C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Road atlas of accident spots
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 12
Learning a lesson from the tragic death of two cousins who were crushed by a speeding car near the Haryana Chief Minister’s residence last month, the traffic police has recommended the installation of lights at the roundabout where the accident occurred.

The traffic police has also recommended the construction of slips road on as many as 15 busy intersections, roundabouts and crossings in the city to allow the smooth flow of traffic.

The step, along with other speed-reducing measurements, was taken after the vulnerability of the road stretch from the Sukhna Lake to the roundabout was highlighted in these columns. Residents of Kansal village had claimed that over the years, eight persons had lost their lives on this road stretch as it did not have lights or speed breakers, making it one of the fastest roads in the city.

“We have recommended the UT engineering department to install lights on the roundabout which is becoming an accident-prone spot. We are also planning to install rumble strips on the stretch from the lake to the Haryana CM’s residence. A team will be sent to Delhi to examine the latest granite rumble stripes to check their feasibility,” the SP (Traffic), HS Doon, said.

He had discussed the issue with the Home Secretary and wrote a letter to him on September 1, recommending the need for slip roads. These vulnerable points include the Sectors 43, 44, 51 and 52 roundabout, Sectors 42, 43, 52 and 53 roundabout, Sectors 23, 24, 35 and 36 roundabout, poultry farm roundabout, old labour roundabout, intersection near Colony No. 5, lights on road separating Sectors 22 and 23, museum roundabout, cricket stadium roundabout, lights of Sectors 45, 46, 49 and 50, lights near Bhushan Factory and Garcha turn near Phase I, Industrial Area, lights near Hallomajra and those on the road separating Sectors 40 and 41.



Going not easy for PGI doctors
Work load, long hours taking a toll
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 12
With 5,000 patients walking in each day, things are far from easy for PGI doctors who claim to be the worst hit by the increasing patient load. Struggling with long working hours, hundreds of patients and on and off allegations of negligence, doctors feel it is time that UT hospitals pull their act together and lend a helping hand.

“On an average, a doctor works for 12 hours. Most of them are handling around 20 emergency cases every day while the justified number stands at only three. Everybody is out to criticise the attitude or the infrastructure of the organisation, but nobody has to date spared a thought to doctors who have reached their limits of working,” Dr Amod Gupta, sub-dean of the PGI, says.

Perturbed over the apparent failure of a series of measures adopted by institutions to decrease the work load, Gupta feels that the situation has worsened due to the “fault” of other institutions.

“If you look at the patient profile, it ranges from people suffering from common flu to serious trauma cases. It takes a minute for various institutions to refer a patient to the PGI without even justifying the reason. There is no shortage of resources and manpower, but urgent need for upgradation and initiative,” he adds.

UT hospitals need to do more

“If the GMCH-32 and the GMSH-16 are upgraded, the PGI will be relieved to a great extent. The infrastructure in both institutions needs to be harnessed and emergencies upgraded. The PGI will be more than happy to train doctors there in the latest techniques and machinery and also handle difficult cases and surgeries. Another thing that needs to be introduced in these institutions is performance audit. The authorities should know which doctor is treating how many patients. Every time a patient is referred to the PGI, it should be accompanied with strong medical reasons. If they start sharing even 10 per cent of our load, we will be in a better position,” Dr Amod Gupta, sub-dean, PGI, stated.

Few takers for dispensaries

“The main problem is the ailing primary health sector. Neither doctors nor patients are interested in going to dispensaries. We are planning to provide special incentives for doctors at dispensaries. Specialised OPDS will be started in several dispensaries on a weekly basis. The PGI’s suggestion of emergency training programmes and performance review will be looked into,” Ajoy Sharma, Special Secretary, Health (UT), said.



Gunshot victim dies at PGI
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 12
Varun Aggarwal, who was severely injured with a gunshot at a factory in Industrial Area here yesterday, died at the PGI this morning. Meanwhile, the police today arrested Varinder Kumar Chauhan, managing director of King Kastle Bottling at Phase I, Industrial Area, saying the weapons used in the crime belonged to him.

DSP (Crime) Satbir Singh said this fact emerged during the course of investigation and the police recovered some cartridges and a magazine from him following his disclosures.

Interestingly, the police had registered a case of attempt-to-murder and under provisions of the Arms Act on the basis of the statement of Varinder, a resident of Phase X, Mohali.

The police said both Varinder and prime suspect Kapil Gupta owner of Himgiri Brewery at Kala Amb (Himachal Pradesh), were produced in a local court, which remanded them in two-day police custody.

The police said they would interrogate the accused and find the reason behind the murder and the place from where they had procured the illegal weapons.

The DSP added that Kapil of Sector 10, Panchkula, had fired the shot which claimed the victim’s life. After the victim’s death, the police added Section 302 (murder).

Investigators said reports from the Central Forensic Science Laboratory would be corroborated with the statements of eyewitnesses.

Even as the police was struggling to ascertain the motive behind the killing, Varun’s family today cried foul at the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital, Sector 16, alleging that it was a deliberate act of murder and the possession of an illegal weapon raised doubts over intentions.

The victim’s uncle, Ramesh Aggarwal, said they could not rule out business enmity as a possible reason behind the murder.

“The accused, Kapil Gupta, is into the liquor trade and Varun might be knowing some secrets of his, which led to the killing. The police should probe the matter thoroughly to unearth the reason behind the murder,” he said.

Accompanied by Varun’s father Shiv Kumar Aggarwal at the hospital, he said relatives and friends of the accused not only threatened them to reach a compromise today, but also offered money for the same.

They were disappointed with the functioning of the hospital staff, which delayed the post-mortem examinaton till the evening, though the victim died in the morning.

“Taking into account the grievance of the victim’s family, the hospital should treat such cases on a priority. We will not be able to reach Solan in time to cremate the body today,” rued one of the family members.

Varun is survived by his parents and a younger sister. He was unmarried and ran a plywood shop with his father.



This gang has NRIs in mind
2 arrested for fraudulent land deals
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 12
Non-resident Indians (NRIs), who have property in the tricity, should watch out. Before entertaining buyers of your properties, verify their credentials. A gang of thugs posing as officials of realty firms and police officials are on the prowl, targeting properties of NRIs and affluent persons.

A Sector 67-based NRI, Darshan Singh, was nearly deprived of his prime properties by members of the gang when they involved him in a bogus legal case so that he could be forced to surrender his property. The 64-year-old resident of Jal Vayu Vihar Complex here was held “captive” for three days by the cheats as they coaxed him to show the properties located at Gurgaon, Chandigarh and other cities.

After winning his trust, the thugs served upon him a legal notice for failing to pay Rs 20 lakh that they claimed to have paid him. In the second phase, some members of the gang, posing as policemen from the crime branch, landed at his house to probe some complaints against him. Finally, a person claiming to be a senior bureaucrat’s secretary called up the victim, assuring him to settle the case provided he agrees to a compromise.

The gang would have succeeded in getting away with the properties had the NRI not intimated the police about the threats he was receiving. Acting on the inputs given by the complainant, officials from the Phase XI police station, led by SHO Sukhwinder Singh, arrested the accused Himanshu and Deepak late last night. Both suspects, in their late 20s, were today remanded in two-day police custody.

The NRI said a few years ago he had contacted someone to dispose of some of his properties. “The thugs took my signatures on blank papers and also took five blank cheques, stating that they were from a reputed firm and would be making the payments by cheques,” he said.

DSP (City-II) Swarandeep Singh said on the basis of the complaint lodged by the NRI, a case under Sections 365, 384 and 420 of the IPC had been registered. Raids were being conducted to nab the other members of the gang.

Role of bureaucrat under scanner

The role of a senior Delhi-based bureaucrat and some lawyers in providing a cover to the gang has come to light. Though the police is tightlipped, sources said members of the gang had ensured that the victim was cornered from all sides. The police is tracing more such victims who have been cheated recently.



GMADA gears up for big draw
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 12
With uploading of the size-wise and category data of the applicants for Aerocity, the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) is gearing up to hold the much-awaited draw of lots. Over 3 lakh applicants had applied for plots of various dimensions from five marla (125 sq yard) to one kanal (500 sq yard).

In light of mini session the All-India Congress Committee (AICC) scheduled to be held on September 27 and 28, the draw of lots would be held after the session. “Since the draw of lots is scheduled to be held in the open ground adjacent to the PUDA bhavan and Amb Sahib gurdwara in Sector 62 and the AICC session is also being held in the nearby at Dasehra Ground, there is little option but to hold the draw after the session is over,” said an official of GMADA.

Since Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, party general secretary Rahul Gandhi and other senior leaders of the party would be taking part in the session, there would tight security for the VVIPs. In such circumstances, the police clearance for the draw before the session would be a hurdle.

Going by the number of applications, officials expect a large gathering to witness the draw that would be held in public view. Though the draw for a majority of the sizes would be held in the first week of October, the draw for some of the categories would be held in September end.

The official said the size-wise and category-wise information of 3 lakh information had already been uploaded on GMADA’s website (www.gmada.org) and the bank-wise data would be uploaded tomorrow.



Open House Response
Two sides of underage driving

The growing problem of underage driving is becoming serious day by day. A number of road accidents are reported every day. Forced to allow their wards to attend tuitions and other activities in different quarters of the city, parents buy them cars or bikes.

Both parents and traffic cops should realise their individual responsibilities. How can parents blame the authorities for not implementing strict driving norms when it is their responsibility to ensure that their wards adhere to these norms before taking vehicles on road? How can cops give a silly excuse that they are unable to stop underage drivers, as their number is large? If the police is showing its inability than who will police the police? It is in fact a lackadaisical attitude of the police towards curbing the menace.

The solution is not at one point or place. The system is faulty. The problems of students are genuine. Even a student in the age group of 14 to 15 years can drive a two-wheeler well. The driving licence norms can be ably amended keeping in view the practical difficulties. Rash driving needs to be dealt with strictly, Sanjeev Singh Bariana has rightly pointed out in his “Open House” debate.

Capt Amar Jeet Kumar, Mohali

Vehicles a dire need for kids

My son is a Class XII medical student. He studies in a reputed school of the city. The attendance in his class is always thin, as a sizable number of them attend tuitions. He, too, is taking tuitions in mathematics, botany and zoology. He is preparing for PMT entrance test. He goes for his mathematics coaching to Sector 44 and for science subjects to Sector 28. So it becomes difficult for him to ride a bike after coming back from school.

We discussed the matter at length and decided to buy him a motorcycle. He is a committed student and we will make sure that he does not drive rashly. At the same time, we are aware of hooligans in our neighbourhood who drive at high speed.

I feel the issue needs an effective handling by the administration. I am not defending the role of parents who are washing their hands off the responsibility. I feel the police needs to handle the cases of rash driving and over speeding more strictly. The parents need to be warned as well.

Manjula Sharma, Chandigarh

Parents, police responsible

In view of the phenomenal increase in vehicular traffic, it is in everybody’s mind that road safety is a multi-sectoral and multi-dimensional issue. In India, there are certain traffic rules under the Motor Vehicles Act-1988, but these rules are being flouted with impunity. Mostly youngsters are involved in rash, reckless and negligent driving. Reasons why this crime is rapidly increasing are not hard to understand. Before we ponder over this gigantic problem, we have to see the root cause of the problem.

It is not only that blame lies on those who are underage without proper licence to drive or are without helmet, but the traffic police, whose job is to maintain order on the roads, are equally to blame. Simultaneously, parents, the school authorities and administration can not escape their responsibility.

I do not subscribe the writer who has quoted the example in his write-up that a Class XII school student who has to go for tuition from one sector to another. First of all it is an admitted fact that “Crime is a crime”. It is the job of the police to check violations in the city. Also, the school authorities should exercise a serious check on the offenders.

In fact, the police authorities swing into action only after unfortunate fatal accidents occur. Recently, the Chandigarh police came into action only after a hit and run case involving Sukhman Brar who claimed two lives was registered. They have laid nakas outside schools to nab underage drivers violating traffic rules. It is interesting to note that they have challaned 73 persons during nine months of this year and 25 underage violators have been challenged in just five days. This is the functioning of the police. Actually, most of the tragic incidents are happened repeatedly because there is no regular check up on the part of our police administration. Just within days they will forget to check this menace on the Chandigarh roads and violators will continue to flout the rules as used to be.

Parents should not allow their wards to drive vehicles without a valid licence as they can imperil lives of others on roads.

Frequent guidance regarding traffic rules to youngsters in educational institutions is need of the hour. The administration must ensure that there is these drivers fear law on roads before venturing out.

Refresher courses should be conducted from time to time for the police personnel.

SK Khosla, Chandigarh

RWAs need to take initiative

Except huge media coverage of incidents of rash driving by teenagers who are involved in accidents, the matter remains on back burner of the civil administration. Parents, too, largely, are not bothered because they house a sizable number of offenders.

It depends how seriously the matter is taken up. Specifically speaking, societies in the Southern sectors that house a majority of the city’s population can take the initiative by making safe driving an important part of their meeting agenda every time. Members need to be educated and offenders’ list needs to be pasted at prominent places.

The police, too, will have to show sustainability on their ‘chalaan’ campaigns over long periods of time to let the message percolate among the city residents. Mostly the ‘chalaan’ campaigns don’t last for long and then everything comes back to square one.

Parents giving in to the wishes of their wards should avoid doing so, as a number of teenagers demand vehicles just for a fun drive.

Sanjana Gaur, Chandigarh

Parents need to learn first

Sanjeev Singh Bariana has rightly raised the issue of underage driving for debating as to who is responsible for underage drivers taking to wheels when they are not first legally, and secondly mentally ready for driving. Legal provisions and fines /penalties’ have not really deterred this menace.

One has to view the issue seriously. Here the question is as to who puts the kids on wheels. Of course parents.

Parents should understand that the department does not issue licenses on road. They get licenses issued by using influence. It is the attitude of parents that has to be changed.

You would come across a gang of boys driving yankee jeeps at a breakneck speed. The jeep starts from home and this is the primary point that leads to the problem. It is parental indifference to the problem that makes it serious. This tendency is also prevalent among children of the police officials who consider themselves to be above law .The sense of a ‘protector’ at the back serves as stimuli.

Underage driving is in my opinion, a problem of “society” and that it needs to be taken on that level. The first move to solve the problem should come from the parents unlike the classic questions of whether the egg came first or the chic.

Satish Chandra Sharma, Chandigarh



Cracks appear in more houses in Bir Ghaggar
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Bir Ghaggar (Panchkula), September 12
The residents of this village on the banks of the Ghaggar had a sleepless night as cracks appeared in more than six houses late last night. One of the residents, Sunita, whose house was considered to be safe, while showing cracks on the walls and floor of her house, said she did not know what the destiny had in store for her. She said she had constructed the house after her husband abandoned her when she became paralysed. She said she was living in the house with her young daughter for the last 10 years and was shifted to dharamshala late last night by her neighbours.

Not just the area which faced the collapse damaging three houses near the embankment of the Ghaggar, but entire locality in the area was vulnerable due to loose soil. Even though the surface of the concrete road in the area is intact but the earth beneath it has caved in posing danger to the commuters.

It is worth mentioning here that four houses were completely damaged on July 26 evening and the family members were evacuated to safer places by the administration. The residents alleged that the government officials had visited the village about one and a half month ago but nothing has been done so far.

Small streams of water could be seen oozing out in the area indicating the earth in the entire slum, housing more than 400 families, could cave in any time. According to sources, the area belongs to the forest department, which had served the notice to the residents to vacate the land. However, whenever the department tried to vacate the land it had to face stiff resistance from the residents of the area.

Another resident Prem Lata, while showing the cracks on the boundary wall of her house across the road, said they had been living here for the past about 25 years. She said one member of the family kept a watch on the situation whole night.

She said a crack had also developed on the land across the road and the earth could cave in anytime which would further damage the road. She said this was the only road through which they could move in or out of the village.



Hallo Majra cries for MC attention
Anil Jerath
Tribune News Service

A girl crosses a waterlogged street in Hallo Majra, Chandigarh. Tribune photo: S. Chandan

Chandigarh, September 12
When Hallo Majra village on the outskirts of the city was included in the municipal limits, the decision had brought high hopes to its residents. With the reins of the village going the municipal corporation, residents had expected better civic and other basic amenities. However, four years on and things are as bad, even worse, as they were before.

Residents here have been grappling with problems like air and water pollution, lack of civic amenities, land disputes, etc.

Sewage discharge by households flowing into nearby drains has been affecting the groundwater in the village.

However, the MC authorities are not willing to comment on the prevailing situation and are reluctant to give information regarding the development works being undertaken by it.

A majority of roads are in bad shape and sanitation, too, has taken the turn for the worse with diseases like malaria and dengue spreading their tentacles.

Residents are being supplied with contaminated water, notwithstanding the acute shortage of potable water in the village.

With no proper approach road, students and teachers of Government High School, near veterinary hospital, have to pass through slush, heaps of cow dung and garbage lying outside the makeshift school building every day.

Rain further adds to their misery and entry from the “kutcha” slushy passage in front of the school is almost impossible on any given day.

Students are left with no choice but to wade through the slush to enter the school building.

To top it all, cow dung gets accumulated near the boundary wall of the school, as residents of houses adjacent to the school building tether their cattle near it.

Foul smell emanates from the vicinity, making things difficult for students and teachers. Some residents even dump their domestic waste outside the school.

Pigs feed on the dump, which remains swamped by rains. The unhygienic conditions pose a grave threat to the lives of students.

Things are no different at the nearby veterinary hospital, where attendants of cattle and pets have to wade through slush to get their animals examined.

Apart from slush, cow dung, wild growth and illegal hutments around the school and hospital further aggravate the situation.

Residents apprehend that the condition of the road will worsen as the authorities have failed to repair it.

Amarjit Singh, a resident, said power breakdowns were a norm at the village and nobody listened to their grievances.

Though the aggrieved residents have blocked roads to press their demands several times, nothing has been done to redress their grievances.

Village councillor Ram Lal says he has raised the issue of development at MC meetings many a time but to no avail. In spite of assurances, the authorities claim that 70 per cent of the village population resides outside the “lal dora”, he adds.

He says it is up to the local administration to increase the limit of the village and initiate development works.

He lamented that the contract for carpeting of roads within the “phirni” of the village was given to a contractor six months ago but no work had been started so far.

Senior authorities of the local administration and the corporation were not bothered about the plight of the residents.

The Mayor and the MC Commissioner were not available for comments.


Good Samaritan

Scenic beauty of Panchkula captured through a mirror. Tribune photo: Nitin Mittal

With yellow and green colour, an auto would hardly stand out from the others in a traffic signal. But once you peer inside and take time off to talk to driver Jai Ram, you will be taken aback by his purpose. He picks up destitute and homeless people in his auto and takes them home where they are cleaned, given a bath and taught some basic work skills. Jai Ram does hope that his drive is backed by a guarantee of a sure seat in heaven. During the years, he spent as an auto driver, he would often spot people in need, lying helplessly on the city roads.

“If you take a closer look at city roads, you will discover people, who have no place to call home and no family,” says 34-year-old Jai Ram. And that’s when he decided that he would do something to help them. It was in this auto that he went around the streets of the city; looking for people he could help them. “I don't look at the person’s religion.This is just my way of expressing love.”

“If the government or anyone else is willing to help us, things would really improve, as now we are packed,” says Jai Ram, who has been doing this work for the past four years.”

Better late than never

“Better late than never”-following the saying, the Chandigarhadministration finally honoured local footballers, who had brought laurels to the city by winning the first-ever national trophy for Chandigarh about two months back. A total of 18 players, along with their coach, Tajinder, were given cash awards in a brief ceremony during the final of the Adminstrator’s Cup (soccer)by the Chandigarh sports department last week. But it was certainly a faux

pas on its part as the authorities totally ignored the services of team manager Rajiv Rattan who not only had accompanied the team during the one-month long nationals at Kolkata, but also had attended the one-and-a-half-month long camp before the tourney. “It is very shocking that the administration did not recognise my services. I am not hungry for cash but for honour and recognition,” said Rajiv, who is an employee of AG, Punjab.

“Chhath” diplomacy

The leaders of Congress and Indian National Lok Dal may be at loggerheads on various issues in public but bonhomie among them is common in private. This was more than evident on the “Chhath” ceremony of the newly-constructed house of Seema Chaudhary, former Panchkula municipal council president, and sister-in-law of sitting INLD MLA from Kalka Pardeep Chaudhary. Many congress councillors who hurled acquisitions at each other could be seen exchanging pleasantries during the house-warming ceremony held on Sunday.

Seeking media help

The wide media coverage of death of a newborn at Government Multispeciality Hospital, Sector 16, and indictment of doctors and staff members for their alleged negligence seems to have changed the attitude of many towards the city hospitals. Some of the over

enthusiastic locals now have started expecting an overnight betterment in the system.

It was last week that a patient went to an X-ray room of the GMSH with his attendant. The technician, after perusing the prescription, asked the attendant to go and deposit the fee. The attendant, perhaps, well aware of the treatment meted out to Bulbul, stared at the technician. You are supposed to do X-ray of patient first before completing the paper work, was the reply of attendant.

On Friday, this reporter got a call from an attendant of a patient lying at the PGI emergency. The attendant sought the help of media for this patient. “We are in trouble since we reached here,” said the attendant.

“The doctors have asked the patient not to eat anything and there is no room here for the patient,” said the attendant seeking help from media to address his grievances. It took time to make the caller understand that media could not intervene in the treatment and there was no room for patients individually in emergency.

Local connections pay!

The Chandigarh traffic police more than often draws flak for targeting outstation vehicles and for being more interested in issuing challans to violators than regulating traffic.

A traffic police officer was seen stopping only truck drivers that, too, from outstations, for violating traffic rules on Sunday morning near Centra Mall traffic light points. It seemed that the cop was not worried about other violators on the road. He spotted a truck driver and took his licence. At the same time, a taxi bearing Chandigarh’s registration number and a Haryana road bus, which appeared to be not interested in stopping, began inching forward. Both the vehicles came in the middle on the intersection, while the cop was busy arguing with the truck driver. After sometime he noticed the violation committed by the taxi and the bus and signalled drivers to stop. The driver slowed down his vehicle, said something in the ears of the policeman and went. So did the bus driver, while the “unfortunate” truck driver was waiting for being issued a ticket for offence.

PU and violence

Following the violence on campus during student council poll last week, the Panjab University authorities have chosen a good time for the swearing-in ceremony of the panel. The oath, which is scheduled for September 13, comes at a time when most student leaders would be at home. Due to the famous "chair hurling" session at PU coffee house, where student leaders entered into a heated argument amidst the authority officials, even the election of the executive members of student council was delayed this year.

Contributed by Anil Jerath, Akash Ghai, Sanjay Bumbroo, Arun Sharma, Ramanjit Sidhu and Neha Miglani.



Govt dispensaries at God’s mercy
Out of the six dispensaries in the town, two are running without doctors
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, September 12
Poorly maintained campuses with wild growth, shortage of doctors, lack of adequate furniture, worn out equipment, buildings in which seepage is evident and the absence of laboratories to carry out the basic tests are hallmarks of government dispensaries in various parts of the town.

While authorities are focused on the upgradation and renovation of the Mohali Civil Hospital, dispensaries remain in bad shape in terms of maintenance and facilities here.

Out of the six dispensaries in the town, two are running without doctors. The primary health centre in Phase III B 1 is without a doctor for over one month, while doctor on the duty in the civil dispensary in Phase VII was posted out a few days ago. The doctor at the primary health centre was on deputation and was sent back on October 1 to the parent set up. No doctors have so far been arranged to fill the vacant posts.

The dispensaries remain without doctors for at least four days in a month when these doctors are called for night duties at the civil hospital, besides, on days when they go on leave.

However, no complaint of shortage of medicines was received from any dispensary. The average turn out of patients in each dispensary is about 100.

During a round of the civil dispensary in Phase I, wild growth was seen on the roof top, while building was leaking at some points. Seepage was visible in the room where medicines were stored and in other areas as well. Some window panes were found broken. The dispensary didn’t have adequate furniture and whatever was available was in a bad state.

PS Virdi, president of the Consumers Protection Federation, said some chairs for the dispensary were borrowed from the nearby school.

The condition of the civil dispensary in Phase IX was no better. Worn out chairs, rusted almirahs, tins, etc were dumped in a filthy part of the building, which, too, had seepage. The examination room appeared to be in a state of neglect, which had a rusted rack and other worn out material.

Gurmeet Kaur, a resident of Phase III B 2, said she had come to consult the doctor in a dispensary at Phase VII, as no doctor was available in the health centre in Phase III B 1.

She said as she was suffering from high fever she had left her small children at home, but was disappointed that no doctor was available even in this dispensary.

Employees in the Phase VII dispensary had to purchase six plastic chairs at their own level to adjust patients and staff. The sheets spread in the injection room were found to be worn out. The condition of the primary health centre in Phase III B 1 was better comparatively.

There was no provision of water-coolers in any of the dispensaries. While doctors and paramedics carried water from their houses for personal consumption, patients had to depend on water supplied through taps by the department concerned, which was not available most of the time.



Haryana Bachao
Youth wing of HJC launches campaign
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 12
The youth wing of the Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC) here today launched “Haryana Bachao” campaign from Sector 17 here today. State president of the youth wing of HJC Rakesh Bhadaun said both the Congress and the Indian National Lok Dal were making false promises to the people of the state. He said the INLD supremo Om Prakash Chautala had banned the elections to the students union in the state during his tenure as the Chief Minister about six years ago.

He said now he was trying to mislead the youth, especially the students, by stating that he would hold elections to the students’ bodies after coming to power.

Bhadaun said that Chautala about 11 years ago had also promised to bring water through Satluj-Yamuna Link canal, but had failed to take up the issue with his Punjab counterpart. He said Bhupinder Singh Hooda, despite assurances, had failed to hold elections to the students’ union in colleges and universities of the state. He claimed that elections to students’ bodies would be held in the state if Kuldeep Bishnoi, president of the HJC, was voted to power.

He said two youth had died in recent flash floods in the Panipat district but the state government had failed to announce any compensation to their families. He said had this incident occurred at Rohtak district the Hooda government would have announced the compensation immediately.

He said after Panchkula similar campaigns would be held at other districts, including Kurukshetra, Ambala, Kaithal, Yamunanagar and Panipat etc.



Storm water line caves in yet again
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 12
Panic gripped residents of Sector 71, Mohali, when the main storm sewer line, running beneath a green belt, caved in early this morning. The 90-inch line runs close to houses in the sector.

A major tragedy was averted as morning walkers on noticing an 80 feet wide and 40 feet deep crater due to sinking of the line alerted the public health officials. By the time the officials landed with their machinery, a part of the main road running through the sector had caved in.

Sources said the 2,300 metre-long brick-storm sewer line carrying the storm water from several phases of Mohali was laid 30 years ago by PUDA and it had lost its strength and was giving in at different points. In the last few years, the line has suffered damages on more than 10 occasions. The incessant rains today further worsened the situation.

“We live in constant fear of our houses being damaged,” said JS Kalra, a resident of Sector 71.

The residents complain that the storm water line has been showing signs of collapse at different locations. Officials of the public health department blame PUDA for poor quality of work undertaken while laying the main storm water line.



A saga of supreme sacrifice
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 12
The Punj Pani Rangmanch Theatre group staged a Punjabi play “Hind di Chader” at the Randhawa Auditorium here today.

Written by Dr Harcharan Singh, the play depicted the saga of supreme sacrifice made by the ninth great Sikh guru, Guru Teg Bahadur, to stall the forced and unethical conversion of Hindus into Islam, besides other unethical motifs of erring emperor Aurangzeb. The play was purely didactic in treatment, which defined patriotism, love for culture and discipline of religion through the sequences under the direction of Jarnail Singh Gogi. Leading the cast, veteran actor and make up specialist Parvesh Sethi, along with Mukesh Sharma, JBS Sodhi, Balkar Sidhu, Dr Ranjit , Sunny Gill, Jarnail Hoshiarpuri and others, played diverse roles.




Chandigarh, September 12
The following have been elected office-bearers of the Residents’ Welfare Association, Sector 49D, during the general body meeting of the association held here today.

President: Rajinder Singh; senior vice-president: Jitender Mehta; vice-president: Usha Yadav; general secretary: HC Chandel; joint secretary: Kirpa Dutt; assistant secretary: Daljeet Singh; cashier Purshotam Dall and assistant cashier Pardeep Kumar. — TNS



PU & Colleges
How important is internal assessment?
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 12
Blaming the internal assessment system for causing stress among students at Panjab University and its affiliated colleges in the city, certain teachers have now started a movement to abolish the practice.

Instead of students, who are usually found complaining about their poor internal assessment and biased attitude of teachers, the city college faculty members have now resolved to appeal to the PU Senate to reconsider the importance being given to the internal marking scheme.

The internal scores are tempered with and influential students get away with better marks in colleges and there is no check on it.

— Dr Renu Bedi, MCM DAV College for Women, Sector 36

As a part of this internal assessment scheme, four marks are allotted for September examination and six marks are given for December exams in colleges.

In colleges, nearly 50 marks are allotted to students for five subjects in all streams, including science, commerce and humanities. Surprisingly, the college authorities are often found tampering with the score and marks of “influential candidates” that are originally allotted by the subject teacher.

“The university authorities have to wake up to the stress being given to students due to “extra authority” of teachers. The internal scores are tempered with and influential students get away with better marks in colleges and there is no check on it,” said Dr Renu Bedi of the department of physics, MCM DAV College for Women, Sector 36.

In an appeal to the university authorities, teachers have also highlighted the importance of regular attendance in class rather than internal assessment.

“Detain students if they are not regular and do not allow them to sit in exams if they do not fulfil the criteria of minimum 75 per cent attendance. But students must not be penalised for being taught by a strict or a lenient teacher, who may give a good or a bad internal score without a set benchmark,” she added.

“The system of internal assessment must be reviewed thoroughly by PU for its departments and all its affiliated colleges. Students have no choice but to please teachers. In several cases, they are pressurised due to the attitude of teachers. How is the university sure that the internal score being given by colleges is fair and just?”

“In many cases, the university students are at loss because of the strictness of teachers, whereas in colleges, the internal score is inflated to have a better overall result of the college,” said a senior teacher of GGDSD College, Sector 32, on condition of anonymity.



PU to have computerised records of compartment exams
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 12
Panjab University’s examination department is all set to introduce a digital system of keeping records related to compartment exams. The former system of maintaining statistics manually by daily wage employees will be discarded.

Earlier, the computerised system was introduced for the general examination, in which the department employees maintained an online record of marks scored by students. The proposal of having a same system for compartment exams held annually by the university was pending. As a result, entries were manually fed in huge record books and frequent errors were reported.

A senior official of the university confirmed the installation of new software and online system for compartment exams.

With the introduction of the online process for the re-appear exams, the new software can prove to be an asset for the examination branch, which has been mired in controversy for long.

For several daily wagers and employees, who are deputed in this branch, introduction of the online system will be a challenge and will have to be coupled with software and basic computer training.

“Most of the employees in the branch are resistant to using computers. The conversion of the manual system to online will only benefit if employees are trained enough to handle it. The barrier of communication will have to be broken first, since the employees are used to manual entries, which they find comfortable,” said an employee of the re-evaluation branch.

“While the university’s department of computer science and applications continues to host regular computer training camps for teachers and employees, a reluctance to use the online system over the manual one has always been there,” said an employee.



St Kabir lifts declamation trophy for second time
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 12
Mishi of Chandigarh’s St Kabir School, Mataul Singha of Shimla’s St Edwards School and Bhavya of the host Pinegrove School were the winners of the gold, silver and bronze medals in the 10th inter-school declamation contest organised by Pinegrove School at Subathu yesterday.

Fourteen public schools from Patiala, Kasauli, Solan, Shimla participated in the contest. The gold medal for the English section was bagged by Mannat Tipnis of Sanawar’s Lawrence School, Rishabh Chauhan of Solan’s St Luke’s School got silver medal and Deepali Ganti of Pinegrove School got bronze medal.

Gurnimrat Kandhola of St Kabir School, Chandigarh, Aditya Sharma of Chaplsee School, Shimla, and Aryan Kashyap of St Edward’s School, Shimla, were awarded proficiency medals in the English section. Parag Bhatia of Pinegrove School, Devansh Jhina of Shimla Public School, Shimla, and Anjali Sharma of Lawrence School, Sanawar, were awarded proficiency medals for the Hindi section.

St Kabir School, Chandigarh, lifted the overall trophy of the competition for the second consecutive year. There was active participation, excellent preparation and great enthusiasm amongst the participants. “East or west-Indians are confused,” and “T-20 has ruined cricket” were the favourite topics picked up by the children. Principal of Rashtriya Military School, Chail, Lt Col VK Bhat, gave away the prizes.



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