C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Wait till it turns Green
MC cancels inauguration of 2 incomplete green belts by Mayor
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

A view of an incomplete green belt in Sector 42.
A view of an incomplete green belt in Sector 42. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, December 15
Stung by criticism for installing plaques in the incomplete green belts, the Municipal Corporation cancelled the inauguration of the green belts at Sector 41 and 42, which were ‘recently’ on city Mayor Raj Bala Malik’s inaugural itinerary.

Had the local area councillor not alerted the MC officials, who had made all the arrangements for the inauguration of the green belts, Raj Bala Malik would have inaugurated the two incomplete green belts.

When the Chandigarh Tribune team today visited these two green belts, it was shocked to see their pathetic condition. It shows that how our politicians and officials decided to inaugurate a project without checking the ground realities.

The poor shape of the green belts of Sector 42 (which was to be inaugurated on December 14) and Sector 41 (which was to be inaugurated on December 15) has also raised a question that how could city Mayor Raj Bala Malik plan to inaugurate these green belts, which are far from completion.

Local SAD councillor Malkiat Singh said he was shocked when he came to know about the scheduled inauguration of these two green belts. He enquired from the engineering department officials and they told him that the Mayor would inaugurate these two green belts. As the green belts were incomplete, the inauguration programme was canceled, he added.

“I am not against the inauguration of green belts but people need complete green belts equipped with all kinds of facilities,” Malkiat Singh said.

In the green belt of Sector 42 (C and D), the entrance was very pathetic and even grills were missing. Malba was dumped all over the green belt and there was wild grass in a corner. The manhole was without lid. Though lights for the park were approved at a previous meeting of the electricity wing of the MC, tenders for their installation are yet to be floated. In this green belt only walking track was complete.

The condition of the green belt in Sector 41 (C and D) was also very bad. Residents were finding it very difficult to enter the green belt as the entrance was dug up for the laying of a storm water pipeline. The portion on which the pipeline had been laid is yet to be levelled. The MC staff had removed swings from the green belt in order to lay the pipeline. These are yet to be reinstalled. Iron mesh fixed around plants to protect them has been damaged.

Mayor Raj Bala Malik was not available for comments on this issue. Mukesh Anand, Superintending Engineer (B&R), said they cancelled the inauguration programmes, as the green belts were incomplete.



Mayor's report card-4
Streetlights poorly maintained
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 15
The maintenance of streetlights in different sectors has not seen any improvement in the one-year tenure of city Mayor Raj Bala Malik. The streetlights in parts of the city are in a poor shape.

A few months ago, the officials of the Municipal Corporation had made an announcement during a meeting of the MC House that they would make all the streetlights functional before Divali. But, many parts of the city, especially southern sectors, still have many non-functional streetlights.

Councillor of Mani Majra Gurcharan Dass Kala, who had raised a question during the meeting of the MC House, pointing out that owing to the non-functional streetlights, residents feared to come out of their homes. Incidents of snatching were reported in the Mani Majra areas where streetlights were non-functional. Though the condition of streetlights has improved in the past few months, many streetlights are still non-functional, he added.

President of the Federation of Sector Welfare Association Chandigarh (FOSWAC) PC Sanghi said though politicians and MC officials were claiming that 100 per cent streetlights were functional in the city, the ground reality is totally different. Hardly 60 or 65 per cent streetlights are functional in the city and the condition of streetlights in the southern sectors is very poor, he added.

In a recent meeting, the MC officials presented a report on only those areas where the streetlights were functional.

Councillor Satinder Singh said he had been complaining about the non-functional streetlights on the roads separating Sector 27 and 28 and 29 and 30 for the past many months, but to no avail. He added that whenever he complained to the department concerned in this regard, the reply was ‘work is under process’.

Despite repeated attempts Mayor Raj Bala Malik was not available for comments on this issue.

Dark spots

  • A majority of streetlights are non-functional

  • The situation is very bad in the southern sectors

  • The MC has failed to fulfil its promise to make 100 pc streetlights functional



Overcrowding concerns PGI alumni
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 15
Nostalgia pervades the PGIMER campus today, as the institution held its first-ever alumni meet. As the PGIMER has been grappling with a huge inflow of patients over the past couple of years, its alumni, who gathered here today for the institution’s first Alumni Meet, came up with possible solutions to the problem.

“The alumni of the PGI have done us proud both in the country and abroad and have earned a place of pride for themselves,” said Pawan Kumar Bansal, Union Minister of Railways, while inaugurating the PGIMER Golden Jubilee Alumni Convention here today.

The dream of Sardar Partap Singh Kairon, who had conceived the institute, has been realised. The PGI had produced the best of faculty and quality patient care in this region and in the country, he said.

Adesh Partap Singh Kairon, Minister of Food and Civil Supplies, Punjab, who is Sardar Partap Singh Kairon’s grandson, recollected his memories of the PGI as a child and appreciated the progress the institute had made in all aspects, growing from a 225-bed hospital to a mega 2000-bed facility today.

There was a musical programme in the evening by the famous playback singer, Suresh Wadekar.

Around 7,000 patients visit the OPDs at the PGI everyday. There are merely 500 doctors to attend to them. In the last one year, 18 lakh outdoor patients had visited the institution and almost 67,000 were admitted to the hospital.

Prior appointments

Dr GS LambaAs suggested by the Faculty Association of the PGIMER about four months ago, a prior appointment for visiting the OPDs can help in curbing patients’ rush. It could be a good solution. The number of patients visiting the PGI has gone up. This certainly affects research and keeps the doctors overburdened. Since the PGI is a tertiary care unit, referred cases should be given preference

— Dr GS Lamba, former head of the Radiology Department, PGI

Telemedicine the way

Dr SK SharmaI believe that a referral system or a system of prior appointments will not be of much use in a practical situation. The solution here can be the practice of telemedicine. A doctor sitting at a hospital can always take suggestions and guidance from doctors here in the PGI and guide their patients accordingly. This will solve the problem of outstation patients visiting the PGI in large numbers.

— Dr SK Sharma, former Director, PGI (Department of Urology)

Strengthen faculty

Dr BNS WaliaTo address the issue of overcrowding, the PGI should increase the strength of faculty. There has to be an expansion of the infrastructure, including an increase in the number of beds. The system of telemedicine will have its own limitations. Being overburdened with patients’ rush, the doctors at the PGI fall short of time for research. In such a situation, setting up a dedicated research unit can be another solution.

— Dr BNS Walia, ex-Director, PGI, and founder of Advanced Paediatric Centre

600 attend meet

More than 600 alumni attended the Golden Jubilee Alumni Meet. Meeting their batch mates, seniors and juniors after a long time, the alumni shared nostalgic moments.

Bansal promises to give Rs 2 crore from MPLAD Fund

YK Chawla, Director, PGI, and Railway Minister PK BansalUnion Minister for Railways Pawan Kumar Bansal promised to contribute Rs 2 crore from the MPLAD Fund for the upgrade of various departments in the PGI. He said the crèche in the PGI would be the first area of improvement for which the fund donated by him would be used.

YK Chawla, Director, PGI, and Railway Minister PK Bansal

Alumni who made PGI proud

  • Dr NK Ganguly, MD Microbiology (1967 batch), retired as the Chairman of the Indian Council of Medical Research
  • Dr Sanjeev Gupta, MD Medicine (1977 batch), is Professor, Medicine and Pathology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, US
  • Dr Manju Kalra, MS Surgery (1981 batch), is Associate Professor, Vascular surgery, Mayo Clinic, US.
  • Dr KK Talwar, MD Medicine (1973 batch), Chairman of the Medical Council of India
  • Dr S Mahapatra, MD Medicine (1968 batch), is the CMO at Nabraska Heart Institute and Heart Hospital, US



Thieves decamp with wine worth Rs 5 lakh
Tribune News Service

An employee of a liquor showroom at Sector 7, Chandigarh, shows a broken lock on Saturday. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, December 15
A theft was reported at a leading wine showroom, ‘World of Whisky’, in Sector 7 last night where thieves decamped with more than Rs 1.20 lakh and bottles of wine worth around Rs 5 lakh.

The staff of the showroom, which is situated on the Madhya Marg, came to know about the theft in the morning when they found the locks of the showroom broken. An employee of the showroom said the incident came to light at around 8.30am when he noticed the half-opened shutter of the showroom and found the locks broken.

Prem Ahuja, general manager of the showroom, said the thieves broke open the cash box and took away about Rs 1.20 lakh. “The thieves also stole the bottles of English wine worth Rs 5 lakh,” he said.

The international brands stolen by the thieves included Chivas Regal, Johnny Walker (Red Label and Blue Label), Royal Salute, Ballantines and Malibu Caribbean Rum.

The SHO of Sector 26 police station, Anokh Singh, said they would scan the footage of the CCTV cameras installed at the showroom. “The thieves had cut the locks with a cutter,” he said.



Jyoti's father fears for life
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 15
In the Jyoti murder case, the victim's father, Buti Ram, today filed a complaint with the Panchkula police, saying that he was threatened to be killed by a few persons at Tanda village, Nathupur near Hoshiarpur, if he won’t accept the money and sign an affidavit to close the case.

He said Baddi-based politician Ram Kumar Chaudhary, who according to the police was one of the suspects, should be made the prime accused in the case. Ram Kumar Chaudhary had contested the Vidhan Sabha elections from Himachal Pradesh.

“We have received the complaint and as ACP Virender Sangwan is investigating the case, I will send this to him,” said inspector Ajay Rana, Station House Officer of Sector 5 Police Station.

“Two days ago, I was called at Tanda village near our village in Hoshiarpur by the sarpanch and some other unknown persons. I was offered Rs 50 lakh and when I refused to accept the money, I was told that I would be given the same end the way my daughter was given,” said Ram in his complaint.

“Earlier too, I was offered Rs 30 lakh in Panchkula to keep mum,” he said in his complaint.

“My daughter had told me that she was working under Chaudhary and also involved in his political campaigning. She also said during the election period that she was handling the finance and was dealing in lakhs of rupees,” said the father.

Meanwhile, Panchkula Deputy Commissioner of Police Parul Kush was not even aware that the victim's father, Buti Ram, has been threatened with life. She said, “I came to know about it from you only. Rather, I am busy with the Governor's duty. I will check with the SHO of Police Station, Sector 5”.

Director General of Police, Haryana police, SN Vashisht, said: “The father of the deceased can meet me at my office and I will surely look into the matter. Rest, I can assure that the investigations in the case are going in the right direction.”



Seminar focuses on welfare of ex-servicemen

Chandigarh, December 15
To commemorate Veterans Remembrance Day on the eve of Vijay Diwas, a seminar on the theme of Veterans as Ambassador of the Services was organised by the local Chapter of Indian Ex-Servicemen’s Movement (IESM).

Various issues pertaining to the status and welfare of the service community were discussed during the seminar.

Lt-Gen Raj Kadyan, former Deputy Chief of the Army Staff and chairman of the IESM, said the ongoing struggle by the retired service fraternity for their demands was for justice and equality, rather than monetary benefits. He said ex-servicemen did not want to air their views publicly, but they were left with no choice.

Lt-Gen Kadyan said by carrying out their struggle in a disciplined and lawful manner, the veterans had garnered the sympathy of society at large.

Former Director General of the Defence Intelligence Agency Lt-Gen Kamal Davar, Brig HS Ghuman, president of the All-India Veterans Core Group, and Maj-Gen KS Bajwa (retd), a war veteran, also spoke. — TNS



From Schools
Annual festival

Annual festival of Ankur School, Sector 14, concluded at the Law Auditorium in Panjab University on Saturday. The function began with Ganesh vandana which was presented by the students of class VIII. The KG students presented a beautiful quawali. Haryanvi dance and a musical play "Chidiya Ki Shaadi" were also presented by the children.

Students apprised of benefits of fruits

Shivalik Public School, Chandigarh, organised a fruit-salad activity for the LKG and KG students. The students were were apprised of the benefits of fruits. The teachers said fruits sharpen memory power, strengthen bones and improve vision.

Sports meet

Hansraj Public School held its second sports meet on Saturday. Dinesh Mongia, the famous cricketer, was the chief guest on the occasion. He declared the sports meet open.The first event of the day was 100-meter races, in which students of the classes III to XII participated. 200-meter races for boys and girls from the classes VIII to XII were also held on the occasion.

First academic session

Gillco International School (GIS) will commence its first academic session from April 2013. The school offers a fresh approach towards learning, reading, writing and extra-curricular activity cycle. GIS has integrated some of the best international teaching models for the holistic learning to meet the global standards of competition, cooperation and parity.

District sports meet

Students of St Xaviers, Mohali, left their mark during the District Sports Meet, held at Government Senior Secondary School, Mohali, and Government School, Kurali. The girls' basketball team of the school (U-14 and U-17) bagged the first position.


AKSIPS, Mohali, conducted a grand special assembly where the ten finalists, who scored maximum point in eight major activities- academics, sports, extempore, paper reading, solo singing, solo dance, dramatics and draw and colour were felicitated. A prize distribution ceremony was also held. The school's football team had won the second position in the Inter-School Football Competition.

Students bring laurels

Students of Sant Isher Singh Public School brought laurels to the school by bagging first and second positions in the district-level athletics meet. The meet was held at Government College, Phase VI, Mohali, from December 3 to 5. Prabhdeep Kaur, Harinderpreet singh, Navjot kaur, have been selected for competing at the state-level games. Lovepreet Singh has been selected for the national-level kick-boxing competition. — TNS



School admissions
No clarity on general quota
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 15
Although thousands of admission forms were sold in the past week in the private schools of Chandigarh, yet there is no clarity on how many seats will be up for grab under the general quota out of the total number of seats.

“There is utter confusion about the number of seats as there is no mention of this either on the admission form or the notice board of the private schools,” says Rajesh Kumar, a resident Zirakpur, who has applied for the admission of his five-year-old son at a convent school in the city.

Another parent Bhupesh Anand said there was no transparency as far as admission to primary classes was concerned. "The schools are deliberately hiding this information from us and offering very less seats through draw of lots," he added. As per the information, Vivek High school has received over 700 forms against the total100 seats .

The four convents schools in the city- St John’s, Sector 26, Sacred Heart, Sector 26, Carmel Convent, Sector 9 and St Anne’s, Sector 32, have sold over 5,700 forms in the last three days against the available 710 seats.

HS Mamik, president of the Private School Association, Chandigarh, said the confusion was due to the RTE reservation issue as schools were not sure whether 25 per cent reserved seats would be filled or not.

District Education Officer Ram Kumar Sharma said the department could not help much in the matter since their job was to ensure the 25 per cent reservation under the RTE Act in private schools.

As per the MHRD guidelines, the schools are free to manage the rest of their seats as per their system.

RTE activist Pankaj Chandgothia said: "The RTE Act clearly states that there will be no screening for admission to all seats under the general category.

It means that all these seats will be offered through a draw of lots. “Various criteria adopted by the city schools, including sibling criteria and point system amount to the violation of the provisions of the Act and it should not take place.



Syndicate nod to exemption to regular teachers with two years of service from PhD entrance test
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 15
The PU Syndicate has approved the recommendations of the standing committee that the regular university teachers and those belonging to affiliated colleges, with minimum two years of service, be exempted from PhD entrance test. It has approved to reserve one seat more than the prescribed eight seats for the teachers of affiliated colleges.

The M Phil students, who were enrolled on the basis of a duly conducted test, will be granted exemption from PhD entrance test till the joint entrance test for PhD and MPhil is conducted by the university.

The House has approved the constitution of a research promotion cell for encouraging research in the affiliated colleges.

The House, after going through the report, submitted by the CBI, ACB, Jaipur, has unanimously decided not to sanction the prosecution of Professor OP Katare of the University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (UIPS) as not case can be made against him in the case related to Rajdhani Institute of Technology and Management, Rajasthan. The Syndicate has sent the recommendation regarding this to the Senate.

The Syndicate also approved the constitution of a research promotion committee for the five disciplines (English, Hindi, Punjabi, Economics and Political Science), offered by the Department of Evening Studies.

The functions of the committee will be to interview candidates, allot supervisors, and plan of research for the purpose of registration. Meanwhile, the Syndicate has decided to reconsider the hike in the examination fee. 



PGGCG to hold alumni meet today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 15
Post Graduate Government College for Girls (PGGCG), Sector 11, is going to organise its third alumni meet on Sunday. To make it more interesting, the alumni association of the college has tracked down all the principals of the college since 1956.

Poonam Batth, vice-president of the alumni association, said eight principals had confirmed their presence at the alumni meet and they would be honoured by the college. "This is the oldest girls' college in the city that has produced many renowned personalities like Kiron Kher, Poonam Dhillon and Kiran Bedi," Poonam said.

Earlier, the alumni meet was held in March, however, the alumni association had decided to hold the function in December every year. Some of the oldest students of the college, who passed out in the late 1950s are also expected to be part of the event.



Three school heads transferred
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 15
The Education Department has transferred three headmasters besides giving an additional charge of headmaster/headmistress to three master/mistresses to fill the vacant posts at government schools.

As per the orders, Sushma Lata, headmistress of GMHS, Sector 29A, has been transferred to GMHS-28C. Rajesh Kumar Ranchan, headmaster of GHS, Mauli Colony, has been transferred to GMHS-29A and Nirmal Singh, headmaster of GMSSS-56 has been transferred to GHS-38.

Besides, three master/mistresses, on the basis of seniority list, has been transferred and posted to look after the working of GHS, Mauli Colony, GMSSS-56 and GHS, Dadumajra.



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