C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Free institutional delivery at GMSH-16 a still-born issue
Was to begin from July 1; grant received, health dept orders awaited; GMCH extended benefit to 500 families in 48 days
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 18
Even a month-and-a-half after receiving orders from the Union Government, the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16, has failed to start free institutional delivery either at the hospital or its community health centres in Sector 22 and Mani Majra.

The scheme was to be implemented from July 1 and the UT administration had already received a Rs 1-crore grant under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) for its execution.

The scheme was to be first implemented in mainline hospitals, the GMSH and the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, and subsequently at the health centres and polyclinics.

Ironically, while GMSH was still waiting for ‘execution orders’ from the UT health department to start the scheme, aimed at bringing down infant and mother mortality rates by promoting institutional delivery, its counterpart, the GMCH, started free-of-charge delivery from July 2, one day after the receipt of the Union Government’s direction. In these 48 days, the GMCH had already undertaken 500 free deliveries, benefiting an equal number of families.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, Director UT Health Services, Chander Mohan, admitted to the delay and attributed it to the non-receipt of ‘execution orders’ from the administration.

Though he admitted having received a communication in this regard from the Union Government, he said ‘execution orders’ for its implementation were awaited and the facility would be started within a week. He said the tender work had been completed and the local procurement of medicines, kits and other consumables would be undertaken shortly.

In contrast to the wait-and-watch policy adopted by the GMSH, promptness was shown by the GMCH, which implemented the scheme merely a day after receiving the Union Government’s communiqué.

As of now, the GMSH was charging between Rs 400 and Rs 500 for normal delivery, including admission and stay. The delivery cost for a caesarian was between Rs 1,200 and Rs 1,400. As per records, a total of 8,301 deliveries were conducted at the GMSH, 216 at the Mani Majra health centre and 1,711 at the Sector-22 health centre during 2010-11.

According to officials, under the scheme, no woman delivering at a government institution needs to make any kind of payment towards any of the services, including fee, drugs, diet, consumables and other miscellaneous services. Even referral transport from her house to the medical facility and back is to be provided free of cost. The scheme aims at bringing down infant and mother mortality rates in India, which is among the highest in the world.



2 yrs on, hope supplants despair
Fresh probe begins into mishap case; victim’s parents had blamed UT cop
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 18
Ever since their world collapsed in 2009, when they lost their son in a road accident, this elderly couple has been relentlessly fighting to get justice.

And today, on the very first day of the inquiry being conducted by the Haryana Police on orders of the High Court, they broke down several times in the presence of all investigating officers and Chandigarh Police personnel, including sub-inspector (SI) Jaspal Singh Bhullar, whom they had accused of causing the death of their son Gagandeep Singh.

It had been a lonely struggle for Balwinder Singh and Gurvinder Kaur as the UT police closed all doors and refused to lend them an ear after the mishap.

Their only son of 20 years, Gagandeep Singh, was crushed to death at the Aroma traffic light point as his motorcycle collided with a speeding car, driven by SI Bhullar on June 27, 2009. However, the police failed to act against the SI and made their son the accused in the case, resulting in the case being closed.

The couple moved the High Court, which marked an inquiry to the Haryana Police the previous month and passed strictures against the Chandigarh Police for inaction.

The statements of the couple as well as of all nine cops were videographed today in the presence of Haryana DIG (Crime) Rajpal Singh at the state crime branch in Panchkula.

“We are hopeful of getting justice. It has been a difficult time for us, but finally, we are seeing some hope. My son will not return, but getting justice for him will bring peace to his soul,” said Balwinder Singh.


Two eyewitnesses fail to appear

Mandeep Singh, who was riding pillion with Gagandeep on the night of the mishap, failed to appear before the investigating team. Fresh summons were issued against him. Another witness, Sukha Singh, also failed to appear.

Chandigarh Police officials pulled up

During the course of the recording of statements, some UT policemen were pulled up for not applying their mind while conducting the inquiry. Sources said police personnel of the Sector-22 police post, whose in charge was sub-inspector Bhullar at the time of the mishap, were pulled up as they blindly followed instructions of their seniors. Inspector Kuldeep Singh was also among those who were pulled up.

‘Cancel release order of vehicles involved’

The Haryana Police will reconstruct the sequence of events that led to the accident at the Aroma traffic light point in 2009. For the purpose, they have written to the UT SSP to cancel the release order of vehicles involved in the accident, including the car that was being driven by Bhullar and the motorcycle that was being driven by Gagandeep. Policemen will reconstruct the accident scene with the actual vehicles that were involved, sources said.



20 fresh complaints against Healthyway
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 18
The UT police today received 20 fresh complaints against the owner of Healthyway Immigration for duping them of their hard-earned money on the pretext of sending them abroad.

With this, the total count of complaints with the police in this case touched 50. The police had earlier been investigating 30 complaints against the firm and had registered seven cases.

The prime accused, Amit Kakkar, was produced in court today. The police sought his custody again and he was remanded to one-day police custody.

Clients left in a dilemma

Scores of youths from Punjab today gathered outside the office of Healthyway Immigration at Sector 42 to enquire about the status of their visa applications.

The applicants, who had deposited lakhs with the company, were left harassed on finding the office sealed by the UT police and then queued up at the Sector-36 police station and the police headquarters at Sector 9 to know the status.

A large number of them were left in a dilemma as to whether they should pursue a complaint with the police or patiently wait for their visa applications to come up before either the British, Canadian or Australian High Commissions.

Paramjeet Singh, a client of the consultancy, had specially come from Jalandhar to enquire about his application after he got to know of the arrest of the director of Healthyway from newspapers.

“I went to the office of the consultancy and found it closed. Some people sitting outside told me that the office would open by August 20. From there I went to the Sector-36 police station. I have paid half the amount to the firm for migrating to the UK. My application was being processed,” he said.

While approaching the UT police, he was left in a dilemma as to whether he should file a complaint or wait for the visa application to be processed.

Yadwinder Singh, a resident of Sangrur, also faced a similar dilemma as he had deposited Rs 1.75 lakh with the company as he was promised migration to the UK.

“If we submit a complaint with the UT police, we will lose all chances of going abroad. My application is pending before the embassy. I am confused as to what course of action to follow,” he said.

Such clients of the consultancy were then advised to make enquiries from their respective embassies to know about the status of their applications.

Police dispatch teams

A team of the special investigating team today dispatched teams to various towns in Punjab where Healthyway had its branch offices. A separate team would make inquiries from various banks where the accused had been opening fake accounts of clients. The role of employees of these banks was also under the scanner.



Akshay elected PUTA president
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 18
Following its defeat the previous year, the Manjit-Khalid-Akshay group made a comeback by bagging four of the five top positions in the Panjab University Teachers Association (PUTA) elections today.

Professor Akshay Kumar of the department of English secured 248 votes. He defeated his rivals Professor Tankeshwar Kumar (187 votes) and Promila Pathak (116 votes). A total of 563 of the 605 votes were cast.

The winning group’s candidate for the post of vice-president, VK Walia, backed out at the last moment. Navneet Agnihotri of the Tankeshwar group won, bagging 300 votes, with 224 being bagged by Ashwini Sharma.

Mohammed Khalid was elected secretary by securing 230 votes, compared to 208 by Devender Singh. Kitty Sidhu was elected joint secretary and Shivani Sharma treasurer.


Results at a glance


Akshay Kumar 248

Tankeshwar Kumar 187

Promila Pathak 116


Navneet Agnihotri 300

Ashwini Sharma 224


Mohammed Khalid 230

Devender Singh 208


Kitty Sidhu 209

BB Goel 163

Pradeep Singh 163


Shivani Sharma 199

Manu Sharma 179



Admission quota at model schools?
Govt teachers, education dept officials seek seats for wards
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 18
In a move to ensure seats for wards of government schoolteachers and UT education department officials in ‘prized’ model schools, the department is deliberating over a UT teachers’ demand to reserve or set aside a few seats for them.

The demand for reservation was made today at a meeting of teachers organised by the Government Teachers Union (GTU) at Moti Ram Arya School, where DPI(S) Sandeep Hans was the chief guest.

The teachers demanded this reservation in return of their ‘sincere’ services to the city’s education system. The demand was believed to be an outcome of class XI admissions this year, where owing to high cutoffs, especially in science streams, a majority of teachers could not get their children admitted to model schools.

“This type of reservation is everywhere; be it Railways or defence forces. Then why not here? This reservation already exists for nursery classes, where 2 per cent of seats are reserved for our wards. Many teachers had approached us, saying while they were the key driving force, their own children could not get into preferred schools or streams. We are not asking for any backdoor entry or special benefit, but want the creation of a common pool, like in sports quota, where applicants contest on the basis of merit,” said GTU president Vinod Sharma.

The proposal, which would soon be deliberated upon by the education department, was expected to perturb many parents aspiring to admit their wards since they would feel that it would allow backdoor entry to good model schools.


Not so simple

They have put forth this demand and we will deliberate on the idea. It is a complex issue and various aspects need to be worked on before coming out with anything concrete.

Sandeep Hans, DPI (Schools)


Parking woes continue to plague GMCH
Tribune News Service

(Above) In the absence of proper space, vehicles parked on the roadside at the GMCH-32; (Below left) A parking lot outside the emergency ward of the GMCH-32 packed to capacity; and (below right) vehicles parked in a no-parking zone at the hospital
(Above) In the absence of proper space, vehicles parked on the roadside at the GMCH-32; (Below left) A parking lot outside the emergency ward of the GMCH-32 packed to capacity; and (below right) vehicles parked in a no-parking zone at the hospital. Tribune photos: S Chandan

Chandigarh, August 18
Unauthorised parking has become a nightmare for faculty members and patients at Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) in Sector 32.

Ruing that parking facilities have not been upgraded in proportion to the increasing rush and expansion of the hospital over the years, faculty members claimed that little thought has been given in this regard by the management.

While the patients have almost doubled in the past five years, not an inch of parking space has been added, claim doctors at the hospital. Shortage of parking space and haphazard parking has made the situation chaotic and a visit to the hospital during the peak hours is enough to show this.

The problem has been further compounded by the mismanagement of the contractor, who instead of managing a comfortable parking, always tries to squeeze in as many vehicles as possible to earn extra buck.

The situation is no better outside the emergency ward where vehicle are parked in a haphazard manner as there is no separate demarcation for two-wheelers and four-wheelers. Ironically, vehicles are parked with impunity in the “no parking" areas and warning signs of fine being imposed make little impact. Visitors often complain that there is no parking space available in the hospital.

A senior doctor said though a parking area had been earmarked for the staff, students of the medical college also park their vehicle there leading to chaos. At any time of the day, the scene at the parking lot is chaotic. Patients and attendants jostle for space in the absence of proper parking management.

Admitting that roadside parking is a major problem, Dr Vipin Kaushal, Medical Superintendent of GMCH-32, said the parking problem would be resolved once the new parking lot starts functioning. He said the hospital has planned a multi-level parking in front of the E block and the drawing of the same had been sent to the chief architect with the approval of the director principal.



A sorry picture of civic affairs
Sector 10 has ill-maintained parks, dangling electricity wires
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

An electricity transformer stationed below the requisite height; garbage strewn on a road; congress grass covers a park bench; and an ill-maintained “janjghar” at Sector 10 in Panchkula
Clockwise from top left: An electricity transformer stationed below the requisite height; garbage strewn on a road; congress grass covers a park bench; and an ill-maintained “janjghar” at Sector 10 in Panchkula. tribune photos: nitin mittal

Panchkula, August 18
Sector 10, once considered as an upmarket area of Panchkula town, is no different than a part of any other small towns in the state. Heaps of garbage, ill-maintained parks, dangling electricity wires, and potholed roads have put the residents of the sector on the receiving end who otherwise decided to set up their house in the area presuming it to be a prime location in the town.

And it is despite the fact that the sector belongs to the ward of BB Singhal, who had been the vice-president in the Municipal Council till August 10 when the civic body was rendered defunct following the direction of the apex court clearing the path for making Panchkula, a corporation.

A “janjghar” (marriage palace) constructed by HUDA in the middle of the sector was in a shambles. While heaps of garbage were lying in and around the place, the building had been rendered useless due to lack of maintenance.

No arrangements were made to store water in overhead tanks, said Naresh Nanda, a local resident.

The rains played havoc with the lives of area residents as houses in the low lying area of the southern end of the sector got flooded with rainwater as there was no proper drainage system, he said.

The electricity department had turned a blind eye towards the safety of people while setting up the transformers at a low height, said Asha Devi, another resident living near Sood Bhawan.

UHBVN XEN Maneesh Dhariwal said the transformers in the town were set up at standard heights as per rules and regulations. However, the complaints regarding dangling of wires were attended to promptly, he added.

Speaking out

We approached the HUDA authorities and suggested that the Janjghar could be maintained and used in a better way. It could have a library or special classes could be taken here for poor children. Similarly, several complaints regarding dangling of electricity wires and flooding of roads in the sector during rains were made to the authorities concerned. However, nobody bothered to reply.~

— BB Singhal, ex MC vice-president

After putting in many efforts to bring a change in the state of civic affairs in our sector, the residents have started feeling ignored by the administration.

Bharat Hiteshi, local resident

The condition of the civic amenities in the sector keeps on deteriorating gradually, but no one is there to listen.

— Amita Ahuja, local resident

Garbage, wild growth of grass and dangling electrical wires are visible all over the sector, but the authorities fail to notice it.

NC Swami, local resident



Protests in support of Anna continue for third day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 18
The token protests to show solidarity with social activist and anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare appeared to have toned down on Thursday, with small groups of people staging peaceful protests in the city. While the chain hunger strike by various groups in support of Anna’s campaign against corruption entered its third day, there were candlelight marches as well as an hour long ‘hawan’ organized at a Sector 22 temple by some city residents.

Intermittent rain could not dampen the protesters’ spirits as they enthusiastically took part in various activities like a car rally, forming a “human chain’, a peaceful march and a bike rally.

Interestingly, people from all walks of life participated in the movement in their own way. Gaurav Goel and Ashutosh Gupta, members of Aawaaz, said: “These activities will strengthen the fight against corruption and we will fight for justice. The days of the UPA government’s wrong policies are numbered. The time has come to see an enlightened India as the common man has become aware of his rights and everyone is ready to join the fight against corruption”.

Kuldeep Mussa and Anil Azad, who actively lent their support to the cause, said the entire country had now “awoken”. “Now the government has to yield to the people and implement the Jan Lokpal Bill, which will be an effective tool to curb corruption and bring culprits to book. The government’s unwillingness to implement the bill clearly indicates its wrong intentions and Anna’s arrest has further added fuel to the fire, forcing people to take to the streets”, they added.

‘Chain hunger strike’

The chain hunger strike by members of Anna Hazare’s team, India Against Corruption (IAC), and the Lion’s Welfare Society continued for the third day running, apart from other protests at various places in the city.

Candlelight march at IT park

IT professionals working at the city’s Information Technology park got together for the third day and organized a candlelight march in support of Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption campaign. The professionals have decided to continue their protest till the time the revised Jan Lokpal Bill is introduced in parliament.

‘Human chain’

A “human chain” was created by scores of school and college students in Sector 32. Members of the Chandigarh Auto Union also held a rally that began from Sector 43 and moved towards the Sectors 7-8 roundabout.

March by SD College students

In the morning a peaceful march by students of SD College along with members of Aawaaz, a local NGO, was organized from Sector-32 to the Sectors 20-34 roundabout. The students carried placards and raised slogans against corruption.

Protest at PGI

Over 200 medicos including doctors, paramedics, faculty and students of the PGI also joined Anna’s campaign and came out on streets to support of him. The group gathered near the director's office raising anti-corruption slogans. Wearing black badges and carrying banners in support of the campaign, the medicos marched inside the campus.

Protest at Sectors 7 & 22

Volunteers of a local NGO, Aawaaz, also held a protest march from Sector 7 to the Sukhna lake and in Sector 22. They carried placards and banners denouncing corruption and encouraged commuters to join the campaign.

PU student bodies join the cause

Members of the Students’ Organization of Panjab University (SOPU) wore black badges and visited different teaching departments on the Panjab University campus, urging students to come out in support of Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption campaign. Members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidhyarthi Parishad (ABVP) also took out a “car rally” and a protest march on the campus to extend support to Anna.



Theme Park Project
Director’s repatriation to hit arbitration proceedings
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 18
The repatriation of PCS officer and Director (Tourism) Amandeep Kaur to Punjab is set to take its toll on the arbitration proceedings in the controversial multi-crore amusement-cum-theme park project at Sarangpur.

With no replacement for Amandeep Kaur in sight and the UT Administration yet to give additional charge to any other official, the arbitration proceedings would be adversely affected.

Following the intervention of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, a three-member arbitration panel headed by former Chief Justice Mukul Mudgal was constituted. The two other members of the panel include Justice RK Nehru (Unitech) and Justice VS Aggarwal (UT Administration). Unitech Builders had moved the High Court seeking quashing of the cancellation orders issued by the UT Administration last year for scrapping the multi-crore project. After cancellation of the contract, the UT Administration had encashed the Rs 11 crore bank guarantee. The plea taken by the administration in the case was that since the petitioner company failed to fulfil the “condition precedent” of the contract, it was the sole discretion of the administration to decide the future course of action. However, Unitech contended that the administration did not give the company a single opportunity to explain its side of the story.

A senior official conceded that the arbitration proceedings would be hit as the new incumbent would take time to study the case.

One of the pet mega projects of former Punjab Governor and UT Administrator SF Rodrigues, the amusement park, came under the scanner of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for alleged irregularities in the allotment of land to the promoters. The CBI had booked three former senior officials of the UT Administration and a top executive of Unitech for alleged irregularities in the allotment of the land. At the receiving end of the allegations, the UT Administration scrapped the ambitious project last year.

Admn ignored rules

The UT Administration allotted 73 acres of land to Unitech for the theme park at a price of Rs 5.5 crore per year on the lease for 33 years. The project was aimed at promoting tourism and providing entertainment facilities to the visitors and city residents. However, the UT Administration allegedly ignored the general financial rules (GFRs) while inviting tenders and ignored the highest bidder. Unitech was awarded the project at around 13 times less revenue sharing offered by the DLF, the other bidder.



UT consumer panel puts Tata Motors on notice
Car poorly manufactured and suffers from numerous patent and latent defects: Complainant
Saurabh Malik/TNS

Chandigarh, August 18
Tata’s small car Nano is heading for a big legal battle. Sliding down the popularity chart, Nano’s already mangled image today received a direct hit after the UT State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission put Tata Motors on notice.

In fact, Tata Motors and Hind Motors Limited have been virtually hauled up before the Consumer Commission on a complaint alleging gross deficiency in product and service.

In his complaint filed before the commission, Punjab and Haryana High Court’s senior advocate Manmohan Lal Sarin has asserted that the vehicle, still within the warranty period, “has been poorly manufactured and suffers from numerous patent and latent defects”.

Sarin has said the vehicle was sold to him “in a condition which rendered it unfit for use and it still remains unusable till date”. Sarin said he was “swayed” into buying the car “by the lofty promises”. Though he owned a Mercedes Benz, a Chevrolet Cruze and a Volkswagen Polo, he booked a Tata Nano on April 20, 2009, and paid Rs 1.4 lakh in advance for the vehicle.

“But right from the inception, the car has proven to be defective, unreliable, unfit for use, unsafe and far from the claims made by the opposite parties at the time of sale”. Sarin asserted that the car had to undergo repairs since the day of sale for steering and headlights trouble. Its wipers and air- conditioning regulator were not working and the accelerator cable assembly, along with the accelerator cable, had to be changed. The coolant leaked and the radiator had to be removed, repaired and re-installed in the car. Overheating was another problem.

In fact, “upgradation” had to be carried out as “an emergency remedial measure owing to the detection of certain extremely serious flaws in the design of the car”. Sarin said he was informed that all the cars were being recalled for similar “upgradation”. Some of the defects, Sarin said, were “highly dangerous and could have easily resulted in a fatal road accident, even loss of life of the occupants or other road users”.

“The failure of critical assemblies like the accelerator cable in any vehicle is sure invitation to a fatal accident. Similarly, the persistent and recurring overheating, resulting from mechanical failure, leakage of coolant from the radiator etc was most likely to result in a fire or complete destruction of the engine sooner or later.” Seeking exemplary damages as well as a complete refund for the un-roadworthy and highly unsafe vehicle he was sold, Sarin has added “the only response received by him to his multiple letters and requests for redressal has been lip service”.

Little Nano in big trouble

  • Camplainant says car had to undergo repairs since the day of sale for steering and headlights trouble
  • Its wipers and airconditioning regulator were not working; the accelerator cable assembly had to be changed
  • The coolant leaked and the radiator had to be removed, repaired and re-installed
  • Overheating was another problem
  • Some defects were “highly dangerous and could have resulted in a fatal road accident”



Subjugation of Iraqis brought to fore
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, August 18
The elite city crowd was treated to a diverse genre of theatre as Bollywood producer-director Mahesh Bhatt and Asmita Theatre group, Delhi, in association with Yellowstone Landmark Infocity presented a play, “The Last Salute in Hindustani”, at the Tagore Theatre here today.

The play adapted from an Arabic book, “The Last Salute…”, was a salutation to the courage and conviction of Iraqi journalist Muntazer Al M Zaidi, who hit the headlines in the international media after hurling his shoe at George W Bush, the then US President.

The play written by Rajesh Kumar and directed by acclaimed thespian Arvind Gaur brought into focus the oppression, subjugation and tyranny leashed out on innocent Iraqis by the American forces as illustrated in the book.

While the play effectively intervened and participated in the socio-political dialogues of the times of war by becoming a parliament-of-sorts to debate the issues of the Kingddam Hussain regime, war and the post-war Iraq.

Living among the deprived and tormented people in dehumanising conditions, Zaidi dared to challenge the cynical political ideology of George W Bush.

The play, inordinately delayed, relied on orations and narrations with the actors mostly losing on emotional expression.

Every minute detail of the storyline was enacted or shown on audio-visual video screen, leaving nothing to the curiosity and imagination of the audience.

The rich lyricism, musical score and prologue by Mahesh Bhatt were the redeeming perspectives.

UT Adviser KK Sharma and Home Secretary Ram Niwas complimented Mahesh Bhatt for his play with a rare thematic content.



Parking contractors fined
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 18
The Chandigarh Municipal Corporation imposed a fine of Rs 6,000 on eight paid parking contractors during a special drive.

The inspection was conducted to check the violations in the paid parking lots of Sukhna Lake, Sector 9-D, Zone I and Zone II of Sector 8, Jagat and Anand parking, the Bank Square parking, the CMC parking and Gurudev parking in Sector 17. MC team headed by SDE Avtar Singh conducted the drive. Officials revealed that during inspection, various violations, including non-functional CCTV cameras, improper uniform of parking attendants, haphazard parking of vehicles and non-submission of the detail of staff employed by the parking contractors was detect.

Officials said a meeting of the paid parking contractors had been convened recently in which they had been specifically asked to follow the terms and conditions of their contracts to ensure proper parking and public convenience failing which stringent action would be taken against them.



Kidnapped girl recovered; father, friend arrested
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 18
A day after three-year-old Mannat was allegedly kidnapped from outside a house at Sector 27, the police recovered the girl from Mandi Gobindgarh.

The girl was found in the possession of her father, Bhupinder Singh, who was arrested along with his friend Harjit Singh. Marital discord was the reason behind the kidnapping, the police said.

Mannat was playing near the garage of the house with children when she was picked up by Bhupinder the previous evening. He was accompanied by his friend Harjit.

Mannat’s mother Amarjit had come to her brother’s place at Sector 27 on Rakhi following a tiff with her husband. She told him that she would not return.

Bhupinder came to the Sector-27 residence on Sunday and picked up his son. He picked up his daughter yesterday, following which his wife raised the alarm that her child had been kidnapped.

The police reached the spot and suspected her husband to be behind the incident.



Suman case: Forum summons PGI doc
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 18
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has asked the PGI doctor, who discharged Suman on January 21, to appear in court on August 24 and explain the circumstances leading to her discharge.

Headed by Lacchman Sharma, the forum asked the counsel appearing for the PGI to call the doctor who discharged Suman to explain the circumstances leading to her discharge.

Apart from the case of compensation against the hospital, pending before the state commission, Pankaj Chandgothia, counsel for Suman’s family, had filed a complaint against her wrongful discharge by the PGI on January 21.

It had been alleged that the PGI dicharged Suman though she was still medically unfit. The discharge card did not even bear the date of discharge, he had added.

Chandgothia further urged the court to get Suman medically examined as the victim was still unfit for any outdoor treatment, keeping in view her deteriorating health.

He urged the court to further direct the PGI to give a fresh status report on her medical condition, especially relating to her kidney damage, following wrong blood transfusion at the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital, Sector 16.



Auction of quarries fetches Rs 38 cr
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 18
The auction of minor mineral quarries of the district fetched a total of Rs 38.55 crore here today. The reserve price of the 54 quarries in the district was fixed as Rs 38.38 crore at the auction held at the office of the assistant geologist, department of mines and geology.

The auctions were held for the grant of short-term permit of Panchkula, Ambala and Yamunanagar districts for the period up to December 3. While the quarries of Ambala district, with reserve price of Rs 9.92 crore, attracted the highest bid of Rs 11.60 crore.



CBI files closure report in HMT-Pinjore ‘fraud’ case
Charges against firm’s executive director not substantiated
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 18
Over a year after the Central Bureau of Investigation filed an FIR in connection with the alleged embezzlement of crores of rupees in the purchase of tyres by the tractor manufacturing division of state-owned engineering firm Hindustan Machine Tools Ltd in Pinjore, the agency has filed a closure report in the case. With this the CBI has also given clean chit to Prakash Sharan, then the executive director of HMT, Pinjore. The case dates back to June 24, 2010 when the CBI’s anti-corruption branch registered the FIR against Sharan under the Prevention of Corruption Act. The report was filed following allegations he had abused his official position by showing undue favour to Goodyear India Ltd by purchasing tractor tyres worth Rs 20 crore at inflated prices between the years 2006 and 2008 in violation of the prescribed procedure.

The CBI had also conducted a raid at the company’s offices in Pinjore in December 2009 and seized many official documents.

It was also alleged that HMT, Pinjore officials had floated short-term tenders for purchase of tyres and tubes only to favour Goodyear India. Moreover, the officials did not purchase them in 2007 despite market prices of tyres and tubes falling, it was claimed. The company officials were also accused of ignoring tyres manufactured by MRF Ltd, which had quoted lower prices than those by Goodyear India.

The CBI filed the closure report after recording statements of 37 witnesses. The sources said the allegations contained in the FIR were not substantiated. Acting on the closure report, the Panchkula CBI court has now issued notice to the investigating officer of the case.



Stray cattle impounded
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 18
Continuing its drive against stray cattle in the city, the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation today caught 20 stray cattle from Madhya Marg, Dadu Majra and Kajheri village.

Twelve cattle catchers and two trucks of the MC were deployed during the drive. The drive was conducted by a team of MOH officials under the supervision of MOH Dr BK Salwan.

Under the Cattle Trespass Act, the MC levies a fine of Rs 2,000, Rs 1,000 and Rs 350 for a buffalo, cattle and calf, respectively. After impounding the cattle, MC levies Rs 150 on daily basis for one animal for fodder up to 15 days.



CHB to get Rs 260 crore
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 18
In a bid to help the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB), which has been facing financial crunch to complete the slum rehabilitation project, the Chandigarh Administration has decided to release Rs 260 crore to the board.

The amount forms part of the budgetary allocation of the UT Administration by the Central government. 



Anti-Encroachment drive
Slum dwellers injure 2 HUDA workers
75 acres freed from encroachment
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 18
The driver of a JCB machine, along with a helper, got injured when slum dwellers pelted stones on the workers of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) who were removing encroachments in Sector 3 here today.

It was the second day of the anti-encroachment drive in the area when over 100 workers of HUDA reached the spot to remove ‘jhuggis’ and ‘pucca’ structures constructed illegally on the government land in the morning.

A few hours later the residents started protesting against the move and started pelting stones resulting in the damage to the machinery and injuries to the driver, and a helper, of a JCB.

Later the estate officer, HUDA, lodged a complaint in this regard with the police. By evening over 75 acres had been freed from the encroachments and were handed over to HUDA superintendent engineer NK Verma for levelling and fencing of the land.



Teachers’ mandate loud and clear in puta poll
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 18
Following its defeat last year, the Manjit-Khalid-Akshay group made a commendable comeback by bagging four out of five key positions in the Panjab University Teacher Association (PUTA) elections held today.

Prof Akshay Kumar of the English department, who headed the group, secured 248 votes, defeating his rivals Prof Tankeshwar Kumar (187 votes) and Promila Pathak (116 votes) for the post of president. A total 563 votes were cast today.

Going by the claims of the winning team, the teachers’ mandate was visibly against persistent adhocism in the university, arbitrary appointments and university’s failure to provide them their rightful dues.

“It is the victory of teachers’ autonomy and power, and defeat of opportunist and unjustified alliances. Last year, the Panjab University Teacher Association failed to do much, other than make promises and justify authorities. Teachers have realised that celebrated claims like more funds for the university and bid for a Central status for the university do not ensure any benefits on the ground. They can surely see through the promises of the group that took the help of senators and authorities to impress teachers,” said Akshay Kumar.

While this group’s candidate for vice-president backed out at the last moment, Navneet Agnihotri of the Tankeshwar group bagged the position by securing 300 votes. His rival Ashwini Sharma polled 224 votes.

Mohammed Khalid was elected secretary, as he received 230 votes in comparison to 208 votes secured by Devender Singh.

Kitty Sidhu made it to the post of joint secretary by mustering 209 votes, while Shivani Sharma became treasurer with 199 votes.

‘Pending promotions, regularisation key priorities’

Promotions under the career advancement scheme (CAS) and regularisation of existing ad hoc faculty will top our priority charts. A teacher has to be satisfied to deliver his best. Panjab University teachers have for long been fighting for promotions, which is their right. My first priority will be to get the process speeded up. Another major problem that has ailed the faculty over the past two months is adhocism. While on the one hand existent faculty of certain departments is overworked due to lack of regular faculty, on the other, teachers, despite all hard work, are still not being regularised. We will persuade the university authorities to solve the problem of staff crunch by regularising deserving faculty members. Also, we wish to give teachers back their due place in the university, which has lately failed to safeguard their dignity and given in to the pressure of student protests. We will ensure that dental college-like episodes do not happen again.~

Akshay Kumar, newly elected president, PUTA



Upshot of syndicate elections?
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 18
When it comes to Panjab University, nothing probably is ‘senate/syndicate-free’. The Panjab University Teachers’ Association (PUTA) elections may on the surface be for and by faculty members, but if the undercurrents are to go by, then the results of today’s elections are the aftermath of last year’s Ashok Goel and GK Chatrath split that changed the decades old PU power equation.

While Chatrath came out in open to campaign for Promila Pathak and her promise of getting women faculty members their due, the two other groups of Akshay and Tankeshwar were, according to some, supported by Goel.

The two groups, though fighting against each other, were united by one common goal of defeating the Chatrath backed group.

“Keshav Malhotra’s support to Tankeshwar is an open secret. Chatrath had joined hands with AC Vaid to defeat the Ashok Goel group in syndicate elections and they have now avenged it. While the syndicate or senate politics may not be quite evident but we all know that, be it committees, PUTA elections or even student elections, it’s the senators’ game,” said a member of one of the contesting groups.



120 votes invalid!

Chandigarh, August 18
The number of invalid votes cast in today’s PUTA elections has left the election officials perturbed, as over 120 votes were found invalid for different posts.

While the number was a whopping 38 for the post of vice-president, 36 votes were found invalid for the post of treasurer. Similarly, 13 were found invalid for the post of secretary, while another 28 invalid votes were cast for the post of joint secretary.

“It’s funny to see teachers cast such a huge number of invalid votes. Many had voted for all candidates, while some had left their ballot paper blank. Some had initially chosen one candidate and then cancelled that choice to pick another. Wonder what they teach students when they can’t even cast votes properly,” said an official on duty. TNS



SOPU members go on indefinite fast
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 18
The student election fever has set in the university with the first hunger strike of the season starting today. Robin Brar, president, Student Organisation of Panjab University, along with six girls proceeded on an indefinite hunger strike, demanding the interlinking of girls’ hostel Nos. 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7, and getting girl students a permission to move freely on the hostel premises till 12 am.

While it is matter of life and death for the party, the PU authorities have been left surprised.

“We are not a genie that we can build interlinking passages within days. The proposal has been approved. Allowing girls outside their rooms till 12 am is a disciplinary issue, which needs deliberations. They try to blackmail us every year. Earlier, it was the divider issue, now it’s the interlinking of hostels. They don’t realise what these fasts do to their health. I wish the boys can concentrate their energies on more urgent matters rather than doing these publicity gimmicks,” said a PU official.



Principals get training in issuing licences

Mohali, August 18
The District Transport Officer, Mohali, conducted a final drill for principals of government technical institutions, engineering colleges and other colleges to enable them to issue learner’s driving licence to students. District Transport Officer Karan Singh said 25 principals were imparted training. Only those colleges having the strength of 500 students will be allowed to issue licences. The project, which is being started from Government College, Phase VI, aims at sharing the burden of the transport department at the district levelallowing principals to issue learner’s licence to students. Instructors will check the driving skills of students. TNS



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | E-mail |