C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Councillors’ study tours fail to benefit city
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 7
The Municipal Corporation (MC) seems to have identified particular cities in the country for councillors’ study tours which they are visiting year after year without any benefits to the civic body.

Without verifying the reports of previous study tours, councillors who have twice visited Chennai, Mumbai, Goa and Bangalore are again going to tour Chennai and Bangalore, Puducherry and Coimbatore in their plan. In the words of a councillor, “these trips have yielded nothing more than leisure and pleasure”.

As per the tour itinerary, as many 14 of them will visit Bangalore and Coimbatore for 10 days from May 21 and the remaining 21 will visit Chennai and Puducherry for nine days from June 4.

Not just that the destinations are the same, the councillors are planning to study the same old projects, including sanitation, water supply, licencing of rehri phari, roads and functioning of various wings of the civic body, which was also on the agenda of the last two study tours of their predecessors. Even though nothing concrete had been proposed or implemented from the study tours which were undertaken to Chennai and Bangalore in the year 2004 and 2006 respectively, still the councillors prefer to visit these places.

Interestingly, former Congress councillor Shama Negi had raised an issue at the General House meeting in 2006 that study tours had no meaning. Rather these were an unnecessary burden on the meagre resources of the MC.

Reacting to it, certain councillors in 2006 had met former UT Adviser Pardeep Mehra and submitted a memorandum, seeking a ban on study tours on account of wastage of money, following which the administration had denied to give its consent to such tours.

Nominated councillor Pallav Mukherjee commented, “I hate the idea of spending huge money on the study tours when all information is available on the Internet.”

Tour reports that never came

November 2007: 19 MC councillors visited Singapore, Malaysia and Bangkok. After which a report was submitted by the councilors suggesting setting up of a sensory park in the city. Interestingly, the park had been developed but not on the concept of the blind park, which was proposed.

2008: a study tour was not approved by the Chandigarh administration on the plea that no output or fruitful results had emerged from the previous tours, so there was no need to send the councillors on such tours.

2009: a proposal was sent for the study tour of councillors to Europe by the corporation, which was rejected by the UT authorities on the grounds that the Union Government had asked all state governments to cut expenses, especially on tours.

2010: two study tours were approved, one to Cochin and Trivandrum and another to Gangtok and Calcutta. The action taken report of both tours have yet to be prepared. Only after that, the proposals would be studied for their implementation for the benefit of the city.

‘Time needed for implementation’

Mayor Ravinder Pal Singh said the authorities always try to shape up the vision which the councillors proposed in the reports, but it requires some time to implement them at the ground level. 



Major projects after such tours have come a cropper
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 7
Major projects recommended by the municipal corporation after study tours have failed miserably on ground, calling into question their relevance. There are no detailed reports or follow-ups on what shortcomings the projects had faced while they were implemented.

The projects which were proposed by the councillors after study tour include night food street, fish market, blind park and dhobi ghat, which are all defunct.

It is interesting to point out that the city’s first night food street near the PGI had no kitchen facilities at the stalls to prepare food there. Similarly, the corporation came up with the Blind Park in Sector 26 for special children, but there are no special touch-and-feel plants in it. Adding to this, there is a modernised dhobi ghat in Sector 15, which is not equipped with the basic machines needed for washing. Questions are being raised about clearing projects without studying their feasibility.

Besides, there are no takers for the first air-conditioned fish market set up in the city. Ironically, when this project was mooted by the corporation, it was decided that these shops would be handed over to the Manimjara and Shastri Nagar fish sellers at nominal rates to provide them a hygienic condition for selling their material.

Night Food Street

The Chandigarh Municipal Corporation decided to set up a night food street opposite the PGI in 2007, similar to that in Pakistan on the proposal by former mayor Harjinder Kaur.

Idea behind it: The corporation felt that the city should have night eateries where one could eat hygienic food at reasonable rates. The site opposite the PGI was chosen because a large number of students were staying in the university and adjoining sectors, which usually need such type of facility. Besides, staff of PGI and kin of the patients admitted in the PGI, visiting at odd hours, also needed a spot where they could have food even at late hours in the night.

Flop Show: In 2008, a bid was made for four Indian, two Continental, one Chinese and one South India kiosks, in response to which no bidder turned up for the south Indian kiosk. In 2010, auction was conducted for eight kiosks at a cost Rs 6.83 lakh. Recently three of the kiosks owners withdrew and shut down their shops. The main reason for the shops at night street not becoming popular is that it does not have proper space of sitting, parking vehicles and no special food items to attract the customers.

Rain water harvesting

In 2004, MC councillors proposed to have rain water harvesting arrangement in all the government buildings after the study tour to Chennai.

Idea Behind it: The purpose of the project was to help conserve the groundwater level which is going down steeply and manage water shortage in the city. The UT administration had asked the MC authorities to get this system installed in their building as a pilot project.

Flop Show: Interestingly every year, the MC authorities allocate funds in the budget to install the water harvesting system in their building, but till date no progress has taken place in this regard. 

Air Conditioned Fish Market

The Chandigarh administration proposed to set up this market in 2007 after a tour of MC councillors to Singapore. This market was completed after failing to meet a number of deadlines fixed for this project. It was handed over to the MC in 2009 for auctioning. The market had two refrigerated rooms along with eight air-conditioned shops. Besides, an independent parking lot and washrooms for the new fish market were also planned.

Idea behind it: The purpose of constructing air-conditioned fish market was to regulate small fish sellers of the city and ensure that fish was sold in hygienic condition in various sectors of the city.

Flop Show: On April 27, 2010, the MC decided to auction the shops of first fish market, but only two bidders turned up and they also demanded some relaxation from the authorities on the rent fixed by them. Now MC is planning to lease out the market as even after organizing auctioning for three times, no takers turned up.

Park for the Blind

The park was proposed to be developed on the pattern of Blind Park in Bangkok, where the blind can feel the beauty of nature and know the details of the plants, scripted in Braille language by touching.

Idea Behind it: The proposal was to develop an amusement park designed in classic style and decorate it with various exciting playing machines and fun places, besides fantasy land, dream garden and adventure land.

Flop Show: At the general house meeting of the MC last year, it was revealed that as there were no specialised plants in this park, it should be renovated. After which the house approved another Rs 50 lakh for the same blind park to develop it on the pattern of Bangkok. But till date, nothing has been done by the authorities.



Murder convict escapes from PGI
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 7
A convict in a murder case escaped from the police custody in the PGI here today. The convict, 40-year-old, Raju, was brought to the hospital for treatment by the Haryana Police late last night.

Raju, who was lodged in an Ambala jail, was brought to the hospital after he complained of heart pain. Two assistant sub-inspectors (ASIs) Krishan Lal and Johra Singh of the Haryana police had brought him.

Raju managed to escape from the hospital after conning the security personnel on duty in the wee hours today. He fled after one of the ASIs went to collect his X-ray report.

Raju was sentenced to life imprisonment by an Ambala court in 2004. He committed the murder in 1997. He was a heart patient and was brought to Chandigarh after he developed some complications.

A case has been registered against the two policemen for negligence of duty. Besides, the police also booked the accused Raju in a case of escape from custody.

A case under Sections 223, 224 of the IPC was registered at the Sector 11 police station.



IT park beckons youngsters with ‘bright feasible ideas’
Sanjeev Singh Bariana/TNS

Chandigarh, May 7
Young entrepreneurs with “bright feasible ideas”can begin their ventures in the entrepreneur development cell (EDC) of the Rajiv Gandhi Chandigarh Chandigarh Technology Park (RGCTP) from June. The project was stuck up in government files ever since its inauguration in 2009.

Instead of spending any money on sprucing up space, ensuring basic facilities like electricity connections or even toilets, youngsters need to just walk in with their laptop, make a connection and start their venture at prices less than one fifth of the commercial ventures on their seats in the centre.

The centre will have 375-400 work stations, which will be given to individuals or even small companies. More than half the total number of seats will be available to the young entrepreneurs exclusively who come with “bright feasible ideas”.

The idea is to promote entrepreneurship skills of the young and the only qualification is an “idea that works”. Besides local applicants, the EDC has also received applications from abroad, including Afghanistan and the USA, besides certain others.

The centre is making special efforts towards involving students, who are the next-generation entrepreneurs, and stand to make an early beginning in their career on highly subsided charges. At one point of time, approximately 30 budding entrepreneurs’ entries were shortlisted by the evaluation committee out of the total 87 entries.

The project, which came up on an 1.5-acre plot, was formally inaugurated by Gen SF Rodrigues (retd), a former UT Administrator. No work ever began in the centre because the inauguration was a mere formality. The project, subsequently, got stuck up in procedural wrangling on account of increased costs.

A senior official said “the financial matters needed a clearance from the Centre and the wait there is very long. The subject never came up for consideration till Yogesh Kumar, director of Information Technology, took up the issue with the Centre recently. The Centre has accorded sanction to the UT for handling the financial matters pertaining to the IDC”.

Confirming the development, Yogesh Kumar said, “After a formal sanction, we are carrying out the ground work for a formal launch next month. The number of applicants has swelled and we are finalising the last-minute details for a formal allocation”.

The names will be cleared by a committee under the chairmanship of the Finance Secretary. It has been clarified that the allocation in the category of young entrepreneurs will be made only for a period of three years.

“Three years is a long enough period for a youngster to show his mettle and make place for himself in the commercial world,” the director said.



Kicking his way to glory
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 7
He was fond of watching Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan movies. The interest led him to take on martial arts and today he has an international gold and a bronze medal in his kitty.

For 17-year-old Ramandeep Singh, who recently won a gold medal in the Jalnawala International Martial Art Summit, held at Chattarpati Shivaji Stadium, Pune last week, this was just a start.

“In January this year, I had won a bronze medal at the Fifth Commonwealth Taekwondo Championship in Chennai. Now winning the gold in the competition, which witnessed top players from around 10 South Asian countries like Thailand, Korea, Kazakhstan, Malaysia and Iran is certainly a big boost,” said elated Ramandeep Singh, a class XII student of DAV Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 15.

His ultimate aim is to earn yellow metal in Olympics for the country and he is sure that his journey towards the goal in on the right track.

“I have been honing the nuances of the art under the hawk eyes of my coach, Ashish Khandelwal. I have been working to make my country feel proud,” said the youngster, who has also won a gold medal in the Inter-school Taekwondo Championship and a bronze at the 30th Junior National Taekwondo Championship held in Jaipur.


City to have science museum soon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 7
Pawan Kumar Bansal, Union Minister for Science and Technology, Parliamentary Affairs and Earth Sciences, today announced that Chandigarh would soon have a “Science Museum and City”.

He was presiding over an award ceremony at Panjab University. The museum would be established at a cost of about Rs 40 crore, he said, and the modalities are being worked out, along with Union Tourism Minister Kumari Selja. Bansal said a major part of the MPLAD fund would be given to this project, which will be the first-of-its-kind in the entire region. He also launched a “Girl Child Scholarship Scheme” floated by the Science Olympiad Foundation, a Delhi-based NGO. The scheme envisages a grant of scholarships to 75 selected girls from all over India on the need-cum-merit basis. Bansal also outlined various programmes being promoted by his ministry to give incentives to the students with scientific temper. Students of St Kabir Public School, Vivek High School, St John’s, Carmel Convent and Delhi Public School were awarded for excelling in various olympiad.



Experts dwell on nuances of motherhood
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 7
To enrich the experience of motherhood, Fortis Hospital held a special workshop for mothers of students of Yadavindra Public School (YPS) here yesterday.

Over 80 mothers attended the workshop and interacted with experts and understood the nuances of motherhood. After the workshop,
the students of YPS
also presented a cultural show in which they thanked their mothers for loving them and taking care of them.

Dr Swapna Misra, consultant, obstetrics and gynaecology, Fortis Hospital, said, “For every woman having a baby is a challenging time, both physically and emotionally. It is natural for many new mothers to have mood swings after delivery, feeling happy one minute and depressed the next. These feelings, sometimes known as the ‘baby blues’, often go away within 10 to 15 days of the delivery. However, some women may experience adeep and ongoing depression, which lasts much longer, which is called postpartum depression.It is an illness that canbe effectively treated,” she said.

Talking about the importance of diet and exercise, Dr Swapna said, “These are especially important for young mothers. Healthy motherhood starts from pre-pregnancy stage. The health of a pregnant woman, a newborn or a mother (for the next 15 years) depends on how she had taken care of herself before, during and after pregnancy and through the child’s growing years,” she said.

Sonia Gandhi, head, department of dietetics and nutrition, Fortis Hospital, answered queries from audience regarding the diet of young mothers and children. 



Discussion on challenges affecting internal security
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 7
Discussing the challenges that are affecting the internal security of India, GK Pillai, Union Home Secretary of India, today said fake currency, cyber crime, etc, were all potential threats to the country’s internal security. Pillai was presiding over a panel discussion on “Strategies to combat internal security problems in India” organised by the department of defence and national security studies, Panjab University, here.

In his keynote address, he talked about the lack of efforts by various forces other than Maoists, who have been able to make sufficient ideological impact in raising their cadre. “There is a great need to bridge the resource deficit, if not meeting the recommended police-citizen gap ratio,” he said. He also added that it was not possible that Pakistan did not know about the presence of Osama Bin Laden in their country.

Pillai added that the modalities of the composition of national intelligence grid were being worked out and Rs 50 crore has been sanctioned for the same. This body, he said, would coordinate with all other security forces and intelligence agencies.

General BKN Chhibber, former Governor Punjab, gave an account of the Army role in bringing down emergency situation in Punjab. Gen Hardev Lidder, former chief of integrated defence staff, made a comprehensive presentation on the national security and his paradigm linkages with internal security issues. General VK Ahluwalia, GOC-in-C Central Command, discussed various facets of Naxalism in India and way ahead in combating it. DDS Sandhu, Vice-Chancellor, Kurukshetra University, talked of the lack of capacity building in dealing with various contingencies and its impact on national security.

PH Tharakan, former chief RAW, discussed the significance of intelligence inputs and lack of interagency coordination. At the end of the seminar, JS Gill, director CRPF Academy, dwelled on the role of paramilitary forces, especially CRPF, in confronting internal security problems.

The discussion was moderated by SD Pradhan, former deputy national security advisor and chairman joint intelligence committee. 



FCI told to compensate employee
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 7
The UT Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum has directed Food Corporation of India (FCI) and Employees Provident Fund Organisation to pay Rs 50,000 as compensation to a former employee of FCI, Vinod Kumar Chandra, for delaying settlement of his pension for 14 months.

In his complaint, Vinod stated he had submitted all requisite papers for the release of his pension under the Employee Pension Scheme to FCI after he superannuated from the Corporation as depot manager on February 20, 2009. Since then, he had not received any communication.

In reply, FCI stated that the delay was due to procedural formalities. They further stated that the main reason for delay was refusal of pension papers by Regional Provident Fund Commissioner’s office on April 23, 2009. Therefore, they were not liable to pay any interest to the complainant.

In their joint reply, Regional Provident Fund Commissioner, Punjab, and Noida, however, stated that the pension papers were received for the first time on November 11, 2009. As the claim was not complete, it was handed over to the officials of FCI’s Zonal Manager (North) on February 9, 2010, with the request to complete it.

Thereafter, on receiving the pension papers, the claim was immediately processed in accordance with the provision of Employees Pension Scheme 1995 and a letter, along with input data sheet, was sent to Regional Provident Fund Commissioner on March 17, 2010, for issuance of Pension Payment Order in favour of the complainant. So there was no delay on their part, stated respondents.

The forum, including its president, Laxman Sharma and members Ashok Raj Bhandari and Madhu Mutneja observed that the case was finally settled after almost 13 months on April 16, 2010, which is a matter of great concern. “The behaviour of FCI officials and Regional Provident Fund Commissioners has been apathetic and inconsiderate towards their own employees,” stated the forum in its order. 



Legal Services Authority set for revamp

Chandigarh, May 7
The UT State Legal Services Authority is all set for a major revamp as a proposal has been mooted to organise legal aid clinics in the city to create awareness amongst the masses about their legal rights.

As part of the pilot project, six places in the city have been identified to create awareness amongst the weaker sections of the society regarding their legal rights and how the authority can provide aid to them.

Jagdeep Jain, Member State Legal Service Authority, said they had already identified five places where such clinics would be set up. — TNS



‘BJP committed to maintaining basic status of villages’

Chandigarh, May 7
BJP local unit president Sanjay Tandon yesterday blamed the Congress for misguiding residents of Khuda Ali Sher and other villages, who were protesting in support of their demands. He said on the one hand, Congress leaders, by taking active part in the protests, were falsely assuring them, on the other hand, the Chandigarh Administration had proposed Khuda Ali Sher and other villages to be included in the municipal limits.

He alleged that it was a conspiracy hatched by the leaders of Congress, in connivance with the Chandigarh Administration, to include the villages in the municipal limits to take them away from the ambit of the Panchayati Raj Act.

He reiterated the BJP’s commitment to the developments in the villages to maintain their basic status. The administration should, instead of including the villages in the municipal limits, provide electricity, water, cleanliness and sewerage facilities to develop them as modern villages.He demanded the extension of “ lal dora”. — TNS



Victims not given proper treatment: Expert
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 7
Victims of animal bite are not being treated properly in the country and instead of getting serum (rabies immunoglobulin), along with anit-rabies vaccine, the victims are being treated with anti-rabies vaccine only. This was stated by Dr Anurag Aggarwal, secretary, Consortium Against Rabies (CAR), at the first national conference on rabies control CARCON-2011 here today.

Dr Aggarwal, head, Paediatrics, at Maharshi Balmiki Hospital, New Delhi, said it exposed the victim to the risk of life.

In case of an animal bite, including dog, cat, monkey, rat and mongoos, the bite should be washed well with soap and running water for about 15 minutes. Following this, Rabies Immunoglobulins, also known as RIGs or serum was to be unfiltered into the wounds and the area around it, along with anti-rabies vaccine, he said.

Rabies was a hundred per cent fatal disease, but it was preventable as well. The treatment against rabies should be started immediately after the animal bite.

As soon as the animal bites, there are chances that the virus could travel to brain from where it could affect the nervous system, resulting in death of the victim. Anti-rabies vaccine takes time in developing anti-bodies against rabies up to six hours. In that case, removing the chance of virus reaching the brain, which is washed and treated with serum, becomes mandatory, said Dr Aggarwal. Along with this, anti-rabies vaccination should be started, he added.

In majority of the cases, animal bite victims are being treated with doses of anti-rabies vaccination only, he rued. The reason behind avoiding the use of serum is not difficult to understand. It costs around Rs 10,000 for treatment of an adult. As majority of victims can’t afford it so an initiative from government only can help, he said.

India reports over 20,000 deaths due to rabies every year, which is half of total deaths globally due to animal bites, said Dr Aggarwal, adding that 80 per cent of these comprise victims of stray dog bites. And the actual figure is expected to be much more, as there are no data available in this regard as majority of the cases from rural areas remain unreported.

Bare facts

l Dispensary in Sector 19, Chandigarh, receives at least 600 victims of animal bites every month

l No treatment facility for animal bites is available in health centres in rural areas.

l 70 per cent of such cases are reported from rural areas

l Even majority of district hospitals don’t have such facilities forcing people to travel hundreds of miles to get treatment

l Even supply of vaccine at hospitals is irregular

l Studies have shown that up to 60 per cent dogs were found having rabies despite relianle history of anti-rabies vaccination

Must do’s

l Observation of a dog (vaccinated or not) is not enough.Victim must start the vaccination immediately

l Single or multiple trasdermal bites or scratches require local wound treatment, along with rabies immunoglobulin (serum) and anti-rabies vaccine, immediately



Parking vehicles at will
Even parks not spared
Kulwinder Sangha

Vehicles parked in a park at the rear side of the Deputy Commissioner’s office in Phase I, Mohali
Vehicles parked in a park at the rear side of the Deputy Commissioner’s office in Phase I, Mohali. Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu

Mohali, May 7
A large number of parks in the town are being misused by residents, especially for parking vehicles, with the authorities concerned turning a blind eye to the violations.Although the problem is prevalent in several sectors, it is particularly acute in thickly populated areas like Sectors 55, 64 and 65.

The indifferent attitude of the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) is not only causing damage to the public parks, but also depriving other residents of the use of open spaces for relaxation.

The effort of GMADA authorities to stop residents from parking their vehicles in the areas reserved for parks does not bring in the desired results as the number of vehicles in the town has gone up drastically and shortage of space in small-sized houses compels residents to make use of the vacant space near their houses.

Sources said a number of former municipal councillors had met the chief engineer of GMADA last week and took up the problem of parking vehicles with him. Suggestions were made to reduce the area of parks by a few feet so that residents could park their vehicles along the open spaces instead of parking them inside the parks.

Sukhminder Singh Barnala, former municipal councillor living in Sector 65, said parks in the area were full of cars and it became difficult for children to play there. Whenever they played cricket, their balls often broke windowpanes of some vehicles leading to heated exchanges between residents. In Chandigarh, one had to submit an affidavit at the time of purchasing a car that he had space in his house to park the vehicle. Moreover, some parking spaces had also been provided by the authorities concerned in thickly populated areas. The same should be done in Mohali, added Barnala.

A Sector 55 resident and former municipal councillor Bharat Bhushan Maini said shortage of open space had compelled residents of thickly populated areas to park their vehicles in parks. He said a suggestion was given to GMADA authorities to cut the length and breadth of parks leaving space for parking of vehicles.

According to a survey carried out by GMADA about a year ago, out of the total 550 parks in the town, 88 were being used by residents to park their cars. The worst affected was Sector 64, which had a total of 55 parks, out of which 23 were being used for parking cars. For residents of Sector 65 also parking cars in the parks was more convenient, as 21 out of 56 were being used for this purpose. As many as 13 parks out of total of 58 were being used to park vehicles in Sector 58. While four parks were being misused in Sectors 55 and 60, cars were also parked in three parks each in Sectors 56, 61, 63, 70 and 71. The misuse was the minimum in Sectors 53, 54 and 69, where only one park in each sector was being used to park vehicles. 



Modalities being worked out
Our Correspondent

A redesigned security gate in Mohali.
A redesigned security gate in Mohali. A Tribune photograph

Mohali, May 7
Even as the work of putting up 69 security gates in various parts of the town is nearing completion, modalities are being worked out in connection with the deployment of security guards to man these gates at night.

It is reported that around 45 gates have been put up. Work on some of these, especially near shopping street, could not be completed due to road widening and spots where these had to be put up would have to be identified once again.

Contractor concerned was to put up all gates by March 30. He was given a month’s extension to complete his work, but the needful had still not been done. It is learnt that another two weeks time has been given to him to complete the work.

A meeting was held three days ago by Assistant Commissioner of the Mohali municipal corporation Parveen Kumar Thind to discuss the security issue. Police officials, the contractor and officials of the civic body attended the meeting. Modalities regarding the number of security personnel required to man these gates at night,

at which gates these security guards be deployed and how many gates be closed at night are being worked out.

A meeting will also be held with representatives of various welfare associations to know their views on the security aspect.

It is learnt that the contractor will be providing a list of security personnel to the police for verification.

As many as 39 security gates were put up in various parts of the town in October 2009. These had attracted a lot of criticism from municipal councillors, who had alleged that substandard material was used and no security guards were deployed by the contractor. Later, the design of these gates was changed and the number also increased from 39 to 69.

The plan to put up security gates was drawn up by thethen SSP of Mohali Jatinder Singh Aulakh and discussed at a meeting, which was attended by former SP (City) Varinder Pal Singh, the then council president Rajinder Singh Rana and former senior vice-president of the civic body Rishiv Jain. As per the plan, these gates were to be closed at night leaving one gate open, which was to be manned by a security guard, who would be maintaining a register to enter the names of persons entering that particular area once the gates were closed. The security guards were to be deployed after carrying out police verification. 



Polythene: Ban imposed, but who cares?
Rajiv Bhatia

Despite a ban on the use of polybags, a boy seen carrying one in Zirakpur.
Despite a ban on the use of polybags, a boy seen carrying one in Zirakpur. A Tribune photograph

Zirakpur, May 7
Despite a ban on the use of polythene all across the state, shopkeepers and vendors in Zirakpur continue to violate it with impunity.In the absence of any arrangement for checking the violations, the district administration is finding it difficult to implement this new eco-friendly rule in true spirits in this part of Mohali district.

Recently, the Mohali administration had asked all civic bodies and panchayats in the district to strictly follow the state government’s orders of imposing the ban on the use of polythene. The orders came into effect after the Punjab government decided to implement the Punjab Plastic Bags (Manufacture, Usage and Disposal) Control Act, prohibiting the manufacture, disposal and use of polythene bags from May 1.

Sources in the Zirakpur MC’s office revealed that the council had informed shopkeepers and vendors not to use polybags of less than 30 microns through announcements in markets and other areas.

Vendors and shopkeepers here are seen giving fruits and vegetables in polybags to buyers. Shopkeepers said they were not aware of any kind of ban. They claimed that nobody from the MC’s office had informed them about the ban.

Raj, owner of a confectionery shop in Baltana, said he was not aware of the ban. He added that paper bags were expensive. The administration should suggest some other alternative to the problem, he added.

Residents said the ban was just an eyewash. A few years back, the UT administration had banned the use of polythene in Chandigarh, but shopkeepers in the city can be seen using the same right under the nose of the administration.

Mohali Deputy Commissioner Varun Runjam said, “We are going to hold a meeting in this regard on Monday. Traders, officials of the civic bodies and SDMs will be called for the meeting.”

He said the administration would issue special instructions to shopkeepers regarding the imposition of the ban in Mohali district. He said the officials concerned would review the situation every week. 



Car dealer told to refund Rs 5,50,000
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 7
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed a dealer of Nissan Motors to take the car of the complainant and refund the deposited amount of Rs 5,50,000 to a Mohali resident, along with interest for improper service.

BS Mehandiratta, president of the forum, ordered that M/s Bhagat Cars, Mohali, should refund the amount with interest at the rate of nine per cent with effect from December 24, 2010, till the date of actual refund.

The complainant should return the car to the dealer within 15 days from the date of receipt of a certified copy of this order, along with all documents received by him. Besides, the dealer should also compensate the complainant for harassment to the tune of Rs 25,000.

The company should pay compensation of Rs 50,000 to the complainant for causing him harassment by dispatching Form-22 containing incorrect engine number.

Both the parties should also pay to the complainant costs of litigation to the tune of Rs 5,000 each. Both the parties should also deposit in the legal aid account of this forum a sum of Rs 10,000 each.

Vinay Mittal, a resident of Phase V, told the forum that he had paid Rs 5,50,000 to M/s Bhagat Cars, Mohali, for purchasing a Nissan Micra car through four cheques.

Delivery of the car was made to the complainant on December 24, 2010. The documents of ownership were handed over to him by the dealer on January 5, 2011, but Form-22, which is mandatory for registration of a vehicle, was not furnished. When the complainant asked for its delivery, the dealer assured him that it would be provided to him in some time, but had not been provided till the filing of the complaint on February 28, 2011.

Thereafter, a scanned copy of Form-22 was provided which was not legible. The registering authority refused to accept the scanned copy of Form-22 for security reasons.

The complainant said Form-22 was not being issued to him as the car was not road-worthy and was defective or due to the reason that an old and repaired car had been sold to him. The car dealer told the forum that the car was delivered to Mittal on December 24, 2010, with temporary number and insurance. Other documents of the car were delivered to the complainant on clearance of his cheques.

It came to his knowledge that there was some typographical mistake in the engine number in Form-22. The company was requested to arrange for new/correct Form-22. He received correct Form-22 through post from the company on January 27 and on the same day it was sent to the complainant through courier and delivered to the complainant on January 28, as per courier run sheet.



Residents get contaminated water

Zirakpur, May 7
Residents of Shanti Enclave today complained that contaminated water being supplied to the locality for the past 10 days. They said water provided by the water supply department was impure and emitted foul smell.

Sawran Kamboj, Suresh Bansal, Balraj Singh, Rakesh Dikshit and other residents rued that they were drinking contaminated water. Residents said they were getting water supply from Lakshami Enclave’s tubewell. They urged the authorities to tide over the problem at the earliest. Mahesh Chawla, SDO, Water Supply and Sewerage Board, said the matter was not in his knowledge. He assured the residents that the problem would be solved on a priority basis. — TNS



Sarus crane breeding begins at Chhatbir zoo
Gurdeep Singh Mann
Tribune News Service

The numbers of sarus crane, white buck, black buck, chinkara and red jungle fowl have gone up in the past month

Chhat (Banur), May 7
The breeding programme of one of the world’s tallest flying birds, sarus crane, took off successfully in Mahendra Chaudhary Zoological Park last week. The number of this endangered species has now increased to 12 from 10. The Chhatbir zoo recently managed to identify gender of five male and five females through the DNA testing from a Bangalore-based laboratory to form pairs.

Zoo authorities have kept these birds in separate enclosures when the gender of these birds was not identified. Besides sarus crane, white buck, black buck, chinkara and red jungle fowl have also given birth and their population too has increased in the zoo this month.

Zoo field director Basanta Raj Kumar said gender identification of sarus crane was a herculean task, as once paired, they never change partners for their entire life. “These birds fail to live a normal life after death of a partner and are considered to be honest to each other throughout their life,” he said. Gender of the two newly-born would be identified later on. The incubation period of sarus cranes is 29 to 35 days and they live up to around 20 years. As of now they do not allow anyone to come close.

Zookeepers have been told to record the behaviour, diet taken by continuous monitoring of the newly-born chicks and their parents. All birds and newly-born seem to be quite healthy and take their meals at regular interval.

The zoo authorities said for the first time they had kept eggs of red jungle fowl with common hen for breeding and it yielded results with the birth of two chicks. Usually the parents fight with each other during brooding and damage the eggs. All birds are healthy and their parents respond to the calls of zookeepers, said the zoo director. Now a black buck is expecting and may give birth in the coming few days or so, he said.



PGI prof wins award at European congress

Chandigarh, May 7
Dr SK Singh, Professor of Urology, got the best poster presentation award in the poster session on “Diagnostic techniques in functional Urology” during the Annual European Association of Urology (EAU) Congress at Vienna. Over 14,000 delegates from all over the world attended the conference where 1,110 papers were presented.

The research work titled “A study of normative flow-volume relations in healthy Indian women in squatting position: Reappraisal of applicability of Liverpool nomograms in this population” studies urination difficulty in Indian women. It was carried out by Dr Manish Choudhary, Senior Resident, under the guidance of Dr MM Agarwal, Asst Professor, Dr AK Mandal, Professor and Head, and Dr SK Singh of the Dept of Urology. — TNS



Peace training programme
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 7
A two-day “Gandhi Darshan Peace Training Programme” for over 150 kids from 50 prominent schools of the city concluded at New Public School, Chandigarh. Students resolved to visit Anna Hazare’s village Ralegan Siddhi in Maharashtra in their coming summer vacations. The programme was jointly organised by Yuvsatta and Peace Club of New Public School, Chandigarh.



Engg students display projects
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 7
Students of the electronics and communication engineering of the Quest Group of Institutions demonstrated an impressive variety of projects on the campus here today. The projects were judged by a panel of engineers on the basis of three criteria: technological innovation and realisation, presentation ability and effective team collaboration. Ideas for projects were given by students.

DS Sekhon, chairman, Quest Group of Institutions, said the main purpose of organising the competition was to bring out the unique ideas and creativity to put into practical use. “We are highly impressed by the students, as they are in the second year only and have come out with innovative projects,” he said. Sekhon awarded the students with the prize money Rs 5,000 who were adjudged first and the second best team got the prize money of Rs 2,500 along with certificates. 



From Schools
Declamation contest

Chandigarh: Saupin’s School won the BS Saggu Memorial Trophy for the inter-school declamation contest held at the PEC University of Technology. The event was jointly organised by the Rotary Club of Chandigarh Central, along with Rotaract Club of PEC. Nearly 15 schools had participated in the event. The first prize was bagged by Pragya Singh of DPS, Sector 41, second prize by Aayushee of Bhawan Vidyalaya and third prize by Jayant of New Public School.


A 10-student delegation of Saint Soldier International School, Sector 28 B, Chandigarh, was a part of an interaction with the Ambassador of Jordan at Delhi. The delegation also had interaction with Deputy Chief of Mission councillors. The students had a first hand experience to observe the functioning of an international organisation. They visited Dilli Haat and enjoyed watching various handicrafts.

Green Castle

Students of Green Castle Public School, Sector 47 C, celebrated the Mother’s Day by presenting decorated cards to their mothers. Different games were played on the school premises to mark the occasion. — TNS



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