C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Is MC garbage blind?
Spends crores, but segregation not its cup of tea
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 8
The municipal corporation (MC) believes in putting the cart before the horse. While the cash-rich MC spent Rs 2.3 crore in the previous fiscal year on the purchase of garbage bins and vehicles to lift garbage, it forgot to put in place the basic mechanism for collection and segregation of garbage at the household level and at ‘sehaj safai kendras’ (SSKs).

As a result, things are back to square one and there is no improvement in the city’s garbage collection system. Not learning from past experiences, the MC has once again approved Rs 4.35 crore for the purchase of 150 garbage bins and 40 garbage-lifting vehicles.

This is despite specific directions by the UT Administration to the civic body the previous year to use bags of a specific colour for proper segregation of garbage instead of using garbage bins.

Ignoring the instructions, the sanitation department is again set to purchase the usual garbage bins on the basis of the report of the field staff.

There were also directions to purchase separate vehicles to collect meat waste from different parts of city and transport it to the bio-methanation plant at the slaughterhouse for further processing.

Failed projects on garbage collection and segregation

Coloured coding bins: The Chandigarh Pollution Control Board and the UT Administration issued directions to the MC the previous year that coloured coding bins should be installed in vegetable and meat markets so that segregation could be done at the market places. But till date, the authorities had not installed any such bins anywhere.

Door-to door collection of garbage: This was launched by the UT Administration in 2001 so that the city’s garbage could be collected properly. NGOs and resident welfare associations were involved in executing this project. The contractor had to collect garbage in specially designed rickshaws having two separate bins for segregation at the household level.

Sehaj safai kendras: The MC started this project in 2002 and proposed 132 SSKs in various sectors. The proposal involved segregating door-to-door-collected garbage at SSKs, where coloured bins were to be installed. The authorities had decided that special provisions would be made in SSKs for domestic-hazard waste. No provision had yet been made for segregating garbage in SSKs. These had become collection centres, from where garbage was being sent to the garbage-processing plant at Dadu Majra.

Specially designed rickshaws: In 2002, the UT Administration handed over specially designed rickshaws and handcarts to resident welfare associations of Sector 15 to collect garbage from houses in two separate containers for bio-degradable and non-bio-degradable waste. The proposal envisaged converting garbage into compost at the vermi-culture compost centre in Sector 15. The MC authorities were unaware of the present status of this project.

Hope floats

The Dadu Majra resident welfare association had been staging a protest for the previous three days against the foul smell in the area. Protesters claimed that US-based odour specialist Uday Singh visited the area today to monitor the garbage-processing plant and the dumping ground. He asked the residents to send him specifications of both the plant and the ground so that he could work out a solution.



260 Mohali houses have ‘numbersakes’
Phases 3B1, 4 give postmen, visitors a testing time
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Mohali, October 8
Occupants of around 260 houses at Phase 3B1 (Sector 58) and Phase 4 (Sector 59) are suffering from a serious identity crisis, thanks to identical house numbers.

For example, number 4 has been allotted to two houses at Phase 3B2 and number 125 to two houses at Phase 4. These are not two isolated cases.

Serial numbers 1 to 128 have been allotted twice at Phase 3B2. The same problem exists in case of house numbers 1 to 139 at Phase 4.

For over three decades now, the house numbers have not only been a nightmare for residents, but also a puzzle for postmen.

On innumerable occasions, anxious occupants of these houses have been landing up at the area post office to enquire about their mail.

“We have been suffering for many years due to lack of vision on the part of the erstwhile urban housing department. Many times, mail delivered at the wrong address lies unattended as the house is locked,” says NS Kalsi, president of the resident welfare association of Phase 4.

The same problem has been reported from Phase 7 (Sector 61) and some pockets of Phase 9 (Sector 63) and Phase 10 (Sector 64).

This identity crisis has surfaced after the allocation by the housing department of the same numbers to houses forming a part of the middle-income group (known as HM) dwelling units and the allocation of houses under the general category.

“The mind was not applied while allotting numbers. One is uncomfortable to knock at another’s door to enquire about a letter,” says KN Sharma, general secretary of the Phase-4 association.

Locating the correct house is a problem not only for postmen, but also for visitors. “People often end up ringing the wrong doorbell. Sector guide maps also add to the confusion,” says Parminder Singh, a resident of Phase 7.

After the submission of a petition to the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority by resident welfare associations, the matter has been listed for the regional development and planning committee meeting.

“We are working out some formulae to help residents. committee members will suggest renumbering,” an official has said.



3 more down with dengue
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 8
Three fresh cases of dengue were reported in the city today, taking the total number of cases of the mosquito-borne disease to 16 this season. There had been a sharp increase in dengue cases across the city in the past few days.

According to the UT health department, two patients were admitted to the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, and one to the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital, Sector 16.

Their condition was stated to be stable. An official with the department said fumigation was being carried out in high-risk areas and people were being prosecuted if mosquitoes were found breeding in their office or residence.



Watch out while crossing road!
Two-wheeler riders + pedestrians = 85 pc of road fatalities
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 8
City roads have become death traps for many pedestrians and two-wheeler riders, going by the statistics of road fatalities. A recent study on road accidents by the Chandigarh Traffic Police reveals that the death count of pedestrians and two-wheeler riders accounts for 85 per cent of the total road fatalities in the city and is rising with each passing year.

Of the 697 persons who had lost their lives in road accidents in Chandigarh from January, 2007, to August, 2011, an overwhelming 598 were pedestrians, cyclists or two-wheeler riders. The break-up showed that 224 were pedestrians, 118 cyclists, 147 motorcyclists and 109 scooterists.

A majority of the pedestrians who lost their lives in accidents were males, with only 46 females figuring in the list. Only 20 pillion-riders figured in the list of 256 motorcyclists and scooterists killed.

The police attributed the large number of pedestrian and two-wheeler rider deaths to carelessness and non-compliance with traffic rules. There was also an absence of pedestrian-friendly roads in the city. The study also revealed that nearly 60 per cent of the pedestrians killed were run over by heavy vehicles.

“At least 60 per cent of pedestrians come under the wheels of heavy vehicles due to common traffic violations such as overspeeding, drunken driving and breaking one-way traffic rules,” said a traffic police official. A large number of accidents involving pedestrians had occurred near the 18 colonies located in the city’s periphery, revealed the study.

The study also revealed that cars had claimed 228 lives while 115 persons had died after being hit by motorcycles or scooters in the past five years. Trucks had claimed 88 lives in the city and jeeps 33 while 76 persons had been crushed under the wheels of buses.


Sepsis causes more deaths than HIV/AIDS: PGI doc
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 8
Almost 80 per cent of infant and child deaths in India occur due to sepsis (body’s response to an infection) like pneumonia, malaria, measles, neonatal sepsis, and diarrhoea.

Talking to mediapersons, Dr Suneet Singhi, head of the Pediatric department of PGI, Chandigarh, said: “Sepsis causes more deaths per year than prostate cancer, breast cancer and HIV/AIDS. Globally, an estimated 18 millions cases of sepsis occur each year and it may lead to shock, multiple organ failure and death, especially if not recognised early and treated promptly.”

Sepsis remains the primary cause of death from infection despite advances in modern medicine, including vaccines, antibiotics and acute care. “The lack of awareness and understanding of sepsis among people is one of the major challenges we face in health care today,” said Dr Singhi.

“Children, elderly and hospitalised patients are more prone to this condition. In addition, anti-cancer drugs frequently render patients susceptible to infection, and sepsis is a major cause of death in this population. But simple interventions including immunisation, vitamin supplementation, antibiotics and fluid can dramatically alter the course of sepsis, if administered within the first few hours of its suspicion,” he added.

As per data, as many as 50 per cent of septic patients, who would otherwise die, might be saved if their condition is recognised early and treated with fluids and antibiotics within the first hour of detection.

He said: “Indian Society of Critical Care Medicine is urging healthcare providers, patients and policymakers to treat sepsis as a medical emergency as it is actually responsible for the majority of the mortalities associated with the HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, pneumonia and other infections acquired in the community, healthcare settings and by traumatic injury. It’s imperative that we come together as a global community to address this enormous public health problem.”

Sepsis is under- recognised and poorly understood as a leading cause of death in the world due to confusion about its definition among patients and healthcare providers. Other causes are lack of documentation of sepsis as a cause of death on death certificates, inadequate diagnostic tools and inconsistent application of standardised clinical guidelines to treat sepsis,” added Dr Singhi.



Airmen remember martyrs on 79th anniversary
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 8
To commemorate the 79th anniversary of the Air Force, several events were organised at the Air Force Station here today.

Paying tributes to martyrs, Air Officer Commanding 12 Wing Air Cmde SC Chafekar laid a wreath at the station war memorial on behalf of all officers and air warriors.

A ceremonial parade was held wherein Air Force personnel were administered the oath of allegiance.

Other functions included a social evening at the officers’ mess for serving and retired officers and their families, SNCO’s At Home, cocktails at the SNCO’s mess and a barakhana for airmen.

The IAF has emerged as the main instrument of India’s power projection not only in South Asia but also beyond.

The Air Force station, Chandigarh, being a transport base, provides vital support to the Army and Air Force units located in the inhospitable terrain of the Himalayas.

It has also been involved in every war and relief mission during disaster or natural calamity.



Designs by CCA alumni on display
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 8
From a five-star hotel and a cricket stadium to an airport: the alumni of the city’s Chandigarh College of Architecture (CCA) have designed innumerable projects across the country and in some parts of the world.

Pictures of some of the designs of projects prepared by many ex-students were put on display in the college as part of its ongoing Golden Jubilee celebrations. For example, CCA’s alumni have designed most of the airports in the region. Harpal Singh (1971 batch) and Vinod Punyal (1980 batch) were involved in designing airports in Amritsar (Raja Sansi) and Srinagar. Harpal Singh, along with another architect, also designed the airport in Dehradun.

CCA’s alumni have also contributed their designs to famous high-end hotels in Rajasthan. For example, Ravi Kumar Gupta, a 1969 batch student, is the man behind the design of several hotels in Rajasthan, mostly Jaipur.

Arun Loomba, a 1974-batch student, who has mastered many designs, has, among other projects, also designed International Cricket Stadium in Dharamsala.

CCA principal Pardeep Bhagat said, “The college has also produced chief architects of the UT and neighbouring states. But that’s not all. From houses of celebrities, government buildings, multi-crore projects and malls across Delhi, Gurgaon and Bengaluru, the work done by the alumni of the college can be found everywhere”. Giving an example of a success story overseas, Bhagat said Tony Ashai, the renowned California-based architect and an ex-student, had designed homes for many celebrities and even re-designed New York’s famous Chrysler building. He had also given inputs to the design of Shah Rukh Khan’s home.

CCA’s alumni have also contributed to major government buildings across the tricity. For instance, Renu Khanna, a 1985 batch student, designed the oval shaped Forest Complex building in Mohali, a one-of-its-kind in the region. Former chief architect of Punjab SL Kaushal, another alumni, designed the Judicial Academy in Chandigarh.



Plot owners up in arms against HUDA
Imposition of enhancement fee in Sectors 25 to 28
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 8
The plot owners of Sectors 25, 26, 27 and 28 are once again up in arms against the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) over imposition of enhancement fee. The Joint Action Committee, Panchkual Extention (JAC), resenting the enhancement has decided to hold a candlelight march and dharnas.

The HUDA authorities did not even bother to provide them the breakup of the money being demanded from them against the enhancement fee, said SS Gill, president of the committee.

Following a protest by plot owners in front of the HUDA office on September 26, HUDA chief administrator DPS Nangal had formed a committee, including the representatives of plot owners to sort out the issue, said Gill. Though a meeting of the committee was held on September 27 and it was decided that all information regarding the calculation of enhancement money would be provided to the owners under the Right To Information within seven days, but nothing had been done in this regard leaving no option for them but to resort to agitation, added Gill.

The fee, ranging between Rs 2,000 and Rs 4,500 per square yard, was imposed following a directive of the local sessions court and HUDA has already begun issuing notices to the plot holders.

While calculating the enhanced compensation for Sectors 25 to 28, Panchkula, HUDA has taken the total area as 1, 150 acres. On the other hand, the Haryana government had itself taken a stand that while acquisition was of 1,153 acres of land a total of 1,074 acres of land was for development of Sectors 24 to 28. Thus the area Sectors 25 to 28 was obviously less than 1,074 acres, claimed the JAC of plot owners.

Moreover, large areas in Sectors 25 to 28, are earmarked for the EWS category. The flotation rate of these areas was several times lower than that for the general category.

However, the major portion of the enhanced compensation for such area earmarked for the EWS category is being borne by the existing allottees under the general category.

It is the responsibility of the state to carry out the welfare measures for the EWS category but that should not be at the expense of the existing allottees, they said.

The HUDA estate officer and chief administrator was not available for comments.

Notices being issued to allottees

The fee, ranging between Rs 2,000 and Rs 4,500 per square yard, was imposed following a directive of the local sessions court and HUDA has already begun issuing notices to the plot holders. Large areas in Sectors 25 to 28 have been earmarked for economically weaker sections. The flotation rate of these areas was several times lower than that of the general category. However, a major portion of the enhanced compensation for such areas earmarked under the EWS category is being borne by the existing allottees under the general category.



Panchkula police gets custody of Porsche car
To be brought to town on Sunday
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 8
In the Porsche car theft case, the Panchkula police got the custody of the car from the Faizabad police. Businessman Chander Verma’s brother who had gone to Faizabad along with the Panchkula police team identified the car.

A senior official of the Panchkula police said that they would bring car to Panchkula on Sunday.

The Faizabad police had found the car lying abandoned there for the past two to three days. Thereafter, they had informed the Panchkula police about the car.

It was on the intervening night of September 21 and 22, that the thieves had struck at the house of a Panchkula businessman Chander Verma in Sector 7 and made off with a Porsche worth around Rs 80 lakh.

The same gang had struck early that morning when they snatched a chain of an elderly woman in Sector 11, Chandigarh, and stole her Toyota Corolla. Hours later at night, the gang came in the stolen Toyota Corolla to Sector 7, Panchkula, and took away a Mercedes and a Porsche. However, the thieves abandoned the Mercedes car and Toyota Corolla and took away the Porsche car.

Rich haul

It was on the intervening night of September 21 and 22, that the thieves had struck at the house of a Panchkula businessman Chander Verma in Sector 7 and made off with a Porsche worth around Rs 80 lakh.

Businessman Chander Verma’s brother had gone to Faizabad along with the Panchkula police team identify the car.



Market panel poll
BJP announces candidates
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 8
The Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) today announced Dinesh Kumar Mahajan and Kulwinder Singh as its candidates for the posts of chairman and vice-chairman of the market committee, respectively.

The newly appointed directors will elect the chairman and vice-chairman of the committee. Senior BJP leader Harmohan Dhawan called a press conference to announce the names.

Dhawan said six out of the nine elected directors were from the party.

It was a setback to the Congress as well as Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and Water Resources Pawan Bansal after his close confidants-former market committee chief Devinder Singh Babla and president of the District Congress Committee (rural) Devinder Singh Lobana- lost the elections held last month.

Out of the remaining three, Anand Singh and Bhim Sen are from the Congress, while Gubaksh Singh is contesting as an Independent candidate.



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