C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Mohali Firing
Fortis ex-staffer’s role suspected
Victim slips into coma
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 13
Even 24 hours after 34-year-old youth Sameer Watts was shot at from a close range near Cosmo Hospital, Phase 8, here, the motive behind the attack is yet not clear to the police as the needle of suspicion is pointing towards a family dispute.

While describing Sameer’s condition to be critical, the doctors attending upon him at Fortis Hospital said he had slipped into coma soon after being shot. The police is relying on the phone calls believed to be made by assailant(s) from Fortis Hospital and other nearby locations, a few hours before the incident.

City SP SS Gill said probe was on. Various aspects were being looked into. The entire day was spent by the officials talking to the hospital staff.

Though the victim’s wife, Simrat, who also works with Fortis and had to be hospitalised after receiving the news, is reported to have told the police that the caller had called up her husband on March 10 and again around 6.45 pm on March 12 to share some vital information. The caller did not call him on Holi.

“She has not been able to tell much about the caller. She could be a vital link in cracking the case”, said a police official.

Probe by the police reveals that the caller or his accomplices were waiting near Cosmo Hospital for Sameer to arrive and within minutes of his arrival, he was shot in the rear of his head.

The hospital authorities said an X-ray had revealed that a bullet that had gone deep in his brain was still visible above the left eye. A profusely bleeding Sameer was found lying in his Santro (HR 03 H 5571) before he was taken to the hospital by his brother-in-law, Sandeep Singh, a resident of Phase 4 here.

The police has not ruled out the role of a former employee of the hospital against whom the victim had reportedly complained to the hospital authorities. The phone numbers of the hospital from which the calls had been made are accessible by a few employees and the video grab of the caller was also not available.

In the evening, investigating officers revisited the spot to analyse the circumstantial evidence. The statement of the victim’s brother-in-law that he was waiting a few metres away when the incident took place is being analysed.

The victim had been staying with his wife and two-and-a-half year son at Jalvayu Vihar in Sector 67, Mohali, for the past one year. The victim’s brother-in-law statement that he could not seen the car in which the assailants escaped was also being taken under cosideration.

The phone calls made on the victim’s mobile from different locations in Phase X, and Sector 68 are being analysed by the police. The movement of the assailants on the basis of their mobile tower location was also being analysed.

Who are the assailants?

Enquiries revealed that assailants (believed to be two) were waiting at a distance from the crime spot. The moment the victim’s car halted, the assailants, who were known to the victim, sat in his car and had a brief conversation. Going by the circumstantial evidence in the car, there were traces of dry grass and soil on the rear seat and an assailant, while sitting on the co-driver seat fired at Sameer.



‘Cash-rich’ MC runs out of ideas
Fails to utilise Rs 500 cr for infrastructure development
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 13
At a time when the world is crying hoarse over the present glum situation of the global economy, there is one organisation that remains untouched by the meltdown. It’s the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation which is brimming with surplus cash reserve with a whopping around Rs 500 crore fixed deposits.

It seems that the MC administration is lacking in ideas on how to utilise this fund. Though the official sources claim that the cash reserve, which comes mostly from the auction of property by the MC and is to be spent only on infrastructure development, as such no plans have been so far chalked out by the officials to create any new infrastructure.

As per the policy, 60 per cent of the deposits are kept in nationalised banks the remaining 40 per cent are with private banks for a period of one year and the amount is thus carried forward.

Interestingly, all the previous proposals for developing infrastructure seem to have taken a backseat. While the MC officials are blaming it on the UT administration for rejecting the proposals, the truth, as claimed by the administration officials, is the non-feasibility of the proposed projects.

Be it the land use in Mani Majra or banquet hall proposed by the MC, none have found favour with the administration.

Even the MC’s own proposal of adding two new floors to the existing MC building and even petty projects like providing a lift in the building remains in the pipeline, thanks to official apathy.

Also, the situation of roads in the city and streetlights is pathetic. The southern sectors continue to receive a step-motherly treatment as far as the development of infrastructure is concerned.

Despite tall claims, many streetlights remain off in the night due to poor maintenance of electricity poles on roads causing inconvenience to the commuters.

One of the senior MC officials said that mostly the projects don’t finish with in the stipulated time and thus sometimes the funds are also used in the ongoing projects.



PEC defies admn orders
‘Appoints tainted’ official as registrar
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 13
The controversy surrounding the selection of “new” registrar of Punjab Engineering College (PEC) S.K. Suman refuses to die down. While the DC has served a notice on the college for appointing him after imposition of the model code of conduct, sources revealed that Suman joined his office today, defying the administration’s orders of withholding his appointment till further notice.

Confirming the same, Home Secretary Ram Niwas said: “Suman was appointed in violation of the poll code and the college was served notice by the DC. I don’t know about his joining, but I have already ordered a probe to ascertain on what grounds he was selected when he was found guilty of using unfair means during one of the exams he appeared for.”

Director, PEC, Manoj Dutta, however, remained tight-lipped on the issue and refused to confirm whether Suman had joined his new office or not. His silence supports the speculations that this selection has much more to it than what seemed on surface, say sources.

The issue surfaced when representatives of the PEC Employees’ Union approached the administration requesting Home Secretary to intervene and stop the selection of Suman as the new registrar. In a representation, the union has not only highlighted a two-decade old UMC case against Suman, where he was found guilty by the Panjab University, but also the long-pending inquiries against him like that of cutting green trees and heritage trees and manhandling a female employee.

The union has also brought to light the former principal’s communications to the administration about his “doubtful” integrity and persistent disobedience.

However, both the PEC Director and Suman denied any such inquiry.

Meanwhile, the other applicants for the post have termed his appointment as “unjustified accommodation”. “We had an interview six months back which was cancelled and the post was re-advertised for wider choice or to be accurate preferred choice. The post is of the grade of Professor, but he is not even a Ph.D. Why anybody amongst other eight candidates, who have a clear record, could not be selected rather than a tainted favourite?” questioned one of the applicants.



Hoax bomb caller arrested
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 13
A resident of Mohali who had allegedly made a hoax bomb call to fire brigade informing it that he had planted a bomb at Sector 17 ISBT, on Thursday, has been arrested. The police had launched a search operation, which lasted a couple of hours but turned out to be a futile exercise.

In charge of the Sector-17 ISBT police post said the accused was traced through his mobile phone number. He has been identified as Darshan Singh, a 46-year-old resident of Manoli village. Basically a labourer by profession, he also provides sound systems for the functions organised in villages.



Status of forests in developing nations
‘No proper survey affecting policies’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 13
No authentic survey is available about the status of the covered forest area in the developing countries, which is hampering the requirement of framing forest policies in these countries. This was stated by Dr S Appanah, National Forest Programme Adviser, Asia Pacific of Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, here today.

Referring to the requirement of 30 per cent of the forest covered area in the developing countries, Dr Appanah stated that there was no country that had done any detailed survey as to how much and what kind of land was under the forest cover in their countries. Due to these bottlenecks, policy makers had no idea about the basic problems of these countries and how these could be focused in the national policies of those countries.

He remarked that if the correct data of the forest areas were available with the Forest Department then it would be easy for the policy framers to suggest the feasibility of programme for those countries to have good results in the promotion of the forest cover.

He further said with no data available in this regard with the forest departments, it was difficult to suggest the suitable forest plants suitable for that place.

He commented that there was no doubt that all the developing countries had shortage of land due as they paid more attention to the real estate demands in their countries. But the forest cover is also very necessary for the future of humanity as it is essential for maintaining the eco balance of the environment. Appanah opined that there was no doubt that the developing countries were doing all types of research related to forest, but it was unfortunate that there was no participation of scientists in the policy -making process in their countries. And this was the main reason as to why the policies framed by the government, had not been effectively implemented in their countries.

Meanwhile Dr Michael Kleine, coordinator, International Union of Forest Research Organisation, revealed that they were going to organise a two-day training workshop at Panjab University.

He stated that in the training programme they were going to focus on the threat by invasive species to biodiversity and environmental services and the concern of the science community and policy makers towards it.


Bansal, Jain woo Aggarwals
Dhawan promises moon to farmers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 13
Pawan Bansal and Satya Pal Jain, Congress and BJP candidates, respectively, from the Chandigarh parliamentary elections, wooed members of the influential business class, Aggarwal community, on Holi yesterday.

Contrary to general perception that they would venture out to woo the rehabilitation colony and village voters, who formed major chunk of the local votes, Bansal, Jain and BSP candidate Harmohan Dhawan remained confined to their homes throughout the day. Celebrations were in the air as a large number of party workers continued to flock to their homes throughout the day. Bansal and Jain also visited the Colony No 5 to express sympathies with the victims of fire whose jhuggis were gutted in the wee hours of today.

However, in the evening, Bansal and Jain attended two separate functions organised by the members of the Aggarwal community.

While Jain joined the Holi celebrations of the Agrawal Parivar Milan organisation in community centre, Sector 37, Bansal was reportedly pledged support by the new-formed Aggarwal Beopar Manch at the Sector 21 community centre.

The Aggarwals wield a considerable influence in all major political parties and the parties are making all-out efforts to the woo them in the run-up to elections, sources said. In fact, the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal also has a sizable presence of the community.

Meanwhile, Dhawan addressed farmers in his house and announced the regularisation of the houses outside the lal dora and land acquisition rates up to Rs 2 crore per acre to the villagers.

Talking a dig at his political rivals, the BSP leader advised people to vote the contestants “for their past performance and not merely for their promises”.



EC takes serious note of dummy candidates
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 13
In a series of new initiatives by the Election Commission (EC) to curb electoral malpractices and to provide a level playing field to all contesting candidates, a serious note has been taken of the practice of setting up dummy candidates to abuse the legal provision of the electoral law. The Commission has issued new instructions involving stringent actions to be taken in case such a practice is adopted, a press note said here today.

The election observer, the returning officer, the assistant returning officers and the micro observers appointed by the Commission will keep a constant vigil on the movement and activities of the dummy candidates. They have been asked to check that the polling/counting agents of the dummy candidates do not function as agents of the main candidate.



BJP for fresh door-to-door survey of voters
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 13
The BJP candidate from the Chandigarh parliamentary constituency Satya Pal Jain today again urged the Election Commission of India to order a fresh door-to-door survey of voters.

He said that while a large number of eligible persons have been left out or dropped from the list of voters, many persons who are not entitled to vote have been included in the lists.

Party spokesperson Davesh Moudgil said the BJP had decided to help unregistered Chandigarh citizens to register for voting. At a meeting of party leaders held in party office Kamlam, Sector 33-A, today it was decided to launch a week-long campaign to register citizens for voting.

Bansal’s effigy to be burnt

The BSP has decided to burn the effigy of Pawan Kumar Bansal at Colony No 5 tomorrow in protest against the decision to reduce the kerosene quota from 20 litres per family to 15 litres.

Cong claim

Pardeep Chhabra, media coordinator for Congress candidate Pawan Bansal, claimed today that unprecedented development had taken place in Chandigarh during the last two tenures of Bansal. He rubbished apprehensions that there would be anti-incumbency factor working against Bansal. Similarly, there was no base in the BJP's claim that BSP would eat into the vote bank of the Congress, he claimed.



Many Armymen may not be able to vote
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 13
While there has been a marginal increase in the number of service voters in Chandigarh, a large number of armed forces personnel and their family members could still be left out of the electoral process.

The data complied by the local Chief Electoral Officer reveals that so far 1,794 service voters have been registered for the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls. The figure for the 2004 elections was 1,516.

Service voters comprise members of the armed forces and central paramilitary forces, who have been posted away from their hometown.

According to the Election Commission of India rules, and orders issued by service headquarters on the subject, the armed forces personnel and their family members have a right to register themselves as voters at their place of posting. They also have the option for exercising their franchise either through proxy voting or postal ballot.

A major grouse of the service fraternity is that despite rules, cantonments, military stations and the civilian residential areas having large concentration of service families are not surveyed by electoral officers while compiling voter lists.

According to a senior air force officer here, the electoral authorities had contacted them and sent them forms to be filled and submitted by a specific date. Though this was done, the registration number indicate that a large number of armed personnel have either been left out or were unable to fill in the forms.

There are many air force personnel and their family members residing in Chandigarh. In addition there are many paramilitary establishments and battalions located here for security duties.

According to legal experts, it is mandatory for electoral officers to survey all areas in all constituencies while compiling electoral rolls. The exercise of filling up forms individually come only later in case anyone is left out in the survey.



Third Front a remote possibility in city
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 13
Even as the Left parties and certain regional parties cobbled together the Third Front at Tumkur in Karnataka yesterday to provide a non-BJP and non-Congress alternative at the Centre, such alliance seems to be a remote possibility in Chandigarh.

In fact, the main constituents of the Third Front - the CPM and the CPI - do not have a sizable presence in the city in which the main contest had been among Pawan Bansal (Congress), Satya Pal Jain (BJP) and Harmohan Dhawan(this time contesting on the BSP ticket) for the past about two decades.Even the Haryana Janhit Congress of former Haryana Chief Minister Bhajan Lal does not have a local unit.

In the earlier elections, feeble attempts had been made for the formation of the Third Front in the city, with the non-Congress and the non-BJP parties joining hands.However, the Third Front failed to take a concrete shape for a variety of reasons, including conflicting interests of the parties and their marginal presence in the city politics.

Conceding that the formation of the Third Front was a pipedream for the city Devi Dayal Sharma, secretary of the local unit of the CPI, said: "There seems to be no possibility of the formation of the Third Front at this stage." He, however, said the party was awaiting directions from its central and the Punjab units for its future course of action for the Chandigarh parliamentary elections. The sources said that since the current Third Front was a poor shadow of its former “avatar” and almost all non-Left parties were missing from the local political scene, the very idea of having a Third Front in the city was far-fetched.



Mayor-Commissioner tiff intensifies
Sankaria shoots off letter to Mayor questioning her authority over MC officials
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 13
A letter war has started between the Mayor and the MC Commissioner to establish their supremacy over the state of affairs in the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation.

Pushed to the wall by the Mayor’s demand of officials reporting to her, MC Commissioner Dr Roshan Sankaria today shot off a letter questioning the Mayor’s authority to summon the officials for a meeting scheduled for March 20.

The current row sparked off following a letter sent to the officials by Mayor Kamlesh over non-compliance of her orders seeking daily reports on the progress of the ongoing projects.

In his reply, the Municipal Commissioner today shot off a letter to the Mayor stating that she does not have the power to call a meeting of the MC officials as per Section 52 of the Punjab Municipal Act, which states that the Commissioner is the head of all the employees regarding service matters.

All executive powers lie with the Commissioner who is the head of the Municipal Corporation. Also, as per sub-Section 2, the Commissioner can control, supervise and check all acts and proceedings of the MC employees and officers.

The Act also doesn’t mention any direct function of the Mayor as far as the ward committees, agendas and sub-committees are concerned as per Section 59 of the Act. Therefore, the Mayor cannot order, instruct or issue directions to MC officers. If there is some information that the Mayor needs to know, she can, at the most, call for information through the Commissioner.

Therefore, the Mayor be informed accordingly that in view of the legal position as explained above, no provision provides the Mayor to preside or chair the proposed meeting and hence the meeting cannot be called, states the letter.

Also, as a reply to another letter sent by the Mayor to Chief Engineer S.K. Bansal, wherein the Mayor had asked him to send her daily reports of the projects under the engineering wing, the Commissioner has replied that he being the executive head, has all the executive functions and only he can check the status of the projects.

In a reply to another letter sent by the Mayor regarding approval of agendas for ward committees and sub-committees by her, the Commissioner has stated that all the agendas are to be finalised in the same way as that of the House agenda as per the Act.

Therefore, the secretary of the committee and the chairman of the specific committee only finalises the agenda as per rule 72 of the regulation and the Mayor has no role in it.

It may be mentioned here that be it the issue of holding the inquiry in her office or writing the ACRs for officials in the recent past, both the administrative side and the Mayor, who are otherwise expected to work in cohesion, are mostly otherwise.



Hooliganism on Holi
Hunt on to nab accused
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 13
The Chandigarh Police today launched a hunt to nab the youths who created ruckus by brandishing swords in Sector 15 on Wednesday.

According to ASP (Central) Madur Verma, the police traced the occupants of the Maruti Wagon-R car (CH-04-8744), who turned out to be the victims. However, the youngsters refused to lodge any complaint with the police. They reportedly told the police that it all happened during the festivity and they do not want any action.

The youths told the police that the miscreants, travelling in a Maruti Swift car, took a shape turn before their car following which they stopped their vehicle. They had an argument and the miscreants smashed the windowpane of their car. At the same time, the police arrived there and they fled.

UT SSP S.S. Srivastva said the matter was being inquired. He said they were gathering information about the miscreants from sources and would flash their photographs to different police stations for identification.

The SSP assured that after the accused are traced, appropriate action would be taken against them.

On Wednesday, a group of youngsters, armed with swords, created ruckus on a road in Sector 15.



Accused of usurping property
Guardian refuses to hand over belongings
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 13
A high drama prevailed at the house of Babban Zaidi, the accused of cheating his two nieces under his guardianship, when officials from the social welfare department, who reached to take the belongings of the two girls, had to face opposition from the family here today.

The social district women and child officer, who accompanied the girls to take their computer, refused to comment on the issue. However, as per sources Babban’s wife, who was at home, asked for the court orders.

Meanwhile, mediapersons reached the house following which the officials preferred to leave the place without taking the computer.

The two sisters left for their father’s house at Raipur Rani after the incident.

Babban, however, when contacted said he was still the guardian of the girls and had right to manage their property. In case anyone comes to his house to take anything he must have court’s permission, he added.

The two girls Ilmaz and Kulsum belonging to a renowned family of Raipur Rani area in a complaint filed at the court here on February 19 had alleged that their uncle Babban Zaidi had cheated them and tried to usurp the property in their name and even tortured them.

The study of both the sisters was also discontinued, as their school fee was not deposited even though millions were deposited on their name in the banks, they alleged.

The custody of the two girls was handed over to their uncle after their father was jailed for the murder of their mother in 1993.

Following the complaint filed by the girls, Babban was booked under Sections 467, 468, 471, 506, 323, and 420 of the IPC on February 22 against him and the girls were being looked after by the social welfare department officials.



‘Rape’ by cinema owner
Maid faces action for misleading cops
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 13
The woman, who accused the owner of KC cinema hall of rape, is going to face police action for misleading the police by lodging false complaint.

Panchkula SP Amitabh Dhillon said the police had already initiated the proceedings in this direction and a case under Section 182, IPC, is expected to be registered against the accused woman by tomorrow.

The domestic help of Pawan Valecha, a businessman of the town, on March 3 had alleged that she was raped by her employer at his home on March 2.

The police, on a complained filed by the victim, had registered a case under Section 376, IPC, against Valecha.

Even a team of forensic experts visited the house of Valecha in Sector 9 and took the samples, including bed sheets and other clothes, from the spot following which the police has sealed the room. The samples were sent to the Madhuban forensic laboratory also.

The woman, however, after two days of lodging the complaint with the police, denied any such incident when the police had taken her to record the statement before judicial magistrate at Panchkula courts.



Withholding’ of demarcation report
HUDA officials in dock
Arun Sharma
Tribun News Service

Panchkula, March 13
Haryana Urban Development Authority functionaries are in the dock for allegedly withholding the demarcation report of District Revenue Officer-cum-Land Acquisition Collector from court, which reportedly resulted in the loss of land worth crores of rupees to the government.

Now on a complaint filed by a resident of Panchkula in this regard, Haryana Lokayukta NK Sud has sought the report from Estate Officer of HUDA, Panchkula, within a month.

The complainant Parmanand alleged that 10 years ago in 1999, HUDA had issued notices to 29 parties to remove encroachments in Ralley village, Sector 12-A, Panchkula, on the basis of demarcation made on December 12, 1998, by DRO-cum-LAO Prahlad Singh. However, when the alleged encroachers challenged the notices by filing civil suits in the civil court at Panchkula, the HUDA officials purposely withheld the report from court and Veer Singh Kaleramna, the then tehsilar, Kalka, had falsely deposed before the court that as per the demarcation made on January 18, 1997, in his presence no encroachment had been found , alleged the complainant. Parmanand, in his complaint, stated that the demarcation did not pertain to the case of these parties and was only the claim in the case of Gram Panchayat versus Maina Devi and Virender Kansal. The complaint stated that appeal in one of the cases was purposely delayed and it led to the dismissal of Additional District Judge. Panchkula, on Ocotber 20 last year.



BSNL phones out of order in Kansal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 13
A large number of BSNL landline phones in Kansal village have been lying out of order for past seven days snapping their link with the outside world.

However, repeated complaints to the authorities concerned seemed to have fallen on deaf ears. “I had an emergency and could not make a call as I was unable to make any call for the past seven days,” said Gurpeet Malhotra, resident of Kansal village.

Broadband was also affected, as the basic phone was not working, said another rued resident of Kansal village. "I suffered a huge loss in business as I am into the stock market," he added.

A.K. Saluja, who lives alone, had a harrowing time, as she could not contact any of her relatives. She said, “This is the only way of communication between me and my children, who are settled abroad.

According to BSNL officials, digging in the area has damaged the underground cable network, affecting almost 100 lines. They claimed that the efforts were being made to rectify the faults. Anil Kapila, sub-divisional officer BSNL, said we would restore the line soon.



Chaurasia casts divine spell
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, March 13
Delectable strains of music melodies wafted across the otherwise panoramic ambience of Kalagram as the legendary flautist, Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, cast a divine spell in the Idea-Jalsa concert here today.

The event organised by the Indian Music Academy, Mumbai, in collaboration with the Haryana Institute of Fine Arts, NZCC and the Tribune Group of Newspapers as media sponsor got off to a serene start with Pandit ji baring the melodic character of raga ‘jhinjhoti’ in a reposeful alaap, including ‘jod’ with in built rhythm.

Pandit ji delved deep to bring the somber deep tone in the base register (Khairaj) and in other octaves as he doled out a gat in rupak tal with adroit mastery over the instrument. A sequence of sawal- jawab between flute and tabla heightened the rapport and jugalbandi.

He builds the majesty of magnificent melodic structures during the recital of a composition (gat) in raga ‘jaijaiwanti’ in teen tal as also in the next gat in raga ‘jog’. Pandit ji spelt magic in many more captivating spells which he virtually defined a new grammar for the flute, the epic age musical instrument. It was indeed a double delight for the intrusive listeners to see the flow of melody and rhythmic patterns while Pandit Ji and Yogesh were in a perfect rendezvous on stage.

Earlier, the world acclaimed percussion maestro, Yogesh Samsi, a foremost disciple of Ustad Allah Rakaha Saheb, made his presence with scintillating solo performance on tabla. Commencing with the traditional ‘peshkar’ he described the fundamental syllables of tabla with refreshingly cultivated variations in lya and tal. He illustrated techniques in playing syllables like kayada, rela, tukde and chakradhar parans of different gharanas. People greeted him with applause, as he played complex tabla compositions of the city-based maestro, Sushil Kumar Jain, and Ustad Ahmed Jaan Thirkava. Young Tanmoy Devchak provided excellent nagma on harmonium. Dr Piyush Kumar of HIFA coordinated the programme.

The chief guest Asha Hooda and Dharamvir IAS Chief Secretary, Haryana, honoured the artistes.



Rare paintings on display at art gallery
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 13
To celebrate the advent of spring, Government Museum and Art Gallery, Sector 10, has put up a display of some of the rare paintings on the theme “The spring festival- Holi” from its collection of miniature paintings and contemporary paintings.

The exhibition was inaugurated by home secretary Ram Niwas today.

Showcasing a collection of over 25 beautiful rare paintings covering different shades of Holi, the unique exhibition gives a glimpse of royal reality unknown to the modern world, kind of moods and relationship of people with the royal families, avenues of fun and play during imperial times.

NPS Randhawa, director of the museum, said, “We have tried to include most of the stories associated with the festival as visualised by artists from different schools of different regions and period. But whatever the legend painter chose to depict the general philosophy it emphasised was that of triumph of good over evil.”

On this occasion, two plaster casts of medieval Indian sculptures for sale in its shop for visitors and public were also released. Some more such plaster cast of sculptures from other regions in the museum collection too shall be available shortly.



Don’t use eye drops without doc’s advice
Arun Shamra
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 13
People using the eye drops without supervision of an ophthalmologist tend to lose their eyesight as the frequent use of steroids can lead to glaucoma (kala motia) resulting in permanent blindness.

Dr SS Pandav and Dr Sushmita Kaushik, while interacting with media and launching a support group to help the patients of Glaucoma on the World Glucoma Day, said the unsupervised use of steroids were playing havoc with the vision of people as the patients made it a habit of using these whenever they felt any eye problem.

In fact, steroids eye drops or oral medicines provided quick relief to patients suffering from minor problems like redness and other allergies in the eye, said Dr Pandav. However, finding it useful after one time use, patients use such kind of medicines whenever they come across an eye ailment and it leads to glaucoma. Around 10 per cent of patients suffering from glaucoma reaching PGI consist of those who were found to be in the grip of problem due to use of steroids, said Dr Pandav.

The worst part of the problem was that the youngsters, who were prone to allergies in their eyes, were reporting with these complications at the hospitals in substantial numbers, he added.

Expaining the disease, Dr Sushmita said glaucoma was the third major cause of blindness after cataract and uncorrected refractory errors. Blindness due to cataract and refractive errors is reversible; in contrast, blindness due to glaucoma is irreversible. Glaucoma can not be cured but blindness due to glaucoma can be prevented by timely diagnosis and intervention.

Glaucoma is a group of conditions that lead to damage to the optic nerve and loss of the field of vision. Optic nerve is the connection between the eye and the brain; once optic nerve gets damaged, image from the eye can not be transmitted to the brain.

Glaucoma generally occurred in people above 40 years of age, though certain types of glaucoma could occur at a younger age too, she said.

In the early stages, glaucoma is often asymptomatic. The diagnosis is often delayed and once vision has been lost, regardless of the type of glaucoma, it cannot be restored, said the ophthalmologist.

So it was advised that every one should undergo comprehensive eye checkup at about 40 years of age, and have periodic checkups after that, she added.



New licensees get tips on road safety
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 13
The Registration and Licensing Authority (RLA) has added a new chapter to road safety initiatives by adding the road safety educational material to new licence and registration application forms.

The educational material consists of four pamphlets both in English and Hindi and tries to appeal in an emotive manner.

The pamphlet 1 focuses on those accidents, which are not will of God but are causal in nature and goes to explain major causes leading to the accidents.

The Pamphlet 2 conveys the epidemic proportions of the issue by comparing loss of life with that of 26/11 and Tsunami 2004.

Further, it tries to solicit response as Indians responded to 26/11 and Tsunami by urging people to assume responsibility and concentrate while driving as driving is a serious business.

The Pamphlet 3 has testimonials of family members of two road accident victims. Apart from portraying agony, an attempt is being made to encourage youngsters to wear helmet through a father who lost his son because of not wearing one and to dissuade people from speeding through husband who lost his wife after being hit by a speeding vehicle.

The Pamphlet 4 consists of a visual exercise that conveys multi-tasking is not possible. Its purpose is to tell that consequences of mobile usage are beyond challan.

The content has been prepared by Arrive SAFE, a city-based NGO for the road safety initiatives on behalf of the ministry of surface transport and highways, the Government of India.



‘Molested’ victim tries to meet DGP
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 13
Running from pillar to post to bring an IPS officer to justice allegedly for her sexual harassment, a Yamunanagar woman once again reached the police headquarters here. The woman sat on dharna yesterday also demanding action against the police officer.

The alleged victim reached Panchkula early in the morning and tried to meet Ranjiv Dalal, Director-General of Police. The woman who kept on shuttling between the police lines near Sector 25 and police headquarters in Sector 6 was informed in the evening that her case was lying with the Home Ministry.

The alleged victim also sat on a dharna yesterday in front of office of the IG, Vigilance, at Ambala.

The woman said she had gone to the officer to get a case registered against her in-laws but during one of her meetings, the officer molested her.



MC to pay Rs 15,000 for deficiency in service
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 13
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed the Public Health Division, Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh, to pay compensation of Rs 15,000 to a resident of Sector 21 for deficiency in services. The forum has also directed it to refund Rs 5,000 charged in excess beyond the actual consumption along with Rs 5000 as costs of litigation in addition to the compensation amount.

The petitioner, Sunita Sanghi, stated in her complaint that she had been staying in a house in Sector 7 in Chandigarh since May, 2002. Soon after taking possession of the house, she applied for water connection and deposited the requisite fee of Rs 530 following which the meter was installed.

Sanghi stated in the petition that she received an inflated bill of Rs 776 during August, 2005. When she contacted the authorities, she was informed that the bill was based on the actual consumption of water. She maintained that the meter was on the ground floor and was inaccessible to her, so she did not check the meter reading on her own. She maintained that in the following bi-monthly cycle, her bill was comparatively low.

Sanghi maintained that she had sought information under the RTI Act and came to know that no meter had been installed on the ground floor till June, 2004, and the occupier of the ground floor was using water supply without meter. According to the complainant, she apprehends that the excessive bill is on account of the unauthorised use of water by the occupier of the ground floor and the bills have been issued to her in connivance with the occupier of the house at the ground floor.

Arguing the case the Public Health Division, Municipal Corporation, said the meter was installed in April, 2004, and till then the water supply was running direct as water meter was not installed. The billing was done on the basis of average basis bi-monthly and the complainant paid the bills on average up to April, 2004.



Seminar on foeticide
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 13
A content developers’ workshop was organised at GCG-11 today as part of the UT Administration’s ongoing campaign against female foeticide. The workshop was inaugurated by Raji P Shrivastava, director, the higher education, the Chandigarh Administration. In her inaugural speech, she underlined the objective of the seminar and the need to broad base the campaign fully equipped with the right kind of messages.

Workshop: British Library organised a workshop on “Climate change and the school curriculum” today. The workshop was designed to disseminate the significant points that emerged at the recent workshop held at New York.



Ragging: PU decides to act tough
Wardens, heads get power to suspend students
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 13
After reports of suicide committed by a 20-year-old girl in Andhra Pradesh College and death of Aman Kachroo, a medical student, who lost his life after being ragged by his seniors in Himachal Pradesh, Panjab University has directed all chairpersons and wardens to keep a check on such incidents on the campus.

The authorities have directed them to execute the Supreme Court’s ruling strictly for avoiding repeat of such incidents in the hostels in the coming session. As per the directions if the warden and chairperson find any senior ragging a junior he or she would immediately be suspended. Action would be taken against the guilty after conducting an inquiry.

As per the court’s direction if the authorities receive any compliant from the student about the ragging, they have to take immediate action against the guilty. As per the university circular, punishments would be fixed according to the act.

The authorities revealed that from the next session onwards they are going to highlight the names of the students who were involved in the ragging last year and also about the charges and punishment given to them. The purpose of taking this step is to warn students involved in ragging.

The authorities stated that in the first two months wardens would closely interact with the new students so that they could share their problems and guide them properly. When contacted Dean Student Welfare, Naval Kishore, stated that a few students were expelled last year also. The number of such cases is increasing in the other institutions; the authorities were taking all precautionary steps to put a curb on ragging on the campus.



No roll numbers for fee defaulters
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 13
For the compartment and annual examinations of March and April 2009, Panjab University has decided not to issue roll numbers to the defaulter students in respect of examination fees.

The first defaulters list for compartment exams of postgraduate classes starting from March 21 is available on the university website: www.pu.ac.in

The subsequent lists will be put on the website later. Students appearing for of compartment examination of postgraduate classes are advised to collect their roll number from the PU enquiry, Aruna Ranjit Chandra Hall Panjab University, Chandigarh, by paying the requisite fees and late fee on March 18, 2009 from 10.30 am to 3.30 pm according to controller of examinations, PU.



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