C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Crackers worth over Rs 3 crore go up in smoke
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

People light diyas and candles at the Laxmi Narayan temple in Sector 20, Chandigarh, on the occasion
People light diyas and candles at the Laxmi Narayan temple in Sector 20, Chandigarh, on the occasion. Tribune photo Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, November 14
Fire crackers worth over Rs 3 crore went up in smoke in the tricity on Divali night. Dealers in the tricity said there was a brisk sale of firecrackers during the festival of lights. Panchkula-based supplier Ramesh Bansal said the sale of firecrackers in Panchkula was estimated to be between Rs 1.25 crore and Rs 1.5 crore.

Despite a hike in the prices, people’s craze for buying crackers was the same this festival season, he said.

There were around 250 firecracker stalls in Panchkula, officials said.

In Mohali, firecrackers worth Rs 50 lakh were sold. “More than 100 firecracker stalls had been set up in SAS Nagar. Going by the average sale of about Rs 25,000 to Rs 35,000 per stall, the sale at the stalls was worth around Rs 30 to Rs 35 lakh. Besides, wholesale dealers also made retail sales, said a Mohali-based firecracker trader.

In Chandigarh, more than 850 cracker stall liences were issued and crackers worth over Rs 1.5 crore were put up for sale in the city. A shopkeeper said on an average, each stall owner sold crackers worth over Rs 25,000.

This year, the market was flooded with "colourful pots, musical shoots and whistling items". Many manufactures from Shivakashi used a Chinese formula for manufacturing "shooters" this year.

Sector 22 resident Ankit Gupta said he bought crackers worth over Rs 5,000 from the wholesale market in Kurali. "Shooters" of different colour combinations were the main attraction this festival season, he said.

Cracker stalls

In Chandigarh, more than 850 cracker stall liences were issued and crackers worth over Rs 1.5 crore were put up for sale in the city. A shopkeeper said on an average, each stall owner sold crackers worth over Rs 25,000. There were around 250 firecracker stalls in Panchkula



Minor dip in air, noise pollution
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 14
The air and noise pollution level on Divali night once again exceeded the permissible limit in the city this Divali. However, this year, the figures of air and noise pollution witnessed a minor dip as compared to last year. It was only between 10 and 11 pm that the city crossed the figures of the noise pollution level in 2011.

According to data collected by the UT Pollution Control Board, the noise pollution level reached 76.7 decibels (db) in the residential zone against the permissible limit of 45 db.

Similarly, in the silence zone, the noise pollution level was 76.4 db against the permissible limit of 40 db. Likewise, in the commercial zone, the noise pollution was 67.8 db against the permissible limit of 55 db.

In terms of the air pollution level, the city witnessed the highest air pollution level in the silence zone. Sector 29, which was declared a silence zone because of the Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) polyclinic in Sector 29, witnessed a respirable suspended particulate matter (RSPM) level of 349 micrograms per cubic metre (mpcm) against the permissible limit of 100. This was higher that 342 mpcm in 2011, 304 mpcm in 2010 and 84 mcpm recorded in 2009.

The RSPM level in Sector 22 (residential zone) witnessed a minor dip this time with figures of 280 mpcm on Divali night. Last year, the figure was 301 mpcm. In the commercial zone, Sector 17, the RSPM level on Divali night was 207 mpcm.

A week before Divali also, the UT Pollution Control Board had collected data and had found that the air and noise pollution level exceeded the permissible limit.

This year, the board had installed pollution detection equipment at three places: Sector 29 (silence zone), Sector 22 (residential zone) and Sector 17 (commercial zone) as compared to seven places in 2011.

The directions issued by the UT Administration regarding ban on bursting of crackers after 10 pm had little effect on residents. Various parts of the city witnessed bursting of crackers after 10 pm. The situation in southern sectors was even worse as people burst crackers even after midnight. People ignored public awareness campaigns against the use of firecrackers and were seen enjoying bursting various types of crackers.

Doctors at the PGI said noise above 90 decibels was extremely harmful as it could severely damage the ears. Noise pollution could cause annoyance and aggression, hypertension, high stress levels, hearing loss, sleep disturbances and other harmful effects.



Panchkula won’t know how noisy it was this Divali
Pollution Control Board’s noise meter was out of order
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Illustration by Sandeep JoshiPanchkula, November 14
The Pollution Control Board in Panchkula "went deaf" this Divali with the noise meter, that was supposed to measure the noise pollution, lying defunct for the past 15 days. As a result, the board will have no data regarding the noise pollution created on the night of the festival of lights.

Panchkula has been earning a bad name on the noise pollution front on Divali during the past two yeats. During Divali last year, the noise pollution in Panchkula was 91.2 decibels, double the permissible limit of 45 decibels. In 2010, it was worse at 96.5 decibels.

"This year, we won't get to know how much noise pollution was there in Panchkula on Divali since the noise meter is out of order. We have sent it to Delhi for repairs," said an official of the Haryana Pollution Control Board on condition of anonymity.

He said, “We just have one machine, and even that is not working. However, we will ensure that next year we get the noise pollution data.”

The noise meter, which is handy, costs about Rs 1.5 lakh. There is only one such machine in Panchkula.

“We have faced this problem for the first time. The machine is sophisticated and this one developed some fault,” said JP Singh, Regional Officer of the Haryana Pollution Control Board. He said, “We have sent the machine to Delhi for repairs and have asked for an additional machine so that we do not face such a problem in the future.”

The defunct machine turned a blessing in disguise for officials, who were supposed to work on Divali night. “We were supposed to visit various sectors with the machine to measure the noise pollution level. However, because the machine was out of order, we celebrated Divali at our homes,” said an official on condition of anonymity.

Every Divali in Panchkula, the officials of the board collect samples of the noise level in sectors which have a high population. The Factories Act, 1948, mentions that continuous exposure to noise up to 90 decibels should not be allowed beyond eight hours per day. Exposure to noise of 115 decibels should not be allowed for more than 15 minutes for health reasons. The permissible limit of noise in residential areas is 45 decibels, while in commercial areas and peace zones, the noise level of up to 55 decibels and 40 decibels, respectively, is allowed.



For some, festival of lights ended in hospital
101 cases of burn injuries reported at city hospitals
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh/Panchkula, November 14
Divali celebrations proved a nightmare for 101 persons in Chandigarh who reportedly suffered burn injuries last night while bursting crackers to celebrate Divali. As many as 62 cases of burns were reported at the Government Multi-Specialty Hospital (GMSH) in Sector 16, Chandigarh, 24 cases at the PGI and 15 cases at the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, Chandigarh.

Of the 24 patients at the PGI, 16 were discharged after giving them first aid, while eight patients, including three children, were admitted to the surgical ward. Four of the victims received burns while seeing other people burst crackers.

Interestingly, in all cases reported at the GMCH-32, the victims, including a five-year-old girl, had suffered eye injuries. They had to undergo minor surgeries and were discharged today.

Last year, 99 cases of injuries caused by crackers were reported in the city. In 2009, there were 161 cases of injuries. The number stood at 123 and 150 in 2008 and 2007, respectively.

“Despite many awareness campaigns being organised during the past couple of years by various schools, NGOs and the media, there is no let-up in the bursting of crackers,” said a doctor at the PGI.

Rajesh Ahuja, a resident of Dhanas, was seeing crackers being burst when suddenly a rocket pierced his arm. Same was the case with Diya Chawla, a resident of Sector 34, Chandigarh. “I had lit a cracker. However, it did not burst. When I went to check it, it suddenly burst and a splinter hit my eye,” said Diya, who was at the GMCH-16 for treatment.

Some people reported at the hospital with complaints of tinnitus, blockage and deafness immediately after fireworks. All of them had "congestion of ear drums, but no perforation".

The highest number of burn injuries were reported at the GMSH-16 with 62 cases as compared to 56 last year. Most of them were minor.

41 cases reported at Panchkula hospital

As many as 41 cases of burns were reported at the Panchkula General Hospital, Sector 6, last night. All of them were discharged after treatment. Cases of burn injuries in Panchkula have come down this year. There were 51 cases of burns in 2011.

Four of family hurt

“There are five members in our family and four of us suffered burn injuries. My son suffered an eye injury, my wife suffered an injury on her leg while my father suffered an injury on his back,” said Manpreet Moudgil, a resident of Sector 10, Panchkula. Moudgil also suffered an eye injury.



18 minor incidents of fire reported
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 14
Eighteen minor incidents of fire were reported on Divali night. However, no major loss was reported from any part of the city. A fire broke out in house No. 2849/3, Sector 49-D, after a firecracker fell into the house. Family members were busy bursting crackers on the ground when the incident took place.

Their neigbour Gurpreet Singh spotted the fire and informed the Fire Department. House owner Rajesh Khanna said goods and electronic items, including a computer and a TV worth Rs 3 lakh, were destroyed in the fire. He said they had informed the Fire Department on time, but firemen reached an hour after the incident.

The Fire Department claimed that it had sent three fire engines to control the fire and the fire was doused in half an hour.

In another fire incident at a shop in Sector 24, electronic items were destroyed. Fire officials said the cause of the fire was not known, but short circuit could be the reason. In another fire incident at a house in Sector 29, some household items were destroyed.

Incidents of minor fires were also reported from Maloya, the Industrial Area, and Ramdarbar.

Fire brigade employees remained on their toes throughout the night on Divali and managed to control the fires on time. An official said most of the fires were controlled immediately as fire engines had been deployed in sensitive areas.



Lotus sellers have a blast
Flower sold for Rs 150 this Divali against Rs 10 on other days
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula/Chandigarh, November 14
Lotus, which generally does not have many takers, was in demand this Divali. Associated with Goddess Laxmi, the flower, that is sold between Rs 10 and Rs 20, fetched between Rs 100 and Rs 150 last evening.

“Usually the flower costs between Rs 10 and Rs 20. However, since it is in demand on this day, the highest price at which it was sold was Rs 150,” said Madan, a florist based at Sector 7, Panchkula.

He said, “The flower, which generally costs us about Rs 10, cost me Rs 35 this Divali and I had to sell it at a higher price to earn a profit.”

On an average, around 100 persons purchased lotus flowers from each flower shop.

Anil Bhatia, a Chandigarh-based florist, said, “As lotus is offered to Goddess Laksmi on Divali evening, a large number of people purchase the flower.” Bhatia has a shop in Sector 34, Chandigarh.

He said, “There were some people who purchased 10 flowers each for the day.”

“As part of our tradition, we purchase this flower no matter how much it costs. Last time we purchased 10 flowers and this time we purchased 15,” said Ritu Ghosh, a resident of Sector 11, Panchkula.

Shyam Pal Singh, a resident of Sector 14 in Panchkula, said, “Every Divali, the rates of lotus escalate. Last year it was sold for Rs 70 and this year I bought the flower for Rs 150.”



No dinner for hostel inmates on PU campus!
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 14
Panjab University hostel inmates, who decided to celebrate Divali away from their home, had a tough time during the festival as they had to visit nearby sectors in search of food for dinner as all canteens were closed.

Although a majority of the students had left for their hometowns to celebrate Divali, those hailing from far-flung areas had no option but to stay in the hostels.

Raj Kumar, an inmate of hostel No.5 who stayed at PU for Divali, said he had to visit Sector 15 in search of food as the canteens were shut due to the festival. “I was not aware that the mess would be closed for dinner. It was only when I went to have dinner that I came to know that the mess was closed, following which I had to walk down to a near-by sector,” he said.

Some students shuttled between hostels in the hope that the mess might be open in some other hostel.

Aman, another hostel inmate, said he was unaware that the hostel mess would be closed on Divali. He said he went to hostel No. 4 and 6 only to find that he won’t get food anywhere on the PU campus. “Some food arrangements should be made for students who can't go home to celebrate Divali with their families,” he said.

Many students, mostly from the North-East, stay on the campus during Divali. There were at least over 50 students in each hostel on Divali.

Jatinder Grover, warden of hostel No. 1, said they had directed the mess contractors to prepare dinner for hostel inmates in the afternoon only and hand over the packed food to students. “Students who gave the order in the morning were given food,” Grover said.

Ashok Kumar, warden of hostel No. 5, said since mess workers had to celebrate Divali, the mess was closed for dinner.


3 suffer eye injuries in Mohali
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 14
Three persons, including two children, suffered eye injuries during Divali celebrations last night. They were admitted to the local Civil Hospital in Phase 6. Apart from that 16 cases of burn injuries (15 mild and one serious) were also reported in the town, which otherwise witnessed a peaceful Divali as far as the crime scenario is concerned.

The acting Civil Surgeon of Mohali, Dr Rajiv Bhalla, said three patients of eye injuries were 10-year-old Sahilpreet from Kumbhra village, four-year-old Vishal from Sector 39 and Gajan Singh from Bathala village.

“All the three patients suffered minor injuries during the bursting of crackers. They were discharged immediately after treatment,” said Dr Bhalla.

Among the patients of burn injuries, 19-year-old Reeta Devi, a resident of Desu Majra, had to be referred to the Government Medical College Hospital, Sector 32.

“Reeta Devi had suffered burn injuries on her both arms. Seeing her condition, we referred her to the GMCH-32 immediately after giving her required treatment,” said Dr Bhalla, adding that other 15 patients sustained mild burns.

“After treatment, all of them were discharged immediately,” said Dr Bhalla.

10 fire incidents in Mohali and periphery

Divali was a busy night for fire personnel who received at least 10 emergency calls during the night. According to sources in the fire department, at least 10 fire incidents had been reported in Mohali town and its periphery on Tuesday night. However, the official maintained that all the incidents were minor ones.

A fire official said they had to rush tenders two times to Mataur village while the other fire incidents had been reported in Sector 68, Phase 10 and Phase 11 in the town. One minor fire took place at Khanpur village, located on the Kharar-Morinda road.

No crime in Mohali

Divali passed off peacefully, this is what the local police claimed. Talking to the Chandigarh Tribune, SP (City) Swarndeep Singh said not a single untoward incident was reported on Divali night. “We have made elaborate arrangements to maintain law and order. Not even a single untoward incident had come to my knowledge,” said Swarndeep Singh.

Fewer crackers exploded

Several local residents felt that this Divali witnessed the bursting of fewer crackers in comparison to the previous year. Kashmir Singh, a resident of Phase 2, said even the duration of the bursting of crackers was lesser this year. “Last night I felt that after 10 pm there was almost calm in our area, which was not the case the previous years. I also felt that there was less pollution last night in comparison to the previous years,” said Kashmir Singh. Expressing similar views, Jasmine from Phase 7, said she felt that the duration of the bursting of crackers was limited. “It continued just for about two hours, between 8 and 10 pm, during which maximum bursting of crackers occurred. After that there was calm. I think high prices of crackers and inflation are the main reasons behind it,” she said.



Cracker smoke causes allergies
45 cases reported at Panchkula hospitals
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 14
“Eco-friendly” crackers left their marks in a different way when a number of cases of pollution allergies were reported last night. The crackers left rashes, allergies and permanent scars on many on the Divali night. As many as 45 cases of pollution allergies were reported at the Panchkula hospitals. No such incident was reported in Chandigarh and Mohali.

Most victims were children and elderly people, who said they were suffering from irritation, itching redness of eyes and rashes. Among them were elderly people who did not burst crackers but were just standing and watching as they were exploded.

“The worrying part is that these harmful chemicals will be present in the air around us for three-four more days. So it’s very important to continue taking precautions for few a more days,” said Dr Vikas Sharma, chief dermatologist, who has received the maximum cases of smoke allergies numbering 30 at his hospital in the Mansa Devi complex.

Two of the patients were so seriously suffering from allergy that they developed permanent scars on their faces. The child victims were in the age group of 4 to 10.

Vikas said: “Children were more prone to smoke allergies because of weak immunity. In fact, crackers contain a lethal mix of copper, potassium nitrate and other harmful chemicals which cause severe air pollution.”

Around six cases of skin allergies were reported at the General Hospital, Sector 6, Panchkula. “There were rashes on their eyes and hands. If treatment is not done on time, they can suffer from serious complications,” said a doctor at the hospital.

“I was just watching firecrackers being exploded and as the smoke wafted towards me, I felt some irritation on my face. After 10 minutes, I got rashes on the face and when I consulted the doctor, he said now, the allergy will leave permanent pigmentation on the face,” said Madan Sharma, 60, a resident of Sector-12, Panchkula.



Tragedy strikes two families
Two women die in separate accidents on Divali
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 14
Tragedy struck two homes on Divali as two women died in separate road accidents last evening. While a Sector 20 resident, who was returning home after presenting a Divali gift to her sister, was killed after the car in which she was travelling was hit by a private bus, a 60-year-old woman riding pillion on a bike died after being hit by a speeding tempo-traveller.

In the first case, the victim has been identified as 26-year-old Amandeep Kaur. She was returning to her residence from Mohali where she had gone with her husband to give a Divali gift to her sister and brother-in-law when the mishap occurred. The woman was sitting on the front seat and her husband Ajay Sharma was driving the Maruti Esteem car when a private bus hit their car.

The mishap occurred near the Colony Number 5 light point.

The police said a rashly driven bus on way to Delhi rammed into their car. The woman suffered grievous injuries and was rushed to the Government Medical College and Hospital in Sector 32. The doctors declared her brought dead. Her husband sustained minor injuries. The body was handed over to the family after postmortem.

The driver of the bus was identified as Chain Sharma, a resident of Barda village, district Kangra. He was arrested in a case under Section 304 A of the IPC.

In another mishap, a 60-year-old woman was killed after being hit by a tempo on the road separating Sector 44 and 45 last evening. The woman, Pushpa Rani, was riding pillion on a bike which was being driven by her husband Varinder Singh. She was going towards colony number 5 when a tempo hit their bike from the rear side.

In a complaint to the police, Pushpa’s husband Varinder Singh, a resident of Burail village, Chandigarh, alleged that Ramesh Kumar, driver of the vehicle bearing registration number CH-01-TA-2151, hit his motor cycle on the road separating Sector 44 and 45. His wife Pushpa Rani, who was riding pillion, suffered injuries and died instantly. The police has arrested Ramesh Kumar.



Garbage mess in Chandigarh
Back-to-back holidays to blame
Deepankar Sharda
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 14
A day after the most celebrated festival of the nation, localities are facing the acute problem of garbage strewn around house. Adding to this post-Divali problem, a majority of sweepers of the Municipal Corporation have been on two-day holiday on account of Vishkarma Day and Bhai Duj.

Most of the city roads, especially the inner areas of all the major sectors, were littered with used crackers and empty boxes. And in many sectors, sweepers piled up garbage on the roadside. “I don’t know about the exact volume of garbage, as it will take a day or so to clear the entire city of this mess. Meanwhile, the respective in charges of all the areas have been directed to clear the garbage as early as possible,” said Dr BK Salwan, Medical Officer of Health, Municipal Corporation.

A supervisor of the Sanitation Department, pleading anonymity, said owing to the festive season most of the sweepers had gone on restricted holidays while others perform duties for the lure of ‘bakshish’ on Divali.

“Owing to festivals many sweepers have opted for holidays or half-days. Now, those who are working have piled up garbage on the roadside, thinking they had done their part of duty. Many areas are facing an acute problem of litter and hopefully it will be over in a day or so. The Resident Welfare Associations have their own sweeping wings but these sectors totally rely on the Municipal Corporation,” said the official.

“This is a regular feature every Divali. The officials should appoint appropriate staff to clean localities. We as responsible residents should also make it our duty to take care of the waste by putting it in a dustbin,” said Jasleen Kaur, a resident of Sector 44 and a doctor by profession.



Sweets traders do good business

Chandigarh, November 14
Witnessing a trend reversal, sweets found a favour with the city residents this Divali as the sweetmeat sellers have pegged the sales at Rs 8 crore. A member of the sweetmeat sellers association, pleading anonymity, said this year more people bought sweets than last year.

"People had lost faith in sweets due to reports of adulteration. But now sellers have become careful, hence more buyers," he said. — TNS



‘Short stay home’ short on facilities
Aarti Kapur/TNS

Chandigarh, November 14
It seems that the short stay home, which has been set up to provide temporary shelter to needy women and children, is in the dire need of permanent infrastructure. Old furniture, shabby rooms and unsafe premises is the actual picture of the only short stay home, which is located in Sector 43. The home is run by an NGO, named the Association for Social Help, and funded by the Chandigarh Social Welfare Board.

During a visit to the home today, chairperson of the Chandigarh Social Welfare Board Kamlesh expressed dissatisfaction over the infrastructure at the home and facilities being extended to its inmates. She said she was going to call a special meeting of all NGOs by the next week and will take a decision as to whether the NGO will continue to look after this short stay home or it should be given to somebody else for better management.

It was found that the short stay home is being run in a government accommodation which can house 30 women and children. Old beds have been laid in different rooms.

Surprisingly, no security guard has been deployed in this short stay home for the past one year. The representatives of the NGO stated that the management was not bothered to hire any security guard even though a number of requests had been sent to them for the same. There is no counselling room for the inmates who take shelter in the home in the wake of family disputes or recommendation by the police department.

The records of the welfare board revealed that the home is getting grant in aid, beside its own contribution. However, the NGO employees revealed that for the last one year no management representative had taken pain to look into the problem of the poor infrastructure at the home or generate more funds from other sources. After releasing grant to the NGO for the short stay home, the social welfare board never monitors the status of the premises and the facilities being provided there.

The ‘short stay home’

The short stay home has been set up to provide temporary accommodation, maintenance and rehabilitative services to women and girls rendered homeless due to family disputes or crime. After getting admission to this home, they can stay there for three years



‘Dreamland’ theme of Chandigarh Carnival this year
Sunidhi Chauhan to perform during 3-day programme
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 14
Micky Mouse, Bunny, Tom and Jerry, Donald Duck, Scooby-Doo, Shaggy and other cartoon characters will enthral the crowd at this year’s edition of the Chandigarh carnival, beginning from November 23 in the Leisure Valley in Sector 10 here.

With “Dreamland” being the main theme, the three-day carnival is aimed at giving a push to imagination and creativity and weaving the feel-good factor around fantasies and dreams of people.

Like previous years, students from various schools and colleges, clad in innovative and colourful outfits, will open the carnival with a tableau parade, which will have all the possible Disneyland’s cartoon characters and other fantasy models, said CITCO officials.

A big gate made of columns and colourful arches will welcome the visitors to the carnival, which is held every year in front of the Government Museum, Sector 10. There will be about 40 stalls at the mela, many of them will feature games to analyse visitors’ dreams and imaginations.

“A big fantasy world will be set up at the mela in front of the Government Museum. It will have adventure activities, food stalls, a mini film city and the gamut of other activities, said the GM, CITCO, AK Malhotra.

The idea of this year’s carnival theme is to bring out the best of imaginations and dreams of people participating in the mela, he added.

According to the information, the carnival will be three days full of fun and frolic. It will have a special corner for cinematic tourism, which will celebrate the culture and tradition of all the North-East states.

Around 600 students from eastern states will be performing during the carnival.

Music shows are expected to nave performers, including singer Sunidhi Chauhan. A special food street will be another attraction at the carnival.



Kingfisher postpones its operations till month-end
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 14
There is no clarity, till now, over the recommencement of kingfisher Airline's local operations from Chandigarh. The airline was expected to begin its operations by November 6 but as per the latest information, but they have been postponed till the end of this month.

It was in the first week of October that Kingfishers Airline shut down its operations across India following the intervention by the Civil Aviation Ministry, which was concerned about airline's safety measures its ground staff was on protest.

The local manager of Kingfisher Airlines, Gaurav Lakhanpal, said the operations were expected to start around November 26. Salaries of the employees were being paid and the things would be back on track. When asked about the delay, he said such decisions were taken at the management level. Over the past year, there has been major decrease in the number of flights from Chandigarh Airport due to the financial crunch, which is being faced by the airline. Prior to stopping its operation, it used to run two direct flights from Chandigarh to Delhi and Mumbai.



Walkathon on Nov 18

Chandigarh, November 14
The Department of Endocrinology, PGIMER, will organise a walkathon on November 18 (8 am) at the Sukhna Lake. It will start from the police post of Sukhna Lake and after reaching the Rock Garden the participants come back to the police post.

The event is organised to increase awareness about diabetes among the general public on the occasion of World Diabetes Day.

The organisers have invited all the citizens to participate in this event. The participants will be addressed by individuals suffering from Type 1 diabetes and will share their experiences with them. A team of doctors will also provide information about the measures to prevent diabetes. — TNS




Children's Day celebrations

Indian Council for Child Welfare, UT, organised a programme to celebrate the Children's Day today. Children and staff members from different creches participated in different activities organised by ICCW, UT. The cultural programme was presented by the children from different creches, schools for blind, Snehalya (Maloya) and PRAYAAS. ADC Mahavir Kaushik was the chief guest on the occasion. He appreciated the performance of the children and also wanted that these types of programmes should be performed in short intervals so that all children of Chandigarh could participate and release their energy by doing different creative activities.

Canada pavilion

The Hatch, an India-based business incubator program, announced the launch of Canada Pavilion at its incubator in Chandigarh. The Hatch is building a strong country connect programme. As a part of the programme, The Hatch Centre for Entrepreneurship also houses The Canadian Pavilion, which marks the contribution made by the Canadian Government in encouraging Indian and Indian origin entrepreneurs both in India and in Canada. The Canada Pavilion was inaugurated by Ed Fast, Canadian Minister for International Trad,e and is an indicator of the strong Indo-Canada relationship.

Mobile tower policy

The Chandigarh Administration has formulated a draft on mobile tower policy for UT, Chandigarh, and has been uploading on the official website www.chandigarh.nic.in for information of all concerned. The hard copies of the above policy have been displayed in the offices of the Chandigarh Administration, including Estate Office, Municipal Corporation office and UT Secretariat. People can send their objections and suggestions on or before November 16 to the Chandigarh Administration.

Construction work

The vehicular traffic on the road from Railway light point to Railway Station will be closed due to construction work from November 17 to November 30.

Trade fair

The India Trade Promotion Organisation is organising the 32nd India International Trade Fair -2012 from November 14 to 27 at the Pragati Maidan, New Delhi. The theme for IITF-2012 is SKILLING INDIA. The Industries Department on behalf of the Chandigarh Administration has set up a Chandigarh Pavilion at Hall No 6,Pragati Maidan, New Delhi. UT Home Secretary Anil Kumar inaugurated the Chandigarh pavilion after the inauguration of the India International Trade Fair. Anil Kumar said, "the pavilion of Chandigarh emphasis skill development in Chandigarh. It is essential for the national development and growth." — TNS



mess charges
Can't roll back hike, says VC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 14
Even as the students’ hunger strike over the hike of Rs 6 per meal entered the ninth day, Panjab University Vice-Chancellor Arun Grover today made it clear that due to the rise in LPG and grocery prices it was impossible to rollback the hike as demanded by the students.

"Although, the students are open for negotiation, yet we can’t do much if they are asking for complete rollback," the VC said. The university authorities, however, swung into action, especially after the last week’s violence, and announced slew of measurements to pacify the students. The university has offered subsidised meal for students from economically weaker sections besides enhancing the income status from Rs 2 lakh to 3 lakh with a view to cover more students having modest resources.

VC Grover said they had also decided to provide fixed meal facility from tomorrow on the hostel campus both for boys and girls. "It has been priced less than the unlimited diet, usually available in the hostel," he said.

He asked the protesting students to use back-of-the-envelope calculation and figure out themselves whether the proposed hike was reasonable or not. He said: “The hike is not that unreasonable. There are two and half times rise in the LPG prices besides 10 per cent rise in inflation, which has increased grocery bills,”

While he tried to persuade that the decision of the hike was made in the presence of students’ bodies and faculty members, he asserted that the ongoing agitations had raised disciplinary issues.

“From the next academic session, we would make sure that the past records of the students be checked thoroughly before giving them admission and hostels at the PU," said VC. He also showed concerns of effect of these protests on the institute. He said that the protest by the students had not gone waste." Because of them, we could send the proposal regarding subsidised LPG to the educational institutes to the Central Government. Other issues like hike in prices at the Students’ Centre would also be taken into account, he said

Meanwhile, the hike will be effective from tomorrow. After the hike, single diet would cost Rs 30 per head for boys and Rs 28.50 per head for girls However, the fixed meal will be available at Rs 24 per head and it will also be available from tomorrow. It will cost Rs 24 per head for boys and Rs 22.50 per head for girls.



Private schools defy orders
Decide to go ahead with their own admission schedule
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 14
For yet another year, the common admission schedule, announced by the UT Administration for admission at the entry-level classes in the private schools of Chandigarh, fell flat as the schools have gone ahead with their own admission schedule.

Vivek High School, Sector 38, took the lead by announcing its admission schedule, which will commence from November 26. Other private schools are expected to announce their schedule soon. “Our admission schedule is expected by Monday or Tuesday next week,” said Gurpeet Bakshi from St Kabir School.

Earlier, the schools were asked to begin their admission process by November 30 and to finish it by the last week of January. officials of the Education Department, including DEO Ram Kumar Sharma and DPI (Schools) Upkar Singh, had made it clear that it was mandatory for the private schools to follow the schedule and appropriate action would be taken if the schools defy orders.

However, at a meeting last week, members of the Independent School Association had made clear that the common admission schedule was mere advisory in nature and the schools would work out their own admission schedule soon.

While DEO Ram Kumar Sharma could not be contacted, DPI (S) Upkar Singh said the department would shortly hold a meeting with the private schools to sort out the confusion over the issue. He said a common minimum schedule was important to bring uniformity in the system.

Meanwhile, the private schools are justifying their stand. HS Mamik, president of the Independent School Association, said it was difficult for the private schools to strictly follow the common admission schedule. “We have asked the private schools to announce their own schedule but we have tried to remain closer to the dates announced by the department. “We don’t want any clash with the Education Department but they should understand our constraints,” Mamik said.



Children celebrate their day at Nehru Park
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 14
The Municipal Corporation organised a cultural programme at Nehru Park, Sector 22, to celebrate the Children's Day today. Around 1,000 children along with their parents from different parts of the city participated in the colourful event. During the celebrations various competitions were organised by the MC, including painting competition, clay modelling, quiz and fancy dress competitions.

On the occasion Officiating UT Advisor Satya Gopal, Mayor Raj Bala Malik, MC Commissioner VP Singh, Joint Commissioner Rajiv Gupta, Chairperson, Arts, Sports and Culture Committee Gurbax Rawat and Area Councillor Pardeep Chhabra, were present on the occasion.

While addressing the children, MC commissioner VP Singh said the Children's Day, known as Bal Divas, was celebrated on Pandit Nehru's birthday and it was a day of fun and frolic for children as Nehru loved. He said the Municipal Corporation would organise the Children's Day every year at this park.



Play highlights nexus between mafia, police
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, Nov 14
Play "Shaweta Jivit Hai" was staged at the Tagore Theatre during the annual theatre festival of the Chandigarh Sangeet Natak Academy today. The play, directed by Jagdish Chandra Tiwari, highlighted the collusion of a mafia gang leader with a police officer, who were involved in liquor and drugs trade.

Here the drug mafia bargained with the police officer to work for him and the play highlighted the collusion between the two.

Tomorrow, play "Baldey Tibbey", directed by Umesh Kant, will be staged. It is based on play “Desire under the elms” by American playwright, Eugene O Neill and was translated in Punjabi writer Balwant Gargi.



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