C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Panchkula to pay property tax
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

— Vishnu Goel, a resident of Sector 12, PanchkulaPanchkula, September 30
If you own a residential property in Panchkula, be ready to pay a hefty property tax. The Panchkula Municipal Corporation has announced that it would calculate the property tax on the basis of existing collector rates in the city.

So far, the city residents had been enjoying exemption from property tax. Initially enforced in 2001, a nominal property tax was levied till 2007 when it was discontinued for self-occupied residential buildings. The new policy of the property tax in Panchkula will be calculated on the basis of collector rates, which are the highest in Panchkula.

We have asked the residents to intimate within 15 days about their option of policy to pay the tax otherwise we would prepare the bill according to the new policy. The tax for 2012-13 would be calculated on the basis of the new policy,” said Executive Officer of the Municipal Corporation OP Sehag.

The residents of sectors 6,7,8,9 and Mansa Devi Complex will have to pay the maximum tax as the collector rates are the highest in the area, i.e. Rs 50,000 per sq mt. And almost all the plot sizes in these sectors are more than 250 sq metre in size.

The worst part is that the property tax has been linked with the collector rates which will increase every year. That would mean every year the tax would also increase,” said BB Singhal, a resident of Sector 10, Panchkula. He added, “And it is totally not justified that the decision about the new tax policy has been taken recently by the government but it would be applicable from 2010.”

The tax rates would differ in each sector as per the size of the plots and the collector rates.

If randomly we take Sector 10 where the collector rate is around Rs 48,000 per sq mt, the tax to be paid by the owner of a self-occupied one-kanal bungalow will be around Rs 20,000 per annum which was just around Rs 2000-3,000 per annum according to the old policy. Though the rate of a 10 marla house would be just Rs 250 per sq mt, it would be troublesome for the person whose plot size is around 251 square yards. The tax would be around Rs 13,000 per sq mt for a 14 marla plot and around 20,000 per sq mt for a two-kanal plot. The rate would depend accordingly if it includes a rented accommodation too.

If the size of an industrial unit is taken as 1000 sq yards on an average, its owner will have to shell out Rs 25,000 annually. So, all the 500 industrial units will give around Rs 3 crore annually as tax to the authorities. Not only this, fire tax will also be levied on commercial, institutional and industrial properties at the rate 10 per cent of the property tax.

"It has become difficult for a common man to survive," said Veena Kalia, a resident of Sector-2, Panchkula.

The condition would be all the more worse for commercial booths. On an average if the size is taken as 100 square yards and the formula is applied annually one shop owner would have to pay around Rs 2.5 lakh. And there are around 100 shops in one sector.


  • Property tax at ~1 per sq yard on residential houses (self occupied) with plot sizes up to 250 sq yards and flat sizes up to 500 sq ft (self occupied) will be levied
  • For the plots of other sizes with an area of more than 250 sq yard (residential, commercial, industrial and others) methodology of tax has been fixed on the basis of covered area of the plot, the *formula* of collector rate.

tax applicable from april 2010

Tax would be levied with effect from April, 2010. Though for the period after April, 2012, it would be levied as per the collector rates, for the previous two years the residents have been given 15 days’ time to submit their options of paying arrears according to old policy or new policy.



MC study tours prove to be of little use
Of 9 tours of foreign countries and Indian cities, members of only 3 tours submitted proposals
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 30
The Municipal Corporation authorities are clueless about the purpose of nine study tours undertaken by councillors in the last eight years on which crores of rupees had been spent.

This fact came to light in the reply to a query of BJP councillor Satinder Singh, in which the MC authorities have stated that they have no information about the purpose of the tours and the projects, which were proposed by the officials and councillors after the tour.

In the column of the reply, where the purpose of a visit is mentioned, the authorities have given the destinations of the tours. During the meeting, when the councillor asked about the details, the officials replied that they did not have any report on the projects proposed by members of the tours and their implementation.

When the MC Commissioner asked the councillors whether they wanted to continue the practice, the councillors unanimously replied that the tours should be continued.

Of the nine study tours, members of only three tours proposed projects to the authorities. Records show that in 2004, the councillors, who had undertaken a study tour of Chennai, had proposed to have rainwater-harvesting facility at all the government buildings.

The project was aimed at conserving groundwater, the level of which is going down steeply, and managing water shortage in the city. The UT Administration asked the MC authorities to get this system installed at their building as a pilot project. Interestingly, every year the MC authorities allocate funds in the budget to set up rainwater-harvesting facility at the building, but till date no progress has been made in this regard.

In November, 2007, 19 councillors visited Singapore, Malaysia and Bangkok, after which a report was submitted to the authorities by them. A proposal for setting up an air-conditioned fish market was made by the councillors. The purpose was to ensure that fish is sold in unhygienic conditions by the small fish sellers in the city. This market was completed after missing a number of deadlines for the project. It was handed over to the MC in 2009 for its auction. Three auctions were held but all of them got a lukewarm response.

In another report, councillors suggested that a blind park on the pattern of one in Bangkok be developed in which the visually challenged could feel the beauty of nature and know about the details of plants inscribed there in Braille.

Interestingly, the park was developed but not on the concept of the Blind Park of Bangkok.

In 2011, a delegation went to Bangalore, Mysore and Coimbatore on a study tour, after which its members made recommendations for a proper segregation of garbage in the city, the installation of bio-metric system of attendance for employees, the constitution of a round-the-clock public grievances redress cell, the installation of the GPS system in vehicles and setting up a separate dumping ground for e-waste.

a waste of taxpayers’ money

  • Crores of rupees were spent on study tours of Singapore, Malaysia and Bangkok and Indian cities
  • No information about the purpose of the tours
  • No report on the projects proposed by members after the tours
  • Councillors unanimous in continuing the tours
  • Most projects proposed after only 3 tours fail to produce desired results



Doctors warned against prescribing expensive medicines
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 30
While a sales-strategy guide of a pharmaceutical company listing gifts, including a coffee maker, vacuum cleaner and cookware, for doctors who agree to prescribe the medicines manufactured by the said company has led to a controversy, the Medical Superintendent of the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital, Sector 16, has issued warning letters to doctors of two departments against prescribing costly medicines to patients.

Medical Superintendent Rajiv Vadehra, in a letter to the Head, Department of Surgery, on September 19, has stated that two doctors from the department were prescribing costly medicines to the patients and it needs to be stopped. Soon on September 21, another complaint was received, following which the medical superintendent sent a warning letter to the said department.

The warning to the departments, however, failed to bring any relief to poor patients. Similar complaints are regularly made by patients and there is hardly any day when one or two patients do not approach the hospital administration seeking their help in getting medicines from the hospital free of cost as the medicines prescribed by the hospital doctors are too costly to afford by them.

This is, however, not the only hospital where doctors are involved in such unethical practice, said a chemist, who runs his shop in one of the three hospitals of the city, on the condition of anonymity. Unscrupulous elements in the medicine sector can be found everywhere, he said.

Many of the doctors will always insist upon the patient brings the medicines to them after buying them, he said. While a majority of doctors resort to this practice to confirm that the patient has got the right medicine, others have made it a tool to ensure the sale of their choice of brand, said the chemist.

Small gifts like coffee-maker are offered to medicos operating in slums or rural areas, said sales representative of a pharmaceutical company. The doctors here are offered a straight away 20 per cent commission on the dealer price for prescribing the medicine of a particular brand, he said.

Meanwhile, Rajiv Vadehra said two letters were issued to the department after poor patients approached him saying that they couldn’t afford costly medicines. A majority of the doctors in the hospital are hard working and patient friendly. A few doctors who were found ignoring patients’ interests have been warned through these letters, he said.



Thieves steal Rs 8.31 lakh from ATM
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

The ATM of Axis Bank in Sector 12, Panchkula, where a theft took place on Sunday
The ATM of Axis Bank in Sector 12, Panchkula, where a theft took place on Sunday. Tribune photo: Nitin Mittal

Panchkula, September 30
Thieves stole Rs 8.31 lakh from the ATM of Axis Bank at Sector 12-, Panchkula, after cutting the ATM cash box with a gas cutter early in the morning today. While stealing the money from the ATM, the innovative thieves covered the lens of the CCTV cameras with leaves and put up a board with “ATM not in service” outside it in order to ensure that no one enters the ATM room.

In the morning, when a sweeper came to clean the room he found the whole ATM cash box was cut and all the cash missing. He informed the nearby shopkeepers about the incident. “I was informed about the theft by a sweeper. We informed the police,” said a shopkeeper, Narender Kumar.

Finding that its tall claims about patrolling had fallen flat, the police put the onus on the bank authorities, saying that not even a single security guard was deployed at the ATM.

“In fact, the cameras on the ATM have been installed at a low height so it was quite easy for the thieves to paste leaves on the same. We have sought the footage of the camera from the bank authorities,” said the station house officer of the Sector-14 police station, ACP (under training), Adarshdeep Singh.

Another police official said, “Initially, we were thinking it to be the handiwork of some educated youth but the spellings of ‘Service’ were written as ‘Servise’ so they can be some anti-social elements.”

Senior police officials visited the spot and found that a gas cutter was used to cut the cash box of the ATM.

“Not even a regular chowkidar was deputed by the market association of Sector 12-A, Panchkula, in the market,” said a police official.

A case under section 457, 380 of the IPC has been registered and three different teams are working under the supervision of the ACP Headquarters (Under Training) and in charge of the Detective Inspector Pardeep Rana.

first such ATM theft

It is the first of its kind case in Panchkula. Though attempts to break the ATM have been made in various sectors, no one has been successful to cut the cash box and flee the scene easily.

Guard detained

A guard deployed at the nearby ATM has been taken into custody. He was reportedly sleeping at the time of the incident.

How they pulled it off

  • Put up a board with “ATM not in service” outside it
  • Covered the lens of the CCTV cameras with leaves
  • Used gas cutter to cut the cash box



Drive against eve-teasing picks up, one more held
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 30
The campaign against eve-teasing is picking up with two more cases of eve-teasing registered by the Chandigarh police. One suspect has been arrested. A total of eight cases of eve-teasing have been registered by the police in the last three days.

The police arrested Ranjit Singh, a resident of Sector 22, who had sped away after teasing a girl near the Tribune Chowk.

The SHO of the Sector 31 police station said two girls were returning home on a scooter when Ranjit, who is a driver of an automobile dealer, teased the girls.

“The police received information from an advocate, who was driving behind the girls, that a person, driving an MUV bearing a Chandigarh registration number, teased a girl and drove away. With the help of the registration number of the vehicle the police identified the driver and arrested him. He was later released on bail,” the SHO said.

In another incident, a case of eve-teasing was registered at the Sector 36 police station against a pedestrian who ran away after teasing a woman at Inter State Bus Terminal (ISBT), Sector 43. By the time the police reached the spot, the suspect had already fled the scene. Cases of eve-teasing have been frequently reported after the police held an interaction with the students. The police will create a special webpage on Facebook, where girls can file their complaints. The police stated victims would be able to upload their experience on the page and even tag evidences which can help to arrest culprits.



Monsoon ends with near normal rainfall in city
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 30
This year's monsoon in Chandigarh ended with near normal conditions. The dismal rainfall in the beginning of the season had sent alarm bells ringing in the region. But, the revival of monsoon in the subsequent months dispelled draught fear and the monsoon in Chandigarh ended with about 10 per cent short of the normal rainfall, which, according to the Met Department officials, is a ‘tolerable’ figure.

Surinder Pal Sharma, regional officer, Chandigarh Meteorological Department, said with just 10 per cent deficiency, the rainfall in the city was near normal.

Chandigarh, however, received just 6.2-mm rainfall (1.2 mm in the catchment) in June, which has been the lowest figure since 1971. But, the rainfall in the city picked up from July 7 and managed to bring down the overall deficiency as the season came to an end.

In July, Chandigarh received 271.5-mm rainfall against the normal 282.4, followed by 288.1-mm rainfall against the normal 287.5 in August. The rainfall in Chandigarh had remained above normal in September as it received 208.8 mm of rainfall against the normal figure of 154.3 mm.

With regards to the single-day highest rainfall, the rainfall on July 7 topped the chart with 118.5 mm followed by 93.8 mm on August 21 and 90.4-mm rainfall on September 17. Overall Chandigarh received 774.6 mm of rainfall against the normal figure of 844.4 mm, registering the overall deficiency of 10 per cent.

Panchkula, Mohali deficient

Compared to Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali remained deficient. Panchkula received 624mm of rainfall against the normal 903.4 mm, registering the overall deficiency of 31 per cent. Similarly, Mohali witnessed the overall deficiency of 29 per cent, receiving 387.5mm of rainfall against the normal figure of 544.4 mm.

Regional officer Surinder Pal Sharma said deficiency in Panchkula and Mohali reflects the deficiency trend in Punjab and Haryana, which registered deficient rainfall compare to Chandigarh.



open house response
Allow central club to operate, say residents

A file photograph of the club after it was sealed by the Estate Office
A file photograph of the club after it was sealed by the Estate Office.

The Chandigarh Administration’s decision of sealing the Central Club was very cold. Such a sudden closure has rendered all the employees jobless with their belongings locked inside the club. The place is a lifeline for the senior citizens where they can relax and kill their loneliness.

The Administration has not taken into consideration the sentiments of the senior citizens. With unfavourable turn of events, the management of the club finds its back against the wall and is left with little option to get back the possession of the club.

The Administration must allow the club to operate for the welfare of the senior citizens.

Vineet Kapoor


Club is their lifeline

The sealing of the Central Club by the Estate Office is totally uncalled for. The Club Management should have given some time. As many as 26 club employees took to the streets after the club was sealed and their belongings were locked in the club.

The place is a boon for senior citizens where they socialise and spend time together. The Club has over 400 women members, who are all senior citizens.

For them the club is their lifeline. This is the only source of recreation and social get-together for most of the members. It is wrong on the Administration’s part to ask for rent at par with the Golf Club and Chandigarh Club as it doesn’t run any commercial activity.

The Administration should reconsider its decision and allow re-starting the Club. They should allow the Management to pay the dues in easy instalments.

Shruti K Chawla


Senior citizens are treasures to be valued

The Chandigarh Administration does not practise what it preaches. If on one hand World International Elders Day and Elders Abuse Awareness Day (October 1) are being celebrated to create awareness on the plight of the elderly people, then on the other, the same administration, which gives several assurances to the senior citizens, has deprived them of their right to assemble, discuss and share their life experiences at the 37-year-old Central Club situated at Sector 9.

A team of the enforcement wing of the UT Estate Office recently sealed the premises of the club allegedly without informing the club members. The Chandigarh Administration needs to be awakened if we want to address the grievances of the senior citizens. We have to provide them the required facilities. To tackle this serious problem, besides specific acts enacted by Union government and state governments, there is a need to have affections and respect for the senior citizens. We should not forget our great values of respecting our elders. It is Administration’s moral and legal duty to provide better living conditions for the elderly people. Old age is not a curse. Old is gold.

SK Kola


Administration should come up with a solution

Administration needs to be more considerate toward the senior citizens, particularly those who need solace in their solitude. They deserve a sympathetic treatment at the hands of Chandigarh Administration. The forcible eviction of Central Club, which is a second home for most of the senior citizens, was a harsh action.

The plea of non-payment of lease money, advanced by the Estate officials is debatable since the dues were based on the same yardstick as applicable to Chandigarh Club and Golf Club. The Central Club in Sector 9 is not like other two prestigious clubs, which have all the facilities with the cream of the affluent and influential figures as its members.

These clubs earn hefty amounts in hosting private parties in its premises and can therefore afford to pay higher lease money. I think the Administration will not stick to the odious comparison, and will come out with a via-media solution so as to restore life-line re-creational facilities to the hapless senior citizens

SC Lutheran

One rule must for all city clubs

The Chandigarh Administration has adopted different rules while fixing lease money of clubs in the city. The action of sealing the Club was wrong and shameful. The officials of the Estate Office deliberately sealed the Club on the weekend so that the members could not approach the court for a stay order. The Administration had increased the lease money of the Central Club w.e.f.1993. On the other hand, the Administration has been sitting on the file of renewal of lease money for the Chandigarh Golf Club and due to which the Administration has even lost Rs18 crore (approx).

The Administration should make same rule for every club. Being Indian, it is our duty to respect our senior citizens so they can spend and enjoy their remaining life in an easy and happy environment.

Sumesh Kumar Badhwar


Sealing of club not justified

The sealing of the Central Club was not justified. Most of the members of the club were septuagenarian and nonagenarians who visited the club for recreational activities. Eviction of the Club came as a big blow for the members as they are left with no place to meet their friends and pass their time.

The only source of their get-together has been taken away by the Administration. The reason for non-payment of rent was the drastic increase in the amount of rent. The rent should have been gradually increased. Moreover the workers have been rendered jobless. With the sudden closure of the club the money and belongings of many workers were also locked. The club members should have been given more time to react.

Isha Dahiya


Admn should re-think its decision

The Chandigarh Administration should re-consider its decision of sealing the Central Club as it was the only place for the senior citizens of the city to spend some quality time with friends. There are lots of areas where government can make money, leave this alone and let it be treated as charity organisation with no fee and rent to be recovered.

Gurpreet Kalra


Turn the club into a community centre

Senior Citizens are held in high esteem in our culture and are given priority and respect in all matters. As the children grow up and settle in other cities, many parents find themselves alone. This club gave such elderly people a place to spend their time.

We, city youths, should bring out the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, which the government has taken a small step towards. As a nation, it is every citizen’s duty to ensure that senior citizens are living a happy, healthy and secure life.

The site of the Central Club was originally allotted for a community centre. The area councillor should immediately urge the Administration to handover the club to the Municipal Corporation and the corporation should develop it like a community centre.

The MC mayor should get the club opened so that non-members can also enjoy the cultural functions. Senior citizens and children should plan to use the club for daily cultural programmes, exercise and other activities. Home Secretary Chandigarh Administration should urge the Director of Social Welfare to plan more and more activities for the senior citizens of the city so that they do not feel lonely. Mayor should call special meetings and should get the matter solved without further delay.

Sachin Sharma


Why the indiscrimination?

There are three to four clubs in the city and activities carried out in these clubs are almost same. It is surprising that the lease money of the Central Club has been revised. Why this indiscrimination?

In fact, this land was initially allotted for community services, but later it was converted into club services for limited enrolled member. Residents come to the club, which has facility of pub, bar, card room and restaurant, for their enjoyment. The bar licence was cancelled two to three years ago.

The senior officer of the Administration should immediately find a solution to restore the the authority to enter the club premises. This club being a simple construction of single storey may be treated as heritage club of the city.

Sukhpal Singh


It’s a cruel joke

It is really sad to know that the Chandigarh Administration has sealed the Central Club in Sector 9 on account of non-payment of the lease money. It is a matter of shame that the club which was functioning for the last 37 years and that catered to the needs of the senior citizens has been treated in such a humiliating manner. What was the Administration doing all these years? Why was the lease money not taken earlier from the club?

The staff working there for so many years has been rendered jobless. This is certainly a cruel joke played by the Administration on the employees of the club. Who is responsible for all this ugly and inhumane treatment? The Chandigarh Administration must see that all staffs of the Central Club are accommodated with jobs in other departments. The Chandigarh Administration must compensate all those concerned with the Central Club who lost their precious jobs for no fault of theirs.

RK Kapoor


Seniors’ community centre

The Chandigarh Administration should change the Central Club to seniors' community centre. A new constitution should be drawn in consultation with both parties, namely Chandigarh Administration and the Central Club Management. The Chandigarh Administration may be given representation in the new managing committee.

The club's bar licence also be restored without further delay. Every day new licenses are being granted for liquor vends in every corner of the city. Then why not permit this to seniors' community centre where seniors can spend evenings and relax over a drink.

DB Singh


Senior citizens deserve better treatment

The Central Club has been catering to the senior citizens of the city who need care and attention. The elderly people deserve better treatment from the Administration. KK Sharma, Adviser to the Administrator, who listened to the woes of the club members, even on a holiday, is an appreciable act.

However, the Administration needs to change its mindset while dealing with the elderly in the city. It should allow the club to operate. This will be a respite for the club members and for those who have been working there.

Satish Chandra Sharma


Lease rate should be reduced

The sealing of the 37-year-old Central Club in Chandigarh, Sector 9, which predominantly caters to the senior citizens, has generated much heat and anger.

The whole issue points out that there is a feeling of helplessness against the action of the authorities.

Without going into the detail of the controversy, let us look into the human angle. Since several senior citizens are its members, this club is the only place of enjoyment for them. Members celebrate their festivals and free time in this club. Where will they go at the dawn of the life after the closure of this place? It is very painful.

Lot has been said for developing facilities exclusive to senior citizens, however, contrary to the claims they have been forcefully evicted from existing facility.

Since the matter is affecting a large number of senior citizens, I suggest that the authorities should declare this club as a senior citizen ‘only’ club and have a lenient and sympathetic view on lease rates.

Vidya Sagar Garg

Mani Majra

Open House Question

With the hair-raising incidents of eve-teasing occurring in the city, the question that is glaring at the police is whether the City Beautiful is safe for women or not? Are we going the Delhi way as far as the safety of women is concerned? What should be done to check the crime? Write your suggestions to openhouse@tribunemail.com


UT master plan raises concern
High-rise buildings around Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary a threat to ecology
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 30
UT’s draft master plan has raised serious concerns over the high-rise buildings around the Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary. In the draft master plan, the UT Administration has pointed out that the high-rise buildings around the sanctuary are posing a threat to wildlife in the sanctuary. Such projects will have a drastic impact on Chandigarh’s ecology and infrastructure.

The draft master plan report states, “A group housing-cum-retail complex spread on 53.39 acres in the vicinity of the Capitol Complex, adjoining the wildlife sanctuary in Kansal village, has been designed. With a planned built up area of 7,01,370 sq metre, the project envisages 28 high-rise towers having 12 to 35 floors implying minimum height of 120 to 350 feet.”

“Besides dwarfing Le Corbusier’s Capitol Complex, the lights and noise from the tall buildings and the enormous increase in traffic on the road just outside the sanctuary generated by such a complex will cause serious disturbance to wildlife in the sanctuary,” the report reads.

“Such a project will inevitably have a drastic impact on Chandigarh’s ecology and infrastructure. Power shortage will lead to constant running of diesel generators creating both air and noise pollution. Projects pertaining to extraction of ground water such as provision of piped water from the Bhakra Canal to the area are likely to take several years. The building will further lower the northern ground water table while jeopardising recharge of ground water. The solid waste generated may well be dumped near the wildlife sanctuary posing a threat to wildlife as well as human health," the report stated.

The report recommended that the Chandigarh Administration along with the governments of Punjab and Haryana should demarcate an eco-Sensitive zone around the Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary in which only ecologically compatible, least disturbance activities and land users are permitted and get this notified by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF). Plans for yet to be developed areas of Kansal village in the master plan of Nagar Panchayat Naya Gaon, 2021, and Mansa Devi Urban Complex in Haryana should be revised.

The UT forest department has already drafted its proposal for an eco-sensitive zone in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Environment and Forests in February, 2011, for the area under its jurisdiction. The states of Punjab and Haryana also need to do the same as most of the sanctuary’s periphery falls in the two states, the master plan recommended.



Sector-8 resident victim of ‘MC negligence’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 30
In a classic case of poor coordination between the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation and UT electricity department, the MC has slapped a bill of Rs 15,900 on a resident of Sector 8 for the wrong doing by the electricity department.

On noticing that the footpath in front of house no 673, Sector 8, had been damaged, the MC authorities issued a notice to the occupant of the house, Harsh Sabharwal, asking to repair the damaged tiles within 24 hours or pay the fine, which would be included in her water bill. While issuing the notice, MC officials did not bother to inquire about the damaged footpath from the occupant of the house.

Taking up the issue with the MC, Sabharwal said being a senior citizen she cannot keep a 24-hour vigil outside her house. Later inquiries revealed that the electricity department uprooted the tiles while looking for a fault.

But the MC officials never bothered to probe the matter and simply posted the notice, she lamented. The senior citizen wants the MC officials to tender an apology for harassing her, as she had to spend money to repair the footpath for none of her fault.



Chandigarh Street Art and Food Festival draws to a close
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 30
With people thronging in large numbers to the Sukhna Lake to enjoy Chandigarh Street Art and Food Festival on the concluding day of the event, traffic jams were witnessed at almost all routes to the lake. Poor management of Chandigarh traffic police was quite evident as vehicles were seen stuck in traffic jams for over thirty minutes.

Manipal Singh, one of the visitors, said that it took him over 20 minutes to reach the lake from Sector 8. "It was quite chaotic, with no one to regulate the traffic. It took me a long time to reach close to the parking area," Singh said. Being the weekend, there was a huge rush of visitors which added to the parking problems. The haphazard parking on the roadside did not make the situation any better.

Vinay Gupta, another local resident who visited the festival, said that there should have been special arrangements to regulate traffic and parking. "There was a need to deploy policemen on the roundabouts of nearby Sectors, including Sector 7, 8 and 9, to lessen the chaos," he said.

The traffic jam near the Sukhna Lake also affected the movement of traffic towards the northern Sectors from the Madhya Marg.

The concluding day of the two-day fest witnessed a large turn out. There were performances by folk singers and dancers which were widely appreciated. The fest also had delicious food items to attract the visitors.



Report on community needs of 9 villages released
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 30
Dr Steve Alder, chief of the public health division of the University of Utah, USA, along with Prof HS Mejie, founder trustee of Mehar Baba Charitable Trust (MBCT), today released a report of the community needs of nine villages in Fatehgarh Sahib district where extensive partnership programme is changing lives of residents.

Dr Alder is in the city with 13 other experts, including Dr Devon Hale, director of medical programmes, who has worked in 40 countries, besides oncologists, neurosurgeon, pathologists, pediatricians and early intervention specialists. He also talked to the director, PGIMER, to explore the possibility of further expanding the collaboration with the MBCT and PGI School of Public Health.

He said on an invitation from the MBCT, a team from the public health division of the University of Utah initiated a self-help community development project, Bassi Pathana Collaborative Community Development Project (BPCCDP), in nine villages in 2009 to address various issues impacting their lives.

There is a population of 14,000 in nine villages in Fatehgarh Saheb district, i.e. Bagh Sikander, Balara, Dahmeri, Fatehgarh Niwuan, Ferozepur, Jallowal, Lohar Majri Kalan, Majri and Salar Majra where researchers and public health experts from the University of Utah and PGIMER’s School of Public Health had been carrying out extensive research since 2010 to identify key community issues that they wished to be addressed.

Dr Ravinder Khaiwal, assistant professor, environment health from the School of Public Health, PGIMER, informed that once the problem of contaminated water and water-related diseases was highlighted to them, this became one of the key issues, besides personal hygiene, sanitation, malnutrition, education and gender inequality have been identified. He said the water supply through bore wells had been found contaminated and unfit for human consumption through door-to-door survey in these villages and the residents of the villages have been asked to desist from consuming such water. The excessive nitrate in ground water could possibly be because of extensive and excessive use of chemical fertilizers in the field.

The community engagement had been the key take off this project and under WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) programme, at least three residents in each of these villages have been provided extensive training who are further spreading the message and conducting training in their respective villages, said Prof HS Mejie.

Villages in Punjab are suffering from the problem of growing malnutrition, said Prof Mejie. Already 13 aanganwadi centres have been checked and we have suggested massive upgradation in the nutritious level of the food being served there, he added.


  • University of Utah, PGI School of Public Health and Mehar Baba Charitable Trust engage the community in improving their own lives.
  • Villagers in 9 villages of Fatehgarh Saheb are learning new techniques to maintain supply of clean drinking water, prevent consumption of contaminated water, maintain personal hygiene, sanitation and cleanliness.
  • Experts from Utah and PGI identify major issues of malnutrition among children, gender inequality in the region.



Traffic police to launch YouTube on its website
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 30
The Chandigarh traffic police is all set to introduce YouTube on its website, so that people can see traffic related awareness videos on the same. The traffic police is all set for a makeover of the whole website, including the Facebook page, which would be ready by next week. A decision in this regard was taken by Superintendent of Police (Traffic) Maneesh Chaudhary.

“We will be introducing YouTube on our website. The page will have special link to videos on the YouTube in order to sensitise people about traffic awareness. Videos with regard to traffic awareness like traffic rules, violations or accidents will be uploaded time to time,” said Chaudhary.

He further added, “Ever since the website has been launched, it has not been upgraded. It has all stale information. So we decided to revamp the complete page and bring the same in a new form with a new look. Not only this, the SP says his phone number and even DSP’s number would be provided, so that people may have direct contact with them and can address their problems directly to them. Even email IDs would be provided, so that any corruption related information can also be given.

This decision has been taken as the page has 12,600 likes and around 5 lakh hits.”

The Facebook page of the Chandigarh traffic police, which has received great response from the people was launched on June 4, 2011. People render their grievances on the page.



Himayat Project
Trainees to get admn’s vacant flats
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 30
Vacant flats of the Chandigarh Administration would be given to trainees of the Himayat Project, said Shivraj Patil, Punjab Governor and Administrator, during an interaction programme with youngsters, trained and placed under the centrally-sponsored project, Himayat, at NIPER today.

Patil said the main problem that the youngsters at the project face was getting accommodation. The UT Administration have some vacant flats, which would be given to them for some time on temporary basis, said Patil, adding that after getting training from Himayat, the youths would get opportunity to work in any part of the country.

Under this central scheme, one lakh youths from Jammu and Kashmir would get placement in the next five years in the service sector, both within and outside the state.



Federation holds rally
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 30
The “Aasin Yaad Rakhaange” campaign of the CHB Residents’ Federation started today with a rally in Dhanas village. Members of the federation and inhabitants of rehabilitation colonies participated in the rally.

Addressing the rally, leaders of the federation said their main demands were regularisation of need-based changes made in the CHB/rehabilitation colonies? houses, ownership rights to the power of attorney holders in the rehabilitation colonies, adoption of citizens charter/Right to Service Act in the UT offices, public audit system for all expenses made out of public funds and more powers for councillors.

The campaign has been started because these issues have not been resolved yet, though the federation had set up August 15 as the date by which these issues should have been resolved by the administration. This campaign aims at enlisting the support to thousands of voters who would administer oath that they would not vote on party lines in the coming general elections.

The speakers in the rally said they were more than once assured by all prominent leaders of all political parties in the earlier phase of our campaign that our demands will be fulfilled. No relief has come to people yet, their harassment at the hands of CHB officials continued unabated.

They said it was highly intriguing that no political leader has done anything for the citizens charter and public audit system or for getting more powers for the councillors - other three demands highlighted in the federation campaign.

Air Marshal (retd) Randhir Singh donated a sum of Rs 25,000 to the federation by giving a cheque of this amount to federation finance secretary Rattan Singh. In the end, it was announced that in a short period of less than one week, 3,500 voter residents of Dhanas have signed the pledge.



onset of Shradhs
Traders anticipate dip in sales
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 30
With the onset of shradhs, shopkeepers at Panchkula are anticipating a deep dip in sales by around 80 per cent for the coming few days. It will be a dry spell for shoppers as well.

Shradhs is the period, which is considered as inauspicious, as the deceased ancestors are remembered in these days. According to the Hindu mythology, the shradh fortnight is the period when “pitra”, ancestors from the previous lifetimes are able to approach the earth and their descendants.

“As the shradhs have begun, there is no purchase during this period and accordingly our sales will suffer a deep dip. There are just around 20 per cent of people who don’t believe in shradhs and still continue shopping,” said Deep Krishan Chauhan, president of the Panchkula Jewellers’ Association.

“We will be spending idle time at our shops because there is hardly anyone who makes purchases during shradhs,” said Rakesh Dua, who owns a garment shop in Sector 11, Panchkula.

The situation is considerably better in Mohali because most of the people living there are Sikhs and they don’t believe in such things, said Digvijay Singh, a garment shop owner.




Chandigarh scan

Medical camp

Chandigarh Senior Citizens' Association today organised a socio-medical camp at Government Middle School, Maloya Colony. This was the last camp in a series of such camps and other events forming part of over a month-long celebrations. The celebrations will culminate on the International Senior Citizens Day on October 1. The camp was a big success, with over 650 people benefitting through the event.


"Safe Surfing- A Workshop on Digital Threats and Securities among Children", was organised at Dikshant International School for students, teachers and parents by cyber crime expert Rakshit Tandon. Rakshit Tandon is an expert investigation adviser to the Cyber Crime Unit of Uttar Pradesh Police at Agra and a visiting faculty-lecturer at Dr BR Amedkar Police Academy - Moradabad (UP) and Haryana Police Academy - Madhuban, Karnal. He addressed problems of the students who asked for guidance on cyber crime issues.


Science revolves around energy, environment, ecosystem and e-governance, said Prof KK Bhutani, Director, while inaugurating the one-day seminar on "Environment, Hazard and Waste Management in Pharmacutical Industries". The seminar was held at at SMPIC, NIPER. He mentioned in his address that small and medium industires play a critical role in the overall health care system by providing affordable medicines. Earlier Prof Arvind Bansal, chairman, SMPIC, briefed the audience about the activities of the organisation.

mohali scan

Traffic awareness week

Ashmah International School, Sector 70, celebrated traffic awareness week on its campus. The aim of celebrating the event was to educate the students about traffic rules in an innovative way. The students were also given live demonstrations. During the morning session, different rules amd road signs were explained. The students also visited the Chandigarh Traffic Park in Sector 23. The excursion was organised to increase the understanding of the traffic rules to be followed among children.


To mark World Heart Day, Fortis Hospital, Mohali, organised a three kilometer long 'Walkathon'. Community members from all segments-ex-patients, employees as well as more than 300 children - participated in the walk. The theme, "One World, One Home, One Heart", aimed to spread awareness about the growing rate of cardiovascular diseases among children and women. A free camp to check cholesterol-levels was also held for citizens above the age of 60. Special discounts on cardiac procedures, surgery and health checks were also announced for the next ten days. Stalls on healthy food, hand hygiene, diet therapies etc were also put up.

Students shine

Students of Swami Vivekanand Institute of Engineering & Technology (SVIET) have performed excellently in recent results released by Punjab Technical University, Jalandhar. Shivani Sharma, has secured second position in the overall merit of BTech (Computer Science and Engineering) while Pintu Kumar Mondal has stood first in the second semester of BTech (Information-Technology).

Blood donation

Over 150 units of blood were donated at the Doaba Group of Colleges, Kharar during the annual blood donation camp to commemorate the 105th birth anniversary of Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh. It was heartening to see the large number of volunteers, particularly girls, turning up for the event. Special arrangements had to be made by the organisers to deal with the large turn out. The camp was organised by the NSS unit of the Doaba Group of Colleges in association with the Rotary Club, Chandigarh Central, under the supervision of a team of doctors from Government Multispecialty Hospital, Chandigarh. Dr Lovepreet and Mrs Moninder Kaur, DDSW of the campus supervised the event. The camp was inaugurated by Dr HS Batth, president, Doaba Khalsa Trust.

Surgery at Sohana hospital

Doctors of Shri Guru Harkishan Sahib Charitable Eye Institute and Super Speciality Hospital, Sohana, conducted a Hernia operation by a new technique invented in Italy. Briefing about the operation, chief administrative officer of the hospital, Adarsh Kumar Suri, said, " After a complete checkup of the patient, the chief of Minimal Access and Bariatric Surgery Department, Dr Prabhjot Singh Aulakh and chief anaesthetist Dr Guneet Sodhi decided to adopt the 3D Dynamic Hernia Repair technique."


Desh Bhagat Group of Institutes celebrated the birth anniversary of Sardar Bhagat Singh with a lot of fervour and devotion. Speaking on the occasion, the chief guest of the function Satish Kumar, state RSS organiser, said that we can never forget the contribution and sacrifice made by the great martyr Bhagat Singh. Guest of honour Rajinder Bitta (vice chairman, Forest Corporation, Punjab) said that no Indian can forget the sacrifice made by Sardar Bhagat Singh for the cause of freedom of India. A cultural programme depicting scenes from the life of Sardar Bhagat Singh and his compatriots was presented on the occasion by the students. The programme included patriotic songs, speeches, poems and plays.

— Tribune Reporters



pu senate election
Close fight on six seats
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 30
The last stages of the elimination rounds during the counting of votes for the graduate constituency seats in the Panjab University Senate poll turned out to be crucial for some candidates. Many candidates who were trailing in the race to the 12 Senate seats made a comeback.

The results are yet to be declared. While six candidates are already ahead in the count, and are certain to win, there is a close fight on the other six seats.

Some candidates, who were behind in the vote count during the first preference, made a comeback with the transferred votes.

Those who have already reached close to the victory mark include Satish Kumar, Kailash Nath Kaul, BC Joshan, Varinder Singh and Munish Pal.

Candidates who were running ahead in the counting of transferred votes include Raghbir Dayal, Jarnail Singh, Anu Chatrath, SS Randhawa and Naresg Gaur.

Meanwhile, Gurpreet Kaur, one of the candidates who bagged 1531 first preference votes, later reached to 2410 votes. She is also among the top contenders for the 12 seats on which the results are yet to be declared.

Sitting Senator Dharinder Tayal, who bagged 1284 votes through first preferences, made a comeback, but was later eliminated with 1869 votes. Similarly, Deep Mohan Singh who secured 1296 first preference votes managed to cross the mark of 2000 votes with transferred votes. However, he also later got eliminated.

The counting process continued during the night. However, no results were declared till the filing of the report.



SD College celebrates 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 30
Commemorating the 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda on the third day of the seventh International Youth Peace Festival, discussions on building a peaceful world, with contributions by the youth, was held at SD College today.

Keynote speakers on the occasion were Dr SN Subba Rao, a well-known Gandhian; Indira Das Gupta, Director, People’s Institute for Development and Training; and Dr Lingam Raja from Gandhi Gram University.

Speaking on the occasion, local Member of Parliament Pawan Kumar Bansal, who was the chief guest, said, “There is an ever increasing threat today of diminishing natural resources, especially water, and we must judiciously use every drop of it. Over the years, the increasing population, growing industrialisation and expanding agriculture has pushed the demand for water.”Giving the message of "One World-Once Voice", all participants from China, US, Spain, Malaysia, Philippines, Germany, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Philippines, Sudan, Kenya, Bangladesh, Bhutan and many more nations, plus different states of India together sang the song "Jai Jagat" (victory to the world).



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