C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Green belts in city
Fountains suffer for want of maintenance
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
Scores of ultra-modern fountains installed at a cost of lakhs of rupees in various green belts and parks across the city have been literally “orphaned”, thanks to the wisdom of babus in the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation.

On request from different councillors, officials did show alacrity in sanctioning funds for the fountains but forgot to frame any policy for their maintenance and security.

As a result, expensive gadgetry (including brass nozzles) of the fountains were stolen by unscrupulous elements in different parts across the city and the MC officials have no technical know-how to make the fountains operational.

The issue would have been consigned to official files but for some councillors who, during yesterday’s general house meeting of the MC, pointed out the theft of fountain equipment. Records of the corporation revealed that out of 10 fountains, which were installed in the past two years, four are not functional due to missing parts of the fountains. Every month, the MC received complaints of theft of expensive gadgetry from different parts.

Interestingly, when the case of theft of parts of fountains was being discussed, another agenda of five new fountains (costing over Rs 1 crore) was passed in the General House meeting. But sensing the mood of the councillors, Chief Engineer SS Bidda informed the house that from now onwards contractor would be made responsible for the maintenance of fountains for five years. But he did not comment about the maintenance of the existing water features.

During a visit to the parks in Sector 27, 28 and 30 where fountains were installed almost two years ago by spending over Rs 40 lakh each, it was found that due to technical faults, these water features were not functioning.

An operator said a number of times complaints had been made to the authorities but no action had been taken as there was no technical assistance available in the corporation. Area councillor Devinder Singh Babla said two fountains installed in his area were not functioning. Even the fountain installed at Shivalik Park, Mani Majra, seven years ago is also lying in a similar condition. Records of the corporation reveal that for the past four years, it had not been working due to the theft of a few fountain parts. Mani Majra councillor Gurcharan Dass Kala said it was strange that the corporation was spending crores of rupees on the installation of fountains but was overlooking their maintenance.


Most of the fountains installed in 2009 are non-functional, whereas four fountains, which were approved in 2010, are under installation process



Execution of orders by consumer courts in five years
450 pc rise in applications
Anuja Jaiswal/Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
In a span of just five years, there has been a 450 per cent increase in the number of applications filed in the city's consumer courts for the execution of the orders passed by it.

From a mere 42 applications in 2006, the number of such pleas filed in the two UT consumer forums shot up to 230 in 2010, forcing the courts to sentence violators to imprisonment. However, till date no one has been imprisoned for the non-implementation of the consumer forum's orders, as 90 per cent of the violators cough up their dues before the summon dates.

So it wouldn't be out of place to state that when it comes to consumer cases, two words that instill fear in the minds of offenders (read indicted companies/individuals liable to pay compensation) are Section 27. Though Section 27 under the Indian Penal Code is an innocuous one and relates to property in possession of wife, clerk or a servant, under the Consumer Protection Act it means imprisonment of not less than one month and a fine of Rs 2,000.

And the fear of going behind bars is precisely what is compelling defaulters to cough up compensation to clients who, despite winning their cases in consumer forums, keep waiting for receiving the money. Last week, the UT consumer forum had sentenced the proprietor of OP Pest Free Control Services, Ritika Alhuwalia, to six months’ imprisonment for not complying with its earlier order for the payment of compensation of Rs 10,000 to a complainant. The two UT consumer forums have jointly witnessed as many as 230 executions of Section 27 in 2010, of which 107 are pending. From 42 in 2006, such applications have seen a steady rise - 44 in 2007, 189 in 2008 and 193 in 2009.


Some cases in which consumer courts issued non-bailable warrants

  • January 24, 2011: The consumer court issued non-bailable warrants against a woman as she failed to give termite treatment during the service period. She was sentenced to six-month imprisonment and imposed a fine of ` 5,000 for the non-compliance of its earlier order
  • July 16, 2010: The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum sentenced the president and secretary of the Maa Shakti Cooperative Group Housing Limited of Sector 20, Panchkula, to two years’ imprisonment for the non-compliance of its orders and imposed a fine of ` 10,000 on each
  • June 25, 2010: The District Consumer Forum had ordered two-year imprisonment for the principal of the Chandigarh Institute of Paramedical Sciences in Sector 38, and his son for the non-compliance of the earlier orders issued by the forum last year. Both have also been directed to pay a fine of ` 10,000 each
  • July 6, 2010: For the non-compliance of its earlier order, the UT Consumer Forum had issued non-bailable warrants against two officials of the State Bank of India, including an assistant manager, SBI, Mohali. 



Drunken driving claims life
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
Triple riding on a bike in an inebriated state claimed the life of the 24-year-old man driving the bike and injured three others in a head-on collision between a scooter and a bike in Maloya village here this morning.

The mishap occurred in the wee hours of this morning near the Snehalya Institute for Destitute Children in Maloya, near Sector 39.

Ashok Kumar, an undergraduate and an employee with a private bank, was on his motorcycle along with two others - 18-year-old Balwinder Singh and 24-year-old Meet Ram. Their bike collided head-on with a scooter coming from the opposite direction driven by Nitin, a Maloya resident. While the three motorcyclists were not wearing helmets, Nitin was wearing one.

After the collision, all four were rushed to hospital, where Ashok was declared brought dead. The medical examination of the others confirmed the presence of alcohol in their body, said the police.

The police said Nitin Kumar was coming from Maloya to Sector 39 when his scooter rammed into the bike driven by Ashok Kumar, who suffered severe head injuries.

The police initially registered a cross case against both parities, including Ashok Kumar and Nitin, but after the death of Ashok, charges of death due to negligent driving under Section 304-A of the IPC were slapped against Nitin Kumar.



Stabbing Incident
Teenager loses thumb, forefinger; police yet to act
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
A stab injury following a road rage incident wrecked a teenager’s right arm in Sector 40 last evening and it took over five hours for the PGI doctors today to operate upon the 18-year-old.

The victim, Siddharth Malhotra, a Class XII student, will not be able to move his forefinger and thumb again, stated doctors to the boy’s family.

A lackadaisical Chandigarh police is yet to wake up and arrest the accused even as all four of them have been identified. What’s more, all the police did was book them under bailable sections and dismissed it as a simple case of brawl even as the victim sustained multiple stab injuries.

Four assailants stabbed Siddharth in Sector 40 after he got into a scuffle with them as they damaged his bike. The four bashed him up, following which one of them took out a knife and stabbed him. Siddharth is pursuing studies from an open school.

“Doctors told us that Siddharth will not be able to move his right finger and thumb in the near future. His condition may improve after some months, but even then, the movement will be only 70 per cent as the knife pierced his right arm and damaged the nerves completely,” said a grieving Arun Malhotra, Siddharth’s father while talking to Chandigarh Tribune. Arun added that the father of one of the accused Ankush Chadha is politically connected and even threatened him at the hospital.

“My son returned from tuition and he had parked his motorcycle near Sampark centre in Sector 40 and was talking to a friend when a rashly driven bike rammed into his motorcycle and broke its headlights. As he confronted the two, they soon called their friends who came in a white Hyundai i10 car and one of them, identified as Ankush Chadha, took out a knife and attacked him,” said Arun Malhotra.

“Even as we provided the vehicle number CH04 C 0255 to the police, and identified all accused, the police has not taken any action and imposed softer sections, which are bailable while it is a case of murder attempt,” he said, adding that the father of one of the accused also threatened him in the hospital. “I thought he came to ask about the condition of my son, but the father of the prime accused Ankush Chadha, Sanjeev Chadha, told me that he is politically well-connected and the police cannot touch him while threatening them with dire consequences,” he added.

The other accused have been identified as Kartik, Himanshu and Dilpreet. The police has registered a case under Sections 323, 324, 506, 427 of the IPC in the Sector 39 police station.

3rd incident involving school student

Rising intolerance among youths and road rage incidents have led to a steep rise in incidents of violent brawls among students. Yesterday’s incident was the third such incident depicting increasing violence among the students.

November 2010: A Class XII student of Government School, Sector 33, Manmeet Singh, was stabbed by a youth in Sector 27. The student had come for tuition when his teacher's neighbour assaulted him. The accused, Vishal Joshi, was arrested and a case of attempt to murder was registered against him in the Sector 26 police station.

January 26, 2011: A Class XII student of Government Model School, Sector 37, Pardeep Singh, was stabbed by unidentified assailants in Sector 22. The police is yet to make any arrest in the case.



U-16 footballers do city proud
Lift North Zone trophy
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
Chandigarh U-16 football team has done the city proud by lifting the North Zone trophy for the first time today.

With this there is a double bonanza in this month, as other city football teams have won top honours at national level. Besides, the city had secured two national titles last year taking the title tally to four in nine months.

Today’s title came with Chandigarh drubbing Haryana by 6-0 in a title clash of the All-India Football Federation-backed National Football Championship (North Zone) for the U-16 in Kashipur (Uttarakhand) today.

The win also enabled the U-16 team to secure berth for the first time in the forthcoming All-India National Football Championship scheduled for February 12 in Kolkata.

Ace forwards Danial and Samual played a vital role in the win by scoring two goals each, while Arjit and Timohi netted a goal each.

In the winning squad, 10 members were from the state-run Chandigarh Football Academy at Sector 42, here.

As many as eight teams from North participated. Interestingly, city boys scored 13 goals against their rival teams (2-0 against Delhi, 2-1 against Haryana and 3-0 against Jammu and Kashmir) and conceded just one goal in the tournament.

“I am sure that our boys will bring the All-India trophy next month,” said the proud coach, Harjinder Singh.


June 25, 2010: Chandigarh U-19 team lifted Dr BC Roy Football Trophy for the first time.

Nov 25, 2010: Chandigarh lifted U-14 team lifted Subroto Cup for the first time.

Jan 12, 2011: Chandigarh U-14 won gold medal for the second time in a row in the National School Games.

Jan 29, 2011: Chandigarh U-16 team won the North Zone trophy for the first time.


Shortage of radiologists
Health dept reaches out to private sector
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, January 29
With only two radiologists in five government hospitals in Mohali district, the Punjab health department has pressed the alarm button and come out with a scheme to reach out to the private sector to overcome the crisis even as a lifestyle clinic is being set up at the local civil hospital.

Patients in the district feel deprived of various medical facilities due to shortage of radiologists as they are not available in the hospitals throughout the week.

According to sources, Dr Vijay Bhagat, a radiologist at the Mohali Civil Hospital, has to go to Kurali Community Health Centre every Tuesday to attend to patients there. Similarly, another radiologist, Dr Harneet Kaur, posted at the Dera Bassi hospital, has to take care of patients at the Kharar hospital twice a week. The community health centre at Banur has also to be covered.

Keeping the welfare of patients in mind, the Principal Secretary, health and family welfare, had decided to reach out to the private sector to overcome the shortage of radiologists. In accordance with the decision of the Principal Secretary, the Punjab Health Systems Corporation (PHSC) has invited expressions of interest from radiologists and radiodiagnostic centres for providing referral diagnostic services in the district.

Sources further said the managing director, PHSC, Raji P Srivastava, had asked the Mohali Civil Surgeon, Dr PK Shridhar, to directly receive the proposals, which would be evaluated and finalised by a committee. Dr Shridhar would be heading the committee and Deputy Medical Commissioner and Senior Medical Officer would be its members.

While talking to The Tribune, Shridhar said talks with private radiologists were going on. Those found suitable would be enrolled to provide services in areas which lacked these and payments would be made as per the terms of the agreement. The hospitals would be providing machines for carrying out various tests.

The Civil Surgeon further said that a lifestyle clinic was being set up in the local civil hospital. The hospital would also be equipped with a separate maternity ward having a neo-natal unit, foetal monitor in the labour room, round-the-clock laboratory services, digital x-ray machine and a priority laboratory for cultural sensitivity tests.

Giving details about the lifestyle clinic, Dr Rajiv Bhalla, SMO in charge, said efforts would be made to screen all patients visiting the hospital for blood pressure, diabetes, height and weight before they were sent to doctors concerned. In case of need, patients would be asked to undergo certain investigations so that the problems were brought under check well in time. The clinic was likely to become functional by Monday and emergency medical officers would be put on duty in the lifestyle clinic.



GMCH gets nine new posts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has given its nod for creating three posts of junior residents in the department of dentistry at Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32.

Besides, six posts of various categories, including demonstrator, biotechnologist and DNA analyst in the genetic centre, have also been created. It was two months ago on November 26 that additional 20 technical posts were approved for the GMCH by the ministry.

In fact, taking steps to improve infrastructure in the lone public sector medical college in the region, the ministry had sanctioned Rs 45.56 crore for the GMCH last year to start new postgraduate disciplines and increase postgraduate seats.

The GMCH had projected to increase postgraduate seats to another 48 seats over and above the existing seats. Now the GMCH is expected to have 48 seats of post-graduation in specialties of anatomy, biochemistry, pharmacology, pulmonary medicine, community medicine, forensic medicine, general medicine, paediatrics, dermatology, general surgery, psychiatry, transfusion medicine, orthopaedics, radio diagnosis, obstetrics and gynaecology.

Earlier, 93 posts for the Government Institute for Mentally Retarded Children run by the Hospital had been sanctioned by the ministry. Still there were nearly 10 such cases had been under consideration of the ministry and expected to be cleared soon, said Dr Raj Bahadur. There was a dire need of professor in the departments of orthopaedics and anaesthesia for which efforts were being made to get the approval in near future, he added.



Girl goes missing from hospital
Was earlier found dumped naked along NH
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 29
The role of the police is under scanner as the “mentally retarded” girl who was found dumped near Sector 4 Maheshpur village on the National Highway-22 yesterday was found missing from her bed in the Sector 6 General Hospital this morning.

However, Om Parkash, Sector 5 SHO, said while admitting that the girl had left the hospital on her own, he said though two lady constables had taken her to the hospital for medical examination yesterday evening, was not found on her bed this morning.

In reply to a query whether the police had failed to give proper assistance to the girls in despair, the SHO said they can’t force anyone to undergo psychiatric or psychological test to ascertain whether he or she is mentally challenged nor forcefully keep one in their custody.

He further said that she didn’t want to register a case against anyone.



Land Acquisition
Residents up in arms against pvt institute
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, January 29
High tension prevailed in Sanoli village when hundreds of village residents opposed the land acquisition by a private educational institute here today. The institute had taken a common land on lease for 33 years for setting up a world class day-boarding school. Village residents raised slogans against the state government and Banur MLA Jasjeet Singh Bunny.

They demanded that the lease should be cancelled to save the common land. They threatened to continue with their protest till their demands were fulfilled. Village residents also said they got the information that officials of the educational institute, along with labourers and a JCB reached at the common land and started their work.

In the meantime village residents reached the spot and asked the labourer to stop the work. Later, the matter become worse as the heated arguments started between the village residents and officials of the educational institute. The police team also reached the spot and assured the village residents that they will do justice. Residents alleged that the sarpanch, along with three panchayat members, had given 23 acres to a private institute for 33 years on lease, ignoring the interest of village residents. They threatened that they would not allow anyone to take control over the land.

Meanwhile, the officials of JTL Education Foundation Trust denied the allegations and claimed that they had taken the land on lease as per government rules after getting approval from Punjab Governor.



Golf tourism packages launched

Chandigarh, January 29
The UT Administration through the Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation (CITCO) has launched golf tourism packages aimed at promoting golf tourism in and around Chandigarh. Tourists can avail golf packages at Hotel Mountview, Hotel Shivalikview and Hotel Parkview.

The UT Administration is promoting city as a golf destination with two golf courses and other two golf courses in the vicinity. — TNS



Iranian city MC team visits UT
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
A 14-member team of the Municipal Corporation of Jordian city in Iran visited the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation today to study its working.

MC Additional Commissioner (I) TPS Phoolka welcomed the delegation and SE, public health, RK Goyal has given a brief introduction regarding various projects of water supply, gardens and greenbelts, urban planning and architecture to the delegation.

The delegation included Jordian city Mayor Ismail Hassan Waahi 10 councillors and three officials. The team also visited the sewerage treatment plant, green parks and water works.



False alarm puts police in a tizzy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
The police was on its toes today after the Police Control Room received a call of a bank robbery in Canara Bank, Sector 35. However, it later turned out to be a false alarm as a bank employee accidentally pressed the security alarm button, which has its connectivity with the Police Control Room.

The incident took place around 9.40 am when security guard of the bank Swaran Singh accidentally turned on the security alarm which the bank had installed last week.

A message was flashed to the Police Control Room and on mobile phone of senior manager Satinder Kumar and manger Anil Kumar. A team led by SHO, Sector 36, inspector Sukhbir Rana reached the spot in a couple of minutes only to find that the alarm button was accidentally pressed.


Two unidentified motorcycle-borne youths snatched a purse from a 19-year-old Sector 41 resident in Chandigarh on Saturday. The incident took place around 8 pm near the residential area in Sector 41 when the victim, Ambisha Sharma, was on her way back home on foot. The victim is pursuing BA from Swami VivekAnand College in Banur. In her complaint to the police, Ambisha said she was attacked by two youths. They took away her purse containing Rs 6,300 and some documents. Both the accused were wearing helmets and the victim failed to note down the registration number of the vehicle. A case under Sections 356 and 379 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) has been registered at the Sector 39 police station.



Shatabdi delayed by hour
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
Hundreds of persons kept on waiting for their near and dear ones at the Chandigarh railway station today, courtesy delay in evening Shatabdi (12005) by an hour due to bad weather.

The clueless relatives queued up at the enquiry counter to seek information about the time of its arrival. The Shatabdi Express that reaches Chandigarh at 8.45 pm arrived at about 9.45 pm today. Railway sources said inclement weather on the way delayed the Shatabdi.



Body donated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
The department of anatomy, PGI, has received the body of Mukta Mani Bahl, a former staff nurse of the Chandigarh Health Department, for research.

Seventy nine-year-old Mukta, a resident of Sector 20, Chandigarh retired from Poly Clinic, Sector 22, around 20 years ago.

According to family members, she pledged her body just two months before her death on January 2. The department was grateful for this noble cause, said Dr Daisy Sawhney, head of anatomy department, PGI.



Key administrative posts in PU vacant
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
Recurring attempts by the Panjab University authorities to fill up its key administrative posts, including that of Registrar, director public relations and dean college development council, have fallen flat.

First advertised nearly two years ago in June 2009, these crucial profiles are currently being handled as the “additional charges” by PU’s senior faculty members, who are already managing important charges like controller of examination and dean student welfare.

Having “not found any suitable candidate” in the interviews conducted last year, the university re-advertised these posts on October 16, 2010. The applicants await calls for fresh interviews.

Responding to a query at the Syndicate meeting held on January 21, PU Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti said the posts would be filled by February end, 2011. Incidentally, in October 2010 also, Sobti had announced that these posts would be filled “shortly”.

With nearly a year left for Sobti’s tenure as the PU Vice-Chancellor, pressure to fill up these important posts is mounting from various quarters of PU now. Accountability, claim certain Syndics, is suffering due to multiple profiles being imposed on a few individuals in the university.

“Not filling up important posts is not good for the overall health of the university. Lack of efficiency and accountability are the direct outcomes of delaying the recruitments for these posts. The university’s smooth functioning gets hampered and not filling up the posts has also resulted in a casual approach among employees and officials,” said Rabindernath Sharma, a Senate-Syndicate member, PU.

“Independent charges must be given to individuals. Certain talented persons maybe handling multiple profiles but is it humanly possible to tackle all important tasks?” he questioned. University officials, however, continued to claim that the posts would be filled up shortly.

Additional Charge

Failing to find a suitable candidate for important posts, the PU Vice-Chancellor made an announcement on September 30, 2010, that AK Bhandari, who was controller of examinations, would also be given the charge of Registrar till further orders. Naval Kishore, dean student welfare (DSW), was also given the profile of dean college development council (DCDC).

Importance of key posts

  • Registrar: The post is among the most powerful administrative functionary in PU, next to the VC. He chairs the meeting of the highest governing body of the university, the Senate, who, along with the VC is responsible for several administrative tasks.
  • Dean, college development council: The post is responsible for PU’s coordination with nearly 179 affiliated colleges. He addresses grievances of college principals and ensures implementations of PU’s rules for colleges.
  • Director, public relations: The post is also the official spokesperson of PU and is responsible for coordination with the media.



Sainara, Divya shine in rangoli contest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
A workshop on “Gandhi darshan” and “Satyagraha exhibition” was organised today by Yuvsatta, an NGO, along with the Peace Club of the Dev Samaj College of Education, Sector 36.

An inter-college rangoli, collage making and spinning competitions on the theme “Message of Mahatma” were also organised on the occasion.

Haryana cabinet minister Randeep Singh Surjewala was the chief guest and Reeta Kohli, Additional Advocate General of Punjab, presided over the programme, in which nearly 300 students from 10 different colleges of the city participated.

The Chandigarh Institute of Hotel Management (CIHM) was declared the overall best college amongst all participating colleges. Winners of the inter-college rangoli contest were Sainara, Bikram, Nirmal and Divya. The first prize in the collage-making contest was bagged by Shivani, Joha, Phunchok and Harshit.



‘Panache’ enters Day II

Chandigarh, January 29
The Bachelors in Business Administration (BBA) Club of GGDSD College, Sector 32, today organised the second day of its annual management fest “Panache 2011” on the college premises.

Students from nearly 30 educational institutes of the tricity and nearby areas of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh displayed their skills in the event.
Chief guest Brijesh Rai, director general manager, Chandigarh Circle, State Bank of India, encouraged the students to participate enthusiastically in such events. — TNS



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