C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


3 Tricity youths drown in Ganga
Were students of University of Petroleum Engineering Studies, Dehradun, and hostelers
Tribune News Service

Dehradun, May 15
Three youths, all students of B Tech (II) at the University of Petroleum Engineering Studies, Dehradun, drowned in the Ganga at Rishikesh this morning. The trio belong to Chandigarh and Mohali and had been staying in Upkar Campus hostel. Their parents have been informed about the incident.

While the body of Uday Karan Singh of Chandigarh has been fished out, the bodies of Anubhav Kalia, a resident of Mohali, and Vaibhav Sudhir of Chandigarh, are yet to be retrieved.

A group of four students had gone to Rishikesh for a picnic as their examinations concluded recently. The fourth boy, Sahil Sharma, a resident of Udham Singh Nagar, did not enter the river as he was suffering from fever. While he was standing at some distance, the other three entered the river at Mastram Ghat, Luxman Jhula, Rishikesh. However, soon they started drowning.

One Om Prakash (65), who was also present there, saw the youths drowning. He raised the alarm, but by the time people reached the spot, the trio had drowned. Police divers reached the spot after half an hour of the incident.

The authorities have already installed three signboards at the spot warning visitors not to enter the river it is deep, full of rocks and muddy at that spot.

The faculty and students of the University of Petroleum Engineering Studies also reached the spot after getting the information.



Families in a state of shock
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
Pall of gloom descended on the families of three tricity boys, who died due to drowning in a river at Rishikesh in Uttarakhand, as the news of their demise reached their houses this evening.

The two boys were identified as Vaibhav Sudheer and Anubhav Kalia, both residents of Sector 22 and Sector 59, respectively.

All the three deceased boys were first year engineering students of University of Petloleum and energy study Dehradun. The third victim was stated to be a resident of Mohali, however, his identity was not known till the filing of this report.

According to information the one of the boys went for swimming in the river but lost control in view of the fast flow of water. Seeing him drowning another boy also jumped into the river to save him but he also started drowning. Seeing his companions losing their livers the third boy also jumped into the river but he two died.

Vaibhav’s mother is a bank employee while his father Sumesh Sudheer is a businessman and had gone to Rewari on a business trip. His sister is employed in Bangalore.The neighbours told the Tribune said that they got the information about the incident at about 5 pm. They said that they were surprised at the death of Vaibhav as he knew little bit of swimming.

Anubhav Kalia’s elder brother is a pilot with a private airline while his father is working as general manager in a private company. The mother of the deceased is a lecturer in a college based at Baddi in Himachal Pradesh.



Furniture Market fire
Recurring incidents fail to move administration
Encroachments on prime commercial land have not gone in 12 yrs and alternative sites not allotted to shopkeepers
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Burnt electric cables hang at the furniture market where a fire broke our on Monday
Burnt electric cables hang at the furniture market where a fire broke our on Monday. Tribune photo: Pradeep Tewari

Chandigarh, May 15
Four major fires in the illegal furniture market of Sectors 52-53 in the past about 12 years have failed to wake up the UT administration from its slumber to remove the encroachments on the prime commercial land and allot them some alternative site.

Ironically, as and when a major fire breaks out at the market site, the administrative machinery comes into action and assures the furniture owners about their rehabilitation.

ADC Mahavir Kaushik, who visited the fire incident site, said no decision had been taken to remove these shopkeepers today, but a detailed report was being prepared about the incident and would be submitted to the administration.

Yesterday’s incident reportedly occurred due to a short circuit in a shop and reduced 22 shops to ashes in the market. As per the MC fire report, two fire tenders were also sent to the spot as calls were received from the site that the fire had not extinguished completely.

Following their set pattern, Administration and fire department officials made a visit to the site to inspect the damage and reassured the victims that action would be taken to rehabilitate the shopkeepers.

Interestingly, for the fourth time, the fire team pointed out similar faults in its report which the team had prepared whenever the fire incidents occurred earlier in the market. The report stated that no shop had installed the fire safety equipment in case of such an incident. Combustible material like thinner, varnish, spirit, paint and clothing, which catch fire easily, was lying in the workshops which the shopkeepers had set up at the backyard of their shops. The team found that all generators were running by kundi connections in these shops, as nobody had applied for electric connections for their temporary shops. Strangely no notices had been issued by the fire or other departments to these shopkeepers, as they had all set up their infrastructure illegally on government land.

MC Chief Fire officer Rajiv Gupta said he had convened a meeting of these shopkeepers along with all presidents of rehri markets on Thursday to discuss the steps essential for the safety of their shops.

In fact, if officials are to be believed, a bigger fire incident had occurred in April 2000 in which about 20 shops were gutted. At that time, instructions were issued for the installation of the fire safety equipment in the shops till the shifting of market to another place. But after that, neither the fire department monitored whether the fire-fighting system had been installed in the market nor the shopkeepers cared about it. Officials in the corporation revealed that repeated communications were sent to the UT administration to remove the illegal furniture market but all in vain.

A shopkeeper Manjit Singh who had set up his shop in 1985 revealed that earlier only five shops were set up in this market, but with the passage of time, 114 shops had come up now. He said to avoid any such incident in future, the administration should allot them an alternative site at the earliest.

Since morning, convoys of political leaders kept on visiting the fire incident site to express their sympathy with the shopkeepers whose shops had been gutted. The leaders included MC Mayor Raj Bala Malik, BSP leader Anwar-ul-Haq and BJP president Sanjay Tandon. All leaders, including MC Mayor, assured the shopkeepers that they would take up the compensation issue with the Administration

Promises made in past: In 2009, former Punjab Governor-cum-UT Administrator Gen SF Rodrigues (retd) had assured them that an alternative site woud be allotted to them, but till date no action has been taken by the authorities.

In 2009, local MP and Union Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal had also assured the shopkeepers that he would take up the matter about their rehabilitation with the Administration.



Daily wagers have no hope

Daily wager Bajrangi Yadav was traumatised when he came to know that he had lost his job of polishing at the furniture market here, as the shop where he worked for the past 15 years was gutted last night.

With moist eyes,Yadav revealed that as he was the only bread-earner in his family, losing this job meant a lot of problems for him and his family. “I was planning that after receiving this month’s salary, I will enroll my younger kid in a government school, but I think now I will have to postpone my scheduling for a year. To meet my routine expenditure, I will have to take loan from some of my friends or relatives,” said Bajrangi Yadav.

Yadav said he was lucky that he was not there when the fire broke out as anything could have happened and nobody could identify him, as there was no official record about him with the administration.

Like Bajrangi Yadav, there were 500 other daily wagers who were working in the 22 shops of the furniture market, which were gutted in the major fire incident. Sitting in front of the burnt shops in which they were employed for the past so many years, all were thinking of looking for some other job until these shops were reset by the owners. They will have to find some other work to make both ends meet now.

Disheartened, Satnam, a daily wager, said the shop owners might get some financial compensation from the administration, but the daily wagers would get nothing as none of them were registered employees.

Another worker Shambhu, who had recently joined the job in the furniture market, said in the workshops that were running under the temporary sheds of the market, no fire safety arrangements had been made by the owners. He said a majority of the motors which were installed in the shops are connected through kundi connections.



kansal area
Department stops approving layout plans
Banks stop loan advances for houses in the Kansal area following HC order
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
A day after the Punjab and Haryana Court halted construction activity in Sukhna’s catchment area, the Punjab Local Bodies Department has stopped clearing layout plans of residential projects, especially in Kansal, that fall in the Nayagoan Master Plan area.

Officials in the State Local Bodies Department, while confirming the development, said the approval of the layout plans had been withheld. Directions were also being issued to stop construction activity in the area.

Going by the order of the high court wherein housing colony or building activity in the catchment area, either within the forest area or agriculture area, had been banned with effect from March 2001, the department was now trying to ascertain the number of such houses which had come up in the catchment area of the lake.

As per the map prepared by the Survey of India, villages of Kaimbwala and Khuda Alisher in Chandigarh, a major part of Kansal in Punjab and parts of Saketri and Mahadevpur in Haryana form part of the catchment area.

Though in the UT area there has been little construction activity, there has been large-scale construction activity going in Kansal area. The Executive Officer, Nayagoan NAC, Ashok said some projects in Kansal had been approved, but now all have been stopped.

On Tuesday, work on a housing projects and construction of individual houses was going on.

Not only the Local Government, a number of financial institutions today stopped advancing loans to people who own properties in Kansal and Naygaoan. “I had applied for loan with HDFC, but my sanction has been withheld,” said Chetna.

Anxiety is writ large on a number of residents of the area of Kansal who could be seen making frantic calls and enquiries about the fate of their houses. Officials in the Local Bodies Department admit they have no idea about the fate of the houses.

Nayagoan master plan legality

Questions are being raised about the legality of the Nayagoan master plan that was got approved by the Punjab from the Punjab Regional Town Planning and Regional Planning Board in 2009. The master plan of Nayagoan was never part of the Regional Plan that had advised master plans for Mohali, Kharar, Dera Bassi, Zirakpur, Banur and Mullanpur. Even the draft master plan that was later scrapped by the Punjab Government had advised low urbanisation and more eco-sensitive zones. But the then Local Bodies Minister, Maoranjan Kalia, prevailed upon the Chief Minister, Parkash Singh Badal, and got a 
separate master plan approved for Nayagoan and Kansal that suited certain vested interests.



Youth stabbed to death by 12 assailants
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh May 15
A 22-year-old youth was stabbed to death by around a dozen assailants at his Daddu Majra residence last night. The victim, Alok Kumar, was stabbed repeatedly in the back. He later died in the PGI. The police has arrested nine persons in the case of murder registered at the police station at Sector 39. The victim had earlier entered into a scuffle with the suspects near an eatery on Sunday evening.

On Sunday evening, the suspects came out of an eating joint in Dadumajra after having dinner. Arjun accidentally brushed against Alok and a heated argument ensued. Alok then took out a bottle and hit Arjun on his head. Arjun then planned to avenge the attack when he came armed with his accomplices and attacked Alok last night.

At around 10 pm last night, Arjun and his accomplices allegedly dragged Alok out of the house before thrashing him with rods and baseball bats. Arjun then took out a knife and stabbed Alok to death. He stabbed Alok at least seven times.

The police has arrested Arjun, Bharat, Gautam, Shera, Krishan, Sanjay, Laddi, Ashok, Sonu and Deepu in a case under Sections 47, 148, 149, 307, 506, 323, 302 of the IPC.

The victim is survived by his mother, sister and a brother. His father had died some time ago.


UT awaits fault-finding machine
Seeks help from Punjab to detect fault in underground power cables
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
While the residents of the city are facing power cuts due to fault in the power supply lines on numerous occasions, the UT Electricity Department does not have any equipment to locate fault in the underground cables spread across the city.

The department is finding it difficult to locate the fault which occurred yesterday in the underground cable on the Madhya Marg. Now, left with no other option, the department has sought help from their counterparts in Punjab as they have the fault-finding equipment. Meanwhile, the department has shifted the load of the underground cable on the Madhya Marg to other supply lines in order to restore power supply to the affected areas on Monday evening.

The department had bought fault-finding equipment in 1996. As the machine had outlived its life span of 10 years in 2006, it has developed snags and has not been working properly. The department has failed to purchase new equipment.

A senior official of the department said once they were able to install the fault-finding equipment, it would become easy to locate a fault in power lines. At most of the places, cables of 11 KV, 33 KV and 66 KV and low tension have been laid underground. It would not be easy to locate a fault in these lines without proper equipment, thus leading to the delay in restoring electricity supply to affected areas. By installing the required equipment, the location of a fault could be ascertained immediately after disconnection of power supply.

Sources said as this equipment cost around Rs 2 crore, the UT Electricity Department had sought approval from the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to buy one but did not get any satisfactory reply. Recently, the department has invited tenders from companies working in this area to provide the services of fault-locating equipment. The agency will be paid fee per fault.

The services will be hired for the whole city under the jurisdiction of the Electricity Department, including villages and the colonies on the periphery. An officer of the department says overloading leads to sudden snapping of the underground cables.

Superintending Engineer (Electricity) MP Singh said the department was fully equipped to deal with faults in the overhead supply lines and faults in the underground cables occurred rarely. Now, they have started the process of buying the fault-finding equipment. It would take some time, as the department has to complete all the formalities of tendering process, he added.

Why the equipment is important

With the help of the fault-finding equipment, the department can identify the area where a fault occurs and can rectify it immediately. It is difficult for the department to dig the entire power supply stretch and then locate a fault.



7,200 EWS houses by 2014: Sukhbir
To be constructed at a cost of Rs 288 crore
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 15
At least 7,200 houses will be constructed for economically weaker section (EWS) here in the next two years. This was stated by Punjab's Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal here today.

It was decided during a meeting that the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) would be directed to complete the construction within the next two years.

The meeting was also attended by Punjab's Finance and Planning Minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa and Health and Family Welfare Minister Madan Mohan Mittal.

Badal said the houses, which would be constructed at a cost of Rs 288 crore, must be allotted to the EWS families which were eligible under the norms that had been stipulated.

"GMADA will strictly enforce the clause of providing houses to the EWS at all sanctioned mega-projects under its command, said Badal.

He added that it was the duty of the government to provide shelter to every poor family by 2020.

He directed the GMADA authorities to ensure proper upkeep of parks.

He also told it to coordinate with the civic body regarding the uniform maintenance of all roads at Mohali so that it could be made a model town.



Boost to PGI liver transplant programme
Doctors performed third successfully surgery last week
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
The liver transplant programme at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Research (PGIMER) has gained momentum when the doctors performed third such surgery successfully last week. The 54-year-old patient, Anil, from Himachal Pradesh is recovering fast and the doctors are hopeful that he will be discharged this week only. The donor in the case was a patient who had died of a head injury, said the sources.

Before this the PGI doctors had transplanted liver on two patients since April last year. While the first patient, a 44-year-old person from Saharanpur, could not be saved due to multiple helath complications, the second patient, a 30-year-old woman, had been discharged after her successful surgery seven months ago on October 6.

This has elated the doctors at hepatology department who have decided to increase the frequency of such transplants. "We are satisfied with the results of surgery and enthusiasm among the donors who are coming forward to donate the organs to save the lives of others," said one of the doctors.

International guidelines stipulate that any patient suffering from liver cirrhosis, who is assessed to have a life expectancy of less than a year, should be considered for a transplant. A timely transplant conducted on a patient in a reasonable condition with a good donor liver has around 80 per cent chance of success.

Liver for transplant can be obtained from two types of donors. While cadaveric liver donation is possible from a brain-dead person whose family wishes to donate his organs before discontinuing life support, the donation is also possible from a living donor who is a relative of the recipient and can donate half of his/her liver. The donor operation is entirely safe and the liver quickly regenerates in both the donor and the recipient within a few weeks.

At the PGI, the doctors perform liver transplant throuth cadaveric liver donation only.

The liver transplant programme at the PGI here has got an overwhelming response from all parts of the country. The patients have contacted the PGI from as far places as Kerala for their treatment. AS of now, however, there were nearly 50 patients in queue for liver transplant out of which 15 can be operated upon as soon as a suitable donor is found, said sources.

The cost of liver transplant at the PGI is only a 25 per cent of what is charged at the private sector hospitals in the country. At the PGI, the patient has to spend an amount between Rs 5-7 lakh. At the private sector hospitals, the cost of this is over Rs 20 lakh.



Death of couple in accident case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
Countering the allegations of Ashwini, brother of deceased Ashok who was killed in an accident along with his wife, Dr PN Gupta has stated that the police had approached him for the footage to get clues of the accident. The doctor stated that he did not know Ashwini who had been making false statements to the media and taking all the credit for getting the case solved.

Ashwini had yesterday stated that it was he who provided the clue regarding the footage to the police. It was the CCTV camera installed at the doctor’s clinic from which the police got a clue to the accident case, leading to the arrest of the accused.

“The police met me on May 8, two days after the accident and asked for the footage. It was entirely their effort and I do not even know Ashwini, who has been making false claims that it was he who provided the police with the clue,” Dr Gupta told the Chandigarh Tribune.

Inspector Charanjeet Singh, SHO, police station, Sector 39, said they went to the doctor’s clinic after the accident on May 6 but he was not available. “We managed to meet him only on May 8 when he gave us the footage,” he said.

The police had yesterday arrested Puneet Singla, a resident of Sector 38, for causing the death of Ashok Kumar and his wife Santosh. The mishap had orphaned two kids.



STA cracks whip on auto dealers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
After deciding to act tough against the operators of auto-rickshaws with diesel engines, the State Transport Authority (STA) has cracked its whip on the auto dealers who are selling new models without getting approval from the transport authority.

As per the existing practice, the Registration and Licensing Authority (RLA) does not register any model before it is given a code by the STA. It is the responsibility of the dealer to get the clearance certificate from the manufacturer concerned.

But in the past, it has been seen that some of the big names who launched high-end cars in the market do not submit any certification to the STA. As a result, the unsuspecting buyers face harassment as their vehicles are not registered for want of specific code assigned to the specific model. Balbir Singh Dhol, STA, said strict instructions had been issued to the car dealers to follow the procedure. The STA has been regularly receiving complaints on this account.



Encroachments removed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
The enforcement wing of the Municipal Corporation today lifted material belonging to those shopkeepers at Night Food Street near the PGI who had encroached upon corporation land by putting up their stuff in front of six shops which are closed now. Out of eight shops, the allottees of six had shut their shops.

On the directions of the MC Commissioner, VP Singh, a special drive was launched today by the enforcement department to remove all the encroachments from Food Street. Officials said a detail report of this drive is also being submitted to the Commissioner.



MC to have its own building soon
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 15
The Panchkula municipal corporation (MC) will soon have its own building as parleys between the civic authorities and the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) over land near Devi Nagar are at the final stage.

The MC has already identified 9,100 square yards at Devi Nagar, near Sector 3, and the authorities have taken up the matter with the HUDA authorities for the allotment of land so that construction can be started as soon as possible.

Though the land belongs to HUDA, the MC had sent a proposal to acquire it more than a year ago, when the council was elevated to a corporation. The MC had kept Rs 3 crore in its budget as the reserve amount, which was recently approved by the Financial Commissioner of the local bodies department.

Local residents would have to travel to the far-end of the town, where the MC planned to set up its new office. It would be constructed at a new building in Devi Nagar. The new office would be located on the outskirts of the town. The location will be out of the way for those staying in urban sectors of the district.

The MC had earlier sought land at Sector 5, near the Haryana Public Service Commission office, as it was more accessible. The issue of accessibility had prompted the MC to choose the community centre at Sector 4 for its makeshift office.

MC executive officer OP Sihag said the matter was at the final stage. "We will have a spacious building to accommodate the increasing staff," he added.



Ex-servicemen take up ‘one rank one pension’ issue with Antony
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
A delegation of retired Army officers, led by Congress MP Partap Singh Bajwa, called upon Defence Minister AK Antony and, besides various issues, discussed the implementation of one rank one pension (OROP) scheme with him.

While pointing out that even the Parliament's Standing Committee on Defence had validated the OROP, the delegation sought Antony's intervention for its early implementation.

Bajwa said the Armed Forces Tribunal, in the cases of Babu Ram Dhiman versus Union of India and Sohan Singh versus Union of India, had held that the grant of unequal pay in the same rank was a violation of the principles of equality enshrined in the Article 14 of the Constitution. The Tribunal ruled that the state could not lay down different criteria for grant of pension for the same rank of officers on the basis of cut-off date of retirement.

Stressing upon the need to do justice to ex-servicemen without comparing them with their civilian counterparts as the two were not comparable, be it in terms of service conditions or the risk that they face, Bajwa urged Antony to de-link the civilian pay from that of the personnel of the armed forces.

The ex-servicemen also sought establishment of a National Commission for Military Veteran Affairs on the lines of the Minority Commission as well as nomination of military veterans to the Rajya Sabha, treating widows at par with other military pensioners for the purpose of enhancement of pension and related issues, increasing quota for youth in armed forces from border districts, particularly in Punjab, ensuring equitable representation of ex-servicemen in all Central boards, corporations and PSU's and using the skills of ex-servicemen in training and raising battalions of national disaster relief and environment protection forces were other issues raised by the delegation.



Snehalaya inmates get better deal
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
After sitting over the report of the inquiry into the Snehalaya issue for so many months, the UT Administration has now started providing a family atmosphere to the inmates. To counter negative feelings among the children, the UT Administration has also started yoga classes, art of living classes and educational tours for them.

Even the children have now started to participate in cultural programmes and some children have even won prizes.

In the action taken report placed before the Punjab and Haryana High Court yesterday, the Administration has stated that a yoga teacher from the Government College of Yoga, Education and Health, Sector 23, is teaching yoga to the children. Besides, teachers of English, science, maths and sports have been appointed.

Reply also reads that the children have been taken on visits to Kurukshetra, Chhatbir Zoo, Pinjore and many other places. Every Sunday they are provided a movie DVD as per their demand.

Besides, CCTV cameras have been installed at the centre and these are functioning properly. Round the clock security service (16 security guards) has been hired from a professional agency.

Kavle V Parshuram, SDM, South, and Manju Bhalla, member, Juvenile Justice Board, had pointed out lapses in Snehalaya after looking into the cases of missing children from shelter homes.

The UT Administration has issued orders to provide an LCD TV in the common room and washing machine there. The inquiry report into the disappearance of 12 children from Snehalayahad revealed glaring lapses in the way the home was run by the Social Welfare Department.



No free-pass entry to Sec-17 parking lots
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
Vehicles with free parking passes issued by the Municipal Corporation will not be allowed to park in the two parking lots of Sector 17. This decision has been taken by the authorities to ease pressure on the Empire Store and Sahib Singh parking lots. Priority to park the vehicle in these lots will be given to those who pay parking fee rather than those who have been issued free parking passes.

A senior official of the corporation said the MC Councillors, media persons, officials and employees of the corporation, who had been issued free parking passes, would be asked to park their vehicles in the adjoining parking lots, as after the introducing of the token system, the parking capacity will decline by 830 vehicles. The Official said the decision had been taken by the authorities as earlier in these parking lots 1,300 vehicles were allowed to park by the contractor but after the introducing of the token system the parking capacity of these two parking lots is 470 vehicles only.

The contractors had apprehended huge losses in view of the token system. Resultantly, for the time being the authorities have decided that the free pass holders will not be allowed to park their vehicles there.



‘The Homecoming’ leaves audience awestruck
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, May 15
The Roopak Kala and Welfare Society in association with the Ministry of Culture, Government of India, and NZCC, Patiala, staged three stories written by Rabindranath Tagore, which were translated in Punjabi, designed and directed by Sangeeta Gupta and Chakresh.

Child prodigies, including Udaiveer, Ashi Singh, Keshav and Manpreet, shined through the performance and eclipsed senior artistes. As many as 22 artistes brought alive the original essence and concept of Rabindranath Tagore in the enactment of stories.

The first story, “The Homecoming”, is an insight into a 14-year-old boy. It is about a rustic child’s inner urge to return home, as he is sent to his uncle’s home due to his mother’s disgust at his reported unruly behaviour.

The second story, “My Lord, The Baby or Little Master’s Return” is about the incredible bond of affection between a servant and his little master. Raicharan’s loyalty to his master is extraordinary. The guilt in his mind that he was responsible for his little master’s death, made him offer his own son to the master.

The third story, “The Trust Property”, witnessed a grandchild being killed by the greed of his grandfather. The miser wished to save his wealth for his next generation but the tragedy is that he unknowingly killed his own grandson in the process. The stories were touching to the soul and kept audience interest alive. The live music was the lifeline of the show.

Besides, the opening spell was indeed innovative, as the director presented the play in the making. Pankaj Sharma, Gurmeet, Malvika, Vinod Kumar and others portrayed various roles to perfection. Chief guest Kuljit Singh Nagra, MLA, Fatehgarh Sahib, honoured the artistes.



Absentees to face the music: DC
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 15
Showing concern over ‘lapses’ in delivering health services in the ‘kandi’ area, Deputy Commissioner (DC) Varun Roojam directed the senior medical officer concerned to ensure the presence of medical staff in the area.

“Surprise visits will be conducted and those found absent from duty will face the music,” he said. He held a meeting of the District Health Society at Phase I here today.

He ordered a regular check on all ultrasound centres in the district to ensure the proper implementation of the PNDT Act. He also ordered the challaning of those found selling tobacco products at unauthorized sites in the district.





Office-bearers elected

Daljit Singh Grewal took charge as President of Chandigarh Senior Citizens’ Association yesterday. It is the largest NGO of its kind in the region, if not the entire country. Other office-bearers included: Vice-president-Surjit Kaur; secretary general -Col Sukhdev Singh; secretary of finance - SC Kapoor; secretary of administration- DS Mavi; and secretary of medical- Dr HV Jindal.

Nurses’ meet

The general body meeting of GMCH Nurses Welfare Association was held today under the chair of President Vijay Kumar. In the meeting it was decided that the nurses will stage an agitation for their long pending demands. More than 100 nursing staff had personally submitted the notice of agitation (strike) along with charter of demands, to the authorities of GMCH. The members of association will bear black badges from May 19 to 22 while working on duty. It has also been decided that extra work in the service of patients admitted in GMCH Sector-32 will be done by the nurse in protest from May 23 to 25. Employees will hold dharna on May 28 and 29 in front of the emergency gate of the hospital. The members of the association will sit on hunger strike on May 30 and 31 which may be extended. Member will resort to mass casual leave on June 15, which may lead to continue as indefinite strike according to the circumstances.

Students in a happy mood at the prize distribution function at State Institute of Education, Sector 32, Chandigarh, on Tuesday
Students in a happy mood at the prize distribution function at State Institute of Education, Sector 32, Chandigarh, on Tuesday. Tribune Photo: Parvesh Chauhan

Annual function

State Institute of Education, Sector 32-C, Chandigarh on Tuesday organised its annual prize function for DElEd students on its campus. The function was presided over by Dr Surender Singh Dahiya, director, State Institute of Education.


The following have been elected as office-bearers to the Abhinet, a local theatre group: President-Kamal Arora; vice-president - Dr Rana, secretary-Vijay Kapoor; joint secretary- Kanwal Baidwan; treasurer- Dr Rajnish Chhabra.

Fun games

In the ongoing celebrations of International Nurses Week, the school of nursing organised fun games today. The principal, Amarjeet Kaur, inaugurated the fun games. It was organised to instill the spirit of teamwork and sisterhood among the nursing students. Students thoroughly enjoyed the games like blind ball catching, musical chair, three leg race and bead race. Teachers and other students cheered the teams and enjoyed the events.


HPV vaccine

While educating about 150 mothers at a school in Mohali, Dr Seema Wadhwa, Consultant, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Fortis Hospital Mohali said, “Cervical cancer ranks as the most frequent cancer among women in India especially among women between 15 and 44 years of age. Majority of the cervical cancer cases (99%) are linked to genital infection with human papillomavirus (HPV), which is the most common viral infection of the reproductive tract. If you are under 27, be sure to get the HPV vaccine as it prevents high risk strains of HPV in women, they said. — TNS



Senators campaign in guise
Visit colleges as anti-cheating squad to carry out their motive, allege officials
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
Giving two hoots to all norms, Panjab University senators are using university funds to campaigning for senate elections under the garb of anti-cheating squads. What left the university authorities fuming is that the anti-cheating squads, primarily comprising senators, have registered only 7 cases so far out of 2,800 visits to 1,600 centres.

Whereas, the staff-on-duty in those centres have reported about 90 cheating cases. Matter aggravated further when it was reported that non senators, who are part of flying squad, have registered 6 out of the above mentioned 7 cases. The senators who have used all pulls and pressures to be part of the squads are actually handing out graduate constituency registration forms and campaigning for their group in colleges where they go to inspect.

“It was a huge shock for me. The inspection team which came to our college didn’t go to a single class. Rather the team sat in my office and called our teachers one by one and handed them out bundles of forms to get people registered. They also told me that they will be visiting again. One of college representative in the Senate called us to cooperate with them,” revealed a college principal.

The PU high ups, although well aware of it, are turning a blind eye while officials demand banning of fellows from such squads.

“Senators have gone all the way to get themselves appointed to these squads so that they can travel to colleges on university’s funds and do their election campaign. The figures speak the truth and many college principals and even teachers have informed the controller office about it. While we require only one or two fellows on a squad they form major part of it. Moreover, senators of one particular group are being sent in teams. If we really have to make our education reforms a success then the fellows will have to be banned from such academic works,” said an official.

Hold fellows accountable

Panjab University Senate and Syndicate spend hours defining and discussing academic, moral, propriety and even personal issues of university officials, teachers and students. The governing bodies, however, very conveniently overlooked their own assessment mechanism as there has hardly been a discussion on accountability of these fellows. While many expected VC RC Sobti, who chairs the house, to take up the cause but he too turned a blind eye.

The Panjab University Teachers’ Association has now demanded assessment of fellows and VC on lines of teacher assessment. “Just the way students are going to assess teachers, teachers should be allowed to asses both the VC and fellows. The fellows should also assess each other and the assessment should be discussed in the house. If these lords wish to enjoy their powers they should also be answerable,” said PUTA president.

Minimal work done

The anti-cheating squads have registered only 7 cases out of 2,800 visits to 1,600 centres. Whereas, the staff-on-duty in the same centres have reported about 90 case.



Road safety to be part of CBSE curriculum
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has directed its affiliated schools to impart lessons on Essential Road Safety Rules to their students. The lessons, which are meant to be started from this year, are for students from standard VI to XII.

The course is a part of Comprehensive School Health and Safety Programme and Adolescence Education Programme.

According to circular, the course comprising twelve lessons has been researched and designed by the Police Training and Research Institute (PTRI).

“The course will consist of two modules: one for VI to VIII standard students and second for IX to XII standard students. Students in schools will be educated on road safety an hour per week during extra curricular and sports classes. Professionals and traffic experts would also be invited to give lecture to students. They would give a holistic understanding about the traffic in the city,” reads the circular.

In addition to the regular lessons, students and teachers would be taken to city squares for comprehensive understanding of traffic rules and guidelines.

The Chandigarh Traffic Police have meanwhile dubbed it as its success as SP (traffic) Maneesh Chowdhary said, “It was UT Police had come with this idea and asked city schools and colleges to start it. If its national thing now we are proud of it. The idea of catching them young will go a great way in curtailing traffic problems and accidents. The UT Police will extend its assistance to all educational institutions in whichever way possible.”



45 students honoured for excellence
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
PEC University of Technology held its annual honour ceremony in college auditorium today. The event was organised to honour those students who have excelled in extra-curricular activities. This year, 45 students were given prestigious institute colours. The institute colour is an honour given to the best students of the graduating year for their contribution toward the institute.

This is also the time when students from all the four years are given certificates of appreciation and excellence.

The event also included performances by the Music Club. Tejinder Singh presented beautiful songs during the event.

A farewell video, dedicated to the graduating class of PEC University of Technology, was played during the event as well. The students said they have enjoyed the event.



HC issues notice of motion to PU
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today issued notice of motion to the Panjab University and its Vice-chancellor on a petition seeking permission to allow legal heir of deceased employees to opt for family pension.

The notice by the Division Bench of Acting Chief Justice MM Kumar and Justice Alok Singh came on a petition filed by Dr RD Anand. He is seeking directions for allowing the legal heir (spouses) of the deceased employees to opt for pension scheme and grant family pension to them with effect from August 31, 2006 - the last date for inviting options. The case will now come up for further hearing on May 23.



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