C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Four killed in mishap
Three of them were senior officials with RBI in Chandigarh
Suman Bhatnagar

Balwinder Singh
Balwinder Singh

Balbir Singh
Balbir Singh 

Ambala, June 17
Three senior officials with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in Chandigarh were killed in a road accident on National Highway 1 near Ambala City today.

Three of them were residents of Chandigarh. The driver of the car was also killed on the spot.

Another occupant of the car, who sustained serious injuries, was referred to the Government Medical College and Hospital in Chandigarh.

The deceased were identified as Balwinder Singh, Balbir Singh, Kiran Sethi and Rajinder Singh, who was the driver. The RBI officials were coming in an Indica car after attending a meeting at Jind.

The car collided head on with a speeding truck near the Model Town crossing.

When they neared the Kalka chowk at Ambala City, the driver took the car towards the cantonment.

The car was badly damaged. The Baldev Nagar police reached the spot and took the bodies out. SHO Rajneesh Yadav said the truck was impounded and a case registered against the driver of the truck. The post-mortem examination was conducted at hospitals in Ambala City and Ambala Cantonment today.



Families in gloom
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 17
A pall of gloom descended on the residences of three assistant managers with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) here, who were killed at Ambala.

The were returning to Chandigarh when the accident took place. Balwinder Singh and Kiran Sethi were residents of the RBI Colony at Sector 49.

Balbir Singh was a resident of the RBI Colony at Sector 30. Driver Rajinder was a resident of Kharar.

"The accident occurred around 10 am. We received the information in the afternoon. We were waiting for his return. As today was a Sunday, the family was at home," said a relative of Balbir Singh.

Another relative said it was a big loss for the family. His elder son studied in BCom-II and his younger son in class XII. His wife Gurinder Kaur worked at the Punjab secretariat.

A distraught relative of Balwinder Singh said, "He was a gentleman and a social person. It is hard to believe that he is no more. The news is very shocking for everyone."

Kiran Sethi's house wore a deserted look. Her family rushed to Ambala soon after getting the news of the accident. 



MC steps up canine sterilisation drive
Kulwinder Sangha

Stray dogs roam on a road at Phase VII in Mohali.
Stray dogs roam on a road at Phase VII in Mohali. Tribune Photo: Vicky Gharu

Mohali, June 17
Even as cases of dog-bite are on the rise in Mohali and surrounding areas, the municipal corporation (MC) has intensified the sterilisation programme to check the growing number of canines.

The civic body seems helpless in checking the menace because of laws governing the protection of animals and directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Last year, on an average, about 21 persons approached the local Civil Hospital to get anti-rabies vaccine after being bitten by stray dogs. The average number of such cases has gone up over the last three months and was now touching 33.

Dr Rajiv Bhalla, SMO in charge of the hospital, said the number of patients coming with dog-bite from Mohali and surrounding areas was on the rise. At least 279 cases of dog-bite were received between January, 2011, and February, 2012, he said.

This March, 30 patients were reported and the number of persons who came to the hospital with dog-bite in April and May was 34 each, he added. The SMO further said there was adequate stock of the anti-rabies vaccine at the hospital.

MC officials said according to Punjab and Haryana High Court directions, stray animals could not be put to sleep forever.

When residents objected to the presence of stray dogs in any locality, MC employees showed their helplessness. Rabid and injured dogs were left with the People for Animals in Chandigarh.

Last year, the civic body had managed to get 129 dogs sterilised. The figure would go up this year as the sterilisation programme had been stepped up.

The sterilisation programme was suspended for about four months during winter and monsoon. According to an estimate, there were more than 1,000 stray dogs in the town.

MC executive officer Jagjit Singh Shahi said the number of veterinary doctors carrying out the sterilisation programme was increased from six to eight after the Deputy Commissioner had given directions to step up the work.

The operations, which were performed only once a week earlier, were now being done twice a week.

Shahi further said the civic body had only one cattle-catching van and another was being purchased at a cost of Rs 6 lakh to catch stray dogs. There was no bylaw on the registration and control of dogs in force. Such laws were framed in 2008 and sent to the state government for notification, but the MC was yet to get any intimation in this regard.



Sterilisation of stray dogs to begin soon
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 17
The stray dog sterilisation drive will be launched in the town soon. After withdrawing from the project, the contractor has agreed to start the work of catching animals for sterilisation at the Government Pet Clinic in Sector 3 here.

Though the municipal corporation (MC) has not initiated any survey, there are an estimated over 5,000 stray dogs in the town.

The MC had earlier hired a private contractor for catching dogs, but he had stopped the work, citing personal reasons.

MC executive officer OP Sihag said the contractor had stopped the work, but it would be started soon as the contractor had agreed to start the work.

Every stray dog in the town would be sterilised to check the population, he added. Sources said five or six rabies victims visited the General Hospital at Sector 6 every day.

Most patients came from rural areas, urban slums or adjoining towns like Dhakoli, Zirakpur and Baltana. So far, 937 cases had been reported, compared to 2,176 last year.

With the rise in dog-bite cases in 2010, the MC authorities had swung into action and decided to sterilise dogs.

The sources said between seven and 10 animals were being taken to the pet clinic for sterilisation every day. An amount of Rs 775 was being paid for sterilising a dog.

Apart from surgery, the clinic authorities had been given the task of administering anti-rabies and dermatitis vaccines without charging extra fee.

Dr VK Bansal, Civil Surgeon, said the hospital had sufficient number of the anti-rabies vaccine "Rabipur".

He added that they were providing free treatment to below poverty line families and patients residing in urban slums.

He said general patients were being charged Rs 100 per injection. Four or five anti-rabies injections were being given, depending on the condition of the patient, he added.

He said the anti-rabies injection was the cheapest option as chemists were selling those at Rs 500 or more.

He suggested that in case of a monkey-bite or a dog-bite, a person should immediately wash the wound with running water and detergent soap for between 12 and 15 minutes.

An antiseptic cream should be applied on the wound and the victim should be rushed to a doctor for the administration of the anti-rabies vaccine, he added. 



Getting train ticket a nightmare
Air-conditioners at reservation centre in ISBT non-functional
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 17
In the sweltering heat and the non-functional air-conditioning system, it is a nightmare for the 150-odd rail ticket-seekers, who jostle to remain in the unending queue at the railway reservation centre at the Inter-State Bus Terminus (ISBT) at Sector 17 here.

To make matters worse for visitors, especially senior citizens, there is no seating arrangement for them as they are literally suffocated. Unable to bear the physical trauma, some give up the hope of getting a ticket.

Today being a Sunday, there was more rush at the reservation centre. People had started gathering there from the wee hours.

As soon as the booking staff arrived, ticket-seekers blocked the main entrance to the ticket centre. Four police personnel, including a woman constable, pushed some persons, making way for the staff to enter the booking centre.

Ticket-seekers jostled to enter first to get a 'tatkal' ticket. Those who were standing in the queue for about two hours remained helpless as the police personnel did not bother to discipline the crowd.

NR Nayak of Sector 18 said he arrived at the centre around 6:30 am and was waiting outside the centre in a queue.

He said that as soon as the main door of the reservation centre was opened, people standing outside the queue did not allow them to enter the booking centre.

He said the police was only concerned about the safe entry of the booking staff and thereafter, left the place.

He said even the ceiling fans were non-functional, making it difficult for them to wait in the sweltering heat.

A woman ticket-seeker, who did not wish to be identified, said she worked with an insurance company and was dealing with double the number of clients.

She said she was shocked at the behaviour of the woman constable, who pushed her aside when her turn to enter the booking centre came.

She said the air-conditioners installed in the centre were non-functional and five ceiling fans had been installed at the other end, which hardly provided relief to people standing at the booking counter.

Chief supervisor (reservation) Karnail Singh said air-conditioners were functioning properly, but in view of the huge rush, those were ineffective.

He said about 150 'tatkal' ticket-seekers visited the centre daily, but only 60 per cent of people could get those and the rest visited the centre again the next day.

Mahesh Kumar of Mohali said the machine at the centre to provide basic information was not equipped with the software to provide information about connecting trains.

He said two air-conditioners were insufficient in view of the large number of people. He demanded that more air-conditioners be installed, keeping the monsoon season in view.



No parking lot for proposed Metro stations in UT
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 17
Keeping in view the parking problem in the city, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has ruled out the construction of any parking lot at Metro stations here. The Metro will connect Chandigarh with the satellite townships of Mohali and Panchkula.

It has been proposed to construct parking facility at Metro stations in the suburbs. The facility will be provided at the first Metro station and the last Metro stop in the periphery.

In the detailed project report (DPR) submitted by the DMRC to the UT Administration, it has been stated that no parking facility has been proposed in the city as proposed Metro stations will be within walking distance of sectors nearby.

The Metro will be underground within the sectoral grid of Chandigarh. Outside the grid, it will be elevated. A 37.69-km Metro project has been proposed and there will 12 underground and 18 elevated stations.

A senior official with the UT Administration said underground Metro stations in Chandigarh would have no parking facility. He added it would not be possible to allocate parking space for every Metro station in the city.

He further said the parking facility would be provided at the first Metro station and the last Metro stop in the periphery. In the east-west corridor, parking would be provided at Sector 21 of Panchkula and the last Metro stop at Mullanpur, he said.

In the north-south corridor, parking would be provided at Gurdwara Shahidan at Mohali, the last Metro stop. As there was no residential area at the Capitol Complex, parking was not required at the first Metro station in the city, he added.

Metro corridors would have stations at an average distance of 1.5 km. In Chandigarh, stations would be within walking distance from various sectors and hence, there was no need to construct parking facilities for underground stations.

Integrated transport system recommended

To make the ambitious Metro project viable and effective in the tricity, an integrated transport system has been recommended by the DMRC. The UT Administration, Punjab and Haryana, have been asked to jointly develop an integrated transport system, which will ensure a well-connected bus service. 



Daily flight to Dharamshala to begin soon
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 17
The dream to fly from Chandigarh to Dharamshala will be fulfilled soon as a private airline is set to launch a daily flight between the two destinations.

Air connectivity to the hill station from Chandigarh will increase the flow of tourists there. IPL fans will be able to travel quickly to watch matches.

Religare will soon start its flight to the Gaggal airport in Kangra, which is about 15 kilometres from Dharamshala. It will be an 18-seater aircraft initially.

Chandigarh airport Director HS Toor said everything had been finalised and the date to start the service would be announced soon.

This would be the first flight connecting Chandigarh to any destination in Himachal Pradesh. In 2009, the MDLR Airlines had offered to start a flight between Chandigarh and Kullu, but the proposal was still hanging fire.

The flight was supposed to land at the Bhuntar airport, which was around 10 kilometres from Kullu and about 50 kilometres from Manali.

At present, it took around six hours to reach Dharamshala from Chandigarh by road. The time would be cut short to only an hour.

The new flight was also expected to promote tourism in towns surrounding Kangra, including Palampur and Baijnath.

There were around 13 regular flights from Chandigarh to various domestic destinations, including New Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur, Bengaluru, Jammu, Srinagar and Leh. 


Going for a swim? Beware of infections
Many cases are reaching ENT department of the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital, Sector 16, everyday
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 17
It’s time to be cautious for those who splash in pools to beat the heat. The city hospitals are receiving dozens of cases with infections of the skin, ear, nose and throat. Over half a dozen such cases are reaching the ENT department of the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital, Sector 16, everyday.

A majority of patients who are children complain of pain in the throat or ears, said Dr Rajesh Dheer, the ENT expert at the hospital. These patients are generally found to be suffering from sinus pain, Otitis or ASOM (acute supportive otitis media), he said.

In the beginning, children complain of pain in the ear that shoots up at night.

Swimmers are often predisposed to sinusitis, which results in the inflammation of the lining of sinuses. One of the reasons behind it is the bacteria, viruses or fungi present in water which can enter the sinuses through the nasal passage. The

Irritant properties of chlorine mixed in pool water can also cause inflammation of the lining of the sinuses, said Dheer. The patients are advised to rush to a doctor immediately after noticing the symptoms, including facial pain, nasal discharge, nasal stuffiness, cough, sore throat, fever and fatigue, he advised.

Swimmers often suffer from otitis which leads to pain in the ears. Acute otitis occurs suddenly and rapidly worsens the condition of the patient. Swimming can pose risks for children with current ear infections or previous surgery.

Further, swimmers also queue up at the door of dermatologists due to skin infections.

Nearly 10 such patients suffering from infections between toes, groins and behind the ears are reaching the National Skin Clinic, at MDC, Panchkula. Many patients even complained of hair loss and infection on the scalp, said Dr Vikas Sharma, the dermatologist.

Cholorination and cleaning of water must be done regularly to avoid such infections, said Dr Sharma.

If you go swimming remember to

n Take a good shower or a thorough wash before entering the pool and after taking a swim.

n Swim in well-maintained, chlorinated and clean swimming pools as less quantity of chlorine in pools can lead to infections while excess of it can cause sore throat, skin irritation and stinging eyes.

n Avoid swallowing water while swimming to prevent gastrointestinal infections.

n Wear a clean swimming costume along with eye goggles, swimming cap before entering the pool.

n Avoid entering the pool if you are suffering from eye flu, skin allergy, common cold, ear infection, open wound or any contagious illness



Administration extending power cut duration at whims, say residents
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 17
After giving sleepless nights to residents due to long unscheduled power cuts, the UT Administration had announced timings of scheduled power cuts so that residents could fix their daily schedule. But three days later, the residents have started complaining that the UT Administration is not maintaining the timings of the power cut schedule and willingly extending the duration.

Since the residents have been complaining about the unscheduled power cuts, the UT Administration on June 13 had prepared the schedule for power cuts. As the unscheduled power cuts had been causing a lot of trouble to residents, as they were not able to fix their schedules, the UT Administration had announced scheduled power cuts.

Davinder Singh, a resident of Sector 35, said in their sector, the UT Administration had announced a one-hour power cut in the morning and a one-hour cut in the evening. But the authorities extended the cut for one-and-a-half-hour also. "In addition, the electricity department is also imposing cuts in the remaining part of the day as well," he added.

Sandeep Sharma, a resident of Sector 20, said according to the power cut schedule timings, the electricity department was supposed to impose a two-hour power cut in their sector, one hour in afternoon and one hour at night, but the residents of the area are witnessing three to four hours scheduled and unscheduled power cuts everyday. Pushkar Singh, a resident of Sector 46, said the motive behind announcing the schedule of power cut was that the residents could fix their daily schedule, but due to unscheduled power cuts, residents were still facing the problem. The residents of Sector 47 reported that there was a power cut from 11 pm to 2 am.



Open House
Plan and preserve to meet fuel needs

All those who are genuinely concerned with the price of crude oil in the world would be surprised to know that the present price hike in petrol effected by the UPA government has little to do with the prices of crude oil and more to earn enhanced excise duty. Political parties are opposing this hike only to shed crocodile tears.

At present, India consumes about 120 million tonne of crude oil, more than 75 per cent of which is imported. Our import will increase to 85 per cent of the requirement by the end of 2012. The International Energy Agency expects the demand in India to grow by 80,000 barrels a day and we should be ready to pay the highest ever import bill. In view of this situation, the country urgently needs to plan and preserve for the emerging scenario.

Since June 25, 2010, when the Union government gave oil firms the freedom to control the price the petrol, the price has been hiked several times. By deregulating the petrol pricing, the ‘aam admi’ who is already hit by the continuous skyrocketing of prices, is being subjected to further inflationary effects.

Revenue from oil makes up a fifth of the total revenue of central and state governments. Governments rely on this source of revenue more than any other on account of a variety of factors. When the UPA-II government came to power in May 2009, international crude price was 70 dollar per barrel and today the international crude oil price is hovering around 100 dollar a barrel. To save people from this frequent price rise, the government should scrap the deregulation in petrol pricing and restore the Administrative Price Mechanism (APM).

When the prices of petroleum products are increased, the state governments, especially the states where opposition parties rule, shed crocodile tears. If they are seriously interested in the welfare of the people, they should reduce their taxes such as VAT, octroi, cess etc. The states which have a big source of revenue are not ready to reduce the sales tax on petrol that is as high as 34 per cent in Andhra Pradesh, 30 percent in Punjab, 27 percent in West Bengal, 20 per cent in Haryana and 22 per cent in Chandigarh. Since there is no uniformity in sales tax in the states, the rates of petroleum products have also a wide variation across the country which results in smuggling within neighbouring states. To check this menace the Union government should ask all state governments to bring petroleum products under the domain of VAT and charge an equal rate of 4 per cent. The states can emulate Goa where the state government has already abolished all the taxes which in turn has reduced the rate of petrol by Rs 11 per litre.

The government also needs to have a look at the misuse of vehicles by political bigwigs and officials.

SK Khosla, Chandigarh

'Bandhs' do no good

This was the highest-ever hike in a singular stance in oil prices ever and has naturally attracted severe criticism from the common man and even from the allies of the government.

At the same time, by organising ‘bandhs’ and burning effigies of political leaders against petrol price rise, the common man is suffering even more. Whoever organises these 'bandh' by forcing citizens to bunk work and stay home, only invoke anger and scorn. If this is their way to attract attention and gain political mileage out of what is a gigantic national crisis, they are wrong if they imagine the people of city are with them. Of course, the fuel hike is the trigger and it affects the common man the most, but by staying away from work, will fuel prices come down? This is grossly unfair and the Oppostion should rethink on this. And even those citizens who are appalled by the price rise and angry with the government, will agree that a 'bandh' will not solve the problem. It would be far more democratic if political parties were to display a more constructive attitude and urge people to conserve precious fuel. Indulging in a show of strength will only antagonise the common man already reeling from daily problems. The immediate concern for the common man is that this steep hike of Rs 7.50 will lead to an increase in autorickshaw fares. It is a complete shocker for the public as this hike will lead to an increase in prices of various commodities.

The overall price rise is going to make it more and more difficult for the people to manage their families and the poor are the worst sufferers. The cost of living is increasing day by day, and there is no respite to the common man.

Sachin Sharma, Chandigarh

Roll back price hike

The hike in petrol prices is totally unjustified. It will add to the woes of the people already reeling under the price hike. Most of the taxes levied on petrol come from the Union government and if it abolishes all taxes on petrol, the price will come down significantly. The hike in petrol price is totally unjustified and unwarranted. The United Progressive Alliance government is burdening people with its faulty economic policies. The fuel price hike and the weakening of the Rupee are entirely the government's creation. If the government was concerned about the people, it should roll back the hike. The government could not have chosen a better time to announce the fuel price hike- a birthday gift for the 'aam aadmi' on the completion of three years of UPA-II. When a government compounds bad economics with even worst politics, it isn’t very difficult to predict what might happen over the next few days. The Central Government will direct states to cut taxes on petrol. The surging prices of commodities like wheat, oil, gas, gold have been haunting consumers for ages, burning a hole in their pockets. For most of the people, the word ‘commodity’ evokes the image of rising prices and unacceptable levels of inflation. Prices of vegetables, pulses and oil have shown a steady rise in the past few months with a few exceptions.

Vineet Kapoor, Panchkula

Complete policy paralysis

The economics behind the fuel price hike can be traced in part at least to international crude prices.The Rupee seems to have fallen into an abyss, a massive cobweb of taxes levied on crude products and a regime of subsidies which have been unfairly represented as serving no purpose other than to decrease profits among oil marketing companies (OMCs). The government’s problems begin with its failure to identify and resolve these issues collectively and engaging in knee-jerk policymaking. This government has been accused of policy paralysis for weeks. With announcements such as the latest fuel price hike, they make it too easy for the critics. The government should abolish all taxes on petrol so that the price of petrol comes down. They should leave aside selfish motives and work in the public interest. The petrol price hike should immediately be rolled back. Already the common man is burdened under increasing domestic expenditures due to the increase in the price of essential commodities. This step has only added to the already existing budget imbalance.

Shruti K Chawla, Chandigarh

Price hike was on cards

The government's petrol price hike is being described as an outrageous tax grab. Petrol prices have been increased steeply by Rs 7.50 a litre. The increase was on the cards with the rupee continuing its free fall against the US dollar. Economic constraints for the nation have forced the government to resort to such non-populist measures. It may be a fallout of the US pressure to reduce purchase of oil from Iran, besides other factors. Our politicians are least bothered about the common people. Each and every government in India has been involved in some, and to cover up for this, they burden loyal tax payers. It is difficult to understand why the government is hell bent on increasing price of only petrol which is the only fuel used by the middle class.


Hike unjustified

The recent petrol hike has caused havoc in the budgets of families already struggling to make the ends meet. Because of the petrol hike the prices of other commodities also increase as the fuel is used in transporting other commodities. The petrol hike is completely unjustified. It is difficult to make the government do something about it. The solution lies in our hands. A few steps can cut the costs and save money. Public transport should be used. Instead of going to schools by their own vehicles, children should use school buses. Carpooling should be encouraged, over speeding should be avoided and the car’s air-conditioner should be used sparingly. These small steps can take us a long way in saving money as well as fuel.

Isha Dahiya

Yet another hike

Already wounded in the battle against inflation, the common man suffered yet another blow when the government announced the recent petrol price hike. Burdened by the rising costs of essential commodities, the rise in the fuel prices has added to the woes of the common man. Apart from the direct effect on transportation costs, price rise also indirectly affects the prices of other essential commodities like milk, vegetables, etc. The common man has much more to worry about, apart from the visible hike in petrol prices. Due to the steepest hike in petrol prices ever, monthly budgets of many families have been disturbed. With the increase in the price of petrol, cooking gas and kerosene prices will also increase in the near future. People have been cutting their costs. The hardest hit is the salaried class. Salaries of the people remain the same or increase only once a year, but the inflation rate is growing day by day.

The government should take necessary steps and fulfil the needs of all. The government should not increase the prices of petrol again and again. Secondly, people should also learn to cut down their expenses.

Guryog Kaur, Mohali

Big blow to family budget

The recent hike of Rs. 7.50 per litre in the price of petrol by the Oil companies with the tacit approval of the Union government has served a big blow to the budgets of families who are already reeling under the severe impact of the all-round inflation prevailing throughout the country. The prices of even the basic necessities are sky high and the common man is finding it extremely difficult to make both ends meet. Ironically, earlier the prices used to go up in the face of mismatch in demand and supply situations. But now prices are rising even when there are bumper crops. The reasons are not very difficult to trace.

The prices of petrol continue to be on the rise even when the international prices of crude oil are either falling or remain at a significantly low level. It is really strange that the govt could afford to wait till the completion of elections in some states for this much-needed rise in the price of petrol, and then in one go permitted a rise of Rs 7.50 per litre. Why mix politics with economics?

It goes without saying that at times a hike in the price of petrol may become inevitable but such a rise could be well understood if properly explained.

SK Gupta, Chandigarh

Hike is necessary

The recent hike of Rs 7.50 in petrol price followed by a little reduction is justified and any clamour against it is uncalled for. We should co-operate the government and understand the reality. How can a country survive on subsidies? The increase in petrol price is consistent with global prices. The family budget is not disturbed too much if consumption of petrol is done judiciously. The expenditure on other luxury goods which can be avoided.

We should adapt to the prevailing circumstances. In view of the gap in supply and demand of power, we must use coolers instead of air conditioners. When there is a power cut, hand fans must be used instead of inverters. We should use cycles to cut expenditure on fuel.

Gurmit Singh Saini, Mohali



UT doctors to observe strike on June 25
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 17
Protesting against the NCHRH (National Commission for Human Resources) Bill and Clinical Establishment Act, the doctors of UT Chandigarh will be on a one -day strike on June 25.

The dental, ayurvedic and homeopathic clinics will be closed also on the day of strike a press note issued by Indian Medical Association, Chandigarh branch, said.

The strike call has been jointly given by IMA, IDA (Indian Dental Association) and National Integrated Medical Association (NIMA).

The IMA, Chandigarh State branch carried out a candle march at the IMA House, Sector 35, on Saturday in protest against the NCHRH besides pay parity of junior and state doctors, and dissolution of the MCI. The IMA is going to organise a national-level protest at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi, on Monday.

The doctors will however attend to the emergencies. A mass awareness

programme will be held at Sector 17 Plaza, Chandigarh, on June 25 at 11am to inform about the anti-doctor, anti-patient policy of the government, which will harm the doctors and the patients and will make health care unaffordable, said the press note.



Process to recruit 72 nurses begins
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 17
Patients can hope for better care at the Government Multi Speciality Hospital, Sector 16 (GMSH), in the near future as the health authorities have started the process of recruiting 72 nurses.

While the recruitment process of nurses will be completed within three months, the vacancies of doctors, including nine senior medical officers and 20 medical officers, will also be filled with doctors from Punjab on deputation, health secretary Anil Kumar said.

The oldest government hospital of the city, in fact, has been reeling under staff shortage for long. There were 6,43,000 patients treated in the OPDs of the hospital last year Even, the number of indoor admissions was as high as 44,000 with a turnover average of 120 patients every day. The hospital has 500-bed capacity.

In addition to treating 7 lakh patients at OPDs and wards, the doctors at GMSH had performed over 4,500 surgeries 2,500 of them major, including orthopaedics, ENT, gynaecology, hernia, and hemorrhoids. The hospital, is surprisingly run by a mere 116 doctors.

Out of the145 sanctioned cadre posts of senior medical officers (SMOs), and medical officers (MOs), 29 are lying vacant keeping the remaining staff on tenterhooks to meet the increasing rush of patients.

And this is not all, 20 sanctioned posts of senior residents on the Central pattern could not be filed as the Central Government had not sanctioned any budget for them.

Similarly, a majority of the 37 posts earmarked for house surgeons at the hospital are lying vacant. The house surgeon at the GMSH are given Rs 17,000 and he has to work 12 hours a day. At private hospitals, they are offered nearly Rs 40,000 for lesser working hours and this makes them to stay away from the government hospitals. “We have sent a proposal to increases the salary of house surgeons to Rs 31,000 and after its approval the things will definitely improve, said Dr Rajeev Vadehra, medical superintendent of GMSH.



Panch’s post: By-election on June 30

Chandigarh, June 17
The bye-election to fill one casual vacancy of panch, gram panchayat village, Khuda Jassu, will be held on June 30. The polling will be held from 8 am to 5 pm. The State Election Commissioner, UT, has appointed Balbir Singh as the Electoral Registration Officer and Returning Officer for conducting the above bye-election.

Interested persons can obtain forms or file nomination papers during the aforesaid period with the Returning Officer between the 11am and 3pm on all working days except on public holiday(s) declared by the administrator of Union Territory of '"Chandigarh. Each nomination will be proposed by one elector of the same gram panchayat for which nomination is being made and also seconded by another elector of the same gram panchayat.

A fee of Rs 500 for a candidate shall be payable along with the nomination paper. The amount can be deposited in cash with the Returning Officer concerned before filing of the nomination paper. Such fee IS not refundable. The fee so prescribed will be 50 per cent in respect of candidates belonging to the Scheduled Castes. The State Election Commissioner, U.T. Chandigarh, has ordered that every nominated candidate while filing his/her nomination paper with the Returning Officer, will furnish information about his/her involvement, if any, in criminal cases in the past, his/her assets and liabilities and his/her educational qualifications etc., in the form of an affidavit, (proforma and order of the commission has been attached with the nomination paper form). It is to be noted that non-filing of the said affidavit along with the nomination paper will be treated as a mistake of substantial character and in such cases the nomination paper will be liable to be rejected. — TNS



Rally by CHB Residents’ Federation
Demand regularisation of changes; ownership rights 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 17
The CHB Residents’ Federation, an apex body of 45 welfare association, today started the second phase of its campaign to get all types of changes regularised and to get ownership rights for residents of rehabilitation colonies. A rally was organised in Sector 40 here.

Nirmal Datt, chairman of the federation, said the body was also fighting to get the citzens’ charter and the Right to Service Act be adopted in all the UT offices and to get public audit system for all the public funds spent on works. Getting more powers for councillors was also on the agenda of the federation.

The federation demanded that since the term of the three members of the Housing Board, nominated from amongst prominent citizens, was ending in mid-June, the new members should be nominated from the prominent people living in the CHB flats as they had a better perspective of the problems of the housing board allottees. Many complicated issues of the CHB allottees had been pending for years together.

The federation representatives appealed to the authorities to end the persistent nightmare of the occupants of rehabilitation colonies as they had no ownership rights over their houses.

“The issue of the Citizens’ Charter is no political agenda for this non-political campaign. It is an urgent need for the residents of southern sectors who are disadvantaged as compared to the southern sectors. The public audit system can be put in place by appointing a public audit panel. Such a panel can be formed by a committee of the councillors on which the ruling and the opposition side has equal say from a pool of various experts who are ready to volunteer their services. More powers for the councillors can be definitely got if the ruling and the opposition councillors come together to persuade their top leaders to get the present rules amended in Parliament”, BS Chadha, general secretary of the federation, said. 



Air-conditioners lying defunct at RLA 

Chandigarh, June 17
The sweltering heat and improper functioning air-conditioning system at the office of the Registration and Licensing Authority (RLA) here is giving a harrowing time to visitors. While waiting in long queues, the seekers of vehicle registration documents literally sweat it out. Two days ago, an electrical failure not only stopped the air conditioning, it also brought the work of the RLA to a halt.

Again during the auction of vanity numbers on June 15, the non-functional air conditioning system caused a lot of harassment to the persons who were bidding for the number. All the ceiling fans are also not functional. A number of frequent visitors to the RLA demand better amenities at the office as hundreds of persons visit the office daily. — TNS



When nights are a nightmare
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Girls cover themselves to escape the blistering sun at Phase VII in Mohali on Sunday.
Girls cover themselves to escape the blistering sun at Phase VII in Mohali on Sunday. Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu

Mohali, June 17
Despite tall claims of the electricity department of having "surplus" power to cope with the scorching heat this season, residents of the town and periphery have been facing the heat due to unscheduled power cuts.

Though the town has not witnessed any scheduled cut so far, unscheduled outages of over two hours are being imposed everyday.

"Though this year the situation is better, unscheduled power cuts have made the lives of residents miserable," said Santokh Singh, a resident of Phase IX while adding that the duration of these cuts, however, was less.

The duration of the power cuts ranges from 15 minutes to over half-an-hour.

Daljit Singh, a resident of Phase VII, said cuts were imposed at night.

"We have to reel under unscheduled power cuts at night. On the intervening night of Friday and Saturday, the power remained suspended for over five hours from 2 am to 7.30 am. We have been spending sleepless nights," lamented Daljit Singh.

However, officials of the electricity department claimed that there were no power cuts in the town. "Sometimes, the power trips due to overloading, but power cuts are not imposed," said the official.

The situation is worst in villages, including Mataur, Kumbran, Naya Gaon and Balongi and Zirakpur, where six to seven hours cut is a routine occurrence.

"We witness outages at night. Power is restored after three-four hours. Cuts are also imposed during daytime," said Amit Gautam, a resident of Zirakpur.



Meeting by PWD officials, NHAI director
Crossing points on National Highway No. 22
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, June 17
Residents living in sectors across the National Highway No. 22 are likely to get relief as the Haryana PWD B&R had convened a meeting of the representatives of various government departments and director of the National Highway Authority of India to decide crossing points on the highway.

Advocate Vijay Bansal, president, Shivalik Vikas Manch, said the meeting would be held on June 20 to decide the opening of crossing points, feasibility of providing flyovers at the junction of Industrial Area, Phase I, and Sector 12 and 12A, opposite Sector 20 and 21 on the national highway.

People living in Sectors 21 and 20 had to travel two to three km extra to reach their respective destinations. The residents had also protested against the NHAI and the district administration for opening the crossing points on the road which could have shortened the distance to their home.

Bansal said the meeting was being convened by the Chief Engineer PWD B&R after he had written to the Union Road and Surface Transport Ministry, MP from Ambala and Urban Development and Poverty Alleviation Minister Kumari Shailja and Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda on April 19 urging them to open the crossings.



Tricity scan
Verification of paying guests a must

UT District Magistrate Brijendra Singh has directed the landlords and managers of paying guest accommodations to inform their respective Station House Officer regarding the antecedents of paying guests staying in their accommodations. This is done to prevent anti-social elements staying in the city in the guise of paying guests. The order issued under section 144 Criminal Procedure Code made it clear that the offenders will be liable to be prosecuted under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code. The order will remain in force till August 14, 2012.

Sale of correction fluid banned

Chandigarh District Magistrate Brijendra Singh has prohibited the sale of correction fluids (the white fluid generally used by typists for making corrections on typed matter) to minor children in the Union Territory for a period of 60 days starting from June 16, 2012, to August 14, 2012. These orders have been issued as a measure of emergency under section 144 CrPC. These orders are being issued to prevent minors, specially school going children, from committing crimes using correction fluid. It is a matter of grave concern and the recent reports of crimes triggered by its use by juvenile criminals need to be taken seriously.

Road closed

Due to recarpeting of roads, vehicular traffic on the V3 road between Sectors 48 and 49, Chandigarh, will remain suspended from June 15, 2012, to June 26, 2012. The commuters are requested to follow another route to avoid inconvenience.


Bharat Vikas Parishad today organised personality development workshops for the needy but meritorious student's studying in class IX and X of various government schools of Chandigarh at Indira Holiday Home, Sector 24, Chandigarh. Nearly 110 students participated in the workshop. The parishad is engaged in this mission since 1987 in order to bring a sense of confidence in these students while pursuing their studies. KK Dhir, IAS (retd), presided over the workshop and motivated the children to work hard. Sameera Duggal, a professional trainer, motivator and counsellor spoke on confidence building through role-playing activities. She also advised the students about writing skills and hand-writing improvement.

Education fair

Consultants Asia's youngest & fastest growing management advisory group has organized one day free mega education fair "Tamanna-e-Taleem" at the Institution of Engineers in which more than 30 colleges of BTech/ Diploma/ Pharmacy/ MBA/ BDS/ BEd/ Immigration and other participated. Ram Kumar Sharma, District Education Officer, UT (Chandigarh) was Gthe guest of honour. More than 2,000 students with their parents took the benefit of free career guidance and counselling in various streams of education, said Varun Gupta, director, Panache Global Consultants.

Degrees conferred

582 students of Swami Vivekanand Group of Institute were conferred degree at the fourth annual convocation held today at their campus based in Banur. The degrees were awarded in various disciplines including BTech, BPharmacy, MBA and MCA. 50 students received various medals and cash prizes for their outstanding performance in the PTU and in college. Prof Jai Rup Singh, Vice Chancellor, Central University, Punjab, was the chief guest of the event. Ashwani Garg, chairman SVGOI, and Ashok Garg, president, SVGOI, were also present. Addressing the gathering, Prof Jai Rup Singh said that the fresh graduates here have the potential to become catalysts for a positive change in life and society.

Office-bearers elected 

Dr Manoj Kumar Sharma has been elected as the president of Chandigarh Management Association (CMA) today. The other elected members include AK Gandhi (vice president), Madhulika Kak (general secretary), JS Nayyar (joint secretary) and HS Bhatti (treasurer). While addressing the 46th annual general meeting Dr Anshu Kataria, president, CMA, welcomed and congratulated the new elected body. He also thanked all the members of CMA for giving him a chance to work for the 46-year-old CMA.

Summer club concludes

The "Summer Club" at Shemrock Senior Secondary School concluded on 16th June, 2012. The event lasted for three weeks during which the children got an opportunity to hone their skills in various activities.

On the last day of the camp, a grand finale was organised for the parents. Different dances and songs were performed by students. A special exhibition was organised in which various creative items made by the students during the summer camp were displayed. The kids put up a great show performing western dance, bhangra, music, dramatics, yoga etc.

The parents were also invited to see their children perform. The kids began the show with a prayer.



Parent's consent mandatory
Schools won't be able to shunt students out without consent of parents 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 17
In what comes as a major relief to the parents and students of classes IX and XI, schools will have a tough time shunting them out in name the of "protecting" its board's result.

The governing body of the board in its recent meeting has recommended making official consent of parents mandatory for handing out transfer certificate. In the recent few years, the board had been thronged by numerous complaints against schools for virtually "forcing" the academically weak students to leave so that they do not spoil the board results of school.

The governing body in its meeting held on June 4 took a serious note of the matter citing the practice being against the board's larger objective of making education stress free and holistic. It was also highlighted that this was one of the reasons which hampered the mandated continuity of stream and school in class XI and XII.

"We get numerous complaints against many schools which sieve out the poor or average performers to maintain their to positions in board results. In some cases the schools set tough papers in the final exams of these classes and a majority of students are declared detained or made to appear for retest. The parents of students declared failed are left with no option but to pull out their child from the school which does them a favour by giving out a transfer certificate mentioning the student as having passed.

Now only after parent's consent will schools issue these certificates. This will ensure that no student or parent is harassed," said a member of the governing body.

It may be noted that even in Chandigarh every year hundreds of students shift to government schools in class XII because they are shunted out of private schools for not performing well. In many cases parents claim to have been forced to take the transfer certificate.

"It is an annual story. Parents come to us seeking admissions for their wards in classes X and XII. A majority of them say that their schools have told them that their child would be unable to cope with the pressure of boards and they should switch to government schools. It becomes tough to accommodate these children as it leads to board registration hassles later," said an official of the UT education department.



Over 4,000 appear in OCET across eight centres at PU
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 17
Over four-thousand applicants appeared on the second-day of the Other Common Entrance Test (OCET) held today at Panjab University campus.

The entrance exams held were for courses like MCA, MSc in nuclear sciences, botany, biotechnology and computer science.

The other exams included MTech in microelectronics and ME in electronics and communication engineering. The examination was held in eight different centres in university.

The entrance exams for the remaining courses under OCET will be held on Monday and Tuesday.



PUTA objects handing of DUI charge to DCDC
Say that the charge should be given to the senior most professor 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 17
The Panjab University Teachers Association (PUTA) has raised objections to the handing of officiating charge of Dean University Instructions (DUI) to Dean College Development Council (DCDC). Calling it an arbitrary move by the Vice Chancellor, PUTA stated that as per the practice the charge should be given to the senior most professor of university.

PUTA members in the letter to VC RC Sobti stated that they strongly oppose the move of giving the officiating charge of DUI BS Brar to Naval Kishore who is DCDC.

PUTA members stated that as per propriety, if the DUI proceeds on leave, the charge of the office is given to the next senior most professor. They have stated that currently senior most professor after the DUI is Professor RK Kohli, who is presently Dean Research.

PUTA takes a strong exception to this arbitrariness of the Vice Chancellor by handing over the charge of DUI to a "far junior" professor. "The Vice Chancellor has made yet another attempt to trample and sabotage the system.," PUTA members stated.

PUTA claimed that they also resented the mindset that only a chosen few can run the university and the rest are incapable. They demanded that such orders should be revoked and the charge of DUI be given to the next senior most professor immediately.

When contacted RC Sobti, said that it was a temporary charge because OCET was scheduled this weekend, and moreover the calendar nowhere mentions that only the senior-most professor can be appointed as the DUI or only the senior most professor can be given the temporary charge of DUI, rather it mentions that any professor can be appointed as the DUI.



Punjabi University to carry DNA barcoding of Himalayan ants
Gagan K Teja
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 17
Department of Science and Technology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India, New Delhi, has sanctioned a major research project to Punjabi University, Patiala, under the supervision of Dr Himender Bharti (Department of Zoology and Environmental Sciences). The project will generate DNA barcodes of high altitude ant species of genus Myrmica and for this purpose the ministry has provided grant-in-aid to the tune of Rs 38 lakh to Dr Bharti.

Notably, in a recently concluded research project, also funded by Ministry of Environment and Forest, Dr Bharti and his team assessed the health of lower Shivalik range of North-West Himalaya by using ants as the indicator. The team under his supervision discovered a large number of invasive/tramp species in this region, which are replacing the native ant fauna at many places, thereby indicating the deteriorating health of the Shivalik ecosystem. Thus the findings indicate that the Shivalik range is now a disturbed ecosystem and is in dire need of restoration and conservation.

Throwing light on the new project, Dr Bharti informed that the ants in question are not only endemic to the Himalayan region but represent old lineages from the world. “The species belonging to this genus are rare and under great threat because of high anthropogenic activities in the Himalaya. DNA barcode, the blueprint of life, will help in preserving the sequences of these ants before they go extinct. Assessing the high rate of biodiversity loss, developed nations have initiated barcode of life way back in 2003,” he added.

Dr Bharti has taken first step in this direction and in coming years aims to carry out genetic analysis based on multiple molecular markers of Indian ants. The study will also help decipher the evolutionary pathways of Himalayan ants. The DNA sequences generated will be compared with the ant sequences from the rest of the world and will provide an insight in understanding the zoogeographical affinities and biogeography of the ant genus Myrmica. Dr Bharti has reported a red list species Myrmica nefaria besides many new species belonging to the same genus . 



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