C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Police intensifies night patrolling
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 16
With Christmas and New Year round the corner, the Chandigarh Police has intensified night patrolling from tonight.

The entire force on duty, comprising over 2,000 cops, will be on city roads as part of a special drive to check the activities of anti-social elements during late night hours. The drive will continue till the month-end.

UT Inspector-General of Police PK Srivastava will supervise the drive. Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, he said he would regularly visit special barriers set up in various sectors of the city between 11 pm and 2 am.

The drive is being conducted to curb the spate of burglaries, snatchings, robberies and other crimes during the night. The exercise has been undertaken to make the presence of police felt more strongly during night when criminals have recently been active, the police said.

“All units will be participating in the special parade-cum-patrolling drive starting tonight. The concept has been adopted on the lines of the Delhi Police ahead of the New Year celebrations,” said UT SSP Naunihal Singh.

Recent crime incidents

  • December 12: Thieves targeted six shops in Sector 24, broke open locks of three shop-cum-offices and three booths. Laid their hands on cash boxes
  • December 10: Theft reported in two showrooms in Sector 26. Cash found missing
  • December 9: Burglars targeted seven shops in Sector 32, two in Sector 31 and one in Sector 19. In all the showrooms, cash and mobile phones were found missing
  • November 4: Robbers struck at Tanishq showroom in Sector 17 at the night before Diwali. They fled with a bag containing keys and injured one of the staff members by firing a shot at her at 1.45 am
  • October 30: Thieves broke into three showrooms in Sector 17 and decamped with manhole covers in Sector 35 on the same night



Plans to go ‘underground’
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 16
After establishing a hi-tech police control room on the fifth floor of the police headquarters at a cost of Rs 1.25 crore in September last year, the UT police has now mooted a proposal for setting up a sophisticated underground control room.

“Costing several crores, the control room is intended to be similar to those established in Shanghai and Singapore and will be the first of its kind in the country,” well placed police sources said.

The proposal, details of which are being kept under wraps, has been finalised and sent for sanction to the UT administration. The underground control room will keep pace with the changing times and designed to be functional in times of any natural or man-made disaster.

“The proposal for an underground control room has been mooted and is at present awaiting sanction. It aims at improving the basic functioning of the police and will set an example of being one of its kind in the country. It seeks to be in keeping with the times and will remain functional in times of natural disasters such as earthquake and also in the event of a nuclear fallout,” said UT’s Inspector General of Police PK Srivastava.

Sources said the plan for an underground police control room was first suggested by UT Administrator Shivraj Patil at the Chief Minister’s conference in New Delhi earlier this year. The issue of protection against CBRN (Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear) hazards had figured in discussions at the conference.

Sources said the underground control room will be built in such a way that it will be protected from all radiation hazards and remain functional in a CBRN environment.

Last year, Chandigarh became the third city in the country after Delhi and Mumbai to acquire a modern GPS-enabled control room which reduced the response time of its PCR vehicles to three to five minutes after enabling policemen to quickly track the location of the caller and then immediately alert PCR vehicles.

The UT Police has upgraded its fleet of 35 police control room gypsies with GPS technology. The official vehicles of all Station House Officers and traffic interceptors have also been upgraded with the GPS.

First of its kind

Costing several crores, the control room is intended to be similar to those established in Shanghai and Singapore and will be the first of its kind in the country. It will remain functional in times of natural disasters such as earthquake and also in the event of a nuclear fallout.



New Year Gift to Residents
Pay more, get less water
MC proposes 12 pc hike in tariff; 1-hr cut in supply
Aarti Kapur
Tribune news Service

Chandigarh, December 16
Pay more for less water is the clear message for city residents following the UT administration’s decision to divert six million gallons per day (MGD) of water to Haryana from next year.

As a result, the current 12-hour water supply is set to decrease by an hour even as the Municipal Corporation (MC) has already decided to increase the water tariff by 12 per cent. Only a formal notification is awaited.

As per the new water tariff, subscribers consuming over 60 kilolitres of water will now have to shell out an additional ` 122 per month once the new water tariff rates come into effect.

Residents who consume between 30 kilolitres and 60 kiloliters will now have to pay ` 42 extra, those consuming between 15 kilolitres and 30 kiloliters will have to pay ` 24 more and those who consume up to 15 kilolitres per month will have to shell out ` 15 extra.

Similarly, there is a water tariff hike of ` 4 per kilolitres for industrial units of the city, ` 3 per kilolitres for educational institutes and ` 2 per kilolitre for government and semi-government offices. Consumers will also have to pay ` 10 more as sewerage cess.

Sources said that from June 2011, out of 67 MGD water supply from four phases of Kajauli water works, the MC would have to divert six MGD to Haryana.

MC records reveal that the city’s demand for water is around 100 MGD out of which 87 MGD is supplied from the existing water supply system, 67 MGD from four phases of Kajauli water works and 20 MGD from tubewells. An MC report states that after giving share of six MGD to Haryana, Chandigarh will be left with a water supply of 61 MGD. Punjab is already getting 10 MGD of water supply, while three MGD is being supplied to Chandimandir from the Kajauli waterworks.

A senior MC official said they would have to make considerable efforts next year to meet the needs of the city as Punjab has already refused to execute the augmentation plan of water supply scheme of Phases V and VI under which a total of 40 MGD was to be provided to Chandigarh.

MC Chief Engineer SS Bidda said in order to meet the enhanced water demand of the city, authorities would have speed up the augmentation of Phases VII and VIII of the Kajauli waterworks.



Mayoral Polls
Cong wary of cross voting
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 16
Cross voting holds the key to the Mayoral elections scheduled for January 1, 2011. Even as it is a must-win situation for the ruling Congress, taking lessons from the 2007 Mayoral polls, the party is leaving no stone unturned to see its candidate through.

In 2007, Shiromani Akali Dal candidate Harjinder Kaur won by just one vote from Congress’ Anu Chatrath. If one recalls 2007 elections, out of 36 votes of the House, Harjinder Kaur got 17 and Anu Chatrath 16. Kaur got the support of six members of the BJP, two of the SAD and eight nominated councillors. The BSP candidate did not participate in the elections after getting directions from the BSP chief Mayawati and one nominated councillor was abroad.

Sources in Congress said to ensure the victory of its candidate, the party is taking all steps to avoid cross voting by its members. In-house meetings with Congress and nominated councillors are on, party sources said.

The Congress is working on a strategy by assuring that the nominated councillors vote for its candidate and it is also making efforts to avoid in-house division. Out of 36 councillors, including one Member of Parliament, 17 councillors are from the Congress, eight from the BJP, one each from the SAD and the BSP and nine are nominated.

Sources said the Mayoral candidate would be finalised by the party high command in the All India Congress Committee meeting scheduled for December 18. Local MP Pawan Bansal is likely to play a vital role in the selection of the candidate as Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee chief BB Bahl is virtually indifferent to the Mayoral elections.

Party sources revealed that amid infighting within various factions of the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee, Ravinder Singh Pali, Chander Mukhi Sharma and Jagjit Singh Kang were the hot candidates of the Congress for the Mayor’s post.



City’s oldest dispensary faces shortage of doctors
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 16
The word “improvement” seems to have a different meaning for the UT Health Department. The oldest dispensary of the city, located in Sector 22, is left with no doctor at most of its departments even though it has been upgraded to a Community Health Centre (CHC) from a Polyclinic.

All doctors from the departments of medicine, surgery, dermatology and psychiatry have been gradually withdrawn from the CHC, forcing hundreds of patients to instead make a beeline to the already overcrowded Government Multi-Speciality Hospital (GMSH) in Sector 16.

The ear, nose and throat (ENT) OPD has been reduced to two days in a week. As of now, it is only at the dental, ophthalmology, paediatrics and gynaecology departments where patients can get treatment throughout the week.

“It is harassment when you have been expecting the situation to improve with the upgrading of the dispensary, only to be told that no doctor is available,” said Ram Parkash Tiwari, a septuagenarian resident of Sector 22.

“Since long I never felt the need to go to any other hospital as most of the medical experts had been available here itself. But the situation has changed for the worst and the residents of the area now have to cover a distance of 3 km to reach the GMSH even for a minor health problem,” rued Rajesh Dewan ,another resident of Sector 22.

The withdrawal of doctors from the dispensary has led to a 50 per cent reduction in patients. Against an earlier figure of 800, only 400 patients are visiting the dispensary. Over half of them include women, who visit the gynaecology department, enquiries revealed. There are only three doctors for the gynaecology department, which daily averages 250 patients. Emergency services here have also been badly hit, with several doctors recruited on a contract basis having recently left.

There is a considerable shortage of doctors in the department and in order to streamline the system and put the available resources to optimum use, it has been decided to shift some of the doctors to the GMSH. Moreover, it had been observed that many doctors had been referring patients from the CHC to GMSH. “We are strengthening services at the GMSH”, said Deputy Medical Superintendent Dr M P Singh.

Medical superintendent Dr Rajiv Vadhera said he had already submitted the doctor requirement to the UT Administration and they were in the process of getting more doctors on deputation from Haryana and Punjab. Moreover, doctors are being recruited on a contract basis to fill the gap, he added. However, there is a shortage of at least 25 doctors, including two doctors in the department of medicine and one in the Emergency ward of the GMSH. In addition, there is a dearth of gynaecologists.



Traffic congestion on NH-22

Chandigarh, December 16
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today heard that unregulated developments and settlements in Pinjore-Kalka belt were causing traffic congestion on the National Highway-22. In a report, Anil Kumar Dahiya, project director, National Highway Authority of India, said on an average after every 20m, a street opened directly on the national highway cutting through Pinjore and Kalka.

Commercial establishments on either sides of the NH-22 in Pinjore and Kalka were also contributing to the congestion, as visitors and businessmen parked their vehicles on the national highway. He added that comparatively cheap accommodation in unauthorised and unregulated settlements in Kalka and Pinjore was generating pedestrians and slow moving traffic on the stretch. Dahiya said entry tax being collected by Himachal Pradesh at Haryana-Himachal border was also adding to the congestion, as vehicles entering Himachal stopped for payment. As a result, the queue extended up to Gandhi Chowk. Visitors to the famous Kali Mata temple were also parking their vehicles unauthorisedly on the national highway resulting in traffic chaos. — TNS


MC rejects GMADA’s proposal to clean N-choe
Says it is the work of development authority
Our Correspondent

Mohali, December 16
Arguments over rehris parked illegally in various parts of the town, menace of stray dogs and purchase of items for the local fire brigade marked the meeting of the municipal council held here this afternoon even as work estimates worth about Rs 5 crore were cleared by the general house.

The house, however, rejected the proposal of GMADA related to the cleaning of the N-choe and said it was the work of the development authority and not of the civic body.

When the proposal relating to the requirement of eight to 10 more employees for the removal of encroachments was put up for discussion, councillors said the menace could not be removed as employees were not doing their work sincerely. They said rehris were parked illegally throughout the town much to the annoyance of residents.

Sukhminder Singh Barnala said in Phase XI rehris were parked on footpaths and it became difficult for people to pass through various areas which gave the look of a “kabari bazaar” (scrap market).

The executive officer, Amna Kumar Goyal, however, said a 10-day campaign would be started to clear the town of illegally parked rehris. The proposal of the Punjab Energy Development Agency to make Mohali a solar city under a scheme of the Central Government was also cleared at the meeting. The Central Government was to give Rs 50 lakh in this regard.

Councillors pointed out that the civic body had failed to properly carry out the work of sterilisation as the number of dogs in the town was increasing. The house questioned the proposal of giving service benefits to 35 employees and said it would like to assess the work being done by them before giving its approval.

A five-member committee was set up for the selection of 24 firemen and two drivers on contract basis. The director, local government, had given approval for the recruitment of employees as the fire brigade was facing shortage of staff.

Councillors, however, objected to the purchase of various items which were required by the fire brigade at a cost of Rs 20 lakh saying that the earlier items should be shown to councillors before making fresh purchases.

While clearing estimates for maintenance works worth about Rs 5 crore, BB Maini said certain estimates related to industrial area would not be approved as more stress should be laid on the residential area.

Illegal Rehris

MC executive officer Amna Kumar Goyal said a 10-day campaign would be started to clear the town of illegally parked rehris. The proposal of the Punjab Energy Development Agency to make Mohali a solar city under a scheme of the Central Government was also cleared at the meeting



Protest against hike in petrol prices

Chandigarh, December 16
The Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) on Thursday held a demonstration to protest against the hike in petrol prices. The activists gathered at the party office in Sector 33 and marched towards Sectors 20, 33 labour chowk.

BJYM president Maheshinder Singh, national executive member Harshika Varma and general secretary Amit Rana were prominent among those present. — TNS



Panj Takht tourist train to start from Jan 1
Our Correspondent

Mohali, December 16
“Panj Takht Tourist Train” for those interested in paying obeisance at five takhts will be flagged off from Amritsar on January 1 next year.

This was stated by Hira Singh Gabria , Minister for Tourism, Culture and Jails, here yesterday.

He said the Punjab government with the help of private sector would run the train for the benefit of NRIs and people of Punjab.

He said the train would be equipped with all modern facilities, including laptops.

An agreement with a private international company had been signed in this regard, he added.

The nine-day travel would cost ` 2.10 lakh per person. Such a step would help in encouraging tourism in the state. The government wanted to run this train but the Central government failed to provide cooperation which delayed the project, he added.



‘Cheated’ farmers to protest against bank
Our Correspondent

Mohali, December 16
Some farmers of nearby villages, whose land was acquired by the Punjab government, have threatened to organise a dharna against the indifferent attitude of bank officials and the police towards the misappropriation of money running into crores of rupees allegedly by bank employees.

Addressing a press conference here today, Dashmesh Gill of Lakhnour said Kotak Mahindra Bank officials had approached farmers when their land was acquired. They tried to gain the confidence so that money could be deposited in their bank. But certain farmers got a shock when they found large sums of money allegedly missing from their account. He said he had also deposited Rs 85 lakh.

Chanpreet Singh, a resident of Landran, said a sum of Rs 1.37 crore was deposited in the name of his mother, Jaspal Kaur, and his sister, Navdeep Kaur, in Kotak Mahindra Bank. When they had gone to withdraw the money in April, they were shocked to know that most of the amount was allegedly wrongfully debited from the account. The matter was brought to the notice of the bank authorities, but to no avail.

Jasmer Singh of Raipur Khurd and Piyare Lal of Mauli Baidwan also alleged that large sums of money were missing from their accounts. A case was registered with the police, which had failed to provide much help.

In an official statement released by the Kotak Mahindra Bank authorities it was said that the bank had filed complaints with the police in this regard. The Mohali police had registered FIRs and formed a special investigation team, which was investigating the matter.

The persons who had allegedly committed financial irregularities were now in custody, based on the complaints filed by the bank. The customers had been informed regarding the progress made in the matter from time to time on queries raised.

The statement further said that the bank was pursuing the matter vigorously, and extending all cooperation to the investigating agencies so that the issue could be resolved quickly.



PU signs MoU with hospitals
20 pc discount to staff on all medical facilities
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 16
Fulfilling a long pending demand of the Panjab University Teachers’ Association (PUTA) and PU Non-Teaching Employees’ Association (PUSA), Panjab University has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Indus Hospital and Silver Oaks Hospital, Mohali, and Mukat Hospital, Chandigarh, for providing concession in indoor and outdoor medical treatments to its employees and bonafide regular students. The MoU will provide 20 per cent discount on all medical facilities provided in the hospitals.

The collaboration comes after a sub-committee constituted by the Vice-Chancellor and headed by Dr D Dhawan, chief medical officer (CMO), PU, Dr R Khullar, additional CMO, Dr RK Gupta (member, reimbursement committee), Dr Jaspal Kaur Kaang (president PUTA), and Ravinder Mohan Trikha (general secretary, PUSA) visited these hospitals to assess the infrastructure and available medical facilities.

The team reviewed the credentials of medical specialists and super specialists working in the hospitals. The committee observed that these hospitals are equipped with latest technology and specialised doctors in the field of medicine and surgery and is of the view that MoU with these hospitals will facilitate the employees in getting desired medical services on minimal rates.

Dr Jaspal Kaur Kaang, PUTA president, stated that signing of the MoU will provide packages for various procedures like hip replacement, knee replacement, all kinds of heart packages, including stents and AICDS on concession in accordance to rates as applicable in PGIMER, Chandigarh, and AIIMS, New Delhi.



From Schools
Foundation day

CHANDIGARH: The KVS regional incentive awards ceremony was held to commemorate the KVS foundation day at 3BRD, Chandigarh. Chief guest Air Commodore R Sharma and AFWAA president Sangita Sharma was welcomed by Assistant Commissioner MS Chauhan, KVS (CR). Fourteen teachers were given the incentive award for their valuable services. A token of gratitude was also given to ex-KVS officers for their valuable contribution to make KVS reach heights. KV 3BRD, KV-29 and KV-2, Chandi Mandir, jointly organised the cultural programme.

Annual function

Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School, Sector 26, celebrated its annual function at Inderdhanush Auditorium, Panchkula, on Thursday. Pradip Mehra, Adviser to the Administrator, inaugurated the cultural extravaganza where students displayed their talent in singing, dance and dramatics. Mehra appreciated the efforts of staff members in nurturing young talent.


Students of Delhi Public School did their school proud by bagging the first position in the national-level inter-DPS international dance competition “Global Hues” held at DPS, Dwarka. The team comprising 10 students of Classes VI and VII performed a Ukrainian dance. Delhi Public Schools from all over India participated in the competition. Principal Reema Dewan congratulated the winners.

Sports day

PATIALA: The annual sports day of the British Co-Ed High School was held today. Gurbax Singh Sandhu, national boxing coach and Dronacharya Award winner, presided over the function. The function commenced with a marchpast followed by lighting of the torch and oath-taking ceremony. A ball dance performance by girls on popular number “Jai Ho” was the highlight of the day, which left audience spellbound. Arjan Singh of Class X and Rajbir Singh of Class XI were outstanding performers of the day. Teresa House clinched the overall trophy for the best performance. — TNS

Annual day

KALKA: Good Shepherd School, Kalka, celebrated its annual day function on Wednesday on the school premises. Shamsher Singh Surjewala, former minister and state Congress president, was the chief guest. Informing this, school management manager Subodh Missal said a colourful cultural programme was presented by students of the school, which began with the lightening of the traditional lamp. While students displayed their skills and talent in rhythmic and colourful display of giddha, bhangra and western dance enthralled the audience. The chief guest gave away prizes to the students. — OC



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