C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Schoolboys play ‘bomb’ prank,let off with warning
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 7
The message “bom (bomb) blast in car 1 pm”, jotted with a sketch pen on the right side of a car, today sent the Chandigarh Police in a tizzy.

DSP (Central) Jagbir Singh said a woman Home Guard volunteer, Sukhwinder Kaur, came forward with information that she had seen three boys alighting from a Maruti Alto car (CH 03 D 7122) and going away after writing something on a Maruti car parked in the parking lot outside the Leisure Valley in Sector 10.

Sukhwinder noted down the registration number of the Alto car, following which the police tracked down the boys. They were, however, let off after being issued a warning since they had no criminal record and “had simply been mischievous”.

Two of the boys are students of class XII, studying at Government Senior Secondary School in Sector 15 and Sector 20, while the third is a student of class X at the National Open School in Khuda Lahora.

It all started around 12:30 pm when Dr Deepali Aggarwal, a resident of Sector 16, Panchkula, came to Sector 10 in Chandigarh in her Maruti car number (HR 03 H 4830) to meet her friend Radheshwari. She left her car in the parking lot and went for a walk in the Leisure Valley. When she returned, she found the message written on her car.

Shocked, she rang up the police control room (PCR). Within minutes, the DSP (central) along with police personnel from the Operations Cell, Crime Branch and the bomb disposal squad reached the spot and cordoned off the area. The police conducted a thorough search of the vehicle and then took it to the Sector 3 police station.

The police, meanwhile, shifted Deepali to her acquaintance’s residence in Sector 10 in a police vehicle. The car was restored to the owner by evening.



Two brothers die on killer stretch
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 7
In a tragic incident, two brothers lost their lives when their car collided head on with a Bolero jeep coming from the opposite direction near Jaloli village in the Barwala block on National Highway 73 this morning.

The victims, identified as Bhaga Raj (40) and Pama Ram (34) of Kalranwali village, near Baddi, Himachal Pradesh, ran a transport company.

They were going to Delhi in connection with the treatment of 15-year-old Nirmal, mentally challenged son of Bhaga Raj.

At least eight persons had lost their lives and 10 critically wounded in four accidents on this killer stretch during the past three weeks.

The police registered a case against the driver of the jeep at the Barwala police station. The driver escaped from the spot, leaving his vehicle behind.

The police said the victims, sitting on the front seats, received serious injuries when their Maruti car (HP15A-5264) collided head on with the jeep (HP12B-9394) while Nirmal, sitting on a rear seat, received minor injuries.

People who gathered at the site reported the matter to the police. A PCR van reached the spot and rushed the victims to the General Hospital in Sector 6, where the doctor declared them brought dead.

After conducting the post-mortem examinations, the bodies were handed over to members of their families. Nirmal was discharged after first-aid.

Getting Deadlier

In 2008-09, 46 persons were killed and 51 persons were injured in various accidents on the Panchkula-Raipur Rani stretch. In 2009-10, 54 persons lost their lives while 84 persons received serious injuries, showing an increase of about 15 per cent, which was a cause of concern for the police



Graft Case
Ex-SE Dhingra held guilty
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 7
CBI Special Judge Darshan Singh today held VP Dhingra, former Superintendent Engineer (SE), of the UT Electricity Department guilty in a graft case, which came to light in 2006.The quantum of sentence will be pronounced on Saturday.

The CBI had caught him on August 2, 2006, while he was allegedly taking a bribe of Rs 20,000 at his Sector 19 residence.

The case was registered against Dhingra under Sections 7 and 13 (2) read with Section 13 (1)(d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.

Subhash Bajaj, a contractor and managing director of Kanta Electricals India Limited, Mohali, had lodged a complaint against Dhingra, alleging that the official had demanded “favours” from him to get his work done. Dhingra had promised to give him a contract. Bajaj had qualified for a government project to install automatic traffic light signals in the city.

The contractor went to Dhingra's house to give the money, but the official insisted they go out for a short drive. He allegedly accepted the money in the car. He was nabbed as he was getting down from the car outside his residence here with the bribe money.

The complainant had said that Dhingra was demanding money to give approval to certain equipment. Despite the approval by the government laboratory, Dhingra was dilly-dallying on the matter.

Career Graph

VP Dhingra joined the Engineering Department as Line Superintendent (working charge) in 1970. Coming from Hoshiarpur district, Dhingra was regularised in his services as a Line Superintendent (Junior Engineer) in 1972. He became an SDO in 1978 and occupied the chair of the Superintending Engineer in 2005. He had upgraded his educational qualification from a diploma holder to that of a degree holder by taking the IEE examination in 1976



Syndicate Meeting
PU questions its own decision
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 7
The decision to issue a show-cause notice to DAV College, Sector 10, here for procuring and awarding degrees of a “de-recognised Bachelors of Physical Education course” was taken by the Panjab University Syndicate today.

In the first of its kind case in the history of the university, the authorities have woken up to a glaring violation of its own decision.

In 2008, the PU Senate had decided to withdraw the provisional affiliation of the course due to the failure of the college to obtain the mandatory approval of the National Council of Technical Education (NCTE).

At the meeting convened today, it was also decided to “fix responsibility” for the blunder.

Incidentally, the syndicate members have confessed to the “connivance of PU employees” in issuing degrees to 23 students of B.PEd. The college failed to get the mandatory approval of the NCTE for the B.PEd course that started in 2005, said Ashok Goyal, a fellow.

Till 2009, the college could not secure affiliation even though the first batch had to pass out in the same year.

Consequently, the Syndicate and later the Senate decided to withdraw the provisional affiliation awarded to the course by the PU in 2006. The decision was overruled and the university issued degrees to the students after the completion of course.

“We have formed a three-member committee to fix the responsibility in the case. The decisions of the Senate and Syndicate were ignored and degrees were awarded to the students,” said GK Chathrath, Syndicate-Senate member.

The committee will be headed by Ashok Goyal and would include GK Chathrath and Rajbans Singh Gill. The Syndicate members also empowered the chairman of the committee to increase the number of members for assistance.

The glaring violation has also brought to light the practice of awarding provisional affiliation to new courses by the university, without receiving a nod from the concerned central regulatory bodies.


Full Circle: BJP rally now in Sector 25
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 7The Chandigarh administration today cancelled permission given to the BJP to hold a rally, to be addressed by party president Nitin Gadkari and cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Sidhu, at the Ramleela ground in Sector 27 here on May 12.

The rally ground in Sector 25 would be the new venue. Realising its mistake in giving permission to hold a rally in the densely-populated Sector 27, the DC’s office today officially communicated the change in venue to the BJP.

Party’s media spokesman Shakti Devshali confirmed the change in venue. Bending its own rules, the administration had taken a U-turn on allowing political rallies and protests in the city and granted permission to a rally in Sector 27 on April 30.

The permission also ran counter to directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. In 2006, on the directions of the high court, the administration had shifted the venue for holding rallies to Sector 25 with a view to avoid inconvenience to city residents.



Rain brings relief, inundates roads
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 7
Moderate rain lashed the city and neighbouring areas in the region today, bringing much-needed respite to residents.This was the first time this summer that the city received moderate rainfall, recorded at 13.6 mm, bringing the mercury down to 30.8 degree Celsius, 7 degrees below normal.

Weathermen said western disturbances and cyclonic conditions over Rajasthan caused the rain. The last time mild rain was recorded was on April 21, which was 1 mm.

Residents woke up to a cloudy sky this morning. The rain began around 11:30 am and lasted till 1 pm. Children and youths could be seen enjoying the rain.

The drainage wing of the municipal corporation was caught unawares as the rain left roads inundated. Many people were found stranded in knee-deep water at places.

A few cars developed snags while going through roads filled with water. The parking of the corporation building was inundated as drains in the area were blocked.

Drainage wing teams could be seen removing blockage till the evening. MC Chief Engineer SS Bida said water drained when leaves lying on roads were removed.



CITCO gives 10 feet, keeps rest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 7
The ongoing land row between CITCO and the municipal corporation (MC) over the ownership of a piece of land at Hotel Shivalikview finally ended today, with officials of the administration, the MC and CITCO sitting together and reaching a consensus.

It was amicably decided that the land would remain with CITCO, but it would allow 10 feet for the MC’s parking lot. CITCO officials also removed the fencing around the area which was out of line with the hotel building in the presence of MC officials.

Sources claimed that all documents and records pertaining to the ownership of the land were put up at the meeting. The emergency meeting was attended by Adviser to the Administrator Pradip Mehra, Home-cum-Tourism Secretary Ram Niwas, CITCO Managing Director DK Tiwari, MC Commissioner Roshan Sunkaria and MC Chief Engineer SS Bida.

Meanwhile, members of the CITCO Workers Union went on a strike for about an hour and blocked the road adjacent to the hotel in protest. They said they would not tolerate pressure tactics of MC councillors.



Police: Expedite work on road-engineering proposals
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 7
The Chandigarh Traffic Police urged the authorities to complete proposals it had sent to the UT engineering wing on priority.At a meeting with the UT Home Secretary yesterday, the police said the proposals, including provision of ATC lights on accident-prone crossings, painting of rotaries, zebra crossings and stop lines, provision of free left turn on all traffic lights and intersections, were raised in the meeting.

Besides, construction of a multi-storey parking in Sector 17, repair of iron grills on Dakshin Marg and Vikas Marg, synchronisation of traffic lights from the Transport Chowk to the Tribune Chowk, pelican lights, provision of slips roads at the Poultry Farm Chowk and the Old Labour Chowk were discussed with the Home Secretary.

Police officials said that long-term parking solution at lake, introduction of pre-paid booths, repair of streetlights, installation of automatic traffic lights on all pedestrian crossings, fixing of rumble strips on Kishangarh Turn were discussed in detail and officials of the engineering department and of the municipal corporation were asked to complete these proposals on priority.

The meeting, held under the chairmanship of the Home Secretary, was attended by the UT SP (Traffic), Additional Deputy Commissioner, Chandigarh, Director of the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU), the UT Chief Architect, chief engineers from the administration and the municipal corporation and the DSP (Traffic). 



Workshop on low-cost healthcare from today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 7
In a bid to lessen cost of healthcare, the Singapore Indian Group Networking for Empowerment Training (SIGNET) will organise a six-day workshop at Government Medical College and Hospital in Sector 32 tomorrow.

“The hospital has invested heavily in latest technology, due to which, healthcare has become unaffordable for millions of Indians. In order to provide value for money for both healthcare providers and patients, high quality research has become imperative,” said Prof T Lazar Mathew, Dean and director, Vellore Institute of Technology, and Project director of Singapore Indian Group Networking for Empowerment Training (SIGNET).

He said every decision at individual, institutional, organisational and national level should be based on scientific considerations of efficacy, safety, cost-effectiveness, applicability and feasibility in the local setting.

Prof Mathew said Government Medical College and Hospital in Sector 32 and Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) were selected as models of an efficient healthcare delivery system. 



BPL cards for HIV positive

Chandigarh, May 7
To provide relief to HIV positive people in the city, the Chandigarh State AIDS Control Society (CSACS), in collaboration with the Food and Supplies Department of the UT, organised a drive for providing below poverty line (BPL) cards, which will give them access to subsidised ration. Dr Vanita Gupta, project director, CSACS said about 60 people living with HIV/AIDS filled the forms and, soon BPL/AAY cards will be issued to them by the Food and Supplies Department, UT, Chandigarh.

According to the CSACS, there are around 170 PLHAs in Chandigarh. Most of them belong to economically weaker sections of society and need support as they are financially pressed due to unemployment and poor health. The cards will enable the patients to get subsidised rice/wheat, sugar and kerosene. — TNS



‘Vulgar’ SMSes
Consumer Forum RComm gets summons
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 7
Acting on a complaint, the district consumer forum here has issued summons to various heads of the departments of Reliance Communications asking them to file their reply for soliciting immoral activities by inducing the customers by sending vulgar and pornographic text messages, suggesting explicitly the promiscuous relationship.

The complainant, who is resident of Sector 2 and a subscriber of Reliance mobile service, informed the forum that soon after subscribing to the mobile service, he started receiving some undesired and vulgar messages, which are reflected as “service messages” from Reliance.

Initially he ignored the same as he was told by the customer care that these messages would be stopped in couple of days. However, crossing all decency, it became a regular and routine practice, embarrassing him before his family, he added.

The complainant has sought a compensation of Rs 4,50,000 from the company for causing mental agony and injury to his marital harmony by sending ‘vulgar’ messages. He further alleged that every time he received such messages he had to explain to his wife the reason why he was receiving such messages 
on regular basis.



RWAs’ involvement in development flayed
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 7
Former Congress councillor condemned the decision of the district administration for involving residents’ welfare associations for developmental works and demanded that supervision of civic amenities of wards should be handed over to the councillors.

Addressing a the media at Red Bishop here recently, around eight former Congress councillors, led by former MC president Ravinder Rawal, said development works should be handed over to them as they were the elected representatives of the people. Demanding the dissolution of the same, Rawal said these RWAs are self-styled bodies with no legality and should not be allowed to interfere in the working of the wards.



Work on clearing graveyard begins
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 7
A graveyard, which had become a bone of contention for residents of Phase IX, is being cleared by the district administration to make the land available for residential purposes.

The work of clearing the 9-kanal area was started on Wednesday in the presence of SDM RPS Walia . Ten employees of the Municipal Council were assigned the work of clearing the land of all wild growth so that it could be put to use for residential purposes.

Representatives of the Wakf board were also present at the site. Walia said the land belonged to the Wakf board, which wanted to use this for residential purposes. The Mohali Deputy Commissioner had requested GMADA authorities to allot another piece of land, which could be used as graveyard by the Muslims.

Tension had prevailed in Phase IX on April 11 when residents had opposed the burial of a Kumbra resident Gurnam Khan. Residents had tried to stop the burial but members of the Muslim community had insisted that the burial would take place there itself as the land belonged to the Wakf board.

When tempers ran high, the police had to be called to bring the situation under control. The stalemate had ended only after the district administration gave an assurance that no more burials would be allowed at the present site.

Among those present at the gravyard site were Amna Kumar Goyal, executive officer of the civic body, Anwar Hussain , a junior engineer with the Wakf board and Javed Aslam , vice-president of the Muslim Bhaichara, Kumbra. 



‘Washing hands vital to ward off diarrhoea’
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 7
“Pneumonia and diarrhoea are the leading causes of child deaths worldwide and the number of such deaths can be reduced by almost half by just washing hands regularly,” stated medical experts at a workshop on “Current paradigms in hand hygiene”, organised by Fortis Hospital in connection with Global Hand Hygiene Day (May 5).

Dr Geeta Mehta, regional advisor in Patient Safety and Health Technology, WHO, South East Asia Regional Office, was the chief guest and keynote speaker. The workshop was inaugurated by Dr Zora Singh, president, IMA. Over 75 infection-control personnel, nurses and patient educators from various hospitals and health-care institutions in the tricity attended the workshop.

Talking about hand hygiene, Mehta said, “Cleaner care is undoubtedly safer care. The aim of every healthcare organisation should be to minimise medical errors that lead to adverse events and harm.

It becomes imperative therefore to practise hand hygiene with 100 per cent compliance. We all have to strive towards prevention of health care-associated infections,” she added.

Arthritis awareness

May is National Arthritis Awareness Month in the US and back home, our objective should be to replicate such efforts to raise the awareness of arthritis in India as well. Better understanding of the disease can benefit both patients with arthritis and at the same time those who are not afflicted with the disease.

Dr Harinder Batth, senior consultant at Cosmo Hospital and Inscol Hospital, said that arthritis was often misunderstood, largely due to misconceptions, misinformation, and old wives tales which persisted.

Arthritis was a complicated disease as it had various symptom patterns, and numerous treatment options. Severe forms of arthritis could be disabling and affect many aspects of daily living.

Newly diagnosed patients had much to learn about the psychological,emotional, and physical impact of living with arthritis. Chronic arthritis patients who had the disease for a long time must continue to adapt and adjust as the disease progresses. Along with pain and physical limitations, arthritis patients must also deal with other challenges including depression, stress, fatigue, isolation and dependence.

Arthritis was life-altering. Since there was no cure for arthritis, managing the disease was vital, he added . 



Tow-away facility for vehicles at night
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 7
If your car breaks down on a road in the dead of the night, call the Police Control Room (PCR), for the Chandigarh Police has started the facility to tow away vehicles by providing towing-enable vehicles to the PCR. Anyone in need can contact the police on its helpline numbers 100, 1090 and 1073.



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