C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Smriti Sharma Vasudeva
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 29
A day after the UT administration claimed that there was adequate power supply, a six-hour unannounced power cut has belied the lofty claims of the administration.

In the name of urgent repair work that continues for long hours, residents have been sweating it out in the sweltering heat. Tomorrow, too, the power situation would be no better. An emergency shutdown will be imposed by the Northern Region Load Dispatch Centre (NRLDC), New Delhi, on the 22 KV Nalagarh-Chandigarh line. The shutdown will affect almost the entire city, forcing residents to plan a day out to either shopping malls or to the nearby hills.

“We do not feel like going out in the heat with children, but the power cut tomorrow has forced us to plan the day out,” Punam Singh, mother of two, said.

“We had thought of staying at home and had invited over some relatives, but now we will head for Kasauli,” Piyush Gupta, a resident of Sector 49, stated, adding that “there is no relief in sight for us. Everyday there are unannounced power cuts and with children, it becomes all the more difficult to manage without electricity.”

Frequent trippings due to poor maintenance of transformers and distribution lines, deficiency in overhauling coupled with inadequate staff, especially those in the technical cadre, are to be blamed for the crisis.

Sources claim that the staff was overstretched as it was required to ensure round-the-clock power supply to VIP sectors. The situation is particularly bad in southern sectors, especially those that have been added recently, including Sectors 49, 50, 51, 55 and 61. “Until a few months ago, such a situation prevailed in Mohali, but this summer is proving equally bad for us. In fact, the power situation has improved in Mohali,” Sukant Chawla, a resident of Sector 55, remarked.

(Un)helpful Line

The UT administration had announced its emergency helpline number (4639999) only recently, but the number seldom works. This correspondent kept calling in vain on the number between 9 am and 12 noon, but there was no response. It was 12.30 pm when someone finally answered the call. Asked about the unannounced power cut, the employee said a power cut was on until 2.30 pm due to repair work, but was ignorant about the location of the repair work



Water rationing in Mohali
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 29
A rise in the temperature, which hovers around 43°C, has compelled the water supply and sanitation wing to introduce water rationing in many parts of the town.

Residents will be given water supply to fill their overhead tanks on alternate days. Areas linked with the water works in Phase VI have been divided into two zones and water at full pressure would be supplied on every alternate night to fill the overhead tanks. Zone I will cover Phases I, VI, III-B2 and V while Phases II, III-A, III-B1, IV and VII will be covered under Zone II.

The ageing water supply system of Mohali is not able to cater to the needs of residents of the expanding town who faced water rationing for many months each year, which normally began around March and went on till November. This year it was introduced only when the temperature touched 43°C on May 26.

However, Phases IX to XI and Sectors 70, 71 and part of Sector 48, which get their water supply from the waterworks in Sector 57, are not covered under the zoning plan and will continue to get water supply as usual.

According to officials of the water supply and sanitation wing, the demand of water in the summer months was 23 million gallons a day (mgd) against the availability of only 13.2 mgd. Mohali was getting only 10 mgd of water from Kajauli waterworks and the rest from tubewells.

Most of the tubewells in Mohali have failed as the water table in the area has gone down. Out of 71 tubewells, only 28 are in working order at present. Not a single tubewell is functioning in Phases II, III-A, III-B2 and IV.

In a bid to augment the water supply position in the town, the authorities concerned had requested the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) to sink 10 tubewells in various parts of the town. Five were to be sunk by the municipal council.

It is learnt that both GMADA and the civic body had started work on sinking more tubewells, but these would not become functional before September and residents would get benefit from these only after the peak summer months were over. Meanwhile, residents of Phase II remained without water this morning because a main pipeline had suffered breakage last night.

It is learnt that a 12-inch pipeline broke around midnight near the waterworks in the area. Work to set the system in order was started soon after which went on till 11.30 am after which water was supplied to the residents.



Documents destroyed in UT Sectt fire
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 29
Several important documents along with furniture and other belongings were reduced to ashes in a fire that broke out in two rooms on the first floor of the UT Secretariat, Sector 9, around 8 pm here today.

The fire, which reportedly started from a room storing some old electrical machines and telephone exchange equipment, engulfed the room of the PA to UT Chief Architect Sumit Kaur.

It took four fire-tenders around half an hour to control the blaze, said the eyewitnesses.

An eyewitness said he had noticed smoke emanating from the room housing old machinery. “I brought the matter to the notice of certain officials present there but nobody paid heed to it. I then went for dinner. Everything in the rooms had been destroyed upon my arrival at the scene later,” he said.

An ITBP official posted at the secretariat, Dharam Raj, was the first one to notice the fire. He informed the fire brigade office around 8.15 pm, following which four tenders reached the scene within 10 minutes.

While the fire damaged most of the articles, including important documents, furniture, fan, in the PA’s room, it was brought under control by the firemen before it could cause further damage.

ADC Capt PS Shergill and Chief Architect Sumit Kaur reached the scene to assess the situation. While talking to the TNS, Sumit Kaur said it was too early to pinpoint the exact cause of fire.

“Fortunately, there has been no loss of life in the incident,” she said.



YPS Camp
SOS call by son triggers panic
Mother suffers cardiac arrest, dies
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 29
Anxiety over a child being stranded at a base camp of students of YPS School, Mohali, at Manali, proved unlucky for his mother who apparently died of a heart attack while she had gone to the school with her husband to enquire about the well being of their son.

About a week ago, Ratanpreet Singh, a student of Class VIII, had gone to a summer camp along with other students. He reportedly called up his mother, Gurpreet Kaur, from the base camp and complained that while other students had gone out, he was left behind. On receiving the call, the father of the boy, Dr Barinder Singh, and his wife, also a doctor, went to meet the school authorities.

At the school, Ratanpreet’s mother complained of pain in the chest and died of cardiac arrest on way to hospital. Anita Kashyap, vice-principal of the school, said the incident was very unfortunate.

They had come to enquire about their child. Soon after the incident, he was brought back from Manali.

“When the teachers and students return tomorrow, the school would inquire about the incident and take suitable action,” she added.



Natural gas pipeline for UT by next yr
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 29
Residents of Chandigarh can now look forward to receiving direct supply of natural gas to their kitchen. This is likely to be realised within the next year, Murli Deora, minister of petroleum and natural gas, assured Pawan Kumar Bansal, minister of parliamentary affairs and water resources, when he called upon the former yesterday to reiterate an old demand in this regard.

The main supply pipeline of natural gas is being laid between Saharanpur and Ludhiana via Ambala. Since Chandigarh will be less than 50 km from the main pipeline, Bansal had urged the petroleum minister to include the construction of a pipeline to Chandigarh in the present plan itself, which is slated to be completed by April 2011.

Bansal also took up with Deora the recent reduction in the allocation of kerosene to the city. While he agreed to consider the matter for early restoration of the allocation, Deora offered to extend the supply of LPG to all residents who use kerosene.

Oil companies will bear the security amount and the consumer will only have to pay for the burner and the gas. This will work out cheaper for consumers and also help curb the diversion of kerosene for other purposes, a press note stated here today.



Result scene grim in rural schools
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 29
Some non-model rural schools, generally perceived to be ignored by the UT education department, have once again paid for this “indifference”. Lack of infrastructure and staff crunch has take its toll on the CBSE Class X results, with most of them securing only 30 per cent as the overall qualifying percentage.

Government High School (GHS), Sector 29, has got an overall percentage of 30.56 with 25 students out of a total of 36 having failed to qualify. Close to its heels, is the GHS-25 where 24 students out of a total of 35 have failed to qualify and the overall qualifying percentage stands at 31.43%. The GHS, Khuda Alisher, is the third among poor performers, where 49 students out of 72 have failed to qualify and the overall qualifying percentage is 31.94%.

The others on the list are the GHS, Mauli Colony (35.07%), GHS-47 (35.19%) and GHS Daria (40.38%).

While the education department has failed to give any reason behind the perpetual poor performance, the schools blame it on poor infrastructure.


Patient’s Death at GMSH
SDM records witnesses’ version
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 29
Sub-divisional Magistrate (South) Prerna Puri, conducting an inquiry into the mysterious death of 55-year-old Tara Devi at the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital (GMSH), recorded the statements of the victim’s relatives and some hospital employees here today.

According to sources in the health department, the inquiry officer recorded the statements of Tara Devi’s husband, Rajinder, her son, son-in-law and sister-in-law who were reportedly present when the former was admitted on Wednesday evening.

Talking to the TNS, victim’s nephew Shiv Kumar confirmed that the statements of the four had been recorded and that they had reiterated that Tara Devi had not been given proper treatment at the hospital and the doctor had failed to attend to her.

“They categorically mentioned that after admission to the emergency ward, Tara Devi was administered two injections and then shifted to the female ward and nobody attended to her till 6.30 am,” said Shiv Kumar.

Also during the night, Tara Devi and her attendant had called for the nurse several times but she also failed to turn up.

“The head nurse visited us only when Tara Devi had died,” he claimed.

Shiv Kumar added that while they were questioned throughout the day yesterday by inquiry officials, their formal statements were recorded this afternoon after the officials visited their residence at Mauli Jagran.

Sources said the inquiry officer also recorded the statements of nurse Amarjeet Kaur and security guard Kanchan, both of whom were on duty that night.

Besides, the statements of the head nurse and the sweepress were also recorded.

Another death due to ‘negligence’

Chandigarh, May 29
A 60-year-old bone cancer patient from Yamunanagar, Jagmohan, died at the PGI’s new out patient department this morning while awaiting medical care.

According to victim’s nephew Amarveer, Jagmohan had been undergoing treatment at the PGI for the past one and half years and had been brought to the OPD around 8 am.

“We waited for almost four hours but there was no doctor to attend to him. When his condition deteriorated around 12 pm, the doctor did not even pay heed to our request of seeing him,” said Amarveer.

PGI spokesperson Manju Wadwalkar said doctors did try to save the patient. If the condition of the patient was so serious, the attendants should have taken him to the emergency wing rather than to the OPD. — TNS



Paramveer Chakra staged
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 29
Punjabi play “Paramveer Chakra” was staged yesterday at Randhawa Auditorium. The play, written and directed by Sahib Singh, without any prejudice, dares to bare the raw deal meted out to the families of Army martyrs by the most disciplined institution of the Indian Army.

The play running through several poignant sequences was lit up with the immaculate acting spells of Sahib Singh, Rajinder Rosy, Harpinder Sunny Gill and others.

Punjabi play “ Vidya Vichari” will be staged tomorrow.



Angioplasty at 92 and still upbeat!
Anuja Jaiswal/Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 29
If there is a will to live, then age is certainly no bar. While most people in their 90s and late 80s lose the urge to live, a nonagenarian doctor and a couple of octogenarian men from the city have proved that age is no bar for getting heart surgeries done. Gone are the days when doctors and kin of aged heart patients were scared of “angioplasty” or heart surgery and believed in leaving things to their fate and god rather than opting for the scalpel in the hands of mortal heart surgeons.

BK Khurana (92), a doctor himself, would have perhaps believed in the same philosophy of avoiding “risky” invasive surgeries on patients in their ripe ages of 90s and 80s when he started his medical profession or even in the latter part of it.

But today after an angioplasty, a minimally invasive cardiac procedure, Dr Khurana’s statement “I feel 40 years younger” sums up what the marvels of modern medical science can do to change the quality of life for even those who are in the twilight of their lives.

Incidentally, Dr Khurana, who underwent angioplasty recently under the care of cardiologist Dr HK Bali, has become the eldest person in the region to go for this procedure.

Joined by his juniors RN Seth (88) and Rambodh and PN Behl, both 86 years old, who also underwent the procedure, Dr Khurana shared his initial fears and post-angioplasty experiences with mediapersons today. Dr Bali was also present.

“Life had become miserable, as I just couldn’t lie down because of the nagging pain in my chest. I spent countless days and nights just sitting,” he said, adding that living in paid had become frustrating for him. “I decided to go in for angioplasty knowing well that it wouldn’t be an easy task because of my failing health and age,” he said.

Agreeing, Dr Bali said: “Dr Khurana’s case was complicated as he was suffering from mild renal failure and had already undergone a heart bypass surgery in 1995.” He said Dr Khurana’s main left coronary artery had a critical blockage and the same was removed by implanting two stents.

The initial dilemma of “to do or not do” was also common for RN Seth, Rambodh and PN Behl, as going in for an angioplasty at their ripe ages wasn’t an easy decision.

However, today they are happy to have overcome their hesitations by opting for the procedure that has made a qualitative difference in their lives.

Dr Bali says contrary to the general perception of angioplasty being risky for the aged, the risk factor was only marginally different from that in the younger population.

“The complication rate due to angioplasty in the young is 0.1 per cent and 1 per cent in patients above 80 years,” he said, adding that a number of studies have shown that angioplasty provides better quality of life and safety than medication alone.

Dr Bali and his team have successfully performed coronary angioplasty on more than 30 patients above the age of 80 years in past two years. Explaining the advantages of angioplasty in elderly people, Dr Bali said the procedure was often conducted through wrist (radial artery), making hospitalisation limited to just a day and the patient was back to routine life almost immediately.



Mohali to have direct link with Patiala
GMADA allots contract to construct a road connecting Chhat village with Sec 66-A
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 29
Mohali city would soon have a direct link with the Chandigarh-Patiala road. The Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) has allotted the contract to construct a 200-ft wide road connecting Chhat village with Sector 66-A of Mohali.

Apart from cutting short the traveling distance between Mohali and Patiala, the road would also provide a direct link to the upcoming international airport and the project is expected to cost GMADA around Rs 89 crore. Sources in GMADA said the Deputy Chief Minister, Sukhbir Singh Badal, was expected to lay the foundation stone of the road project in the coming days.

Officials in GMADA said construction of the road has gained significance as an airport city had been planned on both sides of the road. In the coming years, the road would ultimately link the airport with Panchkula. From Chhat village an 11 km-long (approx) circular would link Sector 21 on the Panchkula-Kalka road.

Once the international airport is in place, the airport hub will serve as a catalyst for aviation and logistic business in the region. Officials in the Punjab’s town planning wing said an aerotropolis was a city developed around an airport, like Changi airport in Singapore and Beijing capital international airport in China, which focused on aviation-related business.

In Mohali’s master plan submitted by the Singapore-based consultant, Jurong Ltd, the aerotropolis project will provide an integrated multi-modal transport hub apart from offering a residential area and generate employment. The corridor along National Highway 22 will be developed as a major passenger and cargo hubs.

The road up to the Zirakpur-Patiala highway is already being developed. Since a lot of commercial activity is already taking place along the national highway, coming up of hotels and malls would add to the economic activity.



Naya Gaon residents submit memo to CM
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 29
To protest against the inadequate water and power supply in Naya Gaon, residents of the area, led by a Congress leader, Rajbir Singh Padiala, blocked the Chandigarh-Nayagoan road and submitted a memorandum of demands at the Chandigarh residence of the Punjab Chief Minister.

Despite the notified area committee being set up at Naya Gaon, the Akali government had failed to provide the basic amenities. The population of the area was increasing with every passing day, but the government was apparently not inclined to improve the basic amenities there.

The protest march stared from Naya Goan gurdwara and concluded at the residence of the Punjab Chief Minister. A large number of people’s representatives, including panches, sarpanches, namabardars and councillors from Mohali district joined the protest.

A seven-member delegation of the protestors was assured by the OSD to the Chief Minister that power and water situation would improve in the next 15 days. 



Capacity of transformers to be doubled

Mohali, May 29
Residents of Sector 69 have complained that the position of power in the area was very poor and people had to spend sleepless nights.

In a letter written to deputy chief engineer RK Shahi, president of the Residents Welfare Society, Sector 69, Satvir Singh Dhanoa stated that position of power was very poor in a part of Sector 69 in which houses 501 to 780 fell.

Residents had to stay without power throughout the night even when summer was at its peak. Transformers often remained faulty and it was requested to increase the number of transformers in the area for giving relief to the residents. Dhanoa said Shahi had assured the residents that the capacity of the transformer in the area would be increased from 100 kW to 200 kW to solve the problem. — OC



Rathore’s wife drops in at jail
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Abha Rathore and her sister come out of
Abha Rathore and her sister come out of Burail Jail after meeting former Haryana DGP SPS Rathore in Chandigarh on Saturday. Tribune photo: S Chandan

Chandigarh, May 29
Abha Rathore, wife of former Haryana DGP SPS Rathore, tried to look relaxed as she smiled as soon as she saw photo journalists taking pictures of her sister, Neeraj Singh, and her while they were coming out of Burail Jail after meeting him this morning.

But surely, this smile was different from that of Rathore’s trademark smirk, which he flashed before cameras after the pronouncement of the six-month sentence on December 21 last year.

Abha reached the jail along with her sister and a gunman around 10.25 am. Following a thorough search, they were allowed to meet Rathore. They spent around an hour with him.

“They did not create any problem during search and agreed to leave mobile phones, etc. behind,” a jail official said.

Jail sources said Rathore seemed happy after meeting his wife and sister-in-law. “I think most of the time, they were discussing the future course of action regarding his bail,” an official, pleading anonymity, stated.

According to the jail manual, Rathore’s kin can meet him on Wednesdays and Saturdays. On May 26, Abha was unable to meet Rathore as the meeting time was already over.

After meeting him today, she quickly left in her Ford Fiesta, much to the disappointment of mediapersons who had gathered there in strength for her comments.

When contacted over the phone, she said she was busy in completing legal formalities and did not want to talk to the media anymore.

Ex-top cop more at ease

  • After showing initial signs of nervousness, Rathore finally seems to have adjusted to his new abode. He begins his day with a stroll. The jail superintendent said arrangements had been made for his health check-up twice a day.
  • Rathore’s wife has been provided with security following an attack on him outside a local court during a hearing. A commando was accompanying Abha when she went to meet Rathore.



313 donate blood
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 29
Thalassaemic Children Welfare Association (TCWA), Chandigarh, organised the 112th blood donation camp, second in series of six blood donation camps this year at the PGI here today.

More than 313 persons donated blood. The camp was conducted by a team of doctors/technicians headed by Dr Neelam Marwaha, head of blood transfusion department and also member of the Medical Advisory Board of the Association.

The camp was inaugurated by Sardar Balbir Singh Sidhu, MLA Kharar, president of the district Congress committee, Mohali.



Class X Results
Ritika lives her dreams
Simpal Sakalni

Chandigarh, May 29
When nothing is more important than arranging for two square meals for her family, Ritika would always dream of holding a school bag. The girl who once heard Cindrella’s story and dreamt of becoming one is today living her dream.

Born to a daily wager, Ritika, a student of GMHS, Mani Majra, has beaten all odds to score a CGPA of 9.6.

“I grew up watching my father toiling everyday to provide our family with two-course meals, I just want to provide my family with all comforts that an elite class used to have,” said Ritika.

Ritika had always been good at studies and had a brilliant academic record.

“I want my daughter to be at the top and I will do anything to help her in achieving her dreams,” said Pawan Kumar, Ritika’s father, who had never let her daughter feel low and had done every possible thing to support her studies.



Science exhibition at Chaman Vatika School
Our Correspondent

Ambala, May 29
An inter-school exhibition was organised at Chaman Vatika, Ambala City. The students of various schools participated with their entries on subjects, including physics, chemistry, biology and social science. Neelam Saro, chairman of the Child Welfare Association, Ambala, was the 
chief guest.

The participants exhibited the models on national threats like global warming and acid rain. The audiences were spell bound to see the work of the youths. The main attraction was theatre activities. The students also gave a dance performance to add to colour to the show.

Saro, while addressing the students said they were the young scientists of the country. She said, besides, routine studies they should spare some time for practical activities like science modelling. She asked them to work hard to achieve their goal. District education officer Zile Singh also addressed the students. Rajender Nath, chairman of the school, blessed the students.

In physics model, Chaman Vatika Public School and Sauphin Public School, Punchkula, were declared joint winners. In chemistry and social science models, Chaman Vatika was the winner where as in biology DHDS Public School, Ambala Cantt, and Chaman Vatika were declared joint winners. In art and craft model, DHDS Public School, Ambala Cantt, and Chaman Vatika stood first, while St. Xavier’s Public School, Punchkula, was declared second.



Summer camp for special children
Tribune News Service

Patiala, May 29
Rainbow Club for special children, Patiala, will organise a summer coaching camp for special children from June 1 to 15. Nancy Ghuman, president of the club, said the club would train mentally challenged, deaf and dumb, and blind children for 15 days. They would learn all types of dance, paintings, art and craft, aerobics, Jazz aerobics, music, tae kwon do, martial arts and modelling.

Nancy further said: “The aim is to make these children self-dependant and also serve the society after getting their due place in the society.”

Rupinder Kaur, wife of Deputy Commissioner Deepinder Singh, will inaugurate the camp at DPS School, Patiala. This camp will be held at different schools like DPS School, Patiala, Vani Integrated School for deaf and dumb children and Crunch Gym, Officer Colony.

Nancy Ghuman said a performance of these children after the camp would be held on June 17 at Thapar College, Patiala, to boost their confidence.

The club will give away prizes to these children in the form of certificates and mementos.

The camp is free of cost for these children. She said after the camp, short-listed children would participate in All-India Dance and Drama competition to be held at Shimla from June 21to 25.



Sukriti workshop
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 29
Inmates of Bal Sadan, Sector 12, here were bestowed upon with gifts and affection during the “Sukriti workshop” at DAV Senior Public School, Surajpur, here on Saturday.

The motive of the workshop was to bring smiles on the faces of the children of Bal Sadan. DAV school principal RP Anand said the workshop was also aimed at the overall development of the children. Social manners, etiquettes, confidence enhancement exercises and hygiene were a part of the workshop, said Anand.



Sports champ excels in academics, too
Deepankar Sharda

Chandigarh, May 29
“My daughter has given me the biggest gift of my life,” said Harish Kumar, father of national table tennis player Kalyani Kakkar, who has secured perfect 10 CGPA points in class Xth.

Kalayni, who has a brilliant academic record also made the city proud in many national tournaments. She represented the city at various national levels where she bagged silver medal in the school national games last year.

She also won bronze medal in sub-junior category. Besides, junior and sub-junior levels, she also represented the city in senior national held at Guwahati. She is currently holding champion of Chandigarh title in table tennis.

Kalyani said her father was her inspiration.

“Besides sports, I equally devote my time to studies and I have learnt time-management from my father,” said elated Kalyani, a student of Manav Mangal School, Sector 21.



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