C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Bassi in, Chawla out on posters
Mayor not invited to Congress rally organised for Pawan Kumar Bansal
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

MP Pawan Kumar Bansal interacts with residents of Badhari village in Sector 52, Chandigarh, on Saturday.
MP Pawan Kumar Bansal interacts with residents of Badhari village in Sector 52, Chandigarh, on Saturday.Tribune photo: S Chandan

Chandigarh, July 6
In the wake of a tussle between Congress councillor Mukesh Bassi and Mayor Subhash Chawla, also from the Congress, the senior leaders of the party have started giving importance to Bassi. It was evident when the organisers of today’s Congress rally did not invite the Mayor. Nor did they give him space on the posters displayed at the venue of the rally, which was organised for former Union Railway Minister and local MP Pawan Kumar Bansal at Kajheri village.

Senior Congress leaders, including Pawan Sharma, Bhupinder Badheri, Davinder Babla, Vijay Rana, Anand Singh and Rama Charan Gupta, who organised the rally and got the posters printed, didn’t think it prudent to include Chawla’s photo, who is also a Congress general secretary, on the posters.

Meanwhile, Bansal assured the villagers that he would protect their houses situated beyond the lal dora. Bansal also said he would make his best efforts to extend the lal dora.

While addressing a huge gathering, Bansal said he would oppose the draft building bylaws for villages and submit his objection to these as Member of Parliament. He also assured the public that till the UT Administration gave compensation for land on a par with the Punjab Government, he would not allow it to acquire any land belonging to the villagers in the city. The Food security Bill will benefit the city residents as well, he added.

Congress leader Pawan Sharma said by drafting the building bylaws, the administration was taking steps that were against the villagers. Bhupinder Badheri said the party should support the villagers and address their grievances.

Davinder Babla said if the UT Administration did not hear the villager’s demands, then they would hold protests against the UT Administration.



Sanitary attendant felicitated for exemplary service
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 6
It was a moment to cheer not only for the PGI for having completed 51 years of existence, but also for 58-year-old Kartar Singh, who finds himself to be the most fortunate non-faculty employee of the institute to have been recognised and honoured by the Vice-President for his sanitation services on the PGI’s foundation day today. Until yesterday while very few recognised him among thousands of safai karamcharis at the institute, he has now emerged as a hero among them.

A resident of Daddu Majra in Sector 38, Kartar is a highly respected fellow in the area. But, his existence was unknown to many at the PGI despite his unconditional services to many patients and support to the medical staff of the institute. He prefers to walk from his home to the PGI. "I start two hours in advance for reaching the PGI to cover the stretch of 7 or 8 km. People often wonder at my preference to walk and sometimes pity me thinking that I cannot afford a vehicle. But I never bother," he said.

"Though I had never asked for much from God, I have always remained sincere and honest towards my work. My hard work and honesty seem to have borne fruits now. Such activities encourage the people of our class to do well in life," Kartar added.

There were a few others like Kartar who were honoured for their services. A total of 10 PGI employees were honoured by Vice-President Hamid Ansari along with Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad. They were presented with appreciation certificates and mementos.

Malkeet Chand, UDC, Procurement Branch, Naresh Mahajan, Sanitary Inspector Grade-I, Sanitation Department, Jagdish Parsad, Hospital Attendant Grade-II, Department Of Gynaecology, Raj Mal, Laboratory Attendant Grade-I, Department of Nephrology, Bijendra Prasad Yadav, Laboratory Attendant Grade-I, Department Of Immunopathology, Kartar Singh, Sanitary Attendant Grade-III, Department Of Parasitology, Raghunath Singh, Laboratory Attendant Grade-II, Department Of Biochemistry, Kundan Lal, Hospital Attendant Grade-II, Nursing Cell, Randhir Singh, Hospital Attendant Grade-II, Oral Health Sciences and Chander Shekhar, Bearer/Masalchi Grade II, Department of Dietetics, were those honoured for exemplary services.



VIP’s visit leads to traffic snarls

Chandigarh, July 6
Traffic snarls were witnessed on the city roads during the visit of Hamid Ansari, Vice-President, to the PGI today.
The situation was worst on the road between the airport light point and Tribune Chowk, as the commuters had to wait for a long time at the light points and roundabouts for the cavalcade to pass. The commuters also faced traffic snarls on the Madhya Marg between 11 am and 11.30 am and again between 12.30 pm and 1.15 pm.

A police official stated that being a weekend, there were fewer vehicles on the roads and there was no problem in regulating the traffic despite the VIP’s cavalcade. “The commuters had to stop only for a few minutes on the earmarked route. The traffic flow was resumed as soon as the cavalcade passed different points,” said a police official. — TNS



Medicines worth RS 50 lakh destroyed in fire
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 6
Medicines and surgical instruments worth Rs 50 lakh were destroyed in a fire that broke out at a medical store in Mani Majra this morning.
The drugs stocked at two upper floors of the building were destroyed.

The fire control room received a call at 9.30 am, following which five fire tenders were rushed to the spot. Fire station officer SK Gosain said the owner of the shop was yet to get a no-objection certificate.

The owner said he had applied for the certificate. Gosain said, "The building lacked fire alarms. Though there was a fire extinguisher, the staff did not know how to operate it."

The furniture in the shop was also gutted. No loss of life was reported.

A hydraulic booster was also pressed into service.



Chemists’ bids to be linked with discount
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 6
The general body (GB) of the PGIMER wants to make the highest discount offered as  bidding criteria for the auction of shops.
The system, if implemented, will bring relief for patients as chemists will focus on sales and not on the rent which runs into lakhs.

At present, highest rent offered is taken into consideration while auctioning a shop. The monthly rent paid by six chemists to the PGI amounts to Rs 20 crore which means each chemist pays Rs 42 lakh.

Consider this: A medicine, which is priced at Rs 26 (MRP), is procured by a chemist at Rs 3. The chemist, after offering a maximum of 30 per cent discount to a patient, saves Rs 18.20 and pays the monthly rent running into lakhs.

For the PGI, a non-profit organisation, an amount equal to the income from the rent gets deducted from the total funds released by the Central Government.

It is the patients who are at the receiving end as they end up paying 500 per cent more.

Under the proposed system, the PGI will be able to ensure a discount up to 70 per cent to the patients while charging a minimal amount as rent from the chemists.

If the chemist offers 70 per cent discount on the medicine priced at Rs 26, he will still be able to save Rs 7.8, while paying much lesser rent.

The proposal was first mooted in 2011 by Sangrur MP Vijay Inder Singla.

During the meeting chaired by the Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Ghulam Nabi Azad, the members resolved that the move was in consonance with the objective of the PGIMER in providing affordable treatment to poor patients.

The system is likely to be implemented this year. The general body directed the 17 faculty members, who were earlier disqualified for a promotion, to appear for fresh interviews.

Relief for patients

The proposal was first mooted in 2011 by Sangrur MP Vijay Inder Singla. Under the proposed system, the PGI will be able to ensure a discount up to 70 per cent to patients while charging a minimal amount as rent from chemists. If a chemist offers 70 per cent discount on a medicine priced at RS 26, he will be able to save ~7.80, while paying much lesser rent.


Accused flees from hospital
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 6
Ranjit Singh, alias Rode, an accused in yesterday's firing that took place at Mauli Baidwan village, fled from General Multi-Speciality Hospital in Sector 16 where he was undergoing treatment.

Following a clash between two groups of the Akali Dal, Rode had opened fire on the opposite group.

Village sarpanch Kulwinder Kaur and former sarpanch Avtar Singh alleged that the police might have helped him in fleeing from the hospital.

Mohali Superintendent of Police (city) Swarndeep Singh refuted the allegations. Avtar Singh alleged that Rode was among the seven accused who were handed over to the police after the incident.

"We were shocked to see that he (Rode) was not produced in the court today. When we asked about him, we were told that he had fled from the hospital," said Avtar Singh.

SP Swarndeep Singh said, "Rode was sent to the hospital as he had suffered injuries. No case was registered till then. He ran away when he learnt that a case was being registered against him," said the SP.

He said raids were on to nab him and the other accused. The police today produced five accused Baljit Singh, alias Jeet, Sukhwinder Singh, Gurwinder Singh, Gurjinder Singh and Bikramjit Singh in a local court which sent them to a two-day police remand. Six persons, including the village's sarpanch, Kulwinder Kaur, and her three brothers-in-law Satnam Singh, Gursewak Singh and Gurwinder Singh, were injured in the firing. The others who suffered injuries included Harjot Singh Gabbar, an international kabaddi player, and village panch Bhupinder Singh. Satnam Singh, Gursewak Singh and Gurwinder Singh were shifted to the PGI, Chandigarh.

The incident is reported to have taken place around 7.30 am when Satwinder Singh, husband of Kulwinder Kaur, the newly elected sarpanch, was allegedly challenged and threatened by Baljit Singh.

This led to heated arguments and soon the supporters of both the groups opened fire. A case under Sections 307, 336, 451, 148 and 149, IPC, and Section 25/27 of the Arms Act has been registered against 15 persons at the Sohana police station. 

Two more arrested

The police arrested two more accused Gurdeep Singh and Gurjinder Singh, alias Puppy, late on Saturday evening.

“We have arrested seven accused so far. Gurdeep Singh is a nephew of Ranjit Singh. Raids are on to nab the remaining accused,” said SP Swarndeep Singh. 



Comedy play ‘Jija Ji NRI’ staged

Artistes enact a scene from the play ‘Jija Ji NRI’ at the Tagore Theatre in Chandigarh on Saturday.
Artistes enact a scene from the play ‘Jija Ji NRI’ at the Tagore Theatre in Chandigarh on Saturday. Tribune photo: S. Chandan

Chandigarh, July 6
A comedy play, ‘Jija Ji NRI’ was staged at Tagore Theatre in Sector 18, here, today. Organised by the Punjabi Shabyacharak Manch, the play had everything to tickle the funny bone of the audience.

The play, written by actor-comedian Gurchet Chitarkar, was set in a rustic Punjabi village and was about a character, ‘Jija Ji’, who returned from abroad. The little funny arguments between the family members created situational comedy, which entertained the jam-packed audience. — TNS



Teachers to discuss extension of school timings
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 6
Teachers of various government schools will gather on July 8 at the Jama Masjid ground in Sector 20 to discuss the latest letter issued by the UT Education Department regarding the anticipated extension of their school timings under the Right to Education (RTE) Act.

Ravinder Sharma, a government teacher, said the latest move would not only put mental pressure on the teachers but also affected their families.

In the RTE Act, 2009, there is not only one provision i.e. extension of time but there are many more essential provisions in the Act such as teacher-student ratio, school infrastructure, school uniform, and books to students in time and formation of a teachers’ grievance committee, which are not fully addressed by the department.

All these issues would be discussed by them on July 8, said Ravinder Sharma. Several teachers association too gave a call for this meeting.

It is the second time the UT administration is pushing for the extension of the teachers’ timings. In April this year, the Education Department had to postpone its decision over the matter due to a massive protest by teachers.



University to take strict action against erring students
To ban entry of outsiders involved in clash on the PU campus
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 6
A day after a bloody clash was reported on the Panjab University (PU) campus, the university authorities have decided that strict action will be taken against the university students involved in the incident and ban the entry of the outsiders’ involved in the clash that left two seriously injured.

Top officials of the university today held a meeting over the issue. PU Registrar, Dean University Institutions (DUI), Adviser to Vice-Chancellor, Dean Students Welfare (Women), Chief of University Security and the Wardens were among those who participated in the meeting.

The videography of the incident was also done.

DSW (W) Kalpana K Mahajan said the officials had decided to take strict action against the erring students of the university for indulging in violence.

“We will not allow outsiders booked in the case to enter the PU campus,” she said.

DSW (W) said the university would also take the list of PU students and outsiders with criminal background from the Chandigarh Police.

“We will try to restrict outsiders from participating in the students’ politics on the campus,” she added.

The university administration has asked the Chandigarh Police to take strict action against the persons involved in the incident while ensuring that no innocent was put to any undue harassment.

The meeting also discussed measures to beef up security on the campus with focus on strict monitoring on the entry of outsiders. It has also asked hostel wardens to be more vigilant about the occupants in hostels and frequent raids be conducted with the help of the police.



PU rejects student’s demand for waiving fine
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 6
The four-member committee constituted by Panjab University (PU) in the incident of two University Institute of Legal Studies (UILS) students reportedly involved in racing on the campus has rejected the demand of the student for waiving the fine of Rs 41,300 imposed on him for damaging the PU property.

While the girl who was driving one of the vehicles has already paid the fine, the boy was reluctant to pay the same.

A meeting of the four-member committee comprising Kalpana K Mahajan, Dean Student Welfare (DSW) Women, and Senate members Yograj Angirsh, Dinesh Kumar and Nandita Singh was held yesterday, which was also attended by DSW AS Ahluwalia.

The reckless driving by both students, who were in two vehicles, had led to a major accident on April 16 leaving five vehicles, including a motorcycle, damaged and one person injured.

One of the committee members said the boy claimed that the accident did not happen due to his mistake.

“The student claimed that he had already paid around Rs 30, 000 to owners of the vehicles which were damaged during the accident. He wanted that his fine should be waived,” said a committee member.

Dinesh Kumar, a Senate member and also the member of the committee, said the decision to impose fine 10 times the cost of damage made to the university property during the accident was taken keeping in mind the lives of scores of students that were at risk when both UILS students were driving recklessly on the campus.

“There are over 14,000 students and several thousands of PU employees on the campus, both students risked their lives and waiving-off the fine would be no less then encouraging reckless driving on the campus,” said Kumar.

One of the committee members said though the committee’s decision over the matter was final, however, there was an apprehension that the university might form another committee to wave his fine.



PU witnesses rush on last day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 6
The last date to submit admission forms for various courses at Panjab University ended today.
A large number of students rushed to the university to fill the admission forms.

Earlier, July 3 was the last date for the submission of forms, however, keeping in view the flash floods that led to the disaster in Uttarakhand, the university authorities had extended the last date till July 6.

The admission process at various teaching departments will begin soon.



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