C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


PU-affiliated colleges, correspondence courses
English is Greek for over 50 pc
Accounts for 19,032 compartment cases
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 21
Strange as it sounds, slightly over half of the 35,500 students studying in colleges affiliated to Panjab University (PU) and enrolled in correspondence courses who have been awarded compartment this year have failed in English.

This alarming number raises a question mark over the standard of teaching in English, especially at affiliated colleges, which has recorded a majority of compartments.

The break-up of the 19,032 undergraduate students who have failed in English is: 8,298 students of BA-I, 3,834 of BA-II and 6,900 of BA-III.

The figures are the worst in recent times for English, which has, otherwise, been considered a ‘safe’ subject. The impact has been most severe in BA-III, with the overall pass percentage falling to an unprecedented level.

The dip in the pass percentage of BA-III from 69 per cent the previous year to 56 per cent this year seems to have forced Vice-Chancellor RC Sobti to take note and initiate a damage-control measure of awarding grace marks to all students, thereby raising the pass percentage to 62.

Punjab-based affiliated colleges are being ‘blamed’ for the deplorable performance in English. The PU authorities, however, attribute the low pass percentage to their success in enforcing a rigorous anti-cheating mechanism.

In the absence of acting controller of examination AK Bhandari, who was unavailable for comment, a senior official of the university’s examination branch said the poorest performance had been recorded at affiliated colleges in Punjab.

“We were expecting this kind of a result as this time, mass cheating was curtailed in many affiliated colleges during the last round of examination. We kept a strong vigil and students got marks more reflective of their knowledge and level of preparation. We know that it is shameful, but we expect and hope that students otherwise dependent on cheating will now start studying,” the official stated. He was quick to add that one should not raise questions on the standard of teaching. Facts, however, appeared to defy ground reality.

Total compartment cases

  • Undergraduate courses: 32,000
  • Postgraduate courses: 3,500



From slum to school
Beggar gets guardian angel from Austria
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Martin Mucha with Javed
Martin Mucha with Javed. Tribune photo: S Chandan

Chandigarh, September 21
Fourteen-year-old Javed, who used to earn his living by begging, had never imagined that he would one day get a chance to move out of the local streets and visit various parts of the country; study and enjoy all luxuries of life.

Fortunately, his dream has now come true, courtesy a 24-year-old resident of Austria, who has decided to financially support Javed throughout his life.

Martin Mucha, who is currently on a visit to Chandigarh to meet his friends, is not just financially supporting Javed, but has become his guardian by getting him a teacher, accommodation away from slums and a bank account.

Martin had first spotted Javad at Sector 35, begging outside food outlets, and developed a fondness for him on observing that he was the only beggar who used to protect Martin from getting fleeced by other beggars.

Martin has visited Chandigarh in 2008 to meet his friends. Since then, he had been a regular visitor to the city. A student and scientific co-worker at the University of Innsbruck, he had been visiting India often to meet his friends. However, this visit turned special for him.

Martin said he used to visit eating outlets at Sector 35, where a group of beggars used to surround him, demanding clothes, shoes and other items every time he visited the sector.

“There was one single child who used to protect me from the gang of beggars following me even after I bought food for them,” he said.

Martin said he became friends with Javed and decided to help him in studying. Though there was a language barrier between the two, Martin used to write what he wanted to say on paper and then get it translated into Hindi for Javed with the help of passersby.

“After a few days, I went to Zirakpur to meet Javed’s parents and offered help by supporting him to study, to which his parents agreed,” Martin said.

Since then, life has changed completely for Javed. He now stays at an apartment in Sector 48 with Martin and even visits Delhi and Punjab with him.

Although Martin will return to Austria this weekend, he has hired a teacher for Javed, who will teach him some basics to facilitate his admission to school.

“The teacher and her husband, who is a constable with the Chandigarh Police, will help me take care of Javed after I return to my country,” Martin said.

He said he would be supported by his close friend Ajit Inder Singh Moafar, an MLA from Sardulgarh in Punjab’s Mansa district, who would assist him take care of Javed.

Javed has also started learning swimming and other sports to catch up with children his age. Martin has already made arrangements for medical care, schooling and monthly pocket money for Javed, that will continue till the time he completes his education and gets a job to earn a living.



Inspector suspended, sent to Police Lines
Ruckus at disco on Saturday night
Tribune News Service

Inspector Jaswinder Singh Chandigarh, September 21
Inspector Jaswinder Singh, a former SHO of the Sector-17 police station, was suspended today and transferred to the Police Lines after a preliminary inquiry indicted him of creating ruckus at a discotheque on the night of September 17.

The preliminary inquiry, conducted by PCR DSP Kamaldeep held the inspector guilty and a departmental inquiry had been marked to look into his misconduct.

The inspector was in the dock for misbehaving with two girls at Score, a discotheque in Sector 8, and then beating up the bouncer who confronted him.

“Inspector Jaswinder is guilty of indulging in indiscipline as he created ruckus at the discotheque in Sector 8 on Saturday night. He has spoilt the image of the police department. He should be dealt with departmentally,” were the findings of the preliminary inquiry report.

The findings of the inquiry were based on CCTV footage of the discotheque, which clearly showed the inspector misbehaving with two girls in a drunken state.

As viewed in the footage, the inspector asked a girl to dance with him twice. While she did not respond, her friend objected and complained to the bouncer on duty. The bouncer then confronted the inspector and a scuffle ensued.

Besides scrutinising CCTV footage, the police recorded the statements of all bouncers as well as the staff of the discotheque while preparing the preliminary inquiry report.

The report further stated that the inspector should have left when the girl approached the bouncer and what he did reflected poorly on a senior police officer. The inspector was attached with the security wing of the Chandigarh Police.

Drunk on dry day?

The preliminary inquiry report is silent on the inspector being drunk on a dry day. The police also failed to conduct his medical examination and said since the complaint came after a delay, it could not be conducted.



Up next: Severe officer crunch
UT Deputy Commissioner wants to go back to Haryana
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 21
With 1998-batch IAS officer and UT Deputy Commissioner Brijendra Singh expressing the desire to go back to his parent state of Haryana almost a year before his tenure is slated to end, the UT administration is heading for a severe officer crunch.

In fact, even routine administrative work is set to be crippled, with Home Secretary Ram Niwas being repatriated to his parent state of Haryana on September 23.

Chandigarh is already functioning without a full-fledged MC Commissioner since April 16 after the repatriation of Roshan Sunkaria to Punjab.

Another IAS officer, Ajoy Sharma, handling charge of Special Secretary Finance-cum-Director Higher Education, has proceeded on long leave.

The holding of additional charge by officers in addition to their regular assignments is naturally taking its toll on even routine administrative functioning. Currently, CITCO Managing Director DK Tiwari is holding additional charge of Special Secretary Finance-cum-Director Higher Education and Director Tourism. In fact, his tenure ends this December.

A senior functionary of the UT administration blamed the delay in appointment of IAS and IPS officers on the tedious process.

The names of shortlisted candidates are then forwarded to the Department of Personnel and Training, before finally being cleared by the Appointment Committee of the Cabinet. While the post of SP (Traffic and Security) has been lying vacant since July 31, the post of Assistant Estate Officer is being held as additional charge.

Similarly, the charge of MC Joint Commissioner is being held as additional charge. Besides, the Director Social Welfare is holding additional charge of Director Cultural Affairs and CITCO Chief General Manager.

History to repeat itself

VK Singh is set to groan under the weight of 50 departments after being given additional charge of Home Secretary. In 2008, before the appointment of Ram Niwas, the then Finance Secretary, Sanjay Kumar, held additional charge of Home Secretary for nearly six months. This apparently took its toll on major decisions as he was ‘too busy’ to clear even routine files.

On their way out

  • Ram Niwas: Home Secretary
  • Ajoy Sharma: Special Secretary Finance-cum-Director Higher Education
  • Brijendra Singh: Deputy Commissioner
  • DK Tiwari: CITCO Managing Director



Wipro’s exit opens door for small firms
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 21
Information technology (IT) major Wipro’s loss at UT administration’s flagship Rajiv Gandhi Chandigarh Technology Park here has proved to be a gain for a number of small IT firms. The UT administration has decided to carve out smaller plots on the resumed 30-acre plot of Wipro with a view to get in smaller companies.

Confirming the decision, VK Singh, Finance-cum-IT Secretary, today said the decision had been taken since a number of applications for the allotment of sites of smaller dimensions were pending with the administration.

The administration had recently resumed the 30-acre plot as Wipro had not got its construction plan sanctioned even five years after allotment.

The administration had allotted land to the IT giant at Phase II of the IT Park in April 2006 at Rs 40 lakh per acre. This was the second largest plot there after Infosys’.

Sources said preference for smaller IT firms against giants was a part of the smart move by the administration to give a boost to the IT sector in the city.

Since most of the IT majors allotted sites at the IT Park were yet to start operations, the allotment of sites to small IT players made sense, the sources added.

The administration had already been facing rampant subletting of space to non-IT firms by major firms, especially the DLF. The allotment of sites to small IT companies would take care of this subletting of space.

This was perhaps the reason some companies had requested the administration to allow subletting, but the administration had declined to do so. Strict action would be taken against defaulting IT firms, Yogesh Kumar, IT director, had warned.

Why smaller IT firms?

  • Best suited for Tier-II cities like Chandigarh
  • Will check subletting by big firms to non-IT ones
  • Will optimally utilise Wipro’s resumed 30-acre plot
  • Will create more room for IT activity in scarce space


Elderly pummel top cop with general grievances
Interaction with police officials turns into public forum at ‘Walk for Fun’ for senior citizens at Sukhna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 21
An interaction of senior citizens with the police during the ‘Walk for Fun’ by the Chandigarh Police, here today, turned more into a forum for airing of public grievances in general rather than concentrating on the police alone.

Apart from routine mention of problems regarding personal security, senior citizens spoke more on problems regarding garbage collection, stray dogs, stray cattle, parking woes, faulty traffic lights, lack of zebra crossings and non-functional streetlights to mention a few.

During the informal interaction at Sukhna Lake, in the early hours, senior citizens expressed their reservations against the police in general and demanded better policing in their residential quarters.

They questioned police officials on increasing incidents of ruckus involving youngsters, which often disturbed peace in their areas.

Inspector General of Police PK Srivastava, to whom all queries were addressed, assured the senior citizens of better safety, while simultaneously asking them to ensure proper security arrangements by installing modern electronic safety gadgets at their homes.

The Chandigarh Senior Citizens’ Association in association with the Chandigarh Police had organised the walk.

Over 700 senior citizens of the city participated in the event. The eldest one, Mann Kaur (95) of Sector 40, walked 500 metres. Adviser to UT Administrator KK Sharma flagged off the first group of 200 senior citizens.

Problems regarding traffic, landlord-tenant disputes, youngsters engaging in rowdyism while driving in open jeeps and bikes on the internal roads of sectors, drug addiction, eve-teasing, drunk driving, problems faced by pedestrians while crossing roads and parking were raised during the interaction.

A major component of the problems related to eve-teasing and the menace of paying guests.

Ravi Kumar, a resident of Sector 15, said most people faced the problem of accessing senior police officials.

“Contacting you is a problem. Please provide some solution to make yourself accessible to the general public,” he said.

The UT IGP then announced his mobile number and said the police was always available for the citizens.



MC apathy has southern sectors parched...
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 21
Though southern sectors have the highest population density in the city, the municipal corporation has failed to provide enough water to three of its key sectors — 48, 49 and 50 — to meet the demands of residents.

For the past few days, residents of co-operative societies in the southern sectors have been grappling with the shortage of water.

They have been complaining of curtailed water supply, that too, at low pressure. The worst affected societies fall in sectors 48 to 51, having a population of around 80,000. The municipal corporation seems to have failed miserably in addressing their problems.

Due to low pressure, water does not reach the overhead tanks of most societies. To make matters worse, committees cannot store sufficient water to pump it to the overhead tanks of its houses.

Sushank Bhandari, a resident of Sector 48, says they have failed to get fresh water supply for the past three days owing to low water pressure.

Residents of co-operative societies claim they have been grappling with low pressure or no supply on a daily basis. Sometimes, they have to hire water tankers to meet their requirement. “Managing committees are helpless as they can’t meet the supply of its residents by pumping water. The problem is just not limited to the summer, when supply from the Kajauli waterworks remains under a lot of stress. Residents have been facing the shortage even during winter. Apart from facing low pressure, area residents often get get muddy water in their taps,” says Ekta Khullar, a Sector-49 resident.

No noon supply today

There will be no noon water supply on September 22 at the PGI, Sectors 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 21 A and B and 22 A and B. The water will be supplied at full pressure in the city from 3.30 am to 9 am and at low pressure from 6 pm to 9 pm. This is because of repair work at the waterworks, Sector 12.



As admn tries to make up for it
Sec-45 polyclinic to be upgraded to 50-bed facility
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 21
Finally waking up to the healthcare needs of residents of the southern sectors of the city, where almost three-fifths of its population lives, the UT administration has approved a proposal to convert the Sector 45 polyclinic to a 50-bed community health centre at an estimated cost of Rs 7 crore.

The decision, though belated, will provide the much needed respite to the residents who for long had been demanding better health facilities.

Confirming the move, special health secretary DK Tewari said the proposal had been cleared and the administration’s engineering department had begun planning the construction that would commence soon.

Interestingly, though the city has two community centres - one each in Manimajra and in Sector 22, 26 civil dispensaries, 20 AYUSH dispensaries, 16 sub centres and three state run hospitals, none aside from a polyclinic are located in the southern sectors. This more or less vindicates the claims of area residents of being neglected by the administration despite the city recording phenomenal growth in recent years.

Recently the Planning Commission had also sanctioned a token grant of Rs 50 lakh for setting up a 300-bed hospital in the city’s southern sectors. The move is a windfall gain for the residents, coming after the controversial Medicity project was scrapped, which again was envisaged in one of the northern sectors.

UT health services director Chandermohan said the decision to upgrade the polyclinic to a 50-bed community health centre would be a relief for the area residents, who as of now have to go to Government Multispecialty Hospital, Sector 16 or the Government Medical College & Hospital, Sector 32 for medical treatment including emergency care.

“With the new community health centre in place emergency services, pediatric and gynecological care as well as family planning services will be available at the doorsteps of the residents. This will also reduce the burden on the other hospitals”, said Chandermohan.




ward woes-II
Scattered garbage, unkempt parks, broken streetlights

Ward No: 5

Sectors 25 and 25 (West); Kumhar Colony; Janta Colony; LIG Colony, Dhanas; Milkman Colony and Housing EWS, Dhanas; Aman, Chaman and Ambedkar colony, Dhanas

Voter population

Dhanas (3 colonies): 11,000

Sec 25, Kumhar Colony: 4000

Sec 25 (West): 3000

Councillor: Sheela Devi (Dy Mayor)

Party: Congress

Ward development fund?

Of Rs 130 lakh allotted in the past five years, Rs 148.51 lakh spent till March, 2011.

Tech know-how?

Has failed to respond to grievances posted by residents both on Facebook and her official e-mail address

Questions asked in House in 2010

In spite of holding the post of Deputy Mayor last year, she failed to table any question.


Construction of a bridge at the entry to Dhanas, where drowning incidents were regularly reported during monsoon

Work commenced on a community centre, hanging fire for a long time, in Dhanas

Resident of ward No. 5 of the municipal corporation, comprising Sector 25, 25 (West); Kumhar Colony; Janta Colony; LIG Colony, Dhanas; Milkman Colony and Housing EWS, Dhanas; Aman, Chaman and Ambedkar Colony, Dhanas; have been crying for the attention of the municipal corporation for long. The entire spread of the area is strewn with heaps of garbage, wild growth, stray dogs and stench of the nearby garbage dump.

Public utility services

Community centre

In 1996, the UT administration allotted a piece of land for the construction of a community centre in Sector 25. However, the work has not been started yet.

Cremation ground

In the past five years, the authorities have failed to provide basic facilities, including drinking water, at the cremation ground located in Sector 25.



The area belies the claims of the civic body of carrying out regular sanitation campaigns, especially in colonies and villages. Heaps of garbage can be seen lying in the area due to irregular visits by sweepers. The garbage has choked the sewerage system in the area. The condition of sanitation in Dhanas colony is appalling. Residents have complained of serious health hazard in the area as garbage remains uncollected for weeks.

Internal parks

The small parks developed in the ward as part of beautification exercise have become an eyesore. While the parks were developed with much gusto, the authorities forgot to maintain them. Wild grass, scattered garbage and stray dogs are commonplace in parks. Even as internal parks are located right next to residential areas, people prefer to stay away.


Non-functional streetlights in the area have ensured that residents return home before dark. Also, fear of falling prey to anti-social elements looms large on residents. In Sector 25, the road leading to residential areas and the market remains plunged in darkness. While most streetlights lack bulbs, electricity wire of some poles have been stolen, rendering these non-functional.

Stray animals

Notwithstanding the tall claims made by the MC of making the city a cattle-free zone, residents of this ward have to grapple with the stray cattle menace on a daily basis. Wandering cattle often lead to accidents in the area. It is one of the biggest problems of the area residents.



PPCB to hold public hearing on Sept 28
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 21
The Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) has fixed September 28 for a public hearing in connection with the solid waste management facility, which is being set up at Samgauli village, to hear suggestions, views, comments and objections from residents and others, as these could not be heard last week due to heavy rain.

The public hearing will be held at the project site and could be attended by any person, including bonafide residents, environmental groups and others, located at the project site of displacement.

As a part of the procedure for seeking environmental clearance, as notified by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India, the Mohali Municipal Corporation had applied to the PPCB for conducting a public hearing of its proposed landfill facility.

The hearing was earlier fixed by the PPCB for September 15 but could not materialise due to heavy rain even when all arrangements had been made at the site in this regard. It was then decided in public interest to postpone the hearing.

According to reports, a protest was held by some persons against the setting up of the facility in Samgauli village on the day of the hearing last week. Earlier, three sites were selected at Swara, Rasanheri and Jhanjeri villages for dumping garbage, but none of these could be finalised due to protests by residents of nearby areas.

The garbage generated from the town at present is being dumped near the Industrial Area, Phase VIII, here for the past many years much to the annoyance of entrepreneurs of the area.

A six-member site selection committee constituted by the state government for the setting up of a common municipal solid waste management facility had recommended three sites for the purpose. The Samgauli site was found to be the most suitable as it was away from inhabited areas and also did not appear to be flood prone. No part of the land fell under the forest area, no river passed near the site and the highways were also at a distance.

GMADA was heading one cluster of 19 urban local bodies and would be managing garbage collection, disposal and other related activities on behalf of these local bodies.

solid waste management
Garbage being dump near Industrial Area, Phase-VII

The garbage generated from the town at present is being dumped near the Industrial Area, Phase VIII, here for the past many years much to the annoyance of entrepreneurs of the area



Inquiry to probe charge against CIA in charge
Complaint was made by accused drug-peddler
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 21
Acting on a complaint filed by a ‘drug peddler’ against inspector-cum-CIA in charge Karamvir Singh for demanding money, Panchkula Superintendent of Police Maneesh Chaudhary has marked an inquiry to DSP Krishan Kumar Hooda.

On September 10, the CIA branch of the Panchkula police raided a house at Sector 9 and arrested Gurdyal Singh, Sarabjit Singh, Dilbag Singh, Navjot and Sarabjit.

Three-kg opium, a pistol and a revolver were seized from their possession. Their associates Sukhraj, Satinder and Mintoo managed to flee.

Sources said Satinder had lodged a complaint with Chaudhary, alleging that Karamvir had demanded money from him to favour him in the investigation. In his complaint, he had alleged that he had no link with the case.

Police sources said the CIA branch had recovered the pistol, which was registered in Satinder’s name, from the house. They added that Satinder frequently visited the house.

They stated that he was one of the witnesses for tenant verification of Gurdyal Singh and others, conducted by the staff of the Sector-5 police station.

When contacted, Chaudhary he said they had received the complaint and an inquiry has been marked to check the allegations levelled therein.



Cong wakes up to stink
Ex-Mayor seeks closure of plant
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 21
The Congress today demanded the closure of the garbage processing plant set up by JP Associates at Dadu Majra and termed it a fiasco. Interestingly, the party had played a major role in the setting up of the plant in 2005.

Addressing mediapersons, former Mayor Subhash Chawla said the company had cheated the municipal corporation and UT administration, as instead of installing the machinery mentioned in the MoU, the company had set up an altogether different system in the plant, which had resulted in foul smell.

He urged the authorities to cancel the lease of the company and allot the plant to some other company, having latest technology and expertise, to run it.

Chawla alleged that the MC officials did not monitor the machinery when it was installed by the company in the plant. He demanded action against the MC officials involved in the process.

Even those who had been repatriated to their parent states, if responsible, should be punished. He said the company had violated the terms of the MoU and the MC should cancel their lease.

Congress leaders and councillors have so far been maintaining distance from their associate and former Mayor Kamlesh, who has been spearheading an agitation of residents of Dadu Majra for the past two days near the dumping ground to sort out the issue of the foul smell in the area.

Kamlesh said she would take up the matter of closure of the plant at the General House scheduled for September 23.



Finally, MC gets land to set up STP at Zirakpur
Rajiv Bhatia

Zirakpur, September 21
Finally, the Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board will get a piece of land near Singhpura village for setting up of the sewerage treatment plant (STP) in Zirakpur after Zirakpur Municipal Council president NK Sharma today met villagers and got a green signal for 3 bigha land in Singhpura from them.

He said the council would hand over the land to the sewerage board after getting the final confirmation that would be taken up in the next meeting with the villagers in two days time.

Recently, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had asked the Mohali local authorities to arrange land for the early setting up of a sewerage treatment plant.

The official claimed that the work of laying the sewerage was amost complete just few areas were left and that would be completed within two months. He said the work of main pumping station (MPS) at Singhpura village would be completed in a month. The work of laying drainpipes from the MPS to Ghaggar was in progress.

“We were just waiting to get a piece of land to set up the STP and since we have got it now, the work of treatment plant will start”, he added.

The official said that a grant of Rs 18 crore (approximately) was sanctioned for the sewerage treatment plant (STP) by the Central government and the state government under the Urban Infrastructure and Development of Small and Medium Town (UIDSMT) Scheme.

Talking to Zirakpur MC president NK Sharma said the council had got the land in Singhpura. The work of laying sewerage had almost been completed, he added.


The official said that a grant of Rs 18 crore was sanctioned for the sewerage treatment plant by the Central government and the state government under the Urban Infrastructure and Development of Small and Medium Town Scheme.



Zirakpur MC to spend Rs 8 crore on strengthening of roads
Rajiv Bhatia

A view of a patholed VIP road at Zirakpur. tribune photo: nitin mittal

Zirakpur, September 21
Putting back on track the developmental works, the Zirakpur Municipal Council is spending Rs 8 crore on strengthening of roads in the town. An MC official claimed that the council had planned to strengthen the roads that were in poor condition.

He said the work of the re-carpeting and patchwork of road would be started soon. An agenda would be proposed in the coming council meeting, he said.

This monsoon, all major roads have turned into deep potholes, as they have been badly damaged due to the rain. Commuting on roads inside residential colonies is a nightmare for residents.

The official said the council was keen on strengthening those roads that were being used by heavy vehicles. He said these roads included VIP road, VIP Penta Home road, Peer Muchalla, Kohinoor Dhaba link road, Nabha to Pabhat; and Baltana-Harmilap link road.

The work of laying tiles has already begun at Baltana and Dhakoli. The official said the council had also planned a water drainage system so the rainwater would not accumulate on the roads.

Early in the day, District Town Planning chairman and Zirakpur MC president Narinder Kumar Sharma today inspected the ongoing development work. He said the designs of the roads were ready and Rs 8 crore would be spent on the work. “We are planning to speed up the development work in the town and it will be completed in the next two months”, he claimed.



12-day-old undergoes open heart surgery
Youngest infant in the region to go through such a procedure
Our Correspondent

Cardiologist Dr TS Mahant with the 12-day-old infant after open heart surgery at Fortis Hospital in Mohali on Wednesday. tribune photo: vicky gharu

Mohali, September 21
“A new-born child who does not behave normally and has breathing problem can have some heart-related ailment,” Dr TS Mahant , executive director, cardio thoracic and vascular surgery, Fortis Hospital, said here at a press conference after performing open heart surgery on a 12-day old child.

Mahant said that the child was diagnosed with a rare congenital defect called total anomalous pulmonary venous connection (TAPVC) and also infra diaphragmatic obstruction, which made the case even more complicated. The veins of the child were not linked to the heart but to a separate chamber.

The medical team led by Mahant took around six hours to complete the surgery. “You can well imagine the size of the heart of a 12-day old infant,” stated Mahant. “We had to be absolutely careful while conducting the surgical procedure and the entire team worked with absolute precision. I am glad to report that our efforts paid off and the operation was successful.”

He said the baby required mechanical ventilation within few hours of birth itself, and, without surgery he could not have survived longer. A delay in diagnosis could have had an adverse outcome and prompt diagnosis and timely intervention was essential.

Also, infradiaphragmatic TAPVC was extremely rare and had an incidence of 1 in 1,00,000 births. Without surgery it was universally fatal.

Mahant said that the12-day old infant was the youngest baby in this region to have undergone an open-heart surgery. Such a surgery could also be performed even on a one -day old child if required.

Simranjeet Kaur, mother of the child, said that she had lost all hopes but was very happy that her baby was saved due to the efforts of the doctors.



snehalaya case
SIT submits report on missing children
Suggests stepping up of security, verification of kids’ addresses
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 21
The special investigating team (SIT) of the UT Police, formed to probe the case of 12 missing children of Snehalaya — home for the destitute in Maloya — submitted its report in the case to senior officials today.

The report has recommended the stepping up of security at Snehalaya and asked the home authorities to note and verify the addresses of children admitted to the institute. Besides, the police has stressed the need for deputing more security guards at the home and increasing the height of the boundary wall.

At least 12 children have gone missing from Snehalaya this year and the authorities of the home are in the dock for lackadaisical security arrangements.

The police has managed to trace only four of the missing children. The remaining eight have not been traced so far due to incorrect addresses with the Snehalaya authorities.

“We have been unable to find the addresses of the remaining eight missing children, as the Snehalaya authorities have not kept any record of their addresses. Even photographs of some of them are not available with the institute. Snehalaya is also suffering from acute shortage of manpower and we have stated in our report that the number of security guards be increased,” said Deputy Superintendent of Police (South) BS Negi.

The report recommends that all four corners of the institute need to be guarded.



Inauguration of Singhdwar to wait
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 21
The Mansa Devi Singhdwar being under construction since 2007 will once again miss its inauguration this Navratra. When the foundation stone was laid down by the Haryana Chief Minister on January 4, 2007, the construction of the gate was scheduled to be completed within six months.

According to the architect’s plan, the gate at the main approach road to the temple would be similar to the entrance gate of Kurukshetra.

The railing on staircase of the dwar and fasteners on its dome are yet to be fixed, said HUDA Xen Bhupinder Cheema. However, we are in the process of beautifying the area, so that it looks presentable during Navratra, he added.

The tender for the project, putting the estimate at Rs 53.7 lakh, was awarded in April 2007. The construction, however, had to be halted when an iron structure erected to support the 27-foot high arch collapsed on February 4, 2008, killing a labourer. Thereafter, as the deadline for completion of the work kept on being revised, so was the cost estimate.



tricity scan

chandigarh scan

Sale of correction fluid banned

The District Magistrate, UT Chandigarh, Brijendra Singh, has prohibited the sale of correction fluid to minor children in the Union Territory for a period of 60 days, starting from September 22 to November 20. These orders have been issued as a measure of emergency under Section 144 of the CrPC. These orders are being issued keeping in view that some minors, especially schoolchildren, are committing crimes after using correction fluid (white fluid, generally used by typists for making corrections on types matter). It is a matter of grave concern and the recent reports of crimes triggered by its use by juvenile criminals need to be taken seriously.

Trinamool Cong meet

A meeting of the Trinamool Yuva Congress was held under the chairmanship of youth president Deepak Kashya at the party headquarters, Sector 47. Party state president Shambhu Banerjee was also present at the meeting. Prominent party workers present include Arjun Sharma, Manoj Yadav, Rajneesh Luthra, Ajay Singla, Vakul Rana, Arun Kumar and Inderjeet Verma among others. While addressing the meeting, Shambhu Banerjee said builders in connivance to some corrupt officials grabbed the quota of flats/houses fixed for people belonging to the economically weaker sections of society. The Trinamool Congress has started an agitation against housing companies and societies and we will not stop the agitation till the right of the poor is given to them.

70 challaned

The Municipal Corporation enforcement department issued 70 challans on Wednesday to defaulters during the anti-encroachment drive in Krishna Market, Sector 41. In addition to that, the enforcement team also challaned 51 defaulters in Shastri Market and other areas of Sector 22. Following the orders of Additional Commissioner Lalit Siwach, the drive was conducted by enforcement inspector Kashmira Singh, along with five other sub-inspectors and supporting staff of the enforcement wing.


The 14th annual conference of the Indian Society of Neuroradiology (ISNR) organised by the department of radiodiagnosis started on Wednesday with a pre-conference symposium on “Functional neuroimaging in the developing brain.” Dr N Khandelwal, professor and head of radiodiagnosis department, PGI, and also president of ISNR, gave the welcome address and introductory remarks on the subject, highlighting the importance of functional neuroimaging in the paediatric population. Eminent paediatric neuroradiologist, Dr Manohar Shroff, associate professor of radiology from the Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, spoke on the basics and current scope of functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI) of the brain.

panchkula scan

Invite for global conference

Dr Vikas Sharma, chief consultant, National Skin Hospital, Mansa Devi Complex, has been invited as a special speaker to share his recent work and study on paraneoplastic skin manifestations and pre-cancerous skin conditions at the international global conferences on anti-cancer drugs and therapies to be held in Stockholm, Sweden, and international geriatrics and aging conference, which will be held in Nanjing, China. National Skin Hospital will hold a special campaign on pre-cancerous skin disorders tomorrow. — Tribune Reporters



Appointment issue to dominate Syndicate meeting
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 21
The controversy surrounding appointment of Panjab University’s Controller of Examination brewed further, as the agenda of forthcoming Syndicate scheduled for September 27 reached Syndics today.

The item number 23 cites the minutes of earlier Syndicate meeting held in August and asks Syndics to approve it. The minutes pertain to “heated discussion” over appointment of the controller and if the Syndics are to be believed, they have been tampered with.

Repeated attempts to get VC Sobti’s version proved futile. Even as shooting a mail to the Vice-Chancellor, three Syndicate members, AS Bedi, SS Randhawa and HS Ghosal, have accused him of tampering the minutes.

“It has become a regular feature now. We have discussions and make committees, but the information is either omitted or modified in final minutes, which is against the sanctity of the house. He, in the agenda, claims that he was authorised to inquire about the allegations made by a Syndic member against chosen candidate, Parwinder Singh and present the same with documents in next Syndicate. However, in reality a committee was made in this regard, which was headed by SS Randhawa but it finds no mention in these minutes,” said HS Ghosal.

The controversy, which had been brewing since interviews for the post were planned and postponed, erupted on August 30 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 him, as his relationship with the two Senate members was questioned and not his caliber. It was claimed that despite being declared eligible by PU officials after some doubts, he was never informed about the same and inquiry was demanded, in fact that while he was declared eligible on August 8 and appeared for interview on August 9, but his eligibility case was put up to Sobti for approval only on August 12 by Assistant Registrar establishment.

Though Chatrath refrained from discussion, the issue led to an uproar by Syndics, who refused to accept the appointment of Parwinder Singh of Postgraduate Girls College, Sector 42, as the Controller of Examination. Many levelled several allegations against Parwinder and demanded an inquiry into the matter and according to Syndicate members, a committee was made for it. Sobti, who left feeling congested after the heated argument, had declared that he did not select, but a panel selects.

Controller of  Examination
Controversial minute

Syndicate, August 29, observed that Syndicate members have due respect for the selection committee and VC, but one of the members apprised the house about some facts relating to approved candidate, Dr Parvinder Singh and the house authorised the Vice-Chancellor to verify facts in next two-three days. They should, however, be supported with documentary proofs and the item be brought back to Syndicate in the next meeting.



Confusion roils PU over who heads environment dept
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 21
Lack of coordination continues to haunt the Panjab University administration. While the establishment branch recognizes Rajinder Jindal as the chairperson of the environmental studies department, the head is AS Ahluwalia according to the accounts branch.

The haunted confusion has plagued both branches ever since May when Ahluwalia, the department’s head at the time, went on leave, handing over charge to Jindal who was appointed acting chairperson.

While the varsity administration was aware of this arrangement the accounts branch was apparently in the dark. A couple of bills signed by Jindal were returned and the issue was sorted out by the registrar’s office. Surprisingly the confusion continues to persist even after Ahluwalia, who returned in June, was appointed dean of students’ welfare and never released Jindal of the charge.

When contacted both Ahluwalia and Jindal claimed they were unaware about any confusion over the matter. “I was appointed PU dean of students’ welfare and the vice chancellor summoned us both to inform that Jindal would be the chairperson of the environment studies department from now on. To the best of my knowledge this decision was recorded in writing but what happened at the office level can’t be verified by us,” said Ahluwalia.

Meanwhile, PU acting registrar AK Bhandari stated: “We issue relevant circulars that notify handing over of a particular charge, but it seems the varsity’s accounts branch wasn’t properly informed. The file has been sent to the vice chancellor and the relevant circular will be issued tomorrow”.



Parents ‘accuses’ GMSSS-37 of forcing students
Alleges that school opens savings accounts without informing parents
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 21
Government Model Senior Secondary School (GMSSS-37), Sector 37, authorities have come under scanner for “allegedly” forcing students of classes XI and XII to open savings accounts in a bank.

The issue came to fore today following a complaint from a parent of a class XII student saying the school went ahead to open savings account of his son without even informing the parents and using teachers as guarantors in it. He has raised objections on the fact that such accounts have been opened only in one school. He has also raised questions on the authority’s intent of getting these accounts opened in a particular bank rather than post offices.

“My son came home and told me that executives of a private bank had come to the school and all students of his class and class XI were asked to get savings bank accounts opened in that bank. While many students asked a day’s time to get permission for the same, they were told to fill the forms, which were then signed by their teachers. How can a school decide for the financial matters? My son told me that he was promised an ATM card on savings of few hundreds, which left me shocked. What if my child steals money from home, deposits there and uses it, will the school be responsible for it? What kind of scheme is this where only one school, out of 180, is opening savings accounts? If it’s official, then why not open their accounts in post offices, as has been the convention and take written approvals from the parents?” questioned the parent.



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