C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


MC, Admn spar over water bill
Charitable polyclinic at Attawa bears the brunt, medical services take a hit 
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 20
As the blame game ov er paying water bill of Rs 1.07 lakh goes on between the Municipal Corporation and the UT Administration and the former disconnecting the water supply in this polyclinic leading to shutting down of a charitable X-ray unit, a dental OPD and a diagnostic lab for the past 10 months, residents of Attawa are suffering for want of healthcare facilities.
Construction material dumped outside the polyclinic; and (below) the administrative officer shows the locked X-ray room. Tribune photos: Pradeep Tewari
Construction material dumped outside the polyclinic; and (below) the administrative officer shows the locked X-ray room. Tribune photos: Pradeep Tewari

The Attawa Rural Polyclinic was set up six years ago after an NRI, Sudershan Dewan Kataria, a US-based Aeronautical Engineer, donated Rs 2 crore for it. Despite having the facility of X-ray and other pathological tests, the patients visiting the OPD at the polyclinic has come down by half.

The UT Administration had agreed to waive the water bill for the dispensary when it was set up. Still, the water bill turned out to be Rs 1,00,7000 and later the supply was discontinued in February this year.

In the absence of water supply, the polyclinic has closed the X-ray room, the dental OPD and a number of patients are being refused tests at the laboratory.

Brig ML Kataria (retd), the chairman of the foundation which runs the polyclinic, said: “When Gen Rodrigues, former UT Administrator, had inaugurated five charitable dispensaries, including the one in Attawa, he had assured that the water and electricity bills up to Rs 8,000 per month will be taken care of by the administration. The charge of dispensaries was shifted to the MC in 2010. While the MC has been taking care of electricity bills, it has failed to address the problem of water bill.”

MC Additional Commissioner Sunil Bhatia refused to comment. MC Chief Engineer SS Bidda said the water supply was disconnected as the dispensary failed to pay the bill and no such waiver has been granted by the MC.

UT Health Secretary Anil Kumar said: “There must have been a lapse in the policy framed during the inauguration of these polyclincs. Owing to lack of proper planning, the patients are suffering. We will look into the matter.”

The partially functional dispensary has also become a safe haven for gamblers and residents also use it for parking their vehicles. Also, a huge pile of soil is often found dumped at the entrance of the polyclinic, said officials. 

Number of patients declines

The number of patients visiting the polyclinic has declined to around 30 per day over the past few months due to lack of services. The number used to be above 70 per day until the services were stopped. Due to no supply of water, the staff has also closed two of the four toilets at the clinic.



Committee moots development within 50-km radius of city
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 20
The UT Administration has proposed a regulated development within 50 km radius of Chandigarh so as to lessen the infrastructural load on the city, which is already bursting at its seams.

In the draft master plan-2031, the master plan committee has proposed planned development in Zirakpur, Dera Bassi, Kharar, Banur, Landran, Ramgarh, Kalka and Pinjore, besides Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula.

The master plan committee has proposed better connectivity between these towns through more road links and a better public transport system.

The committee has also mentioned about the recent report submitted by the UT Administration to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in which the need for regional planning was highlighted. It was stated that the city was now under tremendous pressure owing to manifold increase in population, traffic congestion, stress on infrastructure, building violations, limited availability of land and haphazard growth on the periphery. 

Upgrade existing infrastructure

The master plan committee has proposed to upgrade the existing infrastructure on the city’s periphery. The committee has also proposed major projects on the outskirts of the city. The projects include Transport Nagar with an area of around 45 acres in Daria village and a Warehousing Complex in Industrial Area, Phase III, on 45 acres and partly on land being acquired in Daria village

Key recommendations

A ring road has been proposed around Chandigarh on the pattern of NCR, Delhi, to ease traffic congestion

The existing pedestrian and cycle tracks will be reconstructed for the convenience of city residents

A 100 feet wide loop has been proposed by extending Shanti Path and Vikas Marg

Beautification of the entry points to villages on the periphery of the city

To make shopping centres pedestrian friendly with car-free zones. It has also been proposed to make markets accessible to the disabled

The area of 200 m along Patiala-ki-Rao, Sukhna Choe and the natural choe be declared as eco-sensitive zone to preserve forests

Strict enforcement to remove encroachments and misuse of city’s parks

Setting up of clean, energy-efficient, hi-tech and low-volume industries in the new Industrial Area, Phase III

Relocating the offices of directorates of Punjab and Haryana governments from city to their respective state towns

To upgrade unauthorised slum colonies in-situ

To set up three new intercity bus terminals at Sector 31 near Tribune Chowk, Mani Majra and Sector 102, Mohali

To maintain the ecological integrity of rivulets that pass through Chandigarh, the committee has recommended demarcation of flood plains and beds of choes 



Wildlife sanctuary not part of master plan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 20
The UT Administration has included only 114 sq km area in the city’s master plan-2031, which was submitted to UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil yesterday, leaving out the disputed 26 sq km eco-fragile Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary area.

A senior official of the UT Administration said as it was a forest area, it could not be included in the master plan. Besides, there were chances that the inclusion of the area could delay the master plan, he added.

Recently, the two departments of the UT Administration — the office of the Deputy Commissioner (DC) and the forest and wildlife department — were at loggerheads 
over the 26-sq-km eco-fragile Sukhna wildlife sanctuary area.

The Forest Survey of India (FSI) had also not included the 26 sq km area of the Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary in its recent survey and had calculated the UT’s green cover figures only on the 114 sq km area. 



Hallo Majra dispensary without power for two days 
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 20
The 30-hour power failure at the civil dispensary in Hallo Majra has raised doubts over the potency of the vaccines stored in the freezer.

During a visit to the dispensary at 10 am on Thursday, it was found that the freezers were not working due to power failure. The dispensary staff said a complaint had been registered on Wednesday. However, nobody was deputed to fix the problem even 24 hours after the complaint.

Health experts say in the absence of power, the freezers in which these vaccines are stored retain the required temperature in accordance with the weather.

While in summers the retention continues till about four hours, in winters the freezers can retain the cooling for about 24 hours.

“However, there is no certainty over the potency of the vaccines in such situations. If the thermometer installed inside the freezer indicates a deviation from standard temperature, the vaccines must be discarded immediately,” said an expert.

The dispensary has also been grappling with problem of erratic water supply, forcing the staff to borrow water from the neighbourhood. In the absence of water supply, the workers find difficulty in maintaining sanitation at the dispensary.

Chandigarh Municipal Corporation medical officer of health Dr BK Salwan said: "Strict action will be taken against officials who failed to apprise us of power failure. However, the perishable items in the dispensary do not fall under our jurisdiction." 



Hotel manager held
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 20
Two days after Radhika's death due to drug overdose, the UT police today arrested the manager of Hotel Hill View, Sector 22, in a case of criminal conspiracy.

DSP Ashish Kapoor said the hotel manager, Kishan Kumar, knew that drugs were being supplied to girls in the hotel. He supplied beer to the youths and also did not inform the police when Radhika fell unconscious and was being taken to a hospital. The police has booked him in a case of criminal conspiracy under Section 120-B of the IPC.

Police officials said they would question Shaina, aka Sweetie, tomorrow. Shaina is a model and was staying in city for her assignments.

Meanwhile, the police has also recovered the missing mobile phone of the girl from Sector 23.

A BA student of Government College, Sector 11, Radhika died after overdose of heroin on December 18. The police has arrested two youths, identified as Saurabh and Gagandeep, in the case of culpable homicide not amounting to murder.


Liquor contractors make hay
To finish stocks, target labour colonies, rehabilitation clusters in city
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 20
As if inter-state smuggling of liquor was not enough, city's liquor contractors are now resorting to smuggling of liquor within the city, much to the annoyance of the UT's excise department.

In a desperate bid to finish their stock, the contractors are selling the nips and pints of Indian-made foreign liquor (IMFL) and country-made liquor at 50 per cent below the minimum retail price in labour colonies and rehabilitation clusters dotting the city.

On getting a whiff of the smuggling, the department in the past two days conducted raids at the Sector 25 colony, Faidan village near Jagatpura and another near Dhanas and seized around 12 cartons of IMFL and country-made liquor. In one of the cases, the president of the Sector 25 colony, Anil Kumar, was caught bringing liquor from Daddu Majra.

The department is learnt to have identified 25 such vends where liquor at cheap rates was being provided to the smugglers. To solve the problem, the help of the police has been sought.

"The contractors encourage sale of liquor in their nearby colonies," said sources in the department.

UT Commissioner Excise and Taxation Mohammed Shayin said, "The department is acting in all such cases. The help of the police has been sought for nailing the culprits."

As per the excise policy, a liquor contractor has to lift around 19,000 cartons of IMFL in a year. But the actual counter sale does not exceed 8,000 cartons.

A contractor has to pay a fee of Rs 200 per carton for not lifting the same.

To reduce the quota, the contractors are now smuggling liquor within the city.

Satya Pal, a member of the Wine Contractors Association, said, "The fault lies in the excise policy, which fixes the liquor quota. The quota is not as per the ground reality."

Last year, the UT excise and taxation department found it difficult to ensure that fee against the quota was paid, as allocated quota had not been lifted. In the current policy, the annual quota of country-made liquor was 27 lakh proof litre (PL) and of IMFL at two crore PL. 



Christmas gift: Two special trains for revellers to Shimla 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 20
To meet the increasing rush of revellers planning to celebrate Christmas in the Queen of Hills, the Railways has announced two Kalka-Shimla special trains.

The special trains will start from December 21.

Shivalik Duplicate will leave from Kalka at 6.30 am and return from Shimla at 3.50 pm while Himalayan Queen Duplicate will leave Kalka at 12.45 pm and return from Shimla at 9.25 am.

Officials said there would be five first-class coaches in Shivalik Duplicate and six coaches in Himalayan Queen Duplicate.

As per record of the Railways, all regular trains that ply from Kalka at 4 am, 5.30 am,

6 am, 7.30 am and 12.10 pm remained jam-packed and had waiting list of more than 100 passengers.

Officials said for the past 15 days, the rush had increased, following which they communicated to the headquarters for starting special trains to Shimla till New Year.

Kalka railway station superintendent Vinay Kumar Arora said they had received the communication from the Ambala division to start the trains from from tomorrow.

It was learnt that no seats were available in Shivalik Express from December 21 to 26 under any category.



Hope for heart patients

Chandigarh, December 20
Doctors at Fortis today performed a surgery using absorb, a first-of-its-kind device for the treatment of coronary artery disease (CAD). It works by restoring blood flow to the heart similar to a metallic stent, but then dissolves into the body, leaving behind a treated vessel that may resume more natural function and movement because it is free of a permanent metallic stent. Absorb is made of polylactide, which is commonly used in medical implants such as dissolving sutures.

The first surgery using absorb was successfully conducted on a 40-year-old man at Fortis Hospital, Mohali. Dr RK Jaswal, director, cardiology, Fortis Hospital, Mohali, said, "CAD occurs when arteries that supply blood to the heart become narrowed or blocked, leading to chest pain or shortness of breath and increased risk of heart attack. Absorb has brought new hope for them."

"The innovation represents a true paradigm shift in how we treat coronary artery disease. With the launch of absorb, a scaffold that disappears after doing its job is no longer a dream, but a reality," said Dr HK Bali, director cardiology, Fortis Hospital, Mohali.

Dr Gurcharan Singh Kalra, director, cardiology, Fortis Hospital, Mohali, said, "The potential long-term benefits of a scaffold that dissolves are significant. The vessel may expand and contract as needed to increase the flow of blood to the heart in response to normal activities such as exercising; treatment and diagnostic options are broadened; the need for long-term treatment with anti-clotting medications may be reduced; and future interventions will be unobstructed by a permanent implant." — TNS



Licences of 3 chemists suspended
Tribune news Service

Chandigarh, December 20
Licences of three chemists have been suspended for three months on the charges of stocking and selling intoxicant drugs in the city. The drugs, included cough syrups and pain killers.

The licences of Khanna Medicos, Milk Colony, Dhanas, Janak Medicos, Kishangarh, and Jatindra Medicos, Main Bazar, Manimajra, were suspended during a random drive conducted by the Health Department today.

The drug controller has director all chemists in the city to strictly abide by the provisions of the Drug and Cosmetics Act. The move came in the wake of the incident, in which a girl died of drug overdose on Tuesday morning.



caught  in a crawl 4
No respite from jams even on the escape route
The 4-km stretch from Sectors 16/17/23 and 22 roundabout to Sector 28/29 lights (East End) is one of the busiest roads during peak hours. In the fourth part of the series on city’s traffic chaos, Tribune reporter Amit Sharma and photographer Pradeep Tewari take stock of the situation on the escape route. 

Commuters, especially office goers, businessman and students who earlier used to take the Udyog Path to save time consumed on travelling on the busy roads are now facing a similar situation on the road. While all the main roads in the city are not wide enough to bear the pressure of vehicles, the Udyog Path from Sectors 16/17/23 and 22 roundabout to Sector 28/29 light point (East End), which was once considered as the escape route to avoid traffic jam at peak hours has also become one of the busiest roads.

Tribune team travelled on the four-km stretch during the normal and peak hours to find out the problems being faced by the commuters who battle the traffic snarls everyday.

While it took about five minutes to travel the distance during normal hours, it took not less than 15 minutes during peak hours. The duration can stretch to more than 20 minutes during evening hours, on weekends and festive season.

The flow of traffic in the morning hours is towards the West End from the Sectors 28/29 light point, as everyone is rushing to work. The pressure on the road from Sectors 16/17/23 and 22 roundabout towards the East End is comparatively less.

The traffic moving towards East End during evening peak hours was no less then a test of patience as there was long queues of vehicles crawling towards the east side. On crossing the Sectors 16/17/23 and 22 roundabout, there is rush of vehicles at the Sector-17 Bus Stand light point. The vehicle again came to a snails pace as soon it reaches closer to Sectors 18/19/21 and 20 intersection where the vehicles rush in from all four sides.

Manipal Singh, a commuter, said that the traffic sometimes gets so worse that even driving a two-wheeler on the road during peak hours is tough.

The commuters in long queues move into the cycle tracks which distroys the green area and pavement on the roadside. 

Traffic volume

Kind of Traffic: The commuters include office goers, shopkeepers and students.

Kind of vehicles: Cars, SUVs, two-wheelers and autos.

Choke points

The traffic jams have become the order of the day on the road.The Sectors 18/19/21 and 20 roundabout is one of the major choke points that leads to traffic jams. During peak hours, the queue of vehicles even reaches close to the Sector-17 roundabout. After passing through Sectors 18/19/21and 20 roundabout, crossing the Sectors 19/27/20 and 30 roundabout becomes another challenge for the commuters. 

The traffic jams have become the order of the day on the road.

RITES survey

The wait on the stretch is unending, as there is traffic mismanagement on the intersection.RITES conducted a detailed study in 2008-2009, which stated that major roads within and those connecting the city show larger inflow of fast-moving vehicles. The study stated that around 8,244 vehicles pass through the Sector-17 Bus Stand roundabout between 10.30 am to 11.30 am, meanwhile, around 11725 vehciles passes through between 5.30 pm to 11.30 pm. Daily traffic volume at the ISBT-17 roundabout is 1,14,156 vehciles. 
The wait on the stretch is unending, as there is traffic mismanagement on the intersection.

The problem lies here

No regulation of traffic

There is no regulation of traffic moving towards Udyog Path from Madhya Marg and Dakshin Marg. The flow of traffic from both the major roads leads to choking of the two roundabouts.

Vehicles being driven on cycle tracks

In a bid to avoid long queues, the commuters drive through the cycle tracks to reach close to the roundabouts which further chokes the roundabout adding to traffic woes. 

Who is to blame


Commuters believe that with the growing number of vehicles in Chandigarh, the UT administration should work out a traffic management plan for all the roads to avoid traffic jams.

Buses coming out of the bus stand add to chaos. Lack of coordination between traffic police and Administration

The Chandigarh Traffic Police also needs to coordinate with the administration to look for immediate solution. 

Buses coming out of the bus stand add to chaos. 


Divert traffic

The situation is becoming alarming. The traffic should be diverted to roads connecting Udyog Path in peak hours.

Deploy more policemen

Although traffic policemen are often seen regulating the traffic at the roundabouts during peak hours, however, the roads still gets chocked. More policemen should be deployed.

Only a few traffic policemen are deployed at the road as a result it becomes difficult for them to regulate vehicular movement.Underpass

Construction of an underpass at Sector-17 ISBT roundabouts, and Sectors 18/19/21 and 20 roundabout, 19/27/20 and 30 roundabout can be a solution to the problem.

Only a few traffic policemen are deployed at the road as a result it becomes difficult for them to regulate vehicular movement.


Traffic management must at peak hours

Since my office is in Sector 17, I drive through Udyog Path everyday. There is heavy inflow of traffic at peak hours, which leads to traffic jams. I cover the four-km journey in 20 minutes.

Sandeep Sharma

I feel that the autos and cycle-rickshaws create major hindrance in the free-flow of traffic. While the rickshaw drivers should be asked to drive on the cycle track, a lane alongside the main road should be made for the autos and two-wheelers.

Zoravar Singh

Travelling on Udyog Path during peak hours has become a nightmare. Though there is no possibility of widening the road, it is the commuters who need to drive sensibly. They should keep their vehicles in the lanes, as the road is not too wide. This will help in regulating the traffic.

Deep Khaira

I commute on the stretch daily and the problem is more acute during peak hours. There is a need for an underpass and the traffic should be diverted on other roads.

Sachin Malhotra

I prefer to use my two-wheeler during peak hours to avoid getting stuck in traffic jams. There is traffic mismanagements on city roads.


Admn’s take

We are working out some proposals along with the MC to manage the increasing inflow of traffic.

SK Chadha, UT Chief Engineer 



UICET to hold alumni meet today

Chandigarh, December 20
University Institute of Chemical Engineering and Technology (UICET) is going to celebrate its 54 years following which an alumni meet will be organised on Friday. The batch of 1987 will be honoured during the meet.

PU officials said UICET had a very strong alumni base, who were occupying coveted positions in various professions around the globe.

The highlights of the event include a lecture by Arvind Murwaha of 1987 batch, interactive session with the students, cultural programme by UICET students. — TNS



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |