
The Chandigarh police yesterday issued instructions to cracker sellers in the city. The police also arrested a Mani Majra resident and recovered a large quantity of crackers from him.

Sources in the police said Rohit, alias Sonu, of Mauli complex was arrested from his residence on charges of keeping large quantity of crackers on Wednesday. A case under provisions of Sections 4, 5, 9-B and 13 of the Explosives Act has been registered against the accused. He was later released on bail.

Under the guidelines, all explosives should be kept in a brick, stone or concrete building, closed and secured to prevent access to any unauthorised persons to explosives.

The interior of every building and receptacle used for keeping explosives should be properly covered and not be used for any other purpose.

Explosives should be kept in quantities prescribed for various categories of crackers according to their intensity and no oil, paints, matches, lights, any article of a highly flammable or explosives nature should be kept near the explosives.

Further no tools, implements, balance, weights, etc. made of iron or steel should be kept on the licenced premises and no person on the premises should have any iron or steel in his possession.



Bhutan connected with PGI facility
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 17
The telemedicine centre of Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research added another feather in its cap yesterday by connecting first international telemedicine facility with Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital (JDWNRH), Thimpu, Bhutan.

The connectivity has been provided by Telecommunication India Ltd (TCIL), New Delhi, through BSNL.

PGI director Prof K.K. Talwar, and JDWNRH medical director Dr N. Tenzin discussed the new connectivity, and facilities and consultation to be provided to the people of Bhutan.

This was the first telemedicine connection established in Bhutan, Dr Tenzin remarked. The connectivity has been provided under the SAARC telemedicine network, an endeavour of the ministry of external affairs.

Dr Meenu Singh is the coordinator at the PGI for SAARC telemedicine network. According to officials, connectivity with Sri Lanka will be established soon.



Retrenched workers stage dharna at Quark
Tribune News Service

Mohali, October 17
Tension prevailed at the Quark City complex in Industrial Area, Phase VIII, here as retrenched workers protested against the indifferent attitude of the management. They lamented that they were not being fully compensated by the management.

Due to deployment of the police, the protesting workers desisted from marching towards the gate of the Quark City. In the past few days, the Quark City India Private Limited has sacked around 500 daily wagers, citing slowdown in the real estate sector.

While protesting near the main gate of the project site, they lamented that while being taken inside for getting their dues they were being forced to sign on some documents. “We have not been given one-month notice of retrenchment. They should be paying us at least one month’s salary,” said Balbeer Singh.

Most of the retrenched workers are daily wagers hired by the company through a contractor about three years ago for the construction of the Quark City.

The workers lamented that the dues being given were not even sufficient for them to travel to their homes.



Govt Hospitals
Agreement on increasing bed capacity
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 17
In a development that may bring relief to patients, Chandigarh, Punjab and Haryana yesterday agreed on a broad framework on increasing bed capacities in the government hospitals in the city and its satellite towns.

A meeting of officials held here under chairmanship of UT home-cum-health secretary Ram Niwas yesterday deliberated on various issues like decongestion of emergency, general and obstetric, and increasing the bed capacity of hospitals to 200 in satellite towns like Panchkula and Mohali.

It was also proposed to synchronise the referral facilities and formulate a scheme in this regard.

Haryana’s director general, health services, Dr Avinash Sharma, Punjab’s deputy director health Dr Rakesh Gupta, UT director health services M.S. Bains and other senior officials were also present at the meeting.

Niwas directed the officials to expedite the process in order to relieve the pressure from the hospitals in the UT.

He also examined the health capacities at primary level in order to synchronise the referral cases properly.

He further directed the UT director health services to upgrade the facilities at the Mani Majra hospital.



Crazy for publicity

Some persons would go to any length to get their name in print. A case in point is a top legal functionary of the Punjab government who was the chief guest at the Dasehra celebrations in Sector 22 here.

While he was busy watching the programme, his PR man was busy informing the media about his “boss” being the chief guest. He requested mediapersons to cover the event.

It is another matter that most newspapers did not cover his being the chief guest, though the Sector 22 celebrations were covered.

Weighty issues

Gone are the days when you bumped into someone after a long time and the conversation would move around the usual “How are you doing?” Now, the conversation revolves around weights. Meeting an old colleague is followed by “You’ve lost some weight”, “You look really thin” or “You seem to have gained a few kilos since I last saw you”.

Perhaps, people don’t realise that this talk has shocking after-effects. Of course, those who hear good things go back with fond memories, but for others, they may not want to catch up with you ever again. After all, weight matters.

‘Guilty’ lawyers

To keep a tab on kundi connections in the district courts, the electricity department last week disconnected illegal connections. When this was being done, lawyers tried to contact members of the district bar association, but no one turned up. Soon after the team left, advocates went ahead with the kundi connections again!

Water pressure

Checking water pressure in various areas of the town is no longer a headache for employees of the department of public health which has installed pressure gauges to monitor and regulate water supply. Not long ago, the employees had to go to houses to know if the water pressure was all right. While some persons would provide the required information, others would get annoyed for being disturbed, especially at odd hours.

Water gauges have now been installed in Phases I to VII , IX to XI and Sectors 70 and 71.

Wake up, MC

Being dubbed the most modern city of the country with good roads, one has to travel to villages under the jurisdiction of the MC to see the ground reality. The damaged road in Sector 62, near Khajeri, with huge potholes is a testimony to the poor state of roads in villages. One wonders when the civic body would spare a thought to these roads.

Honest act

Kuldeep Singh Rana, a Punjab government employee, returned a purse full of cash and jewellery to its owner. He found a purse on the road in Sector 38. He picked it up and searched for some identification proof of the owner, but did not find any. He approached some people standing near the community park and told them about this. After about an hour, the owner of the purse came there and enquired about it. He then handed over the purse to her after verifying facts. Honesty is still alive.

Misleading lead

Mediapersons had to return disappointed from a police station at Panchkula on Wednesday. They rushed to the police station at Chandi Mandir on the Ramgarh road at midnight in search of a “big catch”.

There was information that the police had caught a high-profile woman politician creating a ruckus under the influence of liquor at a hotel. However, they were disappointment when it was found that the woman from Uttarakhand was only boasting of her links with political parties under the influence of liquor.

Contributed by Pradeep Sharma, Smriti Sharma, Kulwinder Sangha, Aarti Kapur, Rajiv Bhatia and Arun Sharma



Traffic police for women’s long life
Archit Watts

A traffic police official gives a gift to a helmet-wearing girl at Press Chowk, Chandigarh, on Friday. Tribune photo: Parvesh Chauhan

Chandigarh, October 17
On the occasion of Karva Chauth, Chandigarh traffic police, along with the students of Swami Vivekananda College of Pharmacy, conducted a helmet-awareness campaign ‘Life is safe wearing a helmet’, for women and presented gifts to them today.

Neha, a student of Punjab Engineering College, who got a surprise gift from H. S. Doon, SP, traffic police, said: “It is my duty to be alert every time while driving on the road. It is a memorable day in my life, and I will suggest my friends to obey all the traffic rules.”

It was third traffic awareness camp in a series, and 60 gifts were distributed at the various light points of the city. The students distributed brochures related to the helmet awareness.

Talking to this correspondent, students said: “Helmet has saved many lives and there is no reason why a woman driver should not wear a helmet. We selected this day for awareness as this is the most important day in life of a woman.” SP H. S. Doon said: “Only the ISI-marked helmet can protect the life. Life is precious, and it should not be wasted in an accident.”



700 to participate in yoga meet
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 17
More than 700 participants from 25 states and UTs will compete in the 27th National Yoga Championship to be organised from today to Oct 19 by the Indian Yoga Federation (IYF) at the Sector-42 Badminton Hall here.

Haryana chief secretary Dharam Vir, who is also president of the Indian Yoga Federation, said the event aimed at promoting yoga among the youth. He said the federation would give a proposal to the Chandigarh administration to implement yoga in all schools.

The federation president said the State Bank of India and Indian Oil Corporation would sponsor the event.

Pradeep Mehra, advisor to the Chandigarh administrator will inaugurate the championship, while Haryana Governor Dr A. R. Kidwai will distribute the prizes on October 19.

Dharam Vir said the inaugural ceremony would be followed by the first round of competition in sub-junior and junior categories. Every night, cultural events would be conducted by the participants representing their respective states to promote national integration, he added.

He further said the penultimate day would start with final rounds of competitions for elderly men and women. The boys and girls will exhibit complex yoga postures on the final day.

Dharam Vir said free board and lodging would be provided for all participants and officials by the federation.



Consumer Forum
Collection of toll tax illegal
Our Correspondent

Mohali, October 17
The Consumer Protection Forum has demanded that collection of toll tax should be stopped as it amounted to fleecing the public.

In a letter written to the Punjab Chief Minister, president of the forum P.S. Virdi said that toll tax barriers had been put up in various parts of the state.

These were located at short distances on roads leading from Kurali to Hoshirapur, Gurdaspur, Nangal and other places where the public was asked to pay tax at every barrier.

Road tax for every type of vehicle, including scooters, cars, buses, trucks, etc was paid by owners at the time of registration which was collected for taking care of roads. As such collection of tax at barriers now was not only illegal, but also amounted to fleecing the public.

Besides, it also wasted a lot of time of people at each barrier. However, the condition of roads in certain areas was deplorable despite the toll tax collection.

The forum demanded that the collection of toll tax should be stopped, as it was unconstitutional.

A copy of the letter was also sent to PWD minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa.



Youths not tortured in custody: Police
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 17
A departmental inquiry into the alleged torture of four youths arrested by the Sector 39 police station for drug peddling found that they were not tortured in police custody.

The police said an inquiry was entrusted to the DSP B.S. Negi regarding the allegations levelled by Monu, Ravinder Singh, Ramesh and Salman, all resident of Dadumajra Colony. In their complaint of October 7, they had alleged that the police officials at the Sector 39 police station tortured them physically and mentally. A thorough inquiry was conducted and all the witnesses and circumstantial evidence were examined, including the footage of the closed- circuit TV cameras.

The police maintained that the inquiry officer submitted his report today saying that the four accused were arrested for rioting and criminal intimidation on October 3. During the investigation, they were medically examined by the doctor and were produced before the court the next day.

All these persons did not elaborate the matter of "mental and physical torture" neither to the doctor nor before the court even though having been given sufficient time and opportunity. It was further revealed that Monu and his associates levelled false allegation to put pressure on the investigation agency and to continue their criminal activities unattended. The police added that these complainants had criminal record and they were already facing trials in different criminal cases. No independent witness and circumstantial evidence supported their allegations.

It is pertinent to mention here that following this incident; the then SHO of the Sector 39 police station Rajesh Shukla was placed under suspension due to his failure to curb drug menace under his area.



Lok Adalat settles 64 bank cases

Chandigarh, October 17
A special lok Adalat was held for bank cases here today. Manjit Singh, member secretary, State Legal Services Authority, Chandigarh, presided over the lok adalat.

As many as 603 cases relating to Fullerton India Credit Company Limited & HFCL Infotel were taken up, out of which 64 cases were settled and an amount of Rs 7.63 lakh was settled in favour of the bank and the telecom company by amicable settlement.

The member-secretary said the banking and financial sector had been declared as a public utility service and the Permanent Lok Adalat, also dealt with such types of cases. — TNS



Thousands take part in nagar kirtan
Tribune News Service

Devotees during Gurta Gaddi celebrations in Mohali on Friday. Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu

Mohali, October 17
Thousands of devotees today held nagar kirtan in the city for the Gurta Gaddi celebrations. It was started from Phase 1 and ended at Phase 11.

A spokesman of the organising committee Hardeep Singh said it was a huge gathering. Thousand of devotees from Chandigarh, Panchkula and nearby area took part. A music band, elephants, horses and palanquin of the guru was the main attraction.

Meanwhile, when the nagar kirtan reached Phase 8 around 6 pm, they were stopped by the police in view of the cricket match. The police party did not remove barricades, said Hardeep Singh.He alleged that before organising the nagar kirtan, they blocked the traffic for at least 20 minutes and after talking with high officials, they removed barricades then the nagar kitan moved further, he added.



World Anaesthesia Day celebrated
Tribune News Service

Patiala, October 17
The department of anaesthesiology and intensive care, Gian Sagar Medical College and Hospital, organised a colourful programme on the occasion of World Anaesthesia Day, also known as birthday of anaesthesia.

It was on this day the ‘father of anaesthesia’ W.T.G. Morton presented ether, an anaesthetic agent in 1846. Dr Sukhwinder Singh, vice-chairman of Gian Sagar Educational and Charitable Trust, was the chief guest along with Dr A.S. Sekhon, principal, Gian Sagar Medical College and Hospital. A warm welcome was accorded to the guest of honour Dr Kuldeep Kaur, civil surgeon, Patiala, accompanied with Dr I.D. Goyal, assistant civil surgeon. The faculty and staff members appreciated the efforts of the department and extended their heartiest wishes.



Yoga meet begins with enthusiasm
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 17
As many as 500 participants, representing 26 states and UTs, are participating in the 27th National Yoga Championship that kicked off at the Sector-42 Badminton Hall here today. The championship will continue till October 19.

The championship got off to a colourful start with the opening ceremony performed by the adviser to UT administrator, Chandigarh, Pradeep Mehra. The event was marked by a light and sound yoga demonstration by the participants.

Declaring the 27th National Yoga Championship open, Pradeep Mehra stressed on the importance of yoga and complimented the India Yoga Federation for organising the national championship in the city. He also said the Indian Yoga Federation was set up to nurture the talent of players in the popular discipline.

Recently, Indian Yoga Federation, headed by Haryana chief secretary Dharam Vir, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the World Indian Yoga Federation, USA, to provide an opportunity to the players for getting advanced training under the guidance of international instructors.

Sarban Singh, Haryana commissioner and secretary, sports and youth affairs, said at present, there were 23 yoga coaches, one deputy director and one assistant director in the department, who were especially working in implementing yoga programmes in the state.



Sexual Harassment Case
Complainant moves back
Terms it a misunderstanding on her part

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 17
In a dramatic turn of events in the two and a half month old, alleged sexual harassment case at the Panjab University, where in a research scholar had accused her PhD guide of harassing her, the complainant has now withdrawn her complaint. In a letter withdrawing her earlier complaint the girl has termed it as a "misunderstanding" on her part as regards the professor.

Now, the letter will be sent to the sexual harassment committee, which was investigating the matter for giving a clean chit to the professor.

It must be recalled that the girl, a researcher at the department of chemistry had alleged that she had recently got married and the professor used to comment on her bridal dress. She also alleged that the professor forcefully discussed the issue of family planning with her and asked her not to wear "chura".

Later, gauging the seriousness of the matter, university authorities constituted a 15-member committee under the chairmanship of dean Students Welfare (women), professor, Nishtha Jaiswal, to look into the matter. The committee had two three meetings, but the girl, who had recently joined under a UGC fellowship programme in the department didn't turn up.

The girl had first given a complaint in this regard in the department on July 26 after which it was forwarded to the sexual harassment cell committee of the department. The university officials even made all efforts to amicably resolve the matter and had said if she withdraws her complaint she would be given a chance to clear her PhD or MPhil examination. The department level committee had also sent the same recommendations to the sexual harassment committee as well as to vice chancellor.

It is pertinent to mention here that the alleged professor had cleared his stand and said the girl who had complained against him was asked to resign from the post of project fellow, following which she submitted a complaint against the professor.

Apparently, she failed to clear university eligibility test for MPhil or PhD as well as UGC NET. Consequently, she was ineligible as per the university rules to enroll as a PhD candidate.

The professor denying the allegation said given the above mentioned facts, he wrote to the registrar, requesting her termination from the project which is why she made false allegations against him.



Adviser reviews progress of ongoing projects
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 17
Adviser to UT administrator Pradip Mehra reviewed the progress of all ongoing projects and schemes at this month’s first senior officers’ conference here yesterday.

The review was done to make necessary modifications if required.

The adviser directed heads of all departments to prepare a vision document of their respective departments.

He also examined the planned expenditure of the departments and found most of them satisfactory.

For effective implementation of various projects and schemes and to make the system more transparent and credible, suggestions from the public advisory committee will also be taken, averred adviser.

Mehra directed officials to keep an eye on physical and financial targets on a week-to-week basis.

Giving priority to education and health, he said there was a need to improving and upgrading services in the fields to facilitate the beneficiaries.



Chandigarh Fair starts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 17
Punjab Governor and UT Administrator S.F. Rodrigues today inaugurated the CII Chandigarh Fair - 2008 at the Parade Ground, Sector 17, here.

Organised by the CII, the annual event this year has added various new attractions and showcased the latest available products and services for the consumers of the region.

Over 168 companies, including 20 international ones, displayed their products in various sections.

The unique feature of this fair is that a large number of companies from Pakistan have participated and exhibited their products to explore new business opportunities.



Two cops reinstated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 17
The Chandigarh police yesterday reinstated sub-inspector Diwan Singh and constable Jasbir Singh, who were dismissed from service following a corruption case registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation in April this year.

Sources in the police said both policemen were reinstated on the basis of orders issued by the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) issued on September 23.

The CAT had directed the police to reinstate the officers on October 2. Senior officers has placed them under suspension following a pending case against them and sent them to the Police Lines.

The CBI had arrested Diwan Singh and Jasbir Singh on April 25 for allegedly accepting a bribe from Prem Singh of Kajheri village.

Both were dismissed from service after registration of a case.



Dengue toll reaches 130
Our Correspondent

Mohali, October 17
Cases of dengue are still being reported from Mohali even as the toll reaches 130.

While residents blame the administration for having failed to prevent the spread of the water-borne disease, officials of the Health Department claim that the disease could be eradicated only with the full cooperation of the public.

Surprsingly, nearly 80 per cent of dengue cases were reported from Mohali out of which nearly 45 per cent were from Phases III A , III B 1 and III B 2.

District health officer S. P. Surila said his department had carried out a door-to-door survey to educate the people and also to find out whether stagnant water in coolers, worn-out tyres, etc had been discarded. Meetings were also held with the deputy commissioner and the civic body was also asked to carry out fogging on a regular basis. But people had to fully cooperate to prevent the disease from spreading, he added. 



Couple receive burn injuries
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 17
A couple from Kharak Mangoli village, Kamlesh and her husband Pawan, received burn injuries at their house today evening.

They were admitted to the government hospital from where they were referred to the PGI. Pawan received 50 per cent burns while Kamlesh is battling for life with 65 per cent burn injuries.

According Kamlesh’s statement, she was set on fire by her husband who came home with his friends in an inebriated condition. However, he also caught fire while trying to save her, she added.



Japanese fever case detected
Tribune News Service

Kharar, October 17
Patients of Japanese encephalitis and dengue have been detected in Kurali and Kharar area respectively.

Gurpal Singh (45), a resident of Hasanpur village falling under Boothgarh primary health care centre, was found suffering from Japanese encephalitis. The ailment is caused due to culex mosquitoes that breed in stagnant water such as paddy fields. It is mainly found in areas of Assam, Bengal and Bihar. Gurpal, a farmer, was admitted to PGI few days ago and was now in good health. The health department had launched an education and awareness programme in the area.

Also a dengue case had surfaced in Kharar in ward No. 15. Ishwar Mal, a resident of the area opposite Tagore Niketan School, had gone to a private laboratory to get his platelet count tested. He had been suffering from fever for the past few days. Civil Hospital, Kharar, had referred him to PGI Chandigarh.

The health department officials had prepared blood slides of 50 area residents to test them.



52 ASIs promoted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 17
The Chandigarh police yesterday promoted 52 assistant sub-inspectors to the rank of sub-inspectors with immediate effect.

Sources in the police said eight assistant sub-inspectors were directly promoted, while other 44 were earlier promoted on ad-hoc basis had been regularised on the post.



Man found dead
Tribune News Service

Dera Bassi, October 17
A 32-year-old man was found dead while his companion seriously injured in Bhankarpur village at Dera Bassi this morning.

According to the police, Sanjay and Manoj, who were living on the second floor in a same house, found Pappu dead when they went to his room at around 7 am. Meanwhile, they also found Vijay in an injured condition. They immediately rushed to the Civil Hospital, Dera Bassi, where Pappu was declared brought dead and Vijay in critical condition.

He was referred to GMCH 32. According to sources, Pappu and Vijay both were hailing from Bihar and working as labourers in Dera Bassi.

The police said a case would be registered after the statement of Vijay.



Bravo Sachin!

Sachin Tendulkar has surpassed Brian Lara as the highest Test scorer in the second match against Australia in Mohali. Lara had scored 11,953 runs before he retired from international cricket. Tendulkar has crossed 12,000 runs. The player has been rated as one of the all-time greatest batsmen and the face of Indian cricket for two decades. Tendulkar holds a number of other batting records. He also holds the record for most Test hundreds (39).

The tri-city people have enjoyed the match at Mohali.

M. L. Garg, Chandigarh

Widening of roads irks residents

To provide smooth traffic movement on the V-6 roads, the municipal corporation, Chandigarh, is widening the roads in Sector 20-A. But, this has become a cause of misery for residents.

While, pavements have been uprooted, construction material and debris are lying unattended on the road for the past three days. Further, footpath, which is dug up for cabling, has 4-feet deep open trenches for pedestrians to fall in.

Much to my surprise, I was told by a contractor that mechanical mole can be used to lay cable without digging up the concrete area in front of houses, but, one has to shell out at least Rs 300.

This situation is a result of irresponsible attitude of MC officials, who are eternally callous about peoples' problems and complaints. I reckon that despite the government spending a huge amount on improving the city infrastructure, there's no chance of the city becoming world-class unless the residents' problems are addressed.

Rajesh Krishan, Chandigarh

Readers are invited to write to us. Send your mail, in not more than 200 words, at [email protected] or, write in, at: Letters, Chandigarh Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh – 160 030



Priyanka seeks varsity student council’s help
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 17
A day after the UT administration released its report on the MCM brawl case, the unhappy complainant, Priyanka, along with her brother, Rahul, today approached the Panjab University Campus Students' Council and SOPU president Brinder Dhillon for intervening in the matter.

"In the absence of a students' council in my college, I had no option but to approach the Panjab University Students' Council as I have not been formally informed about administration's decision yet."

"We met Brinder Dhillon and other council members have assured us of their support if there has been an injustice in this case," said Rahul.

Brinder Dhillon said the two approached him. But as regards the intervention, he said: "We will first go through the facts of the entire episode, and if there has been any injustice done to the girl, we will definitely take up the matter and will do our best for the student."

Yesterday, Priyanka had expressed her dissatisfaction and unhappiness over the report, and had even said she was planning to appeal UT home secretary Ram Niwas.

Earlier, Priyanka had approached the administration alleging the college authorities of inaction against two students of the college, who had allegedly bashed her up outside the college gate. Taking the cognisance of her request, Raji Srivastava, director, higher education, had deputed two representatives and ensured a re-enquiry into the matter. The report was finally submitted yesterday after a month-long wait.



From Schools
Workshop on art of parenting
Our Correspondent

Mohali, October 17
A workshop on the art of parenting was organised here yesterday at Ashmah International School in order to sensitise parents towards the concerns of children.

The interactive session was chaired by Renu Diwan, an expert who discussed upon various aspects related to the process of upbringing children, like appropriate parental intervention and academic progress of the child.

Diwan exhorted parents to understand their child’s psychology and then decide responses to various stimuli being offered in varied set of situations. She categorically emphasised the need to raise self-esteem of children for encouraging them in their pursuits, academic and otherwise.

Parents invited

Gian Jyoti Global School, Phase II, invited the parents for the first presentation of all classes for the session 2008-2009. This presentation was basically for the parents to take a closer look at their wards recital and the entire day schedule of the tiny tots. This was the presentation of what had been taught to the kids in last three months.

Students took part in various activities, including working on various themes like ‘Home sweet home’, ‘ My secret garden’, ‘Jobs people do’ etc to make students aware about different aspects. Students also recited rhymes and took part in dances.



GC-11 student council without office
Archit Watts

Chandigarh, October 17
Even after a delay of more than one-month time after student elections, the student council at Government College-11 has not been yet allotted the office. The oath ceremony has been conducted in the college last week.

The matter is not only related to council office, even the student council has demanded the permission for an international cultural programme with the performance of a star singer.

Simrandeep, a student leader, said: “Today, we met the college principal regarding our demands. He is not ready even talk to us.”

Ravinder Kadyan, president of the newly elected student council, said: “We will strike against the authorities on Monday if our demands are not get fulfilled.”

A. K. Gauba, principal of the college, said: “We have allotted them the council office according to their needs, and the whitewashing is going on. But they are demanding a star night in cultural function, which the authorities can’t allow them. If they can get approval from higher authorities, then they can do this.”



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