C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


SSC exam spells traffic chaos
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 23
Utter chaos prevailed on city roads and the bus stands in Sectors 17 and 43 as thousands of candidates thronged the city to appear for an exam of the Staff Selection Commission (SSC), held at various centres in the city today.

Inadequate transport services added to the chaos. A large number of candidates were seen boarding overcrowded buses bound for Jind and Hisar.

The candidates, who had come from different parts of the region, were seen virtually hanging out of the buses.

Those who could not catch a bus from Sector 17 were seen walking to nearby bus stops in the hope of catching a bus or an auto-rickshaw to the Chandigarh railway station.

Drivers of several overcrowded buses were challaned by the traffic police near Tribune Chowk.

The rush also led to traffic snarls as large groups of candidates preferred to reach the railway station on foot. Amid this chaos, women candidates were more inconvenienced as they could not find space on buses.

Students said special transport arrangements such as running special buses and trains should have been made for the examination.

Last month, more than 5,000 students could not appear for an exam for posts of Health Inspector as they could not reach the examination centres on time due to traffic jams.



24-year-old girl commits suicide
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 23
A 24-year-old girl staying as a paying guest in Sector 16 allegedly committed suicide by hanging herself from a ceiling fan at her accommodation last evening.

The victim, Puneeta Kapoor, was found hanging from the fan with a dupatta by her landlord.

While the police have termed it a case of suicide, shocked family members and friends said it could be a case of murder as "she was not the one who could have committed suicide". They mentioned this while recording their statements at the Sector 17 police station.

By the time the police reached the spot, the landlord had already lowered the body from the fan. No suicide note was found at the spot.

Puneeta was working with a private firm in Mohali and hailed from Patiala. Her father is an employee of the Railways and she has a younger brother.

The body has been kept in the mortuary of Government Multi-Speciality Hospital in Sector 16 where the postmortem will be conducted tomorrow. Sham Lal, the girl's grandfather, said the girl's phone was missing and there were injury marks around her neck and face. "She was such a bright child and could not have committed suicide," he said. Puneeta's younger brother Amit Kapoor said he last spoke to Puneeta yesterday morning and she was crying and was very upset. She had friendship with a youth, who was harassing her, alleged Amit. He also alleged that his sister was beaten up by the youth, following which she took the extreme step."The exact picture will become clear only after the postmortem report. It appears to be a case of suicide according to preliminary investigations. However, we are exporing all angles," said Inspector Dilsher Singh Chandel, SHO, Sector 17 police station.

Kin suspect foul play

While the police have termed it a case of suicide, shocked family members and friends said it could be a case of murder as "she was not the one who could have committed suicide".



Death Due To Typhoid
Residents scuffle with HUDA staff
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, Febraury 23
A day after the death of an 11-year-old girl due to typhoid in the Haryana Employees Welfare Organisation Society, Mansa Devi Complex, Sector 5, residents of the area entered into a scuffle with Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) officials over the alleged supply of contaminated water.

Over 20 persons of the area were reportedly taken ill due to contaminated water. The condition of some of them is stated to be critical.

Acting on a report published in these columns regarding the outbreak of typhoid, the Health Department today swung into action and sent a team to the area. The team collected blood samples of the victims and used chlorine in the water tanks.

The agitated residents forcibly took HUDA officials to the source of contamination where the main storage tank was full of dirt, emanating foul smell. The residents alleged that the water was laced with sewage.

Deputy Commissioner SS Phulia had yesterday asked the department to submit a report.

AAP and Congress workers today reached the spot and had heated arguments with HUDA officials. AAP worker Seema Bhardwaj alleged that even today people of the society got contaminated water. "Somebody has to keep a check. People can't be left to die like this,” she said.

Local MLA DK Bansal, along with president of the Haryana Mahila Pradesh Committee Ranjeeta Mehta and local leader Abhi Mehta, reached the spot to pacify the agitators.

Bansal summoned Executive Engineer Bhupinder Cheema and his team and got the pipeline changed.

Shobhna Sharma, mother of the deceased, told Bansal that she was being threatened by a few members of the society not to take up the issue.



Firms eye robot anaesthetist
Write to PGI authorities seeking manufacturing rights
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 23
Patented by the PGI and having assisted in over 5,000 surgeries at the institute to date, the robot anaesthetist, capable of bringing down mortality due to the adverse effects of anaesthesia, has now caught the attention of manufacturing companies for launch in the market.

Two companies have written to the PGI to sign a memorandum of understanding for manufacturing rights of the Closed Loop Anaesthesia Delivery System (CLADS). This was confirmed by Dr GD Puri, Professor, Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, PGI.

The robot anaesthetist (CLADS), a computer-assisted anaesthesia delivery system, excels in controlling drug overdose as well as underdose.

“The robot also monitors the blood pressure of the patient during the surgery, thus allowing the surgeon to focus better on the surgery,” said a researcher.

The utility of the system was tested during surgeries performed at six institutions across the country, including the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, over the past six years. It was found that the system provided 50 per cent additional safety to patients during the surgery.

The study, "Multi-centric Evaluation of the Closed Loop Anaesthesia Delivery System", was started in December 2008 in six centres -- Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi, the Government Medical College and Hospital, Chandigarh, the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana, SNM Hospital, Leh, Rajindra Hospital, Patiala, and the PGI. The study, headed by Dr GD Puri, was completed and published in the Indian Journal of Anaesthesia in 2012. It was published in Paediatric Anaesthesia and Critical Care Journal in 2013.

Conventionally, anaesthesia is induced using intravenous medicines and thereafter maintained either with anaesthetic gases or intravenous medicines.



LPG distributors' strike from tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 23
The supply of LPG cylinders will be hit as LPG distributors have decided to go on an indefinite strike from Tuesday onwards.

A press note issued by the All India LPG Distributors Federation and the Federation of LPG Distributors of India said they would be on strike as part of a nationwide call until their demands were met.

The distributors had written to the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas to stop multiple pricing of LPG cylinders.



Policy yet to be finalised, Dy Mayor opens food street
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

The food street, which was inaugurated in Sector 48, Chandigarh, on Sunday
The food street, which was inaugurated in Sector 48, Chandigarh, on Sunday. Tribune photo: Parvesh Chauhan

Chandigarh, February 23
With the General Election round the corner, political parties are vying with each other to "steal" an opportunity to inaugurate projects in the city.

Sunday was no exception when Deputy Mayor and BJP councillor Davesh Moudgil inaugurated a day food street in Sector 48 even as top MC functionaries were busy with the Rose Festival. Interestingly, the policy for operating the food street is yet to be finalised.

The Deputy Mayor said he had intimated MC officials about the inauguration and had taken approval for it. “MC officials were invited. However, they could not come as they were busy with the Rose Festival,” he said. He said the food street policy would be finalised soon.

Congress councillor Pardeep Chhabra said the Mayor was not invited to the inauguration function, which clearly indicated that the BJP had no respect for the chair.

The day food street in Sector 48, the second in the city after the night food street opposite the PGI, will cater to the residents of southern sectors. The project was pending for the past seven years. The food street has six stalls, constructed at a cost of Rs 25 lakh.

Earlier this month, the inauguration of three projects at Mauli Jagran and Vikas Nagar, which fall under BJP councillor Rajinder Kaur's ward, had led to a controversy after the projects were inaugurated by the BJP councillor and residents a day before these were to be inaugurated by Mayor HC Kalyan of the Congress.

A Congress councillor said on condition on anonymity that the Deputy Mayor inaugurated the food street to take credit as the General Election was approaching. “The Deputy Mayor seems to have hurried with the inauguration as the poll code is likely to be implemented soon,” the Congress councillor said.



BSP plans jumbo campaign for city
Seeks permission from Chandigarh Administration for hiring elephants
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 23
Don't be surprised if you see elephants on city roads during the campaigning for the coming Lok Sabha elections.

To counter BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi's NaMo tea campaign and the Congress' RaGa (Rahul Gandhi) milk campaign, the city unit of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has decided to use elephants for the campaigning in the City Beautiful.

The party plans to hire 10 elephants and hopes that "live shows" of the party symbol would improve the party's chances and translate into votes.

BSP convener Hafiz Anwar-ul-Haq said the party had decided to hire 10 elephants from Morni, Ambala and Karnal for campaigning in the City Beautiful. "With these elephants, the party will send out a message to the city residents that the BSP is here to demolish both the Congress and the BJP, which are corrupt," he said.

The party has written to the UT Administration seeking permission for bringing elephants to the city for campaigning. "We will bring the elephants as soon as the permission is granted," he said.

Another party leader said they had decided to hire elephants since people would be able to relate to the party symbol in a better way. They would give free rides to children on these elephants during the campaigning, he said. The BSP is the only party in the city which has declared its candidate for the Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat.

Parties go all out to woo voters

This time political parties in the city are trying different things. While the BJP has set up a call centre to attract voters, distributing NaMo tea at various tea stalls in the city, Congress has recently distributed milk bottles to youngsters and sportspersons.

Party workers excited

BSP workers are excited about the use of elephants for the campaigning. A party worker said it would be an altogether different experience for them to campaign on elephants. In a lighter vein, he said, "Now, let's see who comes in front of us."


Rose Fest concludes with music, dance
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 23
The concluding day of the Rose Festival at the Rose Garden witnessed some exciting events like Antakshri and magic show for the visitors. The evening was equally enjoyable with the local singers singing old songs taking back the visitors to the musical era of 70’s and 80’s.
Gatka players perform martial art during the Rose Festival in Chandigarh on Sunday
Gatka players perform martial art during the Rose Festival in Chandigarh on Sunday
Gatka players perform martial art during the Rose Festival in Chandigarh on Sunday
Gatka players perform martial art during the Rose Festival in Chandigarh on Sunday. tribune photos: S Chandan

The day started with on-the-spot painting competition that witnessed huge participation by the children from across the Tricity. The participants painted beautiful paintings adding colours to the Rose Festival.

The dance group performed ‘Tamasha’ the folk dance of Maharashtra on the main stage.

As the day progressed, Antakshri was organised at the Rose garden attracting many visitors. The competition added fun to the concluding day.

Adding attraction to the Rose festival was the magic show, which not only enthralled the children but even the grown-ups.

In the afternoon, a prize distribution ceremony was held and winners of various competitions, participants of cultural events, band parties as well as gardeners, followed by ‘Bihu’ dance a traditional folk dance of Assam.

Later on musical event ‘Old is Gold’ was organised. During the musical evening around a dozen singers sung old songs with orchestra and Vival Sharma, music director, enthralled the public with his solo performance on flute. The singers sung old numbers including songs of Mohd. Rafi, Mukesh, KL Sehgal, Lata Mangeskar, Kishore Kumar.



Pooja Sharma and Noozam (Govt. College for Education-20) 1; Palak Gupta and Aarti (Shri Guru Gobind Singh College-26) 2; Anil and Divyanshu (Govt. College for Boys-11) 3

On-the-spot painting competition

Group ‘A’ (5-8 years): Riya Pasricha 1; Tanushri 2; Akanksha Bishani 3

Group ‘B’ (8-11 years): Anand Vishav Sharma 1; Tanushri 2; Sakshi Kumari 3

Group ‘C’ (11-14 years): Akshay Sharma 1; Rohit 2; Cheshta Ahuja 3

Group ‘D’ (14-17 years): Akshay Sharma 1; Astha Goel 2; Sandeep Kumar 3.



Chaos, traffic snarls mar festive fervour
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 23
The last day of Rose Festival witnessed traffic chaos in Sector 16 and Sector 10 with the traffic police hardly seen regulating the huge rush of vehicles. Chaos also prevailed in the Rose Garden with the visitors damaging the plants and plucking roses.
Vehicles parked on a green belt in Sector 16, Chandigarh, on Sunday
Vehicles parked on a green belt in Sector 16, Chandigarh, on Sunday. Tribune photos: S Chandan

Huge rush was witnessed on the roads around the Rose garden and Leisure Valley. Haphazard parking was witnessed on the roadsides in Sector 16. The visitors even parked their vehicles on the green area and walking track adjoining the Rose Garden on the road towards Matka Chowk. Vehicles were even parked on the Madhya Marg that led to traffic snarls.

A similar situation was witnessed at Leisure Valley where fun games and food stalls were set-up. With no arrangements for the parking the visitors parked their vehicle on the roads.

The visitors crossing road from Rose garden to Leisure Valley and vice-versa had a tough time crossing the road as cops could be hardly seen managing the traffic to give a safe passage to the pedestrians.

The traffic cops were mute spectators to the chaos on the road. Manisha, a visitor, stated that the local administration and police department should have made special arrangements for Sunday as large number of visitors was expected to visit.

SI slaps constable, suspended

High drama was witnessed during the musical evening at the Chandigarh rose festival when a sub-inspector with the Chandigarh police slapped a constable of Haryana police. The constable was deployed in the security arrangements of Rose Festival. SI Rajdeep Singh has been suspended.

A departmental probe against SI Rajdeep had been marked to DSP Rajesh Kalia.



Eye hospital penalised
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 23
Grover Eye Laser and ENT Hospital, Sector 35, has been penalised for medical negligence. The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed the hospital and its head consultant Rohit Grover to pay Rs 70,000 as compensation for the mental agony caused to the complainant.

The complainant, Avinash Kaur (76), a resident of Sector 37, said the surgeons implanted cataract lens first before rectifying the problem in her retina, which was “medically incorrect”.

Later, she found that the lens was fitted without removing cataract and resulted in swelling and infection in the eye forcing her to seek treatment in another hospital.

It has also directed the hospital to make payment of Rs 10,000 towards cost of litigation and refund Rs 9,000 charged for surgery.

On September 5, 2012, the opposite party referred the complainant to undergo Phaco, IOL surgery for the left eye.

She alleged that she had defect in her retina and in order to perform surgery for lens implantation/phaco surgery for cataract, there was a need to decide as to whether the retina was to be treated first or phaco surgery was to be performed first.

“On September 10, 2012, the retina test was conducted and the opposite party found the retina to be defective. However, the surgeon performed surgery of cataract by charging an exorbitant amount of Rs 9,000 on the pretext that some superior lens will be inserted. He performed the surgery of phaco, instead going first for the treatment of retina against the principle of medical science. The phaco surgery with IOL for cataract was performed on September 17, 2012,” Avinash said.

There was pain and swelling in the left eye. It was due to the falling and dislocation of lens inserted, she alleged.

“We are of the opinion that the evidence on record is a clear pointer towards the medical negligence on the part of the hospital authorities,” the forum ruled.



52K children administered polio drops in Mohali
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 23
On the first day of the national pulse polio drive today, the health authorities administered pulse polio dose to 52,325 children in the entire district.

The drive was inaugurated by Mohali civil surgeon Dr Rajiv Bhalla by administering a dose to a child at Balmiki Basti, Phase VI.

Mohali senior medical officer Dr Andesh Kang said as many as 1,125 teams had been constituted for the purpose.

“During the drive, we targeted a total of 1.38 lakh children below five years of age in the district. To achieve the target, we set up 555 polio booths and constituted 37 transit teams and 71 mobile teams. Our teams will go door-to-door to ensure that every child is administered the polio dose,” said Dr Kang.

58,597 kids vaccinated

Chandigarh: As many as 58,597 children were vaccinated here on the first day of polio drive today.

UT secretary health Anil Kumar inaugurated the drive by administering a dose to a child at Indira Colony.

More than 2,200 health workers will be assigned duties during the three-day campaign to ensure 100 per cent coverage of children in the age of 0-5 years.

Two drops of life

As many as 1,125 teams have been constituted for administering polio drops to children. A total of 1.38 lakh children, below 5 years of age in the district, have been targeted for the purpose. To achieve the set target, the health authorities have set up 555 polio booths and constituted 37 transit teams and 71 mobile teams. To ensure 100 per cent coverage of children, 2,200 health workers have been assigned the responsibility.



Differences among Congress leaders come to the fore

Rift among the Congress leaders once again come to fore during two programmes held in the city; Burning of effigy of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and distribution of milk- organised on February 21. The organisers of both the programme, called media persons and informed them about the poor turnout of workers at other’s function. While Congress workers, who burned the effigy, said milk distribution programme was a flop show ,leaders who distributed milk, told media persons that it was only 30-40 people who attended the protest against Tamil Nadu Chief Minister.

Protest for media attention

The BJP councillors in a bid to register their protest in the General House meeting over the appreciation of local MP Pawan Kumar Bansal by Mayor HC Kalyan, left the house and started raising slogans outside the door. On finding that the MC employees closed the door of the hall the BJP councillors returned and opened the door so that their protest is audible to those including media sitting inside the hall.

Mayor has done little for the city : BJP councillor

Upset over 12 streetlights not repaired by MC in last two-years, the BJP councillor Des Raj Gupta targeted the Mayor HC Kalyan by saying that Mayor has done nothing for the city. BJP councillor stated that Kalyan visits different wards just to show his face and feel proud that he is a Mayor.

Do or die

Quoting a discount as high as 83 per cent in the contract signed for supplying medicines at the PGIMER, the chemist is now in a ‘do or die’ situation. While he set a benchmark by quoting such a high discount on generic medicines and pushing back all others in the race to win the bid, the chemist virtually failed to meet his commitment as patients had not received medicines since December 25 and remain lined up at the dispensary everyday. The PGIMER Director had pulled up the chemist directing him to restore supply immediately but the chemist is being unable to bear with the losses.

Wrong facts

Waking up from their slumber, the National Students Union of India (NSUI), Panjab University, has sent their resentment to the media over the Tamil Nadu's Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa's decision to release all the seven convicts of the Rajiv Gandhi's assassination case, which the apex court has already put on hold. Probably unaware about the appeal of the central government on which the apex court already stayed her decision, NSUI representative released the statement alleging that the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa is consolidating her political position by acting more Dravidian than prime opponent DMK.

Foreign language

Though Farmers' Exhibition at Chappar Chhiri village proved a big hit among farmers of the region, the day-long technical sessions by various experts in the field, virtually went over the heads of not-so-educated farmers. They failed to comprehend the national and international agriculture-related statistics and figures, presented by the experts. Presentation in English language by various experts also added woes of the farmers. "Sir jee, the technical sessions seem to be very useful but we understand nothing", said a group of farmers to this correspondent after hearing a speaker for about half an hour there.

Contributed by: Rajinder Nagarkoti, Amit Sharma, Ritika Jha Palial, Aarti Kapur and Akash Ghai



Congress, BJP slam each other
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 23
“Chandigarh has set an example in slum rehabilitation. Under the rehab scheme 60,000 families will get houses, of which around 50,000 had already been rehabilitated,” stated by MP Pawan Kumar Bansal, while addressing a massive rally in Sector 25 rehabilitation colony.

While lashing out at the BJP for instigating people. He appealed to the people not to be misled by the BJP and assured them of all amenities in their vicinity. The MP, who was accompanied by former city mayor, Pardeep Chhabra, said soon licenses would be given to the roadside vendors, and elaborated on the new scheme of providing food grains to the poor.

Meanwhile, a rally was organised by BJP where around 300 supporters of Congress led by Ishrat Husaain joined the BJP. Most of these people were related with handicraft business and come from different villages of the city.

These people were welcomed by BJP’s state president, Sanjay Tandon and other leaders. While addressing the gathering Sanjay Tandon said, “It is unfortunate that Chandigarh was on the country’s centre stage recently due to the corruption of Pawan Kumar Bansal. Following the unearthing of the Railgate scam, Bansal had to resign from the Railway Ministry. He had been MP for four terms but he could not develop the city. He had been cheating people with his false assurances. If you check the Congress manifestoes, you will find an endless list of unfulfilled promises, he added.



MC plans 2 more automated parking lots
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 23
While the Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh, has failed to successfully run the city’s first automated parking lots in Sector 17; the authorities are planning to have two more automatic parking lots. Both in Sector 22, one at the Shastri Market and other at Kiran Cinema paid parking lot are on the cards. The issue is going to be tabled before the Finance and Contract Committee (F&CC) in its upcoming meeting to be held on February 25.

The city’s automated paid parking lots Sahib Singh and Empire Store parking lots in Sector 17, which were inaugurated by the former Mayor Subhash Chawla amid much fanfare, had been resorting to manual disbursal of parking slips as the automated barriers are not being put to use.

Tejinder Singh, supervisor, Sahib Singh paid parking lot, stated that the MC should first make more lanes for the entry of the vehicles so that they don’t get queued-up. “The entry of Sahib Singh parking is just opposite to the traffic light and as the automated barrier take more time to operate the vehicles gets lined-up blocking the traffic on road following which the parking slips are to be issued manually,” he stated.

SAD councillor Malkiat Singh who is also a member of F&CC stated that the MC should first successfully run the two automatic parking lots in the city before further building more automatic parking lots. “The public should not be harassed and put to inconvenience,” he said. Saurabh Joshi, BJP councillor and F&CC member, also believe that the MC should first put the system in order by ensuring that the city’s first automated parking are run efficiently. “The MC should hire a consultancy company that should first do a feasibility study before introducing the automatic parking system,” Joshi said.



Cancer screening drive

As part of the ongoing “Cancer Screening Drive for Women” of Fortis Hospital, Mohali, gynaecologists from the hospital addressed tricity teachers during talks organised at DPS School, Sector 40, Chandigarh, and Millennium School, Mohali. Talking to teachers at DPS School, Sector 40, Chandigarh, Dr Swapna Misra, senior consultant - obstetrics and gynaecology, Fortis Hospital, Mohali, said: “In India, cancer deaths are expected to increase by 7 lakh in 2015. Worryingly, women are increasingly coming in the grip of cancer and the International Agency for Research on Cancer has stressed that priority needs to be given to cancer prevention and control measures for breast and cervical cancers globally”.


Dr Satinder Pal Singh, additional professor of orthodontics, Oral Health Sciences Centre, PGIMER, was unanimously elected as the president of the Indian Society of Cleft Lip, Palate and Craniofacial Association (ISCLP and CA), in its annual meeting held recently in Lucknow. The ISCLP&CA is a multidisciplinary society consisting of various specialists involved in the care of subjects having cleft lip and palate birth deformity. — TNS



Open House response
Encroachments: Impose fine, allot shops

Civic body not doing enough

An illegal eatery operating from Sector 22 in Chandigarh
An illegal eatery operating from Sector 22 in Chandigarh. Tribune Photo: Pradeep Tewari

Encroachments have increased manifold in market places in the City Beautiful. Shopkeepers are flouting rules with impunity and are encroaching upon government land. Besides this, there is a nexus between the defaulters and MC officials. This is evident from the encroachments in market places. The municipal corporation officials are not doing enough to address the issue. Their apathy has resulted in shopkeepers occupying government land illegally.

Ujagar Singh, Chandigarh

Take stern action against defaulters

The authorities should initiate anti-encroachment drives and take the defaulters to task. Encroachments have marred the city's image. This causes inconvenience to shoppers as the corridors are overcrowded. Those encroaching upon government land should be strictly dealt with both by the MC and police.

SC Luthra, Mani Majra

Impose heavy fine on defaulters

It is arduous for people to commute on the roads, pavements and footpaths, particularly in commercial areas, where encroachments are rampant. Heavy fine should be imposed on the defaulters to check the illegal practice. Another alternative is to earmark special places for markets. Vendors, who illegally occupy government land, should be given a registered licence by the UT Administration with the help of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Priya Darsh Growar, Mohali

Frame special policy

There is an urgent need to frame a policy to regulate the use of front verandahs and rear courtyards of SCOs. Separate policy needs to be framed for the traders of booths in furniture market and markets in Sectors 19, 22 and 15, Chandigarh. The authorities concerned should identify vacant spots in different sectors where vendors can sell their goods similar to Apni Mandis. Strict implementation of law and allocation of special zones in different sectors for the day markets will curb the menace of encroachments in the city.

Sukhpal Singh, Chandigarh

Earmark special spots for vendors

The authorities have not earmarked any special zones for vendors. Spots should be earmarked for tea vendors and cobblers so that they don't encroach upon government land. This will discourage the practice of encroachment. The MC officials should also impose fines on the defaulters.

PS Bajwa, Chandigarh

Adopt strict approach

A strict approach needs to be adopted to curb the menace of encroachments in commercial areas. If the authorities concerned and the courts are determined, the nexus between MC officials and encroachers can be ended.

MPS Chadha, Mohali

End the nexus between MC, shopkeepers

To prevent encroachments, necessary measures need to be taken at the earliest. First, identify the merchandise sites and allow vendors to sell their goods. Second, the enforcement wing of the civic body should have adequate police presence to check encroachments. Third, the allotments of repeated offenders should be cancelled to set a precedent. The DC, SDM and the MC need to take a tough stand to stop the illegal practice.

Colonel (retd) RD Singh, Ambala Cantt

Amend MC Act-1976

The corridors in a majority of markets in the city have been encroached upon by shopkeepers to display their goods. There is an urgent need to amend the MC Act 1976 (extended to Chandigarh) regarding enhancement or fine for encroachments. Also, the shopkeepers who rent out their walls to other vendors should be penalised. It is the administration's duty to earmark spots in the city where these vendors can sell their goods on the payment of rent and earn their livelihood.

Anubha Gupta, Panchkula

Deploy civic body staff in markets

Permanent MC anti-encroachment staff should be deployed in all market places and congested areas to keep a tab on encroachers. Imposition of heavy fine is the need of the hour. Those displaying goods in corridors and pathways should be heavily fined.

BM Dhawan, Chandigarh

Administration should act tough

We need good governance and respect for law if we want to curb the menace of encroachments. Almost all markets in the City Beautiful have vendors occupying government land. Shopkeepers also display goods in front of their shops, while vendors occupy the corridors. This causes inconvenience to shoppers. The UT Administration needs to act tough with them. Politicians should not bat for the encroachers. They, too, need to contribute their bit to make the city a better place.

Ajit Singh, Windsor, Canada

Set up corridors for vendors

Encroachments in commercial areas, verandahs, footpaths and walkways cause grave inconvenience to shoppers. Surprisingly, action taken by the high court has not yielded any result. The court should ensure strict enforcement of rules by MC officials. Those not obeying laws should be penalised heavily. The civic body should also set up corridors with semi-permanent shacks for vendors to sell goods on payment of monthly rent.

Amrit Dhingra, Mani Majra

Nexus rules the roost

There is a dire need to break the nexus of anti-encroachment staff, police and the encroachers. This cannot be accomplished merely by penalising the encroachers. The staff deputed to check encroachments also needs to be dealt with sternly. There have been several instances when encroachers got to know about MC raids in advance. This way, the defaulters removed their articles from corridors. However, things are back to square one as soon as the MC staff leaves the market place.

SK Khosla, Chandigarh

Allot special places to vendors

The municipal corporation should earmark special places and allot these to vendors etc. This way, vendors will not encroach upon government land illegally. If the defaulters refuse to budge, their goods should be confiscated and returned only after payment of 20 per cent fine amount. This will set a precedent for the others and check the practice.

Tarsem Bhardwaj, Chandigarh

Cancel allotment of shops

The anti-encroachment drives should be carried out at regular intervals. The penalties should include cancellation of licences and allotment of shops. Special spots should be earmarked and days should be fixed for vendors to sell their goods. This will go a long way in checking the illegal practice of occupying government land.

Dr Ranju Gulati, Chandigarh

Encroachments are an eyesore

Encroachments in market places and other public areas are an eyesore. As a large number of items are displayed in corridors of markets, it becomes difficult for the shoppers to pass through. The congested corridors pose a danger in case of an emergency such as fire or stampede. The MC should take strict action against the defaulters. Officials should be deployed throughout the day at market places to thwart the efforts of shopkeepers and vendors to occupy government land, corridors, roads and other places.

Dr Shruti K Chawla, Chandigarh

Allot shops to vendors

Encroachments have increased manifold over the past few years. Due to lack of earmarked spots, encroachers have no other option but to operate illegally. If these vendors are allotted spots to carry out their business, the number of encroachments will decrease. The issue is not about penalising them but to provide them a place where they can sell their goods. It is their source of livelihood and cannot be taken away.

Aishwarya, Mohali

City is encroachers’ paradise

The City Beautiful is known for its modern design, well-established markets. But it has become the encroacher's paradise. This is due to the nexus between the squatters and MC officials. The authorities are helpless to check the practice. Despite being challaned, vendors are back to square one within a few days. This is a mockery of the civic body.

JagdishPal Singh Kalra, Chandigarh


Practical approach needed to curb encroachments
Rajmeet Singh

Encroachments in commercial pockets are rampant. A large number of shopkeepers have flouted rules with impunity and occupied spaces such as corridors, parking areas and pedestrian walkways. Several drives by the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation to remove these illegal structures have proved to be a damp squib.

Even as the number of encroachments continues to swell in market places and public areas, the civic body has miserably failed to address the issue.

The civic body officials admit that the menace of encroachments had attained such magnitude that it had indeed become ‘unmanageable’.

The Municipal Corporation has spent around Rs 2.72 crore on the payment of salaries to the enforcement wing, whereas it earned Rs 1.36 crore through the collection of fines and auction of the confiscated goods in 2013. The anti-encroachment drives have also resulted in skirmishes between the MC’s enforcement staff and encroachers in the past.

Recently, Gurgaon Municipal Commissioner Parveen Kumar had an altercation with a vendor in the Sector 17 market after he mistakenly stepped on the latter’s goods displayed on the pavement.

This is not the lone incident of its kind.

With goods displayed in corridors and pavements, pedestrians face inconvenience traversing through the walkways. Due to the nexus between the encroachers and civic body officials, the anti-encroachment drives are a mere eye-wash.

Despite having a workforce comprising 120 workers, including 57 regular staff, inspectors, sub-inspectors, police personnel, labourers and drivers, the officials have not been able to check the illegal practice. The deployment of staff on a rotational basis can make the drives more effective.

Acting tough on shopkeepers, who have rented out spaces on walls and walkways, the MC has written to the Estate Office to cancel their allotment of shops. However, it has not yielded results. This indicates lack of coordination between different departments of the Chandigarh Administration.

The need of the hour is that the UT Administration along with the MC should earmark spots for flea markets in every sector where vendors can sell their goods.

A certain fee amount can be fixed to regulate those setting up their shops in flea markets. The flea market can be located indoors such as in a warehouse or gymnasium; or outdoors, in a field or parking lot or under a tent. Several flea markets operate abroad where vendors sell snacks and drinks.

It is time that the UT Administration should frame an effective plan to enable encroachers to set up their shops in earmarked spots. This will act as a deterrent.

Open House Question

The civic dispensaries in the city — having been allotted sufficient space to cater to a population of 20,000 each — have virtually failed to meet primary healthcare needs of patients. From inadequate medicines to irregular attendance of doctors, patients have stopped visiting these dispensaries and instead prefer to rush to bigger hospitals. What should be done to improve the healthcare system?

Write your suggestions with a passport size photograph to openhouse@tribunemail.com



No ‘bhaang’ on Shivratri at temple
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 23
Devotees will celebrate this Maha Shivratri without ‘Bhaang’, unlike every year at one of the oldest and biggest Shiv temples in Mahadev village, Panchkula, as the district administration had banned the use of ‘bhaang’ in any form in and around the temple.

Taking a serious note of the issue and apprehending that the bad elements from Punjab and other areas may take undue advantage of the occasion, the Deputy Commissioner SS Phulia issued directions in this regard. The district administration made full arrangements to keep a check on sale of bhaang.

“I have issued directions and also told the DCP to keep a check on all such elements which may indulge in the sale of bhaang,” said Phulia.

The committee members of the temple confirmed the directions.

As many as 200 stalls had been put up near the temple and proper scrutiny is being done by the committee members and the police officials.

Every year, even after the Shivratri, ‘bhaang’ is sold openly around the premises, which was reported by Chandigarh Tribune, last year as well. “With these directions, the movement of the miscreants would be restricted to a considerable extent,” said Davinder, President, RWA, Sector 4, MDC.



UIET fest ends on a colourful note
Tribune News Service

A girl presents an item
A girl presents an item

Chandigarh, February 23
“Goonj-14”, the three-day annual cultural festival of the University Institute of Engineering and Technology (UIET), Panjab University, concluded here today.

Over 2,000 students from various colleges across Chandigarh took part in more than 80 categories of technical, non-technical, cultural and literary events.

“Dhamak Punjabiyan Di”, an event to showcase the Punjabi virsa through the lok nach bhangra, proved to be a major crowd-puller among all events of "Goonj-14".

Art events, including street painting and t-shirt painting, were also organised, which saw huge participation. A turban-tying competition was organised to boost the rich Indian heritage.

The students also proved their mettle in the technical arena.

Siddharth Ghai, one of the participants of word mole, said: “All events were exotic. I liked this event as unravelling the intricately maddening puzzles of the English language was really fun. It boosted my glossary.”

The fashion show, “Bedazzle Persona”, saw jam-packed crowd. A ramp walk was also organised.

The organiser, Pranav Goyal, said: “The fest was a huge success. There was an overwhelming response to all events from the students. We thank all participants and students for their ebullient response. We have succeeded in encouraging the students to participate in co-curriculum activities”.

The three-day cultural festival concluded with a performance by Punjabi singers Harf Cheema, Mankirat Aulakh and Kulbir Jhinjer.



Philosophy of satyagraha discussed at seminar

Chandigarh, February 23
The Department of Gandhian and Peace Studies, Panjab University, organised a two-day national seminar on “Philosophy of Satyagraha and the Present Day of Political” at Gandhi Bhawan. It was sponsored by the ICSSR North-Western Regional Centre, PU.

Dr Manish Sharma, chairperson of the department, explained the theme of the seminar and gave a warm welcome to the delegates and the guests.

Professor N Radhakrishnan, an eminent Gandhian scholar, chairman of the Indian Council of Gandhian Studies and recipient of the Rajiv Gandhi Sadhbhawna Award (2008) and the National Communal Harmony Award (2013), delivered the keynote address.

In his keynote address, he explained the meaning of Satyagraha. He pointed out that today, the unique non-violent method known as satyagraha was mispropagated, misused and abused by individuals, politicians and power-greedy people for their personal gains.

The guest of honour, Dr Surinder K Shukla, spoke on Gandhian approach to satyagraha. — TNS



PU shines at national youth fest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 23
Panjab University’s team won the one act play and the debate competition during the 29th All-India Inter-University National Youth Festival, organised by the Association of Indian Universities at Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra.

Panjab University also bagged the literary trophy of the Association of Indian Universities. It also secured second position in elocution and stood fourth in quiz during the festival.

PU Vice-Chancellor Prof Arun Kumar Grover congratulated the team members and praised the efforts of the University Department of Youth Welfare.

Prof Grover said: "Co-curricular activities play an important role in students' life. These activities help students enhance their communication skills".

The One Act Play, “Maston ka Tolla”, was presented by the students of DAV College, Chandigarh.

Dr Nirmal Jaura, director of Youth Welfare, PU, said the university would honour the team members, students and artists during this academic session.



Sky World School students enjoy fun games on sports day
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 23
The Sky World School, Sector 21, held its annual sports day “mini-Olympics” on the school premises here today. The event saw active participation from students. The sporting soiree began with a march past, followed by a mass drill.

The occasion was a combination of races, music, dances and martial arts. The young ones had a field day taking part in well-orchestrated and innovative activities like sports dance and display of tae kwon do skills.

The athlete in the students took centre stage when the young stars right from Playway through Class V displayed a tremendous mix of competitive, sportsman and team spirit. A number of races, including zig zag, hurdle, dribbling, pick & place, fill the basket, and roll the mat, left the audience awestruck.

DR Yadav, former Regional Director, CBSE, was the chief guest on the occasion. Principal Santosh Bhandari, who is also a national award winner as well as the best principal awardee, said: “Students of our school participated with enthusiasm and fervor. The idea behind the mini-Olympics was to give the students an opportunity to show their sporting prowess in an exciting and charged up environment.”

As a gesture towards society, the school also conducted a mini-Olympics for non Sky Worldians. There was a game of tambola and a lucky dip with a free holiday for the winning family sponsored by Magic Holidays.



Thinking Day

Chandigarh: A function to mark Thinking Day was held at GMSSS-28. Over 120 students and 20 scout master/guide captains from 32 schools took part in the event. Various activities related to scouting were performed by the students. A cultural programme was presented by the students. A craft exhibition was also organised by scouts and guides.


Thinking Day was celebrated at Kendriya Vidyalaya, Sector 31. The celebrations began with a prayer to spread the message of secularism among students.


Thinking Day was celebrated at Government Model High School (GMHS), Sector 12. The function began with the flag hoisting by headmistress Amita Khanna. Students delivered lectures on girl education, girl power and moral values.

Night camp

St John’s High School, Sector 26, organised a night camp on the school premises for its Class IV students. Over 170 boys of Class IV participated in the camp. It began with fun-filled games with physical exercise. A bonfire was lit at night, and the boys sang songs and danced till late. The morning began with a prayer and yoga.

Dance workshop

Mohali: Oakridge International School conducted a Happy Feet Dance workshop by award-winner choreographers Bosco Martis and Caesar Gonsalves, who are also known as “Bosco-Caesar”. More than 600 students in the age group 3 to 14 years participated in the dance workshop. Bosco-Caesar taught modern as well as traditional dances to the children.

Farewell party

The faculty members and students of Saupin’s School, Sector 70, bade adieu to Class VIII students on Friday. Manmeet Singh won the title of Prince Saupin’s, while Navsift Kaur bagged the title of Princess Saupin’s. Among others who bagged the title were, Ms Achiever Arshita Bhardwaj; Mr Achiever Arshdeep Singh Dhillon; Ms Singing Sensation Mandeep Kaur; Mr Singing Sensation Krish Aggarwal; the Artists of the Year Simranjeet Singh Deol and Manmeet Singh; Sports Star (female) Navsift Kaur; Sports Star (male) Harshman Singh; Ms Congenial Kanika Gujral; and Mr Congenial Mansimran Singh.

Intervention programme

A mother-child intervention programme was conducted at The Millennium School. One-of-its-kind, the programme invited the mothers for an in-depth knowledge on developing roots during early childhood, involving them through participative approach.

Annual show

Panchkula: Woodlands House School, Sector 8, organised its annual show at the Tagore Theatre, Sector 18, Chandigarh, on Sunday. The theme of the show was Prakriti “Nature’s Bliss”. All items were based on nature. Students of Nursery classes staged a play, “Treasure Chest”, and performed a skit, “Leprechaun”. A Punjabi folk “love” was full of gusto. KG children enacted a play, “Wondrous Adventure”. — TNS



FROM Colleges
Moot court contest

Mohali: The overall championship in the three-day national moot court competition, Checkmate-2014, was won by Symbiosis Law College, Pune. The School of Legal Studies, Cochin University of Sciences and Technology, Cochin, was declared the runners-up in the event that concluded here on Sunday. The winning team got a cash prize of Rs 25,000, while the runners-up team was given Rs 15,000. The event was graced by Justice AK Mittal, Justice Sabina, judges of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, and Professor Paramjit S Jaswal, Vice-Chancellor, Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Patiala.

Job fest

The Aryans Group of Colleges is going to organise a job fest on its campus at Nepra village, located on Chandigarh-Patiala highway, here. Job opportunities would be available for students of BTech, MBA, BBA, BCA, BA, BCom, MTech, Diploma, etc., at the fest.

Conference on nursing

More than 500 participants from various parts of the region attended a one-day conference on nursing on the Rattan Group of Colleges campus, here. Dr Shivinder, vice-chairman of the Baba Farid University of Health Science, was the key speaker at the function. He gave several inputs on changing nursing trends in the country. Twenty researchers presented their academic papers.

Three-day meet

The Department of English and Cultural Studies and the Indian Association of Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies jointly organised a three-day conference on "Margins, Globalisation and the Postcolonial" from February 20 to 22. Prof Jorg-Dieter Riemenschneider of Goethe University, Germany, an eminent scholar in the field of Commonwealth Literature, presented the keynote address. He brought forth the social consciousness of Indian English fiction right from Mulk Raj Anand's "Coolie" to Indra Sinha's "Animal's People". — TNS



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