C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


EX-IB officer, son commit suicide
Consume celphos; depression reason behind extreme step; had also tried to end life on Jan 27
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 31
Unable to cope up with the grief following the death of his wife, a 77-year-old man who retired as a section officer with the Intelligence Bureau (IB), and his 35-year-old chartered accountant son, tragically ended their lives by consuming poison on latter’s birthday on January 29 and were found dead at their Sector 32 residence, here, today.

The police recovered the bodies of Sant Parkash Singh and his son Gurpal Singh, alias Sunny, from their bedroom and suspected the duo had committed suicide two days ago.

Their bodies were found from the same quilt and they had vomited several times before dying.The police was soon called.

They duo were in such a mental state that they wrote an18-page suicide note and kept them bundled together in a file. The vaguely written note reflects that they were in depression when they penned these down. They had written that they were depressed ever since the death of Sant Prakash’s wife, Parkash Kaur, due to an illness around six months ago, and thus they were ending their lives.

Police investigations revealed that the two had meticulously planned their suicide. They first locked the main door of the house from outside on the evening of January 29 to give the impression to visitors that there was no one inside. The two had got inside the house through another door towards the side. Both had then consumed a heavy dosage of celphos tablets on the night of January 29 and succumbed to the poison after a struggle and several bouts of vomit.

The incident came to light only today at 2.30 pm when their neighbour and close family friend, KK Chopra, went to their residence to hand over a courier to them. Chopra, who also retired from the IB, used to receive the couriers of the two whenever their house was locked. A slip was pasted near the doorbell that all couriers in their absence should be delivered at the house of Chopra.

Chopra had an alternate key and opened the house as it was locked since two days and a pile of newspapers was also found at the entry.

He was shocked to find them dead. He informed the police thereafter.

The neighbours told the police that their domestic help also returned on the morning of January 30, as well as today, on finding the house locked. The two were last seen on the evening of January 29 when some of their friends had dropped in to wish Gurpal and were told that there were no birthday celebrations due to the death of his mother last year. The bodies were shifted to the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital in Sector 16 where the postmortem will be conducted tomorrow.

The Sector 32 house has been sealed. Inspector Diwan Singh, SHO, Sector 34 police station, said that in the suicide note it was written that they took the extreme step because they were depressed after the death of Sant Prakash’s wife Parkash Kaur.

Loneliness effect: Entire family dead

Gurpal (35) was unmarried, he was the only son of his parents. His father’s brother resides in Mohali and was wailing at the death of his brother and nephew. Gurpal was an LLB and a gold medallist. He frequently switched jobs and had also worked with an insurance company. He was currently unemployed. While his mother Parkash Kaur expired last year, the two were the only members in the house. They leave behind a two-storeyed house in Sector 32, which they owned. 

Will in suicide note

The18 suicide notes recovered from the file were written by son Gurpal, some by Sant Prakash, while some were written jointly.

The two started to write the suicide notes on January 27 and continued to write till January 29 when they finally took the extreme step. The notes also mentioned that they had also attempted suicide on January 27 but failed. The police said the two had also written their will in the suicide note expressing their wish to transfer property and other wealth to their friends and relatives and some to be given as donation. The two had stated in the notes that they wished to join Parkash Kaur in her death. They had also thanked their neighbours, including Chopra, for being their friend. 



Woman arrested for beating up jeweller husband
A case was registered against her in January
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 31
The UT police today arrested Pooja Jain, the wife of owner of Nikkamal and Baburam chain of jewellers in the city for beating up her husband Akhil Jain. The police arrested her in a case of causing hurt, criminal intimidation under Section 323 and 506 of the IPC. The High Court had rejected her anticipatory bail plea two days ago and the case was registered earlier this month.

The police also booked the owner of WWICS, an immigration firm, Devinder Sandhu in the case, as he too threatened Akhil Jain of dire consequences in connivance with Pooja Jain, the police said. Devinder is yet to be arrested.

The case has been registered at the Sector 3 police station.

The police acted on the complaint of Sector 9 resident Akhil Jain, son of owners

of Nikkamal Baburam chain of jewellers in the city, who said his wife Pooja Jain assaulted him. Akhil had sustained nine stitches as a result of the assault.

The police also said that there was dispute over property in the family, which was the reason for the assault. Last year too, a similar incident was reported in July when Pooja Jain was booked and the case was later quashed. 



Man sentenced to life for killing wife
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 31
A man was awarded life imprisonment for murdering his wife, three years ago, by a local court today. A fine of Rs 10,000 was also imposed on him.

The Mohali Additional District and Sessions Judge RS Rai announced life sentence to Santosh, a migrant labourer, for murdering his wife Parvati by hitting her with a brick on her head on January 5, 2010, following an argument.

Santosh, who worked as labourer at Gilco Valley, was living in a hutment with his wife and three children.

The victim’s father, Manjla, had lodged a complaint against the convict and a case in this connection was registered at Kharar police station on January 6, 2010. 



PGI doctor, nurse contract swine flu
No separate screening areas for suspected patients set up at hospital 
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

The entry of PGI Emergency
The entry of PGI Emergency

Chandigarh, January 31
A senior PGIMER doctor and staff nurse tested positive for swine flu over the past week. The fact that PGI's own staff is being infected with the deadly H1N1 virus has raised question marks over the safety measures adopted by the staff during sample collection and testing of infected patients.

In fact, the three PGI lab technicians who had contracted the infection, last month, were the first in the city to be infected by the virus this winter season.

Surprisingly, while a total of 49 cases from the city and the region have been reported at city hospitals, with a majority of patients being admitted to PGIMER, the institution has failed to set up an isolated screening area for initial entry of the patients.

The suspected patients are being taken to the General Emergency, where the doctor examines, and then patients are shifted to isolation ward. Even a temporary screening area where a suspected patient could be admitted is not available inside the General Emergency wing that houses about 500 indoor patients per day.

The casual approach of the authorities in handling the disease not only poses a threat of infection to other patients, but also the attendants who frequent the entry and exit points. The PGI staff deputed at the emergency wing are also at great risk.

The senior doctor from the department of nephorology, PGI, who tested positive for swine flu last week, and the nurse from Communicable Disease Ward, whose infection was confirmed yesterday, are currently recovering at their respective residences.

Despite repeated attempts, the acting official spokesperson of the PGI, Dr Rakesh Kapoor, did not respond to the phone call.

Central Government guidelines 

  • Hospitals must set up isolated screening areas and wards for testing and housing the suspected and infected patients in case any such case is reported.
  • Before initiating collection of sample, a full complement of personal protective equipment (PPE) should be worn. The PPE includes masks (N-95), gloves, protective eyewear (goggles), hair covers, shoe covers and protective clothing (gown or apron).
  • All samples should be transported after proper packaging using the standard triple packaging system and it should accompany with the clinical details. During transportation cold chain should be maintained.



GMSH-16 technicians hesitant to collect samples
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 31
Wary of the rise in spread of the deadly H1N1 influenza (swine flu) virus in the city, technicians at Government Multi-Specialty Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16, have developed cold feet for collecting sputum samples of suspected patients.

Going by a complaint moved by the head technician to the Medical Superintendent on Tuesday, a number of technicians were found to be showing resistance in collecting sputum samples of patients in the special clinic for testing.

In a bid to escape exposure to the deadly H1N1 virus, the technicians took the plea that they were not qualified enough to perform the task, as per the guidelines of the Central Government.

In the wake of the growing number of cases, the UT Health Department had set up special testing clinics both at GMSH-16 and Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, in January.

Rajiv Vadera, the Medical Superintendent of GMSH-16, however, is learnt to have rejected the complaint, directing the head to put all technicians on the job by preparing duty roasters for the special clinic.

The samples of the suspected swine flu patients are usually collected via throat swabbing and the specimens are to be stored carefully. The virus is so infectious that even the dead body of an infected person poses threat of transmission to others around it.

The total number of the cases reported in the Chandigarh region (including Panchkula and Mohali) has reached 17 since September 2012. The spread of the disease intensified in beginning of December 2012 while only one case was reported earlier in September 2012.

The total number of cases reported at PGIMER, GMCH-32 and GMSH-16, so far, including those from other states has reached 49. These include 7 deaths, two from the city and five from the region.



New IG tells the police force to fall in line
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

UT IGP RP Upadhyaya
UT IGP RP Upadhyaya

Chandigarh, January 31
Lobbying in the UT police force at the DSP and Inspector level, to be one up on the other, and cast an impression on the new Inspector General of Police (IGP) had begun as soon as his name was announced in December last year when he had not even joined.UT police new IGP RP Upadhyaya, who joined here yesterday, hinted at the ‘tactics’ applied by certain police officials, who went all the way to Delhi to meet him to win his support.

He said this while addressing a meeting of all 18 DSP’s and 55 Inspectors of the UT police at the UT police traffic lines in Sector 29 today.

“All those efforts will not yield anything. Only work will matter,” said the IG while making a point across that no such internal politics will ever be tolerated. He added that a very stringent view will be taken against any police officer who indulged in factionalism and tried to malign the image of the force.

“We are like a family and internal politics only make the force weak. I have been hearing of factionalism, politics and internal grouping within the UT police force for the past two months when my name as the new IGP was announced. I only listened, only to forget it the next moment. It’s a disciplined force and everything will be solely based on merit. Action will be taken if any incident reflects internal politics,” the IGP said while addressing the force today. He also said that he would always be there for his men in case of a problem.

Factionalism in the force had hit the headlines last year when suspended SP

Desraj Singh was arrested by the CBI on a complaint of a Station House

Officer of the Sector 26 police station. Two UT police Inspectors were

also suspended by the MHA following reports of insubordination.

Moreover, an Inspector had also resigned in protest accusing the senior officers of targeting him and had taken the resignation back, later.

Over the years, the UT police’s image had been marred with incidents of open confrontations and arguments between DSP-level officers from Punjab and Haryana too. 


45 structures pulled down in Mani Majra
Tribune News Service

A resident, whose house was razed, breaks down on Thursday.
A resident, whose house was razed, breaks down on Thursday. Tribune photos: Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, January 31
In an anti-encroachment drive carried out by the Land Acquisition Collector (LAC) and Municipal Corporation, 45 illegal structures were pulled down in a five-hour demolition drive in Pocket No. 8, Mani Majra

Most of the structures housed dwelling units that had come up on a land acquired by the MC. Though the land had been acquired, unauthorised structures had come on government land near Indira Colony in Mani Majra.

Three JCB machines were pressed into service to pull down the structures. Before starting the drive, residents were given time to remove their belongings.

A posse of police was present at the spot to deal with any law and order problem.

Land Acquisition Collector (LAC), Tilak Raj, said three acres had been cleared of encroachments. A total of 53 acres was acquired by the Administration in 2003 and handed over to the MC for the construction of a commercial complex and a sports stadium. Most of the landowners had accepted the compensation.

But over the years, people started raising structures on the land as the MC had failed to keep a check on it. The drive was supervised by naib tehsildar Amarinder Singh, MC superintendent Kashmira and inspector Parveen Mittal.

The residents lamented that despite an assurance by political parties, their houses had not been regularised. They cited examples of Darshni Bagh area where 490 structures spread over an area of over 35 kanals were regularised. 



PIL seeks policy on demolition
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 31
In a petition filed in public interest before the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Revolutionary Youth Association, a non-governmental organisation, has sought directions to the Chandigarh Administration and other respondents not to carry demolition drives in and around the city during harsh weather conditions.

In the PIL filed through counsel RS Bains, the petitioners had stated that directions should also be issued to lay down a “clear policy” for removing encroachments and carrying out demolitions.

Giving details, the petitioners said the policy should ensure the issuance of a written six-week notice to each resident, along with public notices in the locality and through newspapers.

Moreover, directions should be issued to the respondents that the demolition drive should be carried out in a humane manner; and the residents must be relocated without being left to fend for themselves.

Directions were sought to declare demolition last resort. But before that each resident must be engaged in meaningful consultation and dialogue for their relocation. Acting on the petition, the Division Bench headed by Chief Justice Arjan Kumar Sikri today issued a notice of motion to the Administration and other respondents. The case will now come up on March 2 for hearing.



Chaos comes a full circle on city roads
Deepankar Sharda
Tribune News Service

Two-wheeler drivers use the cycle path to avoid traffic jam caused by rumble strips near the roundabout.
Two-wheeler drivers use the cycle path to avoid traffic jam caused by rumble strips near the roundabout.

A rehri puller takes the new cycle traffic way at Sectors 30,20,19 and 27 roundabout.
A rehri puller takes the new cycle traffic way at Sectors 30,20,19 and 27 roundabout.

Chandigarh, January 31
The pilot project to segregate the traffic on the cycle track from the one on the the main road at Sector 27- 28 roundabout has come in for severe criticism. Critics say it is proving to be a danger zone.

The Municipal Corporation and the UT Administration are responsible for the project. The main aim of the project is to provide enough leeway to cyclists but in their effort the authorities have put drivers' and cyclists' life at risk.

The authorities have created a passage midway near the roundabouts by making a cut in the median in order to divert the cycle-traffic. The authorities have come up with rumble strips near the roundabouts so that the drivers slow down before the cut.

"The basic idea behind this project is to stop the cycle-traffic to merge with the main traffic. This is a pilot project for smooth functioning of the traffic. The main purpose is to serve both cyclists and vehicle-drivers with best of movements. The speed breakers are meant to control traffic and to avoid any accident. I am sure, once the general public will get habitual, the project will start getting good feed-back," said SS Bidda, chief engineer, Municipal Corporation.

Moreover, the first day of the project resulted in traffic jam due to speed breakers and the risk is expected to be high during night-hours as there is no check on the speed limits.

"This is a pilot project for the good of people. If there will be any shortcomings, it will be taken care of well. There is a need to modify the concept of cycle tracks and after a mutual consent the concept got an approval. Cycle path boards will be installed. Once, the regular user of the road will fall habitual everything will be fine," said Maneesh Chaudhry, SP (Traffic).

The local councilor, Rajesh Gupta, has also condemned the step taken by the authorities after reaching at the spot. "This is a clear case of putting lives in danger. These rickshaw or cycle-pullers will be made to cross these wide open roads without safety. There are many other ways to divert traffic. Traffic lights can be put to maintain the smooth flow," said Rajesh Bittu, BJP councilor, who staged a protest at the spot today.

"This seems to be a sheer foolishness to allow cycle traffic to move freely on the main road. If the actual idea is to stop cycle traffic then they must install traffic lights for cycle-pullers. The concept is presently running successfully in Sector 23 and Sector 24 light points," said Tanya Garg, a student.

"If the authorities are really keen on making the traffic flow smooth then they should deploy adequate staff to control traffic manually in peak hours. The authorities should try this pilot project on roads having less traffic load so as to avoid any accident," Karan Raj Sharma, a daily commuter.



Soon, Rolls Royce showroom in city

Chandigarh, January 31
The automobile market will further get fillip in the region as the popular British luxury automaker, Rolls Royce, is all set to open its new showroom in Chandigarh.

The Chandigarh outlet will be the fourth centre for the global carmaker in India after Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai. It is likely to be made operational within a month at City Emporium Mall located in Industrial Area, Phase I.

Sanjiv Rawal, general manager, Rolls Royce showroom, Chandigarh, said: “The showroom is expected to open by February end. The “Ghost” and the “Phantom” series will be available at the outlet. Their extended versions will be made available on demand.”

Any of these models will not come cheap. Talking about the price range, he said, “The base model price of Rolls Royce will start at Rs 3.25 crore and can go up to Rs 8 crore in case of the extended version of Phantom series,” said Sanjeev.

He said, “There is no need to guess why we have preferred Chandigarh over the other cities in India. The company is operating in this region for last 10 months and there is a lot of demand for the luxury cars sale.”

The company has already sold half-a-dozen cars in the region and numbers are expected to increase once it gears up its formal operation here. —TNS



Development remains confined to paper only
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 31
City Mayor Subhash Chawla, who had listed a number of proposals for the betterment of the city, has not been able to execute any of these even after a month of his mayorship.

Though the Mayor has taken a few steps, the ground reality remains the same.


Improving sanitation topped the agenda of Mayor Subhash Chawla, but nothing concrete has been done so far. Residents keep complaining that sweepers do not come on a regular basis to clean streets and lift garbage. Heaps of garbage welcome visitors to southern sectors. The condition of those sectors, where the Municipal Corporation has outsourced the sanitation work to a private contractor like Sector 45, is very bad.

Mayor’s take

Mayor Subhash Chawla said, "I feel that 25 per cent of work has been completed. The MC has purchased 25 trucks and 250 wheel barrows to lift garbage. Now, the MC is ensuring better attendance of sweepers. Besides, the MC has advertised 319 regular posts of MC sweeper and 600 posts of contractual staff for sanitation work."


Despite the tall claims of the officials of the Municipal Corporation, the maintenance of streetlights in different sectors has not seen any improvement till date. The streetlights are lying defunct. The motorists find it difficult to commute on those roads, especially in southern sectors, where streetlights are non-functional.

Mayor’s take

Mayor Subhash Chawla said, "The MC is committed to make all streetlights functional in the city. The non-functional streetlights will be replaced."

Water crisis

Be it winter or summer, residents of southern sectors have to reel under water crisis. The agenda to lay pipelines in a few southern sectors was not discussed in the recent General House.

Mayor’s take

Mayor Subhash Chawla said, "Work on six underground reservoirs (UGR) and tubewells have started and it will be completed in coming months." He said the house was to discuss agendas related to the water problem, but because of the opposition councillors, the meeting was deferred.


The Mayor has failed to solve the problem of encroachments in city markets and on public land. Encroachments can be easily seen in the markets, road berms, parks, green belts and roads. In the absence of strict action, encroachers are doing a brisk business in markets of Sectors 15, 17, 19 and 22.

Mayor’s take

Mayor Subhash Chawla said, "To make city encroachment free, challaning powers had been given to the officials of various departments. Joint operations are being carried out and soon residents will see the results."



Estate Office yet to act against violators
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 31
The Estate Office is yet to act against shopkeepers who have illegally removed the common wall between two booths in various markets.

As per an order that has been withdrawn, the common wall between the two booths could only be removed if both the properties were owned by the same owner.

Tenants have made the changes without seeking any permission.

Highlighting the case of commercial sites in Sectors 19-C and D, there are cases in which the occupants have joined two booths without seeking a permission from the Estate Office. Such cases exist in the Sectors 22 and 35 markets.

In certain cases, an order of 1993 in case of an SCO by the Chandigarh Administration was being used to go for amalgamation of two booths. "The Estate Office is adopting double standards," pointed out sources in the office.

When the Estate Office is carrying out a detailed survey of the entire city, it should apply the same formulae in all cases of building violation.

RLA runs out of forms

The Registration and Licensing Authority (RLA), Chandigarh, has run out of application forms for the learner's licence.

Forms with a new check list are yet to reach the RLA office. Due to a delay on the part of the RLA in arranging the forms, a number of applicants have to return empty-handed.

Officials said a fresh print order for the forms had been placed. The forms are yet to reach the RLA. Certain changes in the application forms for RCs have also been made.

Recently, the District Administration had decided to be strict while accepting documents as proof of residence for issuing registration certificate or driving licence at the Registration and Licensing Authority.

The Administration has done away with the practice of accepting a report from an area SHO as a proof of residence. 



Haryana cadre officials at disadvantage 
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 31
City Beautiful is the joint capital of Punjab and Haryana, but when it comes to secretary-level positions in the Chandigarh Administration, it seems that it is only the capital of Punjab.

As compared to Haryana cadre, the UT cadre officials are more in number as far as the secretary-level positions are concerned.

Presently, the UT cadre and Punjab cadre officials are posted more at the secretary level as compared to Haryana cadre IAS officials.

Initially, there were only two secretary-level posts, Home Secretary from Haryana cadre and Finance Secretary from Punjab cadre. But the number has increased over the years.

Presently, from the UT cadre, three officials UT Adviser KK Sharma, CHB Chairman Satya Gopal and Additional Secretary Prerna Puri are holding various departments as the Secretary.

From Punjab, Finance Secretary VK Singh, CITCO MD DK Tiwari and Special Secretary Finance Ajoy Sharma are holding a few departments as the Secretary. But from Haryana, only Home Secretary Anil Kumar is holding departments as the Secretary.

In is not only in secretary-level postings, but recently in an unprecedented move, the Chandigarh Administration had posted Kavle V Parashuram, a UT cadre IAS officer, as Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC)-cum-Additional Excise and Taxation Commissioner, a post traditionally held by the state cadre officers and at that time HCS Mahavir Kaushik was working as the ADC.

On the number of secretary-level officers from Haryana, a senior official of the UT Administration, said they had started the process to fill the two secretary-level posts, which were recently sanctioned by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). "To fill one of the posts, the Administration has already written a letter to the Haryana Government and has sought a panel of the IAS officers," he added. 



2 convicted of smuggling heroin
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 31
The Court of Additional District and Sessions Judge, Shalini Nagpal, today convicted two persons for smuggling heroin. The NCB had arrested the accused in 2008. The orders will be pronounced on Friday.

The accused, Harpal Singh, alias Raju, and Ompal were arrested in 2008 by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) with 3.5 kg of heroin and 1,000 gm of smack. The NCB officials had stated that Raju had been peddling drugs for the past 10 years to children of several bureaucrats and politicians. He used to purchase heroin from the local sources. He had links with some officers of the Chandigarh police department and a nexus with officials of the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police and Inspector.

Sources said there were more than 30 such officers working in connivance with the drug peddler.

Raju, a resident of Sector 51, is reportedly an MPhil student of Punjabi University.

He paid a monthly payment to the officers involved in return for providing shelter and a free hand to run the business. The call details of Raju's mobile phone revealed that some serving officers were also involved in the case.

Raju was arrested thrice for smuggling. He was also the whistleblower who intimated the police regarding Sub-Inspector Ved Prakash, who was arrested by the CBI on the charges of taking a bribe. The entire case was being looked by the then, NCB director Saji Mohan, who was later found to be involved in a drug filching case, and all the inquires had vanished into thin air.



STA challans over 230 vehicles

Chandigarh, January 31
The State Transport Authority (STA) has challaned over 230 commercial vehicles for different violations. More than 1,500 transport vehicles were checked and 269 were challaned/impounded/issued notices. Three school buses were also challaned.

Secretary STA, Balbir Singh Dhol, said a fine of Rs 5,94,000 was recovered as composition fee. He said the vehicle owners were requested to keep an RC, insurance, driving licence, pollution under control certificate and permit in their vehicles. — TNS



Budget will be pro-people, says Punjab FM 
Our Correspondent

Mohali, January 31
Punjab Finance Minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa today said the coming budget would be pro-people and development oriented.

Dhindsa, while attending a function organised by the Bhagat Puran Singh Vatavaran Sambhal Society, said the state government has not burdened the tax payers. Most of the taxes which people had to pay were imposed by the Central Government.

The minister said, “Pollution is increasing every day and if it is not checked on time future generations will not forgive us. The deteriorating environment is affecting health and increasing diseases like cancer.”

He announced a grant of Rs 1 lakh for the society and released a directory on the occasion.

Gurmel Singh Maujewal, president of the society, said: “The main aims of our organisation are to plant saplings, protection of heritage and eradication of social evils.” 



Janani Suraksha Yojna beneficiaries to get payment directly in account 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 31
The beneficiaries of Janani Suraksha Yojna (JSY) - a scheme that provides financial help to new mothers- will now receive their funds by using the UID numbers also called Aadhar number. The project, which has already enrolled 19 beneficiaries for this month, will provide the payment directly in their bank accounts via UID number.

The project will help the UT Health Department in authenticating the beneficiaries-who belong to Below Poverty Line (BPL) families. The process will ensure that the original beneficiary receives the fund.

Under the JSY project, the officials of the Health and Family Welfare wing will identify the beneficiaries living in rural and urban areas and register their details from the anti-natal period. The funds will be released after the delivery of the beneficiary.

The beneficiaries in urban areas receive Rs 600 while those in rural areas receive Rs 700 post delivery. 



health notes
Retiring officials felicitated

Prof Yogesh Chawla, Director, PGIMER, honoured a faculty member Dr SS Arora, associate professor, Department of Biophysics, and five other officials- Daya Sharma, DNS; Subhash Chander, clerk, Medical Education and Research Cell; Bijendra Prasad Yadav, lab attendant, Department of Immunopathology; Ram Chander, hospital attendant; and Bal Kishan, sanitary attendant -on their retirement on Thursday by presenting mementoes to them.

PGI doctors bring laurels

Dr Geeti Khllar, senior resident, Department of Dermatology, PGIMER, has been awarded Dr BB Gokhale Medal 2012 for her research on modalities of treatment for vitiligo, commonly known as leucoderma, at the 41st National Conference of the Indian Association of Dermatologists, Venereologists and Leprologists (IADVL), held at Ahmedabad. Her research was guided by Prof AJ Kanwar, head, Department of Dermatology. Dr Sanjeev Handa, professor, Department of Dermatology, was awarded the prestigious Indubala Memorial Award for the best original article in the field of Occupational Dermatitis (Hand Eczema) published in the Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology in the year 2012 at the same conference.



Villagers’ protest against pollution enters 31st day
Parmod Mehta

Zirakpur, January 31
The protest against pollution spread by factories and poultry farms in Nagla village today entered thirty-first day. The villagers warned the administration that if no action was taken to reslove the issue, they would block the Ambala-Chandigarh national highway on February 4 and 5.

The villagers have been staging dharnas in front of factories under the banner of Common Land Protection Society since the New Year. They alleged the factories and poultry farms had been set up on the common panchayat land and had been spreading pollution by discharging effluents in the open.

Avtar Singh Nagala, who has been leading the struggle, said children studying in a nearby school were being affected by the pollution. A villager said he had to shift his children to another school.

Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Dera Bassi, Inderjeet Kaur Kang and Block Development and Panchayat Officer (BDPO) Arun Sharma had earlier met the protestors and assured them of resolving the issue, but no action was taken, said the villagers.



Govt school head suspended
Denied formal admission to EWS students who were already attending classes
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 31
The UT Education Department today suspended the headmistress of Government High School, Sector 30, Satish Kumari. She had reportedly denied formal admission to two class V students belonging to economically weaker section (EWS).

The students, Deepak and Ritesh, were already attending classes for the past eight months. The matter came to light when she debarred the students from entering the school last week. Following this, their parents met senior officials of the department.

Satish Kumari, however, did not comply with the orders of the department that directed her to immediately admit the students.

This led to ruckus in front of the school today morning when the parents accompanied by other people protested against the school head. Several local youth Congress leaders, including general secretary Yadvinder Mehta joined the protest. The police reached the spot to bring the commotion to an end.

Director Public Instructions (Schools) Upkar Singh said she arbitrarily expelled the students, despite the fact that the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act assured admission to all students.

“She was told five days back to admit the students, but she failed to comply with the given directions, following which her suspension orders were issued today,” he said.

Satish Kumari had initially alleged the affected students were not attending the school. Their class teacher Kiran Bali, however, refuted the allegation in front of the media.

The headmistress, later on, claimed the students had submitted incomplete documents, following which their admission process could not be completed. Ritesh’s father, Arvind Kumar, a class IV employee at a private factory, refuted her claim. He said despite the submission of all the required documents in July last year, they were kept waiting.

Both the students reside in Colony No. 4. Deepak’s father is a rickshaw puller.

Not the first complaint

It is not for the first time that Satish Kumari has come under scanner. Several complaints, filed by the staff members, are already pending against her.

A teacher said she was “torturing” the staff by not moving their important files on time. Several students said yesterday the headmistress forced them to write on paper the expelled students were not studying in the school.



PSEB devises system to find erring officials
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, January 31
To check the problem of missing answersheets, the Punjab School Education Board has developed a system to track them. This will help in finding the erring officials.

Secretary of the board Dr Balwinder Singh said earlier the board could not find at which level answersheets had gone missing, and which official or school was responsible for it.

“Now, we have plugged all loopholes to check the menace. Special litho codes will be marked on each answersheet. We will maintain a record of the answersheets through these codes that will specify the examination centre to which they are sent. A special attendance chart will also be prepared, carrying roll number and a special code number of every candidate. The candidate will be made to sign this chart. A system has been developed to trace answersheets if they go missing by matching the attendance chart and the special codes,” he said.

With this new system, we would also be able to find the erring official, he said.

A six-member committee has been constituted to find a solution to the problem. It has also recommended some other modifications to the answersheets.

This year, the colour of answersheets for classes X and XII will be different to avoid the mixing of answersheets of both classes. “We have decided to have red-coloured answersheets for class X and blue-coloured sheets for class XII,” said Dr Singh.

He said in 2011, over 400 answersheets had gone missing, while the number stood at 135 last year.

The board has also issued directions to officials concerned to ensure the evaluation of papers in a fixed timeframe of 15 days. 



from schools
Colourful programme

Chandigarh: Children presented a colourful programme — Radiant Smiles — at RIMT World School, Manimajra, on Thursday. Forty students performed during an hour-long programme. School's in-house doctor Dr Preeti gave tips on preventing winter-related ailments.

Environment conservation

World Wetland Day was celebrated by the Blossoms Eco Club of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 10. The programme aimed at sensitising children about the importance of environment. Kuldeep Sharma, deputy conservator of forests and director, minor minerals, graced the occasion as the chief guest.

National Girl Child Day

Mohali: National Girl Child Day was celebrated at Gem Public School, Phase 3B2, with great enthusiasm. The celebrations aimed at imbuing sensitivity towards gender issues and removing prejudices against the girl child. A special assembly was organised in which students spoke on crime against women. Poster-making and slogan-writing competitions were also organised.

Fancy dress competition

The kindergarten wing of Doon International School organised a fancy dress competition. The children portrayed various characters by dressing like them and also delivered dialogues to lend authenticity to the character.

Sports day

Sports day for pre-nursery to class II concluded at Shishu Niketan School. On the first day, students of classes pre-nursery to kindergarten participated in various games. On the second day, students of classes I and II showcased their athletic skills in fun games such as bag race, lemon race and eat-and-run race.

Annual prize distribution

Alpine Public School, Nalagarh, organised the 17th annual prize distribution function. Students who excelled in academics and sports were felicitated. School principal Prem Joshi presented the annual report and encouraged students to participate in cultural activities. — 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 |