C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


AIEEE paper leak leaves students, parents harassed
Take to streets, block traffic as tempers run high
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 1
If an examination’s success is best judged by its conduct, then the Central Board Of Secondary Education (CBSE) failed in its All India Engineering/Architecture entrance Examination (AIEEE) today.

Students form a chain at the Aroma Hotel traffic junction to protest against the CBSE for the inconvenience caused following the paper leak. Tribune photo: Pradeep Tewari Aspiring engineering students and their parents protesting outside Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 21, a venue of the AIEEE exam. Tribune photo: Pradeep Tewari

Not only was the paper delayed for two-and-a-half hours following the leak of the question paper, but the prevalent confusion at the city’s 43 centres left over 6,000 candidates harassed, who resorted to protests and raised slogans to highlight their plight.

DOWN AND OUTStudents and parents sit pensively outside Mount Carmel School, Sector 47. Tribune photo: S Chandan

The drama started at 9 a.m. when the applicants reached their respective centres to appear for this major national-level competitive exam originally scheduled to start at 9.30 a.m. However, they were initially asked to return at 11 am, after being told that the paper had been delayed until 12 noon as it had been leaked in Uttar Pradesh.

This created panic amongst parents, who claimed that the centre authorities were not answering their queries. A majority of parents were seen waiting outside the gates of various centres for the next three hours, raising slogans and engaging in verbal spats with the authorities before their children were eventually ushered inside the centres.

The AIEEE exam was then held in two parts. While the first paper meant for Bachelor of Engineering (BE) aspirants was conducted from 12 noon to 3 pm, the second paper for aspirants to Bachelor of Architecture (BArch) was conducted from 4 pm to 7 pm.

?The Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force had procured a copy of the AIEEE question paper last night from Lucknow, which was being sold for Rs 6 lakh. It was immediately faxed to the CBSE chairman. It was only this morning that the leak was confirmed, following which the examination was delayed across the country. The CBSE’s regional office in Panchkula immediately sprung into action and held a meeting with centre heads at Syndicate Bank in Sector 17, from where a new set of examination papers were issued to them.



Clash of papers on May 8!
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 1
Even though the CBSE has declared May 8 to be the new date for the AIEEE examination, for those whose centres could not conduct the two national-level competitive exams next Sunday may simply not be feasible. Reason- On May 8, these very five centres are playing host to the teacher recruitment test scheduled for the same day and same time.

The timing of the test, which is being conducted by Panjab University under orders from the UT education department, is scheduled to clash. While the CBSE has sought consent from these schools for holding both the exams simultaneously, sources say it may not be possible for them.

“If we decide to hold both the exams together, we would require 38 rooms in all and 76 invigilators which is virtually impossible. We have spoken to the CBSE’s regional director about it, but will take it up tomorrow,” said a principal of one of the five schools, where the AIEEE paper was cancelled today.

This is not it. May 8 may not be feasible for many AIEEE candidates themselves as it clashes with the entrance examination to Banaras Hindu University, Bhartiya Vidyapeeth, and an engineering college in Karnataka, and the Orissa Joint Entrance Examination.

“This is not fair. Why should we suffer and skip other exams because of the CBSE’s fault. What is my fault if my centre also held the AFMC exam? The CBSE should reschedule it,” said Praveen Kumar, an applicant.

Many parents are writing to the CBSE to reschedule the exam to May 15 instead of May 8, which, however, the CBSE is saying would not be possible because they plan to declare the Class XII board results around then.

Will May 8 exam affect ranks?

One question that perturbed every single applicant today is: Will the question paper meant to be supplied on May 8 be more tough? Most parents protesting against the postponement to May 8 claimed that different question papers would bring in inequality in assessment of the candidates.

“What if the next paper is more tough? No matter what uniformity is introduced, a different question paper is bound to affect my child’s result while he is not at fault,” said Pritam Singh, a parent outside the Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 21.

Responding to these apprehensions, CBSE regional director RJ Khanderao said, “It can be the other way round. It is possible that the next paper is easier. There will be no difference in the trick and toughness level of both the question papers. So there will not be any impact on the students’ ranking.”



5 centres cancel exam
Rescheduled for May 8
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 1
While the “AIEEE woes” for over 3,500 candidates ended at 12 noon today after the examination begun after an anxious two-and-a-half hour wait, over 2,500 candidates were, however, not so lucky and were left in the lurch as the examination was cancelled at five of the 43 centres in the city where a high drama, excited voices and verbal spats continued until 3 pm.

AIEEE candidates scheduled to appear at the examination centres in government schools located in Sectors 8, 10, 16, 19 and 21, along with their parents were in for a major shock when they tried to enter these schools at 12 noon. For, they were informed that the AIEEE exam had been cancelled, as these schools were also the centres for the Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC) entrance examination, which was scheduled to start at 2.30 pm, which eventually begun at 4.30 pm. Though the CBSE had issued a circular in the morning wherever a centre did not have the capacity to conduct both exams (AIEEE and AFMC), these centres at these five government schools did not inform the parents in time. This led to a huge unrest with the alleging and objected to “discrimination” as all other centres were going ahead with the exam. While minor arguments and spats took place at other four centres,the situation was worst at Government Model Senior Secondary School in Sector 21 where parents resorted to blocking roads.

Hundreds of parents accompanied by their wards sat on the road raising slogans. The situation turned for the worse when the parents bolted the school gate on seeing Army personnel arriving to conduct the AFMC examination. The parents did not let them in for some time. The parents eventually barged into the room of the centre’s superintendent. Eventually, the police was summoned and it was only then that the situation was brought under control.

Regional CBSE office more organised

When it came to handling the crisis, CBSE (Panchkula) surely fared better than its New Delhi counterparts. While many centres in New Delhi had started with the exam at 9.30 am only to cancel it an hour-and-a-quarter later at 10.45 am, no such confusion was in evidence here. All examination centres were kept duly informed about the developments and written notices were pasted outside each of the 43 centres in the city and six centers in Panchkula.

Drinking water shortage

Many schools, primarily government, ran out of drinking water in the morning itself. Parents and students faced a tough time. Many parents who were forced to wait from 9 am until 7 pm were seen thronging the local markets much to the delight of vendors and shopkeepers.

Online paper delayed but smooth

Contrary to the tried and tested pen and paper format, the online examination was much smoother. Though the paper was delayed at the Indo Global Colleges in Abhipur (Mohali district), the only centre in the tricity’s vicinity, there were no ‘teething’ problems. Over 180 students from across the city and Punjab did initially get perturbed, but they expressed satisfaction after the examination.

“Ever since I had opted for online examination, everybody was telling me it was a wrong decision. They speculated that it will go the CAT way and I would be left hassled. However, I faced no problems in logging in or attempting the paper. The software was very user-friendly and I feel lucky that I will not be appearing for the examination on May 8,” said Puneet Verma, a candidate from Rupnagar.

The success according to CBSE regional Director RJ Khandero is that Computer Based Test (CBT) is the future of education. “ The pilot run is successful and we look forward to making CBT they key mechanism for AIEEE in years to come,” he said.



Khushpreet murder: Third accused arrested
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 1
The Crime Branch of the UT police today arrested the third accused in the Khushpreet murder case from his hideout in Uttar Pradesh.The police arrested Nand Kishore, the labourer, who allegedly connived with the two other accused and kept Khushpreet in confinement for a period of 14 days before ultimately killing him.

Nand Kishore (26) is a resident of Launor village of Unnao district in Uttar Pradesh. The police had earlier arrested Sukhdev Singh, alias Sukha, and Gurvinder Singh, alias Binder, both brothers and residents of Burail, for the murder.

Sukhdev Singh, the mastermind, was Khushpreet’s neighbour and was reeling under heavy debt and had kidnapped the child to make quick money. He killed Khushpreet after the child recognised him as their neighbour. The police said on December 22, 2010, the day when Khushpreet was kidnapped, Nand Kishore went to the residence of the prime accused, Sukhdev Singh, where he was apprised of the kidnapping conspiracy.

While Sukhdev Singh was away making ransom calls to the child’s uncle from various STD booths, Gurvinder and Nand Kishore were guarding Khushpreet at Sukhdev’s house.

After making a ransom call, Sukhdev Singh reached Burail and parked the scooty at his home and asked Nand Kishore to join him. They borrowed a motorcycle and helmet from a friend named Jassi who was known to Sukhdev. They told him that they needed the bike to go to Sector 22. The accused was produced in court and remanded to two days’ police custody.

A two-member team, comprising Sub Inspector Jaspal Singh and Sub Inspector Shadi Lal and supervised by DSP (Crime) Satbir Singh, was dispatched to Uttar Pradesh to hunt for the third involved in the case. Five-year-old Khushpreet was kidnapped from outside his residence in Burail on December 22 last year. The kidnappers demanded a ransom of Rs 4 lakh and fled with the money after a police trap failed. Khushpreet’s body was recovered from a pit in Mohali’s Phase-X on January 5 this year.


‘It was an unlucky day ’

Shreya When they had to cancel the paper, then why could they not inform us in the morning? Initially they asked us to come at 12 noon and then told us that the paper would not be held at all. There was no clarity at all and we stood like fools in the centre until 1.30 pm. We had nothing much to eat and there was no water in our centre. We don’t know the area and were scared to budge from the centre.

— Shreya, Nahan, HP 

 Ashwini BhatiaIt is an unlucky day for our children. We came all the way from Sirsa, only to learn that my child was amongst the few whose paper has been cancelled. We have nothing against the delay, but why cancel it for some and discriminate against us? They should have told us in the morning, but they did not and it was a harrowing wait for us until 1.30 pm, only to be told that we would have to come again on May 8.

— Ashwini Bhatia, Sirsa, Haryana

Harbhej SinghMy question is whether we can expect uniformity in the two papers. We have been left very troubled today.

 What if the paper set for May 8 turns out to be more difficult? Who will pay for our loss?

— Harbhej Singh, Amritsar, Punjab

Deepak RohillaThey gave an opportunity to some to appear and left many like me in the lurch. Why? We came all the way from Haryana and got nothing while some have been lucky enough to get out of this soup. This is not justified.

— Deepak Rohilla, Haryana

SEEKING ANSWERS: Anxious and visibly upset students and their parents protest outside the room of AIEEE examination centre in charge at Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 21, Chandigarh. Tribune photo: Pradeep Tewari

A long, tiring and anxious wait

We reached the city last night and came to the centre at 8.30 am, but were shocked when we got to know that the examination had been delayed. Initially, the school authorities did not inform us about the new time. So we had to wait there. The school authorities did not allow us inside and there was no tree near by to give us shade. We waited for an hour in the scorching heat on the road. It was only at 10.30 a.m that we were able to go to a nearby market where we waited for the examination to finish.

— Sahil, Panipat, Haryana 

Waiting for three hours was a big problem as the school did not allow us inside. We sat in the park and waited for three hours.

Had the CBSE declared it last night, we would have come prepared. We had to rush to the nearby market every 15 minutes to get a water bottle.

We ended up spending Rs 300 only on water today.

— Shankar, Rohtak, Haryana 

My centre authorities just told us that the paper had been delayed. But they did not tell us when to come back to the centre.

The guard on duty asked us to return at 11 a.m. But we could not risk taking his word so we ended up waiting in the sun for them to make declaration, which came only around 11 am.

— Kanika, Bathinda, Punjab 

Students still got to enter at 12 noon. But parents like me were left waiting on the road until 7 p.m.

I could not budge from outside the centre because one did not know if the paper got cancelled or delayed. We had to wait in case our children came out ahead of time.

— Naresh Kumar, Mansa, Punjab 

What was our fault?

What is our fault? We were not even appearing for the AIEEE examination. But because of their protest, our paper has been delayed. How will we go back in evening? If we have to stay, then where will we stay?

— Anupam Thakur, Kullu 

There was no place to wait and we stood on the road because there was no certainty about time. I just want to know why the AFMC delayed its paper if the AIEEE paper was leaked?

— Poonam, Shimla



AFMC examinees face the brunt
Tribune News Service

TAKING POSITIONS: A Lt Colonel of the Army Medical Corps gestures as he instructs a team of junior commissioned officers and jawans to take positions at Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 21, which was an AFMC examination centre. Tribune photo: Pradeep Tewari

Chandigarh, May 1
The confusion and resentment surrounding the delay in the AIEEE examination left its mark on the Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC) exam as well, which was delayed due to the ongoing protests at various centres.

The paper, which was scheduled to start at 2.30 pm, ended up being delayed and started at 4.30 pm and concluded at 6.30 pm. This entrance examination to the AFMC was to be held in five centres in the city, which were also centres for the AIEEE examination.

However, following the paper leak, these five centres cancelled the AIEEE exam, which led to protests by parents. Though Army personnel reached the centres in time to take charge and make arrangements, the protesters refused to budge. After waiting till 1 pm, the AFMC paper was postponed to 4.30 pm.



Woman dies at PGI after surgery, negligence alleged
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 1
Protesting against the death of a 43-old woman, Gurmit Kaur, a resident of Ropar, who had earlier been admitted to PGI, her relatives raised slogans against the hospital administration on Sunday. They alleged her condition deteriorated when no doctors attended to her despite several requests after undergoing surgery on Saturday.

The deceased’s husband, Mehar Singh, said his wife was brought to PGI’s emergency ward on April 8 after she had complained of acute pain in her stomach. “She was diagnosed with pancreatic narcosis for which she underwent surgery on April 24 and was recovering fast.

On Saturday she was again operated upon following which her condition began deteriorating. We then kept on requesting the hospital doctors to take care of her but nothing was done. Eventually she died in the night”, he added. Later he filed a complaint with the police.

When contacted a PGI spokesperson, Manju Wadwalkar, said: “We’ve got no such information. The matter will be investigated whenever a complaint in this regard is received by the PGI administration.”



Rs 50 lakh — What a waste!
Incinerator at Mani Majra Civil Hospital may be shut
Arun Sharma/TNS

Chandigarh, May 1
An amount of Rs 50 lakh spent on the incinerator installed at the Civil Hospital in Mani Majra here is likely to go down the drain, with the authorities concerned mulling closure of the machine.

The move to close the incinerator was initiated following an assessment that the incinerator was not receiving sufficient biomedical waste and it was not advisable to run it to its capacity. The health department had set up the incinerator as back-up for its incinerator at the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16.

The Chandigarh administration had installed three incinerators in the city for the disposal of biomedical waste generated from its health facilities.

While the incinerator at the GMSH had a capacity of 100 kg per hour, the incinerator at the Civil Hospital, Mani Majra, could dispose of 15 kg of biomedical waste per hour.

The third, with a capacity of 25 kg per hour, set up at the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, had already been closed to pave the way for the installation of a larger one. The move to close the incinerator at Mani Majra started after officials of the Chandigarh Pollution Control Committee, during inspection, found that it was generating pollution nearly 10 times more than the permissible limit and issued a notice to the health department on March 21.

Loopholes in policies of the health department once again came to the fore when the company, in an annual maintenance contract to repair the incinerator, was sent a message in this regard.

While no one picked phones, numbers of which were provided by the company, a messenger sent to the office of the company had returned empty handed, only to tell that no such company existed at the address in the agreement documents. According to sources, experts later contacted by the Mani Majra hospital authorities found that biomedical waste being disposed of was meagre and it got burnt before the incinerator attained its optimum temperature, with burning of fuel leading to pollution.

Now the hospital authorities sent a proposal to the Director, Health Services, to shut the incinerator at Mani Majra and treat the small quantity of biomedical waste being generated there at the incinerator in the GMSH.

The spokesman of the health department could not be contacted despite repeated calls made on his phone. The Director, Health Services, Chandermohan, said he was busy in a meeting. 


Berkeley censured for unfair trade practice
l Commission sets aside forum order l Rs  55,000 awarded to complainant
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 1
While it is widely perceived that car dealers make a quick buck by selling vehicles that are in demand on black (by charging exorbitant premiums) and tampering with booking lists to do so, the UT Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has noted in its order that such a practice takes place and has severely castigated a local dealer, Berkeley Automobiles, for indulging in such unfair trade practice.

Setting aside an order of the UT Consumer Forum, which had dismissed a plea against the dealer by a city resident, Dr YP Sood, the commission observed in its order, “Berkeley had not adhered to the schedule of booking and had been giving delivery of Swift Dzire cars early to those who had booked the vehicle late, whereas persons who booked earlier and were not willing to pay black money were not given delivery as per time schedule.”

The commission not only set aside the order of the forum, but also ordered the company to pay Rs 50,000 as compensation and Rs 5,000 as litigation costs to Sood.

In his complaint, Sood had stated that he booked a Maruti Swift Dzire VDI car (Arctic white colour) at a basic price of Rs 5.93 lakh with Berkley by depositing Rs 50,000 on April 8, 2008. He was assured delivery within four months from the date of booking, but was given the vehicle on November 17, 2008. The company had paid him Rs 3,386 as interest on the booking amount after he protested.

Sood further stated in his complaint that Berkley and Maruti Udyog Limited did not follow the procedure in delivery of vehicles and a number of vehicles were delivered to persons who had booked later. In order to prove the unfair trade practice, the complainant had moved an application before the forum to direct Berkley to produce the record relating to the receipt of cars from the manufacturer, bookings made by customers with it and dates of delivery to customers.

The forum had dismissed the complaint on the grounds that there was a delay in delivery due to lesser production of cars white in colour by the manufacturer, that the dealer did not produce the relevant record of any car being booked after and being delivered before the complainant due to documents getting misplaced during office shifting and that the dealer had paid interest to the complainant for the delay.

In its reply, the dealer had opposed the application on the grounds that record pertaining to the period was voluminous, which could not be appreciated in summary proceedings. Later, it changed its version and filed an affidavit that it failed to trace the record of customers pertaining to 2008 as the same was misplaced during the shifting of office.

However, there was no document on record to suggest that the dealer changed the showroom. Even when the appeal was filed, the address of Berkley was showroom 24. It was, therefore, a false assertion that it changed business premises to showroom 27.

The commission did not accept these contentions and observed that the only plausible excuse for not producing the record was to avoid the evidence that could have brought on record the bungling being done. Hence, it ordered payment of compensation to Sood. 



Punjabi wedding of a different kind
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 1
It was a “big fat” Punjabi wedding albeit in a different setting which was held at the Dussehra grounds in Mohali on Sunday. Unlike the extravagant functions of the rich and famous, often a display of influence and wealth, it was the day when 101 not so affluent couples tied the nuptial knot amid a gathering of over 5,000 people.

A groom talks on his mobile with his bride seated next to him at a mass marriage performed at the Dussehra grounds in Mohali on Sunday.
A groom talks on his mobile with his bride seated next to him at a mass marriage performed at the Dussehra grounds in Mohali on Sunday. Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu

Being a public function literally everyone was invited. For the guests there was sumptuous meals on the platter as a lot of “VVIPs”, including former Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh, descended on the scene to “bless” the couples who were gifted an array of items ranging from refrigerators to wristwatches by the hosts - the Mohali District Congress Committee and the Punjabi Virsa Cultural Welfare Society.

Explaining the “concept”, Kharar MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu said all couples residing in rural areas who could not afford the wedding expenditure but were already engaged were invited to get hitched. “Most of the brides were daughters of labourers. We gifted a fridge, bicycle, sewing machine, double bed, 11 dresses, a pedestal fan, and utensils worth around Rs 60,000 to each couple. The guests were categorically told to give ‘shagun’ (wedding gifts) to the newly wed couples”, he said.

An elated Hiku Singh from Kharan Kalan, who married Ranjinder Kaur of Raipur Kalan village was all praise for the organizers of the function, held to mark May Day celebrations. Keeping in mind sectarian sentiments separate ‘pandals’ (tents) had been erected for Hindu, Sikh and Muslim weddings so that the ceremonies could continue interrupted.

Though the organizers had told the applicants to reach the venue in time, some of the grooms arrived late even as the brides’ families kept on waiting.

Another couple, Sahima and Nasand from Mohali, was overjoyed at getting the gifts. Amarinder, who is currently president of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, along with other Congress leaders including Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Lal Singh, Tej Parkash, Deepinder Dhillon and Arvind Khanna gave ‘shagun’ to each of the couples.

Talking later to reporters, Amarinder called for an end to female foeticide in the state. “This abhorrent practice is the worst problem Punjab is facing. I urge the young couples not only to fight the menace themselves but also spread the message among others”, he added.

On the issue of lack of storage facilities for foodgrains, Amarinder said: “Three years ago the central government had asked the state to expand its storage facilities but the latter did not act. Now New Delhi is being blamed for every problem”.



Lightning kills 60-yr-old
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 1
A 60-year-old man was killed due to lightening near the Radhaswami Satsang Bhawan at Beer Ghaggar village here this evening.According to sources, the victim, who has been identified as Banarsi Dass, a resident of Beer Ghaggar village, was working as a watchman and was on duty at the time of the incident.

The passersby immediately informed the police.

Chandimandir Station House Officer (SHO) Jangsher Singh, along with Constable Malkit Singh reached the spot and took the body in custody.

The body was later taken to the Sector-6 General Hospital for post-mortem to be conducted tomorrow.

Banarsi had retired from health department about two years ago.



Bacchus lovers disappointed

Bacchus lovers, who had high hopes of getting liquor on discounted rates last week, which was the final week of this year’s Excise Policy, were left disappointed. Unlike previous year’s practice, heavy discounts were not offered on liquor by contractors, except a few ones, this year. Many of the contractors were saying that they were left with no stock due to a month-long extension in the last year’s policy.

A man takes a nap under a rehri in Panchkula on Sunday.
A man takes a nap under a rehri in Panchkula on Sunday. Tribune photo: Nitin Mittal

“With the news reported in a section of media regarding increase in liquor rates here, many people have started buying liquor. So there was no need to offer discounted rates,” said a local liquor contractor, who did not get a licence this year. “I am disappointed as I had planned to buy at least five cases of my brand on discounted rates. As there is no attractive offer from the liquor contractors, I have dropped my plan,” said Gurpreet Singh, a resident of Sector 21.

Commendation for Dr Bhatti

In a national competition “Save as you build”, Dr SS Bhatti, former principal, Chandigarh College of Architecture, was awarded jury commendation, along with seven other competitors. He received this honour for his house in Sector 15 built in 1974-75.

The competition was part of the national comprehensive exhibition organised by the Bangalore International Exhibition Service, the Confederation of Indian Industry and Hannover Milano Fairs India. The evaluation focused on four prime areas: savings, originality, feasibility, and adaptability.

There were 63 entries in all from participants belonging to different fields who chose to tackle issues that were close to their heart.

SHO under scanner again

SHO of the Sector 26 police station Inspector Sri Parkash seem to have come under the scanner of the senior police officials lately for his unprofessional conduct.

While his prank with a DSP on April Fool’s Day saying that a skeleton had been found in a cupboard of police station earned him the flak of senior officers, a departmental inquiry has been marked as he mishandled a theft case.

To add to his woes, UT SSP Naunihal Singh conducted a surprise inspection of his police station earlier this week and was enraged to see broken and poorly maintained furniture.

The SHO was at the receiving end when the SSP lost his cool and slammed the door at the police station.

Making domestic disputes public

A lady head constable posted for IPL teams’ security at Hotel Mountview in Sector 10 faced the ire of her husband’s anger when she was bashed up by her husband while she was on night duty at the hotel.

The matter was resolved only after a senior officer intervened and pursued a compromise between the couple.

While the reason of the scuffle is unknown, word is that the husband was enraged over the alleged affair of his wife with a police officer, who interestingly also pursued them for a compromise.

Motortists’ nightmare

Development comes at a heavy risk to road users. In a classic example of side effects of road development, an ambitious project of the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) to carve out a 200 ft road from Phase XI to Industrial Area Phase VIII in Mohali is affecting road users badly.

The road was carved out two years ago, a number of fatal and non-fatal road accident have been reported on the stretch.

Only this year, three fatal road accident have been reported, as motorsists speed up their vehicles on metalled road and often caught unware of the approaching traffic as there are no traffic lights at the sector roads opening on the 200 ft road.

Lucky Talwar

Dr KK Talwar was known for surviving in toughest of the tough conditions. But either you call it a luck or something else, even on his last day as the PGI director, a protest by union leaders failed terribly.

On Saturday, the PGI union leaders called for an effigy protest protesting over his anti-trade union remarks in an interview.

Dr Talwar said there was no place for trade unions in hospitals.

However, only a little above a dozen members of the union reached the venue of protest the rally ground in Sector 25.

The union leaders, however, not losing the heart, handed over placards brought by them bearing anti- Talwar slogans to children playing nearby for photo journalists.

Contributed by Akash Ghai, Pradeep Sharma, Aneesha Sareen, Rajmeet Singh and Arun Sharma



Open House Response
City lacks entertainment opportunities

Chandigarh lacks entertainment opportunities for masses. Chandigarh being the capital of two states, Punjab and Haryana, has been built to a plan, which is akin to the western city. A museum is a must for any modern city of the likes of Chandigarh. Museums while adding character to the city encourage children to learn about the history in an interactive way. If museums are managed properly, they could attract people from all over the country.

An interactive children park, an aquarium, theme parks based on values, cultures and local fauna and flora are different avenues worth looking for in the city. Various state departments should develop their own centres for interaction.

The Railways could make a railway museum. Botanical gardens should be placed across the city. These gardens while increasing the forest cover of the city encourage development of natural habitat for birds and animals. These botanical gardens also serve as a stress buster. A few trekking routes should be developed with variable difficulty levels for various group of people.

The already existing zoo near the city should be handed over to experts to promote the development of a modern facility suitable for animals and visitors. Centres unique to our culture should be developed. War memorial with a detailed history chart should be built, which will make residents proud of their soldiers.

These should also have interactive areas as well as small museums depicting the courage of soldiers.

Dr Rajeev Kapoor Mohali

Explore options in periphery

Chandigarh is the best-planned city in India with architecture, which is world-renowned and quality of life, which is unparalleled. Serenity and a city are two diametrically opposite concepts, which, however, are not true in the case of the City Beautiful.

Chandigarh is a rare epitome of modernisation co-existing with the nature’s preservation. India’s first planned city is a rich, prosperous and spic and span green city.

In the contemporary times, tourism in Chandigarh is on the peak. Nature lovers from different parts of the country flock here to view the beautiful theme gardens of the city. I think the unique character of the city is its hallmark. too much pressure of amusement parks or other entertainment avenues could put unnecessary pressure on the city. Leave aside the balance in the city, the government should be exploring options for amusement and other activities near the city limits.

Kanika Sharma Landran

Poor amusement avenues

By now, the city should have marched ahead of any other city in the country. I can see a lot of construction being done as far as the real estate is concerned, but what’s the use, when the city does not provide new job avenues and has poor amusement avenues.

The city needs a drastic change. Metro, international airport, IT hub, holiday avenues and amusement parks are need of the hour.

I was possessive about the city to an extent that

I even wanted the registration number of my Enfield from Chandigarh. Now things have changed. I am forced to pay a second thought over it.Development in the real sense is confined to newspapers alone. Let us do something to make things happen.

Narender Nath Indian Navy Visakhapatnam

Maintain parks

It’s a pity that for creating more hi-tech infrastructure here, men who matter never think of the upkeep of what we have and have made.

Once a new work begins here, the very day its deterioration starts.

I wonder that why at the planning stage, the component of maintenance is not incorporated and public money is allowed to drain out. Hundreds of feature and theme parks have been created but a sizable number are in a deplorable state and need to be looked at.

I think it will be better incase we took care of the existing parks instead of opening new avenues. Chandigarh can be on the world tourist map with what we have. We need to preserve our present and in fact improve it.

SK Aggarwal

Change needs to be controlled

Though change is an essential part of life and changing with time is a mark of positive nature and development, but I don’t want my hometown to be changed into entertainment hub with loud music and no peace. Chandigarh still looks best with its peaceful environment. The city is designed exclusively for love, peace and beauty and not for loud music or pollution. I don’t want my hometown to lose tag of the City Beautiful and change into another Delhi.

I am not totally against the change but the change needs to be controlled.

Hema Sharma 



Workshop on critical care support ends
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 1
The two-day Critical Care Support Workshop, which addressed fundamental management principles during the first 24 hours of critical care, concluded today at Fortis Hospital, Mohali. Over 50 doctors from the tricity and towns from Punjab and Haryana such as Yamunanagar, Karnal and Ropar attended the workshop.

“Our patients are certainly going to benefit from this as we are now better equipped to assess their illness and take care of critical care management issues,” stated the doctors, who had come from small towns to attend the workshop. Expressing his satisfaction, Dr Amit K Mandal, senior consultant, pulmonology and critical care.

Dr Ashish Bhalla, additional professor emergency medicine, PGIMER, deliberated on how to diagnose and manage patients with shock and also how to manage electrolyte and metabolic abnormalities.



Stress on countering antimicrobial resistance
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 1
A continuous medical education (CME) on “Antimicrobial Resistance”, which is becoming a major cause for concern all over the world, was organised by Fortis Hospital here on Friday.

Stress was laid on the need for an effective and collaborative approach on part of the government, health professionals, care-givers and the community to address the problem. Over 50 doctors from the region attended the CME.

Delivering a lecture on “Antimicrobial resistance: No action today, no cure tomorrow”, Dr Anuj Sharma from the World Health Organisation said antimicrobial resistance and its global spread was threatening the continued effectiveness of many medicines used to treat the sick,

while at the same time it risked jeopardising important advances being made against major infectious killers.

This year, the WHO had launched a worldwide campaign to safeguard these medicines for future generations, he stated.

Speaking on “Clinician’s practices, dilemma and role in rational use of antibiotics”,

Dr Atul Sachdev, head of the department of medicine, GMCH,

Chandigarh, pointed out the factors that came into play while prescribing antibiotics.

These included not only the patient’s clinical condition but also the pressures exerted by patients, caregivers or even pharmaceutical companies on doctors.

This could influence the practices to cause an indiscriminate and irrational use of antibiotics, which would ultimately lead to antimicrobial resistance.Easy and over the counter availability of antibiotics also contributed to this phenomenon.



Electricity dept to act tough with defaulters
Sanjay Bumbroo/TNS

Panchkula, May 1
Load shedding and burning of transformers during summer season in view of the extra load has now forced the electricity department to conduct a survey to keep a check on those consumers, who were illegally using heavy electricity consuming appliance.

Besides residential areas, the raids would also be conducted in industrial units. The team, that would conduct raids, would be led by sub-divisional officers and junior engineers of the power board.

The consumption of electricity in the city was around 5,86,837 KW in 2010, which has now increased considerably. Separate teams would be constituted for each sector to check the load in each and every household.

According to sources, the power board authorities now feel that in view of customers not getting approval to use heavy load, the board was suffering huge losses due to load shedding and burning of transformers.

A special campaign would be launched by the board officials to conduct a door-to-door survey to check electricity load. If the load was found higher than the approved then the department would take stern action against the defaulters by charging an amount of about one year lesser load value.

The sources added that the board employees would inspect all the houses for air-conditioners (AC) and other heavy electricity-consuming appliance.

The authorities were of the view that some of the customers had installed ACs in every room of the house resulting in huge financial loss to the power board in low voltage and damage to the transformers due to extra load.

A senior official of the board said generally people get electricity connection with a power load of 8 to 10 KW, as this generated lesser amount of bills besides paying the low meter rent. The consumers who have got approval for 10 to 20 KW connections have to shell out more on account of higher electricity bill, besides, higher meter rent.

The executive engineer Manish Dhaliwal said a campaign to check three-face load would be initiated soon.

He said punitive action would be taken against those who were using appliance like air-conditioners etc resulting in power shedding.



Youth drowns in river
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 1
A 26-year-old youth died under mysterious circumstances while taking a dip in a river at Bhrune village in Morni block today.The victim, identified as Rajinder Singh, a resident of Preet Colony in Zirakpur, was rushed to the civil hospital in Kalka, where he was declared brought dead.

According to information, Rajinder had gone to the village, along with his five friends, including Vinod, Raj Sharma, Virender, Narinder and Pradeep. They first consumed liquor and then went towards the river. However, the victim lost his balance and fearing threat to his life shouted for help. Hearing his cries, Dhanpal a resident of the village immediately jumped into the river and brought the victim out. The police was informed about the incident and ambulance arrived after two hours. He was then rushed to the civil hospital in Kalka, where the doctors declared him brought dead.

The police team from Morni and Pinjore also reached the spot to investigate the matter, but as the area comes under Morni block, the Morni police started a probe.

Morni police post in charge Mehmood Khan said the body had been kept in a mortuary for an autopsy to be conducted tomorrow. 



Rally marks Labour Day
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 1
Workers from various fields from Panchkula and its adjoining periphery participated in a rally to observe International Labour Day.Randhir Singh Sathi, district president, CITU and president Nyaya Manch, Shravan Kumar Jhangra, Lalchand Kasana, vice-president, All-India Road Transport Federation (North), and Kailash Chand, block president, Co-workers Union, presided over the rally.

The participants also unfurled the flag and organised a candle rally to pay tributes to Chicago martyrs.

Kailash Chand said labour class was still exploited and there was a need to put an end to it by safeguarding the interests of labour class. He alleged that on one hand the government frames rules to safeguard their interests and on the other it shows no interest in implementing them.

The speakers called for scrapping the economic regime of privatisation and globalisation and scrupulous implementation of pro-worker polices.



Residents complain of impure water
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 1
Residents of Mohali village, which had come under the grip of cholera two years ago, have complained of being supplied with muddy water from a newly-sunk tubewell in the area.
Village residents show a bottle containing impure drinking water in Mohali.
Village residents show a bottle containing impure drinking water in Mohali.Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu

The tubewell was sunk in Mohali village by the Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board on behalf of the municipal corporation and it became functional around three weeks ago.

Village residents, who had been faced water shortage, were hopeful of getting adequate potable water from the tubewell but were surprised to find mud in the water discharged from the tubewell.

The residents brought the matter to the notice of local MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu, who visited the village on Thursday.

The residents showed him samples of muddy water supplied to the village from the tubewell.

Sidhu said he would apprise the Deputy Commissioner of the problem and urge him to direct the authorities concerned to supply clean drinking water, as it concerned the health of residents.

A corporation official, however, denied that muddy water was being supplied to the village.

He said the problem occurred only for a few minutes when the tubewell was turned on for the first time in the morning. He said a team of officials had also come to look into the problem but found the discharge normal.



Treetop protester on indefinite hunger strike
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, May 1
Miffed over the failure of authorities concerned to take notice of his treetop protest, Avtar Singh Nagla today went on an indefinite hunger strike.Nearly 17 days after he perched himself a top the tree seeking action in a land sale case, Nagla today refused to eat anything and sustained himself on water and “lassi”.

Congress leaders, including Rajbir Padiala, former planning board vice-chairman RR Bhardwaj and PPCC member Deepinder Dhillon paid a visit to Nagla.



‘Industry should invest in R&D’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 1
Quality standards, competitive pricing and timely delivery are the key elements to forge business linkages. This was stated by Mahavir Kaushik, Director Industries, Chandigarh administration, here yesterday.

He was addressing a ‘CII buyer-seller meet’. He said the industry should invest in research and development and use the latest technology in order to achieve business excellence.

Vikram Hans, chairman, CII, Chandigarh, stated that the fast-changing global economic scenario had thrown up various opportunities and challenges to MSMEs in India.

While many opportunities had opened for this sector both nationally and internationally, the sector did not have any strategic tools for market development, as were available with large industries, he added.

Sameer Goel, vice-chairman, CII, Chandigarh, stated that MSMEs were playing an important role in the development of the country and employment generation and exports.



CSIO begins PhD in emerging technologies

Chandigarh, May 1
To encourage research in specialised arenas and emerging cutting-edge technologies, the Central Scientific Instruments Organisation (CSIO) has started a doctorate programme for young scientists.

Seven disciplines have been short-listed for the programme. These are agrionics, photonics, mechanical systems, nano-bio photonics, optical instrumentation, biomedical instrumentation and computational instrumentation.

The upper age limit for the general category has been fixed at 28 years and the programme, which includes course work with a wide choice of elective subjects, is scheduled to commence in August. Candidates can apply by May 22. A masters degree in engineering or science is required for pursuing the PhD programme in engineering or science along with GATE score or a valid national level fellowship. For “fast-track” PhD in engineering, a bachelor’s degree in the appropriate engineering discipline from a premier institute with university/institute first rank is required. — TNS



Anti-social elements
Search operations in slum areas

Zirakpur, May 1
In an attempt to keep a tab on anti-social elements, the police conducted search operations in slum areas here today.A team led by JS Kahira, DSP Dera Bassi, along with Yogir Raj, SHO, Zirakpur, today carried out search operations search in slums areas, including Lohgarh, Baltana and Pabhat areas.

Kahira said the operation was launched to keep a check on the activities of people with a criminal background. — TNS



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