C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Police detains five students
Picks them up at 4 am for verification, ignores board exam plea
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 2
In what again highlights the rampant insensitivity of the UT police and the blatant violation of the Juvenile Act, five children, including three class X students, were picked up from a Sector 25 house today and taken to the Sector 24 police chowki for verification. They were allegedly detained for almost two-and-a-half hours before being let off after the intervention of DPI (S) Sandeep Hans who reminded them about the class X board exam.

The children have accused chowki officials of abusing and mistreating them. “We were treated like criminals. We were not informed of our offence while we were taken away in an open van and were asked to give all our details. The officer even asked us how many cases were against us. The two hours were tormenting for us and it took a toll on our exam today,” they said.

The children stay in a room rented by Theatre Age director Zulfiquar Khan for their studies Sector 25.

“Three of these children are in class X while the remaining two are in class XI. They live in Sector 25, but have no space in their homes to study. My NGO looks after them so I rented a room for them for their board exams. The police came knocking at their door at around 4 am and did not leave them till about 7 am. I kept pleading the police to let them go as they had an exam, but to no avail. The DPI helped us out and they were able to take their exam, which obviously did not go too well,” said Khan.

“I asked them what was my fault, and they abused me. No one in my family has gone to a police station and I was treated like a criminal. I could not concentrate on my paper because of it,” said Rohit. Mehul and Satyam said: “We told them about our exam, but they did not bother.” The police, meanwhile, claimed that the boys were in the police station only for 15 minutes. Khan said: “I am the one who rented that room, so I should have been detained. I went to the police station and even offered to get arrested, but I was shooed away. What kind of verification is this? I need strict action against the guilty.”

The police has marked an inquiry against the chowki in charge, Harminder Singh.



GMSH told to pay Rs 4-lakh relief
Victim had been administered wrong blood, causing acute problems
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 2
Holding the Government Multi Speciality Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16, guilty of medical negligence in the Suman case, the UT Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, in an order issued today, directed the hospital to pay Rs 4 lakh compensation to the victim, besides Rs 50,000 as litigation costs. In addition, the hospital is bound to provide lifetime free treatment to the patient. The hospital and the three doctors are liable to pay the compensation jointly and severally, stated the order.

The commission president, Justice Sham Sunder (retd), along with members Jagroop Singh Mahal and Neena Sandhu said it was the bounden duty of the hospital to bear all the expenses of the future treatment of Suman. The commission held that Dr Kirti Sood, Dr Manpreet Kaur and Dr Navdeep Kaur were guilty of medical negligence.

An advocate had filed a compensation claim of Rs 98 lakh against the hospital and doctors for gross medical negligence and wrong blood transfusion to Suman on December 16, 2010, which resulted in foetal death and acute renal failure.

“The compensation of Rs 50,000 awarded by the Deputy Commissioner is too meagre to meet the ends of justice. Keeping in view the financial status of the complainant, who belongs to a poor family, and the death of her foetus and the mental agony and harassment suffered by the family, it is appropriate to award a compensation of Rs 4 lakh to them,” stated the order.

The doctors had stated that Suman herself did not take care of her health and it was her sixth conception. The commission rejected this defence, saying: “In order to avoid complications and being anaemic, Suman approached the GMSH with the hope of getting better treatment but she suffered medical negligence”.

The commission also rejected the argument of the hospital that it could not be held liable for the negligent acts of the doctors.



Make parts of city vehicle free: HC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 2
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today directed the UT Administration to come out with plans to make parts of the city vehicle free, including Sector 17.

The Bench of Justice Surya Kant and Justice Ajay Tewari asserted: “Sanjay Kaushal, UT senior standing counsel, seeks and is granted time to have instructions for the actual implementation of phase-wise vehicular free zones plan, commencing from Sector 17”.

The Bench suggested making some parts of Sector 17 no-vehicle zone after 4 pm. It reiterated its suggestion of making some parts of each sector vehicle free on a rotational basis. The Administration could start from Sector 16, where VIPs including bureaucrats and judges live, the Bench stated.

The Bench also made it clear that if the Administration failed to take a decision, it would be constrained to pass an order in this regard. It also suggested that some areas could be reserved for running eco-cabs, specially designed rickshaws which are 25 per cent lighter than the existing models.

The court was also informed about the traffic chaos in cities like Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Amritsar. Navdeep Asija, instrumental in designing and introducing eco-cabs in Fazilka, was asked by the Bench to give suggestions for implementing vehicle-free zone schemes in Punjab.



Through CSD, wait for cars gets longer 
Vijay Mohan/TNS

Chandigarh, March 2
The wait for purchasing cars through Canteen Stores Department (CSD) outlets seems to be getting longer for armed forces personnel.

A letter received from the Directorate General Canteen Services (DGCS) at the Army Headquarters a few days ago states that the ban on sale of cars would continue on account of budgetary constraints. The sale of cars and some high-end consumer items had been suspended last year because of shortage of funds with the CSD that had resulted in a "large" backlog of payments to dealers and vendors supplying goods to the CSD outlets.

Reports of the forthcoming defence budget for 2012-13 being "downsized" and high inflation has put a question mark on the availability of sufficient funds to clear the backlog of payments. There were reports of the government recently having allocated some additional funds to ease the situation, but apparently things have not worked out as desired. The ban, notwithstanding, a limited number of cars would still be sold to armed forces personnel after reviewing their applications on a case by case basis. This would depend upon the necessity and purpose of purchasing the vehicle by the individual. In fact, the Quarter Master General's branch at the Army Headquarters, which oversees the functioning of the DGCS, is setting up a special "car sanction cell". Before the fund crisis, about 3,000 cars were being bought through the CSD across the country each month, which has now been reduced to about 100.

Payments received in advance from customers for purchase of cars and high-end goods, referred to as AFD-1 items, have to be deposited with the Consolidated Fund of India. For its expenses and making payments to dealers, the CSD receives separate funds from the government under the head "supplies and material (S&M) budget allocation". The amount received by the CSD as advance cannot be utilised for making payments to dealers. Due to insufficient budgetary allocation, the problem of outstanding payments cropped up, which consequently led to dealers delaying or holding back consignments to the CSD.


VHP activists stall film Shooting 
Object to furling of Pakistan national flag
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 2
The City’s romance with Hollywood took an ugly turn today when activists of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) stalled the shooting of Kathryn Bigelow's film on Osama bin Laden at Mani Majra, objecting to hoisting of Pakistani flag there. The film unit accused the activists of abusing and pushing the cameramen and even trying to damage the camera, which were eventually put away.

The oscar-winning director has been shooting in the city to recreate actual spot in Abbotabad where the US commandos killed the dreaded Al-Qaida leader in a helicopter raid on May 2, 2011.

The activists shouted slogans and removed Pakistan flags hoisted to create the scenes. The crew was forced to cancel the shoot and put away the cameras.

In addition to removing the flags, the VHP activists led by Vijay Singh Bhardwaj forcefully removed the boards that were put up on few shops in Urdu.

"We are not against any shooting being conducted here but will never tolerate our city being converted into Pakistan and its flags furling high here. Why are they creating Lahore here? Why can’t they go to Pakistan and shoot? They should go and shoot at the place where Osama was sheltered for days,” said an agitated Bhardawaj.

The activists marched to the police station to lodge a complaint, but Station House Officer (SHO) Rajesh Shukla said no case had been registered, as a mutual consent over not hoisting of Pakistan flags had been reached.

The crew has been shooting in prominent markets at the Punjab Engineering College here and at Patiala with boards put up on shops in Urdu, auto-rickshaws with Lahore number plates, burqa-clad women and men in shalwar-kameez, chappals and skullcaps.

The shopkeepers, who according to sources, have been paid to put up Urdu boards are now lamenting that it is affecting their business.

The unit had planned a month-long shoot at various locations in Chandigarh.



Haryana govt forwards names of 3 IAS officers

Chandigarh, March 2
To repatriate UT Deputy Commissioner Brijendra Singh, the Haryana government has sent a panel, consisting names of three IAS officers - Mohammad Shaheen, Samir Pal Sarao and A Srinivasan.

Shaheen, a 2002 batch, is presently the Adminstrator, HUDA, Hisar, while Sameer Pal (also 2002 batch) is the Director, Secondary Education. A Srinivasan, a 2005 officer, is the Deputy Secretary General, Administration. Notably, Brijendra Singh had sent a request to the UT administration last October, seeking his repatriation to his parent state.

According to sources, the UT administration had only initiated action on Brijendra Singh’s request last month. Only six months are left in completion of Brijendra Singh’s deputation term here, as he will complete his three-year tenure on September 12. A senior official of the UT administration, on condition of anonymity, said that it would take at least two months in finalising the next Deputy Commissioner’s name. Now, after approving the panel, the administration will send it to the Ministry of Home Affairs for further action. — TNS



Govt approval gets mixed response
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 2
Harsher punishment for traffic violation approved by the government has bagged mixed response from the residents here. While they believe that the strict law will act as a deterrent to habitual offenders, youngsters are of the view that there can be other ways to deal with regular offenders.

Rakesh Sachedva, principal, DAV School, Sector 15, said that the stricter the law, more would be the discipline. “I feel that maximum number of accidents happen due to drunken driving and people who risk life of others need to be taught a lesson”, she said.

SK Khosla, general secretary, Resident Welfare Association, Sector 40, said that the country like India needed strict laws, as that was the only way to control such serious offences. “The laws to control the offences like drunk driving and using mobile phone while driving exists, still those laws has failed to control the rampant violation, so we need to have laws that should set an example among the such unmindful people who risk their and other commuters life”, Khosla said.

AS Ahluwalia, Dean Student Welfare (DSW), Panjab University, said that it was a positive step taken by the government as people who endangered the life of other people needed to be taught a lesson. “The punishment should get stricter with each repeated offence”, he said.

Twenty-six year old Manipal Singh said that rather then imposing harsh punishment, the police should focus on counselling sessions for such violators. “I am not against stricter laws, however, before constituting such laws the government should explore the other ways through which offences like drunk driving can be controlled”, he said.

Ankit Sachdeva, a BCA student of a private college, said that although the drunk driving was a major offence and such drivers should be penalised with a mild punishment, however, treating them like hard-core criminals by sentencing upto four-years imprisonment is not justified. 



Hotel Shivalikview to get facelift soon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 2
Hotel Shivalikview will get a facelift very soon as the Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Corporation has approved Rs 1 crore for the purpose in its 169th board meeting at Hotel Mountview, here today.

Besides reviewing the performance parameters of its hotels and other units, the board members were of the view that advanced facilities had to be upgraded in all units keeping in view the competitive environment.

The Board also authorised DK Tiwari, Managing Director, CITCO, to formulate strategic policy for steel business to provide better service to the industry.

For the convenience of the guests in the most popular budget hotel of Chandigarh, Hotel Parkview, the Board has sanctioned an amount of Rs 35 lakh to provide 100 per cent power backup in Hotel Parkview.



BJP, SAD councillors meet MC Commissioner

Chandigarh, March 2
A delegation of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) councillors led by BJP president Sanjay Tandon today met the Municipal Corporation Commissioner Vivek Pratap Singh to discuss various issues.

Councillors complained that the authorities were inviting tenders repeatedly for the same work but not allocating the works due to which a majority of petty works were lying pending for more than a year.

The councillors alleged that in the past, the ruling Mayor had adopted the practice to ignore the wards of the BJP-Akali councillors and the development projects were stalled. The delegation also discussed that the sub-committees, which were constituted was against the MC Act. The councillors demanded that there should be participation of all the councillors in the budget preparation.

The MC Commissioner assured the delegation that he would look into the matter and try to resolve all the issues at the earliest. — TNS



MC finance panel to take decision
Adding ingredient of reasonableness to the food offered
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 2
The Chandigarh Municipal Corporation’s Finance and Contract Committee (F&CC) will now take a decision on adding the ingredient of reasonableness to the foodstuff offered at the night food street.

As the suo motu case on high-food prices leaving a bad taste among city residents came up for hearing, UT senior-standing counsel Sanjay Kaushal sought time for enabling F&CC to take a final decision on reducing the rates of the foodstuff.

Fixing April 20 as the next date of hearing in the case, the Bench of Justice Surya Kant and Justice Ajay Tewari also asked Kaushal to ensure that the decision was taken on related issues.

Already, for spicing up the nightlife of the city residents once again, the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh has resolved to constitute a committee for proper regularisation of rates and the maintenance of the kiosks at the night food street.

In an affidavit, MC Additional Commissioner Lalit Siwach had only recently asserted the finance and contract committee, after deliberations, resolved that the kiosks at the night food street be allotted through a draw of lots at the rate of Rs 25,000 per month.

“It was further resolved that a committee will be constituted for the finalisation of the terms and conditions for proper regularisation of rates of the eatables and the maintenance of the kiosks”.

Siwatch also told the Bench that a survey had revealed that Chandigarh had about 5,550 roadside hawkers and vendors. In addition, about 500-licensed vendors are operating in the parts of the city.

The High Court had earlier also made it clear that it wanted the authorities concerned to ensure the ingredient of reasonableness is added to the dishes served on the platter in the Sector-14 night food street.

After taking suo motu cognizance of a news report on high prices being allegedly charged by the shopkeepers at the night food street, the High Court had earlier issued notice of motion to the UT Administration.



Aircraft fails to make smooth landing
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 2
Passengers on the Jet Airways flight had a harrowing time as the aircraft failed to make a smooth landing at the local airport today.

As per information, some problem arose due to which the aircraft could not land smoothly. Despite repeated attempts, none of the officials of the Jet Airways could be contacted.

Recounting his experience, RK Jain, one of the passengers said the aircraft bounced and came back with a heavy thud and bounced back in the air. He added that after taking rounds in the air for about 20 minutes the aircraft again approached the runway, but the landing was not at all smooth and at a point it was felt as if the aircraft would skid off the runway. 



ESI Hospital lacks facilities, say industrialists
Our Correspondent

Mohali, March 2
Members of the Mohali Industries Association (MIA), alleged that the ESI Hospital had poor facilities and if the quality of services provided to the employees was not improved, they would launch an agitation.

Giving a warning to the authorities concerned, president of the MIA, KS Mahal, said if the problems were not taken up within a period of 10 to 15 days, industrial unit owners would not allow ESI inspectors to visit their premises.

Mahal said the diamond jubilee year of the ESIC was celebrated during 2011-12 but the plight of employees was overlooked. Three years ago, the ESI Corporation had introduced smart cards for insured workers. The corporation spent about Rs 1,300 crore on the project, but these cards were of no use.

From April 1, 2011, the ESI Corporation had started an online system and the smart cards which were supposed to extend benefits to insured workers any where in India by using online services were allegedly not accepted by the ESI hospital, Phase VII, Mohali. Even the reimbursement of medical bills of the employees took a long time, added Mahal.



6 new tubewells to be installed in town
Tribune News Service

Zirakpur, March 2
The Zirakpur municipal council and Punjab water supply department are all set to install six new tubewells in different parts of the town to meet the increasing drinking water demand.

Sources stated that the work of installing three tubewells had already been started while the remaining ones would be installed after the Assembly poll result was out.

An official of the water supply department said 45 tubewells had been installed in 15 wards of
the town.

He said the work of installing two new tubewells at Harmilap Nagar, Phase I, and Pabhat had started and it would be completed within three months. However, the tubewell that was installed in Gurdev Nagar would be made functional in a few days,” the official added.

The sources stated that in the last meeting, the council had planned to install three tubewell in Guru Gobind Singh Nagar, Gurjivan Vihar and Rampur Bhudda village. The sources said the cost of the tubewells had been finalised and the proposal would be discussed in the MC meeting. The work would be outsourced to a private company, sources added.

Zirakpur Executive Officer Paramjit Singh Saro stated that the council would install more tubewells as per need.

“Residents will not have to face water problem this summer,” he added.



Kumbhra village stinks
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 2
Poor sanitation dots Kumbhra village as the district administration has failed to check sewage accumulated in front of houses.

Alleging that a person had encroached upon shamlat land, the residents said the nullah was blocked and the stinking water got accumulated in front of their houses. On the complaint of the residents, the block development and panchayat officer today visited the village.

He has asked the officials concerned to cover the nullah till March 12. But the residents lamented that a number of officials had visited the place but none of them could solve the problem. 



Spring festival from March 10
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, March 2
The two-day 26th spring festival would be organised by the Horticulture department of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) from March 10. The two-day fest will host various cultural activities.

HS Malik, superintending engineer, HUDA, said there would be six classes and 93 sections in flower competitions. Class A would include flower arrangement, which would be open to all, including children up to 15 years and for gardeners, Malik added.

Malik said Class B and Class C would include cut flower competitions while in Class D and Class E flowering and foliage plants grown in pots by individuals and institutions, respectively, would be displayed. Class F would include house gardens, roundabouts being maintained by different NGOs and sector parks being maintained by sector welfare associations in urban estate, he added.

Malik said the festival would see competitions like rangoli making, fancy dress, best out-of-waste, duet dance and mono acting and painting contest for children. He said cultural programmes by school children, reputed artistes from different states, Kathputli show and monkey show would also be held. Other attractions would include healthy baby show, camel ride, joy rides, giant wheels and stalls, he added.



Latest updates on HIV/AIDS
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 2
The National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) designated State Reference Laboratory (SRL) will be organising a full site sensitisation programme on issues related to HIV/AIDS in the Research Block of the PGI.

The programme is for all health care workers (resident, nurses and technicians) working in the institute to discuss the latest issues related to handling and testing of HIV patients and their samples.



Rural areas witness decline in infant mortality rate
Our Correspondent

Mohali, March 2
The number of hospital deliveries in Punjab has risen by nearly four times and the share of deliveries in government hospitals has gone up from 10 per cent to 34 per cent in 2011-12.

This was stated by SC Agrawal, chief secretary, Punjab, at a state-level function here while giving away awards and certificates to the health department employees who had made an outstanding contribution to the promotion of hospital deliveries and reduction in the infant mortality rate (IMR) . Nearly 200 medical officers, gynaecologists, staff nurses, ANMs and Asha workers from different districts were honoured on the occasion.

He said the number of hospital deliveries had risen from 44, 485 in 2007-08 to 1.62 lakh in 2011-12 which was a four-fold increase. He said in rural areas the IMR had come down from 42 points (2009) to 37 points (2010). There were only four other states where the rural IMR had declined by five points in a single year.

Agrawal said the Punjab government was committed to providing better health facilities to the people of the state so that those living in villages did not have to go to far-off places for treatment. He congratulated the top performers and said that they could become an inspiration for others.

Satish Chandra, principal secretary, health and family welfare, said the main aim of National Rural Health Mission was to bring down the infant mortality rate and the maternal mortality ratio, particularly in rural areas by promoting hospital deliveries. He said free deliveries and free medicines were being provided to mothers.



Research symposium at PGI today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 2
National symposium-cum-workshop on experimental research and alternatives will be organised in the PGI tomorrow.

The workshop will focus on how to conduct experimental research ethically and how to develop alternative animal models to minimise the use of animals.

The organising secretary, Dr Bikash Medhi, additional professor, the department of pharmacology, PGI, will be start the programme by detailing the national and international regulation of animal experimentation.

Several speakers from various institutes and from the industries will deliver their talk on different aspects of experimental research, drug development, animal experimentation, bio-safety and laboratory related issues.

Delegates will be given demonstration of some of the important techniques used in experimental research and other related modernized technique.



Tricity scan
Job fest

Aryans Mega Job Fest was organised for the Polytechnic Diploma holders organised by Aryans College of Engineering (ACE). Mohanbeer Singh Sidhu, additional director, department of technical education and industrial training), Government of Punjab, inaugurated the fest. Around 1,156 candidates appeared in the selection process in which around 137 students were placed in more than 25 companies.

Bioscience Olympiad

A state-level bioscience Olympiad where the students, pursuing science education from 50 schools and 30 colleges of the different areas of Punjab and Himachal participated, was organised by the department of biopharma sciences, Chandigarh Group of Colleges, Gharuan, Mohali.

Heena Ahuja was awarded for bagging first position, whereas, Paramjeet Singh for the second position. Both the students were from SCD Government College, Ludhiana. The third prize was won by Neha Rana of Government Senior Secondary School, Una (HP).

Environment conservation

Eco-Club of the Swami Vivekanand Group of Institute (SVGOI) organised a marathon themed ‘Aaghaaz’. The new beginning’ which signifying the green initiatives on their campus at Banur near Rajpura. Over 800 participants took part in the participation. The students rock garden and finally culminated at Sukhna Lake’s regulator end.

Industrial visit

Quest Group of Institutions organised an industrial visit for BTech computer science students. The visit was conducted to provide real life exposure about knowledge of business systems and their automation by applying IT. The students were shown documentaries on the history, culture, vision, mission, success story, value and the customer’s feedback

Candle march

A ‘Candle light Vigil and Prayer’ is being organised on March 2 between 7 to 8 pm at the fountain near plaza, at Sector 17, Chandigarh. The event will be organised in remembrance of Alok Gupta, who was shot dead by unknown assassins on the Christmas day in Canada.

Free consultation

Over 50 persons attended a free infertility consultation camp conducted by a hospital, Mohali, at a local hospital in Sector 15, here today. The camp was organised to mark Women's Day and Women's Month. Infertility specialists, both, gynaecology consultants gave, provided consultations to the couples. The couples, who were finding it difficult to conceive, were advised to go in for detailed tests and medical help as the problem could be with either of them. The hospital also offered attractive discounts on the infertility treatment required by the couples screened in the camp.



ATS Valley School launched
Tribune News Service

An official addresses the media during a press conference at a hotel while launching a school in Chandigarh on Friday.
An official addresses the media during a press conference at a hotel while launching a school in Chandigarh on Friday. Tribune photo: pradeep tewari

Chandigarh, March 2
Promotors of the Vasant Valley School, New Delhi, announced the launch of the ATS Valley School in the ATS Golf Meadows Township at Dera Bassi, here today.
The first session of the school will commence from April.

‘An overview of Learning in the classroom along with strategies for reading success’, conducted by Sonya Philip, Founder and President, Learning Matters India.



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