C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


IPL Fever Over
Residents heave a sigh of relief
Were issued passes for venturing out
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Residents argue with cops at the entrance of the PCA Stadium on Friday
Residents argue with cops at the entrance of the PCA Stadium on Friday.Tribune photos: PradeepTewari, Parvesh Chauhan  

Mohali, April 9
Local residents heaved a sigh of relief as the PCA stadium hosted the last match of the ongoing IPL series here today.Residents are a peeved lot because each house got only a couple of passes for free movement during the match. “When two members ventured out, rests were treated like prisoners. If I went to the market, I had to walk 2- km extra, back home”, said Gajender Kaur, a resident of a house adjoining the stadium.

“Cordoning-off the area by the Punjab police in the name of security during every match was putting us under house arrest”, said Vandna Sagar, who lives behind the stadium in Phase IX.

Vandna, who works as librarian at a local school in Chandigarh, said, “Undoubtedly, the name of the city and the Punjab Cricket Association has emerged big on the international map, however, for all of us, it has been (the residents) a torture”.

“Thank God, the trial of our patience is coming to an end,” said Capt (retd) Harkanwar Singh. “Travelling to our houses has become impossible, during matches. We had to take a long route that too on an alternate path. Maybe, it is time for the district administration to sit with the PCA and chalk out easy route maps and parking venues to save people from inconvenience in future”.

“The biggest problem on their normal movements is faced by the residents whose houses are located near the boundary of the stadium. The Punjab police becomes the ‘harassment police’ as they refuse to listen to our problems. They won’t even listen to our emergency needs for a movement”.

Echoing the same sentiments, Ravinder Kaur, a housewife, who lives in the lane just behind the stadium in Phase 9, narrated an unfortunate incident, during a recent match.

“My daughter sustained an injury on her leg. I hired an auto-rickshaw to visit the doctor but while our way back to home, we were not allowed to take the auto up to our house by the police. All our requests were turned down blatantly. Imagine, I had to argue to reach my own house”, she rued.

Apart from this, loud music, cheers inside the stadium and other activities just cause pollution in the area which is intolerable for everyone there, especially during examination days.

“The students, who have to take their examinations these days, suffer due to this ‘tamasha’, said Neena Sharma, a resident of Phase 10.

Litters of garbage left by the visitors in front of the houses after the matches are another cause of concern for them. “We have to arrange

sweepers on payments to lift the garbage. Is it not a plain irony that, the IPL is earning hundreds of crore from the league and we have to dish out extra bucks to remove their ‘kachra’. A large number even urinate in front of our houses”.



Citizens’ Voice - n- choe
Govt should take corrective measures


We invite our readers to share their views and suggestions for publication on how to clean up the N-Choe which was once a pride of the City Beautiful.

Please e-mail or write to the Editor-in-Chief at

nchoe@tribunemail.com or The Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh

along with your contact address and phone number.



Sexual Assault Case
US court acquits Nitin Jindal
Tribune News Service

Nitin Jindal
Nitin Jindal

Chandigarh, April 9
Nitin Jindal, a Panjab University student who was standing trial for sexual assaulting a British national in Boston, Massachusetts, was declared innocent by a US judge on Friday a few days after the girl withdrew her complaint against him.

Talking to the Chandigarh Tribune, Nitin’s brother confirmed reports he had received two calls from Nitin just after his acquittal. Family sources said he is expected to return to the city within the next few days. “His passport and visa have been returned and he has been cleared of the charges by a local court in Boston,” said his brother.

Nitin’s brother added as the girl did not appear at the hearing the charges could not be proved.

It maybe recalled the PU administration recently barred Nitin from appearing in the varsity examinations after he was arrested.

Narrating the agony that the family members had gone through during the past two months, Nitin’s father, Bhushan Jindal, said he was confident his son was framed by the complainant and that he was innocent. “Justice has finally been delivered,” he added.

Nitin’s mother, Shulochna Jindal, while talking to this reporter over phone, said at one point of time the whole family was shocked about Nitin’s actions. “We knew he would be proved innocent some day. His friends were very supportive and boosted our morale throughout the entire incident,” she said in a rather relaxed tone.

Due to the procedural delay in getting visas, his parents could not go to the United States to meet their son, Shulochna said. His parents and brother expressed their contentment and said they were waiting for Nitin to arrive here.

After Nitin’s acquittal what remains to be seen is whether the PU administration decides to let him appear in the examinations or not.

Earlier last February students of the University Institute of Legal Studies (UILS), among other PU students, went to Boston to attend the 56th Harvard National Model United Nations, a conference organised by final year law students of Harvard University at Park Plaza Hotel, Boston.

After Nitin’s detention in Boston, cases surfaced in the university in which certain outsiders were found to have used PU’s name to attend the conference.



Misuse of Power 
Mohali MC chief removed
Our Correspondent

Mohali, April 9
Mohali Municipal Council president Rajinder Singh Rana was today removed from his post by the Department of Local Government in connection with a case of alleged misuse of power.

This decision was taken by principal secretary to the department C Roul in a case that was filed in 2007 by the then executive officer of the council JS Thind.

As the posts of senior vice-president and vice-president of the civic body are lying vacant, there is a possibility that the SDM may be asked to work as the administrator till elections are held to the vacant posts. However, according to legal opinion the executive officer of a civic body can under Section 233 of the Punjab Municipal Act, 1911, also be asked to take its charge till elections are held.

Reacting to the decision to unseat him, Rana, who is backed by the Congress, said the injustice had been done. While announcing the verdict he was not told the reasons for his removal. He said he was called in connection with the case to the office of the principal secretary at 4 p.m. and the decision was announced at 4.45 p.m. A copy of the order was not made available to him immediately and the delay prevented him from approaching the high court today for making a plea for a stay order.

Congress MLA from Kharar Balbir Singh Sidhu said the decision amounted to the murder of democracy. He said he was expecting such a decision. It was a conspiracy because the charges against Rana were not serious enough to warrant his removal as the president of the council. Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal was facing much more serious charges relating to corruption but had not been removed from his office, he added.

Sidhu said Rana would approach the high court for justice.

Rana was issued a show cause notice on June 11, 2007, by the then principal secretary, Local Government, DS Bains, on charges of misuse of power. Bains had heard his arguments and those of the executive officer in October 2007, after which the decision was kept reserved.

The case had come up for hearing once again on March 11 this year, after a gap of more than two years, once C Roul took over as the principal secretary, Department of Local Government.

The show cause notice was issued to Rana after JS Thind had sent a report to the higher authorities alleging that the civic body chief had transferred three employees without having the powers to do so. Thind had also alleged that Rana kept postponing opening of sanitation tenders, which adversely affected the work. He had recommended that action should be taken against the municipal corporation’s chief in this regard. 



Census Duty
Teachers protest, skip training
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 9
The spat over Census department’s latest declaration asking government school teachers to perform both Census work and regular teaching worsened today with over hundreds of teachers skipping their training sessions in protest.

Claiming it to be a sheer harassment, the teachers, a majority of who were women, refused to undergo any training and opted to spend the entire day conversing among themselves.

The teachers not only objected to the long working hours that they were being subjected to, but also to the ‘fact’ that UT employees were being singled out in the entire country.

“How can they even ask us to do so? First, we are supposed to teach and then conduct Census duty for the rest of the day. Do we not have families? Are we not human beings? Most of the teachers have been assigned Census duties in nearby slums and, going by recommended timings, will be able to work only in the evenings,” said a woman teacher while requesting anonymity. “Many men are usually drunk in the evening hours. What about our security?” asked a teacher undergoing training at the Government Model Senior Secondary School in Sector 15.

“The Census department has not communicated the decision to us in writing. Instead they have asked school principal to verbally inform us. Does this department work on verbal instructions? We will not attend Census training sessions until the Census department withdraws their instructions. They might be paying us for the work but they have not bought us,” added another teacher at the same center.

Requesting anonymity,census department officials said, “The people are just blowing the matter out of proportion. We have given them work which they are free to complete within a period of their choice - whether in one day or a fortnight. If they are not bothered about money and want to just confine themselves to the census duty, then we should deduct their salaries because they are not teaching for that period,” said a census department official.

The officials also expressed surprise at the alleged hypocrisy of the teachers.“When we assigned them their duties, they expressed concern about the likely academic loss that will be suffered by the students. Now when we have solved that problem they are creating a hue and cry,” said an official.


World Homoeopathy Day
Low income keeps young talent away
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 9
The skepticism that shrouds homoeopathy has cast its shadow on the lone Homoeopathy College in the city, which came into being 36 years ago in 1974.For the last four to five years, this autonomous college has been struggling for getting its 50 seats filled.

“Yes, the seats have been lying vacant since long,” admitted Dr KK Dhiman, principal, Homoeopathy College, adding uncertainty about this form of medicine and low earnings of homoeopathic doctors were the two major causes that kept young talent away from this field.

Citing another reason for the lack of popularity of this course, Dr Dhiman said the course, which took more than five years to complete, was far less attractive as compared to other short-term courses like information technology and management for which remuneration was also much higher.

Talking to The Tribune on the eve of World Homoeopathy Day, Dr Dhiman said though the acceptance of homoeopathy vis-à-vis allopathy was far less, the fee for the bachelors in homoeopathy medical science course was Rs 50,000 per annum, which was comparatively more.

He said the fee for MBBS course at Government Medical College and Hospital in Sector 32 was Rs 20,000 per annum.

The fact that the homoeopathy institute is fighting against all odds, is also evident from a highly favourable student-teacher ratio in the college. On an average, 24 to 30 students get themselves enrolled in the course every year. The strength of teachers is 29, which includes 11 guest lecturers.

Faced with the an uphill task of running the college, the management has approached the UT administration to take charge of the college. Though Dr Dhiman refused to comment on such a move, he observed that the apparent reluctance of the administration could be because of the UT administration’s plan to open another homoeopathy college.

He said an increasing awareness about homoeopathy had also led to the mushrooming of private practitioners in this field and also the establishment of private colleges offering courses in homoeopathy. “Unfortunately, the rise in quantity has not been commensurate with quality, he said, adding that there were over 150 such colleges in the country and a few of them provided quality education,” he claimed.

Adding that doctors with MBBS and MD/ MS degrees should be encouraged to take short-term courses in homoeopathy, Dr Dhiman said this way homoeopathy would attract better talent and also help in ending skepticism about this form of medical treatment.

200 years on, homoeopathy still termed a sham

It has been over 200 years since Dr CF Samuel Hahnemann introduced homoeopathy. Yet uncertainty about this form of medical treatment refuses to die down. Unlike allopathic medicines that are universally accepted, homoeopathy has a limited but dedicated following of believers who swear by its effectiveness. Non-believers, on the other hand, make no qualms about terming it a sham.

As the world commemorates the World Homoeopathy Day on Saturday (the anniversary of Dr CF Samuel Hahnemann, who was born on April 10, 1755), The Tribune attempted to find out why this form of medicine, which has over 150,000 practitioners in this country and is practiced in over 50 nations, still remains shrouded in uncertainty.



PGI Molestation Case
Doc may be terminated
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 9
The Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) authorities are contemplating terminating the services of Dr Vikas, a senior resident doctor working in the hospital’s anaesthesia department, who was found “guilty” by the hospital’s fact-finding committee of molesting a woman, who’s husband was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

The incident occurred on March 30. The victim, wife of Devi Prakash, a patient from Sirsa in Haryana, had in a written complaint accused Dr Vikas of molesting her in the ICU on the pretext of prescribing medicines for her husband.

Sources in the hospital claimed that Dr Vikas had been given the choice to either quit or face the termination. None of the officials were willing to comment on the issue, as the final decision is learnt to be pending with PGI director, Dr KK Talwar. 



Illegal felling: Another case comes to light
Tribune News Service

Residents of Bardhar village seized a tractor-trolley laden with logs on Wednesday night.
Residents of Bardhar village seized a tractor-trolley laden with logs on Wednesday night. A Tribune photograph

Mohali, April 9
While the forest department is yet to ascertain whether the spot of reckless felling of trees and illegal sand quarrying was located in Parol or Majra villages, another case of illicit felling of Khair trees in Bardhar village here has come to light.

Several residents of Bardhar village in their representation to the additional principal chief conservator of forests, Punjab, MP Rai, had pointed out that under the garb of securing permit for tree felling, the unscrupulous elements even ventured into other nearby areas and indulged in large-scale tree felling.

The villagers today met the principal chief conservator of forests, Punjab, BC Bala, and demanded that officials posted outside the Ropar forest range should conduct the inquiry. Bala said on the request of the villagers, a fair inquiry would be conducted into the issue. He said a special flying squad would be constituted to conduct checking wherever there were any such reports.

The villagers had pointed out that with connivance of certain officials the unscrupulous elements had felled a large number of trees. A tractor-trailer with the illegally felled trees had been seized in the presence of forest officials.

The DFO, Ropar, K Kannan, said he had constituted three parties and the exercise had started. “It would be premature to comment on illicit tree felling. At least 37 permits had been issued in the area. It would take three weeks to complete the inquiry,” Kannan added. 



Four students hurt in group clash
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 9
Four students of Swami Devi Dyal Group of Institutes, Barwala, sustained injuries in a group clash outside the institute here today.

Amit Kadian, a BTech final year student, was knifed in the chest, shoulder and legs.

He was rushed to the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, Chandigarh, where is condition is stated to be critical.

His friend Vikas, who is attending on him, said he was attacked with a sharp-edged weapon.

The other injured have been identified as Ashish, Deepak Kumar and Anit Chaudhary.

The police has registered a case under Sections 147, 148, 323, 324, 427, 506 IPC against nine students. No arrests have been made so far.

SP Maneesh Chaudhary said they had launched a hunt and would nail the culprits soon.

Earlier on April 22, last year, Kadian was injured in a brawl, when firearms and swords were used by students on the campus. The institute had hit the headlines in various newspapers, when Amit Yadav, one of the former students, was arrested for committing robberies at a bank and PC Jewellers in Panchkula.

Today’s brawl was reported to be a fallout of an old enmity. Vikas alleged that it was about three days ago, when Jagdeep, a student of BDS, and Manjeet Mann, a student of BTech and Ashish, a student of BDS, entered into a scuffle. Later, Jagdeep lodged a complaint at the Mauli police post and Ashish was asked to appear before the police today, he said.

Vikas alleged that Ashish, accompanied by Amit Kadian, Deepak, Ajay Randhawa and Nitish, was going towards the police post in his car, when more than 12 youths, including Jagdeep, Manjeet, Lokesh, Manish, Ravi, Navjot, Ritesh, Pritpal and Manoj attacked them with sharp-edged weapons.



6-acre wheat fields gutted
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, April 9
Wheat spread over six acres was gutted today causing a loss in lakhs to farmers of Gazipur village here. The wheat was ready for harvest.

According to a fire official, the fire started around 1.22 pm in the fields falling under Gazipur and spread rapidly. A fire tender from Dera Bassi was pressed into service, which controlled the situation after one-and-a-half hour.

The fire official informed that an acre of wheat crop belonging to Bhadaur Singh, two acres of Sukhwinder, three acres belonging to Jagtar, Jaswinder and Harjinder were destroyed in the fire.

Dera Bassi fire official BS Sandhu stated that investigation into the matter was on and the exact cause of the fire was yet to be ascertained.

“As of now, we are looking into the possibility of short-circuit leading to the incident, but exact cause would be ascertained only after proper inquiry,” he added.

Meanwhile, SDM, Dera Bassi, Puneet Goyal said the tehsildar from Dera Bassi had visited the spot where the villagers told him that the fire had occurred due to a spark from power wires.

“A report in this regard would be prepared by fire officer and sent to the authorities concerned so that emergency relief could be given to the affected persons,” he added.



‘UT senior citizens must get free parking facility’
Our Correspondent

Mohali, April 9
The Defence Accounts Pensioners Welfare Association has urged the Mayor of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation to provide free parking facility to senior citizens of the Union Territory.

‘Jagtar Singh, president of the association, said that free parking facility to senior citizens should be included as a goodwill gesture while issuing free parking passes from this year to family members of martyrs and to blood donors. The matter had already been taken up in September, 2009, with the Joint Commissioner of the corporation but the decision was still awaited.

The association expressed deep concern for pensioners living in Panchkula over the supply of contaminated water and adulteration. According to a report, northern states were worst affected as far as the quality of food was concerned. The Deputy Commissioner and the Civil Surgeon were requested to keep an eye on contamination in public interest.

The fresh notification issued by the Punjab Government in connection with execution of conveyance deeds was welcomed by the association and it thanked the government for giving this relief to all re-allottees.



District Bar Association Poll
Chahal, Nanda to fight for top post
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 9
The battle for the top post to the District Bar Association scheduled for April 23 has zeroed in on two heavyweights, including the human rights champion Amar Singh Chahal and the legal eagle NK Nanda.

Chahal, who is in the profession since 1970, is contesting the election for the fourth time this year. He has been elected the president twice earlier in 1999 and 2007. On the other hand, Nanda began his career in 1975. He has been appointed the president six times.

Chahal said he would raise funds from the politicians and well placed advocates for the construction of the Judicial Complex in Sector 43. Nanda said that he would arrange the entire amount from the Chandigarh Administration.

“This year 440 chambers will be constructed in the Judicial Complex in Sector 43 and all advocates in the batch of two to three will be provided with the same,” Chahal said.

“I don’t know the real issues. I can only say that both parties have assured to get my son his admission to the best school in the city”, a lawyer said. A cross section of lawyers said they expected a tough competition. There are as many as 2,040 eligible voters in the District Bar Association. Harsh Tandon has been appointed as the Returning Officer.

Post of vice-president:

1) Preet Kamal Singh Gill; 2) Neelam Singh ; 3) Manish Joshi; 4) Sunil Narang

Post of secretary: 1) Ranjan Lohan; 2) Baljeet Singh

Post of joint secretary: 1) Kirandeep Kaur; 2) Mithlesh Puri

Post of treasurer: 1) Ashish Bakshi; 2) Harmail Keshri; 3) Shiv Murti Yadav



Sainik sammelan marks Corps Day celebrations
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 9
The Army Ordnance Corps (AOC) establishments in the Western Command celebrated its 235th Corps Day today. Various functions, including sainik sammelan, barakhana and pagal gymkhana, were organised at the AOC depots and units to mark the occasion.

Serving as well as retired AOC personnel and invited civilians attended the function along with their families.

A social get-together was also organised at the Shivalik Officers Institute, where a large number of distinguished guests, serving and retired officers of the AOC and their wives joined in the celebrations.

The AOC is responsible for provision of weapons, war-fighting and logistic equipment to the Army formations. The Corps is active in absorbing and disseminating modern emerging technologies and has also excelled in the field of sports and adventure activities.

As materials manager of the Indian Army, the AOC with an inventory of over 4 lakh items is perhaps one of the largest logistic organisations in the world in terms of size, value and diversity of inventory, customer base and geographical extent of the supply chain.



CHB Allotment
Pricing pattern leaves allottees high and dry
Smriti Sharma Vasudeva
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 9
The pricing pattern of dwelling units of the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB), the monopolistic construction arm of the UT administration, has left allottees high and dry. With no clear-cut policy governing the pricing structure of floors, ad hoc system rules the roost in the pricing of different floors in the recent housing schemes floated by the board.

As a normal practice, the ground floor used to be the most expensive in the earlier housing schemes floated by the CHB with flats located on the first and second floors being successively cheaper compared to the ground floor flats. In fact, this is the practice followed by all builders in Chandigarh’s periphery.

However, this seems to be a convention of the past with the CHB following a different yardstick in pricing its dwelling units in at least three recent schemes in Sector 49, Sector 63 and the upcoming special UT Employees Scheme in Sectors 52 and 56.

CHB chairman Mohanjit Singh said, “Earlier the ground floor had courtyards, but the flats in Sector 63 are built on stilts. Also, the pricing of flats is subjected to changes after working out the actual construction cost of the flats.”

Allottees of the Sector 63 Self-financing Scheme are already crying hoarse about the alleged raw deal that they have been handed by the CHB. For, the CHB has deviated from its policy of having different rates of flats depending on the floor on which they are located as in the previous housing schemes.

Irrespective of the floor they are located, a three-bedroom flat will cost Rs 39.57 lakh, a two-bedroom flat will cost Rs 29.14 lakh and a one-bed room flat is available for Rs 17.15 lakh followed by EWS (Economically Weaker Section) houses which are priced at Rs 5.66 lakh.

However, the Sector 49 Housing Scheme had varied prices for flats on different floors. While a two-bedroom flat in Sector 49 costs Rs 31.5 lakh, the cost of a two-bedroom flat on the first, second and third floors is around Rs 26 lakh, Rs 25 lakh and Rs 24 lakh.

Similarly, in the Special UT Employees Scheme, Category A three-bedroom flat (2,000 sq feet) costs Rs 34.7 lakh, a two-bedroom Category B flat costs Rs 24.3 lakh and a one-bedroom Category C flat is available for Rs 17.15 lakh. These tentative prices vary with a difference of a few lakhs when compared floor wise.

In fact, in the two earlier CHB schemes, one in Sector 55 and another in Sector 61, the price varies from Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh in the floor wise pricing of the flats.

Body demands relaxation in zoning rule
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 9
A delegation of the federation led by Jagjit Singh Kang, Congress Councillor, and Harjinder Kaur, patrons of the CHB Residents Federation, met the Finance Secretary, the chairman of the CHB and the CEO of the CHB. The administration assured the delegation that their demands for relaxing zoning rule to enable people to build habitable rooms in their courtyards, allow three thousand-LIG (duplex) house owners a bathroom on the first floor and allow coverage of void on first floor in stair hall area in 582 HIG (lower) houses would be looked into for a quick positive action.



Residents must take care of green belts : Bansal

Chandigarh, April 9
Pawan Kumar Bansal, Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and Water Resources, today inaugurated the green belt of Sector 46 C and D, here today. Bansal said it was the equal responsibility of residents to take care of the green belt. He said the corporation was developing green belts in the city keeping in view all facilities of residents and it was the duty of the residents to help the authorities in keeping the green areas neat and clean.

Emphasising on the need to save water he asked the gathering to use water judiciously to avoid the possibility of water crisis in future. He appreciated the department’s effort for taking necessary measures for creating awareness among the residents regarding saving of potable water.

An officer said the green belt was developed in 4.09-acre area of land and had 2,000 shrubs, 100 ornamental trees, flowerbeds and footpaths with proper lighting system.

Mayor Anu Chatrath said it was the 43rd green belt, which was dedicated to the public by the corporation. Play equipment for children have been provided in this belt. She said that the corporation was developing more green belts his year by providing all kind of facilities keeping in view the interests of elderly people, daily walkers and children. — TNS



Villagers demand extension of lal dora
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 9
Demanding extension of lal dora (outer boundary of villages) located in the periphery of Chandigarh, representatives of residents of villages today called upon AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi at Delhi.

Led by Dr Jasdeepak Singh Kambala, general secretary of the PPCC Doctors’ Cell, the delegation explained to Rahul Gandhi the anomalies in the Periphery Act and the manner in which it was hitting only the poor man. The influential persons were having their way and the law was not catching them.

Going into the background of the Periphery Act, the members said the Act did not allow constructions around the city within a radius of 6 km from its boundary. Out of the 1,362 sq km area under the Punjab New Capital (Periphery) Control Act, 1952, an area of 1,021 sq km falls in Punjab. The area covered five towns and 336 villages of Punjab.

The basic problem is that the lal dora was drawn long time ago. The ‘Abadi Deh’ of the villages around Chandigarh was determined at the time of holding of consolidations in these villages mostly in fifties after coming of the ‘The East Punjab Holdings (Consolidation and Prevention of Fragmentation) Act, 1948’ into force.

In 1890, the consolidation was done. But since then the population has increased manifold. Citing examples, Dr Jasdeepak Singh said 30 years ago, Manauli had a population of 2,500, but today it was 8,000. Similarly, Kambala village had a population of 400 and now it was more than 1,000.

Now, around two lakh people were residing in the 300 villages in SAS Nagar, Patiala and Fatehgarh Sahib districts that fall under the purview of the Periphery Act.

Justifying their demand, the villagers have pointed out that the state government thrice regularised unauthorised constructions in 1998, 2001 and 2005. In case, people construct their houses outside the lal dora, cases are registered against them under the Periphery Act. People of these 300 villages have been insisting that the lal dora has not been increased since 1890.



Sizzling summer: No respite in sight
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 9
The city residents may have to face the most sizzling summer this time if the trend of current heat wave is any indication. With the mercury shooting up to 38.8° Celsius today, 0.8 degrees more than yesterday, worries of the city residents about scarcity of water and electricity have started tormenting them.

With the minimum temperature also shooting up to 22.4°C from yesterday’s 18.6 degrees C, the nights are getting hotter too.

Weather officials are also predicting dust storms in the coming days.

The met officials also added that chances of rainfall in the near future were bleak.

The rain eludes the region till date except once when only 0.4 mm of rainfall was experienced in February. So in all probability, April is expected to be a dry month, they added.

As rains continued to elude Punjab and Haryana this year, the temperature witnessed a further increase with Hisar once again turning out to be the hottest in the plains with a maximum of 42.7°C.

While Ludhiana and Patiala in Punjab recording near similar highs of 40.4°C and 40.6°C, respectively, Ambala in Haryana also witnessed a high of 40.0° C.

The meteorological department has forecasted partly cloudy sky with the maximum and minimum temperature of around 39°C and 22°C, respectively, in the next 24 hours in the region.



Beopar Mandal ‘loses’ apolitical sheen
Most office-bearers loyal to ruling alliance
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 9
The much-touted apolitical image of the largest representative body of traders in Chandigarh - the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal (CBM) - seems to have gone for a six with the first list of office-bearers released by its president Diwakar Sahoonja packed with traders owing allegiance to the BJP-SAD alliance.

The 44-member “please all” list has a record eight advisers, including losing presidential candidate Jagdish Arora, besides BK Sood, Sanjeev Mahajan, Bhim Sein Garg, Ravi Kansal, Jagdish Kapoor, Gian Chand Gupta and Rajesh Gupta.

While the outgoing president Charanjiv Singh has been nominated as the new chairman easing out MP Kohli, who will be the new patron along with Sat Pal Gupta (chief patron), Purshottam Mahajan and Joginder Singh Sawhney. Gursharan Batra has been retained as the senior vice-president.

The new team will have four general secretaries in Anil Vohra (public relations), Subhash Narang (Municipal Corporation Coordination), Naresh Mahajan (organisation) and Kailash Jain (administration) - the largest ever in the CBM’s history.

With the lion’s share going to the BJP-SAD alliance and the ruling group in the new set-up, the rival group has virtually been ignored. Barring Jagdish Arora and Neeraj Mahajan, senior leaders of the rival group have got a raw deal as far as representation in the new team is concerned. In fact, this development bodes ill for traders’ unity at a time when the traditional market is fighting the onslaught of the major corporates’ in the retail sector.

While top leaders of the CBM owe allegiance to all political parties, the CBM executive is a judicious mixture of different pressure groups and lobbies. However, in the current reconstituted team while the alliance had got majority representation, the other major political party - the Congress - is inadequately represented.

However, Sahoonja claimed that there were many new faces in the team to give a wider representation to all sections of traders. “Besides, chairmen of different sub-committees for taking up all issues highlighted in the manifesto will be constituted shortly along with executive body which will also have a wider representation from all walks of life,” Sahoonja asserted.

Sources said the remaining pressure groups and office-bearers would be nominated in the second list.

The president can nominate up to one-third of the total members (366) as the office-bearers and the executive members.



More cases of gastro in GMSH-16
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 9
Gastroenteritis and diarrhoea threat continues to haunt city residents as more cases have been pouring into the Government Multi-Specialty Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16, since yesterday.

Total 41 infants, hailing from different parts of the city, were rushed to the hospital with complaints of vomiting, loose motions and stomach ache. Of these, two have been admitted to the hospital.

Spokesperson of the GMSH-16 and deputy medical superintendent (DMS) Dr G Verma, said not a single area in the city was left from where the cases had not been reported. The patients from various resettlement and slum colonies of Mauli Jagran, Ram Darbar, Sector 26 and Saketri have come for treatment.

A resident of Sector 46, Ravi Prakash said, “One of my daughters is suffering from diarrhoea, but her condition is stable now.” Surinder Singh, a resident of Kajheri, said: “I don’t know the reason, but both of my children are suffering with the same problem.”

According to experts, self-medication can be harmful because there are different kinds of gastroenteritis. “The one by a virus is self-limiting and does not require medication, but if the disorder has been caused by a bacteria, then antibiotics need to be given,” said Dr NK Arora, medical superintendent of the GMSH-16.

“If left untreated, gastroenteritis can lead to intestinal ulceration and systemic spread of infection and abscesses in the liver,” a doctor with the hospital said.

Consultant paediatrician Dr Jagriti said one should watch out for symptoms like vomiting, diarrhoea, dysphagia (heart burn), flatulence, abdominal pain, rectal bleeding and fever. With a high risk of dehydration, patients should take adequate fluids.

“The patient should also take oral rehydration solution (ORS), which can be prepared at home and is also commercially available,” said another doctor at the hospital.



Woman succumbs to injuries
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, April 9
Ram Rati, a 65-year-old woman, today succumbed to her injuries she sustained after being hit by a speeding truck near Cooperative Bank on the Chandigarh-Ambala highway yesterday.

The incident took place when Ram Rati was crossing the highway where the truck coming from the Zirakpur side hit her from behind. She fell on the road and sustained injuries. She was rushed to the GMCH-32 where she succumbed to her injuries during the treatment. The investigating officer stated that the truck was impounded and a case had been registered against the unidentified truck driver.



Show-cause notice to chemist
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 9
The UT health department yesterday issued a show-cause notice to a local chemist, owner of Virgo Medicos, at Mani Majra for failing to produce the accounts for sale and purchase of the medicines, particularly cough syrups, which have high alcoholic content.

Drug control official Sunil Chaudhary said a huge quantity of medicines, which were commonly used as intoxicants by drug addicts were seized. These include 19 bottles cough syrup (Corex-50 ml) and 480 tablets of Spasmo plus.



AIE students still sweating it out in the open
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 9
Nearly 180 students in the age group of six to ten years studying in five alternate innovative education (AIE) centres in the city’s Colony No 4 continue to sit in open grounds under the scorching sun despite the UT administration’s pledge last October to construct sheds, which continues to be unfulfilled.

At a review meeting held on April 6 to 8 the administration came up with a novel idea: It suggested students should walk a distance of two kilometers to the Government Model High School, Sector 28 and attend classes in some empty rooms located on the building’s third floor. Adding insult to injury is the fact that these rooms were vacated because of the monkey menace due to the absence of grills and windowpanes.

A ‘brainchild’ of former DPI (schools) Samwartak Singh, the project has failed its very purpose of improving the learning environment at AIE centres. If one goes by the ‘feedback’ given by the 34 NGOs that were roped in for the project, it is the lack of coordination and an absence of interest on the part of the UT education department, which has led to its failure.

At the first-ever review meeting called after Samwartak’s unceremonious exit, the participating NGOs accused department officials of adopting a “stepmotherly attitude” towards students of the AIE centres.

“Initially they used to hold a meeting every week at which the progress and problems of the AIE centres were evaluated. This then became a monthly affair. Since last November no education department official has spoken to us. We tried to communicate our problems to them but nothing has happened so far. This meeting was held because they have to renew the memorandum of understanding on April 15,” said a director of one of the NGOs on the condition of anonymity.

Among the various problems raised by the NGOs, a prime issue relates to the lack of coordination and transparency in project activities. Though each cluster is supposed to have a cluster resource coordinator (CRC) who is the communication bridge between department officials and participating NGOs, there has been no CRC for Colony No 4 (which has five AIE centres), Sector 26 (14), Indira Colony (three) and the Government Model Senior Secondary School, Manimajra (with five centres).

For the greater part of the year, various AIE centres have struggled to get the regular supply of stationery, learning and teaching aids, hygiene materials, games, etc, which - when provided - have been alleged to be substandard. Various NGO heads also highlighted the fact that school principals refused to admit AIE students in mainstream classes, citing lack of staff as the main reason.

Admn accused of neglect

One of the participating NGOs described the UT home secretary Ram Niwas’ apparent lack of attention towards the project as “disturbing”. “Other than attending the sweater distribution ceremony with the former governor, the home secretary hasn’t visited any AIE centre for an entire year. He visited MSSS-8 but not the AIE centre functioning from there. Don’t these students need the special classes he holds for other students?” asked the head of an NGO.

When contacted, Niwas said: “I’m the only home secretary in the history of the Chandigarh administration who has gone to all AIE centres to distribute sweaters.” He was dismissive of holding special classes at the centers, saying, “This isn’t the prime requirement as of now. We’re adhering to their basic needs first. In fact, you should compliment me for taking the time out from my busy schedule to hold classes twice a week.” 



Centre superintendent terminated: Principal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 9
Reacting to the claims of Dinesh Sharma, former centre superintendent, Dev Samaj College, Ferozpur, of having resigned due to the ongoing malpractices in the college examination system, principal Madhu Parasher today turned the tables by revealing that he was terminated from the duty on the same ground.

Dinesh Sharma, a professor of English at RSD College, Ferozpur, was deputed to Dev Samaj College for an examination duty from where he claimed to have resigned yesterday citing malpractices in the examination system. The resignation was followed by a letter addressed to the Controller of Examination accusing the authorities of Dev Samaj College of aiding various candidates in cheating.

However, reacting to the letter, Madhu Prakash has asserted that he was immediately relieved from his duties when found guilty of assisting a candidate in cheating during the exam.

“A case of unfair means used in the examination was reported at the college. The candidate had reached the centre half-an-hour late and had slips containing answers. Suspecting a paper leak, the centre superintendent interrogated the girl, who confessed to have received “help” from Dinesh Sharma. The moment I got to know of it, I apprised the Controller of Examination of the matter, who immediately faxed his relieving letter. He should be thankful to have been let off so easily for such a grave mistake, but instead, he tried to defame our college,” said the principal.

All efforts to contact AK Bhandari, Controller of Examination, for a clarification proved futile.



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