C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Normal supply from tomorrow
Work on pipeline complete; partial supply to be restored from today, say officials
Ritika Jha Palial/ Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 1
There is a hope of some respite to city residents from the water crisis after a struggle of 12 days, but the chances of restoring adequate supply are bleak.
The city, known for its well-planned architecture and civic amenities, has been reeling under water crisis for the past 12 days.

Residents have been loading containers in vehicles after fetching water from their relatives and friends’ places. They have been struggling to perform their daily chores.

Officials today announced to restore partial supply from 8am on Monday to avoid damage to the Phase III pipeline.

“The pipeline has the capacity to carry 20 MGD of water from Kajauli Water Works, but tomorrow we will release 10 MGD of water to avoid excessive pressure on the repaired pipeline,” said an MC official.

“We don’t want to take risk and the supply would be erratic initially. The normal water supply (20 MGD) will be restored from Tuesday morning if everything goes well,” said the officials.

Ashok Virdi, Executive Engineer, GMADA, said the work to repair the pipeline was almost complete.

“The repair work of the Phase IV pipeline is almost complete but we cannot resume the normal supply immediately as the newly constructed thrust blocks around the pipelines need a day to dry. So, the normal supply will be restored from Tuesday,” said Virdi. 



Perilous ride for schoolchildren
Overloaded autos ferry 10,000 students everyday 
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 1
Overloaded auto-rickshaws ferry nearly 10,000 schoolchildren everyday in the city, reveals a recent data complied by the UT Education Department about the mode of transportation used by the students of private schools.

The data of over 60,000 students between different age group were complied on the basis of the figures provided by the private schools in the city. The data reveals that school buses are the major mode of transportation for private schools, ferrying their 27,000 students every day.

More than 22,000 students are dropped by their parents to school, leading to snarl-ups outside schools.

Official records reveal that 386 autos were challaned this year by state transport authority for overloading. Recently, the police stopped an overloaded auto-rickshaw and dropped the students to their respective destinations in their vehicle.

Bhavneet, a parent, said the private school managements and the government officials should work on a mechanism to check overloading of autos ferrying schoolchildren.

HS Mamik, president of the Independent Schools Association, said the parents were responsible for promoting auto-rickshaws. They find it convenient as auto-rickshaws pick up and drop their wards in front of their houses which buses can’t do.

“As far as its regulation is concerned, school can’t do much about it. The police should plug the loopholes in the functioning of auto-rickshaws,” he said.

ArriveSafe founder Harman Singh Sidhu calls for organising the auto-rickshaw industry. He says that if the survey is conducted, half of the drivers of auto-rickshaws will not have licenses. “The need of the hour is to regulate them, for which there should be proper registration of all auto-rickshaws. A Mumbai-like model can be implemented here where auto-rickshaws are tagged and drivers are in uniforms,” he said.



Mobile app gives jitters to police
Information on police checkpoints being leaked on WhatsApp
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 1
Getting information on police checkpoints in the city is easy now. Just log on to WhatsApp and if you are lucky enough, you will get the details of roads on which the city police would set up nakas.

Relatives of senior police officials are leaking information on police checkpoints to their friends and members of their groups on the application.

Habitual violators of traffic rules evade the roads where the police sets up nakas on a particular day.

A user of the application, who is a member of the group, said they get information on the traffic nakas in advance. “The locations of nakas are updated advising members of the group to take an alternative route if they have a plan to drink and drive,” the member said.

“These messages on traffic nakas are mostly received during the weekends when the youngsters go out for parties,” said a member of the group.

The member providing the information on police naka is son of a senior police official, said sources.

The members of the group driving on the road also update the location of the naka they see across the city. 



Poll bashes give students a high
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 1
It’s that time of the year when royal treatment is meted out to students. With just two days left for the Panjab University students’ council poll, student organisations were out to make the killing on Sunday. Student organisations tried to woo voters of dental sciences, UIET and UICET with liquor and food. Some were taken on a pleasure trip to the hills.

Student organisation had informed those residing on the PU campus about the pleasure trip and booze party in advance.

“While some students of dental science wanted to watch a movie, others wanted to go for a booze party on the outskirts of the city. However, we decided to take them to Siswan,” said a student leader.

The students were asked to assemble in the Sector 15 market and near the night food street outside the PU gate were vehicles owned by student leaders were stationed to pick them up.

Student leaders are focussing on the first-year students as their votes can be a deciding factor.

A student of the UICET said: “I don’t mind enjoying lavish food and liquor and that too without burdening my pocket. “All we need to do is to cast our vote in favour of a particular organisation,” he said.

The recommendation of the Lyngdoh Committee to restrict the election expenditure to Rs 5,000 is being violated by all student organisations on the campus.

Sources said the election expenses by student organisations were already running into lakhs. “The election expenditure will double once the elections are over when winners will throw lavish parties for their supporters,” said a student leader.

Student bodies file counter complaints

All student organisations have filed complaints against each other with the Dean Student Welfare (DSW) regarding trips and booze parties organised to woo voters. The PU authorities were also told that a bus ferrying students from a trip reached the Sector 15 market around 10 pm. DSW Navdeep Goyal said they had asked the student organisations to provide substantial evidence supporting their claims based on which action would be taken. 



Mohali police forced to retreat
Had gone to Madhya Pradesh to nab members of Pardi gang, attacked 
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 1
A team of the Mohali police that went to Khejra village in Madhya Pradesh to nab members of an inter-state Pardi gang had to return empty-handed when residents of the village, also known as the village of robbers, fired shots at the police for half-an-hour and did not allow them to enter their territory.

The Mohali police was accompanied by the local police. “There was slush all around the locality. They had also laid live electricity wires on the boundary of the village. We were about half-a-kilometre from the locality when they opened fired at us. Our vehicle got stuck in the mud and we were not even able to walk. Their families, including children, were keeping a guard on the boundary of the village. When they saw us approaching, they sounded alert,” said a police official.

The gang has committed several robberies and murders in Punjab and the police nabbed two members of the gang recently.

“They are into crime for generations. The local police told us that the police teams from various states come there to nab the members of the gang,” said a member of the Mohali police team.

The police said the state government had also given land to members of the gang to rehabilitate them.

The gang was involved in a robbery at the house of Chanpreet Singh at Landran a fortnight ago. Apart from gold jewellery, cash and other valuables, the robbers had also taken away three rifles and 25 live cartridges from Chanpreet house.

The police had arrested two members of the gang, Vijay Kumar and Pardeep Kumar, both residents of Savla village, Kurukshetra and identified some the other members of the gang. These included Ghansham, Dhanraj, Yuvraj Singh, Jacky, Kaali Charan and Raja, all residents of Khejra village of Guna district in Madhya Pradesh.

Mohali SSP Gurpreet Singh Bhullar said the team, which went to the village, was not aware of the activities of the criminals. “After spending four-five days there, they know several vital things. Now our team will go there fully prepared to nab the miscreants,” said Bhullar.

Luck by chance

Stray cattle have become a bane of the city. Be it the MC or residents, everybody wants to get rid of the animals. But there is an official who thinks that the animals are lucky for him. Enforcement wing superintendent Kashmira Singh, whose retirement is nearing, never travelled by air. But he was given a chance to fly to Delhi, courtesy stray cattle. MC Commissioner Vivek Partap Singh directed Kashmira Singh and MC Joint Commissioner Rajiv Gupta to fly to Delhi after a truck loaded with the animals was torched by a mob in Gurgaon.


Water crisis dilutes city hospitality

City residents had to reel under water crisis for a fortnight due to leakage in the pipeline of the Kajauli Water Works. Situation only worsened with each passing day. While some said a blunt no to guests, the others offered soft drinks to those visiting them. Gardeners were instructed to water only those plants that would wither due to the water shortage. This is perhaps the first time that such a crisis has hit the city.

On the aggressive

Recently, a photojournalist was abused and threatened by girls on the PU campus. He was taking pictures of members of a student party and had to face the ire of the girls who were in an SUV. They said 'Dussiye tenu photo kiwe khichde hae'. The girls left after staring at the photojournalist.

Burning midnight oil

As Dr SK Bhalla of the GMSH-16 may become the next Director, Health Services, officials in the hospital administration are burning the midnight oil in reviving an old controversy involving Bhalla. Apparently, a letter was shot to the Health Secretary in connection with a two-year-old case of allegedly marking fake attendance to an intern. The three doctors, including Dr Bhalla, were given a clean chit in the case two years ago.

Onstage drama

Sunil Bhatia, PCS officer and sports director, was seen yelling out at the audience during a function on the National Sports Day. It was learnt that chief guest VK Singh, finance-cum-sports secretary, was getting late and the director went on the stage and started shouting 'silence please'.

Police on toes

The Mohali police remained on its toes for over seven hours when a journalist (without revealing his identity) called up at helpline number 181 two days ago and sought help saying he had met with an accident at 11.30 pm. While the police was looking for him, he switched off his mobile phone and went home. It was at around 6.30 am that his mobile tower location could be traced. The officers were taken by surprise when the scribe told him that he was checking their efficiency.

It’s criminal

A forensic team that came to Sector 7 where a 68-year-old woman was murdered yesterday threw used gloves outside the victim's house.

Blame game continues

While blaming the Akalis for bankrupting the state, leader of the opposition in the Assembly, Sunil Jakhar, took a dig at the ruling party for bringing Zirakpur on a par with Zurich, as far as the land prices are concerned. Jakhar, who was addressing a rally on the Martyrdom Day of former Punjab Chief Minister, Beant Singh, blamed the ruling group for jacking up the urban land prices without providing basic amenities to residents.

Contributed by: Aarti Kapur, Rajinder Nagarkoti, Amit Sharma, Ritika Jha, Deepankar Sharda, Ritika Jha, Akash Ghai, Hina Rohtaki and Rajmeet Singh




Shifting of stray cattle: Civic body in a quandary
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 1
The Chandigarh Municipal Corporation may delay the shifting of stray cattle. Pressure is mounting on officials to release the  cattle.
The MC had launched a cattle catching drive following three deaths due to stray cattle.

After a mob attacked the MC staff in Gurgaon, the Haryana government has made it mandatory for the UT to seek permission before shifting the animals.

The government has issued fresh instructions to the district authorities asking them to seek approval from District Magistrates of the cities before shifting the cattle. The route will be approved by District Magistrates and transporters must stick to the same.

The police will be responsible for the security of vehicles and making all arrangements.

The officers should be ready to deal with an untoward situation.

The move comes following the attack on the MC officials in Gurgaon three days ago.

The staff alleged that they were asked to change the route. Twenty-five trucks loaded with stray cattle were stopped on the Gurgaon-Mathura road.

It was learnt that cattle smugglers had murdered a youth four days ago in the area. The MC officials are upset and the transporters too are in a fix.

"So many trucks were torched. Who will take the responsibility and pay the damages. The incident has caused losses to the tune of Rs 2 crore," said a transporter whose truck was damaged. Three deaths due to stray cattle have been reported in the city in the past four months. 



Fuelling problem: Six hikes in six months
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 1
Six hikes in six months! The petrol prices have shot up by Rs 7 (from Rs 68.23 to Rs 75.26) during the period. The diesel prices, which were Rs 49.42, too have soared to Rs 52.90.
Since April 2, the petrol prices have been revised nine times. The prices shot up six times and came down three times. The reduction, however, was hardly of any significance.

"The problem is that the cost of the fuel affects transportation and elevates the cost of all basic items like food and vegetables subsequently," said a city-based industrialist.

"There has been an unprecedented increase in the petrol prices in the past couple of days. The crude oil prices are on the rise in the international market and imposition of taxes has only worsened the situation. We have never seen such a frequent rise in the prices," he said.

Some petroleum dealers said the UT Administration could reduce the tax on petroleum to bring down the prices. "In the recent petrol hike of Rs 2.35 per litre, the actual increase turns out to be Rs 2.90. The difference in the amount goes to the UT Administration. We keep blaming the Central Government for the increase. The Administration should do something. At present, the tax is 20 per cent, why don't the authorities reduce the tax?" said Amanpreet Singh, general secretary, Chandigarh Petroleum Dealers' Association.

Residents said the annual increase in their income was proportionate to the increase in the cost of these commodities.

"The hike in fuel prices negates the hike in salary," said Arunita Ghose, an IT professional.



Resident docs to wear black badges
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 1
Disappointed over the failure of the PGIMER authorities in handling patient rush in the Emergency, the Association of Resident Doctors has decided to lodge a protest by wearing black badges from tomorrow.

The decision was taken during a general body meeting held on Saturday.

"The plight of patients who come from far-off places has failed to move the hospital authorities. They are treated badly," said the doctors.

The resident doctors appealed to the hospital administration to improve patient care in the Emergency.

The PGIMER is the only tertiary care institute in the region that lacks a triage area.

It does not have monitoring devices, oxygen cylinders, piped oxygen, functioning suction ports, essential medication, malfunctioning laryngoscopes and BP instruments.

Problems related to safety and security need to be addressed.

There is a shortage of doctors. Despite taking up the matter with the authorities a number of times, nothing has been done.

This exposes the indifferent attitude of the authorities towards the plight of the doctors. The hospital should find out a solution to the problem. "The resident doctors have been forced to protest," they stated.

On August 23, a patient's attendant manhandled a resident doctor, alleging that the doctor did not attend to the patient on time. The resident doctors said the incident was a fallout of staff shortage and heavy rush.



Fall in Rupee jolts GMCH-32
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 1
The fall in Rupee against Dollar has not spared even the health sector. For its Cath Lab, GMCH-32 will have to pay an extra amount of Rs 77 lakh.
The cost of equipment for the Cath Lab was fixed at Rs 54.96 per USD a few months ago. An amount of Rs 11.7 crore was earmarked for the setting up of the lab. But after the Rupee plunged, the amount increased to Rs 12.5 crore.

UT Health Secretary Anil Kumar said, "The fall in Rupee will affect our budget, but we will find out a solution. The calculations are to be made again to see the exact escalation. We will not invite new bids."

The hospital was supposed to open the lab in March. It will procure the equipment next month. For running the Cath Lab, the name of a senior PGIMER doctor from the department of cardiology was finalised by the UT Administration. The main equipment in the lab will be the cardiovascular angiography system. A Cath lab (Catheterisation Laboratory) is an examination room in a hospital or a clinic with diagnostic imaging equipment used to support the catheterisation procedure (for heart patients).

The technical part

The main equipment for the Cath Lab was quoted when the value of the Dollar was Rs 54.96. However as per rules, the total payable amount is calculated in Letter of Credit considering the latest value of the USD in any price bid.



Process to purchase 98 buses set in motion
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 1
Paving the way for the purchase of 98 buses, officials of the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) after opening the technical bids has forwarded the case to the Secretary Transport for approval. Two companies, Tata and Volvo, have qualified.

Officials in the transport department said once cleared by the UT Administration, the financial bids would be opened before the buses were purchased. The CTU had floated tenders for the purchase of 49

AC buses and 49 non-AC buses in the first week of August. The deadline was extended thrice due to technical reasons.

The new buses will have all features mandated by the Ministry of Urban Development under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewable Mission (JNNURM). Sources said Volvo and Tata had qualified for the AC buses while Tata had qualified for the non-AC buses. The buses have to be provided within 120 days. To attract the bidders, the annual maintenance period has been reduced to three years. The CTU authorities are planning to install CCTV camera and passenger information system (PIS) in the buses. The officials said previous attempts to purchase the buses had failed due to one or the other reason. Last time, the proposal to buy AC buses was grounded due to single bidder as officials were reluctant to accept the bid and had forwarded the case to the Centre for approval. The high cost of the buses against a single tender had delayed the matter.



Service Act in UT a far cry
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 1
After initiating the process to implement the Right to Service Act in the UT over a year ago, the Chandigarh Administration is far from implementing the Act that ensures time-bound delivery of services in government offices.

The only issue to be decided by the Administration is to go with the Punjab Government legislation on the matter or adopt the one under process at the Central level.

The officials said the Act laid down an obligation on every public authority to publish citizens’ charter, stating therein the time within which specified goods would be supplied, services be provided, and the provision for a grievance redress mechanism for non-compliance of 
citizens’ charter and for matters connected therewith.

"Last year, the Department of Information Technology had sought comments regarding various services that can be rendered to the public. Since then, the preparedness of the departments had been looked into," said sources.

Highlighting the issue, Ajay Jagga, a local social activist, in a representation to the UT Adviser, has sought implementation of the Act at the earliest.

He said the Act was to be implemented as per the guidelines for redressing public grievances issued in 2010 by the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances, Union Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions.

Officials of the UT held several meetings to study the pattern of Punjab before introducing the Right to Service Act in Chandigarh.

"Nothing is known with regards to the implementation of the Bill. The Bill is being introduced with the objective of achieving higher efficiency in the Administration and to impart justice to public at large," he said. 



Rabies cases consistently high in tricity
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 1
Cases of dog bites and rabid bites by cats, monkeys and mongooses have been consistently high over the past one year, affecting residents across the tricity.

Since September last year, the number of cases of rabid bites reported per month at the civic dispensary in Sector 19 has remained above 500.

Experts say there has been a spurt in these cases over the past couple of months, and residents from Panchkula and Mohali have also been reporting at the dispensary.

Among these cases, the dog bite cases remained highest every month. The highest number of cases were reported in March this year (904). Of these, 846 cases were those of dog bites.

According to medical experts, rabies caused due to the bites of these animals can prove to be very harmful. The appropriate immunisation against rabies is a must for even a small scratch caused by these animals.

The best precaution against rabies is the victim’s immunisation immediately after the bite. The bites of these animals can prove to be equally poisonous as that of a rabid dog, said Dr Poornima, in charge of the Sector 19 dispensary.

According to experts, the spread of rabies in the body is slow; yet if unattended, it can cause major difficulties to the victim. The virus travels through the blood of the victim and it can reach the brain and settle there before attacking the nervous system.

However, it can remain dormant for months and sometimes even for years. The brain and throat of such victims get swollen and they can feel difficulty in breathing and drinking, said an expert.



‘Scrub Typhus’ an emerging disease
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 1
There has been a spurt in number of cases of fever in both children and adults due to Scrub typhus or tsutsugamushi disease reporting to PGIMER. The disease is caused due to bacteria known as Orientia tsutsugamushi that lives primarily in mites (the primary reservoir) belonging to the species Leptotrombidium akamushi (chiggers mite)

The infection is called scrub typhus because it generally occurs after exposure to areas with secondary (scrub) vegetation. It has recently been found, however, that the disease can also be prevalent in such areas as sandy beaches, mountain deserts, and equatorial rain forests.

Scrub typhus has been reported from various regions of India especially the hilly regions of the Himalayas, Shimla, Assam, West Bengal but the interesting finding is that many of theses cases reporting in PGI are from urban locales including Chandigarh Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana.

"We have received 40 blood samples from adults as well as children which are confirmed to be scrub typhus during the month of August only. Earlier, disease was not present in urban population and was thought to exist only in hilly areas in forest. Fever is present in all patients with mainly vomiting, respiratory distress, altered sensorium . Eschar which is quite pathognomic of scrub typhus was present in 3 patients. Other clinical features included jaundice with hepatosplenomegaly. All the patients are responding very well to doxycycline and azithromycin. Last year during the months of august and September, 80 cases of scrub typus were reported," said Dr. Sunil Sethi Additional Professor, Department of Medical Microbiology, PGIMER.

Humans are infected accidentally, usually during rainy season. The site bitten by mite forms an eschar. Necrotic eschar at the inoculating site of the mite is pathognomic of scrub typhus. The eschar resembles skin burn of a cigarette butt.

Scrub Typhus is diagnosed with difficulty because of its nonspecific, varied clinical presentation, long list of differential diagnosis and non availability of recommended serological tests at the primary health care level.

The treatment should be initiated early to reduce morbidity and mortality. Even empirical treatment in case of suspected cases is thus recommended. 



Relentless drive must against menace

Fatalities on roads seems to have shaken up the MC officials down the line. Catching 146 stray cattle on August 23 and another 109 the very next day speaks for itself. Not that more than 250 animals suddenly landed and staff concerned impounded them, the fact of the matter is that the will to act earlier had been lost somewhere, as is evident from the tally of half-heartedly impounded numbers in the previous months. To make the city roads totally stray cattle free, the tempo in this relentless drive must be kept up till the last one is roped.

SC Luthra Manimajra

Construct thick boundary walls around each village

Stray cattle roaming in Chandigarh belong to the villagers who are deprived of agriculture land, and earn their livelihood by selling milk. The retention of villages within the City Beautiful is itself antithesis of modern town planning symbolised by Chandigarh. Three decades back, the Chandigarh Administration had carved out a milk colony at Dhanas village to shift village cattle there. But most of plots for cowsheds were usurped by non-cattle owning people of the city and subsequently got converted into residential plots. This requires investigation by the Mayor as it falls in his ward. Cattle are lured by tall green grass in the parks, open spaces and unsold plots as well as the eatables offered by residents of the city. The sudden surge to catch cattle after fatal accidents, points to nexus between officials and cattle owners. The only way out is to construct thick boundary walls around each village and imposition of fines for impounded cattle. The MC should perform its duty of regularly mowing grass and wild growth in open spaces with grass cutting machines. After all, cows and cars don't go together.

SS Beniwal Chandigarh

Guilty MC officials should be punished

Compelled by the public outrage, the MC has now started catching the stray cattle. Three deaths on account of the stray cattle menace in the city in just five month is a matter of grave concern. It is not understood as to why the MC and the Chandigarh Administration have been unable to check the menace. As per reports, the MC has spent Rs 35 lakh on controlling the stray cattle menace and yet is unable to check the menace. It is also shameful to know that some of the impounded cattle of Congressmen were released by the MC on the orders of Mayor Subhash Chawla instead of punishing them. The guilty MC officials and the Horticulture Department officials who allow the grazing of cattle on the green belts of the city after taking monthly bribes from the owners of these so-called stray cattle must be booked.

RK Kapoor, Chandigarh

Cattle owners should be fined heavily

The problem of stray cattle on roads is not new, but currently, they are creating havoc in the tricity. To address this problem at a grass route level, a number of strict steps can be taken by the authorities concerned. Cattle owners should be heavily fined for leaving their cattle to gaze around, causing discomfort to the busy traffic. It is observed that the cattle are left on the roads by their owners because they stop giving milk. Before sending them to a preferred location, they should be sterilised, so that they cannot reproduce further.

Priya Darsh Growar, Mohali

Money collected as fine should be used to maintain cattle ponds

The root cause of the problem is the unplanned dairies, inside and around the city. The owners, after milking the cattle, leave them loose so that they can graze outside freely. Similarly, non-milking cattle are also left loose to save on feed. The solution lies in relocating the dairies, centrally, outside the city. Thereafter, creating huge cattle ponds, at appropriate locations can tackle the problem. The money collected from cattle catchers can be used to maintain the cattle ponds. The milk from the impounded cows can be given to the government schools children with the mid-day meals or it can be sold in the market. There should also be regular auctions of these cattle so that it fetches revenue, as also eases pressure on the ponds.

Col RD Singh (retd), Ambala Cantt

Strict, concrete policies should be brought into force

Serious efforts which were lacking earlier now gained momentum. But still a lot needs to be done to take the stray cattle off the road. First of all authorities must have clear policy and vision to solve the stray cattle problem. There is need to frame a strict and concrete policy, the present policy is quite lax and being violated by the cattle owners. There is a need to break the nexus between politicians, staff and cattle owners. The workers of the MC deployed who were part of the cattle catching team are doing courageous job.

Vidya Sagar Garg, Panchkula

Cattle sheds must be constructed

The residents of tricity are grappling with the problem of stray cattle. It is only after so many deaths that the MC has swung into action. Stray cattle come from unauthorised or unlicensed roadside dairies and cattle sheds. The MC should wake up to the citizens' welfare and employ strong cattle catching squad to catch the stray cattle which cause nuisance and also pose threat to human life. Cattle shed must be constructed within suitable area to keep the stray cattle and sufficient staff to be employed to take care of these cattle.

Dr Shruti K Chawla, Chandigarh

Bylaws, need of the hour

Since, there has been no check by any authority, stray cattle menace continues to haunt this "City Beautiful". Milch cattle owners in some of the villages set these cattle free for grazing. Firstly, it is the responsibility of the owners on to keep and maintain the cattle in their houses. Secondly, the job of the Municipal Corporation is how to keep a check on roaming cattle. For this purpose bylaws are certainly needed. There are already bylaws for registration of dogs but are hardly implemented because of the inefficiency, and inept handling of the authorities concerned.

SK Khosla, Chandigarh


  • Animals have fear psychosis. The cattle catchers can catch one animal at a time but this alerts others animals which run in all the directions, causing road accidents. The officials need to be trained regarding the dosage to be used while tranquilizing an animal. Wrong dose can not only harm the animal, but will also put official in trouble.

— MR Singla, In charge of Government Pet Medical Centre, Panchkula

  • In my view, the Municipal Corporations of Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali and the municipal committee of Zirakpur and the Nagar Panchayat Nayagram should also be involved in a comprehensive policy in which the entry of the stray cattle should be restricted in the city to avoid accidents. In municipal Act, it is clearly mentioned that no animal can be kept withinin the municipal area limit. Cattle are out in open and gaushalas should be setup to avoid the menence. Also, the administration should put milk colonies under the rehabilitation scheme so that they remain employed as their land has already been acquired. The opposition parties should come forward with a concrete plan to make a policy for this severe problem.~

— Pradeep Chabbra Former Mayor, Chandigarh Municipal Corporation



A big question: How safe are elderly in Panchkula? 
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 1
Murder of a 68-year-old woman that took place yesterday in Sector 7, one of the posh areas of Panchkula, happens to be the second strike in last seven days. It has raised questions on the safety of elderly persons in Panchkula.

Fear has gripped the elderly persons in the region. Following the incident, an urgent meeting was also convened by the responsible residents of the sector.

It was a week back when the police said that they would conduct door-to-door drive asking security of the elderly and verifying the antecedents of servants and paying guests. However, the residents claimed that even after such a drive and visits by the police, the domestic help dared to murder the woman.

"Our children have to go out for their jobs and we have to stay alone at house. The police should increase their patrolling during afternoon hours," said Somnath Diwan, local resident.

Tarsem Garg, president of the Residents' Welfare association, Sector 7 said, "We spend Rs 80,000 every month on the security guards in the sector from our pocket. Our sector being the busiest sector, anti-social elements keep standing here all the time."

He said, "Being the main market, many vendors are stationed here. It is observed that in their garb many other migrants keep observing what is going on in the area."

The residents said that despite several requests of the CCTV cameras to be installed, at least on the entry and exit points of the sector, their grievance were not listened to. "Even a miscreant will think twice before committing the crime, if he knows that the area is under surveillance," said BB Kochar, president of the market association.

All the residents who were present in the meeting said that till now no one has visited their residence in the door-to-door drive be it the house numbers 887, 190, 972, 850 in Sector 7, Panchkula. It was told that the local police post has two patrolling PCRs for the sector.

In charge of the local police post Gurmail said, "We have intensified patrolling in the area. The police officials on bikes also patrol the area."

Yesterday, a 68-year-old woman, Sushila Devi, was found murdered in the bathroom of her house in Sector 7. Later, the police arrested two domestic helps and two of their relatives for committing the murder with the motive of loot. It is the second incident in last seven days. On August 23, a 70-year-old woman, Madhurmalti, was robbed of her cash and jewellery after she was taken hostage by three persons by making forced entry in the house in Sector 7. The accused were later arrested.



Senior citizens association honours two best police beats
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 1
The Chandigarh Senior Citizens Association held a Chandigarh police felicitation-cum entertainment function today at the Tagore Theatre. The beat staff of two best police beats judged by the senior citizens was honoured at the function by the senior citizens and top brass of the UT police. Renowned comedian Bhagwant Mann also entertained the gathering.

Daljit Singh Grewal president of the senior citizens association said that the best beat staff was selected on the basis of record and performance. "Out of total 146 beats we shortlist two best beats, with the help of experts from Panjab University", he stated.

The senior citizens adjudged Sector 27 (D) beat staff first and Sector 15 beat staff second in the city. The UT Inspector General (IG) of police RP Upadhayaya who was the chief guest honored the beat staff members.

The police personal to send a message of safe driving also performed a skit on traffic safety.

The auditorium was jam-packed by the spectators, which included senior citizens and family members of police staff.

The function was a part of series of functions that will continue the entire month to mark the Senior Citizens Days falling on October 1.



Domestic helps acted ‘smart’ to mislead police officials
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 1
Acting 'smart' and in order to mislead the police, the domestic helps who murdered a 68-year-old woman yesterday did not flee from the spot after committing the murder so that the needle of suspicion may not turn towards them, said a police official.

It was yesterday when 68-year-old woman, Sushila Devi, was found murdered in the bathroom of her house. The police later arrested four persons, two domestic helps of the house, Suraj Pal and Chintesh and two of their relatives, Gainda and Ram Bahadur, who reportedly confessed saying that their motive was loot.

Accordingly, the two domestic helps decided that in a day or so after it is proved that Devi died a natural death, they would flee on the pretext of going to their native village.

"Suraj Pal and Chintesh thought that if they would flee from the spot, the needle of suspicion would directly point towards them. So in order to show no involvement of theirs, they decided to stay and cook up a story," said a police official.

He said, "They had decided that once things settle down, on the pretext of an urgent visit to their native village they would flee with the booty."

The police initially came up with the theory that the victim died of heart attack but after the postmortem confirmed that she died of smothering that the police rounded up the two domestic helps.

Devi, whose husband, a Colonel, died 20 years back due to illness, was alone with two domestic helps, Suraj Pal and his wife Chintesh last week after her younger son Rajinder was away for a holiday to Dubai. Her elder son Virender is living in Canada.



Bad functioning of the Electricity Department comes to fore
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 1
The functioning of the UT Electricity Department was exposed when they penalised a consumer for delayed payment of electricity bill without processing the cheque issued against the electricity charges.

Without processing the cheque, the consumer was asked to submit late fee as the cheque had bounced. In a complaint to the Chairman of the Consumer Grievances Redressal Forum, Ajay Jagga, the consumer stated that when the faux pass on part of the department was brought to notice of the concerned officials, the officials have started the problem.

Demanding action against the officials concerned for causing harassment, the consumer has pointed out that a payment of Rs 2,296 through a cheque of Indian Overseas Bank was deposited through e-sampark centre. Shockingly, when the next electricity bill was received, it was found that arrears of Rs 23,798 (Rs 22,896 and late fee of Rs 902) were shown. On query it was told that the cheque was dishonoured and nothing can be done in this regard. It was told that the Axis Bank presented the cheque to the bank of consumer and the Axis Bank has reported that cheque is dishounored with the remark "Refer to drawer". On checking with Indian overseas bank, it was found that the cheque was never presented to the bank for clearance. "It seems the consumers are being penalized and harassed in a flimsy manner. The irony has not ended here because after that we tried to show the certificate and demanded that the penalty be waived off, the department is probing the matter and has not waived off the late fee", he said. 



Parties make the final pitch
Tribune News Service

Leaders of the Students Organisation of Panjab University prepare the strategy for the final two days before the elections; and (below) a posse of police keep a check during the canvassing at Panjab University on Sunday evening .
Leaders of the Students Organisation of Panjab University prepare the strategy for the final two days before the elections . Tribune photo: Pradeep Tewari

Chandigarh, September 1
With a series of meetings at the party tents and canvassing in hostels lined up today, student bodies kept themselves busy on the last day of canvassing for the Panjab University Campus Students Council (PUCSC) elections.

As per the Lyngdoh committee guidelines, mass canvassing ends 48 hours before the elections. The candidates, however, are allowed to have one-to-one interaction with the voters.

From early hours in the morning, leaders of various parties started holding meetings with their supporters at the party tents pitched on the Panjab University campus.

Panjab University Students Union member Babalpreet Singh said the party supporters were mobilised and briefed on the strategy to be employed on the last two days before the elections.
A posse of police keep a check during the canvassing at Panjab University on Sunday evening
A posse of police keep a check during the canvassing at Panjab University on Sunday evening . Tribune photo: Pradeep Tewari

The National Students Union of India leader, Manoj Lubana, said the party called core members of the canvassing group of each department at the party tent to analyse their prospects in elections.

“After the meeting, we went to all the hostels for canvassing,” he said.

In the evening, a rally was also organised by different parties. The leaders, accompanied by over 100 members, went to the girls’ hostels to introduce their candidates. The supporters, holding party flags, marched from the tents to the hostels under tight police security. The girl supporters also raised slogans from inside the hostels in support of their parties. 

AISA extends support to SFI

Navjot Kaur

The All-India Students Association (AISA) has announced unconditional support to the Students Federation of India (SFI), which has fielded a girl candidate, Navjot Kaur, for the post of president.

While canvassing at Girls' Hostel No. 5 in the evening, supporters of one of the parties allegedly threw mud balls at girls who were standing in the balcony and raising slogans in favour of another student body.



Mounted police keeps check on supply of liquor, weapons
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 1
In a bid to deter outsiders from entering the Panjab University (PU) campus, the Chandigarh Police has deployed the mounted police for patrolling greenbelts near the boundary walls on the campus in order to check illegal activities including the supply of liquor and weapons.

The mounted police has been patrolling the campus for the past few days and will continue with it till the elections get over.

The Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Ashish Kapoor, said the mounted police had been deployed in those areas where vehicles could not enter, such as near the boundary walls from where outsiders could enter the campus.

“There are various isolated places including a jungle area and parks on and adjoining the campus that require intense patrolling,” the DSP said.

The mounted patrolling is also being conducted on isolated roads near the PU campus, including Dhanas and Sector 25.

Sources said during the elections, weapons and liquor could be supplied to the campus through these areas due to the lack of security checks.

The mounted police staff has been asked to move along the boundary walls and report any kind of suspicious activity. They patrol the area in the morning and evening hours.

“The presence of mounted police on the campus will deter anti-social elements,” the DSP said.

The Chandigarh Police has around 49 horses that are used for patrolling. Sources said the mounted police would also be roped in on the day of elections to disperse the crowd if anything goes wrong.



Estranged PUSU leader arrested
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 1
The Chandigarh Police today arrested an estranged Panjab University Students Union (PUSU) leader under preventive measures.
The estranged leader, Gurinder Minhas, had entered into an altercation with other party members at the tent pitched by PUSU on the PU campus. He reportedly tore the party banner installed at the tent as well.

Minhas, who had announced his unconditional support for the National Students Union of India (NSUI), was visiting the PUSU tent along with an accomplice to drum up support for the NSUI.

PUSU members said when the duo was asked to leave the tent, they entered into an altercation with the PUSU supporters. The entire incident took place in the presence of the police deployed on the campus for the student council elections.

The police, on the complaint of PUSU supporter Jagdeep Mann, registered a case against Minhas and his accomplice and arrested the duo under preventive measures.

Earlier too, a case of causing hurt was registered against Minhas and others at the Sector 11 police station in June this year.



from schools
Sports Day

Chandigarh: Sports Day was celebrated at Sharda Sarvhitkari Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 40. Students from different schools of Vidya Bharti participated in the events including badminton, chess, table-tennis, basketball, volleyball, judo and wrestling.


Students of St Joseph's Senior Secondary School, Sector 44, took part in quiz organised for Classes VI- VIII. The competition was held to help students to revise various subjects including mathematics, science and Punjabi. They participated with great zeal.


The 1982 batch of Carmel Convent School organised a re-union. Around 10 teachers also joined the former students who came from as far as London, Bengaluru and Pune.

Spell well

Panchkula: Satluj Public School organised a spell-well competition for students of the junior wing. Students took part in four different rounds with different level of difficulty. The event aimed at making the children fluent in phonic sounds. Assam House won the competition while Kashmir House secured the second position.

Personal hygiene

mohali: Around 50 girl students of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 26, Chandigarh, were today counselled on the significance of good health and personal hygiene during a session organised by Zirakpur-based Trinity Hospital and Medical Research Institute in association with the NGO Yuvsatta. “It’s a part of our initiative to sensitise girls regarding the importance of hygiene and good health,” said Dr Kamla Kaushal, medical superintendent and head of the women and child healthcare department of the hospital. The session was followed by the health screening of all the girl students at the hospital. They were also given iron and protein supplements.

New students welcomed

The Lawrence Senior Secondary School organised a freshers' party to welcome the newly admitted students of Classes XI and XII. A cultural extravaganza was organised to mark the event. Gurbhej Singh and Rushir won the title of Mr and Ms Lawrence. Arshpreet was adjudged Ms Elegant, and Sarah claimed the title of Ms Confident. — TNS



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