C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S



Brick or loaf of bread? official in a fix
Raiding team appalled at state of bakeries, sweet units
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Confiscated sweets being loaded in a truck.  Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, October 12
“Is it a brick or a loaf of bread?” was the question posed by a senior UT official to an employee of a bakery that was housed in dark and dingy rooms of a double-storeyed house in Mani Majra. The loaves, lying on the floor, were being topped with cream to tempt buyers.

As if the shock of seeing products unfit for consumption was not enough, it was equally appalling to see that packets of various powders and food colours had expired. Even the vegetables used for making patties were rotten. The bakery was stinking and the trays and utensils being used to prepare various items were extremely dirty.

“These people are playing with the health of people,” said ML Sharma, UT Additional Deputy Commissioner, who was accompanied by Assistant Commissioner Nidhi Srivastva. Raids were conducted on various bakeries and factories where sweets were being manufactured.

The team confiscated about 15 quintal of raw material, including sweets like “patisa” and “baalushahi”, besides bakery items like pastries, cream rolls, sweet buns, breads, muffins and several kinds of “namkeen” from five units. While four of these units were located in Mani Majra, another one was being run at Bapu Dham near Sector 26. Significantly, these small-time factories and bakeries are catering to most of the eating joints and canteens in the city.

Two trucks were used to take away the food items, which were later destroyed. “Consumption of any single item is enough to make anyone ill,” said a doctor, who was present at the site during the raid.

“It seems that the utensils and baking trays were never washed,” said another member of the team. The food items were scattered on filthy floors and the walls had algae growth.

“I will never eat any bakery item or sweet after seeing the condition of these units. I used to read such stories in the media, but today I have seen it with my own eyes,” said a passerby who stopped to witness the ongoing raid at Mani Majra.

Sharma said challans would be issued to the owners of these units. “Though we have destroyed the confiscated material, we will visit the sites again to check the proceedings,” he said.



Rotational power cuts back in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 12
After more than two years, the UT administration has imposed rotational power cuts in the city till further orders. Against a requirement of approximately 240 MW, the UT is getting only 185 MW at the moment.

Confirming the development, VK Singh, Finance Secretary, said the cuts had been imposed for an indefinite period. An official communication from the administration said “overdrawal from the grid had led to failure of the grid system”.

The entitlement of power to the UT has been decreased between 8 am and 7 pm. A senior officer said widespread power utilisation, particularly for air-conditioners, was one of the biggest reasons for tripping.

Cut timings Area affected
9 am to 10 am and
3 pm to 3.30 pm
Part of Sec. 21-A, 23-B, 36-C, 42, 43 A, C & D, 44-A, 45-D, 46-A, 51, 52, 55, 61, 8-C & D, 9-C & D, 18-A, B, C & D, 19-C, 21-B, C & D, 22-A, B, C & D, 32-D, 35-C, 36-D, 41-C & D, 43 B, 44-B & D
10am to 11am and
3.30 pm to 4 pm
Part of Sec.16-D, 29-A & B, 30-D 31-D, 32-A &C, 33-B & C, 36-A & B, 37-C & D, 41-A & B, 45-A, B & C, 46-B, 7-C, 8-B, C & D, 17, 18-A, 19-A, B, C & 20-A, B, C & D, 22-B & C 27-D, 32-B & D, 34-A, 35-B, 36-D, 37-A & B, 41-C & D, 43-B, 44-B & 46 C.
11 am to 12 noon and
4 pm to 4.30 pm
Part of Sec.11, 12, 14, 15, 24-A & B, 25, 25 (West), 33-A & D, 34-B, C & D, 35-A & D, 2, 9-C & D, 10-A, B & D, 16-A, B & C, 17-A, 20-A, B, C & D, 21-B, C & D, 23-A, C & D, 34- A, 35-B & C.
12 noon to 1 pm and
4.30 pm to 5 pm
Part of Sec.17 B, C & D, 24-C & D, 29-C & D , 30-A & C, 31-A, B & C, 38, 38 (West), 39, 40, 44-C, 46-D, 47 b, C & D, 48, 49, 50, 56, 16-A, B & C, 18-C & D, 19-C & D, 22-A & B, 23 A, C & D, 30-B, 32-B, 37-A & B, 44-B & D, 47-A, 46-C & 47-A.
1 pm to 2 pm and
5 pm to 5.30 pm
Manimajra, Modern Housing Complex, Shivalik Enclave, Mauli village and surrounding areas, Janta Colony, Khumhar Colony, Aman Colony, Ambedkar Colony, Dhanas Colony, Dadu Majra, Dadu Majra Colony, Maloya village, Maloya Colony, Ram Darbar Colony Phases-I & II, and Indira Colony, Colony No.4 & surroundings Colony No.5, Kajheri, Nehru Colony, EWS Colony, Sec 52, Makhan Majra, Hallo Majra, Raipur Khurd, Bapu Dham Colony, Behalana, Deep Complex & Daria & Faida villages.
2 pm to 3 pm and
5.30 pm to 6 pm
Part of Sec 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 A, B & C, 8-A, 9-A & B, 19-B, 27-A, B & C, 28, 26 & IT park, Sec 2, 8-B, 9-C & D, 10-A, B & D, 19-A, 27-D & 30-B



BSNL restores services to emergency nos.
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 12
A day after two incidents in which passersby tried in vain to connect ‘100’ from their cellphones on seeing a pedestrian and a motorcyclist bleeding to death following an accident in Lalru and Chandigarh, respectively, the BSNL today restored services of the police, fire and ambulance emergency numbers ‘100’, ‘101’ and ‘102’ with private cell operators Vodafone, Airtel and Idea.

The BSNL had earlier severed connectivity owing to non-payment of revised carriage charges by private service operators resulting in public harassment as they were unable to dial emergency numbers from their mobiles.

UT DSP (PCR) Roshan Lal said keeping in view the interest of the public regarding non-connectivity of calls from phone numbers other than the BSNL to the Police Control Room on BSNL numbers, efforts were made and BSNL general manager has assured the restoration of the services of from Vodafone, Idea and Airtel on police, fire and ambulance emergency numbers. Efforts were being made to get assurances from Vodafone, Airtel and Idea for connectivity to these numbers. Reliance and Tata had already assured the services, he said.

Passersby had tried in vain to contact ‘100’ from their cellphones on seeing a 23-year-old motorcyclist lying in a pool of blood after colliding with an SUV at the railway lights in Chandigarh and on seeing a pedestrian lying in a pool of blood after being run over by a vehicle on the Lalru flyover.



Dengue tally 18 with two fresh cases in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 12
Two new cases of dengue were reported in the city today, taking the total number of people affected by the disease to 18. As per data collected by the UT health department, the two patients, both men, are from the Hallomajra area.

The UT malaria officer, Dr G Verma, said: “A total number of 18 cases have been reported since September 22. We have taken adequate preventive measures.”

Officials from the health department say that even though the number of cases has increased during the past two weeks, the situation is not alarming. “These 18 cases were reported only from the last week of September and are much lower than the 54 cases reported during the corresponding period last year,” he said, adding that they were making efforts to spread awareness among residents to control the spread of the disease.

The first case was reported in the tricity on September 25, when a 35-year-old Panchkula resident was hospitalised at the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH). A doctor from the GMCH and two resident doctors from the PGI have also been inflicted with the disease.

Deadly infection

Dengue is a mosquito-borne infection that causes severe flu-like illness and sometimes a potentially lethal complication called dengue haemorrhagic fever, which is a leading cause of serious illness and death among children. The only way of preventing dengue virus transmission is to combat the disease carrying mosquitoes.



Dengue: Health dept forms 5 teams
Our Correspondent

Mohali, October 12
The district health authorities have set up five teams to conduct a door-to-door survey to check fever. The teams were formed after a Matour resident, who showed dengue-like symptoms, died.

Dr Usha Bansal, Civil Surgeon, said five teams comprising two members each would check if residents were suffering from fever.

Slides will be prepared to check whether the fever was because of malaria or any other reason, Dr Usha added. Patients can also come to the Civil Hospital where tests for dengue are being done.

However, no confirmed case of dengue has been reported from anywhere in Mohali so far. It has still not been confirmed whether the Matour resident died of dengue fever.

The health officials have urged residents to empty water containers. The civic body had been asked to carry out fogging, added Dr Bansal.



Rent Act amendment under SC scanner
Allows NRIs to take immediate possession of their property
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 12
The amendment in the East Punjab Urban Rent Restriction (Amendment) Act, 2001, empowering non-resident Indians (NRIs) to take immediate possession of rented residential and non-residential property, has come under the scanner of the Supreme Court.

A Bench comprising Justice Cyriac Joseph and Justice Tirath Singh Thakar recently issued notice to the parties concerned, including the Union Government and the UT Administration, on a special leave petition (SLP) filed by the Chandigarh-based Commercial Tenants Association (CTA).

Challenging the jurisdiction of the Punjab legislature in amending the Act, the petitioners had termed it a violation of Article 14 of the Constitution.

The notification, extending the amended Act to Chandigarh, was in exercise of essential legislative functions of the executive, which was not permissible under Section 87 of the Reorganisation Act, the SLP contended.

The amendment in the Act and its extension to Chandigarh had created panic among tenants as a large number of NRI landlords who had property in Chandigarh and Punjab had shot off notices to commercial tenants for summary vacation of their property.

An amendment, 13-B, had been added after Section 13-A in the notification of the Act, which provided that NRIs could get immediate possession of their property by applying to the relevant authority.

Meanwhile, CTA president Arvind Jain appealed to aggrieved tenants from Chandigarh and Punjab to join hands for a united fight against the amendment.

On the other hand, NRIs had been claiming that tenants had been paying them peanuts by way of rent for property worth crores despite raking in big money.

There was nothing wrong in getting property vacated for personal use, NRIs had contended. Earlier, the CTA had filed a petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, which did not find merit in the plea and rejected it.



Paying the price to keep the city clean
Garbage plant processing ailments
Skin allergy, respiratory disorders common among Dadu Majra residents

Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

The story is the same in 35-year-old Rajanshree’s family. Her mother-in-law Shanti Devi is suffering from asthma. Though they had been staying at Dadu Majra for the past 18 years, the asthmatic problems started five years ago. “We spend almost Rs 2,000 to Rs 3,000 on medication per month,” lamented Rajanshree, who runs a departmental store in the area.

The magnitude of the problem can be gauged from the fact that respiratory disorders are affecting youngsters too. One-and-a-half-year-old Aditya, is suffering from asthma. His father Devidas and his grand father AD Kalam were too suffering from asthma.

Women cover their faces due to foul smell emanating from the dumping ground adjoining their houses at Dadu Majra Colony.

Heaps of garbage remain unattended at the Dadu Majra dumping ground near the residential area.

The stench is a big problem here. Twenty-five children attend the anganwadi and breathe the polluted air. It’s difficult to stay here for four hours from 8 am to 12 noon. — Meenakshi, An anganwadi teacher

Chandigarh, October 12
Have you ever imagined what life would be living next to 350 tonnes of garbage? If not, ask residents of Dadu Majra who have been living for the past several years right next to the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation’s garbage processing plant.

It wouldn’t be an overstatement to say that life is nothing short of hell for these residents who have to continuously bear the nauseating stench emanating from the garbage dumping ground and suffer the ailments arising from inhaling the polluted air. With almost each house in the vicinity of the plant having one or more persons suffering from either skin or respiratory problem, one cannot avoid questioning the wisdom of those at the helm in setting up a garbage plant next to a rehabilitation colony or vice versa.

An anganwadi teacher, Meenakshi, said: “The stench is a big problem here. Twenty-five children attend the anganwadi and breathe the polluted air. “It’s difficult to stay here for four hours from 8 am to 12 noon. During rain water enters our room along with the garbage making it nothing less than a hell. See it to believe it.”

Each family had an individual tale of woe to narrate. Even doctors at the local dispensary reveal that they get at least 10 to 12 patients everyday with complaints of respiratory disorders. Dr Rishi of the Dadu Majra dispensary admitted that a large number of people visit the dispensary with respiratory disorders everyday. He, however, claimed that he had nothing to prove that they were due to the garbage disposal plant. “Most of the patients are children as they easily catch infection,” said Dr Rishi, adding that there were several cases of allergy and skin infection also.

Madan Lal, a ward committee member, claimed that every second family in the area had a person suffering from respiratory problem. He also challenged the administration to conduct a survey to prove otherwise.

Former Mayor and a strong opponent of the Jaypee’s garbage processing plant, Kamlesh, who is also the area councillor, said the garbage plant has endangered the lives of area residents. The authorities are not playing heed to the ill-effects of harmful gases, dioxins and furans. “I have been warning the authorities, but nothing is being done,” she said.

Talking to The Tribune, a spokesperson for the plant management said the sources of “dioxins and furans’ is not only the municipal waste. He said the emission could be from the incineration of clinical waste, electric furnaces, industrial combustion and power stations too.”

She said: “Our plant is as per the contractual documents and meets the pollution control norms. We have installed carbon beds and venturi scrubbers. An additional furnace is also being installed. Care has been taken to check emission of harmful gases. The entire garbage is put up in an enclosed structure.”



No relief from stink in sight
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 12
Chandigarh’s rendezvous with foul smell emanating from the garbage processing plant at Dadu Majra doesn’t seem to end in the near future.

Capturing the reality, Charanjit Singh, a 25-year-old milkman of Dhanas, said: “I remember the nauseating smell in my surroundings ever since I was a toddler. I was pleasantly uncomfortable in the clean air at my relative’s village in Gurdaspur where I spent a night there recently.

Affected areas

Dadu Majra
Dadu Majra Colony
Sectors 37, 38, 39 and 38 (West)

While politicians and bureaucrats play the blame game, residents in the vicinity of the garbage plant are hit hard. Besides, thousands of people who will be shifting in the new housing projects of the area will have to cope with the foul smell and health problems.

“Politicians are more concerned about scoring browny points than taking care of real issues affecting the health of residents. Passing through the area is a nightmare and it is surprising that how politicians and bureaucrats are trying to push the issue under the carpet,” alleged Anup Sharma, a resident of Sector 38 (West).

A large of number of people are expected to reside and do business in the vicinity of the plant in the years to come. The UT Administration had already built hundreds of tenements with a view to rehabilitate the slum dwellers at Dhanas. Besides, the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) has ambitious plans to come with multi-storeyed housing schemes in Dhanas and Maloya near the plant.

To top it all, the nearby area in Punjab -- rechristened as New Chandigarh by the Punjab Government - is bursting at seams with the entry of big realtors. While the state government-controlled GMADA had already floated the Ecocity housing project, reality major DLF is planning a mega housing project adjoining Sector 38 (West) in Punjab.

The plant is already surrounded by thickly-populated areas like Dadu Majra, Dadu Majra Colony, Dhanas, Sectors 37, 38, 39 and Sector 38 (West).

What has irked the residents is the fact that the elected representatives, including the MC councillors and local MP and Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and Water Resources Pawan Bansal and bureaucracy, continue to pass the buck.

The setting up of the plant in the municipal area of Chandigarh which was bound to grow by leaps and bounds in the subsequent years was ill-conceived from the very start. That is perhaps the reasons that the plant had been in controversy since its commissioning by former Punjab Governor and UT Administrator SF Rodrigues on May 21, 2008.



Political parties try to cash in on foul smell
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

BJP leaders join the protest of the Residents Welfare Association, Dadu Majra Colony, on Wednesday.

Chandigarh, October 12
The ensuing Chandigarh Municipal Corporation (MC) elections has finally woken up the political parties from their slumber after five years to resolve the long-pending problem of foul smell in and around Dadu Majra.

Interestingly, both the Congress and the BJP are in the race for using pressure tactics on the UT Administration and the MC to undertake concrete steps to resolve the issue at the earliest.

Surprisingly, Union Minister Pawan Bansal, who was mum on the issue, showed his concern for the foul smell emanating in the area by stating that the garbage processing plant had not fulfilled the purpose for which it was set up. Talking to mediapersons today, Bansal accepted that the MC had failed to come up with a proper segregation system. If proper action is not taken immediately, the system would collapse and residents of Chandigarh will have to face the consequences, he added.

Sources said that Bansal clarified his stand on the issue as he might face irate residents during his visit to Dadu Majra on October 16 for the inauguration of the community centre.

Leaving no stone unturned, the BJP is planning to hire experts who will prepare a detailed report about how to manage the garbage of the city and this will be a major agenda for the elections. The BJP has now realised to cash in on the problem faced by area residents and organise special health camps and distribute free medicines to the affected persons.

Top political leaders can now be seen in the area. BJP national executive member Kirron Kher visited the area yesterday and extended her support to the members of the Residents Welfare Association who are on a chain hunger strike. She also had a telephonic conversation with the officiating UT Adviser, Satya Gopal, today. BJP city president Sanjay Tandon also visited the dumping ground at Dadu Majra today.


Badals’ gift to Mohali — Foundation stones
Tribune News Service

Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal hands over a learner’s licence to a student of Government College, Phase VI, Mohali. A Tribune photograph

Mohali, October 12
As the Akali government seems to have lost track of the important pending projects in Mohali, including those which were announced two to three years ago, Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal went on a whirlwind tour of the city to lay foundation stones of projects worth Rs 400 crore, including some that were already under way.

Significantly, pending projects, including construction of the district administrative complex (DAC)-cum-judicial complex in Sector 76, development of central business district in Sector 62, and starting of air-conditioned low-floor buses as part of the mass rapid transport system, have failed to catch the attention of junior Badal, who on being asked about the pending projects said, “Development takes time. Some projects that were conceived two years ago are taking shape now,” he said while asserting that development works were not being carried out to garner votes for the forthcoming elections and rather it was a matter of commitment.

Pending projects

Installation of CCTV cameras at strategic locations across the city was announced in 2010

  • Starting of air-conditioned low-floor buses was announced in 2010
  • The SAD government has failed to sanction adequate funds for the district administrative complex
  • Repair of all roads has been pending for the past one year
  • The municipal corporation constituted over 10 months ago has failed to function properly as its limits have not been redefined.
  • Nothing has happened in the central business district of Sector 62

The projects that were lined up for the foundation stone laying ceremony have been announced a number of times in the past when the SAD government showcased its commitment to developing Mohali as a modern city. “But the basic needs of the city like usable roads and basic district-level infrastructure and the city bus service are yet to be fulfilled,” said Kulwinder Singh, a resident of Phase VII.

Earlier, while interacting with mediapersons, the Deputy CM promised to make Mohali as the IT hub of Asia. He said Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh had agreed to lay a foundation stone of the terminal of international airport next month and international flights from Mohali would also start next month.

He said the SAD-BJP government had initiated a number of development works and Mohali had got highest-ever allocation for development. He said besides ambitious development in Aerocity and Eco city, sports stadiums in Sectors 59, 61, 63, 65, 69 , 78 and 71 were being constructed with facilities like indoor swimming pool, badminton courts, table tennis hall, indoor squash court, indoor and outdoor basketball courts, indoor and outdoor skating rinks, wrestling and boxing rings at the cost of Rs 46. 50 crore and all these works would be completed by the end of this year.

The Deputy CM said Mohali had witnessed the highest-ever population growth, but the Congress failed to upgrade the road infrastructure to meet the demands of higher population density. He directed NK Sharma, chairman, District Planning Committee, to personally monitor the progress of every ongoing project in Mohali and submit him weekly reports in this regard.

Reiterating his commitment to make Mohali as the IT hub of northern India, junior Badal said world class signages at the cost of Rs 5 crore were being put up on every road and every rotary had been beautified by professional landscaping firms and entry and exit points to the town had been done up reflecting its modern outlook. In Sector 62, a convention centre was being constructed. To repair roads after extended monsoon, Rs 3 crore had been sanctioned.

He also inaugurated the foundation stone of Rs 335 crore Kajouli water works, Rs 5 crore project of commercial streetlights in Phase V, widening of Radha Swami road, Rs 5 crore nature park in Sector 62. He also laid the foundation stone of sports stadium in Sector 78 besides laying the foundation stone of EWS housing scheme in Sector 114.



Foundation stone of bus terminal in Zirakpur laid
Move delights residents
Rajiv Bhatia

An aerial view of the site in Zirakpur where the bus terminal is to come up. Tribune photo: Nitin Mittal

Zirakpur, October 12
Almost a decade after a bus stand for Zirakpur was first announced, Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal today laid a foundation stone of the bus terminal. Despite the Punjab and Haryana High Court issuing orders asking bus drivers to avoid parking vehicles along the highway, the stone was laid. With this the long-pending demand of residents to have a bus terminal in Zirakpur is in the process of being implemented.

Meanwhile, a community health centre in Dhakoli was also inaugurated by the Deputy Chief Minister. The health centre has a 50-bedded facility and a team of six doctors, along with the SMO, was deployed to cater to the need of thousands of residents.

Once the terminal comes into existence, buses will start plying to Patiala, Delhi, and Himachal Pradesh from Zirakpur. As per plan, a three-storey building at a cost of Rs 492. 65 lakh is to be constructed. The entire project may complete within eights months.

Sources said the buses coming from Panchkula and Patiala will take a U-turn from a cut that will be constructed by NHAI soon. However, the buses coming from Chandigarh will get the entry directly and will be allowed to stop for 10 minutes to pick passengers.

The terminal is expected to be constructed with the state-of-art technology and can be safely placed in the category of an ultra-modern bus stand. There is a provision for eight buses to drop and pick the passengers at a time. Parking facility for cars and two-wheelers will be provided to commuters. The complex will also cater to the day-to-day needs of commuters as the first floor will house three commercial shops. For the convenience of commuters, a waiting hall will also be constructed.

“The bus stand will go a long way in not only easing the traffic congestion on the highway passing through Zirakpur, but will also come to the rescue of com\muters travelling between Chandigarh and Zirakpur,” said Mohammad Suhal, a resident of Zirkapur, who runs a shop in Sector 17.

District planning chairman NK Sharma said the pending demand of Zirakpur residents has been fulfilled.

  • The police wants to have a share in the Zirakpur bus terminal. It has shot off a communication to the authorities concerned to set up a police post in the terminal. Traffic police has also demanded that its office be set up at the site
  • Some residents felt that the proposed bus terminal at Kalka intersection opposite Paras Down Town Square would lead to traffic jams on the highway. They suggested that the bus terminal should be constructed on the outskirts



Dad well to continue as CM, says Sukhbir
Rajiv Bhatia

Zirakpur, October 12
Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal has not fielded any candidate for the Dera Bassi constituency. The Deputy CM was in the town to lay a foundation stone of a bus terminal. Residents had been demanding a bus stand in the town for long.

When asked if the party was fielding any candidate for the constituency, Sukhbir chose to remain mum. With the party yet to announce the name of the candidate for the coming elections, the workers seemed to be disappointed.

While addressing mediapersons, Sukbhir said there was nothing to worry about. When asked why some workers had quit the party and joined the Congress, Sukhbir said it was a common phenomenon which occurred before the elections.

On being asked whether he would take over as Punjab Chief Minister, Sukhbir said the decision in this regard would be taken by the party.

He said Parkash Singh Badal was hail and hearty to continue as the CM. MLA Banur Jasjit Singh Bunny was also present on the occasion. But he did not talk much.

In fact, he was not given much importance and his name did not figure on the foundation stone that was laid today.



Pending projects
Not dissatisfied, but Bansal seeks speed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 12
Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and Water Resources Pawan Kumar Bansal does not seem happy over the pendency of projects under Member of Parliament Local Area Development (MPLAD) funds.

Asked whether he was satisfied with the status of pending projects here today, he said, “I wish to say I am not dissatisfied,” adding that much more could have been done.

Bansal held a meeting to review the progress of such projects, which was also attended by UT Finance Secretary VK Singh and other senior officials of the Chandigarh Administration.

During the meeting, he emphasised that there was an urgent need for accelerating the pace of execution of works under MPLAD funds so that more public works could be taken up in the union territory.

Bansal added that he had found during a review that the projects were hanging fire because of minor technicalities.

“Instructions have been issued to officials concerned to remove glitches as soon as possible and complete these projects immediately,” he said.

At least 10 projects for which money had been released from MPLAD funds during the 14th Lok Sabha and 12 during the 15th Lok Sabha had been hanging fire.

Official figures revealed that 199 projects had been sanctioned during the 14th Lok Sabha, of which 189 had been completed. During the 15th Lok Sabha, 39 had been sanctioned, of which 27 had been completed.

The MPLAD fund had increased from Rs 2 crore to Rs 5 crore per annum. “We have released Rs 4 crore under the fund,” said Bansal.

Some projects recommended under the MPLAD scheme were community centres at Sectors 48 and 49, ‘e-sampark kendras’ at Sectors 35, 37, 39 and 48, sports grounds at certain schools and colleges, alumni houses at Panjab University and Government College, Sector 11, parks in various sectors and ‘dharamsalas’ and rural stadia at Khudda Ali Sher, Dadu Majra and Kaimbwala villages.

Bansal had also suggested that certain works, like a ‘musafirkhana’ for the Wakf Board at Khudda Lahora, common passages on different floors of EWS tenements at Sectors 30, 37 and 38 and toilets at the Labour chowk in Sector 44, be taken up by the Administration under the scheme.



Chandigarh scan
New OPD timings

The department of health and family welfare has changed OPD timings of the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital, Sector 16, and its allied dispensaries, including community health centres at Mani Majra and Sector 22, ‘ayush’ dispensaries and the polyclinic at Sector 45. The new timings of 9 am to 3 pm will be operational from October 16 to April 15 next. The timings of ESI dispensaries at Sectors 23 and 29 and the dispensaries at the UT Secretariat, the Punjab and Haryana Secretariat and the High Court will remain unchanged.

2-day workshop

The infant mortality rate is very high in India, with about 50 of every 1,000 newborns not reaching their first birthday. Many state governments have adopted methods and questionnaires to ascertain causes through infant death review. Due to lack of uniformity, information is not comparable across the nation. The school of public health at the PGI will organise a two-day national consultation workshop on infant death review from October 13 in collaboration with UNICEF and the child heath division of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to develop uniform guidelines and tools. Around 25 experts from all over the country and state officials from Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Haryana will deliberate on this issue and come out with standard guidelines and investigating tools which can be implemented at national level.

Bedsore care

Bedridden people face a major problem in the form of bedsores. These can be prevented if early signs are noticed and taken care of in time. In order to create awareness on this issue, a project has been started under the guidance of Dr Sukhpal Kaur and Dr Amarjeet Singh of the PGI. A clinical trial on bedsore care has been started by them in the tricity. The team will visit bedridden patients and their caregivers to prevent and treat bedsores. Booklets in Hindi and English will be distributed among families included in the study. The purpose of this book is to provide simple solutions to the challenges faced by bedridden patients and their caregivers in day-to-day life. It will help caregivers understand instructions, exercises and positioning of patient easily. Interested persons and families can contact the project team on mobile number 8872016108 for registering.

No poll held

The Joint Action Committee of the Residents Welfare Association, Sector 30-B, has denied in a press note that elections to it were held, as published in these columns recently. DS Chahal, general secretary, said Subhash Talwar was the president of the body.

New fountain

Mayor Ravinder Pal Singh inaugurated the geometrical fountain, designed like a duck, at the greenbelt in Sector 61 here on Wednesday. The fountain had been installed in a pool with 18 LED lights. The Mayor apprised the gathering of various developmental works. He stated that more projects were in the pipeline. — Tribune reporters



Ambala to go on tourist hunt
Chandigarh College of Architecture readying blueprint on historical places
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 12
Known as a transit point between Delhi and Chandigarh, Ambala will soon be known as a tourist destination. The town will shortly start wooing domestic and international tourists.

A team of the Chandigarh College of Architecture (CCA) is ready with a blueprint of various historical places that have potential to be developed as tourist destinations. The project has been granted to the CCA by the tourism department.

A team comprising college students and faculty conducted a survey across the district and prepare a list of various interesting places in and around the town with historical relevance that have the potential to attract tourists.

Prof Sohan Lal of the CCA, who is chief coordinator for the project, has said they have approached the CCA to conduct a survey in the area to identify buildings with historical value.

”We have identified three temples, the Ambika Devi temple, the Pracheen Shiv temple and the Hanuman temple, along with three gurdwaras, in and around the city,” he has said.

The CCA team has pointed out that St Paul’s church and an old graveyard, with graves of Britishers, can be developed as a spot to attract foreign tourists.

The report prepared by the CCA team also mentions a private fort on the Naraingarh-Ambala road, that can be publicised to attract tourists.

“This church was consecrated in January 1857, but was destroyed during the Indo-Pak war in 1965. One can only see remnants of the church tower. There is an old graveyard near it, that can be developed as a tourist spot,” he says.

The students have also explored colonial architecture in the town. Prof Lal has said they have mentioned Ambala’s glorious past in football, which needs to be revived to bring the town on the international map.

The game seems to have vanished from Ambala, once considered home to one of the best teams in the country, over the years, he has added. The college is in the process of compiling the report and will make a presentation to the tourism department soon.



missing realtor case
CBI seeks details of meetings
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune news service

Panchkula, October 12
In an investigation into the kidnapping of Panchkula-based realtor Deepak Rai Sagar, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has sought details of all his ‘meetings’ on the day of his disappearance (June 1, 2009) from his family members. The CBI has also demanded details regarding his future appointments with other realtors, friends and clients.

Sources added that the CBI had told the family members to give all these details in writing. It was on October 5, when on the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the CBI had registered a fresh FIR under murder and kidnapping charges.

As the Panchkula police had failed to solve the case, the Sagar family had moved the High Court.

A well-known name in the realty business, 54-year-old Sagar had been missing since June 1, 2009. He was in his black Skoda car at the time of his disappearance.

Sagar went in his car from his office at Sector 11 to meet his friend Vinay at Maheshpur village in Panchkula that day. Vinay had told cops that Sagar reached his house around 7.15 pm.

He reportedly stayed there till 9 pm. After that, he went towards his house at Kendriya Vihar in Sector 14, Panchkula, but did not reach there.

The Panchkula police had initially taken intensive measures to trace the businessman and had even announced a cash reward of Rs 1 lakh for anybody providing information about his whereabouts.

The Panchkula police had conducted a lie-detector test on four suspects, but failed to get anything substantial to crack the case.



Shivani Bhatnagar Murder case
Neighbours celebrate Sharma’s acquittal
Arun Sharma\Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune news service

The residence of ex-IPS officer RK Sharma wears a deserted look in Sector 6 , Panchkula, as the family is away to Delhi. Tribune photo: Nitin MIttal

Panchkula, October 12
On March 24, 2008, when former senior IPS officer Ravi Kant Sharma was awarded life imprisonment in the Shivani Bhatnagar murder case, there was complete silence in house number 19, Gobind Niwas, Sector 6, and nobody was ready to face the media-neither the family member nor the neighbours, but today on October 12, 2011, as the Delhi High Court acquitted him, the story took a new turn. This time, neighbours of former senior IPS officer Ravi Kant Sharma were happily interacting with mediapersons. They said, “Justice has been done.” Besides, one of the neighbours even threw a tea party for journalists gathered outside Sharma’s house.

The family members of Ravi Kant Sharma were not in Panchkula and had left for New Delhi for the judgement.

Ramesh Sharma, a relative of RK Sharma, said Ravi Kant Sharma and his family members were running from pillar to post seeking justice.

Terming RK Sharma as his elder brother, Ramesh Sharma said he had firm belief that ‘big brother’ would come out clean. Regarding any jubilation, he said they would discuss the matter only when Sharma and his wife Madhu and daughters would return from New Delhi.

Echoing a similar view, neighbour VK Sood, former Panchkula MC councillor, said he was also happy with the verdict. Sood also arranged a ‘tea party’ for journalists.

Who burst crackers?

  • A few crackers were found near the entrance gate to Sharma’s house, but nobody admitted to have burst those

Mother is happy

  •  One of the daughters of Ravi Kant Sharma said over phone that ‘mother is happy’. The person who answered the call said she was Sharma’s daughter and did not divulge details 



designated officer
Plea against deputationist filed before CAT
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 12
If allegations in an application filed before the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) against the UT Administration are to be believed, the post of designated officer under the Food Safety and Standard Act is being is occupied against rules by a deputationist.

In his application, food safety officer Sukhwinder Singh has submitted: “Presently, the post of designated officer is being occupied by a deputationist, in addition to his own duties. He is on deputation for medical services as SMO from Haryana whereas, as per the Act and rules, a whole-time officer is required to be appointed designated officer for performing duties under the Food Safety and Standard Act, 2006, and the rules framed thereunder in 2011.”

The applicant has also sought directions to the Administration and other respondents to consider his case for appointment as or promotion to designated officer.

Going into the background, the applicant has said the Director Health Services, vide a memo, sent a proposal to the UT Administrator for implementing the 2006 Act strictly, as envisaged under the law.

It has been stated in the proposal that the Chandigarh Administration “shall appoint designated officer as per the Act of 2006, and he shall be a whole-time officer, not below the rank of subdivisional officer.”

The applicant has added he has submitted a representation to the UT Administration on May 11 followed by reminders dated July 18 and August 18, but without any response.



Sitar virtuoso mesmerises audience
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, October 12
An exceptionally gifted sitar virtuoso, Subrata De from Kolkata, gave an impressive recital of classical music, which marked the baithak programme of the Pracheen Kala Kendra yesterday.

A foremost disciple of Pandit Mani Lal Nag of Vishnupur gharana, Subrata De displayed his fine musical sensibilities and unique style in both vocal (gayaki) and instrumental (tanatarkri).

He opened the recital with raga yaman kalyan and reposefully rendered alap, jod followed by jhala, bringing out the inner depth of the raga, thereby touching listener’s heart.

The maestro presented slow paced and faster compositions, wherein Subrata showed his abundant imagination and technical virtuosity in full measure.

Subrata De’s urge for graceful expressions was best displayed in his two compositions of raga nat bhairav, while the captivating concert was concluded with delineation of raga mishra pilu to the matching accompaniment by Tansen Shrivastva on tabla.

Kendra Registrar Shobha Koser honoured the artistes.



DRDO-ICAR to preserve biodiversity in Ladakh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 12
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has joined hands with the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) for undertaking joint research to conserve plant genetic resources.

An MoU was signed by the two organisations recently in this regard.

The research and associated activities will be carried out at the permafrost-based plant germplasm storage facility of the DRDO located at Changla Top. This facility is located at an altitude of 5,360 metres in Ladakh.

The DRDO had established a prototype National Germplasm Repository at Changla in September last year.

According to information, it will help check the erosion of important germplasm by preserving them at naturally available low temperature for meeting food and health security challenges not only for the troops deployed at the high altitude conditions, but also for the civilians. The germplasm is defined as a collection of genetic resources for an organism. For plants, the germplasm may be stored as a seed collection at a nursery.



Blood donated

Chandigarh, October 12
A blood donation camp was organised by the Government College of Education in coordination with the NSS wing here today. A science exhibition displaying various projects was also organised on the college premises to celebrate the International Year of Chemistry. — TNS



PU student council decides to step in
Deterioration in hostel mess food eggs them on to cooperative system
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 12
Claiming to be irate over ever-deteriorating condition of hostel mess food, the Panjab University Student Council has decided to step in by arranging cooperative mess system for a few hostels with the help of students from departments like hotel management.

The council, which claims to have been getting repeated complaints from a couple of hostels, has decided to take things in its hands now.

“If you go by the initial contracts of these mess contractors, it is quite evident that PU specifically asks them to use quality stuff and provide better food but many of them consistently deteriorate the quality and even misbehave with students. Whenever we try to reason with them, they threat to quit. We are planning to now take students into confidence and work out cooperative mess system wherever possible. We will be including students from courses like hotel management to give them hands-on training,” said council president Pushpinder Sharma.

The Panjab University mess workers have proposed to hike diet charges in lieu of the increasing prices, while the council is yet to decide on it.

Hike opposed

The Student Federation of India (SFI) has opposed hike in mess charges. “We would rather go hungry instead of accepting increase in the food charges. In 2009, charges from Rs 18 were increased to Rs 20 and last year, it was once again enhanced to Rs 22. If the university wishes some solution to the rising prices of food items in the market, the authorities should make a committee and visit various universities such as Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and Delhi University (DU) and collect relevant information as to how to regulate food prices in the hostels. There could be a centralised system whereby PU could buy subsidised food from PDS shops or otherwise ensure food subsidy,” said Loveneet Thakur, SFI president.



Chaos, panic rule the roost at PU fee counter
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 12
Despite its ambitious endeavour of online fee payment system or allowing departments to collect fee, Panjab University has failed to deal with the ever-increasing chaos and queues at its sole fee counter at the SBI, which caters to more than 13,000 students.

The chaos, which has become a monthly affair, was witnessed yet again today, as hundreds of students jostled at the SBI counter to submit their examination fee and avoid penalty, as it was the last day today.

“I don’t have an account at the SBI and my daughter’s department doesn’t collect the fee. I have come here all the way from Sangrur and have been waiting from the last one-and-a-half hour for my turn,” said a harried parent, Gurcharan Singh.

Later, protest by the Panjab University Student Union made the university realise plight of the parents and students and extend last date up to October 15 and even direct departments to collect the examination fee.

“Their online fee collection system is completely unsuccessful due to technical glitches. Last year, all departments were asked to let students submit their fee in the departments, but for the reasons best known to them, the departments never took the initiative. The varsity has for long been indifferent to the plight of both students and even SBI officials as panic and chaos rules the roost on monthly basis now,” said Sukhjit Singh Brar, PUSU president.

The officials, meanwhile, see online fee submission as a solution and blame students’ lack of initiative for it.

“Our online fee collection is fully operational and more and more students should opt for it, as it will solve the problem. Anyways, the departments have been asked to submit the fee and date has also been extended to October 15,” said Dean Student Welfare AS Ahluwalia.



Youth Fest
Rayat-Bahra wins laurels in giddha
Our Correspondent

Mohali, October 12
As many as 285 students from 20 colleges participated in the Zonal Youth Festival (Ropar zone) held at the Rayat and Bahra College of Education today. The first day of the festival started with giddha followed by classical dance, folk orchestra, rangoli, on-the-spot painting, geet/ghazal, group song, clay modelling competitions, etc. Dr Jamshed Ali Khan, dean, College Development Council, Punjabi University, Patiala, inaugurated the youth fest.

In giddha, the Rayat and Bahra College of Education won the first prize, Government College, Mohali, won the second position, while third and fourth positions were bagged by Shivalik College of Education and GTB Khalsa College, respectively. Shri Guru Tegh Bahadur Khalsa College won first prize in group shabad, Rayat and Bahra College of Education won the second prize, while a tie for the third position was shared by Government College, Ropar, and Government College, Mohali. The fourth position was won by the Sant Baba Sewa Singh Khalsa College For Women.

In the classical vocal competition, Rayat and Bahra College of Education won the first prize, Government College, Mohali, bagged the second position, Government College, Ropar, won third prize and Shri Guru Tegh Bahadur Khalsa College bagged the fourth position.



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