C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

Faculty crunch plagues Panjab University
PUTA’s SOS to authorities to fill posts
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 3
Panjab University (PU), one of the top universities of the country and Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh's alma mater, is struggling with an acute shortage of faculty, seriously affecting the academic standards.

The sorry state of affairs starts with the PU's flagship department of economics where Dr Manmohan Singh taught from 1957 to 1965. As against a sanctioned strength of 21 there are only 10 teachers for 325 students in the five-year integrated course and two sections of MA. Out of the 58 papers to be taught, 16 are being taught by the guest faculty of 12 teachers.

The data compiled by the Panjab University Teachers' Association (PUTA) showed that almost all departments of the social sciences and languages were are running with the about 50 per cent of the sanctioned posts.

In the department of English, there are 19 sanctioned posts and it would be left with 10 faculty members after two teachers proceed on long leave. "Though the department is offering MA degree and diploma course, besides English as a subsidiary course for other departments, we have to put five-year integrated course on hold for want of faculty," said the chairman of the department.

The condition of school of Punjabi studies is worse. Out of the 17 sanctioned posts, there are only eight teachers at present. "Many courses have been suspended as the department is running bare minimum courses," rued Prof Nahar Singh, dean, languages.

Similarly, there are three teachers in the department of Sanskrit and two in Urdu out of the sanctioned posts of seven and five, respectively.

In the professional courses, the department of physical education has five teachers against a sanctioned strength of 15. Similarly, the department of education is managing with nine teachers against the sanctioned number of 18 posts.

The prestigious University Business School (UBS) has a faculty of 20 teachers at present out of the sanctioned posts of 36. These teachers are also taking classes in other departments, including in the UIAMS, a self-financing course.

In the department of sociology, two posts have been transferred and out of the remaining 15 posts, there are only 10 teachers at present. At the same time, the department of sociology is given additional responsibility to accommodate the department of social work and two of the professors of the sociology department take classes in social work.

In the University School of Open Learning (USOL), out of the 76 sanctioned positions,

there are 44 teachers left at present and four of them will retire before the end of current financial year. The USOL has 13,500 students but the departments of mathematics, philosophy, statistics, psychology, sociology, Punjabi, defence studies, and Sanskrit in the USOL are left with one teacher each.

In the department of evening studies, out of the 43 sanctioned posts, there are 30 teachers at present. However, there is not even a single regular teacher in the department of sociology and Sanskrit.

There is only one teacher each in the departments of mathematics, Hindi and public administration of the evening studies. Meanwhile, PUTA urged the university to fill the vacant post immediately so that the departments were not forced to compromise on academic standards.



Nari Niketan Rape Case
Victim gives birth to girl child
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 3
In an odd coincidence, the 19-year-old mentally challenged woman who had been raped at Nari Niketan here, where she had been staying, gave birth to a girl child at Government Medical College & Hospital, Sector 32 today, being observed as World Disability Day. Though the child was said to be slightly “underweight” her condition as also that of her mother was stated to be “stable”.

GMCH-32 director principal Dr Raj Bhadur told The Tribune the child was born through a caesarean delivery since the mother could not give birth naturally despite induction of labour. The child was delivered at 12:44 am, he added

Noting the child was underweight, Dr Anju Huria, head of the hospital’s gynecology department, said, “The average weight of a normal full-term baby is about 2.5 kg and this child’s weight was 2.1 kg.” She said the infant had been kept in the hospital’s nursery care unit for some time under the supervision of Dr Deepak Chawla, neonatologist.

The doctor attending on the rape victim, however, said she appeared “emotionless” after the birth, “She didn’t show any excitement but was in a little pain,” he added.

It may be mentioned here that Ashray, a home for orphaned mentally challenged children in Sector 47, where the rape victim had been staying after shifting from Nari Niketan, was inaugurated today last year.

Meanwhile, police officials have collected blood samples of both the child and mother for DNA tests and they will be sent to a forensic lab.

Ten months ago the mentally challenged girl was allegedly raped by a sweeper of Nari Niketan. She complained of abdominal pain after shifting from Nari Niketan to Ashreya. After she was medically examined she tested positive for pregnancy. The matter was then reported to the police.

When contacted UT senior standing counsel Anupam Gupta said, “The Chandigarh administration has already filed an affidavit in the high court stating it will look after the mother and child till the latter is married, and we still stand on it”.@: Kamla, sweeper cum attendant at Nari Niketan, and Jamuna Dass, a security guard posted there, arrested

June 14: The police collected DNA samples of employees of Nari Niketan and Asherya

June 20: Maya, a nurse cum attendant, held for allegedly destroying medical records of the rape victim from Nari Niketan - the fourth arrest in the case. Earlier, three other employees of Nari Niketan - Kamla, Jamuna Kumar and Maya, besides the prime suspect, Bhupinder, were arrested

July 17: HC directed the UT administration to medically terminate the pregnancy

July 21: Supreme Court gave a verdict against the abortion of the mentally challenged rape victim

Oct 1: The Delhi-based National Trust for the Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation & Multiple Disabilities offered an assistance package for the victim at a meeting with UT administration officials held in Delhi

Oct 5: The UT administration spurned the trust’s offer of a financial package for taking care of the victim and her unborn child

Oct 12: The administration filed an affidavit in the HC saying it would look after the victim’s child, right up to the time she got married. The administration even undertook to make arrangements for the child’s job and marriage

Nov 4: Fifth arrest in the case - that of Vijendra Singh, who was working as an attendant at Nari Niketan. With his arrest the total number of people booked in the case has gone up to five

The next hearing of the case is on December 11, 2009.



2 burnt alive in road mishap
Tribune News Service

The car that met with an accident on the Zirakpur-Chandigarh road on Wednesday night.
The car that met with an accident on the Zirakpur-Chandigarh road on Wednesday night. Tribune photo: Parvesh Chauhan

Zirakpur, December 3
A 34-year-old businessman of Baltana, Mohit Khanna, and a contractor, Mumtaz, were burnt alive when the Honda City car in which they were travelling hit the oil tank of a multi-axle trailer near the Zirakpur sales tax barrier near the Chandigarh barrier here late this night.

The duo was going from Sector 22 of Chandigarh to Baltana.

The driver of the trailer was taking a U-turn through an illegal turning on the Chandigarh-Ambala national highway when the mishap took place. Due to poor visibility on the road and non-functional streetlights, Mohit, who was at the wheels, failed to notice the moving trailer and hit its oil tank. Due to the impact of the collision, the car and the trailer caught fire and both occupants inside were burnt alive.

Due to the impact of the collision, the car was pushed beneath the trailer.

Five fire tenders from Chandigarh and Zirakpur were rushed to the spot to control the blaze. Those present on the spot lamented that timely action could have saved the two, as the vehicle caught fire after some time. The victims could have been evacuated from the car after breaking the glass panes, they said.

Due to the accident, traffic remained blocked on the national highway for over two hours. DSP JS Khera said the issue of illegal throughfare near the Sales Tax barrier had repeatedly been taken up with the concerned authorities. Till the filing of the report, efforts were being made to pull out the car from beneath of the trailer. A police official said the driver of the trailer fled from the spot.



‘Paa’ generates interest in medical fraternity
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 3
Though cine critics would be able to analyse “Paa”, the Amitabh-Abhishek starrer, when it is released tomorrow, medical fraternity has already evinced interest in the subject of progeria, a disease, which the central character, played by Big B, is suffering from.

The disease, which is very rare, has a reported incidence of about 1 in 4-8 million newborns. “While no such case was reported in the PGI, Chandigarh, since I joined the institute 28 years ago, I came across one case abroad during a study tour,” said Professor Sunit Singhi, head, paediatric medicine.

Balki, director of the movie, however, deserves applause for the make-up of the central character, suffering from the disease, as it is no different from the patients with the disease, he added.

A newborn suffering from the disease starts ageing fast. A majority of them complete their aging process going through the symptoms of old age within 13 years, said Dr Singhi. The hair and tooth loss is on similar pattern in such children as is observed in people with old age. However, one of the interesting factors in such patients was observed that they do not suffer from some diseases related with old age like diabetes, he added.

Similar were the views of Dr Dheeraj Khurana, Associate professor, Neurology. “In a career of 20 years, I am yet to come across such a

patient, he said. In fact there may be only a few medical experts who would have got a chance to examine such patients in the country, he said. A majority of such patients die when they reach their teens. However, there were instances in the world when the patients even crossed the age of 20, he said, adding that the scientists were working globally on the disease, particularly so that it might reveal clues about the normal process of ageing.

Dr Viaks Sharma, who is launching a special campaign over genodermatoses on Friday at National Skin Clinic in the MDC, Panchkula, said there were a lot of cases of various genodermatoses and people were becoming aware of them like the one with the release of movie “Paa”, which depicts one of the genodermatoses progeria, said the dermatologist.

Progeria signs include tightening and binding down of skin, growth failure, loss of body fat and hair, aged looking skin, cardiovascular diseases and stroke, said Dr Sharma.

About progeria

Progeria is an extremely rare, severe, genetic condition wherein symptoms resembling aspects of aging are manifested at an early age. Those born with progeria typically live about 13 years, although many have been known to live into their late teens and early twenties and rare individuals may even reach their 40s.



World Disability Day
Functions held for special kids
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 3
The Rehabilitation Centre for Handicapped Children - PRAYAAS - observed the World Disability Day today in collaboration with the Sai Tara Ummat Foundation.

Director, Social Welfare, Samwartak Singh was the chief guest. Speaking on the occasion, he appreciated the efforts of the foundation in supporting the cause of the handicapped children and making them feel that they were a part of the society. He assured all possible help to the institute in making the lives of disabled children comfortable.

Children presented a colourful programme on the occasion. AK Ummat, chairman of the foundation distributed prizes to the wining students and fruits to all the participants. He said the foundation’s aim was to serve the weaker section of the society and the disabled children were the most deserving persons not only for financial help but for love and care of the society.

The Foundation provided school uniforms with woollen caps and socks to 20 poor children of the institute.

Dr BNS Walia, director of the institute, said the disabled in the society needed not only utmost love and care from the society but their rehabilitation measures were equally important.

Healing camp held

Joining hands with Society for Rehabilitation of Mentally Challenged (SOREM), the Lioness and Lions Club of Panchkula organised a 3-hour special healing camp on World Disabled Day here today.

The members of the club and SOREM organised a football match among the teams of autistic and mentally challenged and a refreshment was given to all students. The programme was organised at SOREM in Sector 36.

Kharar: The differently challenged inmates of the Universal Disabled Caretaker Social Welfare Society at Padiala village observed the world disability day today. Games, singing and dancing contests were the highlight of the day. Movie director Jasbir Singh Gill, Bhupinderpal Singh and GS Kohli made the inhabitants cheerful. A team from Punjab Tractor Limited, Mohali, visited society to celebrate the day with inhabitants. They distributed fruits and toys and enjoyed varied performances enacted by the inmates. 



Sensory Park inaugurated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 3
Home Secretary Ram Niwas inaugurated the Sensory Park in Sector 26 today. The park was developed by the municipal corporation’s horticulture department and is spread over 0.41 acre. It has been constructed at the cost of Rs 10 lakh

The concept for a sensory park- designed to stimulate one’s five senses through specific features- originated from Osaka, Japan. This park has been specially created keeping in mind the needs of the visually impaired people. The foundation stone for this park was laid in December 2008.

Ram Niwas said: “I hope that students of the Institute for Blind will be able to use it to the optimum level and add new experiences to their lives by visiting this place often.”

XEN (Horticulture) Arun Kansal said the idea behind keeping five senses in mind was to provide recreational facility and help in developing the sense of smell and touch among the visually challenged persons. He said while developing the garden they invited children to pick a little leaf and put it on their tongue to taste.

Walking along a path and brushing upon aromatic plants that tickle the nose as well as lots of fragrant flowers is a fun. The main features of the garden are medicinal plants, some for touch, for sound, for scent, plants for sight, for taste like Ashwagandha, Sadabhar, Strawberry, Lajwanti, Black Tulsi, Bamboo, Wingedbark, Silver Queen, Puppy, Galphimia, Hamelia and pcc benches, turfing of lawn, paver blocks, concrete footpath and baffle wall have been added in this garden to facilitate the visually challenged people.

Municipal Commissioner Dr Roshan Sunkaria and SDM Abhishek Dev were also present on the occasion.



Play on terrorism
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, December 3
Sandli Pairan Kala Kender staged a Punjabi play “Vaa-Varolle” at the Randhawa Auditorium here today.Whirlwind of terrorism that desolated many young innocent lives and how the authorities handled various situations in the aftermath of an untoward incident were perfectly revealed in the play.

Playwright Jaswinder Singh and director Parveen Jaggi tried to offer an analytical view of the holocaust in Punjab and how one wrong decision could make one’s life miserable . Protagonist Deepa, who was associated with a terrorist outfit, realised it very late, when he was almost at a point of no return. Deepa, a young college going brother of Jeeta, a farmer, was flamboyant and loved listening to music. Structured in the most suitable ambience of rural life of Punjab, the play was based on the common theme of terrorism and its impact, which holds relevance even today. Playwright used card playing as the metaphor to

illustrate his view point. Narinder Neena (Jeeta) was very natural and eloquent, while Komaldeep (wife), Himani (Nikki) and Shavinder were convincing. The sequence of thrashing Jeeta by the police during investigations was enacted with perfection. Some of the amateur artistes appeared for the first time on stage.



Mangoes in winter!
Our Correspondent

Mohali, December 3
Mangoes in winter seem unbelievable. But it is true at the house of an agriculturist in Phase X, Mohali.

A big mango was found hanging from a tree today and the proud owner, Preeti Sodhi, said there were many more but were plucked by people passing along the road of the one-kanal corner house.

Preeti said the plant was purchased by chance from a nursery while coming from Dehradun more than five years back and planted in the vacant area along the house. The plant was a mixture of the Safeda and Alphonso variety.

The fruit appeared on the plant around mid-June and since it belonged to a late variety, it remained on it even till December.

She said the mangoes of the plant had a very sweet taste more like that of an alphonso. The plant started bearing fruit two years back but most of it was plucked by passers-by or fell due to adverse weather conditions. The family has orchards in Ferozepur and Kasauli. 



Another tests positive for swine flu
Our Correspondent

Mohali, December 3
Another resident has been tested positive for the swine flu here today. With this the toll has risen to 23.

Dr SP Surila, District Health Officer, said Rajat Verma (35), a resident of Sector 71, was admitted to Prime Hospital on Tuesday.

The hospital authorities suspected it to be a case of the HINI fever and as such informed the district health authorities about this. A throat swab of the patient was taken yesterday and sent to the PGI, Chandigarh, for testing. The report submitted today confirmed that the patient was suffering from swine flu.

Dr Surila said the patient had been quarantined for a week. A list of 39 persons, including doctors and nurses, who had come in contact with the patient had been prepared. They would be given the required medicines. 



400 people take part in yoga camp
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, December 3
Yoga expert Swami Dharamdevji Maharaj conducted a free yoga camp at Sharma Farms here yesterday.

More than 400 people the tricity participated in the camp. NK Sharma, chairman, planning board, Mohali, and Zirakpur MC president was the chief guest.

In this discourse on yoga, Dharamdevji said a majority of diseases and ailments could be cured by practicing toga for just 15-20 minutes a day.

“Yoga is not just a curative therapy, it a complete science, a wholesome way of life in itself. If we adopt yoga and practice it correctly for just 15-20 minutes a day, we will not only be rid of a majority of diseases, including asthma, diabetes, cardiac problems, obesity, but also attain a happy and peaceful state of mind,” he added. 



Trains to Amritsar, Dehra Dun, Mumbai soon
Weekly train to Dibrugarh regularised
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 3
With the announcement of three more new trains from Chandigarh, the city would now be connected, on a regular basis, to major cities like Mumbai, Dehra Dun and Amritsar. This announcement was made at the flag-off ceremony of the newly regularised Chandigarh-Dibrugarh Express wherein the Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and Water Resources Pawan Bansal congratulated the railway passengers.

Besides, the train to Dibrugarh will be departing every Wednesday at 11:10 p.m. and will take three days to reach its destination via Ambala, Saharanpur, Muradabad, Lucknow, Gonda, Gorakhpur, Muzaffarnagar, Barauni, Jalpaigudi and Guwahati.

“It’s a major achievement for the city. The train was initially running as a summer special and was not regular, but seeing the demand it has been regularised much to the convenience of North- east-bound passengers as they would now be saved from breaking their journey and switching trains,” he said.

On this occasion, Northern Railway DRM HK Jaggi said till now, Chandigarh was connected to Mumbai through the Paschim Express, which was a link train, but now it would have a weekly train from here.

“In addition, we would also start a train to Dehra Dun via Hardwar. Earlier, we had a train for Dehra Dun. As it was all AC, we could not get good response. The new train will be started with mixed class coaches,” he said.

The most important announcement was a special train to Amritsar via Jalandhar, which would be diverted from Sirhind, but only after the expansion of the Morinda railway line project.



Dharam Paul elected president of staff assn

Chandigarh, December 3
Dharam Paul Sharma has been elected president of the Panjab University’s Staff (non-teaching) Association. The association has elected representatives for five key posts.

Suresh Mahajan and Deepak Kaushik have been elected senior president and vice-president, respectively. Ravinder Trikha has been elected secretary, while Mandeep Singh and Raj Kumar have been elected finance secretary and public secretary, respectively.



Man gets Rs 10,000 for delay in vehicle’s registration
Smriti Sharma Vasudeva
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 3
Pulling up the State Transport Authority and Registering Authority, Chandigarh, for starting an inquiry beyond their powers, which delayed the registration of a vehicle and caused mental and physical harassment, the District Consumer Disputes and Redressal Forum has directed both departments to pay Rs 10,000 as compensation to a complainant.

The forum in its orders observed that the vehicle in question was purchased on March 29. The registration certificate was issued to the complainant on July 2; though the temporary registration was valid only for 30 days within which period the registering authority was required to issue the registration certificate. The reason given by them for delay in registration is that they had not received the approval for registration of the model from the State Transport Authority in Chandigarh. Thus, the STA was arrayed as a party in the case and admitted fact that the registration of the vehicle was intentionally delayed.

The orders further stated that it appears that the STA and the Home Secretary are introducing themselves illegally as road-blockers when they have no role to play in the entire registration process. It’s due to the wrong stand taken by the Registering Authority in seeking the approval of the STA. that the matter has been delayed. Further, the STA instead of advising the Registering Authority to go ahead with the registration started its own process of inspection of the vehicle, when they have no role to advise the Registering Authority or to conduct the inspection of the vehicle at the stage of registration. The authorities, therefore, acted illegally and contrary to the rules little realising that the complainant, who could drive the vehicle on the strength of a temporary registration certificate was further debarred from using the same after 30 days for which the temporary registration was valid.

Lalit Mohan, a resident of Badheri, the complainant, had recently purchased a Yamaha F25 bike from a dealer in Solan on March 29. As he was residing in Chandigarh, he went for its registration on April 28, where he was told that the model approval was pending and he was guided to the Sector 17 head office. When he went to the Sector 17 office he was told that they have no related documents and when he went to the local dealer he could not give any satisfactory reply. He even called at the customer care number of the bike manufacturer but did not get any call in response. It was alleged in the complaint that due to the act and conduct of the authority and manufacturer, he was harassed mentally and physically, as he could not ply the vehicle because the temporary number had expired.

However, in the reply submitted to the forum, the dealer stated that the motorcycle was earlier known as FZ16. Due to minor changes the company had sought clarification from the International Centre for Automotive Technology (ICAT) as to whether additional certification was required. The ICAT clarified that there was no need for additional certification upon which the State Transport Authority, UT, Chandigarh, accorded approval.

It has been alleged that the delay, if any, was on the part of the State Transport Authority in granting the approval despite the issue being clarified by the ICAT in time. 



Housing scheme for poor
City bags national award
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 3
The city has received national award for 2008-2009 under the JNNURM scheme for being the best city in earmarking land for the poor. The award carries a certificate of appreciation, a trophy and Rs 2 lakh in cash.

Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh presented the award in New Delhi today. UT Administrator SF Rodrigues, Finance Secretary Sanjay Kumar and Chairman of the Chandigarh Housing Board Mohanjeet Singh received the award.

The project costing Rs 1,200 crore, including the land cost, was initiated in 2006. About 356 acres was earmarked for the implementation of the Slum Rehabilitation Scheme, under which 25,728 houses are to be constructed. The construction work on about 13,000 houses has already started. The work is under progress at different locations, including Sector 38 (West), Sector 29, Ram Darbar and Dhanas.

A housing complex comprising of 512 small flats at Sector 38 (West) was inaugurated on August 15. In order to identify slum dwellers in the city, the Estate Officer, Chandigarh, conducted a survey in March 2006. It was found that at least 23,841 families lived in 18 different colonies in the city.

Apart from occupying approximately 175 acres, these slum areas were characterised by unhygienic conditions, lack of civic amenities, unplanned growth and total degradation of environment around them.



Delegation of ministerial union meets chief secy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 3
A delegation of the Punjab State Ministerial Services Union met the Punjab Chief Secretary today.

The union stated that the chief secretary had informed them that officials in the group A and B categories, who had not discharged their duties as the DDOs, had been exempted from taking NOCs from the vigilance department after their retirement.

Additional secretary of Punjab had also issued a letter in this regard.

The union further said other demands like abolition of typing test for clerks, considering computer course certificates for their eligibility and giving authority to the head of the office to clear medical expenses up to Rs 25,000 to the head of the department for medical bills up to Rs 1 lakh had also been okayed.

The chief secretary told them that the letter in this connection would be issued in few days. 



Notification on mayoral poll

Chandigarh, December 3
The Deputy Commissioner and the competent authority for holding elections to the posts of Mayor, Senior Deputy Mayor and Deputy Mayor of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation will issue notification for its elections tomorrow.

The date of filing nomination papers for the post of Mayor will be December 28. This year the post of Mayor is reserved for woman.

The election for the Mayor will be held on January 1, 2010, after which the Mayor will conduct the elections of Senior Deputy Mayor and Deputy Mayor. — TNS



Garbage processing
MC forms another panel
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 3
The Municipal Corporation has constituted another committee to sort out issues between the management of the garbage processing plant and conservancy vehicles of the medical office (Health) on day-to-day basis. This five-member committee would look into the matters relating to solid waste intake, rejection and dumping of inert, rejects, semi-processed garbage by the plant at the dumping site.

The committee would prepare a report in accordance with the norms accepted under the MoU and its implementation. Members who have been included in this committee are KR Chirwatkar, entomologist-cum-parasitologist, Hardial Singh, project officer, BK Sharma, OSD (Sanitation), Hazara Singh, field coordinator and Ram Phal Singh, sanitary inspector (operations).

The administration had, in August, constituted a Central Pollution Control Board committee of experts, to cover all these aspects, after they monitored the plant for 15 days. After the committee’s interim report the administration had issued directions to the company and the corporation separately.

In its letter to the corporation, the administration had directed the civic body to use bags of specific colour, other than those meant for bio-medical wastes, for the collection of meat waste from different parts of the city and transport it in a separate vehicle, to the bio-methanaiton plant for further processing. The corporation should also inoculate the waste at the dumping ground on daily basis to minimize the foul smell emanating from there.

Questions are being raised at the utility of constituting such a committee, when the Central Pollution Board committee has already studied the functioning of the plant a few months ago? It’s being questioned as to why no committee has been formed, till date, to keep a watch on the proper segregation of the garbage, sent to the plant by these vehicles? Have the authorities ever bothered to get a survey done as to how many garbage bins and vehicles were required for efficiently transporting the garbage to the plant on daily basis? 



Bal Bhawan to be beautified
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 3
The home secretary-cum-secretary (social welfare) and chief engineer Surinder Pal visited Bal Bhawan, Sector 23, today to look into the possibility of upgrading the facilities.

The home secretary directed the chief engineer to revamp the Bal Bhawan building and the multi-purpose hall.

Recently, the International Dolls Museum and multipurpose hall were given a new look. The home secretary decided to make permanent seating arrangements in the multipurpose hall by January 2010.

They also decided to install a separate air conditioning plant at the earliest for the hall as well as the International Dolls Museum.

It has also been decided to beautify the venue by planting more saplings and flowerbeds. It was also decided to shift the existing Working Women Hostel from the premises to the Working Women Hostel in Sector 24. This hostel will also ne provided with a crèche. 



Fire academy plan smacks of political self-interest
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 3
It appears Chandigarh mayor Kamlesh, in an obvious bid to gain political mileage, does not hesitate to float project proposals that have already been rejected or have were deemed not feasible by the officials on account of their lack of usefulness or their recurring expenditure.

At the municipal corporation’s last house meeting, a proposal to set up a fire academy in the city was tabled with the report of the committee constituted by the civic body going into its pros and cons.

Interestingly, in its observations the panel, headed by MC additional commissioner PK Sharma and including two other members - station fire officer ML Sharma and fire & emergency services subcommittee chairman Arshad Khan - clearly stated the plan to set up a fire academy in the city was not economically viable. It also pointed out the project would involve a recurring expenditure on faculty and the infrastructure amounting to crores of rupees, which would be very difficult for the MC to bear annually.

The report mentions the visit by a team to the Delhi fire academy, a six-storied building on four acres of land. The expenditure involved in that project was estimated to be about Rs 4 crore, excluding the cost of land, vehicles and equipment.

The committee also pointed out the staff of the Delhi fire service was about 2,200, whereas the employee strength of the Chandigarh fire and emergency services was only 220. There are 50 fire stations in Delhi but the City Beautiful has only seven.

Keeping in view these facts, the panel is of the view that the proposal to set up a fire academy in the city is not viable. The report also mentions the local fire department is already imparting intensive training to their personnel engaged in fire fighting activities.

It may be mentioned the panel was set up by the mayor after she had returned from a visit to Baroda in Gujarat and had asked officials to look into the project’s feasibility.

It is quite strange that when the committee had clearly stated in its report that the proposed academy was not required in the city in view of the exiting staff and infrastructure, then why did the mayor permit tabling of this agenda for discussion in the house.

A senior official said that, during the discussion in the house, Kamlesh had been told as there were fire academies in the neighbouring states of Himachal Pradesh and Haryana there was no need for a separate academy in the city. The services of those academies would be taken while impart training to the fire personnel of the city, he added. 



Body removed from rly tracks after protest
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 3
The body of Faidan resident Shekhar Pandey kept lying near the Chandigarh-Morinda rail tracks for more than six hours, as the Chandigarh and Mohali divisions of the railway police could not decide in whose jurisdiction it was lying.

The body was removed only after Jagatpura residents blocked the Chandigarh-Mohali road over the failure of the railway police to remove the body for autopsy and handing it over to the family of the deceased. The police suspects that the victim, who was a clothes hawker, died after being hit by a train while crossing the tracks.

Ramesh Pandey, brother of the deceased, said he left for his work in the morning and he had two mobile-phone sets. An unidentified caller had used the mobile phone of his brother to inform him about the death.

It was only after the public protest that the body was taken to the Mohali Civil Hospital. 



Noise pollution: A headache for Zirakpur residents
Rajiv Bhatia

Zirakpur, December 3
Loud music blaring out of various marriage palaces till late night is troublesome for the residents of Zirakpur. Besides creating noise, the marriage palaces also pose a traffic hazard along the national highway.

The residents of the area are complaining that they hardly get any sleep in night as loud music at marriage palaces causes noise pollution. They stated the Supreme Court had banned the loud music after 10 pm but the local administration has failed to check this violation. Around 25 marriage palaces are located on the highway and in the residential areas of the town. Noise pollution is causing disturbance to school going students and also affecting senior citizens and ailing people.

Sakshi Sharma, a student of Class 10th said loud music disturbs her study in the night.

Another resident of Zirkapur said the local police asked for a written complaint against marriage palaces if approached regarding the violation. Puneet Goyal, SDM, Dera Bassi, said, “We would shortly call a meeting of marriage palace and hotel owners to discuss public problems.”



Tribune employee dead
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 3
Brij Mohan Sharma (53), PA to Dainik Tribune’s Editor, died after brief illness here today.He joined the Tribune Group in 1978. He is survived by his wife Indu Bala, daughter and a son. His brother, Mr Naresh Sharma is working in HR section of the Tribune.

The funeral procession will leave 239/A, Ram Nagar, Ambala tomorrow at 11 am.



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