C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Candidates wrap up early
Confused over EC deadline, end campaigning
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 15
Perceiving today to be the last day of campaigning before the municipal corporation (MC) poll on December 17, political parties added to the confusion today by pushing in star campaigners like MP and former cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu and Bollywood actor Shakti Kapoor.

A number of candidates wrapped up their canvassing this evening, thinking that today was the last day. Hectic rallies and public meetings were addressed by the already drained candidates. Apprehensions about campaigning coming to an end today were unfounded.

As per Section 28 (1) of the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act 1976, candidates ‘cannot canvass for votes on the date of polling, but the day before polling, there is no ban on campaigning for the poll’.

Ward 24 Congress candidate Kamlesh, who had won MC elections thrice, said she stopped her campaigning by 2 pm, though it would be over by 5 pm according to Election Commission rules.

Ward 5 Congress candidate Subhash Chawla, when called up at 4:45 pm, asked the caller to call up in 15 minutes as he is busy in last-minute campaigning in his ward.

Ward 23 BSP candidate Jannat Jahan-ul-Haq’s media adviser said she had no campaigning schedule in her ward tomorrow as canvassing was banned after 5 pm today.

Candidates were on their toes, busy in last-minute campaigning with prominent party leaders and entertainers, to woo voters in their respective wards.

BJP candidates also called Bollywood actress Kirron Kher for canvassing. Haryana’s Education Minister Geeta Bhukkal campaigned for Congress candidates.

An Election Commission official said the Act was clear on the fact that no person could convene, hold or attend any public meeting in any ward or exhibit any notice or sign related to the poll on the date of elections.

The Act also had a provision that if any candidate violated the rules by canvassing, the election department could punish the candidate by imposing a fine of Rs 250, the official further said.

UT Election Commission OSD Tarsem Lal said candidates could campaign in their wards till 12 midnight on December 16 as the MC Act had no deadline on canvassing, except the ban on the day of polling.



Whiskey seized; BJP says it’s Cong’s
Five cartons found in van with ward 4 candidate’s poll material
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 15
The UT police today intercepted a Maruti van at Sector 36 with five cartons of ‘Imperial Blue’ whiskey, along with banners, flags and stickers of the Congress candidate from ward 4, Poonam Sharma.

Members of the BJP alleged that the van belonged to her and the cartons were meant for free distribution among voters in the area. The police registered a case against the driver of the van, Hussain Akhtar, under the Excise Act.

The incident once again showed that the distribution of liquor for free was the most popular method when it came to wooing voters ahead of municipal corporation (MC) elections.

High drama was witnessed at the Sector-36 police station when members of the BJP, who tipped off the police, gathered and alleged that the police helped the three Congress workers who were distributing liquor abscond.

Barjeshwar Singh Jaswal, a BJP worker and son of Poonam’s rival Asha Jaswal, alleged that a police constable posted with the PCR, Baljeet Singh, came to the spot drunk and sided with the others, helping them abscond. He said the cop also managed to flee, along with three others. “We spotted liquor in the van, belonging to the Congress candidate, at the Sector-36 market and called up the police control room. There were four occupants in the van, whom we nabbed and handed over to the police,” said Barjeshwar.

“The cops told us to reach the Sector-36 police station and that they would follow suit. Much to our surprise, only one person was apprehended. We managed to bring the van to the police station on our own,” he further said.

“The police is hand-in-glove with those distributing liquor, which was being loaded in the van in huge numbers. There was another car, with around 35 cartons, which was driven away as soon as we called up the police,” he added. Even as there was high drama at the police station for two hours , there was no sign of any senior official including the SHO, inspector Sukhbir Rana, who were off to VVIP duty rehearsal. Baljeet was later suspended.

In addition, the police recovered 30 cartons of liquor from the premises of a Sector-25 resident, identified as Rakesh Kumar, who was absconding. It received information that the liquor was meant for free distribution. The police also recovered 20 cartons of liquor from a vehicle near the Faidan barrier in separate incidents.

Prank against me: Cong candidate

Refuting the allegations, Congress candidate Poonam Sharma said the van, bearing a Punjab number, was not hers. It was a prank by the rival party to malign her image ahead of the elections, she added. “I do not know anyone among those arrested and the car is not mine. I was in a meeting when the incident occurred. I am not involved in it in any way,” she further said.



Shortage of doctors dogs city’s premier hospitals
Anuja Jaiswal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 15
The three top government hospitals in the city, the PGI, the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, and the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16, are facing acute shortage of doctors, with over 17 per cent of sanctioned posts lying vacant at various levels.

The UT Administration’s flagship hospital, the GMCH, is facing the acutest problem, with a shortfall of 30 per cent doctors. According to figures collected by Chandigarh Tribune, of the total 2,131 sanctioned posts of doctor in these three hospitals, 372 are lying vacant, the maximum being of resident and senior resident doctors.

The situation is grim at the GMCH, where 158 of the 510 sanctioned posts of doctor are lying vacant. The shortfall is all pervasive, with vacancies existing even at the levels of specialist, super-specialist and senior and junior resident.

As per information available, of the 184 sanctioned posts of specialist and super-specialist, 44 are lying vacant. These include nearly a dozen vacancies of super-specialist, like neurologist, cardiologist and endocrinologist.

Though these posts have been advertised, no one has joined so far. Some posts of specialist, like those in anatomy and ENT, have been sanctioned recently and are yet to be advertised and filled.

Of the 231 sanctioned posts of senior resident, only 150 are occupied. Similarly, there is a shortfall of 33 junior residents, whose sanctioned strength is 95.

A senior faculty member has said the main cause for vacancies at these two levels is red tape as the recruitment process is long. “Even after selection, the Administration holds back appointment letters for months together,” he has alleged.

Admitting the shortage, Dr Vipin Kaushal, Medical Superintendent of the hospital, has said, “We are in the process of advertising the posts of specialist and super-specialist.”

Things are slightly better at the GMSH, where 29 (18 per cent) vacancies exist against the sanctioned strength of 159. As per information provided by the hospital authorities, 10 of the 28 posts of senior medical officer (SMO) are lying vacant.

Even in the medical officer (MO) category, 19 of the 117 sanctioned posts are vacant. Insiders blame the faulty policy of deputation and recruitment for the shortage of doctors at the GMSH.

“Most of the doctors here are on extended deputations from Punjab and Haryana. The UT cadre has been made almost non-existent and has only five MOs and six or seven SMOs,”a doctor has said on the condition of anonymity, adding that no recruitment has taken place from Chandigarh for the past 20 years.

The UT Director Health Services, Chander Mohan, has said they are in the process of filling the vacancies and have sought lists for deputation from Punjab and Haryana.

At the region’s premier hospital, the PGI, of the 1,462 sanctioned posts, 185 (12 per cent) are lying vacant. The faculty (specialists and super-specialists) has shortage as 69 vacancies (14 per cent) exist against a sanctioned strength of 478.

Interestingly, while the sanctioned strength of the faculty has increased from 368 in 2006-07 to 478, the patient load has gone up from 13 lakh to 16 lakh per year during the same period. At the level of senior resident, 108 of the 327 sanctioned posts are lying vacant. However, there are only eight vacancies at the level of junior resident.

PGI spokesperson Manju Wadwalkar said interviews to fil the 172 vacancies in faculty were held past year, but only 103 joined. “We will advertise for the remaining 69 posts again,” she added.



Cong, BJP supporters clash
Deepankar Sharda
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 15
In the first major incident of violence in connection with the forthcoming MC elections, supporters of the BJP and the Congress reportedly clashed at the main market of Sector 20, here today.

As the news of the clash between workers of the two parties broke, over 100 people assembled in the parking area of the Sector-20 market.

However, the police authorities claimed that they had not received any complaint in writing in this regard but over three PCR Gypsies and a truck with adequate police force had been deployed at the market to prevent any untoward incident late in the evening.

According to an eyewitness, a security guard deployed at an ATM, a group of people suddenly clashed on the rear side of the market. “Before the police could arrive at the scene, everyone had vanished,” said the security guard. Later, both standing councillors, HS Lucky (Congress) and Rajesh Kumar Gupta (BJP), were seen indulging in heated arguments. The police impounded an Alto car (CH 04 F 7402) and a white Honda City car (CH 04 E 6274) from the scene and took away some people for a medical check-up. The clash took place after some party workers were seen consuming liquor in the area.

No case had been registered till the filling of the report.



PU toppers to have 15 seconds of fame
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 15
Panjab University (PU) has made a mockery of the noble exercise of convocation this year, going by the fact that all 690 toppers will be ‘honoured’ in a brief ceremony, giving 15 seconds to each achiever, after the university concludes its long-drawn programme of honouring four persons with honorary degrees and then halting the programme to drop them off at the airport.

The first half of the programme will cater to only honouring the guests, including the Vice-President, who is the Chancellor, and dropping them off at the airport. Not a single student will be honoured in front of the Chancellor, who has to leave midway.

In what has left both students and the faculty fuming, the first hour and-a-half of the six-hour-long convocation will be devoted to addresses and conferring honorary doctorates. The next hour and-a-half has been set aside for high tea as Prof RC Sobti will escort the Chancellor to the airport for his flight back to Delhi. It will only be around 6 pm that the ‘real convocation’ will start and 690 degrees will be ‘awarded’ by 9 pm. A senior university official, requesting anonymity, has said, “It is appalling to find that a coveted academic exercise, awaited anxiously by students, has been rendered into a mere gimmick. It is an honour to have the Chancellor amid us, but the convocation is an academic exercise.” “It has surely come as surprise to us. Students alone have been sidelined in the function. We do understand the need of honouring dignitaries, but students should not be made mute spectators for three hours,” a senior faculty member has said. A university Fellow has said, “I do not have words to offer as an excuse for a demeaning this function, organised in the name of academics.”

Convocations across the world are days to celebrate students’ success. But unfortunately, at our university, it is a day to appease VIPs. Students will wait for three hours, only to be given their degrees as pamphlets. They have promised to host another function for gold medallists. Why not have a separate function for VIPs and spare us the harassment?

— Pushpinder Sharma, president, Panjab University Student Association

This hue and cry is uncalled for. We are following the set protocol for convocation. As far as an hour-and-a-half-long break is concerned, it is because the Chancellor has to leave at 4:30 pm. I have to accompany him as part of protocol. Students are not being ignored as we are having a separate function for their gold medals.

RC Sobti, Vice-Chancellor, Panjab University


War(d) of words
Harjinder parries Congress charges over lack of development in ward No. 15
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 15
War of words continued with SAD-BJP candidate from ward No. 15 Harjinder Kaur holding a press conference against her opponent Chander Mukhi Sharma of the Congress here today.

Harjinder Kaur, three-time councillor from the ward, said she had spent over Rs 25 crore on the development of parks, widening of roads etc. However, her opponents had been misguiding voters of her ward by claiming that she had not even spent ward funds for the development of Sectors 34, 35 and 44.

She alleged that the pressure mounted by the Congress candidate on MC officials had led to the stalling of ongoing development works in her ward.

“The recarpeting of roads in Sectors 34-C and 44-D was halted even as the work had been allotted before the elections were announced,” she said.

She further stated that the Congress had failed to pass the agenda pertaining to phases 5 and 6 of Kajauli waterworks.

“The Punjab government has borne the cost of the land for this project and the technicalities have been worked out with GMADA,” she added.

The SAD-BJP candidate said her three wins from the same ward proved that the voters had faith in her.

Countering the allegations levelled against him, Congress candidate Chander Mukhi Sharma stated that the recarpeting of roads was stopped following inspection carried out by MC officials, who found the contractor using sub-standard material.

“I don’t have the power to stop any work. These are mere allegations,” he said.

Sharma added that the corporation had records of funds spent by each councillor in their wards in the past five years and anyone could verify the amount spent from the fund in ward No. 15 from the MC office.



Scramble for voters’ attention
Tribune News Service

Subhash Chawla, Congress candidate from ward No. 5, campaigns with his supporters at Kumhar Colony in Chandigarh on Thursday; and (right) Jagjit Singh Kang, SAD-BJP candidate from ward No. 5, canvasses at Dhanas village in Chandigarh on Thursday
Subhash Chawla, Congress candidate from ward No. 5, campaigns with his supporters at Kumhar Colony in Chandigarh on Thursday; and (right) Jagjit Singh Kang, SAD-BJP candidate from ward No. 5, canvasses at Dhanas village in Chandigarh on Thursday. Tribune photos: Parvesh Chauhan

Chandigarh, December 15
With just a day left for the municipal corporation elections, candidates made last-ditch efforts to muster support by holding “nukkad” meetings and undertaking hectic campaigning.

While some candidates went from door to door on foot, others organised car rallies in their wards.

Rickshaw rally

Chandigarh Jan Manch candidate Dr Meena Sharma from ward No. 4 held a rally on rickshaws in parts of Sector 23 and 24. Her supporters raised anti-corruption slogans and urged voters to exercise their right to vote.

Women support

Pardeep Chhabra, Congress candidate from ward No. 3, campaigned in Sectors 16 and 17 along with his supporters. His wife Ritu Chhabra also went from door to door along with a group of women supporters in Sector 22.

Car rally

Raj Bala Malik, Congress candidate from ward No. 1, held a car rally from Sectors 7 to 11. A large group of supporters of the candidate participated in the rally.

Also, HS Lucky, Congress candidate from ward No. 16, undertook a car rally in his ward along with his supporters. Lucky, while moving through various parts of the ward, urged the voters to cast their vote in his favour.

Anti-corruption oath

The Chandigarh Jan Manch candidates took an anti-corruption oath at the Gandhian Study Complex in Punjab University today. They also promised overall development of their wards. They took the oath in the presence of party patron Ravinder Krishan and president KC Ahuja.

Going an extra mile

The campaign of Rajesh Gupta, BJP candidate from ward No. 16, went into overdrive with his supporters putting in extra hours to drum up support in the ward. Gupta along with his family, friends and supporters kept date with residents of Sectors 20 and 33.


Sitting Congress councillor Kamlesh held a “padyatra” at Mauli Jagran. Kamlesh along with her supporters went from door to door seeking support. The supporters carried party flags and raised slogans in support of their party.



Sidhu, Shakti make a pitch for candidates
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 15
It was a day of entertainment for city voters who witnessed interesting sessions from BJP MP Navjot Singh Sidhu and Bollywood baddie Shakti Kapoor.

While Sidhu entrained the crowd at Sector 47, during a rally organised in support of the BJP candidate from ward No. 22, with his phrases like “Sheila aur Munni se zyada badnam ho gaee, Congress jalebi bai se bhi zyada badnam ho gaee” and “Rajj ke lutange, tusi virodh karonge taan jamm ke kutange”, Shakti Kapoor used his dialogues to pull crowds to a rally organised by a BSP candidate at Hallo Majra.

Not limiting himself to the local politics, Sidhu criticised the Centre for its policies.

Calling Prime Minister Manmohan Singh a “pappu” and “rubber ka gudda”, Sidhu said the PM was a battery-operated toy in the hands of the government.

Sidhu drew crowds of passersby through his idioms and jokes, hitting the opposition party. During his address, he touched the issues of corruption and price rise.

He also spoke against the introduction of foreign direct investment (FDI) and criticised the union government for mooting anti-trader policies.

Sidhu appealed to the local residents to try Davesh Moudgil, the BJP candidate, for development in the ward.

“What the Congress candidate has failed to do in the last 10 years, Moudgil will get it done in only five years,” Sidhu asserted.

In the afternoon, Sidhu also addressed a gathering of local residents at Sector 15 in support of BJP candidate Sourabh Joshi, who is pitted against Congress candidate Anu Chatrath in ward No. 2.

Sticking to his character, Shakti Kapoor started his address with his famous dialogue “Aaaaaaaooooo”.

Shakti Kapoor belted out his famous dialogues to entertain the crowd that had assembled to get a glimpse of the Bollywood star.

Urging people to vote for the BSP candidate, Jannat Jahan-ul-Haq, Kapoor said: “Crime master Gogo, ankhein nikaal ke gotia khelunga” if anyone did not vote for the candidate.

In a bid to woo voters, the organisers made announcements of planning to invite Katrina Kaif and Salman Khan to a rally if their party won the elections.

Clueless about the city issues, Kapoor kept reiterating the need for supporting Jannat in the elections, as she belonged to her friend’s party.



CJM releases manifesto
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 15
The Chandigarh Jan Manch came out with their manifesto just two days before the city goes to the polls for the municipal corporation elections.

The manch has focussed on civic issues including parking, sanitation, 16-hour water supply, improvement of community centres and removal of contract system in various departments.

The manch has assured of focussing on beautification of villages and colonies of the city and modernisation of community centres in all wards. Issues like land acquisition, international stadium, improvement of railway services and construction of marketplaces in southern sectors will also be taken up with the UT administration.



More heritage items go under the hammer
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 15
In yet another jolt to the UT administration’s efforts to preserve city’s heritage, a New York-based auction house sold city’s heritage items yesterday.

The auction house auctioned four lots of heritage items, including furniture items from the Punjab and Haryana High Court and Capital Complex.

The auction house, Phillips de Pury and Company, auctioned these lots for over Rs 25 lakh. These were designed by master architect Le Corbusier and his associate Pierre Jeanneret.

The auction house website reveals that a pair of “Advocate and Press” armchairs of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, having base price of $ 12,000 to $ 20,000, was auctioned for $ 16,250 (Rs 8,70,618).

Another furniture item — ‘Public Bench’ — from the High Court, which was reserved for $ 7,000 to $ 12,000 sold for $ 8,750 (Rs 4,67,894).

Besides, a stool, sourced from the Chandigarh administration’s building was sold for $ 1,250 (Rs 66,970) against the reserved price of $ 2,000 to $ 3,000.

A wooden art piece of Capitol Complex, with reserved price of $ 18,000 to $ 28,000, sold for $ 21,250 (Rs 11,38,500).

Some other heritage items of the city, including a dining table from the PGI cafeteria, a committee table from the Assembly building, a pair of “Committee” armchairs, sourced from an the administrative building from the city, two pairs of lounge chairs taken out from a private residence and two sets of four ‘cross easy’ armchairs from Chandigarh College of Architecture (CCA), could not find any buyers in the auction.

Taken for Rs 25 lakh

  • A New York-based auction house, Phillips de Pury and Company, auctioned four lots of heritage items for over Rs 25 lakh. These were designed by master architect Le Corbusier and his associate Pierre Jeanneret

Past auctions

  • November 22: Artcurial, a Paris-based auction house, sold a cane and teakwood dining table and a pair of easy armchairs for Rs 22 lakh
  • November 3: Marseilles, a Paris-based auction house, sold 30 different pieces for Rs 1.92 crore
  • May 25: Artcurial sold four of the seven lots of heritage furniture designed by Jeanneret for Rs 40.75 lakh



Police HQ to accept animal-cruelty complaints
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 15
All complaints with regard to an act of cruelty towards animals in the city can now be submitted in writing at the collection window of the Chandigarh Police Headquarters in Sector 9 every Wednesday from 8 am to 1 pm.

The Chandigarh Police, in association with the People for Animals (PFA) Chandigarh, today inaugurated the window on ‘animal cruelty collection’ at the Police Headquarters.

The Adviser to the Administrator, KK Sharma, formally inaugurated the facility. All such complaints of cruely on animals would be investigated by the police and action taken against the violator as per the law.

The complaints would be processed and sent to the police stations concerned. The PFA Chandigarh would be a part of this process in terms of trying to resolve the issue.

A volunteer from the organisation would co-coordinate with the police department concerned. Animal rights were protected under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960, Sections 428 and 429 of the Indian Penal Code and Article 51-A(g) of the Constitution.

In order to facilitate the complainants as well as spread more information with regard to various animal laws, a small booklet would be made available free of cost to the public at the window.

PK Srivastava, Inspector-General of Police, Alok Kumar, DIG, Naunihal Singh, SSP, and other officers were present on the occasion.



Taj’s fire safety system inspected
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 15
Minor fire safety discrepancies were noticed by the fire department during a special inspection at Hotel Taj here today.

During the inspection, a fire and emergency team inspected all floors of the hotel along with the basement, where smoke outlets were not available.

The hotel management was asked to strengthen the fire protection of the electrical panel.

The management was also asked to strengthen the pressurisation system, which was not linked up with the smoke alarm system, and fix a leakage in a firefighting water hose.

They were also suggested to gather all firefighting equipment in the fire control room located on the hotel premises.

Additional Commissioner-cum-Chief Fire Officer Lalit Siwach along with Station Fire Officer ML Sharma and other fire officers inspected the hotel premises.



Bar suspends lawyer’s licence
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 15
The Bar Council of the Punjab and Haryana High Court suspended Mohali-based lawyer Jagtar Singh’s licence for a period of one year here today.

The council suspended the licence on Hoshiarpur resident Rangila Ram’s complaint. According to sources, Rangila Ram had alleged that he had engaged Jagtar Singh for filling a case in the court. However, Jagtar Singh allegedly committed professional misconduct and breach of trust in collusion with the opposite party.



Consumers apprised of their rights
Our Correspondent

Mohali, December 15
In order to create awareness among consumers about their rights, National Consumer Day was observed at Government Secondary School, Balongi, by the Consumer Protection and Awareness Council today.

NS Gill, president of the council, said the Consumers Protection Act gave vast powers to consumers to get their grievances redressed. Importance of obtaining bills while making purchases was highlighted. JM Khanna, joint director, BIS, said consumers must purchase ISI marked goods and hallmarking of gold should also be kept in mind while purchasing the precious metal.



Land relief not per market value, rue farmers
Tribune News Service

Farmers force their way into the office of GMADA to protest against the land compensation announced for the IT City and Sector 88 on Thursday
Farmers force their way into the office of GMADA to protest against the land compensation announced for the IT City and Sector 88 on Thursday. Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu

Mohali, December 15
High drama prevailed at PUDA’s office in Sector 62 here when landowners, whose land is being acquired for IT City and multi-storeyed towers in Sector 88, barged into the office of Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) while raising slogans against the Punjab government for giving land compensation much less than the market value of their land.

Recently, GMADA had announced a compensation of Rs 1.69 crore an acre for 1,500 acres being acquired for the residential and institutional purposes.

The farmers led by Congress MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu and senior Congress leader Rajbir Singh Padiala opened the entry gate of GMADA’s office and staged a dharna in front of the entry point to the office, forcing Chief Administrator of GMADA Saravjit Singh to listen to the grievances of the landowners.

Deveinder Singh, member of the Sectors 76 to 80 sangarsh committee, said the landowners were being kept in the dark about the commercial sites being offered under the Land Pooling Scheme.

He said against the basic compensation of Rs 1.21 crore recommended by the district land acquisition committee, the state sub-committee had scaled it down. As a result, the total compensation was brought down to Rs 1.69 crore against the compensation of Rs 1.80 crore recommended by the district-level committee.

The consolidated compensation also includes 30 per cent solatium, 12 per cent additional price and 10 per cent non-litigation amount.

The Chief Administrator while addressing the landowners said there was complete transparency in the implementation of the scheme. “ Those opting for land pooling were getting about Rs 4 crore an acre when the plots allotted to them were sold in the open market,” said the Chief Administrator while ruling out any foul play in giving commercial sites to the land owners in lieu of their land.



Two suffer burns as hut catches fire
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 15
A woman and her one-and-a-half-year-old daughter received serious burn injuries when their hut caught fire at Madawala village in Pinjore this morning.

Meena and her daughter Anjali were rushed to the Sector-6 general hospital, where doctors referred them to the PGI.

The condition of the two was stated to be serious.

BDPO Raj Kumar, along with other officials, reached the spot to take stock of the situation. He said the incident occurred at about 2 am when Meena lit a lamp to feed her daughter.

He said soon the whole hut was engulfed in fire causing further damage to adjoining two huts owned by Bhagwandas and Rakesh Kumar.

He said one Lazza Ram owned these huts and had given these on rent to the affected families.

He added that the three families had suffered a loss of Rs 20,000 each.

The condition of Anjali was stated to be serious as she had suffered 80 per cent burns.



New Year gift to police — 75 fresh recruits
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 15
Around 75 new recruits will soon be joining the local police after completing their initial training. These new recruits will help the local police in keeping a strict vigil in the district.

At present, 987 personnel have been deputed in the district, with most of them performing the VIP and CID duties in the district spread over 897 square kilometres. With the additional force, the total strength of the police will be around 1,062.

Around 350 police personnel are providing round-the-clock security in the city that has a population of about 3 lakh. Out of these, about 80 police personnel have been deputed on the PCR duty.

The new recruits will be in the city, where the crime graph has shown a considerable decline despite the staff shortage. They will be deputed at various police station in the city.

As far as the staff strength is concerned, the town is not at par with the UT which has around 6,000 jawans.

Sources said for every 300 people, one policeman had been appointed in Haryana. However, keeping in view the population in Panchkula, the department needed to be expanded.

As the town is surrounded by Chandigarh, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh, thieves make an easy escape.

Deputy Commissioner of Police Maneesh Chaudhary said with the addition of 75 new recruits to the department, security would be beefed up in the district. He said this would also help in checking the crime graph, which had already come down during the past few years. He said these new recruits would soon be given duties as per the requirements of the police stations in the district.



Multi-speciality hospital to come up in Sector 62
Our Correspondent

Mohali, December 15
A multi-speciality hospital will come up on a site measuring more than 5 acres in Sector 62.

The site for the hospital will be auctioned by the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) next month. The site is located close to Fortis Hospital already functioning from a prime location.

It is learnt that 
GMADA had fixed Rs 130.72 crore as the reserve price for the site measuring 5.16 acre. The terms for the auction of the site have been made very strict in order to ensure that only a well experienced company takes part in the bidding process.

Any agency which has been successfully running a 100-bed super speciality hospital for more than a year will be eligible to take part in the auction.



Physiotherapy unit at Civil Hospital functional
Our Correspondent

Mohali, December 15
A physiotherapy unit has started functioning from the Civil Hospital in Phase VI here. The unit started functioning with two patients about three weeks ago and now the patient strength has gone up to 20.

The patients are required to shell out only a nominal amount of Rs 15 for any procedure against the price varying between Rs 100 and Rs 200 in the market.

Dr Rajeev Bhalla, SMO in charge of the hospital, said two physiotherapists (one male and the other female) had been deployed by the hospital for providing services to patients.

Different modalities, including tens, ultrasound, muscle stimulator and paraffin wax bath are used for different types of problems. Patients suffering from osteoarthritis, tennis elbow, cerebral palsy, planter fasciitus, wrong posture and fracture can avail the facility at the hospital.



Teachers’ stir cripples work
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 15
With the staff of non-government aided colleges across Punjab and Chandigarh observing a 72-hour bandh, work in seven city colleges remained paralysed. All colleges held a protest at DAV College.

The Joint Action Committee (JAC), comprising management, principal, teacher and non-teaching staff associations of these colleges, had announced to observe the bandh to protest against the discriminatory behaviour of the Punjab government towards them.

Dr Ashok Nanda, officiating principal of DAV College, said, “The state government has failed to implement the already notified Pension-Gratuity Act, 1999. Despite taking up the matter with the authorities a number of times, nothing has been done so far.”

The strike has adversely affected studies in seven city colleges and over 170 colleges in the state. House exams in all these colleges had to be postponed due to the ongoing strike.

Prof Dinesh Talwar, a PU Senator said, “The Punjab government is responsibility for the disturbance. With the authorities showing no interest in addressing our problems, we had to take to streets.”

Prof Ghanshyam Dev, president, Chandigarh District Council, PCCTU, said, “The state government on December 12, 2001, finally approved the scheme for pension and gratuity benefits for the staff of aided colleges on par with their counterparts in government colleges as per the Act of 1999. The Akali-BJP government, in its 2007 election manifesto, promised to give pension to the college staff.”

During the meeting of JAC it was decided that agitation in its present form would continue till the Punjab Cabinet’s meeting which is scheduled for December 17.



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