C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Sloshed Sergeant kills friend after a tiff
The victim was also a Sergeant and posted at 3BRD
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 17
An Indian Air Force (IAF) Sergeant killing his colleague, also a Sergeant, to death last midnight in front of Kendriya Vidyalya School, Sector 47, following a drinking bout.

The police has arrested 38-year-old Gurmeet Singh Gill, posted at 12 Wing at the Air Force Station here, for killing Surjit Singh Saini who was posted at 3BRD. Both were said to be in an inebriated state when Gill repeatedly hit Saini on his head with a slab of Kota stone following a brawl.

Gill, who reportedly confessed to the crime, claimed that he acted in self-defence after Saini hurled a brick at him, but missed target. “Had I not attacked Saini, I would have been killed by him,” claimed Gill, saying that it was a bad night.

“He was my friend and we had consumed about half a bottle of liquor in the Non-Commissioned Officers’ mess located in Sector 31. Around 11.45 pm, we came out and started drinking in front of the gate of Kendriya Vidyalya School. Saini insisted on having more drinks. When I refused, he started abusing me and attacked me with a brick,” Gill is reported to have told the police.

The deceased’s wife, Sulochna, said Gill called her husband at around 9.30 pm last night and they went out. She learnt of her husband’s murder only in the wee hours of today.

A police patrol party had reportedly found them quarrelling in front of the gate of the school. “On discovering that they were IAF personnel, the police advised them to immediately return to their homes. At about 1.45 am, the same police party found Saini lying in a pool of blood near a house in Sector 47 near the school. He was taken to the Government Medical College Hospital, Sector 32, where he was declared brought dead,” said Inspector Jaspal Singh, Station House Officer of Sector 31.

His mobile was found missing. The police has recovered a motorcycle along with clothes, shoes of the accused and blood-stained stone from the spot.

Gill surrendered before his senior officers this morning. Gill and Saini would play games together in the evening and were good friends. “They used to drink together quite often,” said Surjit Singh Saini, brother-in-law of the deceased.

Saini, who hails from Attari village near Kiratpur Sahib, is survived by his wife, a seven-year-old daughter and a year-and-a-half-old son. The police has registered a case under Section 302, IPC.

Varying versions

While the police claimed that both the accused and the victim had consumed liquor in the Non-Commissioned Officers’mess, IAF sources maintained that they had consumed liquor at a liquor vend in Sector 47 prior to the incident.

Court of inquiry ordered

The IAF has said it will convene separate court of inquiries to establish the facts in both the murder and the suicide incident and the requisite administrative procedures would also be initiated.



Depressed Sergeant commits suicide
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 17
A Sergeant of 3BRD (Base Repair Depot) here allegedly committed suicide by consuming some poisonous substance last night. The deceased has been identified as 36-year-old Hari Shankar, a resident of Sector 31. He originally hailed from Khageri village in Bihar.

The matter came to light at around 6 am today when Hari Shankar was found lying on the floor in his bedroom.

Police sources said Hari Shankar was believed to have been suffering from depression. A day earlier, he had brought his wife and two children -- a nine-year-old daughter and an eight-year-old son -- from Bihar yesterday. His younger brother Shiv Shankar also accompanied them.

“He had reportedly complained of stomachache last night,” said the police. He had also received a bullet shot in Bihar last month.



Shortage of doctors hits gynae dept at GMCH
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 17
Working with just eight doctors, half of its sanctioned strength, and an occupancy rate of 130 per cent, and many beds having two patients waiting for their deliveries, the overcrowded gynaecology department of Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, might just be waiting for a tragedy to happen.

The UT Administration may have shown the zeal and promptly implemented the Health Ministry’s directive for free institution deliveries, but it has evidently failed to augment the infrastructure and doctors’ strength to cope up with the increased number of patients. The hospital’s gynaecology department, which handles over 4,000 deliveries annually and on an average deals with 500 births per month between July and September, is working, as of now, with half of the sanctioned staff.

The department has a sanctioned strength of 16 senior residents, but only eight are working for the past couple of months, as five posts are vacant and three doctors reportedly on maternity leave. Admitting that the acute shortage of doctors coupled with the rush of patients, adversely affects the quality of services, insiders blame the UT Administration for the situation.

“We have been just plain lucky that so far no Bulbul-like mishap (death of a newly born at Government Multi-Speciality Hospital, Sector 16) has occurred here. But there are no guarantees that it may not occur in the future, as we are short staffed and overworked,” said a doctor at the GMCH-32.

“Since most of the beds are occupied by two patients, the chances of life-threatening errors like mixing of blood samples can occur,” said the doctor. “The purpose of implementing free deliveries in government institutes was to reduce the maternal mortality rate, which increased from 38 in 2007-08 to 44 in 2008-09. Quality healthcare cannot be provided with such dismal strength of doctors.

The authorities must understand the work pressures and realise that unlike other departments, deliveries cannot be delayed,” said an official. A senior hospital functionary revealed that it’s not only the gynaecology department which is suffering from a shortage of senior residents. There are a total of 86 vacancies in the hospital and the situation was really bad in the general medicine, anaesthesia and ENT department where 12, seven and six posts are vacant, respectively.

Director-principal of the institute Dr Raj Bahadur admitted to the shortage but said the process for filling the vacancies was on. He said candidates had been finalised after interviews on July 8 but their appointment letters had not been issued. He said he had forwarded the list of successful candidates to the UT .

Ajoy Sharma, Special Health Secretary, UT, said the matter was under process and it would be finalised very soon.

Quality healthcare a casualty

The Admn may have shown the zeal and promptly implemented the Health Ministry’s directive for free institution deliveries, but it has failed to augment the infrastructure and doctors’ strength to cope with the increased number of patients.



PGI to perform renal transplants in Orissa
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 17
The kidney transplant department of the PGI is virtually going places. On a request of the SCB Medical College Hospital, Cuttak, Orissa, transplant surgeons of the PGI will start conducting transplant surgeries there too.

Dr Mukut Mintz, transplant surgeon at the PGI, said they had received a request from the Orissa government for assistance in starting a transplant department at the SCB Medical College and Hospital. The PGI had accepted the request and he, along with the support staff of the SCB, would perform transplants once a month and also train the doctors there.

Mintz, who incidentally hails from Orissa, said transplant was an option when both kidneys stopped functioning. He admitted that the treatment for kidney failure was expensive and advised that like all ailments, prevention was better than cure.

“High-risk people who have a history of kidney disease in the family or suffer from diabetes and hypertension, should undergo examination once a year,” he said. The PGI was offering the cheapest transplant facilities in the country, he said, adding that the cost of lifelong medicines and postoperative care was, however, high. The monthly expenses on medicines could be between Rs 5,000 and Rs 12,000.

He said four to six kidney transplants were undertaken every week at the PGI. They got the kidneys from relatives of patients or from cadavers. At present, 20 patients were on the waiting list.



ICL owes HUDA Rs 25 lakh, gets fresh notice
Matches were played at Tau Devi Lal Stadium in P’kula
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 17
The Indian Cricket League (ICL), set up as a rival to the “coveted” Indian Premier League (IPL) following the T20 format, owes more than Rs 25 lakh to the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) for using Tau Devi Lal Stadium in Sector 3. Two seasons of the ICL were held at the stadium.

HUDA has issued a fresh notice to Essel Sports Private Limited, seeking the payment of Rs 25,30,300.

Confirming the development, HUDA Administrator Rajender Kataria said they had sent a notice to the Essel group in January, but they had not received a reply. “We have now issued a fresh notice to the group and soon we will take legal action against it,” he said. He said the Essel group had violated the terms and conditions and legal action under Sections 16 (prohibits the use of land or building for a purpose other than allotted for) and 18 (eviction) of the HUDA Act.

As per the agreement, the group had to pay lease charges and annual maintenance fee to HUDA. There was also a clause that the group will pay 15 per cent of ticket sales, food, beverages sales and ground advertisements to HUDA.

The ICL was the first tournament with international players that followed the T20 format. Floated by Kapil Dev in association with Subhash Chandra of Zee TV in 2006-07, ICL matches were initially held at Tau Devi Lal Stadium in Panchkula. Its two seasons included tournaments between four international teams and nine domestic teams in major Indian cities as well as the Lahore Badshahs based in Lahore.



Doctors’ transfers turn into musical chairs
Dept issues amended orders again
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 17
The Punjab health department’s seemingly unending exercise of moving out doctors and then modifying their transfer orders is fast becoming a game of musical chairs. To “adjust” certain physicians in Mohali district, the department has again issued amended orders during the past one week to give them a choice of place of posting or posting back doctors in government hospitals at their original station.

A perusal of the list of transfer orders of medical officers posted on the health department’s website shows that transfers orders of three doctors in Mohali have repeatedly been changed within a few days.

“It’s ridiculous to transfer a doctor thrice in the course of a week. Instead of treating patients selflessly doctors are running around politicians to secure their preferred places of posting”, said a senior department official.

A few days ago a physician, Dr Monica Arora, who was posted to a government dispensary in Phase IX was transferred to the commando complex in Phase XI in Mohali to replace Dr Ranbir Singh. Subsequently Arora was posted back to the dispensary in Phase IX and Ranbir back to the commando complex.

On July 11 another order was issued transferring Arora back to another unit in the complex and Singh was moved back to the Phase IX dispensary.

To cite another example, Dr Suvir Gupta, posted at the ESI Hospital in the Industrial Area, Phase VII, was transferred to the Civil Hospital in Fatehgarh Sahib to replace Dr Ranbir Sandhu who was posted to Fatehgarh Sahib.

A few days later Sandhu was again transferred, this time to the Civil Hospital in Mohali. On the other hand, Gupta was transferred to a primary healthcare centre in Dera Bassi and Dr Jaswant Singh, who was transferred to an ESI hospital, has now been moved back to the Civil Hospital in Phase VI.


Mayor falters on upkeep of rear service lanes
Pins responsibility on residents; MC reply says otherwise
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 17
Who is responsible for the upkeep of the city’s rear service lanes? “The residents themselves,” says the Mayor. “We, the Municipal Corporation (MC),” says the MC, which incidentally is headed by the Mayor himself.

The contradiction, which paints the Mayor as seemingly being out of his depth, has come to surface by his recent remarks to The Tribune in contrast to the information provided by the civic body under the RTI Act a year ago.

Only two days ago, Mayor Ravinderpal Singh Pali told The Tribune that residents themselves needed to clean the service lanes. But the information provided by the MC under the RTI Act tells a different story. The rear service lanes are public streets owned by the MC and the responsibility for their regular sweeping, cleaning and upkeep rest with the civic body, states a reply sought under the RTI Act by the Federation of Social Welfare Association, Chandigarh (FOSWAC).

The rear service lanes located in Sectors 1 to 30 are under a woeful state of neglect and has led to encroachments while its upkeep continues to be ignored with many lanes covered with thick congress grass providing mosquitoes a safe haven to breed.

When contacted, the Mayor first counter-questioned this reporter and later pleaded ignorance. “Who gave this information?” he asked. On being told that this information had been supplied by the MC itself, he then responded: “I will have to read it before I can comment on the issue.”

FOSWAC chairman PC Sanghi said at a meeting held last year where the chief engineer and the medical officer health were among those present, the UT Home Secretary had decided that intensive challaning of violators dumping debris in rear service lanes should be carried out by MC. “At the meeting, it was also decided that the MOH would get the rear service lanes cleaned once in a week and the nodal officer for each sector be appointed by the MC to check debris dumping and removal,” Sanghi said.

Sanghi added that it was the MC that should look into the encroachments made by residents in the service lanes. “The MC authorities have been approached by FOSWAC repeatedly, but no appropriate action has been taken to frame a policy for the regular sweeping, cleaning and upkeep of back service lanes,” he said. 



Eco-sensitive zone tag for Sukhna Lake area soon
Will restrict construction activity in neighbouring Punjab, Haryana
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 17
In a development that will go a long way in regulating development around the Sukhna Lake, particularly in areas falling in Punjab and Haryana, the UT administration is set to declare the lake’s catchment area an eco-sensitive zone.

With the declaration of Sukhna’s catchment area an eco-sensitive zone, stringent restrictions on construction activity will be imposed. While certain construction activities will be prohibited, prior permission will have to be taken for carrying out certain other activities, sources say.

Since parts of Sukhna’s catchment area fall in Punjab and Haryana, both state governments will have to cooperate in the matter to preserve the catchment area, especially the Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary, the sources add.

Currently, Chandigarh has a low-rise character with no multi-storey structures allowed in the territory.

On the other hand, Punjab and Haryana allows builders to raise multi-storey apartments. The proposed construction of a 19-storey Tata Camelot by the Tata Group had recently kicked up a storm with allegations that it would disturb the catchment area of the lake.

Also, there have been reports that certain big realtors have been eyeing areas falling in Panchkula district of Haryana in the lake’s vicinity for the setting up of their residential projects.

In fact, the issue of declaring Sukhna’s catchment area an eco-sensitive zone had figured at a recent meeting of senior officials of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh held under the chairmanship of Union Urban Development Secretary Navin Kumar. The meeting gave in principal approval to the proposal.

The sources say the administration will soon forward the proposal to the ministry of environment and forests for approval, following which a notification will be issued. A senior official says the step is being taken in the backdrop of haphazard construction in city’s periphery.

Eco-sensitive zone

An eco-sensitive zone is a fragile ecosystem area where the conservation or preservation of natural environment is sustained by state controls and/or grants. In a bid to prevent ecological damages caused due to development activities around national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, the ministry of environment has come out with new guidelines to create eco-sensitive zones that will work as “shock absorbers” for the protected areas. The aim is to regulate certain activities around national parks and wildlife sanctuaries to minimise the negative impact of such activities on the fragile ecosystem encompassing the protected areas.



Humidity declines to 75 pc
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 17
Even though there was no change in the day temperature, which stood at 32.4°C, residents experienced slight relief from the humid conditions prevailing in the region over the past two days.

The humidity declined to 75 per cent today, which was around 93 per cent yesterday. There was no change in the maximum and minimum temperatures, which remained static at 32.4°C and 26.1°C, respectively.

The Met official said: “Partly cloudy sky in the region with possibility of rain or thundershower. The maximum temperature on Monday will be around 32°C and the minimum temperature on Tuesday will be around 25°C.”



Heart ailments, diabetes continue to take their toll
Linked to tobacco, alcohol abuse
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 17
If you are too lazy to exercise or take your bulging waistline in your stride, beware. Every year the world over 3.2 million people die due to physical inactivity and at least 2.8 million lose their lives due those extra pounds (read obesity) that they carry on them.

These figures sound scary but the fact is that noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) like cancer, stroke, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, often linked to a sedentary lifestyle, are on the rise and by 2030 over 50 million people are going to die because of them. If the 2008 data is any indication, three out of every five deaths are now due to NCDs.

While NCDs claimed 36 million lives the world over in 2008, they are expected to snuff out 44 million lives by 2020 and 52 million by 2030, rising at the rate of almost 15 percent.

Talking to The Tribune, Dr D Bachani, deputy director general in the central health & family welfare ministry, said according to the World Health Organisation’s 2010 global status report on noncommunicable diseases, they are fuelled by the persistence increase in NCD related risk factors like tobacco use, unhealthy diet, lack of physical activity and harmful alcohol use, particularly in low and middle income countries including India.

Bachani, who was in the city to attend a regional workshop on “multisectoral partnerships for health promotion & noncommunicable diseases prevention in India”, stated of the total 57 million deaths across the world, 36 million (63 per cent) were due to NCDs. “Each year NCDs are estimated to cause more than 9 million deaths before the age of 60 years”, he added.

According to data, over 80 per cent of cardiovascular and diabetes deaths, almost 90 per cent of all deaths from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and more than two thirds of all cancer deaths occur in low and middle-income countries. noncommunicable diseases also kill at a younger age in countries like India where 29 per cent of the deaths related to NCDs occur among people under the age of 60, compared to 13 per cent in high-income countries.

Cardiovascular diseases, cancer, respiratory diseases and diabetes account for around 80 per cent of all NCD deaths, and share four common risk factors, tobacco use, physical inactivity, alcohol abuse and poor diets.

Dr Rajesh, head of the community medicine department at PGI, said: “It’s a vicious circle as poverty contributes to NCDs and NCDs contribute to poverty. According to various reports, about 29 million of the total deaths in 2008 were due to NCDs in low and middle-income countries, dispelling the myth that such conditions are mainly a problem in affluent societies. Without action the NCD epidemic is projected to kill 52 million people annually by 2030.”

Bachani said such diseases killed 4.9 million men and 3.3 million women between the age of 15 to 59 in 2008. “The risk for men of dying from NCDs is greater because of exposure to risk factors such as tobacco and alcohol abuse”, he added.

Deadly diseases

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) like cancer, stroke, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, often linked to a sedentary lifestyle, are on the rise and by 2030 over 50 million people are going to die because of them. If the 2008 data is any indication, three out of every five deaths are now due to NCDs.



Chandigarh Club gears up for elections
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 17
After a span of over 11 years, the Chandigarh Club is gearing up for elections. The development took place following the direction of the Company Law Board, which has recently issued directions to the club’s executive council to hold an Annual General Body Meeting (AGM) to get the list of the members of the club approved by the AGM before September this year.

“We are going to hold the AGM in the last week of August following which the election will take place,” said Mukesh Bassi, president of the club.

Notably, the existing executive council, led by Bassi, took over the club’s reigns on November 25. After that the elections of the club could not be held due to legal wrangling. The main issue was number of members of the club. According to the constitution of the club, the member could not exceed the figure 5,000 while in the last elections the number of voters was around 6,500. “All the 1,500 new members used their voting right on the direction of a court that time,” claimed Bassi.



de-congesting highway
NHAI asks Zirakpur MC to submit Rs 6 crore
Rajiv Bhatia

Zirakpur, July 17
The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has asked the Zirakpur Municipal Council to deposit Rs 6 crore to construct two U-turns, widening of Zirakpur-Patiala and Zirakpur-Kalka intersections and of service road near Paras Down Town Square.

The widening is being carried with an aim to solve the problem of traffic congestion on the busy Chandigarh-Ambala highway at Zirakpur. NHAI sources say two U-turns will be constructed on Chandigarh-Zirakpur road where the commuters coming from Panchkula side will take U-turn from small rotary to get entry in the mall and another U-turn will also be constructed on the same stretch.

Sources in MC office said a letter was received from the NHAI on July 5 to solve the traffic jam problem in the town. Sources said the project director of the NHAI had written to the council to submit Rs 6 crore to carry out the work of widening of highways and service roads.

Sources added that the municipal council was likely to discuss the matter with councillors and other officials in the coming MC meeting.

Even after construction of a flyover traffic jams are a routine affair in the town, especially on Sundays. In the absence of parking space, commuters park their vehicles on the roadside while visiting the market.

The traffic cops also failed to handle the problem. Few days ago, the traffic police had imposed certain restrictions on trial basis to solve the traffic congestion outside the mall, but the trial did not solve the jam problem.

NHAI project director Anil Dhaiya stated that the authorities had planned to widen the stretch on the highway and construct two U-turns to make the flow of traffic in Zirkapur smooth.

“We have written to the Zirakpur Municipal Council to submit Rs 6 crore for widening of service roads and other facilities related to traffic in the town,” he added.



District consumer forum’s order on refund set aside
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 17
The State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has set aside the impugned order of the District Consumer Redressal Forum for refunding the booking amount along with the interest as the complainants had not disclosed that the disputed property was a commercial one.

The state commission comprising president Justice Sham Sunder and members Neena Sandhu and Jagroop Singh Mahal had observed that the complainants did not fall under the definition of ‘consumer’ and the complaint was not maintainable before the learned District Forum. The complainants would be free to approach the civil court, if so desired, the order said.

The District Forum in its order on October 6 last year had directed the appellant Emaar MGF Land Limited to refund the booking amount of Rs 15.50 lakh to the complainants, along with the interest at the rate of 9 per cent per annum from the date of deposit and Rs 10,000 as costs of litigation to two city residents.

The complainants had applied for two commercial units to be constructed at Gurgaon and were offered by the opposite party (herein appellant) and had paid a cheque of Rs 15.50 lakh as booking amount.

Subsequently, the complainants changed their mind and insisted for refund of the amount. However, despite their several requests through e-mails and a legal notice, the opposite party failed to refund the booking amount.

Council for the appellants objected to the complaint stating that it did not come within the definition of ‘consumer’ as the dispute pertained to commercial property. It was admitted that the complainant had applied for allotment of the unit by depositing Rs 15.50 lakh, signed the terms and conditions and undertook to abide by the payment schedule at the time of filling the application form.

It was averred that as per the terms and conditions, the opposite party was only liable to refund the amount after deduction of 10 per cent of the sale consideration besides delayed interest and other amounts. Since the application was for allotment of a commercial property, the transaction related to a commercial purpose and therefore the complainants were not ‘consumers’, the council added.



GMADA to regulate traffic near schools
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 17
In a significant development, the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) has decided to regulate movement of traffic in front of the schools whose entry and exit gates open on inner sector roads.

Either the entry gate of the respective schools would be shifted to the nearest main road or the road in front of the schools would be widened. Sources in GMADA disclosed that beginning with Doon International School in Sector 69, officials of GMADA after holding parleys with the school management have recommended shifting of the entry gate.

It has been proposed that the main entry would be given on the road separating Sectors 68 and 69. Some adjustments have been made to allow access from the main road. The issue was taken up after residents of the area complained of being harassed. A similar problem existed in front of other schools in Sector 69.

The officials said after Sector 69, the problem being faced by residents in Sectors 60, 61, 63, 64, 65, 70 and 71 would be taken up. It has been seen with the opening of a number of private schools in the residential areas, traffic congestion has been witnessed on the inner sector roads when buses ferry school students to and from the schools.



Open house response
Create two more secretary-level posts from UT cadre

As per the census of employees for the year 2008, there are 22,816 sanctioned posts in various departments of the Chandigarh Administration. This figure does not include thousands of contractual, work-charge and other employees, who do not fall under the category of sanctioned posts. Besides, there are corporations, boards, societies, NGOs and private schools which are funded and subsequently audited by the Chandigarh Administration.

Transfer police officials to other UTs

The top positions in the UT should be held by the UT-cadre IAS and IPS officers and should be transferable every three to five years. The police officers above the rank of sub-inspector, rather all ranks, should be transferred to other UTs, in the CISF or the CRPF. Currently, the police officials recruited in Chandigarh retire or remain in this small city till they retire, which is not at all favourable for officials responsible for maintaining law and order in the city. JS Bawa

Open house question

Besides the existing loopholes in the public transport system of Chandigarh, residents from the townships of Mohali, Panchkula and the adjoining areas, too, continue to suffer sans streamlined bus service. Auto-rickshaws have emerged as a parallel transport system for ferrying passengers to and from the city. Write your opinion on the issue along with suggestions for an improvement in the transport system to openhouse@tribunemail.com

It is indeed a sorry state of affairs that there are just two sanctioned posts of secretaries who have to look after all the departments of the Chandigarh Administration and the establishment of 22,816 employees. These two secretaries are deputed from Punjab and Haryana and carry out this kind of arduous work with the help of Punjab Civil Services (PCS) and Haryana Civil Services (HCS) officers who are also deployed from these two states. This practice has been continuing since the inception of the Union Territory of Chandigarh and not a single additional post of the secretary has been created whereas the workload has increased manifolds and several new departments have been created.

Surprisingly, not even a single bureaucracy post pertain to the cadre of the Union Territory of Chandigarh inspite of the fact that a majority of the ministerial, technical, teaching and other staff working in various departments of the Chandigarh Administration belong to the UT cadre. This situation creates working trauma among the UT employees when they fail to maintain proper coordination and relationship with their bosses within a small period of two years. By the time the employees and bosses understand each other, the deputation period of bosses come to an end and new bosses start joining. The game of understanding each other begins afresh and the process continues. This practice results in delay of almost all the important projects due to which general public becomes the final sufferer.

In order to streamline the administrative set up of the Chandigarh Administration, there is a dire need to create two more secretary-level posts exclusively from the Union Territory cadre to ease the workload of other two secretaries who are deputationists from Punjab and Haryana. Similarly, 50 per cent departments of the Chandigarh Administration should be headed by experts of the relevant departments and not by bureaucrats. For example, the department of technical education, which is headed by a PCS officer at present, should be headed either by a technocrat or by a technical academician. I am sure this procedure will not only increase the efficiency in various departments of Chandigarh Administration but it will also ensure transparency and better relationship among employees and head of departments.

Ravinder Nath
Sector 32-A, Chandigarh

Think about local youth

I don’t think there is need for any deliberation on the need for deputationists to go back for saving the future of young generation of Chandigarh. A decision must come and they must go.

Rakesh Puri

Punjab, Haryana officers should get top positions

The top positions of the UT Administration should be given to Punjab and Haryana cadre officers. The UT has no strength of his officers to have its own cadre. Officers come on deputation for three to five years are and repatriated to their parent state after their tenure is over. The accepted ratio of officers from Punjab and Haryana is 60:40, but the same has not been specified in the Punjab Reorganisation Act, 1966, for taking persons on deputation in the UT. The UT has not any independent cadre of officers. The officers on deputation are burdened with many departments. The lower cadre officers are punished by the administration for wrong working of the UT-cadre officers. The high-level officers responsible for the failure of big projects have never been punished.

ML Garg

No policy regarding tenure

There is no fixed policy regarding the tenure of deputationists. In most of the cases, they generally join for three-four years but continue to serve here till their retirement. The UT has toface unnecessary botheration regarding their pension benefits, which come under their parent cadre. Sometimes, the UT Administration has to pay penalty also.


Independent UT cadre needed

Why should we depend on deputationists? Aren’t we capable in handling our administration? Why do we need officers from other states? We must have our own cadre employees on all the positions in Chandigarh. There is an urgent need of an independent UT cadre for growth and smooth functioning of our city beautiful.

Preeti Gupta

Revise seniority list

The deputationists seriously affect the merit list of promotion for the UT cadre officers. Deputations should be banned and seniority list should be revised. In most of departments of the UT Administration, we will find major positions held by the deputationists. They are promoted and instead of going back to their parent state, they are posted in Chandigarh itself, breaking all norms and service rules. The UT cadre employees face stagnation. They are denied promotion and they generally retire from the same post on which they joined.

Balbir Singh

Lecturers more experienced

Many lecturers in UT education department are more experienced than the principals. In UT, principals are appointed on the basis of seniority, whereas other states conduct exam for the post. People clear exams in these states and then come on deputation in Chandigarh and join as principals.

Sunita Arora

Bureaucratic system needs a re-look

The UT administration has kept both the options with it - to recruit its own staff or to get on deputation - where manipulation starts. In certain cases, especially in the case of teachers, they retire while posting in Chandigarh though they have the cadre of Panjab or Haryana. Since the subordinate staff recruited by the administration remains in Chandigarh permanently, there is no fear of any kind of transfer in their mind and they work in a watertight compartment, say within an area of 114 sq km only. Thus, there should be a provision in the rules to transfer the staff to other UTs of India as is in the case of officers of the UT cadre. The high-ranking officers who are presently taken from the UT cadre and Punjab and Haryana come only for a fixed tenure. Since they are on a tenure post, they hardly adjust themselves and understand the functioning of their respective departments during their short stint with the administration. As soon as they understand the functioning and chalk out plans, they are repatriated. This seriously jeopardises the functioning of the UT Administration. Since the administration of Chandigarh has now been functioning on permanent basis for about 45 years, there should be a permanent cadre for the UT. Besides, there are a large number of vacant posts of different cadres almost in every department following retirement, resignation, dismissal and death of officials. The same have not been filled for the past couple of years. We cannot put the contractual staff on sensitive and secret installations in the country without confirming their credentials. Contractual staff lacks the requisite expertise and talent. Consequently, people are suffering as the stock reply in every department is “there is a shortage of staff”. Owing to population explosion, there has been a phenomenal increase in developmental activities but there is no staff to cope with the situation. This is a very funny situation, indeed.

SK Khosla
Sector 40-C, Chandigarh



Tricity scan
Dance auditions

Auditions for ‘Dancer of Chandigarh-2011’, organised by the S-4 Trust and the Gurukul Vidyapeeth, was a big draw at the Punjab Kala Bhavan, Sector 16, on Sunday, with at least 150 dancers in the junior and senior categories taking part. The jury had a tough time in judging the participants, who danced to Bollywood, western, classical and folk tunes. ‘Sur Wid Taal-Talent Hunt-2011’ CEO Rinku Kalia said winners of ‘Singer of 2011’, ‘Dancer of 2011’ and ‘Cultural Olympiad for Special Children’ would perform during a mega nite at the Tagore Theatre around September 28, the birthday of melody queen Lata Mangeshkar. Gurukul Vidyapeeth CEO Manmohan Garg said the talent hunt was the result of a shared vision to provide a platform to talented artistes and give a boost to performing arts in the region.

Study material

The local chapter of the Bharat Vikas Parishad distributed study material among at least 550 students of 65 government schools at a function at Moti Ram Arya Senior Secondary School, Sector 27, on Sunday. ID Ojha, national working president of the parishad, presided over the function. Dipti Uppal, Lalit Jain and Sukhsohit Singh, who had cleared the civil services examination, were honoured on the occasion. Ashok Kumar Goyal, project director, gave details about the scholarship programme.

NIMA nomination

The National Integrated Medical Association (NIMA) has nominated Dr Yuvraj Khullar executive member of the association. In a press note, the NIMA said, “It has been observed that after the annual elections to the central council, all state branches could not get representation on the executive committee of the central council. To overcome this problem, it was decided to nominate one member each from states which could not get any representation through elections.” Dr Ashok K Sharma was nominated chairman of the publicity and liaison committee.

Club ceremony

The installation ceremony of Rotary Club Chandigarh Central was held on at the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Sector 31, on Saturday. Rakesh Sharma of the channel India News and the newspaper Aaj Samaj presided over the ceremony. KK Walia was installed as president. He announced projects like a rehabilitation centre for pulmonary disease patients with state-of-the-art gymnasium facilities, a library for schoolchildren, immunisation facility at Kishangarh, diagnostic camps at Kishangarh with the help of the administration and the IMA, upgrade of the computer centre at Kishangarh, various health camps and workshops and fairs for students. The club also organised a free eye check-up camp at Sector 70 in Mohali.


The following have been elected office-bearers to the Chandigarh-Panchkula chapter of the Institute of Costs and Works Accountants of India: chairman: JC Bhatia; senior vice-chairman: Vikas Gupta; vice-chairman: Lok Nath Aggarwal; secretary: Parveen Sharma; joint secretary: VK Goyal; and finance secretary: Jasdeep Kaur.

Petrol dealers

The Mohali District Petroleum Dealers Association has stated that petrol is cheaper by Rs 6.43 in Chandigarh and by Rs 7.38 in Haryana. As a result, hardly anyone buys petrol from them, it has rued. All 70 petrol stations in the SAS Nagar district sell approximately 857 kilolitres of petrol per month and if the rate is brought at a par with Chandigarh, the volume of sale will go up to approximately 5,000 kilolitres per month, it has noted. The association has urged the Punjab Government to bring the rate of petrol in Mohali at a par with Chandigarh, which will lead to a six-time increase in the revenue of the Punjab Government. The following have been elected office-bearers of the association: president: Ashwinder Singh Mongia; senior vice-president: Narinder Singh; vice-presidents: Girish Sapra, Sohan Lal and RK Gupta; general secretary: SK Chopra; joint secretary: Amrik Singh; and treasurer: Amandeep Chatha.

UIDN blues

Former councillor KS Bedi has drawn the attention of the Mohali district administration towards the harassment being faced by residents turning up at centres set up to accept application forms for unique identity number (UIDN). He said applicants had to wait in long queues and there was no arrangement for water at the centres. He said the scheme was for the benefit of residents and efforts should be made to make it easy for residents to apply.

—Tribune Reporters



12 Mauli govt school kids clear test
All secure admission to Guru Gobind Singh College of Pharmacy, Sector 26
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 17
Outshining their counterparts in privately run schools, a dozen students of Government High School, Mauli colony, have cracked the joint entrance test conducted by the Punjab government (for admission to Chandigarh and Punjab polytechnics) in the first attempt itself. They have now secured admission to the MLT (medical lab technology) course at the Sri Guru Gobind Singh College of Pharmacy, Sector 26 on a merit basis and also received free coaching at the Chinmya Centre for Youth Excellence located on the school premises.

“My parents are extremely proud of me. I attended coaching classes for eight to nine hours in my school during holidays to crack this exam and to join a good polytechnic. I’m now aiming at getting the highest marks in the pharmacy college,” said 15-year-old Priya, a class 10 student of Government High School, Mauli colony, who speaks English quite fluently.

The complete course fee of the 12 students who have been selected for enrolment in polytechnic institutes is being sponsored by the Surbhi Foundation, another NGO that has now joined the cause.

Set up in 2005 by SN Singla, a former principal of Government College, Sector 11, this venture to provide free coaching classes to students of Government High School, Mauli colony, has now transformed into a regular centre of remedial classes where voluntary teachers and school graduates are providing training to students.

“Of the dozen students ten have secured admission in SGGS College of Pharmacy while two others have their second round of counseling scheduled on July 18. What is remarkable is that they scored high ranks in their first attempt at writing their test papers on OMR (optical mark recognition sheets),” said Singla.

It is not just about cracking the joint entrance test - some of these students were also secured the top slots in Chandigarh and Punjab. Two of them, Jaihind and Sushil for instance, were ranlked were ranked 1427th and 1310th, respectively.

“The coaching given is so comprehensive that a student who isn’t serious would not stay for long. The students have been working very hard themselves and those who got admission in good colleges returned to the school to teach others. Students have shown such enthusiasm to learn and grow that several other NGOs and individuals have joined the cause,” Singla added.

Other voluntary teachers currently providing coaching to these students include Col Paul, Sumit Khemka and Riva, a graduate of PU’s University Business School, who teaches them English.



From schools
Rhyme time

Shivalik Public School, Chandigarh, organised rhyme time for nursery and kindergarten students. Exuberant, charming and lovable tiny tots enthralled their parents with rhymes and rhythmic steps. The motive behind the event was to inculcate moral values and manners for regular studies. Principal Gurkiran Nalwa appreciated students’ performances and motivated them to continue these.


A science and social science exhibition was held at Saupin’s School, Mohali. Students prepared projects, models, working models and charts based on various themes. These included pottery, jewels, pictograph and city plan of the Indus Valley civilisation, electric circuit, pinhole camera, windmill, periscope, lighthouse and volcano. Headmistress Goldie Kapany appreciated and applauded the efforts of teachers Gurvinder Kaur, Jyoti Marwah, Anjali Madan and Shuchi Kher.

‘Blue Day’

The kindergarten section of Sant Isher Singh Public School, Mohali, celebrated ‘Blue Day’. The message to save water was conveyed to students through posters and rhymes. Drawings on water cycle, sea and ‘save water’ were pasted on soft boards of the school. School director Hardeep Kaur Gill felicitated teachers and students.

Rain party

Students of classes caterpillar I and II at St Soldier’s School, Panchkula, enjoyed a rain-dance party. Little ones in colourful raincoats added colour to the ‘heavy’ rain. Teachers explained to them the use of things like umbrella and raincoat, which were a must in the rainy season. The students enjoyed Hindi rhymes related to rain and peacock.



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