C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Woman’s Death
Irate kin vandalise GMSH-16
Break windowpanes of Emergency, ambulance; say Harjinder died due to doctors’ negligence
Tribune News Service

A woman throws a stone at an ambulance at the GMSH, Sector 16, on Tuesday
A woman throws a stone at an ambulance at the GMSH, Sector 16, on Tuesday. A Tribune photograph
A windowpane at the hospital that was smashed by the protesters
A windowpane at the hospital that was smashed by the protesters. Tribune photo: Pradeep Tewari

Chandigarh, August 13
Agitated relatives of a 38-year-old woman, who died along with her baby in the womb yesterday at the GMSH, Sector 16, took to frenzy and vandalised the entire hospital today. Around 100 relatives of the deceased woman created a ruckus at the hospital for over three hours by throwing stones and breaking windowpanes of the Emergency and a stationary ambulance.

While nobody was hurt, the incident created panic inside the Emergency and other wards where patients were admitted. While some patients returned from the main gate after seeing the drama, attendants of indoor patients gathered near the windows and on the terrace to view the drama.

Electricity cables were also dismantled, leading to fluctuations inside the Emergency, which caused further inconvenience to the patients.

In a fit of rage, one of the women in the family broke a signboard near the Emergency. The incident brought the functioning of the entire hospital to a standstill, with the staff also witnessing the drama from upper floors.

The incident started at around 11.30 am when the "whole clan" of the deceased woman, Harjinder Kaur, rushed to the hospital and blocked its main entry by parking a tractor in the middle of the way.

Harjinder Kaur, a native of Perch village, reportedly died last evening around 5.30 pm. Her family alleged that she died due to negligence on the part of doctors, who did not administer her oxygen though she was having a respiratory problem while she was being taken to the operation theatre.

She was admitted to the hospital on August 8. “She had not eaten anything ever since she was admitted. The doctors did not allow anyone to go inside or provide her food. She used to call up on my phone to tell me that she was hungry,” said Harwinder Singh, her husband. He also alleged that she died after being administered an injection. “The doctors never told her that she was at risk,” he said.

Deceased’s first child has heart problem

Harjinder’s first child, a five-year-old-boy, has a heart problem since birth and doctors had told the family that he may not survive for long. Harjinder’s pregnancy had given a ray of hope to the family after hearing about the low life expectancy of the first child. “I am taxi driver, I can't even afford the treatment of my first child to save his life,” said Harwinder Singh, the father.

Police remained a spectator

While more than 100 police officials were deputed at the spot, they could hardly control any of the protesters, who had blocked the Emergency for more than 10 minutes. Two DSPs, Roshan Lal and Shveta S Chauhan, visited the spot. The SDM also visited the hospital.

Post-mortem hints at damage to uterus

“We have sent the viscera samples for an analysis. The actual cause of death will be known only after the report is released,” said the Medical Superintendent, Dr Rajiv Vadhera. Sources indicated that damage to the uterus lead to the death of both the mother and the baby. A board of three doctors conducted the postmortem.

Inquiry marked

“An independent inquiry has been marked into the case to verify the allegations levelled by the relatives of the deceased. Dr Anju Huria, Head of the Department of Gynaecology, GMCH, Sector 32, and the District Health and Family Welfare Officer, Dr Soma, will conduct the inquiry. The committee will also comprise members of the deceased’s family,” said the Medical Superintendent, Dr Rajiv Vadhera.

GMSH-16 conducted 11,500 deliveries last year

According to official figures, more than 11,500 deliveries were conducted last year and nearly 2,500 deliveries have been conducted at the institute in the past three months at the hospital.



Delay in post-mortem flares up tempers
Four-hour delay caused as forensic expert from GMCH-32 failed to reach hospital
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Her family members block the entry to the Emergency block
Her family members block the entry to the Emergency block
Women protest in front of the main gate of the hospital
Women protest in front of the main gate of the hospital

Chandigarh, August 13
While the relatives of the woman, who died along with a baby in her womb at the GMSH-16 yesterday, had rushed to the hospital and demanded for the immediate post-mortem of the body, the officials did not start the process soon, which led to an agitation.

Officials at the hospital said the delay was caused as the forensic expert who was called to join the medical board did not reach and the officials kept waiting for him for over three hours. Later, another officials reached and it took the medical team another one hour to finally begin the post-mortem of the body.

The post-mortem was scheduled to start at 11am but started around 2.30 after high drama. Following the post-mortem, the body of the deceased was taken away by the relatives as they were also agitated over the delay in her cremation.

Throughout the post-mortem, the drama continued at the hospital with the entire clan of the deceased vandalising the hospital and cursing the hospital staff loudly.

While the police had preferred to be a spectator for a long time, it was only after one of the women broke a signboard near the emergency that the police intervened and controlled the agitators.

Past such incidents at GMSH-16

  • December, 2009: In a case of mistaken identity (there were two women by the same name in a similar state of pregnancy), Suman was administered a unit of B-positive blood that was meant for the other woman. The foetus died and her kidneys were affected.
  • July, 2011: Bulbul, a resident of Bihar, had visited the hospital while she was in labour. She was made to shuttle from one window to another and she delivered the baby outside the OPD counter. The baby’s head hit the floor, resulting in its death.
  • August, 2012: Manju (30) and her baby died after the delivery at the hospital. There was high drama at the hospital following the incident.



Patients bear the brunt
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
As the authorities closed the main gate leading to the Emergency as soon as the deceased’s relatives started throwing stones, over 10 patients suffered a lot of inconvenience in reaching the Emergency. As vehicles were not allowed inside, relatives of patients coming to the hospital on rickshaws or three-wheelers had to carry them on their shoulders and walk up to the Emergency.

Other patients who came by ambulance or other vehicles took alternative routes to enter the hospital. The vandalism by the deceased’s family continued at the entry to the Emergency as well, as they had blocked the passage, delaying the entry of patients.

“To ensure that nobody was hurt during the incident and the agitation did not spread, we closed the gate for some time. However, we managed patient entries from other gates till the time the gate was closed,” said Dr Rajiv Vadhera, Medical Superintendent.



Mid-day meal or poison?
Maggot-infested rotten food for students of 3 government schools in Panchkula
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 13
Maggots in wheat, fungus-laden and insect-infested rice and rotten vegetables formed the mid-day meal for 1,000 students of three government schools here today.

During a surprise check by Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) and Secretary of the District Legal Services Authority Jaibir Hooda and his panel advocate Manbir Singh Rathi in storerooms and kitchens of Government Primary School, Sector 15, Government Primary School, Sector 4, and Government Primary and Middle School, Haripur, today, it came to light how the administration was “giving poison” in the form of the mid-day meal.

The CJM has sent a report with videography evidence to the Panchkula Deputy Commissioner, the Member Secretary of the Haryana Legal Services Authority and the District Education Officer to take immediate action.

The CJM was shocked to see dingy walls and unhygienic conditions in the kitchens and storerooms where the food stuff was kept.

“I was shocked. Rice, wheat and pulses meant for students were laden with fungus, cobwebs and were infested with worms and insects. How can they give such food to the students; it can cause death,” said Hooda.

Fungus was also found in drinking water tanks. No head teacher was found in Government Primary School, Sector 4, and Government Primary and Middle School, Haripur, at the time of the surprise check.

“Insects are often found in the food served to us. We have raised the issue several times, but no one listens,” said a student of Government Primary and Middle School, Haripur, on condition of anonymity. Deputy Commissioner SS Phulia said he would take strict action in the matter.

Lie nailed

When the CJM asked why an RO purifier (gifted by a bank) was installed in the kitchen and not outside for students’ use, a staff member said the water was used for the mid-day meal. However, when he asked them to switch on the RO, another staff member said it had no water connection ever since it was installed.

What the DEEO says

Admitting to the lapse, District Elementary Education Officer Parmeshwari Hooda said. “Tomorrow, I will get this food stuff fed to cattle. We will ensure quality food for the students. Strict action will be taken against the teachers concerned.”

Instructions not followed

After the Bihar tragedy, the administration had issued instructions to officials to check the mid-day meal daily. They were directed to taste the mid-day meal and make regular visits to the schools. However, the instructions have not been followed.



Dept fails to find any takers for 97 liquor vends
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
The UT Excise and Taxation Department today failed to attract even a single bid for the allotment of 97 liquor vends, both IMFL and country-made liquor. This was the fifth attempt by the department to dispose of the vends. It is perhaps for the first time that no bid was received for the allotment of liquor vends.

The vends had earlier been surrendered or had remained unallotted. Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner Naresh Dubey said not even a single application was received despite the fact that the reserve price had been reduced by 5 per cent.

To discourage bidders from making high bids and then surrendering, the department had recently increased the earnest money to Rs 35 lakh. Earlier, during the auction of liquor vends, contractors had to deposit earnest money of Rs 7 lakh for liquor vends auctioned up to Rs 60 lakh, Rs 10 lakh for liquor vends auctioned between Rs 60 lakh and Rs 1 crore, Rs 13 lakh for liquor vends auctioned between Rs 1 crore and Rs 1.5 crore. For liquor vends auctioned between Rs 1.5 and Rs 2.5 crore, earnest money of Rs 25 lakh was to be deposited while for liquor vends auctioned above Rs 2.5 crore, earnest money of Rs 35 lakh was to be deposited.

According to the new rules, the earnest money is to be forfeited if the applicant surrenders the vend. After increasing the earnest money for liquor vends, the UT Administration had also decided to give only seven days' time to the successful bidders to deposit the bid amount of a liquor vend. The amendment to the excise rules is aimed at curtailing the recent trend where liquor vends were being auctioned at higher prices and then surrendered to ensure monopoly of another contractor in the same area.

Last time, while no bid was received by the department for 74 liquor vends, 17 vendors surrendered their liquor vends after they failed to pay 30 per cent of the bid amount within the stipulated period of time.

Sources in the liquor trade said the high cost involved in running the vends and the recent hike in the earnest money were among the reasons for the nil response.


Woman DSP to lead parade
Tribune News Service

Policewomen take part in the full dress rehearsal in Chandigarh
Policewomen take part in the full dress rehearsal in Chandigarh. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan
A youth carries the National Flag as other schoolchildren salute during the full dress rehearsal for the Independence Day function at Parade Ground in Sector 17, Chandigarh, on Tuesday
A youth carries the National Flag as other schoolchildren salute during the full dress rehearsal for the Independence Day function at Parade Ground in Sector 17, Chandigarh, on Tuesday. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, August 13
In a first in the city, a woman Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) will lead the parade on Independence Day this year. Setting an example for all her junior colleagues, DSP Shweta Singh Chauhan will lead the parade on August 15.

“It is a matter of immense pride for me as I have been given this opportunity. Although the number of women in platoons is quite high, I wish women always lead,” said DSP Shweta while speaking to the Chandigarh Tribune.

The DSP, who finds fitness an essential part of a woman’s life, said women must remain fit, as it enhances their confidence.

DSP Shweta joined the UT police on deputation from Delhi on July 5 this year. The DANIPS-cadre officer (under training), Shweta joined the Chandigarh Police as DSP for field training for one year. She did her schooling from Pilani, Rajasthan, and thereafter postgraduated from Gwalior (Madhya Pradesh).

She joined as an ACP in the DANIPS cadre on June 1, 2012. On joining the UT police she had mentioned tackling crime against women and creating awareness against it as her priorities.

A total of 32 platoons comprising of 1,000 persons will participate in the parade. These will include contingents of various forces and schoolchildren.



I-Day speech: UT officials in dilemma
Reconciling limited achievements with long list of failures a tall task
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
Officials of the UT Administration are busy preparing the Independence Day speech for the UT Administrator, Shivraj V Patil. They, however, are facing a tough time reconciling the limited number of achievements with a long list of failures that include pending works of various departments of the UT Administration.

Electricity woes

The UT Administration claims that the Electricity Department is committed to providing an uninterrupted electricity supply. This year, however, the city faced long hours of power cuts. Employees of the department had also gone on a strike. Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC) also pulled up the department for not providing better services. The department installed only one additional transformer of 30 MVA at the Sector 52 sub-station. Work on the power sub-station at Sector 34 is yet to start.

Housing projects delayed

Keeping themselves busy with issuing notices to residents against need-based changes, the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) officials failed to complete major projects. The Sector 63 General Housing Scheme, launched in 2008, is a major failure. The board is yet to take possession of land for UT employees’ special housing scheme. CHB also failed to hand over 8,448 flats in Dhanas to slum dwellers.

School uniform issue

The inauguration of second smart school at Sector 50 is the sole achievement that the Education Department can showcase. The department failed to solve the problem of teachers’ shortage.The decision to decentralise the purchase of school uniforms backfired. The Administration failed to implement the RTE Act in private schools.

Engineering projects

The Engineering Department has failed to complete the construction of the E-block at Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, and a railway under-bridge at the level crossing near Mauli Jagran.

Auction of vanity numbers

Registration and Licensing Authority has reduced the huge number of pending vehicle registration cards (RC) and driving licences. The department, however, was twice in news due to formation of cartels to bring down the bid at the auction of vanity numbers.

Procurement of buses

If last year Chandigarh Transport Undertaking was in news due to Anupama’s death, this year it was the death of Sharmila, whose two-wheeler collided with a CTU bus on May 7. Besides, the CTU also failed to purchase 98 new low-floor buses.

No big players in IT sector

The IT department failed to bring in any big player in the IT sector. The department did launch an information kiosk and house allotment kiosk for the benefit of city residents, but the proposal to make available more services online is still hanging fire.

No inquiry in booth scam

Till date, the Estate Office has failed to put its record online, due to which residents are facing problems. Besides, in the infamous booth scam, the department failed to complete the inquiry marked by the UT Administration. In an earlier report prepared by the former UT Additional Deputy Commissioner PS Shergill, involvement of top bureaucrats and politicians, including Pawan Kumar Bansal and former mayor Pardeep Chabbra, was alleged.

Master Plan

The Department of Urban Planning has finally prepared the Draft Master Plan 2031. Meanwhile, the Science and Technology Department installed solar photovoltaic power plants at Model Jail, Burail; Paryavaran Bhawan, Sector 19; and Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 16.

Speech in three languages

Learning lessons from past mistakes, this year the UT officials are preparing Patil’s speech in three languages: English, Hindi and Punjabi. Officials are also refraining from listing old achievements in the Independence Day speech. 



Restrictions on traffic tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
The Chandigarh traffic police will be imposing various restrictions and diversions owing to the Independence Day celebrations at the Sector 17 Parade Ground followed by the At Home function at Punjab Raj Bhawan on August 15. Commuters, therefore, must use alternative routes.

Around Parade Ground

The road from Sector 16/17/22/23 roundabout to the small rotary near Gurdial Singh Petrol Pump, Sector 22-A on Udyog Path; from Sector 16/17 crossing to Sector 16/17/22/23 roundabout on Jan Marg; and from the lightpoint near Lyon’s Restaurant, Sector 17, to Parade Ground will remain closed from 6 am till the function at Parade Ground gets over.

During this period, no parking will be allowed in front of the shops in the Sector 22-A market, except for VIPs and senior officers’ vehicles that carry authorised car parking labels. These vehicles will be allowed to enter from the Sector 16/17/22/23 roundabout on Udyog Path.

The general public can park their vehicles in the parking area of Sector 22-B adjacent to Blood Disease Hospital, Sector 23-B; on the rear side of Neelam Cinema, Sector 17; and in the parking lot of the football stadium and in the Circus Ground, Sector 17.

Around Punjab Raj Bhawan

The road from Sector 5/6/7/8 roundabout to the T-point near Golf Club and from T-point near Punjab Raj Bhawan towards the residence of the Adviser to the Administrator will remain closed for the general public from 2 pm onwards during the At Home function at Punjab Raj Bhawan.

Invitees to the function whose vehicles carry pink car parking labels will park their vehicles in the parking area in front of the Adviser’s residence opposite Punjab Raj Bhawan after alighting at the main gate of the Raj Bhawan.

Invitees with green car parking labels should use the road from Sector 7/8 turn as well as from Sector 7/26 lightpoint onwards. They can park these vehicles in the parking area adjacent to the Adviser’s residence in Sector 7, opposite KBDAV School.



Municipal Corporation fares no better
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
With no major projects for improving the civic amenities seeing the light of day this year and a number of controversies plaguing the Municipal Corporation, there will be less achievements and more failures for Mayor Subhash Chawla to list out during his second Independence Day Speech on August 15.

Malba-free city?

The Mayor had started a drive to free the city of debris (malba). A schedule was finalised for every sector, but in most sectors the problem persists. In his Republic Day speech, Chawla had claimed that the city would be made malba free by the end of this year, but keeping the promise will not be easy.

Poor sanitation

The Mayor in his Republic Day address had assured that provisions for sanitation in the city will meet international standards, but no concrete measures have been worked out. Heaps of garbage can be seen strewn across the city. However, Mayor’s initiative of bringing back sanitation workers who were assigned duties at the residences of bureaucrats and politicians was a success.

Non-functional streetlights

The Mayor had claimed that he would ensure that all the streetlights were functional. However, in a surprise inspection of various sectors, the chairman of the electricity committee, Municipal Corporation, found a number of non-functional streetlights. In some areas around 70 to 90 per cent of streetlights were non-functional.

Imposition of house tax

After becoming the Mayor, Subhash Chawla had assured that no new tax would be imposed during his tenure. However, on February 28, amid total chaos at a meeting of the MC, the Mayor announced the passing of the agenda relating to house tax. Now the Administration has issued notification in this regard. The Administration is also planning to revise the rates, which are at present Rs 1 per sq yard per year.

Projects hanging fire

Construction of overbridge in Sector 17 is yet to be completed. Similarly, construction work on much awaited multi-level parking at Sector 17 is yet to be started. Construction of Mahila Bhawan, Sector 38, is also hanging fire for the past many years.

Ruckus in MC House

This year ruckus was created in most of the MC House meetings. Mayor Subhash Chawla failed to get cooperation not only from the opposition councilors, but from his party councillors as well. In the recent House meeting, the Mayor even offered to resign when an anonymous letter carrying serious allegations against him surfaced.

Controversial study tour

Despite wasteful expenditure on study tours in the past 10 years, the MC is all set to send 20 councillors and five MC officials on a study tour to Kerala and Tamil Nadu. A number of councillors have raised questions on the expenditure on such tours.

Water crisis

This year too city residents faced water problem. Those who reside in the upper floors faced a tough time in the summer. From many areas, complaints of dirty water were also received. To deal with the water crisis, the MC has now decided to dig more tubewells. Besides, many underground reservoirs have been constructed.

Function at Fire Station

As construction work is on in the Municipal Corporation building in Sector 17, the MC has changed the venue for the Independence Day function. This time the MC will organise the function at the Sector 17 Fire Station. Earlier, there was a proposal to organise it at Nehru Park in Sector 22. The MC workers have started preparations at the Fire Station building.

Mayor’s achievements this year

  • Approval of four new dispensaries in southern sectors
  • Shifting of stray cattle to gaushalas of other states.
  • Auction of paid parkings.
  • Recovery of around ~3 crore from water bill defaulters



CITCO Workers Union writes to Admn
Tribune news service

Chandigarh, August 13
The CITCO Workers Union in a representation to the senior officials of the Chandigarh Administration has stated that 17 employees of the corporation, who are occupying government accommodation, have been given notices by the estate office to vacate the houses on the directions of the court.

It has also been learnt that Punjab and Haryana have not identified any house to be vacated and they have left it to the estate office to identify those houses which have been allocated or re- allocated without fulfilling the requisite norms and treated as illegal allotment to the employees after the rules laid down in 1996.

The estate office while adhering to the High Court orders with 1996 rules did not check the facts or background on the basis of which the houses have been allocated to CITCO in the right perspective.

It is on record that while handing over the management of Hotel Mountview in 1982, on lease by the Chandigarh Administration to CITCO, the said property had 33 commercial rooms and 24 residential rooms inside the premises. The CITCO management was competent to allot or re- allot these 24 residential houses to its employees as CITCO pool.

However in 1989-90, the expansion of Hotel Mountview was planned with concurrence of the Chandigarh Administration under which the 24 residential rooms meant for the employees were to be dismantled and accordingly the administration decided to allot 24 houses falling in the Chandigarh General Pool, as a special case for a period of three years, besides CITCO was asked to construct its own colony. Since then, those 24 houses being a part of the lease of the hotel remains with CITCO for which the lease money fixed by the administration has been paid by them.

CITCO could not take up construction of its own colony due to the financial constraints as the expansion and up-gradation of the hotel continued and the entire cost thereof had been borne by its management out of its financial resources and till date CITCO has made an investment of more than Rs 35 crore solely in Hotel Mountview.



PGI chemists briefed on vaccine storage
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
The PGIMER today called a meeting of all the 14 chemists on the campus and issued strict instructions on ensuring proper cold chain in storing vaccines. All the chemists attended the meeting chaired by Dr AK Bhalla, Additional Medical Superintendent, Advanced Pediatrics Centre (APC).

Dr Bhavneet Bharti, Associate Professor, APC, also attended the meeting.

The move came in the wake of a recent incident of a baby’s death after being administered a pentavalent vaccine. In April this year, a six-week-old baby died, 16 hours after he was given the Easy Five vaccine for protection against five common diseases.

The incident resulted in a ban on the vaccine and later a clean chit was given to the vaccine as well as the chemist. However, questions were being raised over the efficacy of the vaccine after its storage.

What is easy five vaccine

This vaccine is given to infants to protect them from five diseases including diphtheria, tetanus, petussis (whooping cough), polio and hib disease.



DC-SDM face-off hits Red Cross working
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
Owing to the face-off between the Deputy Commissioner and the SDM (South), the functioning of the Red Cross Society (RCS) seems to have been badly affected.

There has been an acute shortage of booklets for various jobs related to the Registration and Licensing Authority (RLA) for the past over two weeks, leading to a lot of inconvenience to the visitors. The RLA officials attribute the shortage to mismanagement on the part of the Red Cross Society (RCS), which procures the booklets.

Under the existing arrangement, the Red Cross gets some commission per booklet sold at the RLA counters. To overcome the problem, the RCS employee are downloading forms from the website of the department and issuing a receipt against revenue collection.

The RLA officials said the issue had been brought to the notice of the Chairman of the Red Cross Society, but to no anvil.

“Owing to the shortage of the booklets, the downloaded forms are loosely attached to a file and submitted at the counter. When the RLA is earning crores of rupee as registration tax, proper arrangements should have been worked out,” said Arvind Singh, who was in a queue to get the forms from the Red Cross counters.

SDM takes 3-day leave

SDM Amanpreet has proceeded on three-day leave. The PCS officer is learnt to have registered her protest with the top brass in Chandigarh and Punjab.

Meanwhile, owing to face-off between the DC and the SDM (South) over the issue of allocating work of Joint Secretary of the Red Cross Society to the PA to DC, the employees of the society on Tuesday again made a representation to the Advisor that they do not want to work under the Joint Secretary. The SDM has already forwarded the representation to the Adviser-cum-President of the Red Cross Society.



accident case
Cops asked to reply to allegations
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
Moving ahead with the departmental inquiry against the three police officers who were negligent in dealing with an accident case in which three persons were killed, senior police officials handed over a summary of allegations to the three officers today.

The three policemen, Inspector Ram Gopal, Sub Inspector (SI) Harminder Singh and SI Kuldeep Singh, were handed over summaries of allegations in connection with shoddy investigations into the death of three youngsters in a road accident involving an Audi.

The three officials have been asked to file replies to the allegations.

Three youngsters, Sahil, Kuldeep and Hast Bahadur, were killed when their Tavera was hit by a speeding Audi on the road separating Sector 18 and 17 on July 22. Instead of taking prompt action against the Audi driver, Rajat Kapoor, the police had booked deceased driver Hast Bahadur.

The occupants of the Audi car had fled the spot after the mishap.



CAT relief for five GMSH doctors
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) today gave a major respite to five Assistant Medical Officers (AMO) of the Government Multi-Speciality Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16, and directed the UT Administration to consider their candidature before filling the posts of Medical Officer within three months.

The five doctors, Dr Anjali Gupta, Dr Rajwinderjit Singh, Dr Deepak Sharma, Dr Monika Shingari and Dr Sonia Arora, all working as AMO at the GMSH, Sector 16, Chandigarh, had moved the CAT, seeking directions to the UT Administration to consider their candidature for promotion to the post of Medical officer in Chandigarh.

The applicants, in the application moved before the tribunal, had maintained that all the posts of the Medical Officer meant for the promotion quota are lying vacant. The applicants claimed that there are 16 posts according to the quota fixed in the recruitment rules for promotion and all the posts are lying vacant.

Directing the UT Administration to consider these five doctors for promotion, the tribunal said: “The applicants had been appointed AMOs against the sanctioned regular posts between 1997 and 1999 and as per the rules an AMO with three years of service is eligible for promotion to the post of Medical Officer. The UT Administration is thus directed to consider the case of the applicants for promotion to the post of Medical Officer within a period of three months and if found eligible give them promotion.”



grain market
Traders against penalty for using open space at SCFs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
Traders of the Sector 26 Grain Market have opposed the proposed move of the UT estate office to issue notices imposing a penalty of Rs 500 per sqft per month under the Capital of Punjab (Development and Regulations) Act 1952 and Estate Rules 2007 (as amended in 2009).

The notices are to be issued to the owners/occupiers of the shop-cum-flats (SCFs) in the Grain Market. Opposing the move, the traders, at a meeting, which was convened to discuss the issue, said as per the allotment letters for the SCFs and the control sheets prepared by the Urban Planning Department, the open platform in front of the shops is the property of their owners and it is for the use as an auction space by them. The stacking of bags of grains, pulses, cereals and other products on the open platform in front of the shop does not fall under the term "misuse" or "violation".

The traders cited CWP No. 16634 of 2008 in the matter of Singh V/s Chandigarh Administration in which the Punjab and Haryana High Court had observed that the authorities in the Chandigarh Administration are not empowered to act so under the existing Capital of Punjab (Development and Regulations) Act, 1952, because under this Act power vests with the Government of India.

“The LPA filed by the Chandigarh Administration has been dismissed by the Supreme Court by upholding the above decision of the High Court. Therefore, such notices of penalties by the Chandigarh Administration are totally illegal and cannot be issued till the compliance of the Punjab and Haryana High Court's decision by the Chandigarh Administration,” said Sunil Gupta, general secretary of the Grain Market Association.



46 diesel autos impounded
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
Tightening its nose around diesel auto-rickshaw operators coming from Mohali, the State Transport Authority (STA) today impounded 46 such auto-rickshaws in different parts of the city. These were found plying without documents.

The STA, Mahavir Kaushik, said according to the inter-state agreement, only the LPG, CNG or battery-operated auto-rickshaws from Mohali can be countersigned by the STA, Chandigarh.

Around 10,000 diesel-run auto-rickshaws ply in the city. Most of them have been registered in Mohali and Panchkula. The authorities have also challaned old and polluting auto-rickshaws registered at Ropar at Patiala in the last few days.

Under a multi-pronged strategy, the STA, in a proposal sent to the Transport Secretary, has sought strict action against the diesel-run auto-rickshaws coming to the city and directions to the police to impound such vehicles.



10 years on, justice awaited
Our Correspondent

Kalka, August 13
In the first case of its kind in the banking sector, an elderly couple in Kalka is fighting a legal battle for the past 10 years to get back their own money, which they had invested after retirement to secure bread and butter for their family, because of the criminal breach of trust committed by the officials of the State Bank of India, Kalka branch on May 12, 2003.

Rajesh Kumar Sharma, a resident of Kurari Mohalla kalka, said he had availed a loan of Rs 72,000 under Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Yojna (PMRY) scheme from the Kalka branch of SBI in September, 2002. No collateral security was required under PMRY scheme for the business and service sectors, if the project cost was up to Rs 1 lakh.

The project cost of Rajesh Kumar Sharma was Rs 90,000. Still, the bank took two FDRs of the Punjab National Bank worth Rs 40000 each from Jagdish Chand Sharma and Lila Devi (Parents of Rajesh kumar Sharma) as a security for repayment of loan, for which the bank gave a receipt.

The bank returned FDR bearing number 439812 (for three years), however FDR bearing number 439813 (for one year) was never returned despite of repeated request to the bank officials, alleged Rajesh.

He said the matter was referred to the banking Ombudsman, RBI Chandigarh, District Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum, Panchkula, where a false affidavit was submitted by the bank mentioning that both the FDRs were returned.

The matter was also brought into the State Consumer Redressal Commission, Panchkula, but did not get justice even after 10 years. However, due to information collected under the RTI Act, 2005 it was revealed that the payment of FDR under dispute was collected by SBI, Kalka on May 8, 2003 from PNB Kalka by submitting the original FDR to them.

Payment of Rs 42,915 was made by PNB Kalka to SBI Kalka branch. Amount of Rs 12,950 instead of Rs 42,915 was credited to the saving A/c of Jagdish Chand and Lila Devi on May 12, 2003 by the Kalka branch of SBI, criminal breach of trust of Rs 30,000 was committed by officials of the bank on May 21, 2003.

Rajesh kumar Sharma has now filed a case in the Kalka Judicial Court on August 12, 2013 to get justice.



Mohali to have LED streetlights soon
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, August 13
Mohali is all set to illuminate with LED (light-emitting-diode) bulbs soon.

Following the directions given by the Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, the Mohali Municipal Corporation has chalked out a plan of replacing all the existing lights with the LED bulbs.

A survey in this regard is being conducted by a private company and the Mohali Municipal Corporation.

Dilraj Singh, the joint commissioner of the MC, said, “With the completion of the project, the performance level of the streetlights would increase to 95 per cent, which currently is 70 to 75 per cent.

“Apart from that there would be saving of about 50 per cent of power. The present power load of the streetlights is 1142.16 kw. With new lights in place, the power consumption would be reduced to half,” said Dilraj Singh.

The saving of power would bring down the bill from Rs two crore (approximately) to Rs one crore per annum.

There are a total of 10,283 streetlights in Mohali. The new lights would also increase the illumination level on the roads.

In the first step, all the lights within five kilometre stretch from the Furniture Market to PCL chowk would be replaced with the LED’s. “A survey of the stretch has been done and a sum of Rs 30 lakh has been sanctioned by the Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA) for the purpose,” said Dilraj Singh, adding that the work of replacing the existing lights would start soon.

He said to run the new system, certain number of advanced control rooms would be set up in the town. “If there would be any defect in the lights at any point, it would be displayed automatically on the system in the control rooms. With this the efficiency level in the streetlight system would also increase,” he said.



PU exam system needs overhaul
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
The examination system of Panjab University (PU) is in dire need of an overhaul. This is evident from the fact that the university this year received 44 complaints of goof-ups in question papers of undergraduate courses and 40 complaints of errors in question papers of postgraduate courses.

For the past several years, the PU has been witnessing errors in question papers, including questions out of syllabus and anomaly in questions. Despite repeated efforts and a number of committees constituted to make suggestions on improving the system, various question papers of the university exams continue to have glaring mistakes.

Apart from the questions out of syllabus, the university made some major blunders this year after the mathematics question paper for BA and BSc second-year students of all PU-affiliated colleges held on April 17 turned out to be exactly the same that was attempted by the mathematics students last year. Not learning any lesson from the mistake, the question paper of Punjabi (BA-III) turned out to be exactly the same as that of 2012. All questions were in the same order as they were in the question paper of 2012.

Out of the 44 complaints in undergraduate courses, 21 were disposed of by giving grace marks and 19 were rejected by the Board of Studies. No decision has been taken on four complaints yet.

Among postgraduate courses, 40 complaints were received, out of which grace marks were awarded to students in 12 cases and nine complaints were pending. Nineteen complaints have been rejected.

Despite a number of complaints registered by students, the university is yet to fix the responsibility of paper setters to ensure that the errors are not repeated again.

PU Controller of Examination (CoE) Parvinder Singh said all paper setters against whom complaints were received had been asked to explain their side.

“We have ensured that there is no loss to students as grace marks have been awarded to them in the complaints, which were approved by the BOS,” the CoE said.

Parvinder said action against the errors made by the paper setters had to be taken by the BOS.



Admission to MBBS course
HC restrains GMCH from declaring final merit list
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today restrained the Chandigarh Administration and the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, from declaring the final merit list for admission to MBBS course in the current academic session.

The High Court, at the same time, made it clear that the college authorities could continue with the counselling process. The order came after an appeal filed by some candidates against the August 8 orders quashing the Chandigarh Administration’s notification regarding extending the last date of application beyond June 24.

The High Court on August 8 had made it clear that application forms could not have been received or entertained after the cut-off date. As per the brochure issued by the Medical College and Hospital, the cut-off date to receive the application forms was June 24. Allowing the petition filed by Arpit Agrawal, the High Court had also quashed the admission notice dated August 1.

Arpit Agrawal, a student awaiting admission to the Government Medical College in the second round of counselling, had earlier filed a writ petition before the High Court, challenging the action of the Chandigarh Administration and the medical college in inviting fresh applications for admission, even though the last date was June 24.

He also alleged that many students, whose application forms were deficient for want of documents, too had been given admission in the first round of counselling.

This was despite the fact that the brochure/prospectus specifically provided that incomplete applications were liable to be rejected and application forms would not be entertained after June 24.

It was also pointed out by the student that fresh applications were not being entertained after the cut-off date for admission against the 15 per cent all-India quota. But, the Chandigarh Administration was acting arbitrarily causing grave prejudice to the petitioner and similarly situated students for the 85 per cent quota. He said it would also affect admissions in each category for which reservation had been provided.

Going into the background, the petitioner asserted the controversy had primarily arisen on account of the Administration’s action to invite fresh applications for admission to 50 seats of the MBBS course in the Government Medical College and Hospital, Chandigarh.

These are additional seats available due to enhancement in intake capacity, permitted by the Medical Council of India as a onetime measure for the academic session 2013-2014 for 32 medical colleges, government and private, throughout the country.



Teachers of aided colleges observe 2-hour strike
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
Teachers of private-aided city colleges today observed a two-hour strike in a bid to show their resentment over pending demands. Classes remained suspended during the strike. The Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers' Union (PCCTU) gave the call for the strike against the policies of the UT Administration, the Punjab Government and the University Grant Commission (UGC).

Over 700 teachers in government aided colleges protested against the injustice being done to them.

Prof PS Gill, president, PCCTU, criticised the latest UGC guidelines for career advancement and rejected it on behalf of the PCCTU.

He has made a call to all teachers of Punjab and Chandigarh units to attend the national rally of the All-India Federation of University College Teachers Organisation (AIFUCTO) on September 20 in Delhi against the said UGC notification.

He also criticised the UT Higher Education Department for not giving teachers their due.

Prof Ghanshyam Dev, district president, Chandigarh unit, pointed out that despite the Supreme Court orders, the UT Director Higher Education (DHE) had not given two increments to the teachers from the aided colleges with Phd degree on entering selection scale while giving the same to government college teachers.

This was the second strike call given by the PCCTU in less then a week. The classes in all colleges witnessed thin attendance.



PU Syndicate meet
Colleges allowed to have 5 additional seats
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
Panjab University has decided to allow all affiliated colleges to increase five additional seats per unit consisting of 40 seats in various courses in affiliated colleges in the session 2013-14. The PU has removed the cap of maximum 10 seats, which was imposed in the earlier Syndicate meeting of July 27.

The decision was taken in the PU Syndicate meeting presided over by PU Vice-Chancellor Prof Arun K Grover here today. The meeting lasted for more than four-and-half-hours and discussed many agenda items.

The PU Syndicate considered the report of the committee dated May 3, 2013, regarding complaints against Guru Nanak Girls College, Ludhiana. The college authorities admitted Jaspreet Kaur to BBA-II in 2012 on the basis of a fake DMC and migration certificate of Punjabi University, even though she had been a student of the same college in 2011-12 and had failed in BBA-I. The Syndicate agreed to the recommendations of the committee to report the matter to the police for further investigation so that the persons behind the fake certificate scandal were identified to avoid such scandals in future.

A four-member subcommittee was formed to suggest the action to be taken on other recommendations of the committee.

The PU Syndicate also resolved that the PU VC would convey the concern of the PU faculty to the Higher Education Secretary, Government of India, Ashok Thakur, regarding the second amendment in API Score.

The Syndicate decided to wait for the report of the Board of Studies, Faculties and Academic Council on the issue of proposed alternative system of internal assessment in colleges as received from the Director Higher Education, UT.



NSUI leaders get warning on late-night meeting
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
Student organisations at Panjab University have made a complaint against the NSUI for holding a late-night meeting on Monday outside the Law Department, which was being addressed by NSUI leader Brinder Dhillon.

The NSUI was holding a meeting, along with around 100 supporters, around 10 pm outside the Law Department, following which the opposition parties made a complaint to the Dean Student Welfare (DSW) at the same time.

PU security staff was sent to the spot and party members were asked to leave.

Student leaders have complained that Brinder Dhillon is not the student of the university, and he should not be allowed for campaigning or holding meetings on the campus.

Brinder Dhillon said he had appeared for the fourth semester compartment exams in April this year, and his result was awaited. As soon as the result was declared, he would take admission to the fifth semester.

“After clearing the exams, I will be eligible to take admission to the next semester,” he said.

DSW Navdeep Goyal said he had warned the NSUI leaders that no gathering in the open during night would be allowed, that too with the involvement of outsiders.



Allocation of rooms
NSUI members submit memorandum to DSW
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 13
NSUI members today submitted a memorandum to the Dean Student Welfare (DSW) regarding the allocation of rooms to girl students in the sports hostel till the completion of girls’ hostel No. 9.

NSUI president Manoj Lubana said this would lessen the long waiting list of girls seeking hostel accommodation in the university.

“The construction of girls’ hostel No. 9 is under progress. It will take a few months to get completed. We, therefore, want that those girls should be allotted rooms in the sports hostel,” he said.

NSUI leaders said in 2010 also the sports hostel was allotted to girl students when girls’ hostel No. 8 was under construction.

There is a waiting list of over 700 girl students who have applied for hostel seats on the university campus.

The PU authorities have assured the students of looking into their demands.



Photography contest held

Chandigarh, August 13
The Department of Mass Communication and the Photography Club of MCM College today organised a spot photography contest to explore, nurture and enhance the flair of photography among the students.

An overwhelming number of the budding photographers from MCM showcased the prowess of their creative eye as they capture magnificent images on the themes "colours of youth" and "life in college". — TNS



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