C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


4 young lives lost in mishap
Youths were unmarried; three of them were only sons of their parents
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Relatives of Captain Ranjot Singh, accompanied by Army personnel, receive his body at Government Multi-Speciality Hospital, Sector 16, Chandigarh. Tribune photos: Manoj mahajan

Chandigarh, August 29
In a tragic accident, four friends in their mid-20s, including an Army Captain, were killed, while two others sustained injuries after their speeding Tata Safari vehicle rammed into a tree near the cricket stadium roundabout on the Sector 22/23 dividing road soon after midnight.

The six were returning from a party and were en route to drop a friend in Sector 22 when the accident took place. All deceased were unmarried and aged between 24 and 26. Three of the deceased were the only sons of their parents.

The deceased were identified as Prabhpreet Singh (driver of the Safari), Captain Ranjot Singh Sandhu, Ramandeep Singh and Abhinet Pal Singh. The police said all four deceased suffered grievous head injuries and died on the spot.

The police said there was no evidence of their being drunk. The injured include Prabhkiran Singh, who sustained a spine fracture, and Amandeep, who was the only one to miraculously escape with minor bruises.

The victim’s family members said all six friends had first gone to attend a party at a restaurant in Sector 35, after which they then went to Sukhna Lake, a regular Sunday feature. They were returning from the lake when the mishap took place.

The accident site on the road separating Sectors 22-23 where four youths were killed early on Monday morning
The accident site on the road separating Sectors 22-23 where four youths were killed early on Monday morning

However, the police said the six had first gone to Zirakpur.The police said their Safari lost balance following a tyre burst.The right side of the vehicle first hit the iron railing on the road divider. Such was the impact, that the vehicle swung 360 degrees, marking a complete U-turn and then jumped on to the sidewalk and hit a tree that was severely damaged in the process. In all, the vehicle travelled a distance of 150m after the impact. The right side of the vehicle was crushed to pieces and all six occupants remained stuck in the vehicle for quite some time.

A passerby noticed the accident and informed the police control room.

The police reached the spot and had to call the Fire Brigade to extricate the bodies of the victims. Fire Brigade officials used gas-cutters to make their way and all six were rushed to the PGI, where four of them were declared brought dead. 

The Victims

Abhinet Pal Singh 
A resident of Sector 45, Abhinet was pursuing his MBA by correspondence and was also doing a part-time business. He is survived by his parents and an elder sister, who resides in the USA.

Captain Ranjot Singh, Indian Army
Posted in his hometown Amritsar, Ranjot was commissioned into the Indian Army in July 2010 in the 42 Armoured Regiment. He was on leave and had come to Mohali to stay with his maternal aunt who is a college lecturer. His body was taken to Amritsar by his Army colleagues. “It is an irreparable loss to us. He was a brilliant human being with great dreams in life,” said his friend.

Ramandeep Singh, software engineer
An alumnus of Guru Nanak Dev University, Ramandeep, a resident of Phase XI Mohali, was working with Sebi Infotech. The only son of his parents, he is survived by his parents and an elder sister who arrived from Pune this evening. His body was cremated after postmortem.

Prabhpreet Singh Khaira, Merchant Navy officer
A resident of Phase X, Mohali, and hailing from Gurdaspur, he was driving the ill-fated Safari SUV. He joined the merchant navy five years ago and had recently returned from Singapore for training in Mumbai. He had come to the city to visit his family and is survived by his parents and an elder brother. His father, Gurpreet Singh Khaira, works at Punjab and Sind Bank. “He was so bright. We were looking for a bride for him,” said a grieving family member. The postmortem of his body was not conducted today as his grandparents are en route from Canada. His body will be cremated after their arrival.


Mother clung on to body, refused to believe docs

Prabhpreet’s mother refused to believe that her son had died and clung on to his body even as doctors and police persuaded her to come to terms with the reality. “He is still alive. You all are lying. He cannot leave me like that. He has not died,” she kept wailing.

Reminder of 2007 accident

The accident is a stark reminder of an accident in 2007 in which three youths who were about to begin their careers were killed on February 5, 2007. They were unable to navigate their Honda City car around the roundabout dividing Sectors 3 and 4 in pitch darkness, following which their car had rammed into the rotary, killing three of the six occupants instantly.

‘It’s a miracle I survived’

“They were crying for help but we were stuck in the car. I could hear them saying help us. The police came and rescued us but they could not be saved,” said Amandeep, a Sector 22 resident, who saw his friends virtually dying before his eyes. Their last words continue to haunt him. Aman was seated by the driver’s side in the front and was saved since it was the right side of the SUV that rammed into the railing and then the tree. His other friend Prabhkiran Singh, who survived the mishap, is admitted to the PGI in a critical state.

Accident toll rises to 94

Despite several and continuous initiatives launched by the traffic police, around 94 persons have lost their lives in road accidents in the city so far this year. Three persons died in an accident only yesterday. Similarly, three persons were killed in June when a CTU bus ran over a religious procession and killed a man, his wife and their child riding a scooter.

Lives changed forever…

Four separate families have been left shattered. Moving everyone to tears, heart rending scenes were witnessed when parents and relatives of the deceased rushed to the PGI last night as they learnt of the mishap. As this realisation dawned on them, their relatives found their world coming to an end.



All MC officials stage walkout from House
Provocation: BJP councillor terms them ‘nikamme officers’
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29
In an unprecedented incident, all Municipal Corporation (MC) officials today staged a “walkout” from the General House meeting to protest against being termed “nikameh officers” (useless officers) by a BJP councillor on the floor of the house.

Visibly upset over the “disrespectful” utterance, the officials twice ignored the directives of their executive head, officiating MC Commissioner Prerna Puri.

Incidentally, the walkout by the officials comes only a few weeks after UT Administrator Shivraj Patil had advised the Congress councillors to resign if they could not get their work done from MC officials. Cutting across party lines, the councillors reflected widespread resentment among the elected representatives over the “lackadaisical attitude” of the “babus”.

As the pandemonium continued for over three hours, Additional Commissioner-I Sunil Bhatia’s efforts to resolve the impasse between the officials and the opposition councillors was ultimately successful in resuming the house proceedings. Neither the General House nor the MC Commissioner took any action against the erring officials for non-performance of their duty, proving once again that officials “rule the roost” in the MC.

The drama started during zero hour when BJP councillor Anil Kumar Dubey cast an aspersion on the officers for not undertaking development works. ‘Mujhe uss nikameh officer ka nam batao’ (tell me the name of that useless officer) said the officer on the floor of the house while pointing out that most of the projects approved a long time ago in the house had not been allotted to anybody till date for undertaking the work.

Apparently irritated over the utterance, MC Additional Commissioner-II Lalit Siwach got agitated and asked all officers, sitting in the officers’ gallery to walk out from the House “as it was an insult for them”.

All opposition councillors got agitated and raised slogans in the House against Lalit Siwach and demanded strict action be taken against him for such an act. The MC Mayor then asked all opposition councillors to attend the House so that the matter could be taken up properly with executive head.

After an hour-and-a-half, the House re-assembled and Congress councillor Devinder Singh Babla and nominated councillor Brig Kuldeep Singh Chandupri tried to rectify the situation and tendered their apology for the misbehaviour of the councillors with the officials.

MC Commissioner Prerna Puri termed the incident unfortunate. To avoid such a situation in future, all councillors should address the chair for any clarification from the officials rather than making any personal comments on the performance of the officers, she said.

Reacting to the Commissioner’s statement, all opposition councillors again protested and came to the well of the House and demanded that the officiating MC Commissioner take action against the officials. In fact, Congress councillor Jatinder Bhatia also raised a similar objection that the projects in his area were pending for long and said he was not feeling sorry for his comments in the House. “I stand by my words,” he said.

The MC officers then again walked out of the House. The opposition councillors also staged a protest in front of the MC Commissioner’s Office. 

Lodging complaint to local govt

l The Joint Forum of the MC Officers has decided to lodge a complaint to the Secretary, Local Government, who is also UT Home Secretary, against the behaviour of the councillors at the House meeting.

l Opposition councillors filed a written complaint to the MC Commissioner on Monday against the officials. They are also planning to make a similar complaint to the UT Advisor and Secretary, Local Government, on Tuesday.

Earlier misdemeanours

l In 2007, Congress councillor and current Mayor Ravinder Pal Singh allegedly manhandled an employee of the building branch.

l In 2008, BJP councilor Anil Kumar Dubey allegedly used abusive language against the Chief Engineer during a General House meeting.

l In 2009, Congress councillor Devinder Singh Babla allegedly misbehaved with former MC Commissioner Roshan Sunkaria during a meeting of the Finance and Contracts Committee. Sunkaria later lodged a complaint in protest against him with the UT Administrator.

l In 2009, UT Home Secretary had to intervene in a clash between former Joint Commissioner Kamlesh Kumar and Congress councillor Devinder Singh Babla after they engaged in heated arguments in the House.

l In 2010, opposition councillors misbehaved with Additional Commissioner-II Lalit Siwach in the House meeting. For the first time, the joint forum of officers, comprising 11 top and middle level officials passed a resolution not to “tolerate” insult and humiliation in the General House and submit it to the Local Government-cum-UT Home Secretary. 



Women rule the roost in Panchkula
Beat state’s gender bias by holding key positions in administration, judiciary
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune news service

Panchkula, August 29
In a male dominated state like Haryana where women are still fighting to be treated equally and fairly, Panchkula district has emerged as the glaring exception where females occupy almost all the key administrative and judicial positions. They include the deputy commissioner, the chief judicial magistrate, the solitary post of city magistrate, both posts of subdivisional magistrate, the district education officer, the district information officer, the principal medical officer and the district Red Cross secretary

Ashima Brar, DC, Panchkula Vandana Disodia, City Magistrate, Panchkula Sharandeep Kaur, 
SDM, Panchkula

The fact that the top district officials are women assumes greater significance by virtue of the fact that Haryana ranks lowest among all the country’s 28 states in the sex ratio. Against Kerala's high ratio of 1,084 females per 1,000 males, the figure for Haryana is only 877. However, when it comes to the sex ratio in the districtwise sex ratio in the state, Panchkula ranks sixth from the bottom at only 870 females for every 1000 males.

On women gaining the upper hand in Panchkula, deputy commissioner Ashima Brar said: “It’s encouraging that a greater number of women are holding key posts in state and playing a vital role in running the administration”. On the sensitive issue of female feticide, she said to curb the menace a district level committee consisting not only of administrative officials but also Panchkula residents had been set up.

Said city magistrate Vandana Disodia: “Whether male or female, an official is an official but it’s good to see women officials in senior positions in Panchkula”. On female feticide she said” “We’re already spreading awareness among the district’s residents on this sensitive issue”. 

Women holding key posts

l DC: Ashima Brar

l SDM (Panchkula): Sharandeep Kaur Brar

l SDM (Kalka): Manita Malik

l City magistrate: Vandana Disodia

l DEO: Nalini Mimani

l Principal medical officer: Usha Gupta

l District information officer: Manju Aggarwal

l District Red Cross secretary: Vijay Lakshmi

l District elementary education officer: 
Anita Kapoor

l Deputy excise & taxation commissioner: 
Madhu Bala

l DSP: Iqbal Kaur

l CJM: Gurvinder Kaur

l Additional district & sessions judge: 
Kanchan Mahi

l Civil judge: Renu Rana

Two exceptions are the superintendent of police (Maneesh Chaudhary) and additional deputy commissioner (Jagdeep Singh) 

New SDM assumes duties

Sharandeep Kaur Brar took charge as subdivisional magistrate (Panchkula) on Monday. Her predecessor, KK Kalson, has been transferred to Haryana State Cooperative Supply & Marketing Federation (HAFED).

Husbands also in high office

The husbands of many in female officials in Haryana also occupy senior positions. Deputy commissioner Ashima Brar’s husband, Mandeep Brar, is also an IAS officer. SDM (Panchkula) Sharandeep Kaur Brar’s husband, Bhiwani Ashwin Shainvi, is a superintendent of police, while principal medical officer Usha Gupta’s husband, TC Gupta, is director of the state’s town & country planning department.

Tanvi Garg is SDM (East)

Chandigarh, August 29
The UT Administration today posted Tanvi Garg, an IAS officer of the 2009 batch as the SDM (East). She will replace Abhishek Dev, Joint Secretary (Home), who was handing the additional charge of the SDM.

IFS officer Kuldeep Sharma will be hold the charge of Deputy Conservator of Forests and look after the charge of Botanical Garden in Sarangpur here. — TNS


Oldest gurdwara in Canada
Canadian PM joins centenary celebrations
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29
Minister Stepher Harper took his day off yesterday to be with the Sikh community of Canada in general and the Abbotsford in British Columbia in particular, to join the centenary celebrations of the oldest Sikh Temple of Canada.

“It is an honour for me to be here today to celebrate the Gur Sikh Temple’s 100th anniversary,” said the Prime Minister. “On this occasion, we reflect on the tremendous contributions of the Sikh community in Canada - a community that continues to play an important role in building our strong, dynamic society while taking great pride in their faith and traditions.”

Canada is now home to more than 3,00,000 Sikhs. Their extraordinary success in every field of endeavour, including business, science, medicine, arts and politics, has helped shape the strong and dynamic Canada.

Other than Abbotsford gurdwara, British Columbia has another old gurdwara run by Khalsa Dewan Society. In Toronto also, famous gurdwaras, including Dixie Gurghar, Malton Singh Sabha and Scarborough gurdwara. Like in India, some of these big gurdwaras have live telecast of gurbani kirtan on different cable networks everyday.

The Abbotsford gurdwara is perhaps the oldest Sikh temple in North America. The celebrations are a pleasant reminder of the brave pioneers who built the foundations of the Sikh community in Canada besides paying tribute to the enormous contributions that generations of Sikh immigrants and their descendants have made to their new country of abode.

Led by Sunder Singh Thandi and Argin Singh, two of early Sikh settlers in British Columbia in the early 20th century, the Sikh temple stands a throbbing witness to the initial years of struggle, hard work and tough times the Sikh community faced on arriving in Canada. After Sunder Singh Thandi and Argin Singh purchased property in early 1911, the Trethewey family that owned the Abbotsford Lumber Company Sawmill, donated wood (lumber) used in the construction of the family. Rest of the money came through donations from members of the Sikh community.

Once the construction of the gurdwara started, other members of the community started building their houses in its periphery.

After almost a year of work, the Abbotsford Gur Sikh temple was finally inaugurated in February 1912. It soon became the spiritual and physical centre of the community, with Sikhs purchasing land and building homes nearby.

In 2002, it was designated a National Historic Site of Canada as it embodies the courage, hardships and perseverance of Sikh pioneers, as well as their success in retaining their religious beliefs, while adapting to new conditions and integrating into Canadian society. The architecture of the structure is a good example of that adaptation as it respects Sikh traditions while making practical changes to suit local conditions. Like many buildings on the Canadian frontier, the temple has a wooden frame and gabled roof, while its interior reflects Sikh traditions and religious beliefs. The prayer room houses the sacred Guru Granth Sahib and the ground floor contains a kitchen and a dining room where the communal langar is prepared and served.

To mark the centennial celebrations of the Gur Sikh Temple, the Canadian government has provided $87,950 for several infrastructure projects and activities through the Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage Program. Funding will be used to build a museum within the temple, a mural and monument commemorating its creation, as well as a new gate to the gurdwara. A series of artistic and cultural activities have also been planned so as to enable local residents to celebrate the historic anniversary along with the Sikh community.



Councillors take officials to task
Accuse them of submitting incomplete, unsatisfactory replies to their queries
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29
Councillors of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation today took the civic body officials to task for submitting incomplete and unsatisfactory replies to questions filed by them in the General House meeting.

Complaining about the delay in responding to the questions, councillors said that even after a number of reminders in the House meetings, the departments concerned fail to do the needful.

Mayor Ravinder Pal Singh, however, asked the officials to respond to the queries of councillors properly.

Congress councillor Jatinder Bhatia, whose question regarding the electricity department was tabled in the House today, complained that in November 2010, he had made this query to the MC. After nine months, the department has given him a reply in about 1,500 pages, which was not even properly tagged. Showing the reply to the Mayor and MC Commissioner Prerna Puri, he said the department had not given him the reply in the question-answer form.

Nominated councillor AP Sanwaria also made a similar complaint that on July 2011, he had enquired about the expenditure incurred by the authorities on inaugurations and under which head. The concerned department tabled incomplete reply to it, he said. To this, the Mayor directed the officials concerned to prepare the reply again and table the same in the House.

Congress councillor Pardeep Chhabra raised a point in the House that he had filed a question about action taken on encroachers in Sectors 52, 53, Vikas Nagar and Mauli Jagran two months ago. The department concerned has tabled a reply to it, but has not mentioned whether any action has been taken against them till date or not, he said.

‘Non-serious’ Mayor

At a meeting which had no issue affecting the general public, Mayor Ravinder pal Singh announced the lunch break as soon as the issue of the non-implementation of the citizen charter and the public disclosure law was mooted for discussion by Congress councillor Kamlesh. The matter was not even allowed to be discussed after lunch.


l MC General House meeting started 15 minutes late

l Nominated councillor Pallav Mukherjee left the House meeting after two hours as he felt that no healthy discussion was going on

l Nominated councillor Pallav Mukherjee alleged that for the single coloured page of the agenda, MC authorities were paying Rs 1,350 to the printing company

l Anna Hazare prevailed on the proceedings of the House when BJP councillor Anil Kumar Dubey lauded his movement. Congress Councillor Manjit Singh Chauhan objected to it and suggested that the Prime Minister and the Congress should be thanked for it

l Congress councillor Pardeep Chhabra urged the MC Commissioner to clarify from the UT Administration that if the Punjab and Haryana governments were publishing tenders for approved development works even after the imposition of the code of conduct ahead of SGPC elections till September 22, then why the UT Administration has imposed a ban

l Nominated councillor Arshad Khan questioned the authorities for restricting issuing of no objection certificates to the residents of Uppal Housing Society. He said if the authorities were taking any action against the builder for violation of the terms of constructing EWS houses in society, residents should not be harassed for it



Revenue generators cry for care
Industrial Area in state of neglect ;
lacks basic civic amenities
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29
The Industrial Area here, the business hub of the city, which is expected to be upgraded, with the addition of world-class facilities, has been lying in a state of neglect.

The area has turned into an eyesore, with lack of basic civic amenities. Bumpy roads, unhygienic surroundings, inadequate parking space, poor drainage system, non-maintenance of parks and non-functional streetlights, the list is endless.

Traders complain that the administration has failed to give basic amenities to the area. The condition of internal roads at Phases I and II is pathetic, forcing the vehicles to move at a snail’s pace.

After rain, roads turn into pools of water, throwing life out of gear and making it possible to walk. The inadequacy of parking space in the area has led to roads being
converted into parking lots. Malls have worsened the situation.

Chandigarh Industrial Association president MPS Chawla has said although the industry contributes a huge amount as revenue to the exchequer, the UT administration has failed to give it the desired treatment.

“The Industrial Area in Chandigarh was named industrial and business park park, on the pattern of the IT Park. That status has been pending for many years. Repeated representations have failed to attract attention,” he has added.

Chandigarh Industrial Converted Plot Owners Association chairman Chander Verma has said the authorities should utilise vacant plots and convert those into parking lots till the time a permanent solution is found.

“Many vacant plots have been illegally occupied by scrap dealers and other small vendors. These can be removed to utilise the area as a parking space,” he has said.

Industrialists claim that Phases I and II of the Industrial area have always been neglected by the municipal corporation because the number of voters here is less.

Industrialist Tajinder Singh has said the authorities have generated over Rs 1,000 crore as conversion fee from industrial units, but have failed to spend the amount on beautification and maintenance of the area.

The issue has been debated by the municipal corporation in the House a number of times and questions have been asked about spending funds on development of the area.

Industrialists assert that with an international airport coming up in the city, the Industrial Area also needs a makeover and special attention.



Victim’s friend, another witness also turn hostile
‘Rape-on-wheels’ case
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune news Service

Chandigarh, August 29
In another setback for the local police, two more key witnesses in the “rape on wheels” case including the alleged rape victim’s friend, Sameena Shaikh, turned hostile in the district courts on Monday. The case had been filed against former UT home secretary and top Haryana-cadre IAS officer NK Jain and others.

Shaikh claimed she had not stayed with the victim as her roommate nor was she her friend and also denied knowing any of the suspects, Surinder Sharma and Baldev Kumar.

To bolster its conspiracy theory, the Chandigarh police had earlier maintained Shaikh was aware about the “conspiracy of the victim and the suspects as on a number of occasions she (Shaikh) had seen Sharma and Kumar visiting the victim’s home to pick her up in their car.

Another witness, police constable Geja Singh, who was posted at the STA office in Chandigarh, failed to identify a suspect, Ram Lal, stating the latter had never visited the STA office to meet another suspect, Narvir Singh, a constable also posted at the STA office.

In August 2002 the police had filed a case against NK Jain and four others for hatching a conspiracy to frame a Sector 8-based businessman, MK Jain, in the alleged rape.

In her complaint the victim had alleged MK Jain took her with him from a computer centre in Sector 20 on the pretext of providing her a job. She had claimed the suspect gave her a cold drink laced with an intoxicant on the way to Panchkula and later raped and dumped her near a petrol station in Sector 33.

The Chandigarh police’s investigation had found the victim had not been raped by victim but by NK Jain, who along with others allegedly hatched a conspiracy to falsely implicate MK Jain in the case. A Chandigarh district court later framed charges of gangrape and criminal conspiracy against NK Jain, Ram Lal, Narvir Singh, Surinder Sharma and Baldev Kumar.



Appointment not needed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29
Citizens applying for the re-issue of passports under the jurisdiction of the Regional Passport Office (RPO), Chandigarh, need not take appointment for submitting their applications at the Passport Seva Kendras (PSKs) in Ambala, Chandigarh and Ludhiana.

This information was given by Bakshi Singh, Assistant Passport Officer, RPO, Chandigarh, here today.

Bakshi Singh said the citizens could directly walk into the PSKs, preferably before 1 pm. To avail the facility of direct walk-in services, the applicants were required to register their details on the online portal www.passportindia.gov.in fill and upload the application form completely and generate the application reference number (ARN), at least one day in advance before visiting the PSKs.

They should visit the PSKs falling under their respective and designated jurisdictions along with the printout of the ARN sheet and requisite documents.

For any further enquiries, citizens can call up the Passport Seva helpline on toll free number - 1800 258 1800. 



Noble gesture across borders
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29
Philanthropy knows no barriers. In a rare gesture, wherein colour, language, nationality and religion are no bar, four children from Malawi, a landlocked country bordering Zambia and Tanzania in south-east Africa, will be operated upon free of cost for congenital heart disease at Fortis Hospital, thanks to the Rotary Club, Chandigarh.

Two-year-old Brain Milanzi, Hasting Maloya (6), Patience Nkhoma (6) and Prisca Patrick (14), who arrived in the city today, hailed from poor families and, as such, could not afford expensive heart surgery. They were shortlisted for free surgeries under the Rotary’s heartline project, which had identified 20 such children for free surgery.

Talking to mediapersons, former Rotary International world president Rajendra K Saboo said 20 children from Malawi had been offered free treatment by a team of Rotary’s voluntary doctors. He said the team led by the then district governor Madhukar Malhotra had visited Malawi and Zambia on a medical mission in April and treated several patients.

He said they had planned surgery of five of the 20 children in the first phase, but one of them could not come as his passport was not ready. He added that 10 doctors from Malawi would be sent for advanced short-term training in India under the project, which would be facilitated by Rotary.

Brain’s father James Milanzi said their life was shattered once they came to know that their son was suffering from atrial septal defect or, in simple words, a hole in the heart. With no money and advanced surgery not available in Malawi, they had lost all hope. Things now looked bright, he added. Hasting and Patience had been suffering from ventral septal defect. Prisca had been diagnosed with patent ductus arterisum.



Advances in diagnosis of malaria discussed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29
The parasitology department of the PGI organised a workshop on “Advances in diagnosis of malaria” here today.
Prof ML Dubey, department of parasitology, PGI, spoke about recent advances in the diagnosis of the fatal disease, malaria. He said the diagnosis of malaria was generally done by examination of blood sample, but accurate diagnosis required expertise and experience.

“Apart from microscopy of blood samples, other newer techniques like antigen detection tests and molecular techniques have become available,” said Prof Dubey.

He described the advances made in the last decade, including rapid antigen detection tests and molecular techniques like polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and real-time PCR (RT-PCR).

Dr Jane Carlton from the Centre for Genomics and Systems Biology, New York University, New York, USA, spoke about the centre for complex malaria in India. He said the centre was being developed with collaboration of the National Institute of Malaria Research (NIMR), New Delhi and New York University, USA. The joint project is studying the problem of malaria in highly endemic areas of Orissa and Gujarat.

Around 40 participants attended the workshop from various medical colleges and hospitals in North India, including New Delhi, Aligarh, Amritsar, Patiala, Rohtak, Dehradun and other places.

Out of the two types of malaria (caused by plasmodium vivax and P falciparum), falciparum malaria is more severe and many times can be fatal, as it may affect brain in the form of cerebral malaria. The cerebral malaria kills patients in a few days time if not diagnosed promptly and treated effectively. Therefore, an early and accurate diagnosis of malaria and its type is important for correct and prompt treatment.



Air far from clean in city
RSPM level higher than permissible limit
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29
Though Chandigarh is considered as one of the cleanest cities in the country, the analysis of its air quality states otherwise.
The Respirable Suspended Particulate Matter (RSPM) concentration in the city is higher than the permissible limit. This shows the city residents are not inhaling quality air.

The last year’s figures of the annual average of ambient air quality collected by the UT Pollution Control Board at its five centres in Chandigarh show that the levels of the RSPM was much higher than the permissible limit of 60 microgram per cubic metre (mpcm) across the city.

The Industrial Area is the worst in terms of air quality with the RSPM levels of 122 mpcm (annual average), which is more than double the prescribed National Ambient Air Quality Standard. The area around Punjab Engineering College in Sector 12 had the least RSPM of 77 mpcm in the air. In the area of Sector 39, the level of the RSPM was 95 mpcm followed by Sector 17, where the annual average level of the RSPM was 86 mpcm. In Kaimbwala, the RSPM was 83 mpcm.

The RSPM has shot up in all these centres if compared with the figures of 2009. In the Industrial Area, the annual average of the RSPM has increased by around 32 per cent. The RSPM in the area around Punjab Engineering College remained the same at 77 mpcm. In Sector 39, the RSPM increased by 12 per cent from 80 mpcm to 95 mpcm and in Sector 17, the RSPM level shot up by around 7 per cent from 77 mpcm to 86 mpcm. In Kaimbwala area, the RSPM increased by around 4 per cent from 78 mpcm to 83 mpcm.

The latest increase in annual average of the ambient air quality of the city might be alarming as the graph of the previous years had showed the decreasing trend.

Hard Facts

The RSPM comprises fine and invisible particles that arise from construction activities, including the emissions of diesel vehicles and the bursting of firecrackers. The pollutants can trigger asthma, pneumonia, heart diseases, chronic bronchitis, asthma and even lung cancer

The level of sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide in the city’s air is below permissible limits.



P’kula Sec 17 offers filthy welcome to visitors
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

area encroached by ragpickers in front of residences at Sector 17 in Panchkula.
Area encroached by ragpickers in front of residences at Sector 17 in Panchkula.

Panchkula, August 29
The residents of Sector 17 here are virtually surrounded by stray cattle, heaps of garbage, potholed roads and streets without any lights during night. 

Even as the sector is a face of the town for passengers coming from the railway station here, heaps of garbage emanating unbearable stink on both sides of the road here welcome the visitors.

The roads in the sector, especially in the Sector 17 extension part, are in a pathetic condition.

The stagnating rainwater on potholed roads provides favorable condition for breeding of mosquitoes and other diseases.
Stray cattle move around in a residential area;
tray cattle move around in a residential area;


“We have brought it to the notice of the authorities several times, but nobody bothered to improve the situation,” said Sarita Sharma, a local resident. She added that, “At least 80 streetlights in the sector are lying out of order.

The lights installed in the market by HUDA spending lakhs of rupees are not repaired for long, creating problem for the visitors.” Roadside near slums of Rajiv Colony has been encroached upon by rag pickers.

Even a fenced area recovered by HUDA from encroachers had again been occupied by rag pickers.

When contacted, HUDA Estate Officer Ashwani Kumar said the lights in the market would be repaired soon while the work on roads would be started after the rainy season. 



New course of N-choe worries Mohali residents
Tribune News Service

Mohali, August 29
As the work to beautify the Leisure Valley at a cost of Rs 2 crore has gained pace, residents are apprehensive of a move by the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) to change the course of the N-choe passing through the green belt of Sector 62. The residents of Phase IX apprehend that by re-aligning the course of the choe the stink of sewer flowing through the water body would enter their houses.

The work of digging new alignment of the choe has already been completed. “There was no need to waste public funds on re-aligning the choe and instead the existing choe could be cleaned and its embankments could be beautified. The digging would also damage a number of trees,” said a resident.

Instead of digging up new alignment, there was a need to provide basic amenities like toilets, drinking water, garden lights and benches in the area. The facilities could be provided at a cost of few lakhs.

On the other hand, the officials said keeping in mind the residents’ convenience, pipes were being laid at the base of the new course of the choe. During monsoons, the excess water would pass through the pipes. The existing choe would be filled with earth.



CME on orthopaedics
Tribune News Service

Patiala, August 29
Computer assisted surgery for replacement of different body joints required for correction of a variety of deformities was safer and accurate in 100 per cent patients. The technique guided the surgeon for accurate position of the joint without leaving any chance of error during surgery.

The advantages of procedure included short hospital stay, less blood loss, rapid healing, immediate weight bearing by the patient and longer life to the affected joints. Dr Avtar Singh, a joint replacement expert and chief orthopaedic surgeon from Amandeep Hospital, Amritsar, said this during a CME programme organised by the Patiala chapter of the Indian Medical Association.



Advocate’s office raided
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29
The vigilance cell of the UT Police today raided an advocate’s office in Sector 34 following complaints of illegal activities. Inspector Dulip Rattan said they received a complaint that the advocate was indulging in fraud and thus conducted the raid.

“We have seized some documents and are investigating,” said the inspector.



Chandigarh scan
Gita recital

In a bid to promote Indian culture, the local chapter of the Gita Prachar Samiti organised Gita Diwas Samaroh at Moti Ram Arya Senior Secondary School at Sector 27 on Monday. Around 200 students participated in the programme, organised in collaboration with the Haryana Sanskrit Academy, Panchkula, and the State Bank of India, Sector-7 branch, Chandigarh.

These included students of DAV Public School, Sector 8, KBDAV Public School, Sector 7, CL Aggarwal DAV School, Sector 7, and Manav Mangal High School, Sector 21. C Krishna Priya bagged the first prize, which included a cash prize of Rs 300. Other cash prize winners were Shreyasi Mittal, Aashee Shukla, Shivangi, Nishtha, Priya, Zadjiya, Vanisha, Yatin, Manasvi, Abhinav, Arjun, Manik, Manav, Shivanand, Khushboo Garg, Kirti Garg, Asawari Srivastava, Kajal, Varinta, Harshita, Diksha, Raghav, Shivam, Rutvi, Rushika, Kashish, Abhishek, Jivesh, Akshat, Sakshi, Akash, Aparna, Arushi, Sonam, Abhilasha, Aruditi, Sanjana, Naini, Pragya, Anjali, Varun, Shivam Twikle, Ayasha, Yogesh, Jaspinder, Garima, Ankita, Aditi, Garima Saini, Amit, Palak, D Ajay, Deepak, Mahima, Nitika, Shivam, Pooja, Ankita, Khushboo and Kanika.

Poster contest

Students of Maharishi Dayanand Public School at Daria organised a poster-making competition in collaboration with the Chandigarh Renewable Energy, Science and Technology Promotion Society. About 125 students participated in it. The competition was divided into junior and senior categories. In junior category, Neha, Pardeep and Raja Babu bagged first, second and third prize, respectively. In senior category, Jigyasa, Poonam and Durga Parsad won first, second and third position, respectively.

PU gate shut

Panjab University’s gate 1, facing the PGI, will remain closed from August 30 to September 2 due to student council elections.

Public hearing

Punjab Governor-cum-UT Administrator Shivraj Patil will come to the UT Secretariat on September 12, instead of September 5 and 19, to hear public grievances.

Cut fruit sale

The municipal corporation carried out a special drive to check the sale of cut fruits on Monday. The drive was conducted at Sectors 15, 16, 17 and 22 by the staff of MOH wing of the corporation. During the course of the drive, approximately 250 kg of cut fruits, 100 bottles of aerated water, 35 kg of ‘tikki’ and ‘samosa’, 250 kg of sugarcane juice and 12 slabs of ice were seized and destroyed.

4-yr course

The four-year integrated BA and BEd (honours-education) course of the Institute of Educational Technology and Vocational Education, Panjab University, has been granted recognition by the National Council for Teacher Education.

Jet flights

Jet Airways will commence three flights from the city to Leh, Jaipur and Indore from October 30 onwards.

Senior citizens

Students of Sant Isher Singh Public School visited Old Age Home on the occasion of Senior Citizens Day. Students of classes III, IV and V spent time with them, singing songs and dancing. A few students had tears in their eyes while giving greeting cards made by them. This gesture brought a smile on the faces of neglected senior citizens.

Mohali scan

Sports events

Smart Wonders School celebrated National Sports Day on Monday. Various competitions were held to promote discipline, sense of fair play and team spirit among children. An inter-class speed-skating carnival was organised.

Healthcare talk

Over 100 senior citizens participated in a special healthcare session on laparoscopy organised by Fortis Hospital. Dr Atul Joshi gave them tips on healthcare and explained how laparoscopic surgery was especially beneficial for them. He said a patient had less discomfort after surgery because of small incisions and the recovery was quicker.

Saplings given

During a meeting of the Rotary Club, saplings of ‘neem’ and ‘jamun’ were distributed by Tajinder Kaur, vice-chairperson, Desh Bhagat Group of Institutes.

Panchkula scan

Mosque visit

‘Unity in diversity’ was pragmatically taught to Hallmark students of classes nursery, LKG and UKG. They were taken to a mosque at Sector 21 on the occasion of Eid. The visit was organised to familiarise them with Muslim culture and to inculcate the spirit of universal brotherhood in them.

Tribune reporters



Poll time
Day of nominations, rejections in city colleges
Several candidates fail to qualify stipulated criteria
Neha Miglani
Tribune News Service

A constable of the Chandigarh Police films crowd for security reasons ahead of the student elections at DAV College, Sector 10.
A constable of the Chandigarh Police films crowd for security reasons ahead of the student elections at DAV College, Sector 10.Tribune photos: Vinay Malik

Chandigarh, August 29
Failing to meet the stipulated criterion of attendance, academic record and relevant documents attached, nominations of over a dozen candidates across city colleges were today rejected by election committees for various posts comprising of the college student council.

Two candidates for the post of president were rejected at DAV College, Sector 10, out of a total of nine candidates, as they did not meet the attendance criteria of mandatory 75 per cent lectures. Out of three candidates contesting for the post of joint secretary, two were rejected and the only candidate left was Jayharsh Vardhan of BSc I. For the posts of general secretary and vice-president, two and five candidates applied, respectively, whose nominations met the criteria.
Not affected by the ongoing poll fever in city colleges, boys on their way to attend classes on Monday .
Not affected by the ongoing poll fever in city colleges, boys on their way to attend classes on Monday .Tribune photos: Vinay Malik 

A similar situation was witnessed at the Post Graduate Government College for Girls, Sector 11, where only one candidate successfully filed the nomination for the post of president, who also failed to meet the criteria in the absence of relevant documents attached with the form. At GGDSD College, Sector 32, five candidates have been nominated for the post of president today. However, for the posts of vice-president and joint secretary, Sahibjeet Kaur and Hardik Dhingra have been named unopposed. At Post Graduate Government College, Sector 11, eight candidates are expected to contest for the post of president, two for the post of vice-president, three for general secretary and two for the post of joint secretary.

However, the selected candidates in all colleges would be given a chance tomorrow to withdraw the nominations filed by them. College officials cite that usually the withdrawal rate is high since alliances take place between student bodies, which narrows down the competition. 

Outsiders hover at SD College

Outsiders, including Panjab University students, continued making attempts to enter GGDSD College campus today. In a bid to spoil the atmosphere on the day of nominations, PU student leaders sneaked in and were spotted by college students, claim police sources. A heavy deployment of the police was witnessed outside the campus throughout the day. In a late evening development, police officials were seen cautioning certain outsiders, along with a few college students against creating nuisance till poll.

DAV students raise slogans

At the time of scrutiny of nomination forms today at DAV College, Sector 10, a group of students began shouting slogans and disrupting the academic environment. The police took a few of them into custody and verified their identities. The policemen, deputed inside the college, later released the students. Suspecting presence of outsiders, the police, along with Sector 3 SHO Poonam Dilawari, carried out a raid at DAV hostel.

High drama at PGGCG-11

A candidate of the Students Federation of India (SFI), who is a student of second year at Post Graduate Government College for Girls, Sector 11, today created hype over not being provided a form to contest for the post of president. The girl accused the college of discouraging her to contest, although college officials claimed that the girl was provided the form, but never turned up to deposit the same. “We have not discouraged anybody from filing any nomination, instead the girl never turned up to deposit the form,” said Achla Dogra, principal, PGGCG, Sector 11.

‘Poll info reached late’

Certain government colleges, including a prominent girls’ college in the city and a recently opened college in Sector 42, did not receive circulars issued by Panjab University stating details of time of filing nominations, withdrawal, etc. “The information reached late on Saturday even though the college was working till 2 pm. We had no official communication from PU on how to proceed further and what is the final date for conducting polls. The only information we got was from newspapers about finalising of the election date and time of nomination, etc,” said a principal on the condition of anonymity.

Alliance in colleges

Sri Guru Gobind Singh College, Sector 26 Alliance: YAI+KCSU

DAV College, Sector 10

Alliance 1: PUSU+YAI+SOI

Alliance 2: SOPU+INSO



(YAI-Youth Association of India, PUSU-Panjab University Student Union, SOI-Students Organisation of India, SOPU-Student Organisation of Panjab University, INSO-Indian National Students Organisation, HPSU-Himachal Pradesh Students Union, KCSU-Khalsa College Students Union).

Unopposed candidate

At PGGC-46, only one candidate managed to file the nomination with relevant documents and was selected unopposed. Sandeep Singh of BCom III, who belongs to Student Organisation of Panjab University, had successfully filed the nomination, although after the time of withdrawal expired tomorrow, will the final decision be taken.



15 nominations for president
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29
The nominations for the forthcoming Panjab University student elections were filed this morning where over 15 candidates filed their nomination for the post of president, while 22 nominations were received for the post of vice-president.

Seventeen students filed their papers for the post of joint secretary.

Even though 18 objections were filed against various candidates, the university failed to declare the final list due to the Syndicate meeting, which continued late in evening.

“We will be doing it early morning tomorrow, as members of the objection review committee were busy with the Syndicate meeting,” said Dean Student Welfare AS Ahluwalia.

While from PUSU, Sumit filed his papers in University Business School, SOPU, which is yet to finalise its presidential candidate opted for multiple nominations.

“We are still viewing the prospects and will decide the candidate only after going through everything,” said SOPU president Robin Brar. 



PUSU ties up with ABVP, INSO
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29
The Panjab University Student Union (PUSU) today entered into an alliance with the ABVP and INSO to give a tough competition to the SOPU-SOI alliance.
The alliance, which according to party leaders, is based on ideological compatibility, claims to be struggling for the aim of optimum and comfortable accommodation, especially for girls. Incidentally, the same glue which joins SOPU and SOI.

The trio following a key discussion has also divided the positions where while PUSU will have its candidate for the post of president, ABVP candidate will be the key contestant for vice-president and secretary and joint secretary candidates will come in from INSO.

“All three parties are joined by a common goal and thus we have tied hands. The alliance has made PUSU more strong and our chances to win these elections have trebled,” said PUSU president Sukhjeet Brar. 



Flag march by UT Police today

As a security measure, the UT Police closes gate number 1 which leads to a huge rush at gate number 2 at Panjab University on Monday. Tribune photos: Manoj Mahajan 

Chandigarh, August 29
In an unprecedented move, the UT Police for the very first time in the last decade will conduct a flag march in the campus tomorrow.
Claiming it to be the key highlight of the revamped security plan, police officials has decided on this show of strength to deter student parties and leaders from nuisance.

The security arrangements in view of filing of nominations at PU left one and all mesmerised. The police officials had shut gate number 1. Security personnel were deputed in all nomination centres and even student centre. However, what left many excited was the patrolling team that came galloping on horses.

A strict watch was kept on the movement of cars, two-wheelers and thorough checking of bags was conducted at gate number 2. — TNS



PU Syndics spit fire, Vice-Chancellor offers to quit
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29
Following fireworks in the Syndicate over the recent appointment of the Controller of Examination, Panjab University Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti threatened to resign today.
He complained of chest congestion following an attack of hypertension and eventually adjourned the meeting of the House.

He withheld the controversial appointments and, as usual, appointed a committee to tide over the nearly impossible situation of running the House.

The controversy, which had been brewing since interviews for the post were planned and postponed, erupted when DPS Randhawa read a letter written by Deepak Kapoor, one of the applicants, accusing Sobti of harassing him mentally in the interview.

Son-in-law of Syndic GK Chatrath and husband of former Mayor Anu Chatrath, Kapoor claimed that his self-confidence and respect were hurt by as his relationship with the two Senate members was questioned and not his calibre.

Though Chatrath refrained from discussion, the issue led to a uproar by Syndics, who refused to accept the appointment of Parwinder Singh of Postgraduate Girls College, Sector 42, as Controller of Examination and demanded an inquiry into the matter.

The arguments left Sobti feeling uneasy. He went to the Registrar’s room complaining of hypertension and a doctor was called. He returned to the House and marked an inquiry into the matter.

Supporting the Vice-Chancellor, a Syndic said, “The decorum of the House needs to be maintained. The selection was made by seven Vice-Chancellors of reputed universities. The applicant was not fit and there is no proof to support his allegations.”

He questioned, “Why did a few members hold the House to ransom? Is this the way to threaten the Vice-Chancellor and get things done?”

On the other hand, another Syndic said, “The Controller of Examination is the most sensitive post in the university. The interviews was held two weeks ago, but the name of the candidate chosen was declared only today.”

He went on, “Syndics were unable to verify his credentials. Was it justified? We just asked him to look into the allegations and he did his usual high blood pressure and resignation stint.”

Beating mobile retreat

Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti withdrew the proposal seeking the sanction for the reimbursement of unlimited calls of his mobile phone. Claiming that he did not want to put a financial burden on the university, he said, “Leave aside this reimbursement, I do not even want a mobile.”

Students on panelsx

In the only student-related item passed, all university and department committees dealing with student issues will essentially have student representatives. The VC proposed department representative and seniormost research scholar in committees.

Bhandari is Registrar

Prof AK Bhandari of the mathematics department was appointed Registrar. The appointment was not without hitches, with objections being raised over the university informing candidates just the day before the interview. “They did not allow any candidate to give a presentation. Frivolous questions like the date of establishment of the university were asked. Many could not get an NOC from their employers as they got interview letters on Saturday,” said a Syndic. 



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