C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Day 2
Protest hits patients hard
GMSH docs seek fresh inquiry into Bulbul case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
Protesting over the indictment of medicos in the Bulbul case, junior doctors (Diplomate National Board) at Government Multi-Speciality Hospital, Sector 16, got a shot in their arm today, with senior doctors from the health institute expressing their solidarity with them. Many senior doctors could be seen wearing black badges.

Demanding a fresh inquiry into the incident, the doctors said there was no logic in registering criminal cases against the doctors as was recommended in the inquiry report conducted by Chandigarh Additional Deputy Commissioner PS Shergill and GMCH director principal Dr Raj Bahadur.

Meanwhile, the silent protest of doctors inconvenienced many patients.

No end to their agony

While dozens of doctors decided not to attend their duties, patients were made to wait for hours in OPDs as well as the Emergency. Gutku, a Sector 28 resident, had to wait for more than one hour before doctors examined her.

“We came here in the morning and doctors advised a CT scan of Gutku,” said her attendant. And now it is 12.30 pm, but nobody bothered to examine her, she rued.

The complaints of Rajesh, a resident of Sector 19, who had been waiting in the OPD with her son for pain in foot were no different. “We had been waiting for the past two hours, but still no chance of his turn seemed to be in sight,” she said.

The junior doctors, meanwhile, forming a group, came out and assembled near the office of the medical superintendent around 10 am. They were holding placards bearing slogans of “doctors are not murderers” and “doctors are not criminals”. Waiting for a while, they started moving towards different parts of the hospital and did not join duties till evening. A few of their seniors also joined them in the afternoon for a while and submitted a representation to the medical superintendent.

Dr MP Singh, hospital spokesman, said 26 DNB students did not attend their duties yesterday. Five of them had submitted their leave applications, he added.

Today, we convinced them for joining the duties so that patients do not suffer. Following this, they had joined the duties by the evening, he said.



Court orders removal of Mohali MC councillor
Kulwant Singh was former president of the civic body
Gurnam Bindra to be councillor from ward 15
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
Nearly four years after the Mohali municipal council elections were held, its former president Kulwant Singh was today ousted from the civic body. Allowing an appeal filed by rival candidate Gurnam Bindra Singh of the Congress, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today directed the setting aside of the election tribunal’s order, whereby Kulwant Singh was declared councillor from ward number 15.

With this, it is clear that Bindra will now be the councillor from ward number 15, where he has already served for three years from July 2006 to October 2009, till his election was set aside.

Kulwant Singh of the SAD and Gurnam Bindra of the Congress had contested the election against each other on July 30, 2006. After the election, Gurnam was declared elected by a margin of just 52 votes. He had polled 1,158 votes, while Kulwant Singh bagged 1,106 votes.

Immediately after the declaration of results, aggrieved Kulwant Singh challenged Bindra’s election before the Mohali election tribunal.

Acting on Kulwant Singh’s petition, the election tribunal, vide the order under challenge, directed the recounting of votes and ordered the setting aside of Bindra’s elections. Kulwant Singh, as such, was declared winner on October 1, 2009.

Taking up Bindra’s appeal, Justice Jain asserted: “I have no option but to accept the contention of counsel for the appellant to hold that there was apparent error of law in the recount of votes by which Kulwant Singh has been declared elected, because the election tribunal had delegated its powers of recounting of votes to a panel of officers, which was not part of the election process.”

In his detailed order, Justice Jain observed, “This case has witnessed a see-saw both in the court of two political aspirants as various petitions have been filed in order to grab the power after the election was over.”



30 pc school kids suffer from psychological problems
Disturbed family atmosphere to blame: Survey
Sumedha Sharma/TNS

Chandigarh, September 10
Thirty per cent school students in the UT are suffering from psychological problems, including aggression, attention seeking tendencies and unexplained introvert and extrovert behaviour. The disturbing trend came to fore in a recent survey by the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyaan. Disturbed family atmosphere was the key reason for the problems, followed by issues like parental indifference or extra busy schedules, teacher’s attitude and various inferiority complexes.

The students on whom the survey was conducted expressed a desire to share their problems and seek solutions, but admitted of being confused and ignorant about how to do so.

Ironically, while the survey report cautioned about dire consequences in the absence of immediate counselling, the UT education department chose to evade it resulting in the recent slapping incidents.

“The survey showed that school students were suffering from acute anxiety and attention problems. Most of them complained to be unable to deal with aggression. We had asked the department to deploy counsellors or teachers for helping out the students, but nothing much was achieved. What is happening today is an outcome of these problems only,” said an SSA official.

According to the directives of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and the UT education department, each school is supposed to have a full-time counsellor.

The counsellor needs to meet students at least twice a month and keep a record of the problems shared. The counsellors are supposed to submit counselling schedules, topics and even reports of one-to-one interaction with students. Though the UT claims to have appointed 30 counsellors, they continue to be virtually non-existent.

Counselling sessions

According to teachers at GSSS, 38 West, Sunil Kumar, the class VII boy who slapped a teacher recently, is a consistent troublemaker with numerous complaints against him. They have attributed his behaviour to disturbed family atmosphere. Sunil lost his father a young age and the family has no fixed source of income. The education department plans to counsel him by appointing a special counsellor. “We cannot leave anybody in lurch. He was supposed to be punished for what he did but to improve him, we will get a counsellor to analyse him and tackle his problems. We will organise counselling sessions for all the students, parents and even teachers on weekly basis now,” Said PK Sharma DPI (S).



Nishikant sent to 7-day police remand
Charged with selling fake ID cards to students
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
A local court today sent Nishikant, 30, a resident of Hisar, to police remand for seven days to enable the Central Bureau of Investigation to conduct further investigations in the case.

Seeking a 14-day police remand, special public prosecutor for CBI Pawan K Dogra said: “The investigating agency requires the police remand as it is yet to recover the money which he has received from the students. The agency has also to find out as to where the forged identity cards were prepared as well as ascertain the identity of others involved in the crime. The agency has also to investigate other cities where the suspect provided similar fake ID cards.”

Objecting to the police remand the defence lawyer said: “The said money has already been recovered from Kant and it has been sealed. The doctor is innocent.”

While the court proceedings were on Kant stood in the witness box with folded hands. Talking to reporters he said: “I’m innocent and the police is not arresting the students who have committed the crime.”

The CBI had arrested Kant on Thursday for providing forged Nepalese identity cards. He reportedly charged hefty amounts from the students in return for the forged cards. The CBI recovered about 40 fake ID cards from his home in Hisar.

Kant, who was running a coaching centre in Hisar, came in contact with students eager to take admission in PEC University of Technology in Chandigarh. He used to charge between Rs 10 lakh and Rs 15 lakh from each student and gave them forged Nepalese ID cards, which helped them secure entry into PEC under the quota for foreign students. All these students were enrolled in the college’s first-year BTech course.

The CBI had earlier booked 11 PEC students on charges of securing admission under the ‘direct admission of students abroad’ scheme by submitting fake documents. The students, including five girls and hailing from Punjab and Haryana, had produced forged Nepalese ID cards to secure admission.



Protesting farmers denied entry yet again
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
Activists of the Sidhupur faction of the Bharti Kisan Union Ekta (BKUE) today held a protest demonstration on the Chandigarh-Mohali border in support of their demands amid heavy police deployment.

The protesting farmers were demanding cancellation of agreements regarding the distribution of river waters. They said only surplus water should be released to others states according to the riparian right of the state. Besides, they also demanded reversal of the Sukhbir Singh Badal and Manoranjan Kalia recommendations, direct payment of crops to farmers eliminating the channel of purchasing agencies, fixing the minimum support price of basmati 1121 and cotton, disbursement of Rs 800 crore relief fund given by the Central government, reverting ban on the 201 variety of paddy and compensation of Rs 20,000 per acre for flood-hit areas.

The protesters from across Punjab assembled at Amb Sahib Gurdwara in Mohali in the morning and marched toward the Mataur barrier in trucks, buses, cars and tractor-trolleys. The Chandigarh Police stopped them at the barrier.

Pashora Singh Sidhupur, the president of the BKUE, condemned the UT administration for not allowing them to enter the capital to highlight their grievances against the policies of the state government.

The police told the representatives of the protesting farmers that they would take their delegation, not more than four persons, to the Chief Minister’s residence. After initial insistence of calling someone from the ministry to take their demand charter from the spot where they were protesting, Pashora Singh agreed to go to the Chief Minister’s residence.

The protesting farmers dispersed later in the day after Pashora Singh announced that an officer of special duty at the CM’s residence had taken their memorandum and assured an early meeting with the government representatives.



Advisory Council Meeting
Administrator for preserving heritage of city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
Two major issues of the city - how to make Chandigarh capable of meeting the demands of citizens and handling of traffic problems -dominated the proceedings of the second meeting of the Administrator’s Advisory Council (AAC) held at the UT State Guest House today.

Besides, issues regarding maintaining the basic character of city and modalities regarding functioning of the standing committees were also discussed during the meeting.

Speaking on the occasion, UT Administrator Shivraj Patil said the committees should work on the pattern of the standing committees of Parliament and a proper space would be provided to them for convening their meetings. The meeting was attended by 34 members, including Pawan Kumar Bansal, Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Water Resources.

Initiating the discussion, Patil emphasised the need to preserve Chandigarh with its heritage and historical concepts. He also emphasised the need to tackle the problem of traffic.

Participating in the discussion, Bansal expressed his happiness over the suggestions received from the members of the council. He said there should be action taken reports after each committee had made its recommendations.

The Administrator said that based on the suggestions received from the members, plans will be made and adequate resources would be managed for implementing the decisions. He said that long-term planning was required keeping in view the changed requirements. Steps have already been initiated for preparation of a new master plan for the city, he added.

Regarding coordinated planning and development of the region, the Administrator said consultation with the Government of India and the state governments of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh would be required. Issues like water management, energy conservation, use of alternative sources of energy and waste management needed to be given due attention. He stated that multi-storey buildings should not to be constructed in Chandigarh. At the same time, the requirements of new generation would be kept in view while taking policy decisions, he added.

Regarding the traffic problem, Patil said that a public awareness campaign would be launched. The metro project will help in giving a big relief to city residents.

The Administrator said that restricting the number of vehicles in the city is a decision that will have far-reaching implications and the administration would like to go with the Government of India’s policies in this regard. Similarly, the issue regarding imposition of congestion tax would require proper examination, he added.



IT surveys at builders’ offices yield Rs 8.7 crore
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
The income tax surveys conducted on Thursday at the offices of various colonisers and real estate developers in Zirakpur and Kharar on Thursday has yielded over Rs 8.65 crore for the department through voluntary surrender of undisclosed income.

According to officials, the major chunk of the surrender amounting to Rs 6 crore came from the partnership group of JS Empires and Sony Builders, with each surrendering Rs 4 crore and Rs 2 crore, respectively.

Another Zirakpur based builder, Surya Infrastructure, surrendered Rs 2.4 crore and one of his marketing agents, Harkanwal Singh Setia, surrendered Rs 25 lakh.

The surveys, which began yesterday, continued throughout most of the day today.

The officials said the incriminating documents seized by IT sleuths were being scrutinised to ascertain the extent of tax evasion. However, evasion of over Rs one crore has already been detected till now.

An official said though the surrendered would be made, officials of these companies were being questioned to find out more details. In addition to incriminating documents, data collected from computer hard disks was also being looked into, he added.

Teams of income tax officials led by Parneet Suri, additional commissioner (range VI), carried out simultaneous survey operations on the business premises of leading groups of colonisers and property developers. These included Josh Builders and developers, Landmark Colonizers, KBH Builders and Surya Infrastructure & Builders in Zirakpur, Sony Builders in Kharar and the JS Empires group. The entire operation was supervised by income tax commissioner (CIT II) HC Negi. 



Raids on Eating Outlets
‘Recent checking has been done in haste’ 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
Feeling harassed in the wake of raids on eating outlets, the Chandigarh Hospitality Association (CHA) has requested the Administration to have an informative session for all stakeholders over the new Food Safety Act.

Though the association supports any checking by any government department on various hospitality outlets, it feels that the recent checking and raids have been conducted in a hurry and without proper planning, said Ankit Gupta, Secretary of the association.

The Food Safety Act is new and is in its initial stage of implementation, he said. Since no such steps were taken, raiding teams found standards lacking even in HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control processes) certified kitchens- which would imply questioning the highest possible standards of kitchen hygiene.

Moreover, as a common hospitality practice arranging of raw material (eg.cut of meats, sauces, freshly cut vegetables, raw material) or ‘mise en place’ was available at most outlets that were raided. This raw material worth lakhs was thrown out by raiding teams clearly showing their ignorance to kitchen procedures. To further aggravate the situation even the government-owned luxury hotels bore the brunt of not matching these new standards, he alleged.

Also with the Chandigarh Administration trying to enhance the image of Chandigarh Tourism and project Chandigarh as a tourist destination, these hurried steps have on the contrary tarnished the tourism image of Chandigarh especially at the critical time of forthcoming Tourism Week and Commonwealth Games, claimed Gupta.



Municipal Corporation in Mohali
Admn clueless about CM’s nod
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 10
As certain Akali leaders have been distributing sweets over Punjab Chief Minister’s reported nod to the constitution of Municipal Corporation in Mohali, the Mohali District Administration has no information in this regard.

While addressing a press conference, Mohali Deputy Commissioner Parveen Kumar said he had been informed about the announcement. Certain Akali leaders had been going all around to announce that the nod for corporation had been given by the Chief Minister.

“Due to national census no exercise to define the limits of the corporation could be carried out.

First different civic bodies have to send their consent for inclusion in the proposed corporation and then the exercise to workout the boundaries has to be carried out,” he said.

It may be mentioned that the Chief Minister had said he was not aware of the formation of the corporation, but first the civic bodies had to pass resolutions and send the same to the government.

The DC, who recently attended a meeting chaired by the CM on development of Mohali, said a blueprint for the development of Mohali had been prepared, starting from cleaning of the city to beautification of roundabouts.

He said he was regularly monitoring the development projects.

He said besides setting up government Girls College, government was looking for land to set up a cattle pond, which would be run by an NGO.



Music for a noble cause
Proceeds will go to Leh flash-flood victims
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, September 10
Endowed with a spiritual belief, compassion, urge to support humanity and living up to social responsibility in distress, versatile vocalist Rinku Kalia and the S-4 Trust pioneered the idea of organising a charity concert “ Surya Melange” for the benefit of flash-flood victims of Leh.

The musical programme featuring Rinku Kalia will be presented by the North Zone Cultural Centre, Surya Group, Departments of Cultural Affairs UT and Haryana besides Allengers and will be held at Tagore Theatre on September 11 at 6.30 pm.

All the proceeds from the sponsors will be sent to the Leh flood victims Col. Ashwini Sharma, Trustee S-4 Trust, said.

The entry to the concert will be free for music lovers, he added.

Rinku Kalia the winner of nationally acclaimed Sa Re Ga Ma musical contest disclosed that she had already performed in 10 charity concerts earlier but this one was special to her.



Recruitment of Constables
Mirchpur arson case accused appears for physical test
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
Varinder, alias Kalia, an accused in the Mirchpur arson case, today appeared for the physical test for recruitment of constables in the Chandigarh Police at the Police Lines here. Though the accused failed to meet the basic requirement in chest measurement, his appearance in the test under police custody remain an issue for debate in the police circle and among candidates.

Varinder, who hailed from Mirchpur in Hisar, was one of the 140 suspects involved in the arson case and was arrested by the Haryana Police in a case of rioting, causing hurt, arson and criminal intimidation.

He, along with others was accused of looting and burning houses of Dalits in his village on April 21.

The police said the accused had obtained the court’s permission for appearing in the test, as he had already applied for it. He had cleared 1,600 metre race, long jump and high jump before being disqualified in the chest measurement.



“Ik Kudi Punjab Di” star cast in city
Tribune News Service

Patiala, September 10
Star cast of Punjabi movie “Ik Kudi Punjab Di” reached the city today for the promotion of their film, sans main lead actor Amarinder Gill, who couldn’t make it to the programme because of some commitments.

Director by Manmohan Singh, the movie is set for a release on October 17.

The team, including senior actors Guggu Gill, Deep Dhillon, Gurpreet Ghuggi, Aman Dhaliwal and female lead Jaswinder Cheema, reached Modi College in the morning and interacted with teachers and students.

Director Manmohan Singh said Punjabi cinema had really grown up, but more and more intellectuals should attach with these movies so that the cinema could touch sensitive issues.

The cast also reached Punjabi University, Patiala, in the afternoon for a function organised by the Youth Welfare Department of the university.

Vice-Chancellor of the university Dr Jaspal Singh appreciated the efforts of the cast for promoting Punjabi cinema and wished them luck.

Satish Verma, director of the department, with the help of the cast held a discussion on the growing Punjabi cinema.



Upgrading of Civic Body
Councillors give requisition notice to MC
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 10
As many as nine councillors have given a requisition notice to the Municipal Council authorities asking them to call a meeting to discuss the issue related to the upgrading of the civic body into a corporation.

The requisition notice was given late in the day when the office was about to close. It has been given under Section 25 (2) of the Punjab Municipal Act, 1911.

The notice was addressed to the president of the civic body Rajinder Singh Rana and a copy of it was given to the executive officer Vijay Kumar Gupta. They have requested the council to call a meeting within 14 days of the receipt of the notice.

The councillors stated that areas like Balongi, Landran, Banur and Zirakpur should be included to make the council into a corporation. Such s step would accelerate development work in the area.

The nine councillors who gave the notice are Amteshwar Kaur, Harpal Singh, Amrik Singh, Kuldeep Kaur Kang, Paramjit Singh Kahlon, Gurmukh Singh Sohal, Baljeet Kaur, RP Sharma and BB Maini.



OBC Reservation for Lecturers
Applicants approach minister
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
A section of applicants have approached Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment against Panjab University’s act of allegedly denying the OBC reservation in its recent advertisement for recruitment of various regular posts of assistant professors, associate professors and professors.

“We believe that all academic and non-academic institutions of the government fully or partly funded by the Central government are obliged to reserve posts for candidates of our categories. By denying our due in the university academics, we think the university deprives us from the opportunity that is constitutionally granted to us,” read the complaint.



Tips on road safety
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
The Chandigarh traffic police today gave tips on road safety and traffic rules to officers of the Indian Air Force at the 12 Wing Air Force Station here.

As many as 350 officers, along with Group Captain Ram Pal Sexena participated in the traffic awareness programme.

Woman sub-inspector Asha Rani, in charge of Children Traffic Park, gave tips about lane driving and road safety. Traffic police officials also distributed literature on road safety to participants.



Illegally parked vehicles lifted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
A special anti-encroachment drive was carried out today by the enforcement wing of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation in Sectors 7 and 28.

During the drive, 14 vehicles were lifted from Sector 28 and 11 from sector 7. The vehicles were parked or dumped on pavements and Municipal land causing inconvenience to residents.

Lalit Siwach, Joint Commissioner-I, has warned the encroachers and junk dealers who have encroached on the Municipal land to remove encroachments on their own or face legal action.




The enforcement department of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation has shifted three sub-inspectors -Bishan Lal, Sunil Dutt and Bhupinder Kaur - to clerical departments. The department has also deployed four sub-inspectors - Rattan Singh, Nirmal Singh, DP Singh and Ranjit Singh - who were earlier transferred to other departments.



Director to spy on teachers
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
Come next week and UT colleges will have a special student walking down the corridors. Devising a unique way to assess classroom teaching and standards, director higher education (DHE) Ajoy Sharma will don the role of a student and will be attending classes from next week.

As per the latest plan, the DHE will be visiting one or more colleges every two days and randomly attend lectures to ensure all is well. What sets his plans different from usual inspections is his self-proclaimed foolproof element of surprise.

“I will not be visiting the colleges as the DHE, but would walk down the campuses corridors as a student, sans all official cars or brigade. If all goes well, neither principals nor teachers would get to know that I am attending a lecture until and unless they try to punish me for intrusion,” quips Sharma.

The inspiration of idea has come from the famous Aamir Khan starrer “3 Idiots”.

“One thing that remained with me from the movie was the fact that the colleges should not be pressure cookers but learning arenas. Students should not be confined to cramming but experimenting and discussing. All infrastructure stands useless if teachers failed to strike a chord with students and teach well,” adds Sharma.

The DPI carried out the plan on pilot basis last week when after a meeting at PGGC, Sector 11, he walked in an economics class and attended the entire lecture. Fortunately, the teacher unaware of his presence “performed” well in the class.

The visit reports will be compiled as a feedback based on which the teachers would be corrected wherever required.



Literacy awareness campaign
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
More than 100 children from AIE centres participated in a rally on literacy awareness campaign at Government Model Senior Secondary School Karsan near Ram Darbar here this morning.

Satpal Goyal, president, PTA of the school, MR Verma, NGO of Jan Jagriti Society, principal of schools and cluster co-coordinator Sukhdev Kaur and other staff members of school were present.

Cluster co-ordinator Sukhdev Kaur said the aim was to bring all the non-school going children from society to main stream and motivate them through such programmes to join the schools so that 100 percent literacy could be achieved.



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