C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Admn puts Shergill report in cold storage
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 3
The UT Administration seems to have put the PS Shergill report, which brought the politician-bureaucrat-police nexus in the run-up to the allotment of booths in the Krishna Market in Sector 41 here to the fore, in cold storage.

About one-and-a-half month after the report was submitted to UT Deputy Commissioner Brijendra Singh, he has failed to forward it to the senior officers for further action. In fact, a request by Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister and local MP Pawan Bansal to the UT Home Secretary on March 8 to supply the report officially is still under the consideration of the UT Administration.

On February 23, former Additional Deputy Commissioner PS Shergill submitted the report to the Deputy Commissioner recommending an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the booth scam. Besides, it recommended that criminal proceedings be initiated against Ashwani Kumar, former Assistant Estate Officer, DS Balouria, Tehsildar (colonies), Jagbir Singh and Satbir Singh, DSPs, Bishi Ram, inspector (retired), Hira Lal and Sucha Singh, retired ASIs, PL Dhami, superintendent (retired), Prem Sharma, superintendent (retired), Ashok Bish, superintendent (enforcement), RK Arora, Dharam Singh and Ranbir Singh Gill, for their questionable role in allotment of booths for the fraudulent allottees.

The indictment of Pawan Bansal in the report provided a readymade opportunity to his political opponents, particularly the BJP, to embarrass the Congress. While the political parties were quick to demand Pawan Bansal’s resignation for his alleged protection to the booth mafia, the Congress rubbished the report as a result of “personal bias” and “legally untenable” since versions of those “indicted” were never taken by the inquiry officer.

Shergill is already at the receiving end of the Congress with former MC Mayor Pardeep Chabbra slapping a defamation suit against the inquiry officer.

After the initial euphoria of alleged involvement of political and administrative bigwigs in the booth scam, the report was widely condemned as “one-sided”.

Official sources said the next course of action could only be chalked out following the submission of the report by the Deputy Commissioner to the Home Secretary.



Maruti cars continue to be on hit list of car thieves
Comprise 70 pc of all cars stolen in city
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 3
Maruti cars seem to be on the hit list of car thieves if the statistics of motor vehicle thefts available with the UT police are any indication. Even as the market is flooded with a wide variety of cars, Maruti cars continue to be stolen the most.

In the first three months of this year alone, a total of 62 four-wheelers were reportedly stolen from various parts of the city. Around 70 per cent of these - 43- include Maruti cars comprising 32 Maruti 800s, five Maruti Esteems, three Maruti Zen cars and three Maruti Altos.

In the year 2010, a total of 360 cars were stolen from the city and 180 of these comprised Maruti cars. The figure includes 122 Maruti 800s, 14 Maruti Esteems, 28 Maruti Zens, 11 Maruti Altos, two Swift cars and two Maruti vans.

On the other hand, the theft of other small cars namely Santro and Tata Indica, remained a distant second, as 10 Santros, 14 Tata Indica cars, three Vernas and one Spark were stolen in the year 2010.

Police sources said stealing a Maruti car is easier compared to other cars. And its also easier to sell it compared to other cars. Moreover, selling the stolen vehicle as scrap is also hassle free. Scrap dealers dismantle the car and sell its spare parts to second-hand car dealers.

Despite the steady rate of vehicle thefts in the city, the recovery rate of the police remains low, as it could recover only 215 of the 918 vehicles stolen last year. This year, 28 vehicles were recovered out of the 131 stolen.

SUVs: Bolero thefts maximum

While thieves have been laying their hands on Sports Utility Vehicles (SUV’s) as well, the theft of Bolero jeeps has swept past all other SUVs that have been stolen. A total of 36 Bolero jeeps were stolen last year and four have already been stolen this year. Next in line is the theft of Tata Safaris as a 26 of these were stolen in 2010. A total of nine Scorpios, five Mahindra Max, four Qualis and one Tavera jeep have also been stolen.

Bike thefts swell

When it comes to theft of two wheelers, it’s the theft of bikes that have spelt trouble for the city residents. Whopping 384 bikes were stolen from the city in the year 2010 as compared to 156 scooters. Police sources said the maximum number of bikes that are stolen are used for snatching purposes. The figure of bike thefts include 116 Bajaj Pulsars and 53 Hero Honda Splendor bikes. A total of 23 ‘Bajaj Discover’ bikes has also been stolen.

Other car thefts

Theft of Tata Indigo cars is the maximum in this segment of cars. A total of 18 Tata Indigo have been stolen last year, apart from 11 Ford Fiesta’s, eight Accent cars, five Honda City, four Ford Ikon, one Skoda and one Honda civic.



Corruption case in PU exam branch
Syndicate accepts report
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 3
Pronouncing a stern action against seven employees of Panjab University’s examination branch, who were established to have indulged in corrupt practices, Syndicate members today accepted a report of a retired Punjab and Haryana High Court Judge, who examined the case of falsely changing examination centre by two student leaders.

The mildest punishment likely to be awarded to these employees could be suspension and the maximum penalty could a criminal case registered against them.

The penalty for two students, Simranjit Singh Dhillon and Navjot Saini, both representatives of Panjab University Student Union (PUSU), who got their centres changed by producing fake medical certificates, could either be “revoking their degrees” or a criminal action against them.

The fate of these examination branch employees and the students has been left to Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti by the Syndicate members.

A few days ago when the VC tabled this report by Justice KC Gupta before the Syndicate, the members refused to approve spontaneously and demanded sufficient time to go through the report thoroughly before declaring a verdict. Later, three Syndicate members- GK Chathrath, Rabindernath Sharma and Naval Kishore- formed an internal committee, which was slated to brief other Syndicate members on the contents of the report today.

The house of 15 Syndicate members also approved another report by retired Judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Justice Jain, who examined the case of violence at the student centre on November 8, 2010. In these columns, the Chandigarh Tribune highlighted on January 24, 2011 that student leaders, including Simrandeep Singh Sandhu of PUSU (Simranjit faction), continued to roam scot-free despite injuring a sub-inspector, Pargat Singh, in a serious brawl at the student centre last year. In an internal rift between the student leaders of PUSU, the student leaders were found fighting amongst themselves at the student centre using glass bottles and swords.

Following criticism in various quarters of the varsity on the disruption of peace on the campus by student leaders, university officials had then announced an inquiry by Justice Jain. While Sandhu has been directed to pay Rs 25,000 for creating a distressing atmosphere on the campus, other PUSU leaders, including Udey Wirring, Arshbir Johal and Rajwinder Singh, have been reportedly imposed a penalty of Rs 10,000. However, the VC would take a final call on the matter as authorised by the Syndicate.

Likely punishment

The mildest punishment likely to be awarded to seven employees, who were established to have indulged in corrupt practices, could be suspension and the maximum could a criminal case registered against them

Case I: Falsely changing examination centre from Chandigarh

Recommendations of Justice Gupta

l The police inquiry be conducted against the employees and students who indulged in the fraud

l Sufficient staff be recruited in PU’s examination branch. Report identifies a massive staff crunch in this branch

l Re-shuffling of employees in PU examination branch, no employee to be permitted to hold a particular charge for more than five years

l Key perpetrator in case of corruption: Husan Lal, senior assistant (examination branch). Show-cause notice be issued to Rajnesh Bhasin, superintendent (retd); Dinesh Chander, deputy registrar (retd); Arun Behal, deputy registrar (earlier assistant registrar); Dr DK Singh, superintendent (regional centre, Muktsar); Rajnesh Ghambir, centre clerk (regional centre, Muktsar); GK Karir, deputy registrar (retd)

Case II: Student leaders carrying swords and glass bottles, indulging in violence at student centre on November 8, 2010

Recommendations of Justice Jain

l A penalty of Rs 25,000 on prime accused Simrandeep Singh Sandhu

l A penalty of Rs 10,000 be imposed on other PUSU leaders present on the spot

l Regular checks at PU hostels for illegal retention of arms by student leaders



Housefed goes ahead with project without environmental nod
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 3
The 632-apartment multistory residential complex of Punjab State Federation of Cooperative House Building Societies Ltd (Housefed) coming up in Sector 79 here has yet to receive environmental clearance, a mandatory requirement before beginning work on any project with a minimum builtup area of 20,000 square metres.

In complete disregard of the new Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) notification, which mandates environmental clearance from the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) or the central environment & forests ministry, Punjab Housefed went ahead with construction work without waiting for the nod.

While confirming the matter had been kept pending, Neelima Jerath, chairman of the state expert appraisal committee (SEAC), said Housefed should not have commenced work the project without getting the necessary environmental clearances. “In such cases an applicant is advised to halt work till the mandatory permission is obtained”, he added.

Significantly, when the case came up for approval before SEAC on March 19, three to four floors of the structure had already been built at the project site during the past few months. The floors were raised in two chunks of land - pocket I (5.5 acres) and pocket II (5.49 acres) in Sector 79. The Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) had given possession of the land to Housefed in February 2010.

Housfed superintending engineer Amarjit Gupta claimed the state pollution board had cleared the project.

On being asked how Housefed went ahead with construction work without seeking SEAC’s approval, he claimed the objections had been removed and the case sent to the committee. “I think the case has been cleared”, he added.

At the 43rd meeting of SEAC held on March 19 it was pointed out the case regarding the construction of flats in pocket I at an estimated cost of Rs 44 crore in a total builtup area of 30,080.80 square metres was received by SEIAA on July 2, 2010 and the same was sent to the environment & forests ministry since the state bodies had became nonfunctional due to resignation of the heads of SEIAA and SEAC. However, the ministry’s environment assessment committee at its 93rd meeting held on November 9, 2010 deferred the case since the project’s promoter did not attend the meet.

In the meantime SEIAA and SEAC was set up but the latter, at its 43rd meeting held on March 19, kept the clearance on hold after the project’s promoter did not provide the requisite information.

Similar facts relate to pocket II in a builtup area of 330,432.24 square metres entailing an estimated cost of Rs 47.5 crore.

Aerocity awaits clearance

As Punjab Housefed began construction work on its multistory flats without getting environmental clearance, the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority is waiting for the nod before commencing development work at its Aerocity housing project. 



Residents’ complaints go unheeded
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Sandeep Joshi

Chandigarh, April 2
Posting a complaint on the Facebook account or sending an email to the Municipal Corporation (MC) officials about civic grievances does not guarantee even a response in the country’s most affluent Union Territory, which boasts of having been awarded national-level awards on excellence in information technology and having the country’s third highest literacy.

In this age of e-governance, MC officials and elected representatives of the people do not believe in two-way communication with residents who have posted their grievances on interface gateways such as Facebook or email that the MC announced in the past with much fanfare.

In the last one month, the Facebook wall is full of postings by residents with comments such as “Is the MC officer (concerned) sleeping over the request made on the face book site or will they take some action?” (sic)

This is even though the MC has spent lakhs of rupees on buying computers, laptops and other electronic peripherals to empower the officials and councillors to have a direct interface with the residents.

Bimal Sangari, a resident of Sector 22 who had posted his complaint on the Facebook regarding irregular visit of sweepers to his area more than 10 times, is till date waiting for a response to his grievance from either an official or a councillor.

Enquiries revealed that ever since the Facebook account was launched a month ago on February 22, MC officials have been economical in responding to residents on complaints posted by them on the Facebook wall. This is despite MC Commissioner Roshan Sunkaria holding a special meeting at which he reportedly directed all MC officials to regularly access the Facebook account and respond appropriately to all queries or complainants.

This is not the story of Bimal Sangari alone. There is a long list of residents on the Facebook who daily post their grievances regarding pot holed roads, parking encroachments in Sectors 8, 9 and 17 inconvenience caused and money spent on “unnecessary” re-carpeting of roads, paying guest problems in their areas, non-functional streetlights, traffic jams….. the list is endless. Yet residents are deprived of even an acknowledgement from the authorities.

At best, a lucky few have managed to receive a rhetorical response from Mayor Ravinder Pal Singh Palli on the Facebook, saying, “I am forwarding your complaint to the concerned officer and soon that will be rectified’. (sic)

Similar is the fate with emails with no official bothering to respond to the complaints sent by the residents. Sachin Sharma, a resident of Sector 21, who has sent endless number of emails citing grievances relating to his sector for the last two years has complained that till date he has not received a single response to his letters from the officials. His grievances relate to the conditions of the rear lanes and the heaps of waste lying unattended in the sector. Although he did once get a standard response “we are looking you’re your complaint response” from the Mayor, nothing has been done till date.

Lakhs spent on e-governance

In this age of e-governance, MC officials and elected representatives of the people do not believe in two-way communication with residents who have posted their grievances on interface gateways such as Facebook or email that the MC announced in the past with much fanfare. This is despite the fact that the MC has spent lakhs of rupees on buying computers, laptops and other electronic peripherals


Coaching centres thrive, thanks to poor education
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 3
Running out of 250 odd shop-cum-offices and houses is the “dream mill” or engineering and pre-medical test coaching industry that continues to thrive unnoticed in every possible nook and corner of the city.

Students at various coaching centres in Chandigarh.
Students at various coaching centres in Chandigarh. Tribune photos: Parvesh Chauhan

Conservative estimates peg the annual turnover at about Rs 115 crore. The entire setup, over which state machinery has no control, does not follow any labour laws and the buildings in which it operates openly violate fire safety norms.

Carrying on in the name of “self-employment”, these institutes are basically flourishing on the failure of the school education system in matching the classroom teaching with preparations for competitive examinations separately.

Even as the Central Board of Secondary Education continues to announce projects on making school education “holistic”, classroom attendance is merely an exercise to complete attendance that is a prerequisite for qualifying for examination roll numbers.

Equipped with “professional and experienced teachers”, plush offices, classrooms, pantries, airconditioned buses, these coaching centres are out to give any school a run for their money.



Contest hots up for PGI Director’s post
24 in fray, interviews to be conducted on April 9
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 2
There seems to be a tough contest among 24 candidates, including 13 from PGI for the post of new director of PGI as tenure of incumbent Dr KK Talwar ends on Aprl 30. For the coveted post the selection committee has decided to hold interviews on April 9.

Among the contender are internationally acclaimed surgeons, researchers and clinicians who will rely on their expertise in the medical field as well as administrative skills to sail through to get an opportunity to manage the prestigious health and medical education institute of the country. Here is a brief profile of candidates in the race from PGI.

Dr Arvind Rajwanshi, professor and head at cytology department has awards to his credits, including Ernest Fernandes Prize of IAC and P N Wahi Cipla Oration of IAC, Rajwanshi having interest in areas of fine needle aspiration cytology, gynaec pathology, cytopathology of fluids, medical ethics and medical administration has already completed his research work in round cell tumors in children, FNAC of tuberculosis, GIT, infertility & testis, ovarian tumors, ploidy and survival and FNAC and renal transplantation.

Dr Yogesh K Chawla, professor and head, hepatology department, has bagged many awards, including Dr BC Roy Medical Council of India Silver Jubilee Research Award, MN Sen Oration Award, Amrut Mody Unichem Prize, and Parke Davis Oration Award. Chawla with his interests in non-cirrhotic portal hypertension, budd chiari syndrome, viral hepatitis, hepatocellular carcinoma and alcoholic liver disease has already completed research on multicentric study of interferon, glycyrrhizin combination therapy and interferon-ribavirin combination therapy in the management of chronic hepatitis C.

Dr S Prabhakar, professor and head, department of neurology, has been awarded for the best research undertaken during 1972-75 at PGI. In addition to it he is a visiting professor and an expert in selection panels of many international-level institutions. While there is a long list of completed research work to his credit, he is presently busy in 11 other researches.

Professor Amod Gupta, dean, PGIMER and head of Advance Eye Centre, is a leading clinician and research scientist of international repute in the field of retina and uveitis with significant original contribution in the field of diabetic retinopathy, tuberculosis of the eye and endopathalmitis. He is a recipient of the Dr RN Mathur Award and the AW Sherrif Memorial Award. He was the president of the Viteoretinal Society of India and the founder president of the Uveitis Society of India.

Dr SK Jindal, professor and head, pulmonary medicine, with specialisation in respiratory medicine and criticial care. With many publications to his credited Jindal has completed 29 international research works. The international awards to his credit include Chest Foundation Award, American College of Chest Physicians (2001)Award, the Governor’s Community Service Award, International Award for Scientific Contributions, International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, Paris, France (1994).

Dr Digambar Behera, professor, in the department of pulmonary medicine, and director, LRS Institute of TB and Respiratory Diseases, New Delhi, has many research work and books to his credit in the fields of lung cancer and branchial asthma. The author of four books on pulmonary medicine, bronchial asthma and lung cancer, Behera had been awarded with I.U.A.T.L.D. Prize by the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases for Scientific Contribution to the Fight against Respiratory Diseases 1990. He was honoured with Fogarty International Fellowship Award by the National institute of Health (NIH), USA, and Cancer Research Fellowship Award (ICRETT) by the International Union Against Cancer (UICC), Geneva.

Professor Savita Malhotra, department of psychiatry with interest in child and adolescent psychiatry, has been involved in many of the research projects funded by the World Health Organisation as well as the Indian Council of Medical Research. The long list of awards in her credit include WHO Fellowship in Child Mental Health Sept-Oct. 1991, for one month each at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of Pittsburgh, USA, and at Guy's Hospital London, UK, the Bhagwat Award of the Indian Psychiatric Society for the best paper presented at its 38th annual conference at Jaipur in 1986 and Tilak Venkoba Rao Award of the Indian Council of Medical Research for 1990 for research in psychological medicine.

Professor Raj Bahadur, one of he finest spine surgeons in the country, with many rare surgeries to his credit has been on deputation as the Director Principal of Government Medical College and Hospital, Chandigarh, since December 2007. In addition to it he has been heading the Regional Spinal Injury Centre in Mohali.

Professor AK Gupta, medical superintendent of PGI since 1996, has experience in hospital administration. Before joining the PGI,Gupta has worked at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi.

Professor P Kulhara, Head, department of psychiatry, working at PGI since 1983, had been honoured by the Indian Council of Medical Research with Dr Vidya Sagar Award and by the Indian Psychiatric Society awarded him with D LN Murty Rao Oration. He was also honoured with BB Sobti Oration at Lucknow.

Professor V Sakhuja, a former dean of PGI, stands on the top of the seniority list of PGI faculty members. With remarkable work in the field of nephrology, he is also the editor of Indian Journal of Nephrology.

Professor S Varma, head, department of internal medicine, PGI, is a member of Governing Body of the institute.

Professor Kartar Singh, in the department of gastroenterology, will have advantage of having headed the Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences for three years. 



RO system leads to waste of water: Expert
‘Quality of water supply in city the best in country’
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 3
City residents spending thousands of rupees on the reverse osmosis systems (RO) to get pure water indeed are putting their money in the drain along with precious drinking water. If experts in this field are to be believed such systems not only sucks out healthy, naturally occurring minerals from the good quality water being supplied in the city, it leads to wastage of substantial amount of water.

The quality of water being supplied in the city is one of the best in the country and there was no need of such systems here, claims SS Bida, chief engineer at Chandigarh Municipal Corporation.

We have fool proof system of supplying good quality drinking water and installing such systems is not only making a hole in the pocket of residents, it also leads to the wastage of drinking water, as half of the quantity of water is being wasted in such houses, he said. It is a great matter of concern for every body as Chandigarh is already short of nearly 20 mgd (million gallons per day) of water, added Bida.

Household reverse osmosis units use a lot of water because they recover only half of the water entering the system. The remainder is discharged as waste water. One can imagine the wastage of water in city this way. “We have already installed more than 5,000 such systems in the tricity, says Rakesh Gandhi, sales manager of a Chandigarh-based company.

The claims of Bida on the quality of water being supplied in the city are vetted by Dr Rajesh Kumar, Head, School of Public Health, PGI.

“We, collect 13 samples of drinking water from different parts of PGI campus being supplied by the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation every month to test the quality of water was up to our satisfaction,” he said.

The membrane of a reverse osmosis system is impermeable to natural trace minerals. These minerals not only provide a good taste to water, but they also serve a vital function in the body’s system. Water, without these minerals, can actually be unhealthy for the body. During the process there is every possibility that we may remove mineral content of the water, including magnesium, iron and calcium, which are helpful in relieving of stress, respiratory system, and bone structure. Sulfates, another water content are the salts of sulpher. They have a detoxifying effect on the liver and stimulate the function of the gall bladder and thus the digestive function as well.



Arbitrary pricing of medicines by chemists
Sanjeev Singh Bariana

Reaction of chemists, who were contacted for comments while writing a story on the big gap in the maximum retail price (MRP) mentioned on the medicines and the price paid by customers was too shocking to believe. The chemists were unanimous in claiming that they were unaware about the difference in MRP and the price at which the medicines were sold.

A minor difference of Rs 2 or 3 in any medicine was understandable, however, a gap of 10 times in the MRP and the sale price was too big. A drug controlling official gave a rather amusing statement, “I am not authorised to penalise offenders. I can only warn them.” The estate branch of the PGI is learnt to have issued notices to the offending shopkeepers, however, the fate of inquiry reports and the follow-up action is a well-known fact.

One of the chemists said, “We overlooked the MRP on bulk packing. The error will be rectified immediately.” Another said, “I am new here. The salesmen who have been working in my shop for a long now marked the prices in question.” The third one gave a classic reply saying, “We are unaware of this irregularity and will correct it immediately.”

The Tribune office was flooded with a flurry of calls from different quarters of the city, complaining about the unfair pricing on medicines in different shops, a day after the story was published. A woman called up to say that the shop from where she bought the medicines had starting charging her lesser a day after the news report was published.

There have been frequent complaints about unfair pricing from chemist shops at different places in the city. In one of the cases, a chemist of General Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, was reported to be charging differently for the material wanted during surgeries. A patient complained to the director that the chemist had first given an estimate of Rs 10,000 for certain material and when he went with the demand of the doctor, he asked for Rs 15,000.

Hospital sources said the manufacturers were in connivance with the dealers in many cases. A product was shown to be highly overpriced and the two parties worked out their shares accordingly. This practice was rampant on account of lesser popular medicine brands. These products are often passed to the customers by the chemists if the customers did not emphasise on a particular brand recommended by the doctor saying the salt of the medicine was the same and would have same benefit to the patient.

Difference in price

In a recent report, Tribune reporter Arun Sharma made purchases from different chemist shops on the PGI campus to show big difference in the MRP and price charged from the patients. A major discrepancy was detected in prices of HIV test cards, HCV test cards (hepatitis C) and HBsAg test cards (hepatitis B). One chemist charged Rs 84 for a HBsAg test card, which was actually priced at Rs 30, according to the MRP on the medicine carton.

An ACT cartridge meant for angioplasty procedure is priced at Rs 195.50. It is being openly sold at Rs 450, which works out to be more than double the original cost. The cash memo issued by the chemist shows the original price as Rs 643.

Similar examples can be quoted on prices of many other medicines sold in the market.

‘Don’t auction shops’

Chemist shops at the PGI and other government hospitals are required to give a discount ranging between 15 per cent and 30 per cent on the medicines as per the allotment letters. At the same time, it is worth considering that a chemist shop at the emergency ward of the PGI was rented at an incredible price of Rs 1.28 lakh a day. The shopkeeper in this case is also required to pay 10.2 per cent extra as the service tax on the rent amount. This will make the monthly rent amount as Rs 42.43 lakh and add to it the cost of staff and other maintenance expenditure.

The chemists are shifting the load of heavy rents on patients. In a way, the authorities are compelling the chemists into unfair trade practices. The chemists are pricing medicines arbitrarily. It is being felt that the PGI should not give the shops on auction, which increase the cost of the shop rent.

The shopkeepers, in turn, shift the pressure on to the patients to make their profits. A draw of lots coupled with a vigil on price of medicines in the shop was a better alternative.

Lacking authority

The presence of the drug controlling authority is invisible in the city. Despite the ground reality of unfair trade practices, no one heard any action. A patient from Leh, who wanted to lodge a complaint against a chemist in a government hospital, said he spent time rushing between offices of the police and hospital director, but to no avail.

The Chandigarh Administration needs to intervene in the matter and set up an authority listening to grievances, exclusively in the health sector. The hospital authorities, too, need to interfere for streamlining the medicine distribution on the hospital campus.

One of the biggest flaw is unavailability of any common rate list for the city chemists. Chemists are known to be charging according to their convenience. Without making any general statement about all chemists, there is nothing denying the fact patients are subjected to wishful payments. The state authorities need to interfere also.



Security tightened ahead of Navratra fair
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 3
The district administration has made elaborate security arrangements for the smooth conduct of Chaitra Navratra fair at Mata Mansa Devi Temple complex starting from April 4.

Around 600 jawans from various districts of Haryana and 50 commandos will be deployed during the fair. Two observatory posts will be set up.

Ashima Brar, chief administrator of the Mata Mansa Devi Shrine Board, and Deputy Commissioner, said around 38 CCTV cameras had been installed inside the complex as well as parking areas and other strategic points. She said metal detectors had also been installed at all entry points to the shrine, besides setting up 16 nakas.

Brar said to facilitate the transportation of devotees, special buses would be provided by the Haryana Roadways and the shrine would be connected to both the bus terminals of Chandigarh as well as Panchkula general bus stand. The number of buses will be increased as per guidelines of the roadways authorities.

The Deputy Commissioner said 60 temporary toilets were being set up in addition to five permanent toilets. She said the public health department would maintain these and added that around 50 sanitation workers would also be deployed to maintain cleanliness in the shrine complex.



Cricket fans break into frenzy

They were out to control the haphazard flow of thousands of cars and two-wheelers, which carried charged up cricket fans who were celebrating India’s World Cup win last night. But after all even they are human beings and wanted to enjoy each and every moment of the historic win. The UT police was seen celebrating the victory with thousands of fans, who were zooming across the city. More than 250 cops were deployed on duty on the city roads last night. Most of them were seen shaking hands with fans and shouting slogans like “Bharat Maata ki Jai”. At the same time, the crime busters advised the city residents-“Yaar maze karo parr dhayan se, risk matt lo”. ‘Hum bhi naachna chahte hain, kya kare, duty hai’ (We too want to dance, but what to do, we are on duty), rued a cop when a youngster asked him to join them at Aroma Chowk around 12 am.

Local connect

India’s ICC World Cup victory over Sri Lanka has a DAV connection. While Kapil Dev, captain of the 1983 world cup winning team, was a student of DAV Senior Secondary School (Lahore), Sector 8, Chandigarh, current cricket captain MS Dhoni learnt his early cricketing lessons from DAV School, Ranchi (Jharkhand).

In fact, man of the tournament Yuvraj Singh shares his alma mater--DAVSSS--with cricket legend Kapil Dev and several international cricket stars. Interestingly, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who indulged in cricket diplomacy by inviting his Pakistan counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani for the India-Pakistan semifinal on March 30, is also a student of DAV school, a jubilant Dr Vibha Ray, principal of DAVSSS (Lahore), sent an SMS just after India lifted the World Cup.

“Well, we can only say three cheers for Dhoni’s Men in Blue and the legendary DAV movement for bringing glory to India!”

A miss by students

The Panjab University Campus Student Council (PUCSC) president, who was engaged in the council’s annual cultural event- Jhankar a few days ago, gave a miss to the Senate proceedings on March 29. While much hype was created in the past over allowing students to sit in the visitors’ gallery during the Senate proceedings, the student representative, hardly expressed any enthusiasm on the day of meeting. A senior fellow said in the absence of student representatives, hardly any issue pertaining to students was discussed.

Brisk business by traders

The World Cup semifinal between India and Pakistan at the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) stadium, Mohali, cheered many. A number of owners of eating joints around the stadium were happy to do a brisk business. Katuri Lal, who owns a dhaba, said such matches should be held more frequently as it affected the economy of the area and city at large. Shopkeepers said they wanted more such eating joints in the vicinity of the stadium so that visitors were not forced to hunt for good food.

Day out for cattle

Stray cattle outside the district courts in Panchkula. The animals strayed into the courts complex.
Stray cattle outside the district courts in Panchkula. The animals strayed into the courts complex. Tribune photo: Nitin Mittal

Cattle thronged the district courts in Panchkula last week, on a day when lawyers went on a strike. The visitors strayed into the office area and had a field day eating whatever they found. A sizable number just occupied the vacant area under the sheds.

Vaibhav Jain, an advocate, said, in a lighter tone, “These animals must have come to enquire about their pending cases.”

Contributed by Akash Ghai, Pradeep Sharma, Neha Miglani, Rajmeet Singh and Sanjeev Bariana



Five DCs in five years!
Rajmeet Singh/TNS

Mohali, April 3
While the state government has been talking about administrative reforms, including fixing of tenure of two years for IAS officers to end political interference, Mohali district has seen five deputy commissioners in the past five years with no one enjoying a stint of more than one-and-a-half year.

The last incumbent, Parveen Kumar who has been replaced by Varun Roozam, DC Muktsar, has enjoyed eight months of stint. In August 2010, Parveen Kumar had replaced Prabjot Singh Mand. Earlier, Prabjot Singh Mand had replaced Rahul Bhandhari in January 2009.

Earlier, DC Rahul Bhandhari, who was recently replaced by PS Mand, had enjoyed a stint of eight months only.

Ironically, the district created in 2006 and Akali government has replaced five deputy commissioners since then. The first DC, Tejvir Singh was transferred when the Akali government took over reins from the Congress government. The worst victim of the frequent reshuffle has been the public-reform initiatives. “It takes a few months to understand the functioning of the district. By the time an officer understands the functioning, he is transferred,” said an officer.

Besides DCs, the district also has seen five SSPs in the past three years. The previous SSP RS Khatra was transferred following a spat with Kings XI owner Ness Wadia.

Basic amenities missing

Despite development agenda propagated by the Akali government, the much awaited District Administrative Complex (DAC) has still not come up in Mohali. The land has already been earmarked and the Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has been regularly claiming at public forums that the DAC will come up soon, but the DAC is nowhere in site.



Online donations hit roadblock
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 3
Online donations at the Mata Mansa Devi Shrine Board (MMDSB) hit the road block, as the board authorities can’t receive foreign contribution directly as it was not registered under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 1976.

According to sources, devotees living abroad were facing problem in sending the money, as there is no mention of the registration number of the FCRA in the official website www.mansadevi.nic.in of the MMDSB.

For receiving multiple and regular contributions from foreign sources, the religious bodies will have to seek permanent registration from the FCRA Section of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India.

The ministry sends the accepted application to local intelligence for verification of the credentials and records of the organisation. The FCRA section of the ministry issues the certificate of registration to the applicant organisation.

The organisations registered under the FCRA have to maintain separate accounts incurred under the FC head and submit a return in the prescribed format to the ministry, along with the audited statement of accounts of the previous year by July 31.

Mansa Devi temple is one of the oldest shrines of northern India in the foothills of the Shivalik range and is an epitome of the age-old tradition of “Shakti” worship in the region.

MMDSB had initiated the online donation system as the board had received donations in foreign currencies for the first time during Navratras last.

The board has been receiving donations from devotees living in the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Nepal and UAE. Ranging from the US dollar to UK pound and dirham, around Rs 15,000 were donated in the beginning of the Navratras in March last.

Board CEO, DP Dattana, said they would soon apply for registration for receiving the funds online.

He said a separate bank account would also be opened so that the record pertaining to funds received from abroad could be maintained properly. He said online donation system was started last year.



2 youths die in separate mishaps
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 3
A 22-year-old youth died after his motorcycle skidded near the Manimajra light point in Sector 26 late last night. The victim, Deepak Kumar, was employed as a supervisor with Hotel Manor in Sector 26.

The incident took place near the Manimajra light point when the motorcycle of Deepak slipped. The olice said Deepak was returning after dropping his colleague in Manimajra at 1.30 am when he met with the accident.

the police said Deepak suffered grievous head injuries and was declared brought dead at the Sector 16 hospital. His body was spotted lying on the road in the wee hours today.

Deepak was a native of Bilaspur district in Himachal Pradesh and was residing in an accommodation given to him in the hotel where he worked

In a separate mishap, Amit Kumar, who was working as an office boy with a Sector 9-based company, was on his way back home around 11 pm on Friday when his motorcycle skidded near Sector 26. Amit suffered serious injures in his chest and succumbed to his injuries at the PGI today. He was a resident of Bapu Dham Colony.



Truck carrying sub-standard paver blocks impounded
Tribune News Service

Residents of Dadu Majra protest against the poor
Residents of Dadu Majra protest against the poor 
quality of paver blocks being laid by the MC, Chandigarh, on Sunday.Tribune photo: Pradeep Tewari

Chandigarh, April 3
Residents of Dadu Majra today impounded a truck, which was supplying sub-standard paver blocks as part of a consignment for a Municipal Corporation project here today.

Led by Narinder Chauhan, the general secretary of the Dadu Majra Residents Welfare Association said,“ The material was so fragile that its surface started crumbling right when it was being downloaded from the truck.

We are aware about certain more supplies made earlier, which were also used on the ground.

These had given very poor results”.

Chauhan said, “This time we have decided that we will not allow any sub-standard material to be used in any construction work of the MC, at all”.



Prices of veggies, fruits stable
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 3
Due to increase in supply of vegetables and fruits in the market, prices of most of the products were stable during this week.

Onion Rs 8,

Potato Rs 5

Brinjal Rs 6

Radish Rs 4

Tomato Rs 20

Carrot Rs 10

Cauliflower Rs 6

Cabbage Rs 4



PGI doc to head Asian child psychiatry body

Chandigarh, April 3
Dr Savita Malhotra has been elected president-elect of the Asian Society for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Allied Professions. Malhotra is a professor in the department of psyciatry at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER). She will assume the office of president in 2013 at the time of the seventh Congress of the Asian Society for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Allied Professions that will be held in India under her presidency.

The child mental health is the most important resource that the society can invest in for its future health and development. About 10-15 per cent of children suffer from mental disorder requiring psychiatric treatment at a given time. Impact of mental illness in childhood has multiple dimension in the form of low academic achievement; maladjustment in school, family and society; aggression and violence; accidents and suicide; alcohol and drug abuse. — TNS



Urdu mushiara enchants audience

Panchkula, April 3
Poets participated in a trilingual poetic symposium organised by the Kidar Adabi Trust on their complex here today.The poets and audience observed two-minute silence in memory of noted Urdu poet Ved Diwana, who died last month. Trust president Kidar Nath Kidar introduced chief guest Harbhajan Singh, an NRI poet from the USA.

Poets who read out poems on diverse socio-cultural themes included Kidar Nath Kidar, Manjit Indra, Gurbux Saini, Ganesh Dutt, Sudershan Walia, RS Faraz, BD Kalia Hamdam and Sham Singh. — OC



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 |