C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Referral cases jack up maternal deaths at GMCH
Lack of specialised obstetric care in city’s periphery to blame
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
While Chandigarh can boast of having one of the lowest maternal mortality rates (MMR) in the country with 40 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, the absence of specialized emergency obstetric treatment in the city’s periphery and some neighbouring states has led to a marked rise in maternal deaths at Government Medical College & Hospital, Sector 32, where most referral cases reach, to 500.

The high MMR among referral cases at this hospital, which is much higher than the national figure of 254 maternal deaths (women dying during pregnancy, childbirth or within 42 days of delivery) per 100,000 live births, lays bare the poor condition of obstetric treatment and emergency care in the hinterlands of “progressive” states like Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. If insiders are to be believed 4,000 odd deliveries take place at GMCH every year and about 50 per cent of these are “referral” cases.

Doctors claim of the 2,000 odd referral cases received at the hospital every year, 20 odd women die due to birth related complications. A senior doctor said with midwives still active in rural and semi urban areas, complications that develop during the time of delivery or after that cannot be handled. “They keep on trying and when everything fails they refer the patient to us in a precarious condition”, said a doctor.

According to the latest Lancet report, India is one of the few countries in the world that have recorded “substantial decline” in the maternal mortality rate. As compared to an MMR of 677 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, the figure fell to 254 deaths in 2008, making India climb from near bottom to 127th place in the MMR ratings - above Pakistan and just below Nepal.

Admitting the maternal

mortality rate at GMCH had shot up because of referral cases, Dr Anju Huria, head of the hospital’s gynaecology department, said: “We plan to undertake a programme to train 24 doctors in emergency obstetric care services in rural and semi urban areas. The training, under the central government’s reproductive & childcare programme, will commence soon and 24 doctors from primary health centres will be trained every year”.

Huria added the doctors will be trained in three different batches for 6 weeks and, after successfully completing the programme, further train other doctors at civil hospitals in their respective areas of operations.



HUDA imposes enhancement fee in P’kula ext
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 23
With the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) imposing an enhancement fee for Sectors 25, 26, 27 and 28 in Panchkula extension, thousands of residents of these areas will now have to shell out sums between Rs 4 lakh to Rs 6 lakh. The fee, ranging between Rs 2,000 to Rs 4,500 per square yard, was imposed following a directive of the local sessions court and HUDA has already begun issuing notices to plot holders.

The authority has imposed the enhancement charges for the fifth time in these sectors on thousands of holders of ten, eight, six, four and three 'marla' plots. The fees were earlier levied in August 2005, September 2003, May 2002 and November 2000.

HUDA had acquired land from villagers to develop these four sectors, for which it had paid compensation. However, many landowners who were not satisfied with compensation amount had approached the Panchkula district court. In the last few months many of them won their cases and the court had directed HUDA to pay larger amounts for the acquired land.

Residents of these four sectors, which were developed in 1994-95, complained that though they had been asked to pay enhancement fees on numerous occasions no civic projects had been undertaken in these areas.

PS Malik, former president of the House Owners Citizens Committee, Sector 25 said residents would oppose the move. “HUDA shouldn’t transfer the entire burden on plot owners. We’ll hold a protest march tomorrow”, he added.

Meanwhile, a senior HUDA official said: “The authority had given plots in these four sectors with a clause in the allotment letters saying enhancement charges awarded in favour of landowners by the courts would be borne by the plot holders”.



School kids hurt as drunk driver takes wrong turn
Tribune news service

Chandigarh, July 23
A class II student of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 16, was injured and four others had a narrow escape when the autorickshaw ferrying them turned over after hitting a car near the PGI here this morning. The auto driver was drunk and took a wrong turn, hitting a car coming from the opposite direction. The auto-rickshaw turned over after the collision.

The students were being ferried to Khuda Lahora. All five children were rushed to hospital and an eight-year-old girl sustained injuries. She was discharged after first aid.

The police has challaned the auto driver, Sanjay Kumar, for drunk driving under Section 186 of the Motor Vehicles Act.



Mastermind of PGI admission scam declared PO
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
Almost 10 months after the PGI admission scam rocked the city, the Chief Judicial Magistrate’s (CJM’s) court today declared the mastermind, Gaurav Shalin, as a proclaimed offender (PO).

Mahesh Aggarwal, DIG, CBI, Chandigarh Zone, said they had recently initiated the proceedings to declare Gaurav as a PO.

The CBI had informed the court that Gaurav was the main accused in the PGI admission scam and he was running this entire racket for managing admission in the PGI for MD/MS courses in 2009.

On September 28, 2010, the anti-corruption branch of the CBI had arrested two junior resident doctors of the PGI, Dr Amit Musale and Dr Sujay Sonawane, who allegedly secured admission by paying hefty sums to touts and had cleared the entrance exam with the help of impersonators.

According to the CBI, Gaurav had got admitted Dr Amit Musale in MD pharmacology and Dr Sujay Sonawane in MD paediatrics in the PGIMER, Chandigarh, by using unknown persons to impersonate the duo in the entrance examination.

Amit and Sujay used to convince aspiring candidates about the genuineness of the admission process being used by Shalin, the CBI had submitted in court during proceedings.

The CBI had informed the court that attempts had been made to contact Shalin at his address, Kandivali in Mumbai, but he was not there. A notice had also been sent to him through his brother-in-law and wife but to no avail.

The CBI court on Friday had dismissed the anticipatory bail application filed by co-accused Dr Sameer Kumar Patel. On November 23, 2010, the court had dismissed the anticipatory bail application filed by main accused Gaurav Shalin. Meanwhile, the court had granted bail to Musale and Sonawane on October 31 2010. 


Illegal paying guest accommodations
Homeless, students eye satellite towns
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Network

Chandigarh, July 23
The UT administration’s decision to crackdown on illegal paying guests has spread panic among thousands of students residing in the PG accommodations across the city. In the absence of adequate hostel facility, the fear of getting homeless has lead students to look for alternatives and even shift to the neighbouring satellite towns.

With limited hostel facilities in colleges and university, outstation students have to mainly depend on PG accommodations. The private coaching institutes operating in various parts of the city also contribute to a large number of students residing in PG accommodations.

Mansimran Dhanoa, a student of a private institute in Sector 34, who is staying as a paying guest said that the administration should first try to regularise the PG accommodations, as the students would be worst hit with UT’s drive against PGs. “There are no hostels available for the students studying in private institutes then where will we go”, Dhanoa said.

Agitated over the UT’s move to shut the illegal PGs, Ritika Sharma, who stays at a PG accommodation in Sector15, said that before taking any step, the UT administration should first look for an alternative for thousands of youngsters who were living as paying guests. “It is not just the students who stay in PGs will be affected with the decision but there is a working community too (mainly consisting of girls) who will be hit”, Ritika said.

The sectors that have maximum number of PG accommodations include 10, 11, 15, 16, 22, 32, 33, 34 and 36.

Worried over their stay in the city, the students have started planning to take a flat on rent by pooling in money. Sushant Jadaik, a class XII student, hailing from Shimla, became anxious after he came to know about the administration’s plan of action. He said that in case the situation worsened he would shift to his local guardian’s house. “I have planned to shift to my LG’s house if I am asked to vacate the PG accommodation”, he said.

All the youngsters share similar sentiments over the issue. Ishita Sharma, a student of Panjab University, said that she didn’t get admission in PU hostel and she was left with the PG option. She said, “Now I have already taken admission in the university and if I don’t get a PG accommodation then I will have to get my admission cancelled, as staying in a rented house is out of my budget”, she said.

The working class is also planning to shift to the neighbouring cities in case they have to vacate the PG accommodations.

Archna Dogra, a teacher by profession, said that staying in an independent accommodation in Chandigarh was very costly following, which she would now have to look for an accommodation in Panchkula or Mohali. “Though I want to stay in Chandigarh only the move to close down unauthorised PG accommodations will force me to shift to the neighbouring cities”, Archna added.



No increase in reserved price of residential plots
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 23
Owing to few takers for residential plots in the last two auctions, the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) has not increased the reserved price of residential plots being put under the hammer in the forthcoming two-day auction of residential and commercial property being held at Mohali on August 23 and 24.

According to GMADA officials, the reserve price of a one-kanal plot has been fixed at Rs 2.52 crore in Sector 71, bringing the reserved price to around Rs 50,000 per sq yard. A total of 33 residential plots of different sizes in Sectors 56 (3), 59 (1), 61 (1), 63 (1), 65 (2), 69 (2) and 71 (20) are being put under the hammer.

On the second day of the auction, about 70 sites, including showrooms and booths, would be put under the hammer. An official in the estate office said an initial proposal to auction commercial sites in Sectors 76 to 80 could not find favour as the sectors were still developing.



Rain brings respite from sultry conditions
Tribune News Service

An uprooted tree after rain on Madhya Marg in Sector 15, Chandigarh, on Saturday.
An uprooted tree after rain on Madhya Marg in Sector 15, Chandigarh, on Saturday. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan 

Chandigarh, July 23
Heavy rains that lashed the tricity today brought much-needed respite from the hot and humid conditions prevailing in the region.The city recorded 38.4 mm of rainfall during the past 24 hours.

The rain brought down the maximum day temperature by six degree Celsius to 28 degree Celsius. The day temperature yesterday was 34.8 degree Celsius. The minimum temperature dropped from 27.6 degrees Celsius recorded yesterday to 25.7 degrees today.

Waterlogging was reported in Sectors 51-A, 44-D and 21. Office goers were caught unawares while roadside vendors selling ice cream and maize corn abandoned business for the day. Construction activity also came to a standstill.

Many two-wheelers and cars did not start after they were stuck in water. Mechanics made a fast buck by charging up to Rs 50 to start a scooter and up to Rs 100 to start a car.

Only one flight of Jet Airways, which arrives from Delhi at 4.55 pm, reached the Chandigarh airport at around 6 pm. Subsequently, the departure of the flight was delayed by about one hour and five minutes from its scheduled departure time of 5.25 pm. However, officials said the flight was delayed from Delhi due to a technical snag.

The Met office has forecast a partly cloudy sky with the possibility of thundery development and light rain. The maximum temperature on Saturday will be around 34 °C and a minimum of 26 °C. 



Notice issued to admn, police, MC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
A local court issued notice to the UT Administration, the Municipal Corporation and the Chandigarh Police on a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by a Panchkula-based couple seeking directions to take steps to deal with the stray cattle menace.

The court has issued notice for August 4. Similarly, a Panchkula court has also issued notice to the district administration for August 11 on the same issue.

In the PIL, advocate Pankaj Chandgothia and his wife Sangeeta demanded that a special cell be created with representatives from all departments concerned, including the administration, the MC and the police to look into the problem of stray cattle menace.

They also demanded that a compensation policy should be formulated, wherein the administration should be liable to compensate any person who suffers on account of the stray cattle menace. The police must register an FIR in every such case. 



MC Commissioner inspects schools
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 23
Chandigarh Municipal Corporation Commissioner Prerna Puri accompanied by Additional Commissioner Sunil Bhatia today inspected three city primary schools falling under purview of the Municipal Corporation.

In her observation report, the Commissioner said the schools require an urgent repair and whitewash.

She said the schools should start computer education from class I. 



Hotelier succumbs to injuries
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 23
Panchkula hotelier Gaurav, who was dumped at Pinjore village after being set on fire by unidentified persons, died at the PGI late last night. With this the difficulties of the district police in identifying the accused seems to have been multiplied as Gaurav died before he could tell anything abut the incident. “In the absence of any clue about the accused it will not be an easy task for the police to crack the case,” said a senior police official.

The body of the deceased was handed over to the family members after the postmortem in the afternoon who later cremated him at Mani Majra cremation ground.

Gaurav, managing a hotel at Morni, was allegedly kidnapped by nearly half a dozen youths from Sector 22 of Chandigarh on Thursday who later poured petrol on him and set him on fire before dumping him at Basaulan village near Pinjore. This was the only information Gaurav could give to the police and his father before he fell unconscious.

While the mother and the grandmother of Gaurav were inconsolable, his father Pradeep Bhardwaj, a realtor, was not able to speak much. The family had been staying at Sector 20 of Panchkula and recently shifted to Sector 26.

Anubhav, the younger brother of Gaurav, said the family had no idea about the perpetrators. Even the scooter and the mobile phone set of Gaurav could not be traced till now, he said.

The incident has put a question mark on the efficiency of the Chandigarh Police as a youth was kidnapped from a busy Sector 22 and taken to Pinjore, escaping the vigil of the UT police.

SHO of Pinjore Pradeep Kumar said it was suspected that the accused adopted the deserted route through Siswan to reach Pinjore so that they could not be spotted by anyone.

Jurisdiction dispute

l The incident led to a dispute between the police personnel of Panckula and Chandigarh over the jurisdiction of the case. The case was not registered till 1 am on Friday. While Panchkula police officials said the victim was kidnapped from Sector 22 of Chandigarh so the UT police should register an FIR in this case. The UT police on the other hand contended that there was no complaint with them regarding the case so they had nothing to do with it.



P’kula-based doctors get respite
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 23
In a relief to the doctors of a Panchkula-based private clinic, the state consumer disputes redressal commission had stayed the order of the district consumer disputes redressal forum wherein Arogya Dham Kshar Sutra and Panchkarma Centre, Sector 12-A, Panchkula, was directed to pay Rs 48,000 to the complainant for wrong medication.

The district consumer forum had passed the orders against the clinic as they had started treatment of piles, whereas the complainant was suffering from fistula. Against the orders of the district consumer forum, Dr Rajan Goyal and Dr Poonam Goyal of Sector 12-A-based clinic had moved the state commission and had filed an appeal against the orders.

The complainant, Dilbag Singh, a resident of Jind, had stated that he was suffering from severe pain in anus and had consulted Dr Rajan Goyal and Dr Poonam Goyal on May 26, 2008. After the check-up, the doctors informed him that he was suffering from piles and assured of proper treatment.

He had further alleged that after the operation, he was given medicines, but later his condition started deteriorating. Thereafter, he had consulted doctors at the Panchkula General Hospital. On June 23, 2008, the doctors had diagnosed the complainant with fistula. However, the clinic had denied the allegations of wrong treatment.

Amit Dudeja, counsel of the clinic, said on their appeal the state commission stayed the orders of the district consumer forum and deferred the hearing for the next month.



Rs 5,000 fine slapped on Syndicate Bank for harassing pensioner
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 23
The district consumer disputes redressal forum has slapped a fine of Rs 15,000 upon Syndicate Bank, Sector 11, Panchkula, for harassing a pensioner having his account in the bank. The bank first had deducted Rs 45,448 from his pension account on the direction of the employer without informing him and later refused to return the money.

The complainant, a resident of Sector 15, SL Kukreja, had filed a complaint with the forum alleging that the bank authorities had deducted Rs 45,448 from his pension account without his knowledge.

On inquiry the complainant was told that the amount in question had been deducted on the directions of the principal controller of Defence Account (Pension), Allahabad. The bank authorities in the reply contended that they were bound to comply with such instructions.

The forum compising of president Ashok Kumal and members Sarita Jain and SP Singh, however, observed that it was a case of illegal adjustment made by the bank from the account of the complainant without following the due process of law.

Such an action on the part of the bank was not only arbitrary, but one that shook the very foundation of the relationship of a customer with the bank, which was based on trust and good faith, commented the forum. “It is a well settled law that no person can be condemned unheard,” said the forum adding that, “We hold that the act of the bank in deducting the amount in dispute from the pension account of the complainant without giving him an opportunity of hearing tantamounts to deficiency in service und unfair practice.”

The forum directed the bank to refund the amount of Rs 45,448 to the complaint along with an annual interest of 9 per cent. Besides, it was told to pay Rs 15,000 as compensation to the complainant for damages on account of mental agony, harassment, deficiency in service, unfair trade practice as well as the cost of litigation.



Politicians woo rural population
Tribune News Service

Enrolment for UID cards in progress at Phase IV in Mohali.
Enrolment for UID cards in progress at Phase IV in Mohali. Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu

Mohali, July 23
Enrolment of applicants for the Unique Identity Card (UID) is offering political parties an ideal opportunity to woo the voters in the wake of the forthcoming assembly elections. The politicians, especially of the ruling SAD regime, are making it a point to install more machines in Jagatpura slum areas, leaving the urban electorate fuming.

As a result, long queue of applicants can be seen outside the urban UID centres whereas the two centres at Jagatpura have been given six to eight machines.

On the other hand the UID centre at Phase XI, which caters to Phases IX, X and XI and Sector 66, has just four machines. The district food and supplies department has installed 34 machines and is waiting for another 70 machines to smoothen the drive. The shortage of machine is affecting the progress of the special drive.

Kharar MLA Balbir Sidhu said more machines should be provided in urban centers. “The ruling party is using the enrolment to its advantage,” he alleged.

District food and supplies controller Sarabjit Singh said no extra favour was being given to the slum areas. The machines were being allocated according to the requirement. Kuljit Bedi, a former councillor, said the residents in the urban areas were facing harassment. The visitors had to stand in queue to submit their forms and another date was being given to click photographs. 



CBI opposes defence plea for witness list
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 23
The CBI counsel today opposed the demand raised by the defence counsel of providing the list of witnesses in the murder of Sirsa-based journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati in 2002.

CBI counsel HPS Verma said if they provided the list of witnesses to the defence, it would weaken the case of the CBI. He added that it would also endanger the lives of the witnesses. Besides the dera head, the CBI had filed a chargesheet against the accused Nirmal Singh, Kuldeep and Krishan Lal in the case.

Chhatrapati was shot at by two assailants on October 24, 2002, in Sirsa. He later died at a hospital in Delhi. One of the assailants was nabbed on the spot while another was arrested the next day from near the Dera Sacha Sauda.

The dera head is accused of murder, rape and sexual exploitation in three separate cases filed by the CBI in the special CBI court. 



Chandigarh scan
Plantation drive

The Sector 31 branch of the State Bank of India, Sector 31, organised a tree-plantation programme at Government Senior Secondary School , Behlana, on Friday.

The bank also donated tree guards for the protection of newly-planted saplings.

Surjeet Kaushal, chief manager (administration), school principal Ramesh Kumar and branch manager Darshan Singh were present during the event.

Park inaugurated

Municipal Corporation area councillor Anil Kumar Dubey on Friday inaugurated a park in Mauli Jagran. The park is developed at a cost of Rs 13 lakh and is spread overin 1.25 -acre area with proper grassing, plantation of ornamental trees, shrubs, benches, huts and footpath. In addition to that various multi-play equipments are also provided in the park.


The Chandigarh Acharyakul Trust held a meeting this week at the Gandhi Samarak Bhawan, Sector 16, headed by Ramesh Bal to elect office-bearers of the trust. President - Krishan Kumar Sharda; secretary- Devraj Tyagi; senior vice-presidents-Krishanlal Chugh and JD Cheema. Tyagi also read out the report of three months and appreciated the women empowerment programme launched on May 29.

Saplings planted

Municipal Corporation area councillor Anju Beniwala today launched tree plantation drive by planting saplings of medicinal plant in park at Sector 21.

Baljinder Singh, president, citizen association Sector 21, area residents also planted the saplings.


Dr Harmesh, a local Congresss leader, has been appointed as the president of the Kisan Khet Mazdoor Congress of Morni block. This was announced by district president of the Kisan Khet Mazdoor Congress, Sudesh Sharma, at Morni on Friday.

School contests

Hallmark Public School, Sector 15, held contests like Hindi poetry recitation contest and amazing facts presentation contest in which around 300 children participated. Principal Kavita Wadhwa said such competitions were indispensable part of the curriculum of the school. The Director, Jivtesh Garg, applauded the performances and congratulated the winners.

Anti-tobacco drive

The district health authorities in association with an NGO Kalgi Dhar Sewak Jatha on Saturday carried out an anti-tobacco drive in different parts of Mohali. Dr SP Surila, in charge of the drive, along with JP Singh of the NGO, challaned over 35 establishments for violating the Anti Tobacco Act. The vendors who were selling the items were also challaned. Surila said the drive would be regular feature in Mohali.

Centre of excellence

Catering to the national concerns over growing unemployment and immediate need for millions of people with developed skills in different sectors, the Rayat-Bahra Group of Institutes has come up with first-ever initiative in India - Rayat-Bahra Punjab Infotech Centre of Excellence near Chandigarh.

Speaking at the inaugural ceremony on Saturday, the chief guest, Tikshan Sood, Industries and Commerce Minister, Punjab, said that unemployment and subsequent use of drugs in youth was a major problem in Punjab.

The chairman Rayat-Bahra Group of Institutes, S Gurvinder Singh Bahra, said that as per National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) in automotive sector alone, a million skilled workers were needed. When clubbed with pharma, IT and others this figure grew to a larger extent. Appreciating the efforts of the Rayat-Bahra group, chief secretary Punjab SC Aggarwal, said that Punjab government certification would not only help students to gain employment in industries, which were a part of this center of excellence, but also in others out of its ambit. — TNS



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