C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Laptop, cell phones found
Police gets permission to deposit Rs 92.8 lakh, gold, silver in bank
Our Correspondent

Mohali, August 10
The Mohali police investigating the death of Anuradha Bali, aka Fiza Mohammed, recovered three mobile phones and a laptop from her house today.
Swarndeep Singh, SP (City), told mediapersons that three mobile phones and a laptop were recovered, but nothing incriminating had been found. Another CD has been recovered, but it contains photographs of family functions, he said.

Out of the three mobiles recovered by the police, two were of Nokia brand and one of Samsung. These were blank and were not very expensive. The SP said the police got permission from the area magistrate to deposit Rs 92, 86,160 cash, gold weighing about 1.5 kg and 800 gm of silver jewellery, recovered from Fiza's house on Thursday, in the government bank account.

The police, however, could not search Fiza's lockers as banks were closed today on account of Janmashtami.

The SP said in the absence of viscera and forensic reports, it was difficult to say as of now how she died. Further investigations depend on these reports, he added.

At least 10 persons, including Fiza's relatives, have been questioned so far. More persons, whose names cropped up as the investigations proceeded, would also be called for questioning, added the SP.

When asked why Fiza's uncle Sat Pal had gone to her house after the body was removed, the SP said the former claimed he had a duplicate key to the house. However, he returned after seeing policemen deployed at the house. He was called for questioning again today, the SP said.

The police had also recovered seven CDs related to Fiza's former husband Chander Mohan, several passbooks, details of eight bank accounts and other important documents on Thursday.


SMS from Judge

An "objectionable" SMS from a judge was found by the police in Fiza's cell phone. The police is learnt to have contacted the judge and asked him about it. The judge reportedly feigned ignorance about the SMS and was embarrassed when he was told that the SMS was delivered from his number.





Social activist fails to turn up
Tribune News Service

Mohali, August 10
Salim Alwi, a social activist of Bulandshahar in Uttar Pradesh, who was summoned by the Mohali police today, could not reach the city for recording his statement.

The police had contacted Alwi after finding his phone number in Fizas cell phone. Notably, Alwi had given statements in a section of media a couple of days ago that Fiza faced a threat to life from a Haryana leader.

Alwi would come in a day or two to record his statement, said a police official. He was scheduled to come today, but he called to say that he would come in a day or two, said the police official.

SP (City) Swarndeep Singh said the police had quizzed over 15 persons, including Balwinder Singh, owner of a Dera Bassi-based security agency, who used to provide security men to Fiza.

The Mohali police again quizzed Sat Pal, Fizas uncle, today after the recovery of huge cash and jewellery from her house.

Sat Pal reportedly came to Fizas house on August 4 night along with a friend and had stayed there while Fizas body was lying in the bedroom. The next morning, he informed the police. We have recorded his statement again, the police official said.

We have also quizzed Balwinder Singh, who told us that Fiza used to call for security men only on some occasions. There was no round-the-clock security with her and there was no private security man with Fiza on August 1, said SP Swarndeep Singh. 



Police may get clues from currency notes recovered from Fizas house 
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, August 10
The cash recovered from Fizas house on Thursday may provide vital clues to the police as she had jotted down the date, names and mobile phone numbers of persons, who gave her the money, on some wads of currency notes.

The police found names of six persons on some wads. We are contacting the persons whose names figure on the wads to know why they had given her the money, said a police official.

Despite having seven accounts in various banks, Fiza had kept a whopping Rs 93 lakh and jewellery worth Rs 45 lakh in her house.

The police said Fiza had two accounts in the State Bank of Patiala, one in the Punjab and Haryana High Court branch and the other in the District and Session Courts complex branch.

She also had two accounts, a saving and a loan account, in the State Bank of India Sector 23 branch and in the State Bank of India, Sector 30 branch.

Though being national holiday today, the police could not check the accounts, sources said the amount deposited in most of these accounts was not much.

We are surprised that her house remained vacant most of the time. Even a few days before her death, she had been staying at Panchkula. Why had she kept so much cash and gold at her house when there was a threat to her life? This angle is also being investigated, said a senior police official.

Mohali SSP GS Bhullar said the cash and jewellery recovered from Fizas house would be deposited in the government treasury on Saturday. The police would also send the details to the income tax department.



Residents sing paeans to UT Police
Not a single complaint raised by tutored audience during interaction
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 10
It was a police-public interaction with no dearth of sycophants who never got tired singing paeans to the UT Police.
While the forum was meant to check the efficiency of the recently launched mobile police stations, there were no complaints, no grievances and all that the seemingly tutored public did at the interaction was to showcase the police in good light.

The forum of over 50 colony residents at the community centre at Burail were asked by UT SP (City) Desraj Singh if they were satisfied with the working of the mobile police stations.

Surprisingly, there was no one in the audience who had submitted a complaint at the mobile police station and had an experience to narrate. However, residents said they were extremely satisfied with the police functioning.

So positive was the response that at one point of time even the SP (City) got embarrassed and asked those present that the police officials could get suspicious with such an overwhelming response.

The officials get suspicious with such response at times. Please come out with your complaints, the SP said during the interaction.

The mobile police station is very comfortable for women who hesitate to visit police stations. It has made policing better, said Kailash, a colony resident.

Residents of Ram Darbar, Colony Number 5, Colony Number 4, Sector 25 Colony, Dadu Majra Colony, Bapu Dham Colony and Mauli Jagran were present during the meeting as the mobile police station is meant to visit the colonies.

Another colony resident said the presence of the mobile police station has reduced incidents hooliganism, eve-teasing and general lawlessness in colonies.

When asked whether the responses were genuine, Desraj said he would hold more interactions with residents to go deeper into their problems. This was my first interaction and I will visit colonies to address their complaints, added the SP.

The irony

The police statistics reveal that over 60 per cent of the citys crime takes place in colonies of the city where drug menace is rampant. A majority of the criminals, including thieves and snatchers, arrested by the UT Police in the past are from colonies.


High drama over baby's death
Parents allege that baby died after nurse mixed two medicines
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 10
High drama was witnessed at the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, when a two-month old baby died allegedly due to negligence on the part of a staff nurse here today. The baby's father, Rajiv kumar, alleged that the condition of the baby deteriorated after the staff nurse mixed two injection medicines due to which the baby died immediately.

Following the baby's death at 1.45 pm, Radha, his mother, fainted and was put under observation at the hospital.

While talking to the Chandigarh Tribune, Rajiv said he was blessed with twin sons on June 14. The delivery was premature. One of the babies showed signs of problem in breathing on August 7 and he got him admitted to the GMCH. At the time of admission, the doctors informed him that the baby's condition was critical and his chances of survival were bleak. However, the baby started responding to the treatment and it was yesterday that the doctors assured him that the baby was recovering and there was all possibilities of his survival, claimed Rajiv.

Today at around 1.30 pm, a staff nurse, who has been identified as Pushpa, visited the ward, he said. The baby had been put on three different medicines. The staff nurse allegedly mixed the medicines of two injections and administered it to the baby at 1.30 pm. Following this the baby's condition started deteriorating and he rushed to nurse and told her about the same but she refused to attend to the baby, saying that she had to attend all patients before her duty got over at 2 pm, alleged Rajiv.

The nurse, however, denied all the allegations. There was no negligence on her part and the baby was attended to properly, she told the doctors who reached the spot to pacify the agitated relatives of Rajiv. The police has started investigation into the case after the family lodged a complaint with it.

Medical Superintendent AK Janmeja said the baby was diagnosed with diarrhoea and sepsis. He was critical at the time of admission and the family was also informed about this at that time. 



Rain exposes poor quality of material used in road repair
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 10
Rain exposed the poor quality of construction material used in the repair of roads in Chandigarh when a portion of the road in front of Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, caved in.

The caved-in portion is about 2.5 feet in width and 5 feet in depth. The staff of the department concerned have just put up two or three bricks around that damaged portion so as to prevent an accident.

Sources said the UT engineering department had repaired this road a few months ago.

A resident of Pinjore, Sunil Kumar, who had visited the GMCH-32 for his brother's treatment, said the damaged portion of the road could pose a great risk to commuters' lives during the night when there was no light. The authorities concerned should have put barricades around the damaged portion to prevent an accident, he added.

Rohit Goyal, a resident of Sector 32, said the authorities should take action against the contractor and officers who were involved in the repair of the road. The authorities should immediately fill the caved-in portion with mud to prevent an accident.

Meanwhile, UT Finance-cum-Engineering Secretary VK Singh said there could be the possibility that the portion of the road had become week due to leakage in a sewer line. The Secretary said he would seek a report from the Chief Engineer on this issue and take needful action on the report. He added that he would also send an official to take stock of the situation. 



Damaged manhole poses threat
Our Correspondent

The damaged stormwater manhole at Sector 68 in Mohali on Friday.
The damaged stormwater manhole at Sector 68 in Mohali on Friday. tribune photo: parvesh chauhan

Mohali, August 10
A Mohali resident complained that a damaged stormwater manhole near his house in Sector 68 was posing a serious threat to the building. 

Ajmer Singh said that water from the damaged sewer had entered the basement of his house, endangering the building. The rain had added more to the problem.

Ajmer said despite a complaint being made to the GMADA authorities, no action had been taken to carry out repair work.



Industrialists demand more electricity
Our Correspondent

Mohali, August 10
A delegation of the Mohali Industries Association (MIA) urged the Director Operations, Punjab State Power Corporation Ltd., Patiala, to supply more electricity to the industrial sector, which was badly hit due to long power cuts.

Anurag Aggarwal, president, MIA, said that it was brought to the notice of AK Verma that the industry was only getting 72 hours of power supply in a week. As a result of which, the production had almost come to a standstill. He said units, which required a continuous process like heat treatment, wire enamelling, etc were unable to cope with the demand of suppliers. Other industrial units, which depended on them, were also adversely affected.

The members of the delegation demanded that the power corporation should make appropriate arrangements to allow usage of at least 50 per cent of the contracted demand of power at night so that the industry could continue its operations. They also brought to the notice of Verma the problem of non-availability of maintenance staff in the industrial area in Mohali.

Verma told the delegation that the corporation was unable to provide adequate power because of acute shortage. He, however, assured that more power would be provided to the industrial sector as and when it was available. Adequate staff for maintenance work would be deployed in the Mohali industrial area, added Verma.



DIG reviews security arrangements for Independence Day function
Our Correspondent

Mohali, August 10
In order to review the security arrangements being made by the police for the Independence Day function to be held at Government College in Phase VI, the DIG of the Roopnagar Range, RK Jaiswal, organised a meeting with senior police officials here today.

The DIG visited the college area to inspect the security arrangements and gave various guidelines to the police. He suggested that anti-sabotage checking should be done and the area be better lit and properly guarded.

The DSP (City I) said verification of the employees of the Civil Hospital as well as that of the Max Hospital was being done, apart from checking of nearby buildings. An Inspector had been assigned the duty for guarding the whole area till the function was held.

Sohal further said checking of hotels, terrorist hideouts and the PG accommodations was also being carried out apart from vehicle checking.

He appealed to the public to ring up on 100 if they came across any unknown or suspicious person or object.



Problems plague CTU
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 10
Very old buses, the delay in purchasing new ones, inadequate funds for purchasing diesel and a shortage of drivers and conductors have come to haunt the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU), the backbone of the citys pubic transport system that daily ferries 1.83 lakh passengers. Half of the buses in the fleet of 468 buses of the public transport undertaking have either outlived their lives or are nearing their limit of running years.

Due to a technical flaw in the low-floor buses, a wide gap has been made in the floor for an easy movement of the gear lever. The gap is wide enough for an infant to fall into it; and (right) A low-floor bus of the CTU in poor shape.
Death trap: Due to a technical flaw in the low-floor buses, a wide gap has been made in the floor for an easy movement of the gear lever. The gap is wide enough for an infant to fall into it; and (right) A low-floor bus of the CTU in poor shape.

Statistics speak for themselves. From a fleet of 30 buses in 1966 to 468 buses in 2012, an addition of just 438 buses has been made in five decades of the CTU existence. It is ironic that while the population of the city has grown from 2.50 lakh in 1970 to 12 lakh in 2012, the fleet of the buses has not been replaced/added proportionately.

Inadequate budget

Owing to a lack vision on part of the babus in the cash-rich Chandigarh Administration, just 50 buses have been added to the CTU fleet since 1992. The budget of Rs 140 crore has failed to meet the requirements of the CTU, proving to be the last nail in its coffin. Against a requirement of Rs 44 crore to purchase diesel, the budget for the same is Rs 37 crore. BY adding new buses, the requirement of diesel will also go up, said an official.

Shortage of vehicles

Though the CTU has added 150 green and red low-floor buses to its fleet, it is not difficult to come across the old white-blue low-floor buses that have outlived their lives. Officials admit that they are forced to keep 90 of such buses in the fleet to cope with the shortage of buses. Another fleet of 60 long-route buses (that would soon be rendered unfit for plying) have been put on the suburban local routes.

Central guidelines

The national yardstick is that for a population of one lakh there should be 27 buses. By that parameter there should be around 334 vehicles for local bus service alone. But in realty, just 224 buses ply on the local routes and these include old 90 front-engine buses that have almost outlived their lives. For the last three years, around 140 new buses have been added to the CTU fleet. According to the Central guidelines for the state carriage service, buses completing eight years or doing 5 lakh km have to be condemned. Another one-year extension is given to run these buses. Of the total 119 buses, around 80 had been declared unfit to ply by the inspection board of the State Transport Authority (STA).

Shortage of drivers, conductors

It is not only the shortage of buses, but also the shortage of around 200 drivers and 100 conductors has forced the department to give pay overtime benefits worth Rs 1.20 crore to the staff every year. Driving buses beyond eight hours affects the drivers' health and this also results in accidents, said an official of the CTU.

A senior official said an order for around 90 new buses would be placed soon, as all the formalities relating to tendering had been completed. Regarding the shortage of drivers and conductors, new recruitment rules had been finalised and the vacant posts would be advertised soon.

Official rigmarole

Official rigmarole in the Chandigarh Administration has not allowed disposal of around 80 buses that have been declared unfit to ply by the Inspection Board of the State Transport Authority. The board, which has declared the buses unfit to ply, can not declare the same buses as fit, said sources in the STA. As a result, the junk is rusting at different depot of the CTU. We are trying our best to dispose of the junk, said a senior official of the CTU.

Technical flaws

There are technical flaws in green and red low-floor buses. The Anupama death has raised questions over the safety of the rear-engine buses that have passenger door ahead of the rear wheel. There have been instances when commuters while trying to board buses got injured due to the rear wheel. The CTU workers union has been demanding buses that have doors beyond the rear wheels, as in case of the old buses of the CTU.



No separate buses for students in afternoon hours yet
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service,

Chandigarh, August 10
Anupama's tragic death has exposed the cracks in the working of the Chandigarh Transportation Undertaking (CTU), which is finding difficult to manage the rush of students in the peak hours in the morning as well in the afternoon.

While it has managed to start 20 exclusive buses for schoolchildren in the morning hours, though not fully streamlined as yet, as reported by the newspaper on Wednesday, it is finding difficult to make separate buses available to students in the afternoon hours, without which the whole exercise to control school students' rush seems futile.

Officials in the department said the arrangement of morning-hour special buses was made after it advanced the timings of some of its long-route buses to match with those of the local routes. "However, the department is finding it difficult to make the same arrangement in the afternoon because neither long-route buses are available during those hours nor it can advance the timing of some of the local buses due to their already committed schedule on various routes," said an official of the department.

The core of the problem, however, is that the UT transportation department is the victim of its own delays. For the last many years, it has failed to address the problem of shortage of staff and buses. Around 98 of its buses have gone defunct in recent years, against which no fresh buses have been introduced by the department.

A shortage of conductors and drivers is another issue, which is further hampering the functioning of the department. All of its JNNURM low-floor buses are running on a single shift due to inadequate staff.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, TPS Phoolka, director of the CTU, said the shortage of buses and staff was in fact a glaring problem, which the department was trying to address on a priority basis. "We are in the process of buying around 98 buses very soon and the whole new lot would be added to its local fleet of buses, which, we hope, will ease the overloading problem in the city buses".

General Manager of the CTU SP Parmar said the tender for the new buses would be issued soon and he expected the fresh buses to be added to the existing fleet of buses by the end of this year. "The department at present has around 240 buses plying on the local routes," he said

Meanwhile, many in the department felt that the CTU should not be burdened entirely with the responsibility of ferrying school students. It has already been ferrying more than 20,000 college and university students every day. "The education department should think about arranging buses for government schools. In fact, some government schools have their own buses. They further need to strengthen their fleet, said the officials of the department. 



Panel records statements of Anupama's parents
Tribune News Service

Anupamas parents at the PGI in Chandigarh on Friday.
Anupamas parents at the PGI in Chandigarh on Friday. Tribune photo: parvesh Chauhan

Chandigarh, August 10
The inquiry committee, which has been formed to look into the cause of school student Anupma's death at the PGI on July 24, recorded the statements of her parents here today. It was the first meeting of the committee after its formation on August 3.

The new five-member committee with external members, comprising its chairman, Prof SS Gill, Vice-Chancellor of the Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot; members, Prof MC Mishra, chief of Advanced Trauma Centre, AIIMS, New Delhi; Dr Rajiv Vadehra, Medical Superintendent of GMSH-16; Prof YK Batra from the department of anaesthesia; and Dr Vipin Kaushal, assistant professor, hospital administration, was constituted after a fact-finding committee failed to fix the responsibility in the case of alleged negligence in Anupama's treatment, and termed her death as a cause of overcrowding at the PGI.

The fact-finding committee even did not bother to contact the aggrieved family and record their statements.

Anupama, the only child of her parents, fell off a CTU bus on July 17 after school. The wheel of the bus ran over her leg. She was admitted to the PGI and her surgery was planned for the same night. However, it was postponed and on July 20 she was found suffering from gangrene, leading to the amputation of her leg. She died on July 24. Her family alleged that she had died due to negligence in her treatment. They also alleged that the behaviour of the staff at the pre-operative ward of Advance Trauma Centre was rude towards them.

The committee will talk to the doctors involved in Anupma's treatment at its next meeting, said the chairman of the committee. 



Authorities busy in passing the buck
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Tough time for commuters to cross a waterlogged road separating Industrial Area, Phase 1, and Sector 12-A , Panchkula.
Tough time for commuters to cross a waterlogged road separating Industrial Area, Phase 1, and Sector 12-A , Panchkula. Tribune photo: Nitin Mittal

Panchkula, August 10
Every time when residents complain about waterlogging problems, authorities concerned, the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) and Municipal Corporation (MC), play the blame game. Instead of ensuring a proper drainage system in the city, they blamed each other responsible for the problem of waterlogging. When HUDA is contacted, they say the sweepers deployed by the MC used to choke the gullies as they dump the garbage into it resulting in waterlogging.

"We have proper underground drainage system but the sweepers deployed by the MC dump the dirt and garbage into the road gullies resulting in blockage. When it rains, the rods get flooded with water and people face problems," said Superintending Engineer (SE) of the HUDA department, NK Verma.

"We have told the MC several times to direct their sweepers but they don’t listen," he added.
A girl crosses a flooded road during rain at Sector 5, Panchkula, on Friday.
A girl crosses a flooded road during rain at Sector 5, Panchkula, on Friday. Tribune photo: Nitin Mittal

Despite the fact that MC was preparing for the monsoon for the past one month, MC executive officer, OP Sehag, said, "MC has nothing to do with the waterlogging problem. It is the public health wing of the HUDA department that has to check the same."

MC and HUDA were collectively working before hand to prevent the problem of waterlogging.

"During rains, lot of water gets accumulated in front of our house and when we complain about it to the MC then the authorities dont deal with us politely and tell us to deal with HUDA officials and when we contact the lower HUDA officials, they say that it is all because of the MC," complains Vishesh Tandon, a resident of Sector 20, Panchkula.

Tarini Shikhawat, a resident of Sector 2, said, "I don’t think Panchkula can ever get away with problem of waterlogging. When you contact the authorities, they blame each other responsible for the problem."

The passing of buck by HUDA and MC has been going on since long and may be this is the reason why Panchkula is stuck in the problem of waterlogging despite being a planned city.



Moderate rain exposes MC, HUDA's preparedness
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August10
Medium to moderate rain in the city has exposed the preparedness of the authorities concerned. The authorities, Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) and Municipal Corporation (MC), claimed that they were busy for the past one month in preparing methods to tackle problems arising in monsoon.

But Panchkula residents counter-claimed them and said that the ‘preparations by the authorities were just on papers.

According to the authorities, 20 groups, each comprising four men, were deployed in each sector to clean up the water channels in order to avoid problem of waterlogging.

"Had the authorities really prepared for the monsoon, the city would not have face the problem of intense waterlogging. It is such a shame for them that it has just rained twice and one can see water stagnant on the roads for hours together," said BB Singhal, former vice president and a resident of Sector 10, Panchkula.

He added, "I have written a letter to the Deputy Commissioner asking him about the kind of ‘preparations’ by the authorities."

"It is the total failure on the part of HUDA and MC. Rather than passing the buck, a coordination committee should have been formed," said Ravinder Rawal, former president of the Municipal Council.

Suresh Garg, a resident of Sector 4, Panchkula, said, "When water on the roads gets stagnant then residents are the real sufferers. But I don’t think the authorities are least bothered. They say that they were preparing but I never saw any one coming and cleaning the gullies."

The problem of waterlogging can be witnessed in in various Sectors 10,14,11,15,12,12A, 19,8,9.

"It seems the preparation is just on papers. No one came in our sector and no cleaning process had been initiated. It is all customary," said Divya Malik, a resident of Sector 2, Panchkula.

"We were on since one month and preparing for the monsoon so that waterlogging may not take place. And I don’t think Panchkula has faced much waterlogging as Chandigarh and Mohali did," said Executive Officer (EO) of MC, OP Sihag.



HUDA to divert Singh nullah choe
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

A girl crosses a flooded road during rain at Sector 5, Panchkula, on Friday.
A girl crosses a flooded road during rain at Sector 5, Panchkula, on Friday. Tribune photo: Nitin Mittal

Panchkula, August 10
The Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) claims that from the next monsoon, Panchkula will not face the problem of waterlogging as water coming through Singh nullah will be diverted towards Ghaggar river through military area.

"About 95 per cent of the work is complete and by next monsoon, the water which used to flood the township will be diverted towards the Ghaggar river," said superintending engineer of the HUDA department (engineering wing), NK Verma.

He added that recently, they had a meeting with the irrigation department in this regard.

The proposal of nallah being converted into a leisure valley was passed in October, 2008. The nallah passes through the Sectors 1, 2, 4, 12,12A.

Singh nullah choe passes through various sectors of Panchkula town.

Due to the encroachment of Singh nallah choe in Punjab territory, the floodwater of the same floods the streets of the Panchkula town. To solve this problem, a diversion drain with a capacity of 2,500 cc was developed so that the flood water entering the Singh nallah choe upstream of the Panchkula would be diverted into Ghaggar river through military area.

"It has been years that the HUDA is claiming about the diversion of the flood water into Ghaggar river. Nothing concrete has been done in this regard. I think the officials are sleeping," said Ragahv Sharma, a resident of Sector 12-A, Panchkula.

"It is impossible to enjoy monsoon showers when the township faces waterlogging problem. We just hope that this rainwater gets diverted soon," said BR Rawal, a resident of Sector 4, Panchkula.



Waterlogging spoils monsoon fun
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 10
Thanks to the laxity of the authorities in Panchkula, that the problem of waterlogging has spoiled the fun of monsoon.
Water gets accumulated on the roads following which in some sectors it even entered houses and destroyed goods of several lakhs.

Not only internal lanes of the sectors but main roads of Sectors 15, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 11, 12, 2, 8, 9, 17,25,27,near flats in Sectors 20, 21, Mansa Devi complex (MDC) and even roundabouts were submerged.

"We planned to go for a ride as the weather was quite pleasant but my father said that it was better to sit indoors as our car would get stuck in water," said Ruchika Chhabra, a resident of Sector 15,Panchkula.

The recently constructed roads of Sector-2/5, 4/5 and Sector 12A were also caved in the first rain.

A total of Rs 1.3 crore was spent to construct these.

Binny Sharma, a resident of Sector 19, Panchkula, said, "People are facing many problems during monsoon but officials are least bothered. Every time we people have to call labourers to clear the stagnant water from roads."

The problem of waterlogging is so intense that some of the extensions of Panchkula get completely cut off during rains like that of Uprali choki village and other villages that form part of Barwala, Morni and Ramgarh.



Sehsani gang gets active again
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 10
The recent incident where a woman was robbed by a gang of women has left the Panchkula police worrying, as according to the latter, the gang, also known as the Sehsani gang is again active in the town.

The police has claimed that its a wake up call for residents of the town. Also according to the crime investigating agency (CIA), the Sehsani gang has women from well-off families, who come in big cars and strike after offering lift to victims.

In two weeks, the gang has struck twice and that, too, in the same sector.

It was this Sunday evening when a 60-year-old woman was robbed of her gold bangles by two women under the pretext of giving lift.

The victim, Neelam Bhatia, a resident of Sector 16, was on her way to her house when two women in a car offered her lift saying some acquaintance of hers was calling her. Similarly, a 70-year-old woman, Ravi Kant, was also robbed of her gold bangles on similar lines and in the same area of the city.

Sources in the crime investigating agency said the gang was again active in Panchkula. It is a group of 40-45 women that strike victims after offering lift.

A number of cases under Sections 307 (attempt to murder) and 392 (robbery) have been registered against them at Panchkula.



Work on GMSH OPD block runs behind schedule
Ritika Jha
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 10
Even as the construction work at the new OPD building at Government Multi Specialty Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16, nears its completion, patients will have to jostle around in the narrow corridors of the old OPD building for few more weeks.

The building project, which has already seen three extensions for its completion in the past three years, is all set for another extension. While it was scheduled for completion by August 15, the handing-over of the six-storey building by the UT Engineering Department is delayed.

Courtesy, the UT Engineering Department and Hospital Administration are busy in shifting the blame on each other, failing to finalise the date of handing-over.

When contacted, UT Chief Engineer, SK Chadha, said, There is no delay in completion of the building from our end. It is the hospital administration that needs to specify the date for handing-over and inauguration of the building. We will hand it over to them, whenever they write to us.

Medical Superintendent of GMSH-16, Dr Rajiv Vadera, on the other hand, said, The Engineering wing had written to us for a formal round of inspection by the Health Secretary. They have not written to us for handing over of the building.

The work on the new building started in 2006 with an estimated budget of Rs 9 crore and was supposed to be completed by July 31, 2009. Later, its deadline was extended twice, first in December 2009 and then in September, 2010.

Over this period, the budget escalated to Rs 14 crore. In addition, an inspection conducted by the Fire Department two months ago, revealed that many areas of the hospital were inaccessible to fire engines. Moreover, the new OPD building was found to be blocking certain locations, which were earlier accessible.

On this, Dr Vadera said, There were around 17 violations which were pointed out by the Fire Department. These are being addressed. We have also written to the competent authorities to depute fire security guards at the new OPD.



Singing contest on Mohd Rafi songs at Tagore Theatre today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 10
The Yaadgar-e-Rafi Society, Chanidgarh, is holding its final round of singing contest for the best singer award-2012 on Saturday, August 11, at the Tagore Theatre, Chandigarh, at 5.30 pm. Around 40 singers will sing Mohammad Rafi songs on this occasion. Paramvir Singh, Agriculture

Minister, Haryana, will be the chief guest, while Zora Singh, chairman of Desh Bhagat Group of Institutes will preside over the function.



No end to garbage problem in Mohali
Our Correspondent

Mohali, August 10
Dumping of garbage and construction materials along the sector-dividing road at Phase II here is posing a danger to both traffic and pedestrians.

The garbage dumped near Madanpur village spills over on to the main road and covering almost half of it. Vehicle drivers, often travelling at high speeds, find the spot to be a bottleneck and are compelled to drive close to the centre verge on the road to avoid the garbage.

For pedestrians, too, the area has become a danger zone. The problem worsens when rainwater accumulates on the road. The footpath is blocked by garbage as well as by heaps of sand and gravel for sale by private parties. Pedestrians are forced to move to the middle of the road with traffic coming head-on.

Ram Prakash, a resident, said the spot is not only a traffic hazard but also a source of nuisance with foul smell emanating from the area. It has become a breeding ground for flies and other insects and also attracts stray cattle.

The Municipal Corporation seems to be oblivious to the problem and the residents said it was high time it took steps to stop the dumping of garbage in that area.



chandigarh scan
Course conducted

On the fifth day of HPB course organised by the department of general surgery at PGI, Professor AK Sanberg from Karolinska University Hospital, Huddinge, Stockholm, delivered a talk on biliary complications. He encouraged the young delegates to take interest in the academic activities. Professor VK Kapoor and Dr Rajan Saxena from SGPGI, Lucknow, also delivered lectures on their specialty.

Induction programme held

An induction programme for students of different classes of Desh Bhaga Institutes was organised in the DBIMCS under the patronage of Dr Zora Singh, chairman, and Tajinder Kaur, vice chairperson of Desh Bhagat Group of Institutes. The programme was conducted by the team of AIESEC, a worldwide organisation run by students and working for global internship of the students.

On this occasion, a video conferencing was organised by Amit Grover of Nurture Talent Academy. The expert speaker told the students about how to become successful entrepreneurs and motivated them to become job providers instead of job seekers. He also informed them that IIM Ahmedabad would conduct a zonal workshop on entrepreneurship on August 24 and 25 at Desh Bhagat Institute of Management and Computer Sciences.

New batch inducted

The Quest Group organised an orientation programme for B Tech and MBA students on its campus. On this occasion, Ds Sakhon, chairman and Harinder Kanda, vice chairman of the Quest Group were the chief guests. The director of the group, Rajinder Singh Khela, was special guest of honour for this function.

Welcoming the new batch Sakhon said students would get quality education here. He added that the Quest Group not only understand necessities of this technical era but also has started DG Smart Classes.

Janmashtami and Teej celebrated

The festivals of Janmashtmi and Teej were celebrated with fun and fervour on the campus of Ashmah International School, Sector 70. The school was decked up with flowers, buntings and balloons and the swings were also decorated. Children beamed with joy to see such celebration. Some of the students were attired in the dresses of Radha and Krishna. On the other hand, students were dressed up in traditional Punjabi attire embellished with ornaments, and worn a charming smiles on their faces which seemed fascinating .

Director of the school, JS Kesar, lauded the efforts of the staff and students for participating with zeal and zest on this eve, which has socio- economic importance and stressed on the need to remain in touch with culture of Punjab and preserve it.

RIMT World School also celebrated Janmashtami amid religious fervor and gaiety. Dressed as Radha and Krishna, students of pre-primary section swayed to lilting music and sang devotional songs in the praise of Lord Krishna. Their attire, replete with peacock feathers, jewellery, and the costumes made the performance captivating. Breaking of MATKI was the biggest attraction. The school authorities created Vrindavan on their campus where Gopikas played with Lord Krishna. The children donned the roles of Lord Krishna, Radha and Gopikas, and won accolades for enacting these epic roles from parents and teachers alike.

Medical camp organised

Mentally challenged children paint during a medical camp in Panchkula on Friday.
Mentally challenged children paint during a medical camp in Panchkula on Friday. Tribune photo: Nitin Mittal

The Childrens Hospital, a paediatric super specialty tertiary healthcare centre, located in Mansa Devi Complex, Panchkula, organised a free health check-up camp for mentally challenged children. The hospital which is promoted by professionals from the United States, held the camp as part of its corporate social responsibility and as many as 20 mentally challenged children were examined.

The children came to the hospital from Society for Rehabilitation of Mentally Challenged (SOREM), Sector 36, Chandigarh. Eleven children who had pre-existing medical problems were thoroughly examined by a team of paediatricians and were given appropriate medical and follow up advice. 



Second time offenders to lose hostel
Over 50 students who were caught with outsiders in a raid on August 8 will lose their seat if found committing the same offence again
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 10
Over 50 students caught giving shelter to 71 outsiders at Panjab University (PU) hostels would lose their hostel seats if caught again for the same offence. PU authorities have already started the process to recover Rs 71,000 from these students.

Dean Student Welfare (DSW) AS Ahluwalia said that his office will seek the room numbers and names of the students caught accommodating outsiders and a record of all such students will be prepared. If caught again, these students would lose their hostel seat. "Cancelling the hostel seats of repeated offenders is the only way to keep outsiders away from the hostels, as it is not physically possible to raid hostels everyday," the DSW said.

Interestingly, student leaders in the university have started approaching the DSW to get the fines imposed on the hostelers who support their party waved.

"Nobody would be exempted from the fine and the hostel wardens have been asked to put a notice in hostel to inform the students to depositing the fine," said the DSW.

The students who don't pay the fine now will have to pay the amount along with their hostel charges. One of the wardens said that he has already asked the students to submit the fine by August 20 to avoid any further action.

At least 71 outsiders were nabbed during raids conducted by the Chandigarh Police and the university authorities in hostels on August 8. The raids were conducted simultaneously in all eight boys hostels giving no time for anyone to escape.

The PU has planned similar raids for all the girls hostels who would also be fined Rs 1,000 for every outsider caught from their room. Sources said that raids in girls hostel would be conducted close to the student elections to check the presence of outsiders and printed material of various student parties which are generally stored at girls hostels.

The hostel wardens have also been asked by the DSW to prepare a list of students who have been staying in hostels from long time.



First waiting list of hostel seats likely next week
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 10
Panjab University is going to release the first waiting list for the students still looking for a seat in hostels next week. Over 130 students are expected to get hostel seats in the second round of admissions.

The Dean Student Welfare (DSW) office is in the process of preparing the second list of students who might get hostels.

DSW AS Ahluwalia said that around 30 girls and 70 boys are expected to be accommodated during the second round of hostel admissions.

"The number of students left without hostel seats after the second round of admissions is over would not be more than 100 boys and 250 girls," the DSW said.

PU is also going to increase the total number of seats allocated in few departments. Officials said that the departments will larger strength would be getting a few more hostel seats.

In a bid to adjust more students in boys hostels, the university has decided to allocate the house of class IV employees to mess workers who are presently given accommodation in the hostels only. "The rooms vacated by mess workers would be allotted to students," the DSW said.

The university will also come up with another waiting list for the students who are left after the second round of hostel admissions. The list is likely to be released after student elections which are expected to be held on September 7. The students recommended by the winning student party are also adjusted in the third round of hostel admissions.

There are a total 16 boys and girls hostels with around 6,200 seats out of which not more then 2,200 seats are vacant for the students seeking admission during this academic session. The university has a strength of more then 12,000 students.



CBSE to reduce improvement, compartment chances for students
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 10
More than 15,000 class X and XII students applied for improvement of grades and compartment with the regional office of CBSE this year, the result of which are expected in a few days. But from the next year students need to be little cautious as they can exhaust their number of chances for reappearing in their respective exams.

A recent circular of the CBSE has reduced
the number of improvement/compartment chances for both secondary as well senior secondary level. The major change is in class X where the currently offered five chances have been reduced to just one.

The circular says that a secondary school student who has obtained Grades E1 or E2 in any or all the five subjects will be eligible for improving his/her performance only in July the same year.

The number of chances for compartment examination in class XII has been reduced to three from five. The candidates who reappear at the compartmental examination in July the same year, may avail the second chance in March/April next year and the third chance further in July.

These changes will however be applicable for candidates appearing for the first time in 2013 examination and candidates who have appeared for the 2012 examination or before will continue to reappear in exams as per the existing rule (ie up to 5 chances).

This present structure of improvement/compartment was hardly practical and required a change, said principal Vineeta Arora, Bhawan Vidyalaya, Sector 27. She said, It is a welcome step because it will keep the children on their toes. Moreover a serious child will put his all effort to clear the compartment in the first attempt. Beyond this, it becomes a mockery of the education system.

One of the CBSE counsellors in Chandigarh, Rakesh Sachdeva, also principal of DAV-15, said, "The change will go in favour of class X students. Earlier, a student of class X would have to wait for next year if he was unable to clear the reappear exam in the first attempt. Now he will atleast be prepared to join the class X again in the worst case scenario and can make a fresh start. According to her, the change was long pending. Giving so many chances to students was not feasible. The new arrangment will make them more serious towards the exams.

CBSEs regional officer Khanderao said that it
was a welcome step and would motivate students to take all the subjects and exams seriously.

According to information, about 3,000 students of class X have reappeared for improvement of grades and about 12,000 have reappeared for compartment exams in the region. 



DSW to set up committee to decide police involvement in PU security

Chandigarh, August 10
Following the protest staged by the Student Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU) outside the Vice Chancellor's residence on Wednesday alleging harassment from cops on duty inside the campus, PU authorities are planning to formulate guidelines about the extent of involvement of police on campus.

In a meeting held with the student leaders, the Dean Student Welfare (DSW) has decided to constitute a committee to frame the guidelines.

SOPU state president Vikramjit Midhukheda said that during the meeting it was decided that appropriate guidelines will be formed where the extent of police involvement in the campus will be decided.

The meeting to discuss the matter will be held in the coming week to resolve the issue raised by the students.

Vikramjit also said that there was no need of direct police involvement in the campus when the university itself has around 180 security guards. "The university authorities itself had restricted the power of security guards by directly involving police in every untoward incidence. The university security is merely doing the job of gatekeepers," Vikramjit said. 



PGI to organise CME on tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 10
In a move to create awareness on the effectiveness of Oral Rehydration Therapy (ORT) to cure diarrhoea among children aged below 2 years, PGI's Pediatric Gastroenterology Department is going to organise a Continuous Medical Education (CME) programme on August 12.

Chronic diarrhoea, which lasts for more than 2 weeks, has turned out be one of biggest causes of high mortality rate among children below 3 years of age. Persistent diarrhoea due to secondary lactose intolerance is common among children below 2 years of age, noted the doctors.

During the programme, the practicing pediatricians will be offered tips by the expert panel on addressing the disease among the children. Over 200 delegates will attend the programme.



Online admission process finds few takers
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service,

Chandigarh, August 10
For yet another year the education department of Chandigarh has found few takers for online registration of class XI admission forms.
While more than 90% of allotted seats have already been filled and the third counselling session is soon to start for the remaining seats, the number of students who applied online has not gone beyond 350-400, despite the fact that the department received more than 15,000 applications this year.

The online facility was started about three years back to decrease the departments manual workload and to gradually shift class XI aspirants towards online registration of forms.

The first year saw only 100 odd students filing online forms and the number did not go beyond 250 in the second year.

MS Chauhan, deputy commissioner of Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan, said, Since most of the competitive tests after the senior secondary level have become internet-based, it is important to get the students prepared for the online process. Class XI admission is a good opportunity to expose them to the online education system.

Recently, online registration of application for the Central Teacher Eligibility Test was made mandatory. Various other tests are also held online.

A senior official of the education department said that the department has a very user-friendly online system. "From the next year, we are thinking of giving a time gap between the online and manual registration to encourage more students towards it."

He said that the department couldnt immediately make online system compulsory because children from all strata of society apply for admission in government schools. But the department plans to gradually make it compulsory.



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