C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Police uses force on protesters
Tribune News Tribune

Chandigarh, May 5
A high-voltage drama was witnessed near Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal’s house in Sector 28 when agitating members of the ABVP were lathicharged by the Chandigarh Police.

The activists were protesting against the recent incident of Bansal’s nephew Vijay Singla being arrested by the CBI for allegedly fixing top-level appointments in the Railway Board.

The protesting ABVP members were stopped by the police at the barricades installed near the minister’s house. The Congress activists also arrived on the other side of the barricades and started raising slogans. The activists from both the parties also manhandled each other.

The situation worsened when the ABVP members were suddenly lathicharged by the police while they were burning an effigy.

Anokh Singh, station house officer, Sector 26 police station, and Narinder Patial, SHO, Industrial Area, were reportedly seen beating up the protesters. Two protesters were also arrested by the police under preventive measures.

When asked what was the need to use force on the protesters, UT SSP Naunihal Singh said the officers on duty might be in a better position to answer the question.

“No inquiry has been marked into the incident. I may seek an explanation from the officers concerned, if required,” the SSP said.

When contacted, the SHO, Industrial Area, said the SHO of the Sector 26 police station, Anokh Singh, could tell about the incident. However, Anokh Singh could not be contacted despite repeated attempts. 



Multiple entries mar Panchkula voters’ lists
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 5
With less than a month left for the Panchkula Municipal Corporation elections, discrepancies have come to the fore in the voters’ lists. Hundreds of voters have been issued multiple voter cards with different residential addresses.

Duplicate bank accounts were also opened to prepare fake votes, said sources. This all has been done at the behest of prospective candidates, said sources. The Panchkula City Magistrate has initiated an inquiry following complaints of discrepancies the voters’ lists.

A resident of Mansa Devi Complex, Sector 5, Panchkula, Hemant Kinger has three votes in two different wards, in ward number 8 and ward number 16. He has a vote in Sector 4 under the serial number 1,010, while his name also figures in voters’ lists at Mansa Devi Complex Army Flats under numbers 1,104 and 1,109.

Similarly, Hemant Kinger’s daughter-in-law Namrata’s name, who stays abroad, figures in two voters’ lists, one in Sector 4 under serial number 1,011 and another in MDC, Sector 4, under serial number 1,108.

When contacted, Hemant Kinger said: “I used to reside in Sector 4. When I shifted, I asked the officials concerned to delete the names of my family from the voters’ list.”

City Magistrate Vandana Disodia said she was conducting an inquiry and the report would be out soon.

In ward number 10, which comprises Sectors 16, 17 and 9, over 500 votes were rejected by the administration following reports of bogus names in the voters’ list. An inquiry was conducted by the chief executive officer of the Municipal Corporation, Vinay Pratap Singh, who found that duplicate bank accounts were opened for preparing votes.

“I submitted a complaint when I noticed that around 600 votes were bogus. Duplicate accounts in a Sector 11-based bank were also opened by the prospective candidates. Though the votes were cancelled, the culprits were not punished,” said Bhawna Gupta, former municipal councillor.

“There are 72 bogus votes in Sector 18. Fourteen persons have their names in the voters’ list from house number 83 where no one stays. The names of 12 persons have been included in the voters’ lists in house number 18 which is locked,” said CB Goyal, former councillor. 


A voters' list shows multiple entries of voters.
A voters' list shows multiple entries of voters. 



CBI should interrogate Bansal, says BJP
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5
Union Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal’s nephew, who has been arrested by the CBI for allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 90 lakh in the rail gate scam, is not only managing the political affairs of the minister, but also has a close business association with his family, alleged senior BJP leader Satya Pal Jain.

Showing documents during a press conference to prove his point, Jain said the CBI should interrogate the minister who had claimed that he had no business links with his nephew. “Not only the minister’s wife and sons, his other relatives are directors in different companies,” claimed Jain.

Showing the list of companies, Jain said Bansal’s nephew Vikram Bansal and Vijay Bansal were directors in JTL Infra Ltd. “Vikram Bansal has the same address that of Pawan Bansal in the documents. The minister’s sons Amit Bansal and Manish Bansal and his nephew Vikram Bansal are shareholders in Bansi Raunaq Energy Group ltd,” said Jain.

"If they are using the minister’s address for their companies, how can there not be a business link? Why is Bansal not coming out in public and answering questions being raised on him?" said Jain.

"I am surprised why the CBI was not interrogating Bansal. We have documents that establish a business link between Bansal's family and his nephew. The CBI should look into the assets amassed by of the Bansal family and his relatives over the recent years,” said the BJP leader.

Jain said be it the case of allotment of land for Delhi Public School, the infamous booth scam of Krishan Market in Sector 41 or the death of workers in Acropolis, a mall-cum-hotel project, the minister had been using his influence to cover up the wrongdoings. 



Endless wait for reports at PGI
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5
Obtaining a lab test report from the PGIMER's research block is nothing less than a Herculean task for patients and their attendants.
Sample this: A patient who had given a urine sample and semen PCR test for TB got his report after 34 days. During this period, he frequented the research block several times asking for the report.

A receipt of samples was given on March 26; and (right) test report was provided after 34 days on April 30.
A receipt of samples was given on March 26; and (right) test report was provided after 34 days on April 30. 

The officials at the research block, on the contrary, claim they normally take three days to give the report. Forty-three-year-old Sanjeev Sharma (name changed) met a doctor on March 23 and gave the samples on March 26 (see pic) for both the tests. He, however, had to face the rude behaviour of the staff at the research block for four weeks. Finally, he got the report on April 30, after 34 days.

“When I had given the sample, I was asked to collect the report after a week. When I visited a week later, I was told it would take some more time. When I objected to the delay and asked them the reason for it, I was asked not to argue. This behaviour is uncalled for,” he said.

“Later, I went to a private clinic and got the tests done. I got the reports within two days. I was curious to know about my ailment. Though the cost involved was much higher at the private clinic, but I got it done since I could afford it. But what about the poor patients who cannot afford the high cost of tests at private labs,” he added.

Another patient Shruti Arora (name changed) said she had been waiting for her thyroid test report for the past three weeks.

Chandigarh Tribune had last month highlighted the hardships the patients had to undergo to kill the waiting time at the OPD Block and then for the reports to meet the doctor again.

A majority of poor patients who visit the PGI from far-off places are forced to spend their time in parks to wait for their reports first and then outside the OPDs to know about their ailment. Some of the patients find it difficult to afford even the minimal per day fee at the serais. 


GMCH-32 gives sanitation a miss
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

 The litter thrown around at the OPD block.
The litter thrown around at the OPD block.

Chandigarh, May 5
The city’s sole medical college - GMCH, Sector 32 - which is visited by over 3,000 patients everyday, does not seem to be in the pink of health.
Sanitation is a casualty in most parts of the hospital with used cotton rolls lying all over the floor in the OPD waiting area and also inside the wards. Biomedical waste like used gloves and syringes are seen lying dumped on the rear side of the hospital building for days together.

In the hospital’s annual audit report 2012-13, it was found that Rs 57.5 lakh was spent on the purchase of laptops, last year, from the fund sanction by the UT Administration for sanitation, laundry and related services.

A visit to the OPD Registration area in the hospital on Tuesday revealed that the waste lying all across the floor was being run over by the patients moving in the area, but there was no cleaning staff present there to take note of it.
Used gloves lying in the open near the OPD Block.
Used gloves lying in the open near the OPD Block.

While the hospital has employed as many as 400 sweepers on contractual basis, there is no one to check on the duties of the employees. The duty roster of the sweepers is ineffective at the hospital. The sweepers work as per their own wish and convenience.

Sources revealed that a number of these sweepers ran a nexus with the contractors who marked proxy attendance for the sweepers.
Soiled cotton strewn on the floor.
Soiled cotton strewn on the floor.

A 55-year-old patient, Mohan Dass, who came for his check-up at the orthopedics OPD today, said, “I have been visiting this hospital for the past couple of years. The hygiene standards have fallen down considerably. Earlier, the hospital used to be very neat the clean. But now, nobody bothers to clear the garbage or litter from the patient area. It keeps lying for several days.”

Dr Atul Sachdev, who recently took over as the Director of the institution, said, “We have already started working on the sanitation and beautification of the campus. A sanitation committee has been constituted and I have also been taking regular rounds of the hospital to keep a tab on the cleanliness of the campus. The outer part of the hospital may take some more time for significant improvement but we have started the process. Sanitation and hygiene must be maintained at the hospital. We will soon get better results.”



Female literacy goes up
Increases by 8 per cent as compared to 6 per cent among males
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5
In the past 10 years, the female population of the city has increased and so has the literacy rate among women by eight per cent as compared to the six per cent registered among males.

The increase in the literacy rate is due the increase in female population since 2001 census. As per the primary census abstract 2011 released by the UT Census Department, the number of females in the city has increased by 80,707 compared to 73,344 males. This has led to the increase in population. Census officials said that when it came to literacy, the city had registered 86.43 per cent increase of which the male literacy stood at 90.54 per cent and female at 81.38 per cent.

In rural areas, the literacy rate of males and females was 86.68 per cent and 74.17 per cent, respectively. Out of the total rural population of 29,004, 20,217 were literates.

Of the total city’s population of 10.54 lakh, 8,09,653 lakh persons were literate.

Chandigarh has a higher density than the national average.

The officials disclosed that the density of the city was 9,252 per sq km which was higher than the national average of 382 per sq km. In 2001, the density of the city was 7,900 per sq km against the national average of 324 per sq km. The total area of the city is 114 sq km.



FOSWAC meeting a stormy affair
Objections raised on amendments; members walk out of the meeting
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5
The annual general body meeting of the Federation of Sector Welfare Associations (FOSWAC) held today turned out to be a stormy one after some members raised objections over the amendments proposed by the executive committee of FOSWAC.

Following the incident, a section of the Resident Welfare Association (RWA) members walked out from the meeting in protest.

Objections over the amendments were raised by GS Sathi of RWA, Sector 38, who stated that the proposal to amend the rules should have been discussed at the general house meeting first and if the rules required to be amended then a committee should have been formed. “The executive committee on its own made a proposal, passed and brought it to the general house which is wrong”, Sathi said.

While Sathi was addressing the gathering, the members who were in his favour and those opposing him entered into heated arguments.

The members also opposed the amendment proposed by the executive committee that each RWA that had minimum 100 members would nominate three office-bearers of the association at the general body meeting, instead of three active members of the association.

Balwinder Singh Multani, a representative of RWA Sector 37, stated that the resident associations should have the right to nominate the active members of the associations. “Amending the rules and allowing only office-bearers to be a part of the general body meeting is a move to restrain active and senior members of the association who are experienced from taking part in the general body meeting discussion”, Multani said.

FOSWAC chairman PC Sanghi said that the decision of the executive was not final and every member had the right to oppose the proposal made by the executive. “If the members had some objections they should have discussed them. Moreover, all the amendments proposed by the executive committee was passed by the majority of the house”, Sanghi said.

At the end of the meeting, the proposed amendments in Section 7 (i) (ii) (iii) and Sections 10.1 and 10.2 of the constitution of FOSWAC were passed by the general body of the federation.



Domestic help ends life
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5
A 45 year-old domestic help committed suicide by hanging herself to a tree at a residence in Sector 9 here today.
The police said the maid identified as Usha Rani committed suicide by hanging her self to a tree next to the servant quarter.

Police officials stated that the deceased’s son was sleeping when she took the extreme step.

The security guard at the house found the maid hanging from a tree and informed everyone about the incident.

The police has registered a case and an inquiry has been initiated.



Illegal liquor vend opened alongside mango green belt
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5
Despite instructions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court on the opening of liquor vends alongside the roads, a liquor contractor in Industrial Area, Phase II
(Ram Darbar) has opened an illegal vend alongside the mango green belt.

Taking advantage of the site, the contractor has opened an illegal gate at the rear of the industrial site alongside the green belt. The road leads from Tribune Chowk to the 3 BRD traffic light point.

“By doing so, he will attract more business and cause losses to the department. The bid amount for the vend is less than the bid amount the site should have attracted”, said sources in the trade.

Officials in the Excise Department said that the matter would be probed. The UT Administrator had directed the excise officials to ensure that no vend was allowed in areas other than those that were earmarked. 



Mohali businessman arrested
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 5
A local businessman has been arrested by the local police for involvement in cases of sale of stolen vehicles.
The accused, identified as Daljit Dogra (45), a resident of Phase XI, runs a property and finance business, and reportedly owns property worth several crores of rupees in the area.

This is the second arrest in the case involving car thefts and sale of these vehicles by preparing fake documents. Harvinder Singh, alias Tito, was arrested yesterday by the police.

As many as eight vehicles, including three Manza cars, two Scorpio, a Skoda, a Balero and a Zen car, have also been recovered.

Giving details, Mohali SSP Gurpreet Singh Bhullar said two of their accomplices, Gurpreet Singh, a resident of Ram Darbar, and Vivek from Zirakpur, are still at large.

“The gang used to procure registration certificates of those vehicles that got completely damaged in accidents. They used the chassis and engine numbers of these vehicles to prepare fake documents for the stolen vehicles. Besides, the gang used to finance vehicles from banks after submitting fake identities and other related documents, before selling off these vehicles,” said SSP Bhullar.

Dogra was produced before court this evening and was sent to a two-day remand under the police custody.

Vehicles were used by influential persons

Of the recovered vehicles, two were being used by a local senior leader of Shiromani Akali Dal’s youth wing. According to a senior police official, a Skoda and a Scorpio car were recovered from the local leader. “Most of these vehicles were also being used by certain influential persons. Their involvement is being looked into. At the moment their names can not be disclosed,” said the official. 

Dogra being falsely implicated, says wife

Daljit Dogra’s wife alleged that he was being falsely implicated in the case. “He runs various businesses and owns a lot of property in the area. Why would he be involved in such a crime?” said Dogra’s wife, Manju Bala. She alleged that the absconding accused, Vivek, had taken some money from their firm around seven years ago. “As he could not return it, he offered to sell off his cars to return the loan. The cars were bought by Harvinder Singh, who was our neighbour at that time,” Manju said. The police has recovered the cars in question from Harvinder. Manju alleged that Harvinder Singh had borrowed Rs 20 lakh from her husband, which were yet to be returned. “Other than that my husband has nothing to do with these people,” she said.



One more accused nabbed
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 5
The Mohali police has arrested one more member of the gang involved in the trading of illegal firearms on fake documents.
The police arrested Harwindervir Singh (30), a resident of Amloh, and recovered a .32 pistol from  his possession.

This is the fourth arrest in the case. The police has already arrested Ashwani Kumar and Kapil Dev, owners of two different gun houses, and one of their clients, Nitish Bishnoi, who had purchased a weapon on a fake arm licence that had a wrong address. Ashwani Kumar (32) is owner of Alishan Gun House at Moga, while Kapil Dev (26) ran Kapil Gun House at Jalalabad.

The police had already recovered six weapons, three .32 bore pistols, a .315 rifle, a .30 bore mouser and a revolver, besides several fake arm licences and other related documents from the accused.

Another accomplice of the accused, Dinesh Palta, a typist at the district courts in Ferozepur who used to help the gang members in preparing fake documents and arm licences, is still absconding.

Mohali SSP Gurpreet Singh Bhullar said the accused had admitted that they sold illegal weapons in several districts. “These accused also used to sell firearms to some criminals,” said Bhullar.

Investigations are on, he said. A case under Sections 420, 467, 468 and 471 of the IPC and 25, 54 and 59 of Arms Act has been registered at the Kharar police station.



Efforts on to make MLA’s personal security officer witness in case
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 5
Efforts are on to make Satpal, the personal security officer of Doon MLA Ram Kumar Chaudhary, a crucial witness against the MLA in the Jyoti murder case.
His name will be included in the supplementary challan that has to be filed by the Special Investigation Team (SIT). A team has been sent to his village in Punjab to seek his help.

Chaudhary, in his statement to the police, had claimed that he had offered Rs 25 lakh and Rs 10,000 monthly income to Satpal to take the blame of murdering Jyoti. However, Satpal reportedly left the job and fled away after seeing the media reports.

“We are looking for Satpal as he can prove to be a vital witness in the case,” said a police officer.

In the chargesheet filed by the Panchkula police, it was mentioned that Chaudhary used money to falsely frame his driver/personal security officer Satpal, alias Satta, in the case.

In order to escape arrest, in the anticipatory bail too, Chaudhary used Satpal’s name, accusing him of having a relationship with Jyoti. 



Loud music at night: Doc accuses police of inaction
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 5
Instead of taking action against those flouting rules by using loud speakers, the police control room personnel yesterday night dared the complainant to “do whatever you can”.

Dr Avtar Singh, interventional pain management consultant at Fortis Hospital, called the police control room at midnight to complain against the loud music being played at a religious function in the neighbourhood.

“Instead of taking action, they made lame excuses, while the rule of ban on loud speakers after 10 pm was being flouted by the function organisers,” said Dr Avtar Singh, who claimed he made at least eight calls till 1.30 pm, requesting the police to do the needful.

“At one point, one of personnel told me they were ‘helpless’ like me in checking the hazard. At around 1.30 pm, the policeman attending my call said to me ‘do whatever you can’,” alleged Dr Singh. He said he could not sleep the entire night due to the nuisance created by the loud music.

“I have to perform an operation today but I am in no position to do it,” said Dr Avtar Singh while talking to the Chandigarh Tribune.

He said he and his wife also went to the organisers to request them to turn off the music, but they too threatened him. Dr Avatar Singh said one policeman did come to his house at around midnight, but went away after claiming the area in which the function was being held was under his jurisdiction.

“This is for the second time I had to face such police apathy. A few months ago too, I had made a similar complaint to the police, but to my shock they disclosed my identity to the family that was organising the function,” said the doctor.

When contacted, SP (City) Swarndeep Singh said that the matter would be looked into. “I have instructed the head of the police station of the area to initiate legal proceedings against the disc jockey who was playing the music last night,” said Swarndeep Singh.



Carpooling must, say residents

Parents, police and school managements have to do their bit to improve parking chaos. Nobody should expect an overnight improvement in the existing chaotic conditions immediately before and after school hours near the school gates. Parents of wards leaving and picking their children from the same school and residing nearby should try carpooling in the common interest. Also, they should avoid taking the car right up to the school gate, and instead leave the car in the nearby parking area. Use of two-wheelers over cars will also help in easing the problem as cars occupy more parking space. The traffic police must regulate and enforce one-way traffic rule.

SC Luthra, MHC, Mani Majra

One-way traffic must during peak hours

To ensure adequate parking space outside schools so that the traffic can move smoothly, first of all policemen should be deputed during the peak hours outside the schools. Among the other possible solutions are that parents should park their cars in the nearby parking lots and walk down to pick or drop off their wards. Another way to avoid this chaos is to introduce one-way traffic during the peak hours, where the road is narrow. Finally, schools should make a list of students coming from the same localities and encourage the carpooling system by holding parents' meeting.

Priya Darsh Growar, Mohali

Schools should allow parking on campus

It is surely a tough job crossing the roads outside schools during morning and afternoon, which are the rush hours. Parents drop off their children at the schools in the morning and pick them in the afternoon. This results in traffic snarls as cars and motorcycles are parked on the main roads outside the schools and passers-by face lots of problems while crossing the roads. They curse the administration for not thinking of such chaotic situations while allotting space for schools in the city. Now, the only thing is to ask the school authorities to open their gates for allowing parents to park their vehicles inside the campus to ease the traffic situation on the roads. There should be security guards to regulate the traffic on the campus of the schools. No other alternate system seems to be available to solve this problem now.

RK Kapoor, Chandigarh

Have patience while parking vehicles

Merely passing the buck for the chaos outside the schools will not solve the problem. The schools should first of all be allowed to use the vacant space around their premises. Secondly, parents must also show discipline and patience while parking their vehicles outside the schools during the peak hours. They should not park their vehicles haphazardly and show restraint while driving in front of the schools. Providing traffic cops in front of the schools at the pack up time is a must, as this would ensure smooth flow of traffic in the wee hours. The schools must depute their staff outside the gates for sometime to ensure the safety of students who are seen running around carelessly on the roads whenever the school is over.

Shekhar Juneja, Chandigarh

Teachers, police, NGOs must coordinate

I feel every citizen should brace himself for more traffic chaos as city station house officers (SHOs) of the concerned area have failed to depute police personnel outside the schools. If the traffic police is facing a shortage of police personnel or machinery, a special team of the school teachers, NGOs and police staff should be constituted to handle the situation. Also, the parents should park their vehicles at a proper parking place in the markets and walk on footpaths to drop off their children to the school. The Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh, should ask the traffic police to restrict the movement of vehicles during the peak hours. Cycle-rickshaws should be allowed to park only at the authorised parking sites.

Sachin Sharma, Chandigarh

Multiple-storey parking need of the hour

It is true that the traffic snarl-ups are increasing day by day in the tricity. Even the condition of traffic in front of the main gates of schools, colleges, institutions, hospitals and offices is bad. The administration does not give proper attention to the parking problem. Everyone likes big and luxury vehicles and they also want proper and sufficient space for parking as well as the safety of their vehicle. The administration should construct multiple-storey parking behind the markets like parking at the PGI. The authorities concerned should also construct the same type of parking near the main gates of the above said buildings. The administration should construct side roads near the main gates of every institution.

Sumesh Kumar Badhwar, Mohali

Road on both sides of gates should be barricaded

Parking chaos outside the schools during the morning and afternoon hours is a daily occurrence. The media has conducted open house debates periodically, which produced some sensible and workable solutions to this monstrous problem. Compulsory use of school buses, carpooling, staggering of school timings (for nursery, primary and secondary classes), roads in front of schools restricted to one-way traffic and teachers detailed as traffic marshals are some of the measures suggested and partially implemented with no semblance of success. As parents try to drop off their wards closest to the school gate, the road leading to the gates should be barricaded 500 metres on the either side.

Col KD Pathak (retd), Chandigarh

Do not stop cars in the middle of roads

The problem of traffic hazard around schools can be solved to a considerable extent if parents do not stop their cars in the middle of the roads. Children dart between the waiting cars unaware of the dangers this action entails, as this occurs not in a designated driveway, but outside the schools. The longevity of the haphazard parking problem around schools can be solved if the above mentioned car driving habits are ingrained in the drivers who bring children to the schools.

Ajit Singh Canada

Policemen should be deployed outside schools

Dropping and picking children from schools has become a herculean task for every parent. Parents are made to suffer due to the lack of parking space, haphazard parking and the absence of policemen to regulate the flow of traffic. It is a serious issue, which must be handled sensitively and on a priority basis. Policemen must be deployed outside schools. This will help in managing traffic well and also in shooing away bad elements who pose a threat to children and other people by driving rashly. Usually, we see people following traffic rules only when they see the policemen. Parents should follow carpooling system to avoid unnecessary rush. One-way traffic should be introduced during peak hours to avoid traffic snarl-ups.

Dr Shruti K. Chawla, Chandigarh

Self-discipline among parents must

The Chandigarh police, the Education Department and school managements have been only talking loud on taking steps to solve the traffic congestion around schools during morning and afternoon hours when parents vie with each other to pick or drop off their children, causing chaos and disrupting regular traffic with their irresponsible behaviour. Though every parent rues the condition on the road, seldom has anything been done by them to ease the prevailing tension. With both traffic police and the Education Department showing their helplessness to come to rescue people of the problems, the onus of solving the muddle rests on the school managements whose attitude remains wanting in the matter. Carpooling coulped with change to responsible attitude to pick and drop off children could contribute to mitigate the problem further. Self-discipline among parents is the only left-out hope that can really work until the administration works out a coherent action plan.

Satish Chandra Sharma, Chandigarh


Open house question

Playgrounds for children or walking tracks for senior citizens? This has become a contentious issue between the Chandigarh Administration and the Municipal Corporation, with little being done to resolve it. What should be the priority of the authorities concerned: Playgrounds for children, greenbelts with walking tracks or to strike a balance between the two in order to meet demands of both the sections of society? Write your suggestions to openhouse@tribunemail.com



Bottle feeding at night leads to cavities in children: Research
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5
A research carried out on children aged between 16 and 18 months in the city by the Paediatric Unit of Oral Health Sciences Centre of the PGIMER has shown that consumption of sugary foods and bottle feeding during night are common factors leading to cavities in children.

Besides these, experts found that certain behavioural and social factors like sharing of utensils with the child, kissing on child’s lips, working status of the mother and low birth weight in babies with improper development of teeth (hypoplastic lesions) also have strong bearing on the development of cavities in children.

“Tooth decay, termed as baby bottle tooth decay, is a serious oral health problem affecting nearly 50 per cent of the child population in the age group of 2-5 years. It manifests as destruction of primary or milk teeth within months of their eruption. Dental caries in children teeth spreads rapidly and by the time it comes to the notice of parents, almost whole of the coronal structure (crown portion of the tooth) is already lost,” said Dr Ashima Goyal, Professor, Department of Oral Health Sciences, PGI.

These broken primary teeth can be painful for the child. Sometimes, the child faces difficulty in chewing food and problems with speech. The child and the parents also get worried about the facial appearance of the child, which is affected by the broken front teeth. These factors can interfere in the personality development and behaviour of the child.

“Early Childhood Caries” at very young age are often related to night-time feeding (breast or baby bottle), delayed and poor oral hygiene habits and the frequent consumption of caries producing sweetened food stuffs after weaning.

A little effort on the part of parents with basic home care measures can prevent this condition from occurring, which includes start of tooth brushing as soon as the first tooth erupts, use of a speck of fluoride toothpaste on toothbrush after 2 years of age, night-time brushing and tongue cleaning with brush assisted by parents, decrease in frequent snacking, especially those containing sugar, and avoiding sharing of utensils and kissing the child on lips, Dr Ashima suggested. 



Shiv Batalvi remembered through his poetic verses
Tribune News Service

Rinku Kalia performs during a programme to pay musical tributes to Shiv Kumar Batalvi at Panjab Kala Bhawan, Sector 16, in Chandigarh on Sunday.
Rinku Kalia performs during a programme to pay musical tributes to Shiv Kumar Batalvi at Panjab Kala Bhawan, Sector 16, in Chandigarh on Sunday. Tribune Photo: S.Chandan

Chandigarh, May 5
Legendary Punjabi poet Shiv Batalvi's poetry came alive in the mellifluous voice of Rinku Kalia, an eminent vocalist and the winner of Zee TV's programme "Sa Re Ga Ma", at a specially designed musical soirée "Shikra Yaar" at the Punjab Kala Bhavan here today evening.

The programme, organised by the S-4 Trust in collaboration with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) and the Haryana Information, Public Relations and Cultural Affairs Department, witnessed Rinku Kalia render some of the literary gems of Punjab's best-known poet, including "Shikra yaa", "Jach mainu aa gayee", "Peedan da paraga", "Raat gaye kar tara tara" and "Vaasta ae mera", "Mein Kandiali thor ve" and "Raat chanani mein turan", in her well-honed sonorous voice.

Even as a discerning audience hungered for more, the acclaimed artiste surprised the audience with an impromptu rendering of "Jis ch sooli da intezam nahi", penned by acclaimed poet Dr Surjit Patar, who was also the special guest for the evening.

A team of accomplished musicians led by noted Punjabi music director Varinder Bachan provided perfect musical support to the artiste. Besides, professor Rajpal Singh compeered the programme with admirable competence.



Policemen did little to check overloaded maxi cab
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 5
The maxi cab, which met with an accident on Friday evening on the Panchkula-Baddi Road due to overloading leaving five persons dead and 14 injured, used to take that route daily. Despite this, the policemen never bothered to check the violation.

The factory where the victims were working had booked a maxi cab for the pick-and-drop facility.

“The cab used to ferry over 15 persons from this route daily. It was brought to the notice of the authorities concerned several times that the vehicle was overloaded, but they said they had no other option,” said Bheem Singh, a relative of one of the deceased.

He said: “The police was present on that route. However, they made no efforts to check the violation”.

It was on Friday evening when five persons were killed while nine others were seriously injured on the Panchkula-Baddi road when a truck collided head-on with a maxi cab. The maxi cab had 14 persons on board against its seating capacity of seven.

The truck driver fled the spot after the accident. The victims, mostly women and all residents of Pinjore, were going home from a factory after completing their work when the accident took place.

The cab was on the way from Baddi to Pinjore, while the truck was going from Panchkula to Baddi when the mishap took place.

The victims were rushed to the General Hospital, Sector 6, Panchkula, where five were declared brought dead, while nine had suffered serious injuries.



Minor fire at Sector 34 showroom
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5
A minor fire broke out at a showroom, Sree equipment, in Sector 34 today evening.
While there was no loss of life, a few items got damaged due to the fire in the showroom. A split air conditioner and a chair were partly damaged in the fire, which broke out at around 5.45 pm due to a short-circuit.

Two fire tenders were rushed to the spot, one each from fire stations in Sector 17 and Sector 32.



Section 144 imposed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5
In a delayed action, the UT District Magistrate has imposed Section 144 of the Cr.PC within 500 metres of UT Congress Bhawan in Sector 35, Punjab Congress Bhawan in Sector 15, Punjab Raj BhaWan and at the residence of Pawan Kumar Bansal in Sector 28 here.

In a statement issued this evening, the District Magistrate said that the death of Sarabjit Singh in a Pakistan Jail, attack on a foreigner in Jammu Jail who was later hospitalised at the PGI, Chandigarh, and a CBI raid on the relatives of Pawan Kumar Bansal, may lead some political parties to take out rallies, protests, processions and candle marches.

The prohibitory orders will remain in force till May 11. 



Home Secretary felicitates tricity’s civil services toppers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5
Anil Kumar, the Union Territory Home Secretary, felicitated all the sixteen students, who have cracked the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), at a function organised by a private coaching institute at Sector 25 here today.

The Home Secretary while honouring the students at Abhimanu coaching institute, Chandigarh, congratulated them for their success and wished them good luck for 
the future.



Stray cattle victim’s kin to meet Patil

Chandigarh, May 5
The family of Harpreet Singh, who died in an accident involving stray cattle, last month, will be meeting UT Administrator Shivraj Patil at the public darbar on Monday. Harpreet’s widow, Gurpreet Kaur, was offered a contractual job, following a decision taken by the municipal corporation in this regard, last week.

The family, however, wishes that a permanent job be given to Gurpreet and will request the Administrator for it. — TNS



70 offenders challaned
Tribune News Tribune

Chandigarh, May 5
During its late night drive against drunk driving on Saturday, the Chandigarh Traffic Police caught 70 violators between 11 pm to 1 am.
Surprise nakas were set up at eight different locations and 44 vehicles were impounded by the police.

“We specifically chose the weekend as most of the errant motorists go home late from clubs after having drinks. Nakas were set up late in the night and 70 offenders were challaned. Out of the total challans, 44 were for drunk driving and equal number of vehicles was impounded by the police,” said a police official here.

He added, “As many as 26 persons were challaned for not wearing seat-belts, talking on the mobile phone while driving and for not possessing a driving license. We have observed that drunk driving is one of the major reasons behind road accidents and this drive will be continued in the coming days as well.



Pensioners' meeting today

Mohali, May 5
The general body meeting of Punjab Government Pensioners’ Association will be held tomorrow, 10 am onwards, at Rose Garden in Phase 3B-1. General secretary of the association Mohan Singh said the meeting had been convened to discuss the future strategy on issues of delay in the payment of third installment of arrears, non-release of dearness allowance installment announced with effect from July 2012, and other unmet demands of the pensioners.

Mohan Singh also flayed the latest decision of the government of reducing the amount of commutation of pension from 40 per cent to 20 per cent. Chairman of the association Ragbhir Singh Sandhu urged all pensioners to attend the meeting. — TNS



Involving cricketers a futile exercise, feel residents
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5 
In what seems to be a futile exercise to spread traffic awareness among commuters, the Chandigarh Police today made the Royal Challengers Bangalore’s star batsman Chris Gayle pose with the traffic policemen holding a placard about traffic awareness, for a photograph.

The UT police claimed that Gayle was supposed to talk to the commuters about traffic rules outside a hotel in Sector 35, where the IPL teams were presently staying. However, the cricketer was just made to pose with the constables holding placards after which he went back to the hotel. 

One of the city residents questioned that how would clicking a picture of a cricketer holding a placard help in traffic awareness. 

SSP Naunihal Singh who was also officiating as the SP (Traffic) on Sunday stated that it was all about sending a message to the commuters to follow traffic rules. “The commuters after watching the picture of a renowned cricketer holding a traffic awareness placard will get cautious about following rules”, the SSP said.



Chandigarh scan
Photo exhibition

Dr Upneet Lalli, deputy director, Institute of Correctional Administration, Chandigarh, organised a photo exhibition of prison photographs at Punjab Kala Bhawan Art Gallery, Sector 16, Chandigarh. The exhibition will showcase some of the photographs of Indian prisons clicked by her over the years during her various research visits to different prisons in the country. Prisons from nearly 14 states are covered in snapshots in this exhibition.

Bike launched

The all new sports bike, Ninja 300, which was launched on April 1, was unveiled in the city recently. The bookings for the bike started on April 10. Amit Kumar, area sales manager, said 10 bookings had been confirmed so far in the city and the waiting period for the bike was two months.

National conference

The Desh Bhagat University School of Management and Computer Sciences organised a one-day national conference on the theme “Futuristic Trends in Information and Communication Technology”. Desh Bhagat University Pro-Vice-Chancellor Dr Shalini Gupta inaugurated the conference. Over 40 delegates representing industry and academia belonging to different states of the country participated in the conference and presented papers. - TNS



More than 10,000 appear for NEET
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5
Thousands of students appeared for the National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET), a first ever-common medical test for the undergraduate courses, here today. However, the subject experts had their mixed response on the difficulty level of the exam. City-based biology expert, Dr Arvind Goyal said that the biology section was quite analytical and students having a good hold upon the concepts of biology would score well in it. He further mentioned that the biology section also included some questions, which were not directly picked up from NCERT textbooks.

Another important change, said the expert, was that the CBSE would display the images of OMR answer sheets and responses graded by the machine of all the candidates on the website (www.cbseneet.nic.in), prior to the declaration of result. The candidates would be given an opportunity to submit their representation against the OMR grading on the payment of Rs1000 per response challenged. The amount will be refunded to candidate if the board accepts the challenge.

There were 180 questions in all, including 90 questions in biology section, 45 questions in physics, 45 questions in chemistry. Another subject expert, Anil Verma said that out of 45 questions in physics, around 30 questions were easy. Another physics expert Vivek Gulati said that physics section in today’s exam was rather easy and more of conceptual sort.

Whereas, out of 45 questions in the chemistry section, 25 questions were easy while 20 questions were tough. Overall the exam was balanced as compared to last year's CBSE PMT exam, which has now been converted to NEET.

A student said that in CBSE PMT exam last year, there were 200 questions, whereas, the time duration was same. While this year there were 180 questions. The CBSE regional director RJ Khanderao said that the exam went peacefully here today. More than 10000 students appeared for NEET in Chandigarh centres, he added. 



Uncertainty prevails over mathematics re-appear exam
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5
Though, the Panjab University (PU) had recently declared that the BA, BSc second-year students of PU affiliated colleges would have to re-appear in the paper-B of mathematics on May 11, the university is yet not sure about re-conducting the exam.

The stance adopted by the university authorities has left the students at the receiving end. The mathematics paper-B on ‘differential equations’, held on April 17, had shocked everyone after it was found to be a replica of the 2012 question paper.

The university on April 26 had declared a fresh date and schedule for the re-examination, after which the university sent the issue to the BOS that had recommended that the exam should not be re-conducted. Ironically, the PU authorities are yet to decide as whether the exam will be held again or not.

Controller of Examination (COE), Parvinder Singh stated that the Vice-Chancellor (VC) would be taking the final decision which would then be immediately delivered to the students. “The decision of BOS was sent to VC and after getting the final decision we would inform the students”, said COE.

The confusion has left students harassed, as they are yet not clear whether they will have to appear again in the exam or they will be evaluated as per the question paper attempted by them earlier.

A student from DAV College, Sector 10, stated that the students didn’t have any fault in the question paper getting repeated and since the last 15 days they had been in a fix over the status of the exam." Notably, the decision over the BA final year question paper of Punjabi getting repeated is also pending.

The exam was held on April 27 and during the examination it was found that the question paper was exactly the same that had appeared the last year.

The case was sent to the BOS that had again recommended that no re-exam should be conducted. The final decision over the exam is yet to be made.



Casual attitude turns SSA inactive
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5
The Governing Council of the Chandigarh Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) Mission Society, headed by UT Administrator, is lying defunct. Sample this: Established in 2003 under the Society Registration Act, UT has held only one meeting of the governing council in last one decade.

It has been laid down in the concerned act that the SSA society would hold a meeting at least twice a year. Its purpose was to periodically review and ensure better convergence and coordination for implementation of SSA in a cohesive and effective manner in UT.

However, the casual approach of the local administration has literally made the governing council a toothless and ineffective body, ignoring its vital functions to lay down guidance framework for the society.

The only meeting of the council, consisting of 40 members, including Adviser to the Administrator, Education Secretary, DPI (s), District Education Officer, amongst others was convened in November 2010 by the then home-cum-education secretary Ram Niwas. Sources said that the UT Administrator, Shiv Raj Patil, who chaired that meeting, reproached UT officials for their casual attitude towards the council. But even then, there had been no meeting convened thereafter.

Ironically, the annual funding to the UT under SSA has crossed over Rs 50 crore. After the Right to Education Act, the SSA is now primarily used for supporting the implementation of the said Act.

Arvind Rana, president of SSA Teachers' Welfare Association, however said that due to ineffectiveness of the SSA Governing Council, many issues pertaining to the monitoring of work of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan or SSA Society had been ignored.

For instance time bound implementation of all the norms of RTE Act is a major issue which needs an urgent attention of the council, besides regularisation of JBT and TGT teachers under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, which has pending for last several years. “We submitted the representation many a times to the Administrator-cum-President of the Council to call an urgent meeting of SSA Governing Council, but nothing has been done,” he said.

Even though, The Tribune tried to dig out the status of agendas which were cleared in the last and only meeting of the council, no official had a certain answer to the questions raised.

Some key areas of the council

  • To periodically review implementation of its projects and lay down its necessary broad guidelines from time to time
  • To create duly empowered administrative mechanisms for the achievement of its objectives.
  • To secure active involvement and participation of educational institutions, voluntary agencies, teachers’ organisations and individuais committed to educational improvement
  • To undertake experimentation and innovation in elementary education.
  • To organise conferences, symposia, workshops, seminars, related to the project.



City schools indifferent towards introducing legal course
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5
A luke response has been given by the private schools in the region, so far, towards the recent move by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to introduce legal studies in classes XI and XII, from the new academic year. The board in its letter to schools has asked about their interest in offering this course to their students.

The idea of the board was to sensitise the students about our legal system and also an elementary training to those students who aimed at competing for admissions to the five-year integrated law programme. However no school from this region has so far shown interest for introducing this course to their curriculum from this session.

The CBSE regional director, RJ Khanderao, said, "There has been no response from the schools from Chandigarh and nearby cities, but we are hopeful that schools will come forward and lap the useful idea of introducing legal studies in their curriculum."

As per the CBSE’s guidelines, schools can offer legal studies as an elective subject, which students can opt for, along with three other elective subjects and a language.

Khanderao said that one of the important ideas to introduce this course was to make students familiar with law, which could help enhancing one's understanding of public affairs and awareness of one's entitlements and duties as a citizen. Understanding of law can encourage talented students to pursue law as a career in law, he added.

Talking to Dr Sachdeva, city based CBSE counsellor and principal DAV, Sector 15, opined that it was a welcome move by the board to introduce such an important subject. While her school is soon to start this course, more schools should come forward and give an opportunity to empower students with early career avenues in law.

As per the information, the subject includes teaching of theory and nature of of Indian legal system.



From schools
Farewell party

Students of various schools participalte in flash mob at Sector 17, Chandigarh, on Sunday
Students of various schools participalte in flash mob at Sector 17, Chandigarh, on Sunday. Tribune Photo: Pradeep Tewari

Chandigarh: A farewell party was organised for the students of Diploma in Early Childhood Education (NTT) in DAV Model Schoo,l Sector 15A, Chandigarh. The programme began with Ganesh Vandana to invoke the blessings of the almighty. Rakesh Sachdeva, principal, blessed the outgoing class and wished them success for all their future endeavours. She encouraged them to follow the path of utmost sincerity, high moral values and honesty in order to become an affective teacher.

Event on personal hygiene

The tiny tots of St Joseph's Senior Secondary School, Sector 44, Chandigarh, were acquainted with various ways and means of maintaining personal hygiene. The little ones enjoyed by reciting rhymes. Thereafter, the doll bathing activity was done to inculcate the little ones about the basic habits of keeping the body clean, wearing clean clothes changing garments daily to maintain their personal hygiene.

Talent hunt

Bhavan Vidyalaya Junior, Sector 33, Chandigarh, conducted the talent hunt final amidst a great excitement and enthusiasm. Children participated in various activities like mono act, mime, solo dance, instrument playing etc. They performed with full energy and enthusiasm.

Mother's Day

Gurukul Global School, Manimajra, celebrated the mother's day amid fanfare. The programme started in the traditional way of Diya lighting thereafter, the mothers were given a wonderful platform to showcase their talents. They participated enthusiastically in the events like, cold salad and mock tail making, best out of waste and catwalk on the theme of the retro era.



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