C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


GMSH Sector 16
Ambulances stuck doing odd jobs
Records say most of the time being spent on non-emergency duties
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20
Records of Government Multi-Speciality Hospital, Sector 16, reveal that the 10 ambulances stationed here spend 65 per cent of the travel time on duties other than emergency care. Only 35 per cent of the time is being spent on services like ferrying patients.

The travel data stated that these ambulances were being used for sundry assignments, including delivering of mails to department officials, posted in different offices of the city; ferrying officials or doctors for meetings; transporting departmental purchases; and jobs related to organising health camps and seminars in the UT.

The issue gains importance in the context that the Chandigarh Health Department has planned to add 10 more ambulances to its existing fleet. A senior official of the hospital, requesting anonymity said, “I think it should be brought to the notice of department officials that these vehicles are mostly being used for purposes other than patient care”.

An analysis of the record maintained by the ambulance drivers independently accessed by The Tribune revealed that in February, an ambulance stationed at GMSH-16 covered a mere 30 km for ferrying patients. The total mileage of the ambulance for the said month, however, was registered over 600 km. Another ambulance showed to have covered nearly 1,800 km in the same month. The papers showed that out of the total mileage, the ambulance travelled only 600 km for services like patient care.

Ambulances made less than five per cent of the total trips for the Janani Shishu Suraksha Yojna, where the facility is to be provided free of cost.

An ambulance driver conceded that, “We remain pre occupied with other jobs. What can we do? We only follow orders”. The administration has failed to utilise funds allotted under the National Rural Health Mission to fix the global positioning system.

The authorities have stationed eight ambulances on the premises of GMSH-16 while one each ambulance is stationed at Block Hospital, Sector 22, and Civil Hospital, Mani Majra, respectively. Recently, in a reply against a PIL filed with the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the local health department officials had stated that 10 more ambulances would be launched in the city in a phased manner.

Interestingly, the funds for the purpose had been allocated in September last year. The file is lying in the office of the Director, health Services, for some reason or the other.

Dr Rajiv Vadehra, medical superintendent of GMSH, Sector 16, said that the ambulances were being used to meet the requirement of the health department only. As there is dearth of vehicles, they are being used for purposes like doctor’s visit to the jail and delivery of mails. Moreover, these vehicles are deployed for all cultural, and sports events too, he added.



CTU buses with black film still plying on city roads
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20
The UT traffic police has adopted a lackadaisical approach in nailing the offenders for using black film on their vehicles as far as buses of the UT administration are concerned.

Despite a Supreme Court judgment on April 27, a sizeable majority of the CTU buses are still plying on city roads with zero per cent visibility with black film on them and the traffic police is turning a blind eye to these violations.

At the same time, a common man on city roads has been forced to remove the films, or is bearing the brunt with the issuing of challans in every nook and corner of the city.

More than 1,500 challans have been issued for black filming in the wake of the SC judgment this month, while the CTU buses are plying with impunity and the traffic police is not challaning them.

A number of city residents have flooded the traffic police’s facebook page with photographs of CTU buses plying in city with black film and curtains, yet no action has been taken by the traffic police even though the bus number is clearly visible in the photographs.

Interestingly, the UT traffic police has replied on the facebook page that “the challans cannot be issued on the facebook.”

Slamming the UT traffic police for not challaning buses with black film, Harman Sidhu, chairman of Arrive Safe, an NGO working for road safety, said that the police behaviour showed that UT Administration was above law.“The Chandigarh Traffic Police is tearing off films from cars ever since the Supreme Court judgment was received, but the buses continue to ply with zero per cent visibility with black films on them. This clearly shows that the police is lenient towards government departments and have instead issued an advisory to them depicting their soft attitude,” said Harman Sidhu.

The Supreme Court had in its recent judgment said, "We prohibit the use of black films of any visual light transmission (VLT) percentage or any other material upon the safety glasses, windscreens (front and rear) and side glasses of all vehicles throughout the country."

Fb flooded with pics

A number of residents have flooded the traffic police’s facebook page with photographs of CTU buses plying on city roads with black film and curtains, yet no action has been taken by the authorities even though the bus number is clearly visible in the photographs.

We have issued an advisory to the transport authorities asking them to remove the black film from all buses in the wake of the Supreme Court orders. We will start challaning the buses for black filming soon. Maneesh Chaudhery, UT SP (Traffic)


Who let the dogs out?

The Tribune deserves all appreciation for highlighting the menace of stray dogs and dog bite cases in the Union Territory of Chandigarh. Tales of those, who have lost their lives or suffered grievous injuries, are horrifying and heart rending. It is shockingly appalling that there are around 4,000 cases of dog bites in Chandigarh every year. Those, who are at the helm of affairs, do not realise the trauma and anguish of the dog bite victims. It is highly deplorable that in spite of the gravity of the situation, the authorities have not taken adequate steps to check the menace. It is also ridiculous to learn that the proposal to construct a dog pound has been scrapped on the ground that "no state in the country has a dog pound". The municipal corporation must make determined efforts to sterilise the dogs within a fixed time frame so that their rising population is kept under control.
— NP Manocha, Chandigarh

Apathetic attitude of authorities disappointing

First of all I wish to complement Chandigarh Tribune for conducting a detailed survey with regard to the stray dog menace in and around the city. The apathetic attitude of the Chandigarh Administration towards the menace is a matter of shame. I remember to have brought to the notice through your esteemed newspaper the nuisance created by a pack of stray dogs in Panjab University a few years ago when I was a resident of the campus. I doubt if the situation has improved. Stray dogs cannot be compared to pet dogs.

— Ujagar Singh, Chandigarh

Sterilisation must to check dog population

Human life is more important than that of dogs. I am unable to understand how stray dogs can be useful to mankind. If killing animals is not liked by some animal lovers, they should understand that reproduction of animals should immediately be curbed like if chickens are not killed, roads will be filled with chickens making us impossible to come out of our houses. On an average, a bitch becomes pregnant every six months, giving birth to 5-6 pups. Imagine the scenario in case of an uncontrolled growth. In my view, sterilisation is the only solution.

— Kailash Garg, Chandigarh

Poor sanitation adding to the problem

Stray dog menace is a major problem. The municipal corporation has failed to check the menace so far. Poor sanitation is one of the basic problems here. Owners of meat shops throw waste in drains which attracts canines. The MC must get such areas cleaned. Unlicensed meat shops should be closed down. Even if the dogs are vaccinated, they can still kill people by straying on to roads, chasing vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists. Ragpickers are at a higher risk of dog bites. Sterilisation and immunisation drives need to be carried out frequently. Animal lovers can provide shelter to these dogs. Land should be earmarked for constructing a dog pound and various campaigns can be launched for raising funds.

— Dr Shruti Chawla, Chandigarh

Stringent measures needed to curb dog bite cases

I appreciate Chandigarh Tribune's campaign for cautioning the municipal corporation, Chandigarh, against the growing menace of stray dogs. The Animal Protection Act needs to be amended to deal with the threat of increasing population of stray dogs which has probably gone out of hand. As far as the the dog bites are concerned, the civic body should be held liable and a substantial fine be imposed on it. Stringent measures should be adopted by the authorities to curb the dog bite cases. Dog pounds should be constructed where dogs can be kept and taken care of under one roof. If eliminating them is not a proper way, there must be some other solution to the problem. The main reason behind such a menace is that the authorities concerned have failed to check the increasing population of stray dogs. The city municipalities have thereafter successfully captured many stray dogs with the help of dog catchers, but were criticised for their cruel treatment and killing of the captive dogs by PETA and other animal rights activists. Also, we need to sterilise and vaccinate these dogs to counter-check their increasing number and to prevent the spread of rabies.

— Akhil Sharma, Chandigarh

Dogs protect residents from notorious elements

Every living creature on this earth has a right to live. Tigers and lions are protected by the government at huge expenses. One may ask if there is any direct use of these species to us? None, I dare say. They do not give us milk, food, shelter, companionship or any other thing. They are protected because they are an important part of the ecosystem they live in. They also have a right to live which we cannot snatch from them. Haven’t the tigers and lions caused any casualty in all these years? Many fear that these dogs spread rabies, but diseases such as swine flu, TB, anthrax, epilepsy (taeniasis) are spread by animals like cattle, pigs, sheep and horses. Even human beings spread so many diseases. Should we consider all these a nuisance too and ostracise them? Should a person, susceptible to get ill with a communicable disease be shipped off to a remote island forever? All these animals are not considered a nuisance as the benefits of these animals are apparent. Cattle provide milk, sheep provide wool, goat and pig provide meat, chickens provide eggs and meat and horses are used for transportation. Nobody can imagine a life without all these amenities, and so we can’t term them a nuisance and eliminate them from our surroundings. The dog seems to be useless, but it is not so. These stray dogs play a much bigger role in the urban ecosystem. They protect residents from notorious elements of society by shooing them away and warning the residents by barking when thieves or burglars are on the prowl. This is not their only use, since, in the absence of vultures, the only remaining scavengers in the urban ecosystem are the dogs. Thousands of birds, rodents and other animals die every day in the city. Without the dogs scavenging them, they will putrefy and cause not only foul smell, but several other diseases related to decaying flesh. I am not just claiming all this without proof. This shows us that how important stray dogs are in maintaining cleanliness around our homes.

— Vasu Kamboj, Graduate from IIT-Kharagpur

Sterilisation a trauma for dogs

Sterilisation has become a common word on everybody's lips. I have closely watched the trauma and trouble that the dogs go through in the process of sterilisation. Several dogs are injured seriously when they are strangled. They are often left bleeding. Three stray dogs were recently picked up from outside my residence for sterilisation. None of them recovered and died after a few days. I remember asking an MC employee as to why the dogs were howling, to which the latter had replied that they had just been sterilised

— Divya

Dog pound a must

Various eminent people have suggested that dog pounds should be constructed to check the stray dog menace in the city. In a news report published in these columns on May 12, 2012, it was stated that the proposal of the UT Administration to set up a dog pound on half-an-acre could not be finalised, as the Animal Welfare Board rejected the proposal on the ground that no other state in the country had done so. The ground taken is fallacious and shows lack of intention to comply with the provisions of law which make it obligatory for the municipal corporation to "establish a sufficient number of dog pounds, including animal kennels/shelters, which may be managed by the animal welfare organisations". The corporation should, therefore, take immediate steps to do the needful without any further delay.

— HS Walia, Chandigarh

Eatables should not be thrown on roads

Has anybody ever noticed residents throwing stale bread and chapattis along roads, hedges and garbage bins? We all should put in efforts to solve the problem. Eatables should not be dumped along roads, in parks and gardens.

— Sudhanshu Shekar, Chandigarh

Dogs should be sheltered

A dog pound should be set up to tide over the problem. The dogs that have been sterilised should be kept in the dog pound. Only a few should be released. This way one can check the menace which has become a bane of the city.

— Sastry Tumuluti

Poor sanitation adding to the problem

Stray dog menace is a major problem. The municipal corporation has failed to check the menace so far. Poor sanitation is one of the basic problems here. Owners of meat shops throw waste in drains which attracts canines. The MC must get such areas cleaned. Unlicensed meat shops should be closed down. Even if the dogs are vaccinated, they can still kill people by straying on to roads, chasing vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists. Ragpickers are at a higher risk of dog bites. Sterilisation and immunisation drives need to be carried out frequently. Animal lovers can provide shelter to these dogs. Land should be earmarked for constructing a dog pound and various campaigns can be launched for raising funds.

— Dr Shruti Chawla, Chandigarh

Culling is inhumane

With the stray dog population on the rise in the tricity, the tall claims of the MC have fallen flat. Despite several incidents of attacks by stray dogs in the recent past, the civic body is yet to take action. Garbage and poor sanitation are the main reasons behind the rising dog population. Worst affected are the senior citizens and children. The civic body should come up a concrete plan. Dog shelters must be constructed. It should also deploy staff in these shelters to take care of dogs. Culling is inhumane and is no solution to this problem.

— Vineet Kapoor, Panchkula

Bylaws must be implemented

In the absence of any check, the population of stray dogs has increased manifold. As per the news report published in these columns, there are about 6,000 dogs in the city. Residents have become a victim of these dogs a number of times. With the canines roaming freely on roads, fatal mishaps can take place. Though the municipal corporation framed bylaws in 2007 for checking the dog menace, these remained confined to papers. After catching the dogs, they should be kept under protection in separate houses. It is certainly a good proposal that nobody should be allowed to take dog out without a leash. Bylaws are a must. Animal rights activists have long advocated sterilisation of stray dogs. Neutering is prescribed by the Animal Birth Control (Dog) Rules, which were issued in 2001 under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. It is the only legal method of keeping a check on their number. There are clear guidelines, issued by the SC itself, which state that a dog should be euthanized only if it is rabid, mortally wounded or is incurably ill.

— SK Khosla, Chandigarh

Camps should be organised

First of all, I must thank Chandigarh Tribune for launching such a campaign. It seems that the Administration is not taking the matter seriously. Statistics of the WHO state that rabies kills more than 55,000 people world-wide and 20,000 alone in India. In Chandigarh alone, more than 10 cases of dog bite are reported every day. There is only one dispensary in Sector 19 to treat such patients and there is no anti-rabies vaccine in the stock. The plight of patients is that they are forced to purchase anti-rabies vaccine from the market which cost them Rs1,750 roughly that means Rs 350 per dose for five vaccinations. The government supply for course of five doses is Rs 1,400 only. In government hospitals at Panchkula and Mohali, the vaccine is available at subsidised rate of Rs100. But an amazing fact is that only 3,000 vaccines were received by the dispensary in the past one decade, despite the fact that during 2011, the department of health and family welfare, Chandigarh, reported 4,724 cases of dog bite, out of which 75 per cent cases were reported only from Chandigarh and the remaining were from Panchkula and Mohali. About 522 cases have been reported till now i.e. within one-and-half-month's time. The Chandigarh Administration washes its hands of saying that it is the responsibility of the municipal corporation to provide anti-rabies vaccine as the dispensary comes under the civic body. Camps should be organised with the help of NGOs and Residents Welfare Associations to vaccinate stray dogs. In our own Sector 48, there are as many as 20 stray dogs in addition to at least six newborn puppies out of which only five have been sterilised.

— Kulbhushan Kanwar, Chandigarh

MC should seek NGOs' help

The increasing number of stray dogs in the city is giving sleepless nights to residents. The MC should have sought help from the Resident Welfare Associations and NGOs to sterilise dogs. Lack of funds and limited number of sterilisation centres aggravate the problem. The civic body has no space to keep dogs. I have been asking it to give us more space so that social workers can sterilise more dogs. The MC should have sent a proposal to the Animal Welfare Board of India for constructing a special dog home.

— Sachin Sharma, Chandigarh

What residents say

  • The Animal Protection Act needs to be amended to deal with the threat of increasing population of stray dogs
  • Many fear that these dogs spread rabies, but diseases such as swine flu, TB, anthrax, epilepsy (taeniasis) are spread by animals like cattle, pigs, sheep and horses.
  • Neutering is the only legal method of keeping a check on stray dog population.
  • Animal lovers should provide shelter to these dogs.



New rule
Those active at grassroots level to get berth in Youth Congress
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 20
With the introduction of the new voting pattern in the elections of the Indian Youth Congress (IYC), sons of the affluent leaders would face difficulties to stake their claim on various posts of the party.

They would not be elected at assembly, state or Lok Sabha level, unless they have a strong foothold at the grassroots level.

Bhupinder Singh, Lok Sabhha Returning Officer of the IYC, while addressing the media here today said, earlier, the members who voted for the Assembly seat could not vote to elect leaders for the Lok Sabha or state. He said the changes have been made keeping in view the resentment among the youth who were actually active at the grassroots level but could not get an opportunity to fight the elections due to political pressure.

Singh said even though the election process has already started but final date for the election was yet to be finalised. He said Haryana would be the first in the region to implement the new election pattern.

Addressing the youth of the two Assembly segments, Panchkula and Kalka, Bhupinder Singh informed them about the membership campaign launched in the area. The Panchkula district Youth Congress President Vibhor Batra, Vice-president Rajeev Chitkara, and Kalka Assembly President Malwinder Singh Kalu were also present on the occasion.

Singh said the campaign would continue till June 15 and youth would be made members of the Congress Party at the booth level. He said at present, about three lakh youths were members of the youth wing in Haryana state. He said farms would be distributed among the interested youths who have to provide complete information about their date of birth, and identity with proof.

He said special campaign would be launched in colleges and other educational institutions in the state to increase the members of the youth wing. He said elections would be held at the Assembly, state and Lok Sabha levels in the state after the campaign was over.

With the introduction of the new voting pattern in the elections of the Indian Youth Congress (IYC) was likely to create problems for the youth leaders born with a silver spoon in mouth.



Deadline May 29
Sanitation work: MC invites tenders from private companies
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 20
After various sanitation systems adopted by the Municipal Corporation to keep the city clean have failed, the authorities have now decided to invite tenders from private companies for the sanitation work.

The work of sanitation would start from June 1 after the finalisation of the tenders. The selected company would be required to work on trial basis. The work would be allotted to the company on permanent basis after the people in the region express their satisfaction over the work.

Sources said the city had been divided into two zones. Zone 1 would include Sectors 18, 17, 16, 15, 14, 12, 12 A, 19, Railla village and Industrial Area Phase I and II, Abhaypur, Fatehpur, Kundi, Indra Colony, Rajeev Colony, Budhanpur area. The company would recruit a total of 295 sanitation workers, including 11 supervisors. Out of these, five employees would be responsible for catching the stray animals. About 50 employees would be in the special unit.

The zone two would include Sectors 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, Haripur village , Gurukul Colony, Kharak Mangoli, Devi Nagar, Maheshpur, Madanpur, Nada Sahib and the Saketri area. A total of 286 sanitation workers would be recruited.

The MC earlier had given contract to a company, however the corporation was not satisfied with the work causing resentment among the general public.

The MC Executive Officer, OP Sihag, said the final date of receiving tenders is May 29. He said the sanitation work would be carried out zone wise and the garbage would be lifted after the finalization of tenders.



Laying of roads
Project hits a roadblock
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 20
In the absence of a regular land acquisition collector, major project regarding laying roads in Mohali district by the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) have been severely affected.

Under the proposed master plan of the area, all the parts of the district, including Mullanpur, IT City, Airport and several other new town projects, would be connected with roads having minimum breadth of 100 yards. At least four roads-- PR 3, PR 4, PR 6 and PR 13, as dictated in the second part of the consultancy work under “Broad Structure Plan Report 2006-2056”-would be constructed for the purpose.

“But due to unavailability of regular land acquisition collector (LAC), the process of land acquisition for the roads has been severely affected,” admitted a senior official of the GMADA.

“For one kilometre stretch, we have to acquire 15.5 acre of land and under the project over 500 acres of land at various places is required,” he added.

Apart from that, construction of the GMADA expressway was also in pipeline to connect all the six towns within the region.

The Estate Officer (EO), GMADA, Navjot Kaur has been holding the additional charge of the LAC while recently appointed Pushpinder Singh Kailey on the post, went abroad without joining his duty.

The other key post of Tehsildar has also been lying vacant in the office. Apart from that the office has no regular additional chief administrator (HQ) after the transfer of Parveen Thind last month. At present, Manjit Brar is holding the additional charge of ACA (HQ).

Due to staff crunch, the project of laying road in the IT Park area of Sectors 88, 89 and 90 is also running behind schedule.



GMCH-32 nurses begin protest
Seek Central pay scale; threaten to intensify stir if demands not met

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20
Demanding the implementation of central pay scale and central civil services rules, the nurses at Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, started an agitation today by wearing black badges. It is an initial phase in a series of protests which will end in strike if their demands are not met, said the union leaders.

The implementation of central pay scale and central civil services rules on the basis of other UTs of India had been a long pending demand of nurses, said Vijay Kumar, president of the GMCH Nurses Welfare Association. Making their salary equal to other central government hospitals will help resolve the

dissatisfaction among the nurses and reduce their migration to other institutions, he added.

Other demands include implementation of the recommendations of the pay commission regarding grade pay of staff nurses from 2006 and payment of arrears accordingly. They are also demanding the filling of vacant posts of staff nurses to resolve the severe shortage of nurses.

The members of association will wear black badges till May 22 and resort to agitation by doing extra work in the service of patients admitted at the GMCH before sitting on a "dharna" on May 28. The members of the association will start a hunger strike on May 30 and wait for an amicable solution before going on mass casual leave on June 15, which may lead to an indefinite strike, said Vijay.



Now, hair transplant service available at GMSH-Sector 16
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20
What is bound to elate hundreds of city residents battling with baldness is that the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital, Sector 16 (GMSH-16), has started hair transplant recently. Such treatment, which makes people spend lakhs of rupees in a private sector, the GMSH will provide its services almost free of cost.

One such transplant has already been conducted by Dr Chandesh Mohindroo, an ENT surgeon, after getting training in the field at Georgia. There are many techniques prevailing in the world for such procedures, but the GMSH has adopted the most popular technique called “follicular unit extraction”, said Dr Mohindroo.

A 33-year-old local resident with baldness on the front scalp was the first beneficiary, he said. A total of 500 single hair were pulled from the back side of the scalp to transplant them in the front area of the patient according to his choice in the first sitting, said Dr Mohindroo. Nearly 1,000 hair follicle will be transplanted in the next sittings to cover the whole bald area, he said. The hospital has only one trained surgeon with two assistants at present, hence there will be limitations to provide this treatment in the government hospital when it comes to the number of people facing the problem in the city.

Baldness is an all pervading problem among young people. Nearly one-third of men start feeling the baldness by the time they touch 30 and it is beyond the capacity of a majority of them to bear the financial cost of treating the problem, he added.

Inquiries from private centres in the city revealed that the hair transplant is already available in many sectors of the tricity. However, the cost for one hair follical ranges between Rs 20 and Rs 55, according to the technique used by the surgeon.

Some of the centres providing this service are located in Sectors 10, 34, 35, 32 and 40 of Chandigarh and at Mansa Devi Complex, Panchkula.



Do away with makeshift shops, says Mohali Beopar Mandal
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

A roadside vendor at Phase V in Mohali. triune photo: Vicky Gharu

Mohali, May 20
Makeshift shops of dim sum sellers in the local markets have become a hazard for both the public and shopkeepers here. According to Shalinder Anand, senior vice-president of Mohali Beopar Mandal, the number of such vendors, who set up their small ‘stands’, is about 100.

“These small-time businessmen have become a big nuisance. They set up their stands, equipped with gas stoves, cylinders and utensils, right in front of the shops. This poses a huge risk to people, especially children,” said Anand.

Mostly, these vendors come during evening time when markets are full of shoppers. “As they use to fry their dishes in open and use gas cylinders, chances of some mishap cannot be ignored,” said Anand.

He added that the mandal has approached authorities concerned to address the issue many a time but action is still awaited.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, Kulwant Singh, president of the mandal, said seeing the growing hazard, the members of the mandal have decided to deal with the issue on their own.

“By the next week, we would ask all the market associations to initiate action against them before they become a permanent headache for us,” said Kulwant Singh.



Return acquired land to farmers: INLD
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 20
The Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) here today urges the Haryana government to return the land acquired for setting up of tourism complex to the farmers. Advocate Vijay Bansal, INLD leader and chairman of the Shivalik Vikas Manch, said the state government had acquired the eight acres of land in Kajiana village of Pinjore block in 1995-96. The authorities had even laid the foundation stone of the complex but it failed to come into full existence due to the apathetic attitude of the successive governments.

Bansal said the land had been acquired by the tourism department from the farmers with a promise that tourist complex would provide employment opportunities to the local youth. But the department had put the project in a closed bag.

Lashing out at the state government, he said false promises were made by the Chief Minister, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, as no developmental projects have been undertaken in the area.

He said union minister and Lok Sabha member from Ambala parliamentary constituency Kumari Shailja had also failed to get grant for the setting up of the project. He claimed that private tourist projects were coming up in the area.

He demanded that the state government should return the acquired land so that farmers could earn their livelihood through agriculture.



CHB residents hold rally in Sector 44
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20
The CHB Residents Federation organised the third mobilisation rally in Sector 44 today. While addressing the rally, Nirmal Datt, chairman of the federation said the main demands included the adoption of citizens charter in the UT offices before August 15, 2012, more powers to public representatives, public audit of all the public money spent on development projects, and getting all the need-based changes made in the CHB units regularised through liberally allowed covered area and a reasonable compounding fee.

A number of current and former councillors were present in the rally. The federation has appealed to all the elected as well as nominated councillors to come forward to lead the campaign. The federation is also campaigning through Facebook.



Collector rates to go up by 10 per cent
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20
After the increase in collector rates by 20 per cent in Mohali and Panchkula, the Chandigarh Administration is all set to increase the collector rate by 10 per cent.

The revenue department has sent the case for approval to the Chandigarh Administration. Once affected, it would be the second hike after August 2011 when the rates were hiked by 25 per cent.

A senior official said a notification to increase the collector rates for calculating stamp duty in the sale transactions of property in urban and rural areas would be issued soon.

Under the present rates, the collector rate for residential premises in urban areas is Rs 49,920 per sq yd. The charges for the same in rural areas are Rs 6,240 per sq yd (in villages under the municipal corporation) and Rs 4,160 per sq yd (in other villages of the UT).



Rare surgery performed
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 20
A local doctor claimed to have performed one of its kind hip replacement surgery, which lasted for about four hours at Indus Super-speciality Hospital, here.

Addressing media persons, Dr Vineet Sharma claimed that the patient, Purshottam Dutt from Dehradun, was up and on his feet within 48 hours of surgery. 



Class XI Cut-off likely to rise
Over 200 ICSE students have scored 90% or above
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20
ICSE schools in the tricity are in celebratory mood as over 200 students have secured 90 per cent or above marks in the recently declared results. St Stephens School, Sector 45, claims to have taken a lead with 85 students scoring 90 per cent or above, followed by St Kabir School and Little Flower, Panchkula, which have as many as 60 such students. St Xaviers and YPS have 50 students scoring 90 per cent or above.

Even Strawberry Fields, which had its first session this year, and Saupins School, Panchkula, have left a mark in the board examinations. This excellent result, however, is bound to make the cut-off for admission to Class XI soar by over 5 per cent this year. “With only two schools in the tricity having ICSE affiliated class XII, a majority of students come to us. Seeing this result, we expect tough competition this year, especially for CBSE students who would be rated in grades and will not have percentage-wise quantification for their performance. The fact that there result has been declared early will give the ICSE class X students and edge over CBSE students,” said HS Mamik, president, Independent School Association.

The score is also bound to increase college and university cut-offs. “ Cut-offs are always proportionate to the scores. Lately, hundreds of students have started securing high marks even in arts subjects. As a result, cut-offs have been rising every year. If the problem is to be dealt with, then respective boards need to redefine examination and evaluation,” said an official.

The average performace of ICSE schools has improved by 5 percent this time and 85 per cent is the mean average percentage.



Panjab university
Girls to pay more for late entry to hostels
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20
Late entries for girls in the Panjab University hostels is going to cost more on their pockets as the university has decided to charge Rs 250 per late entry between 10.30 pm to 11:00 pm. Presently, students are fined Rs 100 for late entry. Girls would also be fined Rs 50 for failing to mark their attendance in hostels if they are present in the hostel. The DSW office has also proposed hikes in other fines as well.

Dean Student Welfare (DSW) AS Ahluwalia said that the fine has been increased to deter girls reaching hostels during the late hours. “The students reaching after 11:00 pm would enter the hostel only after the permission of the hostel warden. The parents of the student will also be informed about the late entry,” the DSW said.

The girls also have to mark the attendance in the hostel register daily, failing which they will invite a fine of Rs 50 each time.

“The move would also help in inculcating discipline among the students," the DSW said.

The list of proposal with various other fines was tabled in the recently held Syndicate meeting. However, due to the time constraint the agenda was kept pending.

With the increase in power rates, the electricity charges paid by student in boys and girls hostels would be hiked to Rs 350 per month from Rs 290. The students who want to install coolers in their room will now have to pay Rs 250 per month instead of Rs 200.

The DSW office has also recommended that at the time of admission in a hostel it would be mandatory for everyone to open a mess and canteen account and the resident will have to inform the mess contractors if they plan on missing lunch or dinner eight hours in advance to save the wastage of food.



Regularisation of service
Agitating teachers block traffic
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 20
Hundreds of teachers blocked the main road of Phase VII, leading to Chandigarh, near the YPS Chowk here this afternoon.

The blockade remained for about two hours as the agitated members of Combine Front Teachers Union of Punjab were not allowed to move ahead to meet Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal by the police. In protest, the teachers sat on a "dharna" in the middle of the road and halted the flow of traffic.

The teachers had started gathering at the Dussehra Ground in Phase VIII since morning. Gurvinder Rattan, president of the union, said that their main demand was the regularisation of the service. "The Akali government has been fooling us for the past three years by making false promises," he said.

He added that their recruitment took place in 2009. "We got our appointment letter after one-and-a-half years of joining. We are not being given a chance to meet Badal to put forth our demands," said Rattan.

However, the agitation was called off following a message from the CM's office that Badal would meet them on May 23.



Workshop for special children concludes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20
Srijana, a ten-day workshop organised by the NSS units of the Dev Samaj College of Education, Sector 36, concluded today. Around 40 special children from various institutes, like Mother Teresa Missionaries of Charity, Sector-23, Savera-Short Stay Home, and Institute for the Blind, Sector 26 participated in the workshop.

The special children were taught music, dance, art and craft, bag stitching, pot painting, during the workshop. Theatre artist Jasbir Gill taught choreography to the children.

The children presented a skit on the theme of patriotism on the concluding day. The articles prepared by the children during the workshop were also displayed in the exhibition. Principal Dr Jyoti Khanna said that the workshop is an annual feature of the college. The main objective of the workshop is to develop the inner potential of these children and to provide them with a platform to express their feelings. Children from various institutes also get an opportunity to interact with each other and learn many things despite their disabilities.



Over 2,500 appear for UPSC prelims
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 20
Over 2,500 aspirants appeared for the UPSC preliminary exams today. The exam was held in over ten centres across the city.

Subject experts said that they have witnessed a new trend in the UPSC exams. According to Parveen Bansal, managing director of a coaching institute, paper I this time paper was more conventional, having more questions on history and constitution and less on current affairs. While paper II had more questions on English.

Bansal said that with the question paper being relatively easy this year, as compared to last few years, the cut-off would be high.



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