C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Police Exam
21 held for impersonating, using unfair means
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 14
The cops today arrested 21 candidates appearing for a written examination for the posts of constables in the Chandigarh Police for using fraudulent means. Of those held, 11 were impersonating other applicants and 10, including a girl, were caught using mobile phones during the exam.

Four impersonators and another four candidates using cell phones were nabbed at the examination centre under the jurisdiction of the Sector 17 police station while the others were apprehended at the PG Government College, Sector 11, the other exam centre. A female candidate was held at the exam centre at the hockey stadium in Sector 42.

The impersonators have been identified as Anil Kumar, Sunil Kumar, Nitya, Rakesh Kumar, Shamsher and Pradeep, all residents from Haryana, and Satinder Kumar from Bihar.

Those who were allegedly using mobile phones have been identified as Nishu, Varinder and Varinder Kumar, all residents of Bhiwani, Joginder, Parveen, Sandeep, Rakesh, Sonu, all from Sonepat, Neeraj and Sandeep from Panipat, and Sumey from Jind. “Most of the original candidates and their respective impersonators were found to have come from Haryana. Police teams were dispatched to nab the candidates in whose place the suspects were found to be appearing for the exam in different locations,” said DSP Roshan Lal.

He stated the police were on alert after similar incidents had surfaced during the recently held recruitment tests for jobs in the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking and the fire department. “We’ve taken strict measures to check the nuisance. We know all about the misuse of gadgets like mobile phones”, he added.

Earlier about 20,000 candidates appeared for the test today.



50 pc youth flunk fitness test
Rajmeet Singh/TNS

A file photo of applicants taking the physical fitness test.
A file photo of applicants taking the physical fitness test.

Mohali, November 14
A staggering 53 per cent of applicants in the 18-25 age group seeking recruitment to the post of constable in the Mohali police failed to run a distance of 1,600 metres in a stipulated time of six minutes and 30 seconds and similarly struggled to clear two other mandatory physical tests - the 3.8-metre long jump and a 1.10-metre high jump - despite being given three attempts.

The venue was the Government College in Phase VI of Mohali where the Punjab Police conducted physical tests on 14,681 applicants, 6,838 of who failed to make the physical grade. This is notwithstanding the fact that the physical efficiency standards are lower than those expected of applicants seeking recruitment for the constable’s post in Chandigarh Police.

Observers said the widespread use of drugs in Punjab was affecting the health and physical fitness of the youth. This has an obvious impact on the recruitment to the Punjab Police in addition to the Central police organisations and the Army, where the standards of physical fitness are much higher.

The recruitment drive brought to fore two other phenomenons. One, the desperate employment situation in the state, and many applicants were academically overqualified. For the post of 359 constables, there were 39,000 applicants of whom 14,681 turned up for the physical fitness test. Moreover, even though the applicants need to be school graduates, many, if not most, were graduates and even postgraduates with at least 500 of them having done a Masters in Computer Application and even Masters in BusinessAdministration.During the physical trials as part of the recruitment drive that concluded on Friday, selectors estimate that around 30 per cent of the applicants were either hooked to drugs or tobacco products. Many applicants were seen gasping for breath or giving up the physical tests midway. Many were seen applying muscle relaxants before the run. “The six minute and 30 second time is more than a minute than the five minute and 40 second stipulated for those applying for recruitment Army and the Chandigarh Police,” said an official handling the recruitment drive.

Another interesting aspect that has emerged during the recruitment drive was that the youths from the border districts of Bathinda, Ferozepur, Muktsar, Mansa, Ganganagar, and Sirsa, Fatehabad and Hisar districts of Haryana fared better in the physical efficiency trails compared to the applicants from Patiala, Mohali, Hoshiarpur, Pathankot, Ludhiana and Malerkotla. On the contrary, youths from the non-border districts have been found to better qualified. 



Fifth time in quick time
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 14
With the arrest of a total of 11 impersonators in the written test for posts of constable in the Chandigarh Police, the recruitment test system has come under a cloud.

This is not the first such case as the city has witnessed four scams pertaining to wrongful means of admission or recruitment (PEC, PGI, CTU and firemen) busted by the CBI in the past couple of months.

In the firemen recruitment scam, sleuths of the special crime branch of the CBI had arrested three firemen, identified as Satbir Singh, Tinku and Pawan, of the Chandigarh fire and emergency department on charges of getting employed through fraudulent means. Satbir and Tinku hailed from Sonepat.

Even as the CBI confirmed the arrest of the duo, sources said the sleuths arrested three persons, including Pawan Kumar, also a fireman. Pawan was posted at the Ram Darbar fire station.

The fire department had conducted a recruitment test in May this year and 47 persons were recruited for posts of fireman, telephone operator and driver.

Similarly, in the CTU recruitment scam, several impersonators, including Rajiv Roy, Rinku Kumar and Newton Kumar Bharti, were arrested by investigating officials for impersonating as original candidates in the CTU bus conductor examination in October this year.According to sources, Rajiv, Rinku and Newton also confessed later that they had also appeared in place of three firemen. Apart from that, the CBI had been investigating the PEC and PGI scams.

A senior Chandigarh Police official admitted that this (impersonation) was a big racket, being operated by organised gangs in states, including Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

“This time (during Chandigarh Police test), out of the 21 candidates arrested, 19 belong to Haryana’s districts of Panipat, Bhiwani and Sonepat while two are from Bihar. Further investigations are on to crack the case,” said DSP Roshan Lal.



Grads to teach PG students at PGI!
Arun Sharma/TNS

Chandigarh, November 14
If the authorities in the PGI have their way, graduates (BSc qualified) will soon be teaching radiodiagnosis to postgraduate students enrolled in MSc and even for an MD.About two months ago, on September 26, the PGI had issued an advertisement for the post of tutor technician (radiodiagnosis) to be posted at the hospital’s National Institute of Paramedical Sciences (NIPS).

The advertisement stipulates that the essential academic qualification for the post is either a Masters degree (medical technology or equivalent with at least 55 per cent marks) or a BSc degree (medical technology or equivalent) with at least 55 per cent marks along with three years of experience in their respective field.

It is a teaching post that requires teaching not just undergraduate students (BSc) but also MSc and MD students. What is intriguing is that the medical institute has sought applications even from plain science graduates.

Enquiries revealed that this was not for the first time that the essential academic qualification requirement for this post had been relaxed. This is the third time that the essential qualification requirement for the post has been relaxed without justification.

When the course was first started many years ago at the PGI, candidates with an MSc degree were few and so even technical assistants, who are a rank junior to a tutor, qualified to apply.

Still, they were required to have three years experience in the post of technical assistant. Later, this condition was also relaxed and people with a BSc degree with 15 years of experience were allowed to apply, thus enabling even junior technicians (three ranks junior to a tutor) and senior technicians to become eligible for the post of a tutor. Now, this standard has again been lowered reducing the period of experience for such candidates. 



Chak de for city dribblers
Akash Ghai/TNS

Chandigarh, November 14
The Chandigarh under-19 boys’ hockey team brought laurels to the city by lifting the national school trophy in Khargone, Madhya Pradesh, today. Powered by two goals through Gagandeep Singh (senior), the team got the better of Punjab in the title clash by 4-2 in the 56th National School Hockey Tournament.

On their part the girls’ team finished as runners-up after they lost to the team of another neighbouring state, Haryana, by 0-5 in the final match of the tourney.

Talking from Madhya Pradesh on phone, team coach Gurminder Singh said the honour came to the city at least after two decades. “I’m very happy as my boys have put up a tremendous show during the tourney,” he added.

Earlier, in the final match, Chandigarh mounted the pressure on the rivals immediately after the word ‘go’ by drawing first blood in the first minute of the game through Gurjinder SIngh. Capitalizing on the lead, Gagndeep Singh (senior) netted two goals in the 15th and 45th minute while Ranwant Singh sounded the board in the 52nd minute of the game. In reply, Punjab could score only two goals.

In the semifinal Chandigarh had beaten Haryana by

10-9 through sudden death in a close contest, whereas the team had cleared the quarterfinals by trailing Delhi by 2-1.

Though the girls team lost in the final, the team had put up a good show in semifinal and quarterfinal matches earlier. “We had beaten Kerala by 2-0 in the semifinal, while in the quarterfinal match we crushed Maharashtra by 5-0,” said an elated Gurminder Singh.


Avoidable causes behind majority of infant deaths
Mortality rate much higher among girls
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 14
Sixty-three per cent of child deaths in India are due to five avoidable causes. This was revealed in a study led by the Registrar General of India (RGI) and co-authored by Professor Prabhat Jha, the Centre for Global Health Research (CGHR), Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St Michael’s Hospital and Dalla Lana School of Public Health, the University of Toronto, Canada and Professor Rajesh Kumar, Head of the School of Public Health, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh.

The study was conducted five years ago in 2005. Annual child mortality rates in India have fallen between 1·7 per cent and 2·3 per cent in the past two decades. Despite this decrease, the United Nations (UN) estimates that about 2·35 million children died in India in 2005. This figure corresponds to more than 20 per cent of all deaths in children younger than five years worldwide, which is more than in any other country.

Most deaths in India occur at home and without medical attention. To understand the causes of death among Indians, the RGI introduced in 2001 an enhanced form of “verbal autopsy” called RHIME-or routine, reliable, representative, resampled household investigation of mortality with medical evaluation-into its nationally representative sample registration system (SRS), which covered about 6·3 million people and monitored all deaths in 1·1 million homes. The results are part of the Million Death Study, which seeks to assign causes to all deaths in the SRS areas during the 13 years from 2001 to 2013.

Five unavoidable causes are prematurity and low birth-weight, neonatal infections, birth asphyxia and birth trauma, pneumonia and diarrhoeal accounted for nearly 1·5 million child deaths in India throughout the year 2005 with substantial differences between regions and sexes, said the report. Expanded neonatal and obstetric care, case management of diarrhoea and pneumonia, and the addition of new vaccines to immunisation programmes could substantially reduce child deaths in India, opined the authors.

Interestingly girls in central India had a roughly five-times higher mortality rate (per 1,000 livebirths) from pneumonia (21) than did boys in south India (4) and around four-times higher mortality rate from diarrhoeal disease (18) than did boys in west India (4).

The authors say: “Concern has been raised that neonatal death rates in India are not falling fast enough. However, our results suggest that almost half of India’s neonatal deaths are caused by birth asphyxia and birth trauma, sepsis, pneumonia, and tetanus-most of which can be avoided by increase in delivery and postnatal care.”



Elders need to lead in the change

Fun during Divali doesn't mean that we have to burn crackers. They only spoil the environment. Suitable lighting is sufficient to make the occasion gracious and picturesque enough to give the effect of lighting related to the happiness on the occasion.

Parents and elders have a great responsibility towards making the festival pollution free. They are the ones, who need to guide and even order the youngsters. Sadly, they are the biggest promoters of pollution ingredients because it was them who made purchases. Sadly, many elders, who could not buy crackers when they were kids due to the financial reasons, now do not want their kids to miss out the chance to celebrate with a bang. Under the existing circumstances, unless the administration was serious to regulate the use of crackers, it was difficult to stop the noise pollution and environment defacement.

Elders have to set the standards in their lives for their kids to follow. In case, it was still difficult to bring the desired change, the system has to intervene and set up the required compulsory standards.

Gyaneshwari Longjam Chandigarh

Show simplicity, grace

Bursting of fireworks multiplies pollution, so the event should be celebrated with only low noise and less polluting fireworks. The occasion should instead work out to be a simple but gracious ceremony to mark such occasions.

Gurmit Singh Saini Mohali

Identify safe crackers

It is actually ridiculous that the government is allowing free flow of immense carbon emissions by bursting crackers of high intensity sound. Safe crackers need to be identified and marked by the government agencies before they were allowed to be sold in the market. Those not conforming to the safety standards need to be banned completely.

At the moment, the cracker boxes do not carry the details of contents, warnings nor possible pollution contents which should be made mandatory.

Iqbal Kaur Saini SAS Nagar

Govt check needed

The government needs to strongly regulate the supply of fire crackers in the open market.

The government also needs to interfere and have all local governments to mark specific areas in their localities, neighbourhood to allow burning of fire crackers.

Societal change is always slow, however, it is always small movements, which bring bigger changes in society.

The Tribune needs to carry on with its articles on educating public about the pollution menace with crackers. Things can change.

Ujagar Singh Chandigarh

Showcase ‘no crackers’ effort

While appreciating efforts by different educational institutions in particular and several other institutions for judicious, lesser or no use of crackers during Divali celebrations, I sincerely feel all these

efforts would have a greater relevance, in case some activity was carried out on the festival day.

At the moment, a majority of these functions are organised a few days before the festival, as was evident from a chain of clippings in different newspapers.

The matter of the fact was that a sizable majority of these children and teachers became a part of the same noisy and air polluting Divali themselves.

I feel, instead of the formality functions, people interested in making any statement on Divali celebrations should organise special functions on the particular day and show others how the festival could have been celebrated in a much sober way.

Dr Namita Malhotra Chandigarh

Officials turn a blind eye

People, this year, too, celebrated Divali with great zeal for bursting crackers. Noise and air pollution has been adequately highlighted by the media, quoting reports of the Chandigarh Pollution Control Committee (CPCC). Crackers with loud noises were used with impunity. It was also sad to witness/hear bursting of crackers till past midnight, even though the permitted time was up to 10 pm. There was no check by the administrative agencies.

What to talk of asthma patients, even healthy persons found it difficult to breathe due to the presence of poisonous gases and smoke in the air. The authorities surely failed in their duties.

It is really shocking to learn that the city expenditure on crackers was well beyond Rs 4 crore. A large quantity of more than 10,000 kilograms spurious sweets were destroyed by the authorities. I fully agree with Sanjeev Singh Bariana when he says in his Open House article that “except destroying spurious sweets there is little action visible on ground to set strong examples for others to refrain in the future.” Something needs to be done to save our future. I hope authorities are thinking.

RK Kapoor Chandigarh



In memory of Chacha Nehru

Punjabi album teen artiste Vasveer performs during the Children’s Day celebrations in Panchkula on Sunday.
Punjabi album teen artiste Vasveer performs during the Children’s Day celebrations in Panchkula on Sunday. Tribune photo: Nitin Mittal

CHANDIGARH: As a part of the Children’s Day celebrations, a play was performed today by the dramatics group “Dramebaaz” of CCET College, Sector 26, for underprivileged kids at Government High School, Colony 4, Industrial Area. The play was followed by a few dance performances by teachers and students. The Global Environment Concern, an NGO that has taken the responsibility to teach these students, also showed an animated movie “Ice Age” (in Hindi) to these children.

GMHS-28-C:Students at Government Model High School, Sector 28-C (GMHS-28-C), today celebrated the Children’s Day by displaying their talent in different activities like solo songs, dances, jokes, followed by painting competition. Headmistress Asha Johar appreciated the efforts of the students and urged them to follow the path of first Prime Minister of India Jawahar Lal Nehru.

GMSSS-Mani Majra:GMSSS, Mani Majra, celebrated the Children’s Day by organising games like sack race, wheel burrow race, three legged race and spoon race. Children participated enthusiastically and the Inner Wheel Club, Chandigarh Mid Town, sponsored the prizes. Club president Deepa Sahib Singh, along with school principal Kund Bala gave away the prizes to the winners.

Jainendra school:As a part of the Children’s Day celebrations, Jainendra Public School was decorated with balloons, banners and posters and a cultural show was presented in the morning assembly. This included dances, poems, speeches dedicated to Jawahar Lal Nehru. The solo dance competition was the prime attraction.

GMHS-28-D:Children were motivated to adopt good qualities to be successful in life by Government Model High School, Sector 28 D, headmistress on the Children’s Day celebrations. Speeches were delivered on the importance of discipline and on the life of Nehru. Different activities were organised by teachers in the respective classrooms.
Differently abled children participate in ‘The Voice of Silence’ during the Children’s Day celebrations at Mohali on Sunday
Differently abled children participate in ‘The Voice of Silence’ during the Children’s Day celebrations at Mohali on Sunday. Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu 

AKSIPS-41-B:A special programme was presented by teachers on the occasion of Children’s Day at AKSIPS-41-B. The programme started with a prayer and later a dance performance was presented showing the change from traditional to modern culture. The teachers presented a group song, dance and a different kind of ramp walk with a quiz. Executive director Jasdeep Kalra addressed the students and advised them to follow the path of Nehru.

Painting contest:The Brahma Kumaris Meditation Centre, Sector 51-A, held a painting competition for the children of different age groups, as a part of the Children’s Day celebrations on Sunday. Deepali Sharma, a professor from Government Home Science College, Chandigarh, and artistes, Neenu Vij and Anju Pasricha, Brahma Kumari Kavita didi and Brahma Kumari Anita Didi were the judges of the event.

Yuvsatta:To celebrate Children’s Day, Yuvsatta, a local NGO, organised a felicitation event for the real life heroes to inspire spirit of selfless service among children.The heroes felicitated were Sanjay Kumar, PVC, who fought the Kargil War, and Brig Sant Singh, MVC (Bar) face of Indian valour in Bangladesh war of liberation. Children were told about the narratives of their true-life bravery and the relevance of decorations like PVC and MVC. Apart from the role of valour, they were also made aware of societal responsibility. About 21 meritorious girls from Bapu Dham Colony were honoured in a programme at GGD SD College.

Education dept:The inter-school cultural and literary competitions organised by the education department, UT administration, in the disciplines of skit, debate, mimicry, solo dance, solo song, extempore and poetry recitation concluded yesterday. The competition witnessed more than 500 students from various schools. In debate, first prize was bagged by the team of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 16, in extempore, first prize was bagged by Anjit Aulakh of Delhi Public School, Sector 40, while Daksh of St Kabir Public School, Sector 26, stood first in inter-school poetry recitation. In folk dance, first prize was bagged by Tamanna of Government Model High School, Timber Market-26, while Shruti of DPS-40 bagged the prize in classical dance category, in western dance category, Ajay of Government Model High School, Sector 38-D, won the first prize.

The Millennium School MOHALI: The Children’s Day proved to be lucky for Jotpreet Singh, a student of The Millennium School, Mohali, when he hit the jackpot in special lucky draw held for students on the concluding day of the two-day carnival held at the school here today. Apart from Jotpreet, winners from Classes I to V included Vani Khanna, Bhumin Garg, Saksham and Ojasvi Kaur Brar, who won the second, third, fourth and fifth places, respectively. From Classes VI to IX, Harmandeep Kaur, Inderpreet Singh Chakal, Deshbir Singh Dhillon, Maninder Jeet Singh and Yatin Klara won the lucky draw. Saksham won in bingo, Gurbani won tongue twister contest, Manuj won spell check contest, Simarprabh won scramble, Mahima scored highest marks in world search, Sukhpreet won Stapu, Harman won in making shapes and Manuj completed electrical circuit correctly in record time.

Lawerance School:At Lawerance Public Senior Secondary School, teachers celebrated the Children’s Day with fun and frolic but in a unique way by presenting a foot tapping programme for the children. Towards the conclusion of the programme, the teachers vowed to provide the children quality education.

Ashmah International:Cultural extravaganza marks the annual function at Ashmah International. Tiny tots of the school put up a remarkable spectacle of dance, music and action-packed sequences, which enthralled the audience like never before. Mohali Deputy Commissioner Parveen Kumar was the chief guest. School principal Rupinder Ghuman read out the annual report highlighting the achievements and accomplishments by the school.

Sri Sukhmani International:The Children’s Day was celebrated with great fervour and gaiety at Sri Sukhmani International School. Chairman, Prof Avtaar Singh and director Kanwaljeet Kaur presided over the function. The function commenced with a shabad recitation. The school also celebrated the annual sports day for the kindergarten section. Students of the primary wing delivered speeches on the importance of Children’s Day and on the life of Chacha Nehru. Students of pre-nursery took part in the “Jack & Jill Race” and children of nursery participated in “Cricketers-race”. For KG, a race “Dressing up like Dad & Mom” was organised.

St Soldier:Children’s Day was celebrated at St Soldier. Teachers organised an assembly for students. The programme commenced with a performance by teachers. Jasmeet delivered a speech.

Shivalik school:At Shivalik Public School, Mohali, the day was celebrated with enthusiasm. Students recited poems, delivered speeches and narrated life incidents of Pt Nehru. A documentary on Pt Nehru's life was also shown to the students.

Chaman Vatika Ambala: Students of Chaman Vatika celebrated Children’s Day yesterday. Vrinda, Pranjali and Vasudev delivered speeches. Poems were recited by Harsimrat and Pranjali. Schoolchildren presented songs. A magic show was organised. Rajinder Nath, chairman of the school, Nisha Jain, director, and Suneeta Sharma were present at the function. — TNS

Mayor reaches out to students
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 14
Competitions, cultural programmes and a lot of fun marked the Children’s Day celebrations organised by Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh, here at Nehru Park, Sector 22.The function was thrown open by the Mayor Anu Chatrath accompanied by Pardeep Chhabra, former Mayor, Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh, and area councillor.

Students of the junior wing of KBDAV School, Sector 7, dressed up in tri-colour presented a cultural programme. A number of competitions like declamation, poster-making, painting and fancy dress competitions were held.

The Mayor said such events provided a lot of scope for students to exhibit their talent. Sanjay Kumar, finance secretary, was the chief guest.

The MC also arranged some stalls of fire and emergency wing, water supply department and sanitation wing to spread awareness among children regarding fire safety, save water and keep the surroundings clean.

Bhupinder Singh Badheri, senior Deputy Mayor, Sheela Devi, Deputy Mayor besides councillors and officers were present.



Lobbying on for coveted post
Names of Chander Mukhi Sharma, Ravinderpal Singh Pali and Jagjit Singh Kang doing rounds in Cong circles
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 14
With the tenure of Mayor Anu Chatrath expiring on December 31, lobbying has begun for the next mayoral poll slated for January 1.Though the ruling Congress is yet to officially set the process for the selection of party candidate in motion, names of three councillors - Chander Mukhi Sharma, Ravinderpal Singh Pali and Jagjit Singh Kang - are doing rounds in the party circles. The prospective candidates have already started lobbying for the coveted post, sources said.

The mayoral poll assumes importance in the backdrop of Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh poll next year. The development of the city or the lack of it during next Mayor’s tenure would have a bearing on Congress’ fortune in the coming municipal poll. Anti-incumbency is likely to stare in the face of the Congress-ruled MC and Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and Water Resources Pawan Bansal in the civic body poll.

Sources said the party high command in consultation with Bansal would decide the candidate in due course. “We will put the best foot forward by selecting the best candidate in the run-up to the MC poll next year. The track record of candidates, their loyalty and services to the party and their performance in the MC House will be a major criteria for the selection of the candidate,” a senior Congress leader said.

Sharma, a two-time councillor, is considered to be a close confidant of AICC spokesman Manish Tiwari. On the other hand, Pali has the administrative experience being the senior deputy mayor in 2007.

Jagmohan Singh Kang, a former Punjab Cabinet Minister, is reportedly considered close to Bansal. Jagit Singh, who was made president of the District Congress Committee (Rural) recently, is also a first-time councillor.

In the 36-member House, the Congress has a comfortable strength of 17. However, in case of dissensions within the Congress, votes of the nine nominated councillors could play a major role in the election.

Sources said with the opposition BJP-SAD alliance set to put up a strong candidate for the coveted post, it would not be a cakewalk for the ruling Congress. The present incumbent, Anu Chatrath, was elected unanimously with the opposition candidate and former Mayor Harjinder Kaur withdrawing from the contest at the last moment on January 1,2010.



Hoardings= loss@MC

The sun sets on the crafts mela, which concluded earlier this month.
Silhouetted: The sun sets on the crafts mela, which concluded earlier this month. Tribune photo: Nitin Mittal

Whether it is the political rally of Manpreet Badal at Amritsar, Divali greetings by political leaders or the ‘coronation’ of Capt Amarinder Singh as the president of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, the state exchequer has been suffering a major loss on account of hoardings put up by leaders across Mohali without paying any fee to the municipal corporation.

Advertisers who pay lakhs to put up display advertisements at the slots earmarked rue the fact that political leaders get away without paying the corporation.

Even hoardings of live performances by singers are put up without permission. Though there is a policy on advertisements, the corporation seldom enforces its own rules.

Bumpy affair

Irrespective of who is responsible for their maintenance and upkeep, most of the slow carriageways and slip roads in the city offer potholes or, at best, a bumpy ride to rehri, horse cart and bicycle owners.

They have been facing inconvenience for the past several months due to the laxity of the administration in repairing the roads.

While MC officials blame incessant rain and use of these roads by four-wheelers, including heavy vehicles, for the bad shape, they also leave no opportunity to pass the buck to each other.

Daily commuters are the worst sufferers of all. Jai Singh of Makhan Majra, who travels on the slow carriageway everyday, has been forced to take the bumpy ride for the past six months.

“It is difficult to drive on these slow carriageways, especially the one from Makhan Majra to the Chandigarh-Punjab barrier on the Chandigarh-Ambala highway. It has been in bad shape for many months, but no repair work has been carried out.”

Officials of the municipal corporation claim that a majority of roads under their jurisdiction have been taken care of and the remaining will be done with soon.

Ain’t listening

During a recent seminar at Panjab University, law students were spotted fiddling with cell phones, messaging friends and playing games while a speaker was expressing his views on “Rule of Law”.

Despite an interesting speech by the chief guest, in which he highlighted how everything followed the rule of nature and how laws should be framed keeping public aspirations in mind, these students appeared least interested in the scholarly ideas being presented.

Action replay

The Sector 48 Motor Market is going the Sector 21 way. Rampant encroachments in front of the complex by way of parking and repairs are common, inconveniencing residents and passersby.

If the current encroachments are any indications, the day is not far when roads around the complex will be blocked, making passing through those virtually impossible.

A few years back, encroachments which had virtually extended to entrances of residences had forced the Chandigarh administration to shift the motor market from Sector 21 to Sector 48.

Will the authorities concerned spare a thought for the hapless residents and remove the encroachments on public land?

Contributed by Rajmeet Singh, Anil Jerath, Sanjeev Singh Bariana, Neha Miglani, Pradeep Sharma

Budding talent

Preet Kamal, a student of GMSSS, Sector 16, has been selected for the Horlicks Wizkids 2010, to be held from November 26 onwards.

She is associated with the project “The helping hands”, under which she has worked for poor and needy students of Bapu Dham colony.

The young girl is a national-level basketball player and has has won more than 35 medals in athletics. She is also good at singing, dancing and painting.

Aishwarya and Sanjana are the other two girls who have been selected from the city to participate in the Horlicks event.



DTH service in trains soon
Anil Jerath
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 14
People travelling between Chandigarh and New Delhi by train will soon be able to view their favourite television programmes while on the move.Sugato Banerji, chief marketing officer, DTH services, Bharti Airtel, said here today, “It is a segment which has tremendous growth potential. Television is all about lifestyle.”

Airtel would be the second firm to offer such services in trains, following Dish TV, which ventured into the segment three years ago on express and long-distance trains in Western Railway.

“We are in talks with the Indian Railways to provide satellite TV services for Shatabdi and Rajdhani,” Banerji said, adding that his firm was seeing an increased demand from individuals to instal DTH television on personal vehicles.

DTH providers installed a satellite tracker, which revolved to receive signal. According to Banerji, offering in-transport services was a great way to get branding across to more viewers.



Gaz Foot Inch has audience in splits
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, November 14
Comedy with realism is a phenomenon that can be employed to identify, define and illustrate the traits, ideals and values of a proud inheritance or even evils and lack of education ailing the individuals or society as a whole.

The Ajanabi Rangkarmi theatre staged a hilarious comedy play “Gaz Foot Inch” in the ongoing CSNA Theatre festival at the Bal Bhawan here today.

The play written by playwright KP Saxena staged over 80 times at various venues flourished under the direction of noted film and TV actor-cum-director Kuldeep Sharma.

The play revolves around the life of protagonist "Tillu," the uneducated son of a cloth merchant, who can hardly envision anything beyond "profit”. He feels elated after selling a "pen" gifted by his fiancée Jugni, as he thinks and talks about profit alone. However, enamoured by his innocence, Jugni surrenders in admiration and accepts him as life partner.

All sequences perfectly enacted by Kuldeep Sharma (Pokhar Mal) Karan Gujral (Tillu) Neeru Bala (Jugni) Mukesh Sharma, Swati and Navneet made the play a cohesive comedy of merit.

The crisp dialogue delivery and adherence to timings were complimentary to each other. Noted actor director Aneeta Shabdeesh was the chief guest.



CHB fails to provide affordable housing for the needy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 14
The Federation of Sector Welfare Associations of Chandigarh (FOSWAC) today alleged that the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) has miserably failed to meet its social commitment to provide affordable houses to the needy residents.

At its executive committee meeting here, FOSWAC said residents were at the mercy of the greedy promoters, as they couldn’t afford a house in Chandigarh since the board proposed to launch costly houses in Sector 51 and other sectors.

The members were of the view that the Chandigarh Administration and the MC should not go after misplaced priorities, spending crores on projects like new luxurious parks, costly musical fountains, sprucing up of the Sukhna Lake and modernisation of Sector 17.

Projects like widening and repairs of roads, sterilisation of dogs and construction of dog pond and permanent meat slaughter house, multi-level parking in Sector 17, improvement in garbage management system, improvement in public transport system, implementation of dog and malba bylaws, timely check on encroachment of public land parking areas and market verandahs, checking menace of paying guest houses in residential areas, proper management of affairs of community centres and providing infrastructure especially in Southern sectors from 48 to 61 should be taken up on a priority basis.



Men in khaki at the receiving end
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 14
A suspended sub-inspector of the Chandigarh Police, along with his father, wife and two servants, was arrested for thrashing his colleagues, who visited his house at Maloya following a complaint of creating nuisance, here today.

The incident took place this evening when ASI Rambir and constable Rakesh Kumar went to Kuldip Singh Kahia’s house after a complaint of creating noise pollution by his neighbours.

Kahia not only gave the ASI and the constable a sound beating along with his father Karam Singh, wife Sukhdev Kaur, son Arvinder Singh and two servants, Roshan Lal and Jaspal Singh, but also attempted to tie them up with a rope. A movie camera, which the cops were carrying for videography, was snatched by Kahia.

According to the SHO of the area, Baldev Kumar, neighbours of the accused had lodged a complaint with the UT SSP, who ordered the area cops to enquire into the matter.

“When Rambir and Rakesh reached Kahia’s house, he attacked them without provocation. Immediately his family members joined Kahia in beating up the cops. They also tried to tie them up with a rope,” said Baldev.

After arresting Kahia, his wife and father and two servants, the police registered a case under Sections 147, 148, 149, 332, 353, 382 and 506 of the IPC against the culprits. 



Satiating time for the palate
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 14
South Indian food lovers had a great time at the carnival organised by the Orthodox Syrian Church Society at St Mary’s School in Sector 46-A here today.The seventh such carnival in succession, it was organised with the special motive to generate contributions for charity projects.

Shaju Peter, director of Daftech Engineers, was the chief guest on the occasion. Besides food lovers, children had a great time at the fun games set up at the venue. 



CBI summons Nirvikar for questioning
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 14
CBI sleuths have summoned Maj Nirvikar Singh, aide de camp to former Punjab governor SF Rodrigues, who was booked by the agency last July for possessing assets disproportionate to his known sources of income, in Delhi. He is likely to be summoned once again to clear his position on the case.

Sources close to the CBI said Nirvikar, currently attached with the research & analysis w wing (RAW) in New Delhi, was questioned for his role in the controversial “mega” projects in Chandigarh during his two-year tenure as ADC to the former UT administrator.

“Officials of the anti-corruption branch were also present during the questioning,” the sources added, refusing to give any more details.

It may be mentioned here that the UT administration had cleared many mega projects, including the Film City, Amusement Park and the mini township of Prideasia in IT Park, during Nirvikar’s tenure. The latter is said to have been virtually a “parallel power centre” in Chandigarh during his tenure as ADC.

Last July the CBI had booked the high-profile army officer and his mother Kiran Singh and brother Jagrut Singh on charges of amassing wealth disproportionate to their known source of income. The accumulated assets were estimated to be worth Rs 9.32 crore against their earnings of Rs 2.93 crore. Nirvikar’s gross earnings between 1995 and 2010 reportedly stood at Rs 40.85 lakh. For his mother the period taken into account was from 1994 to 2010.

The CBI has already frozen a dozen accounts of Nirvikar in various banks. 



Foot care critical for diabetics
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 14
All diabetic patients should take the utmost care of their feet in order to avoid amputation due to gangrene, a condition they are more susceptible to, said Dr Ravul Jindal, a vascular surgeon. Speaking at a city hospital today on the occasion of World Diabetes Day he asked diabetics to remain on guard against any kind of foot lesions.

“Different fissures, abscess, cellulites, ulcers, claw toes and Charcot's joints need to be watched carefully. Diabetes renders foot lesions more susceptible to gangrene than those not afflicted with the disease. People from lower strata of society and those living in rural areas run a high risk of losing their limbs due to lesions. Here education and prevention play a pivotal role in creating awareness among the masses,” said Jindal.

“Diabetes can cause a patient to lose sensation and block the leg arteries, causing foot ulcers. While foot ulcers are the main cause of amputation in diabetic patients, most of these amputations can be prevented if treated early and properly”, he added.

Holding a sedentary lifestyle, lack of physical activity, obesity, stress and consumption of foods rich in fat, sugar and calories responsible for the country’s swelling diabetic population, Jindal said by the turn of this year almost 7 per cent of Indians between the ages of 20 and 79 would be diabetic, according to International Diabetes Federation.

“The figure is likely to get worse by 2030 when an estimated 9 per cent of the country’s adult population is expected to suffer from diabetes. Increasing life expectancy and urbanization are the primary reasons for the rise in the number of diabetics,” he opined.

A free public education seminar on diabetic retinopathy was also held in the city on the occasion. It aimed at raising public awareness about the disease, the precautions necessary for early detection and the treatments available for diabetic retinopathy.

Addressing the gathering, Dr SPS Grewal, a noted opthalmologist said: “It’s critical for diabetics to get their eyes checked regularly as they are prone to certain diseases like diabetic retinopathy. If diagnosed in the early stages these diseases can be better managed, but otherwise they can be potentially threatening to vision”. 



Kids’ health drive fruitful
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 14
Positive results of a special health drive aimed at improvement in malnourished children initiated by the Developing Indigenous Resources (DIR) in Janta Colony and Adarsh Nagar, two slums located just outside Chandigarh, were announced at a special function here today.

In a special programme, 10 adolescent children, who were successful in bringing about these improvements, were presented with new bicycles by Dr PK Shridhar, Civil Surgeon, Mohali.

In the survey, it was found that 87 per cent of children were severely malnourished. Dr Frederick Shaw, founder of DIR, tied up with local residents for the programme under Dr Gurpreet, assistant director, DIR.

Dr Gurpreet introduced the programme, training older children to tackle the problem. Ten teams, consisting 15 children each, were formed. Eleven children who were in the worst category were now in the best health ratings. 



DC office asked to verify arms licence
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 14
The police here have asked Deputy Commissioner’s office to verify arms licence of Ludhiana-based doctor Sumit Sofat, accused in an attempt to murder case, registered against him here.

According to sources, the police, in order to tighten the noose around Sofat by adding Arms Act in the chargesheet, wrote a letter to DC’s office seeking information of Sofat’s licence.

The sources further said that police had already decided to file chargesheet against Sofat and other accused in the attempt to murder case and the police now wants to slap the charges under the Arms Act.

The police said after receiving the nod from the DC’s office we will finalise the chargesheet against doctor Sofat and will soon submit it before the district court.

It’s important to mention here that Dr Sofat was booked by the police following investigations into his complaint regarding robbery and shootout at Morni hills in July, 2009, which had revealed that the incident was planned by the doctor to implicate Ramesh Pashan and his two sons in a criminal case.

After receiving a tip-off, the police had arrested Sofat, a resident of Heera Nagar (Ludhiana) near Sunbeam Hotel in Sector 22, Chandigarh, on September 17. His anticipatory bail application was dismissed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court recently after he failed to appear before the Chandimandir police to join investigation in a case registered against him on July 19 last.



16-yr-old receives electric shock
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, November 14
A teenager suffered an electric shock after he came in contact with a high-tension wire in Golden Enclave in Lohgarh village here this afternoon. A few weeks back, a seven-year-old child came in contact with live wires in the same locality. According to information, Yogesh (16), son of a migrant labourer, suffered the shock when he was approaching his father working in an under-construction building and was caught by the wires passing along the building. He was rushed to a hospital in Zirakpur in a serious condition.

Residents of the society complained that they had asked the department concerned about the electric wires many times, but to not avail.

2 child workers rescued

On Children’s Day, officials of the district labour department raided shops in the main market of the town and rescued two children under the age of 14 years. Giving information, labour inspector Swaran Singh said that he had received complaints about the illegal activity. He raided the shops and rescued two children from Guru Nanak Dhaba and Rajesh Samosewala.

Later, the children were handed over to their parents. The process to prosecute the erring owners of establishments has been initiated.



NCB to shift from residential area
Admn decides to allot land for zonal office in Sector 38
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

A view of the Narcotics Control Bureau office being run from a house at Sector 2 in Chandigarh.
A view of the Narcotics Control Bureau office being run from a house at Sector 2 in Chandigarh. A Tribune photograph 

Chandigarh, November 14
Having been on the wrong side of the law by operating its office from a residential area in Sector 2, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) will start abiding with the city's building bylaws as the administration has decided to allot it land in Sector 38 for the construction of its regional office complex.

It might sound strange, but the NCB was not only violating the building bylaws by running its office from a residential area but had also made illegal constructions within the premises. While the bureau had been recently served a notice for clearing the constructions made by it within the premises of House No. 80, the landlord, Colonel Khera, was served a second notice for getting the building vacated from the NCB.

According to sources in the NCB, their landlord had received the second notice for getting the house vacated. The last date for the compliance of the notice was December 31 following which the administration had threatened to lock the premises.

Sources said for the past several years, the administration had been trying to get the building vacated, as the city laws do not permit operation of government offices from residential area.

In absence of any alternative place, the NCB had locked horns with the administration and had been insisting on allotment of an alternative site for constructing its regional office.

The prolonged negotiations have finally yielded results the administration has decided to allot the NCB about two kanal of land on V4 road in Sector 38. The site, measuring 977.78 square yard near Prajapati Bhavan is almost double the area of what the NCB has now.

Sources said that the file for the allotment of the land had been cleared at various levels and the final nod from the administration could come any time.

Sources in the NCB said the allotted space was enough as the sanctioned strength for the zonal office was 24. However, at present, there are only 12 staff members in the north zone headquarters.



Manav Mangal student gets National Child Award
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 14
Harkiran Kaur Wraich, a student of Class VI of Manav Mangal Smart School, Sector 64, Mohali, was today conferred the National Child Award for Excellence-2009 in the field of science by President Pratibha Patil at a function at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi.

Her selection for the award was made by the Ministry of Women and Child Development on the basis of an innovative science project, which she had conceived and developed for representing her school in the Regional CBSE Science Exhibition.The project is based on harnessing energy through electricity producing gymnasium. The project got first prize in the exhibition and made it to the top 20 in the country. The project titled “Lite to Light” could be a major landmark if used wisely to solve the power problem in the country.



Nostalgic reunion
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 14
The 1982 batch of the law department of Panjab University gathered at CGA golf course here on November 12 for a nostalgic reunion.The atmosphere was charged up, with old memories being exchanged.

High court Judges, top Punjab police officials and senior IAS officers shared classroom memories and jokes.



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