C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


PU dental hospital hits roadblock
  Facing a shortage of funds, university authorities decide to write to Chandigarh Administration for help
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 26
The prestigious 100-bedded Dr Harvansh Singh Judge Institute of Dental Sciences and Hospital project of Panjab University has hit a roadblock with the university facing a shortage of funds.
The PU dental hospital project has missed the deadline
The PU dental hospital project has missed the deadline. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan

The university has now decided to write to the Chandigarh Administration to seek financial assistance for the project.

AK Bhandari, Dean University Instructions, PU, said the university was facing a difficulty in financing this project.

A committee recommended that the project would not be feasible for the PU without the assistance of the Administration as the annual recurring cost of the hospital would be around Rs 30 crore. Sources said the final decision on the issue would be taken at a meeting of the committee next month.

The estimated cost of the project is around Rs 150 crore. This includes the expenditure on beds.

At a meeting held recently, the committee said the university had failed to bear the cost of construction due to which the project could not meet the January 2014 deadline. It would be difficult for the authorities to carry the project forward without assistance, the committee said.

The committee had asked the university to extend its tie-up with the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, for students' training.

The sources said the university was paying Rs 20,000 per student per year to the GMCH for training. Earlier, the university had a tie-up with Government Multi-Speciality Hospital, Sector 16, for training dental students.

The committee recommended that if the university failed to get financial assistance from the Adminstration, it could consider scrapping the project and utilise the land and infrastructure for other purposes.



Panjab University anti-drug event takes political colour
  Fourteen leaders of PUSU, SOPU join Shiromani Akali Dal student wing SOI in Bikram Majithia’s presence 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 26
An anti-drug awareness initiative of the Students Organisation of India (SOI) at Panjab University today turned into a political conference of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) in which 14 leaders of the Panjab University Students Union (PUSU) and the Students Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU) joined the SOI, the student wing of the SAD.
Punjab Cabinet Minister Bikram Singh Majithia (centre ) with SOPU and PUSU leaders who joined the SOI at the PU in Chandigarh on Wednesday.
Punjab Cabinet Minister Bikram Singh Majithia (centre ) with SOPU and PUSU leaders who joined the SOI at the PU in Chandigarh on Wednesday. Tribune photo: Parvesh Chauhan

Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal was to be the chief guest on the occasion, but could not make it. Interestingly, Youth Akali Dal president and Punjab Cabinet Minister Bikram Singh Majithia, who came to launch the programme, did not utter even a single word on drug awareness in his 10-minute speech. He congratulated the leaders who joined the party and recalled his university days.

He said the Punjab Government was initiating steps to ensure fair elections in all universities in the state.

Ironically, in a press note issued in the evening, the SAD claimed that in his address to the students, the minister showed concern over drug abuse by the youth. It mentioned that Punjab had launched a crusade against smuggling of narcotics to save the young generation from falling prey to drug addiction.

Prominent among those who joined the SOI are PUSU leaders Simran Dhillon, Jajwinder Sidhu and Simranjeet Kang and SOPU leaders Vicky Middukhera, Robin Brar Bhagsar, Deep Sidhu and Sunny Multani.

Council president's take

Panjab University Campus Students Council president Chandan Rana said it was strange that the PU authorities preferred to be a mute spectator to the SAD's political drama on the campus. He said the Dean Students Welfare and the Chief Security Officer were present during the event, but no action was taken by them regarding the violation of university norms, which did not allow political activity on the campus.

NSUI leader has a dig at Bikram Majithia

President of the PU unit of the National Students Union of India Manoj Lubana said he did not find it strange that the minister did not utter a single word on drug awareness as he was himself involved in a drug-related case. He said they would gherao Vice-Chancellor Arun Kumar Grover, who gave permission for this event knowing well that it would be a political affair of the SAD.

No summons from ED, says minister

Talking to mediapersons, Majithia said the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had not issued him any summons for his involvement in any drug business in Punjab. He alleged that the BSF was involved in drug trafficking in Punjab. To a query, the minister said the government would soon release the pending grant of Panjab University.



Escape from Custody
Former Judicial Magistrate acquitted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 26
Eleven years after he was booked, a local court today acquitted former Judicial Magistrate (First Class) Surinder Singh Bhardwaj in a case of escape from custody. The court today acquitted the Judge in the case registered under Sections 224 of the IPC.

Earlier in 2009, he was convicted by the CBI court in a case of corruption registered against him in 2003.

Bhardwaj, who was Judicial Magistrate (First Class) in the UT District Courts, had escaped from his Sector 22 house after he was caught taking a bribe of Rs 7 lakh from a litigant by the CBI on May 11, 2003.

While the corruption case was registered by the CBI, the Chandigarh Police had registered a separate case against Bhardwaj for escaping from custody, in which he was acquitted today. The case of escape from custody was registered on a complaint of the SP, CBI. The SP wrote to the local police that while conducting a search, the judicial officer “clandestinely” escaped from his Sector 22 house when a trap was laid.

According to the prosecution case, the investigating agency was in the process of completing legal formalities when Bhardwaj escaped. The signatures of the judicial officer were yet to be taken on the papers when the incident occurred. Bhardwaj's house was virtually sealed by sleuths of the CBI when the judicial officer scaled the rear courtyard wall after jumping from a room on the first floor of the house and fled. He had later surrendered.

While the legal formalities were being completed, Bhardwaj was allowed to meet his wife who was sitting in a room and had refused to take food. Taking advantage of the privacy, the Judicial Magistrate had slipped out then.

Defence counsel Rabindera Pandit pleaded before the court that Bhardwaj was not in CBI custody when he escaped and so a case could not be made out. “He had not committed any offence,” said Pandit.

Was convicted in 2009

On May 15, 2009, the CBI court had convicted former Judicial Magistrate SS Bhardwaj on a charge of corruption and had sentenced him to three-year imprisonment. The then CBI Special Court of Jagdeep Jain had convicted Bhardwaj in a case registered against him in 2003. His co-accused in the case, former District and Sessions Judge (Jalandhar) RM Gupta, who too was arrested by the CBI in the same case, was acquitted of all charges.

In 2003, the CBI had caught Bhardwaj, then posted in the UT District Courts, while taking a bribe of Rs 7 lakh. The CBI had acted on a complaint of Dr Gurvinder Singh Samra, who used to run Guru Tegh Bahadur Hospital, Kartapur, and is an accused in many cases.

Dr Samra had maintained that he was booked for allegedly causing the death of a patient by negligence. Dr Samra had approached Bhardwaj to help him get bail. Dr Samra alleged that he was assured by Bhardwaj that his problem would be solved if he paid Rs 11 lakh.



MakeMyTrip told to pay Rs 50,000 as relief
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 26
MakeMyTrip has been penalised for failing to provide the promised services to a client who paid over Rs 1 lakh to it for a tour of Kerala. The travel company failed to receive the family at the airport and provide a luxury hotel, which were part of the package.

The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed the company to pay Rs 50,000 as compensation to the complainant for the mental agony caused to him.

The complainant, Nirmal Gupta, a resident of Sector 44, took a family package for Kerala from the travel company. It was a package of four nights and five days.

“The package was for Rs 1,08,992, which included all taxes and an air-conditioned Indigo for intercity travel and sightseeing,” the complainant said.

Gupta made the payment through his credit card. As the family reached Cochin on the first day of the trip, there was no one to receive it at the airport. After waiting for a long time, the complainant finally hired a taxi and reached Hotel Ela Ecoland on November 18, 2012.

The next day, no person from the travel company came to assist the family and neither was any taxi sent. The complainant had to hire a taxi for Rs 20,000 for sightseeing.

According to the package, after spending two days, Gupta was to go to Thekkady and put up in deluxe AC rooms in Michael’s Inn. However, the agent told him that the they had changed the hotel.

When the complainant reached the new hotel, the rooms there were not air-conditioned.

“Since the travel company had provided a complete package and charged money for it, it was under a legal obligation to provide proper services to the client. There has been a deficiency of service on the part of the travel company,” the forum ruled.



F&CC gives nod to projects worth Rs 6 cr
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 26
With the code of conduct likely to be implemented within a few days, the Finance and Contract Committee (F&CC) of the Municipal Corporation (MC), at a meeting held today, approved development works worth Rs 6 crore for the city.

Sources said some councillors had met MC officials over the pending projects in their wards. The councillors had demanded that the estimates of the works in their wards should be approved before the announcement of the dates for the Lok Sabha elections.

The issues that are supposed to be discussed and approved by the road committee of the MC were also tabled before the F&CC for approval.

SAD councillor Malkiat Sigh said several development issues related to the road committee, which were lying pending for over two months, were taken up at the meeting on the demand of the councillors.

“The issues of the road committee are not tabled before the F&CC. However, since the code of conduct is likely to be implemented soon, we decided to pass these at the F&CC meeting so that development works do not get delayed,” the SAD councillor said.

The major projects approved by the committee include setting up an 11 kV substation at the Community Centre, Sector 22, at an estimated cost of Rs 27.85 lakh, construction of an additional block at the Civil Dispensary, Industrial Area, Phase I, at an estimated cost of Rs 31.30 lakh, construction of walls around green belts in Sector 46 at an estimated cost of Rs 31.05 lakh and construction of a concrete street in Pipliwala town, Mani Majra, at an estimated cost of Rs 32.91 lakh. 



UT to withdraw poll-related charge from ADC Tanvi Garg
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 26
The UT Election Department has decided to withdraw the Lok Sabha poll-related charge from UT Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC) Tanvi Garg.

Chandigarh Tribune had recently highlighted that contrary to the directions of the Election Commission against posting officials in their home district, ADC Tanvi Garg continued to hold the charge. The 2009-batch UT-cadre officer, who also holds the charge of SDM (Central), belongs to Chandigarh.

UT Chief Electoral Officer (CEO)-cum-Home Secretary Anil Kumar said they had decided that Tanvi Garg would remain posted in Chandigarh but the poll-related charge would be withdrawn from her. The decision would be communicated to the Election Commission, he said.

Following the controversy related to Tanvi Garg’s posting, the Department of Personnel, UT, in a communication sent to the Chief Electoral Officer, had sought the continuation of the 2009-batch officer in Chandigarh.

The letter stated that the CEO should take up the matter with the Election Commission so that Tanvi Garg could continue to hold the charge of CITCO Managing Director, Additional Labour Commissioner, Additional Director, Food and Supplies, Additional Commissioner, Excise and Taxation, and Director, Tourism.

It was also proposed that the charge of the Additional District Magistrate and the SDM (Central) should be assigned to other officers.

She has been posted in city since August 2009.

What the EC guidelines say

According to the directions issued to the union territories and the chief secretaries of states, it has been clearly specified that officers on election duty and others such as additional district magistrates, subdivisional magistrates, tehsildars and block development officers should not be posted in their home district. In view of the coming General Election, the commission had recently asked the chief secretaries and chief electoral officers of the states to send a compliance report in this regard.


Temples decked up for Shivratri
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 26
The Mahadev Shiv Temple in Mahadev village, Panchkula is all set for Shivratri celebrations. Special arrangements had been made for the devotees. Every year around 5,000 devotees visit the temple.

A special projector had been arranged for devotees to pay obeisance even from outside the temple. This time there will be no bouncers to manage the crowd but private security guards had been arranged. As many as 70 security guards apart from the police officials will be managing the crowd.

Also, the district administration has banned the sale of ‘bhaang’. A check will be kept to stop consumption or sale of ‘bhaang’ around the temple.

Mohali: Sri Durga Mandir Sabha, Phase X will celebrate Maha Shivratri with fervour at the new temple complex tomorrow.

The temple bears a festive look. The management of the temple claimed that all arrangements had been made for the religious festival.



Sandhu to be new Mohali SSP
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 26
Gursharan Singh Sandhu, currently posted as Deputy Director, Maharaja Ranjit Singh Police Training Academy, Phillaur, will take over as the Senior Superintendent of Police here.

He will reportedly take charge from Indermohan Singh Bhatti--the incumbent SSP of the district--in a day or two.

He is a PPS officer of the 1990 batch of Punjab Police Service. He had served on many important positions such as DSP, Amritsar, Sub Divisional Police Officer Baba Bakala, SP City-I, Ludhiana, Deputy Director (outdoor training) at Punjab Police Academy, Phillaur, SSP Vigilance, Ludhiana Zone, Commandant, PRTC, Jahan Khelan, SSP Ludhiana (Rural) and AIG CID, Amritsar. He was decorated with the Chief Minister’s Police Medal in 2010.



Rumble strips have commuters on edge
  Chandigarh Municipal Corporation flattens strips on four roads at the Sector 19/20/27/30 roundabout
Tribune News Service

The rumble strips that were flattened by the Municipal Corporation at the Sector 19/20/27/30 roundabout in Chandigarh; and (right) commuters continue to face inconvenience due to the strips which are yet to be removed.
The rumble strips that were flattened by the Municipal Corporation at the Sector 19/20/27/30 roundabout in Chandigarh; and (right) commuters continue to face inconvenience due to the strips which are yet to be removed. Tribune Photos: Manoj MAHAJAN

Chandigarh, February 26
Following complaints by residents in commuting due to the rumble strips on roads leading to the roundabout of sectors 19/20/27/30, the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation (MC) recently flattened the strips.

However, the civic body flattened rumble strips on only four roads, while the remaining four continue to cause inconvenience to people. The rumble strips were constructed to aid cyclists and rickshaw-pullers to cross the roads almost a year ago.

But in the wake of complaints by residents of Sector 27, that the rumble strips made driving difficult and produced loud noise, the civic body decided to flatten these.

While rumble strips on four roads were levelled a week ago, the other four continue to give jitters to commuters.

“Commuters, particularly two-wheeler riders, are surprised as they cruise through the roundabout. After driving through the flattened ones, they suddenly come across the other rumble strips,” said Hemant, a commuter who daily drives through the road. RK Garg, a resident of Sector 27, said, “The pilot project of the MC to fill all rumble strips has failed completely. The civic body should remove all rumble strips on roads connecting to the rotary as it disturbs residents residing in the nearby houses.”

Mukesh Anand, superintending engineer of the MC, said rumble strips were constructed on the rotary in view of fatal accidents on the road.

“Ever since the rumble strips were constructed, no accident has been reported here,” he said.

Meanwhile, Municipal Corporation chief engineer SS Bidda said the remaining rumble strips would be flattened soon.

Spot of trouble

The rumble strips were constructed to aid cyclists and rickshaw-pullers to cross the roads almost a year ago. Residents of Sector 27 say that the rumble strips made driving difficult and produced loud noise.



Beat staff asked to be more vigilant
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 26
UT SSP Sukhchain Singh Gill held a meeting with the beat staff of all police stations at the Police Lines, Sector-26, today. The meeting was attended by all sub-divisional police officers, DSP (crime), station house officers, police post in charges, division officers and beat staff.

The beat staff was directed to strictly adhere to their duty timings. They were also asked to maintain and update all registers and lists related to their beats.

The staff has also been directed to keep a close watch on anti-social elements in their respective areas.

They were also asked to urge Resident Welfare Associations, Market Welfare Associations and CLG members to hire watchmen in their areas and install CCTV cameras in front of their houses and shops.

The staff was also told to visit senior citizens residing in their respective areas. 



Cops nab thieves, rewarded
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 26
Within two hours of a mobile phone snatching, the police control room (PCR) staff acted swiftly and nabbed the miscreants last night.

Naresh, a resident of Neem Karori village in Farrukhabad district, UP, called up the PCR alleging that two unidentified persons had snatched his mobile phone near the Transport light point in Sector 26.

The PCR staff comprising constable Gurnam Singh, home guard volunteer Gurdev Singh and Baljinder Singh immediately swung into action and carried out checks in dharamshalas and sarais in Sector 26.

The police called up on the victim’s mobile phone and traced accused Rohit and Vijay, residents of Bapu Dham Colony, Sector 26, to a sarai.

UT IGP R P Upadhyaya rewarded Gurnam Singh, Gurdev Singh and Baljinder Singh with commendation certificates Class-I and a cash prize of Rs 1,000 each.

Constable Gurnam Singh was also rewarded earlier for nabbing a thief.

The same PCR vehicle Echo-23 had also traced a stolen car near the Satsang Bhawan, Sector 26, on the intervening night of February 23 and 24.



National Food Security Act-2013
Foodgrains distributed among beneficiaries in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 26
The distribution of foodgrains under the National Food Security Act-2013 formally kicked off in the city today. DC Mohammed Shayin and ADC Tanvi Garg offered the entitlement to the identified beneficiaries at various places in the city.

Shayin said the department had been working for its successful implementation in Chandigarh. The administration has prepared guidelines for the identification of eligible households under the National Food Security Act.

The department organised various public awareness programmes through print and electronic media so that maximum benefit could be rendered to the residents of Chandigarh.

“To date, a list of 47,914 priority and 123 Antyodaya Anna Yojna (AAY) households have been uploaded on the department’s website,” he said.

On women empowerment, Shayin said, “The eldest woman of the household has been designated as the household head for the issuance of ration cards.”



Aakash Educational associate sponsor for Satyamev Jayate

The coaching institute, Aakash Educational Services Ltd. (AESL), has allied itself as an associate sponsor to the television show, Satyamev Jayate. The new season of the show will be aired on March 2. The show is hosted by Bollywood actor Aamir Khan and highlights social issues.

‘Videocon Connect Super Jodi’ auditions in Tricity

Connect Broadband recently staged the first round of auditions for “Videocon Connect Super Jodi” contest at Elante Mall, Chandigarh. The two-month-long event opens doors for all contestants willing to showcase their talent. The winning couple will get an all-expenses paid foreign trip. The event has been sponsored by Videocon D2H this year. The response to the contest was encouraging in the Tricity with more than 1,000 people registering for the first round of audition. Of these, more than 50 people auditioned for the first two rounds held over the weekend at Elante Mall. Over the next six weeks, auditions will be held at malls, housing societies, clubs etc.

Online revival of policies

Canara HSBC Oriental Bank of Commerce Life Insurance Company has launched an online facility to revive policies. The facility enables customers to reinstate a lapsed policy and pay their premium online, thereby, making the complete process convenient and faster. This facility can be accessed by going to the company website, www.canarahsbclife.com http://www.canarahsbclife.com and can be completed in three steps. After the customer has logged into the portal and selected the lapsed policy, he needs to generate the premium due quote, fill in the health declaration and pay the premium through premium gateway. John Holden, chief executive officer, Canara HSBC Oriental Bank of Commerce Life Insurance, said, “The online revival facility has been designed keeping in mind the demanding lifestyle of customers.” — TNS



Workshop on tax

Pooja Rastogi, Joint Commissioner of Income Tax, addresses delegates during a workshop in Chandigarh on Wednesday.
Pooja Rastogi, Joint Commissioner of Income Tax, addresses delegates during a workshop in Chandigarh on Wednesday. Tribune photo: S CHANDAN

Chandigarh, February 26
An awareness workshop on tax deducted at source (TDS) and tax collections at source (TCS) provisions was organised by the TDS Wing of the Income Tax Department at Bhargava Auditorium, PGIMER, Sector 12, today. The awareness workshop was attended by over 650 drawing and disbursing officers (DDO) across various sectors.

A discussion on the penal provisions relating to non-deduction and non-compliance issues was initiated by Pooja Rastogi, Joint Commissioner of Income Tax (TDS), Chandigarh.

Swatantar Kumar, chief commissioner of income tax, North West Region, was the chief guest. HC Negi, commissioner of income tax (TDS), Chandigarh, was the guest of honour.

“With the inclusion of Section 234-E in the Income tax Act-1961, a fee of Rs 200 per day is to be levied for not or late filing of e-TDS statement. There is no provision in the Act to waive or reduce the fee,” he said. The joint commissioner of income tax (TDS), Chandigarh, has been allotted a collection target of Rs 1,718 crore for the financial year 2013-14 for Chandigarh. — TNS



Three-day Czech Film Fest begins
  Movies best medium to promote country’s culture, says envoy
Amarjot Kaur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 26
A three-day Czech Film Festival began at the Government Museum Auditorium, here, today. The event was organised by the Chandigarh Sangeet Natak Akademi in association with the Embassy of Czech Republic.

Inaugurated by Miloslav Stasek, ambassador of Czech Republic, it aimed at celebrating the cinematic excellence from the country.

“We are planning to promote the Czech culture in India this year," said Stasek, as he details about the reason behind organising the first Czech Film Festival in the city.

“In Delhi, we organise cultural events like exhibition on Czech architecture at the Red Fort on a regular basis. Also, we had many bands performing in the Capital. However, we wanted to take this cultural exchange endeavour beyond the Capital,” he said.

“Films are the best medium when it comes to promoting a country’s culture,” Stasek said.

He said: “In Punjab, which is an agriculture-based economy, we are also looking to invest in hydropower and thermal plants, which has a lot of scope in this region. I had a meeting with the Minister of Trade and Culture of this state to discuss about it. Also, I am planning to visit the university for a student exchange programme.”

While detailing on the choice of films that are being featured at the festival, the envoy said: “While ‘Kolja’, the film that was awarded with the Oscar’s best foreign language film (1997) award, is set in 1988 while the Soviet Bloc was beginning to disintegrate, it has an emotional undertone. However, ‘Grapes’ and ‘Little Girl Blue’ are contemporary Czech films.”

Directed by Jan Sverak, ‘Kolja’ revolves around a middle-aged Czech struggling cellist and his equation with a five-year-old boy, Kolya. To be featured on the second day of the festival, February 27, ‘Grapes’, directed by Thomas Barina, is a popular Czech comedy, which portrays the picturesque nature, folklore music, wine and relaxed lifestyle of Morvia. On the last day of the festival, ‘Little Girl Blue’, directed by Alice Nellis, will feature the current life in Prague, Czech Republic’s capital, from an interesting female perspective.

The movies will be shown from 6pm onwards and there are no entry charges for the shows.



India developing ‘e-Nose’ to sniff explosives: Scientist
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 26
With the help of nanotechnology, India is developing “e-Nose” to sniff explosives for Rs 10,000 at public places, said Dr V Ramgopal Rao, scientist and institute chair professor at the Department of Electrical Engineering, IIT-Bombay, at Panjab University here today.

Dr Rao was speaking at the 8th Chandigarh Science Congress (CHASCON). Accelerating scientific research through interaction, inspiration, invention and innovation was the theme of the Chandigarh Science Congress (CHASCON).

Trial runs of this product in buses and trains of Mumbai had already been done successfully by the IIT, he said.

He said: “The product costs Rs 10 lakh internationally, but in India it will cost Rs 10,000. Even at airports, this software will be used as a metal detector”.

Dr Rao said a real explosive sensor network for buses and trains was equivalent to having multiple sniffer dogs. A real dog’s nose is considered to be 10 million times more sensitive than humans. The proposed “E-Nose” would be ultra-sensitive nano-electro-mechanical sensor, having one-year maintenance-free operation.

Speaking to mediapersons, Dr Rao said India was the first country to use this technology and the prototype for RDX/TNT had been developed at the IIT-Bombay with the help of NanoSniff Technologies.

He said the systems had shown positive results and match up with commercially available products such as FIDO, which is based on the Fluorescence Quenching Principle.

He said the design was being further miniaturised. Explosive like TNT (2, 4, 6-TriNitroToluene), RDX (hexahydro-1, 3, 5-trinitro-1, 3, 5-triazine) and PentaErythritol TetraNitrate were under the purview.

Many decorated scientists, including Padma Bhushan Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar awardees, Infosys science prize winner and fellows of the Indian Academy took part in the event. Around 1,400 participants from different colleges and educational institutions of the tricity participated in CHASCON.

Prof Ramkrishna Ramaswami, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Hyderabad, also delivered a keynote address on the topic of physical prospective in the biological sciences and vice-versa. He said all sciences were coming together. He mentioned noted physicist Hans Frauenfelder and said the impact of biology in the physical sciences had already become considerable.

Prof Ramkrishna Ramaswami, PU VC Prof Arun K Grover, Prof SK Sarin, director of the Institute of Liver & Biliary Disease, New Delhi, and several students, researchers and teachers participated in the inauguration function.

Prof Yogesh K Chawla, director, PGIMER, Chandigarh, today delivered a special evening lecture on the topic of ‘Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease’ at Physics Auditorium, PU.

Prof A K Ganguli, director, INST, Mohali, spoke on “Institute of Nanoscience & Technology: The New Kid in the Block”. Dr DR Saroha from TBRL, Chandigarh, delivered a lecture on “Conventional Warheads” topic at the UICET Auditorium.

The Bhatnagar Awardee and Professor at the Centre for Molecular Modeling, Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, Hyderabad, Prof G Narhari Sastry, spoke on the molecules and their implications in modern living.



Chandigarh Science Congress
Need to control obesity among youth: Expert
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 26
In India, 30 per cent adults and 25 per cent children are overweight, which is harmful for liver. According to a study on liver, obesity is worse than alcohol.

This was stated by Prof SK Sarin, director of the Institute of Liver and Biliary Disease, New Delhi, in the 8th Chandigarh Science Congress (CHASON) at Panjab University today.

During his address, he said 25 per cent people in the country had fatty liver and five per cent had fatty liver disease, which is an alarming figure.

Prof Sarin said: “Obesity leads to fatty liver and many other diseases, including diabetes, hypertension and heart diseases”.

In fact, as per the report, in the past five year there has been a rapid increase in liver cancer, which has increased more than four times in the previous four years.

He said it had become a matter of concern for the liver specialists.

He said if the adults did not reduce their weight, which is the key to improve liver functioning, then they would face heart, diabetes and blood pressure problems.

The need of the hour was to control obesity among the youth and adults, else it would become a hereditary problem, he said.

Prof Sarin said the prevalence of obesity and fatty liver in the US was among 33 per cent of the population. Treatment of fatty liver could prevent diabetes and heart disease as liver fat precedes diabetes and heart disease.

Later, Prof Yogesh K Chawla, Director, PGIMER, Chandigarh, delivered a special evening lecture on the topic of non-alcoholic fatty liver diseases.

In his address, Prof Yogesh K Chawla called upon the people to do exercise on a regular basis to shed extra weight. He also stressed that obesity leads to several diseases.



Treatment centre for sexually abused women
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 26
In a first, a special treatment centre for sexually abused women and eve-teasing victims has been set up at the General Hospital, Sector 6, here. Such victims would be provided free medical facility.

The centre that has been named as ‘One stop crisis centre (OSCC) for women’ will also help acid attack victims and women that face domestic violence.

There will be a police room where police officials can conduct investigations, a counselling room, a legal room and various other wards under one roof.

Panchkula Chief Medical Officer (CMO) VK Bansal said: “The centre will help such victims, who are in a shock or mental depression, in their speedy recovery.”

“It is near completion and will be made operational soon,” he said.

Dr Sunil Gambhir, in-charge of the Medico-Legal Department at the hospital, said: “It is a good initiative and we will be having a special staff for this.”

“Such victims usually hesitate while taking treatment at common wards in front of others or when the police visit them to take their statements. It will give them a sense of security,” he said.

As per the hospital plan, free services like medical care, counseling, emotional support, legal and court activities and rehabilitation of acid attack victims will constitute the OSCC.

Special staff has also been allocated for the purpose.



Two decades on, PGI to hire 130 docs
 1,227 academic, admn posts approved
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 26
After a gap of over two decades, the PGIMER is going to hold a massive recruitment. The institution has received the approval from the Union Health Ministry for recruitment on 1,227 academic and administrative posts, including 60 posts of assistant professor and 70 posts of senior resident.

It was in 1991 that the PGIMER had held such a major recruitment. While the number of patients grew manifold at the institute since 1991, the staff strength remained almost the same thereby severely affecting the quality of patient care.

At present, the premier health institution has nearly 1,300 doctors. The nod for new recruitments raised a hope of reducing the workload on the existing staff as well as improving the doctor-patient ratio.

The patient rush at the PGIMER OPDs often touches the 10,000 mark per day while the emergency wing reports more than 150 new admissions per day.

The hospital has long been battling to reduce the gap between number of patients and staff, including doctors, nurses and paramedics as well as hospital attendants.

The communication received from the Ministry mentioned that all the posts are on regular basis.

As many as 70 posts of junior lab technician will be filled in departments, including Anaesthesia, Anatomy, Community Medicine, Cytology, Cardiology, Oral Health Sciences Centre, Dermatology, Forensic Medicine, Gastroenterology, Endocrinology, General Surgery and Haematology.

Over the years, 50 per cent of the staff posted in biomedical waste and electrical divisions besides liftmen, sewermen and cleaners have either left or retired.

Fact file

* The last major recruitment was held in 1991. While the number of patients grew manifold since then, the staff strength remained almost the same thereby severely affecting the quality of patient care.

* At present, the PGIMER has nearly 1,300 doctors. 



Mayor’s official house a fiscal burden on MC
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 26
The official residence of the Mayor that has been lying vacant since 2010 is becoming a burden on the Municipal Corporation (MC). The Finance and Contract Committee (F&CC) of the civic body today approved the proposal to renovate the one-kanal house in Sector 24 at an estimated cost of Rs 1.46 lakh.

In the past 13 years, Kamlesh is the only Mayor to occupy her official residence in 2004 and 2009.

Congress councillor Subhash Chawla, who has remained the Mayor twice in 2003 and 2013, said the one-year tenure of the Mayor discouraged utilisation of the official residence. "It is not feasible for anyone to shift to the house for one year," Chawla said.

In 1996, the UT Administration had allotted the house to the MC on the request of the city's first Mayor, Kamla Sharma. It was then decided that the residence would be made the city Mayor's official residence. Interestingly, around Rs 1 lakh was spent on the house in 2010.

Sources said a huge sum was spent on the maintenance of the house each year.

Congress councillor Pardeep Chhabra, who is also a former Mayor, said city Mayor used it as a camp office to hold meetings. "The present Mayor, HC Kalyan, also uses his official residence to meet delegations and to hold meetings. So, the house has to be maintained," Chhabra added. 



Soon, pay for parking in Sector 22 market
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 26
The visitors to the Sector 22 market will soon have to pay for parking their vehicles. The Finance and Contract Committee (F&CC) of the Municipal Corporation (MC) today approved conversion of parking lots of Kiran Cinema and Shastri Market into paid parking.

Saurabh Joshi, a BJP councillor and a member of the F&CC, said there used to be a lot of chaos in the free parking lots in Sector 22. To ensure vehicles were parked in an organised manner, the MC decided to convert both the parking lots into paid ones, he added.

The parking area in front of and behind the Khadi Bhandar will be converted into paid parking lots. The parking lot near the police beat box outside the Shastri Market will also be converted into a paid one.

MC Officials stated that the infrastructure to develop paid parking lots would be created following which the modalities would be finalised and tendering process initiated. 

F&CC decides...

* The issue of having designated auto stands in sectors on the pattern of taxi stands was deferred in the F&CC meeting. It was decided that the modalities should be worked out before finalising the policy in this connection. Further, the committee decided that a joint committee of the MC, the Chandigarh Police and the State Transport Authority (STA) should be constituted to take a decision over the proposal.

* Congress councillor Pardeep Chhabra stated that the decision over the taxi stands operating in the city was deferred. “Till a policy is framed, the taxi stands will be given extension and they will have to pay rent to the MC,” he stated.

* The F&CC also decided to provide a special allowance of Rs 5,000 per month each to the Senior Deputy Mayor and the Deputy Mayor for office expenses.



CITCO GM’s suspension raises eyebrows
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 26
The manner in which the Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation (CITCO) general manager AK Malhotra was suspended has raised questions over the functioning of the CITCO and the UT Administration.

Malhotra, who was the general manager of the Hotel Mountview, Tourism and Steel Depot, was handed over the suspension letter at his residence in Sector 40 on Tuesday night. He was not given any show-cause notice before suspension. The suspension letter did not mention the reason for the action against Malhotra.

UT Home Secretary Anil Kumar, who is also holding the charge of chairman, CITCO, said Malhotra was not following the hierarchy in the CITCO and the UT Administration, and was forwarding communications to higher authorities bypassing his immediate superiors. Moreover, there were some complaints and vigilance inquiry pending against him, he said.

However, sources said recently, Malhotra had shot letters to senior UT officials and had raised issues like irregularities in the allotment of stalls in the recently concluded Rose Festival and mismanagement in the CITCO due to which it was running into losses.

Meanwhile, the Vigilance Department has initiated a probe in the delay in purchase of the chassis of a double-decker bus for around Rs 15 lakh in 2012. The department had received a complaint seeking probe in the cause of delay, which allegedly caused loss to the CITCO. A committee comprising senior officials of the UT Administration, the CITCO and Malhotra had finalised the purchase process.



mohali City bus service
Consultant company presents project report
 Fleet of 120 vehicles proposed for 16 different routes
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, February 26
The plan for a city bus service for Mohali and surrounding towns has taken a significant stride with a proposal being made for a fleet of 120 vehicles, which will crisscross the area on 17 different routes.

The project was discussed during a meeting chaired by GMADA Chief Administrator AK Sinha. Among those present were Commissioner of Mohali Municipal Corporation Uma Shankar Gupta, the Executive Officer of the Kharar civic body and a representative of the Urban Mass Transit Company (UMTC). The UMTC is an empanelled consultant of the Central Government which has also been assigned the Mohali city bus service project. It has submitted its report for the project.

Sources said the proposed cost of the project was Rs 120 crore with 50 per cent of the funds coming from the Centre under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). The GMADA and three civic bodies would share the remaining cost in the proportion of 35 per cent and 65 per cent respectively. While 20 per cent of the cost would have to be borne by the Mohali civic body, the Kharar and Zirakpur civic bodies each will bear 22.5 per cent. Although Banur would avail itself of the city bus service, it has been exempted from financial contribution.

Sources said according to the project report, three different types of buses would have to be purchased, including minibuses and AC buses.

The UMTC has, after a survey, proposed 17 different bus routes. These include Mohali to Banur, Mohali to Nayagaon, Kharar to the Mohali railway station, Kharar to Nayagaon, Kharar to Banur, Kharar to Zirakpur, Mohali to Zirakpur, Zirakpur to Nadha Sahib, Zirakpur to Peer Muchhala, Zirakpur to Baltana, Dera Bassi to the Mohali railway station and Dera Bassi to the Chandigarh railway station. Some routes fall within Mohali town itself.

The Mohali civic body officials concerned will now give a presentation on the proposed routes. Suggestions of former municipal councillors will be considered before finalising the bus routes.

Commissioner Uma Shankar Gupta said the consultant company had been asked to work out the operation and maintenance costs, which would be studied by the civic body.



BJP workers burn Bansal’s effigy
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 26
BJP workers burnt an effigy of the sitting Congress MP, Pawan Kumar Bansal, at Sector 25 roundabout here today.

BJP's SC Morcha president Rajesh Kalia said, "Pawan Kumar Bansal is MP from the city for the last 15 years but he failed to do anything for the schedule caste section."

General secretary of the BJP unit Krishan Kumar said Bansal had been promising to resolve the issue of SC certificates for local SC residents but failed to do so.

BJP workers alleged that there was no proper supply of electricity in Sector 25 and residents of the sector had been facing shortage of potable water for the last 10 years and had been arranging water tankers.

Chai pe charcha

The BJP's city unit will organise live telecast of the party's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi's "chai pe charcha" at various places in the city at 2 pm tomorrow. Modi will speak on 'Economic growth - the way forward'.

Rally held

Members of the Team Modi, a body of young volunteers working toward seeing Modi as the next Prime Minister of India, today organised a rally in Hallomajra village. They interacted with villagers to know their problems and grievances. 



Make Rose Festival more lively

Like any other year, new exotic varieties of roses were not introduced at the Rose Festival this year.

The sequence of events and programmes were similar to last year. The flowers had not been maintained properly. The roses were given exotic names randomly. Arrangements at the fest were not up to the mark. Though the authorities had shifted the food court outside the garden this time, discipline was not maintained by visitors thronging the place. Garbage and leftovers were strewn around the premises. The only respite for visitors were the competitions and entertainment programmes organised on the occasion. As the festival denotes ‘rose,’ the ambience should have been made more floral, rather than food, entertainment and cultural factors. All these events may add to the fest, but its real charm lies in the floral ambience.

Tabbu Verma, Chandigarh

CBSE’s gross mistake

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), New Delhi, issued a roll no. to my granddaughter as per which she has to appear for her Class XII examination on March 1, 2014, at Centre no. 2615 located in Kendriya Vidyalaya, Sector 29-A. Inquiries reveal that there is no Kendriya Vidyalaya in Sector 29-A. Such lapses on the part of CBSE call for necessary action against the Controller of Examination.

ML Dhawan, Chandigarh



Mohali CDAC brings laurels

Mohali, February 26
Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC), brought laurels by winning second prize at the OpenDataApps Challenge, organized by the Department of Electronics and Information Technology, in collaboration with NIC and NASSCOM.

Mobile app ‘Indian Health Stats’ was submitted by C-DAC Mohali. The app used multiple datasets from the Data portal of India to display various health indicators of all the states in an interactive graphical format. The team representing CDAC Mohali comprised of Saurav Gupta, Gagandeep Singh, Sumit Sharma and Shiwani Dhadwal. — TNS



Speaking out
No place for politics in university, say students
Is politicisation of the Panjab University campus right or wrong? Chandigarh Tribune spoke to a cross-section of students at Panjab University on the issue.

"There should not be any political interference in the student union elections and various other activities. What happened last year is unfortunate. Whether it is the NSUI, the SOI or the ABVP, all the so-called student wings of political parties should be banned on the university campus. Lyndoyh Committee guidelines should be implemented strictly. It's a wake-up call for the students of Panjab University. They must rise to the occasion and restore back the glory and legacy of student unions." — Navreet Kaur

"The students need to be careful in electing their representatives in the university elections and other poll. Politics is a part of life so the leaders elected by the students should possess necessary attributes and have a genuine understanding of various problems and challenges." — Maninder Gill

"Politicising of the university campus should not be allowed at any cost. Various student wings of political parties welcome their leaders on the pretext of seminars and awareness drives just to spread the message of hatred and pollute the atmosphere of brotherhood on the campus. Students themselves need to boycott such so-called student organisations." — Mandeep Jwandha

"The university campus has become the new political battleground. Earlier, it used to be a platform for students to nurture their leadership skills and provide them with an opportunity to join politics at the regional or the national level. Panjab University has produced many renowned leaders who belonged to one or the other student union. Now, various political parties are forcing students to join them. This is wrong and it must be stopped at any cost."  — Ravinder Dhaliwal

"Political leaders should not be allowed to organise functions and rallies inside the campus. Student organisations should also shun the practice of inviting political leaders on the campus in order to garner their support in student union elections. The university authorities also need to take strict action and stop politicising of the Panjab University campus." — Goldy Sarabha

"The PU authorities are responsible for turning the university into a political battlefield. They gave permission to Rahul Gandhi to organise a rally here and helped the NSUI in winning the student union elections. Now, the SOI is organising a political rally in the name of drug awareness and had invited Sukhbir Badal and Bikramjeet Majithia. The authorities have themselves set a wrong trend." — Gurinder Aulakh



Gharuan institute, hotel group ink MoU
Our Correspondent

Mohali, February 26
The University Institute of Hotel Management (UIHM), Gharuan, has signed an MoU with the InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), UK, for opening an academy.

Under the memorandum, the intercontinental group will set up an IHG academy where experts from five star hotels of the IHG will train students at the UIHM, Gharuan campus, covering various aspects of the hospitality industry.

Signing the MoU on behalf of the intercontinental group, Lakhani Tejas, HR-Manager, Holiday Inn, said the selected students would be trained according to international standards. After the completion of the training, the students would be given priority during campus placements by the IHG at the UIHM.



Graduation ceremony

Chandigarh: The graduation ceremony of Kindergarten students of Mount Carmel School, Sector 47, was held on the school premises. Around 130 students of three sections of KG were awarded with certificates for having qualified for promotion from the Pre-Primary level to the primary level. Class teachers felicitated the students for their achievements. The principal and the vice-principal presented certificates to each student.

Inter-school quiz

Students of Classes VI to VIII of GSSS, Khuda Lahora, participated in an inter-school quiz competition. Over 16 teams from five schools took part in it. Students of GSSS, Khuda Lahora, won three prizes - first prize of Rs 1,500; third prize of Rs 700 and a consolation prize of Rs 400. The students who won the prizes are Sarita, Sonam, Rohit, Vikas, Sonu, Maraya, Ajit, Golu and Aftab Khan. Principal Asha Rani distributed certificates and prizes among the winners.


A function was organised for the students of Class V on their promotion from the primary section to the secondary section. Students of Class IV gave an enchanting performance for the primary section.


A one-day workshop on “Importance of Medicinal Plants & Herbal Plants” was inaugurated by Vivek Partap Singh, IAS, Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh, at Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 16-D. Santosh Kumar, IFS, Conservator of Forests and Chief Executive Officer, Medicinal Plants Board, UT Chandigarh, and Kuldeep Sharma, Deputy Conservator of Forests, Chandigarh, presided over the function. The objective of the workshop was to sensitise the principals of government schools and colleges to have a qualitative improvement in herbal gardens established in their schools.

Yogasan championship

Panchkula: Seven students of Bhavan Vidyalaya participated in the 6th Swami Vivekananda Open National Yogasan Championship-2014. It was organised by the AASH Trust in collaboration with the Yuva Bharat at the English Auditorium, Panjab University, on February 25. Srushti of Class IV bagged the second position, while Aaditri of Class II remained at the third place. Gaurvi of Class II stood fifth in the competition.

Presentation on life skills

Mohali: A presentation on life skills was organised by the Pre-Primary and Primary wing of AKSIPS-65 Smart School. Khushal Lali, Editor-in-Chief, Satya Swadesh, and member of the governing council of the Chandigarh Press Club, was the chief guest on the occasion. The event began with the lighting of “Jyoti Kalash” by the chief guest. It was followed by a welcome address by chairman Dr BNS Walia, former director, PGI. Later, Sidhant Kalra, Administrator, AKSIPS Group of Schools, introduced the chief guest to the gathering.

Annual sports meet

The Pre-Primary wing of Saupin’s School, Sector 70, organised its annual sports meet on the school premises on Wednesday. The day was marked by exuberance of students from Play Group to Upper KG. The event commenced with ‘a walk to remember’ by the children of Play Group, who marched with confidence, along with their fathers.

Shivratri celebrated

Golden Bells Public School, Sector 77, celebrated Shivratri, “great night of Shiva”, with fervour. Students of Classes I to IV were dressed up as Lord Shiva, Goddess Parvati and Nandi. The students were taken to a temple. The chairman of the school, Colonel CS Bawa (retd), told the students about the cultural and traditional significance of the festival. — TNS 



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