C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Water crisis looms large in Mohali, too
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 2
In the coming week, major repair works at the Bhakra Canal will quite literally leave Mohali waterless. Against the demand for 23 million gallons per day (MGD), Mohali will receive around 8 MGD of water, including 5.2 MGD from tube wells.

Sounding the alarm, the state public health department while banning the misuse of water in the morning till 9 am, has also ordered the rationing of the water supply from April 5 to April 21. The worst affected would be the sizeable population living in Phases 1 to 11 that is mostly dependent on the canal water from the Kajauli waterworks. At present, 10 MGD of water comes from Kajauli and 5.2 MGD is pumped from tube wells.

The Executive Engineer of the department said Sectors 67 to 69 would not be affected as the supply in the areas was through tube wells. As per the water supply schedule, the water pressure would be low in the morning and there would be no afternoon supply. The evening supply would also be for a limited period. “Do not expect the supply to reach the upper floors as we are aware of the amount of water that will be flowing during the repair work from the Bhakra Canal. It could be just 3 MGD or even less,” an official said.

The department is planning to provide water through tankers in the areas that are likely to bear the burnt. Sources said the existing storage capacity can supply water to the town for a maximum of two days. Even after the repairs were over, the town would face crisis as the existing supply of 15.2 MGD was short of the demand for 23 MGD.

Ban on watering of lawns

The public health department has banned the use of water for watering of lawns and washing of vehicles and driveways from April 5 to June 30. Surprise checks will be undertaken to check the use of motors.



City parties through the night
Deepankar Sharda

Cops keep watch

To avoid any untoward incident, the Chandigarh Police deployed over 300 police personnel at various places. DSP Roshan Lal said, “The police have made proper arrangements so that the cricket craze does not turn into a problem to the public.”

Phone lines jammed

With people congratulating each other, the cricket fever was so high among the masses that the telephone network got jammed.

Anti-climax for some

Residents of Mohali were not able to enjoy the match till the end as there was a power cut in most sectors, depriving viewers of the perfect climax.

Time to say cheers

The sale of liquor suddenly rose after the win. The liquor vendor near the lake was kept busy, with hundreds of youths gathering there to enjoy the win with liquor.

Chandigarh, April 2
As the Men in Blue registered their much-awaited victory after a gap of 28 years, city roads witnessed a deluge of cricket fans on roads celebrating the cricket team’s win.

After ‘The Lions’ defeated ‘The Tigers’ in the most exciting final of the World Cup, people in the city came out to celebrate the win.

Just after the Indian team were crowned champions for the second time, people of city were seen enjoying the triumph of their favourites, leaving everything else.

Cricket fans came on the roads to become part of the celebrations. People were seen dancing on ‘dhol’ beats and loud music.

“The environment after the team’s victory was like all festivals (Diwali, Holi, Lohri) being celebrated together as every one was enjoying the moment at their best,” said Vaneeta Kumari, looking at cricket fans enjoying at Aroma Hotel in Sector 22.

The same scene was seen at the hotel lane in Sectors 35 and 43, with cricket fans enjoying after the team’s achievement.

“We are proud of our team. They deserve this victory. It is a golden win in the history of Indian cricket,” said a cricket lover, sipping his drink at a hotel.

The famous ‘geri’ route also witnessed young boys and girls enjoying the win by bursting crackers and rockets in the air.

“We are very happy with this win. It is the biggest gift for us after the win over Pakistan. The Indian cricket team have given us reason to cheer and we will not miss this chance,” said a group of friends, wandering around the lake road.

Residents and some students of Panjab University gathered at the Cricket Stadium, Sector 16, to celebrate the historic win. Sectors 22, 35 and 15 roads were also jammed.



300 seats in Shatabdi vacant
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 2
The evening Chandigarh-New Delhi Shatabdi Express, which otherwise registers a high occupancy rate on weekends, left the city with 300 vacant seats.

Sources said the Shatabdi left with about 300 seats vacant. On the day of the semifinal between India and Pakistan on March 30 in Mohali, the evening Shatabdi had 200 vacant seats.



Protest by students for not getting roll nos
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 2
High drama prevailed at Postgraduate Government College, Sector 11, where 20 students, who had been refused roll numbers for shortage of attendance, protested against college authorities and demanded a second chance.

A group of 70 students shouted slogans urging college authorities to have mercy.

“How can they be so insensitive? We know we are short of lectures and thus our roll numbers are being with held. We are ready to give written declaration to cover up in second or third year, but college officials are not willing to listen,” said a student.

However, principal JS Raghu said “mercy” was out of question, as majority of them had come to the college.

“These students are not the ones who are short of just a few lectures. A majority of them have 0 to 5 per cent as their total attendance. Still they are protesting and demanding mercy. I can’t bend rules for them,” he said.



IGNOU convocation telecast at PU
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 2
The 22nd convocation of Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) was telecast at Panjab University’s English department auditorium here today.

IGNOU’s Regional Centre held a function to award 207 degrees and certificates, of which a majority were professional graduates in hospitality management, library sciences, education and computer applications.

Dharam Vir, State Election Commissioner (Haryana) was the guest of honour. The local programme began with the annual report of the Regional Centre presented by Dr Asha Sharma, Regional Director. She said the overall enrolment enhanced to 15 per cent in 2010 from the previous year. “The number of fresh learners increased to 25 per cent in just one year of the establishment of this Regional Centre,” she said.

“Programme centres in MSc (food service management) in GMCH; BSc (anaesthesia critical care) at Dhawan Hospital in Panchkula, the establishment of a centre for ex-servicemen at Mohali and one for water shed management at Nabha, were the crucial developments in the past,” said Dr Sharma. In the convocation address, Dharam Vir advised learners to develop skills and contribute to the growth of the nation apart from benefiting themselves in India and abroad.



India lacks medical care for players, says expert
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 2
Even as cricket is the most sought after game in India, the country lacks in a specialised medical help, guidance, a system for injury surveillance, pre-season screening or the computerised documentation for injuries as is available in the developed countries.

These findings of a team from the PGI orthopaedics department were discussed at the two-day World Congress on Science and Medicine, which concluded here yesterday. In a first-of-its-kind study conducted by Dr MS Dhillon, head (orthopedics), and Dr Ritesh on 95 players involved in cricket camps held at the PCA Stadium, Mohali, a total of 54 new injuries were recorded with an average age of an injured player being 20.8 years.

The number of days of practice or matches, which a player missed, was often as high as two months, with bowlers missing out the most due to injuries. Seven of the 26 fast bowlers had some episodes of back pain during this period.

The severity of the injury sustained during bowling was found to be the highest, followed by the injury sustained during fielding and batting and least during wicket keeping.

Bowlers have an increased risk of sustaining lower limb injury and fast bowlers of sustaining back injury.

Unfortunately, this concept is not clarified at training centres in smaller towns, as specialised strengthening for vulnerable areas needed to be introduced into all training protocols. Thus, these players received more injuries due to an unstructured training, said Dr Dhillon.

A specialised medical help and guidance from medical personnel adequately trained in sports injury management is not always immediately available to all injured players, especially in smaller towns of north India.

There is a significant tendency among players to hide their injuries from their coach and medical personnel for fear of losing their place in the team. This leads to players continuing to play despite injury, which often worsens the condition and makes treatment as well as rehabilitation difficult, says Dr Dhillon.

He said though all diagnostic imaging was available in the region, sufficient awareness at the local level was not available to guide these players to specialised centres, so that their problems were prevented from becoming significant.

Playing a game of suduko can help a batsman to keep better mental state prior and during the batting. However, this enhanced mental state does not necessary improve the batting performance. This was revealed in a research conducted in South Africa.

More such games and relaxation techniques could be introduced into batting preparation in the future and sports psychology specialists in the PGI would be asked to design such protocols to help Indian players.


Burning of dry leaves goes unchecked
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 2
Dump dry leaves in any corner of the street or market and burn those fearlessly as the drive of the municipal corporation (MC) to stop the burning of dry leaves remains only on paper.

Residents of the city are irked over the burning of dry leaves and grass despite a ban being enforced by the MC under the Environment Act. During a visit to various sectors in the city, it was found that piles of dry leaves were being burnt with impunity. “This happens everyday, nearly everywhere in the city,” said Major DS Sandhu, a resident of Sector 35. Remains of small fires as well as smoke was seen at different places in Sectors 15, 16, 35, 36, 38 (West), 45 and 46. It was a common sight to come across piles of leaves on roadsides, particularly in the morning.

“Burning of leaves during rush hours, especially in the morning, is definitely not a pleasant sight,” said Gaurav a resident of Sector 50.

In the past 10 years, the MC had failed to come up with a permanent solution for dry leaves. Even projects which were proposed earlier to manage dry leaves never saw the light of the day.

In 2002, the then UT Adviser, Neeru Nanda, had initiated the project “Sahaj Safai” and “Khad Banao Kendras” at Sectors 15, 21, 26, 27, 33 and 36.

Under this, the authorities in these sectors installed infrastructure for decomposing dry leaves to make fertiliser and using it in green belts of the city. Sources in the administration admitted that those projects were not working at present as the authorities had failed to manage those.

As the MC authorities had failed to manage the problem of the disposal of dry leaves, it had approached the Haryana Agricultural University at Hisar to suggest fool-proof measures to manage dry leaves in the city, especially during spring, so that its permanent solution could be arrived at. Till date, no plan had been chalk out by the MC to solve this problem, an annual feature.



Encroachment by hotel removed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 2
A UT estate office team, in an anti-encroachment drive, today removed fencing and a gate, which Hotel Shivalikview, being run by the the Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation (CITCO), had erected on plot number 16, adjoining it, at Sector 17 here.

The team, led by superintendent Ravinder Sharma, reached the hotel along with a heavy police posse around 9 am. The hotel staff alleged that the team did not show them any order in connection with the demolition and started removing the fencing and the gate.

They also demolished a makeshift hut, which was being used by a gardener of the hotel to maintain the land, and confiscated all goods, stated a staff member of CITCO. “They only said they had orders of the UT Estate Officer,” he added.

The plot was being used as a parking lot by the hotel. “We have been using the land since 1990 as the UT administration had permitted CITCO in this regard,” said Kashmir Chand, president of the CITCO Workers Union. He termed the action of the estate office inappropriate.



14 illegal dhabas removed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 2
The enforcement department of the municipal corporation (MC) remove 14 illegal dhabas at the market in Sector 26 here yesterday.

The drive was conducted under the supervision of MC Additional Commissioner Lalit Siwach and he was assisted by inspector KD Sharma and Kashmira Singh, along with other enforcement department staff.

An official said the drive was conducted on the complaint of shopkeepers at the market. Repeated complaints had been received about the mushrooming of illegal dhabas in the market for the past six months.



UHBVN launches online payment facility
Tribune news Service

Panchkula, April 2
In order to facilitate the city residents making payment of power bills, the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam has launched online payment facility for the domestic and non-domestic category consumers of district here today.

A senior UHBVN official said this facility would soon be extended for the consumers of Ambala, Yamunanagar, Kurukshetra, Kaithal, Karnal, Panipat, Sonepat, Rothay, Jhajjar and Jind districts shortly.

He said from now onwards consumers would be able to make payments through the official website of the nigam and added that online payment facility would be available through credit cards, debit cards and net banking.

For availing this facility, the consumers would be required to get themselves registered on the website of the nigam, he added.

The spokesman said the consumer would be required to pay one per cent of the electricity bill amount for making payment through Visa and Master debit/credit cards, 1.75 per cent of the billed amount for payment through American Express Bank/Diners Card and Rs 4 per transaction through net-banking.

The UHBVN official said with the launch of e-payment facility, the consumers would not be required to visit the cash collection centres of the nigam and it would facilitate them in making payment of their bills from all corners of the world. The consumers would be able to have the details of their electricity bills on the website of the nigam, he added.



Residential Property
Collector rate up by 40 pc
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 2
The Mohali administration has increased the collector rate for residential, commercial and institutional property by about 40 per cent with effect from April 1. The rate is a benchmark to assess the value of a property to be registered. This means the registration of property in the district has become a expensive proposition now.

The collector rate for residential property has been increased from the earlier Rs 14,000 per sq yard to Rs 20,000 per sq yard, depending on the sector. For developed sector, the rate is Rs 20,000 per sq yard and for the developing sector, it is between Rs 16,000 per sq yard and Rs 18,000 per sq yard. This is the third revision in the last one year.

Similarly, the collector rate in Kharar for commercial property has been increased from Rs 7,700 to Rs 10,000 per sq yard and for residential property from Rs 3,300 to Rs 6,000 per sq yard. With the hike of 40 per cent in the rate, registering the sale deed of a one kanal plot means paying a stamp duty of Rs 8 lakh as against Rs 5.6 lakh earlier.



Passing building maps
Fee up, applicants down
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, April 2
Deterred by the Zirakpur Municipal Council move to increase the fees for the passing of building maps, very less number of applicants turned up in past month.

According to an MC official, during the entire month of March, only 10 applicants had applied for the house building maps, that too only for the first floors.

The official added that normally the council was receiving around 250 to 300 maps every month, but the number reduced to 10. He added that the building map charges had been increased following a letter from the local government department.

The enhanced charges have come into effect from March 1. The proposal was approved by the councillors during a recent council meeting, the official said.

According to sources, the building map approval fee for residential sites was increased to Rs 323 per sq yd from the earlier Rs 80 per sq yd for residential sites of 50 sq yd to 125 sq yd and Rs 213 per sq yd for 250 sq yd plot and above. For commercial sites, the rate has been increased from Rs 350 per sq yd to Rs 2,815 per sq yd.



Sec 80 plots in knee-deep stinking water
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 2
A number of allottees in Sector 80 here are regretting the day when they were allotted plots by the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA). For the past several months they have been requesting GMADA for demarcation of their respective plots, but no avail.

Reason, the plots allotted to them are knee-deep in stinking water and it is not possible to give demarcation. The estate office of GMADA has not bothered to drain out water from the plots and instead warned that no exemption from the extension fee would be allowed.

One of the affected allottees, Surinder Pal Singh Chahal, lamented that despite writing to the GMADA since November last year, no one from the department was able to resolve their problem. “I have already taken loan against the plot, but not been able to start construction. I am being forced to pay bank interest for no fault of mine,” he said.

It is not the case of Surinder Pal Singh alone, a row of plots in the area are under knee-deep water.



BJYM terms govt a joke
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 2
Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) national general secretary Manoranjan Mishra said here yesterday that the government at the Centre had become a joke due to the allegations of corruption against its ministers.

Addressing a press conference, he alleged that the government had proved a failure on every front, whether it was corruption, black money or sky-rocketing prices.

He further said the government was not willing to fight corruption, which was clear from the appointment of a person involved in corrupt practice as CVC.

Wikileaks disclosures were proof that the UPA government had been playing with the sovereignty of the nation, he said.

The Shunglu Committee report had noted that there was misappropriation of a huge amount public money in the Commonwealth Games, he added.



Insurance company told to pay Rs 2.3 lakh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 2
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum (I) has directed Reliance General Insurance Co Ltd to pay Rs 2.3 lakh to a Mohali resident for expenses incurred on the repair of his truck which was damaged in an accident.

Besides, the firm was asked to pay Rs 15,000 as compensation for causing him mental agony and harassment.

The forum observed that the insurance company had repudiated the claim of the complainant, Gurpinder Singh Grewal, on flimsy grounds, despite the fact that the truck was comprehensively insured with them. As nobody appeared on the behalf of insurance company, it was proceeded against exparte.

Grewal had insured his Ashoka Leyand truck with Reliance General Insurance and the same was valid from September 18, 2009 to September 17, 2010. The said vehicle was damaged in an accident on January 13, 2010. His manager immediately informed the insurance company and the vehicle was inspected by a surveyor on January 15, 2010. Following which the repair work started.

On February 24, 2010, the surveyor had submitted all required documents, along with the final photographs, to the company. Grewal had submitted the RC, road tax, certificate of fitness, permit, copy of bills for Rs 2.3 lakh, FIR, his driver’s DL for verification. But the insurance company repudiated the claim.

The forum comprising member Madanjit Kaur Sahota and presiding member Rajinder Singh Gill directed the insurance company to pay all expenses incurred on the repair of the truck, along with compensation of Rs 15,000 and Rs 5,000 as cost of litigation.



World Autism Day
Reaching out to special children
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 2
Those children suffering from autism need love and compassion to improve their skills. This was the message at a function on the World Autism Awareness Day organised by the Society for Rehabilitation of Mentally Challenged (SOREM) at the Tagore Theatre here today.

All the 86 children of SOREM participated in the event, which included fashion show, dance, and a skit portraying the problems being faced by such children and their parents.

Autism is a neurological disorder, which is characterised by impaired social interaction, communication and repetitive behaviour.

There are nearly three million people with this disorder in the country.

When a child avoids eye contact and find it difficult to hear, or find difficulty in communicating and understanding any language, parents should consult experts as these may be the symptoms of autism.

Though no single cause of autism is known, current research links autism to biological or neurological differences in brain.

The therapies and behavioural interventions are designed to remedy specific symptoms and can bring about substantial improvement as there is no cure for the disorder.

SOREM has signed an MoU with Global Autism Society, New York, to impart training to parents, teachers and professionals for better handling of individuals with special needs.



Irregularities in exam branch
Only dates, no meetings
Tribune News Service

Irregularities reported

l Two student leaders of the Panjab University Students’ Union (PUSU) had got their examination centre changed to their home town on fake medical grounds in connivance of a PU examination branch employee
l Poor co-ordination between university’s conduct branch (which supplies material at examination centres) and the examination branch (which allots centres to students)
l “Patronising” of certain examination branch employees by powerful Senate and Syndicate members

Chandigarh, April 2
Despite revelation of shocking irregularities in Panjab University’s examination branch in a report submitted by SK Sharma and a subsequent report submitted by a retired Punjab and Haryana High Court judge, PU’s indifference to reform its ailing examination system is reflected in the matter.

The examination branch report, which was slated for discussion at the Senate meeting on March 29, was unexpectedly postponed till March 31 on the grounds that it had not been discussed by the Syndicate members.

However, the meeting never happened. The Syndicate meeting was again postponed to April 2 (Saturday), but that, too, didn’t take place.

When asked for the delay, four out of total 15 Syndicate members didn’t know the reason.

Both the executive body of the university, the Syndicate and Senate, have remained silent on the matter so far.

In what comes across as a startling fact supplemented by forensic proof by SK Sharma, a senior retired PU faculty member, there has been “patronising” of the examination branch employees by certain “powerful” Senate and Syndicate members.

As per Sharma’s report, the report lists the names of several employees, who have not been transferred from their post for the past 30 years.

PU Vice-Chancellor Ranbir Chander Sobti refused to comment on the matter.

“An impossible situation”

“It’s not that all employees here (examination branch) are corrupt. Three persons were identified for indulging in corrupt practices. One of them was transferred immediately after SK Sharma presented his report; another retired; and the transfer of the third is underway. The number of students on the campus has increased from 2.34 to 2.48 lakh, but the number of employees dealing with examination related work remains the same.”

— A senior administrative functionary said on the condition of anonymity.



Youngsters urged to focus on technical education
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 2
“Biggest challenge before us is to provide a secure future to the youth. To overcome this challenge the youth will have to divert their mind towards technical education,” said Deepender Singh Hooda, MP from Rohtak, during the annual prize distribution function of Sri Ram Institute of Technical Education at Mauli near Barwala here today.

Hooda said: “We have to accelerate the Industrial Revolution to ensure the all-round development of the country and added that various steps have been taken by the state government to provide qualitative education to students.”

The MP honoured the students, who have excelled in their respective fields of education, sports and other curricular activities. Earlier, principal VK Garg presented the annual report of the institute.

Deputy Speaker of Vidhan Sabha Akram Khan, Parliamentary Secretary Ram Kishan Gujjar, Panchkula MLA DK Bansal and editor of Dainik Tribune Naresh Kaushal were present.



Mimicry, skit mark annual function

Mohali, April 2
The annual function of Quest Group of Institutions “Quest 2011” was held on the college premises here today. Youth Akali Dal patron Bikram Singh Majithia was the chief guest on the occasion. Dr NP Singh, Dean (DEP), and Dr Buta Singh Sidhu, Dean (academics), Punjab Technical University, were guests of honour. The function began with lighting of the traditional lamp.

Students participated in various events like skit, rangoli making, T-shirt painting, face painting, mehandi, solo dance, solo song, mimicry, group dance, collage making, modelling, shabad and choreography. — TNS



900 delegates attend dental seminar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 2
With the presentation of 65 research papers on day one, the second national seminar on clinical dentistry today kicked off at Panjab University’s Dr Harvansh Singh Judge Institute of Dental Sciences here today.

More than 900 delegates, comprising students and teachers of dental colleges of North India participated.

Papers were presented on topics varying from evidence-based dentistry to the recent advances in dental sciences.

Students presented 45 informative posters that were adjudged by specialists in respective fields.

The seminar will continue till tomorrow with lectures from six keynote speakers, including Dr Ravi Kapur, director of Mulana Dental College, Ambala, and Vinod Sachdev, director, HP Dental College, Sundernagar.

The symposium will be followed by a cultural event- “Ignition” by dental students.

The event will be held for the second year in succession and nearly 14 teams from different colleges are expected participate in various categories.



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