C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Class X boy, girl jump before train
 Lovebirds took extreme step to save themselves from humiliation 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 24
In a tragic incident, two Class X students, who were having an affair, reportedly committed suicide by jumping in front of a train at Mani Majra this evening.

The boy and the girl, both 16 years of age, left behind a suicide note stating that they took the extreme step to save themselves from humiliation as the girl’s uncle had seen them together.

The mutilated bodies of the duo was spotted on the railway tracks at 4.30 pm.

The deceased were identified as Ashok and Pooja, both residents of Bapu Dham Colony in Sector 26.

The couple left a handwritten suicide note in girl’s notebook claiming that they were caught by her uncle and do not want to face humiliation.

An eyewitness, Gagan Singh Brar, told the police that he last saw the couple with their hands tied and within seconds they jumped before the moving train. The police was informed.

The suicide note stated that the girl’s uncle had scolded Ashok after he saw them together.

The bodies have been kept at the mortuary of the Sector 6 General Hospital, Panchkula for post-mortem.

Meanwhile, the Government Railway Police (GRP) has started inquest proceeding under Section 174 CrPC in this regard. 

Families shocked
The incident came as a shock to the families of the deceased. Family members of Ashok said he left the house around 8.30 am and did not return. They said the family was aware about his relationship with the girl. On the other hand, the girl had left home with her sister at 1 pm. Both the boy and the girl were classmates at Government School, Bapu Dham. Pooja’s grandfather, Ramlal, said Pooja's elder sister got married last year. They wanted to marry her off, but she wanted to study. The family members of the girl said she never hinted at the relationship. They said had the girl told them about the relationship, they would have agreed. 



Wedding bells don’t ring out loud at Zirakpur
  Marriage palaces, banquet halls losing business to hotels in Chandigarh, Panchkula
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 24
Marriage palaces and banquet halls in Zirakpur are losing out on business to hotels in Chandigarh and Panchkula.

Reason: Heavy taxes imposed by the Punjab Government have repelled their clientele to Panchkula and Chandigarh. Owners of banquet halls and marriage palaces in Zirakpur claim their clientele has gone down by 30 to 40 per cent.

This peripheral town, which shares its boundaries with Panchkula and Chandigarh, has around 30 marriage palaces and banquet halls.

Hoteliers in Chandigarh, however, claim that their business graph has gone up.

Sukhminder Singh, president of the Zirakpur Banquet Halls’ Association, said: “You can imagine our plight as we don’t have bookings even during the peak marriage season. The scenario in Panchkula and Chandigarh is altogether different. Our clientele has shifted to the hotels in Chandigarh, particularly to those located in Industrial Area.”

The wrong policies of the state government are responsible for our plight, said Ravinder Singh Paul of West Woods, Ajay Kumar of Sohi Banquet Hall and Rajiv Kumar AKM.

As per the new guidelines, the customer has to deposit Rs 70,000 as advance VAT while the liquor licence permit fee is Rs 10,000. In Panchkula and Chandigarh, there is no provision of advance VAT. The liquor permit fee is also Rs 1,000 to 1500. Besides, liquor is more expensive in Punjab than in Chandigarh and Panchkula.

Owners of banquet halls say that a customer has to shell out around Rs 1 lakh more for organising a function at Zirakpur. “Who will come to us in such a situation,” said Ravider Singh Paul, who owns West Woods marriage palace. He said the occupancy rate of the marriage palaces at Zirakpur had come down by 40 per cent.

It is nothing less than a surprise when officials of Hotel Taj at Sector 17 claim that organising marriage functions cost lesser at their hotel then marriage palaces and banquet halls in Zirakpur.

Sandeep Kumar, manager, Hotel Taj GVK, claimed though they have a clientele of different class, their business has gone up by 5 per cent. “Organising a function in our hotel is cheaper than that at marriage palaces in Zirakpur,” claimed Sandeep Kumar.

NPS Chawla, who runs Altius Hotel at Chandigarh, said: “Our business has gone up by 25 per cent,” said Chawla, who is also the president of the Chandigarh Industries Association.

Similar claims are being made by the management of the CITCO-run Hotel Mountview. Vijay Sharma, general manager of Hotel Mountview said despite stiff competition, the banquet business of the hotel had gone up. 



City airport 
More trouble brews for travellers
 No flights on first, third Sunday after 1 pm from next month 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 24
The Chandigarh domestic airport will remain closed on first and third Sunday of every month after 1 pm. The Indian Air Force, which manages the runway, has intimated the airlines operating from the city airport that the no flights will be allowed to take-off and land after 1 pm on two days in a month. The schedule will come into force from next month and is expected to continue for at least six months.

A senior official of SpiceJet said all airlines have started rescheduling their flights following IAF instructions.

“While no deadline is given to us officially as for how long this schedule will remain in force, but we have been verbally told that the airport will remain closed for two days every month till June, 2014,” he said.

“The passengers will be harassed, but the maintenance of the runway is also important. This temporary closure is better than closing the airport for long period,” said an official of Jet Airways.

However, resentment prevails among residents for the lack of official information in the public about the frequent closure of the airport.

Manmohan Singh, chairman of the CII, Chandigarh Council, said passengers have no problem with the maintenance work, but they should be informed in advance about the closure schedule to avoid inconvenience and confusion.

Director of the airport HS Toor said: “We have not received any official communiqué from the IAF about the closure of the airport from next month.”



Travellers suffer as flight operations remain suspended
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 24
The flight operations remained suspended for the second consecutive day on account of maintenance work on the runway at the city airport.

Travellers took to alternative mode of transportation such as AC buses and trains. Heavy rush was witnessed at the ticket counters in the Sector 17 ISBT and the railway station.

On an average, as many as 3,500 passengers travel by air, with 36 flights operating everyday. There was a long waiting list of passengers for trains connecting Chandigarh and Delhi. Sources in the reservation department stated that there was long waiting list for Shatabdi. "Around 250 passengers are on the list," sources stated. Long queues were seen at the Delhi bus counter in Sector 17 today. Ishita Singh, a resident of Sector 38, Chandigarh, who had to reach Delhi, was shuttling between the railway station and the Sector 17 bus stand. "I prefer going by air to attend such unscheduled meetings. I went to the railway station but could not get a seat on the train. Now, I will catch a bus," she said.

Jatin Kapoor, who keeps shuttling between Delhi and Chandigarh, arrived in the city by road. "As there was a long waiting list for Shatabdi, I had to board a bus," Kapoor stated. 

3 trains arrive late
Three trains arrived late at the Chandigarh railway station, putting passengers to inconvenience. Inclement weather delayed the trains. Kalka Mail, which was scheduled to arrive at 3 am, came at 7.15 am, the Lucknow-Chandigarh train arrived at 11.30 am instead of 10 am. The Dibrugarh-Chandigarh train was four-hour late. It was to reach the city at 1.10 pm.



Tehelka sex scandal draws maelstrom at Literati 2013
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 24
The sex scandal surrounding former editor-in-chief of Tehelka Tarun Tejpal rocked the literary discourse both on and off the stage on the second and the last day of the literary festival — Literati 2013 — today.

During a session on “Women and paradox of modernity”, speakers, including actor Gul Panag, journalist-turned-novelist Kishwar Desai, festival director Sumita Mishra, young author Tishaa Khosla, journalist-writer V Sudarshan and writer-bureaucrat, Vivek Atray called for a wide public support for the victim in Tejpal’s case.

Kishwar Desai said: “Women think that modern world has created equal space for them and as a result they enter into progressive organisations like Tehelka with confidence. But incidents like this lay bare the paradoxes of modernity that women are still not free of patriarchy and male dominance.”

She said: “It is sad how the progressive media house like Tehelka, long fighting for gender issues, handled the victim’s complaint. With a lot of startling facts emerging now, the managing editor of Tehelka, Shoma Chaudhary, must make a public apology for initially mellowing down the issue.”

“I am a modern woman, but whether I am living in a modern society is a big question,” said actor Gul Panag, taking the debate further. She said the biggest conflict in modern India was that women here still drive power from delivering a son. Right from the textbooks, the society has not made any attempt to change that patriarchal mindset and what happened in Tehelka office is the grim face of it. “The change will come when women themselves stop being complacent about the patriarchal mindset, assert their property rights and seek wider economic independence. The victim of the Tehelka episode is a brave girl. I hope she get enough courage to hold her conviction through out the case,” said Gul Panag.

Festival director Sumita Mishra along with Vivek Atray asked for a wide public support for the victim. Sumita said the paradox was that women were modern but not liberated.

Chandigarh-based young author Tishaa Khosla questioned why women observe “karwa chauth” alone, whereas it should be observed both by men and women because wives need long life for their husbands as much as the men need for their wives.

Off the stage, the festival had several vocal voices against Tarun Tejpal. Feminist writer Manju Kapur pitched for organised movement for gender sensitivity and lauded the courage of the victim. She said: “The episode involving Tarun Tejpal reflects that it is not only the uneducated men who indulge in molestation and rape.” 

The Tehelka sex scandal has sparked a debate on women’s safety at workplace. Chandigarh Tribune spoke to a cross-section of people to know their views. 

"The incident has come in as a shock. It is unfortunate that a man of such a stature has done something of the sort. This brings back in focus the link between success, power and misogyny. Such an act disturbs one's beliefs"—Neelam Maan Singh, theatre personality

"I am happy that the girl has come out and exposed the man. In the West, women fight for their rights, but in India the movement is yet to start. Mindset needs to be changed. A woman should teach her son how to respect everyone." —Gul Panag, actor 

"Not only the government departments, but also the private organisations should form committees on women's safety. The government should ensure that the guidelines issued by the Supreme Courtof India are followed."—Rakhi Gupta, housewife

"The space that women journalists occupied in terms of independence, dignity and competence seems to be shrinking. We in India must question it" —Nirupama Dutt, senior journalist-cum-writer

"Women are also responsible for remaining mum over the atrocities or harassment meted out to them."—Kishwar Desai, novelist

"With the kind of details coming up everyday, it is clear that the girl was subjected to sexual exploitation. This raises a question on women’s safety."—Shiv Singh, artist

"Tehelka should have exposed the real face of its Editor-in-Chief."—Damanjeet, advocate



UT Admn plans demolition of more illegal slum dwellings
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 24
Buoyed by the successful demolition drive of Colony No. 5, through which the Chandigarh Administration reclaimed 107 acres of its prime land that was under illegal occupation, the UT is going ahead with its plans to demolish other illegal slum colonies.

Around 200 acres of prime land is under illegal occupation of 18 slum colonies across the city.

Beginning with Kuldeep Colony, Mazdoor Colony and Pandit Colony, all located in Sector 52 near Kajehri village, other slum colonies will be demolished in a phased manner. Rehabilitation of eligible slum dwellers is already underway.

Deputy Commissioner Mohammed Shayin confirmed that the notices were being served on the occupants of the colonies.

Those evicted from the colonies will be shifted to one-room flats being constructed under the slum rehabilitation project by the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB).

A 21-day notice is being served to three colonies that stand on around 10 acres of the UT prime land in Sector 52.

As per the 2006 bio-metric survey, 10 acres of land is illegally occupied. In the third phase, Nehru Colony located in Sector 53, will be targeted.
Illegal slum colonies 
in Chandigarh
*(Only those families who fulfill eligibility criteria are being rehablitated under the small-flat scheme) 

“After Colony No 5, the next largest Colony No 4. is spread over 40 acres of land followed by Kumhar Colony, that is spread over 20 acres”, said an official.

With an aim to make the city slum free, all the slums are being demolished and the 23,841 eligible families in the 18 slums are being relocated in small flats. The CHB is also constructing two-room tenements for the eligible slum dwellers. 

Thousands to be rendered homeless
Like in the case of Colony No. 5, where over 5,000 families were rendered homeless due to lack of eligibility documents for rehabilitation, hundreds of such families will lose their shelters in the demolition drives in the coming months. 

Land under illegal occupation may be more than 200 acres
Officials admitted that after the demolition of Colony No.5, it was revealed that against the initial estimates of 60 acres of the area under illegal occupation in the colony, the total area came to 107 acres. Similarly, the area under illegal occupation could be much more than indicated in the surveys.





Slum vote politics: Calculations gone wrong

In the wake of the forthcoming general elections, the demolition drive in Colony No.5 has changed the profile of the slum vote politics, forcing the politicians to re do their homework. A senior Congress leader on condition of anonymity said with 10,000 voters shifting their base to Dhanas and other parts of the city, their strategy to woo the voters had gone haywire. While the politicians desisted visiting the demolition site, they were quick to do rounds of Dhanas resettlement colony to make their contact with the new voters. All for the sake of votes!

Two to three pegs please!

The police’s attitude while challaning residents for drunk driving was the hot topic of discussion during a recent police-public interaction. A comment by a resident that the police should allow residents to have two to three pegs of liquor while driving had everyone in splits. The UT IGP too said in a lighter vein that “Aj sharab ki itni baten hui ki ache bhale admi ko nasha ho jaye”.

Bangle effect

Apparently upset with senior leaders of the local BJP unit for not protesting against the movie, “Ram Leela” for hurting Hindus' religious sentiments, a BJP worker sent bangles to their homes. Five leaders, including city unit president Sanjay Tandon, senior leaders Harmohan Dhawan and Satya Pal Jain, and two other leaders of the BJP youth wing, were shocked to receive them at their residence. Call it the effect of bangles, the activists of the BJP youth wing finally held a protest the next day.

Free food in jail

To show more number of arrests during the Jail Bharo Aandolan at Colony

No. 5 in protest of the demolition drive, a colony resident was luring others for courting arrest by saying “Burail Jail mein free mein khana milega”. But instead of paying attention to him, colony residents were busy shifting their belongings from their houses.

Basking in glory

As the three-day demolition drive, with least resistance from political parties, concluded on Friday, UT officials were seen patting themselves on the back for the successful operation without any casualty. With the backing from the top brass in the UT Administration, the officials proudly said it was a historic moment for them as they had launched such a big offensive against the squatters on government land.

Name matters

Not finding her name in the media reports regarding meetings of the Art and Culture Committee of the municipal corporation has irked Shagufta Parveen, a nominated councillor. She expressed her displeasure to the Assistant Public Relation Officer of the MC during the inauguration ceremony of the Sewage Treatment Plant (SLT) near the 3BRD that she had noticed that her name was not released to the media when the meetings were held for the reasons best known to the APRO.

Software glitches

Raghav Sood, Founder and CEO of Appaholics LLC, became a mobile mechanic during an interaction session with the students of MCM DAV College, as students of the college began asking questions about the software problems they faced with their Blackberry and Apple handsets. Raghav tried to convince them that it was a basic software problem, but the girls insisted that he should check their handsets. Since many began making similar queries from the young CEO, the faculty of the college had to conclude the interactive session just after four questions were asked by the students.

Words do matter

Students from various IT professional institutes in and around the city were in for a surprise at the IT conclave held last week. They burst into laughter when UT IT Secretary Prerna Puri used the word “Jugaad” in her speech in an attempt to connect to the youth. It turned out to be one of thefunniest remark by one of the city's youngest bureaucrats.

Police red-faced

Even though a traffic police constable was assaulted by the son of an Army man as he was challaned for using tinted glasses on his vehicle at the Kalagram light point, the traffic police chose to save its face and refused to book the offender. Reason- this was the third such assault on the traffic police in three days. Sources said that the top brass refused to file a case and merely issued a challan to save their face.

Contributed by: Rajinder Nagarkoti, Amit Sharma, Rajmeet Singh, Aarti Kapur, Ritika Jha and Aneesha Sareen



Faulty alco-sensors leave UT traffic cops embarrassed
  Teetotaller resident complains of harassment by police personnel on duty
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 24
In yet another incident and a case of harassment, alco-sensors of the Chandigarh Traffic Police have been found to be faulty with a businessman complaining to the police that he was detected to be drunk while he had been a teetotaller all his life. While he was not challaned as he resisted, the city resident said he faced embarrassment and harassment at the hands of the police.

Hardeep Singh, resident of Sector 33, said he faced embarrassment as he was detected drunk and then repeatedly asked to blow in different alcohol metres even when the readings kept on changing. While Hardeep told the policemen on duty that he was a teetotaler and was not drunk, the police came down heavily on him with rude remarks, he alleged.

“I am a teetotaller and never ever touched alcohol going by the belief of my faith (Sikhism). Last night after dinner, (which was hosted by my Porsche dealer at Marriot I) I left Hotel Marriot around 11.15 pm with my friend in a white Porsche Cayenne number CH 71(T) 0181. We were stopped for a random alcohol test at the Kisan Bhawan roundabout on the Marriot -Kisan Bhawan road. The constable asked me if I had consumed liquor and I told him that I was a teetotaller. He asked me to blow in the alco-sensor to which I did. His reading showed 16 and he asked me to come out of the car. I insisted that the alco-sensor reading must be wrong as I did not drink. Later, after heated arguments with me he bought a bigger alco-sensor with a woman head constable in toe and asked me to blow again, which I did and it showed a reading of six. I even asked him to get my medical examination done, but the constable threatened me with dire consequences. I asked the woman constable as to how their alco-sensors were showing different readings when they should show 0 reading as I do not drink at all,” he said.

Hardeep has given a complaint to the senior officials of the Chandigarh Traffic Police about the harassment.

“We are looking into the matter. We keep conducting calibration of the alco-sensors from time to time,” said DSP (Traffic) Kamaldeep.

Last month, a city resident had complained of a similar embarrassment he had faced.



Open House response
Sincerity of purpose missing on part of civic bodies

Population control of stray dogs in the city has totally gone haywire. As many as 5,000 stray dogs, as per figures dished out by the Municipal Corporation, are said to have been sterilsed in the past five years. The simple inference is, however, that the so-called sterlisation was more on paper than on ground or perhaps the medicine injected was past its expiry date. 
SC Luthra, Mani Majra

open house question

The recent demolition of Colony No. 5 has exposed the manner in which a number of illegal squatters grew manifold over the years with authorities doing a little to check the influx. What needs to be done to ensure that more vacant government land is not encroached upon by the squatters? Write your suggestions along with passport size picture to [email protected] 

Check slum areas and dumping grounds

Unbridled growth of stray dogs is posing a great threat to residents. They are considered ferocious and bite people around, thereby increasing the risk of falling prey to diseases such as rabies. Many civic bodies are putting in efforts to remove them from approaching the city limits, while there are a few who are either sterilising them or going to the extreme step of killing them. But these efforts are going waste as there are scores of stray dogs still roaming around in the city. As long as open dumping grounds and the number of slums are not checked, all measures are ought to yield no results.
Tarsem Bhardwaj, Chandigarh

Rectify miserable plight of stray canines

Efforts of Chandigarh Administration towards sterilisation of stray dogs and demanding reasons as to why we have to keep such ‘undesirable’ animals will do no good. People for Animals (PFA) may hold banners for containing cruelty against animals, but I fail to understand why they don't see the miserable plight of these dogs? We often witness them, besides biting residents, quarreling among themselves and then bleeding profusely. I feel we should let the stray dogs die a decent death, especially those in a miserable physical condition. We live in an era where those in poor condition of health are considered for peaceful death, then why not them?
MPS Chadha, Mohali

Chandigarh Municipal Corporation to be blamed

Control of stray dog population by sterilisation and immunisation is the foremost responsibility of the civic bodies and the state governments. Despite tall claims made by the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation (MC) for adopting preventive measures to put a lid on stray dog menace by controlling their population in the city, the number of stray dogs has gone up by 36 per cent in the past five years and at present, stands at 7,850. The data reveals that only 5,309 dogs could be sterilised in the past four years. The MC should take a cue from their Srinagar counterpart on efficiently tackling the stray dog menace. Highly pressurised by residents and shaken by increasing dog bite cases in Kashmir, the Srinagar MC started castrating dogs besides performing ovario-hysterectomy operation on female dogs since April last year. The cost, however, involved in this programme is perhaps making the Chandigarh MC to go slow in adopting the Srinagar MC model.
Col KD Pathak (retd), Chandigarh

Adopt a citizen-friendly approach

Stray dogs are having a free run on the streets of Chandigarh. Despite sterilisation campaign by the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC), the population of dogs is multiplying at a fast pace. As many as 400 dog bite incidents are reported at city hospitals on a daily basis. Residents allege that despite repeated complaints, MCC has not initiated any action to control the menace so far. The MCC mismanagement, lack of funds and limited number of sterilisation centres across the city are some of the biggest hurdles in way of controlling the population of dogs. They don't have much space to keep dogs. Stray dogs often chase two-wheeler riders and haunt residents. Councillors woke up when their collegue, councillor Harjinder Kaur, was bitten by a stray dog. Being the ex-officio member of the House, MP Pawan Bansal should raise such issues and ask officials concerned to look out for alternatives and thereby, adopt a citizen-friendly approach.
Anshu Chawla, Chandigarh (UT)

We must stop feeding animals

Imagine a population of nearly 10,000 stray dogs running around the streets of the city. The number is ever-growing and if not checked, can pose a serious threat to residents. The solution lies in strengthening the hands of the MC by equipping them with adequate staff and tools to sterilise the stray dogs. The over-ferocious dogs must be done away with, as they bite people and result in life-threatening diseases. As concerned citizens, we must stop patronising dogs in our street and also stop feeding them.
Col RD Singh (retd), Ambala Cantt

MCC must adopt a humane approach

Furious group of five to 10 stray dogs, with sharp canines, attacking strangers, beggars, hawkers, cyclists and motorcyclists can be witnessed in almost all the streets of Chandigarh. Cyclists, motorcyclists and children are the worst effected. Hapless people surrounded by these stray dogs can neither run away nor shoo them away as this action enrages dogs all the more. The MCC must adopt a humane approach, while capturing the stray dogs as they are also living beings, accompanying the human society for centuries. They should be kept in proper dog shelters and their reproduction should be controlled by sterilisation. Entry of stray dogs in the city from villages and small towns should be strictly monitored and prevented.
Ravinder Nath, Chandigarh.

Pay heed to need for cleanliness

Unhygienic condition is one of the basic problems resulting in stray dogs crowding around garbage bins. Owners of meat shops also dump waste in drains, the smell of which attracts stray canines. The MC must focus on clearing garbage heaps and shut down unlicensed meat shops. Even if the stray dogs are vaccinated against rabies, they are still one of the major causes of road accidents. The rag pickers are at a higher risk of dog bites, as they try to drive dogs off garbage heaps in order to look for recyclables. Almost every area is infested with stray dogs menace.
Dr Shruti K Chawla, Chandigarh

PFA should take the onus

Stray dogs create a terror on road, especially for children as well as two-wheeler riders. The main reason behind the ever-growing menace is a big flaw on our part, as we fail to check the increasing population of stray dogs. There is strong need for the PFA, along with corporation, to set up more welfare organisations and adoption centre for dogs. Animal rights activists, who cry hoarse when a dog is killed, seem to be oblivious to the sufferings of dog-bite victims.
Meenakshi Lamba, Chandigarh

Sector 33-A, a breeding centre

Sector 33-A of Chandigarh has become the most favourite breeding area for stray dogs. Dogs are very frequently spotted on internal roads, chasing and barking at two-wheeler riders or four-wheelers and passersby, thereby, increasing risks of accidents. There have also been various dog bite cases in the area recently.
IJ Singh, Chandigarh

More veterinary doctors required

Stray dogs should be caught by dog catchers and then sterilised. More veterinary doctors are, hence, required for the purpose. These dogs should be then stranded at far away places, beyond populated areas. Not feeding these dogs will also help a lot in tackling this problem.
IPS Anand, Mani Majra

Sterilised dogs must have an identification mark

Though the Municipal Corporation (MC) of Chandigarh has sterilised as many as 5,000 stray dogs in the city in the past five years, but the problem remains as it was before, rather it has only increased manifold now. There should be some identification mark on the sterilised dog's body or a belt around its neck so that people do not fear such dogs.
RK Kapoor, Chandigarh

Pet dogs a problem too

The pleasure of enjoying a walk in the parks is disturbed not only by the menace of stray dogs but also by pet dogs that are left free by their owners to roam around here and there in the park. Such dogs sometimes bite without any provocation. In spite of clear written instructions/warnings that dogs are not allowed inside the parks, some pet owners bring their pets and unleash them once they are inside the park, causing inconvenience to residents taking a stroll in the area. While controlling the ever-growing menace of stray dogs is the responsibility of the civic authorities, the nuisance of pet dogs can only be curbed by those who own pets. They must restrict their movements and not let them roam freely inside the parks exclusively meant for humans.
Lajpat Rai Garg, Panchkula

Tricity MCs must join hands to combat the problem

To control the menace of stray dogs, the Municipal Corporation and Chandigarh Administration, in collaboration with Mohali and Panchkula Municipal Corporations, should hire people to catch hold of stray dogs, immunise them against rabies, sterilise them and shift them to a safer place. Non- governmental organisations (NGOs) should be urged to take an active part in controlling the menace of stray dogs. Entry of dogs should be completely restricted in parks and they should not be fed by passersby.
Priya Darsh Growar, Mohali. 


Dealing with stray cattle and dogs
Kanchan Vasdev

The roads in the City Beautiful, it appears, are not for human beings and their vehicles alone. Stray cattle and dogs share them equally, giving a tough time to drivers.

It is not about just roads. Stray dogs bit 601 persons this year and stray bulls have killed three in last eight years. The menace may have taken alarming proportions, but the authorities prefer to look the other way.

Stray dogs virtually rule the city at night. They are everywhere; in the parks, on the roads, in the marketplaces and outside the residential areas. One finds it difficult to step out on foot at night owing to the menace.

While a survey conducted by the MC pegged the population of dogs to 7,847 in 2012, but only 150 dogs are sterilised every month. By the time others are sterilised, the number increases manifold as dogs multiply rapidly and that too in large numbers.

The MC appears to have no effective solution or so it appears. The civic body is only mulling over plans to check the menace, but to no avail. The MC does not even have a dog pound, thus, worsening the situation.

Situation is no different in case of stray bulls, who took lives of three bread-winners of their respective families, in the last eight months. Even then the menace continues. The civic body woke up for a few days after the deaths and started catching stray cattle. Efforts were intensified to even ferry these to gaushalas in other cities. But soon after, things were back to square one. The cattle can be seen making themselves comfortable in the middle of roads, posing danger to passersby, especially at night when visibility is poor.

As the MC’s cattle pound is too inadequate to handle population of stray cattle, they have a field day on the roads itself.

As much as the MC's inaction, several city residents are also to blame for the menace. Cattle owners abandon their cattle once their milking phase is over. Others leave them for grazing. The MC registered 21 FIRs against such owners recently. But vote-bank politics comes in the way of enforcement agencies.

The menace has to be dealt with a strong will and an iron hand. In many countries abroad, an animal whose ownership is not established within a certain time-period is either auctioned or put to sleep forever. Here, there would be a strong opposition to such a solution.

The animal rights activists also need to do some introspection. Either they help the authorities find an effective solution or allow them to bring about an amendment in law to do what people in west do. But before that, it is time the enforcement agencies and citizens sit up and take note of the problem.



Lights off, pack up
Tribune News Service

The Chandigarh Carnival turns out to be a big draw
The Chandigarh Carnival turns out to be a big draw; (below) singer KK livens up the evening; and youngsters enjoy a ride at Sector 10 in Chandigarh. Tribune photos: Pradeep Tewari and Vicky Gharu
singer KK livens up the evening
youngsters enjoy a ride at Sector 10 in Chandigarh.

Chandigarh, November 24
Festivities pinnacled on the last day of the Chandigarh Carnival. Thousands of residents thronged the carnival village, beautifully set up on the theme of 100 years of Indian Cinema.

Old is Gold, Filmy Bazaar and CEVA stalls attracted crowds.

The highlight of the day was the musical performance by Bollywood playback singer KK, who mesmerised the audience with his popular numbers.

More than 10,000 people came to listen to him. AK Malhotra, GM, CITCO, said the carnival was a big draw. Over 1 lakh people visited the carnival in the past three yeas and submerged in fun and festivity. He said: "CITCO's food corner witnessed a huge turnout.

An Evening in Paris Bollywood set by College of Architecture was a head-turner.

The day-long performances by NZCC artists too caught attention. "We promise another exciting edition of the festival next year," he said. The Tribune was the media sponsor for the event. 




Humour and food for thought 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 24
The second and the last day of Literati-2013 was packed with thought-provoking sessions. The first session saw cartoonist, humorist and writer Krishna Shastry, journalist Jai Arjun Singh and author Vivek Atray discuss the 'The Challenge of Humour'.

Team Literati dedicated the session to great satirist and humorist late Jaspal Bhatti. The panelists said humour in India was not given high regards as compared to the western countries where it was considered an art with a a sense of intelligence.

Krishna Shastri agreed that there were not many humour writers in the country and unfortunately those who wrote humour were considered lesser beings.

Literature for me comes from enthusiasm: Vajpeyi

"I have often heard people saying that creativity in literature comes to a disturbed mind which is disappointed from life, but for me it comes from enthusiasm for life," said illustrious poet and critic Ashok Vajpeyi in an engaging session with Dr Virender Mehndiratta, a Hindi short story writer.

He entertained the audience with his sense of humour, besides leaving them awestruck when he read out some couplets from his works of poetry. He described Vajpeyi 'youthful', which he said came from his contribution to the field of literature in the past 50 years. "He is an institution in himself," said Dr Mehndiratta.

"Why do you laugh so much?" Dr Mehndiratta asked Vajpeyi. "I laugh on the blunders that I make everyday," Vajpeyi's reply made everyone laugh.

Memory plays a role in the creative process

Another session 'Narrative, Mind and Memory', conducted by Vandana Shukla, writers Manju Kapur, Rahul Pandita, Nirupma Dutt and Neelam Mansingh Chowdhry, explored various aspects of creativity and how memory played a role in the creative process. Rahul Pandita shared the story of the displacement of Kashmiri Pandits from Kashmir in 1990 and said that even abroad they were living through the pain of being away from their homeland.

Poetry recital in another session moved the audience. HS Rana, Chandra Shekhar Varma, Manish Shukla, Shashi Prabha Attri, Pam Handa, Angelee Deodhar and Madhav Kaushik recited the poems in the session 'Poetic Expressions'.

India needs a Chanakya, says Ashwin Sanghi

In the last session of the day, the writer of famous mythological book 'Chanakya Chant', Ashwin said India needed a modern day Chanakya. According to him, bad governance and lack of statecraft had plagued Indian society. "We need politicians who can implement his idea of state craft and good governance," Ashwin said.

Two books launched

The research thesis on 'Kashmir's Narratives of Conflict' by journalist Manisha Gangahar was released by author Rahul Pandita. Another book 'Lal Chowk' by noted writer Kashmiri Lal Zakir was also released in the afternoon session. 

Curtains down on Literati 2013

As curtains were drawn on Literati 2013, the enthusiastic Literati team is looking forward to the next year. Organisers Sumita Misra and Vivek Atray announced that Literati 2014 would be held at Lake Club in November next year. Ashwin Sanghi, one of the most celebrated authors, remarked, "I cannot believe that this had been the first ever attempt of the Chandigarh Literary Society. I am sure it will continue to grow." 



MC’s tow-away drive upsets car dealers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 24
High drama was witnessed at the secondhand car market in Sector 7 when the Municipal Corporation staff went there to tow away vehicles parked outside showrooms today. Car dealers expressed resentment over the MC's move.

MC officials stated that there were 60 showrooms in the Sector 7 market and only 43 car dealers had permission for displaying the vehicles outside 43 showrooms. "The dealers had displayed the cars outside the remaining 17 showrooms," the officials stated. Later, the dealers removed the cars on their own. MC Joint Commissioner Rajiv Gupta stated that they had received a complaint from some car dealers that a large number of vehicles displayed outside the showrooms left no space for them. "The cars displayed for sale on road berms and parking area reserved for visitors were removed," Gupta said. The MC staff stayed at the market from 9 am to 5 pm to ensure that the car dealers did not encroach upon the area again. The officials stated that the drive would continue in the coming days. 



Pregnant women at Hepatitis A risk: Experts
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 24
Watch out for unhygienic food, water and lack of sanitation during pregnancy as it can lead to Hepatitis A infection. Experts from the PGI, GMCH-32 and DMC, Ludhiana, discussed the severity of Hepatitis E infection during a CME today.

"Although the incidence of liver diseases during pregnancy in India is 1 per cent, we need to strengthen our data collection to get more comprehensive surveillance," said Dr YK Chawla, professor, department of hepatology and director, PGI. "We receive two to three cases of Hepatitis A infection during pregnancy. This increases the risk of mortality in pregnant women," Dr Chawla stated.

"The symptoms for Hepatitis A are common and mostly people tend to overlook these. But we insist that an expectant woman see a doctor in case of fever or high blood pressure (BP). Pale eyes and loss of appetite are common symptoms," said Dr Atul Sachdev, gaestroenterologist and Director-Principal, GMCH-32.

Dr Rajoo Singh, Dean, Academics, DMC, Ludhiana, said a study conducted on 2,600 women in Punjab revealed that viral hepatitis, biliary disease, budd-chiari syndrome, liver transplant and drug-induced hepatotoxicity were the common diseases found during 



P’kula general hospital to go PGI’s way
  To introduce the pass system for patients’ attendants for security at the hospital
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

The entrance to the Emergency ward at the General Hospital in Sector 6, Panchkula
The entrance to the Emergency ward at the General Hospital in Sector 6, Panchkula. Tribune Photo: Nitin Mittal

Panchkula, November 24
Panchkula general hospital is all set to go PGI’s way as they have decided to introduce the pass system for patients’ attendants in view of the security at the hospital. A proposal for the same has been finalised by the hospital authorities, which would soon be implemented in all the wards except the emergency ward.

Dr Usha Gupta, Principal Medical officer (PMO) at the general hospital Sector 6, said, “During the preparation of the file for the patient’s admission, a pass would be given to the attendant. For initial days we have decided to allow two attendants with one patient and accordingly passes would be given.”

She said, “Entry would be allowed if the attendant has the pass. After the system is streamlined, then we would just allow one attendant with a patient.”

Initially, the move was started in the gynecology ward for some days. However, due to renovation at the hospital, the same was put on hold. Now, the hospital authorities have decided to introduce it in all the indoor wards.

The passes would be valid throughout the patient’s admission. Security guards have been deployed at the hospital entrances who would be keeping a check on the passes.

Recently, when foetus was found at the hospital toilets raising questions on the security, they said, “Outsiders in the garb of patient attendants may have dumped the foetus in the toilets.”

The police have failed to make any breakthrough in the cases. Another reason for taking the initiative was concerned with the security of the patients after a new born kidnapping case in 2011, by two women in the garb of attendants with them.

“The move is appreciable as the security of patients is highly important. Also any miscreant can enter and commit a crime,” said another official at the hospital.



‘Community not following the teachings of Sikh Gurus’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 24
Environmental problems should be a priority for the residents of any area while sharing their civic problems with candidates during elections. Also, we need to increase the number of water treatment plants across the country and especially in Punjab. This was said by eco-activist Baba Balbir Singh Seechewal, during a seminar on ‘World Citizenship: Sikhism and Environment’ organised by the Institute of Sikh Studies at Panjab University today.

Quoting from the Guru Granth Sahib, he explained the importance attached to environment by the Sikh gurus. However, the current situation of environmental degradation in Punjab clearly shows that the Sikhs are not following the teachings of their gurus on the subject.

Meanwhile, Giani Kewal Singh, former Jathedar of Takht Damdama Sahib, stressed on the importance of taking steps in the direction of environmental preservation for a better tomorrow. He said all political parties while preparing their election manifestoes should mention various steps, which they would take towards environmental preservation if they were elected to power.

Dr Surjit Kaur, chairperson of Department of Philosophy, Pune University, said Sikh gurus preached a holistic philosophy about oneness with nature.



Protest against property tax to intensify: Dhanoa 
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 24
On one hand the local welfare associations are supporting the Congress leaders for not paying the property tax to the Punjab Government whereas the increasing figures of tax collection by Mohali Municipal Corporation (MC) just reflect the other side of the coin.

According to SS Dhanoa, president of Citizens Welfare Development Forum, all the welfare associations in the town were against the tax. A door-to-door rally on the issue was held at Sector 70 today, said Dhanoa.

“We are holding rallies everyday in one or other part of the town against the tax and getting tremendous response from the people,” he said.

On the other hand, the MC authorities claim that the people have started paying the tax.

“So far we have collected over Rs 55 lakh. Ten days ago the amount was just below Rs 10 lakh. Seeing the response we have also increased the number of kiosks, which have been set up at various points in the town,” said an official of the MC.

Dhanoa said the agitation against the tax would be intensified in coming days.



47,000 administered polio drops in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 24
As many as 1,334 workers, 78 sector supervisors, 15 area supervisors along with 100 reserved workers and 617 teams were deployed by the Department of Health And Family Welfare, UT Chandigarh, to vaccinate all the children in the age group of 0-5 years in high risk areas.

Also, the children on the roads, streets and beggars were vaccinated as a part of the two-day Sub-National Immunisation Round (SNID) Polio that concluded today.

Secretary Health and Director Health Services joined the teams at the grass-root level to continue the fight against polio in the country and for its eradication.

Speaking at the inaugural session at Khuda Lahora, secretary health Anil Kumar said, “We are at a stage fromwhere the disease will be eradicated from India very soon.”

Around 47,000 children were vaccinated today.

62,543 vaccinated

Mohali: The health authorities in the district claimed to have administered polio drops to 62,543 children between the age group of 0-5 years, under the special three-day pulse polio drive, that kicked off today.

The Shiromani Akali Dal leader, Amanjot Kaur Ramoowalia, inaugurated the drive by administering police drops to a child at Balmiki Colony, Phase VI, today.

Mohali civil surgeon Dr Rajiv Bhalla claimed that no police case has been reported in the district for the past three years.

“Under this drive, we are aiming to administer polio drops to a total of 1.37 lakh children in the district.

As many as 1,087 teams, 60 mobile teams, 12 transit booths and 24 transit teams have been constituted to achieve the aim,” said Dr Bhalla.



PET medical camp
94 dogs detected with worm infestation 
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, November 24
As many as 94 out of 181 cases of worm infestation in dogs were found at the pet medical camp organised at government pet clinic in Sector 3, Panchkula. Dr MR Singla said the camp was set up free of cost and seven doctors were deployed to deal with the cases.

“Most of the dogs were found with worm infestation which develops as they usually roam around and eat useless things from roadside,” said Singla.

It was also told that three serious cases of testicular cancer and hernia were also received which were treated then and there and the condition of the dogs was stated to be stable now. Anti-rabies vaccine was also available at the camp.



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