C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Strike creates mess at PGI
Over 500 contractual workers protest against arrest of their colleagues
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 4
Services were paralysed at the PGI here today with over 500 contractual workers observing a strike in protest against the arrest of their colleagues.While sanitation services were hit hard in all the buildings of the premier health institute of the region, nursing staff and security personnel could be seen working as ward attendants and doing other menial jobs.

Similarly, garbage and biomedical waste could not be lifted from the wards in the absence of staff. Even laundry work was hit as no linen was lifted from wards and operation theatres. A visit to different departments revealed that only one sweeper was present in the Cardiac Care Centre. Dustbins were full of garbage. At the Advanced Pediatric Centre, some other contractor deployed sweepers. But no ward attendant could be seen in the entire building which houses OPDs, an emergency ward and general wards for children. The staff at the new OPD building also had to operate without being cleaned as no sweeper reported on duty. In the absence of attendants, doctors had to personally call out names of patients waiting their turn in OPDs.

At the gynecology department, a head nurse could be seen carrying essential articles to the operation theatre, a duty usually performed by ward attendants.

At the emergency ward, security personnel and nursing staff could be seen on their toes to cope with the rush of patients as sweeping work as well as other services were badly affected. Nurses were seen shifting bodies to the mortuary. PGI spokesperson Manju Wadwalkar, however, denied that any work had been affected due to the strike. “In the absence of contractual staff, work was affected in some areas. But still, essential services ran smoothly with the help of regular staff,” she claimed. The PGI has disbursed the salary to contractual workers and more than 70 employees had withdrawn their salaries, she said, adding that salary counters would remain open on Sunday as well.

Inhuman face of cops to fore
Akash Ghai/TNS

Chandigarh, December 4
The inhuman side of the Chandigarh Police came to fore last night with 74 PGI employees, including two women, leaders and workers of the PGI employees union, allegedly not being served adequate food and blankets during the chilly night at the police stations where they were put in a lock up following yesterday’s protest.

The employees were arrested under Sections 107 and 151 of the CrPC (preventive measures) from the Sector 11 police station around 8 pm on Friday. Out of these, 26, including a woman, were sent to the Mani Majra police station while the rest were put behind bars at the Sector 39 police station.

“At Mani Majra, we were not given food and blankets despite our repeated requests. Food was only given to us around 1 am when we started raising anti-police slogans. Similarly, only four blankets were provided 26 persons till 3 pm. We had to protest to get only a more blankets,” rued Kanwaljit Singh, president of the AICCTU, Chandigarh unit.

The employees alleged that the police did not even bother about the ill health of one of their colleague. “I was down with fever. When I asked for a blanket, one of the woman constables advised that I should lie down on the cold floor to get relief,” alleged Tirath Pal. He alleged that from 8 pm to 2 pm, many of them were only given one cup of tea.

The story was no different at the Sector 39 police station. “We got only one paratha today morning. Around 35 blankets were given to 49 persons, which were insufficient in this chilly weather,” said Sukhdev Singh, Anil and Sunil.

Pleading ignorance over the issue, ASP Desraj said he was not aware about the complaint. “I will look into the matter,” he said.

Meanwhile, all 74 arrested employees were produced in a local court where they were released on bail after furnishing personal bonds.



Mentally challenged gangraped
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 4
Parveen of Ramgarh has reported that two unidentified youths gangraped his mentally challenged and blind sister on December 2.Parveen alleged that he gave a written complaint to the in charge of the police chowki on December 3, but the police had not registered a case as it was under pressure from some high-profile residents.

Chandimandir police station SHO Jangsher said they received the complaint this morning, but the medical report failed to establish rape.

Parveen said his mother, Krishan, along with her daughter, went to the forest area to answer nature’s call. He said his mother found her daughter missing, searched for her and returned after failing to find her.

The complainant claimed that they later found the victim abandoned in a gorge with her clothes removed.

He alleged that two youths took her away and raped her several times before throwing her in the gorge.



Senators hurl abuses at each other
House turns into battleground
Sumedha Sharma/TNS

Chandigarh, December 4
The Senate, which is the highest academic body of one of the premier institutes of higher education, Panjab University, seems to have reduced to an epitome of sheer indiscipline, with its members giving two hoots to maintaining decorum at a meeting held today.

The proceedings started on a “consensual” note, where all members lauded the university for attaining several milestones this year. Within an hour, the house virtually transformed into a battleground with the members (known as fellows) hurling allegations, accusations and even abuses at each other.

This free-for-all incident led to an adjournment of the house and left the Vice-Chancellor pleading for discipline till the end of the session. The situation worsened in the house when two fellows, Iqbal Singh Sandhu and SS Randhawa, entered into a heated argument over the nomination of PUTA president Jaspal Kaur Kaang as member of the PU Finance Board. Both of them entered into a heated argument and ended up threatening each other and hurling abuses. This infuriated the Vice-Chancellor and he adjourned the house. Though the proceedings resumed after both fellows apologised for using unparliamentary language in the house, the situation remained unchanged.

The fellows continued to argue with each other, despite repeated pleas of house chairperson RC Sobti.

Surprisingly, every time the VC communicated his decision on anything, the fellows would rise and begin shouting literally forcing him to declare that he would reconsider every decision or matter that they raised. One of the fellows demanded a golden chance for some students to reappear in exams. The VC rejected the demand. He said these students had already been given enough chances. Eventually, Sobti had to promise to reconsider the decision.

The situation again went out of hand after the VC said he had decided to reconsider the recent appointment made by him to certain Chairs as he had got some representations in this regard. The move was opposed on the pretext of it being sheer humiliation to those declared apt for these highest seats of learning.

One of the fellows Mukesh accused the VC of acting under the pressure of Senators to withhold these appointments and staged a walkout after banging his agenda on table. Many others joined him, saying that the VC had been giving in to the threats of “influential” members. The drama concluded in what many labelled as a forceful adjournment, as several Senators headed by GK Chatrath refused to let the meeting conclude after RC Sobti cancelled vote of a fellow for syndicate elections based on the legal opinion of advocate Anupam Gupta which was reportedly submitted at the last moment.

Indiscipline leaves VC chivvied

House chairperson RC Sobti condemned the apparent indiscipline of Senators. Reacting to news reports of Senators allegedly using their influence to get people recruited or get affiliations, he asked them to exercise self-discipline. Expressing his frustration, Sobti claimed, “Politics yahan hoti hai, Jutte mujhe Dilli me padte hai (Its because of politics being exercised here that I have to cut a sorry figure in various meetings at Delhi). On the issue of several people speaking on his behalf, he clarified, “Being a Vice-Chancellor, am competent enough to think and act on my own. I have no interest and nobody can or should use my name to get his work done. I have been seeking opinions of fellows on various issues, but have never given in to any pressure. Nobody can dare to threat me and I will never compromise on the university’s welfare just to appease somebody. The Chair is meant to be respected by the house and any indiscipline in future will invite stern action.”



Car snatching on Nov 20
It was Topi gang, says police
Akash Ghai/TNS

Chandigarh, December 4
The Chandigarh police today confirmed that the Topi gang was involved in the incident of car snatching at gunpoint in Sector 8 last month.“Seven members of the gang were involved in the snatching of a Maruti Swift Dzire from SBI manager GC Kaushik on November 20,” said a sleuth of the local CIA team, which went to Mohali to inquire the involvement of the culprits in incidents of crime that had taken place in Chandigarh in the past.

The police added that one of the seven culprits, Mohammad Abbas, alias Bilas Bhatt, was shot dead in yesterday’s shootout at Sunny Enclave in Mundi Kharar. Babban, kingpin Vijay Topi and his brother Rohit were arrested. Kaka, Tinda and Gopi escaped, said police sources.

The seven criminals came in two cars, an Indica and a Zen, when they targeted Kaushik around 7:30 pm on November 20, while was on his way back to his residence at Panchkula from his office at Sector 17.

The police sources added that the gang had snatched the Ford Figo, in which some of the members were travelling yesterday, on gunpoint from Ambala some time back. The police was yet to confirm the involvement of the gang in the Tanishq case on Dhanteras (November 3).

The police also suspected that the incident of robbing Subhash Bajaj of Sector 35 at gunpoint by two motorcycle-borne youths on November 1 was the handiwork of the gang.

“We think that yesterday, the miscreants were coming to Chandigarh to carry out their nefarious activities again,” maintained the police.



Bomb hoax at Sec 17
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh police personnel cordon off Jagat Cinema after getting a call of a bomb in Chandigarh on Saturday.
Chandigarh police personnel cordon off Jagat Cinema after getting a call of a bomb in Chandigarh on Saturday. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan 

Chandigarh, December 4
There was panic in Sector 17 here after a bomb hoax today. Swinging into action, the police cordoned off Jagat Cinema, in whose basement the bomb was planted, according to the caller.

The first call was received in the Police Control Room at 4 pm. After that, someone called up in Sector 17 to give the information.

A fire brigade, ambulances and a bomb squad were immediately rushed to the spot. “We found nothing after a thorough search of the premises. We are inquiring the matter,” said the police. 


Govt ready for debate on 2G
Smriti Sharma Vasudeva
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 4
Turning down the opposition demand for a JPC, Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said they could have a debate on the 2 G spectrum allocations and the government was ready with answers. If the opposition wants to put the government to test, they can bring in a “no confidence motion”, said the Minister, while addressing media persons at his residence today.

Lashing out at the opposition for log jamming the winter session of Parliament, Bansal said the opposition only wanted to de-stablise and paralyse the functioning of the government, and added that there was no question of adjourning sine die the winter session.

Before the commencement of the session, there were 20 issues, which were listed to come up in the House as listed by all political parties in an all-party meeting. “Not even one has been discussed due to opposition’s stalling of Parliament on their demand for a JPC”.

Dismissing the demand for a JPC as needless, he said the JPC would be entirely a political body. “There are 37 parties in Parliament and not more than seven parties will be represented in JPC. Is Parliament a representative body or the JPC? No creation of Parliament can be above Parliament itself,” he said.

Bansal said till date four JPCs had been constituted on various issues, including Bofors, and there was no need for one on the 2G Spectrum allocation issue. “The BJP-led NDA rejected our demand for a JPC into Tehelka expose regarding corruption in defence deals and the coffin scam, but we did not behave like them ” he said.



Veterans observe Navy Day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 4
For naval veterans settled in the tricity, it was a walk down memory lane as they, along with members of their family, congregated here today to observe Navy Day. About 150 persons attended the event, which was a platform to relive the old days and bring each other up to date onprofessional and personal matters.

It was on this day in 1971 that the Indian Navy, by launching daring attacks on Karachi, had struck a crippling blow to the Pakistani war machine. The day is since celebrated as Navy Day every year.

The Indian Navy had formed two task groups comprising frigates and missile boats to blockade Karachi. Under Operation Trident, Task Group--I destroyed three Pakistan warships and a cargo vessel, while Task Group-II, under Operation Python, attacked Karachi harbour despite bad weather and rough seas. Four Pakistani oil tankers were hit by Indian ships and over half the fuel stock in Karachi zone was destroyed,with passing aircraft and ships reporting a glow over Karachi for the next few days.

Over the last five decades, the Indian Navy has grown from a small fleet into a multi-dimensional, 150-ship force capable of underwater, surface and air operations as well as special missions.



20% seats for OBC if PU gets Central funding:VC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 4
If Panjab University gets recognised as a Centrally funded institution, it will go ahead with reservation of 20 per cent of seats for the candidates belonging to Other Backward Classes coupled with a mandatory increase of equal number of seats for general category students from the next session. Panjab University Vice Chancellor Prof RC Sobti made this declaration at the senate meeting held on the campus today.

Replying to a query of a fellow senator Prof Sobti said, “The University has got a step closer to its dream of getting central funding with its inclusion under section 2(d)(iv) of the CEI Act. An adhoc grant of Rs 150 crore has been received from the UGC for meeting financial liabilities. As all rewards come with responsibilities we will also have to introduce OBC reservation by July 2011 if we get this status within next few months.”

On being questioned if affiliated colleges will have to follow suit, Prof Sobti clarified, “ You get grants for implementing the reservation. If colleges get those grants then they will have to implement the reservation, otherwise not.”

Among other conditions to be fulfilled was hiring of new faculty. According to Sobti, though extension of this reservation to recruitments was still not clear, the University still had to hire more faculty. “If we become centrally funded we will have to hire more teachers according to the number specified in conditions. All this will only be thought once we get the desired status,” said Sobti. 



Folklore lights up SAARC fest
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, December 4
The richness of melody, grace and twang of folk musical culture of the SAARC countries pervaded at the Tagore Theatre on the second day of the Folklore and Heritage festival organised by the foundation of SAARC writers and literature in association with NZCC, Patiala.

The programme started with an “algoaza” recital by artistes from Rajasthan before the folk orchestra by Kuleria, who displayed the vigour and vitality of vibrant Punjabi musical heritage.

While Ajeeta Srivatsta and party doled out Kajri and ritual songs. About 15 dancers from Nepal presented Jhangad dance contextual to prayers for rain.

Prahlad Sehkarmi and party brought spiritual fervour singing Kabir shlokas in style.

The Salaam Logary group from Afghanistan kept the audience enraptured with Arabian music emanating from “Rabaab”, “Saranaga” and “Dambura” as a rendition of popular folk songs of “Logari” and “Bamyam”.

Noted Sufi singer Mohammad Iqbal

Bahu from Pakistan delineated the mysticism of Hazrat Sultan Bahu and Baba Bulleh Shah.

However, the whirling Darvesh also called Malangs submerged in devotion danced to ecstasy with verve and vitality to win standing ovation.

Padmashri Nek Chand, Padmashri Ajeet Cour and Manmohan Mitwa honoured the artistes.



Student council chief denied right to speak
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 4
Though Panjab University student council president Gurvinder Singh Aulukh came to the Senate meeting today, he was not allowed to speak, so he left the house.When Gurvinder got up to submit students’ demands, chairperson RC Sobti denied him the opportunity to speak, as he was not authorised to do so as per the Senate norms.

Senator Dayal Pratap Singh Randhawa condemned the fact, as according to him, though students are the most important stakeholders in the university, they had no right to highlight their issues or express their views on the issues, which concerned them the most.

“Its surprising that while we have given this right to non-teaching employees, we do not allow the students to do so. Gurvinder is the elected representative of thousands of students and was authorised to speak on the matters concerning students. The decisions taken in the house affect the students and if they have no right to speak, then we also have no right to decide,” said Randhawa.

Responding to him, Sobti said he had already sent a letter to the Chancellor seeking permission for the students to speak and suggested that Gurvinder can get his questions addressed through some Senator.



Young poets hog limelight

Chandigarh, December 4
“Catch them young” should not be confined to sports only, but must apply for creative poetry writings too. Going by the concept, the Chandigarh Sahitya
Akademi organised a writer’s goshti at the CSA mini auditorium where 15 young poets made their presence felt at a symposium attended by elite city litterateurs.

Appreciation and blessings were showered on the participating poets, while debutant poets, Geetanjali Bhagat and Gurpreet Anandi, stole the limelight for reciting poems with brilliance of thought, felicitous use of language and andaz-o-byan.

Two young Urdu aficionados, Jatinder and Sumeet, conducted the mushaira. Akademy chairperson Manju Jaidka complimented them for showing promise. — OC



Kathak dancer weaves magic
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, December 4
Inspiration, an aesthetic blend of classical music and kathak, presented at Randhawa auditorium proved to be memorable for virtuoso kathak danseuse Shuchi Sharma and other disciples of Dr Jaswinder Kaur.

Shuchi Sharma, an imaginative and evocative dancer, was supported by Vandana Bhatt, Swati Awal, Prarthna and Soumaya.

Attired in dazzling costumes, all five danseuses commenced with an invocatory Shiv Stuti “Jai Shanker Chanderbhan” composed in “Raag Bhin Shadaj” before they delineated the pure kathak syllables from “Uthan to Aaamd”, “Apranas”, “Tode Tukde” and “Nimble Foot Work”.

Suchi alone performed the gat nikas and a kabit depicting the legend of “Kalia Daman”. A dance performance on a soulful ghazal, composed and rendered by young maestro Navtej Singh, established the incredible effort by Jaswinder Kaur and disciple Suchi Sharma.

A crisp “taranna” was brought to life by five dancers.

Earlier, young tabla exponent Gurjinder Singh, a foremost disciple of Guru Sushil Jain, spelt magic in an electrifying solo performance.

Accompanists Vinod Pawar, Gurjinder Singh and Gurpreet embellished the performance.

Chief guest Ajoy Sharma, IAS, honoured the artistes and Dr Jaswinder Kaur.



1971 war hero’s statue, bust unveiled
Shivalik Officers’ Institute at Chandimandir rechristened as Khetarpal Officers’ Institute
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 4
As a tribute to Second Lieutenant Arun Kheterpal, decorated posthumously with Param Vir Chakra, the highest award for gallantry, Shivalik Officers’ Institute at Chandimandir has been rechristened as Khetarpal Officers’ Institute (KOI).

The officer’s statue has been installed outside the institute adjacent to the military station main gates. His bust has also been placed opposite the institute building’s entrance.

The officer’s 90-year old mother, Maheshwari Kheterpal, and brother, Mukesh, as well his academy course mates, officers from his regiment, the 17 Poona Horse, and senior officers along with their families were present on the occasion.

Stating that Arun had set a shining example of courage and selfless service not only for fellow officers but also for the youth, the officer’s mother called upon youngsters to come forward to join the services and work for the cause of the nation.

Since the battlefield that was witness to his gallant actions during the 1971 Indo-Pak war lies in the Western Command theatre, it was decided to re-christen the officer’s Institute at Chandimandir as KOI as an enduring legacy associated with his name.

During the war, the 47 Infantry Brigade and the 17 Poona Horse were ordered to establish a bridgehead across the Basantar river in the Shakargarh Sector. Having barely six months service, Kheterpal, along with his tank troop, attacked and overcame the enemy defences, capturing enemy soldiers and destroying several enemy tanks. During the battle, his tank was also hit and burst into flames. Though mortally wounded, he pressed on relentlessly, refusing to leave his burning tank, till he finally succumbed to his injuries.

Even decades later, his indomitable spirit and gallantry continue to be a source of inspiration for all serving soldiers. Brig Kwaja Mohammad Naser of Pakistan Army, who had shot Arun’s tank, later wrote to Arun’s father Brig ML Khetarpal, “With warm regards and utmost sincerity, To Brigadier ML Khetarpal, father of Shaheed Second Lieuenant Arun Khetarpal, Param Vir Charkra, who stood like an insurmountable rock, between victory and failure of the counterattack by 13 Lancers on 16 December, 1971, in the battle of Barapind as we call it, and the Battle of Basantar as the 17 Poona Horse remembers. The regiment, raised in 1871, has won two Param Vir Chakra.”



Major reshuffle in UT Police

Chandigarh, December 4
The Chandigarh Police today shifted around 50 per cent of its inspectors, including five out of 11 Station House Officers (SHOs).Rajesh Shukla has been posted as SHO of the Sector 39 police station while Janak Rana, SHO, Sector 39, has been shifted as SHO of the Sector 19 police station. Anokh Singh, SHO, Sector 36, has been shifted as SHO, Sector 11, in place of Sukhbir Singh Rana, who has been shifted as SHO, Sector 36 police station. Charanjit Singh, who was in CIA staff, has been made SHO of the Sector 39 police station.

Besides, 73 sub-inspectors and ASIs and 653 head constables and constables have been transferred to different units of the force. — TNS



Food street faces closure
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 4
The city’s first Night Food Street is facing closure as all six kiosks owners unanimously decided to shut down their shops for the next two days and later surrender their licenses to the Municipal Corporation.

The kiosks owners today pulled down their shutters in protest against the MC’s failure to provide them basic facilities to run the eating outlets. The protest follows a warning by Additional Deputy Commissioner PS Shergil yesterday following a raid conducted at the food street.

On Monday, kiosk owners will send a written communication to the MC informing the authorities about their decision. Even the kiosk owner who bid for kiosk no. 2 yesterday for Rs 93,000 also decided to surrender his permit.

Shopkeepers expressed their resentment over the MC adopting double standards. “On the one hand, the authorities issue us a warning and on the other, they are not providing hygienic conditions in the kiosks,” rued one of the protesting kiosk owners. Objecting to the plea of the raiding team, the kiosks owners said they couldn’t maintain hygienic conditions until the authorities provide them additional space for base kitchen.

Giving reason for the unhygienic conditions of the 8’x 8’ kiosk allotted to them, the shopkeepers stated that roofs of all the shops leak during rainy season, the flooring of a majority of the shops were broken and there was no proper lighting in the kitchen area. Besides, there was no proper seating arrangements and parking space in the Night Food Street for customers, they said.

When some of the students of Panjab University visited the Night Food Street today, they were surprised that all the shops were closed. Students used to come here at 8 pm for meals and they had paid in advance to the shopkeepers for the food. They said if the kiosks were closed, how would they get their money back.



Fraudulent ATM Withdrawals
Victims plan to move court
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 4
Irked at the lukewarm response from the bank authorities, victims of fraudulent ATM withdrawals said today that they would move court against banks if they failed to return their hard-earned money.

One of the victims, Saurav Gupta, talking to the media here this evening, said they had been visiting the senior officers of the State Bank of India and the State Bank of Patiala for a refund of their hard-earned money, but the officials had failed to give a proper response.

About 35 persons had lost more than ` 12 lakh in fraudulent withdrawals from ATMs of the two banks at various places in the region.

Gupta said as per an apex court order, banks were responsible for saving the interests of consumers by having proper security, which included CCTV cameras and security for ATMs.

He further said they would jointly approach bank officials again on Monday. If officials failed to give a proper response, they would move court for the return of money and damages for mental harassment. He said they would hold protest rallies near regional offices of the two banks.



Councillor, officials to foot in sportswear bill
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 4
Nominated councillor of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation Arshad Khan and a few MC officials have decided to pay for the sportswear that had been given to them for participating in the one-day cricket match between the Mayor XI and the Commissioner XI on Sunday.

After The Tribune report ‘MC bats for officials, stumps staff’ published in these columns on Saturday that councillors participating in the one-day cricket match have been given sportswear of a leading international brand worth ` 4,150 each. However, class IV employees and drivers of the MC were struggling for the last five years to get an annual allowance of ` 356 for their uniforms. 



Install speed governors by Jan, says DTO
Our Correspondent

Mohali, December 4
The district transport office said it was mandatory to install speed governors in heavy vehicles by January 31, failing which action would be taken against offenders.DTO Karan Singh said it was mandatory to install speed governors in heavy vehicles as per the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989.

These had to be installed in school, college buses, tourist buses and all kinds of goods vehicles.

He said speed governors were compulsory in Chandigarh and Haryana and Punjab was now following the same. 



Zirakpur MC to be expanded
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, December 4
The Punjab local bodies department yesterday issued a preliminary notification to include Ramgarh Bhudda village in the town’s municipal council and in this regard has sought objections and suggestions from the villagers within a period of one month.

Confirming the move, Zirakpur MC president Narinder Kumar Sharma said the villagers’ long standing demand to incorporate the village within the municipal limits would soon be fulfilled. “The council has sent a proposal to merge the village in the council limits to the Punjab government for approval”, he added.

Sharma stated the Zirakpur ‘nagar panchayat’ was constituted in 2001 with seven villages. “An eighth village, Bhabat, was included in the council after the intervention of the courts the same year. With the passage of time Peer Muchhalla, Kishanpura, Gazipur, Nabha Sahib and Singhpura were also included.



Slaughterhouse nowhere in sight
Rajiv Bhatia

Meat and chicken being sold in unhygienic conditions at Zirakpur.
Meat and chicken being sold in unhygienic conditions at Zirakpur. Tribune photo: Nitin Mittal

Zirakpur, December 4
Residents of Zirakpur are forced to eat unhygienic meat, as the Zirakpur Municipal Council has failed to set up a slaughterhouse despite approving the agenda a few months ago at the council meeting.

It is learnt that the Zirkapur Municipal council had passed a proposal at the council meeting in June. They had planned to set up a slaughterhouse on 2-acre at Gazipur village and Rs 10 lakh was allocated for it. But residents of nearby village had raised objection and asked the council to find another site to construct slaughterhouse.

However, the council, so far, has failed to find any site for setting up slaughter house. MC official said the council had sanctioned 2-acre land at Gazipur village, but residents had objected to the slaughterhouse.

Residents complained that meat was being sold without verification and animals were being slaughtered in almost all meat shops by the shopkeepers.

They rued that animals were being slaughtered in shops causing mess and giving way to infection.

They demanded that the council should take the matter seriously and set up the slaughterhouse on priority basis.

During a visit to shops here one can easily find that shopkeepers were being slaughtering the animals in the shop. Shopkeepers claimed that they were selling hygienic meat to the customers. But it was found that there was insanitary condition around shops.

“The meat markets are unhygienic and emanate foul smell,” said group captain Vinod Jaiswal (retd), a resident of Silver City.

He said the existing shops were being unhygienic and it appeared that authorities concerned never bothered to check.

Puneet Singh, a resident of Zirakpur, rued that animals were not being slaughtered scientifically leading to unhygienic conditions.

MC president Narinder Kumar Sharma said the slaughterhouse would be constructed soon and Rs 10 lakh would be spent on the building.

“We are looking for three sites to construct slaughterhouse, along with treatment plant that should be far away from residential area,” he added.



Laurels for 5 PGI docs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 4
Five doctors of the PGI have been honoured at the 13th annual conference of Indian Society of Neuro Radiology (ISNR) held at Thiruvananthapuram.Dr N Khandelwal, professor and head, department of radiodiagnosis and imaging, has been elected as the president of the society. He was also awarded “Dr Prashant Shetty Memorial Oration” at the conference. His subordinates - Dr Paramjeet Singh, additional professor, and Dr Akshay Kumar Saxena, associate professor, have been elected as secretary general and vice-president, respectively.

Similarly, at the Ninth Congress of Asian Federation of Societies for Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology, which was held at New Delhi, Dr Vinayak Mittal, senior resident, received the best paper award in abdominal imaging category.

Dr Guru Prasadh Chandrashekhar, junior resident, also awarded Padmashri Kakarla Subbarao Gold Medal for best paper presented by a postgraduate student in radiology in the competition held at Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences, Hyderabad.



No child’s play
Zirakpur sans playground
Rajiv Bhatia

Children play cricket on a vacant plot at Baltana.
Children play cricket on a vacant plot at Baltana. A Tribun photograph

Zirakpur, December 4
Though the Punjab government is boasting of a visionary sports policy, it has somehow ignored one of the fastest emerging towns, Zirakpur, which is also considered as gateway to the state capital, Chandigarh. Zirakpur has seen an unparallel growth in various fields, but there have been no dedicated playgrounds for children so far.

In the absence of playgrounds, children are left with no other choice but to play on roads or under construction sites. These places are not meant for playing cricket or other games, as a number of times, children suffer injuries while playing at these sites.

Youngsters here are taking to crime to lead a luxurious life and often end up cooling heels in jails. The police said several complaints regarding scuffles between youngsters poured in everyday.

A senior citizen rued that lack of playing fields forced children to indulge in criminal activities like snatching and thefts. “Unemployed youths fall prey to drugs and ruin their career,” he added. Residents demanded that the administration should wake up from its slumber and do the needful.

In the absence of playgrounds, youngsters here can be seen playing in parks or residential areas.

Residents alleged provision of basic facilities was ignored by colonisers while developing colonies. At Pabhat village, the municipal council set up a stadium, but people there did not let children play cricket and other games.

“We are forced to play on streets and vacant plots, as we do not have a playground here,” said Vaibhav, a resident of Saini Vihar, Phase III. There are times when senior citizens and local residents don’t let us play on streets, but we have no other option.”

Inderjit Singh, a resident of Dhakoli, said, “My son does not want to stay in Zirakpur anymore, I don’t understand why the authorities are sitting over the issue. I can’t even shift to Chandigarh, as my pocket does not allow me to buy a house there.” Talking to The Tribune, Zirakpur municipal council president Narinder Kumar Sharma stated that the council had planned to set up a stadium at Nabha village. “We are mulling over constructing a playground for children of Baltana near Choice Resort,” he claimed.



Submit thesis, get PhD degree within 120 days
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 4
Much to the delight of Panjab University students pursuing PhD degree, Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti today declared that doctorate degree will be awarded within 120 days of the submission of thesis by the candidate.Reacting to the incidents highlighted by PU Senators on department chairpersons or guides delaying completion of PhD of many candidates, Sobti said the university had already chalked out a plan to speed up the things.

According to the latest policy, thesis of a student will have to be submitted to the examiner within two days of the submission. The examiner will have to assess and provide score to the thesis latest by a month.

Giving special attention to viva-voce, which has long been a controversial issue, it was declared that as soon as a department gets notification for organising the viva of a particular candidate, it would be done within 10 days.

Eventually after this, the result will have to be declared within a month and the student would walk out with a doctorate degree within a maximum period of 120 days.

“There have been a lot of complaints and unfortunately, the delay had been on part of the departments, which delayed submission of thesis or even organisation of viva. Students will not have to linger anymore after they complete their thesis,” said Sobti.

A case pertaining to the subject of library science was brought to his notice where a guide had allegedly not allowed the candidate to initiate PhD on one pretext or the other and the candidate was now planning to leave.

Sobti said the university will not only make all PhD students aware of the existing guidelines to follow if they face any harassment, but will also chalk out new guidelines to ensure that no guide or supervisor is able to harass any student.

Software to detect plagiarism

Reacting on Tribune’s report of Panjab University lacking a proper mechanism to detect plagiarism in PhD thesis, the Vice-Chancellor informed the house that a committee had recommended buying a special software but another committee was currently reviewing its feasibility just to ensure that money spent proves useful.



Lack of coordination between PU authorities, says panel
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 4
The committee constituted under chairmanship of IS Chadha to look into various issues connected with Harvard National United Nations conference held in Boston earlier this year, tabled its report at the Senate meeting today.

The report not only held several students guilty of faking their identity to take part in the conference but also raised objection on the lack of coordination between the PU authorities.

However, ironically while the committee report failed to specify the nature of disciplinary action against the erring students, it failed to recommend any action against the guilty PU authorities, who seemed to have been let off by simple showcause notices.

The conference hit news with alleged incidence where Nitin Jindal, a student of UILS, was accused of molesting a foreign national. The committee, however, didn’t probe allegations against Nitin in the absence of any detailed information in this regard. Reportedly, a copy of the Boston court’s orders verified that the case had been disposed off without any prosecution.

However, a probe into this allegation revealed that other than 34 students authorised by PU to attend the conference, 41 others participated by registering themselves as parts of “delegations” showing affiliation with Panjab University. Interestingly, one of the Senate members raised question on the decision of PU to send students to this conference, as according to him, the itinerary of events was more about clubbing and dancing rather than addressing academic issues.



10 pc hike in exam fee
Members demand rollback
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 4
A majority of Senate members opposed 10 per cent hike in examination fee of PU students, claiming it to be an extra burden on the students.Interestingly, while the fee has already been charged, the Senators demanded a rollback saying the fact that on one hand, professors were getting extra monetary benefits, students should not be subjected to this hike.

Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti justified it saying the money was being charged to meet the enhanced costs of examination system. “We have streamlined the process and increased the examination remuneration by almost 10 per cent. The hike is not unjustified, as for a student paying Rs 2,500 as the examination fee will mean only Rs 25 extra,” said Sobti.

While fellows persistently demanded a rollback, he offered to cancel the remuneration hike in lieu of it.

Though many gave a go ahead, Sobti ended the issue with a promise to review the hike and reduce it if possible.



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |