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MC doesn’t know what it’s up to
Lack of coordination among various depts results in huge loss, inconvenience to residents
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
Lack of coordination among various wings of the municipal corporation has again cost the state dear. A case in point is freshly laid paver blocks in Sector 19 to lay a water pipeline.

A fortnight ago, the road wing of the MC laid paver blocks to build a footpath for residents in Sector 19. But within no time the footpath was uprooted for laying a water pipeline which resulted in breaking up and imbalance of most of the newly laid paver blocks.

MC Chief Engineer SS Bidda said that there was no problem of coordination among the various wings of the corporation.

Area residents have been facing inconvenience while reaching their houses. They complain that first the MC contractor dug up the passage about a month back. Then came the road wing to lay a water pipeline. “They again dug up the same passage,” said a resident.

This is not the first instance when the public money was wasted by the corporation due to lack of coordination in undertaking any work. Earlier too, in Industrial Area Phase I, after laying down the paver blocks on the footpath, the electrical wing dug the path to install electrical poles on it and later asked the road wing again to permit them to dig up the path for laying the wires for the poles installed on the roads.

In one of the green belts of Sector 27 while constructing the joggers’ path, the underground electrical cables were damaged by the road wing.

The issue has been raised a number of times at the House meeting. the councillors have suggested that before commencing any work in the city all the department should have a joint meeting to discuss their plans and the kind of work which they would be undertaking in the area so that there was no mismanagement in execution of work. 

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PGI shuts eyes to stains in its serais
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

A room of Nehru Sarai at the PGIMER.
A room of Nehru Sarai at the PGIMER. tribune photo: Pradeep Tewari

Chandigarh, November 4
Serais at the region's premier healthcare institute, PGIMER, are in utter state of neglect when it comes to hygiene and cleanliness.
While the institute has been showing serious concern over controlling the rate of hospital acquired infections among its patients, it has shunned its responsibility of maintaining the sarais where the patients or attendants stay when they come for treatment.

Walls and roofs in the rooms of the oldest serai, Nehru Serai, have developed seepage. The latches in all the women’s toilets and washrooms are missing. Broken doors of the toilets force female patients and their attendants to wait till evening (when it gets dark) to use the toilets. The situation is no different at the other sarais on the hospital campus. In Rotary Serai, most patients have complaints of bed bugs, unhygienic conditions in toilets and broken doors.

What attendant says

Rani, a kidney patient’s attendant (wife), who has been staying at the Nehru Serai for the last three months, said, “When we learnt that the hospital has the arrangement of serais, I immediately brought my husband here. But now I feel that staying here will make me sick too. Foul smell emanates from toilets and at times there is no supply of water. Whenever I have to use the washroom, I ensure that patients staying in rooms closer to ours are already asleep, since the doors are broken and even the latches are missing.”

Who maintains the serais?

Lifeline, an NGO, helps maintain the serai complex with the help of five people (three office staff and two attendants). Initially, when Lifeline took over the Nehru Sarai, Hari Sarai and Janta Sarai, it renovated them and promised to maintain them in future. The NGO provides facilities like bedding and blankets to the patients with a nominal charge of Rs 10 per day.

Maintenance work shared

Food at the Sarai Complex is being served free of cost by the Mata Mansa Devi Trust. Rooms are allotted to patients/attendants on the recommendation of doctors at a nominal fee charged by the PGI caretaker. The PGI has one caretaker and eight other staff (two attendants and six cleaning attendants). The PGI charges Rs 10 per day from each patient, in addition to the amount charged by the NGO.

Patients paying double the amount

Poor patients have to pay twice for the same accommodation, once to the PGI and then to the NGO. The money collected by the NGO does not come under the purview of any audit. The PGI has no control on collection or expense of the NGO’s money.

PGI not responsible for NGO’s fee

When asked whether the PGI could allow any NGO to collect money from a patient on the premises owned by the institute or if the PGI was keeping a check on the amount, PGI spokesperson Manju Wadwalkar, said, “Major responsibility of maintenance work has been with NGO Lifeline for long. The PGI keeps track of only the amount which is charged by the caretaker on behalf of the institution. Lifeline handles its own account.” 

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Good news for Sec 17: Traders will soon get free parking space
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
To ease out the parking problem of Sector 17, the MC has decided to exclusively allot traders of the Sector two underground parking lots.
As per the decision, the underground parking lots of the MOH and the CMC in Sector 17 will be used for parking of vehicles by the shopkeepers who own their shops in Sector 17.

These parking lots will be maintained and managed by the traders and the authorities will not charge any money from them for utilisation of the space.

Lalit Siwach, MC Additional Commissioner, said that by next week all formalities of the agreement would be formally signed between the traders and the authorities. The parking lots will then be handed over to them. He said that this would help in managing the increased inflow of vehicles in the paid-parking lots.A trader of the sector said that the corporation had already completed the civil works in the parking lots and they had engaged security for it. And after the agreement is signed, the shopkeepers and their staff would be able to utilise the parking lots freely.

In March, a proposal was mooted by the corporation to convert all the parking lots, in Sector 17 and two in Sector 8 into paid-parking lots. But due to stiff opposition from councillors, the proposal was not tabled for consideration. The department had earlier recommended that the underground parking lots be handover to those contractors who were managing the nearby paid-parking lots. The contractor could charge the same fee from the commuters, which would not only help in utilising the space but additional revenue would also be generated for the MC.

The parking contractors had agreed to do so in case the authorities provided them with basic infrastructure essential for parking. Since the parking lots were not functional for a long time, there was no lighting arrangement and the site lacked cleanliness.

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Liver donors have a tale to tell and smile
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Patient Amrik Singh with son Hardeep Singh at their Sector 32 residence in Chandigarh.
Patient Amrik Singh with son Hardeep Singh at their Sector 32 residence in Chandigarh. Tribune photo: S Chandan

Chadigarh, November 4
Until 3 months ago, unaware of each other’s existence, 50-year-old Vinod Kumar from Ludhiana and 58-year-old Amrik Singh from Chandigarh were both battling for survival due to terminal liver failure. Their families had lost all hopes, as the only available liver donors for each case were of incompatible blood groups. Little did they realise that their destinies would be so closely intertwined that they would have successful liver transplants by exchanging their donors.

Vinod and his 23-year-old son Nitish’s blood groups were A and B, respectively and that of Amrik and his 27-year-old son Hardeep’s were B and A, respectively. While both donors’ blood groups did not match their own recipients, they were suitable donors for each other’s recipients.

Before the operation, Vinod suffered from jaundice, water in the stomach (ascites) and serious infections while Amrik was vomiting blood, was in semi-coma, and was suffering from liver cancer. “None of us would have survived, beyond a few months if the doctors had not suggested this solution”, said Vinod.

The successful exchange was an outstanding example of how the sharing of human suffering and joy united two families”, said Amrik.

Amrik’s son Hardeep, who works as a businessman in Chandigarh, said, “My father was being treated at a city- based hospital until last year. The complications began a year ago. We then consulted a specialist in Gurgaon. Finding a donor was a blessing for us,” he said.

Saving his father was equally difficult for Nitish, who runs an advertising agency in Ludhiana. “When the doctors here in Ludhiana told us that my father needed a liver transplant, I immediately rushed to the experts to know if I could be a donor for him,” he said. “When I underwent tests, my liver was found to be fatty so I joined a gym and lost more than 14 kg of weight in three months. It was only then that I was considered fit for donation,” Nitish added. The transplants were performed at Gurgaon’s Medanta-The Medicity Hospital, two months ago. Dr AS Soin, chairman, Medanta liver Institute, said, “When we suggested a liver exchange (swap), both families happily accepted the proposal. The biggest challenge in a swap is that both transplants must take place simultaneously. While donor swaps are common in kidney transplantation which takes two hours, conducting two simultaneous living donor liver transplants (four operations) is rare.”

Both patients benefitted

Vinod Kumar from Ludhiana and Amrik Singh from Chandigarh were both battling for survival due to terminal liver failure. Their families had lost all hopes, as the only available liver donors for each case were of incompatible blood groups. Vinod and his son Nitish’s blood groups were A and B, respectively, and that of Amrik and his son Hardeep’s were B and A, respectively. While both donors’ blood groups did not match their own recipients, they were suitable donors for each other’s recipients.

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Children display skills and panache
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 4
Holy Child School, Morni Road, celebrated its 17th annual function at Tagore Theatre, Chandigarh, today.
The function was a confluence of colours, jubilance, creativity and artistic talent of the students. The show began with “Namoh Namoh”, a captivating dance performance.

The show stoppers were the students of UKG who presented dances of various countries.

Musical English play “Aladdin” was highly applauded and appreciated by the audience. The budding actors of the school presented a commendable satire in Hindi as well, “Badalte Rishte”, throwing light on current issues.

On this occasion the chief guest Garima Singh, Additional Commissioner, Income Tax, presented awards to the young achievers in the field of academics and sports.

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New panel to look into demand
Will recommend on appointment of chairpersons on rotational basis
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
The Panjab University Syndicate has decided to constitute a broad-based committee to look into the demand for appointment of chairpersons in all the departments on rotational basis here today.

The university had constituted a committee on the demand made by the PU teachers to have a chairperson on rotational basis in centres, schools and institutes on the same pattern as the regular departments. The committee made recommendations in favour of the demands. The committee had also stated that where there was a statutory requirement for a professor to be appointed as the head, rotation would take place only among the professors.

However, the Syndics, setting aside the recommendations, authorised the Vice-Chancellor to constitute a broad-based committee to look into the matter and take a decision on a case-by-case basis.

The Syndicate also accepted the recommendations made by the Board of Finance, prominent among which were approval of the budgetary provisions for the Dr Manmohan Singh Chair, digitisation of thesis, installation of hydrant system at Girls Hostels No III to VIII, sanctioning of posts in the legal cell, and the establishment of an independent vigilance cell.

The Syndicate also accepted the recommendations of the committee concerned that rent rates for the indoor or outdoor shooting of movies or songs on the university campus be revised from the current Rs 15,000 to Rs 25,000 per day.

Discussion on hike in exam fee deferred

Decisions on some crucial matters, including a 10 per cent hike in the examination fee and cost of forms, which were supposed to be taken-up during the Panjab University’s Syndicate meeting held today, have been deferred to the next meeting. The agenda along with various other items could not be discussed in today’s meeting.

The hike that is already being opposed by student organisations was expected to be approved by the Syndicate; however, the meeting concluded without discussing the entire agenda.

The hike has already been introduced in anticipation of the Syndicate’s approval. The move, however, can be reversed if the Syndicate disapproves of it, said a Syndic.

The item related to the recommendations of a committee that disfavoured reservation of PhD seats for college teachers was also deferred to the next meeting. College teachers had demanded that they should get reservation in the PhD entrance examination. The committee, however, stated that teachers were are experienced could perform better during interviews.

Other PU syndicate Decisions
  • Reviewers for articles and research papers in the university’s three research journals will now be paid Rs 1,000 for time-bound reviews
  • Approval of eligibility rules for coaches and referees, awarding of points in gatka competitions, and increase in refreshment charges during inter-college tournaments as recommended by the executive committee, Directorate of Sports
  • Sanctioning of Rs 44 lakhs from the Development Fund for the maintenance of the Type-II houses on the south campus.
  • Allowing spouses and legal heirs of the deceased employees to opt for the pension scheme
  • A substantial increase in the rates for writing and vetting of correspondence lessons and evaluation of assignments for outside experts in USOL
  • Enhancement in the overtime rates for the various categories of non-teaching staff
  • Revision in the pay scale of the daily wage workers.

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open house response
Rear-seat passengers must use safety belts

Seat belts are lifesavers. The government has recognised it and therefore made it mandatory for all passengers to wear seat belts while riding on a vehicle. The national data state people sitting on rear seats wear seat belts less often than in those on the front seats. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (2009), 84 per cent of front-seat passengers fasten seat belts while only 70 per cent of rear-seat occupants do the same. We need laws to ensure that people do not undermine the need of seat belts.

Till 1994, the rules were restricted only to front-seat passengers. However, in 2002, it was extended to rear-seat passengers as well. While no penalties were prescribed for violations, unless otherwise specified, Rs 100 can be charged as penalty for violating any of the stipulated rules. Public awareness is sadly lacking when it comes to understanding the benefits of seat belts and car seats for children. A nationwide campaign needs to curb accidents. It takes time to educate people and to change behaviour, but it is not impossible.

Sachin Sharma

President Youth Innovative Society

Bhatti’s parting message

The tragic death of Jaspal Bhatti has drawn everybody’s attention. The late king of comedy gave a parting message to his fans: Ensure to put on seat belts while sitting on the rear seat of a car.

S C Luthra

Mani Majra

Residents must respect traffic rules

The tragic demise of satirist Jaspal Bhatti has thrown open question on road safety yet again. His tragic death calls for a debate on whether fastening of seat belts for rear-seat passengers should be made mandatory or not. The tragic death of Jaspal Bhatti pushes us to more safety measures like seat belts on the rear seats. We also need to change the driving license system.

People proudly claim that they got their licence sitting at home. This needs to be changed. Most of the people teaching driving don't even recognize their part of the road where they should drive. There should be strict laws to enforce use of safe belts.

TR Chand Chandigarh

People ignore safety instructions

It is a pity that we do not care for safety instructions while driving. We ignore the safety rules while driving or being seated in a car whether on the front or back seat.

While sitting on the front seat we fasten seat belts to avoid being challaned by the traffic police. However, we do not do so while sitting on the back seats, though the car manufacturers have provided seat belts for the rear seats also. This happens as the traffic police is not so strict on those sitting on back seat. The police say there are no specific instructions on this issue.

However, we must take a serious note of this tragedy incident and must consider the traffic experts' advise that Bhatti wouldn't have died if he had fastened his seat belt while seated on the rear seat of his car.

R K Kapoor Chandigarh

Police must create awareness

Chandigarh Police should enforce use of safety belt. People should use seat belts whenever driving or sitting inside a car. It is a rule under Motor Vehicle Act and it is also the duty of traffic police to create awareness among people.

Prince Bhandula Chandigarh

Children should avoid sitting on front seats

Using seat belts should be mandatory for rear seat passengers as well. There is no logic to ask only front seat passengers to put on seat belts. Moreover, children should avoid sitting on front seats and they should sit inside cars with seat belts on. This will ensure that they do not get injured in case of jerking.

Abhishek Gupta Chandigarh

Prevention is better than cure

The demise of the king of satire, Jaspal Bhatti, has yet again accentuated the condition of road safety in our country. It is not safe to travel at nights due to the lack of proper lighting and blind turns. Several lives are claimed every day in road accidents, yet many lives are saved due to seat belts and airbags in cars.

People should also realise the importance of seat belts for their own safety.

Isha Dahiya Panchkula

Police should be stricter

The death of king of laughter, Jaspal Bhatti, has once again raised questions on road safety. Everyday a lot of people get injured and killed due to road mishaps. These accidents occur mainly due to negligence and carelessness of drivers, lenient traffic rules, drunken driving and last but not the least the poor road conditions. The use of seat belts by rear-seat passengers must be compulsory. Also, police should be stricter in enforcing traffic rules and there should be strict checking at the middle of night when crimes and road rage are at peak.

Shruti K Chawla Chandigarh

Campaign on importance of belts must

The nation has lost a great man with Bhatti’s untimely death in a car accident. As per a report, 3,500 persons die in road accidents (states) every year. An analysis of record related to road accidents found that the majority of the victims did not use seat belts. Even two-wheeler riders do not wear helmets. Traffic experts believe that the importance of belts should be explained through a special campaign. Indian Medical Association has also planned a strap seat belt drive.

Vidya Sagar Garg Chandigarh

Safety measures to be adopted

Everyone knows that the population of India is increasing very fast and our lifestyle has totally changed. God helps those who help themselves. So, the rear-seat passengers as well driver should use seat belt properly. The driver and rear passengers of two wheelers should also wear helmets without any hesitation.

Sumesh Kumar Badhwar Mohali

Don’t mix drink and drive

It is unfortunate that satirist Jaspal Bhatti died in a road accident as he had not fastened his seat belt. Road accidents account for the maximum number of deaths in the world. According to the National Crime Records Bureau, the total number of deaths due to road accidents in India is over 1,35,000 every year. The World Health Organization in the ‘Global Status Report on Road Safety’ has pointed out that speeding and drunk driving are the major contributing factors in road accidents.

Traffic police should hold seminars, symposiums to inculcate and implement the spirit of road safety measures for the drivers working in government as well private establishments. At the same time, police personnel are required to provide considerable measures of self-protection. Also, CCTV cameras are required to be installed at prominent places.

SK Khosla Chandigarh

Follow rules

These days, more people die of road accidents than of any diseases. Some of the accidents take place due to mechanical failure of vehicles. However, in most of the cases the fault lies with the one who is driving the vehicles. Strict enforcement of traffic rules should be done and violators must be punished. The use of seat belts must be made mandatory for both front and back seat passengers.

Vineet Kapoor Panchkula

 

Open House Question

Violation of building bylaws, like haphazard partitions and dangling electrical wires in commercial areas, especially in the market of Sectors 17, 19, and 22, has become a major reason behind fire incidents in the city. Recently a photo studio was gutted at Sector 22.

Even the notices sent to the violators by Fire Department and Estate Office failed to bring about a positive change. What steps need to be taken to prevent fire outbreak in future. Write your suggestions to [email protected]

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Accused fit to be in judicial custody, says Doctor
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 4
Archna Goyal, an accused in the infamous kidney scam, is now fit to be discharged from Civil Hospital, Phase VI.
Talking to the Chandigarh Tribune, Dr Rajiv Bhalla, acting civil surgeon, Mohali, said she (the accused) was fit to be send to judicial custody. “Our expert team has checked her up properly and her reports are normal. She is now fit to be discharged from the hospital,” said Dr Bhalla.

Archna Goyal, who was arrested yesterday along with her husband Sandeep Goyal from their residence at Panipat, was admitted to the hospital after being referred by a doctor yesterday. She was also taken to a private hospital for certain tests last night.

Archna had allegedly received a kidney from Ikramudin after paying Rs 3 lakh. The transplantation had taken place in a local hospital but she had developed an infection after three days of her operation. She had then gone to China for transplanting the organ again.

Meanwhile, Sandeep Goyal, whose one-day police remand ended today, told the police that he had paid Rs 3 lakh to Amitabh Panday to arrange for kidney and fake documents. Amitabh and Vikas, who are students in a college at Pune, are still at large. “We have some vital clues and the rest of the accused will be nabbed very soon,” said SP (City) Swarndeep Singh.

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Be ready for a hassle-free ride
Panchkula, Chandigarh to have alternative road connectivity
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
Come next October and Panchkula-Chandigarh will have a "hassle-free" alternative road connectivity.
The local division of the Indian railways engineering department has begun the construction of the railway underbridge (RuB) at the level crossing between Hallo Majra and Industrial Area in Panchkula.

Residents have been urging the authorities to solve the traffic problem on the road for long.

Commuters from Panchkula avoid using the road because of frequent traffic jams.

"Apart from strengthening the alternative road connectivity between Chandigarh and Panchkula, the move will provide easier inter-city connectivity between Panchkula and Mohali," said officials.

"With the construction of the RuB, those coming from Panchkula will heave a sigh of relief as they can easily travel to Chandigarh's southern parts and Mohali, " said Subhash Papneja, a resident of Sector 16 in Panchkula.

Another Panchkula resident from Sector 12-A, Avinash Chander, said, "Though the construction work will cause inconvenience to commuters, the department concerned must ensure that the work is completed on time."

Railway officials said the work would be completed within nine months and Rs 19 crore had been earmarked for the purpose..

Chief engineer SK Chadha said an amount of Rs 9 crore was earmarked for constructing approach roads leading to the RuB.

He said at present Chandigarh's Madhya Marg was the main link between these two satellite cities. "The alternative arrangement will strengthen the connectivity between the two cities," he added.

Route for vehicles coming from Industrial Area in Panchkula has been diverted towards Mauli Jagran. A daily commuter on the road, Akshay, said the authorities should have informed the public about the route diversion.

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Solar tree lights up Mohali
Was to be installed at Sukhna Lake
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
Chandigarh’s loss is Mohali’s gain. Country’s first solar tree, which was planned to be installed near the city’s landmark, Sukhna Lake, has now been finally installed in Mohali.

The UT urban planning department had rejected the proposal of the UT science and technology department to install the solar tree near Sukhna Lake. Following which, the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) tied up with the company and installed the tree near the YPS roundabout in Mohali.

Earlier, the UT urban planning department had mentioned that the installation of the tree near the lake would not be permissible as the area fell under the heritage zone. Besides, the department had stated that the move would also affect migratory birds coming to the lake every year.

The official added that Chandigarh missed the opportunity to become the first city of the country to have Solar tree.

Sources added that after the installation of the tree in Mohali, a few senior officials of the UT Administration visited the site, where the tree was to be installed. They added that now the UT Administration was mulling over installing the tree in southern sectors, which did not fall under the heritage zone. In Chandigarh, Sectors 1 to 30 fall under the heritage zone.

 

What is a solar tree?

A solar tree is a decorative means of producing solar energy. It uses multiple solar panels, which form the shape of a tree by assistance of poles. Besides serving the purpose to restore the sun's energy as a viable energy source, the solar tree lightens up the area at night. The solar trees have opened up new prospects for urban lighting in various cities of European countries.

Widely used in European countries

The solar trees are widely used in place of streetlights or for lighting in parking lots in countries like Austria, Germany and the USA while India is yet to venture into this revolutionary urban lighting concept. The concept of solar trees was first developed in Vienna, the capital of Austria.

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Police Complaint Authority for action against 1 serving, 2 retired SHOs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
Holding the UT Police negligent as it failed to take any action in a case of house trespass, the Police Complaint Authority has recommended action against two retired and one serving station house officers (SHOs).

The complainant, Kanwaljeet Kaur, stated in the complaint that her brother Amritbir Singh lived in her parental house in Sector 21 along with her mother and even after mother's death in 1988 he continued to live there. Amritbir then went to Australia. The house had been unlawfully and forcibly occupied by one VS Sandhu in the absence of Amritbir Singh, she said.

On January 10, she lodged a written complaint about trespass in her parental house and had put new locks in the presence of the police. But the new locks were found broken and she found VS Sandhu residing in the house. After no action was taken by the police station on her complaint, she lodged two complaints at the public window of the police headquarters.

VS Sandhu also lodged a complaint alleging that Amritbir Singh and complainant had come with weapons and tried to forcibly enter the house.

Inspector Janak Singh Rana was the SHO of the Sector 19 police station when the complaints were submitted. However, there was no action on her complaint and the police asked her to strike a compromise with the accused. In its order, the PCA stated that it was a serious case of house trespass and that of removal of household goods. "But still the then SHO Janak Singh deliberately and maliciously encouraged and unlawfully assisted a trespasser. Inspector Pargat Singh, who took over as SHO after Inspector Janak Singh retired, too, did not take any action against the trespasser. Moreover, the present SHO, too, did not take any action and kept sitting on the complaint," said the PCA.

"The DGP is requested to take strict disciplinary action against retired Inspectors Janak Singh Rana and Pargat Singh and the present SHO of Sector 19 police station by initiating regular departmental inquiries for speedy action," stated the PCA.

 

House trespass

Police inaction

The Police Complaint Authority stated that it was a serious case of house trespass and that of removal of household goods. "But still the then SHO Janak Singh deliberately and maliciously encouraged and unlawfully assisted a trespasser. Inspector Pargat Singh, who took over as SHO after Inspector Janak Singh retired, too, did not take any action against the trespasser

FIR registered

After a considerable delay, the UT police has registered a case of trespass against VS Sandhu, Manjit Kaur and Hargurpreet Kaur for illegally occupying the Sector 21 residence of the complainant. A case was registered on October 26

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Goods worth Rs 75 lakh destroyed in fire
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4
Goods worth Rs 75 lakh were gutted at two industrial units this morning.
However, no loss of life was reported. At 11.45 am, a fire broke out at Devi Dayal flour mill at Industrial Area Phase I, where goods, including flour bags and machinery worth Rs 40 lakh, were destroyed.

The Fire Control Room received a call at 12.30 am and seven fire tenders reached the spot immediately. It took the firemen about one hour to douse the flames.

The other fire broke out at a paper roll firm AAR BEE Package Private Limited in Industrial Area, Phase II, at 2 am.

Receiving information at 3.15 am, the control room sent four fire tenders at the spot. Goods worth Rs 35 lakh were destroyed in the fire that was controlled in about an hour.

Officials at the Fire Control Room said one of the workers, who was on night duty, informed the control room about the fire.

Five to six workers were on the night shift when the fire broke out due to a short-circuit. Sanjay Verma, owner of the flour mill at Industrial Area, Phase I, said the fire broke out due to a short-circuit.

"As soon as we received the calls from the two locations, we sent our officials to the spots. Had the informers taken long to ring up, the incidents could have turned into major tragedies. At paper mill, the vulnerability was higher since there were some workers on duty. Some violations in the building have been detected and strict action will be taken against the owners," said an official at the Fire Station.

Rakesh Sharma, owner of the paper roll firm, said the machinery at the mill was destroyed but the workers escaped unhurt. 

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1.17 lakh MT paddy purchased

Mohali, November 4
Different government agencies have purchased 1.17 lakh metric tonnes (MT) of paddy from the district's grain markets till date.
This was stated by Mohali Deputy Commissioner Varun Roojam here today who claimed that 100 per cent due payment of the crop had been made by Markfed, Punsup and Warehouse, while Punjab Agro, Pungrain and FCI had made 96, 71 and 50 per cent of their due payments so far.

Roojam said Pungrain was on the top of the table with its purchase of 36,174 metric tonnes of the crop, followed by Markfed (27,193 metric tonnes), Punsup (26,818 metric tonnes), Warehouse (5,980 metric tonnes), Punjab Agro (13,900 metric tonnes) and FCI (4,943 metric tonnes).

Apart from this, the local traders had also purchased a total of 2,569 metric tonnes of the crop so far, Roojam added. — TNS

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Teacher suspended
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 4
Initiating action against teachers, found guilty of negligence in duty or habitual absenteeism, Punjab Director General of School Education Kahan Singh Pannu ordered suspension of one teacher and action against 17 others during an inspection here.

The teacher put under suspension, Usha Sharma of Government Middle School, Dehir, was found using a guide while teaching in the class. She was also found to be a habitual absentee, which resulted in her immediate suspension.

Pannu also held a meeting with the heads of all schools of the district and said that surprise inspections would continue in the future and immediate action would be taken against those found guilty of negligence in their duty.

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Secy to PM addresses session on paediatrics

Chandigarh, November 4
During the ongoing golden jubilee celebrations of the Advanced Paediatrics Centre at the PGI, a special session was addressed by Prof MK Bhan, Secretary to the Prime Minsiter, Department of Biotechnology. Prof Bhan spoke on the theme of perspective and horizon in Paediatrics. Sharing his memories during his formative years at the premier institute, he mentioned that the PGI has been blessed with a strong set of core values, which have stood the test of time.

Elected

PGI’s Prof GR Verma has been unanimously elected as the president of the Society of Endoscopic and Laparoscopic Surgeons of India during its general body meeting. The meeting was held on Saturday. His experience in laparoscopic surgery and organisational capability helped him in getting elected for the coveted post. — TNS

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CHANDIGARH SCAN
Orientation programme

Differently abled children attend a workshop at the Indira Holiday Home in Sector 24, Chandigarh, on Sunday.
Differently abled children attend a workshop at the Indira Holiday Home in Sector 24, Chandigarh, on Sunday. Tribune photo: S Chandan

A three-day Rotary Youth Leadership Awards for differently abled children was inaugurated by eminent Rotarian Raja Saboo at Indira Holiday Home, Sector 24. Fifty-five participants, including visually impaired, physically challenged, hearing and speech impaired, and polio-affected youth, from Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and the city are taking part in the event being organsied by Rotary Club, Chandigarh Central. A session on communication, followed by a visit to Panjab University’s radio station were organised during the day. The training programme began with a session on interview techniques followed by a presentation on skill development for differently abled youth.

Mini marathon

With an aim to promote health and wellness, PEC University of Technology organised a mini marathon on Sunday. The marathon started and finished at the Athletic Stadium of the university after covering a distance of around 7.5 kilometers. Around 200 runners participated in the event and completed the marathon. They ran upto Sukhna Lake before returning to the campus. Those who won the race were awarded by the college.

Alumni meet

The first alumni meet of the Central Polytechnic, Chandigarh, now Chandigarh College of Engineering and Technology, was organised on Sunday. Sudhir Narang, press secretary, said apart from electing the office-bearers, the alumni spent nostalgic moments. DS Gill, Parvesh Gupta and Rajinderpal Singh said the association would meet the Chandigarh Administration to provide facilities and infrastructure for the alumni on the pattern of Punjab University and PEC University of Technology.

Memorandum

A delegation of various associations of Uttarakhand, including Kumaon Sabha and Garhwal Sabha, met with Union Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal at his residence on Sunday. They congratulated the Minister. They also submitted a memorandum and sought rail connectivity from the city to Haldwani, Kathgodam, Rishikesh, Kotdwar and Haridwar in Uttarakhand. Delegation included Kumaon Sabha president Bachan Singh Nagarkoti, Garhwal Sabha president Kundal Lal Uniyal, Tehri Garhwal Vikas Parishad president Balbir Singh Topwal, chairman of Uttarakhand Congress Cell Virender Singh Rawat and Congress councillor Gurbax Rawat.

Executive meeting

The Federation of Sector Welfare Associations Chandigarh (FOSWAC), held its executive committee meeting on Sunday. The committee passed a resolution to submit a memorandum to the Union Railway Minister, Pawan Kumar Bansal, to speed up the pending projects including one for better rail connectivity to the adjoining areas and important destinations in the country, upgradation of Chandigarh Railway Station to a world class facility, proper upkeep of railway station, metro rail project and better ticket booking facilities.

Awareness week

Vigilance awareness week was observed at the regional office of Employees' State Insurance Corporation. Regional Director Bharat Bhushan Puri administrated oath to all the employees for eradication of corruption. On this occasion a seminar was also organised.

Community radio

Desh Bhagat Radio 90.4 FM was inaugurated by Punjab Education Minister Sikander Singh Maluka on Sunday. While inaugurating the community radio, the minister said he hoped this would serve the society by broadcasting programmes related to education, health and social evils such as female foeticide, drug abuse and protection of environment.

Cultural festival

Annual Techno Cultural Fest — Parivartan 2012 was organized at Chandigarh Group of Colleges. Former Miss India and actress Gul Panag was the chief guest of the occaion. Students took part in a fashion show. Gul, appreciated the theme of the function which was against the menace of female foeticide in the state. She said everyone needed to stand against dowry and exorbitant marriages in India in order to eradicate these evils.

Smart homes

NK Sharma, Chief Parliamentary Secretary, Punjab, launched a smart home project at Zirakpur on Sunday. He said it was heartening to note that Punjab had become one of the first states in the country to introduce such a project with unique features. The use of a mobile phone from a distant place in the world will make life so much easier for people, he said.

Tech institutions submit demands

Punjab Unaided Technical Institutions Association (PUTIA), in a memorandum submitted to Dr MK Hada, Adviser, AICTE, New Delhi, has demanded that eligibility for BTech should not be 45 per cent aggregate marks in the senior secondary board examinations. The institution demanded that pass percentage be made the eligibility criterion as it was earlier. Issues including requirement of laboratory equipments were also sought. — TNS

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from SChools
Annual function

Chandigarh: The annual function of the Shishu Niketan Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 22, was held on the school campus amidst much fanfare on Sunday. The function themed on “Waves”, signifying the creative spirit of students, was well attended by students with their parents and the management of the school. Shri VK Singh, Secretary, Finance and Education, UT, was the chief guest on the occasion. The cultural function started with “Ganesh Vandana” extended to the dignitaries followed by lamp lighting. This was followed by the performances of the budding artists of the nursery section, which included “Waka Waka” dance. The other cultural items presented by the students gave an impression of India’s rich culture. The other cultural items presented by the students gave an impression of India’s rich culture.

Gita Divas

To inculcate moral values among school children, the local chapter of Sri Gita Prachar Samiti organised "Gita Divas Sammaroh" at The Banyan Tree School, Sector 48-B, Chandigarh, in collaboration with Haryana Sanskrit Academy Panchkula, as a part of national integration and harmony. As many as 150 students, including students of KV-47, KV-31, KV-3BRD, Shikhya School of Learning, Sector 46-A, and Government High School, Sector 32, GMSSS-35 and DAV Senior Secondary School, Sector 70, Mohali, participated in the event. Nikhil, student of KV-3BRD, bagged the first prize. Other cash prize winners were Akihlesh, Ashtosh, Anjali, Sahil and Rupali. In group recitation, KV-47 bagged the first prize, GMSSS-35 got the second prize while Shikhya School of Learning bagged the third prize.

e-learning technology

A national education seminar for principals was organised on Saturday. Benefits of adopting digital technology in schools were discussed. The seminar provided an opportunity for experts from the industry and school decision makers to share their experiences and challenges faced by them in imparting quality education to children. — TNS

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