C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


UT Admn not off the hook yet
Reply provokes another set of pointed posers
Smriti Sharma Vasudeva
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 5
It seems the UT Administration’s ordeal with the team of the ministry of home affairs (MHA) probing discrepancies in mega projects is not over yet. For the three-member committee is reportedly not satisfied with the two-part reply filed by the administration.

Sources claim that the team led by Arun Ramanathan, a retired IAS officer, has again put forth certain questions on the reply. This time, the committee members have asked questions on the replies itself, complicating matters for UT officials.

Recently, the committee had put a questionnaire running into nearly 100 pages before the Administration. A part of the reply was submitted on June 16 and the other on June 24.

MHA officials had sought specific answers pertaining to the mega projects and the land acquisition rates with intricate details.

The committee is investigating “discrepancies” highlighted in the special audit on the allotment of land to certain infotech majors at the IT park. A former IAS officer, DR Bhalla, one of the member of the committee, is also known to be scrutinising the reply filed earlier.

The committee members had also recently questioned former and present bureaucrats of the UT administration, including former Finance Secretary, SK Sandhu, UT Adviser Lalit Sharma, former Home Secretary Krishan Mohan and former Director Public Relations, Vivek Attray, in connection with the alleged irregularities in land allotment.

Earlier, the union home ministry had ordered an inquiry into the matter by Arun Ramanathan and had asked the UT Administration to extend support to him.

The special audit, conducted by a team of officials headed by the ministry’s chief controller of accounts, had found “glaring discrepancies” in the allotment of land to IT firms.

IT Park Mess

n On what criterion were the land acquisition rates decided?

n What was the need for acquiring land for Phase II of the IT park when the first two phases were not fully utilised?

n Criteria for shortlisting companies for mega projects?

n Mode of payment by companies that came forward for the projects?



Few takers for UT rural schools
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 5
Poor infrastructure and a faculty crunch have taken their toll on admissions in schools in rural areas within the union territory. Going by the first cutoff list for class XI admissions few have applied in these schools, most of which have only one stream to offer - humanities.

A senior official held the media responsible for the “poor response” as, according to him, the poor condition of rural schools had been overly publicised.

Meanwhile, school officials blamed the state of affairs on the education department’s “indifferent attitude”.

According to school principals it was the crumbling infrastructure and the faculty shortage that had led to the schools “losing their sheen”. One of the principals who wished not to be named claimed, “All that the rural schools get from department is fake promises. Many of us have no commerce or science stream because there are no facilities or teachers. We keep on writing to officials about benches, water facilities and staff but all of it has been of no use. When a student has nothing to gain then why would he come here?”

“The main reason behind this is that most students wish to join urban schools. The department takes steps to uplift these schools. We have given them many seats, but the students of these villages opt out and for merely seven students, we can’t be having two lecturers,” Chanchal Singh, DEO, stated.



After Aerocity, it is IT city now
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 5
Buoyed by overwhelming response to Aerocity, the Punjab Government is now coming up with information technology (IT) city near the upcoming international airport. The project has been proposed perpendicular to Aerocity.

GMADA has already been given a go-ahead to plan the IT city on either side of the 200-ft road that would link the international airport with the Kharar-Banur highway while crisscrossing Aerocity. “Around 1,200 acres on either side of the road would be acquired for the project. It would be more like an IT park that has residential and commercial components. The concept of IT parks in Singapore are being studied for the purpose,” sources in GMADA said. The area has been chosen for expansion toward the southeastern edge of Mohali city.

While work on the road passing through Aerocity has already begun, the process to call tenders for the construction of the road from the international airport to Aerocity would begin soon. GMADA has already written to the Airport Authority of India (AAI) to know the construction schedule of the airport so that work on the road could be taken up accordingly.

Officials said the IT city had been planned to take advantage of the expansion of the airport and development in its proximity. The airport would act as a catalyst for the IT industry. GMADA Chief Administrator VP Singh said before working out the modalities of the project, the issue would be taken up at a meeting of the authority.

Aerocity: 4.2 lakh forms sold already

With still a day left for the Aerocity scheme to close, GMADA has already disbursed 4.2 lakh forms to various banks. In no mood to extend the deadline beyond July 6, GMADA officials expect around two lakh applications. On Monday, there was a huge rush of applicants at banks, where facilitation counters had been set up outside to process the applications. “It was like a mela outside the banks,” an applicant remarked. Request for more forms is still coming from the banks. Estate officer (GMADA) Balbir Singh said the banks would be told to display the list of applicants received by them so that the scrutiny could be undertaken at the first step itself.



Snubbed by officials, champs feted by hotelier
Akash Ghai & Deepankar Sharda

Chandigarh, July 5
Atul Grover, a local hotelier, could teach a thing or two to the officials of the UT administration and the Chandigarh Football Association when it comes to acknowledging and encouraging sports achievers. (photo P6

While the administration did not bother to even invite the city’s under-19 soccer team that clinched the 47th Dr BC Roy Trophy over for tea, Atul today congratulated them by holding a grand dinner at his hotel in Sector 43.

The Chandigarh team had won the national trophy by beating a strong contender, West Bengal, in Kolkata on June 27.

“I came to know about the team’s feat from the media. I right away decided to give a boost to the team members’ morale by throwing a dinner party for them at my hotel and presenting them gifts,” said Atul. However, he immediately added it was a “small gesture” on his part to honour the big achievement by the budding football players.

The team players on their part were happy to be invited for dinner by someone who had nothing to do with sports. “It gives one a good feeling when someone recognizes your achievement. It’s not just a dinner invite -it’s an honour for us,” they said.

The players were also given football miniatures as gifts along with commendation certificates by the hotel after the dinner.

No recognition yet

While a city resident with no connection to the sporting world has made them feel special, the Chandigarh Football Association as well as the UT sports department are yet to recognise their achievement. When this reporter enquired from local sports officials about their plans on honouring the team members, a Chandigarh Football Association official said their president was out of the country. “We’ll decide about it after he returns,” said Rakesh Bakshi, the body’s general secretary. The UT sports department joint director JPS Sidhu said: “Most of the team members are going to attend a camp. When they’ll come back then we’ll talk about the matter. So far we’ve don’t have anything particular in mind but we’ll definitely honour them.” 



Partial bandh in city
Protests peaceful; transport normal
Tribune Reporter

Chandigarh, July 5
On the nationwide Bharat bandh call given by the BJP against price rise, Chandigarh observed a partial bandh today amid tight security, with a substantial number of shops and commercial establishments closed.

Party workers, led by senior leaders of the party, marched in procession through different areas of the city to urge shopkeepers to down shutters to protest against the ‘skyrocketing’ prices of oil products and essential commodities.

The protesters also blocked traffic on some busy intersections in the city, including Mauli Jagran, the Chandigarh Housing Board light point, the Transport Chowk, the Tribune roundabout, the Aroma light point and the Mullanpur barrier. There were reports of protesters forcing shopkeepers to close establishments.

While the bandh in sector markets evoked a partial response, public and private transport functioned normally and there was not much inconvenience to commuters.

Flights and trains services to and from the city remained unaffected. Railway and transport authorities had made elaborate arrangements in the city to avert any problem to commuters.

A rally was held at the Sector 17 Plaza, where party activists raised slogans against the government.

Addressing the rally, Sanjay Tandon, local unit president, thanked activists for making the bandh a success.

The protesters reached the Sector 17 market around 12 noon and carried out a march in the market, raising slogans against the Centre.

Seeing a rush of protesters, shopkeepers closed their shops and opened those after an hour. At certain places, shopkeepers were seen opening their shops the moment the protesters moved ahead.

A mutual understanding between the police and protesters was visible at Sector 17 and other parts of the city as the police did not stop them from intimidating shopkeepers to close shops.

“So far, they are not creating trouble and are moving ahead. We do not mind if they force shopkeepers to close their shops for a while. Our interest is that they remain peaceful,” said a senior police officer.

Party activists, under the leadership of Tandon and Harmohan Dhawan, a former minister, gathered at the Sector 26 Grain Market and visited Sectors 28, 27, 30, 20, 21, 22 and 17, appealing to shopkeepers to extend support to the bandh.

They were accompanied by Desraj Gupta, Satinder Singh, Arun Sood, Sarita Sharma, Raj Kumari Mishra, Sunita Chaudhary, Ramesh Nikku, Shakti Prakash Devshali, Hari Shankar Mishra and Dalip Sharma.

Party activists, led by Dharam Pal Gupta and Gurpreet Dhillon, visited Sectors 46, 45, 44, 34, 32, 31 and 35, Ram Darbar and Burail. Former MP Satya Pal Jain led activists in Sectors 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 15, 16 and 17.

Party activists led by Kamla Sharma and Santosh Mishra visited Sectors 40, 41, 42, 37, 38 and 25, Dadu Majra and Dhanas. Party activists led by Ramvir Bhatti and Shingara Singh visited Khudda Lahora, Khudda Jassu, Kishangarh, Daria, Raipur Khurd, Mauli and Behlana.

BB Bahl, president of the local unit of the Congress, alleged that the protesters indulged in rowdyism and forced shopkeepers to down shutters. Despite coercive means, the bandh proved a flop show, he claimed.

Tight security arrangements were made and 1,200 policemen were deployed to check any untoward incident. Heavy deployment was seen at sensitive places, including Sector 17.

A majority of protesters included children and youth from slums. The police videographed the protest at the Sector 17 Plaza.

“We had deployed 1,200 police personnel, including all DSPs and SHOs in the city, for the bandh. The protests passed off peacefully in the city,” said SP (Traffic and Security) Hardeep Singh Doon.

Markets remain closed

Bassi Pathana: Shopkeepers of the town today observed a complete strike as part of the nationwide Bharat bandh call given by the BJP, its allies and Left parties against the hike in fuel prices.

The rain also helped the protesting parties to make the bandh a success. The party workers of the BJP and the SAD passed through the main bazaar urging the shopkeepers to pull down the shutters of their shops.

Later they organised a dharna on the main Bassi Pathana-Chandigarh road and blocked the traffic for some time. In their address they said people all over the country had extended an overwhelming response to the bandh call, which indicated that every section of society was annoyed from the policies of the UPA government.

They said prices of essential commodities were touching sky and it had become difficult for a common man to meet his both ends.

Dera Bassi: Following the nationwide “Bharat Bandh” call given by the BJP, its allies and the Left against the hike in fuel prices, a majority of business establishments remained closed at Dera Bassi and Lalru today.

BJP and SAD workers visited marketplaces in the two towns and asked shopkeepers to close their shops.

Local MLA Jasjit Singh Bunny said the SAD had extended support to the bandh call as escalating prices had been affecting the common man.

SAD and BJP workers marched in the markets of Dera Bassi and appealed shopkeepers to keep their shops closed.

They also raised slogans against the UPA government for increasing the prices of petrol and other essential commodities.

Though markets of the area remained closed, banks and other government offices remained open.

No incident of violence at P’kula

Monday, weekly off for city businessmen, turned out to be a blessing for various political parties, including the Bharatiya Janata Party, which had called for a nation-wide bandh to protest fuel hike.

According to sources, rail and road traffic remained normal here with government offices and other establishments functioning as normal. Some shops like provision stores and chemist shops were open in almost all sectors of the town. The bandh, otherwise, remained peaceful and no incident of violence was reported from the district.

BJP’s alliance partner Indian National Lok Dal workers, however, were not seen in the city as they were busy with the panchayat and zila parishad elections in the rural areas of the district.

The BJP workers, led by former MP from Ambala, Rattan Lal Kataria, Gian Chand Gupta, former councillor BB Singal blocked the roundabout near sectors 7 and 8 resulting in traffic jam for about 20 minutes.

However, the police immediately swung into action and cleared the traffic.

BJP workers also forced the shopkeepers in Sector 7 to close their shops. However, the shopkeepers were seen arguing with the BJP workers that bandh would not help in controlling the price rise.

Left, too

While the BJP went from market to market to make the bandh a success, Left-oriented unions, including the AITUC and the CITU, held a protest rally near the masjid ground at Sector 20. Among those who criticised government policies were HS Gambhir and Devi Dayal Sharma, AITUC president and general secretary, respectively, and Balkishan and Sunil Kumar, CITU president and general secretary, respectively.


Monsoon hits city, heavy rains expected
Anil Jerath
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 5
After a prolonged wait the city as well as Punjab, Haryana and parts of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh today received the first monsoon showers, providing a welcome respite from the sweltering heat prevalent in the region for the past few days.

“The monsoon today advanced into Chandigarh, Punjab, Haryana and parts of UP and Rajasthan. Its onset in the northwestern region was five days behind schedule. However, it would have been considered normal even if the monsoon was seven days ahead or behind the scheduled date of June 29”, said Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) director Surender Paul.

The rain sent the mercury plummeting, giving residents the much needed relief from the sultry weather.

The temperature recorded at 5:30 this afternoon was 29.4 degrees Celsius, about 4 degrees less than the maximum temperature recorded yesterday. The minimum temperature fell by 5.6 degrees at 22.6 compared to 28.2 degrees recorded on Sunday.

The gauges of the weather office have measured 117.8 mm of rainfall in the city till 5:30 pm.

However, the rains have brought in high humidity with the city experiencing 100 per cent humidity after the showers, the minimum being 72 per cent.

The monsoon has now entered most areas of the country except for parts of western Rajasthan, said a Met official, adding the whole of Uttar Pradesh had been covered.

“The city will experience showers for the next couple of days. Conditions are favourable for the monsoon further advancing into Punjab and Haryana. The monsoon trough is in normal position and its further advance into the remaining areas is expected in the next couple of days”, Paul said.

He stated Chandigarh and its surrounding areas received moderate rainfall throughout the night today, adding the region is likely to receive moderate to heavy rainfall in the coming two days.

While the rains have brought the much-awaited relief to city residents, who had to brave the hot and humid weather, paddy farmers in the region have another reason to cheer with the monsoon’s arrival - their crops can survive now.

The paddy farmers are in high spirits. On the one hand they are getting water to irrigate their erstwhile parched fields while on the other they are getting water that is pure and distilled. They prefer rainwater to the groundwater with the help of tubewells.

Zora Singh, a Punjab farmer, when contacted, said: “The water scarcity being faced by the farming community has finally come to an end with a good amount of rainfall ensuring paddy remains in good condition. The crop is being benefited the most as it is the only one that needs water for sustenance. Rain water is pure and thus helpful in bringing about a good yield.”

Cotton growers are afraid of their crop getting badly affected in case it rained heavily. Pritam Singh, a farmer from Bathinda, said on the phone cotton needed water every two weeks for a month. “Too much of rain would spoil the cotton crop”, he added.

Weather analysts further indicate fairly widespread rainfall in the region during the next 48 hours.

“The sky will be partly cloudy on Tuesday with possibility of a few spells of heavy rain or thundershowers accompanied with squalls in some areas of Punjab and Haryana”, the Met office stated. The maximum temperature is expected to hover at around 29 degrees Celsius, while the minimum will be about 24 degrees,” it added.



Sewerage gives way after downpour
Tribune Reporters

Panchkula, July 5
Residents of Sector 28 had to face a lot of inconvenience today after freshly laid sewerage gave way due to heave rains that lashed the township here. People had to divert their vehicles to national highway-73 to reach their destinations.

Rainwater mixed with sewage got accumulated on the road after the pipes gave way causing inconvenience to area residents.

The pipes had been laid by the administration only a few months ago to streamline the sewage flowing down from the Ramgarh area.

After receiving the complaint, PWD staff was reached the scene to lay new pipes connecting the drain.

However, sources in the department claimed that the pipes could again give way under the weight of heavy vehicles passing through the area, as bitumen had not been used to cover the road.

Meanwhile, rains that lashed the township brought relief from heat to residents. No case of accumulation of water on the roads was reported from any part of the town.

Next 48 hours crucial, says admn

Ropar: The district administration, Ropar, has warned that next 48 hours would be crucial for Anandpur Sahib, especially areas along Sutlej and Swan.

Earlier this month, administration had asked encroachers to vacate the area allowing free flow of water.

Anandpur Sahib SDM APS Sandhu said administration was prepared to deal with flood and they were in touch with village residents and police officials had also been told to remain alert during the next 48 hours.

In areas of Chamkaur Sahib around 50 to 80 feet long stretch of road near Kiri Afgana village got washed away into the water. On Saturday, incessant rains had washed away 100 feet on road in the same area.

Traffic on the Ropar-Neelon village got affected due to incessant rains. As per reports, paddy in villages of Bassi Gujran, Beluana, Jand Sahi and Mehtaut were hit due to rain.



No relief from power cuts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 5
Despite widespread rain today, power cuts left residents high and dry. Cuts affected several northern and southern sectors at a time when the humidity had increased after rain.

The sectors worst-affected were 10, 11, 16, 27, 48, 49 and 50. There was reportedly no power on the premises of the Sector 16 Government Multi-Speciality Hospital for about two hours in the morning.

Blaming power shutdown on technical snag, official sources said the use of electrical appliances such as coolers, air-conditions and fans had increased the power demand in the city. Since the power shutdowns were unscheduled, people were caught off-guard.

With no source of power generation, it is a Herculean task for the administration to meet the power demand of VIP areas in summer, the sources said. As against an assured supply of 184 MW, the administration was able to manage a supply of 265 MW last year while the demand had reportedly crossed 300 MW.

Since Chandigarh has the highest per capita consumption of 1,168 units, it is not surprising that various areas of the city face power cuts. Power tripping is more common in high-density areas from Sector 31 onwards where a large number of ACs have been installed without the corresponding increase in the sanctioned load, an official added.



No light in sight for Night Food Street
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 5
The pilot project of the municipal corporation (MC), the Night Food Street at Sector 14 here, is in a mess. Of the eight food kiosks, three have been shut down and two kiosk owners have not been paying monthly rent for the last two months, due to which corporation has been suffering losses.

Interestingly, this year, the authorities had fetched Rs 6.83 lakh from the auction of the Night Food Street and it was expected to get a rent of Rs 81.96 lakh annually from these kiosks.

Sources revealed that notices had been issued to both kiosk owners a month back, but they were yet to pay rent. Three other kiosk owners, who had taken kiosks at the auction, were yet to start their business.

MC Joint Commissioner TPS Phoolka confirmed that they had issued notices to two kiosks owners who had not been paying rent. He said action would be initiated against them if rent was not paid by the end of this month.

Records of the MC showed that this year, the highest bid for a kiosk was Rs 1.21 lakh and the lowest Rs 60,500. Last year, the highest price quoted through through tendering was Rs 31,500 and the lowest Rs 6,100.

One of the shopkeepers, on the condition of anonymity, said a majority of shopkeepers were thinking of quitting business at the Night Food Street as even after paying a huge amount to the MC, they were not able to provide basic facilities to their customers.

Ironically, the project was in a mess as it did not fully satisfy the needs of customers as well as shopkeepers. Sources said the authorities were again going to propose bidding for the kiosks.

Last year, the Finance and Contracts Committee had decided that the kiosks would be auctioned rather than allotted through bids.

The decision was taken as committee members alleged during a meeting that most shopkeepers, after allotment, used to sublet kiosks on higher rates. Officers had suggested amendment in allotment norms instead of auction.



PGI Founders Day Function Boycott
Authorities optimistic, faculty undecided
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 5
Though the PGI Faculty Association is yet to finalise its decision to boycott the institute’s Founders Day celebrations on Wednesday, the hospital administration has not given up hope and feels that the association and its office-bearers will see reason and participate in the function.

Perhaps this optimism arises from the divisions that exist in the association over the decision to boycott the function. While a section of members feel that it will not be in the interests of the institute if a boycott is carried out, since the implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission report will happen in due course and cannot be denied, hardliners are of the opinion that the administration must be embarrassed, with the entire 415-member faculty staying away from the function.

The PGI authorities’ optimism on the issue was aired during an official press conference of the PGI Director, Dr KK Talwar, by Sub-Dean of the institute, Prof Amod Gupta, who said, “A majority of the faculty will attend the function as it is not related to any individual, but to the institute, to which all belong.”

While Dr Talwar maintained that he had held discussions on the issue with some senior members of the faculty and was hopeful that they would see reason, Professor Gupta attempted to allay fears of the faculty by insisting that the report of the Sixth Pay Commission would be implemented and the delays had been because of the lengthy procedures involved.

On the Founders Day celebration, Dr Talwar said Preneet Kaur, Minister of State for External Affairs, would be the chief guest and Dr T Ramasami, Secretary of the Department of Science and Technology, would be the guest of honour.

Group C and D employees would be awarded for their commendable work and researchers and resident doctors would be awarded silver and bronze medals, he added.

Replying to a question, Professor Gupta said as per the Centre’s directions, the institute had explored the possibilities of an MBBS course and it could only be done after adding additional infrastructure.

“We have sent a proposal to the parliamentary committee on health and family welfare that we have no objection to starting an undergraduate course, but have clarified that the same cannot be done with existing infrastructure and resources available with the institute,” he said.

“At present, we run undergraduate courses for technicians, speech and hearing, nursing and pharmacology. An MBBS course is not offered. We will definitely start an MBBS course in line with the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences without compromising with our postgraduate and referral status,” he added.

Professor Gupta also revealed that there had been a significant increase in both OPD and indoor patients’ flow. He said the PGI had strengthened the training programme by adding many courses in different fields, along with patient care.

Asked about the burden at emergency, he said the trauma centre, which would cover four departments, orthopaedics, neurosurgery, plastic surgery and general surgery, after completion by October, would ease the burden considerably.

He said it would have 100 beds and six operation theatres, besides an OPD, diagnostic laboratories, X-ray and scanning facilities and a blood bank.



Exhibition on cancer awareness at PGI
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 5
“Cancer is curable, if detected early with present day multi-modality approach,” said Dr SC Sharma, head of radiotherapy department, PGI, while interacting with mediapersons in connection with a poster exhibition on “Cancer awareness, early detection and its prevention” to be organised as part of foundation day celebrations of the PGI on July 7.

He said the exhibition would increase awareness about the disease among members of society as well as public. Charts will be put up depicting strategies and methods for cure, and early detection and prevention of the disease.

Dr Sharma said cancer was detected in advanced stage in around 80 per cent cases across the country, while the ones detected in the early stage were barely 20 per cent.

“The survival rate, however, is just the opposite. In case of early detection, the survival rate is 80 per cent,” he asserted.

The picture, he said, was set to get grimmer by 2025, when deaths due to cancer were likely to increase threefold. Tobacco, the notorious cancer causing substance, was likely to kill 10 million people by 2030. Of that, 70 per cent would be from developing countries.

According to the National Cancer Registry Programme, the number of cancer patients in India stood at around 30 lakh. Around four lakh patients died because of the disease and tobacco-related cancer accounting for 40 per cent deaths.

Urban centres, according to experts, were more vulnerable. Citing the statistics of the NCRO, the experts said one out of every 15 men and one out of every 12 women were likely to develop cancer.

Dr Sharma said: “We see almost 5,000 new cancer cases per year and the number is increasing every year. These patients come from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Chandigarh, Western Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.”



Stress on prompt aid for accident victims
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 5
“There is a general tendency among public not to help victims of accidents due to the fear of uninvited legal hurdles. There is a need to motivate people so that positive steps are taken to extend the best possible help in case of such eventualities,” said Laxmi Kanta Chawla, Punjab health and family welfare minister during the opening of a two-day international workshop on road safety at the State Institute of Health and Family Welfare here today.

She underlined the importance of assistance given to accident victims during the first hour, which was termed as the “golden hour”.

She suggested some ways by which people could be encouraged to help accident victims like issuance of appreciation letters to good Samaritans.

Chawla also emphasised that liquor vends on highways were hazardous and these should not be permitted.

She said traffic police should be deployed outside liquor vends so as to discourage drunk driving.

As overloaded trucks and other vehicles were one of the major reasons behind highway accidents, the authorities concerned must strictly ensure that road permit was not issued to such vehicles.

She also stressed the need for effective trauma management and said the government was making efforts to provide requisite facilities on highways.

The workshop is being organised by World Health Organization (WHO) in association with a consortium of four international organisations, including the World Bank.

Raji P Srivastava, managing director, PHSC, welcomed the 50 delegates attending the workshop, including 20 from abroad representing five consortium partners of the project. She said the 5-year Road Safety-10 (RS-10) project was funded by consortium partners.

Dr HC Goyal, Government of India representative, said medical care soon after the accident was crucial and hence hospitals on highways must be well-equipped with ambulances, ICU, staff, blood bank and other essential equipment.

He stressed better training programmes for medical officers for handling trauma patients.

Dr Ashok Nayyar, director, health (family welfare) Punjab-cum-organising secretary of Road Safety (RS-10), said 10 nations across the globe, including India, were part of the RS-10 project and only two states of India — Punjab and Andhra Pradesh — were members.

The international meet was held to discuss the issues regarding road infrastructure, trauma management and data management as well as to analyse the gravity of the problem and how to form guidelines.

Among other delegates who attended the workshop were RP Singh, IG (traffic), Punjab; Dr JS Thakur, representative of the WHO; Tamitza Toroyan, from WHO headquarters; Prof Raj Bahadur, head of the GMCH, Chandigarh; RK Kaushal and Jaswinder Singh from the National Highway Authority of India; and Dr RS Raman and Dr DS Bhullar from the Indian Medical Association, Punjab chapter.



Raids on to trace woman Married me, then my son, says complainant
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 5
The Chandigarh police is probing a complaint lodged by a city resident against a woman of allegedly marrying both him and his NRI son to go abroad. The police has been trying to track the whereabouts of the woman.

Inspector Malkiat Singh of the operations cell of the Chandigarh police said a complaint filed by Rajinder Singh Mann had been sent to the cell to inquire the allegations.

He said the investigating officer had conducted raids in Mohali and other places mentioned by Mann to trace the accused, identified as Priya Inder Kaur, but she could not be found.

Mann alleged in his complaint that he married Priya in 2001 and they divorced in 2002. According to him, she came into contact with his son Rajan in 2004 and they married, but his son divorced her after coming to know that she had married him only to go abroad.

A police officer said Rajan’s whereabouts were not known and Mann had failed to provide any information about his son.

The police had not been able to prove the involvement of Priya in a murder case so far as it had not been contacted by the police of any state.

“It appears that the complaint has been filed following some internal dispute between both parties. Since he had lodged a complaint levelling serious allegations, we are obligatory to inquire the matter,” said the police officer.



Mahila Bhawan for empowerment of women
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 5
The much-hyped Mahila Bhawan projected to be a big step towards empowerment of women in the city finally is to take off after Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting Ambika Soni laid its foundation stone on December 19 last year. The municipal corporation has floated the tenders for the building to be completed within 18 months.

A total of Rs 1291.53 lakh would be spent on the four-storey building adjoining the community centre in Sector 38-C, informed Chief Engineer SS Bida.

Though the bhawan was inaugurated by the Central ministers, no funds were provided by the building till now and the issue was taken up by women councillors at the House meetings of the corporation time and again.

The bhawan would provide training in vocational courses to women.

With underground parking for 158 cars, the ground floor of the bhawan will have an auditorium with seating capacity of approximately 275 persons. An exhibition hall, a library, a kitchen with pantry, a dining hall and a gymnasium hall would also house on the ground floor. On the first floor, the centres for medical, social and career counselling, along with legal advice would be set up and provision would be made for performing arts incubation centres for theatrical skill and instrumental and vocal, conference centre, fine arts incubation centre for painting and pottery and stained glass and sculpting. A research wing with two lecture halls and two entrepreneurship development centres would also be set up at the bhawan, said Bida.

A health club for members will be the highlight of the bhawan, he added.



Runaway couple’s parents relent
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 5
A newlywed couple, who had married against the wishes of their parents, heaved a sigh of relief after their parents gave consent to their marriage here today.

The couple had approached the local court seeking security cover. However, the two withdrew their application after their parents gave their approval to their marriage in the court today.

According to sources, a 19-year-old girl of Sector 6 had eloped with a 22-year-old youth, a resident of Malerkotla, Punjab, after her parents had fixed her marriage for June 20 with someone else. The two got married against the wishes of their parents.

The newlyweds had been receiving threat calls from their relatives after which the two had to approach the court for security.



Boy drowns in tank

Zirakpur, July 5
A 13-year-old boy, Simrerjit, drowned under mysterious circumstances in a water tank near a brick-kiln at Pabhat village here this afternoon. Santosh was a student of class VIII at the local GS Memorial School.

According to police sources, the boy along with his friends had gone to take a bath at the tank where he reportedly drowned under mysterious circumstances.

The others fled the scene after the incident. A labourer working at the brick-kiln noticed the body on the surface of the water and informed his employer. They took victim to the village and handed him over to the family. The victim was then taken to a doctor who declared him dead on arrival, sources added. — OC



Cremation of accident victim
MC official keeps cops waiting for 6 hrs
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, July 5
Municipal council staff failed to turn up at the cremation ground on time to perform the last rites of Jagir Singh, who had died two days ago in a road accident, here today.

Three employees of the Zirakpur police had to wait for over six hours at the cremation ground to carry out the rituals.

The police officials claimed that they called up an MC official a number of times during the day but a team was sent to the cremation ground only around 5 pm to perform the last rites.

According to them, the body had been kept for identification at the Dera Bassi Civil Hospital for 72 hours but nobody had come forward to claim it. Under the rules, the body had to be cremated by the MC authorities.

Municipal sanitary official Rajinder Singh had told the police to bring the body from the hospital to the cremation ground for the last rites at 11.30 am.

The policemen reached the cremation ground along with the body but could not find the MC official there.

While one of the police officials called him up, the official made an excuse and said he would reach the cremation ground at 3 pm, the police official added.

The police official said an MC team, sans the official, was sent to cremate the body after a long wait and repeated requests. Rajinder Singh was not available for comments.



Help disadvantaged, Patil tells Rotarians
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 5
The Punjab Governor-cum-UT Administrator, Shivraj V Patil, has impressed upon Rotarians to enlarge the boundaries of their service and act as an instrument of change for the transformation of lives of the disadvantaged.

He was addressing Rotarians during the installation ceremony of new Rotary Club president Arvind Mahajan and district governor Madhukar Malhotra here today. Patil emphasised on good principles for new heights, which would help in strengthening the organisation.



Adventure camps for govt school students
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 5
In an effort to boost the spirit of adventure among schoolchildren, the UT education department has planned to introduce adventure sports activities.

After organising adventure-cum-sports camps recently in Manali and Kasauli, where trekking, rock climbing, fox flying and river crossing were undertaken, the education department is considering to hold such camps for government school students in the forth-coming months.

“We had charged no money from students for these activities. There were more than 436 students and 40 teachers in the last batch of the camp to Manali,” PS Brar, state sports organiser, stated. The main aim of the camp was to develop the all-round personality of students.

The education department will now organise more such activities, including a youth camp at Dalhousie, Dharmsala and Ooty, besides a trip to Goa and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.



Admission Blues
GGDSD College shocker for outstation candidates
No admission without hostel
Pankaj Verma and Aashish Malhotra

Chandigarh, July 5
In a surprising move GGDSD College, Sector 32, has refused to admit any student opting to stay in a paying guest accommodation.

According to recent directive, college authorities have maintained that any outstation candidate, seeking admission to the college, will have to mandatorily stay in college hostel or reside with first paternal or maternal relatives.

Students coming from periphery will have to travel on daily basis if they opt to study here.

While the move has come as a shock to many, principal AC Vaid claims it to the fallout of a last year incident and a step to ensure ‘discipline’ in the college.

“College authorities are generally held responsible for student’s conduct in and outside the college. Last year, students staying as paying guests, who went for a holiday met with an accident. One girl died on-the-spot and the other is bed ridden. Their parents were unaware about this outing and even we didn’t have any clue, as they were not staying in college hostel. Now, with this move we want to ensure that every student who stays away from home is under our surveillance,” he said.

The move has caused resentment among many applicants who claim it to be a bid to fill up the otherwise empty hostels.

“Staying at college hostels is costlier than staying in paying guests. This is sheer harassment. As per law they can’t force anything of this sort,” claimed a parent.

“My child will have to travel everyday from Ropar. College authorities don’t realise how tedious it is for students,” added another parent.

The principal, however, justified saying: “We have enough space in our hostel and every deserving candidate will get a seat. The hostel fee is quite affordable as compared to other private colleges. The move is being taken to strengthen college discipline and is for students’ benefit.”



GGDSD College commerce aspirants’ favourite
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 5
A perennial favourite among commerce students, GGDSD College, Sector 32, yet again emerged as the foremost choice of students at the centralised counselling for BCom course here today.

According to sources, counselling for admission to BCom in UT colleges for 2010-2011 is being held at Panjab University gymnasium hall and would continue till July 8.

All 171 seats at the GGDSD College were filled up in the first-half of the day and top scorers in Class XII examinations opted for this college. These included students who scored 111.4 to 102.2 points and the last candidate to get admission in this college had a rank 259.

Though MCM DAV College was not the initial choice of girls, all 128 seats of BCom course were filled up by day end. The trend in the first-half of the day showed that Postgraduate Government College for Girls, Sector 11, was more popular among girls, but both colleges managed to exhaust their seats today. For MCM, the marks range was 110.4 - 93.6 and the last candidate had 707th rank.

Despite rain and the power-cuts, the counselling was smooth and parents accompanying their students expressed satisfaction with the arrangements. “The facilities provided by authorities were good and the counselling started on time,” said Sachin, a candidate.

“All seats in four city colleges, including SD College, MCM DAV, and DAV College, Sector 10, got filled except Dev Samaj College.

For 171 seats at DAV College, Sector 10, students who had marks between 106.4 - 93.4 points were selected whereas for 87 seats at GCG Sector 11, the marks range was 108.4- 93.0.

Students can access www.pubcomadmissions.com for counselling details, said BCom admission co-ordinator Dr Karamjit Singh.



Recruitment: Guest teachers protest

Chandigarh, July 5
Reacting to the advertisement for 1,200 posts of regular teacher with the UT education department, guest teachers protested at the Jama Masjid park, Sector 20, here today.

Claiming it to be injustice, at least 100 teachers demanded preference in regular recruitment. The protesters also demanded an amendment in recruitment requisites to suit them.

“We have been serving for quite some time now. Recruitment will throw many of us out. We want preference in recruitment. Many requirements should be relaxed,” demanded their representative Rajbir Singh. — TNS



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