C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Youth drowns in Tikkar Tal lake 
23-year-old Neeraj Mani was a resident of Panchkula’s Sector 14
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 19
A fun trip along with friends to the Tikkar Tal, a tourist resort in the Morni block of the district, proved fatal for 23-year-old Neeraj Mani, a resident of Sector 14, here yesterday.

According to the police, Neeraj and five of his friends left for Morni in a Santro car (PB65E-9797) around 12 noon. After reaching the Tikkar Tal around 3:30 pm, they started bathing in the lake.

Around 5:30 pm, Neeraj tried to swim a little farther in the lake, but he slipped and was drowned. His friends started shouting when he did not come out. Hearing the shrieks of his friends, residents of a village nearby arrived at the site.

Some villagers who knew swimming brought him out while some others informed the police. He was rushed to the Sector-6 General Hospital, where he was declared brought dead.

According to sources, the swimmer at the lake had been sent to Manali this year as the number of tourists had gone down considerably in the past couple of years. Had a swimmer or lifeguard been present, Neeraj could have been saved.

Though a number of tourism officials were present at the tourist complex, no one stopped the youth from entering the lake, which was between 45 and 50 feet deep. There was no security guard at the site to stop him.

RD Gupta, in charge of the Morni and Tikkar Tal resorts, said a notice has been put up at the site for visitors, warning them not to enter the lake. But still, some overenthusiastic youths sneaked into the waters at the far end, he added.

The body of the victim was handed over to the family after post-mortem examination early this morning. The blood and urine samples of Ashutosh, Sunil, Ashok, Manvinder and Tanveer, who were with Neeraj, were sent to the Central Forensic Science Laboratory at Madhuban to ascertain whether they had consumed liquor before entering the lake.

Promising career

Neeraj had completed his MBA degree and was going to join a university in New Zealand within the next two weeks, for which he had got a visa.

Earlier casualty

Gurmeet Singh, a resident of Nada village, near Panchkula, lost his life after he jumped into the lake on March 2 the previous year. He visited the picnic spot along with four others on Holi. Gurmeet had a bet on retrieving a bottle of beer thrown in the lake. He dived into the lake, but did not come out.



Three families shattered in Saturday mishap
Everything is lost, say family members
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 19
Three families known to each other have been wrecked for life following the previous night’s mishap, in which a rashly driven bus mowed down a scooter, resulting in the death of three of its occupants, besides injuring seven members of a religious procession.

A day after the accident near the Sukhna petrol station at Sector 28, investigations revealed that victims Anita, her 12-year-old nephew (sister’s son) Jatin and Mandeep, known to them, were going towards Sector 26 on the scooter to see an accommodation for Mandeep when they neared the religious procession and halted their scooter.

The bus, belonging to a private college, hit them from the rear and ran over them.

Anita leaves behind two minor children

Thirtysix-year-old Anita was driving the ill-fated scooter and her nephew Jatin and 18-year-old Mandeep were riding pillion when the mishap occurred. Anita’s husband Ajit Singh is a commando with the Punjab Police and is presently serving as head constable. She leaves behind two children, 11-year-old Aanchal and five-year-old Jaanu. While her husband was in a state of shock, her minor children were traumatised and were inconsolable at the Sector-16 hospital, where the post-mortem examination was conducted. Jaanu vomitted many times at the hospital and was recommended medical treatment while Aanchal wept inconsolably at the loss of her mother. Anita worked as teacher at a Mohali school and stayed at the Commando Colony there. The wheels of the bus ran over her head, killing her.

Jatin was apple of my eyes, says father

The only son of his parents, Jatin was a Class VII student of Moti Ram School at Sector 27. He has a younger sister, who studies in Class V at the same school. His father, Ashok Kumar, a Sector-28 resident, is a driver with the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking. Jatin accompanied his aunt Anita on her scooter on their way to Sector 26. “He was very bright and fond of studies. He stood first in a dance competition at his school recently. Everything is lost now,” said Ashok, adding that Jatin told him that he would bring chocolates for him. The wheels of the bus ran over Jatin’s stomach and he was declared brought dead at the hospital.

Mandeep had come to city for training

The only son of his parents, 18-year-old Mandeep had come to the city for a 45-day training and was hunting for accommodation. A resident of Jammu, he did his diploma in engineering

from a polytechnic at Hoshiarpur. Mandeep was known to Anita’s family. Anita’s father had a vacant room in Sector 26 and Mandeep, along with Anita, was going there to see the house when they met with the accident. Mandeep is survived by his fathe, an engineer with Bharat Petroleum, and two elder sisters, all of whom were inconsolable at the hospital where the post-mortem examination was conducted.

Driver misled cops, was not drunk

Sunil Kumar, belonging to Bihar, who told the cops yesterday that he was the cleaner of the bus, was actually the driver and misled the cops to save himself from public wrath then. Angry relatives of the victims as well as ‘jatha’ members set the bus on fire following the incident. The police then arrested Sunil, who lied to the police that the driver of the bus fled and he was the cleaner.

After it came to light today that Sunil was the driver, he was arrested in a case of causing death due to negligence.

The police said he was not drunk and was driving rashly. The police also registered a separate case of causing damage to property and rioting against unidentified assailants in the case of setting the bus on fire.

Five members of ‘jatha’ discharged

Five of the seven members of the ‘jatha’ who were injured in the mishap were discharged from the Sector-32 hospital.

Two others, Mahipal and Harpreet, were still admitted to the PGI, with Mahipal’s condition stated to be critical.



Mohali residents have had enough of BSNL
Many have taken connection from other telecom service providers
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 19
The “efficiency” of the Punjab circle of the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) is proving dear to hundreds of subscribers in Mohali.

Almost two years after the BSNL started shifting around 5,000 telephone numbers from the telephone exchange at Phase X to two other telephone exchanges, one at Phase XI and the other at Sector 70, a large number of telephone connections have gone dead in the past several months.

Much to the anguish of telephone subscribers, the BSNL is sending monthly rental bills despite the connections being out of order.

Unable to bear the harassment at the hands of the telecom operator, a number of subscribers have written to the telecom service provider, seeking disconnection.

“After repeatedly complaining about the dead phone, we have surrendered the connection,” says Bahadhur Singh of Phase IX. His neighbour, Karnail Singh, is facing the same problem.

Enquiries have revealed that a number of telephone connections have been out of order for different durations, ranging from 15 days to several months. Many of the subscribers have taken connection from other telecom service providers.

A number of telephone numbers at Phases IX, X and XI are out of order. Residents allege that without any prior planning, the department had started the shifting of the numbers from one exchange to another.



Tribune Impact
Zookeeper suspended, 3 others served notice
Teasing of leopard at Chhat Bir zoo
Gurdeep Singh Mann
Tribune News Service

Chhat (Banur), June 19
Following a news report in these columns about a caged leopard being teased by some visitors, who forced it to consume liquor, the forest department today suspended a zookeeper and served notices on three others.

Punjab Forest Minister Arunesh Shakar said he had asked the Punjab Chief Wildlife Warden to inquire into the incident.

It was found that zookeeper Dharampal was not present on duty when the incident took place. The zookeeper was placed under suspension and three others served show-cause notices.

“Instructions have been passed to trace the erring visitors and suitable action will be initiated against them. We have taken the matter seriously and visitors will not be allowed to tease animals. Strict instructions have been issued for imposing a fine and registering cases against miscreants,” the minister said.

Four or five young boys, reportedly in an inebriated condition, poured a liquor-laced cold drink into the mouth of the leopard yesterday.

They also tried to put a finger into the leopard’s mouth and “played” with the animal by putting a straw in the leopard’s mouth, keeping the other end in theirs. The caged animal got infuriated and ran amok. The leopard reportedly fell down after consuming liquor and the visitors applauded with cheer.

Meanwhile, a member of the Punjab State Board for Wildlife, Sandeep Kumar Jain, demanded stringent action against the erring visitors. Some wildlife lovers had also initiated a string of debate over the issue on community networking websites.

New footfall record

The Chhat Bir zoo today broke all previous records of footfall as more than 9,000 persons visited the zoo, with a collection of more than Rs 2 lakh from entry tickets.


PGI struggles to cope with rising patient load
Emergency wing can handle only 150 cases at a time
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 19
Inder, a patient referred to the PGI from Patiala, holds a chest drain bag to collect blood oozing from his lungs as he waits in an ambulance outside the hospital’s emergency ward while his relatives attending him frantically search for a trolley to wheel him in. Much to their anguish the security guards at the ward entrance suggest they wait as hospital attendants have gone to locate a trolley.

Fortunately, Inder is shifted to the emergency ward after ten minutes only to be told by the doctor his was an “OPD case and only physicians in Patiala would attend to him there only”. However, even a ten-minute delay can prove fatal for patients who have suffered a heart attack, stroke or head injury being brought to the PGI after almost every other minute.

“This kind of thing isn’t unusual for us”, said one of the staff members at the emergency ward. “Even though a huge number of patients are referred to the city’s premier hospital from neighbouring states it can handle only 150 patients. Over 350 patients lie on the ground or sit on trolleys in the ward’s corridors and even in waiting rooms” he added.

PGI is now scrambling to create a balance between its existing infrastructure and the ever-increasing rush of patients. Last year about 52,894 patients arrived at its emergency ward while five years ago, in 2005-06, this number was far smaller at 40,356. Interestingly in 1997-98 only 20,000 patients were taken to the PGI emergency.

However, the problem of the growing rush of patients to the hospital is not limited to its emergency ward only. In the outdoor patient departments the number of patients has swollen from about 1.2 million in 2005-06 to over 1.6 million last year. The principal reason cited is the failure of neighboring states to provide quality patient care to their residents. While former PGI director Dr KK Talwar during his seven-year tenure tried to coordinate with the Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh governments, the hospital’s medical superintendent, Dr AK Gupta, felt there was an urgent need to expand the healthcare infrastructure in the country so that pressure on institutions like PGI could be reduced.

“The fact is that hospitals throughout the country face a huge shortage of patient beds”, he added. According to World Health Organization norms a minimum of 20 hospital beds are required for a population of 10,000. “ However, in India there are less than 8 beds for this number of patients. While emergency wards in all government hospitals are full to capacity, private run healthcare institutions do not lose time in referring their patients to PGI whenever they find their cases critical. Though we can’t say neighbouring states haven’t done any thing in this regard, the fact remains the flow of patients to PGI had been increasing continuously”, said Gupta.

PGI swamped with patients

Year Patients Surgeries dmissions

Emergency ward

2005-06 40, 356 8, 280

2010-11 52, 894 11, 029


2005-06 1,200, 992 46, 723

2010-11 1,662, 91 64, 969



India lacks quality diagnostic mycology laboratories: Experts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 19
There are very few good diagnostic mycology laboratories in the country even as there has been a rise in fungal infections among terminally-ill patients in hospitals, felt experts during a national training course on fungal infections at the PGI here yesterday.

The PGI-ICMR-WHO national training course on fungal infections concluded with a valedictory function at the department of medical microbiology, PGIMER.

Prof Meera Sharma, head, department of medical microbiology, presided over the function and distributed certificates among participants.

There are very few good diagnostic mycology laboratories in the country and authorities should pay attention to this neglected area, as fungal infections among terminally-ill patients in the hospitals in the country are on the rise, she said.

Stressing the need for holding regular continuous medical education and special sessions on fungal infections, she said very few patients were being investigated for fungal infections, as clinicians were not aware of the imminent threat of fungal infections in their patients.

Regular continuous medical education and special sessions on fungal infections may educate those clinicians, she added.

Further, the mycology laboratories are poorly equipped with instruments and staff at most centres were not trained.

Appreciating the high incidence of fungal infections, the authorities at different medical institutes should increase the budgetary allocation for mycology laboratories, opined the participants.

The funding agencies (ICMR, DST, DBT, etc.) should consider funding for research in fungal infections as a core project.

The researchers should emphasise on epidemiology of fungal infections to know the exact magnitude of the problem in the country and the method of spread of fungal infections.

While the curriculum on mycology in MBBS and MD courses should be revised, drug companies should reduce the cost of anti-fungal agents as sometimes the treatment cost went in lakhs of rupees to treat fungal infection in individual patient, they suggested.

Prof Arunaloke Chakrabarti, chief resource person, discussed the method of identification of medically important fungi.

Mycology laboratories are poorly equipped with instruments and staff at most centres were not trained

The funding agencies (ICMR, DST, DBT, etc.) should consider funding for research in fungal infections as a core project

Researchers should emphasise on epidemiology of fungal infections to know the exact magnitude of the problem



Exercise can cure menstrual pain, says study
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 19
Exercising and using hot-water bottle can help cure menstrual pain and distress.

Randomised controlled trials at the PGI here suggest an increase in the number of girls who were cured of menstrual pain and distress after practising exercises or using hot-water bottle.

In the exercise group, 28.3 per cent girls became completely cured of pain at the end of the third month compared to 37.33 per cent in the hot-water bottle group.

In each group, over 85 per cent of the subjects had some form of relief. Menstrual problems, in fact, are a major cause of morbidity among adolescent girls.

The prevalence of menstrual pain varies from 50 per cent to 90 per cent.

In spite of the frequency and severity of dysmenorrhoea, most women do not seek medical treatment for the condition as they lack the knowledge and experience of effective treatment, said Dr Amarjeet Singh, who along with Dr Aditi Chaudhuri, Prof LK Dhaliwal, all from the PGI, authored a booklet, “A Simple Solution To Painful Menses”, on the subject.

Previous studies so far have emphasised mainly on the medicinal management of painful menses, which has definite side effects after long-term use. Home remedies and behavioural therapy for management of menstrual cramps have not received the desired attention.

Considering the situation, a study was done by the authors in the city, he said.

The study showed that prevalence of dysmenorrhoea in the study population was 58.52 per cent. Backache (62.5 per cent) and general aches and pains (31.2 per cent) were among the first two common physical distresses; of the psychological effects mood swing (73.4 per cent), irritability (70.3 per cent), fatigue (70.3 per cent) were more frequently reported.

However, only 11 (8.6 per cent) out of 128 suffering girls had consulted a doctor. 



Surgery of varicose veins through laser
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 19
Five years after running a special foot care clinic for patients suffering from diabetes, Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, is all set to introduce more facilities, including vascular intravention and surgery of varicose veins through laser technique.

The introduction of special diabetic foot clinic at GMCH, in fact has proved to be a boon for patients suffering from diabetes.

Over 5,000 patients visit the clinic. “While prior to starting the clinic, over 300 patients had undergone amputations at the hospital in 2005-06, this number, however, has been reduced significantly after opening the clinic,” said Dr A K Attri, head of the department of surgery, who runs the clinic.

“As patients coming with diabetic foot requires vascular intravention, the surgeons have been doing this procedure for a long period and now we have planned to expand the vascular intervention for patients suffering from occlusive peripheral arterial disease,” said Dr Atri.

Occlusive peripheral arterial disease often results from atherosclerosis.

High blood glucose levels over the time can lead to increased deposits of fatty materials in blood vessel walls. These deposits may affect blood flow, increasing the chance of clogging and hardening of blood vessels (atherosclerosis). When an artery narrows, the parts of the body it supplies may not receive enough blood and the tissue it supplies may die. Occlusive peripheral arterial disease becomes more common with ageing. 



200 points identified for new road signage
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 19
For the convenience of the road users, the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) has initiated work on its ambitious plan to put up new informative road signage on all road intersections and entry points to the city.

On the basis of feedback and study conducted by a consultant, GMADA has started putting up the signage of new design. So far, around 200 points have been identified where the new signage would be put up at a cost of around Rs 4 crore.

Unlike the existing signage that were not readable from a distance due to poor design and small-sized text, the new signage would mention all important places, government offices, sectors and public places and their distance from the specific location.

The signage would be in green and blue colour. The entire exercise was a part of sprucing up the open spaces along the roads and undertaking landscaping across the town.

A senior GMADA official said a signage had been put up near YPS Chowk. He said the signage would also include police and fire brigade helpline numbers. 



GMADA mulls using land under other departments
Tribune News Service

Mohali, June 19
To provide basic amenities in different sectors, the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) is contemplating to utilise around 16 acres in possession of other departments like the Punjab water supply and sewerage department and the Punjab State Power Corporation Ltd (PSPCL). The issue came up for discussion during a recent meeting of the executive of GMADA.

Sources in GMADA said around 2.27 acres in Phase II, adjoining water works department, 3.53 acres in Sector 54, adjoining Chandigarh border, and another 10 acres in the Industrial Area, Phase I, was in possession of the horticulture department. The land in Sector 54 was at the prime location and could be used for commercial exploitation. Similarly, the land in the Industrial Area could be used for public amenities like community centres, recreational facilities or dispensaries.



MC oversees monsoon preparation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 19
MC Commissioner Prerna Puri carried out an inspection to oversee the work on cleaning up of road gullies and other pre-monsoon preparedness in Sectors 16, 24, 37, 38, Dakshin Marg, Dadu Majra Rehabilitation Colony.

She was accompanied by MC Chief Engineer SS Bida and Superintending Engineer RK Goyal.

The Commissioner issued directions to the engineers concerned to cover road gullies properly.

Earlier, the Commissioner held a review meeting of various measures being taken by the corporation to prevent waterlogging in the city during the forthcoming monsoon.

During the meeting, the Chief Engineer said the upgrade of storm water drainage (SWD) systems in Bapu Dham Colony, Sector 26, and Karsan Colony, Ram Darbar, had been completed and work on those of Dadu Majra Colony and Rehabilitation Colony, Sector 52, was in progress.

At least 12 teams will be constituted under the supervision of SDEs to attend to complaints.

The Chief Engineer said over 30,000 road gullies were proposed to be cleaned up by the corporation as part of the operation.

The areas that have been covered under the campaign included Sectors 1 to 4, 9 to 11, 15, 16, 22 to 25, 35 to 38, 42, 43, 55, 7, 8, 18 to 21, 26, 27, 29, 30, 33, 34, 44, 47, 51, 52, Industrial Area Phase-II, Vikas Nagar, Mauli Jagran Complex, Shivalik Enclave and nullah on rear side, Modern Housing Complex, Indira Colony, Subhash Nagar, Old Abadi Gobindpura, Gobindpura and nullah, junctions 26 and 27, Dadu Majra village and colony, Maloya village and colony etc.



Cong delegates’ conference at Tagore Theatre

Chandigarh, June 19
The Chandigarh Territorial Congress Party organised a “delegates’ conference” at the Tagore Theatre in Sector 18.

Pawan Kumar Bansal said: “BJP has been playing a negative role in both national and city politics. They are belittling the democratic institutions of the country and thereby doing disservice to the nation.” He highlighted the achievements of the Central government under the UPA (I) and UPA (II) and also showcased the phenomenal growth in the development of Chandigarh under the municipal corporation. He pointed out towards the holistic nature of Chandigarh’s development — TNS



Chandigarh Scan

‘Padyatra’ by BJP
The local unit of Bharatiya Janata Party today organised a ‘padyatra’ in Sectors 37 and 38 as part of its ongoing Janjagran Abhiyan which started on June 15. State president Sanjay Tandon, Arun Sood, former president, Dharam Pal Gupta, Ravi Sharma, Ateet Kakkar, KK Kapoor, Vinod Sisodia, Suvina Bansal, Sunita Dhawan and Jujhar Singh raised slogans against the Congress-led UPA government and its corrupt ministers and demanded disclosure of names of persons having accounts in foreign banks.

Hospital opened
Tricity Heart and Multispeciality Hospital was opened at NAC, Mani Majra, here today. Dr Surender Kashyap, principal-cum-dean, Indira Gandhi Medical College, Shimla, inaugurated the hospital. Dr Anil Chauhan, principal, Dr Rajendra Prasad Medical College, Kangra, Himachal Pradesh, and Dr SK Sharma, ex-director, PGI, Chandigarh, were also present on the occasion. Cardiologist and managing director of the hospital Dr Anil Grover said, “The 20-bedded hospital will provide affordable treatment to all sections of society with indoor facilities.”

Number of voters reduced
Advocate Ajay Jagga said there was an unwanted and uncalled attempt to increase the number of municipal corporation wards. As per latest communication issued by the Joint Chief Electoral Officer of Chandigarh, the number of voters has reduced by about 13,000 in the city. As per Electoral’s office, a door-to-door survey of voters was conducted from May 2 to May 24. “The increase in the number of wards means more burden on councillors. Therefore, when the total number of voters has reduced, why should the number of wards be increased?” he asked.

Investiture ceremony
At least 200 businessmen, their families and students were given visas and landing papers to the UK, Canada, New Zealand and Australia under entrepreneur/ investor visa and student visa categories during an investiture ceremony of WWICS at the PHD Chamber of Commerce on Sunday. The Board of Directors present on the occasion included Lt Gen BKN Chibber, former Governor of Punjab, and AS Chatha, former Chief Secretary of Punjab. More than 300 students of classes X and XII of the tricity and various parts of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh were given ‘Surya Champs Awards’ at a function organised by Surya World- Institutions of Academic Excellence at Bhargava auditorium, PGI, on Sunday. Guest of honour Dr Vidhu Mohan addressed the audience and spoke on the cut-throat competition of the modern era. She laid emphasis on making early career choices. The top three winners of ‘Surya Champs 2010’ included Shreya Sharma, Hamid Ashraf (Shivalik Public School); Shubham Goyal and Rupanshi from Moti Ram Arya Senior Secondary School and Shivam Kumar from Kendriya Vidyalaya 3 BRD.

Saving the Earth
Prof AD Ahluwalia, former head of the geology department, Panjab University, on Sunday delivered a talk on ‘Abusing Mother earth -How not to do it”. Chandigarh Lawn Tennis Academy officials, players and their parents were present on the occasion. A short film on Geological Society of America (Colorado) was screened.

Child welfare union’s strike
The local unit of Indian Council for Child Welfare Employees Union has announced to go on a two-day strike from June 22. Members of the union said they were yet to get the revised pay scales. Their other demands included grant of dearness allowance to ICCW employees on the UT pattern.

Treat for music lovers
Music lovers in the city were treated to magical melodies of Bollywood songs during ‘Sur-Sangam 2011’ at the Tagore Theatre here today. The event commenced with an invocatory chorus ‘Shirdi Wale Sai Baba’ . Thirty hit songs immortalised by legendary singers like Kishore, Rafi, Lata, Asha and Shamshad mesmerised all.

Clean campaign
Annoyed over the poor state of sanitation, former councillor Baljeet Kaur Phurkhalvi today said she, along with the residents of Sectors 70 and 71, would launch a campaign to clean sectors and send the garbage to the Commissioner of the municipal corporation Varun Roozam. She said the government was misleading residents in the name of development.

Mohali SCAN

Road gullies blocked
The passage in front of the houses in Phase IX remains blocked during monsoons as gullies are not cleaned up regularly. The residents lamented that the public health authorities seldom came to clean the road gullies. Last week, rain had blocked the access to houses. Kharar MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu said failure on part of the public health department to lay a small section of sewerage line in Phase IX had led to the inconvenience.

Panchkula SCAN

Anti-Cong drive
The Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) launched a public awareness programme in Azad Colony against the Congress. Addressing a gathering, INLD district president Baldev Singh Balmiki said Hooda government in the state was working against the interest of farmers, employees and shopkeepers. He said the Congress government had failed to frame policies for the benefit of the common man. He alleged that party was acquiring farmers’ land at a much cheaper rate to benefit realtors and land mafia. Kalka MLA Pradeep Chaudhary said law and order situation in the state was deteriorating day by day. He said the ruling party was selling jobs to the poor and needy. He claimed that his party would form the next government in 
the state. — TNS



Open House Response
‘Why wait for an accident to repair manholes?’

From the past more than a decade we have been reading about the increasing load on the existing water pipelines in the city to clear rain water. Besides announcements, nothing seems to have been done so far. Even a minor rain leads to standing water on the roads particularly around the corners.
An open manhole exposes the apathy of the MC.
An open manhole exposes the apathy of the MC. A file photo

Several pictures have been published in the Chandigarh Tribune, recently, showing open manholes and also dug up trenches left open all over the city. I am reminded of an incident in which a lady died after she fell in a manhole opposite the General Hospital, Sector 32.

The issue involved in such a case is fixing responsibility. I am not sure if any action has been taken in such cases earlier. Also, why should we wait for an accident to happen and then take care of the manholes? Besides fixing responsibility, senior officers of the corporation should take regular rounds, even in routine, and set examples for others to follow. Strict action
should be initiated against the guilty.

Som Dutt, Chandigarh

Impose heavy fine

Chandigarh Tribune highlighted the menace of parking of private vehicles in parks and on foot paths in various sectors of the city under the headline “Now, leave your cars in parks at your own risk,” on June 17.

Parks are meant for a clean environment and are a sign of healthy surroundings for the residents of the area. They should be kept clean, which will be helpful for the health of the citizens. But sadly MC workers are not regular in maintaining the parks.

The administration should impose heavy fines on violators for parking their cars in public parks and on pavements meant for walking.

Pavements in the city have been encroached upon by car owners. Such offenders should be kept behind the bars for at least two days, along with a fine of Rs 5,000. Only then such encroachments can be checked. Moreover, the administration should also provide adequate parking space for cars like the way it is done in the US.

RK Kapoor, Chandigarh

Act swiftly

My niece broke her leg last year when her Activa got stuck in an open manhole in Sector 22. She also suffered scratches on her face and now has a permanent mark. Luckily, she is back to normal, however, the question is will administration ever fix responsibility of maintaining public safety on city roads.

MC officials should have repaired the open manhole. Due to professional reasons may be it was required to leave the manhole open, however, if it rained and the manhole got covered, was it not the duty of the MC to get it covered? The service manual of the administration needs to be strict against defaulters because one inquiry leads to another and ultimately the action was so delayed that it meant nothing to the affected party.

Col (retd) JS Toor, Chandigarh

No arrangement for storm water

The slope of the entire City Beautiful is towards the southern sectors and sectors 39 to 47 are at the fag end of the city. Consequently, on one hand, the entire water of the city flows towards this side and on the other hand the stark reality is that there is no arrangement to face the incessant rains despite the fact that the MC has made tall claims.

Due to lack of cleanliness of these road gullies, flood-like situation is caused during monsoon season in several parts of the city.

At present, road gullies are dumped with malba/litter etc that needs to be cleaned so as to give way to the rain water.

Besides, storm water channels and sewage lines causing stagnant water at several places needs to be checked.

Every year residents face this trauma in the monsoon season.

Though the MC has widened the road gullies to pass the gushy water, still these gullies have failed to meet the expectations, as road gullies have not been constructed in accordance with the requirements of the water to pass through.

For instance, downpour that occurred last year was just 75 mm and had caused extensive damage to the residents especially to residents of Sector 40 when the water entered into their houses.

Had the rain been continued this would have caused great havoc? Earlier, too, people had witnessed flood-like situation in 2003 when extensive loss was caused.

The department concerned never cleaned the road gullies. Several times welfare associations had approached the corporation to construct road gullies considering an outlet for storm water, but nothing has been done so far.

The authorities wake up only when any untoward incident happens. Considering the situation, authorities concerned should come to the rescue of the residents and make adequate arrangements for them.

Satish Khosla



Industrial waste polluting Ghaggar
Water unsafe even for animals
Parmod Mehta

Dera Bassi, June 19
After the environmental degradation of ‘choes’ (streams) and drains in the Dera Bassi and Lalru areas it is the turn of the Ghaggar river getting increasingly polluted due to the discharge of waste of nearby towns and industries. The river water now cannot be used for even by even animals to quench their thirst or for irrigation of crops.

A visit to the river was found the water flowing in it was significantly polluted and a foul smell was spreading to the nearby areas. Satpal Singh, Mandeep Singh, Jai Singh and Gurdev Singh, farmers in Bhankarpur, said sewage in drains from Zirakpur and Panchkula was flowing into the river near Nagla village. “Proper steps should be taken to avoid the river from becoming completely polluted so that its water could be used for irrigation and by animals for drinking”, they demanded.

Deepinder Singh Dhillon, a Congress leader and former vice chairman of the Punjab State Industrial Development Corp, said rivers and drains were continually becoming polluted because the government was ignoring the problem. “Steps should be taken to tackle water pollution in this area as residents have been facing harassment. Plants to treat industrial effluents and other waste should be set up”, he added.

Kuljeet Singh Randhawa, president of the Punjab Panchayat Parishad and convener of the Chandigarh Panchayat Parishad, who resides in Bakarpur village, said industrial effluents flowing into a drain between Dera Bassi and Bhankarpur had led to dangerous levels of pollution.

“Waste from this drain is also flowing into the Ghaggar river, polluting the groundwater and damaging crops. As a result no one wants to get farmland on contract. The department concerned must take proper steps to address the critical situation”, he added.

Meanwhile, officials of the pollution control board claimed the problem would be resolved soon. 



Training camp on disaster management
Tribune News Service

Patiala, June 19
The Society for Peoples’ Welfare and Awareness Patiala (SPWAP), an NGO, will be organising a three-day free training camp on disaster management from June 27 at BN Khalsa School.

According to Dr DS Bhullar, secretary general of SPWAP, the aim of the training is to prepare the youth of flood-affected villages in the district to tackle and control flood related mishaps and events.

“The youth undergoing training will be issued certificates of participation in the training programme, which can be attended by residents of Patiala also. The decision to this effect was taken at the general body meeting of the society held under the leadership of its chairman Karamjit Singh Jatana,” he added.



Three-day young architects festival
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 19
The Indian Institute of Architects (IIA), Chandigarh, will host a three-day “Young Architects Festival” from October 14.

About 1,000 architects, urban planners, interior designers and students will attend the festival, to be organised first time in North India. From October 12 to 16, the Government Museum and Art Gallery, Sector 10, will display exhibition on works of architects.

The exhibition titled “Contextual Architecture: An Indian Experience” will have photographs, drawings, write-ups of selected projects located in nine states of India done by 22 architects, said Chandigarh chairman Surinder Bahga here today.

Other features of the festival will be conference on “Contemporary Architecture: Beyond Corbusierism”. This conference will be held at the Tagore Theatre. The conference will include lectures, slide-shows on various issues related to architecture field. Another attraction of the festival will be an exhibition on building materials and technologies. It will be held from October 13 to 16 at the Himachal Bhawan.



Labourer falls to death
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, June 19
Suresh, a 40-year-old labourer, was killed after he fell from a building under construction at Peermuchalla here last night.

The investigating officer said the incident took place when the victim was carrying construction material to the top floor.

The labourers working at the site took the victim to a private hospital in Panchkula where he was declared dead on arrival.

The body had been kept at the mortuary in the Dera Bassi Civil Hospital and the postmortem examination would be conducted tomorrow. Statements of the family members were recorded and inquest proceedings were initiated.



Panjab University’s expanding profile
In addition to postgraduate courses, it now has professional courses for Class XII passouts
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 19
With a significant shift in its profile from being an institute for solely postgraduate studies, nearly 1,410 Class XII passouts are now seeking admission to “professional graduation level courses” offered by Panjab University each year.

These courses include bachelors in engineering, dental sciences, pharmaceutical sciences, law and five-year BE and MBA integrated programmes.

Apart from professional courses, nearly 432 students also get enrolled each year in bachelors of arts (BA) at PU’s department of evening studies, nearly 30 students in PU’s science honour school departments and 29 other students in BA+MA (economics honours school) integrated programme.

“Panjab University’s professional courses are a favourite with students, be it at a graduate or a postgraduate level. It is not just about the curriculum, our department has produced 26 judges from various courts, including the Supreme Court, civil servants and three sitting Vice-Chancellors of law universities are former faculty members of the department,” said Nishtha Jaswal, chairperson, department of laws. Despite a slip in its national ranking according to a recent survey by a national-level magazine, the department continues to remain the top choice of students seeking admission to law course throughout the region.

The handsome pay packages offered to engineering graduates of the 53-year-old University Institute of Chemical Engineering and Technology (UICET), is quite an attraction for students securing admission here. The department admits students through the All-India Engineering Entrance Examination (AIEEE) in its BE programmes in collaboration with five other engineering and architecture institutes in the city through a joint counselling.

“This year, the highest pay package offered by a company to our students was Rs 8 lakh and the average salary package of the batch was Rs 5 lakh. Our department has become a special assistance programme (SAP) centre and we have been regularly holding conferences of national and international levels. All these parameters attract students,” said VK Rattan, chairperson, UICET. 



Once is enough, say PU authorities
No hostel in case of second masters
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 19
With a considerable increase in the number of students enrolled in various courses at Panjab University and availability of limited hostel seats, those opting for a second masters degree course will not get a hostel seat this year.

In a bid to tighten the noose around students who enrol themselves in different courses each year to secure a seat in the hostel at economical rates, the university authorities have made hostel rules stricter.

“Students can seek admission to a second masters degree, but no hostel accommodation will be provided to such candidates this year,” said Naval Kishore, Dean, Students Welfare (DSW).

Presently, both girls and boys hostels on the campus have a capacity to accommodate 6,000 students. However, lodging continues to remain a problem for students seeking admission to PU. This is despite construction of a girls hostel on the PU south campus located in Sector 25 and yet another hostel for international students.

Among several other bottlenecks, it was learnt that the major hurdle being faced in allocation of rooms was the continual enrolment by old students in new courses only to grab a hostel seat.

Due to cheaper rates, better facilities and security, former students used to pick up jobs to continue their stay on the campus by enrolling themselves in certain courses. This was far cheaper than staying outside the campus as a paying guest.

Earlier, students used to get enrolled in certificate and diploma programmes to grab a hostel seat, but when the rules were made stricter for providing hostel rooms and the same was limited to students doing a degree programme, students’ “methodology” changed. Students then began seeking admission to a second masters degree programme to occupy rooms. 



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