C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Schools miss the benchmark
Short of 7,000 benches; students bear the brunt; tender soon, says officer
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
Government schools are short of nearly 7,000 benches, according to a recent report prepared by the Education Department. With five new government schools set to come up soon, the total requirement of benches will be close to 10,000.

The problem, it is learnt, is more severe in schools where new rooms have been added. For instance, 12 new rooms have come up in Government High School in Vikas Nagar, but these are not being used for want of furniture and due to some civic issues. Government Model Senior Secondary School in Mani Majra has four sections without benches. The GSSS, Karsan, and the GSSS, Mauli Jagran, are short of 100 and 50 benches, respectively. Several other schools are short of around 150 to 200 benches. A government school head said due to the shortage of benches, three students were being adjusted on each bench, meant for two students only.

"Benches are a basic requirement in schools. The department must speed up procurement," said the head of another government school.

Officials of the Education Department said inmates of Burail Jail, who had been supplying benches to government schools for the past several years, had not been able to meet the demand from schools.

District Education Officer Ram Kumar Sharma said the per day supply from the inmates of Burail Jail was insufficient as the demand for benches in government schools had increased since new rooms had been added in some schools while some new school buildings had come up.

"We have written to the jail authorities for a non-objection certificate so that we can purchase benches from the open market to meet the shortfall. Their response is expected soon after which the department will float a tender for the procurement of benches," he said.



Air travel to burn a hole in your pocket; fares up 30%
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
Following an increase in the airfare by major airlines due to a hike in the prices of aviation turbine fuel (ATF), air travel from Chandigarh is no longer cheap now. A hike of over 30 per cent in the fares from Chandigarh has been reported from all major airlines.

The airlines, including Jet Airways, Spicejet, GoAir and IndiGo, have revised their fares since Wednesday.

Air travel on the Chandigarh-Delhi route, which used to cost Rs 3,000 on an average for a one-side journey about a week ago, will now cost Rs 4,500. The Chandigarh-Mumbai route, too, has seen an increase from Rs 6,000 earlier to nearly Rs 8,000 for a one-side journey.

The ticket prices for the next 48 hours are even more expensive. The fares for Jet Airways' Chandigarh-Delhi and Chandigarh-Mumbai flights on September 10 are Rs 5,010 and Rs 9,270, respectively, for a one-way journey.

A one-way journey on IndiGo's Chandigarh-Mumbai route on the same day will cost passengers Rs 8,692 per ticket. Similarly, Spicejet's Chandigarh-Delhi one-way fare on September 10 is Rs 4,989 per ticket.

The prices will continue to be on the higher side after that though these will be slightly less than those on September 10.

For instance, the airfare on September 15 for IndiGo's Chandigarh-Mumabi flight is Rs 7,500 per ticket for a one-way journey.

Spicejet's fare for a one-way journey on the Chandigarh-Delhi route on September 15 is Rs 4,454 per ticket.

Incidentally, no airline has come on record regarding the revision in the fares.

Burhan Ayub, local manager of IndiGo, said only the sales team of the airline was competent to answer queries on the airfare.

While Malay Jain, station manger of Jet Airways, Chandigarh, did not come on record, an official of the local office of Jet Airways said the increase in the prices of ATF due to devaluation of the rupee was the main reason behind the increase in the airfare by all airlines.

He said the airfare would continue to remain on the higher side from next month due to the festive season. "Airlines have the lowest fares when occupancy of flights remains below 50 per cent. Since the festive season is starting next month, flight occupancy is likely to be more till December-end and the ticket prices are not expected to come down," he said.

City resident Rajesh Sharma said the hike in airfare would affect the travel plans of many people.



Fasting PU students hospitalised
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
The indefinite fast by PU students outside the Vice-Chancellor's office continued for the fifth day today. Over 15 students were admitted to the GMSH, Sector 16, after their health deteriorated.

The agitating students today burnt an effigy of the PU authorities. The students are protesting against alleged rigging in the PU student elections. Earlier, various student parties had alleged rigging and violation of the Lyngdoh panel guidelines by Chandan Rana, who was elected president of the students' council in the elections held recently.

ABVP leader Dinesh Chauhan said over 20 students were still on indefinite fast and those whose condition had deteriorated had been referred to the hospital for medical care. “The protest will continue till the university authorities take a decision over the complaint filed by the student parties," Chauhan said.

Dean, Students Welfare, Navdeep Goyal said around 15 students were hospitalised. “The students who are unwell are being shifted to hospital," he said.

Goyal said the agitating students had been informed that the decision of the grievance committee would be made known to them by tomorrow evening.

Varsity wants Section 144 imposed

The PU authorities have written to the Deputy Commissioner, requesting him to impose Section 144 on the campus.

Holiday at Panjab University today

Panjab University has declared September 9 a holiday in all teaching departments of the university.



Addiction to steroids, smoking leads to bone decay: Experts
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
Addiction to alcohol and smoking, and increased intake of steroids for bodybuilding is fast resulting in avascular necrosis (decay in bone component) among patients as young as 28 years old.

Going by the records available with experts at the PGI and Max Hospital, the disease, that was earlier generally found among older individuals and was caused by rheumatoid arthritis, is now common among youngsters, often requiring hip replacement.

While the PGI receives around five such cases per month, the number has been found to be close to 20 at Max Hospital, Mohali.

Sample this: A 28-year-old man, Abhinav (name changed), of Sector 30, once an avid sportsperson, now walks like an old man in extreme pain. "Abhinav is not alone. Youngsters are increasingly suffering from this disease nowadays and need hip replacement at a very young age," said an expert at the PGI.

Dr RK Kanojia, Associate Professor, Department of Orthopaedics, PGI, said, "We get around five young patients suffering from this disease every month. They are severely into alcohol and smoking. The intake of drugs is also contributing to the disease."

According to Dr Manuj Wadhwa, Director and Head, Department of Orthopaedics and Joint Replacement at Max Hospital, Mohali, earlier rheumatoid arthritis was the major reason behind AVN and a patient had no control over it.

"Now, AVN is being caused by addiction also. A number of patients being operated upon here are addicted to steroids for bodybuilding or those who have high alcohol intake from a very early age. Some of them are not ready to quit even post-surgery. We are operating upon 15 to 20 youngsters aged between 20 and 30 years every month. It's a huge number and alarming."

"Young drug addicts are increasingly lining up in hospitals for hip replacement surgeries, necessitated by the ill-effects of drugs. Pain in joints is common in people aged over 50, but nowadays youngsters take all types of drugs and it directly affects their hip joints, which refuse to work after a few years," Dr Wadhwa said.

What is AVN

Avascular necrosis (AVN), also osteonecrosis, bone infarction, aseptic necrosis and ischemic bone necrosis, is a disease in which there is cellular death (necrosis) of bone components due to interruption in blood supply. Without blood, the bone tissue dies and the bone collapses. If avascular necrosis involves the bones of a joint, it often leads to destruction of the joint articular surfaces. Proposed risk factors include chemotherapy, alcoholism, excessive steroid use, post-trauma, caisson disease (decompression sickness), vascular compression, hypertension, vasculitis, arterial embolism and thrombosis, damage from radiation, bisphosphonates (particularly the mandible), sickle cell anaemia and Gaucher's disease. In some cases, it is idiopathic (no cause is found). Rheumatoid arthritis and lupus are also common causes of AVN.



Police complaint against Asaram, his ashram
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Usha Sharma, the complainant Chandigarh, September 8
A police complaint against controversial spiritual guru Asaram Bapu and Sant Shri Asaram Ashram, Soonk village, Mohali district, has been filed by Usha Sharma, a resident of Sector 41, Chandigarh, who has alleged that she had paid Rs 1 lakh to the Trust in 1998 after being promised a plot in Soonk. However, she has not been given the possession of the plot.

The complaint has been lodged at the public window of the Chandigarh Police headquarters in Sector 9.

The complainant, an employee of the PGI, said she became the disciple of the self-styled godman in 1997 and started attending his ashram at Soonk. "His Trust introduced a housing society scheme and induced disciples to buy plots in the peaceful environment of his ashram," she alleged.

Usha alleged that the disciples, including her, were told that they would get a 200 sq yard plot for Rs 1 lakh and Rs 50,000 will be the development charges. "We were promised that the possession of the plot will be given after two years following which I paid the cost of the plot to the ashram and the Bhagat Kutir Samiti. My membership number was 281 and I was given an allotment letter for plot number 258," the complainant claimed. After two years when she did not get the plot, she started questioning sewaks of the ashram, but failed to get a satisfactory answer. "I and several other members have been cheated of our hard-earned money," she alleged. The police has started an investigation into her complaint.



Engineering students develop robot for soil testing
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
With a view to reducing the efforts of scientists and farmers and helping them in soil testing, students of the University Institute of Engineering and Technology (UIET), Panjab University (PU), have developed an autonomous surface monitoring robot (ASMR), which will measure the characteristics of soil. The robot bagged the first prize at a national-level competition this week and can be controlled through a laptop.

The team, "Abhiyanta", comprising Bhavjeet Singh, Bharat Gera, Robin Kaul, Siddhartha Kwatra and Rohan Arora, developed the robot.

Bhavjeet Singh said the project was mainly aimed at reducing the efforts of scientists. “The basic concept is to bring automation in surveillance methods, which can prove useful in various fields like archaeology and farming. We have developed an autonomous robot that goes to different land positions in a systematic manner, measures soil characteristics, including moisture, temperature and conductivity, and stores the data on a laptop," he said.

The students said the conventional ways of soil testing needed a lot of hard work and were time consuming as one had to go to different parts of the land and then measure the characteristics after which farmers determined the fertility of the soil.

“At present, scientists and farmers either use a sensor or send samples to a laboratory to check the characteristics of soil," said Bharat, a team member.

He said the robot was useful in soil testing in remote areas and with certain modifications, it could be used for extraterrestrial land surveillance.

Of the over 2,000 entries in the national-level competition, five teams were shortlisted for the final competition, "Niyantra", organised by National Instruments, in which the team stood first and was awarded a cash prize of Rs 75,000.



open house response
Qualified technical staff required

For the last ten days, residents of Chandigarh and Mohali are struggling to procure even a single bucket of water to quench the thirst of their families. It is very much like “water, water everywhere but no water to drink”. This man-made water crisis needs thorough investigation and resultant punishments.

By cardiac metaphor, the Kajauli water pipeline is like an ‘Aorta’ artery of heart from which water to Chandigarh, Mohali is supplied/distributed through small pipelines like arteries in the body. It needs utmost care and safety. The Kajauli main water pipeline should be placed under highly qualified technical staff. The residents should be persuaded to use water most economically. In view of water shortage, expansion of both the cities should be put on hold.

SS Beniwal, Chandigarh

Need for constant vigil by staff

The breakdown in the Kajauli pipeline, which created crisis in Chandigarh and Mohali has left several lessons opened which needs to be learnt by the administration. The need of constant vigil of this lifeline by the staff concerned and its preventive maintenance needs emphasis. When a pipe joint starts giving away, or even looks like doing so, it must be promptly attended to. Such a drill will reduce chances of major breakdowns, like the one that happened last week. To reduce the water woes of consumers in such situations, the Municipal Corporations of Chandigarh and Mohali, should supply adequate quantity of potable water at the residents’ door steps.

SC Luthra, MHC Manimajra

Advanced system of covering water pipes

This problem of water shortage is faced by the residents of Chandigarh every now and then; sometimes due to raised demand in summers and sometimes due to leakages in underground water pipelines. The MC and even the Chandigarh Administration should see to it that water crisis in the city does not play havoc in the lives of its residents. Even the people themselves should see that drinking water is not wasted lawns, washing cars and front courtyards of houses. An advanced system of covering water pipes should be evolved so that there is no problem in repairing the defective or leaking pipes at frequent intervals. This system will certainly solve the water problems in the city to a greater extent.

RK Kapoor, Chandigarh

Ample stock of pipes, valves

The recent water situation was extremely grave in Chandigarh as well as in Mohali. Water scarcity, in both these places, was one of the worst hit crises, faced by the people. In future, to ensure that such a miserable situation does not take place, the Water Supply and Sanitation Department should have skilled manpower to handle such situations and ample stock of material like pipes, valves and rings. Besides this, pipelines should not be haphazard and zigzag. In fact, officials of this department should be aware of such problems beforehand and without any delay, take a timely action. It is rightly said that, ‘a stitch in time saves nine’.

Priya Darsh Growar, Mohali

Rainwater harvesting

Perhaps this is the first time that the residents of Chandigarh and Mohali have witnessed major water crises, which disrupted the normal life. Breakdown exposed the lack of preparedness on the part of the Chandigarh and Mohali officials to handle the crises. To address this problem at grass route level, a number of steps can be taken by the authorities concerned so that such situations do not arise in future. They should explore other alternatives as well. They should work out a plan to bring water from Bhakhra and other water lines. Additional underground water reserves need of the hour should be maintained. Rainwater harvesting should be religiously followed by the administration.

Vidya Sagar Garg, Panchkula

Frequent checks on water wastage required

Though demand for consumption of water is increasing yet, the judicious use of water is inevitable to achieve the targets in a sustainable manner. As per official record, Chandigarh claims enough supply of water even then people are facing an acute water crunch as the demand is not proportionate to the 87mgd consumption. The MC two years back received two first prizes from the Union Ministry of Urban Development having at 332 litres of water per capita per day in this city of about 12 lakh people. It is genuinely correct that owing to defects and repair of pipes at the Kajuli water works, irate and thirsty residents of several sectors had to come out on the streets. This problem could be minimised, if there had been a long-term planning of the corporation. There are various hydrants, water lines that continue to leak and thousands of gallons water is wasted daily. In the colonies, the water pipes remain open for days together. Apart from it, water tap points where taps go missing, water continuously flows. There is no check of this frequent flow of water. In one report, out of around 2,000 regular employees now only 250 have been left to supervise the water supply and the department has to depend on the contractors for every petty repair work of pipelines.

SK Khosla, Chandigarh

Chandigarh Admn should have water reserves

The authorities, responsible for the maintenance of the pipelines, tried to play down by terming it a minor problem, whereas the issue demanded an immediate attention. The UT Administration and the Department of Water Supply And Sanitation are responsible for the maintenance of the pipelines. The Kajauli pumping station from where Chandigarh receives water is located in Punjab. The broken pipelines are being repaired under thesupervision of the Punjab government and the Municipal Corporation only pays the annual bill for the work. The two pipelines broken in Mankheri village also come under Punjab territory. It is not out of place to mention here, why the officials concerned are not bothered to check leakages at other points to avoid any such problem in the near future. The Chandigarh administration should have water reserves amounting to at least 50 per cent of the total supply for immediate relief to the local residents.

Puran Kant, Chandigarh

More water tankers to meet demand

In what has come to haunt the residents of the group housing societies during the last ten days has been the worst water supply position. The residents could not even complete their daily chores due to the erratic water supply to their residences. The harassed managing committees of the societies were seen making frantic calls to the MC Officers to request sending them water tankers and many of them had remained disappointed. The Municipal Corporation has fewer tankers to match the demand and the recommendations of the area Councilors. Favored ones were obliged depending on the weight of the person making the request. So some were boastful and some were in a state of remorse. A report exposes the claims and admissions of the Municipal Corporation and is a generalisation on the issue that should have been acted upon by the Municipal Corporation officials. Notwithstanding the current muddle the city residents have suffered, the report states that there was a high pressure. Since, there are no records; much time is wasted in locating the fault in the pipeline which affects supply. The issue has been discussed in the past and work is being done on it, said an official of the MC's engineering wing. Unlike the position last year, the MC tried to manage things this time by checking water wastage but there is still a lot to be done, like replacement of old pipelines and formation of water supplying networking system on a micro level.

Satish Chandra Sharma, Chandigarh

Mukesh Bassi, Councillor and former Chairman of the Water Supply Committee In my view, officials of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, the UT Administration and Punjab, should hold a regular monthly meeting, especially on Kajauli waterworks as it is the lifeline of residents of Chandigarh and Mohali. In these meetings, officials should take up issues like repair and maintenance of water supply lines. Besides, the MC officials should also execute the proposals, which were passed by the MC and its Water Supply Committee in the past. Only by implementing those proposals, the Chandigarh MC can improve supply of water in the city. The MC should also keep this in mind that from January 1, 2014, the Chandigarh MC will have to give 9 MGD water to Panchkula and Chandimandir, which at present is being used by Chandigarh. Therefore, the authorities should make arrangements well in advance.

Mukesh Bassi, Councillor and former Chairman of the Water Supply Committee

open house question

The PGIMER, a premier healthcare institute, caters to chronically ill patients not only from tricity but also from rest of the country. With the number of patients in the Emergency and the OPDs rising day-by-day, the hospital has been grappling with numerous problems, including lack of quality care, money being charged by a few employees for bypassing long queues at counters and manhandling of resident doctors. The number of patients at the PGIMER OPDs per day crosses 10,000, often on Mondays. What could be the effective measures for handing the patient rush indoor and at the OPDs? What can be the solutions other than expansion of infrastructure, which the PGIMER claims to have done to its best?

Send in your suggestions at [email protected]


Mobile mammography van
Officials sit on complaint
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
Even nine months after the Vigilance Department, UT, sought comments from the Health Secretary over the complaint pertaining to the alleged pooling of tenders in the purchase of a mobile mammography van of the GMCH-32, the latter has failed to respond.

Following the purchase of the van last year, an RTI activist filed a complaint with the UT Administrator, which led the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) seeking details of the tenders to look into the alleged “pooling of tenders”. The case was then transferred to the UT Adviser, KK Sharma, who happens to be the Chief Vigilance Officer.

As per information sought under the RTI Act, the Additional Secretary, Vigilance, UT, had marked the letter to the UT Health Secretary on January 1 this year after stating that the case has “a vigilance angle”, but the latter has failed to revert till date.

In fact, the Additional Secretary had sent a reminder as well to the Health Secretary on July 15 this year. When contacted, UT Health Secretary Anil Kumar refrained from commenting over it. He, however, said: “We had scrutinised the purchase documents on the basis of the complaint. What we found was that it was not pooling of tenders. It was just that the fabrication of the van was done by a second firm.”

The Chandigarh Tribune had recently highlighted that a perusal of the tender documents and sequence of purchase events, including the pre-bid meeting, obtained under the RTI Act, revealed that the tender for the purchase of the mammography machine was accepted despite the two companies bidding for the machinery having quoted the rates of the same model of the equipment manufactured by the same firm.

The rules stipulate that the tenders should have been immediately rejected in view of pooling of tenders. Fresh bids should have been invited. However, the authorities seemingly chose to turn a blind eye despite one of the clerks pointing out the violation ahead of the opening of the price bid.

The CBI had on July 30, 2012, sought details of the documents pertaining to the purchase of the mammography machine. Later, the CBI had forwarded the case to the UT Central Vigilance Officer on November 29, 2012.

The Rs 1.24 crore mobile mammography van had several defects during its launch on April 12 this year.


  • August 7, 2010: Committee constituted to specify requirements of the mammography unit.
  • February 11, 2011: Tender for the purchase was opened.
  • Feb 14, 2011: A dealing assistant pointed out that affidavit regarding genuineness of the authorisation is missing.
  • March 3, 2011: Technical committee formed to look into specifications.
  • March 4, 2011: Price bid opened.
  • February 2, 2012: Supply order sent in the name of Fuji Film Pvt Limited.
  • March 6, 2012: Fuji Film sought advance payment.
  • March 13, 2012: The GMCH sought approval from the Health Secretary for advance payment.
  • April 19, 2012: A cheque for Rs 1,24,34,250 was sent in the name of Fuji Film Pvt Ltd signed by the GMCH treasury branch.
  • April 12, 2013: The UT Administrator inaugurated the van.



Health Notes
Walkathon held at Sukhna Lake

Fortis Hospital, Mohali, on Saturday organised a walkathon at the Sukhna Lake to mark World Physiotherapy Day. Over 120 persons participated in the walkathon. Chandigarh Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Shayin flagged off the walkathon, which comprised Fortis doctors and senior management, apart from patients.

On this occasion, the DC and senior Fortis management also launched the physiotherapy brochure. Many regular walkers at the lake also joined the event, taking forward the message of “Fit for Future”. From Fortis senior management, Regional Director Col HS Chehal and Facility Director Abhijit Singh led the walkers. The Physiotherapy Department of the hospital, led by Dr Priyanka Arora and her team, explained workouts and exercises to the walkers and talked about the importance of correct posture.

Eye check-up camp

A free eye check-up camp was organised by Grewal Eye Institute (GEI) on Sunday. The camp was held at Government High School, Darwa village, Chandigarh. A team of highly experienced ophthalmologists from Grewal Eye Institute examined the patients. Speaking on the occasion, Dr Grewal said: “At Grewal Eye Institute, we are always looking for every opportunity, big and small, to do our humble best to give back to society. Regular free eye check-up camps are a part of our ongoing social responsibility efforts.”

127 donate blood

To pay homage to Uttarakhand flood victims, the Kumaon Sabha, Chandigarh, on Sunday organised its 8th blood donation camp at the Garhwal Bhawan, Sector 29. As many as 127 people donate blood at the camp. RS Rawat, General Secretary of the Kumaon Sabha, said the camp was organised to express solidarity with the suffering of the people affected by the Uttarakhand tragedy. The camp was inaugurated by chief guest Lalli Singh Rawat. Later, Harish Chander Pandey distributed mementos to blood donors. The camp was organised with the support of doctors of the Blood Transfusion Department, PGI, Chandigarh.

PGI surgeon invited to Germany

Professor Ramesh Kumar Sen, Orthopaedic Surgeon, PGIMER, Chandigarh, has been invited as a visiting professor by the University of Mainz, Germany, in September 2013 where he is scheduled to demonstrate his surgical innovations and techniques in the management of complex hip problems. He will participate in the clinical and academic schedule of the University Hospital of Mainz. Subsequently, he will be visiting Riga, the capital of Latvia, to participate in Baltic countries orthopaedic surgeons' meet as a plenary speaker. There, he will share his experience of managing difficult surgeries in orthopaedic trauma. Earlier this year in March, Professor Sen was also a visiting professor to Detroit Medical Centre, USA, where he presented one of the world’s largest series of specific hip surgeries performed by him in the PGI with a follow-up evaluation of more than 10 years.

Workshop concludes

The musculoskeletal ultrasound and MRI workshop being organised by the Department of Radiodiagnosis concluded on Saturday at the PGIMER. There were lectures and live ultrasound demonstration of normal anatomy of knee and ankle joints by the experts. Professor PK Srivastava from King George’s Medical University, Lucknow, discussed the ultrasound findings of tumours of the soft tissues as well as infections of the musculoskeletal system. Dr Ashwin Lawande from Mumbai demonstrated the utility of ultrasound in guiding interventional procedures.

Blood donation camp

The Rajasthan Parishad in association with the National Integrated Medical Association held its 16th blood donation camp on Sunday at the Rajasthan Bhawan, Sector 33, Chandigarh. The camp was dedicated to the memory of Ram Swaroop Chandgothia, founder-trustee of the parishad, who expired on July 31 this year. The camp was inaugurated by Dr Atul Sachdeva, Director-Principal, GMCH, Sector 32, Chandigarh. More than 120 units of blood was collected at the camp by a team of doctors from the Blood Transfusion Department of the GMCH-32.

World Physiotherapy Day

People take part in a walkathon at the Sukhna Lake to mark World Physiotherapy Day
People take part in a walkathon at the Sukhna Lake to mark World Physiotherapy Day. Tribune photo: Pradeep Tewari

Physiotherapists of the PGIMER celebrated World Physiotherapy Day on Saturday and Sunday. Experts delivered talks on recent trends in stroke management. Dignitaries from different physiotherapy college like Saket College, Panchkula, Government Hospital, Sector 16, was present on the occasion. A welcome speech was delivered by Professor MS Dhillon, chairperson of the seminar. Organising Secretary Pradip Kumar Sarkar, senior physiotherapist, delivered the vote of thanks. On Sunday, Dr Rajiv Vadehra, Director Health Service, UT, inaugurated the function at the Sukhna Lake. Doctors and students from the Physical Medicine and Orthopaedic Department were present and counselled the morning walkers by distributing the leaflet and practical demonstration.

Nutrition Week celebrated

The Dietetics Department, Government Multi-Speciality Hospital, Sector 16, celebrated World Nutrition Week from September 1 to 7 on the premises of the hospital. Various activities were undertaken at the seminar hall on the occasion. These include slogan-writing competition, display of nutritious recipes, health models, games and puzzles, lectures and awareness among patients, relatives and the general public. The main focus of World Nutrition Week was to have a balanced and therapeutics diet to modify the lifestyle diseases, which are crippling society. — TNS



134 trees axed for multi-level parking
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
Four days after the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation received an environment clearance, 134 trees were cut today for setting up the multi-level parking in Sector 17. "The work will be allocated within one month, according to officials. The estimated time frame for completion of the project is around two years," said MC Chief Engineer, SS Bidda.

The parking space is to come up at Gurdev parking lot. In order to check environmental degradation caused by the upcoming projects, the Union Environment and Forests Ministry had constituted two regulatory bodies in Chandigarh in 2009. The Union Territory Environment Impact Assessment Authority (EIAA) and the Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) were formed. The committees were formed for three years.

To form the new committee and issue a fresh notification, the matter was forwarded to the Environment Ministry and Law Ministry in Delhi.

The National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) and Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) gave its clearance to four projects of the City Beautiful like 250-bed hospital at the PGI, multi-level parking in Sector 17, slum rehabilitation housing scheme in Maloya and CHB housing scheme in Sector 52 and 56 on September 4.

The three-storey basement parking lot has been planned to have a capacity of 900 vehicles. The proposal was mooted in 2010 and a ceremony to initiate the construction was held just an hour before the code of conduct for the municipal Corporation election was to come into force. Since then, the project had been facing hurdles. The building plans for the parking lot took almost two years to be approved.



Defaulters may have to pay more for impounded vehicles
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
Get ready to bear high penalty for impounding of your vehicle by the Municipal Corporation. A proposal has been mooted by the finance and contract committee (F&CC) that the authorities should start charging from vehicle owners, after seven days, in case they do not deposit the fine amount of their impounded vehicles to the department. The proposal will be tabled in F&CC scheduled on September 9.

As per the proposal, after seven days of impounding the vehicle, owner of the two-wheeler will have to pay Rs 25 per day, three-wheeler Rs 50 per day, car Rs 100 per day and truck Rs 200 per day.

In the report the authorities stated that at present around 200 vehicles were parked in the corporation store. Out of which around 70 to 90 vehicles were there for the past ten years as the owners had not deposited the fine to get them released and the authorities were facing the problem for parking space for the vehicles impounded now.

Report further revealed that at present the corporation is charging Rs 500 for the vehicle impounded and Rs 1,000 for those which were lifted by the MC team via crane.

Other proposals

  • MC has demanded 35 police personnel from the UT Administration on deputation for conducting various drives in the city. At present, the corporation has 10 regular police officials for conducting any kind of drive in the city.
  • Keeping in view the cattle-catching drive, the corporation is going to propose recruitment of 25 cattle catchers for the city. At present, there are 37 cattle catchers deployed by the department.



Mohali police checks PGs

Mohali, September 8
Under its special drive to check the paying guests’ accommodations, the Mohali police today visited some premises in Phase IX and Phase VII, in which such businesses are being run.

Inspector Gurmit Singh Sohal, Station House Officer, Phase 8 police station, and Inspector Navin Pal Singh Sohal, Station House Officer, Mataur police station, said that they visited PG houses to ascertain whether or not the police verifications of the paying guests were being done by the owners of the premises.

“Those, who have not done police verification so far, have been issued warnings,” said Inspector Navin Pal Singh.

Notably, the Mohali police has initiated a special drive to check the accommodations. During one such check at Shahi Majra village, the police recovered some firearms from a room of youngsters, who were staying as PGs there. — TNS



Patient alleges misbehaviour by Mohali Civil Hospital doctor
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 8
"If you want to administer injection to your patient, get the syringe from those to whom you have voted for," this is what a doctor allegedly told to family members of patient, admitted in an emergency at the Civil Hospital, Phase VI, here today.

Varinder Singh from Neholka village, near Kurali, whose wife Manjit Kaur has been admitted in the hospital for treatment of diarrhoea, alleged that they were mistreated by the doctor and other staff on duty last midnight.

"Our fault was that we have asked them to provide us syringe for administering an injection to my wife, who was suffering from acute pain last night. Firstly, they had no syringe with them. When we insisted to give my wife injection as no chemist shop was opened at that time, the nurses and the doctor on duty, not only misbehaved with me but also asked me to do whatever I could," alleged Varinder Singh alleging that the doctor in question had also told me to go to any authority and ask them to arrange the syringe.

Manjit Kaur had been referred from the Kurali hospital yesterday evening, he said.

When contacted, Mohali Civil Surgeon Dr Rajiv Bhalla said that he was not aware of the issue. "Nobody has contacted me or given me any complaint in this regard. I will look into the matter. If found guilty, required action would be taken against them," said Dr Bhalla.



Stray cattle menace
Residents back civic body drive
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
The Federation of Sector Welfare Associations Chandigarh today held its executive committee meeting at the Sector 35 community centre. The members discussed the issue of stray cattle in the city.

There was unanimity among the members that the campaign for catching stray cattle should be continued by the Municipal Corporation to avoid any further fatal accident.

They also demanded that the councillors irrespective of their party affiliation should put their heads together to adopt a comprehensive policy on catching, shifting and releasing the cattle, rather than indulging into blame game to take political mileage.

The members, during the meeting, also expressed concern over the delay in adopting the Right to Service Act by the Chandigarh Administration.

The members were of the view that the traffic police should not merely focus on issuing challans against traffic violators, but should carry out preventive policing on roads for the security and safety of the general public.

The problem of stray dogs, shortage of power supply and low water pressure; delay in receipt of electricity bills; delay in development of green belt opposite the Police Housing Colony and non-clearing of heaps of garbage from footpath and road gullies after laying of paver blocks in Sector 51, and poor arrangement of garbage collection and disposal were among the other issues raised by the executive members during the meeting.



MP for better ties between India, Nepal

Chandigarh, September 8
Pawan Kumar Bansal, Member of Parliament from Chandigarh, has sought strengthening of ties between India and Nepal. Extending wishes on the occasion of Nepali ‘Teej’, which was organised by the Nepali Jan Sampark at Mani Majra here today, he said both the countries shared good relations and it was a moment of pride for the city to have people from Nepal settled here.

The festival of ‘Teej,’ popularly known as ‘Haritalika’, is observed by Nepali Hindu women. Bansal was the chief guest on the occasion.

He said Nepal had rich water resources that could be shared with India and it would benefit both the countries. He also extended Onam greetings to the Malayalee community of the city. Onam is a traditional 10-day harvest festival celebrated by the people of Kerala. Bansal, who attended a function to mark the occasion at the Punjab Kala Bhawan in Sector 16 here, while extending his wishes, said the festival was now celebrated across the country with the presence of Malayalee community everywhere. — TNS



Portraying a tale of desire & deception
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
Nagamandala, a contemporary dance theatre show based on a play written by Girish Karnad, was staged at the Tagore Theatre. Directed by Sangeeta Sharma, Nagamandala was a mystical story that highlighted the problem of a woman's desire, independence, fulfilment and transgression. The highlight of the performance was the adaptation of the text into the dance form, which left the audience spellbound.

It was about Rani who is married to Appanna but her husband refuses to treat her nicely. His affection is for someone else and Rani is locked in the house. In it a blind woman gives her a drink to gain the affection of her husband, but Naga (the snake) drinks it, takes her husband's form and awaken her womanhood.

She gets pregnant and breaks the news to Appanna, but he is not ready to accept that she is bearing his child and decides to find out the truth by spying on the house at night. Appanna is shocked to see the Naga visiting Rani in his form, spending time with her and then leaving the house. Appanna gets furious with the Naga and decides to fight with him. Eventually, the Naga dies in the fight. After this incident, Appanna realises his mistake and he accepts Rani along with the child.



Reporters' diary
Councillors using peons for spying

These days MC councillors and officials are using peons and lower staff for spying on other councillors and officials at the MC building. These peons are regularly checking who is sitting with whom, who is coming to meet whom, etc., and reporting the same to their bosses. An MC official said at present trust was missing among the councillors, whether they were from the same party or the opposition parties, and even the MC officials. Atmosphere at the MC was not fit for working, he said. But, a question remains unanswered whether these peons and lower staff are paid extra for their “extra services” or not.

Blessing in disguise

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to the city has become a blessing in disguise for the residents of Chandigarh. The administrative machinery is on its toes to beautify all the routes on which the Prime Minister is expected to move with the convoy of VVIPs. The development works that never figured on the priority list of the officials are now being executed on a war footing.

A catch-22 situation

Amid the Association of Resident Doctors intensifying its protest against the authorities, some of the resident doctors are being highly perplexed. While being a part of the fraternity they are obliged to follow the general body resolutions and join the protest, they are also fearing censure from the faculty over the protest. “Our assessment is completely in the hands of the faculty,” said one of resident doctors.

Rumours on DPI

For the past six months, the UT Education Department is impatiently discussing one question “when the present DPI will go”? Employees are heard saying that no DPI in the past 10 years has stayed in this department for two Diwalis continuously. Many say the DPI will leave the department anytime soon. Rumours are rife that he may repatriate. Now, the question arises as to who will replace him?

Strategy to target students

The recent verdict of the Panjab University elections has not only revealed the interest of national political parties in the PU but also a strategy to target students for the 2014 General Elections. The move may be beneficial for some former PU leaders, who are eyeing a ticket to enter the mainstream politics. With this, the students are left wondering if the national parties will listen to them or not?

Women officials spared!

In a recent meeting regarding the Navratra preparations, Panchkula Deputy Commissioner Dr SS Phulia snubbed all those officials who came late for the meeting. As only male officials were snubbed by the DC, they were seen grumbling as to why women officials were spared?

Student rallies attract police ire

Police officials witnessing the permission of holding rallies granted by the Panjab University authorities to the student parties, which led to tensed moments on the campus, ensured that they convey their displeasure to the university. A written complaint was made by the police to the Dean Students Welfare against the PU functioning a day before the student elections expressing that the university would be responsible for violence on the campus.

Hope for allottees

The efficiency being shown by officials of the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) in dealing with the verification of slum dwellers under the small flat scheme has aroused hope among general allottees of the CHB who wish to see the same set of officials dealing with the routine cases in the same manner.

Contributed by Rajinder Nagarkoti, Aarti Kapur, Ritika Jha, Vivek Gupta, Deepankar Sharda, Hina Rohtaki, Amit Sharma and Rajmeet Singh




Plantation drive

The Department of Environment, UT, and The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), Chandigarh branch, joined hands with a few corporate companies like DLF and Infosys to carry out a massive plantation drive across the city. The drive was initiated on September 1. Under the campaign a plantation drive was carried out at the IT Park today. A total of 40 saplings were planted. The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has decided to plant 2,000 trees in schools and colleges of Chandigarh.

Blood donation

To pay homage to the Uttarakhand flood victims, the Kumaon Sabha,Chandigarh, organised its a blood donation camp at Garhwal Bhawan,Sector 29. In the camp, 127 people donated blood. RS Rawat, general secretary of the Kumaon Sabha, said the camp wasorganised to express solidarity with the Uttarakhand victims. The blood donation campwas organised with the support of the doctors of the blood transfusion department, PGI, Chandigarh.

Solid waste management plant

The Chandigarh Management Association (CMA) recently organised a visit to the India's only running municipal solid waste management plant in at Dadu Majra under the leadership of AK Gandhi, president, CMA. As many as 20 CMA members visited the plant under the guidance of RD Sharma, general manager, municipal solid waste management plant.

Engineer's Day

The Engineers' Day Celebrations Forum in association with the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority is celebrating the 46th Engineer's Day to commemorate the birth anniversary of Bharat Rattan Sir Mokshagundam Visvesvarayya on September 15. The event is scheduled to be held at Shivalik Public School, Phase VI, Mohali. More than 1000 engineers working in various departments and undertakings of Government of Punjab. The aim of celebrating this day is to bring significant works and achievements of engineers to the knowledge of people of Punjab. — TNS



More schools to have traffic marshals
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
The UT Education Department will soon extend the Traffic Marshal Programme to around 10 more government schools. The programme began from July 1 to ensure the safety of schoolchildren during morning and afternoon hours.

Traffic marshals were appointed in front of 10 government schools for the safe passage of students to other side of the road besides checking the incidents of eve-teasing in front of schools.

Officials informed that this programme would be extend to other schools to ensure the safety of students.

Gurnam Singh, nodal officer of the programme, said the programme would be extended to senior secondary schools having large strength. "The move has got the nod of the Education Secretary and we have begun the process to identify the schools for the next phase of the programme. Most probably the bigger schools like GMSSS-16, GMSSS-23, GMSSS-10 would be included," Singh said.

As per information, the schools where the traffic marshal programme is on include GSSS, Dhanas, GGSSS, Sector 20, GSSS, Mani Majra, GMSSS, Sector 21, GSSS, Sector 27, GSSS, Raipur Khurd, GGMSSS, Sector 18, GMSH, Sector 25, GMSH, Sector 43, and GMSH, Sector 41D. Each of these schools has one marshal who arrives one hour before the opening and closing of the schools in the morning and afternoon.

However, there are a few issues, which are still to be addressed in these schools. For instance, traffic marshals are in the need of a special uniform, which can help identity them. In the absence of a zebra crossing, the traffic marshals are unable to help student in crossing the road.

Gurnam Singh said there were several issues that needed to be sorted out and the authorities had already been made aware of it.



NGO honours varsity Chancellor

Chandigarh, September 8
Dr Zora Singh, Chancellor, Desh Bhagat University, and chairman, Desh Bhagat Group of Institutes, has been given the Punjab Ratan Award. The award was given by the All-India Conference of Intellectuals, an NGO, at a ceremony held in Chandigarh.

Election Commissioner of India HS Brahma, Lt Gen KM Seth, former Governor, Chhattisgarh, and Justice Rajesh Tandon, member, Human Rights, UK, presented the award to Dr Zora Singh. He is honored for his contribution to the field of education. The function was attended by distinguished intellectuals from all walks of life. While presenting award to Dr Zora Singh, chief guest HS Bhrama said the contribution of Dr Singh to the state and India was remarkable and the future generations would continue to draw inspiration from him. — TNS




International Literacy Day

The Dev Samaj College of Education, Sector 36, celebrated International Literacy Day on Saturday. The head of biophysics department at Panjab University, Dr Ashwini Koul, was the chief guest.

Children of the ‘School on the Move’, a unique project initiated by the college to educate children of migrant labourers, presented a prayer song. Koul, who is also the director and programme coordinator of the National Service Scheme at PU, stressed on the importance of literacy and motivated the students to take part in community service. He said basic education meant the knowledge of rights and duties.

Talent hunt

The music department of MCM DAV College, Sector 36, organised a vocal music talent hunt. The programme commenced with a medley of patriotic songs. Paramjot won the first prize while Zoya and Neha bagged the second and third prizes respectively. The consolation prize went to Riya. The show was a unique platform for the students to showcase and hone their flair for singing. — TNS





Lovleen Kaur, headmistress of Government High School, Dadu Majra, has been honoured with the Rajiv Gandhi Education Excellence Award by International Institute of Education and Management at New Delhi. Lovleen Kaur is one of the 80 dignitaries who were honoured.

Grandparents' Day

SMD Little Champ School, Sector 2, Panchkula, celebrated Grandparents' Day amid much fanfare. To mark the day, grandparents were invited to the school where the children welcomed them with their self-made cards. They also introduced them to their classrooms.The tiny tots performed dances and presented nursery rhymes on the stage. Various fun games were also organised for the children as well as their grandparents. The grandparents also played some indoor and outdoor games.

Teacher's Day celebrated

Students and staff of PML SD Public School, Sector 19, celebrated the Teacher’s Day with great zeal and fervour. The tiny tots played the roles of the principal and the teachers. The management of the school distributed handsome gifts among teaching and non-teaching staff on the solemn occasion.

Golden Bells Public School

Students of Golden Bells Public School, Sector 77, Mohali, recited poems, sang songs and delivered speeches on the occasion of the Teacher's Day. They wished their teachers and took blessings from them. The school management organised an outing for the staff members. They all went for lunch, played tambola and musical chair. Everybody enjoyed and had a gala time.

Lawrence Public Senior Secondary School

Students and staff of Lawrence Public Senior Secondry School, Sector 51, Mohali, celebrated the Teacher's Day with fervour. Class X and XI students put up a wonderful programme for the teachers. A basketball match was played between the children and the staff. The students won the match 5- 4. A stage show was presented by the students. Later, mind games (puzzle games) were organised and the students gave titles to the teachers.

Oakridge International School

The Teacher’s Day was celebrated at Oakridge international School, Mohali, with great enthusiasm. The students of senior classes conducted a special assembly where they dedicated songs and poems to the teachers. The students also honoured their teachers by taking up charge of the classrooms for two hours and taught the classes under the supervision of their teachers. They showcased their leadership qualities and knowledge.

Hansraj Public School

The Teacher's day was celebrated with fervour at Hansraj Public School, Panchkula. A special assembly was conducted by the students as a mark of respect for their teachers. Entertaining plays, dances, poems and speeches were presented by the students. The school cabinet looked after the discipline of the students. Various competitions were organised for the teachers. The programme was thoroughly enjoyed by the staff.

New India Smart Senior Secondary School

Students greeted their teachers with roses and cards during a Teacher's Day function at New India Smart Senior Secondary School, Sector 15, Panchkula. Games like tambola, musical chair, pair dance, tongue twister were also organised on the occasion. The teachers were served with lunch.

St Xavier’s High School

Students of St Xavier’s High School, Panchkula, conducted a special assembly to celebrate the Teacher’s Day. Principal George S Shear extended his warm greetings to all the teachers and wished them success in their personal as well as professional lives.

Food Week

The Nutrition Food Week was celebrated at New India High School, Pinjore. The students were given tips on the healthy food. They brought different salad of fruits, vegetables and loaf with them.


The Teacher’s day was celebrated at GMHS-39 with great fervour and enthusiasm. The students participating in various activities such as quiz , skit, poetry recitation and speeches. Headmistress Surinder Kaur presided over the function and motivated the teachers and the students to follow the footsteps of the great teachers.

Sports meet

As many as 28 teams from various Kendriya Vidyalayas of the Chandigarh region converged on KV Air Force School to participate in the three-day regional sports meet for boys'. Kabaddi (U-19) and chess(U-19/17) matches were held during the meet. The sports meet was formally declared open with an oath taking ceremony. In the final match, K V AFS posted a scintillating victory over KV No.2, Adampur. In chess (U-17) Lavish of KV NO.4, Ambala Cantt, emerged the winner. In the U-19 category, Ishan and Rajveer from KV, Jakhoo Hills, became the champions.

Teacher awarded

Rajni Taneja, a teacher of Government High School, Sector 32, was given the state award on the eve of the Teacher’s Day. Apart from being excellent classroom teaching, she was awarded for actively participating in various co-curricular activities. She is actively working to make the students aware about drug abuse, female foeticide and environment degradation.

Cultural programme

Students of Century Public School, Naya Gaon, organised a cultural programme on the occasion of the Teacher’s Day. A skit highlighting the importance of teacher was staged. Dances, songs and speeches were presented on the occasion. Principal Rajesh Bansal praised the teachers for discharging their duties sincerely and hoped for the same in future. Santosh Saluja, director of the school, gave away prizes to the teachers. In the end a lunch was organised for the teachers.

Forgiveness Day

While celebrating the Forgiveness Day, students of St Teresa Convent School, Panchkula, participated in various inter-house activities. The day started with a paper-reading competition. The students amazed everybody with their views on forgiveness. They presented their remarkable views in the form of quotations and phrases. — TNS



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