C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Financial hurdles may hit metro project
Phase I to cost ` 10,765 cr
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
Chandigarh’s ambitious Rs 15,000-crore metro project may run into financial problems. Even as the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) prepares the detailed project report (DPR), the funding by the stakeholders, including Chandigarh, Punjab and Haryana, may comes in the way of the execution of the project planned to ease the commuting woes of the tricity.

Even the cost of the Phase I of the project, likely to be completed by 2014-15, is pegged at a prohibitive Rs 10,765 crore and its sharing by the partner states is set to trigger a war of words. Since metro would benefit the neighbouring Punjab and Haryana in a major way in the backdrop of the sorry state of public transport, major share has to come from these states.

However, given the huge cost of the project, it is unlikely that the states would contribute in the project in a major way. With Chandigarh, which is ruled by the Central government, depending heavily on the Centre for its funds, the immediate investment would pose a major problem, sources said.

Though Chandigarh is “revenue surplus”, the same cannot be said about the financial condition of Punjab and Haryana. Besides, Punjab goes to poll in about one-and-a-half years and priorities of the state government are different than the other stakeholders.

A possible solution mooted to avoid dispute about the funding of the project is that Punjab and Haryana should build their own infrastructure for the metro rail project instead of polling resources with the Chandigarh administration. This is also fraught with danger as it would go against the concept of the joint venture.

Recently, various stakeholders approved the comprehensive mobility plan (CMP) prepared by the Rail India Technical and Economic Services (RITES). The Mass Rapid Transport System (MRTS) project comprising metro system (52.4 km), bus rapid transport (BRT) system (190.5 km) and commuter rail service (195 km) will be completed in three phases by 2030-31.

The CMP takes care of all the aspects relating to metro routes, BRT corridors, grade separators, railway overbridges, railway underbridges, integrated freight complex, parking facilities and cost revenue modes for the entire project.

The cost of the underground system is likely to cost around Rs 320 crore per km, whereas surface alignment is likely to cost Rs 140 crore per km. There will be around 50 stations, each after approximately 1 km. To begin with, frequency for metro has been proposed at every 10 minutes, which could be reduced to three minutes with the passage of time.

The BRT system and the commuter rail service (CRS) will be covering 190.5 km and 195 km, respectively. The CRS will cover the area falling beyond the tricity, primarily the area up to Baddi.

However, UT officials claimed that the Ministry of Urban Development would consider the case of UT for more funds once the DPR was submitted.



Another woman delivers baby in auto
‘Scared’ hospital staff rush her to PGI
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 13
Taking greater precaution in view of the recent death of a new born baby, the authorities at the Sector 6 General Hospital here this afternoon referred a woman to the PGI who delivered a child in an autorickshaw on her way to the hospital.

Zulekha, a resident of Mauli Jagran, delivered a male baby in the auto-rickshaw while on way to hospital. She was delayed as the vehicle she was travelling in developed a snag on the way. The hospital authorities, after learning about the delivery of the baby enroute, referred the case to the PGI immediately.

The husband of the lady, Mukhtar, said they had left for the hospital at around 12 noon. He said the auto-rickshaw developed a fault and it took more than an hour for its driver to rectify the same. He said, meanwhile, the labour pains increased and his wife delivered the baby in the auto-rickshaw.

The hospital authorities did not want to take any risk in view of the two incidents last fortnight, when two newborns had died due to the alleged negligence on part of the hospital staff in separate incidents.

It maybe remembered that on July 21, Bulbul, a resident of Patiala, reached the labour room of Government Multi-speciality Hospital, Sector 16, when the staff present there asked them to get a file from the OPD counter. At the counter, the staff insisted that only the would-be mother was supposed to stand in the queue. It was alleged that later in the OPD when Bulbul was giving her blood samples, she delivered the baby there only, resulting in the death of new born.

On August 9, Rani who is staying in jhuggis near Bhainsa Tibba in Mansa Devi Complex, Panchkula, delivered her baby in an auto-rickshaw with the help of a midwife when she was allegedly turned away by doctors at General hospital, Sector 6. The relatives of Rani had alleged that they were compelled to take Rani from the hospital when doctors refused to admit her on the pretext of that her diagnostic tests were not done.

They were told that it was a pre-mature delivery and the woman should be taken to Chandigarh hospital. However, no ambulance service was provided to her, alleged the relatives. The baby died the next day.




Bulbul Case
NHRC notice to Health Secy

Chandigarh: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued a notice to the UT Health Secretary for the alleged negligence in the case of Bulbul whose child died at the GMSH, Sector 16, recently.

Taking suo motu cognisance of media reports, the commission has asked the health secretary to submit a report in this regard within four weeks.

On July 21, Bulbul, a poor woman, delivered her baby as the staff at the GMSH made her run from one room to another to complete paper work and diagnostic tests even as she was in labour. At the time of delivery in the OPD, the head of baby reportedly hit the floor, leading to her death.

Later an inhouse inquiry conducted by the GMSH, terming the incident as system failure, was rejected by Ram Niwas and a fresh inquiry was ordered to be conducted by Government Medical College and Hospital director principal Dr Raj Bahadur and Chandigarh Additional Deputy Commissioner PS Shergill, who are likely to submit the report tomorrow.



0001 pricey at 8 lakh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
The craze for securing number “0001” for a fancy car still reigns supreme among city residents. During the auction of numbers in the series “CH-01-AD”, the most-sought-after number “0001” went for Rs 8 lakh.

All other numbers went for a lesser price compared to the last auction of numbers in the series, CH-01-AC. In fact, 0001 in the previous series was auctioned for Rs 10 lakh.

Manjinder Singh of Sector 9 bought the number 0001 in the new series today. However, there was no information regarding the car and the owner was also not available for comments.

Incidentally, number 0002 went for as less as Rs 77,000, while 0003 went for a little better at Rs 1.35 lakh.

The number 0006 in this series was auctioned for Rs 1 lakh and 0049 also went for the same price, while 0009 went for Rs 3 lakh.

A total of 85 numbers were auctioned today, which fetched Rs 33.42 lakh to the authorities during the auction, which started at 11 in the morning and ended around 5 in the evening.



Elderly woman attacked, robbed of jewellery
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
In a shocking incident, a relative of an elderly woman allegedly robbed her of jewellery after slitting her wrists and ears with blades and also tried to strangle her in a bid to kill her.

The woman has been admitted to the PGI in a critical condition while the accused is still at large, the police said. The victim has been identified as Prem Lata (62), a resident of Sector 32. The gruesome incident came to light at around 9 pm when the victim’s son, Ganesh Kumar, reached home from work and found her lying in a pool of blood near the entry gate of the house. He rushed her to the Sector 32 Government Medical College and Hospital from where doctors referred her to the PGI.

Ganesh, who works in a private bank, told the police that he found his mother lying unconscious on the floor with multiple injuries. A piece of cloth was wrapped around her neck while blood was oozing from her wrists and earlobes. The two gold bangles she was wearing were missing, he said.

The police said Prem Lata was alone at home on Thursday evening. The accused has been identified as Satish Kumar, a resident of Kangra.

The victim’s landlord, SL Budhiraja, told the police that before going for his evening walk, he saw Prem Lata sitting with a man who came in a white Maruti car. When Budhiraja returned, he was shocked to learn that her own relative had attacked her.

The police said Satish Kumar had met the victim and her son several times in the PGI where the victim’s cousin was admitted. The police suspected that the accused could be a drug addict.

He was aware that the elderly woman would be alone at home in the evening, the police added.

A case of robbery with intent to kill someone had been registered against the accused at the Sector 34 police station.

Meanwhile, police teams have been dispatched to apprehend the accused. 



Good Samaritan harassed by police
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
If one goes by the experience an international tennis player had at the hands of the UT police for helping a road accident victim on Thursday, it’s better to walk past the victims than help them.

Sharing his two-hour long ordeal at the hands of the police officials in the emergency ward of the Sector 16 Government Multi-Specialty Hospital after he brought in two road accident victims, Pawan Kapoor, a sports officer with CITCO, and a resident of Sector 23, said the investigating official detained them in the hospital, saying they could not let them go until the families of the victims came there.

The policemen, after taking down the particulars of Kapoor and his friend, did not allow them to go even as his friend was getting late for his work. It was only after 11.30 am that the police completed the formalities and allowed them to go.

“I told them about the Supreme Court ruling that the police cannot detain someone who brought a road accident victim to hospital. At this, the policemen said that I should take up the issue with the IGP and ask him to flash the message to all policemen,” Kapoor said.

Accompanied by his friend, Amitabh, Kapoor said instead of appreciating their effort, the policemen asked them all sorts of questions.

The accident occurred when two scooters collided in front of the YMCA (Young Men’s Christian Association) in Sector 11 around 9.15 am.

When asked about the incident, the SHO of the Sector 11 police station said he had no information of any accident spot. He said both parties might have reached a compromise and did not report the matter to the police.

Kapoor said after hearing noise about the collision of two vehicles, he rushed to the spot and saw a man and a girl lying injured on the road. Around 30 people had assembled at the spot, but none came forward to help the victims. He went to nearby Karuna Sadan building, asking for ambulance, but it could not be arranged. He then brought in his own car and rushed the victims to the hospital. There the doctors told them to stay after jotting down his name and said they could not go until the police arrived.

Cops unaware of rules!

The road safety cell of the Central Government’s Department of Road Transport and Highways in a circular forwarded to transport secretaries of all states and union territories dated February 19, 2004, states that in an attempt to build confidence in public for helping road accident victims, the escorters should, under no circumstances, be detained in the hospital for interrogation. On the other hand, he should be treated with courtesy. Contrary to the common practice of the police, the circular says that the police should rather pay the transportation expenses to the person who brings the victims to hospital.



MC, UT officials meet on a musical note
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
The pre independence soirée, this afternoon, brought out the latent talent (singing, mimicry and couplets) of the officers of the Administration and councillors of the Municipal Corporation, who otherwise are awfully busy or caught up in settling one controversy or the other.

The function was organised by the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation on the office premises. Mayor Anu Chatrath had invited the advisor to the UT administrator and certain other top officials for hi-tea to mark the occasion.

Appreciating the initiative for the optimistic move, UT Home Secretary Ram Niwas in his unique style praised the MC Mayor by humming a popular song ‘Aao ge jab tum saajna, angana phool khilenge, barase ga sawan jhoom jhoom keh’. (Oh! my beloved, flowers will bloom in my compound when you arrive, the monsoon wil dance its way into our lives).

Not missing the opportunity, Congress councillor Pardeep Chhabra narrated a couplet addressing to the Home Secretary indirectly hinting at their recent differences “Iss bhari duniya mein koi humara na hua, gair to gair, apno ka bhi sahara na mila”. I was left with no one to comfort in this crowded world, leave apart the strangers, not even my friends stood by me in trying times). Showing instant wit, the Home Secretary replied “Tum mere ban ke raho yaa garion ke, yeh kya adhe idhar ke, adhe udhar ke’.(You either be on my side or in the opposition. Your being half in my camp and half in the opposition does not mean anything).

Chhabra, then chose to take on MC Commissioner Roshan Sunkaria saying “Patwar keh bina hi meri nao chal rehi hai, hairan hai zamana aur mazil bhi mil rahi hai” (My ship is sailing without its rudder. People are amazed at the sight and I continue to reach my destination without any trouble). Reacting to the couplet, the Commissioner said when he was not able to handle his own ship then how he could think of managing that of others.

Coming to the aid of the Commissioner, the Finance Secretary Sanjay Kumar promptly replied that it was not possible to damage the ship of the Commissioner as it was very strong and could not be harmed by anyone.

Even the Finance Secretary did not let the opportunity go and made mimicry of different councillors. While portraying how the Congress councillor Manjit Singh dealt with officials, the Finance Secretary stated “Tusi saareaan de kam taa kar dena par mera na kerna”. (You favour all other councillors by clearing their projects, but none of mine).

Recently joined DPI P K Sharma also sang a gazal on this occasion to express his feelings about the mood of the function. At the conclusion of the function, UT Advisor Pardip Mehra praised the spirit with which the officials of the administration and councillors participated in this function. He disclosed that in the near future more departments would be transferred to the Corporation.


Traffic Diversion for I-Day Function
Road users advised to take alternative routes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
In view of the Independence Day function at the Parade Ground in Sector 17 and “At Home” function at the Punjab Raj Bhawan, the Chandigarh traffic police has advised road users to take alternative routes to avoid inconvenience while travelling on roads leading to these two venues on August 15.

The traffic restriction around the parade ground venue include the road stretch from the roundabout of Sectors 16, 17, 22 and 23 up to the small rotary near Gurdial Singh petrol pump, Sector 22-A, on Udyog Path from the crossing on the road dividing Sectors 16 and 17 up to the roundabout of Sectors 16, 17, 22 and 23 on Jan Marg and from light point near the Municipal Corporation building in Sector 17 up to the Parade Ground would remain closed to general public with vehicles from 7 am onwards till the function at the Parade Ground is over.

The police said no parking would be allowed in the parking area in front of shops in the Sector 22 market from 7 am onwards till the function is over. The VIPs and senior officers with authorised car parking labels on their vehicles would be allowed entry from the roundabout of Sectors 16, 17, 22 and 23 on Udyog Path and they could park their vehicles in the parking area in front of the Sector 22-A market.

Parking for general public is earmarked in 22-B adjacent to Blood Disease Hospital, Sector 23-B, on the rear side of Neelam Cinema, in the parking lot of Football Stadium and in the Circus Ground in Sector 17.

All buses coming from Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and other places to the Sector 17 ISBT would be diverted towards the ISBT roundabout from Bajwara roundabout and Piccadilly roundabout via Himalya Marg and enter the Sector 17 ISBT from the small roundabout near Gurdial Singh petrol pump.

Restriction towards the Raj Bhawan include the road stretch from the roundabout of Sectors 5, 6, 7 and 8 up to the T-point near the Golf Club and from the T-point near the Punjab Raj Bhawan towards the residence of the Adviser to the Administrator would remain closed to the general public from 2 pm onwards until the function at the Punjab Raj Bhawan is over.

Invitees to “At Home” function with “pink car parking labels' should park their vehicles in the parking area on the rear side of the adviser's residence. Alighting facility should be provided in front of the entry gate of the Raj Bhawan while self-driven cars of senior citizens with 'pink car parking labels' would be allowed parking in the area towards the Raj Bhawan reception.

The police said the invitees with 'green car parking labels’ should use the road from the turn of Sectors 7 and 8 onwards for parking their vehicles in the parking area adjacent to the adviser's residence in Sector 7. Members of the Golf Club have been urged to use the road from SGGS College in Sector 26 for coming to the Golf Club from 2 pm onwards. 



Lawyers stage dharna
Demand ‘self-financed scheme’ for construction of chambers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
High drama was witnessed outside the district courts in Sector 17 today as lawyers blocked the road parallel to the police station here. The lawyers demanded a “self-financed scheme” for construction of chambers in the new judicial court complex in Sector 43.

The lawyers disrupted the traffic for an hour by keeping chairs and also raised slogans. The lawyers have been sitting outside the gate parallel to the police station for the last six days. They raised the slogans requesting the administration to provide them with free chambers. Police officials stood there as mute spectators. Interestingly, the dharna is being staged next to the Parade Ground where preparations for the Independence Day were on.

Meanwhile, members of the District Bar Association gave a representation of more than 600 members of the Bar to a representative of the finance secretary, who came to collect the representation.

At 4 pm, a delegation of members and representatives of the Bar Association met Gurinder Pal Singh, chairman, Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana, and submitted the representation for intervention in the matter.

A representation will also be submitted to the chairman and members of the building committee in this regard and a programme to meet the Law Minister of India and Chief Justice of India is also under schedule.



BKU Strike Ends
Residents a relieved lot
Smriti Sharma Vasudeva
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
Shiv Kumari, is a relieved woman today. For the past four days she had been living under constant fear of her three small children being run over by heavy vehicular traffic, which she witnessed for the first time in front of her pre-fabricated tenement in Sector 52.

The unexpected traffic diversion had been the consequence of the protest by BKU farmers and subsequent blockade of the road dividing sector 51 and 52, which ended here today.

And she was not alone. The residents of Sector 61, Phase 7, Mohali, Sector 70, 71 also lived a harrowing experience.

With the roads not constructed for heavy vehicular traffic, life had almost come to a snarl for the residents of both these areas and the adjoining sectors.

In fact, the road, which is already lacking proper maintenance, has now developed bigger potholes, thanks to the heavy volume of traffic that comprised long route buses, school buses, trucks and other heavy vehicles all of which used this road to reach Chandigarh.

“ For three days, I had to personally take my children for their nature’s call. What was troublesome was to reach the other side of the road. It took me 25 minutes to finally cross the road which my children had been used to crossing all alone even at night”, said Geeta, another resident of Sector 52 Colony.

“ For these four days, there had never been a day when an accident did not occur. In the absence of any traffic regulations or signals, there were daily two accidents on an average”, said Arjun, a resident of nearby EWS flats in Sector 52.

If the residents found it inconvenient in the last four days, the commuters felt equally harassed or may be more.

Wing Commander SS Bedi, who had to reach Sector 17 urgently in the forenoon, reached the Phase 7 crossing only to find the road blocked. “ I understand that they are farmers with a genuine grievance but who will understand our grievances”, he asked.

Subir Ahmed, an auto-rickshaw driver, had to face a nightmarish situation when he was caught unaware at the crossing of Phase 7 from where he was to take his passengers to the Inter-State Bus Terminus (ISBT), Sector 17. “ I did not know that the road was still blocked.

I had to take my passengers from another route, which worked out to be much longer. And I would not even get paid extra. Does the government care about my losses?” he said.

“ Why could’nt the government agree to the demands of these farmers on time so that they would not hold the city to ransom and we, commuters, could be saved from such harassment” said, Balkar Singh, another commuter, who once had to reach Sector 34 for an official call.



Suicide bid at PU
Panel gets 48-hour deadline to probe
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
A four-member committee headed by Panjab University Sentor GK Chathrath has been directed to probe into the complaint of a student, who threatened to attempt suicide on Thursday due to injustice meted out to her.

The committee has been given 48 hours to give its recommendation to the university. Yet another decision taken by the university authorities today was to install CCTV cameras in the office of the controller of examination and other parts of examination branch.  

Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti said the university was serious about such incidents and strict action would be taken against the guilty. “In past, there has been a major incident where an employee was found tampering with the marksheet of a student. A few days ago, we suspended that employee. There is another complaint against an employee of construction branch. University’s stand on such cases is very clear, strict action will be taken against those found guilty,” said Sobti.

The indifferent attitude of a daily wager and a permanent employee working at the PU’s examination branch caused harassment to Akashdeep, a student of Postgraduate Government College, Sector 46, who claimed that first she was declared failed in a subject and after re-evaluation she was told that she had a compartment. 

After a preliminary investigation in the case and having confessed that the examination branch employees did commit a mistake, the PU authorities have asked the committee to unearth the role of the employees of the examination branch. The Vice-Chancellor also said CCTV cameras in examination branch would be constantly monitored.

Meanwhile, a senior administrative functionary of the university said there was an increase in the practice of threatening senior university officials by the Senate members to get their ‘personal’ work done.



Dreamers, achievers to get their due on I-Day
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Amarjit Kaur DhillonChandigarh, August 13
From showing exemplary courage by nabbing a murderer to creating unclaimed dead bodies in the city, handling departments of two major hospitals in the city as a urologist to adopting street children, certain city heroes have been consistent in showing excellence in their respective fields with bravery and elegance. On Independence Day they will be awarded by the UT Administration.

 Amarjit Kaur Dhillon, social worker

Dr Vidur BhallaDedicated to the service of cremating unclaimed bodies in and around the city, Amarjit has chosen this unique service without expecting any rewards. “I chose this task with positive thoughts and feel there is some divine power working with me,” said Amarjit. In 1991, while working in a bank she got an idea of social work when the son of gunman suffered renal failure. She then raised Rs 2 lakh for his treatment and got his kidney transplantation done. She has been raising funds for the needy ever since.

 Dr Vidur Bhalla, urologist, GMSH, Sector 16

Harpreet SinghBesides working at GMSH, Sector 16, as a urologist, Dr Bhalla also served Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, which had no urologist. “In 2006, I joined GMSH, Sector 16, and in 2008, I was asked to take care of GMCH, Sector 32,” said Bhalla who has performed 1,400 surgeries so far. He is a member of the distinguished Urological Society of India and American Urology Association.

 Harpreet Singh, student, Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 35

Amandeep SinghAt age of two, Harpreet started learning dance and music at his hometown in Amritsar. Later, as he moved to Chandigarh the zeal to participate in various national and international events multiplied. Harpreet, a Class XII student of GMSSS, Sector 35, has done the city proud by excelling in TV shows like Boogie Woogie. “I won a national-level dance event in Bhopal and then went to Malaysia.,” said Harpreet.

 Amandeep Singh, student and artist

Neena SinghHaving danced in more than 550 shows in India, he proves himself to be a perfect combination hard-working student, who can excel in studies and perform on stage. Amandeep, who is a Postgraduate Government College, Sector 11, pass out, is now working with a multinational firm and has even performed with renowned artists. “We are proud of him and all parents must encourage children to take part in co-curricular activities, along with studies,” said his sister.

 Neena Singh, social worker and trustee of NGO Bharat Prakarsh Foundation

A banker by profession, Neena has been monitoring 16 Alternative Innovative Education (AIE) centres. She also looks after 14 aanganwaris. She has provided 42 computer libraries in 35 centres. Her NGO awarded 91 scholarships last year to children in government schools in the city. She has also been recently awarded by the UT Administration for her contribution in the field of education and social welfare. She is also a member of the visiting committee appointed by the High Court to monitor social welfare institutions like Nari Niketan, Ashreya, Juvenile Home and Snehalaya.



Biotechnology dept chairman resigns
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
Professor Rupinder Tiwari, chairman of department of biotechnology (BT), and coordinator, centre for microbial biotechnology (MBT), has resigned from his post citing alleged indifferent attitude of Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti as the reason for the same.

Soon after his resignation, Rupinder Tiwari was transferred to the department of microbial technology from biotechnology.

In a letter shot to Senators and Vice-Chancellor’s office, Rupinder Tiwari has expressed his resentment against the alleged stepmotherly attitude of the VC against MBT ever since its inception.

He claims that it is because of well-known differences between the two that the VC is not paying any attention towards the financial and staff needs of the courses.

The Vice-Chancellor, however, denied this allegation saying, “I have already constituted a committee which has recommended around Rs 20 lakh. He has not waited for the committee to complete its work but shot this letter. I will always do what is best for the university and will never let any personal difference hamper my work.”

According to the letter, though the course generates revenue of over Rs 35 lakh per year from MBT, it has not got more than Rs 10 lakh per year from the university.

It has also been alleged that the department of MBT is functioning with just one faculty member and the university has till date not recruited any permanent faculty and even the candidate, who qualified in walk-in interviews, is yet to get his selection letter.

He has also raised objections on being sidelined.



Ramgarhia Sabha
Tribune News Service

Mohali, August 13
The following have been elected as office-bearers of Lok Kalyan Kendra Ramgarhia Sabha, president- Rajpal Singh Vilkhu; senior vice-president- Manjit Singh Mann; vice-president- Karam Singh and Nirmal Singh Sabarwal; general secretary- Davinder Singh; cashier- Sukhdev Singh; co-cashier- Charan Singh Gill; and auditor- Gurcharan Singh.

However, the sabha had also constituted sub-committees to look after for development works.



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