C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Cholera outbreak? 50 persons hospitalised
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 21
In yet another suspected diarrhoea outbreak, at least 50 persons from Mohali village in Phase I were admitted to the Phase VI Civil Hospital and a private clinic here today.

The district health authorities have not ruled out the possibility of it being cholera. Though the final culture report from the PGI’s microbiology department would come after 48 hours, there were strong indications of the patients suffering from cholera.

The authorities at the Civil Hospital were taken by surprise when diarrhoea cases started trickling in at the hospital. Due to shortage of space, beds were cramped together to accommodate patients. One patient was seen lying in the corridor. Also, there was shortage of rods for IV fluids and help was sought from outside to arrange for the same. An MC employee, Avtar Kalsia, and the area councillor volunteered to arrange for the hooks to hang glucose bottles.

Since last summer, several cases of diarrhoea have been reported from Madanpur, Balmiki Colony, Ambedkar Colony, Shahimajra and Udham Singh Colony. Even though some patients from the village with symptoms of diarrhoea trickled in at the hospital during the past two days, the hospital authorities failed to alert the health department and the MC. Action began only this morning when 17 patients reported at the hospital since last night and there was not adequate infrastructure to admit them. So far, 38 patients, including 14 children, have been admitted to the Civil Hospital. Some patients were admitted to unregistered clinics dotting the village. A majority of patients are from Gali No. 2, indicating contamination in a particular area. Doctors said most patients complained of vomiting and loose motions. So far, no one has been referred to the PGI. Squarely blaming the MC and public health officials for the suspected outbreak, health officials said contamination of water from a public tubewell appeared to be the main reason. To confirm the reason, five water samples from the village, apart from two samples each from Shahimajra, Madanpur and Balmiki Colony have been sent to a government laboratory.

Civil Surgeon, Mohali, Avtar Singh, confirmed that 38 persons had been admitted to the hospital. He said it appeared to be a case of contaminated water supply due to a leakage in the pipeline. Chlorine tablets were being distributed among residents of the area. However, XEN (public health) IS Kang said tests by the mobile testing van confirmed that chlorine levels met the specified levels. Samples taken from the suspected localities did not indicate any contamination. “We think that since the supply from the public health tubewell does not meet the requirements of the people, water tankers are brought from outside and water is pumped out from handpumps.

This leads to health problems,” he said. Public health officials have reported that certain persons are supplying impure water after boring tubewells without permission.

The SDM, Mohali, visited the area and directed the officials to check the supply of water from illegal tubewells and handpumps. The area councillor, Usha Rani, said the MC had been asked to replace the faulty pipelines, but no action had been taken.



Post of Chief Commissioner
Hooda bats for its revival
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 21
The demand of Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda for the restoration of the post of Chief Commissioner for the UT has found an echo in the local political circle.

Even as a cross-section of society has already batted in favour of the revival of the post of the Chief Commissioner, political parties, including the Congress, have reiterated the demand with renewed energy.

“The revival of the post would go a long way in ensuring transparency in the functioning at the top level in the local administration. At present, the functioning of the administrator, who is also the Punjab Governor, has come under a cloud for alleged irregularities in mega projects, now under the scanner of the Central Vigilance Commission(CVC),” Subhash Chawla, a former Mayor, told The Tribune.

Chawla, who is also a member of the AICC, alleged that under the present dispensation, the general public, particularly political parties, had not been given proper representation in various bodies. The term of the administrator’s advisory council expired without even a single meeting being held. It was packed with non-representative people and grassroot-level political workers were sidelined, he alleged.

Even the ministry of home affairs had taken cognisance of the demand of the local unit of the Janata Party for the revival of the post for better governance.

Janata Party president Ajay Jagga had suggested the revival of the post to end the slugfest between UT administrator SF Rodrigues and his adviser Pradip Mehra over the administration’s controversial mega projects.

Jagga had pleaded that the revival of the post would go a long way in defusing the present crisis as a senior IAS officer as the executive head would be more accountable than an unelected administrator.

The Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee (CTCC) and the Federation of Sector Welfare Association (FOSWAC), an apex body of 46 resident welfare associations, have already endorsed the demand for the revival of the post, which was scrapped in 1984 during militancy in Punjab. Following the passage of the Punjab Disturbed Areas Act and the Chandigarh Disturbed Areas Act in 1984, Punjab was put under Governor’s rule and the Punjab Governor was made the UT administrator.

The post of the Chief Commissioner was later converted into adviser to the administrator. However, with the return of normalcy and installation of a democratically-elected government in Punjab, Governor’s rule was done away with while the post of the UT administrator remained.



3 more suspected cases of swine flu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 21
Three fresh cases of suspected swine flu were reported at the PGI here late last night. According to UT health authorities, a family of three, comprising of two women and a three-and-a-half-year-old child, had visited Singapore and on returning to India on June 14, they reported symptoms of swine flu.

“All three of Pahwa district, Kurukshetra, consulted doctors at the PGI and complained of sore throat and fever, after which they were shifted to the isolation ward,” said UT nodal officer for swine flue HC Gera.

He said blood samples had been sent to National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD), Delhi, for tests, reports of which would be received in a day.

The rapid response team of the UT administration will tomorrow visit the house of the patients. Officials added that they were inquiring if any other passenger arrived in the city on the same flight.

Meanwhile, test reports of the 22-year-old admitted in an isolation ward of the PGI have turned out to be negative.

The health authorities have asked people not to take preventive dosages of Tamiflu. “This could lead to development of resistance to the drug,” said a health official.



Maya gets judicial remand
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 21
Maya, the nurse-cum-attendant and an accused in the Nari Niketan rape case, was today remanded in judicial custody till July 4. The order was passed in the court of duty magistrate before whom she was produced today following a one-day police remand.
Maya comes out of district court at Sector 17 in Chandigarh on Sunday.
Maya comes out of district court at Sector 17 in Chandigarh on Sunday. Tribune photo: S Chandan

Meanwhile, police officials maintained that the case was nearly solved and they had enough evidences to file a chargesheet before the court soon.

DSP Kulwant Singh Pannu, head of the special investigation team (SIT), said, “There is sufficient evidence for conviction now. The investigation is in its final stages.”

On being asked about Maya’s revelation about the motivation behind destruction of evidence, the DSP stated, “When it became evident that the case will soon be filed and investigations be carried on, there was an obvious attempt to destroy evidence.”

Maya was sent to one-day police remand yesterday after rejection of the public prosecutor’s request of a four-day remand to question her on the motivation of destruction of records, the involvement of other persons and more details of the case. The 19-year-old mentally challenged girl came from Nari Niketan to Aashreya in Sector 47 on March 13 when she complained of uneasiness. Medical tests revealed pregnancy and subsequently the SIT was formed by the UT police to investigate the case.

It was revealed that Bhupinder Singh, a sweeper at Nari Niketan, in connivance with other employees, had allegedly raped her several times.



Row over wages leaves one dead
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 21
Alumudin Negotiation on daily wages with a contractor cost a labourer his life while two of his friends were seriously injured in a late night attack at their jhuggi here in Colony No. 5. Twenty-six-year-old Alumudin succumbed to his injuries at the Sector 32 GMCH while Shajad Ali and Mujahid, who sustained serious injuries, are being treated at the hospital.

The police today arrested three persons in this connection.

Javed, who sustained minor injuries in the attack, said at about 8.30 pm when they were having dinner, Ashan Ali, a labourer, along with the contractor came to their jhuggi.

His brother Alumudin had a heated argument with Ashan over some payment.

According to his complaint to the police, the contractor had asked Alumudin to work for Rs 200, but the latter wanted Rs 250. Ahsan allegedly abused and slapped him before leaving the jhuggi. Javed said at about 10 pm, Ahsan came again with eight to 10 persons, including his mother Riasa and Sher Bahadur. They were carrying sharp-edged weapons and sticks and attacked them.

During the scuffle, Ashan stabbed Alumudin in the stomach. He also attacked Javed when he came to save his brother. Before fleeing, Sher Bahadur stabbed Javed’s friend Mujahid who tried to stop them. Shajad was also hit with a stick on his head by one of them.

Meanwhile, the police conducted raids on the hideouts of the accused and arrested Ahsan, his mother and Sher Bahadur. A case under Sections 302 and 307 of the IPC has been registered. Ahsan who is in police custody told the police that his mother and Sher Bahadur were not involved in the clash.

The body of the deceased was handed over to his family after a postmortem.



Curbing Crime
New registration plates soon
GS Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 21
The UT administration has decided to introduce high-security registration plates for all vehicles with a view to curbing the increased use of stolen vehicles in various crimes.

Apart from this, a self-destructive chromium foil-based third registration plate in the form of a sticker would be pasted on the top left of the wind shield, wherein the number of the engine and chassis would be indicated along with the name of the registration authority.

Though the matter has reportedly been referred back to the Government of India for introducing a uniform policy for neighbouring states as well, the administration has started working out the modalities to introduce the registration plates, which would be mandatory for all vehicles at the front and rear.

For light motor vehicles and cars, the size of the plate would be 340x200 mm for the front and 500x120 mm for the rear. Two-wheelers would have a 200x100 mm plate while medium and heavy commercial vehicles would have a 340x200 mm plate.

The registration number would be embossed on the plate with the hot stamping technique along with the word “IND” in blue on the extreme left centre of the plate having an embossed border.

The plate would be fastened with non-removable/non-reusable snap lock fitting system on the rear. The registering and licencing authority would fix the lock. The plate, protected against counterfeiting with a chromium-based hologram, would bear a permanent consecutive identification number of minimum seven digits.

Home Secretary Ram Niwas said: “We are looking out for government consultancy for technical knowhow. These registration plates are being installed at the instance of the Government of India, but we have sent a communication to the surface transport wing of the government that since Chandigarh is located in a central place, Punjab and Haryana should also adopt the policy. Only then can the main objective of this move be achieved.”

Sources in the administration revealed that the decision came in the wake of the Supreme Court directions in reference to a 2005 case pertaining to the misuse of vehicles in crime.

After going through the relevant provisions of the Act and considering the merits of the case, the court directed that high-security plates needed to be installed in all vehicles.



What a way of wielding power?
Raveen Thukral

Akalis do a Taliban in Ludhiana” screamed a headline on the front page of the main edition of this paper on Saturday. The news about a Ludhiana tehsildar being stripped in full public view by some Akali workers appeared a day after the BJP ministers in Punjab boycotted the cabinet meeting because of the shoddy treatment meted out to their minister, Manoranjan Kalia, by an Akali MLA, Sarabjit Singh Makkar.

The same day, another newspaper had carried a front page report from Bhatinda stating that the ruling Akali Dal had passed instructions to all District Transport Officers (DTOs) not to challan or impound vehicles. The strange decision to let traffic violators go scot-free has been apparently taken with an eye on the ensuing by-elections of Jalalabad (the seat may be contested by the Deputy Chief Minister, Sukhbir Badal), Banur and Kanhuwan.

And incidentally on Saturday Chandigarh Tribune too carried a story about the arrest of agitating contractual teachers and their night long detention in the lockup for want of bail.

While these incidents are not interlinked in any manner, they willy-nilly reflect the breakdown in governance that is becoming more and more evident around us with each passing day. While these incidents -stripping of the tehsildar and the verbal abuse of a minister by an MLA - reflect the scant respect and the fear of the law of the land among those who are in power or those with the right connections, the government's unlawful decision to lure the voters by ignoring their traffic violations on city roads smack of outright opportunism and exhibit the senseless desperation of our politicians to win polls.

As things turn out, reports indicate that Kalia invited Makkar's wrath as he had denied certain relaxation in building laws for the construction of commercial malls by the MLA and his family members. Though Makkar has denied these allegations, its common knowledge in the civil secretariat that the former was cut off with minister for his refusal to oblige him.

Similarly the bashing up and stripping of the tehsildar, Major GS Benipal, because he refused to oblige the Akali workers by registering their revenue documents out of turn show how power drunk they were. What is shocking is that Benipal's humiliation did not end with this.

The Akali workers not only attempted to prevent him from being taken to the hospital but also resorted to pelting stones on the car in which he was rushed for medical help. This is nothing but disgusting

Closer home in Chandigarh, readers will recall the January 30 incident when ADC, I.S. Sandhu, was injured during the anti encroachment drive at Gurdwara Santsar Sahib, Sector 38-West. The armed inmates, led by the Chairman of the Gurdwara Trust, Swaroop Singh, who incidentally was an employee of the Municipal Corporation, virtually turned the premises of the religious place into a battleground and fought pitched battle with the demolition staff, forcing officers to make a hasty retreat.

Readers may also recall news reports about Panchayat Secretaries, Aanganwadi and Sarav Siksha Abhiyan workers picketing outside the offices of Punjab government in Sector 34. The offices of Director Panchayat Secretaries, Director Social Security and Women Welfare and Project Director Sarv Sikhsha Abhiyan were under a virtual siege of the agitators for days together, forcing the officers to use the rear doors of the buildings to enter their own workplaces.

While everyone has a right to protest and agitate the question is where does it begin and end? To get ones demands met, one doesn't have to take law in their own hands and become a nuisance to the general public.

While one should have no sympathies for non-performing and corrupt bureaucrats, acts of violence and abuse akin to the incidents of Ludhiana can have no justification whatsoever. If things go unchecked and this lawlessness continues, the day is not far when some chief secretary or a senior officer will be slapped in the corridor of the secretariat by a self styled aggrieved person. This unbridled hooliganism has to end.

Having said that, one does not also subscribe to the brute use of power as was exhibited by the UT police, which kept the agitating contractual teachers behind bars overnight. While the method of agitation adopted by the teachers and even their demand may not be justified, such action was not warranted.

The police action on unarmed and harmless teachers appears nothing but a joke when you otherwise see the Khaki standing as mute spectators to law breaking rioters. Property worth thousands of crores of rupees was destroyed recently in Punjab and some people were also killed in the backlash to the Vienna killing but no effort was made by the police to nab the arm wielding law breakers, who went on a virtual free for all rampage, even when laws are absolutely clear on how to deal with arsonists and rioters.

When one sees such lawlessness and the shoddy response of the authorities to it, one cannot but wonder if there has been a breakdown even in the will to govern among those at the helm.

Write to cityeditor@tribunemail.com


Contract teachers seek Bansal’s help
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 21
Seeking regularisation of services, the contractual teachers met the Union Minister of Finance and member of Parliament, Pawan Kumar Bansal, here today. In view of their demands, Pawan Bansal has assured the contractual teachers of making necessary amendments to the existing laws to accommodate them and framing a fresh regularisation policy as well.

“Pawan Bansal is our minister and we thought he would be the right person to approach for our grievances. He came from Delhi especially to meet us. We intimated him about our demands and instated that if rules are against our regularisation, then they should be amended the same way the administration amends rules to accommodate other employees,” one of the representatives said.

Notably, the teachers who were arrested for protesting at the Matka Chowk have declared not to protest anymore, but to carry own regular meetings till their demands were met.

“We have been manhandled in the jail and hence, we decided to demand amendment in rules from the administration. We have been waiting for many years but the administration did not modify the rules and notifications to recognise our services. Thus, we have sought help from Pawan Bansal,” another representative said.

Meanwhile, the issue has apparently ‘united’ everybody, as after various employees’ and teachers’ associations, the BJP has extended its support to these teachers and condemned the callous attitude of the administration. 



Regular appointments required
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 21
The ongoing agitation of contractual teachers of the Chandigarh education department has received mixed reactions from the educationists in the city, who have questioned the wisdom of the Chandigarh administration in introducing the concept of the contractual teachers in the education system of Chandigarh.

Unfortunately, it is ironical that the teachers who groom the students to make their future bright, they, themselves, have a gloomy future. As per the records of the education department of the city, around 252 contractual teachers were appointed by the Chandigarh administration around 10 years ago.

The contractualteachers of te city went to the court, two years ago, with a plea that the Chandigarh administration should regularise the services of these teachers without holding an interview or a test for them, keeping in view the services they have rendered in the past.

On the basis of this plea, the Supreme Court gave a judgment that the Chandigarh administration could not regularise them without following the complete procedure of recruitment.

The Supreme court further directed the administration that it could give relaxation in age to these teachers.

Ashwani Kaul, general secretary of the Punjab Union and college federation.
“It is easy to condemn the teachers who staged protest against the administration, but the question is why they had to take such a harsh step. It is strange that the education department has employed these teachers on a contract basis for the past 12 years, but now, the officials concerned feel them incompetent for the schools. As these teachers were not the vote banks of any association, thus, they did not receive support from any union of regular teachers.” — Ashwani Kaul, general secretary of the Punjab Union and college federation.

K N Pathak, Former Vice-Chancellor of Panjab University
“Rather opting for contractual appointments, the Chandigarh administration should have focussed on appointing the teachers on a regular basis, as the education system cannot run on standby arrangements. The outsourcing cannot be a part of the education system, as it is the service that is mandatory for every state to provide.” — K N Pathak, Former Vice-Chancellor of Panjab University

Satinder Dhillon, former principal of B.Ed College
It is disappointing to see the security of the teachers at stake in the education department. The Chandigarh administration has always claimed that regular posts of teachers have not been sanctioned and there is paucity of funds, thus, they opt for temporary arrangements. — Satinder Dhillon, former principal of B.Ed College

Ronki Ram, President, PUTA
It is an unfortunate incident, as it happened in Chandigarh, which is considered as the most literate city. The contractual teachers, who were arrested, were not a part of a trade union or association, rather they were only representing their demands before the Chandigarh administration. — Ronki Ram, President, PUTA



Inside Babudom
Names of five officers cleared for IB
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 21
Five IPS officers, including one each from Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, have been cleared for induction as “hardcore” officers in the Intelligence Bureau (IB).

The appointment committee of the cabinet has cleared SK Sinha (Bihar, 1983), Kala Ramachandaran (Haryana, 1994), AK Shukla (Manipur-Tripura, 1986), M Madan Mohan (Manipur-Tripura, 1987) and Ritwik Rudra (Himachal Pradesh, 1993) for permanent absorption in the IB.

Only those seeking permanency in continuity of service in a single organisation make use of this provision. Many of the CPOs, including the Central Reserve Police Force, Border Security Force and Indo-Tibetan Border Police, have their own cadres, while a few others have a high mix of deputations from the state police organisations and the defence forces. The Assam Rifles, Rashtriya Rifles and National Security Guard are the examples.

The officers, who complete eight or more years of service in the IB, have the option to seek permanency of cadre. And these five officers have now sought to remain in Intelligence Bureau for the remaining part of their service.

Interestingly, Rithwik Rudra is son of former Haryana DGP Kalyan Rudra, while Kala Ramachandaran is married to Navdeep Virk, also a Haryana cadre officer and currently posted as Superintendent of Police in a district.

Though the government has been keen to strengthen the IB and its newly created National Investigating Agency (NIA), not many officers opt for permanent absorption in the CPOs.

It may be one of the reasons for the slow start of the NIA. Though the Union Home Ministry has decided to set up regional offices of the NIA.



Plea to include info laws
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 21
Advocate HC Arora, convener of the RTI Users Association, has requested the Bar Council of India to include the “information laws” in the law courses.

In a communication sent to the chairman of the Bar Council of India, Arora has stated that the Right to Information Act has emerged so important that it is necessary for every citizen to study it. The understanding and utilisation of this statute leads to better enforcement of all other statutes, including the fundamental rights under the Constitution. The day is not far off when India shall emerge as a country with fully transparent administration and judiciary. The understanding of the concept of human rights, which is one of the many subjects being taught in the syllabus of LLB three and LLB five years’ courses in many universities, is of little significance unless the exact information about the deprivation or violation thereof is available or procured.

Thus, it is now imperative to include the “information laws” (which may comprise the RTI Act (2005), the Official Secrets Act (1923), the Public Records Act (1993) and the rules framed under these laws etc.) as one of the subjects in the syllabus of LLB three and LLB five years’ courses in all Indian universities.

Arora has also written to Wajahat Habibullah, chief of the Central Information Commission, to take up the matter with concerned quarters in the central government for including the “information laws” in the law courses.



Talk on Sikh warrior Nalwa
A Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 21
Kadam, a forum for social justice, organised a talk on the book “Hari Singh Nalwa - the Forgotten General” authored by Dr Vanit Nalwa at Punjab Book Centre, Sector 22, here today.

Dr Vanit Nalwa, a psychologist, is the seventh descendant of Sikh warrior Hari Singh Nalwa. Throwing light on some of the Indian historical events and horrific invasion on India, Dr Nalwa said “During the course of my research, I came across a number of books eulogising Hari Singh, which were written in a bally style. There were many interesting and fascinating aspects dealt within these books that motivated me to seek a more detailed historical perspective.”

She informed that Nalwa was not only a great warrior, but a philanthropist as well.

“In the last two-and-a-half centuries when Afghanistan existed as a nation, three ‘super powers’- the US, Russia and Britain, have attempted to subdue the Afghan with absolutely no success. The Sikhs won the real victories against them. Hari Singh Nalwa’s success has remained unmatched,” she added.

Various temples, gurdwaras and mosques that he built bear a testimony to his secular outlook. 



Shoddy MC job damages phone lines
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 21
It was the turn of residents of Sector 34 to experience the incompetency of the civic authorities. Thanks to the lack of coordination between the MC team and the BSNL for the laying of tertiary water pipes, all telephone lines were destroyed in the area.
Open trenches and damaged telephone cable lines speak volumes about the workmanship of the MC at Sector 34, Chandigarh.
Open trenches and damaged telephone cable lines speak volumes about the workmanship of the MC at Sector 34, Chandigarh. Tribune photo: S Chandan

How sensitive are the officials concerned to a common man can be gauged from the fact that JS Kohli, a former chief engineer, has been requesting the authorities for the past five days to restore the telephone connections and fill up the trenches in front of his house, but in vain.

“I have spoken right from the chief engineer to the SDO concerned to get the connections rectified, but no one is bothered,” Kohli said.

Wing Commander NS Malhi said he had another connection of Airtel which helped him. “They should learn professionalism from Airtel. In the evening when I let told its officials about the workmanship of the MC authorities, they replaced the lines the same night. But the MC and the BSNL officials have not done anything about it even after so many days,” he rued.

While Anil Kumar, SDE, Public Health, could not be contacted despite repeated attempts, the superintending engineer, RK Goyal, said: “This is an irresponsible attitude. Now that it has been brought to my notice, I will rectify the problem on priority.”

A visit to the site revealed that while digging, all telephone lines were badly smashed. The norms demand that while digging in any area, underground drawings have to be studied, but here the hasty approach of the MC has inconvenienced the public.

Moreover, the nearly 3-ft trenches have been left open, endangering the life of commuters. Residents complained that they could not move their vehicles as the driveway of their houses had also been dug up.



Tribune Impact
Finally, platforms get lights
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 21
Finally, platform No. 2, 3 and 4 at the Chandigarh railway station got illuminated during the night hours. Following the criticism for lack of proper lighting during the night hours, which was life-threatening for passengers due to lack of visibility at the platforms, the Ambala division of Northern Railway swung into action.

The divisional railway manager, Ambala division, HK Jaggi, inspected the railway station yesterday night.

The existing lights, which were out of order, were repaired and new lights were installed at the platforms, HK Jaggi said.

The officials further said they were in the process of installing more lights in order to improve the infrastructure.

Earlier, a complaint had been written by the SHO, Government Railway Police, Krishan Kumar, saying that more lights were needed at the platforms, lack of which could be dangerous.

The Sadhbavna Express was stationed under darkness, due to which the passengers had to face problem, sources of the police said. Later, the train was stationed during the daytime though it was not a solution to the problem.

The letter was written in consequence to the death of a railway employee, Jagdish, (luggage porter) who slipped and fell on the tracks last week and was mowed down by a train. 



Admn plans more grain markets
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 21
In the coming months, residents may not need to go to the grain and vegetable market in Sector 26 to get their stock of fresh vegetables and fruits at wholesale prices as the administration has moved a proposal to have such mandis in all four zones of the city.

The proposal, sources claim, comes as a move to lessen traffic congestion. The administration has also asked the municipal corporation authorities to identify the sites where these mandis could come up.

“The aim is to ease out traffic and burden on the grain market. Farmers from neighbouring states like Himachal, Punjab and Haryana also come here with their produce. With the new mandis coming up in other parts of the city, they would also be able to reach out to more people,” a UT official said.

Though it is yet to be decided as to how many farmers or traders would be allocated space in the new mandis, another official said this would be decided once the sites were identified.

The sources claimed that once the mandis came up, the administration might also do away with apni mandis that were held on different days in various sectors.



Mohali village a breeding ground for epidemic
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 21
It is the same story of official apathy at Mohali. After every outbreak of epidemic, the district administration and health authorities spring into action and launch massive cleanliness drives. However, things are back to square one after few days. 
In the case of a Mohali village cleanliness drives were launched across the city where during the last summer outbreaks of diarrhoea were reported from Madanpur, Balmiki colony, Ambedkar colony, Shahimajra and Udham Singh colony.

However, when The Tribune team visited the village today, filth and garbage was seen lying scattered around. Garbage was being dumped near the tubewell of the public health department from where the supply was being routed to Mohali village. One can imagine the state of hygiene, as the water taps are located close to the open drains.

The state of cleanliness in the village looked after by the MC was pathetic. The open drains were dirty and there was every chance of the sewage seeping into the underground water pipes.

The open drains were not being cleaned regularly. The worst is on the periphery of the village as heaps of garbage and cow dung add to the unhygienic conditions.



Rare cancer surgery 
Our Correspondent 

Mohali, June 21
A 66-year-old patient from Gobindgarh suffering from a big cancer mass in his abdomen for the past six months was operated upon at Ivy Hospital in Sector 71 here. Cancer surgeon Vijay Bansal said the patient, Manohar Lal, was having symptoms in his legs due to the mass and had also undergone loss of weight. The mass was involving the main blood vessel of the abdomen.

Dr Kanwal Deep, medical director, said as it was a rare cancer, surgery became challenging as only few such cases were reported throughout the world.



Centre for mentally challenged by month-end
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 21
Keeping in view the increasing number of mentally challenged children in Chandigarh and the neighbouring states, the Chandigarh administration plans to construct state-of-the-art Regional Centre for Mentally Challenged in Sector 31-C. The institute, being set up in an area of around 8.5 acres, is likely to be named as “Ashadeep” and will be the first of its kind in the northern region. 

The construction of the institute has been planned in three phases. The Phase I planned in an area of 1,80,000 square feet has three blocks A, B and C. The Block C with approximately 60,000 square feet of area will accommodate classrooms for the mentally challenged children, along with parking space of around 14,000 square feet.

Construction of Block C has nearly been completed with finishing touches being given to it. The block C is a four-storeyed building with 12,000 square feet of build-up area. An estimated amount of Rs 5.5 crore has been spent on this block, which would be inaugurated at the end of this month.

The Phase I of the Block C will accommodate 300 mentally challenged children and provide special education, vocational training, therapeutic intervention and research programmes. An NGO named Samarth and children from Prayaas will be shifted to the block after the inauguration in the first phase.

Finance Secretary Sanjay Kumar disclosed that once all blocks were completed this institute would provide comprehensive training and education to around 1,000 mentally challenged children, along with diagnosis and medical care to children with mental retardation, autism, cerebral palsy and children with multiple disabilities at OPD level.

Genetic screening and counselling will be made available for prevention of various disabilities. Vocational training and job placement will also be provided in a sheltered environment. The centre will have special provision of 60 additional beds for destitute patients.

Dr Raj Bahadur, director-principal of Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, stated that a resource centre would also be set up for providing day-to-day technical support to normal schools having special sections for the mentally challenged children. The institute would also provide hostel services for mentally challenged children coming from neighbouring states, he added.



World Music Day
Kailash turns up late; irks audience
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 21
A number of music lovers converged at the Sector-17 Plaza much before the scheduled start of the acclaimed playback and Sufi singer, Kailash Kher, on the World Music Celebration concert here today.

Though the star took the centrestage around 9:30 pm much to the annoyance of the crowd, he spelt magic with his hit numbers “Teri Deevani” and “Chandan Mein” .

Kailash defacto was candid enough to announce that in the absence of his band, he would sing few songs before switching on to his new album “Kailasa Chandni mein,” which has hit the stores on June 19.

However, Zorawat Wadali kept the show on with a spell of folk and Sufiana qalaams immortalised by Wadali brothers. Commencing with “Charkaha gali de bich,” he rendered songs like ‘sohni kadi jhana de kande’ and ‘tu mane ya na maane’.

While ardent fans awaited the star, Kailash Kher, for over an hour, art lovers like Ajay Gupta and Sanjiv Sharma along with their families left the venue in disgust.

Director, Tourism, Samvartak Singh, welcomed the chief guest, IAS MP Singh, secretary to the Punjab Governor .



Come monsoon, NGOs to take out plantation drive
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 21
Under the Partnership Initiative Programme, a meeting of volunteers of all NGOs, who are interested in taking out a plantation drive in the monsoon, was organised by the Conservator of Forests and Nodal Officer for Afforestation at the Botanical Garden in Sarangpur village on Friday.

Nearly 68 NGOs, which have been registered with the forest department, participated in the meeting. The nodal officer demonstrated the methodology of plantation in the field, including pit digging, size of pit, soil-manure mixture and anti-termite treatment

The volunteers were asked to mention the place where they want to take out the drive in order to design a layout plan.

Environmentalist Sunder Lal Bahuguna may also take part in the programme.



Man, son injured in Dhanas
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 21
In an incident of old rivalry resulting in violence last night, Gurjit Singh son of Karnail Singh, both wrestlers, were severely injured and admitted to General Hospital, sector 16 emergency.

Both Gurjit and Karnail, were returning from their routine wresting practice, when on the way they were stopped by some people.

The attackers had swords, knifes and fought with the father-son duo in full swing. The fight led to the duo being severely injured. The localites informed the police and they were admitted in sector 16 Hospital.

It was reported that both father and son suffered from multiple injuries, major injuries on head and marks were found on the body.

The reason for the fight is suspected to be an earlier enmity between the two parties. Meanwhile the police had been patrolling in Dhanas subsequent to the incident.

The police also arrested Yograj, Kuldeep and Goldy, all three being Dhanas residents, in the case and a case was registered in the Sector 11 Police station. 



Woman found dead
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 21
A 50-year-old woman was found dead near the Baltana- Makkhan Majra railway crossing at about 7:30 am today. The body is yet to be identified by the Government Railway Police.

The body was spotted by train drivers, who, then, informed the railway police about the incident.

The police is trying to locate the relatives and other details about the deceased.

Meanwhile, the body is kept at the mortuary in General Hospital, Sector 6, Panchkula.



Police holds blood donation camp
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 21
The UT police organised third blood donation camp at Multi-purpose Hall, Police Lines, Sector 26, here today.

A total of 62 units of blood were donated by 39 male and eight female recruits, who were passed-out recently, and are joining their first posting after donating the blood.

As many as 13 Home Guards and two civilians were also donated blood.



Units defy building bylaws, land use rules
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 21
The new industrial draft policy, framed by the UT administration, proposes to increase the floor area ratio (FAR) from 1 to 1.5 for non-converted plots, which would give rise to commercial activities not conforming to industrial norms.

The administration’s view that “this increase in the FAR would be allowed to only those units which are engaged in manufacturing their own products and not for those units which have rented out their premises” is nothing short of a farce exercise. However, under what parameters the administration would gauge and ensure that the unit would not be rented out is a big question mark.

A visit to the industrial area revealed that not caring for rules, there are over three such liquor shops and four banks and illegal godowns being run in Industrial Area Phase II. These units defy building bylaws norms as well as land use rules. Turing a blind eye to this gross violation as per industrial norms, the administration has devised clauses which could only pamper these illegal activities.

Secretary, UT Engineering, Sanjay Kumar, when apprised of the situation, said the policy needs to be reviewed before final implementation. “In that case, no FAR enhancement would be allowed. Now that the violations have been brought to my notice, I will look into the matter,” he said.

Tampering with the façade of the built-up area, these liquor shops have conveniently opened their doors towards the main road, causing traffic snarls too. Ironically, the Oriental Bank branch, opened recently, was inaugurated by MP Pawan Bansal.

Nevertheless, the “converted” industrialists pleaded that after paying crores for obtaining the FAR of 2 to run activities as per strictures of the administration, they hardly find any client for their buildings, which are either ready or on the verge of completion for occupation.

“We are not against the growth of the industrial units, but with the open policy for the enhancement of FAR, it would further give rise to illegal commercial activities with cheap accommodation in non-converted plots. The policy should be a balanced one, keeping in mind the interests of those plot owners who have shelled out crores for converting their plots,” opined Pankaj Khanna, spokesperson, City Emporia.

Another industrialist Rajive Sahni resented that the administration’s old decisions are still pending. The new decisions would further complicate matters. “Over 90 per cent of the plots here have been sold on general power of attorney. Till date no transfer policy has been notified for industrial unitS. Similarly, the transfer of leasehold to freehold is gathering dust for so many years.”



Students suffer as college, university lack coordination
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 21
Around 40 students of BA and BSc (computer science) of GGDSD College, Sector 32, and SGGS Khalsa College for Women, Sector 26, may have to pay a price for apparent lack of coordination between the colleges and Panjab University. The students had approached the authorities concerned, claiming their paper held a month back was out of syllabus as they had been taught a language named business data processing and data-base management system, whereas the question paper pertaining to another language called advanced VD.

Initially, the college authorities reportedly held university’s examination system responsible for the same, but Panjab University clarified it was college’s fault, because they themselves had taught the old syllabus, thus denying any re-examination, much to the disappointment of students. “Whomsoever fault it is, but it is the students who are getting punished. When we approached our college authorities, they told us that they could not do anything as the university was at fault but contrary to their claims, the university said they taught the old syllabus.

Even if this is true, then the university should punish college authorities, not us,” said one of the students. “Re-examination is our right in this case. It was the fault of authorities, it may be university or colleges, but it is us who suffer. If the university feels the colleges are wrong, then they should fine them, or whatever, but at least give us a chance to repair the damages caused because of somebody’s fault,” added another.

The committee constituted to look into the matter has held colleges responsible for the mistake and has not made any recommendation for re-examination or grace marks.



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