C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Boy gives kidnappers the slip
Was forced inside a vehicle by 5 masked men while on way to school in P’kula
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Vishal, who escaped from the clutches of the kidnappers, with his mother Renu at the Sector 14 police station in Panchkula on Monday.
Vishal, who escaped from the clutches of the kidnappers, with his mother Renu at the Sector 14 police station in Panchkula on Monday. Tribune photo: Nitin Mittal

Panchkula, October 21
A student of Class V, Vishal (11), managed to escape from the clutches of his kidnappers three hours after he was forcibly pushed into a van by five masked men while he was going to school with his brother Rahul (7) at Budanpur near Sector 16, Panchkula, this morning.

Incidentally, tracing Vishal's location from the his mobile phone, the Panchkula police had also reached the railway station when Vishal approached the police. The victim told the police that the kidnappers were in the age group of 35 to 45 and he heard tham saying that they had picked up the wrong child.

After the incident, Rahul rushed to his mother Renu and informed her, who in turn reported the matter to the police. Renu is a tailor and the family stays in Budanpur. Her husband had left her long time ago and the children were studying in a local school.

“At around 8.30 this morning, both brothers were walking to their school. Suddenly a white van stopped near them and its five occupants pushed Vishal inside the vehicle,” said his cousin Ajay.

He said, “His mother had given a mobile phone to Vishal and when the latter was made to sit in the boot space of the van, he managed to call up his mother telling her that the accused were taking him towards Amartex Chowk.”

On seeing the mobile phone, the miscreants snatched it from Vishal and broke the sim card.

According to the child's statement, the miscreants, after reaching Amartex Chowk, changed the van and two of them got down. They shifted him into a black van and took the route from Nada Sahib to Sectors 25, 21 and 20, and then headed towards the railway station.

“The accused got down at an isolated place near the railway station and were talking about shifting to an Innova car; Vishal opened the boot space of the van and escaped," said Ajay.

By the time Vishal could inform the police about the kidnappers, they had fled.

“Our police team from the Sector 16 police post was in touch with the GRP and reached the railway station when coincidently the child approached it,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Ashwin Shenvi. He said, “The police team was constantly tracking the location of the child. Efforts are on to arrest the accused.”

Police sources said the child’s mother was known to a man, who appeared to be behind the kidnapping. It is believed that the men had to pick up Rahul, but kidnapped Vishal by mistake.



MC clerk caught taking bribe
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 21
The CBI today arrested a clerk with the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation while allegedly taking a bribe of Rs 2,000 from a fireman for clearing his mother’s medical bills. The accused had demanded Rs 3,000, but the deal was settled for Rs 2,000.

The accused, Sudhir Kumar, was arrested following a CBI raid on the Sector 17 office of the MC Superintendent.

The CBI had received a complaint from Kulwinder Singh, a fireman with Chandigarh Fire and Emergency Services. Kulwinder Singh told the CBI that Sudhir Kumar was demanding a bribe to clear his mother's pending medical bills.

He said his mother had undergone a cataract operation at the PGI and bills amounting to Rs 18,000 were to be reimbursed by the MC as per his entitlement.

As his application reached Sudhir Kumar, the dealing clerk, he demanded Rs 3,000 for clearing the bills. Kulwinder Singh reported the matter to the CBI following which a trap was laid.

Kulwinder Singh reached the MC office to pay the bribe amount of Rs 2,000. As he handed over the packet to Sudhir, CBI sleuths entered the room and caught the clerk. The CBI has registered a case under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The accused will be produced before the duty magistrate tomorrow. The CBI has recorded a telephonic conversation between the complainant and the clerk, which will be produced as evidence in court. Sources said two senior officials of the department concerned left their offices the moment they heard about the CBI raid. CBI sources said some senior officials were likely to be interrogated in this regard. 



Technical snag delays trains
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 21
Veena Kaul, a resident of Zirakpur, had to take two hours' leave from office today as the Garibrath train (12983), which she had boarded from Jaipur to reach Chandigarh at 6.45 am so that she could get ready for office on time, was delayed by two hours due to a technical fault in the track near the Ghaggar.

Clueless about the fault, hundreds of passengers on board the train kept waiting for around one and a half hours as no official information was given by the TTE about the cause of the delay.

Two other trains were also affected due to the fault. These were the Shatabdi (12006), which was delayed by 15 minutes, and the Jan Shatabdi (12064), which was delayed by half an hour this morning. Hundreds of commuters travelling by the Shatabdi, the Jan Shatabdi and the Garibrath had to face a lot of inconvenience.

Railway Commercial Manager Gulshan said the patrolling team of the Railways noticed a crack on the track this morning due to which trains could not ply on it. The team informed the department concerned to get it repaired immediately.

One of the passengers said after waiting for an hour on the Garibrath, he and his family finally went to a nearby road at Mubarkpur and boarded a taxi to reach for his business meeting in Sector 17 on time.

Some passengers of the Garibrath said there was a leakage in the diesel tank of the train due to which there was delay in its departure.



Mobile tower raises residents' hackles
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, October 21
Residents of a locality behind the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium in Phase IX are up in arms against the installation of a mobile tower on the rooftop of a private house in the area.

The residents say harmful radiations from the tower poses a risk to their health. They fear tge carcinogenic effects of the radiations.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, Rajnish Jain, who lives near the house on which the tower has been installed, said all residents of the area were worried about their health.

“We have requested the GMADA authorities to remove the hazard from the residential area. Several residents of the locality have also requested the owner of the house to remove the tower from his house, but to no avail,” said Jain.

Another resident Mokam Singh said earlier also, two such towers were installed in the area, but were removed later. “We have learnt that the owner of a house on which a mobile tower was installed developed cancer following which he asked the company to remove it. When the company failed to do so, he disconnected the tower himself,” Mokam Singh said.

“Reports of the ill-effects of the mobile tower have left us worried. We are anxious about the health of our family members,” said Jain and Mokam Singh.

Additional Chief Administrator, GMADA, Navjot Kaur said she would send a team to check whether the owner of the house had the required permission to install the tower or not.

97 mobile towers

There are 97 mobile towers in commercial, residential and industrial sectors of the town.

Court orders

In 2012, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had issued orders to remove mobile towers from residential areas and public places in a phased manner, but the apex court stayed the order. The matter is pending in the Supreme Court.

Brain tumours

Studies have revealed that mobile towers emit signals in the form of radio waves. It is feared that radio waves can cause changes in the cells of our brain. If the DNA in the brain cells gets damaged, the cells may become cancerous and cause brain tumours.

Committee's recommendations

A report of an inter-ministerial committee, headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, has recommended that mobile phone towers should not be installed on residential buildings and at public places. The International Agency for Research on Cancer has also established that mobile towers can cause various diseases among persons residing within 50 metres of the towers.



Rs 12 lakh, jewellery stolen from house
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 21
In yet another theft incident, thieves decamped with an amount of Rs 12 lakh and jewellery worth Rs 8 lakh from the house of a businessman, Jasbir Rana, at Sector 21 here.

Jasbir Rana and his family members were away when the incident occurred yesterday. The theft came to light when a neighbour saw the locks of the house broken and informed Rana about it.

When Rana reached home, he found goods scattered all around and the cash and jewellery missing.

He informed the police this morning following which a case was registered at the Sector 5 police station.

Yesterday, thieves had struck at the house of a businessman, Vijay Jindal, in Sector 8. They had decamped with Rs 17 lakh and jewellery worth Rs 13 lakh from the house. 


Better Chandigarh
MC lacks will, infrastructure to address garbage menace
The sanitation wing of the MC is plagued by poor infrastructure, affecting garbage collection in the city. In the Part II of the series, The Tribune reporters Rajinder Nagarkoti and Amit Sharma take a look at the lacunae and the problems residents have to face because of these

A sanitation worker carries waste on a rehri in Chandigarh.
A sanitation worker carries waste on a rehri in Chandigarh. Tribune photos: S Chandan

Chandigarh: The Municipal Corporation is not able to lift as much as 40 per cent of the garbage generated in the city on a daily basis.

Courtesy: An inadequate number of vehicles and manpower besides other infrastructure.

With only 44 dumper placers with the sanitation wing to lift the garbage from 489 garbage bins across the city, the MC staff lifts garbage from most of these bins on alternate days.

In one day, the staff is able to clear only around 190 garbage bins. In some sectors, the frequency is only once in three days, in others once a week and in the worst affected ones, the garbage collection takes place every fortnight.

The scarcity of vehicles can be gauged from the fact that 11 of these 44 dumper placers continue to ply on the city roads, lifting garbage, despite completing their lifespan. Sources say these obsolete vehicles create problems during the lifting of garbage. On a number of occasions these even fail to start.

Residents have been complaining that the MC staff does not lift garbage regularly. The MC Joint Commissioner, Rajiv Gupta, however, does not concur.

"The MC had conducted a survey on the basis of which a number of bins have been identified from where the garbage is lifted everyday," he says.

Gupta says the civic body has prepared a route plan for the 44 dumper placers, so that they can cover the entire city. The frequency of garbage collection may differ according to the amount of garbage generated, he says.

"Matters relating to the purchase of new vehicles and hiring of more staff is awaiting approval,” says the MC official.

Coordination missing

The lack of coordination between the officials of the MC and UT Administration is resulting in the delay of the purchase of vehicles and hiring of more staff for the sanitation wing. MC councillors have time and again raised the issue in the House and with the officials of the civic body as well as the administration to no avail. 

Drivers caught subletting work

During a surprise inspection conducted by Mayor Subhash Chawla on August 26 this year, six out of eight garbage trucks that were checked were not being driven by drivers appointed by the Municipal Corporation. The garbage truck drivers have either sublet their work to others or have delegated it to the helpers. The drivers, after filling the fuel tank, hand over the truck to the helpers.

Staff working at houses of VIPs

Many employees of the sanitation wing of the Municipal Corporation and those hired by the contractors are working at the houses of politicians and bureaucrats. This is adversely affecting sanitation in the city. In the beginning of this year, with the aim of addressing the staff cruch, Mayor Subhash Chawla had initiated a drive to bring back such employees. The well-meant initiative, however, failed to bear any fruits.

What needs to be done

  • The Municipal Corporation should complete the process of hiring 319 sweepers
  • Old dumper placers that at times even fail to start should be replaced with new ones
  • Senior officials of the civic body should check the movement of garbage-lifting vehicles
  • Officials and councillors should conduct surprise inspections to ensure that the sweepers are regularly lifting garbage from across the city
  • Heavy penalties should be imposed on contractors for the failure to clean the area
  • The chief sanitary inspectors and sanitary inspectors should stay in touch with the residents' welfare associations to check the ground reality
  • The civic body should improve its online grievance redressal system 

councillors question staff, vehicle shortage



Constant smell makes life hell for them

Chandigarh: The Supreme Court has held the right to healthy environment a fundamental right under the ambit of Article 21 of the Indian Constitution that guarantees the protection of life to every citizen.

For the residents of Dadu Majra, however, this right remains elusive, as everyday they have to bear with the unpleasant odour emanating from the garbage dumping ground and the garbage processing plant in the area.

Making their life miserable, this stench and the unhygienic conditions have also led to the spread of diseases and other long-term health problems.

Chetan Prakash, who runs a grocery shop at the Dadu Majra market, says his wife has been suffering from complications in breathing for the past 20 years. To avoid the stench, she is forced to remain indoors that has also led to some psychiatric problems.

“By staying inside the house all the time, my wife has now become a psychiatric patient,” says the helpless husband.

Years of torment that the residents have been made to suffer has failed to wake the authorities. While those who did not own a house at Dadu Majra preferred to shift to other parts of the city or its periphery, the permanent residents are stuck here, with no other option but to bear with the unhealthy conditions.

Saroj, another resident, is worried for her children’s health, as she says they are the most vulnerable.

“We have to ensure that children are not exposed to the stench, especially when the winds are strong,” says the worried mother.

Residents say the smoke emitted by the garbage processing plant at times spreads in the area, polluting the environment and covering the area with a thick blanket of smog.

They want the garbage to be completely processed at the plant, rather than being dumped on the ground.

Rajesh Kalia, president of the residents’ welfare association of Dadu Majra, wants the dumping ground to be shifted to some other place, keeping in mind the health hazards it poses to the residents.

“The administration should look for other locations for the dumping ground; somewhere, away from the residential area,” says Kalia.

Area councillor Sat Parkash Aggarwal says he has take up the issue in the MC House meeting on a number of occasions, but till date the civic body has failed to find any alternative site.

“They should identify a new site, so that the residents of Dadu Majra can lead a peaceful and healthy life,” says Aggarwal.



Now, rat excreta in rice meant for mid-day meal 
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, October 21
Excreta of rats and lizards were found in the rice meant for mid-day meal of the students at Government Primary and Middle School in Devinagar, Sector 3, Panchkula, during an inspection by the team of District legal services authority (DLSA) today.

The inspection was carried out under the supervision of Sunil Chauhan, Chief Judicial Magistrate-cum-Secretary of the DLSA at four schools.

"The schools are in bad shape. At Devinagar, the rice meant for mid-day meal was seen having excreta of rats and lizards and the sugar was insects laden. No proper water system was found and the washrooms too were in a pathetic condition," said panel advocate Manbir Singh Rathi, who accompanied Chauhan

He said, "In Haripur school, students were seen sitting in classrooms where waste material of the school was dumped. Even after directions by the then secretary of the DLSA, CJM Jaibir Hooda, no connection of water purifier was given. A student was seen carrying and distributing iron pills instead of a teacher.”

Chauhan said after the mid-day meal in various schools was found to be fungus laden by the DLSA team's inspection some time back and a report was sent to the DC and the DEO, a 44 member committee was constituted. Even after that, the same situation was found in the schools.



Tributes paid to police officers, jawans
Tribune News Service

A relative of a martyr weeps during the parade

family members of a martyr pay homage during a function at Phase VIII in Mohali on Monday
(Above) A relative of a martyr weeps during the parade; and family members of a martyr pay homage during a function at Phase VIII in Mohali on Monday. Tribune photos: Vicky Gharu 

Chandigarh, October 21
A total of 576 Chandigarh police officers and jawans who lost their lives while on duty were paid homage during the 54th Police Commemoration Day today.

A commemoration parade was held at the Home Guards Ground near the Sector 17 police station, Chandigarh, in the memory of the martyrs today morning. Contingents of the Chandigarh Police participated in the parade and paid homage by reversing arms.

UT Inspector General of Police RP Upadhyaya, who was the chief mourner, read over the names of the 576 officers and Jawans, who lost their lives in the cause of duty last year.

The IGP lauded the sacrifice of these martyrs, who lost their lives, while protecting the security and the integrity of the country and paid homage to these martyrs, by laying wreath on the memorial, which stands constructed in the lawns of police station, Secto r17, Chandigarh. It was followed by other officers of Police and Paramilitary forces, serving as well as retired, in paying the homage.

Police Commemoration Day is being observed since 1959, when a small contingent of Indian Police was attacked by the Chinese troops as a result 10 jawans were killed. The day is observed in all states and UTs of India. The names of police officers, who made the supreme sacrifice in the cause of duty, during the year, are read over at a commemoration parade.

Inspector Sucha Singh remembered

UT IGP read out the name of Inspector Sucha Singh who was murdered in May this year while on duty and lauded his effort calling him a great martyr. The IGP also interacted with the wife and son of the inspector and asked them of their well being. The inspector's son is yet to be given a job on humanitarian grounds. He has applied for the post of an ASI in the UT police.

Blood donation

The Centre for Police Administration, Panjab University (PU), Chandigarh, today organised a function ‘Shaheedon Ko Naman’ to mark the Police Commemoration Day. Blood Donation Camp, slogan writing competition marked the occasion. At the student centre, SSP Naunihal Singh joined the students, faculty and the police contingent in paying homage to the brave police martyrs by laying the wreath. Naunihal Singh then inaugurated the blood donation camp at the Centre for Police 



Dept committed to welfare of martyrs’ families: SSP
Tribune News Service

Mohali, October 21
The policemen, who have laid their lives for the sake of maintaining law and order and unity of the county, will always be remembered. It is our moral duty to look after the welfare of their families. This was said by DIG Sive Kumar, Patiala Range, on the occasion of the Police Commemoration Day at the Phase VIII police station.

Mohali SSP Gurpreet Singh Bhullar, SP (City) Swarndeep Singh and SP (Detective) Balwinder Singh along with the all the police officials and family members of martyrs were present at the function.

In the functions, the martyrs were remembered and their family members were honoured by giving blankets.

A parade was also organised on the ocassion. SSP Bhullar said the department was committed towards the families of martyrs. In case of any problem, they can approach him anytime.






Martyrs’ kin honoured at Mahadian

DC Arun Sekhri, SSP Gurmeet Singh Chauhan and other officials honour families of martyrs at a function in the Police Lines, Mahadian, on Monday.
DC Arun Sekhri, SSP Gurmeet Singh Chauhan and other officials honour families of martyrs at a function in the Police Lines, Mahadian, on Monday. Photo: Surinder Bhardwaj

Fatehgarh Sahib, October 21
The district police today organised a function to commemorate the sacrifice of the martyrs at the Police Lines, Mahadian.

Deputy Commissioner Arun Sekhri was the chief guest on the occasion. SSP Gurmeet Singh Chauhan presided over the function. As many as 16 families of the police martyrs belonging to the district were honoured.

Deputy Commissioner, while addressing the gathering, said: “Like the jawans of the Indian Army and BSF, the Punjab Police personnel also laid down their lives to save Punjab from the clutches of anti-social elements and fought bravely against terrorism.”

SSP Gurmeet Singh Chauhan said, “The district police and administration have issued strict instructions to all the officials that the problems of these families must be sorted on priority basis. Medical, educational and other facilities are being provided to these families from time to time.” — OC



Henna artists make a killing in Panchkula markets
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Artists apply henna on the hands of women on the eve of Karwa Chauth

 a child with a bowl of liquid used after applying henna at the Sector 7 market in Panchkula on Monday
Artists apply henna on the hands of women on the eve of Karwa Chauth; and (below) a child with a bowl of liquid used after applying henna at the Sector 7 market in Panchkula on Monday. Tribune Photos: Nitin Mittal

Panchkula, October 21
Henna artists have made a business of around Rs 80 lakh in two days in Panchkula. Those at the Sector 7 market are making the maximum earnings. Around 300 artists are applying henna in this market and they have earned Rs 35 lakh in one night. By today evening, they earned Rs 20 lakh and were expecting Rs 5 lakh more during the night.

Artists at other markets have made the rest of the earnings, that is around Rs 20 lakh. Henna artists said they were having long waiting lists of customers even till 2.30 tonight. The artists said they would be applying henna till the wee hours today.

“All 300 artists here earned around Rs 35 lakh yesterday and are expecting more today. We are having long queues of customers and will be there till the wee hours today,” said Guddu, owner of Guddu Mehandi Art at the Sector 7 market.

“Yesterday at 2.45 AM, artists were still having many customers in the queues. I told them to come on Monday morning as it was getting too late,” said Bobbee Singh, who owns a shop in Sector 7, Panchkula. The artists are expecting a few customers tomorrow morning as well.



Empowering mother important too: Judge 
Tribune News Service

Justice Hemant Gupta and Justice Ajay Tewari (second and third from left, respectively) of the Punjab and Haryana High Court at Government High School, Sector 26, Chandigarh, on Monday.
Justice Hemant Gupta and Justice Ajay Tewari (second and third from left, respectively) of the Punjab and Haryana High Court at Government High School, Sector 26, Chandigarh, on Monday. Tribune photo: S Chandan 

Chandigarh, October 21
Asserting that empowering mother is equally important as educating the girl child, an event, "Parents Mela", was inaugurated at the Government Senior Secondary School in Sector 26 today.

The Parents Mela under the aegis Sakshar Balk Balika and Saksham Maa was organised by the Authority. This Authority has adopted the projects "Sakshar Balak Balika" and "Saksham Maa" (Teaching Legal Literacy Skills) to the working mothers.

The function was inaugurated by Justice Hemant Gupta, Judge Punjab and Haryana High Court and Executive Chairman, State Legal Services Authority, Chandigarh, in the presence of Justice Ajay Tiwari, Judge, Punjab and Haryana High Court at Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 26, Chandigarh.

The parents of the children from weaker sections attended the event. Justice Gupta said, "Empowering mother is not less important than educating girl child. The projects 'Sakshar Balak-Balika' and 'Saksham Maa' started by authority in collaboration with Hamari Kaksha is an endeavour to equip women with knowledge and awareness empowering them to cope with their day-to-day problems and build their personality and confidence. This project shall motivate and encourage the parents to play a proactive role in the growth of their children."

In addition to the inauguration ceremony, the function featured a variety of attractions and performances, including puppet show, nukkad natak titled 'Koshish', and a legal awareness programme by the staff and members of the Legal Aid Counsel and Para Legal Volunteers.

Justice Sanjay Krishan Kaul, Chief Justice, Punjab and Haryana High Court, and Patron-in-Chief, State Legal Services Authority, Chandigarh, and Justice Hemant Gupta, Judge Punjab and Haryana High Court and Executive Chairman, State Legal Services Authority, Chandigarh, have started the Project in association with "Hamari Kaksha", an NGO.

District and Sessions Judge SK Aggarwal was also present on the occasion.



Civic body overlooks violations in city markets
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 21
In its moneymaking spree ahead of the festive season, the Municipal Corporation is blatantly overlooking violations in the city markets. Granting permission to vendors for encroachments by issuing slips for an amount ranging between Rs 300 and Rs 400, MC officials did not mind converting the entire parking area into an open market in Sector 22 today.

Besides, the inspecting team hardly adopted any defined criteria for granting permission. When Chandigarh Tribune visited the jewelers’ market in Sector 22 today, the officials could be seen asking the vendors to simply take out money and take the slip.

While none of the officials bothered to check the identity of any of the vendors, the unauthorised display of advertisements of cosmetics brands was simply overlooked at various spots.

During the visit of the MC officials at an open cosmetic counter today at 12 pm in Sector 22, the four officials could be seen discussing that since it is a festive season, the authorities must not get strict with the display of salable items on streets and roadside.

Even the receipt, which was being issued by the inspecting team, had no authenticity as it did not have any specified amount mentioned over it or undersigned by a senior authority.

What officials say

The MC House has approved of the selling of festive goods. We designated our area officers to inspect and issue slips to the vendors. The criteria for granting permission are not defined. It is the discretion of the inspecting team to decide the amount, said Superintendent, Enforcement Wing, Kashmira Singh. The MC generates a revenue of nearly Rs 2.25 lakh, every year by granting such permissions, he said.



Students pledge to celebrate ‘Green Diwali’

Chandigarh, October 21
City-based NGO Yuvsatta with the support of the Department of Environment, Chandigarh Administration, launched “Green Diwali Campaign” from Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 19-C, Chandigarh.

Santosh Kumar, Director, Department of Environment, Chandigarh Administration, was the chief guest.

Over 1,000 school students participated in the campaign. On the occasion, the students spoke about the ill-effects of firecrackers and also staged a skit on observing “Green Diwali”.

Santosh Kumar, along with principal Sukhneer Sekhon, honoured around 15 students for their overall best participation in the programme. The students took a pledge to celebrate “Green Diwali” this time.

Pramod Sharma, coordinator, Yuvsatta, said in the next 10 days, volunteers of the NGO would be reaching out directly to 25,000 students in 11 prominent schools of the city. — TNS



Team finds fault with hospitals
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 21
A three-member team, which conducted a surprise inspection at the GMSH-16 and the GMCH-32 in the wee hours on Saturday, today submitted its report to the UT Health Secretary. The committee found staff missing from their seats and also served show-cause notices to some of the hospital attendants who were found drunk while on duty at both the hospitals.

The team constituted by UT Health Secretary Anil Kumar was led by the Joint Secretary, Health. The surprise visit of the officials led to a sensation across the hospitals.

Sources said lift operators and receptionists were found missing from their seats. Some of the hospital attendants who were on duty were spotted in an inebriated state. The officials immediately issued show-cause notices to the hospital attendants seeking reason as to why they should not be suspended.

Six months ago, a Chandigarh Tribune team camped at the three hospitals in the city - PGIMER, GMCH-32 and GMSH-16 - wherein lab attendants and receptionists were found missing from their seats. Even the emergency lab was found locked at around 2 am at the GMCH-32.

An inquiry was ordered at the GMSH-16 following a news item published in Chandigarh Tribune wherein the officials found in CCTV camera footage that lights at the reception remained switched off between 12 am and 4 am for the past many days. Later, the reception was relocated near the entry of the emergency to improve vigilance. 



Bronchial asthma can be well managed: Experts

Chandigarh, October 21
Bronchial asthma is emerging as a major pulmonary disorder but patients can lead a normal life by following proper inhaling techniques, said experts who gathered at the PGIMER for a CME on the subject. Bronchial asthma is now globally recognised as a major non-communicable disease, responsible for a significant disease and economic burden.

World over, there are more than 300 million cases that are expected to rise to 400 million by 2025. Asthma in India accounts for a population prevalence of around 2 per cent, total burden of over 22 million, over 1 million acute exacerbations and over 50,000 hospitalisations.

Asthma is primarily a genetic disease with no clear inheritance pattern. It is triggered or exacerbated by several environmental exposures. Asthma can sometimes be sudden and life-threatening without giving time for any therapeutic intervention.

Asthma can be well managed with appropriate inhalation treatment. Maintenance treatment is required for several weeks or months and sometimes life-long depending upon the disease in an individual patient. There is no permanent cure, and symptoms can recur or increase during a particular season or on exposure to a known/unknown allergen, said experts.

Asthma is a disease with which one can live a normal life and maintain his/her quality of life. It is important for the patient and his/her family to remain vigilant and continue with treatment as prescribed by physicians.

The Department of Pulmonary Medicine, PGIMER, organised the 27th annual CME, in which around 200 experts participated. — TNS



JD (U) wants statehood for Chandigarh

Chandigarh, October 21
Surinder Bhardwaj, president of the local unit of the Janta Dal (United), today submitted a banner to UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil during a public hearing session having signatures of 1 lakh city residents for making Chandigarh a new state.

During the public hearing session, he was informed that their memorandum would be forwarded to the Centre.

Meanwhile, the UT Administrator also directed the MC officials to ensure that the residents of the city get water supply as per the scheduled time so as to avoid inconvenience faced by them. The directions were issued after hearing the grievances of Sector 21 residents during the public hearing at the UT Secretariat, Sector 9, today.

The Administrator took up the grievance of Om Parkash Gosain regarding the non-transfer of ownership of a dwelling unit purchased by him. Patil directed the chairman, Chandigarh Housing Board, to transfer the unit after the applicant removes the violation. The Administrator heard the request of Raj Kaur regarding her appointment on compassionate ground in place of her deceased husband. The Administrator advised the Secretary Tourism to consider the request of Raj Kaur and take necessary action in accordance with the rules.

Patil also heard to the president of the All-India Blind Employee Association. He said the issues raised by the association should be examined for disposal at the earliest. — TNS



RLA making efforts to keep non-serious bidders out

Chandigarh, October 21
A day after holding its first-ever open auction for vanity numbers, the Chandigarh Registering and Licensing Authority (RLA) has initiated the process to keep out non-serious bidders.

Deputy Commissioner Mohammed Shayin said efforts were being made to come up with a mechanism which ensures that only serious bidders come forward to bid. Various options being considered by the RLA are reducing the time from the existing one month to deposit the bid money, increasing the reserve price or barring the bidders from four subsequent auctions.

During the auction on Saturday, the bidder for the fancy number “0001” was reportedly reluctant to pay the money after the auction. In the past also, the bidders deposited the bid money at their will, as the penalty rate is abysmally low.

RLA Kashish Mittal said as per the existing rules, the bidder had to get his vehicle registered within one month from the date of auction.

During the auction of fancy number “0001” for the series CH 01 AR, the bidder, Mahant Yogi Chhotu Nath, deposited the bid money of Rs 10.05 lakh on the last day of one-month period for getting his vehicle registered.

RLA to call bidder of CH 01 AV 0001

RLA Kashish Mittal said though the bidder, Taranjeet Singh, had not contacted the office so far, he would be calling him to the office to know his stand on the issue. As per the rules, he had to deposit the money within 10 days and get the vehicle registered within one month of the auction. — TNS



Panjab University on Facebook
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 21
Panjab University (PU), Chandigarh, is now available on Facebook. PU Vice-Chancellor Prof Arun Kumar Grover today launched the PU's official Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/puchd.india.

In an attempt to connect with the youth internationally, the varsity has created its Facebook page which will be updated and managed by the students of the varsity, mainly research scholars.

Prof Grover said, "All young people are on Facebook, so there was constant demand in that regard. The PU is among the leading universities; this page will help in connecting with the younger generation, who are our client. It will also help in getting feedback and suggestions for the university."

In a reply on the content of the Facebook page, Prof Grover said, "Anything concerning the students can be put on the Facebook page. It may include success or positive stories, important information regarding ongoing and upcoming events, announcements for the students."



PU to hold seminar from October 24
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 21
Panjab University is going to host a three-day seminar on "The Making of Modern Punjab: Education, Science and Social Change in Punjab".

The seminar will be held from October 24-26 as a part of the foundation day of the university and the commemoration of the 150th birth anniversary year of the eminent scholar Prof Ruchi Ram Sahni.



Teachers not to evaluate answer sheets at home: PU 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 21
In a move to ensure timely evaluation and declaration of exam results, the committee reviewing the evaluation reforms at the PU resolved today that teachers will not be allowed to carry the answer sheets home and rather will be directed to evaluate papers at their respective centres.

To further improve the examination system of the PU, the members also recommended that each of the teachers in the PU and its affiliated colleges be directed to evaluate at least 250 answer sheets each. PU controller of examination Dr Parvinder Singh decided that minimum of 250 answer sheets will be checked by each teacher.

This was approved in the meeting and the matter will now be sent to Vice-Chancellor Prof Arun Grover for his final approval. "I have learnt that in 2009 such a proposal was mooted for fixing the responsibility of each teacher to evaluate papers. It was already approved by the syndicate but was not implemented," he said.

With a balanced responsibility over the teachers, the evaluation will be improved and results will be declared faster. It was also recommended that the paper checking panel will also have a list of seniority of teachers so that there is no confusion later in fixing responsibilities.

The panel will also ensure that supplementary answer sheets and re-evaluation papers are checked by teachers as per duties assigned.

If the new scheme on reforms in examination gets the go-ahead, the teachers will not be able to refuse checking the answer sheets of the students.

The proposed reforms, if implemented, will bring a major relief for students who are often left in the lurch due to delay in declaration of the results. Answer sheets of students of all the 188 PU-affiliated colleges are evaluated in the university.



Drug abuse tarnishing Punjab's image, says Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 21
The Desh Bhagat Group of Institutes today held its convocation-2013 on its campus. Internationally renowned spiritual guru and founder of The Art of Living Sri Sri Ravi Shankar delivered the convocation address and blessed the graduates.

About 600 pass outs of the group belonging to different streams participated in the convocation and received their degrees and medals.

Addressing the graduates, the spiritual guru said the youth should keep learning throughout their lives, not for any examination but for the love of learning. The aim of education, he said, was the holistic development of the personalities of the students. He also urged the university to start a course in good governance because the country needed it badly.

Referring to the drug abuse in Punjab, he said it was tarnishing the image of this state and the educational institutions should take it upon themselves to nurture students who were physically strong, mentally alert, emotionally stable and spiritually sublime.

Chancellor of Desh Bhagat University Dr Zora Singh said it was a historical day for the Desh Bhagat Group of Institutes to have Sri Sri Ravi Shankar as its chief guest, and remarked that his words of wisdom would continue to inspire the faculty and the students for all times to come.

On this occasion, Desh Bhagat University held its special convocation to confer D.Litt (Honoris Causa) degree on Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. Pro-Vice Chancellor of the university Dr Shalini Gupta read the citation about Sri Sri Ravi Shankar highlighting the contribution made by him for propagating the spirit of love, world peace, universal brotherhood and Art of Living.



from schools
Aero-modellers’ meet

Chandigarh: Aero-modelling students of Saupin’s-32 attended the 4th National Aero-Modellers Meet at the Pinjore Flying Club, Pinjore. The meet was organised by the Aero-Modellers Association. A total of 30 students of the Aero-Modelling Club participated in the meet. The students participated in a radio- controlled airplane competition. The students had a wonderful experience as they could witness the working of different types of airplanes.

Healthy food contest

The Sarvhit Eco-Club and the English faculty of Sharda Sarvhitkari Model School, Sector 40, conducted various activities throughout the week to make the students aware of the importance of healthy food. The students of classes IX and X participated in chart-making, poster-making, collage-making and paper-reading contests. There was a healthy food contest for the students of class I. The students of class I brought their tiffins filled with salad and fruits.

Mehndi competition

The eve of Karva Chauth was marked by a mehndi competition at Guru Teg Bahadur School, Sector 15. The enthusiasm of the festivities was so evident that the boys also participated in the competition. Peacock House gave a clean sweep by winning 4 out of the 6 positions. The students also decorated ‘thalis’ for the festival..— TNS 



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