C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Diarrhoea claims another life
Eight serious, 563 patients found suffering from the disease in locality; residents protest, burn effigies
Tribune News Service

Garbage lies near a tubewell at Vikas Nagar
Garbage lies near a tubewell at Vikas Nagar

Chandigarh, July 2
While the municipal corporation (MC) authorities stuck to the claim that the water being supplied to the Vikas Nagar locality of Mauli Jagran did not have any contamination, diarrhoea claimed one more life here today.

A total of 563 patients were found suffering from diarrhoea in the locality today, of which eight were admitted to the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital at Sector 16 here in a serious condition.

Durgawati (47) was suffering from loose mations for a few days. Her condition deteriorated late last night and she died, said relatives.

Residents show contaminated water at Vikas Nagar in Chandigarh on Monday. Tribune Photos: Nitin Mittal

The health department today sent 12 teams of doctors to conduct a door-to-door survey of the locality, which had 2,765 houses.

Department spokesman Dr G Diwan said 222 patients were treated at their houses while 341 others visited a medical camp set up at the community centre in the area.

Diwan Singh (55) died due to diarrhoea yesterday while hundreds others were diagnosed to be suffering from the disease. Agitated over the breakout and blaming the UT Administration for their misery, residents staged a protest and raised slogans against the Administration and local MP Pawan Kumar Bansal. They also burnt effigies of Bansal and Mayor Raj Bala Malik.

The authorities seemed apathetic, otherwise there was no reason for things to go from bad to worse, said Sushma Devi, whose daughter was down with diarrhoea at home.

“We have been forced to consume dirty water for long and nobody has bothered,” said Rajesh, another resident, standing in the queue of patients at the community centre.

“The authorities should mark an inquiry and the guilty be punished for negligence of duty,” he added.

After visiting the spot, municipal corporation chief engineer SS Bidda said there was no problem with the quality of drinking water being supplied to the locality.



Post-drive, filth exposes claims of MC officials
Special cleanliness drives conducted by health department have been of no help n Residents living in deplorable conditions
Tribune News Service

Stagnant water, a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes and diseases, at Colony Number 5
Stagnant water, a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes and diseases, at Colony Number 5

Chandigarh, July 2
Heaps of garbage, overflowing gutters and choked drains with polythene bags, rags and plastic is what one sees in various colonies of the city after a routine sanitation drive and special drives were conducted by the health department in the past six months.

During a visit to various colonies, including Colony Number 5, Colony Number 4, Bapu Dham and Mauli Jagran tall claims of the authorities regarding the sanitation drives fall flat, as the residents here are living in deplorable condition.

In fact, one of the sanitation committee member, DS Sandhu, after visiting Bapu Dham Colony today said that the sanitation drives of the corporation were a mere eyewash. He further said, besides raising slogans and holding banners, the employees of the health department didn’t do any work during the sanitation drives.

Sharing his experience of the sanitation drive, he said Harphool Chand Kalyan, chairman of the sanitation committee, made a number of calls to BK Salwan, medical officer of health (MOH) of the corporation, who was also the secretary of the committee, but he did not even bother to come to the colony where the drives were being conducted. He further said during a visit to the colony it was found that sanitation was not only the problem in these colonies but blocked sewerage and broken tiles, undeveloped greenbelts, were also making life difficult for the residents there.
With no garbage collection system in place, filth is littered in the surroundings of a residential area of Colony Number 4.
With no garbage collection system in place, filth is littered in the surroundings of a residential area of Colony Number 4
Due to leakage in a pipe, water stands in a residential area of Colony Number 5
Garbage littered on the road at Madrassi Colony adjoining Bapu Dham Colony in Sector 26, where a special sanitation drive was conducted on Monday morning. Tribune Photos: S Chandan
Due to leakage in a pipe, water stands in a residential area of Colony Number 5
Due to leakage in a pipe, water stands in a residential area of Colony Number 5
After a sewer is cleaned, sewage is lying near the road gully at Bapu Dham Colony in
After a sewer is cleaned, sewage is lying near the road gully at Bapu Dham Colony in Sector 26, where a special sanitation drive was conducted on Monday morning

When contacted, Kalyan said that he had directed the officials to organise special drives in the colonies and clean the streets and road gullies before the monsoon started.

While visiting Colony Number 5, Ram Sumer, a resident, complained that since the department had not cleaned the sewerage for a long time now. “It has become a breeding ground for rats, flies and mosquitoes thus creating health hazards for the residents here.

There was no proper garbage collection system in place in a number of colonies. Usually filthy-stagnant water seeped into the houses making them damp and smelly.

Residents of Mauli Jagran alleged that the authorities had failed to make proper arrangements for lifting of garbage from these colonies. They said that the corporation claimed that they would clean up the road gullies before the monsoon, but the claims were made only on papers, as not a single road gully in the colony was cleared and they didn’t even have a proper lid on them.

Drives a futile effort

Records of the municipal corporation show that the health department carried out a special sanitation drive in all five colonies every two months. Special machinery and manpower were deployed in these colonies. Reports revealed that in Mauli Jagran the health department conducted a special drive in February and June, in Colony Number 5 drives were conducted in April and February.

How effective is special drive

In Bapu Dham and Madrassi Colony in Sector 26 the sewage is still lying near the road gullies, which the health department claims to have cleaned during the drive.

Only lip service

In the last general house meeting, the Chief Engineer claimed that by July 7 all the road gullies in the city would be cleared before the monsoon started, but during a visit to these colonies, it was found that not even a single colony had been covered under the drives to clean road gullies. In fact, the covers of a majority of the road gullies were missing and were choked with garbage and plastic.



Patil pulls up senior officers over cadre war
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service






Chandigarh, July 2
Miffed over the cadre war among UT Administration officers belonging to the Punjab, Haryana and UT cadres, UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil today pulled up senior officers of all cadres on deputation to the UT Administration for an unpleasant scenario.

Soon after completing the public hearing session, Patil asked senior UT Administration officials to stay back.

Sources revealed that the Administrator was upset during the meeting with the ongoing cadre war among senior officers.

The sources added that the Administrator warned the officers against lobbying. He told them to put their differences aside and work for the betterment of residents.

The UT Administration's move to dilute the powers of officers belonging to the Punjab and Haryana cadres on deputation to the UT Administration and give more powers to UT-cadre officers was the cause for considerable friction within the Administration.

The cadre war among top officers with the UT Administration started soon after Home Secretary Anil Kumar, belonging to the Haryana cadre, joined the UT Administration.

For the first time in the UT Administration's history, the Home Secretary was divested of major departments, including personnel, education, tourism, local self-government and CITCO, all of which were traditionally held by the Home Secretary.

UT Adviser KK Sharma had chosen to hold charge of important departments like personnel and CITCO.

Satya Gopal, a UT-cadre officer of the 1988 batch, who was only holding charge as CHB Chairman, was vested with departments like local self-government, food and civil supplies, law and justice and employment and labour, which were traditionally held by the Home Secretary.

But recently, after pressure was mounted by the Punjab and Haryana governments, the UT Administration gave the charge of CITCO, local self-government and law and justice to the Home Secretary.

The UT Administration also gave the department of employment and labour to Finance Secretary VK Singh. All these departments, except CITCO, were with the CHB Chairman.

The UT Administration then created a Secretary level post and appointed Prerna Puri, an IAS officer belonging to the UT cadre with just six years experience. She had earlier only been a subdivisional magistrate and held only additional charge as MC Commissioner for a few months.

More importantly, important departments like house allotment committee and information technology, which were earlier with Punjab-cadre Finance Secretary VK Singh, were allotted to her.

She was given charge as Special Secretary (projects), which entailed reviewing special projects being implemented by the engineering department, the CHB and the MC.

These developments led to the Chief Secretaries of both Punjab and Haryana writing to the Centre how officials from Punjab and Haryana were being sidelined by the UT Administration. The issue was raised by the Chief Ministers of Punjab and Haryana not only before Patil, but with the MHA.

In a recent communication to Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram had assured him that the existing arrangement of the 60:40 formula in posts filled from among IAS, IPS and state-cadre officers of Punjab and Haryana coming on deputation to the UT Administration, would be maintained.

When contacted, UT Adviser KK Sharma declined to comment on the issue of the cadre war among top officers with the UT Administration.

Requesting anonymity, a senior UT Administration officer said officers from Haryana and Punjab were being sidelined, with several important departments being allocated to UT-cadre officers who had no previous knowledge of the city. This was despite a few UT-cadre officers being fairly junior.

UT-cadre officers defended the decision, saying officials were earlier overburdened with departments and changes were made for smooth functioning of the UT Administration. The Haryana and Punjab governments had started putting pressure on the UT Administration, they added.

The action so far

December 13, 2011: Home Secretary Anil Kumar divested of major departments, including personnel, education, tourism, local self-government and CITCO. A majority of these departments allocated to UT-cadre officers.

February 28, 2012: Prerna Puri appointed as Secretary, information technology and house allotment committee.

March 13: Prerna Puri given charge as Special Secretary (projects), which entailed reviewing special projects being implemented by the engineering department, the CHB and the MC.

May 28: UT Administration gives charge of CITCO Chairman, earlier held by UT Adviser KK Sharma, to Anil Kumar. Departments of local self-government and law and justice, which were with Satya Gopal, given to Anil Kumar. The Administration gave the department of employment and labour, which was with Satya Gopal, to Finance Secretary VK Singh.

June 11: In a communication, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram assured Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal of the 60:40 ratio.

Depts with officers

Departments with former Home Secretary Krishna Mohan (2003 to 2008): home, personnel, education, transport, food and civil supplies and consumer affairs, hospitality, technical education, public relations and cultural affairs, law and justice, tourism, employment, social welfare, industries, labour, printing and stationery, local self-government, cooperation, animal husbandry, CITCO and Chief Vigilance Officer.

Departments with former Home Secretary Ram Niwas (2008 to 2011): home, personnel, education, health, local self-government, Chief Administrator (Capitol project), house allotment committee, police, prisons, transport, UT Secretariat (establishment), revenue, hospitality, social welfare, housing, industries, medical education and research, public relations, agriculture, animal husbandry, cooperation, tourism, labour, employment, cultural affairs, food and civil supplies and consumer affairs, law and justice, Chief Vigilance Officer, urban planning and housing, CITCO, SC/BC and Minorities Corporation and Woman and Child Development Corporation.

Departments initially allotted to Home Secretary Anil Kumar (from 2011): home, police, prisons, transport, UT Secretariat (establishment), revenue, hospitality, social welfare, housing, industries, health, medical education and research, public relations, agriculture, animal husbandry, cooperation, SC/BC and Minorities Corporation, Woman and Child Development Corporation.

Departments traditionally with Home Secretary, but not initially allotted to Anil Kumar: personnel, local self-government, law and justice, employment, labour, education, tourism, cultural affairs, food and civil supplies and consumer affairs, CITCO and Chief Vigilance Officer.

Departments with former Finance Secretary Sanjay Kumar (2008 to 2011): finance, engineering, urban planning, planning, sports, treasury and accounts, information technology, Chief Administrator (Capitol project), housing, public relations, science and technology, environment and forests, excise and taxation, printing and stationery, local fund accounts, statistical cell, agriculture, animal husbandry and fisheries.

Departments with Finance Secretary VK Singh (from 2011): finance, engineering, education, planning, sports, treasury and accounts, information technology, Chief Administrator (Capitol project), excise and taxation, local fund accounts, printing and stationery, urban planning, rural development, technical education and statistics.



Administrator holds public darbar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 2
The public darbar of UT Administrator Shivraj Patil witnessed 16 complainants turning up for today’s public hearing session at the UT Secretariat, Sector 9. Out of the 16 complaints, 13 were disposed off on the spot and the remaining have been marked to concerned departments for necessary action.

In the first complaint, Jaspal Singh along with others who have worked as seasonal workers with the Malaria Wing of the UT Health Department for about ten years, informed that they were not selected this year as seasonal workers in the department. Responding to their request, Patil asked the Home Secretary to check why seasonal workers, who have worked for about 10 years, were not selected again.

In another complaint, Jasbir Kaur said that he had purchased a piece of land jointly with the LIC, and the Police Complaints Authority, without hearing the facts, gave an ex-party decision, and have written to the UT Police to register case. After enquiring from the Inspector General of Police, the Administrator advised them that this matter is of civil nature and the best remedy is to go to the Civil Court.

In another complaint, SL Goyal requested for the repair of old Ropar road from Palsora village to Sector 55, Chandigarh, leading to Phase I, Mohali, barrier. On this, Deputy Commissioner Brijender Singh clarified that the tenders have been given and the road would be repaired after the monsoons.

In another complaint, Vipin Krishan Kumar along with others, requested that they were selected constables in the Chandigarh police and were in the waiting list. They requested that they be adjusted at the earliest. Regarding this, the Inspector General of Police informed the Administrator that they would be allowed to join once the matter was cleared by the Home Department. Patil has asked the concerned officials to clear the matter at the earliest and appoint them as per the rules.

In another case, an old man JS Shangari said that his son was arrested falsely in a fraud case. Upon asking, Inspector General of Police informed that after conducting the requisite enquiries the matter was legally examined. The case has been moved for cancellation and action against the Investigating Officer will be taken as per rules.

After the hearing session, Patil asked the senior officers of the UT Administration to strengthen the public grievances mechanisms in their respective departments to improve service delivery systems.



Sleepless nights for lessees
Payment of service tax to UT estate office on conversion of sites
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 2
The payment of service tax to the UT estate office on the conversion of industrial sites into commercial sites under the UT’s conversion policy is giving sleepless nights to lessees.

Acting on the directives of the service tax division of the Central excise department, the UT estate office has started issuing notices to such lessees who have got sites converted.

As per the directive of the Central excise department, service tax is levied on those who have got their sites converted from industrial into commercial under the UT’s conversion policy, who have got their residential sites converted into nursing homes, who have paid earnest money on leasehold commercial plots and who have paid fee for transfer of leasehold property.

In all such cases, service tax works out to around Rs 200 crore. Around 150 property owners have got their sites converted. The conversion is generating a revenue of around Rs 1,000 crore, that has to be paid in instalments, varying from five years to 10 years.

The estate office is erring in the recovery of service tax from lessees of commercial property, running into crores. The estate office has been compiling information and amount pending.

As per a notification of the Centre, owners of leasehold commercial property auctioned by the UT estate office since July 1, 2007, are bound to pay service tax at 12.36 per cent per annum on the lease money or ground rent charged by the UT estate office.

On the leasehold property auctioned in the city, the lease money is charged for a period of 99 years from lessees. The service tax division of Central excise has been asking the UT to verify pending dues of all defaulters and start the recovery of pending dues, along with interest.

The estate office is also preparing a list of property owners who have got their sites converted from industrial into commercial under the UT’s conversion policy, who have got their residential sites converted into nursing homes, who have paid earnest money on leasehold commercial plots and who have paid fee for transfer of leasehold property. In all such cases, property owners are being asked to pay service tax.

The estate office had earlier been asked to provide information for the period from June, 2007, till March 31, 2011. The estate office gets revenue from rented or leasehold commercial property, including shops.

Industrial association president MPS Chawla said, “We have already paid for conversion. Freehold property should be brought under the tax ambit.”



Traffic constable hit by car, dragged on bonnet
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 2
A UT police constable on duty at a 'naka' was hit and dragged on the bonnet of a car by a student at the housing board traffic light point in Mani Majra here today.

Constable Baljinder sustained minor injuries. The police arrested Kuldeep, who was driving the Ford Figo car, and booked him in a case of rash and negligent driving.

The incident occurred this evening. The constable signalled a Ford Figo car with black film to stop. The car hit him, as a result of which he lost balance and fell on the bonnet. He was dragged for a distance of 500 metres, after which he fell on the road. The driver applied the brake and was nabbed.

Baljinder was rushed to a hospital, where he was discharged after first-aid. This was the fourth incident in the last two months of a policeman on traffic duty being attacked. The police registered a case of rash and negligent driving and obstructing a public servant from performing duty under Sections 379, 332, 353 and 506 of the IPC.



Chlorinators at city tubewells non-functional
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 2
It seems that the municipal corporation (MC) authorities are waiting for another incident of contaminated drinking water supply from tubewells because of non-functional chlorinators at the tubewells.

As per the records of the MC, more than 40 per cent of chlorinators installed in tubewells across the city are not functional for the last more than six months.

During this period, supervisors have been informing the department about non-functional chlorinators and that those need immediate repairs. As a result, there are various areas in the city where residents are getting non-purified water on a day-to-day basis.

An expert said the purpose of installing chlorinators at tubewells is to get water purified at the site for further supply as water becomes free of germs and bacteria after adding chlorine.

When contacted, MC chief engineer SS Bidda said the replacement of machinery of chlorinators was under process and tenders for replacing machinery had not been allotted due to technical reasons, due to which officials used bleach.

He further said officials with the department today took a sample of water from Mauli Jagran, where diarrhoea cases were reported yesterday, and all chlorinators at tubewells were found to be functional.

As per the report, the sample of water taken from the area had the required amount of chlorine, which was sufficient for purification of water.

As per MC records, there were 200 tubewells supplying water to the city. The authorities had installed chlorinators at about 100 tubewells to give direct water supply.

MC records revealed that there were around 60 tubewells giving direct water supply to residents and the rest were connected to underground reservoirs.

MC sources said reminders had been sent to the public health department for the last five months to fix chlorinators at tubewells, but no action had been taken.

MC records revealed that maintenance work of all tubewells had been outsourced by the department to a private company.



Residents face 18-hour power cuts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 2
Sanjay Sharma (82) of Sector 45 found it difficult to rest last night and this afternoon, courtesy unscheduled power cuts and a fault in the transformer. The sector had an 18-hour power cut today.

He said there was no power from 10 pm on Sunday night till 4 pm this evening. He said he was aged and doctors had advised him proper bed rest.

Residents of Sectors 43, 45, 46, 19, 33 and 22, Dhanas and Mani Majra, witnessed power cuts on Sunday and Monday.

Deepak Verma of Sector 43 said they were spending sleepless nights. He added that it became difficult to control children.

Vijay Sharma of Dhanas said he made a number of telephone calls to the complaint centre last night, but the number was busy.

A senior official with the Administration said a fault occurred in a transformer at Sector 45. He added that the cuts in other sectors were imposed for carrying out repair work.

Delayed upgrade

The dilly-dallying attitude of the UT Administration resulted in the problem of power cuts in southern sectors. The UT Administration delayed the upgrade of the power substations at Sectors 34 and 52, which catered to southern sectors. If the Administration had completed the upgrade on time, the situation could be better in southern sectors.

Undeclared load

The UT Administration claimed that consumers did not come forward to declare the actual load. The electricity department claimed that of the 2,20,000 consumers, only 5,000 declared the actual load last year, resulting in overloading. The enforcement agencies of the Administration never conducted a large-scale drive to check overloading. 



One bike stolen in city every 24 hours
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 2
One bike is stolen every 24 hours in the city! The UT police is witnessing a steady rise in the number of bikes stolen over the years, with as many as 196 bikes stolen in the first six months this year.

With 70 per cent of all vehicles stolen in the city comprise two-wheelers, bike thefts have created havoc and are giving sleepless nights to residents.

Of the 415 vehicles stolen this year, the number of motorcycle thefts is 196 and the number of scooters 66.

This is in addition to 115 cars and 30 jeeps that have been stolen from various parts of the city.

Senior police officials say unlike cars, the disposal of a bike is very easy, which is the prime reason for the poor recovery rate. Thieves sell those off mostly in far-flung rural areas in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, where verification of documents is often not done. A large number of bikes are used by thieves for snatching and are then abandoned.

As many as 540 two-wheelers, 159 scooters and 381 bikes, were stolen from the city in 2010 and the police could recover only 149 of those. The number was no less in 2011, when 913 vehicles were stolen, of which 433 were bikes, 150 scooters and 216 cars.

The police could recover only 121 of the bikes last year. This year, the police had recovered merely 40 of the 196 bikes that stolen.

Maximum thefts in southern sectors

The maximum number of vehicle thefts are being reported in southern sectors, with a large number of vehicles being lifted from areas under the jurisdiction of the Sector-34 and Sector-39 police stations. A total of 188 vehicles have been stolen in southern division (police stations of Sectors 31, 34, 36 and 39), compared to 130 in the central division (police stations of Sectors 3, 11 and 17) and 97 in the eastern division (police stations of Mani Majra, Industrial Area and Sectors 26 and 19).


50 years of PGI
Premier institute excels despite new challenges
But heavy patient rush and lack of space raises need for an alternative set-up in the region
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 2
More than 5,000 patients come to the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research from different parts of the region, including Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, and parts of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, each day.

After fifty years of its operation, the over-crowded clinics and corridors of the premier institute show the faith people of the region have in the medical facilities available here.

No wonders, from an annual attendance of 1,25,163 outpatients and 3,328 admissions in 1963-64, the figure has gone up to 18,49,015 outpatients and 68,175 admissions, with an annual rate of increase of up to 30 per cent. The emergency wing of hospital that has 100 beds has always had around 300 per cent occupancy.

In wake of new challenges before the PGI as a result of this heavy patient rush, the residents as well as the policymakers feel the institute needs an alternative set-up in the region.

The Nehru Hospital building of the medical institute was formally inaugurated by the first Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru on July 7, 1963, even as the first patient was admitted on June 23, 1962. The first batch of postgraduate students was started on April 15, 1963.

With the passage of time, the institute excelled in all the three areas: patient care, medical education, and research. As a consequence, the hospital has grown from 230 beds to 1948 beds, and separate new buildings have been constructed for specialties and super specialties which include Advance Paediatric Centre, Advance Eye Centre, Advance Cardiac Centre and Advance Trauma Centre. To run all these facilities, the PGI has faculty strength of almost 500 and more than 8,000 staff members, including nurses and technicians.

PGI started with the financial and administrative support of the Government of Punjab with open merit being the sole criterion for selecting students and the faculty. It became an institute of National Importance and an autonomous body by an Act of Parliament on April 1, 1967, under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.

The number of operation theatres and the standard of facilities have shown a massive change since the inception of the institute. The number of patients continued to grow with each passing year. There has been a corresponding improvement in the state-of-the-art facilities on the campus.

Owing to the growth in facilities in the last 50 years, now there is a limited scope for further growth on the existing campus; therefore, there is a growing need for more PGI-like institutes in the region. Meanwhile, PGI has to cope with the increasing rush of patients from all over the region, and decongest the Emergency Ward, while setting up new centres of excellence and state-of-the-art operation theatres. To address all these challenges, the institute is now ready with its Vision 2020 document which sets out the goals for the next 10 years.

Vision 2020

The PGI is ready with its Vision 2020. It includes not only modernisation of Nehru Hospital and the research blocks of the institute, but also improvement in patient care, medical education and medical research. The institute plans to explore pathogenesis of various diseases at molecular level in the next 10 years. The super speciality medical care institute has already started liver transplantation, bone marrow transplantation and kidney transplantation. As the next step, the institute plans to have a facility for Multi Organ Transplantation including lungs, heart, pancreas and intestine. The PGI will also keep working on stem cell research to find treatment for various diseases.



With advanced facilities, PGI adds many firsts to its list of achievements 

Glimpses from the past

Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru with then Punjab Chief Minister Pratap Singh Kairon (right) and PGI Director SS Anand (left) during his visit to the PGI
Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru with then Punjab Chief Minister Pratap Singh Kairon (right) and PGI Director SS Anand (left) during his visit to the PGI
India’s third President Dr Zakir Hussain (left); and (below) Prime Minister Indira Gandhi  during their visits to the PGI
India’s third President Dr Zakir Hussain (left); and (below) Prime Minister Indira Gandhi  during their visits to the PGI. File photos
India’s third President Dr Zakir Hussain (left); and (below) Prime Minister Indira Gandhi  during their visits to the PGI

The PGIMER continues to retain its pre-eminent position by surging ahead in terms of expansion and up-gradation. The institute is now equipped with state-of-the-art facilities like Cellonics Laboratory, Interventional Pulmonology Services, a new and expanded Hemodialysis Unit with 25 dialysis stations, Advanced Trauma Centre and Advanced Facility for Small Animal Research. A state-of-the-art Viral Diagnostic Laboratory of Grade 1, the largest in the country, is being established with the support of the ICMR. Nucleic Acid Testing Laboratory for screening Transfusion Transmitted Viral Infections is first of its kind in this region. High Energy Linear Accelerator for treating cancer is also being established -- the only of its kind in the country.

The PGI is one of the first few institutes in the country to offer multi-specialty polytrauma care services to patients in case of an emergency. Besides, the hospital is the only centre where comprehensive management of patients with a cleft lip palate is available. The PGI is the first government institute in the country where in-vitro fertilisation and embryo transfer is being carried out successfully. It is also the first government institute in North India that provides the facility for testing of the Human Papilloma Virus, the causative agent of cervical cancer.

Department-wise achievements

  • The Department of Biochemistry has established DNA based diagnostic tests for Wilson's disease.
  • The Department of Cardiology has established interventional procedures including, radio-frequency ablation for arrhythmic disorders, and implantation of ICD and biventricular pacemaker in high risk heart failure patients.
  • The Department of Community Medicine undertakes numerous basic community outreach programmes in and around Chandigarh, and initiated a programme to offer comprehensive health services through eight health posts in urban and rural areas of Haryana, Punjab and Chandigarh.
  • The Department of Cytology brought to India the art and science of Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology, a powerful tool for quick tissue diagnosis.
  • The Department of Histopathology is the only institute where an autopsy is conducted for around 15 to 20 per cent of all hospital deaths.
  • The Department of Medical Microbiology has been selected by the Governemnt of India as the nodal centre for surveillance of infectious diseases.
  • The Department of Neurology has successfully initiated a 'Brain Attack' programme, which aims at instilling public awareness and a 24-hour helpline and ambulance services for acute stroke patients.
  • The hospital's Ophthalmology Department was the first in the country to recognise the magnitude of the problem posed by retinopathy of prematurity in preterm babies and pioneered the treatment of this potentially blinding disease.
  • The Department of Otolaryngology has been the first in the country to set up a dedicated speech and audiology wing and Hearing Aid Clinic for geriatric population.
  • The Department of Paediatrics has a 24-hour free telephone service for children in need of care -- Childline. The department gives about 6,000 blood transfusions to the thalassemic children.
  • The Department of Psychiatry has received international recognition for its work on acute psychotic disorders which has had a major influence on the development of the International Classification of Diseases-10th version.
  • The Department of Pulmonary Medicine is the only centre in India with a Postdoctoral Fellowship Programme in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine.
  • The Department of Radiotherapy has innovated an indigenous linear accelerator, brachytherapy applicators and dosimetry devices.
  • The Renal Transplant Surgery Department was the first to carry out the renal transplant from a living donor in June 1973. Currently, this is the only government centre in the northern region carrying out almost 125 renal transplants per year at a relatively low cost.
  • The Department of Transfusion Medicine is recognised by WHO as a National Centre to impart short-term and long-term training to medical and para-medical personnel.
  • The Department of Virology is an established reference virology laboratory in North India providing diagnostic facilities for most of the human viral pathogens.

Glimpses from the past

Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru with then Punjab Chief Minister Pratap Singh Kairon (right) and PGI Director SS Anand (left) during his visit to the PGI.

India’s third President Dr Zakir Hussain (left); and Prime Minister Indira Gandhi (above) during their visits to the PGI. File photos



Celebrations to begin from July 7
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 2
Cultural programmes will dot the inaugural function of the year-long celebrations of the PGI's golden jubilee year on July 7. A documentary on the 50-year journey of the PGI is also planned to be screened on the occasion.

The Planning Commission Deputy Chairman, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, will be the chief guest at the function, and Union Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal will be the guest of honour. All the former directors will be honoured during the occasion, and a commemorative stamp will be released.

The other activities include seminars on different topics, display of research work and other achievements, alumni meet and cultural programmes. The institute has also ordered coffee mugs, pens and T-shirts to be released as souvenir for the people who attend the function.\



Mohali Civil Hospital short of staff
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

People line up at a counter in the Civil Hospital, Phase VI
People line up at a counter in the Civil Hospital, Phase VI, Mohali. tribune photo: Vicky Gharu

Mohali, July 2
While a substantial increase in the number of outdoor and indoor patients is being recorded every year, the local Civil Hospital at Phase VI has been reeling under severe staff crunch.

There is about 30 per cent shortage of doctors, 40 per cent of nurses, 65 per cent of sweepers and 25 per cent of Class IV employees.

The staff crunch is not not only affecting the day-to-day working of the hospital, but also causing unnecessary rush and harassment to those visiting the hospital.

There are as many as 42 sanctioned posts of medical officers (28 specialists, 12 general doctors and two dentists) out of which, 12 are lying vacant.

Against 28 sanctioned posts of specialist doctors, only 18 posts have been filled so far. Similarly, the hospital is still short of two general doctors as against 12 sanctioned posts, only 10 general doctors have been appointed so far.

There is an acute shortage of nurses as a total of 26 posts are yet to be filled. The number of sanctioned posts is 64, but only 38 staff nurses have been appointed so far.

Out of the total five sanctioned posts of sweepers, three posts are yet to be filled and for Class IV employees, there are as many as 16 sanctioned posts, out of which five posts are lying vacant.

A doctor said everyone was overburdened in the hospital. “The workload is enormous which certainly affects the public and day-to-day working of the hospital. Only one clerk is there to see the entire work of the hospital. Similarly, there is an acute shortage of doctors," said the doctor.

The rush in the hospital has been increasing rapidly. If in 2010 the number of outdoor patients was 18,80,16, it had increased to 19,27,72 in 2011. This year, till April, the number of outdoor patient was 62,31,1.

On the issue, Dr Usha Bansal, Civil Surgeon, admitted that the hospital was facing staff shortage. “We try to cope with the rush." She added that they had apprised the authorities of the problems and had urged them to fill the vacant posts, but nothing had happened so far.



Rainfall activity to increase after July 4
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 2
The brief showers in certain parts of the tricity late last night brought cheers to the residents as the day temperature plummeted by about three degrees Celsius, giving relief from the severe heat conditions.

However, residents today had to face humid conditions as the last night’s rain increased the humidity by about 10 per cent in the region.

The weather office has predicted partly cloudy sky in the next 24 hours. The maximum temperature on Tuesday would be around 38 ºC and minimum temperature on Wednesday would be around 28 ºC.

There would be an increase in the rainfall activity and day temperatures would also decline during the subsequent three days the met department added.

The maximum temperature was recorded at 38.5 degrees Celsius, three notches above normal, and the minimum was recorded at 28.3 degrees Celsius, three degrees above normal.

The maximum humidity was recorded at 69 per cent while the minimum was recorded at 37 per cent.

Meanwhile, Narnaul in Haryana continued to be the hottest with mercury touching 45.3 degrees Celsius, followed by Hissar and Bhiwani with 44.7 and 43.7 degrees Celsius respectively.

In Punjab, Amritsar remained the hottest with 43.1 degrees Celsius, followed by Ludhiana and Patiala registering 39.8 and 39.4 degrees Celsius respectively.

The weather office has predicted light rain or thundershowers at isolated places in Haryana and Punjab.

There would be an increase in rainfall activity, resulting in a decline in day temperature in the subsequent three days.

However, there would be no large-scale change in the weather conditions, the met department added.



Malaria, diarrhoea cases: Slum areas on health dept's radar
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 2
With stone crushers remaining a non-starter in Burj Kotian near Surajpur, the migrant population has shifted to other areas of the district in search of greener pastures.

A large number of malaria cases had been reported from the area.

However, the district health authorities were taking no chances and was also closely monitoring the situation in various slums, including Bhudhanpur, Rajeev Colony and Indra Colony, located on the periphery of the town.

Notably, Burj Kotian had been on the radar of the health authorities as a large number of malaria cases had surfaced in the area.

Migrants from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, who worked at various stone crushers located in the area, were diagnosed with malaria and other vector-borne disease.

Meanwhile, diarrhoea cases were also on the rise in these slums, especially at Bhudhanpur opposite Sector 17, as a large numbers of children were admitted to hospital. This had created panic among the health department which immediately sent a team of health officials to these slums to take stock of the situation.

Dr VK Bansal, Civil Surgeon, General Hospital, Sector 6, said he had sent a team of health workers to check any other cases of diarrhoea. He added that only two cases were reported today and people were advised to drink chlorinated water. He said chlorine tablets were being distributed among residents of the slum areas.

Dr Bansal said they were also closely monitoring Mauli Jagran as a large number of diarrhoea cases were also reported from the area. He said in view of the ensuing monsoon, they had also identified a few areas that had become a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Headded that malaria larvicidal oil would be sprayed in the slums.



Fire at excise and taxation office
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 2
Timely action by the fire department saved important documents from being destroyed in a fire that broke out in the building of excise and taxation office in Sector 69 here last night.

The fire department received information about the fire at 11.50 pm last night.

A short circuit is stated to be the reason behind the fire.



Tourism ministry offers to fund multi-level parkings
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 2
With a view to promote tourism in Chandigarh, the Ministry of Tourism has offered to help the UT Administration in funding the multi-level parkings. The ministry could fund up to Rs 5 crore for the project.

The issue was discussed during a review meeting of the tourism projects, chaired by the Special Secretary, Tourism, Sanjay Kothari, here today. The secretary stressed on their timely completion. He inspected the project for upgrading infrastructure at Sukhna Lake, Japanese Garden in Sector 31, garden of animals in Sector 49, and garden of palm in Sector 42. The ministry has released a grant of Rs 23 crore in the last three years.

The project of illumination of Rock Garden was also discussed. The city has been selected for the project of gardens to promote tourism.

Secretary expresses concern over drying of Sukhna

While reviewing the tourism projects in the city, the secretary expressed concern over the drying up of the rain-fed lake which had been a major source of tourism in the city. The secretary owing to his busy schedule was unavailable for comments.



Vehicle thefts on the rise in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 2
In his complaint, Manjit Singh, a resident of Zirakpur, stated that his motorcycle (PB23E-0812) was stolen from outside Lala Lajpat Rai Bhawan in Sector 15 on June 26. In another incident, Manoj Kumar, a resident of Sector 28-C, reported that someone had stolen his Pulsar motorcycle (CH-01AB-7245) from outside his house in Sector 27-D, on June 26.

Parkash Verma, a resident of Faidan village, reported to the police that his three-wheeler (PB-65M-859 (T)) was stolen from outside his house on June 30, while Loveleen Kaur, a resident of Sector 44-A, in her complaint, stated that someone had stolen her Honda Activa Scooter (CH03M-7863) from outside her house on June 26. The police has registered cases under Section 379 (Theft) of the IPC in all incidents.

Meanwhile, Aneesh Singla, a resident of Sector 46-A, reported that thieves had stolen six car silencers, computer parts, brass parts, measuring instrument, textile machinery parts, computer motherboard, four bottles of wine, US traveller checks worth $ 500 from plot number 668-669, Phase II, Industrial Area, on July 1.

The police has registered a case under Sections 380 (theft in dwelling), 457 of the IPC at the Sector 31 police station.



CBI sends voice samples in bribery case to CFSL
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 2
The CBI today collected voice samples of ASI Desh Raj, who was arrested earlier this year in a case of bribery.

The CBI sent the voice samples for matching with the recorded conversation of the policeman to the CFSL.

The CBI had booked Desh Raj was booked in March this year when it arrested head constable Vajinder Singh for accepting a bribe of Rs 3,000 from a proclaimed offender at Sector 46 on February 25. Desh Raj fled the spot and was currently out on bail.

The CBI had in its possession recorded conversation of Vajinder's mobile phone, in which he was demanding bribe and was also talking to Des Raj about it.

Desh Raj had been retired from the police. He had arrested more than 400 proclaimed offenders in his 25-year stint with the UT police.



Tricity scan

Blood donation camp

As many as 150 units of blood were collected in a camp organised by the State Bank of India as part of its Circle Day celebrations here today. The camp was organised in association with the Blood Bank Society, Chandigarh, and was inaugurated by NK Chari, chief general manager, Chandigarh Circle.


The HDFC Bank has launched its exclusive range of credit cards for doctors - Doctors Superia and Doctors Platinum. These cards are designed to cater to the lifestyle, travel and other needs of doctors, said Parag Rao, business head, credit cards, HDFC Bank. He said that with these cards the holder would be able to enjoy free access at airport lounges and get reward point redemption with major airlines.

Web portal launched

A city-based chartered accountant, Keshav Garg, has launched a web portal that allows the common man to file his income tax return on his own, in a hassle-free manner. 'TaxAid.in' allows the income tax assessee to upload his relevant income documents and give the income details on the portal itself. Garg said that the portal had been designed by tax professionals, and the Taxaid team has also initiated an income tax helpline at their customer support number (9646955668) which will deal with all queries of assesses.

Urdu classes

Punjab Languages department is organising Urdu Amroz classes at GGDSD College. Residents of the city, Mohali and Panchkula have been invited to attend the classes which will be held in the evening.

Timings changed

Keeping in view the intense heat and humidity, the management of The British School, Sector-8 and Sector-12, Panchkula, has effected certain changes in the school timings.The holidays for the play way, pre primary and primary classes till class V have been extended till the July 8. The senior classes will begin school from July 4.

Tribune Reporters



Pvt schools refuse to change timings
Education department had ordered change in school timings due to scorching heat
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 2
While they may have extended summer holidays for primary classes, a majority of private schools have refused to go by UT education department's orders of rescheduling school timings of classes VI to XII.

Keeping in mind the scorching heat, the department had directed all schools to make school timings for classes VI to XII from 7:30 am to 1:30 pm till July 7. Many schools however functioned as per their schedule of 8:00 am to 2:00 pm.

"The department is really getting better at dishing out funny diktats. The weather was pretty good today. Ours are not government schools, and we have to schedule a lot of things. Our buses run on fixed schedules and a change of school timings will create chaos. The last minute extension of holidays has already created a lot of problems and we cannot afford a change in school timings," said HS Mamik, president, Independent School Association.

"Our classrooms are well equipped to deal with the hot weather. Unlike government schools we have proper fans and even generators.We don't need education department's directives to teach us how to save our students from any harm. We had already suspended outdoor games and assemblies. A change of timing is useless as half an hour would not make much difference," added another principal.

Utter chaos and confusion gripped many schools today when parents, unsure of extension of holidays and change of timings, landed up at schools only to return disappointed.

"Why did they have to declare extension of holidays at the eleventh hour. Had they announced it earlier, we would have extended our holidays. My daughter was away at her grandmother's place and I brought her back. Now her schools is closed and I don't have a place to leave her when I am on job," said Nivedita Kapoor of Sector 32. 



Save Sukhna, implores Justice Sodhi
Tribune News Service

Justice SS Sodhi, former Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court and president of The Tribune Trust (centre), at the installation of the new Rotary Club president Vivek Gupta (left) at the PHD Chamber of Commerce, Sector 31, Chandigarh, on Monday. Also seen are former Rotary International president Rajendra K Saboo and new team members
Justice SS Sodhi, former Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court and president of The Tribune Trust (centre), at the installation of the new Rotary Club president Vivek Gupta (left) at the PHD Chamber of Commerce, Sector 31, Chandigarh, on Monday. Also seen are former Rotary International president Rajendra K Saboo and new team members. Tribune photo: Pradeep Tewari

Chandigarh, July 2
Justice (retd) SS Sodhi, a distinguished legal luminary, public servant, author, a former Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court and president of The Tribune Trust, today, asked the Rotarians to find solution to the depressing state of Sukhna Lake.

Addressing the Rotary Club of Chandigarh on the installation of the new club president Rtn Vivek Gupta, he said that the problem could have been avoided had the administration been more vigilant to stop construction in the catchment area of the lake. He suggested that organisations like Rotary must come forward and address some of the pressing social needs to maintain the beauty of the city. Justice Sodhi suggested that Rotary Club should adopt at least one market with the help of shopkeepers and convert it into a model market in terms of overall cleanliness, regulated parking and traffic. He made a special mention of the need to educate senior citizens in computer education.

Earlier, the outgoing president of the Club Rtn Neena Singh presented the wide spectrum of community service projects for literacy, hygiene, sanitation, empowerment of women, voluntary blood donation, etc. that have been taken.

Taking it forward for the next year, the new President Rtn Vivek Gupta committed to make the city anaemia free which is a rampant problem amongst children, besides undertaking a city-wide campaign to detect hearing problem amongst children studying in government schools and living in slums.

On this occasion, Rotary Club of Chandigarh honoured Dr TS Mahant, Executive Director, Cardiothoracic Surgery of Fortis Hospital. Former Rotary International President Rajendra K Saboo said that on every July 1 in the Rotary world, the new team of leadership takes place around the globe in nearly 34,000 clubs in 200 countries besides 530 new District Governors, 8 Rotary International Directors. The world President of Rotary International also changes, bringing in new vigour and vision to this world’s largest voluntary service organisation, a press release stated.



English classics part of CBSE curriculum
Decision aims to encourage reading among class IX-XII students
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 2
Out to inculcate and nurture reading among school children, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has introduced classic English novels as an integral part of curriculum of students from classes IX to XII from this session.

The board has offered a choice of two novels at each level and claims the move is aimed at encouraging schools to provide multi-fold learning experiences to young children. “Good reading habits help children to acquire the power of imagination, expression and appreciation of literature. Though all the skills of gaining proficiency in a language are equally important, nevertheless, reading habit helps tremendously in improving comprehension, accuracy, fluency and vocabulary. Reading provokes questioning, helps in generating ideas and inspires students to think. It also supports the syllabus in diverse ways by enhancing language competence across the curriculum,” read the circular issued to schools.

It further added that as part of the formative assessment in CCE, schools are being advised to take up reading projects and use multiple modes of assessment such as conducting reviews, script, reading, etc.

“The board has always emphasised the development of all four skills of language - reading, writing, listening and speaking. Unfortunately, reading has taken a back seat and been replaced by mugging especially in senior classes. We aim to revive the diminishing number of autonomous learners, orators,critical and creative thinkers," said CBSE Chairman Vineet Joshi.

Meanwhile as per plan, every school will finalise one classic for students to read. Students will be evaluated continuously under the CCE for the reading skills. At the end of the session, their marks on reading skills will be totalled in their final marks. Parents across the city have welcomed the move but have also put forth a request saying, “Schools should not ask students to read novels as summer holiday work. The schools should make them a part of classroom teaching to make our children more interested in them,” said Vivek Bansal, president of a local parent association.



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