C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Shops in malls fail to attract business
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 7
Chandigarh and its satellite towns of Panchkula and Mohali seem to have given a cold response to the much-hyped mall culture. Despite high footfalls in the five malls that have now come up in the region, business remains elusive for the few shops that have opened here.

No wonder many shops have actually closed down after running into huge losses and failing to find buyers. Most of the store owners in these malls say that though a large number of people come to the malls, only 10- 15 per cent are genuine shoppers. These malls have become entertainment destinations with the food courts, eating joints and kids play zones hogging all the business.

A visit to various malls in the city and neighbouring Panchkula and Mohali revealed that while over 30 per cent of the shops in DT Mall and over 50 per cent in Centra Mall were vacant, a majority of shops in Shalimar Mall (Panchkula) and Paras Downtown (Zirakpur) have failed to find any takers. Barring three shops, other 140 odd shops in Shalimar Mall are lying vacant. In Paras Downtown, where the anchor store, Big Bazaar, attracts the maximum shoppers, almost 90 per cent of the shops are still vacant.

Mall developers rue that the lack of business activity in these malls was due to the recession and high inflation now. Kewal Garg, main promoter of Shalimar Mall, said high food inflation and recession were the main reasons that the retail sector was unable to expand. “The recessionary phase is over, but everyone is affected by the high food inflation. People are not willing to spend on lifestyle goods, so nobody is willing to open their outlets in malls, as overheads are high,” he said.

Realtors here feel that the rentals in these malls are unrealistic, making them unviable for retailers. “There are no takers for the shops as the rentals are high. The mall developers have failed to come to terms with the recession in commercial realty space, and continue to quote rates that were viable two years ago. This is a major deterrent for people to set shop in these malls,” said commercial property consultant, Kamal Jindal.

Kuljit Singh, a lawyer, says shopping in malls is still an alien culture for Chandigarh. “People here have deep pockets, but all brands that retail in the malls have also set base in the various markets of the region. In fact, the prices at the malls are sometimes higher, and nobody wants to pay more for the same thing. It is only because of the multiplexes that these malls are getting high footfalls,” he opined.



Scrap dealer finds ‘life’ from garbage dump
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 7
Septuagenarian scrap dealer Ram Rattan, a resident of the Colony No 4 here, has been earning his bread and butter by picking up empty liquor bottles for many years. However, over a year ago, his job brought him better life through an Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) poster, which was dumped in a garbage dump at Behlana village here.

And now the grateful sober man is on a unique mission to spread the AA message in the colony where alcoholism has assumed alarming proportions. Ram Rattan has hung his prized possession (AA poster) on the door of his modest tenement to pass on the message to the still-suffering alcoholics.

Ram Rattan says it was in early 2009 when shuffling through the garbage he stumbled upon the AA poster giving the helpline number (94170-37358). "I had been having problem with alcohol, as I used to have my quota in the evening. Most of my meagre earnings went to fetch the bottle in the evening and life became unmanageable," he informed.

However, a few calls at the helpline convinced him that help was available to the suffering alcoholics. "Through AA help and by God's grace, I have been able to quit drinking completely for over a year now. Life is much better now as I have no guilt and remorse in the morning after a binge," he quips.

An AA member said it was a miracle that the man had been staying sober for a long time by passing on the message.

The AA holds daily meetings in different parts of the tricity from 6 pm to 7.30 pm where recovering alcoholics share their experience, strength and hopes with the still-suffering alcoholics.

There are no dues and fees for the AA membership and only a desire to stop drinking is necessary to join the AA.

Ram Rattan with the Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) poster outside his tenement in Colony No 4, Chandigarh, on Sunday. Ram Rattan, who used to be a habitual drinker, says it was in early 2009 when shuffling through garbage that he stumbled upon an AA poster giving the helpline number (94170-37358). "I had been having problem with alcohol, as I used to have my quota in the evening. Most of my meagre earnings went to fetch the bottle in the evening and life became unmanageable. A few calls at the helpline convinced me that help was available to the suffering alcoholics.” 

Ram Rattan with the Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) poster outside his tenement in Colony No 4, Chandigarh, on Sunday. A Tribune photograph 



Drizzle ends dry spell
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 7
A short drizzle late in the night ended the dry spell in the city and neighbouring areas, providing relief to residents.

While the minimum temperature recorded today was 13.8 degrees Celsius against 11.2 degrees recorded yesterday, the maximum also rose to 26.0 degrees Celsius, 0.2 degree higher than Saturday.

"It will be generally cloudy with one or two spells of rain or thundershowers in the next 24 hours in the city. Maximum and minimum temperatures on Monday and Tuesday would hover around 20 and 13 degrees C respectively,” the met official said.

Poor visibility has not interfered with flight take off or landing till 3 p.m. "All operations till now are normal," said an airport spokesperson.

Train movement schedule was also normal, said RK Datta, Station Superintendent, Chandigarh railway station.

The minimum temperature in Punjab rose by 1 to 4 degrees with Ludhiana recording 13.4° Celsius (6 degrees above normal). In Patiala, the minimum temperature also rose by 3 degrees to settle at 12.5°C.

In Haryana, Karnal registered a low of 10.2°C, while in Ambala the minimum temperature was 12.3°C.

The met office has forecast light to moderate rain or thundershowers would occur in Punjab and at a few places in Haryana in the next 24 hours. It also predicted hailstorms or thunder squalls with wind speed exceeding 45 kmph at isolated places in the region.



Southern sectors suffer in basic amenities
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Astreetlight pole stolen in Sector 50, Chandigarh.
Astreetlight pole stolen in Sector 50, Chandigarh. Tribune photos: Parvesh Chauhan

Chandigarh, February 7
The southern sectors continue to be poor cousins of the privileged northern sectors with regard to civic amenities.

The Chandigarh Municipal Corporation authorities have once again committed that the long-pending demands of residents of southern sectors, particularly with regard to providing basic civic amenities, would be fulfilled by the year-end.

It is pertinent to mention that almost same promises were made during the tenure of the preceding two mayors. However, nothing happened on ground.

Crores of rupees were allocated in the budget to upgrade the area, but little seems to have been done.

It may be mentioned that in the year 2008, Rs 12 crore was allocated for the re-carpeting of roads in southern sectors, but it was only for the areas under the jurisdiction of the corporation. Very few works have been initiated on ground.

Similar is the case of streetlights of the area, which are under the corporation. A majority of them are non-functional.

The corporation also seems ignorant about the menace of stray dogs in the entire area.

Residents have repeatedly complained about the step-motherly treatment being meted out to them by the municipal corporation as far as the maintenance of roads, streetlights and littered garbage in vacant plots of the sectors and public parks are concerned.

Residents are up in arms against the municipal corporation for not providing them basic civic amenities. They revealed that roads had not been carpeted since they shifted to Sector 50.

The condition of public parks in the area is also in a very bad shape, as weeds and Congress Grass have grown in it. Although green belts have been developed by the administration, after the sector had been transferred to the Municipal Corporation, they are also nobody’s baby now.

“Streetlights in our sector always remain out of order as there is no system in the corporation to check whether these are functioning properly,” Sarita Kumari, a resident of Sector 50, said.

Ram Prakash, a resident of Sector 51, said for the past more than three years, the authorities had promised us that a separate budget had been allocated for the provision of all basic civic amenities in their area, but the ground reality is that the condition of our residential quarters is getting worse year after year.

Area councillor Ram Sumer Morya said this year the MC mayor Anu Chatrath had taken into account all works which were lying pending in the southern sectors so that she could allocate a separate budget for them. A majority of them will be taken up this year.


‘Tricity needs master plan on lines of NCR’ 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 7
The Federation of Sector Welfare Associations (FOSWAC) held its executive meeting here today. The meeting, which was attended by 45 representatives of different Residents Welfare Associations (RWAs), urged the Chandigarh administration to formulate an integrated comprehensive development master plan for the tricity on the pattern of the National Capital Region (NCR) to ensure orderly growth in the area. The Punjab Periphery Control Act, 1952, as applicable to the UT, has lost its relevance.

Unplanned growth has come up in the peripheral area around Chandigarh, as the administration has no control on it as it falls in Punjab and Haryana. There is an urgent need to prepare an Inter-State Regional Plan for the periphery of Chandigarh in co-ordination with states of Punjab and Haryana otherwise the area is set to emerge one of the largest unmanageable urban agglomeration in North India, the meeting felt.

The concept of participatory democracy has been lacking in the city. It needs to be implemented with greater participation, involvement and consultation of the people through RWAs on the pattern of Bhagidari Scheme of Delhi Government, the meting said.

The city has become an educational hub and a large student base due to availability of best education facilities, strong social infrastructure and safe environment. The administration should take the urgent steps to construct more hostel accommodation to check the mushrooming of unauthorised paying guesthouses in the residential buildings causing of public nuisance.

The city has the highest number of auto vehicles in comparison to its population causing lot of traffic congestion, chaotic traffic jams and increasing cases of accidents. The administration should take urgent steps for widening of roads, improvement of roundabouts and traffic lights, construction of flyovers, under passes, multilevel parking in the commercial areas and community parking in the residential areas and most importantly implementing the Composite Mobility Plan of introducing Bus Rapid Transport System and Metro Railway System, the meeting observed.

The administration should take steps to remove the feeling of bias against the southern sectors by upgrading the infrastructure and civic amenities like roads, drainage system, street lights, parks, markets, bus queue shelters, primary health centres, community centres and setting up of a club in Sector 42.

Though the Chandigarh Police has gone hi-tech, yet its policing needs to be strengthened to check the increasing cases of motor vehicle thefts, burglaries, chain snatchings, incident of group clashes, stabbings, extortion, violence among youngsters. Important issues like corruption, encroachment on government land, adult rations of food articles, hoarding and black marketing, which have a disastrous effects on the society, need to be tackled strictly, the meeting observed. 



Over 77,000 given polio drops
Tribune News Service

Polio drops being given to a child in Mohali on Sunday.
Polio drops being given to a child in Mohali on Sunday. A Tribune photograph

Chandigarh, February 7
A total of 77,632 children were administered polio drops on the first day of the fifth round of the Pulse Polio Immunisation Campaign here today. The main objective of the campaign was to cover maximum children.

Additional workforce was pressed in. As many as 70,294 children in the 0-5 age group were immunised last month.

A two-day door-to-door campaign will be launched tomorrow to cover the remaining children.

Kharar: As many as 3,316 children were administered polio drops during a pulse polio campaign here today.

Acting SMO Dr Balwinder Singh and pediatrician Dr Aurobindo said two mobile teams were constituted for Mundi Kharar and main Kharar, respectively. The mobile teams vaccinated 118 children. They added that volunteers of the Rotary Club and NCC from local physical education college helped in the campaign.

Also, two transit points were constituted- one at main bus stand and at the other at local bus stand, wherein 712 children were administered polio drops. Total 6,500 children would be covered under the programme.

Mohali: As many as 7,724 children up to five years of age were given polio drops at various centres across Mohali.

Dr Raju Dheer, nodal officer of pulse polio, Mohali, said the drops were administered at 67 booths, five mobile camps and four transit camps.

Bassi Pathana: The local health department in collaboration with religious and social organisations administered polio drops to children here today.

SMO Kuldeep Singh Kang inaugurated the campaign at a local civil hospital. He said health department had constituted 14 teams, including mobile and transit teams. Besides, 12 polio sewa booths were also set up. He said the department had fixed a target of 3,250 children, where as 1,602 had been administered
the drops. 



Raipur Khurd residents face poor LPG supply
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 7
Resentment prevails among thousands of Indane LPG consumers with regard to poor supply of LPG in Raipur Khurd village for over a month.

Consumers of the Ram Chander & Sons agency said as the agency had discontinued delivering cylinders in the village, they were asked to collect gas delivery slips for LPG cylinders from its agency in Sector 30 and pick up the same from its godown in Industrial Area, Phase II.

Some senior citizens of the village alleged that the supply of LPG cylinders to the consumers in the village caused a great inconvenience to them.

The gas agency sources, however, blamed the villagers for non-cooperation with the deliveryman of the gas agency, as it was reported that in one case, a widow of the village had manhandled a deliveryman who refused her LPG cylinder without booking.

It was also reported that a complaint in this regard was lodged by Kamal, the agency owner, with the Indane authorities in Sector 19, who ordered the stoppage of the LPG supply to the village with immediate effect.

When contacted, the owner of the agency refuted the charge and said there had neither been any order from the Indane authorities to stop the LPG supply to the village nor was there any shortage of the LPG for genuine consumers.

However, he admitted that there was a backlog of only three-four days for his company's consumers in the city. He said as per his information, the backlog of the LPG booking in the case of other companies was also just seven to eight days.

Meanwhile, he assured that the LPG supply to the genuine consumers of the village would be normal from tomorrow.

Most of the gas consumers alleged that gas distributors do not book the cylinder before a period of 21 days after the cylinder has been supplied. But there is no such bar, said an IOC official.

He said a refill could be booked as and when required by a customer to meet his/her genuine requirement of the LPG for domestic cooking purpose. No time-gap has been specified between the date of supply of a domestic LPG cylinder and the date for booking of the next refill, he added. 



Illegal parking near Darua village harasses commuters
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 7
Traffic problems near railway yard at Darua village have multiplied over a period of time with an increase in the number of trucks coupled with the indifferent attitude of truck drivers and practically no control of the police on the situation.

Lack of proper parking slots and the haphazard parking of trucks and trailers on the busy main road to city railway station have led to traffic jams and accidents on many occasions. A resident said it was difficult to find any motor vehicle in the city passing from that area, which had not met with an accident.

The roads in the area are hardly repaired and there is one-way traffic on these. Parking of trucks, including Army trucks, and cars on these roads only add 
to the chaos.

Stray animals and the lack of proper streetlights, apart from the callous attitude of road users, are among the factors, which have led to an increase in the number of accidents.

The authorities concerned have done little to seriously tackle the traffic problem and residents feel it is time they took the corrective measures.

Pritam Singh, a resident of the area, said it was difficult to drive on this track during night, as there were no signboards or reflectors indicating about the road leading to the railway yard or to the adjoining market.

A large number of carriers that transport iron bars are seen parked at any time of the day on both sides of a one-km stretch of the road connecting Vikas Nagar, Mauli Jagran and Darua.

“In absence of traffic police, truck drivers park their trucks as per their wish,” said a resident.

Truckers and trailer operators often park their vehicles near liquor shops because liquor was available round the clock. They also defecate around the parking zone and resort to ugly postures much to the horror of the residents.

Talking to the TNS, truck drivers asserted that they were also facing parking problems, but they had no option except to park their trucks on the roadside.

The UT administration and its other wings look the other way while operators of private carriers subvert rules by converting a stretch on the Darua village road as parking zone.

This has assumed the character of public nuisance not only for the residents of the adjoining areas, but also the commuters.



Modern PCR work kicks off
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 7
Work on providing an ultra modern police control room (PCR) for Mohali district has begun. Located at the Phase VIII Police Station, the job of raising the structure for the PCR has been started and it is expected to be over by six months.

The new facility would enable quick action on the distress calls received on the police helpline number. Mohali is among six districts selected by the Punjab Police for up gradation of the PCR facility.

According to sources, it involved Geographical Information System and Global Positioning System technologies-based Automatic Vehicle Tracking System (AVTS) to track the PCR vans and motorcycles.

The Punjab Police Housing Corporation (PPHC) had been entrusted the job for providing the infrastructure.

The digital map of the city and location of PCR vehicles could be seen on a Central screen using a map projection system at the respective PCRs. This would help in knowing the status of particular vehicle.

It has been proposed to record all calls received on the helpline number at two places simultaneously - at Digital Voice Logging System for central recording and at the Local Area Network for individual recordings.

Each call would be recorded and attached to a challan form and would be forwarded to the dispatch wireless operator on the LAN along with the challan, the sources added.



Rajat shines in declamation contest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 7
An inter-tutorial declamation contest was organised at GGDSD College, Sector 32, in the college seminar hall here recently.

Students expressed their views on social, political, cultural and moral issues, including female foeticide, drug addiction, science and religion, etc.

While Rajat Jain of BCom I won the contest, Akanksha of BA II and Harsimran of BCom III were adjudged the first and second runner-up, respectively.

Senior faculty members of the college, Dr Balraj Thapar, Ashima Dhir and Kusum Sharma, judged the contest.

Dr VP Malhotra, coordinator Manav Dharam Kendra and HOD department of mathematics, coordinated the event. This activity is an annual feature of the college and it culminates general tutorial programme and offers all-round development of the students’ personality.



Cuisine from God’s own country
Tribune News Service

Women members of the Malayalee Samajam serve mouth-watering dishes in Mohali on Sunday.
Women members of the Malayalee Samajam serve mouth-watering dishes in Mohali on Sunday. Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu

Mohali, February 7
The seventh Kerala Food Festival turned out be a hit as a large number of persons visited the Kerala Bhavan in Phase XI here today. The event was organised by the Malayalee Samajam, Mohali. Family members of the samajam had prepared mouth-watering dishes.

There were different varieties of Kerala cuisine like biryani, idli, vada sambar and masala dosa.

The festival was inaugurated by Vishwanathan Nair, general manager of the Syndicate Bank, Chandigarh.

Benny Thomas, president of the samajam, said the festival was organised to give insight in to the culture and cuisine of Kerala.

The visitors also had a chance to learn about the nutritional value of dishes like kappa fish curry, porotta and Kerala style biryani.

A lucky draw was also held. The president said the first phase of construction of the Kerala Bhavan was in progress.



Over 3,000 take MAT
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 7
More than 3,000 students appeared in Management Aptitude Test (MAT) in the city and region today. Lajpat Rai Bhawan and UIET were the two main centres in Chandigarh, where the test was held. 

Nearly 88,000 students took the test all over the country, while another 7,000 students would appear in online MAT on February 13.

Chandigarh-based Aryans School of Management (ASM) chairman Anshu Kataria said a majority of students prefer the paper-pencil format over the online one. On today’s exam, he said while the mathematical section was a bit tough and time consuming, the intelligence section was the easiest. 



Meet discusses heart ailments
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 7
The World Heart Failure Society, an international organisation of doctors, is expected to rope in PGI for joint research work in the fields of surgery, medicine as well as stem cell therapy, said Dr Inder S Anand, secretary of the society and professor of medicine, University of Minnesota Medical School, USA.

Dr Anand, who had been at PGI, between 1972 and 1991, said the society would like to collaborate with the hospital for studies on the cause of heart failure in India and its quantum in the country. Talking to The Tribune at the Second World Heart Failure Society Congress, Dr Anand said in USA only 2 per cent of the population suffered from heart failure while in India there was no data available.

The amount spent on the treatment in US was about $3 billion, which was much more than the total budget for health services in India. Under such circumstances, it was not practical to believe that the same health care could be provided to the patients here as was available in the West, Dr Anand said. 



Open House Response
Admn-MC work areas need streamlining

It is on record, rather a historical fact, that a majority party alliance, in the city, had allowed election of a Mayor from the opposition due to inside party bickering. Recent media reports spoke about a free for all in the house of MCC. The name of Mayor is missing from big administrative functions and senior administrative functionaries are often missing at MC functions.

There has always existed a huge gap of differences between the offices of the Mayor and the Municipal Commissioner. The status of the Mayor has been downgraded considerably. The Mayor has, once, not been allowed by the administrator to proceed abroad to attend an international meeting of Mayors, against an official invitation. To rub salt on the injuries of the Mayor, a bureaucrat was detailed in his place. There are endless examples to prove the point. The quoted precedents present a wrong picture of the municipal autonomy.

Till the time the counsellors of different political parties got together, neither can they deliver the expected work to the residents nor can they maintain and retain the dignity of the institution of the Mayor. Rather they will remain pushed to the wall by bureaucracy.

Sewa Singh, K-77, Sarita Vihar, New Delhi

Power contradictions affect work

The office of the Municipal Corporation is nothing more than a shuttle between the offices of the Mayor, Municipal Commissioner and the Chandigarh Administration. The residents of Chandigarh are not even clear about the exact provider of several amenities- whether it was the administration or the Municipal Corporation.

Sanjeev Singh Bariana has rightly pointed out in his 'Open House' debate that in the absence of a clear cut demarcation of the functions of the Municipal Corporation and Chandigarh Administration for making available the civic amenities, medical facilities and rehabilitation of slums, the working of the Corporation is affected. There are contradictions in results due to separate interference by the administration and the corporation.

Instead of boasting a few sectors as dustbin free, we need a unified action plan for a dust bin free entire city. In a single instance, no work on multi-level parking has been done on ground and the files are shuttled between different wings of the administration and the corporation. Parking is one among biggest problems of coming times

Ravi Mallick, Chartered Accountant, Chandigarh

Increase Mayor's term

The Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh has done well for having transformed itself from a cash deficient organisation to a one with surplus revenue.

To a common citizen, it does not really matter who calls the shots as long as all the services are being provided efficiently. Only a clear line of demarcation needs to be made, in the respective roles, to prevent overlapping between functioning of MC and the administration. Undoubtedly, the biggest issues facing the future of the city are increasing traffic, the rising levels of pollution, the lack of adequate parking areas, the menace of stray dogs, violation of the building byelaws and the nuisance of liquor shops in residential sectors. It is high time that both the authorities sat on a common table and worked out a specific plan of action for future by clearly demarcating individual areas of work.

The Mayors' term should be definitely increased to a minimum of two years giving them enough time to produce positive results. Mayors of cities like Mumbai and Kolkata can serve a five year term.

Navita Singh

MC White Paper needed

In reference to the 'Admn doesn't let MC grow' by Sanjeev Singh Bariana, I am of the opinion that there was absolutely no need of corporation in Chandigarh since the city remained a disputed territory till date between Punjab and Haryana. It was set up basically in the name of democracy by the political parties to carry out the affairs by the elected representatives instead of the bureaucracy.

Municipal functions including sanitation, roads, parks, green belts etc still remain in shambles, except for the bigwigs in the UT. Consequently, the southern sectors, villages, colonies and the slums remained the worst sufferers. Instead of getting municipal services, the citizens are facing number of taxes such as paid parking; property tax etc imposed by the corporation and more are in the pipeline. Red tape and lack of infrastructure come in the way of overall development in the city.

The problem in the relationship between the political executive and the bureaucracy may be because of lack of confidence/trust. The political set up, in the city, in the absence of a Vidhan Sabha, feels that bureaucrats are the stumbling block in the way of executing various schemes initiated by them. On the other hand, the bureaucrats consider themselves as an important instrument of governance. This may be the genesis of the mistrust.

There is a need for administrative and political accountability, separately. A White Paper needs to be issued as a large numbers of people do not know the exact functioning of the Corporation. Various services are divided between MC and the departments without any rationale. It would be prudent if all the developmental activities, budget, grants, expenditure on different works executed by the corporation, foreign as well as domestic tours of the councillors/officers and the expenditure incurred, besides details of income are incorporated in the white paper.

S.K. Khosla, Sector 40C, Chandigarh

Use surplus MC revenue

Sanjeev Singh Bariana, in his article, has very perceptively analysed the malaise that afflicts the City Beautiful, and offered helpful suggestions to cure it. I suggest a holistic approach to the problem.

There are three primary functions, namely, management, maintenance and planning and development, with architecture as a major component. The Chandigarh Administration should essentially manage the city in terms of law and order, traffic control, financing, and socio-cultural infrastructure such as education, health, sports, museums, libraries, etc. The Municipal Corporation should primarily look after the supply and maintenance of civic services like electricity, water, sewage disposal, recycling, water harvesting, rainwater handling, telecommunications, parks, arboriculture, environment, roads and parking.

New projects and additions/alterations in the existing buildings vis-à-vis the city as a whole should be assigned to an autonomous body. The Government of India should establish it by an Act of Parliament, with a professional at the helm of affairs who has a vision with a working knowledge of the various disciplines.

The existing department of urban planning and the engineering organisation should work under the new Authority. Mixing of the function of planning with impregnable executive powers has played havoc with Le Corbusier's priceless legacy. We wishfully want our city to be declared as a 'World Heritage'.

Acquisition of the land, which falls under the Union Territory of Chandigarh, may be done in order to develop a long-term master plan with inputs from the uprooted population. The master plan should be reviewed every five years to assess what went wrong and what could be done to prevent its recurrence in future, besides adding new features/facilities in the light of socio-economic and technological changes.

The people displaced by the acquisition of land for future development should be given land on a concession in the new plan, apart from the compensation at current market rates for their land acquired by the Administration.

The surplus revenue of the MC should not be sent to the Central Pool. It should be spent on improving the urban landscape by providing better facilities and the introduction of large-scale civic art like murals, sculpture gardens, adventure parks for children and green retreats for senior citizens and nature-lovers. Schoolchildren should be involved in the city's landscaping so that they get practical education on conservation of environment.

Dr SS Bhatti, Former principal, Chandigarh

College of Architecture Dual control must end

Sanjeev Singh Bariana in his article on 'Admn doesn't let MC grow in the Open House has very rightly pointed out that dual control in certain areas of administration must end. Residents suffer on account of unclear areas of action for the different wings.

With particular reference to the Southern Sectors, I will to say that roads are in a bad shape. Slum dwellers have occupied portions of land and garbage lies scattered, at places. Street lights are never functioning, at places. Scenes of defecation can be witnessed in the open. The area has an invisible green belt. There are abysmally poor markets, banks, chemists and even ATMs.

As a common citizen I will like to know as to who will take care of our basic amenities- Administration or MC? Despite showing a cash-reserve of Rs 500 crores, why MC continues to remain blind to our necessities?

Subhadra Kumari, Sector 50-D, Chandigarh

South calls for attention

The debate initiated by the Chandigarh Tribune should be a ringing bell to awaken the authorities, administration and the Municipal Corporation, to wake up and sort out the anomalies in delivering best results for the tax paying residents of the city.

Due to bundle of contradictions, unwarranted differences and locking of horns over trivial matters, development work has suffered, particularly in the Southern sectors. The North-South divide has become a harsh reality.

The revenue surplus MC has failed to deliver results for the residents with regard to certain minimum facilities.

More than half of the Southern sectors are without green belts and street lights seem to be never functioning. In a small instance, the roads of Sectors 50 and 51 house possibly the worst roads, street corners are occupied by slum dwellers and are flooded with pictures of open defecation.

The councillors need to stop passing the buck to the opposition quarters and stand united to lend more power to the house functioning.

Kamal Gupta, Sector 35-D,Chandigarh



City downtown faces dog menace 

Stray dogs are having a field day in Sector 17, the heart of the city. Though the office of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) is at a stone's throw from here, yet the civic body seems to be least bothered to check the menace.

Touted to be a walkers' paradise, the plaza area seems to be worst affected by stray dogs (see picture).

Besides giving the area a shabby look, the stray dog menace keeps the shoppers and shopkeepers at the receiving end.

However, repeated representations to the MC seem to have gone unheeded.

Will the civic body spare a thought for its backyard and do something to tackle 
the menace?

Reality check needed at PGI

The PGIMER may be boasting of world-class medical facilities, but when it comes to basics, perhaps the renowned institute needs a reality check.

For like any other public department, the hospital has clearly differentiated its queues outside windows where fee is to be deposited and other paperwork formalities are to be done. Sadly, the demarcation remains till there. For there is hardly anyone sitting on windows set up for senior citizens.

Often, the elderly are seen standing in the serpentine queues to get the paperwork done and to pay the bills for getting discharged from the hospital.

It’s the time for the authorities to get out of their cabins and get a firsthand experience of what happens at the counters.

Only looks matter here

The Chandigarh Municipal Corporation is trying to make the system hi-tech. However, it is least concerned whether it is used by anybody or not.

A classic example came up during the last House meeting where a large projector was placed in the House for presentation.

During the session that lasted for over 10 hours, the projector was not put into use.

Interestingly, none of the councillors even made a routine check during the House proceedings or even later to know about the objective of the projector.

Unhealthy meat products

The UT health authorities in Hallo Majra village seem to have turned a blind eye to the gory sight of animals being slaughtered and meat sold in a number of makeshift shops in unhygienic conditions.

The vendors throw the carcasses and waste around. These meat shops are not only ugly spots in the village, but these also pose a big health hazard. A home delivery boy can be spotted making his way from one place to another with chickens tied to the handlebar of his cycle. But there are no reliable means of ascertaining if the meat being sold is free from malignant bacteria. It is most likely to be unsafe for human consumption.

Rajesh, one of the meat sellers, said: “Do you think the illegal trade can flourish without the connivance of the health authorities?”

Poor show

The first-ever Haryana state inter academy tournaments in various sports disciplines held at the Tau Devi Lal Stadium in Sector 3 turned out to be a low key affair as the officials concerned had not taken pain to inform the print and the electronic media to highlight the event.

More than 1,000 players had come from various parts of the state to participate in the tournament. Only the inaugural ceremonies were highlighted.

Many sportspersons in the region rued that if the state government does not want to promote games, what was the use of organising such events.

Even the T-20 cricket tournament, which started on February 7 at the stadium, was not reported to the media, which describes the government’s apathy towards games.

All for a cup of tea

On the first day of the Punjab Science Congress, being held at Panjab University, the dilemma of the organisers became a cause of amusement for the audience. Whether to let the audience disperse for having tea or not was the big question. Since the chief guest was about to arrive, the organisers suspected that the audience would not return quickly after tea.

However, the speech of a prominent scholar, who was delivering the keynote address, was asked to cut short lecture.

First he was requested to shorten it to 30 minutes from 45 minutes and later he was not even allowed to finish that.

After interruption by the host, the scholar came back fuming to his seat only to realise that his keynote lecture was interrupted only for a tea session.

Contributed by: Pradeep Sharma, Smriti Sharma, Aarti Kapur, Anil Jerath, Sanjay Bumbroo and Neha Miglani



Cleanliness Drive
School adopts Yadavindra Gardens
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 7
Hansraj Public School has adopted Yadavindra Gardens for its upkeep and cleanliness.

Schoolchildren started the campaign to keep the garden neat and to protect it from environmental hazards on Friday.

The project is being taken up in collaboration with the Haryana Tourism Department.

Keshni Anand Arora, financial commissioner (tourism), said it was a pleasure that youngsters had joined hands with the department in maintaining country’s heritage. “I hope that this effort will go a long way and would inspire others,” said Arora.

The project adopted under the Central Board of Secondary Education, New Delhi, guidelines would involve students’ campaign in cleaning the garden, creating awareness against littering and preparing, documenting and researching about the garden, a true reflection of gardens of the Mughal era.

It would be conducted under the supervision of principal Jaya Bhardwaj with Anupama Sharma and Nidhi Sood as its general secretary and coordinator, respectively.



100 examined at medical camp
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 7
Around 100 persons were examined during a medical check-up camp organised by 
the Social Awareness Group at Sector 70 here today.

Giving details of the camp, Dr Daler Multani, said the campaign was going on for the three years while keeping in view high prevalence of high blood pressure and sugar among the residents.

In another event, a glaucoma screening camp was organised by the Mohali Industries’ Association in coordinati on with Dr Jatinder Singh of the JP Eye Hospital.

Over 180 persons were examined and 42 were diagnosed for advanced cataract. Dr Jatinder Singh said the camp was organised to create awareness among masses. 



From Schools & Colleges
Cultural bonanza at Golden Bells School
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 7
Golden Bells Public School, Sector 77, Mohali, celebrated its annual cultural and prize distribution function at the Tagore Theatre, Sector 18, here today.

Dr GK Nanda, president, Women Welfare Association, Mohali, and

vice-president, Mohali Senior Citizens Association, inaugurated the function by lighting the lamp.

The programme started with a Saraswati vandana.

The annual report of the school was read out, in which various achievements were enlisted.

Narinder, Sohajveer, Bhawandeep and Lovenath, students of the schools, were honoured, as they bagged many prizes and medals at the national and international levels.


A special seminar on interview skills and placement techniques was organised at Sri Sukhmani Institute of Engineering And Technology, Dera Bassi.

Experts from the TCS, Tech Mahindra, Chandigarh branch, visited the campus.

The expert panel was headed by senior project manager Praveen Bhalla. The seminar was attended by students of BTech, MBA and MCA.

Meanwhile, in a bid to enlighten students about various job prospects in India and abroad, Sri Sukhmani Institute is organising the World Education Fair -2010 on the 
college campus.


The NSS unit of Gian Jyoti Institute of Management and Technology, Phase 2, Mohali, organised a pulse polio awareness rally.

Around 50 NSS volunteers took part in the rally. The rally was taken out to create awareness among people about the pulse polio programme.

JS Bedi, chairman of the students, motivated students to take part in such events.



GCG doc to present paper in Australia
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 7
Dr Sudhir Hindwan, a senior faculty member in the department of political science at GCG, Sector 42, has been invited to present research paper on “The Trauma of Refugees” in a series of the International Peace Research Association conference to be held at the University of Sydney, Australia.

Dr Hindwan has over 100 publications to his credit. He is being selected as the convener for the Peace and Conflict Commission of the Conflict and Pace Division of IPRA, Sydney, Australia.

Annual day

AKSIPS, Sector 45, celebrated annual function “Spectrum 2010” wherein the annual art and craft exhibition was on display in the school here today.

As many as 600 children performed in drama, dance, singing, orchestra, gymnastics and other art forms.

A drama by Class I on “Good Habits” and “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” by Class II proved self-confidence, boldness and depth of understanding in the young ones.

The pre-primary enthralled the audience with their coordinated qawali fusion and puppet dances.

Boys and girls from senior classes performed dances, including Lavni, Manipuri, Rajasthani and dandiya, etc.

The DEO, UT administration, Chanchal Singh presided over. Dr BNS Walia, former director of PGI and chairman of the National Education Development Trust, congratulated the children and teachers for their efforts.



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