C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Rowdy youths target cops at Mauli Jagran
2 injured, others run for their lives
Tribune News Service 

Chandigarh, May 17
A group of rowdy youths assaulted a police team at a vegetable market in Mauli Jagran here tonight.The police team had gone to the place on receiving information about a snatching incident.

According to eyewitnesses, two policemen, identified as Sub-Inspector Sikander Singh and Constable Sandip Kumar, were injured in the attack while their other colleagues reportedly sped from there in a police vehicle to save their lives. Both policemen were rushed to the Sector 16 Government Multi Speciality Hospital for medical aid, where Constable Sandip is said to have undergone a surgery for a broken nose.

A heavy posse of policemen was deployed in the area after the incident and police conducted a search operation to apprehend the assailants, whom, the police claimed it had identified. Policemen were seen marching in the streets of the locality in groups.

Sources said it all started around 8 pm when a youngster tried to snatch a purse and a mobile phone from a girl in the vegetable market in the locality around 8 pm. The girl resisted his move and raised an alarm while fighting back. The youth, in a bid to escape from the spot, hit the girl on her hand with a sharp-edged object that he was carrying. He ran away from there after injuring the girl.

The victim then called the police, informing it about the incident. A police team, comprising Sub-Inspector Sikander Singh, Constable Sandip Kumar and Home Guard volunteers reached there to inquire into the matter. Within minutes, some youths armed with weapons reached there and attacked the policemen. 

Residents of the locality said the people, who had assembled at the spot by then, escorted the hapless policemen to the Mauli Jagran police post. They said such incidents of lawlessness were becoming frequent in their area and today’s incident reflected the helplessness of the policemen, which even failed to protect themselves from the hooligans roaming there.

Denying that the police party was beaten up, the in charge of the Mauli Jagran police post, Inspector Gurmukh Singh, said Sub-Inspector Sikander Singh and Constable Sandip Kumar went there after getting information that two groups of youngsters were fighting there after one group had passed filthy remarks against a girl. The policemen intervened to defuse the tension between the two and in the process were injured. Constable Sandip suffered a rod blow on his nose, following which the policemen attacked the youth in self-defence.

Gurmukh Singh said the police had arrested one of the assailants, identified as Om Parkash, a resident of Mauli Jagran, after registering a case of causing hurt to a public servant for obstructing him from his discharging his duty, criminal intimidation and common intention against the accused on a complaint lodged by Sikander Singh. The other accused have been identified as Dhamma and Ranjit, both residents of Mauli Jagran, while the fourth accused was yet to be identified.



PEC does a U-turn, reinstates discredited teacher
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 17
In a rare case, perhaps the first of its kind in the region, an associate professor of PEC University of Technology who was “compulsorily retired” for fudging his travel bills to claim reimbursement has now been reinstated by the varsity’s director on the “advice” of its board of governors. His punishment has now been reduced to ‘reduction to a lower post’.

Ironically, despite RR Singh’s demotion to the rank of assistant professor, the first line of the PEC director’s order says the charges against Singh had been “established beyond doubt.”

It has also been put on record that Singh was given a “more sympathetic view due to his background” as stated in the director’s decision on the advice of the PEC governing board.

Incidentally, Anand Prakash, who has been fighting for justice in the Ruchika Girhotra molestation case and is a PEC alumnus, had brought this case of the teacher fudging travel bills to light nearly three years back. Following an inquiry Singh was “compulsorily retired” last December.

Now the PEC director’s office, which had earlier issued the order for Singh’s retirement, has restored his job at the varsity, albeit downgrading him. The director’s latest pronouncement termed Singh’s case as “very special in nature”.

The advice given to the director by PEC’s board of governors reads: “RR Singh being the sole earning member of his family, his qualifications/achievements and low quantum of financial misappropriation committed by him, it was noted that this was very special in nature”.

The varsity decided on “reduction to a lower post” as the penalty in this special case. Additionally, the gap period between his retirement and reinstatement would be “treated as leave as per the Punjab Civil Services Rules.”

Decision unfair, says Singh

“The decision of the varsity’s director to demote me was unjustified. Certain members of the PEC board of governors are extremely corrupt and, in connivance with some top UT bureaucrats, got me demoted. All my petitions to varsity officials have gone unheard,” claimed RR Singh.

‘Move illegal’

However, Anand Prakash, the complainant in the case, averred: “The step (to reinstate Singh) taken by the PEC administration is illegal. This was not expected from the varsity officials, although it appears they may acted under some compulsion. The punishment given to RR Singh is much lighter than what the service rules stipulate. However, I’m satisfied that at least the allegations against him have been proved in the second inquiry into the case as well”.



Selja visit reopens rift between admn, Cong
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 17
The one-day visit of Kumari Selja, union minister for tourism, housing and urban poverty alleviation, to the city today seems to have revived the latent tug-of-war between the UT administration and the Congress party.

Even as the administration showcased the foundation-laying ceremony of the Garden of Palms in Sector 42 and Garden of Conifers in Sector 52 as turning the city’s southern areas into a major tourist attraction, a sulking Congress that has control over the municipal corporation accused the administration of “giving a raw deal” to the civic body, particularly the elected representatives including area councillors.

Local MP and union minister Pawan Bansal was apparently miffed at cold-shouldering the Congress-dominated MC and took potshots at UT officials for the “poorly-attended” function. It was after a long time that he took on the administration for its “stepmotherly treatment” towards democratic institutions.

Earlier, during former UT administrator SF Rodrigues’ tenure, the spat between the latter and Bansal took a nasty turn with both washing dirty linen in public.

Today both Kuldip Singh, area councillor for Sector 52, and senior deputy mayor Bhupinder Singh Badheri, who is area councillor for Sector 42, were conspicuous by their absence. If media coordinator for the minister and former mayor Pardeep Chabbra is to be believed they were not “properly invited” for the functions. In fact, besides mayor Anu Chatrath, only four councillors attended these functions.

City to be developed as tourist hub: Selja Not only that, the MC chief engineer was seen at the venue with other senior officials nowhere in sight. On the other hand, senior administration officials, including adviser to the UT administrator Pradip Mehra, home secretary Ram Niwas and finance secretary Sanjay Kumar, were present at the function.

“It’s a deliberate attempt to give a raw deal to the elected representatives in particular and the municipal corporation in general. It’s unfortunate that the administration wants to develop the southern sectors, which are under the civic body’s jurisdiction, without the latter’s cooperation”, Chhabra alleged.

However, official sources claimed that official invitations to all councillors were sent though there were no “personal” invitations. “The function could have been planned in a better way so that more residents, including area councillors, could have attended it”, they added.



104 Missing Answer Books
Board applies law of averages
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 17
As many as 104 students of a private school, whose middle exam results were declared by the Punjab School Education Board recently, would never come to know their actual marks in mathematics, the reason being that their answer books had gone missing during the process of being checked.

Board officials decided to give them marks proportionate to their performance in social studies, English, Punjabi, Hindi and science, a rule rarely followed by the board authorities. Board Secretary Suresh Tandon said a heavy penalty had been imposed on the sub-examiner who misplaced the answer books.

On noticing that a sub-examiner had lost the answer books, the board authorities, instead of asking the students of Sri Ganesh Puri Shivalik Middle School, Zira, to reappear, preferred to adopt the new formula, that apparently lowered their percentage.

The marks of all other eight subjects, including computer science, elective subject and health and physical education, were not taken into account.

Board officials decided on the re-examination of hundreds of other students (in cases of cheating or cancellation of examination centres) in mathematics, which was conducted on March 25. The issue was kept under the wraps till the declaration of results.

Sources in the board said a sub-examiner, Neelam Devi, posted at a government school, who misplaced the bag containing the answer books, had been fined Rs 20,800 and barred from participating in checking papers in the future.

A penalty of Rs 200 per answer book had been imposed on the sub-examiner. The sources said the answer books went missing at Mohali. The students were never informed about it.



Cracking cyber crime not cops’ forte
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 17
The Chandigarh police is pathetically handicapped in dealing with the burgeoning cyber crime in the city. The cyber crime investigation cell (CCIC) of the Chandigarh police, set up in May 2007, has no expert or specially trained police officer to deal with the new-age crime scenario.

Police sources said the CCIC had received 217 complaints since its inception, out of which only 20 complaints had been translated into the registration of cases. The other 197 complaints were pending inquiry at the cell at different levels.

Eleven cases were under investigation while nine were pending trial at local courts. The police sent one case for cancellation while two were sent as untraced during this period.

DSP (Crime) Satbir Singh, on the other hand, asserted that around 50 complaints had been pending. The CCIC, at present, had an inspector, a sub-inspector, an assistant sub-inspector and two operators of constable rank.

Inspector Amanjot Singh had been appointed in charge of the cell earlier this month, after it remained virtually dysfunctional for months following transfers of sub-inspectors Gurmukh Singh and Hardit Singh a couple of months ago.

Both sub-inspectors had worked at the cell for over two years and had attended several courses for months to understand the basics of technicalities involved in cyber crime.

Denying shortage of technical staff, UT SSP SS Srivastva said the CCIC had adequate strength to deal with the number of complaints pouring in. “In some cases, one has to sent an e-mail to get requisite information for evidence. We are constantly in touch with the Punjab Engineering College and in cases where technical expertise is required, we take their help,” he said.

“Investigating cyber crime is a tedious job and it takes more time than probing an ordinary case. We have to collect evidence from various sources and have to depend on service providers. The technology often has certain complications,” he said.

“A month after a Nigerian national, identified as Bright, was arrested in June 2008 for his involvement in a million-pound Internet lottery scam, the then UT IGP SK Jain had said 200 police personnel would be imparted training at the computer training laboratory set up at the Police Lines in Sector 26. One can imagine the outcome of claims as the cell has no computer expert to deal with the burgeoning complaints of cyber crime,” said a senior police officer.

“Training courses are planned for the staff at frequent intervals to keep them abreast with new technology. We are also imparting computer training to police personnel and deploying them at the CCIC,” said the SSP.



Disabled employee can’t be deprived of benefits: HC
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 17
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has ruled an employee, suffering from disability during service, cannot be deprived of benefits otherwise available to him. Efforts have to be made to adjust him on post carrying equal pay scale, if shifted.

The high court also ruled the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, violated the provisions of the Disability Act and completely ignored the “prohibition against retirement of an employee, who acquitted disability, while in harness”.

The ruling came on a petition by Joginder Kaur. Working as a dental room operating assistant, she asked for a “light” job, after developing “bronchial asthma”. But was served a notice, asking her to show cause why she should not retire on medical grounds.

In reply, she requested for adjustment on “some light duties on Class III posts”. But she was appointed on a Class IV post; and her pay was also not protected.

The Bench of Justice MM Kumar and Justice Jitendra Chauhan referred to an apex court judgment before observing: “An employee, who has suffered disability during the course of service, could not be deprived of the benefits which would otherwise accrue to him. There is complete prohibition against termination, reversion or reducing pay merely on account of disability”.

Referring to the case in hand, the Bench asserted it was evident “the order dated March 18, 1996, passed by the PGI authorities offering her a Class IV post cannot be sustained in the eyes of the law and has to be held as violative of Section 47 of the Disability Act, 1995.

“The prohibition against retirement of an employee, who acquitted disability, while in harness has been completely ignored by the respondent, PGI, while passing the order. Firstly, the petitioner cannot be given a fresh appointment, and secondly efforts ought to have been made to adjust the petitioner on a post carrying equal par scale. Thirdly, if no post is available, an employee like the petitioner has to be permitted to work on a supernumerary post”.

The Bench directed the PGI to appoint the petitioner to “post equivalent to pay scale of the post of dental room operation assistant; if such post was unavailable, create a supernumerary post in the cadre of dental room operation assistant, and pay her salary from the post”. “In that case, the PGI may utilise the services of the petitioner for any post, including Class IV,” the Bench concluded. 


Levelling of Shivalik Hills
Residents protest official apathy, want action against guilty
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 17
Irritated over the dilly-dallying of the Mohali district administration in taking action against those who have levelled the eco-fragile Shivalik Hills in Chandigarh’s periphery to carve out roads, residents of the Bhagindi, Gurdha, Kasauli, Jyanti Majri and Karaundewala villages today staged a sit-in and blocked the road in front of the office of the district Deputy Commissioner here today.

The protestors alleged that despite instructions by Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, the officials were taking their own sweet time in concluding their enquiries and punishing those guilty behind the wrong doings, be it the Revenue Department or the Forest Department. They alleged that as names of many bigwigs were surfacing during the probe, the police was helping the violators.

The violators used heavy machinery to uproot hundreds of trees to pave way for access roads to farmhouse sites sold to “outsiders” in the area. The hillocks being targeted are spread over the common village land in Majri block comprising of the five villages.

During the probe by the police and administration, the name of a Punjab Vigilance official, an SDO with Punjab PWD Department, private secretary of a cabinet rank minister and a Mohali-based BJP leader emerged. The Vigilance official has reportedly been calling the revenue and forest officials not to stop the wrong doings.

The protestors demanded that naib tehsildar Ropinder Singh Manku and patwari Balbir Singh be immediately suspended and the girdwari (land possession documents) of 600 acres in the five villages be cancelled. It may be mentioned that Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC) Jaspal Mittal is conducting a time-bound inquiry in to the matter.

They alleged that instead of further investigating in to the case, the forest and police authorities were indulging in blame game. The forest officials have in their report sent to the Chief Minister and Forest Minister stated that the police did not act on their repeated complaints made since December 2009 when the work of levelling the hills was going on.

Meanwhile, Mohali SSP GPS Bhullar said, “It was the forest department which had asked to keep the complaint pending in December 2009 for reasons best known to them.”

However, a forest official said the FIR registered by the police was faulty and would not stand in the court of law. In the cases registered under the Punjab Land Preservation Act, Indian Forest Act 1927, and Forest Conservation Act 1980, no section of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) has been added. “The complaint clearly mentions that trees were cut, causing loss to the state,” said the forest official.

Sources in the police said a lot of disclosure was expected, as prime suspect Sham Lal, sarpanch of Gurha village, was being questioned.



Two die in mishaps
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 17
A cyclist was killed in a road accident, while a bakery owner was electrocuted at his shop in Hallo Majra here this evening.

About the fatal road accident, police said the victim, identified as 35-year-old Anil Kumar of Phase I, Industrial Area, was crushed under a trailer (HR 55 B 3998) when he was crossing the road dividing Phase I, Industrial Area, and Ram Darbar around 6 pm. The victim was severely injured and was rushed to the Sector 32 Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), where he was declared dead.

The police said the victim was working as a labourer in a factory and was residing in the factory. He hailed from Uttar Pradesh.

The police has arrested truck driver Sukhjinder Singh, alias Sukha, on the charges of causing death due to rash and negligent driving.

In another incident, 28-year-old Mohammad Nadim of Deep Complex, Hallo Majra, was electrocuted when he came in contact with a live wire at his shop in the evening. Eyewitnesses told the police that Nadim was switching on an electric motor when he inadvertently touched the live wire and got electrocuted.

He was rushed to the GMCH, where he was declared brought dead. The police has initiated inquest proceedings under Section 174 of the Criminal Procedure Code in this regard.



City to be developedas tourist hub: Selja
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 17
“Chandigarh will be developed as a major tourist hub, as a city of gardens, illuminated buildings, landscaping and promotion of night tourism,” said Kumari Selja, Minister of Tourism, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, during a press conference organised at Hotel Mountview, Sector 10, today.

For developing the city into a world-class tourist destination, the tourism ministry has already sanctioned a grant of Rs 23 crore.

She was accompanied by Sanjay Kothari, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Ram Niwas, Home Secretary-cum-Secretary Tourism, and Sanjay Kumar, Finance Secretary, besides other officials of the UT administration.

On this occasion, Selja launched gold and silver privilege card of Industrial Tourism & Development Corporation (CITCO). While a gold card will cost Rs 3,000, the silver will be of Rs 1,500, ensuring discounts to the cardholder.

The union minister also laid down the foundation stone of two gardens, Garden of Conifers in Sector 52 and Garden of Palms in Sector 42, later in the evening. Union Cabinet Minister for Parliamentary Affairs & Water Resources Pawan Kumar Bansal, Mayor Anu Chatrath, Adviser to UT Administrator Pradip Mehra and others were also present during this ceremony.

Garden of Palms is being developed at a cost of Rs 3.11 crore from the Ministry of Tourism. A saucer-type tourist reception centre shall be constructed for the convenience of tourists. Two bridges on different themes will also be set up connecting Garden of Palms and the lake area on the other side. It is also planned to construct a cycle track for the promotion of cycle tourism.

Garden of Conifers will be developed in the portion of Leisure Valley passing through Sector 52, Chandigarh, spread over 25 acres.

In addition, the Ministry of Tourism has sanctioned Rs 9.64 crore for the expansion of Institute of Hotel Management, Rs 3.75 crore for Executive Development Centre and Rs 38 lakh for skill upgradation for manpower to CITCO. 



Railway booking counter opens in Sector 43
Anil Jerath
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 17
Considering the demands of residents in southern sectors, a railway booking counter was opened at the Inter-state Bus Terminal (ISBT), Sector 43, here today.The counter was inaugurated by Pawan Bansal, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Water Resources.

Bansal said one of the long-standing problems of the people of southern sectors and the trading community had been fulfilled. Residents found it time consuming to go to either to ISBT-17 or Chandigarh railway station to get their reservations, while the industrialists, too, were hard-pressed to sweat it out in the crowded reservation centres.

He said the reservation counter at the ISBT-43 would bring relief to the passengers who had to earlier stand in the long queues for tickets.

The counter will remain open from 8 am to 8 pm on all days except Sunday when Passenger Reservation System (PRS) will close at 2 pm.

Later, YP Singh, divisional railway manager, Ambala, said residents of the southern sector and trading community would be largely benefited.

‘‘The aim is to ensure that reservation points effectively cater to the needs of the tricity. Instead of rushing to the bus stand or railway station, passengers will soon be able to book train tickets at the ISBT-43,’’ the DRM added.

‘‘The counters at Mohali railway station have already proven beneficial for new sectors and industrial areas and now with the opening of the reservation centre here, two windows at ISBT-17 has been closed. At present, ISBT-17 has six booking windows. The demand is almost the same. That’s why two reservation counters at ISBT-17 has been closed,” Singh added.

This is the 12th location from where reservation facility can be availed. At present, Railways is running two PRS offices at Chandigarh railway station, one each at ISBT-17, Mohali railway station and Western Command at Chandi Mandir, besides, six PRS counters are also working at various post offices in the city.

When asked about the fate of Chandigarh-Ludhiana rail link, DRM said the Chandigarh-Ludhiana rail link project seems to be on the verge of completion now. He said the 112-kilometre project is divided into three phases, of which phase II (Morinda-Sahnewal) is expected to be completed by this year and phase III (Sahnewal-Ludhiana) by 2011, he added.

“Electrification of the link between Chandigarh and Morinda is complete and the process to get sanction of the Commission of Railway Safety (CRS) has been initiated,” Singh said. After the CRS sanction, a train between these two cities will start operations by 2011, he added.”

The DRM said decks had been cleared for double-laning of the Chandigarh-Ambala rail link and in the first phase, the tracks would be doubled along Ambala to Dappar at an estimated cost of Rs 90 crore followed by doubling of the remaining section from Dappar to Chandigarh.

Among others present on the occasion were GM Singh, senior divisional commercial manager, and other senior officers.



Typhoid at Lohgarh village
Two water samples fail test
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, May 17
The outbreak of typhoid in Lohgarh village here has been traced to contaminated sources of drinking water being supplied by the Public Health Department in the area. Two of the five water samples collected from the area had failed the tests.

Ever since the outbreak of typhoid, around 200 residents had reported at various hospitals with the ailment. From the day of the outbreak, the health authorities had suspected contaminated water supply to be the main reason behind the spread of 
the epidemic.

Despite the remedial measures being taken by the health department, there is a continuous trickle of patients at the government hospital. Senior medical officer Dr Rajeev Bhalla said 22 out of the 100 patients who reported at the health department’s medical camp were showing the symptoms of typhoid.

Their blood samples have been sent for testing. “Two of the five water samples tested have come out to be infected and steps are being taken to test more samples of drinking water,” said the SMO.

About a hundred new patients with the symptoms of typhoid, diarrhoea and other water-borne diseases approached the medical camp organised by the health department today. Besides the figure of 100 patients getting treated at government hospitals, the actual figure has reached near 400.

On the issue Deputy Commissioner, Mohali, Prabhjot Singh Mand chaired a meeting of the district health and pubic health officials to review the situation. He directed the officials to regularly monitor the situation.

NK Sharma, the chairman of the District Planning Board and president of the Zirakpur Municipal Council, visited the village and issued instructions to officials of the Public Health Department to resolve the problem of contaminated water supply at the earliest.

Six in Mohali, too

Mohali: Water samples collected by the district health authorities from certain government elementary schools have failed the potability test.

Of the 27 water samples collected in April, six have failed the test. Unfortunately, all samples that failed the potability test, were collected from elementary schools falling under Dera Bassi and Boothgarh blocks.

Dr SP Surila, District Health Officer, said samples were collected from Government Elementary School, Batoli, Government Elementary School, Janaut, Government Elementary School, Mirpur, Government Elementary School, Saini Majra, and Government Elementary School, Rani Majra.

He said the authorities concerned were advised to chlorinate and filter water. The water being supplied to these schools had been treated and samples would once again be collected to check the purity.

He said water samples from hand pumps at various slums around Mohali were also collected, but these had passed the test. — OC



Hypertension a silent killer, say docs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 17
“Hypertension or high blood pressure is often called a silent killer. It is estimated that around 10 million people may have blood pressure but are not aware of it,” said city cardiologists here on the eve of World Hypertension Day.

According to doctors in government hospitals and medical institutes, 30 to 35 per cent of patients suffering from hypertension are below 30 years of age. “A decade ago, being hypertensive at the age of 30 was news, but it is a common phenomenon,” said a doctor at Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER). Even a study carried out by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and PGI have shown that every second person above 30 years of age here is hypertensive.

According to a study published by the department of general community medicine of PGI, 33 per cent of patients die due to cardiovascular disorders.

With the rising stress level, cardiologist HK Bali prescribed a remedy: “Changes in lifestyle can reduce risk factors. This includes a regular exercise for at least 45 minutes every day? and less intake of fat.”

Dr Vikas Bhutani, senior physician at Fortis Hospital in Mohali said, “Consumption of fast food, sedentary life style, stress, use of tobacco and alcohol should be avoided.”

The heart, tasked with beating for an average of 2.3 billion times in one’s lifetime and pumping blood 10,000 times a day?, easily falls prey to wrong food habits and ways of life.

“Milk has fat which is unfriendly for the heart. Vegetables and soya products are beneficial,” said a cardiologist. According to the World Health Organisation, by 2015 India may become the world? capital of coronary artery disease, with an estimated 45 million patients, including those with high BP. 



Poor infrastructure mars working of civil hospital
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, May 17
Outdated infrastructure and shortage of staff has crippled the working of the Mohali Civil Hospital even as the number of patients visiting the hospital has more than doubled over the past four years.

Long queues of patients, seepage in walls, damaged roads welcome patients to the hospital premises who often get disappointed when they compare the facilities provided at the district-level hospital in Mohali with those available in government hospitals in Chandigarh.

Patients complain that they have to spend a long time to avail the facilities in the hospital. Long queues formed to get registration slips move very slowly as computers used in the work do not function properly. Even the token system introduced for the welfare of the patients becomes meaningless because of the slow functioning of computers.

Shortage of specialists adds to the problems of patients who have to wait rather long for consulting the doctor concerned.

According to sources, the software being used in the computers at the hospital was outdated and computers often got hung, affecting the work efficiency. The hospital has only three computer operators. The timings of collecting samples for the laboratory have been reduced due to shortage of staff. The hospital has only one clerk. There was a shortage of staff nurses as well.

The hospital has 16 Class IV employees out of which only four were male. Problems were faced in the emergency wing when help was needed, which could not be provided by women Class IV employees, many of whom were about 50 years old. No Class IV employee is available in the OPD wing.

Ashok Kumar, a Class IV employee, told The Tribune today that he was working in the hospital mortuary for the past six years and helped doctors perform postmortem. As he was the only Class IV employee there, he could never take a holiday 
and had to work even on Sundays.

There were more than 30 doctors in April, 2006, when 8,561 OPD patients visited the hospital. The number of patients in the OPD wing had gone up to 18,080 last month, but the number of doctors serving at the hospital had gone down to 21.

They were also put on VIP duties whenever a senior politician or some other important person visited Mohali. These doctors were also members of the medical board and certain committees and also had to attend court cases, which adversely affects the hospital OPD. The post of paediatrician was lying vacant since January.

When asked the SMO in charge of the hospital, Dr HS Sarang, said the problems being faced by patients had been brought to the notice of the higher authorities. The managing director of the Punjab Health Systems Corporation was personally looking into the matter and had assured that the problems would be solved at the earliest.


l The software being used in the computers at the hospital is outdated

l Computers often hang, affecting the work efficiency

l The hospital has only three computer operators and one clerk

l The number of doctors has gone down from 30 in April, 2006, to 21 last month

l There is a shortage of staff nurses as well

l The timings of collecting samples for the laboratory have been reduced due to shortage of staff



Man tries to set tenant afire
Practises black magic, says accused
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 17
In a bizarre incident, a Mohali resident, believing that his tenant was practising black magic to cast a spell on him, allegedly poured petrol on the latter to set him ablaze in a running car.

The incident occurred on the road separating Sectors 41 and 42 here this morning. The panic-stricken tenant ran for his life, leaving his car behind.

The SHO of the Sector 36 police station, inspector Anokh Singh, said the accused, identified as 32-year-old Ashwani Kumar of Phase IV at Mohali, was arrested on the charges of attempt to murder under Section 307 of the Indian Penal Code on a complaint lodged by his tenant Shubash Chander, an advocate at the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Shubash told the police that Ashwani requested him for a lift in his car to the Sector 17 ISBT when he was leaving for court.

He took him along in his Maruti car (DL03CM-7301). On reaching the road separating Sectors 41 and 42 around 11 am, Ashwani pulled out a bottle filled with petrol and began pouring it on him.

Shubash said he got surprised at the behaviour of Ashwani, who brought out a match box and tried to light it.

Shubash panicked, stopped his car and ran for his life, raising the alarm. People gathered there and the police was informed about the incident.

The SHO said Ashwani told the investigating officer that Shubash had been casting black magic on him and said he was feeling possessed.

The police said Ashwani’s family said he was under depression. He wwas married and had no children. He was produced in a local court, which sent him tojudicial custody.



Small dip, big relief
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 17
Cloudy skies throughout the day brought the day temperature down by a degree at 41.0 °C today resulting in marginal let up in the hot weather conditions in the city and adjoining Punjab and Haryana.

However, high humidity levels made climate sultry causing discomfort to the people, but there seems to be some relief in coming days, with thunder/dust storms that may occur at isolated places in the region.

The city recorded maximum temperature of 41.0 °C, which was one degree lower than Sunday. The minimum temperature rose to 27.5 °C, as compared to 23.9 °C recorded yesterday.

The relative maximum and minimum humidity was pegged at 42 per cent and 14 per cent, respectively.

India Met director Surendra Paul said south-westerly moisture-laden winds have created clouds, but in the absence of a trigger mechanism, the clouds are not precipitating into rains due to which there was no significant change in the climate, he added.

He said there were possibilities of dust/thunder storms at isolated places due to local phenomenon.

The Met official said summer started early this year with abnormally high temperatures in March and now May is turning out to be one of the hottest with temperatures keeping three or four degrees above normal for the past one week.

Last year also, April and May had seen high temperatures, along with high humidity levels, the official added.

"It's important to keep drinking water in such a weather or else chances of dehydration are unavoidable," said yoga expert, Devki Nandan Sharma.

The Met office has forecast partly cloudy sky with possibility of dust storm or thunderstorm with light rain for the next 24 hours.

The maximum and minimum temperatures may hover around 39 °C and 25 °C with wind speed of around 45 kmph for tomorrow.



Banda Bahadur’s journey from saffron to red
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, May 17
A Punjabi play titled “Banda Singh Bahadur”, staged at the Randhawa Auditorium under the direction of Jarnail Singh Gogi, depicted the life and transition of Banda Singh Bahadur (born 1670) from a “bairagi” to a great legendary warrior and General of Sikh army.

Since the protagonist could not be portrayed in flesh and blood, it was indeed challenging to justify the presentation, but some of the established city actors accomplished the objective with conviction.

Originally named Lachhman Dev, a Rajput cultivator, and a famous hunter from Rajouri renounced worldly life following an incident of killing a doe that delivered two cubs while dying. He turned a bairagi sadhu and a sorcerer at Nanded and commanded thousands of followers.

A blessed visit of Guru Gobind Singh to his hermitage transformed the bairagi to a devout warrior with a resolute resolve of fighting against anti-human forces and injustice. Banda fought the Mughals and established the first Sikh state at Sirhind.



Board Results
Admission blues round the corner
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 17
With the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) all set to declare its Class X results on May 19, along with Class XII results, confusion and panic gripped the city students, who planned to migrate to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) in Class XI.

The CBSE is planning to have nine point grading system launched in Class X last year as a basis for Class XI admission. But students from ISCE schools stand clueless about the “plight” of their percentages in the admission process.

“We have got many queries from parents about the procedure, which will be followed to grant admission to the students who will be getting percentage rather than grades as in case of CBSE students. So far we have not got any information and as per reports, it seems the CBSE has not worked out its admission process,” said a principal of a city-based CISCE affiliated school.

However, Jerry Arathoon, additional secretary and officiating chief executive of the CICSE board, claimed that there was nothing to worry. “We have spoken to the CBSE chairman, who is one of our board members and he says that CBSE students will get percentages along with grades, so all admissions will be on percentage basis,” he said.

Ironically, while the CBSE officials from Delhi have said there was “nothing of this sort”, DR Yadav, regional director of the CBSE, had a few weeks ago, declared that percentages would not be provided even on request as announced by the board earlier.

If you want to share unusual aspect which makes your board score special, reach out to us at resultstribune@gmail.com <mailto:resultstribune@gmail.com> along with your picture and copy of marksheet or write to us at City Editor, The Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh.

Results by email

CBSE has decided to provide the results for Class XII by email this time. The board has created a provision for students to register in advance for results, which will be provided to them as soon as it is declared. To get Class XII result in your inbox, Go to this link <http://resultsbymail.nic.in/cbseresults_1020/Mailreg.asp> enter name, roll number, e-mail address and captcha code (for preventing automated submissions).

Meanwhile, for Class X results, log on to <http://cbseresults.nic.in/>. The results for CISCE can be procured from <http://www.cisce.org/>.

Missing multiplier

With the CBSE having failed to elaborate upon the “multiplier”, which it announced to be the key basis of Class XI admissions, private schools have decided to leave it to the discretion of principal. While many schools will be going for aptitude tests, others will be taking cumulative percentage of Class IX and X into consideration.

Meanwhile, the UT education department will decide on anything only after the results.

Astrologers’ help

With results just round-the-corner, it’s a boom time for city astrologers, as they are getting paid for counselling students in selecting streams for Class XI. “I am getting around 20 clients every day who want to know which stream should they opt for. We study their birth chart and suggest them the stream,” claimed a renowned astrologer from Sector 20. “Many parents come to ask me for puja to ensure science stream for their children which is suggested on the basis of nakshatras,” said another astrologer.



Budget engineering college launched
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 17
Technical education is no longer the preserve of upper and middle classes. Budget engineering college was launched by Gurukul Vidyapeeth from this academic session here yesterday, brings education within the reach of the common man.

“The budget engineering college is a tailor-made solution for every student under a self-financing scheme,” Manmohan Kumar Garg, CEO, Gurukul Vidyapeeth, said, adding that the project was part of the education-for-all mission under their corporate social responsibility.

Under this scheme, the students, including those from economically weakers sections of society, would pay the course fee as per their resources and Gurukul Vidyapeeth would arrange the rest of the funds through banks, financial institutions and charitable organisations.

The students could repay the amount after the completion of their courses and getting jobs in the corporate sector.

The students would also have the option of sponsoring the fee of any other student or repaying the fee in instalments, he added.



Guest Students At PU Hostels
Do well in exams to stay on
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 17
Applications for extension of nearly a hundred students residing in Panjab University (PU) hostels on guest charges will be scrutinised on the basis of merit from the upcoming session.

Only those students who score well in the examinations this year will be permitted to stay on. These students had been randomly accommodated in various hostels without fixed criteria last year.

The applications pouring in from all departments and pressure from certain quarters of the university, including student leaders, had triggered this. Of the nearly 160 students who did not get hostel seats, nearly a hundred were adjusted on guest charges, slightly more than common room charges.

Officials of the Dean Student Welfare (DSW) office ruled out any possibility of adjustment of such candidates this year. With 2,920 hostel seats available for boys and 3,024 for girls now, the capacity to accommodate girls was increased by 600 seats.

“The sports hostel will be vacated this year since the new hostels will be ready. Students will be allotted seats according to merit this year,” said Prof Naval Kishore, DSW.

Meanwhile, girls enrolled for the Bachelors of Dental Sciences course and admitted to the University Institute of Engineering and Technology (UIET) would be accommodated at the hostel coming up on the south campus in Sector 25. “Some students of the UIET will have to be accommodated at various hostels on the campus in Sector 14,” said an official.



City lad to go to Brazil

Chandigarh, May 17
Shreyash Sharma of Shivalik Public School has been selected to represent the country in “Children and Youth International Conference for Environment” to be held in Brazil in June, to give voice to the ideas and opinions of youngsters on environmental issues. Shreyash was a part of the school team that took up a project on “Recycling of paper”. As many as eight children were shortlisted to represent India. — TNS



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